Design should make you happy. Take my cabin for example, it’s super-bijou, only big enough for one really (well me and M’s). It’s purpose is a bolthole to retreat to at the end of the day – somewhere I can finally call a halt to rushing around and take time to reflect, take the tempo down, listen to jazz, read for an hour. All the normal things you need to keep yourself sane and happy! Here are the things that are spirit-lifters for me:

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CREATE A RETREAT

I can’t bang on enough about the importance of nooks, corners to retreat and recharge. You might not have a cabin but a space when you can work quietly or read, or just reflect is so important. I think it’s vital to carve out an area for you – and just for you – to recalibrate when you need.

Bedford Brown interiors

COLOUR HAPPY

My next point (and yes I say it a thousand times) is to find a colour that makes you happy. For me, that’s the dark hues. Painting something in a dark shade looks sophisticated during the day and super glam at night. These are the colours that I love – cosseting, inky, intoxicating, beautiful, timeless, handsome… I cannot rave about them enough.

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TEXTILES RULE

One of the biggest game changers in making your home feel truly relaxed is textiles. I love my collection of new and old, threadbare and luxe. It’s like layering history into a room. Nothing adds soft snuggliness like textiles – overdose on them I say!

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DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

I’m not a follower of rules, I break them all the time especially all those dull rules like how a room should function. Take my lower ground floor for instance. I’ve got my Wild Bill sofa plonked right in the middle of the floor, just off from the fireplace and next to the dining table. I know you’d never normally have a sofa by the table, but ever since moving in I’ve dreamed of sitting on a sofa in front of the fireplace, and it also happens to be the best spot for the dining table too. So why not? Go with what suits you, and things that make you enjoy your home more.

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Oh and finally layering in vintage finds to me are so important, too much and it becomes fusty but the odd piece creates such an interesting dialogue. Living in the present, connected to the past, and weaving a story around yourself. I want intimate, cosy, cocooning and I can only do that with stuff – plenty of it, and loaded with personality!

In the words of Julie Andrews, these are a few of my favourite things… they might not work for you, but my point is to find what makes you happy and run with it. If you want to live in a minimally designed pad, go for it! It’s not for me but then I’m not living there. So what are your favourite things?