If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you will know that at 11am today for 29 hours we are having a Yard Sale. We re clearing items out of the warehouse to make way for a whole bunch of fabulous new stock. So in the sale are things like one-off tables. mirrors (but only the few that we have in storage), an ex display moose head, some paint in non labelled tins its quite varied. It’s online only and as I said goes live at 11! Exciting. I’ll be on route to a meeting then so I won’t post again about it  but I should be able to sneak a tweet and a Facebook posting that its gone live!

I thought it might be fun to go through a few trade secrets, the things the cool designers pull out of the bag to give clients spaces that they never want to leave. I unanimously believe in making spaces feel beautiful, drool worthy and edgy but at the same time squishy, comfortable and laid back. So below are some tricks I use:

Break rules

I break rules all the time. Not to be gimmicky or newsworthy but simply because rules restrict us way too much. Break them I say who wants a home that reflects some boring old road map with oodles of regulations.  Stuff like coffee tables should be so high (no they shouldn’t) or pendants should be suspended such and such a height from the ceiling,  ugg! Don’t listen to that stuff. I’ve hung a chandelier so low that I wack my head on it every time I get out of the bath! I’ve used African drums and little stools as coffee tables that are supposedly too high or too low. That is what creates the magic, the intrigue  and the drama, so go ahead and break some rules!

Add pops of colour

Colour is clever it enlivens, brightens and delights so if clients are worried about applying to walls (always) I’ll apply it to accessories. Think vases, art, pillows, throws the small stuff basically. And when I say pops I mean pops of bright intoxicating hues for full on impact.

Do something unexpected

Wallpaper the closet or loo, hang a chandelier lower than expected, use a stone bust as a hat stand, put something way too big on something too  small that sort of thing. You’ll find it’s a bit like sprinkling fairy dust over things suddenly your rooms start to look magical!

Have fun.

I adore this quote by the American designer Ross Cassidy “I don’t think people have enough fun with decorating. It doesn’t always have to be so serious. Design isn’t like marriage, you don’t have to commit for life.” Here, here to that!!

Make it comfortable

No matter if you live in a palace or a houseboat the most important thing is making a home comfortable because if you can’t be comfortable at home where can you?. Squishy loungey chairs, laid back sofas, real comfortable things that strike a visual note in every room, giving it this sense of the most fabulous laid back lair.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessories

Don’t neglect the accessories they are the finishing touches that they tell a story all about you, from that old jug picked up in a souk in Morocco, to a painting found in a flea.  I overdose on them, filling my home and the homes of my clients with things that makes us all happy.

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