A Q&A With One Of Our Favourite Interior Designers
What are the key things to consider when you’re planning the layout of a house?
I always consider how a family uses the space and also their lifestyle. Do they have staff? Young Children? Pets? It’s also really important to recognize how the family or owner may grow into the space as far future proofing it.
How do you begin the design process?
I always start with fabrics. I leave a pile with my clients and ask them to sort into ‘yes’ and ‘no’ piles. This will inform me about their style and colour preferences.
Do you have any inexpensive tricks for updating a room?
Painting is always the easiest, and very cost efficient. Another option is to take down all of your accessories and artwork and re-work them around the house to freshen it up.
What areas should one invest in?
Upholstery and dining table. I also love lighting and recognise that it’s something you can really have a lot of fun with, so I do encourage clients to invest in beautiful pieces.
Where can you save?
I think you can save on fabrics in area where you need large quantities, such as curtains. Adding a fabulous trim to a plain linen can create a big impact without costing a fortune.
When budget is limited, what are the priorities to make a house feel like a home?
A home needs to tell your story, so it’s really important to reuse pieces you already own and possibly have them refinished or reupholstered.
How do you mix old and new furniture and artwork?
I love a mix of old and new. I tend to opt for antique chairs and tables and love vintage lighting. These interesting pieces can then be set against more pared-back upholstery pieces.
Where can you find affordable furniture/art/decorating materials?
I’m a huge fan of ‘the find’ so I love going to art fairs, antique fairs and even charity shops. You never know what treasure someone has passed on.
What are the top interiors trends for 2018?
I really don’t believe in trends. If you love something just go for it.
Are the any interiors trends you think people should avoid?
Rose gold and copper metal finishes have been really popular these past couple of years. If you’re tempted to incorporate them, then do this through accessories, rather through fixed items such as sanitary ware or ironmongery.
How would you describe your interiors style?
Colourful, layered and transitional.
What colours will appeal to the broader market when it comes to reselling your property?
Neutrals or pastel blues.
How many colours can you use in a room, and how do you put these colours together?
I typically use two main colours and work from there. But I have been known to use six or seven bold colours all together.
How do you use lighting in a home to create different moods and effects?
I love ambient lighting, so table lamps, floor lamps and sconces. If you can incorporate five-amp sockets into your home, I recommend spending the money on it.
Where do you shop for great lighting?
I love the American collections that FBC supplies, Gabriel Scott, Lindsay Adelman and Apparatus. I also love Alfie’s antique market for vintage pieces.
And what about soft furnishings and fabrics?
I love Schumacher fabrics available from Turnell and Gigon.
What are your top three high street interiors stores?
Oka, H&M Home and Swoon Editions.
What are the most common mistakes people make when redecorating?
Not hiring a designer! Or impulse buying – it’s always a mistake, especially if you haven’t planned your full design and budget. Often when you buy things in sales because it’s a good price, you regret it later.
What are your main tips & tricks for:
Sitting rooms: Symmetry, it makes a space feel elegant.
- Always include a breakfast bar if you can.
- Lighting and demisters. Consider how the space is used and who uses it.
Bedrooms: Colour wrapping – I like to use really monochromatic palettes to make the space feel serene.
The Amelia Carter Interiors pop-up shop is running for the duration of London Design Week (4th-9th March) at Reed Harris Tiles, 586 Kings Road, Chelsea, SW6 2DX.
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