Advantages of Using an Interior Designer

If you’re planning to upgrade one or more rooms in your home, you’ll probably have a good idea of what you’d like the final effect to be. However, you may feel you just don’t have the space or the budget for everything you’d like included. That’s where an interior designer Leicestershire can help.

The designer will look at the space you have available, what you want to use the room or rooms for and then help you achieve the maximum possible within your budget.

It’s useful to have some idea of any ‘theme’ or colours you want to use before meeting your interior designer – maybe you’ll have collected a few paint, wallpaper or fabric samples – but your designer is uniquely placed to be both up to date on the latest trends and able to interpret elements of them in the most cost effective way for your home.

While you may buy the occasional ‘interiors’ magazine, a professional interior designer will constantly be researching current ideas in interiors through magazines, the internet and trade exhibitions and will also have a portfolio of work with previous clients for you to browse. They will help you tailor your vision to what is feasible and most appropriate for the style of your home. If you’re prepared to have an open mind and trust your designer, you may find that you achieve a stunning new look for your home in a totally different way to how you’d imagined. Your designer will also be able to bring a range of pattern books and samples which you can look at in a variety of lighting conditions and alongside any furniture or furnishings you’re keeping, before making a decision.

If any structural work needs to be done, your designer will probably be able to recommend highly qualified professionals they’ve worked with before and will manage their input so that all the elements of the scheme are completed in the correct order and with minimal disruption to your home and normal routine.

As well as advising on the key elements such as colours, finishes, furniture and lighting, an experienced interior designer will also be able to help you choose those all important accessories such as lamps, wall art and storage solutions which will give your new space an individual look, whether you’re looking for the glamorous or simply the practical.

With autumn now here, fresh new colour schemes using pastels with accent bright colours, metallics and monochrome shades are featuring heavily in interiors and, if you decide you’d like to incorporate some of these trends into your new rooms, your designer will offer plenty of suggestions on picking the ideas which will the most suitable, whether for a modern or a period property.

Redesigning part of your home is exciting but it’s worth taking time to do your research and planning first, so that the investment you make will satisfy you for years to come.

Treat Your Staircase to an Upgrade

At one time a staircase was simply a means of getting from one level of your home to another; not any more though. Now a staircase can make a design statement too. Whether you want to update your staircase as part of a refurbishment or renovation project or are having a new staircase installed in an extension, East Midlands interior design companies will offer advice on a range of treatments and help you find the best look for your interior and your budget.

If you’re renovating a period property, professionals will be able to replace either just damaged and worn sections, or all non structural sections of the staircase – such as the steps or banister spindles – in wood, coloured and turned to match the original, or wrought iron.

In a home with a contemporary style, you’ll find lots of design options including the use of glass with light coloured woods to bring a welcoming sense of light and space to your hallway, stairs and landing. You may decide to keep the leave the treads uncarpeted to show off the natural beauty of the wood. If you would rather use carpet to minimise noise, consider just laying it over the centre of each tread with the natural wood showing at the margins. Using a plain carpet will give a better appearance than a large design, which can appear disjointed.

Another option for updating to an on trend look is to combine materials such as glass and metal, which fit well with a ‘loft’ living/industrial vibe. You could replace the risers with glass, which gives the impression that the staircase is floating and makes the hall area lighter too. If you’re having a new staircase built, you might be able to have one which is cantilevered from a supporting wall and, though you will need a balustrade to comply with building regulations, this could be glass and therefore wouldn’t spoil the effect.

Many of the latest staircase treatments open up the whole area and, if you live in an older property with an under stairs cupboard, removing the cupboard wall and replacing a wooden balustrade with glass, would really update the hallway. If you need the storage space, you’ll find units available to fit under stairs or you could commission a bespoke system from an experienced interior design company. If the area is large enough, you could have it fitted as a home office.

When deciding on what changes to make to your staircase, consider the safety aspects carefully. Older people become less confident at using stairs and may dislike glass risers or banisters and, together with young children, may feel particularly unsafe on a spiral staircase.

Having a staircase renovated – or a new one built – is not a project to undertake lightly but by taking expert advice, you can make an investment that will be an eye catching addition to your home for years to come.

Finding the Right Finishing Touches

Whatever style, colours or furnishings you choose for your home, the things that make it really individual and truly ‘yours’ are the home accessories. Picking the accessories that will both complement your décor and reflect your personality is an exciting final stage in any refurbishment project.

In order to get the best result, ideally you need to allocate part of the project budget for accessories but you may find that you already have favourite items which you can incorporate into your new interior. For example, perhaps you have a favourite picture which isn’t currently displayed whose colours blend perfectly with the colour scheme of your newly designed room? An interior design company experienced in helping clients chooses home accessories Leicestershire will be able to make suggestions to help you get the most from your budget.

In living areas, accessories will include artwork, lights, lamps, vases and cushions and the colours and styles you use can blend with, or act as a contrast to, your colour scheme. If your style is contemporary with plain walls and floor, look for lamps and vases both in toning shades and bright zingy colours. Pile a mix of plain coloured cushions topped with a few in eye catching patterns onto your sofas. Metallics are another key trend. So look for metallic hanging lights, floor lamps, and lamp bases, occasional tables with metal legs, plant holders, clocks and dramatic wall sculptures.

For a retro scheme, source vintage lights, lamps and posters and look out for old school desks, small tables or individual chairs at antique fairs which can be renovated or recovered. If you enjoy upcycling, you’ll find plenty of ideas in magazines and on the internet for quirky uses of old furniture, containers, even pianos made into tables!

It’s not just living areas that benefit from well chosen accessories. For bathrooms, buy the largest mirror you can afford or use one or more mirrored cabinets to increase storage. Natural materials can be introduced through wooden bath racks, towel rails and folding stools, while wicker baskets in a range of sizes keep clutter under control. In a period bathroom, antique glass dishes and shaving equipment make great accessories.

In a kitchen, open baskets and plain or decorated tins work well for storage. If your kitchen has a plain, uncluttered colour palette, arrange matching white or glass vases or planters along the windowsill for single blooms or herbs. Use a Perspex or white trolley for additional storage alongside an island unit. Vintage and retro kitchen utensils and accessories are widely available and your designer should be able to suggest sources.

Whatever the look you want for your home, you’ll find plenty of choice in accessories. Take your time, enjoy choosing and continue to look for items to add to the scheme in the future; subtle changes will keep your interior fresh and vibrant for years to come.

Bringing the Highlands Home

The Commonwealth Games, held recently in Glasgow, seem to have sparked interest in all things Scottish. While learning to speak Gaelic or dance a Scottish Reel might be too much of an ask, you can easily introduce Scottish patterns into your home for a cozy, traditional look.

Start with tartan, probably the most recognizable element of Scottish culture. If you know anything about your family history, you might be able to link to a specific tartan but if not, it comes in such a huge variety of colourways, that finding one to kick start your interior scheme shouldn’t be a problem. You’ll find warm, rich reds and purples, cool blues and greens, even neutral oatmeal shades.

In a large room, you could start from the floor upwards, adding layers to the scheme with upholstery and curtains, but a tartan carpet could overwhelm so, if that’s not for you, think tartan upholstered chairs and curtains against a carpet in a plain colour chosen from the background of the tartan.

If you live in a period property with large rooms, you could have framed tartan wall panels on a large plain wall or use tartan wallpaper above or below a dado rail, used with a contrast colour. These options will stop the pattern becoming too overwhelming. In a smaller space, one or two walls in your chosen plaid should be enough.

If you’re updating, rather than redesigning a room, you can still introduce the Highland look through upholstery on chairs, footstools or curtains. If you’ve got a plain colour scheme, take the base colour, pick a tartan which has that colour and use it for cushions or throws piled onto your seats. Go for as many as you can to create a luxurious space for relaxing in. Try and look at your fabric or wallpaper samples in both natural and artificial light. What gives a warm, cosy feeling in winter may be too dark for a bright summer’s day.

If your styling is eclectic, interior designers in East Midlands will have plenty of design ideas and might suggest you could choose a number of different tartans and mix them up. Vintage, up cycling and crafts are all trending now, so look out for an old footstool to recover, make a drought excluder or curtain tiebacks from tartan remnants, add tartan frames to pictures or mirrors, make a display of tartan china or kitsch souvenirs from Scotland; the only limit is your imagination.

But if you’re not a fan of tartan? Then just base your scheme on the lovely muted tones of the Scottish countryside: greens, soft browns, heather’s, greys. Pair plain and lightly checked fabrics, contrast with cream or oatmeal, and you’ll have a look that’s as refreshing as the Highland air.

Whether you decide to go for all out tartan or just a few Scottish touches, you can have a lot of fun creating a highland look that’s perfect for your home.

Making the Most of Window Treatments

Whether you’re redesigning or just redecorating a room, there are so many elements to consider: flooring, wall coverings, furniture, lighting and, of course, window treatment. Curtains and blinds can play a huge part in adding to the atmosphere and you’ll be spoilt for choice in the range of window treatments available.

If you have a living room which opens onto, or simply looks onto a garden, use curtains to ‘frame’ the view. Using some of the latest sheers under fabric curtains, will allow light in and lead your eyes through the window into the space beyond. In the brightest of lights, the sheer curtains mean you can leave the windows or doors open in summer for ventilation, while reducing heat and the effect of sunlight on your carpets and furniture.

In the winter, curtains – particularly if they are floor length and lined – provide warmth and a sense of cosiness. However, unless you have a period home and are designing to match a historic architectural style, gone are the days of heavy fabrics with deep valances and elaborate ties.

Today’s look for a modern home is simpler and less cluttered. If you have patterned carpet, walls or furniture, think plain blocks of colour at the windows to tone with shades used elsewhere in the room. Greys are on trend and work well with blues, greens and yellows. If you have a large room, try a coloured fabric blind behind curtains in a toning shade but be aware that this layering could make a smaller room seem even smaller.

If you like patterned curtains and the rest of the room is plain, go for a bold motif picking up on a key colour from your scheme, or try one of the many geometric designs available this autumn and winter. Ideally, let your curtains touch the floor and choose a deep box pleat as a modern heading treatment.

Depending on your budget, blinds might be a better solution than curtains. Roman blinds, for example, use less fabric than curtains as they generally only cover the window recess rather than extending down to the floor. Stripes on plain coloured heavy cotton, for example, would give a great look for a smart bedroom, study or home office.

Measuring for fabric to make curtains and blinds needs to be done accurately and is best left to a designer or curtain expert, as mistakes can be costly. Agree where any necessary joins will be made so that these can be as well hidden as possible. Consider what lining you’ll need: for a bedroom facing a busy road, you might want blackout lining to prevent glare from street lights or traffic. Check how your curtains or blinds should be cleaned and what you can use as a spot treatment for accidental stains.

Don’t regard curtains and blinds as an add-on to a design scheme. Once closed, they’re part of the ‘wall’ where the windows are and a key element to creating an inviting, welcoming space.

Creating a Study Bedroom for your Child

As we pass the midpoint of the school holidays and the shops fill with uniforms and stationery, maybe it’s time to give your child’s bedroom a new look for the new school year? It could really inspire them, making studying easier and more pleasant. Home refurbishment is a popular way of improving your home without the expense of moving, so a home refurbishment Leicestershire project could have dual benefits: for you and your child.

Even primary school children want room for sleepovers and a young teen will want to use their room for entertaining friends as well as study. Could they move to a larger room or could you extend into the loft or convert the garage to create a private den?

While young children like a bedroom themed round a favorite character, older children and teens need a smart look that will remain age appropriate.If you have room, create three separate areas: for sleeping, relaxing and studying, but if space is tight, a ‘day’ bed piled with coloured cushions will serve both as sleeping and relaxing space.

The study area should be near the best light and close to electrical sockets for powering up those all important gadgets. You’ll need to plan in a desk and shelves. Cabin style beds offer interesting options for smaller spaces, with the bed being raised above the desk area. Some even have desk units which roll away under the bed when not needed: useful for creating sleepover floor space. Another option would be to build or put a desk between two cupboards, with shelves above it.

Choose a good, supportive chair for the desk and add a comfy armchair for downtime. An old favorite from another room, recovered in a vintage fabric, would be ideal.

Provide as big a pin board area as possible. Whether it’s for the latest pinups, or study timetables, it will always be full! Use chalkboard paint on one wall, or a wardrobe door, and watch your child’s creativity develop.

For younger children, bunk beds are an exciting option. Some now come with a mini staircase, a safer option than the traditional ladder. Look for one with a shelf unit at one end; add a chair and you’ve got a study area.

While carpet is a soft, warm, flooring option, a hard floor may prove more practical, as it won’t show spillages. Carpet does, however, provide better noise insulation: something to think about if you’ve got a sleepover taking place above your sitting room!

When you’re redesigning the room, get your child involved choosing wall coverings, furniture or bedding. Not only will they enjoy making choices,but they’ll be developing their eye for interior design and, hopefully, their budgeting skills too.

Whatever your child’s age, help them start the new academic year with a fresh new look for their room and see how keen they are to start studying again!

Blue Leads the Way in Autumn Colour Trends

Blue is one of the key colours trending for autumn/winter 2014 and designers are creating stunning interiors using its many different shades. From bright cobalt and electric blue, through sky blue to the more subtle aqua, blue is an ideal base colour for any interior scheme.

Blue is very versatile and whether used as a main or an accent colour, it can be paired with reds, purples, greens, yellows, greys or white. As a ‘cool’ colour, blue, particularly its darker shades, works best in a room which gets plenty of natural light, as it can dominate a north facing space, for example.

Use blue together with grey for a cool, contemporary look in a modern loft or apartment, or a stylish wet room. Blue has long been a popular choice for bathrooms and an azure or aquamarine, teamed with yellow or white will create a fresh, welcoming environment – especially ideal to step into first thing in the morning.

In a living room, particularly one opening onto a garden terrace or deck, opting for sky blue walls, white paintwork and either a light wood or wood effect laminate floor, or a geometric patterned carpet in shades of blue and white, will give you a light, summery feel.

If you have an older style property, designers, such as those working on home renovation Leicestershire, may suggest pairing peacock blue with deep crimsons or purples for a rich, traditional feel which will suit your period home perfectly.Cobalt is a key fashion shade for autumn/winter 2014 and this strong blue can be partnered with anything from the palest ice blue to vibrant fuschia or lime green to create a stand out look for a living area, or even a kitchen. You could use either the blue or the toning colour for upholstery, curtains, flooring or cabinet doors.

At one time, children’s rooms were decorated in ‘blue for a boy’, ‘pink for a girl’, but now such traditions no longer apply and both boys and girls can enjoy blue and green, blue and yellow or blue and red or pink colour schemes.

If you’re thinking of basing a redecoration or renovation scheme around blue, take time to consider which blue would work best in your room. Ask for paint, wall covering, upholstery and flooring samples to try in your home at different times of day and in different lighting levels. Don’t be afraid to mix different blues together, but in a small room, be aware that too many shades and patterns will make the space seem much smaller.

Blue is such a versatile colour, that whatever shade or shades of blue you choose, and whatever complementary colours you use, you can be use that your choice is right on trend.

Create a Custom Designed Welcoming Hallway to Attract the Visitors

When people visit your home, what first impression do they get: warm, bright and welcoming, or cold, dull and crowded? Use your hall to create an inviting space, drawing visitors in, while not forgetting the family’s needs in this high traffic area.

If you live in a period home, you might have original features like checkerboard floor tiles or even a fireplace but, if painted in period colours, the hall may be quite dark. To introduce more light, painting the walls in a neutral colour or pastel shade and adding a statement mirror, will immediately make the space seem brighter. Try placing a large vase of flowers on the hearth or mantel to reduce the dominance of a dark fireplace.

For a contemporary home, you’ll find plenty of flooring choices: natural stone, ceramic tiles, laminates vinyls or carpets. Bear in mind the maintenance needed on natural floors and look for non-slip ceramics and easy cleaning if you have children or animals. A single colour will draw the eye, visually increasing the size of the hall. But including the occasional ‘bright’ tile (fuschia or purple for example), in a neutral run, will give your hall the “wow” factor. Continue the flooring into living areas opening off the hall for a natural transition.

If you opt for wallpaper, you’ll be spoilt for choice with bold prints, retro chic and botanical just some of the current trends. Remember, a large pattern can overwhelm a small space and that an expensive designer paper might be ideal for a single person’s home, but be less practical for the busy hallway of a young family.

Plan in furniture without cluttering the space. A seat, possibly incorporating storage, is a useful option. Think period armchair or reclaimed church pew in an older style hall, pale wood or rustic painted settle piled with vintage fabric cushions for a country style, or a unique designer piece to complement a minimalist, contemporary hall.

Console tables are great space savers. Choose a metal, glass or a polished or painted wood finish, with drawers to keep your daily clutter out of sight. Then, with just a vase of flowers, a few well chosen photos or a lamp, and placed, if possible, beneath a mirror, your table will add to the feeling of welcome you want to achieve.

In most homes, the stairs lead up from the hall, so they need thinking about too. If the staircase is narrow but the stairs are in good condition, paint them white and carpet the center only, to make them look wider. In a contemporary home, consider clear glazing panels to replace conventional banisters. Also, think about the space below the stairs. Could you open it up and install a custom designed storage system, maybe even a home office?

Whether you’re scouring reclamation yards in London, using an interior design company in Leicester or contemplating tartan wallpaper in Edinburgh, create a welcoming hallway and you’ll never be short of visitors. You can also browse The Spinney for a New Venue Leicester

Modern Wallpapers Giving a Glimpse of the Past

Just as fashions in the colours and fabrics used for clothes change, so do trends in the world of wallpaper design.

In the 1960s, Modern Wallpapers Giving a Glimpse of the Past, like fashion, embraced both monochrome Op art and the joyful colours of Flower Power. In comparison, in the 1970s, the milkmaid look popularized by Laura Ashley sent sprigs of tiny blooms spreading across our walls. The 1980s saw densely patterned floral papers with accompanying borders start to make way, in the 1990s, for a minimalist look with wallpaper often being ditched in favour of plain painted walls. As the decade went on, a partial revolt against minimalism saw the introduction of techniques such as sponging to add texture to the walls.

Since the dawn of the new millennium, and in today’s tighter financial conditions, many firms, including an interior design company in Leicester, are reporting a rise in nostalgia and growing interest in all things vintage and handmade, as people look for ways to stamp their individuality on their homes.

So, retro prints copied from original 1960s or 70s pattern books are big news. The bold geometric designs, often in greens, oranges or browns, are best kept to one wall in a small room, with a complementary or contrast colour paper on the other walls. Carry the theme through with cushions or ceramics in key colours from the wallpaper.

Botanic is another current trend, but, unlike the tiny floral prints of the 1980s, the 2014 wallpapers often feature much larger blooms, combining well with bold modern furniture or adding a striking backdrop to a deliberately mismatched, retro-chic scheme. You’ll find flowers featuring heavily on ‘oriental’ inspired papers, too, and if you choose one with a dark background, these can work well in a contemporary, minimalist home.

If you prefer plain to patterned walls, introducing texture is a great way to individualize your room. And it has the further advantage of helping to disguise any imperfections on a less-than-perfect wall surface! Go for a 30s throwback anaglypta paper which can be painted or left plain, or look for a paper with a metallic finish that will reflect light and make the room seem bigger.

Children’s rooms have been transformed too. The latest trends see an end to the TV tie-ins and, instead, a wealth of beautiful vintage-inspired designs, featuring stylized animals, cars, brightly coloured Paisley patterns and bold geometric stripes that suit both boys and girls and which won’t date as the child grows.

Wallpaper has been part of our homes and our lives for generations, and, as with so many things, wallpaper design trends seem to be coming full circle. But experiments with the latest 3D printer technology have already seen wallpaper being produced. We may be on the threshold of a completely new era that could one day see us all able to produce our designs for our homes within our homes.


Create a Custom Designed Welcoming Hallway to Attract the Visitors


Creating a Study Bedroom for your Child

Give your kitchen an elegant look with kitchen interior designing tips

When the sun comes out, we want it to be reflected in our homes with welcoming colours and a sense of space. Whether you have a small or large kitchen, you can make it the heart of your summer living. Follow the below-mentioned kitchen interior designing tips to make your home look great.

If you’re redesigning or redecorating, base your scheme on fresh, light tones of your favourite colour. If you prefer neutrals to colours, find ones with a warm base tone which will work well in the winter, too, especially if your kitchen faces north and doesn’t get much natural light.

A north facing kitchen may not need curtains or blinds, but if your kitchen faces south or west, you’ll certainly need to think about the window treatment. If your windows are shut while you’re out at work all day, in the summer, heat will soon build up and make the room unwelcoming.

If you have children or dogs using the kitchen as a route to the garden, choose a practical floor covering such as laminate, which is easy to clean and should withstand the occasional dropped plate.

In a large family kitchen, guests will want to come and chat with you as you cook, so introduce a breakfast bar, stools for an island unit or put a table and chairs near the patio doors. Make the most of summer by enjoying the lighter days and the garden as you cook and eat. Try and make sure that your main working space faces the window.

As well as enjoying the extra daylight, think carefully about task lighting. Use spotlights in the ceiling targeting high use areas such as the sink or under cupboard lights to flood your worktops. If you eat in the kitchen, consider pendant lights above the table for a more subtle effect.

If you have a small kitchen, keep to a palette of pale colours for cupboards, worktops, tiles and paintwork to increase the impression of space. If your main worktop or sink faces a wall in a “galley” kitchen, consider putting a mirror above it to reflect the light. (You’ll be able to keep an eye on children playing in the garden too!)

Why not some have glass-fronted cabinets or open shelves? They’ll open up the space more than a run of solid cupboard fronts. Keep worktops as clear as possible of large appliances to make them seem longer and go for a floor covering in a single colour rather than a ‘busy’ pattern.

For a summery look on a budget, a great idea from an interior design company in Leicester is to add new storage tins, t-towels or utensils in ice cream colours or a vintage pattern, or put pots of herbs in painted flowerpots along the windowsill.

So, whether you’re considering a major revamp or want to make a few subtle changes, a little planning will make sure that, whatever weather we have, your kitchen will be the sunny heart of your home this summer.

You can also take a look at

Engaging Most Beautiful Interior Designs for showcasing your Children’s Bedroom


Blue Leads the Way in Autumn Colour Trends

Engaging Most Beautiful Interior Designs for showcasing your Children’s Bedroom

Transform your child’s room into a place that can carry them gently off into their dreams or allow them to venture into their wildest fantasies. If you are looking to decorate your child’s bedroom or playroom with Engaging Most Beautiful Interior Designs, then Craven and Hargreaves, an interior design company in Leicester, are the people to go to.

Think back to your childhood. Those dreamlike, stress-free days may seem so distant now, but to your child, they are ever-present. Creating that perfect space to nurture their imagination and creativity is important and is just one of the many things this Interior designer Leicestershire could do for you.

Youngsters have dreams, passions, wild ideas, and fantasies. Perhaps your child wants to blast off into space as an astronaut or explore the murky depths of the ocean. Maybe they fantasise about becoming a racing car driver, tearing round the track at a hundred miles an hour, or being a master of the waves, sailing the high seas as a pirate captain with the fresh breeze rushing through their hair.   They might dream of living in a world of their favourite Disney character or want to live like a princess in their very own castle. No matter what it is that captures the imagination of your little one and makes them dream big, let Craven and Hargreaves bring these dreams to life in your child’s room.

The key to realising these fantasies is an inspired and creative design. Craven and Hargreaves use dreamlike wallpapers and patterns, combined with an imaginative bed or sleeping space, with other carefully selected decorations and accessories to create the ideal room for your child. Simple but effective textures, colours, and lighting all come together to make their fantasies come true.

If it’s the spaceship theme that they’re after, then how about a rocket bed under a star-lit ceiling? Or how about a race car bed for your budding Formula 1 driver? Perhaps they love animals and nature, so why not create their little woodland wonderland with all their favourite critters? If they want to soar in the skies, then an aeroplane bed set among dreamy, cloudy wallpaper might take them just where they want to go! Immerse your young explorer in the African sunset, surrounded by giraffes, rhinos, lions, and elephants – just the thing to give them their little slice of the savannah.

Come to Craven and Hargreaves, an interior design company in Leicester, for inspirational ideas, a professional and experienced team, and let them transform your child’s room into their fantasy world.

You can also take a look at

Give your kitchen an elegant look with kitchen interior designing tips


Create a Custom Designed Welcoming Hallway to Attract the Visitors