Interior designers in east midlands

Finding the Perfect Home Accessory Gift Ideas for Christmas

As Christmas approaches and the shops get busier, we’re spoilt for choice with gift ideas for friends and family. Yet, while keeping the children happy is rarely a problem, every year it seems to get more difficult to choose that something special for relatives or friends we don’t see very often but who’ve invited us to their Christmas party or to drop in over the festive season.

Instead of choosing wine, chocolates or flowers, why not pick something that will last longer and look beautiful in your hosts’ home? Save yourself both time and parking problems by looking online. Craven & Hargreaves, an interior design company in Leicester, have a beautiful collection of home accessories to suit any interior design scheme.

Home accessories make a very ‘individual’ gift, but don’t simply choose the things you’d like for your own home. You need to have some idea of the recipients’ tastes so they’ll be happy to display or use their present.

If you know their home well, you’ll probably be able to visualize somewhere for a pretty votive or etched glass bottle: either or which would work well in a living room, conservatory or even a bedroom. Do they have a fireplace? If so, think single or paired candlesticks or an attractive photo frame.

Metallic finishes are currently very popular for interiors and you’ll find them everywhere: from photo frames to pretty hearts for wall hanging, to vintage product themed clocks and signs for the kitchen.

Many people are on the lookout for ways to streamline busy lives. Craven & Hargreaves have a delightful selection of pinboards which would look good in a hallway, home office or kitchen and, with a range of colours and themes, you’re giving something that’s both practical and attractive.

Side tables are invaluable in a living area, especially during the party season, so why not give a set of coasters or a pretty glass or metallic bowl or box? Fill with brightly wrapped sweets or a seasonal potpourri as an extra treat.

If your relatives or friends have recently completed some home renovation work, you could choose something special for their new room. Pretty jars, a cake stand or a recipe book stand would be good choices for a new kitchen, with perhaps an unusual wall hanging for an ensuite or cloakroom.

Of course, you don’t have to restrict giving home accessories as a gift to Christmas time. When you’re looking for a housewarming present, take the time to choose something individual before your first visit and you’re sure to be invited back! As you won’t know what the design, layout and colours are like, or what changes your friends or family want to make to their new home, find something with a neutral colour or finish. Glass scores highly here and you’ll find there’s a good choice of accessories to give any room a lift.

Giving someone a gift for their home shows thoughtfulness and allows you to express your creativity too. Enjoy your home accessories Christmas shopping!

Planning Ahead For Your 2015 Interiors

While December is a busy month with plans for Christmas brightening the darker days, it’s also a good time to review your home and think ahead for 2015.

If you’ve got guests staying, have you got enough room or, perhaps with a growing family, would 2015 be the year to extend and add an ensuite? Maybe you don’t want or need to get to that level, but perhaps you just want to update your décor? Here’s a preview of some of the colours expected to be featuring in interiors during 2015. If you use the services of a company experienced in East Midlands interior design, such as Craven & Hargreaves, you’ll get some great ideas for interpreting the trends in ways which will suit your home and family perfectly and, by offering a comprehensive service, possibly save you money too.

Whether you like bright or muted colours, there are colour palettes for you. Subdued shades such as olive or dusty mint green, aubergine and rust add depth to a room and work well teamed with brighter shades of the same colour, or neutrals to provide contrast. A sitting room or dining room in a period house would take these shades well in alcoves paired with striped or lightly patterned wallpaper for a classic look.

Stripes always look elegant for wallpaper and immediately add height to small rooms. The stripes can be very subtle: in silver or gold, for example, but they will catch the light and add interest without overpowering the room. You could use striped paper on one wall only, contrasting with a plain finish on the others.

If you’d rather go vibrant, look for vivid shades of blue which, teamed with white, bring a room to life. Yellow and grey are also on trend partners for blue and, used for upholstery or accessories, such as cushions, will balance your scheme well. There are so many shades of blue that your interior designer will be able to suggest the ones which would work best as layers within your scheme.

Another upcoming colour palette for Spring 2015 is pastels. If you have rooms which are flooded with light, particularly if they link to the outdoors, you can have fun creating the carefree feel of a holiday home which you live in permanently! Working equally well in living areas or the kitchen, look for aqua blue or flamingo pink for your walls. Paired with brilliant white paintwork and shutters, real wooden flooring with a bleached finish or a natural fibre like coir or sisal, and well chosen accessories, you’ll always have a room to put you in the holiday mood.

Now is a great time to be thinking about ways to introduce the latest colours into your home. Start looking at interior design blogs and magazines for inspiration then ask an East Midlands interior design company to prepare a mood board based on your preferences. 2015 could be the smartest year ever for your home!

Spoilt For Choice With Carpet

Not many years ago, the choice of carpet as floor covering in a sitting room would have been almost automatic. That’s no longer the case, as there is a wide choice of natural floor coverings such as natural wood and stone, which can be maintained quickly and easily.

However, there’s no denying that carpet provides a luxurious touch to a room. It gives a feeling of comfort and warmth as well as a cushioned surface for young children – or even precious ornaments! – To fall on and, if you live in an apartment, you’ll find it acts as a great noise insulator too.

Choose your carpet well, perhaps taking the advice of Craven & Hargreaves, interior designers in East Midlands and you can add a strong element to your interior design scheme. If it’s some time since you’ve needed to buy carpet, you’ll be surprised at the colour and pattern choices you have now.

For some years, neutral colours for walls and floors have been popular and, if you’ve recently moved into a new property, a neutral carpet will certainly work with your furniture, whatever its style, until you have the budget to replace it. However, if you look at interiors blogs or browse interiors magazines, you’ll notice that deeper shades and striking patterns are now becoming popular.

If your furnishings are highly patterned, it’s best to stick to a plain carpet, to prevent the room looking too ‘busy’ and smaller than it really is. Jewel colours bring richness to a room and work especially well in period homes.

But if you’ve got plain upholstery and curtains or blinds, and you want a contemporary look, you can go bolder on patterns.

Stripes and geometrics are popular options and can look amazing in large rooms. However, if your floor space is covered with furniture, the small parts of a large pattern which remain visible will look disjointed and would make a small room look crowded. Monochrome stripes against a pale grey background laid into the room from the doorway would draw the eye in with a smart, classic look. If you like the idea of pattern but don’t have space, choose a plain carpet and top it with a rug either in a vibrant tone or standout pattern.

Do you have, or want to create, a retro theme? Then choose carpet or rugs in bold colours and patterns. You’ll find information online about retailers specialising in retro/vintage carpet.  Bear in mind that a highly patterned design may not be to everyone’s taste and, if you intend to move before long, try and think about appealing to the widest market possible.

Carpet is available in a wide range of price brackets but opt for the best spec you can afford while considering practicality: a 100% wool carpet in a plain, pale colour may not be the best option if you have a young family.

Take advice from your interior designer whose experience of various options will ensure you choose the perfect base for your room.

Real Wood Floors: Great for your Home and the Environment

If you’re replacing flooring, it’s important to think about not only the colour and finish but also how much time you’ll have for future maintenance. If you want a break from vacuuming, why not choose a real wood floor, which will not only be easy to keep clean but will give you a luxury look and add value to your home.

There’s such a wide choice of wooden flooring now that you’ll have no trouble finding something to suit your home and, increasingly important, some environmentally friendly options too. For example, rather than solid wood, look for a source of recycled or reclaimed timber, or choose engineered wood instead, which gives a similar appearance but is made from several thin layers of wood over a composite, so reducing the amount of timber used by up to 50%. Or if you’d prefer an all natural product, look at bamboo, which is both sustainable and exceptionally hard wearing.

To make sure that you’re happy with the appearance of real wood in your room or rooms, look at samples at home so you can see how the timber appears in different lighting conditions and at different times of day.

Installing a real wood floor will take longer than laying a carpet as it will need to be screwed to a subfloor which has been expertly prepared. If you’re working on a home refurbishment Leicestershire or renovation project this will be easy and, if your budget allows, you could install underfloor heating at the same time.

Whether your home has a contemporary or period style, real wood flooring will look good. The linear effect, if continued from one room to another, will lead to a good visual flow between rooms and make a space appear larger. Be aware, though, that it’s not a good choice for a bathroom or ensuite due to the moisture levels there.

If you like the look of solid wood but would like a softer feel, some well chosen and placed rugs will help and add a splash of colour to your room. (If your home has a strong retro feel, why not make some rag rugs using recycled fabric strips?)

You can choose between pre-finished and unfinished flooring. If it’s prefinished you’ll be able to walk on it immediately, while an unfinished floor will first need to be sanded, then stained – if you’ve decided on that option – and sealed, so you’ll have to be patient for two days. But you’ll be rewarded. While dirt gets hidden in carpet fibres, any stains or spills can be removed quickly and easily from a solid wood floor without having to get your vacuum out. Having the floor re-sanded from time to time will keep it looking good for years to come. Choosing real wood for your floor may take a little more time than carpet but you’ll Certainly reap the benefits of your good looking investment.

Bringing Hotel Chic Home

It’s always a pleasure to take a break from routine and stay in a luxury hotel. How many times have you returned refreshed, but wondering how to incorporate some of the hotels design ideas into your home? Even if you’ve not been away recently, looking at luxury hotel websites will give you plenty of ideas to copy.

While your living room, bedroom or ensuite might not have hotel dimensions, with some planning and the advice of an East Midlands interior design company, you can adapt what you’ve seen to create your own luxury hotel experience.

For the refurbishment of a bathroom or ensuite, look for polished wall and (non slip) floor tiles in cool colours, stone or marble vanity units – ‘his’ and ‘hers’ basins if you have the space – the largest mirror you can find and recessed down lighting. Opt for a walk-in shower with a contemporary round, flat head and rain shower flow. Add glass shelves for storage, piled with fluffy towels and you’ve got a luxurious start every day.

In the bedroom, think grey, silver or light gold wallpaper, a high bed head in a toning colour and a luxury bed with mattress topper, heaped with cushions. This look is sleek and sophisticated, so use an ottoman for storage to reduce clutter. Furnish with metallic or Perspex side and dressing tables, adding a pretty French style chair. If the room’s large enough, why not have a day bed?

If you’re redesigning your living area, you could remove a wall to create a larger space, and continuing your chosen flooring from the hallway into other rooms also helps. Position your seating away from the walls and with a sofa and armchair, or armchairs at ninety degrees round a coffee table with an occasional table between them, you’ve got a cosy ‘conversation’ group. If you have space, create more than one: perhaps opposite windows or doors looking into the garden?

Go for the deepest chairs and best quality upholstery your budget allows. Pile cushions and throws in toning colours to create a cosy feel, especially for winter months. If you have an open fire or burner, add log baskets to the hearth.

In keeping with the luxury hotel theme, add your own bar area to your living space. A cabinet, with double doors for hanging glasses, fitted with shelves and a small fridge would really surprise and impress guests, or fit a bar top in an alcove or corner and add a couple of stools for a budget friendly option.

Think about lighting and accessories carefully. Table lamps create soft pools of light but make sure they’re powerful enough to read by. Look for one large, eye catching artwork or group several smaller pieces in matching frames together and collect new or good quality secondhand large format books to display on a coffee table.

Whatever you decide, choose carefully and your problem won’t be finding enough guests, but asking them politely to leave once they’ve admired your style.

Bring Your Home Alive With Colour

If you like browsing interiors magazines, blogs and websites, but aren’t sure how to bring the ideas you like into your own home, you’ll find that an interior designer Leicestershire will have all the skills and experience necessary to adapt what’s currently trending and making it exactly right for your home.

A current key trend is colour blocking. This can be interpreted in several ways and how you do it and the colours you choose will depend on the size of your room, possibly the amount of natural light, and any pieces of furniture you want included.

You could choose to have all four walls painted in the same shade. A deep blue, plum red or green, for example, would work well paired with leather or velvet upholstery and cushions in a similar shade if you want to create a cosy feel for a study or living room. The effect might be to make a small room appear smaller, but this can be countered with the use of mirrors and well positioned lamps.

For a brighter look, and if your room has good natural light, try using toning colours such as sunshine yellow and blue (which would combine well in a sunny kitchen), shades of the same colour, or use grey, which you’ll have noticed appearing everywhere recently, as a on trend contrast neutral. If you have an open plan area, think about using different colours to define sitting, dining and kitchen areas, for example.

Once you’ve chosen your base colour or colours (go as bold as you like – think fuschia, lime green, electric blue) – you’re ready to start layering. Collect pictures from those magazines, bookmark your favourite interiors blogs, get some fabric samples and create your own actual or digital mood board. If you’re using an interior designer, they’ll be able to create a professional one for you following a site visit.

If you’re confident with colour and find bright colours energizing, try teaming a really bright wall with an equally bright sofa in a different ‘pop out’ colour. Keep a clear space between the sofa and the wall, a neutral floor, perhaps with a rug in the same shade as your walls, and choose your accessories carefully to really make your colours the focus of attention. Try white, silver, glass or retro wood for a living area, while for a luxurious study, some well chosen antique pieces would suit the look perfectly.

When you first see your bright colour on the wall, it may seem a step too far, especially if you’re used to neutrals, but think of it as a backdrop. Look for one large piece of stunning wall art which will be framed perfectly by the wall colour, or fix a collection of monochrome photo frames in a tight arrangement in one area to give an alternative focus.

Whatever you decide on, be bold. Repaint whenever you want a colour change so your look stays fresh and let colour blocking brings your home alive.

Some Recipes for a Great Looking Kitchen

The kitchen is increasingly becoming the most important room in our homes, used not just for cooking but for working and socialising too.

One of the most on-trend looks for kitchens is to use white for cabinets teamed with a mix of white, metallics and natural textures. As white reflects light, if your kitchen faces north or east, you’ll benefit immediately from the effect. If you’re able to extend your kitchen, a glazed roof would also help.

If you like a very tidy look, keep to white gloss cabinets and counters, with minimal appliances on show, perhaps, using a line of Perspex containers as an non-invasive storage option. If you need additional storage, find room for an island unit with white or silver down lighters hung low above it.

This contemporary style looks good matched with a  grey floor. (Remember, when  choosing your flooring, that natural stone, for example, may be unforgiving if you have young children or very precious china!)  You could also have grey marble or natural wood worktops if you feel that too much white would overwhelm the space. A firm of interior designers in East Midlands, or your own area, would have lots of ideas on how to create the look you want in the space available.

Maybe you prefer to have everyday china on show? Then have white floor to ceiling cabinets in a ‘dresser’ arrangement along one or more walls. Adding glass doors, means you’ll be able to find what you need easily.

This option also works well if you want to go for a ‘farmhouse’ feel but, instead of having fitted units, you could use freestanding cabinets in painted wood and use wood for the worktops and flooring too, though these will have to be treated to protect them from potential humidity. Using open baskets as shelf and counter storage fits well with this style of kitchen.

You may have a table and chairs in your kitchen and these would look good all in pale, natural wood or a wooden table paired with metallic or Perspex chairs. If your kitchen opens onto the garden, try and place the table and chairs so you can enjoy the view when eating (even though it might be a distraction if you work from home.) If your kitchen is large enough, why not also create a second seating area using a small sofa and coffee table? You’ll be able to entertain friends as you cook or take a few moments to relax between the stages of cooking a meal.

You’ll find plenty of inspiration in interiors magazines but your kitchen must work for you and your family so take time to choose and make it the heart of your home.

Designing From the Floor Upwards

When thinking about redesigning a room, it’s easy to get excited about colours and fabrics for walls and upholstery, new furniture and accessories, yet the floor covering  sometimes gets overlooked, especially if your room is small and not much of the floor shows. But that doesn’t have to be the case and, by choosing carefully, your floor can make a design statement of its own.

While in recent years, interior schemes have tended to neutrals rather than colours, the current trend for all things retro has seen increased interest in bright colours and patterns.

If you’re planning a new scheme for a small room, and you’ve chosen a patterned wall covering, a plain colour for your floors will make sure that the space doesn’t look too cluttered and make the room appear larger. But while you may go for a plain colour, you’ll have a wide choice of finishes: carpet, real wood, stone or porcelain tiles, for example. Choosing real wood or stone will also give you textural interest because of their natural variations.

If your walls are plain, a well chosen patterned floor covering  – whether carpet, real wood, tiles or laminate  – would be an excellent base for your design ideas.Before you choose your pattern though, think about where your furniture will go: if the pattern is a large one, much of it may be hidden in a small room. Should this be the case, why not use a plain floor covered with brightly patterned rugs in key areas? If you’re interested in upcycling, you’ll find quirky bright rugs made from all kinds of materials including recycled plastic carrier bags! A great way to make an individual style statement.

In a hallway, try continuing your floor covering into adjacent rooms and up the stairs. You don’t necessarily have to cover the entire stair. A look which would work especially well in a period home would have carpet, laminate, or a natural fibre such as jute, in the centre of each step, with the rest of the step painted. To make even more of a statement, simply paint the whole staircase, either in one colour, a different colour for alternate stairs or each step in a different colour.

If you’re redesigning your bedroom, using an interior design company in Leicester will help turn your ideas into reality. When it comes to the flooring, carpet would be a good choice if you’d like to step onto a warm surface on cold mornings. Blue is trending and a bright blue or softer mauve tone in a velvet finish offers luxury and an early morning mood lifter. If your room is large enough, a large geometric pattern would be an on trend statement option, while a wooden floor painted in a pale colour wash and covered in toning rugs would give you the continually popular ‘New England’ style.

Whichever rooms you’re redesigning, don’t forget that your floor isn’t just for walking on; let it make a design statement of its own too.

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.

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.

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.