Why a calm interior is the most inspiring to style

Calm, relaxing interior mood board for bedrooms

I've been doing some client work on a really colourful office space these past few weeks. It's the most fun project I've ever been involved with, but also pretty draining in terms of the focus on vibrant colours - like I'm actually all coloured out. Planning for a really 'out there' atmosphere has meant that every time I work on it, I'm so in the 'vibrant' zone, that I end up knackering myself out. How is this possible? Ha.

It got me thinking. Calming interiors are really inspiring to style. It's like they aren't as needy as coloured spaces. You can throw any amount of soothing colours at a white wall, and it's so versatile that it just works, giving you the added freedom to change things when you want something different. 

It's Graham & Brown's very first National Wallpaper week this week (5th - 11th October) and throughout these 7 days they've been focusing on the 7 feelings of wallpaper. You know, the feelings great decoration evokes when you walk in to a room. Wallpapers have spellbinding power to rooms and transform not only the look, but the whole atmosphere too.

Yesterday looked at romantic rooms. Today, it's all about calm, relaxing looks. 

I thought I'd take this as an opportunity to do something different, away from the colour blocking needs of the office I'm helping design, and pull together a mood board reflecting calmness and serenity. 

*breathes a relaxing sigh*

Whites, greys, herringbone flooring, mixed with the odd geometric print and a splash of nature - I love you.

Graham + Brown have some swoon worthy calming wallpapers too, my fave of which is the Verdant Grey pattern that subtly brings the outdoors in. 

There are lots of fun events happening all across the country for National Wallpaper Week, including a quick masterclass in wallpapering at various B&Q branches. If there's one in Brighton, I'm signing up to learn some tips and tricks.

What do you think of calm interiors? Are you more of a vibrant, colour person?

Fiona xoxo

If your home decoration plans are lacking something, turn to nature

Beautiful landscape art and console table from graham and brown

I'm a proud brand ambassador for Graham + Brown   which means that every month  I introduce you to Graham & Brown's home trends  offering ideas to help style your home with their range of wallpapers and home accessories.  They have spectacular ranges, all fantastic quality too - and their wallpapers are a breeze to work with.

Read about their vintage floral  Northern Rose trend, candy colour Popsicle trend,  their Precious trend and  their fun 60s Eureka trend.

This month we're looking at Horizon.  

A trend that sees tranquil colours and luxury textures introduced  inside the home. Horizon is all about  focal points in a room bringing the outdoors in and  it's  influenced by nature all around us - from lapping oceans and seaside themed interiors, to cosy wood and wicker rooms inspired by fields and forests.

Nature has a huge part to play in interior design, and if at times you're looking at a room (maybe in your own house or a clients)  feeling like something isn't quite sitting right, it's usually that there isn't enough nature inside it. Think about plants, silks, woods, wicker and texture when you're decorating and don't be afraid to add elements of outdoor detail. 

Brightly coloured meadow cushions from graham + brown

I try to introduce elements of colour and design from country walks Neil and I regularly go on. In our living room we have lots of wicker baskets and a bare brick fireplace we are soon to install a wood burner inside. Whilst in my bedroom, since it's been in the middle of a redecoration phase (see the before and after shots here) it's lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. So I've introduced these beautiful silk-like Meadow cushions to temporarily give the room more colour and life.  

They have a really beautiful piping detail of purple around the edges, and the watercolour splashes of purple and yellow remind me of evening light and country drives. 

Brightly coloured meadow cushions from graham + brown

If you're less of a country bumpkin and more of a city girl, Graham + Brown have some really iconic wall art that would suit more modern looks. From urban landscapes made from water colour to cute framed pug pictures (I love these), there's lots of ways you can bring nature in to a home if you aren't brave enough to go all out with nature inspired wallpaper. But of course, if you're on the market for a statement wall, you've got to check out the new Honolulu Palm Green print that is so on trend at the mo. 

It's National Wallpaper Week from the 5th-11th October so stay tuned for more G+B love really soon. 

Follow the fun on twitter: @NWallpaperWeek

Hitting that 'eureka' moment when styling your home

You might be wondering what my obsession with Graham & Brown is over the past few months and well, I'm actually a brand ambassador for them, but sorta go a bit red in the cheeks when I consider myself a "brand ambassador" for anyone! Really, I'm just winging all things life and interiors and sometimes have to pinch myself when I realise I'm building incredible relationships with the people behind my favourite ever brands (I'm looking at you Suzanne!)

Being a brand ambassador means that every month, I'll be introducing you to Graham & Brown's home trends and offering ideas to help style your home with their range of wallpapers and home accessories. 

You can read my earlier posts for Graham + Brown discussing their Northern Rose, Popsicle and Precious trends.

This month I'd like to share with you my interpretation of Graham + Brown's Eureka trend. For me, eureka is that moment when someone walks into a room you've poured your heart and soul in designing and something has made them go 'wow'. There's nothing better than that feeling. 
Graham and Brown say: 

“The Eureka trend is a chance to create, delight and wonder, offering the opportunity to inspire others through your own interior design ventures. Creating a sudden, unexpected realisation to all those who enter the doors to your humble abode on how they can represent their own characteristics with colour and vibrancy."

So when I first think about the Eureka trend, out-there colour and pattern, my thoughts automatically turn to the retro / 60s look. It epitomises the trend. It's colourful, brave, out-there, adventurous and fun. And it's a look I'm obsessing over at the moment. 

After a recent shop around John Lewis with my mum and sister, when we were all reminded of our adoration for Orla Kiely's designs, I can't stop googling "60s furniture, 60s wallpaper, 60s homes" - just can't get enough. If I was designing a space to channel 60s vibes and give it some wow, wallpaper would be my first port of call and I'm loving the selection Graham + Brown are offering. There's either crazy designs a la above, or more muted, darker retro patterns like below. 

If I had to style a room from scratch in 24 hours (dream job alert) I'd kit it all out with teak furniture, 60s wallpaper, chunky shelving, lava lamps and big retro pendants. It would sorta end up looking like Austin Power's pad, I bet. But let's face it, he's an icon. 

Although not in the slightest bit 60s, I'm in the middle of styling our office space where I work full time and it does the Eureka trend very well with it's use of colour. We've got an accent wall of bright yellow in one of our meeting rooms, lots of colourful bean bags, rugs and wall vinyls and last week I teamed up with the lads to put up this crazy red brick effect Graham + Brown wallpaper. I can't wait to have more time to style it for photos. We're thinking regal style gold frames with quirky photos and art inside. 

Hope this post gave you some inspiration to be brave with wallpaper, I've had so many ideas just writing it! 

Remember if you're not sure what sort of style you want to go for, I have an interior class that will help you explore this. Go check it out! 

F x