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Transform your bedroom with these five top tips

If your sleeping space feels a bit bleak or uninspiring and you are running out of ideas on how to pick-it-up, you are at the right place.
Here, we share the best decorating tips to elevate your bedroom from plain to gorgeous.

Take your interior to the dark side: three inspiring reasons to use deep colour at home

Did you ever open a magazine to be greeted by a stunning interior characterised by the use of dark colours? It’s a bold design move, easy to admire and then to immediately dismiss as impossible in our own homes. Well, as the saying goes: high risk equals high gain. Here’s why.

Don’t think we can forge a link between the Ancient Greeks and vintage furniture? Try us.

Some say that ‘you snooze, you lose’. We suspect that those blessed enough to own a daybed probably disagree. At heart a functional piece of furniture, this humble design has chartered the annals of history, originating way back in the world of Ancient Greece! Discover this wonderful collection of vintage daybeds.

Maximalist Scandinavians… is there really such a thing? Reader, you better be-leaf it.

Scandinavian folk design is bursting with joyful colour, prints and motifs inspired by the natural world. Enjoy reading about how the Larsson artists helped to further the love of folk design in interiors and discover an array of stunning folk antique furniture.

We hear from the designer behind the magical Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in West Ireland

You won’t find a more beautiful location for the historical Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. One of Ireland’s finest luxury castles, it’s set in the heart of the 12 Bens Mountain range along the world famous Wild Atlantic Way. With stunning views of rivers, forests and mountains, it’s not hard to see why so many of the hotel’s visitors return on a regular basis to take in the surroundings.

Style it dark: how to avoid feeling intimidated by darker wood and tips to make it look fabulous!

Darker woods, whether natural or stained, are not always the obvious choice. Some may feel that dark wood is too austere or formal. This isn’t always the case! Wood is a wonderful, natural material to introduce into the home and its beauty lies in the limitless variety of tone and texture. An interior only starts to look bland when this tonality of woods is unvaried and all looks the same. Learn how to anchor the space with touches of darker wood here and there.

These unconventional colour combinations vary from mellow to spectacular… which one will you choose?

Green is undoubtedly a wonderful colour to let loose in your home and we could wax lyrical for a long time about the merits of this hallowed hue. We suspect however that you’ve already heard all about its calming, peaceful qualities, so… how about inviting some other colours to the party? Let’s get started.

Create the look: this gorgeous 1950s living room in 14 key pieces

Got a flair for the ‘50s aesthetic? You are not alone! The nostalgic look of the 1950s homes has seen a massive surge in popularity lately and we couldn’t be happier about it.

But why the ‘50s?

This eclectic New York designer’s home is filled with lively detail from top to bottom

Cary Jones is an enlivened interior designer based in New York. So far, she’s had an eclectic career working across industries from catering to film production but is now making waves in the field of interior design. Cary has a spirited approach to interiors and believes in creating thoughtful yet characterful spaces by layering unusual textiles, vintage and custom-designed furniture and a happy dose of colour into every project.

Cary welcomes you to take a look into her own Greenwich village home, which is an eclectic treasure trove of artistic finds and curious vintage accessories. It’s hard not to detect Cary’s rambunctious wit and playfulness as you look through this photo collection of her home. It was great fun to hear about the ongoing process of making it home and all about life in the Big Apple. Read on and maybe you’ll feel inspired to finally hang up those pieces you’ve found on your travels too!

Hi Cary, how would you describe your home to someone who has never seen it?

Honestly, my description is always the same…”It’s a lot.”  And I don’t mean that in a negative way, because my home does make me happy.  But there is a lot going on! And people generally ask me to explain at which point I say you should just come over.

What are the main inspirations behind your decor?  

I would say half of my apartment is about necessity/organization and the other half is about fun. I work from home, so I have a lot of files, samples etc so I needed a place to store them. That meant the sofa side tables had to go because I needed another bookcase. I once had a desk but realised that I work more at the counter height dining table, so the desk was sold. And then pieces have come along bit by bit.  So I don’t know that I have any real inspiration, it’s just what I seem to be feeling at the time. I honestly can’t remember why I decided to paint my bedroom black but once I did, I thought the room needed a red headboard… so I got on Etsy and started looking for things I could paint. Actually, I’ve painted a lot of my pieces so that might be the driving force! I love being crafty and so I make up projects. I bought my living room chairs from Craigslist and then spray painted them on my roof.  I also found the bench in my living room on Etsy, then had it painted and recovered in a gorgeous Christian Lacroix fabric. The two dressers in my bedroom were all Ikea pieces for which I bought new legs and hardware and then repainted in my kitchen…that made for an asphyxiating few days…!

What would be your advice for someone who has just moved into a new place and doesn’t know where to begin?  

As a designer, this is a conversation I have with every client. Living in New York, most of us aren’t blessed with a lot of excess square footage, so I think it’s really important to figure out how someone/a family lives and go from there.  Meaning, if people love to entertain, what does that look like? Is it an eight person dinner or will you have cocktails in the living room? If TV viewing is what a family wants to do in the living room, then we need cosy and less formal furniture.  And also be realistic, for example, are people going to be putting their feet up on the coffee table? If so, don’t do a glass top. I think paying attention to how you live is really important. After that, figure out the floor plan and tape out the pieces they are considering to make sure it all fits and the flow feels right. And if someone is really lost, then they should hire me! Hah!

Where do you live and what do you love about it?

I live in New York City in Greenwich Village.  It’s a really charming area with a lot of buzzing energy. I live in a building that was built in 1900, so it definitely has a lot of character.  And by character, I mean leaning staircases, interesting temperature control issues, etc. But also great windows and original fireplaces (non-working)  and I absolutely love it. I’m on the penthouse level…which in reality means the top floor of a five story walk-up (hah!) so I get a lot of great light and that’s a hard thing to come by in the city.  The owners of my building have a restaurant on the first floor. It’s an old school Italian restaurant that has a very loyal following to the point where you will generally see the same faces at the bar every night…a bit like Cheers. Although I will outgrow my space, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

How long have you lived in your current home?  

Almost 8 years.

Do you have a favourite piece of furniture or artwork?  

I really do love it all, but the bookcase sculpture by Mike Stilkey is probably my favourite.  It’s the first ‘expensive’ piece of art I ever purchased. I went to a gallery opening…had some wine (or maybe a lot of wine) and bought it.  I don’t regret it for a second, but it was a big purchase for me at the time. There’s a reason they serve wine at those things…it works! I should probably start bringing wine with me to client meetings…

Get to know Cary with these quick facts…

My style icon is Steven Gambrel.

A recent find for my home are two African Bronze Cats from Benin.  I found them at the flea market…they weigh a ton.

An indulgence I’d never forego is chocolate, for sure.

The last music I bought… I’m terrible with music, I listen to audiobooks.

If I had to limit my shopping to one city, I’d choose Nairobi… I was there last June and fell in love with the fashion.

The sight that inspires me is a mountain view…not a specific one.

The best souvenir I’ve brought home is any piece of art/clothing or jewellery that I’ve found on a trip.  But looking at my walls now, I love my Whirling Dervish from Istanbul.  I also bought a dress from Eric Raisina in Siem Reap that is ridiculously amazing and unique.

An object I’d never part with is my allergy medication. Sad, but true.

The artist whose work I’d collect if I could would be by Kari Serrao. I love her encaustic, anthropomorphic portraits.  I will buy one…I just want a HUGE one and I can admit that I don’t have a space for that right now.  

My favourite room would be in the Deer Mountain Inn in Tannersville, NY. Pretty much every room in it! It’s a mansion that was once owned by the Colgate family and has since been turned into an inn.  It’s an old Arts and Crafts style building that has basically been hosed down in William Morris prints, Kilim rugs and fireplaces galore…a truly magical spot in the wintertime.

The last meal that truly impressed me is any meal by my sister.  She cooks Michelin Star worthy food and I can eat it in her living room wearing sweat pants.

I’ve had a few careers in my life… co-owner of a catering company, film producer and now designer…this one is my favourite, so I intend to do it for a while!

My personal style signifier is as much colour as possible.

The best gift I’ve given recently is a cat sling I gave to my mother for Christmas so that she could wear her little kitten, Scotty, around the house.  It was hilarious…unfortunately, Scotty didn’t find it quite as funny.

And the best one I’ve received is… hmmm.

The books on my bedside table are a stack of decorative ones and I’m currently reading The Tusk that did the Damage by Tania James.

The best way to spend a Saturday is cycling upstate to an adorable B&B in an even more adorable small town in the Catskills.

Follow Cary’s projects on Instagram @caryjonesdesign

Cary has a fabulous talent for breathing new life into old items… which is a great way to put your stamp on your belongings! You might feel inspired by this collection of already upcycled vintage finds, or perhaps you’d like to have a potter through our collection of wall art and film posters. Enjoy!

Title image: Tagger Yancey IV, Instagram @ty_iv

The Curious House: designer Joanne Burgess talks salvaging antique finds

Interior designer Joanne Burgess runs The Curious Home, which exists to provide an expert’s eye when it comes to sourcing salvaged and reclaimed materials for historical home renovations. Joanne’s multi-faceted approach to design has even equipped her with a knowledge of upholstery and she is known for breathing new life into one off pieces by covering them in bold prints!