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Interior designer Celine talks tips on home renovations and what’s going to be big in 2019…

Celine is both a seasoned interior designer and the founder of interior design practice Indie&Co. A triumph of authentic yet understated interiors, Celine uses her design expertise to create homes which address the desire to lead a more balanced existence and encourage mindfulness within our spaces. She chatted to us about life as a designer and threw us some great tips for approaching any home renovation project.

Why did you become an interior designer?

I originally wanted to be a product designer but realised that whenever I wanted to design an object, I ended up designing the space around it.

Can you describe a typical project to us?

I mostly work on residential renovations from kitchen extensions to loft extensions to full refurbishment.

How would you describe your own home?

I am currently in the process of doing it up! We completed the loft extension and the renovation of the first floor this month and we are about to start the kitchen extension and ground floor renovation. I am designing my home around our needs and not around what the resale value would be which is freeing and makes it a functional space.

Home is everything to me, and this house is never empty. I have two small children, a dog, I work from home with my assistant when I am not onsite, I hold meetings in my house and my husband also has a home office which he uses at least one day a week. Usually on projects, we ended up with a fairly muted palette but this isn’t the case in my house. We used a lot of green from light to very moody, as well as some muted pinks and mustard yellows. The furniture is a mismatch of build-in joinery, vintage pieces and contemporary designers.

Where do you draw design inspiration from?

I find inspiration in the past, the colours, the layouts, the furniture and uses of it in a modern context. I also find restaurants and hotels a good place to find inspiration. 

What three words sum up life as an interior designer?

Unpredictable, flexible, exciting.

What is the first thing you tend to notice when walking into a new room?

The feel of the room is the first thing which hits me, so without realising I am thinking about: how the room smells, the temperature, is it nice to the touch, how the light makes me feel, what are the materials? I guess following this, the layout would probably be next.

Is there a design trend you would love to see make a comeback?

It is all about context, one item could fit perfectly in a space and feel totally relevant but look outdated in an other. I wouldn’t worry about trends, they always make a come back anyway. 

And one which history should forget?

Again this all depends on the context. I wouldn’t want to rule anything out but I guess that carpets in bathrooms would be one, avocado bathroom suits, the extensive use of plastic in interiors, PVC windows and the extensive use of down lights.

Top tip for somebody starting a new home project?

Hire a professional, it may seem expensive at the start – especially if you’ve never used an interior designer – but the investment is worth it. They will know how to avoid big costly mistakes and will allow you to actually deliver the dream home you originally wanted. They will have plenty of contacts which they can recommend and take a lot of the pressure off. A home renovation is a draining and at times very challenging process, so having someone there can make the whole difference. Also move out if you can afford it, the building stage always takes longer then originally anticipated and lastly put some money aside for the unexpected.

What’s a mistake which people often make when decorating?  

They look at each item individually rather than think about the whole picture.

Whose home would you love to sneak peak into?

I love all the homes on the site The Modern House.

Is there a dream piece you would like to find for your own home?

I am always on the look out for something a bit different. I have my eye on a few art pieces at the moment, and I also would love to find nice floor lights and table lights. 

What do you think will be big in 2019?

Wood kitchens, green kitchen, micro cement and micro concrete, sustainable and ethical products. 

Is there a film for which you would love to design the set?

I am a fan of Jean-Pierre Jeunet so any of his movies; I also love period dramas mostly for their sets and costumes.

And finally, what’s the best way to spend a weekend in London?

A long walk in the park followed by a pub lunch. 

Celine’s top three vintage items? Find them below and click through to view on the website. 

  1. Vintage Czechoslovak Folding Daybed, 1960s

For me this hits all the marks in terms of colour, texture and practicality, it is such a hard piece to find. Most of my clients are after a day/guest bed which looks beautiful.

2. ‘Caught In The Act’, Antique British Oil Painting C. 1800s

This is such a great painting, its both playful and timeless.

3. Swedish Gothic Revival Bookcase

A key piece in a kitchen or living space, this bookcase is elegant and understated.

Read more about Indie&Co here.

A Danish-Inspired Getaway on Shelter Island

We fell hard for this getaway that Lisa Jones, a London-born fashion buyer redeveloped with her husband on New York’s remote Shelter Island. What emerged (after purchasing the home in it’s original seventies condition) was a bright, Danish-inspired lakefront home that showcases Lisa’s natural curator eye with many vintage pieces sourced online. Keen to stick to a minimalist, Scandinavian palette, we love how her choice of pieces appear timeless against fabric choices of pink, dark green and hints of yellow. Fashionable Moroccan rugs bring a cosy texture to each room, while a vintage Persian rug punctuates the white-washed oak kitchen floor. Design classics such as the vintage Børge Mogensen daybed and contemporary Hans Wegner for Carl Hansen dining set, work together seamlessly. We can only imagine that this spacious weekend retreat will continue to look timeless for many years to come.

Photography by Jonathan Hokklo.

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Where Retro and Modern Collide: Vintage Pieces in a Contemporary Home

Amy Bartlam Photography  Amy Bartlam Photography  Amy Bartlam Photography
Image source: Veneer Designs

Vintage is the new modern, or at least that’s how interior design trends stand right now. Blame it on the growing popularity of classic décor inspired by Great Gatsby, The Great Budapest Hotel, or Amélie, but retro glam is here to stay. Still, vintage finds should be carefully incorporated into a contemporary home to avoid a haphazardly put-together impression. However chic mix-and-match décors may be, there are a few principles you should bear in mind when enriching your home with finds belonging to different design eras. Here are five home styling tricks professional designers follow when introducing vintage elements into a modern home setting.

1. Contrasts for Vintage Eclecticism

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Photography by Janne Olander for Stadshem

Vintage elements in bold hues will infuse a minimalist home with a sense of visual opulence and eclecticism. As a general rule, most successful old-meets-new décor blends rely on the power of contrasts for aesthetic interest, which is why you should pay attention to the colors of vintage furnishings you’re introducing into your home. An antique statement piece in a bold tone will feature as a focal point in a color-coordinated room, and if you’re after superior effects, you can also draw on contrasts in terms of texture and shape when incorporating retro elements in your home.

2. Mix ‘n’ Match for Boho Aesthetics

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Image source: New Darlings

Using furniture pieces belonging to different periods of design history will create a boho chic backdrop in your nest. If you’re a firm believer in visual eclecticism, you can try to blend several styles in your living area rather than using just a few vintage pieces as accents. The mix-and-match formula will help create a décor that exudes personality, depth, and interest, allowing the vintage pieces to blend in neatly rather than commanding attention or overwhelming the rest of the décor. For eclectic traveler home aesthetics, you can round off the bohemian-style décor with ornaments and mementoes salvaged on your travels.

3. A Sophisticated Antique Statement

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Image sources: Hannah in the House and Skona Hem

However visually engaging, eclectic style is not everyone’s top favorite, but it doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a no-frills modern décor. A single vintage statement piece of furniture will be enough to add character and aesthetic value to your living area, but you should select it with care to prevent a brash décor impression. For instance, an antique leather sofa with a foot stool can double as the living room centerpiece, whereas a bold Victorian-esque wardrobe perched by glass-paneled aluminium sliding doors will add depth and contrast to a modern open-plan living area.

4. Thinking outside the Vintage Box

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Image source: Cup of Jo

When using vintage finds as décor accents, you don’t necessarily have to stick to conventions. A daring blend of retro and modern pieces such as a vintage desk topped by a modern ergonomic chair will unleash aesthetic dynamicity and add the element of visual surprise to the home office or living room. On that note, a mid-century chest of drawers will look at home as the TV console in a nature-inspired living room, while a retro bureau can be used as the home bar for a sense of playfulness and creativity.

5. Where Retro and Country Collide

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Image source: Decoist

Most vintage pieces come in solid wood with a matte paint coat, but if you wish to liven up the home atmosphere with a dose of rustic charm, you can overhaul antique pieces following in the country style footsteps. Wire-brushed wood cabinetry or tables with bold grain will seamlessly blend into the modern décor structured around pastel colours, stone and/or timber flooring, and organic textiles. For bonus aesthetic points, you can dress contemporary laminate floors with an antique rug, and round off the vintage décor with a few country-inspired extras such as a rustic coat hanger, decorative signboards, baskets, and a distressed table or floor lamp.

Introducing antique pieces into a contemporary-style living area will increase the aesthetic value of your home and infuse it with character and timeless elegance. There’s a host of ways in which you can pull off the old-meets-new décor, so feel free to experiment with different approaches – just don’t let your modern-looking living area go without retro touches.

Zoe Clark


Shop at Vinterior, Britain’s greatest selection of vintage, mid century, antique and design furniture & home decor. Shop from the best independent furniture boutiques on one platform.

Author bio:

Zoe Clark is a journalist, freelance stylist and blogger. She is a visual storyteller and aesthetician by heart who often writes about decorating and DIY ideas. She loves sparking creativity in people and giving them ideas for their own spaces. You can find her blogging at Smooth Decorator.

 

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Meet the Designer: Amber Jeavons of AJ Interior Styling

Touring Amber Jeavons’s distinctive home, it’s clear that this is a lady with a keen eye for impactful, dramatic spaces. As a former dancer, Amber is now the stylist and designer behind A J Interior Styling, a design studio and consultancy. She uses her background in performance to bring drama and impact to her spaces, taking the inhabitants on a journey and maximising the space to its fullest potential.

We speak to Amber about her inspirations, what home means to her and what makes a perfect Sunday…

Do you have a signature look? If so, how would you describe it? 

In terms of style, I’m very versatile and as a Boutique business, I really feel that rather than a signature look one should strive to evolve and develop continuously. There is also a distinction between my own style and loves and that of the client and their space. So as far as a signature goes, it would really be present in the choice of each piece selected even down to a lightbulb! Each one will have a eureka moment with me when I see “it”.

My taste for the absolutely beautiful is how I hone in on the things I love. If one had carte blanche, then my aim is not merely to design an interior but to design something that shows off the space designed to the ‘pinnacle of it’s potential’. That’s a term I use personally to describe my ideal surrounding interior design.

The end result should be sensational, interesting and unique. It is created with an air of the dramatic, the holistic and the instinctual regardless of ‘style’ or colour scheme. Layering and texture are key. Being resourceful and creative in nature, this is also very much how I think about design.

In terms of furniture, what design classics standout for you?  

I like a lot of different styles – from the fabulous early Georgian to current designers. A particular favourite is Nigel Coates for extremely beautiful design.

I love to discover emerging designers, like those for example at Clerkenwell Design Week. I love finding and coming across a rich unique talent of products, furnishings and lighting.

For me, it’s not about the price of something or whether it’s the most expensive – it’s the stylishness, uniqueness and brilliance, which for me is the currency of today.

What would be your top interior design tip for our readers? 

Don’t necessarily strive to opt for what is considered fashionable or even the latest trend but find the style that speaks to who you are as a person and who your home is. The architecture of the space has as much a say in a scheme design as the occupant.

I’m very in tune with both – it’s like detective work, teasing out what a client loves and understanding who they are.

I’m a huge fan of Columbo and the influence it had on me as a child, not only on how he saw things and pieced them together, but also the rich interiors and fantastic architecture in LA (where the program was set) which I found fascinating.

What does home mean to you? 

I spend quite a bit of time at home as I work there and consider creatively my work and ventures I have interest in pursuing all just born out of a seedling of an idea I have…

To me home is not only meant to be a haven but a place where the space you surround yourself in, evolves and develops. We do, after all, change over the years and I feel our environments must therefore grow with us. I like the idea that there is some sort of organic nature to how the home develops and grows.  It perhaps inspires us and nurtures us, perhaps even it is a conduit for creativity.

Our homes speak in their own way about who lives there in a way that is curated over a period of time, even if it hasn’t necessarily. The art of design leaves one feeling that a home or space has always looked as it does and yet there is an air of slow transformation, of evolution.

What are your three most treasured pieces? 

I love things that have a story about them or things that savour a moment in history. In a way we’re storytelling as designers.  

Having a background as a dancer, with half a life spent on stage taking people on a journey into performance, so taking people now on a journey with their homes feels quite a natural a progression.  

My dining table is one favourite piece as it was my mother’s and in some ways the hub of home life. Mamma gave it to me where it now sits performing the same function and carries with it layers of history and conversation. I think it looks like the Pi symbol seen from side front view. 

Another treasured piece is a Japanese Samurai given to me by my Uncle as well as a brass sunburst mirror which attracts a fair bit of attention.

A perfect Sunday is… 

Thinking of something creative and the development of something I can use to inspire people.

If you could choose one piece from Vinterior, what would it be and where would it live? 

I would choose an antique Murano glass pendant shade, it would adorn the living room!

 

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