For those who follow your instagram account, it’s clear that you know a lot about renovating and decor. What are the three most common mistakes when renovating a home?
Well, I’ve certainly made my fair share. I’m not sure if these are the most common – but certainly, bits of advice I’ve picked up over the years are these:
- Don't rush. Take some time getting to know a space. How the light works during different times of the day, how you like to use the space may differ from your initial thoughts having spent somo time there. Decorate to suit the house once you've gotten to know it a bit. It's all too easy to fall in love with a particular colour, but if it turns out the room faces the wrong way and turns your favourite blue into a cold grey then you've got to go with the house.
- Be wary of "trends". Renovating is time consuming and expensive and it'll have to last long after the latest styles and trends have come and gone. Try and choose timeless pieces and acessorise with things that are easy to switch out if needs be.
- Colour and pattern— lots of people area a little bit wary of using colour and pattern, but done right, it can absolutely transform a space and bring a smile to your face. It's your home at the end of the day, so decorate in a way that makes you happy. Your woodwork doens't all have to be whit for example!
What is the first step when renovating a home?
It depends a bit on the project, but for me, it’s about making sure the basics are there – water, electrics, and heat… and making sure the envelope is watertight and sound. Beyond that, a bathroom is hugely important… renovating is a mucky business so being able to get good and clean under a hot shower at the end of the day makes a massive difference to your wellbeing!
The British style is very well known when it comes to decor. What do you think are the main features of British decor?
I think typically it’s the color, pattern and a sort of comfortable feel – beautiful, but relaxed and slightly lived in… perhaps a little faded and shabby around the edges in parts… I think there can sometimes be a little mismatching too – and not following conventional – so perhaps pairing the modern next to the antique but in a way that feels effortless and like it’s not trying too hard.
A dining room can be more than just a place where you eat. What cannot miss in a classic British dining room?
Ah to me, the best times around a dining table tend to happen after the food is finished, and the plates cleared, and more wine is brought out (or perhaps the port!), and everyone is well-fed and getting a little jolly, and the conversation flows until the small hours. It’s also the place I love to play games too! It’s important to get the lighting right so you can tailor the mood of the space, being able to dim the lights and make it intimate whilst still being able to see is crucial!
If you have to decorate a dining room with our products, which table and chairs would you choose?
I would then pair it with the Dale chair. The slim, elegant legs would still allow you to see through to the base of the table and not feel too cluttered. It also looks supremely comfortable which is hugely important to me!
When it comes to walls, which type of color or wallpaper we can find in a british dining room?
Traditionally I believe the Georgians would have used some quite dark and heavy colors for dining rooms. Rich reds and greens. I however am using chinoiserie from Zardi and Zardi, which depicts trees and animals, against a pale background. It’ll wrap right around the whole room and when you’re sat in the center of it. I’m hoping you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a magical forest! I think having it on the walls will stimulate people’s imagination and conversation and make you want to linger at the table a little while longer!
Can you give us some tips on how to choose the right dining table for a dining room?
For me, it’s about looking at what works best in the space first and foremost. Giving yourself enough room to walk around even when people are seated but maximizing the space available. I think in a small space, round tables work beautifully. It’s always amazing how many you can squeeze and no one has to deal with a corner. (I also loved stories of King Arthur as a child. Perhaps his round table has influenced me but it’s rather nice that everyone gets an equal sitting). In a larger space, oval or elliptical tables work really well again they can feel intimate enough for a small number, but lots can be squeezed around too, and I find them really sociable as you’re able to see everyone around the table, no matter where you’re sat!