How to add some seasonal style to your interiors
PUBLISHED: 14:43 24 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:00 24 November 2020
Stylist and designer, Charlotte Stuart, shares her top tips for creating a warm and cosy home this winter
Which colours are in for Autumn/ Winter 2020
As the winter months draw in and we spend longer time in our homes, colour will play a vital role when it comes to our décor and wellbeing. Farrow & Ball are recognised as the pioneers in leading the trend for colour. Gently they are leading us towards the rich and warmer shades of nature, and taking us away from the dark charcoals and blues from seasons gone by. Their thoughtful curated palate of Preference Red No.297, Tanners Brown No.255 and Deep Reddish Brown No.W101 are warm, welcoming and easy to live with. They convey a sense of ease and familiarity that are in result of wanting to find calm within the chaos of the recent year. These luxurious tones are decadent and suited to all rooms as much to bookcases and occasional furniture.
The 1960s and mid-century modern enjoyed a renaissance last year, which decade can be used for inspiration for this winter?
Rustic Vogue will be our inspiration with renewed hope leading us into a new year. It literally translates into a sophisticated take on cottage core. It embodies loving the modern home comforts, whilst retaining the original character detail of the property. Naturally this is a look favoured by those that already have interesting original features like floorboards, exposed beams etc, but it can also be re-created by merging the old with the new. It’s about creating balance for a harmonious feel, which could not be more timely. Another style to capture our attention is the renaissance of Art & Crafts. This revival of the 19th century movement is focused on the value of hand-made decorative pieces, encouraging us to turn our back on mass production and invest in small local businesses. Personally, I hope both these styles will have longevity in influencing our lifestyles from not just our homes, but the way we shop and spend our time.
What’s the best way to achieve a cosy and warm space?
Layering a room with texture is a great way to achieve a feeling of warmth and cosiness. A luxurious faux fur throw from Oka casually draped over the back of the sofa or an array of jewel coloured velvet cushions from Andrew Martin scattered across sofas and armchairs all set the scene of an inviting interior to sit back and relax in to. To create a softer lighting ambience, simply switch off the overhead lights in favour of table lamps for a warmer glow. It’s amazing how our senses are affected by smell, it can alter our mood, so when curling up on the sofa with a good book or movie, light a White Company Signature Winter candle for that warm virtual hug.
If you could only buy one thing for the home this winter, what would it be and why?
I loved this question as much I found it the hardest to answer. Narrowing down to only one item to purchase this winter made me really step back and consider what could I possibly want at the top of the list. Without hesitation I knew it had to be a ‘Coral Fern Design’ Silk Eiderdown by Ginger Lilly in the most charming of blues in collaboration with Vanessa Konig. Nothing could be more luxurious or indulgent than a Sunday afternoon siesta tucked under a 100% jacquard woven silk eiderdown. The classic eiderdown has almost been forgotten amongst the duck feathers of the modern-day duvet. However, with this limited edition, each one has a certificate to carry it forward as an heirloom. Having theoretically purchased the machine washable eiderdown, it would only be fair to accompany it with the matching silk pillowcases. Together these purchases would be considered as one, purely out of necessity - as I understand the silk will help to soften my wrinkles and de-frizz my hair so I awake as Sleeping Beauty. Looking past my vanity, I feel that these stunning Ginger Lilly eiderdowns align with sustainability and longevity.
What top tips can you share for achieving a professional look for your interiors?
Styling and finishing touches go a long way in creating a professional look for interiors. Usually, sentimental items grouped in vignettes on shelves or zoned on trays create a curated and organised feel to a space. Books appear more organised if stacked in size or colour on shelves, coffee tables appear less cluttered if the remote controls are kept together in a basket, and photo frames grouped together are some of the few simple ways to achieve a more polished cohesive look. It’s important to also consider practicality as there is no point if items are used daily not having a system that works within your space. These curated details can also help to make life more organised and clutter free as everything should either have a home or a purpose. Looking at interior magazines and how the rooms are styled are a great source of inspiration to get started.
Which fabrics are you in love with this season?
I am currently crushing on ‘Chifu’ by GP J Baker. Having been lucky enough to see it at the beginning of the year before lockdown, I have gone on to specify it for many projects. It’s a wonderful collection taken from their archives and redesigned into contemporary colours. The name of the collection ‘Chifu’ is taken from the dramatic Chinoiseries design of swirling dragons created by William Turner in 1915. There are velvets, Ikats, small geometrics and designs inspired by tapestries, porcelain and dress robes amongst the palette of rich colours and weaves. Whether traditional or contemporary they are charming and versatile to work well in any setting from a town house to country cottage. My other favourite new print on a linen base has to be ‘Jardine’ by Colefax and Fowler. A rich flamboyant design of colourful birds concealed amongst sprays of blossoms and flamboyant tree peonies. Developed by the Colefax studio from an archive document, the decorative nature of the Jardine is enhanced by a range of rich, vivid colours printed on various colour options for gloriously exuberant interior schemes. It’s been an interesting process to see so many wonderful fabric houses returning to their roots by going back through their archives. Both collections created before lockdown signify that we are not necessarily always wanting new and contemporary, but classic designs that will last for years to come.
Curtains or blinds for winter?
For Winter, always a full-length curtain with a soft break puddling upon the floor to create that cosy, sumptuous feeling. The trick is to interline them with the thickest blanket lining as this will help to keep the warmth in and the drafts out.
What are your favourite Hampshire stores for interiors buys?
I am a fan of the Stockbridge high street for many reasons, but one of them is to support local independent businesses that also happen to offer something a little more unique and individual.
The Garden Inn is always my first go to for a floral touch, they have created several incredible centre pieces for my client’s Christmas table as well as year-round creative floral arrangements. They also carry a charming range of home accessories, gifts and useful gardening items that are beautifully hand-wrapped. Newman’s Decorative Living is amazing for finding one off antique pieces lovingly restored by Ian at very reasonable prices. They also carry an array of artisan home goods from recycled rugs to vintage champagne glasses, stock is always changing from one day to the next with exciting additions to keep an eye out for. Last but not least by any means, the wonderful George Clark, selling a treasure trove of beautiful homewares; anything and everything from lamps to tableware. It holds an eclectic assortment of goodies for not just the home but presents for that person who is passionate about design. Once all the shopping is done, always lovely to take a stroll down the picturesque high street and grab a take away coffee from Thyme and Tides.
If you don’t have a real fire, how can you replicate that warm glow?
As I mentioned before turn down the overhead lights, and light a candle for that ambient warm glow. Furniture is often placed to frame the fireplace either side of or in front of it, this creates a central zone where people tend to gather. This can still easily be achieved with a coffee table and a sofa and chairs either side, perhaps a rug underfoot to pull it all together. Create a centrepiece for the coffee table like a rustic foliage arrangement so guests are naturally drawn towards it. With Christmas not far off there are plenty of opportunities to get creative with table decorations incorporating colour, sparkle and magic to take centre stage instead of the fireplace.
What rug styles are in for autumn/winter?
During the summer months, we were drawn to natural sisals and jute rugs that created a lighter, textured, organic feel to our homes. However, as we move with the seasons into the colder and darker months it’s imperative to make the room appear cosier, let alone feel it underfoot. Thick pile rugs made from wool, silk or even bamboo are the perfect addition to let you’re your feet sink in to. Whether a decorative pattern or an array of colour, rugs draw a space together with a sense of luxury. Some designs are so beautiful, such as those by the Rug Company they should be considered as artworks and hung on the wall. Trend wise, we are currently being influenced by the global style of Moroccan Beni Ourain floor coverings that add a casual chic to your interiors. Never really out of style is the versatile sheepskin rug, perfect for layering on chairs, sofas and of course the floor.