I want to introduce a guest today on Great Scottish Indoors: Antonia Burnett. Her interior design studio, Saving Graces is based in Dundee. Antonia and I became friends through my Interior Design Toolkit. This lovely lady totally ‘got’ the concept and very kindly recommended it to a number of her clients. She recently wrote this beautiful piece for the Dundee Courier. It caught my eye, because we are very like minded: passionate about home, design and well being.
“In these extraordinary times, our homes are becoming increasingly important as places of sanctuary and protection. It is well known that our surroundings have a significant impact on our wellbeing, so how do we ensure that our potential isolation does not feel like incarceration? A lengthy period at home could provide a unique opportunity to really consider the spaces we live in and question whether we are making the most of them.
I recently heard that paint is selling almost as fast as toilet roll, so it seems that many of us are already planning some home improvements over the next few weeks. To take this a step further, here are some inexpensive but effective ideas to avoid cabin fever and make sure our time at home is productive and positive.
To achieve a sense of peace and harmony at home, we need to de-clutter periodically. If left, it can become overwhelming and create added stress. Here’s my rule of thumb: if you haven’t used an item within the last twelve months, donate it or take it to the skip. Be brave and de-clutter!
My top tip for choosing paint colours is to work with the orientation of the room itself. A northern light can make colours appear cooler. Southern light can saturate the room, making colours appear lighter. Always make sure that you buy a tester pot before going ahead to avoid any costly mistakes.
This is the south facing master bedroom in a Victorian property. Farrow and Ball’s Mizzle has been used on the walls which I feel is a lovely soft, calm coloured backdrop for the navy buttoned headboard from Sofa.com. Soft plaster pinks and silver greys used as accent colours.
Moving furniture around is a great way to breathe new life into a room. It costs nothing but a little elbow grease and can dramatically change the way a room feels. Make sure there is a clear focal point (such as artwork, fireplace or window) and you can’t go too far wrong. Perhaps you might even find a new purpose for an unused space. For example, is there a corner in your bedroom or living room where you could include an armchair and floor lamp? A quiet reading area in these scary times could be exactly what is needed.
This looks like such a comfy and sunny space for a spot of reading. Armchairs from Made.com, ‘Birdie Blossom’ cushions by Paul Smith for The Rug Company. Buttoned footstool from Sofa.com Curtains are by Candice Olson for GP&J Baker.
Lighting design is often overlooked but is key to creating atmosphere in a space. Switching off overhead lighting and using softer lamp light can create a calm, relaxed feel in the evening. I’m also a huge fan of using dimmer switches to control the light depending on the time of day.
The beautiful ‘Mobile’ brass ceiling light is from Westelm. ’Wenlock’ round mirror also with brass was from Perch & Parrow. Wallpaper is the gorgeous ‘Bird of Paradise’ from Sanderson.
The key to a successful interior is choosing your style and sticking to it. There are many different styles of interior to choose from, including Scandinavian, Mid Century and Rustic. Try to avoid mixing in other styles as the overall design can look confused. If you aren’t sure what style you would like to achieve, of course the Interior Design Toolkit is the perfect starting point, magazines, Pinterest and Instagram are all great further resources for inspiration.
This elegant corner has a definite mid-century feel, the mixed metals are very elegant.
As we start to pull up the drawbridge, this is the perfect time to fix, mend, clear and clean so we can feel happy in our homes. Let’s read books, talk, play board games and listen to music. Let’s grow flowers on windowsills and wonder at Mother Nature… At least until the toilet roll runs out.
Stay well everyone!’
Wonderful words – thank you Antonia.
Antonia can help you remotely with decorating decisions and for major projects, it might be worth getting a date in the diary – forward planning is never a bad idea!
Contact Antonia through her website Saving Graces