Debbie Blott is the founder of The Decorcafe.
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Louisa Warfield, founder of Louisa Warfield Art provides beautiful, bespoke art solutions for private clients, interior designers and friends. She kindly invited our decorclub to tour her beautiful home, recently featured in Living etc magazine. An ordinary 1930’s house, she has transformed it into an elegant yet practical family home.
On the tour we learned more than a dozen ways to create a more distinctive design:
1. If your vision isn’t coming together from what’s available think laterally and consult an expert. Louisa knew that she wanted to create a calm scandi-inspired light and airy space but was struggling with the layout of the kitchen. She brought in an architect friend who helped her to design a symmetrical space, with windows on both sides letting light flood into the room. They had a “fight” about the size of the counter-top… and Louisa admits that the architect was right to keep the length in the room. Listening to expert advice helps to avoid making wrong decisions.
2. Appreciate the art of the everyday. Louisa came into collecting art through her mugs, originally inspired by a Derek Wilson installation. A consistent colour green, they are an array of shapes and sizes, creating different drinking experiences.
4. The proportions of modern properties can feel small when compared with their period counterparts. By cleverly taking the height of the internal doors up to the ceiling Louisa has created the illusion that the ceilings are higher and the room bigger, but you would never even notice. Brilliant! The low furniture adds to this effect.
5. Like many living rooms, this one has an alcove either side of the fireplace but rather than relegating the area to the standard storage/bookcase, one side is dedicated to a carefully arranged stash of (specially sourced and handcut) firewood, a work of art in itself, and the other to a display for precious artefacts. The flue which occupies the upper right side has been cleverly camouflaged with a ledge giving prominence to some favourite pictures but could equally accommodate some fake book ends.
6. When putting together an art wall, find a unifying theme – here it is the black frame but it could just as easily be a common subject or colour. Another tip, when designing your gallery is to plot the layout on the floor of your room with the use of newspaper cutouts the same size as your pictures.of your room with the use of newspaper cutouts the same size as your pictures.
7. A scaled-down display of small framed images can also work. A collection of prized postcards draws the eye to a wall which might more usually show off just one large canvas. 8. Louisa advises never to buy art as an investment but rather because you love it and because it will bring a smile to your face as you catch sight of it in your home.
9. If the great outdoors is your passion, think about creating an outdoor space inside with the addition of a glass box to show off your garden. Here an old and drafty conservatory has been replaced with a thermally efficient glass housing which perfectly frames the gorgeous greenery outside. Underfloor heating, UV proof glass and shades all add to the functionality of this room.
10. Not forgetting the upstairs, this is very much your personal space, so design it exactly as you’d like it. Here the stunning master bedroom has been opened up to include the equally striking ensuite bathroom. Reflective surfaces and mirrors add to the glamour and give a real sense of light and freshness.
11. A successful design scheme is like a jigsaw, it often starts with one special piece and evolves from that point. The hook in this beautiful bedroom is the artwork above the bed. It’s what anchors the whole room and gives the lead for all the other decisions.
12. Don’t be afraid of mixing ancient and modern. The use of verre eglomise in this bathroom increases light, gives a vintage effect and preserves your modesty. Very seriously tempted to steal this idea.
For everyday inspiration follow Louisa on instagram at @louisawarfield_artconsultancy