These top interior experts share the styling secrets of their own homes.
COME DINE WITH ME
LAURENCE LLEWELYN-BOWEN, TV PERSONALITY AND INTERIOR DESIGNER
“Dining rooms, once shunned and viewed as over, are enjoying a revival which I welcome hugely. Latest surveys show that people who were seduced by the idea of seamless living in one glass space are now scuttling back under the protective hem of traditionalism and opting for a separate entertaining area. Basically, we’re much more likely these days to have a mini-Downton rather than a Kevin McCloud style-design.
“Dining areas have more significance than they’re given credit for. They’re where the family gathers for special occasions and so associated with good memories, and this is a wonderful area for housing memorabilia. This room can almost be a decorative shrine to heirlooms and pieces with relevance and emotions attached, from granny’s ashes to antiques.”
“Spread your decor wings and fly beyond the conventional box and be confident about what you like. Who cares if it clashes or stands out?”
“Stop obsessing about storage. If you need masses of cupboards you have too much stuff, and if you can’t see it, why do you want it?”
MY BEST BUYS
“I’m in love with Chesterfield sofas which look serious, imposing and are ultra-comfortable – none of that sloppy, slouch seating for me! Mine is velvet with chrome buttoning, from The Chesterfield Company.”
Bespoke Arundel vintage sofas, available in a choice of upholstery, from £760, The Chesterfield Company
TOUCH ME TEXTURES
IAN DYKES, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, FABRIC SPECIALISTS VOYAGE DECORATION
“For me, creating a home isn’t about referencing the latest interiors trends, but about injecting personality into a space. This isn’t something that can be created overnight, but needs curating, collecting and honing over time.
“It’s often the small things that shape the character of a home, the details which will bring a look together: an original piece of artwork, a favourite colour, treasures from travels abroad. All of these elements can be layered to create a style that is uniquely yours. I’ve been inspired by my travels, and I use vibrant colours and fabrics and pieces made by talented people I’ve visited around globe, from craftswomen in Kashmir to Jacquard weavers in Italy.”
Textures are key. “A piece can’t simply look good, it has to be tactile and feel luxurious. Whether it’s the weave of linen or raised embroidered threads, each piece brings a new dimension to a room, imbuing it with warmth, variety and curiosity. Our latest collection, Iridescence, combines Scottish linens and lustrous velvets and vibrant watercolour designs.”
MY BEST BUYS
Nola lotus cushion, £47.50; Samui heather cushion, £46; Quinn two-seater sofa, from £2,199, Voyage Decoration
LIGHT THE WAY
CLAIRE HORNBY, CREATIVE STYLIST, FURNITURE SPECIALISTS, BARKER & STONEHOUSE
“Lighting can change the entire perspective of a home, and more importantly, influence its atmosphere, determining how you feel spending time in different areas, so it shouldn’t be regarded simply as functional.
“I love making a feature by grouping ceiling lights in different shapes, sizes and materials and hanging them at varying heights over items such as tables so they become a focal point, adding interest and depth to a room.”
Have fun with wall art and quirky pieces in all areas. “In the hall I have three orange and yellow deer heads mounted on the wall. Being greeted with a bright colour pop always makes me smile and they surprise and intrigue visitors and make them want to explore other rooms.”
MY BEST BUYS
Yellow deer head wall hanger, £35; Munro peach ribbed glass pendant, £84 (from £99); Savalen corner chaise, £1,499