Make your home your favourite destination this winter, with simple but oh-so effective styling tips from design specialists Edward Thomas Interiors.
The expert interior design team has created some fabulous showhomes for us during the year, including at Manor Grange, Oakwell Place, Saffron Walden and Ellington Court. Here, Director Steve Hird shares his advice for this festive season…
The Wingham showhome at Oakwell Place, Houghton Regis, Dunstable
Harness the power of colour
“Start by thinking about colour,” suggests Steve. “This doesn’t have to mean a complete redecoration, rather consider your accents – cushions, lamp shades, throws, candles, picture frames; switching these can make an immediate impact. A strong mix of blues, greys, silver and black can instantly create a wintry illusion or for a warming, rustic chalet style, why not add burnt orange, deep red, ochre or caramel?”
The Buckner showhome at Harts Hall Place, Felbridge, Surrey
Introduce richness and warmth
Cocoon yourself in rooms full of soft furnishings and tactile, natural touches – your home will become a comforting haven you just won’t want to leave. Take a good look around each room and consider making just a few changes that will have a big impact. “Can you add a log burner to the living room, or neatly stacked piles of firewood?” asks Steve Hird. “What about reupholstering furniture with deeper fabrics like velvet or wool? Bring in more seasonal greenery too such as ferns, moss, eucalyptus, winter berries and pinecones.”
The show apartment at Ellington Court, Maidenhead, Berkshire
Give your home’s entry points some TLC
Think about how you enter your home during winter, especially if you live in a muddy rural area. Welly racks, a boot scraper and a smart new doormat outside the front door are not only practical but add to the homely and welcoming vibe too. Entrance hallways could benefit from slimline storage and a dedicated spot for coats and shoes. Why not opt for a high back settle with coat hooks, wood bench with concealed storage or even a series of oversized baskets to clear the clutter? It’s not just the front entrance hallways that deserves attention either, the area around the back door can prove invaluable too. “Could the utility room be transformed into a boot room by adding shelving, a coat stand and patterned wallpaper? This will make it somewhere snug to contain muddy feet or paws,” says Steve.
Continue festive touches throughout the house
From Diwali and Hanukkah to Christmas and New Year, there are plenty of seasonal celebrations taking place which provide the chance to bring vibrant colour and fun touches into our homes. How can we give them that stylish edge?
Steve outlines various options. “You could choose a “designed” look, something that wouldn’t seem out of place in a department store window or hotel lobby, including a perfectly placed tree, luxurious velvety fabrics and elegant accessories. Alternatively, go bold and bright with a themed takeover such as giant baubles, twinkling snowflakes, pompoms and origami stars or maybe the preference is for something more eclectic and home-made? Whichever you choose, maintain the theme throughout your home, rather than creating individually styled rooms.”
Bring the great outdoors inside
“For many people, winter is about getting outdoors and connecting with nature,” says Steve. “Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of wallpaper and accessories designed with animal or botanical patterns and these can be a really playful way of adding personality to a room. Similarly, in children’s rooms, guest bedrooms, hallways, landings or the downstairs cloakroom, add natural inspired artwork and accessories to build a theme – think country walks, hiking in the mountains, skiing – there’s plenty to influence you!”
The Deene showhome at Oakwell Place, Houghton Regis, Dunstable
The Bromstone showhome at Manor Grange, Wavendon, Milton Keynes
If you’re feeling inspired and would like to visit one of our showhomes, give us a call today on 01707 651266 or explore our great range of developments here. You can also visit Edward Thomas’ website here.