So this week's five things is a little different, for a start there are eight things and they are not mine either; they belong to Daniel Hopwood and are his tips on how the interior experts style rooms. They are all things that us mere mortals can think about when designing our rooms so we too can achieve that professional, well thought out cohesive interior decor our own homes.
Daniel Hopwood is President of the British Institute of Interior Design and many will know him as a judge on the Great Interior Design Challenge on BBCTwo. With over twenty years experience this gentleman really knows what he's talking about. Daniel Hopwood curated a dreamy space inside West Elm's Tottenham Court Road store using West Elm pieces and some of his own finds to create a stunning look. I jumped at the chance when I found out he was going to be at West Elm talking through his tips on using high street pieces in interiors and how to style them up like a professional! The event really didn't disappoint, not only were Daniel Hopwood's tips fantastic and totally usable in any house, he was an absolute gent and was such a pleasure to meet!
So in my duty of sharing all things interior styling, here are Daniel Hopwood's eight things every room scheme needs.
Daniel said this design began after being drawn to a single item, this art deco inspired cushion with a touch of the seventies about it's colour pallet. This was the basis for the room and he layered pieces of furniture and accessories that all worked alongside this single item. The pattern features black, a non colour that can really help set off a colour scheme, a tip that I've heard before but always been to worried to use as black seems a little too dark for me now I'm well and truly obsessed with those scandi neutrals. I don't know about you guys but I've always accessorised post choosing my paint and that can be kind of tricky because nothing seems to quite go; so in my next room I might pick out my accessories first before committing to the expensive bits like paint and furniture first! Any one else fancy giving this a try or does it seem a little scary; a whole room design based on a single cushion?
Another tip for this and in any design is symmetry, it helps calm the madness of the design down. Be sure you have a centre piece in the centre of your design, in this instance a beautiful grey green with brass mirrors that was absolutely stunning! I've always thought symmetry was a little too House & Gardens Cover but Daniel shows it can look contemporary by pairing old and new, it seems this age old trick really does work!
Adding pattern adds personality and makes a room truly yours. Only you know what pattern you are comfortable with. It could be really intricate, could be absolutely wild go with what makes you happy! Daniel Hopwood used this incredible pattern from the pattern gods, Timorous Beasties on the ceiling, pattern in the West Elm cushions and pattern from the vintage chairs found on eBay.
In Daniel's design he linked the African mask with a beautiful wooden bar cabinet. The links should be subtle, like they were meant to be so the room scheme feels simple and uncontrived. Linking things that are not obvious works in a better capacity than say linking things in the same colour pallet or texture just because they feel too matchy matchy sometimes! I am so guilty of thinking things are linked just beacuse they are the same colour or texture, so instead of matching I'm going to try linking instead.
We all have stuff in our homes, it is what makes our house a home and what makes each home different. Those oddities are our personality and tell anyone visiting your home everything about you and helps tell the story about the person who lives in the space, but popped here and there the oddities can look a bit mismatch; grouping them together makes them look like a design feature. Daniel Hopwood grouped together lots of black and gold books and what a genius idea this is, it really helps to add levels to this table scape and the addition of the green plants really helps this grouping come together! I absolutely love this styling look, however I'm not sure husband would approve, where would he put his cuppa?
To achieve a real look of luxury add multiples of the same things, whether its lots of books in black and gold as above or beautiful mid century shaped vases on top of your bar cart, adding the same thing makes things look extra glorious and extra expensive. You see it in interior magazines all the time; vases overfilling with the same colour flower, fruit bowls full of lemons all the same thing and lots of it... and you all now what my next styling trick is!
Eye has to travel
For his final tip, Daniel quoted the famous Editor in Chief of Vogue Magazine, Dianne Vreeland, who famously said the eye needed to travel to be kept entertained by a design. Daniel used every trick in the book to keep all eyes entertained by the space; our eyes were drawn to that exceptional pattern on the ceiling then drawn to those fabulous circular mirrors, to the table and then to the books, oddities and finally to the textures and patterns of the cushions. What a visual feast for the eyes this room was!
I hope your enjoyed reading these tips from the expert that is Daniel Hopwood, I would love to know if you will be using any of these in your home or next room makeover.