Grand Designs: Visionary Castles in Lewes and the West Country

Grand Designs - Lewes - Brutalist Furniture 651x322

Welcome back Grand Design fans for the fifth and final instalment of our blog series following the ups and downs of this (and previous) season’s much anticipated projects. This week we’ll be giving you another double low-down visiting both a brutalist concrete abode in Lewes and an environmentalist’s dream in the West Country. We will take you through the projects themselves and let you in on our tips and tricks for recreating their interior looks.

Recap   

Skating fanatic Adrian and wife Megan’s concrete vision for their new home couldn’t have been further from Kevin ‘King of cob’ McCabe’s plans to create a mansion predominantly with a mix of clay, sand, straw and water. Where the projects did collide was their outrageously ambitious nature, both representing plans that no sane self-builder would attempt.

Though most architects left brutalism in the late 1970s, Adrian’s fascination with the creative potential of concrete inspired him to design a home almost exclusively with the substance in a style which Kevin McCloud calls ‘the brutal end of brutal’. On the other end of the spectrum, Kevin McCabe’s vision belongs further in history with a popular building material from the 18th Century: cob.

The similarities don’t stop at their nostalgic and ambitious natures either. The two projects are unusually generous with their funds, they’re both exhausted of course, but neither are as unforgiving as the budgets that we typically expect of Grand Design. Both also face planning issues due to their irregular styles and while Adrian and Megan manage to complete their brutalist build in just over a year, Kevin’s carbon-neutral cob home ends up taking seven years to finish!

Interior Style

These huge houses share spaciousness but have nothing else much in common interior-wise. The concrete fortress is harshly industrial and cries out for bright colours and gentle textures to soften its uniformly grey walls. Cob castle on the other hand is inherently warm and welcoming with a meadow sown on its roof and myriad windows connecting the two round houses.

Stylistically speaking, Adrian and Megan embrace their creation’s industrial style and follow the theme using upcycled university science cabinets as kitchen units and their own well-loved furnishings to add warmth and colour. Kevin also builds on his farmhouse interior, continuing to use cob as a feature throughout the manor combining it with warm wood surfaces and cosy furniture selections.

Getting the Look

Despite their differences in design, what we can take away from both projects is to work with, not against the theme of your home. You can still add your own character and personal style, but to create an interior that sings we have to consider our property’s idiosyncrasies and make a feature of these. Whether you have a traditional cottage or a modernist escape, to some extent you will have to get on board with the style. A mock Tudor house with a 1970s interior just will not do.

Once you have researched the history of your home, you can then begin to choose your furniture and accessories. For a warm, farmhouse feel like cob castle, select wooden furniture; a large oak dining table for example is a staple in any farm-style kitchen-come-dining room. Pair these with shabby chic accents in antique whites and pale pastels and invite the for outdoor in with designer vases to hold gorgeous sun flowers as Kevin has.

In some cases, if you are designing your home from scratch like Adrian and Megan, you will be holding all the cards when it comes to styling. In this case, say your new home has a more industrial modern theme, you can choose to heighten and/or brighten the look. To go full-on factory-esque choose a concrete chest of drawers paired with a table lamp featuring metal accents that echoes exposed piping. For a softer feel, bring in colour and texture with a patterned rug and brightly toned wall art.

Round Up

It’s all very well planning our home’s theme on our forgiving Pinterest board, but for seamless interior design we must take into account the style of the house itself. Blending the property’s originality with our own taste brings a sense of harmony that interior styling cannot achieve on its own. If you are in a new build or a home of your designing, the choice then becomes whether to dive headlong into your chosen theme or to soften it. Exciting decisions lay ahead!

Looking to update your home affordably? Whether you’re planning a larger purchase such as a new sofa or smaller home accessories, our Black Friday furniture deals round up is a great place to start!

Omnari loves

Sale!
Clovis 3 Drawers Chests In Lave Front And Carcase With Concrete

Clovis 3 Drawers Chests In Lave Front And Carcase With Concrete

Furniture in Fashion

£450.39 £346.45
Add to wishlist
Galindo Hand-Blown Glass Jug

Galindo Hand-Blown Glass Jug

La Redoute

£50.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Byron Bedside Cabinet In Structured Concrete With 2 Drawers

Byron Bedside Cabinet In Structured Concrete With 2 Drawers

Furniture in Fashion

£68.19 £52.45
Add to wishlist

Grand Designs: Industrial Chic on a Budget

Grand Designs - Sheffield - Industrial Chic 651x322

Grab a cuppa Grand Designers and come on in for the fourth edition of the blog series where we follow the ups and downs of 2018’s eager participants. This week we’ll be giving you a double low down on how Kevin McCloud got on in Sheffield and Leominster. We’ll take you through the projects themselves and more importantly we’ll look at how each couple achieved their final interior look.

Recap   

Both episode four’s Alex and Steph and twins Nik and Jon Daughtry from episode five were working to two of this season’s tightest budgets with no less ambitious aims. Having spent £200k on the land that Steph grew up on, Leominster’s couple were hoping to create a majestic cantilevered barn with just £250k. Nik and Jon had even more lofty goals, planning to build not one but two properties with a meagre £350k in total. The projects prove impossible to complete on their budgets, but a little creative planning and the odd cash injection mean that all four participants do eventually end up with fabulous new roofs over their heads.

Interior Style

Due to their cash flow status, both properties end up clad in black steel with large expanses of glass, looking austere yet sleek from the outside. Larger and cleverly placed smaller windows flood the houses with light as well as framing some of the best scenery that the surrounding landscape offers.

As with the exteriors, both episodes saw their contestants trying to cut costs without affecting their original plans for their interior aesthetics. Steph and Alex tackled their predicament by swapping out expensive design elements for cheaper imitations that provide the same overall effect and ending up with a polished look. Nik and Jon opted for a more industrial and exposed feel, saving money by leaving breezeblocks free from plaster and ply panels the only cover for walls and ceilings.

Despite their differences, all three houses feature similarly modern and bright interior design. Though the size of the houses gives them the potential to feel cold and empty, the participants’ carefully selected furniture and accessories bring enough colour and warmth to make the layouts feel cosy.

Getting the Look

Your first step to recreating a similar style is increasing the number of light sources in your home. Swapping out windows is expensive and messy, but there are other ways to achieve this. Start by strategically placing mirrors opposite existing windows to maximise natural illumination. Next add floor and table lamps at different levels to improve light throughout your home.

If you want an industrial look without replumbing and wiring your entire house, you can still create a similar feel through your furniture and accessory choices. Select copper and brass lighting fixtures, handles and accents to reflect the metals of piping. Add furniture in industrial materials such as concrete coffee tables and sideboards and steel bookcases. Where you can, leave light bulbs exposed and avoid using colour or patterns on walls – think clinical, not plush.

The polished look requires everything to be neatly finished with a home for everything and everything in its home. Pipes and wires must be thoughtfully hidden, and paintwork perfectly applied. Accessories should look clean cut and luxurious, think marble side tables and white framed art prints. Light grey also works wonderfully in this style of interior design, bringing a tasteful yet understated look especially for fabric furnishings like sofas and rugs.

Round Up

There are very few homes that don’t improve with extra illumination, so this should be your first port of call for a redesign. When choosing the rest of your modern furnishing selections, decide the final look you wish to achieve. If you fancy an industrial interior go for metal accents and fittings and, where possible, keep finishes raw and neutral. The décor in a polished home style should be clean and neat, so keep wires and pipes hidden and go for more luxury looking pieces.

Did you love Sheffield’s gorgeous green sofa? Then check out our blog, Tasteful in Teal: Teal Accessories for Living Rooms to discover more ways to incorporate this stunning tone.

Omnari loves

Sale!
Ritz Industrial Pendant Light In Antique Brass

Ritz Industrial Pendant Light In Antique Brass

Furniture in Fashion

£546.00 £420.00
Add to wishlist
Fes Extra Large Tufted 100% Wool Rug 200 x 300cm, Off White

Fes Extra Large Tufted 100% Wool Rug 200 x 300cm, Off White

Made.com

£649.00
Add to wishlist
Chicago Floor Lamp, Antique Copper and Gold

Chicago Floor Lamp, Antique Copper and Gold

Made.com

£199.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Ruskin 2 Seater Sofa In Grey Leather With Dark Ash Legs

Ruskin 2 Seater Sofa In Grey Leather With Dark Ash Legs

Furniture in Fashion

£1,286.95 £989.96
Add to wishlist
Loa Quilted Floor Cushion, Yolk Yellow

Loa Quilted Floor Cushion, Yolk Yellow

Made.com

£69.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Balls 30cm Pendant Light In Smoked Glass And Chrome

Balls 30cm Pendant Light In Smoked Glass And Chrome

Furniture in Fashion

£98.28 £75.60
Add to wishlist

Grand Designs: Richmond’s ‘Sheer Joy & Luxury’

Grand Designs 2018 - Richmond - Feminine Industrial 651x322

Aloha Grand Design fans and welcome to the third instalment of our blog series eagerly following Kevin McCloud and this season’s batch of ambitious property builders and renovators. We’ll catch you up on how each project goes and the style that this episode’s couple chooses. Most excitingly, we’ll be giving you ideas on how you can recreate the look in your very own home.

Recap   

This week’s programme saw art curator, Elinor and entrepreneur, Born working to create a fully hypoallergenic house. This is to be completed from scratch and (say it with us) on a tight budget and to an even tighter deadline. Unlike many of their predecessors, the couple actually do finish their house in time for Christmas and only go over-budget due to Brexit hiking prices by 6%.

What made Born and Elinor’s project stand out to us was their commitment to keeping finances aside for fully decorating their home complete with art, sculptures and greenery. The end result is a new home that feels finished and in Elinor’s words ‘amazes without being overbearing’.

Interior Style

It is quite tricky to peg the interior design of this project to just one style; Elinor’s eye for aesthetics surpasses your basic Pinterest board search. The home has a moody, masculine base with deep blues in the kitchen, dark beams and a black polished-cement floor, but is balanced through more feminine accessories, nature, art and sculpture. It’s the kind of contrasting design that you want to stare at for days to discover how it has all come together so beautifully.

Grand Designs 2018 - Richmond - Pale Sleigh Bed

Getting the Feminine Industrial Look

Your first stop is the backdrop of your home, which will ideally be either raw or plain to achieve the industrial look. Think exposed brick and pipework and bare wood or cement floors. If you don’t have the will and/or the budget to be ripping plaster off your walls, there are tons of brick-effect wallpapers to recreate the style quickly and cheaply (check out our modern bedroom wallpaper ideas blog for more style inspiration). Alternatively, paint them white or grey and finish your woodwork in black for that masculine feel.

Once you have your moody looking interior, it is time to delicately balance with furnishings. Choose more feminine shades like pale greys and pinks. We particularly love sleigh style designer beds similar to Elinor’s selection in pale smoked oak and a light beige corner sofa finished with dusky rose cushions. The addition that really made this week’s episode shine was plentiful greenery. More is more when it comes to this; it is hard to have too many plants. For a completed look, pick out your chosen shades in artwork selections and reflect indoor florae in natural scenes of flower blossoms, plants and trees.

Round Up

This week we learnt that what makes a home really sing is a balance of both masculine and feminine design aspects. One way to recreate this is with more sombre toned floors and accents and lighter furnishings and art choices. Bring it alive with real plants and greenery for stunning results that will leave your visitors gasping in wonder.

Omnari loves

Hadley Smoked Oak 6'0 High Foot End Sleigh Bed

Hadley Smoked Oak High Foot End 6ft Sleigh Bed

The Cotswold Company

£1,099.00
Add to wishlist
Paula Velvet Cushion Cover

PAULA Velour Cushion Cover

La Redoute

£18.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Framed Gold Leaf Wall Art

Framed Gold Leaf Wall Art

Furniture in Fashion

£440.83 £339.10
Add to wishlist

Black Friday Furniture Deals

Black Friday Furniture - Sale Sign in Store Window

Black Friday’s coming a little earlier this year on Friday 23rd November. As ever, there will be sales galore as big brands and boutiques offer some of their best deals across November, including Cyber Monday on Monday 26 November.

As the home of affordable designer furniture, our stylists love a bargain! We’ll be updating this blog daily once the offers start coming in, so whether you’re want a code for a Black Friday sofa or access to a secret furniture sale, Omnari is the place to be.

Updated: 22 November 2018

Black Friday Furniture Deals

Black Friday Home Accessories and Décor Offers

Black Friday Home Appliance Sale Offers

While the deals start coming in, get the look for less with our stylists’ tips to find a Tetrad style sofa.

Omnari loves

Sale!
Darcy Wall Mirror Square In Silver With Coloured Side Panels

Darcy Wall Mirror Square In Silver With Coloured Side Panels

Furniture in Fashion

£395.79 £304.45
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Triest Wooden Home Office Computer Desk In Oak

Triest Wooden Home Office Computer Desk In Oak

Furniture in Fashion

£341.19 £262.45
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Cohen Office Pedestal In Oak With 3 Drawers

Cohen Office Pedestal In Oak With 3 Drawers

Furniture in Fashion

£291.33 £224.10
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Adrian Wardrobe In White With Gloss Fronts And 2 Doors

Adrian Wardrobe In White With Gloss Fronts And 2 Doors

Furniture in Fashion

£341.19 £262.45
Add to wishlist
Sale!

Danforth corner brown

The Sofa Company

£1,499.99 £549.99
Add to wishlist

Six of the Best: Quietest Dishwashers

Quietest Dishwashers - Feather on Water

At Omnari, we love anything that lets you spend more time enjoying your home – and dishwashers certainly fit the bill. Perfect for families, entertaining or removing the excuses that lead to takeaways, dishwashers replace the downside of cooking (mountains of dirty dishes) with a much shorter task of loading and unloading.

Though all dishwashers are the same size, either 60cm or 45cm wide, not all perform the same. When choosing your dishwasher, you’re likely to consider a range of features: how well does it actually clean, how energy efficient it is, should you choose a freestanding or integrated unit and what does it actually look like.

However, with the growing trend for open-plan living and especially kitchen-diners and kitchen-living spaces, it’s important to think about how noisy the machine is going to be. With eco-friendly cycles often running for over 3 hours, that’s a long time to listen to the whirring, whooshing and clacking of a loud dishwasher – plus it’s not easy to focus in a kitchen where the dishwasher sounds like a rusted helicopter trying to take off.

How Quiet Should a Dishwasher Be?

Sound is measured in decibels, represented by dB, and most modern dishwashers will tell you how much noise they make. If they don’t, and silence is important to you, that’s the not the model for you.

In the world of numbers, most modern dishwashers clock in at 50dB or below, and can go to as quiet as 38dB. But what does that really mean, especially when all brands will tell you their models are quiet but no brand promises silence?

To decode dishwasher dB figures, remember:

  • 50dB is the sound level of a quiet office or a typical home conversation
  • 44dB is the sound level of bird song
  • 40dB is the sound level of a library or stream
  • 30dB is a whisper – no dishwasher currently goes that low
  • A change of 3dB is actually a 2x change in sound pressure, which is physics speak; what’s important is that a change of 10dB is actually a 2x change in how you perceive volume or loudness – so the 50dB dishwasher will actually sound twice as loud as a 40dB model
  • The perception of volume can be changed by factors including the acoustics of your kitchen, whether you integrate the dishwasher in any storage as well as your distance from the machine

Overall, for a normal fairly open-plan environment where you’re not sitting on top of the machine, a rating of 45dB or lower should provide no intrusion into your life and will quickly seem silent based on distance or being replaced by other household noise.

For a small environment or where you spend a lot of time in a quiet kitchen (so no radio or TV), look for a model that can achieve 40dB – though the calm will come at a premium.

The Quietest Bosch Dishwashers

Bosch are currently the class leaders for quiet dishwashers with even models from their lower Serie 4 range whirring at a respectable 46dB.

However, move up the scale to the top Serie 8 models and some can even go below 40dB using a specific Silence programme which cleans your dishes less intensively but for longer, giving you sparkling results in relative silence.

Neff’s Near Silent Models

Neff are a trusted name in kitchen appliances and rightly so – thoughtful design, quality engineering and high levels of reliability make Neff a good investment. While their top N70 claims to edge out Bosch at 39dB, even the premium mid-range models come in at the mid-40s.

If you like the Neff brand, one thing to note is that all their dishwashers are either integrated or semi-integrated, so good cabinets will assist noise insulation.

Best Budget Quiet Dishwasher Brands

A top of the range Neff or Bosch can set you back £800+, which may be too much cash to splash for your serenity, especially if noise levels are more of a nice-to-have feature.

However, brands like AEG and Blomberg produce quality machines at the £400 mark – and cheaper than the cheapest Neff – that record a very respectable 44dB. Meanwhile, Samsung continue to innovate with new technologies like their WaterWall, which replaces the traditional spinning arm with a moving blade like in a carwash, for improved cleaning and lower volumes.

Shop our top picks for quiet dishwashers below then make your quiet kitchen sizzle with style with our pick of designer kitchen accessories.

Omnari loves

Sale!
Bosch SPV66TX01E Serie 6 45cm Fully Integrated Dishwasher Steel 10 Pla

Bosch SPV66TX01E Serie 6 45cm Fully Integrated Dishwasher Steel 10 Pla

Sonic Direct

£849.99 £749.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Bosch SMS88TW06G Serie 8 60cm Dishwasher in White 13 Place A H C

Bosch SMS88TW06G Serie 8 60cm Dishwasher in White 13 Place A

Sonic Direct

£999.99 £899.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Neff S416T80S0G 60cm Semi Integrated 14 Place Dishwasher in St St A

Neff S416T80S0G 60cm Semi Integrated 14 Place Dishwasher in St St A

Sonic Direct

£699.99 £629.99
Add to wishlist
Neff S583C50X0G Integrated Slimline Dishwasher White

Neff S583C50X0G Integrated Slimline Dishwasher White

B & Q

£549.00
Add to wishlist
Blomberg LDV42244 60cm Fully Integrated Dishwasher 14 Pl Settings A

Blomberg LDV42244 60cm Fully Integrated Dishwasher 14 Pl Settings A

Sonic Direct

£429.99
Add to wishlist

Stylists Pick: Modern Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas

Modern Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas - Jungle Wallpaper

For anyone born after 1960, the mention of wallpaper most likely brings to mind images of clashing colours and terrifyingly busy prints. Thankfully, these days instead of a headache on a wall, you can easily find a pattern or style to suit you.

Whether you’re looking for something tastefully arty, moody yet stylish, feminine and flirty or are just not sure, this guide to choosing modern designer wallpaper will provide you with inspiration to bring your sleeping space into the 21st Century.

Tropical Wallpaper Prints for Feature Walls

Although brown on orange on yellow flowers are certainly a thing of the past, don’t be afraid of making a bold statement with your wall décor. Colourful prints like the Graham & Brown wallpaper featured above could be overwhelming plastered throughout an entire room. Yet a feature wall in this tropical motif will do a beautiful job of creating an on-trend exotic feel without the need for several Malibu and cokes.

Want to bring the outside in more subtly? Choose wallpaper with natural scenery in a muted colour scheme.

Gothic Wallpaper for a Deeper Palette

If you don’t fancy being loud and proud, give into your moody side and opt for darker motifs in deeper tones for an edgy yet romantic look.

Autumn 2018 is all about oversized florals,  ideally on a duskier background. We love large flower prints set on a charcoal canvas or – even more dramatic – quirky skulls on black.

On Trend Patterns with Modern Floral Wallpaper

All flowers do not have to be sullen and if you are more inclined towards lighter, airier spaces you can still incorporate pretty blossoms into your bedroom theme. These can be subtle designs either in colours similar to their background or smaller more delicate motifs. Alternatively, you can choose brighter tones that inject warmth and fun into your surroundings.

Subtle Luxury Wallpaper Looks

For those looking for something more clean-cut and sophisticated, there are also many non-nature related looks. Among our favourites are marble styles; is there anything more expensive-looking and chic? We are also huge fans of intricate patterns with foil detail and you can find stunning examples of this in our Crown wallpaper range too.

In 2018, using wallpaper has returned as a viable feature for your interior design. Forget what your Grandma’s lounge looked like and get on board with the gorgeous styles and textures that are now on offer. After all, these days there really is something for everyone from dark and gothic to light and bright and everything in between.

For more great home inspiration, check out our stylists’ ideas for modern lounges.

Omnari loves

Graham & Brown Julien Macdonald Honolulu Palm Green Foliage Glitter Effect Wallpaper

Graham & Brown Julien MacDonald Honolulu Palm green Foliage Glitter Wallpaper

B & Q

£20.00
Add to wishlist
Wallpops Birch Tree Grey Peel & Stick Wallpaper (L)5500mm (W)520mm

Wallpops Birch tree Grey Peel & stick wallpaper (L)5500mm (W)520mm

B & Q

£33.00
Add to wishlist
Wall Fashion Facade Cream Pink & Orange Floral Matt Finish Wallpaper

Wall Fashion Facade Cream pink & orange Floral Wallpaper

B & Q

£18.00
Add to wishlist
Wallpops Grand Trellis Grey Peel & Stick Wallpaper (L)5500mm (W)520mm

Wallpops Grand trellis Grey Peel & stick wallpaper (L)5500mm (W)520mm

B & Q

£33.00
Add to wishlist
Superfresco Easy Como Silver Damask Glitter effect Wallpaper

Superfresco Easy Como Silver Glitter Wallpaper

B & Q

£20.00
Add to wishlist
Graham & Brown Julien Macdonald Fabulous Black & Grey Floral Glitter Effect Wallpaper

Graham & Brown Julien MacDonald Fabulous Black & grey Floral Glitter Wallpaper

B & Q

£20.00
Add to wishlist

Grand Designs: Padstow, Cornwall’s Bright and Modern

Grand Designs - Padstow - Furniture Ideas for Big Rooms 651x322

Welcome back to our blog series following the escapades of this season of Grand Design’s optimistic participants. We give you the downlow on the projects of course, but more importantly we look at how you can recreate the finished look without having to build a new property or lose any sleep.

Recap

Kevin McCloud was in Cornwall following two fans of architect James Speyer, Harry and Briony, as they tried to recreate the huge modernist design made famous in cult 1980’s movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It wouldn’t be Grand Designs if they didn’t have both a very optimistic budget and incredibly tight timeframe, which our beloved presenter was of course sceptical of. Although they did not meet either goal and faced tragedy in the building process, they eventually did the Speyer design justice and with great humility too.

Interior Style

Harry and Briony had an extremely large area to decorate, which poses more of a challenge than a smaller home both financially and due to the scale of everything required. They tackled the budget side of things by using a warm toned ply for most of the walls negating the need for plastering, painting and coving whilst giving the home an edgy, industrial effect.

The largely wooden interior, as with Episode One’s brickwork needed careful work to avoid an overly brown background. The ambitious couple used brightly coloured furniture and accessories to break up the potentially monotonous backdrop. To deal with the sheer scale of the place, they selected large furniture that wasn’t dwarfed by the property’s scale to create a homely yet upbeat and spacious interior.

Getting the Bright Modern Look

The Speyer house replica is a feat of steel and glass and to recreate this airy feel you will need lots and lots of light.

Without chasing your walls for new light fittings or adding windows, the best way to do this is with designer floor lamps and strategically placed mirrors. Choose hurricane style lamps for an edgy industrial feel and hang your mirrors opposite existing windows to create the feeling of extra light and space.

Big Space, Big Furniture

If you do have an oversized space, large furniture is your next stop and where better to start than with a giant corner sofa that everyone can fit on without touching?

You can even combine this with a funky colour choice from our range – we love velvet materials in rich blues and mustard yellows. You could also take a leaf from Harry and Briony’s book and separate areas with your furniture by using big bookcases or shelving units to create more smaller room-like spaces.

Bursts of Modern Colour

An interior principally decorated a single tone like this one cries out for injections of colour and pattern to create points of interest as your eye tracks around the room. With such a property, your finishing touches should include lots of colourful furnishings and accessories.

Don’t be shy when it comes to choosing these; go for bright orange throws, emerald green cushions and vibrant purple fruit bowls. Do however, stick to a scheme that is complementary. You don’t want your house to end up looking like a nursery classroom or an office at Google for that matter.

Round Up for Filling Large Rooms

Large properties are highly desirable for the light, spacious, and grand interiors they provide, but they do not come without their challenges. Use oversized furniture to fill rooms and break out smaller areas and employ colour to break up single-tone backdrops. Or, if you are looking to make your smaller home feel bigger, make sure to increase your light sources with lamps and mirrors.

Omnari loves

Branagh Corner Sofa, Electric Blue Velvet

Branagh Corner Sofa, Electric Blue Velvet

Made.com

£2,199.00
Add to wishlist
Scott 4 Seater Right Hand Facing Chaise End Corner Sofa, Gold Cotton Velvet

Scott 4 Seater Right Hand Facing Chaise End Corner Sofa, Gold Cotton Velvet

Made.com

£1,799.00
Add to wishlist
Adelia Double Bookcase, 2m High

Adelia Double Bookcase, 2m High

La Redoute

£1,799.00
Add to wishlist
Burford Painted Grand Bookcase

Burford Painted Grand Bookcase

The Cotswold Company

£999.00
Add to wishlist
Odisha Pillowcase / Cushion Cover

Odisha Pillowcase / Cushion Cover

La Redoute

£15.00
Add to wishlist

Grand Designs: Aylesbury Vale’s Farmhouse Chic

Restoration takes many different forms and there is no one size fits all for their interior styling. This is one of the largest draws for Grand Designs and why it has successfully run for so many years; every project is different. This series of blogs will follow the projects week by week and give you the lowdown on how to recreate each participant’s finishing look.

Recap

The first episode of Grand Designs follows Mimi and Italian architect husband Jimmy’s restoration of a small castle in Aylesbury Vale. They set out to restore the almost fallen down estate to its former glory in six months and on a £200k budget. Of course, as Kevin McLeod predicted, they did not achieve this and ended up spending £300k and taking 18 months to complete the project. The final product of their blood, sweat and tears was worth it in the end. They stayed true to the castle’s original layout and managed to make a cosy home despite having to stay within the property’s initial footprint.

Interior Style

The approaches for the interior design of restoration projects can be very roughly broken down into two camps: those who remodel based on the property’s history and those who go for a more modern take. Mimi and Jimmy’s approach to decorating and furnishing fell firmly in the second camp, with their selections bringing a relaxed yet tasteful feel that took the edge off the castle’s more austere feel.

The couple’s choice of furnishings is most accurately described as farmhouse chic embodying comfort and simplicity. This has been largely dictated by Jimmy’s choice not to plaster the castle’s walls, instead letting the original and updated stonework become a feature in itself. Whilst the rich colours and patterns rule out loud textures in the rest of the property, warm colours work well to break up the potential monotony of the 50 shades of beige brick.

Getting the Farmhouse Chic Look

If like Mimi and Jimmy you have gone for a raw look with exposed features, farmhouse style furniture will look gorgeous. We love chunky country-style wardrobes, chests of drawers and side tables painted a solid colour with wooden tops giving a sophisticated yet rustic feel. Add a rich yellow fabric sofa and muted grey blue rugs for pops of warmth and colour that don’t overwhelm. Finish the look with accessories that tie the look together such as tall white lamps and soft coloured vases.

For those who have a plainer canvas to work with, you can be more adventurous with your interior design. Patterns are an option again and wooden items can feature more frequently than against a brown background. Achieve the farmhouse feel with a reclaimed wood coffee table that lends rich depth to white or pale coloured walls. You can also include leather items that give your space a laidback luxury look.

Round Up

When decorating a building regardless of the history, it is essential to keep in mind the property’s idiosyncrasies. Patterns and textures that look beautiful on plain backgrounds will make raw or industrial environments feel too busy. Block colour walls on the other hand need repeating motifs and more varied textiles to add depth and character. Stay tuned for our response to the next Grand Designs!

If you love getting the look for less, check out our stylists’ tips to recreate the wood-bending style of British designer Tom Raffield.

Omnari loves

Sale!
Rosie Vase Large In Silver With Pebble Pattern Mirror

Rosie Vase Large In Silver With Pebble Pattern Mirror

Furniture in Fashion

£218.34 £167.95
Add to wishlist

Cook Sharp With These Designer Kitchen Accessories

Designer Kitchen Accessories

Perhaps more than other rooms, a kitchen is a functional room where the layout and items are all part of the purpose of preparing food. From the fridge-sink-counter triangle, which anchors the room around an appliance, onwards, the kitchen is a practical space.

But that doesn’t mean it is without style. As the heart of the home, and the trend for more open plan livings making kitchens so much more than just cooking rooms, the kitchen can be dressed up in so many ways with clever touches and stylish appliances to give it that designer feel.

If you are looking for ideas to make sure that your kitchen is the room that you and your guests will love spending time in, take a look at some of our tips below and some of our lovingly curated designer kitchen accessories!

Kitchen Appliances

Far from the stale and pale “white goods” of old, modern kitchen appliances come in a wide range of colours and styles. From space-age dishwashers by brands like Neff and even Hotpoint that come from the cutting edge of sleek design, to retro fridges and microwaves with sleek curves from brands like Smeg or, at the more affordable end, Swan.

One of the most important investments is an oven. If you are the sort of host who enjoys regular dinner parties, then a duel-fuel oven offers both the precision of an electric oven with the versatility of a gas range hob. They also provide a high level of style that ensures that is a gorgeous centre piece of any kitchen, with Rangemaster at the forefront for nostalgic styling.

Counter-Top Items

In your kitchen the smaller counter-top items items should all complement each other and be both aesthetically pleasing and practical, while being infused with a luxurious feel. Investing in high-end items such as designer toasters and bean-to-cup coffee machines will assist in making sure that your kitchen stands out but remember to purchase colours that work well together and don’t clash – the Bugatti range of each are superb and come in a range of bright and neutral shades.

Kitchen Decorations & The Perfect Blend of Colour

Colour is one of the most effective ways to update a kitchen. By paying close attention to the colours of your appliances, designer kitchen accessories and walls, you can create a dazzling space. Start by considering the following:

  1. There is likely to be a colour that you cannot change unless you are completely renovating your kitchen, this is likely to be existing colour of your sideboards or kitchen cabinets.
  2. Choose a second colour that is neutral and that works well with the above colour and use this for your walls – this will essentially be the backdrop of your kitchen.
  3. Make your kitchen unique with a third, standout colour that is bold and somewhat unexpected. This should be the colour you choose for your kitchen accessories and can be carried through your designer tableware, especially if you have a kitchen-diner with a central table.
  4. If you have space, invest in a captivating piece of wall art that incorporates this standout colour to grab of the attention of those who enter for the first time.
  5. Finish off with floating shelving covered with decorative accessories of your choosing, whether they be candles, or perhaps vases filled with complementary stick or flower arrangements.

What, no cuppa? Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the humble kettle! Check out our stylists’ pick of cool and unusual kettles.

Omnari loves

Sale!
Delonghi KBI3001 BK DISTINTA Cordless Kettle in Matt Black

Delonghi KBI3001 BK DISTINTA Cordless Kettle in Matt Black

Sonic Direct

£139.99 £129.99
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Hotpoint HBC2B19X 60cm Semi Integrated Dishwasher in St Steel A Rated

Hotpoint HBC2B19X 60cm Semi Integrated Dishwasher in St Steel A Rated

Sonic Direct

£429.99 £349.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Magnus Round Wall Clock In Black

Magnus Round Wall Clock In Black

Furniture in Fashion

£218.34 £167.95
Add to wishlist

British Furniture Designer Spotlight: Tom Raffield

Tom Raffield - Curled Wood Shaving

Hailing from Exmoor in Somerset, England, Tom Raffield is a designer who has honed his expertise to create extraordinary sculptural furniture and lighting pieces. Tom might only be thirty-five at the time of writing, but his work has already captured the attention of audiences around the world. Tom won the Lighting Design Association’s Lighting Design Award in 2011 and has since gone on to win a plethora of awards for the collective design company Sixixis, which he co-founded.

Raffield Style 1 – Steam Bending

Tom’s work uses a process called steam bending to bend temperate hardwoods and softwoods to eye-catching shapes and intricate patterns. It was at Falmouth University that Tom first used steam bending, when he found that his complex 3D designs were limited by modern techniques.

Steam bending is the same technique used in creating wooden boats, musical instruments and traditional walking canes. Steam bending has been used by craftsmen for centuries but has fallen out of favour to more contemporary methods of manufacturing. Many think that this is why Tom’s work is so refreshing. Tom has given a new lease of life to what once was a pivotal design process. His approach to design isn’t born of necessity like historic proponents of steam bending, but one born of creativity and innovation.

Raffield Style 2 – Hardwoods

While other trends like upcycling and reclaimed wood may have captured the attention of interior designers and amateur enthusiasts in recent years, Tom’s work makes use of only high-quality hardwoods like ash, oak and walnut to craft stunning ceiling lights, standout tables and more.

Tom’s extraordinary steam-bent renovation of a 19th century, Grade II-listed cottage in Cornwall was featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. In fact, the added project pressure came from the fact that it would be Tom and his wife Danielle who would be inhabiting the house upon its completion.

More recently Tom has featured at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018 where he and two-time RHS gold medallist Darren Hawkes collaborated to design and handcraft a stunning main avenue pavilion. The pavilion was decorated with Tom’s work, which included The Green Range, his new range of luxury indoor planters crafted from sustainable wood at his experimental workshop in Cornwall. 

Shop the Raffield Look

Our stylists are obsessed with bringing you the best in affordable designer furniture, so we follow the finest British furniture designers – then help you match their style.

From our collections of contemporary ceiling lights and designer tables, our stylists have handpicked a selection below with a Raffield-esque flair for twisted woods natural designs and traditional craftsmanship.

Can’t get enough designer style? Let our stylists show you how to shop the Tetrad look for outstanding sofas.

Omnari loves

Sale!
Riley Marble Dining Table In Ivory And Curved Ash Wood Base

Riley Marble Dining Table In Ivory And Curved Ash Wood Base

Furniture in Fashion

£935.95 £719.96
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Beautiful Rustic Black And gold Twist Led Table Lamp

Beautiful Rustic Black And gold Twist Led Table Lamp

Furniture in Fashion

£177.39 £136.45
Add to wishlist

Geometric Furniture: More Edge, More Sides, More Style

Geometric Furniture - Geometric White Table And Two Chairs

Many prolific designers reflect the patterns and symmetry found in nature to create aesthetically pleasing pieces. This can be seen in the sharp, straight lines and softer light and shadow play found in geometric furniture.

If you are considering making your interior more three dimensional, this guide is the perfect place to get inspiration and tips on bringing these edgy pieces to your home.

Start with a Geometric Table

A geometric object makes a strong focus in a room so it’s best to start with a single, strong piece and work outwards, creating sympathetic layers of angles, curves and surfaces. Some geometric furniture can also be quite challenging to design around.

This makes geometric tables a perfect starting point: focused in the center of the room, eminently practical and easy to expand from.

Start by adding something simple, yet eye catching like one of our white gloss coffee tables that add subtle illumination with their lightly reflective tops and edge and style underneath with tessellating chrome struts. You’ll be adding that modern feel, and you can then add to this look with accessories featuring repeating motifs such as mirrors, picture frames and planters.

Reflect and Tessellate

Once you have a focal point, bring in further patterns that reflect the style of your initial addition. Aim to create a layout that allows the eye to trace a satisfying journey around the room with a balance of texture and calming blank spaces.

Our favourite looks include creating feature walls with geometric wallpaper in hallways, repeating styles on designer duvet covers in bedrooms, patterned tiles and towels in bathrooms and striking retro textures for curtains and rugs in living spaces.

Soften with Colour

It can be easy to get caught up in the drama and jazz of geometric furniture and interior design elements and forget about your colour themes. A finished room will have statement items that catch the eye, subtle features that reflect and blend your bolder pieces into the overall look and plainer areas where the eye can rest. An important part of creating a complete feel is tying together your colours and this includes those of your geometric selections. If you have chosen a retro patterned rug with burnt orange highlights for example, be sure to pair this elsewhere with similarly hued scatter cushions or a statement auburn vase.

A well-placed item of geometric furniture can turn an otherwise bland room into an invitingly edgy interior. Start with one piece and ripple the pattern outwards through the rest of your chosen room. Just remember to keep to your chosen colour palette to avoid a chaotic feel.

If you’re all angled out, check out our stylists’ top picks for beautiful eco-friendly furniture made from reclaimed and reused wood. 

Omnari loves

Sale!
Aruba Glass Coffee Table In Clear With White High Gloss Base

Aruba Glass Coffee Table In Clear With White High Gloss Base

Furniture in Fashion

£341.19 £262.45
Add to wishlist
Parallel Glass and Metal Bookcase

Parallel Glass and Metal Bookcase

La Redoute

£1,045.00
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Avoca Wooden Bookcase In Acacia With Metal Legs

Avoca Wooden Bookcase In Acacia With Metal Legs

Furniture in Fashion

£986.90 £759.15
Add to wishlist
Sale!
Allegro Wooden Bookcase In Acacia Wood

Allegro Wooden Bookcase In Acacia Wood

Furniture in Fashion

£892.26 £686.35
Add to wishlist

Tasteful in Teal: Teal Accessories for Living Rooms

Teal Living Room Accessories

Our stylists are big fans of teal. A calming, classy colour, its paler hues can bring an air of relaxation to living space and bedrooms, while stronger shades can make lively accents to add some grown-up excitement to a living room.

Let’s look at some of the best ways to incorporate teal into your home and share some of our favourite teal accessories for living rooms!

Turquoise is Teal?

The actual colour teal was inspired from the common teal duck whose eyes are lined with this shade! Often confused with turquoise, to differentiate the colours remember that teal is a deeper, moodier shade compared to turquoise which is a lighter, sunnier colour.

Why Teal?

The fantastic thing about this unique mixture of blue and green is that it is a strong, bold colour that can recreate the feel of the beautiful tropical Mediterranean Sea! It is a warmer take on your standard blue which can be quite a cold shade a living space.

Used in the correct way, this timeless shade with a rich undertone can radiate relaxation and positive energy making it ideal bedrooms and living rooms. Alternatively, with grey undertones it can be a perfect accent colour in a contemporary home.  

How to Incorporate Teal into Your Space

Having a feature wall is a big statement way to incorporate this colour into your room. This can be anchored using various teal accents around your space to enhance that aqua glow. However, you don’t need to have a block shade of teal to add depth and warmth into a space, furnishings and accents work perfectly too.

For a subtler way to introduce this luxurious colour, embellish your space through smaller accents like designer vases, modern cushions and clocks. A contemporary rug is also a beautiful way to add some teal coloured texture into your space.

Our Favourite Teal Colour Pairings

Teal and white is a great combination for a modern, clean contemporary design. Painting doorframes, cornicing and windowsills in a bright white is a lovely juxtaposition to help often missed features have a little bit of the limelight!

Teal and gold is a blend that boasts a classic, traditional and luxurious look. There is just something so luxurious about this pairing that you can’t help but feel you are in a Moroccan palace. A beautiful golden framed mirror or lamps can give your room a burst of tropical paradise!

Have a feel for teal now? Browse our range of teal accessories for living rooms and bedrooms!

For a completely different colour perspective, check out our great purple furniture ideas, inspired by the Pantone Colour of the Year.

Omnari loves