Interior design


9
Jul 14

Creating a Mood Board

Mood boards are really important as they are the inspiration of your room. They act as the central foundations for you to refer to prior and during a project.   To create the perfect mood board, one that portrays exactly what you are trying to achieve and as something that is functional and helps you visualise your interior design concept. A simple way to start is to go out and buy some foam board from a stationary store, such as Staples, which can be A3 or A1 in either white or black. I quite like using black boards at the moment to give me a stronger look and creates fabulous impact. Look for images from interior design magazines, but equally fashion magazines for your inspiration. Interior design is a lot like fashion as clothes can represent furniture; for instance a black leather jacket with a silver zip could be a beautiful leather chair with chrome or studded legs. Celia Moodboard 02

Mood boards are to detail every facet of the room so you will also need to find images of moods and ACTUAL items you would like to use. I like finding a “mood” first and then add detail once I know which direction the theme is going in.  For instance, if you live by the sea and you want a beach feel in your living room, start by looking for a lovely room images by the sea and with the look and feel you are working to create. Don’t be frightened to grab a few different images, as you can mix ideas to create your own individual room. Look for some natural textures and accessories to reflect the theme you are aiming for. Fabrics should be added to your mood board, remember to mix your textures and start with your flooring as this is a large plane of the room, and bring your colours and textures together to see how they work in context. You can add images of lampshades, unique items of furniture, throws, chairs, or even just quirky shapes and patterns that attract your attention as these will play a significant role in the overall look you are trying to create. Do not forget to include any lighting ideas, as this is key to creating mood in any room. Play around with small fabric samples, but don’t glue anything to the board until you feel happy with the selection you have put together!!

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I recommend having one board for each room. Revisit them over a period of days as you will start to see different things with fresh eyes. I personally keep my mood boards out on display from the beginning so that I can keep looking at them – you’ll be surprised what you notice or wish to change from taking time over them.   Words can fail when trying to describe design concepts and it doesn’t need to be difficult so a mood board is the perfect medium to showcase your ideas. Get creative this week and give it a go!

Celia Moodboard 01


30
May 14

Choosing Your Accent Colour

Accent colours form an important part of my interior design schemes. I often advise the simplest way to create a harmonious scheme is by staying neutral but livening up the neutral or monochrome tones with a bright, strong accent colour. By juxtaposing against the neutral canvas you will create a star-piece in a room, especially if its one specific item of furniture created in your chosen accent colour.

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Below: A recent London mansion I designed. The accent colour is Ox Blood and is incredibly striking against the neutral elements of the headboard, bedside tables and other contrasting features.

Another example of this can be found in this central London luxury home. See how the accent colour is not only used on the chaise, but runs through the scheme with cushions and coffee table accessories.

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Similarly, lime green has been worked through this modern kitchen (below). Take note of the colourful chairs and accessories, contrasting against the white and grey kitchen.

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Purples and aubergines are two of my favourite accent colours; I use specific hues in my schemes as much as possible. In this family TV room I offset the purple chairs with artwork and objet d’art that complement the purple accent colour of choice. The purple chairs really stand out against the cream walls and carpet, giving the room that colour burst it needs!

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An example of getting the look with accessories can be found here;  This great velvet cushion by Zara Home comes in many colours to suit anyone’s scheme.

Celia Sawyer x

Twitter – @CeliaSawyerTV

Website – www.CeliaSawyer.com


30
Apr 14

The Importance of Great Lighting

A key element in interior design is lighting. It is one of the most important factors not to skimp on as it is essential to creating ambience and depth in a room. Great lighting can be used in many ways, and should be layered to suit your needs. If you have features in your room you wish to stand out and display, or areas you wish to highlight, position recessed ceiling spotlights to enhance these.

An amazing chandelier will give your room the “wow” factor and could be the star feature of your room. Table and floor lamps will add that extra warmth and dimension to your room, but also with so many beautiful lamps available now, can become a sculpture in themselves.

Practical lighting is also important, if you need an area to read, or work, then you need to plan this accordingly and in the first wave of your lighting design.

 I always use dimmer 5 amp systems these days so that throughout the day as the light changes outside, I can adjust the room lighting to suit the required mood. Think of lighting a little like adding a jacket (your wall lights) to your everyday dress (your practical lighting), and then adding jewellery and great shoes, (structural and feature lighting such as positioned spots and table lamps) and if you have the courage, an amazing hat (your star piece chandelier in the centre of your room)!

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See how this pool area has ambient star lighting to create theatre whilst swimming

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This living room has a light coffer to house an LED strip for a soft, warm effect.

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Add beautiful wall lights to throw light onto the walls to create another layer

These great Ring light chandeliers really make a feature of this dining room. Like beautiful elegant pieces of jewellery, I love the way as the light changes, their shape reflects onto the ceiling.

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Get the look for less!

BHS do some great lights, have a look at this fab pendant light for a glamorous effect  http://www.bhs.co.uk/en/bhuk/product/home-lighting-furniture-2565866/ceiling-lights-2809354/smoke-gabriella-pendant-1075878?bi=1&ps=40

 Remember to follow me on Twitter on @CeliaSawyerTV.

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18
Mar 14

Behind the scenes of an interior design project

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The build-up to project installations is always a very busy but exciting time. I always plan everything down to the last mm, so that when the big day arrives everything runs as smoothly as possible.

As I mentioned last time, I’ve been working on a residence in London and the installation is now well under way!! This is where the fun starts; all the bespoke furniture which has been planned and designed for this particular property is now about to arrive on site. I will be directing each delivery into the right room and working with my team to unwrap the beautiful items – I simply can’t wait to put everything in place!

There is always a certain amount of anticipation before an installation, due to the fact that a large part of interior design is an organic process and not everything can be planned off-site. The way a room changes on each layer installed creates a different feeling and atmosphere in the property at the time, so this is something to be aware of.

This particular house is over 17,000 square feet, so I have a lot of room to play with.  The majority of the furniture is designed by myself, hand crafted in the UK by skilled craftsmen. I’ve worked closely with the architect to ensure symmetry and synergy in each room. Custom made, luxurious fabrics and finishes have been chosen to suit the property’s style, in addition to custom made furniture, often from bespoke suppliers I work with in Italy. It’s really coming to life and looks fantastic I have to say!

The very first day of installation is always extremely rushed. I have a team of people I work with that assist throughout. Various important tasks need to happen such as drafting a map of the property’s interior so those arriving know exactly where to place each item on arrival. The framing of images, arranging of flowers, dressing beds, setting of tables and people putting up specialist items such as heavy mirrors and artwork are all fundamental to the smooth running of any project. I find it’s often the little things that count so everything from cleaning, to washing glass wear and changing plugs all add to the overall experience and installation. These are each very important jobs whilst on site, not to be forgotten!

My main tip for installations is to not work out everything off site. Instead, have enough visits to ensure your items will fit and work in the spaces required. Look at the property at different times of the day so that you can see how the light works for or against you; you’d be surprised how much colours can change from morning to evening. Too many interior designers forget this so I recommend getting to know the property you’re working on as much as possible prior to the installation date.

The next few days are critical to completing this project, so it’s back to work for me! Hope you’ve enjoyed learning about behind the scenes. See you next time…

 

Get the look:

Celia’s recommended stockists this week….

 Zara at Home

   Table Wear

      You can enjoy luxury for less with this modern, white china set. Prices from 19.99

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 Zara at Home

Art Deco, Decorative Glass Bowl £39.99

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Tree Locate

As many of you know I absolutely love using faux-flowers. This may not be the traditional option over real flowers, but you can purchase such realistic ones nowadays and unlike real ones not have to worry about the look being lost with them dying. Faux-flowers are amazing and I use a lot of white orchids and amaryllis to bring rooms to life. I love placing them in large bevelled vases to add a touch of glamour and style – perfect for sideboards I have to say!

One of the companies I work closely with it Tree Locate, who are always on-hand with new designs to suit my work. They stock a variety of planters in all the colours you need.

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I hope you like my suggestions this week, if you have any questions tweet me @CeliaSawyerTV


26
Feb 14

A day in the life of Celia Sawyer…

It’s a really exciting time at Celia Sawyer Headquarters. We are in the final stages of a development project, which is a £26 million property off Bishop’s Avenue in London. It’s been a fantastic exploration of architecture, fabrics and interior design. I have used a lot of bespoke furniture such as tailored chairs and sofas, antique mirrored bedside tables and hand-made headboards, specifically created for my Cool 10 furniture range. They are gorgeous and really add that WOW factor!

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As you know I’m really into my lighting so I’ve had some beautiful lights from Italy supplied for this project by Trudie who looks after me at The Lighting House (www.thelightinghouse.co.uk) For this particular house I used the stunning Estadio lights, which you can see below.

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The Fairways project has focused around lots of crystals, mirrors, lacquered woods, luxurious leathers and silver objets-dart to add glamour and style throughout. We are in our final two weeks and I simply cannot wait to see it all come together and be unveiled to the world!

It’s also been a busy couple of weeks juggling my home life. Due to half-term my two children were off school so we spent a few days taking time out, walking in Dartmouth and enjoying the countryside. I love being with my children, cooking for them, and helping them with homework, so I’ve understood the meaning of being a ‘working mum’ more than ever this last week – juggling family life, work deadlines, keeping fit and all the housework too!

I take my hat off to all working mum’s out there!

When working from my south coast studio I find the sea air and beach views can really inspire me on some of my projects. There is a local seafood restaurant called WestBeach (www.west-beach.co.uk) which I use for my client meetings. It’s a discrete venue so it’s perfect for entertaining high-profile and high-net worth clients to discuss their interior design plans and projects we are working on together. The food, ambience and staff are excellent at WestBeach, which is important for me!

Today, I am meeting a couple brand reps who want to present new collections to me. It’s important to stay ahead of the trends and set them so I love finding out before anyone else what’s coming through for Spring/Summer. I’ve got some exciting PR meetings this week and a visit to a very well known jewellery factory coming up as I have decided to launch my very own jewellery range this year! It is something I have always wanted to do and it will be a reflection of the interior design range; a mix of textures and an element of “cool”. Because of my busy days with the children, keeping on top of my fitness and all the projects I have going on it’s a good job I have Skinade (www.skinade.com) by my side to keep my skin glowing and healthy.

As you can tell it never stops for me in the interior design world but I love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way. Watch this space for announcements on my jewellery range, you never know what tomorrow can bring… See you in a couple of weeks!

Celia xxx

@CeliaSawyerTV

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17
Feb 14

Eau de Chic

I for one, LOVE candles. They bring a certain something to a room, whether that’s intimacy or warmth I think they are perfect if you’re on a budget and you want to brighten up a room. So I thought I’d treat you readers with my favourite candles this season.

These Floris candles are really lovely and have a great array of fragrances for your home.

http://www.florislondon.com/gbp/floris-for-home/scented-candles.html

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Of course where would I be with out Gucci these are the more luxurious end of the market but smell fabulous and they look great on your coffee table too! http://www.gucci.com/uk/styles/284656J10JT2274#

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These Ralph Lauren candles are elegant and make a lovely gift for someone. Small enough to sit by your bed or bath, with a very Lauren fragrance! http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4319604

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Their signature Rose collection is wonderfully British and smells great. I’d recommend getting their Mirrored Glass Limited Edition Candle (£22, The White Company) to get an elegant feel.

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If you want something a bit different, The White Company has an English Garden range, fancy your home smelling like Fresh Herbs? Then invest in these fun rustic candles.

 Large Candles (£30, The White Company)

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7
Feb 14

Creating Impact at Home

 I love creating theatre in a client’s home. Whether it is with amazing lighting or elaborate mirrors, a fabulous texture, a really strong feature colour, or fantastic artwork. The key is to create a “wow” factor whenever someone walks into your home.

Great designing is about achieving this, it’s very easy to be safe but creating impact cuts the mustard!

It’s also very important not to over design an area with more than one star piece. If you do this you will create confusion and lose the impact completely.

These strong coloured chairs in this cinema room look stunning with a surrounding blank canvas.

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I particularly love these lights which I recently used in a client’s house. They create a real statement above the dining table and two together create a real wow-factor.

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Impact can also come from using something as simple as a pool table but give it strength by using a bold colour.

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I love these wall lights I put in a client’s home recently, they really make a statement. My recommendation for amazing lights please visit www.thelightinghouse.co.uk.

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Don’t forget mirrors are also a great way of adding impact. I often clad a whole wall of a room especially if there is a great view outside or the room is small or dark. Mirrors are a great way to add light and give the feeling of space and glamour.

For really fabulous mirrors such as this Tiffany Mirror below, go to Simpsons  http://www.simpsonsmirrors.com/bespoke-mirrors-collection/venetian-mirrors/

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Remember to tweet me @CeliaSawyerTV and my website is www.celiasawyer.com

Lots of love, Celia x


22
Jan 14

Neutral dining spaces

 Even if you don’t have a traditional dining room, your space should always be decorated in a glamorous and inviting way. Whether you have an open plan layout or a separate room for dining, it is important to remember that this is your entertaining space and should be designed to accommodate your friends and family in a comfortable, luxurious way.

Neutral, light and airy dining rooms can really open up small spaces, and can be calming as well. It’s important to compliment your colour scheme with good lighting, beautiful lamps or main lighting with the ability to dim the lighting up and down to suit your occasion and mood.

TOP TIP: I enjoy mixing materials and textures whenever I design a dining room to make it look as luxurious and opulent as possible. Plate and table settings should compliment the décor of the room as well, make sure they are the in the same vein as the colour scheme.  Place settings such as large candles are great to make a statement and flowers as well help to give the room a fresh feel.

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Mirrors such as the ones above, add another dimension with reflections of the sea bouncing back into the room. For more information contact info@cool10.co.uk .

Don’t overlook a rug for underneath your table, but choose a practical one that can be cleaned in case of any spillages. This L’amour rug feels lovely and looks great, it’s made from 100% polyamide so is very easy to clean.

As this house is by the sea, I used napkin rings with small sea shells on which look really soft and beachy, but still elegant.

These horn napkin rings from Zara Home are great, elegant and really compliment the table.

Zara Home

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I love chandeliers in dining spaces, in the room pictured above I used a capiz bespoke chandelier for a client who loved the texture and colours and also the reflections given out in the evening light.

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The round black lacquered dining table in the above picture, was manufactured by Jonathon Sainsbury and looked absolutely stunning in this very contemporary home in Central London. The room was square so the round table really complimented the space.

There are some fantastic choices for cutlery around, for example this 58 piece set for an 8 place setting from Debenhams is a real bargain at the moment and will look great on any dining table.

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Remember to follow me on @CeliaSawyerTV and for more information go on www.celiasawyer.com


17
Dec 13

HOTEL LUXURY

I was wonderfully impressed with the hotel I stayed in, in Windsor recently. The Macdonald Windsor Hotel, www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk not only offered fantastic service but I was equally impressed with the brilliant use of space and luxury surroundings in the hotel.

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The hotel used to be a retail store and has a very small entrance doorway through to a very long hallway down to the reception and bar, which is very cleverly designed to lead you almost as a runner, up the aisle to the reception desk and bar where excellent staff wait to greet you. The ambient lighting in this area really works and is very welcoming.

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RECREATE THE LOOK

This is a fine example of how to make a long hallway or entrance inviting. Just because it runs in a straight line, the design has not been compromised and bringing in furniture of different heights and textures and ambient lighting, draws the eye to create interest. You can recreate this look at home by using contrasting level furniture, artwork and lighting, keeping the fabrics tonal but textural. This overhead floor light gives the same feel but for a fraction of the cost of some others on the market.

http://www.milandirect.co.uk/catalog/product/view/id/3123?gclid=CM7nx5HypLsCF fHMtAod9k0AMA

A good shaped armchair is a must and the Sofa and Chair Company have many options, http://www.thesofaandchair.co.uk/collection/chairs/2810-valera
Notice how the different levels of furniture add interest, this low cube could double up as a small table or be simply a footstool http://www.thesofaandchair.co.uk/collection/ottomans-cubes/2234-ono-cube.

Near the reception area is a contemporary fireplace, which draws a hub of people sitting cosily around it. Colour schemes are just great, with warm browns greys and gold (my favourites of course!)

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RECREATE THE LOOK

Keep shapes cosy here, with sofas from Andrew Martin, loose covers can look comfortable and less formal by a contemporary fireplace http://www.andrewmartin.co.uk/cadogan-large-sofa.php
Give your walls a texture with a funky wallpaper, such as this one by Andrew Martin http://www.andrewmartin.co.uk/atlantis-wallpaper.php
Fabrics such as these Zinc Metallic weaves look super glamorous and the colours are fabulous http://www.zinctextile.com/collections/lens

Just around the corner is the restaurant, which is also decorated with lovely muted colours with banquet seating and separate chairs to invite comfortable seating, wood panelled walls and the layout is perfect for atmosphere. This room works both at night and daytime which is important when creating your eating space.

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RECREATE THE LOOK IN YOUR KITCHEN/FAMILY ROOM

If you have the room its nice to incorporate different seating levels into your own kitchen/family space. It doesn’t need to look like a restaurant, but you can add smaller chairs with small sofas or mix your chairs to make the room a bit more casual in feel. Check out Kesterport who have top quality chairs of all shapes and sizes http://www.kesterport.co.uk/retail_chairs.html Leathers and faux suede are always great fabrics for these areas and can be cleaned fairly easily and I love this faux leather from Kravet, which looks glamorous but is still easy to clean http://search.kravet.com/Kravet-Vinyl/Acoustic.21- 400/CoverInformation.aspx

I had a fantastic stay at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, which was not only down to the service and quality of the food and wine, but the hotel has a lovely quaintness yet still high end luxury feel which makes it a great recommendation from me. I will most certainly be going back, I cannot think of anything nicer than relaxing in the lovely bar by the fire with a fabulous glass of wine!

Celia Sawyer xxx

www.celiasawyer.com

@celiasawyertv


3
Dec 13

5* LUXURY

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When I choose a hotel to visit, I am extremely fussy, not only down to the service given but because I have spent a great deal of time making the interior of my home as luxurious as the best 5 star hotel can possibly be. It can be a challenge to find the perfect combination of the two most important elements in a hotel, but this week I am going to share my experience of finding it, and how you can re create the look yourself at home!

I visited a beautiful hotel in the New Forest called The Chewton Glen www.chewtonglen.com and although the style of the room I stayed in (The Poachers Suite) was perhaps less contemporary than I would normally design, the room was faultless and pure luxury.

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The suite itself was more classical in design, with contemporary fabrics and wall coverings. I love the panelled walls inside the bedroom and living room which gave a really warm cosy, and welcoming feel. The living room was stylish yet uncluttered, with textural and visual contrasts in wood, glass, velvet and linen. The room was extremely well balanced, with carefully thought out lighting throwing pools and washes of light into the room that create a sense of warmth and depth. Subtle floral wallpaper on one of the walls adds another dimension by contrasting with a more complex design, juxtaposing the overall design. In the room the furniture is a blend of eras and styles that form well together, the console table and its symmetry in the room making a statement

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TIPS ON RE CREATING THE LOOK

Invest in a good sofa and get the same look with The Sofa And Chair Company

http://www.thesofaandchair.co.uk/collection/sofas-armchairs/3343-hartley

A very stylish, circa 1960s/70s, coffee table in Perspex, with a glass inserted top, – See more at: http://www.brownrigg-interiors.co.uk/antique-tables/antique- occasional-tables/1960s-perspex-and-glass-coffee-table-30-23-refno- 5191/#sthash.6Jp395eB.dpuf

Go for this Giacometti console table by Porta Romana which comes in various finishes.http://www.portaromana.co.uk/north-america/console-tables/cct01l- giacometti-console-table-large-versailles-gold-with-faux-limestone-top

Texture up your walls, even if it’s not with wood panelling to give the same cozy, warm feeling. There are lots of great wallpapers around, this Nobolis Nuage range is stunning http://www.nobilis.fr/collections/wallpapers-wall-coverings/mirages-n- 4/nuage-mir601

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For a very different vibe but the same degree of luxury, there are tree house suites at the hotel. These are more contemporary in their design, keeping the warm nature inspired colours in the upholstery and finishes. The curved edges bring softness to the suites and add an organic effect. I love the imperfections or should I say perfections of natural wood, and the coffee table contrasting beautifully with the soft, neutral wool and linen rug.

The layout of the room is well thought out, with positioning of the furniture around the 2 main focal points in the suite. Comfortable seating to watch the television also sits well around the wood burner and the other positioned for the view outside and enjoying nature and the tree tops in view.
These suites give a very different vibe, seclusion in a luxury retreat if required but with all the service and quality of the main building.

TIPS ON RECREATING THE LOOK

Small tables for lamps, or ornaments such as this bout de canapé by Bleu nature is fabulous, with the natural wood inside. http://www.bleunature.com/fr/33-bout-de- canape-nilleq-.html
Curved sofas look stunning in the right room, this Laura Ashley sofa has the look http://mto.lauraashley.com/furniture/sofas/fabric/shape/300597-100626/large- curved-sofa?tmcampid=152&tmad=c&tmplaceref=300597- 100626&source=%7Bifpe:1%7D%7Bifpla:2%7D&gclid=CJWDndKJkbsCFfHMtAodBBY AAQ

Wood burners give that really warm focal point in the living room or dining room. Choose one of the more contemporary options http://www.stovax.com/stoves/contemporarystoves/contemporary_wood__multi_f uel.aspx

Keep your colours warm and natural and Jab offer some fantastic options for carpets and rugs in natural fibres http://www.jab-uk.co.uk/en/collections/carpets/Wall_to_wall_carpets/Natura2012/Natura2012.htm l

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The 17m long spa pool is very impressionable with the walls painted in a ‘trompte d’oeil’ classical style.
Although this could be a bit elaborate for your home pool, you can add interest to your swimming pool walls, either by creating a wall mural, or for a more contemporary theme, go to Ed Chapman http://www.edchapman-mosaics.co.uk/ who works with mosaics to create you a wall of fame!

If you want a special Christmas treat or to treat someone special, I cannot recommend this hotel enough, it’s certainly in my top 3 of the World with luxury and service almost impossible to beat!

 

Enjoy!!!

@CeliaSawyerTV

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