DESIGN TIPS

SOPHIE LOUISA INTERIOR DESIGNER DEVON

BATHROOM

 

Bathrooms can be a tricky room to get right and yet everyone uses the bathroom! We all use them everyday from the people that live there to the guests that visit! Here are my top tips to help get it right and make the best out of your bathroom!

Bathrooms | Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

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SOPHIE LOUISA INTERIOR DESIGNER DEVON

Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

Colours for Wellbeing in the home.

Interior Designer Exeter Devon -  A healthy home is that it is designed in a manner that’s is conductive to good occupant health. Wellbeing in the home is very important and it all starts with colours that you are happy with. When you think of health and happiness you often think about diet and exercise levels. However, we seem to miscalculate the effect on an environment we put ourselves in.   It is a certitude that are mindset does change depending on our surroundings. For example: vibrant colours can give off a passive ethos but can equally be stimulating. Is your home space working for you?  Does the colour scheme feel organised and give you a sense of clarity and security? These are key factors of design.    Colour has a huge pact on how you feel it is a good idea to think about each room you are decorating and how you would want the colour to impact you.  Think about what you are using the room for, for example: sitting, sleeping, cooking, working, etc. Blues and greens are known to be calming and can help you focus your thoughts, from soft warm blues to rich, deep tones. You can use blue in any of the rooms in your home and you will feel anything but blue! Greens are wonderful for bringing the outside in and when you think of nature and how at peace we feel when walking through the county side or park it makes perfect sense that this colour will provide a sense of balance and tranquillity in the home.  It is a colour that works beautifully in a home office or study.    Yellow is an uplifting colour but can be too much for the eye if used in larger spaces or all over in a room , I would suggest you use it in smaller areas an entryway or in the kitchen a splashback looks fab paired with a warm grey.  You want to be stimulated whilst using the kitchen in the morning when you may be groggily making your way to the kettle!  Or likewise after a long day, whilst you are making the dinner it’s a great area to introduce this sunny colour.  For living rooms use splashes of it as an accent or go for a mustard which has a similar effect on your wellbeing, it won’t tiring on the eyes.    Reds are scientifically proven to increase blood flow!  It can be used an accent colour in areas you would like it to be stimulating. If you enjoy having lively dinner parties using either splashes of a vibrant red or paint a deep rich red this will create a feeling of passion, ignite conversation.  I would say use red carefully and think about the balance you want to achieve. Again, using this as an accent colour will help you strike a healthy balance. Accessories are a perfect way to achieve this. Cushions, clocks, vases, etc, will encourage this without the colour becoming too dominant.    White will allow you to think clearly and won’t evoke strong feelings.  We all need this in our lives from time to time!  It triggers feelings of a crisp and clean feel, it helps you feel fresh and certainly gives off a cleanliness vibe.  When you think about how much white is used in bathroom furniture!  White is a great back drop and when you use accent colours, they stand out and look vibrant. White is a perfect colour to add balance to your home.  You can have any colour in say your bedroom and team with white bedding it will always do it justice!            

Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

Timeless Interiors - Sophie Louisa Interiors

Interior Designer Exeter Devon -  Trends!  We see and hear about them everywhere from home interiors, fashion, and, music!Creativity tends to add a new take on periods that society has lived through. Shaker, colonial, Victorian to name but a few.   With technology changing at a rapid rate, the way furniture, materials are manufactured. Materials will be used in a way never seen before and wow us!  This impacts all things creative!    When considering updating our home or work environment, do we go all out and create the décor with the furniture trends and colours for the following year?  No different to when we think about changing our wardrobe to give it a revamp when we have had items for a long time. However, you don’t want to be left in a predicament where these things date quickly.  Suddenly another trend is out the spring/summer range for the following year!  I could re-decorate and be ahead?   Not ideal if you don’t want to keep redecorating, purchasing new furniture pieces, soft furnishings, lighting, the list goes on!   In fashion we tend to have a go to black dress or a couple of pairs of classic trousers that have been so well made they and timeless, they are still relevant so we can rely on these to wear again, and again. This is not to say we don’t need to have any on trend pieces of clothing, but more than not we often mix and match these.  With our homes it pays to do a similar thing.  Not many of us fancy the upheaval of re-decorating in 6-12 months after we have just worked so hard to carry out the work in the first place not to mention the money!    When choosing flooring, paint, wallpaper look at how you will feel in the next 10 years.  Will is still be relevant, most importantly will I still love it?  Can I live with the flooring?  It is crucial to put a lot of thought into these things as you should be thinking long term not until the latest trends arrive in magazines, online adverts telling you the “Must have buys”.  Clever wording, if you don’t get those bar stools or have a certain finish, well, your kitchen will not look so modern anymore.   If you love the items you have previously purchased for good reason, you can’t go too wrong. Of course, sure you can appreciate the must have items of the season, but you don’t have the huge urge to replace. You are so in love with what you do have, you would have to think long and hard before replacing. I’m not talking about wear and tear just the urge and clever marketing that is around us every day!  Every month we will be running a splurge or steal through the blog – be sure to check back in to see what you think?  Pieces that are similar, but the price is worlds apart!  Would you splurge or steal?!...          

Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

How to pick the right sofa for your home.

Interior Designer Exeter Devon -  Years ago, you would walk around a sofa store and try out the sofas that you are drawn to, sit on it to see if it is comfortable, look at the colour and pattern and order your preferred sofa and wait about six weeks for delivery. I have worked with clients who, one of the first things I need to do is look for a new sofa even though the existing one is only a year old! Why? Well, the sofa did not look that big in that giant store! Said sofa arrives and is huge and does not work in the front room/ lounge!  Or the bright lighting made it look a different shade and when it arrived it did not work with the colour scheme. Pained to redecorate the sofa can go!  These might seem like obvious things, you would be amazed at how may people forget to take measurements of where the sofa will need to placed. This can lead to costly mistakes and disappointment. Now there are sofa stores online, large department stores, bespoke options the list goes on…. Here are my top tips to put on your checklist when purchasing a new sofa: 1) Make sure you have taken measurements, width and depth2) Allow for doors that open into living room3) Order swatches of the fabric4) Look at different options and styles5) Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone of what you are used to6) Colour is important – do you want the sofa to make a statement?7) Pattern and texture of fabric give these careful thought8) If you are buying online make sure to check out the specifications9) Durability – easy clean and scotch guard to save your fabric from stains10) If you can try drawing a scale plan to see how the sofas will work out:            

Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

How to decorate a small bedroom to make it look bigger! Interior Designer, Exeter, Devon

Interior Designer Exeter Devon -  #7 Top Tips To Help You On Your Way! #1 Measure Take measurements of your floor, making notes of windows, radiators, doors, etc.  Measure the height of your walls – more about this later.    #2 Colour – Paint Think light reflective colours and keep them a warm hue, use a lighter colour for the woodwork in eggshell. This will protect your woodwork and has a slight sheen but isn’t super shiny and overbearing.    #3 Wallpaper/Panelling/Canvas  Use a decorative wallpaper to create a canvas or wallpaper panels that go behind the bed. This will create an impact and depth without soaking up too much light. Leave a gap above the canvas or paneling to create the feeling of height.    #4 Floating Shelves  Use floating shelves to create the illusion of more floor space, this is where the measurements you took of the wall height will help.  Think either horizontal or vertical when creating places to display accessories sticking to one.  Keep them light in colour or if you go for wood try using a light oak or ash. Corner floating shelves work well in a small bedroom. Go for good quality floating shelves you want the invisible brackets to be well made so they don’t bow and can take the weight.    #5 Low-Level Furniture  A low-level bed with low headboard is ideal for a small bedroom. A bed with storage is a must if you struggle to pull out the drawers due to space look at an ottoman storage bed.  If you would like to have bedside tables you can look for small, slim ones. When choosing lamps make sure your base is small and the lamps are compact. If your room won’t allow much more than the bed think about using a floating shelf/drawer unit, a small circular groove cut from the back and you can fit a lamp on top.    #6 Curtains & Window Treatments  To make the room feel more spacious use simple window treatments. Shutters are a great option. If you would prefer the window to be more dressed use a simple lightweight fabric team with a blackout roller blind to keep the light out when needed. Raise the pole up high to create the feeling of space. Don’t let the fabric pool at the bottom you want to highlight as much floor space as possible.    #7 Mirrors & Artwork  Mirrors are great for a small bedroom they reflect light and create the feeling of space.  Use as large a mirror as you can on one of the walls. Decorative mirrors add light and visual interest to a small room. Artwork – I would suggest using a large piece of artwork above the bed.  This creates a beautiful focal point feature. Keep it simple this is the key to making a small bedroom feel much larger. Use your measurements you have taken of the wall height and width. Allow space either side of both the mirror and artwork.     

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#7 TOP TIPS FOR CREATING THAT FABULOUS BATHROOM!

 

#1 Storage is key add as much hidden storage as possible to your bathroom and stack floating shelves to display everyday essentials that you use! Baskets under cabinets are a great idea. Also think about the types of material you use for your shelving; for example glass is reflective adding light and space to the bathroom.

#2 Using colour in a bathroom should be well thought out. If you are unsure where to use it don’t commit and add colourful accessories with towels, bath mats, shower curtains etc. Subtle colours/ patterns work well in bathrooms especially if you are looking to sell down the line. Remember not everyone may like orange in the same way you do! But those bright orange accessories will lift that neutral scheme! 

#3 Whatever the size of your bathroom go for mirrors! As large as your bathroom can take! You will make the space feel much larger and spacious, if you can get away with a full length as well as a mirror above the sink… Go for it! 

#4 Texture is another element that can create depth to your bathroom from wave tiles and gloss is light reflective. Mosaics create subtle interest in any bathroom and you can choose metallic or matt finishes. 

#5 Artwork is often underplayed in bathrooms but adds great character! You can really personalise this space using artwork or cluster pictures!

#6 When choosing accessories make sure they are aesthetically pleasing and completely functional! They will finish your bathroom off and be on show so take time thinking what will work and look good! Think of them as bathroom jewellery! 

#7 Lighting is extremely important and shouldn’t be an after thought! Think about the style of lighting and position of the lighting at the beginning of the project! Dimmer switches are great in the bathroom and make sure if you would like to use a dimmer that the lighting you choose is dimmer compatible. If you have a contemporary bathroom have a think about LED mirror lights above the sink. Using spotlights give careful consideration to where you want them placed and how many! How bright the bulbs will be too! This is where that dimmer switch comes in to play!

 

BIGGER ROOM

 

For most of my clients, space is always a problem! Especially storage but what do you do when you have a very small area to work with? Very little natural light, funny shaped rooms? Want to pull your hair out, no idea where to start and how to make the most of that small space? Here are my simple top tips to create that flowing vibe to even the smallest of areas.

Bigger Room | Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

#5 TOP TIPS TO MAKE A ROOM LOOK BIGGER

 

 

#1 If you have a window in the room, don’t go covering it up in heavy curtains. Use sheers/Voiles to soften the window allowing all of that natural light in. If you would like curtains, make sure you use tiebacks.If you don’t have a window in the room there are plenty of options. Recessed lighting is one of the best options with a dimmer switch. You can get soft bulbs for these so, you don’t feel like you have walked into a room created by the FBI!!! You can scatter these lights on the ceiling, lighting up those really darker corners! Floor lamps and table lamps will all help and can be strategically placed in the areas you feel they are needed.

 

#2 When choosing your paint colours, go for rich or warm colours. These will help soften the room a big mistake is to go for cooler colours. These can work well where there is a lot of natural light but can feel clinical and would have the opposite effect that you are trying to achieve. If unsure what colours are rich and warm, pop into your decorating store and they will gladly help show you the difference in these hues.

 

#3 Use lots of light reflective furniture, from; glass side tables, mirrors and chrome. When choosing sofas and chairs go for a style that has open arms and legs. This will visually create the feeling of more room. Light will filter under and create a sense of space.

 

#4 Think about using similar colours in your furniture that you have in your walls. For example: your sofa, chairs or a chest. These will blend in and help to create that feel of a flowing space. Use accent colours on top of these, keep it simple and the space will feel tranquil even though it is a small area. It will be one you feel calm and at ease in. The ultimate goal in a small area! Make sure that the items you choose leave room for you to move around. Scale back if necessary and double measure your space before you buy any furniture!!!

 

#5 This is a very simple one but de-clutter!!! Get rid of anything that you really don’t need to be in this space. Hide items you do in that chest I mentioned or use a set of gorgeous storage boxes that compliment the room. Hide all clutter!!! If you are lucky to have high ceilings, floating shelves will work beautifully. Use them for the accessories that you would like to display, accent vases, glass picture frames. The more light reflective the better

 

 

HOME OFFICE

 

Fed up of searching through paperwork, looking for paperclips, scissors and those envelopes you were sure you left on your desk? Here are some great tips on how to keep even the smallest home office a place where everything is at your fingertips and looks great!

Home Office | Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

#5 TOP TIPS TO MAKE A ROOM LOOK BIGGER

 

 

Label your cable wires, you won’t waste time looking for that printer or laptop lead again! 

All of the items you use daily, stick a small piece of magnetic strip on to the back of. Use a magnetic board, like you would a notice board and pin them to it when you’re finished. You will know exactly where they are! Saving your valuable time!

If you have a small office utilise this space by using floating shelves. Put all of your documents you rarely need at the top into boxes and label. The ones you use daily at the bottom, so you can access them easily. Remember if you have a small space, work upwards! 

Use little pots or jars anything you love that works well with your décor and fill with pins, clips, rubbers, pencils and pens. Label and get creative!

If you have desk drawers, an inexpensive way to get organised is to use an egg carton or ice cube tray to store small items making them easy to find.

Have two trays and In and Out to help you keep on top of your workload!

A chalkboard is a great way to plan what you need to get done in a day! When you’ve ticked them off, you can wipe away ready for the next working day!

Organise bills and statements into 12 pocket files. One for each month to help keep on top of all of those monthly statements and invoices.

These tips should help save time and give everything a sense of flow in your office. Simple ideas can, save you time and your energy! No more looking for that clip or file!!!!

 

 

sophie@sophielouisainteriors.co.uk

Tel: 01392 214 817 - Mob: 07758 947 819

Sophie Louisa Interiors | Exeter Devon

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sophie@sophielouisainteriors.co.uk

 

Tel: 01392 214 817 - Mob: 07758 947 819

 

7 Magnolia Avenue, Exeter, Devon, EX2 6DJ

 

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