Lovehome.co.uk design blog

  • Feature walls reinvented

    Feb 21, 2014

    If you asked us to name one of the biggest interior trends of the last five years - and one of the most popular searches on the Lovehome site - it would have to be feature walls. A great way to add colour and pattern, but without overpowering a room, they are always popular, and easy to achieve.

    But trends move on, and the standard wall or alcove of patterned paper is - dare we say it? - starting to look a bit tired. The good news though is that feature walls aren't on their way out. They are simply getting more inventive.



    We absolutely love this look from John Lewis. It's bright, relaxed and eclectic. The painting in the foreground looks even better against the bright 'painting' wall behind it. You could get this look yourself simply by painting onto your wall, if your artistic skills are up to it. But perhaps easier is to buy a wall 'painting' off the shelf - try SurfaceView for all sorts of canvases and famous art reproduced at full-wall size.



    The feature wall gets glamorous. This wall (image from House of Fraser) looks as though it has been gold-leafed, and if you've got deep enough pockets you could try this technique - gently applying squares of gold leaf to a small area of wall with a dry brush - yourself. As usual though, it's cheaper and easier to go for a wallpaper in this effect. Try Akoa Antique Gold by Harlequin for this look by the roll.



    Ombre - dip-dying - has been a big trend in interiors this year, with the softly fading colour effect popular on cushions and fabrics. Now the effect is moving on to walls, as this image from Littlewoods shows. Again, you can buy ombre wallpaper, but you can get the effect yourself with two colours (or more) of paint. Simply apply a solid block of colour at the bottom of your wall, and another (probably white) at the top, and gently blend the two with a brush at a desired height on the wall. For more details there are plenty of online tutorials.



    And talking of DIY feature walls with paint, this bold look (from Marks&Spencer's Spring 2014 look book) is achievable with just basic DIY skills. Choosing two complementary colours (or clashing, if you're feel brave) applied to sections of a white wall, separated by masking tape, will produce the strong lines of this image. This is one of Dulux's main predictions for how we'll be painting our walls next year, so if you've got a steady hand, get in early!

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  • Trend: mirrors get a makeover

    Feb 14, 2014

    They reflect light and make any space feel much bigger - a mirror is an essential part of any decorating scheme. But this season mirrors are becoming a design feature in themselves, with exciting new styles filtering down from high-end design houses to the high street.



    We love these hanging mirrors from John Lewis, beautiful enough to provide the focal point for any wall. We think they'd look great in a hallway, where they can be the centre of attention.



    This Stockholm mirror from Ikea is a clever twist on the classic round mirror. The wood frame is wider at the bottom, creating a little shelf perfect for a trinket box in the bedroom, make-up in the bathroom, or keys in the hallway.



    Frames are also getting more and more decorative, picking up the embellished folk trend that appeared on furniture last year. This mirror from Marks&Spencer - with matching chest of drawers - is dramatic enough to completely change the feeling of any space you put it in, and would look equally at home in a feminine boudoir or dark and moody bedroom scheme.



    Another mirror that creates instant atmosphere is this Moroccan-inspired one from Littlewoods. The frame forms an intricate pattern across the glass, meaning it is less for looking in and more for adding some subtly reflected light and exotic style to a room.



    This last one, we admit, might be a bit out of budget, but it looks so decadent that we couldn't resist sharing. It's part of a bedroom scheme from Debenhams. A cloudy patina on the wall of mirror gives the feel of a historic home. You can achieve a similar effect with antique-effect mirror tiles, or even a wallpaper in this effect. When framed by decorative panelling (you can get this at a DIY store!) the look is irresistibly grand and glamorous.

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  • Valentines table ideas: sweet not sickly

    Feb 10, 2014

    Everybody knows booking a restaurant for Valentines Day is a let down - over-priced food and a sea of other couples trying to summon a romantic vibe at cramped tables for two.
    Much better to treat your loved one to a dinner-a-deux in your own home this year... or breakfast in bed. So forget red table cloths and withering roses - these ideas from the high-street offer an alternative way to let your dinner companion know that they have your heart.



    This scene from John Lewis may go down the traditional hearts route, but the clever kitchen accessories do allow you to make an effort of your own, from a heart-shaped fried egg to 'Love' toast.



    Looking for something a bit less soppy? We love this breakfast range from Ben de Lisi at Debenhams. The fried egg-shape egg cups and toast-ready plates are witty and whimsical, and perfect for an 'occasion' breakfast. They'll still look great even after the big day has passed too.



    Romantic tables don't have to be pink and rose festooned. You can show you've made an effort by little touches like a hand-tied napkin or hand-written place card. This Ikea set of soft grey crockery has a romantic but grown-up feel, and looks best teamed with simple glassware and a white linen table cloth.



    Want to go ritzier? Get a bit of gold on the table. These Marks&Spencer dinner plates look chic with their gold trim, but the polka dot mugs prevent it from all getting too stuffy. The ultimate essential for a Valentine's table? A gold candlestick as a centrepiece, all the better for holding hands by. Ahh.

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  • George @ Asda launches homes collection

    Jan 24, 2014

    Proof, if more were needed, that the large supermarkets are fast becoming the place to buy affordable, seasonal and trend-led homewares, as Asda prepares to launch a new interiors brand. We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview this week...



    George Brand Director Fiona Lambert is leading an in-house team of designers to bring some 4,000 products into stores in March. Looking at the key trends on show we were impressed with the quality and detail, not to mention the breadth of trends on display.



    Potting Shed is inspired by English country gardens, and is rustic and homespun. We love the wellie boot vase - perfect for passionate gardeners to display what they've grown!



    Monochrome is a more sophisticated trend, perfect for city living, featuring deep grey and mustard accents.



    The accessories are well worth a closer look though - check out the Alice In Wonderland references in this little vignette. Even the vase has a playing card motif.



    The other two trends are perfect for high summer - Riviera is a fun, frothy theme of candy colours, perfect for picnics and summer barbeques while Seaview is all drift wood and beach house stripes. Look out for more photography in our trends round-ups on the site. This new brand is one to watch...

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  • What walls are wearing in 2014

    Jan 22, 2014

    Our love of wallpaper at Lovehome is no secret. It's probably the quickest and most affordable way to totally transform the look of a room going - even if you only put it on to one wall. That also means you can update your look each year - or each season - without too much effort.

    While last year wallpaper trends included woodland, trees and wildlife, plus Art Deco-influenced designs inspired by The Great Gatsby, this year we've got plenty of new trends to report. John Lewis have released their latest lines of wallpaper - some designed in-house, others by leading UK brands.



    Above is Smoke Brushstrokes wallpaper, which illustrates our trend number 1 - texture. From concrete-effect paper to grainy stripes and ripples that look so real you could touch them, this is a very subtle way to add pattern to your room.



    Next is this Japanese take on woodland wallpaper. Less fairytale, more sophisticated than last year's folky trend, this Eastern-inspired trend is feminine enough for a bedroom but grown-up enough for a dining room.



    Not exactly new, but certainly entering the mainstream, are photorealistic wallpapers and trompe l'oeil. This library shelf paper by Andrew Martin can look serious in a study, or witty used in an alcove or even over a door!



    One for the brave - this trend for illustrated animals is very stylized. The cute animal prints of last year are replaced with these more sophisticated and witty versions. This owl paper by Cole&Son would be perfect for a small feature wall - set it off with a slim console table and similar avian ornaments.



    Lastly, bird lovers can feel reassured that one of the most popular wallpaper motifs isn't going anywhere. Bird papers are always in vogue, but this season they mix bright colours with a pretty, painterly feel, as in this Paradaiza print, also from John Lewis.

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