Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Banish the Winter Blues with Silver Shine

Yorkshire Post - 13th January 2010 - Life & Style Section : Homes


Now that your Christmas decorations are packed away again, it can often feel as if the house has lost a little of its sparkle. Couple that with dark winter nights and unusual snow reflected light and you can have a recipe for the doldrums.

The ultimate way to bring more light in to your home is to knock down a wall to the outside! However, you can achieve a similar effect by creating an entire mirror wall (using a mosaic of large mirror pieces to add interest). Visually extending your room not only adds light, but promotes a feeling of space and wellbeing.

Antiqued glass helps to soften the look to make this feature work well in period homes; not to mention easier to keep clean. Work on a design with your glass merchant for an individual finish and incorporate off-cuts to keep the cost down.

If considering DIY installation be aware of sharp edges and handle your mirror with gloves whilst fixing. Ensure you have well prepared flat walls and only use mirror adhesive. Take your time and let each piece set in place before adding more. It may take a while, but the end result will be worth it.

If this seems a little extreme why not pep up your home by introducing a few smaller features that will shine away the gloom. These hints of Spring will help add light to your interiors and are sure to bring a smile to your face each time you see them.

A silvered cabinet or cupboard can act as a tremendous boost to lift otherwise muted rooms and pic up on any light source available. The overall effect is gentle, rather than dazzling. Soft silver works well against most colour palettes from the most neutral Taupe to rich Royal Blue.

Historically, silver leaf was used in night time entertaining rooms to reflect the shimmer of candle light to add extra spectacle. A modern equivalent of these pieces is the Short Regency Wave Cabinet in antiqued silver leaf which exudes old world charm (£1,280; – 0207 622 2928).

 For those with a desire for the modern, consider the Madame Butterfly Tall Cabinet finished in a gentle silver gloss with a surprising lilac interior (£795; – 08456 448022).

If you enjoy casual living why not introduce a Fatboy Beanbag in Silver to facilitate a little indulgent lounging now that the hard partying is over for another season? (£149.95; – 01280 814943).

Partner this up with the perfect funky storage and table solution in the shape of the Spitfire White Star Trunk from Halo. The steel cladding and rivets make this piece a sure talking point and centre piece (£949; - 0161 923 0541).

However, it is the little hints that can often raise your spirits the most; an amusing trifle that catches the eye or is a pleasure to use. Dot these within your room to surprise and delight the senses.

The Bosign Silver Branch Hanger hints at walks in the woods without embracing the cold. They are perfect for jewellery, keys or the odd dog lead (£21; – 0845 034 5050).

The Stainless Steel Zack Atacio Magazine Rack will help keep your rooms clutter free, whilst adding a splash of panache (£144.95; – 0844 357 9855).

Ultimately, Hollywood has always been the king of equipping interiors with plenty of sparkle and the Silver Lobby Phone from Leekes epitomises 1930’s glamour; why not raise your spirits further by enjoying a few more chats to close friends (£60; – 0845 050 8240).

Jamie Hempsall, BIDA, is one of the region’s leading interior designers. Pose your questions to him via or telephone 01777 248463.

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