Monday, 26 July 2010

Your Interior Design questions answered!

If you are having trouble with interior solutions, why not drop me a line and I'm sure I can point you in the right direction.  Here is a recent question and answer session I did for Yorkshire Post Readers.

I am looking to decorate a room using a flag theme and want to incorporate a Union Jack Carpet, can you suggest any interesting options? PT, Elmswell

The flag theme is very on trend at the moment. I have found two particularly nice designs which are also a little quirky. The Union Jack Rug from Hill & Co (; 020 3258 4100) features the flag at an angle which is more visually appealing than a straight reproduction and avoids looking like a front door mat. It is made from 100% viscose, measures 1.8m x 1.2m and costs £390.

If you have a bit more budget and are looking to make a serious design statement choose the VW Flag by Vivienne Westwood for The Rug Company (; 020 7229 5148). At £1,995 it is more pricey, but is a wonderful 100% wool Aubusson Tapestry rug that works equally well as a wall hanging.

We have converted the cellars in our Georgian home to create a day room. The ceilings are not high, but we need a central light fitting to incorporate into the room. Our decorating style is “traditional with a twist”. JW, Rotherham

With low ceilings you need to ensure you get impact from a light fitting, without it obscuring your view through the room. The ideal solution is a light constructed from glass to allow you to both appreciate the design, but also easily look beyond it to avoid breaking your sight line. Victoria Rothschild and Mark Bickers have developed a wonderful range of hand blown glass lights which are all made at the London Glassworks, one of the last workshops in the UK. Most of their lamps would be perfect, but I particularly favour their Vintage and Opulence designs with the cheeky interplay of glass and fringing: around £250 including delivery (; 020 8418 5900).

I have just moved into my first home and want to liven up the walls of my kitchen which are painted plain magnolia. I am afraid I have a very tight budget. Do you have any ideas other than a bright colour or feature wall as I want to do something more interesting? SS, Malton

When it comes to jazzing up a plain wall, you do not need to go mad to achieve something stylish. Less is often more and I would opt for one of the new wall stickers which you can easily apply to a ready painted surface. Spin Collective (; 01242 255244) offer a range of funky designs made in vinyl. They also have a “custom wall quote and sign” maker on their website that allows you to choose your own word or phrase and have this made into a custom sticker. There are a variety of fonts to choose from and 20 colours available. Prices start from £12. These will look very chic and a carefully chosen phrase should raise a smile each time you see it.

 We are looking for an eye-catching feature to include over our fireplace at home, but want to avoid a picture or mirror. EA, Halifax

I love incorporating really eccentric items above a fireplace to amuse both owner and any guests. They provide a great talking point and a good ice breaker at social occasions. My current favourite is the Silver Trophy Stag Head from Strawberry Fool (£69.99 -; 0845 226 9177) a witty take on the traditional hunting trophy. At 47cm height this is large enough to make an impact without being overbearing. It is made from light aluminium so should also be easy to fix in place.

Jamie Hempsall is a member of The British Institute of Interior Design and one of the region’s leading interior designers. If you have an interior query you need answering call him on 0800 032 1180 or visit his website

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