1. The importance of embracing contradictions in interior design

    A house without layers looks sterile and boring. I am not talking about going maximal and wearing all your jewellery at once. In fact, I would argue that layering and variety is even more important if you like a more zen or minimalist look. Abigail Ahern, the queen of dark wall, talks about wanting to tantalise the eye, so that when you walk into a room you can’t quite work it out in one go. It’s what makes the space visually interesting. It can be done boldly, but where I differ from the fab Ms Ahern is that I believe it can also quite subtly. Even an all-white room will look incredible with various contrasting materials and textures: imagine a flat matte white distemper wall next to a highly lacquered white table contrasting with a white washed window frame with a ultra soft throw.

    It is contradictions in us which makes every person interesting, complex and fascinating.

    The same applies to our homes. Without variation in light, height, dimensions, hues and materials a place appears flat and dull or just plain boring. Too much of anything whether it be the finest marble or gorgeous wood lacks contradiction and the result will feel bland. Just like the ‘perfect’ ‘goody two shoes’  is not much fun neither is the ‘perfect’ home.

    The photo above shows this contradiction really well: there are contrasts of colour, texture, surfaces, and even mismatched wallpapers. It’s a snippet of my studio where I am holding my design class this Sunday from 10am-1pm. There are only two spots left. Come along it is going to be a great session. Three hours of inspiration and practical tips on how to make your home feel and look incredible! You can book through Eventbrite

    Photo: Tracey Lee Hayes, Styling: Emilie Smith