The Interiors cheat sheet

Vanessa Arbuthnott’s velvet fabric on sofa, from £58 per metre, cushions from £48.
Up The Garden Path fabric on curtains, from £52 per metre, rug from £240

Updating your home needn’t be a daunting task. There are myriad ways in which you can easily refresh your interiors to maintain a stylish, modern look – without breaking the bank. Angelina Villa-Clarke talks to the experts to get the inside track

Once the Christmas decorations have been taken down and the fairy lights stored for another year, it’s an opportune time to look afresh at your home. Giving each room a thorough spring clean and sort out is the first step in rebooting the feel of a space. Clear out the clutter and change around furniture for a quick revamp. Adding a few choice accessories can also work wonders. 

“Adding new cushions is a great way to update your home each season,” says Hollie Brooks, co-founder of online homeware boutique, Audenza. “If you already have plenty of cushion pads, then look for covers in the same sizes as you already have. Another instant fix is to change door handles and door knobs – this is a great way to inject a bit of drama into an unexpected place.”

 This image: Tropical Monkey Cushion, £39.95, and Curvarella Chair, £725 both from Audenza

Be careful not to overload surfaces with too many clashing items. Remove everything from your shelves and surfaces, clean and edit carefully, so that you can rearrange groups of vases or glass vessels, perhaps in complimentary tones or in a variation of sizes, to add interest. 

Offering an eclectic mix of home accessories at affordable prices, Darling & Gold says it’s simple to update an interior scheme with a few well-chosen pieces. “It’s exciting to refresh, redecorate and reinvigorate your home,” says the brand. “Accents of gold are a fantastic way of making a space look more luxurious, while adding plants to the room also adds to the overall aesthetic, with hanging planters a great way to utilise a space.”

Rohan Blacker, founder of homeware store Pooky, agrees: “For the New Year, we’re going to see a lot more investment in unique accessories that add personality to a space. Whether that’s a statement lampshade or an unusual mirror frame, don’t be afraid to experiment.”

Lighting is one way to revamp a space quickly and easily. Matthew Currington, technical director at The Lighting Superstore, says taking inspiration from a Scandinavian design ethos is a good start. “Nordic interior design is all about keeping things simple. Start with your colour palette and go for subdued colours such as putty, off-white and grey. Since natural light in Nordic countries is a rarity in the colder months, a dimmed lamp or lit candle is a must-have feature. Choose a modern, minimalistic lamp with dimmable lighting that allows you to create the same cosy ambience.”

This image: Aluvia Mini Pearl Light, from £199, from Umage

Søren Ravn Christensen, chief creative developer at Umage, suggests using white lamps, which, he says, will go with all schemes and look unobtrusive when unlit. “You can also add colour-changing light bulbs to create atmosphere.” 

Window dressings are also vital for that all-important finishing touch. Shutters can be more of an investment, but are economical in the long run – if you choose wisely, they will not need updating and are easily maintained. Chrissie Harper, customer experience manager at California Shutters, says that the brand is seeing a rise in customers opting for coloured shutters – such as millennial pink, deep turquoise and emerald green. “However,” she adds, “with the botanical trend in full force, there will also be a return to the natural. We’re starting to see our customers choose pared back, Scandi-style woods, like our Grained Hardwood shutters in Natural Wood stain, which look great with indoor plants. It’s certainly a look
to watch.” 

 This image: Benjamin Moore’s Beau Green paint colour, from £21.50 for 0.94L

According to Vanessa Arbuthnott, home furnishings expert, one quick and easy way to give a room a makeover is to add a rug. “A well-placed rug can change the feeling of any space,” she says.

“But it’s important to choose a rug that will complement or accentuate your decor – not overwhelm it. A rug makes a room softer and quieter and anchors the furniture without taking over the space.” 

There’s nothing like a refresh with the paint brush to breathe new life into a room. Paint experts Benjamin Moore suggest dipping into a palette of rich tones for an on-trend look. A deep, saturated colour, such as Beau Green, creates a bold design statement. For that final touch of charm, lustrous gold accents and accessories will complement the deeper shades perfectly.

David Mottershead, managing director of Little Greene, meanwhile, suggests tonal shades of green can give a restful scheme, with zesty hues lifting a room which lacks natural light.

Finally, making sure you have adequate storage and shelving to display your treasures is key in maintaining a stylish look. Peter Erlandsson, director of String, a versatile Scandinavian shelving system, suggests using a mix of open shelving and cabinet styles to create a display unit that is flexible enough to hide the things you don’t want on show. It’s easy when you know how.                                               This image: Little Greene’s Harley Green 

and Tea with Florence paint colours, from £43.50 per 2.5L


Nisi Living on adding colour for an instant update:

1. Inject some greenery by adorning a shelf with succulents and trailing plants.

2. Add some colourful wall art to a blank space – it will reflect your own personality. 

3. Add interest with shots of primary colours, with crockery, glassware or cushions.


Daniel Prendergast from explains the trend for tactile 

Soft furnishings that connect physically and emotionally will make homeowners feel both comfortable and comforted. 

Layering, pattern and texture will be created within fabric weaves. Texture can also take the form of tufted, quilted material and cut-out or raised effects.  

Passementerie is another key look – with elaborate embroidery, tasselling and decorative finishing on cushions blinds, curtains and rugs.  


Audenza: 01162 986 393  Benjamin Moore: 01753 575756  California Shutters: 0800 1950196  Darling and Gold:  Lighting Superstore: 01225 704442  Little Greene: 020 7935 8844  Nisi Living: 01275 390521  Pooky: 0207 351 3003  String: 020 3876 2744  The Rug Seller: 0161 876 4566  Umage:  Vanessa Arbuthnott: 01285 831437