How to choose the perfect paint colour

March 27th, 2015

Fresh Design decor ideas

Now the days are longer and brighter, the inside of the house is starting to look a bit shabby. Chipped paintwork, odd marks and faded patches on walls are all becoming more noticeable, so now’s the time to think about revamping your rooms ready for the coming year. With the weather warming up, it’s also more practical to leave doors and windows open while new paint work is drying. If you’re not sure what colour you’re going to go for to renovate your living space, try our tips for inspiration.

Fresh Design decor tips

  1. Which way does your room face, i.e. north, south, east or west? North-facing rooms will generally make colours look a little darker as the light is flatter, so you might need to go for a shade or two lighter of your chosen colour. Good choices for north-facing rooms are colours with red, yellow or orange base tones, while blue and green will create a soothing, calming effect in south-facing rooms.
  2. If you choose colours based on a display in a large shop, be prepared for them to look different when you get them home and see them in a smaller, domestic setting.
  3. If you’re going for a very dark or dramatic colour, this might be best confined to one feature wall. Try painting one wall first to see if you like the effect. If you use two strong colours in the same room, they may interact in unforeseen ways so try it out first before you commit.
  4. Colors look different when the light changes, so get a roll of cheap lining paper (available from DIY shops), and paint it with two coats of your chosen colour. Move this around the room, fixing it to the walls with tape or Blutack, and see how it looks at different times of day and in different places. If necessary, fix white lining paper over the section of wall first so that you can see the new colour in isolation.
  5. Wet paint is a different colour to dry paint, so allow plenty to time for the colour to change before making a decision. Always apply at least two coats, too.
  6. Don’t forget that most big shops now offer a bespoke paint mixing service, so there’s nothing stopping using a favourite dress, a vintage vase, your grandmother’s brooch or even your cat’s coat for inspiration. Having your own paint colour mixed means that you must be sure to buy sufficient paint in advance, though, as subsequent batches may be a subtly different colour. Don’t forget to allow enough for future touch ups, too.
  7. Remember existing elements. If you have furniture, rugs or curtains you want to keep, this will restrict your choice of colour a bit. Take photographs of your existing items and take these with you when you go to choose the paint colour.
  8. Don’t forget to take existing rooms into account, and consider whether you want a colour scheme that’s confined to one room or flows throughout the house.

Dining room in Farrow & Ball blue gray no. 91

This dining room, in Farrow & Ball blue gray No. 91 (estate eggshell), from £38, has been given a contemporary edge with shocking pink upholstered chairs.

Eaton Square paint No 232 from Mylands

Strong colours, such as Eaton Square No 232 from Mylands Paint, from £20, are great for picking out features but may be too dark and dramatic for walls.

Striking modern paintwork using B&Q Colours

For a feature wall, don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild. This striking geometric pattern was created with three colours from the Colours range at B&Q – Pumpkin, Mai Tai and Ladybug. Prices start at £19.84.

By Sara Walker


Bright budget buys for a colourful home

March 25th, 2015

Bright bargain buys for your home

Add some spring colour and cheer into your home, with some of these bright homeware buys from Oliver Bonas. Not only are they great for adding colour, but they’re also all reduced in price, so even better buys for your budget!

1. Let this butterfly cushion flutter into your home and take a pew on your sofa – now £19 (was £28)

2. Use this flexible green dove door stopper to ensure doors don’t bang shut on breezy days – now £9 (was £13)

3. Get creative with hanging this rainbow pom pom garland - now £12 (was £17.50)

4. Use this neon blue wire candle holder to liven up your living room – now £9 (was £14)

5. Have your morning cuppa in this bright and cheery cappuccino silk mug - now £4.50 (was £7)

6. Serve up supper in a colour pop matt bamboo bowl - now £9 (was £14) (other colours available)

7. Dine in style, with the colour block cutlery set - now £18 (was £24)

8. Serve milk from a cheery rosalie milk jug - now £5 (was £8.50)

10 Easter buys for a contemporary home

March 24th, 2015

The Easter season is all about new beginnings, so breathe some new life into your home decor with our pick of the top ten Easter-themed home accessories.

1. Kitchen roll holder, Alessi

Alessi kitchen roll holder

We couldn’t resist this bunny and carrot kitchen roll holder by iconic design brand Alessi. It’ll add just the right note of quirkiness to a modern kitchen, and it’s practical to – the bunny rotates to keep the end of the roll in place when not in use. Made from thermoplastic resin, it’s available in green, pink and blue and costs £31 from Red Candy.

2. Fossil rug, Kelaty

Estella fossil oval design rug

This Fossil rug from the Estella range gives a note to traditional Easter eggs with its unusual curved shape made from overlapping ovals. It has a modern colour palate that would add an unusual focal point to any modern decor. £269, available from Kelaty.

3. Rabbit lamp, Front for Moooi

Rabbit lampshade by Front for Moooi

Light up your home in more than one way with this rabbit lamp. The rabbit is lifesize, and looks so real you think he’s on the point of twitching his nose. This would make a lovely addition to a children’s room, or a great talking point in a sitting room. £338, available from Rume.

4. Aki runner rug, Pappelina

This rug from Pappelina is made from woven plastic

Pappelina is a Swedish company that designs and manufactures unique, modern rugs and a wide range of other soft furnishings. These unusual yet practical  rugs are made from soft Swedish plastic and hand-woven in Sweden using old traditional weaving looms, so they’re hard wearing and waterproof. The bright colours and simple design, reminiscent of flowers or butterflies, are ideal for spring. Prices start at £85, available from Cloudberry Living.

5. Wall tree sticker, RoomMates

Tree wall sticker from RoomMates

Bring the outside in with this wall tree sticker. Although it’s intended for children’s bedrooms or nurseries, we think it would also cheer up a garden room or even the inside of a posh shed. The leaves, birds and butterflies will add a touch of spring. £25, available from Becky and Lolo.

6. Egg cups, Sagaform

Cylindrical egg cups from Sagaform

These just might be the coolest egg cups we’ve ever seen. Four cylindrical stoneware egg cups by Swedish design company Sagaform are stacked on a light bamboo stand when not in use. £23, available from The Scandinavian Shop.

7. Rabbit and cabbage tea towel, Thornback & Peel

Cotton rabbits and cabbages tea towel

This cream cotton tea towel is made in Britain and hand printed with brown rabbits and green cabbages, mixing fresh, contemporary colour with traditional imagery. £12.95, available from Annabel James.

8. Country meadow Easter wreath, Gisela Graham

Country meadow Easter wreath by Gisela Graham

Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas – we think this lovely faux wreath with speckled eggs, blossom, buds and twisted willow would add a little spring charm to any front door or wall. £30, available from The Contemporary Home.

9. Metal jugs, Gisela Graham

Vintage metal jugs by Gisela Graham

In beautiful fresh springtime colours, these  vintage style metal jugs are ideal for holding spring flowers, kitchen utensils, straws or a host of other things, and will be sure to brighten up your home. Available in pink, yellow, blue and green, £7 each, from The Contemporary Home.

Henry Hen mug, Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely hen mug

A band of stylised hens in yellow and black against a cream background decorate this retro style bone china mug, perfect for the contemporary kitchen. £9, available from One Brown Cow.

By Sara Walker

Make your walls shine with stunning metallic wallpaper

March 23rd, 2015

Add an extra touch to your wall decor by using wallpaper with a metallic sheen. Metallic paper can add a more luxurious finish to your interior and it shines when the light catches it. Whatever your style or taste, there are plenty of metallic wallpapers available. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

The luxury metallic wallpaper

Metallic silver tulip botanical wallpaper

This stunning Tulipa botanica design brings together old and new in a very effective way. The design is inspired by mid 17th and 18th century Dutch still life paintings. The white and grey on a silver foil background bring the design to life and make it work for a modern home. It’s by Carlucci di Chivasso and is available from Wallpaper Direct. At £127.40 per roll, this is one of the luxury options.

The nature themed metallic wallpaper

Natural tree design wallpaper

Bring nature into your home, with this metallic shimmer tree design wallpaper. It’s available in several colourways, but the taupe and gold has a nice warm feel to it. It’s £14 a roll from I Love Wallpaper.

The animal print metallic wallpaper

Animal magic zebra print wall decor

Unleash your inner animal, with a striking zebra print wallpaper. In silver grey and with metallic glitter highlights, it will transform your walls in an instant. At only £15 a roll from Graham and Brown, it’s affordable too.

The colourful metallic wallpaper

Petrol blue teal wallpaper wall decor

Combining dramatic colour and opulent metallic glitter highlights, the Vintage Ravelle wallpaper, from Arthouse’s Twilight collection, is perfect for decorating your living or dining room.

The designer metallic wallpaper

Dramatic opening doors wallpaper by Sophie Conran

Loads of designers have metallic wallpapers as part of their collections, but we’re rather taken by this one by Sophie Conran. The Opening Doors wallpaper from her Reflections collection features a repeat pattern of ornate doors on a metallic background. The antique gold colourway is very striking and dramatic. It’s £99 per roll from John Lewis.

The budget metallic wallpaper

Bargain affordable metallic silver wallpaper

For an elegant budget metallic wallpaper, you can’t get much better than the Silken Stria silver mist. It shimmers beautifully and has a timeless appeal to it. It’s only £9.99 a roll from Taskers.

The kid’s metallic paper

Star space children's room decor

And finally, don’t forget your kids! For young fans of stars or space, Graham and Brown’s midnight stardust wallpaper features a myriad of stars embellished with a foil effect.

Clamber Doodle children’s cabin bed from Loaf

March 19th, 2015

Fresh Design kid's furniture from Loaf

Loaf have recently launched a range of new products with children in mind and we couldn’t help but be charmed by the wonderfully named Clamber Doodle cabin bed.

It’s not just the fab name that attracted our attention, but the design of it too. As with other cabin beds, the sleeping area is at the top, with a number of shelves and storage areas underneath for toys or clothing (four shelves and two drawers). What makes this bed special is the addition of a large chalkboard at the end of the bed.

Best cabin beds for kids

You can see now where it gets it name from, as kids can clamber up the ladder onto the bed, or do a spot of doodling at the end of it!

The bed is made from solid reclaimed fir and hand-finished in bleached timber. It’s fully reversible and the ladder can be fixed to either side of the bed.

The Clamber Doodle cabin bed is available from Loaf, along with a selection of other child-friendly furniture.

Fresh Design Spring in Bloom curated collection for Joss & Main

March 15th, 2015

Fresh Design blog Spring in Bloom curated collection for Joss and Main

Spring has sprung and we’re celebrating in style, with a special spring inspired homeware collection with Joss & Main.

If you’ve not come across them before, Joss & Main is a members-only online store that specialises in limited-time sales of popular home and lifestyle brands. The site is free to join and curated sales usually last for just three days, so you have to be quick if you spot something you like.

We’ve worked alongside the buyers at Joss & Main to create a Fresh Design seasonal Spring in Bloom curated collection, which has gone live today!

Our collection takes its influence from the colours that nature presents us with this season, through gardens filled with flowers and blossom adorning trees. We’ve chosen a range of homeware pieces that evoke the fresh and zesty colour palette of nature’s floral blooms, and that you can use in your home to create a contemporary eclectic look.

Here’s a taster of some of what’s on offer:

Bright pink Nanjing painted chest of drawers

As you can see, we’ve chosen plenty of ways in which you can add floral designs and spring colours into your home in simple and easy ways. From furniture and rugs, to wall decals, photo frames, cushions and artwork – there’s something for everyone and for every budget, however large or small.

Fresh Design hand picked products for Joss and Main

All of the pieces in our collection, and across the site, are on sale for great prices. In fact, due to the nature of the site, you can expect to get up to 70% off typical RRP prices.

Fresh design spring home updates

We’ve used other similar sites before, which we used to check regularly, but got bored with seeing the same products appear time and time again. Joss & Main stands out from the crowd as they tend to have a wider selection of homeware items and many design-led pieces. And, as their parent company is based in the US, they’re more likely to have items that aren’t so easy to find in the UK.

If you aren’t already a member of the site, you can sign up here via our personal invitation. It’s completely free, and all you need to do is enter your email address or sign up via your Facebook account.

Remember, our Spring in Bloom collection is only available for three days (15 – 18 March 2015), so check it today and get snapping up our colourful buys to help your home reflect the colours and designs of spring!

Spring in Bloom a Fresh Design curated collection for Joss and Main

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