BoConcept One to Watch 2014
I am very proud and excited to share that I have been chosen to be one of BoConcept’s “Ones to Watch 2014”. BoConcept is a luxury furniture retail brand whose products I love – the epitome of good affordable design for all. To be picked as one of their designers to watch is a real honour and is very exciting!
So do check out BoConcept boconcept.com/en-gb if you haven’t already, there’s sure to be something you’ll need or want in the run up to Christmas…
Happy New Year!
A little late I know! However it is still January (just). I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break and that so far 2014 is being good to you.
It was a very busy end of year here at Chrysalis HQ, with lots of new clients and exciting projects both close to home and abroad. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the designs for a gorgeous villa in Doha, and an interesting apartment in Leipzig. Mood board photos will follow of these projects, so keep an eye out.
Also, furthering our partnership with Niche Magazine we are the cover story for this quarter’s issue! Yes, we’ve done it again, this is our third magazine cover in 12 months! So be on the lookout for it in selected branches of Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Handpicked Hotels, Leisure Centres and local business. Of course my column is inside along with my Hot Picks of products to see you through winter and banish the January blues in your home.
It is an exciting year ahead for Chrysalis as we will be continuing to push Home Staging services and Home Makeovers as a way of binging in some designer style to your homes without the couture price tag. We will also be seeking and cementing supplier partnerships so we can bring the best quality workmanship to our projects. We are always looking for new craftsmen, interesting products and items which will enhance our designs.
With that I wish you all the best for 2014 whatever it may bring!
A while ago I mentioned that I was writing a column for a brand new luxury lifestyle magazine, Niche. Well, that now is a regular commitment! I am the official Interior Designer for Niche Magazine! The second issue is out any day now and can be picked up for free from leisure centres, selected Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets, hotels, gyms, cafés, golf clubs and spas around the Midlands.
My column heads up the Luxury Lifestyle section of the magazine and includes my Hot Picks of products to see you through the season. This latest selection will help you have a hassle-free festive season and highlights products that will hopefully last you year after year.
So, if you see a copy of Niche magazine, pick it up and have a read, it’s really good!
Pass it on, spread the word
Chrysalis Home Staging
It’s been a busy few months here at Chrysalis HQ as I’ve been working hard to launch a new service (and a brand new website to go along with it) – Home Staging!
Home Staging as many of you already know, is the process of preparing and presenting a house for the sale or rental market. In some ways it is the complete opposite of interior design, which focuses on making an interior space unique and luxurious, to the personal taste of the client; home staging is about neutralising a space, making it appeal to the mass market, not the client living there. Furthermore, whereas interior design often makes use of bespoke and high end items, home staging does everything on a small budget – there simply is no point spending a fortune on expensive finishes when you are looking to sell the place!
The whole point of home staging is to make the property look as inviting, cosy and homely, fresh, clean and ready-to-move-into as possible (think boutique hotel style) on as small a spend as is necessary, in order to maximise your profits when selling.
Interestingly, a professionally staged home can sell for as much as 10-15% MORE than an identical unstaged home. So if your home is worth £150,000 that’s an increase of £15K-£20K extra on your asking price. Considering that you can make dramatic changes to the appearance of a house for as little as £500, sometimes even less, then you can see how much sense it makes to spend a few hundred pounds to gain several thousand. Plus, staged homes often sell quickly, because buyers love them! It really is a worthwhile pursuit if you are selling your home.
Home Staging also works for the rental market. By staging a rental property, you will increase its desirability and therefore potentially be able to charge a higher rent and the times your property will be vacant between lets will be shorter too as demand for your beautiful rental will be higher.
Having listened to the facts, and if you have a property to rent or if you are selling your home, what reason do you have for not using a home stager? For so little outlay and for such potential gain, there really is nothing to lose.
As Home Staging is a totally different service to interior design I have launched my brand new website ChrysalisHomeStaging.Com so please click the link and have a look around.
In order to offer Home Staging as a service, I have trained with TV’s very own House Doctor, Anne Maurice (remember her from the TV show House Doctor?) and I am currently working my way to be a Consultant on the House Doctor Network. You can read all about Home Staging and what we offer on the Chrysalis Home Staging Website, Chrysalis Home Staging so please do check it out!
There are lots of other new and exciting services which go hand in hand with Home Staging, such as our Moving In Service, Photo Consultations and Home Makeovers and you can read more about all of them on the new website.
AND FINALLY if you would like a few tips and some Home Staging advice then check out my ebook – available for FREE from Chrysalis Home Staging Tips & Advice.
Until next time,
We’re on the front cover… again!
Hello everyone and happy St. George’s Day. It is a full spring-like day here at Chrysalis HQ, beautiful sunshine, mild weather, pretty bulb flowers gently swaying in the breeze against vivid green new grass. All this colour is enough to convert the most hardened neutral lover into designing a room full of bright hues!
Well today is a good day to update you all on the news here. In one of my last posts I promised you a peek into my new home which we have modified considerably from its “off-the-shelf” beginnings and decorated most of it in lovely shades of grey. Well, it is now almost finished and I uploaded some photos into my portfolio under the heading Hermosa Casa Gris, which means “Beautiful Grey House” in Spanish. I will upload more photos as the house and garden is finished off. In the meantime, your comments and opinions on the work so far would be greatly appreciated.
Secondly, if you live anywhere in the Midlands of the UK – from Shropshire in the west to Leicestershire in the East; from North Staffordshire to Warwickshire and the Cotswolds in the south – then find yourself a copy of the lovely seasonal glossy magazine, Midlands of Today and guess what you’ll see on the cover…? Yes you guessed it, it’s us! This is our second magazine cover this year and we are very excited about this one. The spring issue of Midlands of Today is graced with one of our favourite pictures from the portfolio Boho Blanc Bedroom and it looks fantastic. Inside, we are listed on the contents page and have a mention in the Editor’s note. Then on page 19 there is a 3 page spread all about Chrysalis Interior Design, and it really looks amazing. We are very grateful to the lovely people over at Midlands of Today for their sterling work in making us look as good as possible. We are very proud of this article and cover story so please, go out there and get yourself a copy of the magazine and see it for yourself!
In the meantime we have some exciting new projects in the works which will gradually make their way onto this website and into the portfolio as they get finished. But please do remember, we don’t just deal in decorating whole rooms or houses from scratch, we also do product sourcing, soft furnishings and room refreshing. So for all of your home renovation needs, even if you just need to find the perfect wallpaper for one wall, please think of us! We’d be so happy to meet you and help you out.
Have a lovely day!
New Year – New Award!
Happy New Year Everybody!
This is a little late in coming I know, as it is very nearly February, but it has been a very busy year so far for us at Chrysalis Interior Design. Our relocation to our Midlands address has taken longer than anticipated so we’ve been making the best of far from ideal circumstances for several weeks now. However, during this time of upheaval and uncertainty there has been a very exciting development… Chrysalis Interior Design has been chosen by the lovely people at Insight Magazine (@InsightMagUK) to be their Interior Designer of 2013!
We have been awarded their Award of Excellence for Interior Design for 2013 and are featured on the cover of the magazine in the February Issue, with a 2-page article all about us and our work inside. This award was such a lovely surprise and we couldn’t be happier that our work has been so well received by everyone. We obviously love what we do, but it is always wonderful when so many other people love it too!
So now when you come to Chrysalis Interior Design to help you out with your interior design queries, you can rest assured you are enlisting the help of an award winning company!
This week coming up is a busy one here as we will be finally moving into our new digs. Plus there will be photos coming of my newly renovated home (frequently decorated in lovely shades of grey…) so watch this space.
Wishing you all the best for a beautiful 2013 to come!
50 Shades of Grey
Decorating Your Home in Grey
As the weather turns wintry and cold, our thoughts turn towards warmth, both in temperature and texture. There’s nothing more comforting on a crisp, blustery autumn morning than a large mug of hot chocolate, or getting wrapped up in your favourite chunky knit sweater. On those wet and windy, more depressing days, a roaring log fire, candlelight, cashmere and slippers are things I know I naturally yearn for.
It might seem odd then that the colour grey – when it is so drearily the colour of the sky at this time of year – could be a good choice for decorating your home. Many people associate grey with being dark, dull, dreary and despondent and yes, it can be all those things. However, there are many different shades of grey, plenty of which can be warming, welcoming and comforting.
The classic colour combination of black and white will never cease to be timeless and elegant. However, the stark contrasts of this scheme can be, well, harsh, not homely. Teaming white, or even cream with a mid-grey or charcoal tone, is a modern update on the black-white classic, whilst also being softer and much easier to live with.
Grey also works well with an accent colour, much like black does. I personally love a rich raspberry paired with grey, or the palest baby pink with a silver tone. This season, everywhere from the catwalk to home decor shops are teeming with colour combinations including deep greys with a dark mustard yellow, or deep teal (dark blue-green colour). These are very season-appropriate, and are both warm and welcoming whilst being on-trend.
Turquoise, lime, bright yellow and purple all make wonderful partners for a grey colour scheme.
Surprisingly, grey on its own can be great as a colour scheme. Layered in different shades and textures the possibilities are endless and the results can be far from boring or dull or cold. The fascinating thing about grey is that it can have many different undertones. For example a grey can have very pink or red undertones, which will make it warm and inviting, or brown undertones which makes it soft and natural looking. It can have yellow undertones, which make it look “brighter” in a way, maybe a bit harsher or jarring. Blue or green undertones give a cooler grey. A truly neutral grey is a toned down black, with no coloured undertones at all. Personally I feel these are the greys, especially the darker shades, which can look boring or dull. Choose your shade of grey carefully and the results can be stunning.
For a monochrome grey scheme, pair cool greys of different depths with white and silver touches and dark wood or black lacquer furniture. This will result in a modern, sophisticated room.
For a warm, welcoming softer look, choose greys with a mushroom undertone, and pair with dark or medium woods, gold or silver and an accent colour such as mustard yellow and cream, not white.
Soften up a creamy all-white scheme with touches of pale silver grey, mirror finished furniture, silvery faux fur throws, chalky pale grey paint.
Grey is the ultimate neutral, go-with-everything colour. Get to grips with it and your whole house could be brought bang up to date, made timeless and elegant by mastering the (more than!) 50 shades of grey.
P.S. If you need more convincing, I’m painting the whole of my stairway and hallway in shades of grey. Try Welcome by Little Greene for a pale wall colour.
Apologies for a lack of posts recently, it’s been quite a busy summer here so far!
However, one thing which has been getting everyone down is the constant rain and lack of sunshine we’ve been experiencing – a.k.a. the British Summer! Those days of blissful blue skies and unrelenting heat we had back in June (those few days!) seem a lifetime ago amid the total washout we’ve had in July. We’ve now almost come to expect that our summers here are going to be wet and cold.
This has got me thinking about how to make the most of our homes during prolonged periods indoors when cabin fever is likely to strike. When all we want is to get outside and fire up the bbq but in reality we’re housebound due to torrential rain, the sight of our own four walls can become depressing and prison-like – no matter how much we love our homes usually.
One option is of course to use the time to buy a few pots of paint and recolour those four walls in a new, lighter, brighter shade to lift your spirits and mood and help banish darker corners:
- In North facing rooms, use warmer shades to combat the lack of direct sunlight – this will add further cheer to those spaces. For something pale and interesting try Rusling (a peachy off-white) or Linnet (a very pale bright yellow with lime green undertones) by Little Greene; Marble (warm alabaster) by Kevin McCloud at Fired Earth; or Vanity (pale vanilla) by Eicó – if eco credentials are important to you.
- In South facing rooms use cooler shades to combat the brightness of the natural sunlight the room will normally receive. Great White by Farrow & Ball is a lovely dark white with pinky/grey undertones, perfect for an all white south facing room scheme (check out the portfolio pictures of my Boho Blanc bedroom, Great White is the colour on the walls there); I love a pale grey wall and Eicó‘s London Sky is a lovely shade. In the right setting, pale grey can be warm and welcoming, not cold or dull. Welcome by Little Greene is also beautiful and a shade I’m planning on using in my own home soon! For a more “blue” feel try Glass Samphire by Kevin McCloud at Fired Earth, a faded pale grey/blue which would help cool down a bright room.
One thing is for sure, whatever colour you use make sure you love it. For me, I largely tend to forget “trendy” colours or colour schemes and go with my gut for shades I love and know I won’t get tired of in a few months time. This way, you won’t end up repainting a room several times a year nor will it look dated and old fashioned a couple of years down the line. This is the beauty of choosing classic colours which will blend well with your home furnishings and your style. An example of following colour trends: avocado bathroom suites….. need I say more?
Of course if painting rooms seems like too much like hard work, there is always the option of changing the look of a room with accessories. For example, a new rug can completely alter the look of a room, as can new cushions for the sofa or a new throw. Or you could go one step further and find a fabric you love and have removable covers made for your sofa – or even reupholster the whole thing if it needs it! Another idea is to swap your heavy winter curtains for a lighter, perhaps sheerer roman blind which will let much more of the available sunlight through on those darker summer days, and also help shut out bright direct sunlight on those rarer sunny days without making the room dark. A win-win solution!
Giving yourself a home improvement project is a great way of coping with being cooped up indoors on rainy weekends (or weekdays if you work from home or have kids to look after on those long summer holidays). Plus with a little research and imagination it doesn’t necessarily have to be costly.
What’s for sure is that bringing any new item into our homes that we truly love is a sure-fire way to reignite our love affair with our homes and that rule should be the only one that always applies: only ever design and decorate with things we love. It’s the path to (aesthetic) domestic bliss!
But of course is doesn’t hurt to have the bbq tongs on standby for when the rain evetually stops…
Welcome to Chrysalis Interior Design!
The new-look website has now launched and I couldn’t be happier with how it looks, but more importantly – what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on how the website looks and functions. Your comments are very welcome!
I’m hoping to blog on here at least once a month with news about the company, our projects and designs and also about topical design items and features, so please keep coming back to see the latest updates.
In the meantime, explore the site, have a look at my work and maybe one day soon hopefully I could be designing the room of your dreams!
Until next time,
X X X
Chrysalis Interior Design