Wednesday, 24 June 2015

SITTING ROOM SCHEME - the dilemma of too much space


This week my head has been inside a gorgeous sitting room with historic detailing. 

It is a stunning room with a great sense of proportion. However, large rooms like this in a family home can easily end up feeling like spaces filled with things; and need some thought so that the best is made of all that lovely space, without the inhabitants feeling lost.

Paint schemes can really come into their own to add depth and warmth. Here I have suggested that the alcoves and lozenges on the fireplace surround are painted a shade or two darker and that this is carried around the room beneath the dado rail. Warm colours in general will help and you don't need to be afraid of using colour in a space like this.

Layering textures will cosy up the room, as will a mix of patterns. Again, don't be afraid of mixing patterns. As long as there is a common thread in terms of colour or texture or even a shape reference, it will work. Use your instinct and try different samples together. Leave them out in the room and view them at different times of day to see if you like them in all lights.

Furniture should take advantage of all the levels in a large space. Hang objects (lighting in this scheme) at different levels so that there is not an unoccupied 'mid-space'. This will make those using the room feel more comfortable. 

Floor cushions are a great way of utilising floor space and providing extra seating. They can easily be stored away when not needed but brought out for parties. They make for relaxed chatting and save the arms of your sofas!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


In a hard-working home it is a constant struggle to keep things tidy. However hard you try there never seems enough space to put things.Or to give your stuff a place in which it belongs.. and more importantly - stays.

You could try living minimally and there are a few who manage it but for the majority of us it is a step too far not to gather stuff and then more stuff until our homes are brimming with it.

We expect more and more from our homes, filling them daily with the stuff of life and so we need to utilise every single little corner to store and we need to store wisely.

Here the depth of a

partition wall has been

used for magazine storage;

handy near the seating area
Our storage needs to be useable and obvious. By which I mean store your stuff where it makes life easy for you... shoes by the door where you come in; boots by the back door where the kids need them for going out; pegs in the hall for coats to grab on the way out and leave on the way in and so on... think about how you live your life and use your space.

Look at every corner of your home. Is there an awkward space that could be used for storage? Then use it...what could be stored there?

These storage solutions don't have to be super-expensive. You may already have an item of furniture that would fit neatly into a space. Measure and try.

You could also ask about and find a local handy person who could build you something to fit. This can be a relatively inexpensive
Here office storage has been
built using MDF. This can
be sealed and painted to provide
a robust unit.
MDF painted item or a full-out machine made item made to your specification. Use your imagination and look out for something to up-cycle. If you lack confidence there are many up-cycling courses to get you started.

If you don't feel confident to do this; feel you are drowning in your stuff or simply lack the time; then ask an expert to come and look and make suggestions. Ask friends and go on recommendation. 

Don't let your stuff overwhelm you or your home. Choose your stuff wisely and remember to have only things in your home that you love. If you don't love it recycle it... there will be someone out there who will love what you can't.

Once you have edited you are ready to store creatively...


Bespoke your storage with a unit that is built to fit your stuff. A ceiling height unit like this can suit all your storage needs, whilst providing also providing a stylish divider between seating and dining areas in this open plan space.Keeping the height of the unit just off ceiling height keeps this large unit in proportion to the room and prevents it 'falling in' on the home owner by providing depth. A string of fairy lights concealed on the ledge between unit and ceiling provides ambient lighting at night. The dark colour cosies up the seating area and underlines the unit as partition, whilst spotlighting it as an item of furniture.It is also a great backdrop for displaying your stuff... don't be scared of using a striking colour. A pop of colour would work well as more of a statement. Think of the impact at night as well as during the day...have fun with it and be brave!
This otherwise overlooked space 

by the front door has been 

utilised to provide a  shoe storage 

box. It also serves as a 

useful seat to use whilst 

removing and putting on footwear.

Again, the shoebox has been treated

as a separate item of furniture. You
could blend it in by painting it the
same colour as the surrounding walls
and skirting.

A practical lift-up lid is
topped with a decorative
foam pad and self-piped cover
in a dark patterned fabric
to stand up to wear and tear.
Remember to keep any cushion
light-weight so as not to
make opening and closing the
shoebox impractical.

In this utility room
a slim space where there
is a change in wall depth
has been used to create
a cupboard.

On the right a shallow
depth is perfect for
storage of smaller items
readily accesiible on

This slim section can
be packed full of stuff
using simple clips which
are readily available in
hardware stores and just
screw in to the backplate
of this cupboard.
A handy clip holds an everyday broom in place.

Suggested reading for those of you who want to get a grip on your stuff:

Stuffocation: Living More With Less 
by James Wallman

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Emma Painter Interior Design

I am so loving working with my new business. It may be small but it brings me new exciting projects and challenges every week. Do look me up on Facebook to see what I've been up to: 

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Sanctuary Battersea

So, after a few build delays The Sanctuary Battersea is finally on the market. 

I am so delighted that I was part of this project. 

LOOK AT THESE AMAZING PHOTOS (courtesy of Douglas and Gordon):

Curtains and hardware by Emma Painter Interior Design

Curtains and hardware by Emma Painter Interior Design

Curtains and hardware by Emma Painter Interior Design

Curtains and hardware by Emma Painter Interior Design

Curtains and hardware by Emma Painter Interior Design

Curtains, poles and holdbacks are finishing touches that complete the picture and I couldn't be happy with how they look within the final pictures.

The pieces of the puzzle were these:


Wrought iron poles
..with ball finials throughout


Wrought iron holdbacks

Gold leaf holdbacks in the Master Bedroom


A soft fabric with a wonderful drape is essential at these drops; allowing the light to play, creating shadows and depth.


A super-sized braid was required in the Master Bedroom -with its integrated  bath tub for soaking in luxurious surroundings - to maximise impact and match the scale of this space.
A smaller scale, but intricate braid, was used for impact in the second bedroom,
bathroom and  en-suite connected to the Master Suite.
Emma Painter Interior Design

Altogether a stunning result.


Hi all, Hope you've had a good weekend. I now have a new website so do take a look: