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HOW TO DECORATE

Living in a box

Expert advice on making little rooms look lovely

Think small spaces can’t be spectacular? Think again. Our co-founder Frieda Gormley reveals how she transformed the box room in her family’s Cornwall home into a place where magic has happened…

“The box room was the smallest space in the house and had the least amount of character, apart from a pretty Georgian window. It served as a bit of a dumping ground until I spent a week convalescing in it – I then found the size to be very cocooning. So, I took it on as a personal challenge to transform the room from drab to magical!”

STEP #1: THE PRINTS

“It all started with a sample of the ARTEMIS carpet from our Axminster collection, woven from pure British wool in a beautiful blush pink that really made my heart beat. It was lying on my desk beside some other samples and the colours really sung to each other, so that was that.

I always encourage wallpapering all four walls (if not five, like I did here by taking ARTEMIS onto the ceiling). Alternatively, if you’re on a budget, just coat the ceiling in print and paint the walls – a contrasting ceiling is so unexpected, dramatic and fun. It’s much easier than you might think to hang wallpaper by yourself – our step-by-step guide tells you everything you need to know, and our in-house experts are always on hand to give you advice.

Next, I went that one step further by laying down that ARTEMIS carpet. If all four walls feels like being immersed in a fairy-tale woodland, then the carpet is like stepping out of bed into a garden of flowers.”

STEP #2: THE PALETTE

“Pink is one of my favourite colours for the interior, but it’s about ensuring it’s not too saccharine. A darker colour, in this case ‘Petrol’ blue, toughens it up a little. Using the same wallpaper print in two different colours also creates depth and interest.

“I like to work in a very cohesive colour palette, usually drawn from the tones within the wallpaper.  Coordinating the colours brings harmony to a room, which is so important."

STEP #3: THE KEY PIECES

“A room’s magic is revealed through the layering of personal objects, memories and textiles. Art is very important to frame a space and bring in new sight lines, so I furnished the box room with a few pieces by Cornish artist Richard Ballinger.

Another key feature was the half-tester Art Nouveau-style bed by Wessex Beds; its simple lines and warm chestnut colour were perfect for the mood I wanted to create. I had some fun reupholstering the headboard from its traditional indienne fabric to the ARTEMIS ‘Blush’ velvet, which helps to add some lightness to the room. You can follow suit by covering the panels of our new Castle and Camelot oak beds – crafted in Sussex by Titchmarsh & Goodwin – in your own favourite House of Hackney fabric.”

STEP #4: THE TEXTILES

“I like how calming plain bed linen is, so the embroidered ARTEMIS bedding (crafted in collaboration with Royal Warrant holders Peter Reed) adds the perfect balance of serenity and whimsical beauty.

For the curtains I opted for the ANACONDA cut-velvet in ‘Petrol’ – its textured snake motif is a cool way of doing plain colour. The finishing touch was a knitted patchwork blanket, made for the Help Refugees charity by a wonderful 94-year-old named Jean.”

STEP #5: THE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE

“The overall effect is bold yet harmonious, cosy yet cool. It’s a dreamy, otherworldly sanctuary of a room – the perfect place to curl up in and feel held during these uncertain times.

When it comes to decorating your own small space, my advice would be that these are the rooms where you can afford to take a real risk! So follow your fantasies – if it becomes your own bolthole of escapism then it will be well worth the effort!”

INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN
INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN

INSPIRATION

A Corner of Paradise

Be inspired with ideas for how to make our House your own.

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INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN
INTERIOR & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH DEAN

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook. A snug away from the main action where you can curl up in a comfy chair and hit pause, if only for a moment. In a room where absolutely everything and anything goes, this is truly where the magic happens.

INSPIRATION

A Corner of Paradise

Be inspired with ideas for how to make our House your own.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

Shop Inspiration

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns.

In our House, we also can’t get enough of plants. From clusters of geraniums to giant leafy ferns, botanicals have the unique power to infuse a room with colour, vitality and life. But amidst all this, the loveliest addition might just be to carve out your own quiet little nook.

@PEARLLOWE

We unwind here on evenings and weekends. We entertain here, whether it’s our guests or ourselves – breathing in all the films, music and books that inspire us. We may even work from home or play with the kids here. It’s a lot to ask, and yet the lounge plays these parts seamlessly, shapeshifting to fit our varying moods and needs throughout the day. And that’s without mentioning that as the most social, visible space in our home, we also want our living rooms to look jaw-droppingly cool to anyone who might pop round unannounced.

The trick? To not pitch that seemingly obvious focal point, the television, as the centre of attention. Instead, draw the eye towards something infinitely more beautiful, whether that’s a feature fireplace, a magnificent mirror or an enlivening view out the window. This is one room where exquisite wallpaper can actually play second fiddle for a change, serving as the perfect backdrop to an astonishing piece of art or a gallery of framed photographs.

When it comes to furniture (which can also be a scene stealer in its own right), your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here: will a cosy two-seater sofa be enough, or will you also need a chaise longue and a few ‘bottomans’ for your visitors to park their, um, bottoms on? If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, recovering them in a new fabric – be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras, hand-painted porcelain candle pots and treasured keepsakes you’ll have picked up on your travels.

Shop Inspiration

 

If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

When it comes to furniture (which can also be a scene stealer in its own right), your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here: will a cosy two-seater sofa be enough, or will you also need a chaise longue and a few ‘bottomans’ for your visitors to park their, um, bottoms on? If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, recovering them in a new fabric – be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras, hand-painted porcelain candle pots and treasured keepsakes you’ll have picked up on your travels.

If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

When it comes to furniture (which can also be a scene stealer in its own right), your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here: will a cosy two-seater sofa be enough, or will you also need a chaise longue and a few ‘bottomans’ for your visitors to park their, um, bottoms on? If your existing seats are well-loved, but perhaps a little too well-worn, recovering them in a new fabric – be it a sumptuous printed velvet or a smooth cotton-linen – can be enough to make you want to snuggle up on them all over again.

  • When it comes to furniture, your choice will likely be dictated

  • When it comes to furniture, your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here

  • When it comes to furniture, your choice will likely be dictated by the number of family members and friends who will regularly be hanging out here

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras, hand-painted porcelain candle pots and treasured keepsakes you’ll have picked up on your travels.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras.

A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more worthy.

The last few pieces of the puzzle are the myriad layers and textures that make a space so inviting. Think a coffee table stacked with books and tactile cushions in an intriguing mix of shapes, sizes and patterns – all things which are easy to move around until you find a combination that appeals to you. A mantelpiece, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is even more swoon-worthy with the addition of eye-catching candelabras.

Is living in a white-painted box driving you up the wall?

Made from wood pulp sourced from FSC-certified trees, complete with added textile fabrics for strength and stability, our wallpaper is PVC-free and produced using the eco-friendliest methods available.