In the Spotlight: Minimalist Interior Design

Minimalistic interior design incorporates clean lines, reduced clutter, monochromatic colour tones and simplicity at its heart – the idea behind minimalist design is ‘less is more’. It might be self evident to think of an uncluttered space when minimalism comes to mind, however, the design style takes it further. There is an elegance in minimalist design, a simple serenity. But to achieve this look, it is more deliberate and frankly, difficult, than simply placing a few items amidst a clean backdrop and running with it. Doing this can leave the area looking sparse, cold and uninviting. When designing a minimalist space, stick to a few key fundamentals. 

Limit your colour palette 

Minimalism doesn’t just embody the choice of furnishings, it applies to all aspects of the room, including colour. White tends to be the most common choice, however, the bottom line to adhere to is a neutral colour palette. By sticking with a neutral base colour, creativity in other aspects can take centre stage. This can be achieved through breaking the monotony of the base colour and adding a pastel accent here or a rich hue there. Try texturing – with a mixture of different materials of the same shade, but don’t overdo it, as this will ruin the whole effect.

Blue perfectly shows how to pastel accents to a minimal space

Texture is key 

One question we see being asked a lot, is how to bring a grey or white space to life. The answer is simple: texture! Introducing texture to a space, while keeping to a neutral colour palette, brings vivacity to any room and allows for tons of variety. The key to achieving this look without overdoing it is to give the room a vibrant edge, whilst maintaining the minimalist spirit. Simple ways of carrying this out can be placing cushions atop furniture, or perhaps introducing a rug or throw to your room. 

Texturing is key to Dolly achieving a seamless minimal aesthetic

Quality over quantity

If minimalism requires little decoration, ornamentation or extravagant details, how is it possible to achieve an elegant look? Simply invest in quality materials! Think: marble, rich woods and porcelain. Don’t overdo it and clad the whole space in marble, however a carefully placed partition or countertop can act as a gorgeous yet subtle focal point. 

Treehouse has opted for quality materials over quantity

Decorate wisely

When decorating any space, it is easy to get lost in the idea of not overdoing it, resulting in an overly bare space. There are however, some great additions that can be made to any room, to keep it feeling fresh, without cluttering. Greenery is a perfect option; house plants in different sized pots of varying heights, can really add a touch of character, whilst creating the concept of space. Similarly, one standout painting is far better than filling the room with lots of small ones. Minimalist art would go with the flow, whereas abstract art would introduce a bit of color. Choose whatever your stylistic cues dictate. 

Optical uses house plants and standout furniture to decorate the minimal space

Achieve balance 

The key to achieving balance within the home is to find a bold focal point. This can be an eye-catching piece of furniture, artwork or even a centrepiece – like an iconic vase or central table. If the space has been kept neutral, a vibrant painting can capture attention and draw the eye. If you have textured with colour – through the use of carefully positioned cushions or throws – perhaps achieve balance through an alluring centre table? 

Eye-catching furniture works as a focal point at Blackwood House

Let the light in

Natural light is the best compliment to neutral colour palettes, it makes the area feel comfortable and spacious. Furthermore, it brings out the true colours of the walls, floors and furniture, retaining the true essence of minimalism. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have much natural light in your home, mirrors, plants and light wood can give the required effect if supplemented with well positioned lighting. 

The floor to ceiling windows bring out the natural essence of Dingley Place

Form, Focus and Functionality 

Within a minimalist space, everything is about function and form. If something doesn’t add value, then it is redundant. Similarly, if the items in the room don’t speak to each other in ways such as shape, colour or structure, then the attitude of the space will be completely off. Minimalism also speaks to a way of life. The idea is not to stimulate senses, but rather be purposeful in the value each item brings to the space. Chairs for comfort, tables for eating, fireplaces for warmth…

Cora focus’s on form and function over decoration

Benefits and challenges

The benefits of the minimalist movement and its principal ideas within the interior design sphere are self evident. Is that extra sofa needed? Are pictures required on that wall? How many knick-knacks can one coffee table actually have before becoming messy and overstimulating? In reality, functionality and practicality can be the driving forces for creating a harmonious home. When you bring a truly uncluttered and clean space into the home, it not only helps with freeing up space, but also brings a calming effect on your life. A calm haven for living, creates a calm haven for thinking. 

Minimalist interior design does bring about its fair share of challenges however. When a simple, uncluttered and functional space is created, the threat of creating a cold and uninviting space is left. The key here is to blend different accents, shades and textures, to create a dynamic atmosphere. On the other hand, knowing when to stop adding to the space may be even more difficult. Much like a song can’t go on forever, if the space is functional and stimulating without being over cluttered, it is probably a good time to finish.

Ask the Location Owner: Episode 7

In episode seven of our series ‘Ask the Location Owner’ we chat with Mairead over video call to learn all about her home ‘Bottega’.

12 Design Ideas to get your Garden Ready for Summer

Use dark colours

As we start to invite friends back into our lives with garden parties and such, showing off all the new features and elements we have been working on is a must. Don’t be afraid of using dark colours to frame your garden. If utilised in the right way, they actually recede, bringing focus to the prettier elements within your space. Play around with trendy tones – olives and deep shades of navy are very in this year, as is jet black. However, don’t be brash and think any dark colour will work. Deep red’s are a no go, as they draw too much attention, and there is a reason shades of purple work better as accents. Check out a couple of examples here, where the use of dark colours have been executed perfectly!

Swap a coffee table for a planter 

Lockdown has changed the way many people view the world. It has also changed many daily habits, bringing about new norms and ideals – one of which has been the sharp increase in planting within the home. Going out has become a lot less possible over the past year, ultimately leading to people bringing the outside in. Plant-buying figures have gone through the roof, with the purchasing of bulbs like echinacea (the genus of the daisy plant) rising by 3,000%. It is clear a large proportion of the general public have taken to gardening over lockdown. And what better way to show off your handywork, than swapping out your garden table for a planter. We love this concept here, blending a planter and table together.

Change planes 

If you have enough time and money on your hands, changing planes and sinking a lounging area can change the whole attitude of your garden. If your garden naturally has a slope, dropping a sunken seating area into the mix makes perfect sense and wouldn’t be too costly! On the other hand, a fire pit may take a bit of planning, but can create an unforgettable centrepiece! Take a look at two examples here: one is a simple drop into a fire pit, while the other utilises the gradual slope of the garden and features a few different planes. 

Create a bbq and bar area 

Creating a must-have bbq and bar area is a great idea for when your friends and family return over the summer months! As restrictions ease and we are allowed to see more people, having a fun place to congregate will be ideal! Check out this rather luxe example here, however if you are working to a budget, cheaper alternatives also do a great job.

Double up on seating 

Wicker lounge chairs have been garden staples for many years now; they are stylish, easy to move, compliment nearly every style imaginable and are incredibly durable (perfect with the wet weather we experience here in England). If you want to get creative with your space, incorporate different styles and heights within your seating arrangements. Hanging chairs are a really popular option this year, as they add texture, artistic accents and allow more seating, without taking up too much space. 

Blending pools and ponds

There is no such thing as too much tranquillity. So why not combine the joy of a swimming pool with the serenity of a pond? Shapes of swimming pools are getting more creative year upon year, meaning ponds can now effortlessly complement pools. Freeform pools are very popular right now, taking on the traditional shape of a pond, bringing with it the ever present peaceful qualities associated with ponds.   

Outdoor shower 

Regardless of whether you have a pool or not, an outdoor shower can dramatically improve your garden’s appeal. They add a refreshing tropical element to any garden and create a super luxe effect, that will really give it that one of a kind feel. Check out a few incredible ideas brought to life here.

Pretty Pergolas

As the weather continues to climb, it’s likely plenty of us will be clambering to find some shade, during those ever-present summer parties. Pergolas can provide this necessity, whilst becoming a great place to entertain. They add great architectural interest to your garden, especially with the addition of some draped ivy or something similar. As they don’t take up much space on the ground, they don’t clutter your garden or interrupt sight lines.

Zen is in 

Zen gardens are becoming increasingly popular in 2021, thanks to a general shift in our consciousness towards mindfulness. The Japanese have been creating zen gardens for centuries, because of their capacity to increase mindfulness – perhaps this contributes to why they have one of the longest life expectancies of any country. Zen gardens are incredibly easy to create; they feature a dry landscaped area, stylised rocks, water and sand. The rest is up to you. Have a look at a couple of different examples here for some much needed inspiration. 

Embrace patina

If you are unsure what patina is, not to worry, as you definitely will have seen it without realising. Patina is the thin layer of green film that forms on bronze, copper, brass, or certain stones and woods. It usually occurs through age, when the metal or stone reacts with air. The most famous example would be The Statue of Liberty. Luckily Patina can form fairly quickly if left out to the elements – if done elegantly, it can create slightly aged products, full of character, rather than having rusty old pieces. If you are going for a quirky, rustic aesthetic within your garden, utilising patina in ways like this can really bring the whole garden together. 

Water features 

Water features can be a great addition to any space, bringing tranquility and adding a spa-like quality to the area. Water features can range vastly, so don’t be afraid to seek out what suits your garden. Ornamental features are a lot cheaper and don’t take up much room, while if you fancy something more structurally integral, it may take up more time and money, but when complete it won’t disappoint! 

Summerhouse dream 

Renovating and cultivating the space around your summerhouse with plants and trees is a great way to spice up your garden, ready for the return of friends and family gatherings. Think of the plants as the setting and the Summerhouse as the stage; play around with designs and colour pairings. Ornamental grasses like White Pampas Grass blend effortlessly with plants like Russain Sage and Purple Japanese Maple. The idea is to create a beautiful scene for all to admire.

Summer Essentials – Five of the best shoot locations this Summer

With the easing of restrictions coinciding with the return of hotter days, what better time to get back out and shoot in some of our more summery locations. As always, here at 1st Option, we pride ourselves on representing the most expertly curated properties across the UK. With shoot locations ranging from large manor houses, equipped with vast gardens, to glass cubes, situated in the heart of London. Whatever the brief is, we are sure to have it covered over the next few months, with a selection of summer essentials! 

Berkhamsted 

To find a more complete shoot location than Berkhamsted would be a struggle! This glorious, eight bedroom, Grade II listed Georgian country house ticks all the boxes. Thanks to its sprawling grounds, this is a perfect summer location. The house itself retains many original and period features, including sash windows, a sweeping staircase and a selection of ornate fireplaces. It is this property’s extensive 16 acre grounds however, that prevail today! With assets comprising of a large tiled swimming pool, a lake and a unique koi carp fish pond, Berkhamsted’s mix of formal and parkland settings provide for all shooting requirements.

The Cube

From our largest garden to our smallest, we give you the Ying to Berkhamsted’s Yang: The Cube! Quite literally featuring a glass box, positioned centrally within the outdoor space, The Cube is a truly striking garden. The tranquil space is adorned with an array of tropical flora, turning a quiet corner of Clapham into a Mediterranean masterpiece.  

Teignmouth 

Picturing the ideal summer shoot location, a luxury home resembling something from the Hollywood Hills may come to mind. Teignmouth, with its double-height rear glass extension gives this very feel, whilst being nestled, conveniently, in North West London. A tiled swimming pool sits within the spectacular landscaped garden of this remodelled and converted, double fronted Victorian house. 

Harlow Garden 

Getting a perfect summer shot at Harlow Garden is a walk in the park, not least because it is reminiscent of one in itself! This Unique, Essex based shoot location, does feature a rather large house, however it is the magnificent, vast garden that captures attention, and for good reason too! The garden independently is Grade II listed, and was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd, (an English architect and landscape designer, particularly well known for his work in Harlow, Essex) with the sole intention of creating a quirky masterpiece, that would reveal a new vista or work of art at every turn and corner. The mixture of landscaped and wild areas ooze personality and charm, while the stream running through ensures there is no shortage of alluring shooting opportunities. 

Lake House 

Last but by no means least, we give you Lake House: a superb, lakefront cabin style house, with utterly ridiculous panoramic views and shooting opportunities. We could easily wax lyrically about the opulent and stylish interiors, however sticking with our theme, it is the outer parts of the property that we are focusing on today. At the rear, there is a huge decking area that covers the entirety of the space giving you 360 degree views of the surrounding lake and woodland areas. Picture yourself on the decking, the sun setting, awe-inspiring views, and you’re in a little spot of secluded paradise! 

In the Spotlight: New England Interior Design

Though originating in the North East region of the United States, New England design has infiltrated the UK’s design scene, becoming an interior staple for many years now. The style is rather unique and dates back to the 17th Century, as it takes cues from the American colonial era. Despite only crossing the pond much later, the colonial design style was largely based on what was popular in England at the time. As such, the New England design style was birthed and aptly named. Nonetheless, New England design does have its own trademarks. Fresh coastal-inspired colours and nautical influences are the hallmarks of the style. To adapt to the 21st Century, expect to see some modern updates, with more quaint touches – elements typically seen in rustic cottages, coastal cabins or rural farmhouses. Let’s dive straight in and see how this style can be implemented into your own home!

Bazeley House with subtle New England touches

As Colonial influence

As settlers became colonists and began to form cities, they took influences from what was fashionable at the time in England and France. Georgian and Neoclassical styles, supplemented by simpler versions of Baroque and Greco-Roman architecture started to pop up across the seaports of the North East – places like New York, Boston and Baltimore. This was a stark difference from the design styles found across the rest of America. Rural homes were styled to fit the needs of farmers; as such, they were far more rustic. In the modern era, expect to see contemporary twists on classical decorative silhouettes: Windsor chairs, ornamental columns and biomimetic murals. Style rooms with tailored sofas, wingback chairs and lots of Chippendale inspired furniture. 

Angmering incorporating the colonial influences into the home

Nautical Influence 

Paired with colonial influences, much of the traditional New England design is heavily based on coastal and nautical prompts. Similar to how the colour palette of the sea lends itself to this style, much of New England’s touches are based on fishing, the navy and even international trading. Within the colour palette, you can expect to see patriotic colours, like the classic red, white and blue. However, sandy beiges, sunny yellows, sky blues and seafoam greens also play a big part. Materials should reflect those that are reminiscent of nautical elements. Mix things up with driftwood, burlap, hessian and wooden cladding. In the modern New England home, it is common to see more industrial elements, the likes of which are commonly found on more contemporary ships, for example cargo lighting and steel chairs or stools. 

Nautical elements of The Boathouse

Shaker influences

In the earliest days of American colonisation, the Shakers (who were a protestant sect believing in Christ’s second appearance) played an important role in educating people. Their worldview was that simplicity was at the heart of everything. Shakers felt decadence was a distraction from their religious journeys, so their homes were sparsely decorated and minimally furnished. Because of its simple take on interior design, New England takes a lot of inspiration from this period. Today you see simple elements of the aesthetic incorporated into the modern home. Think peg rails, ladder back chairs, wooden cabinets and handmade baskets. The Shaker influence is also where the neutral colour palette comes from – rooms were often white washed, and made of simple materials. It is this timeless appeal that, to this day, makes ‘the Shaker look’ so popular within New England interior design. 

Simple shaker touches in The Boathouse

The key to achieving a polished New England space, that doesn’t look like a dated beach house, is to incorporate the traditional elements alongside the nautical aesthetic. Don’t be afraid to splash some pops of colour amidst the fresher colour palettes. Tastefully styled modern accessories can go a long way. Opulent materials, such as marble or bronze, can bring a blend of modern and neoclassical design to the space. If you don’t fancy being bold with design choices and want to keep it simple with sleek rustic elements, integrate pieces like handmade baskets, vintage portraits and rugged wooden materials. These components together create a classy New England space that will inevitably turn heads!

Top Tips – What makes a great shoot location

What is a shoot location?  

You may have come across the term ‘shoot location’ before; perhaps seeing it written, or used in conversation, without being sure what it really means. Well, we are here to explain what it is, and more importantly, what separates the good from the bad!

In the photographic and filming industries, when a photographer, or videographer shoots in a particular outdoor location, they are referring to location photography. However, when someone is required to shoot in a specific place of interest – somewhere you have to hire – this is known as a shoot location. Shoot locations are spaces owned by a third party, available to hire, with the specific intent of taking a crew there to shoot. 

Generally speaking, shoot locations are homes, or styled studio spaces, that feature internal space. They are set up explicitly to accommodate large crews, and photographic equipment. The key is that the location house fits a specific trend or design style, offering unique features throughout.

What makes an exceptional shoot location – 

Lighting 

One of the first things that set apart top locations from the rest, is an abundance of natural light. The wonder that natural light brings to a room, cannot be emphasised enough! The first thing a location agency or client looks for, is good lighting. This can completely change the feel of a space. If you have south-facing rooms, with large windows, you could have a quality shoot location on your hands. 

Chevron and Jasper perfectly showcase natural light

Colour

Taking from the previous point, if you pair a light space, with tons of natural light, you are certainly onto a winner. Whiter spaces are easier to light up! This gives the impression of a larger area, as the light bounces around the room. However, while light spaces are ideal, dark spaces can be equally as compelling. It gives the ability to create a real sense of character, and alluring charm. As long as the client brings sufficient lighting, dark spaces can bring a room to life

The light colour palette of Apollo and dark aesthetic of Curious

Space

Space is vital. Regardless of how beautiful your house is, clients can often struggle to obtain the shots they need, if the rooms are too small. Large areas give the client enough space to set up cameras and tripods. This allows for the subject to be shot without cramped conditions, whether that be models, props or products. This is a great advantage! Don’t be disheartened, however, if your gorgeous property is small. Minimal spaces can work just as well. This allows the client to bring their own props or furniture, and style the room to their exact needs. 

Vast space at Spratts Factory and the intimate feel of Melrose

Elements

To stand out from the crowd, raw materials are a great addition! Impressive furniture and props are a perfect start! Similarly, compelling paint colours or engaging wallpaper can really set you apart. Crittal is really in this year, and clients are always on the lookout for striking kitchen spaces. If you have intriguing bedrooms, perhaps featuring a trendy design style, like shabby chic, antique or modern, this will always give you an advantage. Furthermore, elements like large gardens, quirky bathrooms or having a conservatory, invariably make for a striking shoot location. 

Crittal windows at Nash and the shabby chic aesthetic of Jupiter

Adaptability 

Adaptability is a key feature that will set a great shoot location apart from the rest. Having rooms with several areas, or corners, enables clients to achieve varying shots, with differing backgrounds. If you have an array of styles/ decor within your property, it facilitates clients with the ability to create broader content! 

The Adaptability of 4teen

Access 

Something that clients often look for in a shoot location is ease of access. Can they get their props/ furniture into the property where required. Are there decent public transport links, or is there good driving access. If so, can they park their cars nearby? This is a big plus if they can. 

Driveways make for great accessibility seen at Ambleside and Graphite

Atmosphere

This final point is slightly abstract, but accommodating owners, that allow the client an easy, hassle-free day, can be a big bonus. In many ways, the owner is a part of the location, so creating a serene environment for the client can determine how attractive the location is – whether you will get booked again or not. 

Top five for March

Another month has gone by, and again, what a month it has been for taking on new locations. Towards the back end of last year, we started taking on incredible new locations like never before. 2021 certainly hasn’t slowed down. As we approach the end of March, it is fair to say it has been another stellar month. We have been lucky enough to take on a whole host of impressive locations, ranging from exquisite residential properties, to quirky bars and charming family homes, to a garden you’ll never forget. If you would like to view all of our new locations, they can be found here, but without further ado, let’s get into our top five for March!

Astral 

Where to start with Astral? Well, all I can say is we are running out of adjectives to describe this location, here at 1st Option. This outstanding property, located in North Yorkshire, is a real standout, and by the time you read this, I’m sure our phones will be ringing off the hook. This large location is mainly open plan and features an opulent, residential industrial aesthetic, that is reached through the use of steel framing, concrete flooring, exposed brick and a sublime dark colour palette. As stated above, Astral screams premium from its steel rafters, and as such, there are tons of standout features found throughout the house. Firstly, the vast, open plan kitchen/ dining space, that looks out to the grand set of sliding doors, offers dazzling views of the surrounding area that can’t be matched. Moreover, if you dive further into the property, you’ll find the gorgeous deep oak floorboards in the living area. These are complemented by an array of quirky artwork, which really add character to the space. Finally, if dark interiors are the light of your life, you’ll fall in love with the superb design achieved within the bedrooms and bathrooms. Deep navy, blacks and coppers are found throughout, and they effortlessly bring the industrial tone of the space to life. 

Saxe

For a residential shoot location completely contrasting to the last example, Saxe is going to be bang on the money. This detached family home, located in Greater London, is particularly impressive thanks to its three floors, six bedrooms and four bathrooms, however, that is merely where the property begins to excite. The location was built in 1925, so expect to see some elegant period features within its interior, including some intricate cornicing, original wooden floorboards, and some gorgeous bay windows. But the property really captures attention when you venture outside! Saxe comes to life through its glorious southwest facing garden, with luscious greens as far as the eye can see. The striking patio area, that is fitted with a pizza oven, and one of the most spectacular heated swimming pools you’re likely to see today. If a residential summer shoot is what you require, then Saxe is definitely going to be the choice for you!

Topiary

Topiary is a perfect example of how diverse our properties can be. Whilst similar to Saxe in its garden appeal, the essence of Topiary could not be more different. Think: secret garden! The huge, Kent based property features one of the most alluring gardens you’ll see this year! The standout elements to this inspiring garden include a whole host of gorgeous shrubbery, a living arched walkway, and a giant chess set, amidst the landscaped garden. Furthermore, a large cedar greenhouse can be found on the grounds, alongside a koi carp pond, nestled between delightful trees, and a Victorian glasshouse – filled with ornamentation and beautiful plants. If you are looking for a truly remarkable outdoor shoot, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something more interesting than Topiary. 

Doña

From The Secret Garden to an eccentric boudoir, check out the red and pink den of dreams that is Doña. Designed in the mould of a 1920’s Harlem Jazz Club, combined with your favourite Mexican bodega, Doña perfectly blends a mixture of Kitsch and Lynchian Surrealism. Its quirkiness is epitomised by a mural found within, painted by artist Maddie Yuille, and installation from Lucia Massey. The space itself consists of a music room, which generally features a staging area and contains fitted velvet seating. A brass bar, centrally positioned, is the focus of the second room. We could go on talking about Doña all day but we’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

Vert 

Our final location this month is a sumptuous 1930’s family home, brimming with character. The North East London shoot location may not be as large as some other properties on this list, but what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in personality and charm. The open plan kitchen/ dining room is delightfully styled in a minimalistic, rustic aesthetic. It features a blend of wood, with a white colour palette, perfectly accentuated by the hits of turquoise, and plant feature wall. Moreover, skylights and crittal doors at the rear, bring an abundance of natural light, which gives the space a real premium feel. Tiled flooring and wallpapered walls are notable inclusions in Vert, and are bang on trend. Take a look at the unique woodland wall in the children’s bedroom and lemon trees in the upstairs bathroom. One of the best elements in the house is the patterned, tiled hallway, as you enter the property. This may well be a client favourite for years to come!

Interior Design 101: A Brief Guide to Some of the UK’s Most Trendy Styles

What is interior design for you? Staying on-trend? Being ahead of the trends? Or celebrating your individuality, creativity and personality? Whatever it means to you, one thing that’s for sure is that thanks to the diverse range of styles that have been brought to our shores over the years, the UK has been left with an eclectic mix of styles, making it one of the most prominent style hubs across the globe. If you want to see some of the most inspiring homes worldwide, the UK is a great place to start. Whether you are looking to renovate and need some inspiration or are merely interested in what’s ‘cool’ at the moment, then read on, as we’re going to give you a brief insight into the most popular interior design staples across the country right now. 

Farmhouse 

Farmhouse or ‘country chic‘ is becoming increasingly popular across the UK; simplicity is at its heart and is characterised by practicality, comfort and readily available materials and colours. You’ll soon see that many of these elements diverge across a number of design styles so it’s no wonder it has become increasingly popular over the years. If you are looking to bring a bit of the farmhouse aesthetic to your house, think white tones, mismatched furniture and lots of wood. Whereas, in a modern house, you may see everything thought through in a meticulous manner, when it comes to ‘farmhouse‘ it is distinctly different. Try mixing and matching new and antique furniture, show off your knick-knacks and trinkets and play around with space. The beauty of ‘farmhouse’ is in the functionality of the room, paired with your own touch of creativity, personality and history. 

Mid Century-Modern 

Mid Century-Modern has endured as one of the most popular design styles in the UK for some time now, and it’s easy to see why. It brought about clean lines, mixed with elegant curves, a mishmash of materials and a love of designers that are still fashionable today. What exactly is Mid-Century Modern interior design you might ask? Well, as a result of the economic changes to Germany after World War II, the Bauhaus designers came over to the UK and started a movement that was characterised by simplicity and functionality. It roughly lasted for around 30 years from the ‘40’s to the ‘70’s, but thanks to its timeless look is still popular today. With the technological advancements after the war and the expansions of cities, there was a demand for modern furnishings and a range of new materials, leading to the possibility of exploring new textures, effects, colours and even new forms. The distinguishing features of a Mid-Century Modern space consist of a classic understated look with minimal fuss. Expect to see clear functionality through the room, uncluttered clean lines with both geometric and organic forms, the juxtaposition of different and sometimes conflicting material and minimal ornamentation. 

Vintage 

In recent years vintage and retro interior design have become increasingly popular. The difference between vintage and other interior design styles is that vintage merely encompasses your furnishings and how you decorate your room, rather than the whole aesthetic. When you say ‘vintage‘ it can mean a lot of different things; how old does something have to be to be classified as vintage? Today, vintage perceivably means anything that has classical and ancient features to it, this is why it has become so popular. If you blend a vintage piece of furniture in a perhaps, slightly more modern space, the juxtaposition creates a nostalgic and old space that will never lean towards being outdated. What you are looking to do is blend the modern technology needed for living, like computers and other appliances with, for example, antique chandeliers, tables and chairs. 

Contemporary 

You wouldn’t be on your own in wondering what actually constitutes a contemporary design space. While all design styles tend to lend hands to others, contemporary literally is a mismatch of what has come before, blended into one modern school of thought. The reason why this style becomes so difficult to define is mainly because of the literal definition of the word ‘contemporary’ meaning ‘of the moment’. As touched on above, the contemporary style has been borrowing elements from ‘popular’ aesthetics since around the 1970’s and this is what makes it so unique. Within it, you will see nods to traditional, art deco, ultra-modern and even futuristic design. Pair this blend of styles with a constantly evolving aesthetic and you are left with contemporary. While most other styles have their core elements that define them, it is within the notion of what’s of the moment that defines contemporary. This is why it is constantly evolving and borrows elements from other styles all the time. What may be of the moment today may change tomorrow. Today, the look is defined by curved lines, neutral colours and minimalism, but give it a few years and you’re likely to see something different. 

Scandi 

By now you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Scandinavian interior design. Whether they are a big fan and know everything there is to know or merely someone who has a basic grasp on the style, Scandi interior design is the most popular in the UK for a reason. In fact, thanks to its popularity spanning so many years, the movement has actually influenced everything from architecture and interiors to product design. Typified by its use of muted colour palettes, wooden floors and furnishings, minimalism and a clutter free aesthetic, it is easy to see why so many people through the ages have chosen to style their homes in a Scandinavian manner. What we see today is a slightly evolved version of the traditional style made popular by the likes of Eero Arnio and Ingver Kamprad (founder of Ikea). There is an emphasis on light with natural colour palettes that tend to include a pop of colour here and there, this allows you to bring the room to life. Great textures that can add to your Scandi space are natural materials like wood and stone, as they bring a no fuss aesthetic that’s elegantly minimalist. If you are thinking about a Scandi renovation, then make sure you check out our full ‘In the Spotlight’ article where we really dive into the style and how you can achieve it yourself. 

Industrial 

When industrial design came to prominence, it was merely left to people who wanted to source a rundown warehouse, loft, barn or old derelict building and turn it into a liveable home. Now, however, thanks to its consistent rising in popularity, you are seeing industrial style elements popping up all over the shop, including in residential homes and office buildings. The idea is to decorate the space with raw, distressed and gritty elements amidst an unsuspecting, high spec finish. At its core is function, simplicity and of course innovation. So if you try to achieve the look, the key is to find the perfect blend between a space that looks incredible when you walk in, is functional, but also has that element of grit to it. If you would like a more in-depth look at this design style with real life examples, make sure you check out our ‘In the Spotlight’ article where we go into more detail.

Biophilic Design 

Would you agree that health, welfare and sustainable living are at the forefront of human experience in the modern day? If so, it is intuitive to come to the conclusion that biophilia is of paramount importance in the 21st Century. Biophilia literally translates to the love of living things, and it is this innate connection to nature and living things that allows us to gain something from it. The reason why biophilic design has risen to such importance over the past few years, is because people want to bring elements of the natural world inside, as a backlash against technology and the urbanising world. Furthermore, thanks to the work of some scientists, in recent years we have started to realise the benefits we can gain from interacting with plants on a day-to-day basis. By using biophilia, you can create multi-sensory spaces that resonate across all demographics. Connect to nature and you will see the boost in productivity, wellbeing and inspiration, as well as enhancing creativity and your mood. In a world that is quite apparently becoming more and more urbanised, biophilic design is an approach that celebrates human nature and our innate connection to nature and how we live, act and work within it. If you are interested in Biophilic design, then make sure you check out our in-depth look at the style here.

Ask the Location Owner: Episode 6

In episode six of our series ‘Ask the Location Owner’ we chat with Nikki over video call to learn all about her home ‘Tierney’.