If someone wanted to add a cultured personality to their home, what would you recommend?
I think you should buy items because “they talk to you” not because you think they might fit in. As your collection grows you’ll be surprised by how everything seems to fit together because it will all reflect your unique personality.
What particular materials and fabrics would you say radiate personality?
Every material is linked to a personality – velvet is sumptuous, comfortable and cuddly, leather is masculine, practical and dominant while crisp cottons are non-fussy and clean. So it depends on your own personality as to what materials would suit you best.
What furniture would you recommend to add European flair to a room?
I think contrasting furnishings create a European pallet – old and new, luxury and utilitarian. Go for well made, quality pieces. Keep the colour scheme quite neutral and let art and accessories do the talking. For the art and other accessories, go for original and well-made pieces as they’ll lift the room and pull the style together.
Do you prefer to keep artwork minimal or are you a bit more generous in your approach?
It all depends on the individual works, but the trick is having the items “talk” to each other. We usually fall in love with a piece of art and then go back to see it a few days later to see if we still feel the same. We then decide which room we want to put the piece in and where in that space it would look best. Often, a piece can be very strong and start to dominate the room so you might have to move existing pieces to another room. We know it seems to be a lot of work, but the satisfaction of having created a new room is wonderful.
You have very contrasting artistic tastes – what advice would you give to another couple who have different preferences when it comes to furnishing a house?
Because our tastes are different we decided to each decorate a room in our own style, but as time went on we realised that our tastes had converged and a new style had emerged. Now we have one merged taste that represents both of our personalities. That will probably happen to most couples in a taste-clashing situation.
What are your top 3 essential furnishings for exuding personality?
A very comfortable sofa is essential; somewhere you can snuggle in together. You can change the cushions and throws according to the season; from crisp cottons in summer to wool and cashmere in winter. We also love a lovely big wooden dining table that can seat many people and a simple but quality sideboard to exhibit all your personal items.
What advice would you give people to stamp some personality onto their home on a budget?
Don’t try to finish a room too quickly, it has to be a process. Wait and buy well-made and original items which will last a lot longer. Then, fill the rooms with your own collections of art and accessories.
A problem that can coincide with impulse buying is that your house can get quite cluttered. What are your top de-cluttering tips?
Re-organise a room round your newest acquisition. Sometimes you have to be ruthless and follow the “one in /one out” rule.
Which particular colours would you recommend to add personality to the home?
We prefer to work with a neutral, natural colour pallet to create as much light as possible. Let the accessories bring in the colour. We like to change the accent colour according to the season – brights for summer and then whites and browns for winter.
Which single furnishing would you say most represents your personality?
The oversized purple velvet sofa, it fits the whole family including the dog. We change its look with throws and cushions which we tend to do quite frequently.