Robert Walker works at Alexander James Interiors, a leading design consultancy based in White Waltham, Berkshire. It works with private clients and developers as well as leading hotels and has an expanding client base spread across the globe. Alexander James’ showhome clients include award-winning house builders Millgate Homes, Linden Homes, Octagon, Berkeley Homes and Antler Homes.
People tend to want light, bright and spacious homes, so an important factor in any property is to maximise the light.
Some homes are lucky enough to have extensive glazing, but especially for smaller homes, the use of neutral colours especially light beiges and taupe’s, and mirrors are extremely important.
Mirrors not only reflect the light, but also create the illusion of space. Secondary lighting is also becoming very popular with the use of feature floor and table lamps in order to light each corner of the room.
Again for smaller properties, the scale of furniture must be right – if it’s a tight room there’s no point putting a huge sofa or eight-seater dining table if realistically there’s only room for two small chairs or a dining table to seat four.
It’s all about making the rooms look bigger but also functional; you have to get the balance right.
In all homes, the ‘flow’ of space is very important; if you want the feeling of space, each room needs to work with the next, so the colour schemes and any themes should show some consistency, rather than each room being a complete mismatch – it makes the home look untidy and cluttered.
If you want to inject colour into your home, the best and most cost effective way is with accessories and feature walls.
One wall in a contrasting colour or pattern can create a dramatic effect and add depth to a room. Soft furnishings such as cushions and throws can add extra colour and you can build up the ‘look’ by using different textures as there are so many luxurious fabrics available.