September Interior Design Shows

29 Sep 2014

Wow what a fun September! -  the best time of year for Interior Designers to get out and visit all the fabulous Design Shows all over London. It's a great way to catch up with suppliers, friends and see the all the new trends in the interior world, so much to see, so much to do…... 

We certainly made the most of it, checking out all the new products from established suppliers at Decorex  and 100% Design as well as seeking out some exciting new suppliers at the slightly quirkier Design Junction. Here are a few of our favourite picks from the shows:


Stunning textural crochet pendants that come in a variety of shapes and colours by Naomi Paul

Gorgeous Deco wall light by Copper & Silk, elegant, stylish and beautiful!


Bright and colourful formaica covered furniture by Surface Designer Lucy Turner

The unusual detailing makes this sideboard really stand out from the crowd! By Coucou Manou


Vibrant colourful cushions by Claire Gourdion, add a real punch to any room

These beautiful tiles by Story Tiles would look lovely individually or as part of a display

Finally, there were so many fabulous new fabrics on show - these palm prints are divine

Andie Haycock

Victorian Interior Design

26 Jan 2014

What a way to spend an afternoon, having a tour around a truly remarkable Victorian B&B in the heart of Tunbridge Wells, being taught how to fold napkins by an ex Butler, and having afternoon tea with the most delicious cakes to finish off!

There is of course nothing out of the ordinary having a Victorian B&B in Tunbridge Wells, but 'The Victorian Bed and Breakfast' run by Mr Harold Brown (an ex Butler) has taken the authenticity of Victoriana to a completely different level. Sheer passion and patience to find the right pieces to furnish and accessorise the interior has resulted in a truly unique historical stay. 

As soon as you walk through the entrance door you know you are in for a treat with a complete explosion to the senses. I could have spent an hour in the hallway alone. It was dark, with limited lighting, as it would have been back in the day. The chandelier was exquisite. A roaring fire warmed the hallway, fresh orange peel sitting by the fire to give off a delicate perfume. 

The Victorians were masters of trompe d'oeil and Harold has used some of their techniques to incredible effect in the hallway. Rag rolled walls with hand painted grout lines give the effect of large brickwork. Wallpaper painted with chevron parquet covers the ceiling. It looks hand made, exactly as it would have in the 19th Century. It honestly feels like a step back into the past. 

The Drawing Room below is a feast for the eyes and incredibly welcoming

The downstairs rooms have bold patterned papered walls, decorative over mantle mirrors, an abundance of sumptuous fabrics, reds, golds and greens, and, typical in the Victorian era, every surface has been covered in an ornament. 

I love that the ceiling is covered in the same wallpaper as the walls with the glorious chandelier taking centre stage in the dining room (below). Harold's top tips for napkin folding put us to test when we were presented with beautifully starched Victorian napkins (more like small tablecloths to be honest). Harold talked us through folding them into truly regal Fleur de Lis designs. Mine did stand up. Promise!

The Dining Room

The portraits on the walls (in their ornate frames) are all descendants or relatives of Queen Victoria, collected by Harold on his auction and antique fair sourcing trips.

Why share this with you? - well, Interior Designers are constantly looking at historical influences for design inspiration, giving it modern twist. Archived wallpapers are constantly being used, whether it is the same pattern in contemporary colour ways (as seen in Farrow & Ball's new parquet wallpaper) or used as a base to create completely new designs. Victorians also loved novelty, as do we - look at Abigail Aherns dog lamps with frilly lampshades. She is a great advocate for using lots of objects/ornaments to create interest in an interior, but getting the right balance is what makes it work in today.

If you love Victoriana, I would really recommend a visit to Harolds B&B, something completely different in the sea of boutique hotels and standard B&B's out there.

Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Autumn Colours in Interior Design

21 Nov 2013

I love this time of year, the autumn colours outside are stunning, especially on a crisp fresh day with a blue sky as a backdrop. The oranges, reds, yellows, fading greens along with the dark damp textured bark on the trees can provide great inspiration for an interior scheme.

On Claire's walkabout last week she came across this stunning sight, which is so bold and bright she had to take a picture, the colours are so striking, they don't actually look real.  

The contrasting colours provide a great starting point to add Autumnal inspired Accessories into a scheme. Use them either with a neutral backdrop or go dark if you dare, to really make the colours zing

From top left - Ercol stacking chair in Red; Gold leaf mirror and Fig tree console by Ginger and Jagger: Cushion by Parris Wakefield Additions; Oscar sofa in cotton velvet; Silhouette Rug by Jaime Hayon for The Rug Company.


Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Fifty Shades of Grey - for Interiors

19 Sep 2013

French Grey, Lead, Pavilion Gray, Lamp Room Gray, Manor House Grey, Paw Print, Ash Grey, Mouse Grey, Flaxen Grey, warm grey, pebble, graphite, Earls Grey... now I've started looking for different Shades of Grey I could go on... and on... it becomes addictive! A somewhat familiar feeling to those that have indulged in reading a certain trilogy about "Fifty Shades of Grey"!

Grey is not dull and boring. Don't let anyone let you think otherwise. Grey is a fantastic colour to use in interiors. It is incredibly versatile. It can be warm or fresh, light or bold. Best of all, can you think of a colour that doesn't go with grey? This means that you can design your room with tones of grey and then add accessories in whichever colour takes your fancy. Change it with the seasons, or more frequently? Mix lots of colours. Think of grey as a more exciting white or dare I say it "magnolia".

A client recently asked if you can have "too much grey"? No of course not. There are way more than fifty shades of grey. ;)

Here are a few examples of interiors that have opted for a grey palette.

Metallic Grey Interior

Copenhagen Grey Room on French By Design

French Grey Interior

Dark grey interior by Abigail Ahern

Dark Grey Interior by Abigail Ahern

Traditional Grey Interior

Traditional Grey Interior

So what's your take on Shades of Grey?

Please share your comments or photos.


Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Scandi Style

11 Feb 2013

Sitting watching the final episode of Borgen on catchup last night (fab Danish political drama and my latest obsession) made me realise how much we still love Scandi style and are completely embracing all things Scandi (again). Not just on our tv screens with Borgen, The Killing and The Bridge but also in our homes.

Us embracing Scandi style is nothing new of course, but why is it that our nordic neighbours seem to have oodles of seemingly effortless style that has spanned decades? (I love the fact that there is a Poul Henningson/Louis Poulsen Artichoke lamp hanging pride of place in the Prime Ministers Office in Borgen).

What I love about the Scandi style is that is never seems to date, perhaps because it's so understated, simple and functional. It's these three elements that keep the designs so fresh and contemporary. Take the wishbone chair for example, designed over 60 years ago by Hans Wenger, still going strong today - you can't open an interiors magazine without seeing at least one around a dining table.

The same can be said for the Tulip dining table and chair, designed in 1950 by Eero Saarinen, we see the marble topped wonders with the curvaceous base pride of place in many magazines, stylish, simple and elegant. 

But what of the newer Scandi designers? Can they live up to their forefathers? Well, take a look at these and let me know what you think. 

Raw Lounge Chair by Jens Fager, textural hand carved in bright colours

Dots by Lars Tornoe - simple tactile coat hooks (although I personally wouldn't want to hang anything on them - way too beautiful)

Thomas Bentzen portable tray table, is colourful and practical

Clean, simple lines, white neutral background, pops of colour, natural warm wood - as Spring approaches we will all want to de-clutter and look to the scandi influence once more.


Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Top Tips on Interior Styling

19 Dec 2012

Do you ever feel when you walk into a room that whilst you like the colour scheme, the wallpaper, the furniture and the layout that there is something missing? Maybe it is some interior styling that is missing? In this post I will aim to give you some top tips for styling your interiors.

Dishes and books can be used to create a visual display on a coffee table.

Ornaments can be arranged in different displays to suit your mood. 

Dishes can be used as display ornaments and arranged in different ways to add variation to the feel of the room.

Accessories can add a much needed splash of colour to a room. This is a particularly effective technique in neutrally coloured schemes. Books make a great sculptural display. Choose some big hardback book. Stack them and place some ornaments on top - these Jonathan Adler ceramics add a sense of fun. Your guest will be very impressed! 

Top Tips Interior Styling Arranging

Here is another example of how books can be used to create an interesting visual display. They don't just need to sit in a row propped by bookends. Make the books a bookend or alternatively use a heavy ornament.

Asymmetry is visually more interesting as this image shows. Miniature vases sit on a stack of books, raising their "status" and position. The height of the books is similar to that of the sun-face ornament which creates visual uniformity.

A console is a perfect place to display accessories. Use the surface of the console and the space below it for additional interest. This composition works as it provides different different heights, shapes, textures and finishes.

The items are arranged in small clusters which provides more interest than just lining them up.

The large reflective vases on the right of the console balances with the similarly reflective vase on the left underside of the console.

The giraffe adds an element of humanity and humour. The mirror and fresh daffodils provide "pops" of colour that lift the whole scheme.

Hopefully these images will provide you with some inspiration for adding some interest into your homes.

Final tip - enjoying acquiring the items that you display. Acquire them over the years and buy them because you love them. You will always be able to find a place and way to make them work in a scheme.


Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Add Some Sparkle to Your Home

04 May 2012

Us girls love diamonds, and you can’t have failed to notice that a certain Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrating her Diamond Jubilee this year. The shops are full of red white and blue and some great jubilee inspired memorabilia but following along the diamond theme, I’ve come across some wonderful diamond inspired pieces.

I love how this stunning mirror by Jake Phipps catches and plays with the light. It really sparkles, who wouldn't want to look into this every day?

This diamond inspired wire stool by Aoi Koari looks simple yet absolutely stunning.

How about an original Peter Blake artwork with diamond dust, what a genius way to add sparkle.

I love this rug by Emma Elizabeth Designs – a real gem (pardon the pun).

Or how about this quirky yet stylish table – a real twist part baroque with an edgy angular diamond side.

Also by Boco do Lobo is this sideboard, again inspired by cut diamonds.

How can you add a bit of sparkle to your own home? - apart from finding space for these great designs, how about getting creative this weekend, digging out an old black and white photo and embellishing with some diamond dust which you can buy from Hobbycraft.


Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Books Books Books

23 Apr 2012

I have a real weakness for books, so much so that my bookcases are groaning under the weight of piles and piles of them. I spent practically all day yesterday, sorting, shifting and categorising (yes really – sounds bizarre, but I need to find things quickly!) and once done, I wanted to find some different, interesting and fabulous ways of displaying them. These bookshelves are just what I've been looking for.

This Sean Yoo design looks amazing, especially packed with the on trend pastel book covers.

As does this brilliant book tree by Roberta Corazza. What a great way to brighten up a wall and is a piece of art in itself

Finally, I love this cow bookshelf, great freestanding in a large room and a real talking point

Whilst I was sorting my books I realised how without them, my home would not feel quite so relaxed and welcoming. Books are essential for creating that lived in feel.


Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Outdoor Room

18 Apr 2012

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about taking the inside out, creating a room in your outdoor space completely open to the elements, well, this hasn’t really been possible of late (good old British rain - although I'm not totally giving up hope for a scorching summer!). So imagine my excitement after a completely self indulgent trip to the Grand Designs Exhibition where I came across a great solution to being outdoors when the British weather is urging you to stay in……….. it’s called the Armadilla!

Such a beautiful shape with plenty of scope to do some stunning interior decoration - I'm thinking bright colours, quirky upcycled furniture with tons of personality, flowers blooming, glass of wine, relaxing (o.k getting a bit carried away now) - or even a sleek, modern calming retreat with plenty of textured finishes to give it a luxurious feel (strictly no kids allowed).

This outside room sent me into a whirl to find some more stylish 'pods' for the garden, and oh boy there are some really stylish solutions! This one below was designed by Lars Frank Neilsen for Add-a-room (and is my personal favourite), I love the large glass doors, enabling you to actually feel that you are outside.

Again you can do some wonderful things to the interior to personalise the space, here are a few ideas.

These pods are a fabulous way of adding another room as a mini retreat, who needs the sunshine when you have one of these in your garden.


Thomas Haycock Interior Design