Interior Design Before and After

15 Sep 2015

I love looking at before and after pictures. I graze Pinterest, DIY sites and Instagram for inspiration from incredibly creative and talented people- not just Creatives who are upcyling a plethora of unambiguous objects into marvellous creations., but also from Architects and fellow Designers transforming mundane spaces into something incredible.

At Thomas Haycock Interior Design we love a great Before and After shot. It's great to see just an image of the finished spaces, but to see the real transformation from a Before shot gives a real sense of joy and satisfaction whatever the budget.

On the surface, the Before and After shot may look like the space has been given a lick of paint, some gorgeous curtains and cushions to add the all important final touch, but these are just the final touches - the tip of the iceberg! Beneath this tip is an in depth design process that takes you from concept, detailed design, lighting design, technical drawings, building specifications, specialists and building contractors on site to the finished scheme - and the 'After' shot. The results always put smiles on our faces - hope you enjoy these Thomas Haycock creations…...  

Before- Entrance Hall

After - Entrance Hall


Before - Master Bedroom 

After- Master Bedroom


Before- Master Ensuite

After - Master Ensuite


Before - Home Cinema

After - Home Cinema

Before - Dining Room

After - Dining Room





Andie Haycock

Colour Trends for Spring/Summer 2014

27 Mar 2014

Does Interior Design follow fashion or Fashion follow Interior Design? How do the colours we see floating down the catwalk find themselves into our interiors almost instantaneously? Who decides what colours will be trending, and how do fashion houses, product designers fabric houses and interior accessories companies manage to have similar colour palettes at the same time - do they call each other up and say "Hey, next season lets do pink"?

So many questions, but the reality is that colour forecasting is big business and starts 2 years in advance, taking into consideration global economies and events, political moods around the world and much more. A panel of colour experts from leading International paint, textile and colour companies meet twice a year to predict and agree on colour trends. The decisions made influence the way we live, the clothes we wear, the colour products we buy and (most importantly for us at Thomas Haycock) Interior Design.

So what do colour forecasters have in store for us for Spring/Summer 2014? 

One key look is soft pastels - with an abundance of pale minty greens and chalky pinks mixed with blues, yellows, greys and off white. This colour direction is quite feminine, with a nostalgic look at the 1920's

To use these soft pastel colours successfully in an interior and keep the look current and contemporary, team with a darker colour and use sleek simple shaped furniture and accessories. The dark colours play an important role in grounding the scheme and bringing it all together, especially if used in a living room.

This living room scheme uses some of the key colours of Spring 2014.

Sourcing: (1) Minty table lamp online at Graham & Green; (2) Wall colour Dulux Grey Steel 2; (3) Tin Tile Wallpaper at Abigail Ahern; (4) Designers Guild Savine Fabric in Graphite; (5) Floor Lamp online at Graham & Green; (6) Footstool online at Claire Anne O'Brien; (7) Spring 2014 key colours; (8) Sisal fFlooring by Alternative Flooring; (9) Print and Cushion by Ferm Living available online; (10) The Margot Sofa by in Rose House Viscose Linen.

If you like to stay on trend but can't stretch the budget to buying all new furniture etc. a great cost effective way is to paint neutral colour walls and accessorise with cushions, throws, rugs, lampshades etc in the latest colour trend, or up cycle tired old furniture by painting in one of the key colours.

Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Transform you home with Curtains, Carpet and Paint colours

03 Feb 2014

We have recently moved into a new house where we need to change everything to make it into our home. It's an exciting new project and will take time to get it exactly how we want, to express the way we live and work as a family. Although we are going to have to wait a while before we can do any structural alterations, we can start on the simpler things that will make a real difference - things like Curtains, Carpet and Paint colours.

It can be daunting, not knowing where to start, not knowing exactly what you want to achieve in a room, what colours you want, what fabric to choose, what style of carpet……....but fear not, here are some tips to get started on transforming your new home (or even one you have been in for a while)

A light lofty relaxed feel is created in this Designers Guild interior

1) Take a step back. Think of all the places you have been, what makes you happy, is it a smell, a holiday picture, a piece of art, pictures from magazines (not necessarily interiors related). Collate a pile of images and words of all these bits and bobs and look to see if there is an underlying theme - a colour perhaps?

2) Think about the mood and overall feel you are trying to achieve (which you may also glean from the images bits and bobs) - do you want calming and relaxing (blues and greens) stimulating (bright and bold colours) glamorous (metallic greys, darks etc) ? This can also help with fabric choices (e.g. silk is glamorous, Linen is more relaxed etc)

3) Collect samples of fabrics you like, put them with paint colours you like to make sure the scheme will work as a whole - whittle down to a final selection and you should have a comprehensive scheme.

If this still all seems too daunting still - we are of course here to help

One of the services we provide is curtain making. If you are struggling with knowing what fabrics and style of curtain would work in your home, we give expert advice and provide you with fabric samples to look at in the comfort of your home. If you have odd shaped windows, small windows that need to look larger or even windows that look out onto an unsightly view, we use our professional experience and knowledge to design the best window treatment that will be in keeping with the desired style of the room. The fabric samples we supply are carefully selected following in depth discussions with you - we don't overwhelm you with books and books of fabric to make it even more daunting!

This Interior has a warm, relaxed vibe

Thomas Haycock Interior Design

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

Furniture screens for Interiors

14 Jan 2014

Flicking through various Tomes at the weekend I came across numerous interiors that had used furniture screens and thought, wow, they completely transform a space by adding not only a design feature and focal point but are also completely functional in many different ways (see end of blog).

The folding screen originated in China and was a great way for artists to showcase their work. They were imported from China to Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries and were exceptionally popular in France. One such famous collector was Coco Chanel who owned 32 screens, 8 of which were housed in her Paris apartment. She said 'I've loved Chinese screens since I was eighteen years old. I nearly fainted with joy when, entering a Chinese shop, I saw a Coromandel for the first time. Screens were the first thing I bought.'

So there you have it, high praise indeed, and, the screen is a trend to watch this year with numerous Designers giving us their take on this ancient piece of furniture.

I love this simple statement screen by Deborah Bowness

This stylish screen by Ligne-roset captures another key trend - wood

This screen by Driade doubles as a photo holder

Ways to use your screen

As a screen (radical I know!) - Hide away unsightly areas

As a headboard - flat against a wall behind a simple bed will add wow factor to a bedroom

As a room divider - make space as flexible as you like, create different zones in a room when required, then move back against ta wall when not in use to work as a piece of art

As artwork - stand against a wall for a concertina piece of artwork, or stand behind a sofa, or console in a hallway to add depth and interest.

Thomas Haycock Interior Design

Light up your interior for Christmas

03 Dec 2013

Lighting has always been a bit of an obsession of mine - I don't think I can go on enough about how having the right lighting in a room can transform it from a flat dull lifeless space into a welcoming  and intriguing space where you want to stop, spend time and relax.. With Christmas speedily approaching, it's a brilliant excuse to add more lighting - whether in the form of fairy lights or just more lamps and quirky finds that can be left up all year.

The key to good lighting is to introduce different layers, by that I mean  background lighting, task lighting and feature lighting. It's the feature lighting that you can have the most fun with, either by illuminating individual pieces of artwork, alcoves, flooring etc - or by using the light as art itself.

This gorgeous star by Philip Oakley is a piece of art and adds a warm light, fabulous for a cosy Christmas (although this is definitely one to leave up all year)

This Lightning bolt by Hannah at Love Inc;would look great illuminating a dark hallway. It looks just as good when not lit up, all industrial, blue and rusted.

This giant bow from Rockett St George is great fun for a wall, it turns the whole wall into a giant present!

We are firm believers at Thomas Haycock that you have to have something in your interior that makes you smile, something that's a bit off the wall fun and takes the seriousness out of a professionally designed space. I came across this, it actually made me laugh out loud it's so bonkers! I'm not actually sure I would have it on my wall, but I'm sure someone will if only to spark a conversation.

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

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