Lockdown interior decorating ideas

Spring/Summer 21 interior designs offer more than a little playful joie de vivre for any lockdown decorating plans you might have. There are styling surprises at every turn from secret doors to extravagant country house style fabric canopies for both bed and bathrooms. No surface has been left untouched with decorative tromp l’oeil and room wrap-around wallpaper. There’s colour inspiration from artists and a final ingredient alongside all the frills is a spot of ‘matchy matchy’ styling.

Profusion of pretty pattern

This image of a pretty new toile de jouy from Manuel Canovas 2021 collection (launches 1 February 2021) shows how you can turn an awkwardly shaped space into something both functional and rather striking.

There has been so much pressure on space in our homes this year so this image of squeezing a desk into the tiniest of corners struck a chord. I also love the realism of having a rather clunky undercarriage of a staircase to contend with as we know that not all rooms are blessed with perfect proportions.

The solution here was to wallpaper all 5 walls so that the staircase rather cleverly disappeared into a profusion of pretty pattern! What’s more, the table lamp bounces light rather nicely into what would otherwise have been a very dark corner.

NEW Balangan, kiwi ref. 03106-03 wallpaper, by Manuel Canovas launching 1 February 2021

Playful interior design ideas

For each of us, the styles and colours we choose are individual. I am a great believer that having some corner of your home that either surprises, delights or gives you pleasure because it is a little off-the-wall or extravagant in some way is a very good thing for the soul. These can be small touches such as a frilly napkin or grander scale decorating with projects such as bed and bath canopies and secret doors.

Bed canopies

Canopies with crowns for beds and baths were last popular in the 1980s. There is no doubting that they look grand, create a focal point in a room and also rather reassuringly create a sense of security. This scheme with soothing chalky pink walls, linen canopy and velvet headboard shows how to use texture and hue to create a glamorously simple scheme.

Photo via A Life More Fabulous.blogspot.com/Martha Stewart Living magazine/Pinterest

Matchy matchy interior styling

A trend for matching fabrics with wallpapers is finding favour again. It is another playful concept because of the gentle eye-catching contrast it creates.

NEW La Musardiere, saumon Ref. 03102-01 wallpaper, with matching fabric for headboard and bedcover: La Musardiere, saumon Ref. M4080-01, by Manuel Canovas launching 1 February 2021.

Blush pink reprise

Blush seems to have caught a second wave in terms of popularity and I am not surprised that people are seeking it out now. I last wrote about it in 2018 and continue to love it as a calm and nurturing basenote for interiors.

Edward Bulmer paints represented at Tissus D’Helene’s showroom.

Blush pink is also the theme for the February issue of Shop Till You Drop, the shopping pages I edit for Saga magazine . This hardback ‘Charleston Roundels’ notebook, £12.95 is one of the items featured and is by Cambridge Imprint for The Charleston Farmhouse shop.

The Charleston Farmhouse was home to the Bloomsbury Group and is one of our great national treasures. The Farmhouse Charity Trust is a small charity which like so many needs all the support they can get right now as they have been hit badly by all the restrictions:

80 pages of plain cream paper, 18.5 x 12 cm, Charleston Farmhouse shop

Spring light

Sarah Lock is Fine Art trained and makes beautiful hand-turned wooden lampbases on a lathe in her studio in Brighton. Sarah describes herself as “loosely following some of the values of the Arts & Crafts movement”. What I love are the playfully appealing shapes Sarah creates which are not only finely crafted but have the finishing touch of expertly applied colour.

Lampbases made from cherry wood, £180 each, and shades made from vintage silk Jacqmar scraves, £50 each, for their unique designs and precious hues. These lamps were for a commission in Scotland but you can see other available lighting – and cute darning mushrooms and bowls on Sarah’s website at Sarah Lock.

Colour palette inspiration

Where do you begin with choosing a colour palette for an interior? Sometimes, it might be from a fabric, a treasured object or painting. Here are two artists who are greatly inspiring me for their work and for their use of colour:

West Dorset-based artist, Helen Lloyd-Elliot
London-based potter, Fiona Adam Ceramics

Spring 2021 bathroom ideas

The geometric wallpaper and panelling in fresh spring green and yellow works beautifully with industrial wall lights and basin in this shot for Original BTC lighting.

Image courtesy of Original BTC lighting

Lockdown decorator

Natalie Lete is an artist who used the first lockdown in France to decoratively hand paint her home from top to bottom including furniture, staircase and this beautiful headboard design in her bedroom.

Photo: Natalie Lete from an interview by Bored Panda.com/Pinterest

Check out the frills

Frills, as predicted by the blog in January 2020 as a strong design direction, continue to thrill especially when teamed with jumbo checks.

Aurora footstool, Punch £395, Ceraudo.com
As seen in Georgie Pridden’s newsletter are these delightful frilled napkins (£12.50 each) made by London-based Amuse La Bouche

Secret doors

They are a centuries-old trick for the concealment of another room beyond. You can often find a secret door (also known as a jib door) in many a country house, castle or palazzo where they were used to hide servants’ quarters. I gather there is at least one in the oval office at The White House in Washington.

Jib door at the 16th Century Palazzo Spada in Rome. Photo: Charis White

Secret or Jib doors are mostly covered with either wallpaper (as below), tromp l’oeil (as above), murals or panelling to conceal their existence and to maintain a seemless decorative effect. I adore the playful character of them, perfect for any scenario but I suppose an en-suite might be a good example.

NEW Balangan ciel Ref 03106-04 wallpaper launching 1 February 2021 by Manuel Canovas. Beautifully styled with jib door and bobbin console.

Thank you

Thank you so much for reading! If you have enjoyed this and would like to receive email alerts for future posts, then please just press the large blue ‘Follow’ button either at the beginning or end of a post.

P.S. My online vintage interiors shop has had a little revamp in case you fancy a mooch.

Antique lustreware bowl for sale in Charis White online Shop

With best wishes, Charis x

Charis White, Interior stylist/writer. Photo: Fiona McLean


8 thoughts on “Lockdown interior decorating ideas

  1. Another cracker! I love the awkwardly shaped space solution! Thanks for providing cheerful ideas and pictures on these bleak days!


    1. Thank you Rachel! Decoration that provides a bit of exuberance and fun is just what we need in these times. BTW I have become obsessed with the Netflix series ‘Call My Agent’. Noticed last night in episode 4, series 1 that an older pink and green toile wallpaper design from Manuel Canovas was used in a hotel room shot! 😉


  2. Sumptuous Charis! Loved Manuel Canovas’s site. . We love CMA, so funny and saved series 3 for a bleak January to discover there’s a season 4! Yay! 😄 x


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