Style it dark for summer

Sizzling summer style

Dark interiors aren’t just for hybernating in winter months – honest! The inky tentacles of dark interiors are reaching far and wide into the world of interiors this summer. Like the *LBD in fashion, accessorising with black in an interior decorating scheme – often acts as an anchor and adds more than just a little understated chic. No longer associated with ’80s black ash furniture – from achingly stylish terraces of Juan les Pins to patios in Pinner – dark decorating is creating a summer scene.

*Little Black Dress

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Interior decorating with Indigo blues

If only it were as simple to change your interior decoration as it is your clothes. If it were, exploring the depths of Indigo blues would be high on my decorating agenda this summer. The trend for Indigo blues has been simmering away for a few years in the UK. For holiday homes in the Hamptons, Scandinavia and in parts of the Greek Islands, it never really disappears. Blues are sometimes accused of being cold, but there is nothing icy or ‘blue’ about Indigo. It is velvety warm at its deepest hue and can be as smart, boho or as classically pretty as you wish it to be.

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House tour: artists’ home in Cornwall

When guests visit Helen and John Worton’s home for the first time, they sometimes find themselves left a little bit speechless! This is due to the fact that to all intents and purposes the terraced frontage of this 16th Century Cornish cottage is not at all what it appears from the village square. You might imagine that what lies behind are low-beamed ceilings with a conventional upstairs/downstairs floor plan and a country-style interior in a neutral Farrow & Ball palette.

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Tissus D’Helene: styling for Chelsea Design Week 2017

When I was approached by  Helen Cormack of Tissus D’Helene to style her Chelsea Design Week (12 – 17 March 2017) window display, to say I was excited was an understatement! As dream jobs go, this is right up there. When I styled some features for Homes & Gardens magazine, they often used Helen’s fabrics – and I have always adored them.

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House tour: Vintage Barn Interiors

It is just a small personal theory of mine that the roots to the careers we desire are often to be found in childhood. However, for various reasons people don’t always get an opportunity to go straight into the career of their dreams. It can take many years to find an ‘in’ and fulfil that thing – whatever that ‘thing’ is. Tracy Head, co-owner of Vintage Barn Interiors, has always loved interiors. Before having children, Tracy worked in banking and her first foray into the world of interiors was at the plucky age of 12 when she wallpapered her mother’s bedroom.  Continue reading “House tour: Vintage Barn Interiors”

Scottish style

It’s that time of year again, when many Scots and expats around the world celebrate Burns Night (Wednesday, 25th January). I just can’t help but revisit (please see my post from Scottish Style 2016) some traditional and also not quite so traditional Scottish Style interior design and fashion.

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What is an interior stylist?

What is a stylist? I was struck this week by a throwaway comment by interior designer Kelly Hoppen on an episode of the Great British Interior Design Challenge (BBC Two) where she said that one of the contestants (who was a photographer) was a good designer and not ‘just’ a stylist. I think that the term interior stylist can be a confusing one so I thought it might be helpful to outline what I think an interior stylist does.

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Yellow interiors and fashion trend Spring/Summer 2017

A very Happy New Year 2017. Rather than wait for the first daffodils of Spring to open, I thought I would slice through the grey gloom of January to present one of Spring/Summer ’17’s most joyful interior and fashion trends. ‘Mellow Yellow’ is all set to bring its mood enhancing properties to our lives and I for one can’t wait!

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Christmas decorations at The White House – in Reading

Move over Washington, you ain’t seen nothing ’til you’ve had a peek at the Christmas decorations at The White House in Reading … ho, ho, oh, no … ’tis the season when stylists have steam coming out of their ears. This year we are creaking open the advent door to reveal Christmas decorating in our house …

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Frost Fare – Interior decorating with White

While friends in the North of England and Scotland have already had their first snowfall of the year, in Berkshire we awoke to the work of Jack Frost yesterday. The light had that twinkly, bluey tinge and every surface in the garden was covered with tiny white light reflecting crystals. I don’t know if it is the same for you, but this awakens all sorts of childhood images and fairy tales in my mind from the snow laden forests of the Snow Queen’s Palace in Narnia to the breathtaking scenes of Russia in David Lean’s film masterpiece, Dr Zhivago. The idea of the 17th – 19th Century Frost Fairs that took place on the frozen Thames in London has always captured my imagination too.

imFrost covered plant pots, Photo: Charis Whiteage
Frost covered plant pots, Photo: Charis White

Winter Solstice

With just over a month until the Winter Solstice, when the days shorten and we are in much need of light, I am in the mood for some inspiring crisp white interiors. Some might instinctively wish to cosy up their homes with a pot of Farrow & Ball’s ‘Rectory Red’,  a forest green or midnight blue, but I like to take inspiration from Swedish interiors who use plenty of white and light with a touch of evergreen foliage to decorate their homes.

White pannelled halway with Swedish Style staircase, courtesy of Light Locations
White panelled hallway with Swedish Style staircase, courtesy of Light Locations
White sitting room, courtesy of Light Locations
White sitting room, courtesy of Light Locations


Laundry room, courtesy of Light Locations
Laundry room, courtesy of Light Locations

Pure White

Scandinavian simplicity was the inspiration for these panelled baby and toddler rooms I styled for Mothercare.

White cot, Mothercare, styled by Charis White, Photography: Tim Burkitt
White cot, Mothercare, styled by Charis White, Photography: Tim Burkitt, Basement Photographic
Toddler bed, decorated with Scandinavian style by Charis White, photography: Tim Burkitt
Toddler bed, decorated with Scandinavian style by Charis White, photography: Tim Burkitt, Basement Photographic

The trick with white is to layer up and combine different textures from quilting, to knit, faux fur and linen. Look no further than The White Company or in fact John Lewis’ Croft Range. Add in some neutral colours, such as greys and taupes, and finish off with lots of twinkly fairy lights, tealights in vintage French jam jars and plenty of evergreen foliage. Wooden furniture adds in another texture too.

Winter Wonderland

On one of the hottest days this Summer, I styled some images for the sofa company Dfs. The theme was white decorating ideas for Christmas and we were featuring their new Marl Mid Century style sofa by French Connection. I used some vintage white leather skates and a bunch of fresh Eucalyptus (the scent and longevity of its freshness at Christmas is nice to have in the house) and hung fairy lights and paper stars from a fallen branch from my garden.

Ice skates and Eucalyptus, styled by Charis White, Photography Dan Annett for Dfs
Snow on branches
Photo by Charis White

Sofa fit for a Snow Queen

Scandinavian style sitting room for DFs, styled by Charis White, Photography, Dan Annett
DFS sofa, styled by Charis White 2016, Photography: Dan Annett
imageChristmas table styled by Charis White, Photography: Dan Annett for Dfs, 2016
Christmas table styled by Charis White, Photography: Dan Annett for Dfs, 2016

Get your skates on

If you love the thrill of skating outdoors, the UK now proudly boasts some fantastic venues around the country. Check out the nearest one to you in this round-up by The Daily Telegraph. 

Somerset House Ice skating, courtesy of Time Out/Pinterest
Somerset House Ice skating, courtesy of Time Out/Pinterest

Snow White interiors

For more snow white interiors, check out my Pinterest board here: