Wed 09 Oct 2019
Bringing an interior design scheme together takes months of planning and hours of picking out the most suitable materials.
So, how can you achieve a similar effect, with much less time and budget to spare?
We spent a day with one of the world's top 100 interior designers, Alexander James Interior Design, to learn about what stages are involved, the tricks it uses and how they can be incorporated into your own home.
The team at Alexander James Interior Design have been working together for years, and in some cases decades, with the head designer Stacey having worked with the founder Robert Walker for 20 years.
Robert started the company from his kitchen table in 1995, naming the company after his first son.
Today, the company is responsible for design across a range of budgets, from £600,000 one-bed flats in Hoxton, in London's East End, to a £30million mansion in Berkshire.
Its approach is always the same, using 'dramatic interiors without the amateur dramatics', working side by side with clients - something that is reflected in one of its latest projects in Ascot, Berkshire.
Natalie Rudland, one of the senior interior designers at Alexander James, explained the secret to great interior design, saying: 'A great interior design scheme is a result of great preparation and planning.'
She added: 'Not everybody can visualise scale so it is important to have scaled drawings, hand drawn sketches and computer generated images to help visualise a home.
'Our designers know all the devices that enhance a room - for example how to extend ceiling height by using longer curtains, and which colour palette to use based on the direction of incoming light to make a room look its best - all of which are realised at the initial planning stages.'
The finishing touches to its schemes are put together by its team of stylists and florists.
Its florists work from concept boards and colour schemes, picking out textures and colours of vases to compliment the design scheme.
They also select appropriate flowers for each season. I
t means that if they are dressing show homes that are being viewed by potential buyers in the summer, they will choose flowers that are in bloom at that point in the calendar.
Everything is then brought together on site to reflect the brief set out by the client, which range from the private homeowner of a £600,000 flat to an established developer with a £30million mansion project.
Laura Leadbetter, also a senior interior designer at Alexander James, added: 'Design is a collaboration and is a sign of a good designer who is able to listen.'
The scheme at the development in Ascot that we visited highlighted these three tips below that can be used in your own home.
They cover using chandeliers in the bathroom, bold wallpaper prints on a feature bedroom wall and grouping accessories in old numbers.
Incorporating these tips into your own well thought out scheme will pay dividends when it is completed, and reveal a designer touch to your own living space.
Go bold with bathroom lights
For most people a bathroom light is a largely functional endevour, but the designers recommend not being afraid to use bold lighting in bathrooms, such as this chandelier.
Any lighting used in a bathroom will need to have the correct 'IP rating'. This would be a rating of IP65 for lighting placed directly above a bath or basin, meaning that the light is completely water resistant.
The bathroom light used in the Ascot development is by Tigermoth.
Use patterned wallpaper to match the room's scale
The designers recommend using wallpapers with large patterns that match the scale of the room where it is being used.
In the Ascot development, the designers used wallpaper in the guest bedroom called Willow Song, which is by Zoffany.
The designers explained how they then used large scale bedside lamps and furniture pieces with this wallpaper.
Think about and group accessories together
And finally, the designers recommend grouping accessories in complimentary colours and using items of varied height.
They also suggest grouping accessories in odd numbers, such as in groups of three or five.