The Perfect Picnic Spot

As the sun starts to make an appearance for more hours in the day, and the bird song becomes more melodic to the ear, the eager anticipation of summer builds. Those summers dreams of spending a lengthy lunch in the summer sun with your loved ones, finished off with a long summer walk start to become a reality and weekends seem brighter because of it.

From the 13th June to the 21st,, during National Picnic Week, you have an excuse to whip out your picnic basket every day and enjoy the spoils of Summer right in your very own home. In celebration, we are taking a look at how to make your conservatory a glorious picnic spot to be enjoyed all year round.

  1. The Perfect Picnic Table

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The table is always the centrepiece for any picnic occasion, be it a blanket on the grass or a long table in the conservatory. With the ease of a picnic, the worries over perfectly placed knives and forks and colour coordinated napkins can be kept for the dining room table. Picnics call for relaxation, easy foods and most importantly good company. Items such as the Coast to Coast Extendable Dining Table allow for you to picnic with a number of people, with expandable table ends to accommodate everyone.


  1. The Comfy Picnic Chair

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Picnics are for spending long afternoons lounging around, watching the sun set over the blossoming flowers. They are for watching your kids run around the garden while you catch up with a long last friend. They are not for sore bums and aching backs, thus in order to make your long afternoons better, the perfect comfy picnic chair is required. Great buys such as the Stanford Ladder Back Dining chair provides great back support, topped with colorful patterned cushions, your picnic lunches will be some of most comfortable yet. Ideas such as these are also great for those long days behind a home office desk, creating a great home office solution for those aching backs.


  1. The Picnic Sideboard

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A great sideboard can do wonders for your conservatory. It is the perfect place to store plates, bowls, cups and glasses as well as a great spot to lay out your picnic fair. Everyone can help themselves to food, serve their own drinks and find their own spot around the picnic table. It can also be a great décor item for your conservatory, taking it that one step above. Items such as the Portobello Side Board is a great buy, large enough to store all of your crockery as well as your picnic baskets, cushions and blankets.

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The Latest in Interior Design from Grand Designs Live 2015

From the 3rd to the 11th May 2015 Grand Designs Live took over four exhibition halls of the Excel centre London.

The exhibition is presented by design guru Kevin McCloud, and based on the hugely popular Channel 4 series Grand Designs.

The exhibition offers you a unique opportunity to gain all the advice, inspiration and materials you need to build your very own grand design.

With areas dedicated to interiors, technology, kitchens, bathrooms, build and gardens, plus live sessions from leading interiors experts and TV personalities, there’s inspiration for every room in your home. And, with over 500 exhibitors, you can shop from a comprehensive line-up of leading home brands, all under one roof.

Room 4 Interiors went along to the show to find the latest trends and accessories to fit with our furniture as well as listen to some of the theatre talks.

Here are our top interior design tips from some of the very best known designers in the industry.

NSI Design is owned by Nicholas Sunderland and works to redesign interiors globally. Here are some of the top tips from Nicholas himself:

  • Before you make any changes to your home think about the value it will add. In the UK one square foot of space is worth £450 in terms of added value to your home, with the same area worth up to £2,000 in London. If you are looking at reducing or extending sq. ft. then weigh up the cost of the development against the value added per sq. ft.
  • Developments costs are not just in building or structural work but also the small fiddly hidden expenses. For example: if knocking two rooms together check the ceiling heights match, do floor levels match?
  • LED lights are a great way to change the mood of a room. You can use a plain paint canvas on the walls and use the lights to add colours.
  • Large mirrors reflect light and are great for small or dark spaces that do not have a lot if any natural light like bathrooms, hallways etc

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  • Placing mirrored Perspex on to the base of furniture like kitchen islands and units, bookcases or dressers can give the illusion the furniture is floating
  • When using LED lights in the kitchen it is advisable to user ‘pure white’ lights not colours on work surfaces or under units and counters for the best lighting for preparing food
  • Pocket doors are a new trend, these are also known as cavity doors and slide into the walls rather than open outwards. They save space and can allow for greater configurations in rooms.
  • The kitchen is the most expensive development of any home, as the biggest spend take your time and make adjustments
  • With the kitchen being the most expensive element you want it to last. If you want a bright kitchen consider white units but accessories in colourful kitchen wall paint, splash backs, and flooring. Things that can be replaced at a lower cost than the whole kitchen but can change the entire look.
  • The same applies to other rooms in the house, add colour, texture and interest by adding cushions, re-upholstering chairs, covering footstalls etc
  • Crystal lights reflect the most light in a room, there are plenty of crystal chandeliers and modern lighting available on the high street

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  • If you have an old piece of furniture like a fire place it can be expensive to replace so why not consider ‘colour washing’. Here is an easy guide to how to Colour Wash online
  • Do not be limited by the items you already own. You can modify these as well. Changing the doors or handles on a wardrobe, or the surface on a table or padded seat on a chair can make a huge difference.
  • If you are using patterns like stripes consider mixing things up, lay the pattern horizontal and vertical, the same with fabric. You can make great texture in patterns from laying weaved fabric horizontally and vertically and it can give a 3D effect.

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Jo Hamilton, Interior Designer, tops tips:

  • When choosing big money items like sofas, kitchens, or bedrooms opt for neutral colours. Tastes and trends change, so it’s good to keep to a simple base that will stand the test of time.  
  • It helps to create a mood board for each room, pulling out pictures from magazines, showing furniture styles and the illustrating the general feel you want to achieve.  Add colour swatches and fabric samples and you’ll find that your own style starts to emerge.  Take the mood board with you when you shop and make sure anything you buy works with your theme.
  • A good worktop is like a good pair of shoes, it will really set the whole thing off and will make the room look luxurious.  Go for the most expensive worktop you can afford.  If your budget will stretch to granite or Corian that’s great but if not opt for a cheaper alternative that is made to look similar.  Add some punchy accessories for interest and you’ve got a great new look.
  • It is important to have something to tie the whole look together and artwork can do just that.  Spend money on a couple of key pieces that you really love and pull out the colours from the artwork in your accessories.
  • Give careful thought to how you want to light your rooms for the different moods you want to create during the course of the day – cleaning, cooking, working, romance, entertaining etc. and allocate some of your budget to each scenario.  It may be that your “romance and entertainment” lighting layer consists solely of candles and side lamps and that’s fine – you’re not looking for expensive solutions but it is important to consider it so that your home feels comfortable and welcoming.

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Top Interior Design Tips from the Ideal Home Show 2015

The biggest home show in the UK returned to London this week for the 107th time making it one of the oldest trade shows ever!

For a whole two glorious weeks the Ideal Home Show takes over Olympia Exhibition Halls in Kensington and show the UK the very best in home fittings, décor, kitchen and bathrooms, garden design, fine foods, fashion and beauty.

With over a century under its belt the show has seen the interior fads of the power hungry 80’s to the swinging 60’s and even as far back at the very art deco 20’s.

This year we went along to find out the next big thing in interiors from the experts, here are our top 10 tips for those buying, selling and developing their homes in 2015:

  1. When designing your home think of colours as flavours and that will help you mix them in the most flattering way. For example: a beige or oatmeal sofa looks great in red room, it is like pasta and sauce or peppers and rice, and they counterbalance each other. When working with orange team with wood, think chocolate and orange, yum!
  1. Do not mix greens, dark green and lime or light green and an earthy green clash
  2. When converting anywhere in your house think about cleaver storage solutions- stools and coffee tables that can double as chests, in wall storage systems and utilise the full height of the walls

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Taking it Back to the Bare Bones


I’m sure we’ve all seen the minimalist design take over many a design magazine or blog over the last several years, whether its in a trendy city apartment or country mile, minimalism is bang and trend and we’re going to tell you some key pieces you can use in your own home to create this style.

Being minimal doesn’t mean you have to throw everything out that you already have, being minimal is all about key pieces that work for you, in terms of storage and your home and removing the clutter.

Light colours are also a must with minimal design. To create the effect of minimalism, clean lines should be your starting point. We always recommend picking out some pieces that pique your interest then use a design app or a good ol piece of paper to draw out your room plan, this will help you decide which items to purchase and which items don’t cut the mustard.

We will be looking at some key pieces of furniture which will work perfectly for a minimalist design.

Clean cut Sofa

Now, there is no hard and fast rule with which type of sofa you should choose, but we have found that grey, white, black and blue sofas are the most popular. They all have one thing in common, they are sleek with clean cut lines, they may not look like the most comfortable thing ever, however you can find a minimalist sofa that is just as comfortable as it is beautiful.

Functional Coffee Table

Wooden tables with high metal legs are a big trend in the minimalist design. Another trend is coffee tables which when unfolded can make a living room dining table, these not only look fantastic but provide ample storage, which will give you a chance to keep your clutter in check while sticking to the minimalist design.

Flawless Flooring

The style of your home will normally dictate what flooring you will have, however this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some truly breathtaking homes that appear to be one thing on the outside, yet when you walk through the front door you’re met with amazement because the exterior is the complete opposite of the interior so don’t let your home box you in, in terms of your interior design.

A popular choice in minimalist rooms is wooden flooring with a statement rug that will tie the room together. The wooden flooring can be painted white or even dark walnut, and the rugs are normally textured, this will bring another edge to your room while maintaining minimalism.

Another great by product of the minimalist design is that it gives you a chance to de clutter and start from fresh and you never know once you have sorted out all your clutter you may want to go minimalist throughout your home!

A Pinch of Colour


Statement walls have been around for quite some time and for good reason too! We have seen an influx of dark coloured walls to add depth to any room. A few years ago the trend was to have all white walls in our homes, but now a shot of colour is welcome in any home.

It doesn’t have to be dark, you can go bright and bold, it is all down to personal preference. One of the most popular colours we have seen is dark navy on feature walls for the living room, and as long as you have light coloured walls around your room, you will be able to pull off a dark colour. If you have a large living room you could even go for several colours in your living room, for instance a nice dark navy feature wall with your other walls being a medium grey colour, this will not only fantastic, but it will also add warmth to any room.

We will be looking at some of the post popular colours for the rooms in your home.

Colours for the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any home and getting your colour scheme right is crucial. Most people opt for a plain white or magnolia in their kitchen, but 2015 is the year to be bold and make a statement. You can do this with flooring and wall colours. A zig zag light grey floor would work perfectly with a dark grey or aubergine wall colour.

Colours for the Living Room

The living room is one of the most viewed rooms in our homes, with friends and family popping over throughout the year, this is one of the rooms that will get the most attention in terms of design and features.

Blacks and greys are one of the most popular colours for a feature wall in the living room, it has popped up in hundreds of home magazines and interior design blogs. Now, we know that black may seem like a daunting colour for a living room, but to make this colour work, why not try pairing this dark and sultry colour with a vivid blue sofa? Or light wooden floors. You can even try textured black walls, this will add depth and another dimension to your wall. One downside is if you change your mind, black can be a bit of a nightmare to cover, however, don’t let this put you off, if you decide to change 2-3 coats of Dulux will solve the problem.

Colours for the Dining Room

If you have a dining room one of the most important pieces of advice we have is to make this a separate, individual room. It might sound ridiculous, but it is so often the case that our dining rooms become a dumping ground from the other rooms in our house, or they can be a bit of an undecided room, the way to cure this is by making a statement with a bold wall colour choice and taking the time to add accents that work with your room.

A perfect example would be to have a walnut dining table, with one aubergine wall with the rest being a muted grey, with a white and gold trimmed dinner service, this will make a statement and help you keep your dining room ready for family meals and special occasions.

Colours for the Bedroom

Considering we spend over 2,300 hours a year sleeping, getting your bedroom décor right is an absolute must. From choosing the right bed and storage, to wall colours that suit you and your needs.

We recommend going for muted greys, or dusky pinks in the bedroom as these can make your bedroom the relaxing haven it should be. You can of course go bold with blues, greens reds etc, because the most important thing to consider when choosing a colour is does it work for you in your home. It is of course great to check out the new trends, but if they don’t work for your family tweak them to suit.