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House Doctor

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Amanda Hanley
House Doctor Woman Pointing Colour Samples

Our resident interior designer answers your questions

I love wallpaper, but how do I get the balance in my home? I don’t want it to become overwhelmingly “busy”.

There is definitely a balance that you need to find, when you consider the house as a whole. If you love bold prints, you are better off with plainer fabrics on your upholstery, and, similarly, if your walls are plain, you should aim to be bolder with your upholstery. I love wallpaper and think it can successfully be used in almost every room of a house, but do keep some rooms more subtle. There are many wonderful “semi-plains” out there, and textured papers, that mimic natural materials and fabric; they add depth and interest without being overpowering. As a general rule, wallpaper is extremely durable, so is a practical option as it’s more forgiving when it comes to scuffs and scrapes.

Cole & Son

I have a sideboard that I’d like to create a display on – do you have any tips?

In the world of interiors, such a display is often referred to as a “vignette”. Social media is great for inspiration, and you can use this term to search for ideas. However, I have some basic guidelines, which will help you to get it right. Firstly, build your display around a light source, such as a favourite lamp, under a feature pendant, or a window to illuminate it. Then choose objects to support the theme and style of your room, sticking to that theme, and thinking about the colours so that they bear a relation to your scheme. Objects look best in odd numbers, such as threes, fives or sevens. Vary the position of the objects to create depth and height, to avoid the look of a line.

Jane Churchill

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