Wall art splashbacks: bringing nature inside

House plants are having a major resurgence right now – and there are many ways in which we benefit from having them in our homes. Plants and flowers lower stress and create a relaxed ambience, ease tension and promote wellbeing, and enhance creativity and productivity. But what if your home receives little in the way of natural light, or you don’t have much space for plants or… you’re just not very good at looking after them? Installing glass splashbacks or panels printed with botanical images is one of the most effective wall art ideas for bringing the outside in.

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Dove Grey kitchen glass splashbacks

Interior styles: why Modern Design is the latest luxury look

When someone describes an interior as “modern” they often mean “contemporary” – as in new, or trendy, or non-traditional. But while the words might be synonymous in everyday life, Modern Design refers to a specific strand of home decor, and it’s one of the most elegant interior styles around. If you love a sleek, fuss-free look, with clean lines and minimal embellishment, this could be the ideal style for you and your property.

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Why trompe l’oeil glass panels are the new heroes of home decor

Choosing the right materials for your kitchen or bathroom is often a balancing act between beauty and practicality. It’s so often the case that the most attractive finishes are also the most problematic – marble can stain, exposed brick is dusty and porous, metal rusts and wallpaper is hard to clean and non-waterproof. Even tiling, that most traditional of kitchen wall finishes, requires grout that gets dirty, discoloured or mouldy. Sometimes, what initially seemed like a good home decor idea can turn into an expensive headache further down the line. Read more

Mirrored home bars – the latest luxury property trend

Mirrored home bars are a growing trend in the high-end housing market, joining gyms, pantries, dressing rooms and wine cellars as one of those property extras that can lift a home to a new level of luxury. Whether you entertain regularly or simply like to unwind with an evening cocktail, a dedicated area for a little indulgence will make it all the more special.

If you fancy adding a home bar to your property, the good news is that you can easily do this retrospectively and you don’t need much space. An under-used basement or box room would be ideal, but a spare wall, alcove or cupboard would work just as well. Not only that, but a fabulous bar space makes sense in almost any room, including the kitchen, hallway, dining or living room – whatever suits your space and lifestyle.

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Coloured glass splashbacks produced for Wooden Heart Designers Guild in coastal retreat colour kitchen

The best materials for a low-maintenance kitchen

We all want a kitchen that looks stylish and welcoming as well as fresh and clean, but no one wants to spend hours every day preserving that appearance. Many kitchen materials, however, do require a lot of maintenance that sometimes causes buyers’ remorse. Stainless steel worktops, for instance, are very hard to keep smear and scratch free. Marble is porous and stains very easily. Granite requires special products and much time polishing and buffing to keep it looking clean and shiny. And tiles have grout lines that attract all manner of dirt, grime and mould. If you have better things to do than clean your kitchen all day long, look for materials that are: smooth with no cracks, crevices or unevenness; stain and water repellent; scratch and heat resistant; solid and durable; and offer a variety of patterns and finishes that won’t show every speck of dirt. A solid glass splashback, for instance, would tick all these boxes…

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Finish: Colour SB18. Produced for: Harvey Jones

How to mix traditional and modern in your kitchen or bathroom

You don’t have to decide between a traditional or contemporary look when designing your home. If you’re a fan of both, it’s possible to mix the two successfully. The key is to keep each element of your design on one side of the fence or the other, eg, keep the cabinets and all the fittings traditional but use modern materials for the hard surfaces such as flooring, worktops and splashbacks. So, if you’re looking for kitchen makeover ideas, here are six more tips for mixing classic and contemporary looks…

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Bold White kitchen

How to design a classic kitchen that won’t date

We spend more on renovating our kitchen than on any other room in the house – and we usually only do it once. It’s not surprising, then, that we want to come up with a design we’ll always love that won’t look dated 10 years down the line. But how can you be sure that your choices will stand the test of time? Here are our tips for creating a classic kitchen.

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Blue suede in situ

Introducing the Opticolour winter 2018 collection

After a sweltering summer, the clocks have gone back, the evenings are darker and the season of log fires and warm blankets is here at last. At Opticolour, we’re celebrating this cosier mood with the launch of four new colours that are perfect for the winter months and beyond.

Tapping into the current trend for dark interiors, we’re launching two dark options and two contrasting options that coordinate beautifully with the latest interior decoration styles.

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