Create a great first impression

 

24th August 2014

The entrance to your home, whether a soaring double-height vestibule or a more modest hallway, sets the tone for the rest of your home.

So it’s worth investing the time and effort into getting it to look just right.

The beautiful vestibule of JK Place on the island of Capri off the Amalfi Coast in Italy

This beautiful hallway is the entrance to the villa that is now the luxury hotel JK Place on the island of Capri. It has been designed to feel like you are entering a beautiful home rather than a hotel and even through its scale is more than most of us have to play with there are ideas we can borrow.

    • A hall table is the key piece of furniture – make sure yours is practical (drawer for keys, for example) as well as beautiful.
    • Fresh flowers or an attractive plant are always lovely additions.
    • Don’t ignore your walls. Can you add panelling for interest if they are bare? What about art?
    • Is your hallway a dumping ground for shoes and coats? If so, can you add attractive storage so that clutter is banished?
    • And finally, how does your hallway smell? Yes really! A friend of mine has the most gorgeous scent diffuser just inside her door that wafts grapefruit at me in a most delicious way every time I visit – a memorable welcome.

Is this the most beautiful hotel in the world?

 

16th June 2014

You may have seen pictures of the immaculately designed villa that is now the luxury hotel JK Place in Capri – it’s certainly a supermodel among hotels! I took the opportunity to visit when I was on the island of Capri in May and can only say that it is literally ‘off the scale’ beautiful.

The attention to detail is just exquisite and the styling is perfection, from the carefully chosen furniture and soft furnishings, to the artwork, sculpture and lighting fixtures. The dark blue walls of the main salon (shown below) are so elegant and striking with a classic, nautical feel – perfect for a villa that overlooks the sea.

There is literally inspiration in every corner that you could borrow for your own home – how about adding some panelling to give a bland room more detail or propping art on a console table, for example?

In fact the whole hotel has been designed to feel like a home and it certainly does invite you in and encourage you to stay awhile. If you love great style in a beautiful location, this is definitely one for your ‘someday list’!

 

The dark blue walls and white wood panelling and detailing of the drawing room space of JK Place hotel in Capri on the Amalfi Coast in Italy

Amalfi inspired dining nook

 

6th May 2014

As promised in my last post, here’s a space I have designed based on the classic view of the Amalfi Coast below.

Amalfi inspired dining nook with built-in banquette seating designed and illustrated in pen and ink with watercolour by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living

 

While the colour palette of the image has been an obvious influence on the design, it’s also the sense of the Amalfi Coast that I also wanted to capture. I’ve chosen a very light palette against which the blue can really stand out with white walls and a white painted floor as well as a white linen banquette (treated with stain guard of course!). It’s that idea of brightness and intensity which makes this space feel summery while the slightly greyed wood of the dining table balances it out and stops it feeling too blindingly white.

When I think of Italy I imagine great food and lots of time spent around the table enjoying it with family and friends. The layout of a dining space with a built-in banquette is to me just the most welcoming and convivial layout. Doesn’t it just invite you to sit and stay awhile?

Inspiration from the Amalfi Coast

 

29th April 2014

Illustration in pen and ink with watercolour of the view from Ravello on the Amalfi Coast by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living

How do you get inspired to design a room? Designers often say that they get inspired by so many things – a view, nature, architecture, a beautiful dress, a particular colour combination – the list is literally endless.

My advice if you’re looking for inspiration for your home is to make a collage of images that simply resonate with you – they don’t have to be images of interiors – just whatever appeals to you. You’ll begin to notice patterns and things that recur over and over like certain colour combinations that you really like or patterns that you can incorporate in fabrics or flooring. This view of the Amalfi Coast (which I was moved to paint in anticipation of a visit in May) is full of inspiration for me for a wonderfully, summer fresh room. I’ll design a room based on this and publish it as my next blog post so you can see what I mean!

The lure of the Amalfi Coast

 

Positano image from Shutterstock.jpeg

 

Quite a few people have asked me about the name I have chosen for my company and its reference to that beautiful stretch of Italian coast south of Rome, known as ‘The Amalfi Coast’.

Unbelievably, I have never been there (but there are plans afoot to remedy that!). My inspiration came in part from a picture which hung on our kitchen wall when I was growing up. It showed Positano on The Amalfi Coast with its icecream coloured houses tumbling down the steep slopes of a bay towards an azure sea. It always enchanted me, even more so when my mother told stories of a holiday she took there with my grandmother in the early 60’s which conjured up glamorous images of a world as captured by the iconic photographer Slim Aarons.

Now to make that booking at JK Place in Capri…