The kitchen – the heart of the modern home


Edinburgh kitchen in navy and warm grey designed by Amalfi White Living


I love when my clients ask me to design a kitchen for them. Not only has the kitchen become the heart of the home and the hub of modern life but it’s a wonderful design challenge for any designer.

A well designed kitchen has to incorporate so many factors to be a successful design. The designer has to think about all the activities that need to be catered for, from cooking and entertaining to cleaning and getting homework done, and has to mix a myriad of finishes and surfaces to deliver a harmonious look.

The kitchen pictured above was a great design challenge as its original layout simply didn’t work for the family that lived there. The previous dining table was behind the door and cramped, and the space was cut in two by a peninsula unit. In order to solve the practical issues and offer a beautiful kitchen to boot, the solution was to flip the kitchen around, placing the dining table in the best spot beside the window with a built-in banquette seat wrapping around two sides to allow for flexible seating for entertaining family and friends.

I managed to find a perfectly sized vintage table which has rounded ends which work really well with the banquette, allowing easier movement around it. We had the table refinished in a hardwearing white so it can be witness to many memorable family dinners and parties to come.

The chairs are also refinished vintage pieces which we had painted and reupholstered in grey linen. Although you often focus on how chairs look from the front, it’s often important as you can see here to ensure that they look as interesting and attractive from the back too!

Blue and white – a classic combination


9th February 2017


Louis chair with blue and white trellis cushion (available from This is Glamorous)


If there’s a colour combination I go back to time and again, it’s blue and white. And I know I’m far from the only one who is drawn by this quintessentially chic and fresh combination. Many other designers and tastemakers also cite their love of this classic pairing, from Aerin Lauder to Mark D Sikes to Susana Simonpietri of New York Design firm Chango & Co.

To me, blue and white is quite simply one of the best summer-fresh bases for a room and you can add other colours – blush pink or celadon green, for example – depending on your taste and style.

I have dedicated a whole Pinterest board to the joys of blue and white, from palest aqua to deepest nautical navy which you can view and follow here. And in the meantime, here’s a smorgasbord of some of my favourite images celebrating blue and white which you can find on my Pinterest board with a host of other inspiration for your very own blue and white project…


Blue and white montage by Amalfi White Living


And if this post has left you feeling inspired and it’s time to inject some blue and white loveliness into your home then please get in touch and tell me what you’d like to achieve.

{PS If you would like to purchase the blue and white trellis cushion pictured in the main image above or the coral patterned cushion middle right of the montage, please email me for details.}

New Year, New Dreams


14th January 2017

Whatever your plans and dreams for the coming year, I wish you every success and I hope your home is a source of warmth and comfort on cold days, a sanctuary when the world seems so busy and a welcoming haven for friends and family.

Home really is quite simply the most important place in the world…

Pretty pink gatehouse in Dublin photographed by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living

Adding kitchen style on a budget


28th September 2016

I was asked recently to update a tired kitchen on a pretty small budget. Paint is one of your greatest allies when freshening up any space and, even as a designer, I’m always impressed by the difference it can make. In a kitchen, I think fresh white walls are a perfect backdrop to most schemes. You could also consider having kitchen cabinets painted, either by hand or professionally sprayed, as it can give a dated kitchen a whole new look at a fraction of the price of a new kitchen.

And once you have used paint to freshen up a space, then you can start to style it and add the touches that bring it to life. Here’s the moodboard I did for my client.

Moodboard for styling a kitchen on a budget by Amalfi White Living

We used the oversized clock as a focal point on a previously blank wall and then we added pretty elements with a hint of retro styling to finish the look. The final element which makes the new space is the ‘Up & Down’ pendant which is now centred over the dining table and which makes you want to invite friends around for dinner immediately…

Celebrating the Summer Solstice


21st June 2016

Oh how I love this time of year. When the evenings stretch for so long that I lose track of time. When the swifts wheel and dart for hours outside my window at dusk…

There’s something very special about the official start of summer and the 21st June Solstice (not to be confused with Midsummer’s Day which is a short few days away yet!).


Amalfi White Living Summer montage to celebrate the Summer Solstice 2016


It’s no secret that I adore summer and everything associated with it. One of my absolute favourite styles of decorating is one I have dubbed ‘Summer House Style’ which is all about relaxed, unpretentious spaces which feel welcoming and enveloping yet are still ultimately fresh and elegant. To get a sense of this style be sure to visit my Pinterest board where I’ve been gathering images that evoke this ultimate summer style.

And if you’re ready to introduce some fresh summer style into your home, do get in touch and we can help to make your home feel like it’s summer all year round.

Luxurious coastal style in Cornwall


4th November 2014

The Tide House boutique hotel in Cornwall is housed in a stone building on a pretty sloped street in the village of St Ives, occupying the site of the very first hotel in the village, built almost five hundred years ago. After a colourful life which has seen it as a house, an inn, a school and a doctor’s surgery, the building has now been beautifully restored as a tranquil coastal retreat.

The Tide House is a beautiful boutique hotel housed in a stone building in the pretty coastal village of St Ives in Cornwall and decorated in a classic New England style with chalky shades and nautical touches (Illustration by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living in pen and ink with watercolour)

Owners David and Suzy Fairfield created this wonderful bolt-hole by the sea when they decided to relocate from London. They set about restoring and redesigning the hotel’s interiors at the same time as renovating a house opposite which was to become their family home.

The interiors of both buildings bear a strikingly relaxed and luxurious coastal style created by Suzy. Trained as an illustrator, she has now turned her creative eye to interior design and the results are sublime.

Once she had reconfigured the warren of rooms in the former hotel, Suzy layered greys and blues on a base of chalky shades, often seen in New England interiors, to create a haven of style with subtle nautical touches. 

My second illustration shows one of the many pretty public rooms where guests are invited to relax or enjoy a delicious breakfast. The blue and white striped flat-woven rug in the sitting room anchors the scheme and adds colour to the calm, neutral palette where weathered wood and rustic stone provide texture and interest. You can see more of the wonderful, airy public spaces here.

The Tide House is a beautiful boutique hotel in the pretty coastal village of St Ives in Cornwall decorated in a classic New England style with chalky shades and nautical touches (Illustration by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living in pen and ink with watercolour)

The six en-suite bedrooms are each individually decorated in calm, chalky tones with pretty accessories and great lighting.

I’m truly surprised that they don’t have a problem with guests simply refusing to leave!

Always flowers


1st August 2013

Flowers really do add a lovely quality to a room and if you look at the best interior photographs around, they’ll invariably boast impressive flower arrangements which complement the space. I was given these white roses the other day by a good friend and it gave me the opportunity to use a wonderful globe-shaped cut glass vase given to me by another friend a few years ago. They make me smile every time I look at them.



Those little touches


1st July 2013



I spend a lot of time at my desk so I like to surround myself with things that make me smile like this blue-green vase which I found in a charity shop a few years ago. I had no idea how I would use it other than as a small vase for flowers. That was until I needed something to hold some pencils on my desk one day. I love the way they flare out and the colour of the barrel of the pencils even matches! It’s now a fixture.

Long evenings…


11th June 2013

Botanics 028

My high-ceilinged top floor apartment in Edinburgh has a lovely view out over the rooftops of the Georgian ‘New Town’. Here you can see my view bathed in late evening light while swallows dart to and fro (though I couldn’t capture them in the shot sadly!).

Georgian architecture is one of my favourites with its graceful symmetry and large windows letting in lots of light. It’s a style that influences me and I’m sure to come back to it in future blog posts as it’s one of those styles that somehow manages to have a modern sensibility to it, even though it’s been around for more than two hundred years…

Blossom – finally!


Magnolia in Stephens Green.jpeg

It seems to have taken forever but thank goodness the trees are finally beginning to come to life, with leaves and blossom unfurling. This picture, taken in Stephen’s Green in Dublin, captures a magnolia in bloom around the statue of Countess Markievicz.

A garden gate with heart


There is something utterly romantic about a garden gate, either at the entrance beckoning us in, or within the garden itself, inviting us to discover hidden corners or maybe even a secret garden. I came across both of these wonderful gates on a visit to an island off the coast of Southern Ireland. I love the fact that both are elevated above the ordinary with the simplest of touches – the bright coral colour making the first one stand out like a jewel against the green and white of its surroundings, the second with its mini love heart which someone has taken the time to carve.


Coral coloured gate.jpeg


Garden gate with heart.jpeg