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

Decorate with autumn colours

 

21st November 2016

A seasonal autumn montage by Amalfi White Living Even though I’m always reluctant to let the summer fade, the colours of autumn can compensate with their rich, saturated tones. It may be my imagination but this year the autumn colours seemed to last even longer than usual and were more vibrant and jewel-like against clear blue skies.

You can always incorporate some of these jewel tones into your home at this time of year and decorate with accessories and candles. Texture and cosiness are particularly important considerations as the temperatures drop so think cushions in luxurious raspberry velvet, cashmere throws in caramel or amethyst and even extra layers underfoot of jewel toned rugs to make your home as warm and welcoming as possible.

** And for a whole host of autumnal delights, check out my Pinterest board dedicated to autumn here. **

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…

The look of summer

 

30th August 2016

Summery dining room inspiration from Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach, Australia by Amalfi White Living

With September just around the nearest corner, I’m already dreaming of an ‘indian summer’ – anything to hold onto the feeling of summer and long days of sunshine!

One place that to me evokes everything that summer is about, is Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach on Australia’s beautiful east coast. I’ve just written a piece about it on This is Glamorous so I was inspired to design a moodboard inspired by it and its richly layered interiors which were designed by the extremely talented designer Anna Spiro.

Halcyon House is a uniquely styled space which evokes the fun and happy memories of summers gone by, with a definite nod to 1960′s glamour. Its interiors welcome you with colour and pattern while entreating your to kick off your shoes and make yourself feel totally welcomed and relaxed. The ultimate compliment for any space surely?…

The power of an exterior makeover for your home

 

31st July 2016

Although I am an ‘interior’ designer, I am passionate about making homes look beautiful inside and out. One of my favourite things to do is to reimagine tired and sorry exteriors, making them beautiful and welcoming.

Some transformations may require the skills of an architect to realise the potential of a house. But if the overall shape and proportions are already pleasing, then it truly is amazing what new windows, doors, roof materials and landscaping can do to totally transform a home from one that you’d pass by without a second glance, to one that makes you smile.

I stumbled across this extremely worn out 70′s home on a property website and could immediately see its potential using the existing structure. With the help of a photomontage technique, I’ve come up with two ways to update it with an exterior makeover, first with modern steel windows and then with a more traditional style. Both makeovers also rely on pretty landscaping to complete the look. What do you think? Which one do you prefer?…

 

1970's house in need of an exterior makeover

An exterior makeover of a tired 70's bungalow by Amalfi White Living

An exterior makeover of a tired 70's bungalow by Amalfi White Living

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.

Blue and white – eternally fresh and stylish

 

7th June 2016

Blue and white is a colour combination I return to again and again. There’s a timelessness about it and an undeniable freshness to it that’s redolent of salty breezes and ocean waves.

 

Pen and ink illustration of a Lilla Villa Vita vignette

 

The pretty seating area above is an illustration of an image I have loved for a long time by Swedish blogger ‘Lilla Villa Vita’. I hadn’t done any illustrations for this site for a while so I thought this one would make a nice summer addition. What do you think?

I’ve recently sourced some wonderful blue and white fabrics that aren’t available in the UK so if you’re in need of new soft furnishings or would like to reupholster an old chair, then do get in touch. I’m currently getting a chair refinished for a client with a wonderful navy Greek Key pattern on white. I’ll share pictures very soon but here’s how it looks made up as a cushion. So timeless and fresh.

 

Navy and white cushion with Greek Key pattern by Amalfi White Living

I’ve also been gathering a gorgeous selection of pins celebrating the joys of decorating with blue and white on Pinterest for quite a while now. Definitely worth a look if you’d like some further inspiration.

And as ever, if you’d like some help to get your home looking as fresh and stylish as you know it can, just send me an email and let me know what you’d love to achieve – I’m sure I can help.

 

Borrowing style ideas from a French Château

 

31st May 2016

I wrote a piece recently for ‘This is Glamorous’ about the magical Château La Durantie in the Dordogne with all the elements you would imagine in the most picture-perfect French château – parquet floors, Louis furniture, gilt mirrors, crystal chandeliers and elegant panelled walls.

Being immersed in that elegant world got me thinking about how you might inject some of that wonderful French style into a home that was – shall we say – a little less grand?! Here’s some moodboard ideas that I came up with for a bedroom with French chic with a little bit of beachy glamour thrown in to keep it interesting and fresh.

 

Moodboard for an elegant French style bedroom with a glamorous modern twist (Design by Amalfi White Living)

 

It’s not hard to find well-made examples of reproduction Louis furniture (well the originals are a little out the range of most budgets!). And the fun then is playing around with the elements and adding modern twists. For example, the chair I have included above is more accurately ‘Gustavian’ in style but as that style itself was derived from the French court, I felt we could include it. And I purposely chose a bedside table which was modern and glamorous as a counterpoint to the more traditionally styled bed.

The key is that you end up with the spirit of the style without trying to be too historically accurate.

Unless you happen to own a French Château in which case, please, please may I decorate it for you?…


{I write weekly articles for ‘This is Glamorous’ so do sign up on their site to receive weekly emails so you never miss out on all the best and most romantic inspiration.}

Is it time for summer style in your home?

 
25th May 2016

Are you as delighted with the brighter weather and longer days as I am? I make no secret about my love of summer and everything that is associated with it. Trees in full leaf, blossom bursting out everywhere, sandy toes, the smell of barbecue smoke and the anticipation of a day at the beach…

 

Summer house style montage by Louise Keane of Amalfi White Living

 

I’m also very interested in how to bring a sense of summer into your home, not just for a few months of the year but all year long. It’s all about a light, fresh backdrop with bursts of brighter colour and easy, relaxed textures like wood, sisal and rattan.

I’ve been gathering images of this style, which I call ‘Summer House Style’, over on Pinterest for a while now so do have a look and see if you love it as much as I think you will.

It’s well known that our environment has an effect on our wellbeing so just imagine it feeling like summertime every time you put your key in the front door…

{If you’re ready to inject some summer fresh style into your home, I have a few slots open for design work currently. Get in touch and let me know what your dream is for your home.}

The styling details that make the difference

 

7th April 2016

There are lots of elements that you need to get right to have a really well designed room. One of my favourite parts of the process and one where you can make a big difference is in the final styling touches. A bit like choosing the right jewellery to finish an outfit beautifully, it should never be overdone, just enough to give the effect that you wish to achieve.

Interior styling detail by Amalfi White Living

 

I’ve changed things around on my Instagram feed of late and am adding more ideas for styling and placing objects to make your room really sing (as well as other fresh and elegant images just to inspire!). Instagram is increasingly a great place to come for interior inspiration – although Pinterest is still a treasure trove of ideas too! – Louise

Good design can actually save you money

 

In the same way that many truly stylish women will mix items from high street stores with more expensive designer clothing, I’m a fan of mixing inexpensive finds into your home.

Starting with a sturdy cream linen Chesterfield sofa from The White Company, I’ve come up with a moodboard for a ‘Coastal Chic’ living room that costs less than £2430* for all the elements featured, using well designed pieces from less expensive stores such as H&M, Zara and Ikea.

Coastal Chic moodboard ideas sourced entirely from the high street and costing less than £2500

While I would always advise clients to invest in larger pieces of furniture, buying from the high street stores can be a great way to play with colour or try out patterns without breaking the bank. And it also goes a long way to proving a point which is dear to my heart. And that is that clever design should not be beyond anyone’s reach.

I’m a firm believer that you can actually save money by working with an interior designer – not only can we share our knowledge of clever finds and secret sources but we are trained in how to pull it all together to work in your space.

If this piece has inspired you and the time is right for you to get your home looking as you’ve always known it could – for less than you thought it would – then please get in touch and we can start planning your very own makeover.

* The cost of £2430 covers all the items in the moodboard including the sofa. If you would like a copy of the shopping list, please email me and I’d be happy to share it with you.

Does your front door make a great first impression?

 

22nd March 2016

I’ve been spotting some wonderful front doors lately around my home town of Edinburgh and they always make me wonder about the interiors.

 

Selection of doors in different shades of pink and blue grey

 

Will the promise of a coral door be met with an equally beachy interior? Will an elegant blue grey door have an equally elegant scheme when you enter through it?

One of my clients was surprised that my design suggestions also took into account her front door as it hadn’t formed part of the brief. But what she had asked me to do was consider the design of her home for potential customers of her home based design business. Naturally it had to begin with the door.

So the next time you return home, look at it anew through the eyes of guests or visitors and ask yourself if it might be time to get the paint brush out?

If you’d like help with suggestions for an exterior upgrade, I’d love to help so email me and let me know more.

Dreaming of a house by the sea

Moodboard for house by the sea with blush and navy, weathered wood and brass

 

Sources: 1 via CB2 | 2 via Slettvoll | 3 via CB2 | 4 via Neptune | 5 via Lamps Plus  | 6 via H&M Home | 7 via H&M Home | 8 via Oka | 9 via Neptune | 10 via Jonathan Adler | 11 via West Elm

In my mind’s eye, I can already see my dream house by the sea – covered with weatherboard, a seat outside to watch the sun rise and a pretty garden with hardy plants to withstand the salty breezes.

Inside there would be white-washed wooden floors, simple blinds or billowy drapes on the windows and lots of cosy places to sit. A fireplace is a must with baskets of logs nearby ready to warm up chilly days and evenings, even in summertime.

The palette would be inspired by the coast with lots of navy and white but for a pretty twist, I’d add blush pink and finally touches of brass or gold to give it that little bit of glamour that we all need.

How would your dream home look?…

An inspirational place to work

 

25th January 2016

Do you have a inspirational place to work in your home where it’s a joy to spend time? With many more of us now working from home, having a dedicated space is a real asset.

This is my workspace with a simple antique desk placed beside a window for the best light and I often keep my drawing board on top of it so it’s to hand. Importantly, I also have a changing pinboard of all my favourite images to keep the inspiration levels high so my clients get my best work!

 

Interior designer and illustrator Louise Keane at work

 

If you’d like help to design your home office or redesign any aspect of your home, please get in touch and let’s see how I could help.