How to do relaxed rustic in the city

Even though I live in a city (a pretty busy one at that) I want my place to be as peaceful, cosy and friendly as possible. I’m quite obsessed with creating calm, soothing interiors connected to nature that are also quite edgy. I play with texture I’m about to buy some of the rugged faux stone we have in store for my fireplace in the bathroom. I like to create tension between rough lines and clean lines. Here are my go to tips for creating relaxed cosy spaces.

Decorate with wood – it adds rusticity to a space the more unevenly hewn the better. Accent with sheepskins, velvets, soft woven wools cosy materials that literally take a space to another level. I’m becoming more and more obsessed with cork wall coverings – so serene and such a beautiful way of adding softness to a room. To create the ultimate retreat I always always always add plants there is something about them the takes any space to new heights.

If you’re in the biz you’re know that there are three key components that actually change rooms around. I don’t mean subtle little changes I mean jaw hitting the floor changes.

Focal point. Focal points are key imagine them as your hero pieces. I always like three, as opposed to just one (as many people do) as you’re over it in a flash otherwise If you have three your eye suddenly gets invigorated and tantalised and spins around the room at break neck speed not knowing where to land. This is a good thing. Typically in my bag of tricks I’ll introduce an oversized mirror, a chandelier and either a statement worthy plant or painting. These pieces have to be dramatic and your eye when it enters the room has to land on them instantly!

Symmetry. The trouble with symmetry is that is can look uptight and super formal so when I use it I tend not to buy duo’s of things. If I do buy pairs I’ll only use that scenario once in a room. Symmetry gives cohesion to a room so that it balances and doesn’t shout crazy.

Reign in the colour palette. If you only decorate with a few colours the chances are you’ll be creating one super sophisticated space. You’re room will feel anchored and grand – and by all means add disparate patterns or play around with tones but keeping the palette restrained means you can mix anything with anything. So I use lots of sludgy hues – palettes of green, greys, blacks, browns, mulberries.

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