Jo's Notebook


Interior design inspiration direct from the pages of Jo Hamilton's notebook

How to design a room with sumptuous inky walls

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How to design a room with sumptuous inky walls

Take a look through any interior design magazine, website or newspaper feature and one thing becomes clear — we are getting bolder and braver with colour choices, and that’s a good thing in my book.
Our overnight passion for moody greys has set the tone for this trend and now we’re in full swing. But as wonderful as greys are, and I love them; they are not the only route to achieving moody interiors.
Inky tones have long been a staple in my designs — they are so easy to use and yet they can create such drama. Simply tone them up or down depending on how much of an impact you want to achieve.

There are numerous inky blues out there, but Paint By Conran's Copse is a particularly great colour, as is Farrow & Ball's Hague Blue.

One of the interior design ‘rules’ to remember here is that darker colours are visually advancing, so we can use this to draw the space in and make it feel more intimate. Blues are gloriously calming and serene, but they can make an interior feel cold, so it’s important to understand that effect and balance it with warmer colours, tones and textures.

Metallics

If you are going to be going down the route of inky blue tones, then warmer metallics should be on the top of your shopping list, and particularly brass and copper — they are an absolute smash with inky blue tones.

Check out these gorgeous metallic pieces from Tom Dixon (it's safe to say I'm a huge, huge fan) — there's the Beat Table Lamp in brassicon, or you could always go full height with the Beat Floor Lamp in brassicon. The Kartell Invisible Tableicon is a perfect match for the image in the centre, above, along with the simply stunning Eichholtz Soto Cabinet in goldicon or the Eichholtz Delano Cabineticon, again in gold. A couple of choices for the pendant lighting in the final image are the Harrison chandelier by Søren Rose Studio for Menuicon or the Franklin chandeliericon — both in brass.

Textures

Textures are a great way to warm an inky theme. Natural materials like woods and linens, or accessories like books and artwork groupings, work wonderfully to soften the tone.

Colours

Warm colours are another great way to bring balance. Reds are an option, but yellows and oranges are particularly good with inky tones — they really pop against the dark background.
Be as bold as you like and drape all walls and ceilings with inky tones to maximise the impact, just remember to warm with colours, tones and textures.

If you want to calm the look, knock back the inky theme by using it on just the one wall. You can keep the rest of the room fresh and bright, again balancing it with warm textures.

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Key spring trends for your home

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Key spring trends for your home

Spring is always an exciting time of year for me — the sun appears from nowhere, like a lost love and brings with it hope and anticipation for the long stretch of summer ahead. My designer head gets swept along and all at once I’m buzzing with inspiration and ideas for the year ahead. Part of my job is to be constantly aware of emerging trends and this year, the up-and-coming trends are bigger, better, more exciting than ever before. These are my top three.

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Six heavenly stairways

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Six heavenly stairways

The staircase is often viewed as a purely functional, transitional space in the home, sadly. Its huge potential to provide a bold backdrop is time and again overshadowed by its utilitarian purpose. But the possibilities are endless.

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Highlights from London Design Week 2016

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Highlights from London Design Week 2016

I get the same feeling of excited anticipation for London Design Week every year. Heading west along Kings Road towards Chelsea Harbour, at first the interior design showrooms are few and far between, but before long it seems that every shop window is showing some exciting new fabric or innovative new furniture piece that makes my heart beat just that little bit faster.

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London Design Week buzz

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London Design Week buzz

One of the things I absolutely love about living in London is the design buzz. It feels something exciting is happening all the time — last week it was the Affordable Art Fair and this week it’s headfirst into London Design Week.

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The art fair is back in town

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The art fair is back in town

You may have noticed that I’ve not updated my blog much recently; not at all, in fact, for six months. If you had been waiting to hear from me, I can only say sorry — but I’ve been very busy with lots of exciting projects and plans that I’ll update you on over the next few weeks (and one involves my new website that I’m so excited about I just have to give it this brief little mention).

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Grand Designs Live

Grand Designs Live is back this October, where I'll be sharing my interior expertise once again, giving a series of interior design talks over the four day event to inspire visitors to create their own 'Grand Design'.

 

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August's Colour Fix

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August's Colour Fix

A recent trip to Brazil has filled me with a new wave of enthusiasm for the botanical trend that has gathered pace in 2015, and it’s the focus of my August Colour Fix.

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