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design Talk Creating a beautiful home and complement the mood of the room. These could take the form of cushions, throws, plants, ornaments, pictures, lamps or table settings. Furniture and fittings also add colour, so consider smaller pieces in gilt, brass, bronze, nickel, glass, wood or paint finishes. These, and mirrors, will bring life and sparkle to your room. One rule I learned long ago that I still bear in mind to this day is that every room should have a touch of black. When pulling together a scheme you can also use texture to add depth. Different types of fabric in the same colour react to light in different ways, for example silks and velvets catch and reflect the light in the way that ‘dry’ fabrics, such as linen and cotton, do not; a pale blue crunchy silk or taffeta will look completely different to the same colour in twill or cotton damask. I advise you not to have too many colours in each scheme. Even if you plan to decorate your home in phases it is a good idea to consider the schemes for all of the rooms at the same time. A home where the colour schemes flow into one another always has more impact than one where unrelated schemes pop up from room to room. A professional designer will prepare sample boards showing the fabrics and finishes for each room, so you can lay them out together to ensure the whole house is cohesive. Even if you are working on your own, I suggest you should do the same. It is best to look at the boards in both natural and electric light, and at different times of the day. Make sure the

Opting for the same flooring across different zones of an open-plan layout helps the design flow and unites the space. Montreal Oak flooring from the Transform collection by Moduleo. Prices start from £19.99/m² electric light you use is the same as the one in the final space, otherwise the finished look might not match your expectations. When you have sorted out your colour schemes you will almost certainly find that several colours run from room to room, albeit in different guises, and these are the ones I would have looked for to reflect your personality had I been working with you. Finally, even if you do think of yourself as a trendsetter, bear in mind that you may have

Black adds drama to any colour scheme, but don’t go overboard. The cream and wooden cabinetry of this in-frame Milton Kitchen balance the look beautifully. Second Nature kitchens start from £14,000

to live with your choices for a long time. The colours that work for you will be the ones you instinctively enjoy, not the ones that look ahead of the pack. If you are not entirely comfortable with them – don’t use them.


ary Leslie works with clients across the UK and overseas from two offices in London and Perthshire. She founded her interior design company in 1996 after having worked for several of London’s leading interior designers. If there were such a thing as a Mary Leslie look it would combine a creative use of colour, form and function with elegance, comfort and sensitivity to clients’ needs. Mary and her team are happy to undertake the full range of interior architectural services and they specialise in bespoke joinery. Whatever the project they ensure the highest attention to detail and standard of finish. As Interior Decorators they design, source and supply furniture, curtains, upholstery, carpets, fixtures, materials, lighting, antiques, works of art and accessories. For further information visit Mary’s website at | Traditional Homes

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Traditional Homes & Interiors Magazine April 2013  
Traditional Homes & Interiors Magazine April 2013