How to Style a Buffet or Sideboard

Assymetrical styling on a sideboard

One of my favourite pieces of furniture, often overlooked, is the humble sideboard or buffet. In a dining room, it’s often overlooked by the star of the space, the dining room table, but it’s a master of practicality as well as aesthetics. With either drawers or cabinet doors, it can house all manner of items requiring hiding away like the ‘fancy’ china you bring out on special occasions, the additional table linens, even the kid’s craft supplies and the waxed table cloth that protects your table when they are getting creative.

But even if you are already well aware of it’s practical side, are you missing out on creating something a little extra special with your buffet? While we may lavish attention on other areas of our homes, neglecting the top surface of this piece can be a styling trick you don’t want to miss out on. Allowing the day’s mail, stacks of old magazines or the clutter of the day pile up can only be described as a crime against this wonderful piece of furniture in your home. Why not give it the attention it deserves by creating a beautiful display that will only enhance the room it’s in?

sideboard styling in black white and gold

Styling the top of your sideboard needn’t be a minefield of decorating decisions, however. It’s a small area upon which to flex your styling muscles and try out a few new things. You can suit your arrangement to nearly any style you desire – whether you love a more rustic country look, crave something minimalist or modern, or like a touch of the eccentric and eclectic and pretty much anything in between.

dining room sideboard with large art

There are many ways of course you can decorate the sideboard and in my post today we’ll talk about a few different options you might have. The most important thing, however, is that your sideboard tells the story of you. So whether you use family photos to show off your warm and welcoming side, use it as a makeshift bar for your legendary cocktail parties with friends or use it to display the eclectic finds from your travels, it should reflect your personality and style.

For a more formal look or to convey a sense of elegance, symmetrical displays are a great start. Consider twinning a pair of lamps on either side or a pair of two large vases filled with flowers or branches. As your brain can understand and interpret symmetry quickly, this look is easy on the eye and there is an innate sense of calm that is conveyed immediately.

symmetrical styling on sideboard

Asymmetrical displays have a bit more energy and interest and as such, will contribute to a more casual approach in your décor. If your space is less formal, you may wish to think about those items you display on top and how they might reflect your more eclectic personality and style.

Assymetrical styling on a sideboard

Whether you choose a symmetrical or an asymmetrical display, the objects you use and the height and scale of them play an important role in the final look.  You can create height by stacking books and placing objects or plants of various sizes on top and you can consider contrasting smaller objects with tall vases, lamps and collections of photographs or art leant across the wall.

Without that variation in height, the collection can read as “flat” and your eye will stagnate along the straight line created. Using objects of different heights layered upon the surface and hanging art or a large mirror above it, your eye will have an interesting line to follow and this variation of height allows it to take in every piece on display.

sideboard styling with rustic and global touches

You will also want to vary the scale and size of your objects, layering some objects in front of others, with larger pieces at the back and smaller items towards the front. A single placement of items all lined up like little soldiers will again appear uninteresting so consider leaning artwork against the wall, with larger or wider objects at the back and smaller items in front of it to vary the depth of the accessories.

And finally, don’t forget to consider mixing up your textures – rough with smooth, glossy with matt, natural fibres and metals – all of these variations create interest and layers in any display.

Check out our favourite sideboards and buffets from our wide selection…

get the look sideboards

traditional / eclectic / modern / hollywood regency / vintage / mid-century modern / glamorous


How do you decorate your sideboard or buffet? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!


Image sources: AM Dolce Vita / French for Pineapple / Apartment Therapy / Suburban Bitches / Claire Brody Designs

10 Tips to Make Your Home Look More Expensive


While most of us wouldn’t mind living in a fabulously expensive home, there are very few of us that actually have the budget to do so. Well, there are plenty of little tricks you can employ to make your home look more expensive – without blowing the budget! So if you are interested in getting a high-end look without the wallet-busting high price, read on…

Tip 1 – Swap out your light fixtures

light fixture in dining room

Something that is often neglected is the main lighting in a room but nothing adds to the atmosphere (or takes away from it!) more than the quality and quantity of light your room receives. Replace that boring light fitting with something more dramatic and you’ll instantly raise the profile of the entire room. Consider adding wall lights to create small pockets of light to add additional ambiance.

Tip 2 – Invest in neutrals for your largest pieces

pale grey sofa in glam living room

Ever notice that homes decorated by interior designers use plenty of neutrals? While you can add color with your accessories, keep the largest pieces like sofas in a neutral color to maximise it’s longevity, allowing it to easily fit into your scheme, no matter what your style. Check out our range of high quality sofas in a wide range of neutral fabrics and colors to bring that designer look home.

Tip #3 – Line Your Curtains

pink curtains in dining room

While breezy light-filtering curtains are fine for summer, once cooler weather sets in, having your curtains lined adds weight and luxury to even the most inexpensive curtains. If you are a daft hand with a sewing machine, you can easily do this yourself but if not, a friend or relative may be able to help you. If you don’t fancy the hassle, there are also plenty of ready made lined curtains that can do the job just as easily! Consider using a heavier weight fabrics like velvets and jacquards for a luxury finishing touch to a room scheme.

Tip #4 – Hang Your Curtains High and Wide

Speaking of curtains, hanging them right up to the ceiling and slightly wider than the edges of the windows actually gives the illusion of much larger windows, a higher ceiling and a loftier, more open space. It’s a clever trick that’s easily employed – just make sure your curtains hang all the way to the floor! Never use curtains that don’t touch the floor – it will instantly cheapen your decor and spoil the illusion of height.

Tip #5 – Consider Re-tiling


Changing out old, damaged tile from your bathroom and kitchen needn’t be expensive. By using inexpensive subway tiles, you can instantly update the entire look and feel of your space for a great price. Even better? Subway tiles have been fashionable for a century and so you need not worry about them going out of style – they are a true classic!

Tip #6 – Add Panel Moulding to Walls

panel molding

This works particularly well in period properties but you can add height and interest to walls even in a newer property by using inexpensive wood trim to create a luxurious look. Paint out to the same color as the walls or consider painting them white or gold for an interesting contrast against a wall color. Keep the spacing even and symmetrical for a stunningly luxurious look.

Tip #7 – Add Ceiling Roses


Architectural details are a great way to make your home look more expensive. Give your light fixtures a grand accent by installing ceiling roses. Again, this works particularly well in period homes (it’s best to use styles that are in keeping with the age of your property) but even a simple rose will make an impact on a newer property.

Tip #8 – Add Crown Molding to Your Ceilings

Again, adding those all important architectural details really make a room stand out. Adding crown molding to the gap between walls and ceiling instantly trims out a space and elevates the look and feel of a room. Whether you choose the more expensive decorative cornicing in plaster or simple and inexpensive wood, there’s no doubt that a feeling of luxury can be achieved on any budget.

Tip #9 – Display Fresh Flowers

fresh flowers

You don’t need to spend huge amounts of cash to add luxury to your space. A simple inexpensive bouquet from the local supermarket can be all you need to add sophistication. Simply break up the bouquet by stem type and create several small arrangements to spread around your home.

Tip #10 – Clear the Clutter


And finally, a messy home will never look quite as expensive as a tidy one. Keep clutter at bay with simple storage solutions and banish the mess with our organisation tips for every room. Having a place for everything will instantly update and create a calm and welcoming atmosphere whether you’ve spent a lot or just a little on your home’s decor.

I hope these tips today have helped you to see you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a luxurious look in your home. Have you any tips to add yourself? I would love to hear from you.

Get the Look - How to Make Your Home Look More Expensive

Chandelier / Wall Sconce / Geometric Fabric / Ikat Fabric / Grey Sofa / White Chair / Bench


Image sources: Belathée Photography for My Domaine / The Skinny Confidential via Apartment Therapy / Ashley Gieseking for Domino / Brooke Davis for Lonny / Metrie via The Hunted Interior / 47 Park Avenue / Sabra Lattos Photography for My Domaine / Studio McGee

5 Small Changes That Make a Big Impact in a Room

feature wallpaper

If you are looking for a way to refresh your space but don’t have the time, budget or inclination to do an entire redesign, then you’re going to love my post today.

There are certain shortcuts you can take that make a big impact in a room without having to go through the trouble of starting all over again and none of these changes take very much time. They are all game-changers that can make the difference between a room seeming a little bland or flat to giving a space that va-va-voom you were hoping for.

Paint it in a different color

Pale blue kitchen

There’s nothing more transformative to a room than changing its color. Consider your soft furnishings, artwork or accessories to pull your paint color from and allow these existing hues to influence your final decision. If you want a really big change, take your room from a light color to a dark one or vice versa. It’s something that can be accomplished in a single weekend and is relatively low-cost for the impact it makes in a space.

Change the rug

Caitlin Wilson home tour

We often forget about our floors when decorating but the right rug can make all the difference to a space. You always want to go larger than you think when choosing a rug and while this may add to the cost, the impact it makes is well worth the investment. As a general rule, in the living room, any furniture on the perimeter needs to have at least the front legs on top of the rug – no ‘postage stamps’ beneath your coffee table! It will only make the room look smaller. In a dining room, make sure that chairs can be comfortably pulled out without coming off the rug. Consider something high-impact with lots of movement or pattern or calm the room with a neutral that has a subtle but inviting texture.

Check out our full range of rugs here.

Swap your artwork to something large and in charge

large artwork in workspace

While gallery walls have been popular for some years, we are starting to see a movement to larger pieces taking their place. Consider replacing your smaller, less significant pieces with statement-making artwork that really speaks to you. One great piece can really take a room to the next level, draw the eye and pull together a color scheme.

Check out our full range of beautiful art pieces here.

Create a wall of shelving

wall of shelving

If you have a large wall that’s looking a little bare, why not transform it into a place to display your beloved books and belongings? Not only will it create huge impact, but it will also allow you to show off your personality with pride. Keep the clutter to a minimum by not overfilling the shelves but do add interest by incorporating a few pretty pieces like bowls, plants, ceramics or objects to break up the look and ensure there’s some negative space where the eye can rest.

Check out our full range of accessories for the home here.

Add wallpaper

feature wallpaper

Finally, if your room is lacking in color or pattern, consider adding wallpaper. You can create a single feature wall to draw attention to a particularly lovely view or if you are feeling brave, cover every wall in your chosen pattern for maximum impact. There are so many wallpaper styles available, you’re sure to find something you love. For rented spaces or if you are afraid of tiring of a large pattern over time, consider removable wallpaper which will add all the impact without the commitment.

Check out our full range of inspiring wallpapers here.

So those are just five ways to add really big impact to a room without having to start from scratch! Have you adopted any of these ideas in your own home for quick results? I’d love to hear from you if so!


Image sources: Idha Lindhag for My Scandinavian Home / Elija Hoffman for My Domaine / Bliss at Home / Mademoiselle PoirotEmily Henderson

5 Decorating Rules It’s Okay to Break

striped wallpaper hallway

If there’s one thing I always say it’s that you must learn the basic rules of interior design before you can go ahead and break them. There are of course certain things we hear by various design experts, bloggers, the media – and hey, even our parents! – but if we followed every single rule out there and applied them to our home, well, what we might end up with is something a little bit bland.

And so, while it’s absolutely recommended to have a good understanding of your space, understand the light it gets, how you’ll use the room and what your budget is, and then plan for all those accordingly, it’s more than fine to rebel a little bit from certain tried-and-tested rules we hear all the time. And in that spirit, here are 5 often-repeated rules that I’m giving you full permission to break!

All your furniture must match.


Long ago, a fully matching set of furniture was seen to be a luxury but more and more, people are starting to realize that your home can look so much more interesting and ‘collected’ when you bring pieces of different styles to create a unique, eclectic look.  The trick to mixing and matching furniture lies in finding commonalities among your pieces in their shape or style or tying things together with a limited palette of color.  The most important thing, however, is that you love the pieces themselves – if you do, you can always make it work and you will always be surrounded by the items you truly love.


Break the Rules Eclectic Mixing

chair / art / bar cart / throw / lounge chair / coffee table


Dark paint colors will make a room look small and cramped.

dark wall colours

While darker colors don’t recede the way paler colors do, there is absolutely no reason not to go with a darker color if you love the look and it certainly doesn’t have to make a room look small. Create interest in a darker room with lots of texture or bold brights and allow each piece to shine against its dark backdrop. For tips on using dark paints, check out our post How to Create Drama with Dark Paint Colors.


Decor for Dark Walls

chandelier / sofa / art / coffee table / cushion 1 / cushion 2

Scale all your pieces to fit your space.

oversized light fixture

Now of course I’m not saying to try and fit that sprawling L-shaped sofa into your tiny studio apartment but playing with scale is a great way to fool the eye into thinking your space is less bijou than it looks. The best pieces to break the rules in terms of scale are your accessories – consider a large oversized mirror or piece of artwork, a large light fixture over a dining table or a playfully large floor lamp to create a bit of interest and wow-factor.


Play with Scale

mirror / lighting / chair / dining table / pear

Don’t ever mix your metal finishes.


While years ago, most designers would have repeated the same metallic finish throughout a home, these days, it’s absolutely fine to mix and match your metals. Consider bringing in a brass light fixture with copper accessories, using stainless steel appliances with gleaming gold cabinet pulls or a shiny chrome coffee table with gold lamps. In 2016, mixing metals is a great way to get a totally up-to-date look.


Mixed Metals

fingers crossed ornament / coffee table / bar cart / vase / trunk

You should only use neutrals for maximum resale value.

striped wallpaper hallway

Sure, every contractor out there would be happy to cover every available surface in the dreaded but inoffensive ‘builder’s beige’ but the only time you should be considering this rule is if you are looking to sell your home within the next 6-12 months. If not? Well, then you should be decorating for how you live NOW not where you think you might be living in a few years down the line. So go ahead and use that wallpaper you love, paint the walls in a fun color and get creative with your space.


Decorate for you

striped wallpaper / animal print fabric / mirror / table lamp / side table

I hope that with these tips you can see that sometimes breaking the rules can lead to a very interesting and vibrant home that you’ll love! Which design tips have you broken lately?

Image sources: Gabriel Hendifar via Erika Brechtal / Swoon Worthy / Abigail Ahern for Design Sponge / Sarah Sherman Samuel / Studio Ten 25 via Domino 

How to Create Drama with Dark Paint Colors

dark grey living room with pops of colour

Moody hues. They’ve been on our radar for quite some time now but 2016 looks to be the year that dark paint colors become much more mainstream than a trend just adopted by the design-saavy.

I’ll be honest with you – when I first saw black walls becoming a ‘thing’ on interior design sites a few years ago, I assumed it was a passing fad. It reminded me of my youth, all black eyeliner and ripped jeans with Doc Martins and posters of obscure bands on my wall, writing furiously into my journals about my parents just not understanding me and endless tomes about my latest crush.

But I realised slowly, this was different. It wasn’t “parental rebellion” I saw in these images. It started with the odd feature wall but slowly, I was seeing entire rooms enveloped in dark cozy inky colors, natural textures comfortable against their moody backdrops, pops of bright hues engaging my senses in ways I’d never before noticed and metallics gleaming as stars against a night sky.

inky blue wall colour Abigail Ahern

This dark movement started quietly but for me it was probably British interior designer and entrepreneur Abigail Ahern who was the main culprit in bringing it to the mainstream. Her inky hues are the signature of her maximalist California / Old West/Bohemian look.

The legions of followers of her popular blog (myself included) picked up our paintbrushes by the masses, equipped with the tools and advice we needed to make this look work and soon thereafter, I committed myself wholly by saturating the walls in my bedroom with a nearly-black slate grey. I was immediately converted as was my other half who took a full year of convincing before he let me do it.

Swoon Worthy bedroom black paint

my own black bedroom

The main concern most people have before committing to a dark color is that it will make the resulting space feel a lot smaller. While this may be the case, I do find that the edges of the room, encased in that darkness, become inconspicuous and therefore tend to recede. It’s less of a feeling of claustrophobia and more one of coziness and intimacy.

dark bedroom Abigail Ahern

The secret really lies not in the paint color itself, but what goes against this velvety backdrop. Whatever it is that you place against it will be where your eye is drawn and so best make whatever it is worthy of attention. Objects and furnishings pop against dark colors – more so than they would against a white backdrop – and colors appear brighter and bolder.

dark living room Graham Atkin Hughes

Take care when choosing your art and accessories – ensure they engage the mind, attract the eye and tantalise the senses. The more interesting and engaging your choices, the more the resulting room comes to life.

dark grey living room with pops of colour

A hint of shimmery metallics will add a natural glamour as well, piercing the darkness with their reflective surfaces. White provides a fitting contrast, becoming brighter and starker.

black bathroom

In a room full of warm neutrals, be sure to bring in plenty of texture to keep things from looking too flat and creating a cozy and welcoming vibe.

dark dining room with feather light A Beautiful Mess

Lighting in a dark room plays a prominent role as well. You want to create pockets of light with plenty of options – not just for your general lighting but also by way of things like table and floor lamps as well as wall sconces, illuminating various areas of the room that you want to draw attention to.

farrow and ball dark paint colour bedroom


Choose the right furniture and accessories for your dark walls with eye-catching details, textures and statement color.

Dark Paint Colour Accessories and Furniture from My Two Designers

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8


While I won’t necessarily be painting every wall in my own home a dark hue, I still love my bedroom with it’s warm and intimate coziness. Will dark paint colors become the next ‘builder beige’? That’s probably doubtful as I do believe it takes a little bit of courage to take that leap but I certainly hope this trend which is certainly getting stronger all the time, decides to stay awhile.

What do you think of the latest trend of dark wall colors? Is it something you’d like in your home? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Image sources: David Cleveland for The Guardian / Abigail Ahern / Swoon Worthy / Abigail Ahern / Graham Atkins-Hughes for Remodelista / David Cleveland for The Guardian / Donna Dotan for Living Gazette / A Beautiful Mess / Farrow & Ball

How to Use Accessories to Warm Up a Space

cosy living room with fireplace

Ahh yes, it’s January. Once the seasonal decorations come down and your homes is stripped back to it’s former state, you may be feeling as though your house is lacking a little lustre. And while this may be the case, it might be too cold to venture outdoors at this time of year and so you may be spending more time at home. With that comes the desire to feel as though your home is a bit like your personal nest – somewhere to can curl up, safe and warm, with a good book and a cup of coffee or huddle down until the roads are clear on a comfy sofa with our loved ones to catch up on the latest series on Netflix.

Well, you can bring in a lot of visual and practical warmth simply by changing up some of your accessories. While pale colours and light fabrics may work well in your home in the warmer months, the winter requires a little more coziness. Of course, you don’t have to completely redecorate with every season but there are a few things you can add that will make all the difference.


cosy bed with cushions and throw

This is probably the most obvious one but it’s certainly worth mentioning. Creating that cozy nest will require a few changes in things like cushions, throws and blankets and possibly rugs and curtains. Who doesn’t love the feel of warm, fluffy fabrics against their skin at this time of year?

Create an inviting and warm look by swapping your regular pillows for some knitted beauties, consider adding a throw or two to the sofa and keep those chilly nights at bay with something soft underfoot. The textures of things like wool, velvet, fur, knits and pelts immediately bring to mind comfort and warmth, something that we crave when the temperatures dip.

My Two Designers Textiles



1 /2 / 3 / 4 / 5



warm wood and textiles living room

One of the beauties of wood is that unlike man-made materials, it tends to warm up to the temperature around it. So it never feels particularly cold or unwelcoming. The natural grains and colours of wood also bring a warmth in terms of color into our homes and tends to ground the space, bringing the best of the outdoors in.

Choose a few wood accessories in deeper shades to accent your décor and remember that Mother Nature never gets it wrong in the style stakes.

My Two Designers Wood Accessories


1 / 2 / 3 /4 / 5


gold tables in cosy living room

With it’s reflective properties, the beauty of warm metals (think brass, gold, copper and rose gold) is that any available light will be bounced around a room. During a time when the sun may be a bit more scarce than normal, make the most of it by using accessories that warm up the space by their ability to transform the light into something magical.

Consider introducing warmer metals into your home by way of gilded cushions, a gleaming side table, smaller ornaments, tables and lighting.

My Two Designer Warm Metals

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /5


multiple lights in one room

Speaking of lighting, there’s no better way to bring a bit of softness and ambiance into a space than with your lighting. So often a neglected feature, a blazing overhead light does little to create a cozy atmosphere. Instead, ensure your main lighting is on a dimmer and then accent it with soft pools of light from table lamps, sconces and floor lamps. A soft golden glow will be cast, creating a flattering and comforting light for those around it.

My Two Designers Lighting

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

So these are just a few ways to add some warmth to your abode this winter! How do you warm up your space in the winter? I’d love to hear from you!


Image sources: Julien Fernandez via Abigail AhernFlo Design Studios via Domaine / Amber Interiors / Ashley Gieseking via Domino / Diana Ousdal

How to add color to a neutral space

While I can appreciate the nuances and textures of a neutrally decorated room, color makes me and my home feel alive. It can be something as simple as a bright yellow vase or a blush pink cushion but a little bit of color in a room can mean the difference between a room feeling a bit bland and something that tantalizes the senses and makes me want to stick around for a while.


But how do you gain the confidence to decorate with color? There are some simple rules to using color that will make your choices a little easier and certainly more enjoyable than slapping some paint up on the walls only to experience crushing disappointment when it doesn’t look as you’d imagined in your head. While choosing colors for your home may be the most exciting part of decorating a room, you will need to first think about your existing furnishings and accessories. Starting from a blank slate can also be a bit intimidating when there is so much choice out there. So where do you start?

Color Inspiration

My first tip is to either use or find something with multiple colors within it that you love. It could be a painting or a fabric or wallpaper. Try pulling the colors from this item into the rest of your room. You can see above how one piece of art can inspire two very different room color schemes. Which one would you chose?

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10 Ways to Create a Statement in Your Interiors

You can call it the ‘Wow’ factor or the ‘focus’ of a room but one thing is for certain – making a big statement in terms of your style is big news in interiors right now. It’s the one thing that draws attention, turns your head, perhaps even makes your jaw drop and creates an instant style moment in a space.

While I firmly believe that every single room in your home should have some statement quality about it, how do you inject that magic element of surprise or intrigue into your own home? Today, I’m going to share with you 10 different things you can do – either individually or if you’re feeling brave, in combination – to get that statement look in your interiors.


statement art

While the gallery wall is still popular, the newest way to make a real design statement is go big with your artwork. Choosing one large piece to anchor your room will dictate the mood and possibly palette of your space so deciding on a piece you really love will be the most crucial step.  While larger art may be pricey, don’t forget you can also get large canvases from your local craft or hobby store and with a few paintbrushes and paint, you may just unlock a secret talent!

Shop This Look:

Understated II     statement art product 2-1     statement art product 3-1


statement wallpaper

With the trend of wallpaper still riding a crest in popularity combined with new technology in the digital print arena, narrowing down which one to use in a space can often be overwhelming with all the choices available. Consider things like your preferred color palette, the addition of texture or movement within a pattern and the mood you want your room to evoke.

Shop the look:

statement wallpaper product 3   statement wallpaper product 2-1    statement wallpaper product 1-1

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