Catherine Watson, of interiors firm Bert & Wills, answers the questions she is often asked about how to style your home
Is it worth investing in key pieces?
If you have the budget, then I would always suggest you invest in quality pieces of furniture and especially when choosing a sofa as this is the one item which is intended to last a long time.
Choose neutral colours for sofas, curtains and carpets and accessorise with more cost-effective items like throws, cushions, and vases that you can easily change around.
However, I do love a colourful, statement piece – depends on your individual taste.
How do you make a room look bigger?
1. Mirrors – we all know that mirrors reflect the light and give the illusion that there is more space.
2. The colour white – known for its reflective qualities, helping to introduce a light and airy feel to any room whilst creating calmness.
3. Proportions – keep the size of your furniture and accessories proportionate to the size of the room. Anything too large will make the room feel even smaller.
4. Use low furniture – to make the room feel more open, introduce furniture that sits low down.
5. Leggy furniture – keeping furniture off the floor creates a sense of openness so look for chairs and sofas with legs.
6. Curtains – only use if you really need to in a small room. If they are a necessity, extend curtain poles further past the window frame to allow more natural light in.
7. Vertical and horizontal – emphasise height and width by focusing on vertical elements to add height and horizontal to add width to a room.
8. Keep it simple. Adding too much of anything into a room, whether by using too much colour, furniture, or an abundance of accessories, will make it feel smaller.
How do I make my staircase more interesting?
Introducing a feature wall will certainly add interest.
I often make the main staircase wall (opposite the handrail) the main feature wall. It offers a good expanse of space to add statement wallpaper or paint effects that create impact.
Adding several ‘grouped’ paintings or photo frames can quickly (and cheaply) change the look too.
If you’re going on trend, choose a deep coloured wall such as a steely blue and add frames with monochrome images. To ramp
it up the luxe, add in some metallic frames.
How do I hide exposed pipes?
Ugly pipe work can cause a few issues.
You can deal with this by boxing them in, however you can also make them a feature by using paint.
Use natural tones on the walls and paint the pipes in a metallic colour such as gold, silver, or copper – adding appropriate coloured accessories to highlight the colour theme.