IDRU: March – London Design Week, Olga Polizzi and Rocco Forte Hotels

Interior Design Round Up has been shortened to IDRU.

The highlight of this month was, of course, London Design Week! Although this took place on my doorstep, at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, I unfortunately wasn’t able to go. Trade dates were 8-10 March and the show opened to the public from 11-13 March. In this post, I’m going to be talking about hotelier Olga Polizzi, who gave a speech at London Design Week that inspired me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels.

Olga Polizzi of Rocco Forte Hotels

I read that Olga Polizzi gave a speech about her process of hotel design. I would love design commercial settings like hotels, bars and restaurants, so this would have been a great talk for me! Hearing this, however, led me to go and explore the Rocco Forte Hotels website. And all I can say is, wow.

The hotels are honestly what dreams are made of! If you’re picturing yourself in a beautiful dress, wandering through the hallways of a very grand and decadent building, then The Balmoral, Edinburgh is perfect. Or, if you see yourself lounging in a king sized bed wearing a silk dressing gown (I often do), then the suites at Brown’s Hotel, London are ideal.

The interior at Brown’s Hotel was designed by Olga herself and effortlessly “harmonises stunning period features with contemporary flair.” As an English graduate, I can’t help but gush over the fact that Brown’s Hotel has its origins in Lord Byron’s history. It was his butler, James Brown, who acquired it in 1837 and expanded it to create Brown’s Hotel in 1838. The literary links continue, as the hotel has had George Orwell, Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling, who started The Jungle Book during one of his stays there. Agatha Christie is said to have based At Bertram’s Hotel on Brown’s and Stephen King supposedly started his novel Misery, whilst sat at Kipling’s desk there!

Deluxe Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Dover Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

The rooms are interesting because they’re a mix of traditional and contemporary design. The cornice and colour scheme in the Dover Suite above feel Georgian, yet the furniture and ornaments are very much contemporary.

Hotel de Russie in Rome, another Rocco Forte Hotel is the perfect luxury getaway. I love the Nijinksy Suite at this hotel. The patterns, fresh, light colour palette and gorgeous Italian views really make it the type of European getaway I picture when I close my eyes.

Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nikinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome
Nijinksy Suite at Hotel de Russie, Rome

Finally, perhaps the dreamiest of all, is The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai. The luxury, futuristic feel of the hotel’s bars and restaurants is incredible. The rooftop bar sits on the 59th floor and offers panoramic views of the West Bund. There’s also n Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a British tea room.

The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel, Shanghai

Plus, the ceiling on this spa would honestly make me feel like I had left reality completely and entered heaven. It’s almost as if this whole room sits amongst the clouds…

The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Spa, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai
The Westbund Hotel Suite, Shanghai

I won’t pretend as if any of the rooms I’ve mentioned in this post aren’t wildly unattainable. All of this superior, considered design comes at a very high cost. The Kipling Suite at Brown’s Hotel starts at £4,200 a night – definitely not pocket change!

Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London
Kiping Suite at Brown’s Hotel, London

Interior Design Round Up – January

Image from Crittall

This year, I plan to start a monthly interior design post on this blog that brings you all of my favourite trends, designer showcases and just general chat about the industry. If you’re not following my interior design Instagram, then please do! @tanyasinteriors for all of the inspiration you need to re-design your home.

The first thing I want to talk about this month is Crittall windows and doors. Don’t worry, for months I didn’t know the proper name for these either and I’ve actually just been calling them grid windows and doors. Regardless, this style is my absolute favourite for kitchen and bathroom partitions. It feels like such a modern trend but it’s actually named after an ironmonger called Francis Henry Crittall; who, in 1860, created metal windows in this style. Paired with neutral tones, plants and lots of black and white artwork, it does feel very chic. I’m just glad I finally know exactly what to call them!

Image from Crittall

The colour grey has been a safe choice for many when it comes to re-designing their home. It was a safe choice for me when choosing what colour to paint my childhood bedroom, which was previously a colour called Jazberry that I picked up in Homebase when I was maybe 14? It was only at 21 did I remove the awful floral border in my bedroom and paint the walls grey. You can read all about that transformation here. But I’ve heard that blue is actually the new grey!

Image from Pantone

The Pantone colour of the year is classic blue and it’s been met with a lot of mixed responses. I don’t know about you but I would find it difficult to incorporate this shade of blue into any kind of cheerful design. To me, it screams of sadness and mourning. I’m far more comfortable working with rich or pastel blues. Deeper blue kitchen cabinets with gold knobs or handles for example, is a pairing that I absolutely adore. Or, pale blue metro wall tiles in a bathroom, which immediately brings that sense of freshness to the room. Either way, I think I’ll be happy to see the end of the safe grey phase.

Image from Clare Gaskin

Mixing textures but using the same colours is also something I have seen quite a bit of recently. It’s a great way to create some variety in a room if you’re not that comfortable splashing out on colour. I was shown this Surrey fun house at work by Clare Gaskin last month and I love it! It’s just exactly what it says it is – fun. This is the kind of home that calls for constant entertaining and is all play and no sleep. Plus, I adore the wallpaper in the image above. I first saw it on an Instagram account called @oakappledecor – picture below. I rave about Cole & Son all the time but their wallpapers truly are to die for and so varied too. This is the Circus wallpaper from their Geometric II range.

Image from Instagram @oakappledecor

But, if you can’t bear the thought of mixing so many vibrant colours in one room, then try playing around with textures. As you can see here, you’ve got the plants, the sheers and the wood textures coming through in the furniture but the colour palette remains very stable.

Image from Curbed

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know how much I love kitchen design. I think the kitchen is the most sociable and important room in the house, closely followed by the bathroom. I’m still deciding whether I want to focus on kitchen and bathroom design in the future because I’m literally obsessed with both! Earlier, I came across a trend about concealed kitchens. This is basically where you have cabinet doors covering all the worktops and functional spaces in the kitchen but you can open or pull out different parts as and when you need to use them.

Now, I haven’t really heard of this much. I once was involved in a project where the designer was working on a pull out kitchen table, which turned out very nicely in the end. But this was to try and maximise quite a small space. I haven’t really thought about concealing parts of a kitchen in a room where you already have that space. I’m not sure how I feel about it either!

Images from Hub Kitchens

Finally, I want to remind you all that the Surface Design Show takes place next week from the 11th to 13th February. Unfortunately, I can’t go as I’ll be working and then flying to Lisbon on the 13th. I do hear that it’s a great event for picking up news on the latest material trends for interior and exterior surfaces. There are talks and events happening throughout the day and it’s a great way to network. I’m sure you know the usual! You can get tickets here on the BIID website.

Tips For Affordable Bedroom Decor

I’ve been looking to revamp my room for months now. My bedroom is the one place in my house that I spend the majority of my time in, so it’s important to me that it’s a space I love. My bedroom is a decent size but even if yours is a little bit smaller or bigger there are always ways to utilise the space. The dark decor that I had previously was doing nothing for the space. My room felt exhausted, old and claustrophobic. The walls were dark, the furniture was dark and it felt more like a cluttered teenage bedroom than a mature space to relax and unwind in.

1. Organisation

I’m an organised person by nature. If there is even one thing out of place, I can’t relax. This could be a piece of paper on the floor or a drawer that isn’t fully closed. That’s why organisation was top of my list when re-decorating my room. I needed to find some furniture that allowed me to stash things away neatly and out of sight but also be easily accessible. 
Ikea drawers – Songesand £175
Ikea wardrobe – Brimmes £155
2. Colour
To open up a space, bright colours are your best friend. Keeping things simple and fresh are key. I hate white walls because everybody has them and I think its boring. I also decided to make most of my furniture white, so having white walls too would have made everything blend in to one whole blur of nothingness. I opted instead for a pale grey colour with hints of blue running through it. Light enough to really open the space without giving off hospital admission vibes. You also want to stick to a theme. Mine is grey walls with splashes of pink and mixed metals.
Dulux paint in ‘Warm Pewter’ – £20

3. Accents

If there’s a particular colour or design that you like, the best way to bring that in to a room is through small accents. Splash it in to your room through prints, cushions, throws, curtains, the handles on your wardrobe or chest of drawers for example. This way, everything can tie together seamlessly without looking over-worked. I kept a theme of clean lines in the design of my wardrobe, chest of drawers and bed. All three are white and have quite feminine touches in their detail. I had been considering picking up some pieces from the malm range on Ikea, which is really affordable; but the design was just a little too simple for me. I do like to have at least a little bit of detail on my furniture. 
Dunelm Coat Hooks – £5
H&M Fluffy Throw – £39.99
4. Mirrors

Mirrors are my favourite thing because I’m vain and like to spend a lot of time looking at myself. There’s no shame in loving yourself boys and girls, someone has got to. In decorating my room I have learned that mirrors are actually extremely expensive. I originally wanted a large leaning mirror that I could rest against a wall, however for the style I wanted I was looking at a price over £100. Instead, I just decided to use my old university mirror. To fix it to the wall I threaded an old thick shoelace through the staples in the back, tied the ends together and hung it on a nail in the wall. I also have a mirror on my wardrobe and an LED light mirror that I use to do my make-up. 
Argos full length mirror – £20
LED light mirror – was a gift from my sister who won’t tell me the price or where she got it from, but you can definitely get them on Amazon
5. Lighting

I love candles and fairy lights. Draping fairy lights over different bits of furniture can really bring a room to life in the evening. Picking up a different lampshade or getting a centre piece for your light is a really nice way to add something extra to your room without having to do too much to it. I am considering getting a centrepiece light fixture, however I would have to think about getting an electrician in to re-wire a light for me as mine are currently on the walls. In the mean time, candles are just everything for setting a relaxing ambience and keeping your room smelling fragrant. If you get them from the right places, they can also double up as table top features too.
Primark fairy lights – £3
6. Artwork

I hate bare walls. I think that digital prints or pieces of art are a great way to bring some of your personality in to a room in a mature way. I used to have walls and walls of photographs with friends, now I’d rather have just a few important photographs framed and set up on my drawers with the rest arranged in a scrapbook that I can look at in years to come. I have a mixture of graphic prints, text prints and a canvas. My prints still stick to the colour scheme in my room (pink, grey and mixed metals) as does my Game of Thrones canvas. A canvas is actually a really nice way to get your inner fan girl out on to your walls without having to pin up a load of posters that make your room look like a teenage space.  
Desenio Prints and Frames – different prices
Canvas – bought at Comic Con, unfortunately I can’t make out the artist’s signature to credit her!
7. Personalised Features

I was lucky enough to receive this gorgeous organiser as a Christmas present from my mum; who has been calling me Tilly since I was a little girl. At first I wasn’t sure what to put inside and then I realised that it is the perfect place to store most of my make-up, with any overflow going in to one of the drawers below. I always see people with the same old make-up storage – those glass or plastic drawers that you can get in pretty much any shop now. But those are boring. Everyone has them and they don’t have any detail on them. This organiser is classic, pretty and has enough space for me to store everything from eyeshadow palettes to hair moisturisers to make-up brushes and I absolutely love it. Finding something different and personal is much more exciting and now this is a really nice feature in my room. 

I take most of my inspiration from different home design pages on Instagram. I have a ‘Home Design’ highlights section on my Instagram, so follow me @thetanyatales_ to see some gorgeous homes!