Set the mood: How to give your home a lift by designer Linda Levene

Linda Levene is an interior designer whose background in commercial design includes fashion and furniture too. As Design Director at Light & Space Interior Design Co, her approach is down to earth. ‘You often go clothes shopping and buy a couple of items that refresh your total look, so why should your home be any different?’ she says. ACHICA Living persuades her to tell us how she solves some of her client’s design dilemmas – problems we all come across in creating room schemes. Take a look at her mood boards for mid-century, romantic and comfy classic styles here...

What do you need to have in mind when you’re buying contemporary pieces to work with older ones?

‘Think about how they are going to sit next to one another, but don’t try to match things, and keep materials and finishes diverse.’

How do you add interest to a largely neutral scheme?

‘Think about your mix of textures: soft with hard, fluffy with smooth, raised with flat. Play with scale and proportion, too. An unexpected out-of-scale item or a shot of large-scale pattern can really help to give a room atmosphere.’

How do you give a bedroom a French look without it feeling overly themed?

‘Try to think in terms of atmosphere rather than specific items. Maybe only introduce one or two key items such as the bed and dressing table with the rest more loosely based on what you want to achieve.’

What are the easiest ways to make a room feel opulent without spending a fortune?

‘Try to reach all the senses. Think carefully about your colour palette, mix textures, and add scented candles and fresh flowers. Accessorise well with artwork, layer lots of cushions, add throws and maybe a rug in a great texture or pattern.’

What do you need to consider when you’re decorating a room that’s largely used in the evening?

‘Think about your window treatments. There’s nothing worse than a black window at night. Do your curtains and blinds need to be closed or is there a view that could be illuminated outside visually extending the room? If your view needs to be obscured, think carefully about what you want to use – curtains, blinds or shutters. They’ll need to look as good closed as they will open.’

How do you show off a collection of books effectively?

‘Think of using your book spines as pattern, and try colour blocking them – all orange spines together as a block, all blue-spined books as another block and so on. If you have any interesting covers, consider turning them front on because some of these are mini artworks in their own rights.’

The ACHICA Living blog brings you style inspiration from ACHICA.

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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor

View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor