Since we all had such fun looking around millionaires' mansions recently, we’ve gone back for another look. But, as you’ll remember from last time, this is no open-mouthed gawping session. Instead we’re seeing how many of the great design and decoration ideas on show in these luxurious homes are easily translatable into our own beloved but slightly more humble abodes. And we might be indulging our curiosity a little bit, too. Check out our tips here…
Make it shine
Even when you think you’ve found the home where you want to spend the rest of your days, the temptation to hedge your bets and decorate just in case you need to sell can lead to an outbreak of neutral-itis. This living space (above) is dressed that way, but avoids a flat feel in just the same way your understated schemes can. A reflective touch in tables, cushions and accessories adds an element that lifts the room.
There’s a subtle sparkle in the pelmets, too, and if the very word makes you think of dust and maiden aunts, think again. Contrasting with but complementing the curtain fabric and hiding a plastic curtain track looks smart and contemporary.
Create an eat-in kitchen
Even people with enormous houses love a place to perch with a cup of coffee or a lunchtime sarnie in the heart of the kitchen – because it’s easy, it’s sociable, and it’s a place to pause for five minutes. Creating a breakfast bar on the end of an island is for people with capacious kitchens. For those with small spaces, remember that you don’t need a full depth worktop in order to tuck a stool underneath.
Don’t forget, too, that lighting can help even in a modest kitchen. Be kind enough to give your breakfast bar its own lighting and it’ll thank you by feeling like a distinct and purposeful area of your kitchen.
Embrace a theme...
...but don’t go overboard is the lesson we can take from this upmarket bedroom scheme. One feature wall, artwork in the same vein and Oriental-style bedside cabinets give the room distinctiveness – but that’s it. There’s your less is more lesson of the day.
The symmetry of the scheme is an idea worth stealing as well. You just might need to think a little slimmer when it comes to the bedside cabinets.
Don’t spare the detail
We talked tiling when we visited a luxury bathroom before, so we won’t hang about long in this room save to say that a tile with interesting grain and colour variations for just one of your walls makes for a pleasingly lavish look.
Mirror in the bathroom
Forgive us for the oft-repeated maxim that a mirror will make your room look bigger, but it’s true whether the space starts off as pretty generously sized, like these ones, or the initial dimensions are those of a wardrobe.
Make the bed the star
Focus attention on the bed and the fact that your room doesn’t have sufficient square metreage to enable you to go for a jog won’t bother you. A tall upholstered headboard won’t eat into your room’s useable space, and looks fantastic.
Dress it up, too. A touch of faux fur looks lavish, and certainly not too cosy this summer.
Thanks to Millgate Homes for the tour, and the inspiration.
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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor
View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor