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MAKEOVERS MADE EASY; Designer tricks to clinch a themed style for less by TV's Kathryn Rayward.


STEP 1 The first step, says Kathryn, is to work out what you DON'T like. "I always tell clients to do lots of research. Look at as many pictures as you can," she says. "If possible visit places that are decorated in that style. It helps you work out which elements you definitely don't want."

STEP 2 Next identify what the room will be used for and who will see it. "The shabby chic room was a family room while the metallic room was a grown up space so we were able to use a lot more glass and sharp angles," says Kathryn. "You might tone things down in places guests will see but the bedroom is private so you can go a bit wild, as we did with the boutique hotel look."

STEP 3 Finally pick a starting point and work around that. "It could be the wallpaper, it could be the sofa, it could be a vintage teacup," says Kathryn. "You just need to find a starting point, ideally something everyone agrees on."

FOR more inspiration, check out three stylish rooms Kathryn created for Get The Look...

Shabby chic

SINGLE mum Faye Hunter, 40, wanted a functional but feminine look for the Cardiff home she shares with her five children, aged two to 17. Shabby chic is a distressed look, perfect for rooms that get a lot of use.

Look for...

Florals and stripes Chintzy florals and faded stripes are good shabby-chic patterns. Faye loved this powdery pink paint but for a more masculine look, try marine blue and navy mixed with neutrals. You can mix in a nautical feel too. With fabrics, the general rule is that if they fall into the same colour palette you can put them together, even if the patterns are different.

Natural materials Stay away from lacquer and laminate in favour of natural cork and wood. Shabby chic is a bit rough and ready. You want it to look as though it's evolved over years and years.

Mix 'n' match style This theme can be ornate and glamorous or really rustic, or it can be a mixture of both. Faye loved over-the-top chandeliers and the ornate mirror over the mantelpiece. As a contrast, we gave this chest and dresser a washed-out, distressed look. None of the crockery on the dresser matches - it's not supposed to.


Personal touches Shabby chic should be quite a cluttered look so make sure you incorporate some personal items, such as photographs and ornaments. We included handprints of Faye's children. It's really nice to make use of something you've made yourself.

Cheat with... eBay buys The shabby chic look is very easy to find furniture for. A lot of the items in this room were bought through eBay. All the crockery is from car boot sales.

The Welsh dresser was originally a horri and pain horrible orange pine which we sanded and painted. This theme can be very cheap if you're prepared to be a bit hands on.

Faye says: "It's beautiful. The dresser is so cute. It is much better than I ever expected. It will change the way I use the room. It's more of a family room now and has given our home a heart."

Tip WHEN looking for furniture to give a distressed look, avoid waxed wood because it's a nightmare job to scrub with wire wool and meths.

Boutique hotel

HOUSING officer Laura Rogers, 33, and her husband Ian, 34, an electrician and gas engineer, wanted to bring a boutique hotel theme to their Bristol home, which they share with their two young children, aged six and five. Boutique hotel rooms are stylish, often quirky and with an obvious attention to detail.

Look for...

Wacky wallpaper Wallpapered feature walls are a big trend in boutique bedrooms. It's cheaper and easier than wallpapering the whole room. Laura and Ian chose this eye-catching black and white print.

Big beds The bed is the focal point in a hotel room and normally very opulent. They're often not anything like you'd have at home, but why not? We installed a curtain rail to create a feature headboard. You would never go into a boutique hotel and just see a duvet shoved over a bed, so throws and cushions are a must. They make a bed look so much more interesting.

Good lighting The lighting is usually carefully chosen. We went for a bright overhead light and two softer bedside lamps for different moods.


Quirky touches You often find one-off items in hotel rooms. We got two bedside tables and then stencilled them with mismatching bird motifs. The printed cushions add a touch of individuality.

Cheat with...

Budget basics The wallpaper, feature headboard and cushions draw attention away from a very simple (and cheap) bed. Clever decoration ideas make budget bedside tables look bespoke.

Customised furniture We bought black silk tassels for the bedside table handles. We re-upholstered the stool, adding tassels to that too. It all helps to create a quirky, individual feel.

Laur bedside Laura says: "I like the stencilling on the bedside tables and the sparkly tealights. I didn't know what to expect but I could not have asked for more than this. This room has given me inspiration to do the rest of the house."

Tip PICK your colour scheme and then add accents with cushions and accessories. They can be updated cheaply when you fancy a change.

Modern glam

COMPANY director Joe Jouhal, 54, and his wife Surinder, 52, wanted a metallic look that would work with their Hampshire home's contemporary style. Despite having two teenage children, they're brave enough to have white leather sofas which were the starting point for this glamorous theme.

Look for...

Reflective materials Shiny finishes, such as silver leaf, glass, crystal and mirrors add to the metallic feel. Use as many as possible.

Straight edges Stick to straight edges for furniture but they don't have to look harsh. We softened things by having a curve in the pattern of the wallpaper.


Colour accents White was definitely the starting point but Surinder also likes teal so we used it on the wall and in the cushions.

Cheat with...

Spray paint Just because it's modern doesn't mean it has to be new. We bought two old side tables and sprayed them silver, and I had pieces of mirror cut to size and glued on top.

Designer copies Real Barcelona chairs cost about pounds 3,000 but these designer copies look fantastic for pounds 300 each. For even bigger bargains, head to high street stores such as Dwell.

Surinder says: "I'm really happy with the colours. It all goes so well with the new wallpaper and I love the lights. It is absolutely perfect, I wouldn't change a thing."

Tip INSPIRATION can come from anywhere. We chose the wallpaper after I wore a teal dress with silvery detail and Surinder fell in love with it!


Thrilled... Faye's home now has "heart" Inspired... Laura and Ian Rogers Get The Look, daily 8pm from Jan 23 (Sky 246, Virgin 265)
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2012
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