NICOLA WILKES A question of design www.walesathome.co.uk.
Q. I'm after some cushions to accessorise two armchairs in my dining room. Everything else is neutral so I want to use the opportunity to add a decorative touch. Any suggestions? A. How about these lovely linen cutlery print cushions as you're accessorising a dining area? Utterly unusual but incredibly effective, the design is certainly topical and, I would say, the perfect addition if you want to add subtle soft furnishings next to a dining area. Shown here in cream linen, the knife, fork and spoon illustration is in soft grey and is a gorgeous example of finding the beauty in every day things. Turn to the reverse and, in pretty French script, read how to set the perfect dinner table - which is made more sophisticated just by being written in French! The cushion is 40cm and it costs pounds 20.99 from The Contemporary Home, www.tch.net; 02392 469400.
Q. I adore the animal-themed lamps that are popular at the moment but where can I buy one? I've seen the dog versions from Abigail Ahern but are there any others out there to choose from? A. The Abigail Ahern designs you mention are fantastic and certainly getting a lot of interior design press at the moment. I love the fact that it doesn't matter what your interior style is, these smaller-than-life size companions will look great in any home - from the traditional Victorian terrace to modern apartment. But to add to your design choice and to make your purchasing decision even harder, have you set eyes on this uber cool rabbit lamp by Front for Moooi? Whereas the dogs are scaled down somewhat, this life-size rabbit will be sure to lighten up your home. He measures 52cm x 30cm and costs pounds 320 from online store, Rume, www.rume.co.uk; 01273 777 810.
Q. I know you've mentioned a few sea-themed wallpapers before, but I want a design that won't look 'out of season' once the temperatures drop - creating a beach style interior that doesn't look too summery come the winter months isn't easy. Help!
A. I can't say that I've really considered this aspect of decorating a home in a sea/beach theme but you raise a valid point. One way of getting around the problem is to add layers to your home once the seasons change. For instance, having a pile of warm blankets and cosier, more textured cushions on the sofa. But, when it comes to wallpaper I take your point that summery images of sailing boats just don't hit the mark in winter. So, if you live by the sea and want your home to reflect this idyll all year round how about opting for this Great Wave wallpaper by Cole & Son? At pounds 72 a roll it's certainly an investment and one you will want to look good and fitting come rain or shine, but with waves this big I think it fits the bill perfectly - it certainly conjures up images of exciting stormy days at the beach rather than plain sailing. It's available from John Lewis, www.johnlewis.com.
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