The Roaring Twenties In Interiors

10 Oct 2021

Time to get the creative juices flowing

How are things in your part of the world? I’m ignoring the wind and rain outside; clinging onto the memories of a cracking weekend in London a couple of weeks ago. From an awards evening on the Friday to a wedding anniversary dinner on the Saturday via a trip to the Royal Academy and an early view of the London design shows. 48 hours of pure fun.

I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened, and I loved it. The chance to immerse myself in crazy London with all its vibrancy and energy, it was just what the creative juices needed.

I’d picked up some roaring twenties vibes recently and really felt it in London. I got the sense that people were beginning to find a way to bring some fun into their lives. The Michael Armitage exhibition at the Royal Academy tapped into that energy and dare I say it post lockdown mindset. Super-sized canvases with vibrant colours. Stunning.

So, this month I thought I’d take you through a few things that caught my eye in London and a couple of design choices I’ve made recently for clients here in and around Ilkley.

Autumn’s here and layered lighting is the answer

First up, lighting. As the weather changes and the evenings draw in, great lighting is going to be your friend. From making sure there’s light in all the right places so that you can see what you’re doing to pools of light that create a warm and cosy feeling. The key is to think in layers. Before you pop over to the lighting blog to get the lowdown on creating a lighting scheme, feast your eyes on these beauties.

First up Tom Dixon, a fabulous lighting designer you’ve possibly come across before. He’s branched into other areas, but I’ll start with the Press Surface light. It’s designed for outdoors and it’s beautiful. I know! You don’t normally associate outdoor lighting with beauty, but this shows it can be done.

Top tip: outdoor lighting is fantastic for bathrooms where flattering and beautiful lighting is a must. Think about the lighting you need to brighten dim and murky winter mornings as well as creating a haven of tranquillity at the other end of the day.

Black taps and shower give an edge to this attic en suite showeroom
We used outdoor lighting in this teen en suite in Burley in Wharfedale

And how about this for a dining room table, it’s something else, isn’t it? At that price I’d want it to be self-cleaning though. Just think of all those sticky fingerprints! I love it because it’s so unapologetically bold and beautiful. 

Bella Figura’s range of low, wide pendants, like this one is superb. Its shape really is the unicorn of the lighting world. The iridescence of their moonlight collection is just beautiful too. I’m ignoring the fact that there aren’t any prices listed, this is time to dream.

Ann Marie Cousins, Interior designer Yorkshire.

You’re so confident with colour!

‘You’re so confident with colour’ was one of the comments on a recent social media post. It was a photo of me sat on my sofa in my pink living room taken by Heidi Marfitt back in 2019 which feels like a very, very long time ago. I replied ‘you need to hold your nerve and go for it’ which I know is easier said than done.

Because I get it. I know interiors can be overwhelming, whether that’s paint colour, fabric, furniture, fixtures, or fittings. There’s so much to think about. You might know that you want to choose something a little different but not know where to start.

That’s where I come in. I love gently cajoling clients. I love coming up with ideas they might not have thought about otherwise. What’s even better is the reaction when the final design is revealed. Hopefully with me by their side clients feel more comfortable taking a deep breath and going for it.

And the reality is that none of my clients have ever reverted to magnolia walls after I’ve persuaded them to embrace colour. Happily, they trust me to lead them into a world full of colour, pattern, and texture. And my current crop of clients definitely got the bold and brave memo. So, let’s look at a couple of those bold choices.

A party home for the empty nesters

First up an emerging theme – empty nesters wanting their own grown-up party house. I’m so excited that Daniel Bland has been commissioned to design a bespoke wall mural – the jewel in the crown in this client’s master bedroom. One of his murals featured in the 2020 Interior Design Masters final and I’m excited to see what he creates.  Check out his website to get a flavour of his style. I’m keeping an eye out for his wallpaper, fabric, and soft furnishing designs when they launch.

Design favourite: Timorous Beasties

Next up is a design name that has become a firm favourite at AMC Design. It’s Timorous Beasties. I think I’ve mentioned them before. Their designs tick all my boxes: colour, pattern, texture. They are stunning.

I’ve chosen Bloomsbury Garden for the blinds in a master bedroom scheme in family home while the teal and orange colour scheme will feature in the family’s living room. Choosing designs from the same designer – carefully – is a great way to create an interior that hangs together without looking matchy matchy.

Cole & sons: a riot of colour in an open plan kitchen

And finally, there’s this stunning Cole & Sons wallpaper, Frutto Proibito. It’s a total riot of colour and it’ll look awesome in the new open plan kitchen/living/dining room extension in my client’s modern home, just outside Ilkley.

Final words

Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to get in touch if you’re thinking about making changes to your home or office and send in your interior design questions too. I’m thinking of dedicating next month’s blog to answering a few of the most common questions clients ask me!

Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you. 

All photography by Heidi Marfitt Photography.