Five Ways To Add Wow Factor To A Room

This month I’m delighted to welcome to the position of Guest Blogger Jane Rockett, one half of uber-stylish store Rockett St George. Their signature style of cool and funky pieces set against a dark background to give the all-important wow factor has become familiar to us all over the years but their decision to go dark was greeted with dismay by web developers and the so-called experts at online selling. But Jane and her co-founder Lucy St George stuck to their guns and how right they were. Their first book Extraordinary Interiors will be out in October and here Jane shares her top five tips for creating show stopping looks and beautiful rooms.

gallery wall by jane rockett

When I was a little girl I was quite often floored by the ego-crushing parental comment: “Stop showing off Jane” but now that I’m all grown up and can do what I like, showing off has taken on a new meaning. I still love to grab attention and to inspire people to make noises as if they are watching a New Year’s Eve firework display when they come into the room.

Having said that these says I no longer do this by doing cartwheels in my nightie for my dinner guests but through my interiors. For me it is all about the show off interior and how to dress a room to impress. So here are my five ways to add wow factor to a room.


statement walls by jane rockett

Oversize and emotive artwork is an instant knock you over the head way to create impact in a room. You can choose a single large image as shown in Lucy’s navy blue sitting room below or create a gallery wall with lots of different images as in my house in the top picture.

dark blue walls and statement art in the home of Lucy St George
dark blue walls and statement art in the home of Lucy St George

You don’t have to break the bank to create this look either as you can also go down to your local artshop, buy a canvas and a few paints and let the creative juices flow.


statement lighting by rockett st george

We are fans of the dark as everyone knows and we love to create exciting interiors using a palette of greys, inky blues and blacks but we aren’t afraid of bright colours and love to use them in our interior design. If you don’t fancy using paint but want to bring in pattern as well then there is a wonderful choice of wallpapers which will make your heart beat a little faster.


low pendant light by jane rockett

This is the perfect, and one of the easiest, ways to take your room from great to fabulous. This pendant light above is a very simple piece but is hung low in the room so it creates real drama. Alternatively invest in a statement light as Michael Minn, the founder of location agency Shoot Factory has done. This stunning glass chandelier really pops against the dark walls.

the home of Michael Minn founder of Shoot Factory
the home of Michael Minn founder of Shoot Factory

Another alternative is to invest in a piece of neon art for the walls which will combine statement walls with statement lighting.



grey and gold bathroom in The Pink House image by Susie Lowe
grey and gold bathroom in The Pink House image by Susie Lowe

Rules can be so boring when it comes to interior design and when they are challenged, or even broken, then wonderful things can happen. There are various ways you can do this but one of the simplest to put things in unexpected places. For example, wallpaper in the bathroom. It’s fine to have it there if you have good ventilation but people don’t usually expect to see it. Or wallpaper the ceiling rather than the walls as Sarah Akwisombe has done in her office.

Or think about adding canvas paintings among the crockery on your kitchen shelves or bringing in some traditional pieces in a modern setting.

Wallpaper the ceiling by Sarah Akwisombe
Wallpaper the ceiling by Sarah Akwisombe


My final tip is to embrace metallics. Their natural glow and reflective quality adds glamour and sparkle to any room. If I could I would have a copper bath or perhaps a brass fronted kitchen island in my house. For a quicker, and more affordable, fix try highlighting features with metallic paint or invest in some shiny gold home accessories.

copper bateau bath from catchpole and rye
copper bateau bath from catchpole and rye

So, in short: be brave, be bold, be daring. Show Off!

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. This is basically a collection of things I need in my new London house (copper bath! Slim Aarons Poolside Gossip! hot pink velvet sofa!), as well as my very own Edinburgh bathroom (thanks so much Kate and Jane).
    Emily x

  2. Kate, I’m in love with your blog!
    So many beautiful interiors, my house looks like a pit in comparison!
    I will definitely be visiting more often!

  3. Kate, Kate

    You’re going to have to put me in detention, possibly even expel me…

    I have realised that I am getting sick of dark rooms, even when they are beautifully put together.

    Does this mean that I was never truly “Of The Dark Side”?? Or that I’m a seer for the trend back to A Whiter Shade of Pale? I got quite excited when I saw the pale room (although only having one place to sit might wear me down). Gosh, I need An Intervention.

    Or do I?

    I also got excited last night when browsing this site to find this:

  4. Thanks for this useful series, great evidence of how the finishing touches can really improve a space. Could we have a 5 ways with window dressings?? I’m particularly stuck on what to do with wide landscape format windows that have radiators below them. I’d like to be able to keep light out of bedrooms and heat in during the winter but imagine that short curtains would look ridiculous…

  5. Some good ideas there that give real food for thought if you are feeling bold.
    I see that there is a smaller version of the palm tree lamp.
    (Been away in Aussie for 3 weeks and missed reading your column.)

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