And so we reach July and I have been taken by a meme which keeps popping up on Instagram which reads thus: “Dear July, I don’t want any trouble from you, just come in, sit down, don’t touch anything and keep your mouth shut”. And I really can’t think of anything more apt at the moment. I fear July may have other plans for us but let’s see how it goes. In the meantime, let’s just quietly have a look at these lovely spaces and try not to draw attention to ourselves.

blue mountain school in london's east end
blue mountain school in london’s east end

First up this room at the Blue Mountain School in London’s East End, a collaborative space of retail, exhibition, guest rooms and interactions between different and diverse practices. At first sight this is a punchy choice for a room but I find I can’t stop looking at it. Perhaps it needs the panelling otherwise it might be a little flat but it does feel very calming and quiet and who doesn’t fancy a bit of that at the moment?

green office via @carpendaughter
green office via @carpendaughter

This green office by Whitney Clappe, aka @carpendaughter, has a similarly restful feel and the key, as above is not picking out the woodwork in a contrasting colour but letting the same colour, whatever it may be, to flow over the whole space. I’m going to guess the back of the door matches so that when it’s closed it’s just like a continuation of the wall panelling.

orange flash via little greene paint company
orange flash via little greene paint company

Or you can do something different and introduce a little flash of colour. This orange stripe leads the eye up the stairs and just zips up this classic grey and white paint combination. If you’re nervous of bright colours or of adding a strong colour to a wall for fear that you might tire of it then this is a cool thing to do. It’s just a tiny flash – think of it as a contrasting lining on a suit or a pair of amazing earrings with a black dress. It will surely cheer you up every time you see it. And you can emphasis it or not with a piece of furniture like this orange chair (I mean yes who has room for a chair in their hall but you know a picture on the wall or something).

pink bedroom (and ceiling) via @figtart
pink bedroom (and ceiling) via @fig_tart 

Returned to the all enveloping colour and this pink bedroom by Lou @Fig_tart in France, is just calm and restful while still being warm and bold. Painting a sloping ceiling the same as the walls will make the whole space feel bigger and solves a commonly posed question in attic bedrooms: where does the wall stop and the ceiling start? Answer: find a colour that covers both and it doesn’t matter.

library for kips bay lady's library by corey damen jenkins
library for kips bay lady’s library by corey damen jenkins

Finishing with a riot of colour with the library at the Kip’s Bay Decorator Show House in NYC, decorated by Corey Damen Jenkins, and you can read about his inspiration here. From the Cole & Son wallpapered ceiling to the pink walls and orange and green furnishings I adore everything about this room and I have just realised that while I have been dreaming of a wallpapered ceiling for some months I hadn’t worked out which room it should be in…. hello library with the very high ceiling (see the first picture on this post – not that you can see the ceiling but this is the room) now I must leave you – there are words to be had with The Mad Husband. Thanks for the inspo Corey.



Tags : beautiful roomscalming colourscalming interiorscalming spaceslittle greenemonday inspiration
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. That first photo, colour Muga is going to be the next “big thing” I feel. Add touches of deepest blue. Off white walls and some, bitter chocolate brown.

  2. My bedroom is a similar colour to that brown, it’s a bit marmite..people either love it or hate it!
    I think it works best when all the woodwork is the same colour, like in the first picture, it sort of gives it that Period feel.

  3. My eye would flit past that brown of the Blue Mountain School on any colour chart but it’s just lovely. That cane chair against the green in the second picture is perfect. Love the way this post starts low and quiet and builds to the crescendo of Corey’s room. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’m always looking for ways to make skirting board interesting and the orange flash looks great in combination with the grey.

    I can’t tell if they’ve painted the top of the moulding or just above it though I’ll have to experiment!

  5. Any idea what colour paint it is in the Blue Mountain School room, please?
    Many thanks!

  6. Love, love, love the pink library with wallpapered floral ceiling – how fun and unexpected is that! Yes to that orange/gold line along staircase:-) and overall present paneling . Thank you for sharing:-)

  7. Absolutely love that Orange flash on the staircase. The Corey Damen Jenkins room Is inspiring me too… just gorgeous 👍

  8. The green office is beautiful but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to call the other room a library – needs WAY more books and shelving (admittedly I am book obsessive). Perhaps I’m just jealous as I have books crammed everywhere 🙂

  9. The first two a bit gloomy for me – but very restful, as you say. Remind me of a Jan Mankes painting

Comments are closed.