New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Shall I whisper? How’s the head? I just thought that if you were dropping by The Mad House today you might like to see some of the Interiors New Year’s Resolutions which also contain some valuable advice. So I’ll just leave this here while you get another cup of coffee. I’ll see you on Thursday…. *tiptoes away*

Sophie Robinson, interior stylist and my podcasting co-host

Not to knock the house to smithereens weeks before Christmas which we have done for the last two years in a row and it’s too stressful. Finish off all the jobs we have started – painting the outside of the house and put blinds and curtains at ALL the windows. Also we need to get the kitchen floor down… There is not one single room in the house which is finished.

Then I want to get my online interior design  course launched. It’s an epic task which I have been avoiding but it’s going to be so brilliant once I have done it as I think it will be hugely useful for people designing their own homes. So that’s what I’ll work on first – it will be a lesson in do as I say not do as I do.

pink and blue hallway by Sophie Robinson
pink and blue hallway by Sophie Robinson

Mini Moderns, two of the nicest people you could hope to meet in the design world and whose book Mid-Century Modern Living: The Mini Modern’s Guide to Pattern and Style is out in March. The founders, Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire, often cite culture and social history as great influences on their work. Whilst they’re particularly known for their love of mid-century design, for their new collection, Mark and Keith have cast their net wider, drawing on their fascination with everything from modernist architecture to the aesthetic movement of the late 19th century, from ceramic collections to the 1951 Festival of Britain.

Keith Stephenson

My interior resolution is to be less anxious about having an entire scheme totally finished in one go. Interiors really benefit from having time to evolve. This is a learning from recent experience. We had some alterations done, including two new bathrooms, knocking down a couple of walls and replacing the floors throughout. We then needed to complete the decoration in order to be ready to shoot the house to be included in our new book. Working to a strict time frame to ensure we hit the shoot deadline, we stuck to a strict scheme for every room. Whilst it was really satisfying to have everything completed to a deadline, we  didn’t have time to live with the look we’d conceived for our home. In the few months since the shoot, the house has settled into itself and we can now see a dozen little tweaks that we’d like to do over the next year, some driven by practical considerations, others because we’ve changed our minds about our original scheme! So the lesson is, it’s more fun to keep adding to an interior, making it personal  and enjoy seeing it adapt to the way you live.

Bauhaus Wallpaper in Washed Denim, £60 per roll and P.L.U.T.O. Cushion £45, from Mini Moderns
Bauhaus Wallpaper in Washed Denim, £60 per roll and P.L.U.T.O. Cushion £45, from Mini Moderns

Mark Hampshire

My resolution is to have the courage of our convictions when it comes to making decorating decisions. One example particularly illustrates this. We knew in principle what we wanted to do with our featureless and windowless landing space – we’d decided to use one of our geometric wallpapers, P.L.U.T.O., to create a dazzle camouflage effect, in order to enliven the space. We did the walls and were mildly pleased with the result. It was only when we pushed ourselves and wallpapered the ceiling in the same pattern that the concept really worked. Now we can’t wait to work out our treatment for the floor. The lesson? Timidity rarely pays off in interior terms.

pleasure gardens wallpaper from the new mini moderns collection
pleasure gardens wallpaper from the new mini moderns collection

Jane Rockett, co-founder of Rockett St George 

This year my interiors resolution is to be more creative. I’m really loving colour, especially in interiors and last year I embraced more colour in my living room by painting it in our Broderie Pink Paint Colour and by painting the outside of my house in our Bohemia Pink Paint. This year, I want to continue this course and embrace more colour in my home in unique and creative ways, such as two-tone walls.

Another goal is to reduce the amount of plastic my family uses. I’ve actually recently switched to having our veg delivered packaging free and my milk delivered in glass bottles. It supports local businesses and it also feels good to be less wasteful.

Lucy St George, co-founder of Rockett St George 

This year I want to refine and showcase my homeware. I have collected items that I love but it can become cluttered over time. So, my plan is to declutter, move some of my curated items around, and breathe new life into my home. I’ll do this by rejigging my artwork, as simply changing the room or position of the artwork can have a dramatic effect on your home. I’ll also be trying to reuse, reduce and recycle. Where possible I am updating tired items with a lick of paint and if they still don’t work, I’ll gift them to friends or offer it on Freecycle.

Finally, after Christmas the house can look so sad without the sparkle of fairy lights. So, I may not take them down! January, February, March …. my home always looks better under the twinkle of fairly lights and fizz.

Next up is those two talented men from the 2LG Studio and after the busy year they’ve had I’m not surprised that Jordan is prioritising sleep. Here’s what they had to say below:

Jordan Cluroe

Make sleep a priority and give your bedroom an update to start each day this year off with a fresh feeling. We find that if you have a great night’s sleep you can get up and have a massively productive morning. Simple but true. So your bedroom should be your haven and your bed needs to support you. It is an important investment that will give you big rewards for 2019. We designed our Luca bed for Love Your Home with this in mind. It is a playful shape and the high headboard makes every sleep special. The soft curves get you in the mood to drift off and the colour lifts your spirits in the morning, filling you with energy to have a productive day.

luca bed from love your home designed by 2lg studio
luca bed from love your home designed by 2lg studio

Russell Whitehead

Invest in some pattern to start the year with extra wow! A layer of pattern in an interior, whether it is an established space or new scheme, has huge impact and can enliven a room. If you want to lift your spirits for a happy start to the year, try our new print collection for Graham and Brown, including a hand drawn Dachshund design based on our beloved Buckley and our hand drawn Felt tip design that will give you a playful edge in any setting. Pattern needn’t be for feature walls only, wrap it around a hallway or guest room for maximum fun. You might even want to go for our signature patterned ceilings if you are feeling brave.

wallpaper designed by 2lgstudio
wallpaper designed by 2lgstudio

Pearl Lowe, designer of clothes and wallpaper

My New Years resolution is to stop decorating. I’m on my third make over of this house and it’s driving my husband & kids mad, as we have only been here two years in February.
The problem is, I can never relax in a room unless I absolutely love it. I think I’m nearly there now. Fingers crossed!!


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 Comment

  1. Happy New Year Kate! Thank you for your inspiration and great writing in 2018; I’m looking forward to more of the same this year.

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