Six Rooms to Inspire

And here we are again but I’ve found some rich colour-saturated rooms for you to soak up and hopefully feel inspired by. First up is this brilliant hall storage area by Andrew Jonathan, whose brilliant work has featured on these pages before and who has rebranded as AND (A New Day Design Studio) so do go have a look and support where you can.

interior design by A New Day Design Studio
interior design by A New Day Design Studio

He has yet to photograph the new project but this is a clever way to do storage with a cupboard to put the coats away – which always look messy no matter how disciplined you are) some hooks for bags and a little seating spot to put shoes on. It’s tidy and clever and the change of texture with the tongue and groove and the warm colour provides a great focal point. Also if this space is open plan it’s a great way to keep the hall storage tidy.

If you don’t have a handy alcove you could totally do this in that triangle under the stairs or perhaps you could create something similar in a bedroom alcove and use it more as a wardrobe than just for coat storage. You could also add a drawer under the seat cushion.

interior design by Interior Fox
interior design by Interior Fox

More tongue and groove cleverness this time from Interior Fox. Now there are those who might feel that tongue and groove is a bit country cottage but both these schemes prove that it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it (name that choon) and this wall panel with matching desk is a perfect space for a bit of WFH and yes we’re back to that again.

Now this was originally a double door that needed closing so a natural recess was created but you don’t have to have a recess to recreate this look. It would work just as well in an alcove (which might give you more support for the desk at the sides) or even on a blank piece of wall to zone the space.

They battoned out the wall to add the tongue and groove and sat the desk shelf on top to give it more support and then used a lot of strong brackets (these.. I asked). The colour is Little Greene Olive 72.

Interior design by Studio Duggan
Interior design by Studio Duggan 

Now we’ve arrived, hung up our coats, done a bit of work and we can move into the bathroom. Two for you here. Above a gorgeous warm space by Studio Duggan (also a previous visitor to the Mad House) and proof that a) all colours work in bathrooms and actually those traditional aquas and blues can be a bit cold whereas this warm terracotta brings a feeling of warm and cosiness and b) if you can squeeze in a bit of vintage wood to a bathroom it’s a good idea.

Now this’ll be a divider.. it’s the bathroom of Kendall Jenner. Now hang on a minute – the gold bath might not be floating your boat but it’s an extreme example of how a bit of vintage in a bathroom always looks great. Firstly, this bathroom follows the principle of decorating this space like any other room in the house – imagine the bath as a sofa for example and note the pictures on the walls, the faded Persian rug and the old cabinet.

Secondly, the vintage knocks the whole thing back and brings a reality and a warmth to it and even, I think, showcases the gold bath rather well and doesn’t make it too bling at all. Remember my old mantra: Something new, something old, something black and something gold. Works perfectly in here.

The home of @kendalljenner Photo @wabranowicz Design @clementsdesign and Waldo Fernandez. Styling @amykchin via @archdigest
The bathroom of @kendalljenner Photo @wabranowicz Design @clementsdesign and Waldo Fernandez. Styling @amykchin via @archdigest

And now let’s go back to bed because it’s Monday and I’ll warrant many of of us would quite like to hide out under the covers for the next month or so. This is a really great example of pattern mixing from Bedeck Bedding . Firstly the faded wallpaper helps the saturated bedding stand out. And secondly, if you were worried about rattan being a bit summer you can see here how it works brilliantly with the floral and adds a bit more texture to the space than plain wood might. The key, however, is not to just have one bit – that might look random. So the lampshade ties in with the headboard and, I suspect, the chair too. Even the sisal rug and plant holder are similar.

bedding by bedeck1951 and wallpaper by morris and co
bedding by @bedeck1951 and wallpaper by morris & co

Finally, this bedroom would go so beautifully with the Studio Duggan bathroom wouldn’t it? This time it’s panelling and wallpaper but the striped linen pillows slice through that pattern perfectly and the pale orange cushion just adds a pinch of space to the space.

If you have chosen a divan bed for reasons of storage and/or practicality then panelling the wall behind brings a sense of luxury as it can pass for an extra wide headboard. Just add plenty of cushions for padded bedtime reading.

panelling and wallpaper in warm neutrals via Johanna Berglund
panelling and wallpaper in warm neutrals via Johanna Berglund

Right, I might take another 40 winks and see if it’s improved by the time I wake up… or at least by tomorrow when I’ll be back as usual.



Tags : inspirational roomsrich colour paletterich coloursrich palette
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. I am an aspiring interiors business owner, and your blog is a massive source of inspiration for me! The muted and earthy tones of the panelled sections are so beautiful, and add a subtle layer of depth and texture to the rooms!

  2. As a fan living in Canada, I would also like to say that your posts are very much looked forward to.

  3. Hi Kate, I just wanted to echo the sentiments of the previous comments.
    My working day begins early. But when I get home & curl up on the sofa with the cat, your post is the one I look forward to reading. Always interesting, inspiring, thought provoking and delivered with a light touch of humour.
    So thank you for keeping going with such positivity. Always a bright spot in these grey times. No easy feat! Your blog is much appreciated.

  4. As you always do, Kate – a spot-on analysis as to WHY it looks as good as it does . . .
    So even if some elements / words are controversial (like the word Kendall Jenner !), your thoughtful eye and prose walks us through it.
    The K family turns me cold (I wish I didn’t know where that gold bath lives) but obvs her designer has got it right !
    Keep it up – keep going Kate.
    And thank you

  5. Good Morning Kate,
    Some really Great interior design ideas here. I love the linear, vertical and horizontal, style of A New Day Design Studio and the clever wall inset of the WFH space from Interior Fox. The selected paint colours, eggplant and olive, are striking without being something one might tired of in the short run. Sophie might like these colours. I love to see rattan and sisal inside homes, and if it supports artisans from a Fair Trade market, all the better.

      1. Hi Kate,
        I listened to today’s podcast. As Chloe said, we need to take small steps, in order to achieve a fuller understanding of what lies behind the processed materials we bring into our homes.Thank you to you and to Sophie for taking this step.

  6. Thanks, Kate. Today’s post feels like a warm hug. With the shorter days and going into lockdown, it’s especially needed.

  7. Morning Kate – your posts make such a difference to my days (and I’ve recently discovered your podcasts which are fabulous!) Your careful attention to design details and highlighting of such beautiful, creative spaces are a real highlight and food for the soul. Thank you so much.

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