Style secrets from Abigail Ahern
Interior designer Abigail Ahern gives us an insight into some of her best style tips
How would you describe your signature style?
Super glam but I couple this with a relaxed bohemian vibe. I like a multi-layered approach, and always look for ways to push colour boundaries and experiment with scale.
If you had just £100 to give a room a new look, what would you do?
Easy! I'd paint everything out including floors, walls, and ceilings. It’s the single most transformative thing you can do to anything. Everyone panics when I suggest this, until they do it. It really is the biggest decorating game changer of all time!
What’s worth investing in, and what’s better bought bargain-style?
Lighting is well-worth the investment - I still have lighting in my pad that I bought 20 years ago. You don’t need to spend oodles of cash either, you just need to follow your heart and buy what you love. I would say all of those five minute transformative pieces, like candles, t-lights and bud vases, can be great bargains, capable of transforming the look and ambience of any room.
Where are your favourite places to shop for homewares?
I have always been a fan of Debenhams and love how all my pieces look and feel so luxe – especially the flocked lamps - yet they don’t cost the earth. My other favourite places include Merci in Paris, ABC Carpet and Home in NYC, Lane Crawford in Hong Kong.
What should we keep our eyes peeled for in 2017?
Lots of greenery, giant size pots, velvet wallpapers and tribal prints, plus anything animal-inspired! I find animals immediately lighten the mood of a space and they make a key appearance in my SS17 collection. The new giraffe cushion is a particular favourite!
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If you could give our readers three tips, what would they be?
1. Don’t be scared of colour. It’s one of the biggest 'cheap' things you can do to a room.
2. Scale up your lighting. In a typical sized Victorian living room, for example, you should generally have eight lamps – this sounds a lot I know but it gives a room incredible atmosphere, intrigue and depth.
3. Add texture. It can work like a herb or spice and add instant pizazz. The ultimate trick is to make sure all your materials are not the same. This sounds super odd but the more friction you add through texture the more intriguing your space will be. For instance, lets say you have a velvet sofa - you wouldn’t accessorize it with velvet cushions. Instead go for woollen, silk or leather, as these are textiles that will immediately contrast with the velvet. This is how you create jaw-dropping interiors - by juxtaposing as many different textures as you can. Oh, and one more point. You can never overdose on texture – it will never ever feel too much! Cool, no?
Lead image courtesy of Debenhams