INTERIOR DESIGN BLOG

Home and Contract Design Blog

by Aideen McCanny 21 Nov, 2017
As November draws to a close, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you're preparing to deck the halls, check out our top tips for Christmas tree decorating, for a look that wows this festive season.

Location, location, location

First things first, location is key. Finding the perfect spot to showcase your tree is the first step in ensuring it looks its best. Find a location that's near a socket to avoid leads and wires cluttering your floor and rearrange furniture if necessary. If you've opted for a real tree, choose a cool corner, away from sources of heat to avoid it drying out.

by Aideen McCanny 07 Nov, 2017

With so many people aiming to revitalise their homes in time for Christmas, here at Home and Contract Design, November and December are our busiest months. Whether you’re considering revamping a room’s soft furnishings for the arrival of guests, or taking on an entire room refurbishment, now is the time to tackle it or risk being held up due to delayed deliveries and the holiday period.

So with this in mind, here are our top tips for ensuring your home’s décor is ready in time for Christmas.

by Aideen McCanny 24 Oct, 2017
Whether it's simply a fad, or here to stay, you can't argue that hygge isn't having a serious impact in the world of interior design . So what exactly is it and why is there such hype about it?

Well, the Danish word can't actually be translated into English as it's more of a feeling, rather than an object. Hygge - pronounced hue-gah - represents a culture of cosiness, happiness and wellbeing, which is widely credited as the reason why Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest countries in the world!

Hygge means something different to everyone - whether it's cuddling up on the sofa with a good book, enjoying a bowl of your favourite warming comfort food, or filling your home with twinkling candles - it's really all about being mindful of the simple things in life that make you happy, and embracing them.
 

The interior design of your home can have a big impact on this so with this in mind, we've put together our 6 hygge tips to transform your home into a comfortable haven.

1. Stock up on candles

Believed to be the number one way to get the hygge look, we're not surprised! The first thing that comes to mind when creating a cosy setting is setting the perfect lighting and candles are the best way to achieve this. Whether scented or unscented, embrace the warming glow of candlelight throughout your home. And their use shouldn't be confined to solely nighttime either. Danes purchase more candles than anywhere else in Europe, with one third admitting they light candles all day.

2. Create texture

When you think about creating a cosy atmosphere, notions of soft textures which add dimension instantly spring to mind. If you want to hygge your home, stock up on chunky knit cushions, faux fur throws and fluffy rugs, guaranteed to add lashings of texture. For extra comfort, choose the softest of materials, such as merino wool and cashmere for a touch of luxe.

3. Don't go overboard

You don't have to completely redesign your entire home to create a hygge atmosphere. It might just be creating a little nook you can call your own, or adding more of what you love. Remember, hygge is a feeling, so it isn't just focused on physical items. It could be enjoying a cup of your favourite coffee, or enjoying a long, candlelit bath. It's all about taking time to enjoy more of the things that you love.

4. Bring the outdoors inside

The autumn and winter months are typically cold, so going outside may not be your idea of comfort, but that doesn't mean you can't welcome the great outdoors into your home. From wooden furniture and flooring, to exposed walls and brickwork and neatly packed piles of logs, waiting to be thrown on that roaring fire, it's easier than you might think. Plus, you can easily incorporate nature into your home, with the addition of house plants, which are the perfect finishing touch.

5. Keep it simple

Hygge is never about going overboard. Yes, its focus is on indulging, but not extravagance. Hygge is not about going OTT in a bid to impress guests, but instead creating an atmosphere where everyone is comfortable and at ease. Learn to embrace the imperfections and simplicity and you're halfway there.

6. Take up a hobby at home

You've spent time creating an atmosphere you love, so make some time to enjoy it! Whether it's taking up a new hobby, or picking up an old missed one, turn off technology, and enjoy a simpler way of life. From delving into a good book, to picking up a craft, these activities will help you switch off and relax the mind and body.

If you'd like to introduce a little hygge into your home, why not give us a call and let us help you create your perfect setting? For more information, get in touch here  .

by Aideen McCanny 11 Oct, 2017

At Home and Contract Design , we take great pride in sourcing a stunning array of wallcoverings from all around the world. That's why our selection of wallpaper is loved by our clients. Here, we take a look at just a few of the designers that make up our wallpaper Northern Ireland collection.

by Aideen McCanny 10 Oct, 2017

At Home and Contract Design we pride ourselves in offering a wide range of services. One of which, in particular, that we’d like to highlight is our ability to not only supply one of the best collections of fabrics and wallpapers in Northern Ireland, but also design and create your soft furnishings.

Our extensive showroom in Northern Ireland is home to our stunning collection of design houses, ranging from budget friendly to those with a more bespoke requirement. We pride ourselves in only offering collections from designers with quality we can stand behind, which is why we have travelled the world in search of fabrics and wallpapers of the perfect combination of style and perfection.

by Aideen McCanny 09 Oct, 2017
Whether it’s the shared family bathroom or an ensuite, often the bathroom is the most overlooked room in the house when it comes to interior design. Yet, we use it multiple times a day. With the weather becoming colder, now is the time to turn that bathroom into a little oasis of calm, perfect for enjoying a hot soak on a cold evening.


If you’re looking for a quick fix to make your bathroom more luxurious, here we share 8 simple ideas to turn it into a five-star haven.

by Aideen McCanny 08 Oct, 2017
When it comes to designing a bedroom for a male, it can be all too easy to stick to the cliches of dark colour schemes, leather headboards and moody lighting. But, while some men may prefer this, the fact is that it isn't loved by all. Style, functionality and layout definitely need consideration when it comes to a masculine bedroom but this doesn't mean that the old stereotypes should come into play. In fact, today's modern man is very much turning his back on those bachelor cliches in favour of a new, fresh approach.

So here, we share our top design tips for a masculine bedroom.  


Choosing colours

When it comes to choosing colours for a masculine bedroom, darker hues are of course favoured, but that doesn't mean you need to keep going back to black. Dark greys and navys are perfect, and work particularly well when matched with mild-tone colours to keep things lighter. And for the man who isn't afraid of a little colour, brighter hues can be easily combined to prevent things getting too sombre. The key is to choose one lighter colour and use it sparingly to break up darker blocks.
by Aideen McCanny 08 Oct, 2017
Purchasing a new home is an exciting time. Whether it's a new build or an older home, no doubt you'll be keen to add your own personal aesthetic to it. So before you get stuck in, check out our top tips for instantly adding your own personality to a new home. 

Assess your style
 

First things first... start with a plan. It's a good idea to come up with a vision for your entire home, rather than just one room. Create a mood board, or Pinterest account and play around with colours and textures to get a feel for what you like. Add photographs, fabric swatches and paint charts and build up a picture of your view for your home. Although you probably won't complete it all at once, it's a good idea to have an overall vision in your mind.
by Aideen McCanny 07 Oct, 2017

There’s something so powerful about looking at a fabric and instantly knowing who designed it, and Orla Kiely's collection of iconic prints does just that.

The internationally-renowned designer works across a breadth of products from walls to watches, kitchen accessories and clothing. With a strong identity recognised by millions, we are delighted to reveal that Orla Kiely fabrics are now available at Home and Contract Design!

Orla Kiely is an Irish fashion designer, based in London. After receiving a Masters at the Royal College of Art, her career began in millinery before moving onto handbags. And finally in 1995, she began her own company with her husband, quickly establishing a name for herself in the world of fashion and interiors.

Described by The Guardian as “the queen of prints”  , Orla’s strong use of pattern, colour and texture is evident throughout her collection of fabrics, which can be used in a variety of ways in your home.

From bedding to curtains, cushions and blinds, her iconic prints possess the power to add a statement finishing touch to a room, and effortlessly pull together your vision.

At Home and Contract Design, we have no doubt that the wide range of fabrics available at our showroom will be a huge hit. At just £17.50 per meter, adding a touch of luxury to your home costs less than you might think.

Here’s a look at just some of the fabrics on offer…

1. Multi-Stem


by Aideen McCanny 06 Oct, 2017

One of the most neglected rooms in the house is the home office. With advances in technology, more and more people have been afforded the luxury of working remotely, which often sees them working from the comfort of their home.

But, with this room usually viewed as one of those ‘out of site’ rooms, which visitors never see, it’s time to turn your attention to your workspace and give it the attention that it deserves.

The majority of our day is spent sitting at a desk and creating a space which you love and which inspires you, will of course, lead to increased productivity. So to utilize your working environment, and make it an area to be proud of (and worthy of the public eye), here are my top tips for creating a workspace you love.

by Aideen McCanny 04 Oct, 2017

It’s no surprise that curtains have the ability to really bring a room to life, so with such power, you’ll want to ensure you find the perfect pair. When it comes to curtains, there’s so much to consider. From colour, to length, fabric and lining, we’re here to ensure you avoid feeling overwhelmed thanks to our top 5 tips to help you effortlessly choose new curtains for your home.

Colour & fabric

 When choosing curtains, fabric is definitely key given its ability to dictate the functionality and endurance of them. Finding the right weight is vital; too heavy and they may not fold crisply when closed; too light and they’re unlikely to fall well.

To help determine if the weight of fabric is correct, try holding it up to a window, even in a showroom. Use a big piece of the material and fold it accordion pleats at the top. Watch its drape to see how it falls.

For colour options, consider the lighting in your room. If the curtains are likely to be subjected to a lot of sunlight over time, or you aren’t planning on changing them for a considerable period, avoid bright colours, which have a tendency to fade faster. Instead, choose neutral colours, which are also more likely to blend into your room.

When it comes to fabrics, linen, silk, faux silk and velvet are the most popular curtain texture choices, since they have the ability to fall well. Faux silk is usually the most durable, and won’t deteriorate as quickly as real silk, which will rot if left unlined.

You should also let the functionality of your curtains determine your fabric choice. Heavy weight fabrics such as suede, velvet, tapestry and tweed are popular choices in hotels since they work to keep out the cold.

by Aideen McCanny 03 Oct, 2017

Spring is the perfect time to update your home. Whether you'd like a complete transformation or to tweak a few areas, here we share 10 of the home decor trends making an impact this season.

by Aideen McCanny 02 Oct, 2017

Looking for ways to warm up a room, without turning up the heat? Here, we share our tops tips to easily add lashings of warmth!

1. Layers, layers and more layers  

The simplest way to add a little warmth to a room is to expose it to lashings of layers. Rooms with exposed brickwork and floor to ceiling windows look magnificent but can easily feel cold. However, overcoming this is simple! Our top tip is to add a plethora of rugs, cushions and throws to instantly warm up a room.

2. Get cosy with knits  

The rise in knitwear in recent years has made its (welcomed) way into the world of interior design. And with the ability to instantly add warmth to a room, knitted accessories are proving a popular choice with clients. From knitted blankets and cushions, to a pouf, sitting comfortably has never looked (or felt) so good!

3. Use colour to create warmth  

When designing a room, the easiest way to achieve warmth, is with colour. However, if your room is lacking in this, the addition of books - whether in a bookcase, or nestled on a coffee table - is an easy way to add to some colour to a room. Not only this, but their presence also serves the purpose of making a space seem more inviting.

4. Light it up  

Warmth can be created from above, through the inclusion of overhead lighting. A dramatic light fitting, combined with layered rugs beneath it is perfect for warming up a room.

5. Love leather  

If your preference is for a more minimalist colour scheme, look to leather to add warmth. Even just one leather item has the ability to heat things up.

6. Consider your combinations  

Pastel hues are perfect for springtime decor, and when combined with brass fixtures or furniture, have an unexpected way of offering  a sense of warmth. We love pretty blush pink with pops of rose gold or brass to exude vintage vibes.

7. Create a nook  

With a larger room, why not carve out a little nook to add a sense of cosiness? A corner sofa, combined with photos on the wall and a reading lamp will create a little busyness, but just enough so as not to overwhelm the space.

8. Combine cool and warm  

While the preference in bedrooms is usually for cooler tones due to their relaxing vibes, it's still easy to add some warmth. The soft texture from a throw or rug is the perfect juxtaposition to muted greys.

9. Embrace texture  

When it comes to texture, think about more than just cushions and throws. From plate hangings to plants, textured window shades and fuzzy additions, welcome texture into your home.

10. Combine themes  

Finishing touches in unexpected combinations can be enough to add warmth to a room. The addition of a playful, glamorous element such as a light up sign, combined with the infusion of a wooden feature in a modern room keeps things interesting.

If you'd like to introduce a little warmth into your home, why not give us a call and let us help you create your perfect setting? For more information,   get in touch here   .

Home and Contract Design Blog

by Aideen McCanny 21 Nov, 2017
As November draws to a close, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you're preparing to deck the halls, check out our top tips for Christmas tree decorating, for a look that wows this festive season.

Location, location, location

First things first, location is key. Finding the perfect spot to showcase your tree is the first step in ensuring it looks its best. Find a location that's near a socket to avoid leads and wires cluttering your floor and rearrange furniture if necessary. If you've opted for a real tree, choose a cool corner, away from sources of heat to avoid it drying out.

by Aideen McCanny 07 Nov, 2017

With so many people aiming to revitalise their homes in time for Christmas, here at Home and Contract Design, November and December are our busiest months. Whether you’re considering revamping a room’s soft furnishings for the arrival of guests, or taking on an entire room refurbishment, now is the time to tackle it or risk being held up due to delayed deliveries and the holiday period.

So with this in mind, here are our top tips for ensuring your home’s décor is ready in time for Christmas.

by Aideen McCanny 24 Oct, 2017
Whether it's simply a fad, or here to stay, you can't argue that hygge isn't having a serious impact in the world of interior design . So what exactly is it and why is there such hype about it?

Well, the Danish word can't actually be translated into English as it's more of a feeling, rather than an object. Hygge - pronounced hue-gah - represents a culture of cosiness, happiness and wellbeing, which is widely credited as the reason why Denmark is regularly voted one of the happiest countries in the world!

Hygge means something different to everyone - whether it's cuddling up on the sofa with a good book, enjoying a bowl of your favourite warming comfort food, or filling your home with twinkling candles - it's really all about being mindful of the simple things in life that make you happy, and embracing them.
 

The interior design of your home can have a big impact on this so with this in mind, we've put together our 6 hygge tips to transform your home into a comfortable haven.

1. Stock up on candles

Believed to be the number one way to get the hygge look, we're not surprised! The first thing that comes to mind when creating a cosy setting is setting the perfect lighting and candles are the best way to achieve this. Whether scented or unscented, embrace the warming glow of candlelight throughout your home. And their use shouldn't be confined to solely nighttime either. Danes purchase more candles than anywhere else in Europe, with one third admitting they light candles all day.

2. Create texture

When you think about creating a cosy atmosphere, notions of soft textures which add dimension instantly spring to mind. If you want to hygge your home, stock up on chunky knit cushions, faux fur throws and fluffy rugs, guaranteed to add lashings of texture. For extra comfort, choose the softest of materials, such as merino wool and cashmere for a touch of luxe.

3. Don't go overboard

You don't have to completely redesign your entire home to create a hygge atmosphere. It might just be creating a little nook you can call your own, or adding more of what you love. Remember, hygge is a feeling, so it isn't just focused on physical items. It could be enjoying a cup of your favourite coffee, or enjoying a long, candlelit bath. It's all about taking time to enjoy more of the things that you love.

4. Bring the outdoors inside

The autumn and winter months are typically cold, so going outside may not be your idea of comfort, but that doesn't mean you can't welcome the great outdoors into your home. From wooden furniture and flooring, to exposed walls and brickwork and neatly packed piles of logs, waiting to be thrown on that roaring fire, it's easier than you might think. Plus, you can easily incorporate nature into your home, with the addition of house plants, which are the perfect finishing touch.

5. Keep it simple

Hygge is never about going overboard. Yes, its focus is on indulging, but not extravagance. Hygge is not about going OTT in a bid to impress guests, but instead creating an atmosphere where everyone is comfortable and at ease. Learn to embrace the imperfections and simplicity and you're halfway there.

6. Take up a hobby at home

You've spent time creating an atmosphere you love, so make some time to enjoy it! Whether it's taking up a new hobby, or picking up an old missed one, turn off technology, and enjoy a simpler way of life. From delving into a good book, to picking up a craft, these activities will help you switch off and relax the mind and body.

If you'd like to introduce a little hygge into your home, why not give us a call and let us help you create your perfect setting? For more information, get in touch here  .

by Aideen McCanny 11 Oct, 2017

At Home and Contract Design , we take great pride in sourcing a stunning array of wallcoverings from all around the world. That's why our selection of wallpaper is loved by our clients. Here, we take a look at just a few of the designers that make up our wallpaper Northern Ireland collection.

by Aideen McCanny 10 Oct, 2017

At Home and Contract Design we pride ourselves in offering a wide range of services. One of which, in particular, that we’d like to highlight is our ability to not only supply one of the best collections of fabrics and wallpapers in Northern Ireland, but also design and create your soft furnishings.

Our extensive showroom in Northern Ireland is home to our stunning collection of design houses, ranging from budget friendly to those with a more bespoke requirement. We pride ourselves in only offering collections from designers with quality we can stand behind, which is why we have travelled the world in search of fabrics and wallpapers of the perfect combination of style and perfection.

by Aideen McCanny 09 Oct, 2017
Whether it’s the shared family bathroom or an ensuite, often the bathroom is the most overlooked room in the house when it comes to interior design. Yet, we use it multiple times a day. With the weather becoming colder, now is the time to turn that bathroom into a little oasis of calm, perfect for enjoying a hot soak on a cold evening.


If you’re looking for a quick fix to make your bathroom more luxurious, here we share 8 simple ideas to turn it into a five-star haven.

by Aideen McCanny 08 Oct, 2017
When it comes to designing a bedroom for a male, it can be all too easy to stick to the cliches of dark colour schemes, leather headboards and moody lighting. But, while some men may prefer this, the fact is that it isn't loved by all. Style, functionality and layout definitely need consideration when it comes to a masculine bedroom but this doesn't mean that the old stereotypes should come into play. In fact, today's modern man is very much turning his back on those bachelor cliches in favour of a new, fresh approach.

So here, we share our top design tips for a masculine bedroom.  


Choosing colours

When it comes to choosing colours for a masculine bedroom, darker hues are of course favoured, but that doesn't mean you need to keep going back to black. Dark greys and navys are perfect, and work particularly well when matched with mild-tone colours to keep things lighter. And for the man who isn't afraid of a little colour, brighter hues can be easily combined to prevent things getting too sombre. The key is to choose one lighter colour and use it sparingly to break up darker blocks.
by Aideen McCanny 08 Oct, 2017
Purchasing a new home is an exciting time. Whether it's a new build or an older home, no doubt you'll be keen to add your own personal aesthetic to it. So before you get stuck in, check out our top tips for instantly adding your own personality to a new home. 

Assess your style
 

First things first... start with a plan. It's a good idea to come up with a vision for your entire home, rather than just one room. Create a mood board, or Pinterest account and play around with colours and textures to get a feel for what you like. Add photographs, fabric swatches and paint charts and build up a picture of your view for your home. Although you probably won't complete it all at once, it's a good idea to have an overall vision in your mind.
by Aideen McCanny 07 Oct, 2017

There’s something so powerful about looking at a fabric and instantly knowing who designed it, and Orla Kiely's collection of iconic prints does just that.

The internationally-renowned designer works across a breadth of products from walls to watches, kitchen accessories and clothing. With a strong identity recognised by millions, we are delighted to reveal that Orla Kiely fabrics are now available at Home and Contract Design!

Orla Kiely is an Irish fashion designer, based in London. After receiving a Masters at the Royal College of Art, her career began in millinery before moving onto handbags. And finally in 1995, she began her own company with her husband, quickly establishing a name for herself in the world of fashion and interiors.

Described by The Guardian as “the queen of prints”  , Orla’s strong use of pattern, colour and texture is evident throughout her collection of fabrics, which can be used in a variety of ways in your home.

From bedding to curtains, cushions and blinds, her iconic prints possess the power to add a statement finishing touch to a room, and effortlessly pull together your vision.

At Home and Contract Design, we have no doubt that the wide range of fabrics available at our showroom will be a huge hit. At just £17.50 per meter, adding a touch of luxury to your home costs less than you might think.

Here’s a look at just some of the fabrics on offer…

1. Multi-Stem


by Aideen McCanny 06 Oct, 2017

One of the most neglected rooms in the house is the home office. With advances in technology, more and more people have been afforded the luxury of working remotely, which often sees them working from the comfort of their home.

But, with this room usually viewed as one of those ‘out of site’ rooms, which visitors never see, it’s time to turn your attention to your workspace and give it the attention that it deserves.

The majority of our day is spent sitting at a desk and creating a space which you love and which inspires you, will of course, lead to increased productivity. So to utilize your working environment, and make it an area to be proud of (and worthy of the public eye), here are my top tips for creating a workspace you love.

More posts
Share by: