Dressing homes fit for fashionistas this London Fashion Week

Dressing homes fit for fashionistas this London Fashion Week

United Kingdom
  • London Fashion Week commences 15th September 2017
  • The right dressing room can be a daily pleasure to use
  • Have fun honing your style and display your items accordingly
  • Use made to measure shelving and back-lit displays for the ultimate designer dressing room

With London Fashion Week fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to focus on a wardrobe refresh. However, according to leading interiors firm Alexander James Interior Design, committed fashionistas are taking this one step further.

Having the ultimate dressing room can be a life-changing experience for those who love their clothes and London Fashion Week presents the perfect excuse to give that dressing room an overhaul. Just because it’s a practical space doesn’t mean it can’t also be beautiful. The best dressing rooms should serve to inspire their users and celebrate all that is beautiful and fashionable each and every day.

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

In honour of London Fashion Week, which this year takes place from 15 to 19 September, Sibley has shared her top tips on how to make the most of your dressing room in order to enjoy it at its best.

How to dress your dressing room – Stacey Sibley, Alexander James Interior Design

Start by having a good sort through all your clothes, shoes, bags, jewellery, etc. You don’t want to build a space that is going to be storing items that will never be worn. Reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy by Marie Kondo can be a huge help with this. Kondo gives tips on how to sort through your belongings and even how to fold clothing.

Next, think about what’s important to you. If you’re a shoe addict, think about how you would like them stored and displayed – do you want them on show or wrapped away for protection? Do you need lots of shelving for shoe boxes or do you prefer to have the shoes out of their boxes on display?

It’s important to think about lighting, too. Make sure the space is well lit, especially where you have the full length mirror for trying outfits on. Using back-lit shelves can be a nice touch here, especially if you have a designer handbag collection or hats to display. Made to measure shelving can also work wonders for those items.

Give some thought to space allocation for clothes as well. Do you have more dresses than separates? If so, you’ll need more full height hanging space. Be realistic about your level of tidiness as well. If you’re super neat then open shelving and hanging space can work well, but if you tend towards the messy then doors to hide away the mess come highly recommended!

Be playful with your style as part of the process too. Do you want your dressing room to be glamorous and glitzy, sleek and cotemporary, or vintage inspired? Shape the space and the items on display to fit your preferred style.

When it comes to practical touches, drawers can be a great help. Underwear, ties and jewellery can all be neatly stored in drawers, while a safe for expensive jewellery and watches may also be a good move. If space allows, a central island for more storage can also be very useful – or a central ottoman for sitting on while getting ready.

Of course, if you have oodles of space available then a ‘his and hers’ dressing room set is the ultimate luxury touch – and will certainly put paid to any arguments over the allocation of wardrobe space. It also means you have the pleasure of creating two distinctly different dress room spaces!

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at www.aji.co.uk or call 020 7887 7604.  

The country chic challenge – honouring history in a new build family home

United Kingdom
  • Alexander James Interior Design challenged to find what Robert the Bruce and ballerinas have in common
  • Wadhurst Place in East Sussex highlights the best of contemporary country living
  • Neutral tones, cleverly blended textures and rustic touches create the ideal country home

There’s always a frisson of excitement in the air when an interior design team first sets foot inside a new property. That’s particularly true when the home presents a unique challenge, like Wadhurst Place, in East Sussex.

The brief was to offer a balance of luxury ‘Show Home’ mixed with a ‘Country Chic’ feel. Wadhurst Place is a unique development offering luxury accommodation set in 18 acres of parkland with breath-taking views. The properties range from substantial, family houses to large, lateral apartments and mews houses. It was imperative the Show Home offered a lifestyle that captured a wide audience.”

Ben Axton, Head of Show Home Sales, Alexander James Interior Design

The challenge at Wadhurst Place was to dress one of the development’s five-bedroom, three-bathroom houses – known as The Elder – in such a way that it both honoured the site’s rich history and presented a contemporary, luxurious country lifestyle, as befits a location that made it onto this year’s Sunday Times list of the best places to live in the UK.

The full development comprises 13 apartments and 26 homes, set in 18 acres of breath-taking parkland. The original, Grade II listed manor house, which is being delicately restored into apartments after 15 years of neglect, was built for a descendent of Robert the Bruce in 1885. Built in the Domestic Revival and Queen Anne style, half-timbered with ornamental red brick facings and carvings, the house includes oak joinery, ornate plastered ceilings and stained glass windows. It was described in the 1885 directory as having, “an interior which is admirably appointed, and no expense whatever has been spared.”

The manor house became a girls’ boarding school in the 1930s, supplemented by a ballet school in the 1980s, until its closure in 2001, when the site fell into disrepair. Work is now underway not only to restore the manor house to its former glory, but also to provide an outstanding collection of homes in the surrounding parkland that honour the site’s extensive history and rich architectural heritage.

“Wadhurst Place presents a uniquely beautiful setting and we wanted to reflect that in the interior design of The Elder show home. Capturing the elegance of country living was key, so we sought to blend modern furnishings and fabrics with select rustic pieces, to create a distinctive overall look and feel. Different textures played an important role in achieving the overall effect, with rich velvets, satin, wicker and textured wallpaper all playing a part.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

The resulting show home presents a stunning glimpse of life in this beautiful East Sussex market town. Clean, classic design elements and natural tones create a sense of harmony and peace that’s very much in keeping with the local area. Those touring The Elder can enjoy a true sense of the lifestyle that Wadhurst Place offers – this is effective interior design at its very best.

“We’re delighted with the overall result at The Elder. It shows off contemporary country living for the modern family, while still reflecting the development’s rich heritage, which was precisely what we wanted to convey.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at www.aji.co.uk or call 020 7887 7604.  

Top Autumn design trends revealed by Alexander James Interior Design

United Kingdom
  • Rich jewel tones are at the centre of autumn’s design inspiration
  • Keep nature in the home with large floral prints on walls and cushions
  • Add warmth with raw brass touches as the nights lengthen

While the rest of us are enjoying the summer holidays, the team at Alexander James Interior Design is busily working away on this autumn’s top interior design trends. Now, Creative Director Stacey Sibley has shared her expert insights into this autumn’s must-have colours, fabrics and florals.

“We’ve seen a real inclination for soft, muted tones over the spring and summer. All that’s going to change in the autumn, as bright jewel colours burst onto the interiors scene. Colours are all about the rich warmth of teals, burnt oranges, shaded spruce and autumn maple. These are bold tones for uplifting interiors – we’ll be brightening up the indoors as the outdoors dims in preparation for winter.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

Plush, patterned fabrics will complement the bold jewel colours of autumn. Sibley highlights the new Bonheur velvet from Zinc Textiles as an example. The plush velvet is interspersed with multi-tonal textural bouclé yarns to form a deconstructed hounds tooth design that is both elegant and warm.

Meanwhile, summer’s fascination with nature will continue, but with a shift into more rich, floral patterns.

“Florals this autumn will be larger than life – picture rich velvet cushions printed with large scale, expressive tulips, apple blossom and roses. The Designers Guild’s new cushions epitomise this trend. We’re also seeing floral prints in wallpapers and fabrics that look like old master still life paintings, allowing us to incorporate these into the home in exciting new ways – it’s a modern twist on classical prints.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

When it comes to larger items of furniture, colour comes to the fore once more. Julian Chichester’s beautifully sculpted, teal vellum Deneuve Cabinet is the ultimate example. Double curved ends provide elegance while the textured raw brass detail that follows the shape of the front of the cabinet pairs perfectly with autumn’s favoured tones.

For smaller accessories, it’s all about blending those jewel colours with interesting textures. Healthfield & Co’s emerald Amelia table lamp reflects the autumnal trend perfectly. A design collaboration with Zoffany, the hand-crafted lamp features stunning volcanic glass detailing, meaning that each piece is unique. Antique brass and a satin shade finishes the lamp beautifully.

“Finally this autumn, don’t forget the importance of art. If you’re nervous about how to introduce jewel tones, opt for something like Trowbridge Gallery’s Lovebird Feathers. It’s a stunning piece that shows the bright, delicate plumage of the world’s smallest parrot. The close-up of the rainbow spectrum of colours is truly beautiful and adds a wonderful sense of texture as well as colour.”

Stacey Sibley, Creative Director, Alexander James Interior Design

With the longest day already well behind us, it’s time to enjoy the rest of the summer while preparing for the autumn. Make sure you’re ready for the arrival of dark skies and darker evenings by giving your home the rich colour boost it deserves.

For more information, visit Alexander James Interior Design at www.aji.co.uk or call 020 7887 7604.