Interior Designer Homes: Bringing luxury style to a plain new-build

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Interior designer Phoebe Oldrey of Smartstyle Interiors has transformed a beige box of a new build into a welcoming home for herself and her family. Here she shows us round.

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We’d love some decorating tips for a hallway. How do you make it an interesting space in its own right?
‘Lighting brings so much to a hall and I love this oversized lampshade – it creates drama. The bench is a work of art but it’s also a great solution to a practical problem – I noticed we were spending all our time sitting on the stairs to put our shoes on. Hallways are also great places to hang artwork and family pictures to say “welcome to our home”.’

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Can you tell us about the lighting you chose for this living space? We love the effects it creates.
‘I wanted this room to have a warm feeling in the evenings, while keeping its spacious atmosphere during the day. The ceiling light has a fabulous effect, making it look twice the size. The lampshades for the wall lights have a fishnet pattern in red on a greyish base and when they are lit up they have a warm red glow that creates cosiness in the evenings.’

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Pretty windows! Can you give us some insider secrets on choosing window dressings?
‘These curtains are the result of me falling for this beautiful fabric. Because of its large print they feel like a piece of artwork and when the light comes through them it feels like the birds are flying past. I wanted the curtains at the French windows to be the stars of the room so I used Roman blinds at the two side windows in a fabric the same colour as the walls.’

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Talk us through this bedroom scheme – the feature wall looks fab.
‘The wallpaper and the trunk are what makes this room really special. I love the dark colour of the wallpaper, and the way it creates a bedhead right across the width of the room. It has some metallic elements in the design, which looks great in both daylight and with the bedside lamps on.’

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How did you keep this bathroom looking spacious?
‘The basin unit is actually a lower kitchen unit designed for disability access. We created the illusion that it’s wall hung by stepping back the kick plate and tiling it to match the floor and skirting. Everything is craftily stored in this unit or niches, so the worksurface remains uncluttered. The sides of the unit pull out so when you are at the sink getting ready everything is easily to hand, then can be shut away.’

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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor

View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor