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How To Make a House a Home

Here at the Kit Kemp Design Studio, we are known for our handcrafted and informal interiors. Over the years we have designed many homes and our hotels, and our goal is to make every space feel welcoming. This week, we have put together our top tips on how to make a house, a home.

1. Make sure the furniture fits the size of the room

We believe this is one of the key ingredients in making any space feel welcoming. Over the years, we have seen so many homes where the furniture is made for a much larger room and immediately it feels cramped.

Equally, small furniture in a large room can look uncomfortable and out of proportion. The height of furniture has to be right. A coffee table that is too high beside a sofa makes you want to stand up and leave, you shouldn’t feel as though you are making an effort to put your feet up or put a cup of tea down.

2. Use a contrast of coordinating colours

We believe people gravitate towards colour as it makes them happy. When you open the door to a room, you want to be greeted by a vibrant and lively space. Colour used well can be the antidote to even the saddest room with no outlook.

3. Make people feel curious and make them smile

Our goal is to encourage our guests to explore a space and to make them feel curious to see what’s going on around the corner. We like to add a touch of whimsy or fun to create an interesting room which doesn’t feel too serious or formal.

4. Don’t forget about in between spaces, such as corridors, cupboards and hallways

In our homes, the in-between spaces, such as hallways, lobbies or even the inside of cupboards, are really important. If they are dull, we pass through them without remark. If they are interesting, with added colour or an intriguing collection, the in-between spaces become another room and they make our homes feel bigger.

5. Make a room feel restful, not chaotic

Rooms should feel relaxed and calming, we want our guests to feel like they never want to leave. We don’t like a timid interior, but equally we don’t like a frantic one either. Often, when designing a bedroom, we use a plain fabric on the walls to make the space feel tailored and cosseting. We then add the pattern into the room. We only ever use one large repeat design, paired with a much smaller one and even a geometric coordinating colour to add an extra punch.

Details such as piping in a plain contrast colour can add life and interest to a scheme. The devil is in the detail.

6. Design a good entertaining space

The kitchen table is the heart of the home but it can also become a space for entertaining. When designing a room for entertaining guests, lighting is very important.

At night, use more intimate and atmospheric lighting with candlelight or clever dimmer lights. Always remember the corners. By lighting the corners or perimeters, you will enlarge the space. It makes such a difference.

A lovely fresh tablecloth can suddenly make a table top look exotic, with a tablescape of greenery and storm lanterns. A serving table to one side is always helpful.

In the summer, we like to bring our inside chairs outside. They are more comfortable than most outdoor chairs and will give a more tailored look.

7. Create a handcrafted look

We always loved handcrafted things, with each piece, the touch of the human hand adds to the room’s story. We like the imperfection when a thread changes colour or a weave is not immaculate. These beautiful imperfections will add personality to a room’s design.

These are our top tips to make an interior feel more comfortable and cosy. We believe that for a house to feel like a true home, our guests shouldn’t feel intimidated to take their shoes off and put their feet up. It is only then, we are happy!

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