Reconnect with your home

Kettle Design has been invited to write an interior design column for Shire Magazine. You can read Suzanne’s first article on page 97 in the new May/June issue of Shire Magazine. https://www.shiremagazine.co.uk/current-issue

Reconnect with your home

Do you have a room or space in your house which isn’t working for you anymore?

Here award-winning technical interior designer Suzanne Mercer of Kettle Design in Heswall shares her tips for falling back in love with your home.

Think about colour

Soft and warm colours make for a relaxing palette in a sitting or dining room. Try mixing neutrals with greens, golds and bronzes. Opulent taffetas are going to be big this year and their rich colours are great for curtains, cushions and blinds.

Sensory appeal

Give a room the wow factor by laying a bleached oak herringbone floor. It not only looks good but feels blissful underfoot.

Experiment with wallpaper

There are some incredible wallpapers on the market today, some that are cheaper than paint per square metre. Create an impact by lining alcoves either side of a fireplace with statement wallpaper made from real banana leaves or dark linen paper. Wallpapers are often wipeable, some are designed to soften a room acoustically and are great if you’ve made a mistake on paint as you can just paper straight over it.

Get arty

A stunning piece of artwork can create a real talking point in a room. Choose something that is special to you, fun or just makes you feel happy when you look at it.

Use fabrics

You can really brighten up a sofa with some exciting cushions in lovely fabrics. They’re far cheaper than changing a sofa and regularly refreshing them can give your room a whole new look. Consider lining the side or back of a chair or sofa with a more expensive or crazy fabric to make a chair real impact.

Perfect lighting

It can be hard to get the lighting right in a house, particularly in new builds which are often fitted with low energy or LED lights. Fabrics and paint can look very different depending on the colour rendering of the light fittings and the natural light available in a room. LEDs can give off a yellow, white or blue white glow so it’s important to order the correct fitting depending on the effect you would like to achieve. If you have inherited the cold white fittings their effect can be softened with warmer colours such as warm beiges and harbour grey, which will work with the light.

Talk to a builder

If a room really isn’t working for you, consider some structural changes such as knocking it through into an adjacent room.

  • Do get in touch if you would like us to help you with your interior design project.

A Q&A with Suzanne Mercer of Kettle Design

Award-winning interior designer Suzanne Mercer opened Kettle Design in Heswall in 1996. Here she talks about what inspires her and some of her proudest professional moments.

What makes Kettle Design stand out?

I think what makes us special is that, uniquely, we are the only technical interior design company in Wirral and Merseyside. It means that we have the expertise in-house – with our fantastic architects, designers, artists and engineers – to look at the structure of a room and understand the architectural detailing.

Where did you train?

I went to Loughborough University and trained in Mechanical Engineering and Product Design.

Where does your love of design come from?

It definitely comes from both of my parents, who were passionate about it in different ways. My mother loved colour while my father was inspired by architecture. As a result, I spent most weekends as a child visiting National Trust properties.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Usually in the most obscure places. I can be out for a walk with my children when I spot things that spark my imagination.

I also love visiting museums because the architecture of the space, or even some of the objects that catch my eyes, can set me thinking about how I might be able to recreate them in an interior design way.

What are your proudest design moments to date?

One of the things I really love about my job is meeting people, getting to know them and finding out what inspires them. Helping them to create a space which completely works for them is hugely satisfying.

I recently worked with some lovely clients on a project in Lancashire. The house was at the design stage and it was wonderful to work with their architect to create a fabulous dream home for them.

They gave me complete freedom to re-design the interior layout, to design all the bespoke furniture and to supply all the finishes. And they were delighted with the results.

A particularly poignant project for me was working with a client whose mother needed a home designed for her late stage care.

We wanted to give her as much independence as possible. One of the design features we incorporated was some wonderful technology which allowed her to take a bath by herself.

From her wheelchair she could sit in a seat which raised her out of her chair and into a bath which she could fill to a pre-set temperature by pressing a button. As she moved up and over the side of the bath an air blower kept her warm, and the same blower dried her as she was lifted back to her wheelchair.

It was just one of the ways we were able to give her independence while maintaining a look to her living space that wasn’t clinical.

Tell us about your design services

I’m a member of the British Institute Interior Design.

My design services include: concept design and feasibility studies, full interior design service, furniture, fittings and equipment supply, turnkey operations.

I’ve also got a specialist knowledge of show house services, sustainable design expertise and design for disabled and elderly people.

Past projects have included listed building and conservation projects, hotels, houses and apartments, offices, restaurants and retail.

Suzanne Mercer of Kettle Design

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