Saturday 22 October 2016

Boldly beautiful: The interiors risks that are worth taking

Emily Westbrooks

Published 03/04/2016 | 02:30

Landham sofa from Laura Ashley.
Landham sofa from Laura Ashley.
Monochrome: Teal cushions from Debenhams Lido collection.
Dark and Stormy: Wardley oak four poster bed from Neptune
Bathtime: Peruvian bath mats and towels, from €8 at Marks & Spencer
Risky Hue: Velvet maxi couch from DFS

Most of us take the safe route when it comes to our interior decor decisions. Neutral sofa, off-white carpet, magnolia walls. Big, bold interiors moves, like a bright-coloured couch or wild wallpaper, can definitely be scary.

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The first worry, of course, is what if I get sick of it? Well, odds are you're a tad sick of that magnolia shade by now, aren't you? We'll admit that bold interiors decisions can be hard to make, but they're often the choices that make you feel truly at home.

Here are four interiors risks that are well worth a little elevated blood pressure.

Sassy Sofa


A colourful sofa is one investment that will instantly bring your living room to another level. Choose a supple velvet and every time you sit, you'll feel a little fancy.


Buy it: This bold-hued Landham sofa, main photo,  is from Laura Ashley (€2,000 at or try the Ikea Stockholm sofa in Sandbacka green for €1,200 (

Pattern Mixing

Most of us err on the side of too few prints and patterns, scared of a room that's visually busy. But the right mix of patterns keeps a room from looking generic. The key is to choose patterns that complement each other, spacing a range of small and large prints throughout.

Buy it: Littlewoods Ireland's Olson rug (€100) and rain drops duvet (€42)

Mostly Monochrome

Most people don't think to match their wall colour to their furniture, but it's certainly a statement and can make a room pop. You could sprinkle in a little variety, or you could take the full leap to monochromatic colour throughout the room. Consider using this trick for a more formal room in your home, adding shades of the same colour to a dining room or sitting room.


Buy it: Teal cushions from Debenhams Lido collection, from €14 each

Wacky Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be an expensive risk to take, which is why I recommend starting small. Stair risers are the perfect way to introduce a little wacky wallpaper into your home. Swimming ladies on your stairs? That can't but make you smile.

Buy it: The team at Dust interiors shop in Dublin has a quirky line of papers that are great in small doses. Wallpapers from €210 at

Best for Bath Time

A teal claw foot tub will remain a vivid dream for most of our baths, but adding colour to the bathroom is certainly a good risk to take. Whether with bright paint on the walls or with a few cute accessories, your bathroom can still feel like a spa even with the injection of a little colour.

Try adding towels and a bath mat with a cheerful print. Marks & Spencer currently has a nice range of Peruvian-inspired bath mats and towels that will add a little zing underfoot when you start and end your day.


Buy it: Peruvian bath mats and towels, from €8 at Marks & Spencer

Dark and Stormy

There's a common interiors myth that dark walls make rooms look smaller - and that's simply not the case for all rooms. Rooms with lower ceilings and no architectural details can benefit from a stronger huge. But the right colour choice is imperative. Stick with our colour do's and don't's in the panel at right and you'll run the risk of that dark room dungeon feel.


Buy it: An airy Wardley oak four poster bed from Neptune (€2,760) lightens the cobalt walls.

Risky Hue Rules

When it comes to adding strong colour to your walls, here's our handy cheat sheet.

First, choose the right colour. Relatively neutral hues like charcoal, dark navy, and deep brown are your safest bets, but burgundy and emerald can be stunning as well.

Second, either lighten the look with lighter, brighter textiles, or add a modern edge with a piece of funky furniture, for instance an acrylic coffee table.

Finally, choose your furniture wisely. To keep the moody room from feeling dated, be sparing with heavy, dark wooden furniture. Instead, opt for more angular, contemporary furniture. Add in cheerful printed cushions and throws or an ombre carpet that will liven up the room.


Below: Velvet maxi couch, €2,000 from DFS,

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