Abigail Ahern

The AA rules for creating an inviting home

If you want a delicious home you have to embrace the following guidelines or lets be a little stricter and says rules – we shall call them the AA rules for creating an inviting home.Autumn is on its way (for some of us at least) and although I hate to mention it it’s a fact. I am in the midst of writing for many international publications hints and tips for decorating the home of the holidays so oddly enough am feeling a little autumnal – even on a day such as today! Colour is probably the most transformative thing you can do when it comes to creating a cosy home. You don’t have to embrace my dark side – earth tones, taupe’s, burnt oranges; yellows are all inviting hues to soften the onslaught of winter. Even to those of  you living in Sydney or one of those countries where winter seems to mean a light jumper, discarded by lunchtime, as there is so  much warmth in the sun. Enough I am getting jealous!Back to my rules – you will need textiles oodles of them  as they are the 5 minute face lift of the decorating world – so rugs, cushions, throws all make a room come together, soften the edges and create an interesting interplay of textures. If you happen to have a fireplace in the room arrange the furniture around it – this makes the space way more inviting and conversational and if you don’t have a fireplace not to worry pretend that you do! Still cluster furniture in the centre no flanking furniture against the wall (a la doctors waiting room) no matter how small your space. Candles (big, big, fan of) instantly cosy up a room – plonk in front of a mirror and magic starts to happen as the light will bounce and dance around the room. Add some pattern (I’m thinking 2/3 different ones – although I reckon you can get away with 6 or 7 – but rugs, cushions, the odd boldly dazzling ceramic piece will add another dimension of its multi layered ness.Anything wooden adds warmth I not a huge fan of the Scandinavian pale wood look rather prefering something with a little more depth – like a little side table I have crafted from fallen wood in Senegal it’s got a beautifully rich patina that adds instant cosiness. Of course it goes without saying that your furniture needs to be loungy and super comfortable not too uptight looking. You want to feel that you can plop into any chair, put your feet up and snuggle up. She says with a concrete chair hanging out beside her and a teeny tiny tub chair so small you can barely fit in it in the very same space.Ok so I am working on some of these rules myself am not totally perfect quite yet! That’s me done for the day,  happy start to the week -  from here on now its scary time for me. In NYC in less than 10 days to launch our lighting collection. Two newbie’s (a bull terrier and basset) are still with the potters up north as not happy with the colour of the glaze and we’ve got about 4 days to sort it out.Yikes! Move the furniture away from the perimeter of the walls and you instantly start cosying up a space. No matter how small or how tiny the space nothing repeat nothing looks worse than it flanking walls as if in some police line up. I literally have to constrain myself when I go into peoples houses and see this conventional arrangement, that or I knock back a double whisky before walking through the door - and then somehow the whole thing pales into insignificance! Rugs are great for softening up a space - this sofa needs way more cushions but the colour palette is spot on - warm, cosy and super snuggly.  

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