Inspiration 20 November 2018

Guest Blog: James Lawrenson

James Lawrenson on mastering contemporary classic interior design

The Cheshire-based interior designer and creative director of James Lawrenson Interiors reveals how to channel his signature look.

James prides himself on creating a timeless approach that expresses a functional yet luxurious design.

Known for his contemporary classic looks, James shares how to achieve this trend in your own home through layering, lighting, coffee table styling, flooring and how to avoid common design mistakes.

Find out more about James here, or swoon over his Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Here are James’ top tips to achieving this look with ease…

“It is often said that true style is timeless, while fashions come and go. One of my main design principles is to create spaces that are enduringly elegant, and which remain as enjoyable to live in in 10 years’ time as they are today” - James Lawrenson, Creative Director

The art of layering

I like combining different materials and finishes in my interiors. Texture is essential when creating a neutral space. It is very easy for a room to become flat and one-dimensional on the quest for neutral. 

Layered fabrics, exquisite finishes, beautifully crafted objects and wall coverings are used to create depth. That is why layering of materials to craft unique combinations is so important – it creates a space you want to immerse yourself in.

Carefully consider your lighting scheme

It may sound dramatic, but lighting can either make or break a room.  

Implementing a good lighting scheme is not only about selecting stylish products, but about choosing the right blend of lighting that is both functional and fit for purpose but also sets the right tone and creates an atmosphere.

When it comes to lighting, it is important to keep in mind three main elements: 

·       General lighting - lighting that illuminates an entire space for visibility and safety.

·       Task lighting - lighting for smaller areas where more intense light is needed.

·       Accent lighting - making your precious objects, paintings, or interesting architectural features stand out.

The perfect formula for the ultimate coffee table styling

Throughout its life a coffee table will house everything from cups and saucers to discarded keys and loose change but, aside from the functional benefits, this integral living room item also makes an incredible decorative platform.  

As the focal point of most living spaces, coffee tables present a perfect chance to let your inner interior stylist loose, and an opportunity that should be grabbed with both hands by anyone wanting to make their interior truly individual. 

There’s an art to styling a coffee table thanks to a tried-and-tested formula that is always seen in the very best interior design projects. The formula in question is a carefully curated fusion of five key elements:

·       Something tall

·       Something organic

·       Something low

·       Something textured

·       Something personal

Glossy, silken flooring

I typically prefer silk or silk/wool-mix rugs with a subtle pattern or texture to them, but new modern techniques allow for various materials to be introduced to them with great effect – looping in metallic threads and sisal, or mixed and hand-tufted silks and cashmere create amazing textural landscapes. 

Open shelves and hidden storage

Whenever I use open shelving in my designs I always make sure I source beautiful objects and style the shelves for my clients so that they look beautiful. I also ensure that I provide plenty of storage so that my clients don’t need to use the open shelves to store unsightly objects.

Shop the look

So, now you have the styling tips it’s time to choose the best products. Here are my picks of the most elegant buys that will help you get my signature look.