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An alphabet of interior design

Go back to school with our dictionary of essentials for the home.

Go back to school with our dictionary of essentials for the home. Interior designer ANNE HATTON leads the way

Acrylics have had a big impact in contemporary interiors, such as the Philippe Starck Ghost chair and side tables and accessories. Adding a piece of acrylic gives a room a modern twist, particularly when colour is added.

Bows strategically placed on cushions can provide a whimsical touch to a bed or sofa.

Colour never goes out of fashion. This season looks at the deeper, richer colours, such as aubergine and gold.

Dazzling interiors have a bit of glitz - anything from sequins to crystals. One of the latest trends is wallpaper embossed with crystals.

Eco-friendly products continue to have influence, such as using recycled materials or sustainable products. Look carefully at the provenance of interior design products - from furniture to paint.

Faux suede continues to be popular, including distressed and textured surfaces. Re-cover an upholstered chair in it - perhaps in a bold colour, such as pink or orange.

Glass, an interior designer's trick of the trade, can be used anywhere, from furniture to bricks, letting light into any space.

Hardware for furniture (handles, knobs, escutcheons and similar) can easily be altered to give a new look.

Interior design fairs, such as Decorex or Focus 2008, highlight the latest trends in interior designs. Visit www.decorex.com for further information.

Juicy colours, such as lime green or vivid orange, can give a tired colour scheme a lift - think of simply adding a vase of flowers for instant relief. Look at William Yeoward for some exciting fabrics in these colours, at www.williamyeoward.com.

Kitchens continue to be the hub of the home. If you can't spring to changing the whole room, think about repainting the walls or units in a different colour. Even simply changing handles on cupboards and drawers can add impact.

Leopard prints endure in interior design - just use sparingly if you're feeling timid. Try anything from a cushion or a rug to an upholstered chair.

Mirrors never go out of fashion and make any room seem bigger. Try placing a mirror at right angles to a window to reflect the outdoors.

Nautical themes can work well in bathrooms, playrooms and children's bedrooms. A porthole mounted on the wall is a quirky touch, particularly for a boy's room.

Oriental themes maintain their dominance in interior decoration themes. Romo has a wonderful range of fabrics and wallpapers, using contemporary colours and designs (www.romofabrics.com).

Plants give an uplift to any room, adding a touch of colour and texture to a table top or corner.

Quick fixes can help when you get bored with a room. These could include changing a rug or cushions, to simply rearranging the furniture layout. Rethink your lighting, perhaps, by moving table lamps around or adding a new lamp shade or fitting. And one of the most effective quick fixes is to declutter!

Royal Collection from Designers Guild is one of the most exciting new developments in interior design. Inspired by the Royal Collection of

Windsor and Buckingham Palace, this new range epitomises elegance and glamour. See www.designersguild.com .

Silver lamps throw a subtle glitz over any room. Paired with a striking lamp shade, you have a real focal point for a table.

Throws are easy to add to the back of a sofa or chair and invite you to sit and relax. Look at materials such as fur or chenille to add an element of texture.

Ultra luxe in accessories, such as mirrored boxes, feather trims and silver picture frames, hint at the expensive and luxurious.

Versatile furniture that is both decorative and practical means less waste of space - consider side tables with drawers and cupboards, or seating with storage beneath.

Window treatments should be chosen to enhance the view outside. However, if the view is unimpressive, make the choice of window treatment the star.

X-tra seating in a room never goes amiss, particularly if you entertain. Think about occasional chairs that can be drafted in when needed, such as from a hallway or a bedroom.

Your taste and style should be paramount when choosing a decorative scheme. Don't be a slave to each new trend - find what works for you and your lifestyle.

Zing go the heart strings[2026] in other words, every room should have something that you absolutely love and can't live without - be it a piece of artwork, a colour or a fabric. Be passionate about your home!

 

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