We were lucky enough to sit down with Jane Cunningham of DeluxeHomeDiary to understand her favourite interior design styles, trends for the season and ultimately what makes a house a home. Make sure to follow her Instagram Account which is all about Cosy Glamour, made easy!
Jane, tell us about your background. When did you become so interested in interior design and décor?
For as long as I can remember, I have loved all things related to interior design and decor. When I was 13 I asked my mum for a fridge for my bedroom so I could turn it into my own mini house! Around the same age, I also recall asking her to redecorate my bedroom and picked out the colours, curtains and bed linen myself. I studied History of Art at University and it is something I am still really passionate about today. Living in London, I am so lucky to have beautiful galleries, museums and historic houses on my doorstep and wandering around them is how I like to spend my weekends.
I started taking more of an interest in interior décor when my husband and I bought our first place in London. I set up an Instagram to store all my ideas and moodboards and then started to share pictures of my home. I kept it quiet until my sisters told me to get a grip and put my name on it!
What is your signature style? Describe it? Vintage, contemporary etc.
‘Cosy glamour’ sums it up pretty well. I love big comfy sofas and beds in rooms decorated with chandeliers, gilt mirrors, flowers and candles. You will then find me in leggings and cosy socks, under a throw and drinking tea.
Whilst I love arranging vignettes filled with pretty objects, I definitely prefer the lived-in look; I want people coming into my house to feel at home, comfortable and relaxed.
What is your favourite trend this season and why?
My favourite trend this season is driven by the Pantone colours of the year – rose quartz and serenity. I recently bought a velvet orchid coloured sofa from sofa.com and I’m absolutely in love with it! My base colour scheme is very neutral – lots of whites and creams so I like to add colour through furniture, accessories and flowers.
What are your Top 5 interior décor accessories?
I love how the French decorate their homes – it’s traditional yet so stylish and chic, just how they dress! As I have already mentioned, I love chandeliers and gilt mirrors which are definitely two of my Top 5 favourite accessories. I also love large area rugs which are a good way of adding colour and depth to a room, as well as warmth. I went to an auction a few years ago in North London and ended up accidentally buying a Persian rug. I say accidentally because I didn’t own my flat at the time, it was the 23rd of December and I spent nearly a month’s rent on it because I got over excited!
Floor and table lamps are a great way of making a big impact on a room’s overall look and feel. Every room needs a mix of general and accent lighting to create ambience and provide sufficient illumination to carry out everyday tasks. Lastly, bar carts are great to add instant style to any living room or kitchen. I love playing around with the décor on mine and displaying objects, bottles or glassware. Anthropologie and West Elm are great for bar cart accessories.
What’s your favourite room in your house and why?
Probably my bedroom. I previously lived in a two bed flat and the main bedroom was on the small side so my new one feels palatial in comparison! So much so that my husband doesn’t want to compromise the space and put wardrobes in there! I am a collector and like to display objects on tables and shelves but I believe that bedrooms are sanctuary-like spaces and should be kept as clutter free as possible. We moved into our house 8 weeks ago and have been living out of cardboard boxes whilst we undertake work, so that sanctuary space is not a reality just yet!
What’s your most prized piece of furniture?
When B and I got engaged a few years ago, he wanted to buy a piece of art to mark the occasion. His rationale was that girls get engagement rings and guys get nothing! So the morning after getting engaged, we went into Oxford and bought a painting from a local gallery. It’s a bright and cheery scene of flower stalls in Paris and it makes me happy to just stare at it, which to me is what art is all about. It’s not furniture but it’s close?
If money wasn’t an object, what piece of furniture would you buy?
If money really was no object I would invest in a Renoir painting or Manet or maybe Degas… the list is endless!
If I was to invest in furniture and again money was no object, I would love a piece by Joseph Walsh. He is a seriously talented furniture designer and craftsman from Cork, where I am also from. Each piece is like a sculpture or work of art and is astoundingly beautiful in its design. For now though, I’ll have to settle with flat pack furniture (sigh!).
We notice you love coffee table books, what’s your ultimate favourite book?
I adore the books made by Assouline. They are a visual feast for the eyes and are mainly devoted to art, culture, photography, interiors, fashion and travel. Maison Assouline in Piccadilly is more than a bookshop; it has a beautiful bar and it also sells furniture and accessories. Quite literally, heaven!
Books that I have been given as gifts are probably my favourite though. I love the idea of someone going out to buy a book they know you will enjoy and cherish. My first wedding anniversary present from B was a beautiful coffee-table book called ‘London Hidden Interiors’ and one of my friends always buys books for me. Those books are definitely my favourites.
The same can be said for flowers, what are your favourites?
Antique pink roses are probably my favourite; I can never walk past them without taking them home with me! I got really interested in flowers when I was planning my wedding and then a friend (who is now training to be a florist) asked me to do a flower course with her and since then my house is always filled with them!
What is your favourite candle scent and why?
It totally depends on my mood, the room and time of year. My favourite everyday scent is vanilla and I like pomegranate scents for when I am having people over because it is so distinctive. One of my friends gave me a really good tip – she sprays “pomegranate noir” perfume by Jo Malone around her house and then lights the same candle to give it an extra boost. I love cinnamon for Winter and Christmas… fresh linen scents for bathrooms and floral scents with notes of rose for my bedroom or in Summertime. My favourite brand is Diptyque. There is something special about those candles.
Whose interior décor style do you admire?
My mum is really good with colour, room layouts and accessories. Both my parents love furniture, antiques and art so they have definitely influenced my style.
If you could choose to visit any celeb’s home to visit, who would it be and why?
I would love to visit Miles Redd’s Manhattan townhouse – it’s a hedonistic mix of comfort and luxury with a hint of humour. The neoclassical columns in his house have pineapple heads at the top! I also love his bold use of textures and prints – lots of animal, chinoiserie, chintz and eye-catching fabrics against traditional backdrops. He installed a glass bathroom from a 1930s mansion and it also doubles up as an entertaining space!! Living in a large city like New York where space is such a premium, whoever would have thought to have a dining room in a bathroom? You need to look it up to believe it. Sounds odd but trust me you will be blown away.
Being based in London, does that impact your style? Do you feel inspired by that quintessential British look?
Definitely. I live in a period style house that is so typical of London housing and I adore the old features that come with those houses. Lots of period houses in London have shutters and I can’t wait for mine to arrive. Those that follow me on Instagram will be familiar with the beautiful black bags and newspapers that are currently adorning my bedroom windows! (Unfortunately, there is a 3-month lead time because they are made to measure so I have to live with them for a while still)
I travel quite a lot and that is my biggest source of inspiration. The standout places I have been to from a décor perspective have to be Marrakech, Paris or the south of France, Istanbul and Florence. As you can probably guess by now, I’m a full blown Francophile and visit Paris a few times of year so that has definitely had the biggest impact on my style.
Have you bought any pieces from abroad that you treasure and if from where?
On two occasions I have managed to bring rugs home from Marrakesh. And a side table! I always bring back a tonne of books from weekends away because I can never leave a gallery or exhibition without purchasing a book.
Finally Jane, as an #OtterBoxInsider,what’s your favourite OtterBox case?
To be honest, I love the versatility, quality and the durability of all the OtterBox cases. I interchange between using Symmetry Series case in Paris Blush, for which I have received so many compliments! I also like using the Strada Series case in Black – to me black is classic and the case is so handy to use, especially when I don’t intend on carrying a bag.
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