Material considerations

Empty room with concrete floor, wooden ceiling and large window
How do you want your space to feel?

Not just look, but actually feel. Consider these materials in your space…


Let’s start at the deep end. Concrete. Are you thinking ‘cold’? In the room below smooth concrete becomes intimate with the warm tones and textures from nature and seems the perfect material for the room.


From one extreme to the other. Wool. On the floor and as art, modern and soft. Margot Selby uses a seventeenth century technique to ‘weave structures in a new way, creating abstract colour studies with a modernist feel’. Wool, but maybe not as you knew it.


Another intrinsically hard material, marble has a very distinct feel as a surface. Solid and durable, supportive. Resisting its cold image, marble can be softened by natural companions.

Simply cut in the first image below, the tiles almost seem to glow in places, mirroring the warmth of the wood and copper. In the second image the marble contrasts with the painted wood surfaces, simple walls and accessories and natural flooring, yet there is a mellow companionship there too.


Such a tactile and grounding material, wood probably already plays a role in your home. Take heart from the image below if you would like to use more of it. My article on ‘Five ways to bring wood inside’ looks at wood in interiors a little more deeply.


Sleekly polished or purposefully dull, mixed metals can feel so different to the touch but can sit together in perfect harmony. As metals age they may take on a beautiful patina, an important consideration when planning a space with longevity.


Its beauty lies in its transparency or translucency more than its feel to the touch. Glass. Flat and cool, letting light and sight travel – glass helps bring light, reflection and a feeling of expansion to a space.


A natural partner to glass, daylight is an essential ingredient of a space, so it’s included here as a material.  Natural light warms a space making it feel welcoming and relaxing, whilst shade can provide respite and calm. If your space is low on daylight think about making your windows or doors bigger – let the light in.


Okay, so a definite non-material for the final material – in fact the absence of material. Plan space into your design and enjoy room to spread out, practice your habits and breathe… space to grow into.

(@ and # in the captions for the images in this article refer to Instagram handles)

Happily finished pre-lockdown, my clients get to e Happily finished pre-lockdown, my clients get to enjoy their wonderful finished home a LOT now! 
Sneak peek of a recently finished home in Prinsted for hands down the #bestclientsever. This wood floor is brand new but so expertly laid by my favourite @justwoodflooring looks like it is original to the property. 
Complete trust from my clients allowed for some amazing interior details options to open up, like curved corners to the walls (SO worth the effort). All to create a modern ‘old’ home. 
Architect: @helyer_davies 
Architectural Interior Design: @ableandhardie 
Flooring: @justwoodflooring 
Paint: @benjaminmoore 
A bit of a side step from my normal appreciation, A bit of a side step from my normal appreciation, but for architecture, and for the love of horses, I couldn’t let this pass. Designed by @matiaszegers, this stable has the maximum daylight pouring in through its cleverly envisaged roof. 
I want to come back as one of these horses...
In retrospect, thinking that lockdown would enable In retrospect, thinking that lockdown would enable me to do that great big clear out I’ve been promising to do for years, may have been a bit ambitious. Especially as all the charity shops are closed (yes, and the dump). I am pretty heartless with ‘stuff’, being a believer in the old William Morris adage that if you do not know something to be useful or believe it to be beautiful, it has no place in your home. 
And yet... Two households becoming one (over a decade ago, how long as I going to use that excuse for?!), having children, and part-modifying our dream house (pending phase2) leaves me in ‘stuff’ limbo sometimes. Do you know what I mean? The stuckness of indecision; should I, shouldn’t I keep this? 
And a niggling worry that as soon as I throw something out, I’ll need to use it 😳! When lockdown is over, I’ll be ready to release my wares for another person to benefit from. Until then, I am taking time to make peace with what I have, to remember that I once chose it.