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Lydia Millen: 5 interiors lessons I learnt over lockdown


Like many of us, lifestyle influencer Lydia Millen used lockdown as a time to update her home. Although she had already spent a year renovating her country pad in 2019, so much time spent inside gave her pause to think about what she really wanted from her living space – beyond style, she wanted to create a warm, calming home that felt instantly relaxing. Here, she tells us what she learnt from her redecoration process, imparting easy interiors tips – from instant ways to inject warmth to how to perfectly style your coffee table.

For more updates and interiors inspiration visit @lydiamillenhome.

1. Utilise any outdoor foliage

“The wild flowers that you can see here came from the garden – I collected twigs and branches with beautiful shapes and textures to add a rawness and more natural feeling to the table to stop it from feeling too twee. Rather than creating one big bouquet or arrangement, I wanted to separate the flowers out into several smaller bouquets arranged in different pots and vases. Splitting them out allows you to enjoy the detail more and creates a lovely, consistent organic touch to the whole table.”


2. Dark wall colours feel luxe and vibrant

“Using dark colours on the walls doesn’t have to feel overpowering and gloomy, if done correctly it can feel beautifully vibrant. Dark walls can feel dramatic and give smaller rooms a feeling of ‘presence’, whereas dark walls in larger rooms can make them feel cosier. Think trims, ceilings, bold accents to break up that colour. In our home, we love to mix the old, traditional style with more modern furnishings. Styling with heritage antique finds or family heirlooms helps to unify different eras of time.”


3. Natural textures and tones inject a sense of calm

“There’s something highly relaxing about a home that has an organic touch. Featuring woods and stems from your surroundings can blur that ‘indoor outdoor’ divide beautifully. I love rattan and wicker baskets, plants and flowers throughout the house. They soften hard surfaces and feel homely. I’m also a huge fan of linen for ensuring that the cosier elements of the soft furnishings, sofa covers and curtains, for example, look less stark against the rest of the space.”


4. It pays to put thought into your coffee table

“My main tip is to make sure the eye line over the coffee table isn’t obstructed by any of your beautiful items – you want the coffee table to be a focal point, but still practical. It helps to divide the space into thirds or quarters and arrange your items in each section. A stack of old books, a stylish tray with candles, small vases at varying heights makes the surface look interesting but not cluttered. Choosing a consistent colour theme gives the feel of a curated collection. A neutral colour palette for flowers, candles, vases and coasters will feel high-end, but the colour scheme is always personal preference and whatever makes you feel it fits your home.”


5. There are so many easy ways to add instant warmth

“A few extra items to vary texture, such as blankets, throws and cushions can make a huge difference to your home. Lighting is also effective for adding warmth; choose gentle, soft accent lighting and some gorgeous candles. In the Millen-Gordon home, we love the way that wood can add drama and variation to the traditional plaster backdrop for your walls. Wood is so wonderfully rich in tone and really exudes warmth. In our newly updated kitchen, we’ve opted for painted wooden panelling on the island, tongue and groove covering the walls and apex ceiling, rattan chairs and a beautifully raw finished dining table and stools. The contrast of the rustic, imperfect wooden stools and table looks so striking against the rest of the kitchen.”


From Harper’s Bazaar UK

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