Society - Keeping everything so stylishly simple

Society - Keeping everything so stylishly simple

Society - Home is where the art is Reading Society - Keeping everything so stylishly simple 8 minutes Next No.1 Magazine - House to home

A minimalist white theme is exactly what Nikki Brown of Westholme Interiors was trying to achieve when designing her kitchen and living space.

Because she spends the majority of her family time there, it was important that the online interior business owner made the space feel relaxed, with some luxury and sophistication thrown in, too.

Taking inspiration from New York and the minimalist loft apartment styles the city boasts, Nikki wanted to incorporate that cosy, stylish theme into her humble abode. “My go-to interior style is minimal. White and arty is what I love.

“Think of a New York loft apartment – it’s usually very white, bright and it’s not got much in it. It’s got minimal furniture and is very simplistic. Then all of a sudden there will be a grand piece of art. That’s exactly what I wanted to achieve with this kitchen and living room space.”

Although the kitchen area was already in place prior to Nikki and her husband moving in, she’s put her own spin on the room and invested in a feature breakfast bar to add a high-class, sophisticated feel.

“When we moved in the kitchen was already installed, but there was no breakfast bar so we decided we’d install a feature one. Originally, where the bay window is, it was a dining area, but we wanted to make that area the family room where we could watch the TV and really make it our main living space. I wanted it to be a compact area that we could still keep really informal and we got North East Interiors to design the breakfast bar for us.

They tailored one to fit into our kitchen in the grey concrete effect. There’s a piece of it just about 100mm above the actual breakfast bar itself so it gives that sort of 3D effect and adds a different dimension to the kitchen. We also added statement kitchen stools to finish it all off.”

But it was her unique 70s-inspired couch that stole the show as a sought-after statement piece – so much so she had ordered the suite before even moving into her home.

“The chair and suite are from Dargie Design. It is called a togo suite and has been out since the 70s. “It’s a design classic and is really famous in the interiors world.

“I’ve seen it a million times, but it’s usually a really bright colour. It’s really coming back into fashion now even though it’s been around for decades.

“I knew I was going to have it and would fit it into the house somewhere. It’s super slouchy and relaxed and it worked so well in our family room – which kind of morphs into our cinema room at times.

“You can buy as many pieces of the suite as you like and style them in any way you like. It’s a really flexible sofa. We decided on the corner area, a single seat and a footstool. You can have it in leather, fabric or alcantara suede, which I have – it’s so comfy.

“We opted for the dark grey for the main piece and a lighter grey for the other pieces purely because we didn’t want them getting dirty.”

In a bid to keep the room symmetrical and in line with her minimalist, Nordic theme – a favourite of Nikki’s – her main challenge was to figure out where to place the TV, particularly as she loves symmetry. “I wanted the TV to be exactly in the centre of the room in front of the bay windows. The shape of the room is too awkward to fit a TV on the wall so I needed it to be there.

“Holburn HiFi managed to achieve that for me. They even put all of the cables through the floor so they are completely hidden and discreet. That then allowed us to have the big suite and chair which was brilliant.”

Although she swears by having mirrors in every room, the kitchen and living area was one space where she decided not to take her own advice. “I didn’t want any mirrors in this room. I’ve got mirrors in every room in my house apart from this one. It didn’t really need it to be honest.

“What I did need was something to go on the walls on the sides of the bay window, so instead, I’ve put shelving up and got these white floating shelves. They are textured 3D shelves which keep in line with the minimal style and are really fashionable at the same time. They’re great for putting little accessories on.”

An art lover, Nikki prides herself of her unique collection and is always looking for new, exciting pieces to incorporate in her home.

Keeping it simple, yet getting that reaction a show-stopping piece provides is something Nikki has nailed with her unusual choices.

“Art is a huge passion of mine and I knew that my house would only have big statement pieces from the get-go. For the kitchen and living area I like to keep it very simple – I don’t like it to potentially date. It has to be comfortable but versatile enough that it can last.

“With rooms like the lounge and dining room you can experiment a little more with interiors as you can upgrade them a little easier and more frequently.

“The big artwork was perfect for the large white walls. I’m obsessed with Elvis and I wanted to have a really arty, modern piece.

“I found an Edinburgh artist Paul Lovering and I saw his work and loved it.

“I reached out to him to see if he could do a commissioned piece, but he couldn’t at the time. He managed to get me a print version of an original piece he did called ‘The King’ and I framed it. That alone added a real luxurious feel to the print.

“I also saw this piece that Millie Mackintosh from Made In Chelsea had and I absolutely loved it.

“I came across this designer called Haut de Gamme and I found out it was the same person who did her piece.

“He does original pieces or print pieces and I managed to secure one of the last originals he had at the time. It came framed and fitted perfectly next to the radiator.”

As well as the addition of art and shelving to the room, Nikki has included Nordic dots (similar to coat hooks) which give extra texture to the room. Her inspirations very much lie with Nordic and Scandinavian pieces and this is apparent with the accessories range she is looking to stock on her new retail interiors website when it goes live later this month.

But it is accessories, Nikki claims, which can sometimes be the main struggle when it comes to signing off on the final touches. “The hardest part for me are the finer details of a room. They can make or break a room. You can have too much or too little.

“I have changed my accessories about a lot in the house, but it’s really important to get the right pieces. I couldn’t have anything too striking, so the white corals were perfect to add into the living space.

“There are a lot of candlestick holders and the kitchen tops don’t have too much out so it just keeps it really clean. I love accessorising though, it’s so much fun.

“The majority of my house is plain and simple. My hallways are white; all of the flooring is a pale grey colour, all the walls and woodwork are white. And just by incorporating art work and accessories really gives it that edgy finish.”

And the final piece to the puzzle when decorating the room? Getting the right radiator installed to finish things off. “Originally we had a bog standard white radiator and I just felt the room was beautiful but it needed something else. The radiator was annoying me so I managed to source this stunning one from Designer Radiators. “I wanted something that was long and stylish and was in keeping with the style of the room, which is grey and structured. It’s not something many people think of but you’d be amazed how much that radiator has changed the overall feel of the room.”

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