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Annabel Kilner's unique blend of modern, luxe and traditional design

When you're Commercial Director of MADE.COM, it's easy to sell your home complete with contents and start again from scratch. Taking almost nothing with her, and with a tight deadline to meet, Annabel Kilner maximised her new space with a unified palette to create a soft, calm and feminine home.

Expand your space

“My number one decorating tip when it comes to interiors is to use large mirrors to make the space look lighter and bigger. I’ve also had the curtains made so they hang from ceiling to floor, as well as the blinds, and I think that’s really effective in making the room seem taller and more spacious.”

Four shades of white

Annabel maximised her budget as well as her space by using just four Farrow & Ball shades throughout. All the joinery is painted Blue Gray, walls are Great White - a subtle white with a hint of lilac - while skirting and doors were painted in a warmer white, Pointing. The ceilings are All White.

How light affects paint colour

“We used Farrow & Ball paint in Great White as it looks different in each room depending on the way the light falls and which other colours I have introduced. In the bedroom it looks quite pink, in the living room much cooler. Keeping paint colour consistent really does make the space feel bigger than it is.”

How to maximise storage

“I've used every nook and cranny in what is quite a small space. I’ve been able to design from scratch so everything is as I want it. I really thought about heights and depths of shelves, drawers and cupboards so, for example, my suitcase fits perfectly in the top of the wardrobe. All the beds are divans with storage drawers in the base, too.”

Annabel's dinner party tips

“I love to create a really pretty table setting and always make a seating plan. I can’t bear it when you go out for supper and people haven’t thought about who to sit you next to. It's vital to help steer really good conversation by putting people with similar interests next to each other.”

Don’t make a drama out of decisions

“I’m very decisive so once I do something, I don’t tend to look back. I really do believe in if you like it, just go for it. If you see a lovely wallpaper or fabric that you like, don’t even think about it. Once I saw the Christopher Farr fabric, I knew that’d be my headboard.”

A word about flowers and plants

“Living things make a home feel alive. I do love the colour green but houseplants can look quite dated unless you display them in a new way, for example planting them in boxes on the walls. Best of all I love flowers, mainly because I adore colour. I’m a massive supporter of the flower industry so I just love the idea of buying fresh flowers all the time.”

Flowers can be faux

“I’ve got really good fake flowers in the flat and I do think they’re great if you can keep them looking real - make sure they don’t get dusty and that they’re seasonal. That can be effective as some are so good you can’t even tell.”

Artistic inspiration

“Art really finishes off a room and I like exploring art websites EyeStorm and Rise Art for a good selection of affordable paintings. I’ve invested in landscapes by Laura Cramer which I love. They’re a great pop of colour and I think they’ve totally transformed the flat. Well-chosen prints can be just as effective.”

Article written by: Josa Young
Photography by: Anna Bachelor

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