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Our Guide to Room Design Ideas: From Minimal to Vintage Glamour

If you’re planning to revamp a room in your house or just want to add another element into an existing room you’ve decorated, use our guide to see what goes well in nine commonly desired styles.

Simply click the style of room you have or would like to have and we’ll tell you more.

We’ve also broken down the advice into tweetable chunks so you can share your new-found knowledge with a click!


Room Choice (1) Nautical Industrial Minimal Gothic Rustic 70s Retro Shabby Chic Moroccan Vintage Glamour


The nautical look is particularly popular in bathrooms and light and airy spaces, such as conservatories. To set off your nautical look, concentrate on cotton, canvas and linen in striped patterns, to achieve that boat house look. An anchor motif or two can also set off this look, just be careful not to overdo it.

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For nautical-themed rooms, stick to blues and whites. Striped patterns can be particularly effective via @Plumbs


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This industrial look relies heavily on industrial materials, so exposed brick and metal structures are a great foundation. To exaggerate and compliment this, furniture upholstered in leather or even suede, can be particularly effective. Rich colours tend to work best here, but try to steer clear of anything too bright, as this can upset the overall effect.

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If your room takes on an industrial look, rich coloured leather or suede can really complement the style via @Plumbs

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The minimal look is particularly popular in areas such as the kitchen, in which people want to keep lines clean and surfaces clutter-free. The most effective use of colour and fabrics in a room like this is to keep it simple. Monochrome colour schemes work particularly well in minimal room designs. In terms of fabrics, echo the clean lines with geometric patterns that complement the style.

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Choosing the minimal look means keeping it simple – clean lines and monochrome colour schemes work well via @Plumbs


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The gothic, or medieval look, is a dramatic and powerful one, and this should be reflected in your choice of fabrics and accessories. Stick to rich colours and luxurious fabrics, such as silks and velvets. Damask and striped patterns tend to look most at home in a gothic room. Add gold accenting for a particularly regal look.

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Rich colours and luxury fabrics, such as silks and velvets, are a great way to add drama to a gothic room via @Plumbs


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Rooms that adopt a rustic look can be particularly inviting when done correctly. Natural fabrics and muted tones come together to create a harmonious look. Add a faux fur throw or rug for extra comfort underfoot. Knitted cushions or tartan fabrics, in stony colours, contrasted against rustic wooden furniture works perfectly to create a warm and cosy den in which to relax.

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Rustic room designs welcome the use of traditional fabrics - wools and tartans can really add warmth via @Plumbs

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70s retro

70s retro was all about bright colours and funky patterns, so you can really have some fun when decorating a room like this. Burnt oranges, yellows and browns are classic colour choices, but don’t be afraid to mix things up; purples and greens can make an effective contrast. When it comes to patterns, anything goes – from floral to leopard print. Just make sure you pick one and stick to it because too many pattern choices is sure to give you a headache!

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If your room adopts a 70s theme, experiment with floral and leopard print – just don’t try and do it all! via @Plumbs


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Shabby Chic

It’s extremely effective when done right, but the shabby chic look can be incredibly easy to achieve. Pair white-washed woods with pastel coloured fabrics for a light and airy feel. The use of toile, floral and even plaid fabrics can really accentuate the look, making the space both quaint and homely. Add a frilly cushion or two to complete.

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Toile and floral patterns can make quaint, shabby chic interiors even more pretty and inviting via @Plumbs

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The Moroccan-style room can be beautifully exotic if you can pull it off. Inventive use of lighting and rich colours and textures are key here. Try using deep reds, oranges and greens, in ikat and striped patterns, to echo traditional Moroccan materials. Faux animal hides, used as rugs, or faux fur throws, draped over the arm of a sofa, can make the environment feel all the more authentic.

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Deep reds, oranges and greens, in ikat and striped patterns, look great in a Moroccan-style interior via @Plumbs


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Vintage Glamour

Historically, it’s one of our favourite looks when it comes to interior design, and it doesn’t have to be that hard to achieve. Monochrome works brilliantly in a vintage-style room, but throwing in a bright colour or two really sets things off. The use of stripes and quilting can look particularly effective when it comes to upholstery, and an animal print cushion or two won’t go amiss either. Just be careful not to go overboard – too much animal print can look gaudy if you’re not careful.

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Vintage glamour is all about luxury - the use of stripes and quilting are a great way to tackle furniture via @Plumbs

Vintage Glamour

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How to Introduce Patterns and Printed Fabrics into Your Home

In today’s fast-moving world, there are no hard and fast rules regarding interior design. The key is to develop your own style.

Here we look at how to use prints or bold colours, taking inspiration from designers and design publications.


Ways to introduce patterns

Before you can start deciding how to use patterns in your home, you need to understand what options are available to you. Introducing prints into your interior design is relatively easy and products you can opt for include:

  • Reupholstered sofas, settees, chairs and other furniture
  • Patterned or printed cushions
  • Patterned or printed curtains, furnishings and decorations

Once you’ve decided which products are best suited for your home, start to think about the best way to introduce them.

Introduce your new design stage by stage

Rather than rushing in like a bull in a china shop, give your new style time to grow by introducing patterns stage by stage.

Start by colour matching a small piece of fabric with your colour scheme and having a single item of furniture reupholstered with a complimentary pattern. Alternatively, introduce patterned curtains and see how they look before taking the style further.

 Chelsea Velvet Chelsea Velvet - Rose & Balmoral - Aubergine

Consider the size of the room

You must take the size of your room into consideration when introducing patterns and printed fabrics. Smaller prints will suit a smaller room while a bold approach can be taken in larger rooms.

To experiment, you could always just recover a few cushions with a vibrant colour to place on plain sofas or chairs. Try and co-ordinate your colour scheme so that a range of plain and busier shades are used; too much colour can be very distracting.

Ensure that the background colour of your new upholstery blends with your overall room décor so that your changes don’t stand out like a sore thumb and remember to keep everything in proportion to the room.

 Macintosh                                                           Macintosh - Cream

Colour and design is vital

If you are still unsure about changing from a neutral design to one of pattern, then why not opt for something subtle? Patterns and prints come in all styles and designs so you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

Starting with subtler patterns can help you get used to the new look and feel of the design, giving you the confidence to experiment with bolder options in the future.


Zari - Natural


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The Minimalist Guide to Florals

If you hear florals, you tend to think 'busy'. It conjures up country cottage gardens, bric a brac and cosily cluttered living rooms. Yet, like most patterns it can serve hundreds of purposes. You can incorporate floral patterns into a minimalist home; just remember to consider colour, texture and theme in your interior design. Think monochromatic, muted colours

Minimalist Colours

This chic silver grey is a minimalist dream. The elegant colourway ticks the monochromatic and muted boxes with a co-ordination friendly and subtle flower print that is available in loose covers, re-upholstery and curtains. Shown here paired with plain mustard and grey scatter cushions, which highlight the versatility of a good, subtle floral, you can see that this look has potential in spades.  Other great minimalist colours include:

    • White
    • Champagne
    • Black
    • Duck egg blue

Minimalist Accessories


Minimalist interior design isn't about being plain, or turning your home into a sterile white cube. As Leo Babauta, author of the seminal Zen Habits blog remarks, "the key is to remove the unnecessary stuff."

So think about where you can streamline. For example, sell or donate multiple gadgets and digitalise your music and films onto one multi-functional device. If you aren't very tech savvy, you can pay someone to do this for you (or learn – local libraries frequently have free or very cheap computer courses). Purchase dual use storage – such as ottomans and foldaway storage. And in order to incorporate florals, think white; you needn't spend vast amounts of money either.

Minimalist Art

Minimalist art doesn't have to be boxes, or lines, or a dreary emperors-new-clothes style travesty consisting of a scrap of paper stuck to a canvas. Mondrian created some beautiful 'compositions' that reflect the clean lines and orderly processes of the movement, accented by precisely delineated colour sections. Franz Kline, while not a true minimalist, worked in black and white, creating stunningly beautiful, textured abstracts that would grace any minimalist home.

Do you want to embrace minimalism? Then give Plumbs a call today on 0800 019 0505 and embrace a simpler life.


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Open Plan Decorating Ideas

Open plan living isn't just for twenty-something Manhattanites with more money than sense. After all, it was pioneered by architectural genius Frank Lloyd Wright; his 'Prairie Houses' are known as the first example of open plan interiors. He favoured minimalist styles, long windows and low roofs; many modern interpretations follow his style, excepting that they favour high ceilings.

Dividing the Room

There are so many options for dividing up a room. Chic folding screens will give a room an Oriental or vintage theme depending on the style; and they can be bought everywhere nowadays - even budget shops like Wilkinsons stock surprisingly beautiful floral styles.

The other main option is using furniture to partition off mini 'living spaces'; for example a three piece suite to create a small living room area, or creating a PlayStation area for teenage grandchildren with a circle of beanbags.

Using colourful curtains to screen a window seat is excellent use of space, and makes for an elegant reading nook. This works particularly well with bay windows. These Sophia curtains, in rouge, are a bold and attractive trim for a neutral, open plan room.

Hampstead Ivory

The best idea is to keep the centre neutral, and accentuate with touches of vibrant colour at the edges of your open plan area. Textured neutrals, and brightly coloured accents, give a room life without making it look small or dark.

If your sofa is a deep or bold colour, remember you needn't buy new; instead, why not purchase some loose covers, and transform your furniture into an exquisite, yet subtle masterpiece? The woven, linen look of this Hampstead Ivory upholstery fabric is tasteful and hardwearing, as well as being machine washable.


Consider the materials you use in your open plan home very carefully. Luxurious, yet raw and unpolished is the look to aim for. The walls could be unfinished brick; the struts exposed and wooden. Floors should be tiled in Welsh slate, or else with floorboards that have had the barest polish. Re-upholster your furniture in natural yet tactile fabrics; think sheepskins, linen, woven cotton.

Remember, if you want to create a Frank Lloyd Wright style Prairie House, Plumbs can offer you a free, no obligation home consultation, where we can measure your curtains and sofa, so we can help you create the perfect open plan paradise.


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