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Norfolk by design

PUBLISHED: 08:54 13 November 2013 | UPDATED: 08:54 13 November 2013

Swank Interiors

Swank Interiors


As an interior designer I am often asked: “How do you know where to start with a scheme?”

Swank InteriorsSwank Interiors

Be it an individual room or a whole house, the answer is that it develops from talking to the client about what

they would like me to achieve, then viewing the property and any pieces they wish to retain.

The scene then reflects the architecture, an item that the client loves, or even reflect the view from a window.

Projects that I am currently working on have been inspired by the colours of the flowers in the garden, the chickens in the yard and the reflective qualities of the nearby river.

In Norfolk, we are so lucky to be not too far from the sea or the countryside, the latter being one of the current trends for interior products. The countryside is such a broad spectrum and the trend can be split into two styles: Shooting lodge chic and the farmyard.

Shooting lodge chic is a style that is eclectic and cosy, with an abundance of pattern and textures. Stag and hare motifs feature alongside plaids and checks in warm colours, again looking back to nature with shades of

mushroom teamed with rich berry reds and sage green.

By using “lived in” materials such as reclaimed wood and beaten leather, mixed with natural linen and wool

combined, you can create the basis of the scheme.

I always use British made products where possible; there are still some very good wool mills in the UK that I use for furnishing fabrics and snuggly throws.

Mixing contemporary alternatives to traditional pieces, such as a resin stag’s head as opposed to a real one,

can make a room more acceptable for modern living.

The vivid flames of a real fire always make a room feel cosy, but even if you don’t have an open fire a basket filled with logs can add to the ambience of the room along with candles. I am sure you will be surprised at how many guests admire the basket but don’t notice the lack of fire!

Trend tip: Whenever a trend is discussed it is important to think “scheme not theme”. Take inspiration from a style, but if you create a fully themed room it can feel unnatural and disjointed from the rest of the house.

The farmyard style is very versatile and particularly popular for kitchens. Chickens, pigs and cows printed on

fabrics and wallpaper, mixed with ticking stripes and complemented by distressed painted furniture would suit

a country cottage. The quirky prints also look great against contemporary surfaces such as glass and stainless steel and can add a fun element to a city pad.

Swank Interiors, Three Gates Farm, Fen Street, Bressingham, Diss, IP22 2AQ; 01379 687542; email:;

Visit the showroom Tuesday to Friday 9.30am-5pm and Thursdays until 7pm.

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