Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen shares top interior design tips

When it comes to home decor, there are few characters funnier, quirky, and more enlightened on the scene than Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. The star, best known for her original and revived presenting role on the hit show Locker rooms, is all about making Britain’s home colourful, intriguing and original.

If you’re looking to freshen up your home after spending the majority of your time in the living room over the past 18 months, you’ve come to the right place. Good housekeeping sat down Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to take advantage of his top interior design tips, from the living room to the garden…

What mantra do you live by when decorating your home?

The thing that’s always rattling around in my head is “don’t dream it, be it!” – the iconic line of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. When designing houses, I like to think of myself as Frank-N-Furter’s character; splashing around in a swimming pool with all these crazy ideas!

It’s about adding your own personal flair. Your home is yours; the only corner of your world where you can express everything you feel and not be judged. It’s always a missed opportunity when people feel compelled to style their homes like “model homes” as it basically creates a look that just isn’t theirs.

Tom Wren

What design techniques can instantly make a home look better? What else is important to avoid?

The most important thing to avoid is something you are not. Don’t feel pressured by others, just choose designs you like. The pandemic and lockdowns have made us all realize that living rooms are a really important space since we’ve spent so much time in them, so go for designs that you want to look at every day.

I’ve noticed that we Brits seem to be afraid of patterns, but my advice is embrace it. Pattern is a good thing. Most of our housing stock was built between 1880-1930; This means that our houses are designed and built from patterns, so feel free to play around with them.

What styles do you think will be popping up for home and garden decor in the next few months?

Something that is very interesting in the house at the moment is the popularity of picture book illustration patterns. These patterns have intricate detail and integrity with references to exotic locations. Designers like Emma Shipley and Wendy Morrison create unique pattern repeats. We’re certainly moving away from the soft geometry of the 1960s-inspired pattern and towards something more captivating and romantic. This is great because the more conversations you have with your room, the better even your curtains should tell a story.

The garden is fast becoming a place to be annexed as a design experience, with outdoor rugs, furniture and lighting becoming increasingly available. Unfortunately, much of what is currently on the market is grey. For me, garden design is all about amazingly saturated colors like blue and vermilion as they balance green foliage perfectly. So, I would definitely like to see this as a garden trend.

Laurence Llewelyn Bowen home furnishing tips

Tom Wren

How can people design and decorate their gardens to make the most of them all year round?

Check out your shed – it doesn’t have to be just an Airbnb for spiders! Sheds can be incredibly fun and entertaining spaces. There is definitely an opportunity to find an exotic shelter even when the weather is bad. For example, I recently created a gin shed with Craft Gin Club. The idea is that I can sit in it with friends and enjoy it as a gin bar all year round and I would encourage others to think about it too.

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