living with design

We've added some useful thoughts and ideas to help you get the most from your RED designer accessories. As a designer Sarah Martin has a good deal of experience with design, below are her 'personal tips' for living with design. To view the full article click on the link at the end of each topic.

As always we are happy to assist you with selecting the perfect designer accessory for yourself or as a gift so please don't hesitate to contact us for any help you may need.


'bag habits' - tips for selecting the perfect designer handbag:

Choosing the perfect designer handbag can sometimes be a challenge - its not just about the look!

So whether you are buying for yourself, or buying a gift for someone close, consider the following key factors when investing in a classic designer bag:

  1. Usage occasion or purpose - everyday, special occasion, travelling?
  2. Size - can you/will you economise on what you carry?
  3. Style - how you describe your style should apply to your handbag too!
  4. Comfort - you can't love something that causes you pain!
  5. Bling - bare or bold? think of this in relation to the purpose you defined at step 1.
  6. Uniqueness - be brave - get something distinctively you!
  7. Integrity - know the story of your bag and be proud to tell it.
  8. Quality and price - good design is classic - and priceless!
  9. Functional 'must haves' - be clear from the outset what is simply non-negotiable!
Your designer handbag should bring you joy every time you sling it over your shoulder, so invest wisely and create a lasting relationship.


interior lighting as a design statement

Lighting is often an afterthought when we build or renovate and as a result we often miss the opportunity to not only make a real design statement, but we also fail to fulfil our actual lighting needs.

So to optimise the lighting in your interior space:
  1. Think about lighting early - think about your use of the space - work, play, rest.
  2. Consider using pendant light fittings to help define a space - 'create a room' by centering a hanging pendant.
  3. Take your decorating to the ceiling! – make a feature of your ceiling space with a gorgeous light fitting.
  4. Introduce lots of flexible lighting – this way you have the perfect lighting solution for every occasion.
  5. Define your own style – lighting can be beautiful as well as functional, and most rooms can and should have multiple forms of lighting.
  6. Fabric lampshades - use lighting as a textural element in your space. Consider using unique fabrics for a custom lampshade as a statement piece.
  7. Consider employing a lighting consultant – they have the skill and expertise in all aspects of lighting. And, always use a qualified electrician where necessary.
Remember, that the mood of any interior space comes from all of the elements that we incorporate into it  – our furniture, our accessories and our choice of lighting, so don’t waste the opportunity to add another unique design element to your space.


decorating with colour and pattern

Pattern and colour are words that can strike fear into the hearts of people looking to renovate or decorate their homes – if you are not sure where to start, then below are some tips to help you on your way.

Be brave, and bring your individual personality and style to your home or interior space.
  1. Don’t be afraid of dark colours – dark walls often recede making a room appear larger.
  2. Use lighting and lampshades to add texture – there’s more to soft furnishings than curtains and cushions.
  3. Create a unifying theme or colour – look at all of the elements in a special piece that you love, and repeat them in other aspects of the room’s decoration.
  4. Vary the size and shape of matching items to give a more eclectic look - just because you’ve got a favourite pattern or fabric it doesn’t mean that everything in the room has to match.
  5. Use the same fabric on different items in different rooms - this creates consistency without ‘over-matching’.
  6. Same fabric, different colours – consider using a matching fabric but in 2 different colours to create uniformity without monotony!
  7. Depth of tone - mix a wide number of patterns in similar tones against a neutral background. Also, use depth of tone as a way to add texture without too much pattern.
  8. Layer-up fabrics – once you hit a certain number of patterns there no point in stopping! – just keep a common colour palette.
  9. Incorporate unique designer accessories - choose home accessories that have a story - it's a wonderful conversation starter when you can tell the story of an item that you picked up on an overseas trip, or fell in love with a local market or gallery.
  10. Use fabric as wall art – some rooms such as bedrooms lend themselves to texture rather than art on the walls.
  11. Pendant lampshades - we tend to think of soft furnishing as being curtains and cushions, but fabric lampshades bring a wonderful warm and textural element to a space.
  12. Consider using an interior decorator - an experienced interior decorator can often be useful to set you on the right path.
Remember that our homes are always evolving. As our lives change day to day, so too does the way we live in our spaces. This creates a never-ending opportunity to personalise and enjoy our homes. Play with your decorating and be brave, it is only important that you love it!

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