Kat Watson-Smyth, author of Mad About The House, tells us the 12 best interior buys out there right now.
We’ve long admired Kate Watson-Smyth’s on-point interior design skills, and her book Mad About The House is a staple on our coffee tables. So, it’s with bated breath that we have awaited the launch of a new platform from Watson-Smyth, Design Storey, which is a website filled with recommendations on the best homeware buys of the season.
Just as you might reach out to a particularly stylish and in-the-know friend about which coffee table to buy, here Watson-Smyth has created an edit for each room of the house, covering a plethora of big and small brands doing brilliant things in the decor department.
Essentially it means no more scrolling through endless pages on a trillion different homeware sites. Go to Design Storey and you’ll see the best of the bunch instantly.
The move has come at the perfect time from the author, as lockdown has increased both the time we spend at home and our online shopping habits.
And what does this combination call for? Even more decor inspiration, of course! So, to celebrate the launch of Design Storey and the March release of her third book, Mad About the House: 101 Interior Design Answers, we asked for an exclusive edit of the expert’s favourite homeware pieces right now with tips on how to style them.
And so, lamps and accent chairs to clocks and beds, here are 12 of the best interior design buys on the market according to Watson-Smyth. Happy shopping!
Society of Wanderers Joan pillowcase
“Suddenly plain matching bedding feels very boring when you can throw a riot of colour and pattern over the mattress.
“These gorgeous florals bring a retro feel but you can slice through that with some sharp stripes as well. As long as you keep the colours similar in differing shades of the same, you won’t go wrong.”
Osime Home Ronke cushion cover
“Etsy is a treasure trove for small businesses and makers and this collection by June Ileomoh has cushions in vibrant patterns and styles that will sit equally well with the maximalists, as well as the mid-century modern fans.
“The name Osime comes from the Esan tribe in the southern part of Nigeria and means ‘This is my own” – the perfect name for any home-related purchase.”
Garden Trading Uley dining chair
“A good dining chair can be hard to find but the rounded spindles of this hint at a craftsmanship that belies the price, and when many of us are WFH at the kitchen table every curve can make a difference to our backs at the end of the day.
“Choose from black, white or natural or mix them all up. A version with arms is also available if you have an actual desk to sit at.”
La Redoute oak and cane double bed
“Beds will naturally dominate the room they are in but there are tricks you can use to ensure they don’t seem too heavy.
“Firstly, buy a bed with legs so you can see underneath – the more floor you can see the bigger the room will feel. Secondly, avoid heavy velvet upholstery for something lighter like this cane headboard. You can still add lots of cushions for cosiness.”
Made Shona chair
“Boucle is suddenly everywhere and its soft, textured feel is perfect for now when we are all interacting with everything in our homes more than ever.
“The soft curves will also hug and support, making this a perfect piece for either a bedroom or a sitting room.”
Lights & Lamps Ridotti pendant
“This brand is one to add to your little black book. Great styling and affordable prices mean there’s lots to love for every room in the house.
“The black raffia pendant is perfect for a kitchen or dining room – hang as low as you can over the table for a more intimate feel.”
Rockett St George black flip clock
“Flap clocks are not only pleasingly retro – which means they will work in a traditional room as well as bringing character to a more contemporary space – but they’re also good if you’re running short of plug sockets in a room as this works on batteries (which last for ages).
“I have one in my bathroom where the large numbers mean I can see without my glasses on.”
Rowen & Wren Paisley miniature vases
“There’s no question that fresh flowers are a lovely thing to have around - especially at the moment when we can’t get outside as much - but they do block the view somewhat.
“A set of mini vases is cheaper to fill and means you can see over the top and round the sides for meal time conversation.”
Oliver Bonas desk lamp
“Green is supposed to be the colour of creativity so if you can’t work next to a window then maybe adding a green desk lamp will kick the brain cells into gear.
“The brass stand and marble base bring a luxe element to this adjustable light and make it suitable for rooms that have to be more than just offices – this wouldn’t be out of place in the sitting room or bedroom.”
Anthropologie Marabel rug
“Persian rugs tend to be dark which doesn’t suit everyone. This takes the traditional patterns and style and gives it a modern colourway so it will work with any style and decor.
“The price, by the way, is because it is made from polypropylene.”
Crassula Wood wooden set of candlesticks
“Recently there has been a trend for so-called artisanal products that show the hand of the maker - this set of candlesticks is exactly that.
“The simple Scandinavian influenced design means they will work as a display on a shelf or table, and you can keep it simple with beeswax candles or make them more decorative with some of those twisted candles we see everywhere at the moment.”
H&M Home plant stand
“If you’re hot-desking round your house and need some extra stashing space, this is an elegant solution for a laptop, notebook and a few books.
“It says it’s a plant stand but we’re all having to do jobs we weren’t expecting at the moment, so this can multi-task like the rest of us. Later it can hold the plants.”
Images: courtesy of brands
Megan Murray is a senior digital writer for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about homeware (particularly candles), travel, food trends, restaurants and all the wonderful things London has to offer.