A restructured layout delivers a newfound brightness and spaciousness to this 583 square metre home, located in Zhejiang, Hangzhou, China. Designed by Shexia Design, decorative details are employed to transform unimaginative corners. Overhanging and sinking architectural volumes resculpt natural light. The innovative spatial design ideas are a fusion of classical and artistic silhouettes, which come together under a soothing air of simplicity. Crisp white backdrops and muted colour infusions conjure a modern aesthetic that’s restful yet characterful. Mosaics and contemporary tile treatments bring intriguing pattern to floors, bathrooms, and a unique staircase design. These unexpected focal points fashion bold juxtapositions where beauty and utility unite.
The living room is a double-height volume, where a mezzanine landing creates a dramatically curved structure.
Circular indents are sunken into the underside of the mezzanine structure to house lighting.
A glass coffee table reflects natural light from the large living room windows. Its black base contrasts darkly with a beige living room area rug.
A curved sofa complements the curvaceous mezzanine landing design.
The living room rug is a unique linear design with breakaway edges. Its linearity complements the coffee table and a tall freestanding bookcase.
Sheer white voiles hang at the double-banked living room windows. The lightweight drapes softy frame a view of the garden and skyscape whilst allowing natural light to filter through. On the white sofa, a spherical red accent cushion makes bright contrast with the lush green vista.
A chic TV mount curves elegantly into the white wall, achieving a smooth, streamlined look.
Wood parquet flooring lays down a rich base throughout the living room.
An accent chair introduces muted colour and playful pattern to the corner of the living room, where it coordinates with the greenery of the garden.
A green focal wall unfolds behind the curved couch. At the opposite side of the living room, a modern lounge chair continues the curved shape theme.
Unique dining chairs surround a luxe travertine dining table with a racetrack-shaped silhouette.
An eye-catching sideboard unit creates a block of pattern across the window wall.
A white marble fruit bowl and a decorative vase make a modern dining table centrepiece.
Each dining room doorway is framed with a deeply decorative trim.
The console table is adorned with attractive candlesticks and a tasteful table lamp.
The entertainment area features a sunken seating area with a TV. Pale blush pink upholstery wraps the large U-shaped seating arrangement, applying a delicate aesthetic.
Decorative moulding crisscrosses the ceiling. Unique pendant lights drip eye-catching illumination from a double-height void.
Stunning archways were applied to the original structure to create an impressive hallway.
A modern snooker table and a bar area complete the large entertainment room.
A spectacular stone feature wall makes a pleasing display area for snooker paraphernalia and wine storage.
Unique bar stools bring in a glorious injection of iridescent colour. Different types of stone are cut to form an oversized mosaic treatment across the face of the bar.
Swathes of pure white stucco create a beautifully balanced space with a sense of serenity.
A freeform stone coffee table beds down on an intense mosaic floor treatment.
A set of glass doors lead into a home gym.
Integration of the classical archway with modern elements builds unique drama.
Sunlight pours from above, highlighting intricate details in the stucco.
Upstairs on the mezzanine landing, a home office area looks out upon the entertainment area. The captivating archways march at eye-level. The workspace is furnished with a unique modern desk, chair, and floor lamp ensemble.
The back of the home office area is fitted with a wall of built-in storage cabinets and bookshelves.
A wide column divides the workspace from a child’s play area. Wooden toy boxes slot into a storage bench to create a cute border of arches. A geometric rug lays down a soft play surface.
The staircase is trimmed with a unique wooden bannister design. Attractive tilework patterns the stair risers.
In the master bedroom, an upholstered headboard design receives the same fabric as the green accent chair in the living room.
An understated bedside table lamp provides reading light over the pillows. An ornamental archway makes the bedroom window into a highly decorative feature.
Parquet flooring lays rich pattern under the bed. Decorative wooden shutters close off a window into the ensuite bathroom.
With the wooden shutters drawn back, the ensuite bathroom becomes an open plan arrangement.
Inside the bathroom, a clawfoot bathtub creates a traditional aesthetic. Mixed stonework patterns the floor.
Modern wall art adds a burst of colour above the toilet.
Curved walls and an ombre mosaic tile configuration create an enchanting shower area design. A small curved alcove houses a tower of shelving, which holds toiletries close to hand. Brass shower fixtures make warm contrast against the cool background.
Choosing curtains is one of those design decisions that we tend to rush (or put off indefinitely). But curtain ideas are a great way to refresh a space. Just like throwing down a new rug or changing up your bedsheets, new curtains dramatically alter the overall feel of the space because they cover so much surface area.
If you’re wondering, ‘Should curtains touch the floor?’ we have asked the experts for their verdict. Measuring curtains is intimidating, so you want to know what you’re doing before you start.
Should curtains touch the floor?
According to Gareth Coxall, Creative Director from curtain retailer Terrys (opens in new tab), they don’t have to touch the floor, but they’ll look far more opulent if they do. ‘When your curtains reach the floor, it makes your room look more luxurious,’ he says.
‘If you hang your curtains up high, this will draw the eye upwards, and then drop your curtains to the floor for the full effect of making the room seem taller and larger,’ adds Gareth.
Amy Wilson, interior designer for 247 Curtains (opens in new tab) recommends going a step further and letting them pool slightly onto the floor. ‘To create the perfect curtain pooling, you should allow an extra couple of inches to your measured drop.’ Light and floaty materials like linen pool the best.
But it’s not all about looks, as the pros at Make My Blinds (opens in new tab) explain. They point out that curtains that touch the floor will help keep your house warm in winter. ‘Floor-length curtains create a warm, inviting look and are easy to open, close, and reasonably easy to maintain,’ they say.
‘Floor-length curtains will allow less heat to escape compared to curtains above the windowsill as they do not cover the entire recess.’
If you’ve already cut your curtains, it may, unfortunately, be a case of replacing them – especially if the shortness is really bothering you or affecting the look of the room. Or, Amy says, you could try to lower the pole if it’s quite high above your windows, in order to lower the height of the curtains. ‘The beauty of curtains is there is margin for error when using a pole or track, as you may be able to lower this if your curtains are falling a little too short,’ she said.
How much should curtains touch the floor?
If pooling your curtains on the floor, which is great if you want a romantic and rich look in more formal rooms, Make My Blinds recommend adding 5cm. For generous pooling, add 12cm.
Is it okay if curtains don’t does the floor?
We’re not here to tell you what you can and can’t do. What if you don’t love the look of overflowing curtains? ‘If you prefer not to have curtains all the way to the floor, then consider a Roman blind instead of short curtains,’ Amy advises.
Interior designers are divided on this topic, with some saying you never want them to touch the floor. For instance, Lee Trethewey is an interiors expert from Sustainable Furniture (opens in new tab), who says they should never fully touch the floor for both design purposes and cleanliness.
‘Curtains that do touch the floor are more likely to gather dust and other pieces of dirt from the floor, and can also make sweeping and vacuuming your home a nightmare,’ says Lee. ‘You want to be washing your curtains as little as possible, so opting for curtains that collect dust and dirt is anti-productive.
‘If your curtains do touch the floor, making sure they’re a material that’s easy to clean is vital, as well as ensuring they’re situated in a part of the house that’s away from external doors.’
If you’ve changed your curtains and still don’t love the look of your window area, you might also want to consider whether there’s too much clutter on your windowsills. ‘When it comes to window sills, the line between decoration and clutter is fine, but striking the right balance is key when it comes to showcasing your curtains,’ Amy Wilson says.
‘If you have fairly low or narrow window sills, try to keep decoration to a minimum to allow the curtains to remain the centrepiece. Adding too many items to a small window area will only leave the space feeling cluttered and messy and much less luxurious.’
Ultimately, the choice is yours when it comes to curtain length. We’d recommend hanging them so they softly graze the floor, as this ties the materials in the room together nicely while maximising warmth. Very short curtains could risk looking a little outdated, in which case we’d swap for Roman blinds.
However, we weren’t quite so convinced by Very Peri. So we were excited to find out this year’s colour, which is sure to influence the living room trends and colour schemes from this very moment.
Pantone Colour of the Year 2023
‘In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family, and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known,’ says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone (opens in new tab) Color Institute.
The colour experts explain that Viva Magenta reconnects us to original matter, as it’s rooted in the primordial. ‘Invoking the forces of nature, Viva Magenta galvanises our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength,’ explains Leatrice.
It’s reminding us a lot of the rusty terracotta tones we’ve seen this year, such as the paprika paint trend taking over the kitchens of our Instagrams. The choice of a colour that’s rooted in nature feels very much of the zeitgeist and the fact it’s a colour that’s hard to put your finger on (is it more pink or purple?) means it’ll set the tone for this year’s trends.
Pantone Colour of the Year for the last 10 years
2022 Very Peri – periwinkle blue
2021 Ultimate Grey and Illuminating – neutral grey and bright yellow
2020 Classic Blue – rich blue
2019 Living Coral – bright coral
2018 Ultra Violet – deep purple
2017 Greenery – bright green
2016 Rose Quartz and Serenity – pink and blue
2015 Marsala – an earthy red wine
2014 Radiant Orchid – vibrant pink
2013 Emerald – green
What colour is magenta?
Magenta is a vibrant and varm tone, and sits midway between red and blue. It’s often described as a pinkish, purplish red, and in the words of Pantone, it’s ‘audacious, full of wit and inclusive of all.’
How is the Pantone Colour of the Year decided?
Every year, colour experts at Pantone meet and analyse new colour influences. They predict which colour is going to be big in the world of interior design for the year ahead.
Christmas trees are finally going up for the festive season, but even those who have the best artificial Christmas tree might find themselves wanting to add a little extra this year – and all you need? Snow spray. Yes, fake snow in a can. We already love the sound of it.
Christmas tree snow spray hack
TikTok user, @everything_tidy (opens in new tab), has grown a large following of over one million by posting her clever cleaning and organisation tips and tricks on the social media platform. In a recent TikTok video (opens in new tab), she shows us ‘how to spruce up your boring looking tree’ using a £1 can of snow spray that she purchased from B&M.
The TikTok shows her spraying the plain artificial Christmas tree in small bursts across sections until the whole tree is evenly dusted in the snow spray. The end result is a snowy Christmas tree that looks like it was taken straight from a winter wonderland.
Fans of the Christmas tree hack commented on this simple budget Christmas decorating idea, saying ‘I should of thought of this before spending a fortune on one already done 😳’ while another said they were ‘most deffo doing this.’
The TikToker also confirmed that the snow spray lasts on the tree ‘until you wipe it off’, so you won’t have to worry about your tree looking a little limp as the festive period goes by.
We couldn’t find the exact snow spray used in the video, but this snow spray from The Range available for £1.29 (opens in new tab) appears to tick all the same boxes – the catch is that you just have to go in-store to nab one. However, if you aren’t in the mood to leave the house, Wilko is also selling snow spray for a slightly higher price of £2.75 on their website (opens in new tab).
Oh, and an added bonus is that this hack will make it seem like you have two trees you rotate between every year (how fancy of you) because the snow spray also comes off as easily as it goes on. Just simply wipe it off and your tree will look good as new. That’s a win in our books.
Neoclassical home interiors are popular amongst designers and homeowners because of their timeless charm. Brimming with elegance and sophistication, this aesthetic works particularly well in formal dining spaces, which is what we’re looking at here today. In this collection of 37 neoclassical dining rooms, you’ll find tips and ideas to help you decorate yours. We’ll walk you through structured dining room layouts and fluid open plan eating areas. In these concepts, there is a treasure trove of dining room lighting inspiration, fabulous dining tables, and stylish dining chair ideas. Explore creative style melds, including neoclassical boho blends, ultra-modern inspo, quirky colourful concepts, and much more.
A background of beige stucco gives a neoclassical dining room a rich visual warmth. A combination of wood tones add to the cosy effect.
White marble with bold black veining strikes a strong aesthetic appeal.
A rounded shape theme turns a formal neoclassical dining room into a sculptural triumph.
Colourful dining chairs, an eye-catching sideboard, and bright candle holders create a feast for the eyes.
Smart wainscotting forms a structured backdrop for a wall of marble-backed shelving in this sophisticated space. Sage green upholstered dining chairs introduce a subtle hint of colour.
A coffered ceiling crowns a neoclassical dining room with a hint of industrial style here. Alcoves of exposed brickwork create a rough juxtaposition against chic moulding and elegant arched windows.
Cool grey paintwork creates a mildly moody aesthetic. Apply minimalist decor and understated lighting choices to allow classical architectural details to stand proud.
A sputnik chandelier and Easy Chairs by Pierre Jeanneret create strong style statements inside this light dining room scheme. Greige paintwork defines the stunning ceiling and crown moulding from beige boiserie walls.
Rounded corners apply a contemporary twist to the crown moulding in this dining space. Unique dining room pendant lights make an intriguing display above a unique dining set.
Skip the crumb-catching dining room rug and opt for an easy-clean mosaic tile design instead. This is also effective as a stylish zoning technique in open plan spaces.
The warm flicker of a fireplace gives a dining room a magnetic appeal, where gatherings last long after the food is devoured.
Install multiple dining room pendant lights to fashion a more dramatic visual. You can also ensure that illumination is evenly distributed along the full length of your dining table.
Maintain moulding details in the room even when installing floor-to-ceiling storage. This bank of cabinets around a dining room wet bar displays panel moulding as its main feature. A set of glass doors that lead to the kitchen are finished with a gracefully arched framework.
Allow neoclassical decor features to fade into a delicate backdrop under plain white paintwork, whilst modern furniture is brought to the forefront in a bold black finish.
Echo the outreach of a large ceiling rose with an equally sizable globe pendant light. Select a round pedestal dining table to keep the curves rolling.
Rain a splash of colour over a neutral dining room decor scheme with a coloured glass chandelier.
Create a cohesive lighting scheme with complementary pendants, wall lights, or lamps. This linear chandelier is matched by two chic floor lamps.
In this example, a black circle chandelier coordinates with a pair of neat black wall sconces.
In a small dining area that’s squeezed to the side of a living space, apply focussed task lighting over the table with a swing arm wall lamp.
This fabulous crystal chandelier matches the width of a round dining table below it. Crystal wall lights expand the sparkle around the room.
In an open plan kitchen dining space, matching linear pendant lights create cohesive styling and ensure each area is well-lit and functional.
Bring in decor pieces of different styles and from different eras to curate an eclectic neoclassical mix. See more images here.
Cover neoclassical decor in a bold blanket of black to build dark drama. Add gold accents and atmospheric lighting as bright highlights. In this layout, dining benches are used beside the window to leave the influx of natural light unobscured.
Another dark neoclassical concept, this time with classical art as the bright heart of the design.
Separate your dining area from the kitchen with obscure glass doors. Fluted glass panels make a fashion-forward statement.
Mirror the layout of the room with shapely ceiling moulding.
Visualizer: Yurii Chaikovskyi & Nina Semenkova
Limewashed panel moulding creates a peaceful, laconic look.
Make lighting the main event.
Allow arched windows to stand out by tucking distracting curtain rails behind crown moulding. See more images of this home design here
Visualizer: Kut Victor & Ivan Petechel
Tuck your dining area up against the kitchen island to save space. A sleek marble space divider contains splashes from the island whilst providing luxe backing for a dining bench.
Let nature be the protagonist of the show. See more images of transitional neoclassical interiors here.
Add visual weight to a delicate neoclassical backdrop with chunky furniture silhouettes. See more inspirational images here.
Dive into a teal saturated scheme.
Whilst this is a combined kitchen diner space, the eating area exudes every drop of formality that you could hope to achieve from any dedicated dining room.
In this kitchen diner, a formal eating area tags onto the side of the kitchen island. Twin linear pendant lights mark each zone.
Alesha Dixon – the multitasking presenter, singer, dancer, author and mum to two daughters Azura and Anaya Safiya, lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Azuka their family.
Here, she gives us a little insight into how they spend Christmas every year, from the decorations to the traditions their young family are creating.
What is your favourite time at Christmas?
Christmas morning is always special but I love everything about Christmas because I get to spend time with my family. After a busy year it’s so nice to switch off from the rest of the world for a short while.
What’s your non-negotiable, must-have at home at Christmas?
Cosy socks, dressing gown and slippers! And plenty of treats!
What part of Christmas planning do you love the best?
To be honest, it’s always hectic but I secretly love it. I love wrapping the girls presents the night before with a glass of wine and listening to music.
Last Christmas, I made my own crackers and I placed my NobleBlu supplements inside and tailored them to each person. I always think the range called Balance is a nice one for the winter period when our mood is slightly lower and energy levels decline.
What part of Christmas planning do you dislike the most?
I guess I’d have to say having to prep all the food! But again this can be nice if you have good music and good company. The last minute dash around the shops is never fun but it’s also a relief once it’s all done.
What smell says ‘Christmas’ to you?
Candles are such a lovely thing all year round but I do love the smell of cinnamon at Christmas time!
When do you put up your decorations?
Usually the first week in December! I’m not very good at taking them down! I think ours stayed up for three months after last Christmas! But they looked so nice so why not!
Are you a Christmas minimalist or do you prefer to go all out?
I’m a minimalist! I like it to be tasteful and I change the colours from time to time. I’ve become more relaxed with it since having children as they like to help with everything now. They make it even more special.
Do you have a favourite Christmas decoration? And why?
I like the ones my children make at school! I have a smaller tree in the kitchen area which they decorate and a larger one in the living room which I decorate.
Do you have any traditions at Christmas?
We pretty much do the same thing every year! My daughter Azuka lays out the snow and makes footprints so the girls know that Father Christmas has visited. We do presents for the kids in the morning and presents for the adults after dinner! We play games, we eat and listen to a lot of music.
Do you host friends and family over the holidays? And if so, how do you celebrate?
Christmas always tends to be at our house. My Nan and siblings join us and it’s a special time with each other. We watch movies and relax! That’s what the holidays are for!
Quick fire questions with Alesha Dixon
Decorations – traditional or modern? Modern
Tree – real or artificial? Artificial
Tree decorations – themed by colour or a mixture? Themed by colour definitely!
Presents – do you treat yourself? No!
Stockings – yes or no? Yes for the girls and I mix it up every year
Do your pets get a Christmas present? It’s Christmas for them every day in our house!
Christmas meal – at lunch or dinner time? Lunchtime
Christmas turkey or something else? Something else!
NobleBlu supplements by Alesha Dixon are available at nobleblu.com.