We’ve all got a favourite place in our home, whether it’s sitting at the old, faithful kitchen table or being curled up with a book by the fire. And the same is true for the celebrity ambassadors appearing at this
year’s Ideal Home Show in London, from March 11 to 27. George Clarke, Linda Barker, Diarmuid Gavin, Fiona Phillips and Suzi Perry reveal their favourite rooms and give their interiors predictions for 2011.
n George’s cosy corner
Architect and TV presenter of Five’s Build A New Life In The Country and Channel 4’s Home Show, George Clarke lives in London with his wife Catriona and their three children, in an Edwardian house he’s completely restored, inside and out.
“I have a snug retreat in a corner of my open-plan lounge which is completely tailored for me,” he says. “It’s at the garden end of the house next to a window and I have a wood-burning stove and bookshelves filled with all my favourite books on buildings and design.”
Favourite pieces: “An original Eames chair and ottoman footstool in walnut and leather, and a Saarinen Tulip side table,” he says.
Trend tips: Ample light is key to today’s successful rooms, says Clarke,
and glass will increasingly play a part in design, as will lighting used imaginatively to change mood and atmosphere in rooms.
n Diarmuid’s oval sanctuary
TV garden designer Diarmuid Gavin, who first found fame on BBC’s Home Front, has a family home in Wicklow, which he shares with his wife Justine, and their six-year-old daughter Eppie. “Our new oval-shaped bedroom is turning into the highlight of our home,” he says.
“I’ve merged two bedrooms into one to create this unusual curved shape because it feels soft and all-encompassing.
We’re having a Chinese-style mural painted on one wall featuring cherry blossom and birds. It’s carpeted in powder blue, with blue velvet curtains for the floor to ceiling windows and a free-standing bath by the French doors, so you can look out on the breathtaking views.”
Favourite pieces: A Conran desk, which he and Sir Terence Conran used at the launch event of their book, Outdoors. “It was so special to do a book with him that I bought the desk, and looking at it brings back brilliant memories,” he says.
Trend tips: An organic gardening approach - making your own compost, growing produce and natural-style ponds to attract wildlife - will grow in popularity, predicts Gavin.
n Linda’s room with a view
Linda Barker, TV presenter and interiors specialist from BBC’s Changing Rooms and ITV’s This Morning, has a two-bedroom retreat in North Yorkshire which she and her husband Chris, and daughter Jessica, 18, use at weekends and holidays.
“My favourite room’s our large open-plan kitchen and dining room with a large glass extension, so there’s an uninterrupted view of the countryside,” she says. “The decor’s characteristic of my style so it has a rustic feel but with a contemporary twist. The walls are a mid-grey shade, the kitchen units are white gloss, topped with black work surfaces made of thick, polished concrete, and I have slate splash backs.
“We’ve used wide solid oak boards for the floor and brightened the room with collections of coloured glassware and ceramics on a dresser, and there’s a big comfy leather sofa for lounging.”
Favourite piece: A barrel-shaped stool with a silver finish.
Trend tips: An eco-chic look, inspired by ‘alpine chalet style’, featuring recycled timber will feature this year, says Barker, as will metallics on wallpaper and bronze, gold and nickel furniture finishes.
n Fiona makes a splash
TV presenter Fiona Phillips lives in London with her husband Martin, and their two sons. “My bathroom is my haven where I escape from the family and indulge myself with a long, hot shower, use lots of lotions and potions and play my favourite music,” she says.
“It’s minimalist, which matches the style of the rest of our home. It has a white resin floor, white mosaic tiles and walnut cupboards with matching walnut trims for the bath and basins, and a large glass walled walk-in shower.
A neon pink perfume bottle on a shelf provides one dramatic splash of colour in a room that’s uncluttered, peaceful and practical.”
Favourite piece: “A gilded bed headboard in our room which I plan to have upholstered in a fabric replicating a well-known painting,” says Fiona.
Trend tips: Natural materials such as wood, slate and stone will echo our desire for neutral shades and texture, in a style that doesn’t date, says Phillips.
n Suzi’s kitchen wizardry
Suzi Perry, from Five’s The Gadget Show, has a house in the South of France with husband Bastien. “My kitchen, with it’s flagstone floor, solid stone walls and old beams, has such an air of tranquility it’s impossible not to relax there,” she says.
“We have restored the whole house and I’ve incorporated all the latest modern technology. The kitchen has what I regard as essentials; streamlined stainless steel appliances as well as counter top aids like a juicer, coffee machine, grinder, bread maker and a state-of-the-art music system. The walls have framed photos of all the places we’ve visited around the world, but our view’s the best - over olive groves.”
Favourite piece: A teak wooden bed. “I’m addicted to dressing it with different throws and cushions to suit the seasons,” she says.
Trend tips: Technology awareness is growing, she says. “People are much more conscious of the way technology saves time and improves living, and with today’s great design, gadgets no longer need to be hidden in cupboards.”