Christmas table settings


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How to: Dine in style for under £10

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Interior Trends: Enduring or Fads?

Category: Reader questions

Reader question: What colour patio doors should I opt for?

On June 16th, 2011 by .


Hi Pippa,
Wow, what a great service, thanks!
we are knocking a wall down between our tiny kitchen and dining room. we are doing a white kitchen with a light grey tile floor and there will be a peninsula between the kitchen and dining room. We have decided to install  bifold doors in the dining room  that open up onto our deck. It has an oak floor. I am trying to decide what colour to choose for the doors. I like white windows because I love how they fade out when the sun shines in but in all the pictures I have seen of the doors in white aluminum look kind of cheap. You can still see some of the darker coloured hardware showing through. I also don’t want white on the outside of the house since the brick is mostly brown and black. I can do two different colours. I was thinking of black on the  inside frame but I am worried it will close the room in. It is about 3mx4m. The doors will be about 2.5 m high.  Do you have any recommendations on colour? also do you think there should be a transom?

Here is the room now. the doors will be where the window is:







Hi Jane,
Thanks for your email.

The dining room looks very pretty and I think the doors will look great.

With regards to the colour, I am not sure that black would be the right option; I think it would look too strong and harsh against the clean white units.  I appreciate that the doors need to work tonely inside and out and so taking into consideration the colours of the brick on the outside of your house, I would opt for slate grey doors.

Slate Grey is a smart, striking and sophisticated colour that works fantastically well within a neutral colour scheme. From the inside, the colour will tone with your white modern units and contemporary decor and create a beautiful framed picture of the garden.  I would recommend you buy a few coordinating accessories to sync the look even more such as a slate grey vase for your flowers/plant or perhaps a table runner that incorporates the colour as visually, this would sit in the centre of the doors.

From the outside, the colour will balance well against the natural earthy tones of the brick.  You can then introduce a few accessories for outside such as large slate or aluminium planters to match the door colour and marry all of the elements.  UK based paint company Farrow & Ball sell a beautiful range that should inspire you.

I have created a little moodboard for you to look at (below)

I hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Thank you so much Pippa! I think the rich grey is a wonderful solution, the mood board is fabulous. Your new service is great and I will be sure to check in with my next design dilemma!  I am off to have a look at the colour samples.

Thanks again,

For all of your interior design questions, please email:

Reader question: where can I buy a stylish door handle?

On April 17th, 2011 by .

Q: I’d like to replace the door handle on my filing cabinet.
I have a filling cabinet that I bought quite a few years ago and I would like to give it a quick update.  The cabinet is white and in good condition but I think the wooden handle makes it look really traditional.  What I am looking for is something stylish and modern that will bring this piece of furniture up to date.  My only requirement is that it’s not too expensive!  Can you help?

A: I think it’s a great that you are updating rather than replacing as this is a much more cost effective way to update
For your filing cabinet I would recommend the following product from Handle World, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of handles, and I think it’s pretty reasonably priced.  The handle has a brushed metal base with a sleek and modern perspex top and will totally transform the look of your cabinet.  The handle costs £13.23 and so you are saving a very large sum if you think about how much a new filling cabinet costs.  I hope you like our suggestion and please let me know if you need any further information.
Zante 9069816 White Matt / Brushed Cabinet Handle, £13.23, Handle World


Reader question: Can you find me an alternative wallpaper?

On January 30th, 2010 by .


Hi Pippa

I recently came across the Farrow and Ball paper, called Ranelagh, its a
diamond trellis, in a metallic, its colourway number BP 1806.

I received a sample and love the paper, its neutral and yet adds great
warmth, I want to use it for the back wall of a hall over 2 floors.

Anyhow my question to you is, is there any less expensive alternative, its a
very pricey paper and the site only allows min. Order quantities of 3 rolls,
which makes it an expensive mistake should we not like !!

Anyhow alternative recommendations for such a paper, suitable , would be
really greatfully appreciated,

Hi Mary,

Thanks for your email.

Below are some links of several alternative wallpaper options.
Other suppliers to try are B&Q as they have some very stylish
and affordable papers at the moment, Osborne and Little & Nono

Wallpaper Direct:


Graham & Brown:

Graham & Brown:

Graham & Brown:

Graham & Brown:

Graham & Brown:


Good luck with your search and let me know if I can help with anything else.

Kind regards,



Hi Pippa,
Just wanted to thank you very much for your reply, I have a few very strong
contenders, great to get some advise !

Also wanted to wish you the very best with your impending delivery, I have 3
myself so I know what its like !

Best of luck,

Kind Regards,