Think outside the box – 5 ways to make storage stylish.

With the Easter holidays being a bit of a wash out I have been a little sad and enjoyed a spring clean much to my kids delight!  Their Lego is now colour co-ordinated and all toys are stored by type, cars in one box, super heroes in another.  Oh, the simple pleasures, now pass me that Lego Kraggel glue!

I spend a long time listening to my clients to understand how they want to live in their homes, what will make their lives easier and how best to hide the less pretty things that we might need every day but don’t want to see.  Storage is key for making your homes work better for you and with a little bit of thought and a creative approach to storage you can make it work effortlessly whilst still looking beautiful. Here are my 5 top storage hacks.

It’s the little details

Take time to think about what you want to see everyday and what you want to hide. creating a storage solution that works for you.  Look at the space you have available and how best to store or display your items, hiding the ugly items away to give a clean seamless look.  You should think about power, lighting and illuminating shelving to make it look more interesting and cool. I love the wall lights we added on the outside of this bespoke bookcase.  I mixed the clients art work with books and hid the boring files in the cupboard below.

Think floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall

Make your walls work for you. Think vertically to maximise the space and to create an architectural look. Break it up by creating indents for display and remember to balance the design. This loft en-suite had tricky eves so we created bespoke storage with fold down cupboards. I love the Egger wood veneer we added to the inside of the storage, it adds a little surprise and makes your bathroom products look super luxurious.


Think out side the box

In some spaces, such as alcoves, completely bespoke storage is best as you can maximise the space.  However there are many off the shelf options out there that you can ‘hack’.  I have utilised many Ikea products and adapted and personalised them to create original designs. In this loft bedroom we used the Ikea Pax system and added bespoke doors sprayed to match the Little Greene Knightsbridge 215 paint used on the walls.

 Ikea hack

Storage can be sexy

To make the storage blend into the room a simple trick is to paint it the same colour as the walls. However, if you want to make a statement think about the finish, woods or veneer options come in myriad of finishes.  Play with wallpaper or fabric and don’t forget the inside.  You can introduce a contrasting finish or a pop of colour.  For the shelving in my family room I painted the shelving the same colour as the walls but added a silk effect wallpaper on the back of the shelves to add texture. I love it as it’s calm.

Nikki-Rees-interiordesign, storage-blog, bespoke-storage, storage ideas, small-room-storage,

Handle with care

Handles give that all important finishing touch.  There are some beautiful options out there which really create a unique piece of furniture giving a personal touch to your interior design.  The Bedside tables we specified for our Maida Vale project allowed us to select gorgeous leather pulls which finished the room design by adding a touch of luxury.

Have fun with storage and don’t just settle for the practical.  We have used antique hatboxes for side tables as the client wanted something unique so make sure you also check out your local antique fairs or charity shops as you can pick up some great pieces.


Photography Credits

Bill Prentice

Claire Williams


Bathroom Interior Design tips

Happy 2018, I’m currently in the middle of designing 3 bathrooms for a lovely client so I thought it was the perfect time to share with you a few tips and ideas as so many of us have removed the Christmas decorations and started to see our homes again in a different light. Winter makes me want to soak in the bath for hours with a candle and a good book and I feel a bathroom needs to be designed with a little wanderlust in mind. You can take inspiration from a luxurious hotel and their use of opulent materials or by taking a few tips from stunning spas with their scents, reflective surfaces and natural woods and then make it your own.

You need a sense of glamour and luxury to help soak away the stress of the day. But in turn when you are rushing to get the family out of the house in the morning, washed and dressed you need to consider the logistics and design the layout to make it easy to reach the towel from the shower and not make the floor soaking!

Create a Sense of Space

A bathroom layout is key. You want to create a sense of space, a light and airy feel so you can move around freely.  Don’t try and cram too much into a small space. Be practical in your space design and plan the layout to make the room a comfortable haven.

Smart storage solutions are vital for a decluttered bathroom. If you are designing a contemporary bathroom, look at added recesses or hidden storage to hide away the boring everyday stuff and display the prettier things.

Think about your lighting and how it complements the layout.  Remember to have lighting just in-front of your face so you can see when putting on your make up, a lit mirror or wall lights can create a stunning center piece to a bathroom.

bathroom design domus tiles waters bath bathroom layout
Material Finishes

I like a bathroom to feel like an extension to your living space. It does not need to be tiled wall to wall, ceiling to floor, but it can be softened with paint or by adding pattern and texture. Matt paint such as Little Greene’s Intelligent matt emulsion and stunning wallpapers will add texture and a material finish looks stunning in a bathroom.

Tiles have become more gorgeous and interesting allowing you to play around with different sizes and finishes within the same pallet. Try and mix different finishes such as a Carrara marble and a wood finish such as an oak for a stunning and timeless style. I’m currently using the new Mimica Statuario Venato Matt from Mandarin stone, a stunning large format matt porcelain Carrara style tile which I can’t wait to share the photos of with you.


Colour Me Happy

Don’t worry about the size of the room, you can use a dark colour in a small bathroom or cloakroom as it will create a cocooning environment.

A darker wall colour contrasted against white sanitary wear to create a sharp and contemporary look and feel.

Select a colour palette that makes you feel relaxed. As a starting point consider looking at the colours of the seasons and which season you can relate to the most, for example warm tones for summer, luxurious white on white for a winter feel. Colour is so personal, select a colour by how it makes you feel. In a bathroom, you should feel your most Zen ready for another day.


If you would like help with a bathroom design Please contact


How to create a Christmas window on a shoe string

We have been working harder in the studio this month than Santa’s elves completing the finishing touches to a couple of interior schemes so our clients can enjoy their homes in time for Christmas. We were also in the festive spirt early this season as we have enjoyed working with a handful of local businesses in South London to create simple, yet stunning, Christmas window campaigns on a shoe string. As a little gift to our local small businesses here are our top 5 window display tips.


Christmas Hero
The key inspiration this holiday season is to ‘hero’ your product in the window and less about theatrics. This is perfect for smaller retailers as you can create a real impact with a little imagination and a sprinkling of fairy lights (which are definitely not just for Christmas!) At Paint the Town Green an Eco Paint company based in Wandsworth, we wanted to hero their paint. We created a simple yet effective window by stacking their beautiful graphic paint pots into the shape of an abstract Christmas tree. We decorated a few pots with gorgeous oversized red bows and draped them with fairy lights to add a little sparkle. We then made sure to continue this in-store to make a bigger festive statement. A very cost effective yet bold statement for Christmas that was easy and quickly achieved.

Brand your window
Remember to always keep your brand message clear, yet seasonally inspired. Try to create an experience for your customers. Our Christmas message for Paint the Town Green was “Give the Gift of Colour”, highlighting their gorgeous colours as well as advertising the Christmas gifting pop up shop created instore. So many designers and artists this year have collaborated with brands and Paint the Town Green have cleverly collaborated with local artists and small creative businesses from the Decorcafe to create a stunning mix of thoughtful gifts and original homeware within their pop up gifting shop. This is a perfect idea for small retailers such as furniture and kitchen showrooms that want to increase footfall over the festive season while supporting other local creative business that complement your brand.

Winter Wow Factor
I have designed for many luxury brands and you don’t have to spend a small fortune to make a window look festive and luxurious, you just need to give your scheme a little thought. Simple oversized Christmas decorations grouped together and repeated can look stunning and impactful. Fresh real garlands giving the customer a full sensory experience or olive trees look super stylish and are a modern twist this season. DZD and Moorplan are specialist visual merchandising retailers who have plenty of window display ideas, you don’t have to buy in bulk and you can tailor to look bespoke. Also, high street favorites such as Paperchase and Muji are brilliant resources. You just need to keep your brand aesthetic in mind and think about the customer experience.

Let it shine
You need balance in the window scheme so think about creating height in the form of a pyramid shape with product and not just filling the whole window as your customer won’t know where to look. Remember to look at the shape of your window and to focus the display. Items always look better arranged in multiples of 3 and 5 rather than 2’s and 4’s – trust me it’s a visual trick. Try and tell a story by grouping items with a similar theme together or arranging by colour to create a bold statement. Give special items space to ‘breathe’ – abundance is good for bestsellers but a 100 of an expensive item tends to devalue the item!

It’s not just for Christmas
There are so many simple off the shelf modular systems out there now that you could hack and use to create an effective window display. You should not just think about Christmas when planning the window so keep things reusable – a simple set of wooden crates or cubes can be transformed with a lick of paint each new season! Your shop front is the window into your brand and should be as big a focus as any social media message so make them work together and have the same look and feel, whether it’s too celebrate the Tennis in Wimbledon fortnight or to highlight the new spring summer range these are the little details that enhance your brand and make you stand out on the high street. But most of all try and enjoy the process and have fun with it.

We hope this helps and if you’re still struggling – we offer a practical and hands on approach to visual merchandising giving inspirational advice for window and in-store displays, project management through to installation. Contact us if you want to know more.