Guess who’s back…back again…Chrome is back. CHROME is back, CHROME IS BACK!

You’d be mistaken for thinking that chrome had been banished to the naughty step for being too well…safe. It’s been a bathroom staple since the late 70s when it was cast to the shadows for its golden competition – brass. The 1980s saw brass come home in a big way, much like gold was the metal of choice for jewellery, soon to be replaced by a trend for platinum and silver. I think this move is set to happen again in the form of brushed chrome and nickel making its way through the door with icy blues and cool greens.

Tonal Palettes

As we think about how to use chrome with tonal colours in the form of sanitary ware, one beautiful piece springs to mind – the resin and marble vanity unit. Screaming Italian minimalism, it works as part of a master bedroom washroom. Pair this with a linear pattern in flooring.

If you are opting for brushed, polished or matt chrome, consider the surroundings, by which I mean the other elements in the room, to ensure they scream uber luxe. The colour of the hour, minty green, will merge into ice blues (I predict this will be a strong combo in 2020) and pairs well with freestanding marble basins along with weathered woods for freestanding towel rails.

How do I stop it looking cold?

Chrome can give the illusion of being awfully standoffish compared to brass. Particularly when teamed with flat greys it can resemble masculine and unisex spaces on the urban and commercial side. When I look at this for my client’s homes, we think about the 6am Monday morning shower and how we need to feel invigorated. Texture and warmth can be added in reflective, calm aesthetic tiles.

Consider wall art and wallpaper for a zone two space. Look at how this will bring all the cooler elements together consider large floral patterns. Start with the ceiling if you’re planning on having a bath, as the majority of your eyeline when using it will be on the ceiling above, so why not give yourself something to look at!

Freestanding baths also work well with chrome as V & A offer a bespoke colour finish option for the underside of the bath. Opt for high shine to contrast the matt finish of brushed chrome, or the opposite if you’re heading towards a polished chrome tap.

Which finish is the best?

When deciding on your taps and showerheads, start with the natural light in the room, and how that light is reflected. If you’re looking at an en-suite or master bathroom with artificial light, black taps and showerheads are going to absorb any light from the space – which could work in your favour if you choose a matt look for the cabinetry.

To help you on your way we have created the below colour suggestion chart, this will enable you to select a tonal base to build your bathroom design around.

Matt black Farrow & Ball ‘Smoked Trout’                      

Brushed brass Farrow & Ball ‘Calamine’

Brushed chrome Earborn “Toms bakery”

Brushed nickel Farrow & Ball ‘Borrowed Light’

Chrome Farrow & Ball ‘Matchstick’

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have alternatively email

With thanks to the following for the use of their beautiful product images.


So let’s chat ensuite’s, we’ve all been there, boutique hotel sitting in a roll top bath thinking how at peace you feel, that little luxury of space adjacent to the bedroom. Only to return home to piles of washing on your bedroom floor, makeup bags overflowing with product, precariously balanced on your bedside table.

OK. So here are the elements to consider when making a box room /dumping ground into an ensuite, and not just any ensuite, one that most boutique hotels would be envious of.

Let’s start with the What & How questions?

What’s the best size for an ensuite bathroom?

The best size for a box room conversion to ensuite bathrooms is 2m x 1.5m, at the other end of the spectrum, you can go as large as your space permits.  Our designs always allow for a standard shower tray (usually 900 x 900mm), wall hung toilet and vanity unit. Freestanding baths will work in space of a shower tray and frameless shower screen. The minimum width between sanitary wear we would suggest is 80 cm, or as I often describe to clients a person width, if you can turn in the space between the basin and the shower that’s your absolute minimum.

How much does it cost to create an ensuite bathroom?

The cost is dependant on the quality of your sanitary wear, your tiling design and most importantly the installer’s fees.  On average our entry-level ensuite projects cost £6,5000 inclusive of installation.

When looking at ensuite bathrooms, we often start with the need.

Why are you creating this additional room?  

Is it to ease the congestion in the family bathroom?

Are you looking for a sanctuary to retreat to after work?

The answer to the majority of these questions is …….


Think back to the boutique hotel ensuite experience, what were the elements of the bathroom design that resonated with you?  Was it the ability to chat with your partner whilst wallowing in the bath, or store your makeup in a JO Malone showroom style display? List these and then use them to plan the layout of the new ensuite.

Bathroom design points to consider

When creating the ensuite design, the key is to create a visual divide between the master bedroom and ensuite, allowing the bathroom to seem spacious, with an abundance of light. This can in the form of frosted glass partition doors or concealed pocket doors.

Wall hung fittings, such as vanity units and toilets, increase the floor space by fixing to the wall, and they, therefore, create the illusion of space. As seen here in our Surrey project we used wall hung toilet and a striped tiling pattern that draws the eye across the room.

Storage space comes in the form of built-in shower niches, these house all the bottles and jars in one space for ease of and most importantly stops them kamikaze onto your foot when entering the shower. Built-in niches ensure everything has its place, without encroaching into the bathrooms usable space.

So there you have it ensuites 101! The images featured in this blog post are from our Surrey project having implemented the above we achieved the boutique hotel vibe in our client home. 

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and link/tag if you use them. All photography & rights owned by . Thank you x




… and thank you for your interest in our upcoming Brunch club, we’re delighted to extend an invitation to you for this fabulous event.

What’s it all about?

The concept behind the club is to create an environment where like-minded interior designers and stylists can discuss suppliers, best practices and also look at the age-old issues we face of working in a small team and doing it all! Current topics up for discussion are; Interiors photography arranging it, payment and photography rights, Closing clients on large projects, exiting a project on time.

Who should come?

Interior designers and stylists who want to meet others in their field, have a great brunch, find new supplier contacts and get your burning questions answered in a friendly and supportive environment -whether that’s interior design business related questions or how to style a photo shoot from a magazine stylist perspective. We’re keeping this a small closed event, limited to interior designers and stylists. Whilst we love influencers we feel this content won’t be relevant at this industry based event.

Where’s the venue?

Oh, you are going to LOVE this place! Hello Darling is a new playful restaurant and botanical bar just up the road to The Old Vic theatre. It serves up an eclectic mix of seasonal sharing dishes – alongside killer botanical cocktails in the evenings – but they’re opening up for brunch just for us! Here’s our special menu put together by the very talented Natalie Colman – Masterchef winner in 2013!

Our brunch menu

– Banana Eggy bread with salted caramel and vanilla whipped cream

– Moroccan chickpeas with sourdough

– Eggs royals (smoked salmon)

– Fruit

– Pastries

Tea and coffee will be served throughout the meal (Please let us know if you have any food intolerances so we can accommodate you)

The venue

…is incredible with painted tables and mix and match furniture around the centralised bar, but it’s the tour of the other floors – not open to the public yet, that will impress the most. Hand-painted by theatre set designers, each room is themed and in the process of being finished for private dining and events later in the year. Just look below!

Book NOW!

We only have limited spaces at this fabulous venue so do register today to secure your spot. That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email – emma@EmmaMerryStyling. All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and link/tag if you use them. Thank you x


Flea markets and Vintage fairs are a virtual treasure trove of perfect one-off pieces for your client’s spaces….. If only you know how to find them.

We have created the below guide in association with IACF (the largest antique and collectors fair group in the UK) to help you navigate and find that special piece. Without a doubt, I have found some of the most treasured possessions for clients, and my own home at flea markets, antique fairs, and charity shops. Each item tells a story of its creation and how it’s been loved, cherished and used. First things first, let’s establish……. what exactly are you looking at  Vintage, Antique, Repro? The antiques fair guide to production will help you differentiate vintage from repro.

Antique ££££ Items are usually over 100 – 150 years old, so working back from 2019 – we are looking at the early 1900s for production.

Mid-century Modern £££  1930s – 1960s, Pieces you would have seen in your grandma’s home, usually extremely heavy to the touch and solid in appearance.   

Vintage ££ Items are usually 20/30 years old, the rule of thumb I use, “do I remember this from my 80s childhood” if yes, the item is officially vintage.

Retro/ and reproduction £ These are a designers Achilles heal, beware if you are looking for a genuine vintage or mid-century product. Often they are copies of the above and were usually created in the early 2,000s, great If you’re looking to create a vintage look for less.

Let start with a Emma Merry Styling’s top tips to shopping the antique fair. We’ll have you walking away with the best bargains, at reasonable prices. Before you start

1: Download a map from the link below, As you shop, mark the booths where you’ve left paid purchases for later pickup as well as those you’d like to visit again in the day. I’ve found that the sellers with the fine antiques are the ones sheltered inside but I usually start outside on the periphery marquees, for me they house the good stuff e.g.: larger European furniture pieces & glassware.

2: Go as early as humanly possible on the first day of the fair for the best selection, as the early bird catches the worm in this case! Once purchased most vendors will hold larger items until the end of the day for you to collect with your car. 3: Stop off at the cash point before you arrive! Cash is king with most of the stand holders, you will be sure to secure the vintage sideboard if you can produce the cash whilst negotiating. 4: Get a cart or trolley, ditch the street cred! The granny trolley is a great place to store all your purchases as you travel around the fair, preload it with bubble wrap or old towels to keep your antiques, secure and dry.  5: Do your homework, make a note of the items your sourcing & approximate size, take a tape measure to the antique fair. It’s likely you will have to make a decision in a matter of minutes and there are no second chances when it’s gone, it’s gone and ultimately there are

Upon arrival

1: Enjoy yourself, I always have the best day when I visit IACF, I particularly love chatting with all the vendors finding out the story & history of how they came to find each piece.  Always be respectful and polite, dealers want to sell their items to nice people, so be that nice person and you will bag a bargain. 2: Once you zone in on your items do check the condition of furniture, lighting, rugs, and other furnishings. Estimate how much time and money each piece will take to repair, and make sure repairs are even possible before you make an offer. I’ve found its worth explaining why you are haggling, explain you are willing to take on the repair work. 3: Huge discounts on the opening morning of IACF just don’t happen. Dealers save the big deals for the end of the final day, That’s when they just want to get home. 4: Never walk away from an item if it’s sparking all the joy!  If you love it, someone else will, so chances are it will be gone when you come back.

If I have a client with limited budget & storage what should I look out for? 1: Midcentury ceramic pots, all colours and all sizes, these are always useful to fill shelves in and around kitchens, bathrooms or living rooms. 2: Novelty items, such as crazy ashtrays, salad bowls, single stem vases! Anything that catches your eye and you think “omg look at this cute piece” It could be the hero in your next room scheme. 3: Anything time-stamped, so obviously from a certain era, 1920 – 30 is my holy grail, whether that’s, fabric, an old movie poster, a sewing box, old telephone, these little touches make a high street interior instantly scream interesting and deep.

How would you use vintage/antique in a modern home design? The texture is the key element when looking at mixing old and new. Identify the similarities in the texture of the old glass wear to that reflected in the new woodwork. I have created the eclectic kitchen mood board based with a product found at IACF to help inspire you in this way

That’s all folks! I really hope you found the piece interesting, and as always I’m happy to answer any further questions you may have or head over to email – emma@EmmaMerryStyling .All images & mood board copyright are owned by Emma merry styling except where noted. Please make sure you credit and link/tag if you use them. Thank you x


When it comes to decorating your home, there is one element that a lot of people tend to forget about: the front door!

Your home’s front door is a key part of its curb appeal, being both the welcoming face of your property and an important element of its decor. A front door that clashes with your home will be out of place, not just to the neighbours but also to potential buyers.

Luckily, choosing the perfect front door colour for your home is just a matter of knowing which elements to take into account. With some careful consideration, you can easily find a colour that adds the perfect finishing touch to your home.


So your wondering what a bathroom livener is?? Well its a cost effective way to pimp up your bathroom without spending a ton of cash, Most clients are on the edge of bathroom renovation project but it could be 6 -12 months in the future and one of the client questions we answer allot is;

There’s nothing wrong with my bathroom; in fact, you still adore the freestanding bath, basin or beautiful lighting but what can I do to freshen it up? 

Heres my top 3 tips for refreshing up your bathroom, shower room or cloakroom space. The major bathroom renovation can wait we are looking a colourful new shower curtain, handy wire rack or fresh coat of paint.

Re grout! White will always look fresh but my preference is light grey, if you have one colour tiles it really makes them pop. Which is exactly what I did on the powder room project noted below, we used the grey group to make the accentuate the herringbone tile pattern against the blush pink tile and crazy sanderson splatter wallpaper. winning combo!

Paint the tiles, I’ve used tile paint as few times & it works a treat, just make sure you prime the tile & lightly sand after each coat. 3/4 coats depending on the depth of color you would like.

Decorate with Stencils for an Insta-Inspiring Home - 25 DIY Ideas using Wall Stencils - Home Decor Trends - Royal Design Studio

And finally flooring, vinyl/lino is a dirty word to some but let me tell you it’s amazing as a short term “livener” for bathrooms. For as little as £40 your bathroom will take on a whole new perspective. My favorite brand for vinyl the moment are Atra flooring, they have geometric patterns, morrocan inspired tile prints, art deco, wood flooring effect and a vast amount of stone imitations. Definalty worth a look and such good value for money.


Thanks for listing guys & as always send me through your questions and quires on any bathroom related updates you may be planning. Until next time xx


Well you’ve clicked through this far so you most defiantly must be investigating bathroom lighting if so reed on if not go back 3 clicks and you should hit ASOS.

When looking at bathroom lighting the first thing to consider is when you will be using the bathroom, odds are it will be dark or poor natural light as the bathroom is a morning or evening kinda arrangement.

Consider the following;

1: Does it benefit from the natural light ? Is the natural light obstructed by trees etc ?

2: Where will you need a “doing light”? this needs to be positioned by the mirror for applying makeup, shaving anything need precision.

3: Always add a dimmer switch to the circuit for the overhead lights so you can moderate the light when you want to create a relaxing atmosphere.

No matter the size of your bathroom, multiple lights will always enhance the space. A combination of downlights, wall lighting, accent spotlights, and recessed lighting will create practical lighting for day-to-day tasks, low-level ambient light, and illumination at night.

For me I always consider in equal parts wall mounted lighting close to the mirror  & downlights.

Wall mounted to illuminate areas where you need good visibility, such as by the mirror or around the basin. Perfectly placed wall lighting will prevent eye strain and improve your ability to see when applying makeup or shaving. Mount wall lights at eye level either side of a mirror to avoid shadows.

Downlights provide ambient light with a comfortable level of brightness. I tend to position them around the sides of the room instead of the middle to avoid shadows, and use them to enhance features such as a statement wallpaper or a towel radiator…

Here come’s the dos & don’ts……….Don’t fit a downlight directly above a basin & wall mirror, as this will throw a huge ugly light on to your forehead and cast shadows below the eyes, nose…. We’ve all been in those hotel bathrooms that make us look starved of life an no matter how much makeup we apply mothering changes, my advice would be Consider a chandelier/ or ceiling pendant for a high-ceilinged bathroom.

Id love to hear from you with all your bathtroom light dilemas, message me today. x


With winter just around the corner, everyone looks forward to coming in, shutting the front door and cosying down to a warm fire and comfort food. So, my first issue with the above scenario was my front door. Our wonderfully glorious hot summer had effectively created a sort of chemical peel on the paintwork of my original 1930s solid wood door. It was in desperate need of some TLC. Firstly, I feel the need to set the scene. We live in deepest Surrey, where a hot pink front door would not only look out of place in our street, but also not in keeping with the red brick of our 1930s home.

I wanted to create something that was reminiscent of Surrey colours yet had a 2018 vibe. That’s when I discovered the new Little Greene National Trust range at Decorex. “This could be too good to be true” I thought.

Inspiration from Decorex

I needed a shade that would amplify the original stained glass windows and work with the aged brass door furniture, however I am personally over sage green! Armed with two sample pots, interestingly named, ‘Goblin’ and ‘HoHo’ (obviously the creative team has a sense of humour) we started to paint up a section of the door.

Now when using tester pots it’s always difficult to get a true sense of the colour and admittedly it did look different after two coats and a good 24 hours to dry. I kept opening the door at different times of the day to see which one jumped out at me and it was Goblin (not literally) which I subsequently found out is a highlighter if used next to red brick work…who knew?

Goblin 311 was my colour of choice and I wanted to see how Little Greene arrived at such a name. The story goes that Mr Charles Wade was a collector of all things design and colour, so much so, his collection ranged to the dizzy heights of 22,000 items and he subsequently had to live in the garden cottage to make way for the artifacts. Also a well know practical joker, he would often be heard laughing like a goblin by Mrs Grahame Green.

Little Green Intelligent Exterior Eggshell 2.5l

Now it was just time to wait patiently for a relatively warm breezy day, which as luck would have it, was just around the corner. So I set about rubbing and filling the door in anticipation. The day arrived all to quickly and before I knew it the first coat was complete in just under an hour, then 16 hours drying time came and went and coat number two went on, sadly the weather wasn’t so generous, but the consistency and texture of the paint made it an absolute pleasure and again super speedy.

And voila! Within seven days I had researched and chosen that paint, rubbed down and filled, and twice painted the door. I used only half a 2.5ml tin of intelligent exterior eggshell Goblin 311 on my front door and now I’m considering using the remainder on my side gate to finish the look.

I think Goblin is a fitting choice for a house full of boys under the age of 10 with cheeky smiles and pockets full of practical jokes!

Thank you Little Greene for gifting the paint. Sponsored post.

For more information on the National trust inspired green range head over to

All photography was undertaken by myself using the Pen


How did you get started in interior design and styling?

I started my design life in the world of luxury exhibitions. Working for Quintessentially, I created experiential feature spaces showcasing luxury fashion and homeware that were all British made. My remit was to keep visitors intrigued, engaged and inspired. I’ve always had a love of colour and texture, so interior design and styling seemed like a natural progression to make my creations more permanent.

How would you describe your interior design style?

My motto is ‘Inspiration not trends’ and it’s something I consistently standby. My style is inspired by my clients and the way they live, by the unusual items I find in their homes and working out where to place them for maximum impact. I’m a huge lover of fresh, clean spaces with simple lines, paired with intriguing patterns that give an unexpected twist. European colour plays a huge part – I find lemon and pale blues utterly delicious and often use a pinch of these in detailing.

Vibrant & Inviting

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I feel that inspiration is something you collect, much like stamps! I have a colour book that I started when living in Spain 10 years ago – I’ve collected bottle tops, magazine adverts, driftwood chips and shells… anything that intrigued me went into the book with a brief explanation as to why it deserved its place. For me, villages on islands like Mallorca and Sardinia are just so authentic with all the local craftsmanship that contributes to their charm – it’s the infectious enthusiasm for simple design that’s so enchanting. It all forms part of my design process.

Port Grimaud huge part of my inspiration

How does lighting play a part in your work?

Lighting is usually my starting point. I believe it should amaze and draw your attention in order to attract the right atmosphere, depending on the feeling you’re trying to convey. It’s a critical element in achieving a night-to-day transformation and therefore creating a space that can be used for eating, work, sleep or play.

Yew Tree

Which recent project(s) are you particularly proud of?

‘Yew Tree House’, which is a project in Surrey due for completion towards the end of the year. It’s been a journey through every era of design, working with my clients to achieve a sleek and modern aesthetic in their renovated home with a touch of warmth and humility. I’ve been looking at mainly natural finishes, with flashes of high-quality hybrid materials, and working with the client’s values on sustainability and emphasizing this in the overall concept. The aim is to get it finished in time for Christmas drinks.

Do you have a particular favorite corner or room (in your home or anywhere) that you feel is ‘all your own’? Or do you have any tips for creating a ‘cosy’ space?

I’m definitely a self-confessed serial re-decorator! I’m often found with a paintbrush in hand whilst also preparing the children’s dinner. However, I do love our living room at the front of our home – that is my little piece of Europe. We have a huge bay window with full height glazing, and the sun streams through in the late afternoon, bounces off the vintage mirrors and illuminates the room. It makes this room warm and inviting.

Top tips:Flank your cozy corner with identical lamps this will create an eye-catching feature and anchor the space each time you enter the room.

• Cozy is a feeling so ensure your lighting can be controlled with dimmer switches and use bulbs in warm colours.

Wisteria lamp by Pooky

Finally, do you have a favorite Pooky light, why that one?)

All of them! But if I had to had to choose it would be the Wisteria glass table lamps. They are so effortlessly chic, classically timeless and, for me, the hero piece in any design.

  Check out Pookys collection!