Q&A WITH INTERIOR STYLIST AMELIA CARTER

At The Wedding Shop we are big believers in the saying "home is where the heart is." Our homes are our most sacred space, it's where we spend quality time with our loved ones, grow a family and enjoy our down time. We caught up with London-based Interior Designer & Home Stylist, Amelia Carter, to ask for her expert advice on what to consider when choosing items for your gift list that will enhance your home.

Amelia Carter has over 10 years’ experience designing elegant and individual interiors that reflect her clients’ lifestyle. We are thrilled that we had the chance to ask Amelia some home styling questions.

Amelia Carter Interior Design Blog

Home trends come and go, something we love now may turn out to have been a fad in years to come. Do you have any advice on how to work in a new trend into the home without investing too much?

You can incorporate these trends through small items like accessories or throw cushions. It’s so easy to incorporate a colour trend through glass vases or a decorative objet on your coffee table without having to commit to living with it permanently. Accessories are very multi-purpose and can be mixed around the house and re-styled over and over so they are the perfect way to experiment with or represent current trends.

Interior Design Blog

Do you have any tips or pointers on how to make a room look bigger?

Mirror remains the number one way to enlarge space and brighten dark corners. If you have recesses on either side of your fire place, I would suggest installing mirror panels to cover the whole space. You can then set consoles in front of them with a feature lamp. This will create the illusion of more space and twice the light. Clusters of smaller mirrors on walls are also lovely way of creating small ‘windows’ of light and interest.

Area rugs are also a great way to keep an open space ‘organised’ If you have multi-purpose room, such as an open plan living/dining, use area rugs to create structure to the spaces. This is very simple way to keep things looking purposeful.

Interior Design Ideas

Are there any key items that you would encourage your clients to splurge on and are there others that you would recommend saving on?

I think comfort is key, so large items of upholstery are important to spend money on to ensure good quality. Lighting is also somewhere that you should invest in key pieces. Whether it’s a statement floor lamp, table lamp or chandelier. Small items like side tables are somewhere I think you can save on. There are so many affordable and simple solutions out there and once it is dressed with gorgeous accessories and a unique lamp, the table doesn’t need to stand centre stage.

Amelia Carter Interior Designer Blog

Do you have any space saving tips?

I always look for pieces of furniture that have storage incorporated into them that are multi-use or that can have another piece of furniture tucked under them, such as an entrance console having two lidded pouffes below it. Right away you have a place to put hats and gloves, somewhere to sit when putting on shoes and also a lovely entrance console.

Amelia Carter Interior Design

We have seen that Botanics is a hugely popular trend – do you think this is here to stay and if so – how can this be built into the home?

I love having indoor trees. It makes a space feel more magical, especially if your interior allows a large plant. It’s important to choose the correct plant for your space. If you don’t have as much light, a Kensia Palm is a very easy to keep indoor plant. If you prefer something easy and you have a sunny spot, go for a cactus. If you really have no faith in yourself keeping the plant alive, then you can purchase a self-watering pot, The Wedding Shop have faux plants and flowers available to add to your gift list too.

Big Botanicals

Opposites often attract, we find that our couples tend to have different styles and tastes – do you have any advice on how our couples can merge different styles?

This is a constant occupational hazard for me. I’ve learned over the years to bring it to the attention of my clients right from the start. To tell them they will have arguments and disagreements but that it is so important that they are honest with each other about choices. By addressing this early in the process it puts them at ease and we often find humour in the differences going forward. I think a great way to manage the process is to offer each person 3 veto rights. That allows them to veto their partner’s choice up to 3 times and vice versa.

Once you establish these rules and approach everyone is much more honest about what they like and what they can ‘tolerate’ and that is when we begin to mix and match.

Living Room Interior

Our couples often choose gifts for the home that are timeless and hold memories – are there any key pieces of furniture that you think will bring couples joy for years to come?

The dining table will always play center stage. It will host and hear the laughter of every dinner party, birthday party, celebration and so on. It’s important to invest in something you love from the beginning; chances are you will not be purchasing a second one. If you can find one that extends that is ideal as it allows maximum flexibility.

Amelia Carter Interior Designer

Browse Amelia’s expert gift list to see which Wedding Shop gifts she would add to her list