The beginning of spring is almost upon us, the perfect time to refresh our homes so it’s ready for brighter days ahead. In the world of interiors, spring this year is packed with vivid hues, from earthy shades to every variation of olive, sage and fern, ready to perfectly complement the fresh scent of daffodils, tulips and hyacinth.
Agnieszka Dmochowska’s newly renovated open plan living space is perfectly in vogue. In her quest to create ‘an extension of the garden’ with her kitchen expansion, Agi has ticked all the boxes with her bold verdant kitchen, natural texture of her Kingsley oak dining table, and sunny scattering of flowers. If you’re looking to refresh your home this spring, or are looking for some hosting and tablescaping inspiration, then dive into Agi’s tips and tricks…
Optimising open plan living
When it comes to open plan living, it can often be hard to create a cohesive space that links together your priorities and doesn’t end up in disarray. Agi advises to “have a good think about what you need from the new space and don’t try to squeeze too much into it as it will become too crammed and loose the sense of space and openness. We are all different and some things that work in other peoples houses won’t necessarily work for you. For example, when I was designing our kitchen everyone was telling me I need to either place the hob or a sink on the island but I was adamant I want to keep it appliance free as we often use it for kids arts and crafts projects, so always stick to your gut feeling and don’t let the so-called experts convince you otherwise.
Also, decorating an open plan space is a bit more tricky than doing up a single room. Make sure you consider all elements of it and when zoning out the spaces within the extension (i.e. dining area/kitchen/living space, etc.). Make sure they still feel cohesive and ‘talk’ to each other.”
With brighter spring days approaching, natural light is vital in uplifting our homes. “By extending the house into our small back garden we wanted to make them both ‘bigger’. I know it might sound completely bonkers but we went with large crittall style windows at the back of the extension and that way you kind of hide where the house ends and the garden starts so you make both look optically bigger and you make the most of the space on offer.”
With a flurry of celebrations approaching in Spring/Summer – Mother’s day, Easter, Father’s day and this year, the Coronation – it’s great to create a space that works for hosting our loved ones. “We often see friends that come to visit with their children so having a large open plan space where everyone can use a different corner of it without disturbing one another is perfect. So whilst grown ups enjoy the more formal meal at the table the little people can freely run around in the other parts of the extension and everyone has a great time.”
Agi’s sofa.com style
“I absolutely adore the unusual shape of sofa.com’s Coco dining chairs. They are so sexy! I always had a soft spot for mustard yellow so the Nefertiti fabric is perfect and the fact it’s 100% cotton matt velvet adds that little bit of luxury. I still feel like we are at a restaurant when using them. They are also soooo comfy.”
“When planning the new space I really wanted to make sure it doesn’t look like large square box with a shiny showroom kitchen in it. Hence I always knew that everything we go for must add personality to the space. I love that sofa.com’s Kingsley dining range combines the modern practicality with some rustic – almost farmhouse – chic.”
“Having a larger table is also great as we can fit all the guests around it so the Kingsley table is perfect for us!”. Instead of gathering a hotchpotch of chairs on social occasions, our Kingsley Dining table and matching bench are perfect for adapting to your party size.
50 shades of green
Rising in popularity in the last couple years, biophilic design has taken the interior world by storm with the beauty of the natural world creating a calm and tranquil space.
“I thought a lot about colours that would work best in there and as we want it to be ‘an extension of the garden space’ the natural, earthy tones seemed like the obvious choice. The multitude of plants is again a ‘continuation of the garden’ and part of the so-called ‘bring the outside in’ trend. It all will hopefully make more sense and flow beautifully together when we will get the garden sorted but that’s our project for this year, so watch this space.”
“We have our good old Izzy sofa in olive green velvet with a matching Georgette footstool in the extension and they work perfectly with all the other greens and earthy tones in there. Plus, they are still mega comfy so perfect for reading a book or browsing internet.”
Vivid colours can often lie outside of people’s comfort zone with the worry that the joy that such a bold scheme brings may be short-lived. Yet with a change of accessories, it can keep the room feeling fresh. “With regards to changing décor for different seasons, I usually do it mostly with fresh seasonal flowers, a reshuffle of cushions/blankets and a change of tablecloth. Sometimes I add different artwork too.”
Entertain in style
Playing host can often mean fluttering around preparing nibbles and topping up tipples so much so that you miss out on the most important part of hosting…entertaining. “The part of the open plan living appeal is the fact that you don’t miss out while preparing the meals in the kitchen, you are still very much part of the action. You can cook while still chatting to everyone.”
“Tablescapes are a perfect way to express your personality, so just go for it. And every table styling needs some seasonal flowers or greenery that brings it all to life. Don’t be afraid to add colour and to mix things up! There’s nothing wrong with mismatched plates or mixing modern pieces with vintage ones as long as it all flows together nicely.”
“In terms of creating the right ambience, lighting is extremely important. We made sure we have a lot of different lamps scattered around the space so they definitely help to create the beautiful atmosphere. Also, I can’t imagine a good party without candles on the table, some lovely music in the background and lots of yummy food.”
Agnieszka Dmochowska’s edit