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7 styles for a spring refresh

Contemporary country, coastal, rustic vogue or vintage style? Whichever look you love, here's the expert intel on how to get fresh for spring 2021.

The sun is shining, the end of lockdown is looming and what we want more than anything else for our over-familiar interiors is to hit the refresh button.

Here’s Caroline Palk, much sought-after interior designer and owner of Ashburton’s Ashton House Design on how the best-dressed homes are throwing off the cobwebs and getting fresh for spring.

1/ Artisan & handmade

Mass manufacture is soulless, you see it everywhere and the resulting interior will lack any kind of character. When we’re allowed back out, step away from the big guys and visit an indie craft fair, or a craftsperson, like a metalworker or cabinetmaker to seek out an interesting object or two. And you’ll be supporting local.

2/ Cabin fever

Lockdown’s latest must have – I give you… the garden cabin. Here’s one we made earlier with a woodburning stove, combined with underfloor heating (I know!) for year-round cosiness. The built in platform, furnished French mattress style, is sofa by day and for zeds by night. You might not have the cabin but you can create the comfortable outdoor vibe with sheepskin throws, heaps of mismatched floor cushions and rustic wooden side tables.

3/Contemporary country 

Perfect for West Country homes, balancing the comfort of countryside with an up-to-date edginess to stop it being stuffy. It’s all about clever pairings and quirks, so think textures and layers, blending linen and wool with crewelwork and velvet. Mix and match sleek contemporary lighting with an antique bedside chest.

4/Worlds apart

Maybe because we can’t travel at the moment but our interiors are all about telling a global story now. Textural rugs from the Atlas Mountains, fringed textiles and fragments, or woven lampshades – all are fabulously crafted and bring a faraway beauty to our homes here in the UK.

5/ Rustic vogue

Celebrating the very essence of all that’s country, this interior has modern cred thanks to the lighting. Here, a collection of colourful glass bottles dug up from the owner’s garden, has fresh appeal when displayed and lit in a more contemporary arrangement.

6/Seaside cool

Forget more obvious tropes and evoke a seaside feel via your choice of palette. Colour defines the spirit of an interior – so a coastal trio of soft duck egg blue, teal and turquoise effortlessly and subtly conjures the watery theme.

7/ Vintage vibes

Vintage and antique finds convey character in our homes, giving the impression that our interiors have evolved rather than erupted. We are blessed in Ashburton with a wonderful resource of antique and interior shops, perfect for providing inspiration and unique finds.

Ashton House Designs, 31a East Street, Ashburton, TQ13 7AQ Tel: 01364 653 563 or email

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