Interior design columnist Yvonne Jones has over 30 years experience in interior design, having trained at the Royal College of Art and if founder of Chameleon Interiors, based in Pontcanna, Cardiff.  Yvonne regularly works for clients in London, Monaco, Italy and Spain.  Her intricate eye for detail and design has seen her stay a consistent and trusted figure. 

The pandemic has changed the world we inhabit profoundly and one of these changes has manifested itself in how we organise our living space. Cue the U-turn on open plan living and a return to a myriad of rooms with discrete functions.

Those people fortunate enough to have a dining room, study or spare bedroom are now happy to leave the walls that define them intact as these separate spaces are ideal for home working.

If your home doesn’t lend itself to creating an office where you can shut the door on the mayhem of family life, then why not consider a garden room? I’d advise making this room multi-functional so that you can use it as an extra bedroom. When restrictions lift and your kids come home from uni with a group of friends they can use it as a self-contained unit provided you have installed a shower and loo.

For us at Chameleon things have been very busy recently.  The emphasis now seems to have veered towards objects with gravitas rather than frivolities.  So, our bespoke service creating beautiful, unique pieces, such as console tables, headboards and cushions, has proved itself to be hugely popular as people want beautiful things that they won’t see anywhere else.  In response to our changed world, I am also planning on setting up an online arm of Chameleon selling covetable items such as cushions in fabulous fabrics.

The warmer weather is now more or less here, and I’d advise taking advantage of the energy boost the longer, lighter days bring to give your home a once-over.  Begin by decluttering as the first ritual of spring.  Despite our best efforts, stuff accumulates, and this can impede making any other improvements.  Once the excess clobber has been shifted it’s easier to see your home with a fresh eye.

Look at introducing some new colours.  Green is the colour of spring and when teamed with a strong colour like navy it makes quite an impact.  Strong colours are in right now and I am very fond of them.  Look too at deep orange and warm blues.  You can bring in seasonal colours with new cushions and throws in colours such as primrose yellow and cherry blossom pink to add a dash of brightness.

This year, as with any other, there are trends coming to the fore. One is for using clashing patterns; they make a powerful statement in the right setting. Fun though it is to go wild, I’d be careful with a look that will date, especially if you are planning to invest in costly fabric.  My designs for Chameleon’s clients are timeless rather than responsive to fashion and these designs have longevity – so you get value of your outlay.

The important thing is to create a home you love living in; it doesn’t have to be perfect.

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