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Friday, 16 October 2015

Why magazine editors love our projects

Glossy interiors mags receive thousands of photos and press releases every day, but very few get printed. 
So we are proud that many of our designs regularly appear in prestigious magazines in the UK, Turkey, Russia, Canada and many other international markets.This is testament to our excellent design work, our commitment to always going that extra mile, and delivering interiors that look fabulous and are great to live in. Testament too, to the trust placed in us by our clients. This is a recently completed penthouse project at London's Dockland as featured in Alem Dekor, a best-selling Turkish interiors magazine.We have appeared in Homes & Gardens, Traditional Homes & Interiors, Interior Design Yearbook, Utopia, Concept for Living, Kitchens Bedrooms Bathrooms to name but a few. And a little closer to home, we are also very proud to be regularly featured in Cambridge Magazine and Cambridge Journal, plus other glossies in Norfolk and Suffolk.

See more of our projects.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Aram inspires top designers

Breaking the boundaries of interior design is what keeps my job interesting. So last month I was honoured to meet Reev Aram, a designer who brought contemporary design to Britain at a time when the country was a modern furniture wasteland.

Reev was speaking at the annual conference of the BIID, held at RIBA HQ at Portland Place, London, followed by a gathering at designer rug company Front, which turned into quite a party as it was also the Institute’s 50th anniversary.

Reev opened his first showroom on London’s Kings Road in 1964, filling it with the work of Castiglioni, Breuer, and Le Corbusier when the English were on a diet of G Plan and Stag.

The Aram Store in Covent Garden
Passers-by were shocked! Zeev would stand outside, listening to their comments as they stopped and stared at the bright, white, stainless steel interior. Most thought the modern showroom and its modern furniture were an affront – he even received hate mail.  "Who needs this rubbish?" they asked. They called it clinical, and wondered why anyone would want to buy 'hospital furniture'.

A few months later, Terence Conran opened Habitat further down the road; for the first time, the British consumer had an alternative to chintz. Mary Quant and her mini skirt wasn't the only revolution happening in Chelsea that year.

How times have changed, and now the pieces Zeev chose have become design classics, endlessly copied but still looking as fresh as they did in the 60s. Fifty years on, Aram is now located in the heart of Covent Garden and remains the capital’s top destination for furniture and product design.

In a room filled with the UK and Europe’s leading designers, I was not alone in my reverence for Reev Aram. As well as bringing great design to Britain, he’s a designer in his own right, notably producing the iconic arc lamp that is now so in vogue. I have used this lamp many times in my designs and I love his knack of mixing old with new for an eclectic feel that is very much the ‘At Home’ style too.

One thing Reev said really resonated with me, and it was this: ‘Good design is something that fulfils its purpose in the most beautiful possible way. I have learned to trust my instinct; if something makes me catch my breath, then I know I'm looking at good design.’

Wise words, and a sentiment that I would always aspire to.

Hugh Jamieson, Principal Designer, At Home Interiors

Sunday, 28 June 2015

At Home designer sale boosts animal charity

Sometimes, having a jolly good clear out can have far-reaching results. I've collected many off-cuts, samples, fabric books and other interior design bits and pieces over the years, all of which were cluttering up the At Home studio. So I decided to put them to good use, and support a charity which is close to my heart.

With the help of a few friends, At Home staged a designer fabric sale at the very beautiful Dales Country House Hotel, near my home in Sheringham, Norfolk.

At 10am there was a surge of 'fabric junkies', keen to snap up some of the beautiful fabrics from Zoffany, Coles, Designers Guild and many others. Most were just a few metres, but perfect for bedspreads, cushions, recovering chairs and many other home and craft projects.

They made short work of it, and by 11am we had a room full of empty tables! It was lovely meeting fellow interior design lovers, answering their questions and hearing about their planned projects.

We raised £400 for Hillside Animal Sanctuary, an amazing organisation at West Runton in Norfolk. I think that will buy quite a few bales of hay for the hundreds of abused and neglected farm animals they look after. They also rehome dogs - as the owner of a rescue dog myself, I would urge anyone looking for a pet to contact Hillside.

So thanks again to all of you who came to support our charity event - and for helping to declutter the At Home studio! 

Hugh Jamieson, Principal Designer, At Home Interiors.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

We really do feel like Superheros!

We did it! Still on a high from completing last week's Norfolk Superhero Challenge. A huge thank you to everyone who sponsored us – it’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done but feeling very proud that my team mate Sue Allen and I finished this arduous course.

Photo courtesy

Our times weren’t bad and I’m pretty sure I was first swimmer home in the ‘Zimmer’ category with a time of 24.17 minutes. Sue is really fit and was second lady home, beating me by more than three minutes.

As well as the mile-long swim from Gun Hill to the quay at Burnham Overy Staithe, we kayaked four miles (my time 42.51 mins), cycled 45 miles (3.26 hours) through north Norfolk's most scenic roads then ran eight miles (2.22 hours) across tracks, sand, mud and marsh. My time was just over seven hours in total; they won’t be chasing me for the Olympics, but at least I wasn't last!

The swim was hard, with a strong wind creating lots of ‘chop’. The kayaking was great fun – a bit like dodgems at first - with friendly jostling for position. We cycled into what felt like cyclone winds and all was going well until mile 26 when cramp hit me – first one leg, then the other. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced it, so it chose a great time to hit.  The highlight had to be running along Holkham Beach with the tide far out and the sun shining. Our legs got sand-blasted, but it was worth it.

And then there were those kit changes; getting your foot stuck in your wetsuit can cost you precious minutes, so we made sure we practiced beforehand.

Sue was a fantastic team mate and got me through my various bouts of cramp, with amazing encouragement and her homemade flapjacks – rather difficult to chew with a dry mouth but ok when washed down with litres of Isotonic water.

The fabulous Pink Lady marshalls, the relaxed ‘no rules’ policy and the wonderful feeling of camaraderie among competitors, whether they were an elite athlete, semi pro or complete amateurs like us, made it a brilliant event.

Hugh and training buddy, Mocha
And of course, I couldn’t have done it without my faithful training buddy Mocha, whose four legged company saw me through many a dark, cold morning when I really didn’t feel like getting my kit on.

Will I be back next year to do it all again? You bet I will.

  • So far Sue Allen and I have raised around £1,900 for Wells Lifeboat, which is manned by volunteer crews. We hope to get our total up to £3000! If you would like to donate, please visit our page on Just Giving.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

A return to interiors that make you smile...

Pared-back Scandi-neutral has been the design norm for some years, so I am excited to see a return to eclecticism and colour - and no-one does this better than hotelier and designer Kit Kemp.

Kit co-owns the chic Firmdale group of boutique hotels in London and New York, including The Soho Hotel. Kit's home, pictured, has all the style and charm we've come to expect - she has a fantastic eye for the unusual, with wonderful artifacts that draw the eye in.

Kit said: ‘My style is carefree and colourful – colour always makes me smile – but this is balanced with neutrals because I need it to feel calm too. I want to be able to come in, shut the door, and for my home to feel magical."

Kit also uses many handcrafted details such as appliqué and needlepoint which make an interior feel more human and tell the owner's story. To me, this is the designer's greatest skill - to create an interior that the owner feels instantly at home in, that looks as if it has been created by their hand, though they may not have have the skill, time or confidence to achieve it themselves.

Photo courtesy

Thursday, 7 May 2015

My four-legged training buddy keeps me focused!

Hugh Jamieson and Mocha, his training buddy
Hours before I arrive at the At Home design studio, I'm up with the larks to run a five mile circuit around beautiful Sheringham Park, near my Norfolk home.

I've signed up for the Norfolk Superhero Challenge next month to raise cash for RNLI Wells Lifeboat. It's a grueling course, but I have a devoted training buddy to keep me focused – my dog, Mocha.

I rescued Mocha 10 years ago from the Greek island of Naxos, and I confess, without his company on my morning run, training would be hard-going. Mocha is so enthusiastic and probably runs four times as far as I do, in his endless quest to find rabbits!

The Norfolk Superhero Challenge takes place on Saturday 6th June and the route meanders round the most beautiful parts of north Norfolk. Teams swim one mile from Gun Hill to the quay at Burnham Overy Staithe with the incoming tide,  kayak a four mile course through creeks, cycle a 45 mile circular route on north Norfolk's most scenic roads then run eight miles across tracks, sand, mud and marsh. 

With my team mate, Sue Allen, we hope to £3000 for Wells Lifeboat which is manned entirely by volunteer crews. We'd love your support, so if you'd like to donate, please visit

I, and Mocha, would be very grateful!

Hugh Jamieson, Principal Designer, At Home Interiors, Norwich and Cambridge.

For more information please contact Hugh Jamieson 01603 520535

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Why clients should have a Love Interest...

'Hugh, I have fallen in love,' declared my client. 'Oh good...' I responded, a little uncertainly; this was not my usual Tuesday morning client/designer phone call. 

'Yes,' she continued, 'Page 21 of April's Homes & Gardens. I simply have to have that wallpaper!

Great interiors are a mix of good practical design and considered aesthetics - but also those elements that come from the heart to give a space warmth and personality.

In this case, passion came in the form of a Christian Lacroix wallpaper from Designers Guild, featured in the Hot House feature of one of my favourite glossy magazines. And I could understand my client's infatuation. The vibrant colours and striking design of 'Canopy' was truly stunning.

I acted immediately and ordered the required number of rolls, incorporating it into my finished design, using it on a feature wall in my client's dining area. 

I advised my client to go with a slightly softer colourway with a duck egg ground that complemented the rest of her home. The paper arrived at the At Home office the very next day, and was gracing the walls of my client's Norfolk retreat within the week.

So this was the latest wallpaper design, in the latest copy of H&G, in my latest design project. All quite a coup. But more than that, after months of renovations and 'nuts and bolts' planning, it signified one of the the personal finishing touches that set a home apart. Indeed, we pride ourselves on really listening to client's desires to give them the scheme they want. 

And of course, in life and decorating, it's always good to have a little love interest.

By Hugh Jamieson, Principal Designer, At Home interiors.
Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire.

Please visit our website.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

How great interior design can attract more clients to your business

I’m a designer, creating beautiful interiors that inspire and give pleasure. I’m not a plumber, a lawyer or top chef. If I wanted my loo fixed, a legal problem solved or a Michelin Starred meal, I would consult the experts.

So I am constantly surprised when business owners think interior design is something anyone can do – or they exist in bland spaces that say nothing of their skills, company values and overall ethos.  

People believe what the see, not what they hear. So if you say your company is forward-thinking and inspiring but your customers walk into a reception area that’s bland and out-dated, they simply won’t believe you.

Recently I met friends in a newly opened restaurant. While the food and staff were excellent, the interior jarred. The lighting was too bright, the furnishings mismatched, with a colour palette reminiscent of a cheap supermarket. This incohesive branding was out of kilter with the elegant food. It transpired that the owner had done his own decorating. While his cooking was fabulous, his taste in decor was not creating the ambience he’d hoped. Let’s just say we didn’t stay for pudding. 

So if you are creating a restaurant, a boutique hotel, a board room or reception area for your business, it’s crucial that the interior is consistent with your company branding. To coin two pertinent phrases: ‘Seeing is believing’ and ‘Each to his own’.

And as we all know, consulting the experts with ultimately save you money. At Home Interiors has access to trade accounts that you don’t. We tap into elements that are not available to the general public in terms of connections, resources and merchandise. Then we pull them all together to make your space unique.

And, like you, I know my trade. I understand when something wrong or right with a space, the result of 32 years of experience. I have rescued many a project that business-owners have tried to revamp, only to get frustrated when they’ve thrown money at it - then to find it’s still wrong, just in a different way

Your business space should reflect the heart of your company. And when it looks and feels right, you will attract the clients you desire.

by Hugh Jamieson, Principal Designer, At Home Interiors. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Interior design and architecture in perfect harmony

No man is an island, and that includes interior designers! We have recently completed this stunning contemporary design in Cambridge, collaborating closely with NRAP architects, who share our vision of creating vibrant, imaginative spaces that are a joy to inhabit.

The project was a simple late-Victorian villa that had been extended in the 1980s. The owners wanted to replace the existing garden room with a new space that could open up directly into the garden, and to refurbish the rest of the house.

At Home senior designer Diana Trower respected the clients’ wishes to retain the character of the original rooms at the front of the house and upstairs, while breathing new life into the kitchen and the stunning new garden room.

Diana planned and oversaw the installation and decoration of the new kitchen and living spaces, adding soft furnishings to the library and piano room. The owners wanted to retain their traditional paintings and here Diana expertly showcases her skill of mixing old and new, ensuring even the most contemporary space feels like a much loved home. White-stained birch ply was used to line the staircase, hallway, and kitchen units, to provide a calming flow.

At Home Principal Designer, Hugh Jamieson said: ‘We are the link between you and your architect or contractor. We speak their language and can head off design misses. We are delighted to have worked with NRAP and together we marry aesthetics and practicalities, which is crucial in managing the client’s time and money, and avoiding hassle and headaches.’

At Home Interior Design

NRAP Architects

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

10 reasons why you should hire a professional interior designer

The idea that interior designers are just for the rich and famous is as out-moded as the avocado bathroom suite. So I’m sharing my thoughts on how we can save you a great deal of time, money and hassle – and give you the home you’ve always dreamed of.

Clients approach us for a number of reasons: Some don’t know where to start, or need help understanding their personal style. Others have a crystal clear dream  - and just need all the strands pulling together. Most At Home clients have one thing in common – they are simply too busy to think about it!

‘Yes, of course you would say that’ I hear you mutter. But many’s the time I’ve rescued a project that the client had started themselves. They usually got into a mess juggling all the elements, or got part way through and realised their plans didn’t work but they couldn’t put their finger on why.

We’ve seen it so many times – at the first glitch, a client’s plan has gone out of the window and suddenly costs spiral. We ensure this won’t happen. Our professional assessment will lead to a solid plan of action. This effects the budget and helps you spend it more efficiently. We are trained to see and notice things that you may not.

We keep you on budget and save you time and effort – that’s a promise. We source everything, researching products, brands and prices. So you don’t have to.

We are the link between you and your architect or contractor; we speak their language and can head off design misses. We marry aesthetics and practicalities, crucial in managing time and money. For example, if your living room sofa is to be placed in the middle of the room, you want to make sure you have a floor plug in exactly the right spot.

In short, we have access to trade accounts that you don’t. We tap into elements that are not available to the general public in terms of connections, resources and merchandise. Then we pull them all together to make your space unique.

Finding good workmen is like searching for a coin down the back of a sofa. Then getting them all to work together, on time, without disappearing off to other jobs can lead to a full head of grey hair. We have built up a great team of skilled and reliable contractors, plumbers, electricians and carpenters, saving you time, heart-ache and many a sleepless night.

...The first impression is the ONLY impression a potential buyer will get, so make sure it sweeps them off their feet! We can add to the aesthetic of your home, which can increase showings and clinch a sale.

We know if something is wrong or right with a space, the result of years of experience. Often homeowners try to tackle problems themselves, and get frustrated when they’ve thrown money at it, only to find it’s still wrong, just in a different way.

We interpret your taste and ideas to create an interior that looks beautiful and feels right for you. We don’t impose our taste. Our skill is to enhance the space and the quality of your life, elevating your house into a home while telling your visual story. 

Please contact us to discuss your interior design project.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

I have a dream...

Every great design project starts with two things: A dream, and a decision to make it happen. 

So, if you've decided to turn your dream into a beautiful, livable reality, please contact us. 

Because we do all the hard work for you...

Technology that cooks your supper

This is SO cool. We are very excited to be working with Vimar, providers of home automation technology. 

Everything in your home can be controlled remotely, wherever you are, including lighting, heating, security and it will even cook supper! (Well, not quite, but if you leave your prepared dish in the oven, you can set it to cook before you arrive home).

Contact Hugh for more details or click the link to watch the excellent video that shows you exactly what this system is capable of.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Why Hugh is getting his kit off and becoming a Super Hero!

It's true. At Home's Principal Designer Hugh Jamieson has taken up the challenge to get his kit off - and on - four times in the space of a day! He and team mate Sue are in training for the Norfolk Super Hero Challenge, a gruelling test of stamina and fitness to raise cash for Wells Lifeboat.

The challenge requires teams to SWIM one mile, KAYAK for four miles, CYCLE for 45 miles and RUN for eight miles. As you can imagine, there are several fast-action kit changes to contend with (though sadly NOT a Superman cape) and a slick technique can save crucial seconds! Teams of two have entered, with combinations of mums and sons, dads and daughters, brothers, sisters, chums and spouses. Hugh is a member of the North Norfolk Wheelers cycling club and will be sporting the distinctive black and yellow kit during the challenge.

The challenge takes place on Saturday 6th June and the route meanders round the most beautiful parts of north Norfolk. Teams swim one mile from Gun Hill to the quay at Burnham Overy Staithe with the incoming tide,  kayak a four mile course through creeks, cycle a 45 mile circular route on north Norfolk's most scenic roads then run eight miles across tracks, sand, mud and marsh. 

Hugh and Sue hope to raise a massive £3000 for Wells Lifeboat which is manned by volunteer crews. If you would like to support them with a donation, please visit

Friday, 30 January 2015

The client doesn't have to know everything...

Sometimes you have to think round a problem: We were faced with getting a new bath into a bathroom of a house near Midsummer Common in central Cambridge. 

The new bath was much bigger than the one we took out (an old enamel roll top with feet) and would not fit through the bathroom door - it simply wasn't going to go! 

So... we ordered a fork-lift truck and lifted it directly into the bathroom through the front window. It caused quite a stir, and we are sure the neighbours enjoyed the show!

But the client did not need to know. It was not his problem, so why burden him with it?

We had the bath in and the fork lift was on its way back to Newmarket before the client arrived on site.

And that, of course, is the beauty of hiring a professional design team...

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Norfolk garden inspired by Mies Van de Rohe's 1929 Barcelona Pavilion

By At Home Principal Designer, Hugh Jamieson

The Barcelona Pavilion by Mies Van der Rohe,
with Georg Kolbe's sculpture 'Alba'
I was looking for inspiration for a small area of garden on a project in the genteel seaside town of Sheringham in north Norfolk. We had transformed a modest bungalow into a smart, contemporary dwelling – but the garden remained untouched.

I'd recently visited The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, and fell in love with its serene simplicity, and especially the way the inside space flowed seamlessly into the outside. With the Sheringham project in mind, I could imagine large glass doors folding back onto a similarly serene but useful outdoor living area. Just add a rill of gently flowing water and fabulous night time lighting to create a gorgeous ambience.

Serene and sunny: The finished garden area on the Sheringham project.
The rill provides the gentle movement of water with stunning
night time lighting.
Mies Van de Rohe’s German Pavilion was built for the 1929 International Exposition as ‘a zone of tranquility’ for the weary visitor; the architecture itself was the exhibit. After the exposition the German government couldn’t sell it so it was torn down, not even a year after completion, the materials sold to cover costs.

This travesty was realised in the 1960s; luckily there were many original photos and the pavilion was faithfully recreated, using the same extravagant materials such as marble and travertine and Mies Van der Rohe's ideal of modernity expressed through rigorous geometry, precision and clarity, was brought into being once more. The curves of Georg Kolbe’s sculpture ‘Alba’ was the only contrast to the geometric purity of the building.

This was exactly the feel I wanted for the Sheringham project – a mix of modern and ancient materials used sparingly to create a place of serenity, blurring inside and out.

We created a walled area, providing a sheltered, sunny nook in winter, while in summer the doors could slide open to create a huge inside/outside dining area – perfect for parties and warm evenings. The neutral colours reflect year round light into the building and respect the home's coastal setting.

I have learned much from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Like many of his post World War I contemporaries, he strove for simplicity and order, coining the phrases "less is more" and "God is in the details,” both of which apply to this minimalist 1929 structure – and many At Home Interiors projects too.

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