Latest Lighting Trends - Winter 2020

As the clocks go back and the days become shorter, darker mornings and evenings will return and less natural light will illuminate our homes each day. In these cold and dark winter months, it's more essential than ever to invest in excellent lighting features to brighten your days and your home. From glass chandeliers to metal sconces to extravagant lamps, here are our top lighting picks for Winter 2020.


Organic Materials
A trend popular across the entire interior design world, using natural materials like wood and stone are seriously on-trend. Utilise this feature for modern chandeliers with a rustic touch or combine with beautiful linen shades for table and floor lamps. These organic pieces will add a natural yet unique look and feel to your rooms keeping them grounded in earthy tones. - Large Round Wooden Orb Chandelier - £549.00 - Terracotta Two Tone Stone Textured Lamp with Beige Shade - £64.00


Modern Brass
Brass light fixtures deliver a modern take on traditional metals. With a choice of matte or high shine finish, the warm tones of brass pendants and chandeliers add a subtle but elegant aspect to your rooms. Pair with natural materials and textures like marble and dark woods for a sophisticated yet warm feel as we head into the cold, winter months. Trident Brass Ceiling Light Pendant - £90 - Brass Wall Light - £145.00

Feature Pieces
Bigger is better as we head into the winter months. Rather than being a purely functional aspect of your home, lighting is a major design element within your rooms. Make a feature out of big, dramatic, bold pieces like oversized ceiling lights and extravagant table lamps to add a touch of modernity to your space while creating plenty of light for dark winter evenings. – Large Industrial Pendant Lamp Fresy - £134.10 – Helston Chandelier Large Ceiling Light - £425.00


Lighting can be the missing link which ties a room together, as you can manipulate your home's atmosphere through where you position your lights and which fixtures you use. Combining functionality and art, utilise your lamps, lampshades, chandeliers and even bulbs to create a statement as they illuminate your home.

Dressing Your Table for Christmas Day

Just as important as decorating your house, decorating your table for the all-important Christmas dinner is an essential part of festive home design. With some unique and special touches, your dining table can become a central feature of your room and set the atmosphere for the big day.


Garland Runner
Rather than a traditional table runner made of cloth, opt for the much more festive option of a garland. Use tinsel or a fir tree garland (real or fake) draped along the centre, plus add some pinecones and cinnamon sticks for a truly Christmassy feel.


Dried Orange Slices
Why not add some dried orange slices to the mix? Not only will they brighten your table, but they'll also make it smell warm and fruity. If table gifts are your thing, tie your dried orange slices onto the presents for a more interesting addition to your wrapping than paper labels. Fun, festive and fruity!


Don't Just Decorate the Table!
Add a special touch to your chairs as well as your table by adding fir tree wreaths, reindeer ornaments and raw-edge ribbon to the backs. Plus for festive practicality as well as festive cheer, write the names of your guests on tags to show where they'll be sat.


Go Vintage
Though your day will be filled with new memories and new gifts, add some old with vintage additions to your table. Hunt down antique baubles, vintage style paper and a retro nutcracker or two for a classic, elegant spread.


If you can't find the perfect pieces to decorate your table with, take the holiday season to hone your DIY skills and craft the exact accessories you're looking for - dry your orange slices, cut your fir-tree garland and create your own ornaments. However, you decorate your dining table, make it look, smell and feel unique and beautifully festive to compliment your Christmas dinner.

Bringing the Outdoors Inside

Is there something missing from your room? A pop of colour? A touch of vibrancy? Add a house plant! Indoor plants are organic, free form and clean, whether you choose small succulents, ornamental orchids or potted trees, and their life span are much longer than that of cut flowers.


When choosing a plant to suit your room, it's important to take a few things into account. First, the container: consider that the pot you place your plant in should match the plant itself, as well as the room it's in. Second, remember that your plant needs light, so place it in a spot that looks good for you and does good for your plant! Finally, and most important, what plant should you choose? Here are my personal recommendations for your new house plant.

Areca Palm

  • Areca palms start small but grow big – make sure you have a pot big enough to house your palm
  • Make a statement - their elegant, long leaves add a tropical vibe to any room


Boston Fern

  • Perfect for your bathroom – Boston ferns love humidity, so they'll work excellently in your shower room or downstairs loo for a beautiful burst of green colour
  • Clean the air – like other house plants, Boston ferns clean toxins from the air to purify your space



  • An inexpensive addition – as Monstera are fairly inexpensive to buy and grow quickly, they'll soon be an excellent statement feature in your home
  • Instantly recognisable – Monstera have become popular in recent years due to the iconic shape of their beautiful leaves


So, for your next home accessory choose a house plant. It will freshen up your home, improve your air quality and can even aid in reducing stress!

Crafting a Cosy Fireplace

Those warm and cosy winter nights are just around the corner and decorating your fireplace will make your living room even cosier. Not every house has one, but any mantlepiece, shelving or side table can be accessorised using the same principles!

Candles Galore

Some fireplaces are merely decorative, so adding candles will add fire to your fireplace in a toned down, cosy way. Not only will they look good, but they'll also smell good! As we head into the festive season, choose warm cinnamon or fir tree scents to really create some Christmassy vibes.

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Choosing a specific colour or colour theme to decorate your fireplace is the easiest and most effective way to create a mood in your room. Aside from the classic Christmas green and red, introducing white to your mantlepiece with white candles, stockings and garlands creates a clean, modern take on a festive colour palette. Plus, it will feel as though Jack Frost has swept some winter snow into your home.

Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Flowers and indoor plants are the obvious choice for brightening up any surface, making it feel fresh and smell delightful. But Christmas calls for something a little different. Adding tiny Christmas trees to your mantlepiece are a unique and extremely cute way to make your fireplace full of festive cheer.


However you decide to accessorise your fireplace this festive season keep it warm, cosy and personal to you. As the focal point of your room it's important that your fireplace and mantel reflect you, and make you happy within your home.

"The Secret Garden" – New Scented Candle from Natasha Rocca Devine and La Bougie

Ireland's leading interior staging specialist Natasha Rocca Devine, also famous for heading “The Interiors NRD”, has just launched her own signature scented candle titled “The Secret Garden”, in collaboration with Cork-based candlemakers La Bougie.

Image by Barry McCall via

Taking over six months to curate, “The Secret Garden” candle has been a labour of love for Natasha, who is realising her dream of designing home accessories and fragrances, having worked in the property and home staging business for over a decade in Los Angeles, London and Dublin. Natasha spent several months designing the candle and curating the perfect scent to match her vision, alongside professional perfumier Lucy Hagerty, owner of La Bougie candles.

“As we are in a time of COVID-19 with limited access outdoors, particularly to those who do not have a garden, I wanted The Secret Garden candle to be inspired by nature and the outdoors, named after my favourite childhood book and love of outdoors," Natasha says of curating the scent and design of the candle. "It was an important factor to work with an Irish company – La Bougie and the teams involved from design to photography alike, to support local businesses during this time in history.”

Natasha describes that the scent pays tribute to “the serenity and scents of nature,” and the way it has the power to soothe and relax; “a balm to the chaos of everyday life.” Having lived abroad in city apartments with no garden facilities, combined with my work on empty units on building sites, Natasha states that she appreciates the innate power and pleasure of a candle, the joy of a comforting, welcoming scent in a home, or show home. The ritual of lighting a candle and taking time out to relax, unwind and entertain inside is one of life’s little luxuries.

Interestingly the recyclable glass, a distinctive luxurious green with gold feathered-fans, is designed to re-use, following Natasha's "wish to encourage others to create their own calming ‘Secret Garden’", whether it is for plants, paintbrushes or make-up brushes, stationary. "Sustainability and recycling," Natasha states are at the forefront of this and all of her work.

The candle has been created by combing vintage fragrance scents with modern-day 'garden’ notes to remind fragrance lovers of the beauty of nature and the importance of serenity. "The Secret Garden" candle is made from La Bougie’s unique rapeseed blend of wax and cotton wicks and has a burn time of 50 hours. The fragrance notes are; top note of Lavender and raspberry leaf, a mid note of Honey, and base notes of tonka bean and musk.

"The Secret Garden" candle is available on Natasha’s website priced at €30 for a 30ml glass.

A Lockdown Success by Cranberryhome

Milton Keynes based Cranberryhome, an HSA Member, is a leading Interior Design and Home Staging company that has been providing services that help to sell properties for years now.

Hugo Fleming, a House Doctor Consultant, is the Design Director behind the company's success and has shared with us their latest successful project, which turned out to be another fantastic lockdown case.

Cranberryhome's clients Alan and Gayle, from Ontario, Canada, were thrilled to share their review about working with Hugo and his team:

"We have just sold our flat in Bletchley, which was no mean feat as we live in Canada. Hugo (Cranberryhome) handled everything for us, from an initial inspection, disposal of furniture, redecoration, replacement of carpets and staging with new furniture etc. And we didn't have to leave Canada. We had a great offer within 2 weeks of posting it with a local Estate Agent, recommended by Hugo who actually got us 3 estimates. We can't speak more highly for the service provided by Cranberryhome and would recommend them anytime. Thanks Hugo and the team." - Alan & Gayle, Ontario

Stats for this property are as follows:

  • Valued at £210k £230 and £240K by 3 agents
  • Clients chose Agent at £240K and took Cranberryhome's advice to sell with the furniture package of £2400. Sold in 2 weeks with furniture for £235k
  • 2 near identical flats in the same block were on for £200k and £210k and were still for sale last time we looked and were on the market before our apartment having already taken a lower asking price suggestion from agents.

Huge success during difficult times - it's the power of Home Staging in numbers!

Want to learn more about Cranberryhome and how they can assist you with your property? Please visit their website:

Case Study: Pearl Home Design

I got approached by an investor I worked with in the past to furnish this one-bedroom apartment in Leeds. Designs were created to target working professionals and Pearl Home Design was able to fully stage as Airbnb.

New interior design trends, that are warm, natural neutral was put together, emphasising a homely and cosy feel. The inviting arrangement of furniture in this apartment made a very good first impression as the room gain more space. The advantage of this apartment is beautiful, natural light. The aim of my home staging was to use it to the maximum.

Decorations were used to transform the space into a stunning holiday home. Subtle and smart this is what you need for Airbnb. As a result, the property received 30-day bookings just after listing on Airbnb.

Testimonial from the client:

I worked with Marta for 3 projects in the past 6 months. I occasionally found her online, had a brief call with her, and thought to give it a go. Marta was hands-on, responsible and always pushed extra miles to deliver the best result with our budget in a timely manner. Although Covid has a big hit in our biz, our biz has been so blessed by far and one of the reasons has to be the nice work from Marta so we barely have our property vacant. I believe the business relationship with Marta is ongoing and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to work together very soon.


Learn more about Marta and her work at Pearl Home Design at



Staging of a Family Home For Sale in Blackrock, County Dublin

Marshall Properties was asked to Stage and then sell this family home in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

Despite being a 4 – 5 bedroom detached family home, the original small kitchen allowed little or no space for family dining. This was resolved, relatively inexpensively, by installing a new breakfast bar which now comfortably accommodates 4 diners. This bar surface was then continued around the rest of the kitchen. The original footprint of the entrance hall was so limited that the original front door had to operate as a sliding door.

The hall was extended out into what was the outer porch and a new “proper” front door was installed. The bathroom was also reconfigured and despite its simplicity, the transformation was impressive. The ground floor bedroom was staged as a study. The backdrop to everything was kept neutral to appeal to the widest market.

The staging did the rest. The property quickly sold (and before others in the same area which had already been on the market) and for about €100,000 above the expected result!


Beyond the Frame - The Power of Education in Home Staging

The way you sell your home is very different from the way you live in your home. Home staging professionals offer a thoughtful approach to interiors, creating lifestyle clients may be unable to imagine for themselves. A rich market, the possibilities for establishing a portfolio are greater than ever. An industry-focused HSA approved education programme will equip you with the expertise to stand out from the crowd.


Education broadens our perspectives and develops a greater sense of stagings’ goals. Whether you are a new stager looking to gain more credibility or are seeking official certification of your masterly performance, the HSA has set in motion a two-part accreditation enterprise. Suitable for stagers and education providers, the scheme is a powerful academic force, a hub of the very best in professional development.


The HSA believes education strengthens performance and increases client satisfaction. Challenging stagers on multiple levels including difference, inclusion and access, education instils a mind-set in tune with a range of demographics. Further to this, a logistical approach that oozes dynamism proves your skillset to clients.


Business sense and creative integrity are mutually reinforcing, as a concept, home staging is no longer exclusive, yet this need not reflect your service. Drawing on the experience of accredited educators, or, becoming an accredited stager yourself dramatically improves your standing amongst competitors, a sure sign of your dedication to a quality result and reflective of your creative credentials.


With an extensive background in Coaching and offering an impressive knowledge of the luxury property market, the founder of Lemon and Lime Interiors, Elaine Penhaul has been welcomed to the HSA as Senior Advisor for Coaching and Professional Development. Elaine provides further nuance to the organisation, in a journey which places the HSA at the very heart of home staging education, a gatekeeper of its kind.


In the context of a post-pandemic market, staging expertise holds real value. A sprawling plane of opportunity to increase your credentials and help sellers boost the appeal of their homes unfolds where house prices fall. And so, professionalising your home staging efforts acts a means to capitalise on the ebb and flow of the property market.


Home Staging Association accredited courses can be found on our website, each selected for their standout attributes, increasing your knowledge of subject matter and enforcing a broader picture of the field. Alternatively, you can apply to become an accredited member, a long-term investment in your business and mark of your contribution to the industry.

How to Dress a Blank Wall

From shelves to mirrors to photos to tapestries, we take you through the best ways to dress up any blank wall.


The most basic way to decorate a blank wall: hang some artwork on it. From large canvases to metalwork sculptures, to minimalist prints, the pieces you choose will alter the look and feel of your room. Use the rule of three to hang three similar, large pieces across the wall, or go even further with an entire gallery wall of prints and photos to turn your blank wall into an interior design collage; grouping artwork is a simple way to create a big impact.


Get blankets, tapestries or quilts out of your cupboard and onto your wall. Wall hangings create a relaxed, bohemian vibe and can be coordinated with your room's upholstery for cohesion within your space. Large textiles can cover your blank walls in cover, without having to commit to painting or wallpapering; if you redecorate, simply exchange your wall hanging for one which better suits your room's new design.


Hang a large mirror, or even a collection of smaller ones, across your blank wall to instantly add depth to your space, making your rooms feel larger and brighter. With different shapes, frames and sizes, mirrors are an interesting and functional decoration for your walls. Either hang them up at head height or prop them against the wall for a more relaxed look.

Photo Wall
Showcase your memories by hanging photos of family and friends all over your blank wall. Print your favourite images to create your spread, then add further character by choosing a variety of frames to display them in. Mixing up frames of different sizes, colours and materials will turn your wall of photos into a stunning statement, instantly adding character to your home and making it unique to you. For an elegant, minimalist feel, display your pictures in black and white to create cohesion across your photo wall.


Hanging multiple pieces across your wall can be nerve-wracking, so why not opt for floating shelves instead. An alternative to the gallery wall, arranging your art on shelves will create one gallery line of pieces and allow you to decorate with small objects like plants and vases as well as prints, photos and paintings. Plus, if you want to change your wall, simply swap out the art and objects sat on your shelves for new ones and rearrange easily whenever you like.

Like a blank canvas, a blank wall is a perfect opportunity to add artistic flair to your room if you dress it up in the right way. However, you style your wall, put your own personal touch on it to make your home unique, homely and stylish.