PROPERTY
Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine
JCA Interiors

Elegant dining

JCA Interiors Dining Room1

A beautiful dining room should give a sense of occasion and grandeur. Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors offers advice on designing the perfect entertaining space.



As dining rooms are typically used in the evening, there is an opportunity to use a moody, rich colour scheme in the interior design. Dark greys and taupes will always look elegant and provide the ideal backdrop for statement pieces of artwork or sculpture.

Dining room furniture must be practical and comfortable, as well as stylish. Chairs should be high quality and comfortably seat diners for a few hours over the course of an evening. When planning a dining room design consider the maximum number of chairs required. Some designs suit a set of matching chairs, while others can be enhanced by adding an oversized chair at either end of a table to add flair.

There is a multitude of beautiful fabrics to choose from when deciding on upholstery. Adding studded details or a spectacular fabric to the backs of chairs will create a very special design and take a room to the next level.
For added flexibility in a dining room consider buying an extendable table. This will offer a good solution for entertaining six people of an evening and then twelve at Christmas. Having options is always helpful, however, be sure to have enough stylish dining chairs so the look is cohesive whatever the occasion.

Commissioning a bespoke dining table is the perfect way to make a dining room an incredibly special place. A stunning table made out of luxury materials such as beautiful hardwoods, possibly with marquetry or inlay, is the ideal focal point in a room and will be a great investment piece that can be passed down through generations.

A matching credenza will also add to the luxurious style and is very useful for storing tableware, glasses, cutlery and table linen. It can also be an anchor piece within the room making the dining space feel more complete, rather than just having a table and chairs.

To further enhance a design, effective lighting is essential. Mood lighting will help to create atmosphere, while statement lights such as crystal chandeliers hung over the table will create drama. Depending on the length of the dining table, consider hanging two or three statement light pieces above. This can work well and give the room an even more striking appearance.

When designing a room it is important not to overlook accessories and finishing touches that complete the design. Accessories are like jewellery and rooms can feel bare without them. Dressing the table in a stylish way is the icing on the cake and can transform the space. There are many choices of tableware and it is really down to personal preference. Just ensure it complements the overall design. Finish with a large, beautiful floral arrangement placed centrally on the table or perhaps place three smaller vases with roses down the length of it to elongate the room.

A stunning dining room should be an uplifting, dramatic and elegant space: a place to invite friends and family, a room which can be enjoyed by all and which makes special occasions even more memorable.


JCA Interiors
Jenny Allan is founder of interior design company JCA Interiors
Telephone: 020 3714 9325
Email: info@jcainteriors.co.uk
Website: www.jcainteriors.co.uk

Making and entrance

Entrance hall essence

Entrance halls offer the chance to make a statement, to set the scene for the rest of the home. Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors explains how to make sure this area gives that great first impression.


When designing a whole house the entrance hall is always the first place to start as it is the central pivotal point of the home and sets the scene for the rest of the design.

The style must be cohesive with other principal rooms which lead from the hall as there will be internal vistas through to those rooms when doors are open.

An essential part of creating a stunning entrance area is an impressive front door and it should look good from the inside as much as outside. It must be in proportion and complement the architecture of the property whilst being inline stylistically with the rest of the interior.

A further essential consideration, at the central core of the property, is the staircase which has the ability to be an incredible design feature. A multitude of choices are available in all different finishes: from floating wooden treads to marble helical staircases, there is an opportunity to create a real statement feature that will be the focal point of the house.

Good lighting is also critical in the successful design of an entrance hall. A chandelier or modern piece of designer lighting creates impact and can make a powerful first impression. The proportions of double height entrance halls should be enhanced by this feature light which encourages the eye to be drawn upward, emphasising the height and space on show. Further wall lights or downlighters can be incorporated to balance the powerful centrepiece ensuring all areas have adequate light.

Creating a flow through the house is an important part of an effective design. This should be felt from the moment the front door is opened and furniture selection in an entrance hall is a key part of this. Mirror the shape of the hall with a console or central table which is attractive, but easy to walk around. If the hallway is a large area, it is important for the space not to feel empty and sparse, so ensure there is enough furniture and features to make it feel homely. In some cases it may be appropriate to add a seating area or even a grand piano to complete the design.

The entrance hall can be an ideal place for prized pieces of artwork or sculpture as there will be enough space around them so they are displayed and shown in their best light. Adding these pieces will offer the perfect finishing touches to an area of the house which has the potential to ‘wow’ visitors and create a stunning first impression.

Elegant, characterful or imposing, perhaps a mixture of the three, there is a myriad of options for creating a successful entrance hall, but just ensure it relates in a holistic way to the interior design of the rest of the house.

JCA Interiors
Jenny Allan is founder of interior design company JCA Interiors
Telephone: 020 3714 9325
Email: info@jcainteriors.co.uk
Website: www.jcainteriors.co.uk

Autumn style

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Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors offers advice on how to keep home interiors on trend this autumn.


The current go-to theme for interior wall colours is grey: think winter morning grey with a hint of taupe. Its understated and sophisticated shades make it a very versatile colour that works as the optimal back drop for most rooms. Greys can be warmed or cooled depending on the combination of colours chosen and their tone will also vary according to the amount of light in a room.

As an on trend accent colour which can be combined with grey, midnight blue is the ideal companion. Relaxing, calming and sophisticated, midnight blue is the perfect way to add a touch of colour to an interior. Use it for velvet cushions, decorative accessories or for a bolder look on walls or as a curtain fabric. Other autumnal hues that combine beautifully with grey are rusty orange tones. Think burnt orange, russet or chestnut to add warmth to a space and give a room a cosy, inviting glow.

Warm tones even continue into metallics with copper and brass being the go-to metals this season. They can be implemented in varying degrees from decorative accessories to a nest of side tables or a coffee table depending on the type of interior.

This autumn’s throws, rugs and cushions are plush, sumptuous textures such as faux fur and velvet which combine well with the beautiful blues and stylish greys. Choosing a mixture of soft, warm textures to layer throughout a scheme will add depth to a room. Drape fur throws over the end of a bed or sofa as the finishing touch to a room’s design.

There’s an air of nature about this season’s interior design: think country home with an urban twist. With dove grey, mocha and taupe tones, materials of the moment are rustic and natural such as worn woods, chunky knits and herringbone tweeds, ideal for a cosy, comfortable autumn interior.

Warm wools and traditional tartan are also very fashionable, ideal for upholstery and will combine well with other on trend pieces. Mulberry Home has some beautiful tartan accessories that will blend with every autumn colour scheme.

Inspired by The Great Gatsby and Downton Abbey, art deco furniture pieces with opulent metallic tones are currently in vogue and add a certain glamour to any interior. The bold geometric shapes, often arranged in symmetrical patterns, work well in modern and traditional homes giving an atmospheric hint of the roaring twenties.

Another autumn theme is the statement chair, the perfect place to curl up by the fire and read a good book as days grow colder and nights draw in. From high wing backed chairs to a simple occasional chair, a pair of statement chairs will create maximum impact and make a fashionable but also timeless addition to any home. Upholster in tartan, herringbone tweed or fine wool to create the ultimate autumnal design piece.

This autumn’s interior trends will suit all types of homes making September the ideal time to redesign and transform an interior.

JCA Interiors
Jenny Allan is founder of interior design company JCA Interiors
Telephone: 020 3714 9325
Email: info@jcainteriors.co.uk
Website: www.jcainteriors.co.uk

Summer living

Sea and rattan furniture blue cushions

A new season deserves a new look; Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors explains how interior and exterior spaces of any home can be adapted to make the most of long summer days.


An effective interior design should mean that rooms can be changed easily to fit the current season. When creating a summer time feel, draw inspiration from outdoors, beach holidays and florals. Light, bright interiors with natural materials and a seasonal palette will make a home feel ready for the warm months ahead.

Small changes can transform rooms such as replacing velvet cushion covers with linen and packing away fur throws and heavy duvets. Darker colours should make way for whites and sand tones as using large amounts of white fabric can help to convert a room from a cosy winter space to an airy summer sanctuary.

Blue accent colours can really bring a seaside or tropical feel to an interior, from turquoise to azure from sky blue to navy, blue is very on trend this season, so look to include it within the updated design. Evoke memories of blue skies from summer holidays with bright blue accessories or layer different shades of blue cushions on a white sofa to create a fresh summer vibe.

Simple touches such as changing artwork to beach or floral themes will be an instant update that can easily be swapped or moved around once the season changes. Floral arrangements will also affect the feel of a room, so choose a summer bouquet with roses, peonies or hydrangeas to start the summertime transformation. For more summery additions, accessorise with items such as white ceramic vases, resin coral and mother of pearl photo frames to create a beautiful glamorous feel.

Given that most of us prefer to spend time outside during summer, designing the perfect garden retreat is essential to making the most of sunny days and warm, balmy evenings. Updating terraces and outdoor seating areas with interior qualities will create an exterior ‘room’ that will be a pleasure to sit in. Rattan is a popular choice as it is stylish and weatherproof, however, metal or teak furniture also suit a more traditionally designed home.

Consider the layout of outdoor seating areas in the same way an interior room would be designed. The space would ideally have an eating area, seating space and loungers for sunbathing, so almost three rooms in one! Clever, subtle lighting with the addition of outdoor warmth such as a gel fire will look inviting in the evening and can be used to bring the outdoor design together, creating a cosy atmosphere.
Accessorising a terrace as an interior really helps to make it a beautiful, attractive area. Brightly coloured cushions or fabrics with patterns such as chevrons can lift the space and add vibrancy. Adding a selection of coloured glassware and jugs to the table and a bright summer floral bouquet will also bring it to life and offer a holiday feel.

These changes to the interior design and outside space will ensure that a home adapts to brighter, longer days and feels perfect for enjoying summer living throughout the warmer months.

JCA Interiors
Jenny Allan is founder of interior design company JCA Interiors
Telephone: 020 3714 9325
Email: info@jcainteriors.co.uk
Website: www.jcainteriors.co.uk

The home office

Home office

A beautiful home office can increase productivity and be a really uplifting space. Jenny Allan from JCA Interiors looks into the best ways to create this.


Home offices have the potential to be fantastic rooms and they can be designed in certain ways to improve workflow and efficiency. Careful consideration and design are key to making the space a success. Obviously the real star of the show in an office is the desk and the bigger or more ornate it is the more impressive it will appear. Spend time considering the desk materials, as they should be included throughout the design within the shelving or other units to make the space cohesive. Make sure the desk is relative to the room size and is in the best position for lighting, ideally near a window. If possible, position the desk facing a view as this a real bonus and can bring a sense of calm to the working environment, encouraging positive workflow.

Comfort should be a top priority in the selection of office furniture, with desk and chair heights needing to work perfectly together. Look for ergonomically designed chairs and perhaps invest in a bespoke desk made to the perfect height. As Coco Chanel said, “luxury must be comfortable otherwise it is not luxury”.

For further comfort, if space allows, include a more relaxed, informal living area with sofas and cushions, perhaps even adding a fireplace. This space is then ideal for encouraging creative thinking or watching TV to chill out while having a break.

Fabrics play a large part in comfort and design while creating a sense of luxury. Leathers and velvets work well and have a timeless, elegant appeal, which will always be inviting.

Consider the colour scheme carefully as different colours create different effects. Neutral colours are usually best as they provide a calming backdrop, which is easy to work in. Navies and darker shades create a more dramatic appearance while lighter colours of creams, sands and greys can make the space seem bigger and more airy. It all depends on the size, location and natural lighting in the room.

The real secret to a beautiful home office is storage. Everyone accumulates more items each day and having a place to store all paperwork, stationary, electronic equipment and files is key. We usually recommend having cupboards with beautiful doors built into the office as this will hide unsightly but necessary items, while having open shelving to display treasured possessions such as family photos, ornaments or awards. For these items, which are on display, attention to detail is important when bringing the space together and finalising the room. Specifically selected and correctly positioned decorative items can give a stylish, polished look while being personal and homely.

When a home office is well designed it will be comfortable, functional and luxurious, three elements conducive to getting work done.

JCA Interiors
Jenny Allan is founder of interior design company JCA Interiors
Telephone: 020 3714 9325
Email: info@jcainteriors.co.uk
Website: www.jcainteriors.co.uk