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Q&A about interior design with wallpaperdirect co-founder Melanie Adams - ANSWERS BACK

(47 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Sep-13 16:51:18

Melanie Adams is joining us this week to answer all your questions on interior design.

Melanie has worked in interiors for over twenty years and has a huge passion for colour and design. In 2000, she co-founded, the first online wallpaper web shop. She went on to launch in 2002, again a first in internet selling. Melanie travels throughout the world to select products this experience has given her an extensive knowledge of wallpaper and other interiors, trends and designs. Post your questions to Melanie before midday on Tuesday 24th September and we'll post up her answers on 1st October.

This Q&A is sponsored by

Herhonesty Wed 18-Sep-13 19:25:33

well the obvious one is "are feature walls over".... discuss

milliemoomay Thu 19-Sep-13 07:12:02

Hi Melanie,

The new house which I'm buying has an old fashioned brick fireplace with a gas fire. I'd like to get one of those sleek fires which are inset into the wall - sort of like this:

I'm stuck though with finding something similar which doesn't cost a fortune. Do you have any money saving ideas of how I can achieve that look?

I like the idea too of the panels but not so keen on the colour of the wood. Also my new living room isn't as big so I'd be worried that it would swamp it. What would you suggest as a background?

Thanks in advance smile

gazzalw Thu 19-Sep-13 09:57:20

Hi Melanie

We have promised DD (8) that we will decorate her tiny (box room) soon. Could you suggest some funky ideas (with on trend colours), including possibly a wallpaper (one or all walls - what would look best in a very small room?), which will carry her up to teens, without costing a fortune?

Also, we need a narrow adult sized bed to fit too...can you suggest any that are cheap(ish) or would it be cheaper to have one 'built-in'?


thethighshaveit Thu 19-Sep-13 11:52:48

Hi Melanie
I live in a 1960s house with very large rooms and I hate it (I appreciate how ungrateful this sounds but I can't help it!). I long for small cozy rooms but for practical reasons we are staying put. I like rooms to look light and bright so dark walls are not really an option. Do you have any ideas for making big rooms cozy?

MummytoMog Thu 19-Sep-13 13:56:49

Hi Melanie,

I put up some pretty expensive Sanderson wallpaper myself a year or so ago and now the edges are peeling - what should I have done in the first place so this didn't happen, and how can I fix it?


aristocat Thu 19-Sep-13 14:08:20


I am in a dilemma with my Lounge window.

It is a huge bay which almost covers one wall. I currently have curtains but would like some ideas that are not just blinds, I also need privacy (faces the road) and something that will not darken the room.

Please help smile Thank you.

VelvetStrider Thu 19-Sep-13 14:13:26

Ooh fantastic! Hi Melanie!

My question is about paint not wallpaper. I am planning on painting my bedroom soon (have only lived in this house 12 years, and not got around to it yet! blush). It's a large Victorian room with original decorative cornicing and 10 foot high ceilings. I have decided on dark grey for the walls (Albany Slate) and would quite like to have a coloured ceiling, and the woodwork, cornicing and possibly the bit of wall above the picture rail in off-white or cream. I want quite an atmospheric, dramatic look and I'm not keen on pale pastel colours.

What colour would you suggest for the ceiling? I quite fancy either red or a teal or olive green but I'm a bit stuck as to how dark or light a colour would look best - should it be similar or contrasting to the walls? Also the ceiling has a textured paper on it, not woodchip but not flat either, and I can't afford to replaster at the moment. Would matt paint or something with a sheen look better? Any other advice on getting the look I'm after?

Many thanks! smile

deliakate Thu 19-Sep-13 18:01:01

Hi Melanie. What are the current trends in carpet colour - specifically for stairs and landing? I don't want it to date too fast (10 years ish) and it can't be too dark, as we don't have masses of light in that area. Thank you.

LaVitaBellissima Thu 19-Sep-13 22:00:52

Hi Melanie, I have a very large wooden summer house/shed type thing 6m x3m it is filled with junk at the moment but I'd love to turn it into a useable space, possibly a playroom. I could get an electrician to put in sockets and lighting but I'd love ideas of how to decorate a room like this, should I paint it, put flooring/carpet down. I really need help smile

jenny77 Fri 20-Sep-13 16:33:11

Is it a fire risk to wallpaper a wall with a stove in it? If so is there a way of negating the risk?

jenny77 Fri 20-Sep-13 16:34:08

I meant to say Hello Melanie first!grin

Bumpstarter Fri 20-Sep-13 22:06:22

I have a landlord that insists on 'neutral colours' for any redecorations.

The previous tenant got away with chocolate for the mantelpiece... Yuk

And grim grey in the north facing front room, which I find a bit depressing. Can you recommend any tones which would count as 'neutral' but would be uplifting for a north facing room?

Most of the flat is magnolia, which I am happy with but would like the front room to be a different colour.


AngelsWithSilverWings Sat 21-Sep-13 07:38:53

Hi Melanie,

I am in the process of redecorating my front living room. I have chosen a wall paper with a camomile background ( Laura Ashley Millwood) and am painting the walls in a natural stone colour. I've been wondering what colour to use as an accent colour for throws and cushions.

I'm worried that the overall look will be too beige without a nice bright colour. It's a lovely sunny south facing room with lots of natural light.

Thank you!

itried Sat 21-Sep-13 18:50:38

Hi Melanie,

Can you suggest a grey that is not drab?. High ceilinged room in Victorian house. Stripped floors. 'Tis all!

camtt Sat 21-Sep-13 19:49:44

Hi Melanie

I have a sitting room with quite a low ceiling, and north facing. It's a decent sized room and our main family room. Can you suggest a colour scheme that won't be too cold (but not cream - it's cream now and I don't think it works), will bring in light, and wear pretty well bearing in mind three messy children

MousyMouse Sat 21-Sep-13 22:10:45

we are redecorating, replacing carpets in living room.
dh and I are not agreeing. I like carpet (warmer, less dust in the air) he wants laminate (of all things!). floor boards not an option as very cold from the cellar.
is there a a middle ground?
(victorian house, currently with badly stained light wool carpet)

SilveryMoon Sat 21-Sep-13 22:18:25

Hi Melanie.
I'm bored and really need to revamp my living room. It is magnolia at the moment, black sofas, dark wood dining table and pale coloured coffee table. I think the room needs something to make it feel a bit more homely, but have no idea what to do. I am not very good with colours or matching items.
Sometimes I think a nice raspberry colour on one wall or maybe a shade darker than magnolia, and what to do about cushions? Curtains? We don't keep ornaments and nick-nacks so can only bring in colours in furnishings. Floor is laminate

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 21-Sep-13 22:26:52

Hi Melanie, I would love to know why wallpaper companies don't commission more vintage style/traditional wallpapers for children's rooms?

I mean the type which was popular in the 30, 40s, 50s and 60s....very graphic...very pretty prints with novelty type images on them? I could buy them from certain stores in the USA which do re-prints of old styles...but not in the UK!

I am tired of flowers and hearts and stripes...I want balloons, little bo peep or toadstools! grin

ChiefToiletRollChanger Sun 22-Sep-13 06:42:50

Hello Melanie
We're about to renovate a fairy large kitchen. We estimate that a quartz top would cost about £10k and that hurts. We've discounted wood for various reasons. Are laminated worktops a complete no-no? Thank you.

ChiefToiletRollChanger Sun 22-Sep-13 16:06:36

ahem, it's a fairly large kitchen

KarenRChenard Mon 23-Sep-13 01:37:06

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Needanewsofa Mon 23-Sep-13 09:50:04

Hello Melanie
I'm having a decor challenge - our bedroom has sloping ceilings on 2 sides as its in the converted roof of our chalet bungalow. We also have wonderful French windows with a Juliet balcony with fab views, magnolia walls and the carpet (only 5 years old) is deep chocolate brown!
I want to inject some colour (thinking dusky reds and oranges) as the walls are magnolia but I'm worried that a feature wall behind the bed will look odd as the wall is marginally lower than the brass bedstead, so it's about 4 inches away from the wall to allow for the height.
Any thoughts? Should we wallpaper or paint all the walls, or just the low wall behind the bed?
Thank you

domesticslattern Mon 23-Sep-13 13:23:06

Hi Melanie
We have a combined kitchen/ living room. How would you recommend we make it look like two areas, not a sofa shoved in the kitchen? We're particularly struggling with flooring as we can start from scratch but i'm worried about making an expensive mistake! Total floor space is only about 28sqm. Also, the living room end has bi fold doors to the garden, would curtains look weird? Would be so expensive as giant.

fossil971 Tue 24-Sep-13 00:14:05

I've got a living room to decorate in our cottagey house. Antique pine floor and doors/woodwork. Brick fireplace and woodburner. Brown battered leather sofas: all of these to stay. I would like to inject a bit of slightly more contemporary colour without losing the cosy feel of the room. It's dual aspect north/south, but not immensely light. If I paint the walls cream again it just seems so predictable. We like a natural, comfortable look but with some art and colour/pattern as well.

I've got a roll of this fabric for curtains and Roman blinds. I like it but I realise it is a bit similar in tone to the flooring - maybe a bit samey?

Could you recommend any paint colours for walls, a large rug, acccents etc, maybe to bring out some mauve/grey tones? I think wallpaper would be difficult as the walls have a slightly rough plaster finish.

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