The element of Drama is essential in great interior design

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Elegant and dramatic entrance hall

What is a design scheme without some drama? I believe it is essential and its pretty unlikely you will see a design of mine without it. To explore why I feel drama is essential to my designs is first understand that to me, there are interiors and then there are interiors. There are interiors, which are just, well, pleasant and then there are those that cause a sharp intake of breath, in other words cause physical stimulation. I subscribe to the second, I mean, why wouldn’t you? To create, is to make something unique that would not naturally occur, so as a designer can I really describe myself as creative if I am just producing the ordinary? See my point. It makes sense to me that to create a truly fabulous space some drama is required if we are to illicit that emotion.

Drama  ‘any situation having vivid, emotional, conflicting or striking interest’ (Definition)

It’s that feeling you get when you discover a compelling interior, when you really feel drawn to it and physically moved by what you see. The best interiors are never safe, they maybe striking or effortlessly elegant but they will always infuse a sense of drama. They incite emotions within us that make our hearts sing, even if the emotions are those of overwhelming peace and calm, in other words they possess the wow factor!

One of the reasons I love period homes is because of the drama they already possess by nature of their age. Who can fail not to be moved by their patina and stories. For me they offer the perfect inspiration and backdrop to achieve the most amazing design results. I am forever passionate about what can be done with a wonderful timeworn space, the possibilities are endless.

So many homeowners are fearful of getting it wrong or believe, incorrectlythat the more dramatic touches won’t work in their homes. I understand that fear; I remember feeling it when I first started out as the ‘serial renovator’ I have since become. However as one who is proud of being a little unorthodox, breaking the rules now and again does come fairly easy and frankly I really do believe that if you are bound by convention your individualism and creativity is stifled. So A certain amount of brazen is required if it is going to work.

Dramatic touches will work in any interior..

All that’s needed is a little imagination, courage and daring. I would strongly encourage you to let go and start to really inject some of your spirit into your home. Add your layer of the story to its character. 

Open your mind, forget the rules, dive in and create the unexpected…


Be bold with your colour and pattern choices. Bold doesn’t have to be bright or garish, just being bold enough to choose the colour you really want rather than choosing to go with a diluted lighter version and play it safe is all it takes.

Bathroom with Madame Blush canvas by Mineheart

Think Scale…

Go Big or Go Home

Never underestimate the importance of scale it can do amazing things to your scheme. Small pictures, unless as part of a montage or gallery, or diddy lights just get lost and will actually be detrimental to the overall effect.

Interior Design Floral Mural

Mix Eclectically…

‘The key is contrasting periods, styles, fabrics and finishes’

Mix, mix, mix, nothing appears more boring than when everything looks much like everything else! The contrasting of periods, styles, fabrics and finishes is the key to adding interest and charm. Mix periods and styles don’t stick religiously to one. For example for my lighting at the farmhouse, I have mixed empire and crystal chandeliers, industrial copper, wicker and Moroccan and that’s just the lighting! I have rugs from Morocco, Victorian oak and mid-century modern furniture rubbing along with modern country.

Green eclectic and moody sitting room

Be Surprising…

‘No interior is complete without a touch of surprise unexpected, it’s what gives it ‘edge’!’

Its the thing that creates the talking point in a room, the ‘edge’ the thing that says YOU, it’s your personality stamp. Perhaps something humorous, nothing quite relaxes the mood like a touch of humour, whether it be an amusing piece of art or quirky hat or glasses added to a bust. Use your imagination and sense of humour to add subtle touches. Maybe a touch of the quirky, painting old furniture in contemporary colours or mixing furniture in unusual ways.

Tom Dixon Copper Shoe door stop

Creating ‘wow factor’ is all about the unexpected. The important thing to remember is to be committed, you must approach the whole thing in a very fearless way, no half measures! Working on these key elements will produce the vivid, emotional and striking interest required to create the drama in your period interior.

How will you be adding drama to your interior? I’d love to know, lets talk drama, link up with me on Instagram


Best wishes



Jane Ashton Signature

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