Be bold: Fun-filled ways to give your home a bright and brave update

Colour? Turn it up. Pattern? The busier the better. Humour? Make us smile! These fun-filled ideas, taken from a new book, show how to give your home a bright and brave update.

Viva el retro

For Spanish interior designer Patricia Bustos, being bold in her Madrid apartment means combining different eras, ignoring outdated rules about matching and injecting quirkiness into all of her projects.

An eye-catching oversized antique light makes a statement in the dining area. Patricia loves to scour vintage stores and markets in Madrid and all over Europe. The rug is by Kelly Wearstler for The Rug
Company ( Image: Catherine Gratwicke
Bright interior design
1960s California meets 80s Scandi in this fabulously OTT room. The chairs, by Norwegian designer Terje Ekstrom, along with the bamboo tiki bar and the neon ‘Oh La La!!’ light designed by Patricia, can all be filed under the ‘so wrong it’s right’ category. For a similar neon wall light, try Image: Catherine Gratwicke
Patricia designed the pink velvet sofa and the leopard-print fronted cabinets – she works with local craftsmen on special orders for clients and sometimes keeps the samples. The wall sconce is from Alfies Antique Market ( Image: Catherine Gratwicke
The master bedroom is calmer, with one wall covered in pale geometric wallpaper by Casamance ( and white bedlinen. A mustard throw, custom-made cushions and pink lion print by artist Paul Fuentes ( add flashes of colour. Image: Catherine Gratwicke

Mild meets wild

Dutch designer Pien Essink’s townhouse demonstrates how a bold home can have a neutral backdrop enlivened with dashes of strong colour and daring furniture.

The clean lines of the kitchen are brought to life with a changing display of children’s artwork. The stools are second-hand, cut down to fit the counter height. The decanter pendant lights are by Image: Catherine Gratwicke
The 1940s Gispen table was inherited from Pien’s grandmother. The leather dining chairs are by Dutch brand Jess Design (, and the copper pendant lights are by Tom Dixon ( Image: Catherine Gratwicke
Pien wanted her young son Kees to be surrounded by things that ignited his imagination. She designed this wall mural for him. For a selection of bespoke wall murals for children, try Image: Catherine Gratwicke

Hot shots of colour

This Victorian terraced house on a quiet street in West London has seen a lot of changes. Rachel and Chris Roberts, with their young family, have made it their own, redesigning it from top to bottom with the help of Office S&M, an architectural firm commissioned to create a stylish, child-friendly home (

The upholstered banquette seating lifts to provide neat storage. A thread of yellow flows through the house – from the plant pot to the Santorini wall lights from Sputnik Estudio ( Image: Catherine Gratwicke
On the top floor, a bedroom was added for the growing family, with three arched windows painted in a sunny yellow shade. The shutters are practical as well as adding a sweet charm. The walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Calamine. Image: Catherine Gratwicke

Feature by Emily Henson

Be Bold: Interiors for the Brave of Heart by Emily Henson with photographs by Catherine Gratwicke is published by Ryland Peters & Small, price £19.99. To order a copy for £15.99 until 18 November, go to or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.