Live the simple life this spring

Whether you stick to a look you love or prefer to mix things up, starting with a beautiful base makes a home easy to update by adding touches of colour or pattern and changing accessories.

Good foundation

Traditional wall panelling (or a great lookalike such as the one pictured), plank flooring and simple wooden tables you can move from room to room as your needs change are all elements of an enduringly beautiful home. Mix a few garden cuttings with artificial stems for easy arrangements.

Cabin Cloud wallpaper by Andrew Martin, £69.90, Wallpaper Direct. Arundel console table, £820, Neptune.

Versatile neutral

A pale, warm grey is ideal on kitchen cabinetry – it works with anything if you choose to change the wall colour or splashback. The blue-green accents put a Scandi twist on a traditional kitchen.pooky

Smaller Finn pendant light, £106, Pooky. Leather counter stools, £245 each, Barker & Stonehouse.

Natural textiles

Invest in good-quality wool, linen and cotton basics then add cheaper prints as trends come and go. Natural textures and raw materials have a timeless appeal and are great for creating a relaxed, lived-in feel.

Wall painted in Dulux Goose White Flat Matt Emulsion, £22.79 for 2.5ltr, B&Q.  Throws, similar from a selection at The White Company.

Artisan designs

Good craftmanship never dates, so choose pieces with an unfussy, hand-made look.

Grey Stoneware bowls, £9 each; Soup bowls, £10 each; Acacia dishes, from £32; Acacia spoons, £7.50 each, all Murmur at Bedeck.

Easy style mix

Soft colours and simple shapes let you combine any styles you like: we used a traditional sofa with rustic, mid-century and contemporary concrete pieces in this room. Pattern dates quickly, so stick to simple, classic designs for upholstery and made-to-measure window treatments.

Alwinton sofa in Walloon Stripe, £2140, Sofas & Stuff.   Refinery coffee table, £599, The Libra Company. Ekenäset armchair, £150, Ikea.

Go natural

Natural stone-effect tiles bring timeless beauty to even the smallest bathrooms. Stone is a fabulous material for walls and floors as its durability and natural beauty will bring a long lasting statement to any home.

Geomento tiles, £67.56 per sq m, Topps Tiles.

Pretty and practical

Be imaginative with storage by displaying blankets or clothes on a ladder shelf. If you are short on space but want somewhere to display books, objet d’art and plants a ladder is a smart solution.

Stratton ladder, £155, Neptune. Carisbrooke chest, £815, Barker & Stonehouse. Concrete clock, £60, Cox & Cox.

Mid-century designs

Create a functional but inviting workspace with a simple, white scheme softened with accents of warm wood. Classic mid-century designs sit beautifully in a rustic room.

Descartes desk light, £190, Pooky. Sideboard, similar at John Lewis. Desk, similar at Ikea.

Ideal Home loves...