Havwoods Flooring

Flooring…How to choose

Floored by Choice…

So, you’ve decided to update your flooring and the options appear to be endless….that’s because they are!

Here’s what you really need to think about while choosing;

  • What will you be using the room for?

Some rooms are self explanatory – kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms and hallways work really well with hard floors that are easy to clean. Who needs to be cleaning bolognaise sauce of a beige carpet on a regular basis? Carpets can work well in bedrooms and lounges! Nobody likes to step out of bed onto a freezing cold floor!

  • Will there be a lot of foot traffic?

Hallways are obviously one of the highest areas of foot fall in a house. This doesn’t mean that a carpet is definitely out, but hard flooring can be easier to maintain. Don’t forget too that only certain floorings are suitable for under-floor heating!

  • What image are you hoping to convey in the new room?

Using carpets can enhance the cosiness of a room, introduce colour or create a feel of luxury. Hard flooring can look sleek, clean and elegant. Of course a hard floor can always be “warmed up” by a magnificent rug.

  • Budget – set it and “TRY” and stick to it!

There is a massive range of flooring out there, ranging in price from pocket money budget to “sell the Aston Martin to pay for it”! Although there’s a happy medium, you really do need to do your homework on the quality of your chosen floor. I’ve seen many a wooden floor “slip” despite looking amazing on instalment.  Likewise, you want to feel the carpet and ensure it is the right colour and pile depth that you want. Most companies allow you to bring home samples of carpets and flooring to check what it would look like in situ!

WOOD: At Amy Nicholas Interiors we work with various companies to offer flooring to our clients, such as Havwoods, who provide some beautiful wood floor options from Engineered Wood Flooring to Solid Wood Floors and Reclaimed Wood Flooring. They also have a wealth of information on their website about the grades of the wood used. Contact us if you need expert interior design advice…

CARPETS: For gorgeous carpets, we use a wide spectrum of companies and one of our favourites is Jacaranda Carpets.  They create a wide range of carpets and rugs from hand woven and knotted to machine made wools and the use of Tencel to create stunning shine on their products. All this with a determined eye on the ethics and environmental impact of manufacturing.

Jacaranda Carpets
Jacaranda Carpets – Santara…a beautiful TENCEL carpet

TILES: Another flooring alternative, with more and more choice these days, is a tiled floor. We love London Encaustic, who specialise not only in glorious tiles for walls and floors, but also in some amazing custom made copper baths (just in case you are in the market for one of those as well as some flooring!) From exquisite patterned to elegantly plain tiles of all sizes, it’s well worth a visit to their lovely website.

London Encaustic Hex
London Encaustic – Hex Zeta in Black by the talented Anna Hayman


Blue - Home Improvements

Colour choices for the connoisseur

With a fair bit of sofa-time on our hands, due to our current isolation status, many of us will be turning our thoughts to making home improvements, or at least planning to do so when the restrictions are lifted and we are once again free to roam!

What once may have seemed a delightful colour of ivory on your lounge walls, may already have started to irritate you!  The greasy hand prints from your children or grubby marks that never seem to wipe off, look all the more apparent when you are forced to view them constantly, repeatedly and in every light of day and nights!

Well, help is at hand…whilst not everything or everyone will be available to transform your home immediately, you can certainly plan now to turn your ‘internment’ lodgings into a haven of post-virus positivity!!!!

Plan for ‘Liberation Day’ by turning to 2020’2 Pantone colour of the year…Classic Blue 19-4054.  Okay, so 2020 hasn’t been the best so far, but they really have it right with this colour!  Blue is such a versatile colour; it can be dramatic, calming, stormy and down right diva-ish!  Classic Blue is a bold and vibrant Royal blue!  Create dramatic hallways, sumptuous lounges and funky kitchen with this tone!  The beauty of this colour is that there are so many fabrics and wallpapers out there that can be used to complement and accent your scheme.  We can rarely look at a pattern book these days without getting misty eyed over the blue sections!  We frankly have more of these samples than any other colour!

If you don’t want to commit to a complete ‘blue’ room, then you need only look to the likes of Romo and Black Edition who have shot bronze through their navy fabrics or affected a metallic gold or silver sheen onto their wallpapers.  Or for a more paired back look, Tradescant and GP & J Baker offer some simply beautiful nature inspired printed linens with a wondeful timeless appeal.  Throw a pop of pink, ochre or jade into the equation, with contemporary cushions or a fabulous lampshade, and we really have left behind thoughts of our confinement!!

We are offering telephone consultations whilst we ride out the pandemic, so we can at least offer a little diversion from the ‘virus-talk’ and work on designing a home you will want to come back to…Contact us on 01200 446386 or via email at info@amynicholas.co.uk for more details and to book your telephone consultation.

Keep safe and plan for a stunning future xx




How to measure Roman Blinds accurately!

Measuring Windows for blinds is most peoples idea of a nightmare…where do I measure?  How much do I allow?  What if I get it wrong? …these are some of the questions we repeatedly get asked.  Mistakes can be costly so to help, we have prepared a few helpful guides which hopefully will give you the confidence to measure accurately.

Blinds are definitely an area that people struggle measuring the most as it does need to be fairly exact…especially if the blind is going in the window recess.  I always advise people to take a left hand and a right hand drop measurement and go for the longest measurement…believe it or not, many windows are not straight!

Another tip is to always measure the width near the top and the bottom of the window but this time go with the narrowest measurement.  This is because you want your blind to move up and down without hinderance and if you went for the widest measurement, there will come a point on the blinds upward/downward journey where it is going to get stuck!!

If your windows are quite small or you want to make them appear to be bigger, a way to do this is it site your roman blind on the outside of the windows recess (your actual wall!).  We would always recommend you increase the height of your blind approx. 10cm (can be less or more depending on the window – although don’t go more than 20cm if you have a stacked blind as you don’t want to see any of the wall above the window opening when the blind is fully up) so that only a minimal amount of the glass is actually hidden by the blind when fully up.  This will increase the natural light permeating into the room and make the window look taller.

When measuring for a blind sitting on the outside recess, we tend to measure from sill to sill then plus a few centimetres each side.  For the drop, measure from the height above the window that you want (for example 15cm) then drop it below the sill plus a few centimetres.

Click here to view our measuring guide for blinds.

Soho House

Encaustic Cement Tiles

Main featured image is Soho House from Bert & May.

One of our great loves in the studio at the moment is our new collection of encaustic cement tiles.  Simply put they are exquisite.  Each tile is so simple in design and colour, the impact is minimal, yet place these tiles together and you will create a floor so beautiful you will barely dare walk on it.


Tile examples from London Encaustic.

Encaustic Cement Tiles have been around Worldwide since the 1800’s yet their huge popularity is a relatively new thing.  Made by hand, the tiles consist of coloured pigments, cement and crushed marble with usually 2 colours, sometimes up to 6.  The colour is inlaid into the tile so as the tile wears, the colour and pattern stay strong.  The dry cement and marble mixture is sprinkled onto the colour pigments followed by the sand and cement mix, which is poured on the top of the entire framework.

ValdesImage showing Valdes from London Encaustic

The tile framework is then placed under a hydraulic press and once this process is complete, the tiles are ready for an extensive 14 day drying period…ideally in the sun!  That is probably why very few, if any, encaustic tiles are made in the UK…we get no sun!!!!

Flooring, once a neutral backdrop to a design concept, is now a primary consideration.  Clients are moving away from the natural simplicity of limestone or the highly polish decadent feel of marble and are looking for a feature…an installation of beauty.  Encaustic tiles provide such beauty.  Mostly  with a chalky matt finish, the tiles have an earthy, organic appeal and look stylish whether in a modern or traditional setting.

15 Kitchen

Several years ago we used antique encaustic tiles, sourced from Italy as the surround for our own Aga.  These tiles were all part of different murals which had sadly been damaged so were broken up for sale as individual tiles.  We selected tiles from across many different sets, including an antique Liberty tile set, to form a beautiful mis-match of style and colour.

We have an extensive library of Encaustic tiles in the studio, so please do get in touch and we will help you selecting the right ones for your project.



Fenwick & Tilbrook…an exciting find!

We are constantly revising our library and searching out new artisan producers and suppliers, researching new technologies and finishes which are both beautiful in design and sustainable to enable us to offer the best creative design service to our clients.  We meet some exciting people along the way and find some brilliant brands and collections that we enthusiastically add to our library and this dynamic company, Fenwick & Tilbrook, tick all the boxes for us!  They have invested a huge amount of time and money into sourcing the highest quality ingredients to produce an absolutely gorgeous range of colours, rich in pigment for an extraordinary depth of colour.


Their extensive colour palette consists of 120 historical and modern based colours with a beautiful chalky matt finish.

All their paints are made to order in their workshop in Norfolk under strict quality control and despatched to their clients for fresh delivery the next working day.

Their attention to detail when it comes to their colour charts and packaging is outstanding.  I have a weakness for beautifully presented items so when my hand painted colour cards, my inspiration box and charts arrived I was in heaven!  I hear you all asking if I am easy to please, well let me tell you they were a pleasure to unwrap and I even got a little giddy!!!

We strive to offer our clients an innovative and bespoke creative service unique to their personality therefore it is an impressive bonus when our suppliers are able to offer additional services such as colour matching paint with only a tiny minimum order quantity of 1Ltr!  Perfect!!

Prices start from £1 for a hand painted colour card to £90 for a 5Ltr tin of hard wearing Pure Matt Plus.