Table Top: Otta Design talks interiors

Otta Design creates personality fueled schemes rich with story-telling. Now this dynamic duo want you to reimagine your own home's possibilities. Table Top learns more.

Table Top: Otta Design | Arlo & Jacob

Otta Design has gained a cult following for their refreshing mix of  British style with a twist. Launched in 2014 by Ali Johnson and Alex Keith, their signature schemes, a buoyant kaleidoscope of colours, patterns and textures, have light up homes and Instagram alike. Their @ottadesign account showcases the studio's vibrant schemes to inspiring effect. Further, their exuberant eye is always balanced by a sophisticated polish that’s landed them on House & Garden's The List.

Now, in the spirit of encouraging others to go bold, they share their tips with Table Top.

Table Top: Otta Design | Arlo & Jacob

Tip One: How would Otta Design encourage homeowners to find a fresh way of thinking about decorating?

 Colour, texture, and pattern all add essential layers to a room to keep it visually interesting, cohesive and inviting. People can be scared of colour, but there are many ways to incorporate that aren't frightening. Try using it on an armchair or lamps or even bringing it through artwork.

Our Archie footstool (featured above) is lucky enough to be included in this gorgeous scheme by Otta Design.

Table Top: Otta Design | Arlo & Jacob

Tip Two: Best ways to mix and match patterns with confidence?

Drawn to colour, Ali and Alex's interiors possess a joyous quality that celebrates spontaneity within classical design.

There are no rules, but as guidance, we would use at least three patterns in a room of varying scale using the same colour intensity and hue. Rooms can feel flat and lack warmth if they don't have enough contrast, so mixing textures is key to bringing a room together. We like to contrast sumptuous velvets with relaxed linens and more structured weaves. And then add a mix of hard finishes such as calm, smooth marble, polished brass, and warm-toned wood. Texture can also be added through books, plants, lighting, accessories, and mirrors.

Table Top: Otta Design | Arlo & Jacob

Tip Three: How can details make a room feel more luxe?

It is ALL about the detail - even the smallest ones can elevate the overall design. For example, we love using trims on cushions, blinds, curtains, and upholstery to create something unique for our clients. Details on joinery such as painting the interior in a flash of colour, adding an interesting sculptural handle or a brass inlay, and creating interesting texture with reeding are ways to lift a design to make it feel more personal.

Table Top: Otta Design classic bedrooms | Arlo & Jacob

Tip Four: How does Otta Design create an interior that feels personal and authentic?

We like our interiors to feel layered and timeless. A great way to do this is to use antiques, whether they have been inherited or spotted at an antique fair on holiday, alongside more contemporary elements to stop the room feeling like it is stuck in one time. We have a great team of upholsterers who are adept a mending and recovering antique furniture. By choosing your own fabric, you can create a truly unique piece whilst still remembering granny who gave it to you. Handcrafted pieces with their imperfections and much-loved collected objects from childhood and travels all tell a story and help make a home feel welcoming and exciting.

Table Top: Otta Design kitchen | Arlo & Jacob

Tip Five: How do you find your interior voice? What's your Otta DNA that makes your interiors so unique?

We don't have a trademark apart from endeavouring to create timeless and individual interiors. Our interiors are unique because they are always about our clients. We spend a lot of time getting our clients under the skin to understand how they aspire to live. We get to know their personalities, how they like to spend their free time, where they like to travel, what their favourite hotels and restaurants are. All of this helps build a picture for us to create a distinctive representation of our clients' style and needs.

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