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House doctor: Cover stars

Should I replace my kitchen wall cupboards with open shelving?

As long as you’ve got space in the kitchen to store the less lovely items, open shelves are a great way of getting your favourite crockery and kitchen kit out on display. Open kitchen shelving can tie in with lots of different aesthetics. Industrial style works if you have lots of professional quality, stainless-steel equipment. Vintage hoarders like us can display their treasures on open shelving, while foodies will use shelving to share their love of luxury and artisanal food packaging. It’s also a great way to blur the distinction between spaces. As well as the uprights and traditional shelves, there are lots of practical accessories like a folding table and under-shelf hooks and rails. From £35 at skandium.com

Is it worth buying just one expensive roll of wallpaper?

As ardent advocates of pattern in the home, of course, we say yes! One roll would certainly cover a chimney breast. We like to think more in terms of highlight areas or unexpected surfaces of pattern and many of these will be perfect for a single-roll application. If you have a boxy, featureless room like a downstairs loo, how about papering the ceiling with a bold pattern? We’ve often styled kitchens using wallpaper behind open shelving to throw collections of crockery into relief. Our wallpaper has even been specified in a boutique hotel purely for use inside wardrobes to create a surprise hit of pattern within a restrained decorating scheme.

What’s the best way to create a rustic bathroom on a bit of a budget?

Using materials like painted tongue-and-groove instead of ceramics in no-water contact areas can drive down costs and keep the look warm and tactile. Our advice is to restrict the most fashion-led elements of bathroom design to the replaceable accessories, keeping the expensive hardware timeless to ensure longevity. We really like the round hanging nickel mirror (£95, johnlewis.com), the enamel soap dish and rotating soap holder (£14 and £26, labourandwait.co.uk), plus our blue and white Whitby enamelware utensil pots at £17.95. We’ve recently completed a bathroom update, where we replaced the conventional door with a sliding barn door (reusing original door with a new lick of paint) and topped it all off with a pair of Hector Dome wall lights (£125, originalbtc.com).

Is industrial lighting best kept to the kitchen and hallway?

It works particularly well in those settings, but a pair of French enamel shades over a dining table is never going to go amiss! Nor would vintage Anglepoise wall lights look out of place above a bed. In our studio, we have a huge, Louis Poulsen PH6 pendant of municipal building proportions. Bought from the Midcentury Modern Dulwich College sale, it was almost certainly salvaged from a Danish banking hall or hotel lobby. Skinflint have a great range of lighting — both vintage and industrial — and we’re particularly fond of their oxidised Czech glass lights (£270, skinflintdesign.com). Their geometric moulded forms and frosted glass would lend a living room a lovely soft glow.

Will bold retro prints overpower my small one-bedroom flat?

Not if used judiciously. Flashes of bold pattern dotted around an interior can add pace and interest to a small, featureless flat. The trick is to create a sense of harmony. If foliage is your thing, reflect a living room full of house plants with a botanical print in the bathroom. One of our favourite bold wallpapers from our latest collection is Art Room in British Lichen (£60 per roll, minimoderns.com). If you use this as the hero print in the living room, with our coordinating Darjeeling and Jacquet cushions (£45 each) in orange and grey, other patterns could be introduced around the flat in single colours.

Should I replace my kitchen wall cupboards with open shelving?

As long as you’ve got space in the kitchen to store the less lovely items, open shelves are a great way of getting your favourite crockery and kitchen kit out on display. Open kitchen shelving can tie in with lots of different aesthetics. Industrial style works if you have lots of professional quality, stainless-steel equipment. Vintage hoarders like us can display their treasures on open shelving, while foodies will use shelving to share their love of luxury and artisanal food packaging. It’s also a great way to blur the distinction between spaces. As well as the uprights and traditional shelves, there are lots of practical accessories like a folding table and under-shelf hooks and rails. From £35 at skandium.com

Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire are the founders of British homewares brand Mini Moderns. minimoderns.com