Interior heaven at Oka

Have to admit to being a bit of a fan girl when it comes to the interiors store OKA.
I just love the under-stated elegance of the whole OKA vibe and room set after room set of breathtakingly gorgeous interiors. They have certainly mastered the re-invention of antique living bringing classic antique designs back to life in brand new furniture.
I’m just back from one of their interiors related workshops run by the Harrogate store which are free of charge to attend, but you need to book in advance.
Introduced by Frank, the store manager, OKA’s Harrogate store interior designer, Rachael, ran us through OKA’s new autumn range additions and then took us through ideas and considerations when designing an entrance hall, dining room, living room and master bedroom. No mean feat in the 90 minutes available, but gems of practical knowledge and pearls of wisdom flowed to keep a fairly savvy audience well engaged for the whole time!
These were a few of the hot tips I brought away with me!
  • Invest in a versatile grouping of evergreen faux flower stems – add water to the bottom of the vase and update with seasonal fresh flowers
  • Colour schemes – use a 60/30/10 rule of 60% neutral backdrop colour, 30% stronger signature base colour and 10% metallic or pops of vibrant colour
  • With coffee tables and rugs – go BIG!
  • Use plain cushions as the backdrop layer then add patterns to front (you can replace the front layer seasonally – OKA sell their cushions covers separately)
  • Add a rug under your kitchen table to zone the seating area (make sure it’s big enough to pull a chair out whilst still on the rug)
  • Blue in a bedroom actually brings your heart rate down
  • Neutrals are perfect for bedrooms – add textures in linen and velvet for interest
  • When choosing lampshades for the bedroom, make sure that the bedside lampshades have their base at shoulder height – to maximise light and minimise glare from the bulb
  • As if you needed any more incentive to buy two of everything, symmetry aids relaxation
There are more workshops coming up over the course of the year – covering lighting your home and decorating a Christmas table as well as floral workshops. To register, pop into the store with your email address. Weetons is just a few doors away for lunch.
OKA offer a full interior design service from £350 per room, redeemable with a minimum spend of £5000.
I was amazed at how the store had changed since my last visit – such an enormous range of lamps and cushions in every tone of every colour! Call in to say hello next time your in Harrogate and make sure you’re following them on Instagram @oka

Carrie Bligh is an interiors guru, the owner of Atelier and a busy mum.

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