Why monochrome provides timeless, neutral glamour for luxury design

Luxury design trends come and they go but over the years, monochrome has proved to be a timeless classic and one that will always be very much in fashion. The inspiration for this black, white and oh so stylish craze is said to stem from the era of the late pop artist Andy Warhol and his creative muses Baby Jane Holzer and Edie Sedgwick. Exuding both a neutral glamour and sharp sophistication, monochrome is a go-to trend for many homeowners looking for a reliable and durable interior that they can appreciate for years to come.          

Image source: Flicker

The fundamental rule of this luxury design trend is simplicity and it, depending on your individual style and taste, can be as minimal or as eclectic as you’d like it to be. Monochrome also comes with a heap of benefits to enjoy such as easy colour decision-making (it’s black and white) and so will deter any sort of paint related domestic in the local hardware aisle. The extensive use of white paint will also do amazing things for small spaces. Another great thing about monochrome and why it is so malleable within luxury design is the fact that whichever room you apply it to, it works. The use of commanding black wood panelling against a white tiled bathroom suite just oozes with effortless style. Marble is an opulent alternative and one that will provide a textural element to a monochrome bathroom. You can even add character to your monochrome by introducing natural woods such as a dining table or chair legs and pair both against inky-black seats. Not only will this result in a beautiful, understated look, it also creates the perfect ambience for laid-back and mellow gatherings.   

This style chameleon is not just for the modern interior either, with traditional monochrome giving interior designers more scope for making bolder choices. Think handsome, onyx-gloss internal doors or a dramatically painted raven-black fireplace. If you’re tempted to sway more towards contemporary chic, however, and maybe something a little less permanent, a geometric statement rug is a fantastic way of creating a modern monochrome centrepiece in a family living room.   

Image source: Flicker

Image source: Flicker

A very close acquaintance of monochrome and one that compliments this luxury design just wonderfully, is the use of gold accents against the very uniform, black and white. From decorative gold door inlays to polished floor lamps and gilded bathroom fittings, flecks of gold actually help to accentuate the luxuriousness of monochrome and this gleaming metallic will also inject a myriad of warmth back into a room. Other stylish alloys that continue to flatter this trend are brass and copper but personally, we adore the black, white and gold effect. Just like Coco Chanel herself, the overall look is iconic and it is a classic.     

Image source: Flicker

At The Highfield House, our motto ‘design for life’ remains at the core of everything we do and we continue to strive as a close-knit interior design team, seasoned in providing our clients with first-class service alongside running a first-class luxury venue.

From Zurich to Mumbai, our interior design team have scoured the length and breadth of the globe to bring you the latest and the very best from luxury interior design. If you’re in the market for a beautifully designed venue, or simply, some luxury design guidance, why not make an appointment with The Highfield House team today and discuss your unique requirements.             



Fashionable interiors with traditional wood panelling

The history and revival of wood panelling

Back in a time when homes did not have the type of insulation that we know so well today, an extra layer of wooden board would have been applied to help keep rooms warm, especially because most would have had stone cold walls. As tastes and craftsmanship changed, over time this useful component developed into something more aesthetically pleasing and exquisitely designed carvings eventually replaced the flush wooden surfaces. Dado rails, pictures rails, cornices and skirtings would also have been much loved wooden features of a room during the Victorian era.  

Image source: The Highfield House

They say fashion always comes full circle and nowadays, even if you were to consider just a hint of traditional wood panelling in your home, you would actually be right on trend. No longer just reserved for the country manor house, joinery with a modern twist is on the increase in interior design and it is a cunning way of bringing an atmosphere of character to a room. Here are three very modern ways you can pull off this fashionable interiors trend off in your home.   

Full-length wood panelling

Embrace this trend in its entirety and go all out with full-length wood panelling adorning your chosen room. It is surprisingly easy to create the quintessential period look in your home with the use of a polished wood or if you’d prefer, a more modern painted MDF. Our signature range of absolute matte coach paints would work wonderfully for this option, especially in a muted grey. Cladding walls in wood panelling is also a very clever trick for modern or new-build homes that are without any original features. It gives a traditional makeover without actually having to go to the trouble of replastering walls.   

Image source: The Highfield House


Wainscoting is a type of wood panelling that again, harks back to the pre-insulation days but at just half of the wall height, it allows for a bit more chutzpah when it comes to your choice of colour. With Ultra Violet being named as 2018’s Colour of the Year, this shade would lend itself well to Wainscoting panelling in an elegant mauve or a sumptuous deep plum.

Image source: The Highfield House

The Mysterious Jib Door

What’s that you say – a Jib Door? Jib Doors were historically used for the sole purpose of concealing entrances to servant quarters. The doors were made to look like they were part of a rooms existing wooden features, such as the skirtings and dado rails and very recently, they have risen in popularity again within fashionable interiors. Jib Doors are popular for inner-city living i.e. a safe room or for a more rural lifestyle, they are useful for concealing a gun room.

Image source: Flicker

The Highfield House, Driffield is bursting at the seams with refined wood panelling and would prove as an absolute haven for those looking for some guidance on how best to carry out this classic trend. From our sapphire blue Reception Hall to the deep teal panelling of The Great Hall, there is plenty of fashionable interiors inspiration to be had at one of Yorkshire’s finest Grade II listed buildings.             


How to use rich colours in your homes interior design

How to incorporate rich colours into your interior design       

Since becoming the new owners of The Highfield House, Driffield, we have received mixed reviews about the homes interior design colour scheme but largely it has been a positive response. The use of rich colours in modern interior design has become wildly popular of late and is a trend that is only increasing as homeowners look to create a luxurious and comfortable safe haven for themselves.  

If curiosity is getting the better of you, here are 5 great ways you can utilize the trend for rich colours in your homes interior design.       

Mellow Mid-Grey

One for beginners here and mid-grey is not so scary. Resplendent and polished, the humble mid-grey results in a pleasant juxtaposition when paired with bright white woodwork. Opt for a matte finish against gloss white architraves and skirting boards to ensure maximum contrast. Too many grey areas and you run the risk of creating a stale and dull environment.

Stately Burgundy

Beautiful burgundy represents all kinds of things prosperous and aristocratic and this beautiful shade of maroon will envelop a room in richness like no other. Much like a fine Bordeaux, the colour burgundy is a classic and one that will add warmth to a living room or reception room, making you feel very good indeed. Break up burgundy walls with the use of oversized paintings, family portraits and strategically placed mirrors to successfully achieve that stately home look.    

Deep Teal

Amazingly last year Deep Teal was voted as The World’s Favourite Colour 2017. Described as being simultaneously warm and cool, the colour teal has been around for a number of years since it’s first written use in the English language back in 1917. Fascinatingly, the name of this serene colour also derives from the coloured area around the eyes of the common teal, a member of the duck family. Both elegant and timeless, the use of deep teal in your interior design will ensure yours is a home to cherish for many more years to come.  

Paint it Black

It doesn’t get more expressive than the colour black. It’s not for the faint-hearted and you’re going to have to trust us here but the effects of black paint, when used in interior design, can actually be stunningly beautiful. It’s a bold move that unleashes superb drama and rather surprisingly, it can add accents of depth and warmth to an otherwise bare space. Whether you’re trying to create a rugged and masculine gentleman’s room or an elegant master bathroom suite, black really comes into its own when accessorised against sophisticated gold, brass or copper fixtures and fittings.    

Royal Blue

And last but not least, we move on to our final rich colour, the one that has the most staying power and is dominating the rest of the palette for 2018, you guessed it – blue. Generally speaking in terms of interiors, the use of the colour blue can be used to cool down a room that allows for too much sunlight or heat. This darker shade, however, works to actually evoke feelings of warmth and luxury. The epitome of glamour, this winning colour is daring yet still safe and it adds a splash of brilliance to the traditional wall panelling of The Reception Hall at The Highfield House.   

Be our guest for the day at The Highfield House so you can be given the grand tour of our luxury and private hire venue and receive expert advice on the latest interior design fashions. We also have a specialist formula for absolute matte paint. Working with a local company we have developed a series of colours in their signature range of matt coach paint. They are suitable for fine roller and specialist spray painting and the palette we have chosen derives from the pigments used in 18th century stained glass, similar to the pieces that can be seen in The Reception Hall of the house.

Combining traditional grace with a wealth of knowledge in modern design, the use of rich colour can be seen throughout the home’s interior and we believe that we have created the ultimate setting for an unforgettable celebratory experience. We do hope to meet you soon!          


Interior Design Fashions for 2018; what’s in and what’s out

We’re at the start of a glorious new year and as domestic trendsetters up and down the country set the tone for 2018, it’s out with the old and in with the new as we bring to you five of our favourite interior design fashions to look out for this coming year.  


A fanciful word we’ll admit but in a nutshell, frondescence means foliage and if fashion-forward designers would have us believe correctly, it is still very much included in the interior design fashions for 2018. No longer reserved just for weddings and special occasions, greenery is an inexpensive way to add a touch of glam and colour to your home. With the wellbeing industry also continuing to flourish, indoor plant life will ensure you enjoy many other health benefits too such as clean indoor air, humidity regulation and chemical absorbance.  

Ultra Violet

The colour masters over at Pantone recently announced their colour of the year as being Ultra Violet and this marvellous bluey purple is already influencing mainstream trends from fashion to interior design. Work Ultra Violet into your homes colour scheme with sumptuously painted wall panelling for that deluxe and palatial feel. The colour purple is also often associated with royalty and grandeur meaning your home will forever be your kingdom if you play this interior trend right.

Statement Ceilings

Forget blank ceilings and god forbid, artex, if you’re lucky enough to live in a home that has some form of decorative feature in the ceiling then you have accomplished at least one of the interior design fashions for this year. Statement ceilings have already been around for centuries but they are very much back and here to stay in modern architecture. Out goes minimalism and in comes unforgettable with the emphasis of a statement ceiling being on the luxurious detailing. A marvellous example of this opulent trend can be seen taking pride of place above the grand staircase of The Highfield House (pictured). Why not pop in and see it for yourself sometime?

Dark Woods

If a show-stopping ceiling just isn’t feasible, why not work the trend for beautiful dark wood floors instead? After it’s rise and rise last year, it would seem consumers are now turning away from the once sought after ‘Nordic’ trend with its paler palette and organic materials. Instead, depth and elegance are firmly back in favour and we’re seeing a move towards the use of darker woods in interior design such as mahogany, dark oak and walnut. Why not coordinate your dark floors with metallic furniture legs in brass or gold to add a touch of retro charm to this otherwise sophisticated trend.

Bold Colours

It’s time to get serious about your shades this year as the popular trend for dramatic pigments continues to unfold. Darker hues are overtaking neutral colours in the style stakes, mainly due to the fact that they promote a level of comfort and indulgence that the likes of Magnolia simply cannot compete with. When done the right way, adorning your walls in a deep blue or burgundy will certainly wrap you up in sophistication, much like The Reception Hall of The Highfield House (as shown).  

We hope you have enjoyed reading our five favourite interior design fashions to look out for this coming year.

The H-OUSE Team have many exciting design projects already underway including the ongoing and impressive renovations of The Highfield House. For expert advice on how you can work the interior design trends for 2018 into your home, our luxury venue holds inspiration aplenty so please pay us a visit soon!   

Meet The H-OUSE Team; an interview with Chloe Wray

Chloe Wray is a seasoned designer and one who holds her own significant position within The H-OUSE team. Her sensational artwork can be seen in the form of exquisite blooms and verdurous nature throughout The Highfield House’s interior decoration and they, having viewed the artwork first-hand myself, are very much worth a look-see. A talented, inspiring and witty lady, I enjoy a catch up with Chloe one morning in the studio to find out what she has to say.  

‘’I didn’t plan on getting into interior design specifically,’’ explains Chloe, ‘’it kind of well, just happened.’’  

It’s clear that Chloe, originally from Skipsea, East Yorkshire, is an incredibly clever individual. After studying interior textiles at university and achieving her biggest accomplishment, sky-high results in her degree, Chloe relocated to London for a couple of months where she revelled in an internship for a short while. It wasn’t until a family bereavement, the passing of her beloved grandfather, Chloe found herself back in Yorkshire for good.

‘’It was funny how it worked out,’’ say’s Chloe, ‘’the vicar at my grandad’s funeral actually had a connection within The H-OUSE Team and recommended that I send in my portfolio to them. Andy and Lindsey looked through my work and they absolutely loved it. I started working with them not long afterwards and I haven’t looked back.’’

Chloe goes on to explain what a typical working day is like for her in the studio, ‘’I love how each day is different. In the morning I may either be drawing up sketches for a home, working with material or emailing clients. My afternoons could be spent corresponding with project managers and specifying curtain material or a paint colour for a current project. Designing for The H-OUSE Team is certainly rewarding, we laugh and we joke, nothing is too serious and it feels like we’re one big family.’’

Moving on to her personal life I ask Chloe to describe herself in three words. After a short pause, she replies with, ‘’Competitive, perfectionist and chatty.’’ On a Sunday morning, you can usually find Chloe walking her Cocker Spaniel, Scout, followed by a relaxing read of her current novel, All my Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman.

Two things that make Chloe very proud are her degree and the wallpaper project that is showcased throughout The Highfield House. ‘’I don’t want to come across as cliche,’’ explains Chloe, ‘’but my creative process kind of just comes to me. A lot of my work is based around botanicals and natural elements, so it kind of just happens, you know. I can plan for something but then it doesn’t always fit together like I wanted, it kind of transforms so you have to make the pattern fit together again and go with it.’’

‘’Three pet hates,’’ ponders Chloe, ‘’hmm now that is a tough one. I suppose I don’t like it when people squeeze the middle of the toothpaste tube, oh and when noisy people keep me up at night whilst I’m trying to sleep.’’ Don’t get on the wrong side of Chloe when she’s giving you a lift either. ‘’Another one,’’ she exclaims, ‘’is when I’m driving someone home and they get their keys out about ten miles away from their house and then sit and jangle them for the rest of the journey. That is so annoying.’’

As our interview comes to a close I can’t help but admire Chloe’s honesty and her describing herself as ‘being an open book’. It’s obvious she also has an eye for meticulous detail and a gift for design. If you haven’t yet had the privilege of seeing the impressive wallpaper designs of Chloe Wray that are beautifully debuted throughout The Highfield House I absolutely recommend you pay them a visit.   

Before I leave I have one other question to ask Chloe. What is her personal motto.

With a wry smile, she shoots back ‘’You get from life what you put into it. Don’t expect to reap the reward without putting the effort in first.’’

I like this girl.    

A Victorian Christmas at The Highfield House

Oh, come ye oh come ye to The Highfield House at Christmas time. The year is 1860 and our ancestors would have been busy preparing for this joyful festive period by spending time with their loved ones and savouring their seasonal Christmas traditions. Gather round as we share with you the humble beginnings of some yuletide customs, including those that would have been thoroughly enjoyed during a Victorian Christmas at The Highfield House.  

The Christmas Tree    

The Christmas tree has been a long-standing German tradition since the 18th century and it was during Queen Victoria’s reign that her husband Prince Albert, who was German himself, decorated a large tree at Windsor Castle to reminisce of his childhood merrymaking. Victorians were notoriously very family orientated and hearteningly, the Christmas tree bedecking would have been a large household affair. Both mother, father and all of the children would have pitched in to adorn this giant evergreen with bright festive candles, cakes, sweets and ribbons. After all, The Highfield House tree had to be the best decorated in town.  

A Victorian Christmas at The Highfield House
A Victorian Christmas at The Highfield House

The Handmade Cards and Gifts

Before the Victorian era, Christmas was completely unheard of but to the relief of children everywhere and during the popular Queen’s reign, the Victorians loved nothing more than to reward their children with treats and gifts. What started as a New Year tradition eventually moved to Christmas as the significance of this day began to grow and the rich presented their children with handmade toys whilst the poor would look to stockings more commonly filled with fruit and nuts. British civil servant and inventor Sir Henry Cole would also later print over 1000 Christmas cards for sale as wealthy families began sending out their own greeting cards every year. If you weren’t fortunate enough to afford your own printed cards at Christmas time, arts and crafts would have been a great shared activity at The Highfield House during this festive period.

Christmas crafts at The Highfield House
Christmas crafts at The Highfield House

The Christmas Dinner

After the Victorian family would have attended the local church service it was time for their Christmas dinner.

It was the main highlight of the day and a vast amount of food would have been served with northern England enjoying a staple of roast beef and the south a roast goose. As expected, lucky Queen Victoria had both beef and a swan or two on her table. Christmas dinner at The Highfield House would no doubt have been enjoyed in The Great Hall, with cheery decorations aplenty and all kinds of exotic food overflowing the extremely large dining table. The crème de la crème was a figgy pudding, of course, washed down with copious amounts of spicy mulled wine and the non-alcoholic version, Negus, served for the children.

A Christmas feast in The Great Hall at The Highfield House
A Christmas feast in The Great Hall at The Highfield House

The Carollers Sing

The tradition of door to door carolling comes from the term the “waits,” and this is an ancient English custom of going from house to house and singing in exchange for food. The Victorians loved their music and as Christmas dinner is complete for another year at The Highfield House, the gratified Victorian family would have retired to The Reception Hall for the evening to enjoy the forthcoming carol singers. Head of the household, father, nurses his Christmas nightcap and the whole family listen intently as the angelic voices drift sweetly in and around the huge hall to the chords of The First Noel.    

The carollers sing in The Reception Hall of The Highfield House
The carollers sing in The Reception Hall of The Highfield House

We sincerely hope you have enjoyed our little trip back in time to a very Victorian Christmas at The Highfield House. From Andy, Lindsey and all of our team, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.   

The historical transformation of The Highfield House

The History of The Highfield House

A long time ago, around the year 1860 or so, there stood an old Dutch-style windmill, on the same site that is now known as The Highfield House. Due to weather damage taking its toll the old windmill was eventually demolished and the site bought by grocer and draper, Henry Angas who would later name his newly built home, Mill Field Hill.

The house was purchased from Angas in 1882 by a leading Driffield figure known as Harrison Holt. A producer in linseed oil and animal feed, Holt carried out extensive remodelling of the house up until the year 1893, reconstructing the home from its original Gothic style to an Elizabethan approach with varying architectural characteristics. The name of this grand residence was suitably changed and it was then that The Highfield House was officially born.

Over many years, lots of minor alterations and various colourful owners including local philanthropist Henry Bean, the house would later become a country club well known in the great market town of Driffield and it successfully ran from 1957 right up until 1999. If a little birdie would also have us believe correctly, many ‘first’ sherries were wholly relished and savoured during this time as a popular and neighbourly outfit.     


The History of The Highfield House
The History of The Highfield House

The transformation of The Highfield House

With such a soulful past and a dazzlingly bright future ahead, there were only two people that could take The Highfield House to the next level. Upon taking ownership of this first-class wedding venue, Andy and Lindsey set about right away doing what they do best, designing for life, providing spaces for love and restoring this historic manor house back to it’s magnificent and palatial best.

From The Drawing Room to the luxury apartment in the East Wing, the husband and wife duo have worked their magic, injecting as much passion and charm back into the residence as the nuptials taking place within it. A lot of the finer details of this great house have also been painstakingly handcrafted and astoundingly, the wallpaper that adorns the walls ascending the grand staircase was actually hand-painted by in-house designer Chloe Wray. Hers is a delightful story and one that we look forward to sharing when we come to the New Year.


A before and after of the Grand Staircase
A before and after of the Grand Staircase
A before and after of The Drawing Room detailing
A before and after of The Drawing Room detailing

Book your visit to The Highfield House

Teaming with unique stories and secrets of bygone times, The Highfield House provides without a doubt the ultimate surroundings for a most pleasurable celebratory experience.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect wedding venue, a place to entertain your work family over a seasonal dinner or even if you’re just plain curious and an admirer of all things historical, Andy and Lindsey would be more than happy to give you an awe-inspiring tour of their beautiful home that is, The Highfield House.