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Blend the old and the new for a striking yet simple look for your home

PUBLISHED: 10:23 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:57 09 January 2018

The modern classic look - an example of Rosemary Cattee's work. Picture: Contributed

The modern classic look - an example of Rosemary Cattee's work. Picture: Contributed


Suffolk interior designer Rosemary Cattee offers tips on creating timeless style in your home by blending modern and classical elements

Rosemary Catte is a Suffolk interior designer who loves to combine the old and the new. Picture: ContributedRosemary Catte is a Suffolk interior designer who loves to combine the old and the new. Picture: Contributed

Decorating your own home with a blend of modern and classic looks can create simple yet striking spaces that linger long in the memory, but it can be hard to pull off. Best to get some expert help and who better than Rosemary Cattee, a Suffolk interior designer who believes in combining the old and the new?

Her company, Rosemary Catte Interior Design, has built a reputation for taking the best from both traditional and contemporary worlds by using well chosen pieces to create an elegant, timeless, unique and above all comfortable look.

She works from home in Newbourne, which serves as a design studio and office with her partner Richard Somerville who offers sound advice on fine wine cellaring. Below are a few a Rosie’s style secrets.

'Good lighting is so important' - one of Rosemary's room designs. Picture: Contributed'Good lighting is so important' - one of Rosemary's room designs. Picture: Contributed

Your walls are your canvas

Your walls should be a neutral backdrop for your rooms. Clean, neutral, pale shades accentuate the space in a room. You can still warm up this classic colour scheme with a subtle palette of off-whites.

Rosie says: “I like to use layers of off whites however sometimes a space will call out for a bold colour but it must be from a good palette which is why I use my trusted Paint & Paper Library chart.”

Striking yet simple - a living space designed by Rosemary. Picture: ContributedStriking yet simple - a living space designed by Rosemary. Picture: Contributed

Use wallpaper in the bedrooms

Wallpaper can work wonders - pick a decorative design and watch your dream bedroom come to life.

Rosie says: “Wallpapering bedrooms is a weakness of mine, decorators always sigh when I specify one as it’s usually wide width, the last one from was 137cm but it was such an beautiful design.”

Add drama

You can add splashes of color to a room with modern furniture pieces, or even curtains or shades. Puddling your curtains creates an air of luxury and sophistication and can give a sense of height and width to a room.

Rosie says: “A pair of full length curtains in a plain linen with a hand sewn braid set in from the leading edge and voiles in sheer fine wool are my perfect window dressing, I seem to be using Roman blinds slightly less now but they will always have their place.”

Keep kitchens clean and calm

Rosie says: “We’re so fortunate to work with a wonderful team of talented Suffolk craftspeople and I find designing a piece of furniture or working with a kitchen designer one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I like pared down and uncluttered kitchens – so much calmer to work in!”

Hunt down a focal piece for the room

A fusion of modern classic interior design should mix minimalism with a splash of striking furniture pieces, but be careful not to clutter.

Rosie says: “A few elegant pieces of antiques or beautifully designed 20th century furniture will give your home such an individual look, it’s well worth going to the special sales at local auctions. We have picked up some wonderful armchairs in the past and had them re upholstered bringing them back to their former glory.

Light up your rooms

Adding a bold light fixture to a room can create an attractive yet functional focal piece.

Rosie says: “Good lighting is so important and although we specify the latest downlighting for example, I love the range of traditional lights from and table and floor lamps from

“Mirrors bring light and perceived space into a room, I adore the patina of old mirrors but there are some wonderful new ones with stunning frames”

Fit a fireplace

A fireplace can bring together a room and the people in it.

Rosie says: “Fireplaces are essential to any large reception room and I love to use reclaimed ones but always go to when a specific style is needed.”

Ultimately, Rosie says, every home is different, which is why she offers a fully bespoke service to make the most of a particular building or space and the needs of the client.

All her interiors are unique and distinct from each other, yet still suffused with her own personal vision of light and space and her pursuit of harmony. Rosie says: “My emphasis is not only visual but also on the calmness of a space and the importance I attach to colour, materials and texture.”

To find out more information and to see examples of Rosie’s work, visit or call 01473 811780.

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