All the right ingredients….

I was determined to have a great night out and … it was….However this wasn’t all due to the restaurant experience.

We started off badly as the babysitter was late (not her fault, traffic…) and as a result we couldn’t park where we had hoped and ended up walking a bit; being about 30 minutes late. The restaurant was very relaxed about everything and that helped. I had picked this restaurant because it was a guaranteed great food experience – Michelin star – but with a relaxed atmosphere. I love great food, good service, but am not often in the mood for the overly exaggerated “white clove”  service experience. This restaurant was known for good food, but the atmosphere was informal. I still needed to convince my husband it was going to be a good experience;  as we walked the rather long walk from car to restaurant he asked me the dreaded ‘fine dining’ question: ‘do you think we will still be hungry afterwards’? The fact that it wasn’t really a Michelin star restaurant as we know it – helped him get over his fear of being left hungry.

And now for the overall experience (and to cut a very long story short): the food was great but the service let a lot to be desired. It was an accumulation of things that went wrong or made me cringe (attitude, mistakes, long wait, and some really incompetent and frankly ridiculous moments). We did have a good night but only because we decided to laugh it all off. Sometimes things are so painfully wrong that even if you point out every single error (to prevent it from happening again) you are actually not going to save the night…And so we chuckled our way through the evening, laughing off the mistakes and uncomfortable moments. This is quite an achievement coming from me, believe me. I suppose if I wasn’t determined to have a good night, I probably would have pointed everything out. But you know that telling someone what they are doing wrong isn’t going to increase your own ‘enjoyment factor.’ Here’s my – rather obvious – point to the story; you can have all the right ingredients (in this case literally!!)  but if you miss out something that’s quite crucial to the experience you still don’t get the perfect result.

This is true in design too. You can have the perfect space, all the right design classics, and colours on walls, if you don’t have the crucial uplifting elements to tie everything together the room will stool look, bland, not exciting and boring.

To me the elements that need to accompany the key ingredients are:

  1. Lighting
  2. Cushions
  3. Fabrics


I could actually have this as my number 1, 2 and 3 it is that important. Lighting is so so very crucial to the atmosphere of a room. You need enough and you need soft tones. You need little pools of light scattered across the room. Never one big source of light and preferably lamp shades with soft color insides like gold and amber.


I can’t get enough of them! Please have look at one of my older posts:  ‘Quick mood enhancers’

Cushions provide that bit of elegance and drama (you can achieve all depending on which types of cushions you aim for)  but at the same time that comfy, squishy feel a room needs.


A room needs textures & patterns by means of curtains (lush velvet provides that bit of luxury) or throws, rugs and faux furs to create that cozy, ‘curl up on the sofa’ feel. Take a look below at the rug, furs and rather friendly hairy monster!


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