The ‘Darkside’

In November, I ordered a chair from The Cotswold Company. It was going to sit next to my new pride & joy, the faux fireplace/log burner & become the perfect place to unwind after a long day; cup of tea in hand & a book perched on my lap. I chose it specifically because it was big enough to curl up on & could even fit a child or two (if they really have to…).

It was the Bampton linen armchair, currently on sale at £562 & I was completely in love.

Said chair arrived just before Christmas & has probably taught me more in the one month that it’s been sat in Baylyn House than I learnt in the whole of 2017.

You see, I made a decision that is quite out of character for me. When I ordered the chair, instead of sticking to my usual neutral decor (‘beige-tastic-fantastic’) I decided to embrace the ever growing trend of the ‘darkside’ & instead opted for a statement look with dark navy blue.

I’ve been admiring so many Instagram accounts that are quite frankly rocking the #darkside look which is so ‘in’ right now. I personally LOVE the colour navy & think it’s still fairly neutral, plus it’s one of my interior predictions for 2018.

The dream fell to pieces when the delivery men pulled up outside & carried it in, I was basically giddy with excitement & then it struck me that actually, it was blue…& I mean really blue. The driver even remarked ‘is this right?’ as he surveyed the house & basically everywhere he looked was rather more bland than this blue beauty.

I know all too well that sometimes when you make an interior decision that you can take a little while to grow or warm to things. Sometimes it can be a bit of a shock & for a while things catch your eye but over time you gently get used to them. Except it’s been a month & I still look at this gorgeous (& super comfy) chair & think ‘you are beautiful, but you just don’t belong here’.

Traditionally I am known (& well loved judging by the 100k people that chose to follow me & my beige home) for pale, neutral interiors & actually, there is a reason for that…it’s me & it’s what I LOVE. It’s what ‘The Home That Made Me’ was built on & I personally think is the most timeless of interior looks.

After going into slight panic mode, I decided to make it stand out less by injecting navy in to the rest of the room. I ordered a rug from Wayfair, I bought cushions & throws & looked endlessly for some artwork to tie in above the console table. But I soon realised that actually, I was fighting a losing battle with my inner self.

My main gripe was the fact that the 19374728 cushions I have stored up in the loft to style for the seasons or just to switch things up & calm my ‘I want to redecorate’ every 5 minutes mind, would be defunct. The chair would mean that putting say blush pink & floral cushions on my two sofas in Spring would become tricky & clash completely. I would have to stick with the navy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

So what did I do? I called The Cotswold Co (who’s customer service is impecable), explained the situation & how completely & utterly stupid I was to not order any fabric samples & they were absolute angels agreeing to swap it with an ex show room display chair in, guess what, beige.

I’ll be waving goodbye to the navy dream & saying hello to my roots on Friday.

So what did I learn? Basically that beige is best & actually even interior designers who live, breath & work in interiors can (& do) make design mistakes!



  1. Lynne
    January 23, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    It’s a beautiful chair but I did say ‘what has she done?’ When it arrived. What fabulous customer service from @cotswoldco. Look forward to seeing the new beige chair. …….and relax!

    • Karen
      January 24, 2018 / 7:35 am a lover of both beige interior and of colour..please don’t swap!! You loved it when you got it, stands there like the regal piece it looks completely in place and a deliberate addition! In my opinion you can still pick out some pink colours for the other sofas in spring they won’t clash at all..then put them away..Blue or navy goes lovely with autumn colours you said it’s still the best other mutual colour….awww don’t change it live with it longer and like you said yourself have faith in yourself. You did th right thing in the first place it adds another dimension to your room..any way …ill miss it..your home rhough and your happiness xx just my friendly opinion much love karen xxx

  2. Jo
    January 23, 2018 / 7:15 pm

    I did wonder why you had bought a blue chair but then like you I am a lover of neutral colours , I too have tried to embrace “other “colours and recently painted the bottom half of my hallway what was supposed to be in my mind ( at the time !) a lovely Heather colour……no no no every time I look at it it screem’ s lilac to me , it’s got to go, just know that you arn’t alone and we all love you just the way you are xx

  3. January 23, 2018 / 7:28 pm

    At the end of the day it has to be you. I think it’s a beautiful colour chair but in your home will stick out like a sore thumb. You have to be true to yourself.

  4. January 23, 2018 / 7:37 pm

    It’s a gorgeous chair! And YES we do get it wrong sometimes and I think it is a very valuable lesson not to get falsely lured in to following trends especially with the pressures of Instagram. Trying things out is great but also knowing what you are about, what works and what you feel comfortable with is also important to! Lush chair though – I’m looking for one like that so will head over to the Cotswold co now! X

  5. Sarah
    January 23, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    Wonderfully honest!! It’s good to know we can all make interior decisions that we wish we could undo. And what fabulous customer service from the Cotswold Company! Thanks for sharing and for being so up-front! Xxx

  6. January 23, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    Ah Charlotte I absolutely love your home and following your stories.
    I think sometimes we want to like something because we think we want a change or we should because it’s the latest trend (I’m guilty as charged haha.) But in the grand scheme of things, we like what we like, I like lots of different styles but it doesn’t mean we have to embrace them all.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home.
    Best Wishes
    Della xx

  7. January 23, 2018 / 8:26 pm


    I love all the neutral colours, however as we live on a farm, they aren’t practical for our furniture. How do you keep your sofas so clean, I get that you can wash the cushions but aren’t the arms slightly different. I always wondered how this worked? I love the navy chair too but your home is so beautiful as it is you don’t need to introduce any colours. I do love the Joules range from DFS- if I was introducing more colours I would definitely try some of that range.

    All things nice…

  8. January 23, 2018 / 8:26 pm

    Amen to this!! I keep looking at my house thinking I need to add colour, specifically dark colour and I know it’s just not me! Well done you for being brave and owning up to a mistake ??

  9. Gemma Pennington
    January 23, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    It’s exciting to add colour. I Have Farrow and Ball Stiffkey blue on my walls in the lounge. I’m prob a lot olderthan you so have tried EVERY colour going. Your house is gorgeous and I think as you get older and more adventurous you’ll be surprised by your colour choices. Keep doing what your doing. Your doing great. Gemma x

  10. Lisa
    January 23, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    I can relate fully to your post, although I had the opposite situation, having always been a fan of the darkside and bold colours I let myself follow the shabby chic trend a few years back. My home was ok but the colours just wasn’t me or suit our house and it never quite felt like my home. 2016/17 we redecorated the whole house (husband loves me ?) and I have stayed true to myself and what I love despite how others feel about it (mother in law not a fan ?) but now I love my home. It’s a true representation of us as a family. Hope the new chair brings you the joy you were hoping for ?

  11. Nikki
    January 23, 2018 / 10:24 pm

    I’m 42 and have only just really realised what I like and like you it’s neutral! I’ve gone from dark walls to orla kiely wallpaper to finally settling on white and f&b mizzle.I’ve learnt my lesson at last! I know then if I get bored and want to inject a bit of colour I’ll buy new cushions, throws etc. Every time I I think of being adventurous now I will come and read this post!!

  12. Angie
    January 23, 2018 / 11:09 pm

    Blimey! Your brilliant post so resonates with me tonight ? Had a little wander into the ‘dark side ‘ and sitting here with paint stained hands having spent two days painting our bedroom in a dark colour!! Love all the inspiration on Insta but alas just not for me. High five you for putting your hand up and admitting a wrong choice – life is too short, follow your heart and trust your instincts (which is what I’ll do once I’ve washed my paint brushes ?)

  13. Steph
    January 24, 2018 / 7:23 pm

    I have to say I completely agree with you, when I saw the blue chair on your page I was so surprised. I feel like every Instagram home interiors page just now has a navy theme. As nice as navy is in pictures, I think it’s a big statement to stick with through all the seasons. Like you I like to change my cushion colours around and put yellow cushions out in the spring and grey in the winter. Your house is my favourite of all the insta homes and it’s definitely timeless. Keep going with your gut because I think you’ve got great taste.

  14. Cat
    February 10, 2018 / 7:45 am

    I’ve finally got to read your post! RIP the navy chair and hello and welcome to the beige one! Great post Charlotte! Xxx