Ask the Designer: 'Herb Panel' by Welbeck Tiles

Word panels have become very popular and look great in traditional white or cream kitchens.

Ask the Designer: 'Herb Panel' by Welbeck Tiles

Q. Years ago, I converted the garage into a play room for the kids. Now that they’re grown up I’d like to convert it back into a study. Any ideas?

A. With lots of people now working from home, the garage can be a very valuable space — even if it’s just for doing your accounts or hobbies.

Consider going for a ‘Gentlemen’s Club’ theme. Key elements include dark panelled walls (or wallpaper mimicking this), shelves full of books, large traditional desk in dark wood, Queen Anne–style arm chairs in leather or tartan upholstery and red or green velvet window treatment with an opposing wall in the other colour ie red curtains and green wall or vice versa. It should be stylish, timeless and comfortable.

Q. My wooden stairs are starting to look a little worse for wear, but I can’t afford to replace them. What do you suggest?

A. Why not give them a makeover instead? Painting your stairs is one of the biggest interior trends of the year. Make a bold statement by painting each step a different colour. Or paint vertical stripes the length of the staircase — all you need is masking tape and a steady hand! Applying wall/stairs decals is easier than you think.

Q. I’m looking for kitchen tiles with the names of herbs on them for the wall behind my cooker, but can’t find them anywhere. Can you help?

A. Word panels like the one you’re talking about have become very popular and look great in traditional white or cream kitchens. Sure to inspire any amateur chef, they can be customised with any group of words, e.g, wines, cheeses, etc. You can also add images to the panel if you wish. Welbeck Tiles in Cornwall do a stunning ‘Herb Panel’ (£478) that sounds exactly like what you’re looking for. It can be ordered through Callan Kitchens in Bandon (Tel: 023-8844150)or online at

Q. I’m looking for a large (30-40cm) wall clock in a modern oak or metal style, but not too bright. Can you point me in the right direction?

A. This funky brushed steel wall clock with red hands is the right size and costs €64.99 from If you prefer wood, this minimalist design (25 x 40cm) made from recycled pieces in colours of your choice may be just what you’re after. It’s €46 from

If you still can’t find one you like, how about this Alessi Blank Wall Clock in aluminium (40cm, €105 from – which comes with a pen so you can customise the hours.

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