Never make this mistake again! We often find clients saying:”I want a monochromatic colour scheme”. What they mean, is actually a colour scheme with shades of grey. That is actually called “Achromatic.” A monochromatic scheme is a colour scheme with one colour, in many tones. However, this can be ANY colour. Green, yellow, blue or red. A monochromatic colour scheme therefore is not very popular, as most people don’t want only one colour in a room.
Here are a few examples of a monochromatic colour scheme in blue and pink. See how that is the only colour used in each room, but in different tones to make it interesting. This scheme is most popular in blue.
So next time your friends talk about monochromatic or grey colour schemes, pull out the word “achromatic” and impress them all!
So you’ve purchased your big ticket item – that tan leather 3 seater sofa you’ve had you eye on for months. It’s standing front and centre in your living room, but somehow, it still doesn’t feel like home. Not to worry, all you need is to add a few things that would soften the edges and make your sofa seem as if it’s been there since you moved in. So what would go with tan leather?
In design language, texture is “the sensations caused by the external surface of objects received through the sense of touch”. Of course, texture also has the power to enhance a space, just by noticing it, without physically touching it. In general, smooth textures such as silk, provide a sleeker look and rougher textures like sisal, give a more informal, relaxed look. Tan leather can successfully be paired with rattan, denim or linen, to create visual interest and a wonderfully informal and inviting atmosphere. Add a glass of wine and balance will be restored to your life (if you have less than 3 glasses…)
LIGHT, NATURAL HUES
The earthy warmth of tan leather goes perfectly with white and a muted colour palette such as light taupe, greys and off white. Darker slate grey and the classic combination of black and white will always be versatile and timeless. For a more soothing space, keep the tones nature inspired in softer colours and combine it with rattan baskets and roughly knitted blankets.
A POP OF COLOUR
Colour is a mood creator, can reduce negative behaviour and increase or decrease blood pressure (dangerous at my age…) If you’re a lover of colour, tan leather should be your “go to” furniture piece – it practically goes with anything! It pairs particularly well with blue (try denim) or green, but if you’re more into energetic, romantic moods, go for a spot of red 😉 For those not too confident with colour, try different patterns and textures in no more than two colours. Once you’ve found your mojo, go crazy. To make the job of mixing patterns and colours in cushions even easier, read our blog on this fool proof way by clicking on the link.
Nothing invokes more ambience than combining leather and timber. All you need is a few logs on the fire and you’ve got me settled into your home for ever… (maybe just for the winter). This combination is also a great start to an industrial look, especially if you add some exposed brick and black steel elements such as a side table or window frames.
Still feel you need a few pointers? We offer an hour consultation that will quickly guide you in the right direction.
Decorating your home according to your own tastes and style is a must if you want to feel truly at home and relaxed. Diving into your own personality and sensibility is the key to pinpointing your inner interior designer and surfacing it. Therefore, don’t feel pressured about anything and allow yourself some time and research in order to reach the peak of your inspiration and creativity when it comes to home décor.
ADEQUATE LIGHTING SOLUTION
Every room deserves its own lighting style. In that respect, there’s no need to limit yourself to only a few lighting styles and options. Also, these days you don’t have to sacrifice functionality over the looks and vice versa, when it comes to lighting. You can easily check out some creative picks for lighting online and find even more than you hoped for. In general, don’t underestimate the power of light for your interior décor. It can make the whole home a lot warmer, brighter and pleasant to be in.
SEARCH FOR INSPIRATION
The best thing about modern age is that you don’t have to do everything yourself. There are magazines on interior design that could help you find your perfect style for décor. Websites such as Pinterest, are teaming with ideas and pictures that can motivate you to reorganize, repurpose and utilize many different things and items that you thought useless.
CAREFUL WITH COLOURS
Colours can always make the space warmer and more pleasant, but if you want to change the whole colour scheme of your décor, you should think it through first. If you’re set on changing everything, from your furniture and accessories colour to wall paint and/or wallpaper, you can make a big change like this, work. But, if you only want to play with the colours of your decorative details or repaint the walls, keep it relatively simple and make sure that the new colours won’t clash with the old scheme beforehand.
Nothing can make the interior more unique and decorative than statement pieces. You might not think that you’re ready for this step, but be brave and at least try one statement piece in your décor. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. There has to be something that you found very appealing while looking through the magazines and blogs, but your own comfort zone prevents you from acting on it. Taking a step forward is very important in both your life and home décor, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
BEAUTIFUL AND EFFICIENT LAYOUT
When you start decorating, the process itself can sometimes become overwhelming. This is especially true for various accessories that you find likeable. But remember, too many bits and bobs scattered around your rooms can create a lot of mess and, in that way, cause the impression of chaos and clutter. Therefore, don’t go overboard with accessories. Strategically placed details will make the home shine from the inside but you still need to achieve the effiency and functionality of the room layout.
TRENDS NOT A MUST
If you find that the current interior design trends are not all to your liking, do not feel pressured to use them as your own home décor. If you happen to love the contemporary home design trends, that’s great! But the most important thing about the look of your place is to represent your own self. And if modern design trends simpoly do not cut it in this respect, feel free to skip them.
Decorating your home, picking out different designs and accessories, choosing colours and all that jazz should be a fun and engaging process that soothes your soul and mind. That being said, you don’t have to rush things. Take it slowly, at your own pace. If you force the task before you, you might end up with a result you don’t like.
We will not bore you with a long post about the correct steps to decorate or how to copy a decor magazine look alike room. We want to teach you the tools to do it yourself and be proud of what you’ve done. So this is just a short blog to help you get started.
Not everyone has the budget or time for an interior designer. There are also many people who want to decorate their kids’ room by themselves, but feel a little bit overwhelmed on where to start. Sometimes you just need a kick of confidence! Here we go:
1. USE AN ART WORK AS INSPIRATION
We have written a blog before on how to help your teenager create and decorate their own room. (Read blog here)
The best place to start with many children rooms is art work. This will immediately define a colour palette and style for the room. In the image above we used an art work from Urban Road. They have a beautiful range of art works. Framed, unframed, and many sizes and prices. You don’t have to overspend. Then we added furniture and accessories from Target. Depending on your budget and time frame, this should be a fun project!
2. USE ONE PIECE OF FURNITURE AS INSPIRATION
Maybe you have that one amazing piece of furniture that you definitely want to use in the room. Then use it as your starting point. It could be a funky bed, an interesting bedside table or even a rug. Above we show you an example on how you can start your project. We began with a bed and then added furniture and accessories from Adairs. With digital decorating you can play around with internet and Pinterest images on your computer until you find the right look.
Our front door opens up into an entry area and the first room to the left, is our formal lounge room. Previously, this room connected to the formal dining area, where we usually hung out during winter when entertaining.
The room started looking a bit dark and dreary with dark leather sofas, dated carpet and accessories that looked a bit tired. The pillars, which we disliked from the moment we moved in, didn’t add to the ambiance. Pillars do have their place in society and fit homes from Georgian to Federal to Greek Revival to Italianate to Romanesque to Classical Revival. They can provide privacy or create an ambiance of openness. In our house, they looked old fashioned and only created obstruction between the entry and formal living room, so they had to go.
The other pillars, between the new bar area (old formal dining area) and formal lounge area, housed supporting beams, so we decided to encase the beams in 1m nib walls on either side of the room. This plan was ideal, as cabinetry for the bar butted up against this new wall, but it also created a definite divide between the bar and formal lounge area.
The pillars and low nib walls were removed and we couldn’t believe what a difference that made to the space. Luckily, our builders knew what they were doing and the ceiling didn’t come tumbling down! Always check with your builder or structural engineer before removing any pillars or supporting walls in your home.
We removed all skirting boards and architraves in the downstairs area and replaced it with a higher profile to suit the new style. The old carpet was removed and solid timber yarrah floorboards installed.
My biggest source of inspiration for this area was a painting we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year. The artist is an ex-South African, Karen Tabac, who’s abstract landscapes focus on nature without human interference (which you’ll see in next week’s room reveal). It fitted the new style of our home, which has Colonial and Modern Country influences, but also provided a fresh aqua and bottle green colour palette to take throughout the house.
If you would like see some of the other changes we’ve made to our home, follow these links below:
Sometimes Pinterest really frustrates me. It reminds me that I am not as good and crafty with my fine motor skills than a 1000 other pinners. I also often think to myself…. where do people find the time to do all these craft projects? It is overwhelming and sometimes just too much information! So today I narrowed it down to a few options that I feel really works.
When we choose paint colours for our homes, we always end up with a bag full of paint chip samples. It does not matter if you’re an interior designer or home decorator. Do you also feel bad to just chuck them in the bin? I recently browsed on Pinterest to find ideas on how I can reuse these paint samples. Unfortunately I could only find a few ideas that I actually think is do-able and will not look like my five year old daughter has done it.
For a few dollars you can buy a whole range of punches from your local craft shop. Just punch the chip samples and paste them on cards or decorations for presents. You can even sew them together and make garlands to decorate with.
Punch them and add a string, and you have an unlimited colourful supply of tags for presents. When I am invited to a dinner party, I like to add these tags to flowers, chocolates or wine bottles as a gift for the host.
In a previous blog I told you how important a house warming is! These cutlery holders below is a great idea to add to the house warming theme.
A quick and effective way to organise your addresses, recipes or details about friends or clients.
For the very arty among us, you can try one of these art projects. I haven’t tried it yet, but it is still on my to do list.
Although I love DIY projects, I am not very much the crafty type. So when it comes to punching, cutting and glueing, my projects need to be quick, easy to make and easy to store. That’s why the few examples today are all my cup of tea!
When my kids were 3 and 6 years old, we bought a house with exposed bricks almost everywhere inside. (Of course, that was many moons ago…and so out of fashion then) There were bricks everywhere…and not the nice Industrial ones. To me it felt dark, unfinished and cold. Also, my kids literally hurt themselves running down the passage and scraping their arms and knees against the wall by accident. So I spent a heap of money to have it all rendered. Those were the days before exposed brick was labelled as being “vintage, industrial and architectural.” I sometimes wonder if I would do it again today? I can just imagine how the current owners now spend a fortune to get the exposed brick back again!
Nowadays exposed brick is very popular. Finally you now have an amazing exposed brick wall. Now you need to find out how to dress it perfectly. Exposed bricks are robust and strong. The room can quickly feel overpowered by a brick feature. Most times it is also in a house with strong architectural features. That’s why you need a strong colour to complement the brick and make the whole room feel balanced. The best colours to use with exposed brick are the three primary colours. Red, blue and yellow, but I also want to add green as an option. All four colours can stand on their own, are strong and easy to work with. Make sure you use them in a tone that is uplifting and bright.
It is better to use strong and bright tones and not soft pastels or dark tones. Your furniture will compete with the brick and soft colours can disappear if not used correctly. Stay away from darker brown paints, except if you know what you are doing and feeling very confident! It is not impossible to work with the last, but a bit tricky.
You can also use neutral tones as far as possible, and just add spots of colour to make it interesting.
Sometimes the most basic colours, are the easiest to work with. This is also your chance to experiment with a bright and colourful sofa. It is important that you add a lot of textured finishes to soften the walls. Cushions, rugs, throws and art work should be used in layers. Read our previous blog to find some layering tips. If your room still feels “cold” in stead of cozy, it’s probably because you did not add enough soft furnishing.
Why do you think paint names allow you to conjure up images of calm green forest retreats, a melting strawberry sorbet on a blistering Summer’s day or the stillness of a cool aqua ocean? While perusing paint samples, would you feel inspired in the same way if samples were called slimy gum blue, disguised yellow, paper packaging beige, fax ink black, or begrimed pink?
Paint companies are very clever and know that paint names are powerful… they have the ability to evoke images and moods in customers and they would even ruthlessly go straight for the taste buds!
Although naming paint to inspire a mood seems like a simple process, it can be painstakingly slow. Usually, the paint colour is developed first and the name is picked from a large database. Of course, they have to be extra careful that the name they choose has never been used by a competitor, as this could create confusion with the consumer. On top of that, once a particular colour has been named, it can only be associated with that unique shade. Even after it’s been discontinued, the “recipe” and name needs to be reserved, just in case a historical house painted in that colour burns down and needs to be reapplied.
Paint namers draw inspiration from global events, the media (what’s Kim Kardashian wearing these days?!) science or fashion influences, before entering paint names into the database. Some paint companies choose names that would fit a particular nation, like Australia. They would refer to the colour of the landscape (“Red Earth”), street names, famous landmarks, textures (“Hog Bristle”) or botanicals (“Green Bark”) of that country. The same is to be said of paint companies based in England – paint names could be influenced by the weather, having more referrals to the fading light, the misty landscapes and drizzle.
Paint names can be funny, dramatic or intriguing, so it could easily stick in a client’s mind (I’m not sure what Dulux thought when they named a colour “Remote Control”, as it only evokes verbal fights and tantrums in my house..) In most cases, the paint name has the most influence on the popularity of the colour. Farrow & Ball wins the quirky name battle with names such as Dead Salmon, Elephant Breath and Arsenic, being amongst the most outrageous.
Care needs to be taken before trying out names that would go for the tastebuds. The colour of Broccoli might make an awesome feature wall this season, but putting the name to the colour, could be quite off putting for most customers. “Jungle Book Green” or connotations to velvet would fare much better and avoid bringing back memories of being force fed. Being a bit of a pushover, getting me to buy a paint colour would be as easy as putting the word chocolate, marguerita or sorbet into the name 🙂
To test your paint name knowledge, I’ve put together a quiz to see who’s done their homework in the paint isle.
Put the number next to the matching paint name:
Hindsight, Shepherds Warning, Birthday King, Self Destruct, Crazy and Fun and Games
I haven’t even embraced the new trends for 2016 yet, but already the rumours are spreading about the decor trends for 2017. Thanks to social media, international decor styles hit our stores much quicker than in the past. We don’t have any formal announcements to share… but we do have some secret 2017 tips coming your way.
1. SAY HELLO TO TERRACOTTA
Not the traditional terracotta tiles or borders, but a more sophisticated matt tile, used as featured walls for bathrooms, kitchens or fireplaces. Even the traditional floor tile will have a more modern design, finish and shape.
2. WELCOME BACK CORK
History repeats itself. Remember those cork walls from the sixties? They’re back baby! You will see them in traditional cork walls, but also in head boards, furniture and floors.
3. INTRODUCING DARK GREEN
Last week I took my teenage daughter shopping for winter clothes. She was so frustrated with “all the boring dark green clothes” on the shelves. I only then realised how many dark green clothes there actually were! All paired with tan leather accessories. See in the image below how green complements the leather and timber accessories. As we know, fashion inspires decor, so it is no surprise that dark green decor items will be flooding the stores soon.
This is just a sneak peek of decor to come, but have a look what’s in the clothes stores at the moment. Use it as inspiration for decorating your home in 2017.
Black taps are here to stay and give a design edge to contemporary interiors such as modern, rustic and industrial. Using black tapware is a great way to incorporate black in a subtle way while making a more demure design statement than black cabinetry. Black can be masculine, but also subtle and sophisticated if mixed with the right materials. It marries equally well with chrome, white, as well as timber and copper.
While there aren’t many rules when choosing the finish of your tapware in your kitchen, we still want to end up with a cohesive and harmonious look. To get the most out of your black tap, here are a few tips to put your mind at ease:
There’s no need to match your black tap to your sink, so using a stainless steel sink is fine, especially if it’s under mounted. It’s more important to have a contrasting backdrop behind the black tap, as this will create the “wow” factor, Try white subway tiles with dark grout, as this will be an eye catching statement, without being over powering.
If you crave a classic, but show-stopping combination, try black taps with a neutral backdrop, such as marble or highly glossed white tiles. This can effortlessly become a very sophisticated centre piece without trying too hard.
Pairing black and white is a contemporary, classic look that will never go out of style. If you’re afraid of going too dark with cabinetry, match your black taps to black cabinet handles instead. This way the accent of black flows throughout the kitchen, without overpowering the space.