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.
In recent years many clients have chosen two-tone kitchens. This means two or more colours are paired together when choosing your kitchen cupboards. Although many are excited to try something different than the usual, most are still concerned that it is just a phase that will pass and soon two tone kitchens will be out of fashion. Although none of us can predict the future, it is common knowledge that unusual or trendy features do sometimes get overused and eventually old-fashioned because everyone can remember “what era it was in fashion”. So should you do it or not?
Like all interior finishes, as long as you choose timeless combinations, it will last a long time. Today I will show you how I think one can choose two tone kitchens, but still stick to Interior Design guidelines to make it long lasting and successful. Nobody wants to replace their kitchen every 5 years! (Or should I say “should”? Of course we will if we can!)
1. STICK TO NEUTRAL COMBO’S
A neutral palette will not easily go out of fashion ever and is easy on the eye. So if you don’t go overboard and stick to combinations of tones of black, white, timber or greys, it should work for years. Larger kitchens are better candidates for two tones than smaller kitchens. A small kitchen can quickly look very busy and looses it’s clean and modern look if there are “too much going on”.
2. KEEP IT IN LINE
Two tones look better if it is grouped together. For example: Bottom vs top cupboards, island vs back cupboards etc. It looks less busy than mixing colours and textures in the same block. In the image below you will see how dark timber and white doors are combined in the same row under the window. This makes the kitchen look very busy. Even the island is two toned. In the end it is a personal choice, and I am just giving my opinion!
Yes, we all adore the copper phase at the moment. We find that most of our clients always want to use teals or blues in their home when they decorate. However, be careful to choose any colour that tends to be a fashion statement or that’s a bit overpowering. It will dominate your living space, as most of us have open living areas lately. These bold colours will also restrict you in what colours you can use in the rest of your home, as the kitchen is fixed and it costs a lot of money to change.
5. YOUR PALETTE CAN DEFINE A STYLE
Certain design styles absolutely begs for your kitchen to have certain colours, but added softly and with great taste. Good examples are country, french, beach and provincial styles. By adding some soft tones in greys, mint or blues, you can complement the style in the rest of your home and add warmth to your kitchen. Especially when you use the shaker style doors and a painted effect on the cupboard doors. It should not be overpowering and you must have the right combination of cupboards and flooring too.
6. CREATE AN ISLAND FOCAL POINT
With so many kitchens now having a free standing island in the middle of the kitchen, this is a great way to accentuate your island bench top. By adding a splash of colour to the cupboards or panels of your island bench, you can add a lot of quirkiness to your kitchen’s design. Also, if you want to change it in the future, you only need to upgrade your island bench and not the rest of your kitchen as well.
With so many images available on the internet, Pinterest and Instagram, it is easy to get confused on what can work and what not. Don’t be overwhelmed. Gather as many images as you can, and see if you can find the trend in what images you like the most. Be sure you also match the flooring, as that can totally change the look of your kitchen.
Colour is a real mood changer. (Okay, wine and chocolates too!) Have you noticed how many blue painted walls are in decor magazines lately? I have never been brave enough to paint one of my own walls blue. I am not a fan of light blue walls myself, but the darker toned paints, leaning towards navy, I do find interesting, calming and almost dramatic. They say, once you’ve changed over to the other side… you never want to have neutral walls again! .
Start slowly, choose one room or one wall to experiment with. Make sure the other furniture in the room are mostly neutral so you don’t need to stress about matching colours too. Make sure you have other blue accents in your room like cushions or ornaments to pull it all together.
So, not surprisingly, breaking décor rules come quite naturally to me. Here are only a few of my favourite ones that get me into trouble at times:
1. DARK COLOURS ARE A NO-NO IN A SMALL ROOM
Sometimes, there are more than one solution to a problem. Of course white, with it’s ability to project light, would be the most obvious wall colour and looks fantastic in a small room. But have you considered painting the walls a dark colour? Dark wall colour has a tendency to disintegrate the edges of the room and add a mysteriousness that crisp white would struggle to obtain.
2. A LIVING ROOM SHOULD HAVE A SOFA
Our rooms are becoming more open plan and formal areas a bit smaller as needs for such a room decrease, or drop away entirely. Nowadays, when guests come over, we tend to gather in the kitchen or around the barbie outside. If you have a smaller formal lounge,size and proportion of furniture pieces should fit the room. Lounge suits are very bulky, so a few occasional chairs around a small coffee table will utilise the space to it’s best advantage.
3. FURNITURE STYLES SHOULD MATCH
Successful rooms need some common ground, but that doesn’t mean that all your furniture styles should match. Try using furniture with similar height and scale, a consistent colour scheme throughout, or giving each piece a “companion” in similar colour, style or finish. By using these tips, your décor will become more aesthetically pleasing and not look like you’ve shopped at a garage sale.
4. A LOUNGE ROOM NEEDS A COFFEE TABLE
If you have a small living area and your coffee table eats up most of the space in front of your sofa, this might just be your rule to break. There’s no reason a side table can’t fulfil the same function as a coffee table. Even an ottoman can serve as footrest, coffee table as well as extra seating. It’s light enough to move around when your kids (or grown ups after the third glass of wine) want to have a dance-off in this area.
5. DINING CHAIRS SHOULD BE A MATCHING SET
Mismatched dining chairs are a great budget option if you’ve just moved into your first flat. These can be purchased as second hand and painted to your liking. It might need a bit of planning to pull this off, but the reward is great when mismatched chairs add balance and interest in your design. Another way to add comfort to a more formal look, is by complementing your existing set with upholstered chairs at the ends of the table.
6. CEILINGS SHOULD BE WHITE
In previous years, ceilings were adorned with murals, mirrors and gold leaf, so why are we so consumed with painting all ceilings white nowadays? I realise our homes are a bit smaller than the palaces of yesteryear and white paint is propably the more obvious choice to give ceilings an illusion of height. However, by painting your ceiling a few shades lighter than your wall, the same illusion can be obtained. Restaurants and bars are renowned for creating cavernous spaces with their dark ceilings, making long chats over a glass of red at small, intimate tables very enjoyable indeed. Try imagining the ceiling as an extra wall to enhance, hide or accentuate during the decorating process.
7. HANG ART WORK AT EYE LEVEL
Generally, we hang art at eye level to attract attention instantly when you walk into the room. Let’s think out of the box for a second – what if art is displayed in an unexpected way, placed on the floor for instance, or on furniture? Wouldn’t that make it all the more unexpected and attract a bit more attention?
8. KEEP PATTERNS TO A MINIMUM
I’ve recently read interior designer extraordinaire, Greg Natale’s book “The Tailored Interior”. Boy, Oh boy, I bet he’s never heard of this rule before! He has a knack of playing with patterns in a fearless way, throwing all rhyme or reason out the window, until it all comes together in a beautiful display.
A week ago I waited in anticipation for what the “colour of the year’ in 2016 will be. Why is it important? It is, because shops will tend to lean towards these colours when they buy furniture, clothes & all things decorating. The new colours for 2016 are: ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY. This is the first time ever that two colours are chosen as colour of the year.
So if you’re not into pastels, do you have to follow this trend? Of course not! You do your own thing! It is just important to know that you will see these colours pop up everywhere in shops and magazines as it is seen as the chosen trend setting colours for the year. See, we are just here to keep you informed and help you look very intelligent and up to date with what’s going on in the market!
Here are a few examples of how these colours can be used in your home. The beautiful rug & canvas are from Urban Road.
These colours are supposed to make you feel calm, experience tranquility and increase your overall well being. Are you feeling relaxed yet? If not, grab a glass of red wine. After all, it is still 2015 and the pantone colour of the year for 2015 is still Marsala for the next three weeks. If you don’t know, Marsala is the colour of red wine! Go check it out here – Marsala: The misrepresentation of red wine.
Yes, you even celebrate Christmas this year with these lovely new pantone colours! (And very wisely tell your guests all about the new trends for next year…)
We’ve known for quite some time that, the way you introduce colour into a room, can have an effect on how you feel when walking into the room. While red is the colour of danger and energy, blue is associated with depth, calm and stability. Apparently, violet encourages deep contemplation, but in our house I forgo the purple and just use wine for those introspective moments. We could go on and introduce the entire colour spectrum, but the moral of the story is, that a little care should be taken before going crazy with colour in your room. Below are a few ideas on how to set the mood by using colour:
LIGHT AND BREEZY
Soft pastels with equally soft furnishings will create the appearance of a fresh and relaxing mood. The Pantone colour of the year for 2016, will work a treat in this setting and create an instant calming atmosphere. Use a watered down pastel colour for the walls to create some more marshmallow softness in your interior.
WARM AND COSY
Choose deep reds, browns, burnt oranges and muted yellows. Pair it with worn leather, warm timber and a glass of good red wine to get the party started. These welcoming tones work a treat in living rooms or intimate dining rooms.
COOL AND REFRESHING
Cooler colours, such as blues and greens evoke the sea, endless skies and breezy afternoons under a palm tree. This sense of calmness is further enhanced by combining it with crisp white walls. Perfect for when it heats up during the Summer months at that little dream house by the sea…
It might be the drabbest colour in the palette for some, but why then, has it become one of the most popular colours in today’s modern home?
According to colour psychology, it could be because grey gives us a sense of belonging, inclusion, and acceptance. Unfortunately, if used incorrectly, it can wreak havoc in the most sensible of homes.
The perfect gray can be quite elusive, especially when you’re standing in a paint store among a sea of samples—every hue starts looking like a dreary storm cloud.
The one thing to remember when chasing that cloud is that grey has either a blue, green or purple undertone. Magnify that hidden undertone by a lot (like your wall size) and you can imagine what effect it could have! When putting together your room, keep the undertone in your grey wall colour in mind when selecting the rest of your furnishings.
Did you know there is a difference? Many people don’t!
CHALKBOARD PAINT is just your normal (mostly black) paint that people use to paint on objects, so that they can write messages on them with chalk, and wipe it out again.
CHALK PAINT, is something totally different:
Chalk paint adheres to almost any surface! Timber, walls, metal, kitchen cabinets, floors, and concrete. You mostly don’t need to sand or prime your furniture. (I promise you!) It is known for its’ thick, chalky texture and “easy to distress” character. The queen of chalk paint, Annie Sloan, developed this unique paint more than 20 years ago. Do you wonder how easy it is to distress furniture like in this image below? EASY, with chalk paint!
Today I will not yet tell you about the easy and amazing uses of Chalk Paint. I recently painted a few pieces myself, so I will soon write a few blogs on how it works, where you can buy it and how much it costs. Details coming soon! (Please don’t expect works of art, as I am not the best and most patient painter…)
Just to remind you what traditional chalk board paint is, here is an image below:
Need some chalkboard paint inspiration too? Then read our previous blog with loads of ideas:
We all love to have a home that will stand out and make an impact in our street. To have a modern and sleek look, remember to stick to the Three Colour Rule: Have one colour for walls, one for trim and one for accents. These colours should all complement each other and match tonally. If you’re still struggling and not finding help at the Bunnings counter, send us an email and we could do a full exterior colour consult with specification list for your painters.
Contrary to belief, neutral colours aren’t boring! Starting with creamy neutrals, camel brown or caramels, you will have a base to add any colour to! Try buttery yellows or a touch of teal with your base palette and see what a difference it makes. Bringing in a few playful colours will add personality and heighten the sophisticated feel in your home.