Designing a room is a bit like putting an outfit together; just like you can pair designer shoes with a high street dress, you can also pair a signature piece, say a designer throw, with more affordable styling items. This is something I do a lot of while designing a space. I use a combination of bespoke one off pieces, teamed with off the shelf options.
The lounge is my favourite room in the house and instantly changes my mood when I walk into it.
I love creating holistic interiors that have a physiological and psychological impact on a person. I want my interiors to improve the way people live and have a positive impact on how they feel.
There were many discussions with my partner prior to designing this room. Before we went through the renovation, we used this room a lot especially in the evenings as this was the main family room for watching tv and sitting. Now we have the tv snug we don’t use it in the same way. It is used to entertain friends and family and for me to sit quietly, reflect, work, plus take some time out from my day.
It is such a bright and airy space which I love, as we have windows and doors on three sides of the room. Light is so important when designing a room. Have you ever been to someone's house and loved the colour on their wall only to go home, get a sample pot of the same colour and realise it doesn't look the same. That is because light has such an impact on the colour and depending which way your house is facing it will impact the finish you are trying to create. It is also why I never recommend getting paint colours mixed. For example if you like a colour from Farrow and Ball and get it mixed by Dulux it will not come out the same colour. Dulux is a great brand of paint, they have such a wide variety of options for you to choose from, so you are better choosing from those that trying to match something that will never really look the same.
The existing cabinetry was cream and my partner really liked them; I wasn’t so sure. I had a vision for furniture placement which definitely didn’t include the cabinets. However, I sat with the idea and worked out several layouts that would work alongside the colour scheme that made this room flow with the rest of the house I had designed. I knew the only way to make it work would be to get them spray painted. I am a big fan of painting furniture if it does’t fit within your vision or turning it into a piece of art like I did with my gran's table at The Pink House by the talented Cathy Macclymont. However I didn’t want something decorative for this room, I wanted it to blend into the walls and use styling objects to bring contrast through the materials and colours. I designed the fireplace and went direct to a stone merchant, where I could chose the slab and get it cut to the exact dimensions I wanted. Of course, you can buy an off the shelf option which will be cheaper, but will be a standard fireplace surround and not one as tall or flat at mine.
Once you know the materials and colour scheme you are sourcing, buying items becomes slightly easier to navigate. Below you will find a small selection of suppliers I used to source the items on my shelving units. As I said before you can mix and match options depending on budget. I had a lot of space to cover so I sourced responsibly in alliance with my budget.
No 44 Furniture & Fine Things
The one thing that most people notice when walking into our home is the carpet. Not because of the way it looks, but how it feels. I am a big fan of spending budget on carpets. That luxurious cushion that makes you feel like you are walking on clouds is really important. I go extra thick on the underlay and super soft on the carpets. There are lots of benefits to having a good carpet: they clean well, last longer and instantly make the room feel expensive if chosen correctly. I use Country Carpets for all my clients and mine.
The contrast of the sofas against the grey and white lifts the space and draws your eye across the full expanse of the room. I bought mine from Sweetpea and Willow, it is called Smythson and the fabric is called Kingfisher. Having lots of things going on, without it looking too cluttered is key to any design. You want the eye to be drawn to ever aspect of the space keeping that visual intrigue, without it feeling messy and stressful. Pockets of items styled together that work with the overall colour scheme are really important.
Finally drawing your eye up is so important when designing a space, that’s why interior designer Abigail Ahern often talks about painting your ceiling the same colour as your walls. Another way to achieve this if you don’t want something so dramatic, is to add art, texture paneling or a mirror to your walls. However remember to keep in mind your colour scheme and if, like me, you are going for a more cool neutral interior you can bring in some warmth through art, florals or your soft furnishings as I have done here.