All change- Redesign and Redecorate

In life things do not always stay the same for long.  Nothing is permanent – the seasons, our lives, our families and so too our homes will all change.  When we create rooms, we make them for the moment we are in.  Then we have to re-configure a room as we do not seem to use it any more or it’s use changes.  Reinventing, and moving things around to suit is important.  You need to remain flexible and open to new ideas and ways of using what you have got to make it all work for you again, while keeping the space welcoming and warm.  The other bonus is that it keeps things fresh, edgy and up-to-date.  It also a cocooning thing to do as the weather changes for winter in New Zealand.  (The opposite effect for spring and summer.  It is called a “spring clean” for a reason!)

A contrast in style,scale & height with furniture. Via

A contrast in style,scale & height with furniture. Via

This all may sound like Buddhist Friday talk, but a lot of an Interior Designer’s work is simply this.  Changing things around as things change in people’s lives. And it is not all about going out and buying everything shiny and new. Not many of us can afford to do that, and frankly a lot of these rooms will be characterless with no soul. So, have a look around your space, make a plan with possibilities, and then move things around.  Try a couple of chairs in a different room. Do they give a contrast in scale in height that was missing before? Move the sofas into another room.  Do they look better there?

These chairs add a contrast in scale and height in the room. Also add smooth with rough table.  Via Greige Design.

These chairs add a contrast in scale and height in the room. Also add smooth with rough table. Via Greige Design.

Ring the changes with a detail on a curtain panel, reinvent your side tables, put an extra desk in an unexpected place as a makeshift study.  Make the hallway an interesting space with wallpaper and hang those family photos that are in a box in a cupboard somewhere.  Maybe you could do something exciting with a dinner set that is lurking around at the back of the garage in a box.

Get those dinner plates on the wall.  Hang 'em any way.  Via

Get those dinner plates on the wall. Hang ’em any way. Via

Empty those boxes and hang 'em up to make the hallway an interesting space.

Empty those boxes and hang ’em up to make the hallway an interesting space.

Use an old chest as a coffee table, recover a couple of chairs, use some fabric that pulls it all together with colour, pattern and style in cushions.  Have a look at those table arrangements – tablecapes – re-arrange and re- do them. Re-fresh, re-new, re-jig, re colour.

And some people call it redecorating and redesigning.

Winter Tablescape Idea via

Winter Tablescape Idea via

Textural contrast on a table top. Add candles and shiny glass to terracotta pots.  Via Molitli Interiers.

Textural contrast on a table top. Add candles and shiny glass to terracotta pots. Via Molitli Interiers.

If you would like help with redecorating or re-jigging your interiors due to changes in your life, do not hesitate to contact us.


Dulux Colour Forecast 2014- Future Tribes

Dulux have predicted the latest international trends from around the world for 2014, which denotes travelling the world without leaving home as in being a digital nomad.  Be inspired by cultures that place emphasis on energetic colour and vibrant pattern.  Imagine being immersed in the life of an Aztec tribe or feeling the energy of a Moroccan market place.  (Personally, it would be better to feel the real thing rather than digitally through the click of a mouse don’t you think?)

Anyway, will try to explain what they are getting at – sometimes the language gets a little flowery and designery for some of us more humble earthlings.  There are 4 sections/tribes of colour which are named as below.  Rejoice- it is a return to colour and pattern big time!  Pretty sharp colour along with lots of soft pastel almond colours including flesh pinks, rusty browns, in the  aquas thrown in with some really vibrant fluoro colours too.  All of these can be placed in amongst our more neutral greys, creams, whites, browns and blacks to spice things up a little and add much needed punches of colour.

1. The Digital Nomads Palette Think Aztec prints colours and vibrancy.  Digital patterns, Geometric shapes too.  Colours are bright with smokey amethysts and metallics coming in too. Overall feel is sharp, and contemporary with an edge of softness.


2. The Retro Visionaries Palette  Here you can see energetic forward thinking with bright colours, some almost fluoro (interior colours always follow fashion), so bright yellows, cerise pinks, azure blues, mixed in with bright turquoise.  These also have a slightly retro feel to them too.  A little of this in an interior will go a long way and the trick is to pick one or two colours and play with them in different ways in each room.  Don’t try to have the whole lot in one house, otherwise it will feel like living in a kaleidoscope of colour.  Overwhelming.



3. The Precious Elementals Palette  This has a more masculine vibe with strong, earthy umbers, browns, and rusts mixed in with greys and soft natural woods.  This represents our awareness of what we are doing to our earth as we live here.  There is a softness about this new contemporary look, gone is the tough steel, industrial look of chrome.  Organic in feel, it has used quiet, muted, neutral colours, with nothing rustic or worn.  This palette is infinitely useable anywhere in the home and will be easy to incorporate into existing themes.  Perfect!



4. The Romantic Spirits Palette  This has a softness and romantic warmth about this palette.  The colours show a fresh look at our heritage.  The pink/flesh may be a little feminine for some, but if you mix in with contemporary charcoal geometrics it becomes hip and vibrant.  There is a nostalgic nod to our past, which lets us incorporate these older pieces into our digital age- the return of turned legs for example.  Touches here and there are all that is required, and when mixed in with rusty browns it gives it a strong edge that is not frilly.  There is a rustic feel to this palette too as soft patinas and worn woods sit happily alongside the moody colour.  (This is my personal favourite as can be seen by the “I love Pink” pinterest board)



Well there you have it.  Click on the links above to find the Dulux Paint Colour suggestions.  Am pleased to say have been using Lyttleton, Opito Bay, Ohai, Franz Josef in interior design colour schemes lately.  So far no one has gone for the pink, but am slowly adding it around the all male Hutton House.  Do you think they’ll notice? Which one is your favourite?  Can you think of ways to update your existing colours schemes to incorporate these new colours?  If you would like help with this, we’d love to hear from you.

Related links:

Pattern Pulls it all Together.


Often people are scared of mixing pattern as they are scared their rooms will end up looking like a jumble sale….well, it can do when it is done badly, but once you have started to follow the few rules below, you will have no fear.  Pattern is a great way of adding zing and pulling all the various elements you have together in a room.  It is also a great way of connecting styles and bringing different colours together you may have in a scheme.

1.Patterns need to be consistent with each other visually, but create an atmosphere. For example, a tribal pattern would bring together an exotic African earthy style, or a Floral design may bring together all the pretty colours you have in your cottage.

2. When mixing start by using colours in common.  For instance if you have corals and blues in your pallette, then work with the same colours.

PatternMixinig Here you can see the have pulled the emerald green and white out of the floral and used in a geometric/animal print.  The blue velvet is also in the floral fabric and it has been used to coordinate in a velvet blue.

3. Next mix a large scale pattern with a small.  Eg. a large floral  pattern will balance a small one when the colours are in common and vice versa.  This is exactly what they have done at Burlap and Lace.  Visit this page as she has done a really good blog on pattern mixing!

4. Then, add in geometrics such as plaids, checks, diamonds and stripes.  They will all easily coordinate with a pattern if it is in a different scale and have similar colours.  Geometrics are huge in interiors at the moment, so use them to update your scheme.


Here you can see that Tara Bussema has used a central patterned cushion on the sofa to pull all the different blues and greens together.  Then she has used a chevron stripe (throw over back of the sofa) & a geometric  (Green and white) along with a zebra print to bring in the wicker chairs and other touches of black in in the room.  Looks Fantastic and is a fresh and great example of pattern being used to bring it all together.  Now what is scary about that?


Winter Blues?

Mid Winter Blue inspiration
In the depths of winter it is natural to feel a little blue; but then you can get a little mid winter blue inspiration with these pictures.

Splashes of Blue

The above pictures are by Canadian Designer Sarah Richardson whose series ‘Sarah 101’ & ‘Sarah’s House‘ you may have seen on the Living Channel. She is a whizz at mixing lots of patterns and/or colours together. It is also interesting to see how, by mixing & putting together a few pieces that you may have lurking in your cupboards, you can create compositions and vignettes of colour to match your winter blue theme.  Note that not everything in the pictures is brand new.  Older pieces add soul and patina to a room that new things don’t. In other words, it doesn’t necessarily cost to show your style.

At Room Service Interiors fabric can often inspire furniture designs & we have noticed that there are also lots of blue fabrics coming through in the latest collections- especially in Ikat, geometrics, and tribal prints. There is also use of blue in updated traditional prints; blue has always been a classic and will continue to be.

These photos show wallpapers and fabrics available from Unique Fabrics. Unique has a wonderful range of blue fabrics in their indent collections from Travers- the Entrada and Windermere designs I especially love. Now then, Doesn’t it make you feel there is a little bit of summer in your winter blues?