5 reasons to use Wallpaper -It’s right up there.

MatthewsDenWideColWebWallpaper going up the wall is just the thing for so many reasons.  We are using it a lot in projects at the moment, and when carefully thought about it really can add the energy and vibe that is often missing in an interior.  Here are the first 5 reasons to use wallpaper – there are many, many more.

1. Use wallpaper to add character

In an otherwise  uninteresting hallway it is a great way to add charm and introduce the ‘theme and style’ of a house.  It creates a welcoming visual treat. Used in other rooms it can be used to relate back to a theme, relate to the area the house is in or to create an ambiance.

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2. Wallpaper to add light. 

This could sound crazy but if you have a room where there is very little light getting in  considering using a wallpaper which has a metallic sheen to it.  It will help bounce light back into the room.  It works because it diverts the eye away from it not having a lot of natural light.  MagnoliaHall_web

3. Wallpaper helps in the dark.

True.  A room painted or wallpapered in a dark colour does the same as above, and diverts the eye from thinking it is a small dark horrible space.  It lifts the whole space to another level and makes it seem sooooo much more interesting and dynamic.  These ideas do work as it is all about tricking the eye that there is light or it is not so dark. This is because Wallpaper diverts the attention away from the negative aspects of the room.

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4. Wallpaper adds warmth and charm.

In the pictures below, this room was not being used by the client at all.  It was cold and uninviting. We used a warm coloured wallpaper to add an interesting layer to the room, create depth and personality.  It now feels warm and cosy and is helped by the unexpected punches of colour that we reupholstered the clients antique sofa in.  The room is now used and the clients love it.

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We used this wallpaper to tie back to the paper that was used in the hallway.  Using the same colours provided a link to each space and tied the room and hallway together. This gives unity and flow to the house. The wallpaper in this room was inspired by some old treasured maps of London. We chose Trade Routes by Zoffany has a similar look and feel to it as the prints.

Wallpaper inspiration came from the prints on the table.

Wallpaper inspiration came from the prints on the table.

5. Use Wallpaper  as a feature.

Remember feature walls?  Well, don’t paint them, it is much more interesting to wallpaper.   By doing so you add another layer and character to a room.  So, is something missing in your space?  Consider using a textured paper especially if the room is neutral.  Texture is so often overlooked.  It doesn’t have to be full on floral, but be brave and use it to tie back to your colour scheme.  I promise, it will look truly amazing.

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Wallpaper adds character and defines the desk area in the corner of a lounge.

So think about using Wallpaper in your favourite or not so favourite space- it’s right up there!

If you’d like help choosing the right wallpaper in the right place we’d love to help. 

Related Links:

http://decordesignonline.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/off-the-wall/

Check out our Wallpaper inspiration on our Pinterest page.

http://www.pinterest.com/roomserviceNZ/w-a-l-l-p-a-p-e-r/

 

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Rooms within a Room

Have you too much space in a living room?  Often spaces can be too big, as big as a barn,and the spaces just don’t seem to be intimate, warm and welcoming. This may seem surprising, but it is as common a problem as too little space and is actually a little more tricky to make work.  Take some interest in the big public spaces around you – hotel lobbies and bistros – to get ideas. Notice how the different spaces work and how they have been linked together to make a cohesive whole.  Is it tied together with colour, similar furniture styles?  Is the flooring different? Note the layouts – you will see each has smaller zones for relaxing, dining, or conversation areas within the greater space.  It still functions as a seamless, personal attractive whole, and your large living room can be similarly zoned.

Furniture arranged in zones keep this room interesting.

Furniture arranged in different areas fill this room & allow for various activities. Held together with similar colours in wall & floor coverings. Via Damask & Dentelle.

To create a spacious feel, unify the room with colour, texture and light, to create harmony within the different areas.  Texture is the best way to add personality and keep things welcoming.  Using the same texture across the different zones and spaces will provide the glue that pulls the whole thing together.

Several seating areas have been created using different pieces.  Again held together with colour and pattern.

Several seating areas have been created using different pieces in this fabulous room. All held together with colour and pattern.

Keep furniture arrangements simple and easy to reconfigure for gatherings in different ways.  Buy more versatile pieces that can be used in different ways. Having a focal point – a large one such as a chimney surround or  a rustic armoire for example will brings warmth, texture and personal interest into a room and will anchor down the different areas/zones.

The fireplace anchors this room as it is the focal point.

The fireplace anchors this room as it is the focal point. Colours are repeated throughout, tying together the different areas.  Interior created by Cindy Rinfret

Get the bigger pieces such as sofas off the wall (have said this before) and then place a desk or even smaller chairs behind a sofa with a table in between  so that you immediately create another area.Thinking creatively about furnishings and re-inventing pieces will make the room even more interesting.

By keeping the chairs and tables simple and not too heavy looking-be sure you can see underneath them as this creates the illusion of space- they can be easily moved around to suit visitor numbers as and when required.

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Note how the colours and tones are similar throughout. Textural interest and lighting help to anchor the scheme as does the contrast in scale and height of the furniture.

Built in seating is a good way to add interest and another zone to a room.

Built in seating is a good way to add interest and another seating zone in a room.

If you would like help with your large room layout please contact us.

Look and follow our Pinterest board for inspiration. (warning Pinterest is highly addictive!)

We also visited Sarsfield Brooke furniture showroom today, with lots of new furniture to get creative with.  Available through Interior Designers nationwide.

Related Links:

http://www.atlantahomesmag.com/

http://stinemos.blogspot.co.nz/

http://rinfretltd.blogspot.co.nz/

http://www.damasketdentelle.com/en/

Seasonal Change for Autumn

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” – George Eliot

Seems like Autumn has started to arrive this week with southerly winds and rain blowing up the country.  It is a little sad that summer maybe on the run, but by keeping things a little warmer on the inside  you will feel nurtured and cocooned.  Bring in a few accessories and welcome being a little more snug and happy about the cooler weather approaching.  A bowl of gourds/pumpkins one way to comment that autumn is here, along with some beautifully coloured autumn leaves – all the colour inspiration you need.

Autumn/harvest colours are warm – reds, burgundies,oranges, rusts and yellows.  Rarely do you see the fresh blues and greens of summer in Autumn.  Add spicy touches of colours to your space with throws, pillows and natural accessories.

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Change cushion colours to cosy things up

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Re-staging the neutral backdrop you may have in the room with tactile delights helps you to snuggle in. Layer & layer again wool throws, lushly textured pillows, a basket of pine cones, fire wood and a plush area rug.

Inspiring Idea to welcome Autumn

Oh and don’t forget the candles and fireside lamps to help cosy things up even more.  Lamps and candles add another layer of contrast and depth to a room’s lighting scheme and help to create a warm friendly ambience to cuddle down in.  Only thing missing could be the bottle of warm coloured Pinot Noir?!

Related Articles:

http://www.thedesignchaser.com/2014/03/autumn-new-things-moodboard.html

http://justdecorate.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/3-things-you-should-do-to-get-your-home-ready-for-the-next-season/

http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/fall-decorating/

Aging Gracefully

Apologies for not posting last week- have been taking my own advice and cleaning out the garage!  While a lot went to recycling, charity, it got me thinking about why I keep old stuff like rustic boxes from my Grandpa’s work shed.  I take these pieces in and out of my own rooms to refresh them and add textural interest and layers. I love them for these reasons and because they have a history unique to me.  As we’ve talked about before, there is a beauty and sole in old things that is often overlooked in interior design.  Do you get too hung up on having it all absolutely perfect and making sure you have the exact colour and furniture arrangement?  Is it making you into an aged beauty more quickly than you would like?  Well, have a look at these pictures of an old French Farm house- can you see the beauty in revealing the history of these walls?  Better than all over pristine white paint is it not?

Stripped Back to its bare bones, this bedroom, exudes simple uncluttered aged beauty.  It still has lots of interest & layers of softness and comfort, despite being not so perfect and old.

Inside an old house you can even mix some modern pieces to create friction and even more interest as seen above.  Note the absence of perfectly painted walls.  Though they do have them in the hallway, but the floors are kept to the original and the antique simplicity of the furniture keep the whole theme going.

If you do not have old walls, but think that you may want to add a little old layers to make seem like you are aging gracefully there are many wallpapers around that will help you do the trick these days, and of course there are always paint effects.  Have a look at the Zoffany range at Textilia Fabrics, or the Andrew Martin range at Unique Fabrics. Also look at our wallpaper pinterest board.  Perhaps instead of using new wood overlay flooring, think about using recycled boards from demolition yards.  It instantly adds the age old patina you are looking for.  Added to that you are recycling 🙂

In New Zealand we could do this with some of old villas could we not?  Peel the layers back to reveal what lies underneath – gorgeous Kauri floors, scrimmed walls, old wallpaper.  There is a lot to be said for aging gracefully don’t you think?  Please feel free to comment, especially if you are a Villa owner!  

For help in letting your interior design age gracefully, please contact us.

How to create the Perfectly Imperfect Room

Having talked about letting go of perfection last week, we thought we better help you create interiors that are not so perfect.  For many of you, creating the perfectly imperfect room will be scary but it is not as hard as it sounds. The main in creating an imperfect room is to try to achieve welcoming, cosy, relaxing and comfortable feeling.  To simplify the process we have made a list: (this is a perfectionist thing to do- I know!

  1. The easiest and most important thing to do is to colour your room in.  Yes, paint those walls a warm welcoming deeper colour and it will instantly transform your space.  White/off white doesn’t do that.  Colour is the easiest, least expensive, most transforming, old decorator’s trick in the book.  Go for a soft neutral like Dulux Waitangi, North Head, or Opononi. Be brave and make it double strength.
  2. Move the furniture off the walls.  Get the big pieces – sofas and chairs in an arrangement as if they are “talking” to each other.  It looks so welcoming.  Add the big and squishy, comfy too. (layers again).  Next place the side tables there with the lamps/candles as that is where you comfortably want to place your G&T tonight isn’t it it?

  3. Add texture, texture, texture, layers of it.  Create an element of rough with smooth.  Fluffy with shiny.  Everything all shiny and smooth, is cold and unwelcoming. Frigid. So add rough loved furniture, the shaggy rug, hand knitted throw, the wicker basket.  This creates a tension and vibrancy in a room which moves it into an interesting space, far away from bland land.
  4. Add layers, layers, layers, of texture yes, but also the quirky, interesting, and underlying. Add the rug, add the cushion, add the wallpaper, add the pattern, create some tables-capes, make the mantle piece look magic.  This all creates layers of interest in a room. Yes, you will have to dust a little, but at least it will be interesting.
  5. Add some lighting. Get those lamps plugged in, candles lit, and put them in corners and on tables.  As many as you like. They add interesting pools of light to a room, are beautifully soft, warm and  welcoming and of course less than perfect. Overhead ceiling pot lights, perfectly placed in the 4 corners of the room just don’t do this. They are stark, unwelcoming, uninteresting and predictable.
  6. Next you need to add something less than perfect- a little bit of wacky, quirky, odd ball, unpredictable and funny.  Even a stuffed animal will do. When everything is too perfect it lacks humour and therefore is uptight and perfect.
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Table Scapes create focal points

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Texture with Humour

Now you can sit comfortably in your re aligned space and enjoy with your family and friends. What could be more perfect than that?

Keep Calm on the Inside

Finding Calm in an increasingly hectic world has become a challenge.  With the constant invasion of technology, life carries on at a frantic pace.  Life is so often the ‘full noise’ and turned up so loud it is not a surprise that many of us will seek sanctuary in a soft neutral colour scheme.  We are bombarded all day long so why would we want to come home to a colour calamity that screams ‘full on’?

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We want colours that are calm, soothing, soft and subtle like in the above photo, courtesy of Woonmagazine. This can be anything from Greyed off whites, a whole range of creams and an infinite variety of oatmeals, greys, taupes and browns.  These colours are borrowed from nature, so think about our sandy beaches, silver fish grey skies, weathered grey woods and foliage such as Manuka, Corokia and Astelia plants. Cliff faces, pumice and rocks can also provide colour inspiration – nature has so much to offer to a colour scheme doesn’t it?

To be calm you will need to be ‘cocooned’ so think about darker, smudgy colours. (I’m not thinking Black and White here – too cliché and overused).  Darker colours will come toward you and are somehow a lot more nurturing than stark whites and hard blacks.  B & W are too ‘edgey’ and uninteresting to impart calm in your life. Try out Moody Mellow colours that are softened off.  A good example is the photo above – love that picture window and how it brings the outdoors in along with a textural play.  The muddied-off-pinks and mushroom-browns below are another great example how a naturally neutral interior can be calm and welcoming at the same time.

It is also wise to remember when doing a calm, soft scheme that is important for you to layer with textural touches too.  Place rough with smooth, shiny with matte. (The first photo is a good example of this) Texture is so often overlooked in a calm, tranquil interior scheme and is the most important layer to add the depth, character and soul to your interior. Below, not a lot of colour is used, but touching use of texture makes for an interesting play on grey.

Again let nature be your inspiration.  Anything left outside will weather off in the wind, sun, rain and salt air to a perfect neutral – cedar, zinc, driftwood. When adding texture  think rough logs, with smooth velvets, shells, plants and sisal matting; Soft mohair and linens too.  Below are more examples of how to work with calm colours in your bedroom and home office. What you will also find working within  limited colour palettes such as these, is that they will create continuity and flow to your home and therefore the illusion of space.  All good things don’t you think?  So, Bring the outdoor colours inside, to Keep Calm on the Inside.

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If you would like help creating a soothing, calm colour scheme for your home we’d love to hear from you.

Related Articles:

The above inspiring photos are from Woonmagazine.

https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/the-missing-link/

https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/neutral-colour-schemes/

Adding Soul to your Interior

When designing a space for yourself think about how you might add a bit of soul.  Add an interesting layer or two of soul and suddenly a room takes on a different dimension. “More Grown Up” a client said to me this morning.  It is easily mastered by not buying everything new. If you have everything new and blingy it just looks well, shiny and a bit like a magpie has decorated a motel room.  This is because everything has the same texture, no interest or character and the pieces haven’t been on the planet long enough to develop what is called a Patina.Good word that….Patina is something that happens over a long, long  time, and can never be duplicated no matter how much stressing and antiquing you do. Wood, Mirrors and leather are surfaces that show Patina and age really well.

Older pieces tell a story about who else has reached out and touched it over the years.  Am sure most of you have seen that in an old building where they step has worn down where everyone stands or on a fountain or piece of stone that people have touched for centuries.  Below in an otherwise clean and contemporary interior the dining table, is what is adding the Soul and Patina to the space.  It looks so much better than a smooth shiny new piece don’t you think? 

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Josephine Gintsburger via http://www.urbankaleidoscope.com/

So, in your scheme consider adding pieces that are old, a little beaten up or worn. Things that have lived a little and been around a while.  This gives a textural play and depth to an interior along with heart. Something that you just can’t get when you buy new.  This is seen with antiques and is what makes them more valuable and yes, more expensive.  So, before you go and buy something new think about the pieces that you have that could maybe reinvented with furniture wax or stain or with different accessories.  Perhaps even move your older pieces to a new place for a new lease on life and give them some TLC by dusting and polishing.

This photo above shows how adding an ancient mirror in amongst clean, contemporary styled furniture adds that special soul that a new mirror just wouldn’t add.  If you have had something for a while, or it has been passed down from family, it does say something about you and therefore makes your interior scheme unique to you, and adds your style.  You don’t want your house to look like everyone else’s do you? 

If you would like help adding soul to the interior design of your home please contact us .

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles:

http://greigedesign.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/by-invitation-only-patina.html

http://www.europeanantiques.co.nz/

http://blog.damasketdentelle.com/index.php/category/styles-de-deco/antiquites/