Join the Dots
Calm, textural, mature, eclectic, refined
Paper, velvet, crushed velvet, brass, patina mirror, wool, brushed cotton, wood, stone
I’m freezing! Just thought I would put that out there…when is it going to stop raining. Everything inside is acting like a sponge and adsorbing the moisture – books, the rug, papers on my desk but worst of all, the cashmere throw! It lives in the living room with another much loved blanket. Three people divided by two throws! We all know in the animal kingdom there is a hierarchy, well, when it comes to who gets the cashmere, yours truly is on the bottom! My daughter has claimed the cashmere as hers as she drags it around the house – it sends me spare. My husband ‘owns’ the other, the recycled wool and bottle top blanket – sounds ridiculous but it’s so warm and soft. As for me, well I have my woollen Muji poncho. As I mentioned a while back, if I hadn’t lost the key to the vintage trunk that contains all the blankets I would have a plethora of blankets to choose from. (I’m still of the belief that I will come across the key, or be able to make one. Deluded really. I just know as soon as I pay a locksmith to call out I’ll find it.)
Sorry, I’m ranting, but while on the topic of blankets and throws I want to say two things. Firstly, buy a natural fibre i.e. wool, cashmere, mohair, they may cost more but they will keep you warmer. You will have it for life and as I sit looking at my daughter covering her dolls with the cashmere throw – even the plastic toys are higher up the food chain – I hope the throw lasts a generation and she is able to pass it on to her children. My other point is this, as a stylist there are a few ‘stylist tricks’, and I use that term loosely – the bowl of lemons for colour in the kitchen, a thread bare chair in the corner of the room; and the classic – the casually draped throw over the corner of the sofa. In real life, who eats two dozen lemons? Who uses the bare spring and horse-hair chair? And the throw, well, unless the room is relaxed in style a casually draped throw over a corner of s sofa will look like you are trying to hard. Don’t get me wrong, these all have their place but none are conducive to a good quality of life.
The reason for deconstructing this room is three fold – the wall treatment, the colour palette and furnishings. The wood grain effect wallpaper adds texture to the room. The colour scheme is unique with its mixture of grey, gold and brass but what grabbed my attention is the colour combination on the individual pieces. It’s a collection of eclectic furnishings that have been chosen purely because the owner likes them. Without going into past trends, no matter the country you live in, the trend of the moment is eclecticism. Gone are the days of interiors being flawless and new, over the past years we’ve been moving towards a random selection of pre loved and eclectic pieces that display our personality, travels and loves.
On to the colours, at 45% are the grey walls. The uneven tone adds interest and the vertical grain elevates the ceiling. It’s a subtle pattern that doesn’t overpower. The stone lamp base is also the same grey and like the chest beneath it, it’s not your off-the-shelf purchase.
A slight off-white has been used on the ceiling and the hairy (can’t think of a better description at the moment) rug adding a further 25%. By avoiding a brilliant white on either of these you stop the colour palette being to contrasty – it easies the flow of colour from the wall to the sofa and the yellowy tones in the cushions and coffee table.
A bluish grey of the sofa also is also seen in the rug and artwork, totalling 15%. And like all deep buttoning it plays with the light giving the room movement and energy. There is also a smidgen in the sofa cushions.
The curtains are a neutral and fairly non-descript colour allowing the rich yellow to dominate. The curtains draw your eye upwards – like the wallpaper – accentuating the sense of height, while the sofa has the same effect but horizontally. Cream adds 5% to the scheme.
Next is white totalling 3% overall. Mostly in the artwork and frame, white also appears on the coffee table. By placing a small portion of white in the foreground you visually balance the white artwork above it.
At 2% each is the rich golden floor cushions and the side chest. The chest is not your average find but its proportions sit perfectly with the sofa. A smaller table would have been completely over powered. It also adds another texture.
At 1% each you have brass, blue and charcoal. The light reflecting off the circular brass coffee table throws in a touch of sparkle and the friendly curves insist you relax. Note the height; low enough so it doesn’t block the line of the sofa but tall enough to place things on it without bending down. The charcoal colour on the cornice would have been plucked out from the artwork I assume, it gives the visual full stop telling you there’s no need to look any further. Oh, the blue. I love this hint of blue. Together with the rich golden cushions they give you a poke in the ribs – they are the unexpected additions. The cushions of the sofa also include a subtle touch of blue. The lamp shade itself is also of value, as like everything in this room, it plays with shape, making the space dynamic which in turn makes for an interesting interior, and hey, isn’t that what we all want to create in the end!
A sliver of sandy yellow, on what looks like a Missoni cushion, is such a small portion that it’s not included percentage breakdown but it’s worth noting as it hasn’t strayed to far for the colour palette, it’s similar in tone to the coffee table and floor cushions.
The bi-folding patina mirrored screen, tucked in the corner, gives the illusion of more space, and more importantly, it tinkles, adding interest, movement and life.
TIP: Another way to achieve a wood grain wall is to use boards, or sheets, of timber then stain or wash it with colours like black of pink.
TIP: When thinking of using timber panelling test the strength of colour and finish on a timber sample first. Different types of timber with their varying grains and knots will create very different effects as will the strength of colour.
TIP: Using contrasting trims and borders help define curtains, they are also a subtle way of connecting colours elsewhere in the room.
*The colour on screen is not a true representation of actual colour.