Pied a terre

Designer S.R. Gambrel

Colour guide
Cool, neutral

Colour Scheme
Sophisticated, masculine, urban, calming, restful

Key Textures
Gloss, silk, brass, wool, opaque glass


To date all the rooms I’ve featured have been quite large and spacious, so I thought it might be nice to deconstruct a room where space is an issue. When you need to cover dual functions within a room physically dividing it helps give the impression that there is more room than there really is. You could use a screen, or as in this case, use the sofa to separate the room, alternatively you could hang a curtain or blind. The interesting element I find in this room is that the walls have been painted in gloss. This is not a thought you should even entertain if your walls aren’t as perfect as a newborns skin. Should this not be the case, it would be like looking at your skin in one of those magnifying bathroom mirrors (never an attractive vision) with blemishes appearing that you never knew existed.

The interior of this room has two design elements which make it interesting – the yellow curtains and the Grecian patterned rug. Delete either of these two treatments and the space would look rather dull. It’s a simple and calming scheme that doesn’t challenge the visitor.  The cluster of opaque glass vases on the table and the photographic portraits on the wall help give the space a sense of character.

A very subtle pale grey takes 56% of the room scheme. Apart from the walls and sofa grey also appears in the rug. The deep buttoning of the sofa utilizes how the light falls across it and in turn creates texture to the design. Life is added with the soft sheen and reflection caused by the gloss finished walls.

The ceiling is white along with the skirting, vases and picture frames. All totaling 18%.

The majority of the dark walnut floor is covered by the rug but 8% of it is still visible.

8% black is scattered throughout the room. The black dining furniture defines the change in function within the room. The black border on the curtain emphasises the height of the room and also connects them to the rest of the scheme. You can’t discount the use of the black and white photography as it counter balances the black furniture and being hung in a strip along the wall they give the illusion of the room feeling wider.

The 5% shade of yellow in this context is crucial and this is where this scheme could go pear shaped. The goldish yellow contains a hint of black, if it was a brighter shade it would jar and a paler version would be too washy against the grey.

Similar to the yellow is the soft maple coffee table, dining chairs and lamp shades, which all together equal 4% of the room.

Like the maple furniture the brass is also of similar tone to the yellow. It’s been used in the lamp base, coffee table legs and picture rail. Collectively, the brass together with the wool rug, silk curtains, patterned rug and gloss walls all amount to a well balanced and well designed space.


TIP:  Gloss and eggshell paints can add wow factor to a room but if you’re thinking of using either over a large area keep the following in mind – whilst painting the smell can very strong, it takes a long time to dry, it’s hard to achieve a perfect finish and it has a tendency to discolour or yellow.



*The colour on screen is not a true representation of actual colour