My Design Tips

winter whites .. the warmth of white interiors

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, June 10, 2015
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Winter is officially here, the ski season has commenced and we have had our first fall of snow ... much to the relief of all.

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I may have said this before but ... white does work in winter. We have all heard the expression in the fashion world ... winter whites !! Well the same can be applied to the world of interiors.

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There is nothing quite as warming as white on white with the accent being on texture, line and self pattern. Mixing shades of white and cream adds a richness to the palette.

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A white scheme is enhanced by incorporating neutrals such as sisal rugs, hints of gold or other metallics and timber furniture and flooring.

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Bedrooms allow you to build upon a predominantly white/cream scheme with layers of bedlinen as we move from Summer to Winter. Don't feel the need to add colour for warmth.  There is nothing quite as cosy as cream mohair blankets, a cream silk eiderdown, cream velvet or quilted scatter cushions or a rich cream flannel bedhead.

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The elegance of white is transseasonal !!
images: gabriel flores, this is glamorous


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Stylish Inner City Living with a Smart Studio Apartment Makeover

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, August 02, 2014

THE APARTMENT
A 30 square metre studio apartment on the top floor of one of Potts Point, Sydney's finest Deco buildings.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Potts Point, Sydney has the best of both worlds ... proximity to the city and the buzz of the best restaurants, bars and cafes on your doorstep combined with the Botanical Gardens and Rushcutters Bay for a breathe of fresh air.

THE INSPIRATION
To transform a tired, cluttered space into a stylish, functional apartment on a shoestring budget and in a limited timeframe. Inspiration for owners wishing to spruce up prior to selling or buyers looking at an investment property with potential. 

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WHAT I DID
I wanted to create the illusion of space and maximise storage.
This was achieved by choosing a colour scheme of simple black and white. Crisp white walls to lighten and brighten, contrasted with a smart black floor of painted floorboards. 
Fortunately, the sliding wardrobe doors were mirrored, reflecting both light and the view. An additional wall was mirrored to further enhance the reflection of light.
To maximise storage and create a decorative element, bookshelves were built in on the wall surrounding the bed.
A range of lighting options and dimmers were installed, allowing for
a change of mood and focus depending on the time of day.
 
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MY ADVICE
Create as much hidden storage as possible.  
Disguise doors to storage cupboards where you can and split a door into a pair, so as to limit intrusion into the space.
Apartments in Deco buildings usually still have the wonderful original bathrooms.  These can be added to but do not necessarily have to be replaced.

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FUTURE PLANS
Unfortunately the tight timeframe did not permit a new kitchen at the time of the original makeover.  Three years down the track the next step is to install a new all white kitchen. A simple and stylish design, with mirrored splashback will add even more light and further expand the space. 
To provide more flexibility when entertaining, a customised wall bed is an exciting option under consideration.

With a small space, good design does not have to cost a lot of money. 





5 design tips for turning your small spaces into grand spaces

Deirdre Brennan - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

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1.  Using the same floor material or shade of flooring throughout will unify your spaces and create the illusion of space.

2.  Keep your colour scheme simple and calm.  Again, use of the same colours throughout will unify and magnify the space. 

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3.  Storage is critical in small apartments/rooms. Create additional storage and bookshelves where possible by boxing out recesses. Clutter makes a room appear smaller.  Disguise doors to storage cupboards where you can. Split a door into a pair of doors which intrude less into the space.

4. Choose furniture which is both moveable and multi-functional.   Combine a couple of feature pieces with other furniture that recedes or blends with the wall colour. Avoid too many contrasts and patterns in a small room. Surprisingly, an oversized picture or piece of furniture can create impact along with the feeling of grandeur.

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5.  The tried and true use of mirrors and even better mirrored walls, always works a treat in small spaces.  Try mirrored splashbacks in the kitchen to introduce light and expand the space. Allow for maximum flexibility with your lighting.  Dimmers on all switches will allow for that ever important change of mood and focus. 

 

images: victoriameale


 

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