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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the new neutral interior ... how to create this look

Deirdre Brennan - Tuesday, August 19, 2014
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The new neutral is really just a combination of black and white, grey and timber ... think Scandinavian and pared back design.

It is natural, organic and calming.

The perfect backdrop for vibrant colour, should you desire it.



To achieve this look, your first stop should be Ikea for wall hung storage in all shapes and sizes.  This helps create a sense of space and clean lines. 

For 'modern classic' timber and painted furniture, visit Thonet.  Bentwood always works and you can customise your colours.

The choice in pendant lighting is endless however Huset will give you an overview of the different styles.  Once you have decided on your look ... and budget, you can start shopping.

Koskela is all about thoughtful design ... rugs, fabric and homewares, followed by lunch at Kitchen by Mike, under the same roof.





  

winter greige ... your warm colour palette

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, July 23, 2014


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I am taking my winter inspiration from The Wild Rabbit in the Cotswolds.  This is yet another stylish project by Carole Bamford of the Daylesford Organic empire. 

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The classic English Country House style that we have loved for so long has come of age.  Still deliciously warm and inviting, the colour palette has changed and is very much of the moment ... stone, putty, greige, khaki and cocoa ... just perfect for a cold climate or in fact, our winter.

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We do a cooler version of it here with our warmer climate, however in winter it is all about replacing the crisp white with softer hues of rich cream, biscuit tones and greige.

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Stone flooring in warm tones (see The Wild Rabbit above) can underpin the overall feeling of warmth and can be layered with wonderfully textured rugs in a similar colour palette.  

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The introduction of soft bleached timbers works well with this colour palette as does a fabric choice of stone washed linens or aged leather in faded shades.

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To complete the picture just add an open fire and a cashmere throw rug ...




how to do black and white ... softly

Deirdre Brennan - Friday, July 05, 2013

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it is all in the detail .... a predominantly neutral palette with a hint black or charcoal ...

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or a hint of buttoning, antique stud trim or cushion detail

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or a smart contrast ... just one

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a distinct contrast in style, line and materials ... this works

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black, white and stone to soften

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the detail softens what would otherwise be ... just black and white

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black, white and shades of grey ... always !!

 

 

 

neutral palette with a splash of colour

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, May 08, 2013

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Any neutral palette will come alive with the introduction of a little colour !

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It could be anything from muted dusty shades to vibrant colour !  

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A black and white scheme looks sensational with a splash of ... well, any colour really ... hot pink, soft pink, bright orange, brilliant yellow or cobalt blue ...

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Refer to previous posts for tips on how to introduce colour into a neutral palette but it can be as simple as fresh flowers or a bookcase full of books.

 

a hint of gold ...

Deirdre Brennan - Monday, April 08, 2013

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A touch of gold or gilt adds an element of warmth and style to any interior.  It looks best I believe, where the palette of colours used is minimal or neutral.

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There are no hard and fast rules for the placement of gilt mirrors except to say, the larger the better. 

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This palette of colours and textures works like a dream.  Gilt ... furniture or mirrors, adds a touch of elegance ... or even faded glory !!

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For all your restoration requirements ... whether it be regilding mirrors and picture frames or conserving your Old Masters, it is worth speaking to International Conservation Services who have a very impressive portfolio.

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Images: tumblr

 

how to do white well ...

Deirdre Brennan - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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Crisp, stark white is not for the faint hearted.  In fact most clients I work with shy away from white, on the basis that it is cold and uninviting !!  I beg to differ ...

It is all about using it effectively and achieving the right balance.

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A white interior looks its absolute best where there are timber floors ... of any shade or colour.  It is the perfect balance, with the timber providing the warmth.

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White on white is the ultimate in elegance ... and it is all about the texture.  Try layering  rough and smooth.  I love the combinations of smooth white bedlinen and the texture of an antique marcella quilt or white linen loose covers on a sofa with silk velvet cushions.

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Of course you can always weaken and do white with a hint of ...

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And for something really luxe ... white with that touch of gilt.  Oh so elegant !!

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Working with white and its varying textures and tones will allow you to create a very sophisticated interior ... not always achievable with colour. 

 

images via thisisglamorous

 

 

grain sack fabrics both rustic and elegant

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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I first stumbled across these fabrics at the iconic Peppergreen antique emporium in the Southern Highlands.....sadly no longer.  Shelves and even bolts of this vintage linen, cotton and flax grain sack fabric. I think what draws me to it is the subtlety in colour variation.  All very neutral, really only varying in texture from the soft scrubbed finish to a much coarser, almost hessianlike fabric.

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The faded imprint of the logo or manufacturer only adds to the appeal....almost like works of art.

 Also falling into this category of fabrics I feel are the gorgeous antique european mangle cloths.  These are a softer colour palette and finer texture....fabulous for tablecloths and serviettes. I love the subtle stripe to the edge.....always faded red or navy.   

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images: homelife

Being so neutral these fabrics combine well with pattern.....however with their subtle shades of cream, putty or taupe are at their most elegant when incorporated into a cream or white interior.   Have fun with scatter cushions and interesting trimming....and think about loose covers !!

The most exciting part is searching for these fabrics at your favourite antique market.....

 

 


 

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