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. 





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 ...




5 ways with dark colour ... timeless

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, August 10, 2013

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1. dark colours on walls really let the furnishings, artwork and in fact, anything else in the room, shine !!

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2.  dark colours on walls work particularly well with polished concrete floors and sisal flooring in natural tones 

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3.  dark walls show the richness of timber and leather

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4.  dark walls are timeless ... and classic style

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5.  dark colours are inviting in winter but equally so in summer, teamed with crisp white and pale timber ... enjoy creating your own stylish interior. 

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images:browndresswithwhitedots

 

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 !!

 

 

 

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

 

 

more colour inspiration ... ben pentreath

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

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I have just read the most fabulous blog on colour ... the power of colour. 

Enjoy UK's Ben Pentreath -  http://www.benpentreath.com/2013/02/24/thinking-of-colour/.

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A change is as good as a holiday and this colour is spectacular !!

Images: Ben Pentreath

 

 


 

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