A hint of gold …

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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 …

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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

5 favourite upholstered furniture pieces … and finding interesting homes for them

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1.  the footstool … the perfect addition to any seating group but extremely practical in a bathroom … as big as will fit the space without cluttering it.

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2.  this buttoned armchair works well anywhere … lovely in the bedroom or as a pair in a quiet corner of a sitting room or study.  I do love the idea of a pair of these (or one plus ottoman) in the corner of a large country kitchen … for that quick cup of tea.

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3.  a buttoned chesterfield or even chaise is the ultimate … anywhere, anytime.  Looks fabulous in anything from an exquisite velvet to a vintage linen.

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4.  the rolled back armchair is a classic design that can be positioned in a classic or contemporary setting, depending on fabric … I love the slightly higher version around a dining table.

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5.  these squishy daybeds as a pair, are perfect for that covered verandah with view of the garden … just curl up with a book and throw rug.

5 ways with vintage style

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The trend toward minimalist interiors is I hope on the wane, with the pendulum swinging back to that of warmth and comfort … rooms that are inviting, lived in and have real character. Let your possessions provide the detail.

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1.  Display and use on a daily basis inherited pieces such as pretty porcelain or silver.  Don’t just store it in the attic or at the back of a cupboard.

2.  Visit antique shops and markets to keep your eye out for vintage finds … baskets, picture frames or collections of glass bottles to use as vases.

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3.  Collections of new or old books add character to any interior …  either in bookshelves or piles on coffee tables.  You can go a step further by displaying them by colour.

4.  Antique timber furniture of any period will always add warmth and texture. Often only one or two pieces are needed to make the difference in a very modern interior.

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5.  Choose a classic piece of antique furniture and recover it in a modern fabric.

It is the combination of old and new that gives character … and it should be constantly evolving not created in a few weeks.

5 ways with texture … adding a whole new dimension to your interior

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Texture is a very important element in any interior however it is even more relevant when working with a neutral colour palette. The texture becomes the focal point.

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When glancing at Wallpaper magazines 2013 High Altitude, the latest in ski resorts, I was struck by the impact of fabulous texture in varying forms. This was the key element in all these interiors … timber, stone, rustic furnishings and fabric in contrast with the icy surround.

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There is unlimited scope for the introduction of texture … wall finishes, floor and ceiling finishes, furniture, floor coverings and of course fabrics.

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The use of texture or the juxtaposition of different textures will bring a balance to the visual appeal and comfort of an interior … more often than not it brings warmth and sense of wellbeing.

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Introducing texture into your rooms can be as simple as:

1.  Roughly textured jute or sisal rugs on smooth polished floors

2.  Velvet and silk cushions on a linen sofa

3.  Cashmere throw rugs draped over crisp cotton bedlinen

4.  A collection of beautiful shells or pebbles in an all white bathroom

5.  Rustic limestone floors with stainless steel slickness in kitchens

and on it goes …

5 design tips for turning your small spaces into grand spaces

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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

Marimekko … all the fun and colour of summer

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I have such fond memories of my marimekko curtains and bedspread, back in the day … it was the 70’s of course.  They were fabulous shades of bright green with large orange tulips.  The look extended  to green heart sheets and a gorgeous white peacock bedhead … all put together by my very stylish mother.

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Brisbane was all the richer for Joy de Gruchy and The Craftsman’s Market, a design studio that stocked Marimekko and put Brisbane on the map. I have adored Marimekko in a nostalgic sort of way ever since.

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How exciting to have our own Marimekko in Sydney … looking resplendent in the wonderful store in King Street. The colour is breathtaking and the space full of light !! Bolts of signature marimekko fabric, fashion and homewares.

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I couldn’t help but pass on my source for peacock bedheads to complete the picture … The Family Love Tree.

Designers guild …. trimmings and tiebacks

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It’s all in the finishing touch …. the detail, the icing on the cake. Who could resist when you have trimmings as gorgeous as these from Designers Guild to play with.  They are as enticing as candy.

Be brave …. start with trims on cushions.  It is a way of pulling together various elements in a room into a coherent scheme. By picking up the curtain colour in choice of trims on cushions, for example, you immediately bring it all together.  Choose curtain tiebacks that incorporate the shades in upholstery. 

Trims can certainly add a touch of glamour however can also be frivolous and fun.  Who doesn’t love a bit of old fashioned bobble fringe !!

 

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