Winter is well and truly here if today is anything to go by. Temperatures have plummeted …. days are short …. and there is no place like a cosy home …. even better, with a glowing fire.
Home in winter means baskets of freshly cut wood and pine cones gathered on walks …. bowls of apples and pears …. the texture of wool, cashmere, corduroy, velvets and knits …. tartan throw rugs to curl up with or simply add warmth to the mood of the room.
When the weather is bleak enjoy time in the kitchen cooking up a storm …. indulge in the odd hot chocolate …. enjoy the scents of winter with collections of candles. A bare branch in a vase will compliment the more wintry tones …. bowls of camellias, a welcome splash of colour.
Ralph Lauren does wintry textured fabrics so well …. and they are available here. Remember a neutral palette allows for seasonal change …. much like the layering up we do with fashion !!
It is all about the detail at Pure Interiors …. beautiful Italian furniture with amazing detailing.
Whether it be the scatter cushions or the loose covers on dining chairs, the quality and attention to detail is exceptional.
I loved the soft colour and texture in the range of leather benches, side tables and coffee tables …. this furniture has wonderful warmth.
On the other hand, the upholstered furniture is pure luxury …. both in its detail and its styling.
I love visiting the PYD Building in Waterloo to keep up to date with the latest and this showroom is contemporary Italian furniture at its best …… yet with some surprises.
Don’t leave without exploring the unique range of home fragrances and candles!!!
image: likainen parketti
There is nothing as smart as black and white !! And you don’t need another colour at all if you are clever with texture and pattern. How inviting is the grey woollen blanket above, not to mention the rustic trunk …. the juxtaposition of the contemporary slick white walls with lots of texture, pattern and vintage !!
Again, a simple white interior contrasted with the warmth and texture of the linen sofa and timber table. Interestingly, it is the definite contrast of the black shade, television and other smaller pieces that create the statement.
This is an example of pure white on white with not a lot of black …… however you don’t need a lot to make the statement.
In contrast, the black in this interior is strong and bold and looks fabulous !!
The combination of the very definite black and white stripes with the softer lines of the sofa and armchair works beautifully. The detailed window architrave and rustic side tables soften the linear effect of the rug.
So be bold ….. go forth and embrace black and white for its simplicity, its inherent style and its flexibility.
Some black and white suggestions ……
almost black walls with white ceiling, doors, windows, skirting and architraves, floors pale bleached timber
white walls, ceiling and trims with black gloss timber floor
bathrooms with white wall tiles, predominantly white tiled floor with small black tile in check pattern, black vanity as a contrast with white bath and basin
all white kitchens with a very thick black benchtop … particularly good with black timber floor or even grey bleached timber
staircases in white with black handrail and tread only
charcoal to black painted exterior for timber houses or sheds with white trim on windows, doors and shutters
black and white photographs framed in black on a white wall or framed in white on a black wall
a soft black fringed throw rug on a bed made with crisp white bedlinen and doona
thick black bath towels hanging or folded in an all white bathroom
a large vase full of fully blown pink roses in any black and white interior ….
The very clever Designer Rugs has engaged a number of designers with differing skills and backgrounds to come up with a range of spectacular rugs…..we are talking Akira Isogawa, Dinosaur Designs and Easton Pearson to name a few.
My favourite rugs are interestingly both by Catherine Martin, production and costume designer to Baz Luhrmann’s fabulous Moulin Rouge and others. Her philosophy for these patterns was to “transform the mundane into the extraordinary”.
The rugs themselves are works of art but to see the rug named Feathers in situ above…. one can appreciate the impact of a stunning pattern but in rather subtle tones on what would have been a very neutral or bland interior.
This rather exotic rug named Peony caught my eye…..I pictured it immediately….. sitting on high gloss Black Japan timber flooring. Such a rich and vibrant addition to a classic traditional or contemporary interior….. a similar feel to a Persian rug. Persian rugs work with any period or style of furnishing and this rug would be equally as versatile.
Rugs certainly change the mood of any room….they are a little like accessories that can dress up or down an outfit….they dress the room !!!
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.
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.
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…..
Featured in countless leading design magazines worldwide Carolyn Quartermaine’s fabrics have always been a favourite. It is only fairly recently that I noticed that the fabric house Boyac in Sydney were the agent for them. Carolyn, a London based designer and stylist works on projects both in the design and fashion world.
She is the textile designer who modernised my other favourite fabric….toile de jouy. Always light, floating designs…ethereal. ‘Art and inspiration flowing onto fabric’….Vogue Living Australia.
These fabrics are feminine and pretty yet hold their own in elegant, formal rooms ….. particularly when used as upholstery on french furniture, in fact any antique furniture …..aged, gilt or white washed!!! Her classic designs of lace or script create a formality.
I have on the other hand seen her fabrics used in very formal interiors ….. they seem to provide the whimsical element… it just works.
Since the 90’s Carolyn has always been able to predict and translate trends.
Interestingly, I noticed that there are parts of her collection that have moved away from the colour pallettes here…..she has a brighter more vibrant range with turquoise, aqua and lime…..just fabulous for beach houses and resorts !!
This caught my eye when running through some favourite blogs. So often impending parents get caught up with the boy/girl baby dilemma when decorating the nursery for the new baby.
For a start they are not babies for very long. It can be a mistake to take the short term view and decorate a baby’s room with lots of baby colours and pattern….all too soon you are faced with a redecorating exercise. This gorgeous room above, to me is very clever……both now and for later. It is also rather clever if the sex of the baby is not known at the time you are decorating.
What could be smarter than a palette of soft grey and white where you can then add the appropriate splash of colour as above or pinks and reds for a feminine touch.
This scheme will stand the test of time and for an older child simply add navy, red, orange or even charcoal and silver.
I do love the horizontal stripe and these can be in any width. It can be achieved by a painter, you painting or finding the stripe wallpaper you love.
images: jessica comingore
Image: The Sartorialist
Why is my eye always drawn to these colours together. I think it is just so smart to have the subtle black, navy combination with a luscious tan contrast bringing it all to life.
Tan has been big in Europe this winter but I love it anywhere, anytime. I was thrilled when I did my dark inky blue woollen armchairs in our sitting room to then find divine tan suede Mulberry cushions to contrast. These, apart from the timber furniture, were the only colour in the room as the walls are the same inky navy blue.
I also love the colour that the natural IL Bisonte leather bags and diaries go after using them lovingly…..tan !!
One of my favourite projects recently was a Polo Clubhouse/Bar Lounge where I did large tan leather armchairs and sofas with brass studded trim ….. and chocolate and cream tartan woollen cushions. It looked fabulous…..the building itself was spectacular….lots of dark timber rustic panelling, natural stone fireplaces and very large terracotta flagging.
I still miss the greatest source of woollen fabric ever ……. yes mainly shades of tan, coffee and caramel……Fabric Fantasy in Commonwealth Street, Sydney. Sadly now closed. It stocked bolts of Italian suiting fabric bought out from the mills at vastly reduced prices. I couldn’t stop buying it to cover furniture, make bedheads and valances and even tablecloths. The colours were a dream !!