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Trimmings: It’s all in the details

Charles R. Swindoll once stated that The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” At McMillan Interiors we couldn’t agree more. We specialise in sourcing luxurious wall-coverings, fabrics, trimmings, furniture and flooring to create a beautiful, bespoke, one-of-a-kind interior. In over 30 years in the business, we’ve found that it’s the details that really do make the difference between a good room and a great room. It’s the details that add that extra layer of luxury, and it’s the details that make a space memorable.

There’s many ways to add details to a room, and one of our favourite ways to do so is through the use of trimmings on soft furnishings and furniture. Today’s post will focus on trimmings on scatter cushions and throws but we’ve got blog posts on window treatments and furniture to come! So sit back, browse through some of our favourite trimmings we’ve done, and some that have inspired us….and we hope these give you some ideas on how you can add an extra layer of luxury and detail to your home.

CORD TRIM

Trimmings can be simple but beautiful – a simple cord trim on the edges of a cushion like those shown above creates a lovely finish, adds a contrasting colour and texture, and provides some extra durability to an item that tends to get a little battered and squashed!

For a more inventive use of cord trim, consider the above photograph – a paprika coloured cord trim outlining a star-shaped cushion. Behind it, a pumpkin coloured trim accentuates playful stripes on a blue cushion. And finally, consider the cushion below – a zesty Designers Guild fabric with a double cord trim in co-ordinating colours framing two ends of the cushion. Delicate and elegant but just adding that extra something.


POM-POM TRIM

How about a playful pom-pom trimming? Available in a vast array of colours and sizes (note the jumbo Pom-Pom on the throw in the image above!), these add real whimsy, texture and that ‘oh-I-really-want-to-touch-it!’ feeling to a cushion or throw. Yes they’re perfect for the rooms of children and teens, but they can also be really elegant and add just the right touch of whimsy to a space.

TASSEL/BEAD FRINGE

Take it up a notch and add a touch of flamboyance to your cushions with an elegant tassel trim or beaded trim. These are undeniably beautiful and really add an extra layer of luxury and elegance, however they do require a touch more care and consideration – beware of curious toddlers or cats who might relish at pulling the trim off!

BRAIDS & BORDERS

Braid trims can range from the elegantly simple to the flamboyantly ornate. An endless array of colours, widths, patterns and designs affords so many possibilities for trimming! Consider the scatter cushions shown above – showing a few possibilities for how to use braids & borders to create a truly unique and beautiful scatter cushion. A plain cushion would be nice….but a trimmed cushion is better! Those little thoughtful finishes just make all the difference in terms of impact and sense of luxury.

COMBINING TRIMMINGS

For an even more inventive look, combine your trimmings to create maximum impact and intrigue. The above images show two similar looks – combining a decorative braid down the centre of a plain cushion framed by a narrow bullion fringe on the black & white cushion, and a beautifully fluffy brush fringe on the blue & white cushion. Utterly striking and so unique!

BRUSH FRINGE

Oh, and having mentioned brush fringes, we really had to throw in a couple more examples because it’s a beautiful way to dress up and finish off a scatter cushion! The above images show a patterned cushion trimmed with a brush fringe in a co-ordinating colour on all sides. Adding tufty texture, beautiful colour and that luxurious level of finish. A real favourite with us at McMillan Interiors! (Note that fabulous tassel fringe hugging the bottom of that green sofa… we’ll be coming back to that on another blog post!)

And one last example is this sweet little scatter cushion we made up for a dressing area in a bedroom. Two sides trimmed with a delicate glass bead fringe and one simple button in the centre adorned with a key tassel fringe. A couple of simple touches have really elevated this cushion from nice to special!

Inevitably, we must bring this post to an end but we could go on and on because we love trimmings and there are simply endless ways to use them with wonderful effect! This post has highlighted just a few examples but we hope it has piqued your interest in the world of trimmings – how they can be used and how they really finish off soft furnishings and add a sense of luxury to the home.

If you’d like more information on trimmings or if you’d like help with the redecoration of your home – whether it’s one or two rooms, or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch! We offer a service that includes design, supply and manufacture, and fit-out. We’d love to listen to your ideas, offer professional advice and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic. Call us on 02825 880012 or email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Harlequin Spring/Summer 2021

January is a funny month – there’s the post-Christmas lull, the cold, short days, and there’s the long stretch to payday! Most of us would arguably skip straight to March and the first blossoms of Spring. Here’s a confession though…at McMillan Interiors, we kind of love January….it’s an exhilarating month in the design world – there’s the big fabric, furnishings, and furniture showcases like Maison & Objet, Formex and Paris Deco Off, and design houses all around the world are launching new collections of textiles, wall-coverings, furniture, flooring, decorative items and more.

There’s so much juicy inspiration and beautifully crafted products to soak up and get excited about…..because after all, art & design is more than just pretty things; art, design and beauty are integral for human wellbeing. It’s why we stop and enjoy a beautiful sunset; or frame & hang a painting; or feel satisfied after a beautifully made film. This value for beauty lies at the core of our “why” at McMillan Interiors: we believe beauty – and beautiful, well made things in our home create a space that is safe, comfortable, functional, full of story, and that satiates the part of us that longs for beauty.

And so every January, we eagerly await the new collections from our favourite fabric & wallpaper suppliers. January 2021 sees the launch of Momentum 07 Wallpapers, Momentum 13 Upholstery and Momentum 14 Drapery from British powerhouse Harlequin.

Taking inspiration from contrasting architectural structures and the elegance of organic natural forms, it’s a collection that fuses man-made with the natural to create a captivating collection of wall-coverings and textiles for the modern home.

Head Designer Claire Greenfield sums up the aesthetic and story of the collection with the following: “From dusk til dawn we’ve looked at positive and negative spaces; transposing, refracting and shattering. We’ve taken close up elements from layered leaves and flowers to add a softer, painterly aspect that contrasts against strong edges and contemporary geometrics.”

Patterns include abstract leaves, modern ikats, and small & large scale geometrics in a palette of Tobacco, Rosewood, Saffron, Ink and shimmering Bronze. For years homeowners divulged themselves with the on-trend Scandinavian aesthetic featuring a pared back palette of greys, whites and blues, and while elements of the Scandi look are still popular, homeowners have been embracing a bolder and more vibrant colour palette in their homes. The Momentum colour palette has tapped into this trend but has also pushed the boat with its exciting inky, rich, deeply saturated tones and colourways. Let’s take a closer look:

Tobacco & Cobalt

The curtain fabric in the images below captures the reflection of refracted shapes in water while the upholstery and additional scatter cushions bring in contrasting architectural shapes. Momentum upholstery fabrics are beautifully cut plush velvets providing visual lustre and tactile texture.

Ink & Gold

An opulent and classic palette mixing masculine inky tones with the richness of gold; balanced here by soft calico on scatter cushions & walls, and silvery grey upholstery. Patterns here are predominantly geometric, but never severe. The stand out fabric ‘Transverse’ – seen on the curtains below features sharply angular lines supported by inky brush marks creating pockets of shadows. Beautifully balanced and so elegant.

Bronze

Bronze and Tobacco are new ventures for Harlequin and we foresee these tones gaining traction quickly throughout 2021 and beyond. Moody and full of depth, these tones wrapping around walls (as seen below) add warmth and a luxurious glow. Used on upholstery and scatter cushions, the tobacco and bronze plush velvets provide decadence and richness.

Saffron & Rosewood

Coral and ochre tones have been frequently – and boldly – used in interiors for the last few years. But the sumptuous pairing of these hues in such dramatic fashion creates a truly confident and unforgettable interior. ‘Expose’ fabric – hung as curtains below – depicts translucent, layered leaves; capturing the beauty of light and shade. Supporting players include the bedspread featuring ‘Tessen’ – inspired by iridescent Mother of Pearl and ‘Extensity’ featuring corded appliqué embroidery on a sleek cotton-satin ground.

Truly a collection that will inject saturated colour, smart lines, tactile textures and thoughtful nods to history, architecture and nature into the home. Pair with mid-century modern seating, sleek furniture, adequate streamlined storage (hide the clutter!) and vary your materials and textures to create a layered, rich and sumptuous interior.

Contact us for more information on the Harlequin collection and how to best use it in your home. At McMillan Interiors we’re proud to be an official stockist and supplier of Harlequin fabrics and wallcoverings – and the wider brands under the Sanderson Design Group collective.

For more information on our services & to enquire about how we can partner with you to refresh a couple of rooms or tackle a more comprehensive project, email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. We’d love to talk!

You can find McMillan Interiors on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Houston Hair Salon

At McMillan Interiors, our passion is to partner with homeowners to create a home that is comfortable, functional, full of personality and beautiful – a home that tells a story and will be a backdrop for many years of laughter, love and memories. Creating a bespoke Home; unique to each homeowners has a really special place in our heart and it’s the work we love to do!

But we also relish in working with local businesses to create personality-filled, head-turning spaces that create a memorable and exciting user experience! Over the years we’ve worked with Houston Hair to advise on, and supply, show-stopping wall-coverings and fabrics to furnish their cool, contemporary Ballymena based salons. We were thrilled to be approached by Simon Houston – owner, creative director and friend to us here at McMillan Interiors – last year to supply a jaw-dropping wall covering fit for his brand new salon opening in Ballymena Town Centre.

Behind a sleek, black facade the interior walls were drenched in a beautiful rose pink paint and the space was furnished with furniture in a palette of Nordic pine and glossy red, with on-trend copper lighting adding warmth. For such a cool space there was only one thing for it – it was time to draw on the big maximalist guns: French powerhouse of pattern and colour Christian Lacroix.

Renowned for their unique, exuberant, colourful and baroque style, Christian Lacroix designs are innovative, theatrical and intended to make a statement! Perfect for our owner Simon and his salon that pushes boundaries, constantly innovates, and pursues the most up-to-date trends, skills and products for a modern and style-conscious client. We settled on a panoramic mural wallcovering representing the lush Parc de Bagatelle on the outskirts of Paris that was a popular gathering spot for festivities during the 18th Century Directoire era.

Mixing digital with illustration and juxtaposing lush, leafy foliage with urban towers and classical architecture, it’s a mural that is eye-catching, rich, and dynamic – the perfect contrasting partner to the feminine pink salon walls. See for yourself how it turned out!

Hung on the walls at the far end of the salon, they instantly catch the eye of both passers-by on the street and clients entering in. It’s utterly eye-catching but not overtly dominating; it’s both masculine and feminine; it’s uplifting but soothing at the same time. Two-thirds of the mural were placed at the rear of the salon while the remaining one-third was hung at the waiting-area at the front of the salon; creating a little seating-zone for clients ready to be primped, polished, and transformed by the dedicated and skilled team at Houston hair!

At McMillan Interiors, we truly believe that our interior spaces can affect our mood – both for better and for worse! Houston Hair is a salon furnished and finished in such a way to welcome, cocoon, uplift and inspire you! Such is the power of colour, interior furnishings and decor! You can find out more about Houston Hair and their services here.

If you’re finding that your interior space – whether that’s your home or your business space – is lacking and is having a less positive effect on your mood, it’s time for a change! At McMillan Interiors we partner with you to create a design-plan tailored to your space, needs and style. We have an extensive library of home furnishings, and we have over thirty years experience in guiding and advising homeowners in identifying their style and creating a beautiful, functional space that tells your story and will serve you for many years to come.

For more information on our services or to enquire about how we can partner with you to refresh a couple of rooms or tackle a more comprehensive project, email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. We’d love to talk!

You can find McMillan Interiors on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Airbnb Cabin

Launched in October 2020, The Cabin is a beautiful and luxurious Airbnb retreat for those who need to get away from it all and recharge the batteries. Clad with beautifully knotted timber and looking out onto Slemish Mountain, it’s an idyllic little haven with a bit of a colourful (literally!) history…

The Cabin began life over thirty years ago as the home of Niel & Catherine McMillan’s Interior Design Studio & Workroom. It was a place to meet clients, showcase homewares, and make up bespoke soft furnishings for homes around the UK and Ireland. However, the business quickly expanded and The Cabin was vacated in favour of a more spacious premises in Ballymena Town Centre.

Meanwhile The Cabin became a Recreation room for family & friends until in 2018, it began another metamorphosis. By this stage, McMillan Interiors had been established and plans were made to turn The Cabin into a compact and cosy Studio for the business. In the Autumn of 2018, after having undergone extensive internal and external surgery, The Cabin officially opened as the new home of McMillan Interiors.

September 2018: Renovations almost complete

The story could have ended there….but it didn’t! Just over a year later and The Cabin was itching for another metamorphosis. McMillan Interiors Design Studio was packed up and relocated to a spacious converted barn and The Cabin began its transformation into an Airbnb retreat. It was a transformation we were thrilled to get stuck into!

Exterior of The Cabin featuring beautifully toned timber & contemporary lights flanking the doors

The vision for The Cabin was to create a cosy, moody and super comfortable place for those who needed respite and to recharge the batteries. A place to turn off the phone and hideaway, but equally a springboard for exploring the wilds of Northern Ireland. We prioritised plentiful seating, a decadently comfortable bed, and colour & texture to create a real sense of home comforts. Let us show you around!

LIVING AREA

Plenty of upholstered seating to ensure our guests get comfortable!

We made sure to squeeze in a John Sankey sofa for a supremely comfortable seating experience and upholstered armchairs in fabrics from William Yeoward and Designers Guild for a pop of quirky colour and pattern. A paisley patterned Ted Baker rug creates a lovely moody blue pool on the floor.

Sit back, sip on a drink and play to win!

DINING AREA

Living Area looking into the Dining Area

Superfast Wifi and a full sized dining table allow our guests a space to work – as was the case for our first guest who used The Cabin as a hideaway for a writing retreat! Alternatively, light some candles, turn the lights down low and enjoy an intimate and quiet dinner with a loved one!

The dining area gives you space and quiet for a spot of work or a tasty takeaway!

We clad the partition wall with Pierre Frey wallpaper to add character and interest. A quirky bulls head sculpture and faux foliage add whimsy and colour.We also ensured there is plenty of low-level lighting with floor lamps and table lamps to create a lovely cosy atmosphere.

BEDROOM

Kingsize bed that has guests raving about how comfortable it is!

Walls of soft grey wrap around our guests in the bedroom while the headboard partition wall features a soft pink textured-effect wallpaper from Matthew Williamson. Curtains from Chelsea Textiles add whimsical pattern and ensure the bedroom is dark, cosy and the perfect spot for a good night’s sleep.

KITCHEN & WC

Compact kitchenette to rustle up small meals and snacks

Nina Campbell wallpaper paired with a green and grey fitted kitchen creates a soft and bright corner for grabbing a coffee and a light bite. We’re in Northern Ireland so an abundance of tea on hand was a must! For coffee-lovers, a French Press and Nespresso machine will give you the caffeine kick you need!

Wash away the dust and worries of the day!

Bathrooms can be real hidden gems of the home – a space where you can indulge in a bit of bold colour and pattern and it’ll look amazing! In The Cabin, a bright and warmly lit shower room gives way to a deliciously dark WC. We laid patterned grey tiles from local tile supplier J&R Keys Tiles and wrapped the walls in a beautiful navy blue wallpaper from Matthew Williamson featuring hundreds of softly glinting stars.

Wash & preen yourself under the watch of gently twinkling stars

DETAILS

Fabulously funky Designers Guild cushions

A final flurry of finishing touches and we were done! We ensured our guests had privacy by fitting ivory sheers and soft grey curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the cabin. Sitting areas were softened with cushions, the bookcase was stacked with books, the cupboards filled with boardgames and puzzles, and the basket topped up with firewood for a weekend of lounging, reading, and relaxing by the fire!

Coffee & a book by the fire…what could be better?

It would be remiss of us not to mention the private lake and secluded woodland on the doorstep of The Cabin….not the work of our hands but a real draw of this place! Between coffees and chapters, our guests can pull on their wellie boots and stomp around the trout filled lake and lush woodland featuring native Irish trees and wild critters!

Get some fresh air around the scenic lake

Take a seat and enjoy the sounds of Mother Nature

Transforming The Cabin for guests to call home for a few days has been such a joy and privilege! At McMillan Interiors, it’s long been our heart & vision to create HOME…meaning a safe and welcoming place that is comfortable, functional, and full of personality. A place to make cherished memories. Our wish is that The Cabin will be this type of HOME for many guests and visitors over the next months and years.

You can book The Cabin for yourself here!

If you have any enquiries about your own home renovations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At McMillan Interiors our services include product sourcing – including furniture, hardware, lighting, wallcoverings, soft furnishings and accessories – and fitting. We partner with you to make the design and decorating process as simple as possible. Whether you have a room that needs updating or a whole house renovation, we want to help. Contact us by:

Email: catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk

Phone: 02825 880012

You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Sanderson: A celebration of the National Trust

At McMillan Interiors, one of our most beloved and trusted suppliers of luxury homewares is British powerhouse Sanderson. Dating back to 1860, Sanderson have established a reputation for beautiful floral furnishings fabrics and a classic countryside aesthetic. For 160 years they have combined influences of nature, beautifully drawn designs, and state-of-the-art craftsmanship & technology to become one of the most renowned and celebrated names in Home Furnishing. At McMillan Interiors, we have proudly used their products in our 30 years of business.

As purveyors of the natural world it only seems fit that Sanderson would collaborate with The National Trust and release a collection in 2020 titled: ‘A Celebration of the National Trust by Sanderson‘; a beautiful range of fabrics celebrating the values of the National Trust and its commitment to caring for our natural and cultural heritage.

The collection features five classic design themes exploring the National Trust’s purpose and principles using documents from the Sanderson archive to tell a beautiful design story through embroideries, weaves and exquisitely coloured prints. Let’s dive into the collection!

THE SECRET GARDEN

“The Secret Garden” features intricate stitchwork and fine prints rendered in delicate watercolours to create an elegant scheme that’s influenced by the flowers and fruits found within the walled gardens of countryside estates. Motifs and designs include hand-drawn espaliered pears, canopies of acorns & leaves, embroidered florals, and berry trees.

COUNTRY HOUSE

“Country House” creates a warm & welcoming feel by taking inspiration from the rich wallpapers, carefully tended formal gardens, and stunning embroideries found within the National Trust’s historic buildings. Motifs and designs include bumbling bees, delicate butterflies and abundant blooms on a ground of sumptuous velvet. Scrolling leaves inspired by wood-carvings and chinoiserie inspired pheasants and flowers give an elegant nod to history.

THE FENS

“The Fens” highlight the beauty and tranquility of Cambridgeshire’s Wicken Fen – the National Trust’s first and oldest nature reserve. Motifs include weaving grasses, wild flowers, and fern leaves, with delicately painted bees, kingfishers and dragonflies finishing the look.

UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE

Author Thomas Hardy’s Dorset home inspires this quintessentially English countryside theme; namely the blooming flowers and prolific pollinators found in the gardens. Motifs and designs include stylised fruits and berries in delicate pastel colours, painterly floral trails, and beautifully coloured birds.

THE LOOKOUT

“The Lookout” celebrates our world-famous 780 miles of stunning coastline and diverse wildlife within the care of The National Trust by capturing a striking and sophisticated coastal look featuring swooping seabirds and rolling waves. Motifs and designs include crisp abstract patterns and lino cut prints all in a palette of rich indigo, navy and teal interspersed with pops of raspberry.

It’s an elegant yet robust collection of beautifully constructed fabrics and accessible patterns and colours which will bring a touch of the natural world to both the traditional and contemporary home. Sanderson employ a colour palette that is easy to use and easy to pair with existing pieces of furniture, decor and artwork. Furthermore, it’s a collection that works in harmony with previous Sanderson collections – collections we’re proud to stock in our studio library. We would be delighted to guide you through our Sanderson collections to create a scheme for your home that is unique to you, beautiful, functional, and supremely comfortable.

All above images from Sanderson

We’d love to know what your favourite theme from the National Trust collection is! Are you more coastal or more cottage garden? Do you love the ethereal beauty of the English Fens or the traditional charm of historic houses?

And do you have a favourite National Trust spot? The UK is rife with stunning stately homes, manicured gardens, lush woodland and a coastline teeming with wildlife….and our National Trust is a true treasure in preserving and protecting these special places.

At McMillan Interiors we love the warmth and richness of the “Country House” theme. It reminds us of one of our favourite local National Trust spots: Castle Ward. Located on the edge of Strangford Lough, it’s an 18th Century Mansion famed for its mix of classical and gothic architectural styles. The surrounding Georgian farmyard is arguably most famous for its role as Winterfell: the seat and ancestral home of the Stark Family in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Image from The National Trust
Image from Discover NI

The Sanderson Country House theme would look right at home in the Castle Ward Interior. Equally, the collection is versatile enough to work in more contemporary homes; creating a warm and welcome country feel, bringing the outside in through the use of nature-inspired imagery, and giving a subtle nod to history through the use of block-printed chinoiseries and trompe-l’oeil style designs.

Moodboard drawn from the Country House theme.

For more information on Sanderson collections – whether that’s the 2020 National Trust collection or previous collections – or if you’d like information on other suppliers, designers and brands we’re proud to supply, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact details below. For over thirty years we’ve been partnering with homeowners to make their vision of home a reality and our heart remains the same to this day. We’d love to chat and see how we can best aid and empower you in your choices for your home.

Email ruth-anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk or phone us on 02825 880012. You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Image from Sanderson