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Monthly Round Up

Good morning friends and followers! We are hereby introducing a new regular instalment to our blog posts: Each month, we’ll be bringing you a monthly round some of our “Favourites”: products, collections and ranges, new sellers and suppliers we’ve sourced, trends we’re loving, projects we’re working on and whatever else we find inspiring and worth sharing! As designers we’re always sourcing new pieces, exploring collections and brands and keeping our eye on trends across interiors, fashion, product design and the art world. Anyway, enough of an introduction: let’s get stuck in to our favourites from June!

ABIGAIL AHERN: NEW PAINT RANGE

 

We are big fans of British interior and product designer Abigail Ahern who is known for her deliciously dark and moody interiors. Ahern famously paints out the walls of her interiors in rich, sludgey, “bottom-of-the-lake” hues and layers up faux botanicals, textures, art, furniture and decorative items throughout the space to create a very visually exciting, cool and layered space. A true maximalist! We love her style and fearless use of colour. Ahern has been selling paints for years, but just recently released a plethora of gorgeous new shades (some featured above). You can find the whole range here. What’s remarkable about these colours is that they all derive from natural sources, which gives them an extraordinary depth and richness; and creates some gorgeous effects, depending on the lighting in the space. These kinds of effects can’t be created with synthetic paints. The colours and chalky, matt finish will add instant cosiness, drama and character to any room and will play the perfect canvas for you to layer you furniture, decor and soft furnishings in front of!

JIM THOMPSON & GERT VOORJANS

   

     

American design house Jim Thompson has collaborated with Belgian interior designer Gert Voorjans to create a sumptuous, eclectic and striking collection of fabrics and trimmings. Voorjans style is daring, fearless and exceptional – this is a man who isn’t afraid of colour or pattern! He confidently clashes colours, and layers prints and textures to create vibrant, unusual, and imaginative spaces. Collaborating with Jim Thompson – the designer renowned for his use of richly coloured, luxurious silks – is a perfect match! We are in love with the collection, and while it’s certainly not for the faint hearted, it’s a collection sure to make an impression and create a fun, unique and memorable space! View the full collection here

PROJECTS

We’ve had a lot of exciting projects running on throughout June (which of course will be featured on the blog!). But until the grand reveal, here’s a sneak peek of some of our favourite projects from the last month:

   

The Chaise and Rocking Chair are both vintage items that we had re-padded and reupholstered – the Chaise is clad in a gorgeous Colefax velvet damask and Designers Guild lush green velvet. We gave it a new set of legs and can’t get over how stunning it is! And isn’t that Rocking Chair Fabulous? That Linwood velvet Cockatoo print is just perfect for this vintage piece! The Chaise is destined for a bedroom we’re working on and the Rocking Chair will sit in a Sunroom/Orangerie that we’ve designed!

   

For the same client, we’ve recovered this set of chairs in a flamboyant damask in a lush appliquéd velvet from Colefax. These will be finished with a few scatter cushions and will take pride of place in a bright and airy Kitchen we’ve been working on. Colefax fabrics are a real winner for us because they’re so well designed and executed, and are moreishly tactile – you just can’t help put touch and ‘oooh’ over the rich velvets, intricate embroideries and soft silks!

        

We’ve been working on an extension of a house to create a new sunroom, living and dining area, and kitchen for the homeowners. Here’s a peek at the progress of the space. Building work is almost finished, tiles have been laid and the kitchen is being installed. We have a bright, contemporary and sleek scheme planned for this space so keep your eyes peeled for updates on this project! Until then, can we just take a minute to appreciate that gorgeous arched window? Such a statement window and it brings in so much light!

 

This is a brand new project that we’ve just begun work on! This recreational cabin space is being extended and turned into a multi-purpose space; partially remaining recreational while also serving as a working studio. Beams, timber and insulation has all gone up, plumbing and pipes are being installed, and windows are on their way! We’ll be revealing more about this project in the next few weeks.

That’s us for this monthly round up! It’s been a busy month of moving projects forward and we even had a sneaky holiday squeezed in! We’ve much more to reveal and discuss throughout July; it’s going to be a busy month!

If you’re planning a home renovation – whether that’s just one room or a whole house overhaul – we’d love to help! We’d love to talk and discuss your ideas. Don’t hesitate to get in touch on 02825 880012 or email ruth-anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk.

 

Colourful Contemporary Family Room

A couple of months ago we began work on a family home that was mid-way through an extension and reorganisation of layout. The flow of the rooms wasn’t working for the family and needed to be reconfigured to fit the needs of work, leisure, and growing children. We came on board to help turn the reconfigured space into a warm, colourful and inviting family home!

The brief was for a contemporary and colourful look that was elegant but practical. Long term the plan was to renovate most of the house, but it would be done in stages. Our immediate priority was a new entrance hallway, a family room, a bedroom, and a games/homework/hang-out den. We have an extra soft spot for clients who love – and want – colour in their home, so it was a real thrill to put together mood boards, colour palettes and fabric swatches mixing bold colour, gorgeous textures and beautiful prints and patterns!

When it comes to sumptuous fabrics and bold colour, the French designers are second to none so we recruited the oomph and clout of design heavyweights Pierre Frey, Boussac, Casamance, Christian Lacroix, and Manuel Canovas. Unsurprisingly, these went down a treat with the homeowners. (FYI: Once you’ve seen and touched beautiful fabrics and products, you’re positively ruined for anything else!)

    

As you can see, the first stage of meeting clients is akin to being like children in a toy shop excitedly perusing all of the wonderful colours and shapes and glossy boxes! We presented our ideas and poured over sample cuttings and began to build a better picture of 1. what the clients were drawn to, and 2. what worked in the space. Sometimes we work with clients who are unsure of their style and what kind of space they want to actually live in, and we like to to give a little direction and prompting without losing a sense of their personality and aesthetic. These clients were very sure of what they liked which made the process much easier and quicker!

After a series of meetings with the homeowners and a few tweaks and changes to the schemes, we began to finalise a plan and schedule of work. We’ll be posting about all of the schemes and plans we’ve made, and over the next few months we’ll keep you up to date with how this project is coming to life.

First up is the Family Room. Here are the finalised moodboards and palette for the space:

    

Did we mention that we like colour and pattern?… As you can see, this scheme POPS and we love it! we’re laying a gorgeous, reclaimed parquet wooden floor throughout the space which will add serious warmth and character to the space. We’ll be using some of the client’s existing furniture and we’ll add a few pieces to fill out and finish the room – a bespoke new sofa, an armchair, a couple of tub chairs and we’ll be using a couple of gorgeously rich large rugs to zone and break up the room. The moodboards show all of the fabrics we’ll be using for the chairs, curtains, cushions, rugs and the paint colours we’ll use throughout the space. With a stunning view of the garden and the countryside beyond visible through the large windows and sliding doors, we decided to play up the green in this space with sumptuous shades of blue-green. We’ve combined it with touches of warm yellow, rich purple, and little splashes of red and pink (which is a tint of red).

 

In Colour theory (don’t worry, we’re not going too scientific or theoretical here!), there are basic techniques for combining colours to create a balanced, harmonious look. What we’ve utilised here is a square colour scheme – which basically means using four colours spaced evenly around the colour wheel. Obviously not all colours are used in equal measure – the blue-green is the dominant colour here and the other three colours appear as secondary colours and accents (again, for balance!). With a square colour scheme, you get variety and a mix of both warm and cool colours (yes, again…for balance. It’s all about balance and harmony!).

Here we’ve sketched the basic floor-plan of the Family Room. It’s a large space for watching TV, reading, and relaxing which leads into a space for games, drinks and relaxing. We’ve “zoned” the room (which is basically breaking a large space up into sections or zones for certain uses and tasks. This helps divide up a large space, ensure it’s functional and allows for some fun dispersal of colour and design elements). There’s a natural divide between the lounging space and the games/hang-out area and we’ve utilised rugs in the lounging space to “divide” it into two areas: the TV area and the reading area. We’ve also grouped little units of seating and tables together to facilitate conversation.

Right now, we’re in the midst of getting the work schedule underway and we can’t wait to show you the next stages of the process! Be prepared for oodles of swoon-worthy colour, pattern, texture and sumptuousness coming your way! 

If you’re planning a home renovation – whether that’s just one room or a whole overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love to talk and we’d love to discuss ideas and plans! We value family, history, personality and lifestyle and are intentional about drawing out your style and personality and creating a beautiful, functional home for you! You can reach us on: 02825 880012 or email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk.

Loft Bedroom: Part 1

We’ve got exciting plans afoot! For the last couple of months we’ve been working on a Loft Bedroom renovation in a beautiful countryside home. The space used to operate as an open plan shared bedroom and bathroom space but now that the boys are grown and out of the house, it was time to reconfigure the space! The homeowners wanted to use the space as a bedroom and bathroom for guests while working in some functional storage space.

The redesign meant some minor building work was necessary to create an area for storage, remove a few non-supporting walls and fill in with dry wall and plastering. Easy! The old bathroom was ripped out and updated with a sleek, more compact shower and fittings.

Pictured is the very unglamorous building work taking place. As lovers of colour and pattern and fabrics, we love bringing a space to life with furnishings and furniture and decorative items, but it’s vitally important to consider the actual design and flow of a space. Sometimes that means doing some less-glamorous work like taking out a wall to open up a space, refitting a tired old bathroom, or replacing worn floorboards. By getting the ‘bones’ of a space right, you’ll ensure a warmer, more sound building, and will also ensure the best flow of space for you and your needs. No amount of beautiful furnishings will conceal critical room weaknesses so get the bones right first! This is a game changer.

      

    

    While the builders were at work, we devised a gorgeous scheme of colour and pattern to bring the open plan space to life! Think sumptuously tactile textures, fun patterns and pops of strong colour against soft greys and whites. This needed to be a space with character; a real homely but stimulating space for guests to rest and relax in. So we brought in the master of colour, pattern and zing: Pierre Frey! One of our favourite designers, Pierre Frey is a fearless French powerhouse designing fabrics and wall coverings that are eclectic, unusual, and luxurious. Here’s the scheme we came up with!

As we speak, the decorators are painting and pasting wallpaper and we can’t wait to see this space finished! Be on the lookout for the next part of the process! And if you’re planning an update or renovation in your home, we’d love to help! Whether it’s one room or a complete house overhaul, don’t hesitate to contact us on 07808959212 or email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk.

A Day In The Life Of A Pair Of Scissors!

One item which we couldn’t be without in the McMillan Interiors workroom is scissors!

Some days are all about picking up the scissors and making bold sweeps through widths of fabric!

Great for releasing a bit of aggression but not advisable unless your head is clear enough to compute pattern matches as you go.

Every fabric handles differently and mistakes are easy to make but costly to rectify. Cotton sateen is robust and fairly dependable, wool is soft and slower cutting is advised. Silk is delicate and can move all over the place so care is required. As for sheer fabrics…..!!!

I was taught more than 25 years ago by a lady named Greta Simpson who worked with us in our workroom. She was retired from Hillmount factory in Cullybackey where she had learned her considerable skills with sewing machines and cutting out. Her advice on cutting straight –

  • “Keep your eye on the point of the scissors”
  • “Don’t look at your hand or you will swerve”
  • “Measure twice – cut once!!”  Anyone you cuts anything will concur with this!

I think of Greta every time I pick up my scissors and her simple words of advice have been invaluable.

I’ve included some photos of the finished projects from that particular Cutting Day.

If you need some interior design advice or intend to redecorate soon get in touch with us.  Make an appointment and come and see us at our McMillan Interiors studio at The Outpost, 53a Loan Road, Cullybackey, BT42 1PS. Phone 07808959212 or email  – niel@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk or catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk 

Coffee Morning With Lime Tree Cakes

Our next event at McMillan Interiors is a Coffee Morning with Lime Tree Cakes. Roz Bowyer, owner of Lime Tree Cakes, Ahoghill will be demonstrating some of the latest exquisite cake decorating skills which she is widely known and admired for.  The person to know for the next family wedding!

Coffee morning with Lime Tree Cakes

“It’s All in The Detail” at McMillan Interiors Coffee Morning at The Outpost, 53A Loan Road, Cullybackey, Ballymena, Co Antrim BT42 1PS.

Saturday 11th June 2016 10.30am – 12.30pm.

“I will be looking at the latest trends in the world of Passementerie.  Fabulous trimmings both contemporary and traditional.  It truly is all about the detail!”

Lots to feast your eyes on; inspiration for the next decoration project; coffee and cakes to satisfy.

coffee morning with lime tree cakes

“It’s All In The Detail” Coffee Morning with Lime Tree Cakes is being held at The Outpost on Saturday 11th June from 10.30am – 12.30pm. Please confirm your place if you intend coming along to see some amazing cake decorating skills demonstrated by Roz Bowyer.

Spaces limited to 20 persons.  £5 entrance.  We need 12 confirmations for the event to go ahead.

Tel Catherine on 07808959212 to secure your place.

Check out our Facebook page here and for more cake inspiration check out the Lime Tree Cakes website here.

Tales Of The Outpost

Tales of the Outpost is on Friday 13th May 2016 starting at 8.00pm. ‘Drama and Interior Design with a difference. An evening that will make you smile, celebrating a little of our literary heritage and creative talent’. 

Tales Of The Outpost

In coming up with the idea of this event (a good number of months stewing over it!) my goal has been to bring about an evening’s entertainment which would be inspirational and fun – a collaboration with talented friends, local artists.  Also to be a celebration of the literary heritage of our wee country and of course to showcase our interior design studio. Fine! Let’s do it then!

So far the plans include some dramatic staging of the Outpost , setting the scene for the writings of C S Lewis, namely The Chronicles of Narnia.  His influence has coloured or touched most of our lives not just as children but maybe even more powerfully as adults – it’s all about Aslan.

So marmalade cake and Turkish delight, lampposts and fur coats, dragons and lions, good vs evil and Aslan on the move.

We’ll use this evening to express our appreciation of the work of C S Lewis in speech, music, art, photograpy and interior design.

Tales of the Outpost

Tales Of The Outpost on Friday 13th May – an evening to make you smile and give you inspiration.

We would love you to join us for the evening as we bring you Tales Of The Outpost. You can let us know if you’re interested on our Facebook event page here.  £5 admittance at the door. The Outpost is at 53a Loan Road, Cullybackey, Ballymena BT42 1PS. We would also love you to like our Facebook page here.