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 email@example.com.
It goes without saying that there has been something of an explosion of interest in the interiors world. The rise of Interior DIY-ers coupled with masses of new products and exciting designs (and the accessibility of those products) means that we’re at a very exciting stage in home and interior design.
It’s great that homeowners want to inject their own style and flair into their home!
It’s wonderful that we’re not so enslaved to trends and styles!
It’s great that there’s so much variety and product and choice! From High Street to online, there are endless options!
But honestly, sometimes it can all become a bit too much.
Do you ever take a wander down the high street and get the feeling that everything starts to look all the same? Do you ever excitedly dash around the department store, filling your trolley will a bevy of cushions only to find those same cushions a touch flat and miserable looking a few weeks later? While we love the high street for some things, we’ve found that it can sometimes be lacking in design, aesthetics and quality.
Over the years that we’ve been in the Interiors Business, we’ve built up relationships with designers, design houses and suppliers across the UK, Europe and America who are thoughtfully and meticulously designing and crafting beautiful, unique products. These are companies that we love and trust, and whose designs and quality have been proven over and over again in real homes with real families over the years.
One such company that we’ve worked with for years is British Designer Jane Churchill (now part of the Colefax and Fowler family). There are two strands to the Jane Churchill company – the ‘Jane Churchill’ collections (whimsical/ cottage-y/ a tad more traditional) and the ‘Atmosphere’ collections (sleek, contemporary, urban). Just a couple of weeks ago we received the new ‘Jane Churchill‘ collection, entitled ‘Indira‘ (a Sanskrit word meaning beauty or splendid). We have fallen quickly and irrevocably in love with this collection..it’s unusual, colourful, fun, well-priced, beautiful quality, and versatile (specifically: it can be tweaked to be either slightly more cottage-y/traditional or slightly more eclectic).
Have a look at the promotional shots to see it in situ:
Jane Churchill has a recurring palette of soft and sumptuous colours – warm greys, fresh corals and pinks, rusty reds, soft teals and blues and clean whites. This is such a beautiful collection for a Spring/Summer refresh – imagine the windows flung open and these prints rippling in the breeze? Picture bright sunlight flooding in and illuminating the shapes of foliage and birds and rich embroidery on these fabrics?
As we often like to say, colour and pattern are MAJOR powerhouses in your home. People are so often afraid of colour and pattern out of fear of the space being “too busy” or “too overwhelming”, and while it’s certainly a possibility, we’ve found that homeowners tend to swing to the other extreme and play way too safe in an attempt to avoid the possibility of colour/pattern overload. As you can see from these promotional images, the house features soft and bright whites and ivories, and interest, depth and personality has been added with layers of colour, pattern, texture and finishes. Not everything is matchy-matchy – a mixture of colours and shades and tones have been utilised so it doesn’t look so ‘try-hard’ and creates a more visually interesting space!
We love the versatility of these fabrics – whether they’re hung as curtains or stitched up to become a bed valance, or even adorning a chair – they’re striking and conversation-starting! We just love these warmer palettes and tones at the minute – after seeing so much blue and green in interiors over the last few years (which we love), it’s refreshing to see rusty terracottas and warm oranges; pinky reds and mustardy ochres coming into play.
All in all, it’s a sumptuous collection of intricate embroideries, prints derived from gorgeous hand-painted designs, soft plains, textured weaves, and patterns ranging from wide stripes to mid-size botanicals to small scale geometrics. We’ve already had the opportunity to utilise a selection of fabrics from the collection for a bedroom renovation we’re working on! Have a look at the mood-boards for the scheme:
We love the mixture of patterns and shapes, and the pairing of fresh and cool blues and teals with softer greys, taupes and even a little splash of pinky peach! Yum! Keep your eyes peeled for more on this project in the weeks ahead!
What do you think about the Jane Churchill collection? Is it your cup of tea? Or are you more modern/ minimalistic? Or perhaps you love a bolder, stronger, more glamorous look? We’d love to know what looks, styles and palettes your drawn to! Whatever look tickles your fancy, we hope your home is full of colours and textures and objects that you love. And while we’ll never argue with a cheap and cheerful High Street purchase, we also hope your home has objects and items of beautiful quality – because they’ll last longer and will age well. And in such a critical time – when we must consider the health of the earth; when we must consider things like waste disposal and carbon emissions and the source of our food and products, we must learn to live more sustainably.
Should you need some help or advice with a home renovation – whether it’s just one room or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love to talk and discuss your ideas (and even offer one or two!). You can reach us on the phone at: 07808959212 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
[Jane Churchill Promotional Images sourced from here]
Let’s talk about Art Deco.
You see, over the last few months, as we’ve dashed around Design shows and Fairs and ogled over new designer collections; as we’ve flicked through brochures and magazines heralding the new interior trends, we’ve noticed an unmistakable resurgence of Art Deco.
Quick history lesson: After the austerity of the war years (1914-1918), people were desperate for a lift. The economic boom of the 1920s (hence why it was called “the roaring twenties“) ushered in a much more decadent, lavish and luxurious era that lasted until the 1950s. The Art Deco style was glamorous, elegant and modern; all about making a statement and oozing luxury and richness. It was characterised by geometric motifs, symmetry, hard edges broken up by curved elements, bold colour, and luxurious materials such as gold, rich woods, lacquer and velvet. Furthermore, the discovery of Tuthankhamen’s tomb in Egypt in 1922 led to Egyptian influences and motifs seeping into Art Deco.
[Sources here and here]
Since then, we’ve seen the prominence of Modernism, Minimalism, and Scandinavian styles in late 20th Century/ early 21st Century interiors. Truthfully however, for the last few decades there had been no dominating global “style”; designers and homeowners are much more confident in dabbling in different trends, mixing styles and not becoming enslaved to one particular look. It’s great! We champion individualism all the way!
Nevertheless, a quick look around the high street tells us that styles come and go, and cycle and try to catch on again. We see the resurgence of trends we thought were long dead.. this is especially obvious in fashion: the revival of 70s and boho, and 80s shoulder pads are just some of the things we’ve seen over the last decade. Similarly in interiors, we see styles and trends cycling and resurfacing now and again.
And so, 2018 seems to be the revival of Art Deco, or so the big name designers, influential blogs, and magazines would have us believe! What do you think about it? One design house in particular that is going hard and fast with the Deco trend is internationally renowned fabric and wallpaper house: Zoffany. Have a look at their 2018 collection ‘The Muse‘
“Encapsulating the sophistication and decadence of the 1920’s, The Muse combines modernist style with fine craftsmanship and rich materials..The Muse channels cosmopolitan hotel luxe and symbolises elegance and prestige.”
[See the whole collection here]
We’ve worked with Zoffany fabrics and wallpapers for years and they are masters of colour and luxurious products; we love them for their elegance, high quality, and sophistication. While we love seeing their iconic, inimitable colour palette coming through ‘The Muse‘ collection, we must admit that we’re not so keen on this overt Art Deco trend. A very obvious Art Deco look runs the risk of dating quickly and longevity is something we all (designers, homeowners, consumers) must consider. With so much product and options out on the market, it’s easy to get sucked into buying more, more, more! But with each new purchase, something gets thrown out and we have landfills heaving under the weight of our discarded products. A room designed to last years is kinder to the environment and to your purse!
We can picture ‘The Muse‘ collection in an urban, luxurious hotel but we’re not so sure on how the whole look will translate to a residential space. But we aren’t closing the books on this collection or the Art Deco trend altogether. Instead, we think Art Deco motifs, elements and characteristics can be implemented into a space in a much less overt, but much smarter way!
[Sources here and here]
We love this glam teal-green space featuring velvet upholstery, gold chandeliers and bold black panelling lined in gold. It’s an homage to Art Deco style: gold, geometrics, luscious fabrics and lacquered surfaces, and yet refrains from being too “obviously” Art Deco. The entrance lobby in the second image nods to Art Deco with it’s glossy chequerboard floor and vintage Chandelier.
One of our favourite fabric and wallpaper designers Manuel Canovas has released a collection this year that is both contemporary and retro; channeling elements of Art Deco and Mid-Century. We love it because it doesn’t sit neatly in one era. It’s a nod to history and yet it’s fresh enough to look fabulous in modern day spaces.
Or how about a quiet nod to Art Deco with one or two elements in your space? Consider a strong geometric wallpaper in a dining room and pair it with touches of gold to create a little Art Deco glam. Upholster a compact little tub chair in a velvety soft geometric print, or bedeck a bedroom wall in a smart geometric paper and add touches of gold, luscious silks and a large lamp in a faux-lacquered finish.
Finally, we’ve pulled together a few ideas for pieces of furniture and furnishings to add a little touch of Art Deco in your home!
[Sources here, here and here]
[Sources here, here and here]
For any more information about any products listed here, or if you’re interested in a home renovation (whether that’s a one room project or a whole house renovation), don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07808959212.
Every March sees a flurry of activity from Design Houses and Retailers around the world as preparations are finalised for the release of Spring/Summer collections.
Paris starts the year off with a bang with the iconic ‘Maison Objet’ and ‘Paris Deco Off’; with London picking up the mantle with ‘London Design Week’ at the beginning of March. As ‘the beast from the east’ unleashed its fury across the U.K. and Ireland, we nervously packed our suitcases and geared ourselves up for snow, blizzards, and monstrously high drifts. Thankfully, the snow had cleared up and the sun was even making an appearance by the time we had landed! We dropped our suitcases at the hotel and dashed to the Chelsea Design Centre which was magnificently bedecked in fresh mint greens, soft pinks and lilacs, vibrant foliage, and an abundance of blossom spilling out from every surface, nook and cranny.
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Fuelled by an plethora of tea, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and incredible Thai Food, we delved into magical worlds of embroideries, silks, exquisite trimmings, lustrous wallpapers, sculptural light fittings and sumptuous textures over the next three days. So many wonderful companies and products! But we’ve collated some of our favourite companies and collections from the week. Have a look at what’s tickling our fancy this season:
We’re familiar with the quirky designs of Jim Thompson. He draws a lot of inspiration from Eastern cultures, history and motifs. We love his collection of richly coloured silks but it’s his collaboration with Dutch designer Gert Voorjans that bowls us over. It’s fun, bold and fearless!
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We may have mentioned before, but we love Pierre Frey. A total French powerhouse! You’re guaranteed fun, unusual, beautifully made designs and their most recent collection ‘Araphos‘ doesn’t disappoint!
SAMUEL & SONS
We’re firm believers that details matter. What often makes a space really special and interesting are the little details that are often overlooked – a beautifully pleated curtain, a colourful trimming on a cushion, or upholstery stitching in a contrasting thread. Samuel & Sons are masters of beautiful trimmings which create the most beautiful details for soft furnishings. We fell in love with their gorgeous window display featuring their distinctive trimmings!
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Etamine is unmistakably French with a Mediterranean touch. We love the bright, fresh, romantic feel it brings to a space; utilising both soft, dreamy colours and splashes of stronger hues. So versatile! So easy to use and love!
William Yeoward is a long standing name in Interior Design and we love the eclectic, modern British feel of his fabrics and furniture. It’s superb quality, versatile in traditional and more contemporary spaces, and it always guarantees a sense of wit, fun and colour! It never fails to make us smile!
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A powerhouse in Interior Design, Designers Guild is a master brand of colour, pattern and zing! Their iconic florals bedeck interiors the world over; adding freshness, romance and extraordinary colour. They never fail to create a beautiful collection and this season we’re delighted to see their collaboration with American artist John Derian – feast your eyes on that Chaise below…utterly sumptuous!
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There are MANY manufacturers of light fittings and shades, so it’s wonderful to come across a British born company creating colourful, quirky and whimsical Light fittings to spice up every interior! We’ve posted a few snaps below, but make sure to check out tho whole range on their website! Decorative items add such character to a space so we love investing in unusual pieces!
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Phew! We made it to the end! This is just a quick snapshot of bits and pieces that caught our eye during LDW, but over the next few weeks you may see a few other faves pop up here and there. We can’t help it – when we get excited about a fabric design or a wallpaper or a beautiful trimming, we feel the need to share the love! We’ve loved sharing these pieces with you and we hope it’s sparked an idea of something to inject in your own home this season!
If you are planning a renovation – whether that’s a complete overhaul or just a room update – and you fancy some advice or help in making your space more functional, beautiful and unique to you, don’t hesitate to contact us. Send an email Catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk or Ruth-Anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. Alternatively you can phone us on 07808 959212