Select Page

Designer Hotspot: Braquenié

French wallpaper brand Braquenié was founded in 1824 and quickly became renowned for its elegance, quality and beautiful taste. It embodied the very spirit of French classicism and appeared throughout the courts of Europe, in the Louvre, the Vatican and even in the home of Victor Hugo. In 1991, Pierre Frey acquired and integrated the Braquenié brand into its own Design House. The original spirit of the Braquenié brand lives on through shared values of tradition, expertise and excellence with Pierre Frey. Under Pierre Frey, designers and artists dug into over a hundred years of carefully preserved Braquenié archives to unveil beautiful textile designs, carpet samples and watercolour drawings which they reimagined and re-released as fabrics and wallpapers for a contemporary clientele.

While a lot of Design Houses create and release collections at least once a year, Braquenié collections are only released every three to four years. Pierre Frey Jr explains why: “We wait until we have a proper theme and lots of archive documents to launch a strong, powerful collection of fabrics and papers.” Spring 2019 sees the much awaited release of Comptoirs d’Orient, a collection of exquisitely embellished prints, silks, embroideries and epingle velvets based on archive documents from the 18th and 19th centuries. The collection is an ode to exoticism – a major theme in 18th century decorative arts – with use of exotic flowers, pineapples and chinoiseries which captured the imaginations of Europeans seeing these imports for the first time.

   

Pierre Frey Jr explains that they refreshed the original documents – playing with scale, orientation and bolder colour to retain the timelessness of the designs while injecting it with a freshness for a new market. It’s an extraordinary collection, boasting complex textile embellishment including appliquéing velvet onto linen, then embroidering over it, or printing onto delicate raw silk; feats accomplished utilising the best materials and most skilled hands from all over the world. While Braquenié is synonymous with classic, opulent and traditional interiors, both the fabrics and wallpapers of Comptoirs d’Orient are befitting of traditional and more contemporary settings. The best way to showcase such a collection is to refer to the stylistic work of Anne Pericchi-Draeger who imagined, designed, and styled the collection for the official Braquenié promotional material and dressed the Pierre Frey Parisian Showrooms.

      

Colours include zingy yellow, earthy umber, soft peach, robust rust, teal and raspberry and yves klein blue in patterns ranging from large scale florals, plaids, small scale scallops, diamond weaves, and designs featuring sweet birds and flamboyant pineapples! Fabulously unique and full of character!

      

Where the collection really shines is in the unusual pairings and clashings of the patterns and colours together as seen below. For those fierce fearless maximalists among us!

  

 
Pierre Frey has long been one of our favourite Design Houses, boasting designs that are quintessentially French. The French largely aren’t preoccupied with following trends or being defined by a style or genre, and are eager to use and mix strong colour, a multitude of patterns and unusual pieces to furnish and dress their spaces. French interiors to us shout joy! fun! elegance! fearlessness!

  

Discover the full collection here. All images used are sourced from Anne Pericchi-Draeger and Pierre Frey.

If you’d like help with redesigning and decorating 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 advise, listen to your ideas and make your home fit your needs and aesthetic. Call us on 02825 880012 or email ruth-anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Colourful, Eclectic House

Good morning friends and followers! It’s August already! Anybody wonder where this year has gone? We’re well into the second half of 2018 and we’re excited for what the rest of the year will bring. Have you any plans, goals or things to look forward to in the next few months?

Today we’re showcasing a wonderful house we worked on over the last couple of years, and we finally got our photography through and we’re thrilled to share this colourful, eclectic, contemporary home! Grab a cuppa and swoon over the gorgeous colours, prints and shapes in this bright, spacious home! (we’ve wiled away MANY an hour doing this!)

To give a bit of background, the house was a contemporary new build in a fabulous rural setting in Co. Down. The homeowners were a couple who had recently sold up their family home after their children had flown the nest, but wanted a space for visiting friends, family, and guests. The brief was to create a completely different style from the previous family home which had been much more traditional in its design. What really thrilled us was that this was a couple who weren’t afraid to embrace colour, pattern and a whole new style!

Some of our projects involve a single room or a couple of rooms in a house and the challenge is to maintain cohesion between the “old” rooms and the “new” rooms. We enjoy the challenge of working with what is already there – sometimes boundaries bring out some really creative ideas! But we love whole house projects because they’re a different sort of challenge – to create a unified cohesive look from the front hallway right through to the top room of the house. We don’t really like to stick rigidly to design “rules” but interior design theory dictates that there should be unity and harmony in any space we create – and this is especially important when it’s our home; a space we spend a lot of time in. Nothing worse than an unbalanced, uncohesive space making us feel uncomfortable or uneasy!

But enough design theory for now, let’s crack on with photos!

       

We decked out the hallway in a STUNNING Elitis beaded Panel – it’s essentially a piece of art for your walls painstakingly made up of tiny coloured beads to create an incredibly eye-catching, gorgeously textured, and rich statement piece in your home! Perfect for using in a front entrance hallway to make an epic first impression! The Hall Chair has been covered in a fabulous Christian la Croix cotton featuring a gorgeously detailed digitally printed butterfly print. The Light Fitting (mimicking the lines in the Elitis Wall Panel!) is from our friends at Moy Lighting in Dungannon – they stock a huge range of beautiful lights for all budgets and the service is second to none so be sure to check them out!

  

The Living room is a sumptuous cacophony of aquamarine blue and orange with touches of royal blue, citrus green and warm grey. Blue is a perfect colour for a living space because it creates a soothing, calming and tranquil space – perfect for relaxing in! We’ve knocked it up a notch by using a bright aquamarine textured wallpaper with a vibrant warm yellow stripe though it and paired it with blue’s complementary colour, orange for a bold, vibrant look. Have a look at the details!:

   

      

The Living Room leads into the Dining area and Kitchen where we’ve utilised a similar palette: orange, citrus green and blue to ensure flow and cohesion between the two spaces. How gorgeous is it looking across the living room and picking up the similar tones and hues in the dining space?? We’ve used another stunning textured Elitis Panel on the wall to create a bright, statement-making space! Certain to brighten up any dull morning or gloomy winter evening!

Gorgeous! (..if we do say so ourselves!)

   

In the Study we carried through the orange from the living and dining spaces with two sets of curtains from one of our favourite French designers: Manuel Canovas – particularly renowned for his sumptuous use of colour and quirky designs. We love that embroidered curtain draped across that single window – so rich! We’ve complemented the curtains with tones of violet, crimson and grey in the cushions. An informal but sophisticated space to read, play music or catch up on work!

    

In the Bedrooms, we carried through the violet, blue and citrus green tones from the ground floor rooms to maintain the flow throughout the whole house, but we changed up the style and look to give each room its own character. First up is the decadently cosy violet bedroom!

   

On the Curtains, stool, scatter cushions on the bed, and wrapped around the back of the armchair are the fabrics of ‘Earthed by William Clarke’ – designed, made and printed in the oldest surviving linen factory in Ireland. It’s a real joy for us to find and us local designers, artisans and makers; they add such a special touch for us as interior designers. They’re also a special touch for the client – to essentially have a piece of local history and artistry in their home…it carries so much more weight than a room crammed with mass-produced products. Have a look around their site and explore their work – they fuse traditional and modern design, utilising bold colour and meticulous craftsmanship.

   

We love how fresh but cosy this room is! Purple is a tricky colour to use – it can easily look cheap or dated, but we love how its turned out here: warm, contemporary, bright, sharp and grounded by pops of taupe and icy blue. Once again, our friends at Moy Lighting provided the wall lights which are just the perfect finishing touch to the space!

     

A spare room gets bedecked in fresh florals and velvets from Designers Guild. We love paying attention to small details in design and over the years, many clients have returned to us because of our attention to the details and often-overlooked finishing touches. Note that gorgeous metal pole finished with an acrylic finial and acrylic rings? Just perfect for the curtain and for the look of the room. Note also the fun pom-pom trim around the scatter cushion…you really can’t go wrong with a pom-pom!

    

Another spare room is furnished with Designers Guild, Sanderson, and Osborne & Little (again, picking up the blue, citrus green and purple hues from the rest of the house!). The Designers Guild Floral used throughout the space is so fresh and adds such vibrancy and cheerfulness to the space. It’s a fresh and sharp space but also incredibly soft and cocooning.

    

Note again the trimmings on the scatter cushions and the throw on the bed – they just finish off the pieces impeccably! Details matter!

As you can see, this house is a wonderful cacophony of colour and pattern – but all utilised thoughtfully and cohesively. We love how each space has its own personality and look, but all of the rooms work together and make use of similar tones and hues. Next time you’re redecorating, consider your house or apartment as a whole rather than a lot of separate rooms. Consider how you can create a cohesive, harmonious flow between the rooms, whether that’s using similar colours throughout the house as we have, or utilising the same flooring materials throughout, or using similar artwork throughout the house.

If you’d like any more help with redesigning and decorating your home – whether it’s one or two rooms, or a whole house overhaul – don’t hesitate to get in touch! We’d love to advise, listen to your ideas 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 Houzz, Instagram and Facebook!

All photographs by our wonderful photographer Andrew McMillan. You can find more of his exquisite film and digital work here.

Loft Bedroom Part 3

You may recall we’ve been renovating a loft bedroom over the last few months – converting it from a semi-open plan bedroom and shared bathroom space for two growing boys (who have now flown the nest!) and into a bright and roomy guest bedroom, ensuite and we’re even squeezing in some extra storage space for the homeowners. If you’re new to all this, you can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2! But today we’re unveiling the finished space! 

You will remember the space went from this:

   

    

To this:

      

   

All coming back to you? Great, let’s keep moving!

Since then, we’ve laid a lovely, spongey soft carpet throughout the whole bedroom space and a warm, cushiony vinyl in the ensuite (so no cold feet in the mornings! A breeze to clean and maintain too!) But the real showstopper is the carpet we’ve laid on the stairway… ready for it?…

      

This carpet makes such a statement! Paired with that sharp black and white Pierre Frey tribal wallpaper, it’s super smart, contemporary and fun! We painted out the woodwork and trimming in tones of grey to add warmth, and as you ascend the staircase, you’ll find some unusual faces peeking over the bannister!

   

This is the gorgeous, cosy oasis that awaits you at the top of the stairs! We love how this space turned out – warm, bright, fresh, contemporary, cosy and extremely homely (even Mac, the cocker spaniel loves it!). The warm grey woodwork and the taupe-y grey carpet play the perfect soft and warm canvas for the barrage of stunning Pierre Frey fabrics and papers that we’ve used featuring shades of pink ranging from fuchsia to coral, fresh greens, navy blues and sharp blacks and whites.

    

Note some of the details: that silver chair with that exquisitely placed Indian Head-dress fabric and the striped armrests finished with silver studs. The coral pink throw on the bed is a length of chunky linen Pierre Frey fabric that we’ve frayed the edges of to create a heavy, cosy throw for those inevitable cold Irish Winters! Note also the throw with the embroidered faces and that textured looped cord trim – so fun, and the layers and textures add loads of cosiness and interest! What we really love is that gorgeous fabric wall behind the bed – it makes such a feature of that corner and adds such a sense of luxury and warmth to the space. We love using fabrics and wallpapers in unusual ways – whether that’s wallpapering a ceiling, cladding a wall in fabric, or using a single strip of wallpaper in an unusual corner of a room – it adds such surprise and intrigue to a space.

      

The ensuite was fitted with a new shower, toilet and sink and we hung a small scale textured Pierre Frey wallpaper for cosiness and character! Sometimes bathrooms can be stark, sterile, cold spaces full of hard, shiny surfaces. Yes, a bathroom should be clean and easy to keep, but it doesn’t mean you can’t inject colour or personality into the space! We love how the wallpaper and the bold shot of raspberry red paint adds interest, and that slubby striped linen curtain over the door is just so fun and in keeping with the earthy, slightly rustic, tribal feel of the space.

    

Finally, a look back down the room towards the staircase. We’ve accessorised and furnished the space with colourful table lamps, sleek and contemporary light fittings, textured rugs, furniture in warm, light woods, and baskets of exotic foliage and greenery. During the day, this space gets plenty of bright sunshine and we’ve installed blackout blinds on the velux windows to ensure this space becomes a dark and cosy cocoon in the evening.

We are so delighted with how the space turned out! Who wouldn’t want to stay here? We’d love to know what you think! Leave us a comment, and as always, if you’re considering a home renovation don’t hesitate to get in touch! Our projects range from single room refreshes to whole house overhauls. We’d love to talk, hear your ideas and work alongside you to make your home beautiful, functional and full of your personality. Contact us on 02825 880012 or email ruth-anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. Want a final look at the loft bedroom?….oh go on then!

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.

Design Hotspot: Jane Churchill

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: catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk or ruth-anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk.

[Jane Churchill Promotional Images sourced from here]