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Lounge & Dining Area

Homes evolve over the years; perhaps once the soil in which a young couple begins their life, they grow and evolve to accommodate an expanding family. They hear the cries of newborn babies, the walls bear the scrawls of mischievous crayon-wielding toddlers, the stairs become a makeshift hill for children to sled, climb or crawl down and the bathroom may one day be the echoing innards of a submarine, and the next be a proud pirate ship sailing the high seas. So many stories, so many uses, so much evolving and shifting. And as all parents attest, the children grow up so fast. The house evolves again. Moody teenagers now haunt its hallways and retreat into bedrooms. The teenagers become young adults and wade into higher education or venture into the working world. They begin to loosen the home-bound ties and eventually depart the nest and the home evolves again, coming full circle back to two.

This home has recently seen its brood ruffle their feathers and take flight, leaving mum and dad and a host of empty rooms still alive with memories. For the past few years the homeowners have followed the lead of the house into its newest state of evolution – as a home and working space for two, but as a retreat for the visiting children and their own families. We met with the owners to discuss the evolution of a dining room into a dual purpose dining space for the much loved family gatherings at Christmas, Easter and special occasions, whilst also serving as an informal lounge space for work and leisure.

There were special pieces of furniture that the owners were keen to hold onto and use but otherwise, the room was stripped back to its bare walls and flooring. We created a few schemes for the space and worked with the homeowners to select and finalise a look they were happy with. A draft of the moodboard looked like this:

Tones of blues, greys and neutrals created a calm, cocooning space while carefully curated moments of ochre, raspberry, and pink orchid added colour, variety and interest. That showstopping Matthew Williamson embroidery was set to become a pair of statement curtains wrapping around the curved bay window but an evolution of the design saw the embroidery become a roman blind and a beautifully textured linen become the curtain.

We trimmed the linen curtain in an Osborne & Little wide braid featuring the repeated blues and pinks throughout the room, and we ensured privacy for the homeowners through the use of a textured narrow stripe sheer curtain. As well as ensuring privacy, sheer curtains diffuse the glare of sunlight whilst adding softness and cosiness to a space.

We commissioned bespoke mid-century inspired armchairs and a sofa to update the room and provide luxurious and comfortable seating for visiting guests and to serve as an informal lounging area for a spot of quiet reading in the evening. The sofa was wrapped in a softly textured Linen/Cotton mix from Jane Churchill and the armchairs in a contrasting sunny yellow herringbone from Linwood. Beautiful buttoned upholstery, sharp lines, polished legs, and soft fabrics make for a really interesting, comfortable and durable seating area!

Let’s not forget the wallpaper wrapping the walls in sumptuously soft tones and textures. We set the fireplace against a ground of warm teal inlaid with a semi-abstract floral inspired design. On the rest of the walls we used a plain textured vinyl wall covering evoking the texture and warmth of linen. Some of our favourite collections and wallpapers! There’s just something about the warmth, look, and both visual and tactile texture of luxury wall-coverings – they add beautiful layers of colour, pattern, depth and cocooning cosiness to a space that paint alone can’t quite achieve.

And let’s not forget the bespoke scatter cushions adding more layers of softness to the upholstery as well as splashes of colour, pattern and texture. We carried the Matthew Williamson embroidery from the Roman Blind to the scatter cushions and paired it with a small scale chevron weave in a hot pink and fresh white colourway from Sanderson.

Tucked in behind the lounge area was the dining space; reserved for special meals with visiting family. The existing dining table and chairs were in great condition and remained special pieces to the homeowners. We opted to update the upholstery on the dining chairs by commissioning a beautiful Osborne and Little zig-zag cut velvet echoing the colours throughout the room.

And let’s not forget the foundation (literally!) of every room – the floor! We used a beautiful tawny grey and linen coloured loop pile carpet from Wool Classics London to provide a smart and contemporary base for the rest of the room. The two tone colour adds interest and the loop pile cut is comfortable, practical, and long-wearing. A true luxury!

As a final note, a few weeks after we’d finished and photographed the room, we supplied an area rug to help zone the lounge area and break up the expanse of carpet. We chose a lovely persian inspired cotton chenille rug in various tones of warm blue and it has just lifted the room from amazing to AMAZING!

It was such a joy and privilege to work in this room; to honour the homeowners and their story & memories encased in the walls of this home. It was a joy to breathe new life into this room and repurpose it for a new chapter and for many more wonderful stories to be written and memories to be made in the years to come.

Finally, 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!

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.