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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!

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.