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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]

Style School: Art Deco

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.

   

[Sources here]

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.

[Sources here]

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 catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk or phone 07808959212.

 

 

The Dark Side

Forty years ago, in May 1977, little-known director George Lucas released an epic Space Opera film called Star Wars that would set off a global movement of mania over the daring battle between the Rebel Force and the Galactic Empire.

This December sees the release of the eighth episode, ‘The Last Jedi’ and the saga shows no sign of waning in popularity. Fans, critics and movie buffs around the world have long made their claim over where their allegiances lie – with the knightly Jedi Rebels or the Sith-run Empire. I have my own convictions and I will leave you to make yours, but when it comes to interiors and home style lets consider the debate: are you Jedi or Sith? Light or Dark? Bright and fresh, or moody and muted?

For a few years now, light and fresh Scandinavian style interiors have been all the rage. They typically feature lots of white or lightly stained woods, comfortable fabrics such as linen, wool and shaggy sheepskin, and a palette of whites, greys, and muted shades of blues, greens, yellows. It’s light, airy, fresh, clean, and cosy. It’s contemporary and still very much on trend.

So, hands up…who loves this?

This is a style for those who prefer more of a minimalist look – it’s clean, pared back, unfussy. Furniture is streamlined and often raised up on legs. It features lots of nice lines and is typically tidy and compact. The Scandivanian countries are masters of this style but all do slight variations of it.

To get this style, neutral is key but that doesn’t have to mean boring – play with a range of neutral tones. Choose some natural motifs in neutral colours or some small scale prints with little pops of colour to add fun. Don’t forget to play up texture – choose a range of fabrics such as slubby linens, soft cottons, shaggy rugs and throws and some nice metallics for interest.

Here’s a couple of Scandi-inspired schemes we’ve pulled together:

But maybe you’re less Luke-Skywalker-Jedi-Light-Side and more Darth-Vader-Sith-Dark-Side (confession….I came over to the Dark Side a couple of years ago and have no regrets!)

While the light Scandinavian style interior has been popular for a few years, the dark interior has really only caught momentum much more recently. However it’s showing no signs of slowing down which is really exciting to see! A significant ambassador of the dark trend is British designer Abigail Ahern who proposes that for a really stylish, cosy and character-full space, homeowners should paint walls, ceilings, doors, woodwork and moulding in gorgeously dark, inky colours – browns, blues, ochres, greens, blacks, greys. This creates a cosy ‘cocooning’ effect in the room and actually blurs the edges and corners of the room, thereby making it feel grander and bigger. The Dark Side is the perfect canvas for all the maximalists out there – it’s an opportunity for you to fill those dark corners with lamps and clusters of candles to create cosy puddles of light and warmth around the room.

Texture and layering is key to create visual interest and really to create a bit of fun! Over the last year we’ve seen the arrival – and resurrection – of some really cool textures and finishes which are perfect in a dark room. Interesting botanicals have made a big impact on the interiors scene (e.g. exotic cacti, fabulous succulents, blousy florals, huge monstera plants, fragrant eucalyptus) and we’ve seen some really well-made faux plants appear on the market which is allowing us to create all sorts of interesting spaces and effects. In Fashion and Interiors we’ve also seen the glorious revival of sumptuous velvet in a stunning array of colours – rich chocolates, regal blues, dusky pinks, and vibrant yellows.

Have I convinced you to come to the dark side yet?… If not, here’s a delectably dark scheme we pulled together full of buttery soft velvets, cosy wools, shimmering silks, slubby linens and that fabulous mercury wallpaper. So glam and fun and super cosy.

So whether you’re Jedi -light or Sith-Dark, the key to either style is texture. Inject lots of fun and cosy fabrics into your rooms – home should be a place that is welcoming, warm, and comfortable!