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Trimmings: It’s all in the details

Charles R. Swindoll once stated that The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” At McMillan Interiors we couldn’t agree more. We specialise in sourcing luxurious wall-coverings, fabrics, trimmings, furniture and flooring to create a beautiful, bespoke, one-of-a-kind interior. In over 30 years in the business, we’ve found that it’s the details that really do make the difference between a good room and a great room. It’s the details that add that extra layer of luxury, and it’s the details that make a space memorable.

There’s many ways to add details to a room, and one of our favourite ways to do so is through the use of trimmings on soft furnishings and furniture. Today’s post will focus on trimmings on scatter cushions and throws but we’ve got blog posts on window treatments and furniture to come! So sit back, browse through some of our favourite trimmings we’ve done, and some that have inspired us….and we hope these give you some ideas on how you can add an extra layer of luxury and detail to your home.

CORD TRIM

Trimmings can be simple but beautiful – a simple cord trim on the edges of a cushion like those shown above creates a lovely finish, adds a contrasting colour and texture, and provides some extra durability to an item that tends to get a little battered and squashed!

For a more inventive use of cord trim, consider the above photograph – a paprika coloured cord trim outlining a star-shaped cushion. Behind it, a pumpkin coloured trim accentuates playful stripes on a blue cushion. And finally, consider the cushion below – a zesty Designers Guild fabric with a double cord trim in co-ordinating colours framing two ends of the cushion. Delicate and elegant but just adding that extra something.


POM-POM TRIM

How about a playful pom-pom trimming? Available in a vast array of colours and sizes (note the jumbo Pom-Pom on the throw in the image above!), these add real whimsy, texture and that ‘oh-I-really-want-to-touch-it!’ feeling to a cushion or throw. Yes they’re perfect for the rooms of children and teens, but they can also be really elegant and add just the right touch of whimsy to a space.

TASSEL/BEAD FRINGE

Take it up a notch and add a touch of flamboyance to your cushions with an elegant tassel trim or beaded trim. These are undeniably beautiful and really add an extra layer of luxury and elegance, however they do require a touch more care and consideration – beware of curious toddlers or cats who might relish at pulling the trim off!

BRAIDS & BORDERS

Braid trims can range from the elegantly simple to the flamboyantly ornate. An endless array of colours, widths, patterns and designs affords so many possibilities for trimming! Consider the scatter cushions shown above – showing a few possibilities for how to use braids & borders to create a truly unique and beautiful scatter cushion. A plain cushion would be nice….but a trimmed cushion is better! Those little thoughtful finishes just make all the difference in terms of impact and sense of luxury.

COMBINING TRIMMINGS

For an even more inventive look, combine your trimmings to create maximum impact and intrigue. The above images show two similar looks – combining a decorative braid down the centre of a plain cushion framed by a narrow bullion fringe on the black & white cushion, and a beautifully fluffy brush fringe on the blue & white cushion. Utterly striking and so unique!

BRUSH FRINGE

Oh, and having mentioned brush fringes, we really had to throw in a couple more examples because it’s a beautiful way to dress up and finish off a scatter cushion! The above images show a patterned cushion trimmed with a brush fringe in a co-ordinating colour on all sides. Adding tufty texture, beautiful colour and that luxurious level of finish. A real favourite with us at McMillan Interiors! (Note that fabulous tassel fringe hugging the bottom of that green sofa… we’ll be coming back to that on another blog post!)

And one last example is this sweet little scatter cushion we made up for a dressing area in a bedroom. Two sides trimmed with a delicate glass bead fringe and one simple button in the centre adorned with a key tassel fringe. A couple of simple touches have really elevated this cushion from nice to special!

Inevitably, we must bring this post to an end but we could go on and on because we love trimmings and there are simply endless ways to use them with wonderful effect! This post has highlighted just a few examples but we hope it has piqued your interest in the world of trimmings – how they can be used and how they really finish off soft furnishings and add a sense of luxury to the home.

If you’d like more information on trimmings or if you’d like help with the redecoration of 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 listen to your ideas, offer professional advice 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 HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Sanderson: A celebration of the National Trust

At McMillan Interiors, one of our most beloved and trusted suppliers of luxury homewares is British powerhouse Sanderson. Dating back to 1860, Sanderson have established a reputation for beautiful floral furnishings fabrics and a classic countryside aesthetic. For 160 years they have combined influences of nature, beautifully drawn designs, and state-of-the-art craftsmanship & technology to become one of the most renowned and celebrated names in Home Furnishing. At McMillan Interiors, we have proudly used their products in our 30 years of business.

As purveyors of the natural world it only seems fit that Sanderson would collaborate with The National Trust and release a collection in 2020 titled: ‘A Celebration of the National Trust by Sanderson‘; a beautiful range of fabrics celebrating the values of the National Trust and its commitment to caring for our natural and cultural heritage.

The collection features five classic design themes exploring the National Trust’s purpose and principles using documents from the Sanderson archive to tell a beautiful design story through embroideries, weaves and exquisitely coloured prints. Let’s dive into the collection!

THE SECRET GARDEN

“The Secret Garden” features intricate stitchwork and fine prints rendered in delicate watercolours to create an elegant scheme that’s influenced by the flowers and fruits found within the walled gardens of countryside estates. Motifs and designs include hand-drawn espaliered pears, canopies of acorns & leaves, embroidered florals, and berry trees.

COUNTRY HOUSE

“Country House” creates a warm & welcoming feel by taking inspiration from the rich wallpapers, carefully tended formal gardens, and stunning embroideries found within the National Trust’s historic buildings. Motifs and designs include bumbling bees, delicate butterflies and abundant blooms on a ground of sumptuous velvet. Scrolling leaves inspired by wood-carvings and chinoiserie inspired pheasants and flowers give an elegant nod to history.

THE FENS

“The Fens” highlight the beauty and tranquility of Cambridgeshire’s Wicken Fen – the National Trust’s first and oldest nature reserve. Motifs include weaving grasses, wild flowers, and fern leaves, with delicately painted bees, kingfishers and dragonflies finishing the look.

UNDER THE GREENWOOD TREE

Author Thomas Hardy’s Dorset home inspires this quintessentially English countryside theme; namely the blooming flowers and prolific pollinators found in the gardens. Motifs and designs include stylised fruits and berries in delicate pastel colours, painterly floral trails, and beautifully coloured birds.

THE LOOKOUT

“The Lookout” celebrates our world-famous 780 miles of stunning coastline and diverse wildlife within the care of The National Trust by capturing a striking and sophisticated coastal look featuring swooping seabirds and rolling waves. Motifs and designs include crisp abstract patterns and lino cut prints all in a palette of rich indigo, navy and teal interspersed with pops of raspberry.

It’s an elegant yet robust collection of beautifully constructed fabrics and accessible patterns and colours which will bring a touch of the natural world to both the traditional and contemporary home. Sanderson employ a colour palette that is easy to use and easy to pair with existing pieces of furniture, decor and artwork. Furthermore, it’s a collection that works in harmony with previous Sanderson collections – collections we’re proud to stock in our studio library. We would be delighted to guide you through our Sanderson collections to create a scheme for your home that is unique to you, beautiful, functional, and supremely comfortable.

All above images from Sanderson

We’d love to know what your favourite theme from the National Trust collection is! Are you more coastal or more cottage garden? Do you love the ethereal beauty of the English Fens or the traditional charm of historic houses?

And do you have a favourite National Trust spot? The UK is rife with stunning stately homes, manicured gardens, lush woodland and a coastline teeming with wildlife….and our National Trust is a true treasure in preserving and protecting these special places.

At McMillan Interiors we love the warmth and richness of the “Country House” theme. It reminds us of one of our favourite local National Trust spots: Castle Ward. Located on the edge of Strangford Lough, it’s an 18th Century Mansion famed for its mix of classical and gothic architectural styles. The surrounding Georgian farmyard is arguably most famous for its role as Winterfell: the seat and ancestral home of the Stark Family in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Image from The National Trust
Image from Discover NI

The Sanderson Country House theme would look right at home in the Castle Ward Interior. Equally, the collection is versatile enough to work in more contemporary homes; creating a warm and welcome country feel, bringing the outside in through the use of nature-inspired imagery, and giving a subtle nod to history through the use of block-printed chinoiseries and trompe-l’oeil style designs.

Moodboard drawn from the Country House theme.

For more information on Sanderson collections – whether that’s the 2020 National Trust collection or previous collections – or if you’d like information on other suppliers, designers and brands we’re proud to supply, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact details below. For over thirty years we’ve been partnering with homeowners to make their vision of home a reality and our heart remains the same to this day. We’d love to chat and see how we can best aid and empower you in your choices for your home.

Email ruth-anne@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk or phone us on 02825 880012. You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Image from Sanderson

The Crinoline

John Sankey is one of our most beloved suppliers of bespoke upholstered furniture. Founded in the 1950s in Longeaton, Derbyshire, it quickly became renowned for its quality and comfort. Almost seventy years on and John Sankey remains a reputable name in quality and comfort; exercising immense pride and skill at every stage of their design process – from the spark of an idea right through to the finishing touches of their lovingly crafted furniture.

The company proudly assert: “Our design process is to look into history, to look at styles and designs from around the world and then bring these influences together; creating new shapes to suit real people who will enjoy them everyday.”

One such design inspired by the archives of history is The Crinoline chair: a charmingly dimpled chair combining a button or tufting detail with gentle pleats.

The Crinoline Chair is so named due to the rounded base which softly billows like a crinoline dress. And what is a crinoline dress? Well let’s embark on a brief history lesson…

A crinoline was a stiff and structured petticoat, usually made from horsehair or a stiff cotton or linen, designed to hold out a woman’s skirt in the 19th century. Over time the design evolved to become a steel structured hoop skirt which allowed women to spread their skirts even wider.

Image Above: A horsehair crinoline from the 1840s – one of the earlier iterations of the crinoline.

Image Above: A later iteration of the crinoline design. It had evolved into a structured cage shape, often constructed from steel hoops.

Across the Western world women of every class and social standing wore crinolines but by the 1870s they were being largely replaced by smaller crinolettes and bustles. Steel cage crinolines were most popular but alternative materials such as whalebone, cane and even natural rubber were used. At its widest point, the crinoline was an impressive 18 feet in circumference!

Over a hundred and fifty years later and John Sankey took inspiration from the elegantly structured form of the crinoline and crafted the John Sankey Crinoline Chair – a beautifully buttoned and subtly pleated armchair with lines and curves evoking the form and formality of the Crinoline cage. There’s no question about it, it’s a supremely elegant chair that hugs but provides robustness and structure.

While it has its roots in history, this chair is versatile enough for the 2020s. It will find a perfect home in a traditional period house or cottage, but it will also provide some much needed character and whimsy to more modern homes. The added bonus of a John Sankey chair is the choice of fabrics at your disposal with which to upholster your Crinoline chair. Choose from over one hundred John Sankey fabrics – ranging from leathers to velvets to flat weaves to romantic florals to create a chair fit for your home, taste and needs.

Tuck it into the corner of a bedroom for a cosy lounging corner. Nestle it next to your sofa and perch a lamp behind to create a lovely reading nook. Let it take pride of place at the end of a brightly lit kitchen or simply angle it just right in the living room for perfect TV viewing.

We’ve used John Sankey furniture for years and it truly has proved itself to be comfortable, practical, durable and beautiful. We’re proud to use their service and supply their products and very soon we’ll have a beautiful selection of their chairs in our showroom! If you’d like more information about the Crinoline chair or any other John Sankey pieces, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would be delighted to dive deeper into luxurious upholstery and find the perfect piece for you.

Contact us by:

Email: catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk

Phone: 02825 880012 

You can also find us on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

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!

The Colourful Minimalist

Extraordinary homes require extraordinary quality, and this modern build close to the beautiful North Coast of Ireland was no exception to the rule. It was two years ago that we were approached by the homeowners to supply luxury wall-coverings and advise on colours and finishes for their newly bought home; a stunning modern behemoth of steel, glass, plaster and stone. A lengthy schedule of external and internal construction as well as a demanding redesign of the garden and landscape was in motion but we were excited to get stuck in! We had great rapport with the homeowners and over a series of consultations over the course of a few months, we finalised a cohesive scheme that would inject colour, texture and tactile luxury throughout the interior of the home.

The architecture and DNA of a building often dictate the direction of the interior design and with every project, we endeavour to remain sensitive and discerning to what way the building is “leading” us. This building was modern and clean; a labyrinthine colossus of lines, angles, height and light…it was demanding a clean, structured, unfussy and minimalist touch. Thankfully, the homeowners’ preferred aesthetic was for such an uncluttered and contemporary space.

Our finalised design drew on luxurious, textural and vividly coloured wall-coverings with abstract and organic forms, themes of flora and the natural world, and touches of geometric form running throughout the space. The minimalist aesthetic is often achieved through a restrained palette of monochromatic and neutral tones but with such a large building, taking into account our harsh and cold northern light, and bearing in mind the inhabitants of the home – a young, energetic family – we felt that making use of colour was the correct course to take (thankfully our homeowners felt the same!)

The family have been living in the home for some months now and earlier this year, we got a chance to visit and photograph the interior. It is just a sublime home – warm, bright, calm, stimulating and each room provokes surprise and intrigue. Let us show you around!..

Red is notoriously difficult to get right in an interior – it runs the risk of being too overwhelming and even a touch dated but in this open plan living and kitchen area, it sings but doesn’t drown out other voices. The key is restraint – one wall of red is enough while the surrounding crisp white walls, warm grey flooring, the light tan sofa and the pops of greenery counteract the strength of the red.

Our homeowners had an eclectic and colourful selection of artwork and we were careful to bear these pieces in mind when working on the selection of colours throughout the house; our aim is to complement and not fight with the artwork.

Every room is stunning in this house, but there’s a real spark of joy for a room that is traditionally very utilitarian….the bathroom! Have a look..

This digital and handdrawn urban jungle wall panel from french designer Christian la Croix makes such a statement! You can afford to be bold, fun and over the top with the bathroom….so we did while not venturing too far from the overall aesthetic of the home.

The cinema and games room featured a long stone brick wall in tones of charcoal grey, umber and ochre. Taking our cue from this palette, we specified a textural wall covering in similar tones which echoes the formation and structure of the stone brick wall. Dark, moody and cosy!

Wallpaper and wallcoverings have a depth, texture and warmth to them that paint does not and we love using wallpaper whenever we can! For this home, with so much glass and so much light flooding in, having walls of richness and luminosity was so important.

The bedroom is a combination of a textural cerulean blue stripe, a charcoal grey stripe and a grey tonal textured faux animal hide wall covering. Such a stunning and rich mix! The walk through wardrobe (below) was clad in a vibrant, dynamic multi-coloured diamond design.

For the second bedroom, we ventured a little softer and more feminine by using a beautiful warm grey trailing vine and leaf design featuring delicate doves. A few rooms in this home featured high ceilings and we utilised wallpaper to add pattern and interest to the huge expanses of wall. Again, wallpaper in unique in how it breaks up expanses of wall and keeps the eye moving to create a dynamic and interesting aesthetic.

What do you think? We’re delighted with how this home turned out and we’re glad to say our homeowners are very happy too! We’d love to know your thoughts so drop us a comment below.

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!