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Harlequin Spring/Summer 2021

January is a funny month – there’s the post-Christmas lull, the cold, short days, and there’s the long stretch to payday! Most of us would arguably skip straight to March and the first blossoms of Spring. Here’s a confession though…at McMillan Interiors, we kind of love January….it’s an exhilarating month in the design world – there’s the big fabric, furnishings, and furniture showcases like Maison & Objet, Formex and Paris Deco Off, and design houses all around the world are launching new collections of textiles, wall-coverings, furniture, flooring, decorative items and more.

There’s so much juicy inspiration and beautifully crafted products to soak up and get excited about…..because after all, art & design is more than just pretty things; art, design and beauty are integral for human wellbeing. It’s why we stop and enjoy a beautiful sunset; or frame & hang a painting; or feel satisfied after a beautifully made film. This value for beauty lies at the core of our “why” at McMillan Interiors: we believe beauty – and beautiful, well made things in our home create a space that is safe, comfortable, functional, full of story, and that satiates the part of us that longs for beauty.

And so every January, we eagerly await the new collections from our favourite fabric & wallpaper suppliers. January 2021 sees the launch of Momentum 07 Wallpapers, Momentum 13 Upholstery and Momentum 14 Drapery from British powerhouse Harlequin.

Taking inspiration from contrasting architectural structures and the elegance of organic natural forms, it’s a collection that fuses man-made with the natural to create a captivating collection of wall-coverings and textiles for the modern home.

Head Designer Claire Greenfield sums up the aesthetic and story of the collection with the following: “From dusk til dawn we’ve looked at positive and negative spaces; transposing, refracting and shattering. We’ve taken close up elements from layered leaves and flowers to add a softer, painterly aspect that contrasts against strong edges and contemporary geometrics.”

Patterns include abstract leaves, modern ikats, and small & large scale geometrics in a palette of Tobacco, Rosewood, Saffron, Ink and shimmering Bronze. For years homeowners divulged themselves with the on-trend Scandinavian aesthetic featuring a pared back palette of greys, whites and blues, and while elements of the Scandi look are still popular, homeowners have been embracing a bolder and more vibrant colour palette in their homes. The Momentum colour palette has tapped into this trend but has also pushed the boat with its exciting inky, rich, deeply saturated tones and colourways. Let’s take a closer look:

Tobacco & Cobalt

The curtain fabric in the images below captures the reflection of refracted shapes in water while the upholstery and additional scatter cushions bring in contrasting architectural shapes. Momentum upholstery fabrics are beautifully cut plush velvets providing visual lustre and tactile texture.

Ink & Gold

An opulent and classic palette mixing masculine inky tones with the richness of gold; balanced here by soft calico on scatter cushions & walls, and silvery grey upholstery. Patterns here are predominantly geometric, but never severe. The stand out fabric ‘Transverse’ – seen on the curtains below features sharply angular lines supported by inky brush marks creating pockets of shadows. Beautifully balanced and so elegant.

Bronze

Bronze and Tobacco are new ventures for Harlequin and we foresee these tones gaining traction quickly throughout 2021 and beyond. Moody and full of depth, these tones wrapping around walls (as seen below) add warmth and a luxurious glow. Used on upholstery and scatter cushions, the tobacco and bronze plush velvets provide decadence and richness.

Saffron & Rosewood

Coral and ochre tones have been frequently – and boldly – used in interiors for the last few years. But the sumptuous pairing of these hues in such dramatic fashion creates a truly confident and unforgettable interior. ‘Expose’ fabric – hung as curtains below – depicts translucent, layered leaves; capturing the beauty of light and shade. Supporting players include the bedspread featuring ‘Tessen’ – inspired by iridescent Mother of Pearl and ‘Extensity’ featuring corded appliqué embroidery on a sleek cotton-satin ground.

Truly a collection that will inject saturated colour, smart lines, tactile textures and thoughtful nods to history, architecture and nature into the home. Pair with mid-century modern seating, sleek furniture, adequate streamlined storage (hide the clutter!) and vary your materials and textures to create a layered, rich and sumptuous interior.

Contact us for more information on the Harlequin collection and how to best use it in your home. At McMillan Interiors we’re proud to be an official stockist and supplier of Harlequin fabrics and wallcoverings – and the wider brands under the Sanderson Design Group collective.

For more information on our services & to enquire about how we can partner with you to refresh a couple of rooms or tackle a more comprehensive project, email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. We’d love to talk!

You can find McMillan Interiors on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Houston Hair Salon

At McMillan Interiors, our passion is to partner with homeowners to create a home that is comfortable, functional, full of personality and beautiful – a home that tells a story and will be a backdrop for many years of laughter, love and memories. Creating a bespoke Home; unique to each homeowners has a really special place in our heart and it’s the work we love to do!

But we also relish in working with local businesses to create personality-filled, head-turning spaces that create a memorable and exciting user experience! Over the years we’ve worked with Houston Hair to advise on, and supply, show-stopping wall-coverings and fabrics to furnish their cool, contemporary Ballymena based salons. We were thrilled to be approached by Simon Houston – owner, creative director and friend to us here at McMillan Interiors – last year to supply a jaw-dropping wall covering fit for his brand new salon opening in Ballymena Town Centre.

Behind a sleek, black facade the interior walls were drenched in a beautiful rose pink paint and the space was furnished with furniture in a palette of Nordic pine and glossy red, with on-trend copper lighting adding warmth. For such a cool space there was only one thing for it – it was time to draw on the big maximalist guns: French powerhouse of pattern and colour Christian Lacroix.

Renowned for their unique, exuberant, colourful and baroque style, Christian Lacroix designs are innovative, theatrical and intended to make a statement! Perfect for our owner Simon and his salon that pushes boundaries, constantly innovates, and pursues the most up-to-date trends, skills and products for a modern and style-conscious client. We settled on a panoramic mural wallcovering representing the lush Parc de Bagatelle on the outskirts of Paris that was a popular gathering spot for festivities during the 18th Century Directoire era.

Mixing digital with illustration and juxtaposing lush, leafy foliage with urban towers and classical architecture, it’s a mural that is eye-catching, rich, and dynamic – the perfect contrasting partner to the feminine pink salon walls. See for yourself how it turned out!

Hung on the walls at the far end of the salon, they instantly catch the eye of both passers-by on the street and clients entering in. It’s utterly eye-catching but not overtly dominating; it’s both masculine and feminine; it’s uplifting but soothing at the same time. Two-thirds of the mural were placed at the rear of the salon while the remaining one-third was hung at the waiting-area at the front of the salon; creating a little seating-zone for clients ready to be primped, polished, and transformed by the dedicated and skilled team at Houston hair!

At McMillan Interiors, we truly believe that our interior spaces can affect our mood – both for better and for worse! Houston Hair is a salon furnished and finished in such a way to welcome, cocoon, uplift and inspire you! Such is the power of colour, interior furnishings and decor! You can find out more about Houston Hair and their services here.

If you’re finding that your interior space – whether that’s your home or your business space – is lacking and is having a less positive effect on your mood, it’s time for a change! At McMillan Interiors we partner with you to create a design-plan tailored to your space, needs and style. We have an extensive library of home furnishings, and we have over thirty years experience in guiding and advising homeowners in identifying their style and creating a beautiful, functional space that tells your story and will serve you for many years to come.

For more information on our services or to enquire about how we can partner with you to refresh a couple of rooms or tackle a more comprehensive project, email catherine@mcmillaninteriors.co.uk. We’d love to talk!

You can find McMillan Interiors on HouzzInstagram and Facebook!

Airbnb Cabin

Launched in October 2020, The Cabin is a beautiful and luxurious Airbnb retreat for those who need to get away from it all and recharge the batteries. Clad with beautifully knotted timber and looking out onto Slemish Mountain, it’s an idyllic little haven with a bit of a colourful (literally!) history…

The Cabin began life over thirty years ago as the home of Niel & Catherine McMillan’s Interior Design Studio & Workroom. It was a place to meet clients, showcase homewares, and make up bespoke soft furnishings for homes around the UK and Ireland. However, the business quickly expanded and The Cabin was vacated in favour of a more spacious premises in Ballymena Town Centre.

Meanwhile The Cabin became a Recreation room for family & friends until in 2018, it began another metamorphosis. By this stage, McMillan Interiors had been established and plans were made to turn The Cabin into a compact and cosy Studio for the business. In the Autumn of 2018, after having undergone extensive internal and external surgery, The Cabin officially opened as the new home of McMillan Interiors.

September 2018: Renovations almost complete

The story could have ended there….but it didn’t! Just over a year later and The Cabin was itching for another metamorphosis. McMillan Interiors Design Studio was packed up and relocated to a spacious converted barn and The Cabin began its transformation into an Airbnb retreat. It was a transformation we were thrilled to get stuck into!

Exterior of The Cabin featuring beautifully toned timber & contemporary lights flanking the doors

The vision for The Cabin was to create a cosy, moody and super comfortable place for those who needed respite and to recharge the batteries. A place to turn off the phone and hideaway, but equally a springboard for exploring the wilds of Northern Ireland. We prioritised plentiful seating, a decadently comfortable bed, and colour & texture to create a real sense of home comforts. Let us show you around!

LIVING AREA

Plenty of upholstered seating to ensure our guests get comfortable!

We made sure to squeeze in a John Sankey sofa for a supremely comfortable seating experience and upholstered armchairs in fabrics from William Yeoward and Designers Guild for a pop of quirky colour and pattern. A paisley patterned Ted Baker rug creates a lovely moody blue pool on the floor.

Sit back, sip on a drink and play to win!

DINING AREA

Living Area looking into the Dining Area

Superfast Wifi and a full sized dining table allow our guests a space to work – as was the case for our first guest who used The Cabin as a hideaway for a writing retreat! Alternatively, light some candles, turn the lights down low and enjoy an intimate and quiet dinner with a loved one!

The dining area gives you space and quiet for a spot of work or a tasty takeaway!

We clad the partition wall with Pierre Frey wallpaper to add character and interest. A quirky bulls head sculpture and faux foliage add whimsy and colour.We also ensured there is plenty of low-level lighting with floor lamps and table lamps to create a lovely cosy atmosphere.

BEDROOM

Kingsize bed that has guests raving about how comfortable it is!

Walls of soft grey wrap around our guests in the bedroom while the headboard partition wall features a soft pink textured-effect wallpaper from Matthew Williamson. Curtains from Chelsea Textiles add whimsical pattern and ensure the bedroom is dark, cosy and the perfect spot for a good night’s sleep.

KITCHEN & WC

Compact kitchenette to rustle up small meals and snacks

Nina Campbell wallpaper paired with a green and grey fitted kitchen creates a soft and bright corner for grabbing a coffee and a light bite. We’re in Northern Ireland so an abundance of tea on hand was a must! For coffee-lovers, a French Press and Nespresso machine will give you the caffeine kick you need!

Wash away the dust and worries of the day!

Bathrooms can be real hidden gems of the home – a space where you can indulge in a bit of bold colour and pattern and it’ll look amazing! In The Cabin, a bright and warmly lit shower room gives way to a deliciously dark WC. We laid patterned grey tiles from local tile supplier J&R Keys Tiles and wrapped the walls in a beautiful navy blue wallpaper from Matthew Williamson featuring hundreds of softly glinting stars.

Wash & preen yourself under the watch of gently twinkling stars

DETAILS

Fabulously funky Designers Guild cushions

A final flurry of finishing touches and we were done! We ensured our guests had privacy by fitting ivory sheers and soft grey curtains on the floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the cabin. Sitting areas were softened with cushions, the bookcase was stacked with books, the cupboards filled with boardgames and puzzles, and the basket topped up with firewood for a weekend of lounging, reading, and relaxing by the fire!

Coffee & a book by the fire…what could be better?

It would be remiss of us not to mention the private lake and secluded woodland on the doorstep of The Cabin….not the work of our hands but a real draw of this place! Between coffees and chapters, our guests can pull on their wellie boots and stomp around the trout filled lake and lush woodland featuring native Irish trees and wild critters!

Get some fresh air around the scenic lake

Take a seat and enjoy the sounds of Mother Nature

Transforming The Cabin for guests to call home for a few days has been such a joy and privilege! At McMillan Interiors, it’s long been our heart & vision to create HOME…meaning a safe and welcoming place that is comfortable, functional, and full of personality. A place to make cherished memories. Our wish is that The Cabin will be this type of HOME for many guests and visitors over the next months and years.

You can book The Cabin for yourself here!

If you have any enquiries about your own home renovations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At McMillan Interiors our services include product sourcing – including furniture, hardware, lighting, wallcoverings, soft furnishings and accessories – and fitting. We partner with you to make the design and decorating process as simple as possible. Whether you have a room that needs updating or a whole house renovation, we want to help. 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!