Interior design, like many other professions, has gone through a dramatic change. There was a time when design and colour trends from the fashion world would take at least a season before they would be interpreted in interior designs. In the past, an innovative use of materials would slowly work it’s way from design innovators to department stores, sometimes over years; and a colour or design trend might then remain in fashion for years. But in today’s fast paced world of instant gratification, Facebook, Instagram and short attention spans, those days have all but gone. The moment a new product is launched or on the catwalk, it’s all over social media and it’s not long before imitations appear. So, does this mean you should not follow trends? That you can no longer have a fashionable space with longevity? Not at all! It just means you need to be a lot more clever about it.
Clients often express to me their concern about the longevity of the design in their spaces, especially when it comes to the more expensive items. This doesn’t mean they should simply design a neutral space and just change out the throw cushions to keep on trend. As anyone who is aware of my designs will know, I love colour. In my opinion, there is no desirability in an interior that might be neat, comfortable and neutral but says nothing about the people who live there. To me, that look that says dressed to sell, inoffensive and lifeless. When selecting the colour scheme for an interior, I like to take cues from the architecture and the homeowners likes.
The picture above is a space I designed for a beautiful Federation home in Sydney’s inner west. This room definitely refers to the period of the home, yet is also definitely not a restoration. The highly detailed dandelion wallpaper is a contemporary design from Porters Paints, while the colour and level of detail are a wink to Federation. Although a crystal chandelier would probably have originally hung over a dining table in a home of this age, the crystal ball pendant light gives the room a contemporary feel and picks up on the dandelion design. In order to relate to the architecture I also selected furniture that used natural materials and have a hand made, “Arts & Craft” quality, such as the large oak dining table from Jardan and the beautiful teak and leather Kai Christiansen dining chairs.
The result is a dining room that says I am current and also sit seamlessly within this home.
This room is in a 1960s Cape Cod-style house on Sydney’s North Shore. It was created in a the space built above the homes garage. The ceilings are low, the fireplace is off set to the room and there were no distinguishing architectural features. We adopted some current trends with wall moulding and white walls complementing the existing architecture of the house. By creating custom sized boxed wall details, we evened out the unusual space and created some architectural interest where there was none. Keeping the space all white created light and a seamless transition between the ceilings and walls, giving an illusion of height. The simple, ceiling hung curtain track allowed a longer drop of fabric, which also enhanced the height of the room. The plush grey wool rug defined the seating area and gave a cozy feeling in this large space. The final layer is a mix of period and contemporary furniture, some dating to the era of the house, placing this home well and truly within its era, but with no doubt that it is a contemporary.
This master bedroom suite is situated in a magnificent home on Sydney’s lower North Shore and overlooks both the bush and the harbour. The owners wished to have a simple, monochromatic scheme that didn’t distract from the clean lines of the architecture of their ultra modern house. White walls and clean lines are the trend, however that doesn’t mean a stark, colourless and uninviting space. I simply turned the dimmer switch down, taking the myriad of soft hues found in the trunks of the surrounding ghost gum trees as my colour palette. The walls are painted a grey / parchment colour and the magnificent pale sea-foam, linen drapes, sit quietly in the space. the drapes, that puddle to the floor, soften the lines of the room and create the most beautiful tented cocoon environment when they are fully drawn. The natural wood floors, plush art silk rug, Italian linen upholstered chair and wool slip covered bed frame and head board add to the softening of the lines. Other furniture was then selected for its fluid and organic lines, like a cast metal side table from Bill Schofield and vintage mahogany side table with delicate flowing legs. What is created is a soft, inviting and timeless master suite that sits comfortably in this beautifully modern home. Anything but stark and cold.
So next time your designing your own spaces, take the trends you like and look at the architectural language of your home to find relevance. Good luck.