Brett-mickan-interior-design

How To Design An On-Trend Space That Won’t Date

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.

RELATED: BMID In LA: Taking Inspiration From Where You Sleep

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.

brett Mickan Interior Design

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.

Brett Mickan Interior Design

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.

Brett Mickan Interior Design

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.

October 28, 2014

BMID In LA: Taking Inspiration From Where You Sleep

When ever I find myself in LA, my must do is touring the latest boutique hotel interiors. This is where designers can push the boundaries to create unique environments to draw the hip crowds, especially when your in a city with the population and cache of LA. Taking these cues can help inspire you in creating your own spaces and, more importantly, show you how it is possible to make an interior relevant to its exterior without making it a restoration.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Our first stop was the beautiful new Palli House Property in Santa Monica. The spectacular Moorish-influenced, Mediterranean revival architecture has been retained and enhanced. Designed to be more a exclusive club-residence for the guests with opulent, unobtrusive service. The lobby has deep teal walls with stencilled exposed beamed ceilings. It’s full of vintage furniture and contemporary pieces with a wink to the past; then layered with a myriad of decorative objects including, my favourites, taxidermy and porcelain animals. The rooms are more like small apartments with kitchens and sitting rooms that contain a masterful blend of furnishings and fabrics. Toiles, florals, plaids and velvets are all at home here. A must do for an extended stay in Santa Monica.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decoratingNext stop, Downtown LA. This area is full of beautiful architecture that has been long neglected. Downtown is now pumping. The Hotel de jour is ACE Hotel, Downtown LA. Situated in the historic United Artist building, this is a renovation that highlights the existing architecture and, at the same time, creates a visual platform for the artists involved in designing the interior.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Having only opened this year, it is the place to introduce yourself to the hip crowd at the fab restaurant and pumping roof top pool bar. I love the cleverly inserted art pieces throughout the common spaces. The back wall of the lobby desk is clad in wool and a sketch artist has been commissioned to do intricate pencil sketches intermediately around the walls and ceilings in the public areas. A collection of the old chains and pulleys from the buildings original days as a theatre have been used to make a cool installation above the pool bar. Love it, but this is not a place to find seclusion and quiet.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

 

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Our final stop for this trip was the LINE Hotel in Korea-town. This mid-century building had had some connection to the old train line, hence the name. Now this is a creative use of materials by the first time hotel designer Sean Kibb. He has definitely played upon the theme of the original structure with travertine floors and exposed concrete walls. Like the ACE, artists have been commissioned to incorporate interior elements that are more like art instillations. Behind the lobby desk that is clad in burgundy coloured metal, is a beautiful sculptural piece made from recycled plastic bottles.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

The lobby furniture, predominately formed from a mauve stained wood veneer with matching velvet upholstery, resembles a mountain landscape that meanders around the space. Punctuated with hessian covered arm chairs with orange piping and, perhaps the most creative use of materials of all, a ceiling made of decoupaged T-shirts painted in accent colours. Also love the gold balloon installation above the bar, where you must order the house drink called the penicillin. Delicious!

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

 

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Like all the latest venues, this hotel also has the mandatory pool deck, restaurant and bar. I love the concept for the restaurant. There is some alfresco dining and the rest of the seating is in a glass house like structure; ready for all weather conditions. The styling is casual / industrial. The rooms follow the theme of raw industrial meets mid century with a killer floor to ceiling view over the hollywood hills. Furniture in the rooms is either mid-century or custom designed with a definite deconstructed style. This hotel is like nothing else you will see and will definitely open your eyes to creative uses of materials. Be inspired.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

 

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

September 19, 2014