By Joe On September 23, 2011No Comments
If minimalism was the defining trend of the noughties, then a new gothic revival has been a reaction. Whilst the style isn’t for everyone, for those who dare to be different bringing the gothic look into your home is an impressive fashion statement.
A common misconception about the style is that it relies on the totally and all consuming presence of black. Whilst this is an option, its far from the only one and we aim to show you a range of ways you can bring this style into your home.
WALLS: For the very adventurous we offer the Skulls Midnight Wallpaper by Barbara Hulanicki. It might be a bit much to cover an entire room with this paper, but for a few feature walls it suits perfectly and fits very well with dark grey and dark taupe shades of paint.
If skulls are a little more macabre than you can handle, then this Alphabet Peat wallpaper from Basso & Brooke, which features letters of the greek alphabet is perfect, bringing an atmosphere of playful intelligence to any room.
Moving away from grey and black, this vintage flock wallpaper from Kelly Hoppen in purple brings an air of intimacy, seduction and luxury to any room.
COLOUR PALLETTE: The gothic style isn’t just about being macabre and black, but about seduction, glamour and sexiness. Blood reds and crimson, deep, rich purples and, yes, grey and black are the appropriate colours when picking walls and carpets.
FABRIC: Leather. Luxorious black or darkly coloured leather is the ultimate new gothic fabric. When applying this rule to furniture remember too that leather will not be enough, furniture should have a seductive, aristocratic edge, with scrolling wood build etc. Velvet is also a good option, particularly with regard to drapes and curtains.
LIGHTING: Whilst we are not suggesting that you cast your rooms in red light a la True Blood, paying attention to the level of light and what casts it is extremely important. This Opal Lamp is a great example of a gothic light fixture, candelabra, mock chandeliers etc are also wonderful additions. Try not to flood your room with light, but don’t make it look too dank either, especially if you have covered the room heavily in darker shades.
By David C On August 25, 2011
Hoppen is a naturalised-British, though born in South Africa, award winning designer. Having begun her prolific career at the age of 17, designing a restaurant for Gary Rhodes, Hoppen went on to design the apartments of the rich and famous.
Since then, Kelly has expanded her business and influence through the creation of the Kelly Hoppen Design School and opening Kelly Hoppen Interiors, an interior design company that turns over around £20 million per year.
www.furnishings-direct.co.uk is proud to stock a wide range of products by the influential designer which all reflect her design ethos.
Of this philosophy she has said, “I absolutely believe that people should wake up in neutrals and go to sleep in neutrals. I know if I stay in a hotel and it is all florals I feel nauseous.” Thus, more eccentric and outre styles should be, in Kelly’s opinion, reserved for more multi-purpose rooms. Regardless, we’re sure you’ll find a style to suit your room - be it this vintage flock paper in imperial purple, inspired by Kelly’s trip to Buckingham Palace to collect an MBE, or this highlighted linear option – on www.furnishings-direct.co.uk
By David C On August 16, 2011
The idea of doing a room for your child can be a daunting one – do the normal rules of design apply? What can you do to make sure your child loves and uses the room? To what standard of maturity do you decorate it?
The first rule should be this: your child will grow fast, and thus could grow out of the room just as fast. The trick is to make your one design last for at least 3 or 4 years. This means that customisability and adapatability are key in the room.
Walls and fittings like the bed will be the most permament features, so ensure they will last your child from age A to age B without them growing bored. We’d recommend a simple painted wall design, with maybe one feature wall. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours (boys don’t only like blue and girls don’t only like pink), though if your child shows a prediliction for a particular colour, this could be worked into the design. As feature walls go, the trick here is to pick an idea that isn’t too mature, but not too ‘young’ either – this will help prevent your child ‘growing out of it’. Maybe a wallpaper from the spirit figaro range for example.
The bed should be suitable for growing kids: whilst a fitted bunk/raised bed might be great when they are very young, what if they outgrow it and you have to replace it with another? A suitable bed should be big enough to hold them, with growing room and fit the aesthetic of the room. Not too childish, not too mature.
When it comes to furniture, storage and accessories you have more room to play around, as it were. Bean Bags are great, fun furniture for kids and will suit the room for many years. When it comes to storage, we all know how messy children can be. Innovative storage systems are the way forwards – maybe roll out boxes from under the bed, or boxes that flatpack when not in use. Canvasses and prints are a great way of updating the room from favourite cartoon characters to band members as they grow older. More generic prints to bring a slightly more mature feeling can also be bought. The beauty of this system is that these can be constantly swapped to bring a new edge to your child’s room!
By David C On August 12, 2011
Reflecting the age of austerity, the latest trend in interior design taps into the national zeitgeist. Fabulous, ostentaious glamour is out, and minimal, understated, clean elegance is in. At www.furnshings-direct.co.uk we are dedicated to helping you decorate your home to a great standard, and this includes helping you navigate our products in relation to trends. Thus: minimalism.
As a result of the financial crisis, it is only normal to question what we need in our lives. This expunging of the old and desire for something simple and new leads to several key looks:
Sleek, Straight Lines: When done wrong this look makes your house seem like a horrible clinic from the future, very cold and stark. However, when done right the room looks sleek, sharp and sexily modern. In a kitchen or bathroom this is easily achieved through very straight edged fittings. In a lounge or bedroom, which doesn’t necessarily have fittings, however, how can we bring this trend into our homes? The lounge is simply done through furniture like coffee tables and shelving. Sofas too can be considered in a minimal manner for this look. In the bedroom too, declutter fittings and replace with minimal, straight ones.
Natural Colour Scheme: This look is very easy to achieve in any room. A pallette of whites, beiges and tasteful browns can ensure your room looks modern and stylish and these colours all compliment one another very well. That is not to say that bolder colours like stark white, bold red, or deep black cannot be used, but these should be offset stylishly. The key here is not to avoid boldness, but to make bolder designs look quieter and more understated. Whatever your colour scheme, it should be adhered to when buying furniture, fittings and accessories too. These natural coloured bathroom towels, for example, fit in perfectly with the minimal aesthetic.
Storage and Clutter: Minimal does tend to mean tidy (and that doesn’t include organised mess!), so ample storage is needed in any room. The trick, however, is to make the storage not clutter the room itself. We have already discussed furniture above but with regards to beds and tables etc., the minimal way can tend to focus around modern looking designs, meaning storage is not always possible. Thus, clever boxes like these, that fold flat for easy storage, are perfect. The trick is innovative use of space, in our example the boxes fold away when not in use and so don’t uneccessarily clutter the room.
So thats 3 simple tips for bringing minimalism into your home. A simple maxim that helps is ‘less is more’!
By David C On August 11, 2011
Bringing the outdoors into your house is a growing trend in interior design, but how should one achieve this without making your living room look like a greenhouse? Here we share some tips from across the internet:
Smell: The most noticeable difference between indoors and out can be the smell. Try bringing in sented pine cones or fir and cedar incense sticks.
Wallpapers: Try digitial image wallpapers to bring a view inside or for a classier, more subtle look try wallpapers like this Mode Enchant Blonde with tree prints.
Floors: stone and wood floorings (or even walls) are a great way of bringing a natural feel into the home.
Touch: Texture really brings a room to life. Try wooden or stone features in your room.
Lighting: Floor lamps such as these rattan ones bring both light and texture with a natural feel.
Art: try realistic, fresh paintings or photos on canvase like this one (all with a natural theme of course).
So that’s six easy tips for bringing this trend into your home without a real plant in sight! Easy.
By David C On August 11, 2011
Your living room is the ultimate expression of outward personality in your home – your bedroom may be the real representation of you, but this is an intimate space. The living room, on the other hand, is the room most often seen by guests – perfect for entertaining or just sitting in with your family, allow your personality to shine out.
The first step, we would say, is to browse (be it online, in our home decor section for example, or in the shops) for a living room item you love. This could be the fabric for your sofas and chairs, or a carpet or flooring, or it could be the curtains or drapes, or even an accessory – a cushion, a rug, a throw. Whatever catches your eye, make sure you adore it – the entire colour scheme for the room is taken off this item.
This is the second step - colour scheme. Look at your new items from step one and consider how you would like the room to look in relation to them. Do you want a smooth pallette of colours that blend and create a peaceful wash in your living room, or would you rather work with variations on a single strong colour?2 or 3 main, complimentary colours is probably the safest option to base your designs around.
Wallpapering just one wall with an interesting patterned wallpaper to make your wall into a ‘feature wall’ is very fashionable at the moment. If you take this route, ensure that the other walls have a smooth colour to them that goes well with your feature wall. The skirting board should either compliment or match the wall colours.
When choosing paper for a feature wall, bear in mind that the wallpaper can be louder and more outre (if you wish) than it could be if you were papering the entire room. Whether covering one wall or the whole room, remember that smaller patterns create space and larger patterns can make rooms seem smaller.
Step three involves texture. Your walls may already have some, thanks to your choice of wallpaper, however it is important to realise that texture creates layers in a room and is an interesting way of keeping your colour pallette flowing throughout without making your living room look boring. Ideas for textures? Try: velvet, suede, sheer, fake fur, flocked cotton, silk and chenille/crewel.
Step four: At this point in your living room designs, you should step back and make sure that the room isn’t going to seem overcrowded. A busy room is completely different to a loud room. Loud rooms can still be calming, but busy rooms just look messy and the design is flawed and unpleasant. Too much of a good thing can kill your designs. The trick, we think, is to blend well. This blending can be achieved through offsetting small patterns next to large ones, placing stripes next to checks, and using neutral colours to break up louder tones. Equally, ensure that textures do blend and don’t over-do them. Less is more.
- Keep large items (sofas etc.) in plainer fabrics, especially in smaller rooms, to lower the risk of looking ‘busy’
- Consider where your windows are when curtains are bought. Don’t place a line of heavily patterned curtains next to one another. For long lines of windows, use calmer curtains.
- Create a mood board from things you tear out of magazines, or print off online.
- Use borders to pick up the colours of key focal points in the room.
- Place lighting at different heights in the room.
- Swap and change your lamps often, to avoid your room looking stale and boring.
- Custom made curtains, if you have the budget, allow you to pick all the fabrics and there is a noticable difference in effect.
Our Don’ts of Living Room Design
- This is your main entertaining room. Guests are meant to feel welcome, thus position seating in groups and use sofas. Don’t have chairs on their own.
- Hoard old cushions and rugs if repairable or coverable by new material. Otherwise bin them to prevent your room from looking tired.
- Don’t worry what others will think, design for yourself.
- Don’t be afraid of colours or patterns. Experiment and have fun.