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Mid-Century Modern Living

It is an absolute pleasure to be featured in the ultimate guide to all things Mid-Century Modern by the very gurus of this style, Mini Moderns. Their book, Mid-Century Modern Living by Kyle Books, is a brilliantly informative and entertaining overview featuring image upon image of inspiration. Delighted that a Bright Designs project got a spot too, as I am a big fan of their ‘pattern with a story’ mantra.

Top tips on using red to spice up your kitchen

Utopia Kitchens and Bathrooms love to chat to us about all things related to using colour in interiors. Most recently, they asked us to provide ideas on using red when designing a kitchen, ahead of their romance-filled February issue. Read here for our list of top tips, including and most importantly: “a little goes a long way!”

What’s the focal point? Bring your Bathroom alive!

I was asked to contribute once more to Utopia Kitchen and Bathroom magazine (November print edition), providing expert commentary on creating a focal point in the Bathroom. I find that Bathrooms can often appear flat or lifeless because the dominant colour in them is white, while textural variety and pattern are often missing. With this in mind, I suggest ways to create interest and inject personality into a Bathroom through tiles, basins, taps, lighting and more.

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Colour me happy / A review of Focus/18

A self-confessed colour lover, I could not miss this year’s Focus event at the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, held as part of London Design Festival. In a departure from the more restained palettes one usually sees at DCCH, the event’s theme of colour was a welcome one, and very much in tune with current trends. The place felt all-round upbeat and vibrant.

In my book, the inspiring and thought-provoking talk and seminar programme was a real highlight this year. Far from treating colour as something shallow and two dimensional, I found that the discussions were primarily focused on colour’s deeper properties, such as its ability to influence mood, tell a story or channel energy. It is this that I felt really struck a chord with many of the visitors.

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International artist Moritz Waldemeyer’s specially commissioned installation was one definite talking point. A 12-metre walkway, lit up on both sides by LEDs that change colour according to the fabrics or surfaces placed underneath a connected lamp/scanner device, became an immersive envelope and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle elsewhere.

Firstly, it was impressive to experience the dramatic shift in mood and atmosphere of the space that occured by making just one change: using a different colour of light. Secondly, the effects of varying the combinations of lights used and their proportion were equally intriguing and eye-opening. This is not something we generally encounter in our daily lives, because light is mostly of a single (predictable) colour. It need not be, and the effects created by layering different colours of light can be unexpected and powerful. The beauty is this. Whereas painted or papered surface finishes are of a fairly permanent nature, those created by light effects are temporary and flexible.

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Fabric and paper samples to choose from to be projected onto walls in Moritz Waldemeyer’s interactive installation.

At the showrooms, the conversations covered a wide range of topics within the realm of colour in interiors. Too many to describe each in detail, I highlight below a few that I found particularly fascinating.

There was a discussion at the Style Library about a less well-known side to William Morris’ work. Looking at designs that were based on his Icelandic expedition (who knew); and with an emphasis on how the colours of this unusual landscape affected him as well as what he felt when he saw then. An early study into colour psychology then…

Creation Baumann invited a designer in to give an introduction to biophilia (you guessed it, green is a biggie here). Harleen McLean delved into various aspects of designing spaces with people’s wellbeing in mind. No surprises here: the materials and colours around us can have a big impact on how we feel (leading us to be stressed/relaxed/calm/moody…you name it). I could not agree more, and have written on this myself in Utopia Kitchens and Bathrooms Magazine.

The Romo showroom introduced a new children’s collection at Villa Nova, in collaboration with three renowned children’s book illustrators. Moving away from cliche baby pinks and blues, the designs were oozing with colour, positive vibes, nature and a real sense of diversity. What an inspirational and unexpected space these can turn into for some lucky kid.

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Christopher Corr’s designs as part of Villa Nova’s new Picturebook collection 

Back at Style Library, Sophie Robinson offered a fascinating take on how she approaches colour decisions, by categorising individual colours into groups by season. While not something I practice, I have to agree there is a logic to this that seems very natural (I suppose that is the idea!) It is true that following nature’s clues in colour decisions results in harmonious spaces, and it is hard to go wrong.

This year in particular, I have increasingly been immersing myself in the deeper aspects of Interior Design; those discussions, elements and decisions that lie behind what we actually see in an interior. I therefore really enjoyed the debates that took centre stage at Focus/18; from the way we look at colour and interact with it, to the action of immersing oneself in colour, and ways to boost one’s health and wellbeing with the help of colour.

Colour is truly an amazing tool in an Interior Designer’s arsenal, and there are few other means to create such wonderfully personalised spaces. Every person and space has a story. Colour plays a big part in telling that story through an interior.

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The colour wheel. While a helpful tool, it is no more than an aide in colour decisions. Source: https://npgshop.org.uk/products/pocket-colour-wheel

 

 

Feeling Playful? Kitchen and Bathroom Ideas

I was asked to contribute a piece for Utopia Kitchen and Bathroom Magazine’s September print edition on colourful and cheerful design inspiration for Kitchens and Bathrooms. If like me, greige leaves you feeling a little bit flat, you can read my practical suggestions on adding colour and interest to your Kitchen and/or Bathroom, so as to turn it into more of a happy and fun space.

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The psychological effects of colour in interiors

Given my love of colour, and my ongoing search for deeper meaning in all things interiors related, I was asked to contribute a guest post to the Designer Kitchen and Bathroom Magazine. The publication focuses on new ideas and inspirational designs – a big pleasure to be associated with such a respected voice in the industry!

My piece explores the psychological effects of colour in interiors. I argue that colour decisions in this context are far from superficial, and can have a major influence not only on the space itself but also on its users. Read it here in full. 

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Renovation project: How we’ve designed our cloakroom

The Christchurch Creative team felt that our Grand Designs Live cloakroom design captured exactly what they were hoping to achieve in their own cloakroom renovation. Score! They even met our friends from Mini Moderns, whose wallpaper was used in the set, at a different event months later, confirming that they were indeed replicating our fun-filled and quirky design. So happy to hear that our ideas provide inspiration to others!