Welcome to Moodboard- our blog on all things interior design, decorating, architecture and art.
Join us each as we cover topics such as creating spaces you love, inspirational style destinations, cushion arrangement, beautiful designer products from amazing creators.....we have a long list of topics we can't wait to share with you.
Starting this week we begin our series on creating spaces you love in your home starting with the epi-centre of most homes- the living room.
Put simply - most rooms are a kit of parts : A lounge that will last, floor covering that can take us through seasons, window coverings that have form and function.
Like most things in life, the more clearly you can define what visual style or look you like, the more freedom you will have decorate in that style- and not be worried that you will make "mistakes" or that the room will look like a mash up of things that don't really belong together.
Spaces truly become our homes when we add the pieces that we absolutely love, that tell our stories and are a reflection of us - such as beautiful art, cushions or treasures picked up on travels. I know this sounds like the opposite of selecting a style- we love what we love, or sometimes objects remind us of a journey we've taken and that is the important part - but if you have a strong style working in a room, there is usually a way to incorporate the tapestry picked up in Mongolia in a way that stays true to the look of the room (hint: Frame it in a way that is cohesive with the rest of the space).
Below are three styles that represent different looks that are popular in the interiors landscape- these ideas are starting points only and are offered to inspire and give direction so you can feel more confident about your choices and relaxed about creating spaces you love. Of course there are variations on these looks, they are simply a place to start.
Look 1: Classic / Hamptons / Refined casual Luxury
Start with a rug- I've deliberately made the examples below relaxed, so selected a natural woven rugs for all of them. It also you clearly how each rug - each made of the same material but constructed differently- reflects the style being illustrated without it getting too complicated. Of course there are so many different rugs that you could select for each look, depending on what you are drawn to or how formal the room is.
I like rugs to be large enough to extend under furniture, or at the very least have the front feet of the furniture on. The Classic look calls for a rug to be structured- the Serengeti rug with it's herringbone weave is perfect. It has detail, texture, suggests slight formality but is inherently relaxed being a natural hemp rug.
Natural rugs are timeless too, meaning that if you look after them (get them cleaned twice a year) they will last. A rug is an essential anchor point for your room.
Lounge- piped or un-piped. Lounges that fit this look have fine proportions, are tailored, elegant and sometimes have curved elements. Usually beige, light grey, light blue, natural, white.
Complete your lounge with a throw and cushions. Throws for a Classic space: I love washed or crushed linen throws for their tactility. Unless it's made of chunky wool, a throw can live in your room year round- they are an elegant finishing touch and soften a space (apart from being quite useful on colder evenings).
Cushions- this is where you can really start to have some fun. My favourite way to style a Classic living room is with a mixture of cushions in the same colour- Ive used blue below, but in many different shades, shapes and patterns. Blue is timeless, versatile, calming, classic and works beautifully with other colours such as clay, mustard, pale pink, white if you want to change the mood of the room. Quality cushions last through the years- put them away for a season if you want a different look, but store them well and use them in the future in other rooms or in other colour schemes- cushions are like shoes...you can never have too many and at some point, you will use them again.
Furniture: Darker furniture- such as black and dark bronze accessories as pictured below or white furniture with copper, silver or dark bronze accessories. It really comes down to personal preference and how formal you want the space to be - darker is usually more formal.
look 2 : contemporary / tribal / minimal
Rug: A chunky weave with tassels means that even in a minimalist space this rug has gravitas and delivers on texture. An un-patterned rug makes the look more sophisticated and means the focus is on the artwork, cushions and architecture.
Lounge: Square shapes, bulky looking base, simple lines. The example below features a loose cover with stitching details - elegant, informal, relaxed opulence.
Cushions: Cushions should have a strong pattern which is used sparingly between plain, or single colour cushions. Less is more with this style.
Furniture and Decor: Sculptural planters and vessels in plain colours are a great alternative to tribal artefacts if you want to keep the look simple and stick to a more neutral colour palette. Raw natural materials such as unpolished or honed stone, grainy timbers, cane & rattan are suited perfectly to this style and are brilliant ways to introduce texture and tactility to an otherwise simple scheme. Pick a maximum of two raw materials and stick to that through-out the space to avoid it looking too mis-matched,
look 3 : artistic / eclectic / designer
Rug: The shape of this rug gives it much more visual impact & interest. A round rug is incredibly versatile - they look great in most size rooms as long as the furniture that sits on them (make sure at least part of the lounge or chair is on them) is not huge- they look really odd if they are dwarfed by whatever is sitting on them or next to them.
Lounge: Usually a statement piece, often quite sculptural. Can be boldly upholstered in a fashion colour or with a fabric with a strong pattern - the US designer Kelly Wearstler does statement lounges very well- often with a more conservative shape. The new Arkley range from Jardan is full of brilliantly bold designer pieces.
Cushions: A quirky, graphic blend works well in an artistic, eclectic or designer interior. The colours can be bolder, and in the name of art, less predictable colour combinations are worth exploring. Pattern clashes- varying the scale, style and shape of cushions to make it interesting- work well within this sort of space.
Furniture and Decor: Artisan inspired pieces - like sculptural side tables or kilim- style beanbags. Throws and planters made by artists or made in collaboration with artists. Try and keep a visual theme- such as "curved shapes" or "geometrics" when selecting pieces so that you don't end up with a mish-mash that doesn't work together. It might look random, but this style is heavily curated. It's worth looking at the work of designer Justina Blakeney or wandering through a shop like Koskela if you want to get an idea of artistic or eclectic interior style at it's best. Of all the styles, this is the one that is worth enlisting the assistance of an interior designer or architect who specialises in this sort of look, as it can be a tricky one to navigate.