Have you noticed a profusion of African inspired decor lately?
I know, it’s always been around but of late there seems to be a bit more of it and in all sorts of items. I don’t think we’re heading down the path of decorating a complete room in African style but more touches here and there. What do you think?
Perhaps it’s our climate and love of the outdoors that resonates so well with the African Safari Style which is then translated into our decor. There’s also a big push back to handmade items which any ethnic culture has valued for years. And African style is more simplistic which balances our love of technology and helps create a soothing, relaxing space.
Much of the strength of African Style emerges through texture. Natural fibres of Jute, sisal and seagrass are used for flooring while banana fibre and papyrus are used in woven baskets.
Rapee have recently released a range of cushions in bright colours and rich textures which would give an African lift to your room.
Lighting is warm and golden, utilizing rustic iron candelabra and wall sconces. Table lamps incorporate palm or pineapple motifs in their bases, whilst unique shades made from feathers or quills convey the safari ambiance.
Furniture features rich timbers with stylised accents or folding furniture which would be used on Safari.
These gorgeous pieces are based on the campaign furniture used on Safari and are available from one of our suppliers here in Australia.
Comfort is foremost in an African decor, with an overall effect of effortless luxury, a sense of adventure, but always relaxed and in harmony with nature.
At the recent Decoration and Design trade event held here in Sydney, I was fortunate to attend Abigail Ahern‘s seminar, Decorating With Style.
As Abigail started speaking, I could immediately relate and agree with her design ethos. She explained that a good interior should have glamour, ecclectism and wit. That’s the way I design interiors for my clients. I love a bit of glamour but then most of my clients have families and they actually have to live in the home, so some ecclectism is great with found and collected pieces thrown into the mix. And of course, no interior, unless it’s Buckingham Palace perhaps, should be without a smattering of wit. It’s what gives a room personality.
She had two main rules which are good for those attempting to decorate their own homes – 1) Make it personal and 2) ditch rules, trends and forecasts. If you try to follow trends or submit to forecasts then you’ll never really be happy in your space because as soon as you get it all decked out, bang a new trend comes along and your place looks soooo yesterday! Whereas if you fill your home with things you love, be it colours, furniture, fabrics or homewares, you will always feel comfortable and so will your guests.
Abigail’s advice for working with small rooms was great too. Small rooms will always be small rooms just like dark rooms will always be dark rooms. Get over it and embrace it. Work with what you have and don’t try to make it something it will never be.
Abigail launched her new book here in Sydney. It’s not yet released overseas but you can put your name down at Amazon for one of the first copies.
If you would like assistance creating a home in which you and your family will feel comfortable, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
I was very excited to learn that a selection of Jonathan Adler furniture and pottery is now available here in Australia.
I love his quirky style and bold use of colour and pattern. The house he decorated for the Barbie’s 50th birthday party was sensational.
Visiting one of his stores was high on my list of shops to see when we holidayed in America this year.
If you would like assistance finding quirky furniture and accessories for you home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
I received an email last week with a load of photos of cool things for interiors.
I thought a few of them were actually quite cool. Have a look, what do you think?
Would you like assistance creating a cool interior in your home? Contact us for an on-line or in person design consultation.
Well Happy Valentine’s Day!
It’s not really celebrated much in our house. But I thought I’d post some things I love. Hope you have a great start to the week.
If you would like assistance in creating a beautiful interior for the things and people you love, contact us for on-line or in-person consultation.
I’ve just received a parcel from amazon.com where I’ve been doing a spot of Christmas Shopping. You know the kind – one for her, one for me!
I love Jonathan’s quirky take on life and was thrilled to find some quotes in the back of the books.
Here are some of his quotes that ring true with me.
Pile books everywhere. Let the world know you’re smart.
Let your dogs on the furniture.
Eclectic is not as easy as you think. But its’ worth it.
Only a pansy is scared of Primrose.Lavender doesn’t have to be Granny – team it with teal and watch it pop.
There’s nothing like long swathes of fabric to pack a punch to a room. It will add colour, texture and soften hard edges in the blink of an eye.
And what better way to add fabric than with curtains.
Curtains not only look good but will also provide acoustic and insulation qualities.
But what header will you have on the curtains? There are so many choices today and getting the heading right will not only enhance the fabric but also the room.
The Triple Pinch Pleat is still the most popular heading. The fabric is gathered into three pleats and stitched together.
The Inverted Pleat gives a neat finish with the fold of the fabric stitched down.
Some of the newer more casual headings which dictate the rod or track include:
The Eyelet which has large metal or plastic eyelets inserted into the top of the curtain and the rod passes through. There should be a thin rubber strip on the top of the rod which makes the swishing of the curtains much smoother.
The Ripple or S Fold has a tape stitched onto the top of the curtain and then that tape is press fastened onto a tape which hangs underneath a rod. This curtain heading allows the fabric to fall in soft ripples and creates a very dreamy look. Great for sheer or thin fabrics but can also be used for fabrics with lining.
There are so many things to consider with curtains, not just fabric and heading. Lining is important as this will block the heat and cold as well as give privacy. Length of curtains need to be considered also. Some people like them just “kissing” the floor and some prefer them “puddling”. This is when the curtains are longer than the drop and are pooled on the floor a bit like a bridal train. They look great in formal rooms or older style homes, although not that great if you have cats, dogs or small children.
The track or rod is also a consideration. These come in just about every conceivable colour. Rods are exposed and usually finished with a decorative finial at the end. Curtains can be attached to the rods with rings or some have a track hidden in the rod and the curtains appear to hang underneath. Tracks look great when the curtains are closed and you can’t see them but not so glamorous when the curtains are open.
However, there is a time and place for every style and making sure you choose the right style, track, heading, length can be just as important to the look of the room as the fabric itself.
One of my favourite resource books for curtains is 1001 Ideas For Windows. It not only covers curtains but also blinds, hardware and fabrics. I thoroughly recommend it if you are looking for ideas or inspiration for your home.
If you would like assistance getting the right look for your window coverings, contact us to arrange an appointment.
As I mentioned earlier, I went to Designex last week and was fortunate to hear Jamie Durie speak on trends for outdoor living.
Jamie’s concept of The Outdoor Room is alive and well here in Australia. With our mostly sunny days, the garden has become an extension of the home. Similarly we are looking to the interiors for inspiration. As Jamie said, we are “luxscaping”.
Numerous other cultures have been living outdoors for many, many years. Places like Thailand, Indonesia and Japan provide wonderful education for our relatively young country. The wind and sun can make it uncomfortable to spend too much time outside but now we have products that meet our needs and provide solutions.
We have wallpaper made from steel which can enhance a wall or create a division. Vertical gardens are the fastest growing trend thanks to the foresight of Patrick Blanc.
Jamie also suggests that our gardens should not only look good but should taste good too. More families are concerned about the quality of the food they put on the table so if it’s grown in your own backyard it can provide shelter, protection and beauty into the bargain. Pear trees make a wonderful screen. Clever plant placement and selection will see a useful as well as decorative garden.
One thing Jamie is adamant about is garden lighting. It’s true, our hardwork should be admired day and night, so a few lights along the path or highlighting a fantastic tree will enable the garden to be enjoyed even from the comfort of the cosy living room.
One of the products on display around The Outdoor Room at Designex was sandstone cladding. This sandstone is 30mm thick on a bendable backing so can be wrapped around columns and walls and gives the appearance of something much more solid.
So with the onset of winter, now is the time to plan and plant your outdoor room so it’s ready to enjoy once the warmer weather returns.
Jamie has written a number of books which are available from my Book Shop.