Last Spring I wrote a post about the pastel colour trend being huge in both fashion and interior design and it now looks as if this trend is going to continue for 2013. Pastel colours instantly evoke a calming atmosphere, … Continue reading
Wallpaper is a great way to give a room a makeover and theres really is a wallpaper out there for everyone, from florals to brickwork, it is incredibly versatile. Patterns, textures and colours can create visual tricks and are essentially tools to alter a room so it is important to decide the effect you are wanting to achieve when using them.
Patterns are excellent at creating visual illusions. To create a focal point which will draw the eye in, use large-scale patterns which dominate the room. By using over-sized patterns, such as bold geometrics in vibrant tones as an accent in one particular area, the design becomes a feature itself, however, keep the surrounding interior simple for maximum impact. Using wallpaper in smaller rooms can really transform the space. Small-scale patterns work best and using them on every wall can achieve a warm and cosy look. Although busy multicolored patterns on every wall can make the space feel enclosed, so avoid these in family rooms to ensure a calmer atmosphere. Striped designs are brilliant at creating illusions, for example a horizontal striped wallpaper has the potential to make a room appear bigger, whilst a vertical stripe emphasizes height. For something really quirky, Trompe l’oeil, which roughly translates as “trick the eye” is not only really on trend right now but it can be used to create the illusion of brickwork, wood paneling and even book shelves on a wall – amazing!
One of the best ways to alter the mood of a room is to use colour. Every colour has its own rules though so be careful which colours you choose. Warm colours such as red, orange and yellows advance, meaning if you use wallpaper in these colours on the furthest wall it will make a longer room look shorter. In contrast, cool shades like blue and greens recede, helping a small room appear larger, whilst paler pastel shades help a space seem bigger, they work well in long, narrow rooms to create a feeling of light. Try using dark, warm-coloured designs to make a room feel cosier, but avoid dark colours in rooms that have little natural light. In bedrooms, soothing shades such as pale blue and lilac are a brilliant choice. Finally for that added touch of glamour, use metallic and textured finishes with glitter and sparkly elements.
The decision to paper a whole wall or a feature wall depends on various aspects; the room size, the amount of natural light its gets, and the pattern and colour of the chosen wallpaper. Features walls in smaller spaces are a great way to introduce a bold wallpaper to the scheme. Textured wallpapers are an added element and are perfect for feature walls. Where to use wallpaper for a feature wall is important, one of my favorite places to see feature walls is on chimney breasts or the alcoves either side of a fireplace, and a great tip I have learnt is to coordinate the colour of the sofa with the feature wallpaper to make a statement. In bedrooms, papering the wall behind the headboard creates a focal point and really brings the room to life – and I personally really love this look. Larger rooms are better at taking oversized patterns and are a good idea for high ceilings, whereas smaller rooms suit small-scaled designs. Papering every wall in one design can be very overwhelming, try going for a subtle pattern and colour instead.
Part-papering a room is a great way to introduce colour and pattern above a panelling or below a dado rail. Dado rails allow you to paper above or below, how about using a pattern and a plain to add extra pattern and colour or to tone down a bolder design. The great way to give the illusion of a ‘lowered ceiling’ in a very tall room is to hang wallpaper to the base of the rail, with the rail and the wall above painted the same colour as the ceiling. Of course an advantage of part-papering a wall is that is allows you to use a more expensive wallpaper as you wont need as much of it!
My pick of favourite wallpapers
I absolutely love Mr Perswall, I think his designs are amazing so this library wall mural defiantly makes it onto my list! Wall murals create an impact in any environment by bringing stunning imagery to life on a large scale. This collection is full of creativity and design, it’s the art of storytelling on a wall.
From the Anoushka range, this Samara wallpaper is beautiful, and is inspired by a number of influences, including textiles, fashion, illustration and art. This design features a bold palette so stick to plain cushions, as anything with a busy pattern will draw attention away from the wallpaper.
Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s best loved illustrators and has now designed wallpaper! He has created a collection exclusively for Osborne & Little which defiantly takes me back to my childhood reading Roald Dahl books! The patterns are fun and colourful, I especially love these cockatoos perched on jungle leaves, which come in different colourways, just brilliant!
Lastly, this elegant French script scroll has a beautiful shabby chic look. This wallpaper provides a really distinctive look, team it with soft furnishings in a neutral palette of pale grey and linen shades to really emphasize the typographic detail.
I hope that this guide has helped you, thank you for reading!
The beauty of imperfections, the love of worn objects, as well as the appeal of comfort and practical living; these are what has come to be known as shabby chic style. It is a style that is simple and quiet, practical and peaceful.
The home furnishings label, founded by Rachel Ashwell in 1989 is now recognized as a style of decoration. It represents an appreciation for what is useful, well loved and comfortable. Some have referred to this look as “The merging of a romantic, old-fashioned, aesthetic appeal with modern functions” Its a style full of contrasts between modern and traditional and elegant and casual, and has often been referred to as second hand style, which either way is perfect if you are wanting to achieve this look on a budget. With a relaxed feel, the shabby chic look is marked by a comfortable, worn and often tattered style. This style attracts the appeal of irregularities, revealing the true charm of its history, from chips to dents. It rebels against perfection, as after all the idea that something which is ‘Shabby’, can also be considered ‘Chic’, is unusual.
Don’t let the word Shabby’ scare you away from this style, yes it is unstructured, but it is easy to achieve effortless elegance. You can create a warm and inviting living space through combining gently aged fabrics and colours in a warm palette. Colours used in this scheme tend to be soft, palatable tones, taken from nature, much like ivories, creams and greys that appear to be muted by age. If subtle, pastel tones can also make an appearance, with the likes of dusty rose, place blues and mint, and darker colours can be introduced, if combined with white or light colours that appear faded.
Shabby chic is versatile, allowing the mixture of different tastes. Fabrics and textures, ideally in white, can be mixed and matched with vintage pieces, and look beautiful combined. Where everything is often painted the same colour, texture is used to create a contrast. A variety of wood, either natural or painted brings comfort to the room, wicker and rattan are popular to add warmth and texture, and compliment them with aged and antique looking pieces to add depth. There is no end to patterns and textures which you can use within this scheme. Texture really lifts a shabby chic interior, using patchwork materials, for example, on pillows and throws to add visual interest. Soften contemporary furniture with pillows and quilts and attach fabric to panes of glass to give a romantic charm. Combine stripes and florals in complementary shades to the room, and consider using lace to add a delicate, yet comfortable style.
Try this bed linen set with a floral Garden rose design, it has a true English charm.
An absolutely gorgeous Shabby chic distressed wooden photo frame with metal flower detail – perfect!
Theres nothing more homely then the shabby chic style, and this woven, floral fabric is brilliant for cushions, to add texture and colour to your home.
This vintage style wall clock would look fabulous in a shabby chic interior. Its wooden base it adorned with pink roses on a pale beige background, complete with a distressed look.
For a sumptuous style, this bed linen offers a gorgeous take on shabby chis. Featuring off white linen, pleating ruffles and lace trimming this would look stunning in a shabby chic inspired bedroom.
Referred to as “a marriage between the laid-back, breezy ease of Los Angeles beach life and romantic prettiness of English country life at its most casual”, this style can look just as natural in a contemporary home as they would in a traditional setting, perhaps thats why this style has been a major influence in our modern homes today. So celebrate the charm of an old battered table, and why not scour through flea markets and charity shops to find that perfect piece to finish the shabby chic style. Hope your enjoyed my post, more coming soon!
Many peoples perceptions of white is boring, unimaginative and bland, but as Renoir once said “Nothing was so difficult, and at the same time so exciting, to paint, as white on white” White can work in every room, it is far from being bland and boring. From classic to modern, white is easily adapted to changing fashions and is an excellent way for maximizing light.
Using white successfully in an interior relies on the subtle mixing and matching of different shades. White brings with it six main colour families, including neutrals, chalky, muted, creamy, cool and grey. Use different textures and shades, or combine white with accents of colour to create a multitude of environments – from warm and cozy through to cool and calm. Many people believe that white works well together, but in actual fact it is best to combine various shades to add depth to the interiors. A gentle palette of whites and cream create a simple scheme that is glamourous and relaxed.
Less is never more in an all white room, add interesting shapes and detail to help build a cosier, more three-dimensional scheme. White is a perfect blank canvas, adding texture and accents of colour help create focal points, and it is a great way to customize your home.
Be inspired by Grand Stately Houses, choose traditional furniture and muted wallpaper with a lavish chandelier, but tone down the formal feel with casual comfort by mixing in loose-covered seating, shabby chic inspired furniture and an abundance of frilled, plump cushions in different shapes and sizes.
Get the look in three buys:
Clean glass detail works wonders in an all-white scheme, hang a chandelier to add glamour to your interior. This chandelier is traditional yet stylish and is crafted with beautiful ornate crystals. Stylish and elegant, this will defiantly make an ideal focal point for your room.
The ‘Pale Swirl’ rug by designer Paul Smith is contemporary and beautiful. Paul Smith has been working with the rug company since 2001 and they take great pride in producing beautifully hand made rugs, and this one will be a fab addition to your interior.
Add subtle detail to your living space, and texture to an all-white scheme with this floral-print cushion.
So in the words of Leonardo Da Vinci – “For those colours which you wish to be beautiful, always first prepare a pure white ground.”