This project was all about improving on what was already a beautiful interior. As a decorator, that's one of the greatest challenges I face because pulling together a concept that has already been designed with exquisite taste leaves very little margin for error. It's obvious that you're working with a stylish client who reaches out to you as their last resort, and you don't want to let them down, the pressure is on!
So why The World Inside Satin Walls?
Well, because when I walked into this home, the paint on all the walls was Farrow & Ball's Slipper Satin, but each room had a distinctive feel to it, a feeling inspired by objects my client had brought back from her world travels mixed with a sense of her family heritage.
Let's take a look at what I started with, spaces with lots of personality already:
So, how do you go about pulling off the great work your client has already done?
Let's take a look at some of the ideas we used to bring this design to life and make the various room flow seamlessly.
1) THE MASTER BEDROOM
On the initial consultation, I found a pair of shoes next to the bed, which ended up becoming the inspiration for the entire design. When I asked my client about them, she only seemed to have happy memories associated with them, so bingo!
We used the golden tones in the decorative pillows on the bed and the accessories for the dresser; the green inspired the wall colour_ Old White by Farrow & Ball; and the natural materials lead to a made-to-measure sisal rug in the closet area. We finished off with a gorgeous custom-made luxurious rug and larger bed-side tables. And it all started with one shoe!!
Sometimes the higher price tag is worth it ;-)).
Selecting the perfect Bordure for our custom-made rug for the dressing room, we didn't want any contrast, quite the contrary, we wanted it to blend in with the natural wooden flooring.
2) THE GUEST ROOM
This was already so calming to start with, it had a bit of a French feminine flair to it, which was very fitting since it's the place where my client spends a lot of her time and which she uses as her home office to run her business. The disadvantage in this space was there was hardly any room for a bedside table and lamp.
What we did to get over that hurdle was add a reading light from behind the bed and I found a cute garden pot stand which now serves as side table with enough space for a glass of water, a phone or a book.
And my absolute favourite addition has to be this photograph taken by me client's father, she showed it to me on our initial consultation and asked whether it was too dark for the space. My answer: Not at all!! It's the perfect piece for this design!
3) THE TV ROOM
An inviting room to cosy up and watch a movie, or two, or three!
Here are our three new elements inspired by what was already present in the room:
As you can see, there is a recurring theme here: we don't offen need much to pull off a beautiful design, the safest way to go about it is repeat the elements that you love in the space, in this case, the natural wood shades replicated in the lamp, and the clean lines of the desk inspired by its very own chair:
4) TRANSIT AREAS
The key to decorating strong pieces like this solid chest is to find equally as strong accessories. We used a ceramic vase from Loberon, which matches the colour palette of the vignette, the darker wood tray completes the set.
5) THE LIVING ROOM
Most people would start by looking for an art piece or create a gallery wall above the sofa. However, there's a lot to be said for being original and thinking outside the box, we brought in light instead.
It was our concern that any piece of art would be a rushed choice, so we decided to create height and interest by placing a set of lamps between the sofa and the window. This does not detract from the beautiful serene palette created by my client and allows her plenty of time to find a painting that she loves.
A glass table fits perfectly and a luxurious custom-made large rug with matching bordure steals the show. It replaces the two Ikea rugs that once laid in its place.
So subtle can the work of a decorator be.
When we think about interior design, decorators, room make overs, we tend to imagine dramatic, TV show style changes. However, that's not always the case: sometimes the talent lies in connecting the final dots, understanding the journey the client has been on in order to drive the project home, quite literally.
If you've been decorating and have the feeling you love everything that you have but that it doesn't feel quite right, that's exactly what could be missing: the discerning eye of the trained decorator.
Definitely go as large as you can when ordering custom made rugs, it's worth it.
Sometimes you just have to try things out in the space before you can decide whether they are keepers. We returned a large vase that was going to sit in the corner and had looked perfect on the store window... just not as perfect for this project.
Decorating with light can be the best option when you don't want to use the standard art piece:
At the end of the day, it's all about falling in love and staying in love with your home. When that happens, you're energised to take on any challenge life throws at you.