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Mad About . . .

10 Beautiful Rooms

16th October 2017
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For this week’s edition of 10 Beautiful Rooms we’re staying restful with soft muted colours against monochrome backgrounds. It’s a scheme that easy to change as you can swap the accent colours while leaving the rest the same and you don’t have to redecorate the whole room. And it’s a good way to start the week.

Jonathan adler baxter sofa with fringe

Jonathan adler baxter sofa with fringe

This Jonathan Adler sofa looks perfect against the black and ivory room with hints of brass to give it a luxe feel. And a word about the fringe – there was lots of it at Decorex this year so expect to see it starting to filter in from 2018. But leaving that aside, this room would work perfectly with a pink sofa or an orange one or even, to be really dramatic, with a black or dark grey one.

Hoxton Hotel Paris image via We Heart

Hoxton Hotel Paris image via We Heart

Here, in the foyer of the Hoxton Hotel, in Paris, the soft blue has been put on the walls and the gold (or brass colour – call it what you will… did someone say turmeric?) has been referenced in the chairs. Note too how the doors have been painted to match the walls and we’re going to come back to this subject later in the week, but essentially, if the doors and woodwork had been painted in a more traditional white the effect would not be nearly so restful. There would be too much distraction for the eye and it would have looked bitty and old fashioned.

It’s always restful to look at plants. Both inside and out as these two images show. One the foyer at the Hotel Henriette in Paris and one is a location house in London via The Shoot Factory. Both show the power of the dark window frame which contrasts so well with the greenery.

Randolph location house via The Shoot Factory

Randolph location house via The Shoot Factory

This one, also a location house, is great for photographs although I can’t imagine how may times I would trip over that beam separating the bed from the rest of the room and have to move out. I am often asked if people should keep original features and I’m probably not as wedded to them as some.

For example, I think it’s a mistake to decorate an entire room around a feature just because it’s original and especially if, as is so often the case, you don’t even like it that much in the first place. Those huge Edwardian fireplaces that take up the whole wall are a case in point. I always consider each case carefully and might leave one in a dining room where you’re not in there that much and it can add character, but if it’s preventing you from using the room in the way you would like then I don’t think you have to keep it.

cloud house via shoot factory

cloud house via shoot factory

I am, of course, not talking about listed properties and rare features, but the removal of the odd Victorian fireplace isn’t going to spell the end of the heritage industry. So that beam above – unless it’s holding the house up – which, on balance it very well might be – would have to go.

Having said that, I’m also not averse to reintroducing features where they have disappeared- cornices and ceiling roses and panelling being among those things which always enhance a room and don’t get in the way of your furniture or the way you want to use the space.

black doors in flat for sale via Alvhem

black doors in flat for sale via Alvhem

Right I’ve said it but I would always caution careful reflection before you do take things out. And it’s worth preserving them if you do remove anything. Some friends of mine moved into a house with no natural features left at all. They made plans to restore and renovate everything and then went down to the shed where they found fireplaces and door handles all carefully wrapped in newspaper and stacked up waiting patiently for the next owner to return them to their rightful places.

white ktichen with black accents for sale via Alvhem

white ktichen with black accents for sale via Alvhem

This apartment returns to the top principle of a plain background with splashes of colour but in this case note how the black accents bring definition to this all white kitchen. I’m not talking about the oven but the lampshade and chairs, while the soft pink worktop brings warmth.

black doors for sale in flat via Alvhem

black doors for sale in flat via Alvhem

This image below is mainly about the fabulous Norr11 leather chair but I wanted to draw your attention to the dark door. I have recently painted the inside of my front door in Brinjal which goes perfectly with the stairs and while it’s impossible to show you a photograph of both ends of the hall in the same picture, it definitely brings more interest to this long narrow space. Halls, as I have said before, are tricky so paint can sometimes be your only recourse.

chair from norr11

chair from norr11 design by Suzie Macadam

Finally, dark kitchens, in this case green. They’re coming. Keep the walls and floors light and add some wood and marble and it’s classic but with a modern twist. So much more practical than white too.

green kitchen with marble splashback

green kitchen with marble splashback in flat for sale via Aucoot

Right, ready to start the week? Do drop in tomorrow for some affordable accessories.

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  • Stevie 17th October 2017 at 5:34 pm

    That beam has got to go…..like my wine too much! The Randolph bedroom is dreamy, though, love it.

  • Will Baker 17th October 2017 at 9:31 am

    Fantastic mouldings and woodwork in the French Hotel. They look especially effective in colour continuity with the walls. As you say, there would have been too much contrast had they been white.

  • Deb 16th October 2017 at 3:54 pm

    I’m seeing all those white rooms with black doors. I’m considering this for my house in Sonoma – which miraculously is still standing after the fires. Any thoughts?

  • Melanie 16th October 2017 at 11:14 am

    I love the beam across the floor, no different to a step really….

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