Hello and welcome to this week’s round up of 10 Beautiful Rooms. Starting off with this studio flat in Sweden which just shows what you can do with a small space. Admittedly, it’s full of fabulous windows, but the owners have had to contend with a sloping ceiling and what is quite a long narrow space. I love the idea of the glass wall to separate the living from the sleeping and note how the rug creates a sitting zone.
The colour palette is minimal to try and bring a sense of space and light but it’s all held together with the same flooring throughout, which also brings warmth to all those pale greys. Points to note? In open plan and/or small space living; keep the number of colours minimal, use rugs to zone and paint the walls the same throughout the space. The natural angles and the play of light through the day will make it look different and create shadows.
Of course you could also try a neutral colour – by which I mean a soft blue/green which will, in some lights, appear almost grey. This colour above looks fabulous with vintage wood and brass but would also happily take on a soft pink. It’s much more versatile than you might think and I speak as someone who doesn’t really like pale blue.
I love the unexpected addition of the red chair in this room above. It’s all so well-behaved and neutral and then bang! A red chair. It’s what Daniel Hopwood would call that element of naughtiness. Now, we all have our own definitions of what makes naughty but it’s that unexpected touch that stops a room being just a sea of well-behaved neutrals. For Daniel’s top tips small spaces then do read his guest post if you haven’t already.
More Eames chairs and this time in a mismatch of muddy vintage shades. I have these chairs, but mine are all ivory. They came from our old house where they sat at the end of a kitchen, which was painted raspberry pink, and we didn’t need anything more unexpected going on in that spot. In our current house they are well-behaved and matching and I yearn for a rogue green one.
There really is no escaping the green at the moment. Whether you like the vibrant leaf colour of Pantone (I don’t) or prefer softer more muted, smoky shades (I do) it’s everywhere. And, as you can tell from these images it goes with everything from the mustard yellow chair above, to the soft blush pink headboard and the tan leather of the sofa below.
I reckon if you’d suggested tan leather and green a couple of years ago everyone would have shouted “1970s” and run screaming from the room. But here these colours seem so absolutely of the moment and so perfect that I wish my own sitting room looked like this. I think it’s to do with the basic monochrome/grey background that sets off these colours so well.
A couple of bathrooms for you now. Both are slightly modern rustic in feel. Now I appreciate we can’t all have our baths sitting in pretty little arches behind crittal doors but it’s the tiles I want to focus on. Classic white metro tiles will never go out of fashion – although there have been attempts to update the look with grey grout or laying them herringbone style – but you don’t need to be fancy. Try just using more – and they are the cheapest tiles around – cover the whole wall rather than just a discreet splashback area. Then, if you were lucky enough to have a bath like this you could paint it differently as the mood took you. A couple of years of black and then, ooh – while we’re on the subject – say green?
This bathroom has gone the other way entirely with not a tile in sight. The rustic ladder – another device that has been used a lot in magazines but is, actually, a practical solution to a small space – and the bathmat that looks like a rug. I have been seriously contemplating this for my bathroom (see my instagram for a picture of it today) but am worried it might be too cream. I guess the only way to find out is to order it and see…. I’ll keep you posted.
A slight change of pace here for this luxurious sitting room which belongs to Naomi Watts and was featured in Architectural Digest. Now I didn’t know it was hers when I found this picture, but I was talking to a client a couple of weeks ago about putting two sofas back to back in a large open plan space. She (my client that is not Naomi) has a large French window at the back and is wanting to install a wood burning stove to the front. The best way to take advantage of both views, and to create two seating areas – one summer,one winter – is to create a seating area like this.
You wouldn’t have to have the console table if there wasn’t room and note how the sofas are quite narrow; it’s the cushions that are fat. One to ponder anyway, if you live in an open plan space. It’s also something to consider if you have one of those Victorian terrace houses with a knock through double living room. As long as the opening has been created to be as wide as possible then this can be a good way to make use of both spaces. So often the back one is just a passage to the kitchen.
Finally, panelling. This is what I want to do in my kitchen – see below. I think it would bring interest and cosiness to what is essentially a box on the back of the room. Himself is slightly sticking his fingers in his ears and singing when I mention it. I am aware there is a radiator issue – we’ll get to that when I win the panelling war. I am playing the long game. At the very least I want a vintage green Eames chair in there.
What do you think of today’s selections. I hope you haven enjoyed it and I’ll see you all tomorrow for my interview with the winner of The Great Interior Design Challenge – which is an interesting story even if you didn’t see the show.