Mad About . . .

10 Beautiful Rooms

6th February 2017

Time for our weekly dose of interiors inspiration with 10 Beautiful Rooms. These are not necessarily rooms that you want to live in or slavishly copy but are designed, instead, to inspire and, well yes it’s Monday, delight. They might be rooms that you would never dream of living in but are just lovely to look at and we all need a bit of pointless beauty from time to time. Perhaps that begs the question Is Beauty Needless but this is about interior design not interior brain so we won’t get into that here. Suffice to say that I hope it lifts your mood and makes your heart sing at the sight of these rooms and if you come away with some ideas to steal for your own spaces so much the better.

rustic kitchen at the estate trentham

rustic kitchen at the estate trentham

These first three images are from The Estate Trentham in Australia. I have no plans to visit Australia, but if I ever do I might have to stay here. It’s about an hour north of Melbourne for anyone who is planning a trip by the way. It’s a perfect lesson in a monochrome background – and, incidentally for a softer version try charcoal and ivory as opposed to black and white, warmed up with lots of natural wood. And, even brown as in the bedroom below. I can honestly say I would never, ever have thought of buying a brown duvet cover in a million years but it looks great in this picture doesn’t it?

grey bedroom at the estate trentham

grey bedroom at the estate trentham

I think I would be more tempted to accessories with shades of green as in the shot below for H&M. We have just, finally, at long ruddy last, finished painting our bedroom in time for a magazine shoot (watch out for details) and  it is mostly shades of grey, white and silver. I had been thinking of pinks and and greys to accessories (a scheme which you will no doubt recognise from the rest of the house) but suddenly I find myself drawn to shades of green and grey instead. All will be revealed in due course.

black and white bedding with green accessories via hmhome

black and white bedding with green accessories via hmhome

I must admit also to a certain sniffiness regarding those wood effect tiles preferring, for the most part, things to be what they are but now that fake plants are all the rage – and, let’s be honest, a lot easier to maintain, I find my thoughts shifting somewhat. These tiles are a case in point. We have a wooden bathroom floor with tiles in the shower area. I can already tell it’s going to be a nightmare to keep the the paint on floorboards where they butt up against the tiles and it’s not ideal have a wetroom corner area as oppose to a whole wet room. If we had been ripping out the whole room instead of just repairing and replacing the shower then tiles like this would have been a serious consideration.

wood effect tiles via shootfactory

wood effect floor tiles in shower via shootfactory

But then again, you could just bring in some pattern with tiles like these pictured below. So dilemma dilemma.What would you do? I’m pretty sure this is a real plant too as it’s a from a house in South Africa but in our dark and wintry climate perhaps a little faux might be the answer to that problem as well.

black and white bathroom by kim stephen interiors

black and white bathroom by kim stephen interiors

At first sighting this room is a little too ornate and flowery for me but the more I see it, the more I am drawn to the details which echo the ornate plasterwork of the ceiling. And yes that does appear to be a taxidermy peacock by the fire. But, as with all these rooms, we can pick and choose the parts we like and don’t have to adopt the room wholesale.

dark walls and metallic mirrors via shoot factory

dark walls and metallic mirrors via shoot factory

This room below is the complete opposite of the one above and I love it too. I might never be able to be as minimal as this and I suspect large piles of the books in the room behind would end up next to the Eames Lounger in front but then that’s the idea of interior design. You are designing an interior to suit you and how you live. This has no doubt been tidied for te photographer. The reality is probably much more lived in and no less lovely for that.

eames lounger via jo cowen architects

eames lounger via jo cowen design

This kitchen is a perfect marriage of modernity tempered with a little rusticity. The wooden counter is much nicer in the bar area than the stainless steel and the casually looped lights soften the glare from the downlights. I said the other day that I thought the single exposed bulb was coming to the end of its time. I think that’s true in its bare naked form except for in the kitchen where I think it can still work really well. In our sitting rooms and bedrooms, something a little more sophisticated works better – a group of lights or a more sculptural arrangement. Basically, you are asking a lot of one small single bulb to hold a room together. So hang two by the side of the bed by all means but find something larger and more impressive to hang from the ceiling.

stainless steel and rustic wood kitchen via jo cowen architects

stainless steel and rustic wood kitchen via jo cowen design

Finally, this kitchen, via one of my favourite browsing sites Shoot Factory is exactly the same colour scheme as the one above but much more rustic in feel. It’s all about how you put it together. So if you are planning your own scheme and pinning wildly, take a moment to think about the differences between the images you are drawn to as well as the similarities. Which one is a pretty picture and which one do you see yourself living in? Pin only the latter to your house renovation board. The former can just go on the pretty picture board.

black and white kitchen with rustic wooden table via shootfactory

black and white kitchen with rustic wooden table via shootfactory

Have a lovely day everyone. Do drop back tomorrow.


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  • Janet Whincup 6th February 2017 at 9:26 am

    All very interesting and as always makes me long for an older home with cornices, picture rails and subtle features.
    We are off to Australia in May and even Melbourne so may try and take myself off to the Trentham Estate if the other half doesn’t mind. We have put grey and green together in our house and it works well. Leafy plants always bring a touch of nature inside.

    • Libby 6th February 2017 at 10:30 am

      It’s amazing what you can do with an ordinary house or bungalow. There is no way to overcome low ceilings, but everything else can be changed. I love this week’s 10 ROOMS and am even more sure that our decisions last week (for my son’s kitchen in a 1930’s semi) was spot on. We have chosen oak painted in mid grey with stainless steel sink, tap, handles and fridge plus wood worktops, no wall cupboards – just shelves (in wood and more painted grey). There is an existing red quarry tile floor. He will choose any wall colours by himself. Of course he was involved in all this planning but it has taken 10 years to get him to make some changes! Thanks for YOUR help.

  • Maud 6th February 2017 at 7:33 am

    Now, I love this voo va va voom. All your posts are gorgeous, loving the flair, and not so exact colour combo’s. Bring it on.

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