After all the razzamatazz of the great rooms of the century which has occupied the last few weeks, it’s time to return to some real rooms by real people that we can draw just as much inspiration from as those done on million dollar budgets for million dollar owners. I was on a judging panel the other day and it was interesting to note that the rooms which had had the most money thrown at them were often not the best spaces. It’s not what you spend it’s how you spend it.
This vision in green is by stylist Laura Fulmine, who has also created an apartment at BBC Television Centre, and I love that gorgeous green over all the walls. It was a brave move and I totally understand why some people opt for a single wall when they fall in love with a strong colour but just look at that. The pale floor and ceiling help lighten it and it has two windows as well, but the green walls with lots of green plants layered in front is colour blocking at its finest. Plus, antique furniture.
Sticking with strong use of colour and we come to this wonderful bedroom by Sofie of Three Boys and a Pink Bath. Again, it’s an unusual move to paint the fireplace and the cupboard all the same but it looks great and the matching bedspread also adds to the effect – same colour, change of textile. Don’t assume that the woodwork has to be white and the fireplace has to be black. Try something different and see how it works. You might surprise yourself and you’ll be really chuffed if you do.
Talking of different, how about this Drummonds bathroom. Again wallpaper isn’t the norm for bathrooms – although in a well-ventilated room there’s no reason why not – and instead of defaulting to white the designers have chosen a soft pink for the wall underneath. Both elements work well to highlight the dark green marble of the basin unit. Apparently, by the way, green marble is coming next.. move over classic Carrara. And since it’s dark it’s probably much more practical.
Sticking with the green theme and these mint metro tiles in this Australian bathroom by Architects Eat. They’ve used them vertically instead of the more traditional horizontal and it makes the room seem taller. Now I think the near wall is probably the same tile, but it looks darker because of the shadow and is an idea that you could adopt – dark in the shower and the same thing but paler on the walls around it, for example.
Now worrabout this? The key to a bathroom (and a kitchen come to that) is that you need to design it as you would any other room in the house. Don’t get hung up on decor rules just because it’s a bathroom. If a brass wall is what you want – and it is waterproof and conforms to building regs then do it. I am constantly contacted by people who tell me that their builder didn’t want to paint their skirting boards in a colour other than white. That they were told they would regret having a coloured ceiling or a dark wall. I don’t hold with that at all. It’s a room in your house where you live. Unless you live with the builder in question you don’t have to take any notice of them.
Now this is by Sara Moody, of Shacklewell Architects and she told me that the brass is from Metal Sheets and costs £190 per sqm. It comes waxed but she paid for it to have an extra layer of lacquer as it was for a shower. The company said it wasn’t specifically guaranteed for showers but as long as you don’t use any chemicals when cleaning or wiping it it should be fine. This was installed about 18 months ago and still looks as good as new.
And sticking with the same colours but this time in paint, let’s have one more look at this wonderful bedroom by Sofie because she’s moving soon so she will be leaving this room – but not the zebra – behind. If you love a white wall then bring in colour by painting the fireplace and, in this case, why not the ceiling as well. Tie it all together with a matching curtain – again mixing up the textures – and Bob, as they say, is a close relation.
Lastly a couple of kitchens for you following on from today’s themes. This by British Standard Cupboards, who have used this technique before but it’s a good’un. Just taking the paint up to give the cupboards more height and create a visual splashback. You can cover the paint in Decorators Varnish if you’re worried about actual splashing, although I can’t see a sink on that run.
And this, by Kvänum Kök AB, takes the minty green from above with some brass as a splashback and comes up with this. Calming but luxe and the wood is perfect for another texture and to warm it all up.
So there we have it. Be brave with colour, not too sensible and dare to be different. It’s only paint and look what wonderful things you can do with it.