Keeping it calm and C-free for as long as possible. Come on in to The Mad House, which is, among a sea of Christmas insanity, the least mad space around at the moment. The earlier it starts on social media the more I resist and find peace and pleasure in these beautiful rooms below. Head this way if you feel the same.
First up is this gorgeous dining room by Fiona Duke Interiors, co-founder of The Interior Design Collective, which aims to help you find an interior designer in your area. I love how, in the picture above the panelling doors echoes that in the room behind and draws your eye infrom the space beyond.
Note also how the doors have been painted to stand out – they are beautiful doors – but also this makes a change from the traditional coloured wall and white door. Not to mention those chairs. Fiona bought these Thonet classics for her client from SCP but you can find similar if you hunt about.
Staying with quiet colour and cane chairs is this development by Banda Property, which I am drawn to again and again although when you have ceilings this high with plasterwork this lovely, it would be hard to get this wrong. If you do live in a building like this then sometimes subtle is the answer as this will draw attention to the features. There’s no need to shout about them by adding lots of colour – unless you want to, of course, but do it carefully. Mind you most of us don’t live in a house like this (name that old TV show) so the question doesn’t arise.
Moving gently towards a little more colour and we come to this light peach blossom room by Little Greene company. I know lots of you are always searching for the perfect pink and this is one of those colours where the orientation of the room really does matter. Why? Because in the golden light of a south-facing room a warm pink will intensify and become almost coral. So if you are looking for a soft and subtle pink you need to find one with a blueish undertone to counteract the strong effect from the light. This won’t happen in a north-facing room where the light will have a cooler tone and will leave your pink alone.
But before we move on, look how that chair, in a stronger version of the wall colour, really stands out and finishes off that scheme. This is a really good trick to adopt. If you want pale walls, in whatever shade you like, try adding either a piece of furniture or a piece or art (or window dresssings or rugs – it’s not a fixed idea) in a stronger, deeper colour than the wall. It will always look good.
Finally, taking the pale pink to its logical extreme. First coral and then red. Here the sofa picks up on one of the wall paintings. Now, I know you aren’t supposed to match the art to the furniture and that is sort of true. Firstly – you should buy art because you love it and not because it ties in with the cushions. That said, one tends to be drawn to a colour palette so some link is inevitable. However, the key is not to make it look like you went to the shop and picked out the one that looked good with the fabric. And you can do that by creating a gallery wall of colours. This is colourful with lots of different shapes and sizes and the link between the sofa and the picture now looks deliberate and and co-ordinated.
Also check the lamps – mismatching looks good here and once you start looking for triangles you can’t stop. I’m tempted to ask you how many you can see and if your bus is in a traffic jam you might want to… I got to nine but that’s not definitive.
Lastly the red sofa which is a strong statement in this room but look how it draws your eye to the red in the desk, and on the headboard. It’s a bold colour that not everyone will be comfortable with but it totally brings the room together. Also, this is how leopard is a neutral. In its natural colour it works really well in this room and just brings a subtle touch of pattern whereas a block colour might have been too overwhelming with the expanse of solid colour on the walls and the sofa. This lightens it all a bit. And don’t go before you’ve clocked the skirting board. Nice idea. Totally fancy a bit of that.
And there we have it. I hope you have found inspiration for you own spaces in these rooms or just enjoyed a little bit a peace and quiet before you venture back onto social media or the high street and are walloped by the season’s strident greetings again.