Mad About . . .

Monday Inspiration: Beautiful Rooms

25th February 2019
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Spring may not actually be in the air but it really does feel like it doesn’t it? So we’re going to start this week’s beautiful rooms tour with a window flung wide in this gorgous Stockholm kitchen below.

It’s for sale (click picture caption links for details)and billed as somewhere you can add your own stamp to although I rather love it as it is. Having said that it’s interesting to see the approach taken to selling it. It’s heavily stylised yes, but I love the way a roll of wallpaper has been unfurled as a suggestion and a rolled up carpet left in the corner.

Yes it makes for beautiful instagram pictures, but it’s also a good way to give people ideas. Many people find it hard to visualise what they can do with a space and an idea you dislike can be just as valuable as one you want to use. And also, sometimes, especially on a Monday, it’s nice just to look at some pretty pictures and these ones are all about a gorgeous colour palette of neutrals and naturals.

This is another Swedish apartment form the same agent although this time you could move straight in. So I just want to draw your eye firstly to the panelling. Massively on trend, easy to do when it’s tongue and groove like this, helps divide the wall so if you want to paint in two colours it’s easier and finally, it’s tough and can hide bumpy walls and poor plasterwork.

Secondly, that pendant light. It’s not hanging pointlessly in the middle of the ceiling illuminating a patch of floor but has been moved over the table so it’s out of the way of the cooking area, but doing its job over the table. If chasing out plaster and making good is outside the allocated budget then extend the light flex and stick a cup hook in the ceiling to move it where you want it to be.

And this is just for looking. Most of us won’t have ceilings like this but we can add the panelling. This type is more expensive than the tongue and groove above but it’s also more elegant and if you have a narrow shelf you can use it to prop up pictures as well.

The next image brings me back to another popular question about using colour in the kitchen. We tend to be nervous about using a strong shade on the cupboards in case we go off it. But  if you are worried about that you can always do as they have done below, which is to keep the cupboards in a pale neutral but colour the walls. This is easy enough to change with your mood and means you can always freshen up the room for the cost of a couple of tins of paint.

devol bath kitchen

devol bath kitchen

Finishing off with a couple of bathrooms for you and this is a bit of an ode to panelling, which always looks wonderful in any room. Many people are, understandably nervous about going dark in the bathroom but it can work really well. The bath and basins are usually white, slightly glossy and will reflect and bounce light around. There are usually mirrors, which will do the same job and, if you have a window as well then you are tripling the opportunity to bring light to the dark. Add a pale floor, as they have done below, and keep the ceiling light and there’s no need to be afraid of the dark.

image by Paul Craig

image by Paul Craig for cphart bathrooms in the Georgian home of designer @robert_james_moore

And then this is this white bathroom with its mirror surround of faux plants. It’s a great idea and works to alleviate what can be the starkness of an all white bathroom. The black taps will be a classic and the wooden shelf also brings warmth.

image by loud architects  plants from brightgreenuk

I hope that helped you with ideas for your own spaces. Come back tomorrow for a guide to which paint for what surface. It’s a question I am asked about a lot so I thought I would lay it out here for you.


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  • Hamilton Billiards 25th February 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Really love the photography, and how you incorporate different elements into your work. Truly inspirational!

  • Susan 25th February 2019 at 1:05 pm

    I always love the rooms that have balcony with it. It adds more beauty to it and it is simply glorious to see the morning view at 5 AM.

  • sally vegso 25th February 2019 at 12:32 pm

    The styling of the first photos was fresh and welcome. Thank you.

  • nvrm 25th February 2019 at 11:22 am

    Is it just me not getting something about this sentence “hey have done below, which is to keep the cupboards in a pale neutral but colour the walls.”: to me both walls and cupboards seem to be very similar pale neutrals?
    The last pic is saved by that bathtub and faucets, I find the shade of the wood shelf to be ghastly, more so when paired with the plastic plants.
    But I loved the idea of styling the first apartment in such way, they’re very clever and/or hired a gestalt psychologist: the concept of gestalt is that our brain is constantly trying to “finish” objects so that they match what we find acceptable/are familiar with and I think this is the best example of the concept being exploited I’ve seen in my life.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 25th February 2019 at 11:25 am

      Yes they are similar – I was looking at the worktop rather than the cupboards but the point about choosing a neutral/safe colour for the cupboards and experimenting – or going bold on the walls – still stands. And yes I completely agree with the gestalt theory – that’s fascinating.

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