How similar interior design ought to be to theatre! Always on a mission to introduce novel and often shocking ideas to shake up the status quo… either using brash, bold overstatement or subtle, nuanced, ‘work it out for yourself’ language.
But how do you do that without appearing either wacky or pretentious in a residential context? No problem if you’re lucky enough to inhabit, say, an industrial loft with double height ceilings and open living, but the scope might well be limited for those of us whose space is more constrained. Here are a few tips:
If you’re a fan of neutral schemes, add a bold accent colour, with some tonal variation, in judicious amounts. For example, in a couple of oversized lamps with vibrant shades or a collection of designer vases…
…or re-upholster one or two chairs in a funky fabric
Remember, ‘neutral’ never equates to ‘boring’ when done properly. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about creating a calming sanctuary to come home to, but you don’t want to send your guests to sleep!
Include some unusually shaped pieces of furniture and structure your scheme around them, so it doesn’t look bland in the way that neutral schemes so often can. The trend for oversized Alice in Wonderland chairs still hits the spot in my book, and keep an eye out for cutting edge contemporary shapes…
If you want to introduce some drama but aren’t confident enough to paint your walls red, then use wall art as statement pieces and reflect some of the colours in sofa throws and cushions, or bed linen.
How about this for drama…by Oxford artist Andrew Manson. (Contact us for details)
Or if you’re less bold, hang an interesting picture in an odd place…a picture of a knife and fork is so predictable in a dining room, but in a study it could be food for thought!
Team a brooding colour scheme with deep purple or red velvet upholstery fabrics to create a moody atmosphere with a hint of intrigue…
Hang a room divider drape in a metallic fabric like a stage curtain, and tie it back with a sumptuous tassle tie back.
The feature wall is a bit last year it’s true, but consider using a chic or risque wallpaper on one bathroom wall instead of the predictable limestone tiles…I don’t know about you, but limestone or marble tiles on every wall as well as the floor makes me feel like I’m entombed in a mausoleum! Obviously, it goes without saying that if you’re using wallpaper in a bathroom it must be properly sealed!
de Gournay hand make wall coverings to order for the ultimate in luxury bathroom theatre
Pick a whole wall and devote it to ‘salon hanging’ a collection of pictures or black and white photos. The look is a hot trend, but dates back to the 18th century French custom of hanging framed artwork from floor to ceiling with very little space in between. The Salon in question was the public art exhibition that was held annually or bi-annually in Paris beginning in 1737, and it’s named after the room at the Louvre where it was held, the Salon Carré.
Use fabric to make an impact, perhaps in wall hangings or, more conventionally, at your windows only as a canvas which is revealed in all its glory when the drapes are closed. Romo’s new Jessica Zoob collection introduces fabrics digitally printed with the contemporary artwork of this up and coming painter, and captures the changing moods of landscape, and reflects the ups and downs of a relationship. I think it looks great on the Chesterfield and chaise below:
Light up a floor standing indoor plant from behind with a hidden LED uplighter. The wall shadows will create instant drama.
Experiment with black & white…monochrome schemes are simple but sophisticated, and can be the easiest way to achieve impact…
By the way, on the subject of theatre…the doors of ‘The Other Place’, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s brand new addition in Stratford on Avon, opened at the weekend. TOP was the home for the RSC’s new and experimental work for over 40 years, and it re-opens on the site of the Courtyard Theatre which was the RSC’s temporary home during renovations to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre which re-opened in 2010: http://www.rsc.org.uk/