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How to make your pad rock

Posted on October 05 2011

First up wow wow wow thank you for the amazing response to my mini holiday master class – to be held in my pad. Sounds like lots of you are thinking its a good idea so give me a week or two to juggle schedules work out the formula, build a loft extension re paint all the rooms so they look pristine rather than roughly warn in, revamp the junk room, re do the hall (need to here any more)? Teasing obviously if I heaped this onto Graham’s already burdening work load I may not be alive for so long!

For me decorating is all about creating individual spaces, sophisticated and yet a little boho (hence the roughly warn in bit), timeless coupled with a disregard for convention. Below I’ve kind of illustrated what makes a pad rock – obviously this is my little TV nook and not everyone’s cup of tea but there are certain things you can do to a space to take it from ordinary to extraordinary.

Pattern and texture are the herbs and spices of the decorating world – they add pizzazz. Whilst you may not plump for the bookcase wallpaper I’ve installed adding that unexpected jolt of surprise really up’s the style ratings. This room would not feel so grand or cosy, or cool for that matter if I had simply painted the wall out. Texture is another big important element (surprisingly I find often times ignored). Note how I’ve plonked a big merino cushion on the floor, quite near a rustic looking table I knocked up – roughly hewn wood, super soft merino wool, smooth concrete all hang out together but there is tension. And tension is what we are after (not so good in a relationship) but perfect in the decorating world. You don’t want things to match and co-ordinate you want to fuse with aplomb, as this is what creates an interesting dialogue.

Next up lighting – in this relatively small space, I have two super sized lamps, a penguin lamp and a floor lamp which you don’t see (four lamps, in a small space). Which means at night it’s mesmerising, they softly glow, cast shadows and add depth. If you want to change the atmosphere of a room add more lights!

Colour – clever clever colour – go dark and sludgy as I have done and suddenly you find yourself in a space that you don’t want to leave – paint out ceilings, trim and floors if they happen to be wooden in the same hue and you’ve suddenly diminished and blurred all joins its now your furnishings and accessories that set the tone. If you go dark you need to accent with some bright jolts otherwise it will feel and look depressing – I’ve gone for flashes of pink, blue and a jolt of red and yet somehow it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. That’s all down to the fact that the pattern I’ve added ( wallpaper,  rugs kind of takes the heat off plus my pattern is subtle its not fighting for attention as the brights are)

Before I sign off I should mention scale -one of the most under considered components in the decorating puzzle. Note how I have placed a very low slung wooden table and chair come to think of it (took the legs off) next to this enormously high wall. Or how I have perched a murano mouth blown lamp way to large for the wooden bench on that bench (the lamps costs 100’s the bench 30 bucks! Or how I’ve perched another super sized lamp on an even smaller stool. When you play around with scale you create magic – because whether you realise it or not you become automatically engaged and stimulated and suddenly your interior is exciting, tantalising – so much so that it quickens the pulse. That’s my point, my plan and my mission to create interiors that quicken the pulse and give you that feeling of squishy contentment the second you walk through the door. See you don’t need a therapist or pills to make you feel happy you just need a darn good interior – gotta love decorating hey?





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