When I’m designing for a client I always do it the low tech way. A large piece of card with tearsheets, fabric samples, wallpaper, paint and materials. All glued down and providing a visual representation of the ideas in my head. The way I was taught in interior design school. And it’s still the best way to present a decorative scheme in person. You can cover parts of the board until you’re ready to reveal them, and the client can touch as well as see. But sometimes I put interior schemes together just for me, or for this page, and that’s when I find it easier, quicker and less messy, to do it all on the screen. And it’s a good exercise for anyone at the planning stages of a project at home too. It very quickly shows if a scheme is going to work or not.
This board did start out as a client presentation. The brief was to develop a scheme to put some personality into a room that hadn’t been decorated since the builders left. It has lovely french windows opening out onto the garden, but other than that, it was a bland, blank canvas. The client wanted a neutral scheme and had already fallen in love with some silver metallic wallpaper, so it was just up to me to suggest new furniture, soft furnishings and accessories. A dream job.
How to combine lots of different global inspired elements successfully in a room scheme
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1. Neutral schemes work best if you have a range of colours from light to dark. Everything the same shade would look flat and uninteresting. So add some deeper colours, or even black into the scheme to punctuate it with interest.
2. For the same reason, add lots of texture. Here I have chosen a fur throw, a linen sofa, velvet and fur cushions and elements of rusted metal on the clock and the two side tables. It may be a neutral scheme but the overall effect will be one of comfort and luxury.
3. One benefit of a neutral scheme is that you can include items from different times, cultures and looks and still have a coherent scheme. The discipline of sticking to a restricted colour palette will ensure that everything hangs together. This is perfect if you are planning on using some existing furnishings (if they match the colour scheme of course), or treasured souvenirs and collections in the new room.
4. There should always be some shiny metal in a room scheme. Here, the silver coffee table and lamp base have been chosen to echo the silver metallic wallpaper in other parts of the room.
5. Don’t forget accessories. They are the finishing touches to a room scheme. Throws, cushions and wall art are what make a house a home.
6. Be brave and add a talking point or item of humour. In this room the wallpaper (sorry, I haven’t put it on the board for the simple reason that metallic wallpapers do not reproduce well) is going to be the wow factor, but I couldn’t resist adding the silver antler chandelier with fur shades.
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