Tag Archives: room

How to be a master of the Renaissance trend

7 Mar

Ever since I learned of the concept, I’ve been fascinated by trend forecasting. At first I was a little miffed that the design trends I loved to see emerging each season were set out well in advance and therefore more of a self-fulfilling prophecy than a mystical zeitgeist. Now though, I love the guessing game that follows the trend predictions each season, seeing which will fly and which will fail.

At Home this year I went along to a presentation by Trend Bible, who were introducing their predictions for autumn/winter 2014. I’ll revisit them again nearer the time, but this stunning image from Claire Pettibone‘s couture collection brought my favourite of those trends to the forefront of my mind.

Claire Pettibone couture dress with flowers

{Claire Pettibone}

Trend Bible called it ‘Renaissance’ and I’m going to stick my neck out here and say I predict this trend’s going to be a winner. Let’s take a look at how we can translate the look from fashion to home and get ahead of the pack…

Fashion to Home Renaissance decorating trend Decorator's Notebook

{Abigail Ahern}

You can already see where I’m headed with this, right? The trends that stick are the ones that don’t re-write the rulebook, but instead twist and develop those design ideas that have been popular before.

Thus, Down Pipe-and-Fuchsia becomes Stiffkey-and-Peony. We’re ready for it and when it comes, we’re there with our paintbrushes aloft and our mouse fingers poised to pin the heck out of it.

How to decorate with the renaissance trend Decorator's Notebook

{Julia Hoersch}

So, you like the look of it but Renaissance isn’t the easiest trend to (forgive the pun) “master”. Here’s my simple guide to getting it right.

1 | Don’t be afraid of the dark

This is no time to chicken out and go for the safe mid-tone on your paint chart. The drama of this look comes from the contrast between a sultry backdrop and lively shots of colour. For the walls, opt for a flat matte paint (no wallpaper) and, if you’re especially brave, use the same shade on skirtings, ceilings and cornicing as well. The home of London stylist Jo Atkins Hughes (below) is a great example.

Dark grey living room with coloured accents

{Jo Atkins Hughes}

2| Think like Caravaggio

This trend isn’t called ‘Renaissance’ for nothing; still life oil paintings are a key influence. Head to an art gallery and stand in front of a few old Dutch Masters for while. Take in the dramatic use of light and shade and the vibrancy of the flowers and fruit – usually on the cusp of decay. These are just the kinds of accent colours you should consider to punctuate your scheme… deep figgy purple, ripe pomegranate red, bursting peony pink and acid yellow-greens are all perfect for this look.

Still life of fruit and flowers by Jan Davidsz. de Heem

{Painting: Jan Davidsz. de Heem}

3| Add abstract shapes

At first glace this is a very historical look, but it also requires a hint of the unexpected. Add it in the form of geometric and abstracted shapes and hard materials like brass, wrought iron and copper, to contrast with the natural elements. The good news is there are lots of great accessories around at the moment, so keep your eyes open for interesting pendant lights, prismatic vases and angular furniture as you shop.

Gold geometric light fitting

{Etch lights, Tom Dixon}

4| Create your own arrangements

The easiest way to introduce the colours of flowers and plants to your room is to use real ones! Have fun at the florist with eye-catching colours and showy blooms, then create a casual arrangement in a prominent position. Don’t just stick to vases though… embrace the still-life look and have them spilling out of a bowl or hang dried stems upside down down with a big silk ribbon.

Bouquet with succulents

{Joanna Millington for Love My Dress}

So, what do you think? Is the Renaissance trend one to stay or another flash in the pan? Chip in with your comment below and or tell me what you think on Twitter @DecoratorsNotes.

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House Tour: New York apartment with natural elements

28 Jan

I love bringing little touches of nature into my home… a dried seedhead here, a pheasant feather there… they help to soften up a minimal room and bring a tiny bit of the outdoors in.

This small New York apartment belongs to prop stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky and I really admire her style. She has just the right amount of artistic clutter and some really nice ideas for using found objects in a decorative yet simple way.

living room with muted colours

Apple crate storage

House plants

Look closely and you’ll see little natural touches in evey single corner of this home. Not so much that it looks like a museum (remember this Victorian collector’s cottage?) but just enough to bring in the subtle earthy tones and rustic textures that only real shells, plants and feathers can add.

linen blind

collection box of feathers

small kitchen with vintage style

kitchen shelf detail

If you like this look, choose natural fibre fabrics as Rebecca has – raw linen or material coloured with vegetable dyes are ideal as their muted tones are just right for adding colour in a way that doesn’t jar. Dyeworks specialises in selling naturally-dyed fabrics, or Sania Pell wrote this lovely post explaining how to make your own fabric dyes from berries, vegetables and spices.

vintage metal bedstead

tie dye bedspread

{Photographs Pippa Drummond / Styling Rebecca Bartoshesky for Sight Unseen}

For those of us that remember 1990s ‘bohemian chic’ the idea of tie dying is a little bit scary, but there’s no denying it’s making a come-back. If proper tie-dye like Rebecca’s bedspread sends you running for cover, dip dying is just as easy and is less likely to make your home look like a hippy hangout. I went to a trend forecasting presentation last week and ombre is going to be sticking around for at least another two seasons, so there’s still time if you haven’t yet succumbed!

This beautiful apartment was origianally featured on the lovely Sight Unseen blog where you’ll find lots more photos and pretty details of Rebecca’s home – find the post here.

Fresh new colour combination: sage and gorse

1 May

How’s this for a lovely new colour combination? Softest sage with an unexpected splash of gorse yellow in the fireplace.

yellow fireplace tiles{sorry, unknown}

I’ve blogged loads in the past about my love of yellow and grey, but I feel like I’ve been getting a little sick of that combo recently and this seems a much more sophisticated, grown-up twist. Prettier somehow.

Also, I’ve looked everywhere for the source of this image to no avail – if you know whose home this is please let me know via the comments or email. I would love to make sure the owner of this home is credited for their fabulous eye for colour!

Join The Room Debate!

15 Feb

Morning all – how’s your week been? I’ve been rushing around like a mad woman so the weekend is super welcome!

Anyway, back to the task in hand – today’s Room Debate. If it helps, here are a couple more shots of the room to look at too.

To join in, just leave a comment with your answers to these two questions:

One thing I like most about this room is…

One thing I like least about this room is…

ethnic style living room design{The Marion House Book}

This living room has quite a bit going on so I’m looking forward to hearing what you think!

Have a happy weekend – see you on the other side!

Join The Room Debate!

1 Feb

Morning all! I’m sooo busy at the moment life has become rather blink and you’ll miss it… but at least it means our lovely Friday discussions come around quickly!

So today’s spring-like bedroom ticks a lot of boxes if trends are all that matter: pastels, ombre, silk lampshades. But the real question is, does it float your boat? Have a good look and leave a comment with your answers to these two questions:

One thing I like most about this room is…

One thing I like least about this room is…

feminine pastel bedroom with four poster bed{House to Home}

I’m really looking forward to hearing what you think!

Have a lovely weekend.

DN x

Join The Room Debate!

18 Jan

Morning all – welcome to The Room Debate!

I have a rather vintage candidate for your delectation today – judging by the single bed I’m guessing this is a child’s room or maybe a guest room. I’ll leave that for you to decide…

As always, it’s easy to get involved. Just have a good look at the room photo below and leave a comment with your answers to these two questions:

One thing I like most about this room is…

One thing I like least about this room is…

vintage bedroom ideas{via Down and Out Chic}

I guess the question is, would you have liked this to be your bedroom growing up, or would you like to stay in it while visiting a friend?

Looking forward to hearing what you think! Have a lovely weekend.

DN xx

Decorating dilemma: sheepskins on dining chairs

16 Jan

sheepskin dining chairs{via Uncovet / Rickshaw Design / Simply GroveLine Klein}

For the record, I’m generally against decorating with dead stuff. I abhor those cow hide rugs (the curling edges turn my stomach) and I can’t be doing with taxidermy since I saw a stuffed stoat with fleas. So there’s a strong possibility I’ve completely lost the plot with this one…

I really disliked these when I first saw them, but somehow sheepskin-covered dining chairs are starting to look rather appealing to me.

What do you think?

Have the plunging temperatures done something to my mind or is this yet another symptom of my softening tastes?

Answers on a postcard…

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