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It’s that time of year – again! 🎄

We are seeing out another year and ushering in the next, which seems impossible as I feel like I planned my Christmas 2018 celebrations only a few months ago.  But there’s no escaping reality – evidenced by seasonal decorations and accompanying music and reminders about gifting all around us.

Trawling through a popular global site recently, I was struck by the abundance of animal motifs on ornaments, cards, and gifts offering Christmas cheer.  The variety was amazing as we have gone way past the traditional reindeer and cute appeal of animals found in the northern hemisphere to an entire zoo bedecked in red hats, scarves and jingling bells.  Looking at a set of animal print Christmas baubles recalled the beautiful animal themed fabrics, wallpapers and design elements I handle every day and which never fail to inspire me.

Animal prints have been trending for as long as there have been animals to admire and it has enduring staying power, despite our hearing that it has “made a comeback” or that it’s “fashionable again”.  In reality, animal prints have never gone away, as season after season fashion designers incorporate them into their collections and interior designers are attracted to their bold and timeless transformative power – some maybe to the point of obsession!  Some of us may just have a zebra fetish……..

Design Intervention

We’ve seen animal prints in bright colors and bold patterns over bed linen and curtaining in colour combinations suited to children and adults alike.  Evoking a sense of fun or sophistication, there is an endless choice to suit everyone’s pocket.

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Animal inspired wallpapers provide elegant options for those with a restrained palette as well as those of us who have a taste for the flamboyant.  And there are prints incorporating cheeky animals in colourways that are definitely not for the faint-hearted, but guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

Images via Pinterest

Animal print throws and pillows can add a layer of texture and pattern to a room as they mix well with other patterns and can deliver unexpected effects.

If you are looking for a touch of warmth and glamour, animal print rugs and ottomans are a wonderful way to achieve this.

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Stripes and spots can be overwhelming and overdone as we do see them everywhere, but there are other animals who are overlooked, such as giraffe.  Ever fancied a giraffe-print desk or a chandelier or a cheetah side table?  Using small accent furniture pieces, cushions and tableware are a fabulous way to add a touch of whimsy without going the whole hog and they inject an element of surprise….

Images via Pinterest

A recent visit to Perth delivered many a chuckle when viewing the latest trend in lighting: animal lamps!  Table lamps and candle holders with impudent and irreverent monkeys inject levity into the serious business of choosing just the right illumination in a room. Being born in the year of the Monkey, these guys are my greatest pals. I need to find a place for these amazing baboon lights!

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Additionally, it was very evident that animal themed home accessories are hugely popular just now with the monkey being the current animal of choice.   Other animals include deer and elephant while brilliantly hued birds abound on lamp bases.  Exotic peacock motifs with their jewel colours and iridescent feathers are stamped on fabrics and furnishings – an ageless symbol of good luck and plenty.

Images via Pinterest

And finally, wall murals and large scale art are tipped to be big in 2020 with animals prowling across our walls – as a backdrop behind our bed or making a statement in a living room.   No monkey business and not for the faint-hearted, but there’s no stopping you if you would like to take a walk on the wild side……?

Images via Pinterest

November 20, 2019 0 comment
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Welcome to the Design Oscars!

What a thrill!!… The UPS delivery man has just delivered a big brown (heavy!!!) box from Amazon and we have torn through the packaging to uncover the newest edition of the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review….

The Interior Design Review is published annually and each year as the release date draws near, we are in a state of eager anticipation. The book has been described as “The Bible of the Design World” and it really is the biggest, thickest, heaviest book we own.
We absolutely love it!
Within its hardback cover are over a 1000 beautiful photographs – a compendium of the world’s greatest designers and their best works of the year. The book features the work of almost a hundred designers from every corner of the globe, and that is what makes the book so compelling- it’s sheer variety.

The pages contain the very best examples of classic, eccentric, decadent, minimalist or avant-garde. It is very simply a compilation of the best of every design genre highlighting the current trends in international interior design… What other inspiration could a design-lover need?
Competition amongst designers to have our work included in these pages is fierce. The Times has described it as “The Oscars of the interior Design World”.
In total, three design firms  were selected to represent the best of ASEAN design: Geoffrey Thomas from Malaysia and Bill Bensley from Thailand and we are honoured to have been chosen and to be showcasing Singapore design.
It is the sixth time that Design Intervention has been featured in the Interior Design Review and we are simply thrilled to have made the cut again.

Design Intervention

A living room with earthy tones. A big wine cabinet in the background.

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A colourful sofa in front of the window on the verandah.

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Navy blue wallpaper in a bedroom with bright yellow throws on the bed that brightens up the space

Design Intervention

I am a big fan of Bill Bensley’s work, ever since I stayed at his Intercontinental resort in Vietnam. It’s a great honour to have our projects featured alongside his. Just look at how amazing his projects are!

BILL BENSLEY

Another favourite of ours is British designer, Matthew Williamson, who was also selected this year. He has an amazing sense of colour and a love of pattern and the photos of his showcased projects are some of our favourites in this year’s edition.

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON

We also enjoyed the photos of Steve Leung’s recent projects. He is a master at capturing a sultry, moody ambience. There is a sexiness to his photos that is absolutely mesmerising.

STEVE LEUNG

The Interior Design review is undoubtedly our favourite design publication. Year after year, we find it a rich source of inspiration and it is a joy to flip through the pages. So it is an absolute delight to be included alongside some of the biggest names in Design.

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A huge thank you to the team at Andrew Martin for selecting us!

October 25, 2019 0 comment
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Touch — the “Feel Good” sense…

A kiss, a hug, a simple pat on the head or a gentle squeeze of a forearm… we show our affection through touch.
We are tactile beings. Touch makes us feel good — releasing the feel good hormone oxytocin. Pet owners live longer because stroking our pets calms us, relieving stress. This is Science Fact.

young boy cuddling cute dog

The world's first magnetic resonance image of a mother kissing her baby

“This is the world’s first magnetic resonance image of a mother kissing her baby. Her kiss has caused a chemical reaction in her son’s brain which generates a burst of oxytocin – a hormone that generates feelings of attachment and affection. Beautiful.” Credit: NH Neuro TrainingLess
Calling for a multi-sensory approach to design.
So it leaves me completely bewildered that we consistently ignore this crucial sense. We experience our environment through our senses but when we design we routinely only address the sense of sight.
We know that music affects our mood and soothes us. So we will instinctively  turn on some gentle music at the end of a long day.
It is a well known trick of the real estate industry to have a home smelling of freshly baked cookies when showing a house for a sale. The scent creates a warm, friendly and homely ambience. It is certainly no secret that scented candles and room fragrance sales have seen phenomenal sales growth, as consumers look for ways to make their homes more inviting.
So why oh why do we ignore the sense of touch – the physical manifestation of love!

TEXTURE

collage of textured materials and fabrics

Warm, textured throws makes the bedroom so cozy!

grey tones and texture in a bedroom

Craving a little bit of rough.

With so much of our time spent touching, shiny smooth man-made materials, screens or keyboards – This sense has been deprived for too long.  Raw hewn natural wood, textured grass cloth walls, woven cane and rattan, embroidered fabrics  are all making a comeback. multiple images of texture in the homeBut it is not simply in organic, natural themed rooms where we can enjoy textile elements. No one can deny the meteoric rise in popularity of lush velvets, it is the rich tactile quality that appeals to  us after so much exposure to hard smooth metals and plastics that surround us every day.examples of textured home accents within the homeI have always been partial to a bit of fur for the same reason. Recently, we have been rediscovering Anagalypta wall coverings to give a subtle layer of texture to our designs. And I am really loving the new Bouclé fabrics that many of the fabric suppliers have launched in the last few weeks. Expect to see so much more of them in 2020.

floral patterned bedroom with sheepskin throw

For a more glamorous look, nothing can beat the iridescence of a room wrapped in a silk.

Dining room with green silk Fromental design wallpaper

And the recent trend towards trims and braids is as much about adding texture as it is about adding detail.Home office of Nikki Hunt showing artwork and fringed curtains in pink huesBy exciting this additional sense, we can add new dimension to our designs, elevating them, bringing them to life like a black and white picture being reworked in colour.

Bring in the texture and feel the love.

October 7, 2019 0 comment
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ACCESSORIES – THEY ARE THE FINAL 10% IN ANY SPACE.

If you look closely at interiors that appear luxurious and appealing, you may notice that they share one thing in common: each detail has been carefully considered. The first impression you receive on entering a room should be that seamless blending of architecture and decoration to create a lasting visual impression.

FILLING A ROOM WITH FURNITURE DOESN’T COMPLETE THE ROOM.

It needs that little bit more to transform it. So at DI, we ensure a client’s rooms are elevated from the mundane to the sublime.

This project below showcases the perfect example of just that, check out one the deconstructed image to show you the power of the last 10%.

Conceptually, its a bit like getting ready for work each morning: selecting the outfit, shoes, bag and accessories —But the look only really comes together after that last flourish of lipstick —- It may account for just 10 per cent, but how vital and transformative that is!

https://www.banuba.com/facearsdk

We view this daily process as the forerunner of what our day brings: helping clients with fabrics, furnishings, colours and window treatments accounts for the major percentage of the many decisions they make, but waving our magic wand over the remaining 10 percent to ensure they achieve their dream interior is what we do best and the difference it makes to an interior is extraordinary.

FEELING INCOMPLETE?

Viewing a great room yet feeling that something’s missing is akin to not getting your ensemble quite right – until someone tweaks it for you and just like that, it’s “finished” and you are ecstatic!  The same holds true with design.  A room needs to be pulled together with objects that have meaning as well as pieces that bring the colour story to life such as cushions and throws, framed photos, ceramics and books.

Design Intervention Image and Pinterest

LAYER, LAYER, LAYER!

If it doesn’t feel like home, it’s not complete.  So, adding layers to a room with accessories can turn it into an exceptional space.  Fill each room with things you love as they will bring you enjoyment every time you enter a room.

I am a self-confessed maximalist and I get it that not everyone is a fan, (for who after all loves dusting), but you can surely add a little something to a bare surface.  A wonderful vase, a sculpture… or perhaps some animal print?

Fill a pretty tray with coveted glassware or use it to creatively tidy up all those bits and pieces that can often clutter up your coffee table.

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Your sofa, bed or chaise will welcome a couple of decorative cushions or a throw….Pastel coloured interior with light blue lounge chair and tie-dyed curtains

OUR MIRROR LOVE AFFAIR!

There’s a lot to love about mirrors because they add glamour, they sparkle and bounce light around a room.  Use one as an opportunity to do something amazing in your room while injecting dimension and depth.

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HAVE YOU CONSIDERED AN OTTOMAN?

It could be just the thing your living room needs as its versatility is legendary – a coffee table, extra seating, storage and it can be whisked away when it’s not needed.

Pinterest and Design Intervention Image

GOLD, SILVER AND LAMPS

Just like jewellery, go for gold but please don’t underestimate the impact of silver or a mix of both. Using a mix of metals can elevate a space and add pizzazz.  For an easy implementation of this think table lamps for that golden or silver accent…

And lamps lead me to the importance of great lighting.  From table lamps to floor lamps, statement making chandeliers and pendants, they are mood infusing and incomparable.

THAT STATEMENT PIECE!

The crowning glory could be that statement piece: a special and prized art work… a treasured rug, an inherited item of furniture or even a knife collection, check out our client’s images below! No matter what it is, it might be the very item that helps to anchor your room and provide that missing 10 percent.

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BOTANICALS

Lastly but definitely not least, greenery and fresh flowers – my all-year-round favourite room lifters, because I doubt there is a room anywhere that wouldn’t benefit from the addition of their wonderful fragrance and organic appeal.

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White Lilies remain my personally favoured floral accent. Its like heaven in a flower and just smells so good!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/317292736243548244/

 

 

September 11, 2019 0 comment
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This apartment is home to well-travelled, cosmopolitan couple approaching retirement. They wanted a home with a warm, welcoming vibe, free from ostentation that resonated with homely comfort rather than “haute design”.

A collector of art, wine and…300 custom knives!!!

The couple are avid collectors and have been building up their extensive collections for over 30 years.

When asked about their beloved art pieces the couple singled out a few pieces that required special prominence. Three large pieces by MF Hussein, one in particular was purchased, delivered and hung in complete secrecy as an anniversary gift to his wife.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       (The wife sure had a pleasant surprise!)

(Artworks are displayed in every part of the house!)

Our aim was to showcase the owner’s impeccable sense of eye for art and design, to pull together all these elements and to create a stunning family home.

A sight to impress Oenophiles everywhere. Well they say its always 6pm somewhere… it certainly here all the time!

Sporting a minimalist profile, these bronze and rimless glass doors enclose a state-of-the-art storage solutions. Combined with this broad expanse of marble-clad bar and seating, we created the ultimate inducement for entertaining and impressing the oenophile in everyone!

The singular shelving layout displays the bottles horizontally with each label facing the front, vertical LED lights creating the ambience, offering a beautiful showcase that heroes the whilst protecting it.

Upholstered barstools inject colour and a joyful counterbalance against the sleek metal and glass fascia.

There’s a first time for everything! We were amazed to know this client collects knives as well.

HANDCRAFTED KNIFE CABINET

This cabinet was handcrafted to hold these spectacular knives. A layered timber and bronze console forms the support for 6 pairs of magnetized metal bars anchored inside.

These slim bars appear to float above the console and belie the strength and security of the structure. Each bespoke knife has its own special position with this cabinet highlighting its unique character and detail.

 

This cabinet doubles as a display and a divider between the dining room and the study room.

Avid entertainers, we wanted to ensure that our client’s dining area did not disappoint. Being the home’s social hub, we have strived to ensure it is convivial and comfortable as well as beautiful.

This area is characterised by the vibrant art and display set against modern furniture pieces. Plus, those knives will be a good conversation starter!

Being frequent entertainers, we wanted to ensure that our client’s dining area did not disappoint. Being the home’s social hub, we strived to ensure it was convivial and comfortable as well as dynamic. This area is characterised by the vibrant art and display set against modern furniture pieces.

(Plus those knives will be a good conversation starter!)

 

 

When we thought we had seen it all, our client showed us another extensive collection of theirs…treasured handmade shoes!

For their ease, these shoes are to be stored at the lift lobby. Contemplating storage for this area, we elected to install cabinets at either side of the lift doors. We avoided having floor to ceiling cabinetry as it would look to heavy. Instead, we custom-made floating consoles that are designed to fit their shoe sizes.

We are very proud to have been able to integrate their collections seamlessly into their new home avoiding any showy or ostentatious display whilst still allowing total ease of function, achieving the practical requirements listed by our clients.

 

July 30, 2019 0 comment
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We took a single storey residence, home to a couple with two young kids and a dog, and made it into a pad that is worthy enough for the cast of Madmen!

With an impressive art collection that needed careful consideration and placement, this became a good starting point for the design concept. Strong cobalt blues were a dominant colour for many of the public spaces, while warm autumnal colours set the tones for others.

With a cold grey architectural palette, the house needed vibrancy and warmth. Splashes of colour were used in fabrics, rugs and customised carpentry pieces. Brushed brass was seamlessly integrated into the space in trims and light fixtures. We wanted the house to have splashes of colour and warmth, with a continuous nod to mid-century elements.

Enviably, natural light streams into the entire house and was an important influencing factor in the final colour palette,  juxtaposed with the client’s vivid art work. Bespoke and curated furniture pieces were carefully chosen. 

ENTRANCE

The entry way is a high traffic area in this bustling household, criss-crossed daily by adults, children and pets.  To add warmth the walls are papered in a custom coloured Japanese veneer wallpaper which also serves to link the area with the timber cabinetry in the rest of the house.
A bespoke hide rug in a classic Y pattern adds a layer of texture underfoot and serves as a patterned pathway that naturally leads towards the adjacent living area. The subdued sheen of brass makes its introduction in the classic light fitting adding an understated touch of luxe.

LIVING ROOM

A velvet floral sofa provides textural opulence, peach tones are fresh against the hazelnut veneers. Curved shapes, a mixture of leather, velvet, brass and glass are in total contrast. One offsets the other to achieve balance and cohesion.
Fabrics are fresh and zesty, yet durable to endure the rough and tumble associated with everyday family life.

SEAMLESS BLEND THROUGHOUT THE HOME

Cobalt blue has been chosen to link the open plan living spaces with the real hero piece a custom made bar counter.

FAMILY ROOM

What’s mid-century without palm motifs! The vibrantly patterned wallpaper is bold and dramatic and adds an artistic flair to the room. A Coltrane ceiling light in black with brass accents adds a subtle element of sophistication.

THE STUDY ROOM

This room was designed around artworks with more earthy tones. Leather, cowhides and sage green sit against pops of chartreuse. A retro print armchair acknowledges the Danish influence in the mid-century movement.
Metallic glints from the gold toned bar trolley add a touch of luxe and wood – this is so mid-century.
Romeo (the glorious German Shepherd) takes centre stage, doesn’t he perfectly blend in with the earthy tones??

THE MASTER BEDROOM

Fun coral and mustard tones set against raspberry accents make this master bedroom happy while textural materials such as faux fur and antique mirror add sophistication and contrast.

THE KIDS HALLWAY

Mid-century motifs are incorporated into a customized rug design. This 12m rug adds drama yet, injects vibrancy into a transitional  and very functional space.  Challenged by a low ceiling, clear acrylic pendant lights resolve that problem: they add interest and a pop of colour, without making the ceiling feel any lower.
The client has been delivered a home that is sophisticated yet playful and fresh, brimming with Mid-Century references.
June 24, 2019 0 comment
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I have always counted myself unbelievably fortunate to have been able to forge a career from doing what I love. Design for me is not work, it is a joy but as much as I love my job, from time to time, we all need a break and last week, I escaped for 4 days to beautiful Chiang Mai. 4 glorious days of Thai massages, great, clean , organic food, days lazing by the pool with my kindle (no design magazine in sight)- a total and complete unwind- utter bliss.

After an early morning flight, I reached the resort by 1pm and the very next morning, as I sat enjoying my breakfast amidst the lush jungle foliage, I realised that I was already in a state of total relaxation. Incredibly, in less than 24 hours, the cares of city life had all but vanished and I found myself in a calm, blissful state.

Design Intervention

How could that be possible? As I sat there, contemplating the verdant beauty that surrounded me, listening to the hum of the jungle and the sound of birds and taking in the heady fragrance of the frangipanis, I recalled similar trips to Ubud in Bali and remembered how those too induced similar feelings of serenity. What was it about these jungle escapes, that had such a powerful calming effect?

Design Intervention

As designers, we know the power our environment can have in shaping our mood and influencing how we feel. Good design should be more than just a visual creation. We experience our environment through all our senses so by working with fragrances, textures and sounds, as well as  visual stimuli, we can  create a total sensory experience to genuinely influence how we feel. And for me, this lush resort, in the midst of the Chiang Mai jungle had certainly succeeded in creating the perfect place for relaxing.

Design Intervention

So now that I am back in the office, conscious of deadlines and thinking about of my mounting to do list I am asking myself, is it possible to create a similarly calming ambience right here at home?

 

The science of serenity

In 1984, a doctor in a hospital in Pennsylvania noticed a curious pattern among patients who were recovering from surgery. Those who had rooms with a tree view were being discharged almost a day earlier, than those in otherwise identical rooms whose windows faced a wall. This observation  led to a flurry of recent research which has since proven emphatically that looking at trees has significant measurable healing effect on our bodies and mind-  Yes, scientists have proven that the simple tree can ease blood pressure , slow pulse rate, calm breathing and loosen muscles -in other words plants helps us relax. Indeed, clinical  studies have proven that people living in green areas have lower rates of cardio vascular, respiratory disease and stroke.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/50947039508394672/

The Japanese have longed practiced Shirin-yoku, taking in the forest atmosphere or “forest bathing,” to alleviate stress,  fatigue, and feelings of depression or aggression. Experiments conducted in Japan found that either walking in the woods or even stationary viewing of  trees reduces levels of the stress hormone ,cortisol. Cortisol reduction and calming our metabolic rates can actually bolster the immune system. The science of forest medicine encourages breathing in the woodsy air because plants emit phytoncides, gasses that ward off rot and attack from bacteria, fungi, and insects. More than 5,000 of these compounds are recognized and such compounds have been used in traditional medicine for centuries to boost the immune system and now science is proving the herbalists right.

But it is not just about these chemicals, natural images have a particular structure : they are “scale invariant,” meaning that no matter how much you enlarge them they contain the same amount of detail. Such images are easy for our brains to process. In contrast, unnatural images are scale variant, and the greater the variance, the more uncomfortable we find an image.

http://www.allfinweb.com/gallery/traffic-crowd-people.html

Unnatural images, are measurably more uncomfortable to look at than natural ones and require larger oxygen intake in the brain and requires more brain energy. In other words, constantly looking at unnatural images is physically draining.

 

Creating calm environments at home.

The good news is that we can employ some of these scientific findings in our designs to create environments that promote relaxation. If we are lucky enough to live in a home with a garden , then positioning a seating arrangement to optimise a verdant view would be an easy design tactic.

Design Intervention

But for many city dwellers, that is not an accessible luxury. Luckily, research shows that simply incorporating house plants into our rooms or even pictures of trees into our designs can help lower our metabolism and alleviate stress.

Design Intervention

That’s why in many public buildings like hospitals, designers incorporate murals of natural images into the interior design.

Design Intervention

These inexpensive design elements, not only look great but can genuinely improve our health at the same time.

Design Intervention

And ultimately that is the true purpose of design- the creation of built environments that make us feel good and improve our wellbeing.

 

 

May 6, 2019 0 comment
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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/155303887163036450/

We use the word “trend” a great deal these days and guaranteed to draw our attention is the catch phrase “trending now”.   However, I find it odd to apply this to a creative process that is almost as old as time which has crept back into the world of design and is still “trending”.   And….. as you may have guessed, I refer to the watercolour trend!

Design Intervention

So why does this trend work so well and why has it endured?  It’s probably because its brush strokes are familiar – it feels nostalgic and pleasant since it depicts nature and familiar surroundings.  The timelessness of watercolours brings gorgeous accents into our interiors with watercolour prints to suit both vintage décor and modern interiors. Colour is an integral part of our everyday lives and our interiors at Design Intervention attest to that.

Design Intervention https://www.pinterest.com/pin/411797959661899588/

The watercolour trend really began some years ago with the ombre style of watercolour which works perfectly on window treatments, where it is shown to best effect and on bed linen and napery.  It can really open up a room and being such a flattering colour scheme in any space, it’s application is endless.

Design Intervention

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As a painted finish, the ombre technique is fabulous on walls where it uniquely reflects an individual’s personality and taste. The end result can dramatically influence a room and is relatively inexpensive to achieve. Additionally, as you will be fading the paintwork out, you can opt for rich, daringly dark colour tones when you use this style, so you can afford to live dangerously!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/36028865754115490/

Painting a wall or a room in the watercolour style is a great way to include it in your home.  There are endless colour schemes which will work wonderfully, plus there is something in the fluidity and lightness of the colours bleeding together that create dimension and depth.

Design Intervention

I love the artistic feel of dark moody blues and blotchy inky tones, especially those that look like a blot of paint spread over the page!  Aside from blue, deep greens, greys and black work superbly and the watercolour effect helps to soften the colour scheme.   While this tonal palette might suggest a masculine vibe, it wouldn’t require much tweaking to achieve a unisex feel.  The shading and combination of colour tones can be amazing and result in a piece of contemporary art with an ethereal vibe.

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Of course, if murky hued colours are not your thing, you can unleash the artist in you and plunge into something colourful and abstract instead! A client of ours did this in her home, where a watercolour was transposed onto a customised kitchen backsplash and we all loved the end result.

Design Intervention

Design Intervention

I am sure we have at some time visited art galleries and viewed art works so vivid and realistic which drew us into the scene.  When space is not at a premium, a mural is an enviable option which can deliver the same effect, injecting a shot of atmosphere that transports you to another place or another time. Especially in bedrooms where soft waves of colour similar to the hues of sand and sea create a calming and reflective mood.

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It is impossible to discuss watercolours without mentioning flowers, as their depiction in this traditional medium gives them a sense of movement and freedom as no other.  Flowers are currently famously on trend in both interior design and fashion and bloom happily as well on china and linens.   The soft and subtle floral watercolours on wallpapers and fabrics evoke Monet’s beautiful art works and their soft, harmonious colours which echo nature.

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As with all design trends, if you can’t bring yourself to leap in, save yourself the angst and add an accent in the form of a painting or fabric on the back of a dining chair – even a small hint can make a difference and requires very little effort! Embrace your inner artist!

Design Intervention

 

April 12, 2019 0 comment
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The new year’s crop of design magazines and blogs are full of articles declaring a new age of opulence, a resurgence of colour, or a re-discovery of Maximalism, and this self-confessed maximalist aesthete could not be happier!

At Design Intervention, we have been championing this Modern Maximalist Style for a few years now. But 2019, is seeing the Maximalist look becoming mainstream. Even Ikea (yes the purveyors of stream lined Scandinavian lines) has launched a new collection with distinct Maximalist leanings. And quite frankly, after well over two decades of clean lines and neutral palettes, a change is long overdue.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

So what exactly is this New Maximalism?

This design style mixes eras, patterns, textures and materials, incorporates elaborate detailing and showcases treasured artefacts. These interiors are multi-layered, delivering a dynamic and multifaceted environment that is uplifting, revitalising, empowering and always utterly unique.

Design Intervention - Modern Maximalism

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

The Minimalist interior has dominated the design landscape since the mid 1990s, and the New Maximalism could not be more different.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

Minimalist interiors imbue serenity, Maximalist ones radiate energy.

Minimalist interiors embrace simplicity, Maximalist delight in unexpected elements. Minimalist rooms are understated, Maximalist ones are luxurious. Minimalist interiors include only what is functional, Maximalist ones are filled with details and embellishment.

Where Minimalists celebrate the uncomplicated, Maximalists celebrate life with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies. Minimalists follow the less is more mantra, while Maximalists espouse if it makes you smile, it can’t be wrong.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

But there is one important  similarity and it may astound you…

Everyone knows that Minimalists are all about removing clutter. It may surprise you to learn that decluttering is essential for a chic maximalist interior too.

Maximalism is not chaos, it is a result of deliberately curated choices.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

The great Artist Joan Miro once said:

 The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness

– and there could not be more perfect a guideline for the would be maximalist. With Minimalism there is a distinct aesthetic and clear, easy to follow rules. Maximalism embraces everything, all eras, all colours, patterns and textures- and that can be a little daunting.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalist

1. COLOUR

One of the easiest ways to bring energy to a room is with colour. The Minimalist look was about neutrals. Maximalism, is about all colours, in any combination. There is no right or wrong. Just pick a colour or colours you love. If your choice is a mix of bold colours, make sure you incorporate some neutral elements to add balance.

2. PATTERN

Either through rugs, upholstery or wallpaper or a combination of all three! Experiment with layering patterns of different scales… Ensure, sufficient negative space, so your eye has a place to rest.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

3. TEXTURE

Combining different texture can take Maximalism to the next level. Metallic elements, sumptuous velvets, feather trims and tassels can all be combined to bring a visual and tactile diversity.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

4. SYMMETRY

With so much visual stimuli, symmetry will keep the room looking balanced and allow you to add multiple layers and yet still retain a harmonious feel…

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

5. A COHESIVE ELEMENT

It is important to retain a link, or visual thread that runs throughout the scheme so the interiors  feel connected even with a mix of colours, patterns and textures. This could be a colour, or a motif.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

And finally, and perhaps most importantly

6. RESTRAINT

At Design Intervention our mantra is “just because we can, doesn’t mean we should”.

Successful Maximalist Style is a meticulous balancing act. These rooms can be bright, bold and mismatched yet each element is carefully curated to achieve a style that inspires and revitalizes rather than overpowers.

Design Intervention – Modern Maximalism

 

March 11, 2019 0 comment
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Valentine’s Day is almost here; hearts abound on greeting cards and even on the occasional piece of furniture, which got me thinking of all the things and people we LOVE!

Bouquets of red roses, tempting boxes of chocolate, cakes and heart shaped Verner Parton chairs are visual markers so we remember to acknowledge that special someone – as blotting our copy book would have serious repercussions!

This most romantic day of the year centres around LOVE, but if you lack a significant other to fete, that should not preclude you “loving” many other things instead!

Take colour for example.  Nikki and I LOVE colour and our project portfolio online showcases this in abundance. This year we have been drenched by the colour coral, but, having just celebrated Chinese New Year and with Valentine’s Day just days away, red is all around us.

Design Intervention

I personally lean towards darker, richer and moodier tones.  The tempting hues of rich reds, plum, mulberry, purples and burgundy are punchier, deep and sexy and decidedly more appealing.

https://www.behance.net/gallery/3666893/MaxAlto-Collaboration-with-Lukas-Machnik

Design Intervention

Those who know me well are aware of my penchant for black and white, not forgetting my passion and love for all things zebra……  no home of mine is ever complete without a touch of this added to the interior. This gorgeous bar is the perfect setting to make that special pre-dinner cocktail for my special someone! Love potion coming right up!

Design Intervention

Happily, black never goes out of fashion, so expect it to feature strongly in design this year.  However, by way of a difference, think HIGH GLOSS black instead – making a statement in homewares and interiors in a myriad uses – lighting, kitchens, decorative objects and furniture. Paired with other colours it grounds the spaces and makes colours pop!

Valentine’s Day may deliver a gift of serious bling and who amongst us would say no to a touch of glitz and glamour?  We are seeing glitz in interiors too this year, as gold is back in a big way. Check out this romantic gilded sleigh bed, I’m sure many of us would welcome our macdreamy into this space!

Maximalist Modern, Design Intervention

And… this his and hers bathroom is sure to ensure marital bliss because there is NO fighting over the toothpaste tube in this space!

Design Intervention

Should you be feeling a little risqué, then this Burlesque-inspired dressing room will be sure to elevate your mood!

The Bachelorette Pad, Design Intervention

Love is a wonderful thing and don’t we have a lot to love!  We are spoilt for choice as we have a mind boggling menu from which to choose and our collective appetite shows no signs of diminishing.  Running parallel to our enviable list of ‘must haves’ is an ever growing list of ‘lust haves’ which keep us yearning for more….

With that in mind, I am taking this opportunity to toast you in advance, so – Happy Valentine’s and may it be memorable in every way!

February 14, 2019 0 comment
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