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Andrea’s Musing

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I wake up every morning and think: coffee is a wonderful, wonderful thing! No matter where we live, or where we are from, we have a major obsession with coffee which unites us all.

Coffee has become the one affordable daily luxury we all have to have and for some, it may be as essential as oxygen.  It may be the first thing we think about in the morning, as that toasty, nutty aroma and bitter-sweet taste is truly hard to beat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have our favourite cafe where possibly, the barista knows us by name and knows our order by heart and we blog about our daily coffee drinking rituals.

While sipping my breakfast latte and savouring its mellow flavour, my senses honed by caffeine, I focused on the lovely warm brown of my beverage which got me thinking about colour palettes.

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We have had a protracted love affair with grey tones which still remain popular, but we welcome the return of other neutrals like browns, whites and taupes. In the same way that the brown brew in my cup offers me comfort and aids relaxation, a colour scheme incorporating brown tones ranging from latte to espresso can achieve the same effect!

Design Intervention

Latte as a colour can be the perfect neutral,  It co-ordinates with any colour or design style.

Design Intervention https://www.pinterest.com/pin/566679565596889129/

This is the perfect background colour for displaying ethnic art

Design Intervention https://www.pinterest.com/pin/582019951815829758/

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Red and black are great accent colours to accessorize with.

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Wall finishes such as grasscloth provide an optional neutral backdrop if you don’t favour paint, plus it adds a layer of texture.

Design Intervention

It is very versatile and will complement the tropical look….

Or, it can deliver sophistication when set against glossy metallic and reflective surfaces like glass and mirrors.

Design Intervention

It works brilliantly with finishes such as wood and stone to deliver a rugged, masculine look.

Design Intervention

I bet you won’t look at a latte the same way again!   It is my go-to coffee on any given day but now that I am rushing about as the countdown to Christmas has begun and I have a mountain of tasks to tick off my list, I rather think my daily latte will have to be boosted with a shot of ristretto now and then – just to get me through the day! Signing off till next time……

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/566327721874806703/

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 26, 2018 0 comment
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While recently pondering the floor plan for my new home, it got me thinking about “the sideboard” that multifunctional piece that was a thing of beauty, the staple item of furniture that graced every sitting or dining room and housed your family’s best china, glass and displayed prized pieces to advantage? It was a feature of every home and certainly mine when I was growing up, but somehow when sitting and dining rooms morphed into living rooms and family rooms, it became redundant and found its way into second hand furniture shops and ended up stored and forgotten in some dim recess.

http://www.davintdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/1_Vodder-Arne-Sibast-Møbler-pre-triennale-sideboard.jpg http://www.davintdesign.com/obchod/archive/four-sliding-door-sideboard-by-a-vodder-cz201580/ https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/identifying-sheraton-style-furniture-148789

But here’s the thing, it has made a huge comeback!  And all because of our enduring love of all things art deco, retro, glam, modern and vintage which have really blossomed in the last few years. Check out some of these images of the coolest sideboards around!

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After years of viewing minimalist interiors, retro elements have found their way back into furniture design, wallpapers, paint colours and let’s not forget the fashion industry. We have embraced the re-introduction of the characteristic mellow wood tones in furniture and the plethora of colour choices on walls, upholstery and soft furnishings and incorporated them into the everyday.  Who could have foreseen its gleeful and global comeback in the 21st century?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/440860250995007934/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/440860250995007934/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/5277724533699398/ https://answear.com/blog/najmodniejsze-torebki-na-wiosne-i-lato-2018/18858

There’s something about the décor from the 60s and 70s that we obviously love!  Undoubtedly, good design leads the field and is most apparent in furniture whose lines are classic and timeless, which is why they fit seamlessly into contemporary interiors.

A sideboard is perhaps one of the most distinctive items of furniture and there is an eclectic mix of old styles with new.  If you are on the hunt for one, you will be spoilt for choice depending on whether you want an original piece or a fabulous contemporary remake.  Either way, there is a kaleidoscope of many designs, colours and shapes which shout look at me!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/302515299957067178/ https://deapalmbeach.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/amazing-kelly-wearstler-residential-painted-sideboard-of-kelly-wearstler-interiors-of-kelly-wearstler-interiors.png http://essentialhome.eu/inspirations/products/sideboards/mid-century-sideboards-must-have-interior-design-lover/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AVdoIHFfqvPf-rHxIC6KjWBKI4jTlUoY7uifzFCiE4VKJwTNbZEhnrM/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/302515299968597438/

I am totally convinced that they are one of the most useful pieces’ around, they can tuck into low slung places, that odd bare corner and provide the perfect combo storage solution. Think outside the box and set your TV on top of it or just use it to create a beautiful vignette. Why opt for boring filing cabinets when a sideboard can be modified to house files and folders. They truly are the workhorse of a house and my floor plan will have to be reworked to incorporate one for sure!

November 5, 2018 0 comment
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Metal is HOT, HOT, HOT!  The popularity of this trend in design and interiors has helped to push it into the spotlight and it appears everywhere – on kitchen bench-tops and back splashes, staircases, railings and ceilings and everywhere in between.  The diversity of metal ensures it harmonizes with a variety of styles from industrial and contemporary, to plush and glamourous.  Visually, it spells style and luxury and delivers a refined and polished look.

These are two of my favourite images. The green and copper kitchen – Cameron Diaz no less!

Cameron Diaz’s Manhattan Kitchen

The staircase railing- uber cool!

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You do need to consider your colour palette when you are choosing metallic accents to decorate your space.  For some interiors, cool metals like chrome and silver pair well with blues, turquoise and violet but this palette can also work with warmer metals like copper and brass. It depends what look you want to achieve. This project of ours results in the ultimate mix, brass and chrome together!

Maximalist Modern Kitchen by Design Intervention (mood board images link below)

If you are just starting out, accessories are the easiest way to add metallic style to your surrounds via the use of items like candle holders, vases and vintage mirrors, because when chosen with care and displayed to advantage, these accents can prove eye catching.  However, because of their reflective quality and impact in a space, a little can go a long way.

A great way to add metallic zing to a room is through the use of furniture as this can introduce a paired back contemporary vibe or add a sense of nostalgia, depending on the finish.  Contemporary may be considered by some to be rather cold and minimalist but metals such as gold and brass will add warmth without detracting from the contemporary aesthetic.

Design Intervention Projects

Neutral rooms in grey (still up there in the popularity stakes), are perfect for using metallic accents as these add depth, warmth, texture and colour and in this instance, you can break the rule which says you can’t mix your metals in home décor.  Mixing metals is currently so on trend, especially as it delivers depth and character to a space.

Serene Style by Design Intervention

How about using an upholstery or curtaining fabric with metallic accents in your living area?  There are myriad designs to choose from and I particularly love a window treatment with a fall of a length of curtaining and the subtle gleam of metal where it catches the light.

Or, cushions and pillows in accents of gold or copper?

Who wouldn’t be drawn to the luxe comfort of a gleaming metal bed?  For me, it would act like a magnet following a busy day at work……

http://wylielauderhouse.com/kelly-wearstler-bedroom.html

And let’s not forget flooring, with metal worked into tiles or carpet providing strands of light, it can result in a dramatic affect for any interior.

We all spend hours in our kitchens.  Have you considered a metal backsplash as this works wonderfully when combined with suitable cabinetry, or metal cabinets instead…?

World’s Best Kitchen by Design Intervention

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/46936021091012339/

Stainless steel is the common thread in nearly every kitchen and it facilitates the introduction of other metal accents in this space.   What about a copper hood and range, a much coveted item, or a row of copper pots if that breaks the bank, or a copper light!

Don’t like the super polished look of metal?  Don’t despair!  Metals come in an amazing array of textures and there is no shortage of finishes – satin, dry brushed, matte, painted and powder coated.  The versatility of metal allows us to work the same type of metal in different ways, resulting in very different finishes.  Matte, brushed and polished steel are distinct from one another and their differences impact how they catch and reflect light with quite dramatic results.

Metal is ancient and enduring; our love affair with metallics has reached new heights as technology offers us limitless opportunities to transform it into whatever we wish.  When it comes to our homes, it becomes subjective – we may covet it or hate it, but either way, with a few guidelines, any one can nail a metallic themed interior.  So if you have been dithering about decorating with metal, take that leap and I give you a cast iron guarantee that you will award yourself a gold star!

Links:

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August 17, 2018 0 comment
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Waiter!  May I please have a Pina Colada?

Undoubtedly, the perfect cocktail to enjoy while we lounge in this heavenly oasis. An easy, breezy, sure fire escape route into the world of design suggesting unlimited possibilities.  For me, this cliff-hanging dream bed is guaranteed to foster this experience, how can one’s mind not drift towards all things design when lounging here…

https://www.alilahotels.com/uluwatu

Powder Room moment please! These compact powder rooms call to mind tempting morsels dished up in jewel colours.

Design Intervention images

With technology flowing into our bathrooms, I am craving the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror by Kohler, where voice commands operate the light in the bathroom to perfection, delivering the ultimate light in which to apply your make-up.   LOVE that!

https://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/feature-cool-gadgets-and-sightings-ces-2018

 

Moving on from bite-sized and on to the mains, I am indulging myself by showcasing some of our very own award-winning projects and incorporating my favourites among them.

Design Intervention image

Design Intervention image

Design Intervention image

Design Intervention image

Added to the mix are some of my most revered designers.  Kelly Wearstler being one, as she delivers amazing iconic interiors, and by contrast, Ralph Lauren who notwithstanding the passage of time, remains timeless, relevant and inspirational.

Images 1-3 in clockwise from Kelly Wearstler and Ralph Lauren. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/451908143853151420/

 

Because I have a sweet tooth and I am a self-confessed chocoholic, I never forego dessert, as its consumption is my guilty pleasure!  But having indulged, I can think of nothing better than to lay my head on a down-filled pillow and float away to dream of other food sensations.  And what better pillow than one in “The Whitby Hotel” in New York, a newly discovered hotel which has me drooling over its amazing interior and fabulous bedrooms. I’m working on a plan to score a stay in the not too distant future as I know this would be very sweet indeed!

The Whitby Hotel, New York

The Whitby Hotel, New York

The Whitby Hotel, New York

The Whitby Hotel, New York

May 30, 2018 0 comment
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There is no doubt that choosing carpet for your home can be a daunting task.  Not only are you spoilt for choice, but there is a myriad variety of carpets and rugs to choose from. During your search you will end up with your head buzzing with the many choices and most likely end up back too square one!  So, let us help you unravel this tangle…….

Design Intervention rugs

It’s a no brainer that carpet has a big impact in a room and if chosen judiciously, can elevate any space.  The addition of a gorgeously hued rug – whether it is patterned or textured – is a wonderful way to add warmth and character to your space, as patterns and tones can be mixed and matched to deliver a unique look to your interior.  Moreover, it may be the very item that injects that ‘finished’ detail that was previously lacking.

Design Intervention image

Let’s begin in your entrance hall where a carefully chosen rug can look welcoming as well as set the tone for what is to come.  Aside from the pattern and texture, it is a great way to trap street dirt from tracking further into your home.  As this is a high traffic area, cotton and wool rugs are the best option as they are easily cleaned at home.

https://blueandwhitehome.blog/2018/01/08/blue-and-white-foyers/

Moving into your living room, there are many factors to consider.  Most importantly, what look are you hoping to achieve – formal or informal? Traditional or contemporary?  Here you face a vast choice of carpet style depending on whether this is a much or little used space.

Elle Decor

Elle Decor, Architectural Digest

Bearing in mind that a good rug is the anchor for any room’s decorative scheme, an unwise choice will not deliver the result you are hoping for.  If you have an open floor plan and need to carve up the space into separate zones, you can use rugs to add visual definition to the room but should your room be larger than average, you may consider a couple of area rugs with your furniture arranged into separate conversation areas on each.

http://www.contemporaryrugs.eu/smashing-living-room-rugs-architectural-digest/

A simple rug in a limited colour palette that reflects one or two of the main colours used in the design will not compete with other existing patterns and colours in the room as shown in the photograph below.  Remember that dark colours make objects appear smaller and light colours make objects or spaces appear larger, so if your space is small, consider using a light coloured rug to achieve a more expansive look.

Design Intervention image

If the look you want is serene and tranquil, select muted colours and tones from the same colour palette as similarly, monochromatic colour schemes in light tones are classically soothing.

Design Intervention image

Depending on your budget, you might consider purchasing a rug made of sisal or jute (as these are often kinder to your hip pocket) and layering them with a patterned or tribal rug.  As tribal rugs are rooted in tradition and have been in existence for centuries, their designs and colours provide instant contrast and texture.  Loved for their organic look and being made of natural fibres, sisal and jute are very hardwearing and give a casual vibe.  Conversely, a healthier pocket may lead you to consider a carpet with a deep pile such as shag, which has a plush softness and texture.

Elle Decor

However, more important than all of the above is the size of carpet for this area, as acquiring a rug that is too small for the space is the most common decorating mistake.  The rug sets the ground for what rests on it, so rugs that exceed the edges of the furniture can make a room appear larger but a small rug makes everything else look out of scale.  Ideally, all the legs of your major upholstered pieces should sit on the rug, but should this not be possible, ensure that at least the front legs of the furniture are resting on it.

Design Intervention image, http://nestingwithgrace.com/pick-right-size-rug/

Design Intervention image

As with the living area, there is a simple rule governing dining rooms and here the rug should be large enough to have all 4 legs of a chair on it even when it’s pulled away from the table.  As spills are inevitable in this room, carpets will require more cleaning and maintenance so flat weave, low pile rugs or hides are a practical choice.

http://hello.sukio.com/tagged/dining-space

If you shy away from blocks of colour, you might prefer to choose a theme – Moroccan being currently a favourite – as its intricate designs and warm tones are impactful and have visual appeal.  As current trends favour neutrals in earthy hues including grey, remember that neutrals don’t have to be boring as you can opt for texture to provide depth and character.

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/color-texture-size-choosing-the-right-rug-201629

Neither do rugs have to be rectangular as there is a plethora of shapes to tempt you.  Have you considered a round rug to soften a space?

Design Intervention image

Or a hide to use as an accent piece as these are particularly useful in areas that benefit from a more masculine vibe.  Woven hides are particularly luxurious to look at and very hard wearing.

Elle Decor

Choosing a carpet is akin to wandering round a lolly shop – you have lots to drool over and tempt you into purchasing!  But, why stop at one?  Like lollies, carpets are a feast for the senses and you should indulge yourself without feeling guilty, for who knows – your indulgence might one day lead you to find your magic carpet!

March 22, 2018 0 comment
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With the approach of Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day and of course given its our corporate colour of choice I thought it would be most fitting to talk about the colour Red!

Left – http://colorpalettes.net/color-palette-3185 Right – Design Intervention logo

Of all the colours in the spectrum, red instantly demands our attention.  We see it most often on signage where the red font or graphics warn us of danger.  It is decidedly not everyone’s colour of choice; in fact, some of us shy away from it and some of us would never contemplate wearing it and would feel uncomfortable living with it. Personally I love the colour red, I love how it energizes and invigorates. Yes, red is definitely not for the faint hearted as it packs a punch!

We traditionally associate red as the colour of love and passion and spend lavishly on red roses for that special someone on Valentine’s Day.  Theatre seats are invariably red velvet, which adds that dash of opulence and heightens the atmosphere, feeding our sense of drama.  Red heightens our senses, because it can energise and invigorate us, and a little can go a long way…

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/473722454534564981/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/84864774211337026/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/Ack758-VfgcVknTH0W03GTkdDtjdQ4_obT8HsJ8A3qi-By_45SVEe1w/

One of the difficulties in using red in domestic spaces, is its tendency to be overpowering.  It instantly draws attention to itself.  Bearing this in mind, it is important to know where, when and how to incorporate this bold and dynamic colour to best effect in interior design. For example, I love this kitchen – it’s the perfect shade of paprika, balanced by the black hood and range. Neither one fights the other and only serves to compliment. Or do the reverse and just opt for a red hob, a stand out element all on its own. Another alternative, make the cabinetry the wow factor, opt for chilli red and pare down the rest of the interior.

http://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/colors/g1226/red-kitchens/?slide=3 https://www.pinterest.com/pin/365987907211311411/

Design Intervention image

Red is timeless – and it can feel rustic, traditional or contemporary – depending on the shade and application, so it has a myriad of uses in residential interiors.  If you are feeling bold, it can deliver a stunning effect on living room walls.

http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/room-ideas/advice/g3185/red-walls/?slide=13

A dining room, if mostly used at night, offers dramatic possibilities with a generous use of red on lacquered walls or sumptuous red velvet curtains at the windows.

http://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/colors/g595/shades-of-red/?slide=11

If however, you are not up for a challenge, red is the ideal accent colour, so you can test the waters by using it in small spaces, such as a guest bathroom or an eye-catching bright red front door! After all the Chinese believe that a red door welcomes good fortune into the house.

https://www.houzz.com.sg/photo/1932772-chatsworth-modern-entrance-perth

It can add warmth to a colour scheme of cool blue and white by way of accessories such as cushions, throws and lamp bases or as a special item of furniture – a leather armchair or occasional chair.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/643522234225565027/

Design Intervention image

However, red is a hue that can evoke a number of strong emotions, so use it judiciously in a bedroom as it can be overwhelming in the room that should traditionally be restful and calming and offer tranquility.

Design Intervention image

https://www.pufikhomes.com/en/2017/06/velikolepnaya-villa-palatina-na-ozere-komo/

Through the ages, red lipstick has symbolized glamour and vitality and is a confidence statement that never goes out of style.  Come to think of it, neither does a fabulous pair of red shoes!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/241435230001050212/ https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cc/46/27/cc4627d439dfe459a1d420893e21e9aa.jpg https://www.pinterest.com/pin/87749892716916750/

Of course, we cannot overlook the fact that red is a revered colour in many cultures.  To the Chinese, it represents luck, good fortune and joy and is the colour of happiness.  To Hindus, it symbolizes happiness and is therefore used to garb a bride at her wedding.

So on this note, I’m going to end this blog here and in keeping with the Chinese culture wishing you Gong Xi Fa Cai and may the Year of the Dog bring you much prosperity, luck and happiness. Woof Woof 🙂

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February 8, 2018 0 comment
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I never thought I would find inspiration in a mundane household necessity, but my LG Signature Washing Machine is certainly an exception. Designed to resemble the moon, it reminded me of our global fascination with the glories of the night sky. Its inherent mysticism has translated down the ages into celestial motifs being incorporated in tangible forms in our daily lives.  While design trends ebb and vane with the seasons, our fascination with space is currently back with a vengeance as the primary source of inspiration.  Blending earthy items with heavenly themes, star, moon and sun motifs are centre stage – sparkling brightly on designer gowns to upholstery fabrics, lighting and wallpaper.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/566961040574247424/

https://www.accessoriesmagazine.com/157969/trend-finder-celestial-4

http://www.designintervention.com.sg/

It’s well known that as designers we are often inspired by the world that surrounds us; the lush greenery of trees and the colourful perfection of a single flower. These tangible things are there for the taking and easily accessible, but when we look beyond the every day and the familiar and lift our eyes to the sky, we realise we are gazing at the unknown and the intangible – a mysterious universe that exerts an enduring magnetism for us mere mortals.

As a result, the magic of the universe imbues the bedrooms of children and adults alike with its twinkling galaxy-themed bed linen and night lights.  Celestially themed wallpapers and decals transport you to a heavenly world far away, peppered with limitless twinkling stars, such as this recent wallpaper designed by Matthew Williamson.

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In August this year, the world watched the footage of the awesome total eclipse of the sun, visible only in the USA and of course, fans of “Star Wars” are anticipating the December release of the forthcoming film “The Last Jedi”.

http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/diamond-ring-total-eclipse-gty-jt-170816_v4x3_31x13_992.jpg

We all know the sky is the limit, but it clearly is a source of inspiration when it comes to interior design. Lunar style offers plenty of options with chandeliers that play tribute to the celestial theme, from pendants resembling space travel to light fittings shaped like Mother Earth and glass or metallic orbs suspended in dreamy clusters.

https://www.designintervention.com.sg/

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/58406126400122685/?autologin=true

https://www.designintervention.com.sg/

Dish up a heavenly treat with serving dishes and specially themed table linen……go a step further and serve this moonlight themed wine especially created for all the celestial events in 2017 or even a mooncake.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/26740191518129399/
http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/news/a42895/moon-wine/

If enveloping your home in a heavenly theme is not for you, you can still opt for a dash of celestial magic in the form of cushions, throws, door hardware and artworks from the vast array of specially designed accessories at very affordable prices.

https://images.anthropologie.com/is/image/Anthropologie/40797045_020_b?$a15-pdp-detail-shot$&hei=900&fit=constrain
https://www.treniq.com/products/moonlight-wall-lamp
http://brooksbankcollins.com/boullee-table

http://www.designintervention.com.sg/

You can look up at the heavens, yet have the celestial world at your feet if you invest in this awesome rug!

https://www.connox.com/m/100030/180020/media/Nanimarquina/Luna/Luna-Teppich-frei.jpg

There’s a huge palette you can choose from to make your home more heavenly yet simultaneously bright and serene.  But whether you go for simple accents or a total change, it will have you looking at the sky in a whole new way.

November 10, 2017 0 comment
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Gold-Number-8

 

The 08:08 what better day to write a blog about 8 of my favourite things and to celebrate Singapore National Day at the same time!

It also led me to contemplate the significance of the number 8 and its importance in Chinese culture.  Eight is a symbol of prosperity, power, and unending abundance but most importantly, it’s fluid lines evoke infinity – a harmonious form with no beginning or ending. Making Number 8 one of my 8 favourite things to share with you in this blog.

Harmony is what we strive for in our everyday lives: seeking a balance between work and play; applying it to our relationships; planning harmonious environments both in the office and the special places we call home and in so doing, we sub-consciously look for those elements we believe will help create that hopefully seamless world.

Surrounded daily, by beautiful things in a job I adore, let me share seven more things I have come across recently that I love, love, love…

THE PHANTOM

Heading my list is undoubtedly PHANTOM – the best sound system in the world.  What can I say?  Strolling through ION Orchard the other day, I was stopped in my tracks. No description could ever do it justice, so go experience it first hand and I bet it will go to the top of your wish list, as it has with mine!

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Devialet – Ion Orchard *Photo Credit: Devialet

RUBY RED 

 I love colour and I am partial to jewel tones for their warmth and depth in interiors.  Deep reds and a glass of claret are a match made in heaven!

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PURITY-WHITE

You cannot go past white to create harmony, white walls are often underestimated in an interior and are considered boring and unfinished. How wrong they are, visit my previous blog “Is White even a colour?” to read more https://www.designintervention.com.sg/2017/06/09/is-white-even-a-colour/

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POLKA DOTS

I recently experienced the incredible vision of Yayoi Kusuma whose mirrored installations are show stopping.  Famously known for the polka dots which are a trademark of her work and are found in collections around the world, in her words, “Polka dots become movement…..polka dots are a way to infinity”.

Andrea and Cameron Richards

Andrea and Cameron Richards

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BLACK AND WHITE

I am a confessed addict, all my friends tease me that I can’t go past black and white with Zebra as an animal print I can’t get enough of. I love its stark crisp contrast, the way it compliments, yet one does not fight the other. It’s truly Ying and Yang. An unsurpassed combination in both fashion and interiors.

DI5_5254

Design Intervention

LEATHER

I spied this gorgeous Michael Kors Leather …..ooh!    Leather – another versatile material we have made our own and can’t live without.  How about this drop dead leather armchair for your study??

Design Intervention https://www.pinterest.com/pin/335870084696579572/

Design Intervention
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/335870084696579572/

VELVET

The sensuous and tactile quality of velvet – another classic which endures and is currently enjoying a welcome revival both in the high street and in our homes. You cant go past the sumptuous feel of a Velvet Sofa…

DI5_0153A

Design Intervention

It evokes cravings for the velvet texture of great ice cream and another all-time favourite …… cheesecake anyone?

Andrea

August 10, 2017 0 comment
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We often joke that there are two givens in life and these are birth and death.  However, looking beyond those goal posts, I thought: there is something else we all share and have done so since time immemorial, and that is our ongoing love affair with flowers and all things floral.

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477874210436161928/

Flowers have no practical purpose but we nonetheless adore them and spend vast sums of money to surround ourselves with them, just because we think they are beautiful!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/521502831829922965/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/521502831829922965/

Floral patterns have appeared in decorative arts through the ages and artists from across the globe have interpreted and copied flowers, bouquets, and gardens in ceramic, glass, textiles and jewelry.  Traditionally representing the feminine side of nature, they speak their own language; red roses convey love, daisies represent innocence and, though in today’s world, their many symbolic meanings are now lost, there is no doubt that flowers are still able to tell a visual story.

http://artistsinspireartists.com/painting/paintings-flowers-flower-art

August Macke (1887 – 1914) http://artistsinspireartists.com/painting/paintings-flowers-flower-art

Despite their perennial appeal, floral designs are considered very traditional and English and evoke images of frilly and chintzy interiors.  We are all familiar with English florals both in interior design and fashion and an example of this is chintz which made many British brands famous. In fact, the iconic small scale liberty prints and floral collections by Laura Ashley still enjoy immense popularity today.  However, younger designers are shaking off that image and making floral patterns cool again!

Design Intervention

Design Intervention

Contemporary takes on the use of florals have resulted in one of the year’s hottest trends: reinvented floral patterns.  There is a nod to nostalgia, but the designs are youthful and more playful, resulting in a looser image of the term floral, as it now encompasses fruit, foliage and even a geometric interpretation of a flower.

Design Intervention https://www.feathr.com/shop/product/fabrics/english-rose-cotton-fabric-midnight

Design Intervention

While we might like floral patterns, they can be quite tricky to implement, resulting in interiors that are overdone or ultra feminine.  To help you navigate this potential minefield and avoid recreating something resembling your great grandma’s house, here are some interior design tips that may help….

First and foremost, it is pointless to consider florals if you truly do not like them!  But, if you do and wish to incorporate them into your home, choose something you feel comfortable with.  Florals can be big and blowsy or small and delicate and will give a different look and feel to a room. Chinoiserie dating back to the 18th century is so hip and cool one of my personal favourites. Try florals on a silk wallpaper or on a bespoke rug.

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Design Intervention

Dragon Rug by Design Intervention

Dragon Rug by Design Intervention

If you want to avoid an ultra-feminine look, you can opt for patterns that are more abstract in shape rather than intricately detailed floral motifs, or you can choose leaves instead of blooms.  There are endless options, with palms and pineapples being just two examples which are enjoying immense popularity in today’s contemporary interiors.

Design Intervention https://www.pinterest.com/pin/542191242622992137/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/814447913833583941/

Design Intervention
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/542191242622992137/

Of course, the ultimate goal is to balance the masculine and feminine elements in a home, so black and white patterns can be a good option as they deliver a masculinity to flowers which are essentially feminine and this also holds true for patterns in gender-neutral hues such as browns, greens, and blues.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/219832025544849733/ https://www.pinterest.com/pin/105623553740384728/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/219832025544849733/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/105623553740384728/

If you are still hesitant about flowers climbing your walls, try a floral inspired staircase or accessorise with floral prints on cushions, layered with solid colours and patterns which will prevent the florals from appearing overly feminine.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/345510602651186380/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/345510602651186380/

Grange

Design Intervention

There is a recurring fusion of fashion with interiors and never more so than right now.  Floral fabrics are currently hot – flowers have burst into bloom on chic designer wear to hibiscuses scattered on beach attire and homewares have not escaped either as you are spoilt for choice if you are shopping for decorative tableware.

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https://www.pinterest.com/pin/441563938448646037/

It appears that because of our urban lifestyle, we continue to crave the lost connection to the countryside and with younger people embracing more organic patterns in their home, the response from designers has given rise to a palette that is fresh, uplifting and contemporary.  The versatility of the floral motif is here to stay and don’t we just love it!

Andrea

July 12, 2017 0 comment
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Is white even a colour?

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/48/5d/7b/485d7ba99ee656d1413777e19f4e2c30.jpg

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/48/5d/7b/485d7ba99ee656d1413777e19f4e2c30.jpg

Who would want to live in an all-white space?  It sounds so cold and sterile; just thinking of it gives me goosebumps.

Just think of all that cleaning to keep it looking fresh!

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1915150/images/o-ALL-WHITE-facebook.jpg

http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1915150/images/o-ALL-WHITE-facebook.jpg

These are just some of the comments frequently bandied about when white takes centre stage in interior decorating, yet there is no escaping the current popularity of all white homes and walls. White done well is sensational, after all, it is the colour of perfection!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/308918855675486480/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/308918855675486480/

While this international penchant for white gives rise to lively debate, we should not forget that white has endured through the ages in Greek, Japanese and Scandinavian interiors.  It is simple, timeless and classic and therefore successfully transcends trends.

What set me off to write this week’s blog was buying a bottle of milk last week with my son at a local dairy farm, I had forgotten how amazing it was to have milk straight from the cow and how beautiful and pure it was. In that moment white truly did have the power to transcend.

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Andrea Savage and Julian

For all its seeming lack of colour, white evokes a plethora of images and speaks to our emotions.  It is an age-old symbol of innocence and purity, cleanliness, and new beginnings.  From the 16th century, Popes have worn white, pilgrims and followers of Islam and the Shinto religion of Japan are also clothed in white, while in some Asian cultures, it is the colour of mourning.  I don’t know of any other colour which is as complex and strikes at our emotions all at the same time.

From a design perspective and contrary to popular belief, white is not an easy “option” as choosing the right shade of white is never simple, for the very reason that there are over 100 shades of white.  Getting white paint right can be a daunting project as you quickly realise that it has undertones ranging from warm to cool.  Success lies in choosing a white that is both warm and modern and suits the chosen space while factoring in the availability of natural light or its absence.

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/white-living-rooms/all

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/white-living-rooms/all

White walls offer a blank canvas and as a foundation colour, it can make your furnishings stand out like a piece of art and make other hues pop!

Design Intervention

https://www.designintervention.com.sg/projects/happy-chic/

http://media.architecturaldigest.com/photos/587ff4d4b38c2a1325590961/master/w_640,c_limit/white-living-rooms-15.jpg

http://media.architecturaldigest.com/photos/587ff4d4b38c2a1325590961/master/w_640,c_limit/white-living-rooms-15.jpg

White rooms are far more complex than they appear because there are no visual distractions, so every choice becomes critical. Take for example this image of one of our project below.

https://www.designintervention.com.sg/projects/a-graceful-grandeur/

https://www.designintervention.com.sg/projects/a-graceful-grandeur/

White makes old things seem more current and most especially, it can soften architectural quirks, because if everything is painted white, the odd pipe and conduit almost magically disappears!

We use white to visually expand a space as rooms appear larger and shadows and edges diminish.

It’s vitally important to have a theme.  Furniture must be carefully chosen to tell the story of the space.  Items with clean lines, hard corners, and metal finishes deliver a contemporary feel among the white.  A more inviting and comfy feel is achieved with the use of warm wood tones, linen covered sofas and armchairs and weathered finishes.  Rugs help to anchor the space and add cohesion and layers of objects with different textures will pull a white room together.

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/white-living-rooms/all

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/white-living-rooms/all

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/white-living-rooms/all

http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/white-living-rooms/all

Lastly, contrary to what some may think, white is never boring!  It can be very dramatic, especially when it is contrasted with black and who would ever dispute the classic elegance or timeless beauty of a black and white floor?

https://www.designintervention.com.sg/projects/regency-grand/

https://www.designintervention.com.sg/projects/regency-grand/

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And so ends my case for white as a go-to colour when all else fails.  Of course, let us not forget that in these times of economic hardship and calls for belt-tightening, embracing white walls is definitely more cost friendly!

 

Andrea

 

June 9, 2017 0 comment
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