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Nikki Hunt’s Design Speak

Since it’s inception sixteen years ago, the London Design Festival has become one of the most celebrated  events in the design lovers calendar.  The festival permeates most corners of the city with vendors from all over the world showcasing their latest products and ideas. With such a vast spectrum of things to see and do, the London Design Festival is pure inspiration and provides a preview into the trends that will dominate the design industry in the year ahead.

This year’s London Design Week was a riotous celebration of pattern, print and colour… I have written before about the trend for tropical prints, well this trend shows no sign of stopping and if anything seems to be getting bigger and bolder, encompassing all elements of both flora and fauna. Colours reigned supreme this year design festival, whether it comes in the form of Black Pop’s multicoloured rugs, or Pierre Frey’s latest range of wallpapers in vibrant shades and Matthew Williamson’s latest collection of fabrics for Osborne & Little, featuring a multicoloured large scale pineapple design.

Black Pop’s Rugs and fabrics, Osbourne&Little Fabric, Pierre Frey Wallpaper

Designs were bold bright and decidedly cheerful. Millenial pink, which many predicted would be a passing trend, is very much entrenched as the new neutral. And why not? It is as calm as beige and grey but with a more optimistic vibe. There was not quite so much rose gold as there was last year but gold, bronze and brass have certainly replaced cooler metal tones as the top choice for hardware and lighting. If you were in any doubt Exuberant Maximalism reigns supreme.

But the most significant new element was an obsession with trim. Bullion fringe, tassels and braid seemed to be everywhere!!!

Left Images: Decorex 2018 by Nikki Hunt

Passementerie as they are officially termed was originally used for furniture as a way to keep textile trims from unravelling, fringe has a long history in home decor, from Victorian lampshades to hippy 70’s curtains.

Decorex 2018: Images by Nikki Hunt

This year, passementerie was used to adorn everything cushions, lamps and upholstery. From dainty, bell-like tassels to relaxed, boho leather trim. Fringe is back and flowing loud and proud!

October 2, 2018 0 comment
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It is Paris Design Week, and the French capital is teaming with exhibitions, installations and creatives types from across the globe, all eager to discover the latest ideas, the most current designs, and be amongst the first to enjoy a glimpse into future trends. But for yours truly, the greatest source of inspiration from France has been my trip to a much older showcase of great Design. This year, I took a short 30-minute trip outside the French capital to visit the Chateau of Versailles.

As I wandered through the magnificent halls, what struck me most was just how timeless, and relevant the designs are still. A world heritage site, the Palais de Versailles harks back to the year 1682 when King Louis XIV began the mammoth task of building the Palace on the site of his father’s former hunting lodge. The palace remained the principal residence of the Kings of France until the revolution in 1789. And many of the designs that the French King implemented over 3-and-a-half centuries ago, continue to influence the great designers of our time.

The first thing that came to me as I toured the grand palace was, “well no wonder there was a revolution!”.

The opulence and grandeur are omnipresent. This palace was the palace that all later palaces were modelled on. It was the very symbol of extravagance I could so see why a French peasant farmer might feel that the national wealth was a tad unfairly distributed. So then how could such totally excessive gilt and glitz be relevant today, I hear you scream…

Well; beneath all that ostentation are exquisite details and a masterly use of proportions, pattern light and colour which have inspired designers (yours truly definitely included) for centuries. I am sure it will continue to inspire for many centuries to come.

Peter Marino, Jacques Garcia, Kelly Wearstler, Mary Mcdonald, Jean Louis Deniot, Joseph Dirand, Pierre Yovanovitch these are some of the biggest names in design  of the 21st Century. Their works regularly grace the pages of International design periodicals and images of their work are some of the most “pinned” pictures on Pinterest. So where do these design gurus get their inspiration?

Scroll through the images below and see if you agree…

WOW… Just look at that floor! Dramatic geometric lines, sharp contrast,  magnificent proportions  – Installed in the 17th Century but could anything be more current! Just check out this home in Hong Kong by San Fransico interiors firm Bamo and an apartment by the great Pierre Yovanovitch.

Kelly Wearstler and Mary Mcdonald are two of the most celebrated American designers working today
– any guesses where they have drawn inspiration?

Perhaps from here? The Salon De Diane, Grand Apartment, Chateau De Versailles

Jean Louis Denoit is another one  of the 21st Century’s great designer.
Check out the photo of one of his recent projects featured in Architectural Digest.

and compare it to a room from Versailles below.

 Kelly Wearstler’s restaurant design for Bergdoff Goodman (below) was widely hailed as iconic by design lovers…..

but check out my picture from Versaille… look familiar?

These photos of an interior by Jacques Garcia who CNN describes as the “Creator of the worlds finest hotels”.

This has long been one of my favourite images of the work of Jean Louis Denoit.

Below is the Chapel at Versailles.

The Hall of Mirrors: perhaps one of the most famous rooms at Versailles associated with the unrestrained decadence of the pre revolutionary French Court.

And look at this interior below- thoroughly contemporary! 

 

September 10, 2018 0 comment
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At Design Intervention, we are well known for our use of bold colour to fill a home with fun and vitality. But we often work with pastel tones too, especially when we are trying to create a a feeling of serenity and relaxation.

Colourful Romantic by Design Intervention

So often thought of as suitable only for kids spaces, pastel decor schemes can also be sophisticated but in a softer, gentler way than stronger coloured rooms.

Colorful Romantic project Design Intervention

Romantic Glamour by Design Intervention

Adding touches of black, ensures a confident, grown-up vibe and prevents sorbet tones from becoming saccharine sweet.

modern glamour living room by Design Intervention

Modern Glamour by Design Intervention

In hot and humid Singapore, I often suggest pastel tones for rooms that get a lot of direct sun – pastel shades are like a cool breeze on a scorching day.

Colourful Romantic by Design Intervention

Pure white,  amplifies light which can makes sunny room seem even hotter. But nothing cools down a room like a wash of pastel or a shade of sorbet. So next time the temperatures rise, look for inspiration at your favourite gelateria strawberry ice, placid pistachio, balmy blueberry or perfect peach… these hues just ooze a cooling serenity.

design intervention pastel blog

Lavander Luxe Design Intervention blog

It is one of my design secrets.

July 19, 2018 0 comment
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This year, our one of our Singapore projects was awarded as the Best Interior Lighting Design at this year’s International Property Awards. So how about I share a sneak peak into this award winning design…

Lighting design is about so much more than selecting some beautiful fixtures. It’s about creating a mood. The aim is not to have someone walk in and think “the lighting is great”. In fact, if this is the case, then we haven’t done our job well at all.  Our goal is that you walk in and think this place looks and feels amazing, but you don’t quite know why… It’s about subtlety, and the space as a whole. That is successful design. Clever light planning enables us to play with how we perceive the dimensions of a room. The eye is always drawn to the brightest point in a space so by placing the chandelier in the back corner, we  increase the sense of space.

Design Intervention Project

These custom planters screen the unsightly view of the nearby buildings and by fitting each one with an internal light source, we draw the eye beyond the boundary of the room-visually extending its perimeter to include the balcony and so making the whole space feel so much larger.

Notice that this space has few down lights. Actually, down lights are a pet peeve of mine. To me, they are like acne on the face of a beautiful girl. Our ceilings are such a key feature of the design, so why ruin them with pimples! My view is that architectural light fittings should not be seen –Instead, keep the ceilings unblemished and let the other design elements shine.

Design Intervention Project

In addition to the planter boxes, we have wired the entry console, desk and coffee table. They effectively function as over-sized lamps, bringing low level lighting to the room. By combining different layers of light, we have created depth and infused the room with a gentle sense of romance. The light sources are set at different angles. In addition to light from above, we have light at eye-level as well as below eye level. The coffee table functions as one giant uplighter and the architrave around the kitchen light has been fitted with concealed LED strips to turn the arch to the kitchen into one giant wall light.

Design Intervention Project

Design Intervention Project

Lighting design is about creating drama. It is about the contrast between light and shade. Add lighting with a  restrained hand: What you leave unlit is just as important as what you highlight.

In this master bedroom, we eschewed the use of down lights both to avoid glare when looking up from the bed and not to mar the special effects ceiling, which is a key design feature. Coordinating wall sconces complement the bedside pendants. They add another layer of light at medium height at the opposite side of the room, enabling us to leave our decorative ceiling finish uninterrupted and balancing the light from the pendants. A recessed spot with a narrow beam sheds a focused light on the inset vanity table. The table has a mother of pearl surface which has a reflective quality and the light bounces off the surface filling the entire niche. A second light source has been installed under the table to give it a floating effect. We have set another LED light strip into the curtain pelmet, drawing the eye to the very edge of the room and maximising the sense of space in the room. The light strip continues above the feature column, highlighting the pattern beautifully.

Good lighting, is like fairy dust- if you sprinkle it the right way and just the right amount– you can create magic and give a room a whole new dimension.

June 27, 2018 0 comment
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Designers are constantly seeking ways to fill a home with personality and character. After all, personalization is the vital secret ingredient needed to transform a building into a warm, and happy home. Did you know that psychologists have proven that surrounding ourselves with personal treasures and momentoes can actually improve our mood?

But working out how best to assemble and display an odd, often mismatched collection of memorabilia can seem a bit daunting. So if this is your first time – keep it simple – use identical frames arranged in a grid for a clean and cohesive look.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/302515299965930390/

What I love about grouping smaller pieces together, is just how versatile a group can be. It just depends on how you put them together.

Need a focal point for a corridor?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/302515299965930622/

Or short of funds for the size of painting needed to a fill a large empty wall?- No problem! In this project that I completed for a couple in Singapore, I just grouped together a selection of smaller favourites to form the size that I needed to fill the empty space.

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

Looking up!

If you happen to be fortunate enough to enjoy lofty spaces. Highlight them! A selection of artwork placed up high, draws the eye maximising the sense of space.

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

Invoking a casual vibe.

Trying to create a room that just oozes a relaxing vibe- then a bevy of mismatched art could be just the ticket. I decorated this family room a few years ago and what I love about it is that it is a room that lives and breathes (and grows!). It is a free-flowing organic look, made up of a mixture of the family’s personal favourites. The beauty of this style is that you can start with just a few pieces and keep adding to it without worrying about messing up a tight configuration.

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

Think beyond frames…

Why limit yourself to framed photos or paintings. In this home in Singapore East Coast, Andrea and I rummaged through the family’s treasure trove of trinkets and memorabilia and decorated their walls with plates, vases and even trivets.

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

This is one of my current favourite images. It is Donna Karens home. I love how the mismatched art gives the room a lovely casual feel. Notice how the dark backdrop sets off pieces so wonderfully. And what a neat trick… cant find enough art pieces that you love, then the frames will do just nicely thank you!

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/3a/15/82/3a15825e303c5bc4f0cc5172cb4b30e5.jpg

I am definitely going to try this idea out for a project soon.

Nikki’s Tip: Before you break out the hammer, lay the art out on the floor and cut newspaper to the size of each piece. Using some blue tack or masking tape, position the paper on the wall to test out the arrangement until you’re happy with the effect.

April 16, 2018 0 comment
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Nikki Hunt, Principal of Design Intervention

Andrea and I had oodles of fun designing special pieces for Mark and Michelle’s sumptuous apartment. But my absolute favourite is the fabulous curvaceous oversized sofa. We call this design the Cameron sofa. This sofa just oozes comfort with a capital C. Its generous deep seats invite you to lie back and relax. I especially love how this sofa is large enough to accommodate the whole family and the curved shape invites dialogue and interaction.

Design Intervention image

Design Intervention image

I first designed this sofa about two years ago and since then it has been one of our most popular sofa designs, working equally well in yellow as it does in blue. I just love how it captures the perfect balance between strength and comfort, organic shape and regular form invoking a sense of fun and elegance all at the same time!

Design Intervention image

What colour would your  Cameron sofa be?

February 20, 2018 0 comment
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After a restful Christmas and New Year break, we have returned to the office full of fresh new ideas for the year ahead. Many of our suppliers have been sending us previews of new 2018 collections and products and we have had quite a bit of fun filtering through the plethora of new products. We have identified 4 trends that we think we will see more of in the year ahead.

1. Lavender Luxe

Both Pantone and Dulux have declared a purple tone to be the official colour of 2018. For two colour giants to agree on a colour choice, well that is certainly something to note.

Source: Pantone and Dulux

Purple is a complex hue being a blend of two shades seemingly diametrically opposed colours — blue is calming and red stimulatory— and brings them together to create something totally new. Traditionally considered to have an uplifting effect on the human psyche, psychologists tell us that purple encourages creativity. Perhaps that’s why I love it so.

For our hot humid weather, I think perhaps Dulux’s offering of Heart Wood is preferable to the strong bright ultra violet from Pantone. I love how Dulux’s Heart Wood has a grey undertone, giving it a smoky mysterious undertone without any heat at all. I would use it as an all-over colour. It will feel almost like a neutral but with a bit more zing.

I have used lavender in my past projects as I like how it can bring a cool serenity to our homes.

Design Intervention image

2. Gold Metallic Finishes

Warm metallics have now well and truly replaced silver and chrome as the popular choice for metallic finishes. 2015 was dominated by rose gold and copper tones but last year we have seen a definite move towards more yellow toned golds. This trend is set to intensify in 2018.

Design Intervention image

3. Curves

Forget simple rectilinear shapes, this year is all about curvaceous forms. Expect to see curved walls, rugs and sofas.

Design Intervention image

4. Bold Animal Prints

2017 saw a love affair with modern tropical prints. These patterns were bold, bordering on brash but what I loved about them was that they were overwhelmingly happy. Well this trend is no passing fad. Bold fun colourful prints are here to stay in 2018. Last year it was parrots and flamingos. They will still be popular but they are joined by a menagerie of other animals. Cole and Son launched a new collection at London Design week in September which celebrated the animals of Africa.

Clarke and Clarke’s New Animalia Collection

Clarke and Clarke’s new collection Animalia will be launched in January and is a rhapsody of a maximalist jungle. It’s bold and cheerful and I am absolutely in love with it. I think my living room needs a makeover….

January 4, 2018 0 comment
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You don’t have to be a star wars fan to embrace the dark side. And that is exactly what Andrea and I did for Paul and Shai’s penthouse makeover. When the architectural framework of a home is, sub-optimal, that’s when interior design really comes into its own. And with Paul and Shai’s penthouse, we were challenged by an architectural frame that needed some serious help.

Dining Room (before). Design Intervention image.

Dining Room (after). Design Intervention image.

For this penthouse makeover, the single most transformative decision was our choice of wall color. It was a gutsy move but one that set the backdrop for all the other elements. The old fashion adage, “black hides a multitude of sins,” applies to interiors just as it does to fashion. And our off-black walls disguises, misaligned beams and ageing plaster and channels the eye towards the key feature of this home- the magnificent views.

Living Room (before). Design Intervention image.

Living Room (after). Design Intervention Image.

Decorating with dark colours may seem intimidating but don’t underestimate the power of the dark side. Scroll below to see some dark side pictures from the Design Archives .

Powder Room at Design Intervention

Rockefeller Armchair (Signature Series Collection of Design Intervention)

Design Intervention image

Design Intervention image

Design Intervention image

Maximalist Modern Kitchen

Hakuba Ski Lodge Master Bedroom

Design Intervention image

Have you experimented with dark colors in your home? Andrea and I would love to see your pics, so send them through.

November 30, 2017 0 comment
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Color is the single biggest transformative tool that we have and luckily it is the easiest and cheapest to employ. A simple lick of paint can totally transform the look and mood of a room. The color of the walls (and ceiling) will set the tone for an entire space and effect everything from how you display your art to lighting. Design Intervention, is renowned for our love of color and we know that there is no wrong color: choose the color that inspires you. The trick is not the choice of color but the selection of the right tone. Within each color, there are a myriad of shades and these will allow you to pick the tone that works best with the natural light of the space and that will help you foster the mood that you are looking to create.

When selecting a colour, think about how much natural light the room receives throughout the day. Consider the other sources of lighting. Natural, fluorescent, and incandescent light can all change the look of a paint colour, which is why it’s important to see the colour in your home and assess how it changes throughout the day as the light.

Soft tones of purple give this sun filled home a fresh and cooling vibe.

Design Intervention

Chocolate brown walls casts a rich intimate mood in this bedroom.

Design Intervention

We have used brown again in this room. The deep richness of the colour provides for a truly elegant mood.

Design Intervention

The human eye can perceives more shades of green than any other colour in the spectrum.In this elegant dining room, this fresh shade has a cool crispness.

Design Intervention

In this family parlour, we drew our colour inspiration from the client’s own art. The coral hue fills the room with a happy, carefree vibe!

Warm grey walls are the perfect backdrop to display this clients collection of artworks.

Pink can be a neutral too. This soft subtle shade throws a gentle romantic cast throughout this room.

Design Intervention

Sometimes, nothing more than the crispness and purity of white is what is called for.

Design Intervention

And sometimes, black can be just as serene as white.

I love how everything just pops against a black background.

Design Intervention

Blue is reportedly the most popular colour for home decorating.

 

 

September 27, 2017 0 comment
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Throughout the ages, marble has been the material of choice for the world’s elite. From the Parthenon to the Taj Mahal and of course London’s Marble Arch, many of the world’s most impressive monuments have been forged from this ancient rock.

Traditionally associated with luxury and decadence, today marble is shaking off its classic and ostentatious mantle (excuse the pun) and is increasingly becoming a favourite amongst contemporary designers. Today, designers are combining marble and other stones like, onyx and granite with other natural materials such as wood, leather, copper and steel to make these traditional materials feel fresh and totally current.

Design Intervention

Design Intervention

In our modern copy and paste world, design lovers are finding a beauty in imperfections and an appreciation of the natural elements. Heavily veined stones that were once considered fussy and busy are now sought after for texture and vitality. Imperfections, once shunned are being embraced for their natural originality.

Design Intervention

Design Intervention

Today, marble, onyx and luxurious granites are no longer confined to kitchens, bathrooms. They are appearing in a multitude of guises for use in every room of the home from feature walls to accent furniture, accessories and even decorative lighting. As the penchant for clean, homogenous lines diminishes interior designers are creating homes full of colour, life and personality and richly patterned stones are becoming a staple design tool.

A-Collage

0cd5e81f3f0543de7a1ccb821a134fe4And the good news is that you will find that stone does not necessarily have to be ….  Well, set in stone! Some of the most beautifully marbelicious finishes are faux.

DI5_1852

Design Intervention

Don’t you just love this delightfully decadent powder room-in rich green with metallic highlights. The wallpaper oozes an even greater sense of luxe than the real thing ….and far cheaper too!

Indeed faux stone-inspired finishes are invading every aspect of our lives, reminding us that it is our imperfections and idiosyncrasies that make us unique and give us character and this designer, for one believes this is something that should be celebrated.

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Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

July 20, 2017 0 comment
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