Hermanus Interior Designers: www.overberginteriors.co.za
So let us take a cool, plain room and turn it into a warmer and more inviting space – see photo attached.
My changes to the chosen room will be fairly dramatic in order to turn it from a cool and fairly dull space into a warm and intimate design environment. My aim is to create a warm up-to-date eclectic look, but I will not be using colour to create a warm atmosphere, but instead us the other elements of design, whilst keeping the colour scheme quite cool.
Firstly, I am not a huge fan of sectional sofas as they are quite limiting, and if you are going to have one, make sure it is a great one ~ this one is not. So, I would get rid of the sectional, and replace it with two freestanding sofas, place opposite each other, not of the same design, but of the same colour. The current sectional sofa is white, so I will stick to that and choose two white leather sofas of equal proportion. Let me choose my sofa styles: http://sofaworx.co.za/sofas.html# I would have the Dakota sofa against the wall where the current mirror is and the Taipei soft opposite it. The two sofas are in proportion with one another and both lend an elegant style. Placing the sofas as such, not only creates seating areas that face each other for more social interaction, but also provide a boundary and hence more clearly delineate the functional space between the living and dining areas. I would then bring in some casual seating. I would place a butterfly chair in tan coloured leather between and to the side of the sofas, with a single black shaggy/sheepskin cushion placed on it. To tie in the neutral warm tone of the occasional chair, I would add rustic round wooden tree trunk style side tables to the one side of each couch. Each side table can have one or two simple items or ornaments placed on it. To the other side of each couch I would place large indoor plants in round white pots ~ a bamboo to give some vertical height as well as a delicious monster with big green leaves.
Okay, so now the carpet doesn’t fit into the space. This is a good thing as the current one is ghastly! Between the two sofas I would put down a large Nguni rug with black, white and brown patches. This will tie in the white sofas, brown occasional chair and wooden side tables. On the Nguni rug I would place a simple rectangular glass coffee table decorated with a few books and some stylish stacked stainless steel coasters. The coffee table is simple and transparent so as not to detract from the design of the Nguni. The steel coasters bring another texture into the space, and the books add functional warmth.
Now I need to add some colour and pattern into what is still a pretty neutral space. I am in love with Plascon’s new paint colour Dragon’s Hide, also known as pea green. The current cushions have to go! Really boring. I would choose cushions of twill cotton and satin, with a large green oversized leaf print on them, mixed with striped cushions of white and various shades of green, and perhaps a single white cushion with simple green text on it. The oversized leaf print will pick up on the natural leaves of the delicious monster plant.
The wall colour I would keep the same, but to warm up the wall space, I would add a grouping of three abstract art work with dragon’s hide green, black and turquoise in it across the back wall. I’m not sure what the two white pictures are that are currently on the wall, but they would have to be removed. I don’t mind the white screening on the dining room walls, however to create a warmer feel, they could be replaced with flowing soft curtains instead. I would paint the frame of the mirror white or off white in a matt finish to be less reflective and warmer.
With regards to lighting, I don’t mind the standing light piece, I guess, but I would turn it to illuminate the abstract art piece on the other wall. I would add at least two other standing light lamps into the room to give functional lighting options, both which could be dimmed. The two hanging pendants however, have to go. Firstly they are too high up on the ceiling to create any intimate lighting, and secondly, they do not support the overall atmosphere of the room that I am going for. Instead, I would replace them to two similar, but not identical crystal chandelier pieces, both low hung over the coffee table between the sofas, and above the dining table. I would also add 4 down lighters, possibly in a simple bulkhead design above the dining room table so that the chandelier light could be there for decoration only if one wanted to simply have a romantic intimate dinner with low down lighters and candles on the table.
Now that the dining area has been established as its own living space, it deserves its own rug. A white shaggy carpet would look well here on the wooden floors and further demarcate it as its own intimate dining space. Some decorative crystal candle holders on the table to tie in with the chandeliers would complete the look.
In summation, I have transformed this badly designed cool space into a room with a much warmer and friendlier atmosphere in which people can talk, eat and relax. A sense of containment and intimacy is achieved by rearranging the sofas, added separate rugs to each area and introducing low hung chandeliers in the centre of each space. Warmth is created by bringing in a variety of textures and tactile finishes, including wood, glass, leather, metal, crystal, velvet, satin, cotton and cow hide. The chandeliers create a focal pool of light, but other lighting options are offered throughout the room. Detail, patterns and ornamentation is introduced through the articles and books on display, as well as patterned cushions, abstract artwork and decorative crystals. They style could be described as rustic elegance.