This was a project for a young family who wanted to remodel their entire ground floor. This family likes to entertain and wanted to create an inviting, informal and comfortable mood as soon as you stepped into the house.
My approach was to focus on a design that would stand the test of time, while being functional and flexible for family living, guests and dinner parties. As the ground floor is mainly open-plan, it was important to adopt a coherent style throughout to maintain a seamless flow between spaces. The key was then to zone the different areas.
I chose a monochromatic scheme for my inspiration boards based on a yellow-green tertiary colour. This is a colour that infuses a welcoming, stable, serene mood while also having a playfulness to it. Olive green with a yellowy orange undertone not only brings calm, serenity and positive energy but also warmth.
I have carried on the monochromatic scheme and wide-plank wooden floorboards throughout the rooms to form a strong cohesive and harmonious visual link. The use of ‘Citrine’ and ‘Pale Lime’ (Little Greene Paints) are bolder variations of the much more muted olive green colour used in the main living space. Those stronger colours provide depth and playfulness in the scheme. They act as a pop of colour that highlight architectural features or small nooks in the house. The Timorous Beasties wallpaper I selected for the entrance hall board also brings rhythm and interest to the scheme with its bold pattern and strong visual impact. This type of wallpapers can add depth and fun in temporary spaces where one usually only passes through.
The children’s room board is a bit more audacious with a stronger yellow-green hue. This will be a room where the children play, watch TV, it needs to be fun but also not overly stimulating. The ‘Boxington’ green (Little Greene Paints) allows for a bit of boldness but still will appear calming and resting in the evenings with the warm light of the west-facing sunsets coming in and later on, when the artificial lights are on.
This is a small area that packs a punch. It sets the tone for the rest of the house and the wallpaper truly defines the spirit of this home: a unique, timeless and fun design. To balance the strong colours, I have selected natural earthy materials such as pale wood, rattan, coir and ceramic. Those textures soften the whole space and subtly ground it. Layer curved organic-shaped accessories (mirror, chandelier, hydrangea bunch, table lamp) to bring softness and a warm, informal, relaxed mood to the room. In such a green cocoon, it is important to play with the light, be it natural or artificial. Reflective surfaces such as the glass chandelier and large mirror work a treat, reflecting light during the day and the evening.
To define the identity of this space, I have used 3 key pieces: the custom-built bookshelf, the large green drapes and the deep velvet sofa. These very simple high-quality pieces give the room a timeless elegance. But these alone could be too formal and unimaginative for a young family so I introduced more current pieces, such as the brass drink trolley, the simple glass pendant or the large abstract artwork. They punctuate the space with different textures and lines that create visual movement and rhythm in the room. The bumble bee scatter cushion, the fig leaf tree and the carved wood coffee tables give a more relaxed informal feel to the room. Accessories with round shapes emphasise the inviting, comfortable atmosphere in the room.
I have selected pale wood for the key furniture elements: dining table, benches and dining chairs all in very simple shapes. The simplicity of the furniture lines emphasises the timeless nature of the design. To make the space inviting and comfortable, I have added round shapes (wishbone chair, pendant light, artwork, bookends, peonies bunch). These accessories balance the straight lines of the key pieces and soften the look. The golden tones of the console table, table light, pendant light add warmth to the scheme. The white elements (lamp shade, large artwork, table candle holder) provide a welcome rest to the eyes from the green hues.
This is a room that is physically separate from the open-plan living area. In function, it is also different from the main purpose of the open-plan space : it is a children’s den, a room where they can sit, play, watch TV away from the grown-ups. For consistency, I have continued the green monochromatic scheme with the same floorboard and rounded shapes. But here, greater colour contrasts, fun shapes and patterns can be used to add rhythm, to create energy and interest: curtain drapes in a vibrant Ikat motif, hot pink and red scatter cushions, colourful cacti and ceramic objects on the shelves. The Togo chair by Ligne Roset, the knitted round poufs can also be used as seats or as jumping bases! The Eames elephants look like a beautiful sculpture and double up as seats or toys. The golden Chinese gong is striking when displayed on the wall – and when used, it provides hours of fun and play for the children.