Frequently Asked Questions
Advice and tips from our interior designer
Before you do anything in your house, work out what you want from each room. If it is a formal sitting room, do you want to display treasured items and for it to be warm and cosy so you can curl up in an armchair with a book, or is it a more informal room for entertaining guests. Your house may, to a degree, dictate a certain style, try not to go against it. It is essential to have an idea of how you envisage the finished room to be utilized. I urge you to create a scrap book of clippings, gathered from magazines over time. You should see a common thread of what you are truly comfortable with, creating guidelines to assist decision making.
If you have any queries that you’d like some tips on, please email Alison.
- Mood & aspect - If a room has a lot of light, keep it that way. If a room is interestingly dark and intended to be a place to be quiet and relax in, then stay with it. Alternatively if it is depressingly dark and it is to become a baby’s nursery, then brighten it with warmth and lightness.
- Just bought a new home – Live in it! Don’t dash around redecorating every room immediately, you are guaranteed to make mistakes. You must spend time getting to know the house and how it works for you and your family.
- Curtain & soft furnishing fabric choice – If you cannot afford a stunning fabric for curtains, use a more economical plain one, and accessorise the room with smaller items in the more beautiful extravagant fabrics. Ensure you make the curtains as full as possible (minimum of 2 ½ times the width of the width of the opening for solid curtains and a minimum 3 times the width of the opening for sheer curtains) and use a good lining for your drapes (it not only improves the bulk of the curtains but protects them from harsh damaging sunlight)
- Furniture fabric choice – If budget is an issue when choosing a fabric for sofas, use the above principal. You can finish the look by creating beautiful stand-out cushions, which can be made with a small amount of the fabric you really wanted to use before you realised the price! Or a single chair in the room covered in the ‘hero’ fabric can create enormous impact, and then used again for the scatter cushion. Little touches often make the biggest impact.
- Guest rooms – Having been a guest in many people’s homes, I urge all my clients to spend a couple of nights in their guest bedrooms. It is terribly important that your guests are comfortable and have a good night’s sleep – do make sure the bed is comfy, the curtains keep out the morning light and the room is well ventilated. There is nothing worse than a miserable house guest!
- Take your time – Essentially, Australian style is becoming more and more relaxed, just like our fabulous lifestyle. Once you have the background scheme, just keep adding. Don’t be afraid to include a punctuation of pattern or colour. Take your time; when you see an old chair or rug, add it to your room. If the chair needs new fabric, then choose carefully, and be sure to get samples first. The best rooms are assembled over many years.