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A 1930's Loft Apartment Project - Part Two

It's been almost a month since I last posted on this topic which is firstly shocking then a bit disappointing because I hoped I'd be further ahead on the project after four weeks.  My Impatience and Pontification are always doing battle, I think the latter may have won this months joust.  Aren't we all our own worst critic?!  On a plus point, I have completed the design for the kitchen, living, dining area and the balcony in this time frame. Phew!

Glamour, Relaxation and Luxe are the words lending themselves to the feel of the capacious master bedroom of my pseudo client - the city dwelling, professional couple. These are the concept images I've chosen to illustrate.

The main elements of the brief are to have a contemporary and luxurious, haven like room that is warm and comfortable.  It cannot be frilly but can have feminine elements without putting off the man of the property.  In terms of practicalities, there must be lots of storage, with at least 2.5 linear metres of wardrobe space and an area for make up application and jewellery storage, plus seating for the couple.  And overall, the design must cohere with the rest of the apartment.

Here's my initial pencil sketch of the scheme:


I had a bit of fun with this design, capturing the couple's love of boutique hotel design and thus having to select top quality furniture, fabrics and fittings with a limitless budget.  An interior design dream.  The shape of the room is fairly limited in terms of the placement of the double bed and wardrobes, the latter falling into a regular run along the main wall for an efficient and streamlined look, leaving the bed to become the focal point with its room height eccentuating, floor to ceiling head board.  A variety of flexible lighting for soft pools of cosy intimate light as well as practical light for routine activities will help enhance and complete this scheme.

Inspired by award winning interior designer and rule breaker, Kit Kemp (I attended her fascinating lecture recently and of course bought her latest book "A Living Space"), I'm doing something fairly unusual for me and adding some big pattern. That bottom right fabric with the leaf design is going to feature on the seating.

This now leaves me to nail the designs for the master entrance hall, master bathroom and study.  Once complete, I can start to build my sample presentation boards for every room and move on to the monumental challenge of drawing and inking by hand, then rendering the plans and sections of the entire flat.


Pic & Palette : Experiment with colour

Just check out the vibrant, dynamic interior of this chic hotel room in La Belle Juliette.

Paint chips from Dulux

Some might say that painting a boudoir in such a strong, vivid blue would be difficult to live with but I think it's pretty clever and a feast for the eye. Blue, a favourite and dependable colour for many, is known for it's calm, relaxing qualities which goes some way to explaining why this blue interior just works but I think it is so successful because of it's relationship with the contrasting green and red accents found in the books and flowers that confidently brings the room to life. Adding the biscuit coloured cushions is an important element, for they anchor the whole scheme.  But ditch them all and this blue hue alone is cool, uncomfortable and pedestrian.

I'm not a big fan of mitchy matchy interiors, where everything from floor to ceiling and inbetween is a neutral shade or tint, normally beige or off white. It's seen as a safer option to rely on neutral schemes but it doesn't necessarily translate into a relaxed, interesting and inviting space without introducing a little touch of colour.

I know I like to bang on about this but experimenting with colour combinations is a lot of fun. And what's the worst that can happen? Another tin of paint and the room is back to it's original look.  A good way of introducing colour is to start with your favourite hue in a small quantity - a rug, throw or artwork, or perhaps a feature wall and build it up from there.

If you need more convincing, check out some of the other rooms in this hotel for some inspiration - alternative contrasting candy colour combinations and each of them brilliant in their own wonderful way.  Their accessories and overall styling is pretty cool too.

Image credit - Mr & Mrs Smith

Have a great week everyone.  And to my friends across the Atlantic, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.



Go Visit : A roaming in Rome

It's a trip we'd booked back in the Spring but had to cancel in July due to work commitments, but finally we got the chance to embrace this beautiful old city over the weekend.  I say the weekend, but it was more like 'Rome In A Day'.

Workload leaves very little time for fun and leisure at the moment, with a particularly packed out October and November for Mr. L and so this trip felt quite a treat. We are fortunate to live close to an airport that the low cost airlines fly into so means we are just an easy couple of hours from any European city.

The beauty of kicking back and spending some time together keeping to a very relaxed, in fact non existent itinerary is really very much how we like it.

Naturally we ate plenty of antipasti and drank enough prosecco to make us warm and squiffy. And of course the coffee... made with such flair, tasting so smooth - we felt like the strangers in town, falling into quaint family run cafes and listening to their loud, animated chatter while watching the beautiful and stylish cruise by.  Taking in the usual tourist sites and wandering the ancient cobbled streets while wading through the biggest gelato were the order of the weekend.

It's incredible how very quickly relaxed we become when we are away, thankfully. Stealing a couple of days to unwind, have fun and get inspired by new adventures and undiscovered surroundings is tonic for the mind and soul.

Better get booking the next one!


Eeny, meeny, miny, moe - Cappucino, Gelato, Limoncello


The Coliseum and Trevi Fountain


A 1930's Loft Apartment Project - Part One

I figured it's about time I shared with you the project I've been nose down in for the last few weeks.  Not just because I think you'd be genuinely interested but also because this week I've done a bit too much pontificating on certain aspects of it and I'm hoping that by putting my work out there as it presently stands all unfinished, you will encourage me to crack on.

So the project starts like this.  After taking details from the assumed client on their likes/dislikes and their lifestyle, plus a run down of the structure of the property and what can and cannot be changed or removed, the first step is a concept from which to build a coherent design around - a chosen set of adjectives and images - Contemporary, Relaxed, Stylish, Urban.

This concept is for the main living area and the colours in the images dictate the overall colour scheme.

I have started a Reflective Journal to jot down all thought processes, collect inspirational images and sketch out ideas.  This bit is vital to the project submission as we must illustrate how scheme ideas have been taken from an initial piece of inspiration, worked on and expanded into a fully workable plan, design or item.  It's a ace exercise in emptying the mind that's brimming over with ideas and getting some clarity on the ones that will and won't work.  I have found that in the majority of instances, particularly with regard to kitchen designs and the overall layout of the apartment, my initial idea has evolved and been overridden with a much better plan.  Deciding on the smallest details of the kitchen design is proving to be a time consuming challenge but as they say 'the devil is in the detail'.  And I haven't quite nailed it yet.

After selecting some furniture for the main living area, I went off to see a fabric supplier (the laborious tasks must always be offset with some fun, tactile and exciting stuff, right?) and spent 45 mins choosing from their huge selection of luxury fabrics.  I've got to get some texture into this open plan apartment to layer and cosy up the scheme as there are quite a number of sleek, shiny, hard surfaces planned.

But oh boy is this project tough going, it's here to test me, my knowledge and capabilities to the limits. It's all-consuming and it's taking my full attention, that's why I've hardly come up for air in recent weeks. I suppose I'm just a quarter of the way through, still on the planning part of the project and there's a number of sample boards and rendered plans and elevations and a client presentation to do yet. There's an immense amount of effort involved in designing a property from scratch and I'm learning and honing skills every day.  Phew!