In Part II of our blog on designing your new living space, leading Interior Designer Malcolm Duffin, talks about how to put your unique stamp on your new room.
Adding the emotional value, By Malcolm Duffin
It is so important to have a clear purpose for your new living space. Whether it is to be a dining room, living room or entertainment space, don’t leave in any ambiguity about its use. It must be seen not as an extra room, but as an important part of the home that can be used as much in January as in July.
From that point onwards you’re good to go – your interior design will flow both with conviction and with a truly personal connection.
For me, every room must have an emotional value and the opportunity to create something new with an orangerie, sunroom or conservatory is always full of possibilities. There are just a few tips that you should always follow.
Lighting. Don’t rely on overhead lighting as this alone can be quite harsh. Make provision for lots of low-level lighting with plenty of electrical sockets. My best tip though is always to extend your lighting design into the garden. There is nothing better than looking out on to a beautifully lit garden – certainly so much better than looking at a blank dark wall of glass in wintertime.
Keep it natural. Designing a room as beautiful as a new sunroom or orangerie should be considered from a ‘wellbeing’ perspective. Use natural colours and natural materials wherever possible and avoid metals or hard edges. Natural woods for flooring are perfect, but so is the look and resilience of engineered oak for instance. Natural fabrics and even rattan or bamboo furniture for the traditional mid-century look is right on trend now, stylish, light and wonderfully comfy.
Fortune favours the colourful! While you might start with white or cream, adding colour via paint or fabrics is a bold and ultimately satisfying choice, but ask for advice. Cushions, throws and fabrics are a way you can express your personality. Similarly, there is nothing to suggest you shouldn’t use wallpaper, but don’t go for patterns which you might bore of, choose something textured for a stylish statement.
Don’t hide the view. Swathes of curtains can hide the view which is one of the huge benefits of a new CR Smith living space , so my choice would always be simple blinds. Again, natural rattan or bamboo works well, but my favourite product right now is linoleum blinds. Check this out. They combine the appearance of traditional woven wood with the most advanced technology. And don’t clutter the sills!
Entertainment. I know it can be hard, but forget the TV, make sure you have music. There’s no better ambience for a light filled sunroom or orangerie than your favourite sounds. This is another great way to build that emotional connection to a room.
Designing the interior is about creating an emotional response to the space and your new living space will add value to your life. And while it is yours to express your sense of style and personality, getting advice is always a good idea. Don’t be frightened to ask – designers just love the idea of a blank canvas!