SO MANY LIGHTS, so many tables It can be hard to know what to choose. Just don’t think that you need to match your styles, for example, modern with modern. Radically different styles can look great together, provided you take into account the overall look of the room. The table – and your choice of pendant light above it – is always going to be the focal point of your dining area, so it pays to have a good think before you buy. Take photos, print off images, make a mood-board. And then dine in style!
An “old-fashioned” pendant or flamboyant chandelier would have been way too much for this room, but this sleek, shiny, oversized dome light works beautifully and injects some modern pizzazz. The light contains a surprise – when you’re seated, its opulent floral-embossed interior becomes visible (flip back to page 99).
People often brighten up neutral rooms using cushions, artworks and other accessories. Here, we’ve done it – and also added a lovely feminine touch – using these fab bespoke pendant lights, arranged symmetrically over our rectangular dining table. The transparent tinted chairs and glassware echo the colours of the lampshades without diluting their impact.
Here, the aim was to soften the hard lines of the practical and casual dining table (and the matching bench seat). The red chairs play their part, but the real work is done by this modern version of the chandelier. The juxtapostion of simple wood and circle-within-circle lighting is glamorous and sophisticated without being over the top. We hung the light at the central point of the table; if your table was extra long you could consider using two lights spaced equal distance above the tabletop.
USUALLY OPEN PLAN,
tiled spaces can be cold and monotonous unless areas are broken up, defined and warmed-up with soft furnishings. Rugs are the perfect way to do both of these things. On plain tiled, areas, choose designs that pick up on the tones of the tile in darker or lighter hues in the’ ; pattern or background… For example, if you have light-grey tiles, pick rugs in charcoal or black tones or designs that utilise shades of grey. If your floors have a patterned tile design, ~i’~1′ to rugs in plain solid colours feature one of the colours e pattern. Choose designs that are flowing with soft or angled lines. Avoid rugs with stripes/lines that match up with the tiles’ grout lines.
RUG Handtufted 100% wool in Mexx Ivy 13304 (1.7m x 2.4m), $1699, Rug Couture. FLOOR Tema ‘ glazed porcelain stoneware tiles In Anthracite (45cm x 45cm), from $59.95 a sq m, Amber Tiles.
THE REST Marias chair, $189, and replica Jacobsen “Super Elliptical” dining table, $695, ClickOn Furniture. Between Us Women “Twin” plate, $135, Chee Soon & Fitzgerald. Charmig cutlery, $49.99 for 24-piece set, and Pokal glass, $4.99 for 6, Ikea. Brunei flowers, $24 a bunch, Garlands. Napkin made from fabric from Spotlight.
THEO AND DEBORAH SAMUROVICH OF SAMUROVICH Design have varied educational backgrounds: Theo’s is in the life sciences and fine arts, and Deborah’s in 2-D graphics and broadcast design. Together, however, they are dedicated to the rhythms and patterns of nature and the ways in which such images can be combined with certain glass forms. Described as painterly, architectural, and industrial, each fixture captures an organic moment. Shown here are four hand-sculpted pendants crafted from color-treated glass. River is made with ebonized oak and measures 12 in. wide by 12 3/4 in. high. Moderne, also made with ebonized oak, measures 9 in. wide by 12 1/4 high. Indigo, made with bronzed oak measures 6 in. wide 17 1/2 in. high. Finally, Bamboo, made from oiled cherry, measures 12 in. wide by 15 in. high. Samurovich Design, 16 Waverly Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205.
The Anatomy of Lighting
Julie Nelson’s ceramic light collection draws inspiration from medicine and anatomy. A surgeon’s wife, Nelson has even been known to scour the banks of the Thames River looking for bones to encourage her creativity. Four examples, all of which measure approximately 13 in. high by 10 in. wide, of the 15-piece collection are shown here: Scoop, Capsule, Sponge, and Venus table lights. Julie Nelson, P.O. Box 17357, London, England SW9 0WB. www.members.aol.com/nelsonpage or Jfnelson@aol.com. Available in the U.S. through Troy, 138 Greene Street, New York, NY 10012; Zao, 175 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10012; Fillamento, 2185 Fillmore, San Francisco, CA 94115; and Iota, 3107 Knox Street, Dallas, TX 75205.
Debuting in the United States at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May, Ligne Roset’s new collection of furniture and lighting includes Easy Light designed by Pascal Mourgue. Based on a classic design most often found on an architect’s desk, the lamp is offered in a table and floor version with a halogen bulb and metal shade or an incandescent bulb and white polycarbonate shade. A base or clamp option is also available. Also part of the introduction is Snap, designed by Peter Maly and made from an aluminum-clamp construction. Andrea Quaglio and Manuela Simonelli designed Bianca, an illuminated occasional table with a white polycarbonate cover in a satin finish, molded aluminum base, and a fluorescent light with a foot-operated switch. Finally, 99 Watts, a chrome and steel lamp designed by Fred Rieffel, is offered in a wall and floor version. Ligne Roset, 200 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10016.
Hemera: Designed by Vincent Dion, the Cleopatra wall sconce is made of an aluminum chain mail shade and a nickel-plated structure. It measures 8 in. wide by 15 in. high by 9 in. deep. Hemera, 2461 Des Carrieres, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2G 1X8. email@example.com.
FurnitureCo: Tom Dixon’s Octo Light Module is a series of stackable polyethylene lamps; also available in red and wine. FurnitureCo, 818 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10014
Shaver/Melahn: The Emmy rectangular block and square pedestal lamps, influenced by 1930s designs, are offered in natural cherry or walnut, chocolate walnut or ash, or ebony ash (shown here). Lampshade options include black paper, natural linen, or vanilla paper. Shaver/Melahn Studios, 114 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011.
Wingard: The Bruno Lamps have steel bases and a woven paper shades. The smaller size measures 11 1/4 in. high; the large lamp measures 17 3/4 in. high. Wingard, 123 South Park, San Francisco, CA 94107. www.windgardinc.com.
2thousand degrees: The Majorica series, designed by company founder Jim Henderson, includes pendants and sconces in seven frosted glass colors and three metal finishes. 2thousand degrees, 833 South 19th Street, Richmond, CA 94804. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sipure Design: Dix Heures Dix’s Abracadabra mobile floor lamp, designed by Fabrice Berrux, is made from movable fabric pieces and a lacquered metal base. It measures approximately 10 in. high. Sipure Design, 135 Northeast 40th Street, Miami, FL 33137. www.sipuredesign.com or email@example.com.
Nick Munro: This series of hand-blown, spherical crackle glass lamps with aluminum bases is available with a clear frosted (white) or blue frosted shade. Nick Munro, Unit 6, Barrowmore Trading State, Great Barrow, Chester, England CH3 7JS. www.nickmunro.co.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Kirk: The companion to the CS floor light is a cast-resin and borosilicate glass table light. Tom Kirk, 13c Camberwell Church Street, London, England SE5 8TR.
Donzella: From 1930 to 1970, Los Angeles-based architect and interior designer Paul Laszlo created work for high-profile Hollywood types (think Barbara Hutton and Fritz Lange). These colored glass tiled lamps are just a few examples of Laszlo’s work available through Donzella, 17 White Street, New York, NY 10013. email@example.com.
Claire O’Hea: This Londoner’s lamps are offered with cylindrical, square, or rectangular (shown) shades in linen (white) or crepe silk satin (chocolate, ruby, or gold). Claire O’Hea, 102 Burrows Road, London, England NWl0 5SH. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several Contemporary Lighting Models
Galbraith & Paul: The shades for the Oval floor lamp, shown here in warm twig and cool beads, are made of hand-blocked printed silk. The lamp measures 63 in. tall; the base is made of milk-painted poplar wood, and the shaft is nickel-plated steel. Galbraith & Paul, 307 North Third Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
The Chocolate Factory: Helen Rawlinson designed the Pebble lamp, which is offered in ochre, mushroom, red, eau de nil, purple, blue/gray, dark mushroom, and cream. The Chocolate Factory, Unit 5, First Floor, Farleigh Place, London, England N16 7SX. email@example.com
De Sousa Hughes: SSD’s Dolores lamp is made with white gold leaf, antiqued pewter, and a parchment shade. De Sousa Hughes, Showplace Design Center, Two Henry Adams Street, Showroom 220, San Francisco, CA 94103. www.desousahughes.com.
Baldinger: From the Rockwell Group collection, the Ricky wall sconce, shown here in stainless steel, has a laminated ginkgo leaf mounted between glass and measures 11 9/16 in. long by 5 1/4 in. wide with a 3 3/4-in. projection. Baldinger, 19-02 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY 11105.
Lake Shore Studios: Stonegate Designs is a new lighting collection that is offered in a variety of finishes or stained wood. Lake Shore Studios, 4200 Niles Road, St. Joseph, MI 49085. www.lakeshorestudios.com
J. Batchelor: The Cary floor lamp, from SSD, was inspired by 1940s moderne styling. It stands 69 in. high and the base is crafted of solid white oak. J. Batchelor, 1855 Griffin Road, Suite A452, Dania Beach, FL 33004.
Terzani: Designed by Jean Francois Crochet, the Toro des Coeurs table lamp has a metal frame with white nickel finish and a sanded glass diffuser. Terzani, Via Castelpulci, Int. 9, Scandicci, Italy 50010. www.terzani.it.
Eurolounge: Michael Young’s sculptural stick light is made from fiberglass. For more information, contact Catherine Johnston, 28 All Saints Road, London, England W11 1HG. firstname.lastname@example.org
DuPont Corian: DuPont Corian and the Chicago Furniture Designers’ Association (CFDA) are sponsoring a design show, Corian Competition 2000: Exploring New Ideas, at the Chicago Cultural Center. Several CFDA members’ lighting and furniture made with Corian will be on exhibit through the end of April. Shown here is Scan Scott’s C3 Luminaire in Glacier White Corian and stainless steel. www.corian.com.
Studio Orange: Rock Galpin designed the Fruity globe lights from polypropylene spheres. Available as a single light or trio. Studio Orange, 70-72 Kingsland Road, London, England E2 8DP. Rockgalpin@hotmail.com.
Tech Lighting: The Radius Wire system can be bent into loops or curves for a sculptural effect. Shown here with Bye-Byes accessories in cobalt, amber, and red. Tech Lighting, 1718 West Fullerton, Chicago, IL 60614.
Light Ray Studios: Lighting designer Rae Douglas created Meteor sconces in annealed copper (though other finishes are available) that project rainbow light patterns. Each measures 4 to 8 in. in diameter and has a 34n. wall projection. Light Ray Studios, 2726 East Blanton Drive, Tucson, AZ 85716. www.lightrays.com
Property: The Thimble light was designed from a synthetic fiber pressed into a mold to create a three-dimensional, protruding effect. Property, 14 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10013.
IF YOU’RE GOING to splash the cash on that special piece, it should be interesting and timeless to ensure it holds your attention for years to come. It should also accommodate any future design changes. We sent our style editor Sarah Ellison to pick the best of the best. Here’s what she found
The Butterfly chair (also known as the BKF chair) ticks all the boxes. Designed by Argentinian architect Jorge Ferrari Hardoy in 1938, it has withstood the test of time to become an iconic piece. Ultimately a classic mid-century item, this chair will provide a stylish update to a tired-looking room or complement a less impressive lounge suite. “Although replicas now offer fabric finishes in various colours, it’s worth spending the extra on a quality leather version (such as the one pictured), which will weather beautifully and retain its timeless appeal,” Sarah says.
2. VEERLE STOOL
There is something to be said about a solid timber stool with enough interest in its form to ensure it remains timeless yet appealing. Enter the Veerle stool. It’s not your typical hard-edged bulky piece that can overdominate a space. Its organic shape lends itself to different interior styles and would equally suit a contemporary decor or a more traditional setting. “I love the seamless, smooth shape of the design and its slight nod to the fi fties,” Sarah says. “It is stylish, timeless and comfortable.”
3. CARAVAGGIO LIGHT
With clean modern lines and a very sought-after industrial look, this pendant is timeless. Designed by Danish-born Cecilie Manz and introduced in 2005, the lamp has a soft feminine form but lends itself to a range of interior styles, from edgy industrial, to contemporary and utilitarian. Made of metal with a high-gloss lacquer, the Caravaggio comes in black or white with a black or red cord – matt finishes are also available in grey or white.
The light provides direct overhead illumination without glare and an opening at the top also casts light upwards. “This is a design classic. I love the gloss finish, and the cool pop of red gives it a point of difference,” Sarah says.
4. NOOK SOFA
Inspired by the simple and classic forms of mid-century design, this sofa offers quality, comfort and an understated aesthetic. It’s the clean lines that give a timeless look that will easily work in different style settings.
The Nook sofa gets an extra tick for its eco-friendly structure – the frame is made from sustainably sourced kiln-dried hardwood and plywood, and the timber legs have a water-based finish.
“I love the versatility of this sofa,” Sarah says. “And the inner is made from feather cushions, which means you can squish right down into it when relaxing. Style plus comfort – what could be better?”
5. TIMBER TABLE
There’s something special about the versatility and timeless value of a solid timber dining table. This one in recycled blackbutt provides soft earthy tones that will suit contemporary and modern-country homes. “Finding that perfect piece that is unobtrusive and can blend well into any space is a real find,” Sarah says. “And, most importantly, it can adapt to any decorating changes you may make down the track,” she adds.
6. IRON BED
Some people may think “country style” when you say iron bed, but this vibrant yellow version shows how you can catapult the traditional form into the 21st century. In fact, any splash of colour to suit your space will work. Have fun with your iron bedframe choice and don’t feel you have to match it with other vintage pieces. In a vibrant colour, this bed will also lend itself to contemporary spaces alongside modern pieces of furniture and accessories. “I like a ‘new take’ on a vintage piece and that’s what this bed is,” Sarah says. “It’s the ultimate in vintage chic.”
THE TROUBLE WITH COLOUR is you just can’t believe your eyes. Colours have a habit of behaving differently in the company of other colours. The “value”, “saturation”, and “coolness” of a hue can cause huge differences in our perception of colour. And the way we read colour is also greatly affected by the light source. So colours are duplicitous. One moment that sunny yellow is all light and joyful, the next moment it looks dingy and untrustworthy. How do we navigate through this complicated process of colour selection? Well, say hello to the colour wheel.
The colour wheel, designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666, is a tool that helps us understand colour and its relationships with other colours. As we learnt in school, the wheel is made up of 12 colours that are divided into three groups: primary, secondary, and tertiary.
The first three colours are the primary colours or pigment colours, which cannot be made from any other colour. These are red, yellow and blue. The secondary colours are made by mixing any two of the primary colours together, creating green, orange and purple. The tertiary colours are made by mixing a primary and a secondary colour, creating yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green.
The colour wheel theory is this: there is a set of principles used to create harmonious colour combinations, Another way to consider the colours on the colour wheel is by temperature. Half the wheel is made up of warm colours – reds, oranges and yellows, and the other half is the cool blues, greens and purple. Warm colours are considered to be vivid and energetic. They advance in the space, or come forward. Cool colours are serene and calm.
White, black and grey are classified as neutrals and these can be used to change any of the colours into a tint, shade or tone. A colour becomes a tint when white is added. White makes a colour brighter but also more pastel. A colour becomes a shade when black is added – this is also referred to as the value. When using design terms, we call these palettes dirty, gritty colours. A colour becomes a tone when grey is added. The words “colour” and “hue” are interchangeable.
Saturation is the amount of actual colour used to make the colour, that is, if the colour is not a tint, shade or tone, then it has full saturation or is full-on colour.
BLACK & WHITE + RED
These two rooms feature a gorgeous monochromatic scheme, also known as a onecolour scheme – and here, that one colour is red. They show how crucial balance is in colour terms – just a few tiny shots rev up these otherwise cool black and white environments.
Red is considered to be stimulating and exciting so it’s appropriate for a study area and, in small amounts, a child’s bedroom. Red is also the colour associated with love, desire, blood, fire, danger, strength and power.
BLUE + YELLOW + RED
Both of these rooms use a triadic scheme. That is, the three colours are spaced evenly on the colour wheel. The dark neutrals in these rooms allow the small amounts of colour to really pop. Yellow is considered to be the colour that is always seen first after all, yellow is the colour of sunshine! But beware, bright yellow rooms apparently make babies cry more.
PINK + GREEN
This is a classic complementary colour scheme – two colours opposite on the colour wheel – in pink and green. When used in large amounts this chord can be extremely vibrant, and that’s putting it nicely. On the other hand, look to Mother Nature. She’s quite a colour show-off, creating perfectly balanced colour harmonies all over the place – for example, most flowers and plants feature either analogous or complementary colour chords. In this bedroom (see right) the colour has really only been applied to the “accoutrements” of a lovely neutral space, so it’s fitting that these colours should collide or oppose each other to create just the right amount of tension to make the room harmonious.
All that said, rules are made to be broken. So be brave with your colour combos! Colour is a great design tool and you should go with your instincts. And, if you’re game to put your blue and green together without a colour in between, then so be it. Enjoy a little colour voodoo. Oh, but perhaps paint a really large sample first!
Brisbane interior designer Melanie Parker and her husband Stuart were searching for their first home together when they stumbled upon a weatherboard cottage in a secluded, tree-lined hill just near the Brisbane River in south-east Queensland. “We wanted a place not too far from the city, but somewhere that felt miles away,” Melanie says. “We loved the trees and the fact that the street was only partially sealed so it felt like a private little track to our corner of the world.”
The cottage had been spruced up for sale with a lick of cream paint on the interior walls and an exterior scheme of gum-leaf green with heritage maroon trim. Melanie decided she could live with the green, but the dated maroon had to go. The couple repainted the trims in a more contemporary charcoal grey, and a fresh coat of white paint replaced the cream of the interior walls.
Fresh paint through furniture and artworks
“The difference is incredible,” Melanie says. “The fresh paint has really opened our little cottage up. It’s like a breath of fresh air.” The new all-white backdrop of the interior helps balance the bolder block colours, through furniture and artworks, in the home.
The standard aluminium sliding door leading out to the deck was replaced with an eight-paned set of French doors, which increases the light into the kitchen. “They are architecturally a much prettier door to look at, especially as you can see them from the front entrance,” Melanie says. On the rear deck, the couple’s first impulse was to put an outdoor dining setting, but they found they used the more casual lounge seating in the warm Queensland climate.
Minor updates for living room and kitchen
The basic “builder’s kitchen”, as Melanie called it when the couple first moved in, just needed a few minor updates, such as replacing the dated splashback with white subway tiles and fitting new pendant lights. “With such a long, narrow living space, I wanted to define the three areas and changing the lighting was one way I could achieve this,” Melanie explains. The lighting was also changed in the bedrooms and hallway – vintage shades were chosen to keep the cottage feel of the house and to also balance the industrial-style Ikea pendants in the kitchen and living areas. The original lightfitting from the lounge was upcycled and painted white to make a fun statement in the tiny space.
Melanie, who works with interior designer Anna Spiro of Black & Spiro, has learnt many tricks of the trade from the queen of modern, eclectic style, who is also known for her bold use of colour. “Both Stuart and I wanted the house to feel quite personal, so I used existing pieces, vintage finds and a mixture of styles to make the house ours,” she says.
The design mantra Melanie repeats to her clients is: “Only purchase the items you love. An eclectic mix of items you love will stay with you, move from house to house with you and won’t necessarily date.” And judging by her home, Melanie certainly practises what she preaches.
WITH JUST $4000 in the kitty and three empty rooms – living, dining and bedroom – to transform into stylish spaces, stylist Briar hit “budget” stores to source a range of large items of furniture first. “It’s all about the careful edit and selection of pieces,” Briar says. “Buy basics with the simplest form. Avoid fussy, over-designed items. This will make it easier to build the scheme of the room and to add accessories,” she says.
To achieve an expensive look on an inexpensive budget it’s wise to play it safe with the colour palette as sometimes bright colours on low-price items can look cheap, Briar advises. “And use a pared-down palette throughout your home – just two or three main colours. This will ensure the rooms work together, creating a natural flow to your living spaces. It can save you money on paint, too.”
To really save money Briar did lots of DIY projects, making regular trips to discount superstores like Bunnings and Spotlight. “Look outside the square with hardware items,” she says. “It’s amazing what you can transform with a little imagination and time.” A great way to add personality and creativity to your rooms. Now, flip over the page to see exactly what Briar did transform.
living room TOTAL | $1639.54
Briar’s starting point for the room’s overall look was the sofa she bought from Fantastic Furniture for just $599. “The sofa is a block colour – a great dark charcoal shade that provides a solid and neutral base to work with,” she says. “Its shape and colour inspired the modern, eclectic look of the room.” Steering away from white walls, Briar added richness and a subtle contrast to the dark sofa with a soft sky-blue paint. Accessories that complement the sophisticated palette were then added through cushions, a striking rug, patterned throw, cool lamp, and simple white pieces such as the modern coffee table and side stool.
dining room TOTAL | $760.22
The dining room was a fun area to decorate as Briar incorporated lots of DIY projects, from using recycled cans as vases to creating a tablerunner from kraft paper. “Don’t be afraid to experiment with your DIY projects,” Briar says. “It’s not a huge money outlay, it just takes a bit of time.”
The steely shade of grey on the walls works well with the colour scheme of the living room and it also complements the white furniture basics in this space – affordable finds from Ikea. The neutral grey of the walls and frames allows for splashes of bright colour to be added through artwork – choose drawings, posters, photos and low-cost crafty items such as these cute pink and red heart doilies (see right) to add personality without breaking the budget. The overall look is modern and minimalist yet with plenty of character and style.
bedroom TOTAL | $1334.61
The major spend when decorating the bedroom is often the bedframe. Cut out this cost completely by going for a futon style with a mattress on the floor. Dress it up with beautiful bedlinen in complementary colours: think homemade bedcovers made from cuttings of fleece or felt, DIY cushions, and a striking bedhead, like our homemade fabric installation (see “Make”). Team with classic homewares and furniture, such as white lamps and bedside tables that won’t date and are easy to update. Vintage books can be used as decorative props, and for affordable artwork stick a favourite poster on the wall with Blu-Tack then add clips for a cool, casual look.