What do you do when your clients have quite different tastes in interior design? Our latest clients, a young couple in Stratford, came to us with two very different visions in mind. They moved to London from the United States, deciding to purchase a new four-bed apartment in a new build site in Stratford. It was important to them to mark this new chapter in their lives by personalising their apartment, so wanted to invest in some significant interior styling beyond just buying a new sofa and bed. The problem was both of them had radically different ideas when it comes to design and couldn’t agree how to marry the two tastes they had in mind; a love of neutral Scandinavian Chic and a love of bright and bold colours. These two styles don’t normally sit well together unless a creative eye lends a hand.
If you don't want to invest in significant renovation due to budget or because you only have intentions to rent, then styling can be a great compromise to give a generic, dull-looking house or apartment a sense of identity. By simply investing in some choice items of furniture and soft furnishings, along with other small low-end renovations like paint or fixtures, you can produce a thematic look that is strong enough to make an impression even if you do decide to move.
Many people who rent or don’t own their own property, sometimes feel reluctant to establish a sense of style for their home, as it can be perceived as too much of an investment. Just because something maybe temporary doesn’t mean you have to compromise on great design though. Finding a key item, colour, or style, is the logical step and the start to building a long-term look for your dream home wherever it may be. We knew our client wanted key pieces to be timeless and the style to be gender neutral, but one thing that united our couple was the desire to own a leather sofa, and this became the starting point for our entire project and we chose the versatile Axel Tan brown Saddle leather sofa from West Elm. During the consultation, our clients also decided to add a new member to their family, an adorable new pooch called Isla, so materials we chose for the home therefore needed to be pet friendly as well.
Tackling the issue of combining bright colour with minimalist Scandi, we turned to Mid-Century Modern look as a great source of inspiration and compromise, the clean hard lines adhere to the minimalist look but the soft furnishings offered some great choices when it came to colour. Opting for a pale grey ‘Silver Thistle Down’ wall colour from Valspar throughout the apartment allowed us to create a neutral Nordic canvas to place all of these elements and ensure we kept our client’s Scandinavian Chic needs happy. Many contemporary collections on the high street right now are embracing bold colours, pairing them with some fantastic eye-catching metallics like copper and gold.
Our living area really began to take shape when we added a dramatic turquoise abstract brushed palette rug and mustard yellow velvet Hex footstool, along with some choice bright blue cushions in various materials from Dunelm, M&S Home, and John Lewis. Another way of balancing Scandi design and bright colour was adding white and earth coloured terrazzo planters throughout the living area and the other areas of the home. Our clients were also avid collectors of artisan alcohol, with an incredible array of gins and whiskey brands, rather than take up valuable space with a drinks cabinet we decided to display their collection with an Aero black iron shelving from Swoon Editions.
For the dining room, we chose for a concrete effect sideboard and the pops of colour continued with the choice of material for the dining chairs, going for upholstered velvet Mid-Century chairs in a warm terracotta from West Elm, along with turquoise vase table ornaments helped us address one of our client’s desire for colour.
In other parts of the home, we added blush pink Arte Le Corbusier Dots wallpaper from Jane Clayton in the bathroom to complement the Scandi grey tiles and marble wall shelves we installed from Cox & Cox. In the bedroom, the Andes double bed from West Elm was set against our largest colour statement, a Valspar blue XX turquoise feature wall. Adding more abstract patterned cushions from West Elm and the blush pink waffle throw from Amara completed the look.
We are incredibly happy how this restyling project came out. When it comes to combining different tastes, it’s no surprise it comes down to compromise, but this doesn’t mean settling for a look neither of you fully like. Finding the key elements you both agree on to frame your theme, might be all you need to pull together the interior design vision you both have in mind. Having a third party interior design consultant, like Space Shack, can help challenge your preconceptions and throw in a few ideas into the mix too.