Today’s blog post is all about showing you how it’s the little touches that can take your home to the next level and how sometimes you may need a bit of expert help to really breathe life into your space and make it all work together. Cohesion, commonly called “flow” can be an elusive thing when decorating.
Interior designer Sarah Yarrow illustrates this beautifully in this short video about what she did with a recent client’s home for their young family.
Sarah has kindly walked us through what she did and how you could do the same in your home…
The design brief for this home was largely, to make the spaces feel cohesive and inviting. Before the update, the home lacked any sort of specific style; there were no distinguishing features or key focal points to draw the eye around each room. The spaces looked okay, as in, there were no glaring acts of design faux pas, it was more that it lacked warmth, personality and the scale of many existing furniture pieces and accessories were all wrong.
My first step was to really nut out the desired aesthetics the clients were after (contemporary coastal), then it was all about sticking to that style and constantly referring back to the agreed concept before making each selection.
The final result really answered the brief in terms of ensuring cohesion and flow throughout the spaces. I did this by keeping the colour base quite neutral with cool whites then added warmth using dusty “dirty” pinks, warm greys and olive into the palette.
I added interest by creating a focal point in each space so there was something to anchor and draw the eye into. For example, the black pendant light in the kitchen catches your eye in the tall ceiling and then naturally guides you down to the hardwood timber shelves which are lovingly stocked with soulful treasures and practical wares.
The tiny study, once a nothing sort of area, now has a fun but very simple wallpaper which completely changes the feeling. Cladding the fireplace horizontally in VJ boards counterbalanced the dominating scale and really added some comfort to the previously bland facade.
Repeating these principles throughout the whole home helped me connect each space and ensure there was an overall flow throughout.
It’s the little touches which give the home its character and personality though. Given the ceilings were very high at over three metres and the base colour palette of wall paint and kitchen finishes were all cool whites, it was imperative to add lots of texture to help ground and deliver warmth.
Furnishings full of cool colours, with no pattern or texture would have left the home feeling cold and cavernous. Instead, I added sheer curtains to soften the large wall of glass, incorporated wool textured rugs and throws, patterned cushions and of course, the personalised accessories, were ways I was able to achieve the desired feeling.
My clients love to travel so many of the chosen accessories reflected that passion: books, collected vintage wares and family photos. While I started the ‘story’ for them in terms of the accessories, I was also conscious of leaving empty spaces for them to fill out the shelves with more special collected pieces as time goes on. That way, it becomes an ever-evolving memory display of their lives together as a family. That’s what a home should be in my opinion!
At the end of the day, my goal is always to leave my clients with a home that’s entirely reflective of them, not what’s in the showroom or the magazine or what the Joneses have up the road. Take inspiration from those sources of course, but the only way to truly have a home with soul and style, is by being YOU! Be true to that and follow those key design techniques, and you’ll end up with a truly cohesive home that makes you feel good.
Nineties holiday apartment gets a fresh makeover
After photos: Jacqui Turk
Karina von Byern says
Where can I get the fern wallpaper shown in the study? It’s so simple & refreshing, I’d like it for my bathroom. Thanks!
Jen Bishop says
Hi Karina, it’s from Murals Wallpaper online 🙂
I like that black pendant light in the kitchen. It is indeed catchy and stylish. Where can I find it Jen? I would like to include it on my next project.
Jen Bishop says
There’s a link to Sarah’s website at the end Kristy, I’m sure she’ll help if you drop her a Line 🙂