20 Jul

The fine line between gimmicky and cool

Today and tomorrow is DESIGN SCHOOL DAY. Opening the doors of my pad and yabbering about all things interiors from how to create the perfectly imperfect room, to breaking rules, to finishing touches, to more bang for you buck. Bored yet? Apologises focus Abi, focus!

Yesterday I was asked on the blog the difference between making somewhere look funky, edgy cool and making somewhere look gimmicky. That fine line we  often walk as we want our homes to look and feel amazing but not silly. There are tricks (I yabber about them in the classes all the time).  Here goes:

Number One: Think percentages! 70 even 80 % of stuff should be harmonious, beautifully co-ordinated blah blah blah. BUT then the remaining 20 or 30 per cent should knock it out of the park. So here is where your kitsch gimmicky finds come in, or something ugly that doesn’t quite fit that throws the interior off. Could be an odd painting, a funny oddball chair, a gnome, a silver pig (whoops ticking all of those boxes maybe I’ve got slightly more than the 30% that’s odd)! Its fundamental to throw off a space with stuff like this otherwise it will feel too done, to just so.

Number Two: Restrict the colour palette – do that and you will find it way easier to add in more odd things, they will blend in more easily and not look or feel so whacky. Everybody thinks I am the hugest lover of colour, I AM but when you come here you will see just how restricted it is, makes mixing way easier and it makes mixing gimmicky stuff SO much easier!

Number Three: Mess it up – like my hair which never ever ever (please one day God) looks perfectly groomed, and perfected,  interiors need to look   a little messy, a little off.   The reason,  we don’t want all the focus to go on the odd ball finds we want  to balance it out with other odd compononets. Making sense? Its a very different way of designing, we are ditching convention big time but stay with me as the effects are so transformative you will love me for it!  So hang a chandelier off centre and too low, put something to big like a lamp on a table too small. Angle a table in a slightly askew fashion – we are creating focal points to tantalise as we don’t just want  one focal point, we  want many.  We are tricking the eye so it doesn’t quite know where to look, and that is when magic starts happening, so senses are so stimulated and excited and before you know it your heart starts pounding faster and harder. You know that feeling you get when you bump into an old boyfriend or girlfriend or suddenly here from them and you can barely breath. That is the effect I am after with interiors – heart skipping, pulse raising, that tingling feeling of excitement . Am I overdoing it, sense that I am, but you get my point right?

So below an incredibly beautiful interior and then on the left of the image a detail of it. You will see some odd accessory on the table, a funny old picture that throws it off a bit. You can go more extreme I have,   when you restrict the colour palette you can almost add as many odd ball things as you want and it won’t even feel like it. Clever hey!

Gotta run, (I mean not literally did that yesterday I was so done in that I feel asleep at 9pm),  instead I have to run after the two M’s. Mungo and Maud have crazy hours (generally about twice a day sometimes 20 times a day)! This involves tearing around the house chasing each other at break neck speed, messing up all the rugs, knocking stuff over  and generally causing a mess. And they’ve just started.

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