Designing a sophisticated casual dining room

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

The dining room in any home is a convivial space to share meals with family and friends, engage in deep and meaningful conversations and interact on a daily basis. Casual dining rooms are often located within a larger open-plan area, nestled between busy kitchens and living rooms. The challenge with open plan is to create a sense of intimacy, an invisible perimeter that defines and separates the area, giving a sense of calm and an inviting place to pause.

Successful dining areas create an island of furniture and furnishings within the larger space, layer upon layer, from the floor up.

Rugs

Rugs visually define an area, and add a layer of textural interest. A rug should complement the surround finishes, and it needs to be large enough to allow chairs to be moved back from a table (when guests are taking or leaving their seats) and still remain within the rug’s perimeter. Care should be taken in selecting the composition of the rug’s weave, to survive wear from chair legs and allow for ease of cleaning.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Chairs

These need to be comfortable, and neither too high nor too low in relation to the tabletop. It really is worth test-driving a selection of chairs to find the best fit. Then there is the design of the chair itself. Think about the look of its legs in relation to the table legs: do they complement each other successfully? Timber chairs have a relaxed feel and can be partially upholstered for a smidgen more comfort. Chairs around a table don’t always have to match: carver chairs at either end add a sense of drama, or you could mix it up with stools and benches.

Table

This significant item of furniture commands a lot of attention, so thought needs to be given to the look and materials. Timber is a popular finish, with its warmth and texture and practical surface. There are laminates, scratch-resistant polymers, metal, and concrete options too. It’s important to think about this piece in relation to the other finishes in the kitchen and living areas if it’s in an open-plan area. The floor plan often determines size and shape, and extension tables can be useful for special occasions.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Lighting

The crowning glory to the setting is an eye-catching pendant. Slinging a pendant low over a dining table creates a canopy, heightens the sense of intimacy once seated, and offers the opportunity for more flattering lighting to those sitting at the table. Texture, visual interest, aesthetics and light output all need to be taken into consideration when choosing such an important piece.

Carefully considering these elements and how they relate to each other will enable you to create a comfortable and elegant dining area for years to come.


Contact Yvette on 09 376 9323
to discuss your next project.

 

The green revolution & playful geometries: Spring 2018

Image: Travelling salon at Salone Del Mobile by Cristina Celestino for Rubelli.

Image: Travelling salon at Salone Del Mobile by Cristina Celestino for Rubelli.

Optimism is the mood for spring 2018, and it is expressed with bold, confident and graphic colour-blocking treatments and a playful, happy design aesthetic. Maximalism of the 1970s is back, but it feels exciting and fresh. The new appeal of the decade of disco, macramé and maximalism may live in the comfort of nostalgia and in people’s need in uncertain times to wrap themselves up in the warm hug of texture and pattern.

Unbridled embellishment is everywhere, including the graduated shading of Ombre, and in more unique treatments including wallpapers, mirrors and marquetry . . . think fringing on furniture and window treatments for true 70’s glam. Globalisation is shrinking difference and distance. Consumers are well travelled and informed and want to show it in their homes. Technology makes everything only a click away. It’s the joyful optimism at the heart of this aesthetic that’s the hero of this new take on the movement.

Green revolution

Biophilia shows no sign of decline – our desire to seek a connection with nature is strong. Think of a profusion of verdant colours inspired by lush foliage. At the Salon Del Mobile earlier this year the integration of plants into installations, furniture and lighting was a strong theme. This follows through with the seamless integration of technology around the home. Kartell’s hybrid I-table transforms from a desk to a cooktop. There is a deeper focus on sustainability, recycling and ethically sourced materials, with the emergence of the circular economy that embraces regenerating products to create less waste.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Palette

Our transition to more conscious living is reflected in the increasing relevance of green and earth tones. We are still embracing richer palettes, wine reds, dark burgundy, saturated cassis, earthy pink ochres, comforting earthy shades of clay, rust and amber. Timeless beige, minimal grey and linen are coming back as neutral tones to balance alongside the flame reds, richer terracotta, deep blues and water reflection greens and chartreuse.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

The alternative palette to this is gentle pastels and self-assured neutrals – warm cottons, pale gold, fleshy neutrals, dusky pinks and rose, hemp and pale bronze, desert sage and stonewash blue. These colours sit back; they are soft and quietly composed.

Images sourced from Rubelli.

Images sourced from Rubelli.

New Minimals

Minimalism’s new movement is combining the traditional elegance of Japanese culture with the modern Scandi noir aesthetic – ‘Japandi’. Japan’s sleek and rich colour palette, refined elegance and curves, and accents with screens and vases is a contrast with Scandi rustic details and neutral colours, relaxed farmhouse flair, and accents with blankets, throw pillows and rugs.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Form

Voluptuous proportions, playful shapes and an almost human embrace of comfort and softness from marshmallow-like armchairs. The new silhouette is a very circular form.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Surfaces

The rise in natural stone, including the tactile texture of travertine and continued prevalence of boldly pigmented, richly veined marbles, used in in fresh and inspiring treatments, along with transparency in the form of delicately coloured and sculpted glass.

Images sourced from Pinterest.

Images sourced from Pinterest.


Contact Yvette on 09 376 9323
to discuss your next project.

 

Darker wood grains & more comfort: Autumn 2018

Autumn interior colours by Dulux

Autumn 2018 is  all about colour, texture and the boldness. Statement pieces are an exciting trend for the season. Warm, exotic colours mixed with artisanal textured finishes, and large enveloping pieces of furniture or detailed embellishments such as ornate hardware. Think leather drawer pulls, heavy metal curtain rings and rods, brass handles for cabinetry and lighting features.  Maximalism is making its presence felt in 2018 and allows people to express themselves in vibrant and unique ways that Minimalism doesn’t. Image credit: Dulux 2018.

 

Up the cosiness factor

Expect vibrant oranges, rich plum hues, and warm earthy tones like Terracotta. This rich shade sits in the bronze family, with its touch of orange and a hint of red. It looks great on tactile materials – especially bed linen – along with ceramics and tiles or an architectural feature for dramatic effect . Lighter woods have been on trend for a while, but expect to see more darker woods like mahogany, oak and walnut along with dark veneers.
 
Think velvets, suedes, and leather for their relaxed and sensual nature. Up the cosiness factor by adding in lashings oversized knitted throws, luxurious velvets, linens and soft woollen rugs and hides layered underfoot for impact. Go all out with a velvet sofa or take baby steps with a jewel toned velvet throw or cushion. Linen is perfect at this time of year. It is hypoallergenic, anti-static, breathable, low maintenance, and its unique soft texture that becomes softer with age. [Images below sourced from Pinterest.]

Autumn textiles

Seek out organic, earthy luxury, raw textures. Think patterns in organic grains, water marks, organic weathering, hand glazed ceramics, worn and weather wood and frayed edges to textile. Embrace the imperfectness of nature and Wabi-sabi. With interiors  this translates to handmade or hand-painted items including rough linens and pottery. The result? A deeply personal, organic aesthetic. Terrazzo is returning. This composite material of broken marble and cement that is polished and smooth. It gives a speckled mosaic look to floors and benches for a maximalist impact…..or a vase as an accent.  [Images below sourced from Pinterest.]

Terrazzo kitchen
 

Darker wood grains

There is a renewed appreciation for heavy cabinetry, possibly as a move away from open shelving. Rather than stark-white kitchen cabinets, expect to see warm greys, earthy hues and creams, as well as wood grain tones. Statement storage will be a growing trend in 2018. Gone are the days of sacrificing style for function. Versatile pieces like a tamboured buffet are expanding beyond media and dining rooms for creative placement throughout the home. There seems to be a growing desire for high-end organisation in our personal space, a desire for things—and life—to feel pulled together.

Tamboured buffet by  Anthropologie

Tamboured buffet by Anthropologie

 

Comfort spaces

Everyone is looking for comfort and reassurance, enveloping silhouettes will continue to grow in popularity. Couches will take cues from the boldness of the '70s this season, with sensual, generous curves that liven up your living room and envelope and cocoon.

Curving couch

Image: Parisian apartment interior designed by Joseph Dirand.


Contact Yvette on 09 376 9323
to discuss your next project.