Shortlisted as Amara Student Interior Designer of the Year

While throwing myself into the practical side of interior design, firstly creating our own home and now by helping others with residential interior design projects, I’m also studying with the KLC School of Design. As part of that, I’m really excited to have been shortlisted for the AMARA Student Interior Designer of the Year 2017/18.

I was shortlisted for my proposal in response to the brief of designing a living space in a small Central London 1930s apartment, for a Scandi-loving woman who wanted a space to relax and entertain at home. The budget for the project was £10,000, with products sourced from Amara.

I’ve included my observations of the scheme below, to share some more detail of my thinking for the project.

Putting the scheme together

The era of the space was the starting point for the scheme. 1930’s design had embraced Modernism, architectural spaces were light and bright, while the Bauhaus movement championed the beauty of functionality. A good understanding of this ethos led me to look at commonalities with Scandinavian design and its balance of functionality and a homely aesthetic, with muted colours and natural materials.

Considering how to balance this with a clear feeling of luxury, I started with a uniting colour palette. Grey is often the default Scandi look, but I wanted to use more feminine colours that reflect Bella’s appreciation of fashion. The palette mixes 30’s inspired muted golden-yellow, with a very current soft plaster pink, and a pop of Corbusier-inspired cobalt blue for a chic edge. This balances against a backdrop of tonal greys, with accents of high-saturation yellow.

Muted yellow, soft pink and use of wood works brilliantly to warm up the North Eastern-facing room, while greys keep it calm and chic. The golden coral-patterned wallpaper used around the 1930’s fireplace, against a backdrop of soft pink, ensures definition of the wonderful features. Grey textured wallpaper is focused around the dining space to help zone, while ensuring a consistent scheme with a sense of space.

Comfortable seating was key for the space to be both relaxing, and to work for entertaining. The clean lines of the sofa make the perfect backdrop for a rich mix of cushions – Scandi chic, with a luxurious edge. To create a reading spot, a goat-hide armchair, with bright yellow throw, brings cosy luxury and a silhouette that evokes art deco furniture.

The small footprint of a foldable dining table gives the illusion of space and a spot to entertain and enjoy cocktails. Three oak chairs add warmth and functionality, while the sheepskin footstool can double up as a fourth.

Lighting is layered to change the atmosphere: a main utilitarian ceiling pendant provides useful overhead lighting, while low-hanging cobalt blue dimmable bulbs provide stylish task-lighting. A statement glass pendant zones the dining area with a luxury look, and combined with the pineapple lamp creates a fun atmosphere for cocktails.

Texture is vital to the success of the space. For a sense of liveable luxury, soft furnishings bring mohair, cotton, wool, linen, and fringing. Brass, marble, glass and wood then work to bounce the natural and artificial light, with a touch of class.

The overall look is styled with a chic attention to detail. From the impactful brass side-table, to statement pieces by Tom Dixon, Jonathan Adler, and Fornasetti, the space is luxury with a sense of humour.

An effective use of space is key. In addition to a clever use of furniture, stylish woven baskets house books and magazines, while simple storage boxes can hide under the sofa.

To finesse the finer details of the scheme, I’d want to know more about the current flooring, and an understanding of the different elevations to best decide the specific placement of wall finishes and furniture.

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