You know the drill – you’re heading out for the night and you’re looking to pick the perfect outfit.
But, as us girls know all too well, it’s not as simple as just grabbing the first thing you come across in your wardrobe.
Let’s say it’s just a casual evening on the town – you still need to pick the right jeans before heading out the front door. Right? Of course.
And that means making a decision.
If you’ve got a shapely figure then you are faced with two separate options:
CHOICE #1 – grab those curvy jeans and “work with what you’ve got” by complementing your body shape……or
CHOICE #2 – grab the skinny jeans and draw attention to your bold fashion choice by deliberately providing a noticeable contrast.
Here are two very distinct ways to prepare for the evening, but delivering two very different looks (which were governed by what your personality and mood dictated at the time).
I make the fashion comparison because it’s a problem that crops up regularly in the interior design game as well – and one I recently faced when styling a unit for a client.
The finished unit was sensational (full credit to all tradies involved) with a great layout and contemporary colours, but the flooring presented the real challenge.
It was a stunning variety of mahogany featuring a very distinctive reddish-pink fleck – it looked gorgeous, but I knew instantly that the unique colouring dictated a very specific style of furniture or the final design of the apartment wouldn’t work.
Again, like those jeans, I needed to find a way to complement this amazing floor with furniture that didn’t look garishly out of place.
Often developers stop at the finished product – they’ve built and painted their latest unit complex, handed over the keys to the new owners and then they’re off to their next project. Job done. That’s where they walk away.
But I am a strong believer that things don’t just stop at the key handover.
My experience has taught me that there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the owner’s new home is truly something special.
It’s not just about four walls and a front door; it’s about capturing the personality of the owner and having that personality shine through in the most aesthetically pleasing way.
That’s why this project was so challenging (yet wonderfully satisfying at the same time), because I needed to style the unit from top to bottom – from the kitchen appliances all the way down to the bathroom towels.
I knew that this was so much more than just matching the paintwork and lighting to the floor – the furniture was an integral part of “bringing it all together”.
Often a developer or builder will keep flooring selections and paint schemes to a very neutral colour palette to make it appeal to a greater number of potential purchasers.
And that’s how it SHOULD be if you are looking to sell the units en masse, but my client wanted more than just a cookie-cutter approach. He wanted a distinctive look that was both modern and robust, yet still practical and visually appealing.
By looking a little deeper into the colour of the timber, I was able to find a common theme that could be used subtly throughout.
So, once I hit the furniture stores, I was instantly able to see the right lounge suite, the perfect kitchen chairs and the exact bedroom furniture I needed. And then, simple accessories – a cushion here, a rug there – that shared a complementary colour to the timber flooring, tied everything in perfectly.
They all completed this modern, industrial feel without assaulting the eye through mishmashed furnishings that battled with the room (instead of seamlessly blending in).
It created a harmony that kept to the letter of my client’s brief and he (and I) are delighted with the final outcome.
That’s why I’ve mentioned the jeans analogy today, because when I first saw this floor it instantly stole my attention. I was never going to be able to ignore its dominating presence. I couldn’t pretend that it wasn’t there. So, I had to “choose the perfect jeans for the occasion”.
And this gave me the opportunity to embrace the distinctive texture of the surface and create something truly special.
When it comes to interior design, there will always be boundaries and limitations.
Sometimes your brief will demand that you play it simple and keep to the script; sometimes you’ll be asked to let the artist within run wild and produce something out of the box.
But always remember, if you’re going to break the rules, then be sure you get that contrast working for you.
Just keep asking the golden question – “does my bum look good in this”? You can’t go wrong.