It’s funny how our taste evolves, maybe through confidence, travel, seeing things in a different light, growing up I don’t know, it just changes.  My taste has certainly changed from pale and a bit Scandi to dark and bright to dark and now more sophisticated. Don’t get me wrong I love colour I love strong shots of bad boys hues that most people shy away from but I’m finding with the revamped paint colours I’m limiting the number of bright hues in each room.  Instinctively that is, I didn’t think about until yesterday when I was trying to put a red  lamp back in my studio and it didn’t work.

So I thought I would write a little on what makes a room feel sophisticated but relaxed.

I’ve found if you use multiple tones of the same hue, it pulls the scheme together beautifully. Take my studio for instance one part of the room is painted black one part brown. Because there is brown in the black paint the two rooms harmoniously blend. There are also a lot of black and both brown pieces in both rooms,  varying hues of course to up the interest. Each space has a different feel but not so different you would automatically at first realise it!

Another way to up the sophistication levels is through lighting; Pools of soft light rather than one main pendant lamp or chandelier as the main source. The trick – to create areas that softly glow, blur into the shadows and add mystery. Never of course eliminate shadows as they add depth and intrigue to a space.

If you have architectural details highlight them. If you’ve got really cool cornicing create a art wall that takes the eye right up to it. Maybe you have a floor to ceiling window that we have in the front of the house. Before the revamp I had a console in front and had layered it up with stuff. Now I’ve relocated the console and all you’ll find is a biggish sort of lamp and a chair. Simple but now the window which is beautiful and original to the house (1860) takes center stage!

Of course you can add architectural details through wallpaper there are some great ones out there – panelled effect papers for that library look, concrete ones, brick even – great as a feature wall.

The hardest part is not making the room feel so dressed it feels uptight. Yes you want the space to feel chic but it shouldn’t put you on edge like you’ve got to be on your best behavior. It should feel welcoming, lived in and comfortable I say, like the spaces below:

a

a2

a1