Norfolk by Design: Grown-up rooms
PUBLISHED: 10:16 21 March 2016
It's fun and games when you have room for a grown-up retreat, says Norwich-based interior designer Lanassir Lawes of Swank Interiors
ONCE upon a time homes had a standard format of set rooms that were expected, such as a second reception room would be a dining area. Now when working with clients to create the home that suits them, I always investigate what rooms they would actually like rather than feel they need to have. Although a formal dining room is a necessity to some it is good to question whether that space would be better used as a children’s playroom or teenagers’ den.
One of my current projects is a 7,500sqft family home with five reception rooms but no formal dining room as the kitchen/family room works so well.
A big trend that is evident at the moment is to create a grown-up playroom or retreat, such as a games/cinema room combination. Luxury non-essential rooms are always great fun to design as they are unique to the client - this is a real opportunity to have a room that suits one’s leisure activities and reflects your personality. You will notice from the two rooms that are pictured here that although they have a similar function, the styles and colours are very different.
Popular items that are often included are a pool table should there be adequate room (it is easy to underestimate the space required for cueing), maybe a dart board and a television. The use of the TV will depend on the size and the positioning - if it is used for watching movies as a family, it will probably be larger and wall-mounted centrally, or if it is for gaming then it may be in a less prominent position.
Dividing the space into zones works really well for different activities as this allows the whole family to be in one room but doing “their” activity.
A variety of suitable seating is always a prerequisite. Some clients choose dark and mysterious masculine colours, where others prefer to mix feminine colours into the scheme to make the room more family-orientated. Patterned fabrics and wallpapers can add intimacy to the room and tie in the colours of existing pieces of furniture and upholstery, while other rooms are kept simple and slick. Displaying collections, trophies and sporting memorabilia can be an interesting form of decoration that reflects the owner’s personality and adds character (it may not be the place for expensive artwork if there are darts and pool cues flying around!) The possibilities are endless...
Even if, like me, you don’t have the luxury of an extra room, it is really lovely if you can incorporate personal spaces around your home. One of mine is this little recess built in to accommodate my Coca Cola bottle collection. I am completely obsessed with dark paint colours at the moment and have used Fig Grey by Zoffany in this space, which is available from our new Norwich showroom.