Norfolk by design: Why originality is key
PUBLISHED: 13:50 03 May 2016 | UPDATED: 13:50 03 May 2016
Make a feature of your home design, says Norwich-based interior designer Lanassir Lawes of Swank Interiors
It is relatively easy to create a neat, harmonious scheme but a client will have usually decided to hire an interior designer because they want more than just “nice” – I am always thinking outside the box to create an original combination of textures and finishes.
Whenever presenting a scheme, the aim is for my client to feel inspired to do something different, while feeling comfortable and confident that it will work for them. Having one wall of highly patterned wallpaper or a “brave” paint colour surrounded by three walls of neutral paint is the classic “feature wall” that many of us have had over the years and it is now seen as dated.
I believe there is still life in feature walls, but as a cohesive part of a scheme rather than a bold stand-alone statement – and why stop at one feature wall? Creating interesting focal points around the room can be as simple as a different wall finish. It is not unusual for me to put two wall coverings, one patterned and another textured with two different paint colours within one room. The key to making this eclectic style of decorating work is to have a good balance of colours and textures, so that no part is too overpowering.
In my sitting room I have used a wallpaper mural by Mr Perswall. These are great as there is a vast library of designs to choose from and you can even have your own photographs made into wall art. The designs are scaled to fit your wall and the paper is digitally printed to order. Although this could be seen as a big statement if viewed alone, the dark wall to the left tones down the drama while the lamp and sofa cushions tie in with the brighter colours.
Alcoves and walls behind TVs or artwork tend to be where I put the textured wall coverings as they act as a great backdrop. Some of the faux leather and shagreen papers that we specify in the studio work well in the panels of cabinetry, such as wardrobes or to cover shelves in dressing rooms for shoes and handbags.
One area in the home that can lack balance is the bathroom, as many of the surfaces can appear cold but again there is the opportunity to mix different textured tiles and even add a little wallpaper in areas away from moisture. I planned in the Cole and Son wall covering during the early stages of the building work to make sure that the pictorial design fitted perfectly within the space - it also means that I have to carefully place my fragrances on the shelf to fit the pattern too!