Irish interiors are coming of age as confident home-owners settle on their own unique style. The look is relaxed and not over styled. Think living rooms, not show rooms.
The new grown up interiors don’t have to try too hard. They have relaxed colour confidence and an easy individuality that sees retro items sit happily in contemporary spaces. Many of the elements that were sacrificed in the name of minimalism are back with a bang as fully fitted carpets, patterned walls and strong colours make a comeback.
To create the look:
- Making a clash between vintage and modern shapes and colours has taken the fashion world by storm. And now it has come into interiors. Think eclectic and create your own unique style. If you look like you picked the components up on your world travels, or inherited them, so much the better.
- This look is all about comfort. Forget showhouse styling and over-groomed rooms, the grown-up interior is lived in. Seating is comfortable, sometimes mixing well worn statement chairs with modern seating and cosy up the entire with textured throws and cushions.
- Use strong colours as a backdrop to pattern.
- While painting a feature wall in a strong colour still adds interest to a room, consider going a step further and introduce a free flowing stencil. The new stencils are far from their twee origins. Bigger is better to build up a collage that spreads right across the wall. And remember to opt for a strong background colour to support the detailed pattern.
- Experiment with contrasting colours on adjoining walls to create the perfect backdrop for the grown-up interior.
Grown up style is about getting ‘real’ in your interiors. Build your scheme around objects with a richness of colour and an air of quality. Think contrasting textures and statement colours that somehow just work together.
To create the look:
- ‘Heirloom’ pieces are a must in the grown up interior. That 60s teak side board your parents got as a wedding present is just the thing and can easily mix with modern furniture. Check out specialist retro or your local auction room. The trick is to invest in a few ‘good’ pieces with a focus on seating, tables and storage.
- This look doesn’t need to shout but relies on contrasts in texture; for example, a table or bedhead in a shiny finish standing against a matt wall, both painted in the same colour.
- While clutter is still a no-no, there’s room for more personality in ‘grown-up’ rooms. Pick your favourite items and display them in groups. Put your art out and never mind if it clashes.
- Natural materials such as well worn timber flooring, exposed painted brick and richly textured fabrics are a good backdrop for your ‘real’ rooms.
- You don’t have to hang your pictures. Rest them on your mantle or against the wall for a more relaxed look.
- In the bedroom choose hot chocolate colours and layer the bed with contrasting shades and rich woven blankets and quilts.
Once upon a time father worked, mother cooked and the whole family sat down to eat. That no longer happens in quite the same way and the demands on our homes have changed immeasurably. Grown-up interiors manage to pull rooms together even where the home was originally designed with a different lifestyle in mind.
To create the look:
- Choose colours that flow into each other in a harmonious way, instead of decorating each room totally independently. Employ a palette of calm, smoky, plain colours and apply them to spaces with a care for the next space. Colour doesn’t have to stop at the door and can wrap around to halfway along the wall in the next room if you want.
- If strong colour isn’t your thing using several shades of white, maybe on adjoining walls, or even on the same wall, introduces creative tension but is easy to live with. If you introduce a bolder colour, maybe a royal blue or fire engine red, it should be a flash, and in a place you might not expect – a single stair or the back of an alcove to set off treasured items on display.
- It was unthinkable years ago but now most houses in Ireland have a home computer which can hold gloomy associations with work. Painting the zone around it using a different colour to the surrounding room gives the space its own character. Then just add pictures and cute collectables to turn it from utility into fun.