03 Aug Mid-century modern meets Scandi
This chalet style house in a Cambridgeshire village is the dream home for a couple who moved in with their two children. They had decorated the snug which leads off the lounge in a modern palette of greys and yellow but they didn’t quite know how to make the colours flow through the house. The lounge was really tricky being long and narrow, and it acted as a corridor between the snug and dining kitchen.
My clients said they wanted to keep the flooring, sideboard, curtains, piano and lighting… but everything else could go. The main requirement was for a good ‘flow’. The couple wanted a flexible space that provided a social area for adults but it also needed to accommodate the children at play, they liked spreading their toys over the floor.
The lounge is long and narrow making it difficult to furnish but on the plus side it receives a lot of natural light from the two large windows that open up onto the garden. I designed a diagonal arrangement for the room which meant that the seating could face both into the room and out from it to the garden. On summer days one set of doors could be left open. On winter days the focus could turn 180 degrees and with a large new piece of artwork we created a new focus. Flexible seating includes three sofas, two leather armchairs, a rocking chair and a bench; the furniture can easily be moved to make the seating arrangement work on several levels.
We created a cosy area for reading, or watching the children in the garden, or chatting over a cuppa. I recommended painting the radiator so it visually disappears in the room, it is a less expensive option than either replacing the radiator or having it covered. This is now one of the favourite spots in the house.
Blue works as a complementary colour giving the room a comfortable atmosphere. It balances and helps to tone down the warming colours of yellow, yellow ochre and orange. Precious objects came out of the loft! The trunk is much loved and the rich brown colour ties in well with the wood of the radio and the piano, although I had hoped to paint the piano powder blue.
Opting for a mid-century look the dominant feature in the lounge is a large birch ply mounted print which was made to order by online retailer Surface View. We chose this piece because it fitted with the colour scheme we had but also because the couple love it – happy memories of train journeys.
While we were working on the lounge project the couple decided to revamp the kitchen retaining as many of the original units as possible. We removed the existing wall units opting instead for simple display shelving. There were overpowering dark blue tiles on the wall around the sink area and we removed these in favour of a painted finish and work surface upstand. We also replaced the existing breakfast bar which was overlarge with an arrangement that includes storage underneath. The light and airy feel to the dining kitchen is accentuated by small touches of colour. We picked blue for the lights, they look great with the simple table setting, and the colour neatly links through to the lounge.
A small wood burning stove had been installed with the thought that this space could be used as an informal cosy seating area. I rather preferred it as a dining area so I suggested the dining table was moved into this space, it had been in the lounge. The couple tried it out for a while and thankfully it worked for them. The sideboard was a family favourite so it takes pride of place. The juxtaposition of modern and old furnishings makes this a unique home which reflects the clients personality and lifestyle.
The couple are thrilled with it all and particularly like the colour scheme which they said they would never have even considered without my intervention. The rooms are inviting, cosy, smart and sophisticated.
It was interesting that the Colour of the Year chosen by Dulux for 2016 was Cherished Gold, a mustard yellow. We were on very much on trend with this one!
Make your ‘before’ into a colourful and warm ‘after’. Get in touch for a design consultation.