It’s not your usual luxury. Yes there are rich colours and high end finishes. Velvet sits with marble, gleaming metals reflect statement art. Yes it’s sumptuous and tactile, lush and sophisticated but it’s just a little edgy, a little sharp. It’s the new luxe. Diagonal Residence by Barcelona-based interior designer Jaime Beriestain.
There is something so sexy about a black and white space. Make it a downtown LA loft with exposed wooden beams, steel trusses and original hardwood floors and it doesn’t really get much hotter than that! Designed by avant-garde, minimalist interior designer Lukas Machnik.
I was at it again a few weekends ago, going to town on my living room walls. As much as I love some dark paint, having a dark grey living room after about 3 years was getting to me. The cave-like effect had lost its initial appeal. Here is what it looked like before the transformation:
That was Downpipe by Farrow and Ball – high gloss on the trim and fireplace and estate emulsion on the walls (and Plummett on the ceiling) . Luckily I didn’t need to change anything but the walls (gawd I hate painting trim – and it’s high gloss so I may be stuck with it forever!). I am not a faux-finish gal but I have always loved the plaster walls the talented duo behind Jersey Ice Cream Co. always use in their projects. So I thought I would give it a go. Due to my busy schedule and general laziness when it comes to painting projects, I came up with a plan. I went to Home Depot and bought a couple of cans of Rustoleum’s Chalked paint – a medium grey (Country Grey) and a concrete coloured grey (Aged Grey). Then I bought many packs of cheesecloth, at Jo’s suggestion. I did a rough, thin coat of the medium grey over my dark grey walls, letting a bit of the dark grey show through. Oh – chalk paint dries almost instantly so I added a bit of water to it. Then I brushed on the lighter grey in small sections and immediately started dabbing with the cheesecloth. And voilà! It looks like concrete/plaster!
Here is a quick snap I took on my phone during the process:
And here is how it looks now! (I know some people may think the dark was better but trust me, a room with larger windows that let in more light would have been much easier to live with)
I was inspired by a photo I saw recently while doing blog research and found this simple solution for hanging art in a not-so-average way. I bought some small black chain at Canadian Tire which I attached by little eye hooks into the bottom of the molding left it hang down (I might hook it into the baseboards to straighten it out a bit). Those beautiful frames I found at Highjinx. They had awful still life paintings in them so I painted over them with some leftover paint I had stashed away.
Sources: raspberry vintage sofa + brass base side table + pink tufted chair – The Pale Blue Dot; Moooi carpet by Marcel Wanders – The Modern Shop; sheepskins – Cowboy Kate Outpost; Knoll tulip table + black tall plant stand + blanket over back of sofa – Alteriors; floral pillow on raspberry sofa – Wild Rice Designs; knitted pillow – Hana Waxman; embroidered bat art – Caitlin T. McCormack; large portrait over sofa – photo by Amanda Margareth; ceramic cat + black base side table – Highjinx; pink blanket and remaining pillows – Homesense; FLOS aim pendant by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Everything else random vintage finds.
These elegant, contemporary interiors ares beautifully considered and exquisitely executed. Modern can so often come across as bland or soulless but not this London Townhouse by Louise Holt Interior Design. Clean lines and a monochromatic palette are warmed by blonde wood, natural elements and brass highlights. It’s all about the Scandi design philosophy of Lagom … ‘not too little, not too much, just right’. Room to breathe, a place to rest, elevating the everyday and natural, creating space around objects, embracing the timeless.
A stark palette of black and white provides the theatre at the heart of the design of this Potrero Hill residence by Eche Martinez of San Francisco based interior design firm ECHE. The tension between the two is tempered by warm wood tones while the play on opposites is continued with slick modern pieces and timeless antiques. It’s a graphic approach, one destined to create drama in any space and one that can only inspire.