A Flat with Vibrant Color choices

Every color consultation is different but it is safe to say that there are two types of clients: The first ones already have an idea in mind. It might not the most precise or refined one but it already says a lot about a client’s taste and serves as starting point for the consultation. Sometimes the original idea ends up been carried out because it works well in the given space and in other cases the final color scheme might not include it at all. The second type of clients doesn’t have any ideas and wants me to offer suggestions. In that case I take a longer moment to observe the space and its specifics and usually start showing a few colors that fit. Those first colors I pull out are usually toned down ones and not outright bright. They help me to get a feel for what the client likes based on his reactions.

A couple of months ago I met a young Madrid-based entrepreneur and did a color consultation with him. He is the latter type of client and wanted to hear some suggestions. After the first few samples I started to pull out, the direction became pretty clear. Every time the reaction was: “it’s too bland, sad, don’t you have something more vibrant, lively?”. So I pulled out some color for true color lovers but the reaction was still the same and it finally took the most vibrant colors of my color fan deck to get him hitched. Here is the result with a few mood boards including furniture and accessories.

Emerald Green Interiors PAW Living room

The living/dining room will end-up being a hidden homage to the apartment’s tenant’s origins who is half British. (hmmm maybe this is why we ended up with all this color.)

Emerald Green Interiors PAW bedroom

The bedroom is very colorful with a lovely shade of green. It is calmed down with lots of white and natural elements and will have a lovely vertical succulents garden installed on one wall.

Emerald Green Interiors PAW Office

The office will be a bright yellow think tank for new ideas and projects. Besides yellow being known as a creative color it is also the color of of one of this entrepreneur’s successful ventures.

What do you think of so much color? It might not be for everyone but here is a small secret: If you use vibrant colors, keep the room’s color scheme monochromatic and add a lot of white and eventually light wood and natural accessories to lighten up the color effect.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Designer Focus: Agence Double G

It’s been a while since my last designer focus column. The April edition of the French Elle Decor focuses on color and has a wonderful cover featuring the work of Paris based Agence Double G. Founded in 2005 by Flora de Gastines and Anne Geistdoerfer the agency has received some serious press coverage for their projects; a single look at their portfolio and you’ll understand why. The two associates have worked for both Jean-Michel Wimotte, one of the most famous French architects in charge of the renovation of the emblematic Lutétia Hotel in Paris which closed its doors on Monday, and India Mahdavi the designer known for her colorful and playful realizations. De Gastines and Geistdoefer’s love of color is obvious. They use if with confidence, combining it with graphic patterns, exquisite materials, and textiles to create contemporary and easy-going homes brimming with personality.

Emerald Green Interiors Agence Double G 2Emerald Green Interiors Agence Double G 7

Emerald Green Interiors Agence Double G 1

I am in love with their combinations: The furniture’s clean lines and the fantasy of the rounded accessories; The geometric patterns with the softness of the washed linen. The balance and contrast is just right: unexpected and interesting but not overpowering.

Emerald Green Interiors Agence Double G 6

Emerald Green Interiors Agence Double G 3

I can’t wait to see more of their colorful and inspiring work and wonder how their style will evolve in the future. I am signing off for tonight as I have a photo shoot tomorrow at a client’s home. I will share the images with you next week. I wish you a great Easter weekend if you have holidays. My oldest son is on vacations so the days are quite busy but I will probably be back before the end of the week with  a new post.

* All pictures via Agence Double G

Our Guestroom: Classic French instead of Vintage

While I have decided shortly after visiting our new home that its design would be mostly vintage inspired, I’ve had to make some compromises simply because we moved with our existing furniture. Do you know people to throw out all their furniture every time they move? I don’t and am certainly not one of those people. I am still trying to figure out what to do with some of our pieces of furniture, the Art Deco and Biedermeier ones to be precise, as they don’t really fit in the overall scheme of the house. What was clear however was that I would keep our classic French velvet upholstered headboard for our guest room as we upgraded our bed size.  As bed side table I used a coffee table with a top painted in Mouse’s Back by Farrow and Ball. Those table are actually an Ikea hack realized while I was eight months pregnant.

I wanted to create a soft backdrop that would match the colors of the bed spread, the headboard and the side table. So I really started looking into various shades of red, or let’s rather say dark plums as red is really not a color I recommend for a bedroom. As much as I liked some of those darker shades I felt that the choice wasn’t appropriate as it would have made this room quite dark. Even though I am fine with sleeping or working in a dark room it is not everyones cup of tea and this is after all a guest room meant to welcome family members and friends. So I started to look at lighter shades and found this lovely dusty pink. It has a real presence which stands well next to the blue of the headboard and the patterned bedspread. As I have said in the past, when you have a room that doesn’t get much natural light don’t try to light it up with white or very pale colors. When you do this the colors just tend to look dull and dirty because of the lack of light. Here is a little preview of the room.

Emerald Green Interiors Guestroom

What do you think about the result compared to the same bed in our Brussels home? Paint certainly has the power to change the mood of a room completely. I loosened up the styling as well when I shot this picture. The flowers I used are growing in the garden right now. Have you painted a room recently and admired the change produced? I’d love to hear about it.

The bed looks lovely against that wall and I do love the soft styling touches, beautifully done! We recently painted our son’s room albeit in a white. It made a huge difference! Because leases are so short (12 mths guaranteed only) we tend to not invest a lot into rentals… Landlords also don’t like for you to alter the properties and sometimes even add a hook on the wall! Such a difference from Europe where you can undergo major renovations like Holly! Mel xx

Thank you Mel for your lovely comment.Oh I can understand your frustration. Actually in Europe it is not quite as wide-spread as you think. It really depends of the owner of the flat/house you are renting. In Brussels we had an expert check the flat before we moved in and after we moved out and established everything that needed to be “fixed” like a barely to be seen hole where we had hung a frame on. Let me just say that painting was not an option there. In Germany the flats are usually repainted white and fixed before a new tenant moves in so usually tenants are reluctant to paint as they know that they have to get the place back into condition before moving out. So yes we are lucky to have this time an owner, that isn’t too picky about my use of color :) Have a lovely day!

Room and Flower N.2

Good morning everyone. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Let’s start the week with the second edition of “Room and Flower” launched last week. I’ve been collecting many new pictures over the past days on my flower board on Pinterest to create the next editions. For those discovering this new column the idea is to pair a room with a floral arrangement. The first two editions are matching in colors but the idea is really to find a flower image that either reflects or complements the mood of the room image. A very formal bouquet doesn’t fit in a rustic setting or the opposite way around.

Room & Flower n2

I love the effortless look of those two pictures. It’s a look that actually takes a lot of work to achieve and it’s done beautifuly in both images. I wish you a great start into this new week.
* Source: RoomFlower

Before and After: Updating the Living room’s fireplace

We moved exactly five months ago to Madrid so I thought it was time to start sharing the updates I have been making to our new home. It’s been a busy time and those things really tend to take way much time than anticipated. Despite the undeniable progress I still have many points to cross off my to-do list. Styling and taking pictures takes me sometimes as much time as painting an entire room (hey who wants to see all the baby stuff lying around on the ground?).

A few days ago I finally finished painting our living room. The walls were white like in the entire house but still had holes from where furniture had been fixed earlier. It wasn’t that bad but I just wanted to create something with a more polished look which for me simply doesn’t cut it with white walls.

Emerald Green Interiors Before & After Fireplace

I hate to share pictures that are not pretty but what’s a “Before and After” blog post without the before pictures? Here is the picture of the fireplace area taken when we visited the house a second time after deciding that this would be the one. You can see bits of the terrible floor tiles that had probably been there since the early seventies when the house was built. And don’t you love the lovely (not!) radiator set in the middle of the wall?

Emerald Green Interiors Before & After Fireplace1

Below is a picture taken the day before we moved in. You can get a better sense of the space without furniture and the new wooden oak laminate certainly creates a more neutral backdrop. Sorry the picture is grainy. You can see that there is a weird wooden vertical plinth on one wall corner. We have those all over the house. There are supposed to protect the corners and seem to be a quite popular practice in Spain. Needless to say that I hated them form day one as they were breaking up the space visually. Do you notice that the recomposed stone used for the base and for the sides of the chimney is of two different colors?

Emerald Green Interiors Before & After Fireplace4

So here is the after: I painted the walls, the awkward vertical plinth and the two colored fake stone parts of the fireplace. Thanks to a little paint the plinth disappears and the fireplace goes from pseudo traditional to modern. Luckily the wooden beam of the lintel has survived forty years without being varnished glossy dark brown, like all the woodwork in the house, and has a lovely worn raw wood color. I hung this fabulous colorful print over the fireplace. I found it in Brussels before our move and just sprayed white paint over the ivory mat. The plant collection is the indirect result of my participating in the Urban Jungle Blogger column. Add a few natural fibers baskets and our Iranian carpet, et Voilà!

Emerald Green Interiors Before & After Fireplace

The transformation is quite impressive but the means used were actually quite minimal. Never underestimate the power of a good paint job. It can correct and hide many flaws. How do you like my first “Before and After”? Do you want to see more? Have a lovely day!

* Photography by Corinne Kowal

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Oh yes! Definitely want to see more…

And I love those gorgeous wood floors! What a transformation; very nice…

Dear Libby, I hate to disappoint. Those floors, despite being a huge improvement from the terrible floor tiles we had, are actually not as gorgeous as what you think. There are laminate floors which is a cheap alternative to real wooden floors. Their look s decent but having lived in flats with real wooden parquet I can tell you that there is a real difference.