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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Decorating ideas for your living room

A feeling of space and light

This wonderful, high-ceilinged apartment is in a converted schoolhouse - a clean, modern, urban space with great proportions. The size of the rooms perfectly complements the tall arched windows and there is a welcome feeling of space and light above the hubbub of the city.

It can be hard to know how to arrange your life in such a large open plan layout. Keep things simle - too many elements look cluttered and fussy while large clean shapes and clear colours build the structure you need. Here, even the textures have been confined to just two - hard and soft. All the soft furnishings are in linen - a soft yet flat texture which does not detract from the essentially square and masculine lines of the furniture. The only other textures are the hard glass, metal and shiny white surfaces of the modern tables, lamps and sideboard.

The use of colour is what creates the mood, manipulating the space, creating different atmospheres in different areas for different uses, but drawing them subtly together. Instead of keeping the place all white - the classic response to a large openplan loft - a restricted palette of just a few strong tonal shades gives these two large ajoining rooms a sparkling vitality often lacking in such spaces.

In the second room, the orange on the sofa is a subtle shade of cantaloupe - one tone down from the zingy citrus. This sits beautifully beside a fresh chartreuse of the armchair, pale ocean on the footstool, and clear crocus mauve at the windows. Just one mauve cushion on the sofa makes the crucial link with the crocus fabric at the windows.

The space flows down past the staircase into another sitting room on a lower level, with slightly smaller proportions. Here, slightly smaller proportions. here, slightly cooler colours take the mood down a note or two. But while the temperature may be cooler, the vital, vivacious mood down a note or two. The ocean colours links both spaces, but the cantaloupe orange of the sofa has been exchanged for lime, with accents of turquoise in small details such as the cushions on the sofa floor. Touches such as this help to give each room an identity of its own, even if some of the principal colours have been carried over both.

Inspiration: "thinkcolour" by Tricia Guild

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