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living room revolutions

From Habitat magazine - issue 08

Bright, fun, dynamic, luscious – change out the personality of your living room to suit your mood or the season.

Resene Lipstick is a fun backdrop for this warm and daring look, by Homebase. The artwork was custom-made for the space by Christina Melchior and is a reasonably affordable way to get art to match your interior scheme. The butterfly cushion and horse lamp add playful, quirky touches while the different textures (the soft cushion against the glossy side table) give contrast and interest.

The same furniture but a completely different look, with Resene Wild Thing used for this fresh setting of yellow and greens, again by Homebase. The cushion and the glass bottles were bought at Nest. The most expensive component is the Puppy by Magis, from ECC Lighting & Living.

Warm and daring look
A warm and daring look
Fresh and bright look
A fresh setting of yellow and green

A stunning cotton fibre Chrysalis arc light throws a sprinkling of light and shadow and picks up the metallic flecks in Resene Ricochet. The very crisp black oak Atlanta coffee table is softened by a rhythm of curves and circles throughout this thoroughly modern setting – in the shape of the lamp shade, the arc of its arm, the curves of the ABS Pantone chair, the silver globes and the patterning on the wire tray. All furniture, accessories and styling by Living Edge.

Against a backdrop of Resene Livewire, this classic setting using red, gold and black has an enticing wintry appeal. While the low Petra chair has a contemporary feel with its wide seat and no arms, it blends well with the Toulon antique-look handpainted Oriental chest of drawers. Gold candlesticks and a gold-framed mirror complete the look. The linen cushion is hand-painted. All furniture, accessories and styling by Living Edge.

Modern look
A modern setting
Classic look
A classic setting using red, gold and black

Fresh and fun

Changing the look of your living area doesn’t have to involve buying a load of new furniture. As interior designers Anthea Baker-Shreeve and Ingrid Lavelle from home-staging company Homebase (part of the Property Profilers network, see right) have shown, you can keep the same furniture but easily change out the wall colour and accessories for a completely new look.

Says Anthea: “If you spend your money investing in good quality furniture that is reasonably timeless, you can then easily change the look with paint and accessories.”

She suggests working in a restrained palette of no more than three colours, especially if you are using a strong colour like Resene Lipstick. She and Ingrid used the simple neutrals of black and white (from the chair and lamp) with the pink, and introduced greens to go with the Resene Wild Thing. Because the glass-topped side table is a neutral material, it doesn’t count as a ‘colour’ in the scheme. If you were using timber furniture, however, you would need to factor that in as a colour.

They suggest using different shaped and sized cushions to complement one another.

The designers chose these colours to inspire others to experiment with strong shades. “The trend for neutrals and tone-on-tone schemes has been around for so long now, it would be good to see people being more adventurous with colour,” says Ingrid.

When gathering accessories and furniture to use in their home-staging business, Anthea and Ingrid often commission artworks to match. “But you can easily make your own artworks, whatever your level of talent,” suggests Anthea. “You can simply buy three Resene testpots, paint three small square canvases and hang them vertically or horizontally.”

“Or cover the one in the middle with wallpaper or fabric,” suggests Ingrid. “You could even use a bit of Resene Wasabi and replicate the pear artwork we’ve used here,” says Anthea.

Keep it simple

Any interior looks best when tightly themed, a sentiment echoed by the designers at Living Edge. As not only retailers of furniture and accessories, but as house-dressers for showrooms and houses for sale, they have a fair bit of experience at putting together appealing interiors.

In the two settings created by Living Edge for Habitat, each has a strong theme – one classic and one contemporary. They are also tightly colour schemed – one in red, gold and black; the other in silver, white and black.

The use of threes when it comes to colour and accessories is not an accident. Three (or any odd number) is always an effective grouping when used to accessorise an interior, for example, the three gold candlesticks used in the last setting.

words: Sharon Newey
pictures: Mark Heaslip
styling: Homebase and Living Edge

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