Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Patterns and colour

I'm a little bit afraid of adding patterns and colour. Anything more than some subtle stripes strikes fear into my colour coordinated heart! I'm sure I'm not the only one? Does anyone else suffer from colour/pattern-phobia, or are you all lovers of the bright and varied?

However, I do think I need to be brave and add something of interest to this very safe room! To the left of the couch is our front door, so this is the entry to our home and the first area you encounter.

Excusing the nasty flash photography, this is the new couch and cushions. It's in the main living area. I picked the duck egg/eau de nil shade Laura Ashley cushions, and made a bold move with the teal. These are Rapee, and they call the colour Mallard, how perfect is that?!

I added this rug, again, Laura Ashley, so it ties in with the couch and cushions, possibly too much. It also has some warm gold tones within the paisley like swirls. (These photos make me realise that it needs to be ironed or steamed to get that big crease out of the centre.)

This velvet chair is another one of my auction purchases. It's rather sweet and ladylike, and matches the cushions almost perfectly. The lamp in the background needs some TLC as well, definitely a new shade and quite possibly rewiring.

This is a really bad photo of this section of the room it it's entirety. Nothing on the walls, no curtains...nothing. Simply because I have NO idea what to put there. So, this is where I'm looking for inspiration, and suggestions from my readers.
I am tempted to paint these window frames white as we have a lot of dark wood trim in this room. A LOT of dark wood. With the wrap around verandah it makes the room quite dark.
I am also on the lookout for another chair or small couch to complete the seating, however I have no idea what I'm after. Possibly a wingchair, or two.
Do I need a coffee table? In that corner to the right is a little mahogany "nest" of tables and I'm not sure if that is quite enough or if it looks a bit bare without a central table.

So many questions, so much to do!

If you have stopped by, it would be lovely if you could leave a comment or just say hello so I know that you've been here. Thank you!


  1. Hello Kathryn

    Your room area is going to be wonderful.

    I found my head nodding with you on so many levels as I agreed with a lot of things you were saying.

    I'd personally love to paint the dark framing white (but that is me - white all the time)

    I think grab those magazines - get a project piece of cardboard (they have a foam core) - from officeworks
    get some push pins and start pinning your own "things" that you love out of magazines.

    Cut any photos out that you like, pin them on the board and then you can stand back and start to move things around
    even print out the photos of the items you have to work with and then add to it

    hope that 2 cents worth helps :)

    have a wonderful day



  2. Oh Loulou, I agree with all you have said. Yes, even before I read your comments I was thinking I would paint all that dark timber. I would do that first before adding anything else to the room because that will make the room look different and brighter immediately. It will then be easier to assess what you need to add. Love your furniture. Great choices.

  3. Oh goody are you a Laura Ashley fan too Kathryn? I have two lamp shades on order in ta da...black. Which will be no surprise to you after seeing pics of my place.
    So yes I do suffer a colour/pattern phobia of sorts. If possible I would certainly paint the woodwork white to lighten up the interiors. The result will be amazing.
    Enjoy the decorating process and don't be alarmed if it takes several months to sort out the best place for everything...we are still rationalising our furniture!
    BTW I love your sofa, chair, cushions and rug. The duck egg blue is divine.

  4. I love your new cushions but I really like that blue chair. You should join pinterest (if you have time) - it's a great way to store inspiration photos of interiors you like. xx

  5. What a beautiful big room! Agree with painting the dark timber (i need to do a bit of that too), which will brighten up the space. The new sofa & cushions go so well with that gorgeous velvet chair, love the subtle tones. I'm trying to inject more colour into my life, but like you i'm always more temped to play it safe. I like Loulou's ideas board. Have fun playing around with your new home. alison x

  6. I love the lounge....timeless. I would paint the window frames white, I think it would give the room a 'lift'. You definitely need a coffee table and some artwork. The artwork is possibly a chance to inject some colour although personally the coloured cushions are enough colour for me.
    The room is beautiful, take your time with whatever you do. When you do go shopping take a photo of the room and your cushions with you to help with any purchases.
    Can't wait to see what you do.x

  7. i love this kathryn. that velvet chair is gorgeous. the colour of the cushions...perfect!!

  8. Lou Lou - cut up my magazines! *Gasp*!

    I'll have to take some more photos so you can see just how much dark timber we have (or hey, come over for a coffee and I'll show you!) All the doors, picture rails, mantle. Add to that the timber furniture...a lot of dark wood! I think those windows are about the only part I'll be the green light to paint though.

    Crystal, thank you, I'm happy with it too.

    Annie, yes, I am a Laura Ashley fan. The couch is one of theirs as well (have to love a half price sale!). Am tempted by their lamps, but worried it will too matchy.

    Brismod - I am on Pinterest, and have loads of inspiration pins...just being brave enough to action them is the issue!

    Alison - that's why I'm thinking a couple of bolder patterned cushions to ease into it. If I don't like them they can go in another room!

    Something Gorgeous - finding some sort of artwork is the next step. Good idea about the photos, they're on the iphone now!

    Veronica - thank you, I was aiming for more blue tones, but these greener shades really caught my eye.

  9. NO! Don't paint out the timber, I think it would ruin the flow of timber through the house (unless you are going to paint it all out). It is difficult to actually do yourself and virtually impossible to reverse unlike other changes you could make first.

    The first thing I would do is get a few indoor plants and scatter around (maiden hair and a palm in a wicker basket). If they don't work, they can go onto the verandah. That would pull the green from the rug too.

    If you want to lighten the window frames, put some white sheers over them. You could also pull out a colour from the rug by painting the wall (much easier and easier to change than painting windows) a golden colour.

    I have to qualify this that I'm a bit of a colour-phobe myself.

  10. Firstly, I have been itching to comment on this post but blogger would not let me and deleted the huge post I wrote yesterday.
    So second try, firstly I LOVE that velvet chair. I was oggling one in a similar colour in Laura Ashley for a squizillion dollars but yours is a much nicer shape and colour.
    Secondly I agree with just about everyone else about painting the windows white however you may then decide you want to paint all the other trim white which seems like a lot of work. White plantation shutters could look fantastic there as well, can recommend someone who was great and inexpensive if you need it.
    I think maybe add some texture with some pattered cushions and some art work picking up the colours in the gorgeous cushions you have already chosen. Maybe you could pick up some paintings of flowers at the auction house. By the way, where is the auction house as I would love to take a peek. I think you can definitely fit another chair and coffee table but no idea what sort. And please post again as you add stuff as it is so fun to watch the progress. melx


Thank you for taking the time to comment, you just made me smile!

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