As you have now guessed I don't shy away from colour when it comes to design and decoration. While neutral colour schemes can be calm and soothing sometimes a bit more excitement is required. Our red sitting room is used mostly in the evenings to gather with guests before dinner. We wanted a glamorous wow effect for this space. We decorated this room back in 1988. It hasn't changed very much over the years. We started with the two two seater sofas covered in a Warner's linen called 'Chinese Panel'. The sofas inspired the red wall colour. The colour we wanted to evoke was laqauer red of a antique tray or reminiscent of Pompeii. The incandescent lighting and the red walls make everyone glow in this room. The walls are finished with a glazed 'broken colour' effect, that gives the colour both more depth and creates the illusion of space. To balance the rick red walls we used a soft gold coloured ceiling, off white skirting boards and timber work and bronze coloured picture rails. This room was the first one we did in this house. It was the room to escape to when the rest was a demolition and renovation site. It is furnished with an assortment of pieces from different eras. The coat cupboard was made by Max's grandfather in the 1920's. A three legged cricket table circa 1760 made from elm was my first antique purchase in my new job at Crichton Interiors many years ago. I decided to set a policy of each year buying an antique piece to slowly build a collection of treasured items. It came from Lee Harper Antiques in High street, Armadale. The country Chippendale carver Max bought from John Dunn Antiques. We covered it in a piece of crewel embroidered cotton that picks up the warm rust colour of the room. A pembroke table from C1790 holds a quirky collection of crystal bottle stoppers. They refract the light. A fur rug made from Fox paws covers the old pine floor, that we waxed to keep the colour soft. To add some modernity the brass and glass coffee table sits on the rug allowing the rug to be seen as well as Max's childhood collection of rocks and minerals displayed in a display case, also made by his grandfather. The paintings on the wall range from my dodgy fake 'our lady of the snow" 15th Century oil to early twentieth century New Zealand water colours, to an oil known as' the pirates and pumpkin people' from the mid 1970s. Defintely an eclectic mix. We added 'silken satin' curtains that spill onto the floor and lots of cushions in treasured fabrics, hand printed silk taffeta, patterned velvet, cotton damask and even a chintz pattern with a monkey in the design. This room is nicknamed 'monkey's room' as the Chinese Panel' fabric has little green monkeys in the design. I added a monkey cameo to the stencilled border on the floor and we found a bronze monkey candlestick.
Rich red walls contrast with golden coloured 'silken satin curtains that theatrically spill onto the floor.The Warner's linen 'Chinese Panel' fabric inspired the red walls for this room. Hand printed silk cushions have napoleon bees and stars. I made these many years ago. The silk damask cushion is the most recent, it is a sample from Gainsborough Mills, England. The green silk cushion with the pearl buttons has bound button holes.
Winter in Melbourne is a good excuse to break out the cashmere cardigans and pleated silk scarves. As I continue to post you will find that Mariano Fortuny is one of my design heroes. This is a little preview of another web page I have added: Faux Fortuny Pleats. When I am not designing or sourcing items for interiors I am sewing clothes or making things to enhance our home or presents for friends.
Okay it has been a long break since my last post and much has happened in over twelve months. I now have much more time in my life to devote to the things I really enjoy, and the projects I would like to complete.
It's winter in Melbourne and it is wet. This is a good excuse to look at stylish umbrellas. I have on my wish list a Fortuny fabric umbrella, that I spied sometime ago while searching the net. I think it is practical to have a container that holds a few umbrellas by the front door, but they must be stylish. (I keep the ugly ones that somehow one acquires, in the boot of the car.) A lovely umbrella inspires you to appreciate the rain and is a pleasure to put up and admire its design. I have a special old one that belonged to my partner's grandfather that has a silver handle and a couple of other smart ones that are nice and large, but a Fortuny one would be a lovely thing to own. We plan on visiting Italy at the end of the year so one of these will be on my shopping list.
In the meantime I have located some very old umbrellas that I found years ago and they have pretty handles, but the fabrics are perished. I have always planned to make patterns and renovate these umbrellas so stay tuned.
Which colour to choose will be a big decision to make from these coveted Fortuny umbrellas. This will involve contemplation for the next six months.
This collection of umbrellas showing the antique silver handle. The walking sticks have sentimental value, the one with the badger I brought home in my luggage from the UK twenty five years ago.
Of course you need something to put your umbrellas in. A florist's flower bucket is useful I painted the family coat of arms on the side and yes they are rampant squirrels! The final pussy cat of a series of seven that makes a draft extruder, can be seen on the left.
Hi I am Elizabeth an interior designer who lives in Melbourne, Australia in a little Californian Bungalow cottage with my partner, Max, who is also an Interior Designer, and our beloved furry children, Doris & Ernest. I believe that design can make our lives more rewarding and productive. I love, architecture and design theory but my everyday passion is fabrics and decoration, as I don't think we should get too serious but have fun with our homes and enjoy the process of creating our own environments. I am interested in classic cars, and collect Georgian and Mid Century furniture.