Paint colors also play an important role in offsetting the warmth and deep tones of antique wood furniture. Her favorites include Farrow & Ball’s Light Blue, and Edward Bulmer’s Lilac Pink is one she returns to time and time again. “I think it’s a wonderful color, and for me it offsets brown furniture incredibly well. It’s the juxtaposition of that shade of pale plaster with the richness of a beautiful mahogany dresser. With this backdrop, because it’s such a strong combination, you can drop a striped shade or a wacky floral ruffle because the backbone of the piece is heavy enough to hold it.
Another key element of her method for blending old and new is the variety of sources from which she draws visual inspiration – including classic decorators such as Nina Campbell, Robert Kime and Nicky Haslam, as well as the modern tools provided by social media. “I use Instagram all the time,” she says. “It’s been really interesting the last two years, in that we’ve all been able to inspire each other and see what else is going on. What inspires you does not need to be translated literally. I think we should let ourselves be inspired and influenced by what we see, but never try to imitate it entirely.
“For me, it’s seeing something that I don’t like, as much as something that I like, that I find really instructive. It’s just as helpful to see something, record it, and think “this isn’t quite working for me” and why. »
It’s this flexible, creative and relaxed approach that leads to rooms that are as comfortable as they are beautiful, each executed with an eye to decorating history, but also very much of its time. It’s a timeless look, for sure; but at the same time (sorry Flora), very trendy.
How to Embrace Traditional Decor Without Your Home Looking Dated
⇒ Try to look at a house as a whole, even if you don’t decorate it all at once. Think about how one room will flow into another, how one color leads to another. And don’t be afraid to repeat a color over and over throughout; it often happens because that’s what your eye is sensitive to.
⇒ In each room you must have a hero or two. There are certain items in which it will be profitable to invest; so it’s about being smart with what you can chop and change around them. Make sure the things that matter to you come to the fore and not take a back seat.
⇒ When mixing patterns, they don’t have to be natural bedfellows: I mix a floral with a stripe or an ikat. But if you are mixing patterns with very different colors, be aware of having something that unifies the two patterns in between.
⇒ Always have that certain something about a room that isn’t quite right, not too tasteful, or a bit brash. Quite often, for me, that’s the only thing that’s wrong or not quite right. There has to be some hint of this, otherwise it can start to look too thoughtful.
⇒ I love working with wallpaper, I think it brings a lot to a room. It can be a backdrop as well as the dominant “look at me” function. It brings an additional layer, another depth.
⇒ Paint brands like Edward Bulmer, Farrow & Ball and Mylands offer great free advice as part of their package. They are so experienced in their field – take advantage of the advice they give and the inspiration they provide.