Colour crash!

lou_brown_auckland_03What a bombardment of colour you say! But it still works right? It may not be your cup of tea, but doesn’t this image intrigue you? Why does it seem balanced, yet hectic at the same time?

I find doing a simple exercise like this (critiquing an image of an interior that catches your eye) is the key to being able to style a room like a pro. It takes practice, and like anything, the more you do it the more you’ll learn – about key interior elements (balance, texture, height, colour, form) and your own sense of style.

Right. Let’s get cracking. So why does this interior work? Let’s take a look…

Colour crash

When you look at the furniture in isolation, the colours and patterns don’t really work together. They are all different and don’t interlink with each other like, say, a typical soft furnishings scheme would. However, in the context of the whole space, these furnishings cleverly pull out tones from the large piece of art on the wall. This is the perfect way to create a cohesive look without it all looking too “matchy matchy” or “showroomy.”

Black accents

Every room can do with a few items of black. Notice the black chandelier, black window joinery, black library ladder and black fire place. These items break up monotony by adding a burst of contrast – imagine the room without it! Yawn.


Floor rugs

The power of floor rugs are totally underestimated. In an open space like this, where there are two conversational zones (or seating areas) rugs are a VITAL way of anchoring each zone. No rugs, equals floating/lost furniture.

Clash of eras

Combining the modern with the traditional (also known as a transitional interior) is an easy way to achieve a timeless interior. So next time you’re thinking of throwing out grandma’s armchair, think again; could it work in my modern interior? In this interior they’ve achieved this look by combining traditional elements such as the mirror, fire place, seating and moldings with modern touches like the rug, fabrics, ottoman, artwork, industrial joinery and crisp white walls.


This room has nailed it when it comes to height. As you scan the room your eye happily jumps from low to high. The use of an oversized mirror above the fireplace, artwork, chandelier and tall pot plant accentuates the height of the room. When you look around your room and everything is at a low level, you know you’re in trouble.


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All the best,

Lou (Hayley)




Interior Designer, BDVA (HONS)

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