Being bold: The pros and cons of unusual interiors
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Daring décor will help your property stand out from the crowd – but is this always a good thing?
Property experts are always raving about the broad appeal of the blank canvas, recommending a magnolia overhaul to anyone struggling to sell.
Neutrals aren’t for everyone however, and for those brave enough to truly embrace a bold colour scheme in their home, there are tips and tricks that can help an interior design gamble pay off.
We spoke to two local experts, who filled us in on the pros and cons of having a more unusual interior.
First, St Albans-based interior designer Natalie Roukin, of Natalie Roukin Interiors, offers some advice on how best to brighten up your home.
Which guidelines should we follow when considering a dramatic new look?
There are a few factors to take into consideration: which space within your home would you like to have a bold colour scheme, what mood are you trying to create, is the room large or small, what are the lighting levels within the space?
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If you have a south-facing room, a darker more dramatic colour can really create an impact but without overpowering the space. If your space doesn’t have much natural light you could opt for brighter colours which will naturally reflect more light, and will make your bold colour feel more inviting. There are some spaces within your home that are best suited to bold colours, even very small ones, such as a cloakroom. You can’t make a little room look like a big room, so you might as well make it an interesting one!
If you decide to use a bold colour on the wall, keep other surfaces such as flooring, cabinets and furniture neutral. Spaces that have dark walls, dark floors and dark furniture can feel overwhelming – balance is essential.
Presumably accessories can also have a strong impact?
Yes – another way of implementing a bold decor is through artwork, sculptural pieces or accessories. By choosing one or two neutral colours throughout your space for unity, you can showcase wall artwork, a bold piece of furniture or even a rug, and make a statement for the whole room. The trick is balance: for every bold piece of decor, balance it with neutrals in your furnishings and room finishes.
Which bold colours or design touches are fashionable at the moment?
Pantone released a list of colours during the New York Fashion Week which will now transcend into our homes this winter. The ten-shade palette was inspired by a “desire for tranquillity, strength and optimism,” and includes several classic autumn hues, such as mustard yellow, gray and taupe. Two colours in particular are posed to dominate our homes – the new blues, Riverside and Airy Blue.
Bringing nature into the home continues to be strong trend in 2016 – from the use of plants and living walls, to horticulture inspired fabrics and wallpapers. Another major trend will be combining natural materials such as wood, stone, cork, metals – in particular gold and brass –and moving away from copper. Artisan goods are getting more popular as buyers are consciously driven towards purchases that support small businesses. Locally made and sourced globally, artisanal products can be mixed with mass produced items as well as with vintage finds.
Do you recommend a theme is followed throughout the home?
Every room should connect to those around it in some way, or you’ll end up with a very choppy-looking and disjointed home. An easy way to make rooms connect and flow together is to paint the whole home in a single colour and then decorate and accent with other colours. Another way is to choose a colour that will carry throughout the home. It doesn’t need to be the primary colour in each room but it should make some kind of appearance. It can appear in the form of paint, fabric, accessories or anything else you can come up with. If you’re going to be using it in accessories such as pillows and decorative accents, use it more than once and use more than one shade. Using it in a few places in the room in various shades and tones will create layers and depth.
Should home-owners tone things down when looking to sell?
Depending on how bold you have decided to go, you may want to paint the walls in a neutral tone to provide potential buyers with a blank canvas and make all rooms light and bright – but it’s not essential. I think it’s always sensible to de-clutter your home before putting it on the market, also removing any bulky furniture that makes the room feel small and replacing with smaller pieces. Don’t remove too much of your personality though, people are often buying into a lifestyle as much as a home.
Find out more about Natalie and her interior design services at www.natalieroukininteriors.com, call her on 07530 425456 or email email@example.com.
Expert tips from a local agent
Nick Ingle, Head of Savills Harpenden Sales, says bold isn’t always beautiful when it comes to putting your home on the market.
“The use of bold colours can help make a property stand out in a prospective purchaser’s mind but, the bottom line is that if it is too way out, all a buyer will be thinking is how much re-painting they are going to have to do.”
Nick suggests vendors stick to a subtle colour palate to maximise their pool of potential buyers. He says: “It is best to stick to more neutral colours in order to make as many people as possible be able to imagine themselves living in the space.
“This doesn’t have to be confined to boring magnolias, there are soft tones available in lots of different colours which won’t be too off-putting but the use of them helps to distinguish one area from another in a home.”
Nick suggests that anyone considering putting their home on the market should first de-clutter, before looking critically at their own home, imagining seeing it for the first time ever.
“Rooms can quite often look tired and a lick of paint can pay dividends in order to create the right first impression,” Nick says. “One recent example is 4 Digswell House, Welwyn Garden City, which we are currently offering for sale at a guide price of £800,000.
“The walls in the principal rooms were painted yellow and were adorned with numerous paintings, particularly up the circular stairwell.
“The rooms were carpeted with a salmon colour carpet, which really made the property look rather old fashioned.
“However, with some gentle persuasion, the clients took our advice and painted the walls a neutral colour (beige), removed many of the family paintings and re-carpeted the main rooms and staircase with a very neutral colour carpet.”
While crazy colour schemes are unlikely to maximise a property’s selling potential, being excessively neutral poses its own problems.
Nick says: “Sometimes, the word ‘sterile’ is used by buyers when the colours do nothing to enhance the ambiance of a home. If every single room is painted in the same neutral shade it may not be memorable – this is less likely to happen in period homes where the character features will help a property to stand out in a buyer’s mind. “
When looking to sell, Nick says soft, neutral tones and clean, uncluttered interiors are the way forward. He adds that using furniture wisely to adequately illustrate the potential useable space is also advisable.
“Developers are particularly good at getting colour schemes right for when they are displaying show homes,” he adds.
Call Savills Harpenden on 01582 465 000 to find out more about the estate agency services on offer.