Bring harmony to your home with symmetry

Friday, March 27, 2015

The other day, I was having a drink/play date at a friend of mine's, and, as it usually happens, I ended moving a few things around in her house. She has a beautiful house and furniture, and likes things to stay rather minimalistic. I wish I had taken a picture of her living-room "before", but in a nutshell, the whole room looked fine, but the layout wasn't ideal (sofa placed in angle, one of them blocking a window, a little too many tables, etc). My main advice to her was: symmetry ! So placing the two sofas in front of each other was the first thing we did, and it immediately changed the room. The layout was instantly more flowing and balanced.

If you want to achieve a contemporary, minimalistic look, but still want to fit a normal family-life-set-of-furniture in there, think symmetry ! That, and maybe remove a few things ... Symmetry brings a sense of balance in a room, it is visually pleasing, and the structured feel it brings is calming. Just look a these rooms, and judge by yourself !
Well, of course, it's easier to create a symmetry when you already have a focal point in the room, such as a fireplace, but you can also create such a layout around a console or a window for instance.

You don't have to create a perfect symmetry with your furniture, two matching lamps can do the trick for example, like I did in our living-room:
Or on the console in our dining-room:

Of course, one of the room that calls for symmetry is your bedroom. Two matching lamps, even on non-matching bedside tables are always a safe choice.
Most importantly: experiment, move your furniture around, fail, retry, enjoy your home ! And remember, when in doubt, think symmetry !

My budget-friendly home office

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

So today, I wanted to share a few "after pictures" of my home office. It took me a while to come up with the best layout, but I think I'm on the right track now. It certainly is a nice space to work in, very cosy yet organised.
This is how it looked when we visited the house. It was a master bedroom.
This is the same room now:
Pretty different, right ? My first instinct was to paint the accent wall in a more subtle/neutral colour. Then I bought 3 basic Ikea desks to create a lot of work surface, and some shelves, again from Ikea, for storage.
Then I added 2 picture shelves to hide the air vents on the accent wall, and a DIY inspiration board. The lamp is from TKMaxx Newbury. The cowhide rug is from Ikea as well.
I know it's not perfect, and most days it's not remotely this clean, but the whole room is very comfortable, which is good, because I spend a lot of my time there ! So, what do you think ?

Stylish furniture: The carvel chair

Monday, March 23, 2015

I usually share beautiful work from interior designers I admire on Monday, but today I wanted to feature this amazing chair, designed by architect Andrew Clancy and shipwright Matthew O'Malley.
"The Carvel Chair is made using the technique of traditional boat construction, which predominate along the west coast of Ireland." Isn't it gorgeous ?

The curvy lines of this chair are not only very inviting, and comforting, they're also a subtle nautical twist that would fit beautifully into any kind of interior, from traditional to contemporary.

My Dad isn't an official shipwright, but he builds boats on his spare time (I think of him every time I watch NCIS and I see Gibbs in his basement). Not everyone's hobby, I reckon. I feel so proud of him every time I see him sailing on a boat that he made from scratch. And this chair reminds me of that magic moment in the construction when wood actually takes the shape you decide. It's an amazing thing to witness !

Exclusive to Makers & Brothers.

Etsy shopping: oil abstract paintings

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

One day, I'll be able to afford beautiful art, you know, the art that follows you in each of your homes, and that you pass on to your children. The expensive one.

Until then, I either : DIY my own, or try and find more affordable options.

Etsy is a great place to start looking. Here are a few pieces that caught my eyes, all with a hint of purple - a new favourite of mine, and reasonable priced.
Happy browsing !

A cheerful living-room design board

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hello and happy Saint Patrick ! As promised last week (see this post about yellow accents for spring), here's a little virtual design I whipped up based on this charming yellow wallpaper by Cole & Son. It's called Mimosa, doesn't get more Spring than that !
I wanted the whole room to be fresh and joyful, but elegant at the same time, so I used this gorgeous sofa from The Sofa and Chair Company, and these armchairs from Neptune. The art is from Yellow Korner. I linked to all the sources below the picture. As usual, all the products are available in the UK.

Here's a few other wallpapers that could also be used to achieve a similar look.
1 I 2 I 3 I 4 I 5 I 6 I 7 I 8 I

I hope you're enjoying your week so far. If anyone is looking for me, I'll be locked inside my office, rendering a window elevation for the third time, after my kids decided to "improve" it last week with yellow (how ironic !?) fluo ...

Stylish designer: tobi fairley

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tobi Fairley's name says it all. She is a "classic". Not only is she one of the most published designers in the US, she is also a successful business woman and a leading blogger. Basically, she's turned her name into a global design brand. Her style is clean and sophisticated, her interiors are rather traditional yet contemporary, and she's not afraid of colour.

She also shares design advice through "Tobi TV", and beautiful pictures on her Instagram.

What are you up to this week ? We're heading back to Berkshire today, after spending a few days in France, then I'll be working on my next assignment for the National Design Academy, before planning a party on Saturday. A busy week ahead indeed ! These are the best !

Joyful yellow accents, perfect for Spring !

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Just a few inspirational images to brighten your day ... I love yellow accents. Although I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to pull off a yellow wall in my own house, I think yellow is the happiest, most cheerful colour, and it brings instant sunshine into a room (or an outfit: I made  yellow dress for a wedding a few years ago, and I never felt closer to Little Miss Sunshine. In a good way ...). And just a mimosa bouquet, a lamp or a pillow can do the trick. I installed a yellow rolling blind in our kitchen, and it looks fantastic ! I might show you one day, although I'm really not proud of our rental kitchen ... Come back next week, I'll share a design board inspired by a yellow wallpaper, I guess you'll like it !

A boost of confidence from Kelly Hoppen

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sometimes, it seems like I have this huge mountain ahead of me, and I feel a little overwhelmed by my own ambitions. Juggling between a young family and new career plans is no piece of cake ! So some days, I might lose a bit of confidence, and when that happens, I try and meditate about the big picture: I will succeed !! No matter how or when, but I will.  And when I'm finally there, I will look back and be thankful for those doubts and tears along the road. Because these will be part of the whole process, and will make it all worth in the end.

Until then, I turn to the people I admire the most for advice and inspiration. And of them is Kelly Hoppen. The English goddess of Interior Design. And this what she said in an interview as a tip for future designers:

Just the boost of confidence I needed today ! I will succeed, period.

Spring fever & Henley Design Day

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

So, Spring is around the corner. Kind of. It's still chilly outside, and as far as I'm concerned, when it's already dark at 6pm, it's not springtime yet.

But, it did definitely feel like Spring last Saturday in Berkshire. I went to Henley-upon-Thames for the Henley Design Day organised by the RIBA, and I met with many talented architects and designers there, including Laura from Design a Space, Karen from KHD, or the lovely Jennie from The Green Room. It was a great opportunity to discuss Interior Design, to get some career advice and to pass on a few resumes.

The hour drive to get there was so nice, going through Berkshire and Hampshire beautiful landscapes, and enjoying the sunshine ! It made me long for Spring even more !

Oh, and allow me to wish myself a very happy birthday !

Art by TheWheatfield on Etsy