If building a new home from scratch sounds daunting, consider having to decorate it from scratch!
This was the predicament a young couple found themselves in, reaching out to Geri O’Toole Glynn of Browsers Interior Design Company to help them fine tune the look of their dream home.
“The clients wanted something different but also something that would be practical with young children,” explains Geri. “The brief they gave me was to bring in colour and have some fun with furnishings. Grey on grey can be a bit tedious.”
Geri’s remit was to decorate and furnish the open plan living/dining area off the kitchen, the separate sitting room and the master bedroom.
“The brief they gave me was to bring in colour and have some fun with furnishings. Grey on grey can be a bit tedious.”Geri O’Toole Glynn
The couple brought Geri out to the site they would be building on and showed her the plans for the kitchen, built by a local joiner, which boasted an ochre worktop. “I got a sense of how they wanted to live, for the context and the style of the house.”
“That ochre colour was the starting point and the layering process was built up from there. I had samples of their kitchen cabinet doors to work with and other elements of the kitchen as well to help inspire the process.”
“Ochre has got a mid-century retro feel to it and from there I pulled in the metals, stone and mustard. Those tones just worked well with the kitchen. The dining table chairs are ochre too; they’re comfortable, wipeable and provide a burst of colour.”
“There’s also a courtyard with firepit; in terms of materials it also ties in very well with the industrial theme and the plants complement the ochres. The courtyards also has spiced cedar cladding, which also goes well with the tones and textures indoors.”
“I pulled together a proposal, made a presentation and showed the clients mood boards and 3D samples. We have thousands and thousands of samples in the office so I could readily show them the textures and colours I had in mind and show them alternatives.”
What’s a mood board?
It’s a collection of samples of colours and textures to help you decide which elements complement each other. Even though online mood boards are very popular they tend to be more useful in the physical world, mounted on an actual board or frame to get the tactile experience of texture and accurate colour rendition as you can experiment with how light from different angles and sources hits the materials.
“The bedroom is bold in some ways because it’s got colour and is proud of it.”GERI O’TOOLE GLYNN
“The clients were very open and went with pretty much everything I put forward,” says Geri. “Then we costed the scheme and teased out the details. It took us a while to choose the sofa for the open plan area, for example, as it had to withstand wear and tear and fit in with the overall design.”
The sitting room was an opportunity for Geri to carve out a space for the young family to relax in. “The separate living room was fun to design, we went with a green colour scheme. The painter wasn’t so convinced, however, and he called the client a couple of times to make sure the ceiling should be painted green too. It’s turned out to be a really nice and cosy room in winter away from the hustle and bustle of the open plan area.”
The bedroom for its part is blue, a colour known for its calming attributes. “The bedroom is bold in some ways because it’s got colour and is proud of it. But at the same time it’s minimalist thanks to the neutral tones, grounded by the whitewashed floorboards and white furniture.”
“The pendant light lends a slightly nautical theme for relaxation and at the same time because it’s a chandelier, ties in with the classical shape of the four-post bed.”
“They were a great couple to work with and had the right idea to hire an interior designer for their new build. Especially if you’re starting from scratch and have a budget to buy new furniture, you really should consider hiring an interior designer – they’re likely to be able to get you discounts and will guide you in the right direction to nail down a style that really works for you.”