Saturday, 27 August 2011

Well Read

Sometimes the simplest things say the most.  “I love you”.  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  “The dog ate my homework”. “I paid it yesterday”. The written word has a lot of power – even in decorating terms!  That’s why we think this room re-writes the rules...
·         Even though it looks like there’s a lot going on, this is actually a very minimalist setting.  A good example of letting your hero piece have its way, and keeping the rest pulled back – the hero piece being, of course, the wallpaper, the rest the supporting cast

·         It would be quite a different, almost harsh, look if the chair was a shiny, black sharp-edged piece. The warm, worn brown leather club is the anchor that makes this room work – old chair + old books = nonchalant classic cool 

·         The over-sized angle-poise lamp is a cheeky reference to bookish study, but it’s made fun with the irreverent colour and crazy size – plus, picking up the colour in the hydrangeas adds a clever touch of natural in an otherwise austere setting
If you feel there’s a story like this one to be told in your home, Eco Chic should be on your list!  We have classic club chairs such as the Oxford or Darcy that are perfect in the library or living room.  We can supply this exact wallpaper, just drop us a line  Our Spotlight lamp has a sister floor lamp along these lines, just ask.  Fill Charlize urns or Thorn vases with lilacs or lilies for dramatic impact.  And the School Bench would work a treat in such a scholastic setting.
Sounds Like Home?  In this room the music we'd play is 'All Blues' by Miles Davis 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Kitchen Know How

We don’t often feature kitchens in Style Counsel, but doing a mini reno on ours at home has got us thinking!  Kitchens, as we know, are the new living rooms in the modern home, and need to be more than just a space to store, cook and serve up food.  That’s why we love this kitchen; it works on different levels of functionality and serves as both a working space and a show piece. Let’s look at what’s going on:
  • Black walls aren’t often chosen for a kitchen but work beautifully here because the floor is light and therefore the overall look isn’t too heavy. It would be so glum if the floor was made of dark tiles or timber!
  • Chalkboard paint is fun and useful – we love our blackboards at home as they help us never forget that bright idea or shopping list item!  If you don’t feel like a whole wall of chalkboard paint, just try a panel propped against the wall to give the idea and the inspiration should follow.
  • Open shelving – love!  Practical and pretty as everything is in-sight and on-hand. But – and it’s a bit but - open shelves must be tidy and co-ordinated otherwise you’ll just end up with a cluttered mess. Here, classic white crockery and clear glass is strictly grouped and clustered, giving an ordered look and adding lightness to the tonality of the setting as a whole.
  • Pendant lights – love, love! Again, they are practical and pretty and such a visual feature over a dining table. Diffused light is refreshing in a kitchen, especially when the work is done and the dining can begin – pendants are much more intimate and relaxing than overhead strips or downlights.
  • Comfy armchair – to die for!  If you have room in your kitchen/dining area for an armchair or sofa, you’d be crazy not to go for it!  How much nicer than perching on a bar stool is it to snuggle in a welcoming armchair, nursing a glass of wine, ready for a chat with the cook. This really makes a statement – home is where the heart is and the heart of a home is the kitchen.
If you’d like your kitchen to look like this (and we definitely would!) then Eco Chic can get you going.  Our Trestle Table is just like this one, and comes with a timber or glass top. The Luanne chairs would look fab around the trestle table, as would the Lachlan or Betty chairs.  Try the Pumpkin, Hobart or Pierre pendant light over your table.  The Santa Barbara bookshelf is ideal in such a setting, having a warm yet industrial look. We have several lovely armchairs that would make your kitchen a haven of comfort – check out the Vintage Kantha, the Kilim, or the Claudia. Finally, our World Clock would be just the ticket in such a setting, or try in Bangalow who have a lovely, huge showstopper of a clock on offer that was spotted and coveted just this weekend!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fresh and funky, this room is a cool mix of crisp white and punchy colours that make you feel like you could hang out in here for a good gossip session as much as a good night’s sleep.  It is youthful while still being a classic look that will last a long time.

What is it that makes this room so refreshing? 

  • High Contrast – the white is really white (not a cream in sight)
  • It’s all about proportion.  This space is 80% white, 10% bright colour, and 10% dark brown or black.  A fantastic recipe for success
  • Mix modern (white chairs) with antiques (bedsides)
  • Pick one showstopper accent like this floral cushion and the rest of the bed can be quietly restrained
  • The art makes it...keep it eclectic with different frames, sizes, matt colours, and styles.  Mix illustrations, collage and prints.  Have fun ...more is more!
To get the look with Eco Chic,  we have a fantastic mix of art in great colours and styles that would be perfect in combination.  Our B&B bedspread will give that clean white look and our allergen free pillows and quilts will have you sleeping in complete comfort.  Try the Cristobel Side Tables for that antiquey look.  To add that punchiness, one of our large Ikat cushions plus the Feverpitch velvet cushions would add the finishing touch.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Timeless Appeal

A classic and timeless room that will never ticks all the boxes – inviting, casual but elegant, comfortable and chic.  How does a room manage to look fresh and yet not overly trendy?

  • White sofa – If it is humanly possible to pull this off in your own house (probably no small children), then a white sofa will ALWAYS make a room look so chic.
  • Bookcases – They add texture and colour, all while making you seem so smart and cultured!  This one has a dark  background which makes it MUCH more interesting and hip than an all white one.
  • Pendant lights – they aren’t just for the dining room.  They add warmth and interest to the ceiling, give good light, and this case they are mismatched – one black one white...very cool.
  • Mid century modern – Adding a collectible piece like this butterfly chair just seems to add depth and soul to a space.  This room successfully mixes pieces from all different eras.
  • The chesterfield – This style of sofa in that gorgeous cordovan leather is a true classic, comfortable, handsome and always in style.  A great counter balance to anchor a light room.
  • Eclectic accents – None of the accent cushions match in size or fabric and that keeps the space from feeling too traditional or formal.  The books are also arranged in an eclectic manner, not filling the shelves entirely like a library. 
  • Neutral colour palette – If you want truly timeless, go for white, black, and natural and then just throw in a few coloured accents as your taste changes.

To Get the Look with Eco Chic, start with a traditional sofa in a nice cordovan leather colour and pair it with a casual one like the Lily sofa in white hemp.  Our Honeycomb rug in cream is a great match in style and texture to the one shown.  We can make custom pendant light shades in black, white and a number of fabrics including your own!  Can't build a bookshelf into your space?  Check out our selection of freestanding bookcases.  Finally, choose a few of our accent cushions to complete the look...give us a call if you need an interior designer to help you put together a funky collection.  We are always here to help!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Dramatic Entrance

There may not be a lot to this space, but what there is, we LOVE!  This is a great example of how a few grand gestures can really make a room.  What makes this entry foyer so dramatic?

  • The orange ceiling, of course!  This brave designer has put bright orange grasscloth wallcovering on the ceiling instead of doing the predictable feature wall.
  • The contrast – you will never go wrong with a strong black and white theme mixed in with splash of intense colour, and don't be afraid to mix very dark brown woods with the black, it keeps it rich.
  • Bold pattern – The fabric on these traditional chairs by Marimekko is both modern and large in scale, but the chairs are relatively small...the combination is unexpected and fun.
  • Right size right place – The large mirror and slender furniture is the perfect way to open up the narrow space and make it seem larger.
  • Lighting – Entryways are great place for a statement chandelier.  This one does the added job of  bridging the gap between the modern and traditional themes of the house.
To get the look with Eco Chic, we have a range of great grasscloth wallpaper.  If you want a bright colour not on our site,  just let us know and we will send you some samples.  Our Santa Barbara Console Table has a similar look, but for a really slim console, perfect in a tight space, check out the Shari.  We have some nice, big mirrors as well as black and white artwork.  Our Chloe chairs have striking black and white fabric and are nice and petite,  but we can use that fabric on any of our chairs...just ask!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Inside Out Rooms

There’s a sniff of Spring in the air, and it’s taking our thoughts outdoors, both to rooms that bring the outside in, and to actual rooms created outdoors for lounging and entertaining.
That’s why we like both of these rooms, one has such a breezy outdoorsy feel, and one is actually outdoors feeling the breeze, yet they share similar elements that make them work so well.
·         Bright jewel colours, yet still anchored in natural references, are winners for a fresh look that works both indoors and out. Here, aqua brings fun and lightness and adds an edge to more traditional wall colours in our indoors room, whilst the aqua on the outdoor chairs and in the rug is fun and playful and stands out from the greenery around the outdoors room
·         The settings are informal and encourage relaxing and conversation, both rooms use ottomans for foot rests and coffee tables, side tables for drinks and books and flowers and foliage to soften the edges
·         The colour combinations are unexpected yet successful – aqua teamed with navy and white stripes isn’t your everyday match and emerald green plus yellow and aqua could be a bit ‘sudden’ in certain contexts but works in an outdoor setting where the rules can be relaxed a little, to match the atmosphere
·         We like how there is a floor rug outdoors and outdoor style furniture indoors in these rooms – a nice tribute to the Australian way of life that blends casual and formal so effortlessly and makes reference to our easy going way of life
Finding furnishings to give this look is easy with Eco Chic.  Look out for our outdoor rug range, coming soon.  The bangalow range is similar to the chairs shown.  Try the Erica ikat ottoman for a versatile piece to serve as both table or footstool.  Our escapade cushion range is perfect outdoors and comes in blues and aquas.  A sennia table looks just great indoors or out, as do the sami stools and add a lovely splash of colour into your room – indoors or out – into the bargain!