Designer notes... from interior designer Arlene McIntyre
Arlene McIntyre has been an interior designer for 17 years and opened her own company Ventura Designs in 2005. Arlene also launched her own textile range in 2013. Arlene shares her tips on how to brighten up your home and her favourite finds within the upcoming trends.
Panelling in hallways and bathrooms can help add interest and definition to normally bland areas. They can also protect walls from wear and tear and ensure that the structural components of your home last longer. Wall beading similar to those in Georgian homes can also look great and add more definition to a room.
Built-in joinery can seamlessly tie a room together. I often find that built-in bookcases can actually make a room look larger, brighter and taller. I love putting mirrors to the back of our built-in units to help bounce more light around a room and add interest. I would also recommend adding wallpaper inside built-in bookcases for larger rooms, just to add in a pop of colour.
Everyone likes something new, but most importantly you have to decide what you can live with it. Don't be swept into costly new trends and colours that may not last the test of time. Invest in what makes you happy and comfortable in your own space, after all, it's your home and not anyone else's.
A classic contemporary design can stand the test of time and is a personal favourite of mine. I especially like rooms that feature a classic contemporary twist such as a funky chair but it in a classic atmosphere. But it's important not to go all one way with the trend as you can invest in the whole look, and then nothing really shines as a result.
Brighten up Grey rooms
Grey needs the support of a more vibrant colour or it can look dull and zap all the energy out of a room. I always advise using pops of teals, aubergines, plums, navy blues and limes to help grey look its best. Grey is everywhere you turn and the Irish market is heavily saturated in it. However, there are other great neutrals like taupes and warmer tones which are easier to live in with our Irish light.
Neutral colours are set to make a comeback and are especially popular with furniture pieces. Bright tones with golden hues running through them are set to become the new grey and will really add some life to your room.
Parquet flooring with a matching toned wide plank is pricey, but always a winner. I find that running a wooden flooring throughout the ground floor can work well, especially with some nice big rugs. Tiles can look great and are practical, but can feel cold if not coupled with underfloor heating. There are also some incredible wide-plank laminates with great tones and wood-grain finishes going throughout them. Laminates are not only durable and scratch-resistant but can still give the wooden classic look we all desire.
I think a good sofa, bed, dining table and chairs are always a good place to start when investing in furniture. It's important to think of lighting too as it can really lift and transform a space.
We all have extra clutter lying around, so why not treat yourself to some extra wardrobe space? Invest in wardrobes that have extra storage behind it and mirror-fronted doors. The extra storage space is practical, but the mirror-fronted door can make your small box room seem so much brighter.
If you would like to find out more about Arlene McIntyre's portfolio and collections, visit ventura.ie