IGF Interiors

Divide Room Or Leave Impressively Spacious

I like to think of sunny days for decorating and reorganizing my main rooms.  Obviously there are limitations as to where one puts that overly large 4 seater settee and matching oversized armchair . . .   you need one very long wall, preferably unemcumbered by radiators or windows.   As I have a feature fireplace along the only other long wall, then I have to place these exactly where they are now.  My neighbour however two shorter sofas, giving her the same amount of seating but she can place one across the width of the room, causing a sort of divider effect and the other sofa takes up only half the long wall space.  We have discussed the merits of each design and actually agree that although very fixed, my scenario is preferable as it doesn’t break up the room – if I want to show off a long, 22ft total from bay window to patio doors the other end, I just open the interlinking glazed double doors between the two rooms.  It does look and feel impressively spacious.

Neighbouring Houses Reflect Polar Opposite Interiors

Interiors are so fundamental.  You open the front door and you in an interior.  How you decorate and manage one is so individual though.  I sometimes get to see inside the neighbouring houses, not often as we’re all very busy people.  To describe the difference would take ages, suffice to say mine is decorated in early 2000s modern, some scandi minimal and a little bit of comfort.  One neighbour has gone for the vintage 1970s look – very stark streamlined sofa and matching armchair.  No arms on either, both items look like public amenity seating in fact.  Not for them an oak sideboard  – no, they have bold shelving units with everything neatly positioned, colour coded books and vinyl albums – these alone tell me that someone in that house may have a problem loosening up occasionally!   Brutally unattractive at first thought but everything works well.   The other neighbour is quite the opposite – it’s all pretty chinzy and romantic frills.  Each bedroom has a hand made roman blind to match the bedding and the lounge could be a little country cottage.  Fantastic contasts!

Making House Bigger With Good Design Work

I was round at a neighbour’s house the other week – my first viewing of theirs since they finished decorating.  In fact it’s been a very long project over the last 2 years.  The whole of the back of the downstairs has been knocked down and rebuilt to make one massive kitchen, dining, sitting room with lare patio doors out to the garden and utility room along the side wall.  It is a fabulous and very modern design concept which their builder came up with.  The  finished product is so much more spacious and easy to live with than their own ideas, they are thrilled to bits with the transformation.  To finish off all that expense and effort, they have also decorated the original sitting room.  Each side wall have been made to look lie a spacious alcove – it’s unbelievably just wallpaper.  It is designed and painted in such a clever way that incorporated open panels, it looks so much bigger than how it did beforehand.  I’ve never seen wallpaper like it.

Heritage Interior Design Safeguarded & Treasured

I’ve been to some rather nice old houses under the historic houses membership scheme.  The beauty of this heritage site is that the homes/properties must still be living homes.  Unlike the major trust which is quite the opposite – one’s property can only be accepted onto their list if it is unlived in and likely to become seriously unloved.  Many of the trust’s places are not all pretty, but all need to have something seriously interesting that the nation needs to safeguard.   They hang on to the best example of some back to back terraced houses for example.  Nothing even vaguely romantic or beautiful there but the design and interiors are critical to our understanding of how the very poorest members of society had to live.   They also own a 1905 house in the East Midlands which has remained little changed from the day it was built – from when a particular family member bought it back.  No one embelished it from 1932 onwards.  So again, the design and interiors have been truly influential in the  way we view the Edwardian family house.

Interior Design For Enhancing The Space Available

There is one aspect of moving house that I used to love when we were children – being able to pick the colour of our bedroom decor.  We moved often because of father’s occupation and as a famly we just grew up being very organised whenever the next move was mooted.  Sharing a room with a sibling dented any great ambitions for outlandish personal fancies,  jazzy walls or curtains.  We were polar opposites and so much scrapping and arguing ensued before our parents entered the fray and played the common sense card!  We were always allowed to choose the colour of the walls – within a fairly slender range of colours.  Today it’s rare for teens to share a room so they probably dont have the same constraints.   Parents though have the difficult task of navigating the demands for ensuites and double sized storage, extra space for huge tvs and gaming areas.   It’s all down to good interior design and literally reshaping and building on what’s there.  How to make a room version of a silk purse out of sow’s ear in fact!

Keeping Up With The Regency Jones’s

Some of the loveliest days out for me have been to heritage and historic houses.  Those lofty interiors with furniture of the day, the silk wall coverings and bed hangings.  I like the hought that so many families have passed through those corridors and slept in those rooms.  I wallow in the age of the kitchens, overlooking completely the lack of workspace, or hygiene for that matter.   It’s only after you take in several such buildings, of any age, they do become much of a muchness with perhaps the same regency wall paper, Chippendale furiture, massive velvet window drapes and hand made carpets, that you realise that’s exactly how we live in this day and age.  All the lovely new housing developments springing up about us will h ave the same sized kitchens with the same design of cabinets, give or take the odd colour choice.  But we can  engage the services of design and interior experts and have the chane to strike a note of individualism !

One Man’s Paisley, Another Man’s Poison

When we discuss design, it’s rather like asking a group of people ‘what’s your favourite meal’ . . .  it’s so open ended and has no right or wrong answers.   Design of a house obviously depends rather on the land available and the amount of money the owner and builder have to produce it.  Design of an interior, well that’s entirely a new kettle of fish.  I often look over the online presentaitons of houses for sale near me.   Some of the design and decor leaves me almost staggering with disbelief – mostly ghastly to my taste of course.    A few years ago one of the local houses went on the market with a great blaze of publicity.  They’re a loud family anyway and their presence in the road since moving in has not gone unnoticed.  To say their decor and style matched this over exhuberance is the greatest understaement ever!  Black and grey, black grey & silver, black, grey, silver and red throughout the entire house with bold paisley patterns.

Dated Decor Makes Houses Unappealing

One of the more rewarding aspects of spending an afternoon looking through property and lifestyle magazines is finding out what the latest colour trends are going to be for the next year or so.  For a few years we wer blighted with the most ghastly phase of grey, grey & black, grey, red & black, oh and with large chunks of chrome for good measure.   Pictures of houses with this style of decor were generally ridiculed by ‘those in the know’ but somehow it didn’t stop them from promoting the same whenever houses needed dressing for an article or editorial.  There’s a large house up the road from mine.  They are still in the grey & chrome time wharp.  Every year the famuly put this house on the market – we see it advertised online and in the agent window but no for sale sign ever outside.   After a few fruitless months, they take it off again.  The decor hasn’t been changed or 4 years and it looks dated.  Let’s  hope the agent persuades them to make changes before next year’s effort!

Sixties Trendy Decorating Themes Keep Returning

With the sad death recently of a most favourite actress, I have taken the opportunity to step up watching two series of a tv show she came to prominence in during the ’60s.  Looking at the fashions is exciting – we were very much in the top end of the swinging sixties for that show and the actress was dressed in ludicrously trendy ‘gear’.  The properties featured in this spoof spy/good cop caper also reflect the fashion of the time.  Kitchens have the ‘latest’ gadgets which are just slipped into the action – streamlined kitchen design with very modern furniure is to show that the main characters are at the top of their game, they can afford a fantastic London pad and by golly they’ve got the cash to dress it up.  Actually the staged sets are desperately flimsy and the continuity editor doesn’t seem to have had time to check that the flapping doors that don’t shut and the door bell rings instread of a door knocker going when the eligible male strolls in.

Miracle Of The Interior Decorating Craftsman

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to have the services of a professional decorator to paint through my house.  He was coming over to work on a regular heritage commission but this had been postponed at last minute so he was at a costly loose end for exactly 2 weeks.  When my chum told me this, I laughingly said ‘oh send him over here, my place needs a makeover’.  Well, she did just that – one skype walkaround showing him my house and suddenly he was here to do the work!  To watch a true professional at work was such an eye opener.  The  meticulous attention to detail, organised route round the jobs and so tidy at the end of each working day.  To save us both time and money, he stayed over in my guest room and it worked out very well.    Not everyone can be this lucky – getting an interior decorator at any time can be challenging but to get a real craftsman, staying on the spot is a miracle I’ve appreciated every single day since.