A home with traditional furniture and fittings or room structure doesn’t need to be stuck in that period of time. Resist the temptation to rip everything out and start again at great expense – and instead just make a few subtle changes such as these to change the vintage to the vivid and the old to the bold.
Brighten things up
Simply changing the light arrangement or quality can alter our perception of the room; if you’re dabbling in the world of connected homes you could use mood lighting and temperature settings to let the rooms evolve and flourish throughout the day. Large windows, skylights and transoms can add more natural light, while French doors or frosted glass and let a glow spread through the entrance to a room – a company such as Ken’s Yard might provide some ideas.
We’ve all been in rooms that are dominated by a single painting; perhaps a print of a traditional landscape, or maybe a simple portrait. While perhaps fitting in with the surroundings, an exchange for a modern, chic canvas design or motto may completely change the feel of the room. A large-scale print of animals or sharp patterns might also work, or perhaps contemporary art.
Travel the world
Most of us like travel and many of us like bringing trinkets and bits and pieces back with us to place on our shelves. It’s quite difficult to predict actually what we’ll find in the markets of Marrakesh or the streets of Kuala Lumpur, so one can’t exactly go shopping with something in mind. However, if you spot a piece such as a small table or lamp, and can envisage it fitting into a room and not making it all look bizarre, then go for it.
Break up the single colour
If your room is essentially shades of one colour – white or cream perhaps – then adding items of one other hue can create a really interesting focal point. Don’t just go for the binary colour of black – try turquoise, pink or red chairs or tables, or maybe ornaments and vases.
Replacing the fixtures in a kitchen can be done in about ten minutes, and it’s cheap and completely non-destructive. As an example, swapping vintage door knobs for more of the contemporary items that one would find somewhere like this could instantly jazz up the kitchen. Another option for the kitchen could be to…
Paint the doors – and nothing else.
Rather than painting an entire set of kitchen cupboards and drawers (or replacing them) why not just paint them, leaving the original, traditional structural colour intact around and behind them? So a cream wood or even a 60s style white plastic could be boosted by painting subtle pink, mauve or aquamarine doors.
A very quick way of shaking up the aesthetic and changing our preconceptions is to arrange books both vertically and horizontally, or to place them around ornaments or just space. My Domaine shows just how strong and simple this effect can be.