Lauren Li

Country Style - - DECORATING -

The most im­por­tant part of cre­at­ing a home is con­sid­er­ing how it should feel, says in­te­rior de­signer Lauren Li of Sisällä In­te­rior De­sign. She sug­gests fo­cus­ing on a con­cept first, and how a space can meet your needs, be­fore even con­sid­er­ing colour schemes and fin­ishes. “Paint colour is of­ten the very last thing that is cho­sen,” Lauren says. “There are so many other con­straints in a project and, since there are al­most an in­fi­nite amount of paint colours, it’s left un­til last.” When she is at that fi­nal stage, Lauren of­ten uses Du­lux Nat­u­ral White. “It’s fresh, con­tem­po­rary and ver­sa­tile, and it’s not too creamy,” she says. And al­though white is renowned for its space-en­hanc­ing qual­i­ties, it’s not Lauren’s go-to wall colour in all cases. “White can be the worst colour to use in some spa­ces, es­pe­cially in a small dark room where it can look drab and de­press­ing,” she ex­plains. “Em­brace the cosi­ness and paint ev­ery wall a gor­geous colour. When one colour is used on the walls and com­bined with other sim­i­lar tones, the space can feel calm and har­mo­nious.” An ex­am­ple of this is the stu­dio’s own re­tail show­room, The Apart­ment by Sisällä, where each room has been painted a dif­fer­ent colour. “It makes the space feel amaz­ing to spend time in,” says Lauren. To help her clients get com­fort­able with colour, Lauren paints up large A1-sized boards. “I’ll move them around the space to de­ter­mine the wall colour, which also helps my clients vi­su­alise how the colour will look in the space.” She also ad­vises that you con­sider the over­all ef­fect you want to cre­ate in your home. “We re­cently used a cus­tom-made dark green by Porter’s Paints in the kitchen space at The Apart­ment that feels calm and serene.” When it comes to choos­ing art­work, Lauren’s big­gest tip is to mix orig­i­nal work with prints. “By com­bin­ing high­er­priced orig­i­nal pieces with lim­ited-edi­tion prints, the whole dis­play is el­e­vated,” she says. How you dis­play your art can al­ter the mood of a zone, too. “A sa­lon hang gives a ca­sual and ex­cit­ing feel. I like sa­lon hangs that aren’t too con­trived, that feel like they can keep be­ing added to. I also like us­ing a ledge and lay­er­ing pieces along it. It’s a great way to swap out art­work with­out mak­ing holes in the wall.” Oth­er­wise, con­sider us­ing rugs and fab­ric to add in­ter­est and tex­ture to a room. Bouclé is one of Lauren’s favourites, es­pe­cially Brid­get, a li­nen and wool blend from French fab­ric house Pierre Frey. She also rec­om­mends a new range of tex­tiles by Mel­bourne de­signer Annie Coop. “The de­signs are fresh and play­ful yet so­phis­ti­cated.” 0408 838 138;

CLOCK­WISE, FROM TOP LEFT Lauren Li shows how colour can set the mood, where a cus­tom colour from Porter’s Paints con­trasts with the black fire­place and Stick series wall light, from $717, from LAAL. The art­work is by Eleanor Louise Butt is avail­able from The Apart­ment by Sisällä; Hat pen­dant, $910, and wa­ter­ing can, $59, from The Apart­ment by Sisällä; in this home, built by Mode Projects and dec­o­rated by Sisällä, is an­other art­work by Eleanor Louise Butt from The Apart­ment by Sisällä. The &Tra­di­tion Catch chair sits next to a Nudo hand-wo­ven rug from Hal­cyon Lake. For stock­ist de­tails, see page 135.

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