Liv­ing bright

Em­brace the bright life with a pal­ette straight from the cat­walk, writes

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Any fash­ion­ista will tell you that the key to a stylish look is pulling to­gether pat­tern, shapes and colour to cre­ate care­fully crafted out­fits that just work.

As in­te­ri­ors have be­come in­creas­ingly in­flu­enced by what is ap­pear­ing on the cat­walk, it’s worth­while tak­ing a few lessons from the de­sign­ers and ap­ply­ing it to home dec­o­rat­ing.

Du­lux stylist Bree Leech, says there is much to be learnt from tak­ing a fash­ion de­sign ap­proach to in­te­ri­ors.

“Of­ten what works well as a pat­tern in fash­ion will trans­fer into the home,” she says.

“It’s a bit like tak­ing your in­spi­ra­tion from na­ture — the colours just work.”

For Mel­bourne Fash­ion Week, Du­lux col­lab­o­rated with the en­fant ter­ri­bles of Aus­tralian fash­ion, Ro­mance Was Born, to cre­ate an un­ortho­dox pal­ette that sur­prises and de­lights in equal mea­sure.

Com­bin­ing acid blue, peach, lemon yel­low, lime green, pur­ple and Pan­tone colour of 2014, Ra­di­ant Orchid, it’s a vivid collection that needs to be han­dled with care.

“I was lucky to work with Ro­mance Was Born be­cause they al­ways use colour re­ally well,” says Bree.

“I am very much guided by the look­books of the de­sign­ers from their lat­est collection and I go through them to find some­thing that will trans­late well into in­te­ri­ors.”

Well pro­por­tioned

Crit­i­cal to the suc­cess of this in­te­rior was the pro­por­tions of colour used.

Bree chose pas­tel coloured Fuzzy Peach as a back­ground wall colour with acid blue Sham­poo in the fore­ground for light and shade.

“It’s about how the eye reads the room,” she says. “If we had painted the back wall in Con­cep­tual, the lime green, and the front wall was blue, they would have fought with each other for at­ten­tion.

“You need to do it so that it doesn’t over­whelm the whole space.”

Mood change

She sug­gests as­sem­bling a mood board, not just fo­cus­ing on the colours and pat­terns you want to work with, but how much you should use.

“Cut your paint sam­ples into the pro­por­tions that you in­tend to use them in and put them to­gether with some im­ages you like on a board so you can get an idea of how it will all work to­gether,” she says.

Don’t be too con­cerned if this takes some time. It’s a cheaper and sim­pler op­tion than re­paint­ing or re­turn­ing un­suit­able fur­ni­ture and even pro­fes­sional stylists don’t nec­es­sar­ily get it right the first time, says Bree.

“Where I start may not be where I end up be­cause it’s only as you work that you can tell when the pro­por­tions are not right,” she says.

Match maker

Re­peat­ing colours in smaller doses at least once will help the room look co­he­sive with­out ap­pear­ing too “matchy-matchy”.

Here, an Ikea stor­age unit has been cus­tomised with Con­cep­tual, Vi­va­cious Vi­o­let (pink) and Clary (pur­ple), which have then been re­peated in ceram­ics, glass, tex­tiles and even a painted wall phone.

Bree says the white floors pro­vided a fresh back­drop for all the brights while the tulip arm­chair and fluffy stool, both bought sec­ond­hand, add tex­ture and shape.

“The fluffy stool cost about $20 from an op shop,” she says. “I re­sprayed the base and washed and brushed the faux fur on top.

“With the chair, we knew we wanted that shape and we searched high and low un­til we found it.”

For those work­ing with ex­ist­ing rooms, Bree says rugs are a quick way to change your floor cover while re­paint­ing old fur­ni­ture like tim­ber chairs or draw­ers in a fresh hue can tie them into an in­te­rior scheme.

“A lot of people have to work with their ex­ist­ing floor and of­ten that’s tim­ber which can look too red or too brown,” she says. “If you’re not in a po­si­tion to paint, rugs can be a re­ally good op­tion.” robyn.wil­ Main pic­ture

Mike Baker

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