Ask Alex Find­ing your cre­ative voice

Dis­cov­er­ing your cre­ative voice is as sim­ple as try­ing a few new things, think­ing out­side the box and hav­ing fun with your space

Your Home and Garden - - Contents -

Hi Alex,

I love fol­low­ing your colour ad­ven­tures on so­cial me­dia and I no­ticed how you use pink in very clever and sub­tle ways. I never even thought I liked pink but you have re­ally changed my mind about this colour. I want to be able to use it in my home with­out it be­ing too girly – do you have any sug­ges­tions to get me started?

Emma Clyde, Welling­ton

I won’t lie: I do love a touch of pink in my in­te­ri­ors. It’s such a sym­pa­thetic and ver­sa­tile shade that eas­ily com­ple­ments other colours, as well as giv­ing a space a sense of warmth. It has more depth than white and can be used as a neu­tral or a com­ple­men­tary colour to cooler shades such as grey, blue and green. I re­cently added a beau­ti­ful blush shade to a char­coal, black and white bed­room and it was the per­fect colour to off­set the pal­ette.

Pink is the colour of hap­pi­ness and car­ries light-hearted con­no­ta­tions that re­mind us of the care­free days of child­hood, thereby cre­at­ing a sooth­ing ef­fect. It is also as­so­ci­ated with good health and con­tent­ment (for in­stance, to be “tick­led pink”). In in­te­ri­ors, pink cre­ates a sense of com­fort and calm.

Dulux re­cently re­leased more than 120 new pinks that will get your cre­ative juices flow­ing, from barely-there blushes such as ‘Tokaanu’ and ‘Par­i­haka’ to dirty pinks like ‘Point Eng­land’ and ‘Otau­tau’, and more in­tense pinks like ‘Techno Pink’ and ‘Vi­vian Street’.

If you are a lit­tle hes­i­tant, start with pink touches such as a fea­ture wall be­hind the bed, in the laun­dry or in a smaller space. Paint­ing skirt­ings or the edge of a door could be just enough pink for you to de­cide if you like it or not. If paint­ing seems too ex­treme, try adding homeware such as cush­ions, pil­low­cases, throws and art­work. Baby pink = baby steps!

Lastly, just do it – it’s a very in­tu­itive thing to lis­ten to how a colour makes you feel, and find­ing your own colour voice is half the bat­tle. Hello Alex

We have a large den area that we have re­cently added to a garage ren­o­va­tion. We have run out of money for fur­ni­ture at this point (it’s a huge space) but are hop­ing you might have some ideas for a stop­gap un­til we can af­ford a large sofa unit. Our kids range in age from nine to 16 so it re­ally needs to ac­com­mo­date them. The Wil­son fam­ily, Ash­bur­ton Lucky kids! This sounds like a fun space to fit out. Right, let’s get our bud­get hats on and come up with some ideas for how you can com­plete this room with­out break­ing the bank.

+ First, fig­ure out what money you can spend on this space – know­ing your bud­get is cru­cial for any in­te­rior de­sign project be­cause it dic­tates what price range you will be fo­cus­ing on. For this sce­nario, I’m aim­ing for the lower end.

+ Map out the room and work out how the space will be or­gan­ised. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant in large spa­ces that can be di­vided into zones. Grab some graph pa­per and make a scale di­a­gram of the space. When op­tions present them­selves, you can sketch them out to see if they fit into your plan.

+ Once you know what you need, you can spend time search­ing. Fo­cus on sale items, se­cond­hand shops and preloved web­sites. Lo­cal Face­book pages are ideal if you don’t want to pay for freight as ship­ping can make a cheap piece of fur­ni­ture a lot more ex­pen­sive. The key is to make sure you are

100 per­cent sure an item will fit the space. Don’t for­get to check it will fit through the door, too!

+ If the per­fect item does not present it­self, use a mix of pieces but cre­ate co­he­sion by cov­er­ing them with com­ple­men­tary throws and cov­ers.

+ Use al­ter­na­tives to hard fur­ni­ture and fill the room with bean­bags, floor cush­ions, hang­ing chairs and beds. These could even dou­ble as ex­tra sleep­ing space next time you have guests to stay.

+ The trick is to get cre­ative. If you have any handy peo­ple avail­able, maybe you can make some sofa bases out of pal­lets and top them with re-cov­ered mat­tresses? Have fun with the space, try some new things and think out­side the box.


In­te­rior de­signer

mug cush­ion du­vet cover 4


1 JS Ce­ram­ics half-dipped in pink sand, $32, from Tea Pea. 2 Kip & Co vel­vet pea in peach sor­bet, $90, from Alex & Cor­ban. Flax linen in rose­wood, $250, from Alex & Cor­ban. New Zealand sheep­skin throw in Malaga, $269, from Al­lium.

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