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Posts from the ‘Living Rooms’ Category

Deep Buttoning

I’m in love with deep-buttoning at the moment – there’s just something so decadently divine in adding such an exquisite detail to furniture and furnishings.

Though you may be hard pressed finding many deep-buttoned pieces through the more contemporary furniture outlets, there are the occasional finds, such as an updated Chesterfield or the lovely squishy “Remy” sofa from Town and Country Style ( Alternatively, seek out local designers with a more traditional bent, such as Alan Bullivant from White ( who manufacturers the truly lovely “Grace” sofa.

If you have an old chair or ottoman you want to have re-upholstered, think about adding some deep-buttons. I recently had a large, but very plain square ottoman re-upholstered and asked them to add some piping and deep-buttoning – the result was amazing. What was once a boxy, contemporary piece is now an elegant Parisian-style ottoman (we also replaced the original steel feet with turned timber – and the existing blue faux-suede fabric with finely striped red and cream silk).

Fine stripes and patterns with a small repeat work really well with deep- buttoning – however, thicker stripes and larger patterns will not. If in doubt, stick to plain fabrics, which will show off the detailing beautifully.

When you add a deep-buttoned piece to a room, it instantly takes on a classic-meets-contemporary, timeless appeal. The trick is not to overdo it; a deep-buttoned bedhead upholstered in a beautiful fabric becomes the centrepiece when the other furniture is played down – however, if many items are screaming for attention, the look just becomes fussy.

Talking about upholstered bedheads, Denise Kennedy from Curtain Elegance ( was kind enough to show me the ‘cheats’ way to create a buttoned bedhead (the true method, which results in an elegant pleated effect is a real art form and takes years to master). You simply drill holes into a piece of MDF before gluing on the foam and wrapping it in the fabric. You then use a large darning needle to sew on the buttons, threading through the pre-drilled holes.


Instant DIY cabinetry

This is a clever idea carried out by a friend’s husband. He bought an Ikea cabinet and attached it to the wall and then adding some framing (individual pieces of pine, cut to size and then glued straight onto the Ikea cabinet) – an instant timber and white floating cabinet at half the would-be cost. He originally saw something similar on Remodelista,, which is where I sourced this photo of the white painted frames (originally from Yatzer) – what is it about white on white? Just looking at this picture makes me feel calmer. Have a gorgeous week, Tx

Cabinetry photo by Anastasia K.

Masculine Rooms

Traditionally masculine interiors have always been strong, dark and architecturally clean with heavy, large-scale furniture and tough materials such as leather, steel and wood dominating. Done well, it is a powerful look, which creates a bold and functional space.

However, done badly it can become overtly hard, cold and commercial – so it is important to add elements of softness and light to balance the innate strength of the style.

Softness can be added by texture. Add fine cottons, wools or linens to counteract the harder elements. For example, soften a dark leather sofa by adding a pure white sheepskin (as pictured). Add softly textured cushions to cold steel chairs, or a fine silk rug to a hard, concrete floor.

The inclusion of white, or light colours, to a masculine room will lift the look and counteract any potential oppressiveness. This can be achieved quite simply by adding large expanses of lighter colours into the overall scheme.

White or light walls and light coloured flooring (such as sisal or polished concrete) may be used to freshen and brighten a room which is weighed down by a lot of heavy or dark furniture.

Lighter, textured window treatments (such as bamboo blinds or natural coloured linen Romans) will add softness of colour and texture – and will literally permit more light into the space.

Punches of strong colours and patterns not traditionally associated with men can also lighten and update a masculine space. For example, the colourful French striped blind (pictured)– adds a certain freshness to the otherwise muted room.

And though we think of only checks or stripes as being ‘manly’ enough, even florals can be used if clean-lines are maintained. (The Emporium Hotel uses a frangipani motif in its interiors – the simple, clean design is very uni-sexed in its appeal).

The masculine interior is innately dark, strong and a little sexy – and whether for a male or female space – the essential design elements of the style can be used to create a powerful edge.

Photograph from ‘New Vintage’ by Anastasia K