Colour in Kitchens is in

Planning a new kitchen is exciting but it can be overwhelming at times too, with so many different aspects to consider. Selecting the colour scheme is an enjoyable part of the process, but clients are often scared of choosing colour as they are afraid it will date quickly. 

However, if you stick to a classic neutral colour such as white, grey or timber veneer finish for the majority of cabinets, then add a contrast colour for the island bench or lower cabinets, your kitchen will have an exciting element to it with classic appeal. For instance in the kitchen above, the colour scheme is a traditional white on white, but by choosing a deep peacock blue for the island bench and some striking black elements in the stool's metal legs and pendants, this kitchen has become a lot more inviting and chic. 

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Take a look at some ‘real life’ colour swatches when you are shopping. Some colours will look differently on your computer or tablet screen than they do in real life. This is because it depends on what type of screen you are viewing it on, the resolution of the uploaded images and also the calibration of your screen. This is why it is always best that you choose colours for your kitchen, or any room in your home, from real swatches or sample paint pots and never from shade cards (unless real brush-outs have been used) or websites.

If however you're not feeling too adventurous, you can add some different colour accessories  to change the look and feel of the space while keeping the large areas in the more neutral zone.

The dreamy mottled marble is a great accompaniment to the powder blue cabinetry in this kitchen, while the brass hardware acts as the jewellery and ups the glamour factor.

It's all about the Envelope

Our first post is going to be about something I'm very passionate about - THE ENVELOPE of a room! After all, when the last picture is hung and all the furniture is perfectly arranged, what makes the difference between a great room and take-it-or-leave-it-room, is a GREAT envelope.

So what is an envelope? It's a term we use to describe the walls, ceiling, floors, window treatments and lighting - basically anything that's a fixed feature of the room that you can't take with you when you move. It's what envelopes a space, the fruit bowl of the room that holds the fruit - furniture, accessories, art - together.

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Amazing rooms in which we feel both excited and comfortable to be in don't happen by accident - they happen by design. Good design is thoroughly planned but remains open to flashes of creative spontaneity. All design starts with an idea that most interior designers develop into the concept for the room or the house. What ILI does is take that initial idea and apply if firstly to the envelope of the room - the walls, ceiling, floor and windows. We then let that inform how the space will come together and sometimes even dictate some of the furniture and accessories selection. 

A good envelope addresses everything from colour, texture, tone, scale, proportion and balance. If done well it will literally make your room. If done poorly it will leave your room lacking and uninspiring. Paint goes a long way in changing the look of a room, but it discounts the hundreds of other possibilities you can use to reinvent that room - wallpaper, moulding, paneling, murals, glazing, metallic leafing or a clever combination of any of these finishes. The list of possibilities is endless - imagination, boldness and knowing how to put it all together are the more important requirements.

Windows and floors are also part of the envelope, and with them curtains and floor treatments. When you add in more colour and texture with curtains or set the mood of the room with carefully positioned pools of light using pendants, wall lights or an elegant chandelier, the stage is set for a beautiful space that you'll never want to leave. I use a simple test when I walk into a room - I imagine it empty of all the furniture, accessories and personal artifacts of the owner. If I still feel excited and comfortable to be in the space enveloped in its empty shell, then I know that room works.

Envelopes shape and define rooms. They are so important and so much fun to dream up because, like paint, they provide the biggest bang for your buck. So be brave and be bold with your envelopes!