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May 11, 2020 – Published in Design & Decor Spring 2013 issue

An accessorised affair

Words: Kenneth Tanti – Interior designer

When I was studying interior design almost 15 years ago in London it taught me many things on the subject, but I have always believed that having a flair for interior design is an innate talent that comes from within.

It certainly helps to have what some refer to as a ‘magic eye’ that gives you the ability to see things that others cannot easily notice. The ability to see something across a room that is not perfectly aligned or balanced, giving attention to the smallest detail that is so important in design.

Of course being an interior designer is all about having the skill combined with inspiration to create a vision, and the ability to bring the design to life.

However interior design need not always be drastic. If you desire a change or a new look, there is no need for a complete renovation that strips your room back to nothing. Just because your room is looking dated or your sofa is looking tired should not mean having to do a complete makeover at huge expense.

Two of my favourite words in design have always been accessorise and accent!

To accessorise means décor that you can add to compliment your room design; the cushions on your sofa, the throw over the ottoman, the vases on a sideboard and the lamps on your bedside table.

Be fabulous with your accessories and be bold in your choice and design. They can be the easiest way to bring new life to a tired old room. A pop of colour with some new cushions or a fresh coat of paint on the wall in a bold new shade can transform your space with ease.

My other favourite design word is accent meaning an accent feature wall or accent lighting, which is the ability to highlight one area or section as a feature.

Accent lighting may light a certain area or highlight a picture on the wall, creating a focal point such as lighting over a kitchen island. An accent feature wall is a wall painted in another colour or decorated with wallpaper, transforming it into a feature of the room.

This again is a quick and simple solution that will allow you to rejuvenate your space.

So remember, your efforts to bring change need not be drastic; that old sofa can be rejuvenated with a set of new cushions, a boring living room could be reenergized with just one wall adorned in gorgeous wallpaper. New lamps could help to change lighting and create mood. Recovering a favourite old armchair in a new fabric or simply repainting a room in a brand new colour can give you a fresh new look.

The ability to update a space can be endless without significant costs involved.

If you do decide that a complete makeover is required then it need not be a daunting process.

Interior design today has been broken down into two definite sections. Whilst the first section remains the creative process, meeting clients and creating the design idea, the other part has become technical, computerised and relies greatly on technology.

The days where a designer would sit down with a pencil in hand and sketch a room for a client are long gone. Once upon a time we would be creating mood boards for clients by sticking on reference photos, pieces of fabric, paint sample cards, etc. The objective of this being to set the mood of the room and help the client visualise what the finished result would look like. Looking back, it is quite incredible how fast things have changed and progressed. For this reason I still hold a few of my favorite mood boards displayed in my design studio as a reminder of how far we have come.

Today’s design technology requires a whole new understanding and any leading design studio has a team of technical designers working on computers creating visuals that are so life like it is often impossible to tell them apart from a photograph. These visuals allow us to show the client exactly how the finished space will appear, right down to details such as the pattern of the wallpaper or the fabric selected for the curtains as well as certain pieces of furniture and room layout.

It provides the client with extra courage to be bold or choose something different, by allowing them to see the changes before they are actually made.

Our design studio has a team of talented people who are dedicated to technical design on the computer. They rarely meet clients in person but skillfully generate the most impressive plans and visuals and, even I am constantly impressed with what they can produce. My ideas, guidelines and selections are then transformed into the computerized visual showing the room finished.

Spring is approaching and there is no better time to freshen up your interior, so from a simple injection of colour to a complete makeover now is the time to give your space that great new look. Dare to be bold and dare to be that little bit different…

All photos courtesy of “Harlequin Fabric and Wallpaper Company” and Harlequin is available locally from Fabulous, Sliema.

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