In Perfect Harmony
Each individual room in your home has its own purpose and deserves its own unique atmosphere, however for your home to feel harmonious and inviting you also need to consider how each space works within the house as a whole. Simply styling each room on its own and incorporating every element and colour that you like into your spaces without thought is a sure recipe for clutter and chaos. However, opting for something too uniform is tiring and repetitive – the key is balance. Here Melbourne Kitchen + Bathroom Design’s editor, Katie Livingston, chats with interior expert Rex Hirst, managing director of Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors, about how you can strike that perfect equilibrium between cohesivity and diversity.
Founded more than 50 years ago by Rex Hirst himself, Let’s Talk Kitchens & Interiors is famed for its exceptional interior design work, which has garnered the company a plethora of awards in its time. This local company custom-designs and manufactures everything in-house from its Melbourne factory and handles the entire interior design process for each and every space in your project. Hirst and his team specialise in creating a cohesive interior that is both made up of exciting spaces and functional as whole. To achieve this harmony, Hirst explains that there must be some degree of consistency, and this can be done through three elements: colour, hardware and joinery profile.
COLOUR ME IMPRESSED
One of the easiest ways to create harmony in your interior is by selecting a colour palette and utilising these shades throughout each and every space. However, this certainly doesn’t mean that every room must be the same repetitive shade. “Variations on a colour scheme create diversity between rooms without making anything feel out of place,” Hirst explains. “This is done by using colours that work sympathetically, such as various shades of one colour,” he says. Another, more bolder option is to use complementary contrasting colours, such as green and red or orange and blue. To achieve this, you certainly don’t have to stick to bold, vibrant shades, and Hirst suggests adding darker or more muted tones to your colours for a more cotemporary look. For example, “A contemporary use of red and green would be including an undertone of black to produce colours such as burnt ochre and sage green,” Hirst says.
When it comes to current trends, Hirst and his team predict a “continued and prolific use of a palette that reflects nature”, and the team are seeing shades of green take centre stage in many recent interiors. “Other colours to emerge are colours that reflect the earth, such as stone and burnt orange or clay,” says Hirst. The use of a natural woodgrain within interiors is also cementing its position as a continuing trend, and opting
for the same timber or laminate through each room of your home is another way that you can create a sense of warmth and cohesion.
CUT FROM THE SAME CLOTH
Although humble, the profile that you select for your joinery plays a huge role in curating the atmosphere of your interior. While you may not notice when all the cabinets in a home share the same profile, you’ll certainly notice when they don’t, particularly when they signal completely different aesthetics.
For an undoubtedly timeless look, the iconic shaker style profile has never gone out of fashion, and can be seamlessly incorporated into both modern and classic interiors, making it an excellent choice for homeowners who anticipate further renovation at a later stage. For a more contemporary spin, Hirst suggests opting for a narrower edge compared to the traditional profile, as this will offer a sleeker look.
When planning the joinery for multiple spaces, the good news is the “the same materials, colours and cabinetry profiles can be used in all rooms of the house”, and Hirst notes that there are no strict rules when it comes to making this decision. Of course each space in your home has a different functionality, and these conditions are important to take into consideration when choosing your cabinetry profile. For example, Hirst notes that “a deep profile will gather grease and dust more than a flat face”, so this may not be the most optimal for a high-traffic kitchen. “In secondary use spaces, such as the laundry and pantry, you may choose to use a less expensive finish – such as a flat face laminate over a profile two-pack door to save on cost,” notes Hirst. He further explains that this is where your colour palette comes in, as you can unite different profiles by opting for the same colour.
Hirst explains that most quality joinery these days is designed to be used in all areas of the home, including bathrooms, laundries, kitchens and other wet areas, so achieving that sought-after cohesion is relatively simple. “The only area of the home where the joinery
needs to be more robust and specifically engineered is an alfresco kitchen, where it can be subject to weather and UV rays,” he adds. Fixtures, appliances and fittings are the cherries on top of your beautiful interior, and the finishing touch that further unites the spaces within your home. By making your choices unique but in such a way that they complement each other can solidify the sense that your interior is one cohesive design. To achieve this, Hirst suggests integrating appliances or opting for similarly designed or coloured pieces, and ensuring that your fittings are of the same finish. “Shapes should also be considered,” he says. “For example if you introduce curves you would want to have rounded edges on all fittings, such as the tap mixer, door handles and sink bowl,” Hirst explains.
THE SPACE BETWEEN US
If your interior design project is taking place in an older existing home, then to harmonise the two ideas you will also need to consider the style, layout and aesthetic of the elements that you intend to keep. “To ensure that the new joinery on an existing home works in tandem with the cabinetry and interior aesthetic of the home, we would consider the colour, finish and profile,” says Hirst. For example: “If existing joinery is a flat face high gloss, then a traditional timber shaker profile would feel out of place,” he says. “We always design in a holistic way. The whole house is considered and any new joinery would ‘talk to’ existing areas in some way,” Hirst explains.
At the end of the day, your home is your safe haven, and each space should celebrate your personality and style. The best way to achieve your vision is to talk to an industry professional, who can guide you and offer advice on how you can achieve a harmonious overall aesthetic. Regardless of whether you’re planning a modern masterpiece, a grand heritage-style interior or a simple upgrade to a tired interior, finding that sweet spot between separation and uniformity is what will ultimately take your interior to the next level.