INTERIOR DESIGNER, MWELL STUDIO
Another one of those Anglicisms we’ve adopted in French, embracing the upbeat spirit of our English-speaking friends. We say “waouh” (and not “Yahoo!”, in the manner of my grandmother enjoying the Internet for the first time). Our Larousse dictionary describes it as an expression of “surprise mixed with admiration”. How, then, can we achieve this holy grail of interior design? Here are some ideas to hopefully bring the “wow” effect (or “eureka”, if you prefer) into your home.
The key to a successful interior is to build your decorative scheme around an eye-catching centrepiece (furniture or decoration) to captivate the attention or, even better, round off the look. The recipe for a home facelift should be based on three ingredients: (1) choose a centrepiece for each space, to illustrate a colour palette, (2) anchor the room in its specific function and (3) spark decorative interest. Each of these intentions will create a “wow effect”. Indeed, once you’ve unearthed that rare pearl, it will have a transcendent effect on the surrounding space, for a stunning overall impact. Adding a characterful rug to a modest living room with drab aesthetics will anchor the sofa and armchair configuration within the space, inviting you to sit down and chat. Its material can also play a decisive role: imagine the comfy feel of a soft, plush carpet underfoot… Likewise, when it comes to wall decor, wallpaper with a “fabric” texture will give your room an extra dimension. A stylish, well-made worktop, perhaps with graphic qualities, can really make a kitchen stand out. For extra effect, this can be combined with contrasting elements, such as tapered stools, a finely-worked bouquet, or series of organic hanging lamps.
Crédit Photo : Praewthida-k « wow effect, un détail qui change tout »
Not only is it hard to find that perfect centrepiece, but you’ve also got to choose your colours… Don’t be discouraged! Here’s a first piece of advice: draw inspiration from the colour of a chair or piece of art to create a harmonious palette and spread this throughout your décor, not just in small isolated touches. Often, small isolated areas of colour go unnoticed, or appear disconnected from the overall scheme. Choosing the colour of an interior is, moreover, an opportunity to create different atmospheres, give the place personality and create coherence, a dialogue between rooms. We have too much of a tendency to limit dark, rich colours in our most intimate settings, such as living rooms or bedrooms. We need to be bolder… and go further: use the kinetic power of colour to guide the eye and give depth to your interior as you move around your home. For example, think about extending the ink blue at your entrance into part of your living room. You’ll be amazed at the character this guiding thread will give your house or flat.
“Focus on authentic, timeless pieces, and trust your instincts.”
Perhaps you’re honing a traditional style, with a rather monomaniacal penchant for symmetry? Coordinated lamps on windowsills are indeed a common symptom… If this rings true, I’d prescribe some curves, to temper this overly austere atmosphere (as well as parting with those lamps – you’re not in a hotel!) A contemporary painting with curved lines, positioned off-centre on a wall, can give your room a powerful energy, as can an imposing mirror, placed on the floor. The same will be true of any elegant, graphic and aesthetically-pleasing element positioned off-centre to catch the eye.
Let’s set the record straight: buying a coffee table for an indecent sum doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll enhance your décor… If, however, you purchase such items at supermarket prices, their poor quality may well devalue the overall impression of your interior. Now’s the time to step back from the idea of “admiration” implied by the “wow effect”. The admiration in question should be your own, not that of a neighbour you don’t really care about… Take time to appreciate the quality of the materials used in your new purchase, along with its history and origins, to be proud of becoming its lucky owner. Finally, don’t forget that “fashions come and go”… Focus on authentic, timeless pieces, and trust your instincts. And if, despite all this, the fear of bad taste takes hold, just refer back to our dedicated article!
My late grandmother, Simone, liked to close any kind of aesthetic debate with the wise saying: “each to their own (bad taste)!” In other spheres and other times, Nietzche maintained that “bad taste has its rights no less than good taste” and Galliano ironically retorted: “I prefer bad taste to a total absence of taste!” I propose we debate this vast subject in the field of decoration and furnishings…
Written by: Mélanie Trinkwell, Interior Designer
Je ne sais pas ce qu’il en est pour vous mais, me concernant, à chaque changement de saison, je fais de petits ajustements dans mon intérieur qui miment ce changement climatique extérieur. Ainsi, après ce passage récent à la saison automnale, je vous propose quelques pistes pour apprendre à distiller une ambiance chaleureuse dans la maison. Bienvenue à cette séance d’ultra cocooning !
Written by: Mélanie Trinkwell, Designer d’intérieur