Abigail Ahern

Talking floor plans

Lets talk floor plans. Really I here you cry, yes really because whether you're living in a bijou apartment in Paris, a Victorian 4 storey pad like me, a cottage in L.A (yes please) an apartment in NYC (double yes please) knowing how to stretch a floor plan will really help you out. Big, small, bijou there are some fundamental elements that turn rooms around. BALANCE The main thing you have to worry about is balance. Lets say you have  a fireplace on one wall which is a major focal point or maybe a floor to ceiling bookcase, or a large piece of art you've got to make sure that the opposite wall balances with something equally as TA DA.  Otherwise your space will feel a bit like a sinking ship - all up ended if you get my drift! You could paint the opposing wall a strong colour, layer it up with a console, lamps artwork - something to make the eye dart from one side of the space to the other in a frantic kind of manner. As oddball as this sounds it will intrigue the senses and automatically when you walk into the room you won't know where to look and it will read as exciting, engaging and beautiful. Trust me! MORE IS MORE If you have limited square footage ditch the less is more theory. Less is boring; more on the other hand adds intrigue. Chose pieces of furniture that double duty if your space is small - a coffee table could double duty as a dining table, an ottoman doubling up as a side table or spare seating. Whenever I hold design classes here people are sometimes a little surprised about where all the boring stuff is - remotes, light bulbs, cleaning stuff - all of those kinds of things I stash away behind closed doors. However I also can’t stand homes that feel uptight where you have to take off your shoes the moment you walk through the door, and everything is fluffed within an inch of perfection. I for one am super relaxed about toys. Mung's has a bed full of toys - a squeaky sheep and a father Christmas with half a body being his favourite They are flung all over the house - on the stairs, bed, in the garden - its life you can't be forever stashing things out of sight. OPEN STORAGE Open storage as I say a lot always helps a room out no matter the size. Ikea do these great wall hung lacquer units that have storage underneath - and a shelf on top which is fabulous because I am sure you are sick of me saying this by now but the more layers in a room the more intrigue. The more things on display however the more important it is to reign in the colour palette that way your room or rooms will feel sophisticated not crazy. Homely not bonkers - same goes for kitchens I should say. My countertops are crowded - juicers, coffee machines, bread boards, platters - couldn't stand to put those things away each and every day so they stay out but the colour palette is pretty much the same! I think the thing to do when it comes to floor plans is not follow conventional decorating rules - ditch all of that  stuff its way to constrictive. Instead make your space your own no matter the size and the try and add the odd shot of the unexpected  so when you enter you're hit with a sense of wonder. The reason (for me at least) is because each and every room I walk into no matter the size needs to make me feel compelled intrigued and inspired. Tough ask I know but it’s pretty easy when you break it down right! Couple of images below (both bijou) that push it. First up this bedroom, if conventional wisdom ruled that wall would be plain and boring but instead it's layered up so our eye rather than going straight to the bed which takes up the most room goes to the shelves. bed Secondly this small living room is layered to the max so when you first look at it you don't know exactly where to look. That's what I call nailing it! bed1Happy Thursday x

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