25 Apr 2011

In the Mood for White Interiors

Those of us with an inclination to believe that white home interiors are bland, clinical, urban, austere, impersonal, unpractical, high maintenance, modernist or simply a figment of design fantasy, might be in for a surprise with this small selection of cosy, warm, stylish, period country homes that also happen to be family-orientated and easy-care; those of us who are white converts can simply rejoice in further inspiration (with the promise from Mirabelle of more interiors features in the pipeline!).

Sources: (1) Marie Claire Maison, 'Visites Privées : Un ancient couvent transformé en maison-atelier' (A former convent converted into a house & workshop). This is the spacious character home of German furniture designer Katrin Arens, located in the Lombardy region of Italy, by the River Adda, and only a short drive away from Milan. There is an interesting balance going on between the pared down, sober and timeless lines of the monastery interiors, white painted walls, concrete flooring and worktop, set against the warmth of the mid-brown textured, grainy, slightly rustic, naturally old or aged wood, with touches of mid-century modern design (Arne Jacobsen chairs) that don't look out of place. In passing, we'll note the clever repurpose of a wooden pallet into a china display shelving unit. (2) Dreamy Whites blog, 'A Favorite Flower and My Tin Ceiling' (22/05/10). A fresh bouquet of old-fashioned peonies or roses takes Spring home and enhances a white theme by adding a romantic accent to a tabletop. (3) Marie Claire Maison, 'Visites Privées : Une ferme hollandaise où le style champêtre et le design cohabitent' (A Dutch farmhouse with a successful mix of country style and  design). From outside, the actual fabric of the farmhouse has remained untouched, while indoors designer Thomas Eyck has cleverly incorporated elements of modern design to the more vintage pieces, brought together to the eye by the white canvas of the walls, in order to create a modern homely home. In passing, we'll note the Delft-style fireplace that so beautifully typifies The Netherlands. (4) Coastal Living, 'Homes: Soothing Beachy Bedrooms/ Take a Second Nook' (photo by Jonny Valiant). The colour white makes a room luminous and shouldn't be limited to walls, ceilings and/ or furniture and soft furnishings. Woodwork, from skirting boards and staircases to a boat galley and nook like here, with a white satin finish will give a room a soft yet sophisticated appeal. (5) Ceramic badges and pendants by Austrian design pair Mischer' Traxler, available to purchase from Designboom. These are quirky one-off pieces carefully cut out from vintage crockery using a diamond drill. Although these are made to be worn, why not purchase a handful of them to scatter on a coffee table or bedside cabinet to create the unexpected? (6) Muse Interiors, 'Portfolio: Interiors - Mudroom'. Tongue-and-groove panelling, cornicing, vaulted ceilings give white its depth of character. A natural wooden floor sets it off. So then, who said that white had to be flat, bland and boring? It wasn't Mirabelle.

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