White Walls – why?

My strongest recollection of white walls anywhere is still vivid today.

Like other people remember where they were when President J.F. Kennedy was assassinated, the death of Princess Diana, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the release of the final book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so too I remember my first memory of vivid white walls.

It was November 1985. The sun was shining brightly through the office glass windows in the interior design studio where I would commence my first interior design job. Christine Pearson Interior Design in Paddington Street, Paddington.
Christine told me she didn’t just like white, she loved white. The whiter the better and Christine had gone to the extra trouble of creating her own extremely white paint.

Unfortunately Christene Pearson died unexpectantly more than 10 years ago. Christene will probably be smiling to hear her business name, address and contact details have been resurrected in Google along with photos of her work in images, though another section titled “images for death of Christene Pearson Interior Designer,” seems a bit of a worry.

In present day Australia white walls are everywhere.
Looking at magazines, television programmes, newspapers, real estate advertisements white is the predominant colour.
Readers will know Dulux paints alone have over 650 different hues of white paint. Of course there are favourite white colours and these are available on tap at Bunnings.

People assume it must be still fashionable, trendy, in, or other words attempting to describe a must have, must do, condition when they are seeing the majority of internal walls being painted white.

Perhaps reality is different though. Perhaps there are other forces at work projecting false impressions and misleading people to paint their internal walls white.

I tend to think so. Most construction of residential dwellings in Sydney, units and houses, has been by property construction developers.

In the main most walls and ceilings in these new developments are whites. It has become easy and more economic for developers to just paint all the internals of these dwellings all white. Most developers have found selecting different colours for internal walls and rooms has led to slower sales. Prospective purchasers are given blank canvasses and can change the wall cover after their purchase of the property.

The selection of white walls in most new units and residences is then functionary to achieve faster sales. Property developers are merely providing the blank canvas from which purchasers can then design.

Of course some people do prefer white painted rooms and there are benefits.

In the main though, people are viewing the use of white paint for most new units and houses as a trend, or the stylish colour to use, and not as the blank canvas property developers choose.

White walls are a blank canvas used by most property developers.

They have skewed the market in colour selection.

Interior Design – Affordable and yours

This week style icon Karl Lagerfeld died. In case you’re asking who – Karl Lagerfeld designed
fashion for over 65 years and is worth Googling. Like allot of people written about in the
media today he was loved and loathed. Still creating the destiny of fashion at age 85, he was genius.

Karl Lagerfeld had style and spent his life creating. He designed clothing, theatre costumes,
products and many everyday mainstream items.

His designs were not just for the wealthy. In 2004 Lagerfeld was the first couture designer to design a range of clothes for international high street chain H&M. Many other famous fashion designers followed.

Karl Lagerfeld understood the importance of having his designs accessible to millions of people. While he was a creative designer, he appreciated and surrounded himself with beauty and people. Living in Sydney Australia, the world of Lagerfeld in Paris was 17,000 kilometres away.

The message here is that great design is available and accessible to many people throughout the world. Whether it be architecture, industrial design, painting, graphics or whatever field. It includes interior design.

Karl Lagerfeld excited and enhanced the lives of many people with his creative thinking and
so too do other designers. Designer influencers can be historical references, everyday occurrences, the economy, wars, world events, other people, imagination.

Many people say they can’t afford interior designers but the reality is far different. The pieces of furniture like chairs, tables, light fittings we buy have all been designed and manufactured by designers. So too is the clothing we wear, the houses we live in, the buildings they work in, the transport systems we use.
The products consumers surround themselves with have been influenced by other designers and a myriad of events and circumstances.

The amount of satisfaction people get from the same item can vary completely from I don’t like it to I can’t live without it.

The phrase “it’s all right“ is unacceptable in a world where there is more choice than at any other time in world history.

Interior designers like fashion designers can suggest, create and surround you with the products you do like and love. It’s advantageous to use their services.

Like other professions designers are influenced and aware of the entire world around them and not limited to particular localities.

Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy will live on. His achievements will be able to be reinterpreted. With the emergence of greater technology his creations may be able to become more affordable and mainstream.

The same is true for all living and deceased designers. Increased technology brings with it the possibility of increased market size.

Successive generations of people have felt more empowered to be able to do things themselves. The difficulty is navigating through the maze.

Designers like Karl Lagerfeld helped people navigate through this world and have fun.
This too is what successful interior designers do.
The choice is affordable and yours to make.

Successful interior design, like all successful design, does trickle down.

Interior design – art and science

With the launching of the new www.sharpdesignsolutions.com.au website comes a fortnightly article series on interior design – Art and science.

With the launching of the new www.sharpdesignsolutions.com.au website comes a series of blogs on interior design – Art and science.

Yes another article on interior design. Just what the world needs I hear you say! I’m hoping you’ll side with the millennials and not print the article, perhaps collectively saving a forest in the process. I’m also hoping you won’t store it in a “cloud” for a rainy day.

As the writer of this series though I’m also hoping you the reader will want to come back for more. As an interior designer for over 30 years I’d like to get you enthused with the spaces you live in, work in, and sleep in.

That’s never an easy task and made more increasingly difficult these days when most people are constrained and limited in their economic and personal choices. There’s also the question about the elephant in the room. What do interior designers actually do?
I’m hoping you’ll find out during this series of articles.

Most people think interior designers are only for the rich and the haves of this world. In short, some interior designers are. Just as some doctors, architects, barristers and members of all professions and industries price themselves so only the wealthy can afford them. That said though, there decisions, actions and expertise are watched and emulated by others. The difference in emulating or copying though raises  questions of appropriateness and are there even better solutions, in those exact circumstances.  

These articles are aimed at everybody. It’s free of charge and I’m hoping you’ll be enthused or get enthused over the coming months.

And Now !!!

I was asked recently, what do I consider the biggest change in interior design? I said lighting. It was clear cut and with that comes this first article.

Let there be light !

No other item has had such a large impact on spaces and interiors that ordinarily would become dark when the sun goes down.
Google credits God with first creating light. Perhaps God knew now, many millennia later, light would be the biggest thing to happen for interior designers.

Interior designers are a relatively new species of worker on this planet. Initially we had to contend with the light bulbs Thomas Edison, Humphry Davy, Warren de la Rue, and others created for us. It wasn’t easy.

Most of these lights gave off a yellowish hue. Going to the trouble to select the colours of your fabrics, cabinetry, artworks, tiles and the rest of your interior sometimes came to nought when you looked at it with yellowish lights on.

It meant schemes that looked great in daylight could look totally nothing of a night. Sometimes the yellowish lights were said to be golden lights and as such everything looked richer. Some people referred to it as that antique look.

Fortunately expanding science and manufacturing techniques have exponentially expanded possibilities for lighting. Today the selection of light bulbs, different lights, light fixtures, light colours and effects, and ever more research into lighting gives us more choice.

It also means we can choose lights that enable you to see things clearly of a night or generally.

The majority of Australians grew up with one electric lighting fixture in the middle of each room. For some of the lucky ones it was a large electric chandelier in the middle of some rooms. For others it was a multiple or single electric light fitting or single light bulb. Over all the effect was to have a yellowish electric lighting system.

Most people in Australia today are still selecting the yellowish light bulbs now called a warm white light when in reality it gives off a yellow light.

A lot of electricians, developers, builders and people generally feel the need to install hundreds of recessed led lights in their home ceilings with grid punctured ceilings. While this increases the lighting levels to near that of a football stadium the effect looks dreadful. There are many alternatives and remember to use dimmers.

When it comes to lighting – keep it simple.

Warm yellow lights disguise true colours

Cool white lighting makes sense !

Don’t fill your ceilings with hundreds of recessed leds !