Living lovely

By PA/TPN, in Lifestyle · 27-11-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Living lovely

Exuberant colour and joie de vivre are the decor signature of interior designers Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe, aka 2 Lovely Gays.

And the couple are on mission to help us share their joy and style, and create homes that not only reflect our personalities and taste but also help us live more happy, authentic lives.

“If you’re going to fulfil your potential, you need a home that facilitates this – a space filled with the wonder of you,” declare the duo, who reveal their dazzling design secrets in their new book, Making Living Lovely: Free Your Home With Creative Design.

“We’re not here to make you change everything you own and buy all-new to create a ‘look’. Far from it,” say Whitehead and Cluroe reassuringly.

As for where to start, they suggest: “Just ask yourself three simple questions: How do I want to live? What do I need around me? What gives me decorative joy? These may seem ridiculously obvious things to think about before you design your home, but they’re often ignored.

“We want you to invest time in yourself and take a moment to consider what works and what doesn’t, so you can find your own way. Our hope is to make you feel confident in making your own choices and executing your creativity in your own time. No pressure, just happy homes!”

Here, they share seven steps to joyful decor and creating a home that’s truly yours…

1. Interiors are without gender
“Think about colours in terms of the feelings they evoke and the way they interact in a space, rather than allowing yourself to be dictated by social stereotypes.

“Colour is neither masculine or feminine, nor are soft finishes ‘female’ and hard ‘male’. We’re so over the ‘pink is for girls and blue is for boys’ thing. It’s reductive nonsense. Throughout history, the gendering of colours has fluctuated endlessly. Our home is predominantly pink and we love it, so there!”

Live lovely:
Colour can be evocative and a wonderful starting point for a design. Think of it as positive force and explore its impact on your interiors. For instance, if you love grey then feel happy and confident in that, if you’re passionate about pink, embrace that and run with it. Put simply: choose shades that make your heart sing.

2. Play with pattern
Interior designers use pattern to add decorative flair and layers of luxury, explain the partners, because it bridges the gap between function and decoration.

“The function of pattern is to add depth and beauty, bring connection and create joy,” says Cluroe. “If you have identified a pattern which brings back fond memories, creates new ones or simply lifts your spirits, then it’s worth adding into your design. (Our dog wallpaper was inspired by our dog, Buckley).”

Live lovely:
When used with confidence, a pattern draws you in to a space and gives your room depth and impact, so it’s important to think about where you want to put it. Don’t just throw it into the mix with abandon; it deserves more of your time. Their top tip: if you’re undecided, test pattern out in small doses, such as for cushion covers.

3. Focus the function
Spaces which just don’t work are a headache, but the pair say a little work spent on focusing on the function of a space will go a long way to solving and refining it.

One approach they suggest is measuring a space and then drawing out your ideas, so you can work out exactly how you’d like to use the room. On your diagram, play around with the position of key pieces of furniture, to avoid making any costly mistakes. If it’s open plan, the space may need zoning, so it’s openness has a purpose.

Remember that a space can perform many different functions, but only one or two well. Once you know what you want each room to do, you can choose the right finishes and objects to enhance that.

Live lovely:

Transformational design features, such as a desk area in their own home, give focus to an open-plan area. Defining individual zones within a room, with furniture, lighting or a wall treatment, makes it easier for it to be successfully multifunctional at different times of day.

4. Get your curve on
So many of the spaces we inhabit are angular, with strong lines and hard edges – so every now and then, allow yourself to break it up, they suggest: “Curves are the ultimate rule-breakers, offering a touch of the unexpected and bringing organic shapes into your home.”

With roots in the Art Deco era, curved shapes are a classic that keeps coming back, so don’t be afraid they are a passing fancy. If you’ve embraced the idea of thinking outside the box with your design, they are a great way to push the boundaries.

Live lovely:
They’re fans of being a bit of a ‘home rebel’, someone who’ll love throwing caution to the wind and choosing sculptural shapes not necessarily for function, but because they’re fun and pleasing to the eye. “From chairs and lights, to beds and even kitchen units, bring on the curves,” they urge.

Making Living Lovely: Free Your Home With Creative Design by Russell Whitehead and Jordan Cluroe is published by Thames & Hudson.

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