It is time to stand against the ‘privileged’ minority in this country and fight for true colour equality in Jamaica. The majority has been marginalised by the ‘popular hues’ of society. The ‘Oranges’, the ‘Reds’, the ‘Yellows’ and the ‘Beiges’ have dominated for too long. We too can join the ranks of first world nations that have embraced the diversity of the colour wheel and done away with the ‘colourism’ that has plagued our island for decades. The change begins with you: the architects of society, the designers of the modern world, the creators, the home owners, the shopkeepers, even the hand cart man. We can all make a difference. Start with these simple steps:
1. Don’t Follow the Trends …
But instead be inspired by them. Burnt orange walls were trendy ten years ago; but trends are, by definition, always changing. Don’t get caught in the trap of making huge investments (both in time and money) based on colour trends. Instead apply them elsewhere in your space. Art, Accent furniture, Curtains and Throw Pillows are a few of the ways you can implement trends without experiencing remorse when the colour wheel makes its annual spin.
2. When in doubt, stay neutral…
Let us be clear here, Neutral DOES NOT mean Beige. Grey, black, white, brown, beige and any combination of these are all members of this family. Thanks to modern Technology, we can select neutrals that also have a hint of colour. There are hundreds of variations to choose from. Still not sure? Take your cues from nature. Look outside, the earth, tree limbs and most metals are neutrals accentuated by the broader spectrum of colours.
3. Don’t be afraid to stand out…
Take a trip around our beautiful island and you’ll come to one obvious realisation: more than half of our roadside shops, stalls and bars are painted in blue. Is blue paint cheaper? Does someone intentionally distribute the same hue of blue paint across the island annually? Did Pantone decree blue the roadside shop colour of Jamaica? Whatever the reason, rational business principles would suggest that, in an island with the most bars and shops per capita, having one that stands out is an advantage. Get creative with your décor and encourage clients to come inside.
Fighting colour bias is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Don’t allow society or trends to dictate how you should live. Let us actively change the hue of the Jamaican landscape, and move towards a society where we won’t ever have to submit to another Orange wall again.
"NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION"
... And the foundation of everything that exists in our home. We appreciate the value of our furniture because of the daily utility it provides. We can't imagine our living rooms without tables, and bedrooms without nightstands; but furniture can be pricey. So how do you create a space that's functional and beautiful, while on a budget? It's easy ... re-purpose what you already own. Your favourite Jamaican design gurus ( yes that's us) have compiled a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. The best part is, these projects require MINIMAL EFFORT and ZERO DOLLARS, not even a power tool.
1. "Chair" Up!
If you're looking for a quick solution to a bedside table, why not try a chair? A wooden chair is perfect for storing books, lamps and just about anything you would put on a table. There's even additional storage underneath. Try using an antique chair like a family heirloom, which will add a unique touch and tons of personality to your space.
2. Books & Ladders
A ladder is bound to come in handy one day, but how often do you really need it? Why not put it to good use by transforming your ladder into a bookshelf or magazine rack. Not only will you be creating a functional piece, you'll also be on trend since ladder shelves are a popular feature in home décor. Plus, the store bought shelves are more expensive and can't double as an actual ladder either. So who's the real winner here?
Bonus tip for the ladies - Convert your ladder into a shoe rack for your favourite pairs.
3. Luck of the Draw
Our client recently renovated her bathroom and replaced the vanity. Instead of throwing away the drawers, we recycled them into side tables for the living room. We styled the one here with books and accent pieces found around the house. This project requires a screw driver to remove the drawer slides at the side and the knob at the front; but we're sure you will agree that's minimal effort for such HUGE savings.
These ideas are just motivation to get you started on your next project. So we challenge you to repurpose at least one item you have at home. You never know, it may just be the next big "Invention".
Share some of your own projects with us below!
There is no better time to take note of upcoming fashion trends than the much anticipated awards season; where 'Hollywood Royalty' parades the handiwork of top tier fashion designers. The 2016 Academy Awards was one of the biggest Red Carpet Events of the Season, and the fashion certainly did not disappoint. Interior Trends often mirror those on the runway, and Sunday night was no exception.
Popcorn in hand, we tuned into E! as our favourite stars and starlets arrived on the Red Carpet. Our pick for Best Dressed was none other than Lady Gaga, who epitomised Hollywood glam in a white Brandon Maxwell designed pants suit and overskirt.. Reminiscent of Marilyn Munroe, we couldn't help but be inspired by her ensemble.
We created our mood board based on the clean lines, subtle pleating and structure of the suit, which happens to be the same hue as Benjamin Moore's colour of the year for 2016 - Simply White. Gaga's outfit was complemented by 90 carat emerald-cut diamond drops from Lorraine Schwartz, which inspired our selection of subtle bling on the throw pillow and table lamp. The tufted Sofa and Ottoman are perfectly suited (pun intended) for the Hollywood glam living room, and the white pleated drapes accentuated the formality of the space.
We are totally in love with this white on white trend for interiors this year; and while we agree that upkeep may be a bit challenging, you'd be surprised at just how much wear and tear white can truly withstand.
We were commissioned by a client to re-decorate their 3 bedroom model unit for a housing development in Trelawny, Jamaica a few years ago. As an Interior Decorator, managing your budget is critical. The guest room was already furnished with the bed, side tables and comforter set seen here, but we still had to revamp the space in order to make it more cohesive. There was no budget allocated towards the guest room, as there were other areas that needed much more work, so we did what any smart decorator would do: Shop at the only location everything is guaranteed to be free - The rest of the house!
We sourced these accent cushions in the living room, the wall art came from the dining room, and the curtains were formerly of the Master bedroom. We purchased the vase for another area, and realised that it complemented this space so much more. In just a few minutes, we were able to turn this guest room into a welcoming space without spending a dollar.
We know you're thinking that was a mere coincidence, but 'If Walls Could Talk' has made this practice one of the cornerstones of our operation. We create spaces that are not only beautiful, but also budget friendly. Here are a few examples of how we utilised pieces that our clients already owned to decorate a brand new space.
We transformed this bookcase into a TV console for a Master Bedroom Sitting Area by simply flipping it on its side.
We Shopped around this client's home and used items she curated from her travels, and even her own jewellery from her accessory business to transform her coffee table.
Finally, we turned this ottoman into a coffee table by moving around a few items in our client's living room, and re-purposed a mirror as a tray.
Decorating doesn't have to be expensive, but simply thinking outside the box can help you to transform your space on a $0 budget.
Congratulations! You're engaged and you finally get to start planning your dream wedding.
First Stop - Pinterest. (www.pinterest.com)
Second Stop - A visit to the Psychiatrist (because you've been bombarded with too many options, and now you're more confused than anything else). At this point, eloping is beginning to look extremely attractive.
Third Stop - Wedding Planner - To the rescue.
Now that you're back on track, you should return to Pinterest and save a few of your favourites. Chances are, one of them will include a Rustic Element, which is definitely among the top wedding trends this year. If you're interested in Rustic , Chic, Vintage wedding décor, we have compiled a list of 5 key must haves to help you sort through the fluff.
1, Baby's Breath
Rustic is synonymous with countryside and simplicity; and what could be a more perfect representation, than bunches of this wild member of the carnation family. We chose to line the aisles with baby's breath tied with white ribbon for a clean, simple look.
Burlap often brings the Rustic theme together. This material is made from jute or sisal, and is commonly used to produce items such as table runners, table cloths and napkins. Our clients had the creative idea of using the fabric to display their personally designed monogram.
3. White Flowers
No Bride is complete without her bouquet of white flowers. This is especially important to complement your Rustic theme, which lends to the simplicity of the colour white. White bouquets are traditionally used for brides; however a rustic wedding should utilise less structured flowers like roses, and differ towards more relaxed ones like the orchids and baby's breath seen here, with stems wrapped in hemp tie (another rustic element).
This wooden console made the perfect dessert table. We completed the vintage touch with antique photo frames used to display menu options. White doilies, baby's breath and orchids enhance the country chic vibe.
5. A Touch of Whimsy
The head table's backdrop is the ideal space to be creative with your Rustic themed décor. Alternating suspended mason jars and lanterns create a fun, yet tasteful backdrop, that doesn't distract from the main attraction.
Remember that your wedding will be engraved in your memory for years to come, so ensure that the décor is a true reflection of your personality, and that you have fun infusing your personal style into whichever theme you select.
We couldn't end without thanking our beautiful newlyweds for allowing us to share photos from their special day. Best wishes to one of our favourite couples (Tamoy & Steven).
Black & White stripes are timeless, but most people shy away from incorporating this bold accent into their design. It's hard to imagine what could possibly complement this striking print, so we have a few suggestions that everyone, from the conservative decorator to the risqué 'stylista', would love.
1. Stripe on Stripe - Think this option is too overwhelming? Quite the contrary. If you're taking our advice on this one, our pick is yellow and white stripes. The yellow complements the black perfectly, while the white helps to blend the two stripes together. For an extra oomph, try mixing vertical and horizontal stripes to create some depth.
2. Polka Dots - Meet 'Stripes" beloved cousin. They don't always get along, but we dare you to show us the perfect family. Our advice is to use this accent sparingly, or the room could make you a little dizzy. For less drama, a small pop with a polka dot throw pillow goes a far way.
3. Prints - While we are still on the topic of patterns, why not add an interesting print like the geometric one here. The bold colours on a white background complement the stripes, without overwhelming the space. The Banana Leaf print not only adds a welcomed pop of green, it instantly turns your space into that Caribbean Villa you have been dreaming about. Add fluffy White sheets, and you may just hear waves crashing onto the shore.
4. Gold , White , Black - Looking to glam up your black and white stripes? Well look no further than this combo. Only thing missing from this sophisticated pairing will be a glass of wine and your favourite pearls.
5. Red - The natural choice to complement the black and white combo is often red. This trifecta is usually the safe route; and when used sparingly, can add well needed dimension to the space. While 'safe' is never our first suggestion, it is better to be the proverbial "safe than sorry'.
6. Think Pink - Black, white and Pink has sexy, chic, trendy female written all over it. Definitely not the colour combo for a gender neutral space, but perfect for a feminine touch. We warn you that this can quickly turn a chic adult space into a teenager's sanctuary if not done tastefully. Pink should therefore be used sparingly, try using richer hues, or blush and stay away from 'pepto ' and 'barbie' pink.
7. Touch of Teal - One of our favourites, because it appeals to both genders, and pretty much all style genres. Teal is a universally loved colour that blends blue and green perfectly. When paired with black and white, the end result is a room that has the right amount of flair, without going overboard.
Of course, there are tons of other colour combinations that we would still get excited about, but these 7 combos are bound to be a hit with any black and white enthusiast.
We've been asked this question too often to not dedicate an article to the topic - Do your bedside tables need to match? Short Answer is Definitely not. But what's the point of an article if we just stopped there? Let's explore.
Bedside tables are two very functional pieces of furniture in your bedroom and should not be overlooked. They store those items we are too lazy to move from our beds to retrieve, like our cel phones, current novel , Bible, anything we need to get our hands on quickly. They also provide a perfect platform for accessible lighting (so you don't bump your toe heading for the bathroom in the middle of the night). Visually, the side tables help to frame the bed, therefore highlighting it as the focal point of the bedroom.
The cardinal rule when selecting your bedside tables is that they are functional and blend in with your overall theme. The tables in this grey, teal and yellow bedroom (designed by If Walls Could Talk, Ja) aren't your typical matching tables, but they add a bit of unpredictability and interest to the space. The key is to remain consistent with the theme and style of the room. We chose to include clean lined bedside tables to update the space, since the existing bed was more traditional. We also wanted to include black and white accents into the room, and the side tables helped us to achieve that look. The styling is kept simple, so the tables do not distract you from the focal point of the room.
The takeaway is to have fun with your bedroom décor. If you like symmetry, then matching side tables like the ones in this Caribbean chic bedroom below, designed by If Walls Could Talk, Ja; are the perfect choice. Either way, you can't go wrong with tasteful styling and a touch of your personality.
Living in the tropics has never been trendier. Who could have imagined that this climate would produce such cool trends, but tropical inspired décor is heating up interiors this year. We blogged about pineapples in April, and now the spotlight is on Banana Leaf Prints.
We adore this refreshing addition to home décor, although there have been variations of it in the past with the palm leaf; but the Banana Leaf has a bold and edgy flavour that's irresistible right now. Celebrities like Beyoncé have caught on to the trend, and we must admit that Dooney & Bourke's Banana Leaf Satchel is a summer must have.
We are definitely leaning towards a preference for the trend in home décor (maybe we're just biased), but the print adds a bit of whimsy to any room. Wallpaper, Upholstery, Throw Pillows, Drapery ( be careful with drapes, as the print could end up mimicking a hotel room at a Sandals Resort) and Art, are perfect ways to add this print to your décor. Our preference is throw pillows, as they add the perfect amount of this trend in your space without going overboard. The one in our collage is an 'If Walls Could Talk' special edition (email email@example.com to place your order). Pair this print with black and white, gold, grey or tan, and ensure you don't mix too many additional prints or bright colours with this already bold statement.
We can't stress enough that trends are temporary, so try not to 'go bananas' with this one. Remember the old adage 'Less is More', and you can't go wrong.
Apartment living has its benefits, but lots of space is certainly not one of them.
The young professionals who start out in these sometimes cramped spaces, are forced to find creative ways to implement design that's both functional and aesthetically appealing. It's a daunting task, and is best tackled with an amazing Interior designer, who can interpret your vision for the space (cue 'If Walls Could Talk' ).
One area of particular challenge is that seemingly dead space in the corner of a room. Sure, you could insert a plant, a lamp, an oddly placed chair that no one will ever use (because 'nobody puts baby in the corner'- dirty dancing reference); but creating usable space is an even better solution.
Our client needed an area dedicated to studying/working from home; so we created the perfect home office nook without rearranging any of the furniture in her already small living room.
Here's what we used....
1. Floating shelf/desk - In our case, we made this custom desk to fit the space, and mounted it on the wall for additional support. Some store bought floating shelves may not be able to withstand the weight of laptops, books and overall constant use; so make sure you invest in a good quality piece.
2. Small Lamp - Task lighting is important, and we chose a sleek, modern desk lamp, that uses minimal space.
3. Storage - We implemented this in two ways. Storage Boxes are both decorative and functional, we snagged this set at Spaces Jamaica (www.spacesjamaica.com). These faux books can store smaller items that often create desk clutter, and add a pop of colour to the design. We also added floating bookshelves that utilised the wall instead, without crowding the space.
4. Comfy Desk chair - To complete the functionality of the space, we added this comfy desk chair that complemented the existing furniture in the living room, and included a throw pillow for some visual contrast.
There you have it. A functional space that's both easy on the pocket and on the eyes.
Interior design is constantly evolving, and the prevalence of social media tools like Facebook, Twitter & Instagram allow us access to current trends faster than ever before. No longer do we have to wait for the next issue of Décor magazines to hit the stands; but, by the click of a button, Jamaicans can apprise themselves of the latest interior trends with ease. So why are some of us still holding on to these ancient styles?