I was answering some press questions the other day about lightening the mood of an interior and the journalist in question wanted to know what percentage of items should be fun, a little crazy, tongue in cheek. Although there are no set rules I would say 10-15% percent of items should have an element of levity and whimsy. A little quirk lightens the mood,breaks up the formality of a space. If a room is merely playful though it appears silly, if its too chic its dry, uptight and off putting. So its a fine balancing act which is why I am a big fan off adding animal inspired products to my interiors. They temper a room with just the right note if it happens to be too formal or too decorative. A zeebra rug floating on the floor in a living room, a papier mache elephant plonked on a heap of books on a shelf, a couple of owl candles on the table that kind of thing. Of course many things lighten the mood of a space – art particularly. I came across RJ Thornburg’s pad – a formal pig farm no less which he has contemporised with modern, retro and a casual vibe. Art makes the hugest difference if you’re thinking of adding an element of levity- it can set a different tone break up the formality no end. Enough yabbering images from the pig farm to prove my point. Photos Keith Scott Morton.
Hallways are such transitional areas so I am a big fan of making them as interesting as possibly so people get to stop and linger. The artwork sets an interesting tone, creates a visual punch and counter balances beautifully the rather traditional sculpture.
A fabulous way of breaking up the formality of a dining room is to add fun art and a cool rug. It shouts sense of fun without being silly. The tables and chairs are formal but lightened by these interesting elements.