We all remember the industrial interior decorating phase from a few years ago. Well it is still lingering, but in a much more sophisticated manner. We are still liking the industrial materials like timber, polished concrete and metal, we’ve just moved away from the rusty, broken down look. A great way to recreate this sophisticated industrial look in your home is brining in some metal pieces of furniture. I must say Ikea has hit the nail on the head with this look and it’s affordable too. I have the Ikea Vettre bedside table and LOVE it. It adds an edgy sense to my room and a much welcomed pop of colour. I also have the Ikea PS cabinet that my TV sits on, its pratical and has the locker cool look. Oh and most of them come in fun colours too, what a bonus!
Orla Kiely has some AMAZING clothes and handbags, but all with a designer price tag. I love her loud yet simplistic colourful designs. It’s easy to save up over time to purchase an item, and be proud of it, you just have to be patient (what’s that?). Well in case you didn’t know, she now sells homewares and they are oh-so-affordable at Domayne. They are bright, colourful and full of patterns, perfect for brightening up any home. I just love the tumblers and canisters! And for around $50 you can get some decent designer home wares to impress all your rich friends. Yes, all of them.
I have had the pleasure to work with Karenza and Dee from Cotter and Jewell Interiors, and I just love them to bits. They are creative and cheeky ladies who have a great style. So lets get some sneaky tips off them to take home!
Hi Ladies! Tell me about how you met and your business.
We both worked together many years ago for a high end bespoke furniture company as their Interior Design Consultants. We worked well as a team, providing greater design ideas and having fun at the same time. We remained friends and embarked on different directions in our design career. Years later, a friend needing her home interior refreshed to sell, demanded our services, bringing us together once more. We enjoyed it so much, we decided it was high time we made a go of it on our own and hence Cotter & Jewell Interiors was born!
How do you spend your weekends?
Ahhh!! We often spend part of the weekend working, as you do when you run your own business. But of course we love to relax and have some down time to revitalise our busy minds! Karenza is either at the beach surfing or Dee is running around town getting ready for marathons. Our favourite thing is a glass of wine in a quiet spot with a few good interior mags. Oh and throw in the odd designer market and a great meal with friends. Of course we like to party as well! Every now and then, Dee will be the first rocking out on the dance floor and Karenza will be the last to leave!
How would you describe your individual style?
We both have a pin board on our Pinterest site, named “Jewell Style” and “Cotter Style”, depicting our individual flair.
Karenza loves calm, relaxed spaces with natural timber, chalky white paint and a touch of humour. Juxtaposing antique finds with elegant modernism. For example I love a box I found in Mexico City, outside its a scruffy wooden box that opens like a folder and inside it is a shrine to a passed away person. But in Mexico with day of the dead a person’s life is celebrated and this box has amazing crazy colourful pieces inside.
Dee finds the question too hard to answer! I think I will begin with how I dress and see how this unfolds! My dress style is very simple, with a tendency to wear tone on tone in colour. I like my clothes to drape easily for comfort and ease. To add some interest and colour to my attire, I always add a piece of jewellery (necklace or bracelet) or scarf – providing the final finesse to my outfit. On reflection, I tend to use the same formula for interiors as well. Keeping my design and colour palette simple and adding a few key signature pieces to provide the finishing look.
When a client comes to you with a room to design, how do you draw out their personal style?
Karenza: We give them ample time. Time to get to know us and for us to know them! It is important we take this time, as we are usually a stranger they have never met, but have only heard of. Its important for our client to be relaxed and be at ease. We always ask to look at the home in its entirety, if possible and if they are happy to do so. One room needs to know how it plays a part of a whole home.
Dee: They have kindly welcomed us in their home, their personal space, which speaks volumes of who they and their personal style is there ready for us to see. They just don’t realise it. As it is appears in the purchases they have made for their home; from the very ornaments they have found and bought to showcase. These pieces will provide some necessary clues on colour, shape and form, which we can extract for use in creating our design ideas.
Is it quite an involved process with the client?
Karenza: Yes, you really become part of their life for a time, you need to understand their habits and lifestyle to really give them a great result and sometimes you wish you could just move in once you have finished.
Dee: Karenza is so right! This is the part I really love of my work. Forging a strong relationship with our client, which sees us become part of their everyday world. As their lifestyle need changes over time, from starting out and having babies that grow into children then teenagers to adulthood, their homes are expanding and contracting accordingly. We are usually invited at these various points of time to assist with the differing needs in the function and design of the evolving home.
What is your favourite shop at the moment?
All of them!!!
Karenza: Ahhhh Ahoy Trader from Byron Bay, quirky details with fun, Le Forge great customer service and you can always find a piece of real beauty. The Modern (Scandinavian furniture) has that look down to a tee and good prices!
Dee: There are too many to have just one as a favourite. Being Designers, we shop directly to the source, so we can offer fabulous prices to our clients! One of my all time favourite suppliers is Cromwell Australia as I really love their broad product range of classic timeless pieces. They offer everything, from cushions to lighting, mirrors, art and high quality furniture.
As interior designers you have your finger on the pulse of what’s hot in the design scene. Please share what you’ve seen!
Karenza: Oh the gorgeous wallpaper we just put up for a client: Its watery affect and handpainted look is spot on.
Dee: I keep seeing the colour BLUE splashed everywhere and making a stamp in interiors. Just like the wallpaper and artwork we have just hung.
So Joyous “So Joyous” from Penny Farthing Design House
When in an apartment, what would be your space saving tips?
Karenza: Products with multi use; a table with drawers (it can be a dining table and a desk). Stools that neatly stack extra seats and extra side tables. Full height kitchen/wardrobe cupboards (even if this means you go bespoke to do it). Standard height cabinets waste so much room and can be dust collectors on top. Blinds instead of curtains, they are less imposing. All of this, is of course dependant on your style too.
Dee: Karenza has said it so well! Mainly, to be guided by the principle of “less is more” to create the illusion of a bigger space.
What’s a trick to get an expensive look on a budget?
Karenza: A clever idea can be seen with a kitchen for example.. Use white cabinets (possibly IKEA) and always do beautiful stone bench tops and a stunning tap!
Lighting can dramatically change an interior space and is becoming so cost effective nowadays.
Curtains. Use a sheer fabric at a low price but triple the amount you would use, it will look luxurious in its abundance but hey may have cost $10 a metre!
Double sided cushions, each side being different to have a quick change, 2 looks for the price of 1.
Buy a beautiful antique piece of furniture that sits in a key spot and spend less on the rest, what your eye sees first will always give the first impression on lushness.
Dee: Karenza’s last point is the key! By adding a significant high quality piece to the main portion of lower value items, you will be providing the essential “gloss” to your entire scheme. In effect, this “trick of the trade” is based on the 80/20 principle, whereby 80% of the outcome, in this case the “expensive look on a budget” can be attributed to 20% of the cause, being the expensive item purchased.
The key to the trick is in adding the main focal piece to the interior. You can do this by up-cycling an old furniture piece such as a chair with plush and interesting fabric, by using beautiful sumptuous bed linen and towelling to update a tired bedroom or bathroom or by wallpapering or adding an artwork to the wall.
Well, there you have it, so many great tips, so much gold! Thanks ladies, I know I have taken away a few new tips!