With careful balance, a palette of pastel colours, pale timbers and gentle textures can create a considered interior decorating scheme that is as easy to live with as it is beautiful. Pastel tones may speak to a restful interior but keeping the look modern can be a challenge.
We spoke to Sydney based Catherine Heraghty - owner and Creative Director of The Stables, a boutique interior styling company that embodies this style of decorating. Her home is the epitome of simple elegance and her way with colours is informed by her passion for creating beautiful, timeless spaces that are above all, liveable.
What are your must-haves for a modern muted palette?
"Instead of relying on strong pattern and bold colour to decorate your home, rely on other elements like texture and repetition to give your interior warmth and interest. When starting with your larger pieces, for example when purchasing your sofa and rug, go for neutrals and layer these with accessories that are soft and subtle in colour. You can still have colour, just make sure that it is desaturated. I tend to stick to my muted pastels and soft blues when doing my interiors, but there are some lovely warm rusty oranges and olive greens out there to give you a more earthy look. When adding colours, I always like to add them in my smaller styling pieces like cushions, throws, and decorative accessories. Artwork is also another great way to reinforce your colour palette."
Name a furniture item(s) you cannot live without!
"When I am styling my own home and my clients' homes, I place emphasis on styling for a purpose rather than styling for styling's sake! So I can’t pinpoint one particular piece that I can’t live without – for me it's about how all my selections work together well to create that special feeling! My interiors tend to feel calm and homely, clean and light. From my Alva occasional chair from Click On Furniture to my gorgeous Crop Bar Stool from Relm Furniture, all the furniture I have selected I adore and they all work together so seamlessly to make my home feel special to me."
How do you bring warmth to a minimal interior?
"I rely heavily on colour, natural materials and texture to bring warmth to a minimal interior. Selecting a warm engineered floor board for example, as opposed to a cool grey tile will instantly warm a space up. Texture would be one main elements I rely on when designing any space in my home, whether it comes down to a textured wall panelling in the master bedroom or a textured tile in the bathroom – using something that has the physical and visual appearance of being tactile instantly warms an interior up.
"I love to use textured rugs, cushions and window treatments to make my interiors feel cosy – not only are they beautiful to touch but they soften any harsh lines in the architecture."Catherine Heraghty
What artists/makers are peaking your interest at the moment?
"I am a strong supporter of Australian made and Australian design, the quality is far superior to anything else available on the market. I am a huge fan of Articolo Lighting, a Melbourne based lighting company that makes everything to order in Melbourne. Their range is absolutely stunning, all the glass is hand blown and the designs are so on trend yet so timeless! The perfect balance! I try and get some of their lighting into as many projects as I can!"
Your 3 tips for a 30-minute living room makeover
1. Rearrange your furniture layout, such a simple way to change the way a space feels and looks but it also changes the way you move through the space!
2. Remove all of your accessories, edit them and restyle them in the new ways!
3. Adding fresh flowers and plants to your space will instantly lift it and breathe new life into it.
Visit The Stables to see more of Catherine's beautiful work.
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