Welcome back to our blog series following the escapades of this season of Grand Design’s optimistic participants. We give you the downlow on the projects of course, but more importantly we look at how you can recreate the finished look without having to build a new property or lose any sleep.
Kevin McCloud was in Cornwall following two fans of architect James Speyer, Harry and Briony, as they tried to recreate the huge modernist design made famous in cult 1980’s movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It wouldn’t be Grand Designs if they didn’t have both a very optimistic budget and incredibly tight timeframe, which our beloved presenter was of course sceptical of. Although they did not meet either goal and faced tragedy in the building process, they eventually did the Speyer design justice and with great humility too.
Harry and Briony had an extremely large area to decorate, which poses more of a challenge than a smaller home both financially and due to the scale of everything required. They tackled the budget side of things by using a warm toned ply for most of the walls negating the need for plastering, painting and coving whilst giving the home an edgy, industrial effect.
The largely wooden interior, as with Episode One’s brickwork needed careful work to avoid an overly brown background. The ambitious couple used brightly coloured furniture and accessories to break up the potentially monotonous backdrop. To deal with the sheer scale of the place, they selected large furniture that wasn’t dwarfed by the property’s scale to create a homely yet upbeat and spacious interior.
Getting the Bright Modern Look
The Speyer house replica is a feat of steel and glass and to recreate this airy feel you will need lots and lots of light.
Without chasing your walls for new light fittings or adding windows, the best way to do this is with designer floor lamps and strategically placed mirrors. Choose hurricane style lamps for an edgy industrial feel and hang your mirrors opposite existing windows to create the feeling of extra light and space.
Big Space, Big Furniture
If you do have an oversized space, large furniture is your next stop and where better to start than with a giant corner sofa that everyone can fit on without touching?
You can even combine this with a funky colour choice from our range – we love velvet materials in rich blues and mustard yellows. You could also take a leaf from Harry and Briony’s book and separate areas with your furniture by using big bookcases or shelving units to create more smaller room-like spaces.
Bursts of Modern Colour
An interior principally decorated a single tone like this one cries out for injections of colour and pattern to create points of interest as your eye tracks around the room. With such a property, your finishing touches should include lots of colourful furnishings and accessories.
Don’t be shy when it comes to choosing these; go for bright orange throws, emerald green cushions and vibrant purple fruit bowls. Do however, stick to a scheme that is complementary. You don’t want your house to end up looking like a nursery classroom or an office at Google for that matter.
Round Up for Filling Large Rooms
Large properties are highly desirable for the light, spacious, and grand interiors they provide, but they do not come without their challenges. Use oversized furniture to fill rooms and break out smaller areas and employ colour to break up single-tone backdrops. Or, if you are looking to make your smaller home feel bigger, make sure to increase your light sources with lamps and mirrors.