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Lessons in design and colour by Alex Papachristidis

With his work featured in well established interiors magazines (Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Southern Accents, InStyle and The New York Times) as well as a number of interiors publications, New York based interior designer Alex Papachristidis delivers colourful homes that don't follow standard rules in interior design. You could say that he is pushing the boundaries! Here at Seasons in Colour we have looked at Papachristidis' projects and can share 8 take aways that you can use when designing your own home.

1. Can't choose complimentary colours? Then don't!

In a moment of madness I found myself to be the owner of a green sofa when everything else in my home was pointing towards blue: blue geometric wallpaper by Farrow & Ball in the husband's office, Denim Drift wall in the bedroom, and that bold wallpaper by Little Greene in the dining room (ok... so I do have a green velvet bed in the guest room too but that's another story).

The green sofa was a host of design dilemmas as nothing else seemed to work with it and my mind I am set to have blue in the living room too. But I digress. If choosing complimentary colours for your schemes sounds complicated or seems to take forever, then use one colour throughout the room. Literally!

In this photo, a home office is feels refreshing with the palette of blue which is found on the walls, the fabric of the chairs, the leather on the desk, the lampshade and even on the artwork. While in the living room below, the wall paint, furniture fabrics and even the curtains and rug are all matchy-matchy. But the different hues of the same colour give depth to the design and guide the eye onto the artwork.

2. Animal print is always a good idea

When a designer incorporates a little animal print in a room, that's it, we're sold. So whether it's a rug or accessories, animal print will add a little glamour. If you feel that the overall look gets too serious, then how about a little tongue in cheek art on the wall?

Below: animal print rug in a design for a client.

Alex Papachristidis' Manhattan apartment. Animal print cushions anyone?

Photographs by Jeff Hirsch. Source: The New York Social Diary

3. Black and white will always give you the timeless look

Not sure why but black and white is always a class above the rest, don't you think? French style chairs on black and white diamond pattern check marble tiles.

4. Sometimes you got to let the fabrics do the talking

If your fabrics are especially full of pattern (and colour), choose a neutral background and let them do all the work, or you'll risk turning the scheme really busy.

5. Heirloom piece? You can still use it.

Have a really fancy or ornate piece handed to you or bought at auction that looks as if it's the 'odd one out'? You can actually mix old and new and Papachristidis regularly uses antique furniture in his designs. This commode sits elegantly next to the upholstered bed in a client's master bedroom.

Like the fabric on the bed? Try these designs. Left to right: Camille in Coral by Nina Campbell; Montserrat in Tropical by Baker; and Kashmir Summer by Clarke and Clarke

6. When you use wallpaper, go bold!

And that will guarantee you gold! If you saw my dining room makeover, that was my approach too. But in this room, we are talking about single pattern overload! Wallpaper, canopy, and sofa all in the same design. This might seem old fashioned to some but it is a clever way of making a small room feel bigger!

House of Hackney Florals Artemis, W180cm x H 300cm mural, £185; Little Greene Archive Trails II Monroe;

7. Mix modern art with antique pieces

Who said that modern art cannot work around antique pieces? In fact the more progressive, the better.

8. Did someone say ultra violet?

Well yes they did, and it's Pantone's colour of the year 2018, so Alex is on trend with this design. Our take away here? If you want to create the next instagrammable home, you need to think outside of the box (and that means stop using Farrow & Ball Railings, Mole's Breath or Downpipe. They're overdone, even by yours truly).

Unless otherwise stated, photography: Alex Papachristidis Interiors


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