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Interior Design Tips From An Expert

Reflecting on personal taste, personality and lifestyle is where interior and exterior designer Paula Comber starts when helping people design and decorate their homes.

Paula heads the Christchurch design agency Comber and Comber, which created the interior and exterior aesthetics of David Reid Homes Canterbury's beautiful new show home. 

Current trends and budget also have an influence on design - read on for some awesome tips and advice from Paula.

undefinedCurrent Trends

  • We are seeing a lot of exterior products appearing inside and out - cedar, stone, tiles and concrete are on trend this year.
  • We are also seeing structural elements, such as exposed beams making an appearance - without going over the top.
  • Black has been strongly featuring on exteriors for a while, and now we are seeing this extend inside, creating strong bold features and moody interiors.
  • Concrete, natural stone, timbers, marble and copper finishes are all hot right now.
  • White is still popular, but teamed with bold colour to add an element of surprise.
  • More emphasis is placed on the outdoor entertainment spaces adding an extension to indoor living spaces with seamless flow including seating, outdoor fires, heating and outdoor kitchens.
  • Drapes are a great way to add softness, drama and colour to a space.  Currently we are seeing drapes that cover the entire wall - from floor to ceiling.

Tips on using colour

  • undefinedColour can completely change a room.  Plan how you want the room to look and feel when complete, and only make a decision on paint colours you’ve nailed everything else down. Colours can be a reflection of your personality, don’t be afraid to use bold colours that are not on trend as the spaces in your home are all about you.
  • The great thing about colour is it can easily be injected with accessories - cushions, wall hangings and floor covers and easily changed with the trends.
  • Dark colours accentuate surface imperfections so walls need to be a perfectly level, while lighter colours absorb less light, so tend to soften the effects of any surface irregularities.
  • Aluminium window joinery colour also features in the interior and needs to be considered when choosing the exterior palette.

Creating impact on a budget

  • Paint and accessories are the most cost effective and efficient ways to create impact on a budget.
  • Colour can totally transform a room, changing its visual size and feel, and adding a sense of drama and personality.

undefinedPlaces to pick up interesting pieces or get ideas

I love exploring new art galleries and suppliers, to find interesting pieces with meaning, and that tell a story.

Tips to decide on the right look

The look is all about the client and their family and how they like to live, we spend a lot of time with our clients to ensure the look is all about them.

Tips on creating a timeless look

The key to creating a timeless look, is to choose a look that reflects your own style and tastes without conforming to any particular trend of the moment. Timeless design can mean different things to different people, and often works best when it is built up slowly over time, but here are a couple of features that show no signs of ever falling out of fashion.

  • A neutral palette will help you to create a timeless look, but if you really want to add a splash of colour try to do so through relatively minor purchases such as cushions, throws and other items that can be replaced and updated more regularly.
  • Regardless of the elements you decide to incorporate in your home, the best way to create timeless design interiors is to use a combination of items and features from different eras and styles, so that the result is hard to pin down and therefore hard to date.


Filed under:
  • Design and Advice