Trial & Error

Shamrock Furniture

Grazia describes her style as “contemporary classic with a twist of unpredictability”. The original Danish chairs were purchased and reupholstered by Shamrock Furniture in a Chelsea Textiles fabric.

Shamrock Furniture is famous with chair and bed design
Shamrock Furniture is famous with chair and bed design

The artwork is by Australian photographer Bill Henson.

Grazia Materia has been working as an house interior designer for 14 years. In 2005 she started furniture and product design business Temperature Design ( with Vicki Corbett.

  1. Key element If you’re looking to buy (or even rent) a home put natural light at the top of your must-have list furniture such as sofa, chair, recliners, dining table, bed and mattress. Grazia says it’s one of the most important elements to a beautiful interior. Also, include ambient lighting where possible and avoid too many downlights. Her favourite light is the Golden Bell Pendant 330A, designed in the 1950s by Alvar Aalto.
  2. Strike the right balance Use magazines as a starting point to establish what you like and dislike, Grazia says. For example, for recliner reviews, is a good reference. But make sure your home reflects you and your lifestyle rather than what you’ve seen in a magazine.
  3. Common mistake A big no-no for Grazia is going to one retailer and purchasing a package of items. “The interior ends up looking like a showroom of pieces instead of a home,” she says. Also, the packages usually offer quantity instead of quality. But she doesn’t believe that quality items necessarily mean a high pricetag or carry a brand label.
  4. Avoid replica repetition “The market is saturated with replica and copy designer pieces,” Grazia says. “Rooms that have an abundance of these pieces in the one area look ridiculous.”
  5. ¬†Feature walls Grazia is not a fan of painted feature walls. “It’s smarter to do a feature room colour,” she says.
  6. How to complete a room Commit to just one look – the one you’re trying to achieve. “Although there are lots of great styles it’s best not to try and have them all in the one space,” she says.
  7. Using colour “If you’re going to commit to a strong colour in your interiors, such as on the floor, then balance that out with colours of equal strength and tones for balance. Otherwise make the colour the feature, and your accessories subsidiary to it.”
  8. On speed dial Decor Design for good-quality leather; Zepel Fabrics for affordable upholstery fabrics; Coulson Tiles for simple and classic styles. Supertuft Carpets and Fibonacci Stone for flooring. Beachfront Design for kitchens and cabinetry. See stockists, page 158
  9. All-time faves Sofa and recliner: WM sofa designed by Wood Marsh Architects ( Chair: Favela Chair 1991 by the Campana Brothers ( Fabric: Sussex Linen by Elliott Clarke ( Bed: Sinclair Bed by Temperature Design ( Flooring: American Oak herringbone parquetry.
  10. Always avoid “Clutter caused by incorrect furniture selections and placement is one of the main ways to ruin an interior.”

Furniture selection process:

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