Posts by this author:

How does colour affect our perception of the interiors?

how does coulour affect our perception of interior

Your home is your sanctuary. How well designed it is will influence your experience, everyday mood, and ultimatelly your quality of life. However, as often as not our homes come with predetermined layouts and orientation. Rooms might feel too small or too narrow, without enough light or with low ceilings. When structural changes are not an option, we need to explore different ways to at least visually change our perception of interiors.

Paint is one of the easiest ways to visually impact the size and appearance of any room. Before choosing colours for your home, you want to understand what effects you want to achieve, or what problems to address. White and light neutrals are the best for making space look bigger, while dark and bold colours make the space seem smaller or more intimate. Many people avoid using darker tones in their space and stay on the safe side with lighter, neutral tones. However, strategic placement and contrast painting may show you the full potential of your own home.

We will explore eight simple paint techniques that visually affect our perception of interiors.


Using whites and light paint colours to enlarge the space.

The proven way to enlarge the space is painting the walls and a ceiling, with whites or light neutral colours. Rooms will instantly look more spacious and even lighter. If the floors are darker, lighter rugs will do the same effect. To achieve an almost invisible border from wall to ceiling, and expand room to look higher, paint them in the same colour.


To make the room look wider paint the back wall and a ceiling in dark colours. Side walls keep in lighter tones.

The space will look wider if you use the same dark paint on the back wall and a ceiling. Leaving the side walls in lighter tones will instantly give more spacious look. Think narrow rooms, long corridors or even old fashioned kitchens and bathrooms.

long hall with dark doors and dar ceiling
long hall with bold coloured doors and multicoloured zig zag floor


to visually lower a ceiling apply dark colours while keeping the walls in whites or lighter tones.

High ceilings are one of the most desirable design elements, giving the instant aesthetic or even luxury appeal to any space. Rooms with high ceilings feel more spacious, have more light and even smaller rooms look bigger. Sometimes however, ceilings may be too high, challenging to decorate or giving a feel of emptiness. There are many ways to create more intimate space with lowering high ceilings but one of the easiest is with paint. The room will feel instantly cosier and visually smaller if you paint the ceilings with darker tones or try using bold colours, like on the pictures bellow.


to make ceiling look taller, paint the walls in darker tones and keep the ceiling light

A completely opposite situation is when rooms come with lower ceilings, giving a small or cramped feeling. To vertically expand the space and to achieve the appearance of higher ceilings, try painting the walls in darker tones while ceiling stays in white or lighter tones than the rest of the room.

dining room with sage panelled walls and light ceiling


creating an accent wall with dark tone walls and back wall in lighter colour

A highlight wall is very effective and eye catching way to accentuate an art or a furniture piece. You might want to keep it in lighter tones than the rest of the room. The same effect can be achieved with a contrast solution when the highlight wall is painted in darker colours. Whichever option you choose, accent walls create a focal point and give depth to a space.


to make room look narrower, paint in darker tones long opposing walls

If a room feels disproportional, too big or too wide and redesigning is not an option, using just paint may be an effective solution. To visually put a wide room together, apply darker tones on opposing walls. Dark colours absorb light and walls would seem to be closer than they really are. This is an easy and quite effective way to improve the proportions of a room.


to make room look shorter apply paint in darker tones on the back wall

Another problem with disproportion is when room looks too large or more often corridors and hallways feel uncomfortably long. You might want, to at least visually, make them shorter. One easy way to shorten a room or a hall is by painting the back wall a bold colour. With this technique you will achieve two things; a darker wall seems closer and adding a pop of colour will bring interest and make a statement.


to make room seem smaller, paint the whole room including ceiling in dark tones

Another way to make a room smaller is to choose dark colours and paint them on every wall including the ceiling. As dark colours rather absorb than reflect light, these rooms will be more intimate and darker. Think bedrooms, libraries or spaces where you want to minimise light. Even smaller rooms will feel more elegant and cozy if you paint them like this.


Camp Roig 31 by Durietz Design & Development 

Living room, Mallorca townhouse, Came Roig 31 by Durietz Design & Development

Design: Durietz Design & Development

Location: Mallorca, Alaró, Spain

Photography: Piet-Albert Goethals

There is nothing more inspiring than breathing new life into abandoned and old properties. Especially, the ones with good bones and transformation potential. This week, my inspiration quest takes me to Spain, in the small town of Alaró, at the foothills of the Tramuntana mountains (Mallorca).

Camp Roig 31 is a modern family residence, impeccably renovated by Mallorca-based interior design and architecture studio DuRietz Design & Development. It is hard to believe this beautiful house was built originally as a warehouse for crops and meat. Since then it has acted as a shoe factory, an office, and a modest residence to several families, including the mayor of Alaró. When Josephine and Christoffer Durietz acquired the house, it was a complete ruin and abandoned for more than a decade.

Entrance to the Camp Roig 31 House
Staircase, entrance, Mallorca, Cape Roig 31
Entrance to Camp Roig 31 townhouse, Durietz Design

Whoever renovated an old property knows how difficult is to predict the full extension of work. The same was with Camp Roig 31 as the state of the house revealed many construction challenges throughout but also good bones that allowed radical changes. To attain architectural heritage, designers tried to restore many antique details like original stone fireplaces and wooden carvings. They also infused the love for Mallorca lifestyle and tradition to bring out its full potential.

“We see the house fitting perfectly in a toned down art deco inspired theme mixed up with a strong Mallorcan heritage. Working with dramatic shapes created with natural materials and an earthy palette both inside and out. This all the while not loosing the utilitarian roots of the house.”

View from the terrace, Camp Roig 31 Mallorca

With 640 sqm, the century-old building unfolds over three levels, with the possibility of up to eight bedrooms, five bathrooms and a two car garage. For the comfort of the owners there’s also a home office, yoga room and well-stocked wine cellar with 150 bottles of house wine, produced locally on the island at Bodegas Son Puig. A special feature is the spacious roofed terrace with arched openings to the private expansive backyard, with spectacular views of the Alaró peaks.

kitchen, Camp Roig 31, DuRietz Design, Espacio Home Design

Designers entrusted realisation of the kitchen and bathrooms to Espacio Home Design. Custom-made stripped cabinets made from solid walnut and matte varnish finish in combination with light cream travertine surfaces. To add a personal touch, many of the pieces in the home were custom-made by designers. That includes a walnut dining table paired with solid walnut and cotton cord ‘Josephine’ chairs. Also furniture pieces in bedrooms, the marble bedside tables, the study’s desk and wall shelving.

The highlight of the house is certainly 410 sqm private backyard. Featuring a large pool with sundeck, dining area with outdoor kitchen, landscaped garden and a raised terrace over the water tank. Such a generous outdoor space is enjoyable from the early morning sun for breakfast, to the sun-soaked pool deck relax, sunset-blessed veranda and al fresco dinners. Dream house indeed, a retreat place in every sense of the word.  

Get the look

zara terry chair

cassina sofa

knitting chair menu

flos taccia lamp

Daphne wall lights lumina

capitol complex chair casino Pierre Jeanneret

Source: Yellowtrace, for more information about the house before renovation Durietz Design & Development


Design trends | Pleats

Salvatori official, Plissé, living room, pleats stones

Pleats are not a new trend, holding a long history as an expressive design element, most notably in fashion. Who doesn’t own at least one pleated skirt or a dress?

In interiors though, we usually spot pleats in different window treatments like curtains or furniture upholstery. In recent years, however, their interpretation goes well beyond interior textiles. I love seeing how the pleated texture, has expanded in different materials, like stone or wood, becoming a trend in three dimensional walls, tiles, decoration or lighting. As they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, pleats have an ability to bring volume and dimension to any material. In combination with natural light, pleated texture creates a perception of movement and depth. If you are looking for a simple way to infuse interest, softens and elegance to your interior space, introducing pleats might be your way to go.

Check out bellow, a few of my favourites pleated designs.

‘Plissé White Edition’ Pleated Textile Table Lamp by Folkform for Örsjö

Plissé wallpaper collection, designed by Lorenzo De Grandis for Wall&Deco

The Plissé collection (kettle) designed by Michele De Lucchi for Alessi

Plissé collection, stone tiles design by Elisa Ossino for Salvatori

Plissé Wood (tables) collection designed by José Manuel Ferrero for Vicaldesign

Plissé Stone (flowerpots) collection designed by José Manuel Ferrero for Vicaldesign

Lamella 132 pendant by Le Klint


Miner Road House by Faulkner Architects

Miner Road House by Faulkner architects

Architects: Faulkner Architects

Location: Orinda, California

Photography: Joe Fletcher

The first impressions one might have of the Miner Road House are abundance of light coming through massive window walls, minimalistic interior and lightness of space thanks to the double height ceilings. What is not obvious, however, is that this fully energy efficient home is designed to have almost no impact on the environment. It is refreshing and inspirational to see such a symbiosis of design and nature, with the clear idea that we can live comfortably with the minimum impact on our surroundings.

Miner Road House
Miner Road house

To learn more about the Miner Road house, read description provided by the architects.

The clients are a couple of environmental scientists who, along with their two sons, relocated from the Oakland Hills to the warmer climate of Orinda. Their commitment to sustainability, including a request for net-zero energy performance annually, was evident in their thinking throughout the design process. A three-bedroom program began as a remodel of a 1954 ranch house at the foot of a hill next to a seasonal creek. After finding the existing structure and soils to be unsuitable, the direction settled on reusing the existing footprint under the shade of a Valley Oak that had grown up close to the original house. The surviving portion of the original house is the fireplace which was wrapped in concrete and utilized for structural support. This made additional grading unnecessary and allowed the new house to maintain the same intimate relation to the old oak.

Miner Road Faulkner Arch

The family desired an open living layout that connected directly to the landscape. A mezzanine plan evolved with a double height family space nested with a master bedroom and study stacked above the kitchen and nook. A screened pacing deck for long phone calls shades the upper level from afternoon summer sun. Downstairs, secondary bedrooms along an extendable hallway, wrap an outdoor dining area situated between the kitchen and family room.

Construction materials and methods were considered in balance between first and lifecycle costs. The Corten steel rain screen for the exterior skin and interior wood were chosen to take advantage of zero annual maintenance cost and a shotcrete foundation allowed formwork to be repurposed for wood framing.

Do you know what NET ZERO HOME means?

Over the course of one year, zero energy homes will have their total energy production minus their total energy use, equal zero. This is usually achieved by energy-efficient thermal exteriors and insulation, quality appliances in combination with renewable energy systems.

Single use material selections such as the Corten steel and shotcrete foundation reduced complexity in detailing and labor costs allowing a larger portion of the budget to be reallocated for upgraded mechanical, insulation, and glazing systems. The same attitude for interior finishes produced acoustically insulated, unfinished oak ceilings and walls. The sum total of the limited and landscape-driven materials presents a relaxed and quiet built environment that allows the senses to focus on the natural environment. A haptic connection to the rhythms of our planet is evident.

A 14-gauge Corten rain screen provides a no-maintenance skin. High levels of insulation and glazing efficiency reduce heating and cooling loads. An 8.1kW photovoltaic system provides on-site renewable energy and produced more electrical energy than the house used the first year. Rainwater is collected via a waterfall from the roof at the end of the hallway. Buried tanks store water for use in toilets and laundry. Greywater is collected separately and reused for irrigation. Electronically commutated motors and variable speed heat pumps are used to further limit energy use and control heating and cooling. An energy recovery ventilator is used to provide fresh air.

Source: Faulkner architects

Get the look



Hello from Canberra! It’s been a full week of lockdown. The city has gone horribly quiet, the streets are empty, and I often have a feeling time has stopped. Like in a bad catastrophic movie. We have been asked to stay at home at all times except for the essential shopping, medical emergencies and for just an hour of exercise outside, preferably in the neighbourhood. Our kids’ school has been well prepared for this and there wasn’t a transitional period. They have a full school day online routine, going from 9am to 3 pm, every day.  It’s good for them to meet with their peers, even if it is on a zoom session to talk, laugh, and learn together. My daughter even played trumpet for her friends, it was hilarious. But working from home and mentoring our kids is not a joke. We have decided to take one day at a time, with no high expectations and handling ourselves gently. We might gain some weight though with the endless snacking, and both of us are constantly cooking up some delicious recipes we have never even had time to try before. 

What recharges me, is now beyond my reach. So I’ve been updating my list of places I hope to visit soon, galleries, design stores, new restaurants or white sand beaches. Stay here with me, and check out my favourite 5 distractions of the week. 

  1. ART | YAYOI KUSAMA If you still haven’t heard of Yayoi Kusama, she’s a  Japanese contemporary artist and one of the most popular and influential artists in the world. Her immersive installations are a ‘must see’ experience with two comprehensive retrospectives currently trending in New York and London.  KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature is  currently on display at The New York Botanical Garden until October 31, 2021, and Tate Modern, London, is presenting Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms until June 12, 2022. I also invite you to check out my instagram reels, I made one of her installation ‘THE SPIRITS OF THE PUMPKINS DESCENDED INTO THE HEAVENS’ in the National Gallery of Australia.

2. NEW EATERY | in Paris. With so many restaurants to choose from, why this one? I love beautifully designed restaurant. I often choose one not just for a quality of menu but the overall experience, especially interiors. Café Lapérouse, has it all. It’s located on the north side of Place de la Concorde, within the Hôtel de la Marine. The interiors, designed by Cordelia de Castellane (the creative director of Dior kids and Dior Maison) carefully considered every detail of the decor. All the elements were made by French craftsmen, from the bar to the seats, including the woodwork and ceramics. Many other elements were found on flea markets, like  tables, Cordovan leathers or Baccarat chandeliers. The space has a suitably nautical theme (the count of Lapérouse, an important historical figure, was a French naval officer and explorer, whose ship disappeared in a shipwreck in the south Pacific in 1788.). A beautiful wallpaper mural of tropical fauna, de Castellane drawn by herself as well as sketched the restaurant’s ceramics. This personal touch is something of a great value, giving the special atmosphere to the place and lifting your  experience. And make your day just beautiful.

3. TECH | If you are like me and hate drinking cold coffee or tea, this is the gadget for you. I recently read an article on the things that have transformed our lives in the last year. The Ember Cup, temperature control smart mug, made it on the list. Not a surprise at all. I probably don’t need another thing with a charger but I do sip my coffee very slowly in the morning, slowly enough to finish it while cold and tasteless. What are your thoughts on gadgets like this? 

4. ITALIAN BRAND TO LOVE  to all of you admiring beautiful product design and not on expense of quality, this one is for you. Something you’d love to have on your vanity table or a bathroom shelf. The story of The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella can trace its roots back to the Florence  in 1221. When Dominican friars founded the convent of Santa Maria Novella, they began to cultivate – among other things – a vegetable garden. The world of cosmetics, fragrances and wellness products have been born over centuries of experience in natural ways of their preparation. A real gem in the world of cosmetics.

5. SALE ALERT ! If you are in need of a little retail therapy, Amara still runs sale on furniture, decoration, dining and more! I love this &Tradition Shuffle Side Table, inspired by childhood memories of wooden stacking toys. Crafted from solid wood, it combines various colours and shapes and sizes. It can be constructed in different variations allowing you to decide the shape, colour and height of the table. A true example of the Nordic approach to democratic design, the Shuffle side table will make a style statement wherever it’s placed. 

With love,