Using unusual materials

A Bold and whimsical, these plastic biown-up cushions with their emphatic rows of brightly coloured circles are a throwback to the 1960s but they work surprisingly well in this otherwise deliberately restrained interior. Balance these unusual materials with something more familiar to create maximum impact.

This section salutes a small but exciting selection of surprising and unlikely materials that can stunningly alter the surface of a piece of furniture. Neither fabric nor paint, there is no collective term that can be used to describe such diverse materials as paper, plastic, jute fibre, wire mesh, glass and ceramic, but used individually or even together they break the boundaries of what is both familiar and predictable in interior furnishing.

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Contrast and texture, and the interplay between them, are the keys to using these materials with style and verve. Keep in mind balance and symmetry a small amount of something unexpected usually goes a long way! Consider hard and soft surfaces together and juxtapose matt opacity with cool glassy light-reflecting surfaces. Imagine, for example, shiny plastic or metal gauze against a smooth rubber or linoleum floor. With such diversity, it is to be hoped that the da when almost every surface was covered in floral chintz fabric are dim and distant.

While working with such unusual mati rials will not be to everyone’s taste, it undoubtedly true that using metal, plastic ai paper, for example, as materials for furnis ings, will be a challenge to your imaginat and perspective. Imagine a glass-topped tar draped in a shimmering, gauze-like, fine meshed metal. It would make a wonderf and unusual backdrop for a collection of gL objects. Put a swathe of shot silk beneath d metal and you have a stunning combinatio Ribbons or tassels can be tied to sheets wire mesh for added texture. Metal-fran.; chairs wound with jute fibre or twisted stra fronds provide fabulous textural contrast.

Using unusual materials

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