Hillcrest-based interior designer, Jennifer Jones, explains how existing furniture and decor can be given a new lease on life in one's new home.
Taking it room by room.
Many modern kitchens are incorporating seated areas to offer a space for intimate meals, an alternative workspace or just a place to relax. For her kitchen, Jennifer – converted an old desk into a kitchen table by changing the top – using natural timber to add a different element to the room, and then re-fashioned a couch, simply by adjusting the height, so that it could be used at the kitchen table.
“I wanted to add mood to the townhouse, using paint to give each room a different feel. I painted the kitchen walls quite a strong shade of grey - Mr Grey from the Shaves Colour Collection - and created a conversation corner as a place to entertain and chat,” she explained.
The grey creates a perfect backdrop for the Moulin Rouge inspired wallpaper and framed family pictures that together create a lovely warmth in the kitchen while fishing basket-style light fittings add to the ambience with their dramatic shadows.
“This is a smaller space which had an existing built-in cabinet with down lighting along one wall, that I painted in charcoal, allowing it to blend seamlessly into the wallpaper behind. I enjoy using darker feature walls for smaller spaces balanced with a lighter colour and mirrors to add light, as it creates depth in a room.”
The ball and claw dining room suite is in a mix of German silver and ebony, giving this traditional furniture a whole new look. The dining room chairs have been finished in a German silver technique, while the table is stained in a satin ebony finish.
“The challenge in this space was the brickwork fire place,” continued Jennifer, entering the inviting room. “I painted the room in Maui Beach from Plascon – a subdued shade of teal green which offsets the white velvet sofas beautifully. The brickwork was painted in Mr Grey to delineate the fire place, with a screen placed in the corner to draw eyes away from the flat area.”
“This was a really fun scheme to put together,” she said of the outside area. “The vintage lounge suite was sprayed in a matt black duco, picked up by the black piping on the apple green upholstery. I am having loads of fun accessorising this striking combination with everything from brightly coloured beads in various colours, to simple pops of colour in both flowers and cushions.
The dining table is sprayed in apple green duco to continue the colour of the upholstery, contrasting beautifully with the black and white chairs. This is picked up in the black-and-white striped curtains crafted in an outdoor fabric. This provides protection and creates quite a cosy nook, particularly on those nippy Hillcrest days. This is a great alternative to the traditional outdoor, roll-down blinds.
Jennifer Jones, known as ‘The Queen of Bedroom Success’, re-worked her design from the 2018 Decorex Durban She Shed using a gold and grey colour palette for her own bedroom. “This was a big space that happily allowed for my gold, 4-poster bed!” she explained.
Her love for layering different tones and textures of grey, paired with accent colours, is evident here.
The walls were painted in Mr Grey, with the grey colour picked up in the sheer curtains. The room was then accessorised with gold, seen in the lampshades, wallpaper and refurbished bedside pedestals. Without question, the standout piece in this luxurious room is an exquisite chair, covered in Ardmore velvet with rust accents. The inclusion of gold, grey and a touch of pink finishes off this masterpiece.
Design tips from Jennifer Jones
“Many people live in homes with older architecture and furniture that can easily be adapted to make a new space,” she explained. “These days, people are decorating more economically, taking it room by room. There’s a much more eclectic feel with people using existing furniture and reviving it. This is important because anything you’ve invested in reflects a part of your personality.”
Commenting on a few trends she’s enjoying, Jennifer said: “There’s a much braver use of colour. People are moving away from the neutrals, or they’re adding a vibrant pop of colour. A lounge suite in a neutral shade is always a good idea, with feature fabrics and colours used on chairs and cushions to create an updated look.”
Her overall design advice is: “Start with what you have, and plan from there!”
Don't miss Jennifer at the Designer Spotlight at Decorex: in Durban from March 21 to 24; Cape Town from May 1 to 5; and Joburg from August 7 to 11.