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The Inside Story

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Knowing what type of ambience you’d like to cultivate in your home is one thing, but understanding how to achieve it can be slightly more difficult. Lara Bailey speaks with interior design expert Adri-Ann Brown for her advice on creating a home that is uniquely you.

Agreat way to start conceptualising your home’s interior is to think about what inspires you. If you’re drawn to a particular colour, culture, or period in time, this can guide your decisions and help you create a home that reflects who you are. Fans of red tones can translate their love into a berry-hued artwork or sofa; Francophiles will no doubt relish the chance to incorporate chaise longues and provincial cabinetry into their home, and aficionados of the 1960s are spoilt for choice when it comes to retro homewares.

Creating a cohesive, beautiful space involves much more than simply placing a few items haphazardly around a room, however. A versatile colour palette, striking investment pieces, and a distinct rug or wall hanging need to unite

and harmonise in order for a space to flow and make sense.

Adri-Ann Brown is the owner of Blu Peter, a sumptuous lifestyle concept store located in North Fremantle. An interior design consultant, Brown immigrated to Australia from South Africa, and is inspired by her original home, as well as destinations such as Holland, Mexico and Japan, where she sources some of Blu Peter’s products. Favouring a nature-inspired aesthetic sensibility that reflects the Johannesburg landscape she grew up with, Brown has forged a successful business in Western Australia, helping clients to determine which products, textures and colours will best suit their home.

Here, she offers Western Australia Home Design + Living readers tips for getting their all- important interior de?cor just right.


First things first: you need a clear idea of how your room will look before you start accessorising. Until you’ve settled on the colour of your walls and carpet, it will be difficult to envisage how your room will come together.

Operating from a neutral base is ideal for achieving your ideal look, no matter what that might be, explains Brown.

“We find that utilising tones of whites, taupes and black as a base palette is a fundamental key to the successful design and genesis of any room,” she says.

“We then layer textures and colours with accessories, soft furnishings, and art.

“People have been conditioned to believe they need a lot of colour in their interiors in order to bring life to a room. In actuality, it is most often the textural elements that provide the contrast needed to tie the elements of design together and bring a room to life. We love colour but use it to enhance rather than overwhelm the design of a room.”


Importantly, you can achieve a look that reflects your tastes and loves without incorporating splashes of crazy colour or plastering an entire wall with photos. That said, Blu Peter emboldens clients to add a personal flourish to their home, in order to avoid it looking impersonal or bland.

“The style our customers seek to achieve in their homes is often as varied and individual as their lifestyles and personalities; however, the common denominator aesthetically speaking is centred on creating an interior that is truly unique.

“Our clients seek us out as an antithesis to the pedestrian, cookie-cutter furniture and designs readily available on the market. Our clients are people who like to think outside the square and have their interiors reflect their story; their journey.

“They want their homes to be a reflection of their soul and their life, not a mirror image of a generic homewares catalogue.”


While Blu Peter’s customers may strive for a unique look, there are certain things that appeal broadly to Western Australian homeowners and prove to be popular choices.

“Our products are inspired by global travels and definitely lean towards an earthy, organic style that resonates well with Perth clients due to the coastal location and laid-back lifestyle,” Brown explains.

This tendency towards natural items, reworked and reimagined in a contemporary way, is really having a moment.

“We have seen a distinct trend towards natural materials manipulated and reinvented,” says Brown.

“Our egg-shaped coffee table with lights, crafted from strips of bamboo [and] set in resin is a perfect example of this.”

If you’re unsure about what style or statement piece will work in your home, it pays to approach the topic with an open mind and explore the possibilities, even if the thought is an intimidating one.

“[Some of] our WA clients tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to their home de?cor. We like to encourage our clients to be brave and think outside of the square with statement pieces of furniture or accessories.

“We source many of our items globally and commission bespoke works with local artisans for that unique, one-of-a-kind piece.”


Chances are you may not know art well, but you know what you like. Whether this is the case – or whether you simply don’t know where to start – the team at Blu Peter can demystify and take the pressure out of art selection, making the process an enjoyable one.

“Choosing art can be a daunting prospect for those not familiar with the art market,” says Brown.

“Blu Peter offers a full art consultancy and will customise a strategy with clients to suit both their investment and/or aesthetic goals.

“We currently have a selection of stunning African photography, sculptural artefacts and also original paintings by renowned artist Madeleine Casey that can viewed in our showroom.”

For expert assistance and ultimate peace of mind, Blu Peter offers client consultations with a design team to help customers work out what will be best for their home.

“A fresh eye can transform a room in a matter of minutes,” says Brown.

“Scatter cushions can also instantly update a tired interior. Check out our exclusive hand- painted linen cushions by Keen on Kiwi [for example].”

Expert advice and an experienced eye can be invaluable, whether you’re a seasoned decorator or new to the idea. Work closely with a team that understands what you want to achieve and the aesthetic you favour, and soon your home will be your haven.

To help get you started, here are Brown’s parting tips on what all savvy homeowners should consider investment pieces:

“Three decorative items we would suggest to splurge on would be a statement floor light or chandelier, a piece of original art that reflects the owner’s personality, and a fabulous bespoke rug.”


Read 480046 times Last modified on Wednesday, 03 June 2015 03:22