By Alex Holloway and Na Li
We are living in an era that celebrates individuality and self-expression. More and more people are embracing the home as a place where they can push boundaries and challenge the traditional rules of interior design.
The open-plan living space in this six-bedroom $47.8mn home in Malibu is a great example of this. Backlit onyx panels have been used and there is a living wall of greenery (on the far wall in the photograph below) that wouldn’t seem out of place in a high-end hotel.
Taking inspiration from this space, here we suggest some other ways to reimagine your home — we hope it will encourage you to express your creativity and think more radically about how you want to live.
Look outside the home
One way to elevate your space is to incorporate design elements that are usually found in hospitality settings. Douglas fir floorboards can create a gallery-esque feeling at home, for example, and back painted glass can be used to make striking feature walls or sleek polished countertops. Preedy Glass stocks individually made tinted mirrors and back-painted glass, which emulate the modern designs of some high-end hotels and restaurants.
Tap into the avant-garde
Break away from convention by opting for an avant-garde sculpture, a vibrant tapestry or a unique mixed-media piece — left unframed perhaps to create an edgy, unfinished look. Prince and Rebel has a really eclectic selection of unusual artworks and prints that we often return to.
Mix it up
Don't be constrained by the traditional functions of rooms. Instead, try to consider unconventional arrangements that might better suit your lifestyle and preferences. We recently placed this monolithic freestanding bathtub from Lefroy Brooks in the living room of a small apartment that we were renovating, creating a fun talking point. Alternatively, a guest bedroom can be transformed into a library, reading room or small workout room.
Use industrial materials
Sleek metallic accents, glossy surfaces and clean lines can help create a futuristic feel in a space. Industrial materials such as steel, chrome, plastic and resin create a striking contrast when paired with timber, ceramics and marble.
We always find ourselves drawn to stainless steel surfaces, which work well with a punchy colour scheme. We recommend working with a specialist fabricator, such as DGS in London, which can help you to create incredible bespoke stainless kitchens and worktops.
Revamp period features
Our tips so far have focused on sleek, modern homes but it is also possible to adopt a radical approach with period properties. By painting traditional features, such as moulding, unusual colours or covering them in silver foil, you can preserve their beauty and charm while still creating surprising focal points. This juxtaposition of old and new will give your home a unique character that blends the past with the future.
You can also create a dynamic raw polished Venetian plaster look for a fraction of the price of the real thing by mixing a standard multi-finish plaster with bold colours and sealing it with a clear or invisible resin coat. We recommend Protect IT 100.
Photography: Charlie Forgham-Bailey; Christie’s International Real Estate; Edmund Dabney