Versofy Value – interior designer Gareth from g-i-h studios

We asked our registered interior design expert, Gareth from g-i-h studios for some tips to get the most out of your home and space. February is a month when many people are moving into new spaces or redesigning their old ones.

Gareth on his “trestle bench”


When think interior design, what would be your best tip to improve a living area/space?

Homes are so personal and your best living area and mine are completely different so I think the best tip would to be to try and identify what you want out of the space. Do you want it to be relaxing? Do you want it to be inspiring? Do you want it to be a dedicated space where you can focus on playing Grand Theft Auto 19? All of those questions are going to have different answers and therefore different pathways you might follow in order to achieve them when it comes to interior design.

A generic answer could be to go for a statement piece, it could be art, it could be a couch, it could be the coffee table, it could be a life size replica of Gollum (this is a real thing I have actually seen with my own 2 eyes) but to add some interest this is a good start. Also, stick with ONE statement piece, you have to be a pretty talented individual to pull off more than one.

When thinking about paint, what needs to be kept in mind?

Feature walls are out, and please don’t try and bring them back, you are not Phillipe Starck. I’ve noticed a trend towards making the ceiling a feature so you should look at painting or wallpapering that. Express yourself on the ceiling, not the walls.

Check out plascon and Pantone for trending colours. Last year’s colour of the year for Pantone was Greenery 15-0343

Couches and chairs – Which one should you focus on in order to make a statement?

Again pick one or none to express yourself, too much stuff going on leads to a very busy environment . Also, try and identify the one you are going to most sit in and use, go for a hard wearing heavily patterned fabric if you want. Patterns don’t show stains as much as plain fabrics. Personally stay away from embossed velvets, unless you are after the late 90s boutique hotel vibe. Plain velvets and suedes are hot right now in the jewel tones.

Ceilings and walls, what about the floor?

This again can be your one thing, a lot of decorators are going for heavy patterned/textured floors the kind of Mediterranean patterns seem to be having a mainstream resurgence in tiles, but unless you are a talented individual or have a professional on board, do not attempt to mix pattern, colour and texture, it can go very wrong. Also a black sisal is starting to be brought in to this country which is flipping hot.

What would be your best advice to de-clutter a space?

Use walls, shelves, pegs, hooks, somehow by putting stuff on the wall it clears the floor and also adds interest to an otherwise blank space and the thing now looks like it has purpose. Also, Pintrest is going to be your best mate here.

Framed art – can this go wrong?

Keep it simple, you bought art to look at the art, not to look at the frame. White/black/natural timber, square. Whatever Country Road has basically. Unless of course you have a 16th century renaissance piece, then by all means find the most ornate thing you can.

When the sun starts to set and the lights come on, what needs to be remembered? 

In interior design, always, and I repeat, always go for warm or neutral beam lighting for a home, unless, of course you want it to look like a surgery. Brightening rooms is generally about ambient lighting rather than task, so I would go with overall lighting in the ceiling, stay away from pendants or go for lamps that have a translucent shade that diffuses light, rather than one that directs it.

We’ve covered colours and lights, what’s the last thing to consider?

Texture: the thing to remember about texture (and pattern for that matter) is that it makes things seem closer than they are, so if you want to make a big space feel more cosy, texture is a great way to do that because your eye should pick up on the detail. So if you want to seem to bring things closer and create a cosier environment use texture, if you want the feeling of space go with less texture items.

Check out some of Gareth’s projects below and past interviews with House & Garden and House & Leisure and a cool little video about a chair. Follow him on Instagram @gih_studio

Dropkick Murphy’s – Cape Town
Folding chair
Versofy Value – interior designer Gareth from g-i-h studios

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