This is how I was introduced to Melanie Schwapp. Her first novel called Dew Angels was a page-turner for me. If you are looking for a Jamaican author to keep you up all night, this book will.
If we dig further, Melanie Schwapp is more than an author, she is an interior decorator and landscaper.
Since, the new focus on the blog and my quest to design my new abode, you will see more features and inspiration with this new theme.
Five Questions with Melanie Schwapp
Can you share any of your new projects with us?
I am now working on the renovation of an old home in Kingston. The project is just in the gestation stage (design and planning) so I can feel my creative juices staring to flow. This is my absolutely favourite stage of any project, when the visualization begins and the imagination is allowed to run wild before the reality of budget and physics begin to refine you.
What is the best design advice you have received?
The best design advice I’ve ever received is ‘less is more’. When I first began decorating I wanted to use all my ideas at one time, all in one room! The effect was sometimes too overpowering. I have gradually learned how beautiful a simple decor can be, with just one or two focal points in a room.
Is there a design rule you often break?
The design rule I often break is not to be limited by rules in the creative phase of the project. I always allow myself to run free with design ideas in the beginning jotting ideas, making sketches, and browsing through fabric, furniture and paint shops. I like to think of it as ‘design brainstorming’. I find that when you allow yourself to think ‘out of the box’ without limitations, the ideas flow, allowing you fodder from which to trim and then narrow down when it comes time to make the final choices.
For persons who are put off or shy away from interior design, how can they confront this battle?
For persons who are put off by design I would say ‘if you can dress yourself each morning, then you can design’. By that I mean, we ALL have taste, and in the same manner that we choose our clothing and shoes and take pleasure in wearing them, is the same manner that we can choose paint, furniture and fabrics that appeal to us. Design, like everything else, is just a matter of practice in learning about yourself, learning what stimulates you, then putting those stimulation together to work in a complimentary manner. The more you do it is the more you learn from your mistakes and get better each time.
What are your top three favourite elements to include in a room?
My friends laugh at me and call me the ‘cushion lady’. I LOVE pillows and cushions. I believe that if you can use 1/2 yd of fabric to make a cushion that will immediately change the tone of a room, why spend money on 20 yds for a sofa or comforter? I find that I use a lot of neutral base fabrics so that I can run wild with cushions that tie into artwork, rugs or wall colour.
- Another item I love in a room is artwork. It does not have to be expensive art, but it can be just one amazing piece that bursts with colour, or which speaks volumes about the character of the owner. i believe that if your house is your face, then your artwork is the voice that gives a home a personality.
- The third element I love is wall colour. I feel that paint immediately creates an ambience, whether calming and warm, or vibrant and powerful. I like to use fabrics and paints on opposite sides of the spectrum, so if the paint is very bright, I find that I tone down my fabrics with a bursts in one piece, like an ottoman or armchair. I also love the effectiveness of accent walls and subtle changes in wall colour on opposing walls.
Photo Courtesy of Melanie Schwapp.
Look out for more photos and inspirations.