Ioanna Lennox, the founder and principal designer of Ioanna Lennox Interiors, describes her style as a mix of modern glamour and contemporary luxe. “I’m a big believer in starting with the ‘envelope’ of a room – the walls, floors, lighting and artwork – and getting that right in terms of scale, style and colour palette,” Ioanna says. “If you nail that, then almost anything you put in the room will work and look great. Some houses with period architectural details obviously have more to work with than their modern counterparts”. Having said that, Ioanna believes the magic is in the details – “It’s all the small things we focus on and bring into the decorating mix that pull a space together and make it cohesive. So as ridiculous as it may sound, the colour and texture of the piping on a cushion makes a difference in the way space is perceived visually”, observes Ioanna.
“As designers, we are entrusted by our clients to tell THEIR story, not ours. So the main thing I focus on is to get to know my clients and their sensibilities, push them a little out of their comfort zone and deliver spaces that are not only aesthetically beautiful and functional but that pull at their heartstrings – a place that they can call home which enhances their lives emotionally. If we can do that, then my job is done.”
Where did you source your inspiration for the apartment?
We borrowed our cues from the incredible views of Sydney Harbour viewed from 36 stories above – specifically, the harbour on a cloudy day and we let that colour palette of moody greys and dusty blues spill into the décor. A more literal translation of this was taken in the master bedroom where the wispy wind-blown clouds found their way on the feature wall behind the bed in the Fornasetti Novolette wallpaper.
Art played a big part in the overall aesthetic; we helped our client source and curate a new collection of contemporary art that payed tribute to his new country, its burnt outback and idyllic coastline. Indeed, it was the Australian outback at dusk, as reflected in Dana Dion’s painting, that influenced the direction of the guest bedroom and bed linen. This became a soft muted palette of dusty pinks, greys and aubergine, with the walls wrapped in a seagrass wallpaper to feel like a soft cocoon.
Bedrooms are sanctuaries and places to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So they should feel serene, peaceful and restful. However, this does not mean they can’t be beautiful and exciting spaces. Here are Ioanna’s 3 top for creating a bedroom that works:
The bed is the main centrepiece in a bedroom so give it the importance it deserves by anchoring it with a beautiful bedhead and invest in some quality linen. Luxurious bed linen, quilted bed covers, mohair throws and decorative cushions are all the elements that make a bed inviting and feel like a 5-star hotel room. Dressing a bed is an art form but if you master this, you’ll never want to leave your bedroom!
You can opt to go without a bedhead if you make the wall behind the bed a feature – either with a wallpaper mural, wall panelling or a large-scale artwork that draws the eye above the bed. Use this feature to draw the colour palette for the soft furnishings from; this way everything ties in and ensures a consistent theme and design. Invest in some large European pillows to give the bed some height and provide comfort for those late-night reading sessions in bed.
Before you tackle your bedroom design, decide whether you want the room to have a light, ethereal quality or a moody, dark, sexy feel. Stick to the light or dark theme and resist the temptation of mixing the two if you want the room to feel cohesive and unified. For example, in the Quay West penthouse, we chose a light, ethereal feel which the wispy clouds in the wallpaper set the tone for; this was continued in the choice of the light silver sheer curtains, white bedspread and light-coloured carpet. The dark accents in the room such as the charcoal leatherette bedhead and bed linen add contrast, drama and enough masculinity without overpowering the theme of lightness and airiness.
Photography by Felix Forest