The top 8 interior trends for 2014

The top 8 interior trends for 2014

Posted on 11/03/2014 by SACHA STREBE

By Michelle Broussard, Colour Confidence Interiors

Everyone loves a Trend Report.  The fact that someone else is willing to put their neck on the block and make a forecast is like slowing down for a car crash; nothing personal, it’s simply human nature.

So, let’s go for it.  I’m unashamedly going to name some of the big trends you’ll see for interiors over the next 12 months.  Agree with me, think I’m mad or learn something – that’s you’re call.

Tone on tone.

It’s softer, calmer, more sophisticated than the contrast feature wall of the past and will help you layer a design to build depth and substance.

Large format tiles.

They just seem to be getting larger all the time.  More monolithic and substantial (there’s that word again).  It’s bold and decisive, offering clean lines and a grand scale.

Indirect lighting.

Lighting just keeps getting smarter.  Indirect lighting is used extensively on commercial sites, but now we want it in our homes. With the growing use of LED’s and their flexibility of application, sophisticated lighting plans are more attainable to the residential market.  An indirect lighting source can be more subtle, less invasive and a lot calmer to live in.

Metal – use it – mix it up – silver/gold/bronze/pewter and COPPER!

As an ex-Silver Smith, this is one I am excited about. Metal is back and you can mix it up. No more worries about having to stick with all silver once you make a decision and then see a gold mirror you love. Go for it. Get out (Great) Grandmas old wedding silver or buy some at your local thrift shop to add that sense of tradition to your décor. While you’re at it – get out some old crystal pieces as well.

Beige meets grey/stone

Warm-greys, or grey-browns – whichever way you read it – they are big.  Gone are the cold, corporate greys and in are the more grown up, natural greys.

Traditional feature or accent pieces.

…such as an armchair chair, a buffet or sideboard – not ‘themed’ just a couple of pieces that say ‘timeless’ and ‘quality’.

Blue accents – from sultry dark navy blues right through to more lively green-blues.

Contrasts of warmer honey and toffee toned woods

In summary, I believe the new aesthetic is a lot more grown up, more sophisticated and dare I say it, sexy.  As a nation, we are well indoctrinated with Reality TV and renovating shows at every turn.  We are learning vicariously by others wins or losses, so we have an opinion about decorating and a belief that we can do it ourselves (or with the help of a trained professional at least).

People often say, `I know what I like’, or `I know what I don’t want’, but they just need help putting it all together.  Trust your instincts, have a go or at the very least pick up a paint brush, as it’s the cheapest and quickest decorating tool you can use.

About the author

Michelle Broussard is the principal designer and owner of Colour Confidence Interiors, established in 2003.  Michelle successfully completed her Bachelor Degree in Interior Design at RMIT and has received a 20 year Citation from the Design Institute of Australia (D.I.A.), as well as being a trained and registered Art Teacher.

The question of Colour

The question of Colour

Posted on 30/10/2014 by INFORMA EXHIBITIONS

By Michelle Broussard of Colour Confidence Interiors

What colour is ‘right’ – is there a ‘wrong’ colour?

Is it subjective or a science?

Can you be trained to have a better sense of colour or is it instinctive to some?

Is colour in the eye of the beholder?

If you answered ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each of these, you would be right!

More confused than ever? Read on…

From the moment ancient man depicted stories on cave walls and right up to today’s obsession with colour in every aspect of our lives, we have had to make choices about colour.

Even just choosing white for our walls is a minefield of thousands of whites across many brands and types of paint.

So how do you choose?

Well, if we are talking about wall paint, then let’s start with a bit of the science: what type of paint is suitable for the job? I am talking about the qualities of the liquid itself – do you need wash and wear for a busy family space, oil based for a bathroom or skirting boards, low sheen for a non-reflective surface to highlight artwork, or a high gloss to make a statement?

Then there is the system of application: is it a 2 or 3 coat, brush, spray or roller applied, or perhaps a specialty paint finish requiring different tools or a different surface preparation such as metallic, magnetic walls, blackboard paint, textural paints, and what is the existing surface, etc…?

For each of these types of paint, and more, the paint companies spend many man-hours developing formulas which will perform the best for their type. They actually have labs (and yes white lab coats) where testing and product development takes place by skilled and trained experts in their field.

But we just need to know which type suits the needs of our project.

OK – so maybe you’ve considered the application and decided which type of paint, maybe even thought about a colour – but you’re scared you could get it wrong and have to live with it for a very long time. Well take heart as painting is the cheapest form of decorating you can undertake and every hardware store sells paint. But if you have any doubts about your own ability to either select or do the manual labour of painting then now is the time to call an expert.

At Colour Confidence Interiors we are asked regularly to assist with home colour selections for one wall or a whole house – or many houses for the volume Builders.

We consider many aspects before making colour suggestions for you; such as whether a warm or cool colour is needed, if more or less colour would enhance the space, what is your existing style and furnishings, the surrounding materials, you’re future needs as well as what would suit the house itself.

To make all these decisions we rely on many years of Professional Training, experience on the job and a predisposition for colour and design – we trust our instinct, support it with training and develop it with years of experience.

Lastly, colour is different for everyone as it physically forms in the back of your eye, sends signals up to your head which are interpreted by your brain according to your individual socialisation, cultural background, mood, the surrounding light and time of day.

So how can a colour be wrong? Short answer, it can’t, but it may be not the best solution for the conditions, space and/or application. If you are confident or brave then go for it, but remember there are many experts qualified to help you and usually a painter or two with an opinion about colour selection.

Happy Painting.

Small House? Small Budget? Design tricks to make it BIG

Small House? Small Budget? Design tricks to make it BIG

Posted on 01/04/2014 by INFORMA EXHIBITIONS

By Michelle Broussard B.Ed. B.A. Int. Design, Colour Confidence Interiors

OK – so without a renovation or extension you are not ACTUALLY going to make your home larger, but there are a number of things you can do to increase the ‘apparent’ or perceived size of your home without pulling down walls – although don’t discount that as an option either.

What you can do is use clever planning with furniture and décor as well as tricks to fool the eye and the senses into thinking a space is larger.


The cheapest and easiest decorating tool is paint. Anyone can give it a go and access the materials easily. For a small space, paint with light colours as they reflect and so act to multiply light, whilst dark colours absorb light; therefore dark colours make rooms look smaller.

The lighter the shade is, the more open your space will appear, so stick to pale colours such as blues, greys, greens, yellows, or creams.
Avoid contrast in colour of walls and furniture, or even drapes and cabinetry, to help a space feel larger.


De-clutter – nothing fills up a space quicker than clutter – it seems to get a life of its own and multiply! The secret to a minimalist style is storage, so consider furniture as storage units and built-in storage cabinetry when planning your space.

Continuing the timber flooring into the adjacent area made the hallway seem wider and the direction of the planks emphasis the length of the space.

Select areas for displaying items – and then don’t overcrowd them. Keep to a rule of ‘three’ when arranging a display and anything else goes into storage until you want to change the décor. A vignette of three related items or even one large statement piece will take up less space than displaying your whole collection all at once.

Mirrors generally are another way of increasing the ‘visual’ space of a room by reflecting more light and giving a false sense of distance.


Use the same floor tile from the main living areas to the wet areas – don’t chop and change from room to room – a more consistent visual surface will read as a larger area.

Consider the direction of timber flooring – across the room will draw your eye from side to side so the room will appear wider and running the boards down the length of the room will make it appear longer.


Try a different arrangement for your furniture. Creating a better ‘flow’ in a room can help with the apparent size by using the space smarter.
See-through furniture – this follows the rule of ‘the more floor you can see then the larger a room will seem’.

Use a glass top dining table in a small apartment or acrylic side or coffee tables so you have the practical use without the intrusion into the room visually.

Furniture on legs – same rule as above. For example; a solid sofa with a skirt will take up more floor space and so look larger and be more intrusive in the room.

Use multipurpose pieces – storage furniture, such as a coffee table, ottoman or bed with drawers under. Furniture that serves more than one function is a great way to streamline a room. An ottoman with built-in storage lets you store away blankets and books, and also makes a compact foot rest, seat or coffee table.


Don’t just rely on overhead fixtures or down-lights which tend to pool or direct light in one spot – you don’t really need spots of light dotted around the floor. An indirect light source can help to ‘blur’ the edges of a room.

Try to have several lighting elements in every room, using a table lamp, floor lamp, ceiling pendant as well as the obligatory down-lights (make them dimmable), so your eye is drawn around the room to give the illusion of more space.

Use warm colour globes rather than cool light – some studies show them to increase the feeling of kindness amongst the inhabitants and we could all use a bit more of that.


This relates to the size of furniture or items relative to the size of the room. Some homes will be displayed for sale with Double beds instead of Queen sized to make a bedroom appear larger.

When purchasing new items for your home, make sure you ‘ve measured the room, considered the walk through and/or access required for movement around it as well as the visual lines of sight – don’t create a visual or physical block in a room as it will overwhelm the space and make the room seem smaller.

This can also be true when comparing two items with a similar footprint or ‘floor space’ size but they can be visually or aesthetically more dominant in a room and so the room can seem smaller. Streamlined styles are less ‘busy’ and so create a greater sense of space.


Use the walls – vertical space is often under-utilized. Floating shelves can be used for lightweight display items. An organised vertical racking system can use up every square inch efficiently within a wardrobe or cupboard.

Wall hung cabinetry – use the in-wall space itself to house over-head mirrored shaving cabinets in bathrooms.


If you don’t have a view then increase your sightlines with a landscape picture – this gives your eye a ‘view’ to see further than the four walls allow.

Open drapes or blinds wide to access the outside views; make sure drapes can go past the window to get the maximum natural light into a room.


Sometimes a non-load bearing internal wall can be removed relatively easily to make two small rooms into one; to make a larger and more inviting space. This is the concept behind ‘open-plan’ living/dining rooms. It works especially well when combing a bathroom and laundry.

If you can’t remove a whole wall then consider creating a window opening in a wall through to another room – for example; if you can open up the view from the Kitchen to the Family Room then you will expand sightlines or viewing distances.
These so called tricks and many more are considerations a Professional Interior Designer will make when planning your home or just a room.

The real trick is just that – PLANNING!

Don’t make knee-jerk purchases because there is a sale or you loved them in the store, as they may not fit when you get them home. If you are not sure then contact your Designer and they will advise you, they might even save you money in the long run.

For more information on Michelle Broussard and Colour Confidence Interiors, visit

About the author

Michelle Broussard is the principal designer and owner of Colour Confidence Interiors, established in 2003.  Michelle successfully completed her Bachelor Degree in Interior Design at RMIT and has received a 20 year Citation from the Design Institute of Australia (D.I.A.), as well as being a trained and registered Art Teacher with a Bachelor of Education.

Why I Design Bespoke Furniture


Every house is unique. In fact, the differences are often what make a home feel like a home. As an interior designer, giving my clients something bespoke that can create a homely feeling is important to me - especially when it comes to one of a kind pieces of furniture.

First and foremost I am an interior designer, but I’m also an artist! I’ve dabbled in jewellery making, painting and evening woodwork. So when it came to creating custom furniture, it was a natural extension to my work and my hobbies.

When creating custom furniture I always take into account the space I’m working in as well as my clients’ taste. Add to that my personal artistic flair and the result is a bespoke, custom-made piece of furniture that my clients will be able to treasure forever.

If you’re interested in my design process or commissioning a piece for your own home, leave a comment below or send me an email!



Announcing the Business of Design Melbourne chapter, now open for business!

I love networking with my peers, sharing knowledge and supporting the interior design industry I’ve worked in for over 20 years.

That’s why, when the Business of Design (BOD) company approached me about becoming the advocate for their Melbourne chapter, I jumped on the opportunity.

If you’re not familiar with BOD, it’s essentially a support group for designers that helps facilitate group sharing of information and knowledge.

There’s absolutely no cost to attend the Melbourne meetings, it’s simply about getting involved in your industry and spreading the design-love. I’ve also set up an exclusive Facebook group to make networking easier.

If you’d like to join, leave a comment below or send me an email so I can send you an invitation.