Colour Coding

Colour Coding

Colour Coding


Issue 8.2/June 2012 - Words Tatyana Leonov


Interplay between colours, textures and patterns, combined with innovative and unique furnishings, radically transforms this interior space.

Inspiration can come from many sources: a colour, a smell, an artwork, perhaps a fabulous sculpture. Brisbane-based John Croft Design has been designing and decorating interior and exterior spaces since 1981. This design and decorating company is renowned for its use of colour and innovative style and focuses on creating tailor-made solutions motivated by inspiration and creative drive.

An interior designer needs to be at one with his piece of work, striving to capture his own vision as well as that of his clients. For this project, interior designer Lloyd Hodgkinson created a unique and inspirational space through the use of quirky furnishings and a boost of colour.

The clients were looking to revamp the interior space of their new riverside city apartment. They sold their previous home, an old Queenslander in New Farm, along with all the traditional furniture they knew would not suit their new contemporary space. The clients sought a modernised look, so they recarpeted and repainted the new dwelling and purchased a few key furniture pieces.

According to the client, they then got stuck and didn’t know how to complete the look they were after. They came across John Croft Design’s website and, after reading the company has been in business for 30 years, the clients knew they had come to the right place: a company that would deliver an interior design and decoration solution, however small or large the project was, and have the ability to supply all of the clients’ decorating needs.

“I worked on different areas throughout the home, mainly focusing on the master bedroom, living and dining areas,” Lloyd explains. He also needed to work with the clients’ new purchases, so he had to create a furnishing scheme that would harmonise and seamlessly unite the interior spaces. A living room sofa, a wonderful piece of Aboriginal artwork that Lloyd hung above the sofa and the master bedroom bedside tables and lamps were the pre-existing items he incorporated into his design.

The living room colour scheme was inspired chiefly by the large original indigenous painting by Minnie Pwerle, a talented Aboriginal artist whose deep connection to the land and the food it provides is evident in her artistic works. The striking artwork has been placed strategically above the neutral-coloured sofa for a contrasting and arresting effect. The colours used in the painting are explored through a range of beautiful textures and stunning design elements. “The client has a great eye for art — it’s really beautiful and unusual — so I had a fantastic canvas to work with,” Lloyd explains.

Two armchairs that were upholstered in a check fabric were chosen by Lloyd for their colour amalgamation; the bright and dark blues, greys and lime green work flawlessly together and complement the stunning indigenous art piece. “These chairs are some of my favourite pieces,” Lloyd says. “They stand out and the black cushions that are walled with the same fabric as the armchairs give a dramatic lift.” Complementing the chairs, the ottoman features a different interaction of a similar colour palette but in a linear style, playing on various patterns to further engage the tone of the eclectic space.

The wall parallel to the Minnie Pwerle painting features five striking artworks positioned above the television. These hand-embellished textile artworks from Designer Boys each feature a strikingly different pattern, further enhancing the interplay between textures, patterns and colours within the interior space, while staying true to the theme of working with the one simple and fresh colour palette.

A second set of artworks from Designer Boys is featured above the bedhead in the master bedroom. A feeling of balance and harmony is captured in the simplicity of the mainly white colour in the room, and the mother-of-pearl Designer Boys artworks further enhance that minimalism with their muted yet shiny colouring. Each artwork features a different key shape within the same design structure, again highlighting the difference in the comparable. The additions of these artworks, a new bedhead and bedding have given the bedroom space an entirely new look and created a space that evokes a sense of relaxation and recuperation.

Another space regenerated through the clever placement of furnishings is the study nook offset in the thoroughfare. Originally, this area was empty and lacking in furniture or decorative items, but with the placement of a few key objects, including a dark timber cabinet and a silver-leaf mirror sourced from Melbourne, Lloyd was able to create a fresh, fun and inspirational space.

The combination of varying colours, textures and patterns has worked fabulously well in the interior redesign of this home. The monochromatic colour scheme injected with splashes of colour captures that relationship between balance and eccentricity, resulting in a bold yet emotive space that exudes both elegance and a contemporary style that the clients are now “over the moon with”.

A feeling of balance and harmony is captured in the simplicity of the mainly white colouring in the room, and the mother-of-pearl Designer Boys artworks further enhance that minimalism with their muted yet shiny colouring.


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The living room colour scheme was chiefly inspired by the large indigenous painting by Minnie Pwerle.

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Two armchairs that were upholstered in a check fabric were chosen by Lloyd for their colour combination.

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The placement of a few key objects brings new life into the study nook, which is offset in the thoroughfare.

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A feeling of balance and harmony is captured in the simplicity of the mainly white colouring in the bedroom.

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Trendy furnishing items were chosen to inject a splash of eccentricity.

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Project particulars

This project was designed by


63 Amelia Street, Fortitude Valley Qld 4006

Tel 07 3257 0633   




Photography Clive Buxton



Occasional chairs: Fully upholstered armless chairs in natural, charcoal, soft aqua and olive velour

Side tables: Square with polished stainless-steel cross legs; tops in ash veneer and stained in Mule

Lamp bases and shades: Lamp bases in brushed nickel and dark timber with black lampshades with silver lining

Scatter cushions for sofa: Cushions in charcoal velour fabric with natural, charcoal, soft aqua and olive velour

Scatter cushion for armchair: Natural fabric with large yellow, teal, taupe and charcoal pattern

Ottoman: Custom-made fully upholstered ottoman with aluminium legs upholstered in olive, taupe and charcoal striped fabric

Rug: Hand-tufted New Zealand wool and art silk rug in charcoal and taupe with fine stripe detail

Artwork: Set of five natural-coloured hand-embellished textile artworks with hand-stitched designs in carved beads, luminous shells and polished seeds with black frames 

Accessories on side tables: Set of four white bone coasters, small chartreuse ceramic box with metallic detail, set of three crystal and polished chrome pineapples

Accessories on entertainment unit: Set of three hand-blown glass marble neck vases in orange


Buffet: Ash veneer buffet stained in Mule with matt stainless-steel handles

Mirror: Round circular mirror with silver-leaf pie-crust frame

Accessories on buffet: White cymbidium orchid in silver planter with handles and beaten detail, set of two lacquered boxes in Tiffany blue and lime green, French cloisonné tea jar in various colours


Bedhead: Custom-made queen-sized bedhead upholstered in natural tweed fabric

Bedding: King-sized quilt cover with two co-ordinating pillowcases and European pillows in natural fabric with embroidered detail and charcoal piping; two black with white embroidered detail cushions; one cushion in natural with black embroidered detail and beading

Art: Set of three hand-embellished textile artworks in mother-of-pearl with silver frames

Accessories on bedside tables: Set of two French cloisonné round, flat jars in black-and-white with multi-coloured polka-dot detail

Warm Up in Style

Warm Up in Style

Move With The Times

Move With The Times