Gorgeous Home Guide: Reinvent your space with these expert tips

Thomas Griem is director of TG-Studio, a design firm that focuses on interiors. He studied architecture in Berlin and London and has been involved in designing interiors throughout his career, undertaking projects involving shops, restaurants and hotels as well as residential properties. We asked Thomas to give us the inside track on space planning and interior design by showing us his own home. ‘Foremost I design spaces that work in layout and function,’ he says. ‘Everything needs to have a space, so our home is uncluttered and brings a sense of order and calm into our lives.’ ACHICA Living likes the sounds of this, and chats to Thomas to find out more…

What should we consider when we’re planning a dining area?

‘We spend most of our active time in the kitchen and the dining area. A dining room needs to be comfortable and at the same time practical so everyday use is easy. Selecting timeless furniture transforms this space to an eclectic dinner venue when required.’

What do we need to think about when we’re planning the scheme for a child’s bedroom?

‘I always try to involve my clients and if possible their kids. Even though a chocolate ice cream wallpaper might not end up on the walls, it will inspire the design and create pride in the child in the finished design and products in their room.’

Bathrooms – especially compact spaces – can end up looking clinical. How do you add decorative detail?

‘I am passionate about bathrooms! A bathroom is compact and also a functional space – like a tool it needs to work well in its proportion and equipment. There needs to be useful storage, good lighting and finishes that don’t age with frequent use. One of my trademarks is using classic marbles as well as adding softness with wood and making decorative opportunities by creating niches for displaying items.’

How do we use darker tones to create a sophisticated bedroom without making it look smaller?

‘Dark rooms are moody and atmospheric, like a night club but with more elegance and detail. The lighting is very important. Pools of light in the room and strong lighting in the wardrobe should cater for most uses.’

Any tips on using colour and pattern in a girl’s room in a way that looks stylish rather than overwhelming?

‘The solution is less is more! I always keep the base – the walls – very light or even white and add layers of pinks and purples. These selected areas of colour need to be small in size, but they can be as brave as required.’

What are the most important things to think about when planning a living room?

‘It should be a comfortable room where everyone can rest and feel at ease. For me this is also the space where colours and fabrics are used to express the occupants most.’ [See top photo]

Through galley kitchens can be tricky. What are the most important things to bear in mind?

‘A galley kitchen is a working kitchen with no other uses such as sitting and eating, so a minimal look with a lot of work space works best. In this instance I used very deep work tops to allow small appliances to be pushed to the back and be on display.’

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Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor

View all posts by Sarah Warwick, Guest Editor