This journal post celebrates two of our favourite things: a love of colour - in the shape of our glorious Shanghai Blossom rug design - and connecting with creative people who share our passion.
We are delighted to introduce inspirational content creator Amara, self-confessed chronic colour enthusiast and, in her own words, a ‘nocturnal rental hacker’. Amara is the face behind Instagram’s @thepajaamahub, where she shares inspirational interior design ideas for those renting a property (although just as relevant to homeowners too). Tips include how to style and personalise a space with clever design hacks, creative ideas, and a touch of glamour.
What could be better for anyone renting than an easy-to-move statement rug? We asked Amara how she would style Shanghai Blossom, our glamorous, multi-colour design with bold, angular herringbone stripes, which are softened with gorgeous floral details, including chrysanthemum, lotus flowers and peony roses.
Vibrant and versatile, with a nod to Art Deco style, Shanghai Blossom brings sophistication and elegance to a room, and always makes us smile. She attracts attention, yet never overwhelms, and is available in two rug sizes, a runner, tufted or hand-knotted in wool and silk, and, of course, custom design.
We share the story below about why Amara started her Instagram account, as well as how Shanghai Blossom fits into her wonderfully vibrant home. We hope they both inspire you!
Why did you start your Instagram account?
I am forever grateful to my family for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and share my work on Instagram. Renting has always suited our lifestyle - the inherited magnolia walls not so much.
Having experienced the positive sense of ‘belonging’ in temporary homes, I wanted to encourage renters to experiment with damage-free decorating, so @thepajaamahub was born. As a person who loves life in technicolour, I always try to put my own stamp on rental accommodations by experimenting with unusual hacks, upcycling ideas and DIY projects, to create a space that reflects me as a person and us as a family.
The ideas I have used in my home have been quite well received and feature regularly in interior blogs, podcasts, books and magazines. It fills my heart with great joy when I am told that @thepajaamahub has become a go-to place on Instagram for interior design tips for renters.
Have you always loved colour?
I would say my penchant for colour has always been there, but the way I use it in my spaces now has become bolder and more daring.
Do you have a favourite colour you always return to?
A rich, deep yellow. I call it my power colour and love the dose of drama it brings into a space.
Do you have any favourite colour combinations?
That is difficult! They change according to my mood, but pink and yellow always makes me swoon; it’s romantic, exciting and oh so uplifting.
Have you always had a passion for interior design?
I think this passion runs in my blood because I always saw my mother investing her time and money into making our family home a place which was not only aesthetically pleasing, but also a functional family space where each child was given freedom to explore their creative interests.
My husband is a pilot and away a lot, so I’ve had lots of time to myself to experiment with different ideas. I’ve also had the chance to travel around the world, discovering different decor designs and helping me find my core style. Our house is a fusion of our personalities, beliefs and travels woven into one.
What do you love about Shanghai Blossom?
I have always loved jewel colours, edgy patterns and pieces that tell a story, and this hand-made rug has it all. The workmanship tastefully honours the art of hand-tufted rugs, making it a perfect heirloom piece in my eyes.
As a renter, I rely quite heavily on statement pieces and use them as a styling pillar to instantly lift the mood of a beige space. This rug helped me achieve that effortlessly.
Do you feel Shanghai Blossom could inspire lots of different interior looks?
She is one of those pieces that keeps on giving as our interior style evolves, because she can be styled and layered in a number of ways, each time rewarding us with a sophisticated space. I can see myself creating some exotic schemes around her for years to come.
How did you style her?
This room has been lacking a rug for quite some time. I just couldn’t find the right piece to tie in all the colours dotted around the space. We curl up every night here to watch a movie, so it was important to keep this space relaxing and well balanced.
I paired Shanghai Blossom with our soft teal velvet sofa to keep that sophisticated feel of the space. The waterfall edges of the coffee table soften the angular herringbone design, while the brass capped legs complement the gold accents in the rug. The colours of the rug are also echoed in the prints on my gallery wall, so the whole space looks cohesive.
You use many different colours and shapes beautifully, is there any secret to how you make things work together?
That is so kind of you to say. The trick is simple. Create links between the shapes and colours around the room by repeating and layering. It is a technique that I use time and again around my house for foolproof styling.
Have you ever had a decorating disaster?
I regret the time I decided to customise a vintage poster with wall paints. I still don’t know what I was thinking. When I saw the price of those posters on eBay, it was truly a facepalm moment!
If you could only do one thing, what is the quickest update for a room?
I would go dramatic on the wall with an opulent wallpaper, because walls don’t need to be boring. The maximalist in me would definitely be pleased with it.
Do you have a brilliant hack you could share?
I have used more than 12 renter-friendly hacks in my home to add colour around the house.
Think outside the box and start by experimenting with one corner of the room, and build your confidence from there to bring a space to life. And don’t underestimate the power of hanging a tapestry for instant wow factor.