How Smart Homes are Impacting the Interior Design Industry
Jan10

How Smart Homes are Impacting the Interior Design Industry

Photo by Expect Best from Pexels Last year I talked about smart technology in our homes that can better our lives but this year I want to delve a bit deeper into the topic. The interior design industry is constantly changing but some core principles are becoming an essential part such as sustainability and inclusivity. A modern home should be aesthetically pleasing, create a sense of relaxation and have a balanced appearance that’s easy on the eye. In 1905, the world’s first interior designer, Elsie de Wolfe, aimed at an uncluttered antidote to the overbearing Victorian homes. Nowadays, smart technology has taken her ideals one stage further by incorporating intelligent devices that save not only the energy from your electricity supply but your own energy too! In this article, I will take a look at the main aspects of “a smart home” and why it is important to incorporate them into your own property. Intelligent Lighting One of the most important aspects of high-quality interior design is lighting. It’s used to add atmosphere, illuminate workspaces and increase the beauty of furniture, walls and floors. LED light bulbs have become indispensable for all types of interiors. They don’t emit harmful ultra-violet rays, they last for years and operate with very little energy. I’ve always found them incredibly versatile as they can drift through a range of colours and intensities. By adding smart technology and you can save energy by taking full control through your smartphone. One exciting development is motion sensors. In hallways, bathrooms and staircases, your presence is detected as you walk through and the lights automatically switch on, then they turn themselves off when you’ve left the vicinity. Clever Window Dressing Photo by Max Vakhtbovych from Pexels Natural lighting affects interior design through illumination and by drawing attention to windows. No matter what size the panes of glass are, it’s how they are framed that adds to the image of a room. Sleek, sophisticated blinds or elegant swags harmonise with the general decor while providing natural light to enhance colour schemes and textures. But window dressing has just got even Smarter. Window blinds and curtains can incorporate smart features such as remote control via your smartphone or voice control through a home automation system. It means you needn’t ever stir from your comfy armchair to adjust them. They can even be pre-programmed to open at set times to wake you up in the morning. They can also automatically close at night to fool would-be burglars into thinking you’re still at home. Capable Kitchens The kitchen is often a challenge to interior designers. It has to look amazing, yet...

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7 Ways to Make Your Home More Handicap Accessible
Jan10

7 Ways to Make Your Home More Handicap Accessible

With the passing of the years, more and more people realise the importance of inclusivity and the thinking of others. In the previous article, we talked about the environment and how you can embrace an eco-conscious and sustainable design. Another important way of working towards a better world is creating a space that is comfortable for disabled people and the elderly. So, if you just bought a home you’re planning on living in for your retirement, it’s smart to consider a few changes that will make it more accessible for you in the future. And if you’re looking to renovate your property with the goal to sell it, then these disabled-friendly changes will definitely add value to your home, making it attractive to people that have difficulties finding the right house for them. Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels Sturdy Grab Rails Installing simple handrails in strategic places can help everyone in your family. The bathroom in particular can be hazardous if you lose your balance. There are tragic cases where fit and healthy young people have lost their lives through head injuries sustained while slipping on soapy floors. Consider your bathroom design and place grab rails where they are easy to reach for youngsters as well as yourself. Grab rails can also be placed along hallways and stairs. Make them appear part of the overall design with bold wall colours above and below and they won’t look like disability aids. Ramps for Stairs My home is a typical Australian house with a few steps leading up to the front door. Some homes with a split-level design even have two or three stairs on the inside to connect between different rooms. With impaired mobility, it might seem impossible to negotiate those steps using a wheelchair. You could choose a permanent solution involving expensive architectural work to install slopes. But a quick and easy fix is to invest in a sturdy stair ramp. Many designs fold for easy storage and manoeuvrability. They are lightweight to move from one room to another and won’t spoil the architecture of your home. Elevators and Stairlifts Photo by cottonbro from Pexels Speaking of stairs, they can be hard to climb if you’re experiencing mobility problems with your knees. But there are plenty of options to solve the problem. A stairlift is a popular choice. It can be installed quickly and allows you to sit comfortably while being transported up or down the staircase. It can even travel around corners if your staircase has a sharp mid-point turn. An alternative is a small lift or elevator. It can be fitted into a hallway or a...

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Understanding the 5 Principles of Sustainable Interior Design
Nov30

Understanding the 5 Principles of Sustainable Interior Design

Due in large part to the ongoing effects of climate change, consumers are now becoming more aware of environmentally friendly concepts than ever before. In fact, recent research has shown that nearly 50 per cent now feel that sustainability is key in regard to how products are manufactured and shipped to consumers. This very same observation is just as relevant to homes and businesses. Let’s, therefore, take a look at the five core principles associated with sustainable interior design. All About Energy Efficiency Smart home energy systems are now taking centre stage due to their availability as well as their cost-effective nature. When we recall that greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise, it only stands to reason that novel solutions should be made available. Not only do these come in the form of modern materials, but the design approaches themselves have begun to incorporate several unique elements including: High-quality insulation (both cavity wall and loft)Drapes and curtains provide a thermal barrier from exterior temperatures.Double- and triple-glazed windows Even carpets can reduce heat loss by as much as ten per cent. We can therefore begin to see why homes of the future will consume much less electricity when compared to their traditional (and often outdated) counterparts. Low Carbon Footprint Most of us are already aware of smart home lighting systems, wireless controls, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Sometimes referred to as “green gadgets”, the primary intention is to reduce the amount of energy needed to provide a comfortable environment. Examples include LED lighting fixtures and ground-source heat pumps. Other innovative approaches such as using colours that maximise the amount of ambient light and employing mirrors in strategic locations will likewise limit energy consumption. However, this is only the beginning. Renewable sources of energy such as highly efficient solar panels can provide a viable means to generate electricity while dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of a home, an office, or even an entire building. Wind and geothermal power are likewise enjoying a greater presence in many regions of the world. Another way to mitigate the environmental impact of a structure is through the use of sustainable building materials such as bamboo and hemp. There are also certain types of wood that have become known for their sustainable nature. These are often provided with an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label within the Australian marketplace. Limiting Waste Production One of the challenges associated with interior design involves limiting the amount of waste that is produced during a project. In this respect, two primary strategies are commonly employed: Re-designing and repurposing old materials (such as through the use of reclaimed wood when...

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The New Smart Home in 2021
Mar17

The New Smart Home in 2021

Embrace the future with these technological trends to make your home smarter and more convenient! The posibilities are endless.

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Importance of Maintaining Your Pipes Regularly
Mar08

Importance of Maintaining Your Pipes Regularly

In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, it sometimes takes effort to find the time to stay on top of the plumbing, but this should not be the case. A piping system is an essential part of anyone’s home as they provide convenient ways to transport water in and out of your home. It is the exact reason why even a problem is not a matter of emergency it should not, in any way, be left ignored. A toilet that is not flushing, a sink that is not draining, or a shower floor that is overflowing is no fun at all. It may appear easy to remedy but can quickly turn into a significant problem. Why a Healthy Pipe Matters Either studies or personal experience can validate that a well-maintained pipe lasts long, even past its expected lifespan without a hitch at all. In plain language, the plumbing system’s longevity comes down to how it is used and maintained. There are several reasons why it is essential to upkeep the plumbing, read some below. To Keep your Pipes in Top Condition Watching what you put down the drains has always been a good starting point towards a healthy pipe. When you put this into practice, you can tremendously save yourself from dealing with clogs. Clogs can overwhelm your drainpipes and consequently ruptures. As a rule of thumb, never let anything that does not breakdown or melt down the drain. Food waste that has grease, oil and fats, eggshells, coffee grounds, even hair are just a few items that are terrible on your drainpipe. To Save Time and Money A plumbing repair is no laughing matter, both in your pocket and your time. If you ever have a plumber at home, you know that they will never go to your house free of charge, unless the plumber is your friend and is giving you a pro bono service. Everything comes with a price, and unfortunately, the bigger the problem, the more you need to spend. If your pipeline is excellently working, you will never have to pay a plumber for a service or have your water service disconnected at all. Avoid Inconvenience Did you ever have to cut short on your shower, or plunge your toilet because the water is taking forever to drain? What a bummer! I am sure you can imagine how disappointing it is to deal with such a nuisance. If you want to get away with this, spare no effort to watch what you put down your drain. Placing a drain guard in your sink and shower drain will pretty much keep you from...

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