Spring Make-Over
Sep19

Spring Make-Over

Spring is in the air! Time to do some spring cleaning and get ready for the new season. Whether you are looking to do slight enhancement or major overhaul here are some pointers to get you started. First identify what it is you aim to do, then get an inspiration notebook to keep all your ideas in one place. I suggest the following pointers to assist you in getting ready for spring new look 2014:  Cut-out or make a copy of the inspiration room picture you so desire. Next, get yourself a notebook to help you get organized. Paste the inspiration image in your notebook, and use that page as your concept page.  Once you have your concept page, identify the elements and items that you will be needing to change or add. Some example of this can be: choosing new colors for the walls, getting new lamps, replacing an existing rug, etc. Keep this list in your notebook and don’t forget to take it with you when you go shopping!  Look for those items you already listed, and remember to always use the concept image as a reference a guide to your design – do not get side tracked with the items you like randomly! Keep referring to your list and stay focused on your inspiration concept. Now that you have your 7 pointers to help you stay on track let’s look at the “IN” colours according to Pantone Colour trends for spring 2014. Colour is super important and sometimes we shy away from bold colours but as long as you pick one main colour and use it as an accent colour then it can tie the rest of the space rather nicely.   Here is a great way to accessorise your space with some Celosia Orange. If you’re just looking for a simple enhancement to your space, you can add accent pillows, or choose a nice piece of art work to complement the pillows and the gray, adding a pop of color to enhance the space without having to change too much, patterns seem to be dominating the scene this spring as far rugs go. Here is a beautiful example of how to make patterns work in your space. Use neutral tones for the walls and accentuate with a nice pattern rug. Whether you are trying to enhance or add colour this spring, just remember to keep your ideas together and not lose focus on the ideal style you are looking for. Lots of bold colours can be used this spring to accentuate and layer with home accents. When in doubt refer to your inspiration image and have fun creating your new space for...

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Furniture up-cycled, recycled, renovated, re-worked and repurposed
Sep16

Furniture up-cycled, recycled, renovated, re-worked and repurposed

I was working my way around the stands at a trade show a few years ago when I came across this interesting piece of old furniture nestled amongst all the swish, polished, smooth clean lines of contemporary pieces. It was in an area called ‘Designers’ Block’ where I was expecting to see the weird and the wonderful, certainly not a battered old chest of drawers. Standing nearby was a young man who clearly wanted to talk so I asked him his name. “Tom”, he said and he then introduced me to the piece of furniture, “This is Aschenputtel”. He explained that it was an experimental work, the result of a collaboration between himself, Thomas Forsyth, and Owen Gildersleeve. (If you’d like to see more about this piece of furniture, as shown at Interiors UK 2010, there’s a magical little video here.) I was intrigued by the old silk ties that lined the top opening ‘drawer’ and the hand cut paper petals, now covered by a layer of clear perspex to preserve their beauty, that formed a drawer lining. I enjoyed hearing how some of the renovation was really difficult and time consuming and how it was intentional to leave the paintwork shabby. (Images of Aschenputtel courtesy Thomas Forsyth.) Since then I have come across lots of up-cycled, recycled, renovated, re-worked and repurposed items glad to see that ‘eco friendly’ and ‘sustainable’ principles are still very trendy. This piece has never left my imagination however, and I think it was the fact that it had a name. Is that silly? And I’m a sucker for colour; these were outstandingly pretty petals, offering a lovely surprise when you opened the drawer, so much so, I wonder if I would have ever used it for storage. Guide to green design Here are a few points about green design and then some images of items I’ve seen since Aschenputtel. Enjoy! Sustainability is the capacity to maintain a system for a long time, perhaps indefinitely so we can utilise and replenish the planet’s resources responsibly.  Many items are over designed and over engineered so we must ask the question, “Can it look good and do the job using less material?” Although renovation, which protects and preserves, is not necessarily a cheaper option it is right and proper to conserve the valuable and aesthetically important. Recycling is concerned with saving resources and finding innovative uses for waste material. Up-cycling brings something back to a useful life, possibly with a whole new...

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Get Ready For Spring Entertaining With Bright Coloured Lighting Options
Sep10

Get Ready For Spring Entertaining With Bright Coloured Lighting Options

One of the biggest trends we’re going to see coming into spring is colourful lights that take centre stage. While the home interior trend of including fluro accents with soft furnishings has been around for some time now, there will be a shift in the coming months towards lights that are bold, colourful and eye-catching. Forget subtle lighting that’s recessed into the ceiling. This trend is all about bringing your lights forward as an important decorative element in your home. When using coloured lights in the home, it’s a good idea to select lights that are of the same colour intensity. Pale hues and tones don’t match well next to highly intense colours. You also don’t want to overdo it with other brightly coloured accents in the room. Coloured lights work best in rooms that have relatively plain walls and floors, so they can reflect colour easily and aren’t overshadowed or clash with bold rugs or wallpaper of a completely different colour palette. When choosing the right coloured lights to use, think about your home’s décor. Is your home inspired by industrial spaces? Or do you prefer the minimalistic, modern trend and have mostly a neutral colour palette running throughout your home? Perhaps you’ve incorporated feminine, shabby chic elements throughout? Whatever style your home’s interior is, this will have an impact on the style of coloured light you should decide to purchase. Different rooms also require different lighting accents. So while you may want something overhead for the dining room and kitchen, you may want to focus on purchasing a suitable table lamp for your bedroom and lounge room. Forget subtle light fixtures that blend into the background. Add a serious punch of colour to your home with colourful lighting accents that...

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How To Create That Holiday Home Feeling
Aug28

How To Create That Holiday Home Feeling

Ever wanted to emulate that relaxed atmosphere you enjoy when staying at a holiday house? Whether you’re redecorating your own holiday home or you’re wanting to create a more relaxed feel in your own house or apartment there’s a few easy steps to help you on your way. Start by brightening up spaces by letting as much natural light in. Transform rooms into bright and airy spaces by getting rid of heavy drapery and curtains and instead using softer window coverings. For each room in the home, consider the light that you currently have. Many modern homes have downlights, and while these are great for providing an even glow of light throughout a large space, they aren’t the best for creating a relaxing atmosphere. Inject some personality and fun into your living areas using funky pendant lights. This Bolle light looks wonderful in kitchens and lounge rooms. To create that seaside living look, the white or timber Bolle lights are a great choice. In the bedroom and in the lounge room you’ll also want to use lamp lighting to create a soft, relaxing atmosphere. The Taho Timber Drum Lamp Shade is perfect for matching with a range of holiday bedroom styles while keeping the colour palette light and airy. The whole idea behind most holiday homes is to ensure total comfort for guests as well as the perfect combination between indoor and outdoor living areas to enjoy. Maximising outdoor spaces as much as possible is really important to create that holiday home feeling. For outdoor dining areas, whether large or small, you need to have sufficient lighting for entertaining after dark. Rather than looking to traditional outdoor lighting options, why not try a cluster of weatherproof outdoor flameless candles? They look just like the real thing and won’t be damaged if you leave them out in the elements. Candle light emits a warm, gentle glow which automatically sets the mood for an enjoyable night spent outdoors. Colour palettes will vary to emulate the holiday home look, depending on what sort of holiday home you’re going for. For lovers of the seaside, keeping the colours minimal with crisp white and a few different shades of blue and grey makes for a good start. Remember, holiday homes are all about comfort, so throw rugs and loads of soft furnishings to make everything a little cosier are ideal. With a little careful planning, you can transform your home into your dream oasis, to enjoy every day of the year. Image Source:...

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Stripes – A Big Statement Or A Subtle Design Element
Aug11

Stripes – A Big Statement Or A Subtle Design Element

Geometry is extremely useful in interiors and can transform a space. From the softness of flowing curves to the solidity of a cube, to the excitement of a zigzag and the charm of spots and circles you can change the feel of a room based on the geometric patterns you employ. Today I’m going to concentrate on stripes for their ability to both make a big statement and add a subtle design element to your decor.  If you want to make a room feel wider, take the stripe horizontally around the room and if you want to make it feel taller, take it vertically up the walls. The wide stripes create a soothing atmosphere. The clever mix of neutral tones and the use of different types of paint make an interesting and stylish combination. I really like the addition of a metallic paint to add a hint of glamour. Horizontal stripes can be very calming.The main thing to remember with stripes is that they lead the eye. You cannot help but follow a line whether it’s up the wall or along the floor. A really bold line, or a long line, will make your eye travel even quicker.  And if you have an awkward shaped room to deal with you can use stripes to balance it, to make it even more edgy and exciting as in this image which plays on graphic black and white. The high contrast stripes are bold, confident and modern and if that’s a fair description of your personality I hope you try out something like this. Now you have these designer tools in your decorating bag let’s think about the beauty of stripes and how the colours and the width of the lines make a difference.  Try varying the line widths and changing directions that demonstrate a creative spirit and bring a plain wall to life. You really don’t need many stripes to make a huge impact. In this final image you can see how a striped wall brings a mix of colourful furniture together, binding the separate pieces into a cohesive scheme that feels comfortable and playful. Whether you start with the furniture and add the stripes or find a striped wallpaper you love and then look for the furniture is up to you but if you like colour I hope you will give this a whirl. Let me know how you get along with stripes in your...

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