Warm Things Up With Copper Tones This Winter
Jul09

Warm Things Up With Copper Tones This Winter

As the weather cools down, it’s time to warm up with glowing metallic tones. If we’re not wearing rose gold, we’re looking for lighting accents in copper for our homes. Without doubt, copper and rose gold have become popular choices for interior accents, lighting fixtures and fashion pieces in recent times. Looking specifically at copper, let’s talk about why the warmer of the shades has taken over in the metallic stakes. Copper has a natural, organic appeal, giving it a level of versatility some might dismiss at first. Take something like the replica Tom Dixon Copper Shade pendant lights. They’re not only classic in shape in style, but their highly reflective copper surface means that they compliment any room with ease. Copper can be paired with almost all neutral colour schemes and can add a level of vibrancy to plain, white interiors. If you really want to create the ‘wow’ factor in your home using copper, the Tom Dixon Etch Web pendant makes a real statement. While a single bulb positioned in the centre of the copper web, it throws light and shadow across all surrounding surfaces making it the ideal focal point for dining rooms and home interiors, especially those with high ceilings. While we are noticing a real lean towards copper pendants, there’s also a focus on copper wall lights, spot lights, table lamps and even garden lights. The copper obsession extends far beyond the home interior. While many home owners originally opted for black or silver outdoor lighting accents, copper is gradually making a very big comeback as a classic lighting colour/material fixture choice. And if you’re not sure how to decide between shiny or matt finish, bright or dull copper shades, mix and match. There are no hard and fast rules with this trend, you just need to play around with it and see what works for you. My only word of caution here would be to stick to a few key pieces so as to not overdo it. A table lamp, a cluster of pendants or a large copper planter can add that extra bit of warmth you’ve been looking for. Our love affair with rose gold and copper doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. If you’re considering redecorating your abode, think about adding pieces that feature timeless warm metallic shades.  Image Source:...

Read More

Unique Ideas for the Dreaded “Bonus Room”

One of the most puzzling aspects of the modern house construction and design industry is the concept of the Bonus Room. While the name is marketing genius, implying as it does all this extra room that you shouldn’t have expected, the fact is Bonus Rooms around the world are often more of a stress-inducing oddity than a true bonus. They’re often irregularly-shaped, located in areas of the home difficult to heat or cool effectively, and lack the necessary architectural aspects to be considered true bedrooms (like windows or wardrobes). There are standard responses to the Bonus Room Challenge: unofficial spare bedrooms, home offices, ‘media’ rooms, or playrooms. And if these ideas serve a function in your home, then they are perfect use for that oddball space in your house. If none of those fit the bill – or if they already exist elsewhere and you’re just duplicating to be able to say you’re ‘using’ your bonus space – try some of these unique concepts on for size. The Gallery Ideal For: The space on the second floor that’s really a very large landing. A few printed canvases and some cool furniture and your strange Bonus Room can be transformed into an extremely cool art gallery where your family’s holiday photos, portraits, or amateur photography can be displayed in a constantly-changing arrangement. Your children’s art can be scanned, sent off for printing, and hung with pride, and every house tour given to guests will make a stop in your own little gallery. Art on the walls, a nice but low-key couch and coffee table also make this a great spot for cocktails when the adults gather for an evening in. The Music Room Ideal For: The steamy finished attic space that leaves you breathless and hot. Attic Bonus Rooms are a cruel joke: Hot in the summer, cold in the winter, they’re so disconnected from the rest of the house there’s really nothing very ‘bonus’ about them. However, that very disconnection and lack of comfort means they’re ideal for the budding teenage musicians that every family eventually features. Keeping those guitars and drum sets away from the rest of the house might save your sanity, and if the music room slowly evolves into a general Sullen Teen Hangout space, that’s not so bad either. The Adult Getaway Ideal For: That windowless spare non-bedroom. That crazy extra room that looks like a bedroom but has no windows is a curious beast. While you can certainly stuff visiting family members and friends in there for a night, it feels cruel, and if you already have a spare bedroom it won’t get used often....

Read More
Concrete In Lighting Design
Jul03

Concrete In Lighting Design

Concrete is not just the latest trend in flooring. It extends past designer kitchen bench tops and polished decorative planters. Concrete is now one of the most popular materials used by object and lighting designers and interiors decorators around the world. For homes that have an industrial edge, using concrete lighting just makes sense. If you want to exude a raw, industrial feel in your home you want to incorporate industrial materials into the overall design of your interior and lighting is one of the most important elements you need to consider. There’s no doubt that concrete and lighting make for a unique and unexpected pairing of which an Australian designer was the first to consider. Paul Mulhearn is the founding director and designer at Viore design. It was Viore who were the first in the marketplace to offer a range of concrete pendant lights. Coming in a range of three different sizes, plus a conical-shaped pendant, Viore’s original concrete pendants are ideally used in homes with high ceilings, where they can either be grouped together, spaced evenly or clustered over a dining area in different shapes, sizes and lengths. Each light features a beautifully textured concrete exterior with anodised silver interior and polished chrome finishing touches. The Australian lighting company, Viore continues to enjoy working with concrete as a medium and expects to continue to use it in the future with upcoming releases. These concrete pendant lights certainly have an organic, natural feel to them, which means they not only work well in industrial-inspired homes but also in minimalistic, Scandinavian-inspired and almost any home or apartment with a neutral colour palette. Because these concrete pendants have such timeless appeal, they make the perfect investment for redecorating home owners. Since learning more about the Viore Design concrete pendants, I’ve started noticing not only concrete lights, but concrete home wares and furniture items too. From side boards to chairs (I’m not sure how comfortable they’d be) to dining tables and even office desk accessories there’s really no limit to how concrete can be used. One things for sure, this trend of using concrete not only outside the home but inside too is not something that appears to be fading fast. If anything, I expect we’ll be seeing designers coming up with more ways to use concrete for a range of interior design projects for years to...

Read More
Being Mindful With Good Design
Jun23

Being Mindful With Good Design

When is a chair not a chair? When it has a dual purpose. I first saw these beautifully crafted chairs when I lived in Canada and I had just started getting into meditation. They offer a comfortable spot to meditate, be mindful or just relax in. Meditation was like a blessing. I was working crazy hours in the oil industry and found meditation helped to ground me, even if it was just for short amounts of time. Relaxing, being at peace, slowing down and just being was helping my state of mind immensely. However, as everyone knows, when you have a busy schedule I found it hard to keep it up with the demands of everyday life. I found I needed to create a little oasis and needed a visual reminder to make sure I took time out for myself. While I meditated, I wasn’t a big fan of cushions on the floor or hard wooden surfaces. I like to be comfortable when I’m relaxing, so when I found this beautifully designed chair, which was also meant for meditation or just for generally chilling out, I jumped for joy. Fast forward a couple of years and my husband and I moved back to Australia to be closer to family. I was working on another business idea at the time, which didn’t work out, and then the chair popped back into my mind. I wanted to revive my meditation practice and to create my own little oasis. I got in touch with the designer to see if he could send a chair over to me but with the logistics of it he said no he couldn’t just send one. As a busy working mum I really needed that chair now, more than ever, so I ordered ten! As soon as I received the chairs my friends and family starting asking about them, and wanted to know where I had found them. I sold those ones in no time and that’s when my business idea came to fruition. The designer did not ship to Australia, so I would become the distributor here. I now import these chairs which are ethically made in Java, Indonesia. The bases are made of sustainable mango wood, with a seagrass and banana leaf weave, and the cushions are 100 per cent cotton and kapok filling. Since I started importing these beautiful pieces I’ve had CEOs of multinationals to Buddhist nuns; health practitioners to mums purchasing them and also conveying their yearning for a place of peace and solitude. I believe the benefits are huge, from spending just ten minutes a day listening to your breathing and...

Read More
How To Make a Large Room Feel Comfortable
Jun10

How To Make a Large Room Feel Comfortable

There are many ways to divide a large space into more comfortable smaller areas in which to live, work and play but for this article I’d like to concentrate on room dividers. The clever use of a physical barrier can set the tone for the design scheme; traditional, mid-century modern, urban, scandi style or shabby chic, anything is possible. Space dividers Open plan living spaces are popular, particularly with families, and they work really well when numbers swell at party time. However very large rooms can make people feel uncomfortable and sometimes it’s difficult to arrange furniture due to the lack of walls. It feels a bit weird placing furniture in the middle of an expansive room when, having been used to smaller spaces, we would naturally place large items around the edges of a room and face them inwards. Moving from a house with several small rooms into one with an open plan arrangement can be daunting and space dividers have an important role. The open shelving shown in the image below (from Bolefloor), allows the maximum amount of light to permeate through. This has the added design benefit of creating shadows, which can be very attractive, and it means you have a visual connection through the space. The design is perfect for a contemporary look and you may wish to display items on the shelves although I must admit to liking it just the way it is. To bring pattern into a room you could try a folding screen that can be moved and adjusted to fit the space. A solid screen like the ones below (Butterflies from Timorous Beasties and parrots from WallpaperDirect) can create the effect you specifically need. Give your room a lift with joyful pattern or bold colour. If you have craft skills you could make this type of screen at home; cover with fabric, wallpaper, or paint. If you need a divider that also creates a thermal barrier a glazed wall is one to consider. The decision to have small framed panes of glass or large pieces that are unframed will be dependent on the style you want to achieve in your home.  In order to decide what type of room divider you need consider the following questions:- Is it going to be permanent or do you need to move it around? For instance, will you want to take it with you to a new home or use it in another room in the future? Do you require the screen for privacy and if so, must it be completely solid or can it be semi transparent? Should the screen be more than just a visual divider? Could it be a thermal or noise barrier?  Is the screen required for...

Read More
The Whole Enchilada: Stop Thinking in Terms of Rooms
Jun05

The Whole Enchilada: Stop Thinking in Terms of Rooms

Interior Design can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have no training or serious experience with it. In fact, for many people who choose to go DIY (or must do, due to budget constraints), their gut instinct is to reduce the project’s scale down to something more mentally manageable. This usually means focusing on one room of the house at a time – or, sometimes, just one aspect of a room. Once they get the scale down to something less frightening the ideas start to come. The problem? This approach usually results in an over-designed home, or a home with a chaotic, rudderless design scheme that doesn’t feel cohesive. Beautiful, unique objects, textures, and colours won’t do much for your home if they fight with each other or don’t complement each other. Scary or not, the key to good design in the home is to think about the Big Picture. The Problem Here’s the problem: Whether you’re tackling each room as a whole separate project due to intimidation or budget, the end result is that each room feels like an island of design. On the one hand, this might make sense to you, because you’re pouring all of your creativity and resources into each space, so they will all emerge feeling “done,” with nice finishes. And that may well be true. But if you step back and walk from space to space, think about whether the colour transitions from one wholly distinct palette to another are jarring, whether the decorations on the walls and surfaces tie into each other or not, and whether you feel like you’re walking through different people’s apartments instead of one family’s home. In some cases, you want this distinction – giving a child his or her distinct space can be a great idea. But for the public areas of the home everything needs to feel like it’s part of a larger plan. The Solution The solution is simple: Step back and make sure there are visual “through lines” between each space. Take into consideration: Colour Palette: You don’t need to use the same colour palette in each room, but each colour palette should launch from the same starting point and complement each other. One great idea is to have each room shift from one end of the palette spectrum to another as you move from the front to the back of the home. Wall Art: Each piece of wall art should refer back to others in the home. Subtlety is key. Different styles of canvas prints or other wall decor all depicting similar subjects, or canvas prints made from the same photo set you took on...

Read More