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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Attract Romance By Adding Basic Feng Shui Principals To Your Bedroom

Did you know that by following some of the basic principles of Feng Shui you can activate energy in your space and attract romance in your life? Oh yes! If you have been feeling blue and not in the game, here you have some pointers to help you create a space that will attract the perfect mate. If you are in a current relationship and need to re-activate some passion, this will enhance more romance. The definition of Feng Shui addresses the relation between human beings and their environment. Feng Shui has been around for over 3000 years in China. Currently there are two basic schools the Form School (oldest) and the Compass School. They both vary but ultimately focus on the same result which is harmony. In the last 20 years Feng Shui has worked its way into Western Culture. We have heard of the terms Ying/Yang, T’ai Chi, The 5 Elements, or at some point seen or heard of the compass. All elements and principles of Feng Shui. What does it all mean and how can you put it to good use? First let’s work with your environment which in this case is your bedroom and define where the love corner is located. Feng Shui is complex so we are going to keep it simple by determining your love corner and how to improve it. Depending on your layout you can enhance with home décor elements. Start by finding the far right corner from the door. Once you identify the love corner and assess what you have in your space then you can start applying the principles. Each room will vary depending on the layout. Here are things to keep in mind when working on creating your bedroom. Pink is the colour to attract romance into your life according to Feng Shui. It is referred to as the love or marriage colour, any shade can be used. You can add hints of reds and whites in combination too. I suggest not painting the walls dark red or pink and only add accessories in this colour pallet. If you are set on painting the walls then try to stay with lighter pastel or neutral tones. You can add colour with accent pillows, a duvet, throw, table accessories or wall art. They should inspire you, so when you search for these items, choose the ones that remind you of love, romance or passion. If you live with a man and don’t wish to be too feminine, just enhance with hints of colour. Items to avoid in your love corner are TVs, computers, cloth hampers, art work that has no...

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Industrial Look Exposed
Jul19

Industrial Look Exposed

Industrial interior design has been popular for some years now. When it comes to this trend, it’s all about exposed surfaces, rustic flooring, minimal colour palettes and bare-all light fixtures. This warehouse style finish can also incorporate other styles for a point of difference. Many high end apartments and homes use elements of industrial design by including vintage furniture and surfaces of stainless steel. When it comes to industrial light fixtures there are certain key elements to be aware of. In recent decades the light bulb has been seen by many designers as something to hide. In fact, Poul Henningsen, one of the most well known lighting designers spent his entire life’s work dedicated to designing pendant lamps that completely encased the light source inside them. It was his theory that no glare should ever be created by lights, and his designs reflected this principle. Industrial lighting designs don’t always completely go against this, but many do, seeing the globe itself as a sight to behold. This also gives a vintage vibe to these light fixtures that feature elements that hark back to the days of old. Blown glass pendants that encase the light bulb without concealing it provide a warm and nostalgic atmosphere in kitchens and living spaces. Experiment with different shapes and tinted glass pendant lights to bring a splash of vibrant colour to any room. For a more classic approach try industrial wire bulb cages. In tones of warm copper or modern black, these pendant lamps seem to embody the industrial style effortlessly. These bulb cages come in all different shapes and sizes, and while some are ideal for home interiors others have been specifically manufactured for use in cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s often the bulbs that make all of the difference here so choose something that’ll emit a warm, ambient light to compliment your home and create mood and atmosphere. Steer clear of bulbs with cool white tones and opt for warm white lights that emit an even glow across the room. For a more vintage feel compliment your raw industrial lighting with upcycled furniture accents and accessories to create an authentic industrial look that’s both inviting and edgy. Or if you want to emulate a more modern industrial feel look towards kitchen and living room elements that are reminiscent of commercial...

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Kitchens That Get Better For Living In

The kitchen is the hub of the home and it is often the room we remember as being the place where we were nurtured as children, where we learned about family life and where we saw food prepared and brought to the table. The trend in kitchen design has been towards a streamlined look with high gloss cabinetry and granite work tops. Improvements in kitchen technology have given us: large deep drawers that close quietly with a gentle nudge plug sockets that pop up from work surfaces when required extractor fans that seem to hover in space, and surfaces that have ‘easy to clean’ written all over them I wonder if kitchens are becoming sterile and characterless? Have we gone a step too far and designed all the love out of them? When I met internationally famous kitchen designer Johnny Grey earlier this year he said that the kitchen has to be a friendly space, a place to be lived in where clutter is evidence of family life and where creativity should be encouraged. I found his words inspiring because I’m forever trying to tidy up and put away and keep work surfaces clear. His ideas inform his designs so that they contain ledges for putting things on, little round tables for kids to sit around, a corner here and there for a book or some papers and somewhere to perch and rest while the potatoes are boiling. You can have a modern design with simple lines and smart styling but you don’t need to remove visible signs of your family’s story. So, breathe easy, you can leave the kiddies drawings on the fridge and have the jar of coffee on view along with last night’s opened bottle of wine. In the design world we often describe certain materials as ‘forgiving’ and I think these kitchens are just that! Here are a few images I think work well with this philosophy. They will still look good with crumbs on the work surface, finger marks on the doors and scuffs on the floor. How do you rate your kitchen for...

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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:...

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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....

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