Turn Your Bedroom into a Luxurious Sanctuary

Here are three tips I’m going to share with you to achieve jaw dropping luxury for your bedroom. Many of us yearn to feel pampered and special and in the privacy of your own bedroom you can make it happen in a very personal way. Budget constraints often mean that the bedroom slips down the priority list so I hope to encourage you to spend a little time to create your sanctuary. You don’t necessarily need to spend lots of money to produce sumptuous richness, it’s more about making clever choices. These ideas will help you develop your interior design scheme and take it up a level:- Soft textures: Deep buttoned headboards, quilted bed throws, upholstered chairs and ottomans all add a sense of luxury. The softness is organised, not totally informal, and it makes the difference between a luxe feel and a relaxed feel. So if you’d like to add a throw, or a pair of fluffy cushions, place them carefully rather than just anyhow. Glitter and shine: Mirrors, chandeliers, metallics and all reflective materials make the space feel glamorous and give it a touch of ‘Hollywood’. In the UK we are forever trying to bring more light into our rooms and mirrors are used freely but be careful as too many hard surfaces can make a room feel unfriendly. Include fabric that has a sheen or a wallpaper with a metallic background – both give you shine without harshness. You can also add a romantic effect with artificial light by placing a mirror behind it; this works particularly well with wall lights and pendent lamps that hang close to a wall. Generosity of scale: Wide picture frames, full fringes, large furniture, big patterns and lots of fabric in your drapes suggest opulence. If you can double the amount of anything do it! So, for instance, a single picture would be set with a minimum of two mount boards and a large fluted moulding for a frame. When thinking about the presentation of pictures or photographs hang a group of smaller ones together to make a large display. And, finally, remember to include the details, as well as looking at the room as a whole, because they can make a big difference to the overall atmosphere and complete the...

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Combining the Stock and the Personal into Style
May02

Combining the Stock and the Personal into Style

Designing the rooms in your home basically all comes down to four basic elements: the floors, the furniture, the walls, and the ceiling-slash-lighting. While all of these elements have to be brought into harmony, no one said that harmony has to be obvious. Sometimes, rooms that seem like they could never work when you first walk in eventually become your favourite ones as your brain slowly uncovers the hidden connections between every design aspect, and the plan is revealed. That’s no easy task. However, when successfully implemented these subtle connections can be awe-inspiring. One way of achieving this sort of effect is to think about your wall art a little differently: especially when you have to differentiate between the intimate and personal and the stylish and stock. The Stock/Story Divide All art can be divided into two very broad categories – personal, which tells a story and depicts you or your loved ones. Even places and things that are close to you. They represent your experiences and affections. Then there are stock pieces of art. These may be beautiful and stylish but don’t necessarily relate specifically to any personal aspect of your life. Stock art can appeal to you on a personal level, of course – which is one reason why you choose it in the first place. But that connection is rarely obvious to guests or visitors. On the other hand, photos of your family, yourself, or your travels have an obvious and immediate personal impact, warming up the room. Still, personal photos on the wall – even when presented as high-impact canvas prints – often lack the power and style of professional artwork. Too often, people assume they can have one or the other in their rooms – that they can have intimacy or style, but not both. Of course, you can have both – simply by combining your stories with style. The Stock/Story Hybrid There are several approaches that combine the high emotion of personal photos and the high style of carefully selected stock art: The Multi-Canvas Installation With a gorgeous personal photo as the centrepiece (a wedding shot, or a spectacular scene from a vacation, or that one perfect baby photo you managed to get), adding in some carefully chosen stock art creates a huge single piece of art. Choosing stock based on the colour palette of the central image, or extrapolating from the background of the main image and choosing graphic lines and shapes from that can create a powerful ‘moment’ on the wall that subtly blends the personal and the artistic. The Mix-n-Match Scenery If you’re using a powerful travel experience or location from your lives as inspiration, it’s okay to cheat a...

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The New Trend: Social Media-Inspired Home Décor
Apr02

The New Trend: Social Media-Inspired Home Décor

Style is ephemeral. What was once the height of style and the cutting edge in design slowly ages into yesterday’s look, then into deprecated old-fashioned non-style, and finally into retro cool – a process that used to take decades but now seems to cycle through every few years. Still, the fact is that keeping a ‘fresh’ modern feel in your home isn’t always easy, and chasing trends can be dangerous. The key is moderation. Just because a trend is hot doesn’t mean you throw it around the house with wild abandon. When Travertine was the stone to use, having it in every room of the house would be overkill – and leave you with a serious problem when the worm turned and Travertine shouted ‘I created this deign before 2010!’ The New Style: Social Social Media has been a growing part of everyone’s life since about 2008, when Facebook exploded and took the concept mainstream. Since then, even people who aren’t ‘geeks’ have embraced social media sites, and created profiles, shared life events, and discovered a sleeping community of friends, co-workers, and strangers from around the world. Now that it looks like social media isn’t just a fad, the style and design elements of these platforms are creeping into home design – and right now the best way to declare your home is modern and hip is to incorporate social media touches in subtle, cool ways. Facebook Blue The blue that Facebook uses on its page isn’t some special colour whipped up by Mark Zuckerberg, it’s HTML Colour Code 3B5998 – the closest Pantone colour code for this would be 7685C. It’s becoming cool to use this as an accent colour, especially in rooms that are otherwise white or off-white, as it’s actually quite pretty when used with restraint, and brings that modern sense of social media without clubbing people over the head. Where a ‘Like’ decal with the iconic thumbs up image would be overly literal and kind of kooky, the subtle use of the colour scheme brings a friendly, sophisticated feel to your room. Framing Facebook ‘Moments’ Another way to bring Facebook into your home that makes up for being a bit more literal with emotional impact is to take momentous events in your life that you’ve posted to Facebook, taking a screen shot, and having your Facebook ‘Wall’ turned into a gorgeous, high-quality canvas print. Think pregnancy announcements complete with sonogram image, or the moment you changed your ‘relationship’ status to ‘married.’ Or perhaps just an epic photo posted by a friend that captures an amazing evening you were part of – turning that screen into...

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Going Informal: Alternatives to the Formal Dining Room
Feb27

Going Informal: Alternatives to the Formal Dining Room

Time always moves at exactly the same speed, but our perception of it alters over time. The end result is impressions such as ‘summer used to last longer when I was a kid’ or ‘it can’t possibly be spring already!’ Just like our perception of time as individuals, time moves on for society overall as well. This can be seen pretty clearly when you examine homes built at different times in history: Rooms that were once absolute necessities become oddball spaces no one knows what to do with, floor plans evolve and change, and buildings that were once grand mansions get subdivided into more humble apartments. The Formal Dining Room is quickly becoming one of those dinosaurs of a past age. While there are certainly still families that use and love their Formal Dining Room, there are more and more families that are embracing a more casual use of space and have rarely, if ever, used the Formal Dining Room for its assigned purpose. Ask yourself: When was the last time you invited a dozen people over and used your buffet, China Cabinet, and good place settings? If the answer is pretty low, you might consider doing something else with your Formal Dining Room – because it’s turning into wasted space. Keep Things Appropriate Once you decide that the Formal Dining Room is a waste of space, you can, of course, do anything you want with it. Some folks have turned it into a game room complete with pool table. Others into a home office or children’s play room. However, just because you suddenly have a few dozen square feet to play with doesn’t mean that the room can be anything and remain appropriate in the home. While you can decide to use your space any way you like, the fact is Formal Dining Rooms tend to be off the kitchen, and that means having an office or a playroom – while perfectly sensible – won’t flow well with the house. To truly re-imagine your Formal Dining Room without ruining your home’s flow and balance, keep the new use in line with its placement. Dining Room Reinvention Ideas Here are some ideal uses for the space that make the room more useful and keep things making sense in your home: Kitchen Renovation The Dining Room is right off the kitchen – and thus could easily be where you expand in order to create the eat-in kitchen of your dreams. If your kitchen’s a bit tight or a bit dark, this is the easiest way to recreate it and gain valuable square footage. Of course, this is a drastic step...

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Art For Your Home – Do You Dare?
Feb06

Art For Your Home – Do You Dare?

Adding intricate accents to your home décor is the best way to make your property pop out. From unusual vases, pettite coffee tables, comfy cushions and cosy blankets there are hundreds of ways to spruce up your interior design. Still, adding a dazzling piece of art as an interesting focal point is one of the best ways to make a strong statement. A blank dull wall could become your favourite place in the entire room thanks to a gorgeous oil painting. A piece of art can set (or re-set) the mood in the space making it more interesting, sometimes even more intense. However, many people shy away from investing in paintings, digital prints, sculptures and other pieces of art. Some home owners don’t consider themselves art savvy, while others are more concerned about the high prices. Bottom line being very few home owners actually muster up the confidence to make a purchase. While experts don’t advice you to buy art as a long-term investment, they do condone getting a piece for passion. Nevertheless, you need to follow a few essential tips, if you want the art to enhance your rooms and not dominate them with art. With a carefully considered piece of art, you can create a stunning focal point, an intimate conversation area or simply augment the natural flow of the space. Match the Scale of the Room A well selected piece of art neither dominates a room nor gets lost in it. To make a right choice, you need to have in mind that the proportions of the piece must match these of the rest of the space. Let’s assume you want to hang a painting above the sofa in your living room. One way to match the right scale is to look for a piece that is almost the same size as the piece of furniture below it, thus creating a sense of harmony. Sometimes, it’s hard to fall in love in a big piece of art or you just want a design that looks more out-of-the-beaten-path. In this case, you should try the “Rule of Three“. Experts apply the rule both to three-dimensional pieces and paintings as it gives a sense of scale. Instead of purchasing a single big piece of art, you can get three items with roughly the same size. You can play around with them and set them over the space a single big piece of art would take up. Moderation is the Key to Success Once you see the positive impact a carefully placed piece of art has on your home décor, you might want to add more. It’s not a...

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4 Reasons to Choose Leather over Fabric
Jan28

4 Reasons to Choose Leather over Fabric

One of the most difficult decisions when it comes to buying a sofa is choosing either leather or fabric. We’ll run through 4 reasons why you’d pick leather over fabric. Durability Real leather is one of the most durable materials on the market. With proper care and maintenance, a leather sofa will last a lifetime. Most leather sofas will be treated with a clear top coat that protects the leather from water and dirt stains. Leather is made by skinning the hide of an animal. The hide is then tanned to prevent decomposition. The hide is then split into 2 pieces, known as top grain and split grain leather. If you’ve decided on leather, top grain is the best choice for durability. Split grain should only be used on low wear areas, such as the back of the sofa. The combination of top grain leather and split grain leather will save you money yet still provide you a durable leather sofa. Status Symbol Leather is typically associated with status. You’ll find leather in most offices because of this. Leather is more expensive than fabric so it’s seen as a status symbol. Another reason is that each piece of leather is completely unique, because of the markings and natural lines of the animal. In that sense it isn’t a mass produced piece and no one else will have the same leather sofa you have. Ages Well Like wine, leather only gets better with age. Leather is a natural product, so over time, leather becomes much more soft and supple. While it becomes softer over time, it’ll still retain its durability. Win win! Perfect for Families The durability of leather is great for young kids. They can spill drink and food on a leather sofa all day without damaging the sofa itself. Leather holds up much better than fabric when it comes to pets as well. Leather is durable, gets better with age, perfect for families and ages very well. Fabric also many pros, such as versatility and it’s generally cheaper. When it comes down to leather or fabric, personal preference should ultimately decide which one you...

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