Design Tips & Ideas
Few rooms are too large to arrange comfortably. If a room is very large then setting the furnishings away from the walls with comfortable walk ways through and around is an easy fix. The same cannot be said for rooms or homes that are smaller than we would like. This is a far more common problem.
Feel and Comfort are Different
A room that is furnished to comfortably seat guests and family often feels overcrowded and cluttered. A typical lining room set of a chair, love seat, and sofa only seats 6 people but even that is crowding a 12’x12’ room once you have added a couple small tables and a shelf. This is hardly ideal for any type of entertaining.
To compound the problem, even though more furnishings and seating will not comfortably fit, if that furniture is placed against the walls as typical then it is too far apart for casual conversation. This leaves a situation where there are not enough seats for people and the people that are seated are isolated. This makes a homeowner decide between comfortable seating available for use or overcrowding and feeling pressed together unnaturally.
Dare to Be Different
The solution is not difficult as much as it is different. You will need to forego the idea of the classic loveseat, sofa, chair and 3 small tables and open up to the world of possibilities based on your actual room. Consider that it is permissible to pull some of the furniture away from the walls so that the seating allows for comfortable conversation in groupings instead of being a perimeter around the room.
For inspiration on how to arrange for entertaining and comfort look to places that are designed for that purpose. Some of these ideas became popular in other rooms in the home years ago and are now catching on in modern style design in other living areas. The kitchen island was invented to serve the exact purpose. Previously a kitchen was a rigid perimeter of cabinets and counters with unused space in the middle that served only as extra steps when cooking. That is similar to how many family rooms are set up now- a ring of seats too far apart to be actually convenient.
Pull a sofa and a loveseat together into the center of a room like they are set up in the small mini rooms at the furniture stores. This provides seating that still allows conversation in normal tones. Scaled modular designs work well for this also.
Place corner sofas in the now empty walls and corners to provide additional seating for a couple people to sit and talk together. On a back wall consider a bar counter and several tasteful bar style stools. If you are trying to arrange based on placement of entertainment center a wall mount or even upper corner mount placement of the TV optimizes viewing angles and space.
This type of set up allows for easier conversation, and changes seating from 6 to 12 in a similar sized area. Because of varying heights of bar stools, sofas, and television, it uses vertical space as well as floor space to keep the room from feeling overcrowded.
Using the same style of small corner sofas or chairs it is easy to add an extra seat or two to many rooms. An unused corner in the dining room by a window makes a great place to sit and read or gaze at the garden in addition to an extra place for guests to sit for conversation. Adding it to a good sized bathroom is far nicer than sitting on the edge of the tub or in a straight back chair to put on your slippers.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 22 May, 2013
Accessories can often be relegated to after thoughts when it comes to bathroom design, and yet they can be all-important in completing a theme or making a bathroom that really stands out from the crowd. Read on to find out how a few simple touches can turn your bathroom into a stylish haven of the home.
Just changing a tap or shower fitting can bring your bathroom bang up to date. Mira Showers mixer showers are perfect for creating that minimalistic look with adjustable slide bars fixings to match grout lines and a simple, single control for on/off and temperature.
Tap fittings are a matter of personal taste but the classic crosshead bath tap with hand shower is making a big revival this year and it’s hard to beat wide, waterfall taps when it comes to ultra-modern style. Chrome plated taps can match both a more traditional or contemporary approach and their bright shine looks great against dark walls or tiles.
Clear the clutter
It’s rare that a busy bathroom every looks stylish so sensible storage ideas can go a long way. Replace bulky storage with sleek wall-mounted units to deliver on space-saving and style. A mirrored cabinet always works well as do alcoves and niches.
Unifying a colour scheme with accessories is also a great way of adding to a stylish bathroom. Consider getting a set that includes a toilet roll stand, a toilet brush holder, a soap dispenser and a toothbrush holder. Also, if you have a relatively small bathroom, sticking to a monochrome colour scheme will help to keep the space looking stylish. Too many colours can make a smaller space look really busy.
Go for glass
Nothing hinders the style of a bathroom like a tired shower curtain or a plastic folding enclosure. A sleek glass enclosure can make a bathroom come alive and also helps create the illusion of more space. Fitting a shower tray into the floor for a wet room feel is another sure-fire way to create a contemporary bathroom. Lots of homeowners want their bathrooms to look like chic hotel spas so doing a bit of research into spa interior design can give you some great ideas for your own space.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 21 May, 2013
As much as we would all love a huge apartment or a sprawling family home, we aren’t all blessed with large properties and so need tips to create the illusion of space in our homes. Small spaces mean less light and, of course make it more difficult to decorate and design our interiors. Homes need to be functional and practical, as well as looking great and combining all of these factors into smaller spaces can be very challenging.
So how do we do it? How do we go about creating an illusion of space in smaller homes?
There are various tips and tricks that interior designers use including some of the following:
Using mirrors on walls opposite windows can bounce the natural light around the room and add an extra dimension to the feel of the room. Use more than one to really make the room feel airy and light, as well as stylish.
Think carefully about the type of furniture you buy to fill a smaller space and keep it uncluttered and streamlined. Ensure sofas and chairs are lighter in colour and don’t obstruct your line of sight to the outdoors. Furniture with legs rather than a solid base give a greater illusion of space, and glass topped or Perspex coffee tables are a must.
Entrances and Exits:
Be careful not to block your doorways with heavy doors that restrict the view to the next room, even if that’s the hallway. Let the extra light flood into the room by using glass-filled modern doors. Do your research and find the right kind that fits your style as well as fitting the brief. If budget and structure allow think about opening up a doorway into a larger gateway to the next room and allowing it to flow into the next space.
Being creative with storage is one of the best ways to keep your small space uncluttered and efficient. Where you can, ensure every space is utilised to its best advantage and if it can be multifunctional, all the better. Coffee tables with removable lids to store books, sofas that double up as sofa beds, storage boxes that hide a multitude of our treasures, all of these products create extra space that we so desperately need.
There are lots of products out there that can help make a space feel larger than it really is. Light reflecting paint for example, is a must in a tiny room. But don’t think this means you have to shy away from bold pattern if that’s your style. Pattern can work really well in a small space, whether it’s on the walls with wallpaper or wall decals, or by way of soft furnishings. Make sure it’s a pattern you love and it won’t feel overwhelming.
Don’t let a small room stop you making a style statement, just follow some of these tips to create your illusion of space.
Image courtesy of Magnet Trade
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 May, 2013
Spring is finally upon us, so it’s time to peel off those winter layers and whip out the floral prints. However, preparing your spring wardrobe is about much more than just hitting the shops and splashing the cash. There is also a practical side to updating your wardrobe that many people forget about. It will be near impossible for you to store both your spring and winter clothing on just one rail – so what’s the solution?
Out with the old and in with the new
First things first, take a look through all of your winter clothing and start asking yourself a few questions.
• Does it still fit?
• Is it still in good condition?
• Will I want it before next winter?
• Will I wear it again next year?
Your answers will allow you to decide what to do with the item in question – recycle it, give it away to charity, bin it or store it for the next cold winter. Once you have your ‘storage’ pile, make sure it’s all thoroughly cleaned before putting into hibernation.
Once the clothes have been washed and dried, fold them up to store away in plastic boxes and containers. Protect your clothes by layering white pillow cases between layers and always start by packing the heaviest items at the bottom.
Although you might have loads of space up in the loft, down the cellar or even in the garage, these are three places that aren’t ideal for storing clothes. The best bet is to take advantage of under-bed storage, shelving in fitted wardrobes or spare cupboards.
If plastic containers take up too much room, then opt for vacuum sealed packs instead. These reduce your pile of clothes to a fraction of the size, allowing them to slot into storage spaces around the bedroom more easily.
We’re not suggesting that you get your bedroom designed around your transition from winter to spring clothing, but if you are renovating anyway, it is something to bear in mind.
If you picture your bedroom it’s likely that you’ve got awkward corners, walls with radiators and plug sockets and maybe even wardrobes with doors that you can’t fully open. Fitted bedrooms and wardrobes tend to offer much more storage than standard ones, as they are able to maximise the space and use every inch available – perfect for storing last season’s clothes.
Opting for sliding wardrobe doors can also increase the space you have to work with as you don’t have to allow extra room in front of the wardrobe for accessibility. Why not take a look at the range on offer from leading designers? You can find out more about sliding wardrobes at Betta Living whilst also looking at their fantastic range of bedroom furniture which is designed to help you solve your spring wardrobe dilemma and any other household storage problems.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 25 April, 2013
Ceiling fans used to carry a cringe-worthy connotation where according to interior designers, these home accessories were typically more functional than fabulous. Not so today, with a plethora of styles and selections that complement, as well as efficiently cool or warm the most innovative interior spaces. The right ‘spinning sensation’ can bring hours of enjoyable comfort to any given room in your residence, whether inside or outdoors.
Posted by Suzanne at 25 March, 2013
Bathrooms have quickly become extended living areas of the home. For 2013, modern baths with all of their must-have accoutrements are gaining momentum with eco-smart amenities, unexpected colour themes and most of all, the home-spa experience.
As with the majority of today’s contemporary home design, bathrooms are encompassing this “green” trend with appointments that are not only earth-conscious but aesthetically beautiful.
Water conservation is a more obvious approach, whether through multi-function shower heads, smart-touch faucets or eco-fill toilets. A plethora of high-performance, low-flow products are available in today’s marketplace and the abundant design choices allow for zero sacrifice of form for function.
Gone are the powder blues and chalky pinks of bathroom interiors. Enter vivid colour splashes like oxblood red, deep navy, emerald green (Pantone’s Colour of the Year) and energizing orange to bring a fresh infusion to the floors and walls of these spaces.
That said, designers are still receiving high-demand for the all-white bath of 2013. This pristine “un-colour” perpetually portrays a clean, sophisticated yet utmost contemporary vibe.
One bathroom material skyrocketing in popularity for 2013 is quartz. Non-porous and naturally sealed, quartz is available in a vast array of luminous colours which enhance a countertop or basin magnificently, and complement any minimalist bathroom design.
Just Say Spa-aaaah
Perhaps one of the hottest trends of the modern bathroom redesign is the creation of the in-home spa. Showers are a design hot spot, with steam elements, multiple-heads and electronic sensor panels which control lighting, flow–even music–in high-demand.
Stand-alone tubs, horizontal showers (think vichy-like), frameless glazed showers, mirrored walls, streamlined “medicine cabinet” drawers, heated towel racks with aromatherapy-oil diffusers and LED, coloured mood-lighting all attribute to 2013‘s sought-after bathroom oasis. For finishes, stainless fixtures with a patina are being replaced with the more soothing appeal of brushed nickel. On the softer side, plush white cotton terry towels are essential and round out this 2013 bathroom design trend.
Posted by Suzanne at 21 March, 2013
Looking at Shutters versus Blinds
As the saying goes, eyes are the windows of the soul. That makes windows the eyes of your house. It only stands to reason that choosing the right treatments to match your décor and preferences, as well as to add value and visual interest to the room, is a vital part of interior decorating. It seems that the process should be as simple as choosing a window treatment and putting it up, but with so many choices available this is often easier said
than done. For most people blinds or shutters, often in addition to drapes or curtains, come into question.
What about Shutters?
There are several advantages to choosing shutters for the inside of your home. These classic window treatments are available in a variety of designs
and colors. Additionally they have the added benefit for looking good from the outside of the house as well as inside. Typically made of wood, shutters are easy to paint or stain to match the rest of the room. This versatility certainly comes in handy for those looking for the traditional look in their home. Let’s face it. We are all looking for ways to spend less money. While shutters are often more expensive than blinds at the initial purchase, they save you money in the long run in terms of heating and cooling bills. There is no better window treatment insulator than shutters. By opening and closing the slats you control how much light comes in the room. During daylight hours this feature saves on electric costs as well.
Checking out Vertical Blinds
It would be a mistake to overlook vertical blinds when making this important decision as well. Vertical blinds are ideal for rooms with long windows. They are easier to open and close than traditional blinds with windows of tall proportions. They also work well for sliding patio doors and the like.
In most cases these blinds are made from heavy duty vinyl, but they can be found made from wood as well. Unlike shutters which are easy to paint or stain, it is better and more affordable to simply buy them in the color you prefer.
Another benefit of choosing vertical blinds is convenience. With a twist of the wand or pull of the cord you can easily open and close these blinds to
allow light in or provide privacy. Speaking of advantages, vertical blinds are often less expensive than shutters at the initial investment.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 19 March, 2013