Design Tips & Ideas
From antibiotics through to the metric system, although quite humorously, we give France a bad rap, the truth is that the country is something to be celebrated and loved.
Besides life-saving medical advancement and revolutionary measurement systems, one of the most culturally changing elements that the country has given us, is of course fashion.
From Rococo style furniture through to trend setting furniture guilds of the past, France has, more than any other country in the Western World, given and spread its artistic influence throughout history.
But which French Style are you aiming for?
Quite simply, as you may have already gathered, France has throughout its days, given us beautiful stylistic trends that have set the bar for everyone else.
Due to this however, choosing just which style you want to achieve, can be a little difficult.
From the elegant yet flamboyant décor style that is Rococo, through to the heavy set and straight lined fashion that is Baroque; the French world of style really is your oyster.
Despite this however, one of the most popular French styles of today is in fact French influenced rustic décor.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 14 June, 2013
Everyone’s dreams are different. Some wish for an exotic island escape, while others desire to sit behind the wheel of a six-figure Italian automobile. Then there are closets–dream closets to be exact–where visions of wardrobes, shoes and accessories become breathtaking exhibits thanks to innovative closet organizers and savvy systems. We’ve gathered five different closet ideas for you to lay eyes on, everything from a classically-organized space to an elaborate in-closet entertainment center. Feel free to swoon–we did!
1. Vanity Affairs
As any woman can attest to, there’s something about getting ready for the day–or evening–in the privacy of your own space. One of our favorite and timeless closets is one featuring a large mirrored vanity with plentiful soft lighting. Draped in soothing shades of lavender and cream with an ornate gold-framed mirror and equally elegant table, this space is fit for the princess within.
Posted by Suzanne at 10 June, 2013
Daily living in a typical family home can really do a number on flooring. Spills and dirty feet can permanently stain carpeting – from muddy shoes, ground in sand, pet hair and accidents, dropped milk, spaghetti and ground in crackers. Carpet also collects allergens and odors like a sponge. Gritty substances get ground into hardwood, laminate, and tile floors scratching and scuffing off their finish. And, of course, water damage can destroy or significantly damage just about any type of flooring.
The flooring in your home is a big investment. The cost to replace flooring in just one room easily costs upwards of $800, and that’s for economy grade materials and discount installation. With premium materials and services, you are looking at thousands of dollars per room. Caring properly for your flooring will keep your home looking nice, help maintain the value of your home, and prevent damage that would otherwise eventually require you to replace it.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 7 June, 2013
We all seek it: extra space. Whether in additional storage, a bigger home or just plain getting organized, closets tend to be an area of focus when it comes to this. Wardrobes have become ever-popular lately, with designs ranging from basic armoires to customized built-in systems. We’ve compiled three starter tips to help you decide which wardrobes fits you–and your clothing, shoes and home accessories–best:
First decide what room of the house you wish to suit with a wardrobe. Whether for a bedroom or living area, then the decision comes down to a stand-alone cabinet or a built-in for your existing closet. Wardrobe closets come in a variety of styles at a wide range of price points, depending on whether you are assembling it (value pricing) to custom luxury furnishings (more expensive.) Children’s rooms are also an ideal place for a wardrobe, not just for clothing but for toys and books, too. Sometimes, a home office or even hallway are areas where a storage wardrobe is necessary and many designers offer keen options for these smaller spaces as well.
Posted by Suzanne at 4 June, 2013
If you’re considering redesigning a room within your home, you can’t be blamed for not giving much consideration to the heating. After all, radiators are hardly the most aesthetically pleasing aspect to any room. However, rather than designing the new look for the room and then adding the heating, why not consider the options and then integrate them into the design? That way, you can have a heating system that is both cosy and that doesn’t in any way detract for the décor.
Starting from scratch
First of all, have your old heating system checked out to make sure it’s energy efficient, or purchase a new system through professionals such as Help-Link. If you are in the process of redesigning, there are a couple of options you may want to consider that won’t have any types of heating on display at all:
By installing underfloor heating, you’re eliminating the need for radiators altogether, giving you the freedom to design the room exactly as you see fit, without unsightly radiators curbing your creativity.
You won’t have to give consideration as to where the radiators will go in comparison to your bed, couch or electrical equipment, ensuring that the finished design will unhindered. Another advantage is that underfloor heating spreads the heat throughout the room giving a more consistent temperature. What’s more, it can often prove to be a far more efficient option than radiators that expel heat from one or two sources in an entire room. According to Which the savings over a year between normal heating and underfloor is negligible, however, at least you won’t be paying more for your new improved design.
This is another way that you can now heat a home without having to opt for unsightly radiators. If you’re completely redesigning a room, you can simply have the pipes put in behind the skirting boards. If you aren’t keen on ripping up the floor, as you would have to with underfloor heating, skirting heating can often be done with less hassle.
The systems are often compatible with central heating systems, so you won’t have to worry about a complete new system and again, you will be able to design the room concentrating all of your efforts on getting it just right. According to ThermaSkirt, skirting heating can save you money as well with energy savings being between 13% and 25%.
Hiding those radiators
It may be that you are planning on redesigning a room, but the radiators are already there. If having considered the options you have decided to work around the radiators, there are a variety of different ways to hide a radiator, that won’t necessarily detract from the finished design.
- A window seat: If the radiator is against a wall, why not have a cover designed that will match the interior of the room? You can have it designed by an expert, or if you are good with your hands, then perhaps do it yourself? If the radiator is in an alcove or under a window that juts out, why not build a nook or a window seat. These will hide a radiator effectively, whilst providing you with a snug area to sit and read a book of an evening.
- A bookcase: This is an excellent way of hiding a radiator, whilst not taking up too much room. A bookcase can be about the same depth as a radiator and can be designed to so it looks like one unit. A bespoke furniture maker can design a piece for you, or if you have the skills, why not do it yourself, thus ensuring you get exactly what you have in mind.
- Fabric covers: A fabric cover can be a very affordable option for covering a radiator. Requiring far less time and money than any of the other options, you can either design one yourself, or have a professional do it for you. Advantages include being removable for cleaning and interchangeability. If you like to change your curtains and throws depending on the season, why not change your radiator covers as well? What’s more, if you decide to redecorate in the future, you can simply change the covers for a design that fits in with your new décor.
Whichever route you decide to take, one thing is for sure. No longer do radiators have to be an unsightly, yet unavoidable, addition to your room.
Image courtesy of www.help-link.co.uk
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 30 May, 2013
Seven Design Ideas for Transforming Your Basement with Purpose
If you have an unfinished basement or a basement design that has outgrown its function, you aren’t alone. And, you’ve probably daydreamed more than once about the many ways basement remodeling could improve your home. With a little work, your basement can be transformed to suit your needs to provide your family with some much needed additional living space.
Successful basement remodeling starts with function
Before you begin making any updates to your basement, it is a smart plan to define the intended purpose of the new space. Make a list of your needs and then try to map out a design that incorporates function into your basement remodeling project. Common design ideas for the basement include transforming the space into a:
- Family media and game room: Set up a home theater system, gaming system, comfortable furniture, and table games like pool or ping pong to give your family a new place to hang out. If you have young children, you could also designate a play space for toys.
- Man cave: Surrender décor and furniture selection to the man of the house. Give him and his friends a place where they can spend time watching sports, playing poker, or doing whatever they enjoy.
- Workspace: Make a designated area for hobbies like sewing, painting, scrapbooking or crafts. Utilize shelving and personalized wall art to make the space your own.
- Guest Bedroom: Give your guests a comfortable, private place to call home while they visit.
- Gym: Set yourself up for workout success by creating an area of your home dedicated to fitness equipment. Put up mirrors, pad the floor, and give yourself the ideal space to work out.
- Second kitchen: With the addition of a second kitchen, you can prepare a fantastic meal downstairs and keep the upstairs kitchen looking spotless for entertaining guests in the meantime.
- Bar: Socialize with friends around your own basement bar. You can create an authentic bar feel by adding a mini fridge, utilizing dynamic lighting and including a television in your design.
Don’t let financing delay your remodel
If you are concerned about how to pay for your remodeling project, a home equity loan can be a great solution. Financing a basement remodel with home equity allows you to invest the equity you have built back into your home, which increases the value of the home overall. Plus, it can enable you to make changes to your basement at the time you can use and enjoy them the most, not just before you plan to sell. As with any other remodeling project that you plan to finance with a loan, you should budget for your basement remodeling project. Then, apply for a home equity loan and finalize your plans accordingly.
Content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 29 May, 2013
This is a debate which has been raging between homeowners, landlords and interior designers for a long time. Both bathrooms and kitchens are places where you do not necessarily like or need to spend a long time in, but both are essential to a happy and comfortable home.
Both rooms are clearly important, but here are a few things to think about when deciding which to give precedent to when decorating your home.
The benefits of decorating a kitchen
Kitchens are a lot more important that you may think. On average we spend much more of our working week and weekend in the kitchen than the bathroom. It can also be a place where we not only cook food but eat it as well, not to mention socialise with friends over dinner and a few drinks.
Decorating kitchens is also a lot easier than you might think. Simply investing in a fitted kitchen from a company such as Betta Living can save you an awful lot of time when planning to redecorate. Far from being astronomically priced there are many styles available which are great value for money. Having a lovely kitchen will also make you want to spend more time in it, and as a result…you will undoubtedly eat better!
The benefits of decorating a bathroom
When decorating a house the temptation can be to do minimal work on the bathroom. It’s a place of necessity in many homes, that’s only visited when absolutely needed to. The result of this is that many houses are let down when it comes to their overall styling. Having a beautifully realised home with a grotty bathroom can be a little bit of an embarrassment, so this is something to consider when planning your next bit of home decorating.
Bathrooms are also a little more complicated to decorate when it comes down to it. But those who do will find that they are able to transform a room of need and necessity into a deeply relaxing place where you can let the tresses and strains of the day just ebb away.
In the overall competition, making sure you have a beautiful kitchen is undoubtedly the most important. But this doesn’t mean a bathroom must be neglected. There are a lot of great things you can do to that little room with a few tins of paint (make sure it’s waterproof) and a bottle of cleaner. This way, you can get the best of both worlds, at a really great price!
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 28 May, 2013