Design Tips & Ideas

From Kitchen to Dream Space: 5 Must-Have Amenities

From cooking to relaxing, dining to entertaining, the kitchen reigns in the home. When remodeling your culinary space, the preliminary step is to set your budget. Then move on to these five easy design tips to create your dream kitchen:

Plan: One priority is proper space planning according to your individual needs, so consider the shape and layout. Do you prefer a center island with wraparound counters or a U-shape with peninsula? Do you have space for a separate eat-in area or thinking a built-in bench? Windows and doors are also vital elements that need to be worked into the plan.

Colors & Finishes: This is where you will live day-in and day-out, from morning to night–and sometimes in the middle of the night! The color should be something you will enjoy and not tire of in the near future. Naturally, paint transforms any room and can be changed frequently, though cabinetry and countertops will remain, so choose finishes that are functional while providing a timeless appeal.

Safety:  Not so glamorous but definitely important is kitchen safety. Our friend at www.sdfirealarms.co.uk recommend to use a fire alarm and smoke detectors. Next up you’ll want to have a fire extinguisher and make sure it’s easily accessible!

Appliances: Many cooks dream of an amazing range such as an industrial-grade, six-burner model.  This, as well as a full-volume wardrobe refrigerator and freezer, come in as top desires. Double dishwashers and under-the-counter wine refrigerators are also quite popular and can procure effortless entertaining.

Storage: What may seem like a dull concept is actually one which kitchen dwellers become smitten with: plentiful, smart storage. Favorites are retractable, workstation shelves for hiding large appliances such as mixers and waffle makers. Other top sellers are drawers with slide-out bins for cooking utensils, corner drawers to maximize space and rolling butcher-block stations which can be tucked underneath the counter.

 

In just five easy steps, you’ll be on your way to a dreamy, not to mention, enviable kitchen space!






Posted by Suzanne at 19 March, 2014

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Redesign: Pantries with Panache

Pantries have come quite a long way. Gone are the days where a small narrow folding door opens to a crawl space-type of closet with barely enough shelves to store your canned goods. Today’s cooks demand so much more and modern pantry redesign delivers with plentiful storage, shelving and space-savvy ideas.

No More Doors: While doors are necessary, pocket doors make the ideal entry to the pantry. Whether a single or double-door, the pantry space is immediately within view and allows the visitor to comfortably step into it. This design also allows for maximizing square footage and utilization of storage shelving within the pantry itself, without that annoying door to block space.

Basket Case: Pull-out baskets–deep or shallow–are ideal for anything from utensils, gadgets, table linens, barware, candles, and just about anything you can imagine. They act as drawers but can be easily viewed allowing for easy access.

Bar None: Ok, admit it, having your own barista-style bar would be heaven. The modern pantry features a counterspace suitable for that gourmet coffee machine, coffee selections, cups, spoons and sweeteners. If caffeine isn’t your calling, then this counter can be used for prep work or even desk-type organization.

Shelf Life: Open shelving is a dream when you need to reach for something quickly. Wide, deep shelves are ideal for serving platters making entertaining a cinch. Built-in shelving with indented racks for wine bottles are also an excellent alternative to the more expensive wine refrigerator. And of course, who wouldn’t appreciate a mini-library for all of those cookbooks which seem to take up all of your counterspace?

Light Bright: A simple yet functional idea is to install recessed lighting within the space, whether underneath shelving or within the ceiling. The bright light will shine on all of your kitchen goods making finding what you need a snap.

Today’s pantry redesign portrays easy-to-integrate concepts which will make cooking and entertaining that much more fabulous!






Posted by Suzanne at 18 March, 2014

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Design Tricks for Surviving the South Florida Summer: Heat Busting, Minimalism and Taking Advantage of Self Storage in Miami

Miami is known for a lot of things, not the least of which are the heat and humidity that pummel it all year round. Summers can be particularly brutal, especially if you’re new to the region and haven’t yet acclimated yourself. As you know, there are lots of things that you can do to beat the heat that don’t involve the installation of expensive air conditioning equipment. You can wear lighter, looser clothing, drink lots of water, take cool showers, etc. You can also change your living space.

If you’ve never lived in a tropical climate before, it is important to understand that the things you used to do to combat that summer heat aren’t likely to work in Miami. This is a different type of heat, a different type of humidity. Here, the locals do things a little bit differently.

1. Pull up the Rugs

Have you ever noticed that rooms with carpeted floors (or lots of rugs) are warmer than those with hardwood or tile floors? This is because the carpeting acts as a sort of insulation for the room, keeping the heat locked in to the space. Hardwood and tile floors, though, leech heat from a space which helps to keep it cool. If your home is carpeted (and you’re not renting), pull that carpet up. Roll up the rugs. You don’t have to throw them out; you just have to put them away. If your apartment lacks free space, you can use one of the many units for self storage in Miami (you can use Storage.com to find affordable units close to your home).

2. Paint it White

Lighter colors reflect heat, darker colors absorb it. Even if you hate the idea of white walls, you’re going to hate living in a sweatbox even more. Painting the walls white helps cool down your living space. If you live in a house, painting the outside of the house white can help too.

You can use the same approach with your furniture. Lighter colored fabrics absorb less heat than darker colored fabrics. That leather couch that you love during the winter can be terrible to sit on during the summer when you’re sweaty. Replace it with a light colored microfiber couch during the summer.

3. Go Minimalist

Simply put, the fewer things you have in your home, the fewer things there are to absorb heat. Plus, when you live a minimalist lifestyle you can live in smaller spaces (which are easier to cool off during the summer and heat during the winter). Before you panic and throw out all of your belongings, why not stop and consider a seasonal approach to your home? Box up all of your autumn and winter things—clothing, decorations, extra bedding, etc—and put it in storage along with the rugs and carpeting that you’ve pulled up off the floor.

4. Treat Your Windows

That Miami sun is (sometimes literally) a killer. You need to keep it off of your windows or you’ll turn your home into a sauna. You likely already know that one of the best ways to keep a home cool during the summer is to open the windows in the mornings, evenings and overnight to let in the cooler air and then close them during the day to keep the hot air out and the cool air in.

Take this a step further. Install bamboo blinds or shutters on the outside of your windows. The blinds/shutters will act as a barrier for the sun’s heat, keeping it from touching the windows in the first place. This can keep your house cooler by as much as 10-20 degrees! What’s more, you can use them to keep your windows safe from breaking and debris during hurricane season.

5. Lighten Your Linens

In the introduction we talked about wearing lighter fabrics during the summer months to keep your body cool. Use the same approach with your bedding and other linens. Lightweight sheets and blankets on your bed, lightweight towels—it might seem silly but every little bit helps, right?

Beyond all of this, of course, there is the installation of LED lighting (more expensive than incandescent or CFLs but produces very little heat and contain no mercury), using your microwave or grill instead of your oven, taking cooler showers so there’s no steam buildup, etc. Remember, though: this is Miami—if you want to beat this heat, there is no such thing as “too extreme” when it comes to keeping your home cool.






Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 17 March, 2014

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Boho Chic Home Office

 

I’m not an antique person but I love mixing  old and new together especially in an home office. Cute!






Posted by Michelle Lesser at 4 February, 2014

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Ceiling Design

Even though I think white ceilings are awesome there are also other very cool ways to design them by installing a wallpaper or sticks decals and make the room looks unusual. The ceiling above designed by Interior designer Emily Mugannam.






Posted by Michelle Lesser at 20 January, 2014

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Makeover Your Home with Granite Worktops from Utopia

The New Year is the perfect time to breathe new life into your bathroom and the design team behind the brand Utopia have an exclusive line of bathroom worktops to enhance every home. Worktops can make or break your bathroom so this is naturally where a big part of your makeover budget should be spent. This is not an area to be scrimped on as low quality worktops will not be as aesthetically pleasing and may not stand up to years of daily wear and tear. Read on to find the perfect worktop to complement your bathroom suite.

Laminate Worktops 

If you don’t have the cash to splash updating your bathroom worktops each year, you should choose a durable material that is built to last. This is one of the many advantages of choosing a material such as laminate. Laminate worktops are low maintenance and require little upkeep as it is resistant to most stains. This kind of  Utopia Bathroom Furniture comes with a lifetime guarantee, so, if longevity is your main concern, this is the worktop for you.

Solid Surface 

If you are a perfectionist, solid surface bathroom worktops will tick all of your boxes. Utopia take pride in creating bespoke bathroom worktops for customers who want a durable product that looks stunning. Each worktop features an eight step polishing and finishing process that provides exceptional results. Solid surface worktops are available in a range of beautiful colours to complement every bathroom including graphite, oatmeal and black opal.

Geo Stone and Geo Strata

If you want to transform a traditional bathroom into a contemporary space, the Geo Stone and Geo Strata collection from Utopia is guaranteed to delight. This collection boasts a granite-like finish that adds an opulent feel to your room. Tough, practical and fabulously modern, Geo Stone and Geo Strata are the perfect type of worktops for you if bring your bathroom design into the 21st century. The Geo Strata boasts a chrome inlay for that added contemporary touch.

Granite and Marble 

Wonderful worktops are often the main feature in a bathroom and for this reason they should be show-stopping.   If you want a bathroom that oozes luxury, you can’t beat granite and marble worktops. The material itself boasts naturally occurring crystals that catch the light to ensure your bathroom sparkles. Granite and marble worktops are a great choice for homeowners that want to make a style statement as every piece of granite is unique. This kind of material won’t simply make your home look stunning, it can also add value to your home making it a worthy investment.

Coveted Colours

Once you have decided on a suitable material for your bathroom suite, it is time to decide on a colour theme. With so many colours to choose from, you may have a difficult decision on your hands, but if you don’t want to update your room in a few years it is wise to opt for classic colours such as black, brown and cream.

 

 






Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 December, 2013

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Three Stylish Storage Solutions for Small Bedrooms

A small bedroom doesn’t have to look cramped and cluttered. It only takes a little imagination and some innovative storage ideas to make a small bedroom look spacious and stylish.

The bedroom is place to relax, rest and sleep, and many of us with smaller bedrooms don’t make the most of the space left around the bed area. If you have a small or even tiny bedroom, there are easy solutions to give it a little personality and even make it a place you want to spend more time in.

Smart storage for clothes

If you have a small bedroom then storage space can often be a problem especially when it comes to wardrobes. Forget bulky units and go for the slim line options that can be designed around the space you have. You can go online at many furniture websites and enter measurements to get a wardrobe to fit the space you have. Make sure to consider corner wardrobes that are designed specifically to fit snugly into corner wall spaces, or choose a wardrobe with a mirror will create the illusion of space.

Shelving options

Shelving is another good solution for those with smaller bedrooms and little storage space. For a more stylish look consider the many vertical shelving units that extend from floor to ceiling. Also consider built-in shelving instead of a bed headboard, which is a practical and stylish solution for smaller bedrooms. Shelving units can also be placed against the wall either side of the bed head to make the most of empty space.

Consider a folding sofa bed

Sofa beds are one of the best ways to save space in the bedroom and today’s designs now come with storage space included. Sofa beds offer great versatility when it comes to creating adding space to a small room, especially for those who do use their bedroom as a work area. A lot of thought has been put into the design of the latest sofa beds and you can now buy stylish and comfy futons as well as designer sofa beds that wouldn’t look out of place in an upmarket hotel.

The best approach to a small bedroom is to utilise every inch of space – whether it’s under the bed, over the bed, beneath the window or built into the walls themselves. Plan it well and you could end up with a bedroom that is less of a cramped after-thought and more of a cosy den!






Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 18 December, 2013

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