If you’re anything like this writer, your favourite activity will be sitting in your living room, in your pants, slobbing on the settee and vegetating to the latest season of Game of Thrones. And being the most frequented part of your home, you’ve got to make all that slobbing as comfortable as possible.
So, what interior design choices should you choose for optimal comfort and style?
The seating of gods
Have you ever sat in a truly uncomfortable seat? It’s like Chinese water torture, suffering an uncomfortable illness or having to sit through a full season of Geordie Shore –awful.
And the cheapest seats never make do for comfort. Instead, they make you feel like you’re sitting on a layer of cardboard atop a stone.
Really, especially if you’re looking for unadulterated comfort, shelling out a little extra is well worth the dough. Try celebrity recliners for fully adjustable bliss, and couple them with a settee that really hits the spot.
When you’re positioning your seating, be sure not to make your telly the main focus. Foster a naturally sociable area by placing chairs and settees opposite each other in an almost-circle.
Good seating is paramount in a front room, so spend wisely and well.
Buying a telly has become so complicated nowadays, hasn’t it?
Gone are the days when you proudly asserted your ownership of a 32-inch – now you have to know exact screen resolutions, number of HDMI ports, whether your SCART plug doubles up as a toaster and if you have dongle support (seriously, does anyone actually know what a dongle is?).
Here are the basics you need to know:
• 1080p is the highest screen resolution available.
• Having at least two HDMI sockets is preferable.
• A good quality television will have a set-top box built-in.
• Higher quality tellies will have features like Netflix and internet access built-in – although they aren’t vital if you’ve got a USB port and a laptop.
But most of all, don’t let your huge telly cramp the style of your room. Few people want a black hole as their living room’s focal point.
A touch of class
You can have mounds of Blu-ray’s, stacks of DVDs and games dotted around your sitting room, but you also need some class to impress your guests.
Invest in adequate shelving to hold a varied array of ornaments and decorations, and consider placing some pictures – whether it’s works of art or family photos – to give the place a personal touch.
The best thing about slobbing around is feeling entirely comfortable, and having your personal bits and bobs is a big part of that. But when you’ve got guests around, having a well turned-out and cultured look about your home is the key to creating a sociable atmosphere.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 15 September, 2014
For this year’s London Design Festival, Bethan Gray, winner of the Best British Designer Award 2013, is teaming up with department store, Harrods to open a dedicated pop-up shop. Located in the newly refurbished third floor furniture department, the 33 sq m pop-up space will house exclusive furniture and accessories from Bethan’s own boutique collection, including the newly launching Stud Mirror and Carve Console and Desk.
The shop will feature on Harrods’ London Design Festival ‘Design Trail’, part of the store’s new campaign, Harrods is Design, which runs from 8 September to 5 October 2014.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 12 September, 2014
It’s Fashion week.
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Posted by Michelle Lesser at 12 September, 2014
It could be the rotten frame, the door barely clinging to its hinges, the sullen mat or the fact that people keep throwing money at your doorway, mistaking it for a sleeping tramp, but something about your entrance needs a makeover.
Indeed, your entrance design can be easy to neglect when you tackle the rest of your home – but without a classy walkway to your door, you’re setting a disappointing precedent to guests for the interior of the house.
So, how can you turn that front entrance from a sleeping tramp to a luxury walkway?
Morph your mat
It might only be where you wipe your feet, but door mats are also the way to initiate a positive feeling in your home.
Seek out a durable, machine washable mat with an eye-catching pattern to make your entrance stand out. Also ensure it can scrape dirt from your soles effectively. Essentially, don’t vie for the cheap, Poundland option – buy a luxurious mat that will last longer and capture dirt quickly.
Your door is the focal point of any entrance, so you hardly want it looking like the police have kicked it in a thousand times. Instead of a door from the set of The Wire, you should invest in a sturdy, heavy door specially designed to weather the elements.
But if a completely new door and frame is out of your price range, consider giving it a fresh lick of exterior paint or varnish. Just make sure you screw the door off its hinges and take it inside before you paint it – the last thing you want is rain ruining your paintjob before it’s dry.
Look to the countryside
Have you ever been to the countryside and looked at the exterior of those wonderful cottages you could never find in the city?
Butterflies flutter around trellised creepers, a long cobbled pathway leading to the entrance takes you through rose beds and mesmeric colours, and a white picketed gate reflects the sunlight with a glimmer.
In essence, it’s perfect. And while you might not be able to capture that exact tone in your urban gloom, a few hanging baskets and a tidy garden with some flowerbeds can increase the delight-factor in your garden no end.
Make it match
So many homes suffer from a disconnect between their exterior and interior, causing a jarring shift in tone when you move from one area to the other.
Yet if you can marry both, you’ll have a home to be admired.
This doesn’t have to be difficult or even particularly intricate. Provided you keep both areas clean, well-designed and regularly updated, your outdoors and indoors won’t be drearily mismatched.
Picture via Pinterest.
Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 11 September, 2014
On one hand, you assume that cheap is another word for quality that is rather suspect; we assume that cheap rugs must be sub-standard in terms of material, robustness and structure but this is not always the case. The Rug Retailer explains below as to how you can buy cheap, luxurious rugs.
Creating maximum impact in any room with a fabulous, yet cheap area rug is easier than you think and here are our top tips for ensuring that you get value for money.
Cheap rugs – choosing the right rug
The beauty of an area rug is that you can change it, as often or as little as you like. For those people looking to make an investment in a permanent rug, then you can afford to look at the heftier price tags BUT, if you change your rugs as often as the seasons (or more so!), then there are options for you too.
On one hand, people frown and furrow their brow at the idea of purchasing rugs that are made from synthetic materials but, if you are a frequent rug changer, then choosing a synthetic rug is the way forward, Cheaper on the price tag, they come in a range of colours and finishes which means you can ring the changes at the end of summer, and opt for darker, cosier colours in winter, or keep the brightness and richness of autumn running through your home; alternatively, you can welcome the gentle warmth of spring with a lighter-coloured rug.
But, if your eco-credentials are still important to you there are still some ‘natural’, organic options open to you. Rugs made from plant fibres – sisal and jute are just two examples, along with bamboo – can offer a rug at a competitive price than can be changed over and over again.
Then again, there may be some of you that cannot entertain the idea of having nothing but naturalness in your home and wool rugs can be surprisingly cheap, especially the smaller rugs that can be used dotted about the home. They also last for a very long time and so the pay off with this longevity and the price tag is that they are the cost-effective option.
How is it made?
Another factor that affects price, effectively bumping it up to astronomical proportions in some cases is not just the size or material, but how it is made.
Money no option? Want the gold standard of crafted rugs? Opt for hand-knotted rugs. Made by seriously talented and skilled people across the globe, these are not your run of the mill rugs.
But you get our drift, those rugs that are machine made (dare we say, ‘mass produced’?!) will take less skill and man hours to make, hence they roll off the production line cheaper than paying an artisan to make one.
There is a way you can check for a high quality rug and that is to peek on the underside; if you can see the pattern, it is a woven rug and will be well made. Spot a backing and it’s probably not. Remember the days when carpets would be woven or rubber-backed? The same thing applies to rugs.
Now that is not to say that you cannot pick up a bargain when it comes to hand-knotted or woven rugs but remember when you are haggling, that in terms of hand knotted rugs, someone will have worked very long hours, possibly for many, many months and they deserve fair pay. Overall, expect to pay a third less on the price tag for a machine made rug than one made by a skilled hand.
We have already alluded that the price of a rug can be affected by the size.
Interior design dictates that you simply must get the right size rug; too small and it looks so lost in a room that it is faintly ridiculous. Too large and it will be up the walls.
However, if you are on a budget and you in the market for cheap rugs, then you could get very clever here and actually make one interior design dictum work to your advantage… use more than one rug!
But, there may be some other size considerations you need to think about too, one being the thickness of a rug; you may find that some cheaper rugs are thinner than some of the more expensive rugs on the market but in some areas of your home this may be just fine.
The bedroom rug always benefits from being a little bit plusher; in the dining room you want to make sure the rug is big enough to be a platform for both table and chairs and in the living room… well, the options are endless!
There is one rule of thumb that some designers go by when it comes to the price of a rug in the lounge – the price of the rug should roughly be the same as the price of the sofa. But getting the right sized rug is important is so many different, stylish ways http://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/tips-to-choosing-the-right-rug-
Look after your rug and it will be a cost-effective option
The best way of investing in cheap or cost effective rugs is to make sure that they are looked after and one way of doing that – bar regular cleaning and stain-removal – is the use of pads underneath them. This stops them slip, sliding about the floor which also means less wear and tear.
Buying rugs on a budget does not mean buying inferior quality that won’t last longer than a week; it means getting the best you can afford and taking care of it!
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 10 September, 2014
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Bedding by West Elm.
Posted by Michelle Lesser at 8 September, 2014