Living Urban

Image sourced from Pinterest

Often working with city dwellings, you are limited with space. It is extremely important to make the most of every crevice with multi-functional areas, and to use strategic tools to create a sense of space within your interior. You can still generate your favourite interior style, but we would suggest using limited accessories when decorating, scarce pops of colour and retain an uncluttered minimal look. Minimal does not mean that it must be dull, it just suggests that you should keep a sense of order and be vigilant when it comes to selecting furniture and decorative pieces. Be creative, make the overall look still boast style but keep textures light and surfaces clean lined – expansive simplicity is key!

Green Must Be Seen

Sourced from Pinterest

There has been a shift in the design industry where elements of nature are strongly being suggested to dress our homes. Colours such as forest green, exposed timber and rich textures are used within interiors as it brings an essence of wellness and calmness to our busy lifestyles.

Introducing green to your interior palette can promote a sense of relaxation, balance and creativity. Teaming your focal green with added live greenery brings serenity to a room and introduces several hues of green to create interest visually and flow to the space. It is important to contrast bold colours, in this particular case the white walls and floor enhances the principle green and sits perfectly against the ornate dark timber bed frame. The room is balanced with raw elements and the natural greens work well for both males and females. Note: Simplicity is key when exploring trends of wellness and nature within interiors.

Reflecting Hamptons

Source from: apartmenttherapy

Boasting a mix of European and American furniture, this interior above reflects the Hamptons Style, with a touch of Australiana. It is typical of this design to have a neutral palette with pops of colour, and warm timber elements that bring a relaxed but classic feel.

Characteristically, the Hamptons style works well by the sea or in a country home. If wanting to bring this look into a beach home, simply replace the darker décor accent pieces with hints of ocean Blues in say your cushions or throws, add White woven baskets and keep the iconic neutral surrounding pallet. As displayed in the image above, they have gone for a more rustic country look and added in rattan armchairs, a grand painting of a Hound above the fireplace and antlers. This is an extremely popular theme when it comes to interiors that never seems to date, it is truly a classic.

Embracing a Feminine Shabby Chic Style

Source from Decoist

A warm, feminine style which is also referred to as country cottage or French Antique, Shabby Chic has a rather romantic air. It’s all about blushing pink shades, roses and a certain simplicity in the sense that any vases, mirrors and chairs tend to be vintage rather than new. Because of this they have a trademark distressed look (whether genuine or applied).

The colour scheme with this look is neutral whites, beiges, creams and pale pastels such as blue, green, yellow and pink. There are plenty of florals, with fussy frills and polka dots encouraged (it’s a feminine style, after all). A great proponent of the shabby chic style is the designer Cath Kidson.

Fancy candlesticks, ornately framed mirrors, pitchers with wild flowers placed on a dressing table – these are all shabby chic accessories. In terms of furniture, reclaimed wood – often painted white – is popular and so too is the odd Louis IV reproduction chair with chipped paint. Sofas tend to be covered in throws and cushions (it’s all about comfort but without the elegance of Scandinavian style).

Wicker, linen and natural cotton, as well as the more glamorous velvet are favourite Shabby Chic materials from which to fashion tablecloths, curtains, cushions and other matching accessories.

This is a style that’s perfect for a female-led interior, but one which men can find a bit questionable at times.

Get Serious with Scandinavian Style

Source from Aestatestudio

A look that first became popular in the Scandinavian and Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland in the mid-30s, this is a style which, like Modernism, embraces minimalism and simplicity. But it’s done in a very elegant fashion. You’ll understand exactly what we mean when you realise three of its famous founders were Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner and Verner Panton (all produced iconic accent chairs revered today).

A neutral colour scheme is key, usually white, with the odd splash of colour in the form of cushions or a painting. Another big tenet of this style is natural materials; the more from your immediate environment the better, especially woods, leather, wool and even fur (more likely faux fur these days) because Scandi style tends to be cosy – especially in winter with roaring wood fires and plenty of fairy lights.

Flooring tends to be either wide planks of reclaimed wood or concrete. There isn’t a lot of furniture but what there is tends to be functional and of high quality, usually simply but carefully-carved timber and designed in such a way to showcase the natural beauty of the wood.

Nothing in this design style is elaborate or overly-fussy – something that many busy homeowners these days will certainly appreciate.

An Introduction to Industrial Design/Loft Living

Loft Interior by Deniz Atli
Loft Interior by Deniz Atli, Source from Chaosgroup

Industrial design really came into its own with the transformation of old warehouses into homes. Along with the new fashion for urban loft living a new style of interiors was essential since current designs just wouldn’t adapt to those huge living spaces.

Furniture had to be large and chunky so that it wasn’t dwarfed by all that floor space and the high ceilings (which often had old wood beams). At the same time reclaimed wood, exposed pipe work and patchy brickwork – which nine times out of ten were part of the building anyhow – all became incorporated into this “stripped back” look. The result is a sense of “rawness” and an unfinished feel.

In terms of colour, the look is neutral with a few splashes of colour here and there in the form of artwork, a rug or cushions. The main materials are reclaimed wood and metal in all its forms – copper, steel, aluminium, bronze etc.

Pendant lamps in metallic are a large part of industrial design and are necessary to fill the gap between the high ceiling and the kitchen island.

This is a no-nonsense style where furniture and materials are repurposed where possible, resulting in a mix of vintage and contemporary. There are lots of nice relaxing clean lines – perfect for the busy urban executive returning home to the loft after a long day at the coalface – or rather, the office.

Sofa Innovation

A Beautiful Mind

Italian architect Alessandro Isola literally stumbled upon this very innovative idea. He was forever tripping over furled rugs in his home and came up with this fabulously creative sofa-cum-carpet idea.

The carpet transforms into a generous sofa, supported by a carbon fibre core. The core itself can also be used as a book or display shelf at the higher end of the sofa.

The incredible 'Stumble Upon Sofa' designed by Italian architect Alessandro Isola
The incredible ‘Stumble Upon Sofa’ designed by Italian architect Alessandro Isola

 

Fair’s Fair – What’s Hot Now

Things We Noticed at the Recent Trade Fairs That Look Like They’ll Trend Well

We’re always looking for new products and love seeing what’s out there at the trade fairs. Most recently, there is a big interest in recycled materials which is encouraging. There is also a trend for beach themed decor including driftwood pieces. The surprises were a return to glassware that would have been popular with our grandmothers. Sometimes referred to as nannyware, we saw Bohemian glassware at several stands. Chinese ceramic stools are also making an appearance plus the iconic hourglass is a hot decor piece.

Flashed overlay Bohemian glass.    Chinese ceramic stools.   Hourglass decor.
Flashed overlay Bohemian glass. Chinese ceramic stools. Hourglass decor.

Inspiration Can Come from Anywhere

By definition, inspiration is a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something.

Don’t you love being inspired by something that you glimpse quickly but has a profound effect on your imagination? If you are searching for fresh ideas for decorating or renovating, look beyond the obvious sources.

easter-lilies-altar-backdrop

That impetus could be from a floral display you see at a wedding or other reception that defines a neutral palette and serene atmosphere for a room. It could be realised in quality artificial flowers or the form itself could motivate you to create a similar cascading effect in a room divider, shower screen, window treatment or curtains.

Sometimes the juxtaposition of two colours will surprise you and their unique combination will become the source for a whole new adventure in colour schemes.

Inspiring colour combos can come from nature, a scene on TV (such as the Countess of Grantham’s room in Downton Abbey) or two small dots of oil paint on a canvas at the art gallery.  Some of the best colour artists were Edouard Vuillard and Odilon Redon. They can be described as artist’s artists for their amazing use of colour. Look below to see some brilliant examples.

The outrageous colours used by Vuillard on the left and by Redon in the centre work beautifully together within each painting and offer some superb hues to experiment with. Sometimes the shapes and textures may be the motivation. The abstract by Barns-Graham could be reinvented as a floor plan for a room or garden or it could be used to represent the proportions for the decoration of a feature wall.

'Boulevard-of-Batignolles', Edouard Vuillard, 'Sunset', Odilon Redon and an abstract by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
‘Boulevard-of-Batignolles’, Edouard Vuillard, ‘Sunset’, Odilon Redon and an abstract by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham

 

 

 

 

What’s the Best Furniture for Home Entertainment?

The Basics

Home entertainment can be watching TV or movies on TV, gaming and listening to music. The bare minimum furniture you need for a room dedicated to entertainment are:

TV tvx 1

Whether you have a box unit or wall mounted flat screen, the TV is really the hearth and focus of most family homes. Wall mounting frees up a lot of space but any TV can be integrated into a functional storage unit. The biggest problem with Wii games and the ever-changing new technologies in audio-visual devices is the huge amount of requisite accessories we amass. This is especially true in an extended family situation when dad loves his old LPs and the kids are into Xbox one and Playstation 4.

Storage

twoStorage units can be sleek or more like a console or buffet shape, this depends on the style of your room and the look you want to achieve.

The main thing is being able to store all your equipment and accessories and hide the worst of the messy cables.

Corner TV units can be a great solution for small spaces or for when you want visual access from more than one room. The most important thing here is the final height of the TV screen. It should be at a comfortable viewing level, which means generally that your direct eyeline should be approximately a third of the way up the screen. There are also some great smaller solutions made for specific storage items such as DVD towers and racks.

Couch

 Make it comfy! A modular couch can be a good choice for an entertainment room because it can be reconfigured according to what you are doing and how many people are involved. The traditional sofa and pair of armchairs or recliners work very well too. The prime task is arranging the furniture to maximise your viewing and listening position as well as utilising the general space. Ottomans, especially those that include their own storage recesses, can be perfect seating choices for extra guests that drop by.

 Coffee Table

 Lastly, a must-have, provided you have the space for it, is a coffee table. Placed btween the couch and the TV unit, a coffee table provides you with a surface to put your drinks and snacks on. Look for a coffee table that can also store things you need close to hand like the remote controls, TV guide and magazines. With these basics you will create an ideal place to put your feet up and, relax and enjoy your toys without the clutter.