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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
You don’t need to restrict yourself to office furniture choices. The important thing is to find exactly the style and size you want that also expresses your own inimitable uniqueness.
You will spend a lot of time in a home office so you must be very comfortable, not just in your chair but happy with the aesthetics of your surroundings.
Think about what you need to accomplish and how. Do you need to store and have access to paper files or is everything you work with electronic? Is there room to keep necessary supplies close at hand?
Do you work with any tools or accessories that will scratch your desk top? You might want a laminate or glass surface to work on. Find the right chair then match the table or desk to it so you can achieve the correct height for comfortable desk use.
Storage comes in as many varieties as you can think of.
Look at possibilities from the kitchen, garden, living room, bathroom… inspiration can come from anywhere.
Retro and industrial filing cabinets are great and they can delineate the space from the rest of your apartment but jars, boxes and canisters can also be adapted to keep things handy and tidy and at the same time add visual interest.
That visual interest will help to keep you stimulated and it will reflect your creativity, uniqueness and ability to think outside the preverbial box!
How do you choose decor that matches the rug, the furniture and the lighting? The first suggestion is to look for elements from the same manufacturer. Furnishings are usually produced in seasonal ranges with strong designer input. For example, you can check the online campaigns that we have to introduce new products. The campaigns are selected by theme, material, style or some other uniting design factor.
The modern chinoiserie patterns and colours of the mirror, lantern and stool above, are good examples of harmonious design style.
To include more balance in the room, pick up one of the colours and add smaller decor elements to match. In this instance, the less dominant turquoise colour would be perfect for a ceramic Buddha figurine like that on the left that also has an oriental theme or wall art like the prints on the right.
The glaze of the figurine and the delicacy of the prints also add textural balance juxtaposed with the fabrics and rustic metal finish above. Colourful furnishings usually look best against a solid wall hue like pear, yellow or a neutral tone.
Every colour has a psychological value and a particular association for each individual. Colour is a powerful decorating tool that can change the perceived shape and size of furnishings and the actual room itself.
A good tip is to start by choosing the furniture, rug and other elements that aren’t available in as many colours as the wall paint. Think about the primary function of the room. Colours can be described as active, passive or neutral. Light colours can make a room seem larger and brighter while dark colours can create more intimacy.
It is very much a choice for the individual but here are some general colour associations:
RED – dramatic
YELLOW – cheerful
ORANGE – energetic
BLUE – calm
GREEN – fresh, restful
PURPLE – rich
BROWN – comfort
PINK – romantic
Warm tones – red, yellow, orange, brown and beige – can look great in the living room and entrance hall.
Cool tones – blue, purple and green – can be a perfect choice for the bedroom and bathroom.
Accents in black, grey, cream or white highlight your stronger colour choices.