Monthly Archives: October 2012

Happy Halloween

No interior post today, but wanted to wish you all a Happy Halloween. Will be back tomorrow. xDoris

Image Source – Country Living


Pools of light with lamps

I recently attended a local society meeting. Being part of the local community (aside from being informative) also gives me the opportunity to have a sneak peek at peoples homes. Have you ever walked down your street and wondered what the house looks like inside? I do this constantly, and am a little embarrassed to admit that I do take a nosey into peoples bay windows to see what decor changes they have made of late. Anyway, the meeting was at the home of one of the members. It was a cute little cottage, dressed in a classic style with furniture and accessories that represented their love of travel. Think mahogany trunks, intricately carved Indonesian tables and formally displayed African art.

As 20 people crammed into the tiny reception, I noticed how softly lit the room was. Like being in a sophisticated 1920s gentleman’s club, the inviting atmosphere was created by multiple pools of soft light illuminated from 6 lamps (yes I counted them) dotted around the room. Instead of having 1 light hanging from the ceiling, you can create more mood and atmosphere by creating multiple pools of soft light. In order to create this some ideas are below:

  • Use lots of low wattage lights dotted around the room
  • Avoid fluorescence at all costs (you want a soft glow)
  • Use a variety of lights that are different sizes and heights
  • Put dimmers on all your switches so that you can control how much light you need

The images below were taken from Elle Decor Magazine (October 2011). Not only is the Manhattan apartment of Accessories Designer William Frawley wonderfully eclectic, you can imagine lounging on the sofa with a glass of scotch while listening to Jazz in the evenings after a night out on the town.

The wrong sofa

The weekend went way too quickly! Cold days make me want to stay indoors and cook up something warm and tender, so that’s what I did. It was a sumptuous duck that stewed for an hour in it’s own fat and juices in the oven while I sat on the sofa and watched Nigel Slater (cooking genius) on tv cooking up a storm. It’s weather like this that makes the sofa so so important don’t you think? The very first sofa we purchased was an L-shaped soft and squishy number in a dark brown leather. Although it didn’t look too pleasing; when you sat on it, it was like being wrapped in a cloud of softness and you would inevitably fall into a deep slumber within minutes of sitting on it. When we moved a couple of years ago, the purchase criteria was entirely different. We went for an ultra modern modular number – low, sleek and minimal. We were dazzled by the look (it played the part in a modern house), had whizz bang features like a reclining headrests and came with a choice of a zillion colours and fabrics (and had the price tag to go with it). When it arrived home, it was shiny and new and we were happy. But the more I sat on it, the more I missed my old sofa. Instead of the simple cushy number that felt like clouds,this felt foreign, had little back support and you couldn’t even lie down on it! But after forking out the money for it, it stays (we simply couldn’t afford another one) and to this day, I still have regrets. So the moral of the story is? ALWAYS TEST OUT THE SOFA BEFORE YOU BUY IT. Although we did sit on it in the showroom, we were far too polite about it. We were struck by the shiny newness and the sparkling features, rather than focusing on what was the most important feature for us – the squish factor. So if you are looking for a sofa, of course you do need to be practical like making sure it’s big or small enough to fit the size of the room and making sure it will fit through your front door. But I would highly recommend that you take your shoes off and sit on it for a good while, lounge around and have a chat. Use it like you would at home. Seriously, it’s a major purchase. You don’t want to have any regrets. The image below is from West Elm and just oozes the squish factor I’m talking about. The name says it all – BLISS…

Fridays Top 5 – Living in Small Spaces

Hiya all! It’s Friday and it’s time to get yourself ready for the weekend! I thought it would be fun for everyone to get interactive and share their thoughts and ideas, so I’ve come up with a plan. Each Friday I’m going to provide 5 simple tips on a chosen topic. As we are always learning new things, I want to ask you all to pitch in if you have any additional idea’s or experiences you want to share (that’s related to the topic of course) please feel free to chip in. That way, we can all learn something new.

So today’s topic is how to designing for a small living space. Here goes…

  1. Create Zones in the room for different uses such as lounging, eating, cooking, reading etc by using strategically placed furniture, rugs and objects.
  2. Use reflective surfaces such as mirrors and glass or gloss furniture to reflect light around the room.
  3. Think vertical. Is there any under utilized space on the ceiling or walls that could be used for storage?
  4. Make sure you edit your things carefully, in a small space clutter can easily build up. You need to ask yourself, do I need it? And if yes, where will it go?
  5. Use multi-functional furniture. For example a stool could also be used as a side table.

What are your thoughts? That’s it for today. Have a lovely weekend! xD

Image Source Ikea & Apartment Therapy

Making kitchens more interesting

It’s gloomy and cold outside… weather like this always makes me reach for the kettle to brew my favourite deli bought coffee. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to coffee. Has to be high quality and freshly ground. No instant coffee allowed in my house! But I digress. Let’s get back to interiors. Today, I’m talking about open shelving in the kitchen. Kitchens are usually designed with function in mind first then aesthetics trail behind. Shelving can be a wonderful way of adding personality and warmth into the scheme. If you place your plates, bowls and utensils out on display, it instantly makes the kitchen feel lived in and more interesting. Coming from a more practical standpoint, if you put the least used items on the top shelves and items you use everyday on the bottom shelf they won’t get the chance to accumulate dust. Now time for that cup of coffee….

Image Source top left – Unknown, top right –, bottom left – Apartment Therapy & bottom right – Design Sponge

Where to start?

It was such a beautiful day today that I took Little J out for a walk through our local park. When we got back ready for lunch, I automatically put my keys on the hook by the door and took off our shoes and jackets and hung them up. This got me thinking… the way we live is fundamental to how we build our interiors. So in order to know what you want out of your home, you need to assess how you use it on a daily basis. This is one of the first things that Interior Designers do when you engage them. They have a standard list of probing questions to help them understand what you need by getting to know you and how you live and then build a scheme around it. Logical right?

So, if you are unsure of where to start with changing your interior try and answer some of the questions below:
1. What is your favourite room and why?
2. What don’t you like about your current home and why?
3. What part of the house do you use the most/least?

You could also keep a diary for a week or two and take note of how you use your house. Start from when you wake up in the morning to when you go to bed at night (also note how other people living there use the house and include regular visitors). And don’t forget to do this on the weekend also as peoples routines often change during this time. This will help you to understand what your needs really are.

Image Source: Apartment Therapy

What is the first thing you do when you get in the front door?

Variety is the spice of life

With Autumn bringing in the cold weather, this time of year brings everybody indoors. For me, it is a time when the couch beckons and nights are spent in front of the tv under a blanket or throw surrounded by masses of cushions.

With cushions, the trick is to mix your textures and shapes. As they say, variety is the spice of life and I have a mix of cushions made from wool, velvet, cotton and faux fur that are a combination of square, round and rectangular shapes on my sofa. It is better to have an odd number of cushions rather than even and I tend to throw them around rather than place them neatly. Image Source Yellow Velvet, unknown, Adventure Journal.



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