Monthly Archives: November 2012

Friday 5’s – Getting into the Christmas spirit with Green Interiors

Good Morning, it was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday. The sky was blue, the air was fresh and all the trees in the park were baring their branches at me. As I walked past our local plant nursery, I noticed a wall covered with Christmas tree’s. The dense green foliage took me by surprise. I was suddenly so taken aback by the lushness of the colour that I’ve not been able to think of anything else since. Now, I see green everywhere, everything catches my eye from the sprawling green lawns in the park to the green trench coat jacket I saw on a woman in the street. I’m obsessed! Does this ever happen to you?

So to try to get it out of my system and in the spirit of Christmas, today’s Friday 5’s is dedicated to ways of using green in your interiors:

  1. Paint your front door green – a bright or lime green can give you that sunny welcome as you enter your home
  2. Create a feature wall –  Green can evoke a feeling of comfort, relaxation and calm. However if you dare, you can go for a bold bright colour like in the image below and create maximum impact in a room scheme
  3. Green floors – to be honest I never actually thought green floors would be a look I’d go for, until I found the example below. If you use it with light coloured walls and the right accessories, it can look fabulous
  4. Accent – If you want to add green in a more subtle way, you can accent the colour with your furniture and accessories.
  5. Plants – they bring life into the home. You just can’t go wrong with having something living in your house. If you have a black thumb, then go for succulents or even cut flowers. Something with foliage will always enliven your interiors.

That’s all for today, have a lovely weekend. Next week I have a special treat. I’ll be starting a new column so come back soon. x Doris

Image Source – 1 500px.com, 2 krftd.com, 3 amik-t.tumbler.com, 4 teachingliteracy.tumbler.com, apartmenttherapy.com, 420askit.com, dyingofcute.tumbler.com, 5 shoppigment.com


Dealing with a low ceiling

When you walk into our house, the front door leads directly into a large reception with an 11 foot ceiling and as you progress towards the back of the house the ceiling lowers dramatically (by at least 3 ft) and becomes our kitchen and dining space. Although there is a significant drop, you don’t actually feel it. Here’s why:

  • we have a large panel of glass which acts as a skylight in the kitchen that makes the space feel unrestricted
  • the glass sliding doors at the back of the house reach all the way to the ceiling giving the illusion of height
  • the ceiling is painted in white and is lighter than the floors which not only reflects light but provides the illusion of a higher ceiling
  • the kitchen cabinets go all the way to the ceiling and draws the eye up
  • the lighting in the kitchen is integrated into the cabinets and we have no pendants hanging from the ceiling (hanging pendants will focus the eye on the ceiling height)
  • the art in the dining room is hung high towards the ceiling to again draw the eye up

All of these factors have contributed towards creating the illusion that the height of the ceiling is in fact taller than it really is. A couple of other things you could also do are:

  • use vertical stripes to draw the eye upwards
  • use low furniture to make the room feel taller
  • use window treatments that go from floor to ceiling to help create the illusion of height

I hope this has helped anyone trying to design for a room with a low ceiling as it can be a tough one to get right. Have a lovely Thursday. I’ll be back tomorrow for Friday 5s. xD

Image Source – nytimes.com and nsmbl.nl


Making an impact with mirrors above the mantle

I have a major pet peeve. I absolutely can’t stand it when people put a single mirror above a mantelpiece that’s way too small. I swear, everytime I see this I flinch internally, and my head screams NOOOO! So now that I’ve said this, I have to sincerely apologise for offending anyone as I’m sure there are many!  Maybe I’m just being prejudiced against small mirrors, but I don’t get the point. If you are going to put a mirror above a mantle, then I can only think of three reasons why, 1 – you want to reflect maximum light into the room, 2 you want to make the room look bigger or 3 you want to use it as a feature to decorate the blank wall. If you want to go for a mirror you should either go big, like oversized or lots of small mirrors to create a collage like the images below. I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this as I’m really scratching my head here. Am I being totally irrational, or do you agree? Have a lovely Tuesday.

Image Source – 1 Apartment Therapy, 2 79ideas.org and 3 blog.freepeople.com

 


Changes

Dear Readers, you may have noticed an absence of post this morning. That’s because I’ve been busy trying to tweak some changes to the blog which you may have noticed. I’ve written a new bio which you can read here. It’s more casual and I think represents my personality more. I’ve also changed my bio picture to help add a bit more colour to the blog. Do you like it? Have a nice evening and we’ll talk interiors tomorrow. Good Night. Doris


Friday 5’s – How to make a large room feel cosy

Hi and Good Morning. It’s going to be a quick one today as the run up to Christmas is starting to get busy busy busy! The other day, I had some friends over to my little home and they commented on how they found it really difficult to make their large living room feel cosy and welcoming. It’s easy to fall into the trap of placing a couple of sofa’s against the walls and then having such a large gap in between that you end up shouting at each other from opposite ends of the room. So here are some tips on how to make a large room feel more cosy:

  1. Use large items of furniture to take up the floor space and height of the room eg. oversized sofa, large wall cabinet, large lighting or chandelier
  2. Paint the room a dark colour and keep the walls, frames, ceiling and if you can floor the same colour. Dark colours will always make a room appear smaller and more cosy.
  3. Create zones within the room by using furniture ie one for conversation, one for reading etc. You can also use furniture as the physical divider of the room such as a shelf
  4. Use large wall art or wallpaper to create a focal point to the room
  5. Place furniture away from the walls rather than against. This helps to distract the eye away from the size of the space

The images below are from the blog of photographer Todd Selby from  The Selby. The images are of the home of famous Interior Designer Abigail Ahern. Having been lucky enough to attend one of her masterclasses earlier this year at her home, I was able to see it first hand. Her home is as beautiful as a work of art and she has integrated a lot of these tricks into her home as shown below. Do you have any tips you might like to share? What’s worked for you in the past?

Have a lovely weekend. xD


How NOT to paint a room

Being parents with a toddler, it’s difficult to actually do any large diy projects. Living in London, we use every room in the house and there is no space for us to leave anything potentially dangerous like paint, chemicals or tools  for an extended period of time. This means that we need to rely on contractors to do the work for us. They come in, charge a ton a money, do the work and take their tools with them.

So when we decided to repaint our bedrooms upstairs that’s what we did. The rooms were overtaken with very unsuitable wall paper; think blousy flowers and neon pink shoes. Not our style. Anyway, we thought we’d try and save money and asked the painter to strip the wall paper and only repaint the walls. We chose a suitably neutral and child friendly colour – Dulux Jasmine White and then asked him to proceed. All was well, until the paint went up on the walls! Yikes! The colour of the walls suddenly stood out glaringly at me, fresh and lovely while the ceiling, skirting and window frames suddenly looked dated and had been painted with a pink hue. They were not friends. In the end, we had to repaint everything costing us double the amount of the original quote. So the moral of the story is, when you repaint a room, do the whole thing! Trust me, it will save you so much time and money in the end. I just hope someone can learn something from my rookie mistake. How about you? Any interior mistakes you’d like to share?

The images below are from Design Sponge except the unfinshed rooms actually look good unlike my rooms. Till tomorrow…


Budgeting for your dream Interior

Today I have my head full of numbers. Admin and book keeping is something that I absolutely hate, but alas it’s a part of life and can’t be avoided. As I was busily inputting numbers into a spreadsheet and paying off bills, I started to think about how reliant we are on money to get the interior we really want. I’ve heard people say that you don’t need to spend that much to have a nice interior. You can do it all yourself, be creative and pick up bargains at the flea market. Yes, this is true, you can save money through these methods but the reality is they cost something else. TIME. If you have plenty of time to do these things, then great! You are very lucky. I would love to spend my weekends driving to a remote location in the middle of the country to attend a local flea market to grab that bargain, or spend days on end re-upholstering the dining chairs. But let’s be realistic here, I’m busy. I have a life, a child, a husband, a family and friends that I want to spend time with. So what am I to do?

Well, I’ve worked out that the best thing for me  is to budget, save and plan for the updates to the interiors in my home. Here are some things that I do when planning to spend money on my interiors:

  1. Make a plan – I do this on a yearly basis. Think about how much money  you can reasonably save and put towards your home for the next year. Be Realistic.
  2. Choose the room/s you want to update based on your budget for the year. What do you want to change? How much will it cost? Write it down in a diary so that you don’t lose focus.
  3. Save save save. I don’t spend any money until I have at least 80% of what I need to make the changes. As they say, cash is king and you can get better bargains with it.
  4. Start looking at the things you want to buy or update to enhance your interior. Did you find something you liked? Ok, then try and wait to see if it goes on sale. Most major retailers have regular sale times, they are usually just after Christmas and mid way through the year. A good way to know when the sales are on is to subscribe to the company newsletters.
  5. And finally … make sure you stick to your budget. If there is something that you can’t afford but really love, then delay it till you have the money.

Hang in there. Interiors take time to finish. Some might say an Interior is never complete. But if you stick with it, your home will grow with you over time and truely become a representative of you and your family. After all, isn’t that what we all aspire to in a home? I hope you have a lovely Tuesday. There will be no post tomorrow (study day and plenty to catchup on). I’m not sure where the image below came from but it is all over the internet. If you know where it’s from, then let me know and I will update the source. Thanks D

 

 


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