Archive for the ‘interior decoration’ Category

How to bring the outside in

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

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modern slate-walled bathroom

Outdoor elements have a way of making us feel relaxed, refreshed and calm; so why wouldn’t we want to imitate this in our own homes? You’d be surprised at how easy it is to create a natural, calming atmosphere; and one room in particular that can often benefit from the influence of the great outdoors is the bathroom.

A space to relax and unwind after a hard day at work; ground your mood with a few of these simple steps.

The material

Instead of opting for plastic and other man-made materials, choose natural elements instead. Using substances such as cork and bamboo for flooring creates a bathroom sure to look and feel warm & inviting. Combining this with stone really maximises the outdoor to indoor theme. Try adding stone washbasins and other features such as the warm, earthy designs created by Bella Bathrooms, where they have combined grey slate effects with sandstone flooring.

Cork flooring in a bathroomimage credit

The colour

The colour of your bathroom can really make or break it. Although white is often popular for those looking to make a small bathroom feel much bigger, it can often show up any water marks and scratches much easier than colour, so can end up being quite a frustrating option to keep on top of. Be brave and venture out into using mother nature’s own colour palette. Mossy greens, duck egg blues and rich tones of mocha can create a pleasing ambiance.

modern bathroom with light wood furniture and moss green wall

Decoration

Referring back to the colour scheme, continue the theme of nature by bringing elements of the outside in. Putting stones and sand into vases and adding greenery such as ferns or bamboo is a popular way to bring a little Zen into your space. As the bathroom can be a damp and humid room, ensure to research the best plants that will suit the bathroom so that you can feel inspired. If you don’t have the room for flowers or plants why not try hanging pictures of them up on your bathroom walls instead? There are many ways to accessorise your bathroom with a nod to nature, even if you’re limited for space.

modern split-level bathroom with wooden flooring and walls

The extras

It’s the little things that count. Making sure you have natural light in your bathroom is another great way of making it feel much more fresh and spacious; sunshine bouncing off the walls makes it look much more inviting too. Let’s not forget candles and incense; ignite all of your senses with accessories that you can touch, see and smell to bring a relaxed feel to the room.

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Home entertainment rooms: bring a vintage cinema vibe to your home!

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

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home cinema with tan club chairsimage credit

Do you love cinema? Are you getting a little tired of watching your favourite movies in a cold and boring sitting room, on a laptop or worse, God forbid, a mobile phone screen? Do you happen to have a spare room or are you living with someone who doesn’t mind you transforming the living room?

If the answer to all of the above is yes, you’re in luck: we’ve come up with ideas for the ultimate home entertainment room. Here are a few tips on how to bring that fun and classic vintage cinema vibe into your home.

Elite home cinema seats from Reclinersdirect

Furniture

It wouldn’t really be a vintage-themed home entertainment room without a set of black or red leather recliner chairs. They’re stylish and retro without having to compromise on comfort.

If your budget is tight, why not transform that set of old sitting room chairs you scored from a charity shop or car boot sale into glorious & unique red velvet cinema chairs?

There are plenty of upholstery tutorials on the web, most of them are easier than you think, and you’ll be able to source all the fabric and materials online or from many DIY shops.

vintage film posters on a wall going up stairs to a home cinemaimage credit

On the walls

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to keep the walls on the dark side so they don’t catch the screen’s light. Black-out curtains at the windows & doors are also something to consider to prevent light from filtering through. To mix it up a little, hang your favourite vintage film posters on the walls: use large black wooden frames for a sleek & chic look.

minimalist red & white home cinema roomimage credit

Hide away that tech: screen & audio system

There are some good options to prevent bulky, often ugly, home cinema equipment from ruining the look & atmosphere of the room. In terms of screens, why not opt for a home cinema projector?

Easily connected to a laptop (unless you choose to go for an old school, auto-load projector of course!), it takes up the minimum of space and can be easily hung from the ceiling, out of the way.

Be aware however, that some parts such as the bulb will need to be replaced from time to time and it’s likely to cost a little bit more than what you pay initially. If you’re buying second-hand, it’s always good to ask the vendor if it’s recently been changed.

As for the audio system, if you’re on a budget, vintage can often be good in terms of sound quality and value for money. You can source quality, second-hand equipment on the web, at auction and from charity shops.

If you’ve already invested in new equipment, it’s going to take a little bit more effort and clever hacking to camouflage depending on your setup. Why not have the audio assembled on a trolley that can quickly be rolled out from inside an easily accessible cupboard prior to a screening?

vintage home cinema with vintage seats, popcorn maker and snack trolleyimage credit

Final touches

Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same pretty much goes for a vintage cinema-themed home entertainment room… but that’s most of the fun!

Depending on your budget and your charity shops and flea market finds, you can keep adding to the room with a few extra touches that will give the room a lot more character: popcorn maker, vintage lighting and furniture, classic movie memorabilia…

Enjoy the show!

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5 space-saving tips & techniques for the small office

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

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Home office under eaves with trestle table and hammockimage credit: Gals n’ Guys

Whether you’ve converted the laundry room at home into a professional environment or rent a small office elsewhere, it’s essential to make the most of every foot and inch. There are many things you can do to make even the tiniest room organised and fully functional, so take a look at these clever space-saving tips and techniques.

Purpose-built storage units with red doorsimage credit: Mike Mozart

  1. Hire a storage unit

If you’ve got a lot to do and very little space to do it in, hiring a storage unit for business purposes could be ideal. These safe, secure facilities are not only a great place to keep furniture, electrical goods and stock but they’re also suitable for keeping large filing cabinets and other bulky items which can take up a lot of room. Believe it or not, many small UK firms even operate partially or completely out of a storage unit, so there’s plenty that can be done with this bit of extra space.

Nick Keppol's minimalist home officeimage credit: Nick Keppol

  1. Embrace the minimalist look

Squeezing too many things into a small room can look cluttered, disorganised and untidy, so when arranging your office think carefully about what you need and what you don’t need. Embrace the minimalist look by getting rid of anything that looks ugly or out of place and invest in an array of space-saving furniture such as corner computer desks, mobile cabinets (which can be stored underneath desks) and chairs with hidden storage.

Contemporary home office with clear desk and chairimage credit: Found Associates

  1. Choose your technology carefully

If possible, you should also opt for technology that doesn’t take up much room such as lightweight laptops and tablets rather than heavy desktop PCs as the latter require a large surface area to work properly. PCs also tend to make a lot of noise and give out plenty of heat which might make a small room warm and stuffy, so bear this in mind when purchasing IT equipment.

On a similar note, it’s also worth getting hold of a double-duty flat screen that can double up as a TV and a computer monitor. A large screen is ideal for work and play and will allow you to flip between a spreadsheet and your favourite TV programme.

 small home office with large collection of orange and white storage boxesimage credit: Juliette Byrne

  1. Use as much wall space as possible

When it comes to storage, it’s also essential to think vertically and use as much wall space as you possibly can without turning the room into an eyesore. Tall bookcases, for instance, won’t take up much floor space but they’ll give you plenty of room to store important files, documents, literature and paperwork. Shelves are also easy to put up above desks and such like and will help keep things a little more organised.

home office with black-painted chalk board wallimage credit: John Donkin

  1. Chalkboard

If you don’t have a spare meeting room or floor space to place a presentation flip board – fear not. Simply cover one wall in chalkboard paint and you’ve got yourself a doodle pad and focal point that won’t take up any extra room at all. It’s ideal for note making and if you ever have to explain something to a member of staff you can put your artistic talents to good use by drawing diagrams on the wall. Perfect!

It’s relatively easy to turn a small office into a practical dynamic environment, so why not give these handy tips a go?

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Bright ideas for illuminating your home on a budget

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

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collection of vintage lampshades as ceiling lightImage credit: Godrich Interiors

A gloomy, dimly-lit home can dampen the mood and if you constantly have to rely on your overhead lights to brighten and cheer up a room you’ll undoubtedly be spending a lot on your electricity bill. If you’ve been wanting to make some drastic changes to solve the problem but haven’t the budget for it then don’t despair. We’ve got some bright ideas that can help you illuminate your home without having to spend a fortune…

White-washed loft bedroomImage credit: studio mark ruthven

Paint it up

One of the most inexpensive ways to brighten up any room is to paint the walls with light colours. Whites and pastels trick the eye into thinking that the room is brighter and larger than it is. Light-coloured walls also reflect the sunlight coming from outside during daytime, so you won’t have to turn on your interior lights. Aside from the walls, you can also paint the trim, doors, and stairs with pastel accents to make your home look brighter.

Wrap-around mirrors in a bathroomImage credit: Celia James

Reflect light with mirrors

Mirrors are budget-friendly and instant fix for dreary rooms that lack natural light. Aside from reflecting the existing light from a lighting fixture or a window, mirrors also create the illusion of space, making a room look larger than it really is. For best results, install a mirror opposite a window. The bigger the mirror, the better. Visit a local market for cheap but fab gilt-frame mirrors for a dramatic effect. Aside from mirrors, you can also use reflective surfaces such as mirrored trays and glass bowls and figurines to add sparkle to a room.

Fairy lights in a child's bedroomImage credit: Corynne Pless

Decorate with inexpensive decorative lights

Those string lights you decorated you home with for the holidays can be used to illuminate you home all year round, especially in the bedroom where they work to give off a relaxing feel. You can place the lights across your headboard or over the bed for that dreamy and romantic effect.

Tall multi-armed floor lamp in a mid century modern decorated sitting roomImage credit: Trunk Creative

Brighten dark corners with lamps

Do you really need all your lights on in the evenings when you’re getting ready for bed? Save on electricity without stumbling in the dark with lamps! You don’t have to get those expensive fixtures; a trip to the bargain store (or probably your attic) will do. Keep an eye out for lamps with character, or something you can spruce up yourself to make it suit your home’s interior design. Place the lamps in dark corners or next to a chair for a cosy reading nook.

Angular bedroom painted in pastel coloursImage credit: Gemma Zimmerhansl Interior Design

Use light or pastel colours

Decorate your home with pastel-coloured items, such as furniture, sheets, and drapes. A light-coloured palette can add a lively and airy feel to a small space, such as the bedroom. Divan Beds Centre bed bases in white, cream or beige can make your room look brighter and feel less cramped. While you’re at it, change your bedding to match your new look.

With these tips, you’ll be able to have a more illuminated home while keeping your savings intact. As you can see, when it comes to illuminating your home on a budget, changing one small thing can make a big – and brighter – difference.

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7 steps to make the most of a small bathroom

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

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arial view of a compact bathroom image credit: Lushome

Small, cramped bathrooms make your morning routine completely unenjoyable. An ideal solution is to make the space bigger, but this isn’t always possible. If you’re stuck with a teeny tiny bathroom, there are ways to make the room appear more spacious without knocking walls down.

Here are seven things that will help you make the most of your small bathroom.

bathroom with suspended sink unit and overhead mirrored cabinetimage credit: Kia Designs

Suspended vanity

Many bathrooms suffer from significant amounts of wasted room due to irregular-shaped fittings and fixtures. Suspended vanity units above fittings such as the sink or toilet will help make the most of the space. A deep vanity unit can help store everything from spare cleaning products to hair care items and toilet rolls – incorporating all your storage needs in one convenient place.

mirrored bathroom wallimage credit: Heather Cooper Designs

Increase mirror size

Particularly useful in bathrooms which are dark (especially in mornings when it’s hard enough to wake up anyway), large mirrors can help spread any natural light the room enjoys via the reflective surface. A large mirror on the wall which receives the most natural light throughout the day will make the bathroom appear significantly larger.

Reflective bathroom fittings and wall tilesimage credit: Sarah Richardson Design

Use reflective fittings

On a related note – reflective taps, towel racks and other fittings will bounce light around the room, acting in the same way as the mirror.

The team at bathroom specialists, John Louis Bathrooms, enthuses about reflective fittings:

“Fixtures such as chrome taps are ideal for small bathrooms, helping to brighten the room and creating a simple contemporary appearance.”

Recessed bathroom lighting image credit: Topps Tiles

Recessed lighting

Removing obtrusive light fittings without compromising the quality of light spread around the room can help create an impressive modern appearance and open up additional space in the bathroom. Recessed lighting can be positioned almost everywhere in the bathroom – wherever it fits most subtly and attractively.

John Cullen Lighting offers a selection of lighting options including LED lights behind a bath or above a mirror. Eschewing traditional lighting positions can help you utilise the full available space of the bathroom.

walk-in shower image credit: Nils Koenning

Walk-in shower

Removing the bath and implementing a walk-in shower can immediately save significant space in the bathroom. Consider how the door will open up into the space of the small bathroom to avoid obtrusive space-consumption. A high power shower head can make up for the romantic opportunities lost when the bathtub is ripped out.

Modern monochrome bathroomimage credit: Boscolo Ltd

Simplify feature colours

A myriad of colours used throughout the bathroom can create a clustered appearance in the bathroom – so it may be prudent to use a simple, single tone feature colour throughout features and additions. A fixed colour scheme throughout towels, tiles and more can create an attractive yet minimalistic consistency, helping you make the most of your small bathroom.

Chrome hanging towel racksimage credit: Shell Vacations Hospitality

Hanging towel racks

Large, cumbersome towel racks are a completely unnecessary use of space. Small, subtle towel racks can be hung on almost any surface – ideal for small bathrooms. Hanging towel racks on the back of the bathroom door can help you fully utilise otherwise wasted space – freeing up floor space for other fixtures or just to remove any cramped feelings.

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