Get their look: Classic design lounge diner

Classic design lounge dinercredit

This lounge diner belonging to Toronto-based architect, Stephane Chamard is tastefully filled with classic design furniture pieces. Examples from international leviathan designers, manufacturers and retailers in the interior design world such as Holmegaard, Otto Brauer, Vitra, Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Norman Cherner and Serge Mouille. There are also contemporary, classics-in-the-making such as the green Ploum sofa designed by brothers, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Ligne Roset.

The rest of the house is equally awe-inspiring – go take a look!

  1. LZF Link SG in cherry designed by Ray Power
  2. Mouille three arm floor lamp
  3. Large olive green Holmegaard Kastrup Gulvase designed by Otto Brauer
  4. Vitra Eames House bird
  5. Vintage Laurids Lønbørg kinetic ball sculpture
  6. Ploum 4-seater sofa designed by R. & E. Bouroullec
  7. Saarinen round dining table
  8. Cherner chairs for Plycraft

Get their look: Classic design lounge diner | H is for Home

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Is this the end of open-plan living?

Interior glazed sliding doors

Over the last two decades, the trend for open-plan living and wall-less dwellings rose faster than you could swing a sledgehammer; however, over the past few years, we’re seeing a complete reversal in interiors trends with home-owners opting for more traditional, segmented living spaces.

There are various reasons as to why this could be. The practicalities of an open-plan living space are not as obvious as you might think. Downsizing all the possessions and knick-knacks you acquire over the years is no mean feat, not to mention the daily struggle of keeping every surface clean and tidy if you have children or room-mates. In fact, families who have previously opted for open-plan living are reverting to traditional, divided rooms as a more practical way of living, according to Jane Green from the Telegraph. Individual rooms provide quiet sanctuaries for homework, reading and watching your preferred Netflix series, and people are suggesting they prefer to cook in the kitchen in peace, without having the constant interruptions from a television that can be seen and heard over the worktop.

circular dining table and turquoise-pained chairs

There is no doubt, it seems, that separate rooms provide areas of sanctuary and quiet which in turn, create cosier, more inviting spaces to spend time to undertake your preferred activity of relaxation. One might even argue that segmented rooms are actually driving families back together in a more traditional sense, since the kitchen and dining room are becoming device-free zones, promoting a healthy appetite for dinner conversation.

Dog on a lap on a sofaWith this in mind, we’re thinking about the more conventional ways you could furnish these individual living rooms without compromising on style. First things first, retrieve that box of ornaments from storage and choose a selection of objects that will look fantastic displayed in a bespoke alcove bookcase by The Bookcase Co. Think about quality curation, carefully selecting objects that work well together based on a specific colour palette, as opposed to quantity.

A slim and stylish desk for homework or working from home is essential. This mango wood version from Swoon is effortlessly chic and compact and will fit in alcoves, smaller rooms or even under the stairs.

Enormous three-seater and corner sofas might work well in gargantuan open-plan living areas; however, smaller spaces call for smaller sofas. Create cosy nooks for books with a two-seater sofa from Arlo & Jacob. The perfect size to snuggle up to someone, or stretch out and make the most of some quality alone time.

Dining table & chairs with a tall cactus in the backgroundA well-placed rug can instantly update your interior, bringing with it warmth, pattern and texture. They also help to create zones, if you do happen to have a room on the larger size and want to break it down further. You’ll find a vast selection of traditional and modern rugs from OKA, with the option of wool and cotton, amongst others.

To avoid areas becoming too dark and closed off, this slender floor lamp by Perch & Parrow is fashionable and functional; perfect to shed some light on those newly created cosy corners of your living room.

6 ways to bring sunlight indoors

6 ways to bring sunlight indoors

If some of the rooms in your home are on the dark side and could do with brightening up, there are lots of different tricks you can use to bring sunlight indoors.

Two Velux-type windows in a bedroom

Skylights

Installing a skylight or Velux-type window has one of the most dramatic effects possible, allowing sunlight to flood in from the open sky above. They really can transform a space from dark & dingy to light & airy. There are lots of attractive blinds on the market specifically for this type of window from manufacturers such as Roofwindows.co.uk.

Bathroom with a mirrored wall

Mirrors

Mirrors are a great, inexpensive way of increasing the amount of sunlight coming into your home. Placed strategically opposite a window, they bounce and reflect light around a space. They work especially well on dark stairways and bathrooms.

Desk and chair against a brilliant white wall

Reflective walls

Various companies have developed interior wall paints which contain light-reflective particles. It’s a subtle, clever way to maximise natural light entering the property.

Glazed internal sliding doors

Glazed doors

Glazed doors (both exterior and interior) can make a real difference to the amount of light entering a house and dispersing it throughout the rooms contained within. B&Q have a huge range of glazed doors – traditional, folding and sliding. Similarly, glazed wall panels can divide up larger open plan spaces – creating defined zones for living without blocking light. They’ll need to be made of toughened glass if safety considerations demand it of course – small children or boisterous pets running round, for example.

Daylight bulbs

Daylight bulbs

If you have a room that is windowless and at the centre of the house, you can easily fake natural sunlight these days. There are now specialist bulbs on the market that mimic sunlight, illuminating your room with a sunny glow.

Open-plan living area

Remove unnecessary partition walls

If it’s not load-bearing, removing a wall won’t require the installation of an RSJ – and should be relatively inexpensive. If it’s made of plasterboard rather than solid stone or concrete it’s even easier! Removing walls between kitchen and dining rooms has become common practice. One of the major benefits of this is to allow light to flow between the front and back of the house. Other common areas where this can have a dramatic ‘opening up’ effect is the hallway, landing and larder areas.

Can you think of any other great ways to bring sunlight indoors? We’d really love to hear your thoughts.

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Get their look: Open-plan garage conversion

Open-plan garage conversioncredit

You’d never have guessed that this open plan garage conversion in Sicily was once upon a time a place where vehicles would have been repaired. It’s obviously a former industrial or commercial building with nods to its previous incarnation in the exposed zinc pipes and painted bare brick walls.

What would probably have been a fairly dirty workplace has been completely transformed by the owner into a bright, pristine, white box for relaxed living.

  1. Verner Panton Topan pendant light
  2. New & reclaimed chestnut sleepers
  3. Post-modern tessellated marble coffee or cocktail table
  4. Evan round planter (50 cm Ø)
  5. Rope doorstop
  6. Patricia Urquiola Tufty–Time sofa

Click here to see some more of the interiors & exteriors we’ve featured in our Get their look series.

Get their look: Open-plan garage conversion | H is for Home

Cabling your new home for the future

Cabling your new home for the futurecredit

Home automation of today would have been considered magic just fifty years ago. Lights turning on and off as you move through your house, motorised blinds that adjust on their own, music of your choice being piped into the room you’re occupying and security, power and environmental controls being adjusted just as you arrive home after a hard day’s work. One system can take action based on the input or the status of another, all without any human intervention.

The mainstay of this magic is the wiring. If you take the right steps concerning your wiring when building your home, then you will be ready for most new technologies that will be available in the near and not-so-near future. With the proper cabling, upgrades to any of your systems won’t require you to uproot the existing cables from the walls to install new ones. You’ll just need to replace the equipment and devices on either end. Even if you don’t have the cash to create the systems of your dreams right now, you can install the appropriate cabling for it and take advantage of it when you have the funds. The most expensive part of any home automation system can easily be the labour costs involved with the installation of new wiring!

Before you begin laying down cable, it’s a good idea to develop a plan. It’s actually a good idea to develop a plan before doing anything in life, but that’s enough philosophy for now. It may also be a good idea to get the help of a professional at this point. Decide what you need and where. Electrical and mechanical automation, network communications, telephony, television, video, security and audio are systems that can be included in your plan, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Depending on the applications you’ll require, you must then choose the proper types of cables.

Any British cable supplier can provide the myriad of cable types for any and all home automation and smart home needs, so acquiring the cables should not be a problem.

You can begin your plan by making a list of all the rooms in the house and deciding what applications you want each to have. You can also make a list of functionalities that you want everywhere, such as audio and smart lighting. Think about the long term as well. How will your needs change over the years? How about when the kids grow up, or the guest room is converted to an office? Even if you install cable that you never use, it will still be worth it.

Future-proofing your house in this way will not only allow you to enjoy the benefits of home automation and smart home functionality, but just the very presence of the cabling in the walls will end up increasing its resale value.

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6 Things to consider when remodelling your kitchen

White contemporary kitchen dinercredit

If you’re in the planning stages of remodelling your kitchen there are a few things you should bear in mind before embarking on major work. A little bit of forethought can make all the difference between an acceptable kitchen and one that is a real pleasure in which to work.

Hansgrohe PuraVida electronic kitchen mixer tap

Waterworks

Like many homeware products, kitchen taps have got very high tech in recent years. Gone are the times where all you could find to buy were ordinary hot & cold or plain old mixer taps. These days, you can get instantaneous hot water straight from the tap – no need to stand and wait for the kettle to boil before you can enjoy your first cuppa of the morning!

Heavy-duty kitchen taps which used to only be seen in industrial kitchens are now available for the domestic market. You can now get those rugged taps with extendible, flexible hoses for jet spraying debris from plates, pots & pans before they’re loaded into the dishwasher. If that’s the kind of thing you’re after, some of this range of Grohe kitchen taps may be suitable.

Many, such as Hansgrohe kitchen taps, incorporate sensor control – just move your hands back & forth under the spout and temperature-controlled water will flow automatically, great if your hands are dirty or you’ve been handling raw meat or fish. You can find a huge range of these kind of kitchen taps at Superbath.

Kitchen with hard-wearing red rubber flooringcredit

Take to the floor

The kitchen floor is probably the heaviest area of use in most houses. It needs to be durable, non slip and easy to vacuum and mop. There’s a huge range of options available – rubber, laminate, linoleum, ceramic & stone tile, wooden boards and polished concrete to name a few. The choice depends on your favoured look – and budget too of course! Some surfaces are suitable to carry through into another room or even garden to give real flow to the space.

Aga range with blue tile splashbackcredit

Off the wall

Choosing the right wall covering and material is an important factor in your kitchen design. Most importantly it needs to be resilient and easy clean to clean particularly above the stove and around sink area. Ceramic tiles, sealed natural stone, glass and stainless steel are all great options. The wall covering is also an opportunity to inject a desired colour into a scheme – from subtle natural tones to attention grabbing feature walls. Ceramic tiles and specially formulated kitchen paints provide a limitless range of options when it comes to completing the look.

Modern monochrome kitchencredit

Let there be light!

There are so many options when it comes to lighting in the kitchen. It needs to be practical in that it provides light for working, yet it also has the potential to create atmosphere and drama. Home design often combines cooking and dining into one open plan space these days and lighting can help define these different zones. Therefore, spotlights, task lighting, strip lights, under-counter down-lights for worktop tasks, over-table pendant lights for dining, extractor units with integral lighting for cooking can all be incorporated into a scheme as required. When it comes to bulbs, energy saving LEDs initially cost more, but you won’t have to get the stepladder out to change them as often as normal halogen bulbs.

Corner built-in kitchen drawerscredit

Maximum storage

Whether your planning on installing a fitted or free-standing kitchen, you can never have too much storage. My dream house would contain a separate pantry area for storing surplus jars, tinned food and other dry goods.

Fitted kitchen designs are very clever these days with a combination of overhead and low cupboards in a myriad of sizes, shapes and configurations – with special corner drawer units and under stair shelving to make use of often wasted space. A well-designed kitchen makes the most of drawer, counter-top and shelf space. Decide whether you’d prefer cabinet doors, open shelves or a mixture of both. Some things look lovely on display – jars of different shaped pasta, preserved fruits, pulses and so on.

Free-standing kitchens can be more quirky and unique. Express your style with vintage kitchenettes, butchers blocks, welsh dressers and plate racks. Finish the look with wicker or wire baskets in various shapes and sizes.

Plug sockets installed into work surfacecredit

What’s the point?

With plug points, similar to storage, you can never have too many. When planning your new kitchen, think about the best place to install them. As well as needing to plug in white goods such as the fridge, stove and dish washer, think about where small appliances such as kettle, toaster, coffee-maker, microwave, food processors etc are going to be situated. Where would the best place be to plug in the vacuum cleaner? Space saving plug points can pop up from within the work surface or embedded flush into the floor.

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