All change- Redesign and Redecorate

In life things do not always stay the same for long.  Nothing is permanent – the seasons, our lives, our families and so too our homes will all change.  When we create rooms, we make them for the moment we are in.  Then we have to re-configure a room as we do not seem to use it any more or it’s use changes.  Reinventing, and moving things around to suit is important.  You need to remain flexible and open to new ideas and ways of using what you have got to make it all work for you again, while keeping the space welcoming and warm.  The other bonus is that it keeps things fresh, edgy and up-to-date.  It also a cocooning thing to do as the weather changes for winter in New Zealand.  (The opposite effect for spring and summer.  It is called a “spring clean” for a reason!)

A contrast in style,scale & height with furniture. Via http://apieceoftoastblog.com/

A contrast in style,scale & height with furniture. Via http://apieceoftoastblog.com/

This all may sound like Buddhist Friday talk, but a lot of an Interior Designer’s work is simply this.  Changing things around as things change in people’s lives. And it is not all about going out and buying everything shiny and new. Not many of us can afford to do that, and frankly a lot of these rooms will be characterless with no soul. So, have a look around your space, make a plan with possibilities, and then move things around.  Try a couple of chairs in a different room. Do they give a contrast in scale in height that was missing before? Move the sofas into another room.  Do they look better there?

These chairs add a contrast in scale and height in the room. Also add smooth with rough table.  Via Greige Design.

These chairs add a contrast in scale and height in the room. Also add smooth with rough table. Via Greige Design.

Ring the changes with a detail on a curtain panel, reinvent your side tables, put an extra desk in an unexpected place as a makeshift study.  Make the hallway an interesting space with wallpaper and hang those family photos that are in a box in a cupboard somewhere.  Maybe you could do something exciting with a dinner set that is lurking around at the back of the garage in a box.

Get those dinner plates on the wall.  Hang 'em any way.  Via http://denofopulence.tumblr.com/

Get those dinner plates on the wall. Hang ’em any way. Via http://denofopulence.tumblr.com/

Empty those boxes and hang 'em up to make the hallway an interesting space.

Empty those boxes and hang ’em up to make the hallway an interesting space. http://www.roomserviceinteriors.co.nz/

Use an old chest as a coffee table, recover a couple of chairs, use some fabric that pulls it all together with colour, pattern and style in cushions.  Have a look at those table arrangements – tablecapes – re-arrange and re- do them. Re-fresh, re-new, re-jig, re colour.

And some people call it redecorating and redesigning.

Winter Tablescape Idea via http://stinemos.blogspot.co.nz/

Winter Tablescape Idea via http://stinemos.blogspot.co.nz/

Textural contrast on a table top. Add candles and shiny glass to terracotta pots.  Via Molitli Interiers.

Textural contrast on a table top. Add candles and shiny glass to terracotta pots. Via Molitli Interiers.

If you would like help with redecorating or re-jigging your interiors due to changes in your life, do not hesitate to contact us.

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How to buy a Quality Sofa 1- The Frame

Most people struggle to know what is a good quality piece of furniture these days and what isn’t. Because you can’t actually see what you are getting and what lies beneath that gorgeous shape and fabric. A lot of quality has disappeared off the market due to cheap and nasty imports and quality local manufacturers have had their margins so squeezed they have been unable to survive.

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Warning! If you pay a few $1000 hard earned dollars for a matching 3 piece lounge suite from a chain store on a Saturday morning, you can almost guarantee that it will not stand the test of time. Most of them are poorly made and are just ugly- extremely bulky and have no style what so ever.These pieces are, sadly lacking and are landfill and will not provide you years of good comfortable cushioning for your derriere.

(Refer our earlier blog-https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/mitchy-matchy-breaking-up/ )

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When looking for a new piece of furniture, you need to be prepared to invest some time, effort and yes,  money!  A lot of people replace their car before their sofa and spend more on their wardrobe annually, so invest because it is something that you will have for a while.  You must also love, love, love it. And your new sofa needs to be something you are truly comfortable in and for me nothing too hard edged, sleek, or funky as it is going to be around for a while so you don’t want it to look out of date next year!

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The first thing to do with a sofa or chair is to give it a little nudge with your leg.  If it moves easily, then walk away.  No, I’m not joking. A light sofa/chair is a rubbish one.  It has probably got a balsa wood frame which will break and bend under the slightest bit of duress.  Next pick it up in one corner.  If it flexes and creaks like an old house there is not a strong frame in there.  Walk away!  Also knock three times along the side of the arms.  Does it sound like a drum?  It probably has cardboard in the arms and not solid wood.  Walk away again!

So what how do you know what is quality?

THE FRAME

The frame construction is a vital key to lasting strength & durability so:

  • Internally the frames should be made of export quality eco friendly Pinus Radiata,or Beech, box sectioned to add strength. These woods are very heavy.  We make houses out of them!  It should have inserted spreader rails (front to back) to provide optimal strength.  For added  solidity all joints should be corner blocked, glued & high pressure stapled.
  • The frame sides are all routed to remove hard edges to avoid the possibility of the foam & webbing being damaged and cut.
  • The outside backs & arms are fully lined with polyester & hesssian.
  • Depending on the furniture design, Pirelli-type webbing (like split car tyres) should be used.  Not just tape.  Super heavy duty tread is the way to go.  The webbing should run both ways on the frame. Front to Back, Side to Side like a basket weave.  No gaps in the corners that you can sink down in.
  • Alternatively tension sprung seats & zigzag sprung backs are used for the seats & backs of the frames.

So, heavy frame + heavy cushion foam + car tyre webbing = good quality sofa. i.e. you cannot kick it around with your foot.  A good quality sofa will need a couple of burly blokes to lift it.  If you a weakling and can lift if on your own, please walk away!

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For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles:

http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/?s=sofas+furniture&submit=Search

http://www.interiors.co.nz/Article.aspx?id=234

Kid’s Zones at Home

If you talk to your kids about redecorating the rumpus or their own rooms, you will in all likelihood be told “You are so last century, Mum”  Tech-savy kids these days want a Media Room, yes, ca-ching$, ca-ching$, but it will grow with them and they will use it for a number of years.  Be warned though: all their friends will want to be at your place so there will be noise, smells and mess.  However, it is better they are home at yours than being goodness knows where isn’t it?

So, they will want a computer, big-screen television, and games console.  Maybe even a tennis table or a pool table if you have room.  They require something to layabout on, because that is what they do.  The space needs to be bullet proof and practical.  It’s also room to do schoolwork, play games, rough-house, read, daydream, visit with friends and stockpile toys.  You can make it themed as well, but you will need to have the preceding items in there first! ( You can get them to work off their half of the cost and your half could be a combined Christmas or Birthday present for each item.)  For security reasons try to make it a shared space like a rumpus or home office- so the computer is there and not tucked away in their bedrooms.  The shared space is a good place for the TV too as  kids need technology ‘downtime’ these days, and the bedroom should remain just that.  Clever storage is also a must also you can stash away consoles and games when the big kids (parents) actually get to use the space. Baskets and draws on wheels and castors can be popped away in cupboards.  All the above is also useful to remember for their bedrooms as well.

Themes?  Well, you can create themes around where you have travelled – it is a good to use all that memorabilia and can make for a fun space.  Or perhaps junior is interested in cricket, rugby or music.  So create a “Room of Fame” and put framed prints of their favourite heroes up on the walls.  The owner of this bedroom below was a young man you adored cricket so we had some cricket nets made as bed ends and a storage unit to make him feel like he was always at batting practice.  (He is still playing at 21 years, so I guess it worked!)

Angela's Clients 0063Don’t spend too much money on the shared space or bedrooms as they simply do not care, but let your imagination go, and have something cool.  Paint it in an amazing colour or let the accessories do the work.  Do not get too hung up about it going with the rest of the house as you will have to shut the door when visitors come anyway – because the “floordrobe” is put to better use than the wardrobe!  They also grow up and grow out of themes really quickly.

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This bedroom was done inexpensively with duvets, flags, and bunting around the edge of it.  The boat in the corner was found on the beach and dragged home. The lifebuoy was also found on a wharf, and inexpensive pictures all carried on the theme.  Chains, ropes and anchors where bought at the local DIY store.  Not too much expense, just time and imagination required.  We then made the theme a little more grown up by repainting a very dark moody adolescent blue.  A bit more man cave. Still used the same accessories and storage, but changed the duvet covers and got rid of the flags. The kids have left now, but the cat is still here!  

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The other room had an African Explorer theme which stood the test of time and used up Egyptian art, African artefacts mixed in with a zebra print on bed cushions and antique desk and chair.  Here at the Hutton House they have become adult rooms now, complete with Queen sized beds and we are working on getting rid of the accumulated clutter of 20 years.  (Yes the timer is set on Wednesdays for one hour if you want to join in!) We are aspiring for a rumpus space that looks more like the one below…..

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Via Barbara Fiorito
http://pinterest.com/bcmf/

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles:

http://houseofbliss.blogspot.co.nz/search?q=kids+rooms

http://nordicdesign.ca/blog/lovely-kids-room-inspiration/#.UhLXbpJmhw8