5 reasons to use Wallpaper -It’s right up there.

MatthewsDenWideColWebWallpaper going up the wall is just the thing for so many reasons.  We are using it a lot in projects at the moment, and when carefully thought about it really can add the energy and vibe that is often missing in an interior.  Here are the first 5 reasons to use wallpaper – there are many, many more.

1. Use wallpaper to add character

In an otherwise  uninteresting hallway it is a great way to add charm and introduce the ‘theme and style’ of a house.  It creates a welcoming visual treat. Used in other rooms it can be used to relate back to a theme, relate to the area the house is in or to create an ambiance.

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2. Wallpaper to add light. 

This could sound crazy but if you have a room where there is very little light getting in  considering using a wallpaper which has a metallic sheen to it.  It will help bounce light back into the room.  It works because it diverts the eye away from it not having a lot of natural light.  MagnoliaHall_web

3. Wallpaper helps in the dark.

True.  A room painted or wallpapered in a dark colour does the same as above, and diverts the eye from thinking it is a small dark horrible space.  It lifts the whole space to another level and makes it seem sooooo much more interesting and dynamic.  These ideas do work as it is all about tricking the eye that there is light or it is not so dark. This is because Wallpaper diverts the attention away from the negative aspects of the room.

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4. Wallpaper adds warmth and charm.

In the pictures below, this room was not being used by the client at all.  It was cold and uninviting. We used a warm coloured wallpaper to add an interesting layer to the room, create depth and personality.  It now feels warm and cosy and is helped by the unexpected punches of colour that we reupholstered the clients antique sofa in.  The room is now used and the clients love it.

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We used this wallpaper to tie back to the paper that was used in the hallway.  Using the same colours provided a link to each space and tied the room and hallway together. This gives unity and flow to the house. The wallpaper in this room was inspired by some old treasured maps of London. We chose Trade Routes by Zoffany has a similar look and feel to it as the prints.

Wallpaper inspiration came from the prints on the table.

Wallpaper inspiration came from the prints on the table.

5. Use Wallpaper  as a feature.

Remember feature walls?  Well, don’t paint them, it is much more interesting to wallpaper.   By doing so you add another layer and character to a room.  So, is something missing in your space?  Consider using a textured paper especially if the room is neutral.  Texture is so often overlooked.  It doesn’t have to be full on floral, but be brave and use it to tie back to your colour scheme.  I promise, it will look truly amazing.

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Wallpaper adds character and defines the desk area in the corner of a lounge.

So think about using Wallpaper in your favourite or not so favourite space- it’s right up there!

If you’d like help choosing the right wallpaper in the right place we’d love to help. 

Related Links:

http://decordesignonline.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/off-the-wall/

Check out our Wallpaper inspiration on our Pinterest page.

http://www.pinterest.com/roomserviceNZ/w-a-l-l-p-a-p-e-r/

 

Design + Decor Inspiration from LA via Melbourne.

We have just been inspired by listening to the designer seminars at Design + Decor in Melbourne late last week.  Also realised how much we had missed doing posts to help inspire you & that in doing so it inspired us – the best reason of all to post!

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Kari Whitman used portholes and a mix of lighting to liven up a kitchen and living space. The portholes allow light to filter in to the space behind the wall. She bought them for $25 from a salvage yard. Clever & Green!

Most of the presentations reinforced the thinking that no house or job for an interior designer is ever the same.  The work of an interior designer should not look the same from client to client, house to house. An interior design should not have a signature style – the style of a house is dictated by the client.  Design should not be a copy cookie-cut that is pasted onto each client’s house.   The job of an interior designer is to help & guide clients to create what they want.  It is a collaboration between the designer, crafts people and client.  It is the mix of old and new and art in a room.

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Kari Whitman cleverly mixes up vintage furniture with shiny new side table and art.

In the words of Kari Whitman it is about adding ‘Wisdom” to a room, mixing up old and new and also making it pet and eco friendly.  Kari Whitman is an interior designer to the stars in Hollywood and she will search the client’s existing inventory before buying a single piece of furniture. She cleverly mixes older or fun pieces in to create an interesting vibe and wow factor in a room.

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In this powder room by Kari Whitman the vanity has been given vintage knobs & vintage lights were used to add visual contrast to the stunning tiles.

By using and recreating an existing or old piece in a room you are not creating landfill.  The piece should always have good lines and be able to contribute something to the room in terms of scale and style.  It is turning trash into treasure.  By using pet & family friendly materials and fabrics throughout a house people are able to relax and enjoy their space without fear of it being trashed by our four legged friends.  So think about being practical and friendly to our pets and the environment – its another inspiring way of reinventing your space.

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Kari Whitman has created a beautiful dining room with a vintage chandelier, interesting art & ceiling & gorgeous colour. Note the spaghetti bolognaise friendly covers on the dining chairs!

If you would like help reinventing some of your furniture please feel free to contact us.

Related links:

http://kariwhitmaninteriors.com/about-kari/

This link below has an interview with Kari at Design + Decor Melbourne, from DesignonLine Blog.

https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/56182971/

Seasonal Change for Autumn

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” – George Eliot

Seems like Autumn has started to arrive this week with southerly winds and rain blowing up the country.  It is a little sad that summer maybe on the run, but by keeping things a little warmer on the inside  you will feel nurtured and cocooned.  Bring in a few accessories and welcome being a little more snug and happy about the cooler weather approaching.  A bowl of gourds/pumpkins one way to comment that autumn is here, along with some beautifully coloured autumn leaves – all the colour inspiration you need.

Autumn/harvest colours are warm – reds, burgundies,oranges, rusts and yellows.  Rarely do you see the fresh blues and greens of summer in Autumn.  Add spicy touches of colours to your space with throws, pillows and natural accessories.

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Change cushion colours to cosy things up

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Re-staging the neutral backdrop you may have in the room with tactile delights helps you to snuggle in. Layer & layer again wool throws, lushly textured pillows, a basket of pine cones, fire wood and a plush area rug.

Inspiring Idea to welcome Autumn

Oh and don’t forget the candles and fireside lamps to help cosy things up even more.  Lamps and candles add another layer of contrast and depth to a room’s lighting scheme and help to create a warm friendly ambience to cuddle down in.  Only thing missing could be the bottle of warm coloured Pinot Noir?!

Related Articles:

http://www.thedesignchaser.com/2014/03/autumn-new-things-moodboard.html

http://justdecorate.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/3-things-you-should-do-to-get-your-home-ready-for-the-next-season/

http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/fall-decorating/

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

Aging Gracefully

Apologies for not posting last week- have been taking my own advice and cleaning out the garage!  While a lot went to recycling, charity, it got me thinking about why I keep old stuff like rustic boxes from my Grandpa’s work shed.  I take these pieces in and out of my own rooms to refresh them and add textural interest and layers. I love them for these reasons and because they have a history unique to me.  As we’ve talked about before, there is a beauty and sole in old things that is often overlooked in interior design.  Do you get too hung up on having it all absolutely perfect and making sure you have the exact colour and furniture arrangement?  Is it making you into an aged beauty more quickly than you would like?  Well, have a look at these pictures of an old French Farm house- can you see the beauty in revealing the history of these walls?  Better than all over pristine white paint is it not?

Stripped Back to its bare bones, this bedroom, exudes simple uncluttered aged beauty.  It still has lots of interest & layers of softness and comfort, despite being not so perfect and old.

Inside an old house you can even mix some modern pieces to create friction and even more interest as seen above.  Note the absence of perfectly painted walls.  Though they do have them in the hallway, but the floors are kept to the original and the antique simplicity of the furniture keep the whole theme going.

If you do not have old walls, but think that you may want to add a little old layers to make seem like you are aging gracefully there are many wallpapers around that will help you do the trick these days, and of course there are always paint effects.  Have a look at the Zoffany range at Textilia Fabrics, or the Andrew Martin range at Unique Fabrics. Also look at our wallpaper pinterest board.  Perhaps instead of using new wood overlay flooring, think about using recycled boards from demolition yards.  It instantly adds the age old patina you are looking for.  Added to that you are recycling 🙂

In New Zealand we could do this with some of old villas could we not?  Peel the layers back to reveal what lies underneath – gorgeous Kauri floors, scrimmed walls, old wallpaper.  There is a lot to be said for aging gracefully don’t you think?  Please feel free to comment, especially if you are a Villa owner!  

For help in letting your interior design age gracefully, please contact us.

Be your own Interior Design Coach

Have an empty room or two in your home that you are not sure what to do with?  Are there things that your are not sure about/ scared of that are holding you back in getting started on the rooms? How long has that room been empty and unused? Do not continue to be frozen in fear of doing something just because you spent a bit of money on it a while back and it still isn’t correct.  You’re not using the room and that is wasteful in itself.  We have Life Coaches, Sports coaching, Personal Trainers these days, but often what you need to be is an “Interior Design Coach”.  (A lot of a designer’s job is planning, then trying to get the job done and moving a project forward.) Remember, every journey starts with one step. 

So, think:  “How do I want to use the room?”  “What do I want to do in here?”  Do you want to: Watch TV? Listen to music? Read? Entertain? Play the piano? Once you have nailed this think about placement of the important things for carrying out those activities. For example- if you are wanting to watch TV where is the ideal place for the TV to go?

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After positioning the TV correctly the furniture layout will easily follow on from there.  Questioning yourself and getting the priorities of the room sorted, will lead to getting the Room Layout correct and moving forward toward your goal.  Be prepared to spend the money to get wiring and the necessaries to that perfect place.  (You’d spend it on a personal coach if you wanted to get fit right?)

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Don’t just make do and keep the TV outlet where the builder and electrician decided to place it when they were building.  It is never in the correct place, believe me. It is all doable, you just have to find the correct person to do the job and be prepared to spend the money to move a few things and maybe rejig the wiring.  If you decide not to do what deep down your heart is telling you do to do, it will be making a mistake.  Big expensive regrets.  The room will never serve the purpose you want it to, is always going to be half measure, unused and annoying you.  Did I also mention disappointing?   So, take a deep breath, make a plan and be your own Interior Design Coach and “Just Do It”.

If you would like help and free yourself from fear of making a mistake please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

Related Articles:

http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/on-line-design-class-starts-tomorrow/

http://justdecorate.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/are-you-color-hue-blind-try-this-website-tool/

Letting go of Perfection Part II

Just saw these photos in Veranda Magazine that clearly illustrate the point of yesterdays post, dare-I-say- it, “to perfection”.  For some of you, the quirky accessories and contrasts in scale may be a little OTT (Over The Top). The fact that the unexpected has been added is what makes this room interesting, different and exciting and takes it to another level.

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Scott Shrader Design via Veranda Magazine

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Scott Shrader Design via Veranda Magazine.

Very eclectic and simple, has lots to look at – wonderful textural contrasts, pattern play and they have brought the outside, inside.   You can now have a perfect weekend not worrying about having everything perfect.  You can be happy with what you have. Enjoy!