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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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 III: The Cushions

In Part I we talked about the frame, Part II about how important the use of Elephant Foam is.  Today we’ll tell you about the cushions as the cushioning is the true source of comfort in furniture design.The cushions on their own should be heavy so pick them up.  Are they light? If you can throw them around and pick them up easily it is not good quality foam.  When considering your new piece of furniture, unzip the cushion- hopefully you will see the following things:-

 

  •  A good quality cushion will have an elephant foam core, as it is the heaviest, densest and most resilient.  It will give you years of structure, firmness and stability which is good in a cushion.
  • The dense elephant foams provides you with superior comfort.  Seat cushion foam should be wrapped in a triple wrap of dacron/tetron in its own casing. This adds a softer look &  makes the furniture design even more comfortable.  The casing is important as stops it going into balls long term.

 

  • For a more indulgent super comfy sit the foam core could rest in a zippered all cotton casing, channelled duvet which is hand stuffed with just the right blend of duck down & feathers for softness & durability.  For those of you appreciate the better things in life you can have the luxury & feel of a traditional down cushion, but without the maintenance of daily fluffing which is required with an all feather cushion.
  • All furniture design should have back & arm cushions that are a feather/fibre mixture encased in a down-proof fabric with a centre gusset to help shape & give supreme comfort.
  • The  fabrics on the cushion should be over locked and all seams on joins top-sewn for additional strength. This means seams will not fray, giving increased wear & life for your favourite piece of designer furniture.  YKK zip and auto lock sliders should be use so you don’t get the case of the ‘exploding sofa cushion’.  Am sure you have all seen that!
  • Look to see if the cushion is tailored to fit into the back of the sofa/chair.  It should not just be a straight square, so look for small curves that tuck the cushion into the corners & underneath the back of the seat, especially if it is a fixed back.  Just another way of telling quality.
Quality Furniture in a room with lots of layers and textures.

Hampton Chairs in a room with lots of layers and textures-eg. wallpapers, rugs via http://blog.damasketdentelle.com/

P.S. Designer Tip:  When selecting scatter cushions for your sofa, opt for feather filled inners, not the Dacron/Poly fill.  With feather inners your cushions sit so much better and look and feel soooo much more luxurious.  Well worth it.

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In our next post we will talk about what guarantees you should look and then we’ll talk a little about upholstery fabrics (now that you know what a quality sofa is like!)

If you would like interior design help or help in selecting a quality piece of furniture please contact Room Service Interiors.

How to create the Perfectly Imperfect Room

Having talked about letting go of perfection last week, we thought we better help you create interiors that are not so perfect.  For many of you, creating the perfectly imperfect room will be scary but it is not as hard as it sounds. The main in creating an imperfect room is to try to achieve welcoming, cosy, relaxing and comfortable feeling.  To simplify the process we have made a list: (this is a perfectionist thing to do- I know!

  1. The easiest and most important thing to do is to colour your room in.  Yes, paint those walls a warm welcoming deeper colour and it will instantly transform your space.  White/off white doesn’t do that.  Colour is the easiest, least expensive, most transforming, old decorator’s trick in the book.  Go for a soft neutral like Dulux Waitangi, North Head, or Opononi. Be brave and make it double strength.
  2. Move the furniture off the walls.  Get the big pieces – sofas and chairs in an arrangement as if they are “talking” to each other.  It looks so welcoming.  Add the big and squishy, comfy too. (layers again).  Next place the side tables there with the lamps/candles as that is where you comfortably want to place your G&T tonight isn’t it it?

  3. Add texture, texture, texture, layers of it.  Create an element of rough with smooth.  Fluffy with shiny.  Everything all shiny and smooth, is cold and unwelcoming. Frigid. So add rough loved furniture, the shaggy rug, hand knitted throw, the wicker basket.  This creates a tension and vibrancy in a room which moves it into an interesting space, far away from bland land.
  4. Add layers, layers, layers, of texture yes, but also the quirky, interesting, and underlying. Add the rug, add the cushion, add the wallpaper, add the pattern, create some tables-capes, make the mantle piece look magic.  This all creates layers of interest in a room. Yes, you will have to dust a little, but at least it will be interesting.
  5. Add some lighting. Get those lamps plugged in, candles lit, and put them in corners and on tables.  As many as you like. They add interesting pools of light to a room, are beautifully soft, warm and  welcoming and of course less than perfect. Overhead ceiling pot lights, perfectly placed in the 4 corners of the room just don’t do this. They are stark, unwelcoming, uninteresting and predictable.
  6. Next you need to add something less than perfect- a little bit of wacky, quirky, odd ball, unpredictable and funny.  Even a stuffed animal will do. When everything is too perfect it lacks humour and therefore is uptight and perfect.
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Table Scapes create focal points

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Texture with Humour

Now you can sit comfortably in your re aligned space and enjoy with your family and friends. What could be more perfect than that?

Letting go of Perfection

Today included a visit to a client’s house which had the most beautiful rugs, colour scheme, perfect paintwork, satin drapes, gorgeous dark glossy floor, designer  furniture- you’re getting the picture?  It was just perfect!   There wasn’t a hair out of place – well, anything out of place.  No scuff marks on the walls. Wasn’t quite sure why we were there really, but then it clicked why. It was too perfect, and the client knew it.  It felt like a fancy hotel room that had just been super cleaned. It was formal, shiny, stilted and stiff.  It was hard to feel at ease within the rooms-there was no personality, no soul. And these poor people (well not so poor, actually) had spent a small fortune to get this imperfect perfection.   Hmmm.  There is a fine line between “dressing”  a room  and making it so perfect that it is uncomfortable to be in.

Perfect rooms are as irritating as perfect people.  The best interior designers create rooms that look interesting and relaxed; used, lived in. There should be an element of surprise or quirkiness, something somewhere that is a bit risque.  It just takes the room to another level and makes you think – “Huh, why have they done that?”  You don’t want to decorate in a mad or crazy way, but just add a piece that is a little out of context. Add a chair in a crazy colour, a quirky lamp base.

BedLayeringPicHeadboard

For example the bed should look neat and smoothed, cushions plump and arranged, but with a look of nonchalance.  The bed should also look deeply comfortable and welcoming. Not stiff and upright and uptight. To be successful your bedroom needs to be a little uncontrived and never too pristine to put your feet up.  (But not on the pearly white cover with shoes on). You can see the difference between the photographs of the bedrooms in this post.  They all beautiful, but one is a little more stiff and upright, and not so relaxed as the others. Can you work out which bedroom is not so relaxing? (Hint – everything is mitchy-matchy, Laura Ashley)

DarkBed

So, let go of having every last thing absolutely perfect and everything in its exact place.  Relax a little, scrunch your hair do up a bit, (or let it down.) Use texture,add another cushion that doesn’t quite match, un-straighten the rug and even leave the towel on the floor.  Make it look like you actually enjoy living there.  Relax! Let go of being perfect. That way you’ll sleep better. 

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If you would like help letting go of Interior perfection we’d love to help.  You will find us here.

Keep Calm on the Inside

Finding Calm in an increasingly hectic world has become a challenge.  With the constant invasion of technology, life carries on at a frantic pace.  Life is so often the ‘full noise’ and turned up so loud it is not a surprise that many of us will seek sanctuary in a soft neutral colour scheme.  We are bombarded all day long so why would we want to come home to a colour calamity that screams ‘full on’?

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We want colours that are calm, soothing, soft and subtle like in the above photo, courtesy of Woonmagazine. This can be anything from Greyed off whites, a whole range of creams and an infinite variety of oatmeals, greys, taupes and browns.  These colours are borrowed from nature, so think about our sandy beaches, silver fish grey skies, weathered grey woods and foliage such as Manuka, Corokia and Astelia plants. Cliff faces, pumice and rocks can also provide colour inspiration – nature has so much to offer to a colour scheme doesn’t it?

To be calm you will need to be ‘cocooned’ so think about darker, smudgy colours. (I’m not thinking Black and White here – too cliché and overused).  Darker colours will come toward you and are somehow a lot more nurturing than stark whites and hard blacks.  B & W are too ‘edgey’ and uninteresting to impart calm in your life. Try out Moody Mellow colours that are softened off.  A good example is the photo above – love that picture window and how it brings the outdoors in along with a textural play.  The muddied-off-pinks and mushroom-browns below are another great example how a naturally neutral interior can be calm and welcoming at the same time.

It is also wise to remember when doing a calm, soft scheme that is important for you to layer with textural touches too.  Place rough with smooth, shiny with matte. (The first photo is a good example of this) Texture is so often overlooked in a calm, tranquil interior scheme and is the most important layer to add the depth, character and soul to your interior. Below, not a lot of colour is used, but touching use of texture makes for an interesting play on grey.

Again let nature be your inspiration.  Anything left outside will weather off in the wind, sun, rain and salt air to a perfect neutral – cedar, zinc, driftwood. When adding texture  think rough logs, with smooth velvets, shells, plants and sisal matting; Soft mohair and linens too.  Below are more examples of how to work with calm colours in your bedroom and home office. What you will also find working within  limited colour palettes such as these, is that they will create continuity and flow to your home and therefore the illusion of space.  All good things don’t you think?  So, Bring the outdoor colours inside, to Keep Calm on the Inside.

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If you would like help creating a soothing, calm colour scheme for your home we’d love to hear from you.

Related Articles:

The above inspiring photos are from Woonmagazine.

https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/the-missing-link/

https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/neutral-colour-schemes/

Magic, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

How do you make my house the fairest of all? Mirrors are the best accessory you could spend your money on. Why? They bounce light into dark corners, they give depth to a room, seemingly increase the space, blur the boundaries of where your room starts and finishes, adds an interesting layer….

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Light and reflection in a dark corner of a room.

RSIMirrorDepth-Web

Visual trickery -The mirror above is reflected in the mirror above.

…Yes all of the above – and they sparkle and twinkle and catch your eye when looking around a space as seen in the image below. 

RSIMirrorGalleryWall-Web

They are also useful to carry on a theme or style that you have going in your space. And as we said in our last post, if you use an old, old, one ($ca-ching, $ca-ching) they will give your room soul. Or perhaps, if you have a modern theme, then search something out that is clean lined and sleek. Oversized and over-scaled, a mirror placed strategically behind the console in your entranceway will add grandeur.

RSIMirrorBthroomWall-Web

The Mirror Frame was the inspiration for the wallpaper.

Mirrors add visual trickery – placed between two windows a mirror can seem like another window. If you place a mirror at right angles to a window your eye will get confused as to what is window and what is mirror. Upon reflection (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!) they are so, so useful in so many ways. 

So, find some mirrors, in opp shops, your favourite design store or in the attic and use them to create your own magic. Often cheaper than art and pictures, they will take your room to new heights. The Magic Mirror, as the Queen in Snow white found out, can make life in a room very, very interesting. 

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at this Related Article: http://design-vox.com/?s=mirrors

Some mirror magic inspirations are on our Pinterest board.
If you would like help adding mirror magic to your home we’d love to hear from you.
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