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/

 

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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.

Rooms within a Room

Have you too much space in a living room?  Often spaces can be too big, as big as a barn,and the spaces just don’t seem to be intimate, warm and welcoming. This may seem surprising, but it is as common a problem as too little space and is actually a little more tricky to make work.  Take some interest in the big public spaces around you – hotel lobbies and bistros – to get ideas. Notice how the different spaces work and how they have been linked together to make a cohesive whole.  Is it tied together with colour, similar furniture styles?  Is the flooring different? Note the layouts – you will see each has smaller zones for relaxing, dining, or conversation areas within the greater space.  It still functions as a seamless, personal attractive whole, and your large living room can be similarly zoned.

Furniture arranged in zones keep this room interesting.

Furniture arranged in different areas fill this room & allow for various activities. Held together with similar colours in wall & floor coverings. Via Damask & Dentelle.

To create a spacious feel, unify the room with colour, texture and light, to create harmony within the different areas.  Texture is the best way to add personality and keep things welcoming.  Using the same texture across the different zones and spaces will provide the glue that pulls the whole thing together.

Several seating areas have been created using different pieces.  Again held together with colour and pattern.

Several seating areas have been created using different pieces in this fabulous room. All held together with colour and pattern.

Keep furniture arrangements simple and easy to reconfigure for gatherings in different ways.  Buy more versatile pieces that can be used in different ways. Having a focal point – a large one such as a chimney surround or  a rustic armoire for example will brings warmth, texture and personal interest into a room and will anchor down the different areas/zones.

The fireplace anchors this room as it is the focal point.

The fireplace anchors this room as it is the focal point. Colours are repeated throughout, tying together the different areas.  Interior created by Cindy Rinfret

Get the bigger pieces such as sofas off the wall (have said this before) and then place a desk or even smaller chairs behind a sofa with a table in between  so that you immediately create another area.Thinking creatively about furnishings and re-inventing pieces will make the room even more interesting.

By keeping the chairs and tables simple and not too heavy looking-be sure you can see underneath them as this creates the illusion of space- they can be easily moved around to suit visitor numbers as and when required.

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Note how the colours and tones are similar throughout. Textural interest and lighting help to anchor the scheme as does the contrast in scale and height of the furniture.

Built in seating is a good way to add interest and another zone to a room.

Built in seating is a good way to add interest and another seating zone in a room.

If you would like help with your large room layout please contact us.

Look and follow our Pinterest board for inspiration. (warning Pinterest is highly addictive!)

We also visited Sarsfield Brooke furniture showroom today, with lots of new furniture to get creative with.  Available through Interior Designers nationwide.

Related Links:

http://www.atlantahomesmag.com/

http://stinemos.blogspot.co.nz/

http://rinfretltd.blogspot.co.nz/

http://www.damasketdentelle.com/en/

Making Plans

Hallo everyone, sorry it has taken me so long to get back to writing, though there are still lots of subjects/posts to share so here we go!

Today’s post was inspired by a chat on the beach with a lady who was planning to build a new beach house and have it done by Christmas this year.  She was serious.  Assuming she had plans already under way it was disconcerting to find out she hadn’t even had the concept plans drawn up yet by an architect.  Hmmm.  Yes it still would be possible if she was planning on a kit set, pre fabricated type of building.  However she wasn’t.

Digital process : PixSolution

Getting plans done for a house takes time – it is a little like slow cooking, for a project to be successful and completed on time it needs to have had careful thought and preparation about needs and wants.  Make a basic plan with your wishes and then cut it back budget wise to fit your project.  It will take careful consideration and several visits to your architect to get it right, and it does take time, not to mention money.

BeachhouseHerbstarchitects

Herbst Architects New Zealand

After that there is the challenge of getting the plans through council, which is never an easy or quick process.  During the time spent working with architect and council you should also be looking at styles, finding out about builders, project managers, or any interior designers you want to work with. Collect together  or make a scrapbook of pages of interiors/exteriors of houses that you like in order to convey to everyone who will be involved with your project what you want and like.  It is a really useful tool for yourself to narrow down what you like.

BeachHouse

House plans are the most important part of building, so  you need to consider the location, lifestyle, family size, environment and budget as well as spatial, future requirements, building materials, aesthetics and local and government laws. Little details can be added later once the house layout has been done. Get yourself a professional and recommended architect who has the knowledge and expertise to outline those things you want.  Once you have the plans in place the details of style, colours, etc can be done. Pinterest and Houzz are useful places to search for ideas.

 

So, be prepared to be patient and keep pushing ahead.  Be sure to include everything you will need now and in the years to come in .  You’re the project driver but be realistic about your time line.   Trying to reach an unrealistic deadline will make for a stressful lead up to Christmas this year for all involved. (And a big disapointment when you are camping on a building site!)  So start the planning now for Christmas 2015 is being more realistic about the outcome. With time, lots of thought in your favourite swing chair, looking at your fabulous beach view, your plans will come to fruition and your holiday home  project will be a success.

 

If you would like help with your holiday home, we’d be delighted if you contact us.

Some interesting and related links:

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/query/planning

http://colourvintage.com/2014/02/03/howtochoosetherighthouseplan/

http://buildingacoastalhome.com/2014/01/23/plans-and-approval/

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/ )

BarnardWebCatalogue2

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

Downsizing? Empty Nester?

We have had several clients recently who are downsizing from their family home to a smaller place as they are empty nesters or want something smaller for their retirement.  During this process (that is what it is!) try not to be sentimental, as it is a move fraught with some tough decision making.  You can save your all your memories but not all your stuff.  However, it can be very liberating as you have probably been living with stuff that you haven’t used for years.   You’ll be asking : ” What should come with us? What should we keep?”  Start early, and sort your belongings a little at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed and take only the items that fit your lifestyle at the moment.  e.g  If you don’t entertain any more, don’t bring all those serving platters and dinner sets to your new home.

Next start thinking about the following: What do I really, really love? What could I live without? Be sure you have only what you love and need. (Prioritise) Then cut the priority list in Half. (Its a bit like you are packing a bag to take away on holiday – you don’t need it all.)  Other good questions to ask are: When was the last time I used this?  If you’ve not used it in the last year it is definitely on the disposables list.

You could get some interior design advice to help with this big move.  Designers have a good eye for how space works, and will have great ideas on how to reuse your existing pieces.  They will also have innovative storage solutions and ways to keep it simple, but interesting.  However you can go through each room in your current home and decide what you want to take.  Contrary to what many of you will think, you should take less pieces but bigger sized ones.  Smaller pieces will make the new place seem cluttered.  You will feel like you are living in a milk carton.  Bigger pieces are always grander.

Choose the big pieces that you want to take wisely.  Are they practical/beautiful?  Could they be put to a different use? Draw on a floor plan of your new home where you think the big pieces could go.  Measure them to make sure they fit and make plan of action of what goes where.  This is particularly useful on moving day when everyone will be asking you a trillion questions. Then, you can fill in the spaces with a few smaller things.

http://leitmotiv-interiorismo.blogspot.co.nz/

You’ll need to downsize the want list too!  Think outside the square and be open to new ideas and suggestions.  (Interior Designers love helping here!)  What you had in your last place may not work, or be too big for your new home. You can’t have everything and you will use your smaller space differently than where you are now.  You will not need two dishwashers.  You will not have room for a walk in pantry. ( A lot of kitchen storage has gone to drawers these days.)  You will have to make rooms do double duty so everyone has their own play space e.g the spare bedroom can double up as a study, or music room. You can see from the pictures that although the space is clean and fresh, great storage ideas have been used eg drawers under the bed, and the way that texture with the use of different woods has helped create interest without it being overwhelming.  Clear, crisp paint finishes and the absence of clutter have helped to make it an easy space to live in.

Below the kitchen space is divided from the main room with the use of a bar made of wood.  Again, nothing big and bold to block up the flow of the space.  Being able to see through helps to create the feeling of space.  The texture of the wood adds interest and note none of it is matched up as this in itself adds interest and makes the room look like it has evolved.

Once you’ve decided what pieces you are taking, then start one room at a time, sorting one cupboard at a time.  Make a Rubbish-pile, Charity/Donation-pile, Family-pile, and an I-want-to-keep-pile.  So it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, set the timer for an hour and go for it.  You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!  If you don’t know where to start and you are in downsizing, please contact us.  We’d love to help!

Have a look at our previous posts for inspiration and also look at the following links:

https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/small-dark/

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/6006100/list/Your-Total-Home-Organizing-and-Decluttering-Guide

http://www.atlantahomesmag.com/article/trading-spaces

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.