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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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.

Largeroom2Layout

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/

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

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?

TV

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?)

TV2

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/

Laundry in the Kitchen

Addendum!  Just saw this readers and thought this kitchen/laundry explains how a small space is no excuse for being disorganised or having a super-sized laundry!

Laundryin theKitchen

My Leitmotiv – interior design and decoration Blog: Seeking the ease.

Clean up the Laundry

Laundries, if you are lucky enough to have a separate one, are often the most neglected room in the house. They become general dumping grounds for smelly dirty clothes, mismatched socks, and of course a damp and  mildew breeding ground.  Why not open the window and add some fragrant washing powders?

Laundry

The key to a good laundry, is organisation. Baskets, baskets, baskets, and containers are essential for the dirty clothes, storage of detergents and cleaners. A bucket is handy for soaking things, as is another  for scrubbing brushes, mops, dusters, rags.  Shoe cleaning equipment can be stored in yet another basket.  A huge room is not required if you are organised.  Today, the English are inspirational in making the laundry as part of the kitchen, often hidden under benches or in cupboards, cleverly using available space.  So, consider what your requirements are- do you want somewhere to iron, or hang up clothes to dry?  Can you organise the drier over the top of the washer to save space?  Have you room for a sink? Do you really need a bench top or can it all go in a cupboard? Often a sink can double up as a scullery- you can dump the big dirty platters and pots in here when entertaining to clean up later after guests have gone.

RSILaundry2_Web

Re the decoration.  Have you considered using an awesome colour, giving it the va va voom, domestic goddess look?  The photo below is from My Luscious Life -isn’t this just so much more interesting than plain cream walls, a naked bulb in the centre, dirty clothes and trackies all over the floor?

LaundryColour

Why would you not like to do your laundry in here?  You are only in here slogging away for a few minutes a day, so why not make it enjoyable?  Wouldn’t it make you think “Yay, every day is Laundry day!” ( which of course it is). So, choose an awesome colour, an interesting rug, hang up a curtain, some hooks and pictures and away you go.  Note the storage in an above-appliance cupboard. No sink or bench top required.

In the next photo there is fantastic use of shelving rather than cupboards.  Open shelving is great for using the baskets and containers and are much more accessible and easy to use than a cupboard. Note the continuation of the bright blue colour.  Simple and effective.  Added bonus of shelving is you won’t hit your head as you finish loading the washing machine, if you have left it open! Owww!

Laundry2

When sorting, washing, drying, folding does it not make sense to do it with style?

RSILaundry_Web

Check out our Pinterest board for more inspirational laundry ideas.

Looking for Baskets?  Try http://www.frenchcountry.co.nz/collections/garden/baskets.aspx

Related Links and Further Reading:

http://cocoandcashmere.me/2013/08/20/laundry-room-the-new-heart-of-the-home/

http://vizualityworks.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/laundry-rooms-are-the-new-walk-in-closet/

http://bobbybclean.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/organize-your-laundry-room/

http://www.nutscene.com/store/category.vc?categoryId=1