How to Reinvent the Side Table

Room Service Interiors.

This dressing table once belonged to the client’s grandmother, and has been reinvented as a bedside table.

By reinventing side tables you can add the unexpected and put your own personal stamp on a room.  Forget about matching pairs, think beyond boring and ordinary.  Really all you need is a flat surface next to your sofa, armchair or bed that is about 600mm off the floor- correct?  Would a milk pail (milk gone, turned upside down!), a rustic wooden chest, or a trunk that was left to you by your Great Aunt Edith, do the trick?  Have a go as these ideas will all add interest and an unexpected touch to your room. Plus it will make it individually yours – no store bought things here!  Add your own interesting combination of lamps, drinks, books and you will not only bring new life to an older piece and your room, but you will preserve your chosen ‘table’ at the same time.

Image

A small table reinvented as a bedside table, carries on the nautical theme of a child’s bedroom.

yh0305p025Hutton9-1_web

A cane chest reinvented as a bedside table, adds texture, provides a landing surface for accessories, and has much needed storage within.

yh0305p023Hutton7-1_Web

A vintage table painted and then topped with a mirror to spruce it up, adds glamour and texture as well as surface reflection.

So get creative with side tables – go around your house and see what could be reused to add character and interest to your scheme.  You will not only add your own personal style, but also the unexpected.  (And your house will not look like any one else’s!   Perfect.)

For help with reinventing side tables feel free to get in touch with Room Service Interiors.

Re-Style to give your Furniture New-Style

Reinventing or restyling a piece of furniture is a great way to inexpensively get a whole new look.The photo below shows how a humble cupboard, in a style we often see here in New Zealand, can be re invented by putting some funky fun colours, and more modern accessories around it.  Most of us would be inclined to paint the cupboard or change it somehow, but here it is shown that there is no need.  Just add a modern/retro touch with the cool colours and it seems quite at home.

And here is another idea for a dining area.  Repaint the chairs and place with a retro/modern styled table. Easily done to reinvent those old chairs that you might be tempted to give away!

RepaintedFurnitureBelow is a chair reupholstered in a funky pink, and yet it works with all the more up to date things around it.  Nothing expensive or trendy here, just great styling.

Below is an update on another chair- having a de-constructed look is quite a trend at the moment as is adding an industrial edge to more traditional pieces.

The Boiler Room does a fabulous job or reinventing some of our more colonial heritage pieces.  Gary and Sue have a great talent for finding the ordinary and reinventing it in a whole new way whether it be industrial or contemporary.  Very clever and talented.  Check out their website and visit their shop in New North Road.

Perhaps in our consumer, fast moving society we all just need to stop, take a breath, and think about how we can re invent a piece of Nana’s furniture so that it becomes an item of beauty.  Up-cycling, no more landfill required. What do you think?

Check out our Pinterest board for more inspirational furniture re-invention ideas.

Related Links and Further Reading:

http://leitmotiv-interiorismo.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/buscando-el-desenfado.html

http://www.boiler-room.co.nz/blog.htm

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

Working Style in a Home Office Space

Want to work from home but not sure where to put your new office?  It does not need a lot of space – a corner, an wardrobe or cupboard, or even an empty Rumpus space will do.  It is the perfect excuse to clear out a wardrobe and get rid of all that stuff in there that you have been hanging onto for the last 20 years.  (I’m not joking) .  With wireless in most houses these days anywhere is possible.  What is good, (but maybe not possible) is to be able to close the door on it at the end of the day, as you don’t want to be looking at work while you are relaxing/playing so would not recommend it in your bedroom, lounge or family room areas.

MeandAliceHome Office2013-02-26

via meandalice.blogspot.co.nz

Have you got a table, chair and a couple of statement lamps to get you started?  Good, get out the tape measure to see where they will fit.  Next have a big clean out as the key to having a successful small office space will be storage.  Think about using jars, boxes, buckets, filing, shelving.  Could you hang things from a peg board or write ideas on a black board on the wall behind the desk?  Filing cabinets take up a lot of space, and are ugly, so think carefully about not using them.  I found things ended up in there never to be seen again – it became File 13.  With the www. these days you do not need all that paper and sampling.  Trust me.

HospiceLamp_BlogFeature

Corner office at Hutton House

Also think about how you work, what you require for storage, and what surface areas you will use.  Do you need a craft table for gluing, cutting, pasting?  Or could you get away with a folding table that you have alongside you for over flow when working on a project, but then is stored away/folded down the rest of the time? Be prepared to get in help such as electrician for lighting and wiring, and telecomunications guru to set up your wireless, computer, and printer.   A handy bloke with the correct drill bit can make your favourite cupboard/armoire into your new work space if he drills a few holes in the back to put all the wires through.  As you can see from the pictures below, it does not take much to get you working in style.

HomeOfficeviathevintageobjectblogspot

Cool, masculine, vintage workspace
via desiretoinspire.net.

If you don’t think you can put it all in a cupboard, think again!

Then have a look at the inspiring ideas and home office spaces on our pinterest board.  If you would like help creating an inspirational office space for yourself click here to contact us .

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles, Design-Vox is well worth a look:

http://www.desiretoinspire.net/blog/2012/6/8/phillip-k-erickson-at-it-again.html

http://design-vox.com/?s=home+office

http://design-vox.com/2011/07/18/handsome-playful-workspaces/

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.

33660_2

33660_3

 

 

 

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!  

yh0305p025Hutton9-1_webyh0305p025Hutton9-4_web

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…..

MediaRumpusRoom

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

 

Doing Double Duty

We are always short on space and rooms aren’t we?  (Though if you have been cleaning up and sorting, you may have a bit more by now!) However, have you thought about have a room being dual purpose?  For example, a guest room could be turned into a home office or a sewing/craft room in between times.  A Dining Room, could perhaps do double duty as an office or a library.  Both of these rooms need to be warm and cocooning, not to mention interesting, so the decorating scheme would fit either way.  It is also possible to put a corner of a room to a different use – for instance a desk area in the corner of a lounge, or in a hallway.  Bookshelves can make a hallway really interesting.

Here is another interior by Ilse Crawford, in which a ‘kitchen’ wall has been put to great use as a bookshelf.  The table then does double duty as a desk. How clever.

Image

And what a great idea pictured below where a pull out bed actually looks like a display cabinet. Clever again.

Image

Then there is this innovative idea that you could use for a home office-bedroom double duty…or maybe for the room at the bottom of the garden!  How simple is this?  So, you can have more guests to stay and get more space for yourself at the same time.  Perfect!

DoubleDuty2

Does you live in Chaos and have no Space?

Are you and your home suffering from CHAOS?  (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)? If your answer is ‘yes’, then you seriously need to get cracking.  It is one of the most energising and easiest ways of creating space in your home.  It also sorts out what you have grown out of, what you love and want to keep to personalise your home.  Now you are going to create S.P.A.C.E:-

Storage2

  • Sort
  • Purge
  • Allocate
  • Containerise
  • Edit

Yes, that is right.  You can never have a cool interior if you have stuff everywhere. This needs to be done regularly.  If you let clutter build up it will become overwhelming.  If you are overwhelmed and CHAOS has set in, use the timer for one hour a day and start sorting.  Sort into 3 piles:

  1. Give away to Charity-make sure clean and useable
  2. Keep-put in its correct storage space where you can easily find it
  3. Bin –recycle what you can, and dispose of things thoughtfully

Work in ONE room at a time, and go through this room methodically until it is done and then move on to the next one.  This takes perseverance and time, but you will get there.  After you have finished your house will no longer be in CHAOS and you can have friends over all the time!  Even better it will take around only ONE hour a week to keep it sorted.

A very organised workspace!

A very organised workspace!

Some ideas for those things that you are keeping:

  1. Store things where you use them. Use old boxes, tins, jars in creative ways to store things.
  2. Group like items together.  You may even be able to use them as a display?
  3. Store most frequently used items in the most accessible places. Keep things you use most often at eye level; store heavy items below waist level and infrequently used items on high shelves (keep a step stool within easy reach for such items) or in another area of the house.
  4. Keep small items in containers, see-through bins if possible, with neat, easy-to-read labels.
  5. De-clutter yearly or more often. Get rid of unnecessary duplicates, items that are damaged beyond repair, or things no longer used.

If you have stairs in your house, never go up or down them without carrying something.  If you have things to go upstairs, leave them at the bottom of the stairs and when you pass it next time pick them up and put them away where they belong.  This works in the reverse order too!

Cool ways to Store things.

Cool ways to Store things.