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/

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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/

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

Hallway to Heaven

When walking up your hallway does it take you to heaven?  Are you going ‘Wow, this is interesting’ or do you just pass on through and not stop because it is somewhat lacking? Well then! Stamp your mark here in the hallway, and give it some of your personality.  Start by getting rid of the detritus that everyone dumps there when they come in the door.  You know that is always the starting point of any project don’t you? Add a basket for those track shoes, and an umbrella stand. Wall hooks?

RivaHotelviaFlicker

RivaHotelviaFlicker

Then begin adding those layers we have talked about before- hang the art or a rogues gallery, add a  runner, or rug, paint it an awesome colour, add mirrors, and maybe even a feature wall with wallpaper. The more carefully chosen layers you add the more captivating a space will become.

(See previous blogs: https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/less-is-a-bore-let-the-room-evolve/ )

SimpsonEntrance2

In your hallway,  push the boundaries colour wise and take it from being the dullest to grandest room in the house.  Make sure though that it links back to a colour that you have used elsewhere so you keep the flow and continuity going through the house.  If you have a long, long, long hallway a good colour trick is to paint the end wall in a dark/bright colour as it will seemingly shorten the length of the hallway.  (This is because dark/bright colours will come towards you.)  Using colour is particularly effective if the place is dark with no natural light.  On a job we are working on my client added dark wallpaper up the stairwell in her house and it looks awesome.   It has taken the space to a whole new level, picks up the lead light windows too and at night the gold just shimmers.  (I give her all credit for this as she had bought it before I came on board!)  We are looking forward to the vintage chandelier going in on Thursday, which is my next point:-  Add an out of the ordinary light fitting too.

RoomServiceWallpaper

Next you can add a skinny console, or cabinet.  Place flowers, or maybe even a lamp there, candles, add some art work &/or mirror like in the picture below and you’ll have done a great job!

HallwayParkAve47

via 47ParkAvenueblogspot

Have a look at the inspiring ideas and home office spaces on our Pinterest board.  If you would like help creating a hallway to heaven for yourself click here to contact us .

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles:

http://47parkav.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/hall

http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/?s=hallway&submit=Search

http://47parkav.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/black%20painted%20staircase

Display your Personal Style

Have you ever come back from holidays with pieces you have collected en route?  Not sure what to do with them? Often they are not quite as easy to mix into your interior upon return.  Need a Solution? Think about  displaying your collected treasures together in groups that have similar colours or are the same objects (eg baskets or necklaces).  Do not be afraid to group them together with other personal items that you do not want to part with. Below is a lovely idea from ‘me & alice’ a Swedish Interior Stylist and photographer. She has created a ‘memory cupboard’ in which you could include all your souvenirs along with other personal memorabilia…….MemorycupboardMe&alice

This does not have to be the main focal point of the busiest room in your house, but could add interest to other spaces – eg hallways.  They are often a neglected and uninteresting area of the house so a perfect place to add something interesting.

Travelpersonality

A tablescape like the one we have created above is also a great way to display and remember trips to Egypt, Morocco and Turkey.  All pieces collected on our travels.  Alternatively you could make your children’s or guest room into a themed one – for example a Chinese theme- add interesting bedsides, use a Chinese themed pillow on the bed.  A Moroccan themed Rumpus using cushions, pouffs, rugs and lamps ex Morocco makes for a very hip and cool place for teenagers to hang out in.  The trick with any themed room is not to add too many accessories of that theme. You only need touches to add the interest.  Do not make every last thing Chinese or Moroccan.  The majority of the furnishings should be in your original style so that it links back and relates to the rest of the spaces in the house and where you are in the world. We touched on this in a previous blog – the problem there was the lack of relating the theme back to its surroundings and the original. Below is another idea for displaying shells and personal things courtesy of greige design.   Pinterest is full of these kind of ideas – so have a look and get pinning.

displaymemorabiliagreigedesign

 

Neutral Colour Schemes

A neutral colour  is not just cream or black or beige.  They are an example of a neutrals, but what most  fail to realise is that any colour can be a neutral.  Yes, that’s right! So you can have a neutral green (khaki), neutral yellow (ochre), neutral red (pink), neutral blue (Wedgewood blue) and so on.  A neutral is any colour that has been muddied up, had some sludge thrown in there, a bit of chalk, a bit of dirt.

A neutral colour is the opposite of an accent or “loud” colour.  It does not “pop” out or grab your attention and is a softer version of a bright colour. For example red, orange or blue or any colour that attracts your eye easily.  Go to your wardrobe and give it a quick scan- the colours that grab your attention are the accent/pop/loud colours, the rests are probably neutrals.  Not so hard huh?

So, how do you use neutrals in a colour scheme?  They make a good base to pop your favourite accents on.  If your favourite colour is navy or bright blue, then you might to warm it up with a cream.  (Blue is a ‘cool’ colour and cream is a white that has had yellow added to it) Alternatively you may like yellows- this is all good until you are sitting in a very hot room on a summers day and are surrounded by bright yellow.  Nothing mellow-yellow about that, so off set it with a subtle blue grey and that will give you the balance.  Save the bright full on yellow for the accent colour in accessories.  You also don’t need to use exactly the same neutral colour throughout the house. Use varying depths and shades of the same colour, or something less sludgy in different rooms to suit its aspect and light.  This makes for an interesting scheme that flows through the house without it being boring and beige.  For example, it is good to use a double/stronger/deeper neutral in rooms where you want to be cocooned – studies, dining rooms, or in rooms that are on the cool side (south side in New Zealand) of the house that get no sun.  Alternatively on the warmer (Northern in NZ) side of the house, go for the slightly cooler shades and lighter tones, so things feel light and airy.

JoMalone2viaLonny

So get into neutral but do not forget to beef up the textures.  This adds the interest in a neutral scheme.  The inspiring pictures are from Lonny magazine of Jo Malone’s new headquarters.  The beautiful mouldings did not need too much colour to set them off – in fact they are texture itself and the designer, Rose Uniacke has kept the rest of the decoration beautiful but minimal so they come to the fore. There are other elements of texture added too – bare wooden floors, the glorious chandelier and even logs in the fire place.  I bet the place smells as gorgeous as it looks too!

JoMaloneviaLonny

Pattern Pulls it all Together.

PatternMixing

Often people are scared of mixing pattern as they are scared their rooms will end up looking like a jumble sale….well, it can do when it is done badly, but once you have started to follow the few rules below, you will have no fear.  Pattern is a great way of adding zing and pulling all the various elements you have together in a room.  It is also a great way of connecting styles and bringing different colours together you may have in a scheme.

1.Patterns need to be consistent with each other visually, but create an atmosphere. For example, a tribal pattern would bring together an exotic African earthy style, or a Floral design may bring together all the pretty colours you have in your cottage.

2. When mixing start by using colours in common.  For instance if you have corals and blues in your pallette, then work with the same colours.

PatternMixinig Here you can see the have pulled the emerald green and white out of the floral and used in a geometric/animal print.  The blue velvet is also in the floral fabric and it has been used to coordinate in a velvet blue.

3. Next mix a large scale pattern with a small.  Eg. a large floral  pattern will balance a small one when the colours are in common and vice versa.  This is exactly what they have done at Burlap and Lace.  Visit this page as she has done a really good blog on pattern mixing!

4. Then, add in geometrics such as plaids, checks, diamonds and stripes.  They will all easily coordinate with a pattern if it is in a different scale and have similar colours.  Geometrics are huge in interiors at the moment, so use them to update your scheme.

PatternMixing3

Here you can see that Tara Bussema has used a central patterned cushion on the sofa to pull all the different blues and greens together.  Then she has used a chevron stripe (throw over back of the sofa) & a geometric  (Green and white) along with a zebra print to bring in the wicker chairs and other touches of black in in the room.  Looks Fantastic and is a fresh and great example of pattern being used to bring it all together.  Now what is scary about that?

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