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.

yh0305p022Hutton6-4_Web

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.

Advertisements

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.

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

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

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/

Got Paint Colour Paralysis?

Up to your ears in paint colours? Can’t decide which one to use?   It need not be tricky, and your starting point is probably right in front of you. Ideally you want to make sure it goes with the furnishings that you already have.   A painting or a rug that you love perhaps? Could you paint the room in a shade or hue that would work with both?  Not everyone is drawn to bright, bold colours, so be in the moment and think about what colours you are drawn to.  You probably already know the colours you naturally love and those that you detest.

Have you been keeping a scrap book of all the interiors you like? Been doing any mood boards? (This is why they are so useful people!)  Look through them and magazines and really see what colours are there that you are drawn to.  Is there a common colour thing happening? Perhaps you are drawn to old woods, rustic greys or blues.  If you love blue, is it midnight, pale aqua, or a Wedgewood Powder Blue?  Ask yourself all these questions.   If you are seeking paint colours for your kitchen or bathroom, it is wise to pay attention to finishes like the tiles that you cannot/do not want to change.  This could also a good starting point for your scheme perhaps?

Pink, apricot, cream and warm woods used with a Cool Light

Pink, apricot, cream and warm woods used with a Cool Light

Pay attention to the orientation of the room that you are painting.  Is it North facing? (We are talking Southern Hemisphere)  Does it get a lot of afternoon sun?  This may be the ideal place to use blues, greens and aquas – cooler colours that will offset the warm sun rays and yellow light entering the room. You only have to think of a sunny, north facing room in February to know that bright orange or red will feel totally overwhelming in there!

Conversely a south facing room has cool, blue light, and no sun, so a warmer shade – yellow, reds, pinks will feel good there.  In New Zealand our bathrooms are often on the South side of the house and people paint them blue as they feel this relates to water. Be warned fellow Kiwis, if you paint a bathroom blue, the southern light, coupled with white porcelain and tiles may feel like you are bathing in a chilli bin, not a warm bath!   Consider a warm yellow, ochre or cream instead.

Aqua blue is warmed up here by warm wooden floors.

Aqua blue is warmed up here by warm wooden floors.

Blue is warmed up with wood tones here- in the curtains, table, and chandelier.

Blue is warmed up with wood tones here- in the curtains, table, and chandelier.

After you’ve sorted out whether you are going warm (reds, yellows, oranges) or cool (blues, greens, aquas) and what furnishings you are going to try to tie your paint colour in with, then get the paint charts out.  Not everyone is drawn to bold, clear colours so if you are one of them, then look to the neutral shades of the colour you are thinking of.  Always, always, test the colours out.  2 coats, painted on a big sheet of cardboard.  And use the exact finish you plan to use — high gloss will look very different from matte or eggshell. If you don’t want to deal with test pots, look for a paint company that offers poster-size paint chips and tape them to your wall instead.   Look at them in all lights – morning, noon and night, on rainy days, sunny days, and then at night when you have the lights on. These different lights will all change the paint colour.  If a certain shade doesn’t work in the room, and it is in the same colour family that you are considering using, it will probably work in another room in the house.  This will give flow and continuity to your space.  So, get those overalls on and get started.

Warm terracotta pots and wood tones, help to warm up a neutral, grey, beige.  Greige.

Warm terracotta pots and wood tones, help to warm up a neutral, grey, beige. Greige.