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/

 

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.

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.

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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.

How to buy a Quality Sofa II: Foams

On Wednesday night we had the pleasure of talking to the Stage 2 class at the Nanette Cameron School of Interior Design which  has been the inspiration for this 4 part post on what makes a quality piece of furniture. First off it is the frame which we talked about in our last post. However Foams are equally important for supporting your body through their structure and how they shape a piece of furniture.  Then finally Cushions are the true source of comfort in a piece of furniture and the foam that goes in them is very important.

 

Be wary of a sofa that is super soft and squishy.  If it is soft on Day One  it will be positively saggy & offer no support by Day 365.  Your knees will be up around your ears when you sit down!  Equally be wary of a sofa that is way too firm.  Hard foam is not dense, and it is the density you pay for in a foam. Poor quality furniture has very little upholstery padding and the foams are cheap, cheap, cheap, light and offer no support. Look for lots of padding across the back and arms.  Look underneath the cushions.  You should not feel any sharp edges, staples, or the wood that lies beneath.  The piping and stitching should all be straight and not crooked.  Park your bottom on the seat.  Can you feel the front rail underneath your thighs? Can you feel any part of the frame beneath the foam? No?  Good, this could be the sofa for you then as it means lots of padding has been used and the seat foam is of decent quality.

 

Look for the use of Elephant foam, it is the heaviest, densest and most resilient.  It will give you years of firmness and stability which is good in a cushion. Memory foam and Luxura foam are used quite a lot but we wouldn’t recommend it to provide you with years of service.  Memory foam is lovely and soft and squishy for your sofa, but has no structure.  It was developed fas a topping foam for mattresses, and really should not be used in furniture.

Some manufacturers make a foam sandwich with their cushions.  But think about it – If you have a cushion that is 100mm thick you will get good structure by using all Elephant foam.  However, if you then make a ‘sandwich’ with Memory or Luxura foam (using 50mm of it for comfort) you will be taking away 50mm of structure and good support for your dear self in years to come.  So, it is a compromise.

 

In our next post we will talk about the cushioning on your sofa, and how elephant foam is used there along with feathers and other goodies.  Please come back to continue reading.

If you would like help selecting a comfortable, quality piece of furniture, we’d love to hear from you!

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

Adding Soul to your Interior

When designing a space for yourself think about how you might add a bit of soul.  Add an interesting layer or two of soul and suddenly a room takes on a different dimension. “More Grown Up” a client said to me this morning.  It is easily mastered by not buying everything new. If you have everything new and blingy it just looks well, shiny and a bit like a magpie has decorated a motel room.  This is because everything has the same texture, no interest or character and the pieces haven’t been on the planet long enough to develop what is called a Patina.Good word that….Patina is something that happens over a long, long  time, and can never be duplicated no matter how much stressing and antiquing you do. Wood, Mirrors and leather are surfaces that show Patina and age really well.

Older pieces tell a story about who else has reached out and touched it over the years.  Am sure most of you have seen that in an old building where they step has worn down where everyone stands or on a fountain or piece of stone that people have touched for centuries.  Below in an otherwise clean and contemporary interior the dining table, is what is adding the Soul and Patina to the space.  It looks so much better than a smooth shiny new piece don’t you think? 

viaurbankaleidoscope

Josephine Gintsburger via http://www.urbankaleidoscope.com/

So, in your scheme consider adding pieces that are old, a little beaten up or worn. Things that have lived a little and been around a while.  This gives a textural play and depth to an interior along with heart. Something that you just can’t get when you buy new.  This is seen with antiques and is what makes them more valuable and yes, more expensive.  So, before you go and buy something new think about the pieces that you have that could maybe reinvented with furniture wax or stain or with different accessories.  Perhaps even move your older pieces to a new place for a new lease on life and give them some TLC by dusting and polishing.

This photo above shows how adding an ancient mirror in amongst clean, contemporary styled furniture adds that special soul that a new mirror just wouldn’t add.  If you have had something for a while, or it has been passed down from family, it does say something about you and therefore makes your interior scheme unique to you, and adds your style.  You don’t want your house to look like everyone else’s do you? 

If you would like help adding soul to the interior design of your home please contact us .

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

http://greigedesign.blogspot.co.nz/2013/09/by-invitation-only-patina.html

http://www.europeanantiques.co.nz/

http://blog.damasketdentelle.com/index.php/category/styles-de-deco/antiquites/

Get into the Mood with Boards

In a frustratingly, bad mood because you don’t know where to start?  Well, this is where Mood Boards come in….They are one of the best tools to narrowing down what styles, colours and themes you like.  Start by cutting pictures out of mags, printing them out, printing of f the internet and keeping them in a folder.  You can create several if you wish for every room in your house.  Don’t be scared to do this, as it is just a mood board –you haven’t spent any money yet!

If you don’t like getting messy with scissors and glue, another excellent tool is the website Pinterest.  Join up and make your own mood boards there.  In fact you can search the site for Mood Boards and hey presto you’ll probably find someone has done one for you with the exact things that push your button.  Be warned:- this site is addictive.

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Why are we recommending you do this? Well, have a really good look at what you have collected and then analyse, analyse, analyse.  Ask yourself some questions. For example: Are the same colours or styles repeated? Have you chosen the same type of flooring in all the rooms? Is there a particular style there? Is there a beautiful mirror in each one? Are there antiques or modern furniture?  Do you like the kelims or shaggy rugs?

Here is a mood board done by Designer Autumn Clemons from Utah.   If you click on the picture it will take you through to her blog that shows the realisation of the dream Mood Board.  Worth looking at 🙂

MoodboardbyAutumnClemons

This is such a powerful and worthwhile thing to do- particularly good if you are trying to achieve your cool new interior look.  It cuts through the huge amount of product and information out there.  Mood boards narrow down your selection choice & helps you define what you like.  Most importantly you avoid making expensive mistakes.  You can also view some on our Room Service Interiors Pinterest page. Now get cutting and pasting.