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/

 

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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.

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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/

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.

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

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

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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.

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!

How to buy a Quality Sofa 1- The Frame

Most people struggle to know what is a good quality piece of furniture these days and what isn’t. Because you can’t actually see what you are getting and what lies beneath that gorgeous shape and fabric. A lot of quality has disappeared off the market due to cheap and nasty imports and quality local manufacturers have had their margins so squeezed they have been unable to survive.

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Warning! If you pay a few $1000 hard earned dollars for a matching 3 piece lounge suite from a chain store on a Saturday morning, you can almost guarantee that it will not stand the test of time. Most of them are poorly made and are just ugly- extremely bulky and have no style what so ever.These pieces are, sadly lacking and are landfill and will not provide you years of good comfortable cushioning for your derriere.

(Refer our earlier blog-https://roomserviceinteriors.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/mitchy-matchy-breaking-up/ )

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When looking for a new piece of furniture, you need to be prepared to invest some time, effort and yes,  money!  A lot of people replace their car before their sofa and spend more on their wardrobe annually, so invest because it is something that you will have for a while.  You must also love, love, love it. And your new sofa needs to be something you are truly comfortable in and for me nothing too hard edged, sleek, or funky as it is going to be around for a while so you don’t want it to look out of date next year!

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The first thing to do with a sofa or chair is to give it a little nudge with your leg.  If it moves easily, then walk away.  No, I’m not joking. A light sofa/chair is a rubbish one.  It has probably got a balsa wood frame which will break and bend under the slightest bit of duress.  Next pick it up in one corner.  If it flexes and creaks like an old house there is not a strong frame in there.  Walk away!  Also knock three times along the side of the arms.  Does it sound like a drum?  It probably has cardboard in the arms and not solid wood.  Walk away again!

So what how do you know what is quality?

THE FRAME

The frame construction is a vital key to lasting strength & durability so:

  • Internally the frames should be made of export quality eco friendly Pinus Radiata,or Beech, box sectioned to add strength. These woods are very heavy.  We make houses out of them!  It should have inserted spreader rails (front to back) to provide optimal strength.  For added  solidity all joints should be corner blocked, glued & high pressure stapled.
  • The frame sides are all routed to remove hard edges to avoid the possibility of the foam & webbing being damaged and cut.
  • The outside backs & arms are fully lined with polyester & hesssian.
  • Depending on the furniture design, Pirelli-type webbing (like split car tyres) should be used.  Not just tape.  Super heavy duty tread is the way to go.  The webbing should run both ways on the frame. Front to Back, Side to Side like a basket weave.  No gaps in the corners that you can sink down in.
  • Alternatively tension sprung seats & zigzag sprung backs are used for the seats & backs of the frames.

So, heavy frame + heavy cushion foam + car tyre webbing = good quality sofa. i.e. you cannot kick it around with your foot.  A good quality sofa will need a couple of burly blokes to lift it.  If you a weakling and can lift if on your own, please walk away!

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

http://abigailahern.wordpress.com/?s=sofas+furniture&submit=Search

http://www.interiors.co.nz/Article.aspx?id=234

Mixing it Up Style-Wise

Over the weekend we were lucky enough to visit a Mediterranean styled house on the shores of Lake Rotorua.  Superb views over a misty lake made us realise (yet again) what a gorgeous place New Zealand really is.  Could have actually been Lake Como in Italy which I guess is where the Mediterranean styled house came from.  Inside was luxurious and comfortable, styled with antiques, original fittings from a 1920’s house.  All good so far, but then the elephants started popping up, then the tigers on the cushions, then the leopards in the pictures, more elephants peeking around the corner of the terrace outside our room and the African animal themed sheer curtains. Somehow that didn’t work…..how does African relate to Mediterranean to New Zealand?  Short answer, It doesn’t.

What had happened here is that they had added too many themes/styles into the mix. Mediterranean styled on the exterior is very common here, and again that is all good, but inside it didn’t really relate with the African animal thing. 1920’s antiques and decoration does, as that relates to the original and hints at our past.  More appropriate would’ve been to continue the Mediterranean style and add more antiques-Mediterranean style so the place had a cohesive whole. Something like this would have been ideal:

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Small & Dark?

Hands up who has a small dark room in their house? (We don’t mean the loo under the stairs)  What have you done with it?   We think we know your answer…. but unfortunately NO cream or white paint is going to increase its size!  A Small Dark Room is always going to be small & dark.  So, transform it’s proportions with a dark colour & let it cocoon you.  This works because it distracts the eye & blurs the boundaries of where the room starts and finishes.  If you prefer bright colours that will work too, as will an amazing wallpaper.  Below is a work kitchen we had for a number of years-small, dark, and no windows. Yuk, but think we did okay by transforming it with a dark Grey ( Dulux Castlecliff) and some eye popping accessories. RoomServiceInteriorsDarkCol

In a smaller space it is always wise to use larger pieces so instead of going smaller think grander.  Get rid of those twiddly bits because somehow that just seems to emphasise that the space is small.  With curtains make them a similar colour to the walls and hang them up at the ceiling – it makes the space seem much grander.  Also take them right to the corners of the room if possible.  (We recommend doing this in any room actually because we all want our spaces to appear larger than they are don’t we?) Sure,  you may use a little more fabric, but  it will look amazing & is well worth the extra expense. To finish off  use larger accessories with an accent colour.  In small, dark bedrooms use as big a bed as you can – Queen if possible and make the headboard bigger than you would using a similar colour to the wall but maybe in a textured fabric. Use taller side tables with bigger lamps.  This does work. Last but least dress the bed by layering, layering, layering.

The wallpapered room below is by London Floral Designer Nikki Tibbles – she has transformed a small dark space with a gorgeous wallpaper and eye popping colour.  So, warm and cocooning isn’t it?  Why would you paint it cream instead?

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The bathroom below is, yes, a room under the stairs, but doesn’t it look amazing?  Somehow being in there would feel kind of glamorous huh?  Again, why would you want to use cream or white when you can have the moody blue?

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(Apologies to the maestro who created this small, dark room.  Make yourself known so we can credit you with it.)

A big “Thank You” to all those who attended our Mid Winter Design Inspiration talk last night.  Really appreciate you all turning up on such a cold night- so much appreciated.  Trust you all got warmed up today moving that furniture off the walls.