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/

 

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

Style= Courage + Daring to be Different.

Style is about being memorable. And all memorable rooms have something that is a little off beat or whacky.

If you want to have style you need a whole lot of believing in yourself.  Have the courage to do what you like, not follow your friends or trends.  And only have the things that you love.  Style has nothing to do with $$$.  But You do need to do things differently to how you have always done them and be open to change.  It is sort of like a personal house challenge boot camp!

You want a space that is going to cocoon you & make you feel well ‘at home’.  You want a space that makes you go “Yum & Wow” at the same time.

So use the following to have a completely new look with style:

  •  use paint/wallpaper
  • amazing accessories
  • rethink your furniture placement
  • colour
  • accessories
  • only have things you love

So re vamp, replace, re upholster, and re vamp again.  To make your space really zing you need to have courage, then take a deep breath and jump in! After that all you need is colour and more courage to dare to be quirky and add things that are a little off beat and unexpected. Big doses of all 3 – courage, colour, and quirky.

Look at the wonderful interior below by Nikki Tibbles.  Note the pops of colour. Also juxtaposition of masculine grey with pretty & feminine, The contemporary sofa covered in a traditional chintz is quirky, the industrial contemporary lamp with feminine fabrics are all things you don’t see everywhere. Nikki is an amazing London floral designer and says she only has things in her home she loves. Somehow that works doesn’t it?RoomServiceNikkiTibbles3

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