Minimalistic Design Style

We received this guest post that talks about minimalistic design style.  Clean lines, uncluttered spaces, neutral color schemes and more can define this style of design.  In today’s cluttered world of non-stop media, wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a home with a soothing minimalistic design style?  Not sterile or super modern, but calm in nature, a respite from a busy life.


The Elegance And Practicality Of Minimalism

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Photo credit: Flickr

For those who wish to make a statement with clean lines, interesting furniture and a clutter free environment, minimalism is the way to go. Minimalist interior design became quite popular in the 1960s, with its focus on straight lines, and geometric contrast which resulted in clean and coherent homes.

Surfaces in a minimalist interior are often light coloured, combining to create organised spaces and a sense of airiness. If there are shelves, they usually float in the air; every item having its own space. Storage is hidden and the basic principle is simplicity, inevitably leading to elegance.

Focal point. When decorating in a minimalistic manner, your aim is to create balance between the space, surfaces, and objects, making it all as functional and unobtrusive as possible. Often, there is just one thing in the room that grabs the attention: a piece of furniture, the view from the window, a work of art or just colour. The attention and skill comes in when balancing other objects with it.

Colours of minimalism. There should be a single colour on the walls; two different colours would be a tolerable maximum. The interior itself is organised in a way that no more than three shades of similar colours are present. When choosing colour for walls, white or shades of white are always the right choice for the “clean” impression minimalism aims at. The colour is added to the room with accessories. Favourite colours are accentuated through vases, picture frames, cushions and curtains. These should evoke visual interest in the space and insert the character of the person using the space. As these objects are usually small and not too distracting, their colours and designs should be bolder. Of course, the amount of accessories should be brought to a minimum so as to avoid clutter.

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Photo Credit: Boutique Homes

Use of materials and texture. Sustainable and eco-friendly materials are the ones you wish to use in minimalism, as well as elements such as glass, mirrors, polished cement, architectural fabric, stone and wire. Also, minimalism wants to draw nature into the room and that is usually the one seen through the windows of the apartment or the house. Windows here are very important and are tended to be big, without curtains, blinds or shades, or anything for that matter that blocks the view. If going for a “clean” look then steel and chrome are the right choice, but do not overdo it and create a sterile space. Finishes in minimalism are supposed to be simple, while textures are rough, such as brick, concrete, wood or plaster.

Storage. Minimalism is characteristic for the maximum use of space. Everyday items are to be hidden from sight. Storage is hidden in the walls or furniture itself. Even if there are some cupboards, they are designed to have flat facades made of plastic which can sometimes simulate materials such as wood. In cases where real wood is used, surfaces are textured subtly, but keep in mind that using wood is always more expensive.

Lighting. Some say that lighting is the most important thing when effectively using space and composition in minimalist design. You will often find pendant lights, hidden lighting, or large overhang floor lamps in such homes. The option to dim the lights is a must since minimalist homes can sometimes be harsh during the night. Again, lights are used for making the focal point stand out, whether this is a specific object, angle or part of the room.

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Photo Credit: Flickr

Objects and furniture. Large pieces of furniture should be avoided. The only large piece can be the sofa, if the aim is for the sofa to be the central part of the room. Anything you do not need or use should not be in the room – and that goes both for furniture and decoration. The accent is on spatial freedom, but with interest in details. The colour of the furniture should contrast with the walls or be simply white. Patterns on the textiles are also to be avoided, while fabrics should be cotton or flax in a solid colour. Similarly to other minimalistic furniture, cabinets, sofas, chairs and armchairs are of simple geometrical forms and shapes.

Minimalism has become an art of balancing the living space with the living utilities and our busy lives. Somewhere in between, elegance has found its way in trying to make it simple. It is not always easy to accomplish but it is worthwhile.

Glass Shelves- Simple and Beautiful

Below is a guest posting on the subject of glass shelves.  Whether inside a lit cabinet, or used to showcase items, glass is a great option for shelving materials to consider

Glass Shelves: Simplicity + Beauty

No matter which room of your house you’re redecorating and how clutter-free you live, you will always need a place to keep your possessions. Even the strictest minimalist requires practical objects at hand on a daily basis. Closets or cabinets are functional, but their overuse can make your rooms look smaller. If you have an empty corner or wall space that you want to utilize more effectively, glass shelves may be the solution.

Let’s say you have an all-white or cream-colored bathroom with a large tub for luxurious baths. You want a clean and simple way to organize your bare necessities. Fitting a set of glass shelves in the nook next to the tub will maintain the room’s relaxed, spa-like ambiance, while keeping your toiletries, candles and towels nearby.

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If you’re transforming your living room or basement into a bar, you will probably use wooden cabinetry. To create a contrast to the dark wood, install a few floating glass shelves above the sink. The shelves, as well as the glasses and bottles you display, will sparkle in the light. In this particular example, the thick, frosted shelves match the modern fixtures and feel of the bar. The great thing about glass is that you can customize it, choosing the hue, finish, and width of your shelves.

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On the topic of customization, glass shelves can also be fashioned in unexpected shapes and designs. Are you an art lover looking for a unique way to show your collection? Get your sculptures and vases out of the stuffy display case and onto multi-level, zigzagged shelves. The interesting form of the shelves will guarantee that the art is the focal point of the room, starting conversation and spurring compliments from your guests.

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As you can see, glass shelves are a simple, beautiful way to add practical storage space to your home. There is an abundance of shelving styles on the market, but don’t limit yourself to the options found in big-box stores. Whether you want etched or smooth, curved or straight, green-tinted or crystal clear glass, have an expert create shelves that match your taste.

About the Author: Glass and Mirror Pros in Orlando is a company with over 30 years of experience in the glass industry. Our dedicated technicians can repair or replace windows, sliding glass doors, and install glass shelves, shower enclosures, and more. We are passionate about interior design and making homes beautiful with glass products. Find us on Facebook for more information and creative ideas!

Downsizing? Small Works !

I have heard myself saying  to several different new clients within the past 6 months-“Small can be great!”  As one example, you can probably afford the very expensive back splash tile if you are using it in a smaller sized kitchen or bath remodel; and you need less furniture to furnish a smaller great room.

That said, there are tried and true tips that can give you a larger feeling space—mirrors, lighting, clutter control to name 3 top ones.  A guest post about how to make small spaces feel larger is shown below.   The author is from the U.K where overall spaces tend to be smaller than in the United States where the mantra seems to be-bigger is better.

How To Make A Small Living Space Feel Bigger

Whatever your current living situation, if your house, apartment or shared accommodation isn’t quite as palatial as you’d like it to be there are lots of different ways to adapt your space to make it feel bigger.

It is possible to transform the rooms you occupy at home with a few simple tricks of the eye, making them appear lighter, airier and much more spacious. Here are some ways to decorate and organise your home to give the impression of much more space than you might have.

Use Of Mirrors

Whether you place them above the mantelpiece, incorporate them into your wardrobe door or even prop them up against the wall, mirrors can dramatically alter your perception of a room and also help to reflect light, giving a greater sense of space. Entire mirrored walls are often used in bars and restaurants to make them seem twice the size they actually are, so why not emulate this at home?

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(Image credit: Sam Agnew)

For maximum effect:

  • opt for large mirrors
  • position them opposite windows or doorways where light enters
  • don’t be afraid to have more than one in the room- in fact, the more mirrors the brighter the room!

Pick A Light, Bright Colour Scheme

Dark colours, if on every wall, can have the undesired effect of making small rooms appear even smaller. To maximise every inch of available space, choose from a light colour palette of neutrals and pastels.

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(Image credit: Mazzali)

There is no need to forgo the dark, bold colours that you love, as these can still look great and add character if used in small doses. Perhaps have a feature wall painted in your accent colour and pick soft furnishings to match.

Choose A Light Floor Colour

Choosing anything other than a light floor colour is certain to highlight the small size of a room by drawing the eye downwards to the exact dimensions of the floor space. Opting for a neutral colour which flows uninterrupted up to walls of a similar colour will open up the space and draw the eye up and out to the rest of the room.

Size Does Matter

Unlike mirrors, which can be as big as you like (in fact the bigger the better!), overly large paintings, ornaments, rugs and pieces of furniture dominate small spaces and serve to highlight the size of a small room. Opt for chairs and tables which aren’t too chunky, those with a lighter ‘footprint’ will take up less floor space.

The size of furniture and decorative items should be in keeping with the size of the room, so buy for the space you have rather than the space you’d like to have!

Hide The Clutter With Clever Storage

Cramming lots of paintings, pictures and ornaments into a small room will only serve to highlight how cramped everything looks. To maintain a calm, unfussy environment keep surfaces as clear as possible by storing all non-decorative items away.

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(Image credit: PoshSurfside.com)

Built in storage will aid in de-cluttering and saving space. Think about incorporating:

  • cabinets built in to alcoves
  • wardrobes built along walls
  • bench seating which contains drawers and storage space

Let There Be Light

Clever lighting can create the illusion of more space by making the most of every square foot available. If you don’t have large or south facing windows then create light with strategically placed lamps and mirrors. One large central light creates a clinical look which leaves corners and other nooks and crannies in shadow. Light such areas with up-lights, spotlights or lamps.

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(Image credit: Doug)

Make use of other reflective materials, such as glass and metals, to increase light. Why not place lamps upon mirrored trays for maximum light reflection, for example?

Knock through to create an open plan living space

If the structure of your house is such that you occupy a series of small box rooms, the simplest way to transform it into a living space which feels much larger is to knock through adjoining walls.

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(Image credit: Jeremy Levine)

An open plan living space increases space, adds light and unites the social spaces in your home. Being able to see how large your floor plan actually is and move around it with ease is one of the best ways to make a small space feel larger.

Adopting a less is more approach when it comes to decoration and aiming to maximise available light with neutral colours and reflective surfaces are the best ways to make small rooms appear larger.

About The Author

Hi there, my name is Loren, I love being creative with living spaces. I live in a small but very cosy apartment, I love my creature comforts and I don’t like clutter! I work at Sofasofa.co.uk, who sell comfy sofas, sofa beds and other bits and bobs.

Choosing a shower screen in a bathroom renovation

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You might think that choosing a shower screen is not the most enjoyable part of your home renovation, but if that’s the case you just haven’t been looking at the right shower screens. When I did my recent renovation, the most beautiful ones I found were from Frameless Impressions. Frameless shower screens have a very understated and modern look, they’re elegant and they give the impression of enlarging the space of your bathroom rather than cutting it off and compartmentalising it. This is a display image of the screen I ended up having installed.

I loved the idea of it as well as the look of it, because frameless screens are very easy to clean to clean and maintain. Unlike curtains, they don’t mould or rust, and the outward swinging door protects the rest of the bathroom from splashing. I love the way the glass lets the light from the window in and illuminates the white bathroom and tiles. It gives a real feeling of calm and luxury even though in reality the bathroom is a very small space. Here is another image.

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Choose a screen that is the right size and shape for your bathroom. Not all screens have to have doors. Take the one above for example. You want your screen to fit perfectly in with the feel of your bathroom, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional and elegant. I was surprised also to find that they don’t have to be expensive. Choose one that you’ll be able to live with for years to come.

Top 5 Urban Kitchen Design Trends

The guest post below is written by an author who lives in London.  So often, design trends begin in Europe and then filter over to the United States.  With more and more downtown revitalization projects happening  across the U.S. metro areas, urban living is once again becoming more popular for younger adults as well as active retirees who want to be close to the ‘vibe’ of downtown living.   Take a read of some of the kitchen design trends that fit the urban living profile.

TOP 5 URBAN KITCHEN DESIGN TRENDS

While some homemakers have transformed their kitchen into bistro-style hangouts, others have made them look like art galleries.  And even more people have redesigned their kitchens into culinary studios.  Whatever style you choose for your kitchen, popular design trends can help you make a bold statement.  With the selection of different textiles these days, everyone is going for a ‘transitional’ design rather than a traditional one.  So here are my top five urban kitchen design palettes that will help you create a functional and entertaining hangout.

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EMERALD

A stark white kitchen with bold hues of emerald is a striking choice this year.  You can play with white, shades of grey and incorporate emerald into your seat cushions, a set of vertical drawers or cabinetry, or an accent wall.  As a vibrant backdrop, the emerald trend will look refreshing against white walls but also add invigorating warmth to your kitchen.

BLUE SERENE

If you’re inspired by waterfront bars or cafés, you’ll enjoy turning your kitchen into a coastal retreat.   This year the colour blue is on everyone’s renovation radar and never fails to impress.

Pastel shades like powder blue can feel smart and sophisticated against a crisp white canvas.  Modern details like recessed spotlights, stainless steel fridge freezer, contemporary bar stools and a painted pantry door keep the overall look fresh.  Have a look at Wickes doors online for a variety of styles to add doors and dress your windows.

Wooden floors with a woven blue Persian rug, sanded furniture and minimal décor helps you achieve a tranquil atmosphere.

NEON STUDIO

A fluorescent touch is all the hype this year, so if you’re high-tech kitchen could use a splash of colour, don’t be shy to accessorize with neon placemats or even include yellow, pink and green bar stools on a grey backdrop.

This trend complements kitchen technology enthusiasts so you can turn your kitchen into an internet café.  A deep stainless steel basin with tall faucets built-in to your marble island counter is a contemporary and practical design.  Mirrored sliding doors for your food pantry and suspended single-track lighting like built-in LEDs will enhance the neon theme.

NEUTRAL TONES

Neutrals like shale, flannel grey and pewter also take dominance this year. So if you can find nice suede wallpaper and layer your kitchen with chrome hardware.  You can sharpen the overall design of your kitchen with stained, painted or frosted glass cabinetry.

Incorporate wood and copper elements such as tables, stools, frames or décor pieces.

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ENERGIZE WITH BOLD GRAPHICS

High energy colour palettes including bright yellow, red chilli and electric blue add character to your kitchen.  Install stainless steel cabinetry and a unique countertop like marble, basalt, glass, steel or limestone instead of the typical granite.

Whether its bold geometric patterns or botanical prints, you can create a fun retro space and further experiment with contrasting wallpaper, cushions or backsplashes.

With inspiration from India’s roadside kitchens or Lebanon’s bustling street counters, you can use bold colors like tango orange, purple or green along with printed backgrounds for a lively look. A popular design element is the accent cabinet so you can add a vertical accent column by painting a set of drawers or selecting coloImage

red cabinetry.

Author bio: Amna Alam is a London-based freelance writer who enjoys film, fashion and interior design.

Bathroom Design Trends

S Interior Design loves remodeling bathrooms for their clients.  When we were asked to host this guest blog post on Bathroom Trends, we said YES!  Fun, contemporary design ideas to inspire you.

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Bathroom Trends: Glass Mosaic Tile (via)

Bathroom trends to me start with the tile work. In this case, one of my favorite examples is the Copper Color Bisazza Glass Mosaic Tile. It gives you that contemporary look and serene feeling to your bathroom. Other trendy styles of tile you should consider for your bathroom redesign project are natural stone, pebble tile, stone mosaic tile and stainless steel tile. If you’re doing budget-conscious remodeling, use designer tile sparingly in the form of cut-out tile accents, to give you that designer tile design cue.

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Turquoise Painted Glass Vessel Sink (via)

Vessel sinks are very much trendy these days. Walk into any high-end restaurant’s bathroom, and you’ll likely see a vessel sink. Depending on the style, they can also be very affordable. Personally, I like the above vessel sink made of glass, and painted turquoise.

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Trendy Shower Doors: Neo-Angle Frameless Shower Enclosures and Glass BathTub Screens

If you couldn’t tell from the glass vessel sinks and the glass mosaic tile recommendations, glass is in style when it comes to the bathroom. One of the reasons for that is because glass allows for the passage of light. That means a lot of glass, opens up an otherwise small looking bathroom, and makes it look more spacious. Also, if you have fancy tile work in your bathroom, there’s no better way to show off that tile work than with beautiful low-iron glass (in which the green hue has been reduced by taking out the iron content).

Nothing looks drabber than cheap, toxic, vinyl shower curtains. In these examples, the neo-angle shower enclosure is the trendiest and most expensive shower enclosure on the market. It’s frameless, so the metal hardware is barely visible.

On the other side, is the glass bathtub screen. These are very trendy in Europe, and are starting to make their way over into the United States. In Europe, people aren’t afraid of a little bit of water splashing out of their tubs. At the end of the day, both a full shower enclosure and a glass bathtub screen are great options for a trendy bathroom.

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Granite Countertop (via)

Granite countertops are a popular décor trend both in the bathroom and the kitchen. They provide the perfect backdrop for the aforementioned glass vessel sinks. And if you’re going to spend the “dough-re-mi” for a solid-slab granite countertop, utilizing clear glass vessel sinks might be a good idea in order to better showcase the granite. If you’re looking to save money, you can also do a DIY project and use a granite tile kit, which is a third of the price of buying the solid slab of granite, as seen above. They both provide that trendy, natural, solid-stone look for one’s bathroom.

About the Author

Shahab Shokouhi is a glass design expert at www.dullesglassandmirror.com, an innovative manufacturer of glass table tops, glass shelves, and all other glass and mirror products. Follow Dulles Glass and Mirror on Pinterest or on YouTube to see how they’re changing the way glass products are manufactured, customized and delivered.