Brought to you via HOUZZ–great article about kitchen design for today’s home owner.
Category Archives: Residential design
Pallet Creativity for Your Home
I was asked if I would guest post this unique article about how to use pallets for home furnishings. Loving an upcycle project as much as anyone, I was happy to do so!
Budget Is Not A Four Letter Word
We received a guest post entitled “Tricks for Decorating on a Budget”. We suggest that a better title would be “Establishing Your Design Budget”. S Interior Design has prospective clients fill out a Client Profile. One of the questions asked is how much the client is comfortable investing in their project. A list of ranges are shown to chose from. Without knowing the level of investment, we cannot make sound design recommendations. Is it an IKEA level furnishing project or a high end strictly custom project? Something in between?
Before embarking on your design project whether a professional interior designer is involved or not, it is a very good idea to assess what you are ready to spend on the project.
Photo Credit: Homebuyers Centre
As there are two sides to everything, the same goes for decorating. On one hand the prospect of having the home refreshed, bathed in new colors and equipped with several new pieces of furniture is definitely a reason for joy, on the other, the preparations are certainly not.
If you have set yourself with a task of redecorating your home and are not in a situation to spend much money, you should know that it can be accomplished according to your wishes and within budget, all it takes is some research, time and taste.
1. Stay within budget. The first thing that needs to be done is determining the budget. Once we know how much we can spend, it is easy to choose within a specific range of items. Things we will pay more for are those that we do not replace so often, like couches, sofas, dining room tables and larger furniture. These are used the most, so they must be of higher quality. However, you can save even on armchairs, dining room and coffee tables, shelves or night stands if you decide to reupholster them.
If there is nothing you can do with your furniture, before resorting to buying retail, you can visit a garage sale or eBay. You can sometimes get a bargin, especially if you go for second hand items which you can transform on your own. (are you creative and handy?)
2. Accessorizing. Guests should feel the owner’s character the moment they enter the home, which is why special attention should be paid to the entry area or hallway. It is easy to stay within the budget by placing a fruit bowl in the hallway or an interesting key stand. Coat hangers, shoe racks, framed pictures or souvenirs from the travels can tell a life story if they are the right color and placed the right way.
Home accessorizing does not have to be expensive. An affordable way of redecorating is using accessories such as cushions, covers, throw blankets, curtains, glass shelves, vases and picture frames for getting the new look of the house.
What is also gained is a possibility to change the interior seasonally or whenever we feel like it without much effect to the home budget. This is easily done by changing accessories or replacing the smaller decor items with the one of different color, but still according to our mood, season or current trend.
Photo Credit: Flickr
3. Rearrange furniture. When people get bored with the furniture they have, instead of starting with redecorating and spending additional money, redesigning the furniture layout is something to consider.
The sense of novelty can be achieved by making one piece of furniture central and organizing other items around it. Changing placement of the flower pots, decorative baskets or paintings from one room of the house to another will instantly refresh the home and give it a dash of originality.
Whenever there is a wish to change something, we can start by changing the focal point of the room. We can also do this by making some other pieces of the furniture stand out through lighting.
4. Renting appliances. If you need a new appliance and you do not have the money to buy it immediately, you can always rent it. With rent to own stores, you have the option of having an appliance for a weekly or monthly fee. There is also an option of signing a contract which will guarantee owning the appliance after a certain time period, with the amount you paid for renting deducted. On the other hand, if you decide that for some reason you no longer need it, it can always be returned.
The reasons why we redecorate are many, from moving to another home or apartment and having a clean start, to just replacing the old furniture with new. However, there does not have to be a reason for redecorating other than indulging the need for creating our private sanctuaries and expressing our creativity.
A place to store and a place to sit
A place to store and a place to sit.
S Interior Design LOVES multi-functional furnishings such as the storage ottoman fabricated by Pacific Manufacturing. Great in a family room, master bedroom or guest bedroom to store a multitude of things you want or need close by, but don’t want to see out in plan sight.
First Impressions Count! Entry Hallway Design
Whether big or small, the entry area or hallway is what visually greets your guests. Below are some simple tips to help you make sure the design of your home’s entry is ‘saying what you want it to say’.
5 handy tips for decorating your hallway
The hallway is the first interior aspect of your home that guests will notice, so it’s worth spending just as much time on this area as you would your living room or kitchen. When people enter your home you want them to think WOW! With the right décor, you can certainly create that first impression. In this article I will suggest a number of ideas that you can use to create a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing hallway.
Focus on lighting
The hallway is an area of the home that receives very little natural light. If this is the case with your hallway, it’s definitely worth incorporating an effective source of artificial light. If the first thing a guest notices about your home’s interior is a dark hallway, you’re doing your home an injustice. There are literally millions of unique lighting options out there to suit all kinds of décor styles. If you are trying to create a Grande look, a chandelier would be ideal. Chandeliers work especially well in hallways with high ceilings. If you want to create a contemporary style hallway, spotlights are becoming increasingly popular in new build properties and apartments.
Use a rug to break the area up
Incorporating a rug is not only a great way to add a fresh burst of colour, but it’s also an effective way to break your hallway up. To make your hallway look more spacious, a neutral coloured rug would be the best option. If you have a long yet narrow hallway, incorporating a carpet runner is an effective way to add interest and de-emphasize its narrowness. To create an immediate impact, add a statement rug to your hallway, a brightly coloured rug can add some much needed interest to an area of the house that is often neglected.
Consider hallway floor tiles for practicality
As comfortable and cozy as carpet can be, the hallway is not the most practical place to have it. If you want flooring that is durable, easy to clean and looks good, floor tiles are the better option. Long length wood effect tiles are becoming increasingly popular and look great in contemporary style homes. For something a little more traditional, consider Victorian floor tiles. These days’ floor tiles are available in all sorts of patterns and sizes, so there really is no limit to what you can do with your hallway.
Incorporate stylish storage solutions
If you have a spare corner in your hallway, consider adding a freestanding coat stand. By having one of these you can use its central area to store umbrellas and walking sticks. Another idea is to buy a slimline hallway table. A slimline table is ideal if you have a narrow hallway. If possible, choose one that has a lower shelf, this will maximize its storage potential. In extra small hallways, angled furniture allows you to squeeze in much needed storage. The angled shelves are particularly useful and allow you to make the most of your wall space. As a general rule of thumb, any items of furniture that doubles up will be a good investment. An unconventional storage solution is a comfy bench seat with shoe storage underneath. This will encourage your guests to remove their footwear at the door.
Choose a light colour scheme
As mentioned above, a lot of hallways are dark because of the lack of natural light that they receive. Entering a dark hallway doesn’t create the best first impression, so choose a colour scheme that oozes freshness and positivity. You really can’t go wrong with neutral colours such as magnolia, crème and lemon. Try and avoid using darker colours as they can make your hallway look smaller. There are a few exceptions though, if your house is a grand period home, a deep red colour will add tremendous impact. You could also incorporate wall art to break the space up and add another splash of colour.
These handy tips were contributed by Direct Tile Warehouse, a discount tile warehouse that specialises in hallway floor tiles.
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
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.
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.
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.
S. Interior Design Pamlcroft
Welted Arm, Built to the floor, swivel, tight back, Palmcroft Arm, Transitional, contemporary
One of several custom upholstered furniture pieces we designed for a Desert Mountain client looking for some color in her interior environment. Thanks Pacific Manufacturing for making it so easy !
11 Things to Expect During a Remodel
S Interior Design has been working with clients on a lot of remodel projects lately. Folks are investing in their homes, or moving into new homes that need a bit of updating. Below we share a well written article that high lights some of things to expect when you under take a remodeling project.
11 Things to Expect With Your Remodel
Prepare yourself. Knowing what lies ahead during renovations can save your nerves and smooth the process
By: Anne Higuera CGR, CAPS
If you’ve never remodeled before or are taking on a big project, you may feel a little nervous. How much will it cost? How long will it take? Between the large expense and the excitement of anticipating your finished remodel, it’s hard not to feel a little apprehensive. Knowing what to expect can help allay your fears and make you better prepared for what’s to come.
1. Dust. Even with elaborate ZipWalls, a fine layer of dust can gather in parts of your home far from construction. There are a few ways to control it. If you can, close off the construction area from the rest of your house with a compression-fit temporary wall. Running air filtering systems called air handlers can also pull the dust from the air on the non-construction side of the house. Heat the house without your furnace if possible, or completely block the warm-air and cold-air returns in the construction area. If you don’t, you’ll just be pulling dust from that section of the house into the part where you’re living. Consult an HVAC company before blocking ducts to make sure your furnace will still work effectively.
2. Noise. It will be incessant. Whining saws, scratching Sheetrock sanders and thumping nail guns followed by bellowing compressors: in short, little peace or quiet. Find another place to nap and don’t count on working from home unless your home office is far away from the construction zone. If you’re sure it couldn’t possibly be that bad, visit someone else’s home under construction and you’ll see.
3. Triumphant highs. For you it may be the demolition of the ugly vinyl floors in your kitchen. For others it may be the installation of the carefully selected back splash tile. Others still may feel elated only when they see Sheetrock go in or get to relax when their project is completely done.
4. Multiple sighs. It may be that you just want to be done, or that you’re tired of answering so many questions and writing so many checks. Or you may just be tired of having so many people in your house. Hang in there — remodeling fatigue will be short lived when you get to move back into your newly remodeled space.
5. The unexpected. If you expect anything, expect this. Asbestos, irregular framing, jerry-rigged wiring, funny plumbing and more unexpected surprises are bound to arise. No, you won’t be laughing, and neither will your contractor. Count on finding something no one could have anticipated in your budget and your time frame, and you will be well prepared when it happens.
6. Change orders. The unexpected’s cousin is the change order, by which any new and changed work is documented, along with added or reduced cost. Change orders can also be used to resolve allowances, which are placeholders in the budget for particular items. But most often change orders occur because of things that clients decide to add or change. When you absolutely positively have to have that Italian tile, you can bet a change order is on the way.
7. Cash concerns. Even if your project is right on budget, the sheer amount of money you are spending may cause a bit of a freakout. If you’re used to writing four-digit checks, you can easily be writing checks with one or two more zeros during a large remodel. If costs are increasing, along with change orders, it could increase your anxiety. Having cash on hand that’s a bare minimum of 10 percent above contract for contingencies will help alleviate that stress. Have 20 percent if you want to worry less.
8. Delays. Snow falls, people get sick, cars break down and sometimes faucets ordered from the factory take 10 weeks instead of six. You and your contractor will likely be working from a schedule that assumes the world is a perfect place. It’s not, and knowing that will allow you to be resilient when your schedule shifts a bit.
9. Decisions. Where should that outlet be? How high do you want the shower head? Where do you want the cabinet hardware mounted? Oil-rubbed bronze or chrome or brushed nickel or satin nickel? Is your head spinning yet? Count on hundreds of questions that you’ll need to answer as your project proceeds, or select your architect (OR DESIGNER!) as your proxy. Just know that your selection of a contractor is the first of many you will make.
10. Outliers. At the end of your project, expect one or two punch-list items that will take longer to resolve than anything else. It may be a light fixture that arrives broken or the very last two pieces of tile. The important thing is to get the final details right, even if they take a little longer.
11. A party! Expect that you will want to show off your newly remodeled kitchen, living room or addition. We have had clients throw parties and invite friends, along with us and our trade partners. It’s gratifying for everyone to see a beautifully finished home filled with people enjoying themselves.
Tell us: What have you learned from your latest remodel?
Great looking and functional kitchen eating banquette areas.