Ideas To Design a Symmetrical Kitchen

We are hard wired to appreciate a symmetrical balanced design style, or one that is asymmetrical.  S Interior Design strives to understand which direction their clients lean prior to our development of their design plan.

A formal definition of symmetry: having sides or halves that are the same : having or showing symmetry
You describe something as asymmetric when it lacks the mirror-image quality of symmetry.

Below is a guest post specifically on achieving symmetrical design in a kitchen.

How to Achieve Symmetry in Kitchen Design

Symmetry creates visual balance, which brings with it a sense of order and peace. Striving for symmetry in your kitchen design can make your kitchen a more relaxing and enjoyable space to work in. This is especially important, considering the kitchen is often the most used room in the house. The following design ideas can help you bring much-needed symmetry to your own kitchen’s design.

Look to the Light

Lighting is one of the first places where asymmetrical choices can affect the mood. Begin first by balancing the overhead fixtures. Replace a single off-center fixture with two evenly spaced fixtures, or use a larger center fixture. This will add balance to the room.

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H/T thekitchn.com

If your kitchen has a large window at one end, hang a mirror at the other end or use mirrored tiles for a back splash opposite the window. This will help balance the light from the window.

Rooms with additional lighting, such as task or under cabinet lights, also benefit from symmetry. Make sure these lights are used evenly throughout the room, or that the fixtures are hidden away when the lights aren’t in use.

Shelving and Storage

Your storage solutions are another simple way to add symmetry to the kitchen. If you have exposed shelves or storage, opt for two of each. For example, frame in each end of your pantry with exposed shelves. If you run shelves above the sink, use an even number. The goal is to keep everything balanced.

Seating Strategies

A large kitchen island doubles as an in-kitchen eating area, homework station, or just a place to relax. This means you need seating in your kitchen.

The amount of seating depends on the size of your island. Generally, you can easily fit up to three stools along one side of an island. One stool will look unbalanced, while two or three provide more symmetry. Make sure the stools all have the same color and design so they can carry the symmetrical look to completion.

Cabinet Balancing

Cabinets are a more costly change, but they will provide the most bang for your decorating dollar. Make sure the cabinets you choose are all the same height. You can select cabinets of different widths, but balance them on either side of a focal point. Generally, the focal point is the sink or oven range.

brown kit

H/T modernir.blogspot.com

Opting for cabinets in a single color can provide a cleaner, more symmetrical look. Also, make sure that the knob or handle design is the same throughout the entire kitchen. For example, avoid opting for handles on drawers and knobs on cabinets; instead, use the same on both the drawers and the cabinet doors.

Finish With the Accessories

Accessories are the final key to symmetrical design. Whether it’s balancing any artwork on the walls, or centering a hanging pot rack perfectly over the center island, balance is necessary. Don’t overlook your counter tops when arranging items. For example, balance a pretty soap dispenser on one side of the sink with a lovely glass vase with a single flower on the other side.

The Rule of 3- By Fresh Home

Great article about the pleasing use of  ‘3′ items, colors, fabrics etc. when decorating and designing.

The rule of three is a guideline that can be bent. Essentially, it was put into place so that people understand that a odd-number of items is more interesting than an even-number of items.  So, yes, you can arrange 5 items or 9 items into a grouping and still achieve the same visual interest.

Rule of 3modern-bathroomThen again there are people who absolutely love a symmetrical design layout  and 2, 4, 6 will work better for their eye.

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.
Pic 1 blog
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.
Pic 2 blog
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.

The Vignette–Every Successful Design Should Master This!

Great share from HOUZZ about design vignettes.  About 15 years ago I tried explaining ‘The Vignette’ to my husband who insisted it was a description being used incorrectly.  For those of us in the professional design industry, it is a very commonly used phrase–read the article below and try your hand at creating new vignetttes in your home!

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Laundry Rooms Deserve Design Love TOO!

If you are among the fortunate who have an actual laundry room (not space, a room!), don’t forget to give the space some design attention.  While doing laundry is not among the favorite of the required chores, if you have a space that makes you smile because of the colors, textures and other design elements you have integrated into it, it can certainly be a more pleasant experience.

S Interior Design  just completed accessorizing the laundry room of one of our clients.  It is a beautiful and interesting room that reflects the home owner’s sense of style that flows through-out her gorgeous home.

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Accent Pillows —A Must Have Room Accessory

Okay, I have a confession—I have a bit of an accent pillow obsession (along with shoes of course!).  Accent pillows are a great way to update your existing seating and bedding without starting from scratch
You can change pillows out seasonally to evoke the feeling of summer or fall or winter or even at holiday times.  You can splurge on a pricey fabric when having pillows fabricated because you don’t need  a lot of yardage.  Styles range from simple box pillows to highly adorned and trimmed pillows; the options are endless.

So, when asked to post this guest blog about decorative pillows, we of course said YES!!

ImageDecorate with Pillows

Pillows are like the icing on the cake. They bring life to sofas and beds. Pillows are important design elements in the house, and they are some of the best items to express the owner’s individuality. Beautiful pillows have great fabrics that match the theme of the room.

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There are some rules that homeowners can follow in order to come up with a beautifully decorated sofa and bed.

Factors to Consider when Decorating with Pillows

• Size
Homeowners should consider the pillows’ size so that they will match the size of the sofa and the bed. Standard pillows usually measure about 18 inches. They are great for typical-sized sofas. Large pillows are also a good choice when owners are trying to create a more lounge-like and casual feel.

• Fill
Pillows with feather-and-down fills are the softest. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive pillow filler. On the other hand, foam and other synthetic fills can hold the pillow’s shape as they are stiffer.

• Quantity
Designers like to include an odd numbers of pillows as it tends to be more artistic. Homeowners may consider having one, three or five pillows depending on the number that can fit into the furniture. Typically, a chair needs only one pillow while a standard 88-inch sofa needs three or five pillows.

• Shape and Color
Opting for a combination of different pillow shapes creates a fun and lively appearance. One common combo is a pair of square solid pillow with a color that contrasts with the sofa, one oblong-shaped pillow at the center and two extras. The two additional pillows can have patterns and may have the same color as either the sofa or the solid pillows.

• Texture
The texture of the pillows should contrast with the sofa’s upholstery. This will ensure that people will not slide off their seats.

• Room’s Theme

All pillows in the living room do not necessarily have to be the same. However, there should be at least a connection between them that will show through their palette or style. A good theme will provide the room with a more polished and unified feel.
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Decorating Sofas with Throw Pillows

The Traditional Look
• Even numbers of pillows are great for a traditional sofa look. Four pillows may be arranged on either side of the furniture to present balance and order.

• The pillow size will depend on the size of the sofa. The traditional look is enhanced by pairing 20 to 22 inch square pillows with smaller sized round pillows. Proportion is the key for a pleasing traditional sofa look.

• Silk and velvet pillow fabric can work best with a traditional sofa look. It can have prints and patterns such as flowers. These prints should be simple and may only have two or three colors. One solid and one printed pillow make a great pair.

• A thin braid or cord is a great choice for small pillow trims, and tassel fringes are perfect for bigger ones.

The Modern Look
• An odd number of pillows works best with modern designs. A few large pillows can be mixed with little ones.

• The pillows should be large enough to show off large pattern designs or just a solid color. Oblong-shaped pillows will also boost the modern look.

• Cotton and linen are the best picks for pillow fabrics. Large geometric prints with a few different colors should be considered. However, those who love more colors are not prohibited from going for what they like.

• Trims are usually only for traditional look, but they can also be used. They should maintain the pillow’s solid color and at the same time add interest to it. http://www.2modern.com has a lot of modern pillow collections to choose from.

The Eclectic Look
• An odd or even number of pillows can work well in an eclectic room without making it look cluttered.

• Generally, designers prefer similarly sized large pillows that measure around 18 to 24 inches.

• The pillow fabrics can all be different, but they should have at least one color that connects them. This will ensure that they have unity despite having different fabrics. The eclectic look actually relies more on the fabric than the other elements.

• Trims should be kept simple. They can have braided edges. Inside Avenue offers many choices of decorative pillows that will perfectly complete the living room’s eclectic look.

Decorating Beds with Pillows

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• Decorative pillows on beds should blend well with the comforter and coverlet. They are also best paired with foams from Memory Foam Express.

• It is best that pillows are positioned with the biggest part at the back and the smaller part in front. Doing so will ensure that the fabric is given more emphasis.

• Pillow colors can be pulled from all fixtures and furniture inside the room.

• Pillow colors and patterns can bring a more casual look to the bedroom. One great example is white bedding topped with a heavily printed coverlet and white and gray-colored pillows.

• Contemporary looks often involve white pillows and one decorative pillow as an accent.

• Pillow positions on the bed can also add to the overall look of the room. They can be placed diagonally. This may be a simple idea, but this little interesting detail can actually make a lot of difference.

• People who want to have numerous pillows on the bed should opt for a limited palette so as not to overwhelm the room. There are homeowners who really want to have nine pillows around them. There are more pillow ideas available here.

Decorating a home with pillows is fun. Homeowners can actually change the overall feel of their homes by simply adding pillows or changing their fabric, colors and arrangement. However, it is always important that they follow the rules in choosing the pillows for their sofa or bed. Otherwise, their space will look more cluttered rather than pleasing. Different types of pillows for modern, traditional and conventional looks can be found at instyle-decor.

 This Guest Post is written by Lisa Jolan: You can connect with her on twitter @lisajolan

EZ Tips When Picking Window Treatment Hardware

The type of rod and finial you chose to hang your drapery from can make or break the final visual outcome.  The dimension of the rod should be big enough to balance the overall height of the ceiling.  for example, a 1″ diameter rod will look unbalanced in terms of scale hanging in a room with a ceiling that is higher than 8′-0″ high.

An analogy that is sometimes used for cabinetry hardware applies to the drapery rod finials; the finials are like the jewelry for your window treatments.  Like so many design choices, the options for finials are massive.  Here is a picture of two final designs S Interior Design is using in a project currently.  They will be going on operable drapery that will be in two separate rooms. The rods are 1 3/4″ in diameter, and the ceiling height is 10′-0″.  The finials themselves are 5″wide  x 5″high and 7 1/2″ wide by 5″high respectively.

Take a look at a video showing a professional doing a measurement for the spaces these lovely finials will finally be used.  All 140 yards of fabric that will be used were ordered today!