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.

white kitchen
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.

5 Elements of a Perfect Man Cave

Below is a guest post on the space referred to as the ‘Man Cave’. S Interior Design has also referred to this space as the ‘Men’s Den’.  In fact we just completed such a space for a client.  An under used guest bedroom was transformed.  It included a reclaimed wood tile wall, a custom coffee table that displayed his rifles,  custom designed seating and of course—a large television.Patina Yard Table Materials Chosen

Continue reading

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!

]

How To Bring the Outdoors In

Here in AZ it is finally time to throw open the doors, slide open the windows and enjoy time outside.  The following infographic describes some easy ways to create visual and functional flow between the inside of your home and the outside spaces. (please ‘click’ on the image to get a larger, more readable size)

Shutter Co-Outdoor_IG

http://www.shutterco.ie/

Symmetry in Design

I wanted to share a wonderful article published by Fresh Home about why our brains feel innately comfortable with visual symmetry in design plans.

Use balance to help bring a balanced look to your interiors. Image Via: Culligan Abraham Architecture

Use balance to help bring a balanced look to your interiors. Image Via: Culligan Abraham Architecture

Here is an excerpt from the full article:

“We all know an example of good interior design when we see it. In fact, most of us can make that judgment almost instantly. Have you ever wondered why that ability seems to come to us so instinctually, even though we may not be professional interior designers?

It all has to do with symmetry, or a sense of balance, that has been achieved within a space. Symmetrical design cues effect our subconscious, even when they are too subtle to be consciously acknowledged with our first glance. All of us are drawn to balanced images and tend to think them more aesthetically pleasing than their off-kilter counterparts.

As for why we love symmetrical spaces so much, you’ll have to read on to find out. Plus, you’ll discover how to bring a harmonious feel into your own interiors, regardless of your personal style.

Traditional Design Elements

Below is a guest post entitled ‘How to Create a Traditional Style Living Room’.
S Interior Design often has residential design clients who have what could be described as traditional style furnishings that they want to keep, yet update with more contemporary surrounding design elements.  One of our favorite things to do is to re-upholster a traditional style accent chair in modern fabrics.  It becomes a unique piece that can be the focal point of a seating arrangement.

This is an example we completed recently.

Accent ChairNow upholstered in this fabric

P3066_PEACOCK

A home that mixes design styles is one that is reflective of the owner’s unique personality.  Mix away and don’t be afraid!

Guest Post:

How to create a traditional style living room

leather sofa

Not so long ago, traditional style was regarded as the grandmother’s home style, with impossibly uncomfortable furniture, pristine carpets and vintage wallpaper. I am very pleased to say that this is longer the case. Traditional home styles have been toned down considerably and are now more cleanly lined than ever. The traditional style covers a wide range of time periods and cultures, and can include just about anything, whether ornate and opulent or simple and spare. One of the reasons this style is regarded as traditional is due to the familiarity of silhouette and the use of architectural details.

Quite often, living rooms with a traditional style tend to be older and possess an abundance of suave architectural details such as elaborate chunky moldings, columns, arches, wood floor patterns, and inbuilt cabinetry. The reason these shapes are familiar is because they have a real sense of historical influence. The majority of the textiles and furnishings are labeled “traditional” because the patterns and shapes have been used for long periods of time.

Traditional style is no longer stale or fussy; instead it is now more casual and welcoming. The traditional style is literally the little black dress of the design world, looks great, always appropriate, feels fantastic, and goes with just about everything.

Below are a few ideas to help you create a traditional style living room:

Textiles

Luxurious fabrics can be used in traditional style but not limited to cashmere, velvet, mohair, and silk. Other more humble fabrics such as cotton and linen can also be found. In reality, not many homeowners can get away with a sofa that is upholstered in high maintenance fabrics such as silk, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be utilized in low traffic areas such as pillows or curtains. Start off with a pivotal fabric and then blend other patters from the same color palate. A layering of texture and pattern will add interest to the space. Damask, paisley, floral, and even geometrics are common patterns. Rugs are highly people because traditional homes usually have very hard floors, either tile or wood.

Artwork

Artwork introduces texture, mood, personality, and color. It is often beneficial to choose room arrangements and a color palate based on a great art piece. If you do not have the budget to buy a large piece of art, there are other more cost-effective ways to create impact. Try grouping similar images in matched frames to create a graphic punch.

Colors

Try to develop a consistent theme throughout your living room that is based on color. Neutral color tones are often utilized on large upholstery pieces and walls. Homeowners and designers often mute color pallets to show off other elements such as rugs and impressive pieces of art. An all white color palette is extremely popular because it can lend both minimalism and opulence depending on how it’s applied. Balance should be one of the key considerations when choosing colors; you should only use bright colors if they are offset by neutral tones.

Furnishings

Furnishings found in traditional styles commonly have a familiar shape that is recognizable and iconic to the majority of people. A perfect example of this is the wing back chair; although it is quite often reinterpreted and updated, it is mostly at home in traditional décor styles. Pieces of upholstery are often comfortable and neutral, a lot less fussy than in previous years. Traditional leather sofas are available in a variety of colors and styles; these can be mixed with contemporary pieces, reproductions, and antiques to create a relaxed feeling of elegance. Painted pieces and rich wood tones are also common in traditional styling.

Piecing it all together

The key to a great living space is the way in which pieces are put together. Be sure to create a focal point, this will give the human eye a resting place. Not only does it ground the room, but everything can be positioned in relation to it. Focal points can be artwork, a fireplace, or even an item of furniture such as a sofa or bed. Make use of symmetry to keep a sense of balance within the space. For example, you could have two chairs on either side of your fireplace. They do not have to be identical, but they should have similar proportions.

Author byline:

This article was written by David at Thomas Lloyd Leather Furniture, David is an interior design and home improvement enthusiast that has written articles for numerous magazines and blogs.

Everything Old is New?

I am sure a lot of you have realized that retro, recycled, renewed are all very popular terms used in the design community right now.

Personally, I love it all!  I just acquired a beautiful 72″D table made from reclaimed wood planks.  It is placed on an Recycled wood table ‘area rug’ made from FLOR carpet tiles (renewable, recycled,eco-friendly materials).  In the same room is a small stool from China (also old wood).  There is  a Solar Tube sky light in the room that provides wonderful natural light for most of the day eliminating the need to switch on electrical light sources.

As a designer I delight in mixing old and rustic with new and modern design elements. Hanging above the table is a drum shade chandelier that is contemporary in style.  Soon (it has been ordered) a 30″ Carrerra Marble Lazy Susan will sit in the middle of the table. 

The key to a unique design that tells a personal story is mixing old with new, rustic with refined, neutral with color and rough textures with smoother ones.

Transformative Power of Art

 Trans-formative Value of Art

Below is a guest post about what I will call ‘the power of art’.

S Interior Design uses a generous definition for the word art.  We believe that art should make you smile   when you look at it. So, that said a nicely framed picture of a vineyard you visited could indeed be great art, as could a child’s drawing.  The key is in the presentation—don’t expect a poster thumb tacked to the wall to be pleasing to the eye.  Invest in the proper mat board and framing and you will be amazed at what can happen to your child’s painting from 5th grade.

Guest Post

Although I’ve always been a big fan of interior design it has only been recently that I’ve truly begun to have a full appreciation for the trans-formative values of art. I must confess, I always thought ill of those overly proud of their new painting, sculpture, or art. I was an avid fan of contemporary styles, with a minimalist approach. I was of the opinion that the sleek look, along with sparse furnishing and sharp lines, gave a real clean, organized, powerful aura.

Recently however, I’ve come to appreciate an appropriately placed piece of art. It can add true depth to a room, granting reflection and meaning where previously there was blank space. Whether you feel the way I once did, or share my current views, here is why I now consider art to be a trans-formative agent in a room.

The greatest way in which a piece of wall art transforms living space is adding a depth of reflection. Artwork inspires reflection for various reasons. Mainly for these three:

The art was made by a human being, and you can’t help but reflect on the thoughts of the human behind the art.

This is one of the most powerful ways art makes one reflect. Art, whether through beauty, abstractness, or sheer uniqueness, makes one wonder. To consider that a human made this piece of wonder causes a further wonder that someone was not only able to, but had deeper motives. Humans, being naturally curious, can’t help but reflect and consider what might have been the motivation and thoughts behind the creation.

The wondrous qualities of the artwork itself.

This is often the initial way that artwork causes us to reflect and wonder. It draws the eye, pulls us in, and suddenly, before we know it, we’re standing and reflecting and staring. Thinking about the amazing, unbelievable qualities of beauty, strength, power, subtlety, or whatever aspect the painting best personifies.

The depths of your own imagination.

A surprisingly large portion of artwork plays off the imagination of the viewer. Almost all abstract art relies on the viewer to draw their own, deep conclusions based upon what can actually be surprisingly simple. This leads the perceiver to wonder and reflect at the depths of their own imagination, and reflect upon not only what lies in the depths of imagination but also what in the artwork causes such a visceral reaction of thought.

To help capture the attention needed for reflection, and further add to the trans-formative value of artwork, one should attempt to subtly orient furniture toward artwork. Many people will throw a painting on a wall and be happy. Or, if someone is over proud of their new painting, they’ll frame it, hang it up, throw a light feature on it, and attempt to force everyone to stare at it. This can, in ways, be worse than hanging art without accentuating it.

Artwork should be subtly brought to attention. To do this, try placing it somewhere where people usually face. For example, place it somewhere it can immediately be seen upon entering the home. Or, if in a bedroom, have it facing the bed. Somewhere where the eye will naturally happen across the artwork.

I still firmly believe in a minimalist approach to interior design. However, I believe with the right piece of art a room gains much-needed depth. Try including a medium-sized piece of art alone in a clean, uncluttered room. Enjoy the reflection, beauty, and depth added. Everyone must follow their own heart’s guidelines when making their own living space, but I hope you have appreciated my own thoughts on the trans-formative properties of art.

Author Bio: Edward Stuart is an interior design aficionado, and follows all things design and fashion. He is an online publisher for the framed art expert www.framedart.com and blogs on the topics of interior design, home decor, and fashion tips.