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.

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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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Design Inspiration Boards

I am fortunate to be working on some fun guest room design projects for a well-traveled client.  Her idea for the guest room design in her spacious home is to have each of the (4) guest spaces reflect a favorite and/or meaningful place she has spent time.  To help define the look and feel for the rooms, S Interior Design is creating mood boards to help her visualize the end result.

Here are 2 of those boards.

Tuscan Bedroom-Mood Board

Parisian Art Deco Bedroom-Mood Board

Always remember ‘A PICTURE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS’

Reasonable Thoughts on Room Re-Design

Living-Room-Redesign

Room Re-design can be just what is needed to give a space an entirely updated, new feel and even functionality.  S Interior Design  offers a specific Room Re-Design service which uses the furnishings, accessories and artwork the client already has, but optimizes their placement and arrangement.  We then offer  recommendations for additional or optional design elements that would take the client’s  room further towards the desired look and feel .

The guest post below shares good advice about how to re-design a room.

Things to Consider Before Redesigning a Room
At some point over time, even the best decorated rooms may need a makeover. Knowing where to start, how much to alter, or even whether the time is right can be tough questions to answer. An unplanned approach can draw out the process and muddle the results. Here are some things to consider before the room makeover bug gets the best of you.

Love/Hate
Redesigning a room does not have to be a matter getting rid of everything or shelling out a lot of money to re-furnish. The first thing you should ask yourself is, “What do I dislike about the room?” While you may have specific pieces in mind to relocate, replace, or dispose of, consider the fundamentals first.
• How are the walls and floors? If you are looking at a reasonably involved redesign, the shifting of pieces may create a good opportunity to repaint or re-floor. You may also just want to target specific problem areas (touching up paint, refinishing wood, etc.).
• How does the room flow? Based on the function of the room, is it easy to get around? Does foot traffic get awkward at certain points? Think about where people walk the most and where opening up space would help most. This will help you identify what needs to change with the furniture.
• Is there enough or too much natural light? Often the lack of appeal to a room has to do with the lighting though this may not be the first thing we consider. Natural light should be considered first and can be controlled by careful consideration of window treatments. Applying window tint is an excellent way of utilizing natural light without fading interior fabrics or letting in too much heat while alleviating the burden of lighting by artificial means.
• Is there enough or too much artificial light? The sun being a light source that comes and goes, artificial light has to pick up the slack. The thing to consider here is whether the room loses appeal as the dark hours set in and whether the things you like about the room are lit well enough. At the same time, too many light fixtures can clutter space and too much light can be uncomfortable.
Now, pick out what you love about the room. Pieces that you love may just need better placement or better lighting to be done justice. Think about repainting or re-finishing wood furniture. For outdated upholstered furniture, you might want to consider a fitted cover if you still find you like it from a structural standpoint. With light fixtures you like, consider whether a different bulb, shade, or diffuser would be a better option. Also, if you like an item but it just doesn’t hurt to try placing it in a different room, space permitting.
Arrangement

Sofa - Chairs Version

S Interior Design Space Plan

Once you have accounted for what can stay and what needs to go, you have to get a picture of how to fill the space with the elements you have. It is a good idea to draw things out on paper to get an idea of how they should look in terms of the spatial arrangement. You don’t necessarily have to be a great artist, but you can also use a computer program if you feel your hand will not help enough to justify the effort.
Bear in mind that if you are planning to install more permanent features into a room, such as light fixtures, ceiling fans, or chandeliers, those should be considered first and by themselves in terms of placement since you will likely want to be able to work around them flexibly for future redecorating. Furniture should be next and considered in order of largest and heaviest to smallest and lightest so you can figure out how to make the best of the available space.

Long Term Viability
It is also important to consider whether the long-term value of what you are doing. If you plan to sell a place, you will have to think about whether your permanent changes will appeal to potential buyers. If the changes are all for your own enjoyment, you have to consider how often your budget will likely allow you to redesign and to what extent. Rearranging what you already have is the best place to start a redesign under a tighter budget. Acquiring and implementing new items over time may be the only option where budget dictates, but try to keep a cohesive picture in mind so that you are less likely to end up with a room full of mismatched elements. The more you intend to do at once, the more planning should go into the project, but a bit of forethought in any circumstances will help you create a room that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Basic Family Room Design

Here is the U.S. we call them Family Rooms or Great Rooms. In other countries they are sometimes called Sitting Rooms. No matter what they are called, it is a space in every home all over the world where families and friends gather on a daily basis. Below is a guest post that speaks to the basic design elements that everyone should consider when designing their Family Room space.

The importance of creating the perfect family room
All family homes need an appropriate sitting room. The room can act as the centre of the household and serve a number of functions. A perfect sitting room should be a space where everyone can get together and spend some time enjoying each other’s company.

Designing the perfect sitting room doesn’t have to be challenging. Individuals simply need to think about their requirements and how to meet them appropriately. The key element is having sufficient seating; there needs to be enough room for all the family to sit comfortably. Individuals who often entertain guests may choose to purchase some extra seating to accommodate them.

The Sofa

The importance of creating the perfect family sitting room Image 1

A comfortable sofa is of course an essential. It’s important to think about using space efficiently when selecting sofas. Purchasing a stylish corner sofa is a great way to add extra seating to a room. These luxurious items are versatile enough to cater for any situation and don’t look oversized when not being used. A corner sofa can comfortably seat the entire family and create a cosy, warm atmosphere.

Pets

Many people think of their pets as family members, so the perfect sitting room should also cater for their needs. Making room for a basket – or saving a dedicated space on the sofa – is an excellent way to do this. Consider using carpet rather than laminate flooring, as slippery surfaces can cause some pets problems when walking.

TV

Once the ideal sofa has been chosen for the room, the next important item to consider is the TV. This can be a difficult decision. Choosing the right size of screen can make or break the room – if it’s too small, family members will go elsewhere to watch their favourite programmes, and if it’s too large, it will overwhelm the room. Children may also want the capability to play video games in the sitting room, so purchasing an appropriate TV cabinet will ensure that they have somewhere to store the console and games when they are not in use.

Finishing touches

A good sitting room is a place to celebrate the family. Using a bright colour scheme that everyone likes is a good idea, and hanging photos of family members on the wall will help to create a sense of togetherness. A coffee table can make a nice centrepiece to a room, but those with young families may want to leave the space open and obstruction free so that children can play without causing any problems. Storage is also worth thinking about. It is sensible to have somewhere to store toys and books, and furniture that is large enough to keep the room tidy will be required. Don’t focus the room too closely towards young children, however. It should also be a comfortable environment for the parents to relax in.

The importance of creating the perfect family sitting room Image2

A well-designed living room will be one of the most popular rooms in the house. For this reason, individuals should prioritize practicality in their design. Making it easy to clean will save hours of time and ensure that any spilt food, drinks and mess can be cleaned up quickly. The perfect sitting room takes some planning, but will benefit every member of the family over time.