Discover the different types of window blinds available for your home.
Not sure about the different style of window blinds available? Or confused about what type of blind would be better suited to a particular room of your home? Follow this essential guide which provides you with all the advice you need to help make your decision easier.
Before you measure up, decide which fitting option you’d prefer: inside or outside the recess. Inside the recess is a good option for windows in small rooms without much wall space around them. It’s also ideal if you are teaming your blind with curtains. For larger rooms, choose a blind that sits outside the recess and blocks out more light.
For a blind that’s going inside the window recess, measure the width of the recess at its narrowest point and the height of the recess.
For a blind that’s going to hang outside the recess, measure the width of the recess and add 4cm to each side, then measure the height of the recess and add 15cm.
Decide which side the pulley and catch should be in case accessing them will be an issue.
DASH TEAL ROLLER BLIND, FOLK ART RANGE, HOUSE BEAUTIFUL COLLECTION AT HILLARYS
CHOOSE A STYLE
Roller blinds roll up or down by means of a cord. To add interest when they’re open, they can have a different fabric on either side. They are an affordable option for informal settings, such as a home office. Take a look at John Lewis’ ready-made roller blinds which can be cut to size to fit your space.
BLIND ILLUSTRATION: DANNY LUCKETT
Roman blinds give a formal look. They are made from fabric and operate by a pulley. When raised, the blind concertinas into large horizontal pleats, leaving a good segment of fabric on show. You can make Roman blinds yourself, buy them ready-made or have them custom made. There’s a wide choice of linings.
BLIND ILLUSTRATION: DANNY LUCKETT
Venetian blinds are slatted blinds made from wood, metal or plastic. They often feature in sleek kitchens or bathrooms, and metal or plastic blinds are a practical choice for rooms with high levels of moisture. As you can filter the light, they are also great for a home office.
BLIND ILLUSTRATION: DANNY LUCKETT
Vertical blinds are ideal for floor-to-ceiling windows and, as a consequence, tend to be used in summerhouses and conservatories. The vertical blind sections hang from a track and slide to the side when open.
BLIND ILLUSTRATION: DANNY LUCKETT
For made-to-measure blinds, and curtains, take a look at the House Beautiful collection with Hillarys. And follow this advice on how best to clean venetian, Roman, vertical and wooden blinds in your home.
Working from home is kind of the ultimate dream. You can wear your pajamas all day if you want, you never have to pack a lunch and the commute couldn’t be better. The only issue is whether you have a solid workspace or not, because I think productivity does depend somewhat on your surroundings. The good news is that even if you don’t have a full room to dedicate to an office, there are plenty of smart ways to sneak a hidden workspace into your home.
Above: This unfolding apartment by Michael K Chen Architecture has made its rounds on the web, but I feel like it’s worth taking a look at. It’s a hidden bedroom, closet, nightstand and desk all in one, which is pretty remarkable. Oh, the things you can do (and clutter you can conceal) when you start from scratch and commission an insane built-in.
The murphy desk might be my favorite solution, especially when it looks as chic as this wooden drop-down style from Architectural Digest. Who knew these came outfitted with wall-mounted shelving inside? A more practical person might stash office supplies here, but I’m okay with these tasteful vases and sculptural objects, too. Lighting is key for any work area, so it was a smart idea to add a sconce above. It can provide task light when you’re working and illuminate your pretty cabinet when not. My guess is the occupant pulls a chair from a nearby dining table, which is totally acceptable. Saves you from having to buy a special office chair.
I’m not totally sure how “hidden” a built-in actually is (okay, it’s not at all), but this little desk area from the home of the Schoolhouse Electric owners (via Emily Henderson) sure is an efficient use of space. Even though the back wall is covered in dark shiplap, the white cabinetry keeps the look visually light. Props again for thinking about the lighting situation and adding in those sconces, but a table lamp would also do the trick.
Full disclosure: the hiding your desk area behind a set of huge doors idea comes from a super swanky industrial Tribeca home designed by Dirk Denison Architects. But imagine replacing what appears to be heavy-duty steel sliding doors with a barn door, and you have a relatively inexpensive way to DIY a super private, quiet workspace. From the looks of it, your home probably needs some kind of a niche, corner or half wall to pull this off.
One idea that practically anyone can steal is the closet-turned-home-office. It’s amazing because you already have the door that’ll be hiding your workspace. So it’s just a matter of removing the clothes bar and setting things up to your liking by adding shelves and a surface for a desk. You could do this with a bigger closet, but from the looks of this cheery set up from Bourbon Daisy, even a small linen or hall closet would work if you MacGuyver a drop-down desk.
Remember appliance garages? This workspace from Kropat Interior Design has taken that concept and really run with it. The perforated door may even be a real garage door brought inside—very industrial but also very creative.
When in doubt, you could always build a faux wall and hide your desk behind that if you’re super committed to fitting in a home office (and own your home). The Hong Kong-based Clifton Leung Design Workshop did a nice job in this small space apartment, where the living room TV wall reverses to a desk. Talk about a wow factor, even if the wall isn’t motorized.
Time to stop working from your couch. Trust me—any of these offices would be an upgrade. Here’s to hoping I can practice what I preach.
2017 might have officially already begun, but you can never be too late when it comes to finding out about all the interior design trends that are set to be huge news in the coming months! Interior designers always have the inside scoop as to the must-have colors, textiles and schemes and we think we’ve figured out they key trends that they are going to be pushing this year and we’re going to tell you all of them! Think of it as a belated Christmas present from homify, as we don’t want you lifting a paintbrush or choosing furniture until you’re sure you are bang on trend and selecting pieces that will really work in your home for years to come! If you’re ready to get inspired, come with us now as we see what’s hot for 2017!
Stainless steel will always be popular, especially in kitchens, but for the time being, it is being dramatically overshadowed by some of the warmer metal tones out there! Copper and rose gold look set to be the metals to have in your home this year and we think they make wonderful light fixtures, as the warmth just radiates out!
Pantone might be heralding Kale as their color for 2017, but in interior design circles there is only one hue that you need to be including in your home and that is… drum roll please… GRAY! Perfect for walls, furniture and anything else you can think of, gray is the new neutral!
We don’t just mean a little bit of natural wood here, we are talking about lashings of it, all over your home! Wooden-clad interior and exterior walls, rich flooring and even statement dining tables all look set to have an organic feel to them this year so what are you waiting for?
Has marble ever really gone out of fashion? We don’t think so, thanks to the natural opulence that it adds to any room, but this year, we are expecting to see a lot of it in bathrooms, especially darker varieties with pale marbling. Come to the dark side guys, as it looks amazing from where we’re standing!
Industrial styling really got into a groove in 2016 and it looks set to continue, at least in the form of polished concrete interior walls. Plaster was so 2015, so if you want to make more of a statement with your walls, think about this modern and pared back alternative to more standard finishes.
We’ll never tire of statement wallpaper and that’s a good thing, considering the fact that the brighter and more daring it is, the better as far as 2017 is concerned! Tropical and geometric prints look set to be incredibly popular and we think you’ll see them spilling over into bed linen too!
Rugged wool, felt and cotton are all going to be huge news in 2017, as a result of Hygge being so trendy last year. Cozy fabrics that encourage you to hunker down are the way to go and keep the colors natural too, to really tap into the trend. Remember that you can’t have too many wool blankets in your home, or cable-knit cushions!
Luxurious, dramatic and just a little over the top, velvet is one of our all-time favorite materials and we are delighted to see it enjoying a massive comeback! Some of the best uses are as vintage chair upholstery and heavy, luxe curtains that simply fall to the floor and block all that pesky sunlight out!
Those Nordic styles are staying firmly put, so if you embraced a little Hygge or Scandinavian influence last year, you are going to stay on trend in 2017. Think stylish yet simple storage solutions, timeless furniture and geometric rugs and you’ll be on the right track and don’t forget to include a lot of white!
This one had us a little surprised, but not in a bad way! Splatter effects are going to be really popular this year and there are so many ways to get involved! From bed linen to curtains, upholstery and even crockery, splatter techniques are going to be on everything, so how will you incorporate them?
We get it. Your bedroom is tiny, and you’ve probably already thought of storing things in boxes under the bed. So what if you still don’t have enough space? Here are seven solutions that are a little off the beaten path, things you may not have thought of, but that will still help you make the most of a very small space.
Above: You’ve thought about the space under your bed, but what about the space under your dresser? If yours is lifted above the ground, you could re-capture the space underneath from the dust bunnies, as seen in this Brooklyn home from Design*Sponge.
Have you thought of putting a bookcase behind the bed? This may seem like an unusual choice, but it’s actually a great way to add extra storage in a bedroom where space is at a premium. The bookcase provides a lot of extra storage, and only requires an extra 10 or 12 inches of space. The lower tiers, of course, will be a bit harder to get to, but these are good for seasonal storage. (A bed on casters, like most bed frames have, can be rolled forward to access the lower layers.) And, as seen in Ashley’s San Francisco apartment, it’s a great way to add a focal point to the bedroom, and a bit of a cozy feel as well.
If a bookcase behind the bed seems like a bit much, you could also go for storage at the opposite end, by positioning bookcases (or crates) at the foot of the bed. Dave and Hopie use theirs for books, but you could just as easily fill your bookcase with baskets or boxes and use them to store pretty much anything. The low height of these crates means that you can still kick off the covers if you get a bit warm during the night.
Replacing your nightstand with a tall, narrow bookcase will add a lot of extra storage within the footprint of your existing nightstand, and also make your bed feel just a little bit more cozy. You could even mount a reading lamp to the bed-facing side of the shelf. This example is from Gripsholms, via Homedit.
If you have space available underneath your nightstand or desk, trying adding a basket catchall, like decorator Sarah Sherman Samuel did in this project from her blog Stories. Having a place to stash things that don’t really go anywhere else is a great way to control clutter in any space, and particularly welcome in a small room.
From Planete Deco, a solution that will work for even the smallest bedroom: wall mounted shelves above the bed. (Not recommended for earthquake country, however, as you may wake up to an unpleasant surprise.)
From My Scandinavian Home comes this solution for a small bedroom with insufficient closet space (which is pretty much every small bedroom, right?). Hang a clothing rod above your dresser and you’ll have an extra few feet of hanging space—like suddenly discovering a second closet you didn’t know you had.
Compared to regular tubs which protrude from the ground, sunken bathtubs are carved into the floor and this gives them this dramatic character which allows them to stand out despite their minimalism and lack of visible design elements. A sunken tub is reminiscent of spas and swimming pools and this gives it a sense of luxury and sophistication. However, this is a pretty rare feature. Maybe these designs will inspire you to include one in your own home.
House of Would by Elii is a structure that adapts to the site, featuring a layered design which allows it to be modular and to offer different levels of privacy to different areas. It’s a design that puts the house in close contact with the site and nature in general. One of the features that highlight this element in particular is the sunken tub which you can see here.
When they designed this London house extension, Studio 304 Architecture made sure to preserve the original charm and beauty of the exterior while seamlessly integrating it with a contemporary interior and addition. One of the most notable features is the sunken tub which you can see here, framed by glass walls and a wooden roof.
When Keiji Ashizawa Design created this two-family residence in Tokyo, Japan, they made sure to give it a simplistic, contemporary appearance and to design a sort of courtyard at the center. This allows each room to receive sunlight and to look open, bright and spacious. At the same time, the house remained closed off in relation to the exterior which ensured lots of privacy. The entire house was designed to feel close to nature and this includes this beautiful bathroom which has a sunken tub lit up from above.
The mixture of rustic and modern is a beautiful defining feature of this home designed by Jordan Iverson Signature Homes in Oregon. This eclectic mix characterizes the interior of the house as a whole, with certain spaces being slightly inclined towards one of the styles. This bathroom, for example has a sunken tub, a glass walk-in shower and and an overall simple decor with windows that frame the view.
Although it’s a bit more tricky to design a sunken tub in an apartment, it can be done. The perfect example is the loft designed by Fabio Fantolino in Turin, Italy. Its interior is focused on the views so the decor is very simple. The bathroom, on the other hand, doesn’t have large windows. It has this wooden platform with a built-in tub and an opening in the ceiling that brings in light.
I’d say that the design of this house in Syros, Greece is just what a summer house needs: simple, inspired by nature and with a focus on the views and the surroundings. The house was completed by block722 in 2014 and has large windows open to the surrounding landscape with no exceptions, not even in the bathroom where this beautiful oval tub was designed half sunken into the ground.
Sunken tubs are closely related to the idea of a spa so the design looks very natural here in the Aigai Spa designed by figueroa.arq. Located in Sau Paulo, Brazil, the spa is like an oasis in the city. It’s a place for relaxation and meditation, where time stops and serenity takes over.
In 2011 Pedro Domingos Arquitectos completed House of Agostos, a residence located in Portugal. The house was built on the ruins of an existing structure but you wouldn’t tell by judging its look. It’s modern and full of simple yet fancy and intriguing features like this small sunken tub.
A simple sunken tub would have been enough to make this bathroom stand out but A-OMA architects decided to also highlight it with a cover screen that looks a lot like a pair of wooden shutters. The tub is embedded into a wooden platform with stairs and two washbasins on a sleek and stylish vanity.
Located on a cliff overlooking the ocean, this house in Yokosuka Kanagawa, Japan has that tranquil and zen ambiance usually reminiscent of a spa. It blends modern and traditional design features and it highlights the views in the most wonderful ways. For instance, the ocean can be admired while relaxing in the tub. This was a project by acaa.
There’s a lot to admire about this majestic house in Zurich. This is actually a reconstructed multi-family house, the original structure being 170 years old. Notice the arched ceilings, stone walls and all the unfinished and imperfect surfaces and finishes. Gus Wüstemann Architects made sure to use natural materials and colors and to make the interiors feel warm and inviting despite the scale. They also introduced modern featured from place to place, like the fixtures in this bathroom.
The Ordinary House is surprisingly intriguing given its name. This is a house designed by Kasaka shinichiro atelier. It’s organized on two levels and it sits on a hill with a view of the forest. Although it has a simple and uncomplicated design, it doesn’t lack charm and character, as you can see in this narrow but fresh bathroom which has a sunken tub at the far end.
One of the main goals followed by studio Gisele Taranto Arquitetura when they refurbished this house in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was to blur and even eliminate the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. The attempt was successful. The house is surrounded by vegetation and exotic trees and it can all be admired from every room of the house. One can even relax in the sunken tub while doing this.
A sunken tub in the library, now that’s something we haven’t seen yet. It’s the design direction chosen by PARA for this studio in Syracuse, New York. The structure is organized on three floors. The garage occupies the ground floor, the library and writing area are on the second floor and the third level houses a reading room.
Thanks to the full-height glass walls that perfectly meet in the corner, this sunken tub really feels like a part of the garden. This is a family home designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. It’s located in Northern California and its privacy is not compromised by the openness of the design and the strong connection with the outdoors.
Believe it or not, this beautiful swirling tub is actually part of a hut built on a mountaintop in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. There are five such huts in total and they were designed by architect Issei Suma. The project is the perfect blend of simplicity and sophistication.
Intelligent Design and Modern Interiors Combine in Private Latvian Residence
The Guaja river in Latvia is one of nature’s own large-scale designers, having carved its own picturesque valley out of the dramatic terrain through which it runs. And, because birds of a feather flock together, the similarly ambitious Latvian team at lolot design settled to build VILLA A, the innovative private holiday house located along the river valley.
From the outside, the home is partially embedded in the valley hill, so it appears smaller on the approach than its 280 m2 floor plan spread across three floors. Inside, the house is rigged with an advanced network of smart-home systems and minimalist contemporary design.
It was decided from the outset that the house would focus thematically on exposed concrete, wood, and plants. “These three materials were the base of the comfortable and cosy feel of the space,” lolot interior designer Santa Meikulāne tells THE PLUS, a cosiness that they’ve pulled off in spite of the dramatic open space left between the first and second floors, creating a spacious atrium, and the gravity-defyingly minimalist staircase.
The furniture and internal doors were planned from the get-go to be of a single material: oak, finished variously in wood oil and wood wax. The 25cm wide oak triple-layered parquet flooring was produced in a small Latvian factory – all the furniture, in fact, was designed by the studio, and apart from the upholstered pieces all were produced on site in Latvia.
The private clients’ tech-savvy exploitation of smart devices takes care of the dynamic elements of the design: smart home systems monitor heating and solar power collectors, outdoor blinds, musical ambience, lighting atmosphere scenarios using the many in-built lighting features, and can even turn the taps on and off. The modern approach is mirrored in the furniture design, with a dramatic black, grey, and wooden colour scheme running throughout the house, punctuated by plant life.
With two first-floor guest bedrooms, a master bedroom on the second floor, outdoors pool, and an open fire, it’s a house were comfort and style meet.
THE PLUS: The river valley seems to have proven a useful tool for creating a private space for the residents. Take us through how!
Santa Meikulāne: The use of the terrain and the small forest and ravine located on the property means that the internal glazed façade of the building is completely hidden from the neighbours’ view. The pool and yard area along with the glazed façade create a closed courtyard, providing a great view of the valley and the treetops.
TP: What attracted you to the use of oak throughout the house?
SM: Historically we have a very ancient and strong tradition of producing wooden furniture, with vast numbers of excellent carpenters and small factories. Oak as a material is historically very typical for this region, and massive local oaks are still used in manufacturing today.
TP: You’ve got some great interior touches – we particularly love the elliptical suspension light. What did you want it to bring to the space?
SM: From different angles, and also from the outside, this lamp along with the light lines of the 2nd floor and the metal tie lines of the glazed façade creates a graphic modernist drawing. The client and the guests sometimes joke that it is a halo.
TP: As a designer: is smart house technology the future?
SM: Artificial intelligence is our future, and it exists in parallel with us. Artificial intelligence develops, and grows in intelligence along with its users. There may come a time when your house might remember precisely where you put your keys, or even prepare a cup of coffee without your input.
TP: What would be your ideal smart house function?
SM: My ideal smart house would know exactly what music I would like to hear the moment I wake up. Music is extremely important to me, both in my creative and everyday life. The house would know when to open the curtains to let the sunshine in – we live in the North and we could really use a bit more sun.
TP: What is the most important thing you’d like to teach artificial intelligence about?
SM: Music, sun, nature and working in a field you love.
Hayden Panettiere knows a thing or two about creating a super cozy abode. The Nashville star gave us a peek at her Tennessee digs in a home tour for People, where you can see a striking aquarium that she and her daughter call their “happy place,” and a wall of firewood in the living room that serves as a rustic art installation. Check out the full tour on People.com, then scroll down to see how to imitate her country-chic style in your space.
Panettiere wanted a rustic vibe in her living room, so she and her designer came up with the uber creative idea of filling the shelves with firewood. The rest of the living room aims for comfort with a monochromatic palette, earth-toned accessories, and a few odes to her Heroesdays.
You might not have a massive bookshelf to fill with logs, but you can still nail that cozy cabin vibe with a coffee table made of sticks. Keep the rest of the room light and bright with a white sofa and pale green accents. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, copy the star’s love of aquariums and pick up a stylish fishbowl.
A perfectly balanced mix of pink, purple, and white make two-year-old Kaya’s nursery sweet and trendy. Her favorite parts about the space are the snuggly rocking chair and the closetful of hand-me-down clothes from Hayden’s own childhood. Oh, and the fact she can fit into the toddler bed for cuddle sessions — too cute!
Create the ultimate upscale nursery with bright pink accents, a mod crib, and some enormous stuffed animals. Then bring the warmth with a comfy rocker, an adorable elephant side table, and teal storage bins to keep the little one’s toys organized.
I’m sure we could all find general guidelines on how to design a room. Probably many of those guidelines would come from successful designers who make their living off of creating beautiful spaces. But sometimes designing a room is much more challenging to the layperson than what it seems it should be. Why doesn’t that painting feel right in my space? How can I balance that huge piece of furniture? How can I have a single focal feature…when I’m looking at five in one room?
It’s these questions, and many more, that deal with subtle parts of room design, that may pose the biggest challenge in creating a harmonious space. In this article, we’re going to look at various guidelines for room design success in a variety of different areas. Best of luck to you in your room design adventures!
Determine the room’s purpose.
The best way to design a room is to determine what functions need to happen in that room. Even small rooms can accommodate a variety of tasks by strategizing these functions – sliding a chair up to a table on the wall instantly becomes a “desk” without changing anything else in the room’s décor or layout.
“When people have great rooms, they put their television in there, their kids play in there, they’ll even eat in there,” says designer Katie Leavy of Washington DC- HGTV. When space is at a premium, it will actually make designing the room easier if you can narrow down the room’s purpose(s).
In other words, you’ll want to let the real purpose of a room determine not only the décor of the room but also its design. In fact, it is this real purpose of the room that should be the foundation and the strongest voice in the space’s overall design.
Where possible, it’s always a good idea to incorporate a “command center” of sorts into public functioning spaces such as the kitchen. Because so much happens in this hub of the home, having an easily accessible space to control and/or structure the chaos is an element of excellent room design.
Choose multi-tasking furniture.
Two armless chairs pushed together can resemble a sofa, but they are much more maneuverable and versatile to meet seating needs as they arise. This is an excellent room design option for the home that experiences more than its share of entertaining events.
Maintain proportion between the room and the furniture.
Sofas are becoming larger and more plush in mainstream furnishings; however, this doesn’t necessarily equate to “better.” In some cases (e.g., smaller spaces), the larger sofas actually make the room design worse.
There are smaller-scale sofa options available these days that take up less space physically than big-box sofas but don’t skimp on the comfort, which is key. In determining the furniture that would work best in your room design, pull out some graph paper and a measuring tape, and color things in so you can see what you have to work with visually before you buy.
As a general rule, it’s best to always match furniture’s scale to the room’s overall scale. An oversized sofa in a small room will look out of place and make the space feel cramped. Similarly, a tiny sofa in a great room might struggle to feel or look effective. Keep proportion in mind as you design a room.
Create a sense of visual flow.
Ideally, as you design your room, you’ll be able to emphasize the best parts of your space while de-emphasizing the underwhelming or negative characteristics. This is an important part of room design – strategically bringing out the best so that it seems, essentially, like a perfect space (even when it’s not!).
Begin with a piece that invites someone into the room. This could be something lively, complex, bright, dramatic, sculptural, artistic, or intriguing. Pique curiosity of people at the door; let them wonder what it is that is making this, say, living room feel different from other living rooms.
Raise the eyeline by strategically designing the room with some higher, taller, and/or more vertical pieces. While most furniture sits at waist-height or lower, that doesn’t mean the room has to end there! Frame out the upper space with a taller floor lamp, a gorgeous piece of wall art, or some shelving.
Include something cozy in your room design; no one wants to linger in a cold, harsh-feeling room, but if there’s at least something in there to warm up the space, “cozify” it, it will be a much more welcome space. This can be something simple, like a soft throw pillow, cashmere blanket, or comfy chair.
Don’t forget to accompany the cozy object(s) with something that wows. Incorporate an oversized, super shiny, or visually loud piece in the room’s design, preferably positioned in a can’t-miss-it, prime-time focal space. Like this crystal chandelier over a round glass coffee table.
In keeping with designing a room that is inviting and familiar-feeling, it’s never a bad idea to incorporate something natural into the space. In general, natural objects help to round out the edges, soften the lines, and overall bring the interior design down to a beautifully organic, relatable level. Even modern and minimalist spaces are well-served with a hint of Mother Nature in their midst.
Despite what most realtors will tell you when you’re trying to sell your house (e.g., “Get rid of anything personal”), you can certainly incorporate personal items into your regular design. Think of family photos, pieces that have sentimental value, favorite books, or other items that truly mean something to you. Of course, these don’t need to be front-and-center in the design.
Consider adding a “weird thing” into your room’s design. The weird thing is what stops the eye and prompts people to ask, ‘what the heck is that?’ or ‘where on earth did you find that thing? This could be anything, really – artwork, miscellaneous décor, sculpture, etc. There are two trains of thought on designing a room with the “weird thing” in mind:
Weird Thing Idea 1: Make an investment into a large-scale item that oozes with personality, history, culture, and/or global appreciation and travel. Make this a focal feature of the room itself.
Here’s a look at the back of this unique sofa. For the bamboo lover in all of us, no?
Weird Thing Idea 2: Opt for multiple smaller-yet-related weird things to place randomly throughout your space, to keep the eyes moving and pique curiosity. It’ll add layers of interest to your room’s design.
Last of all, as you consider what makes a room one that you want to really spend time in, you’ll find that finishing touches play a simple but significant role in the space’s overall design. You want your room to not just look real; you want it to actually be real. A stack of books, a bowl of fruit, a basket of magazines or newspapers, an unfolded throw.
Commit to a cohesive style.
As you peruse the interwebs and glossy interiors photos and literature, it is easy to love many things about many spaces – even completely opposing styles. While we all probably love bits and pieces about a variety of decorating styles, it would be a disservice to any space to try to incorporate everything we loved into that single area. So as you design your room, determine the style you want, and stick with that.
It doesn’t mean that, if your space reflects a certain style, you dislike all other styles. Not at all! It simply means that your particular room’s design, for this moment, will be cohesive and will flow. This creates positive energy and beautiful spaces. A good friend once told me, “I enjoy good design in any style, even if it’s not my favorite style. The key is that it must have integrity and commit to its own style.”
When you stick to a single style, your decorating efforts actually are made easier because the range of options for your space is narrowed. Of course, your personal touch is still required – don’t buy everything as a matching set, for example, because that’s the generic kind of cohesive that makes for a boring room design.
That being said, you probably don’t want your space to feel stale a year or two down the road. So don’t confine yourself to one specific look as the end-all of your design efforts. Instead, let your space follow the pattern of your life; that is, allow it to change as you do.
“Remember that your home should always be evolving, just as you are… Your nest should always be a place of comfort and inspiration” states Kelly Framel of online magazine The Glamourai – Elledecor. Embrace the fact that designing a room will be a lifelong work in progress (albeit a fun, satisfying kind of work!).
Plan for well-placed lighting.
No one likes to sit at a dining table with off-centered lighting, especially if you’re the one sitting on the unfortunate darker side of the table. The same goes for lighting in any room – design the space with lighting in mind, so that all areas benefit from being well-lit and/or dimmed as the need arises.
Don’t fear blank space.
Some of us may feel like the only way to ensure a room is designed well is to pack it full of decoration. This is unfortunate, because one of the most gorgeous foundations a room can have is plenty of soothing, breathable white space. Blank space is luxurious almost anywhere, particularly in designing a room. Eliminate a coffee table, keep a wall blank, slide furniture away from the wall “just because.” Embrace the ability for air and light to flow in, around, and through your space unchecked.
Look at various furniture options.
One way to approach a dining room’s design is to consider whether or not a dining bench might be more appropriate (and desirable) than dining chairs. You’ll need to consider the lack of back support that a bench has and weigh that trait against the ability to squeeze in more people when needed and decide which element works best for your life and room design.
Choose well-designed functional items.
So, your bedroom needs a ceiling fan or else you’re going to roast, slowly but surely, to death. Ceiling fans have gotten a bad rap in not-so-distant history, because many of them have been ugly, squeaking things. You may shudder at first, but when it comes down to it, there are tons of well-designed and aesthetic functional pieces (such as ceiling fans) out there. When your space requires a pragmatic component in order to be physically functional and enjoyable, opt for one that’s beautifully designed.
Let your seating options be plentiful.
If you’ve ever walked into a room where there’s no obvious place to sit, chances are, you didn’t stay there for long. Having a place for everyone to be able to sit, should they desire, is key in a well-designed room (at least, a room that involves entertaining and visiting). Seating doesn’t need to be confined to just couches and chairs, though. Think benches, ottomans, floor pillows, stools, etc.
Despite its lack of padding, I can’t imagine this (anteater?) bench being anything other than the best seat in the house. Rub its head for good luck, right?
Turn storage into part of the room design.
Most of us, save the stout minimalists out there, require space for the more-than-meets-the-eye amount of “stuff” that makes our lives tick. Rather than bemoan the fact that your storage space is limited, flip your thinking around to focus on, “Look how beautiful my storage is!” Whether it’s woven baskets, cube ottomans, matching or coordinated tubs, built-in shelving, or any other storage method, make it a beautiful part of your room’s design.
Include a chair in the bedroom.
Most bedrooms will do well to have a place to sit down and relax that is separate from the bed. A chair tucked away in the corner of the room, squeezed next to the nightstand, for example, is sufficient. This is because bedrooms aren’t always just for sleeping. They are often retreats from the rest of the household and/or day, and having a comfortable place to sit is an excellent design choice to facilitate this function.
Design around a signature piece.
Sometimes, it is a beloved piece that you already have in your possession that can be the springboard to an entire room’s successful, even perfect, design. “It can be one tile, one chair, or one pillow,” says designer Katie Leavy. So, instead of trying to design a room beginning with the style you like, work backwards – design the space by considering what styles are inspired by a beloved signature item?
Think outside the box.
Some of the most memorable interiors are those where the design is deliciously atypical. A nature-themed bathroom, for example, complete with trees on the shower wall and a bucket on a floating shelf, is both fun and functional. Remember: Your space doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s. It shouldn’t look like everyone else’s, in fact. Because that look has already been done, by everyone else. Design your room to suit you.
Plan for easy accessibility.
Keep at least one drawer and shelf within arm’s reach of the bathroom sink. This is a room design requirement for tiny, functional spaces such as the bathroom that will help to maintain organization in even the most streamlined-looking bathroom. (Because you can hide necessary items away, thereby not detracting from the décor or the function.)
Play with contrasts.
This is where room design gets fun! Make choices that are unexpected as you mix and match, play with contrast, and challenge design expectations. Upholster antique furniture with modern fabric, mount gilded faux taxidermy, or display an abstract and boldly painted set of (faux) skulls. The juxtaposition of these designs is visually appealing, intelligent, and ultimately quite fun.
Work with groupings.
Many designers swear by the magic of grouping objects by odd numbers – threes or fives, for example. This works well for objects on display, either on a tabletop or on a wall. Working in pairs (e.g., two objects) is often more feasible when dealing with furniture, such as club chairs or side tables. Whatever number you choose to group your objects in, be sure to keep it proportionate to the objects themselves and your available space overall.
The accent wall has been a “thing” for a long, long time. More than just a way to save on money and time when painting, adding an accent wall to a room in your home can be a way to add life to a dull space. It can be a way to introduce a bold color — but not overwhelm the rest of your decor.
But even more than that, adding an accent wall can be a way to make rooms appear bigger or smaller than they are. You might not always be able to do a major renovation to knock down a wall, but you can absolutely make a wall seem to visually move closer or farther away with color.
Dubious? Check out the fun GIFs below, showing these lovely rooms with their original accent wall, and then with that wall color digitally removed. You can see just how powerful an impact color — dramatically dark or subtly light — can have on the feel of a room.
The living room in artist Ana’s Panama City home is expansive, with dark, glossy wood floors. Without an accent wall, her lovely modern furniture gets lost. With the dark accent wall, contrast defines a minimal and contemporary feel. Ana doesn’t specify the exact color in her house tour, but Farrow & Ball’s Drawing Room Blue looks like a great fit.
A charcoal painted accent wall in this Cape Town home’s master bedroom is Silk Aluminium from Plascon. It could be argued that a room without a dramatic accent wall is more soothing, but in this case, it would simply be drab.
Of course using a bold, strong crimson color like the one in this kid’s room would make a bold impact, but what’s more surprising is how the color on that one wall really seems to anchor the whole room. Without it, the eclectic pieces seem to float a little aimlessly. But with it, the entire look feels cohesive. Though Dana didn’t share the exact color she used in her Australian home, Sherwin Williams’ Real Red would be a great choice.
Sometimes it’s not even a wall in a room that benefits most from an accent wall. As seen in this gorgeous Australian family home, painting a hallway wall a pretty pink color impacts the view from the kitchen and living room. It’s a soft, subtle blush color, but it makes the rest of the home feel fresh and fun. The exact shade of this pink isn’t mentioned in the tour, but I think Sherwin Williams’ Bella Pink would work nicely.
Even in a monochromatic room, like in this Hong Kong home, with just black and white, magic can happen with the addition of an accent wall. In this open plan space, the black accent wall helps create a cozier feel.
Rhonda, the co-founder and creative director of the design shop Darkroom, didn’t even need to paint an entire wall to achieve accent vibes. She painted her bedroom walls of her London rental flat in graphic blocks of color using discounted, pre-mixed blue paint.
You don’t always have to go with a dark or dramatic color to make a big visual impact with an accent wall. As evidenced by the living room in the Toronto rental shared by stylish couple Justin and Meg. Try Sherwin Williams’ Swimming for your own light blue living room hue.
We predicted that natural materials and warmer finishes would rule the kitchen in 2017 (here are our other guesses). One way we’re seeing this natural-material trend play out, thanks in part to the popularity of minimalism, is with unpainted, unfinished wooden cabinets. The casual look combines the sleek style we expect in contemporary kitchens with the natural warmth of wood—just another reason we’re adding “kitchen renovation” to our home wish lists.
The Danish company Dinesen, makers of beautiful plank wood flooring, decided to use the natural material throughout the entire room, covering both the walls and cabinets. The result is minimalist, yet warm and inviting. See the rest of the room on Bungalow5.
It’s no surprise that this relaxed kitchen is nestled inside a quaint 1920s storybook-style home in Oakland Hills. If you’re a fan of butcher block counter, this kitchen shows us you don’t have to stop there—extend the look to the cabinets, as well. Tour the rest of this fairy-tale home over on Domino.
If you’re looking to channel cozy cabin vibes, draw inspiration from this Norwegian kitchen found on Nordic Design. All wood everything looks great with a long horizontal window that seriously improves your view while washing dishes.
Matching wooden cabinets and window frames pull the room together, while clean white subway tiles keep the look fresh. To maintain flat-front cabinets’ sleek appearance, pair them with recessed hardware that blends in seamlessly. Every single room of this home styled by Tina Hellberg for Elle Decoration deserves a spot on your Pinterest board—explore them all on Oracle Fox.
In this deVOL kitchen, natural slated cabinet fronts sit beside those with a dark wood stain. Consider skipping the hardware altogether and cut holes in the cabinet fronts for a minimalist alternative.
While your first instinct may be to balance wooden cabinets with crisp white walls, critics of the all-white kitchen will be pleased to see how beautifully jewel-tones complement reclaimed wood cabinets and shelves in Swoon Edition‘s showroom, above.