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.
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?
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.
When you spend all day, every day, looking at pictures of interiors, you pick up a few tricks. Here’s one of my favorites—something I’ve spotted in a few different interiors, and that always looks great. As an added bonus, it’s cheaper than buying new furniture—and a super easy DIY.
The styling secret I’m referring to? A single long, low shelf. (You can also double or triple these up, as suits your needs and the architecture of the space.) The single shelf, floating a few inches above the floor, has the effect of a console, but with an added visual lightness. Above, you can prop (or hang) paintings and objets d’art. Below the shelf is a good spot for stacks of books (or shoes, or what have you), so you’re getting added storage, too.
This particular example, which doubles the number of shelves, is from the Paris apartment of designer Vanessa Bruno seen on Interiors Magasinet a space that, although I discovered it many years ago, continues to be a favorite. The bottom shelf looks to be resting right on the floor, and in this way the two shelves form a sort of un-console, a cabinet without any doors. Besides adding welcome definition to a blank wall, the two shelves provide storage for books on the bottom, and a base for a rotating collection of art on the top.
This room from Stadshem, via Inspirera Mera, incorporates three shelves, but the idea is the same — the console-that-isn’t. The particularly nice thing about displaying art on a shelf like this is that you don’t need to commit to any particular combination, and can change things at will as you see fit.
This instance of the long, low shelf, from Charlotte Minty via Interior Junkie, takes advantage of a short wall in an attic bedroom, where traditional furniture just wouldn’t fit. Although the bottom shelf floats only a few inches above the floor, this helps to contribute to an overall feeling of lightness.
This interior from Char and the City is proof that this doesn’t just work in the living room. It’s also quite nice in a small entryway, where the shelf creates a spot for shoes below and bags above. One thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re only going with one or two shelves, is that this look will have the most impact if you pick a shelf with a thicker profile, and one with a concealed mounting bracket, so it almost seems like an extension of the wall. (IKEA’s Lack wall shelves are a good example of this.)
From Poppytalk, here’s another example of the style, although you’ll notice, if you look closely, that the shelf has a support on one side, and is probably just a low bench. This is a great way to get the look if you’re not allowed to make holes in the wall.
One further no-holes-in-the-wall solution, from Lily, is to pair together a few 1x Kallax shelves. Without hanging anything on the wall, you can still do the movable art display above, and, as a bonus, the Kallax makes a great spot for storing records (or even books).
From DIY desks to hidden wardrobes, these easy updates will transform your pad. Plus, five jobs for the bank holiday
Get to work
If you don’t have room for an office, but need somewhere to put a slim desk, scour your home for “dead” space like this, by a bedroom window. Attach a piece of white plywood – cut to fit your space – to a pair of trestle legs (try Ikea’s Oddwald). Then splash out on an Eames DAW armchair.
Houseplants are making a comeback. Cacti and succulents, with their architectural shapes and low maintenance, are hugely popular, but for more drama and scale, it’s time to revisit some 1970s favourites. Evergreens such as ferns, spider plants and swiss cheese plants, with their striking silhouettes, are seriously back in vogue, say the authors of At Home With Plants, published this month by Mitchell Beazley. As are woven hanging baskets: Ondine Ash makes wonderfully retro woven designs. Create a display in an empty corner, close to natural light. Pictured left, from left: maidenhair fern, Pachira money plant and a Cereus cactus.
A lick of dark paint behind open, white kitchen shelves brings their contents to life; Farrow & Ball’s classic Down Pipe is a good match. Find similar chopping boards at Heal’s; and try Toast (toa.st) and French Connection for hand-thrown artisanal ceramics.
Hang it all
Create a wardrobe from an unused alcove or nook: screen it off with a curtain, add a hanging rail and paint the same colour as the surrounding walls. Team it with a stool; Etsy stocks Moroccan Ben Ourain cushions. (Taken from Space Works, a book of design and decorating ideas, published by Ryland Peters & Small; rylandpeters.com).
Fallen in love with some rustic shutters, but don’t know what to do with them now they’re home? Fix them to a bedroom wall and add instant character. Find similar at salvage company Lassco. A section of tree trunk adds a further rustic touch, its rough texture contrasting with the floaty curtains and crisp bedlinen. Find offcuts at woodnet.org.uk. Taken from (as before).
A closet with character
Wallpaper is best avoided in bathrooms because of the effects of humidity, but a small cloakroom is the perfect spot for a quirky feature wall. Here, pages from a secondhand novel have been pasted on the wall, with a sheet of glass used as a splashback above the sink. Habitat’s glossy Aimee mirror is a good match for this. Taken from Space Works (as before).
Revamp stairs by painting them, runner-style. Here, the floor is painted in Dove Tale and the stripes are Babouche, Mahogany and Arsenic – all by Farrow & Ball.
Running out of storage space, but can’t bear to throw books away? If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, build over-the-top shelves above door frames to use the whole space between floor and ceiling. Taken from Space Works (as before).
Five quick bank holiday jobs
1 Deep clean No excuses: spring is the time to go a bit further than dusting and vacuuming, and tackle winter wear and tear. Pressure-hose the patio, beat your rugs outside, wash the windows, and clean scuff marks made by bikes and prams off the hallway walls. For stubborn wall marks, touch up with paint.
2 Go minimal Take your spring cleaning to the next level and get rid of your possessions. Japanese minimalist Fumio Sasaki, author of Goodbye, Things, advises throwing away anything you have in multiples (scissors, salad servers, flip-flops); anything you haven’t used in a year; and your storage containers – when your things no longer have a home, you will get rid of them faster.
3 Kitchen clear-out Stale biscuits, mouldy, pre-referendum pesto, pasta dregs in six open packets: begone! Throw out anything that’s out of date or unlikely to be eaten, then decant foods such as pasta, rice and flour into labelled containers. Cooking will be so much more fun.
4 Get gardening Now is the time to plant out summer bulbs such as alliums and agapanthus, either in a warm, sunny position in the garden, or in window boxes to prettify your sills. Place broken pieces of terracotta at the bottom of each box to help drainage, before adding soil and bulbs.
5 Tackle your wardrobe Store your clothes properly, Marie Kondo-style. Fill your drawers with shoe boxes to use as dividers, then fold T-shirts, tops and socks lengthways: make a long rectangle, and fold into a little package. Store them vertically in neat rows; this way, you can see everything at a glance
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.
As designers, editors, and homeowners descended on New York’s Pier 94 for the Architectural Digest Design Show last week, AD‘s market team was on the lookout for the best trends. With myriad exhibitors across multiple categories, the fair had no shortage of inspiration. But once the dust settles, what will last? Below, our market editors share the seven trends they think we’ll be seeing more of this year.
With spring in the air, everyone is thinking color. We saw this trend most surprisingly in the kitchen and bath categories, with everything from stoves to vanities in kicky hues. Clockwise from top left: Hestan Outdoor Deluxe Grill with Side Burner, SMEG Portofino Range (coming in September), Majestic Techno Collection range in Emerald by ILVE, Dual Electric Double Self Clean Oven by Bertazzoni, and Amora vanity in navy by Ronbow.
See-through circles and graphic cutouts add instant appeal and a touch of whimsy to larger furniture pieces and smaller tabletop accessories alike. Clockwise from right: Bower’s wool and walnut Ring Chair, hand-carved Bangle table from Tucker Robbins, rainbow-colored Lattice Geo placemats by Echo, and Vermont Modern’s Bloom pendants by Hubbardton Forge.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard summed it up when asked for his favorite trend right now: green! From the kitchen and bath to the den and dining room, the sophisticated and saturated hue has found its way into all areas of home decor. Clockwise from right: Artistic Tile’s Triangulum in malachite glass and brass, Pyramids marble side table by Erickson Aesthetics, Bastet stool by Ped Woodworking, and Matthew Ward’s playful ceramics.
We’re only a few months into 2017, but that hasn’t stopped Pantone from looking inside their colorful crystal ball. At the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago this week, the international authority on color gave attendees a peek into what’s on trend for 2018.
While we still have about eight months of Greenery (whether you like it or not) until they announce the new Color of the Year, Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman was at the show sharing color and design trends for 2018.
“Metallics we know are classic,” Eiseman said, according to trade publication Home Accents Today. “But they have really moved over into neutrals.” We certainly see no signs of these shiny metals waning. Same goes for the iridescent trend: “The human eye can absolutely not avoid” anything iridescent, pearlized or translucent, since being intrigued by shimmering, shiny objects is “intrinsic to human development.”
In terms of color, the trend is continuing away from pastels (like 2016’s Colors of the Year Serenity and Rose Quartz) to more vibrant hues—though they won’t entirely fade by 2018. “Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days,” she said.