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Showing posts from 2014

The A-Z of Interior Design: N is for...

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N ature An interior design is not complete without a touch of nature somewhere within the scheme.  Whether that be flamboyant flowers like these lanky lilies , tall twigs , or a plush faux fur throw; until that moment when natural elements are introduced, a house doesn't quite feel like a home. Flowers may not be to your taste, but natural elements can be introduced in countless ways…. Layers of comfort are introduced to this nature-inspired room.  The knitted bedspread and variety of different textures and materials give a sensual feel... Credit: Sköna Hem The flowers lop casually in this curvaceous vase, adding a softness to the glamorous scheme, whilst the flickering candles evoke more of nature's physicality… Nature has been brought into the home by framing the view of the river and creating a reading haven beside the elements... Credit: © Luc Roymans The marmoreal backdrop in this kitchen adds a natural element which reaches to our senses

The A-Z of Interior Design - M is for…..

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M id-Century Modern  Retro home design has swept across the interiors world and shows no sign of waning.  The intense popularity of the style has meant that dealers are facing a severe shortage of original furniture and accessories from the post-war era.  Mid-century modern design is epitomised by clean, simple lines and natural wood finishes.  Mid-century architecture, built between 1945 to the 1970s, incorporates extensive use of glass and open spaces which connect with nature. Mid-Century Modern key design elements: * Flat surfaces, including flat roofs.  This retro home, with its matching car, interweaves with the natural surroundings… Photography: Coles Hairston * Natural materials combined with modern processes… Credit: home edit Credit: Nanette Wong, San Francisco * Split-level floors with small steps in different zones * Varying heights for furniture and walls... Credit: Hammer Architects * Simplicity in design, form and function… C

The A-Z of Interior Design - L is for...

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L ighting - Rules, Tips and Tricks We often take the lighting in a room for granted, but it can be used very creatively.  Lighting can add drama and style.  Clever, well-thought-out lighting can reflect mood and can be adapted throughout the day, or as required.  A flat and uniformly-lit room can feel dull - so use different types of lighting depending on what the room is used for. The  interior design rule book  encompasses five different types of lighting: General lighting - also known as background or ambient lighting.  This replaces sunlight and should be bright enough for movement and use of the room without eyestrain.  Avoid fittings which cause glare.  Use pendant lights, chandeliers, spotlights and recessed down lighters. Task lighting is specific and localised to work, read or sew by.  Use desk or table lamps, directional spotlights and floor lamps to light specific areas, such as the classic Arco lamp (above).  Task lighting is especially important in ki

The A-Z of Interior Design - K is for...

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K iely, Orla - Riding the Vintage Wave Irish-born designer, Orla Kiely does not sell any of her fabrics or prints - instead, her distinctive designs and motifs adorn a huge variety of home accessories, furniture, wallpaper and fashion pieces, available at various retailers including Anthropologie, Nordstrom and HD Buttercup. Kiely’s colourful palette has ridden the tidal wave of interest in vintage style in both fashion and interiors since 1997. Her four-storey, 3,000 square foot, terraced London home epitomises her vibrant, bold look. “Go for the big thing rather than lots of little things,” advises Kiely. Mid-century style (below) with walls covered in walnut, leading into the dining room containing Kiely’s upholstered dining chairs around a vintage table.  In the hallway, Kiely's side console with gloss vases bearing her leaf motif. Kiely and her team kept the original features of the Victorian terraced house, including ceiling roses and mouldings but added a

The A-Z of Interior Design - J is for...

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J acobsen, Arne - The Great Dane of Furniture History The three-legged, Ant chair, model 3100, catapulted Danish-born  Arne Jacobsen  (1902-1971) into the design history books in the 1950s. Original Ant chairs The Ant chair decorated by fashion designer, Paul Smith for the Jamie Oliver Better Food Foundation Photography: David Loftus Manufacturers Fritz Hansen originally were not too impressed with Jacobsen's original Ant chair, which he designed for a canteen. The iconic lightweight Ant chair (photographed above), with the seat and back made from one piece of moulded wood, was followed by the 3107, often referred to as the Series 7 chair - the most successful item in Danish furniture history. Over five million have been manufactured and sold worldwide. Series 7  Nature-loving Jacobsen originally wanted to be a painter, and this is evident in his masterful design drawings. He produced exquisite nature studies, watercolours and hand-drawn Christmas cards f

The A-Z of Interior Design - J is for...

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J acobsen, Arne - The Great Dane of Furniture History The three-legged, Ant chair, model 3100, catapulted Danish-born,  Arne Jacobsen  (1902-1971) into the design history books in the 1950s. Original Ant chairs The Ant chair decorated by fashion designer, Paul Smith for the Jamie Oliver Better Food Foundation Photography: David Loftus Manufacturers Fritz Hansen originally were not too impressed with Jacobsen's original Ant chair, which he designed for a canteen. The iconic lightweight Ant chair (photographed above), with the seat and back made from one piece of moulded wood, was followed by the 3107, often referred to as the Series 7 chair - the most successful item in Danish furniture history. Over five million have been manufactured and sold worldwide. Series 7  Nature-loving Jacobsen originally wanted to be a painter, and this is evident in his masterful design drawings. He produced exquisite nature studies, watercolours and hand-drawn Christmas cards

The A-Z of Interior Design, I is for Inspiration

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Interior design inspiration can come from many sources - not just within the world of interiors. Fashion often inspires interior decor.  Vintage furniture as well as vintage fashion have helped to revive mid-century modern design, as seen here in Living etc , featuring Harlequin wallpaper.  Fashion design can be a perfect starting point, with coordinating colours and an emphasis on texture and style. Gathering ideas and soaking up thoughts from the surrounding world helps to consolidate ideas and to  devise an original interior design scheme.  Having a strong concept creates a springboard for change. Photography: Harlequin Photography: Harlequin There are countless beautiful places in the world where creativity can be nurtured; check out  London , the design capital of the world, and see what the city has to offer. Visit some design exhibitions and designers’ shops. Don’t miss the amazing  V&A  (Victoria and Albert Museum) or see their  Interior Design in the

The A-Z of Interior Design - H is for Hoppen

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The Queen of Taupe South African born, Kelly Hoppen rose to the top of the interior design industry although she has no formal training. In 2009 she received an MBE for services to interior design. Hoppen, who is dyslexic, began her career at 16 years old when she designed a “family friend’s” kitchen, who happened to be a famous racing driver, and moved on to design interiors including Gary Rhodes‘ restaurant, the Beckham’s LA home, hotels, ski chalets, yachts, private jets and celebrity homes around the world. Actor Martin Shaw was one of her first clients. Hoppen, who has never undertaken a project for less than £300,000, is all about luxury. Her  website  flaunts her opulent, taupe and beige product range. "The detail in our projects is so couture it's like going to Chanel for a gown. I fly my florists around the world, too. I worry about carbon footprints, but what can you do?" A typical Hoppen interior using black, white and taupe... Gary Rhodes