Monday, June 27, 2011

Take a closer look



 The room above works because of its mix of various materials with a neutral palette.   I kept returning to  beauty comma  to look at it over several days.  When you are drawn back to a room it is worthwhile to examine what aspects of it you like.  That was easy for me in this case- everything. 

Why does this room work in my view?

  • blond woods are my favourite and have always been since I was in my twenties- no ebony or mahogony for me. I like my wood to integrate with the other elements in a room, not stand out. I like to use wood for its texture, not colour.
  • clean lines allow your eyes to move over an object and  on to something else.They create visual flow in a room which works to create a  relaxing atmosphere.  Boxy is better in my view because these lines seem to fit/follow the envelope of a room .  Rectangular shapes can be softened by  accessories and softer textiles.
  • sculptural shapes  are added in the lamp, vases, boxes  and rock like structures in front of the window. There are other shapes hiding. Have a closer look. The selection of these accessories were not done in haste because they play perfectly with each other. This room depends on sculpture as an art form.  Notice there are no two dimensional art pieces on the walls. 
  • variety in  textiles (pattern, texture) is a must to support a mainly monochromatic room. The play of the striped rug  against the furry one  is wonderful. 
  • the absence of jarring colour makes this room a calm retreat.  It is a room I could spend many hours in and still find it interesting because of the texture and shapes.  Less is always more in colour. 
  • bringing the outdoors in by minimizing window treatments and utilizing the glimpses of nature as art.
What about this room in comparison?


It has many of the characteristics noted above but a much darker palette.  Texture and sculptural forms are dominant.

Matt Costigan via Decoria

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Style like a pro -Texture



 Colour is the most obvious element in interior design because of its boldness or starkenss. Homeowners constantly update their rooms with colour changes, but what about all the other design elements?  For example, have you given your room a texture update lately? Texture is simply using a variety of  finishes in a room and it is easily improved by varying the composition of products in a room, e.g., glass,  woods, metal, plastic, cotton, velvet, lacquer, leather, ceramic. etc. Stop and look around you. How many different materials have you used in your room? What's your room's texture quotient? 

  Texture is the element that gets constantly overlooked  because its effects are subtle. It's one of those things that you take for granted when it is done well, but it's difficult to identify if it isn't , You just know the room looks boring, but you're not sure why. Layering textures gives a room interest and depth.

Jessica Helgerson  a Portland, Oregon  designer, is a master of texture. Many of her designs, typically clean and uncluttered,  rely on the richness of textures for visual interest. 



This mid-century modern split level ranch house takes on a new life under her skillful direction. The overall feeling is restful and outdoorsy. Furniture choices reflect the style of the home. The vintage finds were reupholstered  in light fabrics of varying textures. The coffee table made from salvaged maple is the center piece of the room. Its irregular edges and smooth surface plays well with  the Portuguese eel traps hanging over the fireplace mantel . Glass is prominent in the French demijohn bottles and ceramic Chinese garden stools are tucked into the room.  The woven area rug stands out against the smooth ebony floors.



At the end of the living room, the dining area continues the themes already established. You get a clearer view of the ceramic Chinese stool and the raised texture on the pillows.  The leather chairs work well against the high gloss wood table.  Plants, vegetables and wicker all work to enhance the  this welcoming room.  Metal chair legs show up well against the ebony floors. Glass and ceramic are evident in this room too. One of the musts in texture usage is to play matte and gloss surfaces off each other with one being more dominant -usually matte. The textures and colours of the outside also play an important role in this room's success.


Continuing with the white and green theme, this high contrast  bathroom has a lot of texture punch for a small space, Wood, metal, marble, ceramic, glass,  paper, and fabric are blended seamlessly to produce a room that wows.

And now a little quiz... how many textures are combined to produce this stunning master suite?

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5 Window Treatments for Patio Doors

"What can I do with my patio door?" Since I often hear this question  from clients I'm  concluding  that sliding patio doors provide many challenges in home decor. If you are the proud owner of a patio door let's explore your options in window treatments. 

Fully Closing Draperies

living room contemporary living room
 When the door is on an end wall fully closing draperies floor to ceiling and wall to wall looks stunning. This layered treatment has  panels and  sheers with both sets of draperies movable (you can tell from the layered rod treatment).  If you wanted to get a similar look on other than an end wall , place your drapery rods 18 - 24 inches beyond the window surface  extending the visual width but also allowing the panels to sit on the wall rather than over the window. Another way to decrease the cost is to have the side panels stationery and have the sheers movable.

Sliding Panels 




Sliding panels  are a good solution for patio doors in a more contemporary setting and are available in a variety of colours and textures to match your decor. The panels slide under each other when open and you are left with one panel width at the side.  The vertical panels can range from 11 to 24 inches; the more panels the less glass  is covered when  they are open. Sliding panels are available in a wide range of materials  providing  varying degrees of privacy and light control. 


Sheer verticals




If you want to combine the traditional look of sheer draperies and the functionality of vertical blinds choose sheer verticals. The under structure is a vertical blind but the  sheer fabric that covers the vertical vanes brings this treatment to a new level. By simply rotating  the vanes you can go from light filtering to complete privacy.

 Sliding Shoji Screens



This is an unusual solution for a patio door but it is  a functional one.  A shoji screen has a wooden gridded frame with translucent paper inserted between the grids. Check out Shoji Design Inc. for beautiful designs.

 Plantation Shutters 


Bi-fold plantation shutters are hinged together and fold against each other, similar to a closet door. You can choose between panels that are free hanging or ones used with a track to guide and support them. Bi-fold panels can be configured to open to one side or to both sides of the window. 

 

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