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By Roelf Nel

French Country Kitchen Design

The French Country Kitchen design is one of many classic kitchen design themes that you could consider. It can provide your kitchen with a traditional look that has its roots in the hillsides of rural France. It is a style that can fit into both rural farmhouses and in the grandest chateau.

French country kitchen design conjures up images of the Provence and the French countryside with its pastoral settings, lavender fields and rustic French farmhouses. The French country kitchen represents country living that is uniquely French. In designing your French country kitchen you will discover that the French country look is always very rustic, old and warm.

There are many elements that go into the French country kitchen including the use of large pieces of furniture made mainly of light coloured woods and can be decorated with ornate carving.

Colour

Colour is an important place to start the design process. You can draw inspiration from some of the principle French impressionists like Monet and Renoir, Van Gogh. Colours that are used in the French country kitchen style can include sunny yellow or soft gold, bright red and rust, grass green, cobalt blue and soft ocean tones.

You can decorate in the style of the French country kitchen design by using vivid colours – poppy red, sunflower yellow, bright blue, meadow green, and sunset purple. Your walls and cabinets and large furniture can be painted in off white, ivory, light beige, and taupe. Cabinets can be painted a glossy white to brighten light-filled spaces in the kitchen or they can be left as natural wood. These colours can provide a light, airy feel so you do not want to use strong colours here. In fabrics such as curtains and seat cushions you might also add paisley, stripes and floral prints to your French Country Kitchen theme.

Natural Materials

Natural materials are an important element in walls, cabinetry, and furniture that is used in the design of French country kitchens. The materials used in creating a rustic French country kitchen look include natural stone floors, granite counter tops and tumbled marble back splashes. These natural materials can be used on walls and beamed ceilings, and can be rough stained or painted plaster, or wood painted in natural colours. Floors can be made of stone or brick and covered with wool or cotton rugs,  and wooden shutters as window coverings. Furniture and cabinets can have a rustic or even a distressed look. Countertops can be done in ceramic tile with tile back splashes.

Accent Pieces

In French country kitchen design you will find that tile, rustic urns, hand-painted European ceramics and pottery accents are used extensively. Ceramic tiles and terra cotta pottery pieces are used wherever possible. Add copper pots and a French country kitchen can encompass many old world-decorating colours.

Visit our French Country Board for more inspiring ideas .

By Roelf Nel

Lighting Landscape Design: Adding Life to Your Gardens

Your freshly landscaped garden deserves to be showcased. Even at night, you could show off your beautiful garden and enjoy your efforts of planning and designing a perfect landscape. There is no better way to bring life to your garden than adding lights. Lighting landscape design creates a stylish feel to your garden giving a touch of luxury.

Lighting landscape design has many benefits

There is no doubt that the use of proper lighting enhances the security of your surroundings particularly in the garden area. Your attention could easily be drawn to any obstacles that may seem like a possible intruder. The lights would brighten up all the hidden and dark corners in the yard so it acts as a deterrent for any unwanted visitors.

It serves as the accent to the garden. Landscape lights enhances the beauty of your garden. There are several landscape light options  you can consider using to improve the finesse and style of your garden. Adding lights into your garden is not an expensive venture. If you prefer, you can use just a few lights to feature your flowerbed or rock garden.

The Uses of Lighting Landscape Design

For decoration

A garden would be more charming with the landscape lighting. The footpaths or pathways look prettier when lined up with lights. It would also be better to have a reserve of white bulb lights so that you could replace the coloured ones whenever you want to have a change of theme.

For entertainment

If you love to give out parties every now and then, adopting a lighting landscape design would be perfect for your entertainment endeavours. A beautifully made garden is a perfect venue for hosting parties.

Kinds of Lighting for Your Landscape Design

There are two categories of lighting landscape designs that you could consider using. The one option is the use of the power supply connected to your home powering up the lights for your landscape design. It would be best to have an electrician set this up for you.

Solar Energy

The other option for you is using solar energy light fixtures. It works through the absorption of the sunlight by means of a special cell and thereby storing that into a battery. Solar energy is a very inexpensive source of energy. There is only one major drawback of it and it points out to its inefficiency when there is no more sun exposure.

Lighting landscape design is a good option to add excitement, colour, and life to your garden as well as to your home in general.

Get some inspiring ideas on gorgeous landscape ideas and visit our Pinterest Board .

By Roelf Nel

Elements to consider for your Pool Landscape Design

It is always a great idea to compliment the interior of your home with your exterior and have a gorgeous backyard. Many homeowners choose to have their backyards filled with great landscape designs of flowers and other sorts of vegetation. The trend is for homeowners to create multi-purpose swimming pools to enhance a luxurious lifestyle.

Pool shapes:

It all begins with the shape of the pool you want. The shape and size of your yard will determine the best pool design. The general rule of thumb are the geometrical figures and streamlined lap pools that give the wet edge look. The latter are designed so that the water from the pool would slip over the surrounding basin. This gives the dramatic illusion of a more opulent and larger pool.

Pool colours:

The colour of the pool is always credited by giving the dramatic effect. This is because the colour gives the more defined outline on the general design and it dictates the surrounding landscape design. Shades of blue, more specifically sapphire hues, are popular for swimming pools which are often matched by crystal outline. Blue stands out from green shades of the vegetation and the rustic hues of bricks, marble and other rocks common among pools.

Water features:

Plain swimming pools are obsolete, thus fountains are great to create effects for the pool.  You can use a grand wall of flowing water or small trickles of a well-constructed fountain.

Plants:

Floras are never out of trend, the variety of effects come from the manipulation of the hundreds of species of plants and flowers. Each general design, say tropical landscape, calls for various usage and species of plants. This element for pool landscape design must be used with optimised results. Of course, you do not want your pool to look as if you have created a botanical garden when all you wanted is to accessorise your landscape design with touches of greens.

Lighting:

Whether you intend to use the pool in the evening or not, you still would want to consider the use of lighting effects to illuminate the features of the pool and the surrounding areas. A single spotlight has been out of trend for quite some time now and the use of subtle lights is considered the best replacements.

Decking:

Decking, no matter what you call it, is a great addition to your pool landscape design. This suggests a good outdoor “room” where you can stay for relaxation and is very useful for additional designs such as hanging plants.

Additional designs: 

Small details are good additions to your pool landscaping designs. Birdbaths, sculptures, wildlife boxes, bird feeders, rock formations and all other imaginable items will do your landscaping some favours when strategically placed.

Visit the Pinterest Board to get some more inspiring swimming pool design ideas.

French Country Kitchen Design
Lighting Landscape Design: Adding Life to Your Gardens
Elements to consider for your Pool Landscape Design