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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.

By Roelf Nel

5 Key Elements in Your Landscape Design

What makes landscape design stand out? Is it the variety of plants and grasses that cover the whole yard? Is it the fence that seems to frame the whole garden? Or is it the fountain that sits right in the middle of every plant, grass, and evergreen? The answer is not the individual element that fills up the garden but how these individual elements are combined to make a great looking landscape design. How can one achieve this?

There are the 5 key elements that your landscape design must have in order to stand out:

Unity or Harmony

Unity or Harmony means that all the components in the design should go together as one and must express consistency and style. All the components should, therefore, fit in a theme making them work together to create a harmonious combination of colours, lines, bends, and elements. To achieve unity, repetition and mass planting can be used in the landscape design.  Thus, unity or harmony brings together everything that is used in a landscape design without spoiling the practicality and compromising the beauty.

Focal Point

A landscape design would not be complete without a focal point. A focal point gives direction to the lines and bends giving definition not only to the whole landscape design, but also to every area within the plan. There are popular landscape focal points like a big tree or a flowerbed, a pool or a pond, a fountain or artificial waterfalls. The focal point in a landscape design should direct the traffic in the garden area.

Proportion

Proportion refers to the size of the parts of the landscape design in respect to one another, to the landscape design as a whole, and to the property, structures, and human elements. For example, a small waterfall will be lost at the middle of a big garden with large trees and shrubs. A large oak on the other hand may not complement a one-story house. The point is, the relationship of each part should be within the reasonable size and should not dominate the presence of the others.

Symmetry and Balance

This is another very important element that can throw off the entire plan if not used properly. There are some landscape designs that may look a bit restless and uncomfortable. This is because they lack symmetry and balance. The curves, bends and lines are tiring; the use of plants and ground overlays are inappropriate; and repetition of all the elements does not have a variety. To achieve balance, the landscape design should have a good use of line, shape, texture, form, and colour all at the same time. The repetition should vary from one area to another and the plants and ground overlays should be in tune with all the other elements of the design.

Simplicity

A landscape design should not be overdone just to stand out from the entire neighbourhood. Simplicity is the key.

Visit our Pinterest board  to get inspired by some ideas we have found. I am sure you have great ideas you can share with us too.

By Roelf Nel

Designing a living room you’ll love

It does not matter what your décor, budget, or personal tastes are, you can still turn your living room into a magical space that looks as if it was done by an interior design professional.

The starting point of your interior design adventure is to determine the purpose of your living room. Do you entertain a large group of guests regularly? Is your living room a place for intimate gatherings of friends and family? On the other hand, maybe, just a place to relax and kick back?

Answering this question will help determine the layout of the room. If you entertain a lot, then you want your space to be more open so guests can flow freely around the room without bumping into furniture. On the other hand, if you host more intimate groups, then you want to arrange your furniture to promote conversation.

Select furniture that matches your needs
Once you know the function of the room, it’s time to work on form. There are a lot of really wonderful pieces out on the market theses days. Not only can you get inviting sofas and loveseats, but also new ideas such as sectionals with a built-in chaise. If you entertain a lot, consider going with groupings of furniture or pieces that can be easily moved around the room. If it’s just family and friends, go with a large sectional grouping so you can all sit together in comfort and style.

Locate the large pieces first
The sofa, loveseat and sectionals should be put in place first. Again, consider the function of the room and arrange accordingly. If your pieces are heavy, you may want to draw out the room on a piece of paper and make shapes that match the measurements of your furniture. Move them around on paper before you move them around the room. This saves time and energy.

Work your way out from there
Once you have the large pieces of furniture set to your liking, it’s time to add end tables, coffee tables and other secondary furnishings to your grouping. Next, it’s time for the accents: lamps, vases, plants, etc. Finally, hang your art so that it complements the room’s new look. After painting and changing the layout, you may find that some of your art is out of place. Look in your other rooms to see if a different piece would look better.

Use colour intelligently
The right colours can really make a living room come to life. Choose wall colours that complement your furnishings. Contrary to popular belief, a dark colour makes a room appear larger, not smaller. Use accent colours for your accessories. Don’t get too wild with colours – they should work with one another, not against one another.

Go with a neutral style
Resist the temptation to buy the latest trends in furnishings or accessories. You don’t want your space to become dated. Picking up the latest lamp or gimmicky clock cheapens the space as well. Above all, don’t put too much of your personal tastes into the décor. Keep the precious memories and souvenirs in the bedroom or family room.

Let it shine
A good way to add some space to your living room is to go with reflective surfaces for tables, fixtures and lighting. White glazed cabinets are terrific for this, particularly if they have glassed doors. The same is true with lighting. A lamp with a glossy shade can make the room look bigger than it is.

Use rugs as décor
If you have a really large open space, consider breaking it into smaller areas. The easiest way to do this is to use area rugs. Though it seems odd at first, an area rug cannot only be used on wood or tile floors, but on wall-to-wall carpeting as well. When using an area rug to define a space, be sure that the furnishings either rest on the carpet or touch the edges visually.

Most of all, have fun with your redecorating project. Once you have the furniture you like, the rest can be changed easily down the road with just a few cans of paint and some artistic touches.

Visit our Pinterest Board to get some more inspiring ideas to give you living room a new fresh look.

 

By Roelf Nel

Decorating Ideas For Kids Room

Kids room decorating can be a fun process with your creativity bursting to come alive! No where else can you mix and match a variety of paint schemes along with creative stencils, stickers, sparkles, and get away with it. Best of all, your kids can be involved in transforming their room into their own accomplishments while redecorating at the same time.

Some creative ideas on decorating kid’s bedrooms:

Ceiling

Create a magical night sky on your child’s ceiling with glow in the dark decorations. These can be fun and even comforting for your child to be able to lie in bed and gaze up at the night stars.

Doors

Use wooden letters that spell your child’s name and glue them on the door. Painting them in the theme colour of your child’s room will dress up the door nicely. Closet door hardware can be replaced with wiggly handles or their favourite cartoon character. By matching the door hardware with wall plates you can carry the pattern throughout the room that accents their style.

Furniture

Make a whole play area from an ordinary bookcase. Choose bright colours that match your child’s style and add features such as cut out doors for a dollhouse or castle effect. Add texture materials to one or two compartments that create a window or door like feature. When your child has outgrown the design, you can easily remove the materials and doors and replace them with the original materials that you saved.

Walls

Turn your kid’s walls in a big canvas. Paint is the perfect solution and least expensive way to create a kaleidoscope impact while offering unlimited colour options. Just changing one wall or adding stripes, borders, sponge or stamping techniques can bring new life to an ordinary room. Use wavy or splat design patterns, or turn one wall into a mural effect. Choose a bright base and pick accent colours to achieve the best effects.

Shelves

Using shelving materials can be the least expensive way to pick up the clutter and organize a room. Painting with the same colours or add design features with stencil or stamping can quickly dress up any room.

Accessories 

Large cork boards can quickly turn a bare wall into a busy space. Cork boards also eliminate holes in walls from nails or tacks that later need to be repaired. Wooden picture frames can be painted to help accent the room. Fans blades can be reversed and painted with designs to add cool effects when in use and then can be reversed when it comes time to re-decorate.

Decorating your kid’s bedroom is a great way to give them a place they can call their own and you may just find your kid spending more time in there!

Visit our Pinterest board on Kids Bedroom Ideas or ideas for Girls Rooms and see if there is something that sparks your creative juices to redecorate your kids rooms during the summer holidays.

 

By Roelf Nel

Christmas Wonderland at Home

Christmas is just around the corner and with it comes the opportunity to turn your home into a miniature magical wonderland. There is a lot to consider, the Christmas tree, stockings, ornaments, table theme and lights. But, don’t let the stress of Christmas decorating make you lose your Christmas cheer. Whether you prefer the modern design or are more of a traditionalist, here are some ideas that will be warm and inviting, bringing joy to your home.

What is the most important decorative item that is usually added to our homes for this occasion? Yes, you guessed it. It is the Christmas tree that really makes us feel that Christmas is truly here. Without it, you may feel Christmas did not come to town. Having a real pine tree to decorate is always a treat, but these days the artificial tree selection is endless. They come in different sizes, colours and textures.

Whichever route you decide, remember the Christmas tree may require most of your time and effort. This is why you need to know how to decorate it. To ensure your tree “pops” out and looks fabulous the best advice is to decorate it throughout, using garlands of fairy lights, wrapping it around the tree in a spiral manner. Lights have always been the go-to decor for Christmas trees. The latest trend is LED string lights and fixtures to illuminate rooms and objects in new ways. Go big with your light show; the more you use, the cooler the effect.

When decorating, don’t be restricted to just using red and green in terms of colour. Blue is big in so many ways. Every shade of blue from pale blue right through to turquoise and royal blue if you really want a pop of colour. In addition, frosted decorations are the foundation of the wonderland theme, and can be used alone or blended with other colours. Clear and frosted glass, and well as acrylics, made a real splash last year and are back again. As well as the traditional bauble shapes, snowflakes and homemade decorations are a big part of this trend.

Another change this year is using eco-friendly choices. Living succulents are earth-friendly, low maintenance and an excellent modern Christmas decorating idea. Arrange a few in a centerpiece, or go big with a succulent wreath or garland. By using these hardy, low-water plants, you can enjoy them long after Christmas is over. Whilst modern wreaths, can be used in a number of rooms throughout the home; either on your front door, in a window, as a centerpiece or wrapped around a group of candles. Another bonus is their versatility. To change a wreath’s look, simply add in small objects, a brightly coloured ribbon or large pine cones.

For Christmas dinner why not bring your theme into the dining room too – instead of the traditional name tags, use your family’s stockings on the back of their respective chairs. Alternatively turn your stockings into individual cutlery holders, the choices are endless.

Ever thought about decorating your kitchen for Christmas too? Considering it is the heart of the home, the kitchen however, is often a room that gets left out. There is not a shortage of ideas of how to transform it into festive cheer. Bring in a splash of red and green through the use of candles, miniature wreaths, potted plants or place a Father Christmas figurine on the kitchen island or table. Remember, don’t overdo it. Keep it simple and stylish.

Be inspired, have fun, enjoy the process and transform your home into a place of magic for December.

Visit our Pinterest Board for more creative ideas.

By Roelf Nel

Five ways to add a touch of Glamour to your Home

Adding a touch of glamour to your room interior is not about the flash. You can tastefully add a touch of glamour to your home and transform your room into a luxurious place.

One statement piece can add a touch of glamour, whether it is a gilded Venetian mirror or a spectacular leather turquoise chaise in the centre of an all-white living room, that one piece adds a little luxury to an otherwise casual room setting.

Turn an ordinary room into one that exudes class and style by adding in crown moulding. Crown mouldings are typically decorative strips made up of wood, plastic, or fibreboard. Using crown moulding is a fabulous way to camouflage the existing flaws and ugly blotches on the walls or ceilings. Using these decorative strips adds a touch of elegance to a room, making it appear more grand and unique.

Another effective option dating back to Georgian period is Panel Moulding. Panel moulding is used to break up large surfaces, which adds a formal feeling to most designs. It is also utilized as a border separating colours or textures. Visually enhance any room with decorative panel moulding, from walls and doors to ceilings.

Adding a touch of Gold to your décor is a classy trend that seems to be staying for a while. Transform a plain kitchen into a formal space with stylish golden light fittings, and finishing off touches with gold taps, and gold cabinet handles. If gold is too flashy for you, go with the more subtle, yet elegant brass finish.

Using Colour is another way of adding glamour and elegance to your room. Either go with bold and dramatic colours or soft understated hues. Painting interior doors black creates an expensive feeling, without causing much damage to your wallet. Make sure you tie the overall design together by adding some black accessories to this space.

If this style appeals to you, visit our Pinterest Board and explore some more ideas we found.

Oriental Rugs

By Roelf Nel

Oriental Rugs add Elegance to Room Design

Oriental rugs will add timeless beauty to your home. They coordinate with any décor, and enhance any room, hallway, or entrance. They are also a favourite option when decorating home offices. These rugs are a great choice for high traffic areas because of the intricacies of their designs, which hide wear and tear. The term “oriental” refers to rugs produced on the continent of Asia, such as Persian (from Iran), Indian, Chinese, and Turkish rugs.

Making rugs by hand is an ancient art and the old designs reflect the religious and ethnic structures of the times in the countries or areas of origin. Many of these ancient designs are still produced today, sometimes hand-woven and hand-knotted, other times woven by machine. The most traditional patterns are those with a floral or garden motif, or geometric or curvilinear designs around a central medallion or a central painting-like scene.

Oriental rugs used to be constructed only with such natural fibers as wool, cotton, silk, or goat and camel hair, or blends of these materials.  Now you can find these rugs made with less expensive synthetic materials such as olefin (polypropylene), nylon, polyester, and acrylic. Wool rugs remain the first choice in durable, soft, dirt-and-fire resistant and warm rugs. However, synthetic reproductions make oriental area rugs are more affordable. They come in a variety of colours, sizes, and shapes – round, oval, rectangular, and, of course, the popular runner.

How to Choose Oriental Rugs for Your Home

Decide on how you are going to use each area rug.

  • Will it define furniture groupings or unify all the elements in the room?
  • Is its primary use to protect a floor or a carpet?
  • Is the prime function to add warmth and comfort?

The use of the rug will dictate its size and shape. Keep in mind that the colours should be harmonious with other colours in the room. If the center of the carpet will be visible, medallions or central scenes are good choices. If the center will be fully or partially hidden under a table or other furniture, it is better to go with a repetitive design or an elaborate and interesting border.

Very colourful and busy designs can make an oriental rug the focal point in a room. If the room is already colourful with intricate drapery and upholstery fabric designs, choose simple designs and subtle colours. If you are going to use two different rugs in one room, make sure the colours and patterns blend and complement each other.

Whether you choose a genuine antique oriental wool rug that has been hand woven and hand knotted in Iran, or a  machine woven rug with an oriental design manufactured locally, you will be adding beauty and warmth to your home.

Visit our Pinterest Board  and explore some of the beautiful designs we came across and the elegant use of the rugs.

By Roelf Nel

Taking a closer look at Kitchen Design Styles

While you are planning your new kitchen look, the style and design you select is very important in determining the overall feel your kitchen will portray. Whether you are going for the country charm of wood cabinets to modern-looking stainless steel appliances, kitchen design styles come in many choices and styles.

What determines your kitchen’s design style?

Many of the more successful kitchen design styles consist of many components going together the right way. The colour you select and the styles of fabrics, furniture, flooring, windows, cabinetry, appliances, and lighting can help to determine a kitchen design style. You will discover that various design elements of the kitchen provide each style with its own unique flavour.

The type of kitchen cabinets you have are an important consideration in regards to the overall kitchen design style. The cabinetry can have a powerful effect on the design of your kitchen. The style of kitchen cabinet you choose will give personality and a specific atmosphere to your kitchen.

Popular styles of kitchen cabinets today are:

English Country – Consists of open china display racks, unique paints and finishes.

Shaker – This style is characterized by purity, simplicity, and utility. Uses flat panel doors that are inset and flush with the cabinet frame. Other features include wooden counter tops, wooden knobs, and brass hardware pieces. It combines simple furniture design with clear crisp lines, and strength.

Country – This style creates an old farm kitchen look with glazes and layered finishes. Includes open shelves, pot racks for cast iron cookware, butcher block, and multi-coloured cabinet pieces that look like they are separate pieces of furniture.

French Country – So many elements go into the French country kitchen including the use of large pieces of furniture that are made mainly of light coloured woods and can be decorated with ornate carving. Natural materials are an important element in walls, cabinetry, and furniture that is used in the design of French country kitchens.

Arts and Crafts – This kitchen design style is becoming a popular style for kitchens. In this type of style glass doors and natural wood tones with a matte sheen are used. The style can be eclectic and artistic.

Contemporary – Kitchens that are done in the contemporary kitchen design style often use plastic laminates, special wood veneers, enamels, lacquers, or metal foil laminate for the kitchen cabinet facings. Cabinet doors in this kitchen design style usually use frameless construction with overlay door and no toe kick panel.

Homes can come in many different styles, and built using a variety of materials. So the same goes for kitchen design styles. However, in most cases, people will want their kitchen to match the overall design and style of their home.

It may not be absolutely necessary to select a kitchen design style that is the same as your home’s exterior architectural style. Although it is considered a good idea that you should really try to select the kitchen design style that will best complement your home’s style.

Visit our Pinterest Board  and get inspired by the kitchen ideas we came across.

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French Country Kitchen Design
Lighting Landscape Design: Adding Life to Your Gardens
Elements to consider for your Pool Landscape Design
5 Key Elements in Your Landscape Design
Designing a living room you’ll love
Decorating Ideas For Kids Room
Christmas Wonderland at Home
Five ways to add a touch of Glamour to your Home
Oriental Rugs
Oriental Rugs add Elegance to Room Design
Taking a closer look at Kitchen Design Styles