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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

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

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.

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.

By Roelf Nel

Using Area Rugs in your room Design

Area rugs are a great way to accentuate portions of a room and add to the mood and ambience of the interior decoration by harmonizing colours and shapes. Ideally, the primary colours of the rug should complement the wall, furniture, and furnishing colours. The rugs can be used to focus attention on another aspect of interior decoration or can be used as the centre of attraction. Large, centrally placed medallion rugs garner maximum attention. Area rugs are available in a variety of materials, textures, and shapes.

Area rugs are an excellent combination of form and utility and beautifully crafted hand rugs are real works of art. Most handmade rugs are made from fine quality wool that is capable of withstanding the rigors of heavy traffic and regular cleanings.

Area rugs have evolved into unique shapes and designs all over the world.  They are popular even today and oval braided rugs in shades such as brown, blue, or green lend a rustic feel to a room. Area rugs can also have a luxurious lush pile in warm colours that accentuate a feeling of cozy comfort. Mexican rugs and dhurries from India can alter the tone of an arrangement of furniture such that it acquires a characteristic distinct from the rest of the room.

Area rugs require to be taken care of and if the rug is not too bulky, it can be taken to the cleaners who have the expertise of handling area rugs made from different materials. Care should be taken that furniture is not placed on the newly washed wet rugs otherwise the rugs will carry permanent marks. Spills should be diluted with water and brushed gently from outside to the center.

The cost of an area rug depends upon its manufacturing process and materials used. Handmade Persian and Oriental rugs can be expensive. Machine-manufactured rugs that are durable and can stand wear and tear are available; at the same time there are area rugs that can cost a few thousand rands and are often used in mansions and hotel lobbies to complement the fine furniture in these places.

Wood floors and area rugs complement one another amazingly well; wood floors are elegant and easy to clean and area rugs offer a variety of options to accentuate the character of a room with wooden flooring and also act as a source of warmth for the feet on cold winter days. Area rugs fit in with the décor of every room and this adds to their appeal; they not only enliven a dull room but also help to reduce noise levels.

Visit Pinterest Board for more ideas on using area rugs in your room design.

By Roelf Nel

How to Display Artwork

Artwork is used both as an accessory and a unifying element to tie a room together. Depending on the art that you chose, it will be the defining factor for an energizing, warming, or formal environment.

The use of artwork as an element of décor incorporates both colour and definition into a room.

Pieces of art help determine the focal point of a room and should be displayed so that they draw the eye progressively from and to the focal point of the space.

Artwork adds character and flair to a room. It distracts and defines the emotions and the mood that the intended space conveys.

Large artwork should be placed strategically as an attention-catcher. The wall where the art is placed should be relative to the size of the painting and large enough to allow for a good amount of wall space to frame the artwork and draw the eye.

To showcase your art and make it stand out, install lighting directly below or above it. In this way you highlight its colours, and the overall effect on the impact of the room is more significant than if hung without individual lighting.

To achieve a more dramatic effect, group paintings and create asymmetric arrangements. This is another way to catch the eye with a few small paintings, which would otherwise be hard to achieve if they were scattered throughout the room.

Paintings can also be set in a symmetrical series, spaced evenly apart for an ordered, clean look. Add interest with black and white images, or add depth and complexity with a gold leaf frame that features intrinsic woodwork.

Visit our Pinterest Board and get inspired with some of the great pins we came across.

By Roelf Nel

Slate tile flooring

Slate tile stone flooring is flexible in nature and can be used almost anywhere. People have been using it extensively in the kitchen, front hallway, bathroom and outdoor uses such as pool surrounds and patio. One of the most brilliant features of this stone is that it has got a naturally slip-resistant surface. The tile is also widely known for its durability and decorative nature.

Natural face or split-face slate tile is one of the most popular choices when it comes to slate tile flooring. The split is a region where the slate has been removed from the slate bed. Hence, you can be sure of the fact that this variety of slate tile maintains the natural and uneven texture. The texture makes this type of slate tile one of the most distinctive tile. When it comes to slate tile, you can always expect a thickness variation from tile to tile. You need to consult your local flooring professionals to get an approximate idea of slate tile thickness.

Here are some do’s and don’ts you need to keep in mind with slate tile flooring.

Do’s:

  1. You should be sure of the fact that the area in which you desire to install your slate tile flooring is apt for the climate, foot traffic and other important factors. A sales representative will be able to help you in this matter.
  2. You must expect colour variations when it comes to slate tile flooring and utilize them to your advantage.
  3. It is necessary to keep yourself informed of the warranty details. Try to read all the instructions or information related to the slate tile flooring purchase.
  4. Slate tile flooring sealant is very important. You can choose from several varieties available such a high-gloss sealant that provides the tile a lustrous look, a low sheen that is reflective and no sheen that provides slate a natural look.

Don’ts:

  1. Never ever forget to allow for breakage and waste while placing your order. Remember that accidents can happen anytime.
  2. Don’t install slate tile flooring on a wet surface. The moisture trapped on the surface may make installation difficult for you.
  3. Don’t apply a sealer to a slate tile floor that has been oiled or waxed and not cured. The marks can prove to be very difficult to remove later.

When it comes to practicality and beauty, slate tile is considered to be the optimum choice. With slate, you can never slip. Visit our Pinterest Board for more inspiring ideas.

 

By Roelf Nel

Balancing your décor ideas

With life being so busy, between career demands, family commitments, friendships, healthier lifestyles, decorating may not be the top priority. With the time demand for decorating and its maintenance, it is no wonder some people look for a quick and practical solution. Even in this situation, personality is indispensable. The choice of material, furniture, accessories, and the right colours are great allies for those who want to make the interior environment more elegant and reflecting “the home owner’s way of being.”

Harmony and quality

The main concept in a design project for a home is defined in just one word: harmony. Harmony among the styles and elements that will be used, such as colour, fabrics, fabric textures and the right lighting. These elements either can increase the perceived value of your design project or, if used incorrectly, can ruin it completely.

For example, you can set a modern architecture concept of interior design and mix the environments that you have with some classic pieces; or you can set a classic architecture concept of interior design and mix the environments with some contemporary elements. However, it is necessary to be careful.

If you cannot hire a professional designer, it is very important that you know how to get a good quality design concept. The key is to avoid the use of too many colourful elements and strong colours. According to many interior designers “It is almost impossible to go wrong using only one colour tone in the environment.”

But what is the meaning of matching in an interior design project?
Interior design is like fashion: everything can be used according to the taste of each person. There are not too many rules. The first principle is to start from the architectural style of the house, after which the interior design can be defined.

For instance, it is worthless to have a contemporary house and use many classic elements inside its environments. You have to follow the style of the house. However, you can have one or two older pieces in a modern residence bringing a beautiful combination to the decoration.

 

Visit our Pinterest account and explore the many boards we have created on design. Whether is it selecting colour, artwork, French Country, Tuscan or other design ideas. We have gathered some great ideas, which may inspire you to get a new look for your home.

If you are ready to build your new home contact us for a consultation and discover the talented architects who can make your dream a reality.

By Roelf Nel

Transform your patio with 3 inspired themes

Aside from furnishings, there are many themes that you can decorate your patio with, from Asian to Art Deco. Deciding is half the fun. And the best part of decorating your patio is that you do not have to be stuck with one décor. You are always free to decorate and redecorate according to mood, taste, and even season.

Asian-Inspired Décor
What fun it is to be able to decorate your patio with furnishings and décor from other countries. Asian-inspired décor is perfect for your patio as it appeals to nature both indoors and outdoors. You can use many materials and design ideas to create Asian-inspired décor in your patio.

  • Wood, stone, bamboo, concrete, and even glass are perfect elements to create a backdrop of floors and walls for your Asian-inspired décor.
  • Water is a classic element of Asian inspired décor. A waterfall, birdbath, or pond running through your patio will incorporate the décor perfectly.
  • Plants in the form of potted bamboo are perfect Asian accents to your patio décor.
  • Accessories are important for Asian-inspired décor. Pottery, lanterns, pillows with fringe are all great accent pieces for your patio décor.

Italian-Inspired Décor
There is nothing more romantic and exquisite than Italian-inspired décor for your patio. Decorating your patio in this way is a great way to lose yourself in the moment and in the mood.

  • Brick, stone, and tile are famous components of Italian-inspired décor. Using these as a backdrop for floors and walls on your patio and incorporating them into fire pits and cooking areas is a perfect way to combine the Italian love of food and stone into your patio.
  • Brass accessories, different types and colours of espresso pots and cups hung up as décor, potted plants, wicker furniture, deep burgundies and rich purples mixed with gold are all complementary of Italian décor. Pictures of angelic cherubs on the back wall of your patio and you are transported to Italy.
  • Arches, a vine-covered trellis, and flowering vines up the posts to your patio with a small waterfall and you will almost feel as though you are in Tuscany.
  • Of course, any décor with grapes, wine bottles, and vines is the topper.

Spanish-Inspired Décor
Spanish-inspired décor will keep you and your patio guests entertained and full of vitality and energy during your time out on the patio.

  •  Bright and vibrant yellows, blues, and aqua along with mosaic tiles will keep you in the festive Spanish-inspired mode.
  • Arches, moss, small fountains, and Aztec prints are all perfect to tie in your Spanish-inspired décor.
  • Copper pots, sleek lines, stucco, and cement are all perfect for the backdrop of your décor.

These are just a few of the many different ways you can decorate your patio for an international feel. Visit our Outdoor Living Pinterest Board  and explore some great ideas for outdoor living and get inspired.

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French Country Kitchen Design
Designing a living room you’ll love
Decorating Ideas For Kids Room
Five ways to add a touch of Glamour to your Home
Taking a closer look at Kitchen Design Styles
Using Area Rugs in your room Design
How to Display Artwork
Slate tile flooring
Balancing your décor ideas
Transform your patio with 3 inspired themes