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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

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

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

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

Using Carpets in your décor

Carpets have the ability to transform a room into a cosy and comfortable space. The endless options of colour, design, patterns and textures makes carpeting a favourable and fashionable option in home décor.

Reasons for choosing carpets as a flooring option:

  1. Provides Safety: The surface is non-slip preventing slips and cushions falls and minimizing injuries. The soft structure of the carpets offers an added safety to the more vulnerable family members who are just learning to walk.
  2. Enhances the beauty of your home: Carpets add style and beauty to your room. There is a wide range of styles, textures, colours and designs you can choose from to suit your taste and décor. For a more casual environment, opt for simple designs and neutral colours. Go with vibrant colours and patterns when creating a bold statement.
  3. Provides Warmth and Insulation: During the winter months, you will appreciate the warmth and comfort of your carpeting. The millions of fibres trap heat. Carpets provide a layer of insulation and resist the chilly, uncomfortable weather, saving your energy bills.
  4. Reduce Noise: Carpets absorb noises that are airborne and block the transmission of sound between one floor and another. It stifles noises and reduces surface noise from walking.
  5. Hiding damaged Floors: Carpets are a good option if you have a floor that is irregular with a marked inclination or dents within its structure.

The colour trending this year is a palette of greys and taupe. You can be a bit more daring and go with blues, teal, or green remembering to keep the colours soft, soothing, and natural.

Using bold and bright azure carpets are not ideal options as these tend to date and you may find you have to replace your carpets sooner than anticipated. Beige and neutral colours are popular choices enhanced by vibrant textures and patterns. Neutral carpets compliment other trending colours such as pastel greens, yellows, blues, or salmon pink, which you can bring in through other décor. Patterns are not restricted to the printed design on the carpet, but also to the texture and geometric design within the carpet.

 Carpeting offers you endless options. Visit a few showrooms before you make a final decision on what carpet you want to go with. Check on the product specs and guarantee coverage before you make a purchase.

Visit our Pinterest Board for some more carpeting 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.

four essential factors of a good bedroom design

By Roelf Nel

Four Essential Factors of a Good Bedroom Design

Successful design is a relative term. What is good or successful for one may not be so from your point of view. When it comes to interior design, there are certain factors which are always present no matter how the room is used. Here is a checklist of the bare minimum design factors to incorporate to have a comfortable bedroom.

1) Natural light entering the room.
Naturally lit spaces are always the primary goal. Incorporating the sun as the strongest source of light is very necessary for the interior spaces. Studies show that natural light can penetrate an interior space up to approximately 7 meters. Position your windows and sliding doors to get the maximum light into your room.

2) Natural Ventilation
A free and unobstructed flow of air can be a great way to keep the atmosphere cool and clean in an interior space. This is possible where bedrooms are located at the corner of the building where two sides of the bedrooms have external faces.

Where it is not possible to provide windows on adjacent faces or opposite faces, a ventilator above the window is used. The concept behind the ventilator is simple. The occupants use the lower half of the bedroom causing the air temperature to rise and the air becomes lightweight.

This hot air rises above and needs an escape. The ventilators above the window play a major role of circulating the flow through the room in an upward direction. When the lower portion of the room is empty fresh air from window circulates, thus maintaining a balance.

3) Clear Movement Patterns.
Master bedrooms have certain exit points attached to it. Such as

  • Exit to balcony/ terrace.
  • Exit to toilet block/ walk-in closet
  • Exit to backyard (if on ground floor)

If we draw an imaginary line from the entry point to all these exit points, ideally they should not intersect. Since all other areas are already occupied with furniture, keeping the inside circulation space clear, helps to achieve a comfortable space.

4) Good Provision for Inclusion Of Accessories.
Accessories in a bedroom have equal importance. When all other factors mentioned above are considered, what remains is the using accessories to make a difference in the comfort levels of the occupants.

  • The first and the most important is a good provision of artificial lighting. This includes basic lighting as well as special decorative lighting for decorative purposes.
  • Special provision for upholstery and linen. Small details such as curtain rods, provision for bed canopies can make the room extra decorative.
  • Use materials that are easy to clean and maintain. For example, if you are using PVC flooring sheets on top of the standard tiled flooring, is it washable? Think of what will happen if your child uses it as a painting canvas.

The above is an attempt to look for some universal factor that can affect the comfort level of the users in a bedroom. Finally, the feeling you get when you use your bedroom is most important and is a good measure to decide the success factor of the design project.

These are starting points you can factor into your bedroom design. You can decide on your style. Is it Shabby Chic, French Cottage, Tuscan, or something else?

Visit our Pinterest Board and get some fabulous ideas of bedroom design elements.  When you are ready to build your dream home, contact us. We work with talented architects who can help you create your dream home.

By Roelf Nel

Decorating Styles: Minimalism

Minimalism was designed with small spaces in mind, and less decorative elements allow a home to stand out by itself. This style of décor doesn’t incorporate many accents, accessories, or even furniture items. Colors are monochrome, simple, and in small quantities. It is based around the idea of white as a way to maximize space.

Minimalism generally manifests its décor style in modern, contemporary ways, even though it is possible to find minimalist designs that are retro and more outdated.

The minimalist style appeals to organization and order. But it does so in a more casual, relaxed way that is not present in the case of formal styles of home décor, for example.

This type of décor follows the principles of functional decorating, where a decorative piece is also a usable resource. The design highlight is placed in the building structure itself, and efforts are made to preserve a maximization of space in an open layout as much as possible.

The common concept of colors in home décor do not apply to the minimalist style. Like a blank canvas, a minimalist room uses light and bright colors to increase the perception of space and establish a neutral palette for other elements of design.

While white is the color of choice, off-whites, teals, pale greens, and blues are other possible options that appeal to this type of home décor.

Minimalist furniture appeals to clean lines and geometric shapes, generally of dark colors to make full contrast of the brightly colored walls. In this way, light affects a minimalist room in a special way, increasing perception of its size and placing our attention on the functional furniture – the only decorative elements used in this style.

Just like furniture follows clean lines, smooth textures, and glossy materials, fabric from the minimalist style is also plain, with no prominent textures to distract the eye.

If you are a “less is more” kind of person, the minimalist style may appeal to you. Visit our Pinterest Board and get inspired.

By Roelf Nel

Shabby Chic Design Ideas

The Shabby chic style incorporates pastel colours, vintage accessories, distressed white furniture, and floral patterns to create a warm, cozy environment. Candles add intimacy, and the use of flowers, vintage elements, and white furniture appeals to a feminine innocence that is reflected by this type of décor.

The Shabby chic style inspires comfort and casualty. It incorporates vintage elements; light pastel colours and cozy pieces of furniture.

Floral styles are important part of the Shabby Chic style, and they appear not only in the fresh form, but also in patters and accessories. Pastel colours used are soft and slightly neutral. Faded yellows and greens, light pinks and pale white are common choices applied to this feminine style. So, if you are into darker, brighter colours, a different style of décor may suit you better. Candles are also used to add warmth and comfort to the already inviting shabby chic décor. Incorporated to the other elements of this style of design, the result evokes tranquility and safety.

Just like you might have found in your grandparents’ attic, pale white, embroidered fabrics are a great contrast to the floral motif and pastel colours. Off white fabrics that look as they’ve been stained with tea offer a vintage feel that adds to the familiarity and security that is inspired by this style. Another important contrasting element of the shabby chic look is the use of white painted furniture. This detail adds to the innocence of this home décor style, inspiring pureness and cleanliness.

The shabby chic style of décor can be achieved by combining similar elements in a harmonic way. Floral patterns and pastels colours complement each other, and are counteracted by the addition of rustic vintage elements such as books, old alarm clocks and porcelain plates. To add contrast, white is used in furniture and accents. And candles offer the finishing touch with warmth and serenity.

Add fresh flowers like daisies, orchids, freesias, and roses to enhance your shabby chic style.

Visit our Pinterest Board and explore Shabby Chic design ideas.

1 2 3 4
French Country Kitchen Design
Designing a living room you’ll love
Five ways to add a touch of Glamour to your Home
Using Area Rugs in your room Design
Slate tile flooring
Using Carpets in your décor
Balancing your décor ideas
four essential factors of a good bedroom design
Four Essential Factors of a Good Bedroom Design
Decorating Styles: Minimalism
Shabby Chic Design Ideas