#Painted Ceilings

August 30, 2012

Painting or wallpapering your ceiling is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re brave enough to try it the results can be pretty spectacular!

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Jenny Lyons’ nursery (image via Apartment Therapy)

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EM Design Interiors

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Caldwell and Flake

If you do choose to paint your ceiling then colour selection is key. If you have a low ceiling a dark paint colour may not be the best option because it may make your room feel as though it’s closing in on you.

You also want to select a colour or pattern that’s going to work well with the other design elements in your room and not compete with them.

So next time you’re renovating or redecorating perhaps give it a try – you might just love it!

 

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At the moment I’m writing lesson plans for residential kitchen design, and I’d forgotten how exciting designing kitchens can be. The kitchen is one of the most heavily utilised rooms in any home so it can’t just rely on it’s looks – it has to be functional.

In Australia, the built in kitchen still dominates the kitchen landscape but with a shift towards open plan living this seems to be gradually changing and allowing more interaction between the kitchen and other living spaces within the home.

A great example of this is Heidi Middleton’s (of Sass and Bide) beautiful coastal kitchen (below).

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In order to further unify all of the living spaces in a home, a lot of contemporary kitchens almost don’t look kitchens at all, such as this gorgeous design by GD Cucine (below).

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There are still some constants in kitchen design however. Due their durability and ability to be cleaned easily, tiles and laminate have both remained kitchen staples over the years, although the designs and colours have definitely changed!

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* Made e Mano are currently making some fantastic tile designs (like these above).

The image below is courtesy of Laminex. I love the use of colour in this design!

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I’m a huge lover of colour in the kitchen, so I also really like the kitchen design below from Loop Design.

I don’t really enjoy cooking but I think I could get to like it in a kitchen like this! 

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I’d definitely consider myself to be an art lover and I’m also a huge fan of lighting, so anything that combines the two is a winner in my eyes!

Neon lighting is available in a huge range of vibrant colours and emits a gorgeous glow unlike any other lighting product. It has suffered over the years as it’s a light source that’s often associated with large (often tacky) brightly coloured signage, but it’s so much more than that!

Anselm Reyle’s neon light installation (below) is an exciting explosion of colour and movement without any trace of tackiness.

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Similarly, artists such as Roger Borg have produced stunning and sophisticated neon pieces like the one below.

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Of course there, are still pieces like ‘Will Kirkman’s Room’ (below) which still embody the quirky sense of humour that neon art has always maintained.

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I’m also a huge fan of neon pieces that utilise script, like the works of Stefan Bruggemann (below) and Tracey Emin – just gorgeous!

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But neon it’s not just art that should only be viewed and enjoyed in a gallery or museum, it can easily be  introduced into an interior space, as seen in Cafe Liberty, London (below).

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I particularly love the use of Tracey Emin’s neon art in the bedroom design above (which I believe is or was Sir Elton John’s bedroom). The piece adds a fantastic energy to the space and really brings the room to life.

I think everyone would benefit from some neon light in their lives!

 

 

Wallpaper has come a long way in recent years. I can remember when it was so uncool to have wallpaper in your home, but I’m really happy to see that it’s returned with a vengeance because they’re nothing like wallpaper to create a fantastic feature wall and it’s available in so many different colours, designs and prices to suit every person and every budget!

I’ve added some images of some my favourites are below:

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Love these gorgeous geometric designs (above) by Minakani Lab

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The beautiful simplicity of this design (above) by Debbie Powell really sets it apart as one of my favourites at the moment.

Tracey Kendall is someone who has a really unique approach to wallpaper design and she makes some stunning wallpapers. The design (below) is one of my favourites from her collection. I love that it’s textured and three dimensional, it reminds me of tree bark.

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You can even find wallpapers now that are suitable to use outdoors (the design below is from Wall & Deco).

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There are also lots of options now for you to customise and/or personalise your designs. Companies such as Surface View and Customized Walls give you the option to choose images from their available images to print on wallpapers or you can upload your own photographs and customise your design.

The two images below are some examples of what Surface View has to offer, and as you can see it’s not only wallpaper but incredible wall art (I really want the one with the snake!).

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The great thing with Customized Walls’ products (below) is that in most cases you can ‘install’ them yourself and when you’re tired of the design or you move house you can remove it and take it with you!

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If you’re an upcycling fan then Weitzner Limited make a fantastic wallpaper which is made from shredded newspapers and it looks great.

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I’ve also seen some blogs that feature DIY wallpapers made from sheets of music and other prints which might be fun to try.

#Upcycle it!

August 15, 2012

To be honest I’ve never been a fan of upcycled furniture. The concept of re-using products and materials and reducing waste is brilliant but I rarely find the outcome aesthestically pleasing, and then I saw the work of Thomas Wold and Zoe Murpy and I was converted!

For me they each take upcycling to a whole new level and make it unbelievably slick and stylish. Thomas Wold’s pieces are also really quirky and fun and his fine arts training shines through in his furniture pieces. 

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These pieces by Zoe Murphy are so delicate and classic and I love the use of colour.

 

 

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Another beautiful Zoe Murphy piece – love the inlaid timber! The piece below is by Thomas Wold.

 

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Love this Thomas Wold cabinet with it quirky details and gorgeous colours.

 

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The pieces above and below are really works of art – they’re fantastic! They also feel very Salvador Dali-esque to me, and I love that. 

 

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On Monday I’m teaching interior design students lighting design for residential kitchens and I’m really excited about it, because I’m really passionate about lighting design and getting it right.

In my opinion, some of the most important considerations for an interior designer/decorator when selecting kitchen lighting are simply Who, What, When and Where:

Who

– Who am I designing this for?

– Who are my clients?

What

– What are the legislative or energy efficiency requirements that relate to this project?

– What are the dimensions and structural features of the space?

– What light levels do my clients need or want?

– What is the budget in the short and long-term for initial outlay and ongoing maintenance of light fittings?

When

– When are the fittings required by? (nothing worse than choosing light fittings and advising your client of your selections and then finding out there’s a lead time of 12 weeks when the electrician needs them in 4 – very embarrassing!)

Where

– Where will the main work surfaces be?

Recessed downlights are always the obvious choice in a kitchen as they provide great light levels, are relatively low cost and low maintenance and they’re unobtrusive.

Something else that works well in kitchens are pendant lights and here are some fantastic designs that I’ve found recently that would work beautifully in many kitchen designs.

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 Modern Pendants by Yar Rassadin – elegant and sleek

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Industrial Pendant by West Elm – love the vibrant range of colours available

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LED Bell by Rotaliana – really unusual and interesting design

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Ori Sheet Metal by Lukas Dahlen – gorgeous..reminds me of origami

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Industrial Dome Pendant – practical light that works well with most kitchen designs

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Modern Pendant by Oculo Group – delicate shape and stunning colours, glass is also a really practical choice.

I get to discuss all things residential lighting design for the next 3 Mondays and I can’t wait!

 

 

Hello Yellow!

August 7, 2012

We’ve had one of the coldest winters in many years here in Queensland, so I think it’s time to inject some sunshine into our homes and our lives with the use of yellow accent pieces, like this gorgeous Dunder Sofa by Bla Station. 

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Or this stunning Floral Motifs Rug designed by Akira Isogawa for Designer Rugs. 

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I also love this PS LED Pendant Light from Ikea, it’s such a warm sunny shade of yellow.

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Or if you’re feeling adventurous you could even paint some sunshine in with a gorgeous vibrant yellow paint colour from Resene like Lemon Yellow or Golden Dream.

Yellow is a fantastic colour! It’s one of the easiest colours to see, it’s sunny and bright and makes me feel happy, and just like a bright sunny day I find it very energising. Not surprisingly it’s often used in creative industries because research indicates that it acts to stimulates the mind.

Something to bear in mind when decorating with yellow is that because it’s such a visually dominant colour, it’s important to exercise a little restraint otherwise it can become a little overwhelming and over stimulating. So I’d recommend to limit it’s use to a few accent pieces. This interior image via Pieces Inc (http://piecesinc.com/) is a great example of how to decorate well using yellow.

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Something new to try #2

August 5, 2012

I found this gorgeous decorating idea via http://www.womenbeforeus.com/, which is a fantastic Swedish website ‘dedicated to giving women women’s handcrafts’.

These pieces are made from delicate lace doilies placed on canvas and painted. So effective and so easy!! The finished product looks a little like snowflakes.Image

 

Things I love…

August 5, 2012

This is not a very interior designer-ish post but this is such an exceptional piece that it deserves to be seen. It’s a piece entitled Trauma by Cristina Otero and there’s just something so exquisite and moving about it. It’s incredible.Image

The Smorkin Labbit stool by Frank Kozik is one of my favourite furniture items of all time, and one day when I have a spare $1250 I plan to make it mine.

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