Thursday, February 25, 2010

The changing face of interior design

Home decorating and interior design trends change in tandem with fashion trends. Staying on top of these allows you to update your home the same way you update your closet.

You don't have to make drastic or expensive changes to keep your home in style. It's easy to incorporate new interior design trends into your existing decor in creative and affordable ways.

Innovative interior design trends for 2010 In 2010, interior design trends are going to be drawing on the past as they create new looks for the coming year.

What is most fabulous about these upcoming trends is the wiggle room they leave for creativity and individuality. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter room designs and color schemes; today's interior design trends provide homeowners with plenty of opportunity to experiment. With a little bit of interior design training, whether informal or dictated by an accredited interior design college, anyone can learn to effectively utilize the following design techniques:

Color. Purple is reported to be the color for 2010. But don't worry if this shade doesn't strike your fancy, you still have plenty of other options. Soft yellows and greens, especially in combination, are going to be quite a hit as well. Pale golds, pinks and lavender grays are going to be used in contrast with bolder and richer African-inspired shades. Earthy tones are always an excellent choice, and you can push some of these colors into the metallic realm for extra spice. In 2010, it's all about unexpected color combinations, so feel free to push the envelope and get creative.

Furniture. What you choose for furniture is fairly dependent on the color of your walls. If you go with more neutral walls, furniture pieces in bold colors are going to really make a statement in 2010. Metallic pieces are gaining in popularity, and they work especially well with sleek, modern styles, and black and white color schemes.

Eco-friendly furniture made from recycled or reclaimed wood is gaining priority, and refurbishing antique pieces or buying distressed new pieces will help bring comfort and style home in the coming year. Also, look for floral prints, stripes, animal prints and other exciting patterns to be making quite a splash in the coming year.

Decorations. Accessories and home decorations are essential for tying together the overall theme of a room. Decorations in 2010 are going to be inspired by a fusion of time periods and cultures. Antique accessories will be very popular, and at all times, decor is going to be focused on homey comfort. Embellished fabrics and sequined cushions will add some pizzazz to your living space, and ethnic accessories drawing on a variety of cultures and time periods are sure to be a hit in the coming year.

As you work toward incorporating some of these styles into your current home decor, keep in mind that you don't need to make drastic changes. Painting your walls is an obvious way to achieve a new color scheme, but finding several accent pieces in the hot colors of 2010 can have a similar effect. If you really enjoy the process of interior design in your own home, you may want to consider pursuing an interior design degree that will enable you to turn your interest into a career.

Be creative with your updates, and at all times be true to yourself. Your home is ultimately a reflection of who you are, so don't lose your personal touch as you strive to incorporate the latest interior design trends. In 2010 it is all about creatively combining trends to achieve a fantastic look you enjoy. Draw upon the interior design trends and tips offered above, and start updating your home's look and feel today.
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Easy tips to build your own home bar

So what is the best way to go about designing a home bar? SundayET spoke to industry experts to understand how to get the best look for a personal bar at home.

Afzal Chandiwala, director of Mumbai-based interior store Living In Style says that the first thing to be considered while installing a home bar unit is availability of space followed by one’s personal taste and style.

“The primary consideration should be whether you require a full service bar that comes with bottle storage, barware drawers, a prep area and extra storage room or smaller, more discreet home bar design.

For apartments with small decorating space, free standing wine bars, mini bars and liquor cabinets can provide ample storage and the flexibility thus making them a perfect choice.”

In fact, there are a lot of options to choose from if space is a constraint. “One can choose from hutch wall cabinet bars which are full sized bar units that fit against the wall like a hutch with built in shelves, bottle racks and glass holders.

Then there are hide-a-bar liquor cabinets, available in a wide range of decorating styles, from discreet mini bars to full-sized units with everything including the kitchen sink. Mini bars and side server liquor cabinets are all space saving and are great for people who need a smaller footprint in a piece of furniture,” adds Mr Chandiwala. Once you have worked around the space element, you can go on to decide the theme and colour tones of the bar. Don’t forget to include classy accessories as that can add the chic look to the bar.

A vital aspect to consider while planning a bar at home are the costs. The cost of designing a standalone wooden home bar unit can work out to approximately Rs 1,50,000 and upwards. And if you want to design exclusively customised permanent bar units, these could cost an upward of Rs 2,21,000. Anurag Kanoria, chief designer of Mumbai-based interior store The Great Eastern Home says that the budget can differ depending on personal tastes and the kind of ambience that one wants to create.

“Designing a home bar will to a large extent depend on your budget requirements. For instance, on an average, the price range of whisky glasses is between Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,650 per glass. While the prices of Crystal ice buckets starts at Rs 5,700 and champagne ice buckets at Rs 10,800. So merging all elements together based on one’s budget is necessary.”

Many stores also offer completely furnished home bars that can cost in the range of Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.50 lakh. “The cost of designing a home bar depends on the choice of customers. One can use cost effective options too such as designing a home bar by setting up a rack next to an existing cabinet. Or one can attach a liquor board room to the cabinet and create a home bar,” says Amitabh Bendre, design head of Delhi-based interior store Evok. Whether a small space or large, you now can make a fashionable statement at home with a personal bar. Cheers to that.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

Small space decor

Choosing to live in a 400-square-foot apartment forced me to downsize in a way I never thought possible. In 1981, I rented a third-floor walkup with one room that was divided by a galley kitchen on one side and a bathroom on the other. After eight years of living there, I got very comfortable living with less, but what made it work was my furniture. Since the main room served as my bedroom, living room, office and dining room, every piece had to serve more than one purpose.

Of course, there was a sofa bed. I also had a cedar chest that was wonderful for storage but also useful as a stand for my television and electronic equipment. In front of the window was a small round table that I used for eating meals and desk work. The kitchen boasted a small freezer at the far end that doubled as a countertop. And, I placed a sheet pan over my stovetop, covered it with a tea towel and put my clean dishes on top to dry.

Most of us don't live in 400-square-foot apartments, but we may have rooms that are small. Beyond dual-purpose furniture, improvising and cutting back materially, here are eight ways to make the most out of those undersized rooms at home. Some of these ideas can help you to open up a larger room, too.

1. Face your clutter in order to create more space, especially in a small room, by emptying out anything that isn't beautiful, useful, sentimental or loved.

2. Less furniture will make a room look larger but it's also about making sure it is proportionally correct. Rather than overstuffed furniture, use slim rocking chairs, love seats and open-back chairs.

3. One misconception is that you have to live with white walls to make a room look larger. However, accenting a wall in a darker color will make it appear to recede. If you go with an overall palette of white, use splashes of color with accessories and artwork, or by painting a radiator, wall trim or the back of a bookshelf. Floors painted white or a light color with deck paint adds brightness to the room.

4. Mirrors also reflect light, both natural and artificial. Floor, wall mirrors, even ceiling mirrors can make the smallest room feel bigger. Placing a mirror on a door or cabinet surface will give you the same results. Mirrors positioned in such a way that they reflect a window or door generate more light and space.

5. Track lighting is great because it frees up floor space. To direct the light where you need it, use recessed halogen lights with adjustable fixtures. Interior lighting in closets helps you to see what's in there.

6. Keep your windows clean to allow more light to come in. Avoid heavy-looking window treatments and draperies with bold patterns. For accessories such as throw pillows and bedspreads, mix textures and patterns in the same color family.

7. To avoid an overcrowded look when accessorizing, rotate objects every time the seasons change. Living without clutter shifts the energy from chaotic to composed.

8. Beyond bookshelves and entertainment centers, use baskets with lids, wooden chests and boxes covered in attractive fabrics for storage. Arrange a sofa on an angle so that you can hide things behind it. Store things behind a corner door left open such as an ironing board, a broom and your umbrella. An end table with a lid that comes off and a wicker trunk that doubles as a coffee table are also invaluable for storage.
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Recycled Home Decor

Uncommon Goods is an online marketplace offering an astounding array of home décor products, accessories, furniture, and more to come. The site strives to give customers high quality goods.

The treasures of a specialty boutique, the great finds of a craft show, discoveries from a faraway bazaar, along with some enduring classics. Uncommon Goods are stunning unique pieces from.

An array of designers. Amongst the standouts are some eye-catching reclaimed furniture, like the Full Bodied Cabinet. An old wine barrel has been transformed into a perfect storage center for a wine and cheese party.

To set off your table, Recycled Glass Plates provide a unique look with bubbles. Available in various sizes, for each course. Uncommon Goods is a favorite of celebrity interior decorator Kari Whitman, who worked with Jessica Alba on her home, which she famously decorated with recycled and repurposed furnishings.
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Style, fashion by the minute

Time was, a clock graced a wall in most homes. Often it was not so much stylish as functional (think old-fashioned school clock). But sometimes it induced smiles.

A chirpy cuckoo clock or the unforgettable cat-shaped Kit Kat clock, with its rolling eyes and swinging tail as a pendulum. Introduced in the 1930s, it still is a popular retro offering.

Tracking time today often is a function of computers and cell phones - even wristwatch-wearing isn't embraced by twentysomethings and younger.

But clocks are ticking their way back into homes, this time making fashion statements. Clocks as wall decor, after all, can be dynamic focal points or compelling accessories, especially when they're supersized.

One trend that has gotten traction in the past few years is the can't-miss-it clock that spans up to 48 inches in diameter. Often affixed with elegant Roman numeral digits, the design is reminiscent of prototypes in European train stations.

Set alone above a fireplace mantel, for example, an over-scale clock commands attention. One modeled after a London train station design available through Restoration Hardware is shown above a stone mantel in a living room setting, and its girth and visual weight balance that of a chandelier hanging over a round dining table to one side.

The mega-sized clocks can be elegant and intricately detailed, burnished with gilt, such as Howard Miller's 37-inch Rosario, which builds a series of embellished frames with black tracery behind its gold hands. Another from the company features a border composed of small gold-framed antique mirrors that surround it like the sun's rays.

More rustic is the recently introduced Talmage, whose black iron Roman numeral dial and aged charcoal hands with open cut-diamond tips are mounted on a 35-inch square grooved board, aged and distressed to resemble weathered wood planking. It was designed for Howard Miller by ABC-TV's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" host Ty Pennington.

"Coordinating design and function is very important when creating home furnishings," Pennington said. "I love clocks. They're the ultimate in functional room decor."

Among the most intriguing designs at the opposite end of the size spectrum is a series of clocks sold at Anthropologie. Colorful, with the folk-art quirkiness of the cuckoo, these clocks are clad in sweaters. The knit covering is of the Fair Isle variety (or stranded knitting, which weaves multiple hues of yarn in the same row), highlighted by diminutive wolves, horses or love birds. The samples even have pendulums, but for those who prefer something more subtle, there's a creamy 20-inch round version accented with textural ribbing.

Groupings work

Designers sometimes like to group smaller clocks such as these, just as a collection of mirrors can be hung together. Depending on the style, a small clock can be teamed with other pieces or art, or leaned against the wall on a ledge. A bold contemporary utilitarian clock with a lime green face from Crate and Barrel holds its own on a bookshelf in a home office.

A kitchen wall, perhaps even a backsplash, away from stove and sink splatters is a suitable spot for a 12-inch clock, especially for those with cafe, botanical or fruit themes. An even smaller 8-inch square is engaging because of its rooster print on a block of Italian Botticino marble. Natural veining adds a vintage flavor.

Shapes are not confined to conventional round or square. Rectangles are another option, one that complements a host of decorating styles.

In a modern living space appointed with leather upholstery and wood and stainless steel tables, a rectangular clock crafted from engineered wood with a walnut veneer finish also echoes a wood wall panel.

The simplicity of the 311/2-inch-tall clock from Crate and Barrel is engaging: slim stainless hands are striking against a rich grain, and intriguing is a peekaboo feature, a cutout shadowbox through which the pendulum rhythmically swings. Such a vertical piece serves to balance decorating elements in a space. The same elongated form treated to a painted checkerboard finish on wood from Maverick Creations has a more country vibe.

Themed clocks target everything from dogs (check out Orvis; resin replicas of master wood carvings of beagles, retrievers or labs are silhouetted on a circle of oak), favorite places (Paris' Eiffel Tower at Ballard), sci-fi (an alien clock at Maverick) as well as storybook themes, such as Alice in Wonderland (from Timeworks Inc.).

Midcentury design

Aficionados of mid-century modern design long have been fans of George Nelson's iconic clocks. Reproductions of some of his late-'40s, '50s and '60s designs, such as starburst, colorful ball or simple kite crisply divided into black and white, still are widely available, manufactured by Vitra.

Though some clocks are adapted from other objects (such as a floral-sprayed ceramic plate converted to a timepiece), others are rooted in art and design that make you forget you're looking at a clock. One model, by Fratelli Campana for Alessi, is crafted from dozens of chrome-plated steel pencil-thin bars that resemble a bunch of pickup sticks. All are centered on a small face with skinny red hands. The Blow Up clock is available from the Web site

Then there are the DIY clocks. One that is sold at the retail shop Chiasso (also on its Web site) features 12 multicolored plastic blocks that "float" where you wish, creating a freeform arrangement.

More interactive is the Time Square Clock by Black and Blum. It's actually a 22.8-inch square magnetic blackboard, upon which you can write notes and appointments with chalk or post tickets or business cards with magnets.

And for pure novelty, there's the irrational numbers wall clock. The 12-inch black-faced clock features those digits such as pi and the square root of 2 that can't be represented by simple fractions. The clock, which was designed by a mathematician, of course, tells time in irrational numbers placed on a 360-degree circle. When it's 10 o'clock, you're looking at the square root of 90.

Varied materials

Materials range from wood, metal and glass (hand-decoupaged on the reverse, which lends translucence) to ceramic, resin and leather, with prices from under $20 to $1,000 or more for custom pieces. When choosing a clock to complement your style, take cues from appropriate walls, ceiling height, furniture and accessories.

"People send fabric swatches and paint samples, and we do all kinds of custom colors," said Katee McClure-Dahlstrom, who with her carpenter husband, Steve, and sister, Beth McClure, are designers for Maverick Clocks, based in New Mexico. The company features an unusual selection that includes op-art and surreal designs as well as whimsical models such as a yellow-orange sun with a man-in-the-moon-shaped pendulum.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Design Wars - Even couples that hit it off, fight over home decorating

Everybody knows in-laws, children, money and sex cause trouble for married couples. But interior decorating? Behind every beautiful room, there’s often a domestic drama or squabble.

It doesn’t matter if you, like most people, rely on your amateur design instincts, or if you bring in a professional decorator, or even if you’re a design pro yourself.

Creating a home for two can be painful when both parties have strong opinions and a love for personal items.

“After the clothes that you wear, the house you live in is the most personal style statement you can make,” says Elaine Griffin, who has seen feuds erupt between couples during design projects. “More often than not couples do clash. It makes perfect sense.”

When it comes to decorating, Griffin believes the home should reflect the tastes of everyone who lives there. Compromises are inevitable. She also believes there are fundamental differences between the sexes. For starters, they don’t agree on the purpose of furniture. While a woman may envision a delicate open-armed antique chair adding a stylish touch to her living room, her husband can’t picture himself sitting, let alone watching TV, from the chair.

“Men are obsessed with comfort,” Griffin says. “Men will not pay for uncomfortable chairs. But then not all chairs have to be comfortable. There’s a learning curve.”

A native of Georgia, Griffin worked as a fashion publicist for years in Paris before pursuing a career in home design. She describes her style as eclectic with Continental flair. Living alone for years, she had free rein over her apartment’s décor. Then she met Michael McGarry, a psychoanalyst. They clicked immediately.

“By our fourth date, we knew we were headed to the altar,” says Griffin, 45, who was also relieved to find McGarry lived in a sparsely furnished apartment on the upper East Side. “I knew I could marry my husband when I saw he only had a studio,” she recalls. “That’s what I call the ideal fiancé – furniture-less.”

They got engaged two months after meeting and wed three months later. Just as she does with clients, Griffin convinced her husband they could save a bundle of money shopping at the flea markets in Paris. Things went smoothly until they started merging their things in their first home, a rented brownstone in Harlem. Thinking like a decorator − and a woman who hadn’t lived with anybody since college − Griffin sized up the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment and mentally assigned a spot for every stick of furniture and accessory.
“Everything had a space except for her husband,” says McGarry, with a laugh. “She was thinking like a single woman.”
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Oriental Interior Design by DYEast Design Consultants

There are some Perfect mix of Traditional and Modern interior design by DYEast Design Consultants into Oriental Style Design. Most of their work tend to go unnoticed in the English part of the world wide web. There is actually tremendous talent in the Chinese interior design business. There are basically a picture collection of works from their portfolio which includes asian style luxury living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. Some of the images also include the interior design work done for luxury hotels and restaurants. Please take a look…

Japanese Style Living Room
Align Center
Asian Style Bathroom

Chinese Style Dining Room

Japanese Style Dining Room

Chinese Style Restaurant

Japanese Style Restaurant

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Paralyzed in your search for 'art'? Just go with decoration

I've seen plenty of strange collections in the course of my career. Some were more attractive than others, but in every case they expressed the personality and passions of the collector.

And because of the commitment that went into assembling them, many of these unusual collections were more interesting than the pieces of art someone acquired solely in order to decorate a table or a wall.

Q. Over the past few years, I’ve furnished my home comfortably and, I like to think, attractively as well. The living room walls remain bare, however. Maybe it’s a mental block, but I can’t find any art that I’d want to live with. What else could I hang on those white walls besides paintings or photographs?

A. Art can be a lot harder to choose than, say, a sofa or a chair. Part of the problem, which you seem to share, may involve the term “art,” which often paralyzes people who worry about how their tastes are going to be perceived.

So let’s not speak of Art. Let’s refer to what you’re seeking as “decoration.” Instead of haunting galleries and accessory stores, which will try to sell you whatever’s new but also predictable, spend some time identifying or developing an interest in a particular subject.

Surely you’ve got a preference for some animal, mineral or memorabilia. A collection of crystals, rocks or seashells, for example, can be more fascinating — and more beautiful — than an expensive collection of so-called art glass. Whether displayed on a table or on open shelves or in a glass cabinet, the owner of such a lovingly assembled array usually isn’t all that concerned about making an aesthetic impression; he or she just wants to share an interest with visitors.

Maybe you like weavings or embroideries. OK, then put together a collection of them and hang it on the living room walls. Or suppose you’re fond of flowers or dogs. You can easily find prints of either that can be framed and displayed — and never mind whether they qualify as Art. I’ve also had clients who enjoyed — and therefore collected — fashion illustrations and photos of ballet scenes.

It’s almost always best to limit a collection or a grouping of images to one particular subject. Consider this arrangement of prints in varying colors and frames that show many breeds of dogs. Not everyone likes dogs, and those viewers may not enjoy this collection taken from “Animal House Style” a book written by Julia Szabo and published by Bulfinch. But so what? It’s still a personally satisfying way for an animal lover to decorate a wall.Finally, if all else fails, you can turn to an over scaled and decoratively framed mirror — or perhaps a collection of smaller ones.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to add touches of glamorous green to your home decor

Going glam and being green don't need to be mutually exclusive, especially when it comes to decorating your home. Makers of furniture and home decor items have started incorporating environmentally friendly practices and materials into their products, allowing consumers to have greener households without compromising their personal style.

It's possible to incorporate greener choices in almost all home decor projects. Because so many companies are recognizing that their customers want eco-friendly products, it's possible to find green products at all price ranges. Even the highest-end design firms now source items like couches made from sustainable wood and organic fabrics - but you can also find them at retail stores, too.

Home accessories are a quick and easy place to start if you're just looking to add some small revitalizing touches to your rooms. Pillows made from antique linen grain sacks that were once common in Europe add rustic-chic texture without being uncomfortable. To add a pop of color to your couch, drape it with a throw made from a natural material and eco-friendly dyes. To add a touch of social consciousness, choose from a multitude of throws made by indigenous communities in developing countries, like luxurious alpaca blankets from Peru or mohair from Swaziland.

Decorative bowls made from reclaimed wood add a touch of natural beauty, as do driftwood or Manzanita branches. Be cautious about adding some natural touches, though - coral, for instance, is often harvested in ways that are unsustainable and threatening to natural environments. Don't count out wall decor as a way to express your eco savvy, either. More and more paint companies are trotting out low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints that are safer to breathe. But if you want to add extra dimension to your walls and make a bolder statement, add wall murals printed on earth-friendly canvas. Sites like bring beautiful nature scenes right into your home. Not only are their canvas murals made of an ecologically friendly fabric material, there are over 5,000 options to choose from. You can choose everything from a jungle scene to the Mona Lisa or you can print a photo of your own on their fabric wallpaper.

Greening your furniture can be done in multiple ways. If you're ready to buy new pieces, consult an interior designer, who can weed out items that don't match your standards. But you can re-use and recycle when it comes to furniture, too - just make sure you revitalize first.

Consider re-upholstering items like dining chairs with exotic fabrics that are hand-made or antique. Suzanis, brightly-colored Central Asian textiles in graphic patterns make a great statement fabric, as do boldly embroidered Otomi textiles from Mexico. Ask a designer to help seek them out, or check out exotic import shops - sometimes you can find large examples of these textiles that can be repurposed on your furniture.

You can also add new life to pieces already in your home by painting them in one, or a coordinated couple, of the year's color trends. For 2010, turquoise promises to be big, as do coral, cobalt blue and eucalyptus green - all colors inspired by natural materials.
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oriental Home Decor

Comparing to other home decor styles, the Oriental decorating style is simple and elegant. People who want a simplistic surrounding often choose an Oriental decor theme. Oriental decor has been popular in the west for many years.

The orient decor style is very simple and pays attention to the space required. The polished wood surface, incorporated nature elements, the craftsmanship have made the Oriental Home Decor Style a popular choice even today.Oriental home decor style mixes well with the modern minimalist looks. An Oriental piece can also bring the exotic element to your current home style.

Oriental home decorates comprise of various things from lamps, tables, stools to chairs. Every single item is created for its unique beauty. Being environment friendly these items have increased the popularity of Oriental decor market at a very fast pace.


asian home decor
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Monday, February 1, 2010

Back to the Fuchsia!

I may live in New York, New York and work for Metropolitan Home, but I grew up in the suburbs, where pastels rule the roost.

Since the original wallpaper came down, my mother’s living room has been lilac, pink, “sea foam” green and a kind of goldy-mustardy yellow.

I once took a look at a row of my aunts in their polyester pantsuits and thought, “They look like Easter eggs.” So everyplace I have ever lived since has been white or intensely colored.

Clothes? Festive midtown black, of course.My mother hates red rooms as much as black clothing, and she has an anti-red outburst every time a TV designer splashes the walls crimson.

But there isn’t a much more dramatic color. Los Angeles designer Marjorie Skouras thinks every home should have at least one red room (her own home, shown here, has a red living room). New York and Miami-based Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, who likes any color as long as everything in the room is the same color, likes his pomegranate hues, as can be seen in the dining room pictured).New York and Miami-based Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, who likes any color as long as everything in the room is the same color, likes his pomegranate hues, as can be seen in the dining room.
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