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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Interior Design the Gothic Style

The Gothic architecture is mostly seen in religious monuments. However, it is also observed in civic building, universities, private residences, etc. Notre Dame De Paris Cathedral in France is one of the famous buildings constructed using this design. Origins of this form of architecture can be traced back to the medieval period. Victorian Era marked the revival of this architectural form.

The most important elements of this decor are fireplaces, pointed arches, wooden ceiling beams, stained glasses, etc. Flooring is hard and materials such as hardwood and stones are used and to cover these hard floor surfaces, rugs with deep colors are used. It gives a castle-like appearance to the interiors.

The History
It was developed in the 12th century and pointed arches were its main features. Later on, in the Victorian period, much more decorations and colors were added. It is said that this style is more inclined towards the darker and mysterious side that includes something dramatic and sensational. Painting the walls in black color is therefore, not considered to be uncommon in this design.

Modern Style
In the modern times, Gothic designs are used to give a dramatic and striking look to the interiors. Colors to be chosen for walls need to have deep hues. The most commonly used colors are ruby red, blue, gold, dark green, and violet. The golden color is added for brightening the appearance. It is interspersed between other colors. The tapestries and wall hangings have an opulent look. Though it is common to paint the wall in black color, the idea needs to be given a second thought before it is applied. This color makes the appearance of the room much smaller and also reveals the tiny bumps and imperfections in the wall. Therefore, more number of paint coats are needed.

Windows
Decorating the windows is an important part of this design. Curtains to be used for windows should always be full-sized. Heavy and soft fabrics are recommended; damasks, brocades, and velvets can be used for curtains. Again, the colors used for curtains need to have deep hues.

Furniture
Wrought iron and hardwood furniture is a special feature of this style. The bed heads and chair backs need to have the typical pointed arch design found in the Gothic style. Wrought iron furniture includes decorative items such as chandelier and sconces used for candles. Accessories needed to give a Gothic look to the interiors include decorative boxes, metal glasses, pitchers (drinking ware), etc. Wall hangings and lamps are also required for a special look.

Designing Ideas

  • The use of pointed arcs over windows is one of the common ideas for this type of design.
  • It is necessary to have large spaces or rooms to incorporate the features without making any compromise with the design. Small spaces may appear overcrowded with various elements of Gothic style stuffed into it.
  • Before using this style in the entire house, one should experiment with it in the entrances. The appearance can be changed completely with the help of Gothic designs.

Way to make Home Look Bigger

Make your room appear bigger using color. The first guideline is to use light colors. Light colors reflect light and hence make the room look bigger, while dark colors absorb light, making the room look and feel smaller.

If the colors in your rooms are already dark, try to move the darker colors to a background role while maximizing your neutral white or ivory. For example, paint the walls with a lighter shade, and use dark colors in a border or trim.

Paint your wall and moldings with a lighter color. This will give a 3-D effect. Lighter objects appear closer while darker or shadowed objects appear further away. When you paint your moldings with a lighter color, the walls appear further back, thus making your room appear bigger.

For your fabrics, go for prints that have lighter backgrounds.

In the bedroom, use darker colors for the valance, tiebacks, table scarves, pillows, and bed covers. Use lighter colors for draperies, table covers, and sheets.

Furniture Arrangement
With proper arrangement of furniture you can make your room appear larger. Set some of your larger furniture pieces diagonally. This helps because the longest straight line in any given room is its diagonal. When you place your furniture at an angle, it leads the eye along the longer distance. As a bonus, you often get some additional storage space too!

Angle your bed so that it is coming out of a corner. Usually the corners opposite to the door is the best. This also gives you more available wall space for dressers and bedside tables. If you have a corner in which your furniture looks lost in, place it at an angle. This will help soften the edges of your room.

Instead of choosing a smaller sofa, chair, coffee table, and end tables that crowd your living room, cut back. Use only furniture that is absolutely essential.

Instead of covering the walls with all your pictures, choose a few of the larger pieces and arrange them in a manner that they complement your furniture. The result will pull the attention toward the large furnishings, and away from the actual small size of the room.

Indoor Wall Fountain

Making the Choice

I guess the easiest decision that you have to make is whether you want one. The difficult part begins after you have decided that you do need one, as you will have to choose and pick a fountain from a wide range available.

Before you go to store and get very confused, it would be wise if you envision as to what you want. One of the first things that you should decide are the placement of the fountains. You could decide if you want to place it in a corner or along the hallway, in your favorite room, where you gather and enjoy an evening with friends and family, or your study where you need to work and be at peace mentally. You could even decide a place for the fountain depending on Feng Shui or Ch’i if you believe in these sciences that advice as to how to fill your house and life with positive energy. See! The list is endless and if you decide to go to the store before making up your mind, you sure are going to end up a really long time at the store trying to decide.

The advantage with indoor wall fountains is that they can be used in almost all places. They often come with a contemporary look and are made using metal, slate, or stones, and have a great impact on increasing the aesthetic look of the room, in which they are placed. Depending on how big a wall fountain you require, you can choose between a one, two, or three paneled fountain. Further, they are also available in both horizontal and vertical styles. A vertical one would be ideal for a room with high cathedral like walls, while a horizontal one would be apt for a long hallway with low ceiling. However, if your requirements are much smaller, then you can also buy smaller fountains that will be perfect for entryways and small offices. It is very important that you choose a rightly shaped and sized one or the entire set up will look very awkward. You can take advice from the professionals who work for the stores and they will be able to guide you.

Once you have decided on the size and the type that you require, you will next have to think about the highlight. No doubt, the fountain will make an impact on its own, but if you do try to change the décor around it a little, the transformations that you will find at the end of the day in the room will be phenomenal. Alternatively, you can decide on choosing one with halogen lighting that will help accent the flow of water, thereby increasing its beauty enormously.

Maintenance

Maintenance is the easiest step, as minimum attention is required. You have to ensure that water is refilled periodically and the fountain is wiped clean once every few days. It needs to be cleaned to remove traces of any algae growth or mineral deposit, once in two months.

Some of the other things that you should ensure is that you should never turn on the fountain without water in the basin, as this heats up the pump and can lead to damage. You can place rocks at the bottom of the fountain, as it will reduce the sound of the water and the amount of water that is splashed. Usage of distilled water will prevent accumulation of mineral deposits.

Way to Decorate a Room Online

Plan 3D: One of the popular tools used to decorate a room online is Plan 3D. This tool, as the name suggests, allows you to set up your room and view it from any angle. It is easy to understand, as it has a great demo button which shows you how to move things around and add things. Plan 3D allows you to walk through the area, move walls and windows, add windows, doors, and even bathrooms. So basically, you can actually see the entire room, decide the color, wallpaper, and furniture and see how they’ll look. Another great feature is that it allows you to save different types of color schemes and designs. When you go shopping you can take it with you, so that you know what exactly to look for! You can even decide the kind of light that would suit your room with the help of the tool’s shadow and light feature. The best part however is that it is dirt cheap, only USD 3 a month!

3D Home Architect: Another more elaborate tool is the 3D Home Architect. This tool can be downloaded or you can order it on disks. This tool allows you to view the room not only in 3D but also in 2D or the blueprint form. Besides this, you can play around with different kinds of colors, fabrics, styles, textures, etc. The best part of this tool is the download feature, which allows you to get the design immediately.

You can follow the guidelines mentioned below, to decorate your bedroom online:

  • The most important step is the choice of color. Your bedroom is your personal comfort zone. Choose a color that reflects your true personality and style. There are numerous shades available to choose from.
  • Once you have selected the color, the next step is the layout of the room, i.e., the dimensions of the bedroom. This step helps you figure out where each piece of furniture should be placed.
  • You can also choose a theme, which reflects your personality, for example, a tropical theme or an oriental theme. This will make it more fun and interesting.
  • The next and most crucial part of the process is the design plan. In this, based on the dimensions of the room, you can calculate the approximate budget needed for decoration.

Cost

Hiring an interior designer to decorate a room can be expensive, because a designer puts in a lot of hours and gives a lot of personal attention to draft, redraft blueprints and select furniture which is usually custom-made. On the other hand, online designing is more affordable, as it does not provide the architectural designs, instead, it allows you to come up with a design and help your room look like a professionally designed one. Online designers usually charge a fee per room, which ranges from $100 to $1000, depending on the services required and the size.

There are a variety of other programs also available on the Internet, for free. You may find some programs more user-friendly than others. These websites usually have previews so that you have an idea, as to how to go about it.

The Moroccan Style Interior Design

Morocco is located in the north-western part of Africa. The specialty of Moroccan design is that, it has European, African, as well as Persian influences. The hot climate of this nation demands for an interior, which is inviting and has a cozy look. Due to the dry environment, Moroccan houses include pots of exotic plants as one of the items of interior designing.

The main elements of this style are rugs, tiles, dishes, pottery, textiles, lanterns, metal works, etc. The fabrics used are designed with rich colors. There is an abundance of pillows and cushions in the bedrooms.

Lights
These fixtures are different from those found in other countries. Their specialty is that they are hand crafted by artisans. The henna lamps are called so because of the particular pattern imprinted on them. These lamps are made of goat skin, and are fixed on metal frames. A silk cord is used to hang them.

Rugs
The carpets and rugs have a long tradition in Morocco, and their origins can be traced back to the 13th century. Commonly, there are two types of rugs: the smaller ones, used for prayers, and full-sized ones that are laid in living rooms. The design patterns of these rugs have Islamic and Asian influences.

Furniture
It is mostly wooden. There are 1 – 2 sofas placed in the living room, and their tops are rectangular in shape. The table tops have tiles/mosaic designs over them. Copper or brass trays are used for holding food and beverages.

Accessories
The mirrors are framed with wood or metal. Kitchen utensils are made from ceramic material. The bright colored pottery can be used as lamps or serving vessels.

Ideas for Designing

  • The colors to be chosen should reflect the natural surroundings of this country. The green and blue shades of the sea, and yellow/golden color of the desert can be used for decoration.
  • Textured walls and terracotta flooring are the important features of this style. Along with such features, one can also incorporate exotic plants in the house interiors; it can impart a tropical look to your home.
  • Canopies are also an important feature of this style, and they can be used over dining and seating areas. The canopies have a desert ‘bazaar’ tent kind of appearance.

Modern Design

The modern Moroccan decor can incorporate those features, which blend well with today’s lifestyle. The rich hues of upholstery and elaborate wood-works can look good even in modern settings. The distinguishing feature of Moroccan furniture is that its framework/design is very simple. However, the artwork/design patterns carved on them are intricate and beautiful in appearance. Thus, without altering the settings, one can give a unique look to the furniture.

Moroccan designs are becoming popular worldwide due to the variety of elements included in them. The bright colors of different items used in designing present us with ample opportunities for interior decoration.

Ideas for Lodge Decorating

Paint and Flooring
Wood flooring is undoubtedly the best choice when it comes to lodge decor. If you have the entire cabin built in logs or wooden planks, then you won’t have to bother about the color of the paint. However, if you want to paint the walls, always go for earthy shades like brown, bottle green, olive green, etc., as these shades truly depict the character of the forest. Moreover, these colors also render a much welcome coziness to the room. If you want to go for brighter shades, then you may go for hues of yellow and orange, the colors of fall. Wooden flooring should be covered with rugs or carpets with bold prints. Animal skin rugs would suit the ambiance perfectly.

Drapes and Beddings
Drapes and beddings should preferably be made out of sturdy materials like cotton or canvas. Delicate fabrics, like silk and satin, are best avoided. The earthy color scheme should be followed for linen and drapes as well. Animal prints look great for bedspreads as well as drapes. Thick, handmade quilts in rusty shades can protect you from the cold while still exhibiting the rawness of nature. The favorite design patterns for drapes is bold prints or gingham plaids. Gingham plaids particularly look great in the kitchen.

Accessories and Furniture
Rustic, sturdy furniture is a must in your log cabin. Log-legged tables and knobbly wooden chairs complete the look of a log cabin. Choose furniture in neutral or earthy shades. Adorn the walls with pine wreaths or animal skin handicrafts. You may also choose to display your rifle collection in a glass or wooden showcase, which could serve as a focal point of your sitting room. If your visitors can stand the sight of a head of an elk or a wild goat mounted on wall, you may showcase your hunting talent as well.

Ide Interior Decorating for Apartments

Create Maximum Space
Declutter the area, and remove all the useless items. Make sure that you get all such items out of the apartment. Also make a list of items you need to add to your apartment, which might occupy considerable amount of space. For instance, if you are opting for a new electronic appliance which needs to be placed on the floor, you need to ensure that certain area needs to be dedicated for this item in the new plan.

Consider Having More Storage
In apartments where space is a concern, you need to get some more storage spaces. The storage ideas need to be smart so that they will help you pack in the objects and add up to the decorations as well. One of the best ideas is to have decorative cabinets and other storage units. Having colorful wall cabinets on one of the walls of your bedroom is the best tip for small bedrooms. You can give it a look of wood wall paneling, thereby also hiding the storage space.

If you have a kitchen island or planning to install one, it must be storage oriented. You may have a lot of drawers and closed shelves in this. In the living room you may have the floating wall shelves which will provide space to place the decorative art pieces. You can also plan to have shelves for the entertainment center, hence freeing the floor space. You may also opt for a flat screen TV that can be mounted on the wall.

Arrangement and Decoration
Starting with the flooring, it is best to expose the wooden flooring. If you have been covering it with rugs and carpets, get them off. The view of wood flooring gives an elegant and spacious look to the apartment. To furnish the apartment, go for the posh leather sofas and pick the style according to your living room.

You may place a round or square rug in the center of the seating arrangement. For small walls you can have long rectangular frames to give the wall a stretched look. Also have the floating wall shelves on the larger wall, so that it doesn’t give a cluttered look. You can display other artworks on the passage wall, which often gets left out. If your apartment has a large living area or a common living and dining area you can opt for the opaque partition or translucent panel to divide the area and maintain the privacy element. These room dividers will also help you have defined spaces.

Best Choice of Colors
Go for lighter shades, white being the best. While you might wonder that white is very common, it allows you best to play with colors. With white walls you may have any color of furniture, cabinets, shelves, wall paneling, flooring, and furnishing.

Get some bold colors for the furnishings. You can also have a red and white, violet and white, gray and white combo to spice up the home decor. Get those vases and decorative items to match these wall colors and place in the corners.

Illumination is the Key
Proper lighting is essential, therefore it is best to install huge glass windows through which sunlight can illuminate the rooms. Don’t forget to have the lovely window blinds which can be pulled down when required. Place the lamps in corners in various angles to create beautiful light patterns on the walls. You can go for decorative embedded lighting for the living and dining area. These come in large decorative patterns as well. Hanging a chandelier above the dining table or kitchen island and in the living area is also a great idea. Don’t forget to consider illumination for each wall art, shelve, and the passage area.

Ideas for Tropical Interior Design

Furniture
In a tropical house, woven furniture looks very good. Wicker or bamboo furniture is the ideal choice. If you like solid wood, you can go in for walnut or teak furniture. Go for a conservative, heavy-weight kind of look rather than modern-looking furniture. As for the floors, go for hardwood flooring and avoid having any kind of rugs or carpets on the floor.

Color Scheme
While choosing a color scheme for the fabrics and walls, stick to colors which are close to nature such as green, blue, and white. Beige and light brown, which remind people of sand, go really well with this theme, especially if used for the walls. If you like bright colors, then you can use hues of colors that remind you of green vegetation and exotic tropical flowers. Highlights of orange, yellow, violet, or pink can enliven the house.

Upholstery
Try not to use curtains with this theme. Use roll-up blinds made of bamboo instead. Hardwood shutters and wooden blinds are some other options which you can use in place of curtains. These will give the windows a clutter-free and simple look, which is most suitable for serene tropical interiors. For cushion covers, bed covers, and other fabrics in the house, go for prints which have bold flowers and green vegetation-like designs on them.

Accessories
Accessories are perhaps the most essential part of giving your house a tropical feel. Plants make this theme complete. Make use of as many plants as you can, and place them in different corners of your house. Plants with tropical flowers will look extremely beautiful in the house.

Modern Contemporary Interior Design

So what is modern contemporary interior design? Modern contemporary interior design can be defined as a completely new method of interior decoration that involves judicious use of colors, clean straight lines in furniture and of course, restrained use of decorative items. This type of interior design has often, though not always, symmetrical design elements that is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Materials that are eco-friendly like jute, jute mix, bamboo and cane are also used extensively in modern interior designs. Many people wrongly assume that in modern contemporary interior designs, the color palette of a room is stark and almost sterile with predominantly neutral shades. But that is far from the truth. Warm, earthy colors and even bright neon colors are used in small bursts to provide visual interest to the room.

Furniture used in decorating a modern and contemporary room is always very simple yet breathtaking in design. Overly ornate, Victorian or Edwardian furniture or even antique furniture is almost never used for modern contemporary interior design. Modern furniture with clean and straight lines with use of materials like steel and chrome interspersed with wood are highly effective. Upholstery selection, be it for furnishings like sofa covers or curtains and drapes are either in one color or in geometric patterns. Kitschy, small floral or busy prints are not used in modern contemporary interior design.

Ideas for Modern Contemporary Interior Design for Home

When you have decided to design and decorate your home in a contemporary design, you should have some good modern interior design ideas. For the bedroom, go with a monochromatic color room that will help to give the bedroom a spacious look. Black and white bedroom designs are ideal for a modern contemporary bedroom. bedroom. Furniture like bed and dresser should not be too large and the designs should be simple. A low wooden bed without any carvings or decorations is ideal for a contemporary bedroom. A headboard in some luxurious fabric like Jacquard or taffeta in jewel tones will give the bedroom an edgy and classy look. Make sure that you keep the bedroom uncluttered by not over decorating it with too many accessories. The dressers should only have a modern table lamp and one decorative artifact. Modern bedroom decorating ideas like a big abstract painting in vibrant colors of electric blue, crimson and yellow would also look very good.

Ideas for modern interior design for the living room should include contemporary living room furniture that is arranged in clusters. Sleek sideboards and coffee tables, center tables with steel moldings, modular sofas, contemporary lighting sources like floor lamps and abstract paintings are components that can give the decor a modern vibe. Sofas in pure and pristine white, which can be jazzed up with colorful cushions are also great modern living room interior design ideas. A suspended modern fireplace in the living room will not only keep you warm and cozy, but will also give the living room a dramatic appeal. Remember that the space should never look cluttered or small. Use of glass as well as mirrors, visually makes a room appear more spacious and airy which is what modern interior design is all about. Always remember that less is more while decorating the living room in modern and contemporary interior design style.

Creating a Reading Room

Reading Room Vs. Office

A reading room is different from an office, in that it should be set up as a room for recreation only. Offices are used for work, and often include a desk or other workspace. Reading rooms, however, should be places where you can separate yourself from work. Of course, you can add a desk to your reading room if you wish, but if you are looking for a place to relax without the pressure to get work done, you should consider not including office essentials – like a desk – in the space. Offices are generally designed for functionality, while reading rooms should be designed for comfort and relaxation.

What to Include

Since reading rooms are mostly for relaxation, start by choosing a good paint color. Avoid harsh or bright colors, and instead choose something that is relaxing and soothing. Then, surround yourself with things that make you comfortable. A comfy chair or two are great additions to reading rooms. You may also want to put all of your bookshelves into the room so you can easily find the book you want to read. Scented candles are also a great addition to a reading room, as they can create a warm and calming atmosphere. Pillows and curtains can also add a nice touch and make the room more comfortable and friendly.

What Not to Include

Because you want a quiet space where you do not have to worry about distractions, it is best if you keep your computer elsewhere. Otherwise, you may find yourself drawn to the computer to check your social networking sites or email. Similarly, you want to keep televisions out of your reading room. The goal is to create a space in which you can relax and separate yourself from the distractions of the day. Having a television in the room just provides another distraction. Radios, however, are acceptable additions to reading rooms, since many people enjoy music while they are reading their books. You also may not want to include more than a few seating options, since this is to be your solace, not your family’s recreation room. Also, avoid making this a multipurpose room. You do not want to include a bed to make it a guest room area as well. This will take away from your relaxation.

The Best Designs

Reading rooms can come in all sorts of designs, and a quick internet image search will show you all sorts of different options. There are even entire blogs and websites devoted to pictures of great reading rooms. The most important thing to consider, however, is what makes you comfortable. If you really like bright, red walls, then go for it. If you would rather have a sofa than a reading chair, so be it. The great thing about designing a reading room is that you get to decide for yourself what you want in it. Just make sure it will be your retreat from the distractions of the world.