Art on a budget!!

June 26, 2013

Well my bedroom designs/decorating is coming on slowly, I still slightly undecided on which colour to paint the walls but have managed to sort out the furniture from pinching a table and lamp from the lounge which has already transformed the space and have pretty much decided about curtains and fabrics etc. I also had 2 frames with very old sketches in, which were a little dated and looking a bit too traditional for my taste, so I have decided to paint the frames an off white (because I’m going dark on the wall I’m thinking light frames to contrast and break up the colour) and I simply and very quickly drew a geometric pattern in shades of grey on the computer and replaced the existing print,  it’s completely changed the look and cost me nothing (already had a tester pot of paint I used) and just a little but if time! easy…no!

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So I guess this brings me on to art, it’s one of the hardest things to pull off but it’s also one of the things that totally transforms a place. I say mix it, modern art, photography, oil painting…..anything goes. Try limited the colours as otherwise it could look like a miss match, 3 main colours within the collection will work best. If you have a load of cash this obviously makes it easier but believe you me it’s still hard to get it right. Sometimes art on a budget works better! as your more up for taking risks! Some tips on getting art on your walls without it costing a fortune is look at poster sites, (try http://www.allposters.co.uk) you can get some pretty dam cool posters for under a tenner, then frame it simply. I love the vintage travel posters! Another one if you have time is going to car boot sales and flea markets, not an option for me as I just don’t have the spare time so printing off a picture I can find on the internet is a much quicker options! Or create simple geometric patterns as per my revamped pic below, or greeting cards and postcards are a great inspiration, I have scanned many in and had them printed at the local copy shop and framed them. And another great idea is framing wallpaper and fabric (which is like art these days).

When hanging these on the walls,  mix a few photos in, I say casual family snaps. I  took a photo of a cathedral in Reims which was a great architectural picture but by the doorway was the wife and kids, you could hardly see them but it gives the photo so much more meaning. I printed it off A2 size framed it and you wouldn’t believe the comments I get about it!

Take a look at some of the pictures below which should explain what I’m going on about.

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A mixture here, some sketches a photo and modern art

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All photography in this one but play with the scale and it totally works!

 

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All sorts of art here, an old magazine cover but in some great frames, and in my opinion the pictures on the dark background rock!

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So cool! the surfer dude’s pad!!

Hopefully by the next post I will be a bit further on with the bedroom and will show you a snippet of the colours and fabrics chosen.

Happy Thursday!

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Putting it off!

June 19, 2013

I have nearly fully recovered from the man flu! so back to a normal this week. Got to get into a regular exercise regime otherwise I’m going to turn into a fat blob. When you do get into exercise it’s funny how you miss a week and almost feel guilty, never thought I would say that!! almost feel off my chair thinking it!!

I’m still thinking DIY this week, I have so much to do on my own house, I have sort of been putting it off thinking I will wait until I can buy that amazing piece of furniture etc, which I guess most of us do but I could be waiting a long time with the money that gone into the shop there is no budget for the house!. So it’s going to be designing on a shoe string and I’m thinking of basing some of my posts on the rooms I need to do.

First up is the Master bedroom, It’s going to have a paint job, so all walls and skirting’s are being painted out in a dark hue. We do have a sort of headboard which is wallpapered in a textured copper finish. If the budget could stretch I would re do this but it’s going to have to stay! The next main thing and something I have wanted to do for ages is painting the wardrobe doors, at the moment they are a light birch colour, yuk! They are melamine so this will be a quick fix as in time the paint will chip, they will get replaced when the wallet can cope! . A couple of simple side tables will also get painted. I’m sort of hoping the wall paint will be the main transformation of the room, as we are going dark we will need to break up the walls and space which I will do with large pictures, mirrors, and a wall of curtains which is going to be my biggest cost and something that is at the top of the list as it will make the room feel more cosy. It’s a newish house so no real features, If you have amazing windows sometimes leaving it simple works better! Then the final touches will be adding the interesting objects, nice lamps, will probably splash out on at least one nice lamp as this can totally change the overall feel, especially if you go super sized! Add a few vases with some greenery, books piled up, that sort of thing. You want to make the room feel like it’s lived in without looking messy. So a great little tip is plonking all your daily items like cosmetics etc on a little tray, it sort of keeps it interesting but tidy! And finally I will be hunting for a small rug to break up the carpet which is a bit bland, I’m thinking zig zag!!

Heres what I’m thinking for the wall colour, a bit risky hey!!

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And a pic to show you what I mean about a tidy mess!

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Have a great Wednesday!

 

 

A quick post today, had man flu this week, but soldiering on….. so no exercise this week, feel like a lazy blob!! Hopefully will feel well enough to fit at least a run in over the weekend.

Lets get down to flooring! I think this can always be overlooked! Most go for the safe option, which I do understand, as its one of the most expensive things to do. But you shouldn’t let this discourage you from just thinking a little outside the box! And by this I mean some simple improvements. In my opinion pale oak is so over used. My first recommendation is go darker on the floor, no it won’t make the space look smaller, get the rugs right and the dark floor will contrast beautifully and almost makes the furniture, walls look so much better. Sort of shows it off rather than everything blending in to each other, especially when using a  ping of colour.

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2nd thing is try something different if your going with wood flooring, look at a large herringbone design or wide planks, this will make the floor look more contemporary. Also try flowing the floor from room to room without door joiners, it will make the space look more fluid and larger.

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If your thinking carpet try a darker colour or something a bit more radical like this large sisal design, one of my clients has this all over the house, she said its easy to keep clean and not only that it looks great, sort of adds more interest.

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Now if your feeling really radically, you can totally mix the flooring up, try adding a strip of wood flooring within tiles or carpet, take a look at the below pic.

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Get this right and it could look amazing and transform the room, getting the contrast correct is key.

Finally if your budget can’t stretch to new flooring try adding rugs, although it is very on trend to overlap rugs I think this is hard to pull off, so I say go for a large rug and if you have a neutral scheme try something a bit more punchy like this stripe or a zig zag design, I Love it!

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Have a great weekend!

Doing it yourself

June 6, 2013

Interior design can be a very tricky thing to get right, and lots and lots of mistakes can be made along the way, I think this is one of the reasons why so many people play it safe, and when I say that, I mean painting the walls an off white, and one of my other bug bearers, and I see a lot, is small furniture pushed up against the wall with a load of space in the middle of the room, why!! unless your thinking of dancing the night away and need the space!!

So here’s just some simple ideas to get on your way to having a cool pad. 

1). The thing that will transform the space almost instantly is paint! My tip is paint the whole room out in one colour, the ceilings and woodwork, it will make the place look super slick, if your daring enough a really dark colour but if not at least a couple of shades darker than you would normally do, trust me it does work. Don’t get me wrong white can look great but you usually have to have an amazing place to pull it off!

2). Pull in the furniture from the edge of the room, my lounge is quite long but my sofa is away from the wall and I have a table behind it, and I can walk around the chairs which are opposite. It doesn’t make the room look smaller because your using the space! it actually makes it look bigger. Even if you have a small room pulling the sofa away from the wall a little will help and don’t be afraid to ad furniture, a large lamp on a small table can look super cool. I worked on a small apartment a couple of years ago and used super large pendant shades over the dining room table, it worked a treat.

3). Fill the walls, don’t be afraid to use all the space, it will make the space look so much more interesting and a great way to get some personality into the room. Mix it up, so large pictures, ie a framed poster works well and is as cheap as chips. It doesn’t just have to be art, ad sculpture of some sort or decorative plates work well, it’s all about mix and match. Add shelves another great little tip and not expensive is using the ikea lack floating shelves, I joined them and put them the whole length of my wall, then went crazy with layering up the shelves with books, vases, pictures overlapping and lent up against the wall, it totally changes the feel of the room.

A few pics to try and show you what I’m going on about.

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One of my favourites is the marble effect wallpaper which is craft paper, it makes a small wall (her it’s used in a bathroom) look so much more interesting and what a great contrast to the dark wall in the next room.

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See what I mean about large furniture pulled into the the space and more importantly filling the space. Ok I know it’s white walls but there are lots of features in this room, high ceilings, large windows, brick wall etc. Although personally I would still prefer darker walls!

 

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Have a great Thursday! Now go and fill that room!!