5 Hidden Gems of Interior Design World

Here are some of the simplest secrets that interior designers use daily, which require next to no effort to complete. These tips will help you achieve the perfect rooms, whilst making your home a more welcoming, comforting and unwinding space for your visitors and more importantly, yourself.

 

  1. Give your guest the impression of coordination

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    Instead of hiding away your products from day to day use in cupboards, use them as you’re ornaments, instead of just random shapes and sized products from ikea which actually have no use or purpose for the room except from the aesthetic. This sort of decorating is very unpopular at the moment in the interior design community. With the rise of the minimalist/practicality style on the rise and more popular than ever, we designers must take advantage of this trend. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative with how you present the day to day products which won’t be hidden in cuboards. E.g. in the bathroom, think about colour schemes and organisation when you present your soap, toilets, toothbrushes etc.

  2. Get creative with your pillows

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    After 15 years in the interior design industry, it still amazes me how much impact the smallest things can have on the overall appearance and feel of a room. One little secret and advice I was given when I was just an intern learning my craft was how to present the centrepiece of a living room, the couch. Specifically we’ll be talking about the use of pillows on the sitting place. Never buy pillows which are all the same size as it can take up more room on the couch, it also showcases the couch in a uncomfortable fashion/takes away the full appeal of a couch by making it look not as comfortable. If you use different sized pillows it creates the illusion of comfort accurately to the person who is about t sit down on it. I’d also recommend only using three pillows, go for two on one side and one on the other, this takes away the parallel, formulaic look away from the room.

  3. Learn to do it yourself

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    As interior designers, people often assume that we don’t have any hands-on work when it comes to the creation of a room. This isn’t always the case- as when starting out, you’ll either be working freelance or for a company with a smaller budget. So you might have to double up and do some of the work in which a joiner would usually do, if needs be. I’ve been in this situation before- my one piece of advice if you ever find yourself in this scenario is to make sure you are equipped with tools which will make life easier for yourself. The one tool which I had to buy was a nail gun. This is easily the handiest tool you’ll acquire. Although you’ll want to make sure you’ve got pneumatic valves installed in the gun for it to be high powered, here’s the place where I made my purchases- http://www.airlines-pneumatics.co.uk/pneumatics/valves/10, buying the mechanically operated pneumatic valves meant that I could effectively use the nail gun for everything, due to the power of the tool.

  4. Simple is better

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    In the industry, interior designers naturally critic each other’s work, one of the things which is often criticised is the use of coloured candles within a colour scheme. There’s never been any real reasoning which there is such a stigma for this, I’ve always imagined it was due to the forced look that it created aesthetically. Using small items like this to enforce a colour scheme is frowned upon regardless I the interior design world. Stick to using neutral colours with candles.

  5. Partner your couch with a best friend

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If you really want to personalise your livening room in the right way, you start with the same place we spoke about on my second point, the couch. This is probably the easiest thing you can possibly do to make you’re living room recognisable and stay in the memory of all the friends who visit you. Give you’re couch a best friend in the form of a teddy, blanket or well anything that works really. Not only will this make you’re living space more memorable to visitors, it’ll also more importantly make it a more welcoming place for yourself. In my living room I have a blanket, which has been with me for 20 years (it’s just really comfortable okay). This helps with the homely feel of the building.

10 Tips To Boost Retail Sales Before You Can Afford A Shop Fit Out

So you’ve found the perfect building, in your ideal location. Now you’ll want to make this space your own. Depending on what industry you aim to thrive in, it’s important that you’re shop will attract customers. There’s always an issue of cost, any not everyone can afford to just simply get fit out services with the click of a finger.  So here are 10 simple tips which will help your sales until you can afford that retail fit out.

1. Try to have your lowest priced items at the front of your shop; this will attract customers to the store, once the customers are in the store they’ll walk into what we call “high traffic” areas, this is the part of the shop which is busiest. This is where you’ll want to have your most expensive products placed.

2. According to research taken in 2014 by Shopworks, they’ve figured out that you are most likely to go to the right on entry of a shop. It’s suggested that you’ll want to have you’re more attractive displays and biggest sale driving products front and centre of it all.

3. Sometimes when entering a shop you’ll find a little path which can navigate you through every section and department- this is a great idea, and if we start it on the right hand side upon entry of the shop, we can have customers right in the middle of your shop within a couple of seconds.

4. Having a really busy shop is both a blessing and a curse, wait, why would having a busy shop be a bad thing? people require their own space when walking around a shop, so when holding the knowledge that a shop is going to be extremely busy beforehand, you’ll tactically prepare to limit the amount of time you’ll be in the store, or just avoid it at all costs.

5. This is a simple, yet valuable tip. At the end of every aisle you’ll want to place your sale items here, because they are appropriately positioned for as many customers as possible to experience some impulse purchasing. Once the customer has been attracted by the sale item at the end of the aisle, they’ll hopefully make their way down it- it’s a good idea to have your best selling items at around eye level on the shelves- to capitalise on the products popularity.

6. I’ve recently heard another interior designer- who was involved with a shop fitting company, get something horribly wrong. His opinion was to not include customer seating in the shop which was being transformed. This was probably after a thought like “if they sit down they aren’t buying anything”, perhaps this in a sense this is true, although, when a group of people enter a shop, if there is an individual who isn’t particularly wanting to be in the shop, they will try their best to persuade or send indication that they are wanting to leave the store- but it’s best for that person to be sitting down, relaxing whilst their friend shops freely. Plus, giving the customer some time off their feet can give you some time to chill out and have a look around the shop, there’s nothing wrong with someone placing eyes on the products around them. The longer they sit the more products they’ll look at.

7. Try to create as much counter space as possible. This helps the staff members less likely to drop any products at the till, as it can become difficult to fit a lot of products onto a small checkout area.

8. Ofcourse whilst on the subject of the tills and checkout department, you’ll want to take advantage of the old school tactic which is to place sale/discount items around this area as possible.

9. Referring back to number 3 on the list, with the little shop path you’ve created, near the end you should place whatever tricks you have out of the bag here, displays, stories, free samples, anything to try and slow the customers trail to the exit down.

10. Hopefully the above concise and easy to follow tips help your businesses sales. Although when you can afford it, make sure you research who is best to complete your shop fitting service, as there is always a company who give fair and competitive prices, for example, the last shop fitting job I worked on was with Allstar Joinery, they have experts in each field including myself for interior, highly skilled joiners, plumbers and architects. To have a look at my work with Allstar Joinery, visit: http://www.allstarjoinery.com/bespoke-joinery-edinburgh/

London Life – London’s Top Salons

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Are you a person who never gets time to themselves? Always on the go? Are you a person who lives to work and never knows whether their coming or going? Well its time to take time out and relax. We all love getting our hair done and getting looked after. We all have a local salon that we trust to make us looking our best. Lets find out salons in London that offer all the perks including hair straightening.

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London Trip

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Everybody loves to get away now and again, and I’m happily planning my next trip to one of my favourite cities – London! Find out what I’m planning to see and do there. (more…)

Stylish Business Premises

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All businesses will want to create a good first impression but it can be difficult to carry that on throughout the whole premises. If your business has a medical background you will also have the added burden of creating a professional and clinical atmosphere too. (more…)

Why White?

White is hot right now. There is something refreshing about the crisp, cleanliness of a white-on-white room.  White creates a perfect background for items in the room that might be higher investment pieces, and allows for seasonal change-outs of smaller investment pieces, like your toss cushions and small accessories in the space.

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“White makes for a flexible and forgiving first step.  Paint a room white and you have a blank canvas for anything…” William Waldron, Photographer, New York.

If you walk through an art gallery, what colour are the walls typically? White. That’s because there is no better way to allow a piece of art (or furniture, or drapery) to speak in a space than to give it a clean background.

It is extremely important when designing with white, to include plenty of texture in layered objects to pull the space together.  Just painting the walls white may not be quite enough.  Consider the upholstered furniture in your space, and any fabric elements.  Use textured fabrics like casual linen, or tweed, to really anchor the atmosphere you’re trying to create.  This can be as simple as adding a full set of linen drapes, or pile toss cushions onto your sofa or bed.

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I can understand the tendency to want to throw a great colour on the walls.  There are so many great options upon walking into the paint store!  Many will choose paint colour first, and try to use that paint colour to define the room – but take it from me, it is much easier to shop for your higher-investment items first, use those to define your theme, and use a soft white to complement them.

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But wait.  Before you head out the door to your local hardware store for a can of off-the-shelf white paint (please don’t use off-the-shelf white).  Understand this – all whites are not created equally.  Benjamin Moore alone offers over 200 shades of white, all of which have undertones of different colours.  This is where your friendly local Interior Designer comes into play! Consider hiring a professional to help you determine which whites work with your space, in your space.  It is extremely difficult to select a colour while in the store, as so many factors come into play – sun exposure, lighting, your furniture and flooring.  All of these elements are very important when creating a design concept.

Interior Design Tips For A Mobile Home

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Mobile home interior design presents challenges regarding space. The rooms in mobile homes are small and will require ideas and tips about designing and decorating small spaces. If you have plans for decorating your mobile home, they may need to be compromised somewhat because of the space. However, there are ways to achieve your ideal theme in mobile home design.

The first step in mobile home design or decorating any small space is to get rid of the clutter. Sort through your things and get rid of any unnecessary or unwanted accessories. This will automatically make your space look bigger. Find places to hide things such as under table skirts or behind closed doors. Making sure everything is neatly stored and out of view will open up the space. While moving things and clearing away, you may want to rearrange your furniture. Make sure large pieces of furniture are not blocking walkways or entrances. Also place tall pieces of furniture on a wall and not in an open space. Mobile home interior design is about creating space in an area that doesn’t have much space.

Choosing color is important in mobile home design. In order to create an open, larger atmosphere, you should use light, cool colors. Painting your walls in soft tones of blue or green will provide an open, airy feel. You should also choose colors within the same color family in mobile home decorating. Do this not only when picking paint colors but also when choosing fabric for curtains or upholstery.

Rooms look larger when they are well-lit. In mobile home design it is very important to ensure rooms have plenty of light. Stay away from heavy curtains or drapes for your windows. Use window treatments that are lighter to allow the brightness from the outside in. To provide plenty of light in your rooms, have lamps, track lighting or recessed lighting installed. Small spaces need more light.

There are other little tricks you can try. Using reflective materials is one trick to make a room appear larger. Using mirrored tiles or a large mirror on a wall will definitely make a room look larger. You may not be fond of mirrored walls but this may be one compromise you”ll have to make. Another trick is to use see-through materials. This will make objects look further away. This idea could be used in shower doors or table tops.

When choosing furniture for a mobile home, it is better to pick big pieces. This may sound strange but a few bigger pieces of furniture, are much better than several small pieces of furniture. By using several pieces, the space is cluttered while two or three bigger pieces will allow for more openness in a room. If covering your furniture, be sure to pick plain colors instead of prints, plaids or stripes. If wanting to add something extra, use texture but also in plain neutral tones. Choosing plain colors and neutral colors for light, sheer window treatments, bedskirts and tablecloths will provide an airy feeling as well. Owning a small home like a mobile home can provide problems when designing but if you follow some of these tips your home could be more comfortable and feel much larger than it actually is.

5 Tips to Help Improve Your Room Decoration

Interior design is an interesting practice; this could be because there isn’t too much theory behind a lot of the designing which can be applied to different on a mass scale. That’s right, there really isn’t a rule-book that you can officially follow – sure art is subjective, but that isn’t why. The reason is due to the lack of a rule book to follow when creating your rooms aesthetic. Sure there are some rough principles which you should follow when you are to ensure that you manage to achieve a perfect room every time. This list won’t be including skills which you will have to study and spend time ingesting, it will be specifically be little tips which you can pick up on immediately.

 Don’t get too invested in themes

It’s pretty easy to get invested into the idea of the ‘complete’ room, a lot of people will take inspiration from current themes, like for example, the Cape Cod look, which is a very popular household theme. It’ll feature the same stuff- nautical white and blue palettes, a few seashells and boat ornaments. The problem with following the laws of a theme is it will trap your own creativity and you will be constantly sacrificing your own personal taste to keep the room looking complete.

Never follow principles, as it blocks creativity

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Sourcing yourself some basic guidelines can give an ideal starting position for decorating and adding furniture to your home, even if some of which aren’t particularly suited for that room. The best advice you’ll receive is to do with items of decoration which will ideally make you happy- pictures of loved ones, although then it comes to furniture you should always make sure that the items are comfortable within the room. Sure you can have something that will love pretty and impress your guest, but this isn’t worth your comfort, as you’ll be relying on the rooms as a play to relax all through the year. A dress down look is often popular in today’s living rooms.

Always leave the paint ‘til last

Now this is something you’ll ALWAYS want to avoid. Usually people will decide the paint colour first and then apply their purchases and decoration around the colour theme that they have implemented. It’s easy to understand why someone would like to paint first, the idea of arriving to a room with a fresh coat of paint. Obviously, you can do it this way, but it’s not ideal when considering the final product.

There are endless paint colours with multiple shades, tones and tints. All of which like look different from room to room, due to the variation of light sources- to summarise, what you might consider to  look good in one home might look different in your new home. So always wait, because the main factor which will decide the paint colour are the carpet/rug, the furniture, whatever you have hanging from your wall and anything else you are filling the room with. So you can only get an accurate idea of what colour to pick when all of your things are actually inside of the room.

Furniture needs room to breathe

Try to eliminate the amount of furniture, which will congest your room. A room is always more efficient and comfortable when there is space to manoeuvre easily. This works well if you have a smaller or tight budget, because it’ll put a literal cap on your spending. Instead of spending a lot of money on lots of furniture, invest more into the quality of the few pieces of furniture that you own. Your room will have a little more class to it if you have this more selective attitude, instead of buying lots and lots of cheap furniture from ikea that you think will come in handy. For me personally, this method is very suited to what I am attracted to lately, whilst I’ve been adopting a more minimalist style into my work.

Make sure that your artwork is hung at an appropriate height

There is a reason why art galleries and museums will hang art which the middle of each piece of art is 57 to 60 inches from the floor. Can you guess why? It’s because you can actually look at the art effectively and take it in at a height which isn’t awkward for you to do so. So take inspiration for these galleries and do the same if you’d like to get the most out of your art.

In rooms similar to this one, where the ceilings are taller, you’d maybe like to keep a bit of symmetry and just put the artwork right in the middle of the ceilings and the ground, but it needs to relate to human scale, not the room sizes scale, which will not benefit the art at all.

 

Packing up home

We all know the saying ‘making a house a home’, but what about having to do the exact opposite? Moving home is probably the only time you have to forcibly take all the lovely character out of your home. For someone like me, it can be a dramatic period having to take down all the accessories from my innovative ideas and be left with a bare home.

If there’s one thing I love just as much as decorating, it’s being organised. And moving home is all about organisation. You might find the idea of packing up what makes up your life a little difficult. That’s why I have a few pointers here to make the process easy and stop you from simply throwing everything in sight in to a box, and then having to rifle through it later. Here are my main questions you should always ask yourself:

Do I use this?
If it’s covered in dust and you’re wondering if it’s useful, then you should know better. If it’s an item you will use (remote control, can opener, phone charger) then make sure it will be the last thing you pack.

Will I really need this?
If you’re contemplating the pros and cons of packing up the blender early, then you’re going to have a problem. Think of packing up the home as a case of working your way down to living on essentials. And if you come across something you don’t use in everyday life (an example would be a vase) then pack it up.

Should I keep this?
In the same fashion, you might be better off getting rid of something if you don’t use it. The ideal place to find rarely used items is in wardrobes and drawers.

Could I sell this?
Your attic is a treasure trove before you move. Have old machines, clothes and furniture that you can get rid of? Then see how much they sell for on eBay. You’d be surprised what some people are willing to pay for things that you’ve no use for.

When we moved here to Kingstanding from Bristol, we used the help of Ablemove-Wottons. This little company were a great help in allowing us to plan ahead and make a big day for the family incredibly easy. With their guidance, moving became a quick case of getting the van loaded up, and not the panic we’d experienced with our big move a few years back.

You can find out more about moving home in the UK by visiting the Ablemove-Wottons website.