Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Natural Light and Interior Design

~ This is a featured post. ~

There is no true right and wrong when it comes to interior design. Like fashion, it is entirely personal (it is, after all, your home). If you absolutely love a certain type of quirky design that others don’t understand, then that’s their problem. You love it, it works. Not everything you love, however, will translate well. This is because every single one of us needs a healthy environment in order to thrive. You therefore must adhere to a few design rules, like letting in as much natural light as possible.

The Power of Natural Light 
There are so many benefits to natural light. For one, it can help regulate your circadian cycle. What this cycle does is it helps you be alert and awake during the day time and then get your body ready for sleep by bedtime. Plenty of light is also great for improving mental health, helping you stay calm, and of course can that finishing touch to any room’s interior design. 

How to Control Natural Light in Your Home 
Knowing how to control natural light in your home is necessary if you want to improve your interior design. Your bedroom needs light, yes, but it also needs privacy. Then there are ways to dress windows to add beautiful shadow play. Other ways to add sharp lines and a modern touch. There are many ways to take control of the natural light in your home, and here are the top four:  

1. Add Custom Window Dressings 
It is a mistake to assume you always want to let in as much light as possible. Perhaps a window gets direct sunlight in the summer, and you want to keep your home as cool as possible, or perhaps you want more privacy. By getting custom window dressings like the best plantation shutters Charleston can offer, you can be in full control of how much light you want to let in and can customize it to match your interior design. 

2. Use Mirrors 
If a room gets little natural light or sunlight, then you can brighten the room by using reflective surfaces. Mirrors, glass, and even wax finished furniture can all help reflect the natural light, brightening the whole room even if the original source is minimal. 

3. Use Light Coloured Walls or Textiles 
If you have a room full of windows, you can use darker colors to your hearts content. If you only have a small window or one window to deal with it is often better to use lighter toned elements to again reflect the light and make the room appear brighter. 

4. Don’t Block the Windows with Furniture
Furniture should never be backed right up against a window. Instead, pull furniture away. A metre is a good approach, but it will depend on the size of your room and what you can get away with. Similarly, if using drapes, you don’t want to block the windows, and instead use a larger curtain rod so you can rest the drapes on the side of the wall next to the window. 

Natural light must always be part of your interior design consideration. How to increase the amount of light you get, how to control it, how to make more use of it – always consider how your design is impacted by the lighting conditions and work with what you have.  

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Kitchen Diner Makeover

Do you have a corner or two in your home you purposely avoid every time you take an interior photo? My kitchen and kitchen diner was one of them. I know one day I am going to need to gut our kitchen. But I also know a kitchen project is extremely disruptive to our routine and daily life, and I am still yet to work up that courage to pull the trigger. Before that, I thought I would do a mini makeover to modernize this space. Below is the design plan I put together. I called it modern rustic, nature-inspired but also refined. 

The MCM style Andresen console table from All Modern was the jumping-off point for the room. Now I have a perfect window spot to sip a cup of tea while catching up on some quick reading. The drawers provide extra storage which makes this stylish console table not just a pretty face. 

The most satisfying addition in our kitchen diner had to be the Ikea Fjalkinge shelving unit. The mid-century turned leg standing planter to the left in the picture below is from West Elm. It was my birthday present from my brother and sister-in-law. They surely knew what to get their crazy plant lady sista. 

Below was the Before of the same corner. The brown display case was from EQ3 from our old house. I always told myself I needed to replace that every time I walked by (which means a few times every day), but my procrastination kept it there for almost 10 years! 

I've been eyeing Ikea Fjalkinge shelving unit for a long time. I was going to use it for our cottage loft, but it was out of stock for the longest time, and a tad too tall. I finally found a perfect spot at home for it. Installing it wasn't difficult - Mr. was able to complete it all by himself within an hour. 

It looks amazing once assembled, not to say it's super functional. But the quality was a bit inconsistent, see the picture below. It still puzzled me why there was sharpie marking on this post. Fortunately we were able to face this side towards the wall so the flaw was completely concealed. 

The two drawers are super roomy. Did you see the two cake stands on the left in the picture below? Yes, cake stands fit in there! This shelving unit now holds most of my hosting supplies. 

Of late I am a bit fan of open shelves. Not only do they provide storage, they also inspire (or dare I say discipline) you to be clutter-free. After all, who would want to display their mess, right? I was very motivated to style it pretty. Nature-inspired was my decor theme for 2019, so I picked up this "Plant Style: How to Greenify Your Space" book by by Alana Langan and Jacqui Vidal.

First order was to add a few plants of different shapes and forms to the shelves. This "Strings of Banana" succulent plant looks so chic on the top shelf. To me, plants bring warmth and texture to a space. They give an otherwise utilitarian and mundane nook its heart beat. 

My beloved Pilea is sitting pretty on the middle shelf. I also used dish holder rack to hold cheese boards and display books. 

So this was my kitchen diner makeover. It's functional, grounded, modern and happy. It's very me

3-light chandelier: West Elm Bolete Chander. 
Shelving unit: Ikea Fjalkinge. 
Vintage basket with handle on top shelf: JKC Vintage via Instagram. 
Woven baskets, black/white stoneware canisters: HM Home. 
MCM standing planter: West Elm. 
Black and white cowhide rug: Decor Hut. 
"Strings of Banana" succulent plant: Sheridan Nurseries.
Andresen mid-century console table: All Modern. 
Matte black ceramic French press: Neocasa via Amazon. 
Blue grey vase: EQ3. 

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