Friday, June 29, 2012

Contemporary interior in Belgrad (II)

Last week ago I presented a living /dining room realized in Belgrad.
Check out what I was saying about the project.

Today I will try to come up with some suggestions on how this space's aesthetic and functionality could be improved.

Most of my ideas and recommendations refer to a better furniture and accessories layout.

(Sorry for the quality of the text in the boxes, it come a little unclear, so I copied the info in the box as a regular text above each image.)

Step I:
Take the shelf out of the corner.
You do this:
- in preparation for the new furniture layout, 
- and also because the shelf is the only tall piece of furniture in the room and its height sticks out.

Step II:
Move the sofa into the corner.
You do this:
- because the sofa extends into the dining area and that looks very awkward. 
You want to create two distinct areas, not an unfortunate mix.

Don't push / don't squeeze the sofa into the corner though.
Leave a distance of about 11 inches (30 cm) between the sofa and the wall.
Step III:
Remove all the wall decorations and re-position the arrangement above the sofa's new position. 
BUT place the arrangement lower!

Step IV:
Move the sofa sitting at the window on the opposite side of the room.
You do this:
- because of the new furniture layout,

- by positioning the sofa this way you create a clear visual demarcation between the two areas in the room (between the living and dining),
- a sofa in front of the window might feel very cold in the winter.
If in California's warm weather you feel cold when sitting at the window during the winter, I suppose in Belgrad is much worse.
- bonus: the view of a window is more relaxing, I don't think you want to face the kitchen all the time.

Step V:
Move the dining set central (now that the sofa at the wall doesn't extend in the kitchen area any longer because it was moved toward the corner).

Step VI:
Place the shelf in the dining area on the same floor line with the dining table.

Step VII:
Remove the poor plant from the dark corner where it sits now. 
Instead of beautifying the space the position of this plant gives way to a feeling of pity: 'look at that poor plant there'. 

Buy one more plant, and two tall flower pedestals.

On each side of the window place a pedestal with a plant on top.
(Here is an image of a tall flower pedestal to use it as an inspiration.)

You do this:
- to create more height in the room.
Remember what I said earlier, at Step # 1- 'the shelf is the only tall piece of furniture in the room and its height sticks out'

Steps VIII and ... further:
- Take care the chandelier's position. You'll have to re-position it central above the newly created living area.

- Replace all the skimpy sheers with floor length ones. As simple as this.

- Buy a narrow console table and place it in front of the windows between the two flower pedestals.
You do this to balance out the furniture arrangement.
Top the console with decorative objects.

Buy a reading lamp and place it next to the sofa's arm at the window.
You do this because once in a while you need some good lighting for reading, don't you? 
Look for a minimal design.

- Extend the curtains rod to the entire wall (the wall where you place the console table).
Buy some curtains and cover the empty wall portions on both sides of the window.
You do this:
to balance out the impact of the wallpapered wall,
- to cover those sad, empty looking portions of the wall,
- the plants on the pedestals will look so glamorous in front of the curtains instead of being in front of empty walls.

- Buy one more identical chandelier, and place it central above the dining table.
This repetition of an element will create a wonderful unity in this room.

- Remove the portion of the wallpaper that extends beyond the horizontal line of the curtain's rod.
Create visual continuity.

- Replace the sofa that separates the dining from the living area with two chairs, and place a small accent table in between.
You do this:
- because the size of this space is too small to fit two sofas,
- by placing two smaller pieces (the chairs) instead of a one, larger piece (the sofa) the space becomes more airy.


It was a lot of work to write this post.
Although the suggestions are quite extensive, the post doesn't intend to be a thorough or set-in-stone 'solution' but rather an inspiration.

And I hope it helps!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bathroom - using stripes for a grand visual effect. Apartment in Paris, France

Some people seem to long for having generous baths, associating a large space with a sense of luxury.

Yet, the project I choose today is an example of a decor that projects a sumptuous living despite its small size.

The barrel-vaulted ceiling and the niche where the tub is located are important elements in conveying a special and rich feeling to this bathroom, but the real drama is created through the black-and-white stripes that cover the walls, and also a portion of the ceiling.

The free-standing tub is an excellent choice:
- it frees up some floor space making the small room feeling more spacious;
- it introduces color;
- its vintage shape adds elegance to the space.

The blue-and-gold chair:
- introduces more color;
- has a functional role (a spot to leave the robe, the towel on);
- the design and the amount of gold in it are a bit eccentric but the choice works well in the context of making dramatic gestures (gestures that after all are meant to distract the attention from the fact that you are in a tight space).

Bathroom; Paris, France. Marco Scarani & Jamie Creel. Photo via Elle Decor

Subscribe to the blog Here:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Eclectic Living room in Katang, Singapore

Excellent contemporary-warm color scheme: although the walls are grey, the interior feels very warm due to the brown, orange, and red hues used on the flooring, in the furniture, the art.

The rug is an excellent choice: 
- the rug's informal look pulls together the eclectic mix of contemporary & outdoor furniture pieces; 
- the rug's larges stripes introduce pattern;
- the colors in the rug unify the space.

Attention is paid to the textural variety too, and 
the combination of wood on the floor, leather on the orange couch, rattan on the other two sofas, glass in the ceiling fixture provide a very pleasant outcome.

What could be better / reconsidered:
- furniture layout: all the furniture (seating and accent tables) is strictly positioned / pushed against the walls, and in the corners.
- proportions: the central coffee table is too small for a seating arrangement this size. And too far from the seating.
- horizontal continuity: the top lines of the two windows are at different heights. The lack of attention in planning the architectural features is very noticeable.


- free up some walls, pull the two rattan pieces away from the walls about eleven inches (30 centimeters), let some furniture pieces to 'float' more in the center of the room / away from the walls.
And don't worry: by doing so the room doesn't feel smaller, but actually the space feels much more open, and dynamic. 

Living area; Katong, Singapore. Arc Define. Interior photo via My Place.Sg

Subscribe to the blog Here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Contrasts in an office area

The table that is used here as a desk resembles a lot (or it might be indeed) a dining table.

Whatever the table's original purpose was the choice of having it in this decor is very good.
The table's classic design connects with the look of the detailed molding, and at the same time creates a desirable contrast with the minimalist shelves, the simple yet intricate chair, and the overhead industrial lamps.

An unpretentious project done well.
Office area
Gdansk, Poland
Lucyna Kolodziejska

Office area
Gdansk, Poland
Lucyna Kolodziejska

Interior photo via Desire to Inspire

Subscribe to the blog Here:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dining Room: Classic mixed with Contemporary

The ornate moldings, walls, and railing at the balcony, the French doors, the chevron flooring pattern - all these elements bring the beauty of the classic in this decor.

On the other hand, the dining table and the chairs are entirely contemporary with their slim style, and man-made materials.

And now enters the chandelier: the classic crystal chandelier wrapped in a vibrant yellow acrylic case acts as a focal point in the room, and not in a subtle manner but in a very bold one this element actually succeeds in pulling the room together. 
A little bit irreverent, but it works.

Subscribe to the blog Here:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Contemporary interior in Belgrad (I)

Very bad space. Total lack of aesthetic.

- The wallpaper: does it aim to create a focal point in the room? Because it looks like out of nowhere someone just came up with the idea ‘let’s put some blue-green wallpaper over here’.
And why the wallpaper goes all the way up to the ceiling? The top line should better relate to the height of the curtains rods, to provide a visual continuity;

- The decorative artworks on the wall: placed too high on the wall behind the sofa, and very low on the opposite wall, near the TV – lack of visual continuity;

- The Sheers: short, skimpy;

- The rug: too tiny for the two sofas / the area the rug is trying to anchor - lack of proportions;

- The sofa facing the wallpaper wall: too wide, it extends over the dining area, and as a consequence the dining table is pushed in an awkward off-center position - lack of proportions, and bad furniture layout.

Etc, etc - meaning that unfortunately this is not all that doesn't work in this project.

Living / Dining / Kitchen; Belgrade, Serbia. Interior photos via Freshome.

See here a few 'what could be done' suggestions' / how I see this project to be transformed, and why.


Subscribe to the blog Here:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Industrial bedroom

This is quite a combination: the space's strong industrial and raw elements - the exposed pipes, the lighting fixture made of recycled materials - are associated with gold heavy curtains that envelope the space in a way that suppose to create a feeling of comfort and glamour.

What's the result? 
Well, the raw / industrial versus glamorous contrast feels just odd and harsh: 
- in spite of the much fabric around the walls the space fails to bring a sense of warmth;
- the room feels rather confining and oppressing - when you lie down all the heaviness of the ceiling seems to crush you.

Bedroom; Minneapolis, USA. Alchemy Architects. Interior Photos via HomeDSGN

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rustic industrial kitchen in black and white

It just happens that I keep stumbling over images of interiors that have bare bulbs incorporated in their designs.

Here is another project where such a basic way of bringing artificial light is very well realized:
- the decor is a combination of rustic and industrial elements, very simple and unpretentious yet charming. The use of elementary, plainly functional lighting feels very natural;
- the lights cover a large area via extended cords that wrap around a black support that hangs from the ceiling.
The support elevates the entire arrangement from a basic grouping of bare bulbs to one that has a 'decorative' feeling.
Also, the black support against the white ceiling smoothly carries the black and white color scheme throughout, and creates a vertical / top-bottom connection.
- variety is created through the assortment of bulb types and sizes, and various cords lengths.

Interior photo via Casa de Valentina

Friday, June 15, 2012

Enchanting contrast in a traditional room

A lovely alternative to a conventional art work display: the light, delicate, barely-there custom-painted image on the wall of a traditional room creates an enchanting contrast.

In other words: done in a stylish way painting animals on the walls is not for children's rooms only.

Interior photo via Traditional Home

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dining Room where the details make the difference

I love this 'Before & After' comparison: small details make a significant difference.

The space is quiet and average in the 'before' photo.

In the 'after' photo:
- the copper pendants introduce a very welcome contrasting shinny texture, the grouping creates interest and repetition, while the color creates a connection with the wood tone in the furniture legs;
- the naive, child like pelican drawing brightens the dark wall, and creates a whimsical contrast that doesn't let you unresponsive.

Interior photo via Casa Valentina

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Open Space with hanging bare bulbs. Aroua, Portugal

What a difference: in the project I presented yesterday the cluster of bare light bulbs was so perfectly (aesthetically) integrated with the industrial decor, while in today's project the bare light bulbs are not fun at all.
The bare bulbs here look like some ugly excrescences, and they give the space the feeling of an unfinished project.

In other words: an idea doesn't identically apply on spaces that have different character.

Also, the furniture placement in this project seems to be done without much thought either: while the sofa doesn't have any accent table close by, an accent table is placed behind the sofa next to the wall.

Open space; Aroua, Portugal. Oficina d'Arquitectura. Interior Photo via HomeDSGN

Hallway as an art gallery in New York City, USA

Although this hallway has the feeling of an art gallery rather than a home one thing is sure: the large work of art displayed here on the right wall between the two columns will get quite a bit of admiration due to the very inventive seating inserts on the opposite wall that will draw people to stop and try the spot on.

Hallway; New York, USA. StudioMDA. Interior Photo via HomeDSGN

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Visual Effect in a small Contemporary Industrial Kitchen

Simple, uncluttered, and original: the cluster of very attractive bare bulbs hanging at different heights from cables that form swags above the sink and breakfast table dress the room, and create an excellent visual effect.

A strong yet harmonious result that works particularly well in this small contemporary industrial kitchen.

Interior photo via Marie Claire Maison

Friday, June 8, 2012

Minimalist living room with stone walls in Brazil

Minimalist decor beautifully done:
- the use and mix of texture (stone and wood) brings warmth;
- the use of pattern (in the rug, and the coffee table design) creates variety;
- the asymmetrical furniture layout adds additional interest.

Also, the furniture layout is excellently planned: the large conversation area is united by a common rug, yet at the same time is divided into two separate zones - two armchairs each with an ottoman / accent table, and a sofa with a coffee table.

minus though: the coffee table is placed too far from the sofa, and in a too central position.

Living room; Brazil. Ana Paola Barros. Interior photos via Freshome

Consider Proportions. Interior in Cairns, Australia

Acting as a coffee table, a tiny ottoman is placed in front of two sofas = Lack of Proportions.

Living room; Cairns, Australia. mmp Architects. Interior photo via Freshome

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Contemporary Living Area in Brazil

A pattern on the floor definitely creates interest.
But, a pattern on the floor also creates a strong 'zoning'. In other words it establishes, determines a certain furniture arrangement.

Example here, in this interior design project: the brown inserts in the flooring break the monotony of a completely white surface.
But, on the other hand several furniture pieces seem so wrongly positioned, they look out of place because the eyes inevitably perceive the lines on the floor as something to relate to visually:
- the coffee table looks awkwardly placed - related to the two brown lines underneath;
- the two white armchairs look awkwardly off center too - related to another two brown lines on the floor.

Therefore, when you decide on having a pattern on the floor (this includes carpets and rugs) realize that the pattern on the floor is going to dictate a certain furniture arrangement, and plan accordingly.

Living area; Goiania, Brazil. Dayala + Rafael Arquitectura. Interior Photo via HomeDSGN