3 Tips for Designing Your Kids’ Room

Kids-roomWhile decorating the interiors of your home, you have to take care of a number of factors and it is especially so when you are designing your children’s room. If you think that you will apply those same flat colors and those conventional wall stickers in your kids’ room, you are missing it thoroughly. These days, when kids have a mind of their own and know exactly what they want, it is quite difficult to design their room.

Again, kids are quite fickle minded and they might not like certain things after few days. Also, you need to keep changing things as and when their requirements change. Things that are essential for a toddler might turn out to be absolutely useless for a 5-year old. Keeping these factors in mind, you must be absolutely clear with all the strategies and must try to keep a balance between functionality and creativity. Here are some tips that will simplify your task.

1. Choose the right color combination and a cute theme
Avoid going conventional and refrain from painting it all pink if it’s a baby girl and all blue if it’s a baby boy. While flat walls, painted by blue or pink are ideal for nurseries, it seems to be extremely monotonous once your kids are grown up. Since it is not possible to afford a revamp every two years, it is wiser to think out of the box and opt for color combination that will be suitable even when your child is a grown up. Make sure the shades that you choose are bright enough, yet not make things too childish. Motorized roller blinds are a great fit, in a pistachio green, mauve and sunset orange. These colors are some of the ideal shades for children’s room.

2. Separate the rooms in different zones
Children love to imitate their parents and the other adults at home and therefore love to enjoy different rooms for sleeping, playing and studying. While it is not possible to create three different rooms, what you can do is to create different zones in your kid’s room. Consider using different themes to separate the zones instead of placing any type of boundaries. Make sure all the themes are in sync with each other and also match the particular activity the space is designated for. Don’t use too contrasting themes as they might create confusion instead of adding  charm to the room.

3. Be creative
Remember your ultimate goal is to design a room that your kids will love, along with serving all the purposes. You can do this by thinking like your five year old and using your imagination. Combine functionality and your creative thoughts to create the best possible ambiance. Consider using stylish motorized window coverings instead of those typical boring curtains and create a hanging garden using the images or cut-outs of his/her favorite comic characters. Another interesting idea to decorate a kid’s room is to create unique collages of his/her photographs of different ages along with the toy figures or the cartoon characters that are popular at the time. This will give them keepsakes for when they are older.

Image Credit: kidsroomcentral.blogspot.com

Mad Men: Interior Inspiration

mad-men-setEver since the very first episode was aired, Mad Men has inspired everything from fashion to interior design with its lavish and beautiful set design. Although set in 1960’s New York, there are plenty of ways to make those rich colors, striking patterns and teak furniture work for your own home.

Here are the key elements that are staples of the Mad Men offices and homes:

Color
While colors do become brighter in season 6 as the 1960’s draws to a close, there is a theme of rich, deep jewel tones and autumnal shades throughout all episodes of the show. Burnt orange, golden yellows and browns, maroon and purples can be seen in both the home and office, and could work wonderfully to cozy up your home for Autumn/Winter 2013.

Pattern
Great pattern reigns supreme throughout the seasons in Mad Men. The elegant zebra print walls in a sumptuous dining room where Don and Rachel Menken eat could so easily be tacky, but a small quantity of the wallpaper combined with understated ivory and chocolate browns work perfectly.

The Draper’s home is much more cutesy and traditional than the slick and stylish offices. I love the plaid pattern wallpaper of the kitchen, cheerily combined with a fresh blue-green paint. If you want to go for a 1960s look without the slick Danish style of the Sterling Cooper offices, Betty’s homely look could be just the inspiration you need.

By season 6 we see the more brash and psychedelic patterns come in, with a wall of Ted’s office papered in this fashion. This is quite a bold and over-the-top look for a modern home, but the addition of a vase, lamp shade or rug in a fun retro pattern could brighten up your home nicely.

Futuristic
Some very 1960’s, futuristic style furniture starts to creep in by season 4, most notably in the office space Roger’s young wife Jane designed for him. While this look would probably be a little laughable in a home or office today, a Saarinen-style dining table and chairs can still work and look fresh for the home. Mix it up with more eclectic and modern-day additions, such as up-cycled pieces and bright ornaments.

Clean lines
The sofa styles in the offices are similar throughout all of the seasons; boxy with clean simple and stylish lines that will still look fresh and modern in a home or office today. They are inspired mainly by Danish designers of the 1960’s, such as Jydsk Mobelvaerk.

While the Mad Men versions are covered by fabrics like boucle which are very of the time, you could take inspiration yet modernise with a sofa in a similar style in leather or simple cotton.

Emily Bradbury is writing on behalf of Antiques to Vintage, a great new concept bringing antiques dealers and buyers from all over the world together in one place.

Image Credit: eldestandonly.com

5 Things to Think About Before Building Your Dream Home

Dream-HomeAfter watching endless episodes of Property Brothers, you finally have the time, money and patience to build your dream home. Building a new home can feel very daunting and now that it’s come to it, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed about where to even begin. Here’s a few simple tips to help you get the ball rolling and to help you make sure you don’t make any costly mistakes during the construction process.

Plan your budget
First things first, plan your budget. Really think about how much you want to spend and how much your dream home is realistically going to cost you. It’s no good getting half way through the project and realizing that you are all out of money. This will make your building process so much longer and you will have to scrimp on save on other aspects of the house that you didn’t want to.

It’s likely that you will need a construction loan and a mortgage, so be organised and find out what size loan you qualify for. Once you know how much money you have to spend and the approximate costs of everything, it will help you to modify the building plans accordingly to meet your budget.

Find the right location
Location is probably the most important aspect to get right. Before you can start building, you need to know exactly what you are building on as the landscape can make a big difference to your building plans. For example, if you want to build your home on a hill, there are going to be a completely different set of requirements as well as more building challenges in comparison to flat land. Alternatively, if you chose to build in a woodland area, it will make a significant difference on windows and lighting within your home. So consider absolutely everything before you settle on your chosen location.

Getting the right architect
Architect designed homes are well worth the expense, but before you choose your architect, get inspired and have a clear vision as to how you really want your dream home to look. Once you are clear on exactly what it is you want, share your ideas with the architect and discuss various ways of how you turn your dream into a reality.

It is important to thoroughly research a number of firms or free-lance architects to make sure you find the best designer for your dream home. Quality services should be provided by the architect that you choose. There are many quality architects throughout the UK, including Paul Robinson Partnership a group of architects in Norfolk who recently sponsored an EDP Business award.

Get construction insurance
Before starting the building process, it is vital to get construction insurance. There are three different types of insurance that are needed to build. The first is ‘course of construction’ insurance which is an all risk policy that includes fire, extended coverage, builders risk, replacement cost and vandalism. The second is ‘General liability’ insurance which can be provided by either you or your builder. The third type of insurance is called ‘Workman’s compensation’ which is only necessary if your builder has any employees.

Be organised
You’ve dreamt about building your own home for as long as you can remember, and you’ve got hundreds of scrap pieces of paper with your inspirational and innovative ideas on. Collect all of your ideas together, and get a study note book, where you can keep all of your sketches, notes and photos in one place until your home is completely finished. Keeping it all together, will avoid you losing any ideas and will allow you to track back to any previous thoughts you’ve had that might work better for your home.

Image Credit: 123rf.com

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

The end of the summer is almost upon us, and most parties are already starting to move from the outdoors to the living rooms. At Lakeside, we know how important it is for you to have a great space to relax, and we help make that possible.

Sofa-Side-Table
Whether you are entertaining guests for a football game or just lounging, this sofa side table can make your downtime much more enjoyable. Place your party snacks and beverages on it for easy access during the game. Or, if you just need a place to put a laptop while doing work, this mini-table can be an absolute life saver! The beautiful contemporary design fits in perfectly with a wide range of designs and motifs. Finally, the convenient shape allows the base to slide underneath your sofa or other furniture for easy storage and cleanup.

Ladder-TV-Stand
If you are a fan of the game, you already know how important viewing angles are! Your t.v. has to be in the optimal position, especially if you have a living room full of guests. In order to cut down on the glare, our ladder tv stand makes it possible for everyone to get a spectacular view of the screen and catch every play. In addition, the gorgeous modern design has ample storage while cutting down on any unnecessary clutter. It can hold a flat screen of up to 52 inches, and accommodate 100 pounds on the main shelf. The intricate and aesthetically pleasing ladder storage units are a great new look and they are popping up in design magazines everywhere! Get your new stand today and let the compliments pour in.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the little things, as they can really make or break your home decor setup. One of the main attributes that we like promoting is the overall flow of the room. This is true from your kitchen to your living room, and everything in-between. If you use this as a guideline, you’ll find that it’s sometimes easier to start from scratch. Use the purpose of the room as your base. Fill in the blank and everything else will fall into place effortlessly. For example, “My living room is used for ______”.  Once you define it, and actually look around the room, you’ll see that you probably have a lot of extra items that don’t contribute to that overall purpose. My living room is used almost exclusively for entertaining, and relaxing. So, some of the main elements I focus on are: comfort, style, and lots of open spaces (even if that means completely rearranging the furniture that I have).

Floral-Pillows
One of my favorite details is using accent pillows to soften the look of a room. While mounds of pillows are the most appealing part of relaxing, their visual aesthetic is often overlooked. What’s my secret? Don’t overdo it. It’s only comfortable if there is still room to sit on the sofa. Try not to cover up too much of the seating area, and if possible use the corners of the couch instead of the middle. This will open up the space for a more inviting and spacious look. Also, get enough so you can match your pillows with your existing color scheme, and change them up from time to time.

Incorporating Emerald into Your Fall Décor

Emerald-green-decorAs we wrote earlier this year, emerald is Pantone’s color for 2013. Autumn is the perfect season to celebrate this richer, more intense green hue. All shades of green impart a tranquil atmosphere, but emerald’s rich depth also gives it elegance. As a beautiful counterpoint to fall’s brilliant palette or as a stand-alone color, emerald adds sparkle to your decor. Give your home some gorgeous fall finery when you follow these suggestions for infusing your home with emerald’s serene beauty.

Combine emerald green with natural motifs. Green’s soothing nature becomes even more relaxing when mixed with natural textures and patterns. Fabrics printed or embroidered with ivy leaves are a beautiful way to bring green into a room. Wooden furniture with a natural grain looks especially lovely with emerald accents. Bundles of dried grasses in a vivid green vase are a stunning change from fresh floral arrangements and will last all season.

Emerald is a gem as well as a color, and jewel-like glass accents lend themselves wonderfully well to the regal hue. Deep green glass vases bring the color of the year into your home stylishly. Combining cool green glass with light makes it even more dramatic, so make room for accents such as this glass pendant light and illuminate an area. Flameless LED lights and artfully sculpted metal add visual interest, but the real focus here is color. One lamp makes a quietly elegant statement, but a grouping of them can become a focal point for the whole room.

Shades of green combine a cool color and a warm one, so they’re naturally versatile. Surrounded by warm tones, they act as a calm counterpoint; with cooler blues and purples, emerald greens glow with warmth. That flexibility means you can add emerald accents to any room in your home. Darker green hues make pastels feel more grounded, especially when you use the color in rugs and floor runners. Throws and pillows in muted emerald tones play well with neutrals in living rooms and dens. Choose fabrics that feel as luxurious as the rich color looks for seasonal style.

For a major commitment to emerald green, try painting your walls with it. It’s a potent color, but blonde wood or crisp white trim keeps it from overwhelming a space. In a small room, try painting a single wall in emerald and the others in lighter shades of green to create an instant focal point. With rich, vibrant colors, precision in painting is a must; any stray drops or minor mistakes will be instantly noticeable. One way to get a perfect paint job is with the Shur-Line pump and paint system . You won’t need tape when you have the right equipment to paint up to edges and corners flawlessly.

Green can work in any room. In a den or living room, deep greens feel cozy and welcoming; in a bedroom, they become serene. Even a bath gets a lift from emerald accents, so try swapping your usual accessories for green glass or ceramic. As fall becomes winter, green looks just as fashionable throughout your home, especially when paired with red for seasonal cheer.

Versatile and inviting, emerald green is Pantone’s color of the year for good reason. With a few decorator touches, you can also make it your best color for fall.

Image Credit: Ponderosahomes.com

4 Kitchen Themes We Think you’ll Love

Retro-kitchenYour kitchen has to be practical, but who says it can’t also be pretty? You already spend time in your kitchen, so pick a decorating theme that you love, and enjoy your meal preps more. Here are four themes we love and some ideas to start you thinking about your own signature theme:

Tuscan Wine Country

The rolling hills of Tuscany are home to some of the world’s best wines and cheeses. The region’s natural beauty is just as inspiring as its delicious cuisine, and Tuscan style makes the most of that beauty with simple, elegant decor elements. Add a little touch of Tuscany to your home with art and accessories that echo the region’s rich hues and local delicacies. Use warm colors such as ivory, terra cotta and walnut as the foundation for your Tuscan kitchen theme. Wine bottles are a perfect decorating accent whether they’re full or empty, so make them a part of your theme on tabletops or in prominently displayed wine holders. Even the corks can be a part of your Tuscan motif when you store them in a wine cork holder. When the metal holder’s full, remove the corks and turn them into a bulletin board, or start on a new decorative letter.

Retro Kitchen Chic

Everything retro is popular again, and that includes kitchen decor. No matter what era is your favorite, you’ll find decorator touches to complement your theme. We love the clean-lined look of the early 1960s with its emphasis on space-age design, and these stainless steel mixing bowls combine modern convenience with retro sleekness. Look for advertisements from your favorite era and use them for inspiration when picking your color palette. The pinks and greens of the 1950’s or harvest gold and avocado of the 1970’s instantly give your kitchen a retro makeover on a budget.

Farm Fresh Kitchen Decor

Just about everything in your kitchen originally came from a farm, so a farm motif is a great fit for kitchen style. If you’re going for a full transformation with new cabinets and counters, use natural finishes trimmed with clean, crisp white for a farmhouse feel. To bring a few farm-friendly accents into your kitchen, look for simple decorative design elements such as stamps, stencils and cut-outs. Coasters and towels trimmed with silhouettes of cows, chickens and pigs add a country accent to any kitchen. Country themes can be whimsical – these colorful  striped towels are a great basic example – or find decorative pieces that look as though they came straight from the farmhouse. Weathered wood furniture with plain white ceramic knobs will give your kitchen timeless country appeal.

The Chef’s Professional Kitchen

Even home cooks are moving toward restaurant-quality dishes, and that has brought sleek, professional style to the forefront in kitchen decor. Stainless steel, wire racks, white tile and straightforward accessories give a home kitchen a professional look. If you want the clean look of a pro’s kitchen, keep details to a minimum and let the natural beauty of food be the primary source of color and texture. A bowl of fresh fruit or a hanging strand of dried red peppers makes a bold visual statement against a neutral background of brushed steel and tile. Wood cabinetry and wall art can add warmth to a kitchen that could otherwise look a little chilly.

Whatever you choose as your kitchen style, you’ll enjoy your time in the kitchen more when surrounded by a look you love!

Image Credit: Cozy

Mixed Patterns: The Do’s and Don’ts

mixed-patterns-charcoalsFashion designers and interior decorators love the look of mixed patterns. They blend sophisticated plaids, cheerful florals and crisp stripes with professional flair, but mixing and matching patterns isn’t as easy as the magazines make it look. One misstep can take a room or an outfit from daring to disastrous. The same principles apply to your wardrobe and your home decor, so you and your home can both get a flawlessly finished look when you use these basics to put the art and science of pattern mixing to work for you!

1. Do Choose a Motif

Having a theme in mind instantly unifies different patterns. When you bring together elements that occur in the same environment, such as a seashell print and beach-ready cabana stripes, you create harmony. To bring the beauty of a cabin in the woods to your home, you might pick bedding sets in earth tones and combine them with restful leaf motifs on pillows and window treatments. Add leaf-shaped or antler finials on curtain rods for a decorator touch. Country gingham checks with a strawberry print could give your kitchen a fresh new look.

2. Don’t Make It a Stage

Themes work well when mixing patterns, but avoid turning a theme into set decoration or costume by incorporating a few solids to break up the prints. Sandwiching a layer of solid color between two prints keeps them from overwhelming an outfit or a room while adding impact to the patterns. Window curtains can bridge the gap between plaid and floral print without competing for attention. Your theme might evoke a castle or a forest, but it shouldn’t look like a movie set.

3. Do Consider Proportion

Scale matters when mixing patterns. As a rule, choose smaller prints to coordinate with larger patterns to keep a room or outfit in proper proportion. A wide stripe looks striking with a scaled-down floral or tiny plaid, but it competes with fabrics that match its scale and impact. Big, bold geometrics need delicate prints to offset them. When dressing in mixed patterns, take the size and silhouette of the garment into consideration too. A full skirt makes a bold style statement even in a demure calico floral and needs broad stripes on a slim jacket to provide visual balance.

4. Don’t Combine Too Many Prints

Even in a large room, more than three prints can become overwhelming. While it’s tempting to show off your skill at mixing patterns with daring combinations, the overall impression may create visual noise. Sticking to a pair of coordinating prints is a good place to start. If the room still needs a little pizzazz, bring in a few bright solid colors as punctuation to your style statement.

5. Do Pick Harmonious Colors

The best way to keep mixed patterns from clashing is to unify them in some other way. Creating a color story brings disparate elements of an outfit or room together effortlessly. A big rose print in shades of Schiaparelli pink, cream and green is a beautiful foil for a narrow plaid in harmonious tones. Look for lighter and darker hues within the same color family for a more sophisticated play of color and pattern. In the kitchen, for example, you might choose kitchen accessories in crisp black and white accented with cantaloupe to go with a color scheme in grays and light peach.Once you have the knack of mixing patterns, every room in your home can have a decorator look.

 

Image Credit: KCH&G