I am not sure about you, but to me a messy home creates somewhat a hinder for me mentally. It is probably arguable but keeping a home tidy and clean does improve ones wellbeing, both mentally and physical. But, with busy lifestyles it is really difficult to keep the energy up when it comes to having that neat and clutter free home. To me looking at real estate objects, like this one from Skandia Mäklarna does the trick in motivating me.
This particular home oozes organization and cleanliness. Ok, the home has been styled, but judging from some of the materials applied in the interior this homeowner -an Art Director in Sweden- might always keep his home this neat. What material am I referring to? Well seeing that he has a marble countertop, which is nothing but stunning, it also needs to be taken care of so no staining happens, hence I am assuming that he is a rather neat person.
Credit: SkandiaMaklarna Via Emmas designblogg
Well, my little analysis there might not be correct, but what I am sure of is that I will use this gorgeous home as an inspiration for my lifestyle moodboard. So what do you say, do you think you can keep your home as tidy and clean as this one?
When reading through press materials from Norm Architects the other week I was reminded of the Swedish expression ‘to find beauty in everyday objects‘. Since I have been an expat for many years now I have forgotten that this actual is a typical Swedish saying. Well I might have forgotten its origin, but I do very often refer to it in regards of design, especially in residential design.
But what do we Swedes mean by finding beauty in everyday objects? Well basically it is to appreciate the form, colour, emotions amongst some in an object that is repeatedly used on a daily basis. A home that illustrates some of this, is this couples home in Sweden. For example take a look at their kitchen. Instead of concealing the pantry area they used a visible storage system where one can see the items which are daily used for cooking up a nice meal with. Also visible is the fruit bowl which gives it a pleasing and homey feel. The fruit also adds colour, texture as well as diversity, depending on which fruit one purchases.
Credit: Dwell / Photo - Mark Seleen
There are many benefits with designing a space and decorating it with objects that you actually use compared to static decorative objects. One major thing I think of firstly is cost. You will save money by limiting un-necessary decorative objects and replacing them with beautiful items which come useful. There is also the saved cost on hidden storage as this is normally needed if you do not want them to show. But like with everything else there has to be a fine balance. To not end up with a messy and cluttered look I prefer to keep the rest of the design elements rather clean-looking, like this couple did.
So what do you say, would you do like the Swedes and aim to show off your espresso cooker and your tea bags?
There has long been plenty of talk around small living and its economical and sustainable benefits. Very often I think we belive we need more space than we actually do. Craving space is of course a normal thing as we naturally seek privacy and distance from both objects and people in a space. But before you decide to upscale to that bigger house. Take a look at your own smaller home and see if you have used it to its full potential.
I would start off by taking a look at the amount of natural light that comes in to the space. Small spaces benefits from natural light as well as a more open floor plans as this creates the illusion of more room. Would it be possible to bring more light in by perhaps knocking down a wall or insert an internal glass window instead?
Regarding colours, textures and furniture think ‘less is more’. Use a simple colour palette and to create interest go for different textures that supports your concept. If you choose lighter and more fragile textures you will keep that light and airy feel. Also important is to look at the size of your furniture. Bulky and heavy forms will decrease the feeling of space so try to steer away from these. Like the designers do use transparent and translucent materials where possible as they are reflective hence meaning more light.This does not mean that your home have to be full of mirrors or look anything like a disco ball. But it could be good to keep these materials in mind. Another vital trick is to use furniture which does not touch the floor as much; for example sideboards which you attach to the wall instead of placing directly on the floor. Again this emphasizes a feel of openness.
Credit: Dwell / Photo - Dean Kaufman
Small living does not suit everyone, but I strongly believe that if you just take a look at the space again and use the right materials and methods you will be able to get a bigger space than you might have imagined from start. Just think of the money you can save by living smaller! So what do you say, is small living something you are in favour of?
Should a home be mixed with business? Why not! If you are a business owner, blogger, photographer, freelancer or simply have a brand of some sort, let your home be part of your brand. Friends and family who may visit your home could all well be potential clients. So it seems only logical to implement some of your brand’s vision into your own home. In a way it is like creating an extension of that mood board that you might have done prior to your brand’s building by visually expressing it into the decoration.
The principle I would use to achieve this is basically the same I would use for when designing a creative home. Think about using decoration that resemble your brand’s vision and graphical identity. This could be through colours, materials, shapes and so on. Don’t worry, you don’t have to frame your business card or anything like that (even though in some spaces’ this could be cool too). Try to look away from the obvious things that remind you of your business, and look for the hidden, deeper messages that comes through.
Just take a look at Therese Sennerholt’s gorgeous and inspiring home which we are seeing here. The color scheme, elements and relaxed feel all resemble her business and graphical design work. Right? If you don’t know what I am talking about have a look at some of it here where I blogged about her art a few weeks ago…Ok now, do you see what I mean? Her style echos across her graphical work and the design of the interior. The link between them two creates a reassurance to old as new clients that she is confident in her business and style. It most surely also act as a motivation and inspiration for Therese’s own work.
Credit: Therese Sennerholt / Styling: Lotta Agaton / Photo: Kristofer Johnsson
It is important for serenity that the ‘brand’ do not overtake the purpose of the home being just that sweet home. The key is to make sure that your brand and business is your passion; lifestyle and hobby. If not it would only be overwhelming to constantly be reminded of work!
In the design world quality is an important factor as it determines a materials longevity and wearability. But if you are anything like me, picking everything of high standard basically means using money I do not have. Or ending up with a high standard kitchen and with the rest of the space being empty. So I thought to share some pointers that I use when approaching this issue: how to balance budget with the desire for quality?
What I do is I start by observing the size of the renovation/design so that I can go on to look at the budget I have in mind. Try to divide the budget into the different segments of the design. This way you will -hopefully- eliminate any unexpected costs or like I mentioned, end up with some great pieces applied and not afford to complete the project.
Now when you have an understanding of how much to spend in what area. Go on to evaluate what type of quality you need. By this I mean look into the type of activity that takes place around/on the material. Will it be exposed to high wear and how will it be used? For example if you love cooking you might use the kitchen more frequently hence splurging some extra on the right countertop will be worth it. Or do you spend a lot of time on your sofa, then opt for a sofa with a superior base and upholstery.
Credit: Dwell - Photo by Helenio Barbetta
Basically what I do is highlighting key areas that needs/should have more superior material/finishes. Less used areas I do not need to spend as much money on. That way I balanced out the costs and have a greater chance to complete a successful design.
Selecting materials and products and putting it all together into a budget can be a daunting process. But with a bit of research or help from professionals you will do just fine!