Design

Design

4 Easy ways to instantly transform the look of a room

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A few years ago, you were in love with hippie-inspired interior décor, or perhaps your home could best be described as post-college. But now you’re in the mood for something a little more elegant without having to overhaul your entire interior. Luckily, dramatically transforming the entire look and atmosphere of a room can be done in one easy step, whether through the use of dramatic rugs, elegant lighting or designer prints. Here are some suggestions.

Use rugs to give your room a pop of colour and texture

A well-chosen rug can really alter the look of a room without forcing you to rearrange furniture. Play around with textures and colours to produce your desired effect. For instance, a sheepskin rug can soften harsh corners, while a bold patterned rug can transform a drab interior into one that’s more eye-catching. If you’ve got a large space that looks a little too bare, covering the floors with a big rug can turn it from blah to wow.

Neverending Glory
Neverending Glory

Illuminate your surroundings with elegant lighting

You might not want to change any of your furniture or have no space for new pieces, but that doesn’t matter when you’re installing lighting, which usually does not take up much space. Elegant lighting can turn an otherwise plain room into one that’s got that je ne sais quoi.

If you’re going for a more regal look, a classic chandelier will make it seem like Marie Antoinette just popped by. Giant pendulum floor lamps are also very popular in the living rooms of the stylish and fabulous, and it’s not hard to see why—the dramatic curves make you feel like you’re in an upscale resort. Check out some gorgeous examples of elegant lighting at TheLongestStay.com. 

Dress up the walls with sophisticated photos and prints

The pictures you hang on your walls speak volumes about the kind of person you are, your passions and your style sensibilities. You might have plastered your walls with posters when you were in college, but just because you’re all grown up now doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to bare walls. Designer prints and pictures taken by a great photographer can dress up your walls and change the tone of your space completely. Thanks to the Internet, it is now possible to order prints from artists located all over the globe. Don’t limit yourself to photography. Many artists create works of art with typography, while vintage maps, designer gift wrap and even sheet music all have their place in certain kinds of homes.

Declutter

If you’ve lived in your present home for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve fallen victim to clutter, which can destroy even the most carefully designed interior. Decluttering makes your home a cleaner, more comfortable place to be in, and also reminds you why you fell in love with your home in the first place. When throwing things out, be ruthless—if it’s something you haven’t used or even laid eyes on in more than a year, it’s probably safe to throw out. Donate unwanted items to charity or get rid of them at a yard sale or on eBay, so someone who needs them more can enjoy them. You might feel reluctant to throw things out at first, but once you’ve done the deed you’ll see just how liberating it can be to be free of the deadweight and, most importantly, to be able to enjoy your home the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Basic Elements in Creating a Contemporary Home

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Smooth surfaces and clean lines without intricate details make for a contemporary home design. However, this does not mean that your home should look cold or stark, as today’s contemporary design combines comfortable and livable elements that create a fresh and sophisticated look and feel.

Neutral Colors

These colors typically offset contemporary design, so when painting your walls, you might want to choose shades of pure white, cream, taupe or brown. You can also spice up a room by painting its walls with accent colors, placing a bold-colored sofa and incorporating small, yet vivid, decorative accessories, such as area rugs, pillows and artwork.

Metal Accents

contemporary home designs

Stainless steel, chrome, nickel and other similar metals are popular in contemporary design, due to the clean look and sleek finish they provide. You can easily accent certain areas in your home by incorporating furnishings and items, such as stainless steel appliances, faucets with metal finishes, metal lamps, etc. to help keep the style of these areas consistent.

Texture

Modern design makes use of texture, and to make yours natural and inviting, you can use fabrics, such as crushed velvet, silk, wool or linen. Furniture upholstery, fabric window treatments, over-stuffed pillows, linen wallpaper and area rugs can provide you a great way to offset the smooth and clean lines of metal accents. When choosing your fabrics though, stay away from elaborate patterns as they can distort the overall look of your place.

Very Light or Dark Wood Tones

When it comes to wooden surfaces, you should opt for those having very light or dark tones to achieve a contemporary look. Aside from the flooring, you can also use wood for your furnishings. Just make sure you are consistent with your accents to avoid having a cluttered-looking living space.

Modern Lighting

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Lighting is very important in creating a contemporary home, as it is the key to highlighting the design. Some of the best lighting options you can have include pendant lights, track lighting and floor lamps.

So, when trying to come up with a temporary look for your home, make sure you consider all of these elements!

How to Arrange a Small Bedroom?

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Whether you want it to be darkly cozy or alive with bright colors, decors can greatly help in designing a small bedroom. Plus, you don’t need to spend that much as there are practical ways to get the bedroom you’ve always wanted. How?

Use Smart Storage

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With limited space, every inch can be turned into storage. Yes, you can maximize the area under the bed with the usual beddings stashed, but there are other nooks in your bedroom which can be transformed into storage too. Some ideas include:

  • Replace your bedside table with a chest to double as a drawer too.
  • Hang your books in the wall or some boxes with your favorite stuff.
  • An ottoman or a lounge chair can also serve as extra bedding when placed at the foot of the bed.
  • The bed will take up most of your room’s area so redefining it with added blocks on the bed frame can host a set of luggage under.

Make the Right Choice of Bed

Even if your dream nest is to have the biggest bed possible, doing so will only cramp space. Keep it open instead such as getting an iron bed with a footboard and headboard that’s see-through. You can also opt for a storage bed for an open feel while saving on space.

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Decorate Properly

Of course, a small bedroom would do way better if decorated properly. If you want your personality to shine through, put up your favorite artwork. Simple framed photos will do as well with a color palette that complements the whole room. You can also go for unique lighting and table lamps. Make a bold statement by using an interesting headboard such as those with curvy or tall designs. As a personal space, keep in mind to decorate it with what makes you relaxed and happy the most.

Small is Cool: 10 Reasons to Downsize Your Home

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Large bedroom, sweeping living room, and spacious kitchen – it feels good to live in a big house. Bigger is better after all. If you are looking to live simply and practically , however, small is definitely beautiful.

Here are 10 good reasons why you should consider micro living and down size your home.

  1. Budget friendly. Small houses use few lights and, not to mention, are cheaper to heat and cool. A small wood burner can warm an entire floor in winter. A single air conditioning unit can sufficiently keep the blistering heat outside in summer. With a small home, you can basically cut down your electricity bills.
  1. Affordable. Smaller house means affordable purchase price, allowing you to pay off the mortgage faster.

tiny house design

  1. Easy to decorate. When it comes to turning small house into a comfortable, livable space, you can go all out with the décor. You can be artsy, or you can be classy. Go show your personality!
  1. Easy to clean and keep. You can get everything neat and tidy in less than an hour.
  1. Optimized used of space. No more dusty, unused bedrooms turned into a storage area or guest bedroom that needs to be cleaned regularly. All available spaces are used and optimized.
  1. Less waste. Less space means less waste and less hoarding of things you don’t need.
  1. Increased family interaction. There’s nowhere else to hide aside from bedroom. Everyone get to hang out in the living room during the evening.
  1. Cozy. Small spaces have that rather cozy atmosphere. Imagine yourself tucked in the living room sofa beside the wood stove.

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  1. Security. You know every nook and cranny of the house. Monsters have nothing to hide.
  1. More time outdoors. Living in small house encourages outdoor activity, allowing you and your family to enjoy fresh air and fun outdoor games.

4 Tips to an Eco-friendly Home

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With many people becoming aware of the effects of global warming, many homeowners are thinking of converting their houses into eco-friendly homes, from organic laundry detergents to solar-powered houses. The good news is, there are other ways to redecorate your home using recycled and environment friendly materials. Here are some tricks to do it:

  1. Antique or Pre-owned Furniture

By using existing furniture you can buy from an antique shop, you can help discourage manufacturers from building new pieces. Or perhaps, you know someone who wants to get rid of a sofa or bed which you can get for free.

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  1. Green Materials

Renewable materials are accessible and available, not to mention, abundant. If you want to convert your house into a green home, make use of these materials in your furnishings. These are cork, bamboo and straw. Not only can they be quickly harvested, in about 10 years, bamboos, for example, can be grown at home so long as you have the space.

  1. Multi-purpose Furniture

Another perfect choice is to remove the clutter in your living room by buying furniture that has multiple uses and can be transformed into different pieces. By only paying for one sofa that can turn into a bed or table, you can have extra space and more importantly, save on your expenses.

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  1. Vinyl Wall Décor

Make your home cooler in summer and warmer in the winter months by using vinyl or old fabric as a decoration for your wall. Perhaps you have a printed fabric that looks oriental you can use to cover a part of your wall that has crack or chipped paint. All you need is a little creativity and some imagination to create the ambience you want without having to spend.

There are numerous ways to have an eco-friendly home without having to remodel your house completely. Let these tips help you get started.

Tips and Tricks of Bringing a Tiny Home Interior to Life

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Living in a tiny home can be a cool decision if you want to downsize and save on utility bills and contribute to the environment. In fact, different sizes and designs can be found online and those who have tried investing in one are happy about it. However, decorating and designing the interior can be quite challenging especially if you want to avoid clutter.

Here are some tips on how to prep up your tiny home:

  1. Keep storage space in mind. 

A great way to save on space and avoid clutter is to create storage spaces in the house. A bed can double as storage for shoes by having drawers under the bed. You can also keep clothes you will not be wearing for the season and still have enough space for other stuff. Some do-it-yourself home owners opt to build their beds higher and use the lower portion to hang their clothes. Built-in cabinets are perfect to organize your things and keep a minimalist design.

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  1. Mount your television on the wall. 

Thanks to technology, televisions are not bulky anymore. Create a sleek living room with a wall-mounted, wide-screen TV. If you have handyman skills, doing it yourself will be a breeze. But you can also ask the experts from the electronics store to install it for a price. The lesser the clutter, the bigger your space will be.

  1. Recycle, repurpose, upcycle.

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A practical and environment friendly way to decorate your home is to use things you already own. Plastic bottles and tires can be used as planters, an old bicycle gear can be repurposed to a lamp and an old bathtub can be a sofa. Not only can you save in sprucing up your tiny house, you also help the environment.

Tiny home ideas are aplenty and there are many ways to make the most of small spaces. Choosing the right colors and using mirrors can also create an illusion of a larger space and by making use of these tips and checking out designs on the internet, you can soon have an awesome and cool tiny home.

5 Reasons Why WordPress Is a Great Blogging Platform

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No matter if you are doing it as a professional or just for fun, blogging is a great way to get people interested in what you say and who you are. It lets you share your unique perspective on things, promote a brand, product or issue, and is a great way to connect with people. There are many different blogging sites available for you to choose from, and it seems like the possibilities are endless, but there is one site that stands out above the rest and that is WordPress, and here are 5 reasons why it is a great blogging platform for both amateurs and professional bloggers:

No hidden costs

One of the big things that often puts people off blogging platforms are the hidden costs. Often a blog site says it is free, but then you find out it is only for a limited time or you have to pay to post, but this is not the case with WordPress. With this site you can join for free, create your own personal blog name and page, and post as many blogs as you like without paying anything. There are also a lot of extra plugins and features that are available for free or as limited offers. You only need to be concerned about paying if you want to upgrade to a premium package or move to a self-hosted WordPress site (you pay only for the domain name and for the hosting itself), which offer a lot of customization features ion comparison with the free version.

A great looking blog

The many attractive looks available is one of the main reasons why this is such a great blogging platform. There is an excellent variety of over a hundred blog templates to choose from, allowing you to fully control the way you present yourself. With different images, colour schemes and styles, you are able to create a look that mirrors your blog and your personal taste. You also do not need to know anything about coding or website design to do it, as the easy-to-follow setup wizard lets you create a great looking blog in minutes, and the site’s built-in help will guide you through anything that you might have trouble with.

© istock.com, Rawpixel
© istock.com, Rawpixel

A secure and safe platform

Having a safe and secure blog platform is very important, especially in the modern age of malware and the many other malicious viruses that are floating around the web, just waiting to infect a vulnerable computer. This great blogging platform is completely safe, as well as secure. It protects you as a blogger from spam messages and those dreadful pop-up advertisements that are present on a lot of other free blogging sites. Being a safe platform also means that it attracts readers, and as a blogger you also have the option to hide, block and report commenters to give you even more peace-of-mind.

The ability to connect with commenters

The best blogs become popular not just because they post interesting and informative content, but also because they form a connection with their readers. This is done through the readers leaving comments on your blog posts, and you having the ability to give feedback and respond to their comments. With WordPress, you can fully interact and connect with your readers, as it allows you to easily respond to their comments and also follow their link back to their personal blog if they have one, allowing you to easily strengthen the connection you have with them.

Favourable search engine ranking

Having a great search engine ranking is the most vital way of getting more traffic to your blog. Using great keywords and writing smart SEO content will help, but starting a blog on WordPress is a great way to get noticed. This blogging platform has a good reputation and gets a lot of traffic, and because of this, search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others, seek out the site to find search results. This means that by using this great blogging platform, it is more likely that you will be noticed and that your blog will end up getting a higher search engine result ranking than if you used a different blogging platform.

Want More Comfort in Your Flight? How About Double Decker Sleep Pods?

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One of the things that make people hate flying is the awkward and uncomfortable feeling they get when cramped in an economy class (because, obviously, business class is not that affordable) filled with people. And because you have to sit with at least two people you don’t know, sleeping can be quite a challenge, unless of course you have mastered the art of dozing off even in tight spaces. But traditional seating could soon be a thing of the past for frequent flyers.

A London-based design company came up with a seating arrangement that would solve all your flying woes.

Drum rolls please.

Introducing Air Lair. It’s the 3D seating design that’s aimed at providing all passengers maximum comfort and autonomy. Now imagine, cocoon-like pods stacked on top of each other. Inside these pods are ultra-comfortable airplane seats that allow you to from an upright position to lying flat. What’s more, each pod will be equipped with the latest technology to allow every passenger to be able to control their own lighting.

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Plus, you’ll be able to watch your own favorite movie or TV series and even plug in your iProducts. On top of that, the double-decker design allows passengers to enjoy 30 percent more legroom. Wouldn’t that supposed to be the only way to travel several hours by air? Shouldn’t that be how airplanes should be decked right from the start? Yes, that would be the epitome of flying in total comfort and style.

This innovative and genius seating arrangement by created by factorydesign for Zodiac, providers of seating for airlines like British Airways. Directory of factorydesign Adam White explained that they came up with the design using the concept of honeycomb.

British Airways

When we were approached by Zodiac, they specifically wanted us to create something outside the ordinary, something that would be new.

But at the same time, we knew we wanted something that we felt had a genuine intelligence in terms of [use of space].”

So, do you think these pod-like seats are going to be worth your every penny?

A luxury hotel recreates poverty conditions for tourists

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In the South African city of Bloemfonteine​​, a hotel chain called Emoya Luxury Hotel & Spa has adapted an apartment complex to simulate the South African villages where they live in misery. This complex, called The Shanty Town, has adopted the “Play to be poor for a while” slogan, and it’s designed for upper-class tourists who want to feel poor for a few days without sinking their feet in the mud.

Shanty Town scenario
The Shanty Town scenario

The “poor village” has 12 cottages that keep a poverty facade (with wood and tin houses), so that those ones who fantasize about being homeless for a few days don’t stop feeling the comfort. The surroundings and the history of the place were reconstructed following business purposes: the cabins are immersed in an waste environment (placed there as the attrezzo), the bathroom is out of the houses and tourists are encouraged to heat water in street bonfires.

The Shanty Town website says: “Now you can experience how it is to stay in a hut inside a private reserve. It is the only village in the world equipped with heating and Wi-Fi … The huts are ideal for teamwork, luxury themed parties or for havig a life experience. Our theme park is completely safe and child friendly.”

Slum-themed huts
Slum-themed huts

For an estimated per night of about $80 (150 thousand pesos), equivalent to half the South African average monthly salary, adults and children can spend a night in a similar cabin to the ones in poor areas of the country. The idea, according to Emoya Luxury Hotel, is to put the tourists in contact with poverty in South Africa.

But the experience is not quite complete because the cottages are located in a private space that belongs to the hotel. Here guests have electricity, internet access, heating, bathroom with shower, and other facilities.

Obviously, this kind of fiction meant for the rich to experience life like the poor got several criticisms. In particular, considering that in Africa the majority of the population lives in extreme poverty.