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Colours

How can I choose colours for my designs?

The power of colour in design is undisputed. Colour is eye-catching, grabs attention, it creates visual impact, organizes and group things, but most importantly evoke emotions. In this article I would like to suggest some tips and also things to consider when choosing colour.

Culture:

Before choosing a specific colour, always take into account the cultural factor and who your intended audience is. For example if you belong to the western world you might white associated with purity, such as the white wedding dress.

 

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Traditional Chinese wedding dress

 

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Traditional Japanese wedding kimono

 

But in China in brides more often wear red, a colour that symbolizes good fortune. Also in a number of Pacific Rim cultures white is considered the colour of mourning, while in America and Europe, we have black connected with mourning and death.

Even among the same culture, sometimes a colour can convey a different message, depending the context and the hue. Green is often associated with fresh, cool, healthy, environmental friendly. In the 15th century “Saint Wolfgang and the Devil” by Michael Pacher, the Devil is green. Poets such as Chaucer also drew connections between the colour green and the devil. Green has also been associated with jealousy, envy and sickness.

 

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In the 15th century “Saint Wolfgang and the Devil” by Michael Pacher, the Devil is green.

 

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Green is also often associated with health, freshness, environmental friendliness and nature.

 

History:

Knowing history of colour trends can also help you choose and avoid specific colour combinations that are strongly associated with that era. For example pink, black and turquoise was running amok at 1950s and today the combination Is usually used to evoke a retro feeling.

Nature

Colours that appear naturally together always make pleasing palletes, after all nature pre-dates our colour theories. And in most cases has better taste than us!!

Colour Harmonies

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The 12 – Colour wheel

Knowing the mechanics of the colour wheel takes a lot of guess work out, and helps you choose effective colour combinations. Usually the colour wheel is represented by 12 colours, positioned in it like the hours in an analog clock.

The primary colours yellow, blue and red, are separated by three colours, so starting with yellow at 12 o’clock, red would be at 4, and blue at 8 o’clock.

Secondary colours are produced by mixing two primary colours. The secondary colours are placed in between the two primary colours that created them.

For example between yellow and red are orange hues, between red and blue are the purple hues, and between blue and yellow are green hues.

Colours opposite the wheel are called complementary and have the highest possible contrast.

Side by side colours on the wheel are related and are called analogous, Pairing analogous colours create unity.

You can check out Adobe Kuler (http://kuler.adobe.com/#create/fromacolor),a free online application that can help you experiment with the colour wheel and various combinations.

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Colour Harmonies Infographic

Warm and Cool Colours

Warm colours are often said to be hues from red through yellow, browns and tans included; cool colors are often said to be the hues from blue green through blue violet, most greys included. Colour theory has ascribed perceptual and psychological effects to this contrast. Warm colours are said to advance or appear more active in a painting, while cool colors tend to recede; used in interior design or fashion, warm colours are said to arouse or stimulate the viewer, while cool colours calm and relax. Most of these effects, to the extent they are real, can be attributed to the higher saturation and lighter value of warm pigments in contrast to cool pigments. Thus, brown is a dark, unsaturated warm colour that few people think of as visually active or psychologically arousing.

Colour books

There are various colour books (or indexes) aiming specifically to help designers and artists pick harmonious and dynamic colour palettes.  They can be used as inspiration or as a guide to build your own colour palettes. You can find a selection of  colour books and indexes analyzing popular colours at our store section.

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I hope you find this article useful, feel free to add any tips you have on how we can choose colours! See you next time!

By: Reiner Kraft

10 Exclusive Home Décor Tips

Shifting to an empty home is just like starting drawing on a blank paper. You have an open ended question and countless answers to respond. For having a successful result you should be wise and decisive, so that you could opt for suitability yet beauty for your home premises. Presently the trend of interior designing is becoming increasingly popular. This emerging interest is encouraging many designers to write tips and ideas for having an exclusive home décor.

Different articles along with illustrations are making it easier for everyone to approach new styles and designs for decorating home environment.  For sharing more regarding this here I am going to describe 10 exclusive additions to your home décor.

1. Creative candles:

Small candles with creative stands look amazing in your dwelling. The empty shelves over your fireplace can be filled with these little candles. Depending upon your selected theme you can choose them in any style. They are available in different shapes like a wide range of spring flowers candles are visible in different stores.

2. Draped panels:

Sometimes little is more than enough same is the case with draped panels over curtains. By hanging a plain contrasting color fabric over your room curtains you can create a formal yet exciting feel. This is an inexpensive and admirable idea.

3. Beads as separators:

Without spending much on expensive screens you can also create fabulous beads separators. Take colorful beads and fill them in a string, make several strings and then hang them between the door spaces. This will cover the space like a curtain and with give a beautiful glance along with soothing voice on every touch.

4. Textured walls:

Plain walls are becoming outdated; presently the trend of textured walls is prevailing all around. For having variety you can treat with any single wall of each room in a same style but with different colors. This will create harmony in your dwelling. It’s not always necessary that you opt for expensive patterns you can also paste cheap wall papers.

5. Unique lampshades:

Carved lampshades tinted in different contrasting colors are amazing artifacts. You can cover corner spaces by placing creative lamps. This will serve you in a multiple way.

6. Display kids art:

Kid’s room is also an important portion of your house. While decorating other portions you cannot leave this part as it is. For adding interesting feel you can display your kid’s art work through variety of ways. By hanging a colorful bulletin board, you can create a focal point in their sleep corner this will help you in displaying their cute drawings.

7. Framed old memories:

For adding more emotional attachment in you for your dwelling, you can select few of your memorable family pictures. Mount them with an attractive frame and hang them against the wall. Few framed photos will add up life in your space.

8. Striking table tops:

Empty table tops look informal and often untidy. To give them a nice looks, place small braided table clothes over them. This will look more pleasant and tidy.

9. Exclusive cushions:

Cushions covered with amazing styles along with interesting shapes look very attractive. Stitch small eye catching sofa cushions for your sofa beds and even for your bed to rise up its beauty.

10. Rugs:

Small rugs with traditional designs are much more fascinating. Cover your empty spaces with them and enhance the attractiveness of your plain floor.

These were the 10 cheap and exclusive ideas for your home décor. Add them in your house and enjoy the best surrounding. Hope you like it.

Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Reiner Kraft

By: Christopher Barson

A Guide to Choosing the Right Lighting for Your Home

Lighting is one of the most important elements of interior design. Good lighting doesn’t just make your home look nice, it also makes you feel safer, promotes feelings of wellbeing, and allows you to perform day-to-day tasks such as cooking, reading, or writing more easily.

The lighting you should choose for each room in your home will depend on the size of the room and what it is used for. Here’s a quick look at the range of lighting choices that are available to you.

The Living Room

Ideally, you should lay out your living room to take advantage of as much natural light as possible, so that it requires minimal lighting during the day. Most living rooms are multi-purpose rooms, where people spend time relaxing, watching TV, working, and practicing their favourite crafts or hobbies.

The multi-purpose nature of this room means that you need a good variety of lighting options. A central chandelier is a good starting point, and a nice form of decorative lighting, however extra lighting is needed to ensure that everyone in the room can see clearly, and that there are no ugly dark corners in the room.

Use multiple light sources, and choose the strength and type of each light carefully. Central lights should have a high lumens value (meaning that they glow brightly), while decorative lighting in the corners of the room can be softer and dimmer. In most cases, energy saving light bulbs are a good choice for the living room. If you suffer from migraines, however, then you may want to use halogen instead of CFL based bulbs.

Halls and Stairways

Halls and stairways aren’t places that people tend to spend a lot of time in, but that doesn’t mean that you can skimp on lighting in them. For safety, you should make sure that your stairways are well-lit.

A single pendant light will provide adequate lighting for a small porch, but stairwells require more than one light source. Place lighting fixtures eight feet apart. Consider matching the design of these light fixtures to the chandelier in your hallway for a stylish look.

The Kitchen

Lighting in the kitchen must be both functional and decorative. Opt for fluorescent under-cabinet lighting to minimise shadows in your work area. Add strong recessed ceiling lights around the walls, and pay particular attention to the amount and quality of light near your sink, oven, and anywhere else where you will be doing a lot of work.

Choose light that is glows brightly and is as close to the colour of daylight as possible (such as a halogen light) so that you can see clearly while preparing food.

Bedrooms

Opt for multiple lighting sources in the bedroom. Consider a single pendulum light in the centre of the room, lamps with dimmer switches on either side of the bed, subtle down lighting near your dressing table, and lights around your wardrobe and mirror.

The bedroom is the only room where having an absence of light is a good thing. Use heavy curtains or blinds to block out light from outside, and make sure that the light sources you introduce into the room are not overly harsh.

Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Christopher Barson

Article by A. Elliott

This article was written by A. Elliott for Juice Electrical energy saving devices.

Welcoming Attic Apartments and Outdoor Sanctuaries

Bright Apartment Decorating With Cool Roof Terrace Design

In these modern times, one of the most highly desired building modifications is a well designed roof terrace. These outdoor spaces are no longer just places to get a good view; they are highly desirable environments that, with a little creative design and some cash, can be converted into beautiful, relaxing and welcoming outdoor havens.

Welcoming Attic Apartments and Outdoor Sanctuaries

Attic apartments have always been highly desired by tenants and homeowners, as they provide a great vantage point which can be used to create big, bright airy rooms. In the past it was what was on the inside that was important, and any external space was a bonus, not an expectation.

Bright Apartment Decorating With Cool Roof Terrace Design   Welcoming Attic Apartments and Outdoor Sanctuaries However, times have changed, and luxury tenants are looking for attic apartments that include outdoor environments that are designed and decorated to the same artistic and high standards as the apartment itself.

In this example image we can see how the designer has created a warm, welcoming and well lit room.

There are plenty of elements within the room that suggest outdoor design.

For example, the big table is made from wood with a washed effect. Its chunky oversized design speaks more of the outdoors than interior design.

Bright Apartment Decorating With Cool Roof Terrace Design   Welcoming Attic Apartments and Outdoor Sanctuaries 2 The two chairs at the forefront of the picture would also look at home outdoors rather than indoors; and yet, the room still has plenty of features that speak of exceptional interior design, such as the unique and quirky lamps dotted around the room and the big comfortable looking neutral settees.

Most importantly, with all it’ seating in an open square arrangement, the room says ‘this is where the action is at’; and that’s what we would expect from this type of apartment.

However, connected to this apartment is a stunningly beautiful roof terrace, and it’s immediately clear that this roof terrace is the private sanctuary for the tenant or owner. The single wicker chair, set amongst a number of potted plants, says that this is a haven for an individual when one needs a little quiet time. It’s a soul soothing, body warming area of privacy, and it enables the occupant to overlook the big wide bustling world without having to interact it with directly.

However, not all roof terraces are designed with just one individual in mind, and many designers have used this limited outdoor space to create fantastic communal areas the encourage the tenants or owners to invite friends and family over to share not just meals but memories.

Outdoor Environments for Multiple People

For some occupants, an outdoor roof terrace is not about creating a private sanctuary where one can escape, it’s about creating a communal area that can be shared with friends and family.

In this example, we can see that the designer has worked with the apartment owner to create a communal outdoor dining area where up to six guests can share food, drink wine and exchange stories as they look out across the landscape.

Bright Apartment Decorating With Cool Roof Terrace Design   Outdoor Environments for Multiple People All of the furniture is designed to withstand the elements, and there is little foliage in the design, helping to keep the focus on the people around you, the city skyline (which would look wonderful during dark hours) and of course the mountainous terrain in the far distance.

This roof terrace would be relatively easy to maintain and it’s the perfect design for those overly sociable occupants who want to create an outdoor environment that everyone can enjoy.

Bright Apartments and Romantic Roof Terraces

Bright Apartment Decorating With Cool Roof Terrace Design   Bright Apartments and Romantic Roof Terraces In this next example, the designer have strived to deliver a bright and airy apartment and a romantic roof terrace garden that can work for both a couple looking to indulge in a little romance and for entertaining guests.

The big bold red leather sofa inside with the wonderful wicker table work really well together. The white washed walls help to maximize the amount of light coming into the apartment and the roof terrace can be seen through the window next to the sofa.

Outside, there’s bar seating for guests, and a cozy cushion covered bench in the corner that says ‘this is for the couple only!’

Bright Apartment Decorating With Cool Roof Terrace Design   Bright Apartments and Romantic Roof Terraces 2

Hints of bold color are introduced into the design to help the design and theme transition from indoors to out. This roof terrace would certainly be the envy of onlookers!

Images are provided and/or copyrighted by the author

Article by Peter Smith

The article is authored by Peter Smith. He owns a famous site for home decor and latest furniture. If you are looking for the shabby chic furniture then you must visit the site.

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How to Create Your Own Beautiful Piece of Art with Silk

Forget paper and canvas, have you ever considered painting on silk? With silk you have the ability to customise and create art in a whole new way. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as painting on canvas, silk needs to be prepared properly in order for you to get the most out of your silk artwork. Follow these tips to see how it’s done.

Wash your silk beforehand

Start by gently washing your silk with warm water and a dye reactive detergent to rid the silk of any excess dye. Rinse and dry the silk until it is slightly damp, then press with an iron.

Stencil out your design
Your design will work best if it is made up of enclosed areas, keeping the colour contained. Start by creating a template by drawing your design to scale in pencil on a sheet of paper, then going over it with black marker. Next, lay your piece of silk over the template and carefully draw your deisign on the silk with a pencil.

Suspending and Stretching

At this point you will need to start stretching your silk and suspending it off your work surface, for this you will need a frame.  The type of frame will depend on the size of the silk that you have, but generally artist’s canvas stretcher bars work well and are easily found at most art supply shops; or if you’re strapped for cash, you can even cut out a frame from cardboard!

Start stretching your silk onto your chosen frame, securing it with pins every 5 inches or so along the sides. You want to create enough tension in your silk that you can paint on it easily, but not so tight that it tears.

Applying Dyes, Paint and Resist

Start by applying Resist to your design, following the lines and making sure there are no gaps for the dye to seep through; if the silk is particularly thick (heavier than 12mm) then apply resist to the back as well. Wait until the resist is dry and then begin painting. Add your dye or paint sparingly and in the centre of each enclosed space. Don’t let the silk become too saturated but paint wet on wet if you want to avoid lines.

Setting your colour
Once you have finished painting on your design, it’s time to set the colour and make it permanent. The chemicals used are generally available in art supply stores. So check the directions or ask those working there which chemical would be best for your silk and colouring.

There you have it! Once you perfect the method of painting silk, you have the ability to create anything you want. If feel confident enough you can start designing everything and anything, from silk shirts and silk blouses to silk paintings and silk cloths. Just be sure you get some practise before doing these larger pieces. You don’t want to waste silk and expensive dyes.

Featured image: CC – Attribution photo by ellenm1 on Flickr – source

Article by Amy Elliott

Written by A. Elliott; a writer with an interest in art and interior design who occasionally writes for Patra Selections, specialists in silk products such as silk nightwear, silk underwear and silk shirts. You can find out more about them and their products by clicking here.

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Why Minimalist Design Shouldn’t be Ignored When Redecorating Your Home

In recent years there has been a trend back towards minimalist design. One of the reasons for this is the fact that we all lead much busier lives than in the past and the clean lines and spare look of minimalism make modern homes a lot easier to clean.

If you want your home to look contemporary and clutter free then the clean lines of minimalism is the way to go.

We all tend to have too much stuff, which makes our homes less comfortable rather than more because there is often something on every single surface. A minimalist interior will enable you to enjoy a much tidier and cleaner looking environment, where less is more.

Minimalist Interiors

It is easy to add a touch of warmth to your new minimalist home using cottage doors, interior designers love the richness that solid wood can give to a place. You may think that redecorating your home using minimalist ideas will be too expensive, but you’d be wrong. Minimalist interiors have less furniture but each piece is designed to make a statement as well as fulfil a function.

One of the great things about minimalist interiors is that they are virtually timeless, which means that you will save money in the long run. Imagine how much character a period 4 panel oak door will lend to your minimalist kitchen. The reason that Art Deco style and furnishings were so popular in the twenties and thirties was due to its simplicity. Many people had been used to living with over stuffed Victorian furniture and fragile ornaments on every shelf and table.

Simple things such as bull nose skirting and nineteen thirties doors will help to transform your home into a comfortable space because of the feeling of warmth that these things can add to a room. Minimalist décor can make even the tiniest flat feel spacious. If you have too much stuff cluttering up your life, you will enjoy the impression that you have more room in which to move around.

Saving Money

Minimalist furniture and design is not as expensive as you think. Many people search antique stores and second hand shops to find singular pieces that they can restore themselves. When you get accustomed to the fine lines of your new home décor, you won’t feel the need to consistently purchase bits and pieces to ‘liven the place up.’

When you choose to change the look of your home you will actually spend less on furnishings because you will need less of them. An interior designer will help you to ensure that each piece you buy is the exact fit and looks as if it was meant to be in that place.

Make the most of your space with clever lighting and choose blinds rather than curtains because they give windows a much neater look. The futuristic look of a good deal of minimalist furniture means that your home will always look current. Why not give yourself the freedom from clutter that a minimalist room brings.

 Featured image: CC – Attribution image by tommerton2010 on Flickr – source

Article by Amy Elliott

Amy has a passion for interior design and occasionally writes for UK Oak Doors, specialists in oak front doors and cheap oak skirting boards. Find out more about them and their products by clicking here  or by visiting their Facebook page.

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How to be Confident with Colour

Every interior designer should learn about the importance of colour, and the impact that each colour has on our mood and well-being  Choosing the right colours for each room will make the difference between a relaxing and welcoming home and one which is depressing, or stressful, to spend time in.

Great Colours for the Kitchen

There are two main designs that work well for kitchens – the clean, modern design and the rustic country-style look.  Both looks focus on neutral colours, and create light and airy rooms.  Good chefs rely on natural light a lot while they are cooking, because fluorescent lights hide the true appearance of the foods they are working with.

Make sure that you design your room so that you prepare a lot of food near the window, and opt for neutral coloured window blinds that allow as much natural light through as possible. Choose white, slate grey, pale brown, or natural wood colours as the main colours for your living room.  Add splashes of red or green for colour.

Decorating Your Living Room

The living room is one of the main rooms where you can truly express your personality.  For a sophisticated look, opt for black mixed with white or silver. If you prefer a dreamier and more feminine appearance, consider shades of purple.

Deep reds are rich, vibrant and luxurious, and can be a good choice for living rooms; however red is a powerful colour and can easily be over-used. Consider mixing red walls with fuchsia and orange soft furnishings for a soothing but vibrant effect.

Yellow is a great choice for family rooms. It is stimulating and has been found to have a positive effect on people’s moods.  Choose ice-cream yellow to inject a permanent touch of summer into your home.

Restful Colours for the Bedroom

The bedroom is one of the most difficult rooms to decorate. Ideally, you want your bedroom to be dark and peaceful on a night time, but to turn into a bright and refreshing place the moment you open your window blinds.  Choose pale greens, cool blues, or soft greys for the bedroom.  Avoid busy patterns and bright colours, which are likely to distract you and make it difficult for you to get into a restful state of mind.

For a bold and mature looking bathroom, consider black patterned wallpaper with silver or white highlights.  For best results, choose an elegant pattern, rather than a complex or busy one.

Designing an Attractive Bathroom

Mint green, pale blue and beige are the most common choices for bathroom colour schemes, but you don’ t have to limit yourself to those colours.  Grey is a neutral colour which works well in almost any room.  Pastel yellows can also look good in bathrooms, especially if combined with white and orange tiles, and striking chrome taps.

The above colour suggestions are exactly that, suggestions.  You can use any combination of colours that you wish. Experiment with different colour schemes until you find one that suits your personality.

Featured image: CC Licensed Photo by jinkazamah on Flickr – source

Article by Amy Elliott

Amy has a passion for interior design and occasionally writes for Creatively Different Blinds, specialists in window blinds. Find out more about them and their products by clicking here or by visiting their Facebook page.