Playing with fire – Light your home in style

Having a fire feature in your house will surely light up your home in a style that exhudes warmth and comfort.  It will create ambience as well as functional heat in the cold of winter.  It is a focal point as well as a great place to congregate around.  Below are some need to know, basic fireplace  information and options that will surely light up your home.

Old school fireplaces

The house is a person’s living space, and a symbol of the family’s wealth and prosperity. In the center of the home used to be a fireplace/hearth as its main constituent part, and since it was in the center, its spiritual importance was high. Even today, in a time of central heating and LED lighting, people feel a certain tenderness and undeniable pleasure whenever they have the chance to be near a fireplace or fire pit. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many people still want decorative fireplaces in their houses, fire pits in their backyards, candles on their tables and the motif of fire in their homes in general.

Fireplaces are once more an absolute hit in home decor, because of the unique atmosphere they create. As they can heat only the room which they are used in, they serve as an additional method of heating. A fireplace can be installed in any sufficiently large area. Small spaces are not suitable because a lot of air is necessary for a nice, burning fire. A fireplace should have a separate chimney, which must not be in contact with a gas chimney. Rustic fireplaces are mostly made of brick, stone and wood. The most beautiful ones are open type fireplaces, located in the corner of the room; where there is a drain for the chimney, as it gives the impression of a miniature hearth.

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Modern fireplaces

Along with the classic variant of open fireplaces that use wood, closed electric and gas fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular. Although these latter variants cannot provide the natural beauty or the smell of real burning wood atmosphere, electric and gas fireplaces are great for maintenance – they don’t have to be lit up and cleaned every day, they have heat regulators, and, if necessary, they can be easily moved. Elegant straight lines fit well in all modern homes, as well as those that balance different styles, and together with heating, they can offer a genuine aesthetic pleasure. Fireplaces can be decorated with materials that withstand high temperatures and contribute to the overall look of the room and lighting effect; materials such as special glass like Blazing glass’ fire glass, stainless steel, brick, stone, etc.

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Hearth as a heart of any backyard

Hearths, or fire pits, are some of the most interesting decorative elements that can be found in someone’s backyard, and you can even build them yourself. If you are thinking about ways to enrich your outdoors, this is the right solution. Hearths can be different depending on your personal preferences and garden style. A stone fire pit with a semicircular bench will look nice in the garden surrounded by greenery. Metal pits are practical for small yards, because they can be easily put away, and geometrical concrete hearths can serve as tables when there’s no fire. With good company and a refreshing drink, in the comfort of your own garden or terrace, you can enjoy delicious food and precious moments under a clear, sunny sky or the warmth of the fire under the stars.

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Image: Anthony Paul Landscape Design

Magical candle light

The appropriate selection of candles can bring a relaxing atmosphere to your home. Arranged candles inside the fireplace operate very effectively in this regard. Also, you could enjoy your bathroom lit only by candlelight. Mirror, as the basis for candles, will increase the amount of light and act very effectively. By combining the complementary colors of candles, you can achieve an interesting look. Moreover, you can choose the colors to compliment the current season. Candles can be placed in combination with floral arrangements, natural materials, or fabric of matching color. Their flickering light and unique smell will provide a dose of intimacy and a soothing atmosphere.

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Image: IM Lab Source

If it’s safe and stylish, decorate your home with flames. The presence of fireplaces, hearths, candles – dim fire light, can make any place feel cozier and more pleasant to live in.

For decorating assistance in CT, Contact Melanie at All About Interiors.

collaboration of article: Zoe Clark Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/zoe.clark.58367  Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZoeFClark  Google+: https://plus.google.com/116260362531781886421/posts

 

Easy design for your Home Office

Design Your Home Office Following Zen Principles

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I often say to clients, “less is more.” I certainly feel that way in  office decor.  Wihout even realizing, can become quite chaotic very quickly.

If you’re a busy entrepreneur working from your home office and you need to up your productivity fast, perhaps it’s time for a thorough workspace overhaul and willingness to embrace some helpful new practices. Visual or audio distractions in the room can often act as obstacles to preservation of focus and cause energy blocks, ultimately affecting your normal day-to-day business and its productivity.

Initial Considerations

As you probably know, most home offices are not conductive to efficient workflow because of too many distracting elements and the proximity of your living space as an area in most cases associated with spare time, leisure and non-work related activities. Still, there is an easy way to increase your efficiency even when working from home while at the same time preserving your peace of mind, focus and peacefulness – it’s called Zen. As a philosophy and school of practice inherited from ancient eastern masters, Zen signifies unity of the mind and the body in the pursuit of higher knowledge and understanding through meditation, repose and quietude.

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I love how each shelf doesnt’ house too much “stuff” to clutter the look of the room.  Everything has a place.

According to a Zen studies society, it can be defined as “infinite gratitude to all things past, infinite service to all things present, and infinite responsibility to all things future”, and this spiritual approach can be effectively implemented in home office design to advance flexibility, openness, completeness, attunement and productivity of dealings in the house-based work area. Here, we bring you some useful tips on how to organize your home-based workspace to a most satisfactory outcome and reach the Zen state while pursuing your everyday business.

Defining the Use of Your Home-Based Workspace

The first thing you need to look at is the way you use your home office and how you can change that to ensure minimal distraction, improved focus and greater work success. Consider the activities you engage in during your business conduct at your home office, such as writing, editing, financial dealings, crafts, paperwork and similar. By briefly summarizing the essentials of your workflow, you will have a clear goal in terms of use of space to concentrate on when conducting your business.

allaboutinteriors-orgKeeping organized and clear of clutter is a key componant to a productive workspace.  I am loving the rug and mirrored table in this picture!

De-cluttering Your Work Area

One important aspect of any area you use daily is tidiness. Useless mess on your desk and the rest of you workspace is a distraction getting in the way of productive workflow and blocks uninterrupted energy flow. On top of looking grungy and terribly neglected, needless clutter in your home office is also highly unprofessional so clean out your desktop and drawers and throw away items you seldom use – this will eliminate blocks, streamline energy and encourage you to focus on the job objectives.

Being Systematic with Files, Documents and Supplies

Preserving focus is essential when handling significant projects and tasks, so to add a dash of Zen and/or feng shui to your home office, be systematic with papers, documents and files. Orderly financial sheets, contracts and bills will take your mind off commonplace concerns and allow you to be more relaxed, alert and productive. Use folders, binders and labels to organize paperwork and office supplies – in a neat room, energy flows more freely, contributing to higher productivity as well.

traditional-home-office 3I love the pops of bright color to keep the space from looking drab!

Adding Personal Touches

To ensure work efficiency while preserving a stress-free and comfortable environment, personalize your home-based workspace with accessories precious to you. Elements of individual style carefully arranged around the work area (e.g. photos, potted plants, inspirational quotes, wall art and other personal details) render a distinctive feel and energy to the room, which in turn boosts productivity, comfort and tranquility on a busy home office day, we learn from various office furniture suppliers.

Keeping up the Good Work

To ensure long-term flexibility, peace and productivity, set aside some extra time every day to carefully review your home office and consider potential modifications and adjustments in the room arrangement. Take 5-10 minutes at the beginning of your work day to declutter the room, make sure it is clean and orderly and rearrange furniture pieces or items getting in the way of the overall energy flow. Remember: preserving harmony in your home office is a process, and it takes continuous effort.

home-office 5Although I would recommend a throw rug or valance to introduce some color and warmth to the space, the cubbies do provide great storage.

To maximize productivity and efficiency of your work at home in the long run, a one-off spring cleaning, a handful of new furnishings thrown in from time to time and an occasional fresh paint number are just not enough. Like learning, meditation and understanding, conduct of business is also a process that requires patience, calmness and intense focus on the tasks and projects at hand, which is why the Zen philosophy can come in handy when designing your home office.

If you want to boost energy, work output and overall atmosphere of tranquility, purposefulness and service to other people and/or a higher goal, you should try and keep your home office clean, simple, meaningful, straightforward, orderly and inspiring. After all, harmony comes hand in hand with peace and contentment, which are inextricable from balance, well-being and success in all aspects of life, including business.

All comments are opinions of All About Interiors.  Please feel free to contact Melanie Langford of All About Interiors to create your efficient workspace.

Pictures are courtesy of Google Images.

Author Bio: If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she simply can’t resist the urge to embark on all sorts of home improvement projects and spread the word about them. You can check her out on Google+Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 7, 2015 - 11:59 am

Home Office Set-Up: TIPS for Busy Professionals - […] Photo Credit: All About Interiors, Design Your Home Office Followng Zen Principles. […]

Décor Therapy: The Art of Backyard Living

When talking about home decoration people tend to put a lot of stress on indoor decoration. Coordinating the colors, selecting furniture sets or pieces, matching them to area rugs, throwing a couple of accent pillows, no matter what style they choose, these elements are always present. Still, a happy few homeowners recognize the importance of decorating outdoor space as well. If you are blessed with a full size yard, you will surely find these garden decorating tips useful.

Plan Shrubs and Flowerbeds

Despite their relatively short life span and even shorter blooming period, nothing can bring liveliness and natural colors better than flowers. Not to mention the fragrance in hot summer nights. The best tactics is to plant species that bloom at different part of the year, so you never have empty beds. Shrubs and herb gardens on the other hand, make your garden closer to a natural habitat, turning it into a relaxing oasis for your family and friends.

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Aren’t these colors so vibrant?  They would perk up any backyard design.

A Spot for Lounging

Leave the cheap metal furniture for small town cafes and fast food joints. You will find a golden teak sofa much more inviting and rewarding, and so will your guests. You will spend many pleasant afternoons with your shoes off just longing there and reading your favourite book, with tiny drops running down the iced glass of perfect lemonade. If you prefer wicker but don’t like its weathered look after a few seasons, you can try an all-weather resin version. There are many colors and styles to choose from, ranging from contemporary to traditional.

Smith & Hawken Avignon Teak sofa, chair, and table:

Smith and Hawkin

I could curl up with a good book or entertain on this patio furniture!

Outdoor Cooking and Dining

If your family enjoys preparing food and eating outdoors at least twice a week, a rustic outdoor kitchen would be a nice, yet practical touch. What you need is a simple countertop that will blend into the rest of the yard, maybe lined with some brickwork, and a marble counter. A refrigerator comes handy for storing meat, salads and of course the beer. Tree shade is nice, but you don’t want leaves and petals falling into your plate. Invest in waterproof weather canopy or pergola, which will show their usefulness during garden parties.

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Serve ’em up!~

The Pool

Nothing can be as refreshing after a long summer working day as a relaxing soak in your own private garden pool. They come in all sizes and shapes. While a concrete pool is more flexible with size and design features, which means it can be sculpted like a true work of art, a fiberglass and vinyl pools have low maintenance and non-abrasive surface. As an alternative, you can invest in a luxurious hot tub or spa on your deck.

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Nothing speaks louder than a pool when it comes to summer fun!  You can have your own tropical paradise.

Outdoor Lighting

Many garden charms can only be enjoyed when the sun sets, in which case you need some decorative mood lighting. The basic fixtures are porch lights that illuminate the access to the house and the porch area. These can be supplemented with candles, wall mounted indirect light, or decorative lanterns. If your garden is leaning toward oriental style, you can hang a few lines of paper lanterns.

(C) Foto+Design Andreas Fein (Koeln)

(C) Foto+Design Andreas Fein (Koeln)

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I love the clean lines of this patio sectional.

Above all, your garden should be a place of comfort and a natural sanctuary from the madding crowd. Make it a part and extension of your home.

Written by Guest Blogger: Zoe Clark

Comments by Melanie Langford

 

The Right Lighting

Sadly, many homeowners pay little or no attention when choosing the right lighting for a specific room. Typically, the general public has little knowledge of the rules which should be applied when it comes to lighting. Lighting is more difficult to choose in today’s world since there are literally millions of options.  This post will give you the guidance and recommendations you need to get started.

Apart from the basic purpose of illumination, lighting is often infused with the space’s style and specific elements to beautify our home.

Living Room Lighting

Living rooms are surely the place where most of your home socializing takes place.  As a result, the lighting you choose is vital for various effects or if you want to make a unique statement. A unique chandelier, lighted ceiling fan or a tall floor lamp can be very impressive. Those of large size as well as ornamental design can be an eye catching statement piece and can stand out in a room.  But make sure the style goes with the overall flavor of your space. If it were a modern living room, a very stylish minimalist chandelier is a nice option to strike people as a show stopper. While in a classic décor perhaps a more traditional floor lamp or ceiling fan would resonate quaint grace.

living room ceiling fan

Lighting for Bedroom

Every bedroom requires both bright light for task or reading and dim light for ambiance. To address the need for a large amount of light, a flush mount ceiling light or ceiling fan with lights are practical. If romance is what you are aiming for, a gorgeous crystal chandelier would be the right call. To address a dimmer light for ambiance, I can suggest using a table lamp. Table lamps, which are less functional but definitely indispensable in many various settings.  An antique or Mediterranean style Tiffany table lamp will surely serve your purpose by giving off tender and soft light. The thick glass of Tiffany lamps are featured with delicate flower patterns which refrain from too much light glowing.  I personally like the look of a chandelier above the bed such as this one here.

bedroom light

To Brighten up a Dining Room

Proper lighting in a dining room, can most definitely influence your mood for eating. When discussing dining room lighting, the typical lighting is a chandelier however pendent lighting can also be very effective and is growing in popularity. Some may argue that pendent lights suit a kitchen best. But very often, our dining tables are quite long and only a wide pendent will do the trick. If the space is large, you may want to add some recessed lights on a dimmer along the outer brim. It will make a big difference in the look of the room.

Dining light pendant

Kitchen Lighting

What type of lighting is proper for a Kitchen? Adequate lighting is imperative!  Not only do you want task lighting, preferably on a dimmer for more control, but also under counter lighting is often needed or desired.  Nearly every corner of the kitchen should be lit. Islands have to also have ample lighting so individual pendant lights or one large light above the island is key.  The light you select must emit ample light which can penetrate through without obstacle.  You can find a lot of various lights from Parrotuncle which provide some economical and useful lights appearing in all varieties.

kitchen lighting

 

I hope these tips can help you when choosing your lighting so that you may enjoy those relaxing and comfortable moments at home with ample lighting.

Improve Your Bathroom and Increase Your Home’s Value

Homeowners often want to know where they can get the best bang for their buck when they take on a remodeling project in their homes.  The bathroom is one of those places!

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If you’re going to put some money into home improvement, whether you have plans to sell your home soon or not, it’s wise to put your money into improvements that make your life better AND increase the value of your home.  A bathroom is just one of those places.  It’s a room that sees a lot of use, so it should be well-designed, functional, eco-friendly, and beautiful.  Here are some great ways to go about improving your bathroom.

Improve Your Bathroom and Increase the Value of Your HomeIf you’d like to improve your bathroom, whether it’s just cosmetic or a total renovation, call me!

Melanie Langford, CT Interior Designer for All About Interiors

Infographic used with permission from DecorPlanet.com