Toris Design Box

All Posts By:

TorisDesignBox

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Of the 6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades, by far the most popular one is to……

    #1 – Paint The Cabinets

    If you’re looking to refresh your boring kitchen without the commitment of a major remodel or you’re living in a rental or recently bought a house with dated 90s cabinets, don’t rush out to replace them. Painting your cabinets will add instant drama and designer style to your kitchen. Be careful and when picking a color. Brightly colored kitchen cabinets look great in a magazine but when it comes to living every day with a particular shade – it is better to err on the side of caution. Just be sure the color is exactly what you want. Make sure the tone works with your existing flooring – because unless you plan to do some remodeling in the near future – choose something that will work with what you got – rather than try to match it what you might get in future. Trust me when I say, you don’t want to go down that rabbit hole.

    No matter what your style and design affiliation, when thinking about sprucing up your kitchen, refinishing your traditional OR modern cabinets with a touch of paint never fails to hit the mark – in one easy step. Well, technically 5 easy steps. Nevertheless, these steps are easy to remember as the 5 Ps.

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades
    First Step – Plan 

    First, empty the cabinets. You’ll be sanding later, which might get dusty. Then, remove all drawer pulls and cabinet hardware. Remove the doors, drawers if possible. Use the labels to make sure the doors and drawers go back in the right spots. Next, clean the wood surfaces. Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is the best cleaner for the job, and you can pick up a bottle at most hardware and paint stores. Soak a sponge in the TSP solution and start wiping down your cabinets. Also, focus on corners and any other areas where grease can build up.

    Second Step – Plug

    Fill up any holes or cracks with wood putty. Use a putty knife to press it in and smooth it out. Follow directions and let it dry. If you’re replacing your hardware, you might need to use wood filler for holes that don’t line up with the new hardware. Needless to say, If you’re using the same hardware, do not fill the hardware holes. 

    Third Step – Prep 

    Sand them down with a fine grit sandpaper or use a rotary sander for plane surfaces. This is especially important if you are painting cabinets that have a natural wood finish. The sanding must be done thoroughly and evenly. Clean all surfaces with a hand held vacuum and a tack cloth. Everything should be dust-free before painting. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades
    Fourth Step – Prime 

    This ensures that the paint will adhere to the surface without looking lumpy or irregular. Placing painter’s tape on the wall along the cabinet edges is helpful. 

    Fifth Step – Paint 

    Use a roller for flat surfaces. Alternately, use a brush to get into corners and detailed areas. Paint with light strokes. Try not to pile on the paint or make it gloppy. You may use an angled brush for angled corners.

    As a designer when I’m working on a client’s kitchen, I  like to suggest doing a chalk paint base coat. Thereafter, apply an enamel as a topcoat. You can just as well do a one-step paint job and have perfectly good results. There’s no one way to do it. As I always tell my DIY friends, do your research if need be, but don’t get bogged down by niggling details. Plan, paint then be ready to stand back and be amazed. 

    Extra step (optional) – 

    Apply a clear top coat if you want. Finally, reassemble the cabinets and hardware. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades
    Types of paint – 

    Most paint comes as oil-based paint or water-based latex paint. Cheaper paint will require more coats, but it is less durable and will show brush strokes more readily. 

    Types of finishes –

    The glossier the finish the easier it is to clean. However glossy paint shows up imperfections in the wood very easily. Satin -​ Provides a low level of shine while retaining some ability to hide flaws and is washable.  Semi-gloss: – With a higher sheen, this finish is ideal for kitchen cabinets as well as for millwork, trim, and doors. Eggshell – This paint finish is durable — which explains its popularity among professionals — besides it has a low sheen. It is this designer’s go-to finish for walls but not kitchen cabinets. Flat -​ Flat paint is forgiving and hides flaws due to its low sheen, but it does not stand up to finger marks and spots. Also, cannot take scrubbing and hence not suitable for cabinets. 

    Painting cabinets will take a few days to complete, so plan accordingly.

    Things you’ll need – 

    All of these are readily available from a local hardware or paint store.

    • Trisodium phosphate (TSP) or any other Grease cleaner
    • Wood filler
    • Fine grit sandpaper
    • Sanding block or rotary sander
    • Steel wool
    • Vacuum
    • Tack cloth
    • Painter’s tape 
    • Paint – the two most popular paint brands are Sherwin Williams and Behr. My favorite happens to Benjamin Moore because of their subtle color tones as well as ease of use.
    • Paint tray
    • 2″ brush
    • Mini foam roller
    • Primer sealer
    • Brown builder’s paper
    • 2″ – 3″ angled brush
    • 3′ – 4″ square brush
    #2 – Add a Glamour Rug

    The next super easy kitchen upgrade is to add a rug or runner. The general consensus is that the ideal material for a rug in the kitchen is a flat-weave as they are easier to clean than rugs with a higher pile. 

    Having said that, the single most overlooked way to upgrade a kitchen is to add a vintage or designer rug underfoot and marvel at the results. It is a quick and easy fix that never fails to impress.

    #3 – Switch Out The Hardware

    Of the 6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades, replacing your tired old kitchen cabinet hardware is the quickest and least expensive ways to immediately upgrade your kitchen’s face value.

    Remove door handles and drawer pulls, replacing with fresh new ones, if this is the only thing you do to upgrade.

    #4 – Lower The Lighting

    To counteract the builder grade can lights up in the ceiling, add some designer touches. A ‘designer’ kitchen needs a unique chandelier or ceiling pendant. When it comes to chandeliers, there is no rule that says these beautiful – ornate or simple – fixtures need to be restricted to grand parlors or sweeping entryways. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Depending on the style of your home – bling out your kitchen either by adding a chandelier with a rich dark metal finish, or one with sparkling crystals, or add modern drama with three identical ceiling pendants above the breakfast bar. Then, add shades that cast interesting patterns on the ceiling or walls such as, Moroccan style pierced metal shades complemented with updated modern eclectic style accessories and signature artwork, or textured woven bamboo shades coupled with classic beach chic décor.

    #5 – Create a Feature Wall with Wallpaper

    Another super easy kitchen upgrade – as a designer one often suggests creating a vertical feature wall to dress up a  kitchen. For example, it could be a marble or limestone or slate backsplash. Or one created with tiles set in a herringbone pattern or black and white ceramic tiles behind the cooktop or above the kitchen sink. Needless to say, a marble backsplash is a big commitment. However, there is another option that nevertheless looks just as great and is super quick and easy.

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    The quick and easy equivalent to this designer feature wall would be to install a wallpaper with a unique but subtle pattern on one wall to make it stand out, adding instant style and character to your kitchen. This is one more small and simple trick in my list of 6 super easy kitchen upgrades that always has a huge impact

    #6 – Add Butcher Block Countertops

    Butcher block countertops are an affordable choice that has character, adds warmth to your kitchen, making it look curated and chic. They can be the heart of a Classic kitchen a la Laura Ashley or add interesting texture to a Modern European kitchen a la Habitat. However, butcher block countertops do have their fair share of pros ad cons. 

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Pros – If you show these countertops some love, your butcher block countertops will in return, reward you by aging gracefully. Keep them clean and scrubbed. Oil them regularly. All it takes is one to two coats of food-safe mineral oil or walnut oil applied with a soft cloth. Every 10 years, or as needed, sand it down first using a 80- to 100-grit, then with 220-grit sandpaper as the surface smoothens. Then, re-oil the sanded surface and it will look like new.

    Cons – If you do not keep up proper upkeep, these countertops can dull and crack and end up looking just cheap. Moreover, wood can gather germs, grow mold, stain, or even warp in shape when exposed to moisture. You will need to seal your butcher block countertops immediately following installation and on a monthly basis afterward.

    6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades

    Hope you enjoy my list of 6 Super Easy Kitchen Upgrades. Happy decorating and please send your comments and feedback as I enjoy receiving them.  

    Photo Credits

    Tangerine Orange cabinets – courtesy HGTV. Modern White Kitchen with Black Painted Cabinets – photo courtesy of Elledecor. Photo of Modern Industrial Farmhouse style Kitchen with White and Avocado green Cabinets and Multi Colored Metal Counter Stools – photo courtesy of Goodhousekeeping. Canary Yellow Colored Kitchen Cabinets – photo courtesy of homedesigning. Grey Persian style rug courtesy in front of cooker courtesy Ruggable. Blue kitchen cabinets with hardware courtesy Forbes. Pic of Grey Kitchen with Crystal Chandeliers – courtesy of decorpad. White and Gold Modern Kitchen with Obsidian Phillip Jeffries Wallpaper – pic courtesy Verandah. Butcher block countertop – photo courtesy Bobvila

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    3 Most Popular European Styles

    The 3 most popular European styles by far are Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian, not necessarily in that order. Modern European interior design is a mix of traditional and contemporary design. Contemporary European interiors are understated, with a focus on tactile and natural materials such as wicker, wood, metal, and natural stone.

    The Haussmann Style

    One of the 3 Most Popular European Styles is Haussmann. Between 1853 and 1870, the private Paris townhouses, the last remains of the 18th century, were starting to make way for rental investment properties, giving rise to a more diverse Paris. To redesign the 175 kilometres of roads that run through the heart of Paris, Baron Haussmann was called in for a project which established an architectural style that is distinctively Parisian. 

    3 most popular European styles - Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian

    By the time Haussmann completed his project, narrow, dark residences were a thing of the past. Haussmannian buildings had courtyards or small yards, and they often had bright, dual-aspect apartments with large windows.

    Haussmann Buildings

    The buildings contained independent apartments spread out over five to six floors. Each floor represented a different social class. The ground floor was occupied by shops. On the first floor — often referred to as the mezzanine, lived the merchants who owned the shops below. 

    The second (“piano nobile”) floor was reserved for the wealthy at the time. The prestigiousness decreases from bottom to top. The third and fourth floors are identical, and were usually reserved for the middle classes. The fifth floors were set back, usually housing the more modest social classes. A little balcony running along the length of the apartment makes up for having to climb to the top of the stairs, besides embellishing the façade. The sixth or top floor is where the “chambres de bonnes” were, for the servants. With lower ceilings and built under the eaves, the only access was by the back stairs.

    Paris Atelier Haussmann style

    When lifts were introduced in the early 20th century however, the hierarchy of the floors was reversed. Now, the 5th and 6th floors are the most sought-after as they have an unobstructed view of the rooftops of Paris and a clear view of the horizon that doesn’t have a price.

    Haussmann Characteristics

    Bright rooms, wooden floors, fireplaces and fine mouldings are just some of the attractive features of Haussmann apartments. With the exception of the kitchen and WCs, the flooring is almost always wood. The patterns most favored are herringbone, the brick pattern or “parquet de Versailles” motifs. 

    Parisian Haussmann Style

    These gorgeous wooden floors have been the defining characteristic of Parisian interior design through the ages. Additionally these are sometimes complemented by moldings, cornices, and simple or elaborate ceiling medallions. Wider baseboards, wainscoting or chair rail, and/or paneling on the walls adds a distinctive touch.  

    Decorating the Hausmann Home

    The typical Haussmannian style Parisian apartment is decorated in a blend of bold modern accompanied by an old-world refinement nevertheless with an easy flow between the two. Even while maintaining balance, the interior spaces follow the golden rule of – contrast and juxtapose styles, but do not erase them or blur the lines. 

    Modern Neo-Classical Style

    Another one of our 3 Most Popular European Styles is Modern Neo-Classical. The color scheme for Modern Neoclassical interiors is mostly white, cream, gray, pale yellow, blue, green, and other muted hues. However, Black, red, silver and gold are often used as accent colors. Most patterns feature low-contrast palettes. 

    3 most popular European styles - Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian
    Decorating the Modern Neoclassical home

    Modern Neoclassical Furniture has clean lines and simple symmetry. The style is marked by elegance and timelessness. Having said that, it is more modest compared to Traditional Neoclassical style. Nonetheless, there is an element of luxury in the elegant moldings, metal staircases, carved wood, antiques, and statues – both old and new.  Modern Neoclassical homes inspire visions of gathering and family in a more casual, unfussy way while still drawing on the understated opulence of its forbears. A mix of the old and new creates modern zen luxury with traditional roots. 

     Modern Neo-Classical style
    Scandinavian Style

    Last but not least of our 3 Most Popular European Styles is the Scandinavian Style. The primary characteristic – whether inspired by an Ikea catalog, or more high-end interiors, is that the style feels clean, crisp, yet calming.

    • The not-so-secret ingredient is Minimalism.
    • Scandinavian design emphasizes bright, light, and open spaces, with room to breathe within the space.
    • Choosing quality over quantity is a major trait of this style.
    • The other important trait is bringing nature inside.
    • The color scheme is usually neutral – often white with a pop or two of color that draws from nature – mostly soft blues and greens
    • Last but not least – clever use of contrast.
    Popular European styles - Haussmann, Modern Neo-Classical and Scandinavian style
    What is Hygge?

    Some people go for a version of Scandinavian style that is minimal almost to the point of monastic. But keep in mind this is not an invitation to live a Spartan life by any means. The success of this style is in being able to juxtapose the coolness of the white and what may be seen as uninviting clean lines need to be softened to a degree by introducing warmer textures and colors, and what may be defined as hygge. Hygge is a Danish word that roughly translates to cozy togetherness. How do you do Hygge?

    Popular European styles - Scandinavian

    Because Scandinavian design doesn’t involve a whole lot of color, a quick way to soften up a space is to introduce plants. One big plant with ample foliage in a minimalist concrete or wood container will do the trick. Another way to introduce coziness is to install a white area rug with a plush pile and add just a couple of pillows in a textured fabric. Add a set of minimalist Roman Shades at the window and you’re all set to hygge away in style.

    Photo Credits –

    Haussmann Style – Home Office photo courtesy Booking.com | Living Room with Black Velvet Club Chairs and leopard print rug photo courtesy Architectural Digest | Haussmann style Atelier photo Courtesy Financial Times |  Modern Neo Classical Style – Living Room with pair of tangerine velvet armchairs photo courtesy designbooks.com | Living Room with pair of white chairs and powder blue coffee table photo courtesy Elle Decor | Scandinavian style – Living Room photo courtesy departures.com | Scandinavian Dining Room photo courtesy – YLighting.com

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    5 Best Indoor Fruit Trees

    Here is a list of 5 best indoor fruit trees and a step-by-step guide on how to grow them. For most people an indoor garden is about creating an edible container of herbs or micro greens in a corner of a room or on a window sill. However, for more adventurous souls, with some planning and helpful steps, it is possible to grow a larger fruit tree in your home and enjoy the double benefits of partaking of the sweet fruit as well as adding a beautiful lush green decor to your rooms.

    Indoor Lemon Tree

    Wealthy European estates as far back as the 17th century had orangeries, greenhouses used for overwintering citrus trees and other delicate plants. But you don’t need a fancy solarium or any special equipment to produce a respectable crop of citrus – just a sunny window and a little patience.

    Lemon trees planted outside, can reach over 20 ft in height. However, as Happy Home DIY rightly points out – a lemon tree may be grown to maturity in a container indoors. Just make sure, the lemon tree should be a dwarf variety.

    How To Buy A Dwarf Lemon Tree

    Purchasing a plant from a nursery is the easiest way to get a new lemon tree rather than growing them from seed since lemon plants growing from cuttings or seed can take many years to mature and bear fruit. Most plant nurseries sell dwarf varieties that are two or three years old.

    How To Select The Right Pot For A Lemon tree

    Fill a small pot with a fresh potting mix. Selecting the right pot is key. Good drainage is key. The pot should be clean and have plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. Adding a layer of crocks or small pebbles to the bottom of the pot helps to further improve drainage. It is a good idea to re-pot your plant soon after purchase. Nursery plants can be allowed to sit in nutrient poor soil or pots that are too small.

    Most young, nursery purchased plants start off in a pot about 12 inches in diameter. As the plant grows regularly repot, gradually increasing the size of the pot each time. Eventually the final pot will be twice the size, in both depth and width, of the original pot.

    How To Water the Lemon Tree

    Water well and apply a plant feed such as a plant starter. A fertilizer rich in vitamin B1 helps to reduce transplant shock while also introducing nutrients to the soil.

    How To Choose A Location for the Lemon Tree

    A large south facing window is the ideal spot for an indoor lemon tree. Alternatively place it in a sunroom. The plant should receive about 8 hours of sunlight every day. If you are unable to provide enough natural light, grow lights are a great source of artificial light.

    A list of the 5 best indoor

    Indoor Hops

    A list of the 5 best indoor fruit trees might not normally include growing hops indoors, since this is a large plant, and most often only grown in large, sprawling outdoor orchards. Nevertheless it is possible to grow this plant indoors if one is ready to follow specific instructions.

    With the popularity of home brewing and craft beers on the rise, an increasing number of home gardeners are interested in growing their own hops at home. Growing hops indoors should be considered more of an experiment and indoor gardening adventure than anything else.

    How To Select A Location And Container For Hops

    Hops plants take up a lot of room once it starts growing, so you need to select a location next to a window where it will get a lot of sunlight. The container should be at least 20 inches in diameter and have good drainage. Next, fill the container with planting mix. Then, insert stakes that are six- to eight-feet tall because hops is a climbing plant.

    A list of the 5 best indoor

    Hops grow over 20-feet tall — and can grow a foot per day at their peak. So your hops plants will outgrow your garden stakes. So once that happens, you can either train them to grow upwards and along the window frame. Alternatively, you could let them dangle back down to the floor once they have reached the top of the stake.

    Hops Rhizomes

    Technically it is possible to grow a hops plant from seed, but since there are both male and female hops plants – and since only the females produce flowers, growing from seed means you will only have a 50 percent chance that the plant will produce that critical ingredient for home-brewing. A better plan is to purchase female rhizomes from a nursery.

    How To Water and Feed Hops

    Hops tend to be hungry and thirsty, so be prepared to water and fertilize them regularly. Do not to overwater when the plants are young, as this can cause root rot. Also, if you are growing hops indoors, the limited size of the container means that they will eat up the nutrients faster. So in order to counter this, use a slow-release granular fertilizer. Water daily or whenever the soil becomes dry.

    A list of the 5 best indoor

    How To Use Hops

    The most popular use for hops cones is for the bitter flavor that it gives to beer. But this plant has a number of other uses that you might want to explore. Hops shoots may be eaten as a vegetable. The cones also may be brewed into a tea – a popular home remedy for insomnia.

    Harvesting Hops

    To know if your hops flowers are ready for harvesting, do the pinch test. The hops should have a somewhat papery feel to them and should be starting to turn slightly brown. You may use your hops right away or store them in the fridge or freezer. If you notice that your plant has additional unwanted shoots, you can cut these back and even eat them. Hops shoots are a delicacy in Europe. They can be enjoyed raw or sautéed with butter.

    Indoor Fig Trees

    There are many varieties, and most figs are simple to grow and care for. The most common indoor fig is the Negro Largo. It bears fruit, and is a decorative plant to enhance your home. What’s more, it adds a little exotic or tropical touch during the long months of winter

    How To Choose The Container For The Fig Tree

    Choose a planter with holes for drainage in the bottom. A variety of pots or containers can be used for the indoor fig. Wood, ceramic and clay pots may be used. The soil needs to be a light type, and not too rich.

    How To Select The Soil For The Fig

    A mix of compost, builder’s sand and vermiculite is good for drainage of your potted fig. Mulch can be added on top to help keep it moist. Add two inches of soil. Remove the fig tree from its small pot and place it in the new pot and fill with potting mix.

    How to Select The Location Of The Fig Plant

    Figs like sunlight and warmth, so the plant needs to be put in a warm, sunny place. It is not recommended to place the tree in direct sunlight,

    How to Grow The Indoor Fig Tree

    Water the fig plant until water comes out the draining holes. However, the fig plant should not be allowed to sit in extra water. You will need to water the fig tree at least once a week. Fertilize once a month in the spring and summer, and once every two months in the fall and winter.

    Indoor Oranges

    Some orange species can grow into a fairly large indoor orange tree, such as a dwarf species. According to Bob Villa the citrus species most suitable for indoor growing include the calamondin orange, which is the most common species grown indoors.

    How to Select The Pot For The Indoor Orange Tree

    The size and the growing conditions influence how large your indoor orange tree will grow. Dwarf varieties of oranges, will typically grow between 6 and 12 feet tall at maturity when outdoors, but they will be smaller in containers indoors. Be sure your container has drainage holes and it’s on a platform so the drainage holes are not blocked.

    The Soil for The Indoor Orange Tree

    Use well-draining soil such as a sandy loam. Position your tree beside a window with 8 to 12 hours of sunlight and good airflow. Water the tree regularly or as needed, but allow the soil to drain and dry between watering. Citrus trees hate standing water and become prone to diseases when soil remains soggy. Feed your tree with citrus-specific fertilizer that offers a balanced nutrient content and has a high amount of nitrogen.

    Harvesting Oranges

    Oranges are a favorite fruit throughout the world. You can eat oranges fresh or make a juice-drink from them. You can toss orange slices in a salad, or bake them in a cake. An orange tree Looks beautiful indoors and adds a citrusy aroma to your home.

    How To Grow A Dwarf Mulberry Tree Indoors

    Mulberries do not require much in the way of special care when growing them in pots. These are forgiving plants. Full sun exposure makes your mulberry happiest.

    How to Choose The Right Soil For A Mulberry Tree

    Mulberries are tolerant of a variety of soils but when potting them, it’s best to use a good quality potting medium amended with some nutrient rich compost. Allow the surface of the soil to dry between waterings and then saturate the soil.

    How To Feed The Mulberry Tree

    Feed the tree at regular intervals during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer, liquid seaweed or water with compost tea. Berries are formed on new growth. Mulberries have little to no issue with foliage or root diseases.

    Hope you find this list of the 5 best indoor fruit trees, informative and easy to follow. Happy gardening….!!

    Pic credits
    Image of fig tree credit – https://www.fast-growing-trees.com/products/little-miss-figgy?variant=13940847935540 – Image of Citrus plot in purple planter – https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/patiocitrus/containers.html – Potted hops plant image credit – https://www.etsy.com/listing/842108211/65-potted-hop-plant?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_c-home_and_living-home_decor-wreaths_and_door_hangers-other utm_custom1=k_EAIaIQobChMIwuXKg67P7wIV9AytBh2BuwIoEAQYASABEgI9cfD_BwE_k&utm_content=go_1843970815_73688732110_346398230815_pla-305572612766_c__842108211_112023325&utm_custom2=1843970815&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwuXKg67P7wIV9AytBh2BuwIoEAQYASABEgI9cfD_BwE – Hops Plant in black planter – https://www.shopterrain.com/products/fresh-cascade-hops-plant?sku=59145177&cm_mmc=Google--SC%20Shopping%20Campaign--Home-Gifts-GiftsbyCategory-_-59145177&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwuXKg67P7wIV9AytBh2BuwIoEAkYBCABEgL7MfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds – Citrus plant in concrete pot – https://www.bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/fruit/grow-tropical-fruits-in-containers/ – Sunroom with orange tree image credit – https://thescoutguide.com/indoor-citrus-trees/ – Living Room with indoor fig plant in concrete planter – https://curatedinterior.com/indoor-house-trees/ – Orange Plant in tangerine ceramic planter – https://www.pinterest.com/pin/502995852124799199/ – Mulberry plant in pot – https://balconygardenweb.com/growing-mulberry-in-containers-how-to-grow-mulberry-tree-in-a-pot/

    Category
    Garden
    Discussion
    Share on

    A Global Eclectic Home in 5 Easy Steps

    Join us as we break down how to create a well-traveled global eclectic home in 5 steps without having to leave the house. 

    One interior design trend which has been gaining in popularity in recent months and years is Eclectic or Global style. This is the home of a jet-setting world traveler. It is created with curated furnishings and accessories from around the world based on travels. It creates warm vibes via memories brought on by a personality-packed yet carefully chosen plethora of artifacts from places the homeowner has visited. This is a good feeling at a time when travel is restricted. 

    Eclectic Global Home Design

    However, you do not need to break the bank and buy an around the world ticket to achieve this style in your home. Don’t hop on a flight to Paris or Bali just yet. Even if you are not quite the globe trotter or don’t pursue a jet-set lifestyle you can still create an eclectic space with plenty of personality. 

    Eclectic Global Home Design

    Region – 

    First, pick a place on the globe that you are curious about then add a couple more places to your list. Don’t stick to one specific country.

    However, don’t create individual theme rooms based on specific regions for each space within your house. Be consistent in keeping each room eclectic. 

    Eclectic Global Home Design

    The most lively exciting rooms boast of assortment of pieces from multiple places that have an almost similar feel. Certain items from India, Morocco, the Middle East and Northern Africa as well as Mexico have similar colors and textures that can mix nicely together for a layered look. 

    Objects – 

    Choose items that look like souvenirs from travels around the world but stay away from cliches. For instance try to avoid prints of the Eiffel Tower above your sofa or wooden plaques with the word Paris carved on them, propped up on hall tables. Spend some time sourcing unique objects from specific regions of the world. Items that will bring a smile to your lips every time you enter the room and prompt lively discussions among dinner guests and visitors. 

    Global Chic

    Collections – 

    Next, loosely group items together that are visually similar. Keep it small. Don’t showcase your entire collection. One of the key elements to remember when creating an eclectic well-travelled home in 5 easy steps is to  edit carefully. The eclectic style is marked by a gathering of similar objects rather than a structured look. 

    This global inspired style is more cozy and invites friends and family to relax, reminisce and put their feet up. Nevertheless it takes some clever planning and editing so as to avoid having a busy room full of vacation tchotchkes. 

    Global Chic

    Mix it up. That’s pretty much the definition of eclectic. For instance a Viennese crystal pitcher looks good next to Japanese stoneware Sake set and an Irish pewter jug. A colorful miniature Piñata horse from Mexico and a stone crafted llama from Peru looks right at home next to a Dhokra metal folk bull sculpture from India. Arrange Chinese dragon masks on a wall with African ceremonial masks just like we did at the home of Ruth, a Tori Black Homes client. Gather items of different sizes small and large. Keep it to groups of two, three or five. Stagger pieces of varying heights in a collection. 

    Global Eclectic

    Textures and patterns –

    Combine fabrics with different and patterns. A plush Moroccan rug on the floor, next to an African straw basket filled with pillows in a French Provençal pattern or Balinese Ikat printed cushions, with a shiny Chinoiserie bamboo mirror on the wall above and Indian cotton or burlap curtains on the windows. All of these make for a well designed eclectic room. 

    Global Eclectic design

    Materials – 

    Mix materials such as wood, tile rugs etc., when designing a kitchen or bathroom. Combine different materials from different parts of the world which are nevertheless available to order from your local home improvement store. Do some research for local sources in your community but think global. Spanish slate or terra cotta tiled kitchen floors work well with black and white Moroccan tiles on the backsplash for a Tuscan inspired kitchen. Moreover, adding texture such as cement flooring in the bathroom looks stylish alongside patterned smooth glazed Encaustic tiles in bathrooms. Needless to say it adds interest and functionality as well as high style in an otherwise utilitarian space while creating movement,. 

    Eclectic Interior Design

    A patterned floor with a carefully chosen pattern will therefore draw the eye outward, making the space appear spacious. Moreover, the choice of pattern will add a design element while allowing it to flow seamlessly with the rest of the home as it may have wood floors or carpeting. 

    While creating a global eclectic home in 5 steps keep in mind it can be a minimalist monochromatic earth toned interior or on the other hand it can be a maximalist color-infused space with subtle drama, depending on your style and preference. Just remember to reflect your personality and to have fun. Happy decorating…! 

    Affordable Eclectic Interior Design

    Pic credits- 

    Region- pic of Eclectic global Room with an assortment of items image courtesy https://www.quercusliving.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-create-global-style-in-your-home – Pic of living room with Moorish design living room with global influence courtesy https://bellevivir.com/2019/07/global-chic-eclectic-style-sophisticated.html

    objects – Pic of sitting area with closet courtesy Elle decor – https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/interior-designers/g3368/worldy-eclectic-style/ – Image of living room with baskets courtesy Willow & Hall UK https://www.willowandhall.co.uk/blog/english-country-style-2/

    Collections- pic of tabletop collection image courtesy https://www.quercusliving.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-create-global-style-in-your-home – Pic of bedroom with curated art on wall courtesy https://bellevivir.com/2019/07/global-chic-eclectic-style-sophisticated.html

    Textures and patterns – pic of white living room with blue and black fabric throws courtesy Quercus Living UK https://www.quercusliving.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-create-global-style-in-your-home – Pic of Global Chic sitting room with rust walls courtesy Architectural Digest – https://bellevivir.com/2019/07/global-chic-eclectic-style-sophisticated.html

    Materials- pic of kitchen with slate floor pic courtesy Pinterest – https://pin.it/1gzHY6k – Pic of Bedroom with graphic patterned floors courtesy – http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ab8_Aq7ko5w/T2HLxizuzFI/AAAAAAAAOhQ/pTAi6NJQsqA/s1600/Screen+shot+2011-03-24+at+8.37.58+AM.png

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Here are 4 tips on what to know before hiring an Interior Designer or how to avoid costly mistakes when working as your own Designer. Tips to make the process super easy and get the best out of your design experience. 

    4 Things to know before you hire an Interior Designer

    As more and more people work remotely and spend large amounts of time inside their homes, certain things begin to take on more importance. Things such as the layout of their interior spaces, creating a balance and harmony through the proper and optimum use of color, patterns, textures, and lighting is becoming more important in everyday lives. To that end, the functionality of design elements is just as essential as aesthetics.

    Interior Architecture Vs Interior Design

     Interior design focuses on the hard and soft furnishings for the home – Fittings, Fixtures, and Equipment. Elements such as wall colors, flooring, tiles, cabinets, window treatments, furniture accessories are added by the homeowner and are easy to change – some more than others. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Interior architecture, on the other hand, usually pertains to structural aspects of the home. It defines what each space is for and how the different spaces work together. Interior architecture may or may not be permanent. For an existing home, this tends to involve remodels or structural alterations, such as walls, door and window openings, electrical, and plumbing infrastructure, etc., etc. 

    Architecture and Interior Design are two disciplines that are complementary to each other. The best design projects result from the successful collaboration of Designer and Architect – each super-specialized in their own field.

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    TIP #1 – Floor Plans

    One of the key things to know before hiring an Interior Designer is that a set of Floor Plans are essential. Architectural plans and prints are what builders use as a roadmap on how to build. However, they are not always built 100% exact. Architectural prints are a conceptual drawing of a space. Most of the time, the dimensions on the print differ from physical job site measurements. 

    The prints are a great guide, but If they are the drawings that the GC (General Contractor) built off and not the revised plans of what was actually built there may be discrepancies from the plans vs what was built on site. There is no way of knowing if there are any discrepancies until the designer takes actual measurements of the room.

    As-built drawings, on the other hand, are actual measurements of the space. When designing a space, Designers prefer to be provided with as-builts, or take their own measurements. Otherwise it becomes difficult to design an accurate furniture layout or guarantee a fit with respect to the furniture and traffic pathways in a room. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    TIP #2 – When it comes to color 

    Wall color is the easiest and quickest fix when refreshing or redesigning a room. However, the thing to keep in mind is that wall paint usually ends up a shade or two darker on the wall than what you see on the paint chip when looking at the fan deck in your home improvement store. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    A good designer will choose the color you love – then go down the paint deck to the next shade lighter. That is your correct wall color. Wall colors have the ability to make us feel calm and relaxed OR anxious ad stressed out. Choosing a color that is easier to live with is a wiser decision than opting for a trendy “it” shade. 

    TIP #3 – When it comes to Lighting

    Lighting can make or break a room’s design. Walking in the room at different times of the day and noting where the light comes in will help you or your designer decide where the sofa – the largest design element in a living room – or the bed – the largest element in a bedroom – is placed.  

    For nighttime lighting – each room must have ambient, mood, and task lighting – scattered throughout the room. Rooms with inadequate lighting tend to be low on functionality. Poorly lit rooms are not suitable gathering places for family and friends. 

    TIP #4 – The trick to shopping for furniture

    Shopping for furniture online is tricky. Similar to shopping in a furniture showroom. Items look very different in a furniture store or designer showroom than they would look after bringing them home. The lighting in a furniture showroom is commercial-grade lighting. 

    What To Know Before Hiring An Interior Designer

    Similarly, photos of furniture and accessories, such as pillows throws and window treatments seen online are usually lit differently than they would be at home. Hence they tend to look different when they are delivered. 

    What to know before hiring an Interior Designer is that designers are great at visualizing an “after” look for your space. If you are working as your own designer, it helps to be able to visualize the particular shopping item in your home alongside your existing furniture and fittings. Does the piece work with the style of what you currently own?

    There are times when it is ok to mix different styles and periods but it is crucial to know the rules first, in order to break them. Next, visualize the level of light in the room. The furniture sales representative is there to help answer questions about the item and offer suggestions. However they do not know your choices or your room as well as you or your designer does, so order only when you are absolutely sure that you have made the right choice. 

    Designer as Guide

    Whether you decide to hire an Interior Designer or decide to go DIY – to transform your home to fit your and your family’s needs and preferences, whether you are a maximalist at heart or a minimalist, keep in mind your home is about you. 

    Let your designer guide you – because he/she is the professional with the training and experience. Having said that, your home is not about your designer’s favorite style. Neither is it about trends that are here today, gone tomorrow.  Insist on the best value for the time and resources that you spend. 

    Last but not least – make 2 crucial decisions before you pick up the phone to make that call to the designer –

    • Know your budget before hiring a Designer.
    • Set a timeline for your project.

    Happy decorating….!!

    Pics Credit – Art Deco Living Room pic courtesy Villa Tika Marrakesh -Orange and white wall color Image courtesy Elle Decor – Mood Lighting image courtesy Tori Black Homes and Home Designing – Modern Dining Room in Traditional home pic image courtesy Ikoab – Designer inspired Kitchen pic courtesy HGTV

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    6 Houseplants To Help You De-stress….!

    When your indoors are ready for a refresh, here are 6 houseplants to help you de-stress. Stuck at home during a pandemic, we all need less stress and anxiety in our lives these days!

    As a Designer, one could suggest a dozen different ways to achieve the same, but if you’re looking for something that doesn’t involve a lot of time and resources – two things that we’re all trying to preserve in these unnatural times – well then, turn to nature….! 

    Indoor plants not only add esthetics to a space, they also make your home feel more cozy and welcoming. Additionally, they’re good for our mental and physical health. According to a NASA study report houseplants can reduce indoor air pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde. Some plants can remove high concentrations of indoor air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, organic solvents, and possibly radon. Moreover, recent research shows that plants have the ability to boost mood and creativity, as well as reduce stress. However, how to decide which houseplants are worth the care and investment and which to stay away from. Read on….!

    Gone are the times when having an indoor garden while living in a small apartment was not a possibility. We are all have been familiar with a room that was either too dark, or too damp, or an overly dry environment that is not exactly a suitable plant habitat. These days, a wide array of plant species are available that have been known to thrive in the care of apartment dwellers time and time again.

    However, before you rush out the door or off to your computer to start checking off your own list of top 6 houseplants to help you de-stress, sit down in the room where they are going to go and take some mental notes. Notice the way daylight enters the room. Indoor plants that prefer bright light generally need south-facing windows, where the most concentrated light is available. East or west-facing windows are also fine and here is where you put plants that don’t need a lot of direct sunlight. if you don’t have windows or sufficient natural light, nevertheless you can still own houseplants. Just get an LED grow light!

    Many different types of plant lights are available, including floor lights and lights you can clip to an end table or bookshelf. The good news is that plenty of plants tolerate low light conditions. Also, if your pets are nibblers, buy non-toxic plants.  So without further ado, here is my list of the top 6 houseplants to help you de-stress.

    Dragon Trees or Dracaenas

    These are very easy to grow tall indoor plants. If you are a plant newbie or a very busy person, this is the plant for you. These plants enjoy moderate to low light conditions. Do not place in full sun as it will burn the leaves. 

    Dracaenas are drought tolerant, so you don’t have to water them very often. Overwatering is one of the main causes of death for the plant. Depending on how much light this plant receives, you can water it every two to three weeks. 

    Dragon Trees are sensitive to fluoride – which as it turns out, happens to be a form of industrial waste product that humas are sensitive to, as well – so when it comes to your plants, it is always best to water them with distilled water if your tap water has high fluoride levels. This plant is an excellent air purifier helping remove formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene from the air.

    Areca Palms

    These are different from palms such as the Parlor Palm, so try not to confuse the two because the level of care for each is quite different than the other.  Areca Palms thrive in well bright areas but with indirect sunlight. The leaves will turn yellow if exposed to too much direct sun. These plants don’t do well in low light rooms either.

    This is not your plant if you are a casual gardener with nary a green thumb because this one does do not do okay if neglected. It needs to be watered often enough to keep the soil moist in between waterings. Do not let its soil dry through.

    These palms look great as indoor tall plants adding a slightly exotic slightly tropical wow factor to your space at their full height of 6 to 7 feet. However, because of that, these can be expensive to buy but since they grow relatively fast – roughly 6″ to 10″ per year – you can probably purchase a table top plant and let it grow. 

    Birds of Paradise

    Aka Strelitzias are comparably easy to grow and maintain among all the indoor tall plants. They grow fast and is a gorgeous plant to display – with leaves that unfold as they grow.  It is a surprisingly adaptable plant that grows well in low light and direct bright light conditions.

    Bird of Paradise thrive in moist soil conditions but make sure the soil is not too soggy. It is okay to water once a week from spring to fall then let the top dry out just a tad in winter before you water it again. It is better not to soak it in too much water.

    Having said that, since this is a tropical plant, it will enjoy regular misting to increase the level of humidity required for this one to thrive.

    The African Milk Tree

    This is a low maintenance indoor tall plant. The only thing this one needs to survive is bright light. This is your plant if you have full time work or babies – or both!!

    Watering should be limited to once a month indoors but keep in mind this plant will die if watered too much.

    This is an ideal indoor tall plant for people who do not have green thumbs, or has a busy life with very little time to care for plants.

    Philodendron

    These trendy plants are not just favored because of their photogenic look but because they’re pretty easy to maintain. Expect to see a new leaf weekly in the warmer season. Moreover, you can propagate them – split off a leaf with a node and re-pot or gift to a friend to grow in their own home.

    Large-leafed philodendron plants, including the monstera – which is the most photographed one of them all – need water every one to two weeks, allowing for the soil to dry out between waterings. This is your plant if your place doesn’t get direct sunlight. This one just needs a spot that receives bright to medium indirect light.

    Monstera was among the most effective at reducing air pollutants, like benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde, in the Nasa study.

    The Fiddle Leaf Fig

    Last but not the least, of all the 6 houseplants to help you de-stress, this is my personal favorite and at Tori Black Homes we use it often in clients’ homes – either in groups with other plants or singly. They blend in subtly with most modern and/or traditional décor without making your living room look tropical or majestic. These may be sold as small plants or as tall indoor plants. 

    While the smaller size plants are widely available for purchase, the tall trees are a bit harder to find and perhaps because of it’s recent popularity, tend to be more expensive than Palms, Birds of Paradise or other tall plants.

    Fiddle Leaf Figs are easy to grow and care for but it works better if you find the perfect spot for it in your home and get the hang of the watering schedule. These plants need a lot of bright light so put it near a south-facing window and let it catch the morning light. Water it once a week.

    Place your plants in a cluster to highlight a corner of your living room room or place one graceful tall plant in a pot or basket strategically placed near a large window. Decorate with a raffia coffee table or an indoor swing if you are going for the Boho Chic look.  Alternately, furnish the room with a deep cushioned velvet sofa and camel leather armchair with hints of aged brass if you want a glam Hollywood Regency look. Or instead, add one single tall plant to a room with streamlined Scandinavian furniture, linen or burlap curtains and soft fluffy cotton pillows for a minimal Modern European look.

    If you would like to learn about growing edible plants such as salad greens, cherry tomatoes, and microgreens in your indoor kitchen and herb garden, see my tips on How to Create an Indoor Edible Winter Garden.

    6 Houseplants To Help You De-stress....!

    Happy decorating….and healthy eating!  

    Photo credits – Scandinavian sofa and plant image courtesy Toris Design Box – 7 Paths to Serenity in Your Home. Dragon Tree in window image courtesy – Trees.com. Bohemian bedroom with Palm image courtesy – My Domain. Blue dining room with pair of giant Birds of Paradise and African Milk Tree images courtesy – Balcony Garden Web. Living room with black & white striped rug and Fiddle Leaf Fig image courtesy – Decor Aid. Music Room with Eames chair photo credit Tori Black Homes.

    Category
    Garden
    Discussion
    Share on

    You Have The Best Home Office On The Block…!

    Best Home Office - Bedroom office

    Here’s to the best-looking and the most high-functioning home office on the block…yours!! Armed with this handy checklist, now you can. Furthermore, with American office workers forced to self-isolate and work from home – whether it be a spare room – or a spare corner – there’s never been quite such a demand for home office furniture and equipment.

    Firstly, let’s face it, before this, shopping for a home office would never really have us thrilled to bits, because generally speaking, office furniture – such as an office desk or a chair – does not score very high on looks. So also, the left and right brains are at odds like no other time. The left brain wants a home office that functions like the Oval Office and is high on comfort – albeit sometimes at the cost of looks. Conversely, the right brain sometimes yearns for a drop-dead gorgeous Instagram-worthy desk and chair – functionality and comfort be damned!

    Nevertheless, the good news is that Home Office furniture has come a long way finally having turned the bend. Consequently, we no longer have to compromise – or denounce comfort while going for good looks for the home office. Besides, neither wants to give up an arm and a leg to get there. Now, not only can both brains settle on a happy middle ground between looks and comfort, but also do so without paying astronimically high prices.

    Here are 6 of the best home office must-haves. The best home office on the block must do all of the above two things – look good, make you feel comfortable, and work hard – so you don’t have to – without getting you down in the dumps. In fact, four things, to be precise. I stand corrected.

    (1) Comfy Chair

    First things first. Let your home office chair be the most comfortable chair in the house. When you are the boss, you can do that.

    If you like modern furniture and are thrilled with Industrial style – this rough and ready office with a wireframe Bertoia reproduction chair is for you. As one of many seats designed by Harry Bertoia in 1952, the Diamond Chair made from filigree steel wire mesh,  is perhaps the most favored by manufacturers of modern furniture and is equal parts refined and edgy.

    On the other hand, if you are a worshipper of all things traditional – do it in style with an office wrapped in leather and gold, and marble. Dig around for sources to make the home office look like a million bucks – without spending a million – or even a fraction of it. Therein lies the trick.

    (2) Large desk –

    Buy the largest desk that your space can accommodate. Functionality means being able to spread out – there should be room on your desk for all your necessary doodads such as notepads, mail, to-do lists, a large enough computer monitor or two – for designers – and plenty of storage space close at hand. This office from scores big on that requirement.

    For instance, the above homeowner – or their Designer – could have chosen a smaller size desk and centered it along the back wall. However, they chose to go with an oversized desk that fills up the entire space – thereby providing plenty of space for working as well as making a bold design statement in the bargain.

    (3) Storage, storage, and more storage –

    These are the three buzz words of a high-functioning home office. There must be a place for everything and everything in its place. Organization is the key to winning the contest for the The Best Home Office On The Block

    The best-looking and most high-functioning home office

    If you are a neat freak – like yours truly – go for open shelving. Use some quirky storage ideas for all your books and things.

    The best-looking and most high-functioning home office

    If you prefer not to have open storage, invest in a cabinet that works as hard as you do to keep clutter out of eyesight and off your mind so you can focus on what’s more important.

    (4) Doors –

    Anybody who has had a zoom meeting interrupted by children, parents, and or dogs and cats will appreciate the need for doors to your home office. Shut those doors and you are the lord – or lady – of your own castle for 8 hours every day.

    (4) Good Lighting –

    Both ambient and task lighting is a must for a high-functioning home office. Light is a necessary ingredient for long hours of work. Think Task lighting that does not cause eye strain. In order for that, the light source must ideally be above your eye-line with ambient lighting behind. Ambient light is an important ingredient for robust mental health.

    If the room has large windows that receive adequate daylight during the day one trick is to push your desk closer to a window and then arrange the rest of the furniture around the desk as a hub – with the desk in the center of this hub.

    How does one create a hub off to one side of a room you ask? Here’s where your skills – or those of your designer – with creating a floor plan comes in handy.  Just remember to proceed methodically and take good measurements – it’s that easy!

    The best-looking and most high-functioning home office
    (5) A Floor Plan –

    A functional furniture layout with open traffic pathways is crucial to a well-designed space since it helps to de-stress other than promoting harmony and mental well-being. One of the most important steps to create the best home office on the block is to measure the space carefully – especially if you have a tight space. The floor plan must be drawn to scale. This is the design equivalent of measuring twice and cutting once. This step takes some time. However, It saves a ton of time and resources by helping to avoid costly mistakes later on – or worse – after the fact.

    This is the last piece of the puzzle that a lot of home office users forget or forego. Therefore, it results in a home office that makes you tired and lethargic or anxious and edgy – both obstacles to a high-functioning office.

    (6) Personalize –

    Finally, set up your office with accessories and decor items that are meaningful to you. Items that spark pleasant memories. Items that make you feel calm. If you and your office speak the same language – it will feel less of a drag when you are cooped up – and your workday will pass quickly.

    Resource Guide – Office under the stairs and Attic Home Office pics courtesy bobvilla.com

    Comfy Chair – pic courtesy homedesigning.com

    Desk – Pic of gray oversized desk courtesy Parisdesignagenda.com. Photo of Modern white laminate desk courtesy westelmworkspace.com

    Storage – Pic of modern open shelving storage courtesy homedesigning.com. Closed Storage cabinets in Office pic courtesy architecturaldigest.com

    Doors – Chocolate Brown office with pocket doors courtesy – lofty.com

    Lighting – Pic of Window office with guitar – courtesy houzz.com. Desk next to window office with yellow credenza pic – courtesy Architectural Digest

    Floor Plan – Pic of Floor Plan courtesy www.toriblackhomes.com

    Personalized Office – Orange chair and accessories photo courtesy https://www.torisdesignbox.com/7-pathways-to-serenity-in-your-home. Office desk styling with flowers – pic courtesy designbolts.com

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on
COME JOIN THE CLUB....!Best of Home | Garden | Food | Fashion

Tout le monde...!