Toris Design Box

Browsing Tag:

affordable Interior Design

    The Many Myths of Decorating

    Thanks to a plethora of decorating shows and reality TV which sometimes oversimplify design tasks rather than present a real life picture due to lack of screen time etc., among the many myths of decorating tossed around these days, the following are a few of Tori’s favorites:

    Myth # 1 – Accessories Come Last When Budgeting for Your Home Decorating Project –

    WRONG:  Tori says – Accessories are essential in that they “finish” a room and spell the difference between blah….bam! Do not wait until the end of the decorating process to start buying accessories.

    Myths of Decorating  - accessories come last - Toris Design Box

    Keep your eyes open from the start. Attend flea markets and estate sales, where there’s a chance you might score a deal. Use your own treasures and collections to personalize your space. Include antiques, if you own any, even if you live in a contemporary space.

    Myth # 2 – Decorators Know How to Make Cheap Look Like a Million Bucks –

    WRONG: it’s all about balance and about observing the rules.  Decorators know how to mix and match cheap with a million bucks (manner of speaking) to dress up a room, but do not be fooled by tall claims.  Discount-store items will never look like designer furniture, neither will they be as well-built or last as long as the real deal. 

    Learn about the Many Myths of Decorating  - Toris Design Box

    In decorating as in life, you get what you pay for.

    Myth # 3 – Save a Bundle by Hiring Cheap Labor or DIY With the Help of a Friend or Cousin –

    WRONG: Well, of the many myths of decorating, this one’s only partially right, because maybe you can save a bundle…but it shows…in the outcome. 

    Tori says, never scrimp on labor. Always use a licensed contractor, with good referrals who is able to deliver your project with in a timely manner without the added cost and hassle of having to “re-fix” mistakes. The talent and experience of the people that execute your project are what makes the difference.

    Myth # 4 – Spend Big and You Cant Go Wrong –

    WRONG: Don’t pick the most expensive fabric or furniture item. You can save money on fabric that functions well, is reasonable and durable. However, make sure, the only reason you buy a specific furnishing or furniture is not because it is “reasonable” because then it will look just that….. “reasonable” not chic!

    Learn about decorating myths and how to avoid them - Toris Design Box

    When buying furniture I do advise buying the best you can afford, but nowadays, consumers have access to more furniture options at a range of prices, thanks to the Internet. However, buying before you have a color scheme planned out or have created a furniture layout or master room plan – buying “blind” as I call it – is tricky.  Try to find middle ground between low-end furniture (it’s cheap for a reason) and the stuff you see at designer showrooms.

    Myth # 5 – Saving Money Means Sacrificing Quality –

    WRONG: It doesn’t necessarily.  Not unless your idea of saving money means settling for a particleboard desk or cabinet.  Consider looking for a good quality used/re-purposed items at a thrift store, antiques shop or flea market.

    One myth of Decorating is save money sacrifice quality - Toris Design Box

    More often than not, you always get more value in vintage  says Tori. The quality will be better, and you can paint it or refinish it yourself, or send it out for professional restoration.

    Myth # 6 – Splurge on Living Room & Dining Room and Scrimp on Bedroom & Family Room –

    WRONG: Don’t! If you’ve decorated the public spaces of your home, walking from these well designed areas of your home into the rest of the house with its underwhelming decor or cluttered and disorganized private spaces will bring you down. Don’t put off decorating these, unless you are planning to decorate those less public rooms at some point  in the future, sooner rather than later. 

    White Kitchen - DIY or hire a pro - Toris Design Box

    The idea is to first, decorate the rooms that you spend more time in – those would be your bedrooms and family rooms, rather than the formal Living Room and Dining Room which you may only use once or twice a year. Nevertheless, the overall objective is to decorate the whole house. Otherwise, as you move about the house, the disparity of the different “class” of rooms will make you feel tired and anxious to “get started”.

    Myth # 7 –  Decorators Use Items That Will Only Work in Your Current Home –

    WRONG:  Sometimes, that is.  This one depends on how long you will be staying in your current home. have your designer work with you on that.  Statistics show Americans change houses more than they do furniture and furnishings.

    If you don’t plan to remain in the home for long, you would do well to find a decorator that will advise you on how best to invest in things like window coverings, wallpaper etc., or offer tricks and tips to purchasing items that will go with you when you move. Among the many myths of decorating is this one I hear from time to time – that designers are not adjustable to that fact. Wrong again!

    A designer that chooses unique yet normal-size furnishings that can work in a variety of settings — not items scaled to that particular home is the one to go with. Among the many myths of decorating it is generally accepted that TV shows will show us what the current trends are so that we may duplicate it to get a cool look for our home. Untrue! It is a mistake to go for what you see on TV without fully assessing what your house needs and what your requirements are. One example of what not to do – no matter what they show on TV – avoid buying oversize sectionals, corner cabinets or towering armoires just because they look good on TV. They might not fit in your next home — or make it through a doorway or elevators.

    Myth # 8 – Hire a Designer/Decorator and Nothing Will Go Wrong –

    WRONG: Even the best plans can go awry. With over a decade of working as a designer I myself have run into projects where there were a fair share of surprises. Of the many myths of decorating, I would like to dispel this one by asserting – the difference is hiring a designer and hiring the right one with training and experience. Above all, be a girl scout and follow the scout motto – be prepared! Also always include a little cushion in your budget whether you are working with or without a professional designer.

    Learn about the Many Myths of Decorating  and how to avoid them - Toris Design Box

    Image credits – pic of accessories courtesy amara.com | image of designer living room courtesy goodhousekeeping.com | image of blue bedroom courtesy renoguide.au.com | image of modern living room with vintage piano courtesy elledecor.com | pic of white kitchen courtesy sunset.com |

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    A Foyer With Flair

    Should we be invested in creating a foyer with flair, when decorating? The one-word answer to that question is – absolutely! Well, let’s explore why and how to create a foyer marrying visual appeal with high functionality.  

    The foyer has an important place in the hierarchy of rooms in a house – function-wise as well as design-wise. Oftentimes the smallest room however, this gives us a good excuse to use superior materials that are a bit more expensive, without breaking the budget. More importantly, it is a preview of what a guest first sees, and what kind of statement it makes about the kind of house and its owner. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Grand staircase hallway

    Is the foyer a room? 

    A well designed foyer creates a warm and welcoming first impression for a visitor to your home. What’s more, it is also the first room you enter when you come home after a hard day’s work. It should put a smile on your face. 

    Function with finesse

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with black walls - Tori Black Homes

    A foyer also performs an important function. However, if the entryway looks like a place to dump keys, backpacks, shoes, and the dog leash – in other words, if it is an eyesore, you have your work cut out. Upon entry, if it’s a reminder of all the things you need to get to before bedtime, it will make you anxious and irritated instead of welcomed. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Functional hallway

    A home without a proper entryway is like a Christmas tree with no ornaments, and that’s just bad luck. That’s the why. Now for the how – how to dress up that room right behind the front door to your home. Foyers come in all shapes and sizes. Some homes come without a foyer per se. 

    A non-foyer and how to fix it. 

    Some houses have the living room start right at the front door with no foyer. The solution is to create one. First Trace the pattern of traffic in and out of the room, on paper. The rule of thumb is to have 3 ft of clearance around doors. Make sure there is a straight path leading to the front door as well as to the next room. Then plot out a furniture layout to scale to ensure everything you intend to buy will fit, allowing for traffic pathways and enough clearance. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway - Tori Black Homes

    What goes here

    What kind of furniture should you buy for a front hallway? A foyer is not just about aesthetics. An important function of this space is to provide a place to pull on boots or shoes ready to step outside, put on a coat and grab the keys. A hall console table and a cabinet as storage for shoes are two major furniture items in an entryway. 

    Just add drama

    How do you deal with a blah entryway that while not lacking in space does lack in character – the large foyer with no focus? When you have too much space and nothing interesting going on, you create a wow factor. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with marble flooring

    Look down.

    Start from the bottom and work your way up. If you see builders grade generic orange oak underfoot – it’s time to make a change. Think new flooring – in a material that’s resilient yet chic. If the budget allows – here us where you splurge. Coming home will mean something and make you happy. 

    Go for a handcrafted hardwood parquet floor. Or marble tiles in a herringbone pattern or a slate tiled floor. Then add layers – such as an antique Persian or a bold zebra print rug.

    Mirror the mood

    A foyer needs real furniture and furnishings that echo the style and mood of your home. If you are decorating a mountain cabin, add a soft plush rug and hall table finished in a warm wood tone to add warmth and coziness. If it’s a beach cottage bringing in a textured sisal rug and painted furniture will do the trick. Add a pair of wall sconces instead of table lamps and an oversized artwork instead of the usual wall mirror for added effect. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with artwork instead of mirror

    Look upwards

    If you are lucky enough to have a sweeping circular staircase use it to advantage. Buy a round hall table to mirror the curved staircase. Place a tall vase on the table and fill it with long-stemmed flowers or dried branches thus drawing the eye upwards. Tuck in an armchair in the curve of the stairs. Make up a cozy nook to sit down and take off your high heels after a long day at work as well as a waiting area before heading out the door. 

    Cut a long story short 

    Some homes have a long and narrow hallway running the length of the house. This is a good problem to have. A long foyer can be a great blank canvas for creating a transition to the rest of the house. First divide the foyer into two parts. Make the first part a transition from the outdoor. The second part is a transition to the rest of the house. 

    Decorating a Foyer with flair

    Look around

    Pull in what is in the adjoining spaces to create harmony. If the front hallway also has a set of stairs going up, spring for a fancy storage unit such as a tansu chaser against the wall opposite the stairs to draw the eye across the room and stretch the space visually. 

    Look inward 

    Some houses have a small foyer that does not have a window. An obvious solution for a tiny window-less foyer is – wall sconces. Let there be light! 

    A Foyer With Flair - Hallway with sconces

    A small front hall can also benefit from wallpaper. There are many options to choose from for example a geometric print or a mural. a subtle pattern or a bold oversized print. 

    A carefully chosen wallpaper can turn a cramped room into a jewel box of an entryway without spending a lot of time or resources. It can upgrade your style setting the tone for the rest of your house. 

    A Foyer With Flair - Modern Hallway with wallpaper

    Image credits – Entryway with pink carpeted stairs | Functional Foyer | Hallway with Marble floors – pics courtesy Verandah. Hallway with yellow walls | Entryway with black wall and painted furniture – pics courtesy Tori Black Homes. Foyer with Artwork | Long Narrow Hallway | Entryway with wall sconces | Bold Wallpaper Front Hall – pics courtesy House Beautiful.

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    How to Create a Design Budget

    Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a design budget – whether you’re hiring a designer or DIY.

    What’s in a budget?

    Designing around a budget (regardless of its size and scope), is a fine art. At times we feel the impulse to splurge in what caught our eye in the designer furniture showroom. Then there are times when sticking to a bottom line comes with the cost of being dissatisfied because the finished project doesn’t quite look like the inspiration photos.

    In between these two extremes is a happy medium. It involves a bit of both of the two above scenarios. In reality, it is possible to shop with your heart and your brain. A designer may help because there isn’t an emotional attachment to your home or to the individual items they purchase on your behalf. They will also build in some flexibility spending-wise just in case you come across that “must-have” piece.

    While figuring out how to create a design budget start by asking yourself how are you going to use the purchased item. Is it a functional piece? Or is it an antique or an artwork? If it’s one of the latter two, is it something that fits style-wise as well as color and size into your master plan? Or is it that you just love the piece for itself and don’t quite know whether it might fit in the house? If it’s the latter, think again.

    FYI artwork is tricky. Anything that’s under $200,000 is not technically an “investment ” in the art world. However, there are art investment funds that you can get into with a minimum of $2000. Aside from that, just because you like the piece may not be a sound enough reason to bring it home. Not if you’re unsure whether it will work with the style, colors, and mood of your home. Art is subjective. Nevertheless, it’s worth getting the input of a trained interior designer about which pieces might work or otherwise.

    To splurge or not to splurge?

    When it comes to allocating your design dollars where should you let loose and where should you tighten? A rule of thumb is – movable vs permanent items. For example, it is a good idea to splurge on a really gorgeous flooring in your foyer. It’s a small space so you can keep the cost of materials and labor down. Create a customized pattern with dark wood and inlaid marble tile. Or lay light wood flooring in a Herringbone or Chevron pattern. Since it’s a small area you won’t break the bank when it comes to installation and it will make for a luxe entrance thus adding value to the home.

    Kitchens and bathrooms are also spaces you might want to put in the extras. Start with the flooring and work your way up to cabinets, countertops and backsplash. Use the same flooring materials that are in your foyer – for your kitchen and bathroom – it helps maintain continuity throughout the home and makes the space look well finished and opulent.

    Whether a trendsetter or a follower be?

    When decorating – with the help of a designer or without – the question is whether to follow what is trending or set a new trend of your own by following your gut. You could be just re-decorating with furniture and accessories. Or you could be planning a remodel by stripping down to the studs. The thing to remember is that trends are useful only as a guide. Also, all trends are not created equal.

    how to create an interior design budget

    Your designer should be helpful in advising which trends are worth the ROI (return on investment) and which ones are not. A good designer may – and should – open your eyes to fresh ideas, new styles, unusual patterns, interesting textures, colors, and materials that different and unique however at the end of the day, all of those must be distilled into creating a home that reflects a style that is you. Your travels, your personality, and your culture – your peeps – just in a new way that layers all of the above harmoniously.

    How to create an Interior design budget

    Now that you understand some of the basics of how to create a design budget you can get the help of a designer to help you to pull your style together, but be sure to hire someone you understands and believes that your space should reflect you – through a celebration of things, people, and moments that are valuable and meaningful – but a more put together, efficient, distinctive you!

    How to create an interior design budget

    Image credits – Artwork photo credit Neiman Marcus – Monopoly artwork image credit Etsy – White and Gold Modern Kitchen with Obsidian Phillip Jeffries Wallpaper – pic courtesy Verandah – Trends – Multi-functional space photo courtesy Lonny – Image of designer-created home courtesy Harper’s Bazaar

    Category
    Home
    Discussion
    Share on

    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
COME JOIN THE CLUB....!Best of Home | Garden | Food | Fashion

Tout le monde...!