August 31, 2015
Few people want to live in a home that is dark and dingy, but how can you make a home that is rather small and cramped feel light and airy? Fortunately, there are a few interior decorating ideas you can use to bring light into any room.
If your room has small dimensions, you will inevitably want to make it both look and feel bigger. To achieve this, you need to start with the walls and decide on a paint color. Dark colors close a room down, while light colors push the walls out and help to bounce light—whether from an artificial source or sunlight—off the walls and back into the room. So choose a light color for the walls, such as a white, cream, light blue or green, rather than dark red, purple or pink.
However, this is not to say there is no place for dark colors in a small room; the trick is to use them sparingly. You could, for example, paint three of the walls in the light color and leave the fourth as a feature wall painted with a strikingly different color. In the bedroom, such a wall works best when it is the one against which the bed is placed. Other rooms may have alcoves or recesses that would take a darker color well.
The next step is to make the most of whatever natural light the room gets. If the room is particularly small, take care not to permanently cover any part of the window, either with furniture or window dressings. This is a good reason not to hang curtains or drapes in a small room or over a small window, for they will block out the light. Alternatives include a roller blind or an adhesive frosted sheet for the window itself, but a far better choice is affordable wooden shutters. These are fitted into or against the window frame, providing complete privacy but allowing you to regulate the amount of light and air that comes into the room.
Next comes decoration in the form of lighting and mirrors. Opposite a window is an excellent place to hang a mirror, as this will reflect light from the window around the room, thereby making the space appear a lot bigger. Use lighting to banish shadowy areas from the room, such as in corners or above fitted furniture. A central light is usually a must, but you can augment this with wall, side, table and alcove lighting.
Finally, review the room’s furniture. Is there simply too much in it? A room full of furniture will appear cluttered and dark, so ask yourself if that side table is really necessary and whether you need that footstool or extra chair. Once you have reduced the amount of furniture, the room will feel naturally larger and airier.
Cramped and badly lit rooms can become light and airy with a fresh color palette on the walls, clever positioning of wall mirrors and lighting, and a good clear-out of unnecessary furniture.
April 29, 2015
When you travel, you build many great memories that you want to last forever. What better way to remember your great trip than using that cultural style in your own home? For those that love the art and sleek style of Japan, here are some ideas for getting the look in your own home.
White walls and wood accents for all rooms
In Japan, you see a lot of wood or bamboo accenting white or very light walls. If you already have white walls, then think about adding a beautiful bookshelf made from wood. Redoing window trims in a wood tone can make the look more complete.
Sliding doors and screens
There are many advantages to sliding doors and screens. While they exhibit classic Japanese style, they can also be used in spaces where normal doors cannot work because there is not enough clearance. These doors are usually always light coloured with wood-toned frames. Light behind a screen or sliding door glows beautifully and makes for great indirect lighting and ambience.
Bamboo: renewable and beautiful
Bamboo is extremely versatile. Picture and mirror frames can be beautiful when made from bamboo. This is a great way to add Japanese style for those that want to conserve space. Bamboo ladders can be great for hanging clothes or blankets on for easy access.
Reinvent the den with a meditation space
If you are lucky enough to have an extra room for relaxing, then you have potential for a great Japanese-inspired space to relax and rejuvenate. A small square table that sets low with comfortable cushions can be a great place to meditate, read a book, or have tea. A small water feature placed on a shelf can add the sound of nature to your home. This space can also be used as a yoga or Pilates room. A zen-like space can help you unwind and have better health and focus throughout the day.
Inspired lighting solutions
Japanese-inspired lanterns can add soft and pleasing light to a room. Many just plug into existing outlets, so they are a good choice for adding lighting to a room without the hassle of a hardwired fixture installation. Lights made to look like real candles can add some vintage Japanese style, and provide soft and pleasing light that can be used to accent favourite objects or light alcoves.
The Japanese appreciate nature, and this is reflected in their interior design. House plants can help you bring nature indoors and add beauty to your home. Flowering plants can be especially nice. For an authentic look, try to grow some orchids or bonsai trees. Violets are easy to grow and add a lot of colour. Artwork can also help to create an authentic look. A painting of a flowering cherry tree with the beautiful mountains of Japan in the background or a framed photo that you took in the Japanese countryside can look great on a bedroom or living room wall.
March 7, 2014
When it comes to some of the most popular countries in the world to relocate to Japan is up there in the top five. It’s no wonder when you consider the huge technological advances that come from this part of the world, meaning jobs aplenty and a real neon-lit and totally different way of life for those who want to explore.
Moving to Japan was one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever been on, but I think it’s been a great way for me to learn some independence, save money and of course make new friends!
Continue reading →