Welcome to the ultimate luxury design blog
The use of light is central to interior design. Light makes a room feel spacious, warm and open. During daytime poor light creates poor moods and makes a home feel stuffy and dreary. During the evenings soothing warm light makes a home feel warm and comfortable. To create a beautiful room you have to pay attention to the light and the types of lighting that make the most impact. Here we explore the use of light to create ambience in your home.
Natural sunlight is the most important kind. Crucially it promotes the production of vitamin D and improves your mood through the releases of endorphins. When we start the interior design process we look at natural light first. You might think this is as simple as saying – let’s put in a bigger window but there’s more to it.
Firstly window placement is pivotal as you want to maximise the amount of daylight you receive – waking up to sunlight is a wonderful mood booster and gentle afternoon sun is relaxing. If possible we like to add windows to capture as much light as possible. Floor to ceiling windows are the pinnacle of decadence in this respect but a lot can still be achieved with sky lights and normal windows.
Where the building doesn’t permit enough natural light we need to supplement this with artificial lights, colour and mirrors.
In traditional home design there is a central light supplemented with lamps and other side lights. Thanks to modern technologies though we now have access to a plethora of excellent lighting choices.
Spotlights are the ideal choice to bring focus to particular areas of a room and accent lighting lets you illuminate objects and art to create focal points. But to make a room “feel” lighter you’ll need to have higher intensity lighting.
Mood lighting is where interior design gets serious as you want to have adjustable lighting that is ideally hidden from view. Backlighting in cupboards and on shelves and recessed LED spotlights can be used to great effect to create a warm feeling in any room. Adjustable lights at floor and ceiling level create a wonderful ambience - particularly when combined with mirrors.
White and light colours are the easiest “trick” to improving the light and space of a room. They reflect light to a degree which increases the feeling of space in an area. They make a room feel open to the natural world. If you don’t find white walls appealing you can add lighter colours to your furnishings with use of drapes, throws and vibrant art and furniture – all of which will create the illusion of light.
Where natural light is subpar mirrors make for an excellent way to increase light. As you can see in many of our interior designs liberal use of mirrors on walls and shelves increases the visual space of an interior design. The reflected light makes each room feel bigger and lighter.
One interesting way to quickly adjust the ambience of a room is to use different colour light. White light most closely resembles daylight but in the evenings you may want to integrate softer coloured lights – for example blue neons or red light to create a softer feel to a room or to create a modern image. LED strip lighting is a good example of this as it boasts many different colour configurations – allowing you to quickly adapt any room.
For any help with luxury interior design contact Casa Forma – we are happy to advise on the best practice in interior design.
Designs trends come and go. Avocado bathrooms, inflatable furniture, stencil borders and pine cladding were all popular once upon a time. Thankfully, these hideous trends are now relegated to a time taste forgot and we can quietly move on.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with working with the latest design trends, but unless you have the time and budget to redesign your home every few months, it is far better to create a timeless interior décor scheme. Timeless means it won’t go out of fashion. Instead, your home will stay tasteful and stylish for an indefinite period of time, which is more than can be said for textured ceilings and shag-pile carpet in the bathroom. To help you get started, here are ten steps to creating a timeless design theme for your home or commercial interior.
1. What’s Your Design Objective?
Think carefully about what you want to achieve. Consider your budget and whether you need to hire a professional interior designer. Research ideas and start collecting fabric samples, design ideas, and prices for materials. Creating a timeless theme is not a weekend project.
2. Neutral Colours
Bold, bright colours are trendy, but they invariably go out of fashion. Burnt orange, brown and purple looked great in the 70s, but would you really want that colour scheme in your home now? Stick to neutral colours. They are classy and timeless. If you feel the need to add colour, use accessories and small accent pieces.
3. Natural Materials
Natural materials such as oak, granite, stone, wool, and silk are timeless and classy. Whilst plastic and steel come and go in the interior design world, natural materials are inherently enduring, beautiful, and above all, functional.
4. A Sense of Luxury
Timeless is often synonymous with luxury, which was definitely the case in the One Hyde Park project. Here the aim was to create a sense of elegant sophistication whilst remaining practical and functional. To achieve this, use quality materials and luxurious accessories with a classic feel. This type of look will never go out of fashion.
5. Mix and Match
The easiest way to design a theme that won’t date is to mix and match different elements. Mix items of furniture from a bygone era with neutral colours, clever modern storage solutions, some modern art, and a few carefully chosen accent pieces. If your room doesn’t fit one style, it is effectively ageless.
6. Create a Focal Point
Use a stunning piece of art or a carefully selected item of vintage furniture to create a focal point for the room. Whatever you choose, make sure it is a reflection of your personality, as this will serve to create a timeless look.
7. Declutter the Space
Clutter is always bad news. Ornaments and collectibles usually reflect the current trends and era. Remove anything that ties your décor down to a specific period in time and replace it with neutral pieces, classic books, and original art.
8. Antique Charm
Modern furniture and collectibles come in and out of fashion within a few years. Scandinavian style is currently on-trend, but in 20 years' time your Billy bookcase will have become a tasteless relic. For a timeless and stylish look, use vintage and antique pieces made from quality materials such as oak.
9. Timeless Classics
Consider investing in a few designer items. Signature pieces of furniture are expensive, but they never go out of fashion, just like the design of this Kensington Private Residence.
10. Work with the Space
Contemporary or period: the important thing is to work with your space, but try to avoid sticking to one period or you will lose the sense of timelessness.
Timeless is not always easy to achieve, but if you get it right, you won’t have to redecorate for a long time.
The CEO of any company, large or small, holds a position of great importance. They make decisions, manage budgets, and devise strategies. Their office therefore needs to reflect their role in the organisation, so a small, poky space devoid of personality is not going to fit the bill. To help you design a suitably luxurious office interior for your CEO, take note of the following tips
In the corporate world, a CEO’s office is rarely just an ‘office. It will most likely have to function as a meeting room, workspace, mission control, and even board room if it’s a small business. For this reason, it is essential that the space adequately caters for every eventuality.
Provide Functional and Attractive Furniture
Furniture needs to be functional, but luxurious and of course attractive. Most CEOs are not going to be happy with a generic desk and cheap office chair. Office furniture should reflect the personality of the CEO, so if he or she is a traditional type, a solid rosewood or teak desk might be a good choice, whereas a younger CEO will probably prefer a sleek minimalist design.
The desk needs to be large enough to accommodate computers, monitors, a printer, desk lamp, and anything else your CEO needs to function efficiently, without feeling cluttered. Desk storage is useful, but you will need to add extra storage space such as fitted shelving and cupboards for files, books, etc. The aim is to provide enough storage to keep miscellaneous items out of sight. Cluttered offices are the enemy of productivity. Concealed filing cabinets and seamless cabinets are modern and attractive. Don’t be afraid to mix and match materials, so if the desk is teak, choose a different material for the cabinetry.
Maximise Natural Light
Make the most of any natural light you have in the office. Most CEO’s have a premium office, so they can enjoy the best views. If this is the case, floor to ceiling windows are an asset that should not be concealed behind drapes. However, you still need to control light or the room will be too hot or cold. Install electronic window blinds or use a UV reflective window coating. Position the desk so your CEO has his back to the window and faces the entrance door, so he can greet guests as they walk in.
Modern or traditional: it’s a personal choice. Once you have chosen the furniture, decide upon a decorative scheme. Muted colours work best for office spaces, as they help to quell stress and promote calm and serenity. Taupe, pale teal and soft blue-grey are all a good choice, although bold accent colours on rugs and soft furnishings also work well.
Add vibrancy to a luxurious office space with original artwork and sculptures. Art is always a talking point, as well as an excellent way to express the personality of your CEO.
Take great care when designing an office space for a CEO and be wary of adding unnecessary furniture or gadgets that detract from the overall design.
When our eyes travel over any space we immediately catalogue specific focal points. We do this naturally as our eyes are drawn quickly to the most prominent features of a space or to the most unusual point in an area.
When it comes to interior design we can trick our brains to make certain areas of a room the focal point. Think of the focal point like a centre of activity in a room, designed to draw the eyes and create an effect for the room.
Making A Statement and Creating an Effect
The focal point for a room should reflect what the room is and also what mood it wants to create. A living room wants to be a place you feel comfortable and relaxed, a dining room is somewhere to entertain and a bedroom is a retreat from the world. When thinking of your focal point you want to make a statement that encompasses the room and your own sense of identity. This could be a piece of art that speaks to you or an antique piece of furniture.
Building a Focal Point
There are lots of specific items and designs that can be used as focal points and choosing something is largely down to personal taste. Size plays a crucial role in drawing the eye but so does colour and shape. There are a number of ideas to explore such as;
Fireplaces – A fireplace is the traditional focal point for living rooms as it creates a sense of warmth, even when unlit. Built in modern faux fireplaces can look incredible in the right setting whilst traditional brick or inglenook fireplaces create a traditional focal point.
Furniture – Large furniture draws the eye particularly bureaus, curio cabinets and sofas or chairs. Placing them in the centre of a wall means that they split the wall into three – which triggers visual centres in the brain.
Art – art works particularly well above a mantelpiece, over a bed or in a prominent position above furniture. A single large painting can speak volumes about a person and a place. Position your art at eye level or slightly above eye level for the best effect.
Antiques – in much the same way as art, an antique in a prominent position will draw the eye
Mirrors – Mirrors act as an unusual focal point as they open up a room. The eye will be drawn to a large mirror and then will soak in the feel of the entire room.
Textures – a focal point doesn’t have to be a single item it can be a single wall or area of the room. One off-colour wall or textured brick work wall will instantly create a focal point for a room. Wallpaper or textured plaster can work equally well here.
Architecture – unusual shapes capture the eye and you can build around unusual brickwork or shapes in a room to create a focal point architecturally rather than through objects. This is particularly useful where stairs or other intrusions into a room change the shape.
Designing around the focal point
Once you have a focal point it’s important to build outwards from it. All objects accompanying the focal point should be smaller and less eye catching so that the main focus always remains. We like to compliment focal points either minimally, with a select few pieces, or with one or two moderately large pieces that blend to create one seamless focal design image.
Bedrooms should be a place of rest and solitude, after all this is where you will generally unwind from the day and surprisingly spend one third of you're life sleeping.
Applying basic feng shui principles to ones bedroom is critical. Simple steps like placement of the bed which should always face the entrance of your room and having your bed up against a solid wall creates strong positive energy.
A focal point in any room is important too especially in you're bedroom, you're eye will naturally look for this otherwise there can be a sense of confusion and distortion in the space.
Headboards are a great way to create a focal point and over recent years have become a design feature that most designers are keen to be creative with. A bespoke headboard is ofcourse the best solution, clients request something uniquely made for them which will reflect their personality and the scheme of the bedroom. A range of materials can be used from intricate hand cut paterned leather panels to mixture of glass, woods and metal.
Another important aspect of ones bedroom is of course lighting. Generally in a bedroom you should consider no more than three different focal points for lights which can range from ceiling, wall and bedside lights, all of which can bring ambience in a room aswell as being functional and practical.
With the above in mind bedroom designs should be kept cleanlined and uncluttered whilst introducing a mixture of warm sumptuous materials and textures.
So, you’ve arrived at University… Suddenly, you find yourself in a strange city, surrounded by people you have never met before with countless events to attend and new haunts to explore. But very often, exploring falls short when it comes to your student accommodation which is comparatively similar to the size of a large shoe box.
That room (or others like it) will be the centre of your universe for the next three years or so. It’s the place you’ll spend countless hours watching Netflix and back to back episodes of US TV series. The place you’ll crash in, after another heavy night out and the place you’ll emergency nap in after a day of intense lectures. The key to survival? Get organised.
Here are ten space-saving tips to make the most of your student accommodation:
HAVE YOU SEEN MY…
Storage boxes really are the answer. By piling your stuff around your room wherever you can find space, will just look messy and will slowly drag your mood down. But, tucking them away neatly in storage boxes will enhance the practicality of the space around you. Don’t be tempted to skimp on storage boxes - choose your sizes wisely, and buy as many as you can - then take an hour or two to sort through all of your possessions. Get a system going, and get it all stowed away. In no time, your room will be de-cluttered and organised.
These are fantastic for separating your socks from your delicates, your gym gear from your everyday clothes. This little organisational piece of kit is what space saving dreams are made of. They are so versatile we say they’re just as useful for the bedroom or desk storage as they are for the kitchen.
ON TOP OF MY WORK…
Hollow Desk Chairs
Say goodbye to loose papers scattered all over your desk and say hello to your new space saving furniture. Of course, your chair needs to be comfortable, to cope with all that studying you’ll be doing and small enough to fit sensibly into your student room. This is multi-tasking at its best!
UTILIZE YOUR BLANK CANVAS…
Maximize Your Wall Space
Using blu-tack or pins on the walls of student rooms are certain ways to lose your deposit. Buying some 3M Command will enable you to put items on the wall without leaving marks and holes that would be sure to get you into trouble. So, before you set off for University, make sure to purchase these strips so that you can put pictures on the walls, without taking up space on the window sill or your desk. Who doesn’t love a personalised bedroom?
NO LONGER A CHORE…
Use the Back of Your Door
Effective storage means making the most out of every available space in your room, even the back of your door. There is nothing worse than constantly rummaging through your drawers, this way; a door rack is your problem solver. A door rack can help you find a home for shoes, books and hair appliances that you would otherwise stash in a drawer or on the floor of your wardrobe.
A HOME FOR DIRTY CLOTHES…
Are you struggling for floor space? Invest in a laundry basket. Ensure that your basket is taller rather than wider. A white wash design will be easy on the eye and will be sure to brighten your room up.
NICK NACKS TO HELP YOU STACK…
Pen and Stationery Holders
To optimise your desk space, a standard pencil case may not cut it, but a stationery holder will organize your academic belongings into one neat and tidy display without taking up to much room.
These clever gadgets attach to the wall or door using special adhesive, to provide hanging space for coats, towels and dressing gowns. With some of these in play, you’ll free up valuable wardrobe space.
WITHIN ARM’S REACH…
Bed organisers are a brilliant alternative to bedside tables. They can hold glasses, headphones, and other items like books, iPods and toiletries, right by the side of your bed so that you will never have to leave your crib again…You are welcome!
Hanger connectors are the key to create more space in your wardrobe. Only use them if your wardrobe is tall enough to avoid your clothes dragging on the bottom of the wardrobe floor. If your wardrobe isn’t tall enough, use hanger connectors with clips, to clip up your longer items.
Remember, your living space at university is precious, and you need to make sure that there is enough space for all of your academic work as well as making it a space to feel like a home from home environment. Make sure to take advantage of every inch of it. Be creative, yet innovative and if you need a few more ideas for your dorm, this article created with the help of leading interior professionals will be sure to help.
Your office reception works much like a website’s front page design. It is the first point of contact that companies and customers have with your business. It is literally the public face of your company. At Casa Forma we make snap decisions about a person within ten seconds of meeting them – we can’t help it it’s human nature. The same is true of decisions about a company and your reception area needs to make a great first impression.
We always start with design itself before looking at décor as we need to make sure that the space is optimised correctly to create the right impression. Your reception area should be focused towards the reception desk itself. A large wide desk with computers and your company logo above is normally the best way to make a good first impression.
Light is incredibly important in your reception area. Too dark an area makes people feel on edge and detracts from the visual feast you want to serve people. Soft natural light is ideal and you can supplement with overhead spotlights, side lights and mirrors if you don’t benefit from a glass entrance.
We also want to make sure that there is a warm and welcoming waiting area. This should be comfortable, branded and feature your company or industry literature – reinforcing the impression that your business is at the top of its game.
Materials are also incredibly important but don’t have to be expensive. Traditional businesses will often benefit from rich, corporate or luxury materials in their design. Black marble, rich mahogany and mirrors help create this luxury feel whilst increasing space. However, many more modern businesses, particularly in the tech industry, benefit from the opposite image – relaxed spaces, light colours and a friendly colour scheme. At the end of the day your design needs to reflect your brand and your corporate message.
Receptions should feel relaxed, comfortable and not cluttered. Decoration should be kept relatively minimal with brand logos, plants and amenities available. Try to have a few well-chosen and placed objects rather than a clutter. For many companies a focal point piece of art can make an incredible impression but it isn’t a necessity. What furniture you choose is however very important. Chairs and sofas are an ideal solution but you should choose ones that reflect your company – big, soft and comfy if that’s your image or modern and artistic if that’s your image. You should always provide a table for work and refreshments so that guests can quickly settle.
How you display your branding and how you design the actual office reception is important. We want to make sure that we convey our core brand messages to potential clients and that our brand is a key association our office makes. Décor such as art, images and corporate awards should feature subtly in your office to contribute to your brand persona.
Consistency is also very important. It’s no good making a great first impression in your reception if the rest of your office is cluttered or plain. We want to replicate all of the receptions design and branding throughout your office to make sure that first impression sticks with visitors throughout their stay.
Designing a reception well will make the perfect business impression and we can’t recommend it enough! If you need assistance don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
When it comes to creating truly unique interiors antiques are often the best objects to build around. They can bring together a room and often have wonderful stories to tell about a time, a place or a history. Choosing antiques is a pleasure in itself and we love visiting antique fairs, auctions and local shops to try and find unique items. With that in mind we thought we’d create a quick guide for anyone looking for antiques to compliment particular designs.
Antique Styles and The Designs they Compliment
The history of antiques is complex and sprawling with British designs taking their names from periods associated with reigns of monarchs. However, there are also antiques that fall into artistic movements, cultural moments and industries – for example maritime antiques. Here we look at some of the most common styles you can access.
Art Nouveau ran from 1896- 1914 and embodies a time when jewellery and fashions were changing dramatically. The styles of furniture and art are popularised by curves with sweeping lines and furniture with slimmed upholstery and beautiful elegant curves. This style of furniture wasn’t mass produced so it easy to pick up unique items.
Art deco was popular from the 20’s through to the 40’s and is a modern style focusing on linear design and strong bold colours. It has seen a resurgence in popularity in modern designs as well and when buying antiques you need to be careful to buy original rather than modern reinterpretations. This style works exceptionally with modern designs.
Victorian antiques cover a broad spectrum of styles but typically the features are heavy wood, furniture with beautiful upholstery, ornate glassware and china. Victorian furniture can work with all styles of design from modern to classical so it is easy to find antiques for any interior decoration style.
The Baroque period refers to 17th and 18th century European arts, architecture and style. Baroque furniture and antiques typically feature very ornate carvings with astonishingly beautiful wood and gilt work. Original baroque furniture is highly sought after with a high price tag but there are plenty of modern imitations. This style works with rich classical designs and any room trying to be opulent.
The gothic revival period was short lasting from 1840-1860 but has influenced design and art ever since. Gothic antiques are characterised by dark colours and striking medieval displays. These antiques are highly prized and work in hyper modern design and dark classical libraries or lounges.
When it comes to designing around antiques it is very easy to find something you like. We have worked with antiques in all styles and most people tend to have a variety of eras and objects – they are at the end of the day personal objects to choose. If you are planning a single design element it is great to choose one era or style but remember that these periods also produced exceptional plain objects (typically furniture) that can work with all styles.