Welcome to the ultimate luxury design blog
Architecture and interior design are complementary arts, and both of them are ever changing and ever evolving. Styles change throughout the years, so if you want a truly eye-catching home that will impress all who visit it, you should never allow your home décor to remain static. This doesn't have to be as time consuming or expensive as you may think, for changing the look, feel and character of a room can be as simple as changing the colour palette within it.
Creating a Harmonious Look Throughout Your Home
You should always think of your home from a holistic point of view, rather than seeing it as a series of disparate rooms. Whilst each room should have its own highlights, and its own design features that are relevant to its function, your home will look more impressive when each room shares one basic predominant colour, setting a themed palette for the property as a whole. Alternatively, two dominating colours can be used, but if you opt for this then you should always bear in mind the colour wheel. Colour wheels can be found readily on the internet, and indicate which colours look best when placed next to each other. It's something that the great artists have known for centuries, but it’s still relevant to today.
How Colour Changes a Room, and Your Mood
Changing the colour of a room can greatly change the way it looks and the way we react to it. That's because we notice the dominant colour of a room even before we typically notice the furnishings or items within it. Psychological studies have shown that the colours we see can have a great effect on our moods, and how we interact with each other and our surroundings. You can use this to create rooms that project or encourage certain emotions, so that predominantly blue rooms can have a calming influence, yellow rooms promote energy, pink reduces aggression, and green encourages creativity and mental composure. On a purely physical, rather than psychological level, rooms based upon a white palette will often look bigger and more spacious than they actually are.
Which Colour Is Right for Your Rooms?
We've seen how different colours can encourage certain emotional reactions, but other than this, how do you choose which colour palette is right for your home? It's a big decision, as you'll see the results of your choice every day, so it can help to seek expert advice from a specialist in luxury interior design such as Casa Forma. They'll know which colours are in vogue, and they'll also be able to find colour schemes that complement the furnishings within your home and the landscape surrounding it.
You don't have to go the expense of moving home, or even making physical alterations to your rooms if you want to gain a stylish new look for your property. Simply changing the colour palettes within your rooms can make a huge difference, but keep in mind how the property as a whole will look, and how it will make you and house guests feel. Fashions change in interior design and décor, so don't let your home look out of date when a fresh palette can give it a stylish new look.
Every experienced interior designer will vouch for the fact that aesthetic impressions are influenced by the sum of many little things that bring together the overall theme and mood of a room. You could spend a whole budget on furniture, fixtures, lighting, and layouts, but if you don’t have those subtle yet significant elements that work together, you will end up with something akin to a curiosity shop rather than an elegant home that whispers quality. You don’t want your house interior ideas to scream but rather gently remind anyone who enters that they are standing in a literal work of art.
1. Tastefully Using Antiques in a Modern Theme
Many people shy away from using antiques because they can be expensive, they’re often in less-than-ideal condition, and because we’d all like to avoid the stigma of having our home “look like a museum.” However, if you only use quality antiques and sprinkle them about just as you would with any other accent or decoration, they can work quite well with modern design themes. Porcelain, glass, and marble antiques are especially well-suited for modern house interior themes, but even rustic wooden styles can work in conjunction with newer luxury styles of hardwood flooring.
2. Incorporate Asian Art and Antiques
You don’t necessarily need to go full-on oriental to add a little bit of flair with some Chinese artwork and antiques. However, you do have the option of having your entire house interior designed with an Asian like theme or modelling your kitchen around a traditional wok setup. Many Asian antiques have universal appeal and are recognised for being luxurious more than for coming from a specific country. Opting for Chinese antiques are also smart investments as their value and popularity have been increasing in recent years, with scrolls, vases, and ceramics being particularly popular.
3. Use Shelves, Armoires, and Entertainment Centres
A great way to have several exquisite pieces like artwork, first-edition books, pottery, and antiques on display without taking up too much square footage is to ensure that there’s ample shelf space. These lovely pieces should be spread out across standard book shelves, dressers, armoires, and in the case of a living room or home theatre, a large full-featured entertainment centre. With these house interior ideas you can display a significant amount of visual diversity into a room and give the eye much more to look at without overwhelming the senses.
4. Add or Upgrade Carpets and Chandeliers
Adding rugs or upgrading your current rug collection is an excellent way to add another layer of flair to your flooring while also protecting it from wear and tear to reduce maintenance and cleaning costs. Also, some rugs were meant to be displayed on walls as tapestries, especially fine Chinese woven rugs depicting the various dynasties. On the flip side, simply adding a chandelier can really set off a living room or dining room, especially if you have vaulted ceilings to allow for a true panoramic lighting effect to complement the antiques you’ve chosen to round out your house interior ideas.
Making Your House Interior Ideas Work into a Cohesive Work of Art
Finally, the one thing you must be cognitive of is that although each piece is unique and maybe crafted throughout different periods of time, everything must complement every other piece so that the finished look ‘works.’ There may be that one exquisite piece for example a chaise longues which is the focal point, but everything else must be tastefully chosen to bring forth a unifying presence – Feng Shui if you will – a room that brings everything together in harmony.
With interior design, there’s a plan to make every room look well-designed, even opulent at times, while still delivering that lived-in feel too. It’s a delicate balance that’s different with every project. In the case of homes where the floor plan is smaller, or the rooms have more restrictive dimensions, it’s important to consider how to maximise the use of space to offer dual functionality to avoid creating too much clutter.
Here are a few suggestions about how to go about doing that.
Is it a Clothes Trunk or a Table?
In the bedroom, having a trunk at the end of the bed or along a nearby wall provides decorative storage space for clothes, knickknacks, a journal, keepsakes, and other little treasures. A trunk does tend to take up considerable floor space, so it’s a good idea to choose one that can perform double-duty as a table. Consider laying a cloth over the top of it to create a comfortable surface where items placed on top won’t slip off easily.
If you find that you use the same items regularly, store them near the top of the trunk’s interior, so it’s quicker to retrieve them each morning to put them back on your table.
Suspend Wooden Chairs as a Clothing Rack
For adventurous renters or homeowners willing to try something different, then a minimalistic flat layout could include a couple of wooden chairs suspended from the wall. The folded-out chairs can each hold a storage box with or without a box lid. Under the chairs are usually wooden beams from one leg to the other to steady them. These beams are ideal to hang clothes up.
While it’s a novel take on box storage and a clothing wardrobe, it’s also far more affordable than going all out with a different solution in a small space that doesn’t need much but the barest of essentials.
Bookcase & Side Rack Mounting
A bookcase usually holds treasured collectables, but the sides of the bookcase can be used to suspend items too. The theme here is the same as using a plastic clothes rack on the inside door of a wardrobe to stuff socks, boxers, ties and other sundry bedroom items.
A patterned suspended fabric or knitted material adds colour and pocketed storage to the side of a bookcase. Alternatively, a simple decorative hook positioned to hold a handbag, or another bag is a good way to lift them off the floor to avoid them being a tripping hazard when floor space is at a premium.
Ironing Board and Mirror
Instead of having a standard, boring ironing board with an unattractive pattern on it, consider having close to a full length standing mirror that magically converts into an ironing board at a moment’s notice.
Footrest and Storage Box
A footrest in the lounge can be converted into a storage box where the lid opens to reveal a space to put all the kids’ toys when they’re done with them. This avoids the toys being strewn all over the floor and needing a separate container taking up floor space in the lounge.
It does take a little creativity to furnish your home with items that offer multi-functional capabilities and double the storage space, but it’s well worth it. It can keep the floor space far less cluttered making every room feel larger than it really is. Also, the added spaciousness will put a smile on your face when you get home from a long day at work.
To be nominated for an award is what every architect dreams of, but to be shortlisted is every architect’s dream come true. Casa Forma’s Kensington Gardens project that was named by design et al in 2015, has been named as one of the frontrunners for the coveted Living Space – UK Award. By taking on a total refurbishment of the property inclusive of some reconfigurations in the structure, what was once a 3800 sq. ft. family home and property has become a celebration of style and a major accomplishment for the architects and interior designers at Casa Forma.
A Focal Point in the Heart of Kensington
What was once a ‘family property’ has become what is known as a lateral apartment which consists of a living area that is now quite large, four bedroom suites, a private den/study and an impressive art media chamber that is state of the art in design as well as functionality. Also included in their design is a Jacuzzi, steam room and even a dry sauna. The refurbishment turned a once ordinary abode into a high end luxury apartment and an award winning one at that!
A Look at the Underlying Scheme
When it comes to design, it is imperative that there is a scheme that brings everything together in a cohesive whole. In other words, each element blends nicely into the next so that in the end you have a well-functioning whole that not only works but looks just as good as it functions. This is the task of any architect. Function alone isn’t enough because disjointed elements can cause chaos in the look you are going after and design without function is futile. No one wants living space that doesn’t ‘work’ for them and so the two need to merge to complete the job.
In this project, Casa Forma sought to complement the modern shell with what is a predominant feature of the design group, an Art Deco appeal. The materials used were high end cladding and joinery for walls with furniture that featured natural stones and Japanese wood. To complete the picture, bespoke hand crafted chiselled mirrors with a finishing touch of hand painted gold leaf rounded out a look of beauty and luxury, a timeless perfection.
A Priceless View
The apartment is situated in such a way as to provide a breathtaking view of exquisitely landscaped gardens and a panoramic view of London. The client for whom the project was undertaken wanted to have a bar crafted so that it would highlight the family’s delicate ornaments of crystal. Since space was limited, the dining room table was designed to double as the bar which then became a divider between the living and dining areas. A remarkable accomplishment that not only brought all elements together from a design standpoint but with exceptional functionality.
With specially requested natural Japanese woods and design and functional features required by the clients, Casa Forma blended together the vision of the client with the extreme talent of their designers to complete a notable accomplishment well-deserving of its 2015 recognition on the design et al shortlist in the Living Space – UK Award. An honour well deserved.
The West Wind whispered. "Come this way. There's a sight to see in the magic woods today." We followed where the West Wind blew. Then in the Orangery woods we saw you! The enchanted woods are full of fairies. Magical little createures, nothing scarey! The trees alive and the fairies cheer. Alif, Ayat and Aria cannot wait to see you there!
Sustainability does not need to be a compromise. You can have luxurious, high-end design without sacrificing your desire to create a sustainable home. Modern interiors are now more than capable of balancing green sustainability with luxury and many designers are happy to work with sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, hemp, and wool.
The aim of sustainable living is to design an interior that is environmentally friendly. Green design focusses on using materials that have been recycled or that come from renewable sources. Instead of acres of polished concrete, designers create beautiful, aesthetically pleasing interiors using materials such as reclaimed oak flooring, but materials are not always easy to come by.
A Lack of Sustainable Materials
A research paper published by the International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment in 2015 found that choices in sustainable materials were still limited, despite the high demand for green and Fair Trade products. Researchers discovered that the provenance of materials and products is not always clear, which creates a barrier for designers who are reluctant to spend excessive amounts of time searching for sustainable materials. Some clients are also resistant to the extra cost involved in sourcing suitable materials.
Despite this, with the right designer and a suitable budget, it’s possible to create luxurious interiors using sustainable materials. You don’t necessarily need deep pockets to achieve the right look and you certainly don’t need to sacrifice your green ethos to create a sense of luxury, as this beautiful design illustrates.
Using Recycled Materials in Interior Design
Recycled materials fit the bill perfectly. Recycled timber is a good example, but you could also use recycled brick slips to build an authentic-looking inglenook fireplace, repurpose marble for a bathroom, or use old copper piping to create industrial-chic lighting for a kitchen or dining room. There is no limit to what you can achieve.
It’s not difficult to find recycled materials and furniture. Salvage yards specialise in recycled timber, wrought iron, copper, and other materials, so these should be your first port of call. Tropical hardwoods and natural stone are by definition luxury materials. When used in the right setting, a gorgeous piece of teak can be turned into an unusual coffee table or a piece of marble transformed into a countertop for a bathroom. Make use of recycled ceramic tiles to create an interesting mosaic floor. Old furniture is ripe for recycling and often inexpensive. Use chalk paint to refinish an old pine dresser and give it a whole new lease of life.
Create a Sense of Luxury in the Bedroom
Recycled items used in conjunction with sustainable materials such as wool, hemp, and silk, are all perfect for a luxury interior. Silk and cotton work well in the bedroom. Use hand-painted silk as a wall.
Designs trends come and go. Inflatable furniture, avocado bathrooms, pine cladding and stencil borders were all popular once. 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.