Welcome to the ultimate luxury design blog
Luxury office spaces need to blend two very important things – style and functionality. At Casa Forma we are regularly asked to create luxury office spaces that reflect a business and an individual’s personality. One of the key things we examine when planning an office space though is productivity; luxury offices belong to busy people and we need to make sure their day is productive as possible. So here we wanted to share some tips on how to maximise your office productivity.
Your desk is the loci of all work in your office. Many people like to have a luxurious desk in oak, mahogany or other rich dark woods. These desks create a stunning sense of style but they aren’t always the most useful for work. When you are buying a desk you need to make sure there are enough drawers for all the supplies and paperwork you regularly need, you also need to make sure that it has a large enough surface area to fit everything you regularly need on it – computer, books, paperwork, pens etc. One of the key ways people lose productivity is by having a cluttered desk – so make sure yours will be big enough to have space to work comfortably. In terms of organising the drawers make sure the top drawers contain the most regularly used items.
Your desk should be placed to expose you to natural light without having it in your eyes – this will keep you awake and focused.
The Desk Chair
Chairs influence productivity drastically – they also have a huge impact on our health. Ergonomically designed chairs are designed to help your posture and prevent back and neck pain. These are essential for anyone spending a long time at their desk and will increase your productivity.
Having all your resources close at hand is a great way to ensure that you don’t have to search for things. Bookcases behind your desk are typical of a luxury office – they create a sense of authority and can make a good impression on new clients. However, the real point is to have all your books close at hand for when you need them. Arrange alphabetically but with a lower shelf specifically for books that you will use on a regular basis.
Art and Ornaments
Too much artwork and ornamentation on walls can actually be a distraction. Art and ornamentation should be used to inspire creativity when you need it without providing a distraction when you don’t. Positioning one piece of creative art on the wall opposite your desk is a good way to improve creativity. Other Ornamentation should, primarily, be out of direct eyesight so that it doesn’t distract you whilst working.
The average human mind can concentrate for 20 minutes at a time. You can increase productivity by making sure there is space to relax in your office. A comfy chair away from your desk or an area to gently exercise is a great way to free up your mind. Use this space to wake up, read or just clear your mind for 5 minutes every 20 minutes and you’ll find your productivity increasing rapidly.
These taken together will help dramatically increase your office productivity as well as creating an office space that reflects you and your business at its best.
We designed this Mayfair nursery to cater for a beautiful new born baby girl and mother. It also caters for the day and nights needs of an in-house nanny. It is furnished with a crib, a changing table, storage, and a very comfortable rocking chair for the needs of any mother.
All the furniture is designed by Casa Forma using tapestry and lace fabrics to convey the richness of the upholstery. All the mahogany bespoke joinery is covered using tapestry which is was chosen to lighten and bring to life the joinery. Lambskin was also used to cover secret doors leading to the en suite bathroom.
This sumptuous luxury nursery was inspired by a Charbonnel and Walker chocolate box. Sophisticated and timeless the nursery uses hints of dusty rose to add a feminine touh to the design.
When it comes to modern, dynamic office spaces luxury is largely reliant on four core concepts space, light, organisation and design. Without the right blend of all of these offices tend to be cramped, cluttered and, as frequent studies have shown, less productive.
In business location is important. If you can acquire office space in high profile areas or high up in skyscrapers you are instantly creating the impression of luxury. Everyone would like a better view from there office and nothing says luxury as much as an expensive location.
Creating luxury needs space – from the executive offices to the work floor. Sadly, the thing that is at the most premium in offices is space so creating space is a central challenge. We start by examining the current set up analysing unused space and desk space. Often with ergonomically designed office furniture you can create a lot of extra space in an office. This creates the impression of luxury.
However, creating a feeling of luxury space requires more.
An office needs to be practical but that doesn’t mean you can’t create luxury whilst being organised. Traditional filing cabinets and shelving doesn’t state luxury. Rather opt for built in filing cabinets and rich wooden shelving to highlight the objects held on them. Desk spaces are particularly important as well. Use rich woods with a solid, thick base to showcase your company at its best. Ensure that desks remain uncluttered with appropriate storage and organisational supplies.
Meeting rooms are the perfect place to create a sense of luxury. You want high backed, comfy chairs, circular tables and, ideally, spectacular views. This creates a feeling of inclusiveness for meetings as well as keeping staff relaxed.
For more ideas visit - 6 Ways To Create A Luxury Hotel Design by Mary Lakzy
Every company’s idea of luxury is different. At Casa Forma we work with you to create the ultimate in luxury interiors that reflects your organisation and your aspirations.
Closets are a breeding ground for clothes, accessories and most often shoes. Without careful management they turn into jumbles of chaos where you won’t be able to find what you want, when you need it. In fact this can get so out of hand that when you do finally sort it you find expensive clothes that you’ve only worn once….and often no longer fit.
Don’t fret though we’re here to offer you some of our best advice on planning the design of your perfect wardrobe.
How much space you have to use is going to largely limit how you can plan out your wardrobe. We have two options real options to consider;
Walk in wardrobes
We have been fortunate to work with a number of clients who have the space for a walk in wardrobe. This leaves a whole space dedicated to organisation and preparation. Walk in wardrobes can be complimented with dressing tables and mirrors to allow you to create the perfect look every time.
Built in Wardrobes
These offer a lot of options to organise in a way that reflects your personal clothing needs. We like to create custom wardrobes with well-defined areas for different clothing types and accessories.
Organisation is incredibly important and one of the most common mistakes we make. Most people organise their wardrobes by clothing types rather than use. The best way to organise a wardrobe is front to back and side to side.
The Back of your wardrobe is the place to put all the clothes that you don’t wear on a regular basis. It is the cocktail dresses, the shoes that hurt your feet but are just too pretty not to wear and the once in while clothing.
The front of the wardrobe needs to contain everything that you normally wear. The day to day work and day to day casual clothing. It should be organised left to right with clearly defined sections for casual and formal wear. There should be a dedicated space for accessories – at waist height or on display. There should also be clear compartments for shoes so that they aren’t shoved in boxes.
Ideally clothes should be sorted by colour and by style. This way you don’t have to spend time working out what goes with what. A well organised wardrobe displays this for you. Having a series of pre-prepared outfits for every mood and weather is incredibly useful.
How the wardrobe is designed is incredibly important. During the interior design process we like to make sure that lighting and mirrors are built into wardrobes. This let’s the clothes stand out and makes it easier for you to access outfits. At the same time we have to include mirrors in the wardrobe or nearby. Mirrors are perfect when they are full length but it’s also great to have a makeup mirror. In terms of style we’ll create something that fits perfectly with the design of your home.
Good luck turning your wardrobe or closet into an organised style icon.
Our homes are a reflection of our lives. The perfect home isn’t just a reflection of you it’s also a positive influence on who you are and who you aspire to be. Our perfect home adapts to our moods, it influences our creativity, our personality and our well-being. It can lift us up after a long day and help us detox from the stresses of the world.
Achieving this through design is one of our favourite challenges we work through with our clients at Casa Forma – designing for a better quality of life. With that in mind we thought we’d look at some of our favourite ideas to promote healthy living in your home.
A well-lit room reminds us of the outside natural world. It figuratively and literally brightens our day. A dingy room has the opposite effect – it sedates us, drains our energy and causes fatigue. The nervous and endocrine systems of the brain are directly influenced by the amount of light you receive.
When it comes to design you might think this means we want lots of light. Whilst this is true we also need to not overdo our exposure to artificial light. Too much exposure to artificial light causes unease and stress.
When it comes to interior design natural light is the best place to start. The more natural light we receive the more serotonin our brain produces. When we plan redesigns we try and make sure that windows light up the most used areas of your home. We then supplement this with artificial lighting to create a mood and add to the feeling of daylight in your home.
When it comes to design your rooms need to feel in a way that reflects you. The first step to creating ambience is to de-clutter. Cluttered rooms increase our stress and decrease our productivity as evidenced by numerous scientific studies. We like to build in lots of discreet storage space to maximise a room’s efficiency without compromising on style.
The next step is to choose a colour scheme that reflects your own positivity. Blues, creams, pinks and whites tend to reflect lots of natural light and create an illusion of space. For a relaxing room where you want to unwind before bed dark rich colours with soft lights help the stresses of the day dissipate.
Finally we look at the actual objects and furniture. Art and sculpture create positive messages in the home, as does the personal. We like to give these objects centre focus in rooms so that positivity and healthy mind are at the forefront of your interior design.
Adding a Touch of the Natural
To positively influence your life you really have to incorporate the natural into your home.
Plants are the obvious place to start and we like to make room for vases of fresh flowers as centre pieces to highlight your home. Potted plants, trees and bonsai all work beautifully with modern and classical styles to give you an alive but stylish design.
Fish tanks and pets are a great way to continue. Low maintenance fish provide a sense of life, light and running water. All of these can help improve your healthy lifestyle as well as being great focal points for a room.
Finally, adding some natural objects to your home works with a variety of interior styles – these can be anything from shells and fossils to natural wood.
Incorporating nature, light and mood into your designs is essential for healthy living. Decluttering, increasing natural light, colour and adding nature all positively influence your mood at home, your ability to overcome stress and your ability to feel happy at home.
Feng Shui literally means wind and water. In Chinese mythology these are the elements associated with good health and wellbeing. Feng Shui as a whole is applying these to interior design to maximise the positive energy and utility of the home environment for a positive life.
For us as interior designers Feng Shui lets us put a different perspective on a home. It is the flow of energy that is the natural part of interior design – to maximise the benefit of the occupants through aesthetic beauty and practical functionality. Here I want to look at some of the traditional Feng Shui practices and how we integrate these into our home designs.
Feng Shui uses 9 core sectors that we can apply to any room of a house or to different rooms to elicit different physical and emotional responses. These form a Bagua Map and are:
In terms of applying this to a single room we use a 9 by 9 grid. Centre and health is the focal point of the room – it draws together all the positive Chi (energy) of the room. When we apply it to a home as a whole each room can have a specific focus but should still bring together all of the elements of the Bagua Map to some degree.
The most important two areas to begin considering are the centre of the house (the self) and the entrance.
The entrance to your home is considered the “Mouth of Chi” in Feng Shui. If you think about this you’ll understand that it is the first place you see when you get home. So it should have positive connotations. Simple choices like plants, light and colour can have a huge impact on your relationship with your home.
The centre of the house conversely ties together everything in the house. Depending on your home’s layout this can either be a hallway or it can be a reception room. This room should tie together everything about you and your own energies. In Feng Shui this is where you put your personality and style at its most prominent – where you draw together everything that you feel is you.
The other areas all are designed to highlight each aspect of your life. They create areas of focus and utility that helps compartmentalise your life without detracting from any part. This separation helps keep us organised and let’s our energy flow more fluidly.
Knowledge- This area of your home should reflect your own pursuit of knowledge. It can be characterised by books, art, antiques, and anything that reminds you of intelligent pursuits.
Career – This area reflects your own career development and aspirations. It can be characterised by certificates, business books, your work space and aspirational objects that appeal to you.
Travel and Helpful People – A reflection of the people that contribute to your life in positive ways; whether it is friends, family or heroes. Mementos, travel souvenirs and photos help personalise this area.
Family and Health – Energy here is characterised by all the special memories of your family whether this is photos, purchases or art. This area should be a real focus of family life designed with family time and sharing firmly in mind.
Child – This is the creative area of the home. It can be characterised by art, poetry and creative relaxation. This can be a reading area with comfy chairs or just an area that enhances your creativity. Design wise we like lots of light and colour in this space to promote positive creative thought.
Wealth – Wealth is signified by money but also by organisation. This should be an area dedicated to personal finance – receipt books, ledgers, banking information and other important information is kept here. In traditional Feng Shui this area can use money, savings banks and other items related to money to promote good fortune.
Reputation and Fame – Reputation and fame refers to your relationships with others and your progressive attitude to life. In terms of design light is incredibly important here as is showcasing your achievements. This area should reflect self and be somewhere you can think positively about your personal journey.
Relationships and Marriage – This area reflects your own relationships and love. It should reflect the warm side of the soul with rich colours and aesthetic beauty.
Whether or not you believe in the energy powers of Feng Shui the Bagua Map process is a fantastic template to divide focus in your interior design – to understand the many threads tying our lives together and trying to reflect all aspects of your personality in one space.
Flowers are the natural art that creates a sense of life in any home. We love working with flowers and plants and think that homes benefit greatly from a touch of the natural.
Today we thought we’d look at choosing the perfect flowers for your home as spring really isn’t too far away!
Choosing a Vase or Pot
Of course the first place to start is choosing something to put flowers or plants in. Vases range from the small and plain to the incredibly ornate and beautiful. Ornate complement flowers to produce a beautiful integrated room feature that can turn even the most drab room into an aesthetic treasure. Pots tend to be much larger and the focus with these tends to be on the plant rather than the aesthetics of its containers.
Choosing Where to Put Flowers
If you regularly have flowers then we recommend putting them in a prominent place. Centrepieces on tables, above fireplaces or on furniture all work wonders with any interior design. Our main advice here is to keep them actually in the room – by windows the view detracts from their beauty and most pre-cut flowers won’t last any longer in direct sunlight.
There’s a lot of personal preference when it comes to flower types and colours. However, if you’re looking to really compliment your interior design then careful flower selection is essential.
Flowers for White Rooms
For white rooms yellow flowers like sunflowers, daffodils and chrysanthemum really add to the light feel of a room – they evoke strong images of spring and freshness that makes everyone in the house happy.
To create a softer feel pink flowers work spectacularly with pink lilies, roses and chrysanthemum making a nice blend with existing décor.
Flowers for Light Rooms
For pale rooms that use light blue, pinks or non-white light colour we like to use light but rich flowers with soft blues, reds and oranges. Flowers like freesias, lisianthus, pale roses and orchids really match these rooms. They create a nice soft feel that is perfectly complemented by sunlight in the day and candlelight at night.
Flowers for Darker Rooms
If you have a nice dark rich room with deeper colours like red, purple or dark wood then you want to add to that rich comforting feel with any flower choices. In red rooms yellows and purples really add to that enwrapped warm feeling these rooms evoke. In purple rooms yellows and reds achieve the same effect. In dark rooms with a lot of dark wood we prefer lush green plants that perform well in the dark like peace lilies, Pothos and Philodendron. Alternatively bonsai trees can work beautifuly in these rooms create an earthy rich feel.
One of the best parts of flowers is that they are inexpensive to replace. You can experiment easily and often to find something that is the perfect fit for every room in your home.
Art is one of the most personal aspects of any interior design space. It is a reflection of self that can personalise any space – from the sleek modern apartment to the rustic country cottage. Art encapsulates the full gamut of human emotion and design.
At Casa Forma we are frequently asked to choose art to complement our interior designs but often we work with a client’s favourite pieces to integrate them seamlessly into their design ideas. With that in mind we decided to look at how to integrate art with design.
When it comes to art you should always abide by the rule “Buy what you love”. However, that said, it is also worth mentioning that the art investment market is booming. Everything from Dali’s to Picasso’s to Banksy’s and Harold Ancart are climbing steadily in capital gains. For example Zeng Fanzhi’s The Last Supper sold for a record-breaking US$23.3 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013
Over the last 6 years the global turnover of art auctions has exceeded doubled the same period previously. In uncertain economic times people have turned to art as another string to the bow of investment portfolios. However, art speculation is inherently risky – some artist’s work soars in value others can drop just as strongly. So choosing something you love regardless of the price tag is a much safer, and ultimately more pleasing, option.
Styles of Art
When it comes to design the style of art you choose is of paramount importance. Classical landscapes for example do not typically work as well with modern or post-modern room designs. However, street art or cubist art fits fantastically in a modern setting adding a cultural, and stylish feel to a room. With so many genres of art available choosing art that works perfectly with your own nuanced design ideas is actually straightforward.
Modern Art – Integrate seamlessly with modern design to create a variety of styles. Can be used to create focal points for minimalist rooms or to enhance existing décor.
Classical Art – Compliments classical design perfectly especially with classical and neo-classical interior design. Creates opulent feels to any room when complimented with rich fabrics, marbles and antique furniture pieces.
Portraits – Compliment classical, neo-classical and modern design. Portraits form exceptional focal points for rooms and can reflect history and culture in intriguing ways.
Abstract Art – From graffiti to surrealism and encompassing everything in between abstract art can work exceptionally with any form of design. In modern design or minimalist designs it creates focal points whilst in classic design it can blend perfectly with other decor to create a complete tapestry of integrated design.
Integrating Art into design
Once you’ve chosen artworks we get the pleasure of intermingling them with our design work. The two core considerations we make are the size of the piece and whether you want it to be a focus of the room. A single, large, dramatic piece can really set the tone for a whole room’s design and we love working around these types of artwork. However, small pieces can integrate with furniture and furnishing to create a complete, seamless room with plenty of points of focus and discussion.
If you’d like help with your art choices and their integration into beautiful interior design don’t hesitate to get in touch.