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Choosing a colour scheme for a room (or a whole house) is essential to creating an inspiring, and inspired, interior design. It is one of the fundamental things that needs to be just right if a room and a home is to come together. Here we’re going to share some of our favourite tips on creating a colour scheme that will work for you.
The Old Problem
One of the most common problems with interior design is whether to try and unify a design across a house, or apartment, or whether to treat each room individually and create a unique identity for it. Typically, for example, most of us treat bathrooms differently to bedrooms and bedrooms differently from kitchens.
A lot of this comes down to personal taste. But also the style of building you have to work with makes a huge difference.
Flats and Apartments
As there is limited space in most flats or apartments we find that creating a unified feel across all areas makes for a much better living space – everything fits together which creates a feeling of space.
Old houses tend to benefit from a greater degree of similar interior design as you tend to have old features to work with – meaning antiques and dark or light woods work particularly well as a basis for colour.
New houses offer more flexibility with a typically blank canvas to work from. This lets you pick any colour scheme for each room that you choose without compromising a houses feel.
Dark Or Light
The choice between dark and light colour schemes isn’t too important and most of the best interior designs blend dark and light to create a colour scheme. For example black marble works sumptuously with plain white paints or with golds and silvers. Conversely light pine can work perfectly with light blues, whites or dark purples and rich reds. One of the best options is to use a colour grouping.
Rather than looking at individual colours it is often better to look at colour palettes or schemes. These are pre-arranged selections of colours that usually move from a dark colour to a light colour. These are designed to make it easier to create a unified style for any room. Work from one of these, widely available online or from an interior designer, and you will be able to choose a range of colours that complement each other.
Furnishing and Fixtures
It is easy to look at a blank room and think “this shade of burgundy will look beautiful in this room” but often it is better to think of the furniture you have or want to include in the room. For example, If you have dark leather sofas these won’t be complemented by bright blue walls. It is better to look at what goes into the room – particularly large pieces of furniture – and then work towards your colour scheme.
In modern homes the one real premium is always space. Whether we are creating interior designs for country houses or luxury apartments there is never enough space. One of the key challenges we take on with all interior design work is maximising the space available to you. With that in mind we thought we would share some of our best tips for increasing your space.
Tip 1: Built in is better
Whenever we look at a room we like to see how much practical space can be saved using built in wardrobes, shelving and cupboards. The few centimetres that tend to fall behind most furniture and skirting boards can add a lot when taken across an entire room.
Our favourite tip here is to have floor to ceiling bookcases and shelving in living areas and built in wardrobes in bedrooms. This maximises space and gives plenty of storage to declutter your rooms.
Tip 2: Use Height
Most people fail to utilise the space that we don’t actually use for living. There are vast, hard to reach, areas that are perfect for displaying art, adding a touch of aesthetic flair or for storing rarely used items.
High shelves or storage cupboards are your friends here and will let you increase the actual living space and storage space available.
Tip 3: Use Walls
When it comes to interior design walls are often our best canvas to create an impression but there are certain rooms where walls really can be dedicated to space saving. The most important is the kitchen where racks, hooks and magnetic strips allows you to store all your saucepans, knives and cooking utensils on the walls rather than cupboards – showing off your culinary excellence and saving space.
Tip 4: Use Creative Furniture
Modern furniture often lets you mix storage with design. There are now sofas that double up as storage, bookcases and the more traditional sofa beds. There are tables that double up as entertainment centres and a variety of clever inventions to maximise space – many of which have a fantastic level of artistic and aesthetic appeal.
Tip 5: Move Your Bed
Beds take up a lot of space that could be used for other things. Whilst you might think a bunk bed is out of the question there are now plenty of modern designs for adults that are both stylish and comfortable – including ones with TV’s and even kitchens built underneath. You can also consider suspending beds from the ceiling by building supports and platforms for them – allowing you to often double the size of small studios or one bedroom flats.
The final Thought: Manage your Mind
How we perceive our living space contributes to the feeling of space we have. You can make a room feel bigger by increasing natural and artificial light or adding mirrors to strategic locations. You can also use natural light colours and natural objects to create a feeling of being outside and in space.
Modern living spaces are often typified by a distinct lack of space. Particularly in cities space is at an absolute premium. Combine this with our tendency to collect clutter and belongings and even the nicest space can quickly start feeling cramped. Whilst we can’t often increase the space in our home we can create the feeling and illusion of space in any room. Here we look at just a few of our tips to increase space.
If you follow this blog regularly you know that we regularly espouse the virtues of creating more light in a space. Natural light is the best place to start and increase window space is a great way to make a room feel larger. This isn’t always possible without extensive building work though so the alternative is to increase artificial lighting. Low level lighting tends to draw in spaces, making them warm and cosy. In contrast bright lights and spotlights help expand a space. We like to use lots of individual dimmable lighting so that you can tailor a room to the mood you want to create. You can also use mirrors effectively to make a room feel like it is opening up.
The more that is on display the more busy a room feels. This actually applies to everything from furniture to books and ornaments. Many of us fill our rooms with stuff and often every part ends up feeling cluttered. A better approach is to have just one or two ornaments in each section of the room. These pieces help open up spaces. In the same vein you should also consider organising more fully – finding closed spaces for items so that they don’t make your rooms feel messy.
Reorganise Your Furniture
Furniture should be organised carefully to maximise the feeling of space. Start by identifying currently dead spaces such as those behind furniture or between areas of the room. Then try drawing furniture away from other pieces as much as possible. In living rooms sofas and chairs should be separated out to allow free movement, in bedrooms beds should have lots of space on either side to allow you to dress and move around without bumping into anything.
Our brains associate space with nature and we can copy this feeling in our homes. Natural light is, of course, a big impacting factor but you can also recreate nature in other ways including with plants, woods, animals and most interestingly colour.
Colour helps you recreate the feeling of space. Lighter colours reflect more natural light which makes a room appear bigger to our eyes. Try and include colour in your rooms and intersperse it with lighter art pieces that help bring a room to life.
Optimise your Space
Finally, building in furniture to your home helps avoid dead spaces in the rooms but also allows you to organise things more effectively. As you know what you have in your home you can customise your space to match your belongings (and leave room for any more). Built in storage, shelving and cupboards can increase the available space in your home dramatically and, though expensive, allow you to create a completely unique interior design for your home.
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.