Welcome to the ultimate luxury design blog
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.
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.
Frequent studies have linked where you work to how productive you are whilst working. In fact, recent studies have shown that a well-designed office can increase worker productivity by as much as 20%. At the same time studies reported in the Guardian have shown that nearly a fifth of Britons are suffering from stress and anxiety disorders. A happy workforce is a more productive work force and, with that firmly in mind, we decided to look at designing your office to increase productivity.
Starting with The Basics
The essential first points we consider when designing offices are light, space and desks. Poor light levels create poor moods. Lack of space creates a stifled work environment and decreases productivity as it does not allow for free movement of personnel. Optimised, ergonomic desk spaces increase productivity.
One of the first things we look to when designing office spaces is increasing natural and artificial lighting. Poor lighting has been linked to depression, weariness and eyestrain amongst other issues. We like to add overhead lighting as well as side lighting to create a warm open environment.
Space is always at a premium in a busy office and cramming enough desks in can seem like a challenge in itself. However, increasing the feeling of space in an office can drastically improve productivity and workplace communication. This can be simple changes like re-arranging the desk structure or it can involve creating new spaces to make transition between work areas more comfortable. We can also help create the illusion of space through adding mirrors, increasing door heights and using neutral colours. By connecting the indoor space with the outdoors we bring in elements of nature which creates a relaxing and positive working ambiance.
If your workers sit at desks that they like they will be more productive. Comfy, stylish chairs, ergonomic keyboards and computer monitors are a great place to start but don’t forget the desks themselves. Office supplier desks tend to be cheap and mundane. Replacing with sleek modern or classic elegance styles makes your employs feel more valued – and their work will be more valuable.
Beyond the Basics
These are the basic changes every office should look to incorporate into a redesign. We at Casa Forma like to take this a lot further. One of the best ways to increase productivity in an office is to make it more like a bar or home than an office. Companies like Google have already embraced this new ethos. Adding pool tables, lounge areas, a coffee bar or dining tables changes your work environment incredibly. You could take it even further and look at ways to create the ultimate luxurious office.
Imagine this – your employee needs to have a 1 on 1 project review with you. Instead of stepping into your office you have the discussion in a comfy chair in the coffee room. Your meeting is more relaxed and your employee is able to convey their thoughts on the project in a casual, open setting. This improves communication immensely. After work your employees might stay in the office for a few drinks and a game of pool – they actively want to spend time in the office!
Design and office content play a pivotal role in this modern workplace. We want to create light comfortable spaces for your employees to relax in. We choose light open colours, sleek modern furniture and supplement it with facilities targeted at your employees. We create a modern workspace that throws traditional office atmospheres away whilst improving your employees performance.