articles, color, education, hall, inspiration, living room, my projects

Color scheme in interior design / Schematy kolorystyczne a projektowanie wnetrz

Oh my goodness… you cannot imagine how busy I was over the recent weeks – both at work and at home; then I was away; but most importantly, with my new school – the assignments are so extensive, I am basically spending every single free minute on them; at some point a few days ago I just could not look at my inspiration boards anymore, I saw them and edited them and reworked them so many times! I finally have submitted them though…

Anyway, one part of the assignment was to prepare color schemes and find inspirational images that work with the schemes. I was to prepare one board for each of the classic sets: monochromatic, harmonious and complementary, bearing in mind that one of them was to use a historical color palette.

So here are the results, and a bit of color theory you can use with your interiors:

  • Monochromatic color scheme – blues:
Monochromatic color scheme - blues
Monochromatic color scheme - blues

This monochromatic scheme was created using the family of blue tints, tones and shades; my foremost inspiration came from nurseries which I think look lovely in blue (generally bedrooms look pretty in monochromatic schemes too). Contrary to popular belief, monochromatic does not mean black&white, but simply of one (any) colour. In interior decorating and design, this is extended to mean all the tones, not just the pure hue.
Such a scheme is very safe, and can be pretty boring or even overwhelming (e.g. all-red room). To ensure the space is still interesting, one should use contrasting tones – if big surfaces are soft or pastel (even tinted white), it is worthwhile making the accents (cushions, throws, rugs, accessories) darker. Also, remember that color reception varies with texture – therefore use different materials, tactile fluffy or porous fabrics and employ luminosity of paint or objects, by contrasting matte and shine, transparent and opaque, and finally with design…

  • Harmonious color scheme, using a 19th period color palette:
Harmonious color scheme - 19th color palette
Harmonious color scheme - 19th color palette

Harmonious color schemes are probably the most popular. Easy to achieve with fool-proof rules, they provide more interest than the monochromatic scheme. However, because of its popularity, the scheme can now seem bland if applied without thought, and actually some neighboring colors get on better together than others (e.g. reds and violets is a pretty tricky combination…) and if you’re going as far as mixing colours from both sides of one main hue (like red purples and red oranges), you really should include that main hue (red) to make them work together!

This particular scheme was even trickier than the others as it required using a historical color palette. It’s good to know that there are companies which still manufacture paint, fabrics and wallpaper employing authentic historical techniques, materials and designs. It’s important not only to give the room an authentic feel; rather such materials work best when restoring old houses as they blend better and work properly with older surfaces (crucial for paint). They also often have visibly different finishes (you can order free samples to see for yourself) which add to the quality and authenticity of the restoration project. Just remember – such materials are never cheap, nevertheless worth their price.

The scheme on the board concentrates around a beautifully ornamental Lotus BP 2048 wallpaper from Farrow & Ball (a great company for authentic materials), drawn from 19th century French archives and influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement . I complemented it with muted tones and shades of paint such as Ball green 75, Green smoke 47 and Parma gray 27 in traditional finishes: limewash, dead flat oil, and eggshell (depending on location – interior or exterior, and surface – walls, woodwork, metal).

Put together, this scheme is very sophisticated and elegant, and adaptable to rooms of any function, as you can see on the inspiration photos (halls, living rooms, bathrooms). Interestingly, the scheme not only works well in period interiors, but also in modern ones, especially minimalist (see the bottom-right bathroom).

  • Complementary color scheme using purples and yellows:
Complementary color scheme - yellow and purple
Complementary color scheme - yellow and purple

The most dramatic choice, the complementary scheme marries colours lying opposite each other on the colour wheel. While a risky choice and demanding a lot of careful analysis and design, this scheme can be very rewarding through creation of outstanding statement interiors.

Yellow and purple, as used on this board, have actually made their way into many interiors nowadays (I love this match!), but the general rule is to carefully balance colours and tones, choosing one as a basis and the other solely in accessories. Also, for a more subtle and glamorous version, you could replace yellow with gold and shimmers. The strongest version (i.e. with both colours on big surfaces) will work well in halls, waiting rooms and guest bathrooms – but if you like it, use it anywhere you want – after all, rules are there to be broken :).

I will show you the inspiration boards later on…but in the meantime welcome comments both on these particular schemes, and also on your opinion on schemes and rules in color – do you follow them? How?

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Powyzej prezentuje jedno z zadan ktore w koncu ukonczylam i dostarczylam w piatek… zajmowaly mi doslownie kazda wolna minute w ciagu ostatnich paru tygodni! Celem zadania bylo stworzenie trzech tablic przedstawiajacych podstawowe schematy kolorystyczne – monochromatyczny (oparty na jednej rodzinie odcieni, np. fiolety), harmonizujacy (laczacy kolory lezace obok siebie na kole barw, np. zolcie, pomarancze i czerwienie) i dopelniajacy / kontrastujacy (wykorzystujacy kolory przeciwlegle, np. zielony i czerwony), a do jednego z nich miala zostac uzyta historyczna paleta kolorystyczna z wybranej epoki. Wyniki zobaczyc mozna zobaczyc powyzej, a paleta historyczna ktora ‘wystapila’ na tablicy to XIX-wieczna Francja z wplywami Arts & Crafts movement (ruch ktory glosil sztuke uzytkowa bedaca jednak absolutnie piekna, czescia tego ruchu byli prerafaelici).

Pierwsza tablica pokazuje niebieskosci ktore tak bardzo pasuja do sypialni dzieci, ale takze doroslych – takie schematy sa delikatne, ale pojawia sie ryzyko nudy ktoremu nalezy przeciwdzialac poprzec uzycie roznorakich odcieni, materialow, powierzchni, wzorow oraz matu i polysku. Kolory harmonizujace przestawione sa jako matowe zielenie i zolcie, mocno przytlumione dodatkiem szarego (podstawa do tego schematu byla przepiekna tapeta Farrow & Ball ) – te historyczne kolory dodadza kazdemu pomieszczeniu ponadczasowej elegancji, a pasuja nawet do nowoczesniejszych, zwlaszcza minimalistycznych wnetrz (patrz lazienka w prawym dolnym rogu). Ostatnia tablica pokazuje najbardziej dramatyczne i ryzykowne, ale jak wspaniale kontrastowe polaczenie zolci z fioletami, ktore polecam zwlaszcza do mniej uczeszczanych pomieszczen typu hol, poczekalnia, moze goscinna lazienka (acz to oczywiscie zalezne od preferencji).

Niedlugo pokaze rowniez tablice inspiracyjne ktore stworzylam do innego zadania, a w miedzyczasie zapraszam do komentowania moich schematow, ale tez schematow ogolnie – czy dalej je stosujecie? Ktore lubicie? Jak wykorzystujecie tradycyjna teorie koloru?


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Design for Life with Philippe Starck

I know, I know, it’s been ages since I last was here! But fear not, I have not forgotten 🙂 The work – actually the homework for the design school – has been taking every minute of my free time over the last few weeks… but more about it later.

First, let me share with you the amazing news – a new series has just started on the BBC and it is about product design! This has been my first passion – applied art and product designs have been my passions even before I started thinking about full-blown interior design. I find it amazing how everything that surrounds us has been designed by someone even if we don’t think about it, and that – as opposed to fine arts – an object of beauty can be also an object of function.

But – back to the topic: the amazing, the great, the best, the ingenious, the inspiring, the genious Philippe Starck is hosting ‘Design for Life‘, a program about 12 young Brits spending a few weeks in Starck’s design agencyin Paris in hope that one of them can be the future of design in the UK. The main prize is a 6-month placement at Starck’s, but even those ten weeks are more than any designer could ever dream of, so all the best to the participants and let’s hope we’ll see some great designs! You can see the first episode here.

And if you don’t know what Starck designed, here are some of the iconic objects:

Philippe_Starck_Privé_Collection
Philippe_Starck_Privé_Collection
Miss Lacy by Philippe Starck
Miss Lacy by Philippe Starck
Philippe Starck Gun Collection
Philippe Starck Gun Collection
Philippe Starck - Juicy Salif
Philippe Starck - Juicy Salif
Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair
Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair
Voxan Café Racer Super Naked by Philippe Starck
Voxan Café Racer Super Naked by Philippe Starck
Philippe Starck Holly All Vase
Philippe Starck Holly All Vase
DRIADE BY PHILIPPE STARCK
DRIADE BY PHILIPPE STARCK

What I really liked is his design philosophy, or rather life philosophy, some of it we could observe already in the first episode. As he said, ‘we are not artists‘. What designers do, or should do,  is to create functional and sustainable products for the masses. Also interesting was how important to him the history behind a product is. What is it made of is an obvious question, but is it functional enough? Who made it? How? Does it make sense? Does it show the way forward? The designer need to think really outside of the final product. He controversially criticised a lovely bicycle brought as an example of an ecologically sound product by one of the contestants. It cost only €90, which is why Starck dismissed it as a product most probably done by people who earn almost nothing. How else can you create this complicated piece of technology for so little? Stay tuned for next episodes!

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Uwaga uwaga, na BBC wlasnie zaczal sie swietny program. Design for Life, prowadzony przez genialnego i wyjatkowego projektanta ktorym jest Philippe Starck (jezeli nie bardzo wiesz o kim mowie, zerknij na zdjecia kilku z jego niezapomnianych projektow powyzej). W tym programie, 12 mlodych Brytyjczykow spedzi kilka tygodni w Paryzu w firmie projektowej Starck’a, a my wszyscy mamy nadzieje ze dzieki temu narodzi sie nowy talent w UK. Nagroda glowna jest 6-miesieczna pozycja w agencji, choc juz te kilka tygodni sa wyjatkowa nagroda…

Sztuka uzytkowa byla moim marzeniem jeszcze zanim zaczelam myslec o projektowaniu wnetrz. Uwielbiam to ze wszystko co nas otacza jest dzielem jakiegos projektanta (czy zdajemy sobie z tego sprawe czy nie), oraz ze w przeciwienstwie do np. malarstwa, piekne przedmioty spelniaja rowniez funkcje.

No ale wracajac do tematu, spodobalo mi sie ze Starck od samego poczatku przekazuje swoja filozofie. Ucina niefunkcjonalne projekty mowiac ‘nie jestesmy artystami!’, za misje uznajac tworzenie funkcjonalnych i ekologicznych produktow dla mas. Wazna dla niego tez jest historia produktu. Z czego jest zrobiony? Jak? Przez kogo? Czy jest odpowiednio funkcjonalny? Projektant powinien myslec duzo szerzej niz o samym koncowym efekcie. Ciekawie wyrazone zostalo to w momencie gdy jeden z uczestnikow przyprowadzil rower jako przyklad dobrego ekologicznego produktu. No tak, ale skoro ten skomplikowany technologicznie i wysoki jakosciowo rower kosztowal jedynie €90, czy ci robotnicy co go zbudowali mogli zarobic wiecej niz grosze? A wiec: polecam pierwszy odcinek (do obejrzenia tu) – i czekajcie cierpliwie na ciag dalszy!


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articles, bedroom, budget decorating, living room, presentations

Budget decorating continues! czyli Tanie Projektowanie

Hi there,

Last night I found another very inspiring blog – Young House Love, which is run by an amazing couple of interior designers. You can’t help but simply like them, which is greatly enhanced by the fact that their designs, decorations and makeovers are really stunning – and they can work with any budget! See examples here:

Before:

Living room - before
Living room - before

After:

Young House Love living room - after
Young House Love living room - after

And my favorite – total makeover for $200!!! Before:

Bedroom - before
Bedroom - before

After:

Young House Love bedroom - after
Young House Love bedroom - after

And this blog should also catch your eye – Like Merchant Ships gives nice tips on bringing beauty to your house on your budget, whatever it is. Nice good living ideas too!

For instance, you get tips on how to find such nice pendants for $0.99… click on the image to go to their ‘budget decorating’ section:

$0.99 pendant from Like Merchant Ships
$0.99 pendant from Like Merchant Ships

It’s funny that I found them now, when my last post (apart from the news) was about budget decorating!

—-
Wczoraj wieczorem znalazlam swietnego bloga – Young House Love, gdzie młode małżeństwo prezentuje swój dom, z którego narodziła się ich pasja projektowania wnętrz. W tej chwili profesjonalni styliści, pisza os sobie jak o kolegach z sasiedztwa i nie da się ich nie lubić – a do tego ich projekty są naprawde swietne: pełne ciepła i światła, takie w których każdy może czuć się komfortowo, a przy tym bardzo dyskretnie stylowe. Podalam dwa przyklady przerobek zrobionych z ich udzialem, ze zdjeciami ‘przed’ i ‘po’; salon, ktory niesamowicie zyskal na urodzie, i sypialnia ktora zostala przemieniona przy budzecie tylko $200!

Drugi blog ktory prezentuje to Like Merchant Ships. Tym razem nie sa to profesjonalni projektanci, ale pani domu probujaca zyc pieknie ale i ‘okazyjnie’ – przykladem jest ten zyrandol, nabyty za 99 centow 🙂 . Duzo ciekawych porad, takze takich ‘zyciowych’. Polecam!

Zabawne, ze te blogi znalazlam akurat po napisaniu posta o tanim projektowaniu 🙂 Blogi oczywiscie natychmiast znajduja sie na mojej liscie odwiedzanych.

(ps. Ojej… jakos dziwnie wychodzi mi to pisanie po polsku 🙂 nastepnym razem sprobuje zaczac po polsku, to moze wyjdzie mi lepiej 🙂 )

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articles, DIY, furniture, inspiration

Design on a budget

I’ve decided to update my blog tagline (see above) to include part of my motto –

…how to get the designer look on a budget?



(And be quiet, language purists – of course there is always a budget but I mean the common meaning of this phrase!)

Really, I don’t think it’s difficult to create a great space with lots of money (though, surprisingly, I’ve seen LOTS of expensively made, but terribly designed / decorated spaces). To be honest, the tendency to go for the expensive is very irresistible. Why?

Well, it’s really not about squeezing money out of clients. It’s just that we love good design. And good design is, predominantly, very costly. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone – after all, to create an outstandigly beautiful and high-quality piece of furniture, for example, has to be costly. In time, ideas, effort, resources (including human of course), machinery and materials. Then – advertising or getting it to the market, etc…

But – one is also paying for the brand, and again rightly so, as those brands ‘high up there’ deserve to be special and exclusive for their role in opening new design horizons for us all. However, if one is willing to search and research, and wait a bit longer, and try out things, and visit auctions and sales, and customize, etc, etc… one can really create an amazing space mimicking pretty well the unattainable designer classics. So what can you do?

1) Buy vintage, customized or knock-off versions.

Sounds simple, well, it is and is not. You will have to invest a lot of time in investigating all options, checking out all the outlets, eBay, online boutiques of hand-made items, local auctions, blogs like this, designers’ stores and online shops, discounts and sales at the shops you love (and they are now everywhere, does anyone buy full-price anymore?), charity shops, car-boot sales, and the local suppliers down the road who are happy to create something for you for fraction of the original’s price.

So, time is the main investment. But this option is certainly most cost-efficient. Apart from those ‘real’ designer classic in vintage, which are sometimes more expensive than new (unless someone doesn’t realize their value and yes, it happens a lot).

And it’s fun, too, especially when you find some gorgeous stuff! You don’t have to be skilled, you just need loads of time, good eye, and good luck. 🙂

2) Customize yourself.

This is the most rewarding way, the real crowning of your achievement. But that requires ingenuity, and is certainly not ‘cheap’ in terms of time and effort. It requires skill. And patience. And good eye. And a bit of experience. So – you just have to ask yourself: what is more important to me? Am I willing to save time and spend money for the great stuff? Or am I able to spend time to research and get inspired and build and create?

Both options are rewarding in different ways. And I don’t think I’ll make a call on which one is better – I love them both. And you can also mix’n’match; buy this sleek Eames chair lookalike, but save on very simple coffee table which you can get at your local supplier and which will look just as good as any (let’s hope). Allow yourself for this gorgeous designer wallpaper, but use it sparingly – on one wall only, or buy just one roll and customise an old cupboard with it.

Bear in mind though… the ‘budget’ version does not always mean dirt cheap. Sometimes you will have to invest in high-quality golden paint, or in gorgeous crystal cupboard handles (and you will notice that accessories are often more expensive than the base item you wanted to customize). In fact, in many cases, you would have been able to buy a pretty high-street item for less than all the materials you need for customizing, and for zero effort.

BUT. Whatever you create will still be cheaper than the classics. More importantly, whatever you make yourself, is absolutely unique. Not only will it look outstanding and special, but will also reflect your personality and taste, and make your house a home.

…so where does the interior designer come into this ‘budget’ game?

Well, you may want to consider their services on two levels:

  • Idea. If you do not feel you are up to creating the layout, the style, the idea for the place – this is the first problem designers can help you with. Depending on your budget and plans, this can be anything from online help (you send photos / floor plans, designer sends back his version), through to one-off consultation at home, then creating the mood board (which will gather your colour / style / furniture ideas and give you a feel for the proposed space), up to the visualisation stage, furniture and accessories suggestions, etc.
  • Implementation. If after that you still are unsure you can find those unique items, or really you’re not up to customizing or simly can’t spend time rummaging through second-hand shops and going to auctions, the decorator can act as your buying agent and source everything that is required for your unique place. Even more so, depending on the extent of their services, they can customize objects for you. Perhaps they sell their furniture and accessories already?

And if you go for the interior design services, remember: ALWAYS be open and frank. You remember the previous article? “The more your tastes are communicated, the happier the outcome.  Also, have a specific budget in mind.  Honesty is always the best policy.” Say that you want customised. Or say that you want know-off. Say that you’re not afraid of vintage. Say that you hate the standard. Or that you love The standard, you just can’t afford it. And so on, and so forth…

…so, good luck with designing on a budget, whatever it is :).

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articles

Decorators Are Not Divas

I have found this interesting article by Rene Harmon late last night on the Interior Design Network.  It outlines in very simple terms  why an interior decorator or designer is worth the money and effort, and what the process of working with one might look. While I believe the process can be even more customizable, it is still an easy and informative read.  So – grab a cup of coffee and read on!

Decorators Are Not Divas

by Rene Harmon

Designers are not divas, nor are they dictators, or Snobby Witches who want to decorate your home to their taste with your money. Decorators and Designers want to help you and guide you through a myriad of decisions, ideas and purchases to make your home or room a functional, beautifully appointed space.  While considering all your wants and needs, a Designer is able to incorporate those needs with design elements and principles to create a custom space that is uniquely designed for you and your family and which reflect your personality.

Through the information we now receive through television and the internet, decorating may seem inexpensive and effortless. While some people are naturally gifted in knowing basic design principles,  decorating is a learned art, after all, and it can be overwhelming if you aren’t qualified to make correct design choices.  One could easily blow their entire design budget on one poorly executed decision.

If you realize you may need some help, there is a Decorator out there for every need.  Before you begin your search for a Decorator or a Designer, spend time getting to know your own design style.  Pay attention to  magazines, or decorator books, and mark the things you like.  It can be anything, a color, a photograph, an heirloom, some scraps of fabric, a piece of furniture, a shape, a flower, or a piece of art…whatever it is, your designer will want to see it.  Put the photos and tear sheets in a folder and show them to your prospective designer.  The more your tastes are communicated, the happier the outcome.  Also, have a specific budget in mind.  Honesty is always the best policy. If the sky’s the limit, great, but if you have a Walmart budget, with Bloomindales’ taste, by all means, let your Designer know.  She should have product resources to fit all budgets and should be able to find reproductions and discounts from vendors, that, let’s face it, regular folks just don’t have. Sometimes, no more than changing the color and fluffing things up may be all that’s required.  Maybe you only need furnishings or accessories.

Decorators, whose fees are usually less than Designers, are perfectly capable of successfully navigating you through those decisions.  She will have lists of suppliers  and installers as well as access to various markets which will allow her to purchase items for you.  Interior Designers do everything  Decorators do, plus, Designers are qualified to oversee any structural changes.  Additional hours of study of are devoted to interior planning concepts, knowledge of blue prints and engineering specs, space planning, and traffic patterns utilization.  You most definitely need a Designer if you plan to renovate, as mistakes can be very expensive, not only due to product, but labor charges.  Again, Designers know their installers and trust them to deliver their products and services.

(…)

Designers will research the prospective plan by getting quotes and prices and will then design a plan which will be presented to you at a later date. This will be a presentation meeting.   In this meeting, the design plan will be explained to you usually on a board.  A detailed cost analysis, a projected finish date, payment schedule, her design fees and contracts if needed will also be discussed.

After you have done your homework, and after you’ve seen all the  presentations, base your decision on which designer most clearly understands you and is easy to communicate with.  Did you like her?  Did you like her presentation?  Did she answer all of your questions? Was she eager to help you with solutions? Did she stay within budget? Did you fill out any questionnaires or surveys?  What did you learn? Sometimes, a consultation is all that you may need, at which point, you pay for the design board and continue on by yourself. Again, board prices vary.  Hours of research and time go into preparing a design board, and this is not the time to be cheap.  If the board is all you need, then pay for it and thank your designer. But also know that you will have to do all the shopping, locate installers, negotiate prices and schedule installment and delivery dates.  This is THE most UN-diva like aspect of the job.  Be prepared.

via Interior Design Network.

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