And finally, here they are – photos of what we’ve managed to do in our bathroom back home a month ago.
As you know / don’t know, we live in London in a rented flat, but our hearts – and our own flat – are still in Poland. We have never managed to finish it to the standard we wanted because we moved to the UK having just bought it and being able to do only the basics. Now every time we come back to visit our family, we try to add to it.
The next visit over Christmas will be even more important as we’re thinking about renting it out, and for that we need to finish at least the projects we’ve started, if not the whole place!
Our orange-cream-brown bathroom is actually the only room in the flat that more or less started coming together and is almost finished – it really is missing a few minor details (though my husband wouldn’t call it details…)
Below is what we’ve managed to complete last time – some embellishment around the mirror, and a tall cupboard for the much needed storage. I’m not going to show the whole bathroom yet – I’ll do that when we finally finish it off, but I can proudly say that the bathroom design and most of manual work have been done by my husband with a tiny bit of help from me.
Mosaic mirror frame
Actually, this decor has never been planned. We thought we’re going to have just an extension shelf over the mirror, on the same level as the top of the cupboard next to it. But then it turned out that we have some remnants of the panelling which we could use for the shelf. The only problem was that it was some milimeters shorter than the cupboard, which would result in the front of the shelf being a bit recessed in comparison to the cupboard, so the idea of having it at the same level for a sleek look would be lost. So we thought and thought… and then I came up with an idea of adding something decorative to the front of the shelf to disguise the difference in level, and we settled for some mosaic.
Obviously, there are many types of mosaic, and originally I thought we’d get the traditional glass mosaic. We also needed to make sure that the size of single tile (or two / three etc) is more or less the same height as the front of the shelf.
But after some strolling around the decorating shops, I saw this decor and I loved it! The original version was vertical (the size of the usual tile decor) so I broke it up into pieces, got rid of the supporting (and irritatingly difficult to remove) plastic frame beneath which normally holds the mosaics together for easy mounting on the wall, and used each separate tile as I wanted, making sure I don’t repeat the pattern much.
I mounted it onto the shelf using a standard all-purpose strong glue, and it worked very fast and was much easier to work with than the tile glue. Of course, be careful with this – you don’t want your fingers stuck together forever 🙂
…and after a moment of drying up, we were able to hang the shelf up!
This is another example of recycling what was already in the house. My parents have bought a set of furniture to my teenage bedroom ages ago; one cupboard had glass door. We thought we saw some stain on it, so we asked for replacement. The manufacturer duly resent the door, but never took the faulty one. In the meantime we decided the fault is almost unnoticeable, so haven’t even replaced the door. And so it lay for ages in the basement, which my husband noticed some time ago and had his plans for it 🙂
Even though I know how good a DIY-er he is, I was still surprised by what he managed to do in half a day (with some finishing touches the next day) – he has actually measured up, had the panels cut, finished the edges, and built a proper cupboard for our cupboard, nicely employing all colours from our bathroom’s scheme.
Even so, I can hardly survive having something so big in my house without me adding the teeniest bit to it… so I’ve decided to use the spare mosaic tiles to finish the door handles 🙂
So, that’s it for now. Going back now to choosing textiles for Christmas… hmmm maybe that’s a topic for my next post 🙂
I’ve spent yesterday strolling around Regent Street and Oxford Street here in London – not really to buy anything but to have a look around, see new collections etc. I found a few nice wallpapers and fabrics in House of Fraser and ordered free samples (I might use it with my next assignment, part of which is to create a sample board). In Zara Home, nothing show-stopping this time.
…and then I went into Habitat and remembered why I love this shop so much 🙂 Seriously, I could live in one of their displays and would happily get anything from that place so if you are looking for a present for me, don’t hesitate anymore! :))
Ok, so here are some of the finds from this trip – and all of them under £100 – most of them well under!
First some lamps.
First – two lamps presenting the super-hot industrial design; both will add sharpness to the home office, living room or minimalist bedroom:
How fresh is that! Simple yet delivers the style. Look out for tealight holder of the same design. The lamp below boasts similar take on the shape.
Did I say the lamps above were simple? Well… simple that! Perfect for complementing geometric wallpapers.
So that no one thinks Habitat is too serious, this cute flower lamp will be great for a funky take on romanticism:
(no description required for Boontje’s design, is there?)
Do candleholders count as lamps? Well, they definitely count as light sources, which works for me. Check out this stylized object which is 1m high!
…And you won’t believe what they’ve done at the shop – they used around 20 of those candleholders in transparent glass, put LED lightbulbs in them and hung them upside-down from the ceiling at various heights, forming a very dramatic take on the bubble lamps we just discussed. What a view – shame I didn’t have my camera!
Finally, Klara was just fun to move its arms around in various angles 🙂
And now to coffee and side tables.
I love love love, for the obvious reasons of lightness, versatility and adaptability to small spaces – and price! £69.
More expensive but very original – the Shuffle:
How pretty is that! The intricate ornaments will work perfectly with next year’s trends for artisanry:
I do love multifunctional items 🙂 This cube is not only a table, it is also a lightbox 🙂
How can one not love Habitat?
Chodzilam sobie wczoraj po Regent Street i Oxford Street, zbierajac probki tapet i materialow do mojego kolejnego zadania i rozgladajac sie za nowymi kolekcjami. Weszlam do Habitat… i od razu przypomnialam sobie dlaczego kocham ten sklep! Normalnie moglabym w nim zamieszkac, a jezeli ktos szuka dla mnie prezentu, to dylemat rozwiazany 🙂
Powyzej przedstawiam wczorajsze znaleziska w dwoch kategoriach – oswietlenie i stoliki. Zgodnie z moja idea ‘organiczonego budzetu’, wszystko, co pokazuje powyzej kosztuje do 100 funtow, a wiele z nich nawet sporo mniej.
Kilka typow? Industrialne klimaty zaprezentowane przez pierwsze lampy i stoliki; minimalistyczny ale bardzo kreatywny design w postaci kolejnych ‘skreconych’ lampek; wariacje na temat romantyzmu w kwiatowych swiatlach i drewnianym azurowym stoliku; niebanalny pomysl w szescianie Mr Woo bedacym i stolikiem, i swiatlem (swieci od wewnatrz), no i moj niesmiertelny Namber Lan – czyli zestaw trzech stolikow, za ich elastycznosc i lekkosc.
Further to my post about vintage, second-hand finds a few days ago, let me share with you what I found in shops on my Polish trip. You know I love a budget find – and all that’s featured below comes from high-street retailers.
One of the super-hot designs of this season – cross-legged side table. I’ve seen it on cover of the new John Lewis catalogue, of the Dream Bathrooms (from Homes & Gardens) too, and inside many recent magazines! I find it so light and delicate – it can visually lift up any sofa it stands next to, and add elegance and subtleness to the bedroom when used instead of heavy bedside tables:
Funky retro lamps – white & black – absolutely spot-on for now and for such a good price! Found in the local equivalent to Homebase and consting from £30 for a table lamp, through to £60 for the floor lamp.
The huge wall light from the series is the truly fabulous – it has this designer feel to it which makes it a great statement piece, and it’s so versatile due to the long arched arm – one moment it can be used over a table, another – give you the reading light over the sofa…
Another (bargain!) table lamp replicating the eye-ball shape, working well with minimalist, retro and modern interiors:
Is it only me or does this lamp look like it was made from a jar? 🙂
And now – inspired by nature and thus timeless, but fun at the same time, the ‘twigs’ lamp:
Loads of such ‘wavy plastic‘ designs around, both on high street and at designers, and yet few of them cost £10…
This gorgeous glamour, delicate ceiling lamp with crystals-and-sheer-white-glittery shade will most probably find its place in the yellow bedroom. Under £30.
Now to some coffee tables.
This one intrigued me with its lovely visible wood design (check out both the general pattern and the 3 tiles in the middle of the top), its practicality (huge drawers) and its lightness achieved thanks to slim metal legs (this photo does not show off the lifting effect too well). Price: ca. £200.
This one I love for its functionality and versatility – not only in size and shape but also colour and finish. I adore such items for their aplicability to small spaces, when you need something smaller for everyday, but need space when entertaining guests.
This one is pretty simple, not from best materials either, but interesting enough to have cought my eye… and I had to give it a second look when I saw the price – for £80 you can buy it for a few years or for your rented flat without guilt!
Sleek, linear design makes this chair a great addition to a sharp, elegant home office:
And finally – what lovely fabric! Believe, when I cast my eye on the same sofa in cream alcantara, I haven’t blinked twice. But this is an example of how the choice of fabric can dramatically influence the look, instantly making it a fashionable statement for the bachelor’s pad.
…believe it or not but this is not all I want to share with you from my trip – there will still be one more buy, and a DIY project we’ve completed in our flat back home.
Tak jak obiecalam, po znaleziskach ‘z drugiej reki’ – czas na to co znalazlam w polskich sklepach podczas mojej ostatniej wizyty. A bylo tego sporo i naprawde pozytywnie mnie to zaskoczylo – a zgodnie z moim motto, szukalam jedynie produktow w dobrych cenach!
Znalazlam wiele pieknych dizajnerskich lamp – niektore retro; najciekawsza z nich to ‘kinkiet’ z biala kula na bardzo dlugim ramieniu dzieki czemu moze oswietlac dwie strefy – no ale zyrandol ze sloika nie odbiega oryginalnoscia!. Inne inspirowane natura i dzieki temu ponadczasowe (bardzo ciekawa lampka nocna z galazek drzewa), a takze lampa podlogowa z falujacych kawalkow plastiku, bardzo modna w tej chwili – a jeszcze za taka cene?! No i piekny delikatny glamour w postaci krysztalkowego zyrandola z przeswitujacym abazurem, ktory, cos tak czuje, znajdzie swoje miejsce w zoltej sypialni.
Dalej – stoliki kawowe. Piekny wzor slojow przyciagnal moj wzrok do pierwszego mebla, ale tak samo interesujace sa w nim dwie niezwykle pojemne szuflady i metalowe nozki dodajace stolowi lekkosci. Potem trafilam na kilka stolikow ‘warstwowych’,interesujacych tym bardziej im wiecej mozliwosci ustawienia daja (idealne do malych pomieszczen!). No i moje ulubione ostatnio – stoliki ze skrzyzowanymi nozkami, ktore nadaja niezwyklej lekkosci kazdej sofie przy ktorej stoja, oraz elegancji i delikatnosci sypialniom, gdzie zastepuja ciezkie stoliki nocne.
No i jeszcze dwa ciekawe meble do siedzenia – przepiekny, elegancki i prosty w formie fotel laczacy drewno, metal i skore doda szyku kazdemu gabinetowi, a kanapa z niezwyklym lekko blyszczacym szarym obiciem bedzie wygladac pieknie w kawalerskim mieszkaniu modnego mezczyzny – idealny przyklad jak duzo zmienia material, gdyz ten sam model widzialam moment wczesniej w bezowym obiciu z alcantary… wystarczy powiedziec ze nie spojrzalam na niego drugi raz, a ta wersja az wyprosila zdjecie.
…ale ale, to nie koniec relacji z tej podrozy – podziele sie jeszcze z Wami kolejnym zakupem i projektem zrob-to-sam ktory popelnilismy z mezem w naszym polskim mieszkaniu!
I can’t believe how many great products and designs I’ve seen on my last trip to Poland. The interior design market is changing there rapidly, and there aren’t that many new trends that you can’t find there now; even better – most of them are available at high street retailers, making great design available for many!
But before we go into the New, first let us talk about the Old. First, a find stil bought in the UK, but which I envisage to place in the yellow bedroom I was describing some time ago. For now to keep you in suspense – still in packaging, you will see the final effect when all is ready! This vintage glamour / shabby chic mirror frame cost peanuts and is absolutely amazing; I found it on iBootSale and picked up the next day. As it turned out, it was too big even for my mutant-huge suitcase, so had to ship with DHL. But it was worth it, the new owners are thrilled to have it!
As we’re with vintage, when we visited my in-laws, I was in heaven. Here are some more finds. First, the sideboards, etc that my husband’s grandfather hand made some years ago (he was even taking carpenter order for those for local people, and funnily enough I saw a very similar one in some other garage when cycling through the village):
I’m planning to sand it, paint in a delicate pastel colour, add a few embellishments and generally keep it shabby chic / country. Whether for me or someone else – I don’t know yet!
This is another beauty, with more bite to it and gorgeous handles… there is also a sideboard top in another shed but in much worse condition – still there is a chance 🙂
Loads of those around as well… I’ve seen some very nice decors of country kitchens with stove door as a decoration on the wall:
…and finally our finds from a nearby house that is being refurbished – a vintage double shelf and an old radio which I am thinking about converting into a night stand. They were just being thrown away so hopefully they will get a second chance 🙂
And now last truly vintage items. Not obviously planning to do that, and with ideas ranging from ghost chairs to mismatched vintage, we bought 8 chairs 🙂 When we first got into this antique shop, we just came in to browse, and then we came across the two beauties:
…the raspberry-peach louis-style chairs, eight
…and the black and golden stylized chairs (19th c. Art Noveau style), six
I couldn’t decide which ones are better. The raspberry ones worked well with my idea, and I even considered such chairs (with different upholstery); they are also much easier to fit with many styles; glamour, eclectic, shabby chic, etc. The black ones, though, were absolutely original and different to what you normally find, but would not suit our space as they would really require it to be much more upscale than we planned for.
But we couldn’t decide, as both sets were gorgeous. We also had to think through whether they really will work well, how much they will influence other design elements in the house, even what are we going to do with this number of chairs 🙂 At some point we wanted to get both sets, as the black ones were dirt cheap. Having slept over the night dreaming about them, we took a decision – we go again and we buy one set that will work best.
At closer inspection, it turned out that the black chairs were very uncomfortable – what looked as well-formed foam was in fact a nicely shaped plank, or some other piece of wood, and the seats were darn hard. Also, the paint was peeling off at the teeniest touch, and someone actually painted (probably with spray) over part of the fabric at the back. There were a few other elements we didn’t like either.
Generally unhappy about the quality, we turned to the raspberry set. Gosh, that was comfortable 🙂 Very soft, stable, and sturdy in construction; after being told the shop can pressure-clean them, and having got a super-discount, decision was taken and they are OURS! Of course they need re-upholstering and a new coat of finish (and maybe crystal buttons?), but after cleaning they can even serve as they are for the time-being (meaning: when they are in the shed waiting until we move back to Poland, but no one knows when!).
Their versatility will allow me also to use one for a work desk, and another two can work very well with some retro or modern couch.
My mother-in-law even suggested some fabrics for upholstery from her own collection:
OK! Enough of vintage, I will show you what I found in shops next time 🙂
Az mi trudno uwierzyc ile przepieknych i oryginalnych produktow i projektow znalazlam w czasie mojego ostatniego pobytu w polsce. Rynek wnetrzarski i projektowania wnetrz naprawde jest teraz ciekawy, i niewiele zostalo jeszcze designow ktorych w Polsce nie mozna teraz znalezc. Co lepsze – dostepne sa w zwyklych sklepach, nie u drogich importerow, dzieki czemu dostep do nich ma w koncu wiele osob.
Ale zanim o nowosciach, troche o starociach. Najpierw przepiekna stara rama, na skrzyzowaniu glamour i shabby chic, ktora planuje powiesic w zoltej sypialni o ktorej kiedys pisalam. Znalazlam ja za grosze na iBootSale i odebralam nastepnego dnia. Niestety okazala sie za duza nawet na moja gigantycznie zmutowana walize, wiec poleciala do Polski DHLem. Ale bylo warto – rama bardzo spodobala sie nowym wlascicielom!
Juz w Polsce najpierw odwiedzilismy tesciow. Moja radocha nie miala konca gdy zajrzalam do stodoly, obory, i innych skrytek. Znalazlam na przyklad dwa przepiekne kredensy / komody zrobione wlasnorecznie przez dziadka mojego meza (robil je tak dobrze ze nawet przyjmowal zamowienia od okolicznych mieszkancow, i faktycznie – rowerujac sobie przez wioske znalazlam w innym garazu bardzo podobny kredens!).
Z kremowa lub pastelowa farba i krysztalowymi galkami beda przepiekne 🙂 (choc ta mniejsza komoda sama z siebie ma piekne raczki wiec moze zostana). Jeszcze nie wiem czy znajda miejsce u mnie (w koncu 59m2 ma swoj limit!) czy jednak u kogos innego…
Mnostwo jest takze drzwiczek od starych piecow kaflowych, ktore pieknie moznaby wkomponowac w kuchnie wiejska.
…a na spacerze kilka domow dalej trwal remont, gdzie wsrod wyrzuconych smieci znalazlam piekna podwojna polke i rame starego radia (ktora byc moze stanie sie stolikiem nocnym). Cuda nad cudami 🙂
No i w koncu – ‘niechcacy’ kupilismy krzesla 🙂 no nie moglismy sie oprzec. Zastanawialismy sie nad dwoma zestawami – malinowo- brzoskwiniowymi Ludwikami, oraz czarno-zlotymi z przelomu XIX/XX wieku, w stylu secesyjnym. Przyznaje ze bardziej za serce w pierwszym momencie chwycily secesyjne, choc od razu wywietrzylam problem. Te krzesla mocno narzucaja swoj styl, ktory jest duzo bardziej elegancki niz planowalismy. Z kolei ludwiki jak to ludwiki – pasuja do wielu wnetrz (eklektyczne, glamour, shabby chic, i inne), wygladaja dobrze nawet z nowoczesnymi (szklo, plastik itd)…
…przespalismy sie z problemem, w pewnym momencie nawet uznajac ze moze kupimy oba zestawy. No ale przy drugim obejrzeniu okazalo sie ze jakosciowo te czarne nie sa najlepsze… i mocno niewygodne. Oczywiscie byloby to do zmiany ale juz nas tak nie zachwycaly jak dzien wczesniej. Malinowe (choc siedzenia bardziej w brzoskwinke wpadaja) ludwiczki za to jak najbardziej wygodne, i nawet sprzedawca dorzucil profesjonalne pranie zeby troche ich jeszcze pouzywac tak jak sa. No i je wzielismy 🙂
I tak przyda im sie nowa tapicerka z pelniejszym wypelnieniem, krysztalowe guziczki (moze) i nowy lakier, ale poniewaz na razie i tak stoja w schowku czekajac na lepsze czasy czyli nasz powrot do PL (kiedy? kiedy??…) to moga byc 🙂 Planuje jednego uzyc do biurka, i sa odpowiednio ozdobne by pasowac tez przy retro czy nowoczesnej kanapie. Kochana tesciowka odlozyla juz nawet material ktorego moglabym uzyc na obicie i inne dodatki, ale to juz zalezne bedzie od ostatecznej koncepcji. Juz sie nie moge doczekac!
No! To tyle tego vintage. W nastepnym poscie przechodzimy do nowosci jakie znalazlam 🙂
I have started playing with a really cool and free interior design software – My deco. It allows for creation of a moodboard – either from uploaded images, or from the existing galleries, or even from websites by installing a plugin allowing to copy any image you see in the Internet to your gallery. Then you can share your moodboard with others.
However, what’s really great is the Design a 3D room interior design software. Not only has it a gallery of real items, so that you create more realistic spaces; you even are given all the information on the shop, price and can actually buy the item straight from the program. While you probably won’t do it too often, the advantage it gives is that the price list of the whole room is generated when the room is ready.
Finally, the absolute best is the free rendering this program offers! You have to wait a few hours, sometimes even a day or two (probably due to demand), but the result is really realistic for free software! And you don’t need to know anything about that – rendering is automatic.
And now to…
My FIRST project!
…just as well I found it as I needed to quickly design a bedroom. Some details: walls of these energetic 40-something year-olds’ bedroom are already of creamy yellow color, so color scheme and accessories needed to be chosen around that. I prepared two versions to match the homeowners’ personalities:
a glamour – style inspiredversion with stylized mirrors and lamps, and ornamental wallpaper;
and a more contemporary one, with simpler shapes and striped wallpaper.
Naturally these are still drafts to be consulted for a more final look.
Please remember that I just started using it and am only getting to know the program’s possibilities; I thought, however, that I’ll share with you those first samples, mixing both styles (as it is yet unclear which one will be preferred).
Before the rendering, in the editing mode, you can get images like this:
After the rendering, you get images like this:
I will gladly read what you think about those drafts. Perhaps you have some complementing furnishings in mind? Or even a totally different idea in mind?
——– Znalazlam również wczoraj bardzo przyjemny i darmowy program do projektowania i stylizacji wnetrz My deco. Mozna w nim na przyklad stworzyc moodboards – dosłownie ‘tablice nastrojów’. Zadaniem takiej tablicy jest zebranie inspiracji do danego pomieszczenia; skrawki materialow, zdjecia, kolory, podlogi, ale takze inspiracje w szerszym znaczeniu – np. zdjecie z ulubionych wakacji, do ktorego chcielibyscie by pokoj nawiazywal. Stworzyc te tablice w programie mozna albo z gotowych elementow, albo wrzucic swoje zdjecia, lub tez nawet skopiowac dowolne zdjecie z internetu dzieki malemu pluginowi ktory mozna zainstalowac w przegladarce.
Jeszcze ciekawsza czesc programu to Design a 3D room czyli ‘zaprojektuj pokoj w 3D’. Co ciekawe, program wykorzystuje prawdziwe elementy wyposazenia dostarczone przez firmy i sklepy, co dodaje realnosci programowi. Te przedmioty mozna tez zakupic bezposrednio z programu. Mimo ze to pewnie bedzie rzadkie, przydaje sie opcja automatycznej wyceny calego pokoju lacznie z dodatkami.
Jednak najlepszy aspekt Design a 3D room to darmowy rendering (symulacja obiektow). Dzieki temu, wnetrza wygladaja duzo bardziej realistycznie. Co prawda na rendering wlasnego projektu trzeba poczekac od kilku godzin do 1-2 dni, to i tak jestem zaskoczona ze ta opcja dostepna jest w darmowym programie. Na obrazkach powyzej mozna zobaczyc jaka jest roznica miedzy podgladem w trybie edycji, a rysunkiem zrenderowanym!
Skoro juz jestem przy obrazkach, to chetnie wspomne…
Moj PIERWSZY projekt!
Obrazki te przedstawiaja pierwsze wersje sypialni ktora musialam dosc szybko zaprojektowac, i cale szczescie natknelam sie na ten program! Sypialnia nalezaca do energicznych czterdziestoparolatkow jest juz pomalowana na zolto, wiec musialam stworzyc schemat kolorystyczny i dobrac dodatki pasujace do tego koloru. W tworzeniu zainspirowaly mnie dwie wersje stylistyczne, pasujace do charakterow mieszkancow:
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 :).
I can’t believe what some people are able to do with some of IKEA classics. If you’re up to it, try this out; some of the projects aren’t that difficult (more time-consuming and nerve-racking) but SO amazing! All of them have been found on the IKEA hacker blog.
Malma mirrors made into wall art
(Broken) Emmabo rocking chair into stylish deck lounge chair
Now this is really simple but so stylish! Lack / Vika Fintorp chic entry way / hall table
How ’bout this really simple but prettily customized set of Malm tables aka TV bench?
And one for the arty types out there: A heavenly wall art / tree mural done with scrappings of IKEA fabrics:
Finally, the best in my opinion: Retro FIRA jewelry cabinet …AND… a shabby chic bedside table
To this!! The Absolutely Gorgeous shabby chic bedside or side table is a smashing HIT! Congratulatins on imagination and craftiness!
OK – so I’m finally back from my day of window-shopping (well, not exactly – I actually bought some side plates, two books on design and color, and hand cream!). First, let me share with you the furniture side of my IKEA findings.
– a space-saving solution for small kitchens. Also, table top is bought separately so one can get a bigger one if space permits:
– one of the more stylish double desks I have seen on the high street (and it is not easy to find a desk for two…)
– an interesting dining table ‘for surfers’ as my husband called it :). Not sure what the name is though…
– …and that’s how the Bernhard chair looks in reality – was very comfy as well!
– nice idea for kitchen fronts – in wide-and-glossy units-dominated kitchens, this vertical beech set provides a welcome change:
– Now the tricky part – what the hell is this wallpaper / material on the wall? I thought I’ll find it in the online catalogue but there are no matches to ‘wallpaper’ and I am pretty sure it is one, as it reflected light when photographed with flash. Really pretty French country style, with roses and birds… anyone knows?? I attach a magnified view of the design as well. HELP! I see it in my mother’s bedroom and I need it desperately and why oh why have I not asked anyone of the staff?!
– …and finally to lamps / shades. I have chosen three of the new designs that seemed most interesting:
That’s it for now. To follow – some nice fabrics I found, as well as a few finds from another shop 🙂
I am always inspired by buildings that get their second life thanks to some ingenious new owners. This was the case with this ex-police station, transformed into a place where art and everyday life merge into one. I found it on one of my favourite home design websites, Apartment Therapy.
Now that’s a truly ecclectic space..
Back in 1996, the architect Bruce Tomb heard about a 1950s dragnet-style police precinct coming up for public auction in San Francisco. At the time, Bruce’s brother, the artist David Tomb, and his wife, Susan Sweet, were living in New York, but hoping to come back to the Bay Area to start a family. Together they bought the building at auction—Willie Brown’s signature is right there on the deed—and Bruce redesigned the police station, envisioning a kind of compound with live/work spaces for both brothers’ families. The result of the two-year renovation is a gorgeous, light-filled space unlike any home we have seen before.
Now, I understand their choice of wall colors is not the usual one, but hey, it’s not a usual house! And the yellowish walls seem to bring even more liveliness, light and this elusive spring feeling into the apartment.
…and what other chair in the right corner but the lovely Barcelona! On the left hand side another design classic, the Eames lounge chair.
The feeling of springy freshness is further enhanced with omnipresent oversized windows, letting in extra amount of light without taking away the privacy of the residents.
Also, check out the large-scale birds paintings by one of the home-owners, David Tomb. If you like them, here is his website.
Moving further inside, the retro bedroom with a vast but suprisingly well-matching collection of painings. What makes them look so well together? Well, if you can’t (or don’t want to) color-coordinate, then theme-coordinate- most of those paintings are portraits. Also, even though the tea-green walls and poppy-red Marimekko cushions are at first sight a striking match, the cushions’ bold design invites cheeky solutions like that. Also, if it wasn’t for the contrasting accent, the room could seem rather dull. Well done!
…and whoa! Look at this small conservatory garden – what a view from the bedroom!
This house, or the concept for this house, is one of my dreams. Big space, full of art, lively and bold. One day!…