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So far Alena Chikurnikova has created 44 blog entries.

How to design room for a Boy 7-14 y.o.

Our kids is our everything! Surely, every parent wants his child to grow happy and healthy. Talking in this post about Interior design of kids’ room we have to think of design as a tool to improve child’s mental health and create positive environment for continuous development.

I personally find it is easier to design for girls of any age than for boys; only because girls are better of expressing themselves and before they reach teen age (16+),  they are good to know what they want and don’t like. They are more independant without doubt. Today I want to focus on design for boys because usually they need more guidance and help on expressing themselves.  

It’s quiet a life process of realising your personality, getting a better image of yourself and getting initial focus of life path. As a parent you can help your child with it by creating right room environment. 

I want to share with you guidance with professional recommendations, rather than list of ideas which you easily can find yourself on Pinterest. 

#1 Understand purpose! 

Before you start choosing colour, try to imagine how your son will live in this room.When you over look your child’s room before searching for ideas, I want you to question:

What does he do in this room? What he used to do here and doesn’t anymore? What would you like him to do in his room? How do you want your boy to feel in the room? What he doesn’t like – (No list)? 

#2 Plan furniture layout 

It might be one room but several areas!
The most basic are:
* sleeping area including bed + beside table;
* small study/play area includes table/desk/reading nook
* display/ storage unit/wardrobe

   

We create unique ‘small concept’ for each zone or area and then all of them together like jig-saw become a complete picture. At final stage, center wall decor at each area. 

via Pinterest: Colorful Pattern-Filled Shared Boys’ Bedroom by hgtv.com

#3 Choose colour for temper

 Just now the fun begins! 

Did you hear the saying “Colour heals”? – Kids are more sensitive to colour than adults. Moreover, they don’t have as busy life as grown-ups, so kids take their time to process everything around them. Colour should help them feel safe in their room, help to imagine and create, and of course, help to learn new things. 

To have better ability to focus, concentrate, sometimes to stay calm, boys need to be surrounded by colours of nature.  In general, men have more simple ability to think and process information comparing to women. If you will overload colour sheme in boy’s room, he will feel frustrated, chaotic and less organised in his routine. 

Best colours are Grey, Blue, Green, Brown. You can use different shades as main wall colour or choose different colours for each area to highlight it individually.   

 If you need colour scheme idea, check my collection on Pinterest board.  

#4 Give him space 

Design for boys should be as simple as possible! In fact, you need to give him “design” as a background to add “something own”. They don’t like many little details like girls do. They need to grow for certain things (hobbies, passion) and only then to add own things by themselves on walls or display. Those things will matter to him more than any picture you chose in the shop but it will be meaningful to remind him of something important and what matters for him now and may be in the future. Those personal little things like little ancors, keep him solid on a ground to keep moving forward.  

via Pinterest, Image by: merigo.ca 

5 Simplicity can be creative

I know design is very creative industry and you want to create imaginative world in your child’s room. Keeping it simple doesn’t mean not creative. 

Riley’s Room by J and J Design Group

 Style each area with unique design elements! Don’t use too many odd shapes. Boys like straight lines and basic geometrical shapes in patterns, shelves, wall decor and other display. That would be my main recommendations to decorate boy’s room. There is no strict rules in design world, don’t be affraid to experiment with colour and ideas but follow guidance to bring goodness into your child’s little den. 

My best wishes!

Alena C

2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00June 14th, 2018|Design Tips|

Top 7 principles all Designers Know and Do!

Every designer has individual style and unique approach in designing space. Nevertheless, all design professionals use common sense principals to create practical, functional place with outstanding look.

Interior design is very similar with personal style, when not everything suits everybody. Every home is just the same unique and we should emphasize advantages and make disadvantages less noticeable.

 Do you want to renovate and decorate like a Pro? Make room for Pro Design principals!

   

#1 Furniture layout First! 

I know, once you feel ready to design room, it’s very tempting to start choosing colour straigh away as if it’s life saving solution – quick and effective. Not so fast! 

Most of the times, you don’t feel right in the room because of incorrect furniture position, lack of storage or too much furniture! 

All designers arrange furniture before anything else, so it would create symmetry or make conversational area or simply to be practical.

 

Working file, Floor plan attic conversion by AlenaCDesign  

If you have little side table which is on your way but handy to leave a cup of tea on it from time to time – find for it permanent location! If you have several medium height book shelves but room looks cluttered – replace it on one tall unit. Make optimisation and don’t be afraid to say Good-Bye to old things – Life goes on! 

#2 Function before aesthetics 

Anything you get for your home should be functional, practical and work well for your habits and lifestyle! Personal comfort is a key and don’t compromise!  

If you have dynamic life…hairy dog…kids walking with snacks..- don’t get dark polished floor where every light hair and little crumb is super visible. You don’t need another reason to be stressed in your life. 

#3 Stick to chosen Colour concept 

It’s very easy to get lost in colour scheme selection, especially if you browse on Pinterest or Houzz. Colour selection is huge! Focus on Colour concept First! 

Basically there are only TWO to choose from! Yeah, only two!  

One is based on Neutral colours and 2nd is based on Contrast of colours. 

  Top 7 principles all Designers Know and Do!Top 7 principles all Designers Know and Do!

via Pinterest  

In first case, you pick neutral colour and add all shades from dark to light. Don’t forget to add textures to increase visual interest.  

In second case, you place one colour against another finding right combination to your mood and taste. Stay focused and work within chosen concept!  

#4 Don’t use white in dark room!

It’s very common mistake to think that if room doesn’t have enough natural lighting, you have to paint room in light tone to brighten it up. Unfortunately, it never works!  

Any light and pale colour tone turns out to be grey-ish and very dull… Instead, choose tone more rich to what you normally choose.  

To see colour inside – bring colour! It doesn’ t have to be bright, it can be quiet neutral tone but NOT Pale! All designers know that light tone and white Interiors look fresh only with good lighting!   

#5 Focus on one space at the time

I don’t think if you can find even a single designer who takes project and on a first day designs half bathroom and on second day half kitchen… No way!

It takes time to get inspired for certain client type, style and space. I believe you have to keep that focus to deliver something finished and outstanding.  

Use this practice if you design home yourself. Focus on one room at a time. Finished rooms stay finished for years, not finished rooms is never ending refurbishment and decorating process. 

#6 Keep mind creative & Open  

It’s the biggest challenge for every designer!

In order to be great professional you have to keep your mind open to be good listener for your Clients, understand key requests to improve internal space and overall living environment.  

But creative part is the hardest and it can be developed only with good practice and over time. It is an amazing ability to look at empty wall and to see something what’s not there and even possibly doesn’t exist but can be made. 

Design, art and craft stand very close to each other!  

#7 Predict the future! 

Design is an investment into your well-being or business (if it’s commercial space) and it will pay off over years. Nevertheless, our focus in life/business change, your personality change, you grow and so your interior should be versatile and should be easy for adapting to something new.  

Try to predict what changes might happen in your lifestyle, mood and think of interior to be flexible for that case.  

Design like a Pro & Be happy!

Alena C

2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00May 12th, 2018|Design Reality, Design Tips|

Caring Project Management

Hello guys,

It’s going to be another honest Blog post from inside of Interior Design work. I hope practical recommendations will be helpful to homeowners and young designers.  

As a designer, I find it’s important to work with every Client using individual approach and it makes every design project like a little story, where with many Clients you become friends. All my Clients know that they can call me 27/7, even on Sunday and late evening and I will find time to discuss whatever they find important. I know from business model it’s crazy and shouldn’t be so (somebody might say 😉 but for me it’s important for my clients to know that I Care. That’s exactly what I want to focus on in this blog. 

When we finish design concept and all specifications for contractors are ready, at this stage we usually know who will do Project coordination. Very often Residential Clients prefer to finish it themselves at own pace but there are number of Clients with bigger projects and with Commercial properties ask me to step up and lead project to finish.  AlenaCDesign work example

In any case, as soon we involve more contractors and professionals, our little story with Client becomes a whole Little Life with up and downs. There are two main conditions to call project successful: It was finished in Time and within Budget.

It can be tough if you are restricted in both. Although, to have project successful, it’s important to focus on finding contractors who Care! 

Project planning, setting schedule for each stage, finding contractors and collect quotations for each specific work – all these should be done before any work commence! Don’t skip planning, it is a key to avoid mistakes, misunderstanding with contractors and more likely you finish project in time. It’s true that it’s very important to hire right people and if you missed this part, READ in previous Blog: Your Ideal Contractor. 

Last time I avoided this topic but I think it’s important to share what kind of professionals I avoid to work with or reasons why I keep looking for opportunity to meet new ones. Each new contractor can be considered as a Business person as well as Individual. And I believe that even thinking business and expect to be charged fair fee, it’s more benifitial to work with people who Care.

 I believe in any relationships (business or private) there are three fundamental elements: TRUST, RESPECT, UNDERSTANDING. If one is missing, relationships fall apart. 

1. TRUST

Yes, I’m talking about Small & Big lies!

You know the saying “The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie”? 

Working in a tight time frame, it’s important to understand when person will be on site. Sometimes circumstances change and you always allow several days for this (as an emmegency). Otherwise, it all can be negotiated and agreed in advance. Working with people you rely on them and expect to be sincere. Unfortnately, there are exceptions. I met several different contractors who prefer to “jump on work” somewhere else or “work for best friend” and then they leave you with lie….. Simple stories from “I was sick” or more santimental “my wife got me get away surprize, can’t cancel”. Please don’t think I’m being very suspicious, it’s just these people have been caught working somewhere else when their told story was different. Can you work with person, you can’t trust?…. – I don’t think so.  

Caring Project Management via atlantic-umbrella.com 

Watch for ‘little lie’ signs from the beginning because Pro’s who does this regularly is like a chronical desease, it’s always there. 

Another important thing to mention is Money – I always make sure that jobs fairly priced and contractors get paid in time. Talking about fairly, I mean in ‘both ways’ – Not underpriced for contractor and not Overpriced for Client. To solve this dilemma, it’s great when pricing is trasparent, particularly for big scoup of work. We never negotiate to get anything for free but to understand what client pays for is one of the ways to establish trustworthy relationships.  

2. RESPECT

I’m sure you met one or two people, who are EXPERTS. I’m not talking about qualified, experienced and skilled people. It’s Pros who knows better than the others 🙂 They teach you, teach other contractors, teach your client. They don’t collaborate because they know better and they are quick to judge everyone else’s work. Althought, they are ok if you hire for straight forward work but they can be hard in collaboration with other contractors. One typical characteristic of this types – not easy-going and have poor sense of humour 🙂

Caring Project ManagementVia Instagram @earlthegrump  

3. UNDERSTANDING

I think it’s important ability to reach understanding, agreement and very often through work negotiation. Many contractors prefer to visit work site to provide a quote. But initial quote and scoup of work might be a subject to a change. Unfortnately, not all contractors like to come back to discussion and especially to participate in negotiation. Most of the times, we need to collect all quotes before we know where we are with final budget, especially if it’s a big scale project. Sometimes, we have to review design and plans in the matter to fit into Client’s financial expectation. Therefore, if contractor isn’t interested in a project as a process then it’s ok and it’s good to know at early stage.

Caring Project ManagementImage credit: The Clinton Street Theater 

I didn’t put CARE as essential characteristic for contractor but very desirable! I think it’s a shame when people work Business-for-business and money-for-wealth. When professional can offer a little bit, you get what you can’t buy – kindness and sympathy. This contractor is priceless and pleasure to work with! They are like diamonds and that’s why I keep looking for more to work with 🙂 If you think you could add something more into my list, please let me know about it or share your thoughts in a comment! I would like to know about your experience! 

Best of Luck!

Alena C

2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00March 15th, 2018|Design Reality, Design Tips|

LED Lighting in the Bathroom

It’s great to see that more and more home owners would like to see own bathroom not only practical and functional but also with special atmosphere. It can be created using textured finishing materials and of course lighting. 

One of the biggest trends is integrated seamless lighting. If you plan a self-build or DIY project, here is how you can achieve this look.

LED Lighting in the Bathroom                kellyhoppeninteriors.com      

#1 Use waterproof lighting fixtures 

All lights, even LED strips, should be waterproof! Here is an example to compare. Strip for bathroom is  sealed with extra plastic.

LED Lighting in the Bathroom                                                          Via abertoatedemadrugada.com  

Any other lighting fixtures, particularly pendants and wall lights in water jet area should have IP no less than 65. Check info with manufacturer.

#2 Hide LED strip 

I personally believe even line of light inside of recessed shelf looks more attractive than a set of recessed lights. To achieve seemless effect don’t leave strip exposed.  

There are two ways:  

For shelves: Use aluminium profile and tile it flash with tiles. Place it at the top of the shelf, closer to the back wall. LED strip lights are very bright if not to make beam more focused. Profile will help to make light look softer and more pleasant.  

LED Lighting in the Bathroom LED Lighting in the Bathroom

                        

 

 

 

 

 

 

Via eameslighting.com                                                                AlenaCDesign                                      

Around mirror or other objects:

Sometimes it’s impossible to use metal profile but if to leave light fully exposed it will look very sharp. If you want to have calming and relaxing effect, we need to place LED strip deeper behind object. It should be no less than 3 widths of the strip you use. For example: if LED strip width is 8 mm, then we place it 24 mm away from the open edge. 

  

Lighting is one of the most powerful design elements! It can transform any place.Use is wisely and enjoy decorating! 

Alena C

2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00January 30th, 2018|Design Tips|

Apex window dressing solutions

Apex windows is a huge architectural design trend these days in Ireland. To be honest, I will be surprised to see new build without one. It’s undestandable that tall windows look well as a part of exterior, you get plenty natural lighting inside and not to mention view outside.
 
Unfortunately, the day you move into a house and start decorating and styling your space, you might realize that in some areas even apex window require dressing. One of my clients said: “To buy window treatments for a new house, it was almost like getting a second mortgage!”.
 
It’s true that most of the times good quality & custome-made window treatments are pricey. We manage to find affordable window dressing solutions for standart size windows, where apex window cannot be called ‘standard’.
 
I would highly recommend to include window dressing for apex windows into your construction budget or consider them in areas where you easily can have them opened all the time. At the same time, there are three main areas where placing window dressing have more practical reason: sitting room/TV room, dining room and bedroom.
 
Here are your available apex window dressing solutions:
 
#1 Voile/Sheer /Curtains with long drapes
This solution will look elegant in any interior. Obviously for bedroom you will need to choose thicker fabric for more privacy, especially in the evening. At the same time, for TV room and dining room – light voile will be better for semi-privacy, which still allow plenty natural light during a day.

Pinterest: Design Anthology Magazine
 
#2 Shaped motorised blinds:
Great option to close all window sections when it’s required. Check design and size options with your window supplier. Here is good video example from signature.ie

In addition, you could try to use combination of two solutions: Fit blinds at the very top and place curtains pole across a window with standard size pair of curtains.
 
#3 Cellular blinds (including sliding door):
This window covering used to block or filter light and insulate windows to save energy. It can be very efficient and practical in certain areas.

#4 Vertical Blinds (for smaller apex window): is simple and budget friendly alternative.

#5 Shutters:
We all know them well for being timeless and very effective.

Pinterest: maisonbelle.nl
 
#6 Something different (for small apex windows):
A large triangular window follows the roofline and provides views of the street. When privacy is required, a custom-made triangular blind that’s hidden within the cabinetry, can be raised blocking most of the window.
This example shows that there is always a possibility for creative and not standard solution.

Picture via Contemporist
 
Keep your mind opened for new things!
 
Best wishes,
Alena C

 

2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00December 4th, 2017|Design Tips|

Your Ideal Contractor

This is second part of blog on How to Hire Right Contractor.
 
Very often I work with professionals from different trades, some I meet myself, others come from recommendations. Unfortunately, sometimes great expertise, high profile and superb skills isn’t enough for complete positive experience.
 
Everyone has different personality behind professionalism. To see it, you need to get to know person better! Unfortunately, time is against of us and professional testimonial becomes a priority in hiring contractor.
 
I believe overall experience can be divided on two parts : #1 Final work; #2 Work process. Professionalism guarantees quality of work, which is our final result; when right personality of contractor is important factor of positive work process.
 
Could you say “This contractor did an amazing work but he is sh… to work with. Highly recommended!” ? Believe it or not but I heard this several times and even had “an opportunity” to work with one or two. But this experience taught me a good thing, to see this attitude and first signals to avoid “no my type” contractors before we start next time.
 
Here what you really should look for:
 
#1 Good Professional ethics:
There are contractors who like to criticize other professionals. It happens even without looking at their work, with no clear argument to discuss. You can call it “just a talk”. Working on big scale projects different contractors have to work as a team. We all know that good understanding starts with respect. Only then two professionals can communicate effectively.
 
#2 Contractor with good planner:
Most of contractors are self-employed and they plan time and orders themselves. During high constraction season most of them are well-booked with waiting time about 6 weeks (average). But there are “contractors – unicorns”, they do magic. Being very booked, they somehow find time for you between orders. This professionals are rare to meet but when you meet one, stay down to earth. All professionals work certain hours, they have family, kids, dog to walk and dinner to eat. Nobody works over night and extra weekend. What I want to say that this type of contractors aren’t reliable. You might be promissed special day between other two clients/orders, you will believe but then on day X, there is no order or contractor to show up because he is overbooked. Magic disappears! Your Ideal contractor has good planner, he knows how long it takes to complete one order before takes next one. He marks it in the diary and informs you about available day. You know the date when contractor is free FOR YOU and ready to focus on your request.
 
#3 Solution finder vs. problem thinker:
Being creative person, I often suggest not standart soltions. That’s why I especially value open-minded professionals. It’s very important to have on your side not only highly skilled person but also the individual who has enthusiasm to solve big and small dilemmas (not always so creative). You don’t need to go far to hear reasons why something can’t be done. There will be listed many reasons including bad weather and bad luck. If you meet contractor who says that something you want can not be done and proposed solution doesn’t work for you! >>Look for a different contractor who will find solution to make your idea work! It’s the same if you go to doctor and he says “You are deadly sick and there is no cure!”, I don’t think you will give up that easily and surely will find new doctor 😉
 
#4 Must be easy-going:
Once I met two contractors who brough their skills on a whole new level. They do their job great, quality is outstanding but they work with provisional materials of certain brands or type. Once contractor nearly refused to paint hallway because paint was of a wrong brand. I know sometimes it’s important to have good quality materials but everything should be reasonable.
 
#5 Fair man!:
You know that nobody is perfect, even perfectionist! Mistakes and falures happen most of the times simply by accident. I think it is very important for contractor to be mature, honest and fair man. It’s not about IF, it’s more WHEN ‘falure’ is going to happen. Nobody of both sides should take it personally!
 
Remember my #1 type, this contractor might blame others after own falure “I could do it better if not him…..I was telling about him at the beginning”. It will be hard to untangle this ball of facts.
Somebody else might refuse the fact of bad quality work and will prefer to retire.
 
I have a great respect to professionals who aren’t affraid to face this situation and do their best to resolve it! Well done!
 
The best way to see if contractor has a right personality, ask him questions related to each position I named above. Ask him what to expect if you supply own materials, if something goes wrong; try to find out more details on how you cooperate and communicate or how he will work with other contractors on site etc. Than more questions you ask (even you think obvious ones) than better understanding you get that the person in front of you is the right one to hire!
 
I have to say, reading this blog post, believe me that there are more of professional, intellegent and highly-skilled men than ”not great ones”! Unfortunately, when it happens to meet one, contrast is too strong to miss it.
 
Best of luck!
Alena C
2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00November 22nd, 2017|Design Reality|

How to Hire the Right Contractor

Every project starts with an idea. You already see in your mind how functional and beautiful will look your place. You have an idea what sort of work needs to be involved. Although, not always we have skills or time to make specific work ourselves. It is time to hire professional.
 
Recently I’ve been involved into interior design project, where I met contractors hired by my client. Meeting them was interesting experience, which gave me an idea to write this post.
There are many recommendations how to find professional for the job:
 
1. Decide what job should be done and who do you need to hire
2. Ask your friends and relatives if they can recommend someone or look for someone local
3. Get several quotations
4. Ask for portfolio, recommendations, reviews etc.
5. Meet personally!
 
It is a great list and you really should follow these tips. But to find right person, most of the times it isn’t enough. To make your project experience maximum positive, pay attention at next:
 
1. Determine What level of skills should have your contractor.
There is no need to hire professional artist if you simply need to repaint your walls. Before hiring a professional, make a list of everything should be done in your place. Divide all work into groups, for example: job for painter, job for carpenter, job for tiler and etc. Inside of group try to put more details of what work will involve, for example: do you want tiler to prepare walls for new tiles himself or it will do builder? Your walls have good surface to start painting or there is extra work needed? Who will do it?
 
Decide how many different contractors you will involve into project. Can one contractor have several skills?
 
TIP:It is hard if ever possible to be good at several things. Most of qualifications require magnificent amount of years and sometimes lifetime to achieve Master level.
 
When you hire contractor always ask about main qualification and how often person gets involved into specific job. I mean situation, when you hire carpenter and he says something like: “I’m actually tiler but I also do carpentry”. It’s not bad to have two different skills but it’s very rare to be very good at both equally.
 
Ideally, to achieve the best result, better to hire contractor for one type of work. Unfortunately, it isn’t budget friendly way but you get higher quality work. Look for the right person, for example, some tilers can also install vanities along with tiles and in that case you don’t need to hire plumber. In opposite, if you need to change pipes directions or make new provision, hire skilled person to do it. Mistake will cost you more.
 
2. Meet doesn’t mean to hire!
I know some people ready to hire contractor right after getting satisfying number (quotation) on a phone. Never do that! Always meet your contractor!
It happens, contractor is hired after phone agreement and on a first day you both realize that scope of work is bigger and project cost more for you and involves longer hours for professional. Everyone feel pressure…
Don’t be afraid to invite potential person to show stage and volume of work. This meeting doesn’t mean that you must hire straight after, it is only to help you and contractor to make decision, to get precised quotation, ask questions, meet person etc. It’s also important for professional to understand if it is his type of work to be involved.
 
3. See individual and not only price!
I will repeat it again that always meet contractor before to hire. You have to be sure that you have good understanding with the person you will work with. Get confidence that contractor will follow your guidelines and always will come to discuss before taking any decisions.
TIP: It is my personal advice – Be aware of people who talk more than listen! Remember this when you will have first meeting to hire. This type of people are good to sell themselves and their service but it doesn’t mean they are good. Ask more questions about their work and how he/she will achieve what you plan to get as a result.
 
4. Get written agreement.
Everybody knows that it is good thing to sign a document, but at the end of the day leave it without attention. Please, don’t do it! It doesn’t have to be contract but should be at least agreement on work you provide and result you need to get. It is good for your contractor to have written promise to receive money and for you to get full list of arranged work done. Discuss what happens in case of delay from both sides or in case something goes wrong. It helps to establish trustworthy relationships.
Good luck with your projects!
 
Wish you only positive experience!
AlenaC
2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00November 15th, 2017|Design Reality|

Bright and Light Playroom for kids

Playroom design is fun and creative process. Although, it can be challenging sometimes. This space must be multi-functional and suitable for kids with different interests.
 
Working on design for a family with two kids, it was very important to make room suitable for a young teenager girl of 14 y.o. and a little boy of 1 y.o. The challenge was to make room versatile.
 
In addition, client’s brief incuded:
 
1. Keep room as light as possible
2. Lots of storage space
3. Fit two desks
 
Here what we had before started:
 

To make design work for both kids, I decided to incorporate neutral colour with colours of nature. Blue is intellectual colour and essentially soothing, green is a colour of harmony and perfect for calming very active kids. Both colours have positive influence on kids intellectual development.
 

Designing bespoke cabinets, I decided to add reading bench under windows with pull-out storage system under it. It’s a great place for a teenager’s spare time. For a little boy, we made playhouse with castle shape top. It’s a fantastic hide-in place and for other imaginery games. Size of the house can fit even a grown up!
 

Playhouse has a window on one side at the top to let some natural light in. In addition, cushions from the bench can be used inside.
 

Other storage has combination of handless closed units and open shelves for display.
 

Large rug is importnat final decor to make room cosy and also it helps to complete colour scheme.
 

Decorating playroom for your kids, I highly recommend to solve furniture layout and find relevent storage solution first. After that choose colours, where the most striking tone should be on a wall you see as soon you enter. Create right first impression!
 
Kids are more sensitive to colours than adults, be wise choosing paint. Your choice will help them grow happy and fun.
 
Best wishes!
Alena C
2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00November 1st, 2017|Design Project|

Special Effect Paint

I hope you enjoy springtime! Days are finally longer, we have more sunlight and I’m finally getting my energy back to do more things. I hope you get something positive these days too!
 
It’s been very busy winter and I didn’t have much time to do any DIY recently. Finally with extra energy and longer days, I have so many ideas to share. But before coming soon series of DIY, I’ve prepared for you a little Intro Post about Special effect Paint as It takes a big part in most DIY projects.
 

 
It’s not a secret that any DIY project requires lack of imagination and a set of tools. If you are new in DIY World, here you will find all kind of special effect paint available to express your creativity on different surfaces.
 

# 1 Chalk Paint

There are many brands, I like Chalky Finish Furniture Paint and there is also well-knownAnnie Sloan Paint. You can find a complete overview of this product in my Blog Annie Sloan products: Let’s test it!
 
If you like home DIY then furniture paint is the first you learn about. There is nothing better than smooth matt finish, which gives classic look. I love modern paints for furniture! It is so easy to apply, doesn’t require special preparation. Most of water-based paints are thick that doesn’t require priming or sending. In addition, paint dries fast and doesn’t have strong odour.
 

#2 Chalkboard paint

This paint is more creative and you can apply on absolutely any surface!
 
Paint part of your wall or a whole wall
 
 
Paint furniture

 

Chalk paint doesn’t have to be black, how about red, green or navy!

 

Special extra: Magnetic Chalkboard Paint (Brush)

I had an opportunity to test it during one of my recent projects. Paint really works if only you give at least 3 thick coats! It will hold small magnets and event some paper notes. If you want to use medium or a little bit more heavy magnet then you should consider extra 2 coats, in total 5. Will work perfect!

Special Effect Paint

#3 Crackle paint

From the paint name, you get an idea. It creates antique and decorative crackle effect on furniture, walls, picture frames and other decorative elements.

 

#4 Mirror effect paint

This paint creates reflective surface, mirror-like look. Obviously it will not look like actually mirror quality but like antique mirror for sure.

Special Effect Paint

Krylon Looking Glass Silver

#5 Metallic paint

There are different colours from popular gold, silver, copper to rainbow colours. Choice is yours. Paint gives stunning shimmer and most of brands produce multi-purpose paint, which means can be applied to any surface.

Ceiling

 

Walls finish

 

Furniture

 

#6 Neon Paint

Glowing colours in the dark. Can be applied on any interior surface. This one can be a true fun!

Special Effect Paint

Rust-Oleum Neon Yellow Paint from designerpaint.com

 

#7 Fresco

It is featuring paint, which replicates plaster walls of ancient European buildings. It is classical and timeless. This finish is for anyone who wants elegant, original and sophisticated look.

 

#8 Stone Textured Effect Spray Paints

This paint gives attractive faux finish stone effect and can be applied to most surfaces including metal, wood, plaster, clay and not glazed ceramic.

#9 Frosted glass paint

With this example you can create a translucent frosted glass effect on transparent surfaces including glass doors, windows, skylights and greenhouses. You even can use stencils to get pattern and personalize your work. The best surfaces are mirrors, glass accessories and more to get semi-transparent coating for decoration or privacy.

Special Effect Paint

  Pinterest from writeclickscrapbook.com

#10 Glitter Spray paint

This paint is a great fun fro everyone who loves shimmer and sparkle! It can be applied on any surface, it’s up to your fantasy!

Special Effect Paint

That’s a nice glitter spray finish from kastyles.co

Hope you find an inspiration to create something original and unique.

Happy decorating everyone!

AlenaC

2019-02-03T16:59:41+01:00April 25th, 2017|DIY|

Ideal Furniture for Small Spaces

Spring time symbolizes a fresh start not only in life, in general, but in living environment too. It is a great time of the year to de-clutter rooms, make fresh decorative changes, add new colours in interiors and most of all rethink furniture layout and storage solutions.
 
I would like to remind you about available interior solutions to consider in your home for space optimization. They are simple but sometimes not always so obvious.
 
Kitchen & Dining room
 
Who wouldn’t like to have great kitchen with island, breakfast bar and still to have plenty room for decent size dining table. Unfortunately, not everyone has enough room to locate everything but here what you can consider to make life more comfortable if you are owner of compact kitchen/dining area.
 
Need more worktop in the kitchen – Add Island!
 
One of the main problems in small kitchens is not enough of worktop. It can be easily solved if to add island without cabinets under counter top. Your minimal depth can be 400mm with reasonable length. Keeping bar stool in the kitchen, you even can use island as breakfast bar from time to time.
 
 
Maximum use of vertical space.
 
If you plan a new kitchen then consider wall units up to the ceiling to use maximum space vertically. Moreover, it will make your kitchen to look bigger and ceiling higher. If you work around existing kitchen then you can add decorative storage baskets at the top instead.
 
 
Round table is the best space saver in the dining room!
 
You might be surprised to hear that round table allows to locate the same number of people as rectangular table but it will take only half of the floor space. You are right to say that rectangular table has more traditional look. I also like to say that Function and Practicality should go first. Personal comfort is priceless and it improves mental health. You can reflect your favourite style not only in furniture shape but in colour, texture, table dressing, chairs, lighting etc.
 

Holiday House 2014 by Beth Webb Interiors
 
Banquette seats are a little bit forgotten but still great compact and comfortable space saving solution. It is a great option if you plan to place dining table near wall. Moreover, high back seats is a rising hot trend in design industry.
 
 
Sitting room
 
Choose slim furniture
 
Living in the house with limited space, try to avoid unnecessary bulky sofas and arm chairs. They might look cozy and comfortable only looking at them but they take too much space. Try to choose sofas with slim arms and backs instead.
 
 
Multifunctional furniture
 
Plan furniture to be multifunctional. For example, instead of coffee table place couple of foot stools with a little tray for your cup of tea. Or use side tables on each side of the sofa and keep space in front of sofa clear.
 
 
Bespoke storage systems
 
Free standing furniture not always let you using wall space on maximum. Narrow cabinets and shelving units with simple clean lines can be a better option. Place them from the floor to the ceiling and from wall to wall. Even visually it will make room to look bigger and you will get plenty space to store and keep your stuff or organised display.
 
 
Bedroom
 
Integrated furniture will make room multifunctional. There are many variations to integrate desk with wardrobe or bed with storage. Find what suits best to your room and lifestyle.
 
 
Bedside tables may stay
 
I think it is ideal picture for many homeowners to have double bed at the centre of the wall with bedside tables on each side. Unfortunately, sometimes room layout makes us to question whether or not bedside tables will fit where we want them. I recommend to measure the entire wall before you buy any furniture. Choose bed size to be sure there is enough space left for bedside tables. There is always option to order bespoke table from local cabinet makers.
 
 
Study
 
Very often people who work at home use ‘box’ room as a home office. The most important element is a good size desk and shelving units for storage.
 
Minimalist style is the best space saving solution. Integrated Desk top gives maximum work space and it is very easy to add shelving units to organise necessary storage.
 
 
I know sometimes it’s not easy to think of different & alternative design solutions for compact interiors. Try to think out of the box, practicality and function should go before aesthetics. When you solve this task, go ahead to play with colours.
 
Best wishes!
Alena C

 

2019-02-03T16:59:42+01:00April 13th, 2017|Design Tips|
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