Picking through curtains and drapes

Picture this. You are standing at your window with nothing on but your birthday suit. You sip your coffee and look up to find your neighbour staring at you. He is wearing a nerd sweater and khaki pants. You always thought he was cute. Then it hits if you can see him, he can see you too. Yes we should probably get you curtains. Continue reading “Picking through curtains and drapes”

27 DIY storage ideas for your home

“Declutter your house once every month.”

“Re-arranging your house is therapeutic.”

“Spice up your room with happy colours.”

“How about a yellow on the floor?”

All these are quotes from various sites that try  to help us get our spaces in order. One of the mind boggling things to do in the house is find storage from everything from bobby pins to fish  plates or the endless pairs of shoes.  Every morning Saturday we resolve to make sure that everything is in its place, by Wednesday you cannot trace the left shoe to your favourite boot. I put together some tips that we could all use to have a more organized space. Continue reading “27 DIY storage ideas for your home”

Open Kitchens Vs. Closed Kitchens, who takes the cup?

In the course of hunting for spaces to share with you, the team and visit different spaces including hotels, restaurants and homes among others. One thing that always fascinates me is the kitchen. It has become a space where interior designers and architects apply their skills to create a piece of art that is nothing short of amazing. At one of the apartments I asked two colleagues what their preference was between the two established kitchen plan layouts; the open and closed. One of them, a mother, prefers the closed kitchen because she has a toddler who could easily crawl into the kitchen and hurt themselves or ingest something that may be harmful. On the other hand one of our creatives, a single gentleman, prefers the open concept because he hosts his crew at his house. This confirms what John Petrie, president- elect of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (US), says- Create a kitchen space that works for you. Let us look at what the two designs have to offer:

Open Plan Kitchen

This design is a shift of the times. The kitchen is now accessible to the different people in the house. Previously, in the African culture, it was taboo for the man to go the kitchen as it was considered the woman’s domain. The modern man is in kitchen now making omelets and helping with the dishes. The kitchen is no longer the room at the very back of the house. The open kitchen is a way of allowing more interaction and communication.

Open Plan Kitchen
Open Plan Kitchen

Pros

  • An open kitchen will allow more contact between you and your family.
  • You can cook together and set up at the counter for everyone to enjoy.
  • It is also welcoming if you, like the gentleman  at our office, love hosting. You can chop up your carrots while catching up with your friends.
  • These kitchens are very airy and increase volume of the space. Ideal for small apartments.

Cons

  • If you value privacy then an open kitchen is not for you
  • Cooking is not as easy as it is on the Food Network. It gets get messy and smells will travel fast not forgetting how noisy it can get with all the blending, chopping and frying.
  • You might drop the chicken and have to quickly pick it up – you know the 5 seconds rule.
  • You need space to compose yourself when there is an awkward moment and what better place that the kitchen?

 

CLOSED KITCHENS

Most of us grew up in such kitchens and there was pleasure of peeping in the kitchen and whisking away a chapati as mummy dearest is cleaning the vegetables. Or waiting for her to ask you to check whether the chicken is ready because that would mean you get a piece of it before everyone else. Bliss. The closed kitchens are making the way back because they have their perks including:

closed-kitchen
Closed Kitchen
  • Kitchens can get really messy and you don’t need anyone seeing that. Ideally no one should see you sweat.
  • Closed kitchen have three walls where you can have cabinets and shelves giving you more storage.
  • Unless you have excellent ventilation or a cooker that has an exhaust hood that an open kitchen requires, not everyone wants to smell cooking onions and garlic.
  • The dining experience is formal because everyone waits for dinner at the dining table.
  • You have room to run to when it gets awkward at the table. Very important.
  • The rest of the family can have their privacy without you feeling like they are hovering.

Cons

  • Closed kitchens feel cold and the cook may feel isolated.
  • When hosting you have to carry dishes all the way to the kitchen that could be a bit too far. This is a legit problem.

How to have the best of both worlds…

Interior design does not come easy or cheap so if you are torn between what designs to go with here is what you can do:

  • Add a pass through window which gives the kitchen the balance between privacy and welcoming.
  • Quality, sound dampening appliances for the open plan kitchens will work best with open concept kitchens.
  • Pocket doors to separate the kitchen from other rooms will allow you to switch up your kitchens as you deem fit.

 

 

How to use vases to decorate your space

“Vaaase.”

“No, Vaaaas you have to pull the ‘a’.”

“Vaaase! I am African.”

“That’s no excuse, if you are going to speak in English respect its rules – Vaaaas.”

“Okay Vaaas.”

“Now the‘s’ at the ends needs to sound like a ‘z’.”

I gave up. Continue reading “How to use vases to decorate your space”

Fluid beauty, using water features to ignite your space

We have talked about how we can add excitement to our spaces in previous posts. We explored how to use antiques (read about it here), lighting (read about this here) and learned that sometimes it is the scent in your space that makes the difference (catch that post here, it is the last reference I promise). How about adding a little splash to your home? Continue reading “Fluid beauty, using water features to ignite your space”

How to scent your house

   Does your home smell good? I mean, does it really smell good? Because, let’s face it, life can get in the way, busy and important items on our agendas can overtake our senses (pun intended), and sometimes that leads us with either a home that doesn’t smell particularly fresh…or, worse, one that downright stinks. And a home that smells fresh is one that people want to be in. Continue reading “How to scent your house”

How to use antique and vintage pieces

vintagestuff6

For most interior decor enthusiasts, adding antique and vintage elements are always something special. Not everyone is a fan of this approach to interior design but more and more people are becoming converts as this makes it a delightful decorating trend.

The trick to adopt these styles is by adding key individual pieces which create a blend and connection between the past and present. Continue reading “How to use antique and vintage pieces”