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Edition 10

Avoid vagueness in your interiors

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Resolutions to actualize a wow space within an office or a home setting should always be broken down measureable results; writes Robert Yawe stressing the need for taking baby steps that leads to a celebration of an eventual complete space makeover.

On the weekend of the 1st of December I was in Nanyuki. This was a business trip I have been making quarterly for the past three years and has since become part of me.

While on the way back to Nairobi, I chose to find a retreat spot that I’d use frequently. I shared this with the people I was travelling with. One of them said that the problem with my idea was that I will over use the place and soon it will cease to have the same therapeutic effect.

Your resolutions

That statement brought back those New Year resolutions that we keep making and the constant rate of their failure.

It is proven that the reason for our inability to meet our New Year resolutions is trying to make too many of them and being vague at the same time. We hardly give ourselves the opportunity to celebrate the small wins made during a particular year

For example, one of your resolutions might be to loose weight; this is too vague and needs to be more detailed such as; “my new year resolution is to reduce my weight from the current 85 kg to 75 kg in increments of 1 Kg every month by reducing my consumption of sugary foods such as refined sugar, cakes, and fizzy drinks”. This turns out to be a celebratory resolution.

Before and after … pill solution

I feel that many a times we write articles that are over whelming to the reader as they give you a before and after in the span of 10 minutes.  The side-by-side images do not help much either as they give the impression of a pill solution.

Our homes, offices and cars are a sanctuary; a place of refuge, warts and all, which makes it so much more difficult to make drastic changes.  We therefore tend to adapt to the issues as they are instead of changing or resolving.

Your chair in the office is slightly tilted so you adjust your posture to compensate and you end up with a persistent back pain whose source you know about but refuse to acknowledge because it means making a change.

Dull lighting

The light bulb in your bedroom is a little dull forcing you to bring the newspaper a little closer to your noose to read, which then strains your eyes causing ocular strain but you refuse to change the bulb.

My car has had a problem with the drivers side window winder for over a year know and has been temporarily sorted out by jabbing a piece of plastic at a 33.6 degree angle which keeps getting dislodged whenever someone else drives the car.

Fine, there it is I have confessed that even I am not perfect; but by the time you are reading this I will have implemented a permanent solution to that little nagging issue with my car window.

For your New Year resolutions for your office or house I suggest that to prevent inertia you breakdown the changes into small doses.  If you have read my previous articles I suggest that you break them down into smaller and easier achievable tasks.

Bettering the walls

Your initial activity should be to paint the walls whose first task is to get a colour chart from your preferred paint manufacturer, for most men who only know the primary colours I suggest you look for an interior designer to help you or for the sake of harmony in the home consult your spouse who may even think of a unique wallpaper.

In case the preference is on painting a section of the house; make the colour selection process into a family activity, discuss the effects the colours liked by each one of you.

It is unfortunate that the paint companies stopped producing sample paint bottles because the next step would then have been to paint a small part of the wall with the chosen colour that gives a better feel and appreciation of the colour.

Once the colour selection is over we can either get a professional painter to come and do the work but instead of taking off, leaving then to do the work I recommend that the family hangs around and assists in the painting.

Therapeutic exercise

It can be a very therapeutic exercise even if all you will be doing is applying masking tape around the sockets, holding the ladder steady or washing the brushes.  This also allows you to get a sense of ownership.

When buying the paints I suggest that you get a roller and tray for yourself just in case you get the urge to jump in and assist in the painting. The roller is a much easier tool to use than a paintbrush especially for the weekend painter.

If the bug bites and you take up the roller chances are that the professional painter will only be doing the sitting room and maybe the kitchen after which you will have the confidence to do the rest yourselves.

Please do not try to paint the entire house at once unless you have not yet moved in, the strain of moving around the furniture will break any family or spousal bonds.  Take the baby steps and by the next resolution period the house will have had a complete makeover.

Edition 10

Bathroom Décor

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Today there’s certainly no better place to relax in at home than in your bathroom – often referred to as the inner sanctuary of the home.

While actualizing a bathroom that reflect your taste and likes, it important  to keep in mind that you need to have some sort of game plan prior to purchasing your decorative items. The last thing you want is an over-crowded, cluttered room filled with mismatching and out of place items.

Everything in the bathroom will either enhance or detract from the aesthetics. Functionality and practicality are key, however decoratives for the sole purpose of a decorative function add a certain appeal to your room.

More than just a soap dish or a toothbrush holder, the range of accessories available for bathrooms today is huge. The more contemporary bathroom finds itself fitted with artwork and art pieces as well as framed mirrors, vases, candlesticks and so on.

Bathroom Designs“Probably the most important thing to bear in mind when adding accessories is to ensure that everything is coordinated – by colour, material and/or style – and that everything has both a place and a purpose, even if that purpose is to simply bring colour into the room,” says Sherrif Raafat, the Ideal Standard Export Area Manager.

Having an underlying linking thread (be it complementary colours, or pieces of a similar style) ensures that a seamless flow is produced in this space.

Settling on the most ideal sanitary-ware and furniture in the bathroom has become a popular trend. Vanities, curtaining and drapes are becoming the norm and are a great way to bring colour into this space. Once you have selected the theme and style you like; purchasing accessories and other items that will contribute towards this style will be a lot easier.

One thing you may be concerned about is the longevity of such pieces in your bathroom, and the effect that steam and water may have on them. “Ceramics stands-out as the most ideal flooring as steam as water won’t damage it along other accessories. It’s however so important to treat wooden accessories with care and wipe water up immediately,” adds Raafat.

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Edition 10

Bathroom Textures

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Although striving for uniqueness in bathroom design may be a headache, the answer is on wall effects writes, Shrinal Patel

Bathroom design can be hopelessly mundane: Every bathroom must include the same elements – toilet, shower/tub, sink – in a configuration that will prove convenient. So, striving for individuality in bathroom design can definitely prove difficult. Though variety in sink, cabinetry and lighting design can add some flavor, with tubs and toilets, it’s hard to be original. Adding texture to the walls with a sea sponge, trowel, or paint roller just may be the answer.”

“Bathrooms are typically the smallest rooms in a home, and the wall space in these areas allow for some bold decorating decisions. Textured walls add interest to the space and can transform the room. A stucco look will complement a brightly-coloured Mexican theme, while a gentle sand texture can complement a beach-themed bathroom. Applying texture to the walls is a two-day project.”

Notched Trowel

A notched trowel can be a terrific way to add texture to your bathroom walls. ?”Apply a thin coat of drywall compound” ?to your wall. Then, take a notched trowel and get creative. You can swirl the trowel lightly through the wet compound in a vertical or horizontal pattern. Create intermittent texture by leaving untextured space between designs, horizontally, vertically, or both. Or, simply press the trowel into the compound at regular intervals for an interesting effect. Depending on the size of the area you want to texture, this job can take some time, but if texture is what you are after, it may be well worth the effort. Alternatively, you can determine what type of pattern or design you like and have a contractor handle the job instead.

Sea Sponge

What could be more fitting for a space where water is in frequent use than a sea sponge texture on the walls. ?The gentle irregularity of the sponge texture can prove soothing and add an element of nature to your bathroom. You can find sea sponges at drugstores, natural food stores, department stores or big-box retailers. Once again, spread a thin layer of drywall compound over the wall surface, then go to work. You can create rows or columns of your sponge’s impressions. You can alternate using two or three different sponges: As each sea sponge will create a different impression, your design will become varied, adding visual appeal. You might even use one sponge at the baseboard and ceiling and another to create impressions in the intervening wall space. You are limited only by your own imagination.

“Painting a wall with a sponge gives the wall an interesting texture that you can’t achieve with regular painting techniques. Using this sponge texture technique also allows you to layer various colours on top of each other to get the exact shading you want for the room. Though sponging a wall is a simple process, it does take longer than traditional painting.”

baseboard and ceiling and another to create impressions in the intervening wall space. You are limited only by your own imagination.

“Painting a wall with a sponge gives the wall an interesting texture that you can’t achieve with regular painting techniques. Using this sponge texture technique also allows you to layer various colours on top of each other to get the exact shading you want for the room. Though sponging a wall is a simple process, it does take longer than traditional painting.”

Paint Roller

If you are looking for a one-step solution, the paint roller technique might be for you. It is up to you to use a regular paint roller or a textured roller. Dip your roller into “thinned-out drywall compound,” and draw the roller across the wall. You may want to use both a plain and a textured roller effect, in alternating rows or columns. You might consider creating one effect in the tub or shower and a different one near the sink. And you might decide to leave parts of the wall without texture.

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Edition 10

Bar and wine cabinets

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Its all about Style, Class and Beauty With modern living, bar and wine cabinets are very essential especially in open plan houses writes Sally Aganda

If you want to add a special feel to your bar, then bar cabinets are an absolute must. They not only add functionality to your living area but also help you entertain in style with their beautiful fixtures and fittings.

When buying bar cabinets, remember that not all bars are the same so there is bound to be a difference in design and style. Actualizing the right bar cabinet calls for one to involve a professional interior designer as he or she will bring that added value and grace to your home.

 Get stylish

Wine Cabinet 2There is no clear-cut method that teaches you how to buy a classy and stylish bar cabinet. But yes, you can consult an interior design consultant – you will get to know what sort of bar cabinet you should go for and selection of a good piece. Sometimes, however, it’s better to go with the flow and customize one that speaks uniquely to you rather than banking on technical knowledge.

Most bar cabinets normally have a small refrigerating unit that is ideally suited for storing things that require refrigeration There are few bar cabinets available in the market that contain a special compartment, which not only holds wine but also keeps it chilled. Of course, it is not really obligatory for bar cabinets to keep the drinks cool. Their main purpose is to store and protect the wine bottles without getting them damaged.

In addition, make sure that the compartments in bar cabinets have decent space to store the wine. The best bar cabinets are those that have a shelf, tailor made for storing shot glasses and specialty liquor bottles.  Many individuals prefer bar cabinets with holders that store wine glasses upside down.

The style, class as well as the beauty of bar and wine cabinets all go together to make your living area more attractive and elegant. Thus, it is advised that you choose the bar cabinet very carefully keeping in mind the décor and theme of your living space.

Styles and Designs in Wine Cabinets

Wine CabinetIf you want to keep your wine bottles in good condition and avoid getting them damaged, bar and wine cabinets are the best choice for storing them safely and conveniently. Another good thing about wine cabinets is that they do away with issues of sedimentation or deposition. In other words, the flavor of wine remains the same and even after months or years you still get the same wine you bought.

When we talk about the styles and designs in wine cabinets, there is nothing better than having custom wine cabinets designed according to your taste. Not only are they affordable but there is also a wide variety to choose from.

The best part about custom wine cabinets is that they can be fitted in a kitchen or living room décor according to individual needs and space without any hassle. Don’t opt for too large or oversized wine cabinet as it can ruin the overall look of the bar and affect the décor of your area.

Choosing Bar Cabinet Designs

A wine cabinet is a very convenient as well as a safe storage place for storing fine wines. It is also an attractive piece of furniture that adds more spirit and life to the room with its design and finish. However, in order to make your room livelier with a bar cabinet, it is important to choose wisely and pick the right bar cabinet design; that is, one that looks good and serves its purpose too.

Types of Bar Cabinets

Wine Cabinet 1There are a wide variety of bar cabinets available in the market. You can customize keeping in mind your taste.  As the market is full of different kinds of bar cabinets, it’s easier to indulge the assistance of a professional interior designer to give you ideas.

Here we have put together important information that will tell you about the types of bar cabinets available and how to best put them to use. Types of bar cabinets means the distinctive way in which the bar cabinet has been constructed as well as the unique features it offers.  This information will help in making a wise choice in customizing the best bar cabinets for your home.

There are 3 main types of bar cabinets namely:

  • Traditional bar cabinet
  • Transitional bar cabinet
  • Contemporary bar cabinet

Traditional bar cabinet

This type of bar cabinet is made up of hardwood, either mahogany, meru oak or mvule. You can also incorporate wood veneer finishes as they also have a traditional feel. This type of bar cabinet may not have a front door. A custom engraved traditional bar cabinet will surely impress your guests with its elegance.

 Contemporary bar cabinet

If you have modern décor in your home, try incorporating this type of bar cabinet as it is not only functional but also looks very stylish. These bar cabinets are made from acrylic finished doors coupled with glass and marble. It has arch shaped top, glass shelves, an area for storing wine bottles and a locking door that allows you to protect the wine bottles and keep them safe.

TRANSITIONAL BAR CABINETS

The wood used in making these bar cabinets is either walnut, pine or oak. These cabinets also provide space for keeping stemware, a table top for corking, serving and plenty of storage for wine bottles. It is an ideal choice for your bar.

All the above types and guidelines not only refer to the style or the design in which bar and wine cabinets are available; they also help you to select the best product to suit your needs, while meeting your décor requirements, storage and in keeping with your entertaining.

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