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Edition 17

How colour changes spaces

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Are you confused by colour? Not sure what’s a cool or warm hue? Don’t know how colour can impact the look and feel of a room? George WASHINGTON shares his tips on the hot and cold of colour theory.

When it comes to decorating, probably the one thing people stress about more than anything else is choosing colours. That’s because the colour is complex. It can manipulate a space, create a certain mood, be calming, frustrating or make you happy.

Here are a few tips to help you feel more confident about choosing the right colours based on what you want to achieve when decorating particular rooms of your home.

‘I want to make a small room feel larger’

One of the most important things to remember about colour is that warm colours advance (they feel like they are coming towards you) and cool colours recede (they move away from you). Remember this and you can easily change your interior without doing massive renovations. A cool colour scheme helps walls disappear and make space feel larger, so cool colours are great for small rooms. Of all the colours, white reflects the most light, so mix that in with your cool colours to give the smallest room in the house the biggest chance of appearing larger.

‘I want to make a large space feel more intimate’

When it comes to interiors, having the luxury of a lot of space is not always a good thing. Large rooms can feel impersonal, especially open-plan living spaces that typically combine three spaces into one – the kitchen, dining area and lounge room. As warm colours advance they can help large spaces feel cosier, so by painting all the walls a warmer colour the open-plan space will feel more intimate and the separate rooms come together more as one.

Warm colours can also help focus attention on a particular space within the large open-plan living area. Use warm (and darker) colours if you want to make space feel more intimate, such as the lounge room, and then keep the kitchen and dining space cooler or lighter to help distinguish this separate area. A warm colour in a large rug and cushions and even the couch will make the lounge room cosy and inviting.

That makes sense, as it’s the place you want to relax in. On the other hand, the kitchen is for working, so it benefits from being lighter and brighter.

‘I want a room to be calm and serene’

Blues and greens are famous for their calming qualities so the perfect choice for rooms that need a calming influence. They’re great for a home office or for the bedroom or anywhere you want to relax.

‘I want a room to be visually striking’

Rather than go all out crazy with paint colour on the walls, you can keep your walls neutral and experiment more safely with colour when you focus on smaller items in a room such as accessories, cushions, side tables or lamps.

Using patterns and textures is a great way to layer a room with colour. Patterns can manipulate the energy of a colour, for example, an energetic red can become a subtler element when used with other colours as part of a pattern, while a serene green can become bolder in a strong pattern. It’s a great way to experiment and play with colour to help give you the confidence to introduce more colour (especially colours you love) in your home.

‘And… don’t forget about light’

Remember that light – both natural and artificial – really impacts on colour. You can alter the strength of warm and cool colours by the colour of your lighting. A cool interior with reflective surfaces and cool lighting could result in a clinical or stark feel. Changing light to a warm white can warm up space. On the other hand, if you love warm, rich colours but live in a hot climate, putting a cool light in brings down the intensity of the heat in the colour. Light can also really change the mood of a room, which is why I think it’s important to have a range of light sources rather than rely on just one main ceiling light. Table and floor lamps are great as they help you dim the light to make a room cosier at night or they can brighten up a room that doesn’t receive much sunlight during the day.

George Washington is the CEO Invision Concepts Limited, President Interior Designers Association of Kenya and Lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya

Edition 17

All about home accents

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Home Décor or accents is a great way to liven up any room in your home! Enhance your Dining room, your kitchen your living room or bedroom, and any others, by installing Home Decor, available from top name brands in Kenya.

Adding or switching out old and outdated home decor for better furniture pieces or more fashionable and stylist décor pieces is a great idea and a way to redo your home on a budget! New home decor can change the room from worn fixtures and décor to a new sanctuary!

The right home decor can determine whether you use a room often and how much you dislike or enjoy spending time there. A well decorated home due to great home decor can mean that you more and better enjoy your space, live and relax it in more often and get the most out of the room.

You use your home every day, but some homeowners don’t enjoy it as they should. This is a shame for such a great, relaxing place. New home decor could really make any room a more relaxing sanctuary for you to come up and unwind, read, play, interact. Perhaps you will get out of the one room in your home you enjoy and use others. The home should be many things: well lit, as well as comfortable and pleasing to the eye. That latter two are where home decor comes into play.

Applications of home décor

Functional, elegant and stylish lighting and home décor comes in all shapes and sizes, in an array of finishes and styles. Some of the many types of home décor in the Kenyan market includes: wall accents, wall accent mirrors, home décor prints, accent paintings, wall clocks, wall décor, wall candle holder, and table accents, such as vases and urns, candle holders, figurines, decorative bowls, decorative boxes, decorative trays, decorative bottles and decorative canisters, decorative chargers, table clocks, as well as home accents, bathroom décor and outdoor décor.

Installation of home decor

Before you make a home décor purchase, assess the size of the room before you begin to choose which type of home decor can enhance your home. The size of the home decor will determine the size of decor it provides in the room, and whether you will need just one table or a few coffee tables, extra chairs, a console table, accent pictures or artwork, etc.!

The decisions are endless and your choices of home decor from market players in Kenya are also endless! Once you have selected a home decor item or pieces, determine whether the decorating process is something you can handle, or whether you will need to hire a decorator or professional to do the job. You may need help to move around furniture, or perform an installation, or you may need a simple hook to hang; the degree of difficulty will vary.

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Edition 17

Celebrating design

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Yes, Ideal Interiors showcasing the best of the good life is at last on television.

Time Flies. Yes It Does. We are here once more, reading, speaking and celebrating design. The climax and indeed the trend setter for it all shall be the Ideal Interiors Expo 2016.

Well, Ideal Interiors Expo is an annual event for East Africa design professionals, products suppliers and fans looking to shake off the past and bask in the warmth of the latest and greatest interior design trends.

This year, we converge for the fête of creative interior design in the month of March so as to match into the future styled-up. Each year, the bar is set high…and for sure 2016 is not an exception. Thanks to the Ideal Team selected by the Ideal Interiors TV and Ideal Interiors Magazine editorial and marketing boards to run with this year’s event themed: Design it Right! Build it Right.

We toast to the Kenya Vision 2030 for upholding the endorsement of Ideal Interiors Expo as a platform of talents and quality business. It is further pleasing to note that the National Construction Authority has this year deliberately chosen to partner with the organizers of Ideal Interiors Expo.   

What’s expected?

Quality foot-fall and quality engagement is highly expected. Over 5,000 visitors comprising: architects, interior designers, home developers, homeowners, real estate managers, hoteliers, procurement/product specifiers and home enthusiasts are lined to dramatically add value at the show.

With the latest and the trendy on show, the place shall be awesome. However, don’t just take my word on this. The exhibitors and visitors shall indeed have the last word. Reason, it’s they to talk about the variety, inspiration and business that re-assembles us together year after year in the world of the sought comfort – the appealing interiors at a good bargain.

Showstopper Show-House

For one, uniqueness of this year’s show wouldn’t be complete without the creative input of Impress Interiors and dramatic actualization of a showstopper expo show-house.

The show out to unpack talents and celebrate creative works, rare to find interior design ideas as well as longed-for solutions and worthwhile products is a must-visit for all. Showcasing the very best selection of interior design products and service in the market, this year’s Ideal Interiors Expo marks yet another beginning of festivity of quality.

Reloaded as a celebration of great interior design, filled with awesome displays, expert and practical advice from leading professionals the eventful show captures the spirit of clients and the  essence of space.

And what’s New?

The show is of equal significance to design teams, the architecture and procurement specifiers and is full of things to see whether one is working as an interior designer or, just as importantly, as a Tier one or two component manufacturer. This is the solutions show with a tremendous number of innovative products to see!

For the first time, this unique event is having a FREE-TO-ATTEND Professionals’ Business Forum spiced with an evening networking that’ll bring the exhibitors and idea buyers together at the exhibition bay.

Visit, tour and connect with the best of the good life.

Learn more! Enjoy more!

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Edition 17

Hire qualified architect and interiors designer for your construction

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The importance of hiring an architect and involving an interior designer from the onset of a construction can’t be stressed more, writes George Washington.

Think about the last time you moved. Your former house emptied and cleaned, and all of your possessions are stacked randomly in your new space. It was time to start setting up the new house. You took a deep breath and started arranging your furniture.

Power outlets dictated where you placed your furniture so you can plug in the lamps, and determined where you put your TV. Your dresser only fits on one wall and your bed only fits one way if you want to walk across the room. That’s when the realization comes that the design of the house is controlling how you use it.

Back to bite

Most people think they are being clever by ignoring services of an architect. Regrettably, they aren’t. Shortcuts come back to bite them. It usually costs them in either time or money or both. The most successful projects are when you have a team of professionals involved from the beginning. I say it is a three-legged stool — great architect, talented interior designer and an experienced contractor. “Add an open-minded client and you have an awweeeesome, (if such a word exists) result.”

With a collaborative design approach, the time to build the team is at the beginning of the project. It is the idea of having multiple sets of professional eyes. Many people have the misconception that hiring an interior designer means they are going to suggest you buy all new furniture and scrap everything you own. This is not true. In fact, you should fire anyone who works for you who suggests that.

Measure the pieces

An interior designer should take an inventory of all your furniture and consult with you as to what you want to keep for the new or re-modelled house. They will also measure the pieces you are going to keep. It is important to know how big your nightstands are before you build your new master suite.

On the plans, you will just see boxes representing a queen size bed and the basic 25-by-25 nightstands, but you have 36-by-18 nightstands and a king bed. That will change what you need for your room. When you understand the problem at this early stage, you can decide whether to adjust the size of the room or replace the furniture. Knowledge is power, indeed, when you plan the end from the beginning.

In the beginning stages of schematic design, it is our practice, as the architect and interior designers, to add furniture symbols into the plans to help provide a sense of scale. For instance, we can easily see that a certain dining area comfortably fits a table for six. This can be valuable information if what you really want is a table that seats eight, and this is the time to discover this, as opposed to the day you move in to your finished project. Part of our job as architects and interior designers is to make sure we all deal in reality rather than in wishes or hopes.

As we synthesize our various schematic plans and zero in on our master plan, in collaboration, we can begin to replace the generic furniture symbols with the true measurements of any critical furniture pieces. These placements will help shape lighting layouts and outlet placement.

You may have a beautiful piece of furniture or piece of art that may need specialty lighting. This great piece of furniture may need a lamp but there is no existing plug in the area. This early point in the design process is the best time to have these conversations. After construction is not when you want to talk about wiring new lights and outlets.

Since you are paying a significant amount of money for a new home or a substantial remodel, you don’t want to be frustrated about the little things. Hiring both an architect and an interior designer provides the best possibility of a seamless result for your project.

Interior design is more than arranging furniture and plumping throw pillows. A good designer will help with the hundreds of decisions and specifications involved in remodelling. Choosing paint colours, finishes, light fixtures, flooring, knobs and trim are all choices that need to be made in a home construction or remodel.

In addition to all of these issues, an interior designer will help design the new space to accommodate everything you want to include in your new space. Ultimately, the goal is to control the design and not have the design control how you live in your home.

George Washington is the CEO Invision Concepts Limited, President Interior Designers Association of Kenya and Lecturer at the Technical University of Kenya.

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