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Edition 10

Trendy wall finishes

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RUPAL RACH dissects on the ideal and trendier wall surfacing option by responding to the frequently asked questions on wallpaper.

What do I need to know before opting for wallpaper?

There’s always the debate whether to use paints or wall paper on plain walls. In the past paint was always the clear winner more for practical reasons than aesthetics. Today, this is no longer the case. Now, wallpaper comes in high-grade quality and has special weather-resistant features and peeling is just simply next to impossible!

How much do I need?

The first thing you need are accurate measurements of the walls that are to be covered. Use a steel tape measure. Measure the space and round off to the next highest half metre. Measure both the height and length of the wall or walls. Next multiply these two measurements to give you the total number of square metres that your wall is. General wallpapers measure approximately 5 square metres in one roll.

For example;

Your wall: 2.5m (h) X 5m (l) = 12.5 square metres
Size of wallpaper: 10.5 (h) X 0.53m (w) = 5.565 square metres
You will need: 12.5/5.565 = 2.2 rolls?

Thus you will require 3 rolls as wallpapers do not come in half rolls. Note that the pattern repeat, walls of unusual size or shape, greater than normal wastage during hanging, or other special circumstances can affect the roll-age needs. Your local independent retailer can calculate your exact wall-covering needs based on the pattern you select and your wall or room size.

What is a pattern match?

On all wallpaper, except some textures and murals, there is what is called a pattern repeat. This is the vertical distance between one point on a pattern design to the identical point vertically. This pattern repeat is an integral part of the design. A random match is one in which the pattern matches no matter how adjoining strips are positioned.

Stripes are a good example. A straight-across match is one in which the design elements match on adjoining strips. A drop match is one in which there is a vertical drop between the matching design elements. With straight-across matches, every hung strip is the same as the ceiling line.

With drop matches, the number of strips hung before a strip is repeated is dependent on the type of drop match. Patterns with a significant drop match (24 inches or greater) will require additional wallpaper to be ordered. By giving your measurements to the store in which you buy from, they will be able to give you the exact amount of wallpaper you will require.

Can I hang it myself?

Yes. There are numerous resources available, both on the internet and at hardware stores to aid in self installation. First-time installers should avoid kitchens and bathrooms as these are more complicated. Certain types of wallpaper should only be hung by professionals though and you must match your particular skill level, wallpaper type, and complexity of application to give you a fair indication as to whether it’s time to call for help or not. Most wallpaper stockists such as Design For Living offer wallpaper installation at a small fee.

 

Can I hang wallpaper over old paneling, brick, textured walls, etc.?

Absolutely. Start with good preparation: remove all nails or other protruding objects. For textured surfaces, “knock down” any high points. For paneling, now is the time to ensure that the paneling is secure by adding additional nails if needed. For slick surfaces/paneling, wash with TSP (TriSodium Phosphate) or equivalent grease cutting cleaner.

 

What should I be thinking about before I order wallpaper?

How good are the walls? If the walls are perfect, a flat finish wallpaper will be alright, or a silk/shimmer effect. If the walls are less than perfect, then look for a paper with an embossed or expanded surface texture. For areas that have a lot of use (e.g. hallways), a very plain finish will show marks. A textured or patterned surface is a little more forgiving.

How much light do you get in the room? Remember, light colors reflect light, dark colors absorb light, but don’t be frightened of stronger colors, they can be very expressive and add “depth” to a room. Colors affect your mood, so think about the mood you want to create. Greens are restful, reds are stimulating, yellows are happy, and blues are cooling. Think about your own color preferences; the colors you select for your clothes. Do you want your home to be tranquil and peaceful, or exciting and vibrant? Whatever the mood, it should be a reflection of your personality. Have fun with wallpaper!

Is wallpaper “in”?

The popularity of wallpaper has never been “out” but it has typically gone in waves as other fashion products. The good news is that we are currently in a wallpaper revival period, and it is hotter than ever!

Is there a wallpaper pattern out there that could work in my unique home?

Of course! Design For Living carries thousands of different styles of wallpaper in various color palettes. We have a huge selection that will work in any home from traditional African prints to an English Manor. Probably the most daunting factor is the sheer volume of patterns that are available at any given time.

In the past, your only options would have been to work with an interior designer or thumb through hundreds of wall-covering books. At the moment websites such as http://designforliving.co.ke provides the easiest way to find that perfect pattern to suit your individual tastes. While on this site just use the IdeaBook tool to create your own and color preferences and you will be able to focus on looking only at patterns that are of interest to you!

How do I remove wallpaper?

The current most common removal method is to use a chemical “enzyme” wallpaper stripping solution. However, these can be hard to come by locally, therefore the best solution is to hold both wallpaper edges from the floor and gently pull upwards. Additionally, soaking the wallpaper with hot water around the seams will quicken the process. If the wallpaper was applied correctly, there should be very little if no wall damage!

Where do I get wall-paper?

Design For Living is among the largest stockiest of wallpaper in the country. They also have local distributors both in Westlands and Mombasa road. Both avenues have free in-house consultants to help you pick a wall-paper that best suits your needs.

Design For Living Ltd, 3rd Floor Sarit Centre (Below the AAR)
T: +254 731 897 007, E: info@designforliving.co.ke, W: www.designforliving.co.ke

 

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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