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Edition 17

What every room needs

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Have you ever decorated a room and felt it was missing something, but you couldn’t put your finger on what?  Do your rooms feel dull despite your best efforts to make them inviting?  This list of must-have home accessories can serve as your checklist as you work on decorating a room, ensuring that you won’t end up with a space that feels unfinished.  By Humphrey ODHIAMBO

Color

All-white or all-beige rooms can feel sterile and lifeless.  Monochromatic schemes are fine, just be sure to add some pops of color with accessories or a piece of painted furniture.

Something living

Houseplants do wonders for a space.  No green thumb?  No problem!  Try out some trendy succulents, which are very hardy, or an easy-to-grow houseplant.  Trees add wonderful height and life to a room as well.  Alternatively, faux plants can look very realistic. Fresh-cut flowers are another avenue, and can last up to two weeks if you care for them properly.  Make an inexpensive bouquet from the grocery store look more stylish with these tips. A small vase of flowers on the kitchen counter or coffee table, or a houseplant or two by a sunny window instantly makes a place feel more homely.  Try it, you’ll see.

Something black

I don’t know where I first heard this piece of advice, but it has stuck with me and I have tried it myself with a lot of success.  If your room feels like it’s missing something, try adding something black.  Whether it’s a piece of accent furniture, a set of picture frames, or a chalkboard-painted sign, you’ll see improvement in the room by adding black, which seems to ground the space and bring order to disparate pieces.

Texture

Bringing in texture through baskets, throws and rugs adds a layer of interest and polish to a room.  If your sofa has great pillows, but still seems uninviting, a throw can make a difference.  Likewise, layering a throw on the end of a bed can tie everything together.  Woven baskets for firewood, toys, extra pillows or books are another great way to add texture to a space, not to mention restore order to a cluttered room.

Books

I personally cannot imagine a room without books in it.  Whether there are coffee table tomes in the living room, cookbooks in the kitchen, or a basket of children’s books in the family room, it’s easy to envision how books can live happily in any room.

Don’t have built-in bookcases?  No problem!  There are lots of unique ways to store and display your books.  However, you needn’t feel as though you have to be an avid reader, nor should you feel like you have to have whole bookcases filled with books.  Books can simply be used as beautiful objects in a display, and they can add height to other items you might want to showcase.

Personality

If your room feels like a furniture showroom, chances are you haven’t added in enough of your own personality.  Your home should be a reflection of who lives there, so try to highlight your family’s hobbies, interests, or travels through accessories that reflect those stories.

Framed memorabilia, objects acquired on trips, or collections are other ways to infuse your room with personality.  Just be sure to read up on the dos and don’ts of displaying collections first so your objects can be shown in the best possible light.

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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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Edition 17

Before you buy a new sofa

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When you’re thinking about a new sofa, you’ll want to check our sofa buying tips. While it is important to get a sofa in just the right color, it is just as important to get one that will last. Inexpensive furniture can break, pop springs, and look out of shape within a year of constant use. Quality construction will offer years of enjoyment and has enough good “bones” to allow you to recover it periodically. By Oliver OWUOR

Choose the style of cushions for your new sofa

First decide if you prefer the look of loose back cushions or attached. Loose cushions give you the option of turning the pillows as needed, while attached backs won’t need fluffing or rearranging. Be sure to sit in the sofa you are considering. Is it comfortable? Are the arms the right height for taking a nap or reading a book?

How many cushions do you like on a sofa?

How many seat cushions would you like? One cushion offers a clean modern look while two or three are traditional. When you sit on the cushions, do they stay in place or do the corners flare up? Are they attached to the frame with a clip to hold them down?

What style of sofa arm do you like?

Choose an arm style for your new sofa. You can choose from armless, traditional rolled arm, curved arm, or a straight style. The rolled arm has a flat front panel and is often outlined in cording. Straight arm sofas are most often seen in contemporary settings.

A skirted sofa or one with bare legs?

Do you want a skirted sofa or one with the visible legs? Choose from leg styles that vary from heavy square chunks and wide bun feet to more delicate tapered legs or carved and curved formal versions. Legs are usually available in a number of finishes as well.

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