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Over the last decades, we have been witnessing major transformations in the corporate mentality regarding workspace design. According to this infographic from Alliance Interiors, more changes are yet to come, as the office of the future will be less business-focused and more employee-oriented. As a result of switching from closed offices to open offices- one of the most visible upgrade in workspace layout- we find out that the speed and accuracy of work has increased with 440%. This is mostly why open offices will continue to shape working environments in the years to come.
Mobility and ergonomics should continue to be major concerns of corporate leaders worldwide, as 77% of employees in the study believe that they are key elements to delivering efficient work. Another important aspect to consider is merging the indoors with the outdoors. Plants are said to increase productivity in the office and decrease stress by 12%. And did you know that proper placement of plants can decrease heating and cooling costs by 20%? You will find all these information and other interesting facts in the infographic below. As usual, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what other design trends for office spaces you’ve monitored!
Subiaco Oval Courtyard is the official name of a highly original residential project developed and implemented by Luigi Rosselli Architects in Subiaco, Australia. Seen from the street level, this family home is visually in tune with the character of the early 1900s federation era Subiaco architecture style, displaying pitched roofs, a locally-inspired criss-cross brick-wood pattern and a traditional veranda. However, entering the main building reveals a secret: the house is in fact a cluster of pavilions centered around an oval courtyard.
According to the architects, the elliptical courtyard, which runs diagonally through heart of the house from the front door to the back gate, is the focal point of the home in terms of both design and use: “The courtyard divides the bedrooms from the living space with the entrance hall in the center. From the entry one can view the whole courtyard with the living and bedroom wings flanking it, it is a very intimate and private space, minimally landscaped with a lawn, enhanced by a couple of mature growth trees existing on the block. ” The shape of the courtyard is also borrowed by the surrounding buildings and you can see it in the curves of the connecting corridors and partition glass paneling. [Photography: Edward Birch]
What does nature tell us about decorating our home? Image Source: NMA Architects
Take a moment from your busy schedule to lift up your eyes from that handheld device and reunite with the natural beauty of the world around you.
What do you see? Are the tree branches swaying in the breeze? Are leaves rustling at your feet, showing the first signs of fall? Is the yellow orb of the sun still hot on your shoulders? Do you see a a sun setting over a towering city skyline or snow-peaked mountains?
If you just take a moment to observe the natural world, then you will discover that it is chock-full of design lessons that can be incorporated into your own personal dwelling. Whatever your natural surroundings happen to be, you can gleam a little decor inspiration from its beauty.
Let’s take a moment to dwell in nature and see what it can teach us about interior design.
Nature is beautiful and awe-inspiring. The natural world has inspired world-renowned artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso. So, how do we learn to regard nature with an artist’s eye? And how do we then bring the beauty of nature into our homes?
It really is as simple as taking a serene moment to sit and observe the natural beauty of the world around us—quite literally take a moment to smell the roses. Regard the delicious color of a rose and notice how its color fades into ombre shades outward towards its delicate floral tips. Alone, this color shading could inspire an entire room, and an entire design lesson.
Or look to barren twigs whose bumps, bends and brown coloring could be reflected within a masculine den via textiles and furnishings. The beauty of the natural world is all around us, just waiting to inspire your home decor—you just need to stop for a moment, taking it all in and then replicating it within your home.
The beauty of the natural world is all around us, just waiting to inspire your decor. Image Source: Coates Design
2. Copy Color Hues of Nature
As mentioned above, the ombre shades of a single rose can inspire a color theme for your entire home. Let’s delve into this a bit deeper. Where else can we look within our natural surroundings for color cues?
Did you ever notice that nature isn’t scared to mix colors, even colors opposite on the color wheel? Take a look at a veiny leaf—the leaf itself can be a bright emerald green while the vein that runs along its middle can be a deep magenta red or a bold white.
Nature also seems fond of playing with color shades. Look to any tree or bush. Notice how the older leaves are deeper in color than the new leaves that shoot from the tips of the branches—it is literally nature’s version of a paint chip, showing us all the hues of color choices. Take a look outside your window. What color shades do you wish to use in order to bring nature indoors?
Don’t be afraid to mix complementary colors—nature does it all the time. Image Source: Tobi Fairley
3. Bring Nature Indoors
Let’s go beyond color for a moment. How about we take a walk through the natural world and see what we can collect? When was the last time you went on a hike and brought home some lovely leaves, stones, twigs or acorns?
There are so many ways that you can decorate your home interior with natural elements. Consider filling vases with tumbled stones and then anchoring long, twisty twigs amongst the stones, creating a lovely table centerpiece.
Colorful leaves scattered along the center of a table, mixed with acorns, pinecones and flickering candles, would also make a wonderful fall table setting. If you prefer a simpler approach, you could simply cut a few large palm fronds and place them in a beautiful glass vase, as featured in the image below.
The wind catches a seed, taking it away from its planned home, depositing it into a new foreign environment. The seed may flourish in this new soil environment or it may wilt and die. This part of nature is random and unplanned. No one knows where each seed will fall and if it will grow.
What can we learn from this? It’s simple: be random, it’s OK—It may work and it may not, but you won’t know unless you try. Buy that decor piece that is calling to you even though you have no idea where you would put it. Hang a modern light fixture over your country kitchen table even though the two styles are opposing.
It’s your home, so be random and follow your heart. You never know where the wind of inspiration will take you and your interior design.
5. Some Designs in Nature Are Well-Planned and Purposeful
Like clockwork, the pull of the moon cues the tide to ebb and flow. The rising of the sun awakens the birds, and the glow of the moon calls to wake the world’s nocturnal creatures. All of this is purposeful and planned—just as some of our home designs should be.
While randomness has its place in interior design, some things must be planned and well though out. Our kitchens, for example, require careful placement and planning. Kohler offers a lot of helpful tips and strategies when it comes to kitchen design, noting that it is imperative to design your kitchen with specific work triangles.
So, mimic nature’s purposefulness and plan your interiors thoroughly. Ultimately, a functional home is the root of all design, and an un-functional one causes stress and interior chaos.
Everything has a purpose in nature and so should your home design. Image Source: Nouvelle-Cuisine
6. Mimic Nature’s Cycle
Fall. Winter. Spring. Summer. While the entire world doesn’t have the pleasure of enjoying these four cycles of nature, they are still worthy of mimicry.
One should always lighten-up their home interior during the spring and summer months. Roll up the cozy area rugs and pull down those heavy draperies—copying nature’s spring renewal by airing out and cleaning your home. Then during the cold fall and winter months, consider warming up your decor with plush blankets, rugs and warm accents.
Nature’s cycle also means some things need to die and be laid to rest; look around your home for those worn-out old items that really need to be donated or tossed away.
Follow nature’s cycle by making your home cozy in the winter and scaled-back in the summer. Image Source: Studio KW Photography
7. Even the Small Things Matter
The tiniest spec of soil has a role and purpose in the natural world—just as everything in our home should have a role and purpose. Whether we add a mirror near our entryway so that we can adjust ourselves as we hurriedly head out the door, or we place a pot of flowers in the center of our table for the sheer beauty of it—everything has a role.
Assess your home, itemize your belongings— is everything fulfilling its purpose/role? Should a chair be moved in order to allow for better conversational seating? Should a light fixture be updated in order to match the rest of your modern decor? Do you need to add an area rug to your sitting room in order to define the space better?
Be sure that every decor item in your home is fulfilling its role, and if it isn’t then maybe it’s time for it to go.
Be sure that everything is fulfilling its role within your home. Image Source: Jennile Asia Design
8. Always Grow and Change
A plethora of valuable life lessons can be garnered from nature. The Huffington Post offers three life lessons that nature teaches, but there are so many interior design lessons that we can learn, too.
Nature is never constant–everything is growing and changing. A tree may die, but is replaced by a young sapling; one flower withers and in its place grows a young bright blossom. Our home needs to follow this same pattern of growth and change. Is your sofa withering and old? If so, consider renewing your decor with a new sofa.
When was the last time you moved some furniture around to play with its placement within the room? Try moving a bulky armoire to a different corner, or put a new coat of paint on your front door. Change is good and can open our eyes to a whole new interior design.
We should mimic nature’s growth and change within our home. Image Source: Design Arc
9. Work Around Obstacles
Just as a tree root grows around boulders to get to a water source, we need to work around our homes obstacles. As this Nola article so fittingly states, a great designer is one who makes a house full of obstacles look like it fell from the pictures of a magazine.
Every home has an obstacle or two, and we need to be inventive in order to contrive ways to work around them or hide them. Is there a huge wall in your home that you can’t knock down due to its load-bearing design?
Try to turn that vast wall into a work of art that displays all your family portraits, or disguise the dreariness of it by adding a huge mirror that reflects natural light and opens up the room. Just as the natural world does, we need to work around our homes obstacles.
Work around obstacles in your home by hanging pictures on load-bearing walls or building book cases. Image Source: Ashleigh Weatherill
10. Mimic Nature’s Biodiversity
Nature is teeming with diversity—colors, shapes and textures are vast and varying. We need to copy this diversity into our home in order for it to feel like a well-designed space.
By layering your home in color and texture you create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Consider mixing patterns and textures such as floral and damask, or linen and velvet. Layer your room with pillows, blankets, area rugs, lighting and decorative knick knacks.
Nature would be boring if it was all brown and dreary, so why should our home be that way? Liven up your home with colors, patterns and textures, making your home look like a bright, colorful summer day.
Nature is truly a life-force— and now we know that it can be a design-force, as well. Literally, step outside to take-in the view of the world that surrounds you. What colors do you see? What patterns and textures do you see?
Take note and bring these wonderful features of nature inside the doors of your home. You will be so happy that you did once you realize how nature has renewed the life of your interiors.
What part of nature do you admire most—the trees, the flowers, the birds? How would you use this as inspiration in your own home?
A remodel can easily bring out the contemporary possibilities in old houses. Take as example this San Francisco home imagined by Dijeau Poage Construction – a home opened to the surroundings and prepared for a modern lifestyle. Inviting natural light inside through a series of glass additions like floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the outdoor on the ground level and first floor and glass guardrails on the three terraces overlooking the backyard. The original Craftsman house is located in Cow Hollow, San Francisco, and retains its original charm even with the addition of 2.090 square feet of new living space.
According to the architects, “structural upgrades required a complete footing replacement and lowering the basement floor level.” The beautiful floating wood and glass staircase shines as focal point in an open and bright new home. The wood shaping this defining interior element came from a native black walnut tree removed from the backyard before remodeling started. Keeping a clean design line in the backyard, architects used Ipe wood, Bluestone and architectural concrete to compose a welcoming outdoor environment and complete the attractiveness of this elegant San Francisco remodel.
Take a good look at the facade and interiors and let us know which design element caught your attention, we’d love to know.
Mahatma House is located in the traditional Balinese village of Seseh, just steps from the black volcanic-sand beaches. Set against a tropical beachfront atmosphere, the holiday villa features a beautiful 60-foot river stone pool, a generously-sized deck and a poolside lounge with seating for up to 12 guests that includes a large circular fire bowl. The five-bedroom retreat is owned by a Spanish model and a fashion designer, which partially explains the stylish interior design scheme.
Each suite includes the villa’s signature black-accented décor, king-sized beds and en suite bathrooms. According to the official project description, a fully equipped kitchen, complete with Chinese cabinets and black crockery, is manned by the resident chef. The spacious open main living area features plenty of natural light and is furnished with a comfortable daybed. For a night in, the entertainment area, located on the opposite end of the living pavilion, features a large flat screen TV, comfortable sofas and a low Japanese-style table with seating for six. The property also features two detached bedroom pavilions located on the far side of the garden. Enjoy the views!
Swedish-French design duo Färg & Blanche has come up with two elegant padded chair designs for Swedish furniture brand Gärsnäs. EMMA (depicted in the first two photos below) is a hand-sewn, well-tailored armchair that “speaks the language of craftsmanship picking up the gauntlet. The needlework here involves both form and function, elevating the classic look to a superior level. Both the seams and the stockinged legs accentuate that well-dressed feeling”. The inspiration for the project was provided by an old traditional chair found by the designer in her grandmother’s Swedish house.
EMILY (presented in the last five photos of the post) was described by the designer as EMMA’s little sister: “just like siblings, they are similar but still different. The family likeness can be seen in the needlework: they are both upholstered, but differently patterned. The needlework is a function which also creates a powerful idiom”. The special technique employed is based on a classical craft, while at the same time occupying the leading edge of technology. EMILY is a comfortable chair, equally successful round the dining table and at a conference table.
Natural materials are good for the environment, your wallet, and your style. Image Via: Palm Design Group
You’ve probably been heard about the advantages of decorating with natural materials like marble, wood, metals, and clay. Chances are, you’ve also wandered what exactly counts as “natural”. It’s okay, you’re not alone. In the world of interiors, “natural” is a broad term that encompasses any renewable resource that is harvested from the earth for use.
These days, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the quality of the products that they use – and rightly so. Products that are less processed are better for you and the environment. As people add more organically-farmed whole foods into their diets and start to DIY chemical-free versions of household products, taking a similar approach to interior design is the next logical step.
If you’re still hesitant about jumping on the bandwagon, listen up. You’re missing out. Read on to find out why renewable resources are the way to go when it comes to your décor. You might just change your mind.
Read on to find out why you should work natural materials into your design. Image Via: Denali Custom Homes
Renewable Materials are Durable:
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “They don’t make these things the way that they used to” and it’s true. Think about the family heirlooms that have been given prominent places in your parents’ living rooms. They are probably in relatively good shape compared to the commercially produced furniture you bought just a few years ago. One reason for the longer lifespan of those pieces is the builders’ reliance on natural products.
Building materials that have beem harvested from the earth are extremely durable. Cork, which is made from the bark of cork trees, is incredibly springy. (Picture the way a wine cork retains its shape after being released from the bottle.) and unlikely to dent no matter what gets dropped on it. Granite is the hardest and densest natural stone, which helps maintain its luster and resist staining for longer than comparable materials.
Of course, for maximum durability these items require proper care. While each should be handled per the manufacturers instructions, but here are a few things to keep in mind: Always sand wood before staining or sealing it. Avoid acidic cleaners when wiping down stone and metals.
Natural materials are a good fit for areas that receive a lot of wear and tear. Image Via: Staprans Design
Your Interiors Will Be On-Trend:
Nature had a huge impact on our list of interior design trends and we’re not the only ones. When it comes to creating a trendy interior, using green materials is definitely the way to go.
Designers are practically jumping at the chance to create products that bring nature into your home, which means you have the chance to incorporate them into nearly every aspect of your décor. Go big and make a statement with a copper bathtub. For a subtler feel, consider buying furniture made from eco-friendly fibers. Smaller still, add bamboo shades to your windows to keep out the afternoon sun.
Don’t be afraid to mix materials either. Lighter bamboo flooring will really help a your large, wooden dining table to make a statement. Metal light fixtures will give a touch of glamour to nearly every style of design.
Use natural elements to give your space a sleek, fresh, and modern feel. Image Via: Butler Armsden
They Ensure A Timeless Decor:
Embracing a timeless style is key if you want your interiors to last. Who wants to redo their décor every few years as tastes change, especially if they’ll circle back around into favor in a few more years? Sustainable materials tend to top the list of timeless styles since they’ve been around nearly as long as the concept of interior design itself.
Your first step is to choose a material that fits best with your personal style. If you love the relaxed feel of the Mediterranean style, go for clay and terra cotta. For a classical look, think about incorporating marble into your design. Those who prefer rustic surroundings know that those rooms should be all about wood.
Once you choose which material works best for you, think about how it should be worked into the space. Your best bet it is to go natural in the areas that you want to stay constant through trend cycles – usually the high-cost purchases. Flooring is a good bet, as is furniture, and even window shades.
Ah, neutrals. These pieces are the backbone of any interior design project. Are they the most exciting element of your décor? Probably not, but, are they essential to your project’s success. Every room needs a neutral element to make the bolder aspects of the décor pop and it should be sustainable.
Each aspect of your design that is harvested from nature will feature small, naturally occurring differentiations that give them less of a uniform (and less boring) look than, say, a tan painted wall. Every stone countertop has a different marbling pattern that varies by the area from which it was harvested in the quarry. Similarly, every wood floor will have in-grown imperfections that occur within the grain.
As you incorporate these materials into your design, embrace these quirks as part of the design. Using a lighter stain on your wooden furniture pieces will allow them to shine through. Consider picking up on the natural shade variation in your terra cotta flooring and incorporating it as an accent color in your design.
Let’s be honest, when people complain about an interior design project, they usually bring up the same two issues: the cost of the project and how long it will take to complete. If you are trying to keep to a tight budget, using reclaimed, renewable materials is the way to go.
Older pieces – from an era before deforestation and mass production – are often higher quality than the product we get today since there was a larger, healthier sample to from which to cherry pick the best product. In some cases, like mahogany wood, it may be next to impossible to get today. If you look in the right places, it’s possible to get these high-quality pieces for a fraction of the cost of buying new.
Almost every area has a store of sustainable materials that are begging to be repurposed from old design projects. You just need to know where to look. Thrift stores and vintage websites, and freecycling groups are a great place to start. Those who are looking for a larger amount of material may want to place a call into their local historical society or even contact someone in a salvage yard.
As for how to use these pieces, there’s no shortage of options. You could shape old barn wood into a mantle for your fireplace or turn a collection of broken ceramic dishes into a creative tabletop collage. Turn to design collection sites like Freshome to find your inspiration.
Repurpose old materials into a new project to get a better bang for your buck. Image Via: Capital Building
It goes without saying that using renewable materials in your interior design is good for the environment. Beyond that, it’s also easy for your wallet and sense of style. There’s really no downside. Take a look at our argument before you start your next home improvement project and we’re sure you’ll be a convert. Before you know it, these materials will have a prominent place in your interior design.
Are you a fan of sustainable materials? How have you incorporated them into your interior design?
This impressive Santa Barbara luxury home occupies a four acre piece of land in a gated community between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains south of Los Angeles. Located in the vicinity of Santa Barbara, the home in the Cima del Mundo (“Top of the World”) community was imagined serving as dream home for anyone who appreciates both exclusive design and inspiring surroundings. Gathering ocean, mountain and harbor panoramic views from both indoors and spacious outdoor terrace, the luxurious home in Santa Barbara boasts six bedrooms, six bathrooms, media room, a stylish game room and a a guest suite to welcome everyone who will sooner or later use all the entertaining facilities. A four-car garage extends the invitation to friends and family.
With an impeccable outdoor appeal shaped like lawns and a pool side design fit for royalty, the this impressive home at 810 Cima Del Mundo is private and inspiring. Imagine swimming early in the morning, having breakfast on the terrace, followed by work in the elegant home office. How is that for a Monday morning plan?
The Mediterranean style estate was sold for $10,850,000 and the details showcased in photos by Jim Bartsch prove that it was worth every penny. Flooded with natural light through french doors and windows, overlooking impressive views and offering high quality in every detail, this luxury Santa Barbara home seems to have been made for entertaining and relaxing at home.
Taking on the challenges of a narrow site, Inglis Architects designed and developed Fairbairn Road House in a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. The project showcases a simple architectural language of masonry, timber and stone, with emphasis on the front facade: “The house presents itself to the public and does not seek refuge behind a fence.It was our ambition that the house engaged with its environment and the individual. A key strategy employed to do this involved layering up the front elevation to the street to create depth as opposed to a flat facade,” explained the architects.
The breezeway brick screen serves multiple purposes: it gives the property a sense of intimacy and it creates an extra landscaped area for outdoor relaxation. According to the official description, the steel entry canopy folds out between the screen welcoming you and it’s at this point that there is a mental and physical threshold where one moves from the public to the private. Fairbairn Road House is structured on two levels, with the social areas located on the ground floor and the bedrooms elevated to the tree tops, for exceptional views.
The architects behind the Southern Living Idea House at Palmetto Bluff drew their inspiration for the home’s design from Palmetto Bluff’s low country surroundings. The home, designed by Pursley Dixon Architects as a haven for guests to entertain and unwind, is situated amid the state’s iconic palms and freshwater creeks. One of the home’s most exquisite elements is a large porch – a Southern staple – where visitors can relax, converse and enjoy the idyllic views of the May River. The two-story South Carolina house features a tin roof and is constructed out of brick, board and batten, evoking a traditional coastal style. The home’s décor brings the outdoors in with its use of blues, whites and warm neutrals.
Every year, Southern Living selects a project team to develop one “Idea House” in the hopes of inspiring consumers to experiment with and refresh their own homes. The Idea House will open to the public for tours beginning on Saturday, June 28th and will remain open until December 14th, 2014. “The Idea House this year blends seamlessly into its low country South Carolina landscape while distinguishing itself as the quintessential embodiment of our relaxed and elegant style,” said Sid Evans, Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.