You’ve made the decision to completely revamp your home and you’ve decided you’d like it to be in Retro style but just how do you go about incorporating that into your home. First of all it might help to have an understanding of what a Retro design style actually is.
The post war fifties and psychedelic sixties saw a move towards more brighter and bolder colours most likely as a backlash to doom and gloom of the war torn forties. Basically, Retro style of interior design can be described as taking a little bit of the past few decades into the present in order to create a new style of interior design that is both modern and fun. As there is so much material to choose from, what you decide to include will ultimately be your own interpretation of the past, so entirely unique.
During each of the past three decades there have been different materials, shapes, colours, artefacts, and gadgets that have left a lasting impression on all of us. These days, anything from the 50’s, 60’s or even the 70’s is fashionable again. However, because there are so many different ways to go about incorporating a Retro style into your home, it can be difficult to know where to start. There isn’t a standard look that can be described as Retro and yet everyone is able to recognise it when they see it.
Where to start
The first step would be to browse through magazines and search on the Internet, visit show rooms and exhibitions for the colour schemes, furniture, layouts etc. that appeal to you. Ask yourself what artefacts have been used, how the furniture is laid out, what it is made of, look at the lighting and any effect it creates, take note of the colour schemes, the ornamental touches and don’t forget the wall and floor coverings. From there you can literally mix and match elements that appeal to your own taste to produce a retro style that reflects your own identity with the past.
Getting the look
After the war new materials were being produced that led to a dramatic change in styles during the fifties and sixties, for example, Formica, plastic, fibreglass and plywood were introduced. The mood of the people was buoyant, and the future looked bright, consequently so were the colour schemes. For example:
* Mint green
* Sunshine yellow
* Cherry red
* Black and White
Highly polished chrome was very popular and used for furniture or for ornamental purposes. The furniture was often abstract in style with weird and wonderful shapes. Think of low lying round or oval or kidney shaped coffee tables, or anything in a curvy boomerang type shape. Teak and Pine were popular materials. Blow up furniture was introduced along with disposable materials like cardboard so no longer did furniture have to last for years; it was possible to change the look of your home as often as you felt the urge.
Who could possibly forget GPlan furniture that was all the rage and that revolutionised home interiors? For the first time, people could develop a coordinated look to their home over a period of time and mix and match pieces to create their own style.
Imagine black and white chequered linoleum offset against chrome furniture and black vinyl coverings. What about the wet look wall paper and bold floral patterns? Or even the bright and bold red and black contrasting colour schemes.
Geometric patterns and shapes were ever popular and as the space age was well and truly upon us during the fifties and sixties wall hangings, shapes, pictures, lamps, ornaments or anything that was reminiscent of space was well and truly in. For example, rockets, the planets, satellites, and space ships were very trendy and atomic wall clocks were a feature in the most fashionable of homes.
Visit antique shops or search on eBay to pick up vintage ornaments and objects in order to complete the vintage Retro look. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about what you should or shouldn’t include and that is what makes the Retro style so excitingly different. Don’t be afraid to be bold with your design ideas, as long as it looks good to you and feels right then you can’t really go wrong.
One of my favorite summer activities involves sitting around our fireplace made from soapstone on cool those cool summer nights with a refreshing drink in hand. Now that the temperatures are warming up, it’s time to get your backyard ready for the summer and this means getting everything cleaned and ready to go. One of the first things we do during our backyard cleaning days is to clean up the outdoor fireplace. Depending on the type and style of outdoor fireplace you may have, maintenance can be simple or complicated.
Did you know no matter what your fireplace is made of they are still mostly all built the same and then spring cleaning of them are all similar. You’ll need an ash can, a good broom, and some sturdy work gloves. You’ll find it can be a pretty dirty job from all the remaining ash and wood in it. Use your brush or broom to sweep the ash into the can for proper disposal.
Fireplaces made from iron are probably the most popular models because of how sturdy they are. You’ll find different styles implementing steel or aluminum chimneys to go along with an iron base. Make sure you can purchase any replacement parts before you purchase a certain type of iron fireplace since the other parts don’t last as long as the iron base will. Why replace the entire thing if you don’t have to? Apply high-temperature paint to the iron portions of the fireplace to protect it from rust.
Copper Outdoor Fireplaces
Another common type of outdoor fireplace is the ones made from copper. While a little more expensive, these particular models are sought after for its unique and brilliant copper shade which is much different than the plain black iron types. Storing the fireplace in a dry place away from the harsh weather helps to keep it at its original color. You can use covers for copper fire pits as a way of protecting them from the rain and such without having to move them when not in use.
Brick and Stone Fireplaces
Soapstone fireplaces, brick fireplaces and soapstone masonry heaters must properly be cleaned as often as you do with your indoor fireplace. Remove the ash and debris from the fire box after use with soapstone fireplaces. A good investment is installing a chimney cap to keep leaves out of the chimney which can sometimes spark fires. Although soapstone fireplaces don’t have to be covered during the rain or in winter, you’ll still want to clean the exteriors in order to keep its attractive appearance.
It is important to the necessary time to care for your outdoor fireplace properly. With the right amount of maintenance, you’re fireplace can last you many years of summer enjoyment.
Vertical gardening is one of the most innovative and unique way of decorating your work site and house. It is one of the easiest and confinement ways of gardening in your house, without using enough space. Creating these living walls is fun, especially when you are crafting them for an urban space.
There are many ways of creating living walls; you can either buy readymade vertical gardening kits from the market or can also opt for some easy do-it-yourself projects. Creating your own living wall is a daunting task for many, but little innovation and excellent ideas can help you build a masterpiece.
Here are some easy and user-friendly ideas of creating vertical gardens:
Framing pictures of your own and your family members for decorating the walls of your workplace and house is common, but framing a garden and using it to decorate your wall is something very creative and outstanding. These vertical gardens can act as a masterpiece of your living room or reception, helping you to bring a change in the look of your property.
Another interesting way of creating a living wall in your house is by making use of wooden planks. Hang around six or seven wooden planks in a row with ropes. Cut out holes in the plant, such that pots fit inside those holes easily but make sure that there is a minimum gap between two pots. Grow whatever plants you want in those pots and place them in the planter to give it an all-new look.
Gardening In Crates:
Instead of throwing away the wooden boxes and crates from your house, use them to create something unusual and extraordinary. Make them a part of the garden and enhance the look of your house. place the old and unused crates in a pyramid shape and decorate them with colorful and varied plants creating an innovative structure.
Beatification of Ladders:
If not crates and planters, you can also make use of your old ladder to create a vertical garden. This is one of the easiest and less constructive ways of creating your own living wall. Place the heaviest pots at the bottom and the delicate ones at the top. You can also color the ladders to make it look more beautiful and impressive.
Ornament your house with vertical gardens. No need of extra spaces, because now you can grow plants even on your walls other innovative areas.
The stores these days have so many ideas for beach house decorating in them that you don’t know where to start. Make your design your own and these guidelines will help you on your journey to a one of a kind perfect style made just for you.
Decorating in modern beach house themes you will need to keep the space free from clutter, comfortable, inviting and a place you and your family feel at home in.
Look around you at all of nature’s beauty and you will find all the inspiration you need for the greatest of decorating themes. From seashells, seahorses and starfish to woven baskets filled with nautical memorabilia, just imagine how beach worthy it will feel.
Paint walls sea colors such as light corals, ocean greens, sky blues and natural colored palettes. In a bathroom you could really go for more of a deeper coral or pink to make it look amazing.
You should shy away from using window treatments if at all possible as it detracts from the light outside coming in. If you must have some coverage, go with sheer fabrics or blinds that have a coastal feel to them.
Inside, casual and easy to clean furniture should be purchased in neutral tones if the paint is heavier or darker ones if it is lighter. Add some nautical or seashell themed throw pillows and sit and enjoy the outcome of your hard work.
When shopping go to specialty stores such as antique or close outs. In these places you can find delightful additions to your design scheme at a fraction of what you would pay at the larger well known stores in your area. No beach theme would be perfect without lots of candles, pillar, votive, floating and even specialty designed or shaped ones to make the whole room glow.
Using some palm fronds or sea glass, pebbles or bamboo baskets to make arrangements out of is a simple way to complete the ensemble. You never know where the right thing for a room will show up, so keep an eye out wherever you go.
Ideas for beach house decorating should not be confined just to the indoor areas, the outside needs to have that beach feel as well. Place nautical or beach inspired wreaths on the doors, have palm trees in planters on the porches and just do what you think says “beach” to you.
Making your own items to decorate with is a cost friendly way of doing things and think of how much pride you will have once they are completed and adding to the ambiance of your home. Get creative with flowers, paintings, even mosaics.
When I was growing up the choice of floor decoration was oilcloth [a thin type of linoleum], or linoleum [lino] in the bedrooms and, in the living rooms downstairs, lino covered with a large rug or, if you had a better budget, herringbone hardwood flooring with a large rug in the middle. A stair runner lined the center of the stairs held in place with a brass stair-rod.
These ideas moved on into the 1970s with fitted carpets which had large swirly patterns: you were really somebody if you could afford fitted carpets! Fitted carpets came and stayed, the only real changes being the textures and fabrics, the colours and whether the carpets were plain or patterned. These all changed according to fashion. Cork tiles made a brief appearance as being the must-have flooring options in the bathroom and kitchen. They never really went out of fashion as they are practical and warm underfoot.
However, the late 1990s was when laminate flooring made its appearance and hardwood flooring came back with a vengeance. Floors to aspire to are now hardwood floors, with the whole of the living area having the same kind of flooring. Gone are the days of the unhygienic carpeting in the kitchen: this has been replaced by a multitude of flooring options, from recycled rubber to slate, stone, hardwood, laminates, and tiling.
Many bedrooms are also finished with laminate or hardwood flooring, brightened up with scattered rugs. In my own home, however, I have retained deep-pile carpets in the bedrooms and, in all the downstairs rooms I have installed hardwood flooring which has been stained and varnished to give it a deep timbre to bring out the beauty of the wood. It is so much easier to keep clean and I believe this is far more hygienic than fitted carpets everywhere which can harbour germs deep down in the fibres.
The number of DIY shops that sell both hardwood and laminate flooring is amazing when, if you think about it carefully, fitting flooring effectively so that it looks good and lies properly, is an experts’ job. It is certainly not something I would consider doing. After all, if you mess it up, hardwood is not a cheap option – if you are paying out that sort of money, as far as I am concerned, it is better to pay a bit more and employ an expert to fit it properly. In this case, the end result well justifies the means!
So, if you are choosing laminates or hardwoods, what are you going to be looking for? Good hardwood flooring will add value to your property and will last a lifetime. If it does start to look a bit tired, it just needs to be sanded down, re-stained and given a new coat of varnish. Solid hardwood flooring planks are available in cherry, walnut, maple, and oak. Also available are other woods such as teak and bamboo which, although not a wood but a grass, is very popular in these economically sustainable times.
Not all people can afford huge, luxurious baths that resemble spas with jacuzzi and saunas, bathtubs and fancy showers, separate his and her vanities and lots of space with beautiful views. Most ordinary folks have to confine their dream bathrooms to much smaller size. This is especially true for big cities where space is a premium and the space allocated for the bathrooms is minimal almost as an afterthought. Small bathroom design ideas come to the rescue of harried homeowners trying to fit in the demands of family members into small space available.
One family member wants a bathtub, the other wants a fancy shower head the third member wants a beautiful vanity set. Some would like a jacuzzi, others the sauna. How does the head of the family resolve these competing demands of different members of the family into the tiny space called bathroom. If your home has a bath attached to every bedroom you can accommodate the demands of each member of the family separately by putting in only what they want in their bathroom. Don’t try to fit in every single thing that you think a bathroom should have. For small bathroom design ideas you really need to be creative and innovative. Fortunately, there are more option than ever before for small bathrooms today.
For the really tiny bathrooms there are bathroom fixtures and fittings that are really small and compact. You are able to choose smaller taps, sinks, bathtubs, showers and closets. These are great for the tiny guest bathrooms. If your guests are going to be with you only for a very short time, they won’t mind the smaller sized fittings. It’s functional and also does not overwhelm the small space as the regular sized fittings would. As our brains and eyes process things in relative terms, having small-sized fittings will actually make the bathroom appear normal sized.
There are tons and tons of small bathroom design ideas to choose from. Designers and ordinary folk when faced space-crunch have come up with some truly spectacular ideas to make small bathrooms as functional and comfortable as possible and still feel like it is spacious and just the right sized. A bathroom with spaces allotted for every item makes the room will big and clean. Small wall cabinets for keeping brushes and shaving items, for cosmetics and soaps, face and wash towels, bathroom cleaning products will keep your bathroom organized and clutter-free.
Irrespective of how much counter space they have in their kitchens, most homeowners will tell you that they do not have enough. Whether you require an additional worktop, a space that you can use for a causal buffet, or simply somewhere to put the mail for the day, a kitchen island is a great way of maximizing the use of your kitchen space. The National Bath and Kitchen Association reports that more than half of kitchens built feature islands.
These days, with the broad range of ready to install kitchen cabinets, trim mouldings and accessories available, it is easy to create kitchen island designs that will be perfect for your kitchen. Better still, this will cost less than if you hired a professional carpenter. If you are intending to remodel your kitchen and include a kitchen island cart, take this advice on board:
The most important thing is to ensure that there is enough space in between the island and the other work surfaces. This is to take into account the opening of appliance and cabinet doors. Also, it allows a couple of people to work in the kitchen, without bumping into each other.
Based on your particular requirements, the island could be positioned so that it serves as a key feature of the main work area. Also, it could function as a partition between the family room and kitchen. Including an island allows for a reworking of the traditional work triumvirate of the sink, cooktop and refrigerator. This is because it is a perfect place to reposition either the main sink or the cooktop, or to fit an additional sink as the centrepiece of an extra work triumvirate. If the cooktop is going to be positioned on the island, and you are using a wall oven somewhere else, consider pull out drawers or trays beneath the cooktop to hold pans and pots. If the island is going to be an additional work station, featuring a prep sink to clean vegetables etc., it is wise to include a pull-out waste bin in the cabinet beneath.
Make sure that you do all the appropriate technical planning for positioning the sink or cooktop in the middle of the room. With the sink, you will require drain and supply lines. With the cooktop, you will require a ventilation system. This could be either a downdraft model, or an overhead unit. Both the downdraft unit and plumbing will need to pass through the ground. That’s OK, if you have crawl or basement space beneath, however it could be problematic if your kitchen is built on a slab.
Assuming your island separates the family room and kitchen, it could be a multi-purpose fixture that displays a different side to each room. Glass fronted, shallow doors could be used for display space, whereas the kitchen side could use regular, depth base cabinets. The generous worktop is perfect for staging buffets. Finally, remember that adequate lighting is crucial. Without this, your island will lack much of its functionality.
You’ve decided it’s time to redecorate your home, how exciting! However, you aren’t sure what direction to go with, what colors, what theme?
Take a look at going with nature. Use the natural colors of the outdoors, perhaps take a look at your favorite season. If you favor summer, think bright colors, with a lot of yellow and white, with trees in bloom and green grass or visualize butterflies and tiger lilies and whatever the flower of the season is for your area.
If you are the winter weather person, there are many elements of nature you can work with such as dead tree branches and limbs. From creating frames for pictures to decorating the frames of mirrors, you will be amazed at what you can find to do with branches and limbs alone.
As you think about the walls, think of the mountains with the purest of snow color along with the greens of blue spruces and cedars. The ever-green trees hue will give the room pop, and bring the winter nature inside your home.
With everyone being conscious of the environment these days, making your home one with nature is a wonderful direction to go in with your decorating.
Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year no matter which part of the world you live in. The leaves are changing from greens to browns, oranges and yellows, intermixed with the evergreen trees and the grass that is still green. These shades and the clear bright sky blues can give you an array of colors to work into your home’s interior.
Imagine sky blue chairs and a grass green sofa and perhaps some bright red or yellow throw pillows to represent the bees and birds.
Animal prints are popular and so are fabrics depicting all types of animals. From tigers to zebras and even cheetahs, you can mix and match them all.
Go bold with a zebra print sofa and throw pillows that are elephant colored. No matter if you have carpeted floors or wooden floors, placing animal print throws throughout your home give it fashion, flair and comfort as well.
There are many websites that can help provide designs and ideas. You can always consult with an interior designer as well. They are a font of ideas and can often save you money in the long-term.
Give them an idea of what you are looking to achieve and let them bring you designs, concepts and suggestions. You can always go purely with what they suggest, or add your own personal touch and mix it together.
Nature is a bountiful source of inspiration for the decoration project with the endless changing hues reflected in every season. If you need some imaginative ideas, take a walk in the forest or visit the seaside. Colors and textures abound in nature and they are just waiting there to be noticed and used by you!
The office cafeteria is one of the most significant parts of any workplace. It serves as an informal meeting place for all colleagues to eat, unwind and socialise. It offers employees an atmosphere to relax amidst the work pressure that surrounds them all day. Such being the motive, the interior design of the office pantry should be designed with consideration towards comfort, relaxation and space utility. Some key tips for an effective and functional office pantry design include:
As the workstation area is designed with a colour that enhances concentration, the cafeteria should be designed with colours that are refreshing and warm. Adding vibrant colours such as red, purple, green or orange on the walls, food counter or furniture can be very rejuvenating and refreshing after long monotonous and tiring work schedules. Vibrant colours also help in setting the right ambience whilst adding to the energy levels of the employees for the remaining shift after their short breaks. Glossy and shiny colours enhance the overall look of the cafeteria.
Every employee uses the cafeteria for occasional tea breaks as well as for having lunch. Since the cafeteria is a relaxing area where employees congregate together, the interior design of the cafeteria should accommodate the maximum number of people simultaneously without looking congested. The table and chairs should be judiciously selected on the basis of the space available. There should also be enough space for the free movement of employees within the canteen without any obstruction from furniture or other essential appliances.
The flooring of the cafeteria should serve two purposes: help set the correct atmosphere and also have convenient usability. Ceramic tile flooring, vinyl flooring and concrete flooring are some of the popular flooring materials used for office cafeterias. Emphasis should be given to the flooring type that is easy to maintain, seems aesthetic and is also slip-resistant.
Lighting is one of the essential factors whilst designing a cafeteria. The right type of lighting will ensure a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere in the office pantry.. Flush mount lighting, recessed light fixtures, pendant lighting and global type lighting are some of the most popular lighting options that are stylish and affordable whilst at the same time provide ample lighting in the cafeteria.
The cafeteria should be well-furnished to make a high-impact impression. Durability and quality are the prime factors that should be considered when selecting the furniture including tables, chairs and cabinets. However, care should also be taken to see that the furniture doesn’t clutter the space and affect the movement of the employees.
Going a step further in creating a great cafeteria design, the office pantry should be decorated with some motivational posters, inspiring photographs, beautiful wall paintings or some other art form. This not only enhances the office decor but also refreshes the mind.
Few details can enhance a foyer, dining room or office more than adding wainscoting, but you don’t know where to start. While there are more complicated ways to build wainscoting panels, we will discuss the simple way to get professional results without the need of an elaborate workshop. Let’s discuss the types of panels you could build. Starting with the most difficult to the simplest, you could build raised panels, flat panels, beadboard panels, or picture frame panels.
Though the raised panels could be cut with a table saw, it is not the preferred piece of equipment and requires gluing and clamping several boards together, which always has the concern for warping using large panels. Picture framing is simply the assembly of 4 pieces of molding of equal lengths and heights across a given wall or set of walls. This method is applied between the chair rail and base board with equal spacing on all sides of each frame. The methods we will be discussing in detail are the flat panels and beadboard styles.
- As with any home improvement project, we should discuss the tools needed to complete the project. You will need a table saw, miter saw, finish nail gun, belt sander, orbital sander, and safety glasses.
- Take off any outlet covers, quarter round, and existing baseboards. Be careful to save the existing baseboards and quarter round.
- The layout plan is crucial to a smooth job. First, you need to determine if any electrical outlets could possibly interfere with the layout. A little pre-planning will help you avoid an outlet falling half-way in or out of a panel.
- The anatomy of a wainscoting panel consist of; a backband, top and bottom rail, vertical styles, style and rail molding, panels, baseboards, and cap. (before installing each piece, add glue to each joint and the back each piece)
- The backband should be the first element installed and it is used to provide a thicker edge around the doors and windows for the wainscoting panels to join into. This can be purchased at place which specializes in millwork or moldings. It is a piece of trim approximately 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ with one edge shaped. It installs on the edge against the wall, around the perimeter of any door or window casings.
- The overall height of wainscoting is generally around 36″ from the floor, depending on your preference, this could differ 6″ either way. A “mission” style wainscoting is around 54″. Either way, establish your height and level a line across the wall/s you intend to apply wainscoting.
- You need to determine the rough width you would like each panel to be either for a given wall or room. Either, you can make all the panels the same width for a given wall or you can make all panels the same width for a given room. If you choose the latter, you will usually end up one panel next to a corner or doorway smaller than the others. I suggest you treat each wall separately and make the panels the same size for a given wall, but within a few inches of the panels on the adjacent walls. While it is nice to have all panels in a given room the same size, the most crucial element to a professional job is the same margin between all sides of each panel, corner, moldings or doorway.
- Your margins are determined by the widths of the vertical styles and the top and bottom rails. For the top rail and vertical styles, I recommend using 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ lumber. The width of the bottom rail depends on the width of the base board trim. If using a 3 1/4″ baseboard, I will use a 3/4″ x 6 3/4″ bottom rail, so it will give me a 3 1/2″ margin after the baseboard is installed.
- Cut and install the top and bottom rails an equal distance apart. Install the top rail 3/4″ below the horizontal level line you established as top of the wainscoting. When installing the bottom rail, make sure it is installed at equal distances apart from the top rail. Any gaps between the bottom rail and the floor will be covered by the baseboard and quarter round.
- Next take an overall measurement of each wall to a corner or doorway. Subtract the number of vertical styles between each panel, as well as the styles used at each corner or doorway, from the overall measurement. I have found a 36″ panel width is a good place to start, so take the overall width and divide by 36″. If you end up with 3.68″, for example, which means you can either use 3 or 4 panels. Then divide the overall measurement by 3 or 4. This calculation will give the width of each panel.
- Install the vertical styles in each corner and next to each doorway. Then lay out the panels, remembering to allow for the width of the vertical styles used between each panel. I suggest you layout the entire room before installing the first individual panel or style used between each panel, in order to see if you have any interference or spacing issues. If all is well, install the remaining vertical styles. Now you have the frame for the wainscoting, the rest is easy.
- Measure, cut and install the plywood or beadboard for each opening. (Glue the back of each panel or vertical style which does not have a stud to nail to.)
- Then use a molding, like a “base cap”, to install around the inside perimeter of each opening, while mitering the corners.
- Cut and install the baseboard and wainscoting cap. The cap is similar in size and shape to the backbanding and is nailed to the top of the wainscoting as a ledge. You can also install some cove molding under the cap to give some stability.
- Sand the surface areas, where the rail and styles join, flush and smooth. Fill and caulk, as needed, and then paint.