Made from wool, synthetic fibres, or a mixture of the two, carpet is available in a vast range of thicknesses, patterns, colours, textures, and cost. Its durability as a floor covering depends on quality and the wear it is subjected to. Fibre matting Made from plant fibres, matting is easy to lay, either as a wall-to- wall covering or as loose mats. It is available in a range of patterns and shades from cream through green to brown, it does not show stains, and it is fairly easy to clean. It can be an inexpensive flooring option, although some styles are costly . Vinyl Vinyl is an excellent choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and utility areas.
Available in a wide range of colours and patterns – usually textured – this durable material is waterproof, oil and fat resistant, and often cushioned for sound and heat insulation, although it will burn or scratch. It is sold as tiles, which are easy to lay, and in sheet form, which is more tricky, and ranges in flexibility from soft and rubbery to rigid and stiff. Prices vary from economical to expensive depending on the amount of PVC polyvinyl chloride) present; the more it contains more expensive the vinyl.
It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, since the wrong type of cleaner can damage the tiles. Most adhesive warm, soapy water and rinsing. Warm and practical, floor-grade cork is a reasonably priced option for kitchens and bathrooms. Usually sold as tiles, it is sometimes available in sheet form, which cuts down on laying time. Unless it is pre- sealed cork must be cleaned and sealed with at least three coats of floor grade polyurethane lacquer or varnish, after which it is durable and easy to clean.
It only takes a few minutes for a fire to start. Never stand a candle in a position where any material, such as curtaining, may come into contact with the flame. An open window could cause a light curtaining material to billow into the room and touch a badly positioned candle. When fixing a candle into any type of candle holder, make sure that it is well secured and cannot topple over. Living areas he living and dining areas of the home are often used for many different purposes. A variety of occasions take place in living areas, ranging from relaxing, talking, reading, sewing, studying, hobbies, and watching television, to daily meals, parties and entertaining. To meet these many and varied activities, you need an effective and extremely adaptable lighting scheme.
Right For a dining or breakfast room table, you of tell urant a good level of illumination directly over the table itself. The ideal solution is all adjustab!e ceiling-mounted pendent light that call be moved up or doion and fixed at the perfect height. Below To show off a collection of ornaments to best advantage, concealed, unobtrusiue lights are the answer. Ceiling pendents Although often not producing the most attractive of lighting effects, ceiling- mounted pendent lights do provide useful general lighting in a living or dining room. The main drawback with pendents is that they rarely light a room evenly, so there will inevitably be pockets of gloomy shadow, especially in the room corners. If mounted over a dining table, however, retractable pendent fittings can be extremely useful, creating a bright highlight just where it is needed most.
You do need to be careful, though, that the light is not low enough to dazzle the eyes of the diners. For a long dining room table, you may need more than one pendant light to light the eating area evenly. Spotlights Individual spots can be wall mounted or fixed on or recessed into the ceiling. This form of lighting produces highly directional illumination, ideal for reading or sewing, or as hobby light, for example.
• Wood Bare wooden floors are beautiful in their own right. Stripped, carefully stained, or coloured if desired, sealed, and decorated with a rug or mat, they can look stunning. If you are not fortunate enough to have an old floor suitable for such treatment, you can buy wood strips or parquet tiles to layover your existing one. They are not difficult to put down and can be very reasonably priced. Carpet Carpet is perhaps the most common floor covering in homes. It is comfortable to walk over and sit on, and can transform any interior instantly.
Varying lighting intensities Think carefully about the lighting intensity of different parts of halls and stairs. In an entrance hallway, for example, you will probably want relatively high light levels since this is where you congregate, at least, Dimmer switches One easy way of increasing the range of lighting effects you can create is by replacing the existing on/off switches with dimmer control switches. Although designs differ a little between manufacturers, they all work in much the same way by controlling the amount of voltage reaching the lamps, and hence varying their light output. One-gang dimmers are the most common type, but two-gang versions are also available. All are suitable for two-way switching, and instal one in place of an existing switch simply involves switching off the lighting circuit, then disconnecting the existing switch cable and reconnecting it to the dimmer.
If you are not sure which type to choose, check with the retailer that it will be suitable for the combined wattage of the lights it is to control. briefly, when people enter or leave your home. You may also not want too marked difference in lighting intensity between, say, the living or family room, which tends to be brightly lit, and the adjacent hall, so that you r eyes don’t have trouble adjusting In the upstairs hall, however, or in the area of hall in a single-storey home or apartmen adjacent to the bedrooms, it is a good idea to have a reduced level of illumination.
Thi helps create a mood, and also avoids an abrupt change in light level between the bedrooms, which tend to be softly lit, and the adjacent area of hall. You may also want to differentiate area by using lights with different colour effects For example, in an entrance hall you may want a bluer lighting effect – one that closely resembles the qualities of daylight than that used near the bedrooms, which could be warmer orange in quality to creat a more intimate atmosphere. Candle safety You need to exercise some basic safety precautions when using candles. For a start, never leave lit candles unattended in an empty room.
- I and II stairs
- Lighting in the entrance or hall is important because it sets the scene for the style and mood you wish to convey; it reflects the atmosphere you wish to create and ensures the en- trance to your home is safe and well illuminated. Although the hall should extend a welcome to visitors, you can, if you wish, treat it in a more dramatic way than the other rooms in your home – almost like a stage set, into which you invite your guests to enter with a feeling of anticipation.
Above if your hall or stairway is used to display paintings or other pieces of art, then the lighting needs to take this into account. Bright levels o] indirect, full-spectrum lighting in this picture- festooned stairway ensure that glare from the glass frames is minimal and colours accurate, without in any way compromising on safety. Right, A good level of general illumination is useful in the hallway near the frant door to your home, but this should not be dazzlingly bright. Pockets of brighter lighting to highlight specific areas can then be created with table lamps. links and continuity Halls, and indeed stairs, represent the links between different rooms and areas of your home. In order to create a continuity of style you may, therefore, wish to carry your lighting theme through from one room into the hall or stairway.
Many ranges of light fittings now available offer the choice of wall- or ceiling-mounted uplights and downlights, as well as freestanding lights, all with the same cosmetic appearance. In this way, you can take continuity of appearance into account while introducing wide-ranging lighting effects, each tailored to the requirements of each individual area. Stairs are often very badly lit, relying entirely on the overspill of light from hallways or landing areas. From a safety. point of view, stairs need to be adequately lit. The light needs to be bright enough for people to move around without fear of tripping or falling. Stairs can be made safer by installing strong directional light that draws attention to the vertical risers and horizontal stair treads. Avoid glaring landing lights and use wall fittings to provide an additional source of light.
Add ribbons or cord to tie back the canopy if you wish. Materials of different weights, weaves and colours produce very different effects, so experiment before settling on a particular fabric. Be generous with the amount of material you use as a feeling of fullness adds to the effect.
Planning a scheme
When you are choosing a colour scheme for any room in your home, the first thing to take into account is how that room will be used and, thus, the type of lighting you will need. Light is very important in a room because it affects colours and makes them seem lighter or darker. Natural light from windows will change the appearance of colours at different times of the day – enlivening them in the morning sun and gradually toning them down as the day progresses.
Artificial lights also affect the colours in a room, making them look lighter or darker. They can also play tricks with colours, sometimes causing dramatic changes at, literally, the flick of a switch. Above right The bold pattern and coloration of this pair of table lamps emphasizes the enclosed, intimate atmosphere of this living room. Below The shape of this room dell/a lids a variety of lighting types to produce all euen scheme ouerall. Time of day How you incorporate lighting into your room scheme will probably depend on when and how that area is most used. A bedroom, for example, is usually the eas- iest room to plan, since it will be used in artificial light for the greater part of the year.
A dining room is also reasonably straightforward. This room is most often used for evening meals, in which case it is the evening light that you need to consider when planning a scheme. Living room lighting In the majority of homes, the most difficult room of all to create a lighting scheme for will be the main living room. This is because the living room will be in use for a number of hours during the day time, as well as at night. Much will also depend on whether the room has a bright or a gloomy aspect. If it is a sunny room, you can choose cool blues and greens and rely on warm, artificial lighting in the evening.
There is no better way to be sure that these items are in the fabrics, colours, patterns and styles tha t reflect your personal taste than by making them yourself. Bedroom furnishings can be as simple or as adventurous as you want. You can choose silk for elegance, a floral cotton for a country-style look, or white chintz for softness and diffused light. If your bedroom doubles up as a study or sitting room during the day, you can camouflage the bed with a close-fitting, functiona I cover. Top right A bedroom with an atmosphere of rich elegance which comes from the bed drapes, the colours and patterns as well as the generous amount of furnishing fabric. Above Simple lines in bold strips using primary colours and tones are extremely effective on these twin beds.
Left A child’s bed is draped with soft voile canopy which is contrasted with a bolder coloured bed linen. Bedspreads can be made in two basic styles-throw-over or fitted. Either style can be floor length and edged with pleats, fringes or braiding. Alternatively, it can be made to come half way down the sides of the bed over a contrasting balance. You can use almost any type of fabric, as long as it is crease-resistant and has enough body to hang well. Throw-over bedspreads are the easiest type to make, consisting simply of a plain rectangle of fabric that covers the bed from head to foot and hangs down the sides to the desired length. You can make the corners square or curved, and you can leave the hem plain or trim it with edging in contrasting fabric.
A fitted bedspread is made from five pieces: a top panel and a skirt consisting of four side panels of fabric.One of the long side panels is made in two pieces with a flap opening so the cover is easy to put on the bed. Bed canopies It is a straightforward project to transform an ordinary bed into one that is unusual and mysterious with the addition of a fabric-covered canopy. You can make your own supports for the drapes with four lightweight, wooden curtain poles. Simply fix them to the ceiling above the head, sides and foot of the bed, making sure they overlap at the corners. Select lengths of soft, fine-woven material for the canopy cover. Loosely drape it around the poles, or make up the lengths into curtains with deep-cased heading through which the poles can be inserted.
Fabrics used in interior designing and decoration
The raw edge of the seam allowance of the main fabric. Place the second panel of main fabric right side down over the top with the raw edges aligning, and baste. Machine the four layers together along the seam line. Remove the basting. When you turn the fabric right side out the piping neatly edges the seam. You can neaten a raw edge with bias binding by hand or machine. Ready made bias binding has pre-folded edges and can be bought in at least two different widths and a wide range of colours.
Mark the bias line of the fabric and cut out strips according to the width you require. The most usual width is 3.75cm Join the strips by placing two strips together at right angles to each other with right sides facing. This will form a triangle. Pin and machine firmly across the width, leaving 0.75cm fYoin) seam allowance. Open flat and press.
Work out the length of piping required and join enough bias strips together to cover the cord. Place the binding strip right side down. o Position the piping cord in the middle and wrap the binding with wrong side facing to enclose the cord. Baste close to the cord. Machine stitch. Remove the basting stitches. Place the panel of the main fabric wrong side down and lay piping on top of it so that the raw edges of the binding face outward and align with Mitring Corners with the fabric wrong side up, turn it about quarter of an inch O. 75cm) along each edge and press. Fold along the hemlines.
Press and unfold the hems.
Fold the corner so the diagonal fold aligns with the straight fold Lines of the hem.
Trim off the surplus triangle of fabric, leaving the square inch f0.75 cm) seam allowance. e Turn in one hem along the hemline crease. Press and pin. Turn in the other hem along the hemline crease to form a neat corner. Pin and hem stitch. o Slipstitch along the diagonal corner to secure.
The bedroom is a personal haven for calm and relaxation. Whether you prefer to decorate it in a style that is romantic, exotic, elegant or flamboyant, the decor will include soft furnishings, bed linens, pillows, covers, drapes and perhaps even wall hangings or a bed canopy.
In Amsterdam, it’s basically one big citywide flea market. Going into your house is like going into a high-end garage sale, and you’ve got collections galore: lamps, movie posters, pottery, old radios, and silver spoons. When you walk into a thrift store, you get an adrenaline rush (and just a little high from sniffing the mothballs). You probably like to stay home and nest with all your finds, but you’re also a pretty fun and enthusiastic person to be around. And if it sounds like I know you all too well, it’s because I do: I, too, collect vintage wares. I’ve got a lot of stuff … but I also try hard to rein it in so that my house doesn’t feel like it’s bursting at the seams.
After all, sometimes “collector” is just a polite term for “pack rat.” So try to open up your home and give yourself more space. Pick the best of your old radios and arts and craft pottery; leave some empty wall space between retro posters. From experience, I can tell you that you’ll feel so much better about your place if you can actually see what you have. Concentrate your design efforts on creating rooms that are airy and well edited when it comes to showing off your finds. If you answered mostly c, your style is traditionalist. They just don’t make things like they used to-that thought probably pops into your mind pretty often.
For that reason, you tend to keep things the same. I’m willing to bet that you’ve got lots of family heir- looms in your home and those pieces that haven’t been handed down look like they could have been. You’re probably most comfortable with elements of style that are nice but not showy. Elements like a sofa covered in a subtle paisley fabric, a quality Oriental rug, or maybe a maple four-poster bed with a white chenille spread. There’s nothing wrong with being a traditionalist, and I’m with you on the fact that sometimes there’s nothing better than a classic. We should hang on to some things that have been around forever (like letter writing-I bet you still send letters through the mail).
That said, does it have to be steak and potatoes every night? If you keep your home too traditional, you risk it feeling boring and stale after a while. So consider spicing it up a bit. Maybe paint one wall in your house an offbeat tangerine and trade in your Oriental for a chunky sisal rug. Perhaps you could replace your chenille bedspread with an Indian print or some modern color-blocked bedding. Obviously, you’ll need to use a careful eye to blend the tradition- al with splashes of nontraditional, but that’s the only way to make your home seem like yours-not your parents’ or your grandparents’. Loosen up a little and look beyond the familiar to find a style that’s truly your own. If you answered mostly d, your style is ethnologist. Although this sound like you administer anesthesia, what it means is that you’re into different cultures: Technology is the comparison of cultures (so glad I have a dictionary on my computer). In other words, you like things kind of worldly. You probably rove to travel (or at least take armchair journeys through the Travel Channel) to out-of-the-way places where life is extremely different from your own. And your clothing probably reflects it.
You’re undoubtedly up on the latest in art, music, and design. You’re hip, you’re mod, and you know what’s going on. I’m an admirer of modern minimalism (not to mention the latest hip things). Keep in mind, though, that your home is more than a showcase for what’s new and cutting-edge; it’s also a place where you and your family and friends should be able to feel comfortable and relaxed. If everything is flawless, you may be miserable. I respect the fact that you always have a coaster handy for the person who wants to put a drink down on your one-of-a-kind industrial coffee table, but don’t be afraid to let your guard down a little. You need at least a few pieces of furniture that aren’t works of art but places to curl up or put your feet on after a long day. You want to live in a home not a museum.
Sit on your couch and wrap yourself up in that lumpy blanket your mother crocheted, maybe even put on the ugly plaid pajamas that Uncle Jerry bought you, and survey the landscape. Think about how you can make your home both a temple of minimalism and an inviting, restful place. You might try mixing in a few organic elements like plants or natural wood pieces, as well as a little color. Think about furnishing your home not only with what’s hot, but also with what gives you a warm feeling.
Make it personal and you’re on your way to creating a home that, while still chic, is a place where people want to hang out. If you answered mostly b, your style is maximalist. Okay, it’s not really a word- I made it up-but I think it describes perfectly the kind of person who just can’t get enough of, well, stuff. Your idea of heaven is probably Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, a day when everyone breaks out all their old things and sells them in the street.
You never know what ideas someone else is going to bring to the table. So I urge you to get help on your makeover, but in order to do that you’ve got to make people want to come over, and that’s where a makeover party comes in. The promise of music, food, drink, and a good time makes people forget that you’d also like them to do a little heavy lifting, hammering, and painting. To me, food and drink is important, but music is the key thing. Make sure you have a CD player or some other kind of sound system to keep everyone’s energy up. You can even create a makeover- inspired CD for the occasion, though if your friends are very literal (and unless you’re going for the Goth look) avoid adding songs like “Paint It Black” by the Rolling Stones.
And, hey, if you have a megaphone, absolutely pull it out! I can say from experience that making as much noise as possible gets people fired up to do a job well. If you don’t want to gather a whole group of friends, call on one or two and swap something for their help. Cook them a great meal, let them use your boat or car; help them make over their own homes the following weekend. Just repay them in some way so that you can really put them to work and not feel guilty about it. There’s also no reason you can’t take a page from Extreme interior Makeover: Home Edition’s book and get a group together to work on a project for someone who you know is in need of help. Maybe you have a sick friend or relative, or you know someone who has just gone through a crisis like divorce or the death of a family member. Create a surprise for that person by making over one or more of her rooms with or without her knowing; the pleasure she (or he) takes in the result will be one of the most fantastic rewards you’ve ever received.
And if you do it right, the project can be a blast. A few years ago I designed a mural for a bedroom belonging to a family in Colorado that had adopted several troubled foster kids destined for juvenile hall or prison. The mural was a very detailed rendering of a bandana-type pat- tern, in keeping with the fact that the house was on a ranch and the parents were horse whisperers. I had to project the pattern on the wall, pencil it in, then go back and paint each individual shape, some of which were only one to two inches long. Fortunately, a family of five that had been helping out with the whole makeover project as well as my friend Nancy, a muralist, ended up pitching in.
It took us nine hours, but it was such a good time. We listened to music and chowed down on pizza while watching this beautiful pattern take shape throughout the night. It was great fun and well worth the effort. Here’s another makeover party idea for you. If you’re low on funds for your makeover project but rich in stuff that you’d like to get rid of, have a Raffle for Renovation party. Invite a lot of people, offer music and drink, and sell tickets for a couple of bucks. Before my TV days, I threw one of these parties and unloaded a ton of things that had been piling up in my garage.
I threw in some bikes and an old car that didn’t run anymore. You can even throw in things that have no value like a bucket of bricks, just for the fun of it. By the end of the night you get rid of all that stuff you’d been collecting for years, and you also made a pretty good chunk of change that you can put toward your makeover project.