A touch of ‘glass’
Uniqueness is a tricky quality to create, but it is what we aspire to have in our homes: that feeling of a truly individual space that reflects our interests and taste. Pinterest boards and stunning interiors on Houzz.co.uk have made us a little spoilt for choice. One material that has infinite possibilities and can be used to create architecturally breathtaking spaces, sculptural and functional elements and also stunning interior features is glass. Architects have been using glass to create ground breaking buildings since Joseph Paxton designed Crystal Palace for the great exhibition of 1851.
Traditional stained glass processes can be used with a modern twist to create furniture pieces such as this beautiful screen or entrance ways / feature walls.
Image from Pinterest.com
Glass can be used to architecturally contrast the old and the new to visually emphasise the difference. It is also very useful where separation is required but the view and space do not need to be contained. This doorway increases light throughout the space, and creates a bold contemporary feel whilst making what could otherwise be a messy looking wall become the star feature that sets the whole tone for this unique space.
This image is from bloodandchampagne.com
A bespoke glass fronted walk in fridge is a unique piece. It adds an element of luxury to the most mundane of appliances.
A large picture window (this one from Robert Dye) is an innovative interpretation of the typical dormer loft extension. It allows more light into the room, and creates an architectural feature for the home.
Architectural glazing now comes with all sorts of useful characteristics. Heated glasss and glass radiators can be used to provide an invisible or elegant heat source.
Solar controlled glass such as Pilkington Sun Cool allows light in but reflects heat out. Essential when designing contemporary glass extensions.
Self cleaning glass has a surface that repels dirt and allows the rain to wash it away. Great for rooflights and glass extensions.
Optiwhite is extra clear glass that allows more light transmission than standard glass so will bring more natural light into your interior.
Also switchable smart glass is great for entrance halls and bathrooms: as at the touch of a switch a clear glass wall becomes opaque and your stunning view out by day can turn into an intimate space at night.
Picture found on Pinterest.com
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10 Shades of Summer
The world of fashion and ‘trend’ unveiled the new ‘Spring / Summer 2015’ colour palette and where the catwalk leads the world of Interiors follows, all be it at a slightly more relaxed pace. Pantone has released the ten key colours for Spring / Summer 2015 which are Aquamarine, Scuba Blue, Lucite Green, Classic Blue, Toasted Almond, Strawberry Ice, Tangerine, Marsala and Glacier Grey.
The colours are fairly fresh and vibrant but include options to suite everyone’s style. In the palette there are quite a few blues which work really well to create an Oriental or Mediterranean look. ‘Aquamarine’ makes a great feature colour if paired with a white background and an accent of ‘Classic Blue’ to give the room more depth and sophistication.
For a really funky feel in a play room or kids bedroom choose ‘Scuba Blue’ which is a really vibrant turquoise. It contrasts brilliantly with ‘Tangerine’ and creates a ‘wow’ room without conforming to the stereotypical primary colours that are so often used for these rooms. Again white ceilings and woodwork can break up the colour a little if it seems a touch overpowering.
In the new palette the colour that the Interior Design world has focused on the most is ‘Marsala’. It doesn’t feel like such a new creation as we have been specifying Farrow and Ball Brinjal, Radicchio and Mahagony for some time, all of which have a similar tone. Yet ‘Marsala’ paired with ‘Toasted Almond’ does allow you to create an earthy feel which can be enlivened with a touch of ’Tangerine’ for a more exotic look.
‘Strawberry Ice’ isn’t everyone’s idea of an easy or likeable interiors colour but for the more adventurous of us it works brilliantly if toned down with ‘Glacier Grey’ as an accent. Again a white backdrop can help if it is all feeling a bit candy shop.
‘Lucite Green’ and ‘Custard’ are great colours to use if you want to turn some tired old furniture pieces in the kitchen or garden from shabby to chic. They are also great colours to use for a play house, a shed or a garden room in order to add a little colour to the outdoors whilst we wait for the real Spring and Summer blooms to emerge.
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Sustainable Fun Outdoor Spaces
As the weather hot’s up for summer my family have just re-discovered our garden and I have realised it could use a little tlc.
Here are a few ways to jazz up even the smallest outdoor space that are fun and sustainable or recycled.
Home grown & water harvesting:
If you are tight on space the best way to grow is upwards. Pick your sunniest wall and purchase a number of ‘wally one’ wall planters, then decide what you most fancy growing. Fresh herbs are always great to have on hand and another of my favourites is rocket. It is so expensive at the shops, grows really easily and tastes much spicier when picked and eaten straight away.
These old steel pipes create a really cool border to raised vegetable beds or any planted border and the really beauty is that they age and transform along with the garden.
Garantia have designed a really good looking rainwater harvester if you have the space. You have a ready supply of water for the garden and they are a whole lot better looking than most of the water butts you can buy.
Design features and accessorising:
These floating LED ball lights from smartandgreen are self-charging and add a stunning contemporary look to a water feature. And who could resist the allure of this pink glow as the sun sets!
Another really useful and age old ‘optical trick’ is to use mirrors in your garden room. Ideally use acrylic mirror as it will not tarnish in the rain, but you can create a lengthening effect that really amplifies the feeling of space and brings extra light into a dark corner.
Cue & Co of London
Tall planters with dense foliage and sharp tiling create a contemporary look that is both decorative and practical as an updated hedgerow/screen, especially effective in small gardens or roof top spaces with some special hidden furniture for a wonderfully private escape.
A simple al-fresco shower can be built using solar heated rainwater for sustainable seasonal bathing. This may seem a little optimistic in our climate but is a great way to hose down the kids after a time in the paddling pool, playing on the climbing frame or helping with the gardening!
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