Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Black kitchen

Though black absorbs light, when used with bright colours it makes them even brighter to our eyes. In this kitchen creates a sophisticated mood where the graphic vibe stands out trough the wall's tiles patterns and the kitchen clutter on the bookcase on the the right.
I do have a thing for black lately but in small spaces only works in accessories because it occupies to much visual space.
In this second photo we have an extension of the house. The amazing pinkish dinner table goes extremely well with the Eames black chairs! This extra room may be too strong for the ones who love pastels, mas it is certainly interesting and once again the graphic vibe is highlighted by the floor stripes.

Would you have all this black in your house?

Images via Bolig Magasinet

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

magazine covers

I've been thinking that because of the same  reason why women get insecure when looking at beauty magazine covers, we all get insecure and anxious about our houses when flipping trough interior design and decoration magazines. It's like "everybody" knows how to do it and sometimes it's not about money and buying expensive things, it's the whole aura of those houses, it's all so perfect and pretty, but how? Well I believe it's styling, there's no photoshop (sometimes in colours though) but pieces are moved, there's wine in glasses, fresh flowers and bowl of delicious biscuits. I mean, we drool for things that are not part of the house or decoration.
Some websites are getting famous for showing photos of more normal, cluttered houses but I guess there's a lot of staged scenarios in there too.
Take, where you can see houses of creative people.

Monday, 25 July 2011

5 interior design advices - 1. before planning

Hello bloggers, non bloggers and curious beings about interior design!:)

I'm doing an interior design project for a friend/company (more info later) and since this is my first real project with a budget, a deadline and concept I've learned a few things that can be interesting for you. It's not that I was not aware of them but working on a project made me more concious about the importance of a few things along the preparation for the planning phase.

1. Measure until there isn't one inch left
Sometimes you may feel that "this area doesn't matter because I won't do anything here" but you don't know that for sure at that phase. Sometimes new ideas can transform your initial concept and then, that little niche could give you an unexpected solution. And be rigorous, 'cause you don't want to have a cabinet that doesn't fit a place because of half an inch.
2. Ask questions about the place you will be designing
You need to know more than what your client tells you. There's a lot of information important to you that your client won't share because he doesn't know it is important for your work and for accomplishing his interior design goals. No question is ridiculous, just ask it.

3. Be prepared
Have a measure tape, a calculator, a camera, a notebook and a list of typical aspects you should look at a room. The more prepared you are, the more you can control. In this case, information leeds to organization.

4. Be organized
One of the problems about dealing with many different stores, objects, prices, measures, design possibilities, etc., is that it can be easy to get lost in the middle of so much information. The key to avoid this is organization. Have your catalogues in place, research and store everything properly. Every time a new idea pops up just write it down; don't trust your memory alone.

5. Photograph, photograph, photograph
Images of the room you're designing in many different angles can clarify a doubt of something you didn't notice while at the room. Maybe you'll lose some time choosing from the many images you got but it is essential to have many photos because you have a tendency to forget little details.

photo from vtwonen

Hope you like the list:)
More to come later on this subject***

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Designers career path

"Young designers should understand a career path in interior design rarely plays in a straight line."

Gioi Tran, Applegate Tran Interiors

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Hello dear readers:)

It's been a long time since last post and I'm sorry for that. But right now I don't find the motivation and the time needed to post at the rhythm I wanted. Also, I tried a new way of collecting inspiring images that seems to work better than blogspot at this moment. At ❤ interiors porn, my tumblr page you can find images of interiors I love, quotes and thoughts. I'm still testing to see how practical it is to use, but so far so good.
The thing is, I do research for images and info about interior design, but to write about it demands another type of approach I can't have at this moment.

This is not a goodbye, it's more like cya later:)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Helsinki 35m2 apartment

Small and beautiful (and organized). This is so hard to achieve. I should know because my attic has about the same size but let me tell that the slope ceileings don't help:P
The images of this post (taken by the photographer Maarit Hohteri) are from Design*Sponge and show a 35m2 apartment from Helsinki. It belongs to a grahic designer, Lotta Nieminen. 

One of the interesting things about this Design*Sponge's post is that the owner of the apartment shares information about the story of the furniture that are present in the photos. Knowing this is a real home also adds a human touch that some of the photos of houses thar appear in magazines don't have. I find that really charming.
 About this small bookshelf: "I saw the bookshelf in the window of a thrift store one morning on my way to work. I bought it and dragged it home with the help of a co-worker during lunch break."
 "I’m addicted to magazines, and am notorious for storing big cardboard boxes full of old issues at the attic – throwing them away has seemed impossible.  The ladder used to serve to climb in the bunk bed we shared with my little sister when we were little. Nowadays it serves as a rack for belts and gloves. The wooden archive boxes used to be my grandfather’s, who worked many years as a personnel manager."
"This old medicine cabinet is from my grandparent’s cottage near Turku, a city on the northwest coast of Finland. I use it as a nightstand. The thing that made me fall in love with this apartment was the amazing sunlight pouring in through the windows."
"The flat is small, so a big mirror adds an impression of extra space to the 375 square feet. I had been looking for a simple bedspread for ages, but only seemed to find very decorative or colourful ones. During a holiday in Portugal, I finally got my hands on this simple black and white one. It’s from Area, an interior decoration shop in Lisbon." Yeah she was already in Portugal and Area for the ones who don't know used to be an Habitat store.
"I got this wooden cupboard from a friend, who was cutting her impressive collection of thrifted furniture finds. Instead of repainting it, I added a layer of varnish to preserve the worn feel. I use it to store books and display my favourite shoes."
I'm in love with this cabinet❤ "The cabinet is on loan from a friend who couldn’t fit it in her new apartment. It’s very old and the back is almost split, so can’t be nailed to the wall like it was built to: it’s on the floor mainly for safety reasons."
"I work from home a lot, and have turned this corner into my office. A pretty workspace keeps me inspired. The framed poster is an ad for the Helsinki Comic Festival, designed by Jenni Rope. I snatched it from a bar’s bulletin board a couple of years ago."

How lovely is this house for a single person?:)

More images here and full text here.

Monday, 18 July 2011

The story of the co-founder of Apartment Therapy

Knowing successful paths in the creative industry is most of the times truly inspiring. Not everybody knows what to do professionally when it's time to choose, and some of them discover their vocations by accident after doing many different things. I believe that sharing the different ways that lead people to success is important for the ones like me and maybe you, not sure of how thinks will work out. There's a big amount of luck, but an even bigger portion that depends on hard-work.

The video I bring today is from the Creative Mornings, an initiative from swissmiss, where creative people are invited as speakers to share what they do, how they did get there and their creative process.

In this video the speaker is Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, the co-founder of the famous Apartment Therapy website. This is an interesting video not only because he explains how the website grew, but also because of his path and what he believes which has a lot to do with my own convictions about interior design. He was a Waldorf teacher and his students houses were his inspiration to help people to have better houses because he found that the students with the most comfortable and inviting houses were better students. This was the start of his new career.

2010/03 Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

How interesting was this to you?

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Interior design & money

How expensive is in fact interior design? This is a question that comes with the idea that "this is just too expensive and normal people can't afford it". There's some truth in this especially if as a reference you have interior design magazines and expensive brands. And also if you hear "expensive" when someone says "design".
First you need to know that magazines as a rule show the best of the best. Which, normally "no one" can afford. But think about paintings. Art can be really expensive, but... if you can't have a Kandisnky maybe you can buy a good quality print of one of his paintings. I'll give more thought on this ahead.
 Now, design and what people relate to it is a subject that can be confusing. The fork you use to eat has design. It has a shape that's based by its function. And there are many brands and designs of forks. The difference between forks can be found in the materials, quality inox lasts a life and or the shape, some are thinner others heavier. Other examples: real wood shelves won't curve with the weight of books so easily, kitchen cabinets lacquered with a good washable material will last longer and maintain the original look and even the stone on the kitchen balcony not only lasts a life but also makes working in the kitchen an easier job. These are simple examples of how the cost means better quality and sometimes a more practical use of the space or an easy way to perform a task. But the price you pay includes the cost of creativity and work put into the studying of the product design, the materials and the exclusivity of the product. Here you have to think about the value you give to a piece of furniture or an object. For example, if a brand sells a bed for €50.000 that's because they know someone will pay that amount of money. It can be questionable, yes, but that's how business works. And if it is an important brand/name they will make you pay that price of the label even if the consumer price is 500% above the cost of making the product. I'm not saying that what they sell does not have quality, because it probably has, but I would never buy a pillow for €500 like the one I saw in a shop I worked. Everybody wants to be rich and designers are not an exception and if they set the price high they want you to perceive them as exclusive.
Interior designers also tend to pass the image that their services are exclusive and expensive because they have clients that pay for it. They set the value of their services and clients just go with it. Some designers are really great and just a day with them can be motivating. And if there's lots people who want to hire them, their hour will value even more and cost more for the clients. This is the rule. 
In my opinion they don’t want you to know that a big part of their job can be done by you. It’s like when someone just complicates a subject so you will feel totally ignorant and almost afraid to ask anything about it. Of course interior design has something to do with taste, but I believe there’s a lot of information these days and if you’re interested you don’t have to hire an interior designer to do everything. A professional can guide you and help you with his experience and solutions. For me, this is the future of interior design for the common, not rich people. 
But there are cheaper interior design services (normally done by younger professionals) and I find more and more services adapted to the needs of clients. The financial crisis around the world also helps because there are fewer clients and professionals need to open up for new targets. But interior design is so associated with elitism that it can be hard to change mentalities and opinions.
 “But if I don’t have enough money what can I buy?” Well, everybody needs some basic stuff: bed, sofa, towels, dishes, bookshelves... There's a big list I know. But these are the items you find whatever the house you go. But what if you plan a little and make some choices not just based on the price? If you can't, you can't, but sometimes is just a matter of putting some thought into it and if price limits you that much maybe you could wait and sleep just on the mattress for a few more months and buy the bed you really want. It’s about choosing and not content yourself with anything. One golden rule is just to buy things you love. If you want to have a home, a place where you feel good and comfortable, you want it to have stuff that not only represents you and that tells a story about you but also that makes you feel good. I know lots of people who can’t change the houses they live in (living with parents, rented rooms) and some of them do have the perception of how bad that furniture, patterns, wall colours makes them feel. Interior design is not supposed to be only pretty (that’s decoration in my opinion). It should help you to live your life better inside your house and this can be done with choosing wall colours, defining the layout of the furniture around the place, planning a kitchen with functional storage and easy to clean where tasks are a pleasure… Giving you solutions is the key.
Less is better. Or as the designer Mies Van Der Rohe said once, “Less is more”. Like I said before, why buy the cheapest, ugly bed if sleeping on the mattress a few months will give you the one you really want? Now, do this to everything you need, if you can. Sometimes it seems to me that people are in a hurry to have everything solved and don’t take the time to enjoy the process. Interior design and decorating is a process that some people speed up by paying professionals to do it for them and others just by buying the first thing they see without too much consideration.
It’s not easy to wait for the best time (£€$) and you’ll need to compromise sometimes. And I should say “most of the time”. Perfect houses are boring. No one should want to live in a house that never changes, because when the house does change you’re changing too. Your tastes and your needs are in constant evolution and so should be your house. But if you have planned like I said before, if you change, what happens? I say that you can make miracles with what you have if the “before choices” were good and with what you can afford to buy at the time. But this has to be something that matters to you so you’ll make the effort. You can always move furniture around your house and find new solutions. Paint furniture and just change the fabrics. Most of the times these small steps can be done without spending too much money. And going back to the Kandinsky example I gave in the begging, there are big brands that sell reproductions and copies of original pieces of design. And why not buying these? People tend to think that IKEA just sells bookshelves that will brake 6 months later, but that’s not true, you have quality furniture but you also have to pay a little more. And today there are many shops and internet to choose from which helps a lot.
Personally I hate those houses made by interior designers without much participation of the owners. This normally happens when there’s lots of money involved. It can result intro pretty houses, but they seem a bit fake to me to be honest. I do believe that people should transform apartments and houses into homes and you can just do that by living there and understanding the way you live the space and the needs you have.

The answer to the question: Interior Design can be really expensive, but there are options that will make it affordable. But like everything else some people prefer to spend money on shoes, others on books, concerts, cars, you name it. It’s a matter of choice because normally you can’t have it all. But if you really like interior design and understand that choosing wisely and compromise go together when there’s not a lot to spend I guess you’re on the right direction.
The most important rule: have fun with it:)

Any thoughts about this?

All images are from Sköna Hem and most of them have interesting and not pricey interior design solutions.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Perfect desk

Some images inspire you and in terms of how a desk should be, this is what I call near perfection: there's a poster with a great message, an inspiration board, magazines, black on the desk's top, books and colourful clutter. I wish I could have those windows.

What's the perfect desk for you?
Image via poppytalk

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Bohemian traces

These images are from airspace, a company that has a collection of available houses for the film and photographic industries. There are many houses to see and I recommend a visit to their website.  
This house in particular has a bohemian and eclectic vibe given by the subtle colours and interesting architecture. For me, using the white as a base is not just safe, but it helps a room to breath and everything on the white just pops up.
 Images from airspace