Simplicity is core to creating Scandinavian interiors. Focus on creating light; using natural materials and a muted colour palette along with de-cluttering to give your home a Scandinavian feel.
Scandinavian influences have been popular within Australian design for some time now and it doesn’t look like the fascination with this design style is going way anytime soon. Scandinavian design is a timeless style that features simplicity at its best, making it increasingly popular for our relaxed Australian lifestyle.
Originating in the 1930’s Scandinavian design showcases how simple design can be highly functional and improve the user’s day-to-day life. Scandinavian interiors feature minimalism, simplicity & durability, creating a confidence that the space will stand the test of time. This is evident in the designs of Scandinavian designers such as Hans J. Wagner, Poul Henningsen & Arne Jacobsen, whose designs are still relevant today.
Here’s how you can create a Scandinavian interior within your home…
Simplicity is core to Scandinavian design! Whether through the use of materials, layout or colour palette, don’t overdo it. Select a few key features that are most important to. Cutting back on the number of accessories and object in the room will de-clutter the space and make you focus on your ‘hero’ pieces.
Light is one of the most important aspects within Scandinavian design. Due to their geographical location, Scandinavian countries experience long periods of time throughout the year, enduring days that only see a few hours of light. Therefore light is carefully considered. Natural light is important. Allow as much natural light to enter your space as possible to give you an interior that is warm and inviting. Use finishes and colours that reflect the light rather than absorb it to make your space appear larger. Include different levels and layers of lighting within your interior. For example, incorporate table or floor lamps to give you mood lighting, as well as general lighting from pendants that let the light flow throughout the entire room. Think Poul Henningsen’s PH Lamp series that throw light downwards, as well as out to the side and up onto the ceiling.
White or Muted Colours
Whites and greys are featured heavily within these interiors. Lighter colours used on surfaces will reflect light around the room, making your space feel brighter and more open. Muted colours or pastels are also used as subtle accents. Playful pops of colour are sometimes used in small amounts within accessories or objects, such as wall hooks.
Timber & Texture
Timber is seen in all Scandinavian interiors and is a vital element. The texture of timber makes Scandinavian homes feel warmer, especially in light to medium tones or with a white/lime wash. Oak and pine are the primary timber types used. Timber finishes are usually unfinished or matt to remain honest to the materials raw form. Timber is not only used as flooring but can also be seen used as wall cladding, within furniture, minimal joinery and objects. Pairing timber with soft furnishings like leather, fur and natural linens and your space will instantly feel warmer and more comfortable.
Graphic & Typographic Prints
It is uncommon to see an image of a Scandinavian interior without seeing at least a few simple prints, either leaning against a wall, on a floating shelf or simply hung on the wall. Prints make the interiors more interesting and a little playful. Bold prints of simple design are also common on cushions and blankets.
With Spring on our doorstep and armed with these tips, now is the time to incorporate a Scandinavian style to your Interior Design. Here's some inspiration to get you started...
We're looking forward to sharing our Scandinavian inspired interior in coming weeks...
Images via: pinterest and estmagazine.com.au
Most people are unaware of how much light can impact an interior. Whether it is natural or artificial, lighting can make or break a space and is often an area overlooked during a renovation or new build.
If you’ve gone to the effort, spent the money, and invested your time renovating or building, you want your newly created interior to look its best. Effective use of lighting can make your space appear more desirable. You want your lighting to draw you into a space and keep you there. If the lighting is perfect, you’ll never want to leave!
Here are our top tips to consider when applying lighting to any interior space…
1. Consider what activities will be carried out in the room. This will help determine what type of lighting should be used. If it is a walk-through space, then general lighting from an overhead source is appropriate. If it is an area where studious activities take place then consider dedicating task lighting to that area.
2. Consider what sort of mood is trying to be achieved. Is this space somewhere to relax and unwind or is it a workspace? The choice of light levels and intensity of light needs adjusting to suit the type of environment you are creating.
3. Consider using multiple sources of light in the one space. To create a multipurpose space you can apply several sources of light, such as LED down lights (general lighting), wall lights (ambient lighting) or LED strip (task lighting). The result is a room that can be used for different purposes depending on which type of lighting is in use at any given time.
4. Where possible opt for environmentally friendly lighting technology. With the fast rate at which LED technology is moving, and with such successful lighting techniques, there really isn’t an excuse not to apply sustainability into your space through lighting. Whether it’s LED down lights, LED strip or simply replacing your existing lamps with LED options. You will not only reduce your energy bills in the long term but will also reduce your carbon footprint on the environment.
5. Consider colour temperature (Kelvin). This is especially important when it comes to the finishes and colours that you have selected for your interior. Whilst a warm white (3000K) will make your space feel comfortable, it can make your space appear yellow. Likewise, if you use a cool white (4000K) you may be able to see better in the space, but the space can feel colder. It can be a good idea to test different colour temperatures to see which makes your space look its best.
6. Make your lighting a feature! This can be achieved by hiding the light source, creating beautiful lighting techniques and making the spread of light a decorative element that is also functional. When choosing pendants, wall sconces or lamps select something that has a wow factor and that is beautiful in its own right.
Designer Advice... In a renovation or new build the lighting will be one of last jobs to be completed and no doubt you’ll be tiring of the endless list of decisions that are required during this process. Our advice is to take the time to consider the impact of lighting in your space. Incorporating the right light sources into your home will make all the difference to your interior space.
Remember, the careful considerations undertaken when choosing lighting will accentuate your home’s beautiful features, by highlighting them and making them look as perfect as was your intention.
Images via Pinterest
Interior Designers are influencing bathroom design and transforming bathrooms into retreats that offer relaxation, luxury and style in both new homes and renovations. With people now spending more time in bathrooms and a list of ‘must haves’ including glamorous freestanding baths, large vanities, creative lighting and luxurious double showers, getting your bathroom design right is now more important than ever.
Bathrooms are now among the top priorities when building a new house or renovating an existing home, with many homes now having multiple bathrooms and ensuites. Designing and selecting fixtures and finishes for this small area is crucial when it comes to planning what should be included in your bathroom to ensure it meets your needs and is aesthetically consistent with the rest of your home. This is where an interior designer can simplify the process of creating your new bathroom.
3 Top Tips for Planning your perfect bathroom…
Time and Budget
Your budget is probably the most important factor when planning your new bathroom. With so many different trades required when completing a bathroom it’s easy for the project cost to creep up. An experienced designer will know what you will be able to include and the things you may need to reevaluate. They can guide you with layout and selection of fixtures and fittings to keep the cost of your new bathroom within budget.
Knowing when you need to have your project completed can determine some of your selections. It could be that the imported designer tiles you love have a lead-time of 8-12 weeks or you’d like to time the project to coincide with a trip away to minimise the disruption to your household.
Family and Lifestyle
When planning your bathroom renovation or new bathroom it's important to consider inclusions to meet the needs of your family and lifestyle and future considerations. The hotel style bathroom you have your heart set on may need some modifications to be practical for you and your lifestyle. Consideration should be given for the number and ages of people using the bathroom, activities that will take place in the bathroom and any special features that need to be included. Inclusions in modern bathrooms can include such things as heated floors and towel ladders, frameless or semi frameless glass, shower niches, laundry baskets all designed to enhance your lifestyle.
Design and Style
Planning your bathroom layout can be easier and more cost effective if you are simply updating the fixtures and finishes to suit existing plumbing or electrical. You may want to undertake structural changes to improve your design? Either way, knowing what you like/dislike about your current bathroom will assist with the new design. Think about the items you need to store in your new bathroom and whether you prefer drawers, open shelving or cupboards. Custom joinery can enhance both the look and functionality of your bathroom. Another vitally important aspect of a bathroom is the lighting and getting the right mix of ambient and task lighting will enhance your everyday experience in your new bathroom.
Once the layout is established, selecting the fixtures, finishes and lighting to create your dream bathroom is all that is left. While some people know they style of bathroom they desire and this is the fun part, others are happy to be guided by a professional to achieve their dream bathroom.
Designer Advice… Creating a bathroom that has that ‘wow’ factor and will meet your expectations is challenging; take the time and seek advice. If full service interior design is out of your budget and you feel confident with making the selections of fixtures and fittings, engaging an Interior Designer to create a cohesive design concept allows you to shop around and secure ‘like for like’ trade quotes with your own set of drawings.
Click here for further information on bathroom design packages.
Images via Bekdon Richards, Bisazza and Pinterest.
"After finally deciding to put a new kitchen in, we were overwhelmed with the decisions and ensuring the final product would be one we would be happy with".
I think we all know where this is heading, but in reality, it doesn't need to.
I’ve just received a wonderful review on Houzz for a kitchen design I completed at the end of last year. It got me thinking about what could have been installed in place of the kitchen I designed.
Using an Interior Designer wasn’t even a consideration for this client. Like most people who make the decision to undertake a kitchen renovation or kitchen makeover, she contacted a local kitchen company and a cabinetmaker to discuss her new kitchen. The kitchen company designed a very basic kitchen leaving the tough job of selecting finishes to the client. Fortunately, the cabinetmaker discussed the option of using an Interior Designer to create the best kitchen for the available space and within the required budget.
At our first meeting we discussed the functional and aesthetic requirements for the new kitchen and the rest of the living areas in the home. From here I worked on a design that allowed us to retain the existing timber flooring and create a functional and stylish kitchen that I knew would push the boundaries for the clients but I also knew would be perfect for their lifestyle and home.
Here's the final design sketches...
In choosing the finishes for the kitchen I started with the island bench that is now the focal point. The client wanted to make a statement with her new kitchen but also wanted a fairly neutral colour scheme.
Here's the final working drawings showing colours and finishes...
Polyurethane was selected as the finish for the cabinetry. Although more expensive than melamine, it allows for a seamless finish to cabinetry without handles and greater flexibility for colour choices. Rather than just one colour for the cabinetry, it was recommended that a colour with similar tones to the bench top be combined with white for a fresh finish.
The final colours selected for the cabinetry were Dulux Lexicon White Half and Dulux Palace Stone. Feature timber open shelving and cabinetry trim were used to provide contrast and a bright turquoise splashback to tie in with artwork in the living area was selected. For the timber feature we used Polytec Natural Oak melamine to keep within budget contraints. The image below shows Eveneer Even Romano Quartered. The splashback colour is Dulux Sparkling Cove and the wall colour is Dulux Whitsunday Island.
Here's the final colour palette...
To create this look on a budget, you could consider using the following finishes...
I'm thrilled that I've made a difference to this clients lifestyle and that the kitchen I delivered is more than they could have imagined. One of my goals as I set up Bella Vie Interiors was to make Interior Design more accessible and reading this review, I believe this is what I am doing.
Click here for further information on the kitchen design process.
Click here to see the Bella Vie Interiors Design Packages.
Invite us in to commence planning your dream kitchen or read what others have to say.
Images via Pinterest.
A bathroom is possibly one of the most used rooms in a house and with so many amazing products available making the most of a small bathroom isn’t as hard as you think.
Before you rush off to choose new bathroom fittings it’s really important to plan your project carefully. While a bathroom is generally a small room, it is also a complex room to renovate with several different trades required to get the job done.
Set a budget and get quotes before you start. A lot of your budget will go on tradesmen so it is important to know all your costs upfront. Advice from a professional during the planning stage could save you from making costly mistakes and oversights. An Interior Designer specialising in bathroom design can help you make the most of the available space and provide invaluable advice on small bathroom ideas.
Whether you are renovating your existing bathroom or building a new bathroom, it’s important to consider the primary function of the room. This will determine the most practical layout for creating a functional small bathroom.
Here are my favourite small bathroom ideas to get you started with planning your bathroom project…
Maximise floor space… Finding ways to maximise your floor space will always make your bathroom appear larger
A wall-hung toilet with an in-wall cistern takes up considerably less space than a traditional toilet suite. If you can’t stretch your budget to a wall hung toilet, consider a compact back to wall toilet suite. A rounded shape will allow for better movement around the pan and take up less space than a toilet with a more square shape.
A floating vanity gives the illusion of more space and allows floor tiles to extend right to the wall making the floor appear larger. If your vanity floor waste can’t be moved a set back plinth can be designed to hide pipes and still give your vanity a floating appearance.
Maximise light... consider colour choices and lighting to instantly create space in a small bathroom.
Pale colours create brightness and reflect light. Choosing the right colour to suit the orientation of your room is important. A small bathroom that doesn’t receive much natural light relies on clever colour choices along with the addition of the right artificial light.
Lighting needs to provide enough brightness for early morning and late night. Task lighting at the vanity is essential to allow sufficient light for shaving and make-up application. Feature pendants can be included provided they are not obtrusive. Look for pendants that are small or made from glass.
Include mirrors where possible. A polished edge mirror or mirrored shaving cabinet above the vanity is a must. Consider the front of tall cabinets for full-length mirrors to create the illusion of space.
Armed with these small bathroom ideas you can now start planning the layout of your bathroom renovation or new bathroom. If it all seems too daunting, enlist the help of an Interior designer. Bathroom design packages are available to make planning your project easier and professional advice can save you money on your bathroom project.
For Bathroom design inspiration see Bella Vie Interiors on Pinterest, Facebook, Houzz and Twitter.
If you like this article or found it helpful… please share it!
Images from Pinterest, Houzz
With lighting being one of the most important features in a home, the search for the perfect pendant can seem like a never-ending task at times, even as an Interior Designer. Pendant lighting provides direct task lighting to an area and can create a beautiful ambience in areas with higher ceilings.
I've been working on one particular project for five months now. It's a new home that is now in the build phase so things are finally starting to take shape with most of the selections finalised. One area has been under consideration for the entire time... the formal dining room.
The Room Design... The style of a pendant needs to suit the style of the room and the ambience being created. A dining room I'm currently working on is for entertaining on a grand scale with the room design featuring a super glamorous four and a half metre Ebony Macassar bar with a bronze mirror splash back and a six metre dining table. The lighting needs to make a statement and enhance the space.
The pendant light I've had in my mind since the design concept stage has been the Jason Miller Modo Chandelier and now I've seen this grouping I'm convinced it will be the right choice. Just the right amount of glamour for a modern chandelier. See my tips below on choosing the perfect pendant for your dining room.
Choosing the right type of pendant for over a dining table adds to the ambience of the room and the mood you want to create.
Selecting a style of pendant depends very much on the size and shape of your dining table. Choose from the following styles of pendant lights for the best results;
Drum pendants - when used alone these are best suited to round or square dining tables, and should be used as a pair over a longer rectangle table. The proportion of a drum pendant must suit the size of your dining table and not overwhelm it. Drum pendants suit modern dining rooms and the fabric can be customised to suit the room style and a diffuser minimises glare over the table.
Small pendants and multi-lamp pendants - small pendants of the same or different shapes and sizes can be grouped together at different heights to suit your dining table. A linear grouping suits a rectangle table while a round grouping suits a square or round table. Hanging them at different heights can add visual interest to the arrangement. A multi-lamp pendant can be a modern style pendant or chandelier. Depending on their size, these can be used alone or as pair (as I'm planning in a current design project). Their pre-configured design takes the guesswork out of arranging individual pendants and are available with mounting plates of different size and shape to suit most dining tables.
Medium and large pendants - can be used to make a great statement over a dining table. Selecting the right size to complement your dining table is important. I recommend the pendant sits about 15-20cm in from the side of your dining table.
Mounting height - to choose the height for mounting, your pendants should be higher than eye level and low enough to provide sufficient light on the dining table. Carefully view the pendant lights you are hanging at the installation stage to ensure you are happy with the height and placement.
If you have any lighting questions feel free to contact me at Bella Vie Interiors.
Images from Pinterest, Nika Zupanc, The Contemporist, Jason Miller
Founder and Interior Designer - Bella Vie Interiors.