Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Beautifying our homes gives us a satisfying feeling

Whether it is a master bedroom or a guest room that doubles as a study, the key principles of bedroom design should always apply. By following the hints and tips below, a bedroom can be made to look more spacious and stylish.

The room plan
Creating a room plan can help you decide where to place your bedroom furniture. Placing the bed is the main hurdle when planning the layout for a bedroom and a number of issues will influence the choice of spot:
Access - a double bed may require access for two occupants, so it shouldn't be placed in a corner. Bunk beds need clearance space for safety and access to the upper bunk.
Power points/TV aerials/phone sockets - socket availability may dictate where bedside tables, a dressing table or a TV unit are placed.
Door - personal taste or feng shui may influence where the bed is placed in relation to the door.
Storage units -
bear in mind that the bed should not be placed within the arc of opening wardrobe doors or drawers.
Dressing the bed is as important as placing the furniture. Linen doesn't have to slavishly match other fabrics in the room, but attention to colour and textures will help give the room a sense of style. Layering the bed with folded throws and scatter cushions creates a cosy and welcoming environment when not in use.

Furniture myths and musts
The bedroom has the longest list of supposed "must-have" furniture of any room in the house, but a crowded room looks untidy and is difficult to relax in. Consider these options:
Do all your clothes have to be stored in the bedroom? Clothes that are worn less frequently could be stored elsewhere, reducing the need for wardrobes.
Is a bedside cabinet needed or will a shelf do?
Must a computer work station be kept in the bedroom? Some sleep therapists suggest even the presence of a computer in bedroom can lead to disturbed nights.
Is a dressing table required if a bathroom vanity unit exists?

Interior Design: Living & Dining Area Tips

● In interior design, a focal point is important in every room. It could be a large window or painting or an interesting art piece. In your living room, arrange your furniture around a focal point. Put your biggest piece of furniture first (like the sofa) then continue with the smaller pieces of furniture down to your accent pieces.● Consider the size of your living room when you buy the furniture. Don't buy oversized pieces if your room is not that big. It will make your room smaller and cramped. And also don't buy tall furniture if your ceiling is low, they will make the ceiling appear lower.● Many of us Filipinos tend to buy living room furniture "sets" with a sofa, two matching side chairs, with matching coffee and side tables. Be different, don't match the couch with the side chairs. In fact, in interior design, it is more fashionable to have different styled pieces put together like a modern sofa with classic or antique side chairs and different styled tables.● If you plan to put several picture frames on the walls. it is a good idea to group them together by theme and arrange them inside an imaginary frame. They can be the focal point of the room.● Before you buy you dining room set, take a good look at your space. Be sure that there is ample room to walk around the dining set even if all the seats are occupied. Interior design has a lot to do with ergonometrics, not just appearance. We Filipinos have the tendency to buy bigger dining sets than our space can accommodate and push one side of the table against the wall.
● If your living and dining area is on the same room, you may use a different flooring material on the dining area to delineate the space from the living area. Or you may put an area rug on your dining area for definition. A free standing screen is another good option. ● Avoid using fluorescent (white) lighting in the living and dining areas. Food looks more inviting under incandescent (yellow) light and people's complexion too look better under yellow light. But if you really like to use fluorescent light, combine both white & yellow light at the same time.● If you plan to put a chandelier above your dinning table, don't put it up so high. Lower it 3 to 4 feet from the table top.● Aside from your direct light source above the dining table (a chandelier for example), add some pin lights around the room and a dimmer switch to make your surroundings more pleasing to the eye. Do the same with your living room.● It is ok to put family pictures on the living room but don't put so many, specially school diplomas and trophies. They are better put in the den or your bedroom.

Spiritual Housecleaning: Healing the Space Within by Beautifying the Space Around You
"You will be looking at your home's interior to see your soul's design. You will clean it, decorate it, and sweeten it in order to serve your higher being like your principal devotee," so says Kathryn Robyn in the first chapter. In today's high-stress world of two-hour commutes and sixty-hour workweeks, most of us want our homes to be a place of refuge and rejuvenation. Yet, all too often frantic schedules and waning energy turn the oasis of our dreams into little more than a drop-off zone where we collapse after work and gulp down a microwave dinner with our eyes glued to the TV. The clutter, the dirt, and disorganization that result create feelings of unhappiness, uselessness, and futility.
The recent surge of interest in the ancient Chinese discipline of feng shui also suggests that many of us are searching for new ideas about caring for our homes that can't be found in Hints from Heloise or House Beautiful. Spiritual Housecleaning will take you on a journey with a natural energy healer and body worker who still remembers the lessons she learned as a former professional housecleaner. Chapter by chapter, room-by-room, author Kathryn Robyn shows how the cleanliness and order of each room of your home affects specific aspects of your spiritual health and well-being. Each chapter also provides a series of practical exercises to help readers tackle their household chores with mindfulness and self-examination. Where Zen Buddhists have always advised us to "chop wood and carry water," Spiritual Housecleaning counsels us to "wipe counters and scrub floors." Lowly as they are, these inescapable daily tasks offer twenty-first century readers the chance to achieve the same spiritual goals of inner peace and freedom from stress, with the extra benefit of ending up with a clean house.

No comments: