Just like wood or glass, stone is a hugely popular element in interior design, and the possibilities for how to incorporate it are endless. Do you want granite kitchen countertops? Travertine flooring? A stone fireplace surround? To find out how to make the most of the material, we turned to Miriam Fanning, principal at Mim Design in Melbourne, Australia, for advice. But before you decide on an application, you’ll need to choose the stone itself. Fanning’s first rule: “When selecting stone, it’s important to make sure that it is authentic and not faux. Authentic products will stand the test of time and will not be prone to dating.” From there, here are the factors to consider.
Stone should enhance the aesthetic of your space
“The kitchen we created at this residence has a soft look that was achieved by selecting a stone with a minimal vein,” says Fanning. “A stone with a heavier vein would have created a more dramatic …
Deciding whether to renovate an older building, or knock it down and rebuild, can be difficult. The decision to favour renovation hangs heavily upon determining whether the existing building has sufficient merit. Caroline Pidcock and Jeremy Spencer explain their different methodologies for determining whether or not to renovate, and how to make best use of the existing building.
What must we look for in the existing building?
When starting a new project with great aspirations, why would you think about keeping the building that already exists on the site? Especially if it does not work exactly with your new design concept.
Reasons for keeping the old
Apart from the financial benefits or heritage requirements, perhaps you might be drawn to the idea of making use of existing materials and all that has gone into their manufacture and construction, particularly their embodied energy. Or perhaps you might like to retain and celebrate the cultural and social history that is an essential …
The home design process can be a tricky juggling act. The nine steps below will teach you the basics of the process that is followed by architects and building designers in the building industry. Follow this process and you will have a better chance of designing a home that functions well and looks appealing.
Tools you will need
Sketch paper: you can buy purpose-made ‘Butter Paper’ from an art supply shop, but baking paper works just as well and can be purchased from your local supermarket for around $1.50 a roll.
A3 Drafting board: these boards are portable and come with a rule that attaches horizontally to the board. It can be purchased from an art or drafting supply shop for about $150.00.
Adjustable set square: this item is an adjustable clear plastic triangle that is essential in producing straight, angled, and vertical lines. This can also be purchased at an art supply outlet or drafting supply shop for around …
If you plan to live in a property for 10 years or more, it is difficult to imagine that you could overcapitalise when renovating, as the value of your property will have risen due to rising land values and demand in the market. However, it is still worth considering the effect that your renovations will have on the value of the property. There is no point wasting precious dollars on improvements that don’t increase your eventual sale price. And worse, some improvements can be detrimental to the value of your property.
For instance, if you live in an area that is popular with families, outdoor living space will be seen as a major benefit when people are comparing homes for sale. But if your renovation extends so far into your outdoor space that there is no room for children to play, you are limiting the eventual market for your property and adversely affecting its resale value.
Another factor you should …
Growing tired of a lifeless interior? Or maybe your room’s a blank canvas ready for its first dash of color. The best indoor plants can add just the right amount of intrigue—they’re free-form and organic yet clean and sculptural; they delight with their unpredictability yet reassure with their steady presence. And their life span, thankfully, is much longer than that of cut flowers. But when considering plants in a room’s design, there are a few things to take into account. Architectural Digest caught up with horticulturist Dennis Schrader from Landcraft Environments in Mattituck, New York, to get the dirt.
“You have to think of the container it’s going in like a piece of furniture,” Schrader says. “It should match the interior.” As for the plant, you’ll want to coordinate that as well. Below is a guide to appealing options and their respective requirements, but first, what if you choose to incorporate more than one plant into your design scheme? Schrader …
Renovation costs always blow out no matter how much you try to keep them under control. It’s usually because we want more than they we can afford. Our experts have heaps of experience in renovations and would like to share some golden rules with you. We feel these will help you keep your projects on or under budget.
DIY as much as you can. Do the painting and get a flat pack kitchen. However Tiling is also not that difficult and there are heaps of DIY books out there – just hire a professional to do the waterproofing if you are unsure of that part. Read our article DIY Renovation Tips for more information.
Go through the tendering process with 3 plumbers or builders – if they are too high for your liking wait 6 months and try the process again or keep getting quotes until someone comes in at the price you are happy with. I am always amazed …
Epoxy flooring isn’t just for warehouses and hospitals anymore. Just ask designer James Saavedra, whose home boasts white epoxy floors that are as sleek and reflective as the Ralph Pucci gallery. The surface isn’t just pretty—it’s tough: “I’ve shattered mason jars on this floor filled with Bolognese, and let me tell you, the floor is victorious every time,” Saavedra says. Anyone else wondering what epoxy is? We’ll save you a google: It’s a synthetic material that’s got something to do with thermosetting polymers containing epoxide. In short, it’s a really strong plastic.
When Saavedra decided to use epoxy flooring to brighten up his 700-square-foot Austin, Texas home, numerous vendors told him it was a bad idea. He was dealing with pre-existing concrete that had been poorly maintained. The epoxy, which must be spread by hand, was sure to have small imperfections. But Saavedra had his mind set. So, he dished out a little more to have the floors prepped (epoxy …
Do you believe less is more or more is more? Do you like to stick with the essentials, or do you bring home something new from every excursion? Do you prefer a foundation of serene neutral hues, or are you drawn to no-holds-barred color? Basically, are you a minimalist or a maximalist? Ultimately, there is no wrong answer—there is beauty in both the thoughtful simplicity of a minimalist space and the eye-catching mix of tones and textures in a maximalist one—but many designers (and design lovers) have a preference. So we asked a few top designers to weigh in on why they love one or the other. Here’s what they had to say.
“Though not necessarily minimalist, we define our style as ‘layered modernism’—a refined aesthetic that combines clean lines with luxurious materials and finishes, creating warm, sophisticated, and comfortable spaces. We do appreciate minimalism’s long unbroken expanses, simple details, and soft color palette—these act as a visual …
The entry to your home can be a wonderfully functional space, yet many Australian homes don’t have one.
So what is an entry?
An entry is a transitional space, where your family and guests can be greeted, organised and redirected to other spaces within and around your home. Your entry needs to (not only look great) but most importantly it needs to function well for it’s intended use, and you may need more than one!
The following 3 easy steps will guide you through the design process of creating well designed entries for your home.
1. Confirm number of entries required
Most Australian homes have a front and a rear access, as a result you will need to design two separate Entries for your home. We call these entry spaces the Front entry and Mud Room (for the rear entry).
2. Performance specification
You need to think about the way you use the current entries into your home. Write a …
When you’ve been living in an apartment day in and day out, it’s sometimes hard to see the place with fresh eyes. Looking for extra storage space is therefore typically a fruitless task—because if it were there, you’d have noticed it, right? But the following five locations are strangely evasive despite being relatively common. Your apartment probably has one or two of them; you just might not have realized you can stow something there at all. Go forth and maximize your storage options without having to move into a bigger place.
Above the Kitchen Cabinets
Though difficult to know what to do with, that shelf of open space above the kitchen cabinets should be utilized—and not just to stash the party platters you use only once a year. Here are our favorite creative ways to optimize that shelf (think: a big beautiful basket that hides six extra paper towel rolls).
Inside a Windowsill
If you’re lucky enough to have a …