With many of us stuck at home these last few weeks, you may be coming to realize that your spaces aren’t working for you and your family. It’s been proven that how your home functions affects your productivity, mood and even your health. Now is the ideal time to solve some of your space dilemmas without leaving the sofa.
The most requested design advice, regardless of the size of the project, is furniture arrangement. Most clients know how they want to use the room but struggled with exactly how to achieve it. With virtual space planning, we practice social distancing, since I never come to your home. I’ll have you complete a questionnaire, take some photos and send your room measurements.
Straight from the source-these four top interior design trends were everywhere at this Spring’s High Point Furniture Market.
Fur textures were still on display however macrame emerged as the hottest new look. It makes sense that this fringed trend found a second wind in this era of handmade globalism.
This colorful, crystallized rock is in big demand appearing in a range of home design products. With it’s gemstone quality, agate items add a touch of glamour and luxury.
Even images of agate made an appearance
Another retro design trend, Lucite acrylic, is enjoying resurgence in home furnishings and for good reason. This chic plastic material is real furniture workhorse and translucent pieces don’t take up visual space in a room.
Notice the subtle acrylic legs on the Swaim sofa
The severe industrial look from years past has been replaced with a welcoming curvilinear vibe. The shapes are undeniably inviting and studies have shown that curvy furniture evokes feelings of relaxation.
Mr. H says: The best way to change your future is design it-Enjoy!
While interior design trends are ever evolving there are some fundamental design rules that are worth adhering to for an interior that performs beautifully.
Live With It
The key to a well designed space is to have a well defined plan. Part of that plan, especially when on a budget, is to make decisions once you have used the room for awhile. Taking the time to amass the different elements of a space gives you time to evaluate each piece and how the next one will fit into the scheme.
I repeat-measure. Before you buy the first piece of furniture measure your space and your doorway openings. The last thing you need is for that luxurious sectional sofa to not have any circulation space around it or worse not fit through the front door.
Form Follows Function
It’s a decades old concept that still rings true today. Decide on the function of a space first, concentrating on how it will be used, who will use it, special storage needs, and lighting. Craft your design, including the aesthetics after those objectives have been established.
Never Buy a Set
While it’s tempting to buy the whole bedroom set off the showroom floor and calling it “done” it is not in your best interest to do so. People respond best to spaces that have an acquired, blended style. Pairs are fine, like nightstands and lamps, which create symmetry in a room.
Invest in Quality
The adage “you get what you pay” holds true when purchasing furnishings. Hunting down that deal is not a valid design strategy and is often, in the long term, the least budget friendly. Cheaply made, inexpensive pieces will break down quickly requiring replacement that much faster. Buy from a quality retailer or experienced interior designer for the best value.
While an over sized fixture fixture can add drama to a space, lamps and other ambient lighting like sconces or cove lighting are important to a room’s design. Overhead lighting alone can wreak havoc on even the most well designed room, throwing shadows on the furniture and the room’s occupants that are terribly unflattering.
Lastly, keeping your space tidy is vital to good design. Having a place for everything by incorporating unique storage solutions and keeping surfaces clear of non essential items will make your design stand out.
Mr. H (posthumously) says: An empty room is a story waiting for you to be the author-Enjoy!
In many homes, the upholstered sofa is the central figure of the family or living room. It’s the comfortable spot to relax, watch TV, or catch an afternoon nap. We can’t imagine living in a space without one, but prior to its modern innovation in France during the late 1680s nothing like it existed. While lounging pieces could be found around the world, mostly for royal use, the general population sat on straight-backed wood chairs that could be ported to a dining table or near a warming fire.
At the turn of the 18th Century, with the enrichment of a bourgeois working class, along with new found leisure time the desire for privacy and comfort increased. It was at that time that padded furniture became an invitation to lounge.
During the advent of the industrial revolution, new furniture manufacturing processes evolved allowing for the mass production of most any item. It was here that the modern sofa was born.
Along with the invention of the sewing machine, the basic techniques developed nearly 200 years ago, are still in use today for the manufacturing of sofas.
Other terms synonymous to a sofa are settee, chesterfield, divan, davenport, canape and a designer’s least favorite “couch”. Styles today run the gamut from traditional and modern to even the very extreme.
Even our dogs get to enjoy their naps on a comfortable sofa.
Mr. H says: There is nothing like being at home for real comfort-Enjoy!
Developed in the 1600s as a means of protecting those sitting fireside of drafts or flying embers, the English born wing chair remains a beloved chair style and is a stylish addition to any interior.
Early wing chair designs were constructed entirely from wood with flat, broad arms.
During the late 17th Century, demand for an extra level of comfort in seating pieces led to the upholstering of the wood frames. By the 19th Century, chairs were generously padded, mostly with a very firm horsehair stuffing, and upholstered in luxurious velvet or damask fabrics.
The familiar, Queen Anne style wing back, with its rounded and scrolled lines, crossed the Atlantic to the American Colonies and remains the major influence in traditional wing chair design today.
Antique and vintage wing chairs have an enjoyed a resurgence of sorts thanks to companies like Chairloom’s who repurpose old chairs into a fresh work of art.
Bold, colorful textiles breathe new life into a common chair form
Don’t despair if granny didn’t leave you her antique wing chair as reproductions abound such as the Baron’s Court Wing Chair from Baker Furniture
If your aesthetic leans more modern, many manufactures craft their own contemporary spin on the classic wing chairs lines. Swaim Narly Wing Chair
Unique to Charleston in the late 18th century, the carved rice bed was distinct symbol of a plantation owner’s wealth. The original design is often attributed to Charleston cabinetmaker, Thomas Elfe, who on commission crafted a bed whose four posts were carved with a depiction of a ripe grain of the rice plant. Carolina Gold rice, along with tobacco and cotton, created immense wealth for Lowcountry plantation owners during the 18th Century.
Beds of the era were typically made by a team of artisans such as carpenters, lathe turners, and carvers. Mahogany was the wood of choice for the wealthy planter, however cherry wood was used as well. Rice beds were designed for a cooler sleeping environment during Charleston’s humid summers. With the frame high off the ground and removable headboard, beds were moved to the center of the room to allow for better air circulation. The tester, or top frame, was hung with mosquito netting in warmer months and heavier drapery in the winter, keeping the occupant warm.
In the Heyward-Washington house on Church Street, the Heyward family’s rice bed may have been the place that George Washington slept during the President’s week-long Charleston stay in 1791.
While locating an antique Charleston rice bed may be both difficult and costly, (one just sold at auction for $45,000) there are several mass production furniture makers such as American Drew and Kincaid that feature rice bed styles.
Estate worthy handmade rice beds can be found however at Mack S. Headley & Sons, a fourth generation, Virginia furniture maker.
Theodore Alexander also produces an exquisite hand crafted rice bed in finely carved and figured mahogany
Mr. H says: The most valuable antique is an old friend-Enjoy!