Home Design Find - Interior Design, Architecture, Modern Furniture - Part 4

Home Design Find


No Comments »

Design Dilemma: How to do “Hygge” this Winter

shabby chic style hall how to tips advice

If you’ve ever visited Scandinavia, you will know that the Scandinavians really know how to do winter! Yes, it may be cold and dark outside, but inside, things are warm, cozy and cheerful. In other words, to use a Danish term, they are “hygge,” a word that describes comfort, conviviality and contentment. Everyone’s been talking about hygge recently, since several books have been published examining the concept. So what’s hygge? It’s getting together with friends in front of a fireplace, surrounded by candles and soft lights. Everyone’s wearing thick wool socks and soft sweaters, and together, you and your friends enjoy life’s simple pleasures, such as conversation and board games and maybe a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. More than anything else, hygge connotes a slowness, a sense of intimacy, a state of mind that is celebrates security, familiarity, reassurance, kinship, and simplicity. Sounds pretty nice, right? That’s how the Danes get through the winter, and there’s certainly something we can learn from this as well!

So how can you make your own home hygge this winter? We’ve got a few suggestions that are simple, easy and will transform your home into a little cozy nest in no time at all.

Make liberal use of candles.

No one ingredient is as important to hygge as candles. They are used at the table, around the room, and even as a stand-in for a fire, if you have a decorative fireplace and not a working one. Scented candles are great for use on gray days and are always welcoming when used in the bathroom.

Below, candles are used in a fireplace to provide a green alternative to burning logs.

scandinavian living room how to tips advice

Below, candles in the bathroom warm up the atmosphere and provide a pleasant scent. They are especially useful when guests come to visit, as they can provide a soft light in the bathroom when the lights are switched off and guests need to find the light switch.

mediterranean powder room how to tips advice

Candles while dining are imperative. But they don’t always have to be directly on the table itself. In the dining room below, an installation of candles warms things up, without taking up valuable table space. And in the second picture, candles arranged on the wall provide a warm softness that also frees up table space.

eclectic dining room how to tips advice
contemporary dining room how to tips advice

Candles can also be used to provide a warm glow outside. Even a patio can feel cozy with candles and a few pillows.

farmhouse porch how to tips advice

Lanterns are also a nice way to use candles.

traditional how to tips advice

Build a fire.

Second on the list of hygge is building a fire. Nothing is cozier than snuggling up to the hearth on gray days and dark winter nights.

traditional basement how to tips advice

Invite friends over for tea, dinner or a board game.

This is one of the central aspects of hygge. Although you can be warm and cozy and content by yourself at home, there is something special about welcoming others to share your warm and cozy space. So try to entertain regularly, but don’t make a big fuss. Keep things simple. You need do nothing more than fire up the tea kettle.

farmhouse dining room how to tips advice

Bring out the blankets and throws.
This is another important element of a cozy home. Plenty of blankets and throws need to be within reach for particularly chilly days when it’s time to snuggle up on the couch with a book and a cup of hot chocolate.

contemporary living room how to tips advice

Enjoy string lights indoors.

They have the same brightening effect of candles and can be used in just about any room and situation.

eclectic bedroom how to tips advice
traditional how to tips advice

What else helps to make a home “hygge?”

  • Soft, indirect lighting from several sources. Avoid overhead lights.
  • Liberal use of pillows and cushions.
  • Plants and artwork.
  • Thick piled rugs to keep the feet warm.
  • Small gathering spaces, nooks and crannies.  It’s hard to make a large space feel cozy.
  • Keeping things simple. No need to get out of your sweats for hygge. And your friends can stop by as they are too!
  • Turning off the television and computer. Hygge is about taking things slow and relaxing with others, not listening to a blaring TV.
  • Making a pot of soup or a stew. A large one-pot meal can be available anytime anyone gets hungry.

Are you ready to get your hygge on this winter?

No Comments »

Design Dilemma: Warming Up the Kitchen Nook

contemporary dining room uncategorized

Kitchen nooks were once a “thing.” That is, it seems that every American bungalow built between the 20s and 60s had one. It was where the family gathered for breakfast and sometimes dinner, and where the kids spread out to do their homework after school. It seems like kitchen nooks have gone by the way side in today’s newer homes, in which they are largely obsolete. In an open concept home in which the kitchen opens directly onto a dining area and family room, there is no longer the need for another separate space in addition to a dining room. Still, plenty of us are living in older homes and we still have our kitchen nooks. And sometimes we want to fix them up.

contemporary kitchen uncategorized

In this kitchen nook makeover, the homeowners have accomplished quite a lot, just with a simple change in wall paint. They swapped out yellow paint for a fresh and cheery patterned geometric print in apple green. The effect is chic and modern, amplified with the addition of a copper pendant lamp. Here’s what the before looked like:

home design uncategorized

And below, more of the after. The addition of framed children’s drawings really helps make this space feel special. The patterned wallpaper also really sets this space off as a very different environment:

contemporary dining room uncategorized

The extra storage already existed, but the homeowners refreshed things a bit with a fresh coat of white paint:

contemporary kitchen uncategorized

No Comments »

Design Dilemma: Small Bathroom Makeovers

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

You see plenty of renovations of grand master bathrooms that are so large and sumptuous they measure about the size of the average living room. But what about those of us with tiny bathrooms? Can we do a bathroom makeover that is both efficient and at least cute, if not beautiful? The answer is yes. And though you may not see too many of these bathrooms featured on home and garden television shows, they are certainly out there. Let’s take a look.

Below, a small 50’s era bathroom of about 50 square feet needed a redo. The shower leaked, the window and lighting were inadequate, and a pedestal sink meant the homeowner had no storage. A shower-tub combo was protected by a run-of-the-mill shower curtain. The blue tile was dated.

home design how to tips advice
Joila! The reveal:
contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

The owners hired Kate Dickson, who spent two months renovating their small space. She installed a new tub, shower head and glass shower doors. Keeping the shower-tub combo allowed this full bathroom (the only one in the house) to remain a place for both a bath and shower.
What makes this bathroom truly special is the patterned cement tile floor, which acts as the bathroom’s focal point. The rest of the bathroom — all white and classic, frames the floor. The sleek glass door streamlines the room, giving it a clean, modern feel.

contemporary bathroom how to tips advice

Above, a new vanity was installed with a ledge (visible in the first picture) that runs across the wall above the toilet, functioning as more countertop space and more storage. The new vanity features storage and chrome fixtures that were affordable and classic.

This relatively modest bathroom renovation underscores some important tips to consider when renovating a small bathroom.

    • In a small space, consider using a glass shower door or tub enclosure. A shower curtain breaks up the room, while glass opens up the space visually.
contemporary bathroom how to tips advice
    • Dispense with window dressings and use frosted glass. This allows more light to flood in and also helps open up the space visually.
contemporary bathroom how to tips advice
    • Consider a storage niche in the shower. Your bathroom will appear more spacious and clean without shampoo bottles clogging the corners of the tub.
traditional bathroom how to tips advice
    • Go custom. Although it will cost more to spring for a custom vanity, it’s the best way to get the most out of a space.
contemporary bathroom how to tips advice
  • Consider expanding your medicine cabinet.  In tight quarters where you need to make the most of storage, the best way of all can be expanding a medicine cabinet to stretch across the wall above the sink and toilet. The mirrors help expand the space and the extra shelves provide more storage.
contemporary bathroom how to tips advice