Archive for the ‘About Interior Design’ Category

Original Melbourne Home Addition Exudes Positive Vibes, Balance

Kiah House, by Austin Maynard Architects, is an architecture extension to a weatherboard cottage in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. The project brief hinted towards creating an extension with plenty of positive vibes: a sanctuary for the couple living here, but also a place to entertain friends and family.

“The extension comprises of two separate pieces of architecture,” the architects explain. “The master bedroom haven—which sits beside the original house extending to the northern boundary—and the separate office poised above. The original Victorian-era house, built in 1927, has been respectfully restored and updated with a new kitchen and bathroom.”

The architects took inspiration from Japanese gardens and Buddhist retreats of Kyoto to create the homeowner’s desire for peace and balance. “At Kiah House, we were charged with the task of creating spaces, both private and shared, that spill out into the garden, and are yet adaptable enough to create solitude and privacy when needed.”

The master bedroom haven includes a dedicated Buddhist prayer space. It opens up to the garden and ponds via sliding, double-glazed glass panels, blurring the lines between indoors and out. The towering, lemon-scented gum tree is enclosed by a small deck area: a place for the owners to sit and meditate.”

Elevated above the original house and accessed via spiral staircase, the owner’s home office enjoys vantage views of the surroundings. The wall mural underneath the office window, envisioned by artist Seb Humphreys, depicts a gentle swirling of color, adding an original touch. Enjoy our pictorial tour, and leave a comment and let us know what you think!


Information provided by Austin Maynard Architects; photography courtesy of Tess Kelly.

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Why You Should Consider A Monochromatic Color Scheme (Plus, How To Pull It Off)

monochromatic color scheme

A monochromatic color scheme makes rooms look effortlessly pulled together. Image: Intro

Sometimes, even the most seasoned design aficionados among us need a little helping hand. It takes countless components to put a room together, so there’s no shame in searching for ways to make the process a little easier. If you’re in need of an assist and a little inspiration, here you go: how about using a monochromatic color scheme?

If you’re interested in learning more about how this color scheme works, read on. We’ll tell you why it’s so effective in making a room look effortlessly pulled together, and we’ll provide a few practical tips on how you can make this look work in your home.


Monochromatic rooms work because they easily create a unified design. Image: Kristin Petro Interiors, Inc.

Why monochromatic color schemes work

Monochromatic color schemes work because they streamline your design. Typically, you’d have to put effort into purposefully including a few common threads throughout your design to ensure that the entire look ties together. In this case, as long as you work within the color scheme, unity and harmony are already taken care of.

Unity is important because it’s what helps the eye “make sense” of a room. According to Gestalt Psychology, whenever we enter a new space, our brains rely on pattern recognition to give the room context. The more patterns we can find—repeated colors, for example—the easier the room is for us to process. The quicker we’re able to make sense of a room, the more aesthetically pleasing we’re likely to find it.


Start by picking out your palette. Image: Carl Mayfield Architectural Photographer

Choose your colors

The first step to putting a monochromatic look together is to choose the colors that you intend to use. In this case, we suggest utilizing three colors, in total. Obviously, you’ll want them to come from the same color family in order to create a cohesive look.

We suggest starting with your base shade, the one that will define your design. Then, round out your color scheme by choosing one color that’s lighter than your base shade and one color that’s darker. If you need help narrowing down your options, we recommend looking at paint samples (the kind with multiple colors on one sheet) and using those as your inspiration.

patterns and textures

Add visual interest with patterns and textures. Image: Cord Shiflet

Add patterns and textures

Though unity is one of the benefits of a monochromatic color scheme, sometimes it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. If the design elements in your space are too similar to each other, they run the risk of making the room feel boring. Including pattern and texture are easy ways to add in some much-needed visual interest.

In the photo above, notice how, without being in the room, you can almost feel the textures: the soft, plush fibers of the area, the rough, wooden surface of the nightstand, and the smooth texture of the bed linens.

You should aim to achieve the same tactile sense in your design. As you look for elements to fill the space, make a conscious effort to include a variety of different textures. Patterns that fit well within your color scheme will also help achieve this goal.


Round out the room with accents. Image: Jeff Schlarb Design

Get creative with accent materials

Here’s where things get interesting: even though the majority of elements in monochromatic rooms should fit within your prescribed scheme, there’s no hard and fast rule that says everything has to match. Your accents and accessories give you a chance to color outside the lines a little bit.

In the photo above, notice the coffee table has a metal finish to it. That finish is then carried through the rest of the room via decorative vases, lamps, desks, and even in the frame surrounding the wall art. You can do the same with your design, or use another natural material, such as wood or stone.

Other accessories, such as wall art or throw pillows, are also a great way to sneak variety into your design. If you go this route, though, make sure that the items you choose to fulfill this role include your base color in some way. This technique keeps your design looking cohesive, even if it bends the rules a bit.

monochromatic color scheme

Use this advice to bring a monochromatic color scheme to your own home. Image: Cliff Elmore Architects PLLC

Creating compelling interior design is a labor of love, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few shortcuts to make the process a little easier. We’ve outlined a few practical tips to help you pull off the monochromatic look the right way. Have any great tips of your own? What do you think about monochromatic color schemes? Will you be trying this look in your home? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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Luxury Villa On Swedish Private Island

There’s getting away from it all – and then there’s getting away from it ALL. The homeowner of this luxury summer villa has a whole private island to themselves; it doesn’t get much more private than that. Situated in Sweden on Grötskär Island, Villa Kymmendo was purpose built in a simple but artistic style in 2009. The single story contemporary masterpiece, a project by Jordens Arkitekter, is 2,152 square feet (199.93 square metres) with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The walls of the home are a continual expanse of floor-to-ceiling windows, with balconies and terraces on which to step out and take in the sea air, or revel in sunsets to the west.

Photographer: Lindman Photography  

Craggy pines surround the home, stretching out over the rocks leading to the water’s edge. The untamed natural terrain and a lapping lagoon form a place of serenity that is separate from the rest of the world. On the rocky shore, a single bedroom guesthouse stands just a short walk away from the main summerhouse. There is also a sauna house on the island, situated on one of the piers. Moored to the shore line are a selection of boats – a necessity to travel to and from the mainland.

The spacious contemporary build is settled over a grassy knoll. The widest deck is held up on slim struts. A roof extension shades half of the deck from rainfall or the blazing sun.

Floating concrete steps lead down from the white terrace, passing down onto the wild grass.

The linear build appears to float just above the undulating landscape, becoming part of the sky.

The rest of the world disappears across the water, beyond the trees.

A seamless indoor-outdoor living experience is created by maintaining the same level between exterior balconies and terraces with interior flooring. The same colour is also continued, over living room floor tiles, wall and ceiling decor. White curtains in light fabric subtly dress the large windows, ready to be drawn closed at night for a cosier feel. The light window dressing can also be used to cool the interior by filtering out bright sunshine during hot summer days. All of the interior lighting is recessed into the ceiling for a minimalist aesthetic.

A series of spotlights are also recessed into an exterior overhang that shelters the narrow surrounding terraces.

On a wider balcony, an open sundeck has been created with an al fresco dining area. The outdoor wooden dining table is large enough to seat ten diners. The outdoor dining chairs match two contemporary sun loungers.

The floor-to-ceiling windows retract, sliding away to open up each room to the elements. Glazed doors are also used to separate interior spaces, which retract to allow the space to flow as one airy and sociable open space during daylight hours. Opaque green privacy curtains can be shut across the interior glass doors as the day draws to a close.

The living spaces are able to grow in area, by becoming one with the exterior ledge when the glass doors are drawn back.

An open plan layout encompasses all of the communal living spaces, including the living room, generous kitchen and six seat dining room. The interior design features clean lines to match the property’s exterior, which allows the far stretching views to dominate.

The colour palette used for the interior is inspired by nature. Deep earthy brown leather sofas span each side of the living room, placed at either side of a rug made up of terracotta, sand, leafy shades of green, berry reds and cool sky blue. A trio of coffee tables are fixed on castors to allow them to be easily relocated to wherever they are required around the spacious seating area.

The main bedrooms are located to the rear of the home to create more privacy. The interior flooring and exterior terrace here are clad in matching wooden plank. A built-in wardrobe blends with the white wall.

A small worktop is fitted into a nook in one of the bedrooms. This space could be used either as a dressing table or as an occasional home office area. A silver wall sconce lights the wooden nook.

This longer desk area has enough room for two to set up work. A run of storage cupboards above the worktop provides concealed space in which to neatly hide away files and office supplies. The black wooden desk chairs have light woven seats that contrast with the orange notes of wood tone used to create desk furniture. The same warm wood tone is used throughout the home, including the kitchen cabinets.

A multi-faceted fireplace is perched right upon the thick white granite worktop of the kitchen island.

Bespoke built-in bunk beds offer a double bed on the lower level and a single to the upper. A set of storage drawers are situated beneath to save space.

The wooden bathroom vanity has an overhanging rectangle basin. A wall mounted faucet keeps the countertop clear.

A wooden deck is home to a boat.

An aerial view of the property shows how the private island curves around in a ‘C’ shape.

The landscape is large enough to hold several homes…

… But there is not a neighbour in sight. The downside is that you could never get a takeaway delivered!

Recommended Reading: Exotic Villa on the Swedish Island of Lidingo

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30 White Living Rooms That Exude Purity And Peace

There is nothing quite as restful on the eye as the purity of a fresh white interior space. Coming home to an uncomplicated white living room decor scheme can bring you peace and serenity after a day away in a world that is visually cluttered with an endless confusion of colour. A plain scheme is like a cool calming breath of fresh air. If a lounge devoid of colour doesn’t appeal to you, then decorating the room to have a pure white backdrop also gives you the perfect canvas on which to splash a selection of brighter furniture and accessories that you can change out easily at will.

Designer: DNA Concept Design  
Photographer: Hey!Cheese Photography  

Our first white living room has a light grey settee that looks upon a slimline console shelf, which spans the length of the room. Above the television is a row of wall cabinets that merge seamlessly with the underside of a soffit. A black Eames bird matches the dark window frames, where the white living room curtains open to one side to allow in more natural light.

Architect: Amir Navon Designer: Yael Perry & Dafna Gravinsky  

This black and white living room centres around a chunky chaise sofa, which is the only dark piece in the room. A set of wire-framed shelves fill the wall around the television, displaying a small selection of decorative items.

Visualizer: KUOO Architects  

A white living room rug forms a subtle visual base for this lounge setup. A trio of grey coffee tables act as a centrepiece in front of a huge sectional sofa.

Visualizer: TheGoort  

A bright yellow accent chair and recessed teal shelves add small splashes of vibrant colour to this white living room decor.

Visualizer: Oporski  

Contrasting sections appear as geometric volumes in this grey and white living room. The modern sofa is made of sharp simple lines that complement the contemporary architecture.

Designer: Mayelle  

A modern white living room chair and sofa match a statement spiral staircase in this striking space. A black fireplace and low level coffee table provide contrast.

Visualizer: Oporski  

This open plan lounge and kitchen have their separate uses defined by differing shades of solid decor. The smooth grey kitchen cabinets, walls and floor appear as a shadowy box to one side of the lighter living zone.

Visualizer: Arch 625  

A large bookcase grabs all of the attention in this scheme, with shelving made from warm woodtone.

Designer: Yael Perry  

Minimalist living rooms are probably best known for being decorated in a plain white fashion, but you don’t have to get rid of all of your belongings to enjoy the minimalist aesthetic.

Designer: Brain Factory  

Indoor plants add a fresh feeling of life to an all white living room, and they will bring colour to a room without the need to actually commit to colourful decor.

Visualizer: Hung Le  

On trend monochrome geometric styling boosts a white walls living room, and adding a small amount of wood tone can go a long way in warming a cool interior palette.

Photographer: Paulina Arcklin  

This rustic living room has white-washed furniture and floors that allow a little of the original grain to show through. It’s a clever way to tie the whole scheme together as one cohesive colour theme without losing the character of the pieces. You can find more pictures of this wonderful apartment here.

Visualizer: Home D  

Tribal decor uses rattan and natural elements to add texture and interest to a room; the effect of this styling on a pure canvas can be stunning.

Visualizer: Juraj Talcik  

This black and white living room decor keeps all of the base notes at floor level, including monochrome artwork propped by the large sectional sofa. The boiserie around the walls, the coving, fireplace, mirror frame and lighting are as pure as fresh fallen snow.

Architect: Project A01  

A sweeping view from surrounding picture windows are enough to decorate this modern white living room. Even the balustrades of the open plan staircase is made of clear frameless glass so as not to obstruct the scenery.

Source: Cor  

You may think that having white living room furniture sets will not go hand-in-hand with the children in your home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the white lounge you’re dreaming of. Washable white wall paint and quality floor paint will withstand washing of spills and scribbles, and you can opt for a darker upholstered sofa and rug.

Source: Cor  

A brown and white living room has a sophisticated look.

Visualizer: Geometrix  

This high contrast black and white living room furniture has a space-age look.

Visualizer: Pix 3D  

Black and white photography makes a perfect gallery wall for a black and white living room.

Designer: Hintegro  

Pastel colour artwork takes the white walls of this lounge in a different direction.

Visualizer: Valery Kelch  

Scatter cushions offer an easy change option in adding a splash of colour to a light scheme. A wooden feature ceiling makes this white space look warmer too.

Visualizer: ID White  

Whilst the black on white colourway of this decor appears sharp, the white living room set has soft curved corners and edges, as though the sofa and footstool were made of giant marshmallows.

Designer: Pascal Grasso Architects  

These white living room cabinets appear like architectural extrusions up one wall, spaced apart like the steps of a ladder.

Visualizer: Alexandra Fedorova  

An open plan kitchen diner backs this white sitting room; each zone carries the pure decor right through with just a couple of wooden accents in decorative wall recesses and the kitchen backsplash.

Visualizer: Hilight  

In a plain scheme you can go a little more adventurous with accessories, like these modern living room lamps with oversized shades.

Visualizer: Andrey Zyomko  

This grey and white decor living room has a grey area rug to anchor the white leather living room furniture in place.

Designer: Resolution: 4 Architecture  

The pale grey shade of this sofa gives the piece wonderfully subtle definition within the light room.

Visualizer: Image Box Studio   

If you like this yellow accent living room then check out these 50 Inspirational Scandinavian Style Living Rooms.

Designer: Jamie Bush & Co.  

Lime green accessories add zest to this ocean facing room.

Visualizer: Danila Komarov  

This black white and grey living room uses natural toned accents to break up the expanse of monochrome.

If you like the white theme, don’t forget to check out:
32 Gorgeous White Bedrooms
30 Modern White Kitchens That Exemplify Refinement

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Product Of The Week: The Thor Hammer Tool Box

Get your Norse god swag on point with this 44 piece toolkit/Thor’s Mjolnir from ThinkGeek.

Inside it has all your basic tool needs, including a hammer (duh), a tape measure, a level, a screwdriver, a wrench, a ratcheting wrench, and a utility knife you can conveniently use to open your next box … It’s perfect for someone worthy of their first place or a great extra set of everything to have around in case of emergencies (like having to replace your lock set because Loki got a copy of the key AGAIN). We predict it’s a gift your recipient will return to repeatedly and get a chuckle out of every time.

$99.99BUY IT

$99.99BUY IT

$99.99BUY IT

$99.99BUY IT

Get It Here. Go on, you’re worthy!

Also recommended reading: Superhero Home Decor

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