Archive for the ‘Interior Design, Decor’ Category

Why You Need to Incorporate Negative Space in Your Design

negative space

Every design needs negative space. Let us show you why. Image: Bjurfors Göteborg

If you’re a regular reader of Freshome, you’ve heard about the virtues of negative space. This seemingly-small move can make a huge difference in your interiors.

Keep reading to learn more about why this feature is absolutely crucial, as well as practical tips on how to pull it off in your own home. With just a few small tweaks, you can use this maneuver to open up your designs.

psychologically pleasing

These spaces are more psychologically pleasing. Image: Terracotta Studio

They’re more pleasing, psychologically speaking

We’ve all experienced the feeling of looking at a room that’s so well put together it takes our breath away. It may seem as though the furniture or the color palette that was chosen is the thing to set this design above the rest. However, we’d argue that the use of negative space is what makes such a huge difference.

There’s a psychological basis for our reasoning. According to Gestalt Psychology, every time we enter a new space, our brains process the room as a whole first. It’s only after we are able to categorize the room by its function that we’re able to truly focus in on its aesthetic or the individual design elements themselves.

We tend to react more positively to rooms that feature plenty of negative space because they’re easier for our brains to categorize. Since the openness of the space allows it’s function to become perfectly clear, we’re able to start appreciating design choices much sooner.


Use becomes clear without clutter. Image: Platinum Series by Mark Molthan

They’re easier to use

Now that we’ve covered the psychological reasons for white space in your design, it’s time to move on to the functional reasons. Put simply, these spaces are much easier to use than ones that are hampered by a lot of excess design elements.

First, let’s consider the flow of the room. At some point, you’ve probably experienced the feeling of working your way through a cluttered space. More than likely, you found forging a pathway from one point to another frustrating and unnecessary. Negative space allows you to create clear paths around the room. Ideally, your design should allow visitors to navigate fully through the space without issue.

design choices

Allow your design choices to stand out. Image: TAA Custom Homes

Your design shines

Finally, it’s important to consider negative space from an aesthetic perspective. Think of it this way — your design is a compilation of every single element that you decide to include in the space, as well as every single element you decide to leave out. When you include the right amount of negative space in your design, it’s like striking the perfect balance between the two.

Most of the time, this will be your last step. It can be helpful to think of adding negative space as interior design editing. Often, it’s the finishing touch that allows your aesthetic to take center stage.


Use these tips to bring some negative space to your design. Image: Clarum Homes

How to create negative space

Now that we’ve discussed why negative space is so important, it’s time to talk about how to make it work in your own interiors. Every space is different, so the exact steps you need to take will vary, but we have a few tips to help get you started.

As you put together the rooms in your home, keep the following in mind:

  • Start with function: Functional elements like your furniture are most important. Let them form the basis of your design.
  • Look for Double-Duty Pieces: Invest in design elements that have a functional purpose as well as adding aesthetic value.
  • Leave Pathways Clear: You should be able to navigate fully around the room without issue.
  • Declutter: It sounds self-explanatory, but if there’s any excess clutter laying around, it’s best to clean it up.
  • Edit: You know that old adage “Put on your jewelry and take one piece off”? You can apply the same principle to your design. Look around the room to seek out any elements that don’t fit in with the rest.
  • Think About Added Value: If you can’t decide whether or not a piece fits in with the rest, think in terms of added value. Does the piece add anything in particular to the space? If yes, keep it. If not, leave it out.
negative space

Are you ready to add negative space? Image: JT Photo

Negative space is an often overlooked component of many professional-looking designs. We’re here to make a case for why it should be considered a must-have. Use the post above as a reference point and, if we’ve convinced you to join #TeamNegativeSpace, use the tips above to add this feature to the rooms of your home. You’ll be surprised just how much of a difference a few small changes can make.

Have we convinced you yet? Will you make a point of including negative space in your interiors from now on? Tell us in the comments.

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Home Decor Trends to Watch, According to Maison & Objet Paris

The Maison & Objet show just wrapped in Paris, and it was full of home decor inspiration. The show is the largest showcase of European designers and their home products, and global attendees come to buy the latest for their stores, or simply take in the inspiration and find a fresh direction for their upcoming projects.

Exhibitors at the show are pretty ahead of the curve, so it’s likely that the trends on the floor today may not even get to your favorite shop for another year or more. But why wait? Here’s a look at the highlights.

Maison & Objet trends

maison & objet trends 2018 -

The Furniture From Spain exhibitor booth, which was a fusion of Mid Century Modern and Art Deco design.

The biggest takeaway I got from walking through the show was the overall Art Deco vibe. If you’re looking to update your space, why not channel 1920s opulence! It doesn’t mean you have to throw out all your stark, well-tailored furnishings – soften them up a bit with some Art-Deco inspired accessories. Here are some other trends spotted at the show:

Rich jewel tones

Perhaps it was the pairing of the velvets, suedes and other textural fabrics that seemed to take light and color and add so much dimension. The colors were so sumptuous and bold. Emerald greens, indigos, teals, reds and saturated pinks were everywhere. The treatment was not understated either – looks like 2018 and beyond’s mantra will be “more is more.”

But what if you’re a neutral kind of person? No worries, the color oatmeal seems to be the new grey, and it worked well with all the new jewel tones.

maison objet 2018

Emerald, which designers across the board agree will be hot this year, was beautifully presented by Duran Lighting and Interiors.

color trends 2018

The explosion of jewel tone colors by Guadarte was masterfully layered in these displays.

Lots of fluid shapes and curves

Forget angular and boxy — it looks like we’ll see more fluid, round, oblong or curvy shapes and lines for the next couple of years. Sofas, lighting and even bookcases got the rounded treatment — and it’s pretty beautiful.

maison & objet trends 2018

Claude Cartier managed to express the most important trends from Paris in his lighting collection.

Curves were incorporated by rounding out the corners of the practical Radian bookcase by Studio Klasse for Ligne Roset.

Danish designer Cecilie Manz was the winner of Maison & Objet’s Designer of the Year for 2018. Her round linen poufs were a show favorite.

The Nudo Wall Shelf by Mut is customizable. You can add black trays as shown, or even a mirror, to create a contemporary wall display or bathroom mirror.

The Trapeze Lighting Collection was designed by Jette Sheib. Each pendant can be articulated or configured into a variety of shapes and angles.

A variety of configurations are shown. The design is not only graceful, it can uplight and downlight an area at the same time.

Texture, texture, texture

Tom Dixon’s booth was packed with admirers who fell in love with his hand-loomed collection of shaggy pillows and rugs that he named “Super Texture.” Everything was impossibly soft to the touch, and the color combinations were perfect.

tom dixon

A collection of Tom Dixon’s home furnishings from the Super Texture line.

maison objet trends

Dixon’s latest additions to the Super Texture collection were hand-loomed pillows and rugs featuring colorful abstract prints.

An obsession with chairs

Chairs were the focal point of all the room settings, in a rich variety of fluid shapes and luxurious fabrics that begged visitors to give them a try.

Designer Inga Sempe updated the Moel chair for Ligne Roset with vertical bands and new fabrics.

The iconic Sixties Pot Chair by Scandinavian designer Arne Jacobsen is back and available at Fritz Hansen in the latest colors and fabrics.

The Bea Chair by Italian company Porada is perfectly on trend with its round, fluid shape.

What do you think about the latest Maison & Objet trends?

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Captain’s House in China Merges With Seaside Cliffs

Vector Architects rehabilitated a fortress-like residence on the southeast end of the Huangqi Peninsula, Fujian Province, China. Named Captain’s House, the project is dramatically embedded into a rocky landscape and offers panoramic sea views.

“The damp and erosive nature of the land caused large-area water leakage during over 20 years of use, which become the main design issue to be addressed,” the architects said. Furthermore, the owners wanted to add a third floor to the existing structure in order to answer the living needs of the family.

“Our design work started with the study of structural reinforcement,” the architects explained. “After a series of careful comparisons, we decided to add a concrete layer to the original brick masonry walls. The intervention of the new concrete wall allowed us to re-manipulate the layout to some extent.”

The living room, dining room and master bedroom were oriented towards the views. The upper level comes with an original vaulted ceiling and accommodates a multi-functional living space. Additionally, since the captain’s family is Christian, this space is also intended to be a family chapel.

The new concrete window frames protrude from the outside wall, which prevents excessive rainwater from entering the house. Information provided by Vector Architects; photography courtesy of Xia Zhi, Howard Chan and Chen Zhenqiang

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How To Style a Chic Galentine’s Day Brunch

As soon as stores swipe the tinsel off the shelves, it’s replaced by heart-shaped boxes and all things bright red and pink. When it comes to Saint Valentine’s Day, there are people who love it, others who passionately hate it, and those who remain indifferent to the romance and expectations of the day.

Admittedly, I have dabbled in the indifference category for several years now. I normally love any excuse to celebrate. But Valentine’s Day plans often come with too much pressure to be over-the-top extravagant.

This year I’m taking a new route and looking at the occasion through a new set of rose-colored glasses. The day of love shouldn’t be limited to romantic relationships — why not take a day to celebrate the women in your life by hosting a Galentine’s Day brunch? We’ve got ideas on how to host an elegant brunch that your group won’t soon forget.

Muted pinks and greys add a laid back and sweet ambiance to the room. Image: House of Five

Take a muted path to your color scheme

Millennial pink is the perfect color to build the details of your décor and color scape around. Taking a turn away from the bright reds and pinks usually associated with the holiday adds an unexpected element.

Both these darling candles and this image come from Very Vintage Boutiques on Etsy.

Add elegant birthday candles

Who says birthday candles have to be reserved for once a year? We love the essence of minimalism and festivity that tall birthday candles bring to a batch of cupcakes or otherwise plainly decorated cake for dessert. Try grouping them together in the middle of a full-sized cake, or stick to using just one in the middle of each cupcake or layer cake.

We love these sweet tulip and lavender bunches. Image: Nine and Sixteen Home

Keep floral arrangements short, sweet and plentiful

Sweet petals add a soft texture and some often much-needed color to tablescapes. Rather than opting for a large arrangement, try putting short vases of blooms along the table and around your apartment to spread the cheery blooms.

This balloon-covered ceiling is a sweet surprise for all. Image: Lenzo

Transform a room with matte balloons

One of my favorite party decorations of the moment is large, matte balloons. They’re celebratory enough to transform corners and doorways, but simple enough they don’t look out of place. Try tying a group of these matte beauties at different heights to create a fuller-looking bunch.

If ever there were a time to cover everything with frosting, fruit and rose petals, it would be for Galentine’s Day. Image: Gal Meets Glam

All the desserts

We may be opting for a more modern take on everything else for this brunch, but Valentine’s Day is the sugariest holiday … and your Galentine’s brunch should be no exception. For this brunch, however, let’s bypass the flavorless candy hearts and sour suckers. Instead, indulge in over-decorating those cupcakes and buy the specialty macarons from that bakery down the street from your office.

Try a new take on February 14th this year. Opt for something more modern and elegant than the usual drugstore décor and shift your focus from stressing about relationships and grand gestures to enjoying time with the best women in your life and popping some bubbly.

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Detailed Guide & Inspiration For Designing A Rustic Living Room

Think rustic, and you might imagine a wooden ski lodge or historic, half-timbered home. Rustic design doesn’t have to involve chunky, dark timber, thick lines or even a roaring fire. Keeping weathered wood, hand-stitched fabrics and a cosy frame in mind, rustic designs create a feeling of warmth and love, evoking the phrase ‘the home is where the heart is’. Re-use old furniture, rummage around the antiques in your local market and avoid the over-polished look, with our detailed guide on how to create – and find pieces for – your own rustic living room.

Designer: Miysis  

Create your own rustic interior staples. Celebrate a high-trussed ceiling by adding faux-stone wallpaper and dark wooden flooring. Throw in industrial pendant lights, a winding pipe extractor fan and bold steel fridge, keeping an element of surprise with Victorian chairs and a gramophone. A large wall feature, like this room’s star, works with Moroccan-style tiling panels for an eclectic interior.

Designer: Big Mountain Builders  

Make the most of your lounge’s rustic feature. Place warm wood below a stone chimney and hearth, the star of your interior. Use weathered, unvarnished woods in your dining table, TV cabinet and wood stack, making it cosy with a patterned woollen rug. Paint your walls in white and your chairs in leather, accenting the style with a wildlife artwork at its centre.

Source: Eldorado Stone  

Build magic in your interior. Achieve a warm, contemporary feel with a fireplace or wall in stacked stone. Bring in outside materials and make art from them, like this rattan chandelier and vase full of wicker cane. Keep it modern with non-cluttered bookcases and one-colour couches. Let cushions and ornaments in metallics and prints have the final say.

Designer: OSM  

Lucky enough to have a wall in stone? Place wooden beams above and monochrome furniture below it. Hang a floral chandelier from your rafters and draw your furniture with sharp angles, like this black and white coffee table. Tie in the modern and classic with a lightly-checkered rug and perching standing lamp, introducing a different kind of glow to this quasi-contemporary space.

Designer: OSM  

Coat your living room in fur. An Alvar Aalto Tank armchair is the perfect canvas to clothe in hide, the white rug beneath it the perfect accessory. Experiment with different types of wood in a black-coated fireplace, weathered wall and tree-trunk coffee table. Keep it mellow with beiges and greys, centring your room with a light pendant or three.

Designer: Locati Architects  

Design your lounge in the rustic farmhouse style. Using a base colour palette of white paint and wood, construct a crockery cabinet with intricate edges. Upholster your couch in gingham, scattering patterns across your lounge in chair upholstery, cushions, rugs and throws. To introduce a travelled look, accessorize with ethnic fixtures in a large serving platter, African-style vases and a distressed wooden stool.

Visualizer: Jenya Lykasova  

Situate your lounge in imaginary Indonesia. Upon a light wooden floor, set a simple grey rug, white L-couch and tree log coffee tables, creating a feeling of calm framed by tall banana palms. Shroud the windows behind with muted beige curtains, offering a place to sit in a Victorian dining chair. Bring in your feature at the very last moment, with large wicker pendant lights that truly light up the scene.

Visualizer: Angelina Alekseeva  

Achieve the rustic look with a Mediterranean twist. Place a bevy of different ferns behind a mushroom L-couch, a greyed tree trunk before it. Make it cosy with a plush grey rug in a similar hue and a smattering of brown cushions. Polish off the setting with flowers in a coconut and two glass vases. See our Mediterranean rustic chic-style article for more interiors in this style.

Visualizer: Lyubimova Kate  

Take your rustic living room into the 21st Century. Make full noise with an exposed brick wall and rough wooden rafters, flooring your space with varnished wood. Stand two silver lamps beside your couches, joining them with a geometric coffee table in black and white squares. For a funky edge, lean a vivid band photograph against your wall, flick a rug in paint splatters and create your own itinerary in a monochrome board to the side.

Visualizer: he.D creative group  

Make wooden patterns. Structure wood into slivered bands on your wall, cross-hatches on your floor and wide planks on your main stage. Inject French flavour with charcoal wall panelling and radiators, adding structure with sofas in a bright white hue. Create warmth with a distressed fireplace and candelabra chandelier competing for a flame, and handwoven accent chairs to keep guests guessing.

Visualizer: Mario Stoica  

Simulate a time machine in the rustic style. Place a large metal clock over your window, letting the light stream onto a dimpled cream sofa and pastel blue armchair. Place a coffee table with wheels upon a striped rug, as geometric wooden pendant lights hang over a potted hedge. Floor the space with cross-hatched wood, making a bauble of a fireplace appear the spaceman.

Visualizer: Tomas Sciskala  

Celebrate attic roofing with rustic décor to suit. Construct a window spanning your floor and ceiling, making a feature of the outside in a larger-looking space. Frame your corner with a pea green sofa, adding a selection of rounds in a Turkish rug, mid-wooden coffee table and modern Chinese lantern. Leave a white rocking horse for the kids, whilst you blend your cabinet and pot plants into the panelling.

Visualizer: Alexander Uglyanitsa  

Make the rustic and industrial come together. Light up your industrial living rooms’ exposed brick wall with two modern sconces, the main space with an open goblet fireplace. Set a curved seat on wood, while your floor mis-matches heavy wooden coffee and dining tables. Let copper pipes run around your space, adding sofa blocks in turquoise for colourful charm.

Visualizer: RNDR Studio  

Let your rustic living room be bathed in grey. Head your feature wall in exposed brick, popping a couple of coloured abstracts on for size. Clothe your floor in muted wood, lounge and TV cabinet in charcoal, tying a long cylindrical light onto their backs. Throw mustard and mint cushions and a vase full of flowers into the finish.

Visualizer: Trinh Nguyen  

Design your loft in the rustic style. Colour exposed brick and plaster walls in dark grey, letting a swing arm wall lamp and fireplace provide light. Affix a pole bookcase to your wall and floor, offering a selection of books over animal hides. Seat a Flag Halyard chair afront a drum and clock, to watch the time while by.

Visualizer: Bui Ni  

Rustic living rooms can be white and bright. Make your living room brand new again, with a wooden wall decor centrepiece of the older, recycled variety. Colour your furniture in mushroom and stone, with a zigzag rug keeping it cosy. Hang a chandelier above the scene, sitting a potted orchid and vases on a light, unvarnished table.

Visualizer: Lib Team  

Celebrate the caged look. Lay a fluffy woollen rug beside a white couch, making the snug look luxurious. Hang a rattan swing chair from your ceiling, another rattan chair beside it, matching their bars with an antique-looking coffee table. Dot ferns across the room in clay pots and vases, mirroring them in a monochrome canvas. Polish off the look with two cage chandeliers above Florentine-style cushions.

Visualizer: Alesya Kasianenko  

Think rustic style can’t support Asian fusion? Think again. Create your own Eastern haven with a painted clay feature wall and golden frame of an idol. Make cubbies in a wooden bookcase, covering your floor in zigzagging wooden patterns. Provide Orientalism in red velvet couches, woven pendant lights and a tortoiseshell table.

Visualizer: Vladislav Kosaty  

Make your rustic living room almost-monochrome. Set a Jenga-style coffee table upon a white shagpile, matching white rafters, shelves, exposed brick and pine trees. Dark brown appears in two lounge suites, a pendant, logs of wood and books, the perfect accompaniments to a roaring winter fire.

Visualizer: Diaa Shaghouri  

Rustic living rooms can look ever-so-romantic. Accent yours with an exposed brick wall, Japanese loft windows and faux deer head. A neat woollen mat, slick leather couches and iron two-tier chandelier provide the feeling of a lodge astride a bevy of personal photo frames. A steel and wood coffee table nods to a latched wooden chest.

Designer: Stillwater Architecture  

Structure your rustic living room into a set of squares. Open up with wide windows and a geometric rug. Frame your smooth floor beams with a silver-hued sofa, and two Eames loungers for a lesson in comfort. Stand small, square coffee tables aside a fireplace to complete.

Visualizer: Home D  

Only have a small space to play with? Enclose your kitchen bench in a wooden frame, with two woven hanging pendants above a wooden island. Enlarge the space with a light wooden floor and white-coloured sofa. Add ethnic elements, with a glazed brown pot and wall-mounted antlers. Check out our tribal chic-style article for more ideas in this theme.

Designer: Miysis  

Design a modern rustic living room that just looks effortless. Using white walls and wooden panels, lie a white, flat rug under navy seating and a tree trunk coffee table. Scatter wooden elements around the room, in small stools and a make-it-yourself stag head. Fill your table lamp with corks and standing wood burner with heat and voila! Your very own living room with a rustic twist.

Visualizer: Koj Design  

A rustic lounge doesn’t need dark wood. Design your lounge with concrete walls and lighter-wooden floors, seating a warm brown lounge suite and Turkish rug upon its setting. Find older articles, like a hanging woven chair, leather suitcase and standing hairdryer lamp, to achieve vintage heaven.

Visualizer: Ngọc Báu  

Want a look that’s a little more simple? Use white-painted, distressed walls and an old carpet floor to base beige couches and a wicker chair. A faux-antler chandelier can offer a sprig of light, while old figure abstracts and boxes decorate the room. Add an old crate for a coffee table and Roman bust for personality.

Visualizer: Marta Gord  

Rustic living rooms are perfect for a family. To get the look, cover your concrete floor in mis-matching rugs, sitting a country coffee table on a set of wheels. House a fireplace in marble, a bulb in a caged pendant light overhanging the space. Add pops of interest in patterned couch cushions, a guitar patent artwork and floating bookcase in wood and iron.

Visualizer: Taner Candan  

The rustic style is perfect for a lounge that feels like home. Achieve something similar with a polished wooden floor, rough charcoal wallpaper and padded leather lounge suite. Lie a colourful Turkish rug afront a vintage photo made large. Throw in a medley of pot plants, distressed clock and vases.

Visualizer: LOGOVO Design Group  

The rustic lounge can appear magical. Paint your floor in shiny white, peppering your rafters with rattan pendants at varying heights. Stand tree trunks afront Eames bird replicas, adding a shaggy rug to warm up the place. Relaxed couches in light brown and columns of green find favour with blue and brown Moroccan cushions.

Visualizer: Stas Dovgal  

Channel the artist’s flat in your next living room design. Base your wooden floors, walls and ceiling in grey, with wooden-framed windows and an abstract letting the light in. Use three pendant lights as a centrepiece, warming it up with a vintage Turkish rug and slouching grey sofas. A standing guitar is an easy way to add more character.

Visualizer: Serhii Seinov  

Like grey, but not the artist’s look? Structure your room with a large L-sofa in grey, a simple abstract and clean, matching walls and floors. Black can draw the eye in a high bookshelf and knitted pouf, while adding a trio of distressed wood and clay items helps you favour more traditional elements.

Visualizer: Mihail Scherbak & Timothy Kalakutsky  

Make the rustic look your own. Conference four grey-and-yellow seats around a rustic coffee table and colourful Turkish rug. Let a caged floor lamp interact with a many-baubled chandelier and trunk TV stand. A series of wooden shelves snake up the wall to finish, offering trinkets and pot plants as parting gifts.

Recommended Reading: Rustic Bedrooms: Guide And Inspiration For Designing Them

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