Archive for the ‘Interior Design, Decor’ Category

Interior Design Around Walnut Wood Finishes: 3 Great Examples

Walnut is a hardwood with a rich and inviting tone, and can range in shades from mellow to dramatic. It has long been a popular choice for flooring. It’s also prolifically used as a style of veneer over kitchen cabinets, which can be either matte and understated or luxuriously glossy. Walnut is highly versatile and increasingly used not just for floors and furniture but as interior wall cladding too. We’ve sourced three beautiful modern homes that are abundant in walnut finish, which also demonstrate how this warming wood tone can be complemented by other room decor. Let’s explore walnut friendly upholstery and paint colours and carefully considered lighting schemes.

Visualizer: Andrey Kabanov  

First up is a 140 square metre apartment that uses wide panels to create walnut accent walls. The rich dark tone is extremely striking and has been balanced out with a generous amount of white space around the rest of the room. A mid-grey sectional sofa sits in front of the wall, teamed with a gold floor lamp. The precious looking metal adds a lovely warmth to the setup. A peppering of black accents complement the weighty wood tone.

The interior doors of this home are of a matching dark walnut tone to the wall panelling.

A large wall clock add interest to a pale expanse that spans the upper half of an entertainment wall. Beneath this is a light grey marbled section that backs a black wall-mounted console unit.

The window blinds and curtains are a deep bottle green, and these are matched by a throw pillow on the sofa and various plants and flower foliage around the open plan living scheme. This natural tone works beautifully with the earthy walnut.

The flooring here appears to be a lighter walnut heartwood. The light floor keeps the home looking spacious and airy despite having large areas of deep brown over walls and a large walnut dining room table.

Six beige chairs with dark legs surround the long dining table. Over in the kitchen, flat fronted handle-free walnut cabinets hold an integrated mirror finish oven. The reflective surface works beautifully against the woodgrain.

Base cabinets, kitchen sink and countertops are black in contrast.

In the master suite, the contemporary design of the bedroom pendant lights looks sharp against a wooden accent wall.

The opposite wall is a soft and relaxing shade of grey.

A home office continues the quiet grey palette across walls, desk and a stylish ergonomic chair. We find a pop of green brought through from the living room scheme here too.

One more green cushion is resident in a sitting nook in the hallway. The nook is completely covered in dark walnut, making it stand out from surrounding white cupboards.

A floor to ceiling mirror adds light and sparkle behind a small white console.

The bathroom scheme is predominantly charcoal grey marble tiles, paired with softer grey.

An espresso coloured heated towel rail echoes a walnut door.

The cloakroom pulls from the same look book as the master bathroom.

Visualizer: Hilight  

Wonderful walnut infused home number two is a predominantly white scene with just a sprinkling of black to keep things sharp and anchored.

The accent colour in this home is a bold teal, seen here in the area rug beneath the monochrome modular sofa and oversized white floor lamps.

All of the walnut in this open plan has been applied across only one side of the room.

The wood cladding encompasses two separate volumes.

The volume on the left hold a fireplace on one side, and continues around to form part of the kitchen.

A chunky white dining table sits below a white dining room light.

The wooden volume to the right is the hallway. A built-in seat and a cool lighting scheme make this a truly bespoke space.

A new colour is introduced in the games room. Three deep red bean bags sit ready and waiting in position.

A set of bookshelves behind make this a reading area too.

There is also book storage in and around stairs in this home. The staircase has beautiful walnut treads and sides.

Up in the attic space there is a home office decorated in teal and white.

The master suite has chocolate brown woven bedroom pendant lights. These ones are Random light.

The bed is upholstered in charcoal grey.

In the bathroom, soft lighting illuminates the perimeters.

Light lifts the edges of a textured wall.

Visualizer: KK Architects  

Our last walnut rich interior is lifted by the introduction of mossy green, like this velvety sofa.

Beige curtains work well with the warmth of the walnut feature wall.

White cabinets lift the look of walnut in a kitchen, as does a clever LED lighting scheme.

Adjacent pale concrete gives walnut an edgy look.

The black cut-through design across the kitchen is echoed by an installation of black shelving.

Perimeter lighting showcases natural woodgrain.

The bed in here repeats the mossy look of the sofa out in the lounge.

A gold planter adds a fun yet sophisticated feature, as well as a touch of visually warmth. The plant itself adds a little colour and life.

The bathroom is a pale, clean scheme with no dark walnut present at all. Though the soft lighting around the mirrors over the vanity does provide continuity with the rest of the apartment.

A second bedroom introduces a splash of red, via a large piece of artwork. The vibrant tone gives a much needed blast of heat to pale grey and white decor.

Recommended Reading: 30 Bedrooms With Striking Wooden Accent Walls

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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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