Andy and Ariana Grande’s Haunted House Adventure

2 Masculine Interiors in Shades of Grey Black And Brown

Two tours around two open plan apartments that are distinctly masculine in approach, each with a grey, black and brown colour scheme. However, these two monochrome apartment designs do differ in their approach. Our first is a high contrasting affair with stark walls in predominantly darker notes, perhaps bordering on a minimalist aesthetic if not for a few frivolous knick-knacks here and there. The second of our home tours is a softer more sumptuous arrangement, with a slightly more mature or discerning air. Take a look around and see which of the two styles you might opt for if offered the choice.

Visualizer: Julia Sultanova  

The open plan living room combines a cooking, dining and lounge areas, where the upper kitchen wall is a dark grey backdrop of bricks. Lower cabinets and a double height unit lighten the mood in a smooth white finish for contrast. The chaise lounge sofa is positioned to divide the large room. A tan area rug defines the lounge area.

Dramatic charcoal coloured curtains frame the tall windows in this room. A low round black coffee table sits in front of the grey sofa to keep current books at hand, whilst a dual headed standing lamp lights the chaise from behind for comfortable reading.

The wall behind the TV has been painted in grey to echo of the kitchen wall at the opposite end. The low-level crisp white entertainment unit freshens the look. Decorative candles help soften the mood a bit. The only glimpses of high colour we find in the room comes from the bright red leaves of the two house plants and the piece of modern art on the adjacent wall. A typographical neon lamp delivers a glowing mantra.

The sudden hit of sunshine yellow and orange hues that are incorporated into the wall art adds a welcome vibrant touch to the dark moody decor.

Over in the entryway, behind the rack of outerwear is a huge mirror which reflects the living room, doubling the look of space in the apartment. A row of lower cabinets matches the white ones on the entertainment wall.

A tall wrap-around kitchen cabinet doubles as a bookcase in the centre of the home, along with a few shelves that are neatly concealed behind doors to store surplus items.

Above the four seated contemporary dining suite, two pendant lights give out multi-directional beams. The brown modern dining chairs resemble four pieces of delicate origami.

A wooden dining table ties in with the wooden floor beyond the kitchen-diner.

Kitchen task lighting comes as a row of low hanging spot pendants. A reflective backsplash adds a slick trim to the cooking space.

Doorways to the bedroom and bathroom lead straight off the entryway.

The master bedroom has an eye-catching cubic accent wall behind the headboard, another angular design reminiscent of origami techniques. The collection of three-dimensional panels are matte black, making the room appear deeper. A winged headboard hugs the head of the bed in sumptuous grey upholstery.

Behind the television in the bedroom, wood paneling warms the monochrome scheme. The wood effect, that matches the flooring, is flanked by two mirrors which bounce extra natural light around the space.

Two spotlights are suspended high above the bedside drawer units to aid nighttime reading. The bedside chests are perched upon slender metal legs. Allowing the floor space beneath units to see seen makes the room feel more spacious.

In the bathroom the textured wall tiles cover contrasting walls of black and white. A concrete vanity shelf holds a modern basin beneath a wall mounted chrome tap. A spotlight on a flexible repositionable arm illuminates the wash area.

Smooth black doors conceal storage above a concealed cistern, perfect for housing extra towels and toiletries. A modern shower cubicle nestles alongside it, with a square rainfall showerhead within.

LED lighting illuminates the perimeter of the floor.

A second bathroom uses the same monochrome colour palette.

Smaller tiles decorate this smaller space, in a half gloss, half matte effect.

A tall mirror, mounted above the rectangular basin, helps the tiny space feel more spacious.

Visualizer: Fenix Design  

Our second apartment, another grey and black scheme, is slightly softer in its approach and is peppered with cozy moments.

Here the contrast feels less stark. Light veins run through marble wall tiles and tones of mink give a much warmer look.

The warm white LED lighting shining over the entertainment wall creates a cozy glow.

The entryway leads straight into the living room in this open plan apartment. A small console has been wall mounted to provide a place to drop keys and charge a phone

A ceiling-mounted hanging fireplace warms the room, beside an oversized decorative log hutch.

The dining chairs have upholstered seats for extra comfort.

The same marble wall tiles that can be found in the lounge area have been used as a kitchen backsplash. The dining table light is a singular strip that lights the full length of the table yet has a barely there profile.

A deep and sumptuous mink coloured rug marks the start of the lounge area and the end of the kitchen-diner. The soft colour works perfectly with the soft woodtone of the flooring.

The kitchen cabinets are glossy to reflect the light from the window into the room. The dining table is amalgamated right into the kitchen central island to save space and create an interesting design feature.

Recommended Reading: 4 Masculine Apartments with Super Comfy Sofas and Sleek Color Palettes

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Do’s and Don’ts of Finishing a Basement and Creating the Perfect Bonus Space

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finishing a basement

Finishing a basement is one of the coolest home improvement projects you can undertake. Image: Hart & Lock Design

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Finishing a basement feels like the ultimate goal for many homeowners. Not only is it a chance to add some more — probably much needed — living space to your home, but it allows you the rare opportunity to design a room from the ground up. Working with that much flexibility can often feel overwhelming, especially if you’re dealing with it for the first time.

If you’re ready to finish your basement, but aren’t quite sure where to start, this post is for you. We’ve outlined all the do’s and don’ts you need to know to tackle this project from start to finish. Use this as a guide to creating a bonus space that works for you.

basement utility

Remember to keep the space highly utilitarian. Image: Construction Ahead

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DO: Consider utility first

Remember that even though you’ll be taking your basement to the next level, it still needs to be a highly utilitarian area. Whether you currently use the space for storage, laundry facilities, a home office or some combination of all three, you want your new design to enhance that functionality rather than take away from it.

As you consider your new layout, there are three key rules to keep in mind. They are:

  1. Wall off any areas that need extra privacy.
  2. Leave the area around your water heater unfinished in case of leaks.
  3. Keep your plumbing in place whenever possible to cut down on cost.

Beyond that, the sky is the limit. Before you get started on your project, think about all the ways you’re hoping to use your finished basement. Maybe you’ve been thinking about adding a guest bedroom or another powder room or maybe there’s some wasted space that can take on a new purpose.

basement foundation

Start by making sure your foundation is solid. Image: Alair Homes

DON’T: Underestimate the construction

Finishing a basement is different than the other design projects we’ve covered because, in this case, you’re starting from scratch. While that does give you more freedom to customize the space as you see fit, there’s also more legwork to be done in the beginning to ensure it stays warm and dry.

Unless you have a true background in construction, this is one area where we truly recommend hiring a contractor. Shoring up any foundation cracks and framing around your existing ductwork are projects best left to the pros. No one wants to see their hard work dampened by an errant rainstorm or frigid temperatures.

Before you sign any contracts, make sure the team your hire has the skills to take on your unique vision. Select someone who is familiar with the permitting and zoning regulations in your municipality and, if possible, bring in specialists to handle any necessary plumbing and electrical work.

basement layout

Tailor an open-concept layout to fit your needs. Image: Leslie Goodwin Photography

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DO: Master the art of open-concept spaces

Most finished basements tend to involve some sort of open-concept arrangement. With that in mind, it’s vital to know how to construct these spaces in the right manner.

Start by creating distinct groupings based on how you want to use the space. Maybe you have a TV area in mind, a dining table or a play area for the kids. Regardless of which groupings you’re creating, you want to ground it with its own light fixture, as seen in the picture above. If appropriate, don’t hesitate to add an area rug as well.

Then, be sure to leave plenty of negative space between each segment you’ve created. Not only will this ensure there is plenty of space to walk around, it will also help visually separate these areas so they don’t seem overwhelming to the eye.

basement comfort

Account for comfort and aesthetics. Image: Leslie Goodwin Photography

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DON’T: Discount aesthetics

Finished basements have a long history of being relegated to enduring bare walls and mismatched furniture. This has to stop. We’re of the mind that if you’re going to spend the time, energy and money to finish a basement, you should treat its aesthetics like any other space in your house.

Color can do a lot to unify a space. Consider using one cohesive color scheme to run through every part of the room. Even if you’re not quite up to committing to the usual 60/30/10 color scheme, aim to use a similar shade through all of your furniture and cohesive hues throughout your accessories.

Speaking of accessories, layering a few, carefully selected pieces can do a lot to finish off a space. Make sure to include plenty of wall art, throw pillows, blankets and even strict décor elements until you feel as though your new basement is welcoming and cozy.

finishing a basement

Keep these tips in mind for when you’re ready to consider finishing a basement. Image: Martha O’Hara Interiors

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Most homeowners dream of finishing a basement one day. This improvement offers the unique opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind design. That said, when you’re given that level of creative freedom for the first time, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. If you need a little help sorting out your plans for finishing your basement, keep these tips in mind. We’ll help you build a space that truly fits your needs.

What was your experience finishing a basement like? Do you have any tips you can share with others? Tell us in the comments!

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