Monday, September 17, 2012

Small spaces - Kitchens with open top shelves

In few days my partner and me will start adapting a small apartment, just bedroom, bathroom and one bigger room for kitchen, dining and living. When designing interior for small apartments, you really need to take care not to overcrowd it. That's why I decide that our kitchen is going to have open top shelves instead of cabinets. Here are some examples to inspire you.

This kitchen only has the bottom cabinets, and I'm still considering this option, because I like how clear and open it looks. Also, wall is covered with glass instead of tiles. That's also our decision for the kitchen (we'll use simple walls covered with waterproof paint), because we think that any pattern on the wall would make it look smaller.
Here, is a bit more shabby chic kitchen with open top shelves. Look at the lights! I'll have something similar in my new kitchen.
This one is a school example of white shabby chic kitchen. Shelves are miss matched and painted white, on white wooden wall.
Next comes more modern kitchen, a very small kitchen, and open shelves work so great in it. It's tidy, practical and gorgeous!
This is rustic / Scandinavian / shabby style kitchen. Fridge is cleverly hidden behind wooden screen.
In this kitchen top shelf is mostly used for decoration, but it's still very neat and practical kitchen all in all. I love the fun details!
Open shelves are easy to organize, but there's a down side also. You must be tidy all times, the shelves are exposed, and their function is not only storage any more, it's also decorative.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cheap home decor - coffee tables and side tables

Do we really need to use coffee tables for coffee tables? I'll tell you a secret - I really, really do not like classic coffee tables, they're huge, they're clumsy, and we collect so much rubbish on, in and around them. Well, here are some alternatives to use as your coffee table. These all could be found objects (so the cost would be 0$), or second hand find.

1. Old drums. Sounds crazy, right? Well, this particular solution for side table made me write this post in the first place. i think it looks just great!
2. Old wine barrels. I know you're used to seeing this stuff in rural ambient taverns and similar spaces, but there are also barrels of  smaller size that could work great in living rooms. You can also find small wine barrels with closed top.
3. Old wooden crates. Here are two examples of this cheap do-it-yourself idea, that's also eco-friendly.
4. Old trunks. You can even keep some things inside the trunk, but make sure it's not something you need often, because it's a bit tiring to remove all the stuff from the top of the trunk every day just to get your pen or something.
5. Natural wood. Logs can be used as coffee table or side table. You can keep them natural, as in the first picture, or paint them to match you design, as seen in second picture.
6. Pile of magazines. Yes, it can not work for everyone, but I thought to share it, just in case someone can pull this out in their home. Old books could be used in similar manner.
7. Timber coffee tables. If you're crafty enough you can make your own timber coffee table for just a  few bucks. They look well in traditional and shabby chic interiors, but also could work in some modern interiors.
8. Old doors. Recycled old doors can make beautiful coffee tables. Just check this out.
9. You can always remake an existing coffee table. And..

10. You can combine few different coffee tables, for example - old trunk and a few logs. That looks nice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wooden interiors - floors, walls and ceiling

Not everybody is crazy about wood. Yes, it can be very horrible, and a real nightmare for new house owners. But, here are some examples where I find wood on walls, floors and ceiling just amazing. Maybe it'll help you embrace your own wooden interior.

In this picture we have wooden panels on walls, refreshed with white and grey paint. Shabby wooden floor works so great in contrast with clear lines and surfaces.

On this walls wide wooden planks are used, and painted off white. It's a cheap solution and looks very rustic / primitive, just about right to balance vintage elegant furniture.

Here's one great shabby chic interior with wooden floors and walls. Now, this would look completely different if the wall wasn't painted white. We can see a very bold choice for the floor paint, but it worked very well, and created more interesting space. Good thing with this is that you can easily go back - if the stripes didn't work they could just paint the brown stripes white.

In this modern design wooden wall is used as accent. Floors are also wooden, but the pattern is very different, so you can see that wood patterns do not have to match in interior. The wood chips on the wall are of the same grey color and length, but their depth is different so they create an interesting pattern on the walls.
Next is white shabby chic living room with wooden floors, walls and ceiling. All wood is painted white, and the room is filled with white furniture. Wooden spaces can sometimes seem very tight and maybe even claustrophobic, so white color pattern is a choice to go.
Now, to prove the opposite, in this room wood covers one huge wall and floors, but it's painted dark brown. Here it works very well to create a warm and elegant modern living room. However, this wouldn't be possible without lots of bright white surfaces and cleverly positioned lights.
Modern design can be achieved with wood, too. In this picture we see a minimalist living room with wooden floors, walls and ceiling. The choice for wood is natural plywood. It looks very simple and clean.
Ma favorite in this round is this shabby / bohemian white living room with wooden floors, walls and ceiling. I like elegant details like chandelier, just as much as quirky ones like the painting of old lady on the wall.

With wood we can achieve just any look we want - classic, modern, shabby, bohemian, traditional, country... . It's so versatile, and it's up to us to try and see the beauty in it, especially if you have one of these outdated wooden walls. I hope this will inspire you to take the brush and a can of white paint, and remake / refresh / update your living room, too.