Becoming an interior design ‘guru’

 (while drinking coffee)

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We are living in an information age. The internet has revolutionised the way in which we live and subsequently the ways in which we learn. With so much information readily available there is nothing to stop us from becoming the leading experts in any field we desire. Whether it be butter-churning or Shetland pony grooming (Unfortunately this is not the platform for such things).

So in the spirit of being information-saturated we have put together 12 DIY steps to help put you on the path to becoming an interior design guru (or at the very least slightly more design-savvy).

1. Take advantage of the information at your fingertips. In essence, read, read, read and read some more. Here are some of our favourite reads but there is tons of literature out there: Elle Decor: http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/ and Home and Design: http://www.homeanddesign.com/

2. Keeping contemporary is key: this is largely about knowing when vintage is modern (and acceptable) and when vintage is old (and unfashionable).

3. Familiarise yourself with the lingo. Find an old notebook and create a Design Dictionary . Fill it with with words like, Armoire, CMT and Eclectic.
Here is a useful site to get you started, http://thedesigntabloid.com/decor-dictionary

4. Get an eye for detail. This may be something you have naturally (lucky) otherwise train yourself. When you are walking outdoors or sitting in a coffee shop, look around you and take in even the most minute details. Ask yourself, what makes a particular environment unique? What makes it classic, quirky or minimalist (this is usually signified by a lack of detail).

5. Practice. Practice, Practice. Re-design your children’s bedrooms or your office space. Play with tones, textures and prints. Be bold or go bare but always be brave.

6. Keep a scrapbook of patterns, prints, colours, textures, ideas and notes. This will help keep your inspired and give you a point of reference.

7. Speak to other people who are into interior design (friends, family, really anyone). Share ideas and exchange information. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

8. Remember that there are never bad ideas or bad designs but a general appreciation of your work can be a rough guideline.

9. Go with your gut, and if this doesn’t work out then go with someone else’s (maybe someone from who wears a name-tag and knows the difference between rosy pink and pinky rose).

10. Always look for more resource like this one, http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/1005235/interior-design-experts-reveal-their-favorite-tips, for more tips on how to become design-savvy.

11. Use all the resources you have at hand to make it happened. A great resource is the internet but also speak to those in the interior design field. This includes people who work at retail shops, selling tiles, carpets, paint etc. They are professionals in areas of interior design and can be a great resource.

12. Remember to always stay stylish (or at least try).

*Please note: All of the following can be done while drinking coffee and wielding a fresh bagel.

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New year, new designs

Often, if not always, New year is welcomed in with a heap of enthusiastic, or rather not-so-enthusiastic, resolutions. These dreaded undertakings, which we feel so inclined to make after a few glasses of bubbly and a hearty rendition of Auld Lang Syne, are always the soon-to-be regretted commitments to which we are completely and undeniably uncommitted.

As January falls away and February quickly approaches. The resolve which we held onto so firmly only a month ago slowly crumbles. And the urge to do nothing takes hold.  Once again it seems we are destined to end up spending our free time on the couch watching day-time T.V.

So before the novelty of this year’s New Year’s resolutions wear off, we wanted to put together a few ways for you to re-invent your 2014 kitchen. So you can finally fulfil your promise to ‘do something with that space’ and put a big tick on that 2014 to-do-list.

The ‘something’ for that space

Our ‘somethings’ were inspired by House Beautiful, tips for 10 Kitchen Details That Wow and 14 Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

Mirrors and Mosaic. Space and light are a must for your 2014 kitchen. Use mirrors to create the illusion of space. While mosaic tiles create patterns of light and colour.

Use mirrors and mosaics to create space and light in the kitchen

Use mirrors and mosaics to create space and light in the kitchen

Use mirrors and mosaics to create space and light in the kitchen

Detail, detail, detail. Don’t let the idea of a ‘functional space’ stop you from creating personal details that are quirky and original.

Use details such as old biscuit tins to give your kitchen a quirky character

Use details such as old biscuit tins to give your kitchen a quirky character

Get textured. Use wood, concrete/stone, glass and tile to reinvent your kitchen.

Use textures in your kitchen to create interest and character

Use textures in your kitchen to create interest and character

– Colours and Patterns. Go warm or go cool but be sure to use a range of tones to create a quality of depth. Pop-colours are a must.

Subtle colours with a paisley pattern offer a soft sophistication to any kitchen

Subtle colours with a paisley pattern offer a soft sophistication to any kitchen

Get Artsy. Use statement pieces to create a sense of grandeur. They can be bought from that obscure little gallery on the corner or made by the kids at school.

Pottery is a great addition to any kitchen

Pottery is a great addition to any kitchen

Retro reverence. Black and white checks? Yes, please.

You can never go wrong with a vintage/retro twist.

You can never go wrong with a vintage/retro twist.

Get innovative. Use old records as table mats

Get innovative. Use old records as table mats

If predictions are anything to go by, and we think they are, then interior design in 2014 is all about the personal. Involve the family in the re-invention of your kitchen, go arty with some mosaic or go professional with a silver finish and black and white tile. The choices are endless and entirely yours.But be sure to give your kitchen its much deserved attention this year.