Monthly Archives: December 201731

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Spectacular House Renovation in China Blends with the Seascape

Beijing-based Evolution Design took on the challenge of rehabilitating two decrepit buildings located in a scenic village in Zhoushan, China. The houses, which had been unoccupied for 70 years, are oriented toward the sea and offer panoramic views.

The architects combined the existing structures into a continuous space with a modern layout. “The new residence is composed of bedrooms renovated from the two old houses plus a studio converted from an old kitchen with collapsed roof that is now replaced by a glass ceiling,” the developing team explained.

One of the design highlights is a reinforced concrete “box” facing the sea, which serves as an open space living and dining area. This architectural element is also a link between the upstairs master bedroom and the two guestrooms below.

“The new house is built with reinforced concrete and is a perfect match in terms of both structure and space while remaining free of excessive decoration,” the designers said. “Concrete was specifically chosen to help the house withstand erosion stemming from the harsh sea climate.”

The interior design is a hypnotizing merger between old and new. Wood, concrete, stone and glass have been tastefully put on display to celebrate this distinction. Do you find this rural house renovation as captivating as we do? Photography by JianPing Yang & Yong Zhang.

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Fashionistas, Brace Yourself! Chanel Opened a Private Women’s Club in NYC

Coco Chanel, famous for her black-and-white signature fashion and accessories, may be long gone but she would love the latest venture in her name: the Coco Club. The private, invitation-only club is the first for the brand and opened in the Soho neighborhood in New York City.

The invitation to the Coco Club opening in New York City. Image: Eventbrite

Coco was always a feminist. She embraced men’s clothing and used men’s tailoring in her designs. So a private women’s club inspired by a gentlemen’s club would be a natural progression for her brand. And the club’s design is inspired by one of her most iconic watches — the Boy-Friend. The colors of the interiors are graphic black and white with cream and gold accents everywhere.

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The entrance to the Coco Club. Image: Chanel

Lucky members receive a gold card for access. There’s all sorts of fun and unusual services at the Coco Club to keep the ladies who have it all intrigued, such as an on-site numerologist (Chanel was obsessed with numbers) ready to offer personalized readings. There’s a beauty room to glam up in, with Chanel makeup artists ready to give you the perfect red pout. A ping-pong table, pool table and photo booth keep things fun. Check out the interiors of the Coco Club:

Chanel Coco Club lockers

The lockers feature the signature look and typeface of Chanel. Image: Chanel

The game room

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The bright and cheery game room features Chanel’s signature logo on the game tables. Image: Chanel

The cafe

Minimalist but polished, the understated cafe offers anything a club member may be craving. Image: Chanel

Pool table

A black pool table is a hotspot at the club. Image: Chanel

A sitting area at the private club

The design is inspired by the typical, masculine smoking room of a private gentlemen’s club. Image: Chanel


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Some of Chanel’s most famous sayings are featured throughout the club. Image: Chanel

The Boy-Friend Bar

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Named after the iconic Chanel watch that inspired the design of the club, the Boy-Friend Bar serves up drinks — and watches.

The library

The library displays vintage objects on the long table that anchors the room. Image: Chanel

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Historic Chapel in Belgium Converted into Architecture Office

This historic chapel in Belgium was recently converted by Studio klaarchitectuur into an unconventional office space. Dubbed Waterdog, the project aims to transform architecture work into an almost spiritual experience.

“Due to the chapel’s status as a listed building, the renovation project was bound by several limitations,” the architects said. “For instance, it was vital the historical character of the building remained intact. This was achieved by erecting a brand-new construction from scratch, completely separate from the historic building, in sharp contrast with the old walls.”

A large, sumptuous space was maintained at the heart of the building, with work areas located at the rear of the chapel. Ceiling vaults add to the grandeur of the space.

“By stacking the different offices and spreading out the various departments across different floors, a constant sense of dynamism is created in the workspace,” the architects added. “No more dull and unimaginative offices; be inspired by a challenging working environment where past, present and future are inextricably linked.”

Even though the building is primarily an office space for the architecture studio, some of its areas are open to the public and various events are expected to take place here. Photography by Marc Scheepers, Flos&Beeldpunt, Toon Grobet.

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The Latest Front Door Ideas That Add Curb Appeal, Value to Your Home

One of the first things about a house that a guest or home buyer notices is the front door. If you want to make a statement, upgrading or revamping your front door is a smart move that isn’t all that expensive. According to, it’s the second best return-on-your-investment renovation.

Ready to get inspired? Here’s a collection of the latest front door ideas and trends you may want to steal to improve your home’s curb appeal.

1. Front door paint color ideas

Red will forever be one of the most popular front door colors, regardless of architectural style. Image: Faust Construction

One of the quickest fixes to upgrade your front door is to simply paint it. Choose an exterior paint designed for the door type; there are paints and primers for steel, fiberglass and wood door surfaces. About one quart of paint should do for an average door.

Gloss or semigloss are the most durable; the sheen holds up better against nicks and scratches and tends to show bolder colors better. It’s easy:

  • Although you can paint your mounted door, removing the door and all of the hardware will give you a better finish.
  • Sand the door lightly to get rid of old paint drips, nicks and dents.
  • Apply a primer; wait for it to dry.
  • Protect your door while it dries so dirt particles don’t stick to it.

When it comes to color options, nearly anything goes. According to Benjamin Moore, contrast is key. Choose a bold paint color that stands out from the rest of the home, like these door paint color ideas:

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A vintage aqua front door color is perfect for a mid-century modern house. Image: Levitt Architects

front door paint color ideas -

Give a two-tone paint color a try when mulling over front door ideas. The turquoise and white add pop to the home’s charcoal gray exterior color. Image: Stephanie Wiley

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When in doubt, a classic red front door will freshen up the look of just about any entrance. Image: Benjamin Moore

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Orange is a great door paint color choice to highlight contemporary architecture. Image: Mak Design and Build

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A bright lime green door color works with both wood and concrete home surroundings. Image: Dotter Sofjeld Architects

2. Metal front door ideas

For an artisanal look that’s both warm and contemporary, consider a metal front door. With the industrial trend going strong, black steel is popular although copper and stainless steel front doors will always be fashionable.

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Distressed black steel adds a custom look. The bronze door pull highlights the mixed metals trend that’s popular in interior design. Image: JPR Architects

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Copper and stainless steel metal front door ideas. Images from left: Michael Fullen Design, Hartman Baldwin and Rocky Mountain Hardware.

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Wood and steel can work with nearly any home style, ranging from rustic to country to modern to craftsman to contemporary. Image: AppWood Doors

3. Glass front doors featuring glass side panels

One of the freshest door trends takes the existing double door design and converts it into a standard front door size with a glass side panel. This modern front door idea allows more light into the entryway and saves you money on having to purchase a larger or double front door.

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A simple glass front door is surrounded by glass on the sides and top. Image: Marvin

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A mirrored glass side panel next to the modern wood door adds privacy and convenience. The homeowner can see out but passersby can’t see inside. Image: b.Confer Architecture

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The entrance of this home appears larger thanks to the door and matching side panels. Frosted glass was used to diffuse light while obscuring what goes on outside and inside. Image: Friehauf Architects

4. Steel atrium doors

Looking for an industrial-chic door that’s less run of the mill? The steel atrium door is one of the latest trends. The black steel grid and glass works to update nearly any style.

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For the ultimate flexibility, install a steel atrium pivot door that can glide back and forth on a track. Image: PPDS Design

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Go with a custom curved atrium front door that offsets the sharp, angular lines of a contemporary home. Image: Ryan Street and Associates

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Incredibly Well-Planned One-Room Apartment in Stockholm

This small, one-room apartment in Stockholm, Sweden, is incredibly well planned. With the home at just about 344 square feet (32 square meters), it features a fully equipped kitchen and spacious living room that doubles as a sleeping area.

A small entrance hallway guides you toward each entertainment space, while the light gray walls brighten up the place and perfectly complement the wooden floors. The living room is large enough to accommodate an extendable sofa, reading corner and bed. Plus, the vintage bench and stools add a charming touch to the interior.

It’s a known fact that Swedes love flowers, which is probably why this apartment is sprinkled with plant stands — all the more reason to fall in love with this place!

The kitchen has an array of storage options that make it extremely practical, but it still has a cozy feel. The window offers a lovely view of the building’s inner courtyard, where residents can relax and unwind during warm summer days. Despite the small size of the apartment (discovered by Freshome on Alvhem), the exquisite planning makes it spacious enough for two people to live here.

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Here’s a Look at the Hottest 2018 International Furniture Design Shows

They’re the incubators where design starts. The international furniture design shows are where young and established designers and brands display their latest offerings in the hopes that the biggest retailers in the world will buy them — and bring them to you. Here are the most important international furniture design shows for 2018.

Trendset Munich, Germany | January 6-8

This is the winter edition of the “interior, inspiration and lifestyle” show with a heavy focus on home accents and accessories. There’s also a July show, although the winter show is more popular. You’ll find the upcoming spring and summer trends, which Trendset forecasts as “Earthy colours, relaxed patterns, and sustainable materials characterise the widely diverse trends of the coming summer. The deep attachment to the earth gives rise to new ethnic and near-natural designs. Natural and recycled textiles arise from the innovative power and creativity of excellence in craftsmanship.”

Heimtextil Messe Frankfurt, Germany | January 9-12

Messe Frankfurt Theme Park

Heimtextil is the biggest international trade fair for textiles. You’ll find professionals from all fields who work with fabric and textiles, like architects, designers, internal decorators, visual merchandisers and bed and bath retailers. According to Heimtextil, the future trend will be about urbanization and city living.

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) Orlando, Florida | January 9-11

KBIS hosts this show in conjunction with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and runs alongside the NAHB International Builders’ Show. It’s the go-to show for design professionals, retailers, builders, planners, cabinet shops and architects who specialize in kitchen and bath design.

IMM Cologne, Germany | January 15-21

IMM, or the International Interiors Show, gets more than 100,000 visitors from around the world. The show is well organized into 11 segments like Global Lifestyles, Pure Talents featuring upcoming designers, and Pure Architects geared toward architects and building professionals. The show is extensive, covering furniture, lighting and home accents, with trend reports for each specific category.

Lightovation Dallas, Texas | January 17-21

This is the main lighting show in the U.S. It’s held at the Dallas Market Center where thousands of lighting industry buyers go to find the latest lighting for their stores, residential and commercial projects.

Maison&Objet Paris, France | January 19-23

Held in Paris, this is perhaps the best show for design inspiration in the world. Held in January and September, in conjunction with Paris Design Week, more than 100,000 visitors come to see the latest trends and order the hottest looks for their design clients and retail stores worldwide.

Las Vegas Market, Nevada | January 28-February 1

You’ll find everything in this design show. It’s one-stop shopping for buyers and designers looking for anything from one-of-a-kind antiques to art to outdoor furnishings and everything for residential and commercial projects. The market brings top design stars to speak about their secrets to success or what the upcoming design trends will be.

Stockholm Design Week, Sweden | February 5-11

This is THE Scandinavian design show to attend. The show takes place throughout the city in some of the coolest galleries and showrooms. Plenty of activities including hip dinner parties, vernissage cocktails and museum nights to keep attendees entertained.

Ambiente Frankfurt, Germany | February 9-13

This is the largest consumer goods show featuring housewares, home accents and more. The items at your favorite home store probably started here. For 2018, 4,460 companies from 94 countries will be displaying their latest designs for sale.

Indonesia International Furniture Expo | March 9-12

You’ll find a wide range of handcrafted furniture and home accents during this event in Jakarta. Manufacturers not only offer their latest designs but will work with international buyers to create custom designs.

Design Shanghai, China | March 14-17

It’s billed as the leading design event in Asia. The setting is the vibrant city of Shanghai. You’ll find the future home design trends here, organized into five design halls of Classic & Luxury, Collectibles, Contemporary, Kitchen/Bathroom and Office/Workplace.

Salone del Mobile Milano, Italy | April 17-22

This show is a must-visit for any design lover. With more than 2,000 exhibitors and more than 270,000 attendees coming for the week, it’s essential to book your hotel well in advance! Various events happen throughout the city, with a massive 1,000 events scheduled. This is the place to find the top contemporary design trends.

International Contemporary Furniture Fair New York City | May 20-23

Following Milan, Italy’s big contemporary fair, New York city follows. It takes place at the Javits Convention Center where, according to the fair organizers, “36,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, representatives, distributors, facility managers, developers, manufacturers, store designers, and visual merchandisers” attend the seminars, buy the latest products and take inspiration from what’s in store for home design.

NeoCon Chicago | June 11-13

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the show is the place where contract, hospitality and commercial or workplace professionals and designers source the latest products for their projects. The most beautiful commercial buildings, hospitals or businesses may have sourced their design products here first.

London Design Fair, England | September 20-23

London does something extraordinary every September. It creates a design festival with access to both trade and the general public. Hundreds of events and art installations are scheduled through the week. The 100% Design and Decorex are the trade-only portions of the festival.

Biennale Interior Belgium | October 18-22

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Garden House in Mexico Welcomes Nature and Contemplation

ASP Arquitectura completed a spectacular rehabilitation of an apartment on the lower level of a building in Mexico City. The design aimed to create a seamless connection with the surrounding landscape.

According to the architects, three indoor-outdoor transition elements were built with reinforced concrete, each with a distinctive personality. The first is a pool of water that greets visitors with movement and sound. The second consists of a garden of energy stones, while the third is a vegetable garden, designed to blend the gully’s natural vegetation with the terraces.

The indoor layout has a linear axis that links the common, semi-private and private areas. The northeast section has two terraces joined by a pergola; the first houses a living and dining area with a vertical garden built of wooden boxes reclaimed from the shoring system used in the construction. The second terrace rests on a lower overhang, suggesting a closer relationship with the landscape.

The southwest part houses a more private garden that connects to the bedrooms, TV room and kitchen, culminating in a contemplative space known as the Garden Box. This open module is designed for an intimate interaction between the spectator and the garden. Information provided by ASP Arquitectura Sergio Portillo. Photography courtesy of Rafael Gamo.

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How To Pull Off Vintage Interior Design (Without it Looking Worn Out)

Modern takes on vintage interior design can be done. Image: Suk Design Group LLP

Vintage interior design is tricky. On the one hand, it’s easy to see why some would long to re-create the feel of elegance that is synonymous with homes of the past. On the other, it’s all too easy for a design to come off looking like it belongs in Grandma’s house. This is one occasion where striking the right balance is crucial.

We’re here to help you find that balance. We’ve compiled our best advice for pulling together vintage interiors that still feel appropriate for today. Read over these tips and incorporate them into your own design. We have no doubt you’ll be able to reach the perfect equilibrium between modern and traditional.

well-made antiques

Stick to well-made antique pieces. Image: InUnison Design Inc.

Choose well-made antiques

Antiques are the backbone of any vintage home. Regardless of which decade is your personal favorite, they are the key pieces that help cement the vintage feel in your design. Their unique sense of history transports viewers back in time in a way that newer creations simply can’t match.

That said, just because a piece is older doesn’t mean it’s worthy of being included in your design. If you’re going to include an antique, it needs to be in decent — if not excellent — condition. As a rule, if you don’t think the piece will stand up to daily wear and tear, keep looking for a sturdier option.

When evaluating condition, there are a few signs that let you know a piece was built to stand the test of time. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Weight: Heaviness is often a sign the piece was made from real, natural materials rather than a more modern, mass-produced variation.
  • Sturdy joints: Pay special attention to whether the joints feel secure. If they feel shaky, look into the cause. A loose nail can be replaced, but wood rot is not as easy to fix.
  • Rust or other discoloration: This often needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis, but while a little rust or fading due to light exposure can be dealt with, too much may not be worth the restoration.
antique focal point

Make true antique pieces your focal point. Image: Stokesman Homes

Make them your focal point

When you do find antiques that fit the bill, make them the focal point of the room. A focal point — for those who need a refresher — is the first thing a person’s eye is drawn to when they enter the space. Putting a true antique into this role will help set the tone for the rest of your design.

For this reason, furniture becomes the perfect candidate. As always, we recommend allowing the furniture in a room to take center stage because it helps make the function of the space crystal clear. Consider allowing a vintage dining table, accent chair or bed frame to take center stage.

If that’s not your style, larger decorative items are also a solid choice. You may want to think about searching for a larger mirror or piece of wall art to help carry the room. Well-kept rugs are a good option to keep in mind.

vintage finishes

Balance modern pieces with vintage finishes. Image: Lisa Stevens & Company Inc.

Add in vintage-inspired details

Though antiques are lovely, it’s unrealistic to assume you’ll build the entire room around them. Plus, in all honesty, doing so may end up making the space feel like more of a relic than a nod to the styles of days gone by. The best vintage designs are the ones inspired by tradition, yet still feel appropriately tired to present day.

To pull this off, you want to round out the room with modern-day acquisitions that showcase vintage-inspired details. For example, you may want to look for a piece with contemporary, clean lines done in a weathered finish. Alternatively, you could find an item that’s done in a trendy color or finish, yet is also more ornate.

When mixing and matching modern and traditional design elements, consistency is key. Unless you’re a fan of truly eclectic styles, you want your vintage and your vintage-inspired items to fit well together. Make sure to carry similar detailing throughout the entire room, so the space feels both cohesive and intentional.

vintage pattern

Be sure to include vintage colors and patterns. Image: Torie Jayne

Copy vintage patterns and colors

Finally, color and pattern are great ways to really drive home that vintage aesthetic. There’s nothing like some polka dots to transport you instantly back to the 1950s or rich, saturated reds to harken back to the Victorian era. Including these elements in your design often has a large payoff for comparatively minimal effort.

Doing this right does require a little legwork. You want to research your preferred time period to really get a sense of the styles that were popular back then. If you can, try to find an image from the era to use as design inspiration so you can truly see how these trends were utilized at the time.

vintage interior design

Follow our tips to pull off vintage interior design the right way. Image: Nautilus Homes

It’s not hard to see why people love vintage interior design. There’s something so appealing about paying homage to the elegant aesthetics of the past. That said, there’s a fine line between paying tribute and creating a time warp. With the help of the suggestions above you should be able to create interiors that …read more      

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Downtown Loft in Toronto Hides Playful ‘Bed Box’

Welcome to a creative loft in Toronto, Canada, that houses an unexpected layout. Designed by Studio AC, this 550 square foot (51 square meter) apartment merges industrial elements in a fun, contemporary manner.

The designers were asked to develop an entertaining and functional studio for a young professional. They planned the space around an eye-catching element, which they call “the bed box.” Curtains, an arched entryway and an elevation change signal the small bedroom and ensure privacy.

“The shell of the unit was comprised of a grey brick that we painted out white to blend seamlessly with the new work bench along the window wall and kitchen island,” the designers said. “The work bench features a long continuous surface that provides flexibility for the clients, whether they are working, displaying art or hosting a party.”

In the kitchen, a dark accent wall adds character to the space. Despite the exposed railings and pipes, the studio displays a warm vibe throughout. This feeling is achieved through wood finishes, dim lighting and an overall playful layout. Photos courtesy of Andrew Snow Photography.

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Everything You Need to Know to Create a Focal Point in Interior Design

Every room needs a focal point. Image: Akin Design Studio

The focal point is one of the most fundamental elements in interior design. Put simply, it’s the star of the room. It’s the first place viewers’ eyes should land when they enter the room and it’s the emphasis point around which you build the rest of your design.

With that in mind, it’s important to make sure you’ve chosen the right spot for this showcase. This post can help; it includes everything you need to know about picking the perfect focal point for your design. Believe us when we say that mastering this step can make a huge difference in your home.

existing feature

Use an existing feature whenever possible. Image: Rabaut Design Associates Inc.

Highlight the best feature

Ideally, the rooms of your home have a built-in focal point. In that case, all you have to do is construct your design in such a way that highlights this existing feature. This also makes it much easier to decide how to lay out the room.

Some of the most common types of built-in focal points are:

  • Windows and outdoor views: Views — especially eye-catching ones — are an easy choice for a focal point. Regardless of what else is in the room, eyes naturally travel there. If you’re lucky enough to have this type of view, all you need to do is allow the windows to be as big and unobscured as possible.
  • Fireplaces: Fireplaces can really ground the room. Be sure to arrange a seating area around the fire and, if possible, use a bold piece of art above the mantle.
  • Built-in shelving: Many times, built-in shelving and fireplaces go hand-in-hand. Even if that’s not the case, the process is still fairly similar. Start by creating a seating area around the shelving and be sure to purposely style your surfaces so they’re aesthetically pleasing.
  • Vaulted ceilings: While vaulted ceilings don’t seem like they require much in terms of design, it’s important to make sure they stay freshly painted and include a bold light fixture.
  • Interestingly angled walls: Consider making this wall a focal point by creating an accent wall or, if applicable, playing up a feature like a window seat.
created focal point

Don’t be afraid to create your own focal point, if needed. Image: E. Interiors

Consider creating your own focal point

Other times, there aren’t any built-in features to emphasize and it’s necessary to create one of your own. While this does take a little bit more effort up front, it’s far from impossible. Again, there are plenty of options to choose from, so feel free to pick the one that works best for you.

  • Accent walls: Accent walls have always been a popular option for a focal point. Typically, if there are no built-in features to work with, an accent wall can be created on the furthest wall from the entry into the room. Be sure to use a bold paint color or patterned wallpaper to draw attention.
  • Artwork: A statement piece of artwork or mirror can carry a room by itself. In this case, you’ll want to make sure the piece you choose is big enough to suit the wall it’s placed on. It should be placed at eye-level and, whenever possible, you should add accent lighting to highlight the piece even further.
  • Backsplashes: Kitchens and bathrooms tend to have their own standards for focal points. Usually, a tile backsplash — either in the shower or behind the stove — is the best choice. Again, just make sure it includes a bold color or pattern.
  • Statement furniture: A large, statement piece of furniture can serve as a fine focal point. This is typically the case in dining rooms and bedrooms, where there is obviously a central piece of furniture in the room. Here, you’ll want to add accents like a centerpiece for the table or some throw pillows on the bed to help draw the eye.
one point

Never put more than one focal point in a room. Image: Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs

Avoid these mistakes

In addition to knowing how to create a focal point like a pro, it’s important to know what traps to avoid. We’ve outlined some of the most common mistakes that have a tendency to muddle up a cohesive room design.

  • Having more than one focal point: When a room has two separate usage areas — say, for example, a kitchen and eat-in dining area — it can be tempting to create two focal points. However, that can confuse the viewer. Usually, the room should have one central focus, with a secondary if necesary. In that case, the focal point should be part of the primary use.
  • Forgetting to frame the area: Even if your room has a built-in focal point, it’s your job to add extra details to ensure eyes always fall where they’re supposed to. Add extra design elements around your chosen point to draw attention.
  • Leaving out lighting: Every focal point should have its own lighting source to help it stand out.
focal point

Use these tips to create focal points of your own. Image: Grandeur Design

Picking a focal point is one of the most fundamental parts of interior design — and for good reason. This spot is the first thing viewers see when they enter the room and it’s the center of your layout. A few small changes can help take your design to the next level.

Do you make a point of including focal points in your designs? If so, do you have any tips of your own to add? Share them with us in the comments.

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