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Jewish Journal

Time for home design

by Harry Roberts

April 23, 2014 | 3:08 pm

Photo via shutterstock.com

A Few Home Design Tips                

In our homes, we want four things when it comes to decorating; style, practicality, safety, and comfort. While these can be difficult to structure into a single theme, it’s the ultimate goal of most interior designers. Where things become difficult is in the meaning of each of these words; what is stylish to one individual may be horrific to another. Thankfully, there are a few basic concepts and  a few standard themes that can help you to create beautiful spaces to live and play in. Follow these guidelines the next time you need to create an inviting space.

Style

When it comes to style you want somewhere on the spectrum between Johnny Bravo and Philippe Starck. The higher up the spectrum you go, the more cost effective you get (and in my opinion pointy… What is it with interior designers and pointy furniture?). However, when you get lower down on the scale, you cross into the dangerous, badly made rubbish that is likely to collapse on you.

It’s quite difficult for me to sit here and advise you on how to decorate your home as everyone is different and has wildly different tastes. What I find atrocious might actually be the height of fashion. What I will do, though, is take you through a couple of styles that might inspire.

The Craft and Folk

A little bit of gender stereotyping here, I’m sorry. I would say that this one would appeal to the ladies a bit more that the gents. With this style of decorating you dispense with the modern and turn back to the good ol’ folk days. Basically, make you home look like an early Bob Dylan song. To get this style you use a lot of basic furnishing: a lot of wood, hand sewn/decorated pillows (you could just buy these – no one can tell the difference), and then decorate with flowers and delicate accessories.

The Industrial

This is at the opposite end of the spectrum and would probably appeal more to men. This style is created by infusing your home with metal like a terminator. You get metal bar stools, metal accessories, metal, metal, and metal. You turn your house into a warehouse with plain wooden flooring and pepper it with metal decorations. This is a stylish, modern and green way to decorate,  with its blend of past industry and modern-day living.

Practical

Yes, the shops try to sell you the coolest new cupboard that opens up once you tickle its side, sing Come All Ye Faithful to it, and then massage its handle. This is all well and good, but I’d rather just buy a cupboard. No fuss. I want something that opens when I want it to and has all the space I require. You can buy these cupboards and bedside cabinets from places like ebay. Online, there is a massive choice of new and secondhand cabinets to choose from so it is often a good place to start.

Safety

Don’t worry, I haven’t gone all twenty first century crazy on you trying to tell you how to live your life so that you don’t fall down and sue me. When decorating keep in mind the children, even if you don’t have any yet; you may in the near future. When buying furniture and accessories it is important to consider whether it’s safe for little children.

I know it’s a pain, but it is also a good idea to childproof cupboards and the fridge etc. You may end up like Joey in Friends, trying to use a hockey stick to open a drawer, but you don’t want your little girl or boy playing with the bread knife or exploring the medicine cabinet, now do you?

Cost Effective

There are a couple of ways to get furniture without having to break the bank. Anywhere that sells flat pack furniture is a great place to start. You can buy a whole room full in one trip, or get a delivery, whichever is easiest. They can take a little time to assemble, but after the amount of money you save, you really won’t mind. Also, take into account that if you ever need to move, flat pack furniture can disassemble easily so that you can transport it simply and rebuild in your new abode.

A house is practical once it has been filled with the furniture, however, that is only half the story when it comes to decorating. You’ll also want to incorporate accessories. This covers anything from picture frames to throw pillows. There are some great outlet shops to try as well as the internet which usually contains some incredible bargains. Other ideas to explore are the world of car boot sales – if you can stomach the early weekend morning – or the much maligned charity shop. If you’re patient, you can usually find great deals in charity shops. Most high streets usually have three or four different ones.

If you are still stuck for ideas then try the Channel 4 website for some tips and inspiration.What’s important to remember is that your home should be personal to you. Decorate your way and let no one (not even me) tell you differently. 

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