Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Modern Butler's Pantry

The butler's pantry has become a very popular request in home design in recent times. A utility and storage space attached to the kitchen, the modern day butler's pantry usually contains a counter with space for pots and pans. Very elaborate butler's pantries are almost full size kitchens in themselves as well as a staging site for serving meals and may have a sink, dishwasher and even an oven and stove.

Interestingly, the history of the butler's pantry dates back to a time when it was primarily used to store servingware and not food. A butler would actually sleep in the pantry to guard the silverware. Today's version is very different, with butler's pantries more a transitional space between the kitchen and dining room.

Kirstin Fowle from Windemere Interiors, says there are many options when creating a butler's pantry, even in a small space. "Butler's pantries have a very practical application today, particularly with the focus of the home moving back to the kitchen," she said, "even the smallest butler's pantry can be practical with clever design."

Kirstin suggests have a clear direction on what you will be using the space for when designing the butler's pantry. "If you will be using it to store pots and pans then you will need lots of open shelving or deep drawers, whereas for food storage pull out metal basket drawers with dividers are good for cans and spices, as are shallow shelves. Cupboards can be used to store crockery and appliances."

Keeping a consistent style through the kitchen and butler's pantry will create a seamless look to the spaces. "Carry on the colour theme and benchtops from the kitchen into the butler's pantry," says Kirstin, "even cabinetry and lighting can be matched."

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dining Design

Dining is a lot more casual than it once was and formal dining rooms are not as common as they once were. Today's dining in the home has been replaced by meals or dining spaces within an open plan living space and alfresco dining, particularly in the Australian climate.

Lindy Evans from Windemere Interiors has some practical handy hints for dressing up a dining space in the home.

  • A rug under a dining room table will define the space. Sometimes with open plan space that combine the dining with the lounge and kitchen, it can be hard to clearly separated the dining area. A practical, easy to clean rug or floor mat will create interest and texture as well as clearly separate the area.
  • Sideboards and buffets create excellent storage and can also be a feature of the space. Storage for crockery, cutlery, placemats and napkins is always useful and can also be dressed up with photo frames, fruit bowls and other decoration.
  • Mirrors or art are fantastic for dressing up a space. Particularly above a sideboard and combined with lighting, mirrors can be an interesting feature piece in a dining space.

Inspiration Gallery

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Custom Designed Walk in Wardrobes

Lack of space is one of the most common dilemmas when it comes to walk in wardrobes and a good solution is to have the fit out custom designed to maximise the space.

Lindy Evans from Windemere Interiors says each wardrobe size and space is different and it is worth the initial outlay to have a wardrobe custom designed to maximise the use of space. "A professional wardrobe design will take into account your personal wardrobe needs and clever design can double, perhaps triple the use of the space," she said.

There are some basic principles that can help you maximise the use of space in a wardrobe. Double hanging rails (hanging one rail above the other) will double the amount of space and can be used for short clothes such as shirts, skirts, jackets, short dresses and long pants if they are folded over. These are suitable for both his and her side of the wardrobe.

A single rail or full-height hanging space will house long dresses, trench coats, suits and other items that can’t be folded. To ensure efficient use of the space; include a single level shoe rack or drawer at the base of your wardrobe, this is the ideal place to keep shoes.

A combination of open shelving and drawers, depending on your needs, will make the best use of the space. Large open shelving at the very top is good for bulky items such as bags, suitcases and hat boxes while multi sized drawers are good for smaller, flatter items such as underwear, socks and t-shirts. Pigeon holes are good for folded bulkier items such as men's jumpers.

Slim-line, pull out racks will minimise the space used for accessories such as belts, scarves and ties while a dressing area with a mirror and shallow jewellery and accessories drawer may be suitable if there’s no room for a dresser in the bedroom.

Good lighting will also provide the space with easier access. Consider a skylight for good natural lighting and warm downlights for effective night lighting.

Inspiration Gallery

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Bedding Bible

The luxurious bed piled high with plush cushions or the low set futon with minimalist pillows, there is an art to the perfect bedding.

Lindy Evans from Windemere Interiors says the higher the bedhead, the more the bedding. "It's not a hard and fast rule, but it's a good place to start," she said. "Decide first on a theme for your bedroom and that will probably also dictate the type of bed and bedhead."

Once your bed and bedhead are decided, then you can start with the basics. Good quality, high thread count sheets in a neutral such as white, cream or taupe is a good base. If the bed is an ensemble, a simple matching valance will complete the basics.

The feature of your bedding should either be the quilt cover or the cushions. If your feature is your quilt cover, there are many styles, fabrics and textures to suit your bedding theme. For an opulent theme, choose a luxurious quilt cover in a rich dark silk or for a beach theme try a fresh linen quilt cover in a bright breezy colour. Some plain cushions will finish this look.

If you choose for your cushions as your bedding feature, the theme will dictate the style of cushions. For a modern vintage bedroom, choose an eclectic variety of cushions in a number of textures and colours. For an elegant bedroom, a mixture of plain and limited patterned cushions will create a sophisticated theme over a plain coloured quilt cover. A throw at the end of the bed will complete the look.

Lindy says the higher the bedhead the more cushions you can use. "A high bedhead will look great with a variety of European cushions, ornate cushions and standard pillows. A low bedhead or futon can still have at least 4 standard pillows," she said.

Inspiration Gallery

Glitz & Glamour Theme

Natural Elements Theme

Urban Living Theme

Rural Retreat Theme

Rural Retreat Theme

Tribal Rhythm Theme

Rural Retreat Theme

Beach Life Theme

Beach Life Theme