How to Ensure Your Safety in an Open Home Design

October 22, 2014 at 11:14 pm

openplanOpen home design, or better known as open floor plan, started becoming popular in the 1980′s and have become even more widely-used in contemporary houses. While individual rooms and compartmentalized areas are still common in many houses, an increasing number of homeowners are opting for open floor plans in order to better integrate with their busy lifestyle as well as foster more interaction and conversation between family members. This page provides background innformation on how open home design started and its early advocates.

Admittedly, there are both pros and cons when it comes to adopting an open home design. The main advantage is the maximization of available space. You can more easily rearrange and repurpose your available spaces and furniture because there are less walls or compartments to restrict ease of access. Your living room can double as an additional dining area with more tables and chairs when you host a dinner party. Or if you are watching a big football game and hosting a viewing party, you can temporarily remove the dining table set-up and opt for more couches and chairs around the big screen TV.

As for the drawbacks, noise management is more of a necessity if you have an open floor plan. Because there are less walls, noise from one area of the home can easily travel to the other areas. This may not be as big of an issue if you live alone or you are just a couple, but for families with children this would require additional planning.

Getting an open home design to work takes careful planning. It is not for everyone, but if you’re one of those homeowners who want to try this non-traditional design, here are some safety reminders for homes with open floor plan:

 

  • Secure entrances and windows. An open home design refers only to the spaces in the exterior and should not mean a home that is available for anyone to just trespass into. Make sure your doors and windows have the necessary safety features to keep intruders away. Alarms and electronic home security systems must also be considered. Always check overhead door parts and ensure that they are in optimum condition. Here’s an overhead door parts guide that you can refer to should you need help in doing a regular inspection of these parts.
  • Art work and décor should be appropriate for the space. Because there is more open space, you have more flexibility in choosing what art and sculpture pieces to hang or display, but you should also consider safety and ease of movement. For instance, décor should not be in walkways or other common areas where they can be obstacles or cause accidents.
  • Maximize natural lighting without sacrificing privacy. One benefit of an open floor plan is the increased flexibility as far as allowing natural light into every space. Window fixtures and treatments can be selected to allow as much sunlight and even air into the interiors. However, the drawback is that if you are not careful, anyone from the street might be able to peer into the home and see your activities. Privacy should be foremost when you select curtains, blinds, or other window fixtures. This site features the best options for light filtering shades that you can use for privacy.
  • Use rugs and carpets. Area rugs and carpets can be utilized not only for differentiating certain areas in your open home design, but also for safety reasons. Wooden or tiled floors can be slippery and cause accidents if not maintained properly. Rugs and carpets positioned properly can reduce the risk of accidents especially if you have younger children running around all the time. They also help with insulation as well as noise control, such as around your home entertainment system or in entrances.

 

Interior Fit Out: A Smart Use of Colors in a Limited Space

August 28, 2014 at 10:39 am

As people flock into urban areas seeking better fortune, we find the cities getting too crowded. City developers, faced with the problem of land scarcity, are coming up with ingenious ways to provide shelter to all its inhabitants. One of the solutions which is actively being utilized now by almost all urban areas is what is referred to now as Vertical Housing. More and more mid-rise and high-rise buildings, after being constructed, are horizontally and vertically subdivided into units.

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Originally marketed to young and single professionals who don’t expect to need much space, condominium units are usually only as large as 30 to 70 square meters. The target customers have now expanded to included middle class families. Because of the very limited space, the buyers of these condo units resort to using interior designing to make the space look larger and be able to utilize every inch of the unit area. Condo owners either makes use of their own amateur designing skills or hire professional interior designers to make such a small space seems spacious, comfortable and even elegant.
BeFunky_condo.jpg By putting in use excellent interior designing skills, a small room can seem to be as big as any ultra-luxurious suites. The choice of furniture, the lighting levels and the choice of colors are all critical in interior designing and making sure your design goals are met. But of these three elements, choosing which colors to use is the most critical one when it comes to designing a small condo unit.

BeFunky_condo_interior.jpgThere are some general guidelines when it comes to using colors in designing a small interior space. Colors have different shades, it may go darker or lighter upon our choice. But for small spaces, it is mostly advised to use lighter colors. Lighter colors create the illusion to make rooms a lot bigger than it actually is. But one color is not enough; we may add linings or shadow lines that could add up to the ambiance of the room. Here enters the dilemma of choosing and mixing colors. When choosing paint colors, think of the furniture, textiles and lights which you intend to bring into the room. By doing this, you can maintain a sense of cohesiveness.

Vibrant colors are not usually recommended for small and closed spaces for this have a tendency to make the room look small and gives a suffocating feeling. However, the use of strong colors seems to be a polarizing issue. Some professional designers prefer to use dark or bright colors for small spaces, claiming that this adds life, vibrance and warmth to a small room. In this age when what is beautiful is continuously being redefined and when functionality has become relative, it’s no surprise that more people welcome the idea of using strong paint colors for their small condo unit.

Whether you choose light colors or opt for the strong ones, the factor that will save you from ending up with an interior design disaster is to make use of color flow. If you are fond of a certain a color, you may use its lighter shade as the primary color of the room, and its darker shade can be used as a shadow line. We may also make use of the natural combinations that are found in nature like the combination of green and brown.

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Picasso once said, “Colors, like features, follow the changes of emotions.” He is perfectly right in saying this because at the end of the day, the choice of colors all boils down to your personal preference. Condo units, although meant for middle class families, are still relatively expensive. It is safe to say that condo owners are expected to live most of their lives within the 4 walls of their unit. So the best advice to give condo unit owners is to follow their own preference when it comes to choosing the paint colors for their unit. Beauty is subjective and so are colors.

Digging For the Roots: Interior Design Through the Ages

August 28, 2014 at 7:57 am

Interior Design as most people see it now is something fancy and something that is verging on superficial. Most people would not think of it as something of a necessity and people who are building or renovating their houses or unit and are on a tight budget won’t even bother about it. The prevailing attitude about interior design, as mistaken as they are, are not surprising though. Probably, the images of polished home interiors printed in the glossy pages of magazines coupled with television shows featuring professional interior designers dressed as stylishly posh as possible are what started this misconception that interior designing makes sense only if used on high-end structures.

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Interior designing is all about turning an interior space into an effective setting for the intended range of human activities. There is no other definition of interior design as perfectly defining as this. The purpose of interior designing is not fully dictated by aesthetics. Its ultimate purpose is functionality above anything else. Form follows Function. Interior designers’ biggest responsibility is to make sure that an interior space meet the needs of its intended function all the while making sure that the aesthetic appeal is not lost.

BeFunky_history_caveart.jpgInterior Design is not simply something that was just invented by modern humans. Like anything else, it was invented out of necessity, and this necessity has existed since the early ages of human existence. Prehistoric humans used caves to shelter them from extreme weather and protect them from predators. Eventually, they started to settle and build small communities. These early humans left us with caves full of basic drawings which would suggest that they felt the need to design their dwellings according to their idea of beauty. They progressed to using wood, animal skin and other materials found in nature as tools to improve their dwellings.

BeFunky_egyptianempire.jpgThe Egyptian, Roman and Greek empires might not have known yet of interior design as a discipline or a profession, but looking at the huge and awe-inspiring architectural structures they left us, they already practice interior designing, with most of the design elements being influenced by religion.

 

 

 

 

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During the 18th and 19th centuries, the strong influence of religion became clearer as seen in the designs of the interior of the huge cathedrals and other massive pillared buildings with carvings and murals. This was followed by the Baroque style with its extravagant ornamentation, exaggerated curves and dramatic grandeur.
 

It was during the 1900s when Art Deco or Style Modern was born and it completely rejects the extremely elaborate designs of the past movements. It favors strong colors, clean lines and simple functions that exudes elegance and sophistication. Art Deco has still retained a shade of its influence on the current style trends.

BeFunky_Chromatic_1.jpgAs most part of the world was welcoming the age of industrialization, modernism came and introduce simple. clean and functional design. Not long after modernism took hold of the trend, postmodernism was born. Interior designers, from being a part of the backstage crew, started getting on the design stage and becoming important personalities as the time of Modernism and Postmodernism came. The postmodernism movement revolves around the mindset that “less is more”.  It leans toward minimalism and uses new and challenging materials for furniture. Since free movement is so much valued in this day and age, postmodernism poses a challenge to interior designers to inject the element of fluidity and portability when it comes to functionality.

 

Interior Design will, no doubt, undergo many more transformation. Its focus will endlessly shift from one thing to another. However, it is important to be acquainted with its roots and its history so that the purpose of its existence is not lost.