To start, I'll be showcasing peoples individual interior style and speak about why it is unique.
There will also be a run down as to the where and hows' these people have procured the pieces that make their living spaces so distinctly theirs.
Seeing as how I occupy my own space, why not start with mine.
The last major area in my space is a recessed area at the end of my hallway adjacent to my bedroom.It's a small, narrow wall, but it's the first thing that you notice when you enter the apartment, so I new I needed to treat it a little differently. Firstly I painted the narrow wall the same yellow that I painted my bedroom to related the two spaces.Because it is the first thing you see when you enter my space, I decided to treat it with a Feng Shui twist.
I hung a wind chime on the wall to circulate and call positive energy into the apartment. I've also combined design components from all four element. Wind(Chimes), Fire(Candles) Earth(Wood Table) Water(Pond Pebbles). This is done to call balance to the space.
I've paired these elements with some graphic pieces. A large floral print and a pair of my own abstract paintings.
A little while ago, while coming home from dinner with a friend, I came across, what I guess was the upper portion of a buffet cabinet on the street. I had noticed the cabinet before... it was huge, and I found it quite lovely. Particularly, it had a crowning decorative wood motif that was in a Corinthian style. It was really pretty. It was on the side of the road for a while, but that specific night after dinner I had noticed that the cabinet had been disassembled, and the decorative crown had actually been removed from the body. It was my opportunity to snatch it up! I was quick to bring it home, wired it and mounted it on the wall...It sits in my main living space, and ties in nicely with the other wood elements in the space. It also adds a feminine flare.
So it's been awhile since I made a jaunt to the Goodwill, you know, the Holiday season and all, but I made my way over this past Sunday... and what a gem I found.
Seriously, the place looked like it had been completely picked over, I have never see it look so empty of stuff... I was standing looking at the smattering of framed art posters they had piled up... I literally turned my head and had to do a double take.. 'cause the most amazing find was staring me right in the face.
I came across an awesome 60's style floor lamp with a square sisal shade. The frame was an obnoxious brass colour, but the shape was dynamic and modern. I honestly had zero space in my apartment for this thing, but I knew I had to have it. I bought it, lugged it home, painted the frame a matte black... and the piece looks amazing in my living room. The sisal shade, plays of the other sisal elements in the room, ie. the rug. Awesome. That Goodwill never fails me
I know it's been a while... sorry, this weather is really taking it out of me. Seriously, all I want to do is eat and sleep... I hate it! Well, I don't hate it per-say, I just hate that I have to force myself to stay motivated...it happens EVERY winter. Speaking about eating... this leads us to the next room in my home... the Kitchen. (what a segue.) Here is the space, kinda narrow, but efficient none the less. I opted out of placing a table in the kitchen, where it traditionally is found, for the the sake of space.
I decided to have the last room in my home to be the same colour as the living-room, which starts the visual journey in my space. By doing this, it creates a sense of unity and wholeness.
Other than wanting to use the same pale blue on the walls, the accent colour for the space, this kind of burnt red, came from a decorative plater my mom gave me for Christmas one year. I pulled this colour and used it on the walls in a mural in a style that mimics those found in my bedroom and hallway.
I've also added a pair of antique teak chairs (same as those found in my living-room) for added interest, to tie in the wood elements found throughout the home and for practical seating.
The kitchen has a lot of cupboard space, however, it is all very tall and narrow. So this meant I needed to add a shelving systems for things that just didn't quite fit.
You can see here, I added a Granite and wood cart as a preparation surface. It also anchors the room, and is the focal point for this vignette in the kitchen.
The cart is flanked with many aluminum and glass elements, conjuring a modern and sparkly aesthetic.
A mirrored backsplash was added to visual expand the room and to align the room with feng shui principles. Black baskets were used for additional storage and aid in adding a masculine air to the space.
This is the last vignette in my bedroom, and obviously the zen/beach theme is continued.
Here, the Dresser Drawer anchors the room and helps break up the yellow tone on the walls. It grounds, and adds a masculine element to the space. The darker wood pieces used in this vignette; the floating shelf and the framed prints, create verticality in the room, which is accentuated by the bamboo shafts. These elements take advantage of the high ceiling in the space, while leading your eye upward calling attention to it.
To balance the dark, fresh white pieces where introduced to soften the space. The decorative vase, white matted and framed prints and lampshade serve to add contrast and harmony.
An oversized wood platter in used in the space to juxtapose the harder straight edges of the dresser, shelf, and picture frames, creating interest.
The beach theme is reenforced through detail elements. Three bamboo shafts, a conch shell and starfish are used as the finishing touches to really set off the room.
Continuing on with the bedroom, this is the wall that directly faces my bed. Not much wall space here, but I needed to add some interest.
The three prints are used to colour block the space, again allowing the use of the orange accent that is throughout the home. The prints also lead your eye vertically to the floating shelf. On the shelf, some basic storage in a 'beachy' wicker material, a blue vase to carry over a blue element, and an 'Imagine' word sculpture placed centrally and across from my bed...
I think it's supposed to be good feng shui.
My bedroom was designed with a couple of elements in mind. Firstly it had to be calming. Secondly I was given a duvet cover by my mom, I loved the colour scheme and new it would dictate the tone of the room. Lastly, and most hilariously, I wanted to incorporate a graphic motif similar to the one Blanche Devereaux had in her bedroom on the Golden Girls.
With those elements in mind, I decided to go for a beach theme. Like I said the colours in the duvet really were the springboard for the room. I went with a sandy/wheat tone for the walls which makes the space very warm and inviting.
There are a lot of painted elements in the space, which repeat and reenforce the theme. The Blanche Devereaux inspired piece has a tropical feel and acts as an extension to the beds' headboard. The graphic stripes to the right of the bed mimic the stripes found in the duvet and help tie in a blue element in the space.
The art to the left of the mural is used to balance the visual weight of the decorative element while allowing the opportunity to use the orange accent colour that is found throughout the rest of the apartment.
Again, visual texture plays a large role in the space. The bold stripe paired with the daintier floral patterns create a harmonious balance that is particularly necessary in a bedroom.
|Digital Detail of the Mural|
Finally, this is the 'Studio' portion of my studio/guest room. Not much to talk about here... it's pretty utilitarian. This aspect of the room is set up for work.
The most notable item here is the massive easel. I love this thing... it's awesome, but it was a bitch trying to lug this thing home. So the story goes like this. I was at work one day and out of nowhere this random easel ended up in our back room. I fell in love with it and knew I had to have it. I didn't now who it belonged to proper, but I asked around and determined it didn't belong to our company specifically. After some negotiations and pleading, I convinced the powers that be to give it to me. It was MINE!...but... the stipulation was I had to get it out of our backspace that night... So, I employed the aid of my friend Symeon and we lugged this thing all the way back to my apartment, through the mall, public transit and the precarious streets of midtown Toronto. The friggin' thing was heavy and awkward, but we made it, and I'm glad we did. It has worked out so beautifully.
Also worth mentioning are the pair of side drawers I got at the Goodwill for added storage. Again, the prominence of wood as a repeating theme is evident in the space contributing to the creative energy and warmth.
So I had some limitations of what I could fit in the space without spending a whole lot of cash. I knew I was going to be restricted in the size of the sofa bed and needed something that worked.
As luck would have it I found a sofa bed at IKEA(God bless them) that was the absolute perfect fit... but, I didn't much care for the colour... I was really looking for something that was a bit more neutral.
On a return visit to IKEA, I came across a geometric patterned throw cushion that inspired me. The entire room was based of the colour combination and blocking found in the fabric. It was perfect. It also gave me the opportunity to continue using the orange accent colour found throughout the rest of the space.
The wall behind the sofa becomes a focal point with the large scale graphic print and paired wall sconces. The combination of fabrics adds visual texture to this otherwise monochromatic vignette.
The wood motif continues to repeat throughout the space. Here the wooden chest of drawers is paired with wood venetian blinds, a wood framed mirror and modern dark wood chair. These items have a weight and robust masculinity to them, that is nicely paired with some of the more feminine elements in the room.
The room is colour blocked with two walls painted in pumpkin orange, the third wall in a steel grey with a slight blue undertone and the fourth left neutral in white. The orange accent colour is used on a larger scale to promoted creativity and warmth in the studio space.
The orange walls, paired with the framed Vogue Magazine covers and painted graphic, are used to offset the heaviness of the wood elements.
The room has an overall Retro 60's feel to it, and it is juxtaposed with the modern and crisp aluminum pieces like the lamp and picture frame to create visual interest. The stark white accents help to reinforce that juxtaposition.
The wall opposing the painted graphic in the hallway gave me a great opportunity to showcase a small image vignette. Not only does this take advantage of the wall space, but it also aids in balancing the heaviness of the sprawling motif. Darker images were selected, and the wainscoting was painted a deep shade of grey to counter the weight of the black pattern. Overall, the feel is a geometric one, which is a nice juxtaposition against the organic quality of the mural.
So this is the last notable portion of the main living space. The doorway. It is highlighted as an architectural element in the room with the addition of the floating shelving suspended above it. It offers the opportunity to add some much needed storage, while allowing me to again, use the accent colour, orange in a very graphic way. The doorway also acts like a frame showcasing the graphic mural painted throughout the hallway.
The Graphic sprawls past my studio space and stops before the entrance to my bedroom.
(Pretty nuts eh?)
Here is a vignette of one of the walls in my main living space across from my office area.
The style is fairly eclectic with a mid-modern twist. I really like pairing masculine and feminine elements together for a balanced, yet overall graphic approach. The use of the masculine wood against the daintier glass pieces creates both contrast and interest. The overall composition of the vignette is anchored with the repetitive use of black in the art, lamp and matching chairs.
A special shout out has to go to GOODWILL-
Without them, half my apartment would not be furnished.
Don't forget Fridays' are Half off EVERYTHING at GOODWILL.
to find a GOODWILL near you, check out the link below.
Continuing on with my space, here is another vignette that is situated in an alcove above my television.
The alcove has given me a great opportunity to highlight some really lovely artwork as well as some interesting design elements.
The strongest piece here is the large scale Chinese Print in the bold orange colour. I've been embracing the colour orange lately in the design realm. You'll notice its repetition throughout the main space. I think it's modern and fresh and makes a real statement.
The rest of the pieces serve to create texture and contrast in comparison to the bold focal point. The overall composition is, again, anchored by repeating black objects, denoting a masculine air while creating height variance. Wood is another element that repeats in the space, reinforcing the masculine feel,while promoting good earthy energies.
So this is an overview of my main living space. I think it's quite clear how all the elements come together as a whole. To start, you'll notice that many of the big ticket items or essentials come from IKEA. IKEA is a fantastic place to get some really good basic or fundamental pieces to build a unique space around. Good neutral pieces that allow you to add your personal flair- like a canvas ready to accept paint. The cheap factor also comes in handy when you're trying to do style on a budget.
This space was entirely influenced by the large scale abstract. Once I had decided on the main pieces, ie. the chocolate brown loveseat and cream club chairs, the rest came from the palette of the print. This abstract was the first piece of art I purchased for the space, and it really dictated the tone, not only for this room, but for my entire apartment. It was through this colour scheme that I was inspired to use orange as my main accent.
The wood elements continue throughout the space with the dark dinning table and chairs, stool base and teak serving plater; Anchoring the space, while making it warm and inviting. The pairing of the dark sofa with the dark table create a colour block, and that darkness is repeated in the chocolate brown wall on the far right end of the room composing a visual beat system.
Texture, both actual and implied are very important in any space. Here, the textures that comprise this room are found, again, in the brush strokes of the painting, the stripes of the accent fabric and the broadloom of the sisal rug.
This combination is not only modern, but incredibly visually pleasing.
Thanks to IKEA for helping me do style on a shoestring...