How to create a year-round garden:take a tour of the ultimate ‘outdoor room’ designed by Abigail Ahern

outdoorsabigailahern2clivenichols.jpg

With a coffee table overhung with a chandelier, a snug two-seater and curvy armchairs ranged around a fireplace, as well as a kitchen and dining table, Abigail Ahern’s back garden has to be the ultimate outdoor room.

When she moved to Hackney with husband Graham 13 years ago, Ahern, an accomplished interior designer but a self-confessed non-gardener, approached the outside space with caution. “At first I did what everybody else did, and had stuff down the perimeter and nothing in the middle,” she says, “but as I became more confident, I realised the same principles I applied to inside could apply to the outside.

“One of these is that you never have everything on the perimeter. I like to design interiors so you can’t walk in a straight line from one end of the room to the other, because there’s always something in your way. It’s the difference between walking in a field, where you can see all around you which is really boring, or in a forest, where you’re not sure what’s around the next corner. That’s what I wanted to do here.”

This atmospheric retreat, with weathered decking, leafy tree canopies and stashes of logs for fires indoors and out, looks like it was built in the heart of a forest. That is, if it weren’t for the cowboy cacti — realistic fakes that Ahern sells in her Islington shop and has tucked in among the hydrangea bushes, adding a touch of Santa Fe to the patio — and the petrol blue cabin at the rear, a £100 eBay find upcycled by Graham.

The roomy patio with York stone paving looks as cosy as the living room on the other side of the huge, two-storey glass doors. Another Ahern design principle is to supersize features and furniture to make a space look larger, so naturally, as well as chandeliers in every room of the house, an outsize chandelier of tiered driftwood pieces hangs over the black lacquer coffee table.

Lighting is a game changer, indoors and out, says Ahern. “I have a problem finding outdoor lights I like, so I put indoor lights outside, and have them professionally rewired.” These include a standard lamp and a Sixties pendant shade, while the bonus of overhanging electric cable is that the mile-a-minute vine scrambles along it, creating playful garlands of green above the patio.

To the right of the patio-cum-sittingroom is the dining area, defined by an Indian zinc-topped table from Petersham Nurseries and a customised concrete kitchen from Dutch company WWOO.

“The company customised the kitchen to fit around the Big Green Egg, a barbecue cooker I’m obsessed with ever since I designed a set for a TV programme with Heston Blumenthal, who uses it all the time. You can bake on it, roast with it and it’s all temperature controlled. We put something in on a Saturday morning, slow cook it for 10 hours and come back in the evening and supper’s ready. We even cook the Christmas turkey on it.”

Playing with different textures is a big part of Ahern’s design philosophy, and is apparent in her choice of materials in both hardscape and planting. The decked garden path that leads down to the cabin is a clever fake from Millboard that resembles old, weather-worn oak timber, and is edged down either side with a deep ruff of variegated tufted grass Carex oshimensis Everest.

Pebbles — another textural contrast — are her choice of flooring on either side, giving Ahern the freedom to gradually plant both areas over time. On one side is a wall of rustling bamboo, which she planted so she could look down from her bedroom window and enjoy the constant movement, and on the opposite wall, a sheet of evergreen jasmine. “We planted about 20 tiny plants and now the scent of the flowers in summer is beautiful,” she says. “I’m mad about watering all the time to make them cover the wall.”

 

[Source:- homesandproperty]

 

How to take care of your orangery, conservatory and garden room this winter

Orangeries - Auburn Hill

The winter months are some of the most exciting and yearned for; crisp country walks, cosy log fires and chunky blankets. But if you are lucky enough to have a conservatory, orangery or garden room, the winter season can pose a threat.

In order to be able to continue to use this room to appreciate the pink winter sunsets and robins on the lawn, you must be prepared to take several steps. Paul Matthews, managing director at Auburn Hill, explains exactly what you need to do:

1. GUTTERING AND DRAINAGE

The guttering and downspouts that many orangeries and conservatories possess are known to become blocked in both the autumn and winter months, as the leaves fall and the weather becomes unfavourable with lashings of wind and rain.

Clearing them of debris and leaves is not going to be the highlight of your year, but it’s going to pay off long term. If guttering becomes blocked during the wet weather, gutters can leak, and this inherently leads to internal damp and mould growth – far from ideal at any time of the year!

By doing this, you also have the opportunity to identify any part of the guttering that is old, tired and a little worse for wear, or if it is damaged. If this is the case, the problems should be replaced or repaired immediately before the water can infiltrate the brickwork.

While dry days are ideal for this chore, frosty days also make it a little easier – just make sure you have someone with you to ensure accidents don’t occur while using a ladder.

2. TREES AND SHRUBBERY

As the temperatures plummet and the air gets damp – we would rather retreat indoors to practise hygge rather than continue cutting the lawn and preening trees and bushes. But it’s incredibly important that you make trimming your garden a priority if it’s home to the aforementioned flora.

As the wind is whipping around your garden, hearing next door’s gate being thrown around should be your biggest worry – not the branches from your Japanese cherry tree about to crack the glazing in your orangery.

Trees, hedges and bushes should be trimmed right back to prevent them causing damage to your orangery or conservatory. Branches that are dead or weak should be removed completely as these pose the biggest threat to your home extension.

[Source:- Housebeautiful]

Tile Flooring Design Ideas For Every Room of Your House

tile flooring for every room of the house Tile Flooring Design Ideas For Every Room of Your House

Designing your home and transforming it into this vivacious and beautiful abode that charms everyone with its unique and timeless look, could be a daunting task. Everyone around you has ideas, but what matters most is the vision and dream that you have for your own place. Achieving this perfect appearance depends on a wide variety of factors and while the themes, colors and décor that you choose are equally important, what most people seem to forget is flooring.

There was a time when choosing a tile meant picking one of the few ceramic designs available in the market. Times and technology have ensured that today there is a wide assortment and varied choices to choose from.

One of the biggest advantages of tiles is that you get to pick a design and the shade of your choice, no matter how extravagant it is. The current trend also ensures that they are not just limited to your kitchen and bathrooms anymore.

Living room tile flooring

The living room is where you welcome your guests, meet family members and friends. Our advice is to stick to ceramic flooring that is neutral, yet elegant. On the other hand there are carpet tiles offer plenty of room to improvise, but sticking to the classic designs and classy format serves you well. There are also porcelain tiles that look strikingly like real wood and are far more durable and moisture-resistant. Pick one of these if you really want a refined appearance.

 

 

[Source:- Decoist]

 

Illuminate your room with over 16 million colours

Illuminate your room with over 16 million colours

When it comes to improving a room’s mood, changing its lighting is often the simplest–and cheapest–solution. With the SMFX Bluetooth Smart Bulb, you can bring a rainbow of iridescent colours to your living space, and it’s controlled straight from your smartphone. On sale for only £22.49 ($29 USD), the SMFX Smart Bulb puts the power of the rainbow in the palm of your hands.

Using your smartphone, you can customize the SMFX Bluetooth Smart Bulb’s appearance with over 16 million colour options. You can alter the bulb’s brightness and even switch it on and off remotely. Using the bulb’s app, you can alter RGBW and power settings directly from your smartphone.

What’s more, the SMFX Bluetooth Smart Bulb is completely programmable. Looking to kill the lights at a particular time? Want to surprise a guest with an impromptu disco party? Simply use the app’s functions and timers to get next-level lighting control.

On top of its vibrant colours, the SMFX Bluetooth Smart Bulb also brings unrivaled efficiency to the table. It’s rated to last over 40,000 hours (27 years of normal use), and it only consumes 10% of the energy a standard bulb uses. Outfit a room with SMFX Bluetooth Smart Bulbs, and you can save a pretty penny on your energy bill.

Bringing power and efficiency together, the smart bulb is the simplest way to brighten up any room. The SMFX Bluetooth Smart Bulb normally retails for £30, but Pocket-lint readers can take 25 per cent off, making the final price just £22.49.

 

 

[Source:- pocket-lint]

living room thoughts

Residing room ideas needed? From furniture arrangement to colour schemes, upholstery thoughts to curtain styles, welcome to the house & garden residing room archive – a veritable trove of over four hundred splendid designs from the maximum lovely houses within the global (it additionally allows that many had been decorated with the aid of the satisfactory indoors designers – check our pinnacle one hundred if you want to recognise who they are). there is notion to be located for homes massive and small, town and u . s . a ., contemporary and conventional. if you‘re searching out someone to beautify your living room for you – seek advice from our on line listing The listing to find a high-quality indoors designer, upholsterer, curtain maker or genuinely a person to supply antiques for your area.

functions that would additionally BE beneficial: small residing rooms, wallpaper, wall murals, grey dwelling rooms, blue living rooms, curtains, window seats, hearth thoughts, residing Rooms by using contributors of The listing

Eating room ideas

want some eating room ideas? This room is all approximately crowding a set of buddies around the table with some delicious meals, excellent wine and plenty of conversation. but developing the right ecosystem with a few clever dining room layout can help. whether you are seeking out proposal on the large selections like dining room furniture or are in search of smaller eating room adorning ideas (like dining room wallpaper), we’ve all of the inspiring photographs you want to ensure your fashionable eaterie is the recent subject matter on the table.

DINING ROOM IDEAS

Need some dining room ideas? This room is all about crowding a group of friends around the table with some delicious food, good wine and plenty of conversation. But creating the right atmosphere with some clever dining room design can help. Whether you’re looking for inspiration on the big decisions like dining room furniture or are in search of smaller dining room decorating ideas  (like dining room wallpaper), we have all the inspiring pictures  you need to ensure your stylish eaterie is the hot topic at the table.

  • Nautical Blues
  • The Breakfast Table
  • American Maple
  • Fermoie Fabrics
  • French Damask

[Source:- House&Garden]

A stunning artwork inspired this neutral and blue living room

blue-living-room-makeover

Melanie Alsford, her husband Richard and their sons Luca and Leo, live in a four-bedroom Victorian house in Hampton, Middlesex. They created an elegant scheme in their neutral and blue living room.

What was the house like when you moved in?

It was mostly in good condition, but we were excited about giving it our own style. One of the first projects we tackled was the living room.

How did the work start?

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The old fireplace and built-in shelves made the room seem smaller, so we had them removed. The walls were replastered and painted grey with white above the picture rail. Then we had bespoke cupboards and shelving built either side of the chimney breast. New windows warmed things up as the room had been cold and damp before. We splashed out on a luxury grey and white wool carpet that makes the room feel sumptuous and cosy. As we already had the neutral sofa and tan leather armchair it was then about adding the accessories to pull the neutral and blue living room together.

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Tell us about your inspiration for the scheme

blue-living-room-artwork

As a wedding gift we were given a beautiful artwork painted by my husband’s cousin, Patricia Cordoba. She used aqua and gold leaf to create a large dramatic piece. It was a brilliant starting point for the entire scheme as I adore its turquoise, midnight blues and metallic shades. A painted decorative mirror over the fireplace reflects the colours across the room.

Was there anything else you had to buy?

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Rather than having a coffee table, we opted for a large footstool to create an impact, and added a couple of trays for drinks and ornaments – and there’s still plenty of room for us to put our feet up! We decided on a stove and chose a gas, woodburning-effect version that comes with a remote control for instant warmth, making this the perfect room to snuggle up at the end of a busy day!

 

 

[Source:- Housebeautiful]

Alan Titchmarsh: What do you call your sitting room?

The White Drawing Room, at Buckingham Palace

Learning the names that families use for their sitting room has offered plenty of amusement over the past couple of weeks.

Much seems to depend on the part of the country and the social aspiration of the household. Her Majesty the Queen, at Buckingham Palace, has a White Drawing Room , so clearly “drawing room” is an upmarket description of what we referred to as “the front room” when I was growing up in a terrace house in Yorkshire.

I confess to using the term on occasion in our current house, convincing myself that I can do so because we live in a Georgian farmhouse, and that would have been the term back then. I call it “the sitting room” when I forget to put on airs.

The White Drawing Room
The White Drawing Room Credit: Rex

My daughters bring me down to earth by calling it “the posh room”; to distinguish it from the room with the telly, where we sit on the floppy sofa when we have supper on our laps.

In 1965, when I was 16, we moved from the terrace house with “the front room and the back kitchen” to a pebble-dashed semi. It, too, had a front room, but it was then known as “the lounge”, and we even had a ceramic tile on its door to indicate as much. “Living room” is, I suppose, devoid of any class associations and is, at least, honest in its description.

In Yorkshire, rooms are given names that clearly describe their function and content. I vividly remember, when growing up, hearing a conversation between two of my grandmother’s neighbours. “We’ve just decorated our cloakroom,” said one; to which the other, with an identical house, replied: “Oh, aye? Well, we’ve just distempered the junk ’ole.”

A loft/attic
Loft or attic? Credit: Alamy

Nowadays there is little talk of sculleries and kitchenettes; attics are “lofts” and cellars are basements, unless they contain wine. Half of London, it seems, is due to suffer subsidence any time now, thanks to the demand for gyms and cinemas or, rather more upmarket, “screening rooms” underneath houses that were built without a lower ground floor.

Sheds are “studios” or “garden rooms” and toilets are “loos” in middle-class houses or “lavatories” in stately homes. Only in the US are they “rest rooms’, and it makes me smile when a visitor to our house asks for “the bathroom”, as though they were intent on having a good soak.

Anyway, must dash. I’m on my way through the loggia to take tea on the terrace. Patio? No, thanks.

[Source:- Telegraph]

The top 6 living room design ideas

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1. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES

Begin with a checklist of the room’s strong points, perhaps the fireplace, French windows or simply a sunny aspect. Plan your scheme to highlight these key features. Then think about the elements you don’t like and work on removing them, or changing them to minimise their impact on the space.

2. REMOVE ANY OBSTACLES

Increase your layout options by making change to the fixtures and fittings. Could you rehang a door or remove it to open up an unused corner? And have TV sockets and power points moved if needed, so you’re not tied to an awkward layout. Consider moving a radiator to free up part, or all, of a wall, or swap a standard panelled one for a vertical model that takes up less floor space.

3. MAKE STORAGE A PRIORITY

For a contemporary look, keep everything in one place rather than having lots of separate pieces of furniture. It’s a good idea to have furniture made-to-measure to fit one wall and incorporate everything, including your TV and media equipment. Alternatively, modular furniture can be adapted to suit you and the room. Ikea has an easy-to-use online planner that you can use to create an arrangement that works. If you have space, you might want to include a little desk with some drawer files to create a study area.

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4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LAYOUT

  • Rectangular If two rooms have been knocked into one, there are two focus points and the most common pitfall is to arrange furniture so the room feels like a corridor. Minimise the look of a long room by putting seating across it. Try two sofas opposite each other or, more casually, a sofa and two chairs. Interior designer Louise McCarthy’s rule is to create symmetry: ‘Try to get a balance between the different number and size of the pieces of furniture and always attempt to position them away from the walls.’
  • L-shape An L-shape can feel like two separate rooms. Use the main area shape for seating, following the same rule as for a rectangular room. If the room is large enough, think about different functions for the two sections. For example, a formal seating area in the main part and a relaxation and TV-watching zone in the smaller part. To integrate the two areas, introduce rounded furniture, such as a circular table or small chair at the corner. Wallpaper a wall, add greenery or a mirror to bring the corner forward.
  • Square If there’s no obvious focal point, square rooms can feel boxy and featureless. In larger square rooms, having two, or even three armchairs with a sofa breaks up the symmetry and is a versatile mix. Alternatively, position sofas at right angles to each other towards the television in the opposite corner, or the fireplace.
  • Small rooms If space is tight, try two sofas or a sofa and single chair in a loose L-shaped configuration. Choose styles with narrow arms and slim backs that take up less room. A corner sofa would sit right against the wall but measure up carefully as corner units can be quite big. Swap a coffee table for occasional tables or storage at either end of seating to keep the central space open. Put the television on the wall or on low-level furniture that extends across a wall and will give you extra storage.

5. TRY NOT TO LET A TELEVISION DOMINATE THE ROOM

Don’t be tempted by that big 70 inch screen if you can barely fit a sofa in. If you have a fireplace, keep that as the focal point by positioning the television in an alcove or recess. In a small room, you may want to mount the TV on a wall to minimise its impact. It should be at eye level when seated, but no lower than 120cm from the floor. Position so there’s minimal reflection off the screen from the window or lights, but have a light nearby to prevent eye strain.

6. ADJUST THE LIGHTING

Dimmer switches are the easiest way to adjust the mood of the room, while wall lights give a gentle, diffused glow – ideal for relaxed evenings. Otherwise, add an extra power point or two so you can have table lamps to provide atmospheric lighting that you can also read by.

living-room-design-ideas-sofa

[Source:- Housebeautiful]