Saturday, 4 February 2012

Swedish interiors

After all this talk about Ikea, one would think I have fallen in love with Swedish furniture. Well... maybe a little bit.

Especially after reading this particular post from Cote de Texas, I fell in love with the story and the pictures of the houses featured in this article in the Washington Post. Below are some of my favourite photos.

The Swedish look is all about chalky greys and muted tones, natural textured fabrics like linen and seagrass rugs and Swedish antiques in an environment that is relaxed, serene and casual. Now I wouldn't mind living in a space like that everyday.

The next photos are from a different house, but belonged to the same owner of the room above.
I fell in love with the entryway in the photo above. All its details - the pale stone floor, the patina of the chest of drawers, the carvings of the white banister and the fresh pop of green coming from the fern - I love.

The photo of this room above blew me away. Everything about it is beautiful. I will bookmark this photo for those moments when I am in need of inspiration.

Here's a closer view of the further half of the room. Isn't it gorgeous?

I love this dining room - particularly the grey Swedish chairs and the glass pendant lamp. And the view of the next room from that doorway is so intriguing.

Below are more photos of Swedish interiors that I find beautiful.

Source here
Notice how everything is weathered with a beautiful patina. Nothing is too precious to touch - that's what makes it so appealing (to people like me who has a boisterous toddler in the house).

Source here
I love the colour palette of fresh greens and natural light wood in the photo above.

Source here
Doesn't the room above look so light and airy?

Source unknown
I'm not sure whether the above is Swedish, but it has the colour palette that I love about it.

Source here
The above photo is also Swedish - but the modern side of Swedish interiors that we are more familiar with since Ikea took over world dominance (at least, in the decorating world). I love this apartment.

Here are some tips on getting the Swedish style look, taken from this article of the Washington Post by Terri Sapienza - even if you are living on the other side of the planet from Sweden.

Start small. If you’re apprehensive about a big change or commitment, start with a small space in your home, such as a foyer, hallway or guest room. 

Repaint the walls in a lighter color. Thai suggests a neutral color, which is more versatile and will work with many types of furniture and finishes. His favorite neutral paint colors include Classic Gray and White Dove, both from Benjamin Moore and Clunch by Farrow & Ball. 
Introduce painted Swedish pieces slowly. Start in smaller rooms and replace the furniture you like the least, says Thai. You may find that one or two new pieces refresh your space enough. If you like the way they look, you can eventually carry the style into the more prominent rooms. 

Don’t get carried away. “When people use too much Swedish furniture, it starts looking like a theme park and will eventually look dated,” says Thai. He prefers rooms that are more collected and mixed, with a touch of Swedish style. “You can introduce this furniture to your mahogany furniture and keep it like that,” he says. “It’s more interesting.”

Update upholstered furniture. If you have a dark couch, replace the matching accent pillows with pillows that are lighter in color and drape a neutral throw over the back, Thai says.
If you have a suite of dark furniture, break it up, he says. Move the pair of chairs to another room or recover the chairs, keep the sofa dark and add light pillows.
If you don’t want to invest in reupholstery, use slipcovers. Get fabric that is washable and neutral. You can bring in patterns and color with pillows and throws. Thai recommends Calico Corners and Haute for finding good, mid-weight linens.

Well, I guess the closest that we can get to Swedish furniture on this side of the earth is at Ikea for now! You'll know where to find me on weekends! :-)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

jumping on the twitter bandwagon

So I'm finally on Twitter! Actually I've been on it for quite some time now - created an account a few years ago but never really updated anything. I have a total of .... 8 tweets! And 2 followers! Woot!

Y'all can follow my blog via twitter here.

I don't like having an underscore to my user name, but it's there because I had used my name for the account I had created a few years ago and I forgot the password to that account. So this is a new account with the same name but with an underscore.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

ikea kitchens

I'm a fan of the Giuliana & Bill show - I especially love the episodes featuring the home renovations. And to my delight, 2 seasons ago, they ran an episode where the couple gave a makeover to Giuliana's parents' kitchen with Ikea cabinets! 

I couldn't find photos of the new kitchen on the internet - so if you missed that episode, here's a short clip showing the finished kitchen.

I love the cabinets, the door handles, the white counter tops. Dreamy! Have I mentioned that I'm in love with white kitchens? Yeah, I think I have.

With the cost of custom cabinets running sky-high these days, I've been contemplating on getting Ikea kitchen cabinets - they have great prices and a good number of kitchen door cabinet choices.
So I've been scouring the internet, looking for reviews on Ikea kitchens - whether they are any good, what kind of quality to expect. And the outlook is pretty good. 

Some notes I've gathered on Ikea cabinets from decorating and designing blogs:
1. The Blum soft-close drawers - custom-made cabinets will not come with these soft-close drawers, adding these on would require extra cost. Ikea cabinets are not only cheap, they come together with these soft-close features. Note: I love drawers as they're convenient and great space-savers. I'm thinking of investing in drawers for my whole kitchen. With maybe about 2 base cabinets max.

2. If you're looking for quality, the Tidaholm series is great. The door frames are made of solid oak whilst the panels are melamine. Solid oak frames would be ideal  as particle board frames have the risk of warping due to moisture. This is evident in my mum's kitchen that has melamine cabinet doors.

3. The Tidaholm (or just about any of the other series) cabinets can be furnished with paint to get a lovely custom look.

4. Custom kitchens have melamine cabinet frames and this is exactly what Ikea uses. So why pay more when you get it for less with Ikea?

5. To avoid your kitchen from looking like an Ikea showroom, with cost saved from their cabinets, you can indulge in higher quality countertops (though their wood countertops are a great bargain), hardware (such as knobs and handles) and appliances (sinks etc).

I've been collecting photos of my favourite Ikea kitchens. Some are straight off their online catalogue, some are photos from design blogs.
I love this kitchen. So cool and classy. I love the marble countertop on the island. I think these are Ikea Tidaholm doors custom-painted in white. I'm loving the tiles of the backsplash too. The lovely blue-grey curtains on the side matches those chairs.

This one is straight from the web catalogue. I've got my sights set on that freestanding island. I love how sunny this kitchen is.

Another lovely white kitchen - this time looking more contemporary and modern with the sleek stainless steel handles. I really like the subway tile backsplash.
This one goes even more modern with sleek, glossy white cabinets and modern stools. I love this kind of modern look, but not so sure if I would go for this style. It's too white and would be a hassle to maintain.

Jonathan Adler
Even Jonathan Adler goes Ikea! I love how he has paired the white cabinets with beautiful marble countertops and walls. And he adds in punches of colour from the lime green upholstered stools and matching pendant lamp.

The Tidaholm cabinets in its original state. I'm liking the texture. Seriously considering of getting these doors.
I'm totally in love with this kitchen. One would not guess that those are actually Ikea cabinets painted a rich dark brown for a traditional country kitchen. Looks lovely.

The Ikea kitchen goes industrial in this photo with their range of stainless steel cabinets paired with the wooden countertops.
A modern Ikea kitchen with stainless steel countertops and farmhouse sink! I love how the wooden beam ceilings bring character and architectural interest to this modern kitchen.
Ikea shelves. Contemplating whether I should go for open shelving or upper cabinets. I could save money by opting for the former.

I do hope you enjoyed these Ikea kitchen photos! Would love to know what others think of Ikea kitchens!

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Lovely colours

I love these colours. I wanna use them somewhere!

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