Monday, March 31, 2014

A few 'rules' for creating a great dining room

Top Ten Tips for Designing a Dining Room

1.      The table size should be determined by the size of the room and the other furniture in it. Absolute minimal clearance between the table edge and any facing wall or buffet is 30-36” but this will not allow for circulation behind a seated diner, or allow access to the buffet during a meal. Ideally, you should have 48 - 60” of space between a table and facing obstruction.

2.      Each diner needs his own dining space of 24-30”wide by 16-18” deep. Generally there will also be a shared space between facing diners of

3.      When buying any area carpet to go beneath the table, all chair legs should sit on it firmly when pushed away from the table. Always buy an under pad to protect the rug fibers from the hard floor. Rug under pads should be about 2” smaller than your rug on each side.

4.      To determine furniture quality, check the details. For example, look for dovetail joints in drawers. ( Fan-shaped tendons that interlock with a corresponding notched mortises) Also, look for a piece of wood that provides a dust proofing layer between drawers.

5.      In a room with an 8 foot ceiling, chandeliers should be hung with 30 -32” of space between the bottom of the chandelier and the table surface. Increase the space by 3” for every foot if you are lucky enough to have a high ceiling.

6.      The width of the chandelier should never exceed the width of the table. Ideally it should be 1/2 to 2/3 the size of your table width. When in doubt, go smaller but not too small.
7.      Always use dimmer switches.

8.      Wall sconces should be mounted 60” from the floor.

9.      Centre pieces should never block the view of diners. Average eye level for men is 27”from the table top and for women it is 19”. 

10.  Finally, have fun and be dramatic when decorating this room. Often it is a separate, more formal space, giving you the freedom to make it different from the other areas in your home. It can be decorated with deeper, richer colours that complement candle light, sparkling crystal and gleaming white dishes.

Sources:    Human Dimension and Interior Space by Julius Panero and Martin Zelni,  Furnish – The Home Furnishings Experts; Winter 2012, Furniture Today Media Group                10 Principles of Good Interior Design by Vinny Lee

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Design and Decor Styles over the Years

I have recently been trying to walk the talk with my home.  I am working at 'de-cluttering'. It is mostly the magazines and brochures collected over the years that go back way too many years and are not really looked at again.  I decided to flip through the magazines and if something caught my eye I could tear it out.  This will be an on-going project since there are at least 14 years of magazines.  I have been focusing on my Canadian magazines recently and must say we have many talented designers and decorators. The brochures & catalogues are only a few years old but I figure between them and the magazines, I should be leaving a very nice beverage for the folks who pick up my recycling.  I will keep the amounts down each week but it really looks like I am emptying a store.  

We then get to my tschatkas and it will be like Christmas when I hit Goodwill with the many I simply cannot store in my home.  I used to change them up regularly in order to not get tired of them and of course they all could not be displayed unless I wanted to re-create a store in my living area. I have hit a stage where I want less 'stuff' around me so out it goes.

Back to the title of this post - Design and Decor over the years.  I found in flipping through some of the magazines that our design aesthetic has not changed much in the last decade. When we hit year 2000 we seem to have hit on some fantastic liveable styles that for the most part have lasted through the years.  Of course these are also all created by professional decorators and designers which speaks to the value of working with them in the first place. It also helps the landfill as well as your pocketbook since you are not discarding your possessions so fast.  Changing up accessories and smaller pieces brings new life but the main pieces and foundation of the space can remain the same and look like it was created this year.  Sure, I have to say there are definitely some things we do not want to see again - balloon curtains; borders; too many silk or plastic flowers; and I think you know where I am going.  We have moved to a more natural look in our furnishings and accessories.  I was recently at a seminar by a well known celeb local designer and he was showing us photos of work he had done 10 years ago and it looked fresh and totally current as if he had just completed it.  Now that is a good thing!!

In checking out the bathrooms I noticed we were showcasing stand alone tubs and vessel sinks way back.   Wallpaper is back but in a more user friendly way and great design. 

I can't wait to see what comes next in Design and Decor, but one thing for sure is that I am not keeping this much 'stuff' around in future.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Loving Black and White

Recently I was gifted some Home Decor & Design Magazines from France that my hubby selected for me when he was there.  I love to pick these up when travelling just to see what's happening in other places.  When I was in Cabo recently I was looking for a Mexican Decor Magazine and a nice helpful person informed me I could find English magazines at another location but I wanted the one I found in Spanish. He thought I was a little nuts but that's ok.  I wanted authentic.

While flipping through the various magazines I saw a page of my favourite - Black and White in hounds tooth so I wanted to share it.  It's still hot and I believe it will always be in style.

From the pages of 'maisons de Campagne' here are some b/w ideas