Designer’s Advice: Bohemian Living in Asia

Designer’s Advice: Bohemian Living in Asia

Bohemian decor captures the carefree and adventurous spirit of the avant-garde lifestyle. It defies order.

If you have been keeping up with the rest of my articles, you will notice that I usually advice you to go easy on the patterns, but not when it comes to Bohemian. The only thing that goes well with patterns is even more patterns! In fact, if you are a blue-blooded boho-chic kinda person, you’re going to have Moroccan pillows strewn around on Navajo rugs in a room lit by Turkish mosaic lamps. It doesn’t even matter what floor tiles you have because you haven’t seen your floor in years, but if you had to pick one it would mostly likely be pink and turquoise ceramic tile. Oh, and plants. Lots of plants. Hanging leafy greens are a staple for the bohemian earthly touch.

Forgo the bedframe. Go for the floor bed and generous layers of tie-dyed blanket. Rugs don’t just have to be on the floor. You can hang one off the wall as the headboard. If you think all these ain’t enough to bring out the free spirit in you, you can consider crochet curtains hanging from the door way. Don’t let furniture cramp your style. Opt for hanging hammock chair and beanbags instead.

When in doubt, go for eclectic mix of colours and bold accents. In all honesty, if you need a guide to tell you how to be Boho you probably shouldn’t consider this design. A true boho won’t be told what defines him or her. Be free! Be free my bohemian brothers and sisters!

Cover picture: Bohemian Bedroom, Living Room Picture

 

Designer’s Advice: Nautical Living in Asia

Designer’s Advice: Nautical Living in Asia

The Nautical design concept, also known as coastal or cottage décor, is about creating a beachfront home atmosphere so relaxing you forget that you’re living in a modern concrete jungle.

As the name implies, this design concept is based on the nautical themes. Think navy blue stripes on pristine white, soft beige and stone gray, or sand coloured foundation and seafaring equipment as decorative features. You can almost reimagine the traffic noises outside as the sounds of waves crashing against the shore.

Anchors, nets, refurbished boats, seashells, and paintings of aquatic life are all the “must haves” but use them in moderation. The trick to stylish nautical design is not in turning your home into a boatman’s cabin; instead, opt to have a central design element around one or two of these items to focus on. For storage, you can’t go wrong with a distressed wooden “treasure chest” or wicker basket in your living room. For a bolder touch, throw in one or two contrasting colors – such as a bright red throw pillow or a yellow vase.

If you want to push the design boundaries towards a more local flavour, you could consider a kelong cum resort concept instead of the usual New England beach house look that defines traditional Nautical concept.

Material wise, you can still utilise unfinished wood for tables or chairs, combined with white linen upholstery for your lounge seats and sofas. Your options for decorative accents would contain vintage 7-Up bottles, jute ropes, sampan rowing oar, and pre-70s navigational map of the region that shows Singapore in its pre land reclamation state.

Personality Series – Home Design for The Artist

Personality Series – Home Design for The Artist

Writing an advice on interior design for the artists must be the boldest attempt in this series. Artists by their very nature defy templates and stereotypes; bold, unique individuals, with a high threshold for things that the common folks consider ‘crazy’. The irony is that this thirst of uniqueness is also the unifying trait that defines the living space of an artist.

Eclectic Touch
If anyone can pull off a patchwork of different colours and themes, it would be you. The chronic rebel of style and taste, you are going to want to splash a touch of victorian to your modern living design, or even juxtaposing Warhol with an industrial look. Some artists shy from colours altogether seeing the world in a contrast of black and white and chrome. An artist who revels in eccentricity might sound like a stereotype, but the true artist knows better. We are not being different for the sake of being different. We just happen to find inspiration and beauty in the unorthodox.

Freedom of Space
It’s the sacred shrine where your best works are conceived. It could be a small stool in the cluttered corner of the room or even in the confines of the bathroom, an artist needs a space to connect with his or her muse. The freedom of space is critical for all creative individuals but unlike other design philosophies, the freedom of space is something an artist discovers organically over time.

Signature Style / Source of Inspiration
The devil is in the details, as they say. An artist will inadvertently leave clues of his personality around the home – a painter with pieces of his idol’s works on the wall, a fashion designer with a walk-in wardrobe as the centrepiece of the bedroom, a writer surrounded by books of his favourite authors. Whichever field you are in, your home will be an extension of your craft. Identifying your signature early during the home design phase will give your interior designer a better sense of imbuing your personality into the home.

 

Image Credit: Header PictureArtiste’s House

Personality Series: Home Design for The Workaholic

Personality Series: Home Design for The Workaholic

There are two kinds of workaholic – The overworked employee, and the entrepreneur. No matter which category you fall under, chances are one part of your house is going to double up as a designated – usually messy – work area. It can be as small as a shelf space or takes up an entire room. Your partner may not necessarily agree with you, but you can’t help but find some joy in the necessity of work. You are the workaholic, and proud of it!

 Productivity is our primary concern in this article. Below are the four primary factors to consider when designing a home-office.

Lighting
Choice of illumination has a significant impact on the brain’s ability to process information. An optimal lighting depends on the type of work you are doing but ideally requires a balance of both indirect and direct light sources. Fluorescents are great for illuminating the whole room, but halogen bulbs are better for detail work. You also have to take into account glare from the computer screen and where your shadow is casted.

Colours
Colours can profoundly impact productivity, for better and for worse. Hues of red or orange can help to spark creativity but too much of red may instead invoke high levels of stress. Consider a reddish palette in areas where you spend time thinking, like the balcony or the bathroom. Yellow is great for raising self-esteem, bringing cheer and triggering innovation. It is best used in areas of the home where you will be letting you mind run free. Blue is generally known for its calming effect. Perhaps the bedroom would be a good place to take your mind off work right to prepare you for a good night’s rest? As for the work place itself, I suggest a colour that’s neutral to the eyes. Plants and greens in the work area have been proven to increase productivity.

Work Area
The joy of working from home is that you are not subjected to work from the confines of a cubicle. You have a choice of working for a large desk, on a beanbag or even in bed keying away on the laptop with a tray table. Think about the best place in your home to designate as work space. Not only should you think about how much space you need, but whether or not the space has access to WIFI connection and power supply, and away from noise.

Chill Out Corner
The downside of a home-office is that it’s hard to draw distinction between work and home. No matter how understanding (or tolerant) your partner may be, a certain level of work-life balance needs to happen before you get burnt out. Your home needs to have a place where you can disconnect. This place needs to have a stark contrast with the rest of your work areas. Maybe have a mini wine chiller where you can reward yourself with a glass or two or three after you’re done with work.

If the Workaholic is not quite you, check out the rest of our Personality Series to find something a little closer to home.

 

Personality Series: Home Design for The Tech Savy Guy

Personality Series: Home Design for The Tech Savy Guy

Fancy having a smart home like Tony Stark from the movie Ironman? Smart home systems used to be the pricey luxury toys of the wealthy are now becoming increasingly accessible. A modern tech savvy home is not just about gadgets, though. Tech savvy homeowners need to consider floor plans, building materials and everything else that goes into the design and development of a home. This is the Interior Design guide for the tech savvy geeks.

 

Home Cinema

When planning a home cinema, the space determines the screen size and type of projector to use. The recommended screen size is 16×9” for the ideal home cinema experience. The true cinema experience is all about the sound and the best place to position the main speakers is behind the screen and above the ground. So you will need to take into consideration where to place the speakers. If the lack of space is causing you grief, check with your interior designer on ways the screen can be inbuilt into the room design.

 

Acoustics

Now that you got your positioning done right, you will need to consider acoustics. Everything in the room from floor to ceiling has an effect on how sound reverberates. To reduce reflective noise, consider concealing hard exposed surfaces with curtains and carpets.

Gadgets, Wiring & Storage Solutions

Gadgets are the backbone of a tech savvy geek’s home. With advancement in technology and the proliferation of the latest buzz word – Internet of Things (IoT) – scores of cool gadgets are adorning every home that has changed people’s lifestyle. The gadgets are not just fancy; they provide quick solutions to everyday problems. The basic must-haves are motion detection, IP cameras, remote appliance control. Power supply and connectivity would be your biggest design concern. Home automations with controls over lights, air conditioning and curtains all at a click of the button from your mobile device would also be great for the tech savy individual.

From the floor plans, your interior designer would be able to advise you on the possible blind spots and power point considerations. With so many gadgets of different shapes and sizes, your home should inculcate loads of storage facilities such as cabinets, hidden drawers etc etc while still having decent access to all these gadgets. The tech savy guy doesn’t love clutter and likes sleek and minimal design for his home. Storage solutions should have a glass door encasing them so that any infra-red devices will still be able to activate even when the doors are closed.  

 

(This article is written in collaboration with Eugene Tay of the Alpha Mind)

Personality Series : Home Design for The Wide-Eye Traveller

Personality Series : Home Design for The Wide-Eye Traveller

Nothing says wanderlust like having a collection of knick-knacks acquired from your travels. They form almost a story on their own and a great time capsule for your memories. Besides the decorative features that will most certainly adorn your shelves and walls, we want you to have a practical home design that is an extension of who you are.

Wall Feature

You would post pictures of your travels and leave thought-provoking notes on your Facebook wall, why not have that for real on your living room wall? Paint a giant world map and overlay that with photos from the countries you have visited. It’s the perfect conversation starter when you have guests over.

Go for Eclectic Design

Flea markets around the world are the best place to get a cheap, unique purchase that looks absolutely stunning on its own, but then you wonder where it is going to fit in your modern Scandinavian home. The trick is: go eclectic. It’s an organic design that can’t be replicated. Just like your traveling experiences.

Juxtaposition of Colours

If anyone can pull off utter disregard of conventional colour palates, it would the wide-eyed traveler. Bold colours interspersed with earthly tones create a sense of wild abandonment and adventure.

Thematic Rooms

From the rustic calmness of a Balinese resort to the hustle and bustle of New York City, a traveler has been there; done that. How about giving each room a thematic makeover and bring a piece of the world into your home?

Open Display Cabinets and Wall Mount Shelves

This last tip should be obvious but it bears mentioning. Treasures turn to junk when they are packed away in boxes. If space is a constraint, consider breaking down walls and use open display cabinets as partition modules. Wall mount selves are also a great way to save space too and it doubles up as design feature.

 

Next we look at the Personality Based Design: Workaholic

(This article is written in collaboration with Eugene Tay, founder of The Alpha Mind)

 

 

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