Jun 042012

Tone-on-tone dec­o­rat­ing refers to com­bin­ing dif­fer­ent tonal vari­a­tions of the same color.  Whether you lean towards the calm­ing greens of jade, moss, mint, apple and emer­ald for your bed­room or would love your liv­ing room to be awash with blues that are as deep as the ocean or as light as the sky, dec­o­rat­ing with these colours tone-on-tone will evoke a con­nec­tion with nature like no other will.


Work­ing with har­mo­nious nat­ural wood tones is so fresh. Unless your inten­tion is rus­tic wood cabin, keep your eye out for con­tem­po­rary pieces of fur­ni­ture or items with a mod­ern twist.  Try using the nat­ural hues of wood as an accent among the blues or greens. Grey also works well and adds a refined appeal. A throw rug in a steely grey tossed across the back of a chair, stainless-steel benches, polished-concrete floors or chunky rugs that run from grey into grey-blue would all be right at home.

tone-on-tone decorating

tone-on-tone decorating

Pan­els of highly grained tim­ber are beau­ti­ful back­drops for lighter cab­i­nets or tim­ber cut-outs, which are afford­able pieces of art in them­selves. Wood is so tac­tile that col­lect­ing spe­cial pieces can become quite an obsession.

Blue and green tones

There’s a grow­ing global trend for har­mo­nious colour com­bi­na­tions, par­tic­u­larly using tones of blue with other tones of blue as well as shades of green with green. Mix­ing it up with nat­ural ele­ments such as tim­ber, which itself has lots of vari­a­tions in both colour and tex­ture, relaxes the look, mak­ing it a per­fect palette for the way we live in South Africa.

The key to mak­ing this work is bal­ance. Pat­tern is won­der­ful but aim for a ratio of 30 per cent pat­tern against 70 per cent plain if you want the space to feel calm. Tex­ture, be it in the scuffed-up paint on a trea­sured kitchen chair or the mot­tled pig­ment of a chalky wall, adds warmth through the sug­ges­tion of age. Bring in a breath of fresh, sea­sonal air with flow­ers in shades of the same colour: think hydrangea, corn­flower, iris and laven­der for starters.

All shades of blue work well together. Deep inky blues off­set turquoise shades and a dash of white bright­ens everything.

tone-on-tone decorating

Blue, in all its forms, be it cobalt, navy, royal, aqua or eggshell, is a med­i­ta­tive colour and green evokes har­mony, mak­ing both per­fect for a bedroom.

For­est, cit­rus and emer­ald greens sparkle when grouped in dis­plays of glass or dishes piled high on open shelves. Liv­ing with blues and greens isn’t about match­ing shades, as the effect may look con­trived. It’s the sub­tle con­trast between colours that makes this tone-on-tone approach so refresh­ing. It’s a great start­ing point for any dec­o­rat­ing experiment.

tone-on-tone decorating

Source: homelife.com.au



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Mar 282012

Min­i­mal­ist doesn’t have to mean cold. Add life, warmth and beauty to your mod­ern inte­ri­ors with the help of wood

Nat­ural woods work won­ders when com­bined with the clean and mod­ern lines of min­i­mal­ist design.  When con­trasted against shiny metal, stone sur­faces and crisp white details, wood is fully capa­ble of tak­ing cen­ter stage in any home. Here are some cre­ative ideas for mak­ing this splen­did nat­ural mate­r­ial part of your space.

The wood per­fectly bal­ances the crisp walls and rough tex­ture of the stone.

No need for a fancy uphol­stered head­board here. The wood makes an under­stated impres­sion with­out tak­ing any space away from the room.

Not your ‘70s ceil­ing. To make wood work above, you need to make sure you have either enough ceil­ing height or enough square footage. Oth­er­wise, it may make your room feel cramped and claus­tro­pho­bic.   Here, the design­ers fol­lowed Frank Lloyd Wright’s rule: in a large space, keep your ceil­ings low to force the eye to look outside.

On the other hand, beau­ti­ful tall ceil­ings with loads of nat­ural light cre­ates a very dif­fer­ent effect from the pre­vi­ous photo.  Add mod­ern light­ing and clean, shiny floors for an updated look.

Per­haps one of the most stun­ning uses of wood mate­ri­als hap­pens to also be prac­ti­cal — an old-school coun­ter­top. A large slab of wood takes cen­ter stage in this indus­trial kitchen.

Wood even works well in bath­rooms.  Even though the grain of this wood is sub­tle, it con­trasts beau­ti­fully against the oth­er­wise all-white bathroom.

For the wood con­nois­seur, a mix of grains & species. This exam­ple show­cases three vari­eties of nat­ural wood; all work beau­ti­fully together because of the dif­fer­ence in tex­ture and grain.

Wood looks strik­ing above the fireplace.

Wood can be used very effec­tively in con­trast to a pre­dom­i­nant mate­r­ial, such as metal. In this case, the wood breaks up both the ver­ti­cal nature of the screen & its smooth metal texture.

When used in unusual places, it makes a one-of-a-kind state­ment that is hard to ignore. If used out­doors, wood should be treated with the proper sealants to ensure its longevity

Source: houzz.com

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Dec 102011

The com­pany that designed the Toledo stool was orig­i­nally a bicy­cle com­pany that changed to mak­ing fur­ni­ture as cars began to take over.  The Toledo Metal Fur­ni­ture Company’s fur­ni­ture was designed to stand up to rugged con­di­tions. These stools, designed in the early 1900s, were cre­ated with schools, indus­trial shops and trades­peo­ple in mind. Their charm­ing sil­hou­ettes and mix of bent wood and metal cre­ate a look that can go vin­tage indus­trial, mid-century mod­ern, tra­di­tional or contemporary.

The Toledo stool is a clas­sic piece with an indus­trial aes­thetic that can work in just about any style of room.

Here the stools add Industrial-Age char­ac­ter to the mid-century vibe of this home.

Com­bined with the reclaimed wood, exposed brick and metal fin­ishes, the vin­tage Toledo stools fit right in with indus­trial ware­house design of this loft.

These stools are not lim­ited to the kitchen either. In the same loft, another vin­tage Toledo pro­vides a perch in front of the mirror.

This is the back­less cousin of the Toledo stool.

The wood on the stools har­mo­nizes with the wooden table, benches and beams. The smaller stools next to the ottoman repeat this aesthetic.

This sleek kitchen gets some patina style from the rough-hewn beam, bin pull hard­ware and the addi­tion of the Toledo stools.

Source: houzz.com

Dec 052011

The indus­trial style has always been pop­u­lar in one form or another.  Lately even more so where an old build­ing or loft gets con­verted into a liv­ing space. Today how­ever the style is a lot lighter and sleeker with a mod­ern touch.

Char­ac­ter­is­tic of this style is the use of con­crete and steel or hav­ing patches of raw brick­work on the walls. (these walls are more often than not, turned into a design fea­ture). To add a warm ele­ment to this style, you can incor­po­rate wood, glass and plexi. A touch of the earthy ele­ment will only enhance this look.

Colour palette for the Indus­trial style is black with dif­fer­ent hues of grey’s and white. Tex­tiles that are basic and has no pat­terns work well with this look and is a great way to add tex­ture into your design. Make sure that you get an indus­trial edge in your design by using fur­ni­ture that could have come from a fac­tory. “Form fol­lows Func­tion” is the key ele­ments of these fur­ni­ture, they were not designed for the esthetic but to  serve a pur­pose. Be on the look­out for metal with patina, matte sur­faces or sleek and shiny met­als. If you want the authen­tic fur­ni­ture and acces­sories to achieve this look, second-hand shops are a trea­sure trove. By recy­cling and using these fur­ni­ture pieces,  you will also be doing your bit to help save our environment.

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If you liked this, you would prob­a­bly also like to view our posts on Typog­ra­phy and Con­crete in design.

Oct 062011

I’ve always loved the com­bi­na­tion of con­crete, steel and wood in archi­tec­ture.  With the build­ing of our own home the project team thought me quite ‘loony’ for want­ing the nat­ural con­crete to stay with­out paint.  I just loved the rich nat­ural colour and tex­ture so much!  The colour of the con­crete in this house is the exact shade which reminded me so much of that look and feel.  In the end I got at least one dou­ble vol­ume fea­ture wall.  The house fea­tured below proves my point and, believe me, for our next house I will def­i­nitely build my case with the help of the beau­ti­ful pic­tures!  I absolutely love the way the archi­tects man­aged to frame the views and the com­bi­na­tion of all the nat­ural ele­ments are striking.

Wash­ing­ton Park Res­i­dence in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton, exhibits a fas­ci­nat­ing facade made of thick and ther­mally insu­lated con­crete walls. These walls are “lay­ered and mod­u­lated to offer care­fully framed views from west-facing rooms, add depth and shadow to the facade, and orches­trate the entry sequence through the court­yard to the front door.Sul­li­van Conard Archi­tects made sure that the house over­look­ing Lake Wash­ing­ton and the Cas­cades cap­tured exten­sive views with­out inter­fer­ing with the much-needed privacy.