Sunday, September 30, 2007

Setting the Mood

Setting a table designing theatrical scenery is an important contribution to the event's success. In some Asian countries there is a tradition known as, "table talk"-rather than using matching plates and glasses, each setting reflects the interests of the person who is to sit there. Example, if they are a gardener, there may be a green plate and floral napkins, if they are a photographer, the use of a black napkin and a white plate may be used.
A table may also be set to the theme of the food being served, such as chinese food, by using chopsticks and rice bowls will set the style. Flowers for a dining table need not always be in a vase. At a romantic dinner, scatter rose petals across the cloth. Candles always set an intimate relaxed mood.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Quiet Kitchens

Around mealtimes the kitchen is usually a hive of activity, but at other times of the day it can be a refuge, filled with comforting aromas of freshly made coffee or bread baking. The decorative scheme can establish a mood of serenity, while a kitchen needs to be easy to clean, with clear lighting over work surfaces, it's functional elements can be kept soft and harmonious. A subtle wall color, can feel fresh and cheerful in morning light, yet warm and welcoming in the evening of artificial light. Patterned shades or drapes and vases with fresh flowers, add vivid splashes of color. Seat pads can be added to bar stools or chairs to make the environment more restful.
Achieving a calm kitchen calls for a certain amount of organization, clutter and disorder cause feeling of unease. Maintain a tidy kitchen which transforms your mood for relaxation.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Secrets of the Shower

A shower can be both stimulating and relaxing. The steady flow of water over the body does more than a simple cleansing, it also allows your mind a few minutes of peace and tranquility. Scent your skin with a luxurious soap or gel, using a soft sponge to maximize the gentle foam. For an indulgent experience, light fragrant candles whose aromas will linger in the warm moist air.
The shower room's practical, hard surfaces can be softened with muted colors, rounded edging, and draped towels, all of which create a restful mood. Cottons and thick mats offer a warm and welcoming place to stand after stepping out of the shower. Display soft thick towels to make an attractive feature on a shelf, as well as a gentle and pleasurable way to dry a freshly showered body. Many plants thrive in a humid atmosphere, and their natural shapes divert the eye from the hard edges of shower enclosures.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sensual Baths

The bathroom should be an intimate haven where you enjoy solitude, if it is a few precious moments between waking and dressing, or for an indulgent soak in a bath scented with aromatic oils. Lighting must be carefully planned for practical purpose, yet low light and or candlelight can enhance your serenity. Evening baths are especially peaceful by adding your favorite music.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Calm Oasis

Admiring a view from a window can be pleasant and calming, but to experience the sounds, scents and sights of the natural world, we have to venture out of doors. A sunroom, veranda or screened-in porch brings us closer to nature while offering shelter from the elements. Here we can enjoy the burst of new growth that follows a spring shower, the red-gold tapesty of leaves in the fall, frost glistening in the winter sunshine. These areas also serve as an extra room for entertaining or to simply relax and read.

Enjoying the natural light and shade can be refreshing to the soul, making it a delightful place to enjoy periods of quiet contemplation. As daylight fades, candles or indirect lighting will add a quiet feeling for reflextion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Natures Harmony in Colors

Nature's palette is based on browns, greeens, blues and grays of earth, forest, sky and water. While extremely varied, this range of colors is essentially restful and can be used in any room to suggest harmony with nature. At the same time, the natural world displays surprisingly vivid colors, such as the fires of sunset, exotic birds, wild flowers and trees in the seasons.
White and cream create a pristine and serene environment and encourage calm feelings. Against pale backgrounds you can add "gems" of color with pillows, pictures, rugs all which blend or contrast.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Design Illusions

In this Tuscan design a single color on the walls can establish the overall mood of your room. Decorative paint treatment such as sponging or graining refines the effect. Simple tecniques add character, texture and a depth to a fresh, smooth surface. Older walls respond well to paint treatments that disguise minor blemishes and make a feature of their time-worn appearnance. Many effects can be created inexpensively with everyday materials such as a sponge, rag, or hard bristile brush.

Color washing with a large brush results in gentle undulations of watery color and creates a mood of rustic charm. Sponging gives a mottled effect; Using a crumpled rag into paint, then rolling it over the wall achieves longer, more jagged lines of color; the type of cloth determines whether the lines are hard or soft.

Note how using a room divider next to an antique chest with greenery has created the essence of an entrance before entering the main living area. The low lighting has once again achieved a soothing mood to the room.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Designs for Living

Many of the most harmonious living spaces combine soft, rounded shapes with crisper, angular styles of design.

Pointed corners and straight lines may "cut" aggressively into the space around them, making them less soothing. Yet the clean, graphic effect they create can be calming if not used to excess.

The secret lies in balancing shapes of a room's features and furnishings to achieve a serene, complimentary pattern. Consider how individual items of furniture will harmonize with the room's main focus and features.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Moods of Color

Color, whether gentle hues from nature's palettes or bright modern shades, can dramatically affect how people feel. Light, fresh tones are generally refreshing and soothing, while darker colors envelop, comfort, and protect; yet response to color tends to be personal and cannot be prescribed. Some people find blue restful and calming, others consider it too cool; to one person, orange is hot and overstimulating, while others relish the warmth that the color emits. The key is to find a color which you feel at peace and then work with it as a base for your theme, tranquil touches of color against a serene background.
Dark or muted colors can create a feeling of contemplative calm and quiet elegance. These colors work well in artificial light. Rich wine colors, used for chair covers, candles, or accent pillows bring a relaxing air of luxury.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Designing the Spirit of Intimacy

Even within large spaces, intimate areas can be created by arranging furniture in small, convial groups. Organization, which in effect produces several individual "rooms" within an open-plan framework, is particularly well suited to high ceilings, loft apartments and converted barn homes, characterized by spaces wihout conventional boundaries.
A sofa, for example, may be placed in the center of a room to form a barrier or low wall. It offers demarcation between one half of a room and the other, and between functions such as dining and sitting. Two sofas facing each other will make a wide room feel less spacious, while a circle of chairs around a low table encourages an atmosphere of comfortable intimacy. As shown in this photograph, always remember the ambience of low lighting or spotlighting.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Indoor Green

A houseplant will introduce living color and warmth to any room. Create the feeling of sitting in an outside garden in each room in your home.

Offices are often air-conditoned and dry, which does not suit all plants, however it is not difficult to create a small oasis of leafy green on or near your desk. You can plan an architectural grouping on a table or by mixing different greens shapes and textures.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Touches of Luxury

For sensual indulgence and relaxation, your haven may contain items chosen for the delicacy of their textures. These luxuries may change with the seasons or your mood, a little richness goes a long way, be selective and choose a few favorite pieces, rather than accumulating clutter. Glamour does not prelude praticality. Fresh linen or cotton sheets are the ultimate indulgence.

Sumptuous brocade, intricate embroidery, and delicate lace evoke times gone by, silk throws beaded or tassle trimmed pillows add romance and an elegant touch.