Top 5 Easy Care Indoor Plant recommendations by Landscaper Dave!

Advice, Interior trends

I love indoor plants but I’ve also killed a lot of indoor plants.  Over the years I have improved my green thumb capabilities and also discovered some good hardy plants that are less likely to die if I forget to water them for a week or two.

I was chatting to my landscaper friend Dave and asked for his top 5 low maintenance indoor plants and here is what he came up with:

1. Zanzibar Gem ((Zamioculcas zamiifolia) 

Visit here for easy care tips.

Zanzibar_Gem

2. Ficus decora Tineke

Visit here for easy care tips.

Fixcus decora Tineke

3.  Dracaena Deremensis

Visit here for easy care tips.

Dracaena deremensis

4. Anthurium

Visit here for easy care tips.

Anthurium Exotic Plant

5. Aspidistra Elata (Cast Iron Plant)

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aspidistra-elatior-entryway-809

Indoor Plants and Interior Design

Living things bring interiors to life, I always try to include indoor plants in the interiors that I design for my clients. The plants I choose are determined usually by the look of the interior, if the space is contemporary I will choose an architectural leaf style plant that will add to the overall look and feel of the room keeping scale in mind.  Don’t be afraid to go large with your indoor plants and remember the pot that it sits in really does complete the look, so purchase a pot that is in the right proportion to the plant and the room.

Don’t forget that Indoor plants actually offer us health benefits too.  Indoor plants help filter the air that we breath of toxins from carpet, cleaning products and other nasties that are in our homes/offices.  Another good reason to include them in your interiors.

My favourites are Palms, Yacca’s, Snake Plant or Mother In Laws Tongue, Terrariums, Succulents, Ferns, Bonsai, Monstera and Cactus some of these are easy care, others not so sure.

Extra Resources:

For more low maintenance plants go here:  http://www.purityplants.com.au/ecommerce/low-maintenance-indoor-plants.rhtml

Lastly please note, I by no means am a plant expert so please be guided by the nursery or your landscaper when purchasing your indoor plants.

If you have any indoor plants that are easy care and aren’t listed, feel free to share them below in comments.

Top 3 Tips for Decorating Your Home

 

Eclectic Lounge Room

Before and Afters, Concept/Mood/Colour Board, Furniture, Interior trends
Before and After images

Before and After images

Digital Moodboard created by My Decorator showing recommendations to client.

Digital Moodboard created by My Decorator showing recommendations to client.

My Decorator recently designed the Lounge Room for a client who wanted a new look for their small lounge area.  The addition of new light grey fabric upholstered lounges, a quality wool floor rug, scatter cushions, framed photo that the client had taken on a holiday to France and some other personal artefacts lead to a happy client and an individual eclectically designed living room that champions contemporary, soft industrial and asian influenced design.  

5 easy ways to add warmth to an Industrial Interior

DIY, Inspiration, Interior trends, Styling

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I have had a few people ask me for tips on how you can bring warmth to the current Industrial style that is trending at the moment.  Industrial in it’s pure form is quite cold and uninviting due to it’s materials being old industrial factory pipes, concrete floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, large spaces etc… but this fascinating style can definitely be warmed up so to speak so that it is more user friendly and more suited to today’s lifestyles.  Today I thought I would give you 5 easy ways you can add warmth to your Industrial Interiors.

1.  Lights – use warm lighting not cold. Simple change your light globe!

2. Colours – again, use a few splashes of reds, oranges, warm pinks in your furniture, rug, art and furnishing selections.

3. Finishes – introduce some wood, rugs, red brick.

4. Personal effects – some family photos maybe?

5. Flowers and Plants – select flowers that are modern and arrange them to suite the large scale of your space i.e. bird of paradise.

Have fun with it and if you have any further tips please comment below.

For further reading see my previous blog post http://mydecorator.com.au/2012/06/25/industrial-design-how-to-get-the-look/

and also Apartment Therapy blog post http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/creating-a-warm-industrial-living-room-decor-style-source-list-172769

Winter warm up – 10 decorating tips to take away the cold chill in your lounge room

Curtains, DIY, Inspiration

 

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I always like to add some warmth to my home during the cold months of winter, yes I turn the heater on but I also add some decorator pieces that make me and those that use my home feel warm and cosy.  Here are some tips if you want to do the same:

1. Add a floor rug –  Even if you have carpet a nice rug under foot helps keep those toes toasty and warm.

2.  Change your scatter cushions – Get rid of cool coloured cushions such as white, blues etc… and bring in red’s, oranges, black, browns in textured linens and wool (get rid of soft silks etc…) and use lots of them, this will make your room nice and cosy as well as inviting.

3.  Candles –  Buy a whole bunch in different sizes, group them all together and pop them on your coffee table, you will feel warm in no time.

4.  Throw rug – Get that beautiful wool throw rug or afghan that you have hidden away in your linen cupboard and drape it over your lounge and use it!  Or go a step further and pull out 2 or 3 more and store them in a basket by your lounge.

5.  Signs of life – Pot plants are a brilliant addition to living areas.

6.  Get some curtains – not only will they add some personality to your room (there are some stunning fabrics out there, call us if you would like a quote) but if you buy thermal lined they will act as an insulator to keep the cold out of your rooms and the warmth in (and reverse in the warmer months) saving you $$ on your electricity bills.

7.  Re style your surfaces – Again store those beach decorator items away and pop some family photos, vases with winter berries, wooden or brass art pieces to create a new look for your coffee table, bookshelves, console tables.

8.  Change your light globes – if you currently have cool lighting now is the time to change it to warm lighting, this will make the world of difference and use that dimmer switch to create a relaxing vibe at night.  Invest in some lamps and use these as your light source at night.

9.  Layer – Just like we put layer upon layer to stay warm, do the same in your rooms over winter.  Don’t just put one cushion on your lounge go for 3 or 5.  Same with your windows if you have blinds, add curtains.  If you usually use 3 candles use 10.  This all helps create an inviting space.

10.  Make your fireplace the focus – Rearrange the hearth and mantlepiece by introducing candles, books, pine cones, family boardgames. Add some floor pillows nearby.

If you have any tips you can add, please comment below we’d love to hear from you.

Have a great day!

 

Industrial Design – How to get the look!

DIY, Furniture, Inspiration, Interior trends

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I’m really loving industrial interior design at the moment. When applied well to a space it can make a room sing.  Think old warehouses, factory’s and laboratory’s. Exposed pipes, high ceilings with exposed beams, exposed brick walls, huge windows made up of small paned glass, concrete or wood floorboards, old patina’d metals not to mention industrial items such as coggs, wheels, wire surround pendant lights and more….. but what happens when you love the look but have a domestic, low ceiling home with a normal lounge suite and other furniture. Is it still possible to create this industrial look in this kind of space? My answer is yes. I like to call it eclectic industrial. Most times genuine industrial spaces could never be called intimate, yet we like our living rooms to have that warm friendly intimate feel. So how can we take industrial and make it intimate? Today I’m going to give you a few tips and ideas on how you can achieve an industrial look for your living room, dining or bedroom.

A room with personality is a real show stopper. I love walking into a room that has character and individuality. How do you create this industrial look in a room, yet still have intimacy and that friendly lived in look? Below I have listed a few tips that may help.

1. Be a true industrialist, use salvaged, recycled materials that you would find in an old warehouse, factory or laboratory and re-purpose them – get creative and start some DIY.  Items like old coggs, wheels, rusted chains, worn wood, exposed pipes, metal wheels, conveyor belts and old hooks can all be given new purpose.

2. If you have an exposed textured brick wall use this as your backdrop, make it a feature.

3. Industrial colour palet of stone neutrals, greys, coppers, muted browns, aged chromes, old patina’d metal. If you are planning on painting select tones on the warmer side of these colours. Stone neutrals are probably best and consider the affect your natural and artificial lighting is going to have on these colours. You also need to make sure those that live in the space like and can live with your colour selection.

4. Exposed pendant lightglobes with wire cages, or interesting shades or no shades at all are all excellent choices for the industrial style. Even stage lighting works well.

5. Concrete, if you have it feature it.

6. Watch scale. This style really suits grand scale rooms i.e high ceilings but if you have low ceilings just keep the scale of your room in mind when you are picking out furniture and industrial artifacts. Large scale decorator pieces can be great but you still need to be careful with how the proportions of these items relate to your existing furniture and furnishings.

7. Don ‘t be afraid to bring nature in. Plants work well and add a lived in warmth to a room, but choose architectural leaf based plants nothing to pretty or flowery.

8. Rugs – Handwoven and knotted quality traditional rugs work well with the industrial interior, pop one under your coffee table… not to mention they are nice and cosy underfoot.  Wool blends are hard wearing choices.

9. Furnishings – choose wisely, less is more. If you have a fabric lounge select simple original, good quality cushions that are hand made, non mass produced genuine leather, knitted or woven. You will already have some wow pieces in the room so you don’t need your cushions to be competing with your industrial artefacts. Same applies for quilt covers for bedrooms.

10. Exposed pipes – if you have some on your wall or in your ceiling, don’t cover them, it’s their moment to shine.

11. Metal framed tables with thick wooden tops and big industrial castors.

12. Iron framed bookcase (made of pipes) with thick wooden shelves – wow!

13. Typical industrial furniture pieces are functional before they are attractive, keep this in mind with your styling.

14. Old metal filing drawers or metal lockers.

15. Choose quality pieces that will last or are ideally from the 1950’s or before as these are from an era of when things were built to last – this will bring a fabulous authenticity to the industrial look you are creating.

16. The industrial style works well with modern clean line furniture. Clean lines, plain neutral coloured pieces of furniture with an amazing industrial cog sculpture is going to allow the sculpture to be the feature rather than putting it on an ornately designed shabby chic hall table where the cog will be competing with the furniture.

17. Think quirky and unexpected when you are styling your room. Also be sure not to over style, this look is minimalist.

18.  The best interiors are those that evolve over time, if you love this style build on it and let your space evolve.  This will keep space users interested and creates layers and depth to your room.

One last thing to keep in mind. If you already have architectural features that are industrial no. 15 is a good point to implement as you don’t want to over style and make the room look like an actual factory. However if you don’t have industrial architectural features then go with 10-13 to bring industrial styling in with furniture.

I have put together a slideshow that will hopefully inspire you to get started. Happy creating and feel free to comment, ask questions or email me photo’s of your finished work.

Prue

Other helpful resources:

Ideas for an industrial furnitures home decoration – http://youtu.be/ZVLRq3pp_E8

http://www.designsponge.com/2011/08/before-after-industrial-yet-cozy-kitchen-redo.html

Picker Sisters clip below

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+picker+sisters&view=detail&mid=668EFC540F2E72E14FC2668EFC540F2E72E14FC2&first=21

DIY tips below

http://www.homelife.com.au/homes/galleries/industrial+style+interior+design,10943?pos=3#top

Top 3 tips for decorating your home (2)