Thursday, July 31, 2008

Easy Bedroom Makeover

Usually I dig neutral calm colors for my bedroom, like some off white, beige, pastel colors.

But yesterday I feel the soothing bedroom ambience I'm after is turning out a bit plain and bland, so I had this sudden urge to do a makeover. Not a major one ofcourse, I only mix and match the bed linens, add some accessories, no paint.. all in a low budget.

I go for cheerful tropical colors like bright green, turquoise, punches of pink and orange, and some deep red.

The accessories on the bedside table are also functional as well as they are good to look at. Coffee table books, potpourri, scented candle, and one-stalk flower vase with daisy inside to top it off.

I attached bright green fabric on the wall behind the headboard to help change the overall look from plain to fun, and balance it with an accent pillow in the same color.

It only took me about 30 minutes to set the whole things up. And there you have it :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Treat For The Guests

How many of you have the habit of taking home toiletries from hotels?

Maybe some would answer that they never do such a thing because they always carry their own personal toiletries. And some would say that they always use up the hotel toiletries while staying at the hotel (which that's the function for hotel toiletries in the first place).

And then there are people who do take the hotel toiletries home because they like it or just simply because they already pay for it so why not take it home?

Actually I think there's nothing wrong with taking home hotel toiletries, in fact you could make it into good use as toiletries for your guests. I mean, I'm sure you've been on situation where your guests forgot to bring their soap etc., so by preparing toiletries for them in advance is a really kind gesture. Just arrange the toiletries in a nice plate or bowl or basket, put it in the guest bedroom or bathroom and you are ready.

Ofcourse most of guests who spend the night in a friend's house would've been ready with their own toiletries, but eventhough they are not using the toiletries you've prepared they surely would feel welcomed and appreciate your effort.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When Perfect Is Not The Goal

How do you think a house dedicated to children would look like?

A far cry from a typical kindergarten.. or not?

I found a nice article in New York Times (click this posting's title to view the original article) featuring the subject, and still can't figure out till now how on earth can I make my house like that. I mean, ofcourse I LLOVE my children, but I don't think I would let them do their art homework on my designer couch.. and not to mention PAINT the couch!

Yet, a mother in this article did.

It said that she and her family used to live 'in a temple of architectural perfection' but found out that it didn't make their life perfect. So now she's going in a different direction, and somehow I find it fun and posh at the same time.

At least I can look at it and nod to how a bit clutter or messy state can become amusing if it's saying all about your life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bedside Table Wonder

What do you like to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon?

As for me, reading in bed is my favorite pastime. I could do it for hours with magazines, books, newspapers, browsing in my laptop. That's why I really need a bedside table to put all of my reading materials.

And sometimes it can look kind of messy with all the books on the table, so I always prefer a bedside table with closed drawers or cabinet attached so I can easily put the books in it when I'm finished reading, out of sight, no sign of clutter what so ever.

But that doesn't mean that bedside tables without storage are useless though. Because you can easily put some pretty boxes underneath it for the extra storage that you need. 'Pretty' boxes here could be boxes in leather, rattan, even transparent acrylic, depend on your taste and preference.
But if you in some way could only cope with a lousy carton box, you can always decorate it with some giftwraps, d.i.y painting, decoupage, etc. Then again, if you are just too occupied (or just lazy) to do it all, a nice tablecloth which covers from top table to floor would easily hide those mess under the sidetable.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Frog Prince

What's my most favourite thing from trips (yes, more than once) to the IKEA Sale recently?

Not the candle holder, not the table centerpiece, not the other home accessories..

It's the Minnen Groda frog toy :D

This cute soft toy is soooo adorable with a 'crown' on its head, and you can even open or close its mouth with zipper. When it's open there's a small 'fly' stitched inside, moreover you can store small items/ toys inside the mouth as well.

Having to fight over it with my twin pre-schoolers, now finally I can sleep with MY Frog Prince, a more interesting choice than a regular bolster. Ahh, I feel like a princess.. ;D

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Proud Indonesian - in Retro Style

pic's from Apartment Therapy

I was just browsing around when I stumbled upon this. What do you know.. it's a wooden radio! But what surprised me the most was the name of the designer - Singgih Kartono - it really sounds very much Indonesian (Javanese to be exact)!

The first thing came to me was it's probably another person/company who hails Indonesian name as the brand, along with the local craftmen and natural sources, yet the 'brain' is not.

But guess what.. I was wrong (and I'm happy for that)!

This unique wood radio is an original Indonesian piece :) Sure am uplifted to see such a well designed (the product AND the package as well) and well marketed product from my country of origin is doing great globally.

Later I've found that back in 2005 and 2006 Singgih Kartono has won some IGDS (Indonesia Good Design Selection) Awards (hey I also find some furnitures from my previous workplace here, not bad!), and he also won an award from the International Design Resource Association (IDRA) in Seattle last year. No wonder now his work is getting rave online reviews. Hmmm.. another item to put in my wish list ;)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fun Statist

I usually went for less accessories in decorating my space. Besides the fact that it's easier to maintain, also suits my preference for a clean and uncluttered look.

But that was before I found decorative objects that are simple yet stylish, comes in various colors, and not fragile so you can even put it in your kids' bedroom.

Not to mention this versatile item is soooo budget friendly too. What exactly am I talking about? Why, it's the IKEA Statist, ofcourse.
You can have it on your dressing table - doubles as a jewelry hanger, a fun way to display those blings. To spruce up the hallway as a key hanger, in the bathroom as a hand towel holder, and ofcourse you can put it anywhere you want just as it is, a decorative tree display. Or if you have other quirky ideas, do let me know please ;)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rustic Table Makeover

What should you do with that tired old coffee table? Well don't throw it out straight away, because you can refurbish it easily. And if paint job or light carpentry work is not your thing, you can still work a few magic on some inexpensive decorating.

Just throw a table runner on it, display some framed photos, and add a dash of color with freshly picked flowers in a colorful vase. You can even opt for the artificial ones if you like. Just as simple as that, and there you have it.. a sweet refurbished table with a rustic tropical flair.

Still think it's not suitable for your living room? Afraid not, and imagine how the coffee table would fit nicely in that porch or patio of yours, as serving table for some thirst quencher and afternoon tea.. and coffee, ofcourse :)

Living Large in a Shoe Box

OK, so maybe I'm a bit exaggerating here.. but how else do you call a living room with just 3 meters wide? :D

If you stuck in the same situation, look at the bright side. Such a small space can foster your creativity in creating the most of it, make you appreciate it even more.
And here are some tricks I've learned in dealing with small spaces:

  • Shiny surfaces
Start with the floor. Even with the not-so-expensive ceramic tile you can get a sleek look, just choose the smooth (untextured) glossy ones. If you have no choice but to deal with rustic tiling, or if you choose to have cement flooring in the name of minimalism, a throw of light or bright coloured rug will make a good diference in no time.

On the wall, you can hang mirrors to make you room less cramped. But be careful in placing those mirrors, because if you place it in front of a clutter, it'll only make it worse. And don't overdo in installing floor to ceiling mirror if you don't want your room ends up looking like a gym studio.

  • Burst of colors
One of the classic rule to decorate a small space is to give it light color. Most people then take it literally and paint all their walls white or beige. There's nothing wrong with it, but there's a fine line between save and boooriiing :D

It wont hurt to pick your favourite color and put it on one of your room walls, make it a feature wall. You'll be pleasantly surprised to see how it comes out.

  • Good lighting
In a small space good lighting can do wonder. To create an intimate atmosphere you should add some mood lighting apart of the general ones, and don't forget about the task lighting too.

Do consider recessed lamps for ceiling in small rooms to create more sleek appearance and open feeling throughout the room. But hanging lamp is still a good choice to define certain areas, such us above the dining table.

  • Less is more
Again, it's just a small space, so you can't have too many things inside it. Remember it's important to always have a negative space inside a room - an empty wall, floor, corner. If you are a collector but having a trouble in displaying your collection in your small space, it's better to have them save in storage for a while - which means an adequate storage is a must :)