Add some reflective surfaces for depth and light within your garden…..
If your feeling like spending the weekend outdoors we have some great garden DIY inspiration for the sunny weekend ahead.
Mirrors are a fantastic way to brighten up any garden space. Adding large or small mirrors to your garden creates extra dimension to the space.
Adding mirrors to your garden not only creates extra dimension to the space but it also increases the light in the space as the sun moves throughout the day. It also reflects the planting that you have within the garden, making the garden feel much fuller and giving the garden more depth. This idea works particularly well with small gardens making the garden feel twice the size.
We here at KLD did some of our own garden mirror DIY during the week, and here is how it is done.
Mirror with decorative feature or frame
Paint – We prefer to use bright fun colours to brighten up your garden space.
Select a mirror in which you would like to revive. This can be an existing old mirror which you have in your house which you no longer use or a new one. We chose the ‘UNG DRILL’ mirror from IKEA.
Take the paint colour that you wish to use on your mirror. We chose the colour ‘Secret Lagoon’ from the Cuprinol ‘HAMMERITE’ range.
Paint your mirror and wait for it to dry, it may need two coats if the mirror was a dark colour to begin with.
Use the metal wire to hang your mirror on your garden fence or wall.
CUPRINOL do a great range of garden paints for all your garden DIY.
IKEA have a great selection of affordable mirrors if you don’t have one at home.
City gardens are a lot more feasible than we realise but living in an apartment in the heart of the city often means compromised space, and little or no outside space and we often overlook the potential of small patios or balconies.
But who could blame us? In Ireland especially, balconies and gardens may only get used on the one week of the year the sun decides to show its face.
But that’s where we’re going wrong – because you don’t necessarily need an endless supply of sunshine to make your outside spaces super comfortable and functional.
Some cosy, waterproof furnishings, pretty lighting and lots and lots of gorgeous greenery can easily make a beautiful, relaxing, chill out space.
Here is a collection of some seriously gorgeous city garden imagery we’ve found to inspire your inner Gardner:
Use interior pieces like rugs and cushions to bring warmth and a soft, ‘residential’ feel to your balcony space.
Gorgeous textiles will be key for creating a warm space, that you’ll want to use all year round.
In lieu of flower beds, use old suitcases, shelving or bespoke pieces like the one above to create your own fabulous floral displays.
Adding texture to a wall is one of our favourite tricks – create a feature wall with dimension and movement.
During the warmer months there is nothing nicer than al fresco dining, so consider investing in an outdoor table and chairs.
Cluster plant pots and trees of varying heights and styles to create a full, colourful corners.
Create your own minature green house with some enclosed shelving – how pretty (and practical)!?
Tiles, tiles, tiles – We are tile crazy, so no space goes untouched! Outside spaces can be utterly transformed with a tiling installation. Be it on floors, walls or even a feature installment, tiling will have serious impact!
Our Ranelagh Residence garden uses a bespoke table made from an unused door on trestle legs (and don’t let the word bespoke fool you – this cost next to nothing to make).
We hope these gorgeous images and ideas will inspire you to get out into your garden, balcony or patio and start enjoying the space.
Have you tried a small garden make over? Or do you want to but have something holding you back? Hit us up with your stories or any questions you may have – we’d love to hear from you.
Lighting is one of the key elements of a good interior design. It can control, enhance and completely transform atmospheres. When used correctly, lighting can be a very powerful tool within any space. When used creatively, it is a unique and desirable feature.
Lighting is more than just placement and illumination. It is more than just function and necessity. Think of lighting in your home as a way to incorporate fun and personality into your home.
The good thing is that you can create strong lighting features in your own space even with a small budget. It is about thinking outside the box, using materials in inventive ways and grouping fittings together to create more impact.
The lighting in the image below is custom lighting from our Tootoomoo Whetstone, restaurant design project. To create a strong feature in the rear area of the restaurant, we created different sized basket lights. The lights were then hung in a cluster and staggered in their drop height. This was a simple way to add originality and interest into the space.
Make sure when upcycling items to lights to consult with your engineer about fixtures and compliance with regulations. Think safety as well as creativity!
We love playing with lights and using lighting as an inevitable part of each interior. Another way to add interest is to mix and match different pendant lights, grouping them together but staggering the height.
In the image below, from Hillside Residence, the style of the interior was clean, white and simple. It was more about subtle features and statements, so we kept the lighting all white in colour and added variety through shape and material. As with everything in your home, the space and details should reflect your own personal taste.
Each project is individual and has its unique style and therefore the choice of correct light fitting is a crucial part of the design process.
Another way of playing with lighting is to be experimental and brave with scale. Oversized tends to be more impactful than safe and small. There is nothing worse than walking into a grand, high ceiling space and to see a puny light fitting. I say embrace the space! Play with heights, scale and work to add vertical interest to your home.
In the design below, the DFS Showhouse in the Ideal Homes Exhibition, we created a strong feature over the bath. In this case it was all about scale and impact. We used five matching pendants and staggered them in a line over the bath. The subtlty of the glass kept things simple but the filament in the bulbs added interest and an industrial feel.
Another safety note to point out here is to be careful when selecting bathroom fittings. The photo above is for an exhibition stand. Fittings in working bathrooms need to be IP rated. Please consult with your electrician.
1. Create lighting clusters and feature chandeliers by grouping fittings together.
2. Experiment with scale… there is no such thing as too big!
3. Use unusual materials to create your own fittings.
1. Check out Mullan Lighting. They have an awesome variety of fittings and the service is outstanding; all of the fittings that we used recently at Ideal Homes Show were from there.
2. We are currently lusting after Atelier Areti. Their streamlined shapes and forms are simply stunning!
3. After visiting Maison et Objet. our lighting lust list has more than doubled! Keep an eye on the blog for some features on our favourite new suppliers.
Something that we frequently get asked about is window dressing and how best to finish off a window. To us, simplicity is key. We aim to avoid fuss and frills and create a simple and streamlined look. Windows are there to provide a view and to allow in natural light. We aim to maximise that and enhance the natural view as much as possible by framing it. Often curtains can reduce the window size and block some of the natural light. By spanning the poles the full width of the room, the curtains can be kept on either side so that you can appreciate the full size of the window.
In order to do this, we choose to hide curtain poles, tracks and the detailed tops of curtains. We do this by creating simple pelmets that hide all of the fussiness. Pelmets in the past were busy and decorative. They used to be upholstered and tended to add clutter to a space. We have changed this up and use them to achieve a more high end, simple, hotel feel.
Pelmets are simple to make and fit and they are inexpensive. We recommend painting the pelmet in with the wall colour for a seamless, contemporary look. Following this guide will instantly refresh and lighten your room.
Because the top of the curtain is covered, it means that you can use inexpensive curtain poles and ready made eyelet curtains.
Here is an easy to follow DIY guide to make your own pelmet.
MDF sheets – The amount required will depend of the length of the window wall.
Rough timber batons
Filler / Caulk
Existing curtain pole to hang curtains inside the pelmet box
Paint (the same as the wall colour)
Paint brushes and tray
Take down your existing curtains and curtain pole. Leave the brackets in situ… you can work around them. If you have a track already mounted to the ceiling or wall, you can work around this too. If getting a new curtain pole, try and get a pole or track that spans the length of the room for maximum effect. If using a new pole, make sure to put the brackets up before the pelmet.
Measure your window and decide on the height, width and depth of your pelmet before cutting the MDF board.
The length of the board is determined by the width or length of your room. We span pelmets the full length of the window wall. This creates a seamless hotel feel. Most likely this will require the length of 2 x MDF sheets. These can be joined together centrally with a hidden bracket underneath and then caulked and painted at the front. This will give the appearance of one continuous pelmet.
The height depends on the ceiling height of the room. Ideally we would have the pelmet starting from the ceiling and sitting 20mm below the top of the window. This ensures that you get to see the whole window and avoid seeing up into the pelmet. It also enhances the seamless feel.
If it is a very high ceiling in the room, 350-400mm height works well.
The recommended depth is 200mm to the front of the MDF pelmet. This is a safe option to ensure the top of the curtain is not crushed or flattened and the curtain hangs in its natural pleats.
Have the boards cut to size in the hardware shop in order to ensure they are perfectly straight and flat. They can be cut at home, but it is difficult to achieve a perfect level. Chadwicks provide a cutting service in their warehouses at little extra cost.
Cut rough block sections of timber batons to help secure the pelmet to the brackets
Mark out 200mm from the window wall. This will be where the front of the MDF sits. Screw the rough blocks to the ceiling and screw the L- brackets to them for a secure base. Once fixed, screw into the MDF sheets. This will keep the pelmet in place.
Depending on the length of the room, it may require additional brackets for extra support.
Caulk along the edges of the pelmet where it meets the wall. Caulk along the top of the pelmet where it meets the ceiling. (It is unlikely that the ceiling will be perfectly flat so this will hide any imperfections)
When the caulk has had time to set, prime and paint the pelmet in with the wall colour. Allow 24hours for the caulk to properly dry out. This will ensure it doesn’t crack.
Clip your curtain pole with existing curtains back in place onto the pole brackets.
Arrange your existing curtains and enjoy the view out of your newly upgraded windows!