House furniture decor

Choosing The Best Hammock Under Its Terms

The most comfortable hammock is the canvas. But in reality, the subject matter: the real comfort is to feel in a cocoon, suspended without the air, and to enjoy nature without touching the ground! (more…)

Old Home Warm Heart; An apartment receives a minimal makeover to retain its original character & charm

Do you like a new apartment with all new furniture -expensive price or an old furniture with -much lower price

New Apartment with Furniture Interior Design

SOME PEOPLE LOVE crisp new apartments while others like older-style places where a sense of history emanates from the walls. But Emma Persson Lagerberg and her husband Bengt Lagerberg didn’t realise how much they preferred the latter until they had experienced both. Six years ago, when Emma was pregnant with their first child, Otis, they moved from an older apartment into a new terrace – and quickly realised that it was the apartments with history, especially those that hadn’t been extensively renovated, which really captured their hearts.

Do you like a new apartment with all new furniture -expensive price or an old furniture with -much lower price

Do you like a new apartment with all new furniture -expensive price or an old furniture with -much lower price

“If you like to let your interior design gradually develop, want to combine different styles and also appreciate the atmosphere of old rooms, you should move into an older house,” Emma advises

Old Apartment with Complete Renovation

So the couple went house-hunting again, looking for an older place that hadn’t undergone a complete renovation. “There are a frightening number of apartments with new, extravagant kitchens with the best modern appliances, but you get the feeling no one ever actually uses them for cooking,” Emma says of their search. “We wanted an apartment without an elaborate kitchen and also without lowered ceilings with inbuilt spotlights, which are yet another trend of the past decade. I am not fond of them!”

The couple makes decision to buy an old apartment and renovate it

The couple makes decision to buy an old apartment and renovate it

The couple eventually found an old, delightful 130 sq m apartment, that had not undergone a renovation formany years. It fitted the bill perfectly. “It’s a house with walls that are 100 years old, so you get the feeling that this is a place where many people have lived and loved,” Emma says. “And it only appeared a little worn. Old apartments get worn in a much nicer way than new ones; the materials are often of a much better quality.” But as much as they loved the place, particularly the generous proportions of the rooms, the high ceilings and the beautiful old windows and doors, a small renovation was in order.

Make the Old Apartment with Painting and New Furniture

Bengt did most of the work, painting the floorboards and walls, and boarding up a doorway between the kitchen and Otis’s bedroom. Then the couple stamped their style on the home. “I am not interested in design classics, especially when they act as status symbols,” Emma says of her furnishing choices. “If I like a piece of furniture I don’t mind it coming from a budget store or second-hand shop like recliner chair and set of chairs with sofa.” But she always chooses pieces made to last. “There are few fragile things in this home – it just doesn’t work when you have two small children,” she says. “We like to be surrounded by a small degree of untidiness. Bengt and I fall for homes where the personality of the occupants is clearly evident.” This is certainly the case at their place. Emma, Bengt, Otis and Ib are home, at last.

After decor with new piece of furniture, the old apartment looks like a new one

After decor with new piece of furniture, the old apartment looks like a new one

Fifties Modern; A Californian-style home undergoes a contemporary makeover while retaining its retro roots

Garden and room interior

Californian-style Home

WHEN PHOTOGRAPHER Don Flood went house hunting with his wife Jenny Brunt, the couple didn’t expect their search would end with this stunning architect-designed home, built in 1958, with beautiful gardens and a swimming pool.

California house style

California house style

A few weeks after first viewing the property, the couple and their two daughters, Ella and Edie, moved in. That’s when the major renovation began.

Styles of Room

The living room was the darkest room of the house as the main entrance door was made of solid wood. It was replaced with large glass doors, which unleashed an abundant flow of light, now making it the brightest room. The walls between the kitchen and the living room were removed in order to open up the kitchen and make the home more of an open-plan layout.

To open up the house to even more natural light, the couple took down trees in key areas of the garden. “The small patio outside was overgrown with plants, which didn’t allow any light through to the house and so they were removed,” Don explains. “After it was all gone, light streamed in.” The natural light also emphasises the many architectural details of the property, such as the living room’s asymmetrical walls.

Sliding glass doors throughout accentuate the notion of the exterior blending with the interior. Nature is also welcome inside the house, especially as a feature in the bathrooms. In the guest bathroom, plants grow in what was previously a shower, and Mother-in-law’s Tongues (Sansevieria triafasciata) border the bathtub in the main bathroom.

Interior Decor

When it came to the interior decor, both Don and Jenny knew the look they wanted to achieve. “We enjoy a more simple style, but with space for colours here and there,” Don says. Stark white walls and a pared-back palette not only add to the feeling of light and space in the home, but are the perfect backdrop to showcase a gallery of artworks and photography, with pops of colour also emerging through furniture, accessories and plants.

Garden and room interior

Garden and room interior

The couple’s love of scouring vintage stores and flea markets is evident in the interior of their house. Although modern in style, it is home to an eclectic mix of vintage and retro designer finds, such as Eames chairs, 1960s light pendants, shagpile rugs and many 1950s pieces. Items from earlier periods also feature, such as two armchairs in the living room by Arts and Crafts designer Charles Limbert.

“The decor creates a lifestyle that is light and colourful,” Don says. A perfect home for this photographer and his young family.

Organise Your Laundry; Whip your lacklustre laundry into shape with a brand new look and super storage solutions

play with color for your laundry space

DO YOU LOVE doing laundry? No, us either. But a perfectly organised and beautiful-to-look at place to do it would make the job less tedious. Sure, the laundry may never be the hub of the home like your kitchen, or a sanctuary like your bedroom, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a boring space devoid of style. Read on to find out how, with some decorating know-how and a few savvy storage solutions, you can create a laundry to be proud of.

laudry space in your house

Laudry space in your house

GRAPHIC BRIGHTS

THE DECOR Extend the rules of interior decorating to this underadmired space. Play with colour. Bold hues – like our orange wall (right) – are said to be energising, which is helpful in the laundry!

play with color for your laundry space

play with color for your laundry space

Hang a curtain along open shelving to hide unsightly bottles. You can coordinate your curtain with the ironing board cover as you would with soft furnishings in a bed- or living-room setup.

Put artworks on display, too. Here, a “Brilliant” poster in a white frame looks graphic and reminds you just what a great job you’re doing!

THE STORAGE Make the most of wall space, particularly if your laundry is in a cupboard. This arrangement features a wall-mounted shelving unit with a vertically lifting door to hide all your bits and bobs. On top is the perfect place to stack towels.

Nina Rosace, author of Home Sorted! ($24.95, Homesorted.com.au), says it’s best to have two washing hampers – whites and colours – to make doing laundry easier. “Take clothes to the laundry and sort them into their appropriate hampers daily,” she advises. In this space, two hooks hold lightweight hampers so you can do just that.

A clothes line above the sink is handy if you have the space. If you need a stepladder to reach it, choose something attractive, like this timber number, instead of the usual fold-out metal types.

NATURAL HABITAT

THE DECOR Make your laundry aesthetically pleasing and it will be somewhere you don’t mind spending a bit of time. Here, timber-panelled walls set the scene for a rustic but contemporary laundry space.

Instead of a colour scheme, this room features a palette of various timbers – the hanging ladder, shelf, hampers and stepladder – to create visual interest.

Potted plants, too, add to the natural look. And they’ll do well in the laundry thanks to the humidity. Choose succulents and indoor-friendly varieties and make sure they get a bit of sun.

natural habitat for the space in your house

natural habitat for the space in your house

THE STORAGE Get creative with your organising. In this laundry, a suspended vintage ladder makes for a cool visual feature and, more importantly, is great for hanging drying clothes.

Below it, a floating shelf is the ideal spot to keep canisters full of brushes and sponges as it’s within reach of the sink, too.

Beside the sink, a portable caddy holds cleaning products so you can easily carry them when cleaning the house. If you have the space, Nina suggests you have two caddies: one to hold the detergents and another to keep all your cleaning tools.

As for clothes, allocate a different hamper to each family member to make sorting out whose is whose a cinch.

Ironing board covers

Due to lack of storage space or the fact that you use it daily, the ironing board is often left out on display for all to see. Transform it from an eyesore into a focal point with a cool cover. There’s a wide range of colours and patterns available, such as these displaying a cherry print, a ruler motif and gingham checks, so you can choose one to suit your style. Plus, covers are inexpensive and slip right onto the ironing board, so you can update the look in an instant – and for next to nothing!

storage space

storage space

COOL & QUIRKY

THE DECOR Love the luxe look of wallpaper? Yes, it looks great in living rooms and bedrooms, but this wall treatment is also a great way to spruce up a laundry.

Setting the scene in this laundry is the Porter’s Paints “Dragonfly” wallpaper. It lends large-scale drama to the small space, so everything else is kept minimal, but equally as sleek. The “HOME” Scrabble-piece artwork, the bold globe pendant light and the ironing board all feature a smart monochrome scheme to work with the wallpaper.

THE STORAGE If your laundry area is the size of a postage stamp, a good solution is to go for custom cabinetry and fittings. Brands like Hettich (Hettich.com.au) can help you design a Tardis-like laundry behind a pair of cupboard doors. You can include everything from a linen cupboard to the washer/ dryer and a pull-out ironing board. But if a custom job isn’t on the cards, there are plenty of easy ways to get more from your space.

It goes without saying that you can’t keep too many products in a small laundry. A single shelf within handy reach of the sink and washing machine is all you need to hold your washing powders and detergents. These, too, are kept nice and simple, decanted into a collection of like-shaped bottles and jars. To help identify what’s what, they’re labelled with blackboard tags that you can write on.

If you like the presidential style, read this article.

PRESIDENTIAL STYLE for your Home

Elegant house

The eighth president

Although his career took him to Washington, D.C., and Great Britain, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, always returned to his birthplace of Kinderhook, New York, just south of Albany.

He retired to his hometown, spending his years in an estate that he envisioned as a sort of northern Monticello. The elegant house and surrounding lands, which he dubbed Lindenwald in honor of the site’s many linden trees, were purchased in 1976 by the National Park Service and are now open to the public.

Elegant house

Elegant house

Van Buren generally is less well remembered than other early presidents. He was not a wartime leader like Washington and Lincoln, not a military hero, and lacked a colorful personality like Andrew Jackson. If anything, there has been a sense of negativity surrounding him: His administration presided over the worst economic depression America had yet seen, The Panic of 1837, as well as the forcible removal of American Indians from their homes in the East, leading to the infamous “Trail of Tears.”

His enemies gave him nicknames such as “The Fox of Kinderhook,” and “The Little Magician.” But those who knew him well liked him and were loyal. His supporters included Andrew Jackson, who preceded Van Buren as president, and South Carolinian John C. Calhoun, who became a bitter critic of Jackson over tariffs and states’ rights, but continued to support Van Buren. Van Buren’s proponents point out that these events were largely out of his control. To his credit, he initiated the independent treasury system and opposed the extension of slavery to new territories.

Background

Van Buren was born to Abraham and Marie Hoes Van Buren in 1782, the final year of the Revolutionary War. His parents, well-off though living modestly, owned a tavern that was Martin’s boyhood home. Tavern life brought him into constant contact with all kinds of people, which no doubt contributed to his noted affability, social agility, and courtliness. His ancestors had come to the Hudson River valley 150 years earlier from Holland. As a young boy, Van Buren spoke Dutch, learning English when he began attending school. Demonstrating an aptitude for debate, Van Buren decided to become a lawyer and began his apprenticeship at age 14, as a clerk to a local attorney. By 20, he had completed his apprenticeship in New York City and was admitted to the state bar.

Van Buren’s law practice in Kinderhook flourished, and he became active in local Democratic-Republican Party (this party was a precursor to today’s Democratic Party) politics. He was elected state senator in 1812 and appointed attorney general of New York the following year. For the next eight years, Van Buren immersed himself in the rough-and-tumble party politics of New York.

Meanwhile, Van Buren had married Hannah Hoes, a distant relative on his mother’s side. They had four sons, the last of whom was born in Albany after the family moved there in 1812. Although their marriage was a happy one, it was short-lived. Hannah died in 1819, when she was 36 years old. The elder two boys were already enrolled in Albany Academy; the younger two were sent to live with Hannah’s sister, Christine. His sons remained in various academies until adulthood, seeing their father mainly on holidays.

The political story

Van Buren was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1821. During the next seven years, he helped form the Democratic Party. He also managed the campaign of the party’s first presidential candidate, Andrew Jackson, ensuring his sweep into office in 1828. In the same year, Van Buren was elected governor of New York, a post he held only 71 days, until Jackson appointed him Secretary of State. He resigned from that position under political pressure in 1831, but Jackson immediately appointed him ambassador to Great Britain. The Senate refused to confirm his appointment. He became vice president to Jackson in his 1833 reelection and then president in 1837. But all his efforts weren’t enough to help him gain re-election in 1841. Opponent William Henry Harrison took advantage of a fiscal depression to paint Van Buren as an addled, used-up man whose extravagant tastes were in stark opposition to his own man-of-the-people image.

The presidental style house

Before his term ended, Van Buren bought a house with 137 acres of land in Kinderhook. Judge Peter Van Ness built the brick Georgian house in 1797, but Van Buren must have known that this property once belonged to his paternal grandmother’s family.

In May 1841, Van Buren moved into the house full-time and immediately set to work improving it. He removed a stairway in the wide center hall, which he then had papered with 51 vividly colored panels imported from France that composed a scene entitled Landscape of the Hunt. The hall became his dining room with luxury set of table, reclining chair, and other furnitures. where he entertained friends and visiting dignitaries. He also added a bathroom where he invited guests to “wash off the impurities of Mammon.” Outside, he planted a large garden, built a greenhouse, installed fruit orchards, and dug a deep well to supply a series of fishponds. His farmhands successfully grew vegetables and tended livestock. Despite his continuing involvement in politics during these years, which included another run for the presidency as a Free-Soil party candidate in 1848, he listed his occupation as “farmer.”

The presidental style house

The presidental style house

Changes happened

The greatest change to Lindenwald occurred in 1849, when the house was completely remodeled. Van Buren had offered Lindenwald to his youngest son, Smith, if he would live in it and get involved in managing the farm. Smith agreed under the condition that he be allowed to expand and improve the aging house. With his father’s approval, Smith hired Richard Upjohn, an architect known for designing churches (his best known is Trinity Church in New York City). Upjohn returned a design based on the emerging Italianate style, with hints of his earlier Gothic work. Chief among the design elements were a four-story tower, a central gable, attic dormers, and an elaborate porch. The finished house was painted a bright yellow. The elder Van Buren said: “The idea of seeing in life, the changes which my heir would be sure to make after I am gone, amuses me.”

The new plan also called for kitchen stoves, running water, a furnace, and many additional rooms, making Lindenwald quite luxurious. With few exceptions, Van Buren spent the last decade of his life close to home. He died in 1862.

The house passed out of family hands only a year after the president’s death. At various times, it was used as a private residence, a nursing home, and an antiques shop. When the National Park Service acquired it in 1976, it was in poor condition. Park Service conservators spent years restoring the house before it was opened to the public in 1982. The interiors reflect the period between 1850 and 1862, with numerous documented family pieces of furniture, and elegant wallpapers reproduced from original fragments. Van Buren himself would feel quite at home in the restored center hall: His large dining table and carpet have been exactly reproduced.