A living wall, or vertical garden, is a collection of wall-mounted plants- anything from herbs to flowers. Vertical wall gardens are one of the latest trends in contemporary interior design and are the perfect way to not only bring the outdoors inside but improve your quality of life in many ways!living-walls-1Living walls are great for the air quality thanks to the plants that adorn them. According to NASA, plants filter toxins and improve air quality. Besides turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, live plants also absorb harmful VOCs, formaldehyde and benzene, which are off-gassed by home fragrance products, some wood products, cigarettes, and plastic. living-walls-2Health Benefits:

An indoor environment that includes plants reduces carbon dioxide levels and lowers stress levels. Plants are also aesthetically pleasing and bring the outdoors inside. A study in 2010 concluded the following points when plants were placed in space:

  • Tension/Anxiety – 37% reduction
  • Depression/Dejection – 58% reduction
  • Anger/Hostility – 44% reduction
  • Fatigue – 38% reduction

Introducing plants to an environment has also been reported to reduce minor illness by 30%. Most people value greenery and find gardening therapeutic.living-walls-3Increased Focus:

It has been found that fewer mistakes are made, tasks are completed faster and, in the case of computer workers, productivity increased by between 10%-15% whilst systolic blood pressure readings lowered by one to four units. The higher level of concentration can be attributed to the plants ability to reduce excess carbon dioxide in the air.

So what’s there NOT to love about this whole concept?living-walls-4Living walls not only add a healthy solution, color, and texture to a space, but also allow a room to gain a contemporary, built-in, always-modern looking element.  The walls can be designed to any required shape or custom fit. This offers flexibility with the type of plants used based on location, climate, and proximity to light, affording many possibilities.   Creating a wall can include a shape, a logo, electronics like a TV or projector screen, or even windows.living-walls-5There are three types of systems used to create living walls.  They are also organized into panel and tray systems or freestanding walls, meaning there is a wall suitable for any contemporary

design ideas you may have.

Panel systems have plants pre-grown into the panels and can be used inside or out, and in any climate.living-walls-6VersaWall is a tray system, which is popular for indoor displays. Plants are pre-grown off-site and inserted into the wall, which offers a great degree of versatility that can be exploited to cover entire surfaces or designed as living art.

Freestanding walls are most commonly used indoors and are most easily changed, either by changing the location or changing the plantsliving-walls-7

With the benefits and sheer look of living walls, incorporating them into your design is a win-win!  For more great interior design tips, visit our website at www.thecontemporarycurtain.com  

 

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It used to be that when selling a house, or creating a neutral space, the go-to color for painting interior walls was “beige.”  Everyone went to that light-sand colored paint, instead of the traditional white, to freshen their walls and inspire the use of almost any other accent color within the space. Over the past few years, beige stayed relevant, but alone didn’t offer a contemporary interior look.  Homeowners who prefer a more contemporary interior design tend to veer toward gray, as it provides a clean neutral look. Gray alone, however, can make walls look like dull concrete slabs- so, what’s the solution?  You guessed it!  Greige!greige-1Greige is a marriage of gray and beige, a union that brings the best of both worlds to form a shade that works perfectly for many homes. Most shades of greige are stronger on the gray than beige. But if you look closer, you will notice brown undertones merging with the neutral gray color. While gray creates the soft neutral tones homeowners have come to fall in love with, the beige undertones help infuse some warmth into what would otherwise be a cool color.Why Greige?

It’s versatile.  In all its grand glory, greige can be soft, serene, and elegant all at the same time. With that said, it pairs well with antiques or modern furniture; traditional or contemporary window treatments, pillows, rugs, artwork, and fixtures.  It’s great with both bright and subdued accent colors; providing a perfect backdrop to pops of color. It also pairs well with dark hardwood floors and white painted baseboards and casings.

Not all greiges are created equal. That’s a good thing because the choices of color are endless!  Gray is not just a mix of black and white. It can have a strong blue, green, or violet undertone. The same rule of thumb applies to beige which can have strong undertones of yellow or pink. Getting the right balance is essential to coordinating with the color concept for your home. For example, a greige that leans more toward cool gray is beautiful with blue and other cool colors. Use a warm greige anywhere you would use beige to compliment a warmer color palette.

greige-2

It’s not just for the walls. Use greige to create interest in architectural components such as ceilings and baseboards as well as textiles, contemporary curtains and custom pillows. From finishes to accessories greige can be used to create a very appealing and alluring style perfect for your home.

You can use it in every room.  From the laundry room to the dining room to the master suite, greige works. It can also be mood setting. Use a dark shade of greige to create a dramatic dining room. Or, give your guest bedroom a feminine touch with a much softer shade. It’s easy to find shades of gray with undertones of pink or lavender.greige-3Greige is a versatile neutral that can be combined with a warm or cool color palette and almost any accent color.  Think about it as a foundational color for your interior.

Design Team
The Contemporary Curtain
A brand of PKB DESIGN LLC

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Green design, which has been prevalent in commercial contemporary interior design for many years, is rapidly expanding in the residential market.  More homeowners want to provide a healthy environment for their families and conserve energy.  After all no one wants to pay too much for their electric bill or live in a home that may cause health problems.  It is becoming easier and easier to live in a green environment.  Some of the basic principles of green design are conserving energy and water, reducing waste, improving indoor air quality, and using materials that minimize the impact on our environment.

When remodeling an existing home or building new, work with an interior designer who has experience in green design.  They will help you learn about interior design, identify green building techniques, and specify environmentally friendly finishes and materials such as low VOC paints and countertops made from recycled materials.  Most interior designers are familiar with green flooring options including, cork, linoleum and bamboo.  Low flow faucets and dual flush toilets can be specified to conserve water, while energy efficient lighting will reduce electric bills.  An interior designer, who utilizes green design principles, will make your home attractive, affordable and safe, while incorporating contemporary interior design ideas.

Even if you are not remodeling, there are a few interior design tips that everyone can consider for incorporating green principles in their home.  Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs, only purchase energy star appliances, contact your energy supplier to request clean power and of course recycle more.

Green homes create healthier environments for families, reduce utility bills, and help to preserve our limited natural resources for future generations.

For more ways to learn about interior design, visit our Interior Design Community: https://thecontemporarycurtain.com/interior-design-community

Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain

A brand of PKB DESIGN LLC

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In previous blogs we’ve discussed the ancient technique of Feng Shui and its modern-day use in contemporary Interior Design.  We discussed the use of the Bagua Map and how to implement its use in the design of your rooms. Now we are delving further into Feng Shui, specifically about the balance of energy in your home and how creating harmony in your space, by extension, creates harmony in your life.

As you will recall, Feng Shui’s main goal is to shape your homes energy (chi) to add value to the quality of your life.  One of the first things to consider when thinking about the energy in your home is the amount of clutter you might have.  Many times, we simply have too much “stuff” in our spaces.  This stuff may be made up of items that you love, keepsakes you don’t want to get rid of.  Maybe, for example, you have been a world traveler and collected many unique items that you would like to display throughout your home.  Collecting items you love is a wonderful way to decorate your home, however, it may create the appearance of clutter.

Too many items in a space can create visual clutter and by extension, mental clutter.  Clutter really can zap your energy; it can take away the flow of energy (Chi), which is your vital life force.  According to Cheryl Grace, “Early Feng Shui masters believed that each of us was born with a certain amount of energy and that this available energy could be either depleted or replenished by our surroundings”.  If you have many beautiful items in your collection, you may want to think about rotating them, much like a museum exhibit.  You can pick items that will go well together in a specific room by using the Bagua map, picking colors and elements carefully, and implementing the Feng Shui we have already learned.  Think about how much fun it would be to change out the items by season or theme, it will also bring a new freshness to your space, keeping you from getting bored.  You could even change out other design elements like your custom curtains and custom pillows to coordinate with the changing display of your items. energy-of-yur-home-1Put Feng Shui into practical practice by cleaning out your home, de-cluttering, getting rid of what no longer is of use, organizing what you love and choosing to carefully display specific pieces in a way that best showcases them and allows you maximum pleasure in having them.  Why hang onto things that no longer serve a purpose in your life?  Pack up items you don’t need or want and give them to someone who will truly appreciate them.  This will help you to create a more balanced, harmonious space and ultimately a more balanced and harmonious life.  energy-of-yur-home-2-png

Simply by de-cluttering the spaces in your home, you can begin to see how easily you could change the energy of your spaces and ultimately the energy of your life. As always, remember it’s your home and by following a few simple interior design tips, you can have fun creating a home that makes you feel great!

Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain

A brand of PKB DESIGN LLC

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How many houses can you think of with quality lighting design?  If you are like most people, probably not many.  But if you’re asked to think of the number of houses you have visited with poor lighting, you are likely to think of several.  When lighting is good you tend not to notice, but when lighting is bad everyone notices.  Contemporary interior design includes good lighting design, which will not only improve the aesthetic quality of a space, but it will also improve function and comfort.  Lighting is one of the most critical elements in an interior environment; it can completely transform a space and affect people’s emotions, thoughts, and actions. contemporary-lighting There are three types of lighting: ambient, task, and accent.  Ambient lighting is the general illumination of a space.  Task lighting provides ample light for a task such as reading or cooking, while accent lighting highlights a particular item.  The best lit interior incorporates all three categories of lighting and gives the homeowner flexibility in control.

A kitchen, for example, is one of the most important rooms to create a well thought out and executed lighting design.  With a little time in planning and a few dollars added to the budget you can make your kitchen look like an amazing, high-end, custom space by incorporating ambient light in the ceiling, task lighting in the form of under cabinet lighting, and accent lighting inside, above or below cabinets. These contemporary design ideas will completely alter the look and feel of your space.

contemporary-lighting-2-jpgLight sources come in many forms.  Effective lighting may be a wall sconce that makes a decorative contribution to the room, a recessed fixture in the ceiling that you barely notice, or even bare bulbs concealed in a soffit.

LED lighting has been gaining popularity in the residential market.  These bulbs are now readily available in many sizes and shapes to fit in most incandescent fixtures.  An LED bulb also has the added benefit of being more energy efficient and lasting much longer than an incandescent bulb.
contemporary-lighting-3-jpg-jpgImportant interior design tips to remember about lighting include creating a plan, incorporating all 3 categories of lighting, and creating flexibility in light levels by using independent and dimmable controls.  You won’t always want all lights in a space at full capacity.  There will be many times you will want control over which fixtures are on and how bright they are.  Whatever your requirements, a qualified interior designer can help you develop a lighting plan that will improve the comfort and efficiency of your home.

For more ways to learn about interior design, visit our Interior Design Community:

https://thecontemporarycurtain.com/interior-design-community

Design Team

The Contemporary Curtain

A brand of PKB DESIGN LLC

 

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