May 2018

Current Obsessions

With spring always comes something fresh – be it flowers or in the design world, some new products, inspiration or ideas. We have been keeping our eye out for what’s on the horizon and have decided to share some items that have caught our eye. Keep reading on for our current obsessions!

We Love Chairs

As designers, we have many statements and a statement such as “we love chairs,” is not at all outrageous or surprising. Without chairs, life would be very different and a nice chair can make all the difference. Talk to someone who sits on the same one every single day if you don’t understand what we are talking about! Comfort is always key, but we also like the ones that are very visually appealing too. There are chairs that we love and will continue to use, but there are also some fabulous new designs!

Every year in Milan there is a furniture fair called Salone del Mobile and the one this year concluded not too long ago. Maruni a Japanese brand, released a couple new wooden chairs designed by Naoto Fukasawa and Jasper Morrison. The Roundish armchair has a single piece of laminated plywood that has been bent and twisted to create an enveloping form – a beautiful fluid shape. Made using precision cutting technology, the Fugu chair is made from solid oak and has a gently curved seat and backrest that looks comfortable and classic.

Another lovely chair that made its debut at Salone del Mobile was the N01 designed by Japanese studio Nendo for Fritz Hansen. This all-wood chair with structural elements made from solid wood while other elements such as the shell are crafted using Fritz Hansen’s plywood technique and nine thin layers of veneer – and is entirely produced by hand. We love the honesty in material that comes across in it’s simple and elegant design aesthetic.

Sometimes as designers we have to work with a tight budget, but we never want to sacrifice design. Luckily, Danish brand Hay has launched a new range of minimal chairs that are as affordable (around 80 Euros) and simple as a “white T-shirt or blue jeans.” Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, the Elementaire chair is polypropylene, but is robust enough to be a long-standing object and certainly is one of the most beautiful plastic chairs we’ve seen. There’s nothing “elementary” about this chair and would look great on a patio!

Accessories for Everyday

While we can talk about chairs for days, accessories are always fun and exciting. As you are planning your upcoming summer getaway and looking for a new piece of luggage, why not customize your own? With three standard sizes, ROAM  allows you to pick from their pre-designed cases or fully customize one to your liking. You will have no problem identifying your luggage next time you’re at the airport carousel! Looking for a new piece of jewelry? We’re loving the pieces from AR.M by Anna Rosa Moschouti a Greek-Dutch architect. Crafted from her studio in Antwerp, each piece is “[focused] on the importance of thoughtful design, responsible sourcing, and honesty.” The line includes earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that have a neutral palette and simple geometries.

If you are a coffee and design lover – you will love the latest model by Nespresso. The Lattisma one silky white offers the perfect espresso, cappuccino, latte, and coffee with one touch, one capsule. We are so in love with this color I think it’s time for an office upgrade.

What are your current obsessions? Let us know with the hashtag #area3currentobsessions

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Renovation Checklist

Renovations are exciting yet daunting. Chances are, you have been waiting for ages to start a renovation and more and more items are getting added to the list. Some people choose to completely remodel their home in one go while others prefer to do it in small phases. There is no right or wrong as long as you have direction! If you don’t even know where to begin when planning a renovation, keep reading. We have outlined a renovation checklist for you to help you get started.

Have A Plan

Step one is to always have a plan. The three key components of this plan is a wish list, budget, and a timeline. Sit down and create a wish list – one column for what you want and another for what you need and number them according to priority. If you do not live alone, we highly suggest you do this with your partner as you will discover that your priorities may differ. The next step is to determine your budget. This is really important to do before you meet with a designer or contractor and be sure to build in some padding – at least 10% for anything unexpected. You will find that if your budget is tight, then you might only be able to knock off a couple items on that wish list or maybe it will mean that you will have to settle with a more affordable laminate instead of engineered wood floors. And of course, you need to figure out your timeline. If you only have one month before Christmas, then maybe tearing down the walls from your dining room to the kitchen isn’t the right item to tackle on your list.

Do Your Research

If you are not doing the renovation yourself, you will need to find a contractor and/or an interior designer. When looking for an interior designer, make sure they are reputable. We suggest hiring a firm or individual who is a Registered Interior Designer (RID) with experience. This important as they are not only trained and passed examinations, but also carry practicing insurance. We have two RIDs on our team here at Area 3 – Brenda and Kulpreet – who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to every project. Experienced interior designers will also have relationships with reputable contractors that they have worked with and can recommend. This can save you a lot of time. Do a walkthrough or consultation with the interior designer and contractor of your space before a contract is drawn up. There may be an initial consultation fee for this, however, their knowledge and expertise will indicate any red flags, and help you identify what needs to be taken care of. It’s also a great opportunity to see if the designer or contractor are a great fit for you and your project (after all you will be working closely together). Finally, read through and understand your contract before you sign on the dotted line! Contracts can be based on a fixed fee, a fee plus mark up, hourly or even design-build.  If you have a family member or friend who has had a successful renovation ask for a referral.

Be Prepared

Before your renovation can start there are always a few things to take care of. If you are doing a large renovation in your home you may need to move out for a duration of time. A building permit, or simple electrical or plumbing permit may be required. Be prepared this can add weeks to your project while you await approval. What will be your living arrangement? Maybe you can handle living in only half of your home, but where will the existing furniture go?  You may need to rent a storage space to house those pieces until the renovations are complete. Can you function without your kitchen and if so for how long? If you live in a Strata, be sure to clear your renovations with them. There may only be a certain time that construction is permissible due to noise and waste might need to be stored in a location. Some food for thought before you get going!

What is on your renovation wish list? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designrenovation

 

 

 

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