July 2018

Living Minimally

If you have been on Pinterest or Instagram lately, you will have noticed the minimalist trend that has been going on for quite some time. It’s in offices, restaurants, and homes. We will admit that we love that look too, after all, we love white! While some may argue that it is stark and uninviting, it can also be serene. There is something about a space that is purposeful and is not cluttered with excess! So how can you achieve minimalism without going to the extreme? Keep reading for our take on living minimally.

Keep It Simple

To live we need stuff and it is simply not realistic to go on a purge this weekend and rid yourself of 90% of your belongings – minimalism is a lifestyle. In a consumerist culture fueled by websites like Amazon, it’s very easy to accumulate more. We think that the first step to minimalism is to simplify. Slowly pair down to only what you need and go from there. Take some time to go through all your stuff and organize it. You might find that you have multiples of the exact same thing or you own many items that have not seen the light of day. Before you get something new, ask yourself if you already have it or if you really need it. It is easy to act on impulse! When you do go in search for something new, choose to purchase something of quality. Invest in pieces that are well-made and will stand the test of time. If you love it, you won’t find the need to replace it with something new!

Less is More

Mies Van Der Rohe is famous for many beautiful buildings, but his philosophy of “less is more,” is what has truly resonated through time. There is something to be said about a space that is not overly ornamented but is still intriguing and functional. Although the Barcelona Pavilion is an exemplary piece of design, it isn’t a home – a space for living. No one lives in a home with only a couple of Barcelona chairs! One way to achieve that minimalist look is to cleverly hide everything with built-in millwork. If there is a purposeful spot for everything, you are able to eliminate the clutter! How else are you supposed to keep your kitchen counter clear and clean? Aesthetically, keeping with a simple palette can also make a small space feel larger. Where there are too many colors and textures your space can tend to feel crowded. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t add in a layer of complexity! Stick with neutrals, play with the different shades and mix up the textures, but keep in mind that less is more! We love the Scandinavian take on minimalism where spaces, furniture pieces, and objects are crafted from quality materials. These spaces are thoughtful despite their simplicity and are warm and inviting.

How are you living minimally? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3livingminimally

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Outdoor Urban Oasis

It has been long awaited, but it is time to say hello to summer! Now that it is July it is safe to say that the Westcoast summer is starting to heat up. The days are long and mostly dry so why would you spend time indoors with the AC on? Warm weather means that it is perfect for spending your evenings and weekends outdoors. Do you live in a townhome with a little backyard or a condo with a patio? Take advantage of that special piece of real estate and create your own getaway – an outdoor urban oasis if you will! Keep reading for your essentials!

Room for Living

It’s time to give your living room a little break and take your living outside! First thing on your list to find? Some comfy lounge seating that does not involve wicker. If you have the space, invest in an outdoor sofa – no outdoor living room is complete without one! We like the casbah modular lounge seating from CB2. The simple frame topped with a thick cushion makes the pieces look light and comfortable, not to mention chic! It’s big enough to kick your feet up while reading a book or even to take a nap. Find an outdoor coffee table that’s not too big, but can accommodate a few drinks, food and maybe even a small potted plant! You can never go wrong with a bit of greenery. Also, add a couple of fun chairs like this Acapulco black egg outdoor chair from CB2  and you’re ready to have a few friends over. Got a little one who doesn’t want to be left out? Why not get them a matching chair that is kid-sized like this one from Crate & Barrel Kids.

Finishing Touches

To make your outdoor urban oasis perfect for any weather – rain or shine – make sure to get a great umbrella. We think that the ones that are cantilevered work the best as they are out of the way don’t disrupt your social space. These cantilever umbrellas from Restoration Hardware are great looking. If you have a small patio, the Bramsom/Fliso patio umbrella from IKEA is the perfect solution and won’t break the bank. Of course, for those of us who like to entertain and enjoy a few beverages on our patio why not upgrade your cooler to something stylish like CB2’s rolling cooler?  Made of cold rolled steel, comes with a drain, bottle cap opener and retro vibe, it’s sure to be a hit at any party. Lastly why not, add some stringed Edison bulb lights and a few hurricanes to set the mood. A few finishing touches could include toss cushions with a statement print like these from West Elm or these simple colorful and affordable Froson cushion covers from IKEA. Now grab that drink sit back and enjoy your evening in your outdoor retreat.

How will you outfit your outdoor urban oasis? Let us know with the hashtag #area3urbanoasis

 

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Top 3 Interior Design Myths

If we were to survey the general population and ask them what they think Interior Design is, what we Interior Designers do, and why they should hire us, we are sure a handful of myths would be brought up. We can thank the media, tv shows and networks for perpetuating that! Many people think that interior design is simply playing with a color wheel, choosing paints and fabrics and choosing pretty pieces of furniture and décor. We think that it is time to raise the curtains and debunk some myths about interior design and give you a glimpse of the multifaceted realm of our profession!

Myth #1: Interior Design is Only for Aesthetics

It’s definitely true that we can create your dream space, but there is so much more than aesthetics! A huge part of our job is to understand our clients, their needs and wants and create solutions that are functional, safe and of course stunning! There are some parts of our job that are perhaps a little less glamorous such as determining space requirements, creating layouts, permit and construction drawings, and coordinating with consultants and reps at our desks – which is probably why the media never shows it! However, without these aspects, a project would never come together. Interior design definitely isn’t only about picking out finishes from our library and creating mood boards (although it can be fun)!

Myth #2: Interior Design is Unaffordable

This is a huge misconception and we will stop it right in its tracks because this is what prevents many people from reaching out to an Interior Designer for help. What truly is unaffordable for most people is the cost of fixing a big mistake. Sure, if you didn’t like the purple paint you used in your living room last year and you wanted it redone, it won’t cost you a fortune. If your kitchen and bathroom renovation went south, however, it will likely cost you more than hiring an Interior Designer to remedy it. Large projects that require demolition, plumbing and electrical are probably best left to professionals. If you want to invest in renovating your home, don’t be afraid to look for an Interior Designer – we will work within your budget and ensure you are happy with the result! It will save a lot of headache in the long run.

Myth #3: Interior Design is Mainly a Female Profession

There is a stereotype that interior designers are mainly female and Architects are mainly male – which is both untrue. Both professions require spatial reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving inwhich both men and women can do! For all the guys who are considering Interior Design as a profession, you definitely will not be the odd one out. We will warn you though, earning a degree in Interior Design is not easy!

What other Interior Design Myths have you heard of? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designmyths

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