Fenêtres extérieures

8 tips to transform your balcony into an additional room.

You have a balcony, a terrace, a roof terrace, how small this outdoor space is, you can use it at least several months a year, do not neglect it, make it an additional living room.

Balcon

1. Optimize space

You have a 3-dimensional space, use the height to hang shelves to store what you only need from time to time. You can hang pretty plants from the ceiling.

Freeing up floor space by limiting the amount of furniture will give the impression of space.

Lampe suspendue a un arbre

2. Lighting

For light: we think of solar which works even without direct light. In garland, on foot, to plant plants in the ground or to hang on the wall, there are solar lights of all sizes and for all budgets.

Also think about exterior mirrors which reflect light and give an effect of depth.

Hamac avec vue

3. Define the main use

Before any purchase, it is important to define the main use of this outdoor space in order to avoid moving the furniture too often.

For example, if you dream of a hammock but your outdoor space is also a dining area, you will have to regularly disassemble the hammock, this will become restrictive in the long run, with the risk of wear and tear from repeated disassembly.

Terrasse donnant sur l'océan

4. Identify your style

Sometimes we tend to buy decorative items over the years and we end up with colours and styles that don’t always work together, find your style to match the ensemble while avoiding the total look.

Jardin sous la neige

5. Protect

Ideally, it is recommended to keep outdoor furniture and accessories in a safe place. Not everyone has a garden shed or storage space in the garage.

However, you can protect your furniture from the elements with breathable and waterproof covers.

Exposed to the rays of the moon and the sun, your furniture will deteriorate all winter, moss and rust can set in.

balcon en bois

6. Eco friendly materials

We are turning to eco friendly materials:

  • FSC / PEFC wood,
  • recycled materials,
  • metal,
  • natural stone,
  • slate.

More and more affordable and resistant, don’t hesitate to opt for these materials that are good for the planet, designers are making pretty collections these days.

Tapis d'exterieur

7. Outdoor rugs

Rugs complete the look of an exterior, colorful or black and white, round or rectangular, there are all kinds. However, prefer natural materials such as coconut, bamboo or jute rather than polypropylene.

Polypropylene does not resist rain well and its particles fly up in the air.

Pile de coussins

8. Indoor/Outdoor brands

In the old days, garden furniture was only found in the garden shops and there were few pretty affordable choices.

These last years, many furniture brands have been developing their own “Outdoor” collections. There is something for all budgets and all sizes.

Enjoy your outdoor space!

Do you want to discuss your outdoor project? Contact me!

1

5 tips for welcoming spring at home

Mother Nature has been asleep and rested the whole winter but spring is coming soon.

 The season change can bring you joy, peace and relaxation at home.

In a way, the body is also asleep during winter, we spend less time outside, and we eat more comfort food during Sinterklass and Christmas events. The body is slowing down.

Spring is the opportunity to awake our 5 senses, to add more consciousness in our daily lives in order to feel lighter and to feel better.

Etagère en bois LOVE

1. Sight

  • My first advice is to surround yourself with plants and flowers. Adding plants and flowers in all the rooms of your house will bring life into it.

Watching the plants growing, living, changing along the seasons is very resourceful.

Small, big, growing fast, growing slowly, even if you don’t have green fingers, there are plants for everyone and every rooms don’t worry!

 

  • My second tip is to apply the biophilic design by using natural patterns in your decor.

For example, posters of flowers or plants can decorate a kitchen or an office.

Dry flowers can bring colours in a living room.

If you are in the mood for bigger renovation, you can apply a landscape design wallpaper in a corridor or in a bedroom.

 

  • My third tip is to clear and clean your home. Clearing your home or your office will also clear your mind at the same time.

Then you are ready for spring and summer.

You may already know Marie Kondo, the expert in home organizing.

With her method, you know where to start to have a fresh and steady home.

ensemble de coussins, palmier

2. Touch

 Change the textiles and the fabrics in your home, just like you do with your clothes.

You store your wool jumpers in your wardrobe and you rather wear cooler clothes, right?

In winter, we like comfortable and warm fabrics in the house such as a wool plaid, velvet cushions or bouclette curtains for example.

In spring, you can let these warm fabrics in the closet until next winter and replace them with natural fabrics such as a linen plaid, some cotton curtains and bamboo cotton pillows.

Bougie avec des fleurs

3. Smell

In winter, we rather go for sweet and warm scents like cinnamon, vanilla, wood perfumes.

Spring is the blooming season.

You can replace your winter candles and sticks by some flower, lemon and fresh grass home perfume.

It will give a fresh smell and it contributes to a positive mood.

Of course, the plants and the flowers you add in your home will clean the air and bring a nice smell as well.

Oranger sur un balcon

4. Taste

We saw earlier the benefits of importing more plants inside your home.  What about the outside?

If you have a garden, you are the lucky one!

But you don’t need a garden or a large terrace to plant some tomatoes, some strawberries or some herbs.

The minimum you need is a French balcony, not because I am French..

Growing your own vegetables and herbs doesn’t take much time.

You will be so proud of eating your own fresh harvest. From the balcony to the plate in just 2 minutes.

Gardening is well-known for relaxing so it’s time to plant!

Relaxation, vue sur les montagnes

5. Ear

Just open the window and listen to the birds, there are very active in this season.

If you live in the city-center and the only thing you can hear when you open the window is the traffic jam and the motorcycle klaxons.

Then, you can find plenty of nature sound playlists.

For more information about spring decoration, contact me!

Fauteuil au milieu des plantes

Biophilic design: how to bring nature into our interiors?

What is biophilic design?

The biophilic design celebrates nature and integrates it into the urban environment and interior spaces. Biophilic design isn’t just about surrounding yourself with vegetation, it’s also about adding all the references to nature.

Stephen Kellert, one of the pioneers of biophilic design, lists 14 principles to apply. Biophilic design is a holistic concept, it is not just an isolated addition. The elements must be complementary and the contacts with nature should be repeated.

The 14 principles are :

Direct experiences with nature

  • Direct light
  • The water
  • Fire
  • Plants
  • The weather
  • The air
  • Animals

Indirect experiences with nature:

  • Images and representations of nature
  • Natural materials
  • Natural forms
  • The sounds
  • The smells of nature

Of course, it is not easy to apply the 14 principles of biophilic design at home. Nonetheless, getting close to it will bring you a lot of benefits.

What are the benefits when it is applied?

Companies

It has been shown that companies that apply biophilic design have more productive teams and less absent employees for reasons developed later in this article.

Healthcare establishments

Hospital or clinic stays are shortened and drug treatments are less intense.

Sales

Retail spaces that implement the principles of biophilic design have up to 25% more sales. Customers feel more comfortable and take more of their time.

Education

Children learn up to 20% more knowledge when they are surrounded by nature.

Real Estate

Buildings that are healthy and apply the biophilic design are sold for a higher price than those that do not.

Without forgetting that the biophilic design brings a certain aesthetic to the places, the cities are naturally more beautiful.

The materials used are non-toxic to the environment and the plants purify the air.

How to apply the principles of biophilic design concretely in our modern interiors?

    1. Let in natural light, avoid filtering it with curtains. Natural light influences human beings through the changing light of the seasons, natural light contributes to the well-being.

    Avoid making blind rooms (without windows), everyday places. Perhaps you have already experienced a meeting in a room with no window or natural light, you probably paid less interest and attention to the topic. The eye tries to escape and searches for natural light.

pexels-nugroho-wahyu-3119180
  1. The air quality is essential for a comfortable place: a good temperature, a good ventilation and a humidity level are necessary.

Have you ever had the experience of an office where the ventilation froze you? Or a house where the heaters weren’t heating the rooms evenly? It quickly becomes unpleasant.

 

  1. Water is an element of nature which is difficult to add in a professional space or in a private home. However, aquariums, fountains and other water walls have very relaxing properties.

 

  1. Plants and flowers should be in abundance and in every space. It is necessary to multiply the species, the shapes and the colours to obtain the best effect.
pexels-tiia-pakk-4350808

5. There are many studies on the benefits of the relation animals- human beings. With children and with the elderly, the impact is even more positive. The stress decreases and the subjects of the studies showed lasting joy.

  1. Observing the weather every day allows the mind to stay grounded in everyday life and allows the body to be in tune with the seasons.
  1. Fire brings movement, if you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, use it if you are allowed to.
  1. Add representations of nature to your daily life. Whether painting, poster, sculpture, video, phone wallpaper, pillow covers or your linens, you can add patterns and symbols representing nature.
coussins verts et motifs végétaux
  1. In line with the previous recommendations, the materials to be favoured are those from nature, such as wood, stone, slate, leather, natural fibers. Man-made synthetic materials have no place in biophilic design.

 

  1. Both in structures and in furniture, biophilic geometry takes up natural forms.

 

11. Floral, woody and fruity room scents help to integrate nature into interiors. Alternate scents throughout the seasons.

des fleurs dans la salle de bain
the netherlands / pays-bas

Moving to The Netherlands: Houses specifications

Do you like traditional Dutch architecture ?  Are you considering moving to the Netherlands into one of these brick houses, majestic in height ? Their deformed appearance in some places reflects the experience of its houses which have survived the ages. As pretty as they are, you may encounter difficulties in furnishing them. Indeed, the Dutch architecture is unique and differs from the one of your home country.

Stairs and windows

On your first visit, you will notice it immediately. Staircases are very often narrow and steep. Be careful not to slip, you will have pain for 3 weeks (real experience …)

If you are importing your own furniture from your current house, make sure it can be transported through this stairwell. Your sofa or your family wardrobe could get stuck or you risk lumbago (real story …).

Exterior facades very often have a pulley for lifting loads. Initially, these pulleys were used to lift and store the goods.

Most moving companies use exterior elevators, however, this requires your windows to be able to open sufficiently. Indeed, the windows on the facades do not all open, some are fixed panes.

The living room

As the traditional Dutch accommodation is all in height, the living room of a 100 m2 accommodation will be the same area as a 200 m2 accommodation. This is explained by the number of floors. Indeed, a housing of 100 m2 will be composed of 2 floors, where a housing of 200 m2 will be composed of 4 floors. The number of rooms will therefore be greater, but the living room will be of the same size. This can be a bit confusing when you want to have a large living room for the whole family.

The interior designer advises you on how to optimize this type of home to match your needs and desires.

In recent detached houses, the living rooms have been redesigned and the living room is often larger.

The basement floor

The basement floor dwellings are on several levels, one of which is in the basement. This type of house exist in many countries, however, often these basement rooms are dedicated to bedrooms, the laundry room or are additional storage space.

In the Netherlands, some apartments are entirely on the basement floor and their price is not significantly lower.

Ground

When buying an apartment or a house, you might be surprised that the apartment is completely empty, even the flooring will have been removed. The previous owner leaves the premises with the flooring, however, you can come to an agreement and buy back the parquet or carpet already installed. The good thing about this practice is that you can renovate your new apartment more easily since the floor will already be empty.

This practice also exists for rental apartments under the condominium rules, but it is becoming less and less frequent.

Kitchen equipment

Very common in American kitchens, sink crushers are rare in Dutch kitchens. New habits should be adopted to avoid calling the plumber too often.

Boiling water taps are booming in Dutch kitchens, very useful for making tea in 20 seconds.

Also, you might be surprised that the kitchen is not equipped with an oven nor microwave. While the oven is an obvious, systematic and indispensable piece of equipment in many countries, this is not the case in the Netherlands.

So be careful during your visits if this matters to you.

The laundry room

The laundry room Newer Dutch houses are usually designed to take advantage of maximum space, with builders usually having the washer and dryer on the top floor under the eaves. This more or less cramped room can also be fitted out and optimized by an interior designer. A laundry room on a high floor might seem surprising if you come from a country in southern Europe.

The rooms

In some countries, real estate regulations are strict, for example, in France, a space can only be qualified as a bedroom if the surface is 9m2 and the height is 1.80m.

In the Netherlands, this rule does not exist. For example, you will therefore see advertisements for apartments with 3 bedrooms of 5 m2, 8 m2 and 12 m2 respectively. Concretely, in a room of 5 m2, you can only install a double bed.

It is up to you to be vigilant and to ensure the use of these parts beforehand.

Sidewalks

In the city centers or the oldest districts lined with traditional Dutch houses, you will see the sidewalks and the doorsteps decorated and laid out. Indeed, the Dutch take advantage of every ray of sunshine. They transform their outdoor stairs into a mini terrace with a chair or a bench or even their doorstep into a small flower garden without fear of seeing them disappear overnight.

Moving to the Netherlands ?

Let me help you with the home staging and the interior design. Contact me !

With Style - architecte d'intérieur

Why hire an interior designer ?

Clarify your ideas and be guided in your choices

You may have flogged magazine pages, made Pinterest boards to keep decorative photos, or saved inspiring posts on Instagram. Here you are with all these photos accumulated over several months, years. You are no longer sure which rules to follow and which to apply. The interior designer interprets these images and brings to life the atmosphere that suits you and mirrors you. Hiring an interior designer means truly surrounding yourself with what you love.

Save time and energy to focus on the essentials

Decorating or renovating a place takes time. First, you must define the layout of the space and the general atmosphere. Then, identify the colours, materials, furniture that you like and brands that match your budget and your values. Finally, there are all those little details that we forget but which finish the design, a door handle, an electricity switch, etc. The interior designer makes a selection for you and you can dedicate your time and energy to your loved ones and your hobbies. Your project takes place in all serenity.

Project yourself into a new space

Renovating a home or offices is a great project which requires being able to imagine all the possibilities offered by the volumes. Whether furnished or empty, or depending on the daylight, spaces can appear larger or smaller. Some details escape us on a first visit. We rediscover them on a second visit, perhaps a chimney, a column or a badly placed radiator. We have to deal with these details which become constraints of the interior architecture. The central island you’ve been dreaming of will eventually take up all the space in the kitchen and you have to review the plans.

The interior designer is there to guide you in appreciating these volumes to make the best use of them according to your needs: this is space optimization.

Increase the value of a property

You want to decorate your home and feel good at home. However, you are also thinking about reselling your home some day and overly decorating it could hamper the sale. Working with an interior designer can be expensive, but poor organization of volumes and poor decor will cost you even more. Indeed, a decoration out of step with the place can become expensive for the owner. You will certainly have to lower the price of the sale or redo work to succeed in selling this property. An interior designer accompanies you and comforts you in your choices to create the interior you like while respecting the place and its history.

Discovery

The interior designer must constantly follow the innovations of materials in order to offer you the best. At JR Interior Design, we share with you our knowledge of the most suitable materials for your interior. We offer you brands in development and recommend local artisans.

Do you want to know more about why to hire an interior designer ?

I’ll be happy to discuss more about your project, contact me !