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Art

Aquariums are always a nice part of home décor, as they can add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral space, and they can be very entertaining to look at. However, besides being aesthetically pleasing, they are also beneficial to your health. Studies have shown that aquariums can help reduce anxiety, stress, and pain. They can also help you sleep better, and they can boost your creativity when needed. 

These are just some of the reasons why aquariums are so popular today, especially in bigger residential units. Additionally, sometimes, architects simply need to fill in some extra space, and aquariums are perfect for that. So, if you’ve been thinking about adding it to your home interior, here are a few things you should know about it. 

For bigger spaces

If you’d like to add an aquarium to your restaurant, office, or larger home, you should opt for a bigger aquarium that can become a part of the room. Some may take the form of freestanding furniture, some may look like sculptures, while some may serve as custom wall units. Regardless of how you choose to implement your aquarium, it is bound to draw attention.

Aquariums are perfect for more nature-based themes, and there is no better way to breathe life into the room. Moreover, such aquariums are much more than mere entertainment that you can focus on when bored. They are works of art, created in a way that can engage the view for much longer than a few minutes. 

Aquarium

When it comes to the designs, you can choose anything from minimalistic sea scenes with sand, some plants, rocks, and sculptures, to huge sceneries with corals, crabs, clams, and everything else that suits the idea of a living-reef tank. In this case, the aquarium is not just a typical art piece – it moves, and it grows, as everything in it is constantly evolving. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can search for projects done by Martin Schapira, a co-founder and a lead designer of Okeanos Aquascaping. He’s done many impressive works, but one of his most breathtaking ones is definitely the 900-gallon aquarium with color-changing LED lights. It was done in Lagos, Nigeria, and it functions as one of the main features of a dance floor. Plus, to complement the black-and-white theme of the room, Martin stocked the aquarium with 60 Banggai Cardinalfish, which are silver with black stripes and fit the theme perfectly. So, if you have a specific color scheme in your restaurant or home, think about doing something similar. 

Home-based aquariums

When talking about smaller, home-based aquariums, one of the main advantages is that anybody can have one. Even if you have a small apartment, you can easily find an aquarium that would be suitable for it. Plus, the usual “no pets” rule generally doesn’t apply to fish, so if you happen to live in a dorm room or a rented apartment, this might be a good pet for you. It’s also great for kids, since fish can be good starter pets to teach them some responsibility. However, you should keep in mind that aquariums require regular maintenance, so you need to have time for that.

Home Aquarium

Moreover, if you like the Feng Shui style, you’re probably well familiar with the importance and meaning of the water element as well as numbers. A nice aquarium can help you create a harmonious balance in your home, and having eight fish in it can bring you good luck. Although it might not make you rich or make all your problems disappear, it can still help you de-stress, relax, think more clearly, and thus, find solutions to your problems on your own. 

Regardless of whether you’re decorating a smaller apartment or a huge restaurant, installing an aquarium can really boost the style of your property. Not to mention all the health benefits it comes with. So, if this is something you’ve been thinking about, do your research on different types of aquariums and maintenance requirements, and the space you decorate with it is bound to look better than you could imagine. 

 

This is a guest post by John Basta.

Looking for a way to implement modern design style into your living space, but not sure where to start? Here are our top five essentials for creating beautiful modern interiors.

Don’t confuse modern with contemporary

Before you start decorating your home in a modern design style, you need to make a distinction between what’s considered modern and contemporary. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are two distinct design styles. There is some overlapping between the two in terms of simplicity of the space, restricted use of decor, and the implementation of furniture with clean lines and simple design. However, modern design style refers to a particular era of the twentieth century (the first half of the century, to be exact) while contemporary style is an ever-changing, ever-evolving design style that reflects a blend of several ongoing design trends that involve au courant details and pieces. Now that we’ve set the record straight, let’s jump into designing interiors in modern style.

Neutral colours

Choose a neutral color scheme for a modern look

Let’s start things off by tackling the basics first – the walls and the color scheme you use in your living space matter a lot when it comes to designing spaces in modern style. The colors that are most often used in modern interiors are white, beige, and gray, and for good reason, too. These colors are favored for their simplicity, elegance and the fact that they act as a black slate, which works great for this design style. White walls are especially useful for modern spaces since they allow your wall decor pieces to take the spotlight, which leads us to our next design tip…

Modern artwork

Add some modernist artwork to liven up the space

Implementing colors into your living space is a sure way to create a modern-looking home, and one way to do it is by hanging some interesting artwork on your walls. Expressive pieces of art that encompass unusual forms and vivacious colors, and capture the essence of the modernistic approach to art will liven up any space and provide it with an excellent focal point. To make your room look more cohesive, add throw pillows and flowers that complement the hues captured in the artwork and create a sense of balance. Whether you choose artwork that represents artistic movements such as Fauvism or Cubism, it will certainly elevate your living space and give it a modernesque vibe. 

Clean look

Declutter for a clean and simple look

Modern design shies away from superfluous amounts of items and decor, so it’s important to keep your living space free of clutter. Use Marie Kondo’s method for decluttering – discard everything you don’t really use and only keep what’s dear to your heart or, in the words of this popular organizing guru, the things that “spark joy”. Although we mentioned you can use a few art pieces and accessories to provide your place with a unique flair, it’s best to keep your belongings and everyday items stored away to create a clean and basic look. The simplicity of design is one of the most prominent characteristics of modern design style, and by decluttering your home, you will visually expand it and create an illusion of spaciousness.

Create a functional layout 

When designing a home in a modern style, you need to consider the functionality of the layout. Open spaces are one of the components of modern design, but if you can’t afford to have a couple of walls knocked down, you can still create the appearance of open space. One way to do it is by using neutral colors, as we have mentioned previously – choose plain, streamlined furniture pieces that are simple in design and shape, and preferably in earthy, natural tones. Definitely avoid bold pieces with patterns and prints, as they will make your space look busy and cluttered. Arrange your furniture in a way that allows for a free flow to create a sense of airiness and balance in your living space. 

To enjoy your home even more, use the tips above to create a living space that portrays the beautiful simplicity and practicality of modern design.

Despite your personal style and standards, these living room decorations are must-haves for anyone. Having these in your living room will make it that much more appealing, trendy, and presentable.  These items are universal and can be combined with any decor and any style. Surely, this touch of style will impress your friends, family, neighbours, and even your plumber. If you’re not interested in decor that much, then the “magic simply hasn’t happened to you yet”. Read on to find out the 10 living room decorations everybody needs.  

1. Throw pillows

throw pillows, grey sofa, yellow pillow, black pillow

Pillows on couches are one of the all-time styles that never go out of trend. They present the couch as cozier and welcoming and create a sort of contrast against the couch with their colour and edge. The pillows also provide a great back/headrest when you’re on the couch. Hence relaxing and refreshing your body. Beside pillows, there are creative ways to use linen to decorate your living room. 

2. Floor lamp

living room, armchairs, floor lamp, modern style

Floor lamp creates such a great, relaxing, and vibrant environment. Since the light is a point source from the side, it creates a beautiful complexion of lights, shadows, and colour shades around the room as opposed to ceiling lights that flood light from the top of the room. Floor lamps have an edge over table lamps as the wiring can be hidden away easily.

3. Carpet

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From red carpets at Oscar awards to carpeted floors in an apartment, carpets make the flooring more appealing. Therefore it should be an essential part of your living room. Whether you want a small carpet near a couch or fully carpeted floor is up to you. They are great for winter especially because they provide you with a warm and cozy floor to walk on. With a carpet, you also have the comfort of preserving your flooring for a much longer time.

4. Coffee table

cozy living room, yellow color, contemporary, relaxing

With a coffee table, well you can keep your coffee mug on it off course. But, it also attracts the attention of the people on and around the couch towards it by being a centrepiece for that part of the room. You can keep magazines, newspapers, small photo albums, or even a plant on it. Make sure the colour, material, and design all match with the rest of the room, especially the couch.

5. Tall stools

tall stool, flowers, table, window, street view
There are times when we just want to sit and have a nice chat or have a glass of wine, but the couch is just too comfy. Tall stools They are a great alternative to sitting on a sofa but definitely can’t replace a sofa in everyday life. So, you’re going to need both a stool and a couch.

6. Wall art/photos

wall art. photos, giraphees

First of all, take a look at the wall you’re going to fill to decide what size of art you should pick. There are many ways to determine this and here are some different ideas. You can buy a million-dollar art or paint one yourself or have a photo of a candid moment. Anyway, this is a great way to add to the living room environment as well as display your skills, taste, a fond memory, or even your status. A good rule of thumb is to choose wall art that takes up the width of the wall, minus 6-12 inches on each side, so it looks like it’s centred, like at the image above.

7. Map poster

world map, wall art, wall

This is quite similar to a photo or art on a wall. Except, this one gives you travel vibes. World map posters especially turn your living room artsy. The maps could also be historical or mythical, but they’ll surely make your living room wall more appealing.

8. Stacked curtains

stacked curtain, yellow room, bright, cozy room, white furniture

Curtains are quite old-fashioned but they easily fit any style of living room, whether modern or classic. Stacked curtains are even better as they can be used for any season and weather. Here are some ideas on how you can use curtains or even drapes to improve your living room. If you want to create a relaxed look, you should go with curtains to the bottom of the window trim or the sill. If you want to give your home a luxury, high-style look, lush drapes that touch the floor are the best choice.

9. Indoor plants

indoor plants, cactus

It doesn’t have to be some really green and long plant that yields fruits. Choose a plant, according to your room’s decor.  Plants make the room come alive just as do pets. There are so many options out there that can suit everyone’s needs. *Keep in mind any allergies you might have to plants.*

10. Wall shelf

wall shelves, flowers, awards

And the final piece of decoration you’ll need to complete your living room is a wall shelf or wall shelves. It’s a simple installation but you can get help from your neighbour or a professional. You can showcase all your possessions such as artworks, photos, maps, plants, and prizes.

And now, here are a few last words.

A Quick Sum Up

All of these items are suggestions based on my research and gatherings, of course. So, it’s understandable if you’re not convinced you need every one of these. Also, these items are not the only items you need in your living room as these are mainly for decorative purposes. Assuming you already got your bare essentials such as couch, TV, heater/fan and such, these living room decoration ideas will beautify your living room elegantly.

Go on –  you can do it!

Incorporating art into your home is one of the most effective ways to elevate the quality of your everyday life and make a significant difference for the better. It doesn’t have to be anything big, of course, and not everyone loves huge art pieces that take up a big portion of your living space. Sometimes even the smallest and most subtle things can mean a lot and introduce a difference into the way you perceive your surroundings, so here’s why art is so important in interior design and how you too can make the most of it.

 

Art sets you apart

Let’s make things really simple and state the obvious first – not everyone can afford or imagine an art piece in their home. This basically means that those who can are automatically different from the rest and their interior is unlike the interior of their friends, family and neighbors. Including just one piece of art – a painting, a sculpture, a framed photograph or an art installation – into your home will set you apart from everyone else and instantly turn your home into something special. All you need to do is learn how to choose a proper art piece, and you’ll create a special vibe in your own home in no time.

 

Art as a focal point

Every room needs a focal point and something that will attract the attention of the visitors in a matter of seconds, and what better way to do so than by a piece of fine art? Whatever you choose, you have to position and emphasize it adequately, and whoever steps into your home is going to be amazed by your taste. What’s more, this solution isn’t just visually attractive and inspiring, but also practical: lots of people have a problem decorating their interior and arranging a great focal point, but having a piece of art in your possession makes this quite easy. All you need to do is find an empty wall and proudly showcase your art piece to the world.

 

Art explains your life philosophy

Another amazing thing about art is how versatile it can be. Whatever form you choose, you’ll be able to adapt it into your lifestyle and interior design, and it will show its appreciation by explaining your life philosophy. Modern art wall pieces – from digital art prints and graphic minimalism to oversized photographs and 3D wall art – show how contemporary and innovative you are, while a classic Rembrandt or Goya tell more about your traditional view of life more than you ever could. In short, art speaks on your behalf and defines you, so keeping it around is always a good idea.

 

Art shows your creative side

Not all home art has to be expensive and created by famous artists – even the most uncreative people can come up with memorable art pieces on their own. This way, art can show your creative side and state that you know how to handle your camera, canvas or clay. It also says you’re not afraid of displaying your creation and letting it live its own life in familiar surroundings. Every artist’s home is probably full of different art pieces and that’s just the way it goes, so why don’t you become an artist as well and showcase your creations?

 

Art adds color and texture to the room

No matter how hard you try and how much money you invest into it, furnishing your rooms is never easy and they can always seem unfinished or incomplete. That’s why you need some wall art that’s going to make it complete and perfect. Art adds color to the room and helps you decorate it more adequately, but it also introduces a ton of texture. So, whether you opt for a sculpture or practical piece of wall art, it will bring the whole room together quite effectively, and that’s what we all need when it comes to interior design.

 

Not everyone is a fan of art and can imagine hanging a painting in their living room, but if you think outside the box for a moment, you’ll surely realize why art is so important and what sort of a change it can bring to your life, so step out of your comfort zone and embrace it!

Some of the most popular interior design trends today revolve around a clever use of all things vintage and antique. What’s more, the newfound love for mixing and matching the old with the new allows for a lot more freedom in home décor as well as a unique and personal touch. In general, well matched antique bits and pieces can add dimension, texture and warmth to your home environment.

Image source: modern-homedesign.com

Looking for antiques

You may get scared at the mention of the word “antique” and assume that just one piece can cost you an arm and a leg. Of course, that can be true – if you look for your furniture and décor at antique galleries and shops that deal with centuries old, extravagant pieces. However, antique nowadays refers to anything that simply doesn’t look modern and is reminiscent of the past decades. So, if you don’t want a Queen Anne’s cabinet for your bedroom, you can definitely find some great deals and vintage pieces at flea markets, thrift shops and even garage sales. This, however, means that the best finds will await you only if you take the trouble to patiently browse and look through all the offers that come your way.

Image source: edeprem.com

Matching the furniture

When it comes to vintage/antique furniture pieces, as mentioned, the hottest trend nowadays is to match them with the modern ones. For example, vintage chairs can look absolutely stunning when matched with a modern dining table or a coffee table. The same effect can be achieved with antique tables and modern sofas and chairs. This balance is necessary if you don’t want to overstep the line and end up with a kitsch and gaudy look that doesn’t feel pleasant. Moreover, matching the old and the new in your bedroom can be effectively achieved if you stick to the color pattern. In case you have an antique desk or a wardrobe, make sure that the nightstands and bed have the same shade of wood. If only one furniture piece in your entire room is antique, introduce vintage-inspired wall décor, such as large paintings, to add some harmony to the whole look.

When it comes to vintage/antique furniture pieces, as mentioned, the hottest trend nowadays is to match them with the modern ones. For example, vintage chairs can look absolutely stunning when matched with a modern dining table or a coffee table. The same effect can be achieved with antique tables and modern sofas and chairs. This balance is necessary if you don’t want to overstep the line and end up with a kitsch and gaudy look that doesn’t feel pleasant. Moreover, matching the old and the new in your bedroom can be effectively achieved if you stick to the color pattern. In case you have an antique desk or a wardrobe, make sure that the nightstands and bed have the same shade of wood. If only one furniture piece in your entire room is antique, introduce vintage-inspired wall décor, such as large paintings, to add some harmony to the whole look.

Introduce little details

Mixing and matching your furniture and other larger objects is a tad easier compared to the smaller decorative bits and pieces. In general, you have a better grasp of what furniture layout fits your taste and achieves a good balance. On the other hand, it’s fairly simple to get overwhelmed with antique decorative details. You should be very careful not to overstuff your personal environment with these because you will only create clutter, and there are no benefits to living in a cluttered space. What’s more, too much antique clutter can again look really distasteful when paired with the rest of your furniture. In that respect, use these decorative details as statement pieces. A vintage tea set, intricate statue or some other figurine, a music box, a vintage mirror, etc., can all look absolutely stunning if they are the main display piece in your room. Of course, other sleeker and more modern details can match these nicely if you keep your decorating task minimal.

Image source: tileideaz.com

What about kitchens and bathrooms?

For some people, it’s relatively easy to work with this interesting interior style when it comes to their living room and bedroom. However, kitchen and bathroom can prove to be a bit of a challenge. Don’t feel pressured into piling up antique décor in these two rooms. Your kitchen can look amazing with all of your modern elements if you just add a set of antique pictures or even a tapestry. Furthermore, you can always use decorative plates and pots for pops of antique décor, as well as create your own backsplash with vintage-inspired vinyl wallpaper. Similarly, dark timber in your bathroom can make a huge difference. Free standing tubs can look great, but if you don’t want to invest in renovation, feel free to mix the wooden elements with antique gold details. Thanks to the waterproof metallic spray paints, you can transform any surface you want.

There are plenty of other interesting details that you can add to your mix of modern and antique home interior. Rugs, cushions, curtains, antique-looking frames, and lighting shades are just some of them. Still, as mentioned before, you have to make sure that the antique bits and pieces don’t overshadow the modern ones and vice versa. Always strive for balance and harmony as you keep the desired impact in mind.

Drawing and painting can be quite an intense activities that normally begin with enthusiasm. They are supposed to be a great escape from boredom,a relaxing several hours you take only for yourself and a great thing to do when you need to take a break from everyday life. However, as one gets deeper in the craft, things may become more demanding, so challenging in fact that people forget to have fun while doing it. In everything we do, it is important to work with an open mind and enjoy it in order to get maximum results. With more experience we get better and we progress faster, starting to enjoy more the process of creating.

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Play with Colours and Techniques

One of the things you can do in order to make drawing or painting more fun, is to play with new supplies, new painting surfaces and new ideas. Start by using only basic colours and slowly learn how to mix up tones and create transitions. Don’t be afraid to try out different types of paint, painting techniques and accessories. Experiment by combining classical painting techniques with a brush with some other objects in order to create unusual textures. Combine acrylics, water colours, chalk or even a spray paint with newspaper, yarn or glitter if sparkle is what you prefer.Use stencils to create a unique art which you can display in your home afterwords.

The other thing you could do is play with pastels and try out new things like having a limited colour palette. Challenge yourself and make the experience of creating a whole lot interesting. You could also just open your box of pastels and try using as many colors as possible. At times, the painting will come out fantastic but other times it won’t. However it is, as long as you are excited to try out new things and enjoy the experience of creating, chances are that you’ll be successful at it.

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Create in a Good Atmosphere

Filling the studio or the room where you draw and paint with music can emphasize the whole creative experience. A colorful setting, a lot of natural light and a cozy atmosphere will put you in a happy mood. One thing is sure: it is when you are having the most fun that you create some of the best works of art!

If in the middle of painting or drawing you get tired, demotivated or feel lack of inspiration, there is nothing to worry about. Permit yourself to have fun and play with paint or even the subject matter. You can put green or blue in the faces of the portraits you are creating, which might transcend into something surreal, infinitely creative and interesting. In case the subject matter becomes predictable, try selecting one section of the piece and have fun with new textures and materials. Don’t over think the process, just be spontaneous and you will find new creative possibilities emerging.

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The same goes for drawing where you could use colouring pencils and experiment with new things. Try drawing abstracts as they can be very exciting, as well. Be sure to use quality colouring pencils that are smooth and pigmented and that will make the whole drawing process easier and more enjoyable.

Push yourself into the dimension of infinite creativity and allow yourself to get lost in it. Through combination of colours, textures and patterns, the thrill will follow.