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How to Be Your Own Interior Designer – Open Plan Living Ideas
January 11, 2019 at 1:55 pm 0
Open up your favourite interior magazine and I'm sure you'll see pages and pages full of open plan kitchens. Beautiful kitchen islands separating the cooking space from the dining area. Huge, clean homes fill your head with ideas and inspiration for creating your own open plan living space. And although these images look incredible, it's likely they've been styled within an inch of their life by a professional interior designer.    Interior Designer : Arc and Riva 4 Seater Glass and White Gloss Dining Set   If you want to create your dream open plan kitchen in your own home, all you need is a bit of willpower, planning and a head full of ideas. Here are a few tips on how to get started...  

Interior Designer: Open Plan Kitchens

Place Furniture in the Middle of the Room

When it comes to creating an open plan area of your home, it's really important to think about the layout. We want to avoid any clear walkways from one end of the room to another. Although it may feel natural to place your furniture around the edges of your room, mix things up and place a table in the middle! This will make you walk around the furniture. By simply placing furniture in the middle of a walkway you tie the room together and make a larger space feel cosy and filled.     Our customer, Lizzy, Has renovated her 70's home to a modern and crisp family home. They created a huge open plan living/dining space, with the focal point being this stunning kitchen featuring the Verona Barstool. By sticking to a simple grey and chrome colour palette their home feels seamless and warm, despite being very open. Kitchens work so well as open plan living spaces, due to the furniture naturally found in a kitchen. Kitchen islands, tables and dining benches are great pieces to use to separate the dining from the cooking.  

Top Tip: Glass Dining Tables are a great option for open plan living space. The clear table will allow more light to fill your space, keeping your home light and airy. 

 

Create Zones

Although you want the kitchen and dining areas to be in the one room, it's important to zone your home. Placing furniture in the middle of the room will help with the flow of the space, but by using subtle colour treatments and lighting, you can create clear zones to really separate the space.   Think about these tips when zoning your open plan kitchen:  
  • A kitchen Island will help bring the cooking area to the dining area.
 
  • Choosing a different colour/wallpaper in each area will help create a feeling of different rooms. Be sure to choose a simple colour palette to keep things harmonious. Avoid painting the kitchen green and the dining space purple as this will be too much contrast and create an unharmonious feel.
  Zen 6 Seater Grey Gloss Dining Table

Zen and Santo Dining Set with the Teora Bar Stools

Top Tip: Interhouse Design has created this amazing, light and open space by sticking to a clean colour palette and gloss finishes. A U-shaped kitchen featuring breakfast bar will help zone your open plan kitchen 

 
  • Add pendant lights over a table or island to create a 'wall'. This height will help break up your space all the while marrying the two areas together.
 
  • Use the same style throughout the space. If you have Velvet Barstools, choose Velvet Dining Seating too. Sticking to a scheme will help make the room feel tied together.
   
  • Think about height. Floor lamps or tall shelving units will help add height and a point of difference in your home. Using furniture which is all one level will make your home feel flat and uninspiring. Adding height adds interest.
 

Open Plan Living Areas

It's not just kitchens which work well as open plan living areas. You can create an open plan kitchen/living area, or maybe a home office combined with a living room. No matter what you use your space for, by following the above tips you can easily create any open plan living space.     If you're feeling super adventurous, why not have a fully open plan kitchen, dining, living area? This may take a little more thought and planning, but by spacing your furniture well and sticking to a cohesive colour scheme, you can create a truly beautiful home and become your own interior designer.   If you'd like to go back to basics, take a look at how to become your own interior designer. Where we walk you step by step through the basics of decorating your home without forking out for a professional interior designer.  

Show us your Style!

Have you recently re-designed your home? Don't forget to tag us on Instagram and Facebook using #mydanetti. To view all the pieces listed in this post and more, head over to our website.
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Colour, Living, Sofas
Real Leather: How to Care for your Real Leather Sofa
February 2, 2018 at 11:51 am 0
Ellis 3 seater Sofa and Armchair

Ellis 3 Seater Sofa and Ellis Armchair

As any interior designer or furniture specialist will tell you, a sofa is one piece of furniture that you should really invest in. This means choosing a sofa that is built to last, that performs well over time and that can stand up to daily use in a busy home. Real Leather ticks all of these boxes, which is exactly why real leather is such a popular choice for a sofa; it is undoubtedly the most durable material available. You can’t beat it for long-term performance, durability, ease of maintenance and of course… Modern Style!   Leather Swatch

Luxe Sofa Range Swatch

 

What Makes Real Leather So Durable?

The leather we use for our range of sofas is extremely thick and falls into the Top Grain Leather category. Top Grain leather goes through a considerable process to remove any marks and blemishes on the hide to create its uniform appearance and makes it more desirable for home furnishings. Our pigmented Top Grain Leather has been dyed and treated with a protected surface. This offers great colour uniformity and maximum resistance to spills and stains, while it's thickness also increases its strength and durability. All together you end up with a high-quality leather that looks great but also is very fit for purpose. Thinner, lower quality ‘Split’ leather is commonly used in cheaper sofas but will not offer the same durability. It will wear quicker and be more susceptible to rips and tears, meaning you'll be replacing your furniture much sooner than anticipated.   Top Tip: Aniline Leather, often cited as the most premium type of leather, actually has little to no treatment to protect it. So whilst it is a premium material, it may not be the most practical for a modern sofa. This type of leather is used when people want to build a worn look, or patina, but it doesn't give a clean, uniformed look.   Ice Grey Leather Detail

Top Leather Grain Detail

 

Top Grain vs. Split Leather

Top Grain - The top layer of the hide usually the thickest layer when the hide is separated. Top grain is the highest quality, thickest part of the hide and such requires less processing resulting in a softer feel. Split Leather - This is the thinner part of the hide and as such often needs a protective synthetic top treatment. The result is a lower quality more rigid leather.  

One Leather Doesn’t Fit all...

The term ‘leather sofa’ is used very broadly, so it’s easy to forget that the leather itself comes in a whole variety of styles and, more importantly, standards. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular choices for a leather sofa:   Dillon 2 Seater Leather Sofa

Dillon Real Leather 2 Seater Sofa

 

High Protection Leather

  • Pigmented Leather - A top grain leather that's had dye and protection applied to the surface. As a result, this offers protection from marks and stains and evens out surface appearance. Features of Pigmented leather are great durability, very even colour and grain and a soft feel.
 
  • Bi-Cast Leather - A split leather with a thick synthetic layer placed over the leather which is embossed with a look-alike grain. The features of Bi-Cast leather are a stiff texture (more suited to contract settings), consistent grain and easy cleaning.
 

Medium Protection Leather

  • Waxed Leather - The surface of the leather is buffed, then waxed and has a smooth, very shiny appearance with almost no grain which can be wiped clean. Waxed leather will show scratches but can be re-waxed although has a stiffer feel and can be prone to cracking.
 
  • Semi-Aniline - A top grain leather that is pigment dyed and treated with a very light protective treatment. It has some of the features of aniline leather but with a harder feel and increased durability.
 

Low Protection Leather

  • Aniline Leather - A top grain leather dyed with aniline dyes but with no protective treatment applied. Features of aniline leather are that it is very soft and luxurious in feel and will show natural blemishes, scratches and scars found in the hide. Aniline leather also has variation in colour consistency.  People often see Aniline leather as the best in class but it doesn't have the protection that other leathers have.
 
  • Nubuck - a top grain leather which has been treated so the natural fibres produce a velvet-like surface. Soft to the touch it has an almost fabric-like look and feel but has no protection at all from marks or spills.
 
  • Vintage Leather - Leather that has been double-dyed and purposefully buffed in areas to give an aged look. A feature of aged leather is that the uneven surface can be quite forgiving but it has very little ongoing protection.
  Pure White Real Leather Swatch

White Real Leather Swatch

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Real leather

Because leather sofas are so durable, it makes them even easier to care for. Marks and spills from food and drink are easy to remove compared to marks on a fabric sofa. However, stick to our do’s and don'ts of cleaning to make sure you keep your real leather looking its best:     DO use an absorbent cloth or sponge to wipe the affected areas as soon as the spill occurs. Lukewarm water or diluted mild detergent should do the trick! DO be sure to dry your leather furniture after cleaning with a clean, soft cloth rather than leaving your leather furniture to air dry. DO check the label before using any product to check that it’s not too drying on leather. If you’re not sure, spot test an inconspicuous area first! DO invest in a leather maintenance kit. Find one which will look after the leather before, during and after cleaning to make sure your leather furniture lasts for years to come.      BE AWARE that keeping your real leather sofa in direct sunlight can cause some fading and deterioration over time. Sunlight will have the same effect on fabrics so just give it some thought when you consider the placement. BE AWARE that brand new clothes, especially jeans, can mark upholstery. To clean marks left by clothing, use something such as a magic sponge immediately for the best results.   Luxe Leather Sofa in Heather

Luxe 3 Seater Sofa in Heather

 

Give Your Real Leather Furniture Some TLC

Real leather is strong and very durable, however, you still need to give it some TLC to keep it looking its best for longer! With this in mind…
  • Don’t drag your sofa when putting it in position, but rather lift it to manoeuvre it in your space.
  • Sofas can be very heavy, so it’s important to protect your flooring. Many sofas will come with floor protectors but make sure there’s some kind of protection on the feet, especially if you're placing the sofa on wooden or hard flooring.
  • As tempting as it may be, try not to sit on the arms of the sofa. This will not only weaken the structure of the sofa over time, but it will also pull on the upholstery.
  • When cleaning, don’t forget to get in-between all the small nooks and crannies of the sofa cushions. Vacuum regularly to keep your sofa spick and span.
  • Do not use chemical-based cleaners on real leather. Spot clean with warm, soapy water, and invest in a high-quality Leather care kit. 
  • If the cushions on your sofa can be moved, it's a good idea to rotate them regularly, giving them a good shake and plump up.
  • Give your sofa a quick but regular clean to stop marks from building up over time. Just be sure to wring out your cloth thoroughly and dry as soon as you've finished.
  • Everyone has their favourite spot, but it’s best to use your sofa evenly. This will stop some parts becoming more used and worn than others.
  Have we convinced you that a leather sofa is definitely a smart choice for your home? Be sure to let us know in the comments! :)
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