Defining Lines

Open plan living.  Open plan offices.  Shared outdoor open spaces. I like where things are going. And even though I’m the type of person who needs a solitary quiet space sometimes, I love the concept of open plan living, particularly at home. All that light and space creates a certain fluidity.

When it comes to furnishing open plan spaces, some challenges arise. I mean, what do you do with the couch? Do you just plonk it in the middle of the room? If you want to make life a little easier for yourself when styling open plan spaces, start thinking about rugs.  They very quickly help you map out an open plan living space and in particular they help define your living and dining areas. Rugs are also a wonderful way to bring in more texture, colour and pattern to your space, so naturally, I’m a big fan.

This week I’ve pulled together some sample looks that work, and found a selection of great rugs for you to muse over.  My general rule of thumb for rugs in living and dining areas is keep all the furniture on the rug (or front legs of furniture on the rug at a minimum). Stick to this and you won’t go too wrong.

Now, here’s the eye candy…

Living Area

01livingroomrug
Image: www.mydomaine.com
02livingroomrug
Image: cargocollective.com
03livingroomrug
Image: sulu-design.blogspot.com
04livingroomrugs
Image: www.suburban-bees.com

Dining Area

01diningroomrugs
Image: www.stylemepretty.com
02diningroomrugs
Image: design-milk.com
03diningroomrugs
Image: www.styleathome.com
04diningroomrugs
Image: oheightohnine.com.au

Rugs can be an expensive purchase. You can very easily end up spending more on a rug than a couch. That said, there are some affordable options out there. Target, Rugs USA and Overstock all offer some great options.  Rugs are also a great thing to snatch up during sales. Bigger really is better when it comes to rugs, so keep those eyes peeled for bargins!

If you are hesitant about getting your first rug, try a neutral or black and white option.  I’m loving black and white rugs at the moment.

01blackandwhite01
Available @ www.overstock.com
01blackandwhite02
Available @ www.rugsusa.com
01blackandwhite03
Available @ www.rugsusa.com

If you’re ready to ramp it up from a neutral but are still treading a little cautiously, go for a rug with muted colours.  Muted colours will blend easily with most colour schemes.

03pastel01
Available @ www.anthropologie.com
03pastel02
Available @ www.overstock.com
03pastel03
Available @ www.westelm.com

However, if you’re feeling more adventurous, go big and bold with colour and pattern. Lots of homes will have couches and chairs in neutral colours, so a colourful rug will really make the area pop. As you’re scrolling below, please take a moment to check out the FABULOUS emerald skin that I found. I have fallen for it and am frantically trying to figure out where I can put it in my apartment. I really don’t think I’ve the space, but never say never…

02colour01
Available @ www.rugsusa.com
02colour02
Available @ www.therugcompany.com
02colour03
Available @ www.luluandgeorgia.com

Happy rug shopping folks!  Remember, bigger is better and don’t be afraid to have fun with colour and pattern. Granted a rug isn’t a stocking filler, but there’s still time to get one on your Santa list!

S&O x

Reflections

There are plenty of design reasons to use mirrors. They make a space feel bigger, they bounce light around, and just like a piece of art they can be used to make a room more visually interesting.

Let’s be honest though, there is one real function when it comes to mirrors. They’re for checking yourself out. I’m talking about that backward glance at your bum as you walk out the door, that knowing look you give yourself when you’re having a great hair day, and that general “hey you” feeling when you catch a glance at yourself as you swagger past a mirror. Listen, if no one else is going to compliment you on a given day, walk past a mirror and give yourself one!

Mirrors are having a moment right now. Large round mirrors in particular. I am loving the shape and size of what’s currently available with retailers. While I’m embracing the round mirror, I’ve always been a fan of large rectangular floor mirrors too.  They make a statement in a room and really do achieve all that light bouncing and opening up of a space.  My living room is long and narrow which has brought its challenges with styling.  I’ve recently used a full length floor mirror to open up the room and it is working a treat.

Mirrors can of course be used anywhere, but I’m inclined to divide them into functional and decorative uses.  Mirrors in bathrooms and bedrooms have a tendency to be functional (which is NOT an excuse to let them look anything less than fabulous!), while mirrors in living rooms and entrance halls have a tendency to be more decorative. Wherever you decide to put them, they all offer an opportunity for you to flatter yourself, so I say go put one in every room.

I’ve rounded up some inspiration for using mirrors in entrance halls, bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms, along with some shopping suggestions this week. Feast your eyes and think about where you can incorporate one into your home.  Then get your swagger ON!

Entrance Halls

01largeentrance
Image : www.mydomaine.com
02largeentrance
Image : www.1stdibs.com
03roundentrance
Image: stilinspiration.elledecoration.se
04entranceround
Image: cocolapinedesign.com

Bedrooms

06largebedroom
Image: www.vtwonen.nl
07largebedroom
Image : www.progressionbydesign.com
08bedroomround
Image : theeverygirl.com
09beroomround
Image : www.christinaloucks.com

Bathrooms

10bathroomlarge
Image : www.decoist.com
11bathroomlarge
Image : www.myhouseidea.com
13bathroomround
Image : sarahshermansamuel.com
12bathroomround
Image : auhaus-arch.com

Living Rooms

14livinglarge
Image : indeeddecor.com (image not currently on website)
15livinglarge
Image : www.erinswift.com
16livinground
Image : www.mydomaine.com
17livinground
Image : sketch42blog.com
mirrors
1. Rejuvenation 2. IKEA 3. Arteriors 4. CB2 5. Lulu & Georgia 6. Lulu & Georgia