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Design: Three-d Conceptwerke

1. Choosing the Right Size (Capacity) for the Air Conditioner

To estimate the British Thermal Units (BTU/hr.) (BTU) size, calculate the size of the room by multiplying the length with the width (both in feet) of the room to be cooled. Then, add together the size of rooms are linked together and are to be cooled together by the air conditioner. Multiply that number with 25 BTU. To get the final figure for the BTU needed; reduce the figure by 10% for heavily shaded room and for living rooms which are warm or come with very high ceilings, increase the BTU by 10-20%.

Design: Icon Interior Design

2. Decorate Functionally with Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are designed to be secured to the walls without the need for ugly braces or brackets. Hence, they function both as works of art and functional display units. Incredibly versatile, they inject visual interest to a bland wall while providing more storage or display solution.

Design: DISTINCTidENTITY

3. The Art of Displaying Art

To avoid straining while viewing the artwork, the artwork has to be strategically placed at the eye level. When decorating with paintings, the scale of the artwork in relation to the size of the room and furniture matters. For instance, a large scale painting or a group of paintings hanging above a large and long couch, will look much better than having a small sized artwork.

Design: DISTINCTidENTITY

4. Up the Ante of Living Room Storage with Artsy Cabinet

For more efficient use of limited space, consider using a small mobile storage cabinet instead. It will help greatly in de-cluttering the living room and keep the living room neat and tidy.

Design: PRODUCE

5. TV Viewing Distance Makes a Great Difference

As a general rule of thumb, the distance of the sofa placement away from the TV  is around 1.5 to 2.5 times the size of the diagonal TV screen(with about a 30-degree viewing angle). As an example, having a 40″ TV means that the sofa should be placed approximately 60″ to 100″ away from the screen.

Design: Space Atelier

6. Coffee Table is Not a Must

For tiny apartments, break the rules of traditional furniture arrangements for living rooms, by substituting coffee tables with simple storage ottomans or side cabinets to save precious space.

Design: Make Room

7. Let the Natural Light In

Solar films are specialized window treatments which are especially designed to reduce the effects of the UV from the sun by reducing the heat and improving the energy efficiency. They are very effective in protecting the indoor furnishings against fading and damage from the harmful UV as they keep out the heat.

Design: DISTINCTidENTITY

8. Give your Living Room the Best Sound Treatment

The sound bar is generally the most popular way to upgrade the sound quality from the TV’s standard build-in speakers, as the soundbar is the most affordable option for the homeowners. Nevertheless, hi-tech, wireless and portable speakers are also gaining massive popularity too! This is because they are affordable, compact, mobile and come power packed with many advanced features such as allowing music to stream over the home’s Wi-Fi.

Do you love what you’ve seen? Contact us for a non-obligated consultation now.

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Original post 8 Living Room Renovation Must-Knows for Every Homeowner appeared first on Renonation.sg. Renonation.sg - It's where renovation begins.

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It was the Copenhagen Airbnb apartment that the couple stayed over during their honeymoon four years ago that provided the design inspiration for their 5-room BTO flat in Punggol. Alex and his wife loved that the apartment from their holidays was clean, functional and extremely cosy and stylish. It also featured a modern Scandinavian theme that didn’t overly use wood, which the couple really took to as it didn’t feel too rustic. The look and feel of the space stuck with them so much that it became the overarching theme when they got their first family home with their 3-year-old son years later.

For their renovation, the couple decided to engage designer Ashton Siew from Starry Homestead. “He was sincere, very patient and responsible, and was always quick to respond to our questions and requests via text. That was why we went with him,” says Alex on their decision to go with Ashton after meeting up with a total of seven interior designers.

Before: The living room

Before: The kitchen and the bedrooms.

The colour scheme

The dark blue wall adds a modernity to the space, serving also as a focal point in the living room.

The brief to the designer was to recreate the look of the Danish Airbnb, while also incorporating other ideas that they gleaned from magazines and sites like Pinterest. One of the ideas was to feature different shades of grey to create a modern, moody feel. You see this throughout their apartment, from their living room’s vinyl flooring, which has a concrete screed-like motif, to their furnishings, kitchen cabinets and walls of their master bedroom.

Shades of dark grey are found throughout the home, including the master bedroom.

A little nook was carved out from the built-in wardrobe to serve as a bedside table.

To provide a focal point in the living room, the designer also suggested painting one of the walls a dark colour to juxtapose against the crisp white surfaces. The couple narrowed it down to two colours: dark blue and dark green, but eventually went with the former when they saw how elegant it looked in the 3D renderings.

In contrast with the more sombre tones elsewhere, Alex and his wife wanted a cheery, bright pop of colour for their son’s bedroom in order to create a positive environment for the child to grow up in. They went with yellow and asked the designer to include the hue using colour blocking. This resulted in a graphic statement that is at once visually arresting as it is uplifting.

A bright pop of yellow greets anyone stepping inside the toddler’s bedroom.

Design features and furniture choices

One of the other things that the couple really liked from the Copenhagen apartment was also that it had lots of tasteful furnishings and furniture displayed throughout the home so it didn’t appear too empty. With their own home, they too sought to incorporate various home accessories. One of the most notable is the pair of tropical prints (purchased from Gallery Mori) in the living room, which were framed up on gilded frames, creating a prestigious air in the living space.

Pendant lights were also one of the things the homeowners liked about the Copenhagen apartment, so they included that for their own dining area.

Most of the furniture in the living room also feature a “see-through” quality and come with skinny legs in order to create a light and airy feel throughout the space and to ensure that the darker colours don’t visually weigh down the room.

Because Alex’s wife cooks often, the couple decided to go with sliding glass doors to close off the fumes and grease during a cooking session. Otherwise, the kitchen is left open so that light and air can better circulate throughout the flat. It’s also the default choice whenever they have guests over in order to create a more comfortable environment to mingle.

The kitchen comes with dark grey bottom cabinets and a lighter, sand-coloured hue for the top cabinets. This helps to create the impression of a taller ceiling. The backsplash is made up of the original tiles from HDB. The under-cabinet LEDs help to showcase the textural interest of the tiles.

Sliding glass doors were incorporated so that the cooking space can be closed off to contain the fumes and grease when cooking is taking place.

This wasn’t the only practical feature they considered. In order to create a safer and more child-friendly environment for their son, Alex and his wife made the choice to go with furniture pieces that have softer edges. This allowed the toddler to move about the home freely with his prized ride-on toy car.

Learning journey

With the help of their designer, Alex and his wife made efforts to keep the renovation budget to about $45k. For homeowners about to start their renovation, he suggests setting up a budget tracking spreadsheet to list down estimate costs first. Then put down expenses (appliance purchase, design costs, etc.) as they come in. If there are any savings, you can then opt to spend on accessories or other good-to-haves.

The bathroom continues the modern theme with matte-black fittings against a neutral-coloured scheme.

Besides budgeting, time management and scheduling are also important in a renovation process. While hiring an interior designer can certainly help with that, Alex and his wife found that there were times when schedules conflicted. He advises always letting your interior designer know of the delivery dates and times of your big-ticket items, such as your kitchen appliances.

Finally, the couple also recommends getting your interior designer to do up the carpentry works first before starting on your flooring. This is especially the case if you have a flooring that is highly susceptible to scratches, like vinyl.

The renovation took an estimated two months to complete. And with the completion, the couple now has a home just like the Copenhagen apartment they had such fond memories of. But it’s even better, because it now encompasses people and things they love.

Interior images courtesy of Starry Homestead. ‘Before’ photos by homeowner.

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A countertop, also known as a benchtop or kitchen bench, is the work surface in kitchens where food preparation takes place.  Hence, the countertop is central in the kitchen design since this is where most of the activities took place. Aside from aesthetics, the materials used also affects the functionality of the kitchen due to the different durability and maintainability. Here are 8 interesting facts about the kitchen countertops.

1. Carrara is the most commonly used marble for countertop

Design: Icon Interior Design

Marble is still the most sought after material for kitchen countertops since it adds a touch of elegance and luxury. Aside from white, marble is available in a wide range of colours (ranging from pure white, pink, green, blue, grey to black) and vein patterns! Hence, it is one of the most versatile materials for home interiors. The most commonly used marble comes from Carrara in Italy. The other type of marble, Calacatta, is much more expensive due to its pure white background, dark grey and gold veins. This distinct feature makes Calacatta stand out from other types of marble.

2. Create a bacteria resistant countertop with Laminate

A laminate countertop is made from a thin layer of plastic bonded to a particleboard or medium-density fiberboard (MDF). As plastic is a non-porous material (when sealed), it is bacteria and pathogens resistant. Nevertheless, it is still possible for dirt and bacteria to be trapped over time in cracks and seams. However, due to the vast improvement in technology in recent years, the modern laminate is much more scratch and more heat resistant than ever.

3. Soapstone doesn’t stain and is heatproof

Soapstone is a natural quarried metamorphic stone.  It gives kitchens an antique look due to its darker colour and texture as it oxidizes over time. Soapstone is also an extremely low maintenance work surface since it is stain and heatproof and chemically inert. This means that Soapstone can withstand acidic materials and doesn’t discolour easily. Furthermore, the dents and scratches can also be easily buffed away.

4. Tiles make the worst countertop

Image from bstcountertops.metrocenternews

Although tiles are the second cheapest materials (after laminate) to be used as the countertop material, and that the modern ceramic and porcelain tiles are now available in larger sizes, the grout lines are still easily stained and hard to maintain. Over time, white grout will discolour and become dirty looking. Even though grout sealer helps to make the grout lines easier to maintain, reapplication is still needed a few times a year. Nevertheless, tiles still remain popular choices as a countertop since they are available in a wide range of fanciful and trendy designs.

5. Design an exclusively unique and modern industrial countertop with Concrete

Image from Surecretedesign

Concrete is a very versatile material since it can be fabricated precisely in any shapes and sizes. Furthermore, concrete can easily embed with other materials such as glass fragments, mirrors, seashells and even fibre-optic lights make an unforgettable design statement. However, concrete is very heavy and thus requires structural cabinetry reinforcing before it can be used as a countertop. Furthermore, due to its porous nature, concrete countertop needs to be sealed annually.

6. Thermoformed glass countertop has more style than a fashionista

Image from Thinkglass.com

A 6-inch thick, joint-less, translucent glass countertop with embedded LED lights creates an incredible illusion of floating effect. Also, the thermoformed glass effect also makes it looks more like an impressive art installation than a countertop!

7. Mix It Up; mix and match different countertop materials

Design: Artistroom

The trend of mixing and matching multiple kitchen countertop materials has since gained traction. The contrast in textures and colours results in visual variety is more budget-friendly and can meet the specific kitchen needs too. For instance, low maintenance and highly durable material is installed at the places where the most food preparation work is carried out. As for more expensive materials which are aesthetically pleasing, and yet easily stained and scratched, they can be used for kitchen islands, where light activities are carried out.

8. Get a high tech kitchen countertop for a modern home

Tipic's smart Tuler kitchen for Offmat features sink with motion sensor - YouTube

Technology is invading every aspect of our lives. Now, there is even a high tech countertop, especially designed to make the work in the kitchen smarter, more efficient, and hands-free! Kitchen preparation is now mess-free with the voice and gesture control for common kitchen functions such as turning on and off the tap. There is also an embedded kitchen scale, visible as a ring of light on the countertop, which uses multiple sensors for weighing.

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A clean home can keep allergic reactions at bay. And in order to do so, you want to minimise allergens, the source of allergies, in the home. Whether you’re suffering from allergies, want to prevent them or just looking to keep your home clean and healthy, we have the guide for you.

Where do allergens come from?

To understand how to minimise allergens in the home, we need to know where allergens come from in the first place. Common allergens found in the home come from the excretion of dust mites and other insects, pet dander and mould which sheds spores. Common food allergens include peanuts, eggs or seafood.

Allergens cause allergic reactions in some people, ranging from mild to severe, inducing symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, diarrhoea, vomiting and rashes and hives. Some allergic reactions are even life-threatening. While certain medications can counteract allergic reactions, prevention is always better than cure.

Minimising allergens in the home Living Room

Design: Schemacraft Interiors

Go with curtains over blinds or shades: While curtains are more dust prone, they are easier to clean than blinds or shades. Get curtains made from machine washable materials so you can just throw them into your washer regularly.

Keep floors bare: Carpets and rugs are great for anchoring a space, but if you want to minimise allergens in the home, these should go as they are a magnet for dust mites and spores. If you must, get ones that are low pile and also machine washable. Buy cheap, so you can replace them every once in a while.

Leather over fabric sofa: Leather sofas are less likely to trap dust. Plus, you can just wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Minimise plants: The #jungalow trend may be still ongoing, but it’s time to rethink this one if you want to keep allergens at bay. Indoor plants tend to cause humidity to rise indoors, which is the perfect environment for allergens to grow and multiply.

If you like greenery, consider getting air-purifying ones like peace lilies, golden pathos and dracaena to help clean the air. Wipe down your leaves regularly to get rid of dust and only water when necessary to prevent water from pooling in the soil and pot, which can lead to a rise in humidity as well.

Restrict pets to certain zones: We love our pets, but they are a big source of allergens. Restrict them to certain zones, preferably in areas where they are no upholstery as dander catches on to them very easily. Bathe your pets once a week and clean their bedding regularly to prevent dander build-up.

Humidity levels: Humidity breeds allergens, which is why it’s necessary to keep humidity levels in the home at moderate levels. Novita recommends an ideal range of between 40 to 50%. Get a hygrometer (available at hardware stores or Muji) to monitor humidity levels in the home. Purchase a dehumidifier if your home tends to be on the humid side. Remember to empty or replace your dehumidifier regularly to ensure that it remains effective.

Keep clutter at bay: Minimalists, it’s your time to shine. Limit the amount of decorations and mementos on display as they tend to attract dust. Opt for plenty of closed storage options to keep your clutter out of sight and free from dust.

Dust and vacuum regularly: When dusting and vacuuming, look high and low. Vacuum under furniture—shift them around if you have to, and don’t forget to clean your ceiling fan and your light fixtures as these areas tend to be overlooked. Wear a face mask while cleaning.

Green your cleaning agents: A lot of harsh chemicals are found in today’s cleaning agents, which can trigger allergies if you’re particularly sensitive. If so, switch to green cleaning products. One of our favourites is Bio-Home, which is gentle on the skin and smells really good.

For a cheaper alternative, make your own natural cleaning agents using pantry staples like baking soda, vinegar and lemon. A word of caution though: While natural, these products can be abrasive on certain materials like wood, marble and glass, so read up before you use them.

Bedroom

Design: Design 4 Space

Wash bedding once a week: Wash your linens (in hot water preferably to kill off dust mites) once a week if you’re particularly susceptible to allergens. If not, once every other week is fine. Some beddings are treated with harmful chemicals or other irritants like formaldehyde e.g. anti-wrinkle ones, which cannot be washed out, so avoid those and shop for 100% cotton sheets if you can.

Protect your mattress from dust mites: A tightly woven mattress protector prevents dust mites from settling. Vacuum your mattress every time you change your sheets to remove dust mites.

Clean the filters in your AC: Filters in your air-conditioning, besides keeping the dust out from your unit, also ensures that you get clean air. So wash or vacuum your filters regularly. Plus, clean filters mean your AC unit won’t have to work as hard = lower energy costs.

Get a bed with no gaps at the bottom: A platform bed or a bed that comes with underneath built-in storage will prevent a gap between your bed and flooring, which can accumulate a lot of dust if not vacuumed regularly. Rather than break your back cleaning under the bed, get one that doesn’t have a gap.

Keep stuffed toys out of the bed: Your kids might want to keep stuffed toys on the bed, but keep them out and store them in bins with lids instead. Stuffed toys can breed lots of germs and collect plenty of dust. Alternatively, wash teddy regularly.

Get an air purifier: For allergy sufferers, you might want to consider investing in an air purifier. Get ones that come with a HEPA filter, which is useful for capturing smaller particles in the air. If you’re placing it in the bedroom, make sure it can run quietly so it won’t disturb your sleep.

Shower before bed: Showering before you get into bed helps to minimise allergens that you’ve acquired throughout the day from getting to the bed.

Kitchen

Design: Fuse Concept

Don’t tile your counters: This is especially the case if you tend to cut and chop food directly on the countertop. The grout lines from the tiles can leave plenty of food residue, which might cause bacteria to grow over time. Choose a countertop material that is easier to wipe down instead.

Don’t leave dirty dishes overnight: If you can, wash your dishes immediately after using them rather than leaving them in the sink. Don’t leave them overnight as the food residue can attract pests like cockroaches, which tend to be active at night. Their droppings, saliva and body parts can cause allergies.

Clean under your sink: Most people don’t do this, but it’s important to check under your kitchen sink once in a while to inspect for leaks. Repair leakages immediately and wipe down the under sink area once in a while.

Get an integrated sink: Integrated sinks, as their name suggests, are integrated with the counters so there’s no visible rim between the counter and the sink. This allows residue food to be wiped down to the sink easily during clean-up, preventing waste from being stuck in the joints which is a breeding ground for grime and bacteria. Do note that they tend to cost more than regular sinks though.

Keep your garbage can closed: Get a garbage can with a lid to prevent pests from feeding off on your food waste. Make sure you empty your trash after every cooking session.

Wipe down places where food is stored: In shelves and cupboards where you store food products, make sure you clean them regularly to minimise allergens. Also, clean out your refrigerator frequently by throwing away expired food and cleaning the inner compartments. This ensures your food remains fresh.

Avoid food contamination in food allergies: While food allergens are a whole big topic to explore, the key thing is to avoid cross-contamination. Use different chopping boards for different types of food (have one for cooked foods, raw meat, vegetables and fruits, commonly stained foods like strawberries and beetroot and pungent foods like garlic and onions. Get two sets of certain kitchen tools and appliances if your household has someone who has a serious food allergy. Keep foods labelled and organised so you know which ones contain potential allergens. Place “safe”, allergy-free foods separately from foods that might cause allergies to prevent accidental mix-ups.

If you have young children at home and you have yet to expose them to common food allergens, you might want to keep those foods stored separately with other foods. Also, keep them at the highest shelves where their young hands can’t reach them. Make sure you wipe down everything before eating and after cooking to prevent allergens from sticking around.

Bathroom

Design: Fineline Design

Get an exhaust fan: Because the bathroom is such a humid place, there is a higher tendency for mildew and mould growth. After every bath or shower, keep the area well-ventilated and switch on the exhaust fan. Let it run for at least 30 mins. Any lingering moisture should be wiped down.

Mould-resistant paint: When painting your bathroom ceiling, cover it with mould-resistant paint like this one from Nippon Paint or Dulux. Gush paints also carry a 2-year anti-moulding warranty.

Seal tile grout annually: Seal your grouts regularly—preferably once a year—to make sure they remain waterproof, which helps to reduce the likelihood of mould growth.

Get rid of mould fast: If you spot any mould starting to form, don’t let it fester. Scrub at the affected area with detergent and water and let it dry completely. You can also spritz the area with white distilled vinegar and leave it for an hour before wiping it clean with water and allowing the surface to dry. For a bigger problem, make sure you engage a professional.

Wash your towels: Damp towels are a hotbed of microbial growth, so make sure you air them out after use and change them every two to three days to minimise allergens.

What other ways do you minimise allergens in the home? Share with us in the comments!

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When it comes to kitchen cabinets, forget plain and simple. These gorgeous ones come with fronts featuring all the textural interest—whether visually or tangibly—to keep things interesting in your cooking space.

1. A Case of Rattan

Not only do the rattan insets add a rustic accent to this contemporary kitchen, they also promote air flow and ventilation, perfect for storing pantry staples that don’t need refrigeration.

Design: The Interior Lab

2. The Warmth of Real Wood

The homeowners used recycled wood to construct their own kitchen from scratch. It lends a charming, unfinished quality to the space, which is difficult to recreate from the more polished finishes of laminates.

Design: Aaron Wong

3. Translucent Glass

If you’ve always wanted to see where everything is in your kitchen cabinets, consider going for glass. To hide the clutter and mess, opt for semi-see-through ones. Glass kitchen cabinets are best for uppers as they tend to be more delicate.

Design: Artistroom

4. Shaking Things Up with Shaker Style

Shaker style cabinets are taking over kitchens everywhere. Panels are slightly recessed, creating a textural quality that is subtle and timeless. Their aesthetic versatility and simple, fuss-free design mean they can work with all sorts of interior design style, from contemporary kitchens to the modern farmhouse look.

Design: DB Studio

5. Mirror, Mirror

Small kitchen? Dark kitchen? Consider adding mirror kitchen cabinets! Their reflective quality brightens up a moody ambience and can make a small space seem bigger. Place them in your upper kitchen cabinets to create the impression of a taller cooking space.

Design: Linear Space Concepts

6. The Writing’s on the Wall

Whether it’s to write down the menu for the day or to keep track of what’s in the fridge, chalkboard cabinets can be super useful. The cabinets in this dry kitchen are used for doodling and to add personality to the space. Use magnetic chalkboard paint so that you can also stick notes and reminders.

Design: Z L Construction

7. Industrial Leanings

Chicken wires used to be the purview of chicken coops. Nowadays though, they are seen everywhere from photo frames to sconces to kitchen cabinets. They are great for the rustic, barn house look or an industrial style.

Design: DistinctIdentity

8. Recessed Panelling

Here’s a more ornate style for the modern Victorian or traditional kitchen. Panels are recessed, like the Shaker style, but they feature more grooves and detailing, lending a more ostentatious look. Pair your cabinets with gilded hardware and you’ve got a kitchen that says luxury.

Design: The Scientist

Are you Team Plain or Team Texture? Let us know in the comments!

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Original post 8 Beautifully Textured Kitchen Cabinets that You Will Fall in Love With appeared first on Renonation.sg. Renonation.sg - It's where renovation begins.

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These bedside table alternatives are a lot cooler than conventional ones. Perfect if you’re looking to save space in a limited square footage or just wanting to spruce things up in a boring bedroom.

1. Headboard Open Shelves

Free up some floor estate by incorporating open shelves into your headboard. It’s a great storage solution and the perfect pedestal for bedroom décor.

Design: D5 Studio Image

Design: Kuro +

2. Wardrobe Niche

These custom wardrobes come with niches located at just the right bedside height to double as your bedside table. The design allows you to maximise your wardrobe all the way to the bed without having to sacrifice space for your night-time essentials.

Design: DB Studio

Design: The Local Inn.terior

3. Single Recessed Shelf

We love how streamlined this alternative is. It’s just a single recessed shelf above your bedhead that has enough room to store your knick-knacks while also providing the perfect spot to hide those ugly switches.

Design: Design Neu

Design: The Local Inn.terior

4. Headboard Side Compartments

Built to the sides of your headboard, these compartments are visually unobtrusive while also making it convenient to just roll over and reach out for your bedside table contents.

Design: Lemonfridge Studio

Design: Third Avenue Studio

5. Wall Shelves

Whether custom-made or store-bought, shelves can provide a great alternative for your bedside table. Have them mounted on the wall to free up floor space.

Design: Icon Interior Design

Design: Lekker Design

6. Makeup/Study Table

If you’re incorporating a dedicated vanity or a workstation in your sleeping quarters, consider doubling that as a bedside table so you won’t have so many furniture lying about in the bedroom.

Design: Architology

Design: Couple Abode

7. Chair

From ottomans to bar stools, chairs are a great alternative to the conventional bedside table. Bonus: you can use them for seating too.

Design: Voila

Design: Zenith Arc

8. Platform

If you’re going for a platform bed, there’s really no need to get an extra nightstand. The platform acts as a bedside table since your bed will be low on the ground.

Design: Eightytwo

Design: The Scientist

Will you be going the alternative route for your bedside table? Let us know in the comments!

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Original post 8 Really Interesting Alternatives to the Bedside Table appeared first on Renonation.sg. Renonation.sg - It's where renovation begins.

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A gender-neutral home that doesn’t lean too masculine or feminine allows the couple living together to both feel welcomed and comfortable at home. If you’re trying to figure out how to stop the incessant arguing with your partner perfect the balance between yin and yang in your love nest, here are the tips.

1. Pick a theme that you both like

Decide on an interior design theme together

Design: Voila

Whether it’s a timeless modern design or an effortlessly chic Scandinavian style, it’s important that you decide on an interior design theme that you both love. Some themes can be more feminine (like the cottage style), while other themes can feel more masculine e.g. industrial. So if you’re going with a less gender-neutral theme, avoid going all out on the style. Instead, incorporate small design features that allude to the style.

2. Start with a more masculine foundation

The base of your home should be more masculine. Add feminine touches along the way, through soft furnishings, plants or gentle curves.

Design: Icon Interior Design

As a general guide, masculine designs tend to be more subdued, while feminine styles are visually louder. The former leans towards neutrals and darker hues, usually encompassing clean lines and modern silhouettes. Feminine designs are bright, more colourful, and feature plenty of wavy patterns and textures.

Gilded details and the curved backs of the dining chairs are nods to femininity in this otherwise masculine space.

Design: Icon Interior Design

Starting with a masculine foundation gives you a cleaner and more pared-back backdrop to which you can add to. Go with basic neutrals. A monochromatic scheme is a stylish safe bet, while grey hues will work just as well. Or, you can opt for different shades of the same neutral colour.

3. Think contrasts in a gender-neutral home

The pops of colours juxtapose against the rustic wood and cement screed surfaces in this apartment.

Design: Notion of W

With a neutral backdrop, invite feminine touches by thinking about contrasts. Contrasts, besides being a key component of gender neutral spaces, also make for a more visually interesting home.

The delicate glass globe pendants sit alongside visually sturdier materials like that suar wood dining table.

Design: Fuse Concept

For the many straight, architectural lines in your space, throw in furnishings with curvy edges. Match strong, geometric patterns with organic motifs. Pair manly rough and weathered surfaces like brick, wood and leather with more delicate materials such as glass, lace or velvet. Place visually lighter décor items next to sturdy, heavier accessories. Incorporate a bright colour or two (jewel tones are great for a gender-neutral home since it’s not overly feminine yet still energising) to bring up the neutrals in your space.

Straight black lines in this home contrast against the casualness of the couch and the sensuous curves of the wingback chair.

Design: In-Expat

An ideal ratio is 1:3—for every feminine accent you put in, make sure you contrast it with three masculine pieces because as we’ve said, feminine pieces tend to be more amplified.

4. Incorporate personal spaces

Carve out personal spaces that are exclusively his or hers.

Design: Design 4 Space

While shared spaces can be gender neutral, you might want to consider carving out personal spaces that are exclusively his or hers within your home. These “man caves” and “she sheds” don’t have to take up an entire room if you don’t have the square footage to spare. It can be a little nook by the window or a cosy corner in the study. Let him or her have free design reign in these personal spaces and keep them private and out of sight so that they don’t intrude into your overall design.

Let your partner design his or her personal space. Keep it in a private area so that it won’t intrude on the overall style of the home.

Design: Sujonohun Concept & Design

5. Be mindful and make compromises

A gender-neutral home is as much about aesthetics as it is about function.

Design: Couple Abode

A gender-neutral home isn’t just about aesthetics or colour choice. When planning your home together, consider also function. For instance, that deep-seated couch might look amazing in your living room but if your partner’s legs can’t even reach the floor when they’re seated in it, it probably wouldn’t be very comfortable for them. Another example: matching workstations are cute, but you might want to consider their working styles before going matchy-matchy. He or she might need a bigger or taller desk or none at all!

Be mindful of each other’s daily habits when planning your space.

Design: Fuse Concept

When discussing your plans together, a give-and-take approach will make the entire process a lot smoother. Sure, you like pink. But perhaps consider a more gender-neutral shade like coral or salmon pink or incorporate your favourite bubble-gum hue in a subtler way like in a cushion. Instead of selecting furnishings that are all made from dark, richly-stained wood, consider just an iconic piece.

A dark stained wooden bed frame sits in a light and airy bedroom featuring elegant gilded pieces.

Design: Design 4 Space

Above all, embrace this renovation journey together. There’s nothing like looking back on all this and knowing that your home is not just his or hers, but a space that belongs to the both of you.

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If you’re a fitness enthusiast, setting up a home gym sounds like an excellent idea. You will never have to wait to use the equipment, you get to train any time you want, no upfront payment of exorbitant fees, and surely you will feel more motivated to exercise now that you don’t have to travel to the gym. But how do you ensure that the space doesn’t go to waste when the novelty wears off and all that fancy equipment you just purchased gets resold on Carousell? We speak to three gym and fitness experts to find out how you can set up a home gym that you will actually want to use:

How big a space do you need?

Design: Luxespace

Consider how many people are using the gym at the same time. If it’s just a couple of people, a regular-sized bedroom in a typical HDB flat is sufficient. Malcom, a personal trainer with Personal Trainer Solutions advises setting aside at least a 2.5 metres by 2.5 metres of space.

Roz Alexander, Exercise Scientist and Strength & Conditioning Coach at BeachFit recommends that you also consider if you will be engaging a fitness instructor to work with you in your home gym as that will increase the headcount and gym space you require.

The space you need will also depend on your exercise regime. If you’re planning for different equipment and machines (e.g. a cardio machine and a multi-station gym set-up), Vanan, the founder of EzFit, recommends at least a 300 to 400 square feet space. “Make sure there’s also enough space to walk.”

For homeowners who live in double-storey homes, it’s ideal to have your home gym on the ground level to prevent weights from dropping onto the ceiling of the lower level. If you’re having it on the upper floors, be aware of the maximum imposed load of your apartment or home. For HDB, it’s 150 kg/m2.

What equipment to purchase?

Design: Sujonohun Concept & Design

Overly expensive and fancy machines are generally not recommended by the experts we spoke with. Instead, they advocate a selection of anchor equipment based on your training needs. For the general gym-goer, Roz recommends going for an adjustable bench that incorporates decline and incline features, a selection of dumbbells ranging from 2 kg to 20 kg, a TRX for suspension training and a good quality and a yoga mat and a selection of rubber resistance bands. For cardio exercises, she suggests a good-quality exercise bike that can be wheeled around for more flexibility as well as a good quality treadmill. “Forget cheap, lightweight bikes or treadmills as they usually can’t take higher-intensity use and rust quickly.”

Malcom’s suggestions are for the competitive lifter, strongmen or cardio enthusiast. “A squat rack with a functional training system would be the most ideal as they are able to cover most of the workouts for the individual. A squat rack is useful for compound exercises like deadlift, squats and bench press, whereas a functional training system includes training accessories that can target individual muscle groups.”

Vanan highlights some accessories that are good to have, including a foam roller (to apply pressure on muscles to ease soreness), mats and acupressure balls.

Design: Fineline Design

If you’re setting up a home gym for the first time, it pays to ask a professional to assess what equipment you should go for. If not, consider smaller equipment first and add on only when you have a better idea of what you will need.

What other features should a home gym have?

Design: The Scientist

A mirrored section of the wall is necessary to check form. Consider also equipping your home gym with entertainment systems such as a wall-mounted TV, good speakers and Internet access—not only will they create a more enjoyable time in your gym, they will also keep you motivated and kill time faster.

Go for a home gym that has a bright and airy space, with plenty of big windows. “Natural ventilation and daylight are great for early morning or evening training sessions when the air is cooler,” says Roz.

If you’re not relying on the natural air and light, Vanan recommends going for air-conditioning as well as white artificial lights rather than warm ones to keep you focused and safe.

Avoid including anything that makes you too comfortable, says Malcom. Don’t install a daybed or beanbags for instance that will make you want to lounge and relax rather than work out!

What safety precautions to take?

Design: Fuse Concept

When setting up a home gym, there are a few safety precautions to bear in mind. One of the most important is flooring. Make sure you install a flooring material that is non-slippery and preferably rubberised.

Don’t allow young children to play in the home gym. Keep doors closed and locked when not in use. Roz recommends going for a high door handle to prevent your little ones from entering the room without permission.

Where you place your dumbbells, racks and other heavy equipment matter. Keep them away from breakable materials like glass or mirrored walls.

Finally, make sure your equipment can take the loading of your structural beams as well as your flooring. Do keep suspension systems bolted to a solid wall rather than to a gypsum wall or a door.

How to make sure your home gym gets used?

Design: Design Zage

Avoid buying the wrong equipment. “A multipurpose tower system with cables for all sorts of exercises will often end up being boring very quickly and the equipment sits and gathers dust. Keeping it simple with a bench and dumbbells selection will cover all you need for upper and lower body. A really good quality treadmill or bike is also essential. Saving money on these items don’t pay off and the equipment becomes very unstable very quickly and again sits unused for years,” says Roz.

Get a training regime going. “Set a routine for workout and stick to it. If you start slacking, engage a personal trainer to come over to get you back on your regime,” suggests Vanan.

Add entertainment. “Get in music to keep your adrenaline pumping while you work out!” says Malcom.

Do you love what you’ve seen? Contact us for a non-obligated consultation now.

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Sitting at the top of Ariston’s new line of Andris2 storage water heaters is the premium Andris2 Top.

If you are always waiting to shower because you never know when the hot water in your storage water heater is ready, it is probably a good time to switch to Ariston’s new Andris2 range of storage water heaters. There are three models in the range. Andris2 Top and Andris2 Lux come equipped with a patented Titanium Heating Element (this has a lifetime warranty) to ensure quality heating performance throughout the lifespan of the product. There’s also Andris2 RS, which comes with a copper heating element.

Sitting at the top of the line is Andris2 Top, which is WiFi-enabled. When connected to an app, it gives you total control of the water heater wherever and whenever, so getting water temperatures to reach shower-ready levels just when you need it becomes a cinch.

Control your water heater with an app

See when hot water is ready by controlling your storage water heater via the Aqua Ariston Net app.

Controlling the Andris2 Top is through an app you can download, the Aqua Ariston Net. By connecting your storage water heater with the app, you will get shower-ready notifications sent to your phone whenever hot water is ready, completely taking the guesswork out of when to head to the bathroom. The app also provides information about current water temperatures and when the next available shower timing is. No more rude shocks of cold water hitting your body!

Save energy and money

Besides the convenience of having hot water whenever you need, the smart features in the Andris2 Top also result in energy and cost savings as you now have the ability to turn the water heater on and off. If you’re away from home for long periods of time for instance, you may want to switch the water heater off to reduce water heating costs and energy consumption, and only turning it back on when you’re just about to reach home.

For folks who have a regular routine or if you just like to plan ahead, the app also allows you to set a weekly schedule to only have hot water when necessary so there’s no energy waste. This feature is bolstered by the integrated auto-learning software algorithm, ECO EVO, which learns your shower habits and when you will need hot water.

The app also sends you energy consumption reports in which you can monitor your own usage habits, subconsciously nudging you to save more throughout the week.

Long-lasting water heaters that are also safe and hygienic

The Andris2 range of storage water heaters aren’t just equipped with smart controls, they are also durable, safe and hygienic, which are important features to look out for when shopping for a water heater.

The Andris2 Lux and Andris2 RS are also part of the new series of water heaters by Ariston.

You won’t have to worry about a sudden malfunction as both the Andris2 Top and Andris2 Lux come with an Auto Diagnosis feature which uses a microprocessor to continuously check product parameters for anomalies.

All three models are also integrated with a scalding prevention indicator to prevent accidental burns. And for a greater peace of mind while showering, the AG+ technology within the water heaters gives off antibacterial properties for a more hygienic shower experience.

The Andris2 Top ($459) comes in a 30-litre capacity and will only be available from October 2019. Andris2 Lux and Andris2 RS are available in 15- and 30-litre capacities, and are retailing from $269 in leading electronic stores. For more information, visit www.ariston.com.

Also, stand a chance to win an Ariston Andris2 Lux when you drop by our Meet the Designers event this 8 to 9 June 2019. See here for details and to RSVP. Terms and conditions apply. 

This article is brought to you by Ariston. 

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Original post Control Ariston’s New WiFi-Enabled Storage Water Heater via an App appeared first on Renonation.sg. Renonation.sg - It's where renovation begins.

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