Creating a Budget, and sticking to it: the task of creating a budget can be daunting, but is an absolute must.
Creating a Budget, and sticking to it.
Whether you’re considering a renovation, revamping furniture, or starting from scratch with a new build, the task of creating a budget can be daunting, but is an absolute must. I often advise my clients to take a ‘top-down’ approach, which ultimately means deciding on a dollar figure that you’re comfortable with, and deducting estimated costs from there, to make sure it is realistic.
For example, if I’m looking to undergo a renovation on my main floor to open up my living space including the kitchen, living room, and dining room, along with redoing the powder room, I first need to prioritize the spaces. Once quotes begin to stream in for products, fixtures, appliances, labour, permits, etc., deduct these from the initial budget to ensure you are on track. Once these numbers have come in, add an additional 15-20% - this is your contingency, or, in other terms, your cushion. This contingency absorbs additional fees not included in quotes, such as shipping, delivery, freight, etc., and should leave you with some room in the event of unexpected costs. Many people don’t like to include this percentage as it involves numbers that don’t exist yet, and can seem quite high. Let me assure you, this is necessary, and you will thank yourself later.
Now that you have this number – how is it? If you’ve been able to stay within the initial figure you considered, great! If you are over budget, at least you now have an idea of how much it will cost to complete everything on your wish list. This is why the list of priorities is necessary, so you are able to eliminate areas off your list to stay within budget. I am a firm believer of the saying ‘if you’re going to do it, do it well’ – this applies to so many situations in life, including the design and aesthetic of your home or workspace. Rather then working on all rooms with half the budget/effort/love they require, pick just one or two rooms, and make them amazing.
Sticking to it.
Seems simple once you have followed the top down approach and have all the estimates and figures you require to complete your project, and guess what – it is! Stick to your initial design, and don’t sway in another direction. I have found that some of my clients start adding items and details to their scope of work once deposits are made. There is nothing wrong with wanting more and adding on, but everything adds up in the world of interior design, and you need to make sure you’re keeping tabs on everything you approve. Not doing so, even for the minor add-ons, can creep up on you and result in financial stress. Lifestyles shouldn’t be negatively affected by budgets that you’re in control of – just make sure you stick to your preliminary planning, and enjoy the process – it will be worth it when you’ve created the space that you love and feel joy from.
Alex works as an Interior Designer in Vancouver, Canada, with over 10 years experience. Leading her own design firm, she specialises in residential renovations and new builds. Her passion lies in design forward functionality, as she understands the value of creating spaces that are both esthetically beautiful and custom to every family’s lifestyle.
Credits - Alex Dampsey
OPTIC COLLECTION BY SOFTHOUSE
Softhouse introduces Optic Collection, created by Studio 63, to show the union between Art and Design.
This new Furniture line takes inspiration from Frank Stella’s work and Cinetic Art from the 60’s.
The result is amazing: dynamic effects due to special workmanship of glazing on mirror, inlay on wood essences.
The use of varnishing in contrast with delicate pastel tones makes this collection even more contemporary and unique.
NEWTON COLLECTION BY MAISON VALENTINA
Defying the laws of physics, this futuristic collection represents an outstanding moment of inspiration. The black and golden spheres resemble a cluster of bubbles oating in a soaking bath. It’s the perfect choice to get an intense and beautiful bathroom look!
Our designer Joaquim Paulo says: “The aim of the Newton Collection is to offer you the same comfort and luxury that you are able to feel in other room division, keeping an exclusive and bold design in your luxurious bathroom”.
The purpose of authentic feng shui is to first establish the information required to match people to their homes and workplaces within the time cycles and energy rhythms of nature, as this is how to ensure that people will have happy, healthy, wealthy, and harmonious lives.
Authentic feng shui is an accurate science that is used to encourage health, luck, opportunities and prosperity, and as such has a direct impact on positively transforming the lives of people, and of the spaces they live and work in.
It is important to determine the energies of a building according to its date of construction, location, plot, aspect, and so on, as well as the personal energies of the occupants who live and/or work there, established using their birthdates. The person most affected by the misalignment or imbalance of energy in a home will be the breadwinner, so they must take top priority. The order in which to tackle the issues in the lives of the occupants is health first (health is wealth), followed by relationships (for support) and then finances (if your health and your relationships are good, then fortunes will follow).
Authentic feng shui priorities, timing and energies
The five factors that most impact on the energies in the home include the front door and hall where all the energy enters the building and affects all aspects of the occupants’ lives.
A front door should face a good direction for the occupants, be aligned to a certain compass degree reading, and not be directly aligned to create a taboo situation (such as lined up directly with a back door with nothing between them to slow down or stop the energy passing through too quickly).
By booking an authentic feng shui consultation each year, homeowners can avoid taboos, stimulating misaligned energies that occur according to certain time cycles in different sectors of the home, as well as the potential for issues brought about by energy imbalances. These issues include sleeplessness or waking up exhausted, no focus/concentration and memory problems, accidents and illness, difficulty in relationships and a lack of family harmony, struggles with money and lack of opportunities, career stagnation and no financial security.
The authentic feng shui consultation process
A site visit by a consultant who checks factors such as those mentioned previously, draws up personal energy charts for every member of the household, conducts an analysis of the property using a lo pan compass, works out the static energies chart of the building based on the sectors (as well as the moving energies chart of the building), and then checks for taboos that require correction – layer upon layer of data that requires concentration, accuracy and expert knowledge.
A good practitioner may use many schools of practice. The time it takes to do the job thoroughly will depend on the number of people involved, the size of the building, the analysis of the information and the proposed recommendations and changes, the seriousness of the situation, and whether the occupants are self-employed or running a business. The consultant must also consider the health and nourishment or wellness of, and the inter-re- lationship or oneness with, the building and its occupants, to create balance and harmony between both.
Changes must be carefully proposed as everything has a knock-on, domino-like effect,
so it is important for an authentic feng shui practitioner to impress the need for their client to apply these recommendations in a holistic way for optimum results to be achieved. The outcome is then more effective and measurable. The aim is to help the occupants to leap forward in all aspects of their lives - anything from 20% to as much as 80%. Naturally, the more positive the transformation, the better for everyone involved!
Nina Kati - Irish interior designer and authentic Chinese feng shui expert
I can positively transform you and your family’s personal energies, and improve the health, wealth, harmony and happiness of your whole household. I specialise in providing uniquely tailored feng shui designs and makeovers based on birthdates. This involves decluttering, reorganising, repurposing, restyling and remodelling your home, using mostly what you already have, to create calm, elegant, healing interiors. People trust me completely because they know I know feng shui like no one else. Delivering a positive outcome is at the heart of everything I do.
For further information or to attend her workshops, please contact Nina via:
Credits - Nina Kati Interior Design
DESTIG Magazine - COMELITE ARCHITECTURE - go green and sustainable with eco friendly restaurant design.
Have you ever given thought to the eco friendliness of an establishment?
Eco friendly restaurant design focuses on creating such healthy and safe dining ambiences for consumers, with minimum adverse impact on nature.
The qualities of healthy, hygienic and hearty meals should be reflected in the environment in which the food is being served. Eco friendly restaurant design focuses on creating such ambiences for consumers, with minimum adverse impact on nature. One of the key reasons restaurants are creating greener spaces is to obtain the LEED certificate, which is complex, as a range of criteria needs to be fulfilled. Apart from obtaining a recognized verification, restaurateurs are implementing the economical sustainable growth because of its rewarding nature in terms of promoting the authenticity of a brand image and cost reduction in the long run. The journey of sustainability in restaurant design may not have a definite ending point in fact a steady progression towards each step that is taken.
Optimum Management of Waste
As much of importance is laid on the green infrastructure, a systematic approach that dictates the design curriculum is of vital importance. The vision is to foresee the industrial waste being recycled if not discarded appropriately yet within the reach of the quality of sustainability. Reduction of limited natural resources such as energy and water are important factors within the design management.
Efficient use of energy
Focus on Energy consumption is at the forefront of the hospitality industry, as the usage of energy.
Earn a gold star
Yet, an engaging step towards an energy efficient future is to purchase energy star appliances. Being approved by energy star brings you a step closer on the journey of a sustainable future in comparison with the average kitchen equipment that consumes energy more than it should. Initial cost being high, energy star products are always a smart idea in the long run.
Restaurant energy costs per square foot are significantly higher than in comparable commercial buildings. It is advisable that the users perform a thermostat check on the equipment to make sure it functions to the right temperature as energy star puts it.
Lighting and Electricity usage
Lighting plays a huge role when it comes to light fixtures, signage or other decorative elements in a restaurant. Energy star light fixtures are designed to reduce the energy and the heat that it produces by 75 per cent, which can be easily evaluated by the amount you will end up saving in your pocket. Certain types of lighting such as fluorescent, LED is a better option and it is equally important to confirm these fixtures are being illuminated in appropriate terms.
Last but not least, another smart solution towards sustainable urban restaurant design is to incorporate sensors in areas that need to be illuminated only when it’s occupied (Ex: restrooms, refrigerators). It is yet another approach of energy efficiency that dramatically cuts down the unnecessary cost.
Protection of water
The amount of water that is wasted can add up to millions of gallons. Using energy star appliances or low flow faucets contributes in reducing the water consumption. Using sensors that analyse movement or integrating systems of re using the water are ideal ways of approaching sustainability in today’s world. Living in a polluted world where no one is ever ready to take up the responsibility, encouraging employees to use bikes, buses and car pools is the direction to go. What’s more is the initiative of offering special parking slots for hybrid car owners.
The idea of sustainability within the hospitality industry should be seen as a new dimension
of ensuring quality to the consumer where consumerism delve into the design principles of the particular restaurants. And most importantly remember to stay ahead of the game. EU legislation is on its way and it won’t be long before your business is forced – by law – to meet high environmental standards.
Credits – CAS
I use my vast experience as a yacht designer to create challenging interiors that resonate with the surroundings in a similar way.
A thin line between the interior and the exterior.
Blending the interior with its natural surroundings implies a type of design based on principles that boost implementation of nature in architecture. To put it simply, these interiors are in harmony with the landscape. And it is not just for the aesthetic reasons.
Medical research showed that the appropriate use of nature in interiors reduces stress, improves therapy outcomes and supports pain management. This is exactly why this type of architectural design is being used for healthcare facilities. These benefits are also enhanced if the greenery is introduced in the interior, whether as a green wall or as simple ornaments. Of course, all of the above can be applied to residential interiors as well.
And how do we do that?
Connecting with the environment is fine, but it’s not a simple idea. The best examples of interiors designed in harmony with the landscape are usually seen in yacht design. Since this is a place where I am coming from, I will now share several words of wisdom about environ- ment-friendly interiors. To make them work, a designer has to keep several things in mind. First of all, the use of right materials is crucial. When creating such designs, my team at the Salt & Water design studio relies on materials with a distinctive structure and color. We also make sure we enhance their natural beauty, and make them work with other elements of the interior, furniture and technology equipment.
Another thing we also keep in mind when designing nature-inspired interiors is the room order. Setting a room on the right side of the world is very important, even if it completely takes you off from the original idea. For instance, the right thing to do would be to set a living room in the south and a drawing room (or a home office) in the north. The reason for this is very simple, although it could be a bit challenging for developers in some cases. Yet, how and when the sun enters one room is significant if a client desires a nature-inspired design, because the dynamics of a space basically depend on this solution. In other words, like every architectural design, environ- ment-friendly spaces should use the maximum of their genius loci (or the prevailing spirit of a place).
Nature-inspired interior should be a frame of its surrounding with a clear intent to become a part of it. The identity of such interiors is based on the details and innovative features. The same applies to the exterior, which should be simple and aligned with the general theme. The big glass surfaces are dominant in such design, as they help the interior blend with the environment. When working on these projects, my team usually uses sliding windows and sliding glass doors, which are easy to control and maintain. When opened, these elements provide the illusion of the literal interweaving of nature and the indoor world.
To see how the idea of big glass surfaces works in the completed design, just look at the catamaran apartment my team designed a while ago. This design gained a lot of attention and we are positive a lot of it comes from the fact that not only is this object eco-friendly, it also has a unique connection with nature around. Although this object was designed particularly for water, a number of interested buyers asked us if it is possible to move it on the ground. Naturally, I loved the idea.
Another focal point is the weather conditions of the region. The materials used in creating such projects have to be UV resistant and damp-proof. They should also be covered with at least one layer of suitable sun protection. In the past few years I used my vast experience as a yacht designer to create challenging interiors that resonate with the surroundings in a similar way. Moving these ideas on the ground was no surprise. Since I love designing small naval objects, designing a tiny foldable house ready to fit into any landscape was a logical step forward. The house is mostly made of natural materials, such as wood. Its specific layout provides users with much-needed privacy, relaxation in the natural environment, as well as complete safety. Just like every design should. Only when all the above criteria are met, we can label a design as environment-friendly. This kind of design is the one that directly affects the quality of life.
About the studio:
Salt and Water is a young design team and a winner of several prestigious awards in the field of yacht and aviation design. Among the most significant awards of ours are the Millennium Yacht Design Award – MYDA 2015 for the “Floating Hotel with Catamaran Apartments” project and the International Yacht & Aviation Award 2014 for the best interior design of the private plane “Boeing 787 VIP Dreamliner”.
For the past five years, Salt & Water team has successfully combined the extensive practical knowledge in all mentioned fields to numerous projects. In all their endeavors, they strive to create designs that are highly functional, customized, practical, innovative, daring and stylistically impeccable.
Credits - Salt & Water Studio