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OBM International

In Harmony – It is said that home is where the heart is.  This might be true for most, but in many cases, the home can also be a cause of stress and tension. Especially if it’s disorganized, gloomy and unwelcoming!  Whether you are retrofitting, remodeling or starting from scratch, turning your residence into a peaceful, balanced environment can be one of the healthiest investments you can make – and it all begins with the design.

Before beginning your project, evaluate in which parts of your home you and your family spend the most time.  Also, keep in mind what kinds of activities take place in the rooms you plan on changing and design those into your plans.  Let’s begin with the most popular area in nearly all homes – the living room.

Living in Zen
The living room is usually the first room you see upon entering your home.  So it should convey a sense of arrival, the traditional “welcome home” feeling.  One of the most enduring and popular design trends in new homes is the integration of the dining, kitchen and living areas, often called the Great Room.  That floor plan will make your home less confined and inspire communication with family and friends.

As you plan for turning your living room into a beautiful area for your family, keep in mind the overall environment you want to achieve for your space.  Keep the areas simple and uncluttered.  Put away all those “nick knacks” Aunt Jane gave you over the years and replace with tasteful accessory items.  Seating should be comfortable with practical upholstery covers that will hide soil and sand.  Cotton prints are colorful although do not hold up to normal wear.  Leathers, vinyl’s and heavy upholstery materials are a good choice. Select colors that are soothing on large surfaces and add a splash of color in painting, accessories, toss pillows.  For a great soothing mood, base your color selection on tones found in your natural environment.  These are calming and bring a sense of well being to your home. You can complement the décor of any room with the warm tones of wood furniture i.e. teak, cherry, maple and mahogany.  Other than aluminium and stainless steel, stay clear of metal finishes that will rust and pit in our humid conditions.
Cooking with Ease

For some people cooking is a pleasure; for others, it’s a chore.  Whatever your attitude toward the kitchen, giving this room character and charm can only help your daily mood.  Also, the kitchen is the center of all daily activities and entertaining in most homes, which, in turn, can translate into the place where there is the most traffic.  Keeping the most circulated room in the house comfortable and functional at the same time is not impossible.    

When planning your kitchen and you are the sole chef of the house, a U-shaped configuration keeps work centers within reach, which minimizes steps and eliminates through-traffic. In addition, this shape offers many variations, such as a center island, a bar, or baker’s counter.  The addition of a breakfast counter allows you to communicate with visitors and family without them hampering your work area.  This will also allow you to move freely throughout your kitchen, making the cooking experience more enjoyable and less stressful.  

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When picking colors for your kitchen, don’t forget to take into consideration all the finishes in the space.  This should include floor tiles, counter tops, wall tiles, millwork and appliances.  This will ensure a comfortable and soothing atmosphere in the area that you spend the most time in.
Your Private Spa

Even though bathrooms are usually the most private part of a residence, tucked away from the limelight, these once utilitarian spaces can now become your own private spa.

Details are key when making your bathroom look like a relaxed space where to wind down. For instance, using quality fixtures and furnishings can help transform your bathroom into a personal retreat.  Playing a key role in bath design, manufacturing companies like Kohler and American Standard are in tune with today’s trends.  They create products that are both functional and aesthetic.  Hand-painted sinks and an array of coordinating faucets and showerheads are just a few of the many products available.

Even though details are what give the bathroom its spa feel, be weary of using too many unnecessary elements.  Make sure the ones you do use help you relax.  For example, fresh flowers or scented candles are great items to add for aroma purposes, and it doesn’t hurt that they look great as well. Putting it Together

Making your home a cozy and relaxing place for you and your family to unwind and share with friends does not have to mean embarking on a long and tiresome process, especially if you have the help of a design professional. From the very beginning, they will keep a close eye on your budget and timeline, research the best, most cost-effective materials available and foresee potential problems before they arise. At the end of it all, you will have created an inviting home in which you will have many years of enjoyment.

About OBM:
For seven decades, OBM International has been the premier full-service design-consulting firm in Bermuda and the Caribbean.  Today, with nine multinational offices, projects throughout the world and a diverse team of experts, OBM is a global leader in luxury hotel/resort design development, architecture, master/town planning and interior design, with landmark projects in the Caribbean, the Americas, Europe and the Arabian Peninsula.
T  305.441.8767 :: F  305.441.8242 :: obmi@obmi.com :: www.obmi.com

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