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Perfect Time 4 Design
Creating Perfect Interiors for Perfect Times
Creating Perfect Interiors for Perfect Times

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Moving House

Hello to our new readers and I must start with an apology to our regular readers. Unfortunately it took a little longer than planned to move to our new property and in turn the blog has suffered. My apologies for this.

So here we are.. and I thought it best to start with a bit on Moving.

Moving house is one of the biggest and, is classed, as the most stressful time of our lives. This time can bring a variety of different feelings and therefore it is important that you prepare for every eventuality.
In the 6 months it took us to eventually get into our new home, I have found a variety of things that I think were vital in the move and below are my 3 biggest tips to make this time an easier and less stressful experience for all.

1 - Clear out
Use this as a time to get rid of items in the house, garage or loft that you no longer need. Furniture which you never use or which is outdated, electronic equipment like old TV and radios, and textiles like your old linen or rugs. These items don’t have to go in to the bin. They can be recycled or given to charity shops for a feel good factor or, like my husband and I, you could take the opportunity to sell your things. We sold on Ebay or Gumtree which gave us a start to the 'new house fund'.

2 - Organise
Once you’ve got rid of all the things that have just been taking up room and collecting dust you need to start organising the things you are keeping.
We knew there would be a gap between the old and new houses where we would be renting from family. This meant we needed to look into Storage. There are a range of good self storage companies out there that can hold items from furniture to kitchen equipment, inside or out and from weeks to months. We were lucky though and ended up borrowing a few garages and loft spaces from friends and family. We used local super markets and department stores for boxes..many of them offering a variety of shapes and sizes at no cost (they often have to pay to dispose of packaging so are happy to help – always call ahead first as a courtesy).
The boxes were all labelled and organised into rooms and then stored according to when the items would be needed – For example, we knew we have a shed so items for there were placed at the front of a garage near by. Things like Christmas Cards and Trees were placed in a friends loft which was much further away.

3 – Thinking Ahead
When moving house, it important to think well in advance about your pets and children. They can add to the stress if you leave till the last minute.
If you’re not moving too far and relatively quickly then asking a friend or relative to take care of them during the move is the best option. If money isn’t so much of an issue at this time, then there are cattery's or kennel's available to house cats and dogs, keeping them out of the way and saving them stress. It is very common for cat's and dog's to suffer with stress and often need to be medicated during stressful moves so thinking ahead could even save on hefty vet bills.
Young children especially, can be very detrimental to the difficult and stress-worthy process of packing, moving and unpacking so its vital that they have somewhere they can go for the day or maybe even a few days to give you space to think and work.
If you have older children then the most effective way to help the process, is to get them involved with the packing and unpacking. Giving them the freedom to unpack their own new room will give them something to do and they could even enjoy the experience too.

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Good V Bad (Energy)

Wow..the sun had been amazing the last week or so and I have been taking full advantage of it. But along with the sun has come ice creams,BBQ's , days shopping and many more bad influences. So this week wanted to help make your interior reflect some of the good vibes and energy around us.
Feng Shui is probably the best way of achieving this. Feng Shui is an ancient system of balancing the good and bad. In Chinese philosophy it is believes that the arrangement of things in our surroundings can affect the flow of energy, which can produce either good or bad effects on one's health and wealth. Below we have given you just a few of the great tips we learn from Feng Shui which may help you too.

Lets start by clearing the way that leads to your front door.Don’t leave shoes and items around the front entrance, this will be blocking the flow of good energy before it even enters.

Energy can flow in and straight back out of your home if you have a window or door on the front that mirrors a window or door on the back. You can break this up with furniture, screens or blinds.
Open your windows and curtains on a daily basis to allow sunshine and fresh air to come in. Good energy will not come in your windows if they are always closed. And on the health side - our lungs need that fresh air to stay healthy.

Plants which have thorns or spikes like the cactus is inauspicious, leave it outside your home. Instead of the cactus, use round leafed plants, wind chimes and crystals. All these are auspicious and will bring good energy.

Long and dark corridors can trap bad energy with in your home as well as look unattractive. They prevent the good energy to circulate so find away to brighten these rooms. Mirrors, bright colours and lighting can all help where windows can not be added.

Good energy is attracted to water so placing a fish tank or water feature of some kind in your room is a great idea. A good place to face a fish tank would be looking towards your front door which will invite good energy to come in. Other good places to put an fish tank or feature include: On the south-east side of your home for wealth, south-west for marriage, east for health, west for friends, north for career and north-east for education.

Ideally, for the best flow of energy, the kitchen would be located at the back of your home. And if you cook by open flame, it is best to cook outside the house.Inside your kitchen however, do not place your cooking stove directly in front of the sink, water dispenser, refrigerator or washing machine, it is said that this creates conflicts between household members because the water and fire elements don't mix.

And generally, choose smooth and rounded objects, corners, tables,counters as against sharp, jagged and knife like objects. Rounded things encourage the flow of good energy in a calm circulation.

Feng Shui is all about the balance energy and enhancing the environment. For thousands of years, the Chinese have utilized Feng Shui to enhance harmony, peace and prosperity. We may still benefit from their ancient knowledge of Feng Shui today and maybe balance out some of those bad influence that come hand in hand with the relaxing summer days!

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Garden Party..

Eating Al fresco is one of the things I really can't wait for this summer. As the barbecuing season gets closer we want to take a look at dressing your garden table to the same standard as your lovely new interiors.
What ever your table you can smarten up tatty or neglected garden furniture in a flash with a patterned tablecloth and cushions. For practicality, try to choose oilcloth fabrics which can be easily wiped clean. If your choosing your furniture fresh this year, remember that folding chairs are practical and won't take up much storage space. They can be packed underneath the table or in doors when not in use.
With your furniture in place and some idea of a colour scheme, every table then needs a centre piece but you don't need anything elaborate for your tea party or barbecue. A glass or ceramic jug filled with freshly-picked blooms from your garden will make a lovely centre piece.
Don't get out your china!!Easily stackable and lightweight, acrylic dinnerware is available from most super markets and hardwear store and is ideal for parties and picnics. Choose zingy shades like turquoise and tangerine that will add a tropical, holiday vibe to the setting. Alternatively Union Jack inspired accessories are are everywhere this season. If you're hosting a Diamond Jubilee garden party for example, then why not go all patriotic with a traditional red, white and blue scheme completed with a bunting.
If that seems too much then something I like to do is wrapping left over lengths of ribbon around white napkins to finish with a decorative flower or two placed under the ribbon. Teamed with place mats, coloured drinking glasses and mismatched cutlery your will get a really relaxed and informal feeling.
Terracotta pots filled with herbs will lend a delicate scent to outdoor meals and a freshness to the air which will help your guests feel relaxed and give that summery vibe. Buy decorated pots new, or customize old ones for next to nothing with leftover paint or tester pots to add a real personal touch.
In the evening, as the light goes down, create a magical setting with hanging lanterns in vibrant colours. You can also add a soft glow to the table too with twinkling tea lights in glass holders. If your looking for a more romantic feel then choose tall white tapered candles teamed with crystal glasses and cream roses.

But what ever your theme remember that a wine cooler is a big YES on a warm day, food nets to keep unwanted pests back are a must and preparation is the key.
The more that’s done before, the more time you can be sitting with your guests!!

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Finding Inspiration

When Perfect Time 4 Design's employees are scaling the country searching for something new and current to offer you, we often discover little treasures that inspire and excite our designers.
This, we have learnt, does not always have to be a home décor item. It can be a talent, and this week we discovered the budding photographer blossoming in Dereham, Norfolk.

With a modern website showing how much she really loves the art of photography,Tracey Radford photographs for the fun and personal reward she gets in capturing memories and images, not just of her own but for others too.

The easy to navigate site not only allows you to get a closer look at some of her memorable pieces like the 'Animal Meeting' in the Themed Galley or, my personal favourite, 'Beach Huts' in the beside the sea album; but also allows you to contact her directly to order pieces for yourself or enquire about her wedding and special occasion prices, which we are glad to say are outstanding for the quality and personal touches that you get from the service.

'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication' she told Perfect Time 4 Design. As designers who look at past the clutter and craze of everyday life to the simplicity needed in creating a relaxing and individual room set, we couldn’t be more on the same page with this new talent and here at Perfect Time 4 Design we will be offering a few one off pieces from Tracey's personal collection.
In modern simple frames they will give any room a vibrancy and personality that can only be captured by such a vibrant and personal photographer.
If you have a few minutes with a cup of coffee, or glass of wine, why not take the time to look through the website and let your imagination go. Alternatively keep your eyes on Perfect Time 4 Design for the three individual pieces coming soon.

(Photo pictured in from the personal collection for sale through Perfect Time 4 Design)

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The Magic of White..

The snow is coming in hard outside my window and everything has that magically feel. Most people cosy up in a large duvet about now and think of decorating in slightly warmer colours to take the edge off . Here at Perfect Time 4 design, however,we think if you want to create a room that is really dramatic, with impact, why not do it using the simplicity of an all-white scheme.
If you fancy a beautiful, clean, fresh and airy feel to your interior, regardless of the room, this is a great option to consider. White is an easy color to chose. Chosen automatically when you want a bright, neutral color, as a backdrop to a room, people do not even realise that it is still a colour decision they have made.
Using white as your main colour is a very bold but very rewarding step to take. White sybolisise a lot of things we all strive for in our interiors. Including, airiness,cleanliness, light and space and can symbolis purity, clarity and spirituality making a room relaxing and inviting as well as a healerof souls.
When making your descision remember though, white can also be a difficult color to live with. Like any colour, it has its drawbacks and like any colour, they need to be considerd. Its not just from a practical point of view, the fact that if you have children or pets you will probably be plagued with a never ending rush of spills and stains but white can also be very hard to live with from a psychological and emotional point of view too. It can actually be very over-bearing and hard on the eyes. After a while, pschologically you can crave a little color as visual relief. It can also make a room feel too sparse, stark or cold. With the lack of color can come the lack of warmth.
As always, we would never give up, or expect you to give up on your quest for your perfect interiors and with this you can get some very stunning results. So.. The key thing to remember when using white are to add interest and warmth in ways other than color.
The overall effect you can get will depend very much upon the interior items in the room like furniture and fabrics and of course the style your looking for. You might go for an elegant, old-fashioned style room with antique-painted furniture and sumptuous fabrics. You may want to follow the recent trends and be looking to adopt a Shabby Chic decorating look. Maybe you choose a very airy, floating look with retro modern furniture pieces or to go for the classic white minimalist style. Yes.. white rooms really can be that versitle.
Obviously, we know that white is top of your color list but what is white.. look in any of your local hard-wear stores or online and you will soon see that there are far more than one type of white. We recommend the brightest white you can find.. which due to our current trend use of white as a backdrop, they are normally cheaper than most paints. This will offer a very bright, light and clean feel to the room. More muted whites like cream and grey can be a little easier to live with on the eyes, they just take the edge off the starkness of bright white but you get the same brilliant effects. If you are daunted by the white or think that the rooms too dark, it may be a good idea to mix in some other colors too – an accent wall or some accessories will help make the white easier to live with but still allow a bold statement,drawing your eyes to the dashes of colour.
When I design a white room I like to use a mix of naturals along side the white. It takes the starkness away again adding warmth and yet allows to work purely with white.Wood, wicker or bamboo are great choices and can be used in the flooring, the windows, the accessories and of course in your choice of furniture.
Pattern and texture are the main ways to add interest and depth to these rooms. Taking away from the block of white color. When trying to keep to 'white', patterns in white on white or neutrals is a great choice but adding touches of silver can create great effects. With texture, aim for a nice contrast between the smooth and glossy surfaces of furniture and the deeper fluffy or furry textures like Fluffy cushions, faux fur and shaggy rugs.
White may, at first, seem like the simple choice, but there is lots to think about. Just make sure you have considered every aspect of the design and rememeber.. if need to add colour, it can come in accessoires at a later date. BE BRAVE. The results will certainly be worth it, you can achieve a varied, dramatic and stunning effect, in a variety of styles. GOOD LUCK

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A little lighter and A little brighter

As the excitement of Christmas and New years truly wears off, we start the lull before spring. We all miss the light now and this can be very noticeable in the dark corners of your home. Sun light is not just important for Vitamin D, it has a positive effect on our mood, our out-look and even relationships.

Having sunlight or the appearance of it at this damp and gloomy time of year can make a world of difference to everything around us. So here are some simple ways to make your rooms a little lighter and brighter!

1 - Using Lamps/Light
Where it is impossible to get natural light or it is extremely limited lamps can warm a room and make it feel inviting and bright.
Think about how many lamps you need relative to how big the space is. A light source for every 10 feet is recommended to avoid shadows. Choose your shade types well, too. Lighter-colored, semi-opaque shades will enable more light dispersion. If are using artificial lights, try not to use florescent bulbs. Florescent light, although very bright, has a dulled glow that is quite sharp. At night, use lamps and not the overhead lights. They offer a warm glow, not an overpowering glare.

2 - Window treatment
Maybe the window nearest your space is quite a generous size but dressing it incorrectly with the wrong window treatment can mute the natural light. When choosing a window treatment, you need to find a balance between many factors including security, privacy and aesthetic tastes but also allow for the amount of light it lets in. If you have heavy curtains and are worried about on lookers when they are open, voile's are the modern nets and can still allow light flow. Slats in blinds or opaque and white roman blinds are all great choices too.

3 - Choose light colors
I am often asked to use lighter colours to make a room appear brighter but what people don't realise is that in turn, it also makes the room appear larger. Pale colors reflect light more than darker ones, rather than absorbing it. This creates not only the illusion of more space, but a brighter room just by the reflection being cast upon surfaces within that room. Two great reasons to go for a pale tint or hue of your chosen colour or a neutral like off white or cream (white is OK but a little too transparent at times). Note: Make sure you test your colour's on the actual walls

4 - De-clutter
Keep your arrangements as simple as possible. When arranging the furniture and your general lifestyle items, give everything its place. Ensure that they are easy to reach when required to allow easy return. Make sure the items and arrangement are symmetric for easy viewing. Nothing dampens a mood like clutter.

5 - Placing Furniture
When it comes to where you place your furniture, remember its not just about traffic flow and eye lines, its about the light-flow, too. Your eye is not just drawn to a great piece of furniture or a great view but its going to be drawn to where the light is most reflected and to any dark shadows. You do not have to go as far as minimal to make this work just keep an eye out for it when placing furniture.

6 - Choosing Artwork
Sometimes when light isn't present in a room, the thought of it alone is enough. A piece of art work in bright loud colours can work, or even a depiction of a summer day or the sun itself can make all the difference. In some ways, the appearance of light is enough to get you that welcoming feeling that natural light offers. one of my personal favorites.

7 - Mirrors and Reflection
We touched on reflection earlier but it doesn't have to be reflected by colour. Light can be reflected off a variety of surfaces. Mirrors of course is one of the biggest, effectively placed, they can be a great source of light. But, the effects can just be subtle too and have a fairly substantial effect. There are a variety of reflective materials which can be chosen in soft furnishings, bedding etc. Or flooring, polished wooden flooring or some stones can be great for reflection.

8 - Minimalism
Of course, as I mentioned before, you do not have to go as far as minimalism to get a bright, light room but of course common sense tells us that the less you have in a room, the more light and less shadow there’s going to be! Minimalist designs can making a brighter, and more calming and comfortable atmosphere to live in so with some spaces its truly worth considering.

9 - Bringing the outdoors in
Allowing the outside into the room can give a great feeling of light and space. This can be with pictures and art work like scenes of the country side or of the beach. It can be done with natural items like flowers and driftwood but can also be in your wallpaper and fabric choices. A wallpaper like from Sanderson have that great feeling of summer and reflect light.

10 - Relax
Then of course, as I always say, behind any great interior..there's you. You can be in the darkest room or the lightest one but the truth is.. you are the one who has the greatest effect on your own mood. Relax. Why not try our online Interior Design service. Its affordable and can make the world of difference. Let someone else do all the hard work and you can sit back and relax, enjoying your new lighter space, all tailored to your personal tastes and requirements!!

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Expert Tips on a more Romantic Bedroom..

As we enter February we start thinking of our loved ones. Valentines day approaches and many of us look around our bedroom and realise that things aren't quite as romantic and loving as they could be.
WelI, I am here to give you a few pointers on how to make your room more romantic not just for valentines day but for every day.

The bedroom is the main room in the house. But we are hardly in there, I hear you say. That maybe true of our waking hours but remember you start and end the day in that room. You unwind for the all important sleep that determines our entire waking experience. We all know what a bad nights sleep can do so where you get that sleep can be terrible important.

Like many things in life, romance is triggered by a variety of things all governed by our senses. So here's what we need to tackle: Creating an environment which awakens our senses to romance and luxury, to calmness and sensuality.

1– Remember the importance of colour.
Everyone has their individual tastes but underneath that, each colour has its only unique feeling and represents its own theme. Try subtle pinks with creams for a elegant and light room or red with cream for a more fun and playful romance. Add touches of green and brown through nature. In fresh cut flowers or branches. Pink and red get the pulse going, they are passionate and arousing. Adding Green promises harmony and balance. Green is also the colour of Venus, the goddess of Love.
Use creams and off whites over pure white, they are warmer and play off the light better than pure white.

2– Your normal overhead lights are extremely unflattering.
You want shadows and highlights to enhance romance. We want that soft glow of filtered light like using our tall stemmed candle holders on a fireplace or the flicker of an open flames. Place lamps with ivory shades beside the bed or around the room. They will need to be no more than 60 watts to get the right glow but remember candle light is the most flattering and here you can combined two senses by adding scented candles.

3– Clean Up.
No one feels romantic when they are reminded of the daily chores and commitments. This can also be a cause of sleep depravity. Make sure the floor is clean and empty of toys, paperwork, scattered clothes etc.
The bed should adorn nothing but comfy cushions and layered linens which give a luxurious feel. Put away the electronics (that includes the black hole of a TV screen staring at the bed and the phone which your hoping does not ring)
Don't forget to hide away the washing basket(move into the bathroom) it only reminds you of the work to be done and can leave an undesirable odour.

4– Add romantic touches to the room which help invoke those loving vibes.
Things that can change and be updated. Items from nature are great for romance making a room feel light and open, fresh cut flowers, petals and wood can be sparingly used for a great impact on the scenes. Alternatively pick out items from romantic holidays you have been on together or from anniversary parties etc. Mirrors are another romantic touch adding luxury, they play with the light and can enhance the mood.

5– Warm up.
If you have hard floors like wooden planks or tiles, warm them with a rug, in a thick texture to add luxury and cosiness. Warm textures like shag-pile and fur can add to the sensuality of a room but a simple bed spread of cream linen cotton can be a simple way to make a room or bed feel fresh and inviting. The heavy textures can help acoustics of a room. Light, comfortable music can also enhance the environment.

7– Fresh Smells.
Flowers and scented candles are great for the scent of a room and can give afresh and inviting smell to the environment but be careful when choosing your scent. Stay away from lavender and anything that can over powering, killing the mood. Keep with something fresh and calming.

8– And the last, uncovered scent would be taste.. not really the area we know a lot about, although going on what we know about colours, senses and romance here in the office, we recommend the passionate red of strawberries, the refreshing white of wiped cream and the serenity and luxury of gold in a good bottle of bubbly!!

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LATEST NEWS December 2011 A Bold New Year The essenital looks for 2012 will include bold use of colour and big blocks of colour so get ready for a really bold statement. There is something uplifting and satisifying about using bold colour and really having your say through design and colour. I know that it can sometimes seem daunting to decorate with bold colours and that we have taken our selves into an era of safe beiges and magnolias but decorating and living in the environement around should be exciting and enjoyable. Don't get me wrong you don't have to go silly with colour. Intence shades with balancing tones will be key to 2012's design.

Starting with a neutral back drop (strong greys are in for 2012) you can add a bold statement through accents, either using a feature wall, accessories or in the woodwork. Adding the accent through acceossires will allow them to be easily changed with your mood or seasons. After all, colour is a very personal thing. This would also allow easy updating and refreshing for landlords. Colour reflects your personality, your character and can create emotions and atmospheres when required. You should chose a pallet that's right for you and makes you feel good. Experiment with greys with light values of yellow and blue for a modern,chic look or deep purples and greens with sparkeling accessories for something more romantic and cosy.

The lack of money for going out, in 2011 means that into 2012 people are making more intimate and personal spaces that they are spending more time in. They are using shiny and expensive looking luxury items and highly textured materials to create comforting and personal spaces. Chic design style and themes of comfort will define the interior for 2012. To get away for ehausted use of cushions and flowers for accents why not try some something different like changeable decorations such as wall stickers from which are easily removable, modern and affordable. Pictures or works of art are also great for adding colour and creating atmosphere. For a relaxed scheme, stand pictures against the wall on the floor or a shelf. As well as giving a relaxed informal feel, they to can be changed or moved when required.
Go on, give it a go. Trust me you will soon find the colour scheme thats right for you and find that it was more enjoyable and addictive than you thought. Remember to always try testers of your colours on the wall first. The light and space in each room is different and should be checked with the individual product or colour. You will often find the colour is different from how it looked in the store or on the internet and that it varies and different times. GOOD LUCK and remember, be bold in the new year!!
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