Designing Under Slanted Ceilings

Slanted ceilings have made their way outside of the attic, now in living, dining and bedrooms. Designing under these slopes can be tricky, but there are ways to get around it — and even use them to make the room more elegant and spacious. Here’s how:

1. Light and Airy

Whenever you’re tight on space, adding a coat of white paint to the ceilings and walls can make all the difference. Not only does it add a simple and natural tone, but it’s malleable to design the room to your style. 

 

Photo courtesy of English Blinds

Photo courtesy of Oak Furnitureland

The blank canvas that comes with white walls and ceilings allows for limitless creativity. Create a nautical look for a more relaxed vibe, or add bold colors to make the space stand out. With a white canvas, slanted ceilings can do no harm.

Photo courtesy of Melody Maison

 

2. Lighting the Room

 

Lighting a room can be the most difficult challenge when designing a space under slanted ceilings. Many don’t think they can use any overhead lighting, since the ceiling is on a slope. In reality, however, it isn’t impossible — it’s all a matter of picking the right light fixtures.

 

This is a simple yet elegant style for light fixtures that work perfectly on slanted ceilings. The wires can slightly slightly bend, so that they hang naturally.

 

Another great way to add natural light under slanted ceilings is with skylights. They flood the room with natural light in the daytime and add a unique and stylish look to the space.

 

3. A More Natural Look 

Sometimes, however, it’s better to let the slanted ceilings add a unique design to the room, rather than hide them with an all-white hue. Adding wooden beams can do just the trick. When the ceilings aren’t too low, wooden beams won’t emphasize the height, but add a beautiful finish to the room instead. Light or dark browns for the wooden beams create a beautiful, natural look that goes with any style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Covet Valley

Photo courtesy of Covet Valley

Adding yellow accents to a room can be tricky: while it can transform a dull design to a bright and airy space, anything too harsh can cause the opposite effect. Luckily, there’s a foolproof way to designing a space with the color, and it can be a breath of fresh air whenever you walk into the room.

Photo courtesy of The French Bedroom Co.

Photo courtesy of The French Bedroom Co.

When it comes to bedrooms, it can be difficult to choose the palette. While yellow walls may be too overbearing, yellow anywhere else may not be enough to do the trick. That’s why these two bedrooms have designed their spaces with two main categories: a bright yellow and a neutral color, such as grey, white or brown. They both balance each other out perfectly, with the yellow still adding that pop without being too harsh. The combination of hues adds to the comfortable and stylish decor, creating a space that’ll both brighten you up in the morning and be a calm retreat at the end of the day.

Photo courtesy of DelightFULL

Creating a living room with just a hint of yellow can add the perfect accent. This room that’s almost completely blue has a beautiful addition found with the bright yellow chair. It creates the perfect balance between the colors, creating a space with a unique and alluring charm.

The main trick with designing a room around the color yellow is to pick the right tones. The yellows shouldn’t be too harsh or overbearing, otherwise it will bring an unappealing style to the space. Meanwhile, the main colors of the room should be more neutral yet distinct from the yellow. Clear whites and dark browns and neutral grays play well here. 

Photo courtesy of English Blinds

Photo courtesy of Orchid Furniture

Incorporate fresh plants to add another hint of color without making the space look disorganized or messy, and you’re on your way to creating the perfect space that’ll brighten up your day the moment you walk in.

When designing a child’s bedroom, the typical idea is to create a space with a bright, happy atmosphere. Finding the line between fun and playful to childish and unfashionable can be a thin one. It’s important to keep this space clean and stylish, without making it too modern or uncomfortable. Here are a few ways to find the perfect balance:

Photo courtesy of Noa and Nani

 

1. Storage Space

 

The many toys and games a child has creates the need for just as much storage space to organize it all. To keep the clutter away, choose a bed frame that includes built-in storage underneath. The mess that’s usually found under a child’s bed is now tucked neatly away in drawers, to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.

 

2. A Colorful Canvas

The key to decorating a child’s bedroom is balancing the tones and color schemes, in order to create a happy childlike atmosphere. Look toward colorful pieces to balance out more subtle tones. This way, the space will look warm and inviting while not feeling cluttered and chaotic. A bright, colorful rug like the one below can add a fun, youthful piece to an otherwise modern room. Shelving is also a great way to add color to a child’s room. While not too overbearing in its appearance, the bright color is a modern and stylish way to keep a kid’s room on trend.

Photo courtesy of Go Modern

Photo courtesy of 111 Leroy

Photo courtesy of The Alyn

3. Balance Between Modern and Warm

 Designing a child’s room is also finding a balance between modern and functional while creating a warm and welcoming space. The goal is to avoid scattered and outdated designs. A designer’s trick is to use both warm and colorful tones with function in mind. Deep greens, browns, reds, and blues create a sanctuary that’s both stylish and comfortable. In this bedroom at the Alyn, shown below, a neutral color palette alongside other playful elements to maintain the balance.

 

Photo courtesy of 100 Barclay

Over the past few years, stained glass has gone from a dusty antique item in an old home to modern works of art. With the industry making a comeback into the luxury scene, interior designers are challenging themselves to design a space around the ornate glass. Here are a few different ideas:

Photo courtesy of Bespoke Glass

Photo courtesy of Florence Broadhurst Fabrics

Stained glass can add a pop of color and make your space feel both cozy and modern. The green colors on this partition add a bright finish to the room, making it the centerpiece for all the other furniture to gather around it. While still looking modern, it brings back an old-school style to provide a sense of comfort as well. Nowadays, adding a piece of stained glass to a home brings a unique style unlike any other — one that brings you back in time, while also staying ahead of the times, too.

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, the Blake Hotel adds a unique style to the space by featuring the work of Bespoke Glass, a studio-based business in Brooklyn, New York. The different shades of blue colors and the glimmer of the glass adding a retro look that transports you to a different time in the past, while also staying current and on-trend. The placement of the blue pieces adds an edgy and one-of-a-kind appearance. Not only is it a partition, but it’s a work of art in its own right.

Photo courtesy of Reed McKendree

Photo courtesy of Bespoke Glass

By changing the designs stained glass was normally confined to in the past, studios and interior designers around the globe are beginning to take out the dusty antiques from their storage bins and create works of art instead. With so many different styles and colors, the possibilities are endless.

While dark-colored walls can add a depth to a room, it can sometimes be tricky to style around them. Every dark-colored wall brings a heavy tone with it, and it’s important to know how to design the space so has a balanced tone. While it’s a designer’s challenge, here are different rooms that prove it can be done:

Photo courtesy of Brabbu Design Forces

Photo courtesy of AUDENZA

1. Brighter Colors, Warmer Tones

When designing any room, it’s crucial to look at the colors you’ll be using and make sure they balance each other out. This is especially so for rooms with dark-colored walls. While they add a great tone to the space, too many darker tones can make a room feel cold and uninviting. 

The perfect balance of colors involves a mixture of both darker and lighter colors, such as this bright red chair in front of a dark green backdrop. The chair adds a pop of color, making the dark colored walls feel warm and inviting.

1. Light versus Dark

Balancing the lighter and darker tones can be a challenge, since having too much of one can overwhelm and wash out the other. These baths represent the perfect balance of tones. The darker walls counteract against the polished bathtubs and light fixtures. This not only adds a great balance, but brings a rich and inviting depth of color to the room.

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading

Photo courtesy of Original Style

Photo courtesy of Original Style

3. Allowing Tones to Stand Out

When it comes to dark-colored walls, an immediate response may be to counteract the heavier tones with lighter statement pieces. While this can create a beautiful design, it’s important to allow the rich, dark colors to stand out. In this kitchen, there are minimal pieces that are lighter in color, allowing the walls to be full in color and provide a warm and cozy atmosphere.

With the push for wellness-oriented spaces around the globe, interior designers are looking for different ways to incorporate this rapidly-growing industry to their styles. While including more plants and flowers into the home is known to brighten up the atmosphere, some designers are taking this theme to the next level. Here’s how:

Photo courtesy of Maison Valentina

Photo courtesy of VG New Trend

Photo courtesy of VG New Trend

When it comes to lighting, many chandeliers are starting to incorporate elements of nature to bring a more natural, elegant look. Both of these chandeliers are surrounded by vines and flowers, allowing the natural elements to be woven into the design. While critics may argue that the “unrefined” elements of nature decrease the elegance of the chandelier, these rooms prove them wrong. While remaining luxurious, the chandeliers’ design provide a warmer and more relaxed atmosphere.

Natural elements can also be incorporated into the wallpaper of a room, adding a bold yet comfortable piece to the space. Regardless of the individual’s style, nature-oriented wallpaper can be incorporated.

For a more feminine look, a bold, floral wallpaper does just the trick. The bright colors add a fun and relaxed style, while the natural elements of the flowers freshen up the atmosphere of the room.

Photo courtesy of Wallsauce

Photo courtesy of Wallsauce

If you’re looking for a less feminine wallpaper, however, incorporating nature to the room is certainly still possible. The darker wallpaper in this bathroom, although much less feminine than a floral backdrop, still adds natural elements to give the room a fresh look.

An often underrated way to style a room with is the flooring, which often ends up as a simple hardwood or tile design. While adding neutral tones to floors can allow other statement pieces in a room to pop, sometimes a bold flooring can be just what the space needs.

With that, here are some tips and tricks to designing a room around a bold floor or rug:

Photo courtesy of Lithos Design

Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture

1. Matching Colors

When wanting to design a room with a statement piece, it’s always important to choose the piece that will pop before designing anything else. This way, you’ll know the colors and fabrics involved with the statement piece, and can design around that. In terms of flooring, a bold rug can make or break a room. Choosing the bold rug before anything else can ensure whatever you choose for the rest of the room will complement it.

With this space, the bold rug has two main colors, with gold being its secondary color. Instead of choosing another blue for the chairs, the designer chose to use the rug’s secondary color. This way, the blue rug still adds a pop, rather than being one of pieces with a similar color in the room. By using one of the more minor colors on the floor, there is still a wide variety of hues to have a creative and comfortable style. 

Photo courtesy of RugSociety

Photo courtesy of WOW Design

2. Sleek and Airy

By allowing the bold floor pattern to be the centerpiece of the room, the designer creates a light and airy atmosphere. Instead of cluttering the room with more designs and colors, the simple designs allow for the bold floor to stand out. The minimalist look along with various plants adds a sleek and refined style to the room while also adding just enough color to keep it vibrant.

 

The chevron floor interlocking tile and hardwood floors adds a one-of-a-kind design for the individual to enjoy. With the only other colors in the room being a hint of black and green, the minimalist design keeps the style interesting while also comforting in its simplicity. Keep this design in mind if you’re looking for a minimalist style with an added statement piece.

3. Eclectic Style

Don’t be afraid of flooring that gets colorful and different. When styled correctly, this can be the selling-point of the home. Its uniqueness never fails to impress those who are looking for something different yet clean and airy. 

While this tile may look busy and complicated close up, take a step back and see the beauty it adds to the home. The mid-century modern design adds a flair unlike any other, while also staying sleek and refined.

Photo courtesy of Lithos Design

High ceilings have become a statement piece in homes and apartments across the nation, and buyers have responded. The National Association of Home Builders conducted a survey in which 67 percent of respondents in 2018 said they would be willing to pay more money for ceilings higher than 8 feet on the first floor of their home — and with the percentage steadily increasing over the past few years, it’s clear that high ceilings are a great addition to any home.

With so many different benefits, high ceilings can become the selling-point of the home. Here are some benefits involved with designing a home around high ceilings:

Photo courtesy of 90 Morton

Photo courtesy of THREE MARKS

1. More Space

By adding more vertical space, high ceilings offer a spacious atmosphere for the individual to live in. The additional space adds a grander feel to the room, elevating the standard of luxury homes.

At 277 Fifth Avenue in New York City, the 13.5-foot ceilings provide a sense of grandeur and elegance, bringing an elevated sense of luxury to the residence. The light and airy curtains hanging from the top provide a sleek and stylish addition to the grand floor-to-ceiling windows.

1. Dazzling Views

In apartments and residential homes across the country, high ceilings can allow for even more windows, and therefore add spectacular views. With the potential of higher ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows can provide spectacular views of the landscape before them.

At Summit New York, a private residential building located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the 15-foot ceilings allow for gorgeous views of the Chrysler building with the rest of the city in the background. The sheer height of the ceilings allows for a larger view, adding a dazzling feature to the home.

Photo courtesy of Summit New York

Photo courtesy of DooArchitecture

1. Creative Design

Although high ceilings include great benefits just by themselves, they also have added benefits for interior designers everywhere. Higher ceilings allow interior and architectural designers to get creative with the space they have available to them. Rather than creating a simple, high ceiling, designers have used their creativity to create spectacular pieces that can be the centerpiece of the space.

By using different materials and an eye-catching design, the designers have created a statement piece in the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami, Florida. They not only add a spacious and airy feel to the room, but its design allows for an artistic interpretation of the classic high ceiling.

Photo courtesy of DooArchitecture

1. Wellness-Booster

Adding natural light and creating an uncluttered, airy atmosphere, high ceilings with tall windows can increase the wellness of the individual. And with wellness becoming a hot topic in the industry, high ceilings and tall windows can become the selling-point of the home. By 2017, the wellness industry was worth $4.2 trillion, according to the Global Wellness Institute — a jump of 12.8 percent from 2015. And as the industry’s worth only increases, higher, grander ceilings have the potential to be a decisive element to the home.

Photo courtesy of Turnberry Ocean Club

Photo courtesy of Turnberry Ocean Club

With the last few weeks of summer ahead, now is the perfect time in much of the country to embrace the warm summer days and spend time in the sun. A perfect outdoor dining area can allow you to spend more time with family and friends and soak in the sun at the same time. Here are a few tips to design the area that will best work for you and your home:

Photo courtesy of Chaplins Furniture

Photo courtesy of Go Modern

1. Consider the Colors

 

It’s always important to take into account the colors of the outdoor area. If the outdoor area is more centered around nature, consider more earthy colors that blend right into the background, creating a soft, calm atmosphere. For a bolder style, however, pick a color that contrasts sharply against the background. 

With this area, the lighter pinks and tans behind the dark table and chairs create a beautiful distinction of colors. Whichever your style, make sure to consider various colors in your design process.

2. Working with the Landscape

When working with nature, there are mainly two choices: working with the land or changing the landscape to fit your needs. Keeping the land untouched will allow for a more natural atmosphere, while changing the landscape may be more accessible and practical for an outdoor dining area.

For example, this bench by the pool allows a great lunch or dinner with family and friends. While nature is not emphasized, it creates a sleek, clean design that’s easily accessible to the house and pool, allowing for gathering around the table at any time.

Photo courtesy of Garden Trading

Photo courtesy of Go Modern

Photo courtesy of Lagoon

3. Creating Shade

While the idea of an outdoor dining area underneath the bright sun is important, practicality should always be a factor. With the sun out all day, it may get too hot to stay outside and enjoy the summer air. Remember to provide adequate shading, whether that’s with a tree or a canopy, so you and your guests are able to spend as much time outside as you would like.

This outdoor dining area was built with a roof for this exact purpose. Crafted with natural wood, it forms a calm atmosphere blocking the sun but keeping everyone close to the nature that surrounds them.

4. A Style that Fits You

Whatever the design, make sure that it fits your personality and will be used often for gatherings of family and friends.

Photo courtesy of Lagoon

Wellness may be a hot topic, but not everyone is sure what it means.

Every year one topic seems to dominate real estate. This year it’s wellness. Yet, if you ask designers and architects what comprises wellness in he home you are apt to get a variety of responses ranging from connections to nature to spaces for meditation or yoga to air quality. Some might point to certifications such as Wellness Within Your Walls or the WELL Building Standard or biophilic design. Others say LEED and other green certifications address wellness.

“I think health and wellness is still in the ‘public education’ stage of what it means. All last year you’re hearing it more and more and more. But I still think it’s educating the designer,” and the public, says Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group. Designers often understand the term as it applies to LEED accreditation or to aging in place, but not necessarily the overall concept.

“It might mean one thing to one person and something else to another,” says designer Allie Mann with Case Architects and Remodelers in Washington, D.C., noting that some might be caught up in the movement without fully understanding it.

“I think that this is really being driven by a lot of consumer behavior. When it comes to the builder-developer world, I think our consumers are much more educated. I think they know what they want. They just don’t know how to get there,” says Angela Harris, creative director and principal of TRIO, an award-winning, market-driven, full-service interior design firm in Denver.

“Health and wellness is a new frontier for all of us, says Jacob Atalla, vice president of sustainability for KB Home. KB Home, along with Hanley Wood, KTGY Architects and Delos, a tech and wellness company, created a concept home outside of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada, to illustrate what a home designed with wellness as a core value looks like and how it functions. “It is the home story of the future,” he says.

Even though wellness seems to have suddenly burst onto the housing scene in the last year, the idea of connecting home to health is not new. More than 20 years ago, health issues potentially linked to building materials and toxic conditions such as black mold gained attention, giving rise to the term sick building syndrome. Since then, awareness of the relationship between the built environment and health has been growing. A decade ago, new technologies led to the development of products that either reduced the level of toxic contaminants released into the indoor ecosystem or scrubbed the air of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Other concerns about noise, water and connections with the natural environment were also beginning to surface. At the same time, health and wellness was becoming an important value for consumers worldwide, expanding beyond fitness to include personalized medicine, mind-body connections, spa, wellness tourism and also the built environment.

By 2015, wellness had morphed into a $3.7 trillion industry worldwide, according to the Global Wellness Institute, and climbed an additional 6.4 percent annually to reach $4.2 trillion in 2017. One of the fastest growing sectors in the wellness space is a category called Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate, which includes everything in the built environment that incorporates wellness elements in design, construction, amenities and service. In addition to physical well-being, wellness real estate also addresses social wellness and mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.

The biggest difference between homes designed to promote wellness and homes that address air quality or other environmental factors that impact physical health is that wellness is integral to the design and permeates every aspect of the home from floor plan to amenities. “Overall you are programming the home to be more livable,” says Harris.

Frustrated by the lack of attention to the ways in which indoor environments influence health, Phil Scalia, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, founded the initiative that eventually became Delos, which has been on the forefront of wellness in the built environment for more than 10 years. In 2014, Delos established the WELL Building Standard, which was initially applied to commercial buildings. Over 1,200 projects in 45 countries, across over 250 million square feet of commercial real estate, fall under the WELL umbrella. The WELL standard focuses on seven categories of building performance: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. Additionally, it takes connections between a building and the surroundings into consideration.

During groundbreaking work on EcoManor, the first LEED Gold certified single-family residence in the U.S., designer Jillian Pritchard Cooke discovered that both consumers and design and construction professionals lacked accurate information on how to reduce toxins in the interior environment. That was the inspiration for Wellness Within Your Walls, another wellness certification that offers education on building and designing healthier interior environments. The focus is on materials both for construction and also furnishings and finishes.

Another more recent wellness initiative centers around the principles of biophilic design and the benefits of bringing natural elements into buildings. In 2016, Amanda Sturgeon, a biophilic design expert and CEO of the International Living Future Institute spearheaded the Biophilic Design Initiative. In addition to designers, builders and architects, current proponents include tech companies who have added natural elements to buildings to increase productivity and reduce stress for workers.

This year, it’s fair to say wellness is coming home as attention shifts from commercial to residential applications. The KB ProjeKt Home takes wellness in residential structures to the next level. Not only are established practices regarding connections with the outdoors, indoor toxins and air quality embedded in the design, but a synergy with smart home tech transforms wellness from a passive attribute into one that is active.

“The motivation was to examine how we can make the home healthier and at the same time how do we engage that home in partnering with the occupants, with the people living in it, to enhance their health and wellness or engage them in making the environment they live in better. We know that about 90 percent of our lives are spent indoors, and a lot of that indoor living is in your own home,” Atalla explains. Recent research from Hanley Wood shows that homeowners believe housing is essential or extremely important to good health, and two-thirds say the right housing environment could cut annual medical costs by 40 percent.

Central to the home’s wellness quotient is an innovative smart system, dubbed DARWIN, developed by Delos. This first of its kind, home wellness intelligence network constantly monitors the home environment and interacts with and adjusts systems in the home as needed. A network of sensors built into the walls — there are nine in the ProjeKt Home — constantly tests air quality.

If it detects problems with air quality, containments or chemicals from everyday products, DARWIN directs the climate control systems to bring more fresh air to that room. Water quality is also monitored, and purified water is delivered to every fixture in the home. “You have a wellness intelligence system that is constantly doing things on your behalf to increase your wellbeing,” says Atalla.

The system also monitors the plumbing system and alerts homeowners to leaks. Sleep is an important wellness component and the master bedroom in this home is primed to promote slumber. Special noise-damping drywall ensures quiet. Motorized shades block out exterior light. “Total quietness, total darkness, and circadian rhythms help you sleep,” adds Atalla.

Lighting is another mainstay of wellness formulas, both natural light from large windows and expanses of glass as well as interior lighting keyed to circadian rhythms. DARWIN adjusts lights to match the time of day. But what makes this function more worthwhile is the homeowner can change the lighting to produce a desired effect, which means the lights can create an energizing morning environment even if morning comes at 5 a.m. on a stormy day.

A living garden wall enables the home to grow herbs and microgreens. Turning the home and kitchen into a place to produce healthy food is an emerging area of innovation for kitchens.

Social interaction is another wellness component, and community design increasingly takes social interaction into account with spaces such as walking trails, parks and coffee houses designed to encourage interaction and encounters among residents as part of everyday life.

It might seem like a big jump to add wellness to typical new homes, particularly production homes, but Atalla says the KB ProjeKt Home is an example of what can be done. Additionally, Harris says it’s often an easy tweak to add features such as water filtration in the kitchen and master bath. “That doesn’t cost a whole lot. And again, I think it’s just about livability and how you’re programming your floor plan to be more livable.”

Looking ahead, most research points to continued growth of the wellness economy, with new initiatives approaching wellness from the perspective of design, construction, materials and function. There are now more than 740 wellness real estate and community developments built or in development across 34 countries — a number that grows weekly according to the Global Wellness Institute.

Right now, the $134 billion wellness real estate market is about half the size of the global green building industry and projections call for the pace to continue. “But the wellness market isn’t just growing, it’s extremely dynamic. We believe that the three sectors that represent the core spheres of life will see the strongest future growth — wellness real estate, workplace wellness and wellness tourism — while other sectors will also grow as they support the integration of wellness into all aspects of daily life,” says Ophelia Yeung, senior research fellow, GWI.

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