The Urban Loft Decorating Style

What Is ‘Urban Loft’?

Put simply, urban loft is a decorating style that creates the mood and sensation of living in a city. This does not necessarily mean recreating the hustle and bustle, heat and smog of the city, as quite simply this just would not be very nice in your home. The busyness is left behind the front door, as a home can be a tranquil escape form urban realities. However, as you look out of the window, away from the noise, the images that a city can create are wonderful. Whether it is the multi-colour tapestry created by street lamps and car lights at night or the sun reflecting from the harsh concrete buildings creating an intrigue of shapes and tones at daybreak.

As with all interior design, the concept of urban living is subjective and means different things to different people and the images created can vary depending on the city in which you live, but the basic concepts remain constant. This style is about embracing metropolitan life and the energies that are created by the urban surroundings. Originating in re-used spaces, such as old warehouses, offices, shops and even steelworks and mills, it is now common for urban dwellers to imitate this look in their more modern homes, typically apartments or ‘lofts’. Think open plan, techy, stainless steel bachelor pad and you are almost there.

10 tips to help you create the urban loft style in your home:

1. Open Space:

Ironic really as cities are not know for their open spaces, one of the primary principles for creating a loft style space is to embrace open plan living. On the lower level of the home especially, there should be limited solid walls, with rooms being separated by furniture at differing heights, different flooring and wall coverings and even lighting. Each ‘room’ should flow into one, creating the illusion of space and intrigue that draws the eye and makes you want to explore the depth.

2. Height:

Like the skyline of a city, your urban loft home should be multi-layered and the sky is literally your limit. High ceilings create at atmosphere like walking along a street of tall buildings; you are surrounded by furniture but are aware of the empty void imitating the sky above. Skylight windows are not always possible, but of they can be included in your design then they should definitely be considered as they will flood your home with natural light and create an endless ceiling that will add energy to the space as well as making it appear larger than it is. Adding layers to the open plan home helps to ad a city appeal and can easily be achieved by adding a mezzanine floor, or more simply the illusion of a floating floor through slats of a banister. As well as going up you may consider a step down to a seating area or steps up to a bathtub. All of these solutions add strong, angled lines to the city-line of your home.

3. Exposed features:

Wherever possible, using the natural features of the building will create a genuine urban feel. Exposed brick walls, not only bring an eco-friendly appeal, textured and a taste of the outdoors, but they can also add a splash of natural colours from blacks, browns and reds to creams and yellows. Likewise, exposed floors have the same effect, form concrete to wooden floorboards. You will need to treat natural floors to prevent dirt and dust, but try to maintain the natural beauty, using clear or earthy finishes.

In more modern homes and new builds, exposing natural features may not be possible, but the desired effect can still be achieved by leaving ventilation ducts, heating systems and pipes on display, ensuring they are clean and/or covered in urban wear materials such as bright grey metals, stainless steels and so forth.

4. Colours and Shapes:

As well as the colours from the exposed features in your urban space, you need to continue the neutral colour pallet throughout the home. Earthy colours such as browns, blacks, whites, greys and distressed silvers should form the majority base colours, but don’t be afraid to add small splashes of contemporary colour to create a modern, slightly warmer feel. Think graffiti, billboards, and other items that add colour to otherwise fairly dull city streets and create small accents of bright colours through carefully chosen accessories.

As well as the colours, elements from a contemporary design style are also used when considering the shapes in your room. Try to create squared corners and straight lines as much as possible, imitate the blocks of skyscrapers and though furniture and fittings create a clean sleek home that the most modern interior designer would envy.

5. Minimalist Furniture:

As with contemporary design, when furnishing your urban loft, less is most definitely more. Clutter is a big no when trying to create this design style as it softens the image and draws to the attention to particular items rather than the overall room. Although this concept mimics contemporary style, you can still add personality and bring other design statements into your home to create an eclectic mix of urban. After all, cities are not uniform and built in one particular style. Take inspiration from the architecture around you and consider period furniture, art deco and other design eras as well as modern.

Due to the nature of the urban loft design style, it is not unusual to see reclaimed or recycled, eco-friendly furniture in the home. Coasters made from old tobacco tins, chandeliers from glass beer bottles, this all adds to the texture, history and story behind your home. In a similar vain you should choose fabrics made from natural materials such as cotton, wool or even hessian and hemp.

6. Windows:

Natural light is wonderful for creating an urban dwelling, it brings a sense of the outdoors coming inside and is ever changing with the time of day and weather conditions. A sense of nature and a limitless existence is created by natural light, as well as the feeling of wellbeing that it can generate.

Window dressings should be kept to a minimum and if you are not overlooked or trying to sleep in the area, leaving a window completely free form curtains, blinds or coverings would really help with the design style you are trying to achieve, almost like a nakedness, striped back to origins. If window coverings are required then opt for cotton drapes or wooden blinds so as to maintain the environmentally friendly, natural impression.

If possible add a window balcony, so that doors can be left open and some of the city live outside can filter into your home. This also means that you can stand and admire the metropolitan world in which you are part of.

7. Lighting:

Whether you have plenty of natural light or not, the artificial lights used in your home are an important decorative feature as well as producing the desired ambience from the radiating rays. Reflect on the types of lighting used through the city and how they create a warm, raw glow in the evening. From streetlights and car headlights to urban pubs and bars and further to industrial style sheet lighting and movie lamps. There are a huge range of uplighters, free standing and table lamps designed in stainless steel or metallic finishes that create a Hollywood appeal as well as providing a warm and cosy glow.

8. Artwork:

There are so many pictures and impressions that depict urban scenes and it is down to personality to help you find one that works for you. Ranging from the New York skyline through to mod or punk culture, the art in your home is subject to your personal tastes and experiences.

Aside from conventional artwork, try using items from the city itself to cerate your own art. Bottle top art, old street signs and recycled materials make terrific wall art. Think too about sculptures and free standing items such as heavy duty, antique or old fashioned warehouse fans, items that are industrial but make wonderful urban ornaments.

Mirrors can be used as art, as well as their obvious functional value, mirrors now come in an array of frames that can be artwork in their own right. From rolled paper surrounds, to distressed frames, wall mirrors will also help to reflect natural light through your home and assist with the illusion of space and depth.

9. Technology:

Much like the stereotypical bachelor pad, the urban loft style encourages the display and use of gadgets. Representing the cutting edge, forefront of technology that the city can produce, the urban home is a great setting for the display of sleek electronics. Don’t hide them away, unless they are dated and have seen better days, instead embrace new ideas and inventions and let them become a way of life.

10. Bring the outside in:

We have already touched upon bringing your urban surroundings into your home through the use of exposed features, eco-friendly materials, natural light and even artwork all of which create a collective urban space. Couple this with house plants, seedlings and food items on display such as fruit bowls or herbs and you will have the entire package.

The urban loft style of decorating is exciting as it recreates the energies of the city and it needn’t cost a fortune either as recycling, eco-friendly materials and exposed natural features are key. Although not for everyone, this design style can take on different images depending on a persons taste and life experiences and these styles of homes can tell a story about the person who lives there. An eclectic mix of design styles and eras that come together to create a home filled with personality and vibrancy and not only for young urbanites or bachelors either, this design style has not age limits or set requirements.

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4 Uses Of Fiber Optic Cables

If you ask many people, they will tell you that they know fiber optic cables for their use in computers. While they are heavily used in that area, they are also heavily used in other areas including:

Cable television

I know that you can’t get off the couch due to your favorite program. Did you know that you are receiving the signals courtesy of fiber optic cables? Telecommunication companies are now heavily using the cables as they have greater speeds and bandwidth. The cables are also cheaper compared to copper wires.

Telecommunication companies are also heavily using the cables in speeding up communication in telephones. Due to their installation, you are able to connect faster and have clear conversations regardless of where you are calling from.

Medical applications

Fiber optic cables are widely used in medicine and research. In medicine, they are majorly used in intrusive surgical methods where it’s used in reducing the number and sizes of incisions. The cables are also used in biomedical research where they are used in the field of prosthetics where the researchers are working in developing real-feel prosthetics. Researchers are trying to come up with prosthetics that have the ability to send information through the nervous system into the brain.

Automotive industry

Cables are also used in lighting and safety features in automobiles. They are used in lighting both the interior and exterior of the car. They are used in the vehicles since they conserve space and also provide superior lighting than other materials. The cables are also able to transmit signals between the different parts of the vehicle at high speeds. In addition to being used in lighting the vehicles, they are also used in the safety applications of the car including airbags and traction control.

Lighting and decorations

Due to their high speed, fiber optic cables are widely used in lighting decorations and Christmas tree illumination. In addition to lighting the trees, they are also economical and easy to install. The cables are also used in museums where they are used in illuminating and decorating museum artworks.

Conclusion

These are some of the uses of fiber optic cables. When buying them, ensure that you buy them from reputable cable dealers. The way that you install them greatly impacts their working. For ideal results ensure that the cables are installed by a certified and experienced professional. To be on the safe side, work with a technician recommended by the company you buy the cables from.

Happy Everything!

Shortly after my son moved to Medicine Hat and began working in my private practice, he encouraged me to do some downsizing at the office. I will never forget how shocked he was when he found an envelope in one of the boxes. On the front of it, I had written “Mark’s First Haircut”. His response was “It can’t be. You didn’t really save my hair for more than four decades!”

Of course, I had!

Within minutes we had a pile of “treasures” from his youth including notes he had written in a grade five sex education class and miscellaneous forms of artwork. My instructions to him were simple. I said “These things belong to you. I want you to take them home with you and never, ever tell me what you did with them”. (You see, I suspected that perhaps he didn’t value them as much as I had).

Firsts are important and usually have an emotional component. Think about your first bike, your first day of school, your first kiss. Do you remember when you earned your first pay cheque, opened your first bank account or made your first major purchase?

What colour was your first car? What was the name of your first date? And where did you go together?

Firsts are a very important part of life as they take you into new adventures. But firsts also symbolize past, present and future. Having a first means that you leave something behind like your youth, innocence or safety. It means that you have a new experience in the present where you can gain skills and perspectives. It also means that you will gather memories for the future.

Sometimes firsts are wonderful and valued forever. Other firsts can be painful or awkward. All of them, however, help us to grow and learn.

Well, this week is extremely special because it holds so many firsts. Today is a new day in a new month in a new year in a new decade!

What are you going to do with this? Will you take time to think about the past and record what you have seen and done? Are you going to take time today to relax and give thanks for how much you have experienced and the fact that today is the gateway to new beginnings? Perhaps you are thinking about the future and what goals you want to accomplish.

When my children were little, I would always talk with them the day before school saying, “You have a brand-new scribbler with brand new pages so you can write anything you want in it”.

Life is the same. Today just imagine that you have a brand-new scribbler with brand new pages, and you can put whatever you want into it”.

What will you write? How will you live? How will you make a difference in the world?

You choose because these firsts belong to you!

The Many Benefits of Cobblestone Pavers

Improving the outside of your home is as simple as choosing the correct paving. This is why knowing the many benefits of cobblestone pavers can assist you in achieving an aesthetically pleasing outdoor environment.

The outside of your home is just as important as the inside. Making sure that you make design decisions that are not only sensible and within your budget, but that also offer beautiful ideas is essential. Your home is, after all, an extension of your personality. Paving no longer has to be boring and dull. In fact, it has become an integral part of your outdoor design. There are so many different options when it comes to your paver options that you are truly spoiled for choice. One of the most versatile, however, is that of cobblestone pavers.

Cobblestone can offer you ‘old school’ chic. It is, in fact, one of the first pavers that was ever used. Originally, stones were placed down over the muddy streets in an effort to create pathways. Eventually these stones were modified to become cobblestones and, subsequently, it is the oldest form of paving that we still have access to. Nowadays it is far more refined and should be your first choice when choosing a new paver.

So, what are the benefits exactly? Here is what you need to know about cobblestone pavers:

  • Design: these pavers are a dream. There are a vast variety of intricate patterns and designs that you can achieve with cobblestone pavers. You can truly create a piece of artwork for your pathway with very little effort at all. Regardless of whether you need to pave a small or a large area, they are the ideal solution. On top of that, you can give your home that ‘old school’ charm while using completely modern materials
  • Durability: when changing your paving, it is important to choose a paver that can stand the test of time – especially if you are paving your driveway. The stress and strain that the paving will be put under as a result of the weight of cars day in and day out can cause damage if you choose a weaker paver. Cobblestones were designed to be put under immense pressure as they were the only form of paving at one point in time. You will be making a fantastic investment when you choose to install them.
  • Easy to install: in this day and age, we expect results as quickly as possible. This is largely due to the fact that we live very busy lifestyle and, as a result, we do not have time for long processes. Installing your pathway/driveway therefore needs to be achieved as quickly as possible. Luckily cobblestones are easy to install when in the hands of the professionals.

Your home renovation can be done with ease and produce beautiful results when you choose to use these amazing pavers.