Re-design Your Children’s Room With These Tips

When having children there many aspects parents care about, but probably one of the most important is to keep them busy with activities that enhance their growing experience. Children are always active, they like to run, climb and play without stop and there isn’t always a park near in Johannesburg or there isn’t enough time to take them to the park to explore and use some of that energy.

For that, parents can use some of these ideas to design or redesign the room of their children for them to enjoy the time at home.

  • The colours in your children room can influence them in different ways, check this article explaining the effect of colours. But independently of the colours you can chose to decorate the walls in different ways to start getting the interest of your children in different things, like a big map of the world, or the letters of the alphabet, or different animals, their names and how to write it.

 

 

 

  • Another way to reinforce creativity in children, is drawing, for that matter we can make a part of the wall of a children bedroom a chalk board, it can be changed easily over time, and children can draw as much as they want and express themselves as much as they want.

  • You can set a board where children can hang or stick their drawings, pictures with friends, their paintings or anything they feel like, it is very important for children the appreciation of their work and creating an exposition wall of their works can help you achieve this.

 

  • As for children energy, it is possible to create a little circuit using the bed, a hanging net, or hanging a rope from the ceiling, they can climb, swing, check some options below:

 

 

  • Getting your children into reading is probably one of the most important goals parents would like to achieve, creating a reading corner where you can read to your child and where later he or she can seat to read is a way to get them into the amazing habit of reading.

 

  • As parents, you want to teach your children to be neat, to accomplish this you can use a rack with cups for their different types of pens and set a up specific containers with names for their toys, the use of names is very important as they will know where exactly things go and you will create the incentive of neatness and order.

 

  • Be aware when using bunk beds to make sure the second bed is high enough for a parent to sit comfortably on the bottom and the ceiling to be high enough for the child to be able to stand on the bed, as children can feel claustrophobic when the height is too low or they feel uncomfortable when they see their parents cannot sit on the bed comfortably. Bunk beds can be good for space, but you should be careful when choosing them.

With all these tips, we can create a little adventure world for your children in their own room, where they can learn and play.

Leé Goes To Leh And Brings The Windows Back With Her

In 2014 I went in an 8 month trip through India and South East Asia. India was one of my favourites countries, I spend 2 months and a half there, for such a big country this was very short time. The first place I arrived was Leh, it is in the north in the Himalayas and used to be the capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh

There were many aspects I liked about Leh, but for now I will try to focus on the architecture side of it. Leh is a budhist town, therefore there are many monasteries around Leh, most of them centuries old, I will talk about them in a post later.

The first place I went the day I arrived was the Leh Palace.

Leh Palace is a former royal palace overlooking the Ladakhi Himalayan town of Leh. Modelled on the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, the palace was built by King Sengge Namgyal in the 17th century. It is nine storeys high; the upper floors accommodated the royal family, while the lower floors held stables and store rooms” (Wikipedia) Its construction started in 1553 and was finished in the 17th century. The palace was built with stone mud, wood, and sand.

Nine storeys is very high for the time it was built, it is amazing although one of the things that impressed me the most were the windows, not only from the palace but from the houses in Leh and surroundings.

As I observed the windows and doors are a strong feature in the houses of Leh and around, in my investigation I found the windows in the Tibet region are similar, since I understand the strong influence from the Tibetan culture in the area.

The windows are made of wood and  have two principal characteristics: the first one is the mullions design and the second one are the cornices.

Typical House on the Tibet Region – Kreisels Blog 

In this post I will show the first characteristic of these windows: the mullions pattern or design and I will show how we can create a beautiful detail applying them to our homes. Here is a picture of the patern:

Although it looks very dark  inside, it is only the effect of the light, the rooms in the inside looks like this (picture below) consider this was built on the 16th century and it is in process of being restored.

I made a sketch drawing using the same design pattern of this window, but applying it to a longer one to see how can we use it in our homes (the line in the middle is only a shadow line)

This design can work in different position of the house. Because of the pattern in the design it can be used in a space where we do not need much light and to make an space that is otherwise plain quite interesting because of the shadows that will create. An example would be the passages of a house, with the shadows changing all day long from the movement of the sun, a passage will look very different in different hours of the day.

Another way to use this design is as a protector screen, either for security or to reduce the sun. Or as a screen to separate different spaces. Below you can see a basic render showing the design, as a window and as a protector screen, applied to a proposal I did a few weeks ago.

We can use different materials for build up this type of window or screen, in my opinion I see it more in wood or  steel. In our proposal we used wood and this is the final result:

I researched and look for examples where different patterns were use in windows or screens in a similar way to the ones from Leh, here they are:

Architect: Wolveridge Architects

 

Architect: Charlie Barnett Associates

How to Change the Look of your House with Flowers

“Flower Power”

The influence of flowers in our senses is proven and not only in sight or smell, there are many studies (here and here) demonstrating how flowers positively affect our mood and our psyche.

We are attracted to flowers from earlier than we believe, there are studies that show pollen deposits found in burial sites dating back from 100 000 years ago. Historically we are attracted to flowers not only for its colours, smells and shapes but because flowers mark the place where later there will be fruit, so our attraction to them is ingrained in our brain. Even more there are theories that talk about how flowers may have evolved to attract humans in addition to attract insects to help them reproduce.

Aside from the many studies, in architecture, flowers can change the whole look of a house, change the feeling of a business or change how much we enjoy a city.

Below we present you with a few ways we can explore and utilize the famous “flower power” in the level of architecture:

In our house:

  • If you live in an apartment, hanging or putting flower pots is the easiest way to change the look of your house, you can hang them from the balcony or windows.
  • You can use for example bougainvilleas to create a flower roof over your patio or pergola.
  • Another way to use the bougainvilleas is as a natural fence because of its spiky branches it is a good protection instead of a spike wire for example, bougainvilleas can grow very big and you can shape them as you wish, it is always nice to see a wall of pink flowers along the pavement than the usual common wall.
Bizkarreta – Spain

 

In your business:

  • Flowers are welcoming and attract people, putting pot flowers by the entrance or in the terrace of a restaurant will invite people to sit near.
  • Use flowers as a decorative feature, to add contrast to the colours of the walls and to make it more alive, for example a white wall with pots of red flowers or a blue wall with yellow round shaped flowers.
  • Flowers have shown too to improve creativity, therefore adding pot of flowers near your work station can help you relax and make you more productive.

 

On the urban level:

  • There is nothing nicer than a street full of trees and pots with flowers, a kerb with flowers of different colours influence the number of people passing by, which can make a street safer.
  •  We can create beautiful settings with flowers in a park, depending on the type of flowers, they can blossom at different times of the year and change the appearance of the park in radical ways. Flowers attract butterflies, bees and different insects that can get little children out of the house and exploring.
Santa Catalina – Arequipa – Perú

 

 

A story

One of the best experiences I had regarding flowers was during my trip to Spain, in many of the towns I went through, there were many streets full of hanging pots of geraniums. It was incredible how a simple flower could change the whole face of the street, not only that, but in Leon there were towers of flowers, many people stood by to take pictures. Leon seeks to be the “city of the flowers” as per a Spanish newspaper, I think it is a great idea as it increased the tourism which at the same time helps businesses in the city. 

León – Spain

 

Three Aspects to Consider When Designing Your Home

Dark RoomThere are three things you should expect your home to be, functional, beautiful and sustainable. An architect is a listener, he or she will listen to your requirements carefully and will explore how you are and how you live so he or she can deliver the best solution for you. An architect will help you to accomplish this, but there are things that even when you are working with an architect you should be careful about and you should enquire, a few of them are listed below:

The orientation of the house: From the beginning, you should make sure the house is facing north, that the bedrooms and the rooms where you spend the most of your time receive as much sun as possible, this will not only help to have a warm house in winter, but this can affect your economy, as depending on how much sun the room receive you would expend less energy on heating systems. A house facing south will be cold and dark.

Illumination: an architect should work on the position and size of windows in the house. A dark bedroom for example won’t inspire you to get up in the morning, a bathroom without natural light will make you feel colder, a study room without enough light will make you sleepy and you will feel uninspired to work, read or study. Illumination is so important that I will write a whole post on it.

Sustainability: your architect should come up with options like solar heating systems, rain water collection, or a suggestion on different type of glass for windows to avoid heat escape. These ones are only a few examples of the many ways a house can be more sustainable, in recent years there are more and more options to use and explore.

You should expect your architect to come up with these or better solutions, but if he or she doesn’t you are on your right to demand what you think will be better for you, your family and your pocket. An architect is a problem solver too, to design a house is like solving a puzzle, how to combine what you like and need with how the site is, to make it functional, beautiful and with less environmental impact.

A Story

When I was growing up my room in my house was the one everyone wanted to be, my room has this huge window overlooking the city and facing north, it was so warm in winter I never needed a heater, in the morning it was very easy to wake up as just by opening the curtains the sun would shine bright on my face. My sisters room has big and many windows too, but was facing south, it was cold and never got the sun in the morning, she wanted to be in my room most of the time and only in the afternoon when the sun shone on her bedroom she enjoyed to be there.

Welcome!

“Without an adventurous spirit nothing new can ever be born” – Murakami

Welcome to my website and welcome to my notebook, in this part of the web I will write about a variety of topics, the most important architecture, urban design and business but about trips, books and topics that I find interesting too.

My aim is that through these posts you find solutions, recommendations and ideas for your home or for yourself and furthermore you get to know me a little bit better and feel motivated to work with me.

Once again, Welcome and enjoy!