Yorkshire Design Associates

  • YDA receive a 'Best of Houzz 2015' Design Award

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    As an avenue for professionals to showcase their portfolio work as well as a destination for ideas and inspiration for your home, image sharing website Houzz has always been a popular choice for everyone. With this in mind it is a location that we have always championed and a YDA account was created a few years ago to showcase a number of our previous projects and design work. It is a fantastic way to provide inspiration to people looking to create their own interior schemes, as well as sharing knowledge on products or techniques used in the portfolio of design projects they can browse. Visitors and users of the website can create virtual scrapbooks called 'ideabooks' and are encouraged to save images and styles that they like or find inspiring as ideas for their own creativity and home improvement projects. As well as this useful feature they can also comment on any pictures to inquire about where they can purchase a particular product or to ask something like the name of a colour of their favourite paint they've seen. This also leads on to the 'Ask a Pro' area where advice can be given to anyone who needs it by a professional or business within the industry who can pass on their expertise and wisdom, as well as provide a service or assist Houzz visitors with their design projects.

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    As an outlet showcasing the very best high quality images of interiors, construction and styles Houzz has recently been named as the most influential outlet for Architects and Designers in the world. This means that any recognition obtained by site visitors, contributors or Houzz themselves is understandably a prestigious accolade to receive. Our portfolio of images have over the years been very popular, with some of them been added to people's ideabooks over 3,000 times, as well as a regular number of features in online articles written by website contributors and bloggers. Last week we were unexpectedly rewarded with a 'Best of Houzz' award for 2015 due to our profile popularity by site visitors and the Houzz community. Our profile was selected for the Design award as our portfolio includes some of the most popular images of 2014 on the Houzz website, an accolade that we are very proud to have been acknowledged for. BestOfHouzz
    The award allows us to display a 'Best of Houzz' badge on our Houzz profile as well as on our website and gives us a great opportunity to promote our brand further across all our social media accounts. More than that, it shows that our portfolio of work is appreciated not only by our clients but by the Houzz community and the general public, and gives us a chance to be among some great design talent on the most influential Architecture and Design website in the world.
    As our ongoing projects are completed and photographed they will of course be added to our Houzz profile and the variety and range of styles and designs will be greater than ever before. We hope that the appreciation of our Interior Architecture and Design projects continues and that we inspire people to use our style and imagery to help the creations in their homes and design projects. If you would like to view our Houzz profile, please follow the link here: HOUZZ Profile and why not follow us to see our upcoming and ever changing portfolio.

  • YDA launches latest venture for Alexander’s Horseboxes and Lehel UK

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    Creating something new in a thriving marketplace is always a difficult task, whether it is a revolutionary new design or the re-working of a proven formula, getting the combination of components right is the key to success. In order to succeed it takes a vast amount of knowledge of the current market, a proven heritage of quality workmanship and a vision of how to create something revolutionary and unseen.  New products must shake up the current market, make the competition think and make customers feel as if they've found the missing part of their lives, an eye opening realisation of something they feel they must have.

    When YDA were approached by Alexander’s Horseboxes to create their new range of luxury horseboxes and Motorsport transportation it was essential that the formula was right from the very beginning. As a private customer of YDA, the managing director of Alexander’s Horseboxes knew he was coming to the right place. The previous design creations for his home were just the inspiring unique and revolutionary design that he knew was needed for the static and uninspiring interior offerings on the current horsebox marketplace. The brief was simple; to create a luxurious and unique quality horsebox interior for a new range of game changing vehicles. Through their acquisition of Lehel UK, Alexander’s Horseboxes had the knowledge and manufacturing backing from the finest coachbuilders in the world. A family run century old company using traditional construction methods combined with a passion for ingenuity and innovative creations meant that any design would be built to the best standard.

    As relative novices in the world of horses and horseboxes, a crash course initial meeting provided us with the ins and outs of the compact solutions and limitations for the size of the interior. But once the plans had been sent we were in our element. The plan from the outset was always the same; creating an unrivaled eye-opening luxury interior drawing on equine influences yet showcasing the finest quality materials available in today’s market - in effect, to bring a slice of YDA to the world of luxury transportation. The interior had to be decadent and glamorous yet functional and durable, be easy to circulate and include clever touches and ingenious storage solutions. It had to be just enough of clever packaging and providing the essentials for everything a user would need, yet create a game changing mix of sumptuous comfort and inspiring design to present the market with a game changing product.

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    The design direction was rustic yet glamorous, a blend of natural textures and urban influences seamlessly portrayed alongside the finest materials and fabrics of the highest quality and finishes. Subtle suggestions of the equine roots were also vital to ensuring the project remained true to its roots, a luxury twist on the traditional form of horse paraphernalia and influences. A chance to bring to the clients a familiar hint of their trade or hobby, yet packaged in an opulent environment that they could previously only dream of. A real example of the most luxurious home surroundings packaged into a bespoke habitable vehicle like never before.

    Many a layout and configuration came and went before the final positioning was finalised, a clever compilation of slide-out functionality meets ingenious storage solutions and packaging. This enables the vehicle to accommodate up to 6 occupants to sleep in comfort, yet provides them with all the creature comforts that would put most houses to shame. For such a compact area the possibilities were surprising to say the least; air conditioning, sky television, cinema surround sound, central heating, Wi-Fi and games consoles were all neatly tucked away, that’s as well as full cooking facilities including dishwasher, fridge, hob, oven, microwave and even a coffee machine. The list went on; full sized shower, basin, vanity unit, WC, towel rail, robe hooks and storage options made up just the bathroom, in the hallway there was enough wardrobe space to accommodate even an avid fashion fan and there was still enough space in the rear of the truck for 6 horses in full comfort. The concept of a horsebox was beginning to feel more like The Tardis on wheels with so much to offer on the inside.

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    As the horsebox was to be used as an example of the bespoke creations that Alexanders Horseboxes and Lehel could accomplish, it was an opportunity to create something very special when it came to fixtures and finishes. Over 60 square metres of the finest Italian veneers adorned the interior walls with a further 30 metres of complimenting veneer creating the custom kitchen installation. Italian leathers, usually used to adorn the finest exotic supercars, created the custom fluted seating in the lounge, coupled with trims made from faux pony hair on hide and luxury patent leather faux crocodile skin. The same leather, diamond stitched and quilted reminiscent of the most luxurious top marque cars, created the sleeping quarter ceiling above the drivers cab, and above the bathroom/hall area, providing compact yet opulent sleeping areas.

    In the bathroom, the bespoke nature of the project continued with Swarovski crystal drawer handles and Danish designer brassware finished in luxurious black chrome. This teemed with the finest Italian glass mosaic scattered with white gold inlays in the shower area created a haven any user would happily get lost in. Subtle luxurious yet industrial influenced tiled flooring finished a bathroom and shower experience that would put most spas or homes to shame. Although space might be at a premium, we were determined to ensure that only the finest quality materials and products were used to complete the ethos of a ‘game changing’ offering.

    Upon entering the horsebox the user is greeted with a bespoke floor inlay, proudly displaying the manufacturer and immediately presented with a sense of the unique offering within. A subtly lid doorway features the custom leather strap umbrella/walking stick holder, a design thoughtfully created using materials invoking thoughts of saddles and traditional horse finery. The warm lighting continues to focus on the carefully selected detailing of the entrance hallway, with all the storage a show jumper or event rider could ever need. Full height wardrobe compartments with inlayed leather strap pattern vinyl panels continue the equine theme to the bespoke cabinetry upon entry.

    These initial offerings are just the beginning, a chance to give the user an idea of the finishes within and the attention to detail that this game changing product has in store. The list of sumptuous materials and finishes is seemingly endless. No area was overlooked or remains untouched by the luxurious overhaul that the Horsebox has been given. Even the driver’s cabin is reminiscent of a sumptuous luxury car, with quilted and embroidered leather seating and diamond quilted headliner in the finest upholstery.

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    The result is a product that we are very proud of. An area of Interior Design that we never could foresee we would venture into yet has opened up a whole new world of possibility. For the coachbuilders, Lehel, it is a chance to reinvent themselves once again as a market leader and a manufacturer at the very forefront of luxury transportation. For Alexanders Horseboxes, it is a whole new statement for the luxury Horsebox market; a vision of their future and a new platform for their high end customers. For YDA, it is a chance to shake up an untapped market; a chance to show new customers what we are capable of and the design talent we have to offer. We hope the venture is a sign of things to come and just the beginning of not only our collaboration with one of the biggest names in the business, but a chance to expand the YDA brand to different areas of Interiors and Design possibilities.

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  • 5 Top Tips For Summer Home Improvements

    Picture Courtesy of londonbifold.co.uk Picture Courtesy of londonbifold.co.uk

    With the impending promises of a record breaking hot summer, with month long heatwaves and hose pipe bans galore, now that the blue skies have returned and the temperature is on the rise, the key to a successful summer of entertaining is to incorporate your garden to become part of your home. In particular the kitchen, or even the dining room, and the way it flows out into the garden can create your very own oasis in your back garden, with many a barbecue and dinner party taking full advantage of the approaching summer weather. Whether or not entertaining means a dinner party, drinks on an evening with friends or a relaxing day with the family, here are our Top 5 tips for creating that perfect entertaining space for your home and garden:

    1) Create the Perfect Platform: Decking is a great way to create that perfect setting for a sophisticated dinner party in the sun or an evening of lounging around with a drink or two. Whether you are lucky enough to have a garden big enough to accommodate a deck fit for a cruise ship, or are better suited with a small couple of square metres, the effect it can create can make a huge difference to your garden. A decked area is the perfect place for a barbecue or outdoor dining area for that alfresco dining experience, or the perfect space to relax with a seating area or on a lounger. If maintenance is one of the drawbacks for you, you might like to know there are alternatives to the traditional wood for decking. Porcelain Wood do a fantastic range of ceramic plank tiles that look near identical to wooden decking, yet without the need to regularly maintain or clean the wood. With their ‘Darwin’ range, it is also slip resistant and available in a range of colours to suit the style of your home.

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    One of the main advantages to decking is that if kept below 300mm in height from the ground level and covers less than 50% of your garden area, it is able to be built without the need for planning permission or a visit from your local officer, and with summer sales in a lot of DIY and outdoor warehouse companies, it is also one of the cheapest ways to transform your home to garden space.
    2) Create an Opening: Altering the rear elevation of your property to incorporate a set of bi-folding doors is the perfect way to bring the garden experience directly into your home. With many existing patio doors or kitchen and dining room windows facing the garden already, a small amount of structural and building work can mean that you can create a stunning feature to your home. The main advantage of creating a bi-folding door area to your home is that the doors can be left wide open, forming an extension to your kitchen and dining experience. Yet if the weather takes a turn for the worse, a quick close of the doors means that the rain is kept out, yet you can still enjoy the views of the garden from the dry safety of your interior.

    Picture Courtesy of woodenwindowcompany.co.uk Picture Courtesy of woodenwindowcompany.co.uk

    The relatively easy transformation and impact in terms of any necessary building work to your property, together with the starting price for a bi-folding door feature means that this option is a fairly simple and cost effective alteration to your home, yet provides a stunning visual impact whatever the weather. As a way of creating an open plan home to garden experience however, it is difficult to create anything better.
    3) Let the Sunshine in: A pitched ceiling in a kitchen or dining room overlooking the garden is a perfect chance to let more light in with a rooflight or two. Many kitchens or dining room extensions are often a single storey structure with a sloping roof that is ideal for the type of conversion to increase the light in your home. A single or double roof light can create the feeling of being outside in the sun without actually leaving the comfort of your home, and create a sense of space and airiness to brighten up your interior.

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    Obviously there are restrictions in terms of the layout or architectural features of your home, but for those lucky enough it provides a fantastic solution to bring the summer into your home. If you are considering an extension in your home incorporating either of these two rooms, it would be very wise to consider the addition of sky lights to your plans. Not only do they provide an increase in the amount of natural light into your home, but also create an opportunity to ventilate during those hot summer days when your homes’ interior can become quite an unpleasant place to be.
    4) A bit of Outside Spring Cleaning: Essentially the warm summer weather means you will inevitably be spending more time in your garden and rightly so. However, it doesn't matter how good you are at entertaining if your garden isn't a nice place to be. Untidy and overgrown gardens mean that visitors and guests, as well as family members, won’t like to spend time enjoying your company in the garden, and it isn't a nice environment to be eating in. Garden tidying can easily be the cheapest out of all the tips to getting your home ready for summer, but it may also be the most important. A bit of elbow grease and a few days of manual labour can make all the difference to making sure that your garden becomes the place to be this summer. A well-kept lawn, a regularly trimmed hedge and foliage, and a quick lick of paint or stain to any furniture or fencing can improve the look of your garden no end and create a fantastic space for entertaining. After all, you wouldn't forget to tidy up or leave unfinished DIY projects on show in your home before inviting guests over, so your garden should follow suit.
    5) Decorate and Accessorise: Simple yet effective decoration and accessories in the garden can create a sophisticated yet aesthetic treat for guests when entertaining, creating just the right mood to make them feel comfortable and want to stay no matter how late into the evening it gets. Small features such as a basic tea light in an empty jar or glass here and there or a small cluster of white tree lights can make all the difference for a relaxed atmosphere and creating the perfect mood in your garden. Evening lighting created by a soft flickering light is always going to be more welcome than a harsh exterior light, or worse, a blinding security floodlight, and make people feel a lot more welcome to stay. Lighting and decorations should be subtle and not in your face, an over use of tree lights and your garden will end up looking like a house at Christmas time, yet too little and people will be struggling to see each other. Always avoid too many mosquito repelling candles too, they may be effective but are often not the nicest smelling, especially when around food and drink. A well accessorised and decorated exterior can create the perfect summer garden experience and make your garden the talk of the summer!

  • Designing from a Distance

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    The key to a successful design as always is communication, not only between the client and the designer, but also the contractors, tradesmen and installation teams doing the work themselves. A large part of the design work is making sure the layout works and that it is exactly what the client needs, especially as they are the ones who are going to be the end user of the space either themselves or by selling or leasing the property to others. Getting a good idea of the client’s brief and requirements for the dwelling or room are essential to making sure that the end result is one that they are happy with and to ensure that it is the most effective use of the space, no matter how good it looks. As often with Interior Design, many customers are left with a beautifully designed room which they struggle to interact and use effectively, when everyday life demands that the functionality is more important than the styling. But how does this translate if the designer is unable to see the property or meet the client?

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    A large part of our Design ethos is that we are accessible to our clients or potential clients, whichever part of the country or even the world they may be. Many people think that as a Harrogate based Design Company, we are restricted to designing and renovating homes in the Yorkshire area, but this couldn't be further than the truth. In order for a good designer to be able to create the home of your dreams, especially in today’s technology filled world, they do not necessarily need to meet you in person or even see the dwelling they are involved in. A number of our clients get in touch from opposite ends of the country, as well as some from mainland Europe or even further afield, meaning that unless it is a necessity there is no crucial advantage to seeing the property in person. Although we are happy to travel to wherever the property or client may be located, much of the design work can be arranged via emails, telephone conversations or via idea books and collage boards on their favourite picture sharing websites.

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    Technology these days has allowed for the integration of Computer Aided Design (CAD) plans as well as sophisticated 3D modelling programs which are great for giving both the designer and the client an idea of how well the space would work according to the proposed layouts and designs they have produced. If the client is able to put you in touch with their architect in order to get a copy of the plans, or even take measurements of the rooms themselves then it is easy to communicate the extents of the rooms in order to create an effective layout without the need to see the property. With smartphones, tablets and digital cameras so readily accessible these days, the information can be sent instantly across any distance giving the designer a feel of the space and the appearance of the existing home. With reliable information, alongside constant conversations with the client, any good designer will be able to create an effective scheme just as well as if they had met them in person or seen the property for themselves. Any measurements or detailing may need to be checked by the client or trades-person on site, but apart from that the process is the same.
    All the pictures on this blog post have been taken from our portfolio and all have one thing in common, we never met the client in person during the design process and never visited the property until either the installation work commenced, or in the case of some of them, are still yet to see the dwelling in person. By liaising closely with the client via email and over the phone and by sending them any plans, inspirational pictures, rendered images, 3D models and necessary samples, the distance and lack of first person contact becomes no longer an issue.
    Next time you are looking for a designer to help you with your design ideas, don’t choose someone just because they are local, and be sure to choose a designer who can offer you everything you need for your project. If necessary they will travel to see you and your property, but if this is unnecessary or impractical, you should be safe in the knowledge that the quality and effectiveness of their work should still be able to create your dream home, whether they get to see the finished scheme in person or not.

  • When only one White is right

    Picture courtesy of Histocolour Picture courtesy of Histocolour

    With so many variations of white available on the market, it seems that the choice is endless. There are bright clinical whites and creamy soft whites, whites with a hint of greens, blues and pinks, and whites that are bordering on light greys. With so much to choose from how do you know which white is for you, and what if you want a neutral white that isn't any of these options.
    At Emente Paint, this is a dilemma that they have spent many years to bring you a solution to the problem. The Belgian manufacturers take their colours very seriously and have done so for over 120 years. They are responsible for decorating the finest homes and prestigious properties across Europe, as well as Royal residences and palaces for noble clients. Their paint is not only highly regarded amongst Interior Architects and Designers, but tradesmen often commend its usability and ease of application, especially when compared to other popular leading premium brands.
    As well as offering outstanding quality and finishes to their paint, the obsession with finishes and quality goes beyond most manufacturer’s requirements.

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    Their eco-friendly credentials mean that no toxic chemicals, solvents or materials are used in the production or manufacture of the paint and any oils used in the paint are linseed oils sourced from renewable sources and all paints are water soluble. Even the tins they are shipped in are made from recycled materials. The pigments and colours used in the range are of the highest quality, with no other manufacturers even coming close to the intensity, vibrancy and, in their dark matt paints, light absorption of the colours they have on offer. Their obsession with the highest quality also means that even the way the paint is applied is seen as an art form in itself. Rollers are of course frowned upon, with a preference for brushes to be used throughout, even for large surface area walls. The quality that the paint offers means that it is owed a textured and three dimensional appearance when applied, achievable only through application by a large flat brush. A brush preferably made from the finest hogs hair and if treated right, will last you a lifetime.

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    Their enthusiasm and passion for colours and finishes means that they have also spend decades searching for that perfect white. A white that isn't too creamy, or stark and offers the right blend of neutral yet comforting tones to adorn your home with. It might sound like an unnecessary and irrelevant search, but when your products are used in the finest homes across Europe, you need to make sure you get it right. They need to provide a soft neutral colour that is effective in not only sitting happily with any style or era of interior, but also one that will work with any other colour that you choose for your home scheme. Their research and development led them to what they consider the ultimate white for your interior, a product called JdM White, or number 11 from their extensive range. This soft white together with their soft black (JdM Black, Number 90) fits perfectly in any colour palette as well as any light or lighting applications.
    The colour is named after Jean de Meulder, regarded by many as the best post war Belgian Interior Architect, and as a nation famed for using natural materials and products and creating sleek forms in their work.

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    His knowledge on form, and the use of colour combinations and style in his work is unsurpassed and provides a great deal of pedigree to Emente's ‘perfect’ white. Available in their complete range of stunning finishes dependent upon their application, the colour is capable of being used in any area of the home and in any degree of light conditions, a triumph for a neutral colour of white or black.
    Emente's attention to detail, responsible manufacture and production of the highest quality products means that they really have provided a solution to those searching for the perfect white. Their esteemed historical background together with a wealth of prestigious portfolio projects means that they are perfectly placed to offer their clients the finest products and colour solutions for their interior architecture and design schemes.
    For the full range of Emente Paint, or to find out any further information Click Here.

  • New Year, New Developments

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    After an exceptionally busy final half to 2013 we've hit the ground running already in 2014 at YDA. Our Design team are fresh from their well deserved fortnight break and straight into the thick of things for the forthcoming year. Projects that were in various stages before the Christmas break are back underway and the fresh from New Year eagerness means the creative juices are really flowing in the Design Studio. A couple of major whole house projects in their early design stages, together with a stunning modern apartment just beginning it's installation and a large national company headquarters already underway are just some of the exciting reasons we're really looking forward to the projects for this year. Being involved from initial concept to completion, and all the various stages in between, mean we can really get to grips with the projects and although it's hard work, the rewards and the feedback we get from our clients mean we wouldn't have it any other way.
    As well as the projects for our clients, our Harrogate Design Studio is already getting a welcome addition for the new year, the long overdue working Kitchen display. Our cabinet makers seemed to be working non-stop since before the summer, with a variety of bespoke kitchens, wardrobes and furniture manufacturing and installations added to the portfolio. Their busy period meant the showroom had to wait, but thankfully we could squeeze a week in at the start of the year to get the kitchen installed.

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    Manufactured by our own cabinet makers and installed by them too, the working kitchen is a showcase of our national award winning bespoke kitchen design and installation service. As well as being a showcase for the Design Studio and our bespoke cabinetry, the kitchen is also fully functional, perfect for our visiting clients and customers to the Design Studio.
    Another evolving aspect to the Design Studio, is our bathroom, bedroom and living area sets. These are intended to show the latest in finishes and products for your home, things to indulge in and hand selected items that will not have been seen on the high street. With purpose built bathroom sets, bespoke cabinetry and wardrobe installations and custom material and upholstery finishes, the showroom really is a place to feed your imagination and expand on your thoughts of what is possible when renovating, styling or re-configuring your home.

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    All this is featured in our unique industrially styled former refectory, filled with the finest products, samples, finishes and products, hand selected from across Europe and the world. The fine examples of furniture and materials uniquely contrasting with exposed industrial ducting and bare concrete beam ceiling and exposed concrete flooring. Our extensive library contains some of the finest manufacturers of fixtures and finishes available on the market today, housed in our accessible out of town premises with plentiful parking.
    Choosing to locate our Design Studio away from the town centre, and combined with our Yorkshire roots, we are able to bring you the finest products available on the Interior Architecture and Design market, yet at affordable and honest prices. We don't have large overheads, expensive rates or crippling leases on town centre premises, we'll leave that to others. What we do have is the finest selection of products and items in the North of England, and a friendly fully qualified Design Team able to assist you and share their knowledge throughout your project and guide you through your design journey. A journey that we're excited to get stuck into in 2014 and beyond.

  • YDA Christmas Celebration: Day 6

    Picture Courtesy of Natural Stone Veneer Picture Courtesy of Natural Stone Veneer

    Christmas is a time for gifts and for sharing, whether or not it is a main focus of the day is always a contention but it is here to stay whether traditionalists like it or not. A large part of the experience these days has a lot of its focus on technology and an abundance of the latest products that are available on the market. Children and adults alike fill their ‘wanted’ lists with the very latest and modern devices and items in order to keep up with the latest trends and fashions.
    House interiors also become accustomed to becoming integrated with the latest technologies in order to make the home a more pleasurable place to be as well as intending to make remedial tasks and functions easier to use for people on a day to day basis. This can be seen abundantly with home integration of lighting and sound systems, as well as including televisions, cinema rooms and even motorised gates and window blinds in order to make everything available at the touch of a button.This ever developing technology is also helping to make products around the home more efficient, better quality during manufacture and also using the latest materials and techniques to produce new ranges of finishes and styles on an ever evolving market.

    Picture courtesy of Natural Stone Veneer Picture courtesy of Natural Stone Veneer

    One area you wouldn’t expect technology to change items around the home is natural stone finishes. Sourced from all over the world and quarried out of the ground by extraction or explosion, the way we use stone in our homes is surely unchangeable and unlikely to be advanced in any way. Most people think that stone is only useable for flooring, wall finishes and the most advanced use it can be sculpted for is surely a bath or bowl basin. New developments in the way stone can be manipulated and manufactured however has changed the way that stone can be sued in applications around the home and the ability of the material to be integrated in ways that seem impossible.
    German manufacturers have created a range of products that use stone in ways never seen before, as a veneer. As this suggests, the stone is cut from a slab yet is sliced very thin, in the same way that wood can be, in order to create a stone veneer. The very small thickness of the stone and the way it is bonded to the fibre glass backing also allow for another unusual characteristic of the material that is not usually associated with stone, it is flexible. This enables the product to be used in applications that have never been seen before when it comes to using stone around the home. The unique flexibility that the stone veneer can achieve, as well as its light weight and ease of application and installation allow for the material to be used in the same way as wood veneers can be used.

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    This means that it can be used in all types of cabinetry and furniture applications, creating unusual finishes for something that is usually a familiar sight in the home. This allows you to impress guests with a stone fronted kitchen, a stone veneered cabinet or even their latest developments which allow the stone to be paper backed and be used as wall paper. The flexibility of the material also means that curved cabinetry or feature kitchen islands can be easily finished in the stone veneer, the limitations and usability of the material is seemingly only governed by your own imagination. What’s more, as the front of the veneer is stone, it offers a much greater degree of waterproofing where other materials would need special treatment or lamination.
    The ability to create stunning furniture, wall finishes or bespoke cabinetry and kitchens mean that the ability to use stone finishes in your home really has taken a step forward. The stone has been given a new lease of life in terms of its ease of application and the range of possibilities due to advances in technology, and means that flooring and tiling are no longer the only areas of a house that can be given the natural solid appearance. Even if it may only be in some ways a trick of the mind and your eyes fooling you given the preconceptions and possibilities previously limited by stone and its traditional roots. As an interior architecture and design group that loves providing people with something different, we are excited at the possibilities that this new product can offer our designs and the flexibility it can bring to our clients.

  • YDA Christmas Celebration: Day 5

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    One of the highlights of Christmas and the festive season is getting the tree out of the loft or going to choose a real tree and making it look its best in your home. The wrapping of tinsel and adornment with baubles and chocolates and not forgetting a fairy or star for the top is a tradition that every family looks forward to at this time of year. One of the key aspects to the imagery is the effective use of lights, whether they are multi-coloured or a simple yet classical white, more traditional fairy lights or advanced fibre optics or modern LED multi-effect lights, the effect they produce finishes off the Christmas aesthetic perfectly.
    Our apparent obsession with lighting is something that can finish off the perfect setting, whether it is for your Christmas decorations or the interior or exterior of your home. A stunning interior scheme is often let down by insufficient or badly planned lighting, failing to highlight the best that your home can look. One area that is often forgotten, when it comes to thoughtful and well planned lighting, is the bathroom and in particular the shower area.
    Clever lighting can make a feature of a wall or tiling finish and often the best place for such finishes is the rear wall of a shower enclosure. Textured walls work particularly well and the finish can easily be highlighted by clever positioning of narrow beam down or up lighters.
    Lighting in the shower area doesn’t only have to be for effect however, it can also be used to enhance your showering experience. Italian manufacturer Bossini are world renowned for their superb craftsmanship and product quality, but also their attention to detail that they provide in their ranges.

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    They offer patented technology when it comes to the valves used within their showers and their ability to fully drain the shower head after use, not only preventing annoying dripping after use but also protecting the showerhead from a build of lime scale or damage due to corrosion. They also have rubber nozzles to the shower head to allow for the same prevention of lime scale build up as well as making the head a lot easier to clean and maintain.
    Clever technical features however, aren’t their main reason for improving the shower experience that they offer. Again, the main reason for their appeal is the integrated lighting that many of their shower heads feature in order to enhance your showering enjoyment.

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    In all their shower heads with integrated lighting, the light is specially designed to illuminate all of the water droplets, from exiting the shower head right down to the floor. A detail that many competitors shower heads cannot match and the visual impact that it produces definitely makes a difference when compared between the two. Their ‘Chromatherapy’ range offers the same lighting technology, yet the colours that they emit change colour through all shades of the rainbow at the touch of a button, to allow you to shower in swathes of multi coloured light not only improving your mood and feeling but allowing for a touch of customising and bespoke experience to your shower.

    Picture courtesy of Bossini Picture courtesy of Bossini

    Available in varying sizes, shapes and styles, they really do cater for all sizes and budgets and the simplistic yet stylish design mean they really do look fantastic in a well designed shower enclosure. As well as the usual wall or ceiling mounted shower heads, the recessed models they offer look stunning and make the shower a far more luxurious place to enjoy rather than an everyday necessity. With models available up to a metre square, they bring new meaning to the terms ‘rainfall’ and ‘deluge’ shower head. But it is the clever use of integrated lighting that really makes the difference to the shower experience, not only fitting to our Christmas Countdown but also to our constant interest in lighting techniques and features around the home.

  • YDA Christmas Celebration: Day 4

    Picture courtesy of Zoffany Picture courtesy of Zoffany

    With the Christmas season firmly upon us, some last minute home preparation is essential for those who are planning to be entertaining this Christmas. Everyone wants their home to look at its best but it is especially important around the festive season. With the chance to meet and be merry with family and loved ones a key factor this time of year, many people make an extra effort around Christmas to ensure their home is at its very best.
    With that in mind the style choices and trends around the home are often influenced by the seasonal colours of winter and the lasting memories of autumnal shades and palettes of colours.

    Picture courtesy of Zoffany Picture courtesy of Zoffany

    This year the focus was definitely on metallic finishes with an abundance of metal and rustic influences being seen on everything from fabrics and upholstery to wallpaper vinyl and wood flooring and cabinetry finishes. Together with the more luxurious darker seasonal colours this meant that the choices available for your home were varied and aplenty.
    Some of the finest wallpapers available were from ever popular manufacturer Zoffany. Their new wallpaper and fabric ranges, although including a hint of the Art Deco influences to coincide with the release of The Great Gatsby, were very much a portrayal of the growing trends for metallic and iridescent finishes.

    YDA portfolio image YDA portfolio image

    This can be seen in their rustic and slightly urban range of wallpaper called Quartz. The Quartz range is a collection of metallic wallpapers in a range of silver, gold and dark purple colours with an impression of a rust edged square tiling or panelling. They are the perfect solution to add style and luxury to your scheme at the same time as introducing the urban influences that have been emerging this year.
    Christmas is always associated with glitzy and shiny colours and surfaces and as such the Quartz wallpaper range is perfect to adorn your home this festive season.

    Picture courtesy of Zoffany Picture courtesy of Zoffany

    The quality and discreet detailing of the paper also means that it is perfect to display as a feature to any room all year round as a single wall or whole room, without looking out of place when the weather takes a turn for the better in the springtime. With the urban and rustic influences sure to remain a key feature throughout the styling in the home for next year and beyond, now is the perfect time to incorporate the new industrial styling whilst retaining the height of luxury and sophistication.

  • YDA Christmas Celebration: Day 3

    YDA portfolio image YDA portfolio image

    When the weather takes a turn for the worse and the cold and dark evenings set in for the winter there is nowhere better to be than curled up in front of a fire in your home. The warmth it provides together with the faint crackling noise and flickering light is the perfect way to escape the wild and bitter winds that are swirling and whistling outside. For those fortunate enough to have an open fire or log burner in your lounge this is the image of winter evenings you probably already have, and are more than likely already spending the winter evenings in this way. For many people the practicality of having an open fire or log burner in their lounge just isn't realistic and spending the evening huddled round a radiator obviously just wouldn't be the same.

    Picture courtesy of Falper Picture courtesy of Falper

    Those without the practical space to integrate an open fire to their lounge, or any other room in the house for that matter, there are thankfully some stylish solutions to help you enjoy the relaxing imagery of a flame flickering away in the room. Italian manufacturer Falper offer a range of products with a distinctive flair and simple form that provide a very effective statement to a room. A team of international designers from across Europe combine to produce stunning items for the bathroom, with innovative cristalplant and ceramilux basins and bathtubs, and in more recent years have launched a range of ethanol fires. With simple inset ethanol reservoirs to fill and a clean and simple but very stylish chrome top, the fireplaces are slim and compact enough to be built in to wall recesses, counter tops or even thick topped tables.

    Picture courtesy of Falper Picture courtesy of Falper

    Often with a simple clear glass surround to two sides, the fires create a very modern and minimalistic appearance, yet offer the same warm enveloping atmosphere as a real fireplace. They are both clean burning and very energy efficient, running on bioethanol, preventing the soot deposits or strong odours a real fire can often leave your house with. Due to their compact size they take up much less room than a conventional fire, and can be built in to masonry or plasterboard walls using a simple metal frame for installation. This means the possibilities are endless and they can be incorporated into practically any room in the house, giving you a unique styling opportunity and feature for rooms you wouldn't normally associate fireplaces with. The integrated glass shelving on some of the models allow for a perfect feature to the foot of a bath, built in to a wall recess to add a modern storage solution at the same time as a primary heat source to enjoy.
    For those who are looking for more of a statement fire and for something a little different, Falper also offer a fire to build into a wall with a peel effect, giving the impression the wall has peeled back to reveal a fire. This very effective installation is then plastered in and finished the same as the rest of the room to make the illusion of the splitting wall even more effective.

    Picture courtesy of Falper Picture courtesy of Falper

    Whether you prefer a real log burner or the crackle of an open fire on a cold winters day, the heat that a fire provides remains the most important factor to keep you cosy this festive season. For those who don’t have the space or the ability to create a real fire opening and fireplace, at least there is a stylish alternative that can provide you with the same warming feeling in order to warm your home whatever the weather is outside.

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