Spaces 4 Living

An Architect's Idea Book: Sharing ideas and inspiration to help create beautiful living spaces.

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Festive Dining in Style

We all want to create that holiday style that doesn’t come from a box and is as individual as we are. Styling for a traditional, contemporary, minimal…you name it…There is something for everyone.



Many of us think of Christmas decor at the dining table as a formal and traditional affair. The time to bring out the good china and crystal glasses. Decorate with the deep red, deep greens and gold.  A nostalgic glass up to good times past and present.



I feel that this is a transitional dining experience. It is half way between traditional and modern thanks to the juxtaposition of the rich red and the fresh chartreuse green. The crystal and silver accents give a winter wonderland feel at the centre of the table.



The contemporary existing decor is lightly spiced with a few amber toned ornaments on the sideboard/ credenza. The table is kept simple and uncluttered with a few candles and warm textiles. The main focal point is above the table, the hanging wreath is adorned with strategically placed ornaments.



The Scandinavian influenced decor, sings in with simple and clean design. The blue-greys, silver and white colour scheme work well with the raw wood tones and the texture of the sheepskin. This festive decor embraces the crafter and artisan in all of us.


Happy Christmas!

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Make the most out of a small kitchen

The heart of the home is the kitchen. It is not only where we create sustenance for our family but also where we talk about our day, bond as a family, do homework, create projects and have fun making a mess! Sometimes we need to make the most out of the space that we have, no matter the size limitations. It just means that we have to be a bit more savvy with what we already have and know how much we can push to get what we want for the space, as long as we are realistic.

The key objectives are to:

  • create and enhance the ERGONOMICS,
  • enhance STORAGE,
  • maximise USABLE SPACE
  • and to be open to DE-CLUTTER


This kitchen in a  19th century row house, it is small but efficient. The traditional white cabinets, contemporary stainless steel appliances, and understated ironmongery/hardware lift this kitchen. Perhaps only one cook can fit into this kitchen at a time, but everything is just at your finger tips.  This kitchen design emphasis in the de-cluttering and simplifying of the space. The cabinetry and ironmongery are uncomplicated in that they not distracting. A lovely little detail with the kitchen taps/ faucet where they are not resting on the counter and the sink is under mounted. This leaves the beautiful Pietra del Cardosa. counter to be visually uninterrupted.

The small (can I say micro?)  kitchen above appears larger due to the open concept into the dining room. The choice of all white cabinets and walls allows your eyes to casually wander. The kitchen above is a prime example of the compact ergonomics. The best layout for small kitchens is to have the cooker, fridge and sink in an equilateral triangular placement. It is about promoting the ease of movement. Although I do understand the want to keep the full height window, however the kitchen would have been better served if the lower cabinets extended to the exterior wall for extra preparation space rather than the ability to walk around. It is such small space, storage and usable space are also vital.  I do like a lot of the elements of this space, the simplicity of the pendant lights and Turner bar stools. The quartz counter and backsplash and the oak herringbone pattern flooring and  the ceiling height cabinetry add a feel of luxury. It enhances the space with a sense of bespoke/ custom detailing.

Space is precious in this small two storey. The limited footprint just fits the dining, living, kitchen, and powder room on the same floor. The high gloss smoky grey cabinetry gives this compact corner layout a high calibre studio feel. The shiny stainless steel appliances integrate well within the grey tones, while the choice of a fashionable white fridge tries to sink into the wall. Albeit, a custom built-in fridge with the same glossy smoky grey door would have looked stunning. The white solid surface waterfall detail has a lovely contemporary look at the edge of the counter. The look balances the white, grey, and steel tones beautifully. There is no ironmongery/ hardware to distract and break up the panels. Many cabinetry manufacturers offer a press-release system so that you can keep the design sleek and uncluttered.

All in all, there are always options for any scale of kitchen project. Just keep to one design theme and work it throughout the room. Most importantly follow as many rules as your space can allow for ergonomics, storage, usable space and de-clutter. has a new look!  

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Backyard Bistro

This tiny little spaces packs a lot of character. Kate Michels Landscape Design have the solution to the problem of how to treat that small backyard or side yard for that matter, that you didn’t know what to do with.

The privacy fence is an articulate work of art. The decorative patterning is replicated on other vertical surface for continuity within the landscaping. The effect gives a café bistro ambiance right outside your back door. The antique table and chairs are size appropriate for the allotted area, enabling enough movement within the space. The decking is laid at 45 degrees that  lends your eye to move throughout the space without creating a corridor. The space is not very wide but the direction that the deck boards are laid makes the area appear wider without foreshortening, as you would with horizontally laid boards. The concrete planters add a bit of visual bounce and softens the outdoor space with an array of greenery before focusing on the water feature at the far end.

I think this is a terrific use of space that you could enjoy. This small area has become a relaxing retreat that may have, under any other circumstance, gone without notice.