Dame Zaha Hadid

It is with great sadness that I write this post. I have just come to learn of the passing away of one of the most inspiring architects of the late 20th century. Dame Zaha Hadid who was born in Baghdad on 31 October 1950, was at the forefront of contemporary architecture in the late 20th century. Throughout the world, Zaha Hadid has left her mark through many impressive designs and some of the most awe-inspiring buildings ever created. 

Heydar Aliyev Centre
Baku, Azerbaijan
{image via: huftonandcrow}

A breakdown of her most memorable achievements are listed below:

Here are a few of her excellent designs:

Dubai Opera House

{image via: constructionweekonline}

Sheikh Zayed Bridge
Abu Dubai
{image via: huftonandcrow}

The Jockey Club Innovation Tower 
Hong Kong
{images via: architectureforfuture}

{images via: architectureforfuture}
Zaha Hadid's interiors were also magnificent!
Superyacht Design
{image via: bancaflora}

Roca London Gallery 
{image via: oliviapalermo}

Library and Learning Centre
{image via: dezeen}
Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive the Design of the Year Award and the RIBA Gold Medal. She has been an inspiration for women worldwide in many professions, primarily interior design and architecture. I hope many more women will aspire to walk in her footsteps.
{image via: ellevatenetwork}

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Top 10 Lighting Tips From Design Director Sally Storey

Below are top 10 Lighting Tips from Design Director, Sally Storey of John Cullen Lighting.

1. Always plan your lighting scheme at the beginning at the same time as the plumbing to achieve the top results. 

2. Consider how you will use the room before any decisions are made on lighting. Think how different activities will alter the room at different times of the day. In the kitchen you may need a bright light to prepare food and children to do the homework whilst at night an atmospheric setting for an intimate dinner. 

3. Always fit dimmers so that you can change the mood of the room. Having more than one dimmer will allow you to create a variety of lighting effects. For example, put your table lamps on one circuit, downlights emphasizing pictures on a second, downlights focusing on the centre of a table on a third and recessed uplights or shelf lights on a fourth. 

4. Your eye is always drawn to the brightest point so the key is to find downlights which conceal the bulb (lamp). If the bulb (lamp) is well recessed within fitting, the object you are lighting will become the key focus rather than the light source itself. The John Cullen Polespring LED has been designed to achieve this and more with accessories.

5. When using downlights, avoid becoming obsessed with symmetrical ceiling layouts. Instead think of what you want to light and focus the downlight in the centre of a picture or over a dining table. Don’t create lines of downlights as it could end up looking more like an office. Symmetry does not matter, what you light is important. 

6. Think of layering lights at different levels as seen in the pictures. Build up a palette of effects just as the interior designer plays with texture. Using the latest energy efficient LED fittings are ideal for this. Be imaginative and use low level uplights such as the LED Lucca to uplight an archway or a corner of a room, wall recessed floor washers such as the LED Oslo along a corridor or staircase, individually light shelves and niches and combine effects with table lamps. 

7. Do not be afraid of combining traditional lighting effects with modern solutions i.e. chandeliers with downlights etc. The chandelier should always be dimmed separately to a decorative sparkle leaving the discreet downlights to do the work. The room will seem conventionally lit but the magic will be the other effects.

8. In a low ceilinged room or basement introducing uplighting and wall washing increases the feeling of space. Uplight can be either on the floor or concealed above units in the kitchen. Think creatively. 

9. Rather than have a bank of dimmer switches, consider adding a pre set scene lighting control system either for just one room or a whole house. Lighting scenes can be changed at the touch of a button to suit the mood. 

10. To get the best of your lighting, use a lighting designer whether for the whole house or even a single room which can be achieved from just £95 p/h plus VAT.

{Images courtesy of John Cullen Lighting}
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Sleep or more on Valentine's Day

Sleep. One of the most important day-to-day things to do in order to function. Sleep deprivation is highly common and has adverse affects on people. As Valentine's Day approaches an interesting subject is sleep compatibility. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes and I personally feel that sleep compatibility plays a huge part in determining a successful relationship. In general, most couples require compatibility in different aspects of life in order to work but many forget sleep compatibility. Are you an early nighter and your partner a night owl for example? Would you rather fall asleep with the television on or have it switched off? Do you prefer to cuddle your partner to sleep or would you rather your own space in bed.

When Bensons for Beds did a survey and asked the public about their partners' sleeping habits, 49% of you described living with a snorer, 30% reported that their partner would steal the duvet during the night and 3% have had to leave the bed.

Also passion under the sheets vary too. A higher percentage of men and women prefer sleep over sex but a few do actually prefer some passion before falling asleep. (Something to bare in mind this Valentine's).

The compatibility I share with my partner is quite good. We're both sleep huggers and we enjoy a giggle just before we fall asleep. We've just had a baby, so sleep is very important to us at the moment. We usually watch something in bed before falling asleep which is nice, however, I do like a calm, relaxed ambience to fall asleep to. We both have our quirks, one being, I find it quite amusing placing my cold hands or feet on him, which at times, but not always, he finds quite funny.

Images courtesy of Bensons for Beds

How compatible are your sleeping patterns with that of your partner? Do you have a beautiful sleep or hardly any?

These stats are really interesting and you can take them on board when planning a sexy night with your partner. Does he like the television off? Then switch it off, if only for one night. ;)

For more regarding sleep patterns check out Bensons for Beds blog.

 Natalia Jane xo

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Style: { The Camel Coat }

Photo of Annabelle by VivaLuxury

The camel coat is huge this season. It's a chic and sensual look that is easily attained. Camel coats can be found in most stores and vary in price. The beauty about a classic camel coat is it's timeless and an affordable coat can look just as beautiful as one at the higher end of the market. 

The colours of this wintery season is camel and black and they compliment each other beautifully. It's the best look in my opinion, as it looks so timeless and glamorously sophisticated. 

What is great about this look is that it can be easily transitioned into spring by wearing lighter clothing under the coat or by wearing a camel trench coat which will also look fabulous. Denim looks super glamorous with a camel coat and this can be complimented with black flats, heels or a pair of white trainers for a more casual daytime look.

These winter fashion outfits have a Parisian touch to them as they are simple pieces which look effortless and chic. 

Photo of Caroline de Maigret for amazedmag

It's so versatile you can wear it anywhere. Pair it with flats or heels, with denim, skinny jeans or leather trouser - leggings. 

Image via: careergirldaily

Photo of Tine Andrea by The Fashion Eaters

Below are a few fabulous pieces which are timeless to have in your wardrobe and can be worn anywhere and everywhere. 

Image via: bittealt on Polyvore 

For daily inspiration check out my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Happy Friday guys! Natalia Jane xo

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Interior Inspiration: {5 Scandinavian Trends}

Image via: FEMINA

Scandinavian design is hot this year. From eye-catching home accessories to muted coloured greys, blues and milky whites used in Scandinavian interiors, its all proving to be quite fabulous. There are many different types of ways that you can implement this trend into your home. A great way is by sprucing your walls with a new paint job by using a natural organic paint colour such as a stone grey or milky white. There are much easier ways of transforming your home into a haven by adding accessories. Globular copper lights are a must have as they scream Scandinavian when combined with natural wood furniture or white furniture. 

Image via: nordicdays

Another great way to update your home is by adding black and white pieces to give it that fabulous monochrome style. Wall art stacking like the one above is super cool at the moment and is quite a timeless style, looking fresh for years to come. A selection of different black and white cushions and a fabulous monochrome rug will also do justice in your home when implanting this style.

Image via: FEMINA

One of my all time favourite home accessories are cacti and succulents. They have been trending in the home for a couple of years now and are still very popular and gradually becoming a collective house plant for many people. They are extremely hardy and therefore ideal to keep in the home all year round. For ideas on how to add cacti and succulents to your home click here.

Image via: guiaparadecorar

Image via: homesandstyles

I hope you like my post on Scandinavian design in 2016 and I look forward to sharing more super trends with you in the upcoming weeks! Remember to stay updated on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! Have a great Friday!

Natalia Jane xo
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