Tag: Interiors

Interior Design Tips: How to divide open concept living

So many of us love open-concept living. In fact, with the popularity of loft living, one open large room for all sorts of living places is not that unique. The key is to divide us a space in a way that doesn’t take away from that open concept. One easy way is to use something low and long to define different areas. In one large open space this low bookcase is perfect and the best part, it’s practical storage – you may even be able to use it as extra seating. Room dividers aren’t just for large spaces. Studio apartments tend to be on the smaller side but a room divider that provides a little privacy for your sleeping quarters is a must! I love this open bookcase that allows for TV placement on one side and storage on the bed side. Or how about this clever cabinet and glass window to define the kitchen from the entry? Screens are another great way to separate spaces like these colored screens hung from the ceiling.

A sculptural bookcase is artsy and practical. Fill it up with stuff or leave it blank. It always makes a statement. So here’s your take away… walls aren’t the only way to divide up space. Keep it low transparent or both and one space will become two! Thanks for watching this little design tip. We’ll have lots more design tips coming soon so don’t forget to subscribe! We’ve also got a couple of other design playlists so be sure to check them out. Plus, new videos every week. In the meantime, if you like this video please give it a thumbs up. I’ll see you soon! .

Photographing Interiors Pt 1

Quite a lot of you’ve got in touch and asked about photographing interiors and the particular problems that that poses now my chance Lizzy who runs this beautiful place called the mill which is just around the corner for me has had the bar completely refitted and needs some pictures of it so we thought we’d come down and talk you through the various sort of steps and problems that you’re likely to face if you’ve been on a one-to-one tuition day we means a good chance you’ve stayed here trust me it’s a lovely lovely spot so here we go this is the new refurbished bar at the mill completely beautiful with lots of lovely new touches like you know the driftwood here in the new bar new furniture and it all looks completely gorgeous when you’re going to photograph an interior you’ve got to go slowly you have to think this through one piece at a time you have to think about the problems and the issues and what you want to photograph now I’ve already had a chat with Lizzie the owners she’s told me what she wants to get out of the pictures so first of all let’s have a look around the room let’s have a little think about this it’s a beautiful room as you can see and I really really love all these little highlights you see where the sun’s coming through here and we’ve got highlights on the table but look if you look at my face when I stick my face into that Sun which is probably there that’s quite bright isn’t it that could be a problem for the camera to capture detail in the highlights and the shadows so we’re going to do first off an overview of the home the whole room the biggest problem is this high light shadow thing now of course I could put in a load of flash lights or something like that I’d only want to do it because that will kill the mood and the feel of the room now it can of course be done with artificial lighting but I’m going to spend an hour or more setting up lighting and all that kind of stuff to get the room beautifully lit this place is actually open already and I’ve already had to ask something if they wouldn’t mind having a coffee out there now we don’t want to interfere with their business and you know they can’t really fall to shut down so we can spend a couple of hours lighting it so my preferred option is to use available light because it captures the mood and the feel of the place that we’re in and I’m going to do some post-production if necessary to make it all kind of work right so what kit am I going to use to get this done you saw me carrying this big baby in through the door didn’t you use a tripod don’t even consider doing something like this without one and the heavier more sturdy the tripod is the better because if it’s light and the camera wobbles or moves or somebody walks past if you got a wooden floor just somebody walking past like that that can make the tripod wobble and vibrate as the floor vibrates we don’t want that to happen sturdier the tripod is the better I’ve had this one for years it weighs a ton it’s great for this sort of job right my trusty old D 300 checking that the lens is clean it could use a little bit of a wipe I’m using my ten to twenty millimeter zoom lens it’s a wide-angle it’s on your Sigma it’s nothing particularly fancy and it’s not a high you know wide aperture f/2 point eight or anything like that you don’t need super wide apertures for this sort of photography because I want depth of field I want things to be sharp so I don’t need that super wide aperture I want to probably use quite a small aperture I’m probably gonna be at around f-16 because I want lots of depth of field I want to see as much of this room nice and pin sharp as humanly possible hmm you’ll notice I’ve got a flash on there there’s a reason for that is because I’m going to demonstrate something to you first off I say we want fine excellent quality so I’ve gone to 200 ISO that’s our lowest ISO setting manual mode this needs to be done slowly you need to think it through and control it yourself so we’re going into manual mode I’ve already said I want lots of depth of field so I’m going to f-16 I could go to f-22 button to back it off a bit to f-16 because I know that’s where the lens is going to perform at its best white balance we’ve got all sorts of different colors going on in here these lights up here they’re going to be producing yellow light I don’t you may better see it on me as I’m standing here we’ve got daylight streaming in through the windows that’s going to be a bit blur without setting up a full lighting rig there’s not much you can do about that so we’re going to work with the available light and sort it out after so therefore I’m shooting in RAW mode because that gives me the ability to control things afterwards this isn’t cheating doing this stuff afterwards by the way it’s all just part of the way imaging works I’ve some reason taken that earlier I’m looking for the quick release that Ghost holds the camera onto my tripod I took it off the other day for something we were doing I think we were filming in the street and I just wanted this big lumpy piece of metal off the bottom of the camera while I was doing it right let’s just get that nice and tight that’s my quick release for the tripod that means I can get it on and off here very quickly if I need to you know without all that fiddly twiddly stuff let’s have a look at a composition let’s start off with an overall composition of the room to do this live view is brilliantly useful so we’re going to select live view there we go now see in the back there I can see what the room looks like in the back of my camera but my grid lines because I also need to make sure that my verticals are upright and they’re not doing this or that or skewing around which is really easy to happen right first off let’s get our composition and the first one I’m going to do I’m going to use these doors as a frame so it’s kind of like we’re pretty much as you are now you’re looking through the door there’s maybe a little bit of door either side and the room beyond because it’s a bit more inviting than just run do you know I mean now hopefully please you won’t come after me the large axe but I’m going to take that off the door so it will looks you know nice and proper I also noticed the other side of the room there’s another one of these look out for things like that it’s really really easy to miss them while you’re kind of lost in the complexities of photography and setting up your camera but it’s really really important to go around the room and check for things like that because when you look at picture afterwards you’ll kick yourself and then maybe have spent a load of time messing around trying to sort it out now the staff have been here and got the chairs all lined up nicely apart from that one over there which I moved when I came in here to put my camera bag on so I’m going to sort that out and also to do a little detail things like this it’s going to turn these round so the word the mill is facing the direction of the camera same with these menus now you’re probably not really going to see it but it’s just little little touches like that which you might kick yourself for later on I did quite a lot of consultancy work with the state agents helping them get the best out of their interior photography and it’s little touches like that which can make all the difference it’s almost subconscious it’s probably not so much a case of oh look at that it drives me mad the little things that as you added them together it makes a difference but you don’t quite know what it is and so leave that next scene this can be really really tiny the picture it’s just the part of the room isn’t it the last look around makes there’s nothing I’ve left lying around I’ve got no signs everywhere now I think all that looks pretty good so the rooms looking nice it’s on a quiet chair forward a little door open a bit see what I mean it’s attention to detail it is a lot of faffing about right with the live view on now I’m going to come back out here so we can try and get this shot looking in through here comes you go they worried Adam sorry while getting in your way again Oh restaurant manager with goods right so let’s get the camera and the composition setter set up that stuff let’s just use that live view and get a rough idea I like the metal plates on either side Adams all right you carry on mate yeah I’m gonna be a good 5 or 10 minutes getting this all set up anyway so don’t worry it’s another thing of course try not to interfere you know this is for the commercial running of the business you know these these guys have got to do their jobs as well if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere that’s your own property or it’s not actually you know working you know it’s not a commercial going concern it’s not quite so tricky because you have a lot more time to devote to things I’m bringing the shot over here this is about moving around have a look in the band and people can you see in the back Jane yeah right so this shots is quite nice I like the doors and the brass plates here but I’m thinking that if I open that door a bit more and bring the camera over here we’ve still at the bar area but we’ve got a bit more of what’s going on in that corner to see more of the room so I’m just easing the camera over here so we’re still looking across this door you notice that vertical has started to bend that way as I moved it this is always a very tricky look you see as I tilt the camera look at those verticals they’re now going off at that angle for tilt it that way look they’re cutting in like that go and watch our convergence film and that will explain why that happens and what you need to do to avoid it we just have to make sure that things are real nice and straight and they line up one of the reasons I’m down quite low is to avoid that convergence because if I was standing up straight that’s Adam doing his own fillings he’ll start screaming in a minute if I was up high I’d have to look down and that would make the verticals do this so we need to be parallel with what’s going on in the room okay that looks pretty good to me next I just need to open this a bit you need to come through so if you do just carry on we’re going to be a little while setting up right that is as far as that door opens so another look it’s a little bit too much door so let’s sneak into the room a bit these little movements do you make a difference what’s that over there okay it’s the back of a chair so that’s quite good okay I think I’m happy with that having a grid display on in the back of the camera makes an enormous difference because you can see what your verticals are doing it helps you line things up and make sure they’re straight don’t worry that there’s quite a lot of ceiling in there at the moment because again this image may get cropped because we don’t know what’s going to go put it on a magazine or a website you know things are going to be done with it it’s a bit of space top and bottom doesn’t hurt now we know that the composition is where we want it I’m going to lock my big heavy tripod so now I can forget the composition it’s there it’s done next thing where am I going to focus I want front-to-back sharpness with a very short lens you’ve got tons of depth of field therefore it’s relatively easy to achieve that we’ve already set a very very small aperture which is going to keep that depth of field going let’s take that off live view let’s just put that on to single shot there we go I’m going to bring up my exposure sorry I’ve got to focus focus is where I was so I’m going to look for the viewfinder you can’t watch me do this unfortunately but what I’m doing is focusing on this chair here I’m focusing right there why am i choosing there and not over there so you need single point autofocus to do this to make sure the camera is focusing as you want it if you put it on kind of light all over sort of out your self mode you don’t know where it’s going to focus it could go anywhere I want it here because with a very short lens I have an inherently deep depth of field at f-16 that depth of field is probably going to stretch from about here all the way to the other end of the room why not focus here then do you think of that block of focus you think that the focus is a block which moves backwards and fields backwards and forwards what’s the depth of field film for this I want to ensure that my depth of field is coming back this way far enough to keep this sharp if I possibly can and I’m going to test it but the place to focus is probably about here because at f-16 really anything from about couple of three feet in front of the camera should be in focus my starting point is here I’m then going to shoot a test image look at it by zooming in and adjust accordingly so I think that’s done white balance then I start talking about that and not complete it I probably did I just want to check it white balance right now this is set on incandescent which we don’t want I’m just going to use the sunny white balance I did start talking about it didn’t complete it there’s yellow lights in the ceiling there’s daylight coming in with a raw file it doesn’t really matter that much because you can sort it out after the event so we might have a bit of blueness in the windows and the yellowness inside the bar but again it doesn’t matter when you’re in a nice cozy environment like this a little bit of warmth and the color doesn’t really matter again we can tweak it in post-production it’s always worth standing around and looking at things in the days when I used to smoke on jobs all the time I always used to set up the camera like this and then have a cigarette while we were talking and it’s worth doing that so that you just look and think and take your mind out of it for a minute while I took my mind out of it and spoke to you about white balance I know is this a silly thing but no it’s just kind of untidy and it doesn’t match the other bits and pieces so I’m just going to have the bits and pieces you can’t call a place like this bits and pieces can you bar mats right I really think that’s ok but this is why it’s worth slowing down and thinking about things my camera bag is down here but that doesn’t matter because we can’t see it because it’s just behind there and we’re looking in through here so next let’s check that depth of field and start making sure we’ve got the correct exposure what I haven’t done is get my I can find it table release there it is why am i using a cable release chance not my shutter speed is going to be quite slow for this because of the low ISO and the small aperture so I want to use a cable release to make sure there is no movement of my camera whatsoever as I’m pressing the shutter even with a tripod as heavy as this there is a chance that the camera might just vibrate a bit and I don’t want that I want to be absolutely certain my picture is clean and sharp good I think we’re now on route double check focus is in the right place little trick and often flick it from autofocus so use autofocus to focus where I want to and then I flick it when we can see down the side of the camera onto manual so that if I press the shutter button but I’ve changed the composition the focal distance won’t shift what does the light meter say let’s bring up that in the back as you can see we’ve got f-16 at an eight to the second f-16 the light meter is saying we’re a little bit underexposed so I’m leaving f-16 because I want the death field and slowing down the shutter speed till the light meter says the exposure is correct and that’s a fifth of a second I am using which metering mode there are lots of things to think about aren’t there I’m going to use evaluative I was on does it say that’s still correct yeah that’s cool no sorry that’s right talking to you I’m not concentrating I’m doing I was right I was talking nonsense ignore me I’m using evaluative metering mode which I’m measuring the entire scene and averaging it doesn’t really matter there’s no point fiddling with spot focusing because you can adjust it by looking in the back of the camera so everything’s set let’s take a picture looking in the back there I can see where there are highlights now something which is a nuisance since we got here the sun’s moved in the sky it’s now hitting square on to that end of the bar which is causing this very bright highlight just here which wasn’t there earlier it’s going to be very very difficult to get detail into that that is such a shame the only thing I can try and do is to move the camera don’t think I can know it’s still going to hit that and we’re gonna have a completely burnt out end ok moral of the story is get here early and make sure that everything is all done properly before you get going the only thing I could do in that circumstance is to come back tomorrow or do it later in the day when the sun’s moved or start filling around with lighting we’ve already said that’s not an option right it’s very warm in here we know that that happen we know that our exposure is supposedly correct but it looks a little bit too dark to me we’ll bring that up and look at the histogram see the histogram is showing me there’s lots of darkness in this image and a big spike of brightness well that’s what that little area there is so I’m going to have to lift the exposure a bit and then check see if there’s any detail bring up our light meter again so to increase the exposure I’m going to slow the shutter speed down a bit let’s take that down then that says where it’s jumping around but yeah that’s a little bit more exposure let’s go one more and see what happens I hope that quick picture see what’s in the back if I flick between the two do you see how the histogram is jumped to the right you can see how the picture is a little brighter that’s better that’s going to give us better detail better rendition of what’s happening in the shadows but I’m worried about that bright highlight just keep looking around the image is the back of the room sharp yeah I think it is look around make sure the plots nice there’s our chair there’s a bright highlight there but I don’t think it matters it sort of adds to the mood of the room a bit here’s our menus which we turn around the right way so we could just see that everything is facing the camera you know I think that’s all nice and sharp we shouldn’t have a problem with that at all okay my concern is that bright highlight what I’m going to do is increase the exposure I’m going to basically what we’re doing is bracketing we’re just doing it slowly instead of using an auto bracket or something like that let’s bring up our light meter again so we’ve done one with a lot more exposure I’m going to do one a bit brighter still to make sure that I’ve got all those shadow details there we go so there’s our shot that’s brighter again you see I might be able to rescue that because RAW files have so much data in them we’ve got lots and lots of detail okay in case I can’t rescue it I’m going to take another shot at a much lower exposure which is for the bright areas of the picture let’s have a go at that so on my light meter here I’m going to change that exposure from plus one we’re going to take that down here I’m go – a little bit because then I know that I’ve got lots and lots of detail in those very very bright shadowed areas again take the picture now so a quick look at the histogram this is what I mean by going slowly this is much darker than that look you see this block of darkness which is the left-hand end of the histogram jumps to the left it’s because I reduced the exposure and you can see it there you can also see how the lights changed look see there’s a highlight at highlight that one minutes there and then it isn’t that’s the Sun moving through the sky that shows you how fast you have to work with this stuff the reason that it’s really useful to have that high light exposure as well as the shadow exposure is because I can then combine those two in the computer if I need to so I know I’ve lost no highlight detail but I’ve still maintained the atmosphere of the whole room which is what we need to do we don’t want people seeing something that’s completely different I’m going to show you briefly what would happen if I put a flash on now I’m only using my speed light on the top of the camera if I just put on a flash a fill-in flash of let’s say minus minus one so I’m going to put in a fill-in flash of minus one and just bounce it off the ceiling it’s going to kill the mood of the room to quite an extent I think we’ll find look at this look in the back here it’s pretty good and it could be an escape but look but how the lighting is totally totally different when I say it’s killing the mood yes it is lighting it up a bit but look we’ve got a black shadow going on down here which we didn’t have before you know that black shadow doesn’t belong there does it there is no black shadow it’s the flash that’s causing that black shadow so that’s not so brilliant if you did need to use that technique all you can do is move your camera in a bit so that this door can’t cast a shadow but then what will happen is you lose that depth to the shot look we flip between them again the doors kind of lead you in in the composition for losing the door so release the shadow is a sort of element of it’s not so inviting it’s lost something so there we go that’s I guess the first part this is capturing the image this is how to record it and get it onto your camera as I’ve said many many times Photography is a three-stage process you have to think about the shot you’re going to take you then have to put together the different photographic blocks to capture that image and then the third and final stage is your post production post-production isn’t cheating and I say this a lot too it always happened in the old days they would be dodging and burning in a print and if you were shooting with slide film well you wouldn’t sheet but you would add light so there was a huge amount of skill involved in that I’m not seeing is anything wrong with that skill it’s brilliant and I used to have to do it but it saves a lot of time and a lot of aggro for your client if you can shoot it in camera and deal with it in the post-production so that’s going to be the next step for this image post producing the image from a raw file into a JPEG and getting all the tones looking lovely

Interior Design Tips: Top 3 designer approved IKEA products

When I’m shopping for furniture for my clients I’m always always working with a very specific budget in mind but one of my favorite things to mix together are high-priced pieces with some very affordable pieces. And IKEA is the perfect place to shop. This isn’t a paid promotion for IKEA. I like most of you just love their stuff. So my top three favorite IKEA products are on this list because they are great design, versatile, and of course, affordable. The perfect trifecta. Let’s go shopping! Number three on my list of faves from Ikea is the Knodd. Yes it’s a garbage pail. I love the look of this garbage pail in either white or black. It’s perfect for paper recycling under any Home Office desk but it’s so much more than that. How about using the Knodd pail as a planter. It comes in two different sizes. Or how about a great firewood pail? I love how the handles have been upgraded here. Now that’s an IKEA hack that I’m loving. Number two on my list is the Alex drawer unit.

It comes in a variety of sizes, white and gray, and you can have casters like this. I especially love the no hardware drawer fronts! Just a cutout. It’s a versatile cabinet that has a modern and clean look. The Alex is the perfect storage cabinet for craft rooms or artist studios. The thin drawers are great to store paint, paper and all sorts of supplies. You can easily incorporate the Alex cabinets into a work island or peninsula like this.

It’s so great to have storage under large work surfaces. This would be great for a creative studio office or craft room or wrapping room. Martha Stewart would be very proud. And my number one, I love, love, love the IKEA PS cabinet. It comes in white, blue and red but I’m loving the white. It’s a metal cabinet with a soft industrial look. Side by side they offer tons of storage and a great surface to showcase some lighting.

And having that gallery wall above is so very cool. It’s the perfect sideboard in any room. You can even use it in your bedroom like this. I love a great big night stand and the PS Cabinet is the perfect height next to your bed. And of course, it’s great as a media cabinet under your TV! So there you have it… my top three IKEA products that I love because 1) they’re great design, 2) versatile and 3) affordable. Mix them up with other great pieces and you’ll have an eclectic mix of furniture in your home. Thanks for watching this little design tip, we’ll have lots more design tips just like this one coming soon so don’t forget to subscribe.

We’ve got new videos every week. And don’t forget, if you like this video please give it a thumbs up. See you soon! .