Category: Interior Design
The Ins & Outs of Contemporary Home Design [Infographic]
Great Examples of Small Contemporary Guest Houses

If you frequently have guests over your home for an extended period of time, then you know how useful it can be to have your guests stay in a cozy place that allows them to feel just like home. Having a guest bedroom is always a great idea. However, having a guest house that is an extension of your home is even better. It allows your guests to have their very own personal space while still remaining part of yours.

Here are a few modern guest houses that are one of a kind.

Kearsarge Guest House by Kurt Krueger Architects

The unique aspect of this Kearsarge Guest House is that it is a stand-alone home. What this means is there isn’t a main home attached to it. Due to, this the guest house on the property of the 1968 M.G. Residence which makes it part of the home without being fully attached to the home. Think of this guest house as the smaller version of the main house with a water feature on the outdoors and all. There is even a small space in the front that doubles as a porch. The guest house has everything the home does, but on a smaller scale.

Elegant Guesthouse Designed by Architectural Firm Janson Goldstein

A modern yet elegant guest bedroom was the initial thought when creating this home. This guest home is an addition to the contemporary home that includes not only the guest house, but a swimming pool adjacent as well. Furthermore, the exterior of the home does not stay behind on the modern concept as the exterior consists of glass walls and black metal. The guest house is divided in two sides, one side is a gym for the homeowners and the other is a living room and bedroom for the guests.

Mountain Guest House by Dom Arquitectura

Mountain guest house is one of a kind. It is the perfect guest home for those that want a relaxing addition to their residence. Designed to have a cabin feel this guest house features wood from top to bottom including the furniture. The deck roof to this guest bedroom is the best feature as it is made out of wicker however it is waterproof and isolated. Due to, this you have the roof of the home protecting it in a modern manner while still have the wicker extension that covers the deck.

Atelier and Guest House by C.F. Møller Architects

When you think of a guest house a home like this one is exactly what you think of. The Atelier and Guest House by C.F. Møller Architects offers a main house with an updated extension of a guest house directly connected to the home. The idea is to have your guests feel as part of your home instead of being in a separate wing. Furthermore, the updated guest wing is modern with views of the coast.

Need more inspiration for your guest house? We can help! Get in touch today at 084 406 3637 or carlize@earledesign.co.za.

5 Ways to Modernise Your Home On a Budget

It’s easy to assume that renovating and sprucing up our homes inevitably means running up huge bills, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

If you’re thinking of refreshing or modernising your home but you’re on a strict budget, then there are numerous easy, affordable fixes that will give any property a new lease of life. Read on for our 5 top tips to modernise your home on a budget.

1. First impressions matter

Tatty-looking windows and doors can really date a home. If your budget can stretch to it, consider replacing with hardwood frames, or on-trend Crittal-style steel ones. If that’s too expensive, repainting in a more contemporary shade will add instant visual appeal – opt for fashionable yet classic hues such as soft grey and pale duck egg greens and blues.

If the exterior of your house looks dirty, then hire or buy a pressure washer to blast away dirt. They can also be used to clean patios or driveways, and is a simple yet effective way of modernising your home.

2. Give your kitchen a facelift

The kitchen is typically the centrepiece of most homes but the price of a brand-new one can cost thousands of pounds. Instead, simple, superficial tweaks such as replacing your cabinet handles and repainting units can make previously old-fashioned spaces look fresh and clean.

Annie Sloan offer a range of pretty shades that can be used to give cupboards a new lease of life – try this step-by-step guide for inspiration. And don’t forget to declutter and tidy your surfaces, this can make a huge difference to feel and usability of your kitchen. As we said, the kitchen is the centrepiece of the house, so should be at the top of the list for areas to modernise and showcase your home in the best light.

Kitchen Bathroom

3. Revamp your bathroom

Bathrooms are often one of the last rooms in a house to be updated and, if your budget doesn’t stretch to a complete overhaul, there are some easy cosmetic tweaks you can make.

Dirty fixtures are never appealing so give tiles and grouting a deep clean and scour lime scale off the toilet, bathtub and sink. Replacing accessories like shower curtains, towels and even toilet seats can make a big visual impact. Plus, by simply freshening up your paintwork and hiding your toiletries from view, you can easily create a more streamlined aesthetic which will modernise your home with very little cost.

4. Hide your clutter

Numerous ornaments, pictures, accessories, magazines – clutter – can instantly make a home feel out-dated and uninviting. If you’re planning to move home, consider packing up some of your belongings early to really showcase the space.

If your available space is limited, multi-functional furniture and hidden storage is a simple way to declutter your home and give your space a modern feel. Installing generous storage is a quick and easy way to make your home feel clean and decluttered, which will also make it more appealing to prospective buyers if you are preparing your house for sale.

Built-in wardrobes and cupboards are the most obvious solution, but it also pays to be creative – from floating shelves to using the space under your staircase!

Vase Shelves Drawer

5. Upgrade your lighting

Clever lighting can transform and modernise a home, from turning dingy spaces warm and cosy to bringing out the best in your colour scheme or making a room appear larger.

Considered lighting choices can also add aesthetic appeal. Whether that’s a statement pendant lamp above a kitchen island, hidden spotlights or pretty table lamps that brighten up gloomy corners, you can create character and modernise every room in minutes!

These are just a few great tips to modernise your home. Need more inspiration? Get in touch with our great team!

Make Your Renovation Stress Free!

While it’s a great idea to redecorate your home every few years, it may be that new styles have appeared, or you are simply tired of how the interior of your home looks, a major change can be extremely stressful.

There is a lot of upheaval to deal with, especially if you are changing a kitchen or bathroom, for example. The following tips should help you to have a calmer, less stressful experience when redecorating your home so that you can truly enjoy the new look.

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Planning is massively important when it comes to doing any kind of renovation work to the interior of your home. A plan will mean you can get everything done in the way that it should be done, to the timescale that you have set aside for it. When changing things in your home, there will be a certain order that works best, and this is what you need to think about before you begin. If not, there will be mistakes, problems, and delays, and this will only add to your stress levels.

Have A Budget

Have A Budget


Working on a home renovation with no budget is a great way to become over-stressed. Spiraling costs that you have no control over are a big problem, and if you have no budget in mind, then it can happen all too easily. The budget needs to have time spent on it, and shouldn’t be just a quickly scribbled note after one trip to the hardware store, or a glance online. You need to account for all eventualities, and ensure that you have a contingency fund too, just in case something goes wrong or something happens that you hadn’t really thought about.

If you are hiring professionals to work on your renovation project, they should also be aware of the project budget, and you should ideally sign a contract that states how much you will be paying so that there are no unexpected costs at the end.

Storage

Storage


No matter whether you choose to stay or to leave, it’s important to store your more important belongings to keep them safe. Anything that isn’t going to be used but that might get in the way during the renovation, items such as couches and chairs or dining furniture can be put into storage. It stops them from getting damaged and stops you from worrying about them. It will also prevent those who you have called in to help from struggling to get on with their work. The clearer you can make your home, the better.

This is also a great opportunity to de-clutter and throw out, recycle, or sell some of your old belongings that aren’t going to fit or simply won’t look so great in your newly decorated place. It is yet another way to reduce the stress of the situation.

Get Advice

If you’re planning to do the work yourself and it’s not something you would normally do, then asking for advice from professionals, or even friends and family who have already carried out the same kind of work as you are about to embark upon is always going to be a useful thing to do. You might pick up some hints and tips that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought about, and you’ll be aware of the kinds of problems that can arise when carrying out this kind of work, and be prepared (or, ideally, avoid them altogether). It will certainly make you feel a lot less stressed about what you are about to do.

Do The Prep Work

If you don’t know how to do the task you are hoping to do, or you’re rushing because you haven’t give yourself enough time, it can be tempting to bypass the prep work part of the job. However, if you do this, then it is unlikely that the rest of the job will go smoothly, and you will encounter a wide variety of problems. For example, when you are planning to paint something, you will need to prepare the surface first, which means removing the old paint or wallpaper and sanding down wooden surfaces. You will also need to paint a primer coat. If you miss these steps, as dull and time consuming as they might seem, your finished paint job won’t look as good as it otherwise would do.

If you can prepare as much in advance as possible, then the job itself will be easier and take less time, plus the finished result will look so much better.

5 Steps to the Perfect Guest Room

Though homeowners spend quite a bit of time on living rooms, kitchens, and bathroom remodels, guest rooms are one of the most often neglected spaces in the house. If you’re planning on having overnight guests within the next year, consider remodeling your guest room to make it more appealing and welcoming.

Step 1: Revitalizing Spare Room Walls and Flooring

First, examine the condition of the walls and flooring. Is the paint looking dull? Is the wallpaper outdated? Painting is the easiest and most inexpensive remodeling step, yet it can instantly create a fresh atmosphere that friends or family staying in your guest room will appreciate. Keep in mind that neutral or warm tones are generally the most inviting. If you want to put up new wallpaper, choose a nice soft pattern with a border to keep it simple.

What is the condition of the flooring? Is the carpet stained or worn? If so, replacing it with new carpeting will change the look of the entire room. If the carpet is in decent shape but a little matted down, you should consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner. If you have hardwood flooring, simply adding a new area rug will give your guest room a warmer touch and will make the area softer underfoot and more comfortable for visitors.

Step 2: Coordinate a Color Scheme

After deciding on colors for the room, try to coordinate comforters, sheets, window treatment, throw pillows, and chairs to match. A unified color scheme looks elegant and will make guests feel special.

Step 3: Increase Guest Room Storage Space

No one likes living out of a suitcase. No matter your guest’s length of stay, it is considerate to create storage space for their clothing and personal items while they are visiting. Clear out a drawer or two or make some space in the closet where they can hang clothes. Be sure to tuck some extra toiletries and fresh towels in one of the drawers as well!

Step 4: Remember Bathroom Access

How is the bathroom access from your guest room? Do guests have to walk down a long hall to get to the bathroom? If there isn’t a convenient bathroom near the guest room and space allows, maybe a small bathroom could be added and sectioned off within the room. This would require a larger budget but if it’s possible, your guests will be grateful.

Even a half bathroom could be added for extra convenience. This is an especially good idea if your family has frequent houseguests. A private bath in the spare room is a convenience that your company will appreciate, and will also cut down on crowding in the existing bathrooms when visitors come to town.

Step 5: Finishing Touches to Complete Your Guest Room

Sometimes the details can make all the difference in the world. Any of the following additions to your guest room will be much appreciated by all visiting guests: alarm clock, TV, radio, phone, reading lamp, fresh flowers or plants, and recent magazines or books.

Think about all of the things that make you feel comfortable when staying in someone else’s home and aim to include any luxuries you can afford in your guest room renovation. Even a few quick and simple touches can make all the difference, and your guests will surely thank you.

Need help or a little inspiration? Get in touch with us today at carlize@earledesign.co.za or 084 406 3637.

Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Guest House

If you enjoy being a good host and making your guests feel welcome in your guest house, then you’re probably also excited about decorating your rooms. We find guest rooms to be very interesting because they’re a great way in which you can show how much you care about your guests but, at the same time, allow you to do that through a simple design.

The first rule you need to remember when organizing and designing a guest room is not to overdecorate. Just because you like some things and that is your home doesn’t mean your guests will share the same feelings.

Keep the color palette neutral and simple and avoid strong, bold tones such as red, orange, yellow or green. Not everyone likes the same colors so it’s best to keep things neutral. In addition, it’s easier to decorate with neutral colors given how versatile they are.

In a guest room, you should include the essentials. For example, a comfortable bed in a really important element. Decide whether you want to include a king size bed or two single one, depending on the guests that usually stay over.

A chest of drawer can also be useful in the guest room, if the guests stay over for several days. They’ll need something to keep their belongings in and the top surface is useful for personal items such as the toothbrush, phone, etc.

You should also include a comfy chair. If not, your guests will be always forced to stay in bed which is not always the optimal choice. And, for example, if they also need to work on their laptops, you might also want to include a small desk.

Other elements can also be included in the room such as a mirror for example. This way you give your guests the opportunity to get ready in the morning without having to use the mirror in the bathroom or on the hallway.

Make sure the lighting is pleasant in the room. You may want to install a dimmer switch for this room and some task lighting such as a table lamp for example.

Don’t make the décor too person. There shouldn’t be personal photos in the guest room and, if you want to display something on the walls, choose an abstract painting or something similar.

Need help with renovating your guest house? Or simply need a few new design ideas? We can help! Contact Earle Design at carlize@earledesign.co.za.

10 Signs It’s Time to Renovate Your Guest House

When was the last time you renovated your property? Have you walked through your guest house and noticed the paint chip off the walls or tiles in the bathroom start to crack?

These are all the precautionary warning signs that tell you it may be time to renovate your guest house.

The idea of renovation can trigger the question, ‘will I need to shut my property to perform the renovations?’, resulting in a delay to refurbish the property.

However, the state of your guest house is very important – especially in today’s world of online reviews. The first thing that guests complain about in their reviews is if the property is outdated, needs a revamp or is falling apart. The last thing your guest house needs is a review like that!

Here are the top 10 signs it’s time to renovate your guest house:

1. Cracks or chips in walls, floors or tiles; these will only become more severe overtime if not actioned.

2. Signs of mould, most common in bathrooms. Mould not only looks unpleasant but can also become a health hazard for guests.

3. Stained, dirty or worn out carpet looks tacky. Lay down a new carpet or refresh with tiles or wooden floor boards.

4. Loose or creaky flooring becoming a trip hazard for guests.

5. Doors and windows are creaky and showing rust. This is not a good look or sound for guests and makes them feel like your property is falling apart.

6. Toilets not flushing property, taps not running water consistently or hot water takes some time. Your bathrooms need their plumbing to be looked at and perhaps some replacement.

7. Damaged, scratched or permanently dirty fixtures and furniture need to be replaced as soon as possible.

8. Dark rooms or lighting not working properly. Get the electrician in to have a look at the power/wires or instal more lighting in guest rooms and common areas.

9. Freezing in winter and sweaty in the summer at your property? To make guests happy and enjoy their stay, you’re in need of reverse cycle air conditioners.

10. When guests feel like they’ve entered a timewarp when they step in the front door or a guest room. It’s time to leave the past and refresh!

Planning for renovations at your B&B

Renovations can sometimes be a lengthy exercise if you need to revamp your entire property, so:

  • Put together a renovations plan, with a priority list of the rooms/areas begging to refurbished at the top of the list.
  • Renovate one area or room at a time so you don’t have to close your small property completely.
  • Perform the loud tasks in the middle of the day during check-in and check-out period.
  • Plan to renovate in low season when you expect low occupancy, and so that you’re still fully capitalising on peak season.
Handsaw, hammer, level, nails and folding ruler on wooden background

It helps to have a property management system that allows you to block off rooms on the calendar that will be closed for renovations. That way, you avoid creating reservations for guests in those rooms and across online booking channels.

Need help with renovating your guest house? Or simply need a few new design ideas? We can help! Contact Earle Design at carlize@earledesign.co.za.

How to Decorate a Guest House – 10 Great Ideas!

Decorating a guesthouse gives a designer or homeowner freedom to explore alternative styles separate from main residence. Guesthouses can do double duty as home offices–making the space flexible makes it more useful to the owner and potentially interesting to potential home buyers!

Kearsarge Guest House

The unique aspect of this Kearsarge Guest House is that it is a stand-alone home. What this means is there isn’t a main home attached to it. Due to, this the guest house on the property of the 1968 M.G. Residence which makes it part of the home without being fully attached to the home. Think of this guest house as the smaller version of the main house with a water feature on the outdoors and all. There is even a small space in the front that doubles as a porch. The guest house has everything the home does, but on a smaller scale.

Elegant Guest House

A modern yet elegant guest bedroom was the initial thought when creating this home. This guest home is an addition to the contemporary home that includes not only the guest house, but a swimming pool adjacent as well. Furthermore, the exterior of the home does not stay behind on the modern concept as the exterior consists of glass walls and black metal. The guest house is divided in two sides, one side is a gym for the homeowners and the other is a living room and bedroom for the guests.

Villa Z Guest House

Villa Z is a beauty in its own special way. Not only is Villa Z sitting right next to the main home, but it is also a very unique shape. These contemporary homes were built to resemble each other not only on the outdoor structure, but on the inside structure as well. They are so close in resemblance that they are almost identical.

Mountain Guest House

Mountain guest house is one of a kind. It is the perfect guest home for those that want a relaxing addition to their residence. Designed to have a cabin feel this guest house features wood from top to bottom including the furniture. The deck roof to this guest bedroom is the best feature as it is made out of wicker however it is waterproof and isolated. Due to, this you have the roof of the home protecting it in a modern manner while still have the wicker extension that covers the deck.

Atelier and Guest House

When you think of a guest house a home like this one is exactly what you think of. The Atelier and Guest House by C.F. Møller Architects offers a main house with an updated extension of a guest house directly connected to the home. The idea is to have your guests feel as part of your home instead of being in a separate wing. Furthermore, the updated guest wing is modern with views of the coast.

Casey Key Guest House

The Casey Key Guest house is the epitome of contemporary guest home. This guest house was created on the concept of “house in the trees”. Furthermore, the idea was to create the perfect quiet space that looks like a tree house, but feels like home in the most modern way. Due to, this the home was built within a mature hammock. The interior and exterior of the home are constructed of Oak in order to provide that classic calming effect that the homeowners were seeking.

Shipping Container Guest House

Shipping container homes have become quite popular not only because of their size, but because of their convenience. Therefore, having a shipping container guest house like this one just makes sense. At 320 square feet, this shipping container sits in the backyard of the homeowner. The container home is equipped with a heating and air conditioning system along with plants on the roof that help regular the temperature of the home regardless of how it is outdoors.

Ocean Guest House

This ocean guest house was designed in a contemporary manner with a unique purpose behind it. Furthermore, the shape of this home was constructed to help the home breathe while still protecting it from the natural elements. The house itself is a two-story structure that has unique views on every wing. Its west wing is the most impressive as it offers views of the garden, pool and the ocean.

House by the Pond

Designed by Bridgehampton-based studio Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects in Water Mill, New York this guest house offers all of the beauty a home would. The house by the pond was constructed with natural elements such as anodized aluminum, cedar, and cement. These specific elements were selected because of their low maintenance, great cost value, durability, and longevity. 

Guest House Rivendell 

The structural design of this guest house Rivendell by IDMM Architects is a work of art in itself. Measuring at 7,760 square feet and located in North, Korea this guest house is a must see. The entire guest house is spread out with different areas that appear like limbs. Unlike a traditional home, this building offers an upper and lower space that is divided by long rows of windows. The windows allow for the amazing view to be seen throughout every single floor and space of the home. This was done because nature was a huge concept when it came to the structure of the home.

Need more inspiration? Let us help you transform your home! Contact us today to book a consultation.

10 Exterior Home Makeover Ideas

We all know that curb appeal is important to the look, feel, and resale of our home, but changing our home’s exterior is easier said than done. Whether you can only afford a few cans of paint, or whether you’re ready to completely renovate, these 10 home exterior makeover before and after ideas are sure to inspire! 

German Smear Technique

This home was renovated by Chip and Joanna Gaines on HGTV’s Fixer Upper. New front doors, wood shingles, wood shutters, square post columns, and a painting technique called “German Smear” completely transformed the look of this cape cod!

Southern Craftsmen

Creating a beautiful exterior isn’t just about adding more; sometimes you need to scale back! Removing trees and a few windows made a huge difference to the curb appeal of this southern charmer.

Country Living Farmhouse

This beautiful home just needed some extreme TLC. Very few structural changes were necessary to give the home new life.

Modern Brick Home Exterior Renovation

Sometimes the before and the after can be equally beautiful, and yet distinctly different. In 2008, Nester painted her brick colonial, replaced the shutters, and changed the front doors and entryway to create a completely different exterior!

Ranch with Porch Renovation

The addition of the portico porch dramatically changed the exterior of this ranch style home! Depending on the space, design, and contractor, a small porch addition can cost between R5,000-R50,000.

Fixer Upper French Country Renovation

On an episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, the homeowners longed for a french country feel to their home. They picked this home trusting Chip and Joanna to deliver a French Country look to their sprawling ranch home, and the end result was amazing. Interestingly, this project also garnered mixed reviews because of the painted brick.

Blue Cottage Renovation

This is a great example of how small changes combine to make a BIG improvement! The paint is an obvious upgrade, but take a closer look and you’ll see lots of small changes everywhere. 

Country Home Renovation

Simply beautiful! What a diamond in the rough! It’s such a joy to see neglected homes come to life again.

Cape Cod Renovation

Chip and Joanna Gaines added dormer windows to the existing structure to give the illusion of a second story. Love it? What would you have done differently? 

The Indiana House Renovation

This exterior renovation is amazing! The addition of the gabled porch made a HUGE difference, but I also love the shutter removal, blue exterior, and yellow front door.

Need more inspiration? Let us help you transform your home!
Contact us today to book a consultation.