Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crewel Fabrics

Crewel, also known as wool embroidery, has been around for centuries. The word crewel is derived from an old Welsh term meaning “wool.” The word referred to the wool yarn used for stitching and not the style of embroidery. Traditionally, heavy wools were used for this type of embroidery, but today there is a wide variety of yarns and even threads to choose from, depending on the desired effect.
Although crewel is considered the most difficult stitchery technique to master, it is ideal for pillows, curtains, clothing, and wall hangings. The use of tightly-woven fabrics enables stitchers to create an infinite variety of shapes. There are a great number of stitches that can be employed in crewel embroidery; these stitches add texture and depth to the finished piece. The outlines of the design are often screen printed on the fabric, and the stitcher fills in, or outlines, each area with stitches.
Crewl fabrics add a beautiful touch of elegance to traditional style rooms. Add a pillow with coordinating trim or upholster an accent chair, you will have created a lovely focal point to your room. It is like adding a tapestry to your design.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tapestry Art

In the middle Ages, tapestries had a purely utilitarian function. They were originally designed to protect medieval rooms from damp and cold weather, to cover austere walls of big castles, or to insulate big rooms into more comfortable quarters. Tapestries used for furnishing big stone castles were very big in size and they required large looms, many workers and high capital investments. Thus, manufacturer's of this type arose in prosperous localities, usually weaving centers. By 1500, Flanders, especially Brussels and Bruges, had become the chief places of production. Due to their size and intricacy, tapestries became investments and displays of wealth and power. In these early tapestries, isolated figures or compact groups stood out against a background that was generally plain or embellished with plant motifs or flowers, those are called , "mille fleurs", tapestry meaning (thousand flowers). Tapestry became equal to the class of paintings, sculpture and architectural design becoming one of the major visual art forms.

You will find lovely tapestries and rugs at

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beveled and stained Class

Stained glass windows in houses were particularly popular in Victorian era and many domestic examples survive. In their simplest form they typically depict birds and flowers in small panels, often surrounded with machine-made cathedral glass, which, despite what the name suggests, is pale-coloured and textured. Some large homes have splendid examples of secular pictorial glass.
Art glass
Beveled glass
Cathedral glass
Prairie style homes
The houses of Frank Lloyd Wright
Stained glass lamp / Lampshades
Tiffany lamp
Public and commercial use of stained glass
Town halls, schools, colleges and other public buildings often incorporate stained glass or lead lighting.
Public houses — In Britain, traditional pubs make extensive use of stained glass and leaded lights to create a comfortable atmosphere and retain privacy.
You can add a cut or stained glass piece of art to any window in your home or office, which creates a history conversational piece and simple elegance and that touch of class to any room.
Visit my "How To" videos at

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Earthy Browns for a Cozy Home

This is our new project taking place in Lagenda Mas, Cheras. A double storey townhouse owned by a young couple. This couple like the brown tones of wood. Now, remember in a previous entry in this blog ( ) I wrote about the warm and comforting effects of brown. I decided to use various shades of brown for walls and also combine different types of wood in my proposal.

All wall colours used here are Nippon colours, extracted from the CD library file that they provided for designers to use. I tried calling ICI to see if they provide such a tool ...they only have software for their own paint dealers to show to customers, none for designers to use in our presentations. How ICI expect designers to use their paints in our proposals to customers without providing us a toolkit is beyond my understanding! Merely using a catalog is not very effective. Customers want to visualize how their house will look like after costly renovations. Let me digress a little... A friend of mine working at the ICI factory in Nilai told me the quality of ICI paints is no longer as good as those years before. Because of rising costs and stiff competition from new brands, they're using more of lower price raw materials in their production.

The Living Hall
There is no major work to be done at the living hall except the light top plaster ceiling to conceal unsightly beams. To help this couple save money, I have proposed that they make use of wall paint to change the outlook of their interior instead of using costly wooden panels on walls.

Costs for this project :

Wet Kitchen ( cost RM13,700)

Base unit incl :-
Concrete slab laid with 2' x 2' tile
underconcrete framed door & stool-shelves & Drawers
Wall unit incl :-
Wall cabinet
3 nos. Aluminium frosted glass w. gas-lift
Coated glass 25 sq ft
Tall unit
Temper Glass
W80cm x H124cm x 10mm
to construct add-on dividing wall, W75cm x H124cm
with tiling work ( tiles by client )
Plumbing work - to reposition inlet & outlet point
To construct Box-up to hide Hood Ducting
To install Cooker Hood
To seal single window panel

Dry Kitchen ( cost RM9,790 )

Base unit
Solid surface
Wall unit - Lshape
Aluminium frosted glass w. gas-lift
Tempered glass 10 mm , W18'' X H83''

Masonry Work @ Wet & Dry Kitchen & Yard ( cost RM8,021 )

To hack & cart away the existing tiles , to supply labour, cement, sand to lay & fix wall & floor tiles ( note : tile by client )
Yard wall ( no hacking work )
Yard Floor ( no hacking work )
To demolish & plaster 2 nos of Dividing wall at Utility Room
To construct add-on portion at the existing low dividing wall, W2.5ft x H4.5ft
To extend Wall , W1.5ft x H7ft
To construct concrete base for washing machine
Note : tile by client

Living Hall ( cost RM4,980 )

Divider- W49'' x H9'
c/w 2 no of light point & 2 pcs of background mirror
to seal & reposition the understaircase store door,
making use of existing door, door frame brand new
alternatively quote for 6ft H door - add RM 150

Plaster Ceiling ( cost RM5,859 )

Wet & Dry Kitchen
Light Top - Lshape
Plain Board
Dining Hall - Light Top
Living Hall - Light Top
Entertainment Hall : -
Light Top
Plain Board
Upstair Family Area - Plain Board
Plain Board
Plaster-made Beam
Room 4
Room 3
Room 2

Electrical Work ( cost RM960 )

To install Ceiling downlight ( downlight by client )
Looping from existing point
To supply & install NEW switch point c/w plastering
Power point for hood & hob & microwave & oven cwp
Control points for hood & microwave & oven cwp
Dimmer control per point RM180 cwp
Switch point for item D1, ie Divider light x 2
c/w plastering

Black and White Rooms

The Kitchen
- Design Stage

- Actual Delivery

The Master Bedroom

- Design Stage

- Actual delivery

The Study Room

- Design Stage

- Actual Delivery

The Second Bathroom

Outside Shoe Cabinet

- Design Stage

The Living Hall

- Designing Stage

- Actual Delivery

The Dining Area

- Designing Stage

- Actual Delivery

Black and white...these are simple colours but combine well for a masculine environment. Today I'm writing about using black and white with just a touch of tangerine for a bachelor's pad. This client prefers warm and cozy lights for a relaxed environment.

This Living Area costs :

a. 2-way access CD cabinet - RM 810
b. To hack and replaster wall for 2-way access cabinet - RM 450
c. Plaster ceiling - Light top ( 90FR at RM18 ) - RM1,620

The Kitchen

This kitchen will use lots of black aluminium framed glass with coated glass used in between the wall and base cabinet units. The overall look will be glossy elegant black. To tone down the over-powering black, the 4-inch solid surface top shall be white.

This kitchen costs :

a. Black coated glass doors, aluminium edges, aluminium profile handles

Wall unit - RM 2,350
Base unit - RM 5,605
Tall unit - RM 2,128

b. Tap : Dorex RM 150

c. Gas lift (6 x RM30) RM 180

d. Aluminium framed frosted glass doors RM 360

e. Coated glass in between wall and base RM 1,188

f. Solid surface top - Acelite RM 3,520

g. Solid surface sink (2 x RM600) RM 1,200

The Black and White theme carries until the bedroom. An interesting idea came from the houseowner who wanted the wall-hung storage cabinet for CDs and players to be BOTH ACCESSIBLE from the living hall as well as the bedroom !

This Bedroom costs :

a. Wardrobe in HPL sliding doors, anti-jump system RM 8,185

b. Backdrop with light and 2 side shelves RM 2,600

Other costs in this project that I did not list here :

1. Costs for work that you cannot readily see from these pictures such as electrical wiring, masonry work, plumbing, installation of electrical items.

2. Fixtures and fittings such as lightings, air-conditioners, ovens, etc.

I do not list down each and every item in detail because the actual quotation runs up to 5 A4 size pages. With a rough guide to costs as provided above, it should be sufficient to help first-timers plan their renovation budgets.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Monkey Business

Lamp design reached a whole new level in beauty, design and workmanship in New York with Louis Comfort Tiffany. His elaborate floor, hanging, and table lamps are a good example. Tiffany spared no expense in their creation. His leaded-glass shades came on the market in 1899 and were immediately fashionable. Confident of the quality, he signed most of his work.
Lamps of art are also found which create great conversational pieces such as this one I found which also displays beautiful tapestry fabric for a touch of elegance accented with simple tassel trim.
The art of feng -shui is adding an animal touch to our rooms to create a harmony with nature around us, it brings a feeling of piece and harmony to your home or office setting.
Feng Shui represents the traditional Chinese concept of man harmonizing with his environment. Oriental philosophy proposes that we are a microcosm of a macrocosm—our outer world being a reflection of our inner world—and vice versa. It suggests that our environment affects us more than we realize.
All matter has vibration—the Hindus call it Prana—the Hebrews call it Ruach—the Greeks call it Pneuma—the Japanese call it Ki and the Chinese call it Qi (pronounced Chee).
Qi roughly translates as the life force or cosmic breath which pervades all of life. It is the force of change and transformation that is believed to have created the landscapes of our planet. If we consider Qi to be a current of energy, when we are out of step with the natural flow, it is against this current that we struggle literally. Feng Shui is concerned with overcoming this struggle by harnessing supportive Qi via placement, design, element, color, and much more.
We all know that the impact the moon has on the tides of the ocean, which is an enormous body of water. Well, we are over 60% water, so what impact might the moon have on us? Less well known is the fact that some surgeons are cautious about performing surgery around the time of the full moon because of the impact on the flow of the blood in the body.
It would seem that mankind and the planet are much more connected than we realize.