The humble, traditional, and orderly 'Apia' screen pattern with its regular pillowed squares and floral motif evokes a time from the past when religion and a certain rigidity ruled society with elegance quiet grandeur. Though named after a city in Samoa, this design seemed more in place right here in Australia, perfectly suited to our many Victorian homes, and perfectly adaptable to a more contemporary Victorian interior decorating style. Unfortunately, this is another pattern that I have no actual installation photos to show you, so I have once again done a bit of Photoshoppin' to a couple of pics to give you an idea of how it might look in a home:
In both the above and below pics I've 'installed' 'Apia' in the windows, always an option for custom sized screens for more privacy, shade, or decorative beauty. In the above photo, the screens add a sense of monastic grace to a fairly sterile bedroom interior, and have the added value of appearing to be security screens. Should the screens be cut in aluminium, aluminium composite panel, mild steel, or corten, there certainly would be an added deterrent to burglars--at least the ones without time and a screwdriver on hand!
And in this 'installation', I've added 'Apia' in the window to a gorgeous modern Victorian style bathroom, where I imagine it would add a bit more privacy than those sheer curtains alone, as well as create beautiful shadows on that pretty white tiled floor on sunny days. Compressed hardwood screens could be painted to match the colour scheme of any room, or the screen could be cut in powder-coated ACM, mild steel, or aluminium.
Now for a look at Victorian-inspired interior decorating in modern homes:
The key feature of a modern Victorian style bathroom is a free standing bath tub. These days, there are free standing tubs without the traditional claw feet, as shown in the bottom left bathroom. With just this feature alone, any bathroom will have the Victorian touch, though to go a bit further you could add a semi-detached sink or pull-chain toilet.
The key feature of a modern Victorian style bedroom would be a grand bedhead. Be it a four-poster bed, a baroque carved bedhead, or ideally, a cast-iron or decorative metal framed bed, tall, fussy beds with either foot boards or a long bed stool definitely give any bedroom the Victorian flavor.
Traditional Victorian style can be lavish, stuffy, cluttered, and subdued with warm or natural colour schemes, but the modern Victorian style needs only the architectural features of the house itself and a few of the essential elements: baroque or Queen Anne styled lounges, chairs, mirrors, or picture frames. A modern Victorian home can be quite sparse and colorful, but the direction of its decor is led by at least one or two dominating traditional pieces, such as the baroque sofa in the bottom left picture or the grand, tall windows and ornate tray ceiling of the lounge room on the bottom right.
Other elements of a Victorian home may be:
I hope you have enjoyed this brief foray into modern Victorian interior decorating style. To see much more in this style and to see the latest installation pics of 'Apia' as we they come in, follow our decorative screen Pinterest board features, including one just for 'Apia'.
For more details on QAQ screens in general or to find a distributor near you, call and ask for our lovely retail sales rep Sylvana at (03) 8390-0306.
Thank-you for reading! :)
Why would you grow a plant upside down? That's what I wondered when I first learned about this type of garden just last week. I thought the lady telling me about it was pulling my leg! But no, upside-gardening is a real thing, and though some people may say it's a trend, there are some real benefits to growing plants upside down for both the gardener and the plants that make it worth trying out. Read on for what these are and for how to start making one yourself!
You can create an upside-down garden using household buckets, potting soil, organic fertilizer, and a choice of plants that are appropriate to the size of the container and the spot you would like to hang them in. Tomatoes and cucumbers are the two most common plants to grow in an upside-down container.
A number of pre-made upside-down planter pots by gardening brands are available online within Australia. if you are after something a bit more sleek-looking or for indoor decorating like those pictured above, ordering one of these is an alternative to the DIY approach. There seems to be no limit to what can be planted upside-down, so long as the plant is not too heavy or large, of course.
Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post, and let me know-- have you ever heard about this type of garden? Have any of our readers actually grown anything upside-down? I'd love to hear from you!
The undulating, ribbon-like crossed lines of QAQ's 'Espressivo' decorative screen design are both strikingly modern yet feminine; it's an abstract, artistic design that especially suits a contemporary indoor or outdoor decorating scheme. As last week's screen design feature post focused on the more traditional 'Vine' design, which I paired with traditional and rustic styled patio settings, this week I'll be pairing 'Espressivo' with modern styled outdoor furniture and decor. First, take a look at two installations of this design (in real photos!) that I have to share with you:
Decorative screens can fill those 'in between' spaces beautifully, increasing privacy and shade while adding character and value to your home.
Or, a decorative screen can simply be installed as wall decor to liven up an empty space. Corten, shown here and installed with the stand-off method (click to see our tutorial) is a rust-colored metal that weathers extremely well, as it gains a charmingly rustic, uneven color over time.
Now on to some modern patio eye-candy. Modern patios are all about boxy, clean lines and neat edges, manicured gardens, geometrically shaped, modular furniture, and a fairly neutral, to simple color palette. They are minimalist, uncluttered, feature a few key statement pieces, but by no means do these settings lack an inviting coziness and comfort.
Compared to the intimate provincial settings of the past, modern outdoor settings always seem to cater to larger, group socializing and a lot more backside lounging or general slouchiness...
To get a modern patio look, you'll need a very clean-lined, manicured landscape and patio design and a few stellar pieces of outdoor furniture. There's no need to spend a load of cash on these, either, in fact, if you're DIY-inclined, you'll be amazed at what people are creating with shipping pallets! For those of you who are not, however, there are great designer deals to be had on eBay at much lower prices than what you'll find in shops. Here are a few unique and stunningly stylish pieces I felt rather impressed with that are available there now:
The tiny buds, pointed leaf tips, and meandering vine stalks of QAQ's 'Vine' decorative screen pattern make it a highly versatile design that can easily suit either a traditional or modern garden, patio, or interior. Because I'm planning to introduce you to a very abstract, modern QAQ screen design next week, I thought I'd indulge in matching 'Vine' to more traditional patio decorating styles this week, and next week will cover more modern outdoor living furniture and decor. 'Vine' is an another lesser-known decorative screen pattern here at QAQ, so please excuse my photoshopped photos as I help you to imagine what this pretty screen pattern might look like in a patio setting!
An easy and inexpensive way to enjoy this pattern, like most QAQ screens, would be to purchase it in a standard size in compressed hardwood and simply hang it on your patio wall or fence. Compressed hardwood will weather well if it is sealed and maintained over the years. If you are not sure how to do that, see my post 'How to Maintain Your New Compressed Hardwood QAQ Decorative or Privacy Screen' for complete details.
All QAQ screens can be ordered in any colour depending upon the type of material you want it cut in, so for a more decorative impact you could order the screen in a powder-coated ACM or mild steel, or simply buy compressed hardwood and paint it yourself.
Here is a real photo of 'Vine' installed along the side of QAQ headquarters (and which also happens to be the view from my second-story office desk!). It's a tall vertical Cor-Ten® screen which has weathered well and gained a lovely rust colour. Some effort was made to get a jasmine vine to take off on it but it doesn't appear to be growing up so much as it is growing out into the planter box this spring..... Anyway, on to traditional style decor.
One of the most noticeable differences between modern and traditional outdoor decorating styles is that modern settings almost always seem to have a perfectly matching set of rather modular-looking furniture. With a traditional setting, you see a lot more unique wood and wrought iron styled furniture, and often a variety of colourful pillows and throws to make the set look cosy and inviting in an old-world way.
Traditional settings often feature imported furniture, wicker, wrought iron, and make-shift pieces, all arranged invitingly with plenty of pot plants, colour, and a general rustic charm, which may be a flaky plastered wall, mossy, unevenly laid patio tiles, or worn wood pergola overhead. It can evoke an old cultural style to sweep the relaxing guest away to an Italian alfresco dining area, Chinese courtyard, English cottage, or Parisian countryside home. Creating a traditional style patio or balcony area begins with the furniture, so I found three products available online now for you to check out if this style appeals to you: