Sunday, 18 August 2013

Cuba, a country of contraditions!

Cuba brought out in me all sorts of emotions...happiness, frustration,bewitched, angry, empathy, sadness, alive, amused,charmed and the list goes on.

 A lady comes out with a fruit tray as we adventured out in the blazing sun on a walking trip near the hotel we are staying by the beach.

While waiting for our freshly made Pina Collada I noticed these amazing chairs made with cow hide.
 Now in Havana and I exchanged smiles with my friendly neighbour across the road.

 We go from amazing architecture and superb detailed ceilings...

To this!

The glass and the light remind me of Moroccan design.
And here was our lovely tour guide Ania ordering us and the driver one of our best meals in Cuba made in a lady's house which was sold to Cubans (since she wasn't allowed to acompany us to the hotel restaurant we decided it wasn't for us also).

 Here we stumbled upon a children's class in the middle of Havana.

And I loved the fact people gathered in the afternoon to dance the tango.

And with all this contraditions would I go back? Absolutely...

Pictures are my own.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Stairway to heaven!

Don't just think about stairs as a way of joining one floor to another. With a degree of creativity, innovation, and skill, your stairs can become a powerful design element of your home interior and have a visual impact on the entire house. 

Here are a few tips to consider in choosing a new stairwell for your home:

There are a wide range of materials, so choices, options and customizations are endless. Here are 3 considerations:
  • Space - The space available will determine the types of stairs that will fit the house.
  • Comfort - Stairs that are wide and have a less steep climb are much more inviting; important when considering who will be climbing the stairs.
  • Safety - The safest stairs are ones with a landing. These are the return stairs followed by L-shaped or U-shaped stairs. Straight stairs with a landing are better than those without, but a landing may not fit. Although circular staircases take up the least space they are the hardest to climb.  
Now choose the best stair shape taking into account the design of your home:

Spiral stairs - formed by twisting steps around a central pole, they can be used in any corner of the house as they consume minimal space. However, though pleasing to the eye, they are hard to climb, unsafe and also unsuitable as a primary staircase.

Straight stairs are the easiest to build; although they can be tricky to fit into a floor plan unless there is a space for a stairway already built into the plan.

Circular stairs are not the semi-circle stairs sometimes found outside and go up straight. Those are still considered straight stairs. The individual steps are in just a different shape.

L-Shaped Stairs are a good alternative if there is not enough floor to ceiling space available for straight stairs. They can be positioned anywhere in the room, even in corner.

Obviously, it is best if a plan for wide stairs with low steps can be planned both for safety and comfort although not always possible. 

The style is going to depend greatly on the architect, designer or owner of the house.