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If you have decided to renovate your home in the near future, it may benefit you to familiarise yourself with a number of common problems that you may encounter as well as how to avoid them.

It can be easy to assume that you will take the necessary precautions and, as a result, your home renovation will run smoothly from start to finish, but by retaining the following information, you can know what to expect ahead of time and increase the chances of your home renovation being a success. 

Failing to do your research  

 If you are considering treating your home to a property-wide renovation in advance of relocating or just for you and your loved ones to enjoy, you must conduct thorough research ahead of time. This is especially important if you have little to no experience of undertaking a home renovation.

To ensure your home renovation runs smoothly from start to finish, you must research top-rated contractors in your local area and base your final decision on whether or not they align with your individual needs, wants, and goals as a homeowner. It may also benefit you to research your options before drawing up a rough guide of how you want your home to look when the entire project is complete. 

Forgetting to sufficiently protect your flooring 

 If you are in the process of renovating your home, you must sufficiently protect your flooring to prevent any dirt, mud, or debris from being inadvertently carried into your home by external contractors or their machinery. To do so, cover your flooring with a thick yet breathable layer of material, such as adhesive film, tarpaulin, or newspaper, and readjust or reapply as necessary to continue protecting your flooring on an ongoing basis.

In addition to sufficiently protecting your flooring, it may also benefit you to contact a professional carpet cleaning company afterwards to rid your home of any bacteria or germs that may be hiding deep within the fibres of your carpet unknowingly – often dragged in by workmen’s boots, and heavy machinery.

Exceeding your predetermined budget 

 If you have carried out a number of home renovations throughout your lifetime, you will be familiar with how easy it can be to get carried away and exceed your predetermined budget. By monitoring and tracking your spending, however, you can protect your pennies and ensure you are only spending within the boundaries that you personally set for yourself ahead of time. 

 If you are in the process of planning an entire home renovation project in the coming months, it may benefit you to familiarise yourself with a number of common problems ahead of time as well as what you can actively do to avoid encountering them on a first-hand basis. This includes failing to do your research in advance, forgetting to sufficiently protect your flooring from the resultant effects of heavy footfall and machinery, and exceeding your predetermined budget by getting carried away and overspending. By finding out everything you need to know beforehand, you can proceed with confidence. 

Have you entered the A’ Design Award and Competition yet? Register your design here. The deadline for entries is fast approaching and now is the time to submit your best work. With over 100 categories the A’ Design Award and Competition is the worlds’ largest design competition. But it is not just an award. It is an indicator of quality and perfection in design, recognized worldwide, bringing your design front and centre before design companies and professionals.

From the Furniture, Homeware and Decor Items Design Award to the Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award. The Lighting Products and Projects Design Award to the Interior Space and Exhibition Design Award. The Bakeware, Tableware, Drinkware and Cookware Design Award to the Landscape Architecture, Planning and Garden Design Award and so many more. (You can find all the design categories here.) With the competition highlighting, advertising & advocating good design, taking part will provide recognition, publicity and international peer review. Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members and the benefits to the winners are inspiring. The trophy, of course, an invitation to the gala night, a certificate of quality, inclusion in the prestigious A’ Design Award and Competition exhibition and the yearly ResultBook but even more importantly press, PR, introduction to industry professionals and companies and international exposure. The fame, the prestige, the recognition and so much more.

Are you inspired? Excited? Believe you’ve got what it takes to take on the best of the best design from around the world? You can register for the A’ Design Award and Competition 2021 –2022. But you better be quick. The deadline for submission is on February 28. Results will be announced to the public on April 15 and you will find full coverage of the results here on Desire to Inspire. Can’t wait to share the winners with you! Maybe we’ll be sharing your work.

In the meantime here are some inspiring winners from last year in the Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware category …

Shelter Desk by Joao Teixeira

Lattice Chair Weaving Armchair by Chen Kuan-Cheng

Parachute Wall Shelf by Yusuke Watanabe

Square and Round A Multifunctional Stool by Xu Le

Ging Chair by Alan Hung

Vague Stool by Rodrigo Erthal

Spring Multifunctional Chair by Navid Ghandili

Minimal Techno Arm Chair by Sebastiaan Van Beest

The Doberman Chair Armchair by Lianghao Zha

Tie Chair by Shigeki Matsuoka

Vortex Fireplace by Dario Sousa

TPH Cypress Tissue Paper Holder by Noriko Otaka

U Side Table by Fei Chen, Chengyong Li and Lei Yang

Flow Vase by Sini Majuri

Blk Storage Mirror by Jinxiang Li

Believe you’ve got what it takes to take on the best of the best design from around the world? You can register for the 2021 – 2022 A’ Design Award and Competition here but time is short so get your entries in now.


This post is in collaboration with A’ Design Award & Competition

World Design Rankings

Posted on Mon, 3 Jan 2022 by KiM

NEWS FLASH!!! The World Design Rankings have been announced for 2021. Who do you think topped the list? Where did your country come in? But first – what are World Design Rankings? WDR ranks all the countries based on the number of designers that have been granted an A’ Design Award. This year China took the top spot again among the 114 represented countries, followed by the US, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Taiwan, Turkey, Germany, and Australia rounding out the top 10. Canada was ranked 18th! You can check out the complete list here and when you’re there you can even zoom in to country level, click on the country name in the rankings table and you will be able to see top designers from that country (ranked in order starting with the best).

The ultimate aim of the World Design Rankings is to contribute to global design culture through advocating and highlighting good design. The rankings provide a snapshot of the state-of-art and design potentials of countries worldwide by highlighting their creative strengths, design weaknesses and available opportunities. The “Design Business Insights” section provides a ranking of countries based on their success in diverse design fields and creative categories. Using the “Design Business Insights” section, media members and design lovers could discover leading countries for specific design sectors and get answers to their questions such as “Which country is best in industrial design”, “Which country is best in interior design?”,  “Which country is the best in fashion design?” etc.

With the best of the best showcased in hundreds of design fields and categories, the Design Classifications allow you to choose the top ranking designers, artists and architects for your next project be it in architecture, interior design, furniture design, fashion design, graphics design and packaging design and more.

For several years Desire to Inspire has partnered with the A’ Design Award & Competition, the world’s largest annual juried design competition that honors the best designers, architects, and design oriented companies worldwide to provide them publicity, fame and recognition. Such an exciting competition! Such a prestigious award!
Here are some of my favourite winners from 2020-2021.

Slope House Residence by Kyungsik Kim

House of Tubes Residential by Enrique Leal

Cobogos House Residential Project by Cibelle Costa Barbosa

House On The Cliff Residential Building by Shamsudin Kerimov

Peloponnese Rural Residential House by Ivana Lukovic

The Inhabited Roccolo Private House by Edoardo Milesi – Archos srl

Hacienda Summer House by Hany Saad

House in Akashi Residential by Yousaku Tsutsumi

Hill House Private Residence by Edoardo Milesi – Archos srl

Nestled in the Green House by Tomomi Omachi

Minimal Techno Arm Chair by Sebastiaan Van Beest

Spring Multifunctional Chair by Navid Ghandili

Zero Sun Lounger by Roberta Banqueri

Watch Tower Cat Climbing Tree by Fei Chen, Lei Yang and Qi Wu

Hourglass Multifunctional Shelf by Yu Ren

Birds Multifunctional Table by Oksana Belova

Bamboo Leisure Chair by Wei Jingye and Li Jiashu

Inspiring Interactive Candlestick by Junqiang Lyu

Believe you’ve got what it takes to take on the best of the best design from around the world? You can register for the 2021-2022 A’ Design Award and Competition here.


This post is in collaboration with A’ Design Award & Competition

Do you love Christmas, but find that copious amounts of green and red and an army of Santa Clauses don’t work for your decor? Do you want to invest in accents that you can leave out all year? Keeping things simple doesn’t have to be boring! 

Make your own rules and refresh your decor with metallics, beige, white and pops of black and copper to add interest and depth. Add texture through natural materials, metal and glass to elevate your seasonal decorating and make it stylish and chic. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, a modern look will bring the festive winter wonderland indoors without the cold; while down south, wooden elements give a coastal vibe for summer. Here’s 7 ways to add some sophisticated touches to your decorations.

1. Make first impressions count

The first place you welcome your guests is at your front door, so add seasonal cheer with a beautiful door decoration. Go big, but keep it simple – it doesn’t have to be flashy to make a statement. As with all modern decor, keep in mind that less is more. Choose a simple colour palette of green and black, or silver and gold and then use that to inform your decorating choices for the rest of your home.  

2. Mix up materials

Wood, metal and glass are all great materials to work into your decorating. Wooden bead garlands, copper and brass stars and glass Christmas trees all add a touch of modern scandi to your home and are easy to source. Offsetting these with black and touches of deep green keep the modern theme going. Opt for geometric decorations, such as cones, stars, triangles and stylised reindeer, rather than more detailed, traditional shapes.  

3. Deck the halls — modern style

Choose a gorgeous Christmas tree and make it the focal part of your living room, while keeping other decorations minimal. Let your tree shine and decorate it sparingly in colours that match your decor and tie in with your wreath. There’s no need to be limited to traditional Christmas colours! Wooden or monochrome decorations tipped with gold or silver add a luxe look without overwhelming your tree. If you want to go even more minimal, there are gorgeous LED-light branch trees in silver or gold that are a striking alternative to a traditional green, fluffy tree.

4. Light up your space

One of the most simple, but effective ways to decorate is by playing with lighting. At night, the glow of Christmas lights is cosy and festive without being overwhelming. There are so many gorgeous LED decorative features available these days. Choosing simple forms with lighted elements, such as woven cone trees for the mantle, dresser or coffee table, is a great way to bring Christmas into your house while keeping your look fresh. Don’t forget the outside of your house – twinkling fairy lights are an elegant but low-key way to add a hint of the holidays to your exterior.

5. Hang your stockings with care

Opting for modern decor doesn’t mean ditching your stockings! Beautiful Christmas stockings are a must for your family no matter what style of decor you choose. Make them a feature with a simple pattern in neutral colours, add a sparkle with lurex thread or opt for a chunky knit.

For those celebrating in the northern hemisphere, dress your mantle with lights and bare branches for a festive touch while the yule log burns – or create a makeshift mantle out of a sideboard or buffet. Showcasing family photos from past Christmases printed in black and white is a great way to personalise your decor. Think simple but striking, and don’t be afraid to pare back your decorations.

6. Dine in style

If you’re hosting a Christmas or holiday meal, dining in style with beautiful table decorations and dinnerware is a must. Start with matte black stoneware for an organic feel, then continue the gold or silver theme with fabric napkins and simple table decorations, such as small metal or porcelain trees or bare branches. Use tea lights or string lights to make your table an extension of your decor.

Get the party started with a luxe silver or gold bar cart filled with all your favourites for effortless entertaining with a touch of glamour. Use glasses and decanters with a hint of gold and silver to complete the look. An open bar cart will have you prepared for any thirsty guests and Santa might thank you for something stronger than milk too (are there rules on drinking and sleigh driving?).

7. Complete the look

Without turning every nook and cranny of your house into the North Pole, think about adding touches of Christmas to rooms where they’ll have the most impact. Small decorations in the powder room and kitchen will complete the look (without risking the Grinch’s ire!). Luxe throws – faux fur for those experiencing a winter Christmas and lighter materials for antipodeans – add depth to beds and sofas.

Homemade posters featuring quotes from favourite Christmas carols or books are a fun way to update your existing decor for the holidays with a personal touch. Even better, swap out photos or prints in existing frames to keep the cost down. Monochromatic or metallic Christmas cards can also be used as a low-budget way to bring Christmas art into your home.

Keeping water well filtered and safe for drinking is the priority of many homeowners this coming winter. That’s understandable. Winter can dramatically affect the quality of our home water, and now’s the best time to start planning how you can keep your water at a pristine quality. 

You might be wondering how winter affects the quality of your water. The answer is quickly found in a simple story of snowmelt and sodium chloride. 

During winter, our roofs, roads, and playgrounds get covered by inches of snow, and we turn to de-icing these places for our comfort. There are several ways to de-ice, but the most common is de-icing with sodium chloride (salt). 

Using salt to de-ice is fast and convenient, but the chloride is soluble in water. So, many people using sodium chloride to melt the snow off their roads etc. means that there will be a high level of extra chloride present in the environment.  

Now, the water we get in our homes comes from either surface water or groundwater. A groundwater supply comes from rain and snow that seeps into the soil, while a surface water supply feeds from rain and snow that flows into streams, lakes, and rivers. 

After the de-icing, the chloride-filled snow melts and enters both types of freshwater supplies. The result is that despite treatment by the water authorities, our drinking water comes out of our taps with more chloride than usual. 

Apart from chloride, snow also contains a high amount of nitrogen which gets into our water when it melts, too. 

The bottom line is, there will be changes in your water quality during winter. But, preparing yourself for these inevitable changes should not be a difficult task. It can be pretty straightforward, actually; all you need is a water filter. 

Water filters help you keep your water free from different kinds of contaminants, like heavy metals and excess minerals. There are several types of water filters, and we’ll be discussing a few of them in this article. 

Types Of Water Filters 

Water filters function differently, and when picking a water filter system, you should consider your budget and the type of contaminants you’re trying to get rid of. There are water filters that are localized in their use and others that cater to the needs of the whole house. 

Whole House System

Whole house water filters process all the water coming from your city’s water supply before it’s distributed around your home. Using whole house water filter systems guarantees that you’ll have clean and better-tasting water at every outlet.  

SpringWell CF 

The Springwell CF is an excellent whole house filter. Not only does it remove chlorine and chloramine, sediments, pesticides, and heavy metals, it also gets rid of microorganisms, making your drinking water safer and better to drink. 

This system is perfect if you’re looking to get good quality water all over your house. It’s easy to install, and it gets the job done. Besides, it’s ideal for those snow melt related contaminants mentioned above.

The Best Water Filter Pitchers

Water filter pitchers operate differently from whole house water filters. They come in handy during the winter when low temperatures can easily affect the filtration systems in your home. 

With water filter pitchers, you don’t need to do any installation. Although you won’t get filtered water at every tap of your house like you’d get with larger systems, they are an excellent filtration tool to have. 

Here are two water filters pitchers you can use in your home: 

Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher

The Clearly Filtered is up there when it comes to water filtering pitchers. It efficiently traps the contaminants present in your drinking water. Microorganisms and minerals like chlorine, lead, and fluoride are filtered off by this unit, leaving you with water of very high quality. 

The Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher uses a process called affinity filtration to remove over 270 impurities. 

It has a 100-gallon filter capacity that lasts for about four months, after which you’ll have to replace the filter. It is an 80 oz jug, portable, easy to grip, carry around, and pour from. It fits nicely into a refrigerator and as a plus, it has a beautiful design. 

The inventors of this water filter pitcher have such solid belief in it that it even comes with a lifetime warranty. If your Clearly Filtered water pitcher ever breaks, you’ll get a new one, free of charge. 

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher 

The Aquagear water filter pitcher was created because the makers wanted to solve the problem of ineffective water filtration. So far, it looks like they’re achieving their goal. 

The Aquagear removes over 89 contaminants. Some of the pollutants include chlorine (99.9%), chloramine (99.9%), fluoride (90.06%), chromium (99.4%), lead (99.9%), mercury (97.8%), copper (99.7%), arsenic (99.8%) and over 50 VOCs including trihalomethanes (99.0%). 

Overall, this filter does a good job removing a lot of water pollutants, but it won’t remove healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium. 

It’s also important to note that this filter is not designed to deal with harmful microorganisms. It is intended for water that is considered microbiologically safe. 

The pitcher only comes in one size and can filter up to 8 cups in one refill. 

It can filter an impressive 150 gallons (6 months of use) before a new cartridge is needed. This is way ahead of many other pitchers out there. Although it has some great features, it is slightly more expensive than regular pitchers and has a relatively slow flow rate. It can be a challenge to use this filter if you have a large household. 

Other water filter pitchers include the pH restore, which helps balance the water’s pH, and Brita’s Everyday, which is popular and one of the top contenders out there.  

Winter Is Coming

If your home doesn’t have the filters it needs to keep your water safe, you should really consider getting one. Winter is coming.