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GAME OF IDEAS

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Imagination knows no limits. But only a good interior designer can turn it into a charming reality

I I recently visited the renovated home of close friends, but after I was showed around and we sat for a coffee in the living room, I felt something strange. There was something odd, but I couldn't put my finger on what was it.

"We decided to paint in the colour of the year. A sort of purple. To remember us that it is also the year when our daughter was born," my friend said as she noticed my puzzlement and she showed me the wall where the family photos hang in their minimalistic frames. "It looked well on theory, but when we saw the actual colour... we decided to change it straightaway."

Now, when I knew the story, I understood what was not right in the room. The pale grey, hastily chosen to replace the unsuccessful attempt of 18-3838 Ultra Violet by PANTONE® to fit into this space, also didn't look at its place.

This little snippet of everyday life exemplifies well the risks we take when we decide to renew our home or to self-make the interior of our new home, shop, office. The very activity provokes our imagination. In our mind appear gorgeous, impressive and bold combinations of colours, fabrics, pieces of furniture, accessories. We page through magazines, we search inspiration and ideas in the Internet, we remember interiors that have impressed us and we try to recreate them on our territory. When we reach the moment of materialising these ideas into the real world, however, we hit a wall. We discover that selecting paints and materials is a challenge. That we have no idea in which corner to put the sofa and what would be the right lightning for the children's room. We hesitate whether is it a good idea to tear down wall beween the living room and the kitchen and what flooring to choose for the corridor.

Thus, thanks to personal experience, we realise that furnishing a space is a lot more than bringing some pieces of furniture in it. This process is a challenge and a task whose solution, when done right, helps us to feel comfortable in an interior, brings us freedom, tranquility and the sense of security, and at the same time is relevant to the current trends and the latest technologies.

Most of the people are not able to deal with such task alone. That is why today, when the market is overflowing with a diversity of furniture, accessories and home technology, so many interiors look the same.

This realisation shouldn't discourage us. When home renovation or change is planned, the best action is to seek the help of a professional interior designer.

Such service is far from a caprice for people with a lot of (disposable) money. Consider this: no matter how strongly we believe that Google is the answer to all our questions, we actually live in a world of narrow specialisation. Profiled skills and knowledge are both valuable and needed. You won't go to a doctor who hasn't graduated and will not trust your child to a school with unsatisfactory results, will you? In the same way, an interior designer is a professional without whom we cannot make our home cosy, comfortable and modern. They are able to analyse the interior, decide on what and where can be done and improved, what is the natural light and how to create a layout, what zones to define. They will select not the colours that are in fashion, but the ones that fit the best the particular interior. And will know from where to source new furniture, which of your old belongings to keep, how to refresh and diversify the accessories. With them you can rest assured that you won't need to ask the house-painters to repaint the wall.

Happily, the number of people who value the need of good interior designers is on the rise.

What specifically can we gain from work with an interior designer? First and foremost, it is the personal attitude towards the project. Mutual understanding and trust between the two sides in the process is key for the successful transformation of an interior. EXTRAVAGANCE design (Sofia, 106 Bulgaria Blvd, Building A3, Burgas, Lazur, block 163, www.extravagancedesign.com) is an interior design studio, specialised in interior design of houses, apartments, offices and public spaces of all types. It professionally provides complete management and realisation of interior projects, furniture design and spacial layout planning. The studio was established in 2009 and is now among the most dynamically developing Bulgarian companies for interior design. The direction of its work is focused mainly on creation of boutique interiors, practical design solutions and innovative concepts. Relying on its experience, the studio succeeded in creating a stable network of partnerships that guarantees the successful realisation of every project– from the presentation of the interior visualisation to its realisation in practice. Trust the studio and you can be sure that EXTRAVAGANCE design will give you just what you are looking for, to the last detail.

Realisation of an interior project is a complex task in which should be considered scores of details. The project's author should be able to think in perspective, having not only a clear spatial vision, but also knowing how the interior they have created will look in different weather and lightning, and how will it change with the passing years.

A good interior designer should be able to create new shapes and volumes and to select well colours and textures, Stoyan Pashov from the specialised studio Synergy Design (Sofia, 24A Simeonovsko Shose Blvd, phone: 0889 72 72 31,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,  FB: Synergy Design) not only believes in this principle, but also applies it in his practice. When he finishes working on a project, the most important reward for his work is the happy feeling for new life and the experience of a new dimension of beauty by his clients. This is where Stoyan Pashov finds a source of neverending inspiration.

Good interior designer is aware of the power of colours and their influence on the mood of the people who will inhabit the space. Warm nuances make the space sunnier, while cold ones bring a feel of certain distance. Light tones optically enlarge the space, and dark ones make it look more compact. Contrasts create the feel of diversity. Colour accents – a brightly painted wall or accessories, bring in individuality and character. Aggressive colours are particularly suitable for this, but one should be careful with their choice and location. A room with bright red walls, yellow curtains and lilac furniture might be the source of positive energy for some people, but other might see it only as a migraine trigger.

In the past few years the colour trends are towards cleaner, minimalistic style in the so-called Scandinavian design. But it is here where the danger of ending up with a monotone interior is the biggest. A good designer will help you avoid making such mistake, with carefully deciding on the best colour scheme and diversifying the dominating white, black, grey, beige, with other hues that either pleasantly contrast or complement them.

Creative thinking is a must for any good interior designer. When it is lacking, the space becomes a copy of so many others and, although imperceptibly, it begins to deprive the people who use it of their personality. With the professionals of Base Design (Sofia, 22 Prof. Dr. Dimitar Atanasov St, phone: +359 883 368 498, www.basedesign.bg) you will never be afraid of standard solutions. The young team of the interior design studio is widely specialised, experienced and full with desire and talent to create one-of-a-kind, but functional spaces. With equal inspiration and experience, Base Design develops solutions for residential and public spaces, restaurants, shops. Each of them fits the needs of the people who are going to use it. The people of Base Design, however, don't strive only to functionality. The studio's designers create memorable interiors where current trends and classical solutions combine in a harmony of colours, fabrics, structures.

The task of interior designer inevitably includes "decoding" the space and the ability to see how it can be adapted in a way that makes it both functional and individual. Zones differentiating is an important step in this process. Every square centimetre of the space should have clearly defined function or functions that answer the needs of the inhabitants.

Contemporary construction often presents us with the challenge to deal with nonstandard spaces: ceiling that is too high or low, strange angles and nooks. Experienced interior designers can "soften" the strangeness of such spaces or choose to do the opposite – to turn their peculiarities into a memorable accent.

The experience of true professionals is priceless when you dream about an interior that stands out from the crowd of mass solutions, but without sacrificing comfort to visual audacity. Artsinhron Architecture Studio (Sofia, 30 Sredna Gora St, www.artsinhron.com) is the place where you will find competent and creative help for achieving the best solution. Since the end of the 1990s the studio of architects Meri Klincheva and Hari Karalambev designs and manufactures elegant, brave and innovative interior solutions for residential and public spaces (hotels, offices, shops, restaurants). The studio has its own workshop for manufacture of furniture and home accessories after individual projects, and cooperates with established professionals and artists in the field of design, architecture and plastic arts. Thus, Artsinhron always achieves solutions that are different and combine comfort and functionality with innovations and clear individuality.

Good interior designer can also offer help in regard of the complete realisation of your interior. There is hardly any need to point out how practical such solution is: it saves you both time and nerves.

Full service – from design to realisation – is the best solution for everyone who insists that every stage of the project of their new home, office or hotel is implemented professionally and with quality. Neda Style studio for interior design and realisation (Sofia, Manastirski Livadi, 60 Avalon St, Varna, 90 Georgi Benkovski St, office 18, www.nedastyle.eu) is a reliable and experienced partner in such cases. The professionals in it begin with preparation of a complete concept and stay with you at every step: design of interior and furniture, consultation, implementation. How does Neda Style achieve that? The studio's team works with pleasure and is not afraid to let their imagination free. On the other side is experience. The studio is in constant contact with established distributors and manufacturers of furniture, equipment and home accessories, which is crucial for its ability to offer an individual solution to every client. Thanks to this important combination of qualities and skills, Neda Style is a preferred partner for projects varying from small apartments to restored houses. The studio also accepts working on projects outside Bulgaria.

A home has a soul – you have probably heard something like that before. Indeed: haven't you had the sensation that, upon entering one's home, you sense in the atmosphere the character and essence of the inhabitants?

A designer who discovers the soul of the interior and clothe it in mater: this is in short the work of Plamen Bukovski, owner and main designer of BS Studio (Sofia, 3 Gladstone St, phones: (+359) 878 899 807, (+359) 885 944 300, www.bucovskypl.blogspot.com). Plamen Bukovski knows well the role of light and colours and their combination in different materials and surfaces. Applying the principles and means of so-called psychodesign, where interior corresponds to a person's individuality, he creates spaces that harmonise with the souls of their inhabitants and bring cosiness and harmony. Besides complete design of home interior, BS Studio offers as well exterior and furniture design.

The choice of a style for your interior is another important step: with it come some pre-defined options for the colour scheme, the accessories, the general mood, the details. Industrial dark grey would not fit into a rustic interior just like splendid sofas with upholstery of blooming roses will look strange into a minimalistic space. Gilt ornaments can be used in an intellectual's home only sparingly and with a hint of irony. Each of these styles has its strong and weak points, but with the help of a skilled professional you will make the best decision in finding your personal balance between current trends and individuality.

Looking for an interior that combines classical ideas and modern trends, interior designer Emilia Slavova (phone: +359 898 477 170,  www.emiliaslavova.com) will provide you with the best solution. Regardless of whether it is for a home, an office, a shop or another space, Emilia Slavova takes into consideration the particularities of the place, combines them with your tastes and desires, and creates comfortable, stylish interiors with their own character that are simultaneously modern and classical. With extensive experience and an eye for detail, Emilia Slavova can provide complex conceptual design, personal involvement throughout the planning and complete realisation of your interior design project, to ensure you have a final result that suits your tastes and everyday needs.

The selection of the right pieces of furniture for an interior is also a challenge. Mass production looks appealing: you don't need to overthink it, the selection is adequate, the prices are not breathtaking, and the neighbours, your brother and your mother's best friend all have something similar and are very happy with it indeed. But don't you want something different from what you have already seen in dozens of catalogues and Instagram photos?

When you are looking for furniture that has not only individual design, but also its own aura, check the Gogata portfolio (www.gogata-bg.com). Georgi Georgiev, founder of Gogata, has years of experience in professional furniture manufacture, and in 2017 he came up with a concept of his own recognisable style, Gogovism. Visually it is easy to distinguish a piece of furniture in this style because of its creative colour combinations. Gogovism, however, is a lot more – it corresponds at an energy level with the inhabitants of a home, bringing in harmony, love, warmth. Gogata furniture stands out not only with its appearance. It is comfortable and durable, and easy to maintain. Gogata offers furniture of solid wood and MDF, as well as services for maintenance, repair, restoration and ageing of furniture.

Even when our requirements are so high that we are one step away from being declared too pretentious, we have an ally by our side: Internet and its bonanza of shopping options. Indeed, when we are looking for furniture, our kneejerk reaction is to visit a large specialised store. The principle "hand to touch, eye to see" is a habit that dies hard. In the past few years, however, we have the opportunity to choose quality furniture without leaving the comfort of our home – in online stores.

Such way of shopping has many advantages – it saves time and it allows direct comparison between different items and control of how much are we going to spend. Which online furniture stores deserve our attention?

In all cases, put www.mebelionline.eu at the top of your websites' list to check. The website offers mainly furniture by the Bulgarian company Filmar 74, and also accessories and decoration. The company is an established name on the local market and wins loyal clients with the precision of its manufacturing, the high-quality materials, the elegant design. This year, the String desc by Filmar 74 received the public's award in the Furniture of the Year 2018. String is truly remarkable – its board is made of walnut tree with the original shape of the trunk preserved, in a combination with metal elements. High technologies are permeating interior design not only in furniture selection.

The Internet of Things is becoming a part of the everyday life. Thanks to it we can control the lightning in the corridor and the chicken in the oven without leaving our sofa, to choose the temperature at home while we are leaving the office and to be sure that we haven't forgotten the iron turned on when we left for the theatre. New technologies permeate the very construction process as well. Passive houses are the new trend everyone is talking about, because they answer the most current issues of our time. They save energy and reduce harmful emissions that are responsible for the global climate change. A number of innovations are being applied for achieving this, and a significant part of the attention of developers is targeted towards glazing.

The new generation of glazing systems by Alu König Stahl (www.alukoenigstahl.bg) is actively developed towards improvement of both thermoinsulation capabilities and design, which reduces the area of visible profiles while increasing the glass area. Thus, the improved thermal comfort is combined with an access of more daylight in the rooms. The company also develops options for openable large-scale windows that have become increasingly popular in current architecture. The design of the new systems allows for a part of the casing to remain hidden, invisibly integrated into the profiles. This is particularly relevant for door hinges and self-closing machines. Thus the only element remaining visible are the doorknobs, which are offered by Alu König Stahl in elegant variants in a number of attractive colours. The profiles are used as an outline that underlines the glazing, instead of as a separate construction. Combined with well-selected sunscreening mechanisms, the windows become an important functional and architectural element in modern construction.

The combination of practical, aesthetic and technical knowledge, and artistic inspiration, that the creation of an interior requires, is achievable. To have it, we only need to find a professional in this field, and to trust them.

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