New £3.6 Million Update
For architects working on the London Zoo, animal welfare takes precedence over the creation of a stylish architectural statement. The area of the tiger enclosure has been greatly increased, and the structural elements are virtually invisible. Indeed, this renovated Tiger Territory is five times the size of its predecessor, built in the 1970s.
The enclosure is currently home to a pair of endangered Sumatran tigers, Jae Jae and Melati. Jae Jae is five years old, and was born in the San Francisco Zoo. He has been described as “charming with an outgoing personality”. Meanwhile, Melati, his mate, was born four years ago in the Perth Zoo. Zookeepers have said that she is “an intelligent cat – never jumping in paws first”. Apparently she also likes to chuff in her mate’s direction when she thinks the keepers can’t hear her.
The tiger enclosure is covered by a net canopy made from 3mm steel cable threads. Four black metal poles have been used to create peaks in the netting, up to 20 m tall. This creates a shape similar to a circus tent roof, except less symmetrical. The Tiger Territory covers an area of approximately 2500 sqm, and there are plenty of large trees for the tigers to climb.
There are also tall wooden feeding poles, which have a series of pulleys attached. These are used to pull the chunks of meat up, so that the tigers have to climb up if they want to get fed. Climbing is an intrinsic aspect of a tiger’s animal nature. “They like to observe their terrain from a towering vantage point, so we’ve given them a habitat that lets them do exactly that – with a view out over Regent’s Park,” says the zoo’s project manager.
Innovation and Obstacles
The redesign project was complicated by the fact that due to the overall limited space of the zoo, some existing structures had to be incorporated into the tiger enclosure. These structures included a viewing platform intended for sea lions, which was built in the 1960s, and a Victorian stork and ostrich house. The sea lion platform has now been converted into a viewing stand for visitors wishing to get up close and personal with the tigers. The ostrich house, meanwhile, has been transformed into a den for the stripy pair. Their den also includes heated rocks in case Jae Jae and Melati require some soothing treatment for their muscles after an exhausting day of climbing trees.
Grace Matthews is a London-based lifestyle blogger who prefers to don her overalls when getting her hands dirty!
Leather bomber jackets are one of the most expensive pieces of any men’s wardrobe. However, they can be a rewarding and fabulous addition to your closet. When the right one is chosen, they are easily dressed up with a tie and trousers, or made casual with a t-shirt and jeans.
This type of jacket came into popularity when it was given to pilots in World War I. Since they were not flying in covered cock-pits, the jacket made of leather was able to insulate them from the elements. WWI era jackets are marked by their shearling interior, high collars and ribbed cuffs used to keep in warmth. Most of these features are still present in modern era jackets.
Fitted and Fabulous
The most important part of shopping for a jacket made of leather is getting the right fit for your body. A leather jacket should be slightly snug when you try it on in the store — but not too tight. Leather has a bit of give, most people size down one size when purchasing. Since leather cannot be successfully tailored make sure of the following:
• Shoulder seams are aligned at your actual shoulders, not drooping off
• End of the arms ends at your wrists and do not fall over the top of the hand
• Armholes are snug, but not so tight its pulling the back of the garment and making it bunch
• The end of the jacket comes to your natural waistline
A bomber jacket is marked by a zipped front in soft leather. It does not have a lot of frilly accoutrements like fur cuffs, hardware, tons of zippers, belted waistbands or oddly placed pockets. What makes a bomber jacket elegant is its clean, simple and timeless look. Since they are expensive, by a simple black one that easily transitions into your wardrobe and will stand the test of time of changing trends.
Quality over Quantity
A well made leather bomber is obvious. The material will be soft, not stiff like cardboard. Jackets will span the range of £200-£1,000 — depending on the maker and if it is couture. Don’t go too cheap, it will not last. Look for a mid-range price point when buying leather items. Lambskin will be more expensive than cowhide, but lambskin is the better cut of leather.
Leather bomber jackets for men are an investment. With care these jackets can last for decades. With its modern lines and iconic appeal, a well-made leather jacket will easily match weekend outfits as well as work looks.
The beauty of bespoke kitchens is that the world is your oyster in terms of the style, function and layout of the space. Whether you want a rustic country kitchen, an artsy, creative space or a contemporary space, the choice is yours. A bespoke furniture specialist can even create a kitchen that features a combination of rustic and contemporary styles.
Here’s a quick guide to the three most popular kitchen styles.
The artsy, crafted kitchen relies on the use of natural tones and materials and places a strong emphasis on hand crafted pieces of furniture. Wood is often the preferred choice in this type of kitchen design. Items that are often found in kitchens of this kind include wooden brackets, carved corbels, elaborately framed cabinets and panelled doors with thick, sturdy frames. Other trademark aspects of this style are tiffany-like lighting fixtures that bring a splash of colour to the room and stylised wallpaper.
Traditional kitchen themes are often chosen by homeowners, as this style will never go out of style and has a cosy, warm look. This theme blends the elegant and slightly formal look of homes from the 18th and the 19th centuries. Bespoke kitchen designers often incorporate a modern twist into this traditional theme, to give it a fresh and unique look. Typical characteristics of the traditional kitchen include rope and crown mouldings that add a touch of old world elegance to the room, as well as fluting and ornamental carvings on wooden pieces of furniture. A traditional kitchen will usually have cabinets that are made from mahogany, walnut or cherry wood.
For those who prefer a more contemporary look, there are plenty of options; generally, this kind of modern look consists of clean and simple architectural lines, as well as understated decorative pieces. In contemporary kitchens, the materials tend to be man-made as opposed to natural; these include lacquer, chrome, concrete, glass, laminate and stainless steel. This style of kitchen is heavily influenced by design elements found in Germany and Scandinavia. If the thought of a contemporary kitchen appeals to you but you still want to retain an air of cosiness, then try mixing some subtle wood features in maple or birch with metals such as pewter, brass or copper. This will add a certain amount of warmth to the room without overwhelming its modern design.
Many people love the look of the typical ‘country kitchen’. This rustic style is welcoming and cosy, with plenty of bright colours and light, as well as floral motifs. However, these are just rough guidelines and there are many twists on this kind of theme; lots of bespoke kitchens use this style sparingly and incorporate other themes alongside it. Some features of this style include distressed wooden cabinets and tables, as well as open-door cabinets, which are used to display old vintage china pieces. The key is to keep the overall look understated, with some well chosen accent pieces, such as throw rugs, hand crafted dining chairs and other pretty furnishings.
Hand made furniture gives people the ability to furnish their homes exactly as they see fit, regardless of their style. Only professionals can build furniture properly to suit their bedrooms. It will also give them the ability to choose bed frames that are perfectly sized for the available space within the room.
Four Poster Bed Frames Designs
The four poster bed frame style is one of the most elegant designs that can be used to decorate the bedroom. When choosing custom pieces, the posts can be designed according to the specific styling the individual consumer wants. For instance, the African style is almost always in a dark wood, such as mahogany, where the posts are spiralling to the top finials The finials can be rounded or pointed in shapes and designs specific to the needs of the consumer.
The four post bed frame can also incorporate side panels, joining the top posts to form a square or rectangle. An elegant and dramatic effect can be had with this addition, as it serves to hold draping fabric that is attached to the ends of the posts with decorative cords. The fabric would drape over these joining pieces, in a pattern, texture and weight but the consumer chooses.
Hand made furniture can also create a bed frame that can provide additional storage. The storage space can be incorporated into the headboard, whether it is to serve as decorative or functional storage. This can be in the form of shelves that are attached to the headboard or foot board, or with an enclosed area that works with sliding doors, or a lift up top. These are great additions to the end of the bed, allowing to serve as a bookshelf, for example.
Adding storage to the base is also possible when the bed frame is in a platform style. Drawers can be used to increase storage space, according to the needs of the individual consumer. One large drawer can serve to hold numerous items, or smaller compartments can be built in. They are a great addition to a child’s room, helping to keep the room tidy and organised.
Compact bathrooms can present quite a problem, particularly for those who want a luxurious space where they can completely relax and unwind after a hard day. However, with a little effort and more thought, a modestly sized bathroom can still be a haven for total relaxation.
One of the main problems of a tiny bathroom is where one should put toiletries, towels and other items. Storage in a smaller bathroom needs to be installed in way that doesn’t swallow up what little space is available. Using the corners and crevices of the room is the best way to ensure that you make the most out of the room. Corner shelves, built in cupboards and storage space underneath the sink are all viable options in a compact bathroom space. These will allow you to keep everything you need in the room, without creating a sense of clutter and overcrowding.
Keeping things minimalistic is important in a small bathroom; this is not the right space for lots of accessories and unnecessary decorative items. Use colour to create a sense of style in the room, rather than objects. Painting one of the walls a striking colour and adding a matching towel or shower curtain will ensure that the room has personality and yet still feels as spacious as possible. Of course, you can add one or two accessories to the room if you wish; candles, soap dishes and other pieces will certainly help to add character to the room, but the key is to not overdo it with this type of accessorising. Less is definitely more in a modest sized bathroom.
There are some bathroom suites that are designed specifically for the more compact bathroom space. However, these can sometimes make the room feel even smaller. Choosing one luxury bathroom piece, such as a wooden bath, will make the room feel more like a luxurious space. Wood baths are an unusual and beautiful way to incorporate a stylish touch into a plain bathroom. If you decide to do this, then its best to choose slightly smaller additional pieces, as this will allow the stunning design of the bath to stand out.
Wood baths are an elegant way to make a bathroom appear larger and more luxurious, but there are other methods that work well too. A large, framed mirror works beautifully in a smaller bathroom, reflecting the light and creating the illusion of a far more spacious room. Combined with wood baths, large mirrors hung correctly will do wonders in a compact bathroom. The right lighting is just as important; overhead lighting can be a bit too harsh in small room, so it’s sometimes best to use wall lights that produce a softer glow. Make the most of candles as well, as these will create a wonderfully luxurious atmosphere, in any size of room.
Remember to add a heated towel rail in a compact bathroom, as this is the perfect way to heat up the room, store your towel neatly and warm it up for after a shower or a bath.
The creation of bespoke kitchens provides the perfect opportunity to design every aspect of the room, including the colour scheme. The right combination of colours and shades of materials can make the kitchen look far more appealing and vibrant.
Colours have been proven to have a significant impact on a room. For instance, the colour red is known to increase people’s appetite and so is a great colour for a kitchen. From an aesthetic point of view, it is also suitable in a kitchen as it adds warmth to the room. Muted oranges and yellows can also look great and have a similar effect. Having an accent wall is a common feature in many bespoke kitchens, as it is a more subtle way of brightening things up and can highlight a unique piece of bespoke furniture, such as an ornate cabinet or set of shelves.
When one has a hand in designing every element of a kitchen, the range of colours available for the materials used is vast. For example, if wood is the preferred choice of material for the main pieces of furniture, such as the kitchen island, counter tops and cabinets, then there is a world of choice when it comes to tones and colours. Many people who want a luxurious look in their kitchen opt for opulent, rich mahogany, which adds depth and elegance to bespoke kitchens, but there are others who adore the soft and subtle appearance of lighter woods such as birch and pine. Of course, wood is very versatile and can be painted to fit in with almost any colour scheme.
Trends in home decor come and go, so the best advice would be to merely take inspiration from decor ideas that appeal, rather than copying the look entirely, as this is the easiest way to create a kitchen that is both unique and timeless.
Both whites and creams are popular choices in kitchens, as they give a simple, crisp and clean appearance to a room. But these types of kitchens can sometimes seem a tad sterile and cold, so it is important to use materials that add warmth to the room alongside such a colour scheme; teak and oak are great choices in this case. An accent wall in a pastel colour is another option, as this will soften the overall look of the white walls, yet will still be in keeping with the sleek modern style that the white brings to the kitchen.
Gone are the days when just one colour was used. As people become more involved in the creation of their bespoke kitchens, they are beginning to experiment with different colours to see which works best in their kitchen. Many people now use up to three main colours when redecorating a kitchen space. Usually, one dominant colour is used on the walls, a secondary colour in the main surfaces such as the cabinets and tables and a third colour is brought into the room through small, removable pieces such as artwork and soft furnishing.
Creating an exotic Moroccan bathroom will transform a plain and uninviting room into one where it is a pleasure to spend time. Using the colours, textures and lavishly embellished style of Moroccan designs can be a great way to brighten up your bathroom.
Lighting is a key element in creating this look; installing a light fixture, such as lanterns with a tarnished brass finish, is the perfect way to add a more exotic feel to the space. Typical Moroccan lanterns have coloured glass panes in shades of sapphire, topaz, emerald and ruby, all of which cast a beautiful glow in the bathroom when lit. These coloured glass panes are also effective at creating low lighting, which makes for a more relaxed and luxurious ambience. Bright, fluorescent lighting should be avoided at all costs when creating this look, as it is too harsh for this particular design. Other typical Moroccan lamps that would look great in a bathroom are those made from linen, which often have a henna design imprinted on the panels. Vintage metal candlesticks are another useful way to add some soft, glowing light to the room.
In terms of bathroom furniture, the key is to use natural materials and keep the pieces as low to the ground as possible whilst maintaining their practical use; it is common in Moroccan style rooms for the seating to be almost at ground level, softened with colourful cushions. When this style is applied to the bathroom, it means that the bathtub might be built with stone, wood or ceramic and practical bathroom furniture such as cabinets and shelving should have a similar finish and height, to maintain the consistency of the design. Adding tarnished metal handles to wooden cabinets is another simple, yet effective way to add to this type of design.
Textiles are an essential aspect of creating an authentic Moroccan bathroom. Remember that, in a bathroom where moisture and heat are present, any textiles used must be durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. With this in mind, curtains and a rug are usually the best choices; you can always bring more colour into the room with towels and other accessories as well. Moroccan rugs are typically knotted or flat, with eye catching and vibrant patterns; geometric patterns are particularly popular. Replacing a rather plain and dull standard bathroom matt with a Moroccan one is one of the easiest ways to change the look of a bathroom for the better. A brightly coloured shower curtain can have a similar effect. Embroidery is commonplace in Moroccan textiles, so any soft furnishings in this style will help in creating an exotic feel.
Colours, bright, vibrant and rich, are seen in every room styled in the Moroccan style. Painting the walls of the bathroom in colours that reflect the landscape of Morocco will create a wonderfully luxurious and exotic ambience; soft, golden yellows, rich, deep reds and a splattering of jewel coloured textiles will create a truly beautiful space. These rich colours are not harsh or overbearing, but rather sumptuous and calming. The room will become the perfect place to soak in a steaming hot bath and completely relax.
Many people do not consider the possibility of using wood as a material in decorating a bathroom, as it is often assumed that water and wood are not a good combination. This used to be the case with untreated wood, as it is more prone to warping and mould damage when water is present. However, wood today is stained and treated to minimise or even eliminate such concerns and so can be a fantastic choice of material for use in the bathroom.
The central piece of almost every bathroom is the bathtub; wood baths are an excellent way to bring this material into the room and add a rustic touch to the decor. A sleek, varnished and panelled wooden bath is an excellent choice for a contemporary bathroom, but if you want to play up the historical, aged look that wood can bring to a room, you can use rough sanding, nails and unvarnished wood on your bath to help create this feel. If you are concerned about the lifespan of wood baths, or simply do not wish to commit to a bath made entirely from wood, you can add wood panels to a basic porcelain tub, thereby creating a similar look with less of a commitment. On a more practical note, wooden baths are a great choice for those who have very young or elderly people living with them, as these types of bathtubs are far less slippery than, for example, a porcelain or fibreglass tub, making them safer.
Modern bathrooms are often associated with shiny, minimalistic surfaces and an almost clinical look. However, if you are the kind of person who wants to bask in the tub for an hour or two, it’s safe to say that the more welcoming, cosier appearance which comes with the use of wooden materials is a better choice. You needn’t choose between modern practicalities and traditional aesthetics; today you can have the best of both worlds. Wood baths are the perfect example of this, as they are sturdy and quite durable, yet add a warmth to the room which other materials simply cannot achieve.
Taking a bath is a relaxing, almost ritualistic experience which many people rely on to melt away the stresses of the day. Natural textures and materials are an important part of creating the ultimate relaxation experience. However, if the main surfaces of your bathroom happen to be quite minimal and somewhat harsh, it isn’t necessary to completely redecorate, as simply adding a wooden bath will soften the look of the room dramatically. The natural wood grain will add an interesting texture to an otherwise simple bathroom. Walnut is a wonderful type of wood to use in a bathroom, as it adds depth and elegance to any room. Lighter woods such as beech and pine can be stained to match the rest of the colours in the room, however almost every kind of wood looks beautiful if left unpainted. Wood baths may require treatment every few years to maintain their stylish appearance.