Business, Real Estate, Home Furnishings & Interior Design Link Roundup

A blog website to help business owners, realtors, home furnishing and interior designers for latest trends.

Category: Home Improvement Page 1 of 14

Small Yet Breezy: Living and Maintaining the Tiny Home

Fine Furniture Design Bedroom Guesthouse Woven Twin Bed 1220-434 is small and perfect for a tiny home.

Have you seen the TV show Tiny House Nation? Isn’t it just exciting to see people switching their bigger homes for the smaller, easier to maintain types?  Examples of small homes include studio apartments, condominium units, townhouses, and other such structures that have a limited amount of space.

No one can blame the families who make this switch to tiny house living. There are many known advantages to owning a smaller place. First, it is more energy-efficient. Sure living in a non-behemoth home also has its challenges but just looking at your savings on energy would make you think that you’re making the right choice.

And since you’re living in a home that’s energy-efficient, you are ascertained that you present a lower ecological footprint.

As mentioned, you also don’t have to think much about the maintenance of a smaller home. This means more time to spend on your family and on your job and less on sweeping and mopping.

A smaller home is also more intimate. It is cozier compared to gargantuan rooms. So if you’re looking for a more intimate place for your family, then consider living in a smaller space. As you do this, you will soon see that you are having a reduced monthly expense.

Furnish Your Small Home

Living in a smaller space actually means learning to make the most of the space that is given to you. This means calculating all the space that you can use on those small walls, ceiling, and floor.

Text Box: The Biltmore Floor Mirror may be simple but it opens up space in a way that no other decorative element can.
The Biltmore Floor Mirror may be simple but it opens up space in a way that no other decorative element can.

You need to plan your decorating moves especially when you have a landlord that dictates some (or a handful) of rules. Begin with the entryway where you can make a lasting first impression. Add pizzazz in that area. Use stencils to make the walls more interesting if not colorful. A bookcase complete with hooks for hanging coats will also make the place more functional.

For photographs, you can make use of every wall space as your gallery. Think of all the decorative objects such as artworks and your other mementos that you can now display.

Another thing that’s important in decorating a small home is to embrace open storage. Use a metal shelf as your kitchen storage especially since most apartments have a less than generous storage option. The cool finish of this kitchen unit will also give your kitchen the look of a pro.

Accessorize with some woven baskets where you can store other ingredients and condiments.

If you happen to move into an apartment that has a not-so-pretty carpeting, then you can solve this by adding a small area rug to cover the booboo. Just make sure that the area rug complements the rest of your decorative elements.

While vintage apartments pack a lot of styles, it is a fact that decorating them can be challenging. Rather than curse the world for having things that you don’t like, then find some solutions. If the bathroom tiles, for instance, are showing a color that you abhor, then find decorative elements that will make the tile color recede.

A pop of green, orange or red will surely drown the boring beige tiles.

Another must-do inside a small home is to install mirrors. This is an age-old decorating trick that brings wonders. Mirrors help reflect light, thus, making your home appear bigger. Just hang a huge mirror in the dining space or the living room. This is more effective when you position it right across a large window.

Just like the mirror, glass is a material that you can use to visually expand your cozy home. A cramped dining area can become a dinner party-worthy with the right decorating strategy. All you need to have is a glass top table and some slim chairs. Hang some artwork so that the visitors’ attention will go to the display on the walls. Be sure also to adjust the lighting by using wall sconces hardwired with dimmers. Fill the dining area with ambient lighting in the form of a chandelier.

Engineered Wood Flooring – A Multitude Of Options For The Fussy Homeowner

The best engineered wood flooring is built with 3 to 12 ply layers that are glued, pressed and cross-layered. The innermost cores are manufactured using softwood and/or hardwood materials which make good use of the tongue and groove system. The topmost layer, a hardwood veneer material is glued then pressed at the top of the core. Almost every kind of wood species can be engineered to this kind of flooring.

Engineered Wood Flooring


  • This kind of wood flooring has been engineered to resist moisture move than solid wood floors. This is the reason why it can be effectively used in moisture-prone basements as well as parts of the nation that has high levels of humidity.
  • Engineered flooring can be glued directly over dry concrete slabs.
  • This kind of flooring material can upgrade the look of any home as well as its resale value. If you ever decide to put your home up for sale, then having engineered wood flooring is much like having solid wood flooring installed.
  • This flooring comes in domestic as well as exotic hardwood species, meaning, you have a lot of styles and colors to choose from. One of the most popular styles is hand-scraped design.
  • Some types of engineered flooring can be given a different coat.
  • It has an average lifespan of 20-30 years with its longevity depending on the amount of foot traffic that the room gets.
  • Some types come in thicker wear layers (about 2-6mm) which can be sanded and refinished up to five times. This type can last anywhere from 40-80 years, a great investment for any homeowner who wants to hold on to his property for as long as he lives.
  • The Click-Loc type of engineered flooring is now a thriving trend in the market. The groove systems lock together to form a seamless appearance. This click locking system requires zero glues.

There are two ways to manufacture engineered wooden floors. The first is when the top wear layer has been sliced or sawn from a log (much like the process that softwood flooring goes through). The sliced softwood or hardwood floors show the natural look of the wood. You also get to appreciate the finer graining within.

Rotary-cut types are those that have been peeled off the log with the use of huge lathes. This kind of peeling shows more dramatic, wilder graining.

Before you set out to purchase engineered flooring, there are some concerns that you need to think about. First, you need to define what your demands are going to be. For high-traffic rooms, then you need to invest in the thick-layered version. Even shopping malls install this kind of flooring, proof that it can sustain a lot of foot traffic. If the area receives but a few visitors, then you can settle for the thinner versions.

Engineered flooring is also a great way to begin living a greener lifestyle. This is a good way to conserve the forests as four square feet of engineered wood can be manufactured as compared to just a square foot of a ¾” of solid wood flooring (which costs more).

To install this kind of flooring, you need to prepare the following basic tools –

  • Combination square
  • Miter saw
  • Hammer
  • Jig saw
  • Small table saw
  • Pull bar
  • Some wood shims
  • Tapping block.

If you are going to staple your engineered floors, then you will also need a pneumatic stapler. Engineered wood flooring allows homeowners to move right back in a room right after installation. This means that you can enjoy the floor right away. There is no longer a need to wait for hours or days to have the floor set in – now isn’t that spectacular news?

Mexican Interior Design Made Simple (Link Roundup)

Are you the laid back type, one who prefers his surroundings filled with ethnicity and colors? Add to these some solid, sturdy furniture and beautiful accessories and you’ve got yourself an elegant-looking yet relaxing Mexican interiors. With the colorful ambiance, Mexican homes can truly pep up anyone.

Mexican Interior Design

Before trying on the design concepts of Mexico, it is important to fill your senses with energy as this is what being Mexican is all about! The great news is, Mexican interior design concepts can be easy to achieve. Do not be afraid to get comfortable with the bold, fiesta-inspired colors – keep this in mind all throughout.

Prepping for the Concept

One of the significant ways to absorb a new interior design style is to research about it. If you have to, watch Mexican films, go and eat in Mexican restaurants, and go listen to feisty Mexican music.

Absorb as much as you can as you also begin to analyze the room that you will soon remodel. This is your chance to reassess your space allocation and what colors will work best in this part of your home.

The first action that you need to take is to prep the wall. Remember that this is the chief background – more like the biggest canvas – in the room. The Mexican walls can either be plain bright such as ochre or terracotta, even pink; or it can also be patterned. You can also paint the walls maroon, green, deep red or yellow. You can also use the two-color concept wherein you paint the first half with one bright color and then the bottom half with an equally bright yet complementary color. Use the stucco plaster or suede effect paint to achieve vibrant layering of colors. Doing these techniques should give your home an authentic Mexican look.

From the walls, look down to the floors and see what color it currently has. Find natural materials such as any natural hardwood flooring then do away with the neutral-colored carpet. Use woven rugs instead with the richest shades that you can find. You can also use limestone, clay tiles or ceramic tiles for your flooring.

Now, it is time to check the furniture. Again, see that the materials used are natural. Go rustic by using lots of wood like antique pine, pine, warm woods like walnut or cherry. Mexican style also incorporates a lot of dark iron hardware such as knobs, brackets and hinges.

With regard to choosing Mexican furniture, always remember that this nation was greatly influenced by the Mayan, Chinese and Spanish cultures which is why the furniture pieces are often straight-lined but with intricate ornaments on them.

As for the sofas and beds, find the largest ones that you can lay your hands on. Broad is acceptable with this design concept, quite similar to country style furniture. Use lots of colors on your furniture as well. Paint the edges with typical Mexican colors such as blue, orange and bright red.

For the center and side table tops, use ceramic tile inlays to brighten up their look.

Say no to wall-to-wall carpeting when building a Mexican-inspired interior. Use multi-colored cushions on your sofas and beds while going colorful on the fabrics such as your curtains. Use cotton material for your layered curtains. if you can have some folk art or geometric patterns painted onto them then that would be good.

Leather may also be used to give a ranch feel inside the home.

As to the accessories, buy lots of them. Place a multitude of framed family photographs, candles, and mirrors. Find metal accessories, even wrought iron. See if you can also invest in hand-woven wall hangings.

Place cultural items such as paintings, Mexican folk art, lots of geometric patterns, pottery, Mexican baskets, and traditional Mexican masks. Mexican interior design is vibrant yet relaxing and you are right to use this concept in your home. It can energize and entertain while bringing about romance for the dwellers.

College Dorm Designs for Women (Link Roundup)

Though dorm rooms are often small, these can be designed in such a way that you can still fully express yourself. Through the careful installation of hidden storage spaces, the maximization of floor space and the use of multi-functional furniture; you can make the most out of the limited space that is offered in a dormitory.

Dorm Design Tips for Females

  • Since dorms are considered as homes away from home, then you need to design it in such a way that is will look more than just a place to sleep in. Unleash your creative side by coming up with ideas that are uniquely yours.

First, what sort of look are you trying to achieve? Would you want the room to be warm, cozy, or bright? Would you like to go down the modernistic approach or a traditional one? Design ideas do not always come as inspiration so you can also read magazines and search for ideas online.

If your chosen color scheme does not seem to work, then, by all means, alter it. You just need to have more confidence in your taste. After all, this is going to be your home for quite a while so you must set your own rules.

  • Assess the dorm space just as you would any other living space. Consider how much space you are going to work with. Consider also the needs that you will have for this pace. In many cases, dorm rooms are a combined living room, bedroom, and a recreation area. If you also want to incorporate an office in your dorm then you are free to do so.
  • If you are sharing the space with roommate, then it is also important to consider his likes and dislikes. Just put yourself in her shoes, would you want to look at a glaring wall of red all year round if you are the serene type of person? In essence, you also need to find a design middle ground.
  • Let the room exude you. As the primary rule would dictate, express yourself; and what better ways is there to do this than to display your favorite posters, artwork, and other personal items. To avoid using nails, find lightweight art pieces which can easily adhere or be hung to the walls.
  • Even old accessories can be used to make a unique décor – slip covers, throw pillows and repainted furniture can make a whole world of difference. The bed is often the focal point in a dorm room so use beddings that are eye-catching.
  • Be sure to set up a study area where you can spend time reading your college textbooks. Purchase a corkboard or a whiteboard just behind your desk where you can also display art works, your social calendar, and notes.
  • Organize the room by adding a compact filing cabinet. Make it a point to keep your desktop area neat and clean.
  • Find out whether you would just need to rearrange the existing layout or if you really need to give the dorm room a facelift. With this, you can already set your budget and be able to shop for the things that you need. To give the room a different look without spending much, see if you can just buy lamps, a rug or curtains. Sometimes, a simple act such as changing the bed sheet makes a huge difference.

Never – ever – design your dorm room if you are going through an emotional crisis. This has a tendency to reflect on your interior design so spend a little more time cooling down first. Get some fresh air and then when your head is clear, that’s the time you de-clutter.

Designing A College Dorm Room (Minus The Disasters)

Dorm Room Ideas

Thousands of hopeful youngsters have, once again, flooded universities and colleges recently as schools welcome them to their new lives. Now that these bright-eyed teens are having their first taste of living experience outside of their homes, most are scouting for useful tips in designing a college dorm room. Most of them, after all, are still clueless while some have some ideas that they just need to organize.

Whether your young one is one of these excited freshmen or a senior who is about to say goodbye to college life, it is important to create a temporary nest for him (or her). As a parent, what ideas do you have in mind?

The Mini Version of Your Home

It wouldn’t hurt to create a version of your own home in your son’s dorm. Dorm rooms average a total of 200 square feet (not a lot to stuff in all of your son’s belongings and knick-knacks). This is also an inadequate space for your ten-thousand-dollar-renovation-project. Sure, you are free to provide luxuries for your child but this does not mean that you have to break the bank to do it.

Back in the day, it was not okay to paint the walls of college dorms, well, with the changing times, many colleges now allow it. For as long as the walls return to a neutral color by the end of the school semester then all is well.

Remember the walls that your son preferred when he asked to have his own room in your home? Keep that in mind because you can also take this same color and use it on the walls of his new dorm room.

As for the lovely females, you could invest in colorful rugs, bedding and lamps. This stuff – no matter how simple they are – can easily pull any room together. If your daughter is a budding artist, then have fun with bursts of lively colors and stark contrasts. Do not hesitate to use yellow, teal, green and orange. Use these colors on objects such as pillows, throw blankets and lamps.

Steer Clear of These Common Dorm Disasters

Cluttered clothing, dirty dishes and age-old Chinese takeout cartons all have a way of finding themselves into many college dorms. Most of these are strewn across dorm floors with their olfaction overpowering odors.

Parents (especially moms) are not always going to be there to unclutter these dorm rooms. This is why, it becomes important to teach the young ones where the trash bin is and where the storage areas are.

Since most dorm rooms are very small, it also pays to utilize the space above the floor (from the walls to the ceilings). There are so many ways that clutter can be taken off of the floor and kept out of sight. There must always be a place for everything.

If there are stuff that are no longer useful such as old notebooks and magazines, then the trash is where these should go. As for clothes, it is time to put racks into good use.

Similar or Not

As a college student, you can only wish that your roommate will have the same tastes as you do. If not, do not fret. Just respect diversity and find a way that you can both make it through the semester.

Your imagination is the only limit to the style that you can create. Take the time to design your bed because this is the focal point on that tiny space that you will call your own for a few months. Find a comforter that depicts your unique personality.

Find a desk where you could study comfortably. This has to be sturdy enough for your laptop and other stuff. Purchase a lamp that offers ample lighting. Lastly, buy frames where you can put in your cherished family photos and artwork. See, designing a college dorm room need not be complicated!

Designing Vaulted Ceilings – 5 Knockout Tips

The world of home design is an ever-evolving world. It is not surprising, therefore, to find that ancient designs are now being incorporated into modern homes. Old architectural features such as vaulted ceilings are now seen greatly in many homes. Homeowners of Elizabethan or Victorian homes are the ones that are most familiar with such beauties. If you are fascinated in designing vaulted ceilings, then learn these guidelines –

Vaulted Ceilings are All About Added Space

Vaulted ceilings offer a certain level of spaciousness in any home because of its huge span across a full structure. It can be tough to design a room with such a ceiling but armed with the right knowledge, even an amateur should be able to do it.

It is important to take note from the onset that vaulted ceilings are all about space and its wise use. If your home comes with a ceiling that slants on one or both sides, forming a peak-like middle structure, then you are blessed to have a vaulted ceiling. This can add a majestic touch to your place and if you unleash your creativity, then your habitat can look charming effortlessly.

Of White Walls and Polished Wooden Beams

An ideal combination for vaulted ceiling design is the polished wood beams and white walls. This style offers a contemporary feeling when used inside a polished kitchen. the dining table and chairs must also match the colors that are inside the room.

Remember to keep it simple and, in the process, you will achieve a level of elegance that is hard to equal. The vaulted ceiling, by itself, commands class and elegance but if being chic doesn’t work for you, then you have to work on toning the look down.

Wooden Beams and Colorful Walls

The room can look smaller as more color is added on the walls and the furniture. You can experiment with some colors that you find attractive. Arrange the curtains and other accessories to further beautify the room.

You can also work on a hybrid of a slanting roof and a vaulted ceiling. Colors can make the room appear much more attractive and vibrant. This is the flip side of what you tried to achieve with the first guideline. Remember, though, to use bright colors only after you have given it much thought.

The Loft or Attic

Both the attic and the loft are small so if you have to design it, then you will have to consider how to make the ceiling become a complementary part of the whole design. The ceiling should provide a unique touch to the décor of the room since you are trying to achieve an illusion of spaciousness – at the very least.

As the vaulted ceiling is constructed in a small space, be sure to use light wall colors as well as smaller furniture frames. You can also consider hanging light fixtures from the ceiling, making sure that they are installed in an area where foot traffic is rare. Design the rest of the room according to your preference.

Some of the affordable tools that you can use in designing vaulted ceilings are to install wallpapers with border patterns. You can also try mixing and matching colors to design the vaulted ceiling molding.

Adding a crown molding can be done in two ways – first, to just follow the slopes of the vaulted ceiling. Second, it can be placed below the actual ceiling as this can create a visual effect of a tinier ceiling.

Colors Galore

If you really have to paint your vaulted ceiling with bright colors then know that they will make the ceiling appear lower than it actually is. To counter this, just add a venation plaster complete with border colors so that depth is added. Designing vaulted ceilings is not the same as regular ceilings. You need to consider a lot of factors such as shunning mirrors and heavy accessories. The point is to make the vaulted ceiling enhance your home rather than become a wasted feature.

How to Make the Best Living Room for Your Family

The living room is the space where your whole family comes together. Whether it’s to watch TV, play board games, or just hang out, it’s one of the rooms that get the most use in your home. Naturally, you want it to be comfortable and welcoming for everyone, so it must meet everyone’s needs.

In families with children and pets, the living room must be, above all, practical. What is practical will depend on your family and what your specific needs are. Generally, we’re talking about space, comfort, entertainment, ease of maintenance, and making sure that everyone who spends time here feels welcome. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Hard-wearing fabrics such as leather and sturdy natural fibers make the best choices for your soft furnishings.
  • When it comes to color schemes, you’ll want to go with something that won’t easily show stains or that can be concealed.
  • The furniture itself should be comfortable, safe for children and pets, and not fussy in the least.
  • All your furniture should be arranged in a way that makes sense and that is comfortable for everyone (seating facing the TV, no delicate objects in the middle of the way, etc.).
  • Everyone should be able to have a good time together in this space, so be sure to include means of entertainment, including board games, books, toys, a TV, etc.

Work with calming, but unpretentious colors

While you may be dreaming of a chic, all-white living room, the reality of that is grimmer than you think. White and varieties of cream and very light beige are notoriously difficult to maintain and keep clean and crisp-looking.

Especially if you’ve got children or pets that have access to this room, that white will not remain white for long, whether we’re talking about a rug, a sofa, or even walls.

It’s much more practical to opt for a color scheme that is still calming and inviting but is way lower-maintenance. Deeper creams, rust colors, browns, grays, and even navy can still look incredibly elegant, but they take chocolate stains much better than white does.

Choose hardy fabrics

And speaking of steering clear of all things pretentious, that includes any fabrics that are particularly delicate or fussy. That means that your dream Millennial Pink velvet sofa may be out of the question. You don’t want a toddler dumping soda on that and ruining it instantly.

You also won’t want any cushions that are overly adorned and may get damaged or hurt your child – cushions that have beading on them, for example, can be a choking hazard.

Instead, opt for leather for your sofa, as it’s extremely durable and really easy to clean. If you specifically look for them, stain-resistant rugs are available for purchase and will make your life much easier than that shaggy cream rug you’ve been eyeing. Natural fibers are also good picks.

Say no to fussy furniture

It’s a great tragedy that the most beautiful furniture is also the fussiest. Glass coffee tables with abstract shapes and sharp corners are a no-no. So are overly shiny surfaces, in general. Not only because of the risk children hurting themselves but also because of the sheer amount of fingerprints it would attract.

The same goes for delicate, eyelet curtains that might get ripped or caught. They’re expensive, and they’re easily ruined, and that would be a shame. Choose some regular curtains, instead. You may want to make them blackout curtains, if you’re going to turn your living room into a theatre on the regular. It makes all the difference.

Wood is always an excellent choice for furniture, because it’s hard-wearing and it doesn’t require any special attention. It wipes clean and can always be repainted or stained if needed. Plus, it doesn’t show any paw prints.

Include comfortable seating

Seating is one of the most important elements in your living room. Your sofa must be comfortable, and it must be large enough to seat your entire family. When shopping for a new couch, you want to try it out and see how comfy it’s going to be for hours of lounging with the family.

In addition to a sofa, you’ll also want to add equally comfy armchairs, cushions, footrests, ottomans, blankets, etc. You’re looking to create a space that is warm, inviting, and comfortable.

The softer and cozier your seating is, the more practical it is. Yes, the very structured, trendy sofas look great, but do they hold up to hours of use every day? Probably not.

Ensure everyone’s entertainment

After seating, the second most important element in your living room is entertainment. Obviously, a great TV is a staple of the modern family living room, and there’s never been a better time to buy a new one. The choices are varied, depending on what you’re looking for.

Smart TVs are all the rage right now, and they enable some cool functions you may not have had access to before. For example, they connect to the internet, and you can install apps that you already have on other devices.

In addition, the newest generation of TVs have much better resolution and offer a higher quality image with enhanced clarity and visual details.

You probably also want to have books in this room, and boardgames. Seeing as this is a space where you’ll spend time with family and friends, having these options will make this time together that much more entertaining.

Create a layout that makes sense

If this is going to be a family room, then you need enough space for everyone, and that includes any children and pets you may have.

Listen, the coffee table may look best right in front of the sofa, for example, but if that’s gonna make it very likely that your children will bash their heads on the corners while they run around, then perhaps it’s better to place it farther away.

At the same time, if your family enjoys a lot of movie nights, you’ll want to make sure the TV is visible no matter where you’re sitting.

What’s the bottom line?

The living room is, oftentimes, the heart of the house, just like the kitchen. It’s where everyone goes to have a good time or just to spend quality time together. While there are many beautifully designed living rooms, they don’t always take into consideration the needs of a family.

A living room that is practical for your family must meet your needs in terms of design. That includes all manner of different aspects, such as colors, fabrics, layout, and even the type of activities your space allows for.

The most important thing, when designing this space, is to make sure that your family will feel comfortable here. Every family is different, so you need to adjust for your particular needs.

6 Steps to Setting Up A Home Office – Learn Marvelous Interior Design Guidelines

Setting Up A Home Office

Back in the day, working from home was considered impossible. But with the advent of digital technology, more and more companies are now embracing the work-at-home concept. People who choose this setup must have a separate office space, though, where they can easily concentrate and work more efficiently.

Here are some useful guidelines –

Write Down What You Need

Begin by analyzing your home office requirements. Of course, you will need a laptop or a desktop computer; perhaps a few books, a fax machine, telephone, documents, notepads, and stationery items. These things, alone, already require space.

Go High Tech  

Thanks to technology, you may now design your home office layout way before you physically install anything. Use computer software such as Google Sketchup to plot the room, the placement of windows and doors, furniture, and electrical points.  

Since you are going to spend hours each day in this room, take your time in planning and designing it. It must evoke feelings of happiness, efficiency and comfort.

Pick the Space Where You Will Work

Choosing a space where you will be setting up your home office is vital. It can be anywhere in your home – the basement, an empty room, even the attic. With family members going about their daily activities all around you, make sure that you choose office space that will not impede their tasks and vice versa.

Your home office should not hinder anyone’s chores. It must be comfortable so that you can concentrate and will have a minimal distraction.

Consider proper lighting as well. A dingy environment is generally depressing, hence, it can hamper your productivity. If you can set up your desk near a window so that natural light can come in, then do so. Natural light is known to induce concentration.

Take into consideration also the ventilation as well as the placement of electrical outlets.

Personalize Your Work Zone

The greatest part about working from home is that you get to work while in your comfort zone.

You can use paintings, spiritual stuff and family photos that can inspire you as you work. Stress may inevitably creep in while you work so it is good to have some things that can motivate you to move forward.

A little music in the back ground will also be helpful so this means you may also set up a music system. If you need to control the noise, it is best to install a partition wall or a door so you can have your own space.

Optimize Space

As soon as the furniture and electronic equipment are set, it is now time to plan the optimization of your home office space. You can achieve a more spacious look by literally freeing up space.

Say no to huge furniture pieces; purchase the more compact ones. You can consider placing foldable tables so that you can prop them against the wall once you are done. Doing this will help you have more floor space.

Have overheard shelves installed for more storage space.

A Few More Tips

  • One can never emphasize the importance of ventilation. Healthy air flow is needed for any successful home office space. You may choose from ventilation systems, fans or just go all natural by setting your table by the door or window.
  • Use ergonomic keyboards and chairs. These will help ease muscle stress and pain which might develop as you sit in front of the computer all day long. These are pricier than their regular counterparts but their benefits easily outweigh the costs.

Lastly, congratulate yourself. Once you have set up your home office, you can now enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just embrace the idea that you have the opportunity to work in your home while the rest of the working population is racing on highways to get to their offices!

The Path to Becoming an Interior Designer (Link Roundup)

Are you artistic by nature? Have you always been told that you have a keen eye for detail and that you have a burning passion for home design? If this is so, then you might as well establish a career in interior design.

The most common misconception about this career is that there is no longer any need for formal study. However, a careful look at this industry and you will know right away that education is not only an option but is essential.

So, what interior design school should you consider?

All schools may not offer all types of degrees like Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in interior design so find out which one you would like to finish. Associate’s degree has two years of study which includes interior design basics, residential design, CAD design, drafting, and architectural methods. The Associate’s degree is typically the course that leads to a junior designer, design assistant or a decorative product specialist job.

If you aim to become a construction project designer or manager in the near future, then you need to finish a Bachelor’s degree. The program curriculum varies per school but all institutions offer this at four years. The majority of the courses are also those from the associate degree level but business courses, as well as advance design courses, are added. Such courses include perspective drawing, contract design, public relations, and interior environments.

Those who wish to have their own interior design firm will need to earn at least a Master’s degree. Depending on whether you graduated with an Interior Design bachelor’s degree, then this will be the basis of whether you will be required to take more classes. The Master’s degree program takes 2-3 years to complete if you did not take Interior Design with your bachelor’s degree. Additional courses include design digital media, inclusive design, design theory and environmental psychology.

There are now a lot of design schools in the country with some even offering a-hundred-percent online education. There are advantages to taking your interior design course online. First, you pace your study according to what is most comfortable for you. You also get to earn the credentials in no time as you also get to spend time with your family. Just make sure to check the accreditation before you enroll, with the Council for Interior Design Accreditation being the chief accrediting body.

Choosing the Interior Design Career

Interior design can be an exciting career. Enrolling in the right school could help you understand the technical side of the job. The schools can teach you about the profession’s history, architecture, space planning, and computer-aided drawing. You will also learn about rules and regulations in handicap access, fire laws, lighting design, sound design, and building regulations.

A student will also need to take the NCIDQ exam; this is also referred to as the National Council for Interior Design Qualification test. This is an extremely important exam that can give the student his initial credentials in becoming a qualified interior designer.

Interior design schools should prepare the student for the NCIDQ exams. The student must also have six years of solid experience plus two, post-secondary education years.

Now it is time to talk about earnings – how much would you want to earn as an interior designer?  If earning $22,000 to $44,000 each year is good enough for you, then becoming an interior designer is the path for you. Of course, your salary level depends on your educational background, experience and the qualities that an employer seeks from you.

The well-trained and experienced designers can earn as much as six figures, just make sure to check on the bachelor’s degree option first. Be sure to get the facts before attending an interior design school whether online or in a traditional school.

Hot Trends in Home Decor and Interior Design [Infographic]

People are getting adventurous in their kitchen, forgoing traditional white for black when it comes to cabinets and accents. Patterned backsplashes are also in fashion and when thinking of bathrooms, people are using large soaking tubs as a centerpiece. Originally published at

Minimalism Guidelines: Learning To Live With Less

Did you know that you can actually make a room look posher by removing furniture rather than placing them? With the autumn season just around the corner, the leaves are falling and people are thinking of ways to make their homes look more in the season. Sure, cleaning up maybe one of the least favorite chores but this is something that should be done if you want to alter the theme of your home. Better yet, if you are going to declutter anyway, why not learn some minimalism guidelines in the process?

There are a lot of misconceptions with regard to the minimalist theme. Minimalism is often misconstrued as the loss, scarcity or deprivation of design. On the contrary, minimalism offers more space and simplicity.

Look around your home and find out where the clutter comes from. Stop feeling stressed and frustrated over those things that are lying around, instead, look at them as a reminder that you need to let go of stuff that you no longer need.

Now imagine a minimalist home. Your vision should not be an almost empty building that has a stark color but a place where tabletops and counters are clean. The walls must also be free from unnecessary artwork which have been bought simply to fill up the wide walls.

Take a look at the shelves; these should not be filled with hordes of mementos. As for the furniture, there must only be enough to suit the family’s needs – no more, no less.

Your Practical Guide

Decluttering your home could be a bit taxing at first. To begin, make sure that you learn to let go of old stuff. Start in a small room such as the home office or your bathroom. Before long, you will find that you have already conquered your hoarding tendencies.

Next, you need to assess what needs to be done. Before taking action, stand right in the middle of a room and look all around you. Do you see items that have a special meaning to you or your family? Those that mean very little should be dumped.

The purging process is the most difficult part yet it can also be the most rewarding. Put all the things that you no longer need inside a box. You may need to throw huge items like some of your furniture. Keep in mind that everything inside your home may be nostalgic to you but ask which ones you really need. When throwing stuff, remember to leave only the things that are still useful.

Now that you have managed to throw the things that you do not need, it’s time to look for a place for the remaining stuff in your home. Use the uncluttered surface areas to display artwork and family photos. Look for the perfect spot for your laptop. Every little thing must have an appropriate place whether it is an aesthetic or a functional piece.

Get rid of the notion that empty spaces should all be filled. If there is nothing that can be placed on a certain area, then just leave it empty. Remember that this is the perfect time to clean up. Minimalist homes take less time to clean – that’s wonderful news, isn’t it? Remember to clean as you go, whether you are merely washing the dishes or moving furniture around. The last of the minimalism guidelines is to find a place for those items inside your unwanted stuff box. This should be a place that is out of sights such as a garage or the basement. Place the large items into any of these rooms. You may call this as your waiting room because this is where your unwanted stuff is going while they are not yet provided a new home. If the things inside the box no longer have any use for you, then just have them donated.

The Importance of Home Office Planning (Link Roundup)

When you are out to design a workplace, there are a handful of key points that you must keep in mind. Ask yourself – what are you going to do in this area? To answer this chief question is to know what to plan. Planning, after all, is a key feature in achieving office space function.

How To Design a Home Office

Analyzing your requirements entails a lot of writing. You need to jot down the equipment, furniture, layout, office supplies, and many other things that you will need. Knowing all these things from the onset will give you an idea of how much space you will be needing.

Jumpstarting Office Space Planning

As soon as you have determined the use of your workplace, then it is time to get to work. For instance, if you are about to open a clinic, then you need to incorporate a reception area, a billing department and a back office.

It is not good for clients to see a studio-type office with every little activity happening right before their very eyes. If you can squeeze in a storage room then this will surely help in creating a neater and cleaner look.

Space wherein you will set your office should be established early on. This can be the attic, basement, even an old warehouse. If you live with your family, just make sure that the office space will not impede any of their daily activities.

While you need to consider your loved ones’ comfort, you must not forget what the home office is for in the first place – it is a place where you could focus without any distractions. So, just as you need to plan that your family members will not be disturbed by your work, you also need to map an area where you will get the least amount of distraction, too.

Light It Up

One other important area to focus on is how to illuminate your office space especially if you are going to use the basement or attic. Darkness can be depressing and can hamper productivity so bring natural light in.

Have windows installed and in the case of windows that have been tightly shut, well, it’s time to open them up. See also that space is well-ventilated. Consider placing electrical outlets in areas where you will be using the fax machine, telephone, and computers.

Have It Your Way, Customize

The greatest part about having a home office is the freedom that working from home provides. You are, literally, working in your comfort zone so it is quite easy to stay motivated.

Hang your favorite paintings, family photographs and spiritual items on the wall. If you want to listen to soothing music while working, then you can also set up a music system.

A personalized look can help you feel more comfortable, aids in your productivity and can help you stay motivated.

Lastly, make sure that you coordinate the style to the overall theme and colors that you will use in your home office. Harmony is fundamental, do not just fill up the space with large furniture and oversized carpets.

Let Technology Help

Thanks to technology, you can now plan the layout of your home office before you drive a single nail into the wall. There are now many computer applications such as Ikea Planner and Google Sketchup which can help you plot the doors, windows, furniture and electrical points in 2D or 3D.  With these, you can eliminate interior design mistakes that can happen due to negligence or human error. Office space planning has always been an important part of any interior design project. Therefore, you must take the time to obtain every bit of information before you call an interior designer and he starts to charge by the hour.

Everything You Need to Know About Home Alarm Systems

Technological advancement across various industries has not only made our life easy but also made it safe and secure. Like many gadgets and home appliances, the home security system is one of the best inventions, as it protects our home from burglars, thieves and any kind of unauthorized access to our property.

Home alarm systems make sounds when something wrong happens to property. It can be thieves, burglar, fire, water leak or flood; if there is something wrong, the alarm system will alert you immediately. If you have not installed an alarm system in your home, you should learn about it now.  Even you can connect the home alarm system with your nearest police station and if anything wrong occurs in your property then alarm system will generate the signals to that police station automatically.

What Is A Home Alarm System?

The home alarm system is a set of devices designed to detect unauthorized entry or intrusion into a property. The device has widely been used in residential, commercial and industrial properties. Some home alarm devices are designed only to alert about burglary and intrusion, while some can make sounds for different reasons like fire, water leak, flood and intrusion as well.

How Does It Work?

A security alarm system made of several components like premises control unit, sensors, alarm control panel, keypads, alerting devices and more. These components are connected by a network of radiofrequency. When something wrong happens to a property, the network interacts with the response device and the alarm makes sounds.

Most of the home alarm systems can detect activities like opening the doors or windows, smoke and water leakage of gas or water. Most of such alarm systems are for indoor use. Whenever an intrusion takes place in a home, the components of the alarm system send signals to the central monitoring system that immediately alerts the authorized person. The alarm system can also alert the local police station and you will get a call from the police station for the same. Even you can connect the home alarm system with CCTVs and they can work together to keep your home secure.

Why Does Your House Need An Alarm System?

Your home can be the best investment you have ever made and you will never want unwanted visitors to break into your property and steal your belongings or hurt your family members. Thus, it is very important to take preventive measures to make your house safe and secure.

Home alarm systems are a proven solution and you can install them to stay alert. Such security alert systems are designed to provide the utmost security. It leads to strengthening the safety layer for your belongings and family. Along with alerting the homeowners about the intrusion, the system can call police, ambulance or fire department.

If you have home alarm systems installed in your home, you will always enjoy good peace of mind. It does not matter where you are, the security alert system will always keep you connected to your home. You can even access the home alarm system through your Smartphone and you need to download the dedicated app designed by the same manufacturing company for the same.

Installed The Best Security Alert System

The efficiency and accuracy of the alert system will depend on the brand you have chosen to secure your property. You can browse across the internet and prepare a list of some of the best home alarm systems. Now check the reputation of the manufacturer and read reviews online to learn more about the efficacy of the product and customer support.

A good home alarm system requires a significant investment and that is why you should conduct market research before purchasing one.

The Victorian Style: 5 Design Ideas for Your Modern Home

If you are thinking of a Victorian-inspired design for your home, what immediately comes to mind are pictures of elaborate and grand furniture and décor that are filled with colors and patterns. This is a style that was inspired by the Victorian era when nature and geometry were the leading inspirations for homes. In essence, people from 1837 through 1901 wanted the world to know that they have wealth and they are willing to flaunt it. 

This unique interior design centers on sophistication and beauty through the use of decorative pieces and furniture with intricate designs.

Be Financially Prepared

Be forewarned – using the Victorian theme in your home can cost you a great deal of money. Even if this is the case, it is certain that the result will not frustrate you.

If you are running low on your budget, just glean the important points then design your home in the simplest aspects. You may also want to ask around for pre-loved (second-hand) Victorian-inspired furniture that are sold at dirt-cheap prices.

Victorian-style Walls Come in Bold Colors

Always remember that the walls of Victorian-style homes should be painted in dark but lively colors like sapphire or ruby. If painting the walls is not your cup of tea, then opt for wallpapers that come in florals.

Wallpapers with smaller patterns are best for smaller units. Choose wood flooring then cover it with an elegant carpet.

For your curtains, use brocade or velvet then splash the rooms with candles, antique figurines, oriental dolls, and the like.

Think of Unique Patterns

Almost every surface in Victorian homes were covered with intricate patterns, more particularly, flora and fauna designs. These days, geometric patterns as well as stripes are some of the most picked designs for Victorian style modern homes.

This liking for patterns can be carried on to your choice of furniture, wall mouldings and ornaments.

Cornice is a popular feature for many authentic Victorian-style homes. This can be easily recognized through its curves, ridges and a deep inner cove with shallow depth.

Consider the Best Flooring

When thinking of floors for your Victorian-style home, make ornaments and intricacies your best friends. Incorporate designs with the most expressive colors. Medium to dark wood flooring that is covered with Persian carpet can help you achieve your desired setting.

Buy Authentic or Repro Furniture

Again, your choice of furniture is dependent on your budget. Just keep in mind that Victorian furniture was quite formal. Pieces that were placed in dining rooms were polished tables and straight-back chairs.  This is no surprise since discipline was paramount back then especially during meal times.

Modern Victorian furniture repro has been created with stunning aesthetics. And with the advent of modern finishes, a lot of the difficult work was replaced by proper wood polish or even just a wipe of damp cloth.

It is not impossible to furnish your whole home with Victorian pieces. Whether you want a study, library, or featured rooms in your home; there are now dealers of low-priced authentic or reproductions of Victorian-inspired furniture pieces.

Modern-Victorian furniture rely on veneers instead of the usual solid wood. You will soon observe that the wood used in reproductions are a lot softer which is why they are cheaper.

This is not to say, though, that you cannot find quality, modern Victorian-inspired furniture these days. These pieces are now available online and also in many traditional brick and mortar shops.

Whatever you choose, be it the expensive type or the affordable ones, you can be sure that Victorian furniture will make your home look classy and timeless. Are you ready for the most chic style of all?

Universal Interior Design Ideas for Your Home (Link Roundup)

Home interior design is the art of beautifying a room so that it is presentable, functional and appealing to the eye. The interior designer’s goal is to provide a certain feel inside the room and to evoke that same feeling to your visitors and friends. The design is supposed to encompass many aspects such as your choice of wall color, flooring, furniture and fittings. As you have probably noticed, there is a very thin line between decoration and designing.

Spacious Room Design Ideas

If you simply love wide, open spaces and would want to have a well-lit and ventilated ambience, then you need to create that feeling of largeness in any room. To do this, you need to eliminate the shadows which can easily slice a room into smaller bits.

Work on the lighting; soft, even light is best in achieving spaciousness. Do not invest on ceiling lights because they can make ceilings appear lower. Ambient lighting, on the other hand, can widen a room.

Make it a point to keep surfaces free of thick textures. Remember that smoother surfaces reflect light and can make rooms appear larger.

Use beige, cream, cool pastels or gray for your floors and walls. The ceiling must have the lightest color of all.

Furniture placement plays a huge role in making a room appear spacious. Put the largest pieces against walls in order to maximize the space in the middle of the room.

Cozy Room Interior Design Ideas

For a more comfortable ambience, you can begin by using directed light such as down-shaded lamps or a reading lamp. Rather than halogen or fluorescent lamps, try to use incandescent lighting for a warmer glow.

Find strong colors for both your walls and flooring. These colors tend to bring in the sides of the room towards the center. Dark walls and floors in green, blue or deep red hues will create  a seemingly smaller space.

Heavy textures can add warmth in any room; use iron rather than chrome or brick instead of the usual glazed tiles. Use a lot of patterns inside the room to achieve a sense of coziness.

Designs for Room Corners

Room corners can be a designer’s haven or a dull space. With just a little imagination, you can create a corner space that draws the eye. Begin by filling the corners with natural or artificial potted plants.

Pedestals that come in varied sizes look great in corners and so does a table top with a pretty fabric and a chair at each of its sides. Put a decorative lamp, some of your favorite pictures and some collectibles and that corner in your room will surely captivate your visitors.

A corner cabinet can also work, perhaps, a hanging cupboard, too. These are handsome solutions that can add storage areas as well as a place to showcase your prized collections.

Room Themes

A well-designed room may still lack flair if you failed to put in your personal taste in it. Choose the most basic design elements then you can choose to alter them to suit your preference.

A themed room says a lot about you.  This will provide a place where you can feature your arts, crafts and collections. Choosing the theme entails knowing the purpose of the room first. For instance, the bedroom should be a place of tranquility; the living room, a place for many activities; and the kitchen and dining areas should be places where the family can gather to enjoy food. Lastly – and this is applicable to all types of homes – consider how to setup the room. Arrange the furniture so that you do not feel cramped, are always productive, and can feel most at home.

Budget-Friendly Ways to Keep Your Home Safe

Want to protect your home, but don’t want to spend a fortune? Well, preventing home safety risks doesn’t actually need to be expensive. Read on for some handy tips to help you save time and money on all of your home security needs:

Shop for Smarter Security Devices

Chances are you’ve seen at least one video doorbell being used in your neighborhood, and that’s for good reason. Not only do video doorbells help you keep a watchful eye on your home, even if you’re vacationing far away, but these little gadgets can also protect your packages from the ever-increasing porch pirates that seem to frequent every neighborhood. Best of all, these smart home security devices don’t have to cost you a fortune. Instead, look around online to find the best tech deals site for the lowest prices on video doorbells and any other big-ticket electronics purchase. That way, you can save yourself some time while you save money on the latest and greatest smart home devices, including video doorbells, smart locks and automated lighting, all of which can help protect your home efficiently.

Install Multiple Smoke/Fire Detectors

When you look at homes, you may notice smoke detectors in the kitchen. To keep houses and families fully protected against fire and smoke, however, detectors need to be securely placed in multiple locations throughout the home. If you’re trying to save money, you can opt for battery-operated smoke and fire detectors, but you have to remember to change those batteries if you want to keep your home and your family safe. Whatever type of detectors you choose to buy, be sure to place at least one in each room and on each floor. Be careful of installing them too close to doors, windows or anywhere a draft can disrupt operation. You can cut out some costs with a DIY installation, but if you want to make sure the detectors are installed correctly, you can always hire a pro to help you mount smoke detectors on ceilings and walls.

Avoid Top Home Safety Concerns

Fires aren’t the only emergency you can easily prevent in your home. If you have children, for example, you need to know the most common childhood injuries and how to prevent them. Suffocation, drowning, poisoning and falls are just some of the ways that little ones can sustain serious injuries in and around your home, but you can keep your kids safe with some very basic home safety steps. For instance, it’s important to keep items that could be easily swallowed, such as balloons, and objects that could lead to strangulation, such as blind cords, out of reach. It’s also crucial to store household chemicals away in a safe place, and to keep the contact information for poison control handy. You can also pick up some cheap cabinet locks to help keep babies, toddlers and small children out of spaces where you store these chemicals.

Stay Aware of Less Obvious Hazards

Knowing how to protect your home from break-ins, fires and more common emergencies can be pretty simple, but you also need to know how to stay safe from hazards that most people don’t even think about. For example, many people end up in the emergency room after a run-in with everyday items that don’t seem outwardly dangerous. Parents have learned this lesson about popular laundry detergent pods, which can cause cause poisoning and serious eye injuries. Holiday decor, showerheads and toys can pose health risks as well. Speaking of toys, one of the most dangerous items to have around your home is a trampoline, so think twice before buying one for your children.

Keeping your home protected from security threats doesn’t require a big budget. All you need to do is buy some inexpensive equipment and learn what you can about taking precautions. When it comes to safety, there’s no reason why you can’t put the above steps to work in your own home.

How to find your style – Home Decor (Link Roundup)

One of the battles we all face when renovating our home is finding our style & sticking to it. Whether it be a full home renovation or a seasonal refresh, without careful planning and consideration, your end product can very easily turn out just a little… lets say, mismatched. 

When we look at taking on a project, the first thing we should ask ourselves is “what is my style?”. With many different design trends out there this can be a little overwhelming. We have put together a list of points to help you find the right aesthetic for your next project!

Main design trends of 2019/2020

It is important to remember that for your house to feel like a home, you need to use the following design trends as more of a guide then take them as gospel. Researching these trends in order to inspire your style should be exactly that…inspiration. It is also important not to feel pressure to replicate these styles exactly as realistically, they may not practically work in your home.

There are so many different interior decor styles out there, and you may find that yours is a blend of a few. We have listed some of the most popular design trends for 2019/2020 and explained what makes them stand out!

  • Bohemian – Often shortened to Boho, this style is often inspired by the 1960’s & 1970’s. Boho interior decor focuses on earthy tones with typical 60’s & 70’s pops of color. Quite often you will find mostly greens, browns & mustards with the use of natural materials prominent. Whilst embracing worldly patterns & fabric designs, Boho rooms are never the same as each other, often boasting an eclectic collection of furnishings. 
  • Minimalism – Whilst looking for inspiration for a minimalist home, you will often find that most lovers of this style embrace it not only in home design, but also in lifestyle. Minimalism is a sure fire way to create an open airy feeling regardless of the space you have available. Colors are mostly white or white variations, with furnishings boasting sleek and modern design. It really does what it says on the tin. 
  • Scandinavian – Most people have heard of Scandinavian style from IKEA, one of the biggest sellers when it comes to Scandinavian style furniture. Scandinavian style embraces minimalism but generally also incorporates elements of nature. Focusing extensively on functionality, this design style is often quite practical for modern day life. 
  • Industrial – Often popular in modern housing, the industrial style uses minimalism in combination with exposed metal furnishings, along with white, grey & black being the main focus colors. 
  • Mid Century Modern – One of the most popular trends of this year, creating the optimum blend between the old and the new. Furniture is designed using modern materials & sleek lines whilst keeping traditional principles in mind. 

How to find inspiration

When on the journey to discover your style, you may find that with a quick bit of googling you will come across all sorts of quizzes claiming to be able to tell you your aesthetic if you just answer 5 simple questions. Now, you may find that these do give you some sort of guide (and for sure, there are some more detailed quizzes out there) but the internet is a pretty big place, there are lots of more exciting places to find inspiration.

Websites such as Instagram and Pinterest are a great modern solution to the Interior design magazines you would find on the shelf. With endless images showcasing some of the most beautiful homes, you will easily find yourself in a rabbit hole of stunning home design inspiration.

Make a inspiration/mood board

Obviously color is one of the main things to consider when you are decorating any room in your home. With Interior design trends boasting all varieties & somewhat clashing opinions of which colors make the ultimate home, it really does depend on your space, personal style & needs. 

Some key things to consider when choosing your colors:

  • We recommend choosing 3 – 5 Colors that are consistent throughout your design (This includes everything from wall paint to throw cushions). Although this is a hard and fast rule for most design trends in recent years, you may find that your style is one of the few that embraces a more colourful eclectic finish, if this is the case then go for it, remember that you are creating your own style here! 
  • Remember to consider the light you have in your space. You may find that a lot of the inspiration you find during your research uses colors that are not practical for your home. For example, you may find that you love the look of Navy Blue walls, but you have little to no natural light making this an impractical option. In a case like this, you could consider using darker colors as accents in your room’s accessories rather than as a wall paint. 

You can use some of the inspiration resources we previously mentioned such as Instagram & Pinterest to create your mood board. As much as we all love a bit of arts & crafts, it’s a great idea to keep all of your inspiration together digitally, this will help you to stick to your theme when it comes to shopping for your items. As well as your main color choices, you should also include in your board, any pieces of furniture you find during your research. As the whole process can be a little overwhelming with thousands of images you may come across, this will really help you to stick to the plan.

Functionality & Space

It’s really important to think about the functionality of your space and how your aesthetic fits into this. For instance, if you have a small space to work with, maybe it is wise to consider a more minimalistic approach to design in order to avoid clutter. 
Consider what you need out of your space. Remember that this is your home, it needs to be fit to your everyday needs. Are you trying to design a small bedroom or a large office space? These rooms can have very different requirements when it comes to furniture size, style & functionality.

Useful Reference Links

Interior Design Style Quiz
10 Interior Design Style Quizzes
6 Simple Secrets to Finding Your Personal Home Decor Style

Wooden Furniture for the Chic You (Link Roundup)

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Furniture pieces, especially the wooden ones, play a vital role in achieving a pleasant and elegant look in any home. However, though everyone wants wooden furniture inside their dwelling, not a lot know how to choose which furniture to invest in.

It is important to learn a few aspects of furniture buying before you set out to and find your next choice. For example, you have to know what type of wood you would actually want to have. You also need to consider the place where the piece will be situated. Existing colors in your home also need to be considered since the wooden furniture need to harmonize with the rest of the current elements.

These are just some of the basic questions that need to be answered before you buy wooden furniture.

There are very few materials that can be comparable to the beauty of wood. Wood is elegant since it exudes an authentic look. When sturdily constructed, wooden furniture can last for a lot of years and be functional in any setting.

Wood furniture can also match a lot of design themes but you need to know a few tips first –

Check the Furniture Frame

If you are planning on purchasing a number of wooden furniture pieces, then make sure that you are going to buy the sturdy ones. Find those that can easily withstand the roughest conditions. For instance, if you are going to move the furniture a lot, then you need to buy something that will not get easily damaged as it is transferred from one room to the next.

Now the question is, how do you know if the furniture that you are going to buy has a sturdy frame inside?

Sit on it! Do not hesitate to sit on the piece that you are contemplating to buy. If it squeaks at the least amount of movement or if it feels unsteady, then these are telltale signs that you have to look for another. One of your best options is to buy hardwoods such as ash or oak. Ask if the wood has been dried in a kiln as this takes out the moisture of the wood.

Check the Wood Quality

Once you have checked the frame, it is time to look at the wooden parts which are visible to the eye. The color of the wood should be one that matches the existing theme in your home.

Check for splits or cracks on the visible parts of the furniture. If you have opted for an antique piece, then it is best to shop with an expert. There are many fraudulent furniture suppliers in the country and with an untrained eye, you can easily be conned into buying a repro with the price of an antique piece.

Just to be on the safe side, check for the authenticity of each piece by doing a thorough research first. You are, after all, going to spend much for this piece of furniture so you might as well do your assignment before you shell out your hard-earned money.

Consider Your Budget

Do you have ample money to invest in wooden furniture? Wooden pieces are known to have a higher price so be prepared to shell out more. If you cannot afford, at this point, to buy solid, wooden pieces, then find ones that are combined with other materials. In many areas, kiln-dried lumber can sell as much as 70 cents for every linear foot. If this is a little too much for you, then you can always settle for softwood such as those that have been harvested from jack pine, spruce or fir trees. They may be called softwoods yet they are still sturdy enough to last a few years. Just do not rely on them to become heirloom pieces, though.

Useful Reference Links

How to Make New Wood Furniture Look Shabby Chic
Best Unfinished Wood Furniture For Your Boho Chic Home
Thinking about buying a home?

Loft Conversion: Overhaul Your Home with This Special Project

Loft conversion has been seen lately as a much more cost-effective choice than moving home. This is especially useful when an additional room is needed. This project does not require an estate agency fees, moving costs, solicitor’s fees or stamp duty. Converting your loft into another functional room can also add more value (about 15-20%) to your home. The total increase in your property’s value is dependent on other factors such as its location. This is also a trouble-free process once you ask professionals to do the job for you.

Going about with loft alteration begins by checking the loft’s existing height. The ideal height should be at least 2.4m at the apex or highest point. Once you are able to measure the height, the next step is to know what kind of conversion you would need.

The Hip to Gable Conversion

This kind of conversion is a popular choice for a lot of semi-detached homes. This is because it can provide the maximum probable space. This also extends a home to the sloping side of your property or the part where you are not conjoined to your neighbor.

This conversion exchanges sloping roof then extends it to the wall outside where the gable wall is built. Space is maximized in this manner as the new staircase is situated right above the current one.

The Dormer Loft Renovation

Just like the Hip to Gable conversion, this is also becoming increasingly popular among semi-detached home owners. This kind of structural addition is made from the roof’s plane. This is often the preferred conversion where the space of the existing loft space does not offer a sufficient size for the required conversion.

Dormer loft can offer an added headroom for the upcoming living space and the staircase. Should you want a new bathroom to be included in your plans, then the height that was created can provide extra maneuverability and extra headroom.

Loft conversions are quite popular because of the amount of light and space they can create in the new room. These are feasible in many properties even in habitats with limited headroom or space.

The Mansard Loft Alteration

This kind of conversion is chosen in areas where there could be some issues with planning. This requires more detailed planning and designing stages since it will result in a much larger living space once the space has been converted. This is most ideal for terraced units since the sloping roof will become almost vertical with the windows.

Non-Residential Space Conversion

Yet another kind of loft conversion is the modification of non-residential spaces such as docks, warehouses, water towers or old factories into livable homes. This kind of conversion became quite popular in New York’s SoHo section back in the 60s. Artists converted the upper levels of old industrial structures, at times located at the very heart of the city. A lot of SoHo buildings were not declared as residential units and were then used illegally as a livable space. In 1971, NY has legalized SoHo for residential use.

Crucial Regulations

There are building control regulations to be followed during loft conversions. Local authorities ask for requirements with the main criteria focused on planning yet you can forego the planning permission where your conversion is well within the development rights. Regulations are in place so that the construction criteria are met as well as the safety and health laws. If you do not want to worry yourself about paperwork, then you can have a professional loft conversion expert conduct the liaisons with the local authorities. There are many benefits for loft renovations which is why such projects become increasingly popular over the years. Ask an architect and a designer to help you with your new project.

The Happy Interior Design Client And 4 Disaster Preventive Measures For Designers

Who is the happy interior design client? You have probably heard of the ones that were not ecstatic about the designer that they worked with during a major renovation in their home. The whole business of interior design is an industry that can be full of traps and client-designer relationship disasters. Many of the bad situations that unhappy clients have experienced were spurred by the lack of communication, schedule conflict, even a tight budget.

The attitude of design clients have dramatically changed over the years especially after the recession in 2007. Now more than ever, clients already know what they want and they also know that there is plenty of design options.

The interior designer can be his own worst enemy if he fails to establish a good relationship with his clients. The designer’s decision should understand that the client’s requirements are more important than potential income.

Set Roles

The first step to becoming closer with a client is to establish your role as the designer. There is no such thing as an ideal client since it is you who needs to adapt to their requirements and wishes. If in case these wishes are impossible or are unfashionable, then find ways to explain in a manner that would not hurt the client’s feelings.

Set a certain demographic for your would-be clients. Would you like to become a designer that focuses in making stunning doctors’ offices? Then target doctors as your clients. Other demographics are income level, age, and location.

Create a Set of Questions

It would help if you ask a series of questions that will determine what your client wants. Have a dialogue instead of a monologue. Do not let the client monopolize the conversation, neither should it turn the other way around. You must share your ideas so that, together, you can achieve a beautiful design.

Ask also what your clients prefer. A happy interior design client is tantamount to having a successful project.

Overcome Issues

Every profession has its own set of issues. Make a list of all the problems that you have encountered with your past clients. Better yet, learn from the mistakes of others. Read about the common errors done by designers and steer clear of them. Once the issues are resolved, be sure to improve and deviate from them.

Discuss in advance how certain problems will be handled. For example, how will you answer your client if he says that he found a product on the Internet that was quoted at a lower price.

What will you do when the client changes his mind and you have already placed the order for the materials? How will you deal with late payments and designs that have exceeded their allotted budgets?

If you have to, allow your clients to buy some materials on their own. Discuss the deadline and set it on a date where you both agree. Set a solution for these dilemmas from the onset and you’ll have an easier road to travel ahead.

State Your Fee

Know that almost 70% of clients prefer to hire a designer with a fixed fee. If you work by billing hourly, then this puts you in a position that may not be too enticing for clients to hire. Once a level of trust is set, then the client will be more than willing to pay more for your quality of service.

The happy interior design client is one who has a good working relationship with his designer. Keep in mind that this is a relationship that exceeds the contract.

Remember that even the richest clients are stunned by large bills so do not lose trust by hitting on high profits alone. It is better to establish a good relationship with your client first.

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