Monthly Archives: September 2007

Why Primer is Important Before You Paint

One mistake that some do it yourselfer’s make is that they don’t cover there old paint with primer. Why Primer is Important you ask? Well think of primer as coating for your wall, kind of like skin care products are a coating for your skin. They paint cansprotects against damage and aging right? So does primer. Primer hides that old paint color so that you don’t use as much of the new paint. It also makes the new color brighter and last much longer.

Primer is also going to keep that paint from fading. It will eventually but with primer it will take much longer to fade. Primer also helps with mold and mildew which most homeowners know can be a huge mess to clean up sometimes and it can be costly. It also blocks stains from coming through the new paint, trust me they are there even if you can not see them.

Another great benefit of primer is that it helps the paint stick, this prevents pealing and bubbling paint. This is very important when you only want to spend so much on a paint job or you have a time limit and can not repaint. It’s also just nice not to have to worry so much.  So next time you paint use a primer and make your job easier and look better.

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Long lasting light

I love candles but they tend to only last so long and some can end up with a really strange smell. Candles are a great way to liven up a room or make it more relaxing. I have Finlay found a candle I have to tell you about. As it will not only add to your decor, but it will last much longer then other candles.

Soy candles are a wonderful product because they last longer then other candles and do not have that black soot problem that other candles do. They are also biodegradable which I love because it’s good for the environment. They also smell so good!

I am planning on buying Wholesale Soy Candles so that way I get them at a great price and I can add them to gift baskets I am making for my family and friends for Christmas. I never know what to get them and I figure this is a great way to go and these candles will be a great centerpiece. Of course if you don’t want to make your own the company that makes the candles also offers gift baskets.

Candles are great for accents, use them in front of a mirror to make the room look bigger and add more light. It’s a great effect and I have many candles placed in front of my mirrors.

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The Business of Design

As I talk more and more with teachers and students at school I realize there is a very good chance that I won’t find work after graduation. One reason is my field is very competitive. Another is because I have poor credit. Employers can and do check your credit. Although I don’t agree with it. I keep thinking that because of this I may end up opening my own design business and doing things on my own.

I have decided to look into financial consolidation software to help me with this as I hear is a great way to make sure everything you do is legal. When it comes to interior design there are so many things you have to worry about. I’m sure you don’t think there are and I didn’t at first either but there are many financial problems that can happen.

Say you hire a designer and they ruin your home. You may end up suing them for the damage done. Hopefully you don’t have to, but it does happen. That designer then needs to have insurance to cover that or be able to pay out of pocket for the expense.

Another example is a customer orders furniture and can not pay for it. If it’s custom you as the designer may be stuck with the bill. Interior design is not just about paint. You have so much more to deal with. It can be fun, but you have to watch yourself.

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Bring that old flame back

One reason I love feng shui so much is that it really hits on what you really need to fix in your life. It does not say make money and you will be happy. As people have told me. Today I’m going to talk about relationships. You can use these tips for new relationships, marriages or just friendships. Taking these steps should help you to create better and stronger bonds in your relationships.

Start by finding the southwest corner of your home. This area of your home represents earth, so having stones or crystals here is helpful. In fact if you can find pink crystals it’s even better.  Images for this area include Red Peonies, the dragon and phoenix and Mandarin ducks. These images promote marriage and good relationship fortune.

If your remodeling or building I home do not put your kitchen, bathroom or a storage room in this area. Bedrooms are a good thing to have in this corner. The master bedroom works very well here. If you are looking for a husband or wife you will want to keep a light on in this area also. It keeps the yin and yang balanced and increases your chances of finding that perfect someone.

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A Winter Wonderland.

It is now almost October and that means that it is time to start getting your home ready for winter. There are many different home improvements you can do to help keep your home nice warm and dry this year.

If you have some time and don’t have a fireplace I would suggest that you think about investing in one. I personally like the ones that are both gas and wood burning, that way if your short on cash you can always burn wood. If your the type of person who lives on a lot of land and has some trees you can cut down this will work well for you. Or you can even use the trimmings you are doing this fall.

Another way to keep your home warm this winter is to invest in new windows and doors. This is one of those investments that could really save you a ton of money quickly. If you have very old windows it could actually save you hundreds of dollars a year in heating and cooling cost.

The last thing that you want to do is warm up any cold floors with throw rugs. My aunt does this every winter as all of her floors are wood and it can get cold in her home. Throw rugs help insulate the room and keep everything a little warmer. Of course you can just always walk around in your robe and slippers!

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An addiction to design

I have a wonderful little problem, I have an addiction to design. I love it! Of course you know this if your a reader of my blog. One reason I am so addicted to design is because you can be creative and have so much fun with it. Drafting also relaxes me and makes me feel like I have accomplished something really amazing and usually I have.

I know this is one problem I am not going to go get treatment for. When you love something so much it really can help lift your mood and make you a better person. So why am I telling you this. Well I am putting a challenge onto you. Go out there and find one thing that you love. It can be a piece of furniture, a vase or a pillow. Then buy it and put it in a place that is yours. When your feeling down think about that item and how much you love it.

This is the power of design. It can make you happy or sad. It can make you remember good feelings and lift your spirits. It can make you feel important and rich even if your not. This is why I’m addicted to design, this is the power of design.

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Sometimes color is all you need.

Everyone is looking to make there home look different, but with many homes out there being built to look the same how can you do this without spending a ton of money.

Paint. Now I’m not talking the walls but as an accent. I want you to take a look at the kitchen design I did about a year ago. Look at the colors. They pop but at the same time they don’t over do it.

The red in the cabinets draws your eyes to the red in the counter and the red on the chairs. If that red was not there you would probably notice the black first and then the red. This is one way to make a multi colored counter top pop, pick on color in it and paint something that color.  

 

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Help Your Body Relax With Design

I have a friend of mine who has major PMS and she’s always stressed out. Instead of telling her to go grab some pills I decided that she needed to fix up her home first.

One thing she is into is modern design. This means a lot of metal and not very comfortable, at least in her case. I told her we needed to pick out one room to redo. Her bedroom happened to be a great spot as it was huge and able to fit much more then just a bed.

One key thing to having a great relaxing bedroom is to take out the TV. Yes I said it. I’m crazy I know. But when you watch TV in your bed your body doesn’t see your bed as a place to sleep anymore so it’s not going to relax like it should. Because of this I made my friend move her TV out and put in a reading area instead. The area has a nice cushy chair and allows her a place that is comfortable to relax. I also had her add a water feature and a small free standing fireplace.

I did this around 2 months ago and this morning she called and thanked me. She told me her boyfriend loved the new room and how she seemed so much more relaxed. She said she also noticed the change.

The point of this story is simple. Make a place for yourself in your home. Somewhere that you can go and unwind and relax. It will make a huge difference in your life.

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Tips to Make Your Home Relaxing

So you come home from a stressful day at work only to turn on the TV and hear all about the murder downtown, the celebrity going in for drug treatment or the fire that destroyed a family’s home.  You turn off the TV and think, why do I have to deal with all of this.

There are ways to keep your home looking and feeling wonderful so the minute you walk into it you can relax and unwind. One of the first things I use to do when I got home from work is light a few candles in the kitchen. Candles are a great way to relax and add style to a room. One look I really liked was when a friend turned an old kitchen fireplace into a setting of candles and incense. When you walked into her kitchen you relaxed and it was really helpful to her marriage.

Another way to relax is to set a timer on your lights and have them come on before you get home, that keeps your body from going into a defense mode when walking in the door. If you set it on a dim setting it will help you relax more by making your body think it’s almost time for bed.

The last tip I have is to install a water feature. A fish tank with a waterfall filter works as does a small table fountain. Not only can this relax you but when it comes to fung shui it can help too. Place your fountain in the north area of your room and watch your career blossom

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A Home Away From Home.

Right now Vacation homes are a hot luxury. Many people want them, but some can’t afford them. What is the benefit to a vacation home? Well one you know it’s there and you don’t have to worry about reservations. Two you can decorate the home yourself. Right now Orlando vacation homes are a hot property  as are home in California and the southwest.

I love these areas in particular because they offer some unique decorating that you don’t see in other areas of the country. bold bright colors work will here as do neutral colors. I think that being able to decorate your vacation home is the best thing about buying one. If you go to a hotel you are stuck with what they have and sometimes it is not relaxing at all.

One tip I have for a vacation home is to do something different with it, but at the same time make it feel like home so that you are comfortable. One way to do this is to bring a few pieces of furniture from your permanent home and put it in your vacation home. This will make the space seem more familiar to you and mentally put you at ease. Make sure they are pieces you like though as you don’t want to bring up bad memories or ill feelings on a vacation.

Other then that have fun with your vacation home. If you want it to relax in use cool calming colors. If you want to re-energize then use warm exciting colors. Have fun with it, that is the point of a vacation right?

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Design the Perfect Home Office

Office Design

I have a home office and I love it. Right now it’s only used for school work and my online endeavors but it still took careful planning and some big decisions. Of course if I decide to start a design business from home I will have to change my office as it’s not set up for guest at this time, but the following tips should help you get your perfect home office.

One tip I always tell people when they ask me how to redo or start a home office is to pick out office desks first. Usually I will tell them to pick one modern one traditional and one totally off the wall desk. Then see what you can find to go with it. Of course this is if they are getting rid of everything in the space and are able to pick out a new desk. If you can not you need to do something to make sure your desk stands out. The reason for this is that usually the desk is the first thing you see when you walk into a home office, or at least you want it to be. You don’t want your customers or clients trying to find you in the room. That is not a good way to start a meeting.  One thing I do like is a desk that is either L shaped or has a working area you can put behind it. That way your computer is not in the way of you seeing your client. Of course with laptops now that’s not a huge issue, but I prefer to have both a desktop and a laptop so I think about these things.

The next issue to fix so you have the perfect home office is lighting. You want to create an office that is full of light. This helps you be able to work better and also makes your clients more comfortable. Now, you don’t want to be thinking about crazy harsh and bright florescent lighting, but natural lighting that makes you feel at ease. Hopefully your office contains a good amount of natural sunlight. If not add a few lamps and ceiling fixtures to warm up the room. Make sure these lights highlight the work areas you have so that they help, not hinder your production.

The last thing you really need to worry about in a home office is storage. If you do have guest coming in you want your storage to match and look professional. this means taking a look at what you do in your office, the services you preform and how people think of your business. If your a lawyer stick with wood or nice metal furniture. If you are an interior designer you want bright welcoming pieces that show off your style and taste.

With all of these tips you want to remember one thing, pick one style and stick with it. Remember to use accessories to make the space your own. They are easy to change out as your taste change and help to create a space that inspires you to work, not one that you are bored with and makes you want to sleep instead of get work done.

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Bring on the light

I love lighting, it creates a mood and allows you to see what your doing! Always a good thing. There are many types of lighting and many things you can do with it. Today I am going to talk about bathroom lighting.

Mirror with lightsWe all know how horrible bathroom lighting can be. One it can make you look like you died. It also makes your makeup look different then in the sun. So how can you fix this, one way is to get the right fixture and another the right kind of light.  I love the look of this bathroom fixture from CSN Lighting. It screams style and the color of the sconces themselves is great to help you get your makeup right.

One thing to always remember is style is great but make sure it’s going to give you what you want and need. A light fixture may look great in the store, but if it doesn’t work at home it’s not worth it.

Now that you have a fixture you need a good light. I’m a huge fan of florescent lighting as it is great for the environment and for your budget. Also fluorescents are usually closer to the look of the sun, at least the new ones are. Of course if you combine them with the right fixture you will be looking great either way.

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Luxury Homes

One thing I enjoy about design is that you end up working in the most beautiful homes. Some are in the most beautiful areas that you could ever imagine. Examples of these homes are luxury golf homes, which are located near golf courses. Large beach homes and of course the privet estates that are always hard for the public to get into.

When I am able to build my own home I plan on using Italian architecture as my influence. I love the look of it, it’s romantic and stylish. The best part is it will never go out of style as this type of architecture has been around for century’s. I have been looking at existing homes and have found a few that I like, but right now there a little out of my price range so it’s a no go for now.

Remember when your looking for a home. Look for something that you love the architecture on. Small cosmetic changes are an easy fix, but the architecture is something that you can not add to your home, it has to be built in.

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Clean your home fast

I found this article on CNN How to Clean Your Home in 19 minutes and I thought there is no way this could work. After reading it though I decided there are some really great tips in there. Many would help you not just clean but keep your home in line with fung shui practices.

One tip was wiping down the sink. This keeps the bad smells at bay and helps make your home much easier to live in. It also says to make your bed daily, this is a great tip because a made up bed can make the rest of the room look horrible so you want to clean that up too.

I like anything that will help me clean better, as I am not a neat person unless I have to be. I wish I was but it just is not so.

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Is a flip still worth it?

One thing I have been watching alot lately is the houseing market. Mostly because I wish I had enough money to buy a few homes right now while there cheep. One thing that I worry about though is the flipping trend that has been going on. How has that been effected by this downward trend.

From what I have seen it is going to be a long hard road. Many of the prime home flipping locations have now been hit hard and are very difficult to sell in. People who have been doing this for a while may have enough money saved to ride this out, but those who do not may not be able to continue.

Just in case you are wondering the house flipping shows will still be on the air and showing you both the upside and downside of house flipping.

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Invest in your home

Right now the real estate market is in horrible shape. It’s hard to buy or sell a home but you can still do home improvements to help the resale value of your home. This is a great idea right now as things are going to be cheaper since there not able to sell as much as they use to.

There are many ways to fix up your home, but some things such as kitchens and bathrooms can get expensive. Right now Home Equity Loans are in great supply and can really help you in the remodeling department. Please remember to make sure you can actually afford the loan you are taking. Using sites with mortgage calculators can help you out and really put that investment into perspective. Remember if you are looking to remodel for resale think about when you will be selling and what the general public likes and dislikes. If your doing it for yourself invest in energy saving it will help you in the long run.

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Control sound with fabric.

I have a few friends who live in apartment buildings where there is a huge noise problem. One can hear almost every word said by the people in the apartment next to them. I told her there was an easy solution to this problem that most people don’t think about. Hang fabric on the walls.

I know your thinking, that will look weird. Trust me it doesn’t. Also hanging fabric on the wall will help keep it insulated as long as you use the right kind of fabric. Being my friend lived in a rented apartment we could not do anything permanent so I had her buy two decorative curtain rods, we put those up and hung a deep purple fabric from them. This added a wonderful focal point to her dinning room and really made it look amazing. It did help her noise problem pretty well too. Of course some people have thought there were windows behind the curtain!

If you live in your own home and can afford to do something permanent then that would be a much better way to go as all noise can be eliminated using fabric panels. These have to be installed and can cost a good amount of money, but if you really need the soundproofing there is nothing that can replace it.

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Home Improvement With Style

One thing that I always liked about my grandparent old home was there screened in porch. It allowed you to be outside but kept the bugs out. The one thing I never liked about it though was that it looked horrible. It was metal and looked like it.

conservatoryNow of course you can get these wonderful conservatories that look so much better and have many more options. You can have full glass or half glass. I personally prefer full, unless your trying to hide something from your view. You can also get single, double or sliding glass doors instead of just the standard single.

I find it so refreshing to find home improvements like this because they are both stylish and useful. I know when I build my home I plan on putting one in and if you live in any kind of climate they can be really a wonderful addition to your home and lifestyle.

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Time To Be In Style

One thing that I have recently noticed is an increase in clocks in my friends homes. For some reason time is being watched more and more as we get older and as the world gets smaller and in more of a hurry.

Wood Wall clockRecently one of my friends asked me her opinion on a clock she bought. I thought is was wonderful. She was happy as most of the time she has no style. So I asked where she got it and she gave me a website to check out. The site is called online clock store and I was very impressed by there selection. The clock to the right is the one my friend bought.

glass wall clockI decided to search for one I liked and since my mother is a clock fan, one for her also. I found this one that I loved the style of, but would never buy for myself. I just thought this was unique and had to share it with you.

One thing I hope you remember is that clocks are an accessory to your home not just a thing used to tell time. It can add style and complete a look. It can also be a focal point of a room, wouldn’t you notice the table clock below?

Table clock

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A Love of Candles

One thing I love about interior design is the creativity you can put into a space. There are so many things you can do to make a room look or feel better.

One thing I love to do is have accessories for every season. I usually buy a new one every year and try to donate an old one if it’s still in good shape. This year I am thinking of making some decorations of my own. I love candles and I may make some that smell like apple. Candles really can create such as great atmosphere in a room. Most people look better by candlelight and it’s calming and relaxing.

There are many ways to display candles in your room, one is just use a jar candle and put it on a table. Another is to find a large tea candle holder and use that as a focal point for your room. One other way I love to use candles is in a fireplace that is no longer in use.

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