Monthly Archives: November 2007

Buy the gift of good design

With Christmas just around the corner I thought I would give out a great list of places that you can get some great products for you home, many are not to expensive as I know many of us just don’t have the money to spend. I’ve even listed a few of my favorite items from each store for you, to help give you ideas.

Artful Home- The regal bowl is beautiful and worth the money, and take a look at the Hubbardtion Forge metal sconce.

Canvas on Demand- This is one of my favorite gift sites, you can turn any photo into a work of art complete with framing.

Colorful Images- This site actually has much more then just home decor. They really have a little of everything, but it can all be personalized so I really wanted to share this with you.

Furniture.com- I can’t leave out a site called furniture.com can I? They have a great selection of all types of furniture. They also have articles to help you figure out just what type of furniture you or your friend would love.

The Paragon- This is the most beautiful Crystal poinsettia. Crystal is always a great gift, they have a wide selection of wonderful Crystal items. Right now they are also offering 20% off your order!

I hope you take a look at these sites, they have some great ideas for design and for gifts for your loved ones. Happy Holidays everyone!

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Go Green With Your Roof

I am always on the lookout for new green design products. I found this wonderful roofing product while looking for alternative building materials for my class today. I had to share it with you as it’s really a cool product.

The product is called EcoStar and it’s a US based company that supplies sustainable tiles for your roof. The best part is that they also have a 50 year warranty. Check out there products page and take a look at what there different products look like. I have decided that I really want the house on the main product page, but thats not for this blog.  I love the look of wood shingles, they just stand out and complete the look of the home.

 Excerpt from website:

Seneca is engineered to meet the need

for a safe, durable alternative to wood

roofing while maintaining the look of

shake. Produced using some of today’s

strongest, most flexible recycled

materials, rubber (EPDM) and plastic

(TPO), Seneca emulates the exact look

of wood shake, yet is durable. Seneca

Shake is available in nine different

colors, offering unique architectural

opportunities.

I like the idea of these tiles as we all need to start looking at our effect on the environment and ways to recycle what we already use. I know this is something I’m going to recommend to my parents who are thinking of redoing the roof on a home they are going to be selling once the market is better. I think this would add a great value and selling point to the home. I’m sure they would also get there money back on this investment.

This site also has other types of tile, not just the wood looking kind. I loved there selection, I just wish they had one’s that looked like clay tiles. Those are my favorite and I want to use them on my own home if I can ever build it.

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Fun things to buy for your home

Some of the best things you can buy for your home are for you. They are things that are fun, make you feel good or just plain look great in your home. Buying something you like not only makes you happy when you buy it, but can make you happy later on too.

Bedroom furniture is one of these things. If you get good sleep you are happier, right? A nice comfortable bed sounds good to most people. Of course you can always make it fun depending on the type of bed you buy. Children love bunk beds, even if there is just one child, get them a bed with a desk under it, or at least some sort of play space. They can use it as a cave or a castle. My niece loves her bunk bed because she can put all of her Barbie stuff under it.

Another thing to buy to add some fun to your home is Bar Furniture, this is mostly for the adults, but children love it too. Remember they can’t get into a real bar so to them having a bar at home is really cool. Make it like an ice cream shop and they will love you even more.

The last area that is always fun to buy stuff for in the dinning area, this time of year
Dining Room Furniture is a big seller, mostly because family’s grow and with the holidays here many people don’t have enough room for there family. Buying a new table and decorations to go on it is always fun for me.

What kind of home items do you like to buy?

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Divide and Win with your Design

One of the big trends in home living is getting a loft apartment. usually these apartments are just one big space with nothing dividing the bedroom from the living room. This can be a problem if you have people over for the night, or you just like your privacy.

If you want to create a private area room dividers are a great way to go. There not the ugly things they use to be either. They actually look really nice, you can get fabric ones or bamboo. They even come with lights in them for a dramatic effect. There are many places to get good stylish room dividers. Just do a search on the Internet or click on any of the links in this post.

I also like to use room dividers to spruce up a black wall, put a nice divider between the wall and a sofa and see the dramatic change that happens. You will love it, I promise!

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Walk Through Art

There are many different ways to collect good artwork for your home, you can go to a gallery and buy it right off the wall. You can go to an auction and bid for the item against other people or you can walk through art and find what you really are looking for.

What I mean by walking thorough art is that you participate in many of the art fairs and art walks around the country. The St. Augustine Artwalk is suppose to be a wonderful and huge event, my grandparents go there every year, which is why we are having an early Christmas. They want to get to Florida early so they can buy some nice things to send back to us.

This is a great way to find unique art that no one else will have, artist from around the world attend these types of events. There is an art fair where I use to live that is held every summer. I have met people from china and Europe who have the most amazing artwork you have ever seen. The St. Augustine First Friday Weekend Art Walk is a walk around the gallery’s of the town, they even provide a shuttle for you if you don’t want to walk. This is a unique idea as I have never seen anything like this before. The best part about it is it’s not a once a year thing, it’s done on the first weekend of every month. So if your in the area check out this event and you may come home with a treasure that you can show off to all of your friends and may even be the completing piece to that design you have been working on.

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How Food and Interior Design Are The Same

Any designer who does not appreciate or know about good food is not a very good designer. The planning of a meal and it presentation – the texture, the color, the tastes, the hot and cold temperatures – are the same concerns that affect an environment.

Robert Kime, Architectural Digest

 

We look at food the same way as we look at interior design. It needs to look good or right away you wont like it. It needs to feel good, on your fingers and in your hands. You need to be drawn to it, just like you are drawn to the smell of your favorite food.

When something is pleasing to the eye it automatically makes you happy, calm and relaxed. When it is not, it will make you stressed and anxious. This is one reason why the art of fung shui is gaining in popularity, it promotes piece and harmony in your home.

Many people lack good design for one reason, they don’t look at the whole room, they buy things one at a time. This can be okay if you remember when your shopping what is actually in your rooms and shop with them in mind. Many people don’t do this, they see what they like and get it. They don’t stop to think, will it fit in the room? Will it match?

A tip I have is to take a picture of your room every time you add a major piece. Keep that picture with you and look at it when your buying anything for that room, even a TV. Make your room look put together and you will find you want to spend more time in the room because it makes you feel so good.

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Save Even More Space with a Lift

Plasma TV’s are great. They look nice they have style and they take up alot less space then that bulky TV you use to have. The problem is they still can take up space they don’t look right with antique furniture and sometimes you just want them out of the way.

There is a way to do this, you can use a TV lift. This device will lift your tv out of a cabinet or other storage device so that you can hide it away when you don’t want it out. This is not only a great space saver, but it can make a room appear differently to your guest. Now instead of focusing on the TV, you might actually be able to get to know someone or maybe they’ll finally notice how well you’ve decorated.

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Christmas Decorating with Personal Style

Now that the turkey is gone and everyone is nice and full it’s time to start thinking of Christmas. The presents, the shopping and most of all the decorating. You need lights for outside and in. You need to figure out just how many Personalized Christmas Ornaments you will need to buy this year and you will need some nice stockings to go along with them.

There are many places to get these types of things. One of my favorites is Personalization mall.com. They are one of my favorite sites because of there selection and prices. I don’t have children yet, but once I do I plan on getting personalized Christmas stockings and ornaments for them. I had a personalized ornament when I was a child and I loved it because that is how Santa knew where to put our presents. I am one of 5 children and even though we didn’t have money for alot of presents there still was a good pile sitting there.

I also like personalized gifts because it makes the item unique. When your going for a good interior or exterior design you want the whole look to mean something and show some of yourself. One way to make that nice stylish impression is to personalize it. It makes the room feel warmer and more inviting, not only to you but to your loved ones as well.

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Get comfortable while you work

I have learned alot since I started blogging as a living. I have learned that there is always something to say even if I don’t feel like saying anything. There is always more to the story and you need a comfortable office chair to set your butt on.

Yes this post is all about the office chair. Why is it important, well right now it’s very important because I don’t have one, my back hurts and I want to go lay down in my nice comfortable bed. Not a good thing since it’s only three in the afternoon. Of course there are a few other reasons to have a comfortable office chair. One is that most of the time the more comfortable it is, the better it looks. I’m not exactly sure why, but its a fact. I personally like leather high back chairs with lots of cushioning, but my mother bought a chair a few months ago that is a soft material and feels so good. I have to keep myself from stealing it. I pretty much want one like that, only Black leather.

There are other reasons besides looks to get a good office chair. It can actually help keep you awake and into the task you are trying to do. If you hurt and are not comfortable you don’t want to stay where you are and your mind starts to go off in another direction to a place and time where you want to be. Trust me even as a home worker this happens. I do it all the time.  Eventually I am going to get a new chair and maybe get more work done in the process.

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A Traveling Designer

Many people may see an interior designer as someone who decorates a home and works in a cute little shop. Most interior designers are not this way many have to pack up their clothes and head off to other states or countries to work. One of my teachers has been to France, China and Egypt for interior design jobs. Many of these lasted around 6 months. Most of the time they are for major business, like hotels and corporations.

I am really not into that type of design, even though hotel design could be fun. I don’t think I could stay in a hotel that long. I like staying at home and knowing where everything is. I know that many people though prefer to travel to exotic places and get paid to do it too. I’m not saying I wouldn’t travel, I would just prefer not to be gone for long periods of time. I don’t think that will be too hard for me as I plan to do mostly personal homes, not big corporations.

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Add Something for You to Your Home

I have noticed that a huge trend lately is to add something personal to your bathroom. Be it a TV so you can watch your favorite soap in the bathtub or a simple vase of flowers. There are also people who add makeup mirrors or heated towel racks. Just to add that something extra to make there life easier or more enjoyable.

I think this is a great trend. You can buy small inexpensive things to put into your bathroom to make it feel more personal and comfortable. You would actually be surprised at what you can find in the dollar store. There are many things you can get that doesn’t require you be creative. In fact I was looking at some paintings the other day at a dollar store that I will probably go back and get. I’m a student I can’t afford the nice stuff, but who has to know it came from a dollar store?

Of course Dollar stores are great places to find cheep vases and other things that you may want to add to your home. I know a few people who have the money to spend on the expensive stuff but choose the cheep things because they have young children. I really don’t see waisting money on something that will be broken in a few days by your two year old. Of course if you have alot of money it may not be a big deal to you.

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Create a mood

I love lighting. It not only helps you see but it can help you create a warm wonderful feeling or even a cold uncomfortable one. Most people want the first in there home, they want it to be warm and inviting so that people will stay there.

Lighting makes the difference. You can use candles to make a room not only look warm but feel and smell warm. With the holidays close at hand stock up on holiday scented candles and use them when your guest are over.

Another way to add light is to use a sconce or two in the dining room. There are many types of sconces, some you can use candles in, others are battery powered so you can take them down later. If you want something permanent of course they have those too and you can find them in most home improvement stores.

You can also make your own sconce by using any type of shelf or wall mounted candle holder and fiber glass or plastic cover. Get creative and wow your guest this holiday season.

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Telling time in style

One big thing with people I know is to buy grandfather clocks. They buy them for themselves or there parents or grandparents as gifts. I love them and think that they can really add a great feel to a room.

grandfather clocks come in so many different varieties that there is sure to be one for your home. I know I will be getting one once I have my own place and room for it. I have decided on one that has storage. There are many different curio grandfather clock styles. They range from more modern looking to very old fashioned.

You can also get a great Howard Miller grandfather clock, The contemporary design of these clocks are unbelievable. There very stylish and fun to look at. They come in many different materials, metal, wood and they even have one that is a fountain. I’m thinking I may have to buy two now. 1-800-4clocks.com is a very interesting site that I think I have fallen in love with. I love the selection and the prices are not too bad either.

Grandfather clocks no matter what the style are always stylish and really improve your home decor. They are timeless and fun, children love them and so do many adults. You can have a quite one or one that chimes every hour. They can help bring back memories or create them. Please check out this site and see if you can find one to fit your style and your home.

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Make your home worth more.

If you don’t have a garage already you may want to look into getting one. It really can help up the value of your home and help you get though those cold winters and hot summers. Of course if you prefer you could always just use car covers for your vehicles but you would still have to clean all that snow off and it wouldn’t help the value of your home.

Garages are something that people really look for in a home. Right now the big thing is to have one that is big enough for a boat or even an RV. These are the toy’s people are buying and if your looking to sell your home, a lack of a garage may be a deal breaker.

If your handy and a do it yourself person, there are many garage kits you can buy and you can build the garage yourself, make sure to check your local building codes first so that you don’t start building and find out that you can’t. This would be the cheep and best way to build a garage as you should get most of that money back.

Right now is a good time to just improve your home if your in an area that is not selling well, this will help with not only your home value, but it may help improve the value of the homes around you.

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A fun part of design

I hope this blog inspires you not only to create great design in your home, but that for anyone interested in a career it shows you some of the real things interior designers do. That is why this blog seems to jump around a lot.

That said I am going to once again give a great tip out for anyone who is interested in becoming an interior designer. Get a GPS system! Why, well yesterday I went to find a old friends new home, I was going to be meeting another interior designer there so that I could do a job shadow. Well I could not find the house and when I finally did the designer was gone. Part of it was that my friend gave me bad directions, the other part was that there street was not an official street so when I looked up the directions on yahoo they sent me to the other side of town where the street name she gave me actually is.

I’m sure this may be something that happens alot, you can’t count on the Internet to give you accurate information, the street I live on is not listed on any map site luckily the street it attached to is and it’s out in the country so there’s not much confusion. If your an interior designer trying to find a home, A GPS system may help you more then any Internet map would. I plan on buying a new car soon and it will have a GPS in it.

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Fix that TV

So many people are getting into plasma TV’s and I love it, it’s a space saver and looks much better then that old TV you have sitting there. If I had the money I would have one, then another 4.

The one thing that I don’t like about this trend is that many people do not buy the correct stand for it. If they even buy a new stand for it at all. The whole point of space saving is so that you have extra space, if you have a TV cabinet from your other heavy TV and you put your nice new plasma in it, your not saving space. Please for your own sanity buy a new stand or at least a plasma mount so that you can hang it on your wall. Now that is space saving!

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Check Your Attic

We learned alot about insulation this week and I wanted to share a few tips with you that we found. One thing that you need to know about insulation is that there are different types and that some are better then others. Personally I like the rolled insulation the best as it is easy to install and works better then the other kinds.

Rolled insulation can be used in attic areas along the floor to insulate an unused attic. You need to check your local building codes to see how much insulation they recommend. Why do you want insulation there? Well it keeps the attic cool by keeping the warm air in the home. It also keeps the attic warm but not too warm when it’s cold outside. You want the attic cool even in the winter because ice will form on your roof and cause rotting or other structural problems.

Another form of insulation that works well in attic areas is blown insulation. This is best if you are not going to use the area at all, The problem with blown insulation is that it settles and eventually it’s insulate properties decrees. It is still a good option though, but I still would not recommend it for northern areas.

Good insulation in the attic can help keep your heating and cooling cost down. It prevents all of the air from the rest of the home from going up into the attic and out the vents. If your worried about heating cost, check into insulation, you may be able to get a good tax break on it if you get it done before the new year.

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Keep that well designed home clean

I think one of the most important part of good interior design is keeping that interior design clean. I know it’s something I need to work at as I have a pretty cluttered workspace. Maybe I like the ciaos of it all.

I think one of the hardest things to do is vacuum, why well you really need a good vacuum. There are many brands out there but I really like the Dyson brand, and you can find cheap Dyson vacuums if you look hard enough. I’ve been looking for one for when I move as I know I’m going to have to buy a new one and I want a good one.  A good vacuum will take care of dirt and make sure it filters it so that you don’t end up breathing that dirt in. Unfortunately I think when it comes to vacuums at least, you get what you pay for.

The other thing you want to make sure to do is wet dust your wood furniture and other solid services, many people like dry dusting because it’s quick and easy, but all it does is spread the dust around and again you end up breathing that in or it settles back onto the table. There are many good cheep dusting products out there, so find one you like and use it.

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Make easy Interior design changes later

There are many ways that you can set up ways to make changing your interior design a simple process. Maybe you only need seating for 2 most of the time, but when your family is over you need seating for 12. This is simple to fix. If you plan to have permanent seating for 4, a sofa and a chair maybe, then have movable seating for the other 8. You will create a better space for you when you need it and allow you to live comfortably when you don’t.

One item for seating you should look at are ottomans. They are great because they can be moved around, and when there not being used for seating they make great tables. I plan on buying a few after I move to use as coffee tables. You can also use them as a bench in front of your bed then move them to the room they are needed in when your family visits.

Another way to change the look of your room easily is cheep but nice artwork, you can have different pictures for each season or just change it whenever you see something new you like. Of course I recommend having one piece that is more expensive that you plan to keep, this could be a family picture or a expensive painting. When you have something in your home that means something to you it makes the space so much more inviting.

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Shopping for Christmas.

I live very close to Frankenmuth Michigan, home of Bronner’s Christmas wonderland. I love this store as it’s 364 days of Christmas, of course they do a few other holidays when they come around, but there specialty is Christmas.

They have many different kinds of Christmas decorations. I still have my personalized name ornament that we bought when I was 4. All it has on it is my first name, but I still love it. This store is the place to go for all of your Christmas decorating. They do have a website and you can go there by clicking there name. The ornament above is one that I got my grandparents last year. Since my name is Holly. I thought it was great. I also found a fortune cookie one for my little sister. She loves that stuff.

They also sell advent calenders and of course other holiday decorations. If your looking to have a green Christmas, as in energy saving they also have a great selection of LED Christmas lights. I love these as they use so little power and look amazing. For those of you who go crazy outside you may like this mailbox cover.

I really do hope you take a look at this store, it is a favorite of mine and right now the Michigan economy really stinks, so if you order from them you would not only be getting great merchandise but helping the people in this area as well.

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