Monthly Archives: December 2007

ABC’s of Fine Design Best Post of 2007

The following is my best post for 2007 one for each month. I have had so much fun working on this blog this year. Through paid blogging I have learned about many products that I could share with you. Some I liked, some I didn’t.

Thank you my readers for being there for me in 2007, I hope to see you all in 2008!

February

How to Arrange Your Furniture

March 

 The Bagua Map

April

What Are You?

May

Interior Decoration: Feng Shui, Function, and Fads

June

Need help with your floorplan?

July

Go Green with good design

August

The Safety in Design

September

A Winter Wonderland.

October

Give a gift to your home

November

Check Your Attic

December

Furniture Friday: Resolute Desk

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Add some metal to your wall

When you walk into a room the lack of wall decor can sometimes ruin the whole experience of the room. You want the room to be inviting and fun.  But it can be hard to find just the right thing to go into that room.

Well thanks to the wonderful selection and prices at Wall Decor and Home Accents you can find just the piece you are looking for. The site is very easy to use and you will love what they have to offer.

Today I’m going to highlight their metal wall art. As you can see from the pictures on this post they don’t have just everyday metal art. They have interesting and fun pieces that will really make your room sing as you walk into it. A good piece of art can strike up a conversation with people who you may never have talked to before. Are you looking for a promotion or to get the attention of an attractive co-worker? Have a party get some great art and talk to that person.

It’s amazing what good design can get you these days.

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Going Green

I wanted to let all of you who read this blog know that I have another blog I write that has a feature called Going Green Monday. If  you are interested in checking it out click that link and it will take you to the going green archives.

 Yes I do green posting on this blog, I know but those going green post have more information on consumer goods that don’t deal directly with design. So if your interested in some of that information then my going green series is something you may be looking for.

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Tips For Buying A Good Mattress

Everyone has different taste when it come to a mattress but their are some tips to help you decide which one is right for you.

Do some research. That is what the Internet is for right? To give you information on products and services. Check out the manufactures website to find information on mattresses your interested in

Talk to your doctor. If you have any type of health condition consult your doctor. They may be able to tell you what types of mattresses to stay away from.

Check your size. If both you and your spouse are small you don’t need a pillow top mattress. If you want one that is your choice. If your bigger the extra padding may be helpful to you.

Use the mattress before buying.
No I’m not saying you should sleep on it, unless they offer that type of trial, but you should test it out for about 15-20 minutes before you decide to buy.

Don’t buy whats in style, just because it is. If all of your friends buy the Tempurpedic mattress and you check it out and hate it, don’t buy it.

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Helpful things for construction

I learned something new today. It was probably something I should have known already, but I didn’t and I can admit that. What did I learn, well I learned what a plasma cutter is.

Do you know what it is? If you do don’t read any farther you will get board. A plasma cutter is used to cut into metal, steel and other metals. It has a huge use in construction and is very helpful to speed up the construction process. What happens is gas is blown at a high speed though a nozzle. The gas then turns to plasma and melts the metal you want to cut.

I could see where this could come in handy on a job site. It’s amazing what I learn surfing the Internet!

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Lets play a game

I found this interesting interior design game on another blog and I had to share it with you. It is called Home Sweet Home and the point of the game is to decorate a home based on what the client wants.

It’s a very interesting and fun game. I may actually buy it just so I can keep playing with it. I am wondering though if I could convince my teacher to let us play it. I don’t think I could, we are not doing residential design anymore, but I can still have fun with it.

Check it out and enjoy!

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Find the products you need for your project

Interior designers don’t just walk into Home Depot and bring you great design. They work directly with the suppliers to find the perfect fit for their clients design and budget. Interior design is more then just paint, you have to find that perfect piece of furniture or that perfect lamp or desk to make the design function well and look good.

Sometimes it is hard to keep track of the suppliers that you have used in the past. Especially if you are a small design firm of one or two designers. You usually do all the work yourself. That includes all secretarial work. Designer Pages has made that task much easier by providing a website that has all the suppliers you need in one place. They help you to communicate with them and keep track of what you have done and what you like. You can save products you have found an keep track of contacts all from your dashboard. This site is not only helpful to the residential designer, but will help with industrial design as well.  If you do both types of design this would be the perfect site for you.

If your a student, like I am looking for items for your school projects this site will also help you. I don’t have a huge resource area at the school I am in, so I am always looking for new things online. This site will help me alot these next 2 years since Industrial design is my focus and those types of items can be hard to find in literature I can actually get my hands on.

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Furniture Friday: Resolute Desk

I have decided this week not to talk about any piece of furniture, but the resolute desks that sit in both the white house and in Bedford MA. If you have  seen the movie National Treasure you have an idea of the history of these desk already.

Both the Resolute Desk and another desk were made from the English ship the H.M.S resolute. The resolute has a long interesting history itself. It was one of five ships to be sent to find a group of men who were looking for a northern pass to china. The ship was lost but the crew was sent back to England. Eventually the ship was found by an American man who brought it home. The US government refitted it at their expense and gave it back to Queen Victoria as a gift.

Once the ship was dismantled the Queen had two desks made Resolute Desk and the Grinnell Desk . One for her and one was given to US President Rutherford B. Hayes. This desk has been used by almost every president since it was given to Hayes. The desk was originally located in the presidents office but in 1902 the office was moved to the new west wing, the desk stayed in the presidents study. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked that a panel carved with the presidential coat of arms be added to help hide his leg braces, but he did not live to see it done as it was added in 1945.

The desk was first used in the oval office by president John F. Kennedy after his wife Jackie found the desk. The resolute desk eventually became part of the Kennedy library and traveled in an exhibit from 1964-1965. It also was on display at the Smithsonian.

In 1977 Jimmy Carter requested the Resolute desk be returned to the oval office to be used once again but the desk moved again during President Bush Sr’s time in office as President Bush had it moved to his residence office. Bill Clinton moved it back to the oval office while he was president and it is still there today being used by President Barrack Obama.

If you would like your own resolute desk, there is a company that is recreating them called Victorian Replicas.

You can learn more about the resolute desk by watching this video. (Taken from the Victorian Replicas website)

History of the Resolute Desk from uk2sfo on Vimeo.

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Oil and Paint Make Good Design

When looking for accessories you don’t always have to go to the most expensive thing, sometimes you just want to have something that if it’s ruined your not out $5000. This is the case with paintings. I personally would buy a painting that is a knock off or reproduction rather then the real painting. Of course there are exceptions but I still would not display them without some sort of protection and a good security system.

For most people though a monet oil reproduction is just as good as the real thing. So what is my advice when looking for paintings. Check some antique stores, the dollar stores are wonderful if you have kids or go ahead and splurge a little.

If price is not an issue, buy something you love, but something that will either go with your decor or stand out in a good way. If you have mostly antique furniture don’t buy a modern painting. The clash. If you have a mix of furnishings a modern painting may work well.

Whatever you do choose something for yourself, not because it’s expensive and it will help you make friends. People who buy things based on the money factor tend to not appreciate it as much. At least that is my experience anyway.

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The holiday season is almost over, now what?

This is the best time to get all that home improvement done. If your looking for green design items you want to get all of that bought before the new year. Why? Well the tax credit for buying these items will be non existent after this year. Yes you heard me. It’s gone forever! So now is the time to buy and you better make it quick.

After the new year look toward other types of home improvement and decorating. Buy new furniture to help start out the new year right. Look for fung shui tips on this blog and other websites. The big thing is to make your home work for you.

January 1st I will have a nice post about tips to make your home work for you in the new year. So check back and take a look.

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I love New York

Okay I don’t love New York, but I think that is because I have never been there. I want to go, just have not been able to yet. I was reading the other day about the huge search for mover NYC. People have been talking about moving to New York. I can see why, it’s a huge city. The strange thing is that many of the people buying up real estate are from other countries. New York has always been to expensive for them, but now that the dollar has moved, it’s changing.

On one hand I am really happy to see someone buying something in the US, but on the other hand I wish it were us citizens as that would mean the economy is better. Who knows maybe this will help in some way. If foreign people come and visit and spend more, that will help the working person make more right? I wish it was that way but the better part of me says it will just put more money into the pockets of the wealthy who own these stores. The only non-wealthy it could help is the small business owner who runs the corner store or specialty shop. That still would be better then nothing though and I’m all for it.

The real estate market is changing, I hope that you as buyers and sellers can change with it.

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An Important Item in Curb Appeal

Mailboxes are one of the things that many people may overlook if it’s just the same plain mailbox, but if you make it stand out in a good way, people will look at your home differently.

There are many ways to spruce up your mailbox. The following are a few of them:
 

  • Clean it. A clean mailbox makes the home look cared for, remember details are what show you really care.
  • Make it match the home. Either by drawing out the accent color with it or having it the same color as the home. 
  • Don’t go overboard. If your not selling your home, you could probably get a weird looking mailbox and be fine, but if your selling take down the customized looks like your dog mailbox and put in something else. Mailboxes that look like the home, usually do go over well so you can keep those.
  • Fix any broken parts. Preferably when they break, not only is it a hazard to you the homeowner, the mail man visits that box every day, be nice to them and fix it.

These tips should help make your mailbox stand out and add to the curb appeal of your home. Fix this and then start on the rest of that yard. Unless theres snow like I have right now, then wait a few months!

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Merry Christmas!

Comment Graphics at pYzam.com

Christmas is a time for the home and family. I hope you have a wonderful and joyful Christmas time and that you are blessed to be around your family and friends. If you don’t celebrate Christmas I still hope you have a wonderful day.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

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Bring On The Bar

With New years just around the corner many people are looking to spruce up their bar area. You want to make a good impression if you are the one doing the hosting this year and you want that bar to look like a million bucks. Bar faucets are a great place to start, you can get very cool looking faucets for almost nothing and it can really add some sparkle to your bar. Add some nice lighting and you are good to go. A bar remodel that can cost as little as $50 depending on what deals you can find.

If you have a little more money you can also look into chairs or a new counter for the bar area. If you want to really wow them go sleek and modern with black or glass tile. If your looking for something more down to earth that might fit in better once it’s super bowl time, then you may want to try a wood counter. Both will create a great bar look and really make a splash this new years eve.

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Get some rest

Winter is here in the northern parts of the world and right now I know many of you are tired and cold. Of course in the southern areas your warm and lazy feeling so you too will also need a bed. Yoursleepstore.com
has a large number of wonderful bedding and more. I love there selection of bed frames and I hope you do to.

Bedding is a very important part of design. I have been told by many designers, teachers and a few of my fellow students that if the client is not happy with there bed they usually are not happy with the entire design. Having a good bed makes your room comfortable and a nice relaxing place to be. I personally am not a fan of tempur-Pedic but many people are. When you look for a mattress make sure you test it out and make sure it works for you. Get a good nights rest and be happy with your bedroom.

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More about looking for a home

In this economy I try to keep my eye out for things that will help you the home buyer or seller. In this case I have found ePERKS.com a great resource for the home buyer or seller. Right now they are offering up to $20,000 cash back when you buy or sell a home with them . They have a nice search that will allow you to find a local Realtor that is right for you. Of course once you find one there do some more research to find out if there really a good match for you. Talk to your friends and family and talk to them. They may work very hard for you.

The other nice thing about this site is that the offer a few other products like auto loans and can help you find a home improvement contractor. So even if your not looking to buy or sell a home, they still can help you to make the home you do have better for you. You can get 10-15% off of a contractor through them. As I said before, once you find one do some research. I was actually surprised with the search they offered for contractors, not only can you find general home builders but you can find window installers and even a maid to clean your home. That would be a nice way to keep that fung shui working well, wouldn’t it?

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Furniture Friday; A vase is just a vase or is it?

Vases have been around for thousands of years, Greeks painted images on them to remember heroic stories, deadly past and bright beginnings. They also used them to honor the dead, either by making them for the funeral itself or or burying their favorite vase with them.The Greeks were not the only ones to paint on pottery the Egyptians Romans and every culture since also did this. We do it today. Their are many types of vases you can get in stores now, some are glass, plastic or clay. Some are traditional while some are just out there and crazy.

Vases in the medieval times were made of iron or other metal and used for many things such as bathroom use and water carrying. Eventually glass use was introduced and vases started being made of glass. People who owned glass vases were usually wealthy as glass vases showed refinement of taste and money.

Vases are used not just for flowers, but many cultures use them to carry water, food or other goods in. They trade them for these items also. Vases are also used for just plain decoration. I love to find a nice clear vase and put colorful rocks or other items in them to display. I have a Betta vase that I had a fish in once along with a plant. It was beautiful, unfortunately when I moved, it didn’t make it but I will try again soon.

So is a vase just a vase or does it do more in your home?

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The housing and land issue

Here in Michigan we have had a horrible turn of luck, Mostly in the Saginaw, Bay City and Flint area. There are no jobs, there are thousands of homes for sale as people have moved to other states and everyone is depressed and worried.

I know that this is also going on in other areas of the country, but we have been dealing with this for at least 3 years. So it’s not new and it’s not going away. I have seen so many signs advertising for different states such as signs for “Alabama land for sale” or “move to Iowa we have jobs.” I understand these states are doing better then we are, but with so many moving out, there’s no one to put money back in.

On the other hand buying a house would be a great thing to do right now if you can get a loan. Many people today don’t know how to buy a home in this type of market. They are so use to it being a sellers market, not a buyers. So what can you do to buy the home of your dreams now?

Set a price you want to spend with a few thousand dollar leeway either under or over.
Look around, even if you do find a home you think is perfect, look at the homes around it.

  • They may not be worth as much now or later on, making your home worth less once the market turns around.
  • Do research before picking a relater, with all of the problems there have been lately you want to make sure the Realtor is on your side, not the bank or the homeowner.
  • Speaking of banks, check them out and make sure they do what they are suppose to. You make sure you can afford your home, I give this advice, if both of you are working can you still afford to pay house payment and other necessary bills if one of you losses there job? If not you can not afford the house payment. Don’t put yourself in a position of losing your home if you don’t have to.

Those are just a few steps that will help you to find a home and keep your home. Good luck on your house hunt!

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Congress helps us to live green

I have said it before on this blog. You need to buy the new florescent lights so that you will not only save money, but you will help the environment. Apparently congress agrees with me.

Today they approved a new law that will require that the old incandescent light bulb be voided out and new lights be put in it’s place. This will not happen until 2012. So where does that leave you, the consumer and incandescent bulb lover? Well you will first have to give up that incandescent bulb and deal with the fact that you will be paying more for a light bulb. The good news is the new bulb will last longer and has a 2 year warranty if it is labeled under the energy star program. Nice stuff right there!

As I have said not only will it save you money on your electric bill, but it will also help the environment by reducing electric use across the country.

If you want more information check out yahoo’s article:
FAQ: The End of the Light Bulb as We Know It

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Finding a plumber

One thing about design that is always fun is finding good reliable plumbing contractors. I have heard many horror stories from homeowners, designers and my teachers about plumbers that don’t do there job. They either say it can’t be done, because they themselves cant do it or they do the job badly and expect you to pay them to come back and fix it.

One story that I’ve heard from my favorite teacher about 20 times is the story about the toilet from Europe. The plumber she hired kept telling her that it can’t be installed. When she asked why he told her that the toilet was broken and would not fit the pipe. Of course having been in the industry for a while she went over to look at the toilet. It was fine, the only problem was it was from Europe and needed a special hookup. The plumber still insisted that it could not be done and was fired. She hired another plumber the next day and it was completed by the end of the day.

The moral of the story? Ask questions before you hire someone, do some research and find out if they can actually do the job you want them to. There are many websites where you can find this information. One being plumbing networks, they have a huge database of plumbers in almost any area you can imagine. They even came up with some in my small, small town. They came up with many many more when I searched for plumbers in Ann Arbor MI.

This is a huge problem in design as you don’t always get to work with the same people you have worked with before, sometimes your across the country or in another country altogether.  Sometimes you just have no idea who your hiring but if you do some research you should be fine.

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