Monthly Archives: January 2008

An important part of real estate

When you buy real estate you never know exactly what you are getting into. Sometimes there are people who come out of the woodwork and stake a claim on the home you just bought. Sometime other things have occurred before you bought your home that will give you problems later on. One way to deal with this is to fine a good title insurance company.

Title insurance will help you to cover all of these unexpected events and keep you safe from any past claims to the property. title insurance companies will do extensive background searches on the title of your property to find out exactly what has happened in the past and if anyone has a claim to the property. Yes people may pop up after you have bought the home and maybe fixed all of the problems. People are like that.

Sometimes though you can’t find everything but it’s still a good process to go through. Some examples of things that they may not find are non-public documents like forgery’s, impersonations and unknowns errors due to bad records. Even with these risk I would still recommend taking this step. I believe many real estate agents do this anyway, but if your buying on your own you may want to check title insurance out.

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A search for modern design

I love modern design, but I don’t think I would live in a modern home. That said a modern vacation home would work well for me. This is the same case with a women that I met the other day. We were waiting in line at the food court in a hospital nearby, she was there for the birth of her granddaughter and I was there for my sisters surgery.

We started talking and she asked what I did for a living. My first response right now is always that I am a student and I’m going for interior design. The second I said this she started asking me all these questions. Apparently she had just bought a vacation home that was a modern design and had no clue what to do with it. I’m willing to give out tips right now, since I can’t hand over a card and say come in to my studio and we’ll see what we can do. I did hand her the card for this blog though!

There are many great ways to find furniture that will fit into your homes theme sometimes searching modern furniture is not the way to find furniture you can actually buy. Try searching for furniture stores in your area instead. Like furniture stores in Houston or furniture in Detroit. Most stores sell different types of furniture. So they may not com up in a modern furniture search.

If your going into the field of interior design remember you will always get questions from people. You have to make sure though that you answer them with just enough information to make them happy, and bring them back to you for a job. You don’t want to offer to do anything for free. Since many people will expect you to do it again.

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Furniture Sunday!: History of the Bookshelf

I’m very sorry this is so late. I had some family things to deal with since Friday and was not able to complete everything on time. So it’s now furniture Sunday! (one time only) I am going to try to have Furniture Friday the third Friday of every month. I you don’t want to miss out subscribe to my feed.

The Bookshelf

When people first started writing words down they did not store these documents on shelves, they put them into cases and carried these cases with them. The cases were made of animal skin or wood. Eventually as the collections of these documents grew usually in wealthy homes or religious centers these cases were traded in for cabinets. a Most of the time these documents were piled up on their sides or rolled this is very diffrent from how we store them today.

When the printing press was invented doors were gotten rid of and the modern bookcase started to emerge. These bookcases were usually made of Oak as the people of the time thought that this was the best wood for a stylish library.

Some well known bookshelf makers were, Chippendale and Sheraton  they had great ornamentation and were considered the best of the best for that time. Even today a authentic Chippendale is a well respected piece of furniture.

Today we make bookshelf’s out of almost anything, boxes, plastic, wood and metal. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are round, some are square and I have seen a few that were all curves almost like they were a scribble on the wall. Bookshelf’s have become once again works of art. In a much different way then they were but they still have the same great style and function.

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Real Estate, Find the Home of your dreams

Good interior design can only happen if you love the home your in. Finding that perfect real estate is the hard part. Sometimes you go though so many that are okay or are very good. Sometimes though they just are not good enough. There is usually something missing or there is more then you need in the home.

I haven’t had the pleasure of house hunting for myself yet, but I have gone with other people and I have helped them look online, You can search for anything online like Houston real estate or homes in Texas. Of course finding the right city will not help you if you can not find the right home.

The most common problem is that people can not picture themselves in the home. Either the home there looking at is empty or there is way too much stuff in it. I understand that many people don’t have the eye to see how things could be, but there is a way to work on that. If you look at the room around you, close your eyes and picture what you would like, if the room comes close to fitting into that picture, your doing well.

The thing to remember is, if the home is cheep and it’s nice on the outside you can always fix the inside. Of course you can fix the outside too if your problem is the other way around. Don’t look at a home and see it for what it is now. Look at it and see it for what it could be.

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Find your perfect rug

Designing a room can be fun and exciting it can also cause a hassle if you live in a rented home. Sometime you just can’t change to many things. Usually the carpet is horrible and you of course can’t do anything about it. Actually you can do something, add another rug on top of it. There are a few things to remember though.

The first is decide if you want the whole area covered or just a part of it. Sometimes you can work with the carpet that is there. Large Rugs are more expensive then Small Rugs so you want to make sure you get the size that is right for you.

The next thing you need to do is measure the space you want the rug in. Don’t eyeball it, most of the time you think a space is smaller then it actually is. Even I do this sometimes, so I always measure.

The next thing you want to decide on is color, if you want the rug to stand out pick a color that is an accent to what you already have. If you want it to blend match it to a piece you have in the room.

The last thing is to find the type of rug you like, there are shags, wool, plush and funky types of rugs, find one that fits your style and needs.

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Save time in the morning

Have you ever spent an hour trying to find that shirt you wanted to wear? I have it ended up being in the laundry. There are ways to help with this problem and closet organization is one way to do it. That way you can have all of your shirts, dress and even your bustiers if that’s what your into, in a nice neat and organized area where you can actually find them.

One way to do this is to throw out your clothes and start over, I don’t recommend it though as it’s a little expensive to do that. What you can do is either look into some shelving units that have drawers and closed closet areas to put all of your things in. For a child or teen, plastic organizers work well and can be stylish. Personally for an adult who wants to make a good impression, plastic is not the way to go, use wood and make sure it’s sturdy and goes with the style of the wood in the room.

If your still clueless you can also call an interior designer or a closet specialist, yes these exist. This is one of the special areas in interior design and these people know what there doing. So don’t feel bad if you don’t know where to start find one of these helpful people and get your time back.

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A new year A new you

Now that it has been a couple of weeks since you made that new years resolution to lose weight I have one question for you, are you doing it? One reason that you may not be as excited about losing the weight is that you don’t feel comfortable where you work out.

If you have a home based gym I have a few great ideas for you that will make the room scream come in and play! It will also answer that dang question of where to put that dang elliptical.

My first tip is simple, paint the room one of two types of colors. Bright and exciting or calm and relaxing. It really depends on how you want to use the room. If you using it for both relaxation and as a heavy workout area think about using both colors. Stick to the same color but different shades and you should be fine. Paint one wall the bright color and the opposite the calm color, keep the other two walls a neutral. Set up your equipment so that you are facing the correct wall for what you want to to. If you need energy for that tread mill set it so you face the bright wall. If you need a calm place to meditate or do yoga seat yourself facing the calm color wall.

Another thing is put a TV in your workout room. Watch your favorite movie or music videos while you work out. Using a radio or mp3 player can help too.

Bring in plants, they make the room more inviting and help clean the air. This could just make it easier on your body as it will have fresh air to work with.

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Codes Codes and more Codes

A few days ago I wrote about places that Interior Designers could design. Someone emailed me and asked me how hard it would be to design a drug rehab center? They couldn’t understand why they would need an interior designer to do that. I’m not going to go into all of the details, but I will tell you a few reasons why.

The big one, and the title of this post is codes. There are many many codes involved in any hospital type building. Yes drug rehab is considered a hospital to put it simply. You have to know what is allowed and what is not such as:

  • Do the hallways have to be a certain length or width?
  • How should the fire exist be marked.
  • Are Sprinkler systems required.

Another reason Interior designers may design a drug rehab center is that you need it to feel comfortable and like home. These people are sick, they need a good environment in order to get well.

Of course there are many more technical reasons for designers to be involved in this type of design, but without a book in front of you to reference you wouldn’t understand half of what I’m telling you. So just believe me when I say Interior designers are very important when designing most types of buildings.

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Something small

Sometimes small things are the best things to put into a room. A small lamp, a small picture frame or frames maybe even a small vase or bowl. These small accents can really help you to complete a room when you are stuck as to why it doesn’t look right.

Think small for some big changes in your interior design and be surprised when you get asked what is so great about this room?

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Buy a big fan for your cooling needs

A designer should know a good product when they see it. Thats there job. This product I am going to tell you about is not exception. The company is called Big Ass Fans and they live up to there name. They sell large fans for Industrial Ventilation needs. They are used in places such as warehouses, retail stores, museums and stadiums. Sweet Gym in Philadelphia is one of the many businesses that use Big Ass Fans so do many home improvement stores.

I know this blog is mostly about home design, but I’m sure many of you reading this own business or at least know of a business that may need this type of equipment. The other reason I mention this is because interior designers need to know about these types of things. You design more then just homes, you design home improvement stores and gyms that would need these fans to be able to operate and stay in business.  That is the most important part of a designers job, to keep that business looking good so they can stay in business. Looks are important in this field

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Feng Shui Friday

For the inbetween Fridays of the now once a month Furniture Friday I will be having fung shui Fridays. All this will be is a short post with one or two fung shui tips for your home. I hope you enjoy!

Fung shui tip

If you have a stair case facing directly out your door you are letting out the good chi. To stop this you can place a bright light or a screen between the stairs and the door.

The stairs should also not face a toilet, a mirror or a bedroom.

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Design with things you already have

Design on a budget can be really simple take a look through things that you already own like a lamp that is sitting in the garage or gold cuff links that can be used to dress up a curtain.

The other day I found an old mirror, it was broken and I had planned on throwing it out, but then I had an idea. I made a picture frame with it. I found a cheep frame that I had bought a few years ago and glued it onto the mirror’s backing. I was lucky that this mirror had a nice frame to it already. I then took the mirror fragments and glued them onto the space between the two frames. I now have a great picture frame that cost me nothing. I already had everything I needed to make it.

The best part is no one has a picture frame like this, even if they do the same thing they will still look different. Uniqueness is always an important part of good design.

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An important tool

Designers don’t always get to sit there and order people around. Sometimes they actually have to do real work. Yesterday I was talking to a women online who has been a designer for 30 years. She said she carries around a safety utility knife and a hammer. She doesn’t go anywhere without them.

Why? Well you never know what will come up and usually it will be one of these two items you will need to fix it. Okay so her utility knife has a screwdriver and a few other gadgets, but you will probably need those too.

I learned a few things from this wonderfully interesting women. I may share more with you later, check back and see.

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Things to think about when starting a design business

If your thinking of starting a home based interior design business there are many things you will need to think about. Not just what your desk is going to look like or if you can write off that coffee pot you have been wanting, but real world stuff that many people don’t think about.

One of the most important things to do is to talk to your local tax person. Find out what you can claim, what you can’t, and what you might be able to. They know what there doing trust me.

Think about the cost of individual health insurance. Your going to need it because home based workers don’t get health insurance unless they are married and their spouse does. You should also think about liability insurance, yes you can be sued. It actually happens a lot more then you think.

Local codes. Make sure it is okay to have a home based business. Most places allow them, but you have to check. If your going to be meeting with clients in your home you may have to change a few things first.

These are just a few things to think about. There are many more things on the huge list of what to do before you start a home business, but these are 3 important ones. Good luck

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5 Buildings designers may design

Interior designers don’t just fluff pillows and put up paint. If your a regular reader of this blog then you know this already. If your new to this blog well this may be news to you.

The following is a list of 10 building interior designers may help design. Most of these buildings will also have the assistance of an architect and an engineer. As a designer you work with many types of people and you must be able to get along well with others.

Shopping Malls, this also includes separate store design and food court design

Clubs, They types vary but think dance club, country clubs, bars and more.

Restaurants, this is a huge industry for interior designers. It’s a specialized industry and one of the hardest ones to do

Hospitals, Yes even hospitals are designed with an interior designer. Have you been to the new maternity wards in hospitals. They are very spacious and comfortable for families. This area also includes drug rehab centers and mental health centers.  Hospital design is the hardest area of the interior design professions

Schools. This is another hard area for designers to get into, usually your not allowed to design a school until you have worked with a school designer for at least 10 years. You may be able to pick out a desk before then though.

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Simple ways to remodel your bath

Everyone says that bathrooms and kitchens sell home, that is the main reason people redo their bathroom. My theory is why wait till you sell, do it now so you can enjoy it!

There are many ways to get this done, you can do it yourself if your handy by going to your local home improvement store or you can check out a show room like directbuy where they will help you get started, install it and grantee there work. These are the cheaper way to do these things, you of course can always hire an interior designer to do these things for you, but you will be paying for them.

If you decide to do it yourself. You need to keep a few things in mind. One is people now like big master baths. So if you can keep it big and make sure to let a lot of light in. Invest in a large tub and separate shower if possible. Two sinks are a must and a large well lit mirror should be over them. You can also do two well lit mirrors.

If you want to personalize your bath, you need to stick to the accessories. When you do sell your home, you want to be able to do it without making big changes. Yes you should always think of what will sell the home, because it will be sold someday, it may not be you selling it, but don’t you want your children to get the most they can out of it?

Remember when it comes to bathrooms, think light clean and stylish.

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A pause on Furniture Friday

I have been having trouble getting the research done for Furniture Friday. I have started classes again and the workload is horrible. I will try to have one FF once a month. I want these articles to be informative and as accurate as I can possibly get.

So I will continue to work on it when I can. Until then I hope you enjoy the rest of the things I have to offer you.

Starting with some tips to help you earn some money.

These are new tips I have found from Lillian Too’s 168 Feng Shui Ways to Energize Your Life. I have not tried them yet, but I will be implementing them hopefully later today.

All tips should be done in the southeast corner of your room. 

  1. Grow some plants in the southeast corner of your room, office and home. Start them from scratch as the more plants that grow from seed the more money you will get.
  2. Paint the wall blue. This one I will not be doing, but I will be using blue pots to put my plants in.
  3. Use wood in this area. Use shelving, furniture or a wooden accessory.
  4. Place a red jewel in this area to help promote wealth, this can also be done in any earth corner.

Once I get these implemented I will let you know how well they work.

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Bathroom Decor

When designing a bathroom you don’t always have the option of getting both a tub and a separate shower. Sometimes you have to have both in one and then you get to go on the fun trip to find a shower curtain and other accessories to go with it.

I recommend fabric shower curtains because they look better and last longer then plastic, of course you can and should put a clear plastic lining behind it. This will help to protect the fabric and make it last longer.

If your looking to make a statement in your bathroom use something like a brown shower curtain and accessories to make them stand out. Use a cream or turquoise color on the wall and watch your bathroom go from boring to stylish. Changing your accessories is a simple, but affordable way to change a room and make it your own.

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Furniture Friday: The Wellington Chest

The Wellington Chest was made primarily for travel purposes. It is known as a campaign piece of furniture since it was often used in war time campaigns. This chest was designed to be folded up so that the moving soldiers could easily take it with them.

The portable chest became more fashionable and decorated in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as more solders were taken to far off places and the need for style became more of an issue. The officers of the British army started to take for granted that they would be able to live as if they were at home. They had there tents but once inside them they looked much more like a home, then a military tent. Much of that was in thanks to the Wellington travel chest.

I was hoping to provide you with pictures to go along with this short post, but I could not find any. If I do come across some I will be adding them in later.

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Happy New year, Make your home work for you with feng shui

I talk about fung shui alot for one reason. I tried it a few years ago to help my luck in finding a job I had been looking for about a year with no luck. Two days after I did what I did I got a job. That would make anyone a believer.With the new year comes a chance for you to make some good changes in your life using fung shui. What can you do? Well below is a short list of things you can do to change different parts of your life and make 2008 the best year you have ever had.

Career luck

Use a water feature or the color blue to enhance your career luck, make sure the water is moving. Stagnant water decreases your career luck. Fish tanks, and fountains are good items to use. Use these items in the north area of your home

Wealth luck

Use the color green to enhance your wealth. Plants are a great way to do this as they are both green and are a wood element. Wood is the element of the south east and will bring you wealth with the new year.

Romance luck

The south west is the area to inspire romance luck. Make sure there is not toilet, kitchen or closet in this area as they will drain all the romance luck from your home. Enhance this area with pinks, reds and crystals to promote light. Use red peonies images to also help promote romance.

Health luck

This area also likes wood and green elements again use plants to help promote this area.  Use pictures of the dragon to help promote not only good health but wealth also. The dragon should be holding a pearl and spout water, but putting the dragon in water works also.

I hope these tips help you to succeed this year.

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