Monthly Archives: January 2010

Find The Exit Easily

Since in school I am currently learning more about commercial design I thought I would share with you something interesting about the difference between commercial and residential design. One thing that is very different is the use of exit signs. There everywhere in a commercial building, but if you put one in your home, people may look at you funny. Of course there probably are some homes that are big enough for you to need an exit sign as people may get lost if there is not one.

Why are exit signs needed in commercial buildings? Well really their main purpose is to guide you if there is an emergency, like a fire or power outage. Self Luminous Exit Signs are very handy when it comes to power outages, they do not require power, really they are glow in the dark signs that can last from 10-12 years.

There are also Photoluminescent Exit Signs that work a little differently Photoluminescents is a process in which a substance absorbs photons (electromagnetic radiation) and then re-radiates photon. Pretty much it’s a sign that will glow on its own for about 90 minutes after exposure to light. It’s really a very interesting product.

Of course their are also your standard LED signs and braille exit signs as most building codes now require these as well. It’s really very interesting that so much thought and work has gone into making sure we can all get out of a building safely and fast. I like the idea.

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5 Tips for The Superbowl and Your TV

Now is the time that everyone is out buying that new big screen TV. They want to watch the Superbowl in style and hi definition. But sometimes people get really overexcited about buying their TV and tend to make a few huge mistakes that create more of a hassle then a fun game experience. I have five tips that will help you get the most out of your TV buying experience.

1. Measure everything! This is the most important step. Measure the space you want the TV to go, measure the entry door, ceiling height and any entry ways or interior doors you will have to move this TV though. Most people do not do this step and it cost them time and money

2. Research TV’s on the internet, even if you have to go to the library to do it. You need to know what is out there and what you want. The sales person will always try to make you buy the next thing up.

3. A big TV is great, but if people can’t see it because of a bad furniture arrangement or it’s so big you can’t see the whole screen because your only 5ft from it you may want to look at something smaller. That is why tip number 1 is so important.

4. Decide what type of TV you want, the two most common types today are LCD and Plasma. For both of these I would recommend going to a few stores and looking at them. Make sure there is nothing about the screen, color or picture that bothers you. You really need to stand and watch these TV’s for a while too.

5. Change the display settings when you get home. The bright TV may look great in the store, but you don’t need or want it that bright in your home. It cost way too much money and the picture could actually be worse then a lower setting. Play with the settings to find one that works for you.

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It’s Almost Time For Spring Cleaning

It’s the end of January and that means spring will be here in about 2 more months for most of the northern hemisphere. People everywhere will start to open windows and clean out all of the junk left in their homes from winter. If your one of these people you may want to start thinking now about getting everything ready for spring cleaning.

My first tip is to create a check list of everything you will need to do. Do you need to clean gutters, windows or sideing? Will doors or windows need to be replaced. What about flowers, herbs and vegetables are you going to start seeds or buy plants from a nursery. I am hopeing to do seeds this year and will be heading out this weekend to get some started.

Next you want to start checking out your cleaning supplies. Make sure your vacuum is in good condition and all filters are clean, this should be done more in the winter anyway to help keep your home as clean as possible. Make sure you have all the cleaning supplies you need. If not you have time now to shop around and make sure you get a good deal.

If your thinking of painting your home this year start takeing bids now. It’s cheaper in the winter and you may be able to get it done pretty early and lock in the price to do it. I would check with local painters and see what they are willing to do for you.

The last tip I have is to start planing any outdoor projects now, things like new landscaping, outdoor areas and pools are easier to tackle when you have a good plan. Doing a plan in the winter will keep you from slacking off when the time comes to actually do the work.

Do you have any tips?

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Modernize Your Living Area

When most people think of interior design they think of modern interiors. Many times this is the case as most people who can afford a designer are lovers of modern furniture and the modern style. I use to be crazy over modern furniture. I thought that would be the only things I would ever have in my home. Now I have decided that I need two homes so I can have one as a modern home and one as a more classic home.

If you love modern furniture, but don’t have any, there are many ways to incorporate it into your home. You may want to start with the living room, add a more modern sofa or love seat and see how it works for you. You can mix the styles pretty easily and still have a great look. The best advice I have for doing this is to keep one of the types more dominate then the other. Use furniture in one style and accents in the other.

Lets say you decide to change your bedroom into a more modern style. You could buy a modern platform bed and maybe have more classic nightstands or a mirror. You could also have a more classic dresser and modern lamps on that dresser. There really are some great ways to make modern work for you, you just have to find the balance you like.

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Change Your Sofa, Change Your Room

Sometimes just changing out one piece of furniture can make a room completely different. If your going to pick on piece to change I would think about changing your sofa. There are many reasons you may want to check out sofas. You might want to create a more contemporary look or maybe you have no idea what look your going for, but you want something different.

The reason I say change your sofa is that normally this is the largest piece in the room. No, that big flat screen TV does not count in this case. A sofa is usually one of the first pieces of furniture that people see, they look for it so they know where to sit, where others are or they may be drawn to it because of the style or fabric used on the furniture. I currently own a fabric sofa and though I love it, when I move I will be investing in a new leather sofa. One reason is that my current sofa is a love seat and I know I’ll be needing more seating when I move.

You may also decide that a new sofa is in your future if you think you will be having a lot of out of town guest. Many people are skipping the hotel room and staying with friends when they visit. Newer sleeper sofas are a great way to accommodate these guest without having to add on another room. The newer sleeper sofas are very lightweight and comfortable and something that you may want to check out even if you don’t think you will need it.

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Water Damage and Fire Restoration

It’s not something that anyone wants to think about, but it does happen. You have a fire but your home is still good enough to live in or it floods and again is still good enough to live in. What do you do and how do you know where to turn? Well, there are many ways to go about restoring your home. Most of the time people will hire someone to do the property restoration for them. In this case you really want to do research and find a company that will work for you. You also want to make sure it’s a reputable company as many times this is where the scam companies like to pop up. They are very common when there has been a large disaster and there are many people looking for help so please be careful when using this option and really research the people you are going to hire. Make sure they have been around for a while and have references. This should help you get your home back without the huge headache that a bad company could bring. The internet is a great place to start as well as talking to people who have had to have home or business restorations done.

Another great reason to go with a company is that they know what they are doing and have done it many times. They can walk in and decide very quickly what you should do and what doesn’t need to be done. They can prioritize the projects, getting the necessary ones out of the way before the less necessary projects and they usually pull all the permits and other legal things for you. Making sure that your project won’t be put on hold because you didn’t know you needed a permit for something.

You may also decide you want to do the restoration yourself. I don’t recommend this when you have a fire as usually there are major issues when there is a fire in your home, but sometimes when your home floods it’s not a huge problem and you can do things yourself. Many times you can find videos online that will show you how to restore wood floors, hang new drywall and even put down new carpet. Usually it’s much easier to just pay someone to do all of this, but if you don’t have insurance you probably don’t have the money and will have to do things yourself. You may be able to find help with a local charity or other social program.

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Style Trend: Dine On Your Sofa

A great new trend in interior design is bringing the living room and the dinning room closer together. Now not only are the wall between them taken down, but more and more people are using sofas as seating for their dinning room table. I personally love the trend as it’s really great for kids who may like the sofa idea better then a chair. It’s also a great way to make a dramatic change to a room without sacrificing style and comfort.

I also know many people who have grown up eating on their sofa in front of the TV. Now they find it easier to sit at the table with their family or maybe because you do have the open room concept it’s easier to just add a table and watch TV from the dinning area. Another great trend is getting rid of the dinning room or area all together and getting a coffee table that can expand into a dinning table. This is great for small apartments or homes. What do you think of this design trend?

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Historical Preservation Helps Everyone

I have been in a rut over the last 2 weeks or so. I’m sorry, but I have started classes again and just one class has already gotten me planning for this blog. One of my classes is historical preservation and I’m really excited to check this field out. I don’t think it’s something I will go into professionally, but I would love to restore old homes at some point in my life.

I’m planning on sharing some of the things I learn over the next 10 weeks in my class with you. I’ll hopefully have pictures and some insight into the historical preservation process. One thing I will share now is that money for historical preservation in the United States is hard to come by and our government tends to think new is better and old is out. Many people also think this way, if you are one of those I hope that maybe I can change your mind even if it’s just a little.

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Home Style Tips Top Seven Post Of 2009

1. How To Buy Furniture The Right Way– Many people have no clue how to buy furniture. I have complied a guide for you to use when you buy furniture. It includes tips I have used myself or tips I have received from people who work in the furniture industry.

2. The Best Tip I Ever Received– When I was just out of high school I helped a friend of mine paint her home inside and out. We went to the paint store, bought all of the paint we needed including primer and proceeded to paint the inside of her home.

3. Top 5 Ways to Makeover Your Home– Are you looking to add value and style to your home. Right now is a great time to invest in the home you live in. You don’t want to go to crazy but these top 5 ways to make over you home should give you some inspiration.

4. The Importance Of Task Lighting– If you are looking to save money I suggest you invest in task lighting. Task lighting helps you to preform task easier and faster then general lighting. This lighting can be inexpensive table lamps or floor lamps. Task lighting can also involve the use of hanging lamps and pendents both popularly used in kitchen and dinning room design.

5. The History of the Bed– Beds have been used throughout history to sleep on. Not everyone had them and it was and still is considered a status symbol.

6. Forget Florescent Save Money With LED– You may have been hearing more and more people talk about LED lights. Why are they so much better then our new super power florescent?

7. Geothermal Energy (a 3 part series)

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