Monthly Archives: October 2013

Your Home as a Canvas: Creative Art Pillows

The following is a guest post:

Creating an art filled home sometimes means thinking “off the wall”. When shopping for artful accessories and home décor consider ways to bring art into your home that do not require a frame or pedestal.  We’ve seen how art meets lighting in glass pendants that can bring a unique touch to your home through hand blown and art glass pendant shades and decorative bowls that add that just right amount of color.  Now we’re going to focus on another option that you might not have considered:  accent and throw pillows.

Artful options abound in accent pillows. Think of pillows as mini canvases.  Just like all the different types of paintings, pillows cover the gamut from traditional to abstract, modern to folk art.  No matter what your style, there is a throw pillow out there that will fit your home décor.  Like art on the walls, pillows bring color and pattern to a room.  Pillows are easy to swap out and cost less than a work of art, so let your creative side shine when picking accent pillows. Here are some of our favorite types of Creative Art Pillows:

Feathers

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Pillows with feathers are so unique and versitle. You can put them almost anywhere and they fit in both modern decor and traditional decor

Abstract

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Abstract designs look great in a modern room.  Focus on pattern and color that complements your sofa, bed or chair.

 

Dog Portrait

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If you have a favorite breed of dog, cat or horse, think about including a needlepoint portrait pillow in your interior. There are even companies that will make a pillow of your own pet!

Botanic Print

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Botanic prints are great on the walls so why not on pillows too?  From ferns to flowers, the pattern and colors of botanic print pillows mean you’ll find one that suits your style.

Birds

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For a farmhouse or vintage style, folk art is a great fit. We like needlepoint and handcrafted pillows that have country themes like this one of a horse in a field.

Modern

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Another option for a modern or contemporary look are these comfortable, yet modern pillows

Content provided by Arcadian Home Decor, a site that specializes in top quality home decor items at extremely affordable prices. Come visit us today!

 

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Create Style with Sheet Metal Accents

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Are you looking for something different to update your home with? Maybe your tired of the same old stone look or your thinking you just want something simple, yet modern and fun. You need to look at sheet metal fabrication for your home. Not only will it give you that amazing clean look, but it can be used in so many different ways that you can update your look for a low cost or spend a little more to create a wow look.

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Use sheet metal in your kitchen for countertops and vents. it’s a wonderful, though more expensive way to update your look, but look at the results. It’s so simple and clean looking that you just know that anyone walking in would think “WOW”. I know I would.

This would also be a great way to modernize a bar area for entertaining needs. Just add a few modern stools and some cool lights and you have a amazing looking bar that will make you think twice about going out to the bar!

Just think about how easy this would be to clean up too!

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Maybe you just want an interesting outdoor look you could try something similar to this amazing bench I found. Really that is a cool looking bench and just think of what you could do on the side besides what is shown. With sheet metal the possibilities are almost endless! It really could be the piece you are looking for to liven up your garden.

Share with me: How would you use sheet metal in your home?

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Use the Web to Find A Good Contractor

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If your like many people I know, when it comes to home improvement you can’t always go to your friends and family for home improvement needs like finding a good contractor. Not because you don’t trust them, but because they just don’t do much home improvement. So your stuck finding someone on your own, or are you.

The best place to go when looking for a contractor is the internet. Lets say you are in Scottsdale and your looking for a contractor. When you type in good reliable contractor Scottsdale you may find a whole list of contractors for the Scottsdale area, but if you were to look up reviews on contractors in Scottsdale, you will find real reviews from people who have used these contractors. Read though everything and make sure you find one that works for you.

Having a good contractor can really make a difference in your home improvement project. A poor contractor can leave you with so many problems and possibly some major fines as well.

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What to look for when looking online for a contractor:

  1. Mostly good reviews: You can’t make everyone happy, but if a contractor has mostly good reviews and they don’t sound paid for or made up, this may be a contractor to put on the list.
  2. The website shows an address and phone number that match up to the area they serve. Sometimes this is not the case and it’s still a great contractor, but most of the time someone who doesn’t show an address or has a way out there phone number may be hiding something.
  3. They provide their license numbers. This is something every good contractor does as you can make sure before even contacting them that they really have a valid contractors license. Also make sure that it’s the type you need. Contractors can be licensed for Residential, commercial or both.

I hope these tips will help you out with your next home improvement project.

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Putting Your Home Up for Sale: Six Projects to Surely Raise the Value

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If you are considering selling your home in the next year, there are some things that you might want to consider if you want to increase your asking price. Here are six projects that will raise the value:

Eliminate Clutter Now:

One of first things a potential buyer will do when they enter a house is consider how their own belongings will fit. If your home is cluttered, it will appear smaller and potential buyers may not be able to visualize their own furniture in the rooms. Something that you can do before you list the home for sale is rent a storage unit or borrow space in a friend’s garage. Move extra furniture out of the house as soon as possible and free up as much floor space as possible. Consider replacing bulky furniture with a more compact option in order to give the appearance of open space. Perceived value is related to received size in the mind of home shoppers.

Paint:

Home decorating often includes painting the walls in colors that coordinate with your taste and style. However, your love for bright red kitchen walls may not translate to what a potential buyer will love. It is a good idea to make sure that the walls of your home are painted in neutral colors. This has three different effects. It makes the rooms look big. It makes the walls look clean and it enables a potential buyer to imagine their own style at play in the home.

Putting Your Home Up for Sale - Six Projects to Surely Raise the Value

Improve Curb Appeal:

Curb appeal definitely increases the value of a home. If you want to attract buyers, spend some time working on your yard. Install a garden path around the home if you don’t already have one and add some color with annual flowers. You can also consider the addition of new window treatments, such as faux wood shutters or new blinds and curtains.

Replace your Appliances:

If you intend to take your appliances with you when you move, consider updating them now. Brand new appliances coupled with a new paint job can give the impression of a new kitchen. Most buyers are interested in the kitchen and bathrooms being current. This is one way to improve the appearance of your home and to improve the value of your home.

Fix What’s Broken:

It may seem like a logical idea to look around your home for small needed repairs prior to listing it for sale, however small projects are often overlooked. If some of your switch plates are cracked, take a few minutes to replace them. Ceiling fan not working? Consider replacing the switch to see if it works. If not, replace the fan. If your air conditioning is not working and you will show the home during the summer months, now is definitely the time to repair the problem.

Update where possible:

Consider a minor remodel of your bathrooms and kitchen when you want to increase the value of your home. A new kitchen or bathroom will immediately add significant value to any home. Keep in mind that you should use neutral materials and fixtures and don’t decorate for your own style and taste. Investigate current trends and implement them whenever possible.

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Improving the look of a Room With Borders

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Image Source: www.dezignwithaz.com

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do with a room, you have painted, you have rearranged and even drew out an amazing looking floor plan. The room however still looks wrong and you just can’t figure out what to do about it.

You may want to look at buying borders for walls in the room. Borders I know have a reputation for being in kids room and have a crazy look to them, but really borders are a great way to finish up a room and make it more inviting and fun to be in.

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Image source: www.etsy.com

Borders range from the typical kids bedroom borders to a little more stylish and sophisticated borders. I have picked out a few of my favorite borders from around the web. These images hopefully will give you some great ideas that will allow you to transform your room into the amazing space you want. The above image is great for a room that is a more classic style, but where you want a bit of a modern twist. How about that Zebra print in the top image. I personally would love to design with that often, its fun, modern and really creates some drama in the room.

The last one is this amazing look for a kids room that is no too much of a reminder of your childhood. It’s fun, cute and can grow with them for a few years before they reach their teens and you have to change it.

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Image Source: http://www.muralspro.com/wallpaper-borders/

What do you think of using borders? Do you love them, hate them or just are not sure what to do with them? Share your thoughts with a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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Crafty Halloween Decoration Ideas

 

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The following is a guest post:

The ghostly season is upon us yet again. As the trees shed yellow leaves and the dead stir uneasily in their graves, the steadfast tradition of Halloween continues… but what about your Halloween decorations? Are they gathering dust and cobwebs in a cupboard somewhere, tired from repeated use year after year?

You don’t need to buy fancy items or conjure expensive ornaments for a spectacularly spooky party; sometimes, all we need is a little imagination – and perhaps just a pinch of fairy dust.

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Paper Goods

What’s something we all have lying around in our house by the multitude? Paper, of course! If you’re not much of an artist, why not print off some adorable Halloween decorations like the cool ‘Happy Halloween’ bunting below? You can get the free printables to make the bunting at All About Party Bags where there are also other just-cut-out-and-display décor ideas.

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If you’re feeling more creative, you could even try your hand at some makeshift ‘Spirit jugs’ that you can stick or hang around the house!

Mood Lighting

So you’ve invited the guests and prepped their goodie bags. How can you fortify your innocuous house into something that will give your kids the spooky thrills? The key is lighting – it’s a cheap and easy way to instantly change the atmosphere of your space!

Image Source for example, are made using empty milk cartons and a sharpie to draw ghostly faces on one side with LED lights placed in a hole in the back, so they glow eerily over proceedings. They are perfect as a safe alternative to candles for younger kids and look extra creepy lined up in a sombre procession in your corridor.

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If you’re not worried about little ones starting fires then there’s nothing spookier than good ol’ candles of course. Candle holders like the above aren’t hard to make and cast some pretty creepy looking shadows over the walls!

To make, simply find a clear glass or candle holder, some black card, scissors and pritt-stick. Cut the shapes out – spiders, witches, ghosts and gravestones are a few ideas – and glue all round. Pop tea-lights inside and prepare to be scared!

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Oh, and you mustn’t forget the traditional carved pumpkin (or two, or ten…) with a candle inside too!

More Indoor Crafts

Have some old or unused sheets lying about? Create your own ‘petrified parlour’ by throwing some cloth – the more ragged the better – over your sofas, tables and chairs, creating the perfect haunted effect. As a bonus, this also serves to protect your furniture from excitable little monsters and unsuspecting breadcrumbs if you’re throwing a Halloween party!

You could also black out your windows with a sheet of black sugar paper with ghostly faces cut out of them to make your house look truly haunted. Or go one step further and terrify everyone who walks past your house with one of these…

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Use cheesecloth or some fluffy cotton balls to imitate spider webs in the corners. Never underestimate the power of spray paint either; some black, grey or silver spray paint over various cheap items like candleholders or pumpkins can really add some dazzle to an otherwise ordinary tableau.

Tip: To really kick things up a notch, why not try making your own bat mobile by finding some nice, leafless branches and stringing on some paper bats? It will serve to create quite an ominous effect if installed near a window.

Don’t Forget the Garden

For those who truly want to go ‘all out’ and create a terrifying abode this Halloween, there are lots of ideas to create a creepy garden too!

Again, candles and lighting is the best way to set the mood – those flickering flames will cast moving shadows that will have you jumping every time you think you saw something out the corner of your eye!

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Twitter

Creepy graves are easy to make too – you’ll need some large sheets of polystyrene (you can find this at most large DIY stores) which you can cut to the right shape and spray-paint with various shades of grey to create a weathered stone look. Then get a paintbrush and carefully paint details on in black, before burying them half in your garden just before the trick or treaters show up.

The possibilities of Halloween decorations are endless and only limited by the bounds of your imagination – and amount of free time. Adapt the ideas above using spare things you have around the house, and you may find that you enjoy decorating your house for Halloween so much you won’t want to stop on the 1st of November!

What do you think of our decorating ideas, and do you have any good ideas of your own to share? Comment below.

Estelle Page is a UK interior designer and mother of two who has annual arguments with her kids over whether fake blood splatters count as a style enhancement! You can find her on Twitter.

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How To Make Your Halloween Decorations

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Image by Sarah_Ackerman

The following is a guest post:

Does your neighborhood engage in Halloween competitiveness? That is – the yearly desire to outshine your neighbors in the decoration stakes. Of all the annual festivals, Halloween provides the best opportunity to get creative with your decorations. From ghosts to ghouls there are no parameters to what you can create; the only essential criterion is – scary. A good tactic is to supplement your shop bought décor with your own weird and wonderful creations, for a truly unique display. Here are some of my favorite ideas.

Chicken Wire Figures

You wouldn’t expect it from the sub-title, but this is a highly effective, budget technique – just check out Pinterest for evidence. Simply shape chicken wire into ghostly figures, and then spray with silver glow-in-the-dark paint. The result is spooky ghosts that appear to float in the darkness.

Window Silhouettes

 

A great suggestion from Martha Stewart.com , these spooky silhouettes will mean that only the bravest trick or treaters will dare to knock on your door. They are pretty easy to make – cut some semi-sheer fabric such as muslin or polyester to fit your windows. Cut out scary silhouettes from black plastic weed barrier, and then tack to the sheer fabric. When you turn on the light in the room, the ominous shapes will look out from every window.

Glow in the Dark Balloons

 

This is another simple but incredibly effective idea that can be viewed on Pinterest. All you need to do is insert a glow stick into a white balloon, and draw on a ghostly or devilish face with black marker. String them up around the house and dim the light, and ouila – envy inducing decorations for minimal effort!

Ghostly Reflection

 

Startle your guests with this DIY ghostly reflection. Draw a figure on the back of some frosted window film, and cut it out including the mouth and eyes. Then apply the film to the mirror, making sure to smooth out any lumps and bumps. This will give the subtle effect of a ghostly face staring back at you. You can see an example at Country Living. You could add fake cobwebs, which are available from most party suppliers, for extra impact.

Pumpkin Graveyard Display

 

This display will create an impressive entrance to your Halloween abode. Buy a set of tombstones from a supplier such as Perfect Party UK and place them in your front yard. Then surround them with lit pumpkins to make them stand out after dark.

Bat Globe Light

 

This one is ideal if you have paper globe light – if not, you can buy them super cheaply from most DIY and furnishing stores. Cut bat shapes out of black card and stick them with glue or blue tack (depending on how attached you are to the lampshade) to the globe. Pinterest has an example of just how cool this looks.

Halloween is the best time of year to get creative with your decorations. There is almost no end to the possibilities – just remember the scarier the better. So get your thinking cap on and impress the neighbors!

Do you have any more ideas to share? Let us know in the comments.

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Fireplace décor ideas and tips for Halloween

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The following is a guest post:

Fall is officially here: few more weeks for Halloween and then, Thanksgiving. That’s so exciting! Have you decorated your fireplace for Halloween yet? This year, I really want to my fireplace to shine alone; therefore, I will be focusing my Halloween and Fall décor on the mantel. I will be applying some decoupage to few pumpkins and then placing them in front of some mirrors and candle holders. Since the current living room walls are painted in a very pale blue and the furniture is black-brown, I will be using orange and silver to complement the surroundings. If you are still not sure what to do for Halloween or Fall, take a look at some of the ideas below:

Create a carving display – If you like to carve pumpkins for Halloween, your fireplace’s heart will be the perfect place to display them. Start by placing few logs (or bricks) on the back to add some height. Then place your pumpkins randomly, filling as many gaps as possible. Finish up the space with some orange candles. Don’t forget to add some spark to it, by incorporating few bags of glass beads into the décor. If you want to add some drama to the room, consider placing a mirror at the widest wall inside your fireplace’s heart as it will create an illusion of having an endless amount of pumpkins. After Halloween, clean up your fireplace’s heart and place a large planter or basket on each side of your fireplace. Fill them with logs, branches, or even blankets for a more finished look.

Set up an art gallery — Pumpkin painters can also showcase their work by creating an art gallery around the fireplace. Use the heart and its surroundings to display your largest pieces and your mantel for your little ones. When creating a display with painted pumpkins, incorporate few candle holders to the design. Play with different shapes and sizes; treat your candle holders as if they were the easel and your pumpkins, the artwork. Once Halloween is over, replace the pumpkins with fall motifs such as acorns, candles, nuts and branches. Bring the outside in by adding few pebbles to your décor.

Think outside the box — Go beyond your traditional black and orange. Since black is a neutral color, how about replacing the orange with gold, silver, purple, green, or even blue? Yes, why not, right? Instead of having your typical orange pumpkin, innovate this year. Look for spiders, pumpkins, and candle holders in different finishes and colors. If you enjoy arts and crafts, consider painting or applying some decoupage into few pumpkins. After Halloween, replace your spiders with vases, cardinals, acorns, wheat bunches, glass leafs, and fall scented candles.

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[Source: http://foxhollowcottage.com/2012/10/twenty-halloween-mantel-and-more.html]

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[Photo: Andrea Vollf]

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[Photo: Andrea Vollf]

Play with mirrors — This is one of my favorite ways to decorate for Halloween. Since mirrors create illusions, by placing different mirrors by your mantel and fireplace surroundings, all the other items you lean against those mirrors will look totally deformed: spiders will look bigger, the single skulls will show up as double and the candles when lit, will be very.

Addressing the fireplace and TV combo — If you have a TV installed above your fireplace, consider adding few decals onto the wall behind the TV to create the impression that things are coming out of the TV. Place small pumpkins by the mantel. Be careful with size so the décor doesn’t block your TV. When Halloween ends, remove all the wall decals and either leave your pumpkins or replace them with other fall inspired accessories.

From Halloween to Thanksgiving — Create a one-of-a-kind centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table by turning faux pumpkins from Halloween, into a stylish centerpiece. Choose unique fabrics or papers with graphic patterns and, using the decoupage technique, apply them into your pumpkins. Regardless if it’s toile, print, circles, or even thumbtacks, look for patterns, colors, and textures that will enhance your current décor and enjoy the magic of the season.

VK Sustainable Concepts’ Principal Andrea Vollf, LEED AP ID+C, is a registered interior designer and sustainability professional with over fifteen years of experience in the interior design and marketing industries. Connect with Andrea on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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Vacation Rental Property: Rent Out Your House with Tips for Preparing a Rental Property

 

Rent Your Home

4 Helpful Tips for Preparing a Rental Property

 

If your house has been on the market for a while without potential offers and you need to move immediately, what can you do? Taking your home off the market and turning it into a rental property may help you earn some extra income and make mortgage payments easier. If you live in a tourist spot, you may be thinking of renting your house as a vacation home. Before you rent out your house, consider the pros and cons of being a landlord and take note of these tips for preparing a rental property.

Are you ready to rent out your house and become a landlord?

There are several perks to renting your house, with the most obvious being tax benefits and extra income. However, when you’re renting your house as a vacation home, you are still responsible for the care and maintenance of the rental property and utilities. You may want to hire someone to take care of your home if you are not close enough to make regular repairs. You may also task them with preparing the vacation rental property for the next guest by doing the laundry, cleaning the house and taking care of other repairs.

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Tips for preparing a rental property

 

1. Get the right insurance: Homeowner’s insurance typically covers not just your home but your possessions as well. If you’re renting your house as a vacation home and will be fully furnishing the property, you’ll need a full homeowner’s policy to protect your assets in case of an accident.

2. Find responsible tenants: Ready to put your rental property on the market? Tell friends and co-workers you’re looking for tenants. Then take out newspaper ads, use online listings and get the word out via social media. When renting a vacation home, you’ll probably want to maintain a steady stream of tenants, so set up a calendar to keep track of who will be renting and when. Remember to set aside time for your family to use it if you don’t intend to rent out your house for the entire year.

3. Prepare your home for renters: Clean up the house just as if you were preparing to sell the home. You may consider repainting it with neutral colors to make it more appealing to renters. Then, shop for décor and furnishings to design a cozy space for your renters. If your vacation rental property is a cabin, you can probably get away with more “rustic” appliances; otherwise you may want to consider some upgrades.

4. Perform general maintenance updates before you rent out your house: Before you rent out your house to vacationers, it’s a good idea to get a full home inspection, check utilities and weatherproof the home. Is it a fishing camp in the summer and ski retreat in the winter? Make sure you have a handyman or property manager on-site to winterize before renting a vacation home during the chillier months and prepare for warm weather before the summer sets in. You may also want to consider hiring someone to plow the driveway or mow the lawn depending on the season.

Use rental income to help with mortgage payments

 

The additional money you earn from renting your vacation home can be used to make your mortgage payments . Check your city’s ordinances to make sure you’re able to rent out your home. You should also look into tax requirements for renting a vacation property if you want to maintain it for personal use part of the year. Then, create a thorough renter’s agreement that will address the rights of the guests as well as your rights, so you can retain the value when the real estate market turns around.

Disclosure: Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.

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Interior Design Ideas: What to Look for in a Top-Notch Residential Interior Designer

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Five Tips to Find the Perfect Residential Interior Designer

They say the only thing constant in life is change, which can be a good thing if you’re deciding to redecorate your home.

Whether it’s one room or your entire home, an interior redesign is a quick and easy way to perk up the aesthetic beauty of your humble abode. Plus, it’s a wise financial investment if you ever decide to sell.

 

Dodge the home décor drama with a residential interior designer and a home equity line of credit

If your creativity is at a standstill, or you don’t have enough time to tackle this type of project on your own, maybe you should consider hiring a residential interior designer to help. Interior designers take the guesswork out of your design project. They’ll help you choose the right color and style, enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your interior space and pick out the perfect appliances, accessories and furnishings that complement your lifestyle.

But where do you begin in your search for a skilled designer? Fortunately, there are a number of ways to find the perfect interior designer to help recharge your drab, dated space.

1. Turn to your inner circle for advice

Your neighbors, family and friends offer a great opportunity for interior design ideas and inspiration, especially those whose homes you find appealing. If anyone from your inner circle has recently hired a residential interior designer for a makeover, and you enjoyed the finished project, ask for a name and number. Also, try to get an idea of what they spent, just to see if it’s within your budget.

2. Search for residential interior designers in your area

You can also scan online directories of interior designers and professional organizations such as ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), IIDA (International Interior Design Association) and IDS (International Design Society). Look for important information such as education background, years in the industry, portfolio work and any awards or accolades they may have received.

3. Schedule a meeting with your residential interior designers

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, schedule one-on-one meetings to review portfolios and get a feel for their personality and style. Remember to ask for at least three or four recent references. If you meet in your home, ask them what their initial interior design ideas are for the space.

4. Discuss fees with your prospective interior designers

When you meet with your interior designers, discuss finances, including your budget, their fees and the cost of materials. Interior designers will charge a flat fee, an hourly fee, a per-room charge, or a combination of all three. They may also charge a markup for researching, locating and purchasing the furnishings and materials. Remember, an interior designer with years of experience will charge considerably more than someone who is just starting out.

5. Use a home equity line of credit to pay for your new space

Now that you’ve found the perfect interior designer for your project, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to pay for the renovation. When borrowing for a redesign, a home equity line of credit or loan is probably the best way to go. Not only are home equity lines of credit secured by the equity in your home, but they may also have lower rates than other loans. Plus, you can use your equity line of credit for whatever home improvements you need, whenever you want, by simply writing a check.

One last word of advice; most lenders do not offer a pre-approval for home equity loans or lines of credit so budgeting is very important. Be sure to account for all of your furnishings, labor, construction, supplies and fees from your residential interior designer. Once you have a budget, you’ll have an idea of how large a loan you want to apply for.

Disclosure: Sponsored content was created and provided by RBS Citizens Financial Group.

 

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Four Tips for Success in L.A.’s Upscale Housing Sector

The following is a guest post:

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As an established real estate developer in the Los Angeles housing market, Stephen Finfer has a fair amount of experience with discriminating buyers. His knowledge of the Southern California area and experience in dealing with demanding clients have allowed him to maintain a solid position within the real estate industry. Finding the right approach to marketing at the top end of the L.A. housing market can be challenging even for experts in the field. Here are four strategies that can help L.A. real estate agents and developers enjoy more success in the upscale housing sector of the real estate marketplace.

Focus on Unique Features

L.A. buyers are especially interested in one-of-a-kind properties and customized living spaces that incorporate the latest design trends and must-have features. By putting the emphasis on the architectural details that make the home unique, realtors and developers can boost their chances of landing the sale or leasing arrangement.

Employ Creative Sales Techniques

Rather than hosting a simple open house, real estate agents and property developers can often draw a larger crowd by throwing a party, organizing a wine and cheese tasting party or putting on an impromptu art exhibit. These events can show the home to its best advantage and provide added incentives for prospective buyers to attend and to see the beauty and features of the home. This can lead to increased bids on the property and a faster sale or leasing agreement for realtors and developers alike.

Understand the Client’s Needs and Wants

Performing due diligence in the market research arena can help developers prevent costly mistakes in selecting interior and exterior designs, features and accessories. By tracking current trends in the Los Angeles design marketplace, realtors and developers can put the focus on the right aspects of a given property and can market it more effectively to clients looking for a luxury home. Consumer research efforts can pay off in higher sales prices or increased leasing fees and can significantly increase profitability in the L.A. housing market.

Incorporate Social and Mobile Marketing Strategies

Communicating with prospective clients can be faster and more convenient by using mobile technologies to reach these individuals. Optimizing websites to allow smartphone and tablet computer users to access information regarding available properties can boost consumer interest in these top-end residences and can lead to increased traffic for corporate web pages. Maintaining a presence on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook can create buzz for upscale properties and developments and speed the sales of these L.A. homes.

Offer Value for Money

One key to the success of Stephen Finfer’s real estate development business is the added value he provides for his customers. By creating one-of-a-kind residential properties and interior designs, Finfer can offer fully furnished homes in move-in condition and can cater specifically to the needs of his most discriminating real estate clients. By engaging potential customers in a variety of innovative ways, developers like Stephen Finfer and other real estate professionals can increase the visibility of their properties and enhance their profitability in the volatile L.A. housing marketplace.

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Don’t Wait For Spring Cleaning: Four Jobs to Get Done This Fall

Don't Wait For Spring Cleaning - Four Jobs to Get Done This Fall

 

Many people associate spring with getting annual household chores done and doing spring cleaning. Spring is a great time to deep clean your home, but you will likely be spending more time indoors this winter, so fall is the perfect time to get your home in shape by performing maintenance on a few appliances.

Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal should be cleaned several times per year so that it doesn’t become clogged and smell terrible. There are several things you can do to help this appliance run smoothly. One is to grind up a few cups of ice cubes to sharpen the grinding blades. Washing vinegar and baking soda down the disposal drain will get rid of any lingering odors. It’s smart to do this periodically to keep odors down. Your garbage disposal will run its best if you only use it to grind food scraps and other biodegradable waste.

Washing Machine

The washing machine is another appliance that most people rely on several times per week. The machine can be cleaned by filling it with hot water and detergent and running the regular wash cycle. You can clean the inside with vinegar if you have an issue with mildew or soap buildup. Taking the clothes out of the washing machine as soon as possible after the wash cycle has ended is the best way to prevent mildew and mold from becoming an issue.

Vacuum

Your vacuum helps keep your home clean, but it requires regular cleaning and maintenance. The canister or bag should be emptied regularly and the filter should be cleaned or changed. Clean the beater bar if your vacuum still has one and make sure that all the attachments and hoses are clean and free of clogs. Some surfaces might require professional cleaning by companies like American Clean & Seal Home Cleaning to minimize the dirt and dust that your vacuum has to suck up, and ensure a good, deep clean.

Dishwasher

Vinegar is a must when you’re cleaning your dishwasher. It’s best to fill a plastic tub with vinegar and water to soak your dishwasher filter, grate and arm. This mixture can also be used to wipe the inside of the washer to remove deposits. Put the parts back into the dishwasher after they have dried. Running the dishwasher on a light cycle while it is empty and using vinegar instead of soap will freshen the entire machine. You can do this step about once per month to keep it smelling fresh and running efficiently.

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Some Sensational Ideas to Make Your Home Ghastly For Halloween Party

The following is a guest post:

The year long wait for Halloween is about to end because this spooky festival is just around the corner. It is still the beginning of the October and perhaps the best time to start decorating your home using different Halloween ideas and themes. You need to make your home as scary as possible in order to welcome this mysterious and extremely enjoyable occasion in style.

Best Halloween Party Décor Ideas:

Some of the best Halloween home décor ideas that can scare any person away are given in the following lines.

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· Wicked Window:

One of the best methods to make your home ghostly is to impart a wicked look to your windows. In this regard, you can use the candlelight to create dark shadows in the center. Similarly, you can hang flying bats made of paper on the curtains and use light threads to cover the windows with cobwebs. Furthermore, the spooky white tapers in the candelabra will enhance the creepiness of the scene.

· Ghost Gallery:

Another great idea to give an unearthly touch to your home interior is to convert your mantle into a ghost gallery. You can convert pictures belonging to late 19th century to photo prints and can also photocopy them and mount them on somber coal colored mats. It will be even better if you choose some mysterious war or similarly photos to make the gallery even more macabre.

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· Cheesecloth Spider Web:

Similarly, you can dress up you in the spirit of the season by transforming your living room into one of the most decrepit dwelling anyone has ever seen. The best way to do so is to hang raged looking spider webs from the ceiling all across the room. You can very easily create these webs yourself by tearing, spinning and pinning cheesecloth.

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· Vampire and Bat Pumpkins:

Bat and vampire pumpkins are analogous to the Halloween and no home decoration for the season is complete without them. You just need to cut a wide hole in the pumpkins, wedge plastic teeth into the hole, place red pushpins in the place of eyes and attach two wings made up of paper on either side. You can place these ghastly tiny wings pals and Draco lantern on mantle where the pins will turn into devilish red eyes the group as a whole will create a Transylvanian scene.

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· Glowing Ghosts:

These ghosts might seem very friendly during the day but they will be really scary once the sun sets. It is very easy to summon these ghosts as well because you just need to insert green eight hour light sticks

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Are You Ready For A Change: Buying A House In 5 Steps

The following is a guest post

 

For people currently living in homes or other types of dwellings that they simply don’t like anymore or that they can’t afford, moving to another dwelling can be a fresh, positive change. However, even though relocating can be stressful and worrisome, there are five proven steps that any prospective homeowner can follow to ensure that the home buying experience is as smooth as possible.

#1. Shop Around To Understand And Compare Home Prices
Before a home buyer actually purchases his new home, he needs to educate and familiarise himself with the current homes for sale in the geographical market he’s interested in. He needs to learn what the typical prices are for the size and style of home he prefers. Only after knowing these things will he be an informed, intelligent purchaser and he will be prepared to honestly assess his purchasing position.

#2. Determine How Much “Home” Is Affordable
The price of a home needs to be within the realistic budget of any home purchaser. He should never cave in to buying a house that’s simply too costly and that will place too much of a financial burden on him just because he falls in love with the home. Emotions should always stay out of the equation.

#3. Find Out How Much Of A Down Payment Is On Hand
A minimum down payment should be around 20% of the purchase price. If a home buyer does not have that much cash in the bank, he needs to re-evaluate his purchasing position and start looking at homes with an appropriately lower price point. This strategy will ensure he is in a safe financial position when the inevitable monthly mortgage payments come due.

#4. Have At Least Five Different Lenders Provide Interest Rate Quotes
To get the best interest rate, a home buyer should obtain at least five quotes from different mortgage lenders.  The mortgage market is always competitive but some lenders can still be substantively higher in rates than other banks. The lower the rate, the lower the monthly payments will be.

#5. Arrange For A Professional Moving Company To Safely Handle The Move
It’s as important to locate an experienced, professional moving company as it is to follow the four aforementioned steps. A skilled moving company will allow a family to be calmer because they can assure the family of a smooth moving experience.

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Find Great Home Decor with Novica

Have you shopped at Novica before, if you have not it’s something you need to check out. They have some great home decor items along with unique gifts and jewelry all hand crafted by artisans around the world. They are associated with national geographic so you know this is some really great stuff.

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I have written about Novica before, but now they have a wonderful new website that is so easy to navigate and use! The old site was nice, but it was a bit dark and not as easy to get around. The new site is bright and so easy to use. it’s also very visually stimulating, making your home decor shopping experience so much better then it was and it was pretty good before!

I’m including a few of my favorite pieces from the new website because they have such unique home decor. I do want to disclose that these items may no longer be available depending on when you are reading this post.

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I hope you enjoyed checking out this post and that it gave you some great home style tips and inspiration for your home décor.

Giveaway

Yes Novica is sponsoring a giveaway!

Win a $25 Novica Gift Card Just fill out the 1rafflecopter form below

 

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Easy To Make Autumn Inspired Craft Home Decor

 

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If you want to reflect the beauty of autumn in your home this year without having to redecorate, take a look below at some of our simple Autumn inspired craft solutions, guaranteed to give your home an instantly more seasonal feel.

Luminaries

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Autumn is a great time to make luminaries. All you need are fallen leaves, brown paper bags, and paint. Start by collecting the leaves. Try getting a selection of big, small, and different shaped leaves. Next, you need to flatten the bags and place the leaves on top of them. Mix paint with water and paint the bag around the leaves. Use a autumnal colour, or a warm colour that compliments your existing décor. Wait for the paint to dry and repeat the process on the other side. In order to keep the bag from falling over (the paper can be quite flimsy), weigh it down with something like sand. For safety, you can put candles inside in candleholders. These luminaries give a warm feel to any room on a cold dark night.

Pumpkin Incense

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If you love the spicy scents of autumn, but you don’t always have time to bake spiced apple muffins and pumpkin pie, why not make an incense burner out of a pumpkin? This craft idea is really easy to make. All you need to do is find a pumpkin (a small to medium size would be best) then cut the top off and scoop out the innards. To get that spicy baked smell, you need to rub spices like cinnamon into the lid, and push a few cloves into it. In order for the smell to escape, carve some vent holes around the sides. The best tool to do this neatly is an apple corer. Once you put a teal light inside, the delicious smell will ignite and last for up to six hours.

Fallen Leaf Mobile

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When you go on an autumn walk, there is nothing better than crunching the gold, red and brown leafs under foot. But there is another use for these warm coloured leafs. On your next walk, pick up leafs that catch your eye. Make sure that the leaves are intact as well as a variety of sizes and colours. To make the leaves flat, press them in a thick book. While this is happening, get two sticks of equal length, bind them together with twine and leave a length on the top so that you can hang it up. Then, depending on how many leaves you want to use, tie pieces of twine to the sticks in different lengths. Once the leaves are flat, take them out and glue them to the twine. Great places to hang the mobile are on your porch, or inside near a window where the sun can hit and illuminate the leaves.

Twine Pears

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Ornamental twine pears are easy to make, and can act as a unique and interesting centrepiece when displayed in a bowl. All you need to have to make these pretty pears are light bulbs (you can use old ones), a stick, twine and a glue gun. Depending on how many pears you are making, you will need to make stems for them out if the stick. Cut an inch to two inches and glue it to the end of the bulb. Then you need to get your twine and glue it next to the stem, and start wrapping it around the bulb. You can use the glue periodically as you’re wrapping to make sure the twine stays in place. You could put one in an existing pot of potpourri, or as we have suggested above, put a few together in a glass vase or bowl.

We hope that these suggestions have inspired you to get crafty this autumn.

Jenny Haigh is a creative craft enthusiast working at Lilleymans furniture specialists. She loves nothing more than curling up with some wool and a cup of tea.

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