decor

Area Rugs and Home Decor – Color, Art and Function

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When referring to Interior design and home decor, the versatility of an Area Rug is often overlooked. These mini-masterpieces serve as artwork, have the ability to shape color, and add needed function in any home.

Color seems to be the most confounding element for most homeowners to master effectively. Color is not nearly as complex as it seems. The complexity seems to stem from the sheer magnitude of differing color, tones, hues and shades. We all know what our favorite colors are, yet when we try to pin that color down as a useable element of design, we are confronted by hundreds of choices in tone and hue. Most of us need a standard from which to work. This is where an area rug can have a principle role in helping us sort through the inexhaustible choices we face. If we would first choose an area rug with the colors we favor, the task of choosing color for other decor items seems to fall in place. The use of an area rug as a color reference will ground your space and limit your choices, which will make the task a lot less confusing. Your colors are already decided by the colors most prominent in your area rug.

The next function of area rugs are to add beauty and depth to a room by the utility of art. Patterns and perceptions in rug design are vast and often intriguing to the eye. As a painting adds drama an scope to a wall, an area rug is a work of art for your floor. Area rugs come in any and all varieties of patterns and designs to accommodate any style of decor imaginable. Therefore, no matter what style you are trying to achieve, from traditional to contemporary and everything in between, you will be able to find an area rug to artfully engage all who visit your space. I can only consider all the times that I did not even notice a well placed rug, until I had set in that room for a season. As your eye begins to draw downward from other treasured elements of decor, you finally notice the art that lies at your feet. Many of your guests will discover themselves drawn into the intricate beauty of a well placed piece of floor-art.

The final element is that which is fundamental to the existence of area rugs. They are utilitarian in design. They were originally conceived to provide a function. The first rugs in existence were likely simple in their utility. To provide a comfortable space to sleep, or to protect ones feet from the bare soil. Today we have a vast arena of uses for area rugs. From those that supply a place to wipe our feet off, to those that protect our original flooring investment. You can postpone refinishing or replacing an expensive flooring investment with the strategic placement of area rugs and mats. Your purposes could be as simple as providing a soft and clean …

kitchen

A 4-Phase Plan to a Successful Designer Kitchen Remodeling Project

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Have you heard of the nightmare stories people share about their designer kitchen remodeling experiences? There are quite a lot of things that can go wrong with such a project, as it is complex and requires some professional assistance.

However, upon the start of any such renovation, you must know that it is totally worth it. The kitchen is undoubtedly the most important room of every home. People call it the 'social hub of the family' for a good reason – everyone visits it on a daily basis. As for seeing the successful completion of a kitchen renovation project, you need to follow a strict 4-phase plan:

Find the right contractors – if kitchen remodeling is on top of your wish list, you may want to hire the best pros for the job. Probably the best place to start your search for a contractor to carry out the job is personal recommendation. Ask your friends and relatives if they know of such person who they have hired in the past. Don't forget to check contractor credibility and reputation, because in the end of the day they are only as good as the last project they have worked on. Check out their work with previous clients and make sure you discuss every little detail with them before giving them the green light – it is your bespoke kitchen after all.

Planning the layout – if you are working with an experienced planner, they will let you in on all the secrets about maximizing storage space, high-end materials and needed features. However, you must ensure that you provide the contractor with an accurate rendering of your current kitchen. Also, you need to make a detailed wish list, indicating your needs for storage, style and must-haves. Whatever you do, don't forget to consider the utility of your kitchen triangle – the connection established between the refrigerator, sink and stove.

Cut costs – it is easy to get carried away with your bespoke kitchen design and end up spending a third of you property's value on this project alone. Before you begin your project, you can think whether what you've got at the moment is good enough, ie it doesn't really need total renovation. In terms of appliances, you should mostly pay attention to your stove's burner heat output, energy efficiency, ease of operation, safety and ease of cleaning.

Avoiding mistakes – just like any grand project, kitchen renovation can take a wrong turn here and there. That is especially the case if you decide to be your own general contractor or hiring the wrong person for the job. Make sure you have the specifications of the project listed before you hand the project. It does good to nobody if you start changing your mind halfway through the project. Surely you must devote some time and attention to the project so that it doesn't turn into a disaster.
Getting a designer kitchen surely is wonderful, but you must follow these steps to ensure that …

interior

A Misunderstood Profession: Interior Design

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Define your career. If you are a doctor, you diagnose and treat peoples' ailments. If you are a hairdresser, you cut, color, perm, and style hair. If you are a police officer, you uphold the law, investigate crimes, and in general protect the citizens of the district in which you work. Most careers can be at least briefly described by almost anyone. If you have one of those careers, you are very lucky.

Before I entered the work force and opened my own design firm, I never would have imagined that I would be getting calls to mend curtains, remove stains from carpets, find out why one bulb in a chandelier will not work … I am an interior designer – I design interiors; but I can recommend a seamstress, carpet cleaning company, electrician … Then the dreaded question comes, "What do you mean you design interiors?"

Once-upon-a-time-ago I thought that to be an easy question to answer. Somehow, I now find it easier to explain to a child why the grass is green.

Rather than trying to define interior design, I have taken to explaining the process of designing an interior.

I analyze, ask questions, draw, review the budget, draw some more while asking more questions. Slowly, what started off as sketches develop into floor plans and other technical drawings. Some of the drawings get colored in. I help my clients make informed decisions regarding the use of space, materials, products, color, lighting, layout, construction methods, other professionals … The drawings / plans then go to contractors and specialty contractors. I review the submitted process with my clients – one submission is higher, but that is not necessarily bad because the others are each missing things. A contractor is selected, the contract signed and the work begins; I'll be there routinely while the work is in progress. I basically act as a representative on my clients' on behalf, as well as a protector to my own design. Time schedules are reviewed frequently, problems that arise are handled in such a way that my clients may later know the solution but not the headache involved to understand and work out the problem. The work is wrapping up, only the finishing touches are left but I am already preparing a list of things that have to be finished, repaired or touched-up.

What had been a noisy, dirty, smelly construction site has now fallen quiet and already been cleaned. I walk around looking at and examining the full-size, real thing of all the drawings I had done weeks, if not months, ago. Back at the office, I edit the deficiency list started a few days before and send it to the contractor and clients. The job is soon completely finished, but my work is still not done.

My clients call, happy with the finished space. There are some last minute questions regarding maintenance of some of the new items, where to find certain decorative things and accessories that suddenly have importance, placement …

decor

Suitable Betta Fish Tank Decor

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Betta fish are probably among the most popular fishes to breed these days and it is easy to see why. These fish look absolutely stunning with their vibrant colors and long gorgeous fins, it is hard to imagine that they actually originate from the murky waters of rice fields in Southeast Asia. Apart from how beautifully they look, another plus point of having the Betta fish as a pet is how tough they are. These fish come from some of the most dank and poorly aerated waters and have evolved to be extremely hardy. You can easily keep a Betta fish in a tiny little water container with no filtration and no aeration and they would still survive well. This is because it is one of the few fish that is actually fine with taking in atmospheric air if the oxygen concentration of the water is low.

But the downside to the Betta fish is that they are extremely territorial. In Southeast Asia, they are better known as Fighting Fish. When two male Betta are placed in close proximity, they would battle to the death, a brutal sport that the local kids partake in. You can easily tell the male and female apart, the male being the colorful ones and the females generally plain and unattractive. The female Betta also tends to be a little less aggressive. This would mean that you would only be able to keep one Betta in your fish tank and have no other fish in there or it might tear the other fish apart.

When choosing suitable suitable tank tank ornaments for your Betta fish, you would have to take into consideration their aggressive nature. You would need to ensure that your fish tank decor does not injure the Betta in any way.

The first thing to avoid is having any decor with a reflective surface. Avoid mirrors like the plague. If the Betta sees its reflection in the mirror, it will assume that there is another male in there with it and will go into attack mode. It will keep hitting itself against the mirror until it eventually bleeds and dies. You might find an aquarium toy sold with a mirror that is supposedly meant to keep Betta fish stimulated but it is not a good thing to have for this kind of aggressive fish, so I would recommend not getting it.

You would want to get an ornament that provides the fish with a small cave to go into. One great aquarium decor to get is a floating Betta log, which is a plain hollow log that floats at the surface. Since Betta fish breathe in atmospheric air as well, having them close to the surface during their rest time is a good idea. Betta do need a secluded place to go into and rest from time to time.

If there is space constraints in your tank and a floating log would consume too much area at the top, you could opt for …

kitchen

Picking the Perfect Details for Your Kitchen Cabinets

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Nothing refreshes the look of a kitchen more than new kitchen cabinets. The crisp, clean lines and shiny hardware draw the eye and tie the whole room together. But there are so many options-how does a homeowner know what to choose? Here are some tips to help anyone pick out the perfect cabinetry for their home.

First Things First

Before a homeowner begins picking out new kitchen cabinets, he or she should know the exact layout of the kitchen. Measurements should be taken, and an overall design theme should be chosen. This will make the ordering process much more streamlined. Standard lower cabinets should be 24 inches deep and 36 inches tall, while upper cabinets are usually at least 12 inches deep and 18 inches above the counter. However, these measurements are only a guideline and can be customized.

Stock, Semi-Custom, and Custom

Kitchen cabinets can be ordered three ways: stock, semi-custom, or custom. Stock varieties come as-is and are the most affordable options. They may come assembled or in a package to be assembled by the homeowner. Semi-custom means buyers have a few additional options when they are ordering that will give them more flexibility, but they are still restricted to what is already available. Custom options are designed especially for the homeowner and can be adjusted to fit any configuration.

Framed vs. Frameless

Standard cabinets are usually framed, meaning that the door and drawers are attached to a front frame. However, European, or frameless cabinetry, has been rising in popularity in recent years. In this option, the door and drawers are fastened directly to the box. The lack of a front face can lead to reduced strength of the structure, so experts recommend avoiding cheap materials such as particle board and instead using more substantial wood.

Door Styles

There are a number of different door styles, from traditional Shaker to flat to doors with glass panels. The door style will make a significant impact on the overall style of the kitchen. Consider flat doors for a minimalist look or Shaker for a more traditional feel. Custom molding and different finishes can be added to existing doors to create an even more personalized look.

Built-In Accessories

A number of accessories can be integrated into cabinetry to customize it. Designs tend to change based on technical trends. For instance, homeowners today often design built-in charging stations that will keep electronics off of the counter. Appliances such as heavy mixers or coffee pots can be placed on lift-up shelving that is hidden behind doors. Other popular trends include pullout trash cans, doors that open with a touch, and integrated LED lighting.

In order to get the best value for their money, homeowners should focus on the quality of materials and construction over desired features. Avoid over-customizing, as some features can be so personalized as to damage resale value. However, well-done construction will always be a sound investment.

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interior

Why You Should Be An Interior Designer

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The world has been through 50-years of DIY culture, with the majority of people re-modeling, upgrading, and decorating their own homes in their spare time. However, that cycle is ending for a number of key reasons and this demise has given birth to some amazing and exciting opportunities for those people interested in Interior Design.

In the DIY period, people were happy to spend their spare time on home-improvements and they enjoyed showing off their efforts to all their visitors. Today, there are too many distractions and alternatives that have much more appeal to the modern generation of homeowners – who are happier spending their time in more entertaining activities with their friends.

Furthermore, in most families, adults are bringing home larger disposable incomes than ever before and today they prefer to employ an Interior Designer, rather than spend hours in trying to do it alone. The plethora of glossy magazines that are now available each month have thousands of pages with colorful photographs of beautiful homes, all with rooms designed by an expert in Interior Design. These magazines create the desire in people to have such a room in their own home.

That burgeoning desire for a beautiful home can only be fulfilled by an Interior Designer.

For years, tradesmen like painters, decorators, and carpenters would have nothing to do with people who worked in the Interior Design industry, and with a sneer, they would tell their customers not to waste their money on them. Today, it is a completely different story, because the tradesman now accepts that a home designed by an Interior Designer is far superior to anything they can provide. Furthermore, the tradesman often earns a far bigger profit when completing work for an Interior Designer compared to when they work directly for the customer.

This is because the Interior Designer will quote for the complete job: from basic design to provision of all the materials and completing the actual conversion. It can even include the supply of carpets, curtains, rugs, furniture, pictures, and ornaments. The fee for the decorator who does the painting and papering is perhaps only a small part of the overall price, and will often include a 15% to 20% profit margin to the Interior Designer.

Tradesmen in the home-improvement industry now spend considerable time and effort in developing a good relationship with Interior Designers, because today they can provide an increasing part of their annual income. This is a two-way connection, because the Interior Designer often receives valuable inquiries for design work from their pool of tradesmen. In addition, when the tradesman completes their work to a high standard, the Interior Designer is likely to benefit in the future from referrals and additional work from their clients.

However, working on designs for homes is only touching the surface of the income stream of a good Interior Designer. There is a vast and highly profitable design market in the retail, commercial, and industrial sectors where directors and managers are not slow in …

decor

How To Use Contemporary Art Paintings As Decor

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We live in an age where we create art for arts' sake. The point of art is to appeal to our senses and bring beauty into our lives. Art is on canvas the picture what we see around us, it is also an expression of who we are. We need not create art to express ourselves, but the display of art in our houses and personal spaces is also very telling of who we truly are. These days it has become rather easy to buy art paintings as there are many sites online and in stores in our local neighborhood to check out as well. Of course, sitting at home and browsing through some of the best work out there in the world is very enticing.

Using art around the home

One of the best places to use contemporary abstract art is around the house – especially if you are the kind of person who loves minimalist, but chic décor. Taking pride in your home is a good thing, and you can showcase through the exemplary art that you have displayed as well. But you cannot simply put up random art pieces around your house. This will make the place look cluttered and claustrophobic and messy if it isn't done right. So, here are a few decor pointers you need to know about art.

• When you buy paintings one of the main things you need to consider is the balance of color. This means that both within the painting itself and with the things in the room, there needs to be a good sober balance of color. Contrasts are always really good to work with, but it should not be jarring or hurt the eyes. Go for a minimalist, calming sort of look.

• You can combine multiple pieces of original art paintings. You can either have one large piece over the mantle place or three smaller pieces. Do not be afraid to experiment with whatever you have. See what combination works best for the room and the artifacts you have. You will be surprised at the amazing things that can be done when you step out of the lines and try new things.

Things to keep in mind

If you are looking for a simple and easy way to find original contemporary art that is catered to your wants then you don't have to look very hard. Everything you that you need can be found online. There are many artists who will create very specific paintings according to the guidelines you give them. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the process.

• Ensure that you have the full credentials of the artist in question. You should definitely be getting your money's worth.

• They should be sure to listen very carefully to the kind of original canvas art that you need.

• They should be recognized and have a portfolio or catalog that you can go through. They should also take you through the …

house

What Do I Need to Know Before Hiring an Exterior House Painter?

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Exterior house painting is one of the most important, complex and necessary things. Doing everything yourself is almost impossible. Therefore, you need a good exterior house painter. If you are wondering what are the important things you need to know before hiring an exterior house painter, here is a list for you

  • Is the exterior house painter professional?

You need an exterior house painter with license and insurance for several reasons.

First of all, it's not enough to look at paint pots a drop cloth and a strong ladder. The exterior painting of the house requires a durable coating especially for multi-story houses, as well as pressure washing and other considerations.

  • Is it a suitable time to hire an outside house painter?

You may have already noticed warning signs that you need a new painting job.

The winter in some countries can be brutal. Make sure to finish your paint job when it is dry, sunny and at least 35 degrees. Some climate conditions make the primer and two layers very necessary. This is where external professional painters will know the best way to work. They can also do the job faster, which is good not only for seasonal factors but also when you are trying to sell a house immediately.

  • How long will the work take?

A good outside house painter can also chase you into the unhappy land of endless labor. The exterior painting is not a task that can be stopped halfway. Therefore, it is important to know how long will be required to complete the task. Do not hire a painter immediately before talking to him first. Arrange a brief meeting with the exterior house painter to discuss working conditions, your budget, your expectations, and your delivery. If you like the way they work, you can hire them. If you get unprofessional vibes, you can go to the following.

  • Cost estimation

Professional painters at home are not cheap because they do not give you the time, skills or equipment. That's why you need to set a clear budget and talk to the exterior house painter about the services they can provide. Talk to them about unexpected costs and where they come from. High-quality materials and labor are more expensive, but your place of residence may also affect the painter rates.

  • Is the exterior house painter insured and licensed?

Never hire a painter without first checking his credentials, licenses and insurance policies. Always look for legitimate painters who can prove their experience and who are not afraid to ask many questions. These are additional layers of protection in the event of an accident or if you are not satisfied with your work.

Before hiring a professional exterior house painter , ask your friends and family for advice.

Another option is to log in online and check the opinions of other customers. It's a sure way to know who you're dealing with. Always choose contractors with proven experience. Sometimes large companies with years of experience will have worse …

kitchen

Creating a Handicap Accessible Kitchen That Works!

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How do you create a handicap accessible kitchen that will work for you? Focus on three things. First, focus on accessibility to storage spaces, pantries and cabinets. Second, prioritize wheelchair mobility. Space in front of and alongside appliances is essential. And, third, arrange your work space by coordinating utensils, pull out trash container shelves, frequently used dishes, etc.

Wheelchair accessible roll-under sinks and ovens are also advantageous for long term independent living. Upgrading or simply making a few home modifications may be just what you need to gain mobility, comfort and safety in your home.

Your home modification design should include ample floor space for mobility, ADA handicap accessible kitchen appliance access clearances, accessible cabinet doors, drawers and shelves, and a functional "work triangle". The work triangle refers to the comfortable work space area created between the stove, the refrigerator, and the sink. The sides of the triangle should be greater than four feet and under nine feet, with the outer limits of the triangle at a maximum of 26 feet.

When the design of a spacious and open feeling kitchen area is your design objective, it may be necessary to consider removing or replacing a wall, or moving counters. If your current kitchen design makes you feel like you are restricted or constantly battling with counters and cabinetry, you may want to consider remodeling. Frequently, modifying one aspect of your kitchen can make the kitchen significantly more user-friendly. Changing an island or peninsula counter, or relocating an appliance, can make all the difference.

Does your home have a "zero-step entry" – one entry point with a flat threshold, and is easy to walk through? Every home should have at least one zero-step entry for those grand kids taking their first steps, and for the visiting family member who may be using a cane or a walker, or recovering from an illness. Is it difficult getting groceries in from the car? Possibly, a small ramp and cart would be useful between the garage and the kitchen to make it easier to bring in packages.

If you need assistance designing your kitchen, you will find a directory of certified aging in place (CAPS) specialists on the NAHB website, or by visiting the Atlanta Home Modifications website on the Internet. Your CAPS specialist will schedule an in-home consultation to observe and evaluate your current living arrangement, and assist you in creating a more pleasant and accessible home.

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decor

Hashtags and the Interior Design Industry

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Simply stated, the pound sign or hashtag is visually represented by the symbol '#', and by placing the symbol in front of a word (or series of words) on a social network, it will turn that word into a metadata tag. In simple English, the '#' symbol turns the word (s) immediately following it into a searchable term that can be used on that website or social network, which is activated by someone clicking on that hashtag. And, here we are yet again. It seems as though, try as we might, we just can not extricate ourselves from the ever-present eye of this social media monstrosity. In fact, it is believed that the use of hashtags began on the very popular social media platform, Twitter. Early users of Twitter figured out a way to avoid having to sort through endless mounds of random conversations to arrive at what they considered was the "meat" from the usual proverbial information overload.

It was long before companies caught on to this growing phenomena and decided to capitalize from its trending influence. Campaigns featuring new products are heavily decorated with inventive and attention-grabbing hashtags. This is especially true where Interior Design is concerned. The nature of home and decor's existence relies heavily, if not totally, on visual impact. In a matter of seconds, one's attention is captured and it isn't much long after that the viewer is ushered into a trance-like engagement of whimsical design play. The use of hashtags in this sense gives homeowners and lay decorators the benefit of an abbreviated narration or description of a photo's content. Effective use of hashtags gives this same viewer search options as well as succinctly answers questions that may arise about a particular artifact used in a photo. For example, when posting or advertising a picture of a decorated bedroom, the blogger / advertiser may use a hashtag to give information about the skilled artisan who constructed the bed's headboard, or may give the name of the pattern used on the damask.

Some key hashtags used in Interior Design are "instadecor", "instadesign", "instastyle", "walldecor", "patternmix", "renovation", "designprocess", "NewYork", "Miami", "California", "instaretail" "," styleblog "," photooftheday "… the list goes on.

The Interior Design industry continues to be a mirror to whatever is trending in all other industries. With widely-accepted nuances such as the use of hashtags in social-media networking and marketing, we are fortified with even more resources and means of turning design dreams into reality.

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