Advice On Hiring An Interior Designer

Whether you are building a new home or have been in your house for many years, there are reasons why you would want to work with an interior designer. If you personally are not confident in your own skills when it comes to matching colors, fabrics, furniture, utilization of space (or anything else involved with making your home look its best), a designer can be just what you need.

If you have never used a designer before, you might wonder how to go about finding one that will meet your needs. This can be challenging, because you want to find someone who not only is highly skilled at his or her craft, but also is someone you can work with. One way to go about finding a designer is to ask your friends and family members if they have someone they would recommend to you. You can also ask your co-workers for suggestions. If you work in an office building that is appealing to you, you can contact the building manager to ask which interior designer was used for your offices. The key is to keep your eyes open anywhere that you go. If you see a room, house, or office that has a style that you like, be sure to ask about the interior designer.

Once you have a list of candidates, the process of evaluating the various designers can begin. Before you can evaluate the designers, you must be able to describe what it is you are looking for in a new design, so that you have something to compare the designers to. The primary tool you will have to evaluate a designer is their portfolio of work. The quality of this portfolio will give you an idea about the quality of work performed by the designer. If it is not of good quality, you might want to eliminate that designer before you waste any time on them.

Just as important as their design skills, communication skills are critical when working with an interior designer. You have to be able to work with this person for what could be an extended period of time. You have to be able to communicate to your designer what your desires are, and make those desires understood so that the end result meets your needs.

Thus, when you are looking for a designer and considering your final candidates do not overlook the importance of quality communication. Being able to effectively communicate with your interior designer may very well make the difference between creating a great living space that meets your needs, versus a design that just leaves you cold.

A Single Mom's Guide To Home Improvement

When I bought my house nine years ago, my son was about to turn three and I reveled in the security of owning my slice of the American dream. Being a single mom was (and is!) both challenging and rewarding, but I knew that having a house to call my own was the best thing that ever happened to my son and me. My house was ten years old when I bought it, and it was in excellent condition. Still, as time passed, a variety of issues cropped up. I think my way of handling (or not handling) home improvements is fairly typical for single women who own their own homes.

Hopefully, my experiences will help you navigate the waters of home improvement. Here's what I've learned:

1. You can go places with a good book and a toolbox. The Christmas of the year I moved in, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a toolbox filled with the basics: screwdrivers, wrenches, a hammer, nails, nuts and bolts, and so forth. They also gave me a book on basic home repairs. Their gift literally provided me with the tools I needed, but it also gave me confidence that I could tackle minor home improvement projects. My advice: invest in some tools and use a book or online sources to guide you through the routine maintenance that your house requires.

2. Ask for advice. As a single woman who is now 49 years old and has limited knowledge of more complex home improvement issues, I'm always afraid that I'll be taken advantage by a repair company. When my air conditioner conked out on a 100-plus degree day, for example, I had no way of knowing if I really needed a new unit. I've learned to call on neighbors, family members, and friends - whose collective knowledge exceeds mine - to get their impressions. They've steered me in the right direction on a number of occasions.

3. Keep tabs on the neighbors. All of the houses in my immediate vicinity were built by the same builder at roughly the same time. Getting to know my neighbors and talking to them about home improvement has helped me get a sense of what to plan for. For example, two years ago I began to see that the houses around me were starting to get new roofs. Although I didn't have a leaky roof, a few months ago I decided to re-roof. I wanted to be proactive so I didn't get stuck with the expense of drywall repairs in addition to the cost of a new roof.

4. Ask for referrals, and then check them yourself. Through my neighbors' referrals, I've been able to find a superb roofer, an impeccable exterior house painter, and a terrific tile guy. But I don't just rely on their word. I always - repeat, always - check with my state's contractor licensing board to verify their licenses and with the Better Business Bureau to check on past complaints. I get all estimates in writing, and ask for proof of insurance.

5. Don't put your head in the sand. There has been more than one occasion when I've chosen not to deal with a home improvement issue, and I've always regretted it. I knew, for example, that the exterior of my fireplace had some dry rot. Unfortunately, by letting it go for so long it cost me much more than if I would have dealt with it immediately.

6. Make a list. This last bit of advice is basic, but critical. Start and keep a home improvement list. As a single mom, it's all too easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of daily life and let routine home maintenance fall by the wayside. I divide my home improvement list into three sections: one for items that need attention in the next three months; one for home improvement projects for the coming year; and one that maps out what I want to accomplish with the house over the next five years. The short- and medium-term lists keep me motivated, while my long-term list helps me save the money needed for the big-ticket items.

Interior Design 101: 4 Useful Tips To Freshen Up Office Spaces

Office complexes and buildings with dull colors and designs limit the positive flow of energy throughout the room. Commercial interior designing helps business owners to create fresh and functional spaces to increase positive energy flow throughout the office. By improving the design of the office space, you are also increasing employee's productivity levels. There are four tips that can help you to create a fresh, Feng Shui design in your office space.

Decorating Tip #1: Changing Wall Color

Commercial interior design does not need to break your budget when you want to redesign the look and feel of your office space. Choosing the right color paint can change employee's demeanor's when they come to the office. If you want to create a calming space for your clients and employees, choose a shade of blue to paint the walls. To create an earthy, natural place to work, neutral tones including greens, browns, and tans work well.

Decorating Tip #2: Live Plants

Another tip that freshens up any office is to buy live plants and flowers. Offices on a budget can buy beautiful silk flowers that look just like freshly cut flowers. Greenery increases positive energies throughout the office, creating a more inviting atmosphere for employees and customers.

Decorating Tip #3: Framed Art

Framed art is a great way to add visual interest and color when developing your design plan. Interior designers can work with your budget to place existing framed art under new lighting or changing its vertical/horizontal placement on the wall. Choosing local artists will help create a unique, functional, and fresh workspace for your employees and customers to enjoy.

Decorating Tip #4: Indirect Lighting

Commercial interior designers can help businesses add indirect lighting, including lamps and task lights. Offices that have windows need to take advantage of the natural sunlight during the day. Save energy by turning off harsh overhead lights, and allow natural lighting to brighten the room. Business owners who want to create a Feng Shui layout will utilize as much natural and indirect lighting. Natural light boosts employee's moods, and increases productivity. Natural lighting provides a clean and comfortable environment throughout the office space.

Business owners can work with an interior design company to develop a fresh and functional office setting everyone will enjoy. Interior designers listen to you to make your vision come true. Introducing positive energies into the office helps increase employee's productivity levels while they work.

Home Improvement Financing - How to Find It

Homes need to be updated and repaired. Aside from cosmetic fixes and design makeovers, there are the basic, but absolutely necessary renovations that have to happen. Unfortunately, the money isn't always there when you are ready to venture into a new project.

That's where home improvement financing comes in. Whether it's an unexpected roof repair, blown plumbing or just a regular renovation project, home improvement financing lets homeowners borrow money to invest in and upgrade their homes. Keep reading to learn all about the different types of home improvement financing options along with tips you can use to lower your borrowing costs.

Credit Lines

One of the quickest ways to finance your project is through a line of credit. A line of credit lets you borrow what you need as you need. So, you only pay interest on what you actually use. In addition to being flexible, a line of credit usually offers lower interest rates and a simple and fast application process.

Home Equity Loan

Home equity loans work by leveraging the equity in your home as a guarantee against the amount borrowed. Like a second mortgage, a home equity loan lets you access the equity in your home and reinvest it back into your property. Typically, the interest rates are great and the loan is usually payable over a number of years. Remember, because a home equity loan issues the full loan amount up front, you will have to start paying interest on the entire sum right away.

Home Improvement or Home Renovation Loan

Most banks offer loans that are targeted toward home renovations. These work like a mortgage, but the banks take into consideration the value of your home after the renovations are completed, not before. Therefore, to apply for a home improvement or home renovation loan, you'll need to supply an itemized breakdown of your project expenses, a full project plan, timeline and budget.

Typically, the bank or lender will release the loan in increments and only after certain project milestones are met.

Store and Consumer Credit Cards

If you only need a small amount of short-term financing, consumer credit is often the quickest and easiest way to go. Unfortunately, most cards have prohibitively high interest rates and aren't recommended for large-budget projects. For example, using a credit card to buy a few bathroom tiles is one thing, but you wouldn't want to finance a total home makeover repaying at 15 percent interest.

Interior Design - 5 Tricks to Spice Up Your Living Room

Great Interior Design Ideas to Lively up your Living Room! An all white interior design for your living rooms do not have to be cold and stark. By using a few simple decorating ideas, tips, and tricks, you will be able to create your own all white living room that is warm and inviting. The key to successfully decorating an all white living is to create visual interest in the room by introducing a wide variety of textures and patterns into the room. Here are a few of our favorite white living room ideas to try out in your own home!

1) Use antiques to offset the starkness of an all white décor. The different tones of antique woods will liven up the décor and provide visual interest throughout. Blue and white is a common color scheme used to complement antiques, and subtle patterns of blue and white can be introduced into the space through the use of throw pillows.

2) Layer different shades of white upon one another in your living through furniture, wall paint, window treatments, and other accessories. Did you know that shades of white come in a variety of different hues, from frost to cream? An earth toned flooring can be used to draw these different shades of white together and provide a unifying theme.

3) Combine wicker, an all white décor, and cheetah print! Can you think of a more unlikely color/pattern combination when decorating? A white on white color scheme can be nicely broken up by the introduction of a chair and ottoman in earth tones of wicker. The upholstery of the chair can be covered in a cheetah print pattern. This unusual décor combination will provide the drama you are looking for without detracting from the overall white color décor.

4) Distressed woods and whitewashed walls and flooring are often used to complement an all white décor; however, layers of white mirrors and vases, when placed next to distressed furniture, can also serve to further create a romantic charm within your living room. Furthermore, these reflective accessories can also be used to create the illusion of a larger living room by reflecting the natural light in the space.

5) If you would like for your all white bedroom to have a New England or colonial feel to it, then consider enriching an all-white color palette with subtle accent shades of grays and browns. When used subtly, such as in a single throw rug, these colors can further serve to enhance the all white décor.

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What Is A UK Home Improvement Loan?

A UK home improvement loan is a loan that you get in order to do some type of improvement to your home. Whether you need to repair a problem or completely redo a section of your home you may find that a home improvement loan is one of the best ways to go about getting the money to do so. As in the case with most loans you get the decision to give you a loan is normally based on you're past credit history. In most cases you are also asked to use your homes equity as collateral in order to assure that the lender will be repaid.

Your homes equity is the amount of money you have paid towards your home compared to the amount you still owe. In most cases you are offered lower interest rates on a UK home improvement loan if you have a great deal of collateral. You can find a loan lender locally or you can search on a wider scale using the Internet.

When using the Internet you should be able to come up with several lenders offering a UK home improvement loan. It is always best to compare each lender. You can do this by requesting quotes from each lender and comparing the quotes side by side. By doing this you should be able to find the loans that will suite your needs the best. A UK home improvement loan is often easy to find when searching online, but you need to read the fine print of the terms and conditions of the online lenders. You need to thoroughly understand what the lender is asking of you, what information they are in need of you to supply.

What Other Information Is Available?

As with all online business you may conduct you need to use caution when you are applying online for a loan of this nature. In many cases you will not need to worry about your information being misused, but you may still need to know that the site you are using is going to keep your private information safe. If for any reason you find yourself doubting a lending company you may want to try to locate a different lender and use them.

A UK home improvement loan might be convenient for you when you apply online. In most cases you will save more time and money when you use an online lender. Local lenders tend to take more time, sometimes days or weeks, when they are reviewing your application. Online lenders are able to view your application immediately and approve you on the same day. You are often able to have the funds directly deposited in your bank account when you are approved, too.

Although some lenders online may seem too good to be true, they may indeed be offering you a great deal just because they can. Online lenders very seldom will charge you high interest rates the local lenders will. This is because, unlike local lenders, they do not have to pay high business costs. They only have to worry about themselves and not about paying rent for office space or paying employees.

A home improvement loan may be the best bet for someone that is looking to make repairs on their home and has a specific time that they want to do it in. In most cases, since you are using your homes equity, you will have a greater chance of finding a lender that will work with you on the terms and conditions of the loan. When looking for a UK home improvement loan, just keep in mind that there are indeed many options available to you.

Interior Design For New Homes

When decorating or making decorating decisions for new homes, it is important to remember that your major decisions could affect decorating choices for quite a long period of time. Commitment to bold or unusual color treatments before you have actually had the opportunity to consider how such changes will coordinate with your furniture placement is not very advisable in this type of situation. In any case, the best advice you could receive while planning interior design for new homes is to make mediocre, undramatic design choices to begin that you can alter at a later time if you choose to do so.

This may seem like very unusual advice concerning interior design for new homes especially coming from someone who is working within the design industry--but there is good explanation for this reasoning. A large, open space without viewing or visualizing any furniture content within that space is quite easy to get a little carried away with while making structural changes. Also, keep in mind that by using very bold or dramatic designer interior colors on the walls you might be closing off your future alternative color choices to those that will cover the bright color therefore eliminating any possibility of using neutral colors without major restructuring of wall surfaces.

Wallpaper is another such choice that you might reconsider using while building interior design for new homes. Again, removing wallpaper and resurfacing the surface is often times quite a headache that can be avoided by using other alternatives for creative wall finishing. A great alternative for wallpaper that adds a great texture to the wall surfaces would be a finishing technique such as faux finishing, sponging, or stenciling. These choices (and many more like them) offer you a variety of substitutes that are equally appealing and much easier to change then more permanent solutions such as wallpaper. If you absolutely must have wallpaper in any of the rooms, try using a border to achieve the look you're going for instead of covering the entire wall surface.

When painting walls, if you apply a few well known interior design tips and tricks to your method, you will be pleasantly surprised in the overall effects when complete. For example, brighten up small or dark rooms with light wall colors. Add character and direction to larger areas by defining them with contrasting colors and textures. Bold or stark color panels can also provide a defining feature to an area that you can showcase wall pieces on when you are ready to accessorize.

Once the walls have been treated in your new home, the next item on the agenda while planning interior design for new homes would be dynamic placement of your hanging accessories such as mirrors, pictures, and art. Do not over clutter walls. Make good choices and place such items in key places by establishing focal points or presentation areas that will flatter the rest of your design.

Interior design for new homes can be a tricky process. There is a good possibility that the area pertained in your new home will be slightly larger or smaller then the space in your previous home. It is this reason that planning placement and theme of each space in your new home is so vitally important to successful interior design of new homes. Be sure to measure widths of furniture and doorways before moving day comes in order to avoid hassle while getting the furniture into your new living space. Take careful notice of any moving activity that occurs into and around your new home. Careless moving errors can disfigure floors and walls and create flaws in your new house before you have even begun living there.

Placement of furniture in new homes is one of the key aspects of unique interior design for new homes. The old philosophy of creating larger spaces (this is seen especially in living areas and rec rooms) by lining the furniture along the walls is true at times although at other times (again, especially in recreational-type rooms), dividing the room into two separate spaces by positioning furniture towards separate focal points therefore adding space and versatility to the area as well as enlarging it.

The most important matter of concern when designing or planning interior design for new homes is to build an environment that caters to the individuals living there. Creating a space that is accommodating to each person's lifestyles is the general principle of new home design.

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