Smart Designs for Small Apartments

First thing first: GET MORE LIGHT.


Rooms with more light look bigger and more spacious. Paint your rooms in a light color. Don’t forget the ceilings, too. As the fifth wall is almost always not considered part of the color scheme of the room. However it plays an important role in the design – low ceilings in dark colors make the whole room feel stuffy and cramped. The trick here is to keep the contrast between the walls and the ceiling to a minimum so the room feel airy and larger.

Read More

Using Surf Boards in Interior Design

Being an interior designer I appreciate more than just interior design. I like all kinds of artwork from three-dimensional to naturally-created design to the more every day two-dimensional design. Designs to fit the constraints of a particular object are fascinating too. How does the artist/designer deal with the constraints of his or her “canvas”? Canvas here meaning whatever the surface is that is being decorated or created upon. Surfboards and paddle boards are an interesting case in point. Design and color scheme can make or break any product’s popularity. Even the best surfboards (like at are going to have to have absolutely amazing performance to outsell a lesser board with an in-demand design with the latest color schemes.

Many a surfer or paddle boarder will actually live with their favorite board too. “Live with” in this case meaning bring their surfboard or paddle board inside and display it prominently on a wall. This is where my interior design interest really kicks in. If the surfer wants advice (they don’t often want advice about interior design to be honest) about arranging the space to display the board properly what do I say? Generally if there is any good artwork on the surfboard or some good textures that need to be shown off I suggest some kind of directional lighting. People associate artwork with directional lighting and simply throwing up a spotlight or two above the board will be enough to suggest to the viewer that something special is being shown off. Even better are recessed ceiling lights directed at the board as they will suggest more of investment of money and time in the process.

Another easy way to highlight any artwork including a surfboard or paddle board is to use a complimentary color behind the object in question. If there is some question about what the color should be the old standby of plain white or a shade of gray will do. Some people will frame the wall itself, depending on how big the wall is, with colored moulding, or create a frame around and some distance from the surfboard itself.

Of course, any old design won’t just go with any decor. I’ve known surfers to redesign the room where the board will be displayed in order to accommodate the surfboard – whether it is a longboard or shortboard – and, vice versa, I’ve known surfers to redesign the artwork on their board in order that it match the room they are displaying it in. Usually, I recommend to the surfer that he or she use a favorite retired board for design purposes — otherwise there will inevitably be bumps to the walls and to the board as it is taken down and put back in place.

Dealing with interesting problems such as surfboard display are part of the reason I love my job. It is great to step out of the rut of designing office spaces and foyers as it refreshes my interest and stimulates my creative process. It is always good to step out of the box as they say.

Home Design Tip: Be Particular with Small Details

Home Design Tip Be Particular with Small DetailsWhen you are designing your home, you might be so keen in looking at the huge parts since they easily catch attention. You are particular with the color of the paint or the size of appliances. However, you don’t necessarily look into smaller home decors. You don’t regard them in the same way as other parts of home design. The truth is that these smaller details can either make or break the overall design. If you know exactly what to choose, then it will spruce up the overall look of your house. Otherwise, it can spell disaster.

Check your kitchen

There are a lot of details when it comes to kitchen design. Should you display the utensils in public view or should you hide them? What appliances can be left on the counter and what should be hidden? Is there a need for a chandelier or the usual lighting will do? These are just some of the questions that you have to answer as soon as you delve into your kitchen.

Another important part of your kitchen is the faucet. You think that this is just for water. The truth is that the faucets have to look good too. They come in different designs. You don’t have to settle for something that looks really basic. You can check out the best kitchen faucets in the market. You can also find the best options according to kitchen faucet reviews. Once this is done, you can appreciate the overall look of your kitchen.

The bathroom should look good too

There is now a trend where bathrooms are transformed to make them look like they are living rooms. The bathroom sizes are now blown up so that other items that are usually not found there can be placed. This includes a sofa, television set and even a computer. This means that even if you are just in the toilet, you will be entertained. The bathroom shower is one of the most important details that you have to look into. The shower can be handheld or stationary. They also come in different designs. You just have to find out which one fits the concept you have in mind.

It takes patience and passion

Before you finish the overall design of your house, you might be so tired already. It takes a very long time especially if you are so keen with the details. You can ask for help from interior designers like me. If you wish to deal with it by yourself, then you need to be very patient. However, once you are done, you will be glad with what you have made. When you have guests coming over, they will also notice the efforts you place on these small details. Even if you spend more than what you are supposed to spend because of the details, you can still say that it is worth it in the end. Just make sure that quality is not sacrificed in any way.

Carpets as a Flooring Option is Timeless

Carpets as a Flooring Option are TimelessI have been an interior designer for several years now. If there is one thing that I can say about what clients want when it comes to floor designs, it always boils down to carpets. Despite the availability of other flooring options, carpets are still widely popular. Even if some people say they are difficult to maintain or they wear out really quickly, most people would still prefer carpets. There is no question about this. Carpets are extremely popular because they are just adorable. From a designer’s point of view, I can safely say that houses look really better when carpets are used.

Advantages of using carpets

These carpets come in different designs and colors. There are also plain designs for those who don’t want the extravagant options. The point is that these carpets can spruce up the ordinary look of a house. Therefore, from a visual standpoint, it is a very good option. Add to that the fact that it is very comfortable. Anyone who feels the softness of carpets on their feet will easily feel relaxed. They are made from the best fabrics that will make you just want to sleep on it. This is also why dogs love to play in carpets. Even babies love using carpets. They are so comfortable that they can make your house a perfect place for relaxation.

Maintaining carpets

The only issue most people would say about carpets is that they are not easy to maintain. Some of them fade really quickly. Others capture dust and dirt especially if they receive high traffic. They can also cause allergic reactions. All of these are true. However, it can be resolved easily. To begin with, you need to choose the best carpet. Don’t settle for an option that is easily destroyed because of low quality. Furthermore, you can use the best carpet cleaners. There is no need to spend several minutes using a vacuum cleaner if you have carpet cleaners.

With the help of these carpet cleaners, it will just take a few minutes to clean up the carpet. It does not use harmful chemical substances too. This makes cleaning a lot easier and safer. If you don’t have one right now, you can compare the best carpet cleaner online. You can also read carpet cleaner reviews and check out the comparison chart. Once you have a carpet cleaner at home, then you won’t have any problem using carpets at all.

Enjoy your carpet

A properly maintained carpet can last for a long time. It will also maintain its color over time. You just have to enjoy what you have and make the most out of it. Spend some time with your kids and pets playing around the carpet. You can even buy one for every corner of your house. Even if there are tiles and hardwood as flooring options, carpets are still among the best choices. They are elegant, classic and timeless. There is no wonder why a lot of people really use them at home.

Getting Design Inspiration from Accessories

Getting Design Inspiration from AccessoriesBeing an interior designer is not easy. It might seem fun from the outside, but the truth is that it can drain you. When you run out of design ideas and your clients try to hurry things up, you will be so stressed out. This is the reason why I spend most of my times traveling. If I don’t have any client or if I feel like having a break, I go around different places to travel. However, this is not just your usual relaxing vacation. It is also a part of my work. I travel because I wanted to be inspired by local traditions and practices. After seeing these unique cultures, I start to have design ideas in mind. This makes me more equipped as I move on to the next client.

Though traveling helps, other design inspirations are actually available just around the corner. For instance, I was so surprised that I got a lot of design ideas by simply looking at my jewelry box. I was trying to hurry up because I was so late for my appointment when I just can’t find the accessory that I wanted to use. In doing so, I have to look into my jewelry box and remove all of the content just to find it. As they lay down the table, I saw lots of colors, sizes and designs. This made me think of new design inspirations. Instead of rushing to my appointment, I decided to cancel it. I got my sketchbook and started drawing my next designs. Given all the designs right in front of me, my sketchbook became almost full in an instant.

The best inspiration

Of all the accessories in the box, the ones that stood out the most were my watches. They were just amazing. Watches seem to not have exquisite designs, but they do. As you look closely into the designs on the strap and on the surface, you will see a lot of subtle but complicated designs. They are also very elegant. Since most homeowners wanted to have a more modern design these days, the subtlety and elegance of these watches are just the best designs that I am looking for.

As I was inspired by these watches, I decided to visit shop watches that day instead. I looked around to see what else is available to inspire me. From metallic watches to faux wood strap watches, everything was mesmerizing. I never thought these accessories that are just in front of me all these years can inspire me.

I bought one

To my delight, I decided to buy one for myself and another for my partner. If you want the best watches for men, you can look at a comparison chart. This will make you choose from a wide range of choices. Also, when it comes to the best mens watches, go for Omega. This brand has also inspired me in many ways. It has some of the best watch designs out there. This is why it remains one of the most popular brands over the years.

Designing for a Barber School/Salon

I recently had the opportunity to visit a well-run barber school/barber salon in the Florida area. Since barbering is on the rise so are the establishments that train barbers: barber schools.

There is a great variety of types of barber schools ranging from down-and-out and gritty, to flashy and up-to-date. Some seem to have given no thought whatsoever to interior design while others have gone to great lengths to provide a well-organized and well-thought-out environment for both learning and cutting hair. Nowadays, though, schools and salons are competing for more exacting clients and students and they are willing to put more time, energy and money into interior design.

Some things to consider when planning the design of a good barber’s environment are:

  1. Good lighting – This is so obvious as to almost not need stating but if it wasn’t mentioned I’d be remiss! Barbers need to see what they are doing – who wants to look like they’ve had their hair cut in the dark? Plenty of natural and artificial light is ideal.
  2. Mirrors – These are essential too. The customer needs to see what is going on. Mirrors help with the reflection of light as well, giving multidirectional sources of illumination. Mirrors also give a sense of spaciousness (see point 4) which is very important.
  3. Easy-to-clean layout – Hair is going to fall. Hair is going to get everywhere. The surfaces that hair falls upon need to be easy to clean. Furthermore, there can’t be hard to reach areas under chairs or desks. Such areas discourage cleaning and a messy barber shop will not be well-liked by the majority of potential clients.
  4. Spaciousness – Higher-end shops usually have a feeling of spaciousness about them. Clutter is always a no-no even in smaller places. Lots of space goes with our previous point, easy-to-clean layout, in that it is easier to clean if there is space for one to move around freely.
  5. Light or dark colors? – Either one works well depending on the atmosphere the client wants to create. There is certainly a comfort to rich, dark colors which go over well with the older crowd. There is nothing like dark leathers and oak paneling to shout “old school”! (Dark colors also hide the inevitable fallen hair better.) On the other hand trendier, urban, metrosexual style salons tend to go for lighter colors – sometimes even pastels which, in the past, would be too feminine to be considered for a masculine hair cutting space.
  6. Artwork – Usually a little artwork in line with the style of the salon, or simply barber shop, goes a long way to creating or encouraging the right atmosphere. In the case of the previously mentioned “old school” barber shop maybe a seafaring or rugged outdoors sculpture or painting would work well.

In any case, a good interior designer will find lots of rooms to exercise his or her creativity in the modern barber schools and salons. Just like most other design jobs some venues will be challenging in their size and location and others will be dream jobs with a no-holds-barred approach to the work.

Finding the best carry-on luggage for my summer vacation

The saying goes “work hard, play hard”. The last part of this sentence is certainly the case during summer for me. I always take a minimum of 3 weeks off during the summer months so that I can go on a long deserved vacation to a country abroad. I like to get in touch with the local culture and people when I’m abroad. Don’t do the things you can do at home but do the things you can only do there otherwise it’s not money well spent.

Picking my destination

I have so many places I like to visit that choosing one seems nearly impossible to me. Luckily there’s the internet and friends and family from which I got some good advice. There’s also the fact that I saw some French in high school which makes it interesting to test out if I can still express myself in French or not.

After a talk with my parents who already visited France years ago I was convinced that this would be a perfect place for my next travel destination. I hadn’t been there before and I only knew some basic French but they told me that most people were fluent in English. They only speak English with a French accent, probably like I speak French with an English accent.

Why France

I chose France as summer vacation because other people convinced me. I already heard some great things about it and when I searched on the internet I only got more convinced that it’s a great place. Maybe it’s more for couples who want to have a romantic vacation abroad but it seems it’s not the sole reason people visit it.

Getting there

I booked a flight with American Airlines. Before going I ordered the best carry on luggage for a long vacation abroad. It was a Samsonite Spinner luggage that was within the requirements for carry-on bags. I didn’t have any problems with my carry on luggage when getting onto my flight so it was a good buy.

How was my vacation

My vacation was fantastic. During my 3 weeks stay I only had good weather and it wasn’t too hot so that it was pleasant to go outside and visit all sorts of things.

I guess you wonder what I did there? Well I travelled through France by train and went to some of their biggest cities this way: Paris, Cannes, Strasbourg, Lille and a couple of other ones.

I’ve spend most of my time in Paris of course. It’s their capital and a city with millions of people. It’s very touristic and it attracts a lot of tourist from all over the world each year. I visited the Louvre, climbed the Eiffel Tower, took a boat trip on the Seine, went to the Moulin Rouge and so much more. I would need more than just a blog post to describe all the things I did during those 3 weeks in France.

Will I go back

I would say definitely yes. There’s really a lot to see and discover and even my 3 weeks was too short. So I hope I can save some money to get back to France somewhere in the near future.

An example of a Craigslist find.

3 Tools To Decorate Your Apartment On A Nursing Salary

An example of a Craigslist find.

An example of a Craigslist find.

Ryan just got a job as a flight nurse. He will making just about $70,000 per year. He is looking to do some serious interior design on his apartment. He wants to do it on a budget. He wants to completely decorate his apartment for under $500 or less. That is a tight budget. However, after one month he was a able to get it done. He spent $542 in total. What resources did he use. We listed them below:

    • This is where Ryan got the cheapest deals on his furniture. People post great items on here for super cheap. You can even filter the page by price.  So if you have a specific price range you are looking for a certain item, you filter out items  that are too expensive. They will not even show up on the page.
    • You can search pretty extensively as well. You can filter location, type of item, and how new or old.
    • Now once you find something you like, ask to speak over the phone. Here you can ask to see if the item is still available. You will receive more information about the product and the seller. DO NOT SEND THE SELLER MONEY OVER THE PHONE. Craiglist takes zero responsibility for things that happen off its site. If the product sounds and it’s still available, arrange a meet up. Preferably in a public place. Make the exchange. I always use cash or check. Bring a car to transport the item if necessary. If done right, this is a good way to find furniture at a reasonable or cheap price.  
  2. Facebook Pages
    • Facebook pages fill a similar function to Craiglist. You need to find a facebook page that is specific to a niche and location that you belong to. Like if you live in DC, find a DC local page for alumni from your school and ask if people are selling furniture.  
    • They would be titled like this “**** University Alumni moving to DC!”. These are good pages to find apartments and furniture to move into.
    • Ryan successfully used this to his bed for his alma mater who was moving out of DC. He had a ton of option on facebook pages just like this but he got better deals on Craigslist. You can find a good deal on here if you look hard and pounce on an opportunity when you see if.
  3. Apartment or House Move Out Sales.
    • These are where you will get the best bargains. Sellers are looking to get rid of excess stuff and are willing to give it away so super cheap. Sometimes they give it away for free if they are having a hard time getting rid of it.
    • You can amazing deals at these types of sales. Ryan a large six month old desk for $30. You will not find that at IKEA.   
    • You can find these sales on Craiglist, local newspaper, apartment bulletins, and Facebook. Ryan mainly used these.

If you are young and are looking to be frugal with your apartment decoration than these resources are for you. These are the three resources that will help the best.




How to Stay Fit if You Have No Time to Hit the Gym

How to Stay Fit if You Have No Time to Hit the GymBeing a traveling interior designer is not easy. I love my job, but I am always left with no other time to do things other than my work. Aside from the fact that I have to sit down and finish the entire concept of the design, I also need to travel to different places. When you are an interior designer, you cannot work remotely. You have to be there to see the actual place to figure out how you can deal with the overall design.

Each time I finish doing a job, I have to travel back. As soon as I reach home, I am already tired and I have no more energy to do something else. Since I started my job, I realized that I am gradually gaining weight. Sadly though, I really cannot spend some time to hit the gym. The only thing that I do for now is to change my eating habits. However, I believe that it won’t be enough especially if I grow older. The good thing is that I have found out a way to achieve a desired look without necessarily hitting the gym.


Cellulite brush

This is the secret that I have recently discovered. This is a device that allows me to simply roll around my body and the cellulites are gradually removed. Cellulites are disgusting. They distort your body shape and make you look bad. If you are not used to it and you start seeing one, then you might just want to pinch your stomach and other affected areas to let go of it,

This device helps in such a way that it strengthens your skin so cellulites won’t be pushed out. The skin is elastic. If you get fat, it will also stretch out. This is what causes your stomach to look big. Unless your hit the gym to work out, you cannot control your stomach from bulging especially if you have poor metabolism. The good thing is with good body brush for cellulite, you won’t have to think about it anymore.


Using it everywhere

If you are always on the go, it is just fine. This portable handheld device can fit in your bag. If you ride the bus or train, you can take it with you. It is also very easy to use. You don’t have to assemble the parts just to get started. Once you have learned how to use it, then you can roll it around target areas any time. Even if you are just at home or in front of the office, you can also use it easily. As long as you have some time not doing anything, take the cellulite roller and use it. You will soon see the difference if you keep on using it.

Yes, it is painful if your job requires a lot of traveling and you seem to not have enough time for other activities unless you are on a break. However, if you cannot sacrifice your job since you love it so much, you just have to find a way to deal with other issues.

Making a water softener fit in your interior

I have been an interior designer since some years. Over these years I have gained a vast amount of experience and know which stuff can be complementary to the rest of an interior.

Not so long ago I spoke to the husband of a friend of mine at a party for their daughter’s 10th birthday. We were speaking about his dishwasher that broke down recently and that upon buying a new one the store clerk of Home Depot told him his new dishwasher would last longer if he would buy a water softener. They had done this in their house and told me that a water softener is a big investment for keeping your appliances alive a lot longer but certainly worth the money.

I decided I would get one also but it was a real challenge to find one and make it fit perfectly in my interior.

Does a water softener disturb your interior

To be honest most popular water softeners don’t look like they’re made by a designer. Most of them are only built for their functionality which is understandable. However this is an interior designer’s nightmare.

The only thing what you can do is to choose the one with the most attractive design and make it fit. Luckily most people keep it in their garage which is often a room that isn’t that important interior wise.

Which water softener did I get for my house

I wanted one that looked good. So I got the Waterboss which has a smooth and modern design. Luckily I have a garage. It’s the room that gets the least attention from my creative skills. First I’ve let a handyman install the water softener to be sure it works properly afterwards.

It’s only after this that I looked at the interior of my garage and how I could make it more appealing to the eye. I know some people will find this ridiculous as this is your garage but it was a challenge for me and I like challenges. Every room in my house has to look neat.

How did I make it fit with the rest of my interior

The water softener was hanging against my brick wall and I thought I could make it look a lot better. How? I would build a closet for it. I took the measurements of the water softener and then asked a friend of mine to make a custom made closet from oak wood. I really like that material and I have used it in many spots in my house. That’s why I decided I wanted to make it also in this material. This would make it complementary to the other rooms. I also decided to redo the walls in my garage. I did have some extra budget so I decided to plaster them and afterwards paint them white and use oak baseboards.

Is a water softener useful?

Yes it is. I measured the hardness of the water before and after the installation of my water softener and there is a big difference. So I hope now that this will help to preserve my household appliances in their perfect state.

Academy of Interior Designs Spin Bike Exhibit

It was time for another visit to my favorite local interior design gallery, The Academy of Interior Design.  I heard there was an inspiring new exhibit, curated by a burgeoning interior designer with no formal experience.  She goes by the name of Chloe Pivil and her story is quite sad.  Her husband was an athlete, a cyclist to be exact, who got diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.  It was quite a shock to the family, as he was extremely active and healthy.  A mere six months after his diagnosis, he passed away.  Before he passed, he raised hundreds of dollars cycling for various causes, because he loved to race.  After his death, Chloe wanted to find an outlet that would help raise money for prostate cancer research, so she decided to channel her grief into a hobby she had always wanted to get into, but never thought she had the talent for; interior design.

Turns out, Chloe was actually extremely talented and had a wonderful eye for surreal design.  Her husband owned 6 different bikes, ranging from spin bikes, to mountain bikes, to BMX bikes, to road bikes.  She began to repurpose these bikes into everyday decorative house hold items, such as using bike lights in light fixtures, tables, photo frames and coat racks.  She stated that the projects were cathartic and she has memories of him all over her house instead of his bikes cooped up in storage.

Eventually, Chloe began to reach out online to see if anyone would donate spin bikes to her so she could continue to make her art.  She found that out of all the bikes, spin bikes were the most fun to work with because they had the most parts.  Interestingly enough, she found through that there were a bunch of people who were ready and willing to get rid of their spin bikes and all Chloe had to do was pay to have them shipped to her.  Eventually, that wound up paying off because her masterpieces were selling at a much higher price point than the shipping and handling of the spin bikes.  Chloe has in the past and still continues to donate 50% of her profit to prostate cancer research.

The Academy of Interior Design is celebrating Chloe and her story, by showcasing 8 unique pieces that Chloe has never sold.  Each piece is completely original from anything else she has ever made, making all the pieces showcased extremely valuable.  Chloe herself will even be stopping by at the exhibit’s completion to do an autobiographical talk about her craftsmanship and work process.

When I went to see the exhibit myself, I was blown away by the creativity of each piece.  Who would have thought that recycled spin bikes could make for such amazing interior design? However, I was not a fan of the size of the pieces and couldn’t really see them inside of my own house.  Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.  My favorite piece was probably the alcohol cart.  It was very chic and tasteful, and I guarantee it will sell for upwards of a thousand dollars.  Not bad for recycled material and for charitable donations.

How To Tips: Converting a NY Warehouse To a Stylish Industrial Loft

I’m a huge fan of industrial design. Specifically, the recent trend to convert old warehouses into large, luxury style loft spaces in New York. The problem I see, however, is that current designers focus too much on making it look luxury or trendy instead of making it liveable. What I mean by this is they leave the space as one giant room instead of creating spaces. Now I love open plan probably even more than the next interior designer but you need more than a curtain to break up living from sleeping. Here I want to touch on some tips I have if you plan on buying a warehouse space in New York to convert to a liveable luxury loft. I’ve been specializing in this area for many years and I’ve done several “re-dos” when the customer hadn’t been happy with the previous work. Here we go.

Planning The Space

There is no substitute for 3D software in the planning stage. It is crazy to see architects and interior designers going through the space they have designed with the client on nothing more than paper and blueprints. For one, the client isn’t going to be able to picture themselves walking through the space when all they see is lines on paper. So my first tip is make sure you hire a professional that promises to show the entire design in modern 3D software so you can walk through the space on the computer screen. This is priceless experience that will help you the client find things you hate. I guarantee there will be a wall in the wrong spot or a tight corner that just needs to be redesigned.

Preparing The Space

If you plan on doing lots of the work yourself to save money then you need to prepare and clean all the surfaces before painting or coating with product. For $200 go out and get the top electric pressure cleaner so that you can clean all the walls and floors in no time flat. Don’t waste time cleaning it by hand. We are talking about a large industrial space here. And you can be guaranteed the old owners cleaned it with a pressure washer of some sort. Then go ahead and become familiar with the nozzles of pressure washing so you can get the job done without damaging an surrounding area. A surface cleaner for the floor and a 25 degree nozzle for the walls.

In addition to preparing to the surfaces make sure to remove all pipes and structures that you won’t be using well before you start building it out. Oddly, many clients end up with a pile of junk in the corner until nearly move in day.

Converting The Space

So now your space is planned and prepared – time to start the build. There is just no way everything will go to plan so you need to be prepared for that. Have you seen those home renovation shows? Yeah, most of the screw-ups are not planned. They just happen. The best way to ensure a smooth process is to have detailed planning. Contractors that know exactly what their scope of work is are less likely to make a mistake.

Things To Keep in Mind

If you are ever unhappy with something speak-up immediately. It always better to address a problem straight away instead of letting the problem fester away.

Don’t be afraid to fire a slacking contractor. If the contractor shows up late is messy and not respectful of the space – just let them go and hire someone new.

Remember you’re working with a huge space so you can always make changes later without much hassle. Contractors almost always get paid by the hour so get the jobs done and the assess the budget daily/weekly.

What I Have Learned as a Traveling Professional

From all of my trips I have learned one important lesson about traveling. This is that you never know what is going to go wrong, but something is bound to happen. It is important that I keep a positive attitude so I can carry on with my work as my career and clients depend on it. If you are also a traveling professional you will understand that it is a rewarding job, but comes with its own set of unique complications. I would much prefer being able to go places rather than be stuck behind a desk for 8 hours a day. This is what makes what we need to put up with worth the struggle. I have compiled a list of my top recommendations for how to be prepared for certain situations that might arise for a professional that has to deal with traveling often for work.

The first and most important tip that I cannot stress enough is the necessity of a reliable automobile. There is nothing worse than trying to get to a meeting or customer’s site on time and having the vehicle break down. Of course this has happened to me and millions of others, but you should take every precaution to prevent this. It might be easier and less expensive then you might think, too. This does not necessarily mean that you need the nicest or newest car. All you need to do is make sure that you are staying on top of the preventative maintenance schedule recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. You can visit a website like to see maintenance costs and make sure that you are getting a good deal. It is very easy to get ripped off by a local mechanic or shop on automotive service so become an educated consumer and make the right decision. This will also prevent the need for any major and costly repairs. Of course there will be a break down every once in a while, but taking care of your car will greatly reduce the chances of this happening to you in an important situation. Not to mention it will keep you much safer while traveling on those dangerous roads.

Some jobs require travel over greater distances and you will often find yourself sitting on a plane or waiting in an airport. The most common issue that I run into during these types of trips is the lack of connectivity throughout the trips which greatly impacts my ability to either be working on projects or catching up on the latest news. Technology is a great tool and can help bridge the gap between cell and internet connections if utilized properly. You are able to sync most of your information such as e-mail to your local computer, so you can work on things while offline. In a world of cloud based computing, not having an internet connection can pose a major problem, but is easy to avoid with some simple planning. Just make sure that your software is also available on your local computer or set to sync every so often so you have copies of all this information available offline. I recently sat next to an Austin photographer from who uses his travel time to Photoshop pictures and sets them all to upload once an internet connection is established. This is done through a local Dropbox program that automatically syncs to the internet when connected which is an excellent example of this.

The World We Live In

We live in a crazy world. We have seen so much change in the last half-century. Scratch that. I should say in the last 10 years. Just think about your life before iPhones and other smartphones. What did you do? Look at us now. We are all staring at our phones constantly. We use them for the majority of things we do online now. I don’t know about you, but I would rather give up my first-born than lose my iPhone.

There are certainly negatives to having this much technology at our fingertips. We are more connected than ever to information but we are more disconnected than ever to each other. Case in point: I was at a house just last week of a client that was texting her husband some design ideas I had given her and guess where he was? He was in the room next to us! I just shook my head and thought, what are we all doing?!

I have also heard of many cases involving pedestrians getting struck by vehicles while looking at their phones. I have a friend that is a state trooper and he said the number of accidents involving texting and driving having increased over 78% in the last decade! Sometimes I am scared to get on the road because no matter how much I think I can control if I’m in an accident or not, I can’t control the person not watching the road while they are on their phones.

I could go on and on about the negatives but I honestly can’t say that I want to go back to my world without technology. There is no doubt that it makes my life easier. 10 years ago, I advertised in print magazines and spent 30+ hours per week talking on the phone. Now, I only advertise digitally and spend less than 5 hours per week talking on the phone. One of the big reasons for that is the service I have through this telecom company. Broadconnect has saved me 25 hours per week of time and that is worth WAY more than the small bill I have to pay them.

Using Google Adwords is the other thing that has totally transformed how I do business. I can set up a campaign in minutes and the CPC is really low compared to the business I get. It is 10x a better value than paying for print advertising. I need to invest in a good search engine optimization company to improve the organic rankings of my website but I’m just to lazy to do that. It would probably save me a lot in Adwords costs.

So, are you happy in the world we live in? Do you own a smartphone? Why or why not? Would you rather go back 10 years? 50 years? 100 years?! I can understand the good and bad points, whatever your opinion may be. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. I’d love to hear your comments.