small-bedroom

Smart Designs for Small Apartments

First thing first: GET MORE LIGHT.

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

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.

Dog Friendly Interior Design

When it comes to dogs, they are part of the family. The dogs that live inside your home will need some consideration when it comes to their particular needs, behaviors and activities. The good news is that you can create a simple, yet attractive interior design to your home that includes what a dog might do and takes into account situations such as puppy feeding, accidents and the occasional bad behavior that a dog might do.
Here are a few suggestions to help make your interior design pet friendly and resistant to the many activities that dogs can get up to when you are not around.

Avoid Antiques and Wood

You can choose from many different interior designs for your home, but you will want to avoid antiques and furniture that has exposed wooden legs and arms as that is where a dog can do some damage. You can choose from many different styles, but you’ll want to avoid tempting targets for your dogs or puppies to chew on such as fringe, details and buttons. Instead, keep the traditional look up off the floor and use lamps, table knickknacks and old fashioned paintings and mirrors.

Prints and Stripes

Dogs are going to shed fur, so you might as well choose colors that will help hide it. Prints and stripes in colors that are close to your pets tend to do quite well in covering up fur. Plus, you can also add pillows and window treatments in similar patterns which work very well and can be easily replaced if need be. Basically, it is very light and very dark colors that tend to show off pet fur the most, so avoiding them will help conceal the fur that you miss when vacuuming.

Microfibers and Smooth Textiles

You’ll want to avoid loose, textured or fuzzy fabrics in your home as they might be targets for your pet. Instead, go with microfibers and very smooth textiles as they are easy to clean and difficult for your dog to dig into or your cat to use as their personal scratching post. You can even have mattress covers made from a moisture-resistant material known as Crypton which is perfect for dogs.

Carpet Tiles

Carpets can be problematic with pets, particularly dogs that like to stay in one particular place for a long time. Wooden or tile floors work best because the fur can be easily removed along with any accidents that might happen. However, if you really want to stick with carpeting, then you might select carpet tiles that can be individually removed and replaced. You can also go with rugs created from stain-resistant fibers that will add a little traction to the slippery surface of hardwood or tile flooring.
When it comes to your home, protecting it from stains that happen during puppy feeding, playing with the dog or when an accident may happen means finding the right materials that will make the perfect interior design that compliments your home as well as keeps it pet friendly.

Tips for Using Recycled Furniture

You’re always looking for new ways to spruce up a room. Who isn’t? But some of the newest and best ideas floating around right now all rely on taking used furniture and making it new again. Here are four tips you can use to take old furniture and other materials and recycle them into your own unique creations.

1. Add Pallets to Your Palette

If you aren’t familiar with them yet, pallets are an almost universal tool for carrying merchandise around the world. They are a small wooden frame, usually about 4’x4′, and can be found out back of almost any big box store or factory. A simple request to the manager will usually result in a truckload of new wood for you to work with.

Even a casual look around the internet will give you more plans than you’ll know what do do with, but here are a few of our favorites. Check out this stadium-style movie theater seating. Or this gorgeous corner sofa. Or even this sleek coffee table.

2. Patch it Up with Paint

Don’t be dismayed when an old piece of furniture doesn’t look as good as you might like. Badly stained wood, awful choices in paint, poor care of a piece, all of these can make an otherwise perfect piece of furniture look like it isn’t worth a second glance. Try to see past all of this. (even if you have to squint)

A simple coat of paint will bring new life into abused furniture, but some easy principles will make that same piece stunning. In general, your furniture should not have more than two colors. White and black are particularly gorgeous colors to revive an old piece of furniture, though blues can be equally beautiful. Some projects will lend themselves best to a single color, only broken up by the most gorgeous hardware you can find. Whatever colors suit you, take care to look past the way a piece looks before you work on it. With a little work, you can transform it into something beautiful.

3. Promptly Polish Problem Pieces

So you’ve found that perfect coffee table, but the legs are dinged up with some just awful scratches. There’s no way you’re going to leave it like that, so what are you going to do?

Fortunately, there’s an old remedy you can use to buff those scratches right out. Take three parts canola (or mineral) oil and one part vinegar and mix them thoroughly. Soak a rag with this mixture and rub the scratched-up area until the damage is polished away.

4. Don’t Close the Door on a Good Idea

Doors are some of the most versatile materials out there for the intrepid designer. An old door will almost always have some interesting features worked into its panels. Beyond that, using a door suggests a whole range of interesting choices. Do you paint the door so that it simply looks like an interesting piece of wood? Or should you design your paint scheme to highlight the fact that you’re using a door?

Regardless of how you decide to color your door, there are countless projects you could work one into. Any place you need a large piece of flat wood, consider a door.

5. Clean Your New Found Goods

You never know where that piece of furniture has been or what it has been through. Before you bring anything into your home, make sure that you clean it thoroughly beforehand. Otherwise you risk bringing pests like termites, bed bugs, or sugar ants into your home.

Traveling: Why Should You Explore International Designs?

I firmly believe that you should spend your money amassing experiences that will enrich your personality and character. Money does not buy you happiness, but it gives you the freedom to help yourself and serve others.

One way for me to experience the things that the world has to offer is to travel and explore the beauty of our planet. I find so many benefits in traveling to different places. Traveling enables me to experience the culture and community of foreign places. I get to know and meet new people, immerse myself in their traditions, and eat their local food. I enjoy the scenery and tourist spots, and most of all I am able to find the inspiration I need in coming up with my works. I am an interior designer and I mostly get my design ideas by traveling. It is so fascinating to see the various aspects of people all over the world.

For instance, I visited Japan (particularly Kyoto and Osaka) and I got my minimalist interior design idea from my tour there with a twist of Zen approach. Indeed, my clients who have this as their interior for their home are better able to enjoy the ambience of their property. In fact, this concept is the most striking example in my portfolio! I have seen and been told that with the design ideas I came up from my travels, I make my clients live like they are in a great vacation. They feel the excitement and ambience while being at home. Satisfied clients who go back to thank me validate my belief in incorporating the elements of style I gathered from my trips to various places. Among the things that fascinate me are crossbows, specifically good crossbows with scopes. I have been able to incorporate these in medieval designs as well as décor for men’s houses or condo units. Since the Arrow is very much in demand nowadays, it was also easy for me to get quality scopes for crossbows and add that as décor too.

With my years in this profession, I have come to realize that there is no perfect way of doing things. You have to be open to changes and at the same learn to put effortless action without being attached to the outcome. In order for me to design interiors in the best possible way, I must feel comfortable, but still have the courage to expand my horizons. I should not stop within my comfort zone. This is one of my reasons why I like to travel. By traveling, I not only gather ideas for my work, but I am also able to think out of the box thanks to the beautiful surroundings and people that I see and meet.

As a traveler and at the same time an interior designer, the fun factor of being able to enjoy these two different worlds makes my life fulfilling. It is like I am not working for a living at all! In contrast, I am making life more enjoyable while designing for the interiors and getting ideas from my travels. The refreshing benefit of travelling is one that you should try as well. Where will be my next destination? Wherever it is, I hope to see you there!

Life Lessons- Going through Life One Day at A Time

As an interior designer, I am one of the lucky few people who get to be creative every day of their lives. Every new project is a challenge for me. In my career, I started with designing single rooms. I would create lavish offices on my computer screen. Using computer aided design technology and channeling my inner passion, I created houses fit for kings. But they only existed on a hard drive. They could only be seen through the computer screen. I got my first big break when I got a freelance project. That project kick started my career. I had to design the lower level of a house.

My clients really liked the work. Apparently, they recommended me to a few others, and now I have a steady gig. It was all uphill from there. However, I don’t remember that first project. It didn’t pay very well, and there wasn’t a lot of room for creativity. I tailored my work according to my client’s demands. But it was the most important project of my life. It’s been six years since that happened. At present, I’m very contented. However, it hasn’t been all roses. I have learned many things along the way. Today, I’d like to share a few of my lessons with you guys.

Save For a Rainy Day

You should always save money for a rainy day. My mother taught me this. Back when I had just started, I would spend all the money I got from my work. I never saved up for emergencies. I learned my lesson the hard way, that’s for sure. I got a new project, which forced me to move houses. Without any money, I was left pretty worried. I couldn’t hire a decent moving service in my budget. I took a loan from my mother and hired Conin St.Removalists, Sydney. These guys gave me a major discount, and my mother helped me out with the finances.

To Jump Farther, You Must Take a Step Back

Always remember, you can’t take a major leap forward unless you take a couple of steps back. We get pressurized when we see others getting ahead of us. What we don’t realize is that there might be something even better in store for us. Learn to grasp your opportunities. Step back when need be, and focus on jumping ahead as soon as the opportunity arises.

Earning Money Is Not the Sole Purpose of Life

When I first began to develop a knack of traveling, I realized that it was so much better than just hoarding money. While I never let my savings account drop below a predetermined limit, I don’t mind spending a lot on traveling. For me, the sole purpose of life is to be helpful, to travel as much as possible and to really experience life in its best form.

Remember, ups and downs are a part of life. You needn’t be deterred by a few bad patches. The sun rises every day, bringing with it new hope.

To Conceal or Not to Conceal? That is The Question

One of the tasks of an interior designer is to decide what to show and what not to show. If you have a lot of modern kitchen appliances — a new, fabulous rice cooker, a bread maker, a rack of your best knives, a tea kettle or coffee maker, etcetera — do you have them on the counter-top or do you hide them in cupboard? The answer is not cut and dried. For some items you will want to keep them visible, for others you will probably want to declutter and have them kept in storage most of the time.

For instance, a rack of knives? Yes, you will probably want to keep them on your counter top instead of in a drawer (the exception of course being outdoorsy knives like your best folding knife which you’d definitely keep in a drawer). Knives are best kept in a rack where their blades are kept separate. As well, knives are generally aesthetically pleasing with smooth lines and often ergonomic and well-made handles. And as a frequently used kitchen item easy access is an important consideration — another reason to keep them either in a countertop rack or hanging on a well-placed powerful magnetic strip.

Now, appliances are another matter. For instance, if you have recently bought a good rice cooker, whether online or in a brick and mortar store, you will probably want to keep it hidden away when not in use. Even the most beautifully designed rice cooker will create clutter and break up the openness of your kitchen if it is kept on the counter. The same rule goes for other unwieldy electronic items like an electric pressure cooker, a bread maker, or a toaster. Are there exceptions? Perhaps, that is something you need to decide for yourself based or your needs. Does having that appliance easily available trump the visual appeal of your environment? Well then maybe it is better kept in sight. If you use said rice cooker every day or even more than once a day it might be good to keep it where you use it rather than tucking it away after every use. Remember access is an important consideration and can be more important than visual design. If your appliance is difficult to look at — that is it has lots of flashy colors or shiny surfaces you’d rather not see — then it is perfectly fine to find a box for it that harmonizes with your kitchen decor and keep it in that.

Other things that look ok on a kitchen counter are plants – perhaps those potted herbs you are growing for kitchen use – and a plated with a few snacks or a bowl of fruit. Sometimes it can work to have a row mason jars filled with your favourite ingredients against the kitchen wall on the counter. It depends on the design of your kitchen and your own personal style.

I hope this has helped in your quest for a easy-to-use and pleasant to look at cooking environment. If there’s one word you need to remember in kitchen design it is “declutter”.

Telescopes: The New Design Focal Point

I’m so excited to finally share this story with you all!  I just finished up one of the most interesting interior design requests of my entire career and am ecstatic with the result!

Approximately two months ago, I received an email from a woman named Judy who recently bought her first home along with her newlywed husband, Abraham.  The pair had been married a shy seven months and had gone head first into reconstructing, remodeling and of course, redecorating their fixer upper purchase.  Judy gushed about her husband’s passion for astronomy and how he had been racking his brain over where he should store his top tier telescopes.  In fact, he had plans to knock down a wall to make room for a larger closet to fit his stargazing beauties.

In her email, Judy thought the perfect way to show her husband love and support of his hobby would be to openly display them like you would with a bedroom that had a child’s telescope. This way, not only would he have ease of access, but the telescopes could always serve as a conversation starter as well as a focal point.  The best part of it all? She wanted it to be a complete surprise!

With Judy already in talks with her contractor about extending their den outward into an alcove, she was hoping she could enlist me to do the interior design work.  Heck, yes! I was so up for the challenge.  I could not have asked for a better focal point – three telescopes!

While Abraham traveled a week for business, I hurriedly got to work with Judy and her amazing contractor, Roy.  He continually talked about wanting to add light to the room and it inspired me to take the plunge into floor to ceiling windows.  It seemed obvious and necessary in a room with stargazing tools.  In a semi-circular fashion, we were able to construct a southeastern facing wall of windows, which apparently is where some of the best constellations lie in regards to the house.

Unbeknownst to me, telescopes come in all sorts of colors! I thought they were fabulous! Abraham owned two forest green telescopes and another beautiful royal blue one.  I wanted to keep with the cooler color theme gained from his telescopes.  Moreover, I wanted to transport that relaxed vibe into the room.  My color chart was mostly kept to purples, periwinkles and some greens.  After some debate, we decided to add some sunny yellow lounge chairs that really popped against the purple.

The finished product was breathtaking.  It truly was an alcove dedicated to Abraham’s hobby and the care and love put in shone through.  I think Judy was absolutely right to put the telescopes on display, because it would have been a shame for them to be locked away in a closet.  Although I wish I was there for the reveal, Judy sent me pictures of Adam in his new telescope alcove and he looked so in love.

It got me thinking that as interior designers, we should be helping our clients to celebrate their hobbies, not lock them away in the closet! Cheers to Judy and Abraham for opening up my eyes into a new world of decoration.

How To Beautify Your Nursery With DIY Book Shelves

When it comes to interior design, nurseries really are the best rooms to design as they give you the chance to get creative. It’s all about injecting a bit of fun and personality into the room, something bright and colorful for your child. No bland or boring walls here, just lots of beautiful patterns and colors.

Of course, decorating your own nursery can quickly becoming expensive when you have to buy a crib, changing table, clothes, diapers and all the rest of it. That is why I love simple and inexpensive DIY projects that can transform the room without putting in too much time or effort.

Something Fun and Practical

Taking inspiration from Elizabeth Sullivan’s sweet and sour nursery, I want to show you how you can combine elements of fun with the necessary practicality, to create a beautiful nursery of your own. A nursery can have plenty of style and personality, while still containing everything you need to store your baby’s clothes and toys.

Elizabeth has managed to do this by creating beautiful floating shelves across the entirety of one of the nursery’s walls. By keeping the wall and shelves white, it creates a beautiful blank canvas to store all your baby’s brand new books. As baby books tend to have bright and colorful illustrations, they will really help to make the wall pop.

What You Need

Before you start building, you need to go out and buy a few bits of material. Most of you DIY folk will know what you are doing, but for those of you who are beginners, you may want to go over the list and just make sure you have all the necessary tools as well.

If you need to buy any tools and are unsure of what you get, I recommend you do a little bit of research first. In order to get serious with DIY you need to get the right tools, you don’t want to just go for the cheapest option that won’t get the job done right. My favorite brands are Bosch for hammer drills and Sawstop for a table saw, but do your research and get what you feel is best for you.

Materials:

• 5 – 1×4 at 10 feet long
• 2 – 1×2 at 10 feet long
• 1 – 1×2 at 6 feet long (cut down to 5 feet)
• Elmer’s Wood Glue
• Elmer’s Wood Filler
• Primer
• Paint
• 120 grit sandpaper

Tools:

• Safety Glasses
• Hearing Protection
• Measuring tape
• Square
• Hammer
• Circular saw
• Drill
• Jigsaw
• Brad Nailer

Instructions

Once you have gathered all the material together, it’s time to get to work!

1. Cut the 10 feet long boards in half using the circular saw
2. Pre-drill screw holes into the back of the 1×4 boards and attached the two boards together
3. Apply glue to the front and clamp the 1×2 boards to the 1×4 to hold them into place
4. Nail the boards together
5. Prime and sand the shelves
6. Paint the shelves – I recommend painting it white or the same color as the wall
7. Sand the shelves some, paint again, and repeat if necessary until you have a bright smooth finish
8. Add a top coat, such as Minwax’s water based polycrylic
9. Attach to the wall by screwing directly into the studs
10. Caulk in the screw holes for a nice finish

In ten simple steps you will have a brand new wall of floating shelves that you can fill with all the beautiful baby books you have. This is such a fantastic idea and I would love to try it myself someday. I think it helps to brighten up the home and brings the nursery to life.

Traditional Wooden Theme for Your Home Design is Perfect

A wooden theme is classic and is perfect for your home design.

There are a lot of themes to choose from if you want your house to look amazing. You can go classic with a simple black and white theme. You can also go more modern with a smash of colors. However, if you want a blend of contemporary and classical, go for wooden theme. This means that everything in that part of your house should be made from wood. This theme is perfect for your kitchen, living room or even your patio.

Wooden furniture

The first thing that you have to invest on is wooden furniture. You can buy a wooden chair instead of a sofa. If you want the wood to be softer, then you can just throw in some cushions there. You should also have a wooden table. There are also a lot of wooden decorations such as wooden frame, vase, wall décor and many more. You just have to find the perfect fit for your home. As for the floor, you can also have it replaced with hardwood if you want to imbibe the entire theme. However, there are also faux wood carpets available that you can buy instead of the actual wood.

Unique additions

If you want to go out of the usual, you can throw some more items such as a wooden bow. This is perfect as a wall design and for archery at the same time. If you need one, you can just remove it from the wall and return it later on. This will make everything look more appealing. You can also throw some other wooden sporting equipment there. If you want to buy the best recurve bow for decorations, then check out this site.

The advantages of using wood

To begin with, wooden furniture can be very cheap depending on your choice. If not, then you would have to spend as much as other materials anyway. Thus, cost is not really an issue. Another reason why this is perfect is because it brings you closer to nature. If you don’t have the time to go out and have outdoor camping, then you don’t have to. All you need to do is to sit on your living room or your patio and you will enjoy the view. It feels like you are camping already. You just have to light the fireplace and it is perfect already.

To top it all, wood is a very durable material. You can expect it to last for a long time. It can also be repaired whenever necessary. If there damaged parts, then it is not something to worry about. There are a lot of people who know how to fix wood more than other materials.

Start shopping now

To make this dream happen, you need to identify which pieces of furniture you wanted to put there. You can consult your interior designer about the plan you have in mind for her to give her inputs too. Once the design is over, you will surely feel great with the results.

The Essential Oil Diffuser Revolution: Why You Should Use These Sleek Devices in your Home

Essential oils and Aromatherapy are hot topics these days.

And as the popularity of this trend grows, so will the aesthetics and practicalities of its associated accessories.

In fact, when it comes to essential oil diffusers, we’re already seeing some some fantastic products populating the market.

When it comes to interior design, I believe that having a sleek aromatherapy diffuser and a great blend of essential oils filling your house with aroma is a great way to boost the appeal of any room.

Some of the best hotels in the world know this. Walk in to some of the fancier establishments and your nose quickly fills with welcoming scents like jasmine, sandalwood and lavender.

Smell is a strong sense for humans. And the first whiff of a room sends a clear first impression of the living space.

Never underestimate how scent can impresses or disgust a visitor in your home.

One of the most appealing notions about essential oils and diffusion is the price point. You can buy many essential oils for incredibly inexpensive prices.

And while the diffuser can sometimes cost a little bit more than the oils, there are plenty modern and sleek looking choices out there that are far less expensive than you’d initially anticipate.

For example, you could purchase a rustic and stylish ceramic candle lit diffuser for under $10.

That’s cheap.

Whatever your price point is when purchasing an essential oil diffuser, there are a good deal of choices out there and with an abundance of inexpensive essential oils out there to choose from you can be set up with a wonderfully fragrant house for under $30.

How is that for an upgrade to your room?

Now, like i’ve said there are a lot of essential oils to choose from. And this works out great for us.

For every room in our house it’s good to be aware of what tone or mood we want to create.

And of course we do this with color and arrangement. But how often do you take into account scent?

Before i found essential oils I was a little stuck in this department.

There are plenty of fragrant sticks around that you can buy. But they’re often too pungent and synthetic smelling. They also fade quickly.

And then there’s incense sticks. I personally enjoy incense, but it can be very musky and leaves a room with an aire of mugginess.

With an oil diffuser you have access to a huge variety of smells that you’re able to fill any room with. You can easily vary the intensity of smell and the won’t linger longer than you want it to.

Plus you can change the scent on a whim, depending on how you’re wanting to use your space.

Say you want a room to double as a play area for your kids and a meditation room for your husband.

Simple.

Just have two scents that you can keep next to your diffuser. When you want the space to be calm and meditative, place a blend of soothing and relaxing smells like sandalwood, lavender myrrh or chamomile in your diffuser and enjoy.

Once you’re finished using the space for meditation and the kids are getting home you can switch the smell to a more uplifting mixture with oils like grapefruit, lemon, eucalyptus, black pepper or sweet orange.

Hopefully this post has opened up some new ideas in your mind and maybe inspired you to take up aromatherapy as a practice for home beautification!

How To Stage Your Home So It Sells For Top Dollar

This article was written by Zach Riggs of Trusted Realtors of Missouri, LLC. Zach is a well respected realtor who specializes in Springfield, Missouri homes for sale. You can find out more information about Zach and what he does by going to trustedmissourirealtors.com

As someone who makes a living selling homes, I have had some homes that are easy to sell and others that needed a little work to bring out the homes true potential. Sometimes, a home needs a little landscaping, maybe a little paint on the walls, or refreshing a certain room. More often than not, what makes a home sell quick compared to one that sits on the market for months is how well it is staged. For those that may not know what staging a house is, it’s when you arrange furniture, light fixtures, pictures, wall art or anything in the house to bring out the home’s best assets. This sometimes means bringing in new items that compliments the general buyer’s interests.

Since I have a lot of experience in this area, I was asked to list my best 3 tips on how to stage your home so it sells for top dollar. These are things that anybody can do and it doesn’t require a lot of work or expense either.

Get An Honest Look Of Your Home

Many times, when someone is looking to sell their home, they view it as a place that holds many memories for them and they think it’s a great home. This may be true, but what also can happen is that homeowners can develop sort of “blinders” as to what their home lacks or could use improvement on. It can be hard to be non-biased when it comes to your home so I always recommend that you get a few of your most honest (perhaps, brutally honest) friends and family over to ask them what they think about your home. Ask them what things they like, things they don’t like, and what could be done to make it look better to them. If two or more people start saying the same things, then that’s a pretty good indicator that potential homebuyers will be thinking the same thing. Take the constructive criticism and create an action plan to bring out the good qualities and downplay the lesser ones.

Be Open To Rearranging Things

We get accustomed to how things fit in our home and we view them as normal. But potential home buyers will not be looking at your home through rose colored lenses like you may be, so be open to rearranging the way things look in your home, especially in the living room. If you’ve got a small living room, then try to display it to take advantage of every square inch that you can. If you have a larger living room, don’t clutter it up with too much furniture. You would be amazed at how rearranging the furniture can change the whole outlook on a house in potential homebuyers eyes. If you don’t have any good ideas on how to arrange your furniture, then reach out to a professional like a realtor, staging expert, or interior designer. You may pay a little for their expertise, but you may also get much more out of your home by doing so. Sometimes, spending $500 staging a home can help you get $5,000 – $7,000 more for your home.

Paint & Landscape

Other than how the living room is arranged, the other place where you will get the most value for your money is to give your home a fresh coat of paint and do a little landscaping. If all the walls in your home are white, then maybe throw a little color into some areas. Even a bright new coat of white will help make the house look a little fresher. Trimming bushes, getting rid of weeds, planting some flowers, and other minor landscaping can also help you get more money for your home as well. Again, if you seem to be stuck on what to do, reach out to a professional as they can really help you come up with some great ideas and create more value in your home.

Interior Design for a Dream Home Gym

Hello! Or should I say ‘Hola!’ as I am writing to you from my latest travel adventure in sunny, sunny Barcelona – and can I just say it is absolutely stunning here! A good friend of mine has recently bought some property just on the outskirts of the city and I have been over to give them some interiors advice and help them plan some of their rooms. I will warn you now, the advice I will share here should be labelled ‘One day When I am a Millionaire’, as these friends of mine are! (Don’t worry, dear reader, I am in your shoes – certainly in no financial standing to be buying property in Europe! But I was able to play the fantasy for a while as my friends asked me to help them plan their home gym in their new property!).

I will share some of the advice here that I shared with them, although bear in mind that the context in which I was planning this was a sunny, bright, shore front white stone villa, in a basement level space that opens out on to an outdoor pool area. Not quite what the rest of us have to work with, is it?

Anyway, here are some of my top tips:

1. Light and Air

This is my top tip – it’s vitally important to do whatever you can to open up your gym space to light and a free flow of air and ventilation. This just gives you the right atmosphere in which to work out. Basically, we’d all rather be outside working out, but you can’t always be wheeling your equipment in and out of the garage can you? Working in a bright, airy space will help to keep you cool, relaxed and focused on the job in hand – pushing yourself to your limits!

2. Light, Neutral Colors

Psychologically speaking, this ties in with my point above. You want your workout space to be a blank canvas on which to work on an important work of art, i.e. you. Calm, relaxing tones and a minimalist approach to décor will lower stress and blood pressure. When you enter this temple to exercise, the setting will help to peel off the layers of stress the day has given you, leaving you ready to work out.

3. Stylish Equipment

This is the real area where money could be a problem. Obviously if you can afford any half-decent home exercise equipment, you are doing well, but for the sake of the fantasy I am enjoying here, please let me continue! To really complete the look of your villa’s home gym (one day!) you should invest in good quality, stylish looking exercise equipment. As the centre point for the gym, you’ll want a top quality elliptical machine or perhaps a treadmill and a nice weights bench.

4. Hard Floor, Soft Mats

And lastly, my personal favourite for a home gym – hard, wooden floor, and a space (with wall mirrors) for some yoga mats and lighter equipment.

Once all this is in place, you’ll be ready to cool off with a dip in the pool! If only…

Decorating Your Kitchen: It’s Not Just about the Design

There are a lot of things that you have to consider in decorating your kitchen.

There are a lot of kitchen themes to choose from if you want to decorate your kitchen at home. The most common theme is minimalistic. There are also those who choose a more vintage theme while others opt for a more Southern theme with loads of wooden items as decorations. Whatever it is that you choose for your kitchen as long as you feel like you can make the most out of the design, go ahead try it out.

However, before you become so excited about the overall theme as well as the kitchen decorations that you are to throw, you have to understand first that it is not really about the design. It is more of the actual appliances that you use as well as the utensils that really matter in the end. No matter how beautiful your designs are if you don’t have the best kitchenware, then it won’t do you any good. Thus, you have to start by buying the right appliances.

Check for the quality

This is something that you have to prioritize. You might be thrifty as you are to spend more for the decors. However, you have to understand that when you but high quality kitchen appliances, you can expect them to last for a very long time. Thus, don’t be afraid investing on them. Instead of buying low quality utensils sold at a department store sale, you can go for high quality utensils that will assure you of several years of use without having any issues at all. If you are buying a rice cooker, it does not matter how much you are to spend as long as you stick with reliable brands so your money won’t go to waste. Visit this place for more ideas about the best rice cooker brands. On the other hand, if you want to read more in depth home appliances reviews, check out http://www.homecentric.org. Once you are done going over through those reviews, you will know exactly what model to buy.

Buy only what you need

When planning for kitchen appliances, you don’t have to buy everything at once. This is true if you are not really someone who cooks often. However, if you are passionate about cooking, there is nothing wrong in spending more for kitchen appliances. However, you have to understand that the best part about buying a few appliances only is that it won’t be difficult to arrange them. The kitchen won’t be difficult to decorate if you have only a few appliances and more kitchen decors. You can just hide some of the appliances inside the cabinet or drawers. By then, there will be less eye sores. This is definitely something that you want to achieve. Take note that when it comes to kitchen designs, less is more. Thus, you don’t have to worry if your kitchen looks so simple. There is elegance and sophistication in simplicity. To top it all, you just have to keep the kitchen clean at all times. This is what makes the kitchen look amazing.