Planning a Big Project in the Backyard

We have just finished with the new front porch, the project went pretty well. I worked out a deal with a really good carpenter who is in between jobs right now. The guy is really good at what he does, but he is pretty awful at getting along with people who are supposed to be his bosses. Of course I just wanted to get the project done right at the best price I could. Maria wanted a big porch with a swing bench on each side, something that used to be really common in the time when she was growing up. Of course before there was air conditioning people would have a porch on both the front of the house and the back. Continue reading

Choosing The Right Furniture For The Living Room

Everyone loves to live in a house that is well furnished and decorated. However, decorating the living room can be one of the most tedious tasks at hand. Also, one thing that makes that task even more tedious is picking up the furniture.

So, in order to make things a bit easy for you, here are a few tips on how you can choose your living room furniture:

Measure up – The first thing that you need to do is get the measurements of the room correct in order to get the furniture of the perfect size. So make sure that you measure the length, breadth and the width of the walls carefully.

Creating floor plans – The next thing you must do is take a grid paper and make a floor plan. This will help you to decide how much space you can spare for the furniture and how much free space you have left in the room.

Measure your doorways – In order to avoid problems at the time of delivery, you must measure up your doorways and order only those items of furniture that can be easily moved in and out of the doorway.

Staging the room – Once you have decided how much space you want to allot to the furniture, you must mark those spaces with a tape in order to get an idea of what the room will look like in the near future.

Start your selection – Once you have done the things mentioned above, you must start making your purchase decisions. Thus, you must consider the kind of décor your room has and the vibe of your house. Once that is done, you must start picking out with the basic things like a sofa, an armchair, etc.

Pick up good quality pieces – Quality does come before quantity. So, even if some of the pieces do cost more, it is better to choose good quality products over flimsy ones as they tend to last longer. So, you must check the fabric of the sofa, chairs, etc. and buy the ones that have good quality.

Coordination is the key – In the end, you want your living room to look beautiful and pleasing to the eyes. Therefore, in order to ensure this, you must see that all the pieces of furniture that you purchase are coordinated with each other and go well with each other. You do not want one piece of furniture not going with another as it will tend to look awkward and disorderly. So, make sure that whatever pieces you buy, they gel with each other.

Five Things That Make Remodelling Easier

Ready to Assemble Cabinets

Ready to assemble (RTA) cabinets, are one of the most popular choices for remodelling projects. These cabinets are made ready to assemble, meaning that they will come in a few different pieces, and all homeowners have to do is assemble them. While this may not be as easy as purchasing a bathroom or kitchen cabinets that are already assembled, this approach is often more cost effective, and ready to assemble cabinets come in a wider range of styles and sizes.

Long Lasting

Many couples seem to get caught up in the thrill of designing their own home, and forget completely about making sure that they get quality products. Ready to assemble cabinets come in cheap plywood form and long lasting wood options. Couples are encouraged to take the time necessary to make sure that they get a bathroom cabinet that will last until the next time they want to remodel their home.

Meet in the Middle

Sometimes a woman has all the ideas about remodelling and the man simply leaves up to her, and sometimes it is the other way around. As more men are taking an interest in the home, a third situation has appeared where both people are equally concerned about the color scheme. Couples that have a hard time agreeing on this are encouraged to find something that they both like instead of one person attempting to force their ideas on the other person. This can cut down on arguments and guarantee that both people love their home.

Plan Ahead

Contractor’s that often work with home owners on remodelling projects encourage homeowners to plan every aspect of the remodel ahead of time. Instead of deciding on the color of bathroom cabinets, ordering ready to assemble cabinets, and installing them before looking at the color of the floor, home owners should consider the type of cabinets, color schemes and everything else that will be changed before making a single purchase.

Often, couples that do not plan wind up wishing they had ordered lighter colored bathroom cabinets because they changed their mind about the color scheme in the bathroom. This quickly leads to buyer’s remorse, but couples can avoid this by making a final decision about every aspect of the remodel before they actually begin the remodelling part.

Budget

Homeowners are advised to make a budget, and then stick to it. Comparing different products and going for a cheaper, yet high quality version can easily help stop a family from going over budget. For example, ready to assemble cabinets can be more cost effective than those that are already assembled. This applies to almost every product that is used in a remodelling project.

Remodelling can be a fun experience, or it can be a disaster that will leave a couple arguing for the next few months. Following these tips will help keep families happy from the time that they begin to think about color schemes and come up with a budget all the way up until the time that they hammer the last nail into the wall. In the end, remodelling will turn into a fun family project instead of a nightmare with these five easy to follow tips.

Plan Ahead When Choosing Bedroom Furniture for a Less Stressful Experience

Some people don’t put much thought into choosing their bedroom furniture. On the other hand, there are those who put in some effort, but not until the very last minute. In either case, it’s easy for people to come away with at least a little regret in the end, as they ponder some of the choices they wish they had made. Luckily, this feeling of regret can be prevented if people choose to plan ahead and put serious and careful thought into their choices.

Scoping and Measuring

Accurately observing a space and taking accurate measurements is an essential part of the planning process. Measuring just to see if the bedroom furniture will fit inside of the room is a good start, but it’s not quite enough. People should, instead, make sure that the size of the items corresponds to their desired placement of them. In other words, will the placement be aesthetically appealing, as well as efficient? For instance, a king size bed may fit into the provided space, but it may not allow for adequate walking space.

Choosing a Style

Next, it’s time to choose an overall style or theme. Some people prefer a vintage style, while others may prefer a more modern sleek look. Other themes could include, rustic, beach, floral, tropical, French country, Bohemian, cottage, contemporary, and more. When customers choose a style prior to shopping for their bedroom furniture, it helps them to narrow down possibilities. A smaller pool of choices makes the shopping experience easier and more focused. Whether they choose to shop online or in person, they will have the ability to dismiss quickly all of the options that don’t fit in with their desired vision. Adhering to a theme will also help them when it’s time to choose accessories, such as clocks, wall art, lamps, and rugs.

Choosing a Color Scheme

Color palettes are one of the most important components of any room. It helps to set the tone and atmosphere for the room. Selecting a color scheme before purchasing bedroom furniture can also make the shopping process simpler. Many furniture options come in a variety of colors, such as black, white, beige, dark, brown, light brown, and more.

There is also a seemingly endless amount of color choices available, particularly regarding bedding and décor. When people aren’t sure about this aspect, they tend to find themselves searching around aimlessly. Because there are so many color combinations available, the task can seem a little overwhelming. Planning ahead can help to reduce frustration and confusion.

Creating an Atmosphere

The bedroom is meant to be a place for resting and relaxing. In some cases, this is the place that many people retreat to when they need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the day. It’s also the place that some people spend most of their time when they’re home. That’s why when shopping for bedroom furniture, it’s not the best idea to wait until the last minute and make impulsive choices.

Tips for Decorating an Eclectic Guest Room

Those of us who have the luxury of an extra bedroom in our homes more often than not end up converting it into a guest bedroom. Planning a room for our guests to stay in requires extra care so you can ensure every comfort for them. In fact, in ensuring functionality and comfort for the guests in the guest bedroom, we often forget about including elements of style in the interior design for the room. So why not splurge and create an eclectic guest room which has all the necessary elements for style, glamour and warmth as well. Let’s take a look at some of the tips from luxury interior decorators on how to decorate an eclectic guest room:

1. Colours, colours, colours – for an eclectic look, there is nothing easier and perfect than the abundant use of colours. Forget the neutral shades and opt for bright and bold shades which capture all the attention and transform the guest room into a style hub. If you still can’t keep out the neutrals for the walls, pair them with colour accessories and furnishing. Neutral shades may be recommended for creating a soothing and relaxing atmosphere but bright eclectic colours too, when used judiciously, say in a bedspread or in curtains, can provide for a cosy ambience for the guest room.

2. Wall art might be a good idea too – splurging on the guest room is not such a bad idea especially when you are seeking to create an eclectic decor. Instead of plain walls which are a standard fare in most homes, give your guests the experience of a refreshing look for their bedroom by choosing an accent wall. There are any numbers of ways you can incorporate an accent wall and this includes using different textures, installing wall panels of leather or wood, choosing a wall mural or simply selecting brightly patterned wallpaper.

3. Mix and match furniture – Eclectic means assorted and when it comes to designing an eclectic guest room, installing assorted furniture sounds like a steal. Keep the bed the centre of attraction and whatever style you choose, make sure that it is adequately comfortable. For the rest of the furniture, first you’ll need to plan what all you need to keep to provide maximum functionality for storage, seating and also working. The next step would be to determine the spare area that is leftover after the bed has been placed. For more diversity in the furniture, visit a thrift store or an antique furniture dealer who can help you find an assortment of furniture in different styles, shapes and sizes to meet your requirements.

4. Go Bohemian chic – a popular new trend for eclectic interior design which has caught the imagination of experts even in the best luxury interior company is the Bohemian chic look. Inspired by the gypsies, it is a style which is unconventional and artistic and varies according to the individual who does the decoration. Mix old and new items with artistic flair for a dramatic appearance. And cover every space with chic trendy items which express your personal style.

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6. Don’t pick a theme – best way to create an eclectic feel for the guest bedroom is to not pick a particular theme. Mix and match work best to create a feel which is eclectic and bold. Colours, patterns, textures, prints, fabrics – feel free to use any and every style you like.

If you choose to decorate your guest room in an eclectic fashion, feel free to experiment. But whatever you choose to do and incorporate, make sure you ensure maximum comfort and warmth for your guest.

Master Bedroom Decorating Ideas

The master bedroom is the highlight of your house for you. It is your haven to relax and indulge yourself in. So why skimp out on designing this space? Whether you want luxury interior design for your bedroom or something classic and simple, there are a whole host of ideas to create a functional and stylish master bedroom. Let’s take a look at some of the most enchanting master bedroom decorating ideas from some of the leading experts in interior design:

• Create a nautical decor – deep blue and white which are reminiscent of the seas make for an inspiring nautical decor combination for the master bedroom. Use this colour combination for the linen, the furnishings, the upholstery and even for the wallpaper. An inspired idea would be to use the combination in stripes for the ceiling instead of in the wallpaper.

• Use artwork as a focal point – colourful prints in place of the headboard will not only serve to add the splash of colour you are seeking for the neutral walls of your bedroom but also create a focal point for the decor. You can use the colours in the picture to coordinate and match the accessories and fixtures of the entire room with great panache.

• Cabana style – opt for full length French style patio doors and windows in white for a Cabana style bedroom interior. A four poster bed with a net canopy will add the touch of authenticity to the decor. Keep the lines clean and simple for a classic look.

• Palace themed – create a royal master bedroom with the right palace inspired accents. Luxurious bedding on a king sized bed with half canopy in a rich fabric, lush upholstered headboard and cosy pillows with intricate detailing will create the desired effect. Use ornate drapes and carved furniture and muted lighting with accented walls in a colour like pale gold or shiny beige to complete the look.

• Monotone – all whites never go out of fashion for the master bedroom. The versatility of white and its ability to create a serene, soothing yet fashionable interior design statement is what makes it so popular among the leading designers from interior design companies in the UAE. Don’t forget to use the rare coloured accessories to break the monotony, and revel in the luxury of the white interior of your bedroom.

• Printed fantasy – got an old printed sari you don’t know where to use? Make bedding out of it. Use patterned wallpaper in muted shades to complement it. For furniture, keep the lines simple, and to offset the bright patterns of the sari, use a neutral colour like white or cream. For flooring too, use a light shade, and throw an eclectic printed rug.

• Go green – and we mean it literally. The touch of green on the walls can be contrasted with serene accents of white for bedding, upholstery and even the drapes. Use wooden furniture to complete the look. Accents of white as well as black work equally well with this kind of decor scheme.

• The minimalist bedroom – this one is for those who want to avoid the frills and keep their bedroom as a space for pure relaxation. Get a wooden bed with a design that focuses on keeping the lines straight and clean; instead of flowing curtains opt for blinds; place only the most necessary furniture you want and there you have it. What you could get away with even in a minimalist decor scheme though is the use of colours. Be creative and opt for patterned tiles for the flooring, or paint the ceiling and voila, you’ll have a masterful minimalist bedroom design without any fuss all the same.

Bedroom Decoration Tips You Must Implement

Are you quite tired of waking up to the same environment? The same old plain walls that offer nothing to your imagination other than a white sheet canvas to express itself; the same old step-weathered carpet; the same positions for everything that have been unchanged ever since you moved in. If yes, then you apparently need some bedroom refreshing to do. The ways to decorate the bedroom can only be limited by your creativity, so just find it within yourself to gather some ideas for decorating. Here are some tips that might help.

Repaint.

Always have a clean sheet to start with. And since this is your bedroom, feel free to personalize it all you like. Pick the color you like best, pick the color – or even colors, why have a limit at all? – that reflect your personality. Be it the white neutral colors of the people who like to fill in the blanks with their imagination, or the darker shades of the melancholic types, or even the vibrant colors of the social, hyperactive, and energetic people, just pick what suits you best and start painting.

Clean.

After the paint dries off, it is time for some cleaning. Take out the duster, wipes, and vacuum, and go wild. Do not forget to go from top to bottom so that you do not have to do carpet cleaning twice – once before you start, and once after you drop all the dust and cobwebs on the clean carpet. You might want to put a good medium-stiff bristled brush to work on the carpet to clean up all the hairs. You would be amazed at how many of them there will be.

Alternatively, you could go with a dependable and professional cleaning agency to take care of your bedroom cleaning, or why not even house cleaning while they are at it. The professional cleaners will get your house clean in no time, and in a much faster rate than you can.

Add.

Add new items to your bedroom, like a desk for a PC, or some shelves for your favorite or about-to-be-read books. Add a painting or two, or maybe a poster of your favorite actor or musician to add some life to those walls (yes, sometimes you can take advice from your kids for decorations).

Replace.

Improve on the old stuff. Replace some furniture with better, or wilder-looking ones. Replace the night lamp with something fresher or more interesting than the same old night lamp you have seen everywhere – like a lava lamp!

With this your bedroom will have a fresh new beginning, and you can feel free to add whatever you feel right. And do experiment all you like – it is your bedroom, after all.

Restyle.

After all the cleaning and repainting, start to think style. Find a new place for the bed – the enclosed corner of the room, or the center spot to have a room focus, your choice. Find a new place for the wardrobe and dresser, and while you are on it, why not organize it so that clothes-finding is not an issue during this season.

How A Contractor Can Help You Love Your Home

You can create the home of your dreams and enjoy your space more than you ever thought possible when you get assistance from a professional contractor.

Why Get Help With Home Improvement

A professional contractor can oversee your entire home improvement project. Even with an endeavor that seems simple, like changing out old windows for new ones or adding new cabinets in the laundry room, you may need to secure permits. You also need to ensure that any new work that you do on your home is done to code so you don’t have problems with inspectors when it comes time to sell.

Taking care of the technical aspects of a home improvement project is just the start. You need to coordinate with different trades to have work performed in a timely and orderly manner. Many people don’t know how to handle these tasks themselves and bringing in a professional just makes a lot of sense.

How Can A Contractor Help You Love Your Home

You may have purchased your home because of the location, the views, the floor plan, or the aesthetics. For most people, however, there is something that is imperfect about the place where they live.

Perhaps you have repairs that need to be done, like a leaky faucet or a squeaky stair that you haven’t gotten around to fixing. Rather than letting the little issues continue to exist, it is better to call in a professional who can handle your repairs and upgrades.

Maybe the issues with your homes are larger. Perhaps you don’t have enough storage space to keep your items or you don’t like the way that a room in your house looks. Perhaps your bathroom is too old, your kitchen counters too dirty, or your house too closed-in. All of these problems can be corrected with the right home improvements, and an experienced and professional contractor can help you to achieve your vision for your space.

Get Started On Your Project Today

You spend a lot of time in your home and you deserve to love the place that you live. Do not hesitate to jump headfirst into home improvement projects. A contractor can manage your project from beginning to end. They can help you to come up with a design, get permits and permissions, find tradesman to do the work, and finally make the desired changes to your space. You’ll have nothing to worry about but enjoying the finished product.

New Ideas In Modern Home Design

Home trends change along with the needs of consumers and of the general population. Modern home design aims to satisfy those changing needs by providing simplistic design with loads of storage space–a common problem found in older homes where dwellers find it impossible, or at least challenging, to store their personal items in a logical and organized manner. The design must be capable of providing such solutions for the home to be functional, and that has architects, interior designers, and builders scrambling to come up with great ideas every year.

Given the opportunity to build simple home designs enable the homeowner to add personal touches to customize their future home so that it meets their own needs. For instance, a very outgoing and athletic family needs solutions to store away their sporting equipment when it’s not in use, but in a way that their equipment is easy to reach whenever necessary. This is what makes a home functional, and it is imperative in modern home design. Future homeowners can work side-by-side with architects to customize their homes to perfect them according to their individual lifestyles. It can be a small adjustment to increase the size of a closet, which could make all the difference, but would likely not greatly affect the budget.

New home ideas can turn an otherwise simple home into something spectacular, such as with adding features that would have been more common in older homes, like the ceiling medallions and crown moldings. Such features add beauty and interest to what would otherwise be very bland spaces. A smart idea that uses space wisely includes maximizing every square inch available, such as in the commonly wasted space beneath a staircase, which can be altered with fitted pull out drawers. This would provide space to store outerwear, footwear, and much more!

Focus on lighting–both artificial and natural light. The home can never have too much light, and so the budget should allow for numerous light sources throughout the home, from one room to the next. Keep in mind that one central ceiling-mounted light fixture just won’t do, and instead, aim for six light sources per room. As for natural light, with all the advances in insulated windows today, choose a design that lets the sun shine in through as many openings as possible.

Building and design trends today incorporate numerous innovative ideas for achieving the optimum comfort level, with interest to spare. Design software readily available to professionals and consumers alike allow each to develop a space in 3D that simplifies expression and enables those ideas to come alive, whether they are related to the must-have kitchen island or the fire pit in the center of the sunken living room. Knowing how to communicate visions and desires is the key to achieving the home of your dreams.

Tips for Drawing Up Home Floor Plans

A home is the result of the homeowner’s strenuous efforts in finding the right balance between costs, designs and spaces. Designing a home that is customized to suit a family’s needs calls for a lot of careful forethought to include all the elements that are required without tilting the balance too much.

One of the most significant choices to make regarding designing a home is the layout or the floor plan. Regardless of whether it is a mid-sized apartment, a penthouse or an independent home, the layout or the floor plans depend a great deal on the lifestyle of the people who will live in it. The choice of building type i.e. single storey or multiple storeys and floor plans to match the layout of the house positioning each area can be highly demanding and stressful because the rooms have to go with the flow of the house; one area or space cannot be placed or positioned wrongly as it can greatly affect accessibility as well as other factors like lighting, ventilation etc.

If the floor plans are being made by a specialist such as an architect or engineer, the homeowner has the advantage of experience and expertise on his side. However, no one knows the needs of a home better than the homeowner and a customized design can be put together by the individual concerned.

There are plenty of tips and suggestions to prepare customized floor plans. But some of the very basic and essential ones should include –

• Choosing a floor plan that reflects the lifestyle of the occupants – family size and age of the occupants is an important factor. Families with young children will prefer to have the living spaces grouped together in one area to have greater privacy and security; on the other hand, teenagers are won’t to need separate bedrooms to have their own privacy. Any home floor plan should start with these basics.

• Formal or informal spaces – if the homeowner is the kind of person who has to entertain constantly, formal spaces become a necessity. A spacious foyer with direct access to the formal living and dining areas and the outdoor areas beyond is a nice design. If there is sufficient space, formal and informal areas can be designed and separated so that one does not intrude into the other, this way a family with younger children can entertain guests as well as retain their privacy.

• Single storey or multiple floors – some people like to have a luxurious spread out home on one level while some may like to keep bedrooms on a different level altogether. Besides, a double storey home offers more views of the outside at different angles better than a single storey home.

• Functionality of space – if there is an elderly person or invalid at home with requirement for extra space or young children who need more space around the house, these requirements should be factored in. Making provision for family changes while drawing up floor plans is advantageous even if the requirement is not immediate as future alterations and additions may not be possible always.

• How much outdoor is good – every home floor plan will include an outdoor area, perhaps an open porch, a swimming pool, a garden umbrella with seating etc. Making an assessment of how much time will be spent in these areas should be considered before making the plans. Imagine a swimming pool that is never used and looks unkempt and unclean! Outdoors need a lot of maintenance.