Interiors and Home Remodeling in a Credit Crunch World

Home improvement or remodelling is one of the best ways of adding value to your home as well as improving its functionality. If you cannot move home because of tough economic conditions then it is worth remembering the adage “Don’t Move, Improve”.

That said, you need to be prudent with your budget, and in the current economic climate perhaps doubly so. Therefore, before you splash out on the latest gee-whizz gadgetry for your home let us steer you in the right direction.

Decide your budget – and stick to it

Before you even contemplate improvement work decide your budget limit – remember you need day to day things like food, clothing, heating etc. And don’t take on extra debt that you cannot realistically service from your income.

Practical jobs

Make a list of practical tasks that could reduce the cost of running your home, such as energy efficient light bulbs, repair dripping taps, reducing heat loss and draughts, putting timers or motion activated sensors on outdoor lighting. If you can change to a cheaper supplier for electricity or change to a cheaper source of heating then add this to your list.

Are there rooms that you rarely use? Make sure the radiators or other heating have zoned thermostats so you can drop the temperature in these areas in winter to around 12 degrees rather than 22 centigrade. If you do this for guest rooms you can turn the heat up before guests arrive.

Low cost improvements

There are three routes to working on a budget.

1) look for bargains or big sale discounts when you shop around for materials, price compare on the internet (but always factor in carriage costs).

2) seek out second hand items and repair/refurbish. This gives new life to old and can be particularly effective with furniture. Take advantage of other people who are not as prudent with their money as you are.

3) undertake labour yourself rather than paying a tradesman. Unless you are undertaking structural, plumbing, plastering or electrical work most work in the home can be undertaken by the moderately competent home owner. If you have doubts or if the job is too big why not team up with friends to undertake a project – then have a party to celebrate the completion! Don’t forget to reciprocate when your friends need help.

Practical value-for-money improvements

Painting: perhaps the easiest way to rapidly and cheaply make-over a home. The tools are cheap. Most of the work can be undertaken by anyone with free time. It is worth noting that shopping for “budget” paint is often a false economy. If you hire a professional decorator most of the cost will be labour, not materials, so if you do it yourself the job becomes very cost effective.

Exterior painting should not be skimped even in the credit crunch since the paint is there not just to look nice; rather it should be protecting wood from the weather.

Wall decor: pictures, prints, clocks etc can be picked up cheaply and can look good without breaking the bank. Second hand pictures can be refreshed by re-framing; this is best done by a professional if you want the best result but because it is a quick job it will not be too costly.

Lighting: look for table and wall lamps in the sales from the big superstores (Home Depot, Walmart, B&Q etc) but if you are careful you do not have to sacrifice style for economy. You can even re-use and revamp existing lamps by purchasing new shades and brighter bulbs (energy efficient of course!).

Wooden furniture: if you have natural wood you can easily refresh it at low cost. Sanding, then waxing or polishing the wood will give it a new life. You can even stain/dye the wood to a new shade. All this can be done at low cost without the cost of hiring a contractor.

Floors: wooden floors are easy to revamp and often you can then give them a completely new look with a new feature rug. Carpets are trickier to do economically. New carpets are not cheap and if you are fitting awkward shapes or up staircases you will need a professional. We would suggest that you keep your existing carpet but hire a high quality carpet cleaning machine to remove ground in dirt and smell. If the carpet is damaged or thread-bare or badly stained your best credit-crunch option is to invest in a rug to disguise the problem.

Windows: once you have repainted your window frames and the walls invest in new window dressings. You can achieve great results for curtains by using lower cost fabrics made up with more exotic headings combined with lining and interlining to give a more sumptuous feel. At same time the thicker curtains will reduce draughts and heat loss. If you are able to make your own curtains so much the better. You might something good amongst ready made curtains but rarely will they be the right dimensions and rarely will they be interlined. One other option would a curtain exchange, where you could pick up a bargain that at most would require dry-cleaning  and  maybe hemming up to fit.

Finally

These are just a few practical tips that will help you revamp your  home  on a tight budget. If in doubt look at design  magazines  for style inspiration, then make a shopping list, watch for sales, collect discount coupons  and  get on first name terms with your local thrift store!

You will be amazed at what you can achieve.



Basement Interiors Ideas and Themes

Having a basement at home can be utilized in a number of ways and all it needs is some careful designing and utilizing the accessories in the right manner. A home can be made to look more beautiful with a simple basement and a small sized basement can work wonders to the home.

With most of the people feeling bad about less space at their place, interior decorators and other architects always try using even the smallest corner of the home to make it appear beautiful. This helps to give it a better feel and satisfies the need of a bigger home.

Tips to have a spacious basement

* One best way to make the best use of a basement is to always have it adjoining to some bigger room like a living room. This would help it appear spacious and also it can be converted to a guest room, as well.

* To give a spacious feel to the basement, it is suggested to use light pastel colors like white, pink and other bright tones.

* Avoid using darker shades like red, black etc, as they make the place look more small and congested.

* Using the horizontal patterns for walls would make it appear more spacious.

* It is also recommended that rather than separating a basement from rest of the home with a solid wood door, it is good to leave it open or else use a glass and slider door as this gives a less closed look to the basement

* Another important aspect to be considered for a spacious basement is that never to include several accessories and equipments. This makes the place look more cluttered and consumes the required space.

* A basement should be constructed at a position where some sunlight can easily enter the space. This keeps the area ventilated and also gives ample amount of natural light to the room.

* As basement is the lowest part of a home, it must have water proof roofing and flooring. This prevents the room against a number of water leaking problems.

* The best uses of the basement can be made by converting it into a living room or a mini home theater system.

* As this part of the home is going to have less of light, so effective and efficient lighting schemes must be chosen.

* Diffused light conditions can be given with different types of low power bulbs. This gives an ambient and relaxed environment to the place.

* The use of spotlights would further enhance the area and give it a different appearance.

People have been found adding some room plants to this part of the home so as to keep it clean, green and ventilated. Apart from this, a homeowner can also use the basement for storage purposes. It is not necessary that it needs to be a different room. A basement itself serves the purpose of storing room. This part can be used to dumb all junk items and keep the rest of the home de-cluttered.



Interior Designing Ideas

Designing the look of your house interiors can become a major issue after one point of time. The constant fear of planning and executing interior designing can force you to spent sleepless nights. But such a situation can be avoided very easily only if you follow a few simple steps. No need to hire the exorbitant interior designers for your house anymore. A little bit of imagination and a few days hard work is all you need to get the job done. Therefore take some time off from work and get set go if you want to see your house in top condition in the years to come.

Internet has become one of biggest blessing in our modern day lives. It has become the incomparable platform for attaining any kind of information. Therefore there is no reason for you to think that you will not find a set of unique ideas for designing the look of your house. A large number of websites have realized that homeowners often tend to do their interiors by themselves. This is why they have come up with special guides and interior designing ideas. Just by going through them you may come up with ample of innovative ideas of redoing your home in a cost effective way.

The benefits of the World Wide Web go much beyond these simple facilities. You can find a number of reliable online merchants offering an extensive range of products that include carpets, curtains, door handles, blinds and lot of other home decor products. These products are designed by some of the best designers in the world. So there won’t be any room for any complains after you buy their products. But always remember to verify whether the website you buy from is not fraudulent. Take some time to visit a number of websites as a number of them offer special discount packages to their clients.

Are you unsure about the safety of shopping online? Then switch to your local market. This is a much safer option for finding durable and cheap home furnishing products. But then again a thorough market research is compulsory. This will help you find out the best possible products for your home. Always try and round up your shopping with some good accessories, fittings for your bathrooms and kitchens. Ignoring these would give an incomplete look to your home decor. It must be mentioned here that some of the installations for bathrooms and kitchens may require professional help. So don’t try to do them yourself or you may land up in big trouble.

Picking the right item is absolutely essential. Buy home decor items from an online shop or the market. Choosing the ones that do not match your interiors would spoil the total outlook of the house. Thus take your time to find what goes best with your home. Once you are done with, you should try and maintain your house in order to avoid further redesigning in the years to come.



How to Organize a Room in Five Easy Steps

Are you serious about organization? The next 5 steps will lead you through the organization of a room from start to finish. Using this method will save you time  and  will get you a more efficient result.

1: What is the purpose of the room you are going to organize?

Maybe you already have an ideal in your mind how the room should look like. You saw the perfect example of your ideal room in a friend’s house, in an  interior  decoration  magazine  or maybe on TV, in one of those make-over shows. Or you are finding yourself at the other end of the scale  and  are so stressed out how the room looks now that you wouldn’t know how to start, even if your life depended on it.

Whatever the case be, stop. Take your time and evaluate your room, look around jotting down in a notebook what you like and dislike. Try to see with your minds eye how you would like it to look so that it feels good and at the same time is functional to its planned purpose. You should try to clearly define the room according to its function. For example, you could define your  home  office space as a place to store files, as just a desk where you write checks  and  pay the bills, or as a fully fledged  home  business office, complete with computer, multi-function scanner/copier/fax  and  2 telephones.

It helps to make a list of every single task you will carry out in the room if the goal of that particular room is still a bit unclear. Then use that list to define or to refine the goal of the room. If you need some more help, use Google and other online resources or look through  magazines  until you find something that strikes you at first glance.

2: Define the inherent limitations of the space to organize

Can the goal you set for the room be realistically achieved? This is a very important interrogatory. You need to take into account things as size and form of the room, and the requirements for what you are trying to achieve. For example, you might want to use your living room as a hospitality space to spend time with friends and family. The limitations however can be that the room is not big enough for more than 6 people, that the only way to get there is through the kitchen, and the fact that you don’t have any other space in the house where you can put your desk with your computer. The marriage of the goal and the limits in this case would be a living room with an extendable table, a couch with chairs that can be used as extras at the table and a small and discreet computer desk in a corner.

3: Ordering the room

Now that you have set a realistic goal for your room, taking into considerations all its limitations, you need to start to take everything out of the room. This is really very important to get the room organized, and if you skip this, you will not get a good end-result. This step allows you to decide on how much storage space you really need for the things that need to stay in the room.

Divide everything you take out of the room in 4 different categories:

  • KEEP: Stuff that is in good condition, which you use regularly, is useful in this room.
  • MOVE: Stuff that is in good condition, which you use regularly, but isn’t useful in this room
  • GARAGE: Stuff that is in OK condition but which you hardly ever use and that isn’t useful in this room
  • DUMP: basically trash. Everything that you wanted to throw away at some time, but never gotten around to. No skimping here!

Once all the items are ordered, move the things where they should go. The items in the DUMP category go directly to the trash. Everything in the GARAGE category goes to the garage to be sold in a garage sale or to given away at a later date. Move the items in the MOVE category to where they are most useful.

Now double-check the goods in the STAY category, making sure they really belong in this room and are useful to fulfilling the goal of this room. Don’t move them back in yet.

4: Projects time

Well done. You can congratulate yourself. You have done a good job and now have an empty room. Now it’s the right time to maybe paint the room or change the floor. Build or buy and install any projects you had planned.

5: Putting everything back together

This should actually be a breeze. You have far less items to store and more space to store it in. Give the items in the KEEP category one last ok, there is still time to move anything you don’t need to another category.

Be sure to place similar items in the same drawer or closet and don’t forget to label them. Being organized is all about finding things quickly without too much effort.

Don’t forget to add some decoration  and  personal touches to the room. For example if you organized the laundry room, you might want to hang up some pictures of old laundries. Next time you have to do laundry, you will find it less of a chore looking at those young girls washing by hand.



How To Decorate Your Interiors With Spiritual Home Decor

Spirituality means different things to different people. The truth is that our homes are our sanctuaries. This is where we can be ourselves and lock out the cares of the world. This is where we come to be nurtured both emotionally and mentally. A home should exhibit at least a small portion of our essence, reflecting who we are as a person and a spiritual being.

In today’s society we are constantly on the move. The days are long and arduous. Our schedules barely leave enough time for sleep. A spiritually decorated home will give you that much need lifeline, a connection to something greater than yourself to help you keep it all in perspective. It does not have to be an ostentatious display but something simple and elegantly. And current of hope and calm permeating the home based on what is important to you.

The use of reminder symbols and pictures help you to slow down and take stock of what is really important. Wall plaques with spiritual sayings that help you to come to grips with the flow of the universe and if you are Christian scriptures that help to brighten your day.

Many religions have customs that require ornaments of some type as a blessing for the home and those who dwell within. Incense burners are an accent that is also very functional. Burning incense is a natural part o f many religions and using them to sweeten the atmosphere with various scents can be seen as a form of aromatherapy in most cases.

The use of smudge sticks can serve this purpose and they are generally set into a beautiful case made of abalone another type of rock. These sticks are made of sage and cedar both said to have great spiritual significance. Add to this a beautiful salt lamp and you have created a room conducive to introspection and meditation.

Placement of furniture and colors are very important in spiritual design. The Chinese art of Feng Shui was developed from the belief that the earth is alive and you can arrange the objects in your home to dispel negative energies while at the same time channeling the goo d energies into it. Feng Shui Fountains are ideal for living room or kitchen area.

That is what spiritual decorating is about arranging your home so that the scheme encourages self-expression, creativity and spiritual wholeness. Look for items when decorating that embodies this and also have an appeal to the other senses as well.



A Review of the Success From Home Magazine

The Success From  Home   Magazine  domain was registered in September of 2002. Every time an issue of this publication is released the purpose is to inspire  and  motivate anyone interested in entering the  Home  Based Business market as well as directly catering to Network Marketers. Each month this publication focuses on a successful Network Marketing Company. They really focus on the positive aspects of this company and what is responsible for its success.

Each issue of the Success From  Home   Magazine  focuses on a unique blend of articles that are written by expert contributors. Just a few of these are Robert Kiyosaki, Paul Zane Pilzer, John Fleming, Suze Orman, John C. Maxwell and Stephen R. Covey. Other professionals who contribute to this publication are economists, financial planners, self help leaders, motivational gurus and best selling authors.

The editors from the Success From  Home   Magazine  are always on the prowl for new talent to add to their  magazine . This is their purpose and what they work hard everyday to strive to do. They claim that this is the “Top  Magazine ” that focuses solely on the Small  Home  Business Owner. You can also choose to advertise your MLM Company in this media.

You will find Success From  Home   Magazine  in places like Barnes & Noble, Borders, Staples, B. Dalton Books, Hastings  and  Books-A-Million. The  Home  Based Business Industry is currently a 1 Trillion dollar industry. For those not aware 1 Trillion means 1000 billion. Also the  Home  Based Business Market continues to grow at a rate of 15.6 Percent Per Year  and  has been since 1995.

Also over 175,000 new people each week get involved in direct selling just in the United States. And 30 Billion Dollars in sales each year are generated in direct sales just within United States Borders. 100 Billion per year worldwide.  And  the Success From  Home   Magazine  distributes 408,000 copies of their  magazine  each month to these types of people  and  their circulation is 100% paid and BPA Audited.

Advertising in this  magazine  would be rather expensive for an individual but could be well suited to a large group of MLM Professionals on a co-op basis. You can currently as of the time of this review get a full page ad for as low as $10,275.00. You’ll be able to access media kits and advertising rates right from their website under the advertisers link in pdf format.



Home Maintenance

Nothing is more important when you own a home than maintaining it. Just the other week, I was talking to someone who was telling me about how her house was falling apart. She was in the middle of having work done on the house after over ten years of not making any updates to her house. She exclaimed to me, “It’s like you suddenly wake up one day   and  realize that everything around you is falling apart… and  what’s worst is that it all could have been prevented!”

Prevention is better than cure,  and  nowhere else is this more true than in your  home . Don’t wait for faucet caps to break  and  cabinets to start unhinging themselves from the walls. Always keep your eyes  and  ears open for the latest trends in  home  improvement  and   home  repair. Doing something as simple as hiring an  interior  decorator can do wonders for an older house. Sometimes it is just a matter of furniture placement, draperies  and  lighting. However, other times, you have to be prepared to spend a little more money. The ironic part of it all is though that you wouldn’t have to spend so much money later if you take care of things over the years.

When you invite someone over to your house, is the first thing that you want them to see how your house is falling apart? Allowing your home to fall apart says a lost about you as a homeowner. If you’re not careful, you could leave your guests with the eerie feeling that you don’t care a great deal about your home or the people who inhabit it. People make all sorts of excuses for home maintenance, the most common excuse being that they were simply too busy to pick up the vacuum or do the dishes. The fact of the matter is, however, that when things are truly important to us, we make the time.

Make your home a priority. Do the work that needs to be done in order to have it look amazing in the long run. If you’ve just bought a house with someone and are trying to show off, it will only come back to bite you in the end. If you have animals, assign duties to your children or your spouse so that the responsibility for owning the pet falls evenly on everyone. It will also keep the pet happier as well. It is important to try to maintain a healthy, clutter free house so that if guests stop by, things will look presentable. This is how you should always treat your home or anything you own- with respect.

Part of maintaining your home includes making sure that you are being as energy efficient as possible. When you’re not actively using the water, make sure that it is shut off. For instance, don’t run showers to “warm them up” prior to you getting in. When washing your hands, lather up first with soap  and  then rinse off under warm water. Try to use cold water when doing laundry or whenever possible because it uses less energy. Take less showers. All of this helps towards maintaining a beautiful  home .



Finding The Best Interior Color Online

When it comes to painting your  home , there can be so many choices that it is overwhelming. Sometimes, it is hard to know what will work best in your  home   and  with your design scheme. It’s very helpful going through sever  interior   home   magazines  or websites related to  interior  design to help you to find an idea.That is why it is important to utilize the internet to help you find the best  interior  paint colors. The internet can give you a great idea of what all there is available  and  what type of paint will work best for you  and  your  home . Many people do not realize that there are sights on the web that will help them tremendously. Some sites specialize in only  interior  paint  and  offer a great many of service choices. You can get help on everything from choosing the right brand of paint to making sure that the paint color is just what you want for your walls. Through this sites you can even order the color that you chosen and deliver it to your place.That is very handy and saves you a lot of time.

The next time that you decide that you need to do some painting inside your  home , make sure that you take a bit of time to research what will be the best for you. You will ultimately wind up making a better decision before it is too late and you already have the paint on the walls of your home.



Adding Empire Furniture Into Your Home Decorating

Choosing up the hardwood floor or the home decorating plan or idea that better fits in with Empire furniture can be a little bit difficult. There are some very good books of designs to base your decor idea. You can then get from them interesting complements and ornaments for all the corners of your house, of course based on the colonial style. One the most famous books at the date was the – Illustrated history of furniture, by Frederick Litchfield. You can read some tips from that book along the following paragraphs. We want to encourage the readers to follow its ideas because they can help you to find your own style.

Materials And Ornaments For Careful Finishes

On secretaries and tables, a common ornament of this description of furniture, is a column of mahogany, with a capital and base of bronze (either gilt, part gilt, or green), in the form of the head of a sphinx with the foot of an animal; console tables are supported by sphinxes and griffins; and candelabra and wall brackets for candles have winged figures of females, stiff in modeling and constrained in attitude, but almost invariably of good material with careful finish.

The bas-reliefs in metal which ornament the panels of the friezes of cabinets, or the marble bases of clocks, are either reproductions of mythological subjects from old Italian gems and seals, or represent the battles of the Emperor, in which Napoleon is portrayed as a Roman general. There was plenty of room to replace so much that had disappeared during the Revolution, and a vast quantity of decorative furniture was made during the few years which elapsed before the disaster of Waterloo caused the disappearance of a power which had been almost meteoric in its career.

What Books To Read

The best authority on Empire Furniture is the book of designs, published in 1809 by the architects Percier and Fontaine, which is the more valuable as a work of reference, from the fact that every design represented was actually carried out, and is not a mere exercise of fancy, as is the case with many such books. In the preface the authors modestly state that they are entirely indebted to the antique for the reproduction of the different ornaments; and the originals, from which some of the designs were taken, are still preserved in a fragmentary form in the Museum of the Vatican.

Classic Designs And Ideas

An arm chair and a stool, together with that of the tripod table which are favorable examples of the richly-mounted and more decorative furniture of this style. While they are not free from the stiffness and constraint which are inseparable from classic designs as applied to furniture, the rich color of the mahogany, the high finish and good gilding of the bronze mounts, and the costly silk with which they are covered, render them attractive and give them a value of their own. By reading the books proposed above you definitely can break the look of the interior design of your house, and will learn how to include empire furniture into home decorating ideas and plans.



Green Interiors – Make Your Old Home Green

A lot has been said about sustainable lifestyle and green homes. The beauty of this concept is that it can be applied to any space. While the scope for incorporating green interiors is higher in structures that are under construction, there is a lot that you can do to convert your existing home into a green space. There are no fixed patterns for green interiors because the design needs to be customized depending on the local climatic and environmental conditions. Analyze the aspects of your space because green homes optimize on natural energies, with sunlight and wind direction being the two major considerations.

You can begin by opening up spaces which allow sunrays into the house during the first trimester of the day. These rays are said to have healing effects and are not strong enough to heat up the space. Avoid harsh rays that stream in at noon and post noon because these rays are strong and hot. You can put up drapes or provide an external attachment which can prevent the harsh rays from entering the home. Dual pane windows work very effectively to keep heat out while allowing light to stream indoors.

Green interiors promote circulation of wind and cross ventilation. Unfortunately, wind does not flow in the same direction all through the year. However, in India, wind mostly blows from the southwest or northeast direction. So, if you can provide cross ventilation in the southwest-northeast aspect, you can enjoy natural breeze almost all through the year.

Interior design accessories such as water fountains and greenery can play a major role in keeping the interior temperature balanced. The sound of gently cascading water is very soothing as well. Air circulating in the room is cooled by the water and so, the room temperature remains low. Indoor plants control interior humidity and reduce concentration of toxic chemicals in the interior air. Plants also reduce airborne dust particles. So, your interior is cleaner, cooler and fresher.

In addition, you can change the electronics of your home and bring in new energy rated equipments. Follow up with installation of solar panels for backup power, heaters, geysers and water purifiers. Install LED lights with dimmers because they consume very little energy. Do away with toxic paints. Set up low flow toilets. If you are going in for a major renovation, you can change the floor to make it eco-friendly by using natural elements. Make arrangements for rainwater harvesting. Recycle organic garbage and use as manure for your plants. Stop using non degradable things such as plastics.

Green homes are subject to creative use of available space, combined with strong knowledge about energy and temperature factors. The options that you have are many. So, it all comes down to how much you are prepared to invest in your new home interior. The process might cost you a bit, but when you consider the overall cost savings which you can enjoy on your energy and medical bills, the initial investment definitely seems worth the expense.