Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How to find the best deals on home decor

English: eBay Logo
English: eBay Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interior decorators and designers alike, strive to work with in the constraints of a budget. That being said, it is important to know where to go to get high end looks without spending all of your clients money. Here are a few tips for getting great things at great prices.

Look online for a vast wealth of informational resources. Books on interior design, and decor are everywhere and can be quite expensive, however there are endless resources online to help you in the quest for anything your heart desires. Books sold by individual sellers on every subject can be easily discovered once you learn where to look.

Ebay & Amazon- Ebay and Amazon  have some of the most hard to find merchandise out there. Have an incomplete set of old china? Chances are you will find the matching piece on Ebay. Want to expand your collection of Fire King Bakeware, these online avenues can help you. Paintings? Wall art? Bedding and Drapes..you name it, you can find it on Ebay, or Amazon. There are independent sellers on Ebay trying to sell their personal collection in order to get the best deals. You don't have to bid -although this is the best way to get the best price, you can also search for "buy it now" merchandise. Its a great place to find out in advance if the product you are in the market for is worth the money as the customer reviews are extremely honest and helpful.

Antique Malls- One can find some wonderful great buys at antique malls. Contrary to the name of these malls, you can find things that aren't necessarily antique by definition but nonetheless unique and valuable. There are a lot of great second hand items to be discovered and once revamped they are beautiful and can serve a decorative or functional service anew. Whether its to complete collections, or start one, antique malls have something for everyone. Always check these stores for great unique decorative items.

Flea markets- Not all flea markets are the same, but the good ones are worth the extra mile. What constitutes a "good" flea market? One that has a great deal of local sellers and not one that has a lot of dime store seconds on the tables. Look for great furniture that can revamped, reused and re-purposed in creative ways. Have a good eye for that which is quality and that which is junk and don't be afraid to negotiate that asking price down.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ten Small Things that Make a Big Impact on Your Space

Formal Living Room
Photograph by ©Dawn Gagnon 2015
The best interior design is that which can yield the biggest impact with the least amount of effort. Effective design starts off with finding the balance between what adds to a space and what takes away from it. Good design can best be measured by the immediate "feeling" a room gives off. Does this mean a lot of work? Not necessarily. A room simply has to have a few good attributes. Much like putting on make up, if the model doesn't have great features to begin with, the make up won't do much more than mask a few imperfections.

1.  Less is more - You've heard it many times in your life I'm sure. Instead of always thinking what you need to add to your space to make it more attractive, try removing things. If it's not performing a function, isn't decorative it's probably not contributing much to the beauty of the room.

2.  Paint- This is always a simple change that has huge impact. Remember, if you are a novice at decorating, or painting, try a small room or space first. Don't be afraid to try out a new painting technique on a closet wall first. Keep in mind as well that paint can cast a very different look on different rooms with different or varying degrees of natural light. Painting a piece of canvas with the color you are considering and hanging it on the wall for a few days will give you an idea about how the paint will look.

3.  Rearrange Furniture - Sometimes, the biggest flaw in a room isn't design, or decor at all. It's poorly placed furniture. Furniture needs to be in the right location in a room to really bring about the beauty of the room. The general rule of thumb should be, big furniture should be placed along big walls, small on small walls and so on. They should also relate well to each other to form a conversational triangle.

4.  Change Drapes/curtains - Heavy drapes are often a great way during the colder months to contain heat, and also to keep it from coming into a room. As the season changes, new drapes and curtains can be a great way to breathe new life into the room. Just as your wardrobe changes when the season does, think of the drapes in your home in the same way. Lighten up the weights of the fabrics and color choices. It will yield a huge impact on the room.

5.  Mix textures, not color - Too many contrasting colors in a room can give off a bad disconcerting feel. By mixing up the textures in a room you can often give a room a lot of interest and a visual boost without having to overdose it in different color. Most rooms don't need more than three colors working in it at a time. Textures however, can be blended and used to make the room a treat to look at. Woven fabrics, Smooth accessories, if the colors are complimentary to each other this will give your room a lot of drama.

6.  Adding an area rug - Area rugs can make the room feel like you have actually changed out the flooring but for a fraction of the cost. Besides being a great way to protect flooring, area rugs can be additional layer of texture, design and color.

7.  Change the lamp shades - Lighting is a key functional and decorative item in a room. Just like anything else though, a change is sometimes called for. Rather than buying new lamps, new shades is a great way to change up the look and feel of the lamp itself but also has a big impact on the room.

8.  Add some foliage - Yes, plants can be a challenge to keep alive. They require attention. However, if you research the topic a little you can no doubt find the right house plants to fit your lifestyle. Plants add a beauty to a room like few things can. A few large plants in a room can do wonders to soften the hard edges. Living things often reflect a certain amount of vitality to a room that may be otherwise lifeless and drab.

9.  Cleaning - The beauty in any room will go completely unnoticed if the room itself is not clean. Windows need to be cleaned, carpets shampooed, and a thorough dusting can all improve the look and feel of a room.

10.  Change out the artwork - Looking at the same decor day in and day out will at some point lose its appeal. Much like watching the same movie over and over again. Change out the artwork and wall hangings can be an easy way to make the feel of the room change. Even changing frames can be a little change that will have a surprisingly big impact.

Renovation Resolutions

Can you believe we are not that far from  2016???
Dining room
Photograph By Dawn Gagnon
As the New Year approaches, there are many resolutions swirling about. Vows to change diets, achieve world peace, or giving up a nasty habit all seem to be common themes among us all. When thinking of the New Year, it is good to get out a notepad and start thinking of goals to accomplish. A big goal to strive for is tackling  those necessary renovations you have put off in your home.

Many homeowners no doubt, felt reluctant to put money into their home with the dropping of real estate values that took place nationwide in 2009. One thing all homeowners should bear in mind is regardless of current market value, improvements are still improvements nonetheless.
Home improvements should always be about what makes the home owner happy first, investment prospects should be secondary.

Start off with a list of goals for the next five years. Usually these goals vary from the very inexpensive cosmetic fixes to major home improvements. By placing a time line of five years as the goal, this makes it easier to accept and work toward. Start off with the small stuff. However, if you have a nightmare kitchen, or bathroom, it should be given priority. It may surprise many to see that most goals listed on a five year plan get achieved in considerably less time.

List everything you can fathom that needs doing. Why not? You've got five years. Your list may very well resemble a wish list more than a realistic one, but that is half the fun. It doesn't hurt to dream big. Its also financially sound to always have a plan. Its a great reference to have a list already waiting for those extra funds that you stumbled across from time to time. Maybe a bonus? A tax refund? A relative that left you something in a will? The idea is the money will go towards something tangible and that is smart financially.
uld be secondary. A homeowner is less likely to regret improvements done for themselves, as opposed to those that do  them based on market statistics.