Tips For Interior and Exterior House Painting

Here are some excellent interior and exterior house painting tips.

First, gather the tools that you will need to paint the interior of the house. Being organized is the first step in preparing to paint the inside and outside of house. Find a good brush to do the trim, rollers to roll on the paint, drop clothes, rags and plastic bags to assist you with keeping everything tidy.

Next, remove the furniture from the house or move everything to one place in a room. Cover the furniture with drop clothes. Make sure that you cover everything well to avoid spills on the furniture. Cover the furniture with old sheets after you place the drop cloths over them for extra protection. You may wish to remove all the hardware from cabinets, switch plates, and light fixtures from the wall. A lot of people try to paint around the hardware, but inevitably get drips all over it.

Prepare yourself for house painting. Wear old comfortable clothing and shoes. Wear a hat, scarf or a shower cap on your head to protect you from spills while you are painting the ceiling. Wear shoes that are easy to remove to prevent from tracking paint from one room to another.

Now that you are prepared to paint, prepare the interior surface that you are painting to receive the paint. If there is wallpaper, you must strip the wallpaper and prime the walls with a good quality primer. If the walls are not clean, you must wash them with a solution of three tablespoon of laundry detergent to one gallon of water. Any paint that is peeling or cracking should be sanded and any cracks should be fixed.

Choosing your paint can be quite a task. Do you want water-based or oil-based paint? Water-bases paint is easy to clean up and it dries quickly. Oil-based paint is great for cabinets and woodwork. Clean-up can be accomplished with paint thinner.

Once you have chosen the right color and gloss for your walls, you can then begin to paint. Now you may thing that you just aim and begin to paint. However, here are a few tips to make the job a little easier. Start with a small brush and paint the areas where the roller will not fit. Make sure that you use painter's tape to cover areas that you do not want painted.

Roll a light coat of paint in one direction. Your goal is to apply a light coat and then a second heavier coat of paint in another direction. This will hide the streaks.

In preparing the exterior of your house to be painted, all you may need is a good washing down. You can use the water hose and scrub the dirt with a brush and detergent. You may even need to power wash it.

Your home may need additional attention before you can paint it. Some of the shingles or siding may be split. Nails may have popped out or you may …

Spice Up Your Decor With Indoor Water Fountains

You have probably seen indoor fountains in hotel lobbies, at posh restaurants, or spas and wondered if you could place them indoors at home and the answer is of course! The truth is that these indoor fountains can be used to spruce up your home decor. In fact water fountains have quickly become a popular indoor accessory with almost every interior decorator to liven up the living room space.

Thanks to the internet, the prices of these fountains are now affordable and the selection wide. They are an instant hit among friends and family. Besides the aesthetic appeal, the soft sound of a fountain can help you and your family or company relax. They also act as a natural humidifier and purifier.

There are a number of designs, shapes and sizes to choose from. Remember to choose one that suits your decor and also take into account the space considerations.

When it comes to indoor water fountains, basically there are three types of designs. The table top variety, the wall mounted styles and finally the floor standing fountains. The tabletop fountains are great to accessorize your table and can be also used in the bedroom or on a desk. The sound from these water fountains aren't too distracting and hence are great desktop accessories as well.

If you find the table top variety to be too small, you could opt for the floor standing fountains. These are larger than the table fountains and are useful for an average home. The biggest misconception about these is that water spills from these water fountains thus creating a mess. But if carefully handled these are a great accessory and are built not to splash if you get an indoor rated fountain.

Wall mounted fountains are fixed to the wall, making it appear as if the water flows from the walls. Some wall fountains hang like a picture if they are smaller where others come with mounting brackets and hardware that will attach to your wall for a secure mount. These usually have a steel or copper frame with the water either flowing over slate or glass. Sometimes the glass is shaped in the form of waves giving it a dramatic effect.

Whatever the design that you choose, the pleasure that's derived by installing a water fountain cannot be denied. These manage to calm and rejuvenate you instantly. You could also use these to cut out the noise and chatter. You could buy these from online stores that sell them at affordable prices. For those who would love to customize their fountain, you could order for a custom designed water fountain albeit at a higher price.

Source Article

Commercial Interior Design Equals a Comfortable Workplace

While cubicles have been good at making the best use of functional floor space, the feelings of being isolated from the rest of the office workers soon caused employees to look for jobs somewhere else. When it comes to commercial interior design, the inception of the cubicle was as a simple means of placing more employees into a limited amount of space while offering a small degree of privacy in which to work. The resulting problem was the intense feeling of isolation and that of being locked in a small room, which then lessened productivity.

The best conditions for commercial interior design is to begin with the building itself, designing the structure to meet the specific requirements of the business, whether a retail space, professional office or restaurant. However, since many businesses begin in an existing building, commercial interior design comes into play to affect the interior and meet the company needs as well as create an interior that is pleasant for customers.

Accessories Reflect the Business

In many commercial areas, especially those with customer turnover, a commercial interior design expert may suggest items of interest with which to hold the customer's attention while they wait for service. This will be a typical situation for a professional office such as a doctor's or dentist's office in which clients may have to spend a significant amount of time waiting to be seen. Restaurants represent are another business that will benefit from commercial interior design, giving their customers pleasant things to look at and discuss while waiting for their food.

Professional offices such as legal and financial offices will retain commercial Interior Design companies to create a professional atmosphere, which invoke a sense of trust and confidence while the visitor waits for service. The goal is to create the positive, usually staid, conservative ambiance which hints at financial success. Going to excess, however, might have the opposite effect causing the customer to think maybe he or she might be paying too much for services.

Commercial interior design experts work to create an atmosphere for customer comfort, in addition to coordinating designs and colors which will match the industry being served. These design experts can work with any business to make it more appealing to the customers they count on for their business success.

Source Article

A Misunderstood Profession: Interior Design

Define your career. If you are a doctor, you diagnose and treat peoples' ailments. If you are a hairdresser, you cut, color, perm, and style hair. If you are a police officer, you uphold the law, investigate crimes, and in general protect the citizens of the district in which you work. Most careers can be at least briefly described by almost anyone. If you have one of those careers, you are very lucky.

Before I entered the work force and opened my own design firm, I never would have imagined that I would be getting calls to mend curtains, remove stains from carpets, find out why one bulb in a chandelier will not work … I am an interior designer – I design interiors; but I can recommend a seamstress, carpet cleaning company, electrician … Then the dreaded question comes, "What do you mean you design interiors?"

Once-upon-a-time-ago I thought that to be an easy question to answer. Somehow, I now find it easier to explain to a child why the grass is green.

Rather than trying to define interior design, I have taken to explaining the process of designing an interior.

I analyze, ask questions, draw, review the budget, draw some more while asking more questions. Slowly, what started off as sketches develop into floor plans and other technical drawings. Some of the drawings get colored in. I help my clients make informed decisions regarding the use of space, materials, products, color, lighting, layout, construction methods, other professionals … The drawings / plans then go to contractors and specialty contractors. I review the submitted process with my clients – one submission is higher, but that is not necessarily bad because the others are each missing things. A contractor is selected, the contract signed and the work begins; I'll be there routinely while the work is in progress. I basically act as a representative on my clients' on behalf, as well as a protector to my own design. Time schedules are reviewed frequently, problems that arise are handled in such a way that my clients may later know the solution but not the headache involved to understand and work out the problem. The work is wrapping up, only the finishing touches are left but I am already preparing a list of things that have to be finished, repaired or touched-up.

What had been a noisy, dirty, smelly construction site has now fallen quiet and already been cleaned. I walk around looking at and examining the full-size, real thing of all the drawings I had done weeks, if not months, ago. Back at the office, I edit the deficiency list started a few days before and send it to the contractor and clients. The job is soon completely finished, but my work is still not done.

My clients call, happy with the finished space. There are some last minute questions regarding maintenance of some of the new items, where to find certain decorative things and accessories that suddenly have importance, placement …

Area Rugs and Home Decor – Color, Art and Function

When referring to Interior design and home decor, the versatility of an Area Rug is often overlooked. These mini-masterpieces serve as artwork, have the ability to shape color, and add needed function in any home.

Color seems to be the most confounding element for most homeowners to master effectively. Color is not nearly as complex as it seems. The complexity seems to stem from the sheer magnitude of differing color, tones, hues and shades. We all know what our favorite colors are, yet when we try to pin that color down as a useable element of design, we are confronted by hundreds of choices in tone and hue. Most of us need a standard from which to work. This is where an area rug can have a principle role in helping us sort through the inexhaustible choices we face. If we would first choose an area rug with the colors we favor, the task of choosing color for other decor items seems to fall in place. The use of an area rug as a color reference will ground your space and limit your choices, which will make the task a lot less confusing. Your colors are already decided by the colors most prominent in your area rug.

The next function of area rugs are to add beauty and depth to a room by the utility of art. Patterns and perceptions in rug design are vast and often intriguing to the eye. As a painting adds drama an scope to a wall, an area rug is a work of art for your floor. Area rugs come in any and all varieties of patterns and designs to accommodate any style of decor imaginable. Therefore, no matter what style you are trying to achieve, from traditional to contemporary and everything in between, you will be able to find an area rug to artfully engage all who visit your space. I can only consider all the times that I did not even notice a well placed rug, until I had set in that room for a season. As your eye begins to draw downward from other treasured elements of decor, you finally notice the art that lies at your feet. Many of your guests will discover themselves drawn into the intricate beauty of a well placed piece of floor-art.

The final element is that which is fundamental to the existence of area rugs. They are utilitarian in design. They were originally conceived to provide a function. The first rugs in existence were likely simple in their utility. To provide a comfortable space to sleep, or to protect ones feet from the bare soil. Today we have a vast arena of uses for area rugs. From those that supply a place to wipe our feet off, to those that protect our original flooring investment. You can postpone refinishing or replacing an expensive flooring investment with the strategic placement of area rugs and mats. Your purposes could be as simple as providing a soft and clean …

Why You Should Be An Interior Designer

The world has been through 50-years of DIY culture, with the majority of people re-modeling, upgrading, and decorating their own homes in their spare time. However, that cycle is ending for a number of key reasons and this demise has given birth to some amazing and exciting opportunities for those people interested in Interior Design.

In the DIY period, people were happy to spend their spare time on home-improvements and they enjoyed showing off their efforts to all their visitors. Today, there are too many distractions and alternatives that have much more appeal to the modern generation of homeowners – who are happier spending their time in more entertaining activities with their friends.

Furthermore, in most families, adults are bringing home larger disposable incomes than ever before and today they prefer to employ an Interior Designer, rather than spend hours in trying to do it alone. The plethora of glossy magazines that are now available each month have thousands of pages with colorful photographs of beautiful homes, all with rooms designed by an expert in Interior Design. These magazines create the desire in people to have such a room in their own home.

That burgeoning desire for a beautiful home can only be fulfilled by an Interior Designer.

For years, tradesmen like painters, decorators, and carpenters would have nothing to do with people who worked in the Interior Design industry, and with a sneer, they would tell their customers not to waste their money on them. Today, it is a completely different story, because the tradesman now accepts that a home designed by an Interior Designer is far superior to anything they can provide. Furthermore, the tradesman often earns a far bigger profit when completing work for an Interior Designer compared to when they work directly for the customer.

This is because the Interior Designer will quote for the complete job: from basic design to provision of all the materials and completing the actual conversion. It can even include the supply of carpets, curtains, rugs, furniture, pictures, and ornaments. The fee for the decorator who does the painting and papering is perhaps only a small part of the overall price, and will often include a 15% to 20% profit margin to the Interior Designer.

Tradesmen in the home-improvement industry now spend considerable time and effort in developing a good relationship with Interior Designers, because today they can provide an increasing part of their annual income. This is a two-way connection, because the Interior Designer often receives valuable inquiries for design work from their pool of tradesmen. In addition, when the tradesman completes their work to a high standard, the Interior Designer is likely to benefit in the future from referrals and additional work from their clients.

However, working on designs for homes is only touching the surface of the income stream of a good Interior Designer. There is a vast and highly profitable design market in the retail, commercial, and industrial sectors where directors and managers are not slow in …

Hashtags and the Interior Design Industry

Simply stated, the pound sign or hashtag is visually represented by the symbol '#', and by placing the symbol in front of a word (or series of words) on a social network, it will turn that word into a metadata tag. In simple English, the '#' symbol turns the word (s) immediately following it into a searchable term that can be used on that website or social network, which is activated by someone clicking on that hashtag. And, here we are yet again. It seems as though, try as we might, we just can not extricate ourselves from the ever-present eye of this social media monstrosity. In fact, it is believed that the use of hashtags began on the very popular social media platform, Twitter. Early users of Twitter figured out a way to avoid having to sort through endless mounds of random conversations to arrive at what they considered was the "meat" from the usual proverbial information overload.

It was long before companies caught on to this growing phenomena and decided to capitalize from its trending influence. Campaigns featuring new products are heavily decorated with inventive and attention-grabbing hashtags. This is especially true where Interior Design is concerned. The nature of home and decor's existence relies heavily, if not totally, on visual impact. In a matter of seconds, one's attention is captured and it isn't much long after that the viewer is ushered into a trance-like engagement of whimsical design play. The use of hashtags in this sense gives homeowners and lay decorators the benefit of an abbreviated narration or description of a photo's content. Effective use of hashtags gives this same viewer search options as well as succinctly answers questions that may arise about a particular artifact used in a photo. For example, when posting or advertising a picture of a decorated bedroom, the blogger / advertiser may use a hashtag to give information about the skilled artisan who constructed the bed's headboard, or may give the name of the pattern used on the damask.

Some key hashtags used in Interior Design are "instadecor", "instadesign", "instastyle", "walldecor", "patternmix", "renovation", "designprocess", "NewYork", "Miami", "California", "instaretail" "," styleblog "," photooftheday "… the list goes on.

The Interior Design industry continues to be a mirror to whatever is trending in all other industries. With widely-accepted nuances such as the use of hashtags in social-media networking and marketing, we are fortified with even more resources and means of turning design dreams into reality.

Source Article

Seeing the Light: Why Lighting Matters in Interior Design

Light has intrigued man since the dawn of time. Without light, there is no color. In his quest for the control of light, man supplemented daylight with an array of artificial devices. What started out as tallow candles and gas lamps in the early centuries evolved into to a plethora of light sources powered by electricity, chemicals or combustion in the modern day. While the physical attributes of light fixtures contribute to the design of a space, the intangible aspects of the light they emit are more far reaching.

In order to understand light and how it affects color, one needs to know that color perception is the result of the eye seeing a specific reflected ray of color. A carpet appears red only when all other colors of the light spectrum, with the exception of red, are absorbed by the flooring, allowing the eye's sensors to receive the reflected red light.

Lighting essentially determines color. Different types of light accentuate different areas of the spectrum: the red carpet viewed under cool fluorescent light with a heavy blue-green spectral distribution will look dull and lifeless, while it will look warm and vibrant under an incandescent fixture. Color selections by remote often lead to surprises because of the project site's specific orientation to the sun and lighting conditions. To minimize the problem of color shifts, it is imperative to view materials on site, under the lighting expected for the installation.

The lighting design concept which advocates creating "pools of light" in a space is especially germane amidst our current focus on energy conservation. By accentuating key areas through a combination of brighter colors and higher illumination levels in a relatively dark space, the eye is drawn only to areas deemed important to the design solution. Another approach, stemming from a more practical standpoint, is to create "layers of light". In this instance, lighting in a space is controlled by separate switches and dimmers so it can be lit either in sections, segregated by task, or in its wholeety. This avoids over-lighting and allows for flexible lighting control. Carefully deployed, one can create a sense of drama, ceremony and cadence through these lighting techniques.

Darkness, the antithesis of light, is an important element in lighting design. Shadows not only help define a space, but through contrast, expand the sense of scale and emphasize the sculptural quality of any object being illuminated. Thoughtfully applied, they can be an effective remedy for awkwardly shaped spaces. Alternatively, should the perimeter of a room be illuminated, the space psychologically appears to be bigger and more relaxing to the occupants.

Additionally, good interior design should provide adequate lighting. The amount of light needed must be determined in conjunction with the task and visual acuity of the user. As human vision starts deteriorating after age 40, the baby boomers will be driving the need for more efficient lighting as they require increasing brighter environments.

Regardless of the lighting source, the general trend is towards eco-friendly lighting fixtures that …

How to Create an Inviting Beer Garden for a Pub, Bar or Restaurant

It's that time of year again where you need to start thinking about your garden for the summer. Here are a few useful ideas:

1. GARDENS ARE OUTDOOR SPACES

First and most importantly, a garden connected to a pub, bar or restaurant should feel like a garden and not in interior space. Many proprietors try to continue the interior finishes to outside which defeats the purpose of a Garden atmosphere. The Garden should have outdoor features like stone and brick and the furniture should look like outdoor furniture. On my travels I found many beer gardens with timber sheeting and fabric covered bar stools – these areas are trying to look like indoor spaces. Instead try to embrace the outdoor Garden atmosphere, work with the multitude of materials and finishes which are available to transforms a bland space into an exciting alfresco experience.

2. STYLE

Decide on your style or theme and then do some research.

Look at the building and its walls – are there any existing characteristics that may dictate a style or that can be embellished?

Keep the theme running from the interior through to the outside – for example, if you have an Art Deco interior then try to incorporate Art Deco statues, tiles or lamps outside rather than it being a generic garden. Similarly, if it is a traditional pub with lots of Bric-a-Brac then carry outdoor Bric-a-Brac through.

3. THE WEATHER

Weather considerations

The glare / heat factor: use canopies, planting or colored glass to diffuse.

Wind: Use wind breakers. Anything can be designed to reduce the wind factor – Willow fencing, metal or timber frameworks with glass or canvas wind breakers. I recently designed a trellis planter and because it was on wheels, it was movable which worked really well for my client.

When deciding on the position for your seating consider which direction the wind comes from.

Rain: Provide adequate coverage for smokers in bad weather. In particularly wet climates, a permanent fixed solution like glass in a timber or glass framework will be much more maintainable than a canvas canopy. Glass means that daylight / sunlight can come through which is important on those warm summer days. If it gets too hot or bright then outdoor blinds can be fitted.

4. REGULATIONS

Before building anything it is important to know what your local regulations are. In Ireland the guideline for covering areas is described like a bus shelter where the roof covers an area that has walls that are 50% open and 50% closed.

5. SMOKERS

Divide smokers from non smokers if you have the space.

Opening windows may not be an option as the smoke can be pulled into the interior and customers do not like this.

Provide ashtrays on tables and a few sand buckets about the place from which cigarette butts can be taken from at cleaning time.

6. UGLY AREAS

Make sure the views are good and not facing bin / garbage areas or car-parks. Use screening …

Interior Design and Interior Decorating – Some Definitions

Interior Decoration and Interior Design, although related disciplines, are different in terms of their application. Interior Decoration is the process of decorating a house with regards to finishes (for example wallpaper and paint, choice of furniture and fittings as well as adding finishing touches and decorations such as paintings and objets d'art. All of this provide a certain "feel "to a house but essentially the underlying structure of the house is not changed.

Interior decoration is normally professionally done by Interior Decorators although recently the trend has been for people to learn about Interior Decorating through various courses or books and then apply the techniques themselves-usually on a shoestring budget. The whole objective of Interior Decorating is to make a house aesthetically pleasing and at the same time, unique, since it should reflect the owner's specific personality and tastes.

Interior design on the other hand is more integrated with the architecture of a building and a professional Interior Designer will work closely with architects and builders to make choices regarding the integral design of the whole house or building. This includes looking at choices with regards to room layout, choice of cabinets and tiles and lots of other design factors. While the Interior Design budget for new developments used to be minimal, it is recognized these days that incorporating Interior Design into the project means the difference between a run-of-the-mill development and one that contributes to the branding and life-style image of the project. The money spent on Interior Design is therefore seen as a worthwhile investment in the whole property development process.

Homeowners are spending more and more to improve their homes. Since it is relatively easy to change the appearance of a house by changing the finishings and fittings a large portion of this money goes into Interior Decorating. The growing popularity in do-it-yourself Interior Decorating has meant that a whole industry around Interior Decorating courses, books and TV Shows have also sprung up, and it has become a popular hobby for married couples. Innovative Interior Decoration ideas, which cost less but at the same time giving the impression of style and class, are in vogue.

Young entrepreneurs have also seen the gap and there is a growing demand for information and courses on how to break into the Interior Design and Interior Decoration Industry. This has also given the home {interior decoration industry a boost.

Although the trend recently is for people to tackle the exciting task of transforming a house themselves, it has to be recognized that this falls more in the area of ‚Äč‚ÄčInterior Decorating. Interior Design still requires study of the context of Interior Design, the theory of good design, knowledge of the technical advances in the engineering industry for both residential as well as commercial buildings and knowledge of the latest trends and advances in the Interior Design industry.

In short, an Interior Design project in which all the elements of design are pulled together is still the ambit of the professional designer …