Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sponsor- Thank you!


Thanks to my fabulous sponsors for keeping my blog up and running. I am truly appreciative of their support. Don't forget to stop by and check them out when you get a chance!




JAMIESHOP.COM: Offers over 400 of the top "to the trade only" manufacturers buying service. All the furnishings, wallpaper, lighting, fabrics, rugs and home accessories seen in magazines such as Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Traditional Home and House Beautiful are now available for purchase at up to 50% off retail.



Pillows By Dezign: Offers designer decorative throw pillowslumbar pillowsbed pillows and outdoor pillows at an affordable price starting at just $36 with inserts included with an option of down/ feather blend form or polyester. Also offering custom pillow using a wonderful range of designer fabrics from popular brands such as Schumacher Fabrics, Robert Allen Fabrics, Duralee Fabrics, Kravets FabricsOsborne & LittleRalph Lauren Home and more!



Fabricadabra: Offers high quality natural and pesticide-free textiles such as pillow covers, throws/ bedcovers, pillow inserts and fabric by the yard. All decorative covers use natural and low impact dyes and many are woven on handlooms. All embroidery is hand embroidered.



Dunelm Mill: One of UK's leading home furnishing retailers offering bedding, bathroom products and accessories, blinds, curtains, cushions, furniture, home furnishings, lighting rugs and more!

Happy shopping!

Guest post- Going Away This Summer? Don't Let Your Home Be A Paradise For Burglars!


There is nothing quite as exciting as setting off on your summer holidays, bidding farewell to your home for a couple of weeks and embracing the sunshine of somewhere exotic. However you and your family are not the only ones who are eagerly looking forward to you getting away for a while, as the summer holiday season is a prime time for criminals looking to exploit the empty properties that are left behind.

There could be nothing worse than returning from hard-earned rest and relaxation only to come home to find you have been burgled, saddling you with even more stress than you had to endure before you went away - but what can you do about it? Read on as the experts at Security Solutions Yes Ltd. take you through their top tips for keeping your home secure.

Get Help From Your Neighbours

Criminals who know what they are doing will look out for properties which appear to be currently unoccupied - signs like no cars being on the driveway or the curtains being closed all day or left open all night. By asking your neighbors for some help, you can give the impression of a lived in property for the duration of your holiday.

Ask if they can park their car on your driveway occasionally, and give them a spare key to your house so they can go in and open up the curtains/blinds during the day or close them at night.

Automatic Lights

Less of a problem at the height of summer when it is lighter for longer, but homes that are completely dark throughout the evening are a dead giveaway that a house is currently unoccupied. Moreover, simply leaving the hall light on all the time would not help either as this will appear obvious you are trying to make it look like you are there – when even potential criminals know you are not.

Instead, invest in timers for your lighting and set them to turn on and off at certain times.

Do Not Announce Your Holiday on Social Media

When you are looking forward to going away for the summer it can be tempting to announce it to all of your friends and family about just how excited you are. After all, you can trust your family and best friends, but what about that guy you went to school with 20 years ago and have not really spoken to since. Can you really trust every of your friends who follows you on Twitter?

To be on the safe side wait until you get home, by which time you can shout from the rooftops just how fantastic a time you had and how great you look with your new tan.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Security Solutions Yes Ltd, one of the UK's leading providers of domestic and commercial security services in Norfolk.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Home tour- A fresh and colorful Manhattan home!


Looking at this vibrant home, it's hard to imagine that this Manhattan home is less than 1,000 square feet. Using bold patterns and eye-popping colors, designer Nick Olsen managed to transform this home into a beautiful, dazzling space for his young professional client. Let's take a tour, shall we?










Photo credit: Maura McEvoy

This is such a gorgeous home, don't you think? The bright, bold colors and patterns are totally calling my name. I can't get my eyes off the beautiful chairs, stunning floors and the unexpected color scheme. The blue suede door with the nailheads is my absolute favorite, it is such a delightful detail! What catches your eyes, my lovelies?


Construction Check List: What, Why and How!


It is time to remodel. How do you get started? Like anything else, with a to-do list, of course. 

Here are some basics to consider for the next redesign project, a generic list that may need adaptation depending on how large or small your own project may be.

Why Are We Doing This

A remodeling project is going to upend your home or your business. What used to be convenient will soon be blocked off by tarps and dust protection. Speaking of tarps and dust, don't forget to look for a good skip hire for your project debris disposal. Make sure there is a good reason for getting into this in the first place.

If the answer is yes, proceed to question two. However, keep your project goals in mind and evaluate every step based on that. No sense calling the design a success if it does not accomplish what you set out to do.

It is instinctual for some, but for others, not so much. Do not forget to estimate the value of your home after you are done. After all, some projects take value away from a home, while most add to it.

Can We Do This?

Down the block sits a concrete home with an extravagant silo-looking tower in the front and a bunker-looking two story home behind it. And it has sat there for years, not moving forward or backward - a roof, but no windows, huge concrete blocks in place, but no move whatsoever toward completion.

Someone, evidently, ran out of gas. The funding got the project off the ground and substantial progress was made, but someone forgot to cross all the Ts and dot all the Is.
I wish I had a dime for every remodeling project that only got partway done before it was abandoned.

Cost Overruns

In the trade, costs that go above and beyond the allocated budget are called overruns. That means – phew! – you did not invent the problem of running into unsuspected problems part way through a project that added on to costs. As such, you should have a contingency plan to deal with this.

For starters, put aside (or borrow) more than you need to to get the project done. There is likely a formula out there for cost overruns – something simple like putting together a budget and then adding 20 percent just in case it is needed. Banks will certainly understand that strategy and lenders do not want an unfinished project anymore than you do.

Scheduling

It is quite likely you will need to schedule a project exactly a year after you first thought you should. This is to make up for the point that construction firms know the opportune time to start a major project is in the spring. Because of that, you may find out that builders are already booked one season in advance. If you dream up renovations this year, you might have another year to wait. In so many words: Get in line.

That said, if a project is largely or completely indoors, try to negotiate off-season rates. Many construction workers take a month or two off deep in the off season and workers for the most part would far rather make a paycheck than collect unemployment.

Line Up Your Team; Ask Around

Architects frequently recommend construction firms they have worked with in the past. Construction firms frequently nominate architects. But this should not stop you from conducting a solid reference check on anyone you hire. You are spending hard earned dollars, after all.

People in small cities or rural areas with a local pool of talent have no guarantee a contractor is honest, but they have a better chance of it. After all, if a local firm can survive year after year in one community, it is likely they have dealt fairly with their customers.

In bigger cities, it gets trickier. My father had a house built once in the suburbs of a major city and visited the construction site one day to find a worker painting the iron pipes a copper color. By the time he made a phone call to an attorney, the company had relocated to another state.

Insurance and Bonds

Deal only with companies that can show proof of insurance and have a surety bond. Sites like Econtractorsinsurance.com make it easy for contractors to obtain the necessary insurance online. 

If you need to, have an attorney check this out for you. You can also make inquiries at the surety bond company or with state regulators to ask about the history and current compliance status of a company.

While contractors need general liability insurance, the surety bond guarantees the contractor will complete the job according to the specifications spelled out in the contract. If the company cuts too many corners, fails to finish a job on time, or orders materials without paying for them, the surety bond covers this. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Home tour- Jessica Alba's stunning Los Angeles home!


When popular Hollywood celebrity Jessica Alba teamed up with Domaine's creative director Mat Sanders and his team of designers to transform her home's interiors, the results is nothing short of stunning. Let's take a tour of her fabulous abode, shall we?

















Photo credit: Justin Coit

Colorful, layered with a sense of rustic bohemian vibe, her home exudes warmth, comfort and style. I really love the mix of prints and patterns and shiny metals throughout her home. My most favorite element in this tour is definitely the bold and gorgeous tiled fireplace, what about you? Stylish, airy and cheery, this home is a winner in my books! What are your thoughts, my lovelies?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Making your home an interior design dream!


This article is written by Paul Watson.

Do you ever wander into your home and feel like you have stumbled onto the set of The Wire? Have your interior design choices ever been compared to that of Pete Doherty’s? Do you think of that reddening bit of mold in your bathroom when somebody mentions “warm colors” to you?

It is easy to let your home become a pigsty, but if you want to feel happier and healthier you are going to need to make a few design changes. Let's go from room to room and give you some advice, shall we?

Bathroom

Your bathroom is the easiest to let go to pot. Mold can attach itself to your walls like molluscs to a damp rock, and that is not to mention lime scale and patches of damp.

Start off by adding aqua colors that are easy to wipe clean, then invest in a durable bath mat that would not be a nightmare to wash. For a touch of class and warmth, buy some candles to dot around the place, giving you the perfect opportunity to have a relaxing soak in the tub.

Living room

You will probably spend most of your time in your living room, whether you are plowing through your latest Breaking Bad box set, finishing up a good book or hanging out with some friends. No matter what its size, you ideally want your living room to be as cosy as possible.

Find a focal point in the form of a coffee table and let it be surrounded by comfy seating. And while you might want at least one seat to face the telly, try not to let it dominate your living room – you will only create an anti-social space.

Bedroom

In an ideal world, the bedroom is where you will head to sleep and nothing else. It is where relaxation truly sets in and you can drift off in the peace and quiet of a dreamless night.

For the ideal kip, invest in some blackout curtains to block out the sun, and find a “goldilocks” mattress that will be comfy enough to ease into but sturdy enough to avoid damaging your back.

However, the room should not just be as barren as a bed and some curtains. If you struggle to sleep, buy a sound system that can play relaxing music to lull you into a fulsome snooze. 

Kitchen

When you are creating your culinary masterpieces, it is important to have the right utensils at hand. Have your pans and whatnot near the oven, and be sure that your cooking utensils are sturdy and durable enough to take a battering when you are washing-up.

It is also vital to invest in surfaces that can withstand spills and burns from your cooking exploits. So, invest in linoleum or hardwood floors, granite or marble worktops and you will be set to Gordon Ramsay your nights away. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Home tour- A bold, pattern-packed Morocco bungalow!


An American couple decided to build their dream home in Morocco after falling in love with Marrakech. They enlisted Caitlin and Samuel Dowe-Sandes of Popham Design for design help. The results? A vibrant, pattern-packed bungalow. Let's take a tour of this fabulous home, shall we?















Photo credit: Richard Powers

This home is such an eye candy! The gorgeous tiles, bold patterns and striking color scheme are absolutely swoon-worthy. Warm, layered and visually delightful, it is hard not to be inspired by this refreshing home. I like that the whole design look collected and effortless to boot! I love this home tour, how about you? Are you a fan of bold design or otherwise? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guest post- The perfect lighting for entrances, hallways and stairs!


This post is provided by Temenouzhka Zaharieva. 

Have you thought about how important it is to have the best possible lighting at these areas of your home? Here are several reasons:

1. We often have to enter our home at night and good lighting is an obvious necessity for safety reasons.

2. We need good lighting especially if there is no natural light streaming in.

3. It is the first thing that visitors see. If you have beautiful lighting, you will create a great first impression and make your guests feel welcome.

But in addition to these obvious reasons, you have to think how best to plan the lighting for your entrances, hallways and stairs. It is also important to keep in mind that proper choice of lighting can save money on your bills as well. 

First, lights that come on automatically when someone else approaches can save energy and at the same time improve your home security. It will also make you feel safer as you unlock the front door. 

Second, halogen lighting for spotlights and hallway lights is cheap to run. And it is environmentally friendly and durable, too.

Another alternative are LEDs - green, energy efficient, emit more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs, and their efficiency is unaffected by shape and size. They are ultimately long-lasting, can decrease your energy consumption and can be very flexible.

From point of view of type of lighting, it is possible to have wall sconces, spotlights, a centerpiece ceiling lamp or a combination of all of these. Modern ceiling lights are a wonderful way to illuminate hallways without taking up too much space and at the same time add grandeur. For a long passageway a series of modern ceiling lights should be used.

Or you can add wall sconces – their low level lighting is alluring without being distracting. Spotlights can be placed strategically to illuminate shadowy places.

Display lighting is both stylish and practical when you need to spotlight a special piece of artwork, brighten a built-in cabinet, or accent a particular area and it adds to the whole lighting scheme of the space.

Another important thing to consider is how lighting is reflected by the surfaces in your hallway - hardwood or glossy flooring will require softer, warmer lighting that will not produce harsh reflections.

And finally – remember that the style and design of your lighting can determine the overall impact of your home. Sometimes a single great designer lighting can become the centerpiece in a space. If you have a lighting like this in your entrance hall, then you have succeeded in creating a great first impression we are all looking for.

Looking for ceiling lights? You will find more ceiling lighting fixtures on www.interior-deluxe.com.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Home tour- A photographer's stylish and sophisticated home!


Check out how decorator Orlando Soria transformed a sparse new home to a sophisticated living room and inviting backyard for photographer Gray Malin and his partner.









Now you have seen the elegant living room and the spacious backyard, which one is your favorite? In my opinion, those stunning étagères, pair of gorgeous chairs, preppy roman shades and fabulous photographs are absolutely swoon-worthy, which makes me gravitates towards the stylish living room more. Do you prefer one room over the other as well. Thoughts?