Thursday, June 30, 2016

How to Keep a Space Safe Without Compromising Design!

Even so-called “cozy” interior design plans are going to want to take advantage of space, light, and access. These elements are at the core of any room’s charm and aesthetic.

Space, light, and access do not easily mix with safety, security, and privacy of a home. Curtains, doors, partitions, and multiple locks on the outer entrances are needed but prohibit the flow of a living space. 

Fortunately, folks looking to redesign a room or multiple rooms do not have to compromise on an acceptable level of home security in the suburban or urban setting. It is possible to eat your cake and have it too by utilizing the following approaches for keeping a space safe without worrying about the interior design limitations:

Outdoor Lighting

Depending on the view, you like to have your curtains left pushed to the side late into the evening. There is nothing quite like a nocturnal landscape or cityscape to accentuate the style of a particular living space at night.

However, we all know how vulnerable this situation can make us feel; anyone outside can easily see into the room, but people inside have a hard time seeing outward into the dark.

The solution is to install outward and downward facing floodlights. These serve to illuminate the ground and discourage prowlers from hanging around. If the position of the lights still causes obnoxious glare, opt for motion sensing models.

Subtle Security Cameras

When people think of security cameras in their home, many wince at the interior design implications. Nothing spoils the style and mood of a room like the glowing red light of a big camera quietly watching everyone from the corner.

Fortunately, the world’s leading home security experts have made great strides in providing subtle security camera installation options. The ADT price base for systems featuring smartphone and tablet accessible video feeds is inexpensive compared to alternative options. These systems involve very small cameras, which are barely noticeable but cover wide swaths of space.

The result is an ability to constantly monitor your home wherever you are, without having to come home to what looks like a police station.

Good Habits

Feel free to take advantage of open doors and windows when the weather is good. Just make sure to lock them all up when you leave!

Make weekly rounds of the exterior of the house. Check for broken basement windows and other signs of mischief. Crooks tend to prepare for break ins by setting the stage for later.

If you have gotten a security system, then use it! Many homes get alarms installed in the aftermath of a rash of break ins around the neighborhood, but after weeks and months of no new crimes they stop using them. Small yard signs indicating an alarm system are good deterrents, but a motivated enough of a thief will easily determine it is not being regularly activated.

Do these things, and there is really little to no reason why windows need to be barred, curtains drawn, and doors constantly dead bolted. These interior design inhibiting elements of home security can be avoided with due diligence, simple as that.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

What to Know When Refurbishing Your Office!

When you choose to refurbish your office, the possibilities are exciting as you consider what you can do to increase productivity and employee satisfaction. However, there are certain considerations you should keep in mind as you are pondering what changes to make.
Employee Opinion
Knowing what your employees are expecting from their office space can help you plan the best design possible. Perhaps you have some great ideas in mind, but your employees will not appreciate them. Change can be difficult for everyone, and it may not benefit your employees if they are staunchly against the changes you want to make. One way that you can guarantee employee happiness is through conducting an office-wide survey. Have them submit their opinions in a clean, neat way so that you can see if there is an overwhelming desire for you to design the office in a certain way. Because the employees know that you are thinking of them in the redesigning process, they will be more pleased with the result, even if you did not take all their suggestions.
You want to consider when you will do the refurbishment and how long it will take. If your office is affected by seasonal business, such as more business around Christmas, for example, office refurbishment will be frustrating at that time for your employees. They will be trying to work extra hard to compensate for the extra business, and they will need to be kicked out of their normal work space for the refurbishment. Try to schedule the refurbishing around a non-busy time period for your office. See if the refurbishing team can break the project into phases. They can work on one side of the office for one month and the other side in the other month. This will be much less troublesome for your employees than making them all unable to work in their spaces for a longer period.
Refurbishing your office means that you will need to consider the cost. Many refurbishing companies will give you a quote that you can use for presentations to the board. Here are two ways you can keep costs down.
1. Sell your old furniture: By selling your old furniture, you will at least get a small amount of money back, which can help you with the cost of the new design.
2. Negotiate with your landlord: If you are renting the building and the refurbishers want to update or re-do the air conditioning or electricity units, you can negotiate with your landlords to see if they will pay for part or the whole of such changes.
Looking through the works of different designers and their previous designs can give you a good idea of what styles they have. Make sure you choose someone who has a style that matches what you have in mind. If you do not, you may end up with a design very unlike that which you were imagining.
When refurbishing your office, consider your employees' opinions, the timing, budget, and design.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Crafting The Quintessential Men’s Den!

The term “man cave” is archaic and tired, and our new take on the men’s den takes both the “man” and his family into the equation, focusing on crafting a comfortable space for today’s modern dude to kick up his feet, partake in his favorite hobbies, and spend time with his family. If you are looking to create an updated men’s den in your home, check out these design tips.

When It Comes to Comfort

Since the men’s den is a place to relax after a long work week and a haven where sports talk and poker games are the norm, the top priority when it comes to furniture should be comfort. Being comfortable should not mean sacrificing aesthetic however, and when it comes to masculine rooms, you can not go wrong with leather furniture. Easy to pair with a variety of design elements, simple to keep clean, and rugged enough to withstand roughhousing and spilled snacks when the final touchdown is scored, leather furniture is your best bet. Check out the online offerings from a store like Leather Furniture USA to find items that can be directly delivered to your house to make life a whole lot easier. 

Natural Elements

Looking to create some rugged appeal? Bring in natural elements. That might mean wood accoutrements like side tables, or paneling your walls with the amazing products from Stikwood. This awesome company has turned reclaimed wood into decals that DIY-ers can apply directly to their own walls with almost zero effort. This means having a professional looking wooden backsplash of sorts wherever you deem fit- an awesome option for the outdoors-loving fellow. If you are looking to incorporate more natural features, consider a regal bonsai tree or modern terrarium to add more vegetation to the space without creating a ton of extra upkeep. 

Wall Decorations

The walls are where the personality of the room (and its occupants) can really shine through. Is the men’s den meant to be a sports retreat, rife with the sounds of happy cheers and angry boos during the baseball season, or is it intended as an oasis meant to calm and soothe? Perhaps it is intended to become a poker mecca. Take into consideration the utility of the room, and select your wall décor on this basis. For a sports room, framed jerseys, photos of legendary players, and team photos of your child on his or her team can do the trick. If calm is your aim, stick to clean, modern décor, with a statement art piece or two. If you are a card player, channel the bright lights of gambling mecca Vegas with neon signs from

Some Recreational Pieces

Make room for fun in the men’s den and consider what type of recreational additions you want to include in your design. Perhaps you will work your motif around your pride and joy pool table. Maybe darts is more your game- a special, custom dartboard from will add the perfect personal touch to your space. This space is about paying homage to favorite hobbies, so make sure you take part in said activities as much as possible. 

An At-Home Bar

One of the chicest, most practical aspects to add into the men’s den is a wet bar. If you do not have access to plumbing in the room, or there is not quite enough space in the budget to add one, you can always turn a bar cart into an impromptu and movable bar. You can find bar carts at almost every home goods store these days, or you can rework an old work cart you have into a piece that holds all of your favorite libation ingredients. Make sure you find something with wheels that you can cart around and add a bit of versatility to your room décor. 

Whether you are looking to create your own personal hobby space or you are designing a room for your husband and family to enjoy, these décor tips will help you craft the quintessential men’s den. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Top bathroom remodeling trends for 2016!

This post is provided by Jesse Hughes.

It may surprise you to learn that bathroom remodeling comes at the top of changes in the home, even above having a new kitchen fitted. The bathroom is a major focal point of any home and there are plenty of ways you can make your bathroom stand out from the crowd. Bathroom remodeling takes different forms; you may want to just change one or more fixtures or you may want to just remove everything and start completely from scratch. 

If you want to replace your existing fixtures then you may be looking for the best flushing toilets that look good too; you can check out some examples here. Of course, you may also want to swap your shower or tub for something new and eye catching. We are going to take a look at some of the remodeling trends which are hot in 2016. 

Create a focal point in the room

One of the biggest trends of this year is to create a real focal point in your bathroom; something that really catches the eye and holds the attention. One of the best features for enabling you to do this is a free standing tub. Placing a tub in the center of a bathroom means that anyone who enters the room immediately has their attention drawn to it. Another popular addition to a bathroom that can be an eye catching feature is a walk in shower. Whatever feature you decide on, the idea is to make it something that people will remember and talk about, after visiting your bathroom. 

Heat your bathroom floor

If you are thinking of selling your home on at some point then having a heated floor in your bathroom can be a real listings winner; it is certainly a feature that can catch the eye of those looking to buy a property. Even if you are not looking to sell your home, installing a heated floor is still a good idea. You can keep your bathroom floor warm without having to keep the heating on in the entire room. This can be cost effective, although it has to be said that having a heated floor fitted in the first place is not cheap; you can end up paying several hundred dollars. 

Go classic with white

White is not exactly just a trend for 2016, but it remains as popular as ever. If you want to go for a really trendy look then white subway tiles are a good option. They are the perfect match for an industrial look or classic look which is also very popular for 2016. Either of these looks is perfectly complemented by white tiling. 

All three of these remodels are on trend for 2016. What type of remodel you choose is often going to be dictated by the budget you have. You may choose to just replace your current tiling with a pristine white look, or you may opt for a heated floor. Hopefully we have given you some inspiration; the rest is up to you. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

No fuss DIYs to boost your bathroom!

Bathrooms are one of the most frequently used rooms in any property, and as such may soon start to exhibit signs of wear. While extensive contractor renovation and refurbishment can be a costly business, in many ways, it could also be an unnecessary one, for there are many no fuss DIYs that you can do to boost your tired bathroom.

Fixtures and fittings

The first element of your bathroom that you should think about tackling is the fixtures and fittings, especially the faucets. Water causes limescale to form on faucets, which is not only ugly to look at but can also cause small injuries if your fingers catch on the sharp mounds. You can buy limescale removers, but you could also try using ordinary vinegar to remove it. Also, use vinegar on old toothbrushes to remove layers of dirt on the faucets to bring them up clean and shiny.

Next, look at the handles in your bathroom. Handles have a habit of dating quite quickly, so if you want to change the look of your bathroom with very little effort, consider replacing your old-fashioned handles with something brighter, sleeker, and more contemporary.


Just as handles date, so do cabinets in bathrooms. However, before you consider replacing them, review whether the cabinets are in good shape. If they are, all that may be needed is a makeover. You can buy bathroom kits that include primer and paint to freshen up the external sides and doors, or you can simply employ a little more effort and use any paint that you may already have. Just remember to sand down the frames before applying, and use rollers to achieve a smooth finish.


The bathroom window is often a major feature of the room, so changing what hangs at the window is a great way to freshen up the space. Aim for minimalism at your window, for both aesthetic and practical reasons. The best choice for a bathroom window is shutters. To measure and fit window shutters, simply use a tape to determine the width and height of the window. This will give you the size of the shutter that you need.


Bathrooms often feature tiling, but one of the drawbacks of this is that individual tiles are often cracked and show signs of damage. Replacing the entire wall of tiles is not only a daunting job but is also often unnecessary, as a tile can be removed. Protect the area surrounding the damaged tile, and then use a hammer to break up the tile, removing the pieces, and then re-tiling. Tiles often develop mold in their grouting, so clean them with a directional nozzle on a steam cleaner or a homemade mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on an old toothbrush.

You do not need to spend a lot of money to freshen up your tired bathroom. The simple application of a little elbow grease and some clever choices about its changeable elements can quickly turn a dingy bathroom into a gorgeous sanctuary.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

3 Tips For Setting The Mood With Lighting!

This article is provided by Debra Lewis.

Overhead lighting in the home is a staple, but after a while, it can get boring. White light, a wonderful invention that extends our ability to do things, does not always add to the ambiance of a room. Step into a whole new world of color and texture by using colors, fairy lights, and paper lanterns to set the mood in any given room. It does not take a lot of effort to completely change the feel of a room with the strategic placement of colored fairy lights or a cutout lampshade over an existing light.

Using a Lampshade With Cutouts or Facets

Texture is often overlooked as a way of adding mood lighting to a room. It is possible to achieve the effect by using a lampshade with a pattern cut into its fabric and a high-or low-wattage light bulb. A bright bulb creates sharper edges in the pattern, whereas a low-watt bulb softens the texture.

If a table lamp is not an option but an overhead light is, go with a faceted glass globe or, once again, a patterned shade. A faceted globe throws the light around the room and creates interesting geometric patterns, whereas a patterned shade does one of two things: throws the exact pattern onto the floor or wall or distorts it over distance.

Use a sharper pattern for a room when you want to keep people's attention, such as during a party, and go soft for a more romantic, relaxed setting.

Softening the Room With Highlights

Sometimes a room is best with soft lighting and accents. It makes for a cozy feel and in some cases, a romantic one. Turn off the overheads and use items such as LED candles and a string of fairy lights. They will provide enough light to find your way around the room, but their soft glow makes the space much more appealing. Lighted decorations and Christmas lights from Christmas Lights Etc are quick to put up, simple to arrange, and easy to use as desired.

Use String Lights to Draw Attention

String lights make quick work of decorating a room to set the mood. They are flexible, resilient, and cover as large an area as you need. For a party atmosphere, get string lights that flash in a pattern and change color. Or use a string of soft white lights to highlight part of the room- they would not put out enough light to completely light up the space, but they can create a relaxing or exciting feeling depending on which mood you want to set.

When decorating to set the mood, think of the phrase "painting with light". Light is more than something that helps us see in a space. It accents, punctuates, and raises the feeling in or softens the mood of a room. Let your creative side out and push the boundaries of lighting to set the perfect tone.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Is DIY Home Painting a Good Idea? Pros and Cons Revealed!

This article is provided by Eric Huh.

Painting your home is a project that many homeowners feel is an easy DIY project. While painting a home’s interior or exterior may seem like an easy project, that is not always the case. There are many reasons that hiring a painting company to complete this project can be a good idea. At Greater Toronto Painters we often get hired by clients who tried to DIY paint their home but gave up after realizing how frustrating painting could be. Here are a few pros and cons of hiring a painting company versus doing it yourself.  


One of the main reasons that people tend to choose to making painting a do-it-yourself project is because of the cost. However, when considering the cost of hiring a painting company it is also important to consider the time that you are going to spend painting. 

How much is your time worth? A painting project can take 20 hours of work for a typical homeowner. Not to mention the stress involved. When you look at it that  way, saving a couple thousand bucks by doing it yourself does not seem like the best idea.


Time as mentioned above is something that must be considered when taking on a painting project. If you are like most people your time is extremely valuable and there never seems to be enough of it. Painting your home will take a time commitment as leaving your house half unpainted is really not an option. A painting company can typically have your house painted in as little as a day or two, which means that there is little inconvenience to you and you can use your time doing something fun. 

Quality Assurance

When you hire a professional painting company to do the job for you, you can rest assured that the paint job will be of the highest caliber. You are not only paying for the company to do the job, but you are also getting the peace of mind in knowing that your home is going to be painted correctly and look great when the job is finished. Many homeowners start a painting project thinking it will be easy, only to realize that it is harder than it seems. 

Color Choices

When shopping at a hardware store you may feel that there are plenty of color choices available. However, actually finding the color combinations that you want can be tricky. Professional painting companies have access to many connections within the industry, which means even if you choose a palette that is tricky to find, they will likely be able to accommodate you. 

Overall, there are pros and cons to choosing a painting company over doing the job yourself, but typically hiring a professional for the job is the way to go because it will save you time and you can relax in knowing that the job will be done correctly.