Thursday, October 10, 2013

Furnishing Tips for First Timers

By: Jason Kane-Superior Table Pads

Most typical first-time homeowners cannot afford to be profligate when they look around for home furnishings. They can feel overwhelmed by what they must do to furnish their new homes. Costs can get out of control; planning and research can help to keep them down. The following tips may help first-time homeowners find what they need and want at financially affordable costs.
Spread it out
There may be an urge to furnish the entire house right from the start but it is economically smarter to spread out large purchases over several months to see which rooms get most use most and then invest accordingly. Some interior designers say to live in a new house at least two months before making substantial purchases. Actual use of the house may turn out to be different from anticipated use. A bathroom renovation may not be as necessary as kitchen and dining area improvements for food storage and preparation. The living room chaise might be better in a bedroom and the bedroom love seat better in the den.
Home furnishings need not match like those in a store display. Mixed and matched pieces from various stores at different prices create unique styles. Retailers perpetuate the idea that everything must be in matching sets that actually produce the lifelessness of a retail showroom. Proportion should be a priority in every room along with scale and balance in furniture and accessories. Several pieces of oversize furniture overcrowd a small room with a low ceiling unduly while a low buffet and a small, delicate dining table give a large room with a soaring ceiling an air of emptiness.
Go second-hand
Big retailers who draw customers with slick TV commercials and colorful ads are not the best or only options. Consignment shops or antiquary markets sometimes stock unique pieces in good condition. With a little refurbishment, second-hand furniture pieces can be great budget savers. Inexpensive accessories can bring new life to old furnishings. New sofa pillows, a new bed cover, or a new table runner can change and refresh furniture appearance without undue expense. It may not be necessary to rip fixtures out for remodeling. New paint and a set of new doorknobs can restore drab kitchen cabinets to look fresh and nearly new. Inexpensive drapes and a coat of paint can revive a room to make old furniture look much better.
Scour yard sales
Photo via Google image
For new home buyers with ideas of how to furnish and decorate their homes there are some atypical shopping spots. In the spring and summer, they can find some good buys at yard, garage, or rummage sales that can be gold mines for second-hand furnishings. Last summer a white wicker bench sold at a yard sale for only six dollars where a new one would cost at least $150.00. Saturday mornings are the best times for garage sales. Newspapers list garage sales in their classified ad sections. In metropolitan areas, postings can save new home owners lots of money. Furnishings are easy to find because the website categorizes and dates all listings.
Jason Kane is an avid décor blogger for Superior Table Pads. In addition to blogging, he enjoys fine wine and helping his friends decorate their homes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Incorporating a modern style with an older property

By:  Mark Finch

One of the most challenging obstacles in renovating an older style property is incorporating modern comforts into the design without destroying the character of the house. The most effective way of achieving this is to put a twist on the original design of the house. Bring modern style into the equation by choosing designs which are a contemporary version of an outdated style. Modern living tends to utilize all aspects of a property. Therefore you should consider how to use every nook and cranny which older properties have a tendency to harbor.
photo source: Apple a day beauty

Look carefully at the kitchen and include modern appliances. Forget the old style pantry cupboards where everything gets forgotten at the back, modern beautiful kitchen cupboard doors enclose practical turn about pantries.

If you have stairs, check the space underneath or around it where you can put storage cupboards. A long hallway, so typical of older properties, is ideal for modern design floor coverings.

Pebble Rug by Ksenia for 2form  
Pebble effect woolen rugs are available which are reminiscent of cobblestones. They draw your eye up the whole length of the corridor so don't forget a feature at the end in the form of a lighted alcove, bookcase, stairs with feature coverings or similar.

Bedrooms are often forgotten while restyling a property and these are often fairly large in older properties. Make the most of the space with built in cupboards as unobtrusive as possible. While modern bedrooms tend towards a minimalist look, if you have tall ceilings you can soften the effect with a small chandelier.

 Don't forget the garden in your design. Indeed, you can bring the garden indoors to link the outside and inside. Japanese gardens tend to be minimalistic with highlights of color. Create a formal garden in this style just outside some large windows or french doors, and continue the theme on the inside also.

 Loose river pebble paths can wind their way through the garden, and continue on the edges of the room inside. Or a pebble mosaic can be continued through both the garden and room inside. Bathrooms and kitchens are ideal rooms for needing hard-wearing and washable surfaces so consider continuing the theme into these areas. Don't forget the plants when merging your interior scheme with your exterior scheme. Match what you are growing outside with indoor versions of the plants as much as possible to seamlessly join the two. Wall coverings are another area where careful consideration is needed.

 Many beautiful wallpapers are now available to complement your modern style without compromising the character of the house. But avoid wallpapers in designs such as printed stone as they always fail to achieve a realistic look. If you like the stone effect consider a stone veneer as an alternative.

 These are available is many colors and designs both formal and informal in style. An interior low dividing wall can be made to look like a mountain's dry-stone wall. Topped with simple indoor plants, the effect could be simple but beautiful. Make the most of lighting in your considerations. Encourage natural light into the house by means of minimizing window coverings or adding extra windows or skylights if you are able to. For darker days make the most of modern unobtrusive lighting to highlight your home. Again link the garden to the inside with the continuation of similar lighting, appropriately installed and protected from the elements. So celebrate the uniqueness of your home with ideas to complement and enhance the original construction. Make the most of its character and implement a modern design while remaining sympathetic to the age and style of the property.

 Author: Mark finch currently works with Aggregate Shop as a committed member of the marketing team. Mark enjoys fishing, construction and all manner of DIY, due to this he spends a great deal of his time studying construction and sharing his experiences with others.