Understanding the Interior Design Process

If it’s your first time working with a designer for a home or commercial space, you might not understand everything that goes into the process. Understanding the project as a whole and each phase of design can ultimately save you time and money. Once you know your role and the roles of others involved in your interior design project, it will make the process much more enjoyable for you.

The first step is to find a design firm you feel comfortable with and that you trust has an experienced and respected team of architects, artisans and contractors. Each design firm works differently, and every project is varies with regards to how many phases you’ll go through. If your project is on a smaller scale, you might not have all the phases outlined in this article, but in general, the major phases of a design project are:

1. Schematic Design

2. Design Development

3. Construction Documents

4. Bidding Phase

5. Construction Administration

Stages of Interior Design – Explained

1. Schematic Design: This is first stage of the design process when the scope of the project is defined. As the client, you’ll be very engaged in this part of the process with the designer and sometimes the architect, if necessary. The designer (and architect) will provide rough sketches and show materials to ensure the concept is headed in the direction you envision. This phase can take anywhere from weeks to months, depending on the firm you work with and the extent of the project. It can take longer if you don’t have any idea what type of design you’re looking for. In that case, the design firm can help steer you in the right direction.

2. Design Development: The next stage aims to turn concepts into concrete action items. This stage will help to identify any problem areas that may not have been apparent upfront. In design development, the architect and interior design firm creates initial architectural drawings and material specifications. You will be involved throughout this process as the design firm will need your feedback to zero in on the details and discuss solutions to any problems. Once the direction of the design project is approved by you, the next step is construction documents.

3. Construction Documents: In this phase, the preliminary drawings that were created in the design development phase of the project are now turned into working documents, refined for accuracy and code requirements. All the materials to be used in the project are finalized and the specifications are prepared. Once this is complete, the documents serve as a tool to build out the project. You won’t be involved much in this phase due to the technicality of it, and the timeline depends on the scope of the project.

4. Bidding Phase: In the bidding phase, the construction documents are sent to potential building contractors so they can prepare bids. The bid is an estimate of the cost and time it will take to complete your design project. You …

55 Years Old – Don’t Buy A House

If you have owned a house and paid off the mortgage over the years you know the first 10 years is almost all interest payments with very little equity.

There is nothing wrong with buying a house as long as you can qualify. That means a good down payment and a steady job. None of that no-down-payment nonsense. The buyer must be serious about making those monthly mortgage payments and have a good job. Banks are checking these days.

The financial community in the recent past has been required to make mortgages for those who did not qualify with no down payments and had no serious intention of paying if it became economically uncomfortable. It is too easy to walk away.

The true cost of home ownership is not just the monthly mortgage payment. In a new house all the appliances, plumbing, roof, pool equipment, window frames, etc., etc., everything has an estimated life expectancy after which they need to be replaced.

Buying an older home means all of the above will occur sooner. Replace or repair can be expensive.

The true cost of keeping the house is the mortgage payment plus upkeep. Oh and let’s not forget taxes. Then there is a little thing called insurance that is required by the mortgage holder.

The industry calls it PITI = principle, interest, taxes and insurance. Depending upon the length of time of the mortgage and whatever your down payment was it normally comes out 10% annually of the selling price divided by 12 or 1% of the selling price each month.

If the house cost $200,000 that figures about or close to $2,000 per month.

If you are 55 years old do you want to take on that obligation? Wouldn’t it be smarter to rent? If the same quality home can be rented for $1,200 per month the renter could save the difference of $800 each month and in 10 years at retirement have $96,000 plus interest. I can guarantee he would not have that in home equity if he bought the house when he was 55.

Furthermore renters pay much less for rental insurance and have the ability to move to a new location any time. Renters do not have to put on a new roof or replace an old hot water heater. No major upkeep out of pocket expense.

How about a 6 month rental in Canada for the Summer and 6 months in Florida, Mexico or Dominican Republic for the Winter? The only extra would be travel expenses.

With so many rentals available the foreclosure prices are not yet a great buy. If a person wishes to buy there are yet about 4,000,000 more distressed properties to hit the market in the next 2 years. Prices will be even lower than today.

Do the numbers before you buy.…

Living Room Design Ideas

The living room is not the only place where you and your family will get spend time together relaxing and enjoying each others company, but it is also the place where your guests will sit and probably dine. For this it is important that when designing your living room you come with the best ideas possible. You don’t have to be an artist or interior designer by profession to do it, all you need is the right choice of colors, furniture and your room will look spacious and lively.

Dining room sets form one of the most important accessories of any living room. And because of this, they have to match just about everything in the dining room. Sofas, fabrics and the wall should also blend in color so as give your living room an extraordinary look. When selecting color, you need bright colors that will compliment each other and at the same time make your room appears more spacious. Colors such as lemon, white, lemon shades and even peach when combined will give your living room extra space together with a sense of comfort. Dark colors on the other hand may not be the best for your room. Not only will they make the room appear smaller, but may make it appear intense and intimate.

Brightness –

When coming with design ideas for your living room, you just have to consider the brightness. A living room should be bright and have all the happy and bright colors visible. A bright room will not only attract members of the family, but it will also provide a memorable experience for whoever pays you a visit. A bright room will set the tone and mood for anything taking place, and you can also spice that up by adding some bright colored flowers, curtains and furniture that will suit it. In your design ideas, try as much to do away with dark and dull colors.

Reflection –

Almost everyone loves a spacious room, and if your room is small then you just have to do something about it. You can make your room appear bigger by placing mirrors in strategic positions. Doing this will increase the width and the breadth of your living room from the reflection.

Floor –

The floor should be something you should consider when coming up with ideas for your living room. Certainly you wouldn’t want a floor where it is almost impossible to walk, but would rather have one where you and other people can move around without having to bump into pieces of furniture. The color and material you use on the floor is also equally important. A common trick to the floor is by using ceramic and mosaic. You can also put fine polished wood so as to give your living a fine bright look.

Lighting is also something to bear in mind when designing your room. The lighting can be from fluorescent bulbs or you can have enough windows to allow more light.…

Finding Homes for Sale That Meet Your Specifications

If you are looking at purchasing a new house, then you will want to consider several areas. You will want to consider the style, size, neighborhood, and cost of the homes for sale where you are looking. These are the normal areas that you would want to think about when looking for the right house.

The style of a house is something that everyone thinks about even if they do not realize it. You may not realize that you care about it being a craftsman home or a cape cod but the reality is that everyone probably has a preference for a certain style of home. Some styles may be more readily accessible than others, so it might take some work to find certain styles. Another consideration with the style will be whether or not you have any family members with special needs. If this is the case, then you may look for houses that only have one main floor.

The size of a house is another consideration if you are looking at homes for sale. If you have a family, then you might want a certain amount of space to accommodate your whole family. You might want to have an extra space for guests or even an entire apartment area for them. You may want to have a lot of storage space, so you may choose to have a full basement dedicated to mostly storage.

The neighborhood is something else that you need to think about if you are looking at homes for sale. A lot will depend on your reason for having a house where you want it. If you are single and work downtown, then you might look for a loft close to work. If you have children, then you may want a home close to the school and in a safe neighborhood. If you are retired, then you might choose a quite area of homes that would be too expensive for a young family.

Cost is something else to look into as you look at homes for sale. You will need to look at your budget to decide if you can afford the mortgage on the home that you would like to have for yourself and/or for your family.

After looking at several areas, you will hopefully find the homes for sale that will meet the needs that you have for you and your family. It will take some research, but you should be able to get all of the information that you need if you work at it.…

How to Make a Beautiful Garden

The key to achieving a beautiful garden is creative planning, careful plant selection and good ground preparation.

Creative planning is not just simply about an innovative garden layout but an approach demanding careful consideration of all site conditions and aspects before determining layout and planting scheme. The design must also incorporate sufficient space and adequate ground conditions for trees and shrubs to flourish. A practical layout that not only allows owner enjoy views but also features and outdoor spaces including Patios, decking and water features etc. Increasingly owners are demanding attractive gardens with low maintenance requirements. It is possible to design a beautiful garden with lots of interesting plants and many of which require little effort to provide regular but interesting performances.

A common sense approach to plant selection is very important and relatively straight forward. A little research perhaps at the earlier stages to determine a list of candidates but selection criteria must be appropriate for site conditions as well as owner’s preferences. Select plants and shrubs with certain height and spread growth habits that match available spaces not only means more control for little effort, but also better plant performance and overall more pleasing results with less work. Other criteria include select relevant plants to suit prevailing ground conditions, for example, do not expect a shade loving plant to survive in a bright sunny garden, or a plant which prefers dry free draining soil conditions to succeed in constantly damp soil.

Good ground preparation is an essential pre-requisite for the preparation of any new prospective garden. Some popular TV garden presenters would advise would be gardeners to spend twice as much on the planting hole as you did on the plant. This is critical for early and subsequent good root development. If the site is old and overgrown with many unwanted trees or shrubs, the chances are that the existing soil is tired and lack sufficient nutrients required to sustain new plant growth. Mix in plenty of well rotted manure or soil conditioner. Add some slow release fertiliser and mix in plenty of compost. Normally most plants benefit from a good soaking (simply immerse plant in a bucket of water for at least 30 minutes, remove and allow excess water to drain) prior to planting in the ground. After planting water all plants regularly until they have become established.…

Sex Tips for Penis Care: Get Cooking in the Kitchen

Variety is the spice of life and spices belong in the kitchen – so these sex tips can spice up the sex life by moving things into the chef’s room. As long as a little basic common sense is used to ensure penis care, there’s no reason a guy can’t suggest getting things cooking – in a different way – in the kitchen.

1. Location. Many sex tips expert will agree that changing up the location where a couple has sex can be an excellent way to add a little something “extra” to their sex lives. Sex in the kitchen is something many couples fantasize about, but too few engage in. But with a little preparation, some of the “obstacles” to successful kitchen sex can be dealt with.

2. Finding space. One of the biggest problems, especially for couples in tiny urban apartments, is simply a lack of space. There are several ways of overcoming this. For example, leaning the woman back over a (carefully cleared) kitchen counter or table is an option. If that won’t work, this can be an excellent opportunity to finally see if sex in a standing up position is a possibility for the couple in question. (Care must be taken here, so don’t push beyond safe capabilities.) Finally, sex doesn’t have to be limited to intercourse; oral sex with one partner on their knees and the other standing can be perfect for the kitchen.

3. Get tasty. And speaking of oral sex in the kitchen, why not spice it up a little? Plenty of food choices are right at hand, so this may be the time to add a little whipped cream or chocolate sauce or honey to a partner’s privates while providing them with pleasure.

4. Keep the sex and the cooking separate. It’s kind of titillating to think about combining sex and cooking, but it’s harder to pull off in real life than in fantasies. Pots and pans get in the way, fires become hazardous, food gets burned, etc. And cooking naked leaves the body open to all sorts of unforeseen injuries. (Chili powder on the penis can result in a rather unpleasant burning sensation.) Instead, a couple should get the meal in the oven, clean off the counters and then concentrate on getting their personal ovens heated.

5. Except for the foreplay. Going at it hot and heavy while cooking can be a problem – but engaging in some light foreplay while prepping the dinner isn’t necessarily a bad idea. (Unless handling of knives is involved.) Standing behind a mate, wrapping his arms around her and kissing her neck as she saut├ęs some onions can be fun. Or letting the woman stroke the man’s penis as he washes the lettuce for the salad can be very incentivizing.

6. Accessorize. Utilize kitchenwear and equipment in imaginative ways. Most men have never experienced the feel of oven mitts wrapped around their penis. What’s it like to have sex with a woman who’s wearing an …

Dog Behavior Training – The Matchstick Trick

The matchstick trick is a weird dog behavior training technique. Every time I suggest it to a client I typically hear, “You want me to do what?” It works, though. Let me preface the trick first, however, with the reasons why you would want to do this trick.

The matchstick trick is a method for getting your dog to go to the bathroom right now. There are several reasons why you would want to use this trick.

1. You are house training a puppy. When you are house training a puppy or any age dog for that matter one of your main goals is to get your dog on a bathroom schedule. In order to get that dog on a schedule your dog needs to go to the bathroom when you want him to go to the bathroom. For some dogs this is a challenge. You take them out and they just sniff around for a while and don’t feel like going to the bathroom. You, being the person in the situation, know that it is going to be a while before Fido is going to have a chance to go to the bathroom again, so it would be in his best interest to go now. (It is tough explaining best interest to a dog) Use the matchstick trick and you will help Fido go now, and thus help him get on your schedule.

2. From time to time I have clients tell me that their dog is so conditioned to going to the bathroom only in the back yard. When they take their dogs on walks the dogs won’t go to the bathroom because they associate only the backyard with bathroom time. Use the matchstick trick and you can help change the association. You can show your dog that it is okay to relieve himself in spots other than the back yard.

3. Constipated dogs. If your dog has a health problem you should take him immediately to the vet. It may not hurt, however, to try the matchstick trick to see if you can help relieve your old pal of his burdens.

Ok, so what is this trick, you ask? First, get yourself a book of matches. They need to be the soft kind that you rip out of a book. Second, rip off a match. Third, this is where it gets weird; insert the NON-sulfur side, or the torn side, into your dog’s rear end. DO NOT LIGHT THE MATCH! I think that goes without saying, but believe me, I have fielded that question before. Insert the match about halfway into the backside of your dog and let the rest hang out. Any further and it could go all the way inside and that would be bad news. Now wait. The match is going to be an irritating feeling for your dog. Your dog is going to want to get rid of that feeling. To get rid of it your dog will squat to try and push …

Critical Analysis of the Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges

Jorge Luis Borges is an acclaimed author of Latin American Fiction. He is known for the style of presenting his works through the literary device of magic realism. Throughout his works, he is fascinated with incoherent magical gaze of time, the multiple realities existing in labyrinths and he is adept to write commentaries on imaginary books which do not exist.

In the Garden of Forking Paths, the protagonist is a spy and the story is written on the backdrop of World War 1. His task is to transmit a secret message to his German counterparts. He is being pursued by Madden. He takes a journey by train to the house the renowned Sinologist Dr. Stephen Albert. There the discussion revolves around an unfinished book written by the Father of the protagonist. In the book multiple plots exist. For example: in one situation a man is a friend and in another an enemy and then rivals meet and shoot each other and then escape. The surprising part of the story is that the protagonist shoots Albert and then gets arrested by Madden. Borges reveals in the end that he is able to deliver secret of the bombing of a certain town by the Germans.

The narrative structure of the story is a straight forward one, going from the beginning to the end. The story follows the traditional lines of storytelling. The plot is not a very convincing one and reveals the struggle of the literary author to create it.

The protagonist who is a spy rather than being true his tradition is portrayed as a person who is interested in Literature. He is constantly contemplating about and incoherent manuscript of his ancestor, a created labyrinth. The author’s interest in labyrinths is a paradoxical fictional ambiguity. Is there a ‘trace’ of meaning when one over throws or delves into the semantic structure of meaning. One comes to the emptiness of sign and what alone rests is a literary adornment. The writing of the authors resembles more of a commentary than a work of fiction.

The meaning of time is contemplated fictionally. Borges attributes multiple conjectures of time. First of all, there’s time in the book which is linear one. Then there are many time zones of fiction where time is a made into an antic comic gesture of literary playfulness. For Borges, time is like Zeno’s arrow, though moving, is stationary at every path. Yes, Borges has given to us the literary aspect of time, the internalized one that revolves around the ontology of being a human one of experiences. The time of Borges resembles that of the surreal painter Dali’s melting clocks.

Though not many tropes are created, Borges goes to the extent of suggesting the metaphor. The whole story revolves around the symbolism of a metaphor. People, birds, sun rise, labyrinths and even time become metaphoric intrusions of the author’s creativity. The story becomes an imaginary encyclopedia where fictional space is imaginary as well as resting on an exaggerated hyperbole …

Benefits of Hiring A Painting Contractor

Color provides the state of mind and aura of a certain place. It has the power to make or break an area and should never ever be disregarded. Employing an expert painting contractor can assist you in having trendy shades for your house that you have not even imagined having. They have the ingenuity and knowledge you transform your property transform to a middle ages charming artwork or an elegant looking spot. Your home need not look unprofessional.

Your home is not just an area for sleeping. It is an area to discover calmness and what better way than to tap the services of a specialist painter that can transform your home into what you envision it to be. In the past, paint that has been used is only water-based. The choices have been really minimal. Yet, as a result of advancements, one has the option of paint innovation. Brighter, better choices can now improve any area where it is applied.

Altering the Personality of a Room and Breathing New Life to It

By painting your residence, you can make it look new. It additionally brings a better feeling and a rejuvenating personality to your space, bringing life and glimmer to any room. Impress your family members, buddies as well as guests. For individuals that intend to make their room unique, they have actually textured paints as a choice. The fantastic thing about these shades is that they can be customized to match your chosen color scheme.

Repainting options are numerous. You can pick from catalogues and see how you want your home to be like. A color specialist would certainly help you balance the appearance. If you want to update the design, you can also work with an interior designer to aid in putting furniture in order and balancing out the view of the room.

A Painting Contractor Helps You Save Time and Money

There are negatives that can happen when you choose to repaint your home by yourself. You could wind up investing more in repairing blunders and defects. By hiring a painting contractor you can be helped by good painters who could make certain that every area will look spotless.

Painting your very own property may look simple. However, you would need to be an expert to figure out the appropriate shade, mix as well as texture. You would definitely not want a space which looking cheap just because you painted it on your own. The time you invest on painting the house alone is so valuable to throw away. Work with a painting contractor instead to complete the task for you.…

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 transform 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 coloured 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 with plants or timber fencing to …