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Home Office Interior Design – How to Decorate With Professional Pizazz

Quit putting your home office on a back burner! Set aside all of the things that have been stopping you from decorating your home office. You owe it to yourself to add some bright color, a comfy chair, and some trendy decor. The dullness needs to go so you can get your brain stimulated in your new environment. It doesn’t have to cost a lot or require a lot of time.

Regardless of how big your office is or what room you are trying to transform there are certain elements that are key to office interior design. Once you take these into consideration you will be on your way to the home office that you always dreamed of. First, the lighting is very important for many reasons. Next, the room has to have some decent decor. Finally, the furniture is critical too. Here are the key elements of interior design for your office:

· Lighting could very well be the most important part of designing your office. You need to have bright lights since dim lights are going to make you tired. The best choices include ceiling lights combined with floor lamps. Ideally, place a floor lamp in each corner of the room with ceiling lights and add a desk lamp too! This will provide you with all the lighting that you will need.

· Furniture should never be underestimated! There are two reasons for this, ergonomics and style. What you need to do is fine a perfect balance. Look for a chair that you will feel good in all day long but one that is realistic for the space that you are working with. When it comes to comfort and style, never compromise either.

· Consider the other furniture that you will have in your home office. While a lot of office furniture does come in black, that can cast a depressing look on any home office, not to mention all the dusting you will have to do. Add white, oak, or maple filing cabinets or bookcases. It is a matter of preference but do not mix and match too much. The more time you plan to spend in your home office, the lighter your colors should be.

· When it comes to the decor, have fun! Stay away from traditional if that isn’t your thing. You can still display your favorite photos but get some cool frames to do it. Plants add a touch of richness to any room, including your home office. Feel free to use real or artificial plants to spruce up the room!

The bottom line is to make sure that you are comfortable with your home office interior design. You only have to make you happy and it doesn’t take that much to give your little office space some life.

Coffee Tables – A Frugal Home Design Basic Buying Guide

American homes traditionally are not complete without living room coffee tables. That said, many choose the common living room tables without the advantage of simple buying guidelines with the end result being coffee tables that are miss-matched or ill-suited for the rooms where they are placed.

The 3 interior design principles to consider when buying any piece of furniture is form, function and space.

Form

Form simply means determining the design direction you wish to create in the room. Consistency in design will minimize clutter and focus your buying decisions.

Take the time determining your desired design style by browsing through home decorating magazines, viewing staged model homes, consulting with an interior designer or taking advantage of simple design style assessments that can be found online.

Function

Function is extremely important when choosing coffee tables. This requires identifying your families living habits in the specific rooms that need coffee tables. For example, are you a “sit back and relax” type family who loves to kick off shoes, grab cold drinks, a bowl of popcorn, feet up on the coffee table to watch a movie or ball game? If so, a glass table is out. A better choice is an easy clean, solid hard wood table top or trunk type coffee table.

If you are the type that enjoys spreading out on the couch with a good book, newspaper or Kindle then you will need a table that does not measure higher than the top of your couch seat cushions. There is nothing worse than staring at a table line while relaxing horizontally.

If there are small children in the house, then tables designed in marble or wood would be a better choice over glass. Round and cushioned are safer than the sharper edged counterparts. Smooth surfaces over tiled and paneled coffee table tops are best for growing families because constantly trying to keep those designer nooks and crannies clean is really an exercise in futility.

Space

Finally, space might be the most important consideration. If storage is an issue, take advantage of the brilliantly designed coffee tables provide not only design and function but areas of storage from overnight guest bedding, to family night game storage. Nesting tables are a wonderful way to add additional seating with the ingeniously designed benches tucked under the main table unnoticed until needed.

Two smaller, tables placed side by side could work better that 1 large bulky coffee table. Glass, or coffee tables designed with metal frames and feet take up less space both physically and visually; when space is at a premium.

Frugal Home Design Tips

In today’s economy, no article would be complete without a few frugal home design tips. There are ways to find deeply discounted furniture that you may not know about. Though these sources may need a bit of handyman touch ups you can find some great deals without compromising quality. These money-saving sources are:

  • Craig’s List – If you are living close to a military base, this is the perfect resource to find furniture for sale from families on the move who need to down-size.
  • Model Homes – Sometimes you can buy the furniture right out of the house, especially in new construction model homes that have sold most of their new home inventory. Rather than pick up and move that staging furniture, they will be happy to sell it at drastic discounts.
  • Furniture Store Scratch and Dent rooms – If the store doesn’t have a room with these slightly damaged rejects ask about their delivery warehouse. Awesome deals are found there, the only catch is you have to ask.
  • Storage Unit “Yard Sales” – Though storage unit shows have increased the publics interest in the practice of buying the contents of abandoned storage units, there are still storage managers that will hold yard sale type events selling furniture sets. Some of these sales are advertised in the local paper, others are not. You may have to visit or call individual storage providers in your area to find out when their next sale event will be.
  • Repurposing – With some imagination you can repurpose an old discarded piece of furniture to serve as a coffee table.

For some great photo examples visit the link at the bottom of this article.

So there you have it, before shopping for coffee tables, determine your design style, establish the living habits of those in the home and identify space availability. Using these basic buying guidelines you will find the perfect living room table for your home interior needs.

Home Interiors – Clients Guide No1 – Interior Designer / Interior Decorator – What’s the Difference?

“Do you do Curtains & Cushions?” As a professional Interior Designer that’s the phone call we dread to receive!

It happens more than you may think; I then have to go on to explain (without sounding patronising) what this person really needs is an Interior Decorator, this will then no doubt follow-on with me having to further explain what the differences are between the two disciplines and try to steer them in an appropriate direction.

I don’t blame these people for getting the two mixed up; the general public have been feed hours and hour of TV “instant” make-over programmes and continuous glossy magazine features all under the misleading label of Interior Design. Also this has prompted those in the Interior Decoration and Soft Furnishing business to elevate their tile to Interior Designers; again I don’t blame them for doing this, it makes good business sense to up sell yourself. But the lines have become blurred as to what these two very different services offer – there is a market for the two approaches, but where confusion resides with the customer this has to be a bad thing!

So here with this Home Interiors – Client’s Guide – series of articles I will address the key aspects for client’s that have a Interior Design project in mind as to how they should go about searching for a Designer, what to look for, how they work and charge, how to get the best out of them and how a project gets off the ground to become a finished built reality.

ABOUT HOME INTERIOR DESIGN

Home Interior Design is not to be confused with Home Interior Decoration, as this tends to be only a skin-deep treatment to give a style change or “make-over” to a property. Home/Residential/Domestic Interior Design (whatever one may call it) is a much more fundamental approach to the way you live in a property and how a building can be made to work for the individual owners needs. This will not be just a coat of paint (some new curtains and cushions) it is likely to start with a in-depth rethink at how the property is planned and may involve some considerable changes put in place before one even thinks of decorations.

Interior Designers who specialize in Home Design can be viewed as Interior Architects, and their abilities should cover all aspects of building and architectural work to a property included minor/major structural alterations and building extensions etc. They will go on to cover all the “decoration” elements such as colours, finishes and furnishings, but this is not necessarily the starting point for a project. Kitchens, Bathrooms, Staircases etc are some of the core planning elements that can structurally and technically change a buildings layout; the flow and shape of a property can change dramatically when approaching these areas.

All the technical services that make up an Interior Design project will be undertaken by the Designer; Electrics, Lighting, Plumbing, Heating and Ventilation etc, all are fundamental that need to be design-in at the early stages of a scheme, even if it is just the principles of how these may work. It is becoming even more important these days with the opportunity for client to add-in to their project energy efficiency solutions for the whole building.

Many Clients only have a very basic idea or framework of what they wish from a project; it is however the Designers role to gain that information and drawer out of the Client the full details of their requirements, this then forming the project brief. This can be a very personal experience with the Designer asking questions on how you live now and changes you wish to make to your life style. Be as open as you can as this forms an important foundation for any new design, remember that the Designer is designing for you and not for them, so they need to know how YOU tick!

For most Clients they really enjoy this consultation, as this may be the first time that they have truly thought about their life style and what they really need from the project, apart from a floor, walls and ceiling. A good Designer will have the talents of a “pick pocket”, you will not know that so much information has been taken from you until you see the first concept design, and then you will realise that the smallest details have been included that reflects you and your life style.

HOW DO YOU FIND A GOOD DESIGNER

Personal recommendations are always good, but remember, the Designer has designed for the person who gave you the recommendation, so even if their project is not to your taste this does not necessarily mean that the Designer cannot design to your taste. If they were satisfied that the Designer produced a sound creative solution that matched their brief, then this Designer would more than likely be able to satisfy your project requirements.

Web Sites are a good way of looking at a Designers portfolio of work without making direct contact. Use the search engines and directories to track Designers that are within the broad area to where you live. It is no good having a Designer from Scotland if you live in London, and vice a verse, so aim relatively local of around a 50 mile search radius! Also be aware of companies that call themselves Interior Designers, but are really Home Furnishing companies and they are only really interested in selling from their shop or showroom. Offers of “free design service” will always have a sales agenda behind it. A true Design Consultant will be totally independent of any affiliated retail business and will use the global market to source what is right for your project, no commission or incentives involved.

Professional Bodies such as The Chartered Society of Designers have registers of designers in your area and can be contacted for a list. They also have a web site at you could visit. The Chartered Society of Designers is a body that vets individual designers to make sure they meet a professional standard, it starts with a student quantification “Diploma Member” and then “Member” (MCSD), and the highest level is “Fellow” (FCSD) and you should look for these qualifications or similar from your Designer.

I hope this has given you an insight into the world of Home Interior Design and if you are considering employing a designer is of help as to how to start to make a selection. Part of that selection process will be that first (no obligation) meeting with them; what can you expect to come out of this? Look out for the next article in this series by Chris Page.