The Smart Approach to Starting Home Projects

If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of starting that home project, be reassured: there’s really no one way to start a decorating project. Coming up with a plan is key, and from there you can take it anywhere you want.

First Things First – Do Your Research, Find Your Style

It’s important to develop a clear idea of what you want the finished project to look like before you get started. In order to do that, you’ll have to do your research. Pore through interior design books, magazines, and websites to start identifying the design elements that you are drawn to.

What are you researching, you ask? You need to determine your design style, which will guide you as you make decisions about furniture, window treatments, and color schemes. Are you Contemporary or Formal? Traditional or Cottage/Casual? While you may like elements from each, look for similarities in your favorite designs. Try keeping a “Design Project Scrapbook” to collect pictures and clippings of designs you love. This will also help you identify patterns and trends in your preferences.

Visit Kristina’s Design Studio at Blindcrafter.com to check out their Virtual Decorator, MyStyle Guide to Home Design Styles, and photo galleries — just some of the resources available to you as you start your mission.

Focus on Function

It may seem to be an obvious conclusion that dining rooms are for – well, dining. But it is still important, for every design project you do, to ask yourself, “What will you actually do in the room you’re redecorating?” You may find that you rarely eat in the dining room because the kitchen has become the hub of family meals. In that case, a bulky dining room table might not be the best plan for this room. Thinking about the room’s purpose will determine your furniture needs (a room meant for interaction shouldn’t be cluttered by extra furniture), color schemes (a room meant for relaxing shouldn’t have bold color schemes), and even window treatments (a room meant for sleeping may need room-darkening shades).

Measure and (Floor) Plan

So, you have an idea of your style and color. Now get to know the space you’re working with. To do this, you’ll need to take measurements. Get the room’s dimensions, measure window sizes, and use this to sketch a floorplan.

Set a Budget (for Money and Time)

As with any big project, setting time and money limits are important. It gives you something to work with. You need to consider what your personal needs are and if you will be able to work around the necessary construction in the various rooms of your home.

Your Best Resources are Free (or already paid for)

Very few people can start from scratch, decorating a fresh, empty room from top to bottom. Whether it’s not a good time for new furniture, or you have carpeting, countertops, or flooring that you like, some things don’t have to change.

If the “here-to-stay” features are things you like, focus on them and make them important. For example, if you have an arched window that you love, it’s not time to hide it with a traditional blind. Instead, highlight it with specialty custom-built window shades.

If these “permanent” features are things you don’t like but cannot (or cannot afford to) change, look for ways to downplay them in your newly decorated space. Take furniture, for example. An entire furniture set may not be in the budget, but you feel the dark furniture you have is weighing the room down. Try a lighter paint on the walls to reflect light, and sheer window treatments that will make the most of natural light. It’s amazing what a difference this lighting can make. You may even find you like your furniture after all!

Time to Go Shopping

The most fun (and sometimes most scary) step of any redecorating project is when you get to shop for what you love! Again, planning is key here. For the best shopping experience, go in knowing what you need. When you’re redecorating, it’s not the time for impulse purchases that may not fit in to your design. Carry your floorplan, paint chips, and fabric swatches with you to help you be prepared as you shop.

And while there is no “correct order” for shopping, many people recommend purchasing paint last, because it is relatively inexpensive and is available in an almost never-ending variety of colors, so it’s easier to find a paint to match your accessories than it is to find accessories to match the paint.

Managing “While we’re at it” Syndrome

It happens to even the most amateur of designers: you get the design bug. You start with one little project, and sure enough, you’ll find yourself saying “while we’re at it, let’s (fill in your next decorating project here)”. That’s okay!

To keep you sane (and to keep your concentration on the project at hand), simply make a “To Do” decorating list that details other projects you’d like to do, and a timeline for each.

Accessorize Your Doors With Great Door Hardware

Doors are one of the elements in any room that typically gets looked over when it comes to interior design and redecorating a particular room in a house. While many people may simply see door hardware as a necessity or even a security feature, there is a certain level of design and style that goes into each door knob or handle. When choosing the right door handles or knobs for your house it may seem like a small detail, but there is a lot of thought that needs to go into choosing the right hardware for the style of house you have and what you personally would like to use as a design element to the house.

One of the first things to consider when you are choosing the right type of hardware to use on your house is what the purpose of door knob will be and where it will be used. Different knobs can be used for the front door, bedroom doors, bathroom door and patio doors. All have a specific purpose of opening a door, however the aesthetics of each door is different. For instance, a door handle and a deadbolt combination are best used on the front door of a house because it provides protection and also adds a decorative touch. Door knobs are typically used on bedroom doors, bathroom doors and any other interior door. They serve the purpose of being able to lock but do not need to be as secure as a front door lock. Door levers on the other hand are more decorative and can be used on French doors or patio doors.

Once you decide on what specific style of door handle or knob you would like to use it is time to decide on what finish you are looking for. Finishes include styles such as oil rubbed bronze, polished brass, satin nickel and many other types of finishes. There is no right or wrong style to choose from when it comes to the finish of a door handle, however it is important to make sure that the style that you choose goes with the rest of the house. If you have an antique style house you may want to stay away from satin nickel lever door handles because satin nickel gives off a more modern look. Instead oil rubbed bronze or polished brass may be a better idea.

In addition to the style and look of a particular door knob, there is also a technological aspect to the hardware as well. For instance, to beef up security on a house, many homeowners install door knobs that require a finger print in order to gain access. They many even take it one step further and install ones that require a security code in order to gain access to the house. However, just because you want a high security door handle does not mean that you have to give up the design aspect of the hardware. Finger print door knobs can consist of as much decorative hardware as any other door knob or handle out there.

Tori works for Your Home Supply (YHS) the definitive website for home improvement tools, and gardening supplies. Your Home Supply offers a wide range of cabinet hardware and satin nickel cabinet knobs to help you accessorize your door with great door hardware and cabinets with great cabinet hardware.

Door Hardware Fittings Enhancing Interior Decor

Door hardware fittings play a pivotal role in modern day home decor and furnishings. For overall interior and exterior decor, there are many factors that are taken into consideration like furniture, color of walls, lighting, decorative items, furnishings and of course window and door hardware. In fact a well designed exterior door can give your home a wonderful lift. The entry door should be much more than a normal wooden, painted door. And if all the exterior and interior doors in your home are given a proper treatment by the use of varied fittings, you can rest assured that your house will stand out from the others.

Wide Styles and Finishes
There are different hardware fittings for doors like door knobs, handles, knockers, hinges, door stops, including address plates and letterboxes. These fittings are available in varied styles and finishes and are made of a wide range of materials. The market is flooded with brass, bronze, wrought iron, steel, aluminum, chrome door fittings in varied styles ranging from antique to contemporary to European and Victorian styles. There are ceramic, glass, wooden, plastic door fittings as well. The ceramic and glass door knobs are very beautiful to look at. They are colorful and bright. So selecting a door decorative product is not an easy job. Take time out to find the right door accessories, so that they create a good, first impression. Starting from the entrance door to all interior doors, you can create a general theme or you can have individual styles in each room. The choice is entirely yours.

Quality
The door decorative accessories must also be of good quality so that they are durable and serve the purpose for which they are used. Your entry door hardware is of no use if it cannot provide you the security you want. So the selection of hardware fittings also call for proper quality besides style. Look for products that are well made and robust and also attractive.

Popularity
A good choice of door hardware fittings can add a touch of class to a room and the entire home. Your hardware accessories should be contemporary and elegant. The range of patterns and styles is huge. A little planning and fore thought can create a lasting impression of your house. Create your own personal statement with these decorative door hardware. They add the finishing touches to your home. Besides being fashionable, they are functional and hence nowadays a great importance is given on these fittings.

Barn Door Hardware For Styling Your Home Uniquely

When you want a fashionable yet durable and strong style for the doors in your home, you can select the barn door hardware style. Popularly called the flat track hardware, this simple and rustic looking style is compatible with any kind of room decor. In this a pathway equipped with a pair of hangers is fixed above a door which rolls on that track and is held to be very stable. Barn door hardware complements wooden, glass, or any other kind of door.

To heighten security, people are selecting customized doors that not only guard your home against unwanted entry but also give it an aesthetic appeal. These customized doors need to be fitted with entry locks to the various rooms like bedrooms, living rooms, dining halls, and libraries. Barn door hardware allows you to get a customized door which becomes an integral part of your room. With sliding door hardware, the door slides out of sight into the wall when opened, becoming invisible to those seated inside the room. The entire purpose of having a sliding door hardware is then lost. But with it’s technology, you can ensure that such a door hangs outside a particular room almost like a decoration when kept open, and resembles a classy enclosure when kept shut.

Barn door hardware is essentially large sliding barn doors that are slightly expensive but elegant looking. The hardware comprises of metal tracks and wheels and bolts required for it to be wall-mounted. An ordinary sliding track can be extremely costly – almost $800 for high-end quality. The doors are not included in this costing and must be purchased locally and later customized to fit your preferences. Some are fitted with sliding mirrors which can be used in bathrooms for extra privacy. The greatest advantage, of course, is that with it, you need not reserve extra space that you would normally have to keep for an ordinary door to be opened. These doors do not slide into walls; rather these add to the overall decor of any room.

Reasons To Choose Barn Door Hardware:

* These doors are strong and durable being made of solid steel tracks. They can sustain weights up to 400 lbs and can last you a lifetime without repairs or replacements.
* Being durable, they are easy to maintain, saving you both time and money.
* They are versatile and can be used in a variety of ways like doors for barns or cabins, for stylish bathrooms, or for closing off certain rooms like dining rooms and libraries.
* Their rustic appearance and feel enhance the appeal of any room and the overall beauty of any house.

The tracks above the doorways are made from steel and hangers can be fixed to door knobs which stretch along the wall length and revolve horizontally on it. The steel finish is what makes the barn door hardware so very strong and long-lasting. Before selecting a company for buying barn door hardware, entry locks, and door knobs, it is advisable to do exhaustive research and find out about company reputations through customer feedbacks. Superior quality and attractive prices should be your criteria for selecting your barn door hardware supplier. Today there are companies that make eco-friendly door and cabinet knobs and designer doors which are both impressive and durable.

Rustica Hardware experts offers unique barn door hardware is also known as flat track hardware and sliding door hardware.

Tips to Incorporate Art Into Home Design Made Easy

We humans have come a long way, both in terms of lifestyle and comfort in our home design. Getting furniture to enhance the interior of the home requires you to purchase from side tables, coffee tables, book shelves etc. Yet in the process of cultivating a cozy home environment, it is also a good idea to think about what kind of art you want in your home. You cannot undermine the importance of placement of selective art pieces as well.

There are many ways that you can effectively personalize your home. Home design has transformed over the past few years, and it is a reflection of who you are as a person. The incorporation of artwork stands as one the easiest and quickest ways to incorporate your preferences. Whether you choose sculptures, oil paintings or canvas oil paintings, you will find that the selections you make will go a long way. They help towards establishing your living room or other living spaces and give them a unique identity.

Here is a list of top three approaches to incorporate art into your home-

Every person is different and you should choose art that reflects your personal style. You have to bear in mind that the choice of art blends in seamlessly with the environment. See to it that they do not clash with the home décor. However, in the end, the most important factor is to select artwork that you are pleased with and really love!

Searching for artwork doesn’t have to be an overwhelming and time consuming process anymore. One way to find artwork that is of interest to you is to simply go out and look for your personal preference. Visiting galleries requires time and effort, another time effective shopping is through online portals that cater to art. Internet has changed the world of shopping for us, make the most of it.

If you really want your artwork to be well integrated into your home, considering working with an interior designer might make a good deal of sense. Interior designers will know what choices are likely to work the best with a given style. In fact, working with an interior designer is a very smart move when you are unsure as to what you want in terms of art, design and how the two go hand in hand.

You would have uncovered a world of options and have chosen wisely. In the process, you might actually discover new art and styles of art that you find exciting and interesting.

Define Your Style – Home Design Ideas

Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” and when it comes to interior design this can often by the best route to take if you don’t trust your own design instincts. There is a danger however, that your house will blend into every other Magnolia drenched, carbon copy home that we see cloned on every street in Britain today. Why do we practice such safe design? Is it because we suffer from a lack of imagination, or are home owners up and down the land just not brave enough to experiment? Maybe in this difficult economic climate we cannot risk straying from that safe colour palette of cream and white?

I say, why create a ‘blank canvas’ (just in case you move home), for someone else to put his or her stamp on. Look for inspiration everywhere and don’t fear your own style. There are several ways in which you can experiment without breaking the bank and below are a few ideas and tips, which could inspire you to create your own unique groove. Firstly, do a little research. Websites such as housetohome have a fantastic gallery of pictures and suppliers that can inspire you and are less likely to be found in the house next door.

Create a mood board. Collect images, colour swabs and fabric samples in order to focus your ideas and inspire you. This way you will be able to see which colours and styles go together and it will also help you commit to only buying what you need. Steer clear of the plain and create simple elegance by choosing a simple colour palette but also experimenting with different textures of paint and fabrics. B&Q have a paint colour mixing service, which can match any of your favourite items.

Add a splash of colour by adding cushions and throws or curtains. Cushions, and more surprisingly curtains, are easy to make if you have a bit of time on your hands and you can get quality designer fabrics at greatly reduced prices online. Stores such as http://www.digbyandwilloughby.co.uk sell designer fabrics at £10 a meter instead of the recommended retail price of £30 to £100 a meter. If you don’t fancy making curtains yourself, Digby & Willoughby can get these made up for you. Alternatively breathe life into a favourite chair with new upholstery with Fabrics from Digby & Willoughby.

Accessorise with one or two unique pieces such as a beautiful free standing mirror or a piece of artwork. To save some pennies you could visit auction houses such as lotsroad or criterionauctions. I recently found a fantastic seascape oil painting in a charity shop and a beautiful art deco bedroom suite on freecycle.org so keep your eyes peeled. Love the traditional? Experiment with mixing the traditional with the new to avoid being old fashioned. Choose classic wallpapers with a funky twist from companies such as Cole & Sons and Zoffany to create a feature wall. Visit reclamation yards such as wellsreclaimation or sites such as salvo.co.uk to find beautiful antique wooden furniture and natural materials to create a classic and unique vintage look.

A statement piece of furniture can be the inspiration for the design of your whole room. Cover an old chest of drawers or table with fantastic hand printed wallpaper, protected with layers of clear varnish and jazz it up with new or antique handles. Try emmamolony.com for hand printed wallpapers. Go off piste, I recently purchase antique music scores from a local bookshop, which cost me 30p each and they make the perfect vintage wall coverings. If you religiously follow modern styles, what is the buzz from the world of interior design, what are the hot colours for 2010?

Colours from Mexico such as, burnt oranges, sunny yellows, gingers and taupe’s are on trend. Various shades of midnight blue with greying whites are in vogue and as well as being chic and ultimately classic, they would be a good long-term investment. Soft vintage colours, such as neapolitan pinks and yellows reflect the current boom in homemade crafts and reclaimed materials. Other colours in style for 2010 will be natural hues, soft beiges and nudes with green or purple accessories. There are plenty of ways to create your own unique style and to update your home. And remember, to play on the words of Jim Rohn, ‘if you don’t design your own style, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much!’