‘interior design’ Category

5 Apps to Help Your Remodel Go Smoother

Starting a home remodel can feel like a daunting process, even for those who have a few home improvement projects already under their belt. Aside from having the proper tooling and know-how to get the job done, it’s equally important to have a sound remodeling plan that will help get you there.

Thankfully, with the advent of technology, there are some new ways for the home improvement amateur, or professional, to get started in putting together the home of their dreams. And it can all begin by spending a few minutes browsing for an app on your smart phone or tablet.

 

The Applications of My Eye

 

ColorSchemer is an app that allows you to work from a large color palette so you can finally hone in on some of the inspiration you’ve gathered from magazines, other homes or elsewhere. With this app you can quickly explore your favorite colors and what shades will also compliment them. It also includes a large community where you can get ideas from other COLOURlovers that have submitted their own samples to the app.

 

ColorSchemer Touch Screenshots

 

Houzz Interior Design Ideas has been touted as the “Wikipedia of interior design” and houses a large database of over one million high-resolution photos for ideas on what kind of project you want to begin. There is also a community where you can share successes you’ve had during a remodel or gather ideas on how to simplify your plans.

 

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

 

Planese is a must-have app for anyone who’s just beginning to build the idea around what kind of remodeling work to do around the home. It features ways to create budgets, schedules and designs that help you plan out your project from start to finish. The app also features homeowners and experts who are there to give you tips and tricks on the best approaches to a task.

 

Planese Interior Design and Planning App

 

Room Design is one of the more technical, yet thorough, apps available for a home remodel. You start by creating a space with their software and laying it out with a few simple drags of your finger, setting the room area, textures and type. Instead of visualizing what a dramatic change in features or structure would look like, this app lets you see it in real-time. You can also save and email a 3D-rendered image for those who want to share their ideas with their contractor or friends.

 

Room Design App Screenshot

 

My Measures Pro maps out your project’s measurements just by taking a photo of the area and adding a few angles and arrows to the picture. This lets you figure out what items you’ll need in order to start and finish your remodel – cleanly organizing the measurements for you or your contractor. You’re also able to add notes to your photos so there won’t be a need to hunt down your pen and pad of paper.

 

My Measures and Dimensions Pro App Screenshot

 

Using apps during the design, planning and even in the midst of the remodeling process finally bridges the gap between swinging a hammer and swiping your finger across your smart phone. And with tools to enable collaboration from others who have had experience in changing a home’s features, it can save money and extra trips to the store.

5 Tips to Help You Find Your Personal Style

If you’re thinking about redecorating but you don’t know where to start, it’s helpful to find your personal style. Your home says a lot about who you are—from the way you arrange furniture to the color of your walls, every piece is a personal choice. Figuring out which designs suit you is the best place to start, and by aligning your aesthetic and your personality, you’re more likely to enjoy your home.

 

1. Browse Magazines

We’ve all flipped through home decorating magazines and been impressed with the designs. But when you see a finished room, it’s difficult to figure out where they started. Purchase a variety of home magazines and flip through them, cutting out each page that appeals to you. When you’re finished, look though what you’ve selected and search for a common theme. It could be as obvious as a color palette or as subtle as how the furniture is arranged. Once you find those common themes, you’re on your way to understanding what appeals to you, and discovering your own personal style.

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Kitchen Transformation Ideas – Black & White Kitchens

Black and White is a trendy new style for urban homes.

A black and white pallet can give your kitchen the modern and fashionable appeal you have been searching for. These two colors create the feeling of large spaces, highlight contrast and bring out the elegance of your kitchen.

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Black and White Kitchen

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Get to Know the Granite Transformations iGranite App for iPad

Use Granite Transformations’ iPad app, iGranite, to bring the remodel of your dreams to life.

 

At Granite Transformations, we constantly strive to make the remodeling process as simple and convenient as possible. This is why we introduced our highly acclaimed iPad app, iGranite. In fact, the iGranite app, available for free at Apple’s App Store, has been named one of the 30 Top Design Apps for 2013 by Interiors and Sources Magazine. With this app, you are able to visualize the end result of your remodel with a few easy steps.

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How to Bring Your Kitchen Alive with Color

Spring blooms and sunshine make the outdoors come alive with color: Everything is more vibrant, cheery, and refreshing.  While you’re checking off that spring cleaning list for around the house, why not bring the outdoors inside with beautiful, fresh pops of color around the home, too? A good place to start is in the most-used room in the house: the kitchen. Here are a few ways—from drastic moves to small touches—that can transform your kitchen from a design rut into a spectrum of spring.

1. Cabinets

cabinets

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Try adding a pop of color to your cabinets with bright or pastel paint. Or, you could paint or add patterned wallpaper to the back of your cabinets for just a hint of color that still makes a big statement.

2. Curtains

curtains

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Curtains are perhaps the most effortless way to add a color-boost to your kitchen: place them above a window, use them across an open cabinet, or add them to the tops of your doorways for an unexpected touch.

3. Walls

walls

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Add instant color to the entire kitchen with subtle shades or patterned wallpaper. For a gutsier move, try a richer, bolder hue to brighten the whole room and make your countertops and cabinets pop.

4. Accessories

accessories

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From light fixtures to dining sets, adding small, colorful touches to a kitchen can go a long way. Try a bold hanging lamp, pots and pans, or even a toaster to add instant, easy pizzazz to a boring kitchen.

5. Furniture

furniture

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Modern, antique, patterned, or textured furniture in any range of hues gives a white kitchen a sophisticated touch. Keep things simple and fresh by adding just a smidge of color (choose table or chairs) and adding more color as you feel like it (like a few bright pillows or cushions for those chairs).

Author Bio:

Molly Borter works as a home and health content specialist for Reading Glasses Shopper. When she’s not blogging about bifocal fashion or DIY projects, she enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her triplet nieces.

Today’s Clients Want to See Their Project Before They Build

Architects and designers have always faced the challenge of presenting a design to clients who are unable to visualize at all. There have been 3D visualization aids available for many years, but for most projects without a substantial design development budget these options were cost prohibitive.

Technological advancements in the 3D modeling industry have now made 3D architectural rendering a viable option for any project. This offers a great advantage to businesses offering design work as part of their sales process. A skilled 3D designer can use the specific finishes that their customer desires and allow their customer to see, for example, how well the finishes in a proposed renovation will coordinate with finishes in their existing home.

A typical project drawing can leave a lot to the imagination:

cad

When combined with a 3D rendering, everyone knows what to expect:

rend

A complete 3D rendering will feature the customers chosen finishes on every surface, e.g., wallpaper, flooring, paint colors, various wood species and colors, and granite countertops, etc. Various lighting options can have a big impact on the overall look of the project. Rendering the project in 3D allows the client to see what impact different kinds of lighting can have on the project, and the impact of the natural lighting of the proposed project.

This trend is reflected in the software being used in the design industry. Most of the design programs have begun to make 3D visualization a key part of their software packages. There are several programs now that allow a homeowner to visualize their proposed project without the help of a design professional, such as the iGRANITE iPad app by Granite Transformations. This app allows users to upload a picture of their own home or office and experiment with different finishes on the countertops walls and floors in realtime.

igranite

3D architectural visualization allows the construction process to go more smoothly for everyone, as the contractor can clearly establish the client’s expectations and avoid the typical “I didn’t think it would look like that” situation. This helps the contractor to avoid project delays, and the owner to prevent costly change orders. As more and more consumers come to expect to see their project before they build it, 3D presentations are becoming the standard in the design industry.

About the Author: Post contributed by Daniel Shaheen at DDS Architectural Rendering.com.

Get the Most Out Of Your Kitchen with the Right Lighting

With the continuing trend of open plan kitchen and family rooms there is no reason why your kitchen can’t be entirely functional and a statement at the same time; a room in which you can entertain guests and marinate the roast turkey at the same time.

modernwhitekitchen

Lighting is a great way to achieve this if chosen and implemented correctly. Lighting can both unite and divide the room depending on your mood. Whilst halogen down lighting can open up your space, avoid it if you want to avoid the predictable and be ahead of the trend. It has also come under fire recently for not being very eco-friendly and can be a drain on your electricity meter.

However if you are still keen on halogen lighting, place it in unusual places, choosing up lighting and cabinet lighting, to allow the light to bounce around the kitchen in an unexpected yet functional way. Lighting that can be dimmed can also be a great way to set the mood after dinner has been served and you’re on to the dessert wine. Ikea has some inexpensive cabinet and countertop lighting fixtures that will mean you’ll have some spare change left over for some of their famous Swedish meatballs!

If your kitchen has an island or a breakfast bar you can deliver the wow factor with art décor light fixtures. Scandinavian design is particularly on trend at the moment with the combination of clean lines and practicality. If you’re looking for inspiration take a look at MOMAs light installations. The Amsterdam based design company Droog’s 85 Lamps Chandelier which is part of MOMAs permanent collection and is a particular favourite. The 85 Lamps Chandelier consists of (you guessed it) 85 light bulbs roped together to form a chandelier. It is a stunning example of how simplicity, functionality and style can combine to really deliver.

Droog Chandelier

If you don’t have the budget to buy Droog’s light fixture after installing your kitchen there are other creative ways to get the wow factor. A friend, after installing their kitchen in their seaside holiday home, bought an old dinghy in a flea market, installed some low cost lighting and hung it over their kitchen island. Not only was it a fantastic statement piece put together on a budget, it also became a great conversation piece.

After installing your kitchen remember to pause for a moment and consider how you want your kitchen to be seen and used. Lighting can transform it from a functional space into so much more.

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Small Bedroom Solutions: Make Your Small Bedroom Feel Like a Big Space

When your bedroom is smaller than you would like you’ll want to be creative and make thebest use of your space.  Following a few simple principles will help keep your bedroom a cozy sanctuary instead of a cramped mess.

Beds:

For your bed a metal frame or a divan with a headboard and no footboard both have the clean open lines that make your room look bigger.  Buying a bed with built-in draws underneath is a good option but if you don’t find one you like purchase bed risers which will give you an extra six inches of storage space under your bed and a bed skirt.

Choose simple bed furnishing schemes. Large and crazy patterns make your bed look like a soccer field in concession stand.  Instead try palates of solid colors; on your bed neutral hues will make your room look the largest.

bedroom

Vertical space:

Utilize as much vertical space as possible.  Make effort to get dressers that are taller than normal. The more your personal belongings have their proper place the less cluttered a room appears.  Sometimes entertainment centers or wardrobes add excellent visual interest and give more vertical storage space than dressers.  Don’t forget to consider “lingerie” dressers which are narrow but tall.  They may be just what you need instead of a bed side table because they can hold more and take up the same amount of floor space.

A coffered ceilingwill instantly make your bedroom look much bigger.  Also known as a tray ceiling, it is when the center of the room is raised into the attic above.  If this is at all possible for your bedroom it is worth the effort to install.

bedroom 2

Reflections:

Light colors make a room look bigger.  Use darker colors as accents inyour throw pillows, bed linen, and curtains.

Mirrors make any room look bigger.  Take care not to overuse mirrors in a bedroom.  One or two mirrors, well-placed across from windows to reflect natural light will make the most of the room’s size and emphasize the open spaces.

Use sconces that clip to the headboard of your bed, and small table lamps that sit on your dressers instead of floor lamps to free up extra floor space in your room.  The more sources of light, the bigger the room will appear.

Magic tricks:

Eliminate clutter as much as possible with pretty baskets.  Use a table skirt to create a hidden space for books and magazines.  Keep a box in the bottom of your closet for things that you may want to give away and if they stay in the box for more than six months than commit to letting them go.

What people notice first when they see a bedroom is not the size but the overall style impression.  If your bedroom is small, focus on clean lines and add your personal warmth so that the word that you and your guests first think of when they enter the bedroom is cozy.

Bio- Sunny Popali is the Marketing lead at Mattressnextday. Mattressnextday offer the full range of common mattress sizes including: small mattress, single mattress, double mattresses, king size Mattress, super king Mattresses, and odd size mattresses.

5 Must Have Features When Shopping For New Appliances

Keeping up with appliance trends can be difficult since most of us do not shop for appliances on a regular basis.  Appliance companies have made some big improvements to appliances over the last 5-10 years.  New appliances have more technology than ever, and they use much less energy than they did in the past.  But, what should you look for when shopping for new appliances?  Here are five must have features when shopping for new appliances.

kitchen appliances

Fully Integrated Dishwasher Controls
A common new feature that you will find when shopping for dishwashers is fully integrated controls.  What this means is that instead of the buttons being located on the front of the dishwasher, they are now located on the top part of the door.  With the controls on the top side of the door, it gives the dishwasher a nice clean look on the front panel.  It also makes cleaning easier because there are fewer grooves for stuff to get into.  To select and start the cycle on an integrated model dishwasher, you will open the door, select the cycle, hit the start button, and after you close the door the dishwasher will start the cycle.

Steam
Have you heard the buzz going around about steam washers and dryers?  You may be thinking to yourself, I don’t need steam in my washer or dryer.  Steam washers can be very useful for removing stains in clothing, and on some models the steam will even remove allergens.  If you don’t like ironing, then a steam dryer is just for you.  Steam dryers have a short steam cycle (usually around 15 minutes) for you to throw a garment in the dryer and it will remove odors and wrinkles, almost getting rid of the need for ironing.

Convection Oven
If you bake a lot, then getting a convection oven should be on your top priority list.  Convection ovens use a fan or multiple fans on the back side of the oven to circulate the air around the inside of the oven.  Doing this shortens the time things take to bake, and evens out the heat inside the oven.  There are two kinds of convection ovens that you will find, one has a fan on the back of the oven, and the other has a fan with a small heating element that goes around the fan.  The fan with the heating element around it will do the best job of baking and giving you consistent temperatures.

High Efficiency Washers & Dryers
Washers and dryers have changed a lot in the last ten years.  They used to be something that people would hide in their basement, but now people are showing them off on their main floor of there house.  Not only do they look a lot differently, but they also work and perform a lot differently too.  Washer and dryers now come in “High Efficiency”, HE for short.  The high efficiency washers have a larger capacity drum, use less water, and have a faster spin speed to cut down on drying times.  High efficiency dryers use sensors inside the dryer to sense when the clothes are dry to prevent over-drying and use less electricity.  A high efficiency washer/dryer set can really help cut down on the utility bills and save you money over time.

French Door Refrigerators
The old side-by-side style refrigerator has been popular for years, but lately french door model refrigerators have become increasingly more popular.  French door refrigerators put the refrigerator section at eye level, so you don’t have to bend over to access the items in the refrigerator section.  Since most of us use the refrigerator section more than the freezer, this is a big benefit.  Ever had trouble fitting something wide into your side-by-side refrigerator?  Pizzas, platters, and anything wide will easily fit into a french door style refrigerator.  And now the french door models even offer the ice and water dispenser in the door, so you won’t loose out on any of the features that your side-by-side model had.

This article was provided by www.partsdr.com, an appliance parts retailer.

Now here are some tips on how to save money on these appliances.

Give Your Kitchen a European Flavor

In recent years it has become increasingly popular for homeowners to remodel and design their homes to take on a more European style. This design is not only attractive and contemporary, but can look progressive and still be efficient. While there are some general European trends, this guide will also specify which ideas can give your room a more Italian, French or continental style. There will be some information on decor choices as well as some suggestions for simple remodeling tips to transform the home without an extensive budget. Your family should wake up everyday to exotic flavors in an exotic kitchen, and your home insurance should be protecting a kitchen that will make your guests and family alike feel like world travelers.

What is Mediterranean Style?

mediterranean kitchen

One of the most popular European kitchen designs is the Mediterranean look. This represents the areas that border the Mediterranean Sea, such as some Italian and Greek regions. As the climate in these regions is typically quite warm, there is an emphasis on outdoor seating areas, open kitchens and elements of nature. The color schemes greatly resemble that of the architecture in the area, with lots of blue and white tiles, ornate materials and a background of stark, clean whites. To incorporate this in your own kitchen, opt for white walls and a tiled backsplash in blue and white.

What is French Country Style?

french kitchen

This European style is not quite modern, but relies on more rustic, rural touches to look throughout French. The color scheme should not be limited to one or two colors, but include softer hues like blue, red and yellow. The decor is not upscale or ornate, but can include embellishments like carvings in the wooden cabinets or in the wooden chair-backs. For a quick way to transform your own kitchen into a French country home, add in some brightly colored cafe style curtains, mismatched china from a flea market and fresh floral bouquets. This French style can be elaborated upon for the whole house.

What is Tuscan Style?

tuscan kitchen

This European kitchen style is part Mediterranean and part country, with airy spaces and colors that reflect the natural environment. Tuscan chefs are famous for using copper pots and pans, which add a unique color to the scheme. Consider the addition of an island to recreate a Tuscan style kitchen in your own home, along with large windows that look outside. Instead of modern appliances try to hide their facades with wooden veneers to give it a more natural look. Luckily a Tuscan kitchen does not need to look polished, and reclaimed woods or distressed secondhand furniture can look striking in a Tuscan style kitchen. Consider these simple tips for a Tuscan style that many will pay a fortune for.

Contemporary European Kitchens

contemporary european kitchen

While the Tuscan, French country and Mediterranean kitchens are all very popular styles, a more progressive and modern style is that of the contemporary European kitchen. This style is efficient and sleek, using high quality materials and awareness of space to create the perfect room for preparing, cooking and even eating foods. Kitchen islands are very popular, as long as space permits. In some kitchens the island takes on a curved appearance to better fit the given space. This gives the room an even more unique touch. While many modern American kitchens embrace lighter colors, the contemporary European kitchen might very well consist of darker materials paired with stainless steel appliances. Lighting underneath the cabinets still provides illumination so that the space does not feel too small or constricted.

How to Decide on a European Kitchen Style

Unless you are building a home from the ground up, it is important to pay attention the rest of the home’s style before deciding on a kitchen theme. A progressive, contemporary European kitchen with dark cabinets and a sleek island will look out of place in a rural barn, but a French country kitchen might be perfect. Stick to a cohesive look throughout the house whenever possible. Consider minor renovations like refinishing cabinets or purchasing new kitchen furniture rather than redesigning the entire space. Minor renovations like these can still drastically transform the look and feel of a space without taking months to complete and a large budget.

Whether you dream of creating a contemporary kitchen in your modern apartment or a Mediterranean feel in your open plan home with a view, one of these European kitchen styles is bound to be the perfect solution.

Author Bio: Donna M. is an interior designer and freelance writer. She enjoys offering her expertise to homeowners looking to go beyond the average designs below the average budget. She has also written articles about saving money in many other areas such as car insurance.