Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Exploring Slow Home Design

Exploring Slow Home Design


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What is slow home design? Basically, it is the principle of slowing down to design homes and spaces that are sustainable, practical and functional.
The slow home movement began in 2006 when John Brown, Matthew North, and Carina van Olm wanted to create a "critical response to the poor design practices that pervade the mass housing industry. Our intent is to advocate for a more thoughtful approach to residential design that improves the quality of our daily lives and reduces our impact on the environment". Slow home design strives for a more "considered, calm and intuitive" approach to residential design. The concept is to use well-considered design principles to create smaller homes that will be both environmentally sustainable and literally so, in the sense of being built to endure. The practice also includes remodels of existing, appropriately sized older homes that need updating.
Slowing down to design a space that is functional, long-lasting, meets the needs of the family now and later, and is, of course, stylish and comfortable - that's the aim of the slow home movement.
But even if you are not starting from scratch, you can still join in living a slow home lifestyle. Re-work your rooms to make sure that they are functional for your family's everyday living. Instead of purchasing a new piece of furniture, look for family hand-me-downs or thrift store finds to re-purpose. Organize your kitchen, bathroom, closets and office using bins, jars, boxes and dishes that you already own but rarely use. Make the stuff in your home work for you and create a stylish and comfortable space that you will be happy with every day and for years to come.
Slow home is a philosophy that has grown in the design and construction trades, and one that is only going to continue growing into the mainstream home owner market.

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Benefits of a Universal Home Design

Benefits of a Universal Home Design


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A universal home design is a growing concept in house planning and construction that provides for changes that can occur in living such as disability issues, aging and general accessibility for everyone. Many homes today are built with the idea that no matter who the occupant is, the living spaces within as well as outside the home, should be readily used by just about anyone. A growing number of home designers, builders and contractors are embracing this concept as the baby boomer population ages and a new wave of disabled or elderly home occupants emerge.
If you decide to use a universal home design to build your new home, you can expect your house to be worth more at the outset than another home of similar square footage and amenities, but that is not built from a universal design. The reason is that a universally designed house is more appealing to all segments of the population because of its practicality and usability for everyone. Universally designed homes are easier to sell and acrue in value more readily.
For those who plan on living in their homes until they die, this type of house design is excellent because it will accommodate occupants in any change of life. If an occupant becomes suddenly disabled or eventually must have certain handicap amenities in areas like the bathroom due to aging issues, this design allows for changes in life that are bound to occur.
There are many elements of design that go into a universal home, but several of the most important are constructed into the bathroom area, kitchen, hallways and the construction level of the home. The bathroom is perhaps one of the most important areas of the home, as it is designed to be accessible by combining within the design some handicap requirements. Wider doorways for wheelchair accessiblity, nonslip flooring, wet room style spaciousness and open shower areas are just some of the common features for a handicap bath area that can be enjoyed by all.
Other important aspects include choosing a design that keeps the house on one ground level and that does not include stairs or other common obstacles to those who are less mobile. If you are interested in the useful aspects of a universal home design, there are more and more designers and contractors available who are experienced at creating houses that are accessible for everyone.

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Coffee Tables - A Frugal Home Design Basic Buying Guide

Coffee Tables - A Frugal Home Design Basic Buying Guide


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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 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 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.
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.
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:
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.
Sue Krippner is a Free Lance Artist, Home Staging and Redesign Professional. She is attracted to "all things beautiful, especially as it relates to interior decorating and design.

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Useful Features of Home Design Software

Useful Features of Home Design Software


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Before building a new house, you surely need to create the design first. Designing your dream house can be confusing and complicated. Before hiring an architect, you should consider using a home design software to help you with the task. Home design software is a popular tool for creating design plans.
By using this software, you can totally express your creativity. It gives you the opportunity to design a home based on your personal tastes. You can also modify the design as many times as you like to get the perfect look.
This software is a great choice for both professionals and amateurs alike. It has many useful features to offer. Here is a list of features that you may find helpful:
1. Automatic Floor Plan Dimensioning Tool: This is a feature that you can use to determine the size of your home. Use this to increase or decrease the size of a room.
2. Interior Furniture Objects: This feature allows you to put and position furniture objects such as tables and chairs, so you will know how they would look inside a room.
3. Stair Generator Tool: Designing staircases will be easier with this tool. There are many staircase styles to choose from.
4. Cabinet Designer: If you want to make your kitchen look as good as any other rooms in your house, this tool is what you need. You can use this feature to place cabinets or other appliances on the kitchen area. Certain software even allows you to customize the cabinet design.
5. Roof Truss, Window and Door Schedule: This is a feature that you will find on any home design software. This tool enables you to design the door or window with the style and size of your choice.
6. Custom Roof and Pitch: This simple tool helps you customize roof pitch, which is the steepness of the roof.
7. Exterior Furniture Object: You will be happy to know that the software can also help you design the yard of your house. This tool will help you arrange patio furniture or even plan a playground for your children.
Designing your dream house using home design software is fun and easy. You only need to sit in front of your computer screen and a new design plan is just a click away. The handy tools will help you in creating plans for both the interior and exterior. Besides that, this software is also easy to obtain. You can order it online and the retailer will ship it to your address as fast as possible.

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3 Tips To Use When Meeting With Your New Home Designer

3 Tips To Use When Meeting With Your New Home Designer


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Meeting your new home designer is the first step you can take in your journey of building a custom designed home. It's exciting - are you excited? You should be! This is your chance to relay all of the exciting ideas you have about your dream home. This meeting is all about you you you. So how can you have a really successful meeting and give yourself the best opportunity for your home design to be as close to what you wanted, the first time round.
I know some of you are thinking, "who else would I be"? But you would be surprised at how many people sit in their design meeting acting like they're attending a funeral instead of taking one of the most exciting steps life has to offer. Relax. Great home designers know what it's like to bring your dreams to the table, they are tasked with the responsibility of delivering it.
If this is the first time you'll be building a million dollar home, don't think you have to act like a millionaire (or what you think millionaires might be like - some people will be surprised to find out they're often very common). If you are yourself the home designer will get to know you, and more about what you're like which will give them the best opportunity to putting your personality into your new house.
If you like sex in the hallway, then tell us and we'll make sure that hallway is the best damned hallway to have sex in. You need to be brutally honest with your lifestyle and what is most important to you. Communicating your lifestyle is the biggest challenge for most people as they may not want to draw attention to aspects of their life or perhaps they think something may just be common sense. Don't assume that the person sitting across the table thinks like you, walks like you, talks like you or has the same values. If you love teddy bears and need additional room in the bedroom for your 101 teddies, then say it. If you're sporty and want a gym with mirrors on the walls, then say it. If you're an enthusiast photographer and will use one of the bedrooms as a dark room then say it.
All of the above are examples that I've come across during my time as a custom home builder. What's more, the items that were being discussed had to be coaxed out of the home buyers over time. More importantly, we modified the design to suit which gave them a far better outcome than they would have got had they not told us. We changed window heights in the hallway (in fact, we did a lot of adjustments through the entire house!). We created teddy niches in the bedroom, we removed skirting boards in the gym and added a TV and power outlet point in one corner at 2.0m high and we switched the window in the dark room to the south side of the house to avoid the sun but still give enough ventilation.
Remember this is your time, relax and enjoy yourself. Make jokes and get to know the people sitting opposite you on the table. You'll find the more comfortable you feel with your designer, the more information will flow during your design brief and the better your home will be.
If you're thinking of building a new home then contact Your Building Broker today to ensure you have a stress free building experience and get the best possible deal on your new home.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Interior Design Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home

Interior Design Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home


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Interior design revolves around creativity and use of multiple ideas. The way we decorate our homes reveals a lot about our tastes and personality. You may decide to do the interiors yourself or even choose to hire an interior decorator to decorate your home. If you are planning to decorate your home, here are some interior design ideas which you can use:
If these steps have not helped you gather some perspective about designing your home you should hire a professional decorator. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy the process of decorating your home.
Consignment stores are great options to find furniture and with the great finds at these stores you can successfully implement your interior decorating ideas.

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Curtain Design Ideas

Curtain Design Ideas


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Design is such a creative endeavor that it's no wonder new and great ideas pop up each and every day. Since there are so many designs out there for our homes, clothing, cars, and even the buildings we work in, the windows in our homes should be no exception. There are many curtain design ideas that can make our windows pop with excitement and vibrancy. The right design can make a home seem like a dream come true, and it's easy to start designing yourself.
First however, you must think about how the rest of your home will go with the design. For instance, if you have a Victorian style home, you'll most likely want to get curtains that are more in a Victorian style or that maybe have designs that lean more towards the Victorian era. If you have a room that is more contemporary, maybe minimalist designs will work for you. A plain pole could be a great start for a room that has little to no elaborate décor. Once you begin with the plain pole, you can start to hang up all kinds of curtains from frilly designs to the more solid colored curtains. Rooms that are more contemporary can benefit greatly from a bit of color here or there.
You want the curtain design to complement the room rather than take away from it. You'll want to take a close look at the kind of window you have. Is your window, rectangular? Is it a large bay window? Size and shape can play a big factor in what kind of curtains you can hang up.
After you have taken into account some of the above considerations, let you imagination run wild. Consider all different types of fabrics such as silk or lace. Consider hand sewing your own curtains. You can use a colorfast outliner pen to decorate sheer curtains or you can attach appliqués, stickers and other fabric shapes to enhance plain fabric. Peruse the arts and crafts store for endless inspiration.
No matter what design you choose, you want the design to fit both your taste and your lifestyle. However, even with that being said, the times are always changing.

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