Design Tips & Ideas

Four Reasons Why You Need a Professional to Install Custom Window Treatments

When it comes to home decor projects, it’s important to make sure everything is done right the first time to avoid any potential headaches. Installing new window treatments in your home may seem easy at first, but there are many aspects to take into consideration to ensure the best results. You have to account for measuring, installing, design planning and much more, which can add unnecessary stress to your project. Rather than putting yourself through all the trouble, try outsourcing the project to a professional window treatment specialist who can help turn your home decor dreams into reality. Here are some of the advantages of hiring a professional installer versus taking on a window treatment project yourself:

Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 June, 2014


6 tips to make your summer garden party pretty


It’s such a pretty time of the year in the garden; the roses are blooming, the birds are nesting, the evenings are longer, you’ve probably even thought about getting out the BBQ. If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space attached to your home, this is the time of year that you’ll really start to use it. There’s always a bit of maintenance to do at the start of the season, so follow SigmaLondon’s quick and easy ideas to help get your garden in shape – before you think about planning a party. Then it’ll be party-ready in no time.


Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 20 June, 2014


Create Professional-looking Drawings When Using a Drafting Table

When you’re looking to draw anything, it helps to have a firm grasp on what you’re drawing as well as making sure you have all the right tools. While many people are perfectly fine drawing on a flat table, it is just not the best way to draw. You do not get the best use of space, or the right way to see what you’re doing as you’re working. If you have a drafting table to draw with, you’re going to produce much better work than you possibly could any other way. This is true whether you’re looking to use a drafting table in your home, office or school.

What is the Difference between a Drafting Table and a Regular Table?

The most obvious difference between a drafting table and a regular table is that a drafting table can be locked at an angle. This is not the only difference between the two. Keep in mind that most drafting tables are a little higher than a regular flat table. This will allow you to work either standing up or sitting down on an elevated chair. Keep in mind that many drafting tables, like Vast Market drafting tables, are adjustable for height, or they come in a variety of heights to suit your needs. Make sure you pay attention to how you’re going to use the table when you’re thinking about selecting one. Another great feature you can get a lot of use out of is the variety of different places where you can store equipment. Depending on the model you purchase, there may be trays on the side of the table or slots where you can put pencils and pens vertically so they are always within reach. The lip on the bottom of the drafting table is another perfect place where you can store your pens and pencils when not in use.

Where You Can Use a Drafting Table

While the drafting table’s primary use is for drawing, this doesn’t mean it has to be confined to an art studio. In fact, many people have started realizing just how wonderful these tables are for performing a variety of tasks. Schools can use them not only in the drawing rooms, but also in the library. Prop oversized books on the table to make it easier to see the book while flipping the pages. Students will not break their backs trying to see every word on the page. If you’re looking to use the table at home, you can use it in the office as well as in a child’s room. Children love having the angle on the table when they’re working on their homework. They are also more inspired to draw something rather than being hooked up to a gaming console all day. If you are thinking about using these tables in an office, they are perfect for any setting where writing is common. It is a lot  easier to write on a drafting table because of how ergonomically correct it is.


How to Get Started with Your Drafting Table

The first thing you’re going to want to do when you’re thinking about using a drafting table is to purchase artist stickers. These are used at the corners of papers to hold them in place while you use the drafting table. You won’t have to struggle to keep the paper in place and the stickers are designed so they will not rip the paper when you remove it from the table. Don’t use scotch tape as this will ruin not only the paper, but the table itself. You should also make sure you have a good lamp attached to the table. The lamp should have an adjustable arm so you can concentrate the light on the table wherever you’re working, according to Drawing Coach. The only other thing you will need to do is figure out the perfect angle for your table.

How to Decide on an Angle

When you’re positioning your table, you’re going to want to try a few different angles until you find the one that’s perfect for you. The pitch to the table will allow you to have your papers a lot closer to you as you work, but consider what you give up when you start going too vertical.  Adjusting the table is quite easy to accomplish by simply moving the table until it is in the perfect position for you. If you’re someone who likes to hunker down on the work you’re doing, you might want to only have a slight pitch to the table. Something like a 30-degree pitch might be perfect for you. If you like to stand up or sit up straight while you’re working, you might consider a much sharper angle. In this case, think about putting the table at a 60- or 70-degree angle. You may not want anything beyond this or you might as well be working on the wall. Remember to lock the table top in place regardless of what angle you use so it will not fall while you’re working.



Posted by Keren Fathi-Poor at 17 June, 2014


Under Cover: Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is becoming a common thermal option in many modern homes. Just several years ago, this underfloor heating system was more rare, and reserved typically for wealthier homeowners. Not so today.

The benefits are numerous, so if you’re considering installing this type of heating system, take into consideration the following:

Clean Air: Dirty ducts are the root of many allergy problems. Duct cleaning is a hassle and can never fully resolve the dust mite issue. Instead, radiant heating is a superior option for allergy suffers, as all of the heating system is nestled underneath the floor. There is no forced air or dusty vents blowing air. Plus, underfloor heating emits zero harmful gases like CO2 so it’s also considered an eco-friendly alternative.

Coverage: Since the system, whether via pipes or electric heating units, is designed according to the room layout, the heat distribution is balanced throughout the space. A stand-alone radiator and even scattered vents couldn’t accomplish this task the same way.

Savings: While the initial installation of an underfloor heating system could be considered an investment, the maintenance is actually quite cost-effective when compared to traditional heating methods.

Aesthetics: Radiators indeed provide a sense of nostalgia…but that’s about it when it comes to incorporating them into fresh home design. Specialty companies like Ambiente Systems UK provide an array of underfloor heating designs, so your fabulous decorating can take place however you wish–and without eye sores.

Materials: One of the best parts of this progressive floor heating system is the ability to choose from an array of natural stone, ceramic tile, wood flooring…just about any surface you can imagine. That travertine marble flooring can now be both beautiful to look at, as well as comfortably cozy even in the coldest months of winter.

Whether building a new home or renovating your existing one, underfloor heating is a superior option that is green, budget-friendly and enjoyable for years to come.

Posted by Suzanne at 12 June, 2014


On Trend: 2014 Paint Colors

Paint can be practical but also manages to magically transform an interior space from functional to fabulous. No matter the size, type or layout of the room, the right paint hue makes a world of difference. Paint can enhance moods, create settings and portray a vibe that beckons to be enjoyed.

For 2014, here are our Best Paint Picks:

Blues: We’ve been seeing an influx of “coastal” living, more relaxed, beachy designs across the board from furnishings to flooring to room styles. So now is the time to inject some of that ocean breeze into your everyday living. The impact is soothing but is sure to make waves.

Greens: From crisp greens to rich emeralds, interiors are being revived with these cheery, organic hues. For a fresh look, mix a grassy green against a bright white backdrop of furnishings and throw in some orange accessories for punch.

Yellows: To add a touch of happiness to any space, yellow will do the trick. The spectrum can range from lemon to sunshine and golden to cream, but when accented with glossy white trim and mouldings, the final product is perfection.

Grey: Grey is the new black. Well, okay, at least it’s considered one of the hottest neutrals out there right now. This shade varies from silvery tones to those injected with purple undertones, creating a dramatic visual for any room.

Rust: This color is making a comeback and leans towards burnt orange. We think it is excellent as a single-accent wall, especially when the rest of the room may be a palette of cream and sunny yellow.

To enhance your new paint outcome, hire a professional. Decorating contractors like F&CD Wells are well-versed in paint products and top techniques while protecting your furnishings and other surfaces, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy your fabulous, freshly-painted interiors.




Posted by Suzanne at 11 June, 2014


Top Ten New Basement Ideas

Gone are the days of the residential basement being a place for self-storage and never-to-be-seen again belongings. In today’s modern homes, basements are making a comeback and they’re doing it in high style.

Companies like Abtech Basements can help you covert your basement into a new living space:

  1. Play: Having a place for the little ones to scamper to when they want to get their energy out can be invaluable. Especially on rainy or cold days when outside is not an option. Think of creating a spot where the kids have stations for art, movies, LEGO building and reading.
  1. Fitness: Home gyms aren’t that unique, yet having one just downstairs cannot be beat. These days personal gym designs can incorporate the latest fitness crazes. Hang TRX bands from the ceiling or install a motorized vertical climbing wall.
  1. Cook: Dream kitchens are one thing, but a second dream kitchen could put the quintessential cook in pure heaven. Design a kitchenette, replete with a small oven, refrigerator and streamlined cabinetry. Adding a breakfast bar is a great idea for socializing with friends while prepping those appetisers.
  1. Play (Adult): For entertainment, the basement can be transformed into a bowling alley or ping-pong area. In a snap, this turns a boring storage space into an active one.
  1. Relax: Escaping within your home can be tricky–especially if there are kids around. Create an underground oasis with soft chaises, a custom speaker system to stream through that spa music, a mini water feature and lighting with dimmers.
  1. Cheer: Let’s be clear on this one–we’re not talking about a man cave. Instead, a sports-oriented bar and lounge is a superb way to show your team spirit and have an ideal place for entertaining friends surrounded by memorabilia from their favorite teams.
  1. Swim: So decadent is the swimming pool. This in-ground structure would of course need to be done in a home where water levels were not an issue. But if you get the green light, go ahead and indulge by installing a stunning pool. And paint the ceiling a sky blue with fluffy clouds to represent the sunny outdoors.
  1. Library: Even in this day-and-age where tech rules, there’s still nothing like a library with custom bookshelves and large leather sofas to  lounge, read and relax in.
  1. Wine: Wine cellars aren’t a new concept for basements, but tasting bars are. Why not transform your basic bar into one where flights can be enjoyed via a luxurious dispenser system.

10. Launder: Ok, so some will appreciate this one, while others may not but we’re going there. A large laundry room with front-loaders, a separate folding counter, hanging wardrobe area and sitting area with flat-screen television and tufted sofas makes this mundane task that much more bearable.

Posted by Suzanne at 10 June, 2014

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Window Replacement Perks


It’s quite amazing how the style of windows can entirely change the look of a home. By investing in window replacements such as bay designs, French doors and even glass roofing, the effort goes beyond just the aesthetic principles.

Why Window Replacement is a Keen Idea:

Value:  Renovations in general are obvious contributors to increased home values, but new windows can make a significant difference in a home’s value, not to mention resale value.

Eco-Smart: By installing double-glazed windows, not only will your energy bill be drastically reduced, but that damaging carbon footprint is minimized. Companies like Abbey Windows install energy-saving glass which acts like thermal insulation and harnesses solar energy as needed.

Open Up: All windows open to allow fresh air to enter, but by renovating your home and replacing walls with bi-fold doors that feature full panes is a stellar way to create boundariless living with the outdoors.

Impact: Here we’re referring to weather-related glass protection such as impact glass. This type of glass for replacement windows and indoors is vital in areas where hurricanes and high winds prevail during certain times of the year, and will boost the value of your home, too.

Year-Round Enjoyment: Conservatories or enclosed porches have stemmed from some of the most historic and traditional-style homes. However, thin, unglazed glass can make being in the room less than enjoyable. By replacing the old with double-glazed, insulated windows and rooftops, this living space is now a place where family and visiting friends will flock to.

Quiet: Especially for homes or flats which are within a city or well-populated, bustling area, window replacement can act as a noise buffer which will prove to be an invaluable upgrade–especially at bedtime.



Posted by Suzanne at 9 June, 2014



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