- Measure out a piece of trace paper that fits neatly over the floor plan of your home. Tape both pieces down together on a flat work surface. This will allow you to work freely and be creative within the original structure of your house. Redesigning your home into an open plan will involve removing interior walls, but the exterior need not be changed.
- Trace the entire outline of your home onto the trace paper using a dark line for the exterior walls. Do not draw in the interior walls as these will be eliminated in favor of the open plan. Trace in all exterior windows and doors as they appear on the plan. If this is a remodel, note the location of electrical outlets and heating vents.
- Write in pencil on the plan the areas you will require in your home exactly where you want them to appear in the real world. An open floor plan has few or no walls to achieve a distinctive flow between living spaces. For example, if you want your kitchen to face the backyard, show this on the plan. Next, write in the dining area beside the kitchen, then living room and so forth until all areas you need in your home are written on the plan. Moving plumbing for kitchen and bathroom will be expensive, so keep the existing areas for these rooms to save money. You can modify the kitchen layout to achieve the open plan without moving the entire kitchen.
- Draw pencil lines to rough out any walls you will require in any room. For example, a free floating wall to hang your television could be placed strategically to have a closet for coats on the other side in the entry or storage for the kitchen. Pay attention to detail and your daily routines to design your home in a way that makes sense for you and your family. Small houses can be comfortable when designed efficiently with plenty of storage solutions.
- Design elements to maximize your floor space. For instance, include built-in floor to ceiling shelving in all rooms for storage that will help you keep yourself and your family organized. These units can be placed on the periphery of your home or on free floating walls. Also, if you feel that a full wall will make a certain area too claustrophobic, consider a half-height wall to separate two spaces. This will not disrupt the flow of your home, but will still provide some division.
- Determine which type of real estate license you wish to pursue. Wisconsin offers licenses for brokers and salespersons. A broker may manage his or her own business. A salesperson must work with a licensed broker. Brokers must undergo additional training than that required of a salesperson.
- Meet the education requirements set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing (WDRL). Specifically, you must complete one of the following: a 72-hour salesperson course from an approved educational program, 10 semester hours from an accredited college or university in courses that specialize in real estate or real estate law, or belong to the Wisconsin State Bar.
- Complete the educational requirements necessary for a broker if you intend to be a broker. In addition to the basic education requirements, you must complete either a 36-hour broker course from an approved education program or an additional 10 semester hours from an accredited college or university in courses that specialize in real estate or real estate law. If you belong to the Wisconsin State Bar, you need not meet this additional requirement.
- Pass the Wisconsin real estate examination. Sales persons need only pass the examination designated for a real estate license in sales. Brokers must pass both the sales examination and the broker’s examination. Sign up for an examination by contacting PearsonVue.
- Fill out the “Application for New Salesperson or Broker License” form. Include the license fee ($75 as of 2010 for an initial license). Obtain the form from the WDRL website. Additionally, sales persons must also be employed by a licensed broker in order to become licensed. If the sales person fills out the application before becoming employed, the sales person must file a “Notice of Real Estate Employment Form” when he or she becomes employed by a broker.
- Take measurements of the area you plan to remodel. You need the length and width of any rooms, as well as locations of doors, windows or other obstacles in the room. Consider things like fireplaces and counter tops.
- Open the software of choice and start a new project. If using Excel or Google, open a blank worksheet and set the columns and rows to be equal sized-squares, noting that they will be square feet or meters.
If you are choosing to do the plan on paper, get out a sheet of gridded paper.
- Draw your rough plan of the room on your sheet of paper or on the computer. Start by measuring a square or rectangle to the dimensions of the room. If you are using a spreadsheet, use the cell fill tool to paint the room a single color.
Mark any of the other objects in the room like doors and windows. Use the software tools such as the border tools to make these, and label them by typing into nearby cells. Note the direction and distance of door openings.
- Measure furniture or cabinets if you are adding them to the floor plan. Measure the fixtures like refrigerators and sinks.
- Indicate all of the furniture using the software tools. In Excel, use the Draw tools to make squares based on your measurements. If you right-click on an object, you can also add text–it’s a good idea to label the objects so that you can identify them later.
If you are using pen and paper, cut out pieces of furniture from construction paper.
- Design the room. On the computer, drag and drop the furniture to its final position. Place first furniture that cannot be moved; for example, sinks need to be where their fixtures are. Next, place the furniture that needs to be attached to the walls. Work your way into the middle of the room, leaving any optional furniture for last.
The bedroom furniture is usually the focus for the sleeping room. Most people spend half their life in this room and the furniture should be pleasant and comfortable for the body and for the eyes. There is so much that you can do for it that has a lot to do with the furniture that you choose. There are a lot of different types of woods and metals and fabrics that you can add to the bedroom interior.
First thing that you have to realize about the bedroom furniture is that you can have wicker, cherry, white, black and pine bedroom furniture and much more. There are many unique furniture pieces for the room that you can incorporate easily. Whatever you add to it makes sure that it is solid wood bedroom furniture, because you do not have to worry about the furniture’s value. When it comes to the type of furnishings for your sleeping room you can have one type are learn how to mix and match, however, when it comes to the wood, you will want to pick a type and then stick with it. You can mix varnished woods with painted woods and it will give you a nice mixture. You may want to plan your bedroom furniture wood working before you go out looking. Is there a particular type of design that you are looking for?
If you are shopping keeping budget in mind, you may want to think about wholesale bedroom furniture. This is because you can find quality pieces, but you do not have to spend a lot of money, or excessive amount of money. This is especially right for the kids. Rather you are designing for a girl’s or a boy’s bedroom you are going to need to purchase some furniture. For girl’s, you are going to find a lot of things that are painted in a new fashion or in a way that will bring out the princess or teen queen in any girl. As for boy’s, you do not need the glamour, but some things in the shape of cars or some army motives. You will want to make sure that you use fitted bedroom furniture so that you do not look that you are cluttering.
As long as you purchase furniture that makes you feel comfortable and looks good in a room, you should get it at bedroom furniture NY stores online and having got one fitting your needs you can splurge on yourself so that you even feel like a goddess in your home.
Contemporary bedroom sets for you or twin bedroom sets for your children can be bought from NYC furniture stores in many options and shipped to arrive at your home in pristine condition. When buying a bedroom furniture set and having it shipped, always enquires about shipping insurance and whether you or the furniture dealer is responsible for organizing this.
Taking a little bit of time to do some homework can save you a lot of money. Get your bedroom furniture cheap, your linens for your room or your other room’s furniture cheap. Bedroom furniture collection NY sets can be bought for excellent pricing online and still be nice enough and strong enough to last you for many years. Many quality furniture companies sell their quality products for excellent pricing and you can buy cheap furniture that feels and looks like expensive furniture.
Kids have their own little world, and bridging the gap between their imagination and the real world is a tough challenge. You may face such situation every now and then and selecting children’s bedroom furniture is one of such condition. The parent Focus on safety, health and practical aspect of the kid’s furniture, while little one prefer items that please their eyes and gel well with their fantasy world. Thanks to the modern furniture world, now it has become easier to bridge the gap between kid’s expectation and parent’s approach. There are many furniture stores that exclusively design beds for the tots and teenagers. Designing the interior of kid’s room is exciting as well as challenging. The more you explore the furniture world. Better ideas you will get. There are many online stores that offer full assistance in selecting a right bed set and other products. They even let you get the exact look of the room with its 3-d design facility. The bed is important furniture of the bedroom it has to be comfortable in design and practical, so that it can be used for a few years, durable and safe. The bedroom is a place where you say goodbye to all the worries and fall asleep. From light arrangement, wall color and position of the furniture has to be in the right order so that your child can enjoy a sound sleep. It is not just a sanctuary to sleep, but it is their private little world. Choose items like cupboard that could easily adjust all their belongings. The world of kids will only expand, so choose items that can accommodate well with their future needs so that you don’t have to explore and invest in kid’s furniture products every now and then.
Choose a theme based furniture, you can find furniture, especially beds; color wise, Disney theme wise and other cartoon themes. It is their own personal space and it should reflect their personality. The young and vibrant side of their personality. It is designer’ responsibility to bring balance to all the elements and conceptualize a perfect funky children’s bedroom furniture design.The easiest way to design your kid’s room is to shop online for children’s bedroom furniture. The benefits of online shopping are well known, it will not only save lots of time, but you can even get nest deals and offers as well. Browse the products, compare the items, consult the experts and choose wisely. Many stores even offer free shipping service as well.
The bedroom is a place that should always appeal to its occupants. It shall promote tranquility along with style and precision. However, the most vital thing that your possessions in the bedroom should have is luxury.
That is correct. Your objects, especially your furniture in the bedroom, must be luxurious and epic to say the least. It should portray royalty and affluence, and at its core it must be solid, rigid and long lasting. But, the most important question which stays with you is, what exactly I should keep in my bedroom. Of course, for a start a bed is the most important thing, however many also go for “accessories” along with it. So let us check out the furniture that we can keep in our bedrooms.The bed is the most important thing:To start off, the place where you sleep should be selected in the right manner. If you are going for a theme, then you must select your furniture (especially your bed) in the right taste. For example, if you are planning an Italian theme, then going for an Italian Bed is right choice. You can also go for 18th or 19th century planning or even French royalty themed setting. These days, you are surely going to find all types of beds; which are surely going to enhance the looks and the style of your bedroom.Also, be certain not to compromise with your luxury, and always head for a luxurious bed. This will make sure that your bedroom’s main icon will have an impact on the overall scheme of things.High dressers and chests are also very unique:If your theme is an old Victorian style or 18th or 19th century style, then it makes sense that you must have a wooded high dresser and/or even chests. These chests always look very wonderful with your bedroom settings and that is why many couples prefer to install it in their bedrooms. The look of a typical high dresser or a chest goes along pretty well with a non-contemporary queen or king sized bed. In fact, if you are looking for luxury bedroom furniture, apart from a bed, then these chests are the ones you should opt for.chairs and coffee tables:Apart from bed and the storing cabinets, you can also put in coffee tables and chairs. Chairs can enhance your bedroom’s look and give it a stylish outlook. And, the coffee table becomes mandatory as soon as you install the chairs. These can come in various styles and look; however you must stick to your theme and go with your bedroom’s styling. Coffee tables and the chairs in your bedroom must complement the bed itself at first; the wood should remain the same too.The complete set for a bedroom:
If you want to set a tone in your bedroom, then you can always go for sets to make sure that your furniture has a common note. These can include, but not be limited to, bed, chests, chairs, tables, wardrobes and high dressers.
The bedroom is a personal space for every homeowner where he not only goes for a good sleep after a hectic and stressful day, but he also feels more security, safety and comfort. This is the place that speaks volumes about his personality. So, how you maintain this area can give the detailed information about your style in lieu of your personal journal. To create a relaxing environment, it is very important to furnish this area with the right furniture. Moreover, this furniture should be arranged in such a way that functionality and place can be utilized. However, nobody should never be compromised on the design quotient and style.If somebody wants to make a new addition to the house, then installing fitted bedroom furniture will be a wise decision. Presently, these bed sets are available in the market in different designs and styles. That’s why, most of the people prefer to opt them for their premises. By installing this furniture, anyone can keep his bedroom tidy and clean. The main advantage of this furniture is space efficiency as well as utility. All you need to do is to select the right Designer Bedroom Furniture type that fits your lifestyle.Before buying designer bedroom sets, everybody should consider various factors such as style, cost, size, design, etc. Moreover, everybody should determine the style that he likes the most. Some great styles include traditional, modern, country, contemporary and rustic. If an individual is planning to buy fitted wardrobes, then he can buy them in different types – bi-fold, sliding and pivot. These storage accessories are specially built by the designers from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. By installing them, anyone not only adds a great value to his home, but he can also add functionality and character to all the people. With Made to Measure Wardrobe Doors, he can also enhance his room’s flow and can make his dream come true of owning a designer wardrobe.Apart from this, buying walk-in wardrobes is also the best way to avoid the clothes from getting musty or crumbled. You can hang them out and displayed just like a department store. If you are facing any problem to select the right furniture, then you can also simply call to a designer to visit your place and to suggest the best options. As a professional, he will give an appropriate advice in this matter. So, if you want to utilize your space to the maximum, then you must go for fitted bedroom furniture!
The bedroom is important in a person’s life. It is that person’s sanctuary. It is that part of the house where a person can be himself or herself. It is that place where a person keeps his/her secrets and fears. Also, it is a place where a person rests and sleeps, so that his/her body can be recharged and renewed, ready for the next day.
Investing in bedroom furniture is not just for aesthetics’ sake. When a person sees beauty in his/her sanctuary, the soul is refreshed and sleep is more rejuvenating. However, in our world today, beauty alone is not the only consideration in choosing furniture. A person has to consider the functionality, durability, and the price of the furniture. With the rising cost of living, the furniture that has the cheapest price became the main factor, disregarding the rest. In doing so, beauty is compromised; the soul does not feel satisfied, and his/her sleep is not as good as he/she would hope.
Fortunately, this need not be the case. A person can have the beauty, functionality, durability, and affordability that he/she aspires for. A person living near Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, Lutz, Florida, can go to Furniture Direct USA and look for the bedroom furniture that he/she feels is right. This furniture store sells brand furniture known for beauty, functionality, and durability (Ashley, Coaster, Discovery, Harden, Global Furniture) but at a reasonable price. That is because they are sold at wholesale price.
Bedroom furniture packages can be discounted up to 70% of the original price range. Not only is the furniture affordable, their payment schemes are also negotiable. If a buyer cannot be pay the furniture right away, Furniture Direct Inc. offers lease or rent to own programs and they can be used even though a person does not have good credit standing. The company can help build up the person’s credit rating.A customer can choose from 60 beautiful bedroom furniture packages. They come in different color and pattern schemes, design themes, and different bed sizes. A typical set consists of a bed, a dresser, a drawer side table, and a drawer. 41 bedroom sets and 60 bunk beds are also available for the children and teenagers.
Furniture Direct Inc. also sells mattresses from two brands, Ashley and Symbol. For Ashley, three kinds are available: Augusta M860 ($449 as against $599 in retail stores), Ellis Bay M863 ($999 as against $1299), and Ashley Gel ($1359 as against $1499). Bed foundations are also available at $139 (as compared to $149).
For Symbol Mattresses, 11 kinds are available: Whitney Pillow Top, Carlton Pillow Top with Memory Foam, Savoy Pillow Top, Kingsbury Latex & Gel, Dorchester Pillow Top, Aloe Care Memory, Response Gel 13 in., Claiborne Pillow Top, Stafford FIRM, Symbol Response ELEGANCE, and Rittenhouse Pillow Top. Prices are from $349 to $1599 and buyers can save between $80 and $501.
With Furniture Direct Inc. customers need not sacrifice beauty, functionality, and durability of the bedroom furniture for affordability’s sake.
The option for buying furniture online is opening up new frontiers. It is a great attraction to new Gen purchaser and also catching up with the old lot. The advantage of purchasing bedroom furniture online is that the buyers have a great choice to compare the specs and the price before taking the decision. Another advantage is that they can verify the delivery schedule and decide accordingly. Of course, your local furniture shop will tell you horrible tales and the pitfalls of online marketing but those are fictions. But, it is always better to get the credential verified, and not get duped by fly by night operators.
The compact dealThe bedroom furniture is a compact package. It comes with the bed of the required size, king, queen, or something in between, a sideboard, wardrobe and a bookcase. You can go for one by one or whole as a lot. The option will depend on your budget and if you want to borrow, on borrowing capacity. But, the problem of purchasing in pieces is fraught with the matching problem. If you get it in a lot you have all, items matched. But at the time of ordering the furniture, please take care of your drawing and don’t overshoot the floor area. There is no way you can extend your area.
In search of queen
There are very good queen beds available online. You can get metal beds. The metal bed is great item and highly versatile. You can pack it up when it is not used. Then there is the wood variety, walnut, mahogany, oak, teak and a few other varieties. You can get it in solid wood or veneers and price will vary accordingly. There are beds with the traditional look it will leave the space open, and your room will look spacious. You can also go for box types and can get more storage space. So, choose your favorite bed and book the storage furniture online.Matching the queenThe queen bed will now need matching furniture. So, start matching your furniture. Keep in mind that the color and décor of the sideboard must match with the bed. It is a must. The color or decor of the sideboard and the bed can maintain a contrast also. But, it must look good to you or the user. The other furniture like the wardrobe and bookcase are normally big sized. And these two should match. The ideal thing, of course, is matching all fours. You just surf the internet and go through it, and you will find a number of retailers selling all these furniture. So just locate a good one.The pack deliveredThe best thing about the online purchase is you can compare the price and verify the details of the furniture. Another thing is normally all this furniture is shipped in knock-down condition. So you can double check the hardware. You can book the bedroom furniture online and can pay the bill in installments under EMI scheme. The furniture carries a standard warranty, and it is expected that you will not use it roughly. The products are made from standard material and in the case of damage, the retailer will service it as per terms of the sales agreement. So you can safely book your bedroom furniture online.
The most important furniture in a bedroom is double bed and it should always be chosen wisely. It’s always better to choose the bigger sized bed and not the smaller sized bed if your room is spacious as it’s the most useable furniture product of any bedroom which has multiple functions. The beds are usually designed to make you feel comfortable on it and to provide extra storage. It can be in the form of drawers or pullouts under the bed or storage behind the headset. You may opt for sofa bed also to get extra seating in your bedroom to provide seats to your guests. Choosing material is also an important factor for a double bed. You may go for solid wood like pine, teak, oak, mahogany or marinade wood, and also ply or veneer which are considered to be the most suitable materials for a classic styled or contemporary bedroom. Metal may go well with a modern style room. If you want to have a bright look in your bedroom then you may go for oak and if want to have a darker shade then mahogany can go well to enhance the beauty of your bedroom. Any material you choose for your bed but the mattress and pillows should always be chosen that is comfortable for your back and easy to sleep. The choice is entirely yours while choosing material for the bed. There are some other furnishings too that are required in the bedroom and these should be matched with the bed. Like bed side tables, dressers, drawers etc. Bed side table which is used to keep reading lamps, alarm clock, books and some other items. Look out for the drawers that are spacious to use so that you could store more items in it. All the furnishings in the bedroom should complement each other as well as could be used practically too. Don’t stuff the room with unnecessary furnishings which are not in use. Otherwise the room will look so messy and uncomfortable and no space will be left to walk in the room. Get the dimension first before going to shop for the bedroom furniture. Don’t ever buy the furnishings that don’t fit into your bedroom. Don’t go for the large sized bed if the room is small as it will look out of place and no space will be left for other furnishings. If the room is spacious then place large items in it. If you follow these tips while buying then a small and simple looking bedroom can also be converted into a classy and stylish room.
It is very rightly said that “knowledge is the power” if you have the apt knowledge about any particular aspect then you can do lots of relevant tasks by yourselves. Say for example – building a home! I can read your face now and that must be saying, building home, yourself, is it a joke. NO it’s not!
Of course you need engineers and workers to execute the plan but as far as the planning is concerned, you can Do It Yourself. All you need to have is an apt understanding of building methods and construction procedures. This is the first and foremost important thing that once practiced skillfully, will surely return you back on the other aspects of life.
These are some of the primary areas you need to focus while making the home building plan:
- Confirming the most appropriate home building loan and this needs a thorough market research
- A right construction lot will help things to fall into places
- Get the home building plans and other specifications established
- Have a clear concept about the building costs and the overall budget
Right from the dreaming stage of building the home you need to consider each and every single detail thoroughly. Be specific about the values that you want to express at your home. Now an important thing –
Who are eligible for DIY building?
Well, everyone can take the “challenge”. Challenge because it needs an extreme level of hard work to build your own home. You must consider the range of personal involvement but having said that, I would like to encourage you on this because there are general contractor to help you out. You can hire them on specific terms and negotiate exactly what will be their responsibility and what you want to do yourself.
Right before you start building the home, you need to find out the answers of few important questions. You must be raising them in your mind since you started weaving the plan but time has come that you get them answered. This will ultimately narrow down the decisions of whether you can do it yourself or not. Here are some questions to consider;
- Where do you actually want to build your house and what are your preferences to choose the contractor?
- Do you know a real estate agent?
- Are you completely equipped with the home building kit that is appropriate for the project?
- What is your specific budget for the final accomplishment of the project?
- Are you completely aware of the construction and home building loan and how to pursue that?
- Who are the persons you will team up with to build the home?
- Are you well acquainted about the necessary process of having the permits?
On the basis of such few questions you will be able to get even a clearer picture of how to accomplish a home building by yourself. One last thing is that average people with average tools can build their own home and without any expertise. So if you have moved so far then you must give a try to this attitude.
Size and Shape
- Select a mirror that makes a statement so that it becomes a work of art in the space, such as a sunburst design over a front hall table. For clean lines, hang four of the same mirror in a square grid. Always consider what your mirror reflects so that it does not highlight something undesirable. Large-scale mirrors create a modern feel as they broaden the visual space.
- Using mirrors with frames that have no ornamentation will allow the clean lines of the mirror to create a modern feel. For a counterpoint to other artwork in a space, use a round convex mirror which is shaped outward to add an interesting perspective. Install mirrors without frames in a niche area either by gluing them directly to the wall or hanging them individually. Position a 7-foot-high large rectangular mirror with a black glossy frame so the bottom of the mirror is level with the floor and even in height with the top of a door frame for a gorgeous effect.
- Bathrooms and bedrooms are the most important spaces to consider the functionality of a mirror. In a bathroom, install a round mirror with a silver metal frame for an art deco feel. In a bedroom, lean an oversized mirror with a 2-inch frame of dark wood against a wall for a clean, contemporary look.
Bringing the Outdoors In with a Modern Mirror
- If you want to make the most of a fantastic view, use a mirror to call attention to it. Install a mirror in a size that will cover a large portion of a wall opposite the view, or hang multiple mirrors in a grid evenly spaced about 1 to 2 inches apart. Rectangular or square mirrors hung in grids of eight or 10, or more if desired, are an artistic way to utilize them for a modern effect.
A dining table is the focal point of any dining room. Its size dominates the area, and its style dictates the style of the rest of the room. It is not only a place to eat but a place to serve food and even a place to decorate. The dining table truly sets the tone for a meal.Building your own dining table is not difficult, but it takes time and effort–and good-quality wood.
- Dining tables can be built to complement any furniture style, but your primary consideration should be its proportions. Start with the table itself. Ask yourself if the thickness of the top is appropriate for its size. You certainly don’t want a tabletop that looks more like a piece of paper or a mere chunk of wood. Make sure the thickness of the top and the legs, plus the width of the apron, are all proportionate to each other. Thick tops should not sit on delicate legs, nor should thin tops be dwarfed by massive aprons.
These proportions should then be viewed as a unit. Be certain the tabletop’s size is proportionate to its height. One reason dining tables are usually large affairs is that a small table may appear too tall. But you must also take care when building a wider one, because you don’t want a large table that looks fragile.
Finally, consider how the table fills its space in the room. It should not be too small compared with the room’s other furnishings, yet you must allow enough room for diners to move around the table, even when others are seated.
Legs and Apron
- The legs of a dining table can be straight, tapered or turned. However, it is traditional to leave the top of the leg square so it can be more easily joined to the apron pieces.
While the legs of farm tables can be attached in many acceptable ways, formal dining tables must incorporate a certain level of sophistication in their construction. This generally means mortise-and-tenon joints. A tenon is a “tongue” of wood that is sculpted from the apron piece and fits into a mortise, which is a slot cut in the corresponding leg. This allows the apron to appear almost molded to the leg. In addition, mortise-and-tenon joints are very strong.
Some craftsmen add a block to each corner of the apron-and-leg assembly, to add further strength and stability. The cut ends of the corner blocks are beveled at a 45-degree angle, then bolted to the leg and screwed to both apron pieces. If you do not wish to attempt this sometimes-tricky bracing method, ready-made metal brackets are available to simplify the job.
- Dining table tops are generally made from glued-up lumber that’s been planed and sanded smooth. Furniture-grade plywood is another possibility, but the edges cannot be left exposed. If plywood is used, the edges must be banded. Edging tape can be employed, but it runs the risk of being knocked loose if someone bumps against it.
A better solution is to use lumber that matches the plywood veneer. Depending on the size of the table, lumber “strips” of perhaps 3 or 4 inches in width can be glued to the long edges of the table. then similar pieces can be glued along the narrower edges, covering both the plywood and the lumber edges. The grain on this piece usually runs “across the grain,” which gives the end a finished look while adding some detail and interest to an otherwise plain top.
- There is no standard finishing method for dining tables, other than choosing something elegant. Paint may work for a farm table, but not for a dining table. Choose an appropriate stain and, if appropriate to the room’s other furnishings, multiple levels of a clear-coat finish to make the table more durable and easier to clean.
- The low range of weekly rates for house cleaning start at minimum wage if you are willing to hire an individual who may be young and inexperienced. Individual cleaners charge as little as $10 per hour up to $30 per hour or more, depending on other factors. Cleaning services charge in the range of $30 to $50 per hour depending on location. Of these, franchise cleaning services are often the most expensive option. Prices may be quoted by the hour, by the job or by the room, depending on the company. Ask about how prices are figured and any additional costs not included in the basic price such as fees if the company is locked out of your home on the day of the cleaning, charges for cleaning supplies and price increases if cleaning your home is taking longer than expected.
- Smaller cities often have a lower cost of living and house cleaning is no exception. Find lower cost house cleaning in large cities by seeking an individual to clean your house. House cleaning can be surprisingly low cost in bigger metro areas with large populations of minimum wage workers or high unemployment rates.
- The average weekly rates for house cleaning depend on the cleaning you expect to have done. Individual maids and small companies usually offer greater flexibility in cleaning options, though you should expect to pay extra if you want several additional tasks done. Expect to have general dusting and vacuuming, kitchen cleaning and bathroom cleaning done by most cleaners. Larger companies may charge for extra services by the hour or on an individual basis. Ask for a detailed description of the cleaning typically done in a home and for a price list detailing additional services.
Maids Versus Services
- Individual cleaners, or maids, often charge lower weekly rates for house cleaning. This is not always true, however, so interview more than one person and keep an open mind until you have details regarding price, cleaning done and experience of the cleaner. Residential cleaning services charge more because of increased costs of operating a business, but they can also provide more dependability and shoulder the burden of screening and training the individuals coming into your home.
- The house itself is naturally the biggest factor in the weekly rate you are charged for cleaning. Size, condition and maintenance of a home all factor into the time required to clean it. Additionally, clutter or numerous decorations make cleaning more difficult and time intensive. Some companies will request that picking up be done prior to their arrival to ensure their ability to clean an area, a national franchise residential cleaning service. Even the type of materials in the home, from appliances to flooring type, change time expectations for cleaning. A typical 2,000 square-foot home can take anywhere from three to six hours to clean depending on these considerations. Ask potential cleaners about the amount of time they plan to spend in the home to get a better idea of expected thoroughness.
- Ask about cleaning supplies and equipment. Some maids and services provide their own, some require you to provide these items. Some may even charge extra if they must bring their own supplies and equipment. Get references from individual cleaners. Get information on employee screening, background checks and training from larger residential cleaning services. Always ask for proof of liability insurance and bonding whether hiring a service or an individual.
- A contract with a realtor is a voluntary agreement. Sales commissions of 6 percent are common, but you can negotiate a lower commission when selling your house. Interview several agents and ask each of them if they’re willing to accept a commission of less than 6 percent. Shaving just 2 percent off the standard 6 percent sales commission will save $6,000 in commission fees on a home selling for $300,000.
- Leverage for a lower commission is even greater on luxury homes costing around $1 million. Realtors are so eager for luxury home listings that some will accept as little as 3 percent in sales commission, according to MSN Money. The agents realize that even with the smaller commission they may earn more on a luxury home than on lower-priced homes.
- A realtor does not keep the entire commission. The buyer’s agent usually receives half. That means on a 6 percent commission, both agents receive 3 percent, and they will share some of that money with their respective real estate brokers.
- Only the top 10 percent of real estate agents earn more than $100,000 in a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for a real estate agent in 2008 was $40,150. Median wages for the top 10 percent were $101,860. The lowest 10 percent earned $21,120.
- Some sellers avoid paying realtors by acting as their own agent. They list their homes as “for sale by owner,” and handle all marketing, inquiries and open house events. The strategy works for some sellers, especially in a strong economy when there is great demand for housing and homes are easy to sell. Other owners pay a flat fee of 1 or 2 percent to companies offering basic help with marketing and advertising.
- Know the dimensions of the outside of your home, or measure them. Do this by measuring the outside walls with a tape measure and recording the dimensions.
- Draw the outline of your house on graph paper. Create a scale before your draw. Decide how much each square on the graph will equal and write this down. If one wall is 500 feet long, it makes sense to make every square equal five feet.
- Begin by dividing your house into rooms. Keep in mind that each bedroom should be at least 100 square feet, each living room should be at least 150 square feet, each dining room should be at least 120 square feet, each bathroom should be at least 35 square feet. Also consider placement as you divide the house. The kitchen and the dining room should be close, as should the bedrooms. There should be a bathroom near the bedrooms, and if there are two, another near the communal living space. Allow room for hallways, closets, doors, windows, and large appliances.
- Design the kitchen. Consider how much workspace you will need, and appliance placement. Put the sink next to the dishwasher, keep the fridge out of the way of the main workspace. Make sure there is ample counter space, and walking space between a center island and the counter, if you have one. Mark where the main components and appliances will be, with squares and labels. Mark doors by leaving a hole in the wall and drawing a door at an angle with an arc in the direction the door will swing.
- Design the family spaces. Mark doors and windows. It is a good idea to mark where you want to put large items, like couches and home entertainment systems. It is a good idea to use the family room or living room as a buffer between the kitchen and the rest of the house. This cuts down on noise and affords people more privacy.
- Design the bedrooms. Mark areas for the bed, dressers, desks, windows, and doors. It is not necessary to draw everything, as long as you have a general idea of what you want and know there is enough space.
- Review your plans. Make sure that the shapes and sizes of the rooms are accurate, that you have included all major appliances, electrical objects, and furniture. Don’t forget doors to connect rooms, as well as necessary closets, like in the bathrooms and entryways. The layout should be logical and not haphazard. Check if it works by imagining yourself doing everyday tasks in the house. Envision yourself putting your coat away, cooking dinner, walking through the house, checking on your family, etc. If everything seems to make sense, then you have done a good job drawing a simple floor plan for your new home.
- Make a list of what your business needs to house and the various functions it must serve. For retail businesses, you’ll need to accommodate not only your retail space and counter area, but also have a space to store inventory and take care of office work. Non-retail businesses may need to accommodate multiple offices as well as storage space, copy room, shipping area, or other specialized areas.
- Measure your floor space. If you can obtain blueprints for the location, you can use those measurements. Otherwise, simply walk out the perimeter of your business with a tape measure.
- Measure the furniture and other large pieces that will go in from your list in Step 1. It’s not necessary to measure everything, especially not the smaller items, such as office chairs. However, for larger elements of your business, such as large filing cabinets, storage units, desks, and copy machines, you need to know exactly how much space they will take up.
- Set up an online floor planning software. There are several free options which you can download and install on your own computer. See the Resources box below for links.
- Think about the customer’s point of view. First impressions matter, so be sure that the first view any customer gets when walking through your business doors will create a positive impression. Keep the customer area streamlined and uncluttered.
- Keep like things together. Make it easier on yourself by keeping all the supplies in one area, all the shipping operations in one area, all the offices in one area, and all the retail space in one area. Organization will make it easy to locate what you need, when you need it, and it will help your day-to-day operations go smoother.
- Decide where the stairs should go in the floor plan. Consider the layout of the building and which places are convenient to move between floors.
- Determine the distance the stairs have to travel upward. This action plays a huge role in determining how long the stairs have to be because the risers and treads of the stairs are always the same height and width and the stairs have to be comfortable to walk up or down. For example, a room with a 9-foot ceiling would have stairs that have risers that are 7 inches tall and treads that are a standard 11 inches, calling for 15 treads. This translates into a bit less than a 12-foot long stairway.
- Convert your stairway length into the scale you're using for your floor plan. For example, if 1/4 inch on the drawing equals 1 foot in real life–a common scale for blueprints–a 12-foot stairway would be 3 inches long in the drawing.
- Draw a rectangle of the right scaled dimensions to the stairway you wish to build. Draw an arrow parallel to the long side of the rectangle and inside the rectangle. Point the arrow in the direction the stairwell is leading in the building. The arrow always points from the base of the stairs to the top.
- Draw parallel lines dividing the rectangle into the treads. Draw about seven treads and then draw a diagonal line dividing the rectangle and cutting through a couple of the treads. Insert a jagged line into the diagonal line so that it looks like a seismograph reading. This is a symbol that indicates a stairwell and is a shorthand method for drawing stairs in a floor plan.
- Repeat steps 1 through 5 to create a circular stairs except instead of drawing a rectangle draw a circle with your compass and use your architect's rectangle to draw the treads, which in a circular stairs look like slices of a pie.
- Consider what you’ll be using your bedroom for. If you typically watch television before bed, you’ll want an entertainment stand. If you read, you may want a bookshelf. If your room is small, you might want as little furniture as possible, leaving only a bed, night stand and optional clothing dresser.
- List the colors of your room, wood paneling (if any) and existing furniture. Unless you’re replacing all your bedroom furniture, you won’t want to pair a white dresser with cherry wood headboard. Then list all of the items you’re considering.
- Think about your personal style. Bedroom furniture can be sleek and modern or garden cottage style. While you can accessorize your bed with sheets, you’ll also want to get furniture that matches your personal style.
- Set aside a maximum amount of money you can spend on new bedroom furniture before you start shopping to avoid overspending.
- Measure your bedroom’s length and width with a measuring tape. You’ll want to make sure your furniture can fit.
- Browse online retailers to get an idea of the styles and prices to expect in bedroom furniture. Note the names of designers and styles you enjoy, plus the prices.
- Visit local furniture stores to see bedroom furniture in person. If you’re interested in a particular style but not sure it’s right for you, getting a look for yourself can help you decide. Ask about the prices, delivery and installation of any piece you like so you’re not surprised if you later have to set up a piece of furniture yourself. Most furniture stores deliver for a fee.
- Shop comparatively by visiting several retail stores and checking many online retailers. Also determine whether pieces you like come in other finishes than the one displayed (many do).
- Purchase furniture when you’ve found pieces you like in a budget you can afford. Buy either online or from a local store, making sure you arrange delivery or setup, if necessary.
- Get rid of small furniture pieces. Large rooms will look crowded if you fill it with lots of small furniture pieces. A side table or favorite item is fine, but the majority of furnishings in a large bedroom should also be large.
- You should place your furniture in a way that balances the room. Putting your bed at one end will give it a bowling alley affect, therefore, I recommend placing the bed on the longest wall in the room. If possible, place the bed between two windows or a wall with no windows at all.
- Place a large armoire across from the foot of the bed. If you would like a TV in the room, it would be a good place for one.
- Pull items away from the wall. For example, if placing your bed on one wall with the TV armoire on the other wall puts the television too far away to see, consider placing it at a comfortable distance and working around it. In this case, you can see the TV is placed closer to the bed and a floor screen is used to conceal the back of the cabinet. You can also place to same-sized items back to back.
- Consider buying a bed with a dresser or chest built into the back of the headboard. This will allow you to pull the bed away from the wall and break up the space.
- Place your dressers and a bench to make a dressing area. For balance, I prefer two identical chest dressers and a dressing table instead of a tall dresser and a short dresser.
- Place occasional furniture for lounging. This can be two comfortable chairs and a small table or a chaise lounge or two.
- Learn how to make vinyl wall art. If you want to venture into this business, it goes without saying that you need to know exactly how to create vinyl decals as décor. Interior design classes in local community colleges can give you a head start. Training in graphic design will also come in handy.
- Identify your market. You can opt to be more general on this–catering to every type of establishment that needs a space decorated: schools, commercial spaces, homes, apartments and banquet halls. Or you can opt to be more specialized by picking out a particular niche market–for instance, catering to commercial vinyl wall art or just vinyl decals for special events. Determining the type of clients you want to service will help you design decals that are more attractive to your targeted market.
- Select your graphic design software. You will be relying on this application for your business, so you might as well choose one that is suited for illustration graphics. A good example would be Adobe Illustrator and ArtRage. You can also opt for free software if you’re running on a tight budget. SmoothDraw, for instance, is an example of software that you can download and use for free.
- Create your portfolio. Based on your target market, create a design portfolio that you can show to your potential clients. You will need to work on putting some of your designs from the computer to the actual products as well. For now, start with one or two pieces for each design. Once you start attracting orders and clients, you can move on to creating more for your inventory.
- Tap into various sources for design ideas. You can get design ideas practically everywhere. Books and magazines on modern interior design are great references. You can also go online and browse through other vinyl wall art stores and interior decorating websites.
- Publish your portfolio. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier to put up a vinyl wall art business without opening a commercial space for it. You can work right from your own home for the first few months and move to an actual store space once business kicks off. All you need to do is put up a website with the help of a web designer and a web hosting service and bring all your designs online. This is a good way to promote your services and get consumers interested in what you have to offer. After all, clients will want to look at your designs first before they decide if they want to order your decals.
- Market your business through your contacts. Inform everyone you know that you’re putting up this business. One good idea to promote your new venture is to offer to do their homes for a discounted rate or even free of charge. In return, your friends or family can recommend the decals to the people they know. Getting your products on the walls for everyone to see is the best way to advertise just how good you are.
Creating your own canvas art saves you money while allowing you to customize the look to the color and style of your room. Creating artwork is a way to express your creativity. You don’t need any formal art training to create your own canvas art.
- A canvas that has been stretched and primed will save you time. For a true DIY project or to save money, make the canvas yourself. This allows you to create the exact size of canvas you need.Work with either cotton or linen material, depending on your budget and the texture you want for your piece. You’ll need four stretcher bars, staples, a staple gun and a ball hammer. Join the stretcher bars together, and use the hammer to tap lightly on the bars until you have perfect right angles. Leave 2 1/2 inches of canvas on each side when you cut around the stretcher. Staple the canvas to the stretchers and prime with gesso.
Realistic Canvas Art
- There are a number of ways to create realistic artwork, even if you aren’t an expert painter. Use a copy of a photo and make it look artistic by using rubber stamps, or change the colors in a software paint program. Print your photo using an ink-jet printer, then iron the photo to set the ink. Using a gel medium, place the photo onto fabric, then glue the finished fabric onto a canvas. You can paint around the photo with light color washes to blend it into the canvas, stamp the canvas and layer decorative rice paper on it for a collage canvas.Fabric helps you add pattern to a canvas. Stretch the fabric and staple it to the back of the canvas while pulling it tight. Look for a fabric that depicts a scene or a damask pattern for an elegant theme. Create several smaller canvases with fabrics. Smaller canvases will have a big impact when you place them together.
Painting by numbers is a traditional way for a beginner to create canvas art. The canvas already has an outline of the scene, so you don’t have to draw it, and there are numbers on each piece, so no shading is involved. If you can’t find the perfect printed scene, make your own. Scan a picture into your computer. Open it using Paint by Numbers software. You’ll be able to pick which brand of paint you want to use, your color palette and how much detail you want to show. Print out the line drawing. You may need to tape the pattern together for a larger image. Use graphite to trace your map onto a canvas. Paint within the lines using your selected colors.
- Modern art focuses on bold colors and simple shapes, so it’s an easy do-it-yourself project. Creating artwork can be as simple as painting a canvas a solid color. Choose a bold color like orange. This will have a big impact against the white walls of an apartment. You’ll be able to try out different colors without having to paint your room. A teen can make artwork by painting several canvases in a series of pink, turquoise and lime green. For a more intricate look, dip jar lids or cup rims into acrylic paint and press against the canvas to create instant circles.
- Measure the table and chairs. The chairs must comfortably slide under the table and have enough clearance for a seated guest’s legs. Check the width as well as the height, particularly for tables with corner legs that the chairs must fit between.
- Match one element to your décor. If you have a modern home and an ornate Georgian dining table, choose cloth or leather covered contemporary chairs to tie the designs together. Dress up a shaker table with solid wood Queen Anne chairs to suit your formal décor.
- Unify the set by color. Buy a variety of chairs or a different style table, all in cherry wood. Try a sleek black lacquer modern table with mismatched wooden chairs that have all been painted white or bright red for a fun modern look. Pair a formal table with cherry and oak inlays with a mix of cherry and oak chairs.
- Choose the same or similar eras. Wood tones are hard to match, particularly if you have an old table and are buying new chairs. Pair a walnut Victorian table with mahogany Victorian chairs, and the matching styles will unify the set. Eras that overlap, like Georgian and Queen Anne, will also produce compatible pieces.
- Balance the mismatched elements. Place the two leather armchairs at the head and foot of the table and the wood chairs along the sides. If you have two low-backed chairs and six high-backed, place the low chairs across from each other at the center of the table. Not balancing mismatched items can give the room a feeling of chaos.
- Buy pieces of the same scale. A heavy wood table requires heavy wood chairs. A large, ornate heirloom table will look silly with thin modern metal chairs but can work with tall, straight arts and crafts chairs for a more contemporary feel.
- Match the upholstery. Choose chairs of varying styles, but cover the seats in matching fabric to unify the set. Select complementary drapery to further unify the space.
Walls and Ceiling
- Buttery yellow walls help to mellow the mood in a dining room furnished with black furniture, while pristine white walls intensify the stark contrast against coal-colored pieces. Bring a playful color punch to your room by applying apple green paint to the walls for a delicious complement to black furniture. Gray-toned walls deliver a calming neutral ambiance when paired with black pieces, whereas salmon-colored walls offer a warm, earthy feel. A white ceiling with crown molding sets off any wall color and adds outstanding color contrast against black furniture.
Windows and Lighting
- Give your dining room showy panache when you hang floor-length luxurious draperies in a silky gold-colored fabric over bare windows. The black furniture and gold-toned draperies create the posh atmosphere found in a five-star restaurant. Or, install energy-efficient white cellular shades for a no-nonsense window dressing that brightens a dining area furnished with dark-colored furniture. A chandelier can steer a dining room toward a specific decorating style. For example, hang a rustic wrought-iron chandelier over a black dining table to enhance Tuscan decor. Alternatively, suspend a magnificent chandelier with sparkling prisms above the table for a posh, elegant look. The glistening crystals and rich black table make a well-dressed pair.
- Break up a black dining set by intermingling a few colorful dining chairs. Exchange half of the existing dining chairs for upholstered replacements in a different style. Choose bright red chairs to boost the visual energy of a subdued black table, or add a calming atmosphere with sage green upholstery. Go wild over leopard prints to add an exotic flair to black dining chairs. You can stencil small motifs and designs on other black furniture, such as sideboards, china cabinets or serving carts, to create eye-catching pieces. Use a paint for your stencils that stands out against the black furniture: gold paint adds elegance; silver paint suits modern decor; and off-white paint complements cottage appeal.
- Define your decorating style in a dining room furnished with black furniture by incorporating the right decorative accents. For example, hang an oversized colorful abstract painting on a bare wall to emphasize contemporary style. Place a gray area rug dotted with a geometric pattern under your dining table and center a trio of streamlined silver candlesticks in varying heights atop the table. Accentuate traditional design with vases of fresh flowers, crystal candlesticks and bowls, linen tablecloths and ornate picture frames encasing soothing prints. The traditional accessories make a sophisticated design statement against black dining room furniture.
- Modern decor emphasizes bold splashes of color set against a neutral background. The walls and floors should be white, off-white or gray. You can then continue this neutral theme with white or black furniture. Add color in the form of bright throw pillows, rugs, art and accessories. If you need a little more color in your room, consider a brightly colored couch with black and white throw pillows instead. To get the same effect with colored walls, your furniture and accents should all remain black or white, which can offer fewer options for accessories.
- The hallmark of modern decor and design is sleek, functional furniture with strong, smooth lines. When it comes to seating, however, you should keep comfort in mind as well. Try to avoid sacrificing a comfortable couch for an ultra-modern design. Glass coffee tables and end tables work well with a modern decor. Black or white furniture is better than a wood finish with this style. Rather than hiding your electronics in a cabinet, feel free to leave your big screen TV and other gadgets on display, as long as the cords are well concealed and nothing looks cluttered.
- One of the most important aspects of modern decor is proper lighting. Avoid such quaint features as flickering candlelight and lanterns. Track lighting is ideal for a modern look. This will allow quick and easy adjustment when you want to highlight various aspects of the room. Use several layers of lighting so that you have an ideal setting for any occasion, from movie night to cocktail parties and everything in between. Lighted display cases are another excellent way to make sure that every aspect of the room is properly lit.
- No modern living room would be complete without a few excellent pieces of modern art. The specific selection should be left entirely to your own taste. Select a piece that you truly enjoy, and that will enhance the overall decor of your living room. Once you have your pieces selected, be sure that they receive proper presentation. Don’t place your artwork in dimly lit areas of the room. Make sure that each piece is well lit, and doesn’t suffer from glare. Depending on the size of the room, you may be able to incorporate two or more large pieces, however, it is important not to clutter the room. Allow each work enough space to be properly appreciated in its own right.
- In any living room, the small touches are what defines the family that lives there. In a modern living room, it is important that the space doesn’t look cluttered. Allow plenty of open table space, and arrange shelves neatly and precisely. With that in mind, there’s no reason that modern decor can’t display your personal interests. Frame family photos in sleek black or white frames, and even consider some artsy black and white photos. To emphasize technology a little more, use digital photo frames. If you have a lot of straight lines in your furniture, use rounded accessories and rugs to soften the space. If you have rounded furniture and tables, incorporate some straighter lines in the artwork and accessories to keep a sense of balance in the room.
- Refinishing is the process of washing, stripping and sanding furniture to apply a new paint finish. Dining room tables and chairs can take on a new stain in a darker or lighter tone than the previous stain or be repainted with a flat paint finish for a new look. For example, try changing a cherry-stained dining room set to a dramatic black or bright white to add a more modern look to a dining room.
- Solid-wood dining room chairs can be awkward and uncomfortable to sit on. Adding padding to the seating will make them more comfortable, and will also add a new look to the furniture. Purchase premade padded seats from craft stores and stretch colored fabrics over the chair seat to hold the padding in place. Secure the fabric on the underside of the chair seat using fabric glue or a staple gun.
- A dining room table does not have to be the same color as its chairs. Dining room sets with opposing colors add drama and depth to a room. Try pairing bright white dining room chairs with a deep black dining room table. Vinyl-covered purple or blue chairs can also pair well with black or white tables. Mix and match different colored chairs within a set, such as a red, blue, green and yellow chair with a wood-colored table to add a colorful mix to a dining room.
- Faux finishes add depth and warmth to a room’s walls, but can also be applied to a dining room table. Popular styles for dining room sets include antiqued looks that have a base color that cracks through the surface of a top coat. For example, a deep bronze color can show in the cracks of an antique white finish. Purchase a faux finish kit made specifically for furniture, not wall surfaces, from a local home-improvement store.
- Strip the room down to the bones. Modern dining rooms do not generally have traditional details like chair rails or wainscoting.
- Replace outdated light fixtures. Instead of the elaborate chandelier, choose a hanging light fixture with clean lines and a more modern feel. Try a row of hanging pendant lights over the table instead of a single fixture.
- Strip the wallpaper and paint the walls. Choose a warm red or chocolate brown paint for a sophisticated look, or add a pop of color by painting an accent wall a brighter shade, such as bright blue or lime green. A bold pattern, such as stripes or a harlequin design, painted on the wall also makes a bold statement in a modern dining room.
- Remove outdated flooring or rugs. Many traditional dining rooms have an Oriental-style rug; trade that out for one with a bold pattern or made from natural fibers, such as seagrass or jute.
- Purchase new furniture. Modern furniture is simple, with clean lines and minimal detailing. Choose a glass- or marble-topped table for a fresh look. If you can’t afford all new furniture, cover your ornate chairs with tailored chair covers, or add a coat of white or brightly hued paint to wood furniture to freshen up the look.
- Take down the formal drapes, and replace them with simple, clean window treatments. Hang a simple valance or cornice board, or hang sheers or a Roman shade to dress the window. Avoid anything with multiple layers and tassels — the key is simplicity.
- Use minimal accessories, and keep them simple. Instead of a large, ornate flower arrangement in the center of the table, display clear glass vases filled with fruit or colorful stones.
- Hang artwork on the walls. Skip the traditional pastoral scenes in favor of more modern, graphic pieces. Display a collection of black and white photographs in simple frames; lean them along a picture rail if you don’t want to hang them. Create your own art with inexpensive stretched canvases from the hobby store. Paint the canvas all one color, or design your own graphic piece with painter’s tape and acrylic paint.
- Replace ornate table linens with simple, graphic place mats and table runners. Look for place mats made from unexpected materials, such as wood, beads or leather. Purchase contemporary tableware in untraditional shapes, such as square plates and bowls, which are sold at most retailers, featuring bold colors and patterns.
- Take a look at your table surface and assess the kind of condition it is in. If it’s already attractive, you may wish to cover as little of it as possible and just dress it up. If it is shoddy, scratched or discolored, you can save it by painting it or putting a beautiful table cloth on it.
- If using a table cloth, choose one in a solid color to act as a clean canvass for the rest of the table decor. If you are using slip covers or cushions on your dining room chairs, consider getting fabrics or colors that match the table cloth.
- Match the types of fabrics you choose to the style of the room. For instance, if your room is contemporary and formal, consider luxurious fabrics like damask or toile. If you have a country rustic, casual dining room, cotton or linen would suffice.
- Add a table runner or mat in the center to the table cloth. If you are not using a table cloth because your table is too beautiful to cover, just use the table runner or a mat for the center, just to dress it up a bit.
- Put place mats in front of each chair. Get place mats in colors that coordinate with your chair cushions or room color scheme. This is a good place to add interest with a pattern or texture.
- Place a centerpiece in the center of your table. If you plan to remove the centerpiece at meal time, try to use one with some height and it will make your table look grander and balance out the scale in the room. If you are planning on leaving the centerpiece there during meal times, go for a shorter one so that your seated guests can see each other over it.
- If your table is very long, and your centerpiece is narrow, use smaller accents on either side of the centerpiece. You may use candles, or small statuary, bowls or vases–the choice is yours. This will help the length from appearing severe and allow the eye to flow more easily over it.
- Parents are often in search of deals on children’s apparel and toys, as well as creative, easy ways to get rid of items that their own children have outgrown. A children’s consignment shop can fulfill both needs by offering a variety of toys, clothing and accessories for children of all ages. Set up an area in the store where children can play while their parents consign their items or make purchases.
- Position your store to target individuals who may only be looking to purchase accessories through consignment. Focus on consigning accessories, rather than apparel, by offering items such as jewelry, hats, scarves, purses and shoes. Promote a consignment shop for accessories by offering clients a chance to host accessory parties at your store location. Host trunk shows to help promote the products that you have on consignment.
Books and Literature
- Give avid readers and book collectors a place to shop and consign books. Offer a variety of genres to ensure that you reach a wide range of potential clients. Host monthly book clubs, invite authors in for book readings and signings and set up an area where customers can read books and enjoy coffee or tea after making a purchase.
- From vases and pillows to throw rugs and candle holders, home decor consignment shops carry a wide range of items that consumers can use to decorate their homes. Offering everything from vintage wares to modern pieces, a home decor consignment shop can attract the attention of a diverse clientele.
- Mothers-to-be shop for affordable, comfortable, stylish fashions to wear during their pregnancy months. A consignment shop devoted to selling maternity clothing could cater to this market by offering casual, career and evening apparel. Host events for moms-to-be on baby-related topics including making baby food at home, the importance of being ready to have a baby and decorating a nursery.
- Before you even consider the requirements to earn a real estate license, you must first meet some basic qualifiers set by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission. The minimum age to become licensed in Mississippi is 18 for a real estate salesperson, and 21 for a broker. Also, aspiring sales agents and brokers must be residents of the state at the time of application to get licensed.
- The two primary sources for real estate education in Mississippi are two-year and four-year college programs and private pre-license education services. The MREC website has a list of approved providers.
If you take the college route, the real estate classes must be accepted by the school as part of an associate or a bachelor’s degree. While sellers complete at least 60 hours of coursework, aspiring brokers must complete 120 hours of real estate classes. The education includes fundamental principles and practices of real estate, along with discussion of Mississippi property laws. Ethics, appraisals, valuation and finance are other real estate class topics.
Exams and Additional Requirements
- Salespeople and brokers must both pass state and national exams to get licensed. Registration fees are $75 for each portion, due at the time you register, as of the date of publication. Both exams place heavy emphasis on principles and practices. Real estate valuation and special fields are other significant sections of the salesperson’s exam. Finance is given more weight in the broker’s exam. You must take the test within two months of application approval.
In addition to the education requirement, an applicant for a broker’s license must also complete 12 months of active work as a salesperson right before applying. After getting a license, you can join the local office of the National Association of Realtors to become a Realtor. Realtors adhere to a strict ethics code and benefit from multiple listing services, marketing tools and affordable contract forms.
Alternate Licensing Paths
- Mississippi offers a reciprocal licensing process for someone already licensed to sell real estate in another state. Licensing classes approved in the state where you hold an active license are accepted in lieu of education approved by the Missouri Real Estate Commission.
Mississippi also has reciprocal license agreements with a number of states, which means applicants from those states don’t have to sit for the Mississippi licensing exam. Check with the Mississippi Real Estate Commission prior to application to see whether your current state has an agreement in place.
- Forget about only listing your million-dollar home locally; few people can afford such luxuries. Agents advertise the best homes globally or at least across the country to reach the masses, explains Forbes magazine. You can use free online classified-ad websites, such as Kijiji or Craigslist, but your chances of catching the wealthy folks’ eyes improve by advertising in their favorite magazines or newspapers, such as the Globe. Doing some of your own advertising, even if you have a real estate agent, can help speed up or initiate an otherwise tough sell. Ask if your agent lists prestigious homes like yours in high-end real estate publications, such as Luxury Home Magazine, for exposure that’s aimed at the right prospective buyers.
- Almost every homebuyer starts the search online, explains the Zillow website. Even many extraordinarily wealthy people who may be in the market for investment property, a summer or winter home, or a primary residence likely turn to the Internet initially. Create a website or blog dedicated to your home; you have plenty of website builders, such as WordPress or Weebly, to walk you through the process, if this sort of task intimidates you. Brag about your home’s immense size, striking architecture, and colossal pool, for example. Play up the location and amenities — but do so tactfully. If you’re not confident in your writing abilities, seek the help of a real estate copywriter; the more astute your advertisement sounds, the more astute the buyer you’ll attract. Upload plenty of top-quality photos and even a virtual tour to back up your claims. Provide links to your agent’s listing or website, if applicable, so that interested parties can easily arrange a viewing or obtain more information.
Make a Suggestion
- Expensive homes can take longer to sell than average-priced homes because of a lack of qualified buyers. Some million-dollar homes simply don’t sell, regardless of high-quality home staging efforts, because — as hard as it may be to face — they are unattractive, are in an unfavorable location, or are just too unusual. If you’re not willing to lower the price to a point that’s affordable to more buyers, don’t become frustrated; be resourceful. Suggest in your ads or blog that the home could become something profitable, recommends the National Association of Realtors. A dark, stone-constructed Gothic home might suit life as a spa, or a massive log home, deep in the woods, might become a bed-and-breakfast, as long as zoning allows.
- When you’re planning to hand your upscale home over to a real estate agent to market, look for someone with experience in selling such properties. Examine the real estate advertisements in your area to find out who lists many big-ticket properties. If your home has knock-out luxuries such as an indoor squash court, or has neighbors who include big-name actors, for example, consider hiring an agency such as Sotheby’s International Realty, which specializes in selling topnotch homes worldwide.
- Obtain your state-issue real estate license if you don’t already have it. This process typically includes taking mandated coursework, as well as passing an examination if you’re trying to get a broker’s license.
- Research the luxury lifestyle. To impress future luxury buyers, you’ll need to know the differences between mainstream and luxury brands. For example, you need to know about top-of-the-line light fixture manufacturers, the best plumbing fixtures, the most expensive appliances and world-class building materials, such as slate flooring.
- Make connections with local interior designers, landscape company owners and builders that already cater to luxury clientele. They’ll want referrals from you, and you’ll need their connections to prove to your clients you have ties to the best in the business.
- Assess your own appearance. You’ll need to exude the luxury lifestyle if you want your clients to take you seriously. This means you need an expensive, high-quality wardrobe, the right jewelry, the right hairstyle and a luxury vehicle.
- Join elite clubs in your area, such as polo clubs or country clubs. This will allow you to mingle with future clients, as well as become a part of their social scene. If you can’t afford a membership, look for volunteer opportunities to get you in the door.
- Choose a luxury niche and target market. Research the past few years’ sales to assess the current market. Plan to target a specific area of town or ZIP code, as well as the type of dwelling. For example, you might focus on lakefront homes or target high-rise condos.
- Apply at an already-established luxury real estate agency in your chosen niche. This will help you enter the luxury-market scene and make a name for yourself. After you become successful and have loyal customers, you can branch out on your own.
- Gather information about your house. You will need specific measurements, such as length, width and area to input in the computer software so that you have a realistic representation of your house. You may also want to measure certain distances, such as corners-to-doors, so you know of space limitations where you can arrange furniture to maximize space.
- Create an idea of the type of interior design you want for your house. This will inform your design, since you will be able to see what furniture you may need. Find inspiration from home magazines or architectural books. Most floor planning software applications also have resources such as style guides and recommendations that you can refer to as you design your floor plan.
- Find the right computer application you need for your floor plan. A lot of useful products are available, such as Autodesk and FloorPlanner.com. To find the right application for you, identify your needs. You may want to decide between using a 2D or 3D design. Also consider the applications that you are willing to pay for.
- Experiment with different plans. Since you are using computer software and the Internet, you can tweak your plan as you wish. Experimenting with different designs will help you learn the most suitable plan you need for your home.
- Share your design with your friends and family. Online floor plan applications allow you to distribute your newly created floor plans to your social media network, which enables you to gain feedback and advice regarding your design. You can also save your plan online or take a snapshot of it to save in PDF format.
- Click on the “File” tab, then select “New” followed by “Floor Plan” from the Maps and Floor Plans section.
- Look through the choices in the Shapes column. This column includes categorized stencils for different floor plan elements like walls, doors, windows and furniture.
- Select the “Walls, Shell and Structure” tab to create the exterior walls for your floor plan. Look through the different room shapes to find the one that best suits your needs. Click on the shape and then drag and drop it onto the page. Resize the room by clicking and dragging on the adjustment icons at the borders of each wall. Add as many rooms as you need, or resize a single room to fill the entire page by clicking on the green square icon at the shape border.
- Select a wall from the Walls, Shell and Structure tab to add interior walls to your room. Click on a wall, drag it into place on the page and then use the green icons at the edges of each wall to drag the end to the edge of the exterior structure.
- Add structural elements to your floor plan. Navigate through the various tabs in the Shapes column and drag and drop necessary elements onto your page. Columns, for example, can be found under “Walls, Shell and Structure,” while stairs can be found in the “Building Core” tab. Change dimensions and orientation by clicking and dragging on the icons at the border or each element.
- Add doors and windows from under the “Walls, Shell and Structure” tab. Drag doors and windows over a wall to replace the area with a window or door opening.
- Add other elements from tabs like “Electrical and Telecom” or “Office Furniture.”
- Save your floor plan.
- Measure the length & width of the room. I always start with these measurements first to make sure I have the overall square footage of the room correct. Then measure the areas between doors, windows, hallways, built ins, fireplace. Make sure to get the distance between things.
- Draw up the overall size of the room (grid paper or a computer program is very helpful). Be sure to note locations of doors and windows.
- Add in the furnishings at the exacting size. Refer to catalogs and online sources for product descrptions of sofas, chairs, tables, etc. I always do sofa’s about 32″-36″ wide and the length can be a 7ft, 8 ft,9ft sofa – just depends on the configuration. Allow 3 feet clearances for circulation. You can also make cut outs to play around with layouts.
Determining Age, Quality and Condition
- Examine the piece for ripples and uneven markings to indicate its handmade status. If the piece is veneer, the veneer will be thicker than modern veneers. Look for thickness where the veneer meets the substrate (at the back of the chest or where a piece has broken away).
- Determine the style of the piece. The shape of the legs and form of the hardware will help set the antique in its time period. For example, a cabriole leg with a pad foot is an indicator of the Queen Anne style of the 18th Century. An antiques guidebook will provide pictures and descriptions of various furniture periods.
- Scrutinize the construction of the antique. Mortise and tenon joinery was the method used in the late 17th Century. Handmade pegs, dove-tailed drawers and hand saw markings are clues to the age and quality of your piece.
- Look for a maker’s mark, which makes research much easier. Has your piece been altered or “married”? An alteration means the piece is not in its original condition. It may have been reduced in size, have repositioned pulls or show plugged holes. A “marriage” means the piece is made of parts that did not originally belong together. Alteration and marriage devalue the piece.
- Consider the various pieces in the bedroom group to help determine age. Bed frames were not made to standard sizes until the 20th Century. There won’t be king and queen size beds in an antique group unless they have been altered. Washstand tables and commode chests commonly were used in 17th, 18th and 19th Century bedrooms.
- Examine your furniture for carved ornamentation, inlaid marquetry, original finish and patina. These add value as does rarity. Repaints, major repairs and replaced mirrors detract from the value. Also, the desirablity of the piece factors in; oversized pieces are less desirable for placement in modern homes.
- Research your findings in the antiques guidebook.
- Investigate antiques sellers who post pictures, descriptions and prices online, as they are a good source for comparison. Also think about hiring a qualified appraiser to examine your pieces.
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
illustration: Sarah Zoraya/Demand Media
- Draw a layout of the room on paper, including measurements and placements of all doors, windows, radiators and other permanent features. If you’re computer savvy and doing more than one room, invest in a design software service available for home decorators.
- Measure your furniture. Decorators recommend scissoring little cutouts to scale and label each one with it’s name and measurement. This way you can simply move them around your layout to get an idea of what fits where.
- Arrange and rearrange the pieces until everything fits and creates a nice flow throughout the room. Check whether you will bump your leg on something when you walk through this layout, whether the space between any two pieces is too tight or whether the layout looks strange. Keep rearranging until you are happy with the design.
- Get creative with your solutions. All the furniture does not have to be lined up against the walls. Try placing the bed out of a corner, diagonally into the room. If you have a big blank wall and no headboard, try hanging a curtain rod and some curtains behind the bed to create a focal point.
- Apply basic principals of Feng Shui. Clear clutter from all corners for better energy flow. Keep electrical equipment and wires hidden in a unit with doors. Electrical equipment emits electromagnetic waves that can hinder a peaceful sleep. Hiding them also adds elegance to the room.
- Place the real furniture according to your paper layout. If you’ve done your homework on the layout, you’ll be ready to move right in and everything should fit just like you planned it.
Choose a Palette
- Art Deco color schemes focus on contrast. To create a living room that’s sleek and bold, choose a basic palette of black and white and then incorporate bright accent colors. Start with a black-and-white tile floor — an iconic Art Deco design element — and paint the walls and ceiling white. Add a feature wall in black or an accent color. Bright red, yellow, maroon and purple add depth and warmth to a black-and-white palette while staying true to Art Deco style. If prefer a more subdued color scheme, choose a palette of deep browns and soft neutrals. Cover the floor with dark hardwood and paint the walls beige or ivory. Use green or gold for an accent color.
Add Bold Patterns
- Bold lines and patterns are the hallmark of Art Deco style. When you decorate, let your furniture provide the foundation of the room’s geometry. Look for sofas and chairs that feature clean lines and sculptural, geometric shapes. Incorporate pattern into your living room’s decor with wallpaper. Look for papers printed with symmetrical graphic motifs, such as fans, chevrons or zigzags. You don’t want to overwhelm the room, so limit the use of the paper to a wall or two. Textiles also bring pattern to a room. Choose rugs, upholstery fabrics, window treatments and accent pillows that feature geometric lines and shapes. Don’t let your wallpaper and textile selections muddle your palette. Stick to patterns with just two or three colors.
Make It Shine
- Sleek finishes and understated lighting give Art Deco-style rooms a sophisticated glow. When you plan your Art Deco living room, incorporate shine in every step of the decorating process. Set the stage with glossy floors — ceramic tile or polished wood — and large mirrors that add depth and sparkle. Incorporate furniture that features glass, metal and mirror details. A black lacquer coffee table, a chrome-and-glass bar cart and cabinets with mirror-front doors add shine and function. To show off your gleaming living room to its best advantage, choose lighting fixtures that cast a warm, subtle glow. Look for Art Deco-style wall sconces, table lamps and accent lamps that feature geometric lines and sculptural shapes.
Accent the Exotic
- An increase in African travel in the 1920s and ’30s boosted European interest in exotic materials. As a result, animal prints and ancient Egyptian motifs are as much a part of Art Deco design as geometric patterns and chrome tables. When you furnish your living room, choose pieces that blend Art Deco lines with exotic woods and natural materials, such as ebony, ivory and tortoiseshell — or environmentally friendly lookalikes. Incorporate some luxurious leather into the decor by including an upholstered sofa or a large, tufted ottoman. To complete your Art Deco living room, use a zebra-print rug as an accent piece and decorate the room with art and sculptures that feature pyramid, sphinx and other Egyptian designs.
You’ve probably seen modern art work at an art gallery & said “I could do that.” When you see some modern art work you might think “My four year old could do it.”Modern art work is more about expression than it is about creating realistic figures. As such, it’s an easy way to add art work to any room & have fun in the process.
- Get over the feeling that you aren’t an artist. Remember when you were a kid & could paint with unabashed pleasure instead of being so concerned with the end result.
- If you don’t know how to paint don’t worry. Instead of trying to paint a house or even a river, go for the emotion that these create in you, or use the colors that inspire you. Modern art is about loose interpretation.
- Keep a tight color palette. Use a bright white background & spatter one or two colors on it. If you use primary colors like red, yellow & blue it can seem more like a kid’s finger painting.
- Less is more. Some of the most famous works of modern art are simply splashes of paint, squiggles or dots. Don’t worry about precision, try & have fun.
- Add more substance to your work if you have small canvases. You can create a series of paintings that will hang all together, just varying each by the background color. If you have three skinny canvases, push them close together & paint as if it was just one canvas. This is called a triptych.
- Layer paint. If your work seems too bright or muddy, all is not lost. Try layering neutral colors over it after it’s dried. Work in thin layers so parts of the background show through.
- Modern art work always needs a crazy name so people can tell what it is. Try putting the name of your pet followed by your favorite color & then the year of your birth.
Marble Tile Floor
- A common choice for dining room flooring is marble tiles. Marble tile floors give rooms an expensive and elegant style. Use polished, rectangular, large Italian marble tiles for the floors. Choose a cream color marble that has a beige and cream base with dark beige veins. Place marble tiles as close as possible to achieve a seamless flooring appearance. The rich looking marble tiles match most styles. Try matching a white wood dining table for a natural simple look. Use a carved dark mahogany dining table and furniture for a more tradition look.
Country Tile Floor
- Country tile floor designs fit well into casual kitchen and dining room combinations. Install large, ceramic tiles in squares that are white and yellow for a country style. Use cream and white dining furniture with yellow decorative accents in the kitchen and dining area. For example, place white cabinets, appliances and countertops with yellow trim to keep the style as country, bright and simple as possible.
Southwest Tile Floor
- Invoke a rustic or desert atmosphere into your dining room with a southwestern style floor. Place large, square, terracotta color tiles over your dining floor. Alternate terracotta and dark tiles with light tiles to created a checkerboard pattern in your room. You can purchase terracotta tiles with southwestern designs stamped into the tiles, such as suns and cactus. Use simple and earthy tile floors for a darker rustic style. Install flagstone tiles with streaks of brown, gray and rust to create a rustic southwest feel to your dining room. Add rustic wood dinning furniture and terracotta pottery to the room to complete the look.
Modern Tile Floor
- Combine sharp lines and unusual color combinations to create a modern tile floor design in your dining room. Use octagonal, small ceramic tiles in jade, lavender or lilac and gray for the floor. Install tiny black square ceramic tiles in the center of the dining room. Use black, white or gray furniture to decorate your dining room. Make a bold statement by installing concrete tiles made from recycled materials in your dining room. Another unusual tile material that adds a modern feel to your dining room is blue macauba granite from Brazil. Add silver and gray accents to enhance the modern and sleek feel of your room.
- Determine the amount of space required for each area, including receiving, stock room, offices, break room, cash office, bathrooms and sales floor. Different kinds of businesses will allocate space differently. For example, a supermarket will likely require more stock room space than a clothing boutique.
- Prepare a design that emphasizes sales floor space. Keep non-selling areas such as offices and break room areas to a minimum. Nevertheless, be careful not to compromise ease of access. For example, narrow aisles may create more room for merchandise displays but will almost certainly annoy customers.
- Ensure the floor plan leads customers on the shortest path to “must-have” or featured items. This path should also lead them past goods that people often buy on impulse. Opportunities for impulse buying increase a layout’s revenue-generating potential.
- Choose a layout that’s suitable for the type of business. For example, a grid layout that utilizes rows of shelving is best for supermarkets and drugstores that stock numerous kinds of products. Apparel stores require a layout that incorporates display tables and clothing racks.
- Design the layout so staff can easily see as much of the selling area as possible. This will ensure customers are attended to promptly and decrease the likelihood of theft.