Affordable Ways To Give Your Home A Classic Look: Save Money & Add Style

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It’s that time of the year again, when you say bye bye to the past year and welcome the new one. You are thinking to remodel your home for the New Year as a resolution. It is understandable that you might not have a big budget to completely remodel or redecorate your house. But there are a few things you can do that will save you some money and make your house look brand new. You are a home owner, and you need to remodel…let’s say restore your house. There are plenty of things you will need to get and you may want to hire a professional to do all the handy work.

Collect all of your ideas first by browsing magazines or search for interior design ideas on the web. What kind of style does your home currently have and what would you like to change it to?

You should make out a plan. Ask yourself questions like how much you can afford right at this point to add a face-lift to your house. Choose what you want changed – the interior or the exterior. If it’s the interior, gather your kitchen design ideas, bedroom design ideas or any other room ideas first. Try taking baby steps and don’t get overwhelmed to completely go overboard and do all the remodeling yourself. Professionals are out there to help you every step of the way. All you need to know is how big your budget is and what you are planning on redecorating.

Most people just get an exterior paint job done to their houses. It is understandable that it will look clean from the outside, but what about the inside. Is it just as appealing? Organize everything, and first make a budget for your paint job. You know that the walls need some lighting up, so give it a shot and put your thinking cap on.

Pick out a color, well a few colors for the different rooms in your house. Having the same color of every room is old and makes the house look very bland from the inside. Choose bright colors for a start. Brighter colors open the room and give it a more contemporary dash of elegance. You should think about color coordinating walls in a single room. Try to select a different color for the ceiling perhaps. You don’t want your bedroom or other room to look like a closed box. It is your thinking space, so think out of the box.

Check all the big pieces in your house, like furniture, shelves, wardrobes and tables. If you think that they can be repaired rather than changed, do it! This way you will save a bunch of money and save for something that is more needed. You can update your furniture, reupholster your couches and stain the woodwork and they will look new in no time. The best thing about wood is that once it is polished and back to being glossy, people will assume that it is brand new. The same option goes for your flooring if you have wooden flooring around the house.

If you are not up for a new paint job in your bedroom, go out to simple art galleries or stores that offer pieces of artwork. You don’t need the original Mona Lisa on your wall to add luxury. You can always get superb pieces of artwork, and they will go perfect with your room. If you choose more abstract pictures or paintings, they may very well add life to your bedroom or living room.

Content provided by Design Shuffle which is a social media site filled with interior design ideas from top tier design talent around the world. Best of all, registration is completely free.

5 Things A.S.D. Interiors Loves to Buy Online

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The world of online shopping has truly changed the way in which we shop. The days of catalog and phone ordering, driving across town to view a product, and lugging heavy boxes around are over. With the internet at our fingertips, it is easier to research a product and get a quick answer. If we cannot find exactly what we need, there are other similar items and companies available at only a click away. Forget worrying about whether it will fit in your car or if it is too heavy to carry, delivery service has now become the standard. Do not get us wrong, there is nothing like the feel of a fabric or the comfort of testing a good sofa, but for particular products that do not need to be assessed in person, the internet is a wonderful thing. Not to mention, the worldwide web never closes! Here are 5 of our favorite things that we love to purchase online:

1. Dinnerware

Essential Dinnerware - Crate and Barrel
Most companies have spent the time to develop wonderful websites that feature their products in the best way. Typically when researching an item, the photography on the site replicates the product as if it were sitting right in front of you. Multiple views of the item, and placed within a space, are typically available. Not to mention dimensions and specifications of the product as well. One of the most useful sections is also the customer review tab. A list of likes and dislikes by people how have already used and bought the product is something that you will not find when you walk into a store. The largest convenience however, is delivery. If you’re looking for a good workout, perhaps you would prefer to carry 40+ pound boxes out of the store. But for the rest of us, delivery service is an affordable option that allows heavy items to be shipped directly to the door without the worry of needing to visit the chiropractor immediately afterward. Try looking online at Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn to view their many dinnerware options.

2. Artwork

John-Paul Philippe Framed Sketch - West Elm
Artwork is an integral part of interior design and truly pulls a room together. Understandably, a lot of people are scared of purchasing artwork because they believe it is high in cost. Conversely, the internet offers the opportunity to acquire pieces of art at a reasonable price. Purchasing online also enables the buyer to view and select pieces that are the exact dimension they need for their space. Also, for those odd shaped and large pieces of work, delivery is once again a great service that is available when purchasing on online.

3. Side Tables

Bradshaw Side Table - Room&Board
Not only are side tables an important piece of furniture to fill a room, but they are one of the only items that do not need to be tested before purchasing. Unlike an upholstered chair or sofa, a side table does not need to be sat on or tested for comfort. Once you know the dimensions and shape that you prefer there is a wide selection of tables online to choose from. Small, large, rectangular, square, round, wood, plastic, traditional, or modern, there is something available for everyone. Try going to the websites for West Elm and Room&Board for a great selection. If you receive the table and decide that you do not like it, most companies will let you return the piece within thirty days. Although you would have to pay for delivery back to their facility, you would not need to haul the item to your car and drive it back to the store, which is just another great convenience of purchasing online.

4. Office Supplies

Most of us lead very busy lives and the last thing we remember to add to our shopping list is office supplies. Next time, save yourself the trouble and try ordering your materials online. Odds are that you use the same items day in and day out, which is great because most office supply companies will remember your list. This makes it easy to re-order and saves time.

5. Plasma/LCD/LED Televisions

Next time you are considering buying a new television, go to the web. Start by researching what are the latest and greatest items and price compare. Once you know exactly what you want, there is a good chance that you will find it for a cheaper price online than the store down the street. Similar to dinnerware, you can also read customer reviews to see how other people have evaluated the product. Especially for larger televisions, once they are packaged, they often do not fit inside anything smaller than a truck. You should not have to compromise the size of your TV just because you have no way to transport an oversized object. Also be sure to utilize coupon websites, such as CouponCabin, in order to find the best deals available.

Design School 101

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Today at ASD Interiors, the interns are taking over the blog! Well, specifically, one intern is taking over in hopes of giving an inside perspective of design school and what it is like to start off in the interior design business. Not untypically, going to school for such a particular area of interest is often a career change. To give some background on myself, I received an undergraduate degree from a four year college in Los Angeles, began working in the entertainment industry (as most Angelinos do), and then experienced what I like to call “The Quarter Life Crisis.” After experiencing the working world for a few years, I quickly discovered that I wanted a job that I loved and at that moment, I did not have that job. I began to think about all the things in life that I truly enjoyed and design was the one constant. I was always the kid in grade school math class that was drawing floor plans on my graph paper or building models at home. As an adult, I enjoy moving at least once a year just so I can redecorate. Although a little hesitant to give up the progress and connections I had made in the entertainment industry, I decided to take the plunge and go back to school for interior design. After looking at three different programs in the area, I decided upon FIDM in downtown Los Angeles.

Well-recognized, FIDM presented a lot of exciting opportunities and gave me a lot of hope for my new career path. Of course, as most educational experiences go, your expectations do not always correspond to reality. The first thing I realized was: “This is going to be a lot of work.” Although I knew I had signed up for homework and school projects, I did not fully realize that I would eat, sleep, and breathe design school. For those of you who think that becoming an interior designer is learning how to pick out the perfect throw pillow, you could not be more wrong. I was immediately thrown into every aspect of my training. Manual drafting, various computer programs, sketching, the science of fibers. When you sign up for a textile class, you are excited for the beautiful colors and textures. Little do you know, but this course has nothing to do with those things, but instead the technology of fiber content, how it is bound together, and what is natural vs. what is machine made. What is the strongest fabric option vs. what is the weakest? How many times can you rub this particular fabric until it begins to wear away? Which fabrics lose their color in sunlight? Drafting, whether manual or computer aided, is greatly related to mathematical measurements and codes. One wrong measurement or code violation can ruin an entire project and it is your fault. It doesn’t take long to realize that interior design, although creative at times, is mostly based around details and project management. You are responsible for knowing all the materials on the market, the best people to hire in the business, where to get the best deals and products, the details of every installation, how to draft a plan and move a wall if need be, maintain proper code regulations, and how to get it all done on time. Designing is one giant puzzle and it is your job to make sure all the pieces fit together.

The most important knowledge I have gained thus far is when I started an internship in the design industry. Not that I have not acquired important skills while in school, but my internship has helped me understand a connection between my new talents and how they apply to the real world. In school you design without a budget, there are no consequences when to your mistakes, and no one explains the importance of the marriage between designer, contractor, electrician, and whoever else is on your team. In fact, when considering whether to go to school in the first place, it never occurred to me the roles that management and business would play. It does not matter how well you can pick out a paint color or a stone slab, but if you are not able to execute your ideas and communicate them to your team, you will not be successful in this business. In particular if you open your own company, you will need to create your own business model, establish your rate, generate contracts, obtain insurance, and find clients, to just name a few. These are all things that you will have to learn on your own because no one in school is going to teach you. To become an interior designer, you need to be driven and goal oriented. Even in school, it is easy to pick out the students who plan to make design their career versus the students who enjoy reading Architectural Digest on the weekends.

With only two quarters left, I could not be more excited for my journey into the world of interior design. Knowing that it is going to be a lot of work, and with still a lot to learn, I’m looking forward to the trial and tribulations of the business and, hopefully, the successes to come. Reviewing my experiences so far, if I had to narrow down the three main aspects of the design business that I wish someone would have told me, they would be:

3 Things to Think About Before Going to Design School:

1. Love Working For Free!

You will gain the best experience by far at your internships. Do not be afraid to begin while in school, as this is the best time to work for free. A lot of students make the mistake of waiting until they graduate. Not only are they shocked by their lack of knowledge in the industry but they cannot get a job without any experience. If you are unwilling to put in the hours and feel that interning is not for you, the design business is probably not for you either.

2. Know Your Team

Being an interior designer does not consist of only buying furniture and picking out upholstery. Your projects will be made up of an entire team. Whether it is a large project with a contractor, electrician, etc. or a smaller project with a painter and a wallpaper hanger, you need to know every aspect of the job. It is your responsibility as a designer to familiarize yourself with every detail of that particular project. You also need to be able to communicate with your team and specify exact details as to what you want. Learning about lighting, electrical, paint types, wallpaper adhesive, grout types, etc. will not only make your projects go smoother, but it will make you a better designer.

3. Do Not Be Afraid to Sketch

Not everyone needs to be Pablo Picasso, but you need to be able to communicate your ideas. Have you noticed how much emphasis has been put on communication! Sketching plays a huge role in daily design life and is usually the best way to explain an idea to a client or members of your team. A sketch may be used to display an entire space to a client or it might be drawn on site to show the contractor the dimensions of an area or how to lay tile. A quick drawing is often the best way to visualize your ideas and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Carry a sketch book with you at all times, because you never know when you’re going to need it!

5 Ideas for Organization

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Now is the perfect time of the year to start organizing! File away your 2010 paperwork and put your clutter in order so that you are ready for a fresh start come the new year. No matter how you choose to organize, the most important thing to remember is that everything needs a place of its own. Today, there are many great options for all types of organizing. Forget those shoes boxes; organizing can be functional and beautiful at the same time.

1. Put Your Bathroom in Order

Pottery Barn Blue Beach Bath Accessories
The bathroom is full of many accessories that often come in unattractive packaging. First, take all of your small items, such as cotton balls, swabs, etc., out of the packaging. Purchase a few small containers and places the items inside. A lot of beautiful sets are available (like the one to the right) and really bring sophistication to the space. Not only is it visually more appealing, but these types of containers truly organize a space. Notice that you can also take liquid soap out of its packaging as well and place it in an attractive, matching bottle.

The Container Store Clear Acrylic Tote
The Container Store Bamboo Drawer Organizer
For items that are not on the countertop, begin by dividing the items by category. Place all of your medicine together and put in a waterproof container. This way, all of the items stay together and you can place the container on any shelf. Gather your hairbrushes, pins, and ties and put in a separate container as well. The items to the right and left are also great for drawer organization and miscellaneous bottles.

2. Find Beautiful Containers

Crate and Barrel Woven Lidded Totes
With so many options available, organizing can look great as well as be functional. Especially if you are short on hidden storage space, it is important to choose attractive pieces. Whether you are storing paperwork, family photos, CDs, DVDs, or anything else you can think, the perfect storage container is always available. Boxes come in leather, woven materials, colored fiberboard, aluminum, and many other materials. These are a great alternative to plastic containers or cardboard boxes. Also try experimenting with closed and open boxes. Storage containers that hold magazines or pictures might serve better as open, such as a basket or an antique crate.

3. De-Clutter Your Desk

Crate and Barrel Mini Slanted Jar
Easy to leave a mess, your desk space if one of the most essential places to keep organized.
West Elm White Lacquer Desk Accessories
With so many materials (pens, pencils, paper, paperclips, rubber bands) floating around and important documents, it is necessary for every item to have a home. For smaller items, like paperclips, try using mini containers on your desktop. Not only are your materials easily accessible, but you now have a creative looking display. Make sure all of your documents, magazines, and other paper items have a designated space as well. If you have a paper heavy desk, try using stacking trays. If you are someone that needs your information displayed in front you, try this great wall organizational system. This also lifts a lot of clutter off your desk and onto the wall in an organized manner.

Pottery Barn Organizational Wall System

4. Cabinet Control

The Container Store Lower Cabinet Drawer
Just because most people do not see behind your cabinet doors, does not mean they do not have to be organized. No matter what room of the home, all cabinet space should be used to its full potential. Unless you have remodeled your kitchen and have designed your cabinets to their full potential, often a lot of shelf space goes un-used. It is common to find that many of your appliances or dishes are inconvenient to reach due to the depth of the cabinet. For your lower cabinets, try installing a pull-out shelf for a more reachable and organized space.
The Container Store Upper Cabinet Shelf
For your upper cabinets, make sure that every inch of your cabinet is being used as well. If you have empty shelf space, use these great portable shelves for an easy solution.

It is also easy to pile a large amount of small jars on your shelf and not even realize what is inside anymore. To solve this problem, use a tiered shelf so that all your food items are visible.

5. Do Not Be Afraid to Label

P-Touch
No joke. If you do not already own a label machine, it will be your new best friend. Practically anything can be labeled and it is by far the most useful organizational tool anyone can have. Not only will your items be properly categorized but it is also the cleanest, streamline look one can have when it comes to creating labels. When using a label machine, it is also easy to place labels on top of each other. This is an added convenience when it comes time to re-label an item.