Don’t Let the Weather Design Your Home

Half way through August and the first faint hints that autumn isn’t far off are creeping into our gardens. Blackberries are ripening in the hedges, crab apples are flushing with rosy hues begging to be picked and turned into delicate jams and anyone venturing onto the lawn in the early morning has to step carefully to avoid the maze of spider’s webs threaded amongst the dew drops.

With summer coming to an end our thoughts turn indoors to redesigning and decorating ready for Christmas. With a virtually limitless choice of colours and a vast range of materials, interior design has never been such fun. Unfortunately, with such a choice, unless you follow the latest trend, interior design has also never been so confusing. Just how do you choose from the whole sweetshop of possibilities?

One simple way of cutting your way through the maze is to employ an interior designer. They can help with advice on trends, fabrics and colour combinations. Not only that, but interior designers can suggest best layouts for rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens, create moods for bedroom design, help you make the most of small spaces and suggest the best lighting to enhance mood.

Whilst interior designers can suggest colours and layouts they will be working with you and matching your style to the final plans. Although some of your tastes don’t tend to change, others will migrate over time and it is important to recognise this when you are looking at colour and fabrics. One aspect that many people overlook is the effect that the season has on their choice of colours.

Mention autumn and the instinctive reaction is to think of russets and browns, of long walks in autumn gales and snuggling up at night next to a dancing log fire. This instinct translates into the way we look at our homes and we are more likely to think about warm colours when we decorate in autumn and winter. Spring, with its new life and fresh breezes moves us towards greens and yellows whilst summer opens up brilliant whites and the clear blue of the sky.

Your interior designer will help to guide you through these phases and work with you so that you can visualise how your home will look throughout the year. Sometimes something simple such as a variety of throws or a change of lamp shade combined with variable lighting will enable you to change the feel of a room with the seasons. Alternatively you may have a room that is more used in the winter than the summer and decorating that with warm colours will meet your winter needs whilst using clearer brighter colours might suit rooms leading directly to the garden.

Whatever you choose, make sure that it fits with your personality and style. At the end of the day, you have to live with the d├ęcor and it is your home. Remember that and enjoy your interior design.

Color and Web Design – How to Make It All Work Together

As humans we see and interpret color using the visible spectrum. The colors we see are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. They are all made up of various wavelengths (measured in nanometers) and are really, really small. In fact, there are tons more colors but as humans we visually can see them with our naked eyes. We can use tools to see things in the visual range of say, infrared.

There are additive colors and subtractive colors. Additive colors are used with television or computer screens. So, when you add the primary colors red, blue and green together on a screen you will get white. Subtractive colors are used when printing. So, when you add the primary colors together you get black.

I am sure almost everyone has seen a color wheel. The color wheel shows you the relationships between each of the colors. Such as when a color is next to one an other this is called analogous colors. An example would be with red, orange and yellow. These colors make up an analogous color scheme. It is very popular because it also readily found in nature.

When two colors are opposite each other on the color wheel we call these complementary colors. A great example is red and green, another popular choice during Christmas. Those are some of the basics, there is a lot more to learn such as hues, contrast, saturation etc. But, we can go into that another time. Next we need to take this information we just learned and see how color is tied into our emotion.

Color effects how we perceive the world around us. It can affect our emotional and physical responses to visual stimuli, and can even govern how we interpret these stimuli. This is why color is so important in fields of graphic and environmental design, and why graphic designers, interior designers, and architects go to such great lengths to understand the influence of color and to use it in just the right way.

Until recently, though, very little emphasis has been placed on the importance and overall influence of color in the field of web design. In fact, there still seems to be overall a kind of ‘anything goes’ atmosphere on the Internet with regard to web design in general.

But the way in which we access the Internet, combined with its increasing impact on our everyday lives, now requires a more thorough understanding of the influence of color for designers who wish to create websites that effectively attract and positively influence visitors to them.

The use of color is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal in designing a website, or any other medium with which you are attempting to relate to or communicate with other people. Color is so powerful that it can persuade, motivate and inspire when it is used in a balanced and effective way, and so crucial that it can completely drive people away when its overall influence is poorly understood and it is used poorly or inefficiently. In short, color is far more complex than many of us give it credit for.

The best way to use color is to experiment and observe. Test color combinations out and see how they make you feel. Chances are that if you feel a certain way when you see colors others do also. But, there are some fundamentals that can help any designer.

Nature is your best bet when finding good color combinations. Take the example of a small wood house on a prairie with a nice clear blue sky. A prairie is golden and the sky being blue will give you a good complementary color scheme, blue and gold are opposite on the color wheel. The blue/gold combination is usually has a very calming effect. It can also be a symbol for regal or royalty.

Sometimes you want your colors to POP. So, using high contrasting colors are really good for that. Ever wonder why road signs are in that bright yellow with black type? It is one of the easiest color combinations to read. Plus it makes you take notice. We have been conditioned by the highway people, that bright yellow and black stands out and we automatically take notice.

Some color examples and their general meanings.

– White is considered as the color of purity, honesty and innocence.

– Black is the color of death also represents darkness, gloom and despair. However, when used properly is can also indicate elegance and refinement.

– Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It represents depth, trust, security and imagination.

– Green is a color in nature. It represents life, vibrancy, natural, active, fresh and young.

– Yellow is for philosophers and thinkers. It represents hope and maturity.

– Red is a color of action and danger. It excites and stimulates the viewer.

I could go on but I think you get the point that each color represents feelings and emotions. As a designer your job is to pull those emotions out from the viewer and either gets them really comfortable so they stay along time. Or exited so they feel they must have your product now!

Color dramatically effects your customer so that means it affects your marketing, your web site and your income. If used badly it can make potential customers leave your site quickly. If used well, color can help bring in more money.

So, how are you using color on your site?

Interior Redesign: How To Choose A One Day Decorator

Interior redesigners – also known as interior refiners, redecorators, interior
arrangers, one day decorators, room makeover specialists and home stylists – bring
a unique perspective to their clients’ decorating dilemmas. While the business model
of traditional interior design services is largely based on profits from the markup of
furnishings and contract services which are resold to the client, interior redesigners
are overwhelmingly service oriented. Charging flat rates per room or hourly fees
which make their services accessible to those who aren’t interested in major
purchases, interior redesigners provide creative services to transform your rooms
using what you already own and limiting, or even eliminating, the need for new
investment.

The interior redesign segment of the decorating and design industry is growing
every day. Yet, while just about all the professionals in the field are service, rather
than sales, oriented, there are important differences in the approaches of interior
redesigners, even among those using the same professional designation.

Some interior redesigners will interview you in advance and then politely request
that you absent yourself from your home during the room redesign. While all the
furnishings that will be used are already in your home, you will be coming home to
a surprise redesign and possibly other rooms that have been substantially changed
by the relocation of furnishings to the redesigned room. Other redesigners will
insist on your presence, however, the degree of collaboration will vary from those
who will give you advice and leave it at that to those who really want to find ways to
bring your personal preferences into the design scheme.

Some interior redesigners will physically rearrange your furnishings, accessorize
your room and hang your artwork on the day of the redesign, while others will only
give you a written plan. Still others will both rearrange your rooms and provide you
with written plans to take your rooms to the next level. Some will only work with
what you already own, while others are willing to develop design plans for partially
furnished and even empty rooms. Some will include paint, window treatment and
lighting consultations in the plan, and offer a range of follow-up services, while
others will not go beyond what is possible to physically accomplish on the day of
the redesign.

Questions You Need to Ask

It is important that you take the time to decide what it is that you want from an
interior redesigner before you shop for professional help. Once you are clear about
your own goals and expectations, you can start asking the questions that will
enable you to match your needs with a particular redesigner’s services:

1. What is the scope of services included in the interior redesign?

2. Will the rooms actually be rearranged on the day of the redesign? If so, is there an
additional cost for movers or moving assistants?

3. Will you be given a written design plan and, if so, what will it include?

4. If you have a budget to go beyond the one day decorating, will the redesigner
provide specific ideas and guidance to maximize your budget and further enhance
your room?

5. Will you be expected to be present to work collaboratively with the redesigner or
will you be asked leave your home?

Whether you choose to collaborate with an interior redesigner or leave your home, it
is important that you have a good rapport with the professional you choose – after
all, a successful room redesign should reflect your personality and vision for your
home, not the designer’s. You should feel that the interior redesigner is
approachable, would value your ideas and is willing to take the time to understand
what you want and answer all of your concerns. Be wary of anyone who promises to
do so, but won’t take the time to listen and respond to you when you call to inquire
about services.

Also, be wary of anyone who promises that a room makeover can be done in “as
little as an hour” in order to get the appointment. A good interior redesign can
take many hours, and while there are rooms that can be completed in an hour, no
honest interior redesigner will tell you so without first seeing the room and
speaking with you about your needs and expectations.

If the redesigner offers flat rates based on the size of the room, ask for a rate card
or other written documentation. If hourly charges are involved, ask for an estimate
of hours based on the size and complexity of your project.

Companies marketing interior redesign services vary greatly, from the independent
redesigner to design agencies, referral operations and even franchises. Before you
book an appointment, insist upon speaking directly with the interior redesigner who
would be handling your project and assess that person’s experience and training
independently from the company marketing the services. Ideally you always want
the principal of the firm on your project, after all the firm’s reputation – not to
mention all those before and after photos on the Web site – reflect the abilities of
the principal, not its lower level staff. Check whether this would involve additional
unadvertised fees, as is often the case.

If you take the time to find a great interior redesigner, you will find Interior
redesign to be a great decorating solution, offering an affordable means to a
dramatic transformation of your home in one day with little or no additional
investment.