Simple steps to kitchen staging and design

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 Selling your home? Great, get ready to stage your kitchen. When it comes to staging to see there are a few things to consider. Decluttering, reorganizing and cleaning are a great start but what other steps are essential when you want to put your home on the market?

Tidy and Reorganize

Look around at your kitchen. Is there something that you always wanted to change but never got around to?? Are there appliances or furniture that always get in the way? Unnecessary items that makes your kitchen look cramped for space? Well, whatever it is, it is time for a change. Take the time to tidy and reorganize your kitchen. This means consolidating- leave as few items in sight as possible. Let your kitchen breathe. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need and dump the rest in the cabinets. Clear off your countertops to create the feeling of a larger kitchen. Remember, when it comes to home staging- less is more.

Remove Extra Items

Leave the essentials in an easy to reach place; keep the rest in drawers . It is crucial to get rid of anything unnecessary in order to open up more space and to make the kitchen look larger. This includes removing as many furnishings as possible. Excess furniture and fittings only get in the way; not to mention, they can make a room appear smaller. If you want to make your kitchen more inviting, create the perception of more space. So get rid of trolleys, free standing islands and any other large pieces you can go without. Also, no extra chairs. If goal is to sell your home, then be open to the idea of storing or getting rid of some unnecessary furniture. Be ruthless. It will pay off in the end.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Last but not least, don’t forget to clean your kitchen. It doesn’t matter what stage of the process you do this in, as long as you do it. Nothing will make your kitchen more attractive than spotless countertops, dust-free floor, immaculate appliances and organized shelves. Keep your blender, microwave, dishwasher and fridge clean, vacuum and mop the floor, dust all areas that have never gotten near the microfiber cloth. Do what’s necessary to get every part of the kitchen gleaming and smelling fresh-and take your time! This is one area where cutting corners is not an options if you intend to sell your home. The best way to attract prospective buyers is with a kitchen that looks and smells clean as a whistle!

Additional Advice

Replace heavy curtains and drapes. They can only make the place look smaller and crowded. You need to let more natural light into the room- choose cheerful colors.

Repaint the walls. Choose bright like-tone colors, consider getting rid of wall hangings, think minimalist style-the less stuff in your kitchen, the better it will look.

Remove tablecloths. Stick to the rule- less is more. Add some fruits in a simple basket or a vase of flowers as simple accent piece.

Get rid of pot racks. They create the feeling of storage shortage and can potentially give buyers the perception of a space shortage. If you don’t want to part with your pot racks (they look great in your kitchen, they hold sentimental value or you simply don’t have anywhere else to keep them), then make sure to hang only the bare minimum.

Depersonalize. This means you need to remove as many personal items, such as pictures and knick-knacks, as possible still maintaining an inviting and warm atmosphere.

My last tip is to create a balanced kitchen. Space your items evenly and maintain consistent color schemes.

Hope this helps to sell your home faster and at a better price. Good luck!

The article is kindly contributed by Kathleen Crane who runs TenancyCleaners Wimbledon

Posted in Arizona, Cabinets, Countertops, Flooring, luxury kitchens | Tagged , |

5 tips for getting "green" flooring

Living roomGreen flooring is a term that applies to flooring made of environmentally friendly materials that are either readily renewable or made from recycled products. According to Green Spec, Green building materials additionally can conserve natural resources, be exceptionally durable or low-maintenance, be certified wood products, release little or no pollutants inside a building, or replace a more harmful product.

US Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide lists the most common types of green floor materials. Three familiar, natural, and renewable flooring materials are bamboo, cork, and stone. Bamboo is known to be tough and resilient, and it grows so quickly that it can harvested again in three to five years whereas the bark of a cork oak tree is ready to be harvested again in nine years. Both renewal times are shorter than the 50 years it takes for a hardwood tree to grow to maturity. A cork floor is soft underfoot, and muffles sound, but at the same time, it can last for several decades. Stone requires little finishing and is suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces, and outdoor settings. It also absorbs and radiates heat.

TIP: Natural linoleum is a biodegradable and renewable material that is highly recommended for resilient flooring by the green building community.

Unlike the familiar linoleum of vinyl and polyvinyl chloride, it is made primarily from linseed oil, pine resin, cork dust, sawdust, limestone, and jute. According to the Marmoleum Buyer’s Guide, natural linoleum is a USDA-certified bio-based product, Allergy and Asthma Friendly-certified and has the lowest environmental footprint of any flooring. It was invented in 1860′s and has a track record of durability and performance dating back over 100 years. Natural linoleum cabin floors were recently discovered intact by divers exploring the Titanic on its 100th anniversary!

TIP: Hardwood for green floors is certified to come from sustainably-managed sources.

The National Wood Flooring Association relies on the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for proof that hardwoods have been harvested from forests that have been sustainably managed. FSC certification ensures the wood was not obtained by clearcutting nor harvested from ancient forests and that wood products have passed through a certified chain of environmentally friendly processing steps including processing, transformation, manufacturing, and distribution.

TIP: Look for durable carpeting made from recycled materials.

Materials for green carpeting can come from recycled PET containers, used radial tires, or nylon. The material from recycled PET containers can help durable plush carpets perform better than carpets made from virgin nylon in color retention, resistance to soiling, staining, abrasion, and static electricity. The Carpet and Rug Institutes (CRI) Indoor Air Quality Green Label Plus certifies environmentally friendly carpeting products that emit fewer volatile organics compounds (VOCs) as well as the adhesives used for installation that do not give off VOCs.

TIP: A cement slab floor can be energy efficient and green.

A smoothly finished cement slab floor can also function as part of a passive solar system, absorbing heat during the day and radiating it at night when temperatures drop. Organizations such as BuildingGreen, Inc. publisher of GreenSpec Directory, qualify and list green flooring materials such as natural linoleum, cork, and concrete.

TIP: Consider the ecological footprint of green flooring during it purchase, installation, maintenance, and disposal.

Flooring materials including adhesives, stains and sealers, once installed, can emit gaseous compounds over long periods of time. Indoor air quality is a major consideration for the green building community, and a FloorScore certification attests that the flooring meets stringent requirements for indoor emissions. Look for adhesives and sealers that do not emit VOCs or contain formaldehyde, and that meet Greenguard or GreenSeal emission standards. Green cleaning products and polishes should be used for maintenance during the lifetime of the flooring. At the end of the useful life, some wood floors can be reclaimed for reuse or are biodegradable, and natural linoleum is biodegradable as well. Stone, concrete, ceramic and glass tile can be broken up and reused for composite material.

Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in interior design and home decor. She currently writes for www.custom-mats.com, a leading vendor of plain and custom mats.

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Trend spotting: authentic hardwood, stylish laundry rooms and more...

Subtle Shine

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Hardwood flooring with a soft, no-gloss finish creates a European style that glows without the extra shine.

Rinse, and Repeat

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Laundry rooms are getting more functional, more inviting and much more beautiful. In new home builds and renovations, laundry rooms are on the main floor and built using quality cabinets, countertops and fixtures, and with a smart, efficient design.

Natural Drama

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Textured window treatments make a statement when it comes to style and sophistication. Natural textures and textile weaves like linen and silk set a room apart and add drama, while still remaining functional.

Classic Appeal

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Want a floor that’s traditional but has a modern, clean look?  Wide and long hardwood planks with hand carved texture are the best of both worlds, and they’ll be in style for a long time.

The Little Black Dress

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Navy is the little black dress of interior color     ̶  it goes with everything. It’s classic, timeless and can be dressed up or down.

Photo Credits:

http://beautifuldesignmadesimple.com/2015/03/20/laundry-room-designs-are-a-new-lifestyle-trend/

http://beautifuldesignmadesimple.com/

https://www.pinterest.com/ShawFloors/english-royal-navy-shaw-floors-color-of-the-year-2/

Posted in Flooring, luxury kitchens | Tagged , |

The psychology of logo design

Woman's head with education icons

 

Logo design is one of the most important aspects of a successful business venture. From a psychological standpoint, this visual detail is the key to generating widespread appeal. An iconic design can help transform a small brand into a big name. There are a lot of ways to maximize the effectiveness of a logo. Because advertising is meant to entrain the subconscious mind, brand imagery holds a lot of sway over consumers. Here is an in-depth guide to the cognitive elements of logo creation:

Color Choices

The fastest way to communicate a company’s purpose is through color-coded imagery. Every profession can be distinctly represented by a matching shade on the color wheel. According to The Huffington Post, all brand logos can be summed up by the unconscious messaging that occurs through color selections.

For example, yellow and gold are supposed to showcase optimism and clarity. As proof, brands that opt for this hue include AOL, McDonald’s and Best Buy. Meanwhile, orange reveals friendly confidence and cheerfulness. Outgoing orange companies include Nickelodeon and Hooters. To generate excitement, businesses often pick red for its boldness. Nintendo, Coca-Cola and Lego are just a few of the assertive companies that rely on red. On the other hand, purple reveals creativity. The powerful purple companies include Taco Bell and Barbie. Blue is utilized to bolster trust, which is why it is incorporated by Facebook and Twitter. Finally, green is used to signify growth, peace and health. Environmental organizations often affix green to their logos. Popular green groups include Whole Foods, Tropicana and Starbucks. On a side note, rainbow colored logos symbolize a brand that multitasks. For example, look at Google’s multicolored flair!

Font & Readability

If text is involved, the typeface must be clear enough to allow easy reading. Consumers are not going invest extra time in deciphering an incomprehensible font. Cursive should be avoided to make sure everyone can ascertain the company’s name. Many people do not even process words at all. The brain picks up pictures 60% faster than accompanying text, so athropomorphic symbols work best. Target’s target logo is a great example of this trend!

 

As such, many established brands eschew text entirely, but this is not a wise move for new start-ups. Any company that wants traffic needs to have their primary search term ready. Otherwise, impressed onlookers will have no way to look up a brand. There is no way to Google a flashy logo by memory, so make sure to include some variation of the brand’s name.

Graphic Design

Compelling imagery is tantamount to building brand recognition. The illusion of motion can prevent a company from acquiring the appearance of stagnation. It can also tie into a company’s core offering. A strong example of this comes from Hertz. As a car rental company, their slanted lines mimic the zooming look of speedy transportation. Overall, the picture should be accessible to the masses.

Ease of Reproduction & Originality

For logo designers, this is the major tightrope that needs to be walked. The symbol has to be distinct enough to earn an official trademark, but it will defy public notice if the picture is too complex or too generalized. On the other end of the spectrum, logos that are too simple can be copied without fear of copyright issues. For example, Wal-Mart and AIM have respectively utilized smiley faces and stick figures. Their ad campaigns have been effective, but they have no recourse when it comes to stopping copycats. Brands like Nike don’t have this problem, and their basic check mark icon is now a worldwide indicator of success.

Recognizability

The logo serves as a platform that everything else stands on. A compelling logo will naturally catch the eye from afar, which will generate more public attention for a company’s next move. Because there is nothing else that looks like the famous icon, zero confusion will exist among new loyalists. When a logo is clearly one of a kind, people will attribute the same level of uniqueness to its brand.

Simplified Version

The best brands possess logos that can be condensed into shorter versions for quicker advertising. Ultimately, a good logo will be used in a variety of fashions. Often times, it will be shrunk to fit a website’s thumbnail image. It is also expected to be splashed across the top as a header. Mentally, fans will appreciate seeing such adaptive prowess. A company that knows how to handle its logo probably knows how to handle other important things too!

Sense of Humor

In this day and age, people don’t like a brand that takes itself too seriously. Funny qualities will help broaden any companies appeal. This is especially true for makers of kids toys and entertainment products. Puns always help a company reach new audiences, and a crafty logo can be adapted for clever social media advertising through this route. Being silly never hurts a media oriented brand. For example, Nickelodeon has endured for generations with their signature slime splat logo. Meanwhile, reputable news organizations stay away from any symbol that might detract from their balanced journalism and stern credibility.

Final Note

The world of advertising is a psychological game, and the logo is always the first element that is introduced. To instill a positive reception among large audiences, it is smart to grasp how the inner mind functions. With the aforementioned tips, any company can create a lively logo with mass public appeal!

 

Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in interior design and home decor. She currently writes for www.custom-mats.com, a leading vendor of plain and custom mats.

 

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