Durability and Style in One With Hand Forged Iron Hardware

Technology has evolved too fast and before we know it, it has already produced a lot of innovations that don’t seem to stop amazing people. These innovative products are created through experienced and skilled hands. One of such products is hand forged furniture and hardware that are increasingly becoming famous in the field of home decoration and designing for a lot of consumers in the society today.

Both of these products are extremely durable that can last for an entire lifetime or even more. Iron being the sturdy metal has been widely utilized in the industrial field. There has been so many products that we can see in the market that are made from iron. Industrial production using iron as the primary material has been so popular all throughout the world.

Skilled blacksmiths and artisans nowadays have been producing extremely useful iron furniture and hardware to the market so that people can have various choices when it comes to decorating and accessorizing their homes. The furniture produced can provide sophistication like never before, which are unique and really stylish if you really appreciate them closely.

A lot of people are thinking that hand forged iron furniture are extremely dull and lifeless pieces but contrary to that it can bring the medieval atmosphere to your home not to mention the classic touch. But aside from that, you also have various choices when it comes to colors and styles that can further liven up what you think as a dull piece of furniture. These products of iron give an enhanced aesthetic allure when utilized as home decors.

The expertise of artisans making hand forged iron hardware and other products allowed all of us to invest in something that can last from generation to generation. No matter how volatile the current trends are when it comes to home decors, nothing still beats the contemporary and classic touch that iron furniture and hardware can provide for our homes. In addition, it is also important to put some emphasis on the combination of both durability and style.

Rustic Log Furniture, How to Find Quality Furniture and a Trust Worthy Seller

The great thing about looking for a retailer or manufacturer of rustic log furniture is there are plenty of sellers out there these days, especially with the age of the world wide web. Since the birth of the internet everyone and there brother seem to have tried to start making and selling all types of rustic furniture online, but what I am sure that they found out is that making log furniture the right way is a hard task to achieve. Now don’t take me the wrong way there are some great builders of this style of furniture and you will notice they are the craftsmen that have been around for a while. So knowing this let me tell you how to make the right decision on choosing your rustic furniture.

One of the first things you need to decide is the species of wood you would like to go with, there are dozens of them out there, but only a couple of good species that will stand up to the elements outside. There is hickory, cypress , pine(not recommended), aromatic cedar, eastern white cedar, Northern white cedar etc. As for the species I mentioned I can tell a little about each, hickory is a nice species but I noticed the furniture I see made is that the diameter of the wood is always small and I get a little suspicious of the strength of it. Cypress, has hardly no grain that I see compared to the rest. Pine is absolutely not for me, it is sappy and soft and it is not very durable. Aromatic cedar is a beautiful wood but when it weathers if turns dark in the elements untreated. Eastern white cedar people will say it is the same as Northern white cedar, but let me tell you its not, I know from working with it. The wood is really knotty and hairy compared to Northern white cedar. The looks are similar in color and the aging process is the same. As for Northern white cedar it weathers to a beautiful silvery gray if untreated and exposed to the elements. Northern white cedar can with stand the elements for years, some say that it will last for 50 years outside untreated, but I can tell you by experience that it really only last for 20 years. White cedar is not sappy at all, making it easier to stain or varnish unlike other species, like pine that will actually have the sap come out years later, right through the paint or varnish that was on there.

Once you decided the species the next thing to do is find the retailer out there selling the log furniture with that wood. When you locate this seller, keep in mind that if that seller is just a middleman, you will not get the service you will get from the actual manufacturer. More than likely, if that person is not the manufacturer and is just a website owner or guru, it is probably just a drop ship situation and they will surely tell you they can get you the furniture right away, when they have no idea of the inventory or how busy the manufacturer really is (don’t be fooled with factory direct, sales pitches). Second, just how much can that person really know about rustic log furniture if they are just an order taker. Dealing with the person who is actually handcrafting your furniture and can tell you exactly when it will be done, is by far a more reliable way to purchase your furniture. Trust me, there are more websites out there selling log furniture then there are manufacturers of it.

Now we can get to the construction of the log furniture. Some log furniture is sanded smooth, some are skipped peeled, some have the bark on and some are completely peeled. As for which one is better, I can only tell you what I think. The sanded log furniture definitely takes away from the rustic feel, skipped peel is a nice look, but I wonder about the smoothness of the wood with just a peel on parts of the log. The furniture with the bark left on definitely has to have some sort of finish on it to keep the bark on, and sometimes I have seen where the bark will peel off over time. Completely peeled log furniture is smooth with out splinters and can easily be treated and has the true rustic look and feel. Getting past that you should then take note of how the log furniture is actually connected together. Some furniture is just butted up together and is nailed, I do not recommend that style of construction. Most have a mortise and tenon connection, which is extremely durable. Things to watch out for with this is the size of the dowels, some out there will go with a smaller diameter dowel meaning their logs are usually smaller too. I recommend asking the diameter and make sure it is at least 1.25″, since that is the weakest point of the furniture. The diameter of the logs should be no less than 3″ as far as I am concerned. Most of the rustic log furniture I see on the internet does not meet that size on a good percentage of there lines of furniture, even though it looks large in the pictures I would definitely ask the sizes of the logs to get a good comparison from one builder to the next. The hardware that is used on the log furniture is a big factor also, because if you are going to have your furniture exposed to the rain and snow or what ever you don’t want the hardware starting to bleed or rust, all the hardware should be zinc coated on all parts of the furniture. This is one of the many ways that some of the manufacturers and garage builders cheapen the quality of the furniture. Another thing to look for in the hardware part of it is whether they nail or screw the furniture together, screws are the better way to go than nails, but nails that are hot dipped in glue are just as good as screws. The nails without the glue coating will actually start to back out over time due to the fibers of the wood pushing on them. If you take a closer look at the pictures and ask some of these questions you will get two things out of it, 1. You will find the better quality log furniture and 2. You will find out if that person who is selling you the furniture really truly knows anything about rustic furniture.

Other than construction or species the only thing I can tell you about looking for a quality piece of rustic furniture is that you should take a closer look at the company you are dealing with. Building rustic furniture is not like building a square table that can be pre cut to length and then put together on an assembly line. Rustic furniture needs plenty of design work, custom fitting, lots of judgmental decisions being made do to the differences of the sizes of stock, and craftsmanship that you do not get from the builders that have 75 employees, there is now way that all the employees have these kind of skills or patience or pride, they are on an assembly line slapping the pieces together and getting the furniture out the door to you, plus they have the big money to market the product and get the exposure to be seen by the public. Notice while your looking on the Internet or anywhere else that there are plenty of sites or stores with the same manufacturers, these are the big companies. Getting your rustic furniture from a small company that has been in business for at least 10 years and takes pride in every hand fitted piece, will give you all the things you need to get a quality piece of rustic furniture that will last for a long time to come.

Restoring Period Furniture With Antique Style Hardware

Antique, or period, furniture has a distinct appearance. Yet, few pieces are truly pristine. If you come in possession of such a piece, the slightly dirty patina and dented hardware indicate that some restoration is essential. However, refurbishing antique furniture is not a uniform process, and a few points must be kept in mind.

When it comes to antique furniture, there are two approaches to restoration: modernizing it or retaining the period look. The latter typically requires less work, while the former can have a garish, jarring appearance – an amalgamation of period shapes and modern finishes and hardware. On a basic level, the antique furniture, to keep its period look, needs cleaning, new hardware, and perhaps a new finish. Either way, a less invasive approach is recommended for restoration, as changing the furniture too much can devalue it.

Finding antique-style hardware is a challenge, but finishing presents far more complications. Not all antique finishes are identical, and before you strip it and add a new one, determine if the existing one is shellac, lacquer, or varnish, or a custom, painted finish a craftsman would have specifically created. Dirt, on the other hand, may simply be obscuring the true look of the finish, and cleaning, first, is recommended, particularly with a non oil-based product. If the wood is still uneven after cleaning, a finish may be needed, and like a cleaner, the stain should not be oil based. Why avoid oil-based products? Although the effects may not be immediate, the surface may oxidize years down the line, taking on a mottled appearance.

Hardware is a particularly crucial aspect of antique furniture restoration, and not all handles, knobs, or pulls can be used with all pieces. Save for the precise fit, antique hardware has a distinct appearance, one reflecting the architecture of its day. While modern hardware tends to have a versatile, smooth look and feel, such a style seems anachronistic when placed against the period shapes, contours, and finishes.

A manufacturer and retailer of antique-style hardware, then, pays attention to these details. In many cases, the modern plates, handles, knobs, and other hardware are specifically cast from period designs. Period dies and techniques assist with creating the specific look.

Learn Everything About Baby Furniture Features

Expecting mothers have a lot on their mind and one of their most pressing thoughts is…what type of baby furniture should I get for the nursery? The first challenge with nursery design is deciding what you need and figuring out where to get it. That’s easy to resolve, just ask your friends “with kids” what you need and make a list.

The next challenge is figuring out how to sort through the enormous selection of baby furniture available to choose the right nursery set for your home. To make this step easier, first figure out what style you want such as: traditional, eco-friendly, modern or boutique. Then do some brand research to find a manufacturer that makes that style of nursery furniture at prices that suit your budget. This will help to decrease your options, making your selection process much easier.

Next, find a company that sells that brand of baby furniture. Now comes the hard part, figuring out what’s best for baby and for your home décor. To do this, you’ll want to read up on each piece of furniture to see if it offers the features you want, including safety features, sturdy construction, non-toxic finishes plus attractive design. Since this is your first time reading about furniture made just for baby, such as cribs, changing tables, gliders etc… you’re bound to come across many terms that are a bit confusing such as: dovetail drawers, casters, mattress spring system and more.

Don’t worry, you’re about to become a pro at baby furniture terms, so you can find the ideal nursery furniture set for your precious sweetie. Below is a list of common, yet unusual baby furniture features and their definitions.

Cribs

Types of Cribs

* Standard – A crib that’s regular size, typically measuring around Dimensions: 53″ H x 30″ W x 46.5″ L

* Convertible – A crib that can convert to bigger beds such as: Toddler Bed, Daybed, Twin or Full size bed.

* Portable – A crib that is foldable and can easily be set-up wherever needed.

* Mini – A crib that’s smaller than a standard size crib to save space in the nursery.

Crib Terms

* Casters and Locking Casters – Casters is another term for wheels. Many cribs with casters have lock mechanisms that allow you to lock two of the 4 wheels in place to keep the crib stationary.

* Conversion Rails (Rail Kit) – These are rails that allow you to convert your baby’s convertible crib into a bigger bed. If you purchase a convertible crib, I’d recommend getting the conversion rails or rail kit at the same time.

* Convertible – Refers to a crib that can be converted to bigger beds.

* Drape Rod or Canopy Rod – This is a rod that attaches to a crib that supports a fabric canopy or drape that will add beauty to the crib while also keeping light out of your baby’s eyes.

* Eco-friendly – Cribs that are eco-friendly are made of glues, stains and finishes that are 100% non-toxic and are low VOC. This term means that the crib materials are safer for baby and planet earth.

* Safety or Guard Rails – These are rails that you can attach to your child’s convertible crib when you transform it to a toddler bed. These rails are smaller and leave an opening so that baby can get in and out with ease, but they will protect your active child from falling out of bed.

* JPMA certified – JPMA refers to the Juvenile Product Manufacturer’s Association and if a piece of baby furniture is JPMA certified, then it’s been deemed baby-safe by this respected association.

* Metal Mattress Spring System – (otherwise known as Adjustable Mattress Support) This is an adjustable support that’s part of the board under the crib mattress that you can lower as your baby grows. It will lower the mattress to keep your ever-growing toddler safe from falls.

* Recessed Hardware – The term hardware refers to the screws and bolts used to hold the crib together and recessed means that the hardware is inset into the wood, so there’s no protruding hardware that can scratch baby or cause baby’s clothes or crib bedding to get caught.

* Slat Roll – A wooden slat platform that is placed under a mattress to ensure proper support and to provide ample air circulation for the mattress.

* Slats – This refers to a crib’s vertical rails. Slats shouldn’t be any further apart than 2 3/8 inches for baby safety.

* Static Sides/Rails – Static means stationary, not moving, so this refers to rails that don’t move.

* Sustainable Forests – This refers to forests where when trees are chopped down, seedlings are planted in their place to ensure that new trees grow on a constant basis. This is a managed system that ensures that there’s new tree constant life, as well as, safety precautions to ensure the safety of wildlife and the preservation of the natural environment.

* Trundle Drawer – This is a drawer on wheels that you’ll find beneath the crib.

Dressers and Changing Tables

* Cam Lock Construction – This refers to a reinforced hardware that adds extra stability to a piece of furniture.

* Dovetail Construction – This refers to furniture that has been made with dovetail joints that add extreme strength and durability to furniture and add beauty as well.

* Drawer Stop Mechanism – This refers to hardware that’s on a drawer that stops the drawer before it can be pulled off the track and out of position.

* Metal Drawer Glides – These are the guides on the bottom of drawers that make the drawers move in and out with ease.

* Metal Drawer Pulls – This is another term for drawer handles.

* Mouldings – This refers to the decorative pieces that are added to the dresser edges and drawer fronts.

* Rubberwood – This is an eco-friendly hardwood that has little tendency to warp or crack and when used in the making of baby furniture, it will ensure extreme durability.

* Tip Restraint Kit – This is a kit that offers two brackets, one that mounts on the wall in a stud and another that mounts onto the back of the dresser or changing table. These brackets are tethered with a tie to keep the furnishing in place at all times.

* Veneers – This refers to a decorative facing that’s added to the drawer fronts of dressers and changing tables to add beauty to the piece.

Surviving Missing Futon Frame Hardware Nightmares

There seems to be quite a few of us who have owned a futon frame and ended up losing the connecting hardware at one time or another. I myself bought a futon from the retail store I worked in for a number of years back in the early 1990s when futons were all the rage. Maybe you purchased your futon in college, acquired it from a friend or maybe made the purchase for a family room. If you’re lucky to live out your life in the same house or apartment there will never be a need to move your futon except perhaps to a different room or location. Obtaining replacement futon frame hardware involves several steps approached in order to locate exactly what you need.

In the first place don’t panic just yet. Without the hardware to attach everything back together you’re in some serious trouble. However there are ways to obtain what you need. At this point we could explain the many benefits of using a small bag to contain the hardware and attach it to a part of the frame with heavy packing tape so it’s easily found. Who am I kidding though? I’ve moved mine now about three times and each time I ended up missing a bolt, a barrel nut, a nylon roller here and there. Heck, I was lucky I had all the wood components show up at each new move let alone any hardware that happened to make it as well. Besides, isn’t moving your home stressful enough without having to keep track of a small bag of metal hardware among a sea of furniture, clothing, dishes, toys and appliances?

Pursuing this further we must calmly step back and think for a moment. Yes, we’re stressed out and fuming at either our spouse or the moving company for losing the futon hardware but we need to move past that now. To be sure the futon needs our help and we’re the only ones who can do it at this point. It’s time for us to go through the steps of obtaining replacement hardware and there is a specific order in which we do this to obtain the fastest results. I would suggest the following steps to start tracking down replacement hardware as soon as possible.

First – identify your futon frame.
Having worked retail, it’s quite possibly the toughest situation when a customer comes into the store needing assistance but can’t identify the product to the salesperson or service individual when requesting parts. Granted you’re going to have to do a little research by pulling your receipt when you bought the futon from the store and identify the model or name of the futon. If you inherited the futon, found it by the side of the road or bought it at a garage sale you’re in for a tough road ahead. Fear not however as the internet can be used to help you find the design and attach a name to it for use in tracking down hardware. Be aware that there are dozens of manufacturers out there using different hardware in their frames including many that have since closed their doors. Hopefully the manufacturer of your frame is still around.

Second – speak to the retailer.
Of course if you purchased your futon frame through a local retail store it’s time to head down there and see if they can track down the hardware for your frame. Bring your receipt. If you don’t have a receipt, then bring an image of the futon frame with you. Hopefully the salesperson or service representative is knowledgeable about the products they’ve carried in the past. Best case scenario, they either can provide you with the name of the manufacturer with contact information or have the parts on hand to get you back up and running. Worst case scenario the store you purchased it from is out of business or if the store is still around they have no clue about the product anymore.

Third – search online.
Supposing we’ve hit the worse case scenario it’s time to use the web to search for the manufacturer or the name of the style of futon you have. I’d suggest using Google, Bing or Yahoo and use the name adding the word futon to the search. If you weren’t able to locate a name you’re going to have to become a very good spotter and sift through the many images of futon frames till you find one that is very close to what you have. Identify the name of the style and the manufacturer and then proceed to locate the manufacturer of the futon frame.

Fourth – speak to the manufacturer.
Assuming the retailer didn’t have parts but could identify the manufacturer for you then you at least have something to go on. Perhaps you were able to locate your frame style through the search engines. Again, search online using the websites previously discussed using the name of the manufacturer. You’ll likely get some online retail stores off of the search. Filter them out visually until you find a link for the manufacturer. Most do have websites, locate a contact phone number or email address and contact them for information on obtaining hardware. If you’re unable to locate the manufacturer’s website go ahead and contact one of the many futon stores that pop-up in the search results and email them with your issue and ask if they can either sell you hardware or point you in the right direction for finding the manufacturer in hopes of tracking down hardware.

Finally – the last resort.
If you were unable to determine the name of the futon frame or the name of the manufacturer you are indeed in a tight spot. At this point your options are limited to heading down to a hardware store and seeing if you can locate some generic parts that might get you back up and running. The problem will be in the way of connecting bolts and barrel nuts and getting the right lengths if available. I would suggest taking one of the wood arms and a stretcher rail with you to the store. Begin plugging in different bolts and nuts till you find a combination that connects correctly. You’ll also need to track down connecting pins, washers and clips for the seat and back section as well as the four nylon rollers that most futon frames use on the back rest. If you’re lucky these may still be attached to the backrest deck making your job a bit easier.

In conclusion we’ve discussed the issues presented with lost futon hardware and how to go about tracking down the hardware you need. Basically identify your frame through a receipt or spotting it online. Visit the retailer store you purchased it from and obtain parts through them if they are still open. If you purchased it privately or inherited the frame track down the manufacturer using a search engine of your choice and speak to them about ordering replacements. If you aren’t able to locate the manufacturer but have found stores online contact one of them to see if they can sell you hardware. If all else fails visit the local hardware store with your wood futon sections in hand and begin trying bolts and nuts till you find some that work. I sincerely hope you’re able to obtain the needed hardware to get your futon frame back up and running. I wish you the best of luck to you and your futon.

Benefits of a Universal Home Design

A universal home design is a growing concept in house planning and construction that provides for changes that can occur in living such as disability issues, aging and general accessibility for everyone. Many homes today are built with the idea that no matter who the occupant is, the living spaces within as well as outside the home, should be readily used by just about anyone. A growing number of home designers, builders and contractors are embracing this concept as the baby boomer population ages and a new wave of disabled or elderly home occupants emerge.

Here are some of the best benefits of a universal home design:

Home values

If you decide to use a universal home design to build your new home, you can expect your house to be worth more at the outset than another home of similar square footage and amenities, but that is not built from a universal design. The reason is that a universally designed house is more appealing to all segments of the population because of its practicality and usability for everyone. Universally designed homes are easier to sell and acrue in value more readily.

Good planning for the future

For those who plan on living in their homes until they die, this type of house design is excellent because it will accommodate occupants in any change of life. If an occupant becomes suddenly disabled or eventually must have certain handicap amenities in areas like the bathroom due to aging issues, this design allows for changes in life that are bound to occur.

Important design elements

There are many elements of design that go into a universal home, but several of the most important are constructed into the bathroom area, kitchen, hallways and the construction level of the home. The bathroom is perhaps one of the most important areas of the home, as it is designed to be accessible by combining within the design some handicap requirements. Wider doorways for wheelchair accessiblity, nonslip flooring, wet room style spaciousness and open shower areas are just some of the common features for a handicap bath area that can be enjoyed by all.

Other important aspects include choosing a design that keeps the house on one ground level and that does not include stairs or other common obstacles to those who are less mobile. If you are interested in the useful aspects of a universal home design, there are more and more designers and contractors available who are experienced at creating houses that are accessible for everyone.

What is a Home Designer and How to Choose One

A home designer specifies design, materials, stylishness, as well as details for residential building projects. In lots of states in the US home designers aren’t mandated to have an architectural diploma or architectural license. Many people may evaluate these kinds of home designers not having these qualifications to be an undesirable factor. Basically that is definitely not even close to the truth. A professional within the field of non commercial design a “home designer” is the most suitable choice that will lead you through the design and building undertaking.

A great home designer generally possesses years of expertise not only designing and drafting the construction docs in addition will often have put in many years on actual construction sites performing the actual job themselves. Now this isn’t at all times the situation however, these people with this kind of knowledge are usually best to design your home. Not just because of their experience and expertise in the profession but their rates tend to be more affordable when compared to a registered architect’s charges will be.

The rates a home designer, as well as an architect command has proven to be completely different. Architects attain four years or more of college getting an education and studying the particulars on architect home design as well as architectural design of almost everything else all varying from little homes to large high-rise buildings. Architects are registered to approve numerous facets of building not employed for individual houses. Because of these two details architects demand very high service fees to create an architectural design in addition to a set of construction drawings for houses. The majority of architect’s charges vary from 7% to 15% (sometimes greater) for his or her services on a housing project. Almost all home designers’ rates for this exact same service vary from 3% to 8%. This particular large variation in rates combined with the undeniable fact that each commonly possess the identical or the same level of expertise in residential design is actually the reason why the majority will probably select a home designer above an architect for their housing project.

Even though design capacity can virtually, be trained, the most effective jobs are the effect of a mix of skill and knowledge, therefore your choice in who to employ shouldn’t be exclusively selected simply for their reduced rates or education. A home designer needs to be selected as due to their outstanding results of their labor.

Home designers make use of numerous sources and instruments accessible to them to assist in communicating their architectural designs as well as the construction documents into the completed product. Many home designers continue to utilize pencil and paper in addition to numerous types of color goods to symbolize and express their design to their clientele. Even though this can be a great method of communicating a design to a customer it really is outdated and doesn’t consistently accomplish the job the home designer developed it for, to help the customer to fully grasp and picture the design. Nowadays there’s a large amount of computer programs that enable a great house designer to provide their house design to their clientele. These types of graphic tools as I prefer to refer to them include things like 3D colored renderings, walk-a-rounds, as well as walk-throughs.

Therefore, when you’re looking to select a designer it’s also advisable to consider exactly how they show their designs to their clientele. Not everybody can easily figure out a conceptual drawing of a 2D floor plan. In fact ultimately it will come right down to what home designer you sense you might have more suitable connection with and you feel the most confident with.

Building a residence signifies one of the biggest monetary assets the majority of people is likely to make within their lifetime and very few comprehend just how complicated the procedure will be till they’re involved with a lot of restricted covenants, construction requirements, zoning ordinances, design and style choices, material options, suppliers as well as builder options and so forth. Do your family as well as your bank account a favor and locate a home designer to partner with and to who you’re confident with.

5 Things to Think About When Planning for Your Home Design

Planning for your home requires a more extensive approach and a lot of decision making to do compare to when buying one. Finding the perfect building lot is already a challenge, designing how your future abode will look like is another challenge. Putting together your dream home design on the current lot that you have as well as balancing the act of planning and budgeting can be quite difficult and may require professional help.

Here are some of the ways that can help you on your way.

Research for your dream home design

One must decide on what type of home they are about to build before actually designing how it looks like. It would be advisable to have a list of the things that you want your home to have prior to creating the blueprint. House styles today have different offerings, so it would be wise to browse for ideas before actually putting all these ideas into paper.

A quick sketch would also help in conceptualizing your dream home. Since you do not have to implement this design yet, you can still get ideas and mix and match the things that you want to have inside and outside your home. However, it is important to know the basics that would be included in your home such as the number of rooms, family areas, dining rooms, garage, kitchen features and bathroom features that you would want to have. Planning for internet connections as well as the cable and phone connections is also advisable.

Check local zoning laws and building permits

Upon the completion of your blueprint, the next step necessary would be getting the necessary permits and existing zoning laws and standards in your area. Be sure to implement structural specifications required for buildings that are constructed in your area. This can save you many headaches that you may experience during the actual construction of your home.

Designing within your budget

No matter how stunning you may want your home to look and feel like, you still need to shell out a certain amount of money to be able to execute your plan. Compare your current plan with the budget that you have and willing to spare for your dream home and adjust accordingly to fit. Take note that spending too much may lead you not having enough to buy furnishings for your dream home. Plot where your current budget can get you through with the construction of your home and budget accordingly on what you can really acquire as your budget during the actual construction. It is better to adjust now with your plan rather than having to sacrifice the quality of the construction of your home once your budget starts to hurt.

Design to fit your plot

Consider the actual lot area that you have prior to implementing your house plans. Do you want to have a large lawn and a backyard? Do you want to locate your home just a few meters away from the street to maximize the area of the plot that you have? Slopes should also be taken into consideration to be able to control backfilling and excavation costs that may be required to execute the design that you want for your home.

Locate bedrooms in areas where you get to enjoy the privacy that you require and place windows in areas that will help in making your homes more energy efficient.

Maximize your space efficiency

Make sure that you have a logical flow on your home design. The kitchen and laundry areas should be located near each other to conserve on plumbing installations. Design areas like the kitchen with access to areas like the garage or areas where you require such accessibility. Be sure that your actual furniture would fit in the layout that you have created.

Using a Free Home Design Service to Select Your Home Furnishings

There are two reasons for using a home design service: either to select the best furniture design and fabrics to suit a room’s existing decor, or to furnish a room from scratch using new furniture and furnishings, including carpets, drapes and wall coverings. The latter is the less common, due largely to the costs involved, although there are still many people that furnish a room, if not an entire home, from top to bottom.

This is particularly the case if you have purchased a new home and want to decorate it to your own tastes. In such cases you can choose your style, begin with the wall-coverings and carpet, and then seek furniture to suit – or do it the other way around. Would it not be best to combine the two and use a furniture design service to select your furniture and home furnishings so that the results looks natural, well matched and balanced?

Sure it would, and what could be better than using a free home design service offered by one of the top home furniture firms in the country? There are many furniture companies that offer a design service, and can also provide the furniture, fabrics, accessories and accent pieces to meet the requirements of their designs.

Benefits of a Free Home Design Service

Each design they offered would be focused on your specific needs, whether it is for one room or your entire home. Even if you want to furnish a room with your own major pieces, a furnishing design service such as this can recommend the occasional furniture such as individual rockers or coffee tables, and even offer help with the accent pieces such as mirrors, vases and so on. In fact, you can make use of a free home design service even if only to choose the most appropriate fabric for your sofas and chairs to match your existing room décor.

Yes, you could do it yourself, and you would likely do a good job in your own eyes, but are you sure that your taste would impress your visitors – or your neighbors? Of course, not everyone bothers what the neighbors and in-laws think, but surely it is best to have a look at what professional designers can come up with before going your own way? You are under no obligation to take their free advice – and it is a free service that many furniture stores offer.

A clash of floral designs in the drapes and the furniture fabrics can look very discordant, while a fabulous plain fabric for your sofa that matches your carpet and drapes – an even the wall-covering – could make all the difference between a beautifully designed and furnished room and a disaster!

Using a Free Floor Planner

Not that you would ever make disastrous decisions, but why not see what is possible before making your mind up? ‘Act in haste, repent at leisure’ is what they say, and nothing was ever truer. You might be surprised if you take advantage of one of the many furnishing design services available online. In fact, you could combine that with a floor planner that allows you to fit furniture thumbnails into a scale diagram of your floor.

Measure up your room and enter the measurements into the floor planner, also known as a room planner. You then get a scale plan of the floor, into which you can fit your choice of furniture. Most furniture websites that offer this form of room planning also provide scale thumbnails of each piece of furniture. So if you choose a sofa, for example, you can place it where you want it to go, and then add coffee tables and other pieces of furniture to check how they fit in.

This type of design system is brilliant for sectionals: you can choose your sectionals to make the best possible use of the space in your room, including these awkward alcoves, corners and L-shapes. You will know in advance that your choice of furniture will fit perfectly, so you have no need to return anything that you cannot fit in! You can be certain that the correct traffic space is available between individual pieces – this is particularly important if a wheelchair is involved.

If you use that service with a free home design service to select your home furnishings, you have the best of both worlds: professional designers helping you with the style and the fabrics, and the online free floor planner making sure that your choices will fit nicely into your home. Not all online furniture suppliers or outlets will offer you both of these options free of charge of course, but it sure helps if you can find those that do.

Custom Home Design Tips: A Guide for Home Owners

The planning stage of home design often determines whether or not your custom home design will fulfill the dream you had envisioned. Victor Hugo wrote, “Where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” Hugo was certainly right as far as custom home design is concerned. To avoid wasted time or chaos follow these six tips to help your designer create the perfect custom house plan for your family.

1. Start simple.

It isn’t necessary to invest in fancy software to begin making decisions about your custom home plan. All you really need is a pencil and a piece of paper. Brainstorm and sketch your ideas. Making lists of features you want each room to have will help you get your idea onto paper and into your custom home design.

2. Think about the future.

Consider the future of your family and how you will accommodate for different scenarios, such as having children, accommodating grandchildren and grandparents, taking care of elderly parents. Even accommodating extended family for holiday occasions should be considered in your house plans. Similarly, if you hope to transition from an office job to operating your own business out of your home, your custom home design should include an office or flexible space. When you think about the amenities in your custom home plan, be sure to not limit yourself or the growth of your family.

3. Prioritize features.

Once your ideas are recorded in rough form, begin prioritizing features for your new house. Custom home design can easily exceed a budget if you let your fancies run amok. With so many luxuries to choose from, it’s important to prioritize the most important aspects of your design. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed about a box window in the kitchen where you can grow herbs, you may want to prioritize that over installing a line to facilitate a gas stove.

4. Consider function and flow.

As you and your designer begin playing around with where various rooms should be located, consider how your final design will flow and how your family might function in each space. For instance, to reduce noise in sleeping areas, it’s wise to place bedrooms away from the communal areas of the house. Likewise, if you’re the kind of family that tends to gather around the kitchen, an open floor plan with easy flow between the living room, kitchen and dining area will suit you well. This kind of design also allows for excellent flow between rooms.

5. Reflect on light.

Light has a powerful influence on humans. Indeed, in areas that see little natural light during the winter months, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not unusual. This disorder brings feelings of depression, along with weight gain, daytime sleepiness, social withdrawal and lethargy. If you have suffered from SAD in the past, or if you’re moving to a place with long, cloudy winters (such as the Pacific Northwest), it is smart to add skylights to your custom house plan in order to maximize the natural light in your home. Heck, even if you’ve never felt sad on a cloudy day, skylights are smart because they reduce the need for artificial light and provide as much as 30 percent more light than vertical windows.

Natural lighting should also be figured in the floor plan design in a custom home plan. As an example, if you want to enjoy natural morning light in your dining nook, it would be wise to face the nook east, where it will catch the morning sun.

It’s also wise to think carefully about how electrical lights in your home will facilitate comfort. For instance, a custom home designer would suggest installing bright task lighting for kitchen countertops to facilitate food preparation. Lighting can also create a mood – for example, dimming sconces in the bedroom can create a sense of romance or peace.

6. Showcase and maximize the lot.

Usually, those in the market for custom house plans already own the property where the home will be built. If you already know where your custom home will be situated, be sure to consider the topography, size and best features of the lot. For instance, if your lot overlooks a beautiful natural setting, you might choose to face the living room toward the feature so you can showcase the wonderful view. Alternatively, if you have a brook or stream running though your property, you might choose to place bedrooms nearest the stream so you can enjoy the beautiful sound of running water while you sleep.

In addition to thinking about which windows should face the home’s best views, you’ll want to consider whether the land is sloped. A custom home design for a steep slope will look very different than a design for a flat lot.