How to Find the Right Designer for Your Interior Design and Decorating Projects

Looking for an interior designer or interior decorator can be overwhelming if you are not sure which designer you need for the scope or your project. Are you building, renovating or moving and need professional advice? Are you planning to sell your property and not sure how to get ready for the first inspection?

This document gives you answers to frequently asked questions in regards to interior design, interior decorating, colour consulting and property styling.

It will help you finding the right designer for your interior design and decorating projects and eventually create your individual style in your home.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?

You may have asked yourself this question already when facing a building or renovation project. Do I need an interior designer, an interior decorator, a colour consultant or an interior stylist?

The answer is that it depends on the scope of the project.

An interior designer is a skilled professional who is designing interior environments according to your briefing. The interior designer either modifies what already exists (renovation) or provides an entirely new design for a space (new build). In this case the interior designer works closely with the architect and comes in at an early stage of the project. Interior designers work either along a team in design firm or on their own.

What is the job of an interior stylist? An interior stylist is a designer or consultant in a field subject to changes in style, especially fashion or interior decoration. An interior stylist cultivates or maintains any particular style and in most cases stylist are finders, keepers and collectors of beautiful objects.

The interior stylist can help you finding your own style, creating beautiful interiors that are unique and meaningful. This can be achieved with the simplest things and does not have to be expensive. The only thing you need to do is keep your eyes open to beautiful things in nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel. There is only one rule: Only collect or buy things that mean something to you!

How does a colour consultation work?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

Prior to designing a colour scheme for you the colour consultant should always talk to you about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve in your space. He will explain to you the differences between the paint companies and their products and choose the right product for your needs. After designing the colour scheme you will receive a written recommendation including a specification sheet and brushouts ready for your painter to start.

Why is it important to seek advice from a designer when choosing colours?

Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. Colour brings individuality in a space and it is one of the most useful tools to master when finding your own style.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says in her book Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: “Among other uses, color stimulates and works synergistically with all of the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, recalls another time or place and produces an aesthetic or emotional response.”

When choosing a colour for a room or house it is important to think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Is it a dark room or flooded with natural light? In which direction is the room facing? How are the proportions? Do you live in a small apartment or a contemporary newly built house with open plan living areas? All this needs to be considered when choosing colours for a space.

If you are overwhelmed by the choice of colours available – yes, there are thousands on the market – how can you start finding your personal colour scheme?

For some people it is a longer journey, for others it comes more naturally. The most important thing is to take some time, open your eyes, walk around your home and absorb the colour combinations you see. Then start gathering all the pieces you love. This can be anything from old porcelain, travel souvenirs, photographs, artwork, clothes, tear sheets from magazines, fabric swatches, stationary, a collection of stones, feathers or glass objects.

And don’t forget nature as inspiration for a colour scheme (interior or exterior). If you live near the ocean, shades of blues and greens can be used to link your interior with its surroundings. Flowers, butterflies, stones, shells, driftwood are fantastic inspirations for colour schemes.

Once you have gathered all your beloved treasures in one spot, play around with the pieces, group them by colours and you will see a colour palette emerge. This “moodboard” is a great starting point for your interior designer, interior stylist or colour consultant to help you creating an individual and personal space, a home that reflects who you are and a place that you love coming home to.

Stylist’s tip: Before you start painting always buy a test pot and paint a large sheet of paper or cardboard (one square metre) with your colour. Tape it to the walls in your room and study it for a couple of days. Look at it in daylight and artificial light. This is very important as colours change depending on the light, the orientation of the room, other colours in the room and spatial elements like furniture and artwork for example.

What is the difference between a colour and a styling consultation?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

The styling consultation focuses on creating a certain (Your) style in your home or simply on answering all your questions about colours, style, furniture sourcing and placement, art sourcing and placement, displays of your collections, accessories, proportions in a space, lighting etc.

Again it is vital that the designer listens to what you would like to achieve (briefing) and makes sure that he understood what you want (debriefing). Don’t let the interior designer or interior stylist talk you into something you don’t like!

How do I maximise the output of my styling consultation?

Are you planning to colour, redecorate or renovate, but don’t know where to start? Do you have lots of questions about colour schemes, furniture placement, how to display your collections, books or other beloved things? Are you not sure whether to redecorate with your old furniture and accessories or to renovate and create a new look? Do you need inspirations where to source furniture and accessories, second hand pieces or antiques?

If you prepare your first consultation with your stylist properly, you will get answers to all the questions you have. Here are my tips how to maximise the output from your styling or colour consultation:

• Be clear what you would like the outcome of the consultation to be.

• Decide which room or space you would like to focus on. Is it only one room or the whole house?

• Prepare yourself with tear sheets from interior design magazines like Real Living, Inside Out, Belle or Vogue Living. There are plenty on the market so choose the one that speaks to you most and start collecting pages of everything you like: colour schemes, furniture, accessories, room layouts, rugs, flooring, wallpaper, decorative items and everything that speaks to you. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will clearly see what you like and find your own personal style.

• Keep your eyes open to the beautiful things around you: nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel.

• Make sure that your stylist is listening and explain what you want to achieve with your styling project, what you would like a room to do for you and what mood you would like to create in your space.

And finally one of the most important things: Don’t let the stylist talk you into something you don’t like! You have to live in the space and you need to feel comfortable and at home! It is all about creating your home with your personal touch.

How do I find my own style?

The answer is as simple as this: explore the world around you and appreciate the beauty that lies within everything you discover!

Keep your eyes open and your mind excited! Discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day! Find inspiration in nature, buildings, shops, exhibitions, museums, art, events, markets, magazines and of course books.

One of my favourite books I spotted in a museum shop is called: How to be an explorer of the world by Keri Smith. On the back it says: “At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting.”

A stylist’s tip: always carry a little notebook and a pen with you in order to be able to sketch, doodle and write down what you discover.

Keep all your findings, notes and pictures in a folder or box and keep searching for at least four to eight weeks. Then start to group things by colour or theme and you will discover what your style is. And there are no rules. It is all about finding what you like!

Books for your inspiration

This is a list of books that I personally own and love! They are all a fantastic source of inspiration and creative ideas for your home.

Sibella Court: Bowerbird

Shannon Fricke: Sense of Style

Megan Morton: Home Love

Holly Becker: Decorate

Susanna Salk: Be Your Own Decorator

Geraldine James: Creative Walls

Hans Blomquist: The Natural Home

Is it necessary to seek advice from a stylist when I want to sell my property?

If you plan to sell your house it is worth investing in a styling consultation. A professional property stylist can help you to achieve maximum impact when presenting your home to potential buyers. A property stylist will help you to get ready for the first inspection by giving you advice on how to style your house with what you have. He will help you with colour schemes that attract potential buyers. He will also advice if you need rental furniture to style each room according to its function and help potential buyers to envisage themselves in the space. Property styling is all about creating a wow factor in key areas of your home and help the buyers to envisage themselves in your space. Once the styling is done don’t forget to book your stylist for the real estate photography shoot to make sure everything looks perfect on this day!

Washing Clothes in Aromatherapy Oils

It wasn’t something I ever gave thought to until a few years ago while shopping in a linen store where I purchased some beautiful sheets. The shop assistant introduced me to the aroma therapy oils for washing clothes and things. She assured me they work as well or better than regular washing powders or products, they require no softeners, and they add a nice aroma to your clothes.

As they were on special at the time they seemed like a bargain so I bought a bottle to try it. The one I chose was lavender with some other aromas added. Surprisingly it came with a small measuring cup, about the size of a small medicine glass. The instructions are to add 40 ml per wash. The formula has changed recently to the one listed below.

From a litre bottle it meant about a six months’ supply. The cost was around $Au14.00 and compared to a regular washing product that was then being used this was cheap. There was no other additive required and the miracle is that it washes brilliantly.

Before long my sister was also using it along with my daughter and son. They all consider it a wonderful product. That’s when I decided to look into it further and see what made it so good.

The ingredients comprise:

15-20% non-ionic Surfantants (plant derived). These compounds lower the surface tension between 2 liquids or a liquid and a solid. That explains the power within it because anything on the surface of the cloth is easily removed through this process.

13-30% soap

5-15% Anionic Surfantants (plant derived)

5-15% alcohol

<5% enzymes

5% orange oil

0.5% fragrane

<1.5% fragrance oils

0.04 preservative

This is a simple combination of clever ingredients to use to enhance white sheets and fabrics is boosted by enzymes to improve cleaning performance. It is grey water compatible and there are 40 washes per bottle. The packaging is better for the environment because of less CO2 emissions from reduced transportation, less plastic, and cardboard packaging.

This information is taken from the supplier’s web site for accuracy. All up a great product and one that has many health benefits.

Learn Useful Tips When Selecting Groomsmen Gifts

Your wedding is fast-approaching and you still have not bought wedding gifts for your groomsmen. Ideally, if you want to get the best items, you have to buy ahead – at least two months ahead of the scheduled wedding. But if time does not permit, then you have no choice but to buy something. Do not worry, there are a lot of best groomsmen gift ideas that you can get especially if time is of the essence.

Here are some useful tips which you can follow when shopping for a special something for your groomsmen.

Pre-wedding preparation:

Most couples know how hard it is for them to actually bring to life the wedding of a lifetime. Preparations are usually done a year ahead of the scheduled wedding. Everything has to be perfect – the wedding gowns, the groom's tuxedo as well as the bridesmaids and the groomsmen's outfits. There is the thousand-dollar venue and caterer, the hotel and the expert wedding planners who will be in charge of all the smallest details. The couple already hired a professional photographer to document this unforgettable moment in their lives.

Perhaps one of the most important things a couple has to consider is shopping for their groomsmen and bridesmaids' wedding gift as a sign of appreciation and gratitude. They want to come up with the best gift ideas for their groomsmen and bridesmaids without having to use cramming tactics.

Do you have the budget for it?

The best groomsmen gift ideas do not have to be expensive. If money matters are not a concern, you can buy a classy watch or a one of a kind techie gadget. These are expensive items that are guaranteed great presents.

I know that the money you have been saving all these years are devoted to the most expensive hotels, catering services, photography expenses etc. I assume only part of your finances will be going to the wedding gifts. If you do not have a thousand budget for your groomsmen, you can opt for hundred dollar gifts. If this still is not right for the budget, you can still find cheap 20 to 75-dollar items that are still best gift ideas for your groomsmen.

If you are on a budget, there are under 20 dollars gift items which you can buy while online or offline. Items such as hip flasks, multi-purpose army knives, single-bladed knives, pens are perfect if money is a big issue.

However, you should keep in mind that if you buy these cheap items, you still have to put a little punk on it. Personalization is the perfect idea for this. You can have their names or initials engraved on that 20-dollar pen. That's easy right?

If, for example, you still do not want to settle for something which is generic, what you want to do is to get to know your groomsman's personality first. This way you'll get to choose something more individualized, something really special for him.

Individualized or personalized items such as sports bag are good for your sporty friends, suitcases, pens and toiletry kits for your business-minded groomsmen and camping-related items such as personalized flashlights, portable stainless steel thermos, and camping gears are best for outdoor enthusiasts.

Best groomsmen gift ideas for different personalities:

If your groomsman is a sports fanatic, then basketball, football, pool sticks or swimming goggles are perfect gift items. If you are thinking of giving them clothing items, make sure that they fit really well on them. If your best bud is more of an outdoor enthusiast, then you could go for personalized backpacks, trekking shoes, lighters, flashlights.

Christian Weight Loss – God’s Weight Loss Solution

Have you been struggling with your weight? So very many Christians are facing this same ordeal. And like everyone else, we either fail to lose any weight at all or somehow we just can not manage to keep it off. Why is that?

The reason weight loss is such a struggle is we're using the same defective theories, assumptions and programs as everyone else, and we're getting the same results that they are. I'm sure you've heard it said many times before, that diets do not work. Most diets actually work against the body's natural metabolic processes. But the big difficulty with just about every diet available today, is they mainly focus on reducing calories and pumping up the exercise … and also giving up all your favorite foods while doing a lot more physical exercise. This approach to losing weight has proven to be tough, dull, and simply ineffective. Yet for some reason we keep running back to diet after diet without any real, permanent weight loss.

Discover The Christian Weight Loss Strategy

Yet, there is a Christian weight loss system that anyone can use and benefit from. It's a plan that can set you free forever from the pressures of dieting, obesity, and a host of health related problems that can result from being chronically overweight. But what is a Christian diet? Can a Christian lose weight by methods other than cutting calories and doing lots of exercise? I'm sure these are questions running through your mind … but here's the good news, God "Does" have a better way, and not just for Christians but for anyone who will find it … and use it.

You see, food alone is NOT the real reason obesity has reached epidemic proportions. The reason so many people are overweight is because they've put all of their trust in dieting and exercise as not just a solution to the problem … but as the ONLY solution to the problem. Sure, healthy eating and exercise does have a part to play in Gods' weight loss plan, but it's a fairly minor part.

A Christian Weight Loss Plan Shows You WHY You Are Overweight

Here's the real issue, more often than not, the forces that are driving weight gain, overeating, or compulsive overeating are the wounds in your soul. I'm referring to wounded emotions that may be buried so deep you're not even aware of them. Even if you have some idea of ​​the wounds you're carrying inside, there's probably no obvious connection between that and your overeating and weight problems. When in fact, the excess weight on your body is just a symptom of this noise issue … a symptom of hidden emotional wounds that affect "All" of your decisions and choices, including your decisions and choices about food.

A Christian weight loss program or "Christian Diet" can help you first unforgettable these wounds– so the hidden wounds that are at the root of your weight problem can actually begin to heal. The fascinating thing is when this healing takes place, it's no longer difficult to eat the food you like WITHOUT feeling "assembled" to overeat. As you learn from God's plan how to let go of this internal pressure, you'll find it easy to simply enjoy a serving of ice cream or a cookie– with NO desire or compulsion to keep going back for more until you've eaten the whole gallon of ice cream, or polished off the entire bag of cookies.

Can A Christian Lose Weight With This Program And Keep It Off?

So, can a Christian lose weight with this program where counting calories, restricting food, and even exercise are almost unnecessary? The answer is Yes, because you already have a relationship with God. You already have faith in His promises … and when you discover these powerful truths, it will literally set you free and give you a normal, healthy relationship with food. And your past feelings of fear, anxiety, or being out of control in regards to food are simply gone.

So What Is A Christian Diet, Really?

The Christian weight loss plan or "Christian Diet" is all about renewing your mind to what God says about your body and your health, and discovering Gods' plan for handling the situation. When that happens, something "Inside" of you changes and you no longer have the compulsion to always eat until you're stuffed, routinely chose unhealthy food, or use food not just as good-tasting nourishment– but as a way to calm emotional needs inside of you that you do not even fully understand. With the right Christian weight loss plan, many people shed excess pounds without any kind of special diet or exercise routine … because their internal desires and urges change.