Tips for Revamping Your Guest Space

Tips for Revamping Your Guest Space

Guests are coming to visit for a night or longer, and you find yourself in a panic. You have taken a look at your guest space, and you are not thrilled with what you see. It is lackluster and unappealing. A den of snakes seems more welcoming at the moment. It is time to make some changes, but how do you begin to make your guests feel welcome in your home?


Photo: Centered By Design

Look at Your Whole House

When guests come to stay, they probably will not confine themselves to one bedroom. They are coming to visit you, after all. Unless you plan to stay in the guest area, you can expect them to be in other areas as well. Try to make your living spaces as comfortable and cozy as possible. A welcoming atmosphere in the living areas and kitchen will give your guests the indication that you are happy to have them with you.

Decorate Your Guest Space

Often the guest space is overlooked when decorating the home. Focus is shifted to personal areas and main rooms, and the guest room is forgotten until a guest is due to arrive. The prospect of decorating can be quite daunting especially if you have budgetary concerns. Decorating can be done in a simple and affordable manner with some thought and creativity.

Photo: SKD Studios

Dress the Bed

The first step to a warm, welcoming guest space is to make the bed an appealing focal point. Make it look comfortable. Fresh, clean linens are a must. Linens smell and feel better when they have been freshly laundered. A pretty comforter, bedspread or duvet will add visual appeal as well as a feeling of warmth.

Pillows give an impression of comfort, so consider adding some decorative pillows to the space. As a final touch, a throw or light blanket draped at the foot of the bed indicates to your guests that their warmth and comfort is important to you. It is also an easy way to add a splash of color to the space.

Provide Clothing Storage

When guests are staying long term, it is a nice gesture to give them somewhere to unpack. Perhaps there is space in the closet, or an attractive dresser they could use for their clothing or personal items. Even providing one or two drawers for them will make them feel more welcome in your home.

Photo: SKD Studios

Little Gestures Make Big Impressions

Before your guests arrive, make a concerted effort to personalize the space they will call home while visiting with you. Consider placing a book or two on the dresser or night table for your friend who is an avid reader. A basket with shampoos and soaps are a nice touch and can prevent embarrassment if your guests forgot to bring their own. A small basket containing snacks and bottled water is a nice touch and keeps guests from rummaging through the pantry or refrigerator in the middle of the night. For the avid television enthusiast, you could consider providing a television in the room, so they feel free to choose their own programs at night. Learn a little about your guests’ habits and favorite activities and customize the little touches in the room to suit their tastes and needs.

A warm, inviting home epitomizes a guest-friendly atmosphere. Creating a welcoming guest space inside the home can be easy and budget friendly. Simply making the room comfortable is a good start. Adding thoughtful accessories will have your guests longing to return.

Top 10 SketchUp Tips for Experts and Beginners

Top 10 SketchUp Tips for Experts and Beginners

SketchUp is a powerful modelling application that offers far more than the mix of features that are found in the conventional software that has been widely used for over two decades.

The application is designed to be highly flexible so that you can design anything from a small battery to a full city block without having to swap between different programs. When you can design everything in one place, you can afford to invest more into automating and optimizing your workflow to get more work done.

Given the broad range of tools that SketchUp includes, putting together a comprehensive list of all the application’s features would be impossible. Nevertheless, in this SketchUp guide, we managed to pick the top 10 techniques for using the functions and add-ons that make SketchUp one of the best modeling tools available. We have touched on a broad range of issues that are suitable for both basic users and advanced professionals. Let us know on social media how we did on this SketchUp tutorial so that we can continue to give you the best content possible!

1. Use Groups and Components to Organize Your Work

Many beginners struggle to use SketchUp because they fail to make effective use of groups and components when they first start. Groups and components are tools that let you edit subsections of your model without having to worry about messing up its overall structure. You can, then, use the SketchUp app to make modifications like you would if you were duplicating objects to avoid impacting the original model with potentially erroneous changes. The best part about SketchUp is that once you are satisfied with your work, you can also use groups and components to modify all copies of an element at the same time.

2. Make Use of SketchUp’s Object Library

Modeling software typically offers powerful tools, but it generally fails to include a library of base content to help you get started. Thankfully, SketchUp has added a robust warehouse of content that you can download from the internet. The library continues to grow as both SketchUp’s developers and members of the developer community add more objects. Some of the objects that exist include characters, shrubs, couches, and other everyday items. The objects are, of course, available for unrestricted use, and you can modify them completely.

3. Include Imagery from Google

One of the little-known facts about SketchUp is that Google purchased it over a decade ago in 2006. At the time, Google was investing heavily in satellite imagery since it knew that mapping software would have a massive impact on the future. When you use SketchUp, you can take advantage of all the functionality that Google built to import satellite maps and three-dimensional objects from Google Earth. Since content from Google Earth can be used with no copyright restrictions, this library can function as a logical starting point for advanced projects.

4. Make Use of the Follow-Me Tool

Creating advanced spheres is ordinarily difficult, but SketchUp makes creating these objects as easy as possible. All you must do is create two circles that intersect before turning one of the rings on its central axis to create a perfectly spherical object. To confirm your work, you can even use the SketchUp protractor tool to ensure that everything lines up with exact precision. Learning how to use the follow-me tool effectively can cut hours of modeling work down to just a few minutes.

5. Use Soap Skin and Bubble

One of the best add-ons for SketchUp is Soap Skin and Bubble. The plugin lets you turn flat surfaces into a mesh, but it also comes with a particular function that enables you to expand one side as if you are inflating a balloon. You can, then, inflate or deflate the object to create complex structures that can make your model look outstanding.

6. Take Advantage of Textures and Material Properties

SketchUp comes with a robust texture editor that lets you easily modify and create new textures without switching to different applications. Additionally, you can also edit material properties using SketchUp to make sure the planning of your textures look right from different angles and in high-contrast settings. The application even includes access to a free material library that offers metals, plastics, stone, and other common materials.

7. Explore Presentation Features

Professionals often use SketchUp for its unique animation features that are easy to use. However, the animation features are so usable that many architects and other designers use SketchUp to create interactive presentations that let clients quickly flip through sections of a model to make sense of it. You can, for instance, create an animation that pans the camera from one floor to the next inside a building that you are designing.

8. Take Advantage of Rendering Software

Although SketchUp lets you use expensive rendering tools from leading vendors, there are also several high-quality rendering tools that you do not have to pay for. You can, for instance, use Indigo Renderer as an alternative to 3DS Max or V-Ray. If the cost of rendering software is holding you back from starting to use SketchUp, make sure that you give SketchUp’s free rendering tools a try to see if they will work in your situation.

9. Organize Your Toolbar Effectively

You will get the most out of SketchUp’s available functionality when you stay highly organized. To use the hundreds of add-ons that it takes to speed up your workflow, take the time to learn how to use SketchUp’s “hide” and “selection” tools. Thereby, you can download every plugin you want without having to worry about turning your toolbar into a cluttered mess.

10. Learn More on the SketchUcation Forums

In this SketchUp guide, we were only able to cover 10 of the many essential tips. If you want to learn more, you can visit the SketchUcation forms to read high-quality posts and SketchUp tutorials from both experts and beginners. By learning from the community, you can quickly get up to speed on all SketchUp’s functionality so that you can start building the models of your dreams.

How to Mix Modern & Traditional Design Trends

How to Mix Modern & Traditional Design Trends

Create your own unique decorating look by mixing old architecture and furniture with new, modern pieces. Here’s how to do this the right way!

Photos via: Houzz

You may have heard from some period feature purist that mixing modern and old is sacrilege when it comes to making the most of historical features. However, mixing the new with the old can create a stamp to your home that is uniquely you. Renovating period features and laying down modern flooring and painting styles can really highlight design aspects of a historic home that keeping it in its former condition simply wouldn’t.

Get an Extension

If you’re currently residing in a Victorian terrace, for example, one of its historic features might be its unfortunate lack of space. Sometimes beautiful old terrace houses don’t quite have the square footage we’d hoped for, as they were initially designed for mining and factory communities who could only afford a two-up two-down property. If this is the case for your property, it could be well worth your while getting an extension to open it up and transform the look of the interior. This is particularly great if you’re looking to install patio doors or extra room for a dining room.

However, if the idea of going wide doesn’t appeal to you – then think upwards. You can also add an extension in the form of a loft conversion. Adding an extra level to your house frees up plenty of space, but without having to add an extra block of building that wasn’t previously there. Not only is it discreet, but you can play around with how the staircase is situated, and any wooden beams that could be brought into the design.

Contrast curtains with window frames

If you have beautiful double glazed sash windows, it’s a good idea to make the most of them – after all modern builds don’t come with these charming features. If you’re incorporating modern features into your house, but don’t want to lose focus of your windows, then putting modern curtains up can draw attention to where the light is coming in. Using single block colours, contemporary patters or slate greys will immediately give your home a modern twist in a way that compliments its older features.

Don’t be afraid to go industrial

Industrial styling is perhaps one of the most modern aesthetics you can go for. Steel and metal beams and structures will instantly add a contemporary touch. You will be surprised by just how elegant industrial structures can look: what makes them look part of the house is how they fit into the whole picture. Putting potted plants and ornaments on a metal shelf or putting steel structures amongst wooden ones will create a pleasant and eye-catching contrast, not an obtrusive one.

Mixing modern and old is almost as old as time itself. What constitutes as modern now, might change a few years down the line. This is why you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment – mixing up the two is more about the contrast than making a statement about today’s trends. Keep the features that stand out as being beautiful, and be brave with parts of your property that can be changed.

Glass Shelves or Wood Floating Shelves – Which is better for you?

Glass Shelves or Wood Floating Shelves – Which is better for you?

Got too many collections and special items but do not like to let go of them or where to place them? We have a solution for you!

Photos: Houzz

There are various kinds of bookcases and shelves that are available on the market that is why many customers get a little confused. Having to choose between glass shelves or wood floating shelves which are both not created equal, we will not just identify which one is better than the other. Also, we will identify which one is better for you.

Such floating shelves help you in achieving a smooth and refined look that you will be proud to showcase, especially when home visitors arrive. Read on to help you decide.

Unbreaking glass shelves

Knowing which type of glass the shelves are made from is important. When considering buying shelves made from glass, you should check the glass if it is designed with a low chance of getting shattered or chipped easily. We know that most glasses will break once dropped. Another option is the tempered glass which is scratch-resistant and is less likely to get cracked. Take note that if the glass is strengthened by heat, it is twice as strong as that of a regular glass.

Plus, identify the shelf strength through the thickness. The thicker the glass, the stronger it gets. For example, a thick standard glass shelf is stronger than a thinner tempered glass shelf. The allowable weight to be put on the shelves has a rating provided for it.

Knocking on wood shelves

Did you know that not all wood shelves are actually made of real wood? A solid core of pressed cheaper wood or plywood called ‘engineered’ wood then covered with a finish, veneer or paint is what the wood shelves are made of. Cheaper than real wood and is made from recycled materials, these shelves are often light in weight and stronger in quality than the real wood. Still, having the most beautiful and rich colors from real wood shelves are more expensive.

Which one is better than the other?

When deciding between glass shelves and wood shelves, ask yourself first the following questions:

  1. What am I going to put on these shelves?

For heavy and/or large items to fill up the shelf, wood would be the better choice. Do not risk the strength of glass shelves with this case to make you worry less. For displaying your precious collection, glass shelves are recommended as it helps to highlight what is on display, adding aesthetic to your home.

  1. What specific area at home am I going to place these shelves?

If you are going to have the shelves in your kitchen, choose the glass one to easily clean the grease off. Kitchen cleaning products would not hurt the glass but will chew up wood. While if the shelves are going to be put in the bathroom, glass is also a good option for humidity and residue.

In your living room, wood would be a better choice to feel the warmth and inviting feeling than the cold and modern look of glass.

  1. Will these shelves be out of reach of children?

If the shelves can be accessible by children, beware of accidents to possibly happen. Kids might damage and/or shatter the glass shelf or worse, get cut by it.

  1. What lighting is available for the shelf?

In highlighting the contents of the shelves, lighting is an essential factor. It would be much better to see the spines of the book when placed on the shelves as well as for smaller items, glass shelves will give more visibility even those which are displayed towards the back of the lower shelves. Bookshelves help you to be able to decorate without taking up too much space. Not only this helps you get things in place but it also adds accent to your home. Whether it be glass or wood, take your time in choosing which one suits your preferences. Just a reminder, keep your things organized and make it in style.

Have you already decided if it going to be made of glass or wood material? Head on to the nearest store and shop for bookshelves now!

Looking for a House Loan? Here are some Personal Loan Features and Benefits

Looking for a House Loan? Here are some Personal Loan Features and Benefits

A loan requirement is not restricted to the middle-income group. The high-income bracket also requires frequent loans. People that don’t earn a lot have a higher loan requirement, but find it difficult to obtain a loan due to their credit scores.

Though difficult, it is not impossible for them to get a loan. They can choose other means for a low salary personal loan. Such loans are different from personal loans in terms of their eligibility criteria, the tenure of payment and the rate of interest charged. If you are property planning and looking to invest, loans are a smart move to look into. The features of these loans are discussed below:

No Income Related Criteria

When your income levels are low, you are forced to look at other sources of obtaining a loan. Within a bank, you can get a loan against your fixed deposits and gold. The gold loan can also be availed from NBFCs, which would be willing to accept other valuables as collateral against a loan. These loans do not consider your income as a deciding factor for loan disbursal. In desperate times, when a loan is absolutely necessary turning to low-value loans is the safest option.

Requirement of Collateral

As mentioned in the previous point, collateral is required in order to process these loans. Either in the form of an FD, gold, property papers, or documents for some other assets that you might possess, the presence of collateral becomes vital. The amount you can receive as a loan is in proportion to the value of the collateral. This is required to provide security to the lending agencies from defaulters. If a situation arises that the borrower is unable to pay the money, the agency is secure against a loss and will take over the collateral.

Higher Rates of Interest

The rate of interest varies depending on the collateral selected. If an FD is chosen as the collateral, the rate charged is only a little higher than what a bank would provide you with. In the case of gold, the interest generally ranges between 10-14% depending on the amount of money being borrowed. When a loan is being availed from NBFCs, you should be prepared to pay a hefty interest amount (about 14-20%), but this is completely dependent on the organization.

Choice of Tenure

You can choose to pay the loan quickly or you can decide to opt for a longer tenure depending on your capability. Though there is an upper limit to the length of the tenure, you can close the loan as soon as you wish without being subjected to any penalties. Consider a scenario when an expected payment is delayed and you have a pressing requirement for the day. You can take a loan and close it as soon as that expected payment comes in. This way you have effectively used a loan without over-paying.

It is possible to get a collateral free low salary personal loan from fintech organizations such as MoneyTap, which offer you low-value loans with interest charged only on the amount that you actually withdraw from the fund. The process of application is easy to understand and seamless, making it a pleasurable experience for you.