Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Black Mana Studios Launches Interior Design for iPad: Bringing Home Designs To Life

Black Mana Studios introduces Interior Design for iPad, a user-friendly, technologically advanced interior design iPad app that rivals the best desktop interior design software available today.

Cupertino, CA (PRWEB) December 19, 2012

Whether it's a new floor installation, kitchen renovation, or whole home redecoration, it can be difficult for both budding designers and professionals to really picture what the final design will look like. How will a designer know if the shade of wood floor selected will coordinate with new countertops? Will a couch look better in a different spot without having to go through the arduous process of moving it? Thankfully, now it only takes a few taps for anyone to plan interior design. Black Mana Studios is pleased to announce the launch of the most technologically advanced interior design app available on the App Store – Interior Design for iPad.

Interior Design for iPad is a user-friendly app that can take on any interior design project or create any floorplan quickly and easily. With little to no learning curve, any user could be designing a new interior in as little as 5 minutes.

From drawing floor plans in 2D to walking through them in vivid, stunning 3D. Users can drag and drop objects into the plan, remove walls, alter the shape of rooms or apply new wooden floors from a selection of over 50 real wood grains, all by simply tapping on the screen. In Addition, the app includes over 3300 objects and materials for free, so users can create highly detailed designs, quickly and easily.

Interior Design for iPad is one of the only apps in the world that supports render, giving users the ability to create an amazing final image including shadows and other special effects.

Once the user has completed a layout, it can be shared with friends, family, or colleagues by exporting it to email, to their device photo album, Dropbox, or a favorite social networking site.

Interior Design for iPad gives any iPad user the power to take a personally created design or layout ideas and bring them to life, all with a few taps on the iPad screen. Interior Design for iPad is available now in the iTunes App Store at:

About Black Mana Studios
Black Mana Studios LLC, creators of Interior Design for iPad, are an international presence with offices in the United States, Russia, and Israel. Their initial foray into professional mobile software was the first full-featured screenwriting application 'Screenplay,' which became the de-facto mobile screenwriting solution for thousands of movie and TV personnel. Since that time, Black Mana has created other groundbreaking apps including Home 3D, the world's first mobile three-dimensional interior design app. Founded in 2009, Black Mana Studios LLC is based in New York City.

Learn more: –
Interior Design for iPad –

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY candy mint Christmas tree

Easy & fresh holiday DIY

The holidays are many things, but they are not cheap! Between the gift buying, the traveling and the food costs, we're often left with just a few bucks to decorate! Instead of spending those last few cents on an overpriced centerpiece or mantel display, why not make a few of these adorable mint trees?

You can't beat a craft that costs less than $5. This mint tree only takes about 30 minutes to make and instantly adds some holiday pizzazz to mantels, coffee tables and even centerpieces! In addition, this is one craft your kids will love to help you make!


  • 1 bag of regular red circle mints
  • 1 bag of wintergreen circle mints
  • Hot glue gun
  • Assorted sizes of styrofoam cones
  • Silver glitter glue


  1. Unwrap the mints

    With dry hands (this is very important, otherwise the candy will get sticky), unwrap each candy so you can glue it onto the cone.

    DIY candy mint Christmas tree -- mints

  2. Glue mints onto the tree

    Using your hot glue gun, glue the mints onto the tree, right next to each other, covering up every bit of space on the cone that you can.

    DIY candy mint Christmas tree -- glue mint on tree

    We did two layers of red and one layer of green and repeated until we got to the top of the tree.

    DIY candy mint Christmas tree -- glue mints on tree

    DIY candy mint Christmas tree -- overhead view

  3. Fill in holes with silver glitter glue

    Since you can't overlap the mints, we added some silver glitter glue to cover up some of the holes. It gives the tree a bit of a tinsel look!

    DIY candy mint Christmas tree --add glitter

  4. Let dry and enjoy!

    Let the glue dry and clean up the loose strings with a cloth. Display on your mantel or table and enjoy!

More easy DIY holiday crafts

DIY chalkboard mugs
DIY holiday hair accessories
DIY holiday decor ideas

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nendo's New Furniture Finds Beauty In Splintered Wood

A new collection from Japanese design studio Nendo is made from wood that’s been splintered to create functional design elements.

The Japanese studio--whose name means "unmolded clay"--reverses traditional logic of woodworking to make splinters the focus of a new collection.

In woodworking, a splintered or broken piece of timber is generally deemed defective. But for Nendo, those "defects" provide a form of inspiration. The Japanese design studio's newest collection, called Splinter, is made from pieces of wood that are purposefully split down the grain, creating subdivisions that are curved to form armrests, hooks, and frames.

Splinter was commissioned by Conde House, one of the many furniture manufacturers based in Asahikawa, a city on the northern tip of Japan. Asahikawa is known for its freezing temperatures, sake, and skiing (not a bad combo), but it's also a center for Japanese woodworkers. The town has a furniture center that's nearly a mile and a half long on one side, and dozens of large and small manufacturing houses like Conde.

"We splintered each piece of wood as though peeling it away," Nendo explains. "Chairs' backrests divide to become armrests and legs, and the top of the coat stand peels away to provide coat hooks." The prototypical silhouette of a Wegner chair becomes subtly radical when its main support splits in half and snakes away in two different directions. "We approached the wood gently, going with the grain so that the wood would retain its original pliancy," the studio adds.

Nendo is known for its poeticism, introducing transparent wood, and silicon bowls that shiver in the wind. Founder Oki Sato has a flair for finding beauty in materials that are typically thought of as "waste." For example, his Cabbage Chair is made from the thin pleated paper you'd typically throw away after making a garment. Splinter follows the same logic, subverting a wasted piece of material by bending it into something utterly functional.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Interior design news: Chocolate for Christmas; architectural tour; and mantel ideas

Interior design news:

HOLIDAY HUES: Over at 6DW (Six Different Ways), the idea of changing up color schemes for Christmas decorations. A couple of years ago, I introduced some chocolate brown to my gold decor: beautiful. What will your color scheme be?

TAKE A TOUR: This particular Pinterest board is like taking a virtual trip around the world to look at architecture. Thanks for the eye candy, Jonathan Boivin.

MAKE THE MANTEL: Make your mantel the centerpiece of the room this holiday season with ideas from Ciao Interiors:

"During this time of year, the mantel can serve as the centerpiece for your living room. It frames the hearth and is an ideal place to display your holiday decor. Follow these tips to create a magical Christmas vignette on your fireplace mantel."

GO GREEN: I have to agree with Robin Baron at Simplifying Fabulous: Green is an awesome color to work with.

"Green is one of my favorite colors. You might notice I use it a lot in Simplifying Fabulous and designs for my clients! The holiday season is a great chance to experiment with a range of the hue beyond the standard hunter green that many, unfortunately, stand by. There's a whole spectrum of the green worth exploring!"

-- Bridget A. Otto

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Design professor and students give back to poor communities

Chen Chie-peng, a professor in the Department of Interior Design at Chung Yuan Christian University, believes that service should be a core value in the field of design. Last year he assigned "Reconstructing Disadvantaged Communities" as a graduation project for his college seniors. While Chen was in charge of raising funds, his students were responsible for all of the design and construction work. He hopes to be able reconstruct at least one residential space every year to make it more suitable for living.

Most people think that interior design is simply about decorating houses, and that only the rich can afford it, but Chen believes design should take a broader definition that also includes reconstructing spaces and readjusting traffic flow. Design is not only meant for the rich to enjoy, it is supposed to fulfill everyone's basic living needs, he says. Despite being ridiculed by his colleagues, Chen still believes that the disadvantaged also deserve to enjoy design services, because after all, differences in wealth occur merely because some people are more or less fortunate than others, he says.

Apart from learning various skills, including how to draw blueprints, paint and do carpentry, they also learn how to save on construction costs and work in situations where financial resources are limited. In recent years, many of his students have taken up his cause after graduating. One such student, who is a member of the Aboriginal Bunun tribe and grew up in Hualien County, started going home to the countryside on the weekends after graduating to help do reconstruction work and beautify the community where he grew up.

The year before last, Chen took a group of students who were about to graduate to do community service in the Chin Cheng Community in Bade City. The old community only has 100 homes and a little more than 200 residents, while each house is only around eight ping (24.4m2). Most of the residents are old veterans, families with foreign spouses and Aborigines. Chen says that he initially felt like the community was gloomy and forlorn, so he decided to take the students there to improve the surroundings, but they were only able to plant some trees and plants to make it look better and reconstruct some pavilions in the area.

With better interaction between teacher, students and residents, and after receiving NT$200,000 in donations, Chen decided to have the students use the money to enhance traffic flow and accessibility in the area so houses would be better suitable for the elderly. Although they only had enough money to do reconstruction for one home, Chen hopes they can work on at least one home every year and eventually complete reconstruction in the entire community.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Interior design institute endorses the Rand Show

The South African Institute of the Interior Design Professions (IID) has given its resounding support to the fourth instalment of the re-launched and repositioned Rand Show. "As a re-spected voice in the interior design industry, the South African Institute of the Interior De-sign Professions is delighted to endorse the Rand Show," says executive manager, Fehmida Jordaan.

The upcoming show, to be held over the four-day Easter weekend next year, has dubbed 2013 "the Year of the Exhibitor", as Rand Show management goes all out to enhance consumers' experience on the show floor by bringing in more quality exhibitors.

A stronger show floor focus will, of course, be of great benefit to exhibitors too. "Designers should consider the value they can get from showcasing their expertise at this prominent consumer fair, since the Rand Show is the perfect fair for the DIY society, catering as it does for the entire demo-graphic spectrum of consumers," she says.

Opportunities for interior design professionals

"The Rand Show is a platform of excellence where consumers are exposed to anything and every-thing home related," says Jordaan.

Which is why any interior design professional would do well to consider having a presence at the 2013 show. (And of course, all IID members participating in the Rand Show 2013 also benefit from a 10% discount on their exhibition investment, making participation even more attractive.)

The Rand Show 2013 offers exhibitors within the interior design industry two curated halls devoted to the home. Hall 6 is the "DO Home" zone, where proposed exhibits range from furniture and de-cor, to art, appliances, home electronics and other lifestyle-enhancing home items.

Also in Hall 6 is an area devoted to "DO DIY" show, potentially covering the entire world of DIY from tools, materials and products, to courses. DO DIY offers the perfect platform for exhibitors to conduct interactive demonstrations, engaging with consumers in the custom-designed DIY con-sumer theatre.

As South Africa's largest consumer exhibition and launchpad, the Rand Show is a consumer plat-form not to be missed.


WHEN: From Thursday 28 March to Monday 1 April 2013. Gates open each day at 9am and close at 6pm, although the Show will remain open until 8pm.
WHERE: Johannesburg Expo Centre, Rand Show Road, Nasrec. (GPS - S26° 14.810' E27° 58.695')
VALUE: Your ticket gets you free entry to events as published on the web

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

3rd Annual Home Decorating Contest

Last year's Grand Prize winner of $350 cash, the Baldauff Family.

Get into the spirit of Christmas! Let's light up Covington Twp.!

Covington Twp. is once again looking for the most festive homes of the season!

Judging is for exterior decoration only and will be judged on: use of decorations, neatness, use of color, brightness, appeal, detail, layout, creativity, content, originality and overall appearance.

Judging will take place on the evening of Dec. 18, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (lighting will be required).

Only Covington Twp. residents may enter.

Impartial Judges decisions are final.

Awards will be presented, including the $350 cash grand prize, on Dec. 20 at a reception held at the Moffat Estate at 7 p.m.

To enter, please fill out the form below and return by 1 p.m. on Dec. 5 to: Light Up Covington Twp. Holiday Decorating Contest, 20 Moffat Dr., Covington Twp., PA 18444.

Forms can also be dropped off in person at the Municipal Office at the Moffat Estate on Rt. 435, Covington Twp.
Please be advised, contest participants may have photographs taken of their home and family for display at the mansion.

Note: Previous Grand Prize winners may participate only once every five years.
For more information call 842-0457. (Township employees may not participate.)
Covington Twp. Christmas Home Decorating Contest Entry


Must be received prior to 1 p.m. Dec. 5

Street Address:_____________________________________________________________
Directions to your home from intersection of Rts. 502 & 435:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home Couture: A solution to your furniture problems

By Momina Sibtain Published: November 13, 2012 | Interior Design|

The ever-changing shopping landscape of Lahore saw a new addition to its sprawling structure on November 8, when a home-made furniture and accessories brand Home Couture by Shahnaz Noon and Attiya Rashid launched its flagship store in Gulberg.

The brand showcases furnishings such as beds, sofas, tables and armchairs. It also displays accessories and decoration pieces for a complete decor.

Aimed at crafting design-led and timeless pieces of furniture, the new store is modern, classy and extremely chic. Ranging from exquisite upholsteries to freshly designed throw pillows and cushions, each piece is detailed and wholesome. From screen-printed cushions to dyed wood inlays with mother of pearl details, the range of furniture is classic and adds that extra oomph to your living space.

Talking about the launch, the founder of the store Noon said, "Our inspiration behind launching our flagship store is driven by our vision to house a large collection of quality classic contemporary home furniture and accessories under one roof, which is premium yet affordable."

Commenting on the furniture, co-founder Rashid discloses that the woodwork is being done in her village in Chiniot. Using premium Rosewood (locally known as Sheesham), Home Couture carves its furniture with a harmony of traditional and modern influences, aligned with their passion for rekindling the concept of furniture as a functional treasure.

"This is the year of the dragon and hence you can see a lot a of dragon influence in the pieces," said Rashid. She further added: "Until December, we are working with more of an Oriental theme to honour the year of the dragon."

Both the founders were pleased with the launch, which was well attended by Lahore's media, fashionistas and socialites alike. "We are proud to have launched a dedicated standalone retail space for Home Couture, a brand that first started with exhibitions under the brand name F&S Furniture," said Noon and Rashid.

While women picked out pieces they loved, many admired the attention put in to details. "I am impressed with how well-finished the products are. The accessories are very nice and different," said one of the housewives and furniture enthusiasts who attended.

The lounging chair with Quaid-e-Azam's picture playing pool was unique and added character to the piece. It is the attention given to minor details that makes a wholesome look come together.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2012.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Create your holiday home with lights

(BPT) - When it comes to decorating with lights for the holidays, there are unlimited ways to add twinkle to the inside as well as the outside of your home. Some people favor an elegant, restrained sprinkling of lights around a door, while others go for a more exuberant display of illumination on virtually every surface.

The American Lighting Association (ALA) offers some holiday lighting tips and ideas:

  • Make your home's entrance a priority. The front door is more than just the entryway into your home; it's also a welcoming first impression for family and friends. Start by adding a few, easy-to-install landscape uplights to highlight trees and shrubs, or path lighting to illuminate a sidewalk or driveway.

    "Tree lighting uses the heights of trees to spread the light out in a soft and subtle way to bathe the area in light," says Richard Lentz, owner of Dallas-based Lentz Landscape Lighting and its interiors division Lentz Services. Do-it-yourself tip: Go for low-voltage landscape lights, which are easy to install and consume less energy.

  • Add drama with color-changing lights. Newer LED lights can add custom color scenes that complement a specific holiday decorating mood. You can produce the exact ambiance you like at any moment during your party or gathering this season. Colors can be changed at the push of a button without changing the fixture, making these products useful year round.

  • Use lighting to create a focal point. Lights can draw attention to virtually anything – a centerpiece, buffet, unusual decoration – which helps guests know where to focus their eyes.

  • Add portable spotlights as highlights. These small, inexpensive fixtures typically work with a tabletop dimmer and can create pretty silhouettes, particularly under a Christmas tree, shining up through the branches.

  • Illuminate corners. When decorating with lights for the holidays, make your space feel larger by placing spotlights in room corners to illuminate dark spaces.

  • Swap out lighting accents. Replacing a neutral lampshade with one that is red or gold will soften the light and create a pretty atmosphere when decorating with lights for the holidays. Replace a chandelier's crystal teardrops with gold, silver or red glass balls, or add a few shade charms, available at many craft stores, to add some sparkle and fun.

    "One of the great things about this time of year, when there are a lot of festive gatherings, is that it's all right to break away from a few traditions and try some new things with lighting and decorating," says Bruce Hathaway, national sales manager for the Vermont-based lighting manufacturer Hubbardton Forge.

  • Check your dimmers. "Dimmers are ideal for creating that perfect look, regardless of the season, because they allow for the general lighting to play a supporting role," says Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for ALA and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky's School of Interior Design.

  • Update your powder room. "It's often the smallest room, yet if you measure the worth of the powder room by the amount of traffic a room gets per square foot, the powder room could easily be the most valuable space in your house," says Rick Wiedemer, president of Hinkley Lighting. A few simple, extra touches, such as a portable lamp with a colored shade, will make a huge impact.

  • Try novelty lights. Consider themed novelty lights for a bit of fun when decorating for any holiday. "Try string lights in shapes or LED crystal lights on a festive mantle," says Edward Cook, president of National Specialty Lighting in Colorado.

Visit your local ALA-member lighting showroom to discover more ideas for decorating with lights for the holidays. For information, visit

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

6 Fresh Halloween Decorations Ideas

Getting fresh ideas for doing Halloween decorations at home every year is a problem. You need to come up with innovative concepts every year to entertain the kids. While the traditional things like pumpkin carving and costumes have to be kept alive, there is need for a fresh perception for Halloween decorations. That why you need to improvise on the existing ideas and come up with something new.

Even something as common as pumpkin carving can be given a new twist. While teaching your kids to carve pumpkins, you can come up with a new Halloween decoration idea. Place electric bulbs inside the carved pumpkin and wire it accordingly. Now mount some bats on it and turn it into a proper lantern.

Halloween cookies too are a tradition from the past. But what is stopping you from making interestingly designed cookies? Bake cookies that go with your table decoration on Halloween. You can decorate your table in the period-drama style. Bring out the candle stand that belonged to your grandmother and have an actual candle light dinner.

Your yard and garden become very useful during Halloween. If you don't want to invite the scary spirits into your home, you can always do up your backyard and garden in the Halloween spirit. Use the discarded costumes and props from the previous years to decorate your outdoor space.

Did you ever think that toys could be used as props for Halloween decoration? Toys do make excellent decor item for a scary theme. You can look to movies like the Toy Story series for inspiration. The Joker or a demented looking doll will look really scary on Halloween. You can also use the 'scarecrow' to scare people on this festival.

Here 6 innovative ideas for Halloween decorations that you may not have used yet.

  1. Snow White's Home

    Place lots of pumpkin's in your front yard. While pumpkin's symbolise Halloween, they also remind of the fairytale carriage in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs.

  2. Scare-crow

    There is scare in the name itself; so the scarecrow can be made to look pretty scary.

  3. Pumpkin Lanterns

    Make real electrical lanterns with pumpkins. It could be your kid's next physics project!

  4. The Skeleton

    The stringy skeleton is quite a common theme for Halloween. This time, turn the skeleton into a balloon to cheer up your kids.

  5. Halloween Cookies

    Make pumpkin shaped Halloween cookies and top them up with scary looking bats.

  6. Collage Of The Years Gone By

    Assemble all the props that you have accumulated from the previous Halloweens. Then decorate a path down memory lane in your yard as a tribute to those years.

KLC Interior Design Day with Livingetc

Discover the secrets of decorating, lighting and styling on the Livingetc KLC School of Design one-day course on 30 November

Learn the tricks of styling a modern home Interior Design on our exclusive one-day course, held by KLC School of Design at its studios in London's Chelsea Harbour. Hosted by KLC's expert tutors, the course comprises short, focused lectures and practical workshops designed to develop the skills you need to decorate with confidence. With industry insiders on hand, you'll pick up plenty of tips to help you make the most of your space.

BOOK NOW! Tickets cost £130 per person and include a buffet lunch. To book, call the credit card hotline on 020 7376 3377. Tickets are sold on a first-come first-served basis.

ABOUT KLC: KLC School of Design offers full-time, part-time, short and distance-learning courses. It is the only design school accredited by both the British Accreditation Council (BAC) and the Open Distance Learning Quality Council (ODLQC). For more details, contact KLC School of Design, 503 Design Centre East, Chelsea Harbour, London SW10 OXF. (020 7376 3377,

THE DATE: Friday 30 November 2012


  • 9.30am Arrival and coffee
  • 10am The Decorative Scheme: an introduction to the decorative scheme and its impact on the interior
  • 11am Break
  • 11.15am Decorative Scheme workshop
  • 12.30pm Lunch
  • 1.30pm How To Create A Lighting Scheme: a lecture on the basic principles of lighting your home
  • 2.15pm Lighting workshop
  • 3pm Break
  • 3.15pm Styling lecture
  • 4pm Close

Terms and conditions: Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. KLC will refund course fees paid (less an administration charge of 10 per cent of the course fees paid) for cancellations made four weeks or more prior to the course start date. We regret that we are unable to refund fees under any circumstances for any cancellations made less than four weeks prior to the start of the course. Livingetc and KLC reserve the right to change the format without notice, and accept no liability if, for any reason, events are varied, relocated, postponed or cancelled.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Interior Design : Private home becomes a museum

Interior Design :

A PRIVATE museum about traditional Shanghai life opened officially yesterday at a shikumen home filled with old items and traditional decorations.

The three-story shikumen (stone-gate) house hidden on Yongkang Road in Xuhui District is open to public every Saturday while reservations are required on other days, said Da Shiping, the owner of the house who turned it into a museum. There is no admission charge.

"The museum especially welcomes foreigners to show them a traditional Shanghai home and how people lived," said Da, 58, who also teaches Chinese to foreigners at Shanghai Normal University.

The house, built in 1925, has been owned by Da's family since 1942 and four generations of his family have lived there. They moved out in 2003 after learning the house would possibly be demolished for an urban redevelopment project.

The government later changed its plan, opting to preserve the block. Da then decided to turn it into a private museum.

"The furnishing and decoration inside remain the same as when my family lived here," Da said.

Exploring different rooms inside the museum is fun given Da's rich collection of everyday items from a bygone era.

In the bedroom on the second floor, Da opened the wardrobe, where his aunt's old qipao hangs in immaculate condition.

An old-fashioned copper hot water bottle used by Da's parents is on the bed.

Da's parents wrote and drew a picture book to celebrate the 1950 Marriage Law. It is considered the most precious exhibit as famous painters Chen Shifa and He Youzhi contributed pictures for the book.

Da said it was not easy to run the museum, especially after the official opening, as he acts as a guide for visitors.

The district cultural heritage authority offered 100 yuan (US$16) per person a day for Da to recruit staff to help maintain the museum, but Da said it was a bit inadequate for the non-profit museum.

"I have to recruit some more volunteers from universities to help out," he said.

Private museums emerged in the city in the mid-1980s and thrived in the 1990s.

More than 200 family-run museums have appeared in the city, but amid soaring rents and labor costs they have met harder times since 2000 and half have shut their doors, said the Shanghai Collection Association.

"Tight budgets, lack of successors and relocation to rural areas in the urban construction campaign caused the closure of private museums," said Wu Shaohua, director of the association.

Address: 35 Yongkang Rd, Lane 38

Tel: 1891 608 4112 (Da Shiping)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Interior design : Five-star abode

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Star Apartments, on Moon Street in Wan Chai, offers residents a private and cozy dwelling with modern interior design, making it an ideal home for busy Hongkongers.

Featuring white walls and brown timber finished floor, the apartment is fully furnished with a spacious double bed, an elegant comfortable sitting area, spacious bathroom, as well as a well- equipped open kitchen.

The wooden furniture, along with the mood lighting, creates a warm and comfortable feeling in which to relax.

Most of the lighting is carefully concealed behind shelves to provide a cozy ambience.

The apartment is fully furnished and comes with large windows which bathe the room in plenty of light. The full height mirror beside the bed is a build- in wardrobe which provides plenty storage space.

Located in the midst of a bustling city center, the apartment is ideal for young professionals who long for a simple yet cool lifestyle or for those who simply want a comfortable home.

The apartment is conveniently located just three minutes from Admiralty MTR station, and bus stops are within walking distance.

The well-known Pacific Place mall is only a few minutes' walk from the building and is an ideal place to unwind after a hectic day at work.

For those who wish to have a night out in one of the fine restaurants and bars in the neighborhood, Star Apartments is conveniently located in Wan Chai.

With monthly rent of HK$15,500 including government rent, rates and management fee, broadband in

ternet, NOW TV and free local telephone calls, this apartment is yours for asking.

Star Apartments

Address Moonful Court, Moon Street, Wan Chai
Price HK$15,500 a month
Tel 2918-4057/2918-4052

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Q&A: Interior designer Johnsrud draws on childhood dreams

Interior designer Ann Johnrud lives in Melbourne. / RIK JESSE/FLORIDA TODAY

Ann Johnsrud grew up sitting at her father's drafting table, daydreaming over the blueprints at his architectural firm. After years in advertising design and visual merchandising, she finally returned to her first love — interior design.

Question:How does your experience in advertising contribute to your interior design capabilities?

Johnsrud: I have spent my entire career in one design field or another, and all the same basic principles apply. Paying attention to scale and proportion, creating balance and using repetition of colors are all keys to a great design, as well as creating little "aha" moments or focal points.

Q: What is your favorite room of a house to design?

Johnsrud: I love to space plan and enjoy putting my drafting or AutoCAD skills to use designing kitchens and bathrooms, puzzling over how to make the best use of a space, then adding natural elements and lots of bling in the tile and finishes.

Q: You're often called upon to design window treatments as well. What are the latest styles?

Johnsrud: Overall, I find window treatments have cleaner lines and are more streamlined than in the past. My designs tend to rely on a mix of textures and patterns to create interest, rather than using volumes of fabric. Even a traditional style window treatment can look fresh and new with the right fabrics.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

Johnsrud: My favorite place to find inspiration is often from something my client already owns and loves. If I design a room based on the style or color palette in a client's favorite painting, I'm confident they are going to feel right at home. I'm currently working on a beachside condo for out-of-town clients, and at our first meeting, the client presented me with a gorgeous box of potpourri. Well, that was a first for me, but their home is coming along so well, and we are able to capture all the subtle shades of blues, browns and greens, even the pop of lime green.

Q: How do you help homeowners who can't seem to agree on a style?

Johnsrud: I'm currently working on a project for a couple who just got married and is in their pre-retirement years. The husband has several large antique pieces of furniture in dark rich wood tones, and his new bride loves cooler, more beach-inspired décor. I saw an opportunity to bring both styles together in a British West Indies design by painting walls in sea glass colors and bringing lots of texture in woven Abaca and rattan woven furniture.

Q: If you could give only one piece of decorating advice, what would it be?

Johnsrud: Start with a plan. A great furniture layout is essential to any well-functioning room and allows a project to stay on a clear design path as your budget and energy allow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DIY home decorating takes root in Taiwan

Publication Date:09/30/2012
Source: Taiwan Today
By Rachel Chan

When it comes to creating a dream living space of one's own, there is a rather unusual trend in Taiwan—almost everyone prefers hiring an interior designer to mastermind the project.

These designers are viewed as one-stop solutions to a homeowner's every request, from contracting construction jobs such as tearing down partition walls and rearranging the floor plan, to offering opinions on furniture and buying decorative art.

Jerry Tsai, founder of Taiwan's first online home decor community, DECOmyplace, told Taiwan Today May 15 that interior design in Taiwan is entirely different from the practice in Western countries, as it combines design, renovation and interior styling.

In Western countries, he said, interior design comes with an emphasis only on planning the functional design and effective use of space. The service can be very costly so Westerners tend to remodel their residences using all kinds of do-it-yourself techniques, resulting in a strong personal touch.

Against this backdrop, there are hundreds of thousands of European and North American home decor websites, such as Apartment Therapy and Stylizimo. Taiwan lacked such websites until Tsai launched DECOmyplace in 2009 as a platform for sharing all kinds of home styling and DIY ideas, as well as examples of decor to help renters and homeowners find inspiration and develop a better understanding of what they want to do with their own places.

It quickly distinguished itself from other Taiwan interior design pages that are full of "professional work," according to Tsai.

"People have great expectations for turning their homes into ideal living spaces, but there are several prevalent myths, including the belief that designers have better taste and style," the 32-year-old said. "The truth is that often householders end up spending a lot of money on overly designed and unnecessary things."

According to Tsai, the most common examples include patterned ceilings, as many custom-made storage cabinets as possible, and a "washitsu," or Japanese-style study room.

In terms of style, one may be asked to choose from American country, contemporary, European classic, minimalist or Scandinavian, Tsai said, while as a matter of fact Finns, for example, would never describe their homes as being in "Finnish style."

"A few pieces of good furniture with decorative textiles used in strategic places are all it takes to create an aesthetically pleasing living space without having to spend a lot of money."

In keeping with this spirit, Tsai created a fully fitted living room with bookshelves, sofa, TV stand and floor lamp from the Swedish home product company Ikea.

He turned a 190-centimeter-long wooden dining table into a desk and added bright accents to the room with smart choices of colored fabrics such as area rugs, drapery, throw pillows and upholstery.

A large checkered cloth used as an alternative for wallpaper creates another focal point in the space, Tsai said, adding that the total cost of decorating his living room was no more than NT$40,000 (US$1,350).

To make a statement about his fun personality, Tsai displays his hundreds of "Star Wars" and Japanese cartoon character toys, which he has been collecting since elementary school, on the expandable Ikea bookshelves.

"Changing fabrics is the simplest remedy for dull walls and dreary furniture and the quickest way to update a room to a seasonal look," he said. "In many countries, home decoration and furnishing have developed into mature industries while in Taiwan they are still in the initial stages."

Tsai, who used to work in advertising, said he sees house decorating as a niche market with great potential in Taiwan, which is why he invested NT$1 million in setting up DECOmyplace.

Over the past three years, the website has grown at a steady pace and now has more than 20,000 registered members and averages 10,000 hits per day, Tsai said, adding that it has gathered posts from 120 countries and become the largest home decor website in Taiwan.

Evidence of the site's popularity includes good reviews from its users. Nicole Huang, a 26-year-old teacher, said she was glad to find such a helpful website in Taiwan where she can search for ideas for sprucing up her newly bought apartment.

"Browsing the site is like rehearsing for what I'm going to do with my place. In particular, I was enlightened by how others can work around problems in an apartment and make the place look unique and fun," Huang said.

Tori Yao, a young interior designer, said the website is very useful as there are interesting decoration ideas and a variety of styles posted by foreigners for her to learn from. "I also advise my clients to visit the site to get a better idea about their own preferences."

According to Tsai, all of the website's revenues come from advertising by clients such as Ikea and home improvement retailing company B&Q. He estimated income at NT$2 million this year and NT$3 million to NT$5 million in 2013. Looking ahead, he is planning to expand the site through collaboration with household appliance and real estate companies, which usually have big budgets for advertising and marketing.

He also hopes to make the website more attractive and easier to use, so it will function better as a social network where members are friends sharing their dreams.

"There is no shortcut to creating a dream home. It can be a grueling process, but with a great sense of achievement at the end," Tsai said. "With the right tools, everyone can become an interior designer since who else knows your taste better?" (THN)

Write to Rachel Chan at

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Auckland Organizing Citywide "Diwali Style" Home Decoration Competition

September 28, 2012

A citywide competition on decorating homes "Diwali style" is being held in New Zealand's largest city Auckland, challenging the Aucklanders to decorate their homes honoring Diwali, Hindu festival of lights.

Titled "Spice up your home", it would announce an "Overall Winner", a "Runner-Up" and a "People's Choice Award". "Winners not only receive prizes and bragging rights but a sign to display outside their home", announcement says. The initiative is the brain child of leading Auckland real estate company, Barfoot & Thompson; in partnership with government controlled Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

Major day-long (12 to nine pm) Diwali celebrations will be held in the Aotea Square of Auckland on October 13 and 14, which will include cultural performances on three different stages including Gujarati folk dances by a 15-member group from India, classical music, Bollywood dance competition, fashion parade, etc. It will also include food and craft markets, Rangoli kids art workshop, Rangoli art demonstration, Sitar and Tabla workshop, talks on "My India Experience" by experts, street theater and shows, lighting displays and decorations, etc., and concluding with fireworks.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded New Zealand for embracing Diwali festival celebrating the cultural diversity of the country and bringing New Zealanders together to celebrate and experience Hindu and Indian culture in its various forms.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, has asked that Diwali be declared as a public holiday in New Zealand because it was important for Hindu families to celebrate Diwali day together at homes with their children, relatives and friends. Currently only Christmas, Easter and Good Friday are observed as public holidays in New Zealand and there are no public holidays covering festivals of other religious groups.

Diwali festivities in New Zealand are starting early this year with a photographic exhibition "Rivers of Colour" about people and places in India at Auckland University of Technology from September 29 to October 12, followed by Diwali celebration by staff and students of the Institute on October two, and a Diwali Symposium on October six.

Day-long Diwali celebrations will also be held in New Zealand's capital Wellington on October 21. Asia New Zealand Foundation is organizing the Diwali festival in partnership with the Auckland and Wellington city councils.

A "Diwali Walking Trail" is being created in Auckland to take the revelers to the festival venue entertaining them enroute by a variety of Indian performers and artists, including a spinning wheel for prizes. Various Auckland roads will be closed for the Diwali festival. A vegetarian "Diwali Taste On A Plate food challenge" is being organized on the occasion, a brainchild of ATEED and the New Zealand Restaurant Association. Free morning yoga sessions will also be held, including Surya Namaskara.

Rajan Zed has stated that New Zealand Parliament still opened with a prayer with a wording that was Christian in nature. Zed suggested that guest chaplains from various religions and denominations should be invited to read the opening prayer, thus each day starting with a new prayer. Zed, however, thanked the New Zealand Parliament for holding in the past official reception to mark Diwali.

According to Zed, Diwali, which falls on November 13 this year, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Hindus worship goddess of good fortune and beauty Lakshmi, god of wisdom and auspiciousness Ganesh, and mountain Goverdhan on this day. Also on this day, coronation of Lord Ram was held, Lord Hanuman was born, Lord Vishnu returned kingdom to monkey king Bali of Kiskindha, Lord Vishnu and goddess Lakshmi married, Lord Krishan killed demon Narakasur, and ancient king Vikramaditya was crowned. On this day of forgiveness, festivities, and friendliness; families and friends get together for worship followed by a sumptuous and elaborate feast. It is also considered a harvest festival. Besides Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate Diwali, Zed points out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Your home is your castle - so, what if it's a dump?

Should you care what your home says about you?
Shut up your assumptions to the contrary; caring about interior decoration is not just for Wilde, James, All Women and that Martha Stewart – there's a rich body of literature which speaks to the distinct relationship between masculinity and interior decoration. We are all, as Fight Club would have it, slaves to the Ikea nesting instinct.

Yet the fact is, not all of us occupy spaces fitted out exactly to our liking. Bothersome things like time and money and a lack of decorating confidence often get in the way. There's also the limitations wrapped up in renting (my reality), share-housing (growing reality), or still-at-home-living (your reality?).

So should we really judge a person based on their personal space? If we've wound up in someone's bed, staring at the ceiling, and the ceiling happens to be an awful shade of unsexy, should we let that diminish our feelings for the person who put it there (especially when that person mightn't be the one sleeping beside you)?

You might think it a superficial question. You might think it something beneath you. But let's be honest. We're wired to judge. We judge the appearance of people all the time, often unconsciously. It's not unreasonable to think we judge homes as well.

So should we care? Should you invest as much time and attention tending bricks and mortar and bed sheets as they do the body, mind and spirit? Would this make you more attractive or more desirable? Would it give you a competitive edge on the dating scene, or help keep your home life happy?

There are strong, well-established links between psychology and physical space. Here's a great study which shows how heterosexual British men who migrate to Dubai find their domestic house objects take on "a heightened significance in processes of identification". Here's another about ornaments in modernism and deep meaning contained within.

It is hard to deny the strong connection between space and culture. Whether our homemaking speaks to a national identity, or a political one, or perhaps even a class or creed, there are myriad mores enmeshed within our walls. So our spaces, and the things therein, influence our sense of who we are, or who we want to be. Let's not forget the many voices who argue longstanding laws of good design and feng shui also bind the mind to the material.

Of course, the relationship between furnishings and feelings works outwardly as well. You need only think as far as the Oval Office to understand the role space plays in shaping first impressions. This paper paints a muse-worthy picture of how the personal brand of each President was imbued in their selection of desk, drapery, rugs and more. Superficial objects? I think not. Something we can relate to? Yes. In a theoretical sense at least (damn you cost of things!).

But should we hold our lovers to the same standards as leaders of state?

Friends or partners who get a gander at my little bit of (borrowed) land would hopefully get some sense of me from my stuff and the situation of my abode (read; likes books, fresh flowers, hip deco stylings and inner-city-living). But my bedroom? Not as it could/would be (ie more silk, sexier bed, exotic wallpaper, 'treasure' chest...). Could this be damaging my life prospects or general constitution? Potentially.
So, should I be worried? I usually make a point of not worrying. Especially when it comes to the judgements of others. Do I consider the messages I send to other people? Yes.

Would I like my space to be more attractive?

Well. Who wouldn't?

What stock do you take of a person's house and home? Does it have a bearing on your wish to be with them? And what if you're in a relationship - how do you manage sharing space and an aesthetic - is it damaging if one person's decorative voice smothers the other (insert your conventional gender assumptions here)?

Read more:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Interior Design: Best of 2009

Interior Design: Best of 2009. Fore more, visit:

his is a video that features the best interior designs we came across this year. The designs featured in this video include the works of some of the world's top interior designers, furniture makers and 3d architectural visualizers.

As such we have not tried to limit the designs to any one room or space. So you are likely to find living room designs, bedroom designs, Kitchens, baths and even kids space design in this video. Hope you enjoy this!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interior Design Marketing Ideas and Strategy

Interior Design Marketing Ideas and Strategy from ByReputation's New Interior Design Promotion Service

ByReputation brings in new customers and clients for interior design with a new marketing strategy.

Houston, TX (PRWEB) September 02, 2012
With the use of organic search engine optimization, local search directories, and content marketing, ByReputation's new marketing service brings about new customers for interior design. If you would like to get a free interior design marketing consult from an expert, then please click on the link below:

Get a Free Interior Design Marketing Consult

Interior Design businesses can take advantage of the search engine optimization to up their site's rankings within Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Using the search trends found in previous site statistics, it finds keywords and phrases with the highest conversion rate. The website then has its page factors adjusted by a search engine specialist in order to properly place it into the search algorithm. Once this has been done, off page optimization begins with ongoing white hat and penguin safe techniques.

Local search directories such as Yahoo Local, Yelp, Yellowbook, and the Superpages play a key role in interior design marketing. These directories receive well over 100 million visits a month. Customers look to these local directories to find interior design businesses in their area. By enhancing a interior design business's directory listing to pop out over other directory listings, ByReputation can then focuses all marketing sources to the top 30 local directories.

Content marketing is the last and final piece to successful interior design marketing services. By creating a blog centralized around interior design marketing, the articles focus on interior design marketing procedures and are published around two to three times in just a single week. By consistently updating these blogs, the Google overall freshness score increases greatly for the domain allowing the interior design business to show up much more in interior design search results.

Brandon Gaille
Email Information

Simply , Sharpness Modern Interior Design


Modern Interior Design : We use an sharpness color and warm feeling forest theme furniture. Creating an awesome interior space. Red, yellow and sky blue color is the main color tone in this interior design project. The decoration would be attractive. Whole design feeling would be also have a simply feeling.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Residence Interior Design : LOHAS PARK

Design Date: 2012-01-27
Interior Design Project: Lohas Park
Design Location: Tseung Kwan O

LOHAS, or Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, is a new global movement with the word balance at its heart. The balance between premium living and sustainability. The union of modern, sophisticated luxury and healthy living amid inspiring environments. The best of all possible worlds.

LOHAS is luxury redefined. It is the pursuit of personal satisfaction through chic, stylish living through spiritual fulfilment and through respect for others

One of the fastest-growing communities in the world, LOHAS already boasts a host of famous folowers - AI Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio, Orlando Bloom, Stella McCartney, to name just a few.

There's no longer a need to compromise. Quality of life now means time to think, room to breathe, natural surroundings and easy accessibility. LOHAS makes all this a reality.

Lohas Park Official Website

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Interior design: vintage back in the spotlight

Retro styles will be a force to be reckoned with at the next edition of Paris home and design show Maison & Objet (September 7-11 at Paris Nord Villepinte).

Objects, patterns and color themes will have that distinctive retro flavor, a trend that was brought back to the fore by acclaimed TV series Mad Men.

"Nowadays, vintage and industrial styles have become their own movement," explain the organizers of Maison & Objet, a trade show for interior design and home decoration professionals.

The Gras lamp which has been reissued by DCW, will be on show at the "now! design à vivre" area, alongside Anouchka Potdevin's retro furniture and Elipson's 1970s-style speakers.

Fabrics also took a trip in the time machine: Culture Maison is bringing back linens with a distinct 1950s flavor, such as Möve's bath linens that are inspired by a line created for the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.

"Whether it's nostalgia or performance, these cult-objects have never been so trendy," conclude the organizers.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Family-friendly interior design

The room is fresh and lively; its a place where the family has fun together, says designer Rachel Reider. (Michael J. Lee)

Room by room, interior designer Rachel Reider has worked with the homeowners to update this Sudbury Colonial. Throughout the multiyear process, a neutral color scheme prevailed. But when it came time to focus on the family room, the owners were ready for a more vibrant palette. "It was exciting to try something different in this space," says Boston-based Reider, who selected furnishings with shades of lime green, blue-gray, lavender, and orange and a mix of patterns and textures. Located off the kitchen, the room has a creative, casual vibe that promotes togetherness for the family of four, says Reider. "They love it. It's where they always want to be."

  1. A LARGE-SCALE PIECE by Amy Maas and bought at Jules Place in the South End incorporates the room's dominant hues and serves as a focal point; the multiple layers of oil paint and high-gloss varnish offer textural appeal.

  2. THE SLEEK GAS FIREPLACE with a surround of dark wood and Pietra Cardosa replaced a traditional wood-burning brick one, giving the room a more modern flair.

  3. THE OTTOMAN was custom made by Plantation Design in durable faux snakeskin. "You can eat at it, put your feet on it, and it wipes clean," says Reider. Its round shape also promotes easy circulation around the room.

  4. THE ULTRASUEDE SECTIONAL and wool carpet are light gray. If you're not used to rooms with lots of color, Reider says, it's best to have a neutral foundation. "Layer the color and pattern in smaller accent pieces. That way it doesn't feel like a huge commitment."

  5. CERAMIC BOWLS made by Heather Knight serve as eclectic wall art. "We sent her paint chips of the room's color palette, and she matched the glazes to them," says Reider. "They bring a 3-D quality to the space and are a great conversation starter."

  6. A COMFORTABLE BENCH by Charles Stewart Co. upholstered in velvet provides additional seating as well as soft texture.

  7. A CARVED WOOD TABLE from Pfeifer Studio adds a "fun and funky" element, says Reider. "Someone once described it as a chess piece, and I really liked that."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is Fashion Dictating Interior Design Trends?

By Emily D'Alterio

With globalization increasing societal fluidity, trends are faster-paced than ever before, with the recycling of trends or the development of unique modes an ever-present element of interior design.

This kind of trending gives a deep insight into the zeitgeist of an era and a people.

While trends are dictated by various catalysts – from the economy and cultural climes to the backing of the rich and famous – fashion itself has long been a catalyst and a major influence on interior design.

Chair Inspired fashion

Fashion brings it with it a fast-paced mentality that virtually says "out with the new and in with the even newer."

According to Canadian décor expert Michael Penney, interior design has seen a distinct change of pace since fashion became a key influencer.

"(Past clients) would say, 'I'm doing a French provincial style' and they would do their whole house in one look and they would leave it like that for 30 years – and that was sort of the way people decorated," Penney said. "But now when you look at fashion magazines, you see that designers and stylists are pairing all different kinds of styles, all different looks together, and shoppers themselves are free to create their own mix in their clothing. I feel like in the same way they're doing that at home and they're getting a little more brave, and they're realizing they don't have to do a formulaic look."

Shoe Inspired interior design

These same sentiments are shared by architect and interior designer Blainey North, who says creativity is not limited to one industry and design should not be limited by these sector segregations.

"I truly believe that architecture, fashion and film crosspollinate and inform each other," she said. "I'm constantly inspired by the creative work of others outside of my discipline."

Referring to a recent project, The Sydney-based designer illustrates just how prominent a feature fashion can play in dictating design.

"Essentially we deconstructed the dresses from the (Christian Dior) show and created spaces around that," North said. "The wallpaper, the curtains and the chandeliers were all drawn from the collection."

re cover jenny design

The incorporation of fashion elements into interior spaces is always going to create opportunity and extend the boundaries of traditional interior design constraints, but could this trend move the industry along too quickly? With fashions coming and in and out of style in such a short space of time, it seems conceivable that encouraging these kinds of seasonal furniture and design changes could have impacts that more than offset the newer-is-better sentiment, encouraging the epitome of unsustainable design.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Holly Kopman: 'No crying in design'

It was two of Holly Kopman's great passions - music and design - that brought the St. Louis native to the Bay Area nearly 20 years ago: She moved here to follow the Grateful Dead, as well as study interior design at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Kopman owes her interest in the latter to her uncle, who was an interior designer. "He taught me the importance of a well-designed house and how a home affects a person's outlook on life," she says.

Kopman worked at Rebecca Bradley Interior Design in San Francisco before starting her eponymous firm ( in 2000. On her website, she writes: "The process of interior design should be fun. There is no crying in design." The phrase is one she did indeed utter to a client who had burst into tears after a dining table the client purchased didn't pan out. Fortunately, Kopman's collaborative approach to design can serve as the antidote for such situations. "The most enjoyable aspect of my job is working closely with my clients and vendors to create custom lighting and furniture that fits my client's needs," she says.

Longtime and repeat clients are not uncommon for Kopman. She has been working with one homeowner since 2005. "Every year we decide to add another dimension to their house," she explains.

"It is such a pleasure for me to see how a house can evolve with a family." Forging close relationships with her clients is a win-win: "They completely trust my design aesthetic, which makes the design process so much smoother because they let me handle the details and they just sit back and reap the benefits."
The Kopman cheat sheet

Pillow talk: "Don't underestimate the power of the pillow. Attention to detail is very important and pillows can pull a whole room together. Lovely trims and properly sized pillows with the right fill add a little luxury to any sofa or chair. I like to have my seamstress make custom pillows with fabrics from Dedar, which is an amazing line, or from vintage textiles." (

Fresh paint: "One trick I like to use is to paint my walls and trims the same color but in different sheens. This gives the room dimension, makes uneven ceiling lines vanish, and allows the furniture and details to really take center stage."

See the light: "Add a Lucite base, as well as a new lampshade from Blanche Field in Boston, to any average lamp or glass jug and you have a work of art on your hands. These two simple updates work every time." (

A good vintage: "Invest in something that has some history and it will remain timeless. I know that there are many readily available options to choose from and they can be had instantaneously, but there is something to be said for an antique, one-of-a-kind piece. Allow that to become the focal point in your room, as antiques give a room soul. One of my favorite places to shop for antiques is Candace Barnes." (

On remodeling: "Get the bones of the house right and do not miss details. Properly sized windows, doors, trim and great hardware are a must. There is a subliminal quality that you can feel in a home when you walk through the door. The acoustics of the room are a tell-tale sign for me."

Great wall: "Wallpaper the inside of your closets. I love to add the element of surprise when you open a closet door. It makes everyone smile to see a well-dressed closet."
A few favorites

Custom lighting: "It is like the jewelry of the room. The whole room can be very simple, like a little black dress, but with the addition of a stand-out piece the room is elevated to a new level. David Weeks is one of my favorites; his lighting is like floating art when installed." (www.davidweeks

Heath Ceramics: "I try to use tiles from Heath in all of my projects; I admire the way they glaze and shape each tile. They are local, and I like to work with local vendors to lower my carbon footprint. I also think their plate ware is to die for and love giving serving pieces as gifts." (www.heath

Agraria: "I love their scented candles and tassels. The scents are complex and spicy, setting the tone for any room. Cedar Rose is my favorite of their fragrances." (

Read more:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bicentennial House Decorating Contest Winners Announced

--written by the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee

Bloomfield has been in full celebration mode all year, as residents have been honoring the 200th anniversary of the town's founding with events from the Bicentennial Opening Ceremonies March 23 (on the exact date of the signing of the town charter in 1812!) to the planting of the Bicentennial tree to themed concerts and discussion series.

Few will forget the sight of members of the Town Governing Body joining "General Joseph Bloomfield" in period costume, recreating the original scene. Now it's time residents have shown their spirit with the Bloomfield Bicentennial House Decorating Contest.

The theme, "Happy Birthday, Bloomfield!" was expressed in the way residents decorated their homes to celebrate the town's history and the special occasion.

"The Bicentennial House Decorating Contest fosters town pride," said Janice Litterio, Chairwoman of the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee. "Although many residents are excited about Bloomfield's 200 year Anniversary, not everyone has time to attend Bicentennial Committee meetings. This contest enabled individual families to participate and express their creativeness."

Committee members from each of the three wards visited and judged the applicants' homes. Homes were judged between August 3 and August 6 on creativity and the facilitation of Bloomfield's 200th Birthday theme. Winners were announced on August 7 during National Night Out.

Janice Litterio, Chairwoman of the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee said, "Originally there was supposed to be one winner in each ward. However, in the end there were seven entrants and the judges decided that each display captured the true essence of the contest theme. The other judges and I were thoroughly impressed by the level of participation that each entrant exuded when we visited their home. Therefore, all entrants received a winning certificate from our committee."

The "brainchild of the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee," according to Litterio, the House Decorating Contest may have in part been inspired by photographs of the 1912 Centennial celebration in town, which show many homes draped in bunting and other commemorative decoration. With the July 4 celebration now passed, timing for the contest is perfect in keeping with the celebratory theme.

"National Night Out was selected because the night lends itself to community," added Litterio. "Many residents throughout town have block parties and join their neighbors in local unity."


After a busy summer, Bicentennial events take an August respite before revving back up in September with Oakeside Mansion's Victorian Tea on Sept. 9.

October events will include Bicentennial Walking and Bus Tours on Oct. 6, Pumpkin Carving on the Town Green on Oct. 26 will have a Bicentennial theme, as will the Bicentennial Spooktacular on Oct. 27.

Several Bicentennial programs are available for viewing at the WBMA-TV Website,, for those who may have missed them live, or want to re-live the day. Select 'Media Center' at top then 'Community Events' in the player.

Official bicentennial merchandise is now on sale at and at the Bloomfield Civic Center at 84 Broad Street... Volunteers are needed for many Bicentennial events; email or visit the Website for more information.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Titan Interior Design Moved

We (Titan Interior Design) moved!

Hong Kong (Head Office Interior Design)

New Address : Room 826 8/F Yick Tai Industrial Building 650-652 Castle Peak Road Kowloon

Old Address : Unit 5, 19 Floor, Nan Fung Centre, 264-298 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan

Mobile: (852) 9830-9842
Mobile: (852) 9098-3320

Tel: (852) 3695-0180 (852) 2781-3452
Fax: (852) 3695-0182 (852) 2783-1690

Titan Design Facebook

Monday, August 6, 2012

New Interior Designers Speak

I have occasion to meet and know many fledgling interior designers and I’m convinced that the talent and drive they bring to the profession will raise the bar for the practice of design as well as the design business. Seeing so much promise and opportunity, I’m curious to know what the profession is doing to nurture this new talent. How are we working to recruit the best and the brightest, and once they’re on-board, what are we doing to keep them challenged?

To find out what it’s like for young interior designers working today, and to get their personal perspectives, a colleague and I sat down with a group whose work experience ranged from one to five years. Of the 10 designers we talked to, all are working in a variety of small, medium and large firms in the Midwest; all are graduates from the same interior design program.

When asked why they became interior designers, they agreed that they like being creative, are challenged by the work of creating environments, and enjoy the flexibility and options interior design provides.

Although some design firms discuss mentorship programs as an incentive for potential new employees, few employers actually offer formal mentoring. Yet young people coming into the profession say mentoring would help them. While they often aspire to launch quickly into major design responsibilities, these young designers don’t want to make mistakes. One designer, now her firm’s human resources manager, proudly told us, “We offer mentorships as an incentive for new designers to join us. We want to teach them our ways from the start, and believe that mentoring makes a difference in the success of our internal collaboration and quality of client work.”

But today, it is not unusual for mentoring to go both ways. As the new designers reminded us, they bring unique value to firms that hire them. Like no other generation before them, they have expertise in current design tools such as Revit, BIM modeling, CAD, and Mediascape. These technologies enhance designers’ speed and accuracy at a time when design time and billable hours are shrinking, making their technical expertise a highly valued skill. As one designer put it, “I thought I would have to be in the profession for 10 years to do what I am doing now in only five. My knowledge of new technologies has given me an edge.”

In some cases, academia is ahead of the profession in using the newest software programs. Due to this, top-level designers are often not as skilled in using these tools as those just entering the profession. The group expressed concern for senior members of their firms. Though their superiors have greater in-field knowledge, in the eyes of the new generation the seasoned designers are at a disadvantage due to their lack of experience with technology. Many, in fact, said that they would be willing to up-mentor the tenured designers to help them learn the latest technologies. But it doesn’t appear that there are any formalized programs in place for this to happen. Yet, when I think of combining this reverse mentoring with a traditional mentoring program, I realize it would lead to the generations understanding one another better, as well as benefit the work being done, the client, and the user.

Today’s young designers are sensitive to the fact that the economy dictates market conditions and that they will need to adjust to volatile conditions throughout their careers. They realize the need to be flexible considering the changing market realities of the interior design profession. They also recognize the need for lifelong learning and building experience within various client markets such as healthcare, higher education, and corporate.

As a member of the senior generation, I feel it’s important to guide new designers and help them recognize and learn from the wealth of the interior design experience possessed by their seniors, including deep understanding of clients’ markets, client relationships, and proven design success. But I also recognize the technical skills and willing spirit of the new generation. After all, design is about people and creating environments for the complex creatures that we are. There’s room for growth from both generations and mutual mentoring is key to everyone’s future success.

Georgy Olivieri, MBA, LEED AP, is eastern director of A+D and sustainability strategies for Kimball Office.

See other Metropolis POV pieces by Georgy here -

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home Renovation Safety

The Four P's in home renovation safety could help to save your life, protect your investment and help make your home a dream home reality...

Please read through our basic safety equipment checklist and tips before starting a project.

AND always carefully read the manufacturers instructions before you use any tools, chemicals or electrical equipment, if in any doubt - seek professional help.

When you start to imagine and plan a project, the first stages are usually Plans and Permits

  • Planning - is the time spent on measuring and feasibility studies of the proposed project to suit your home and lifestyle (often with an architect or engineer)
  • Permits - submit your building application - check up on codes at your local building office to see if your plans will pass inspection - this is vital in making sure that your project adds value to your home as well as improving the quality of your home life.

    ***Also ask them about any home improvement safety advice or leaflets they may have.

  • Protection - The third and most vital "P" is Protection, that includes your own personal protection and that of those around you.

    When you are just starting out on an exciting new project, unfortunately often the last thing on your mind is home renovation safety.

    But - while you are waiting to hear the decision from the local building office - use this time to make sure that you know what home renovation safety equipment you will need and read any home improvement safety information available. Make yourself a home renovation safety shoping list.

Read Manufacturers Instructions

If you are going to use hand or power tools - read all of the labeling, instructions and warnings thoroughly - now instead of skimming over them later when you are busy with contractors, material orders, deliveries etc.

Home Safety Tip - Know what you are doing before you start a phase of your project and know your equipment before you use it.

Home Safety Tip - If there is quite a distance between power supply and what you are working on - only use recommended heavy duty extension cords

Study Products Before you Buy

If you are deciding on which products to use - read the instructions and warnings before you buy to see what home improvement safety equipment and safety measures they recommend when using each and every product.

Check any chemical ingredients and find out how they can affect your family and your home and see if there are any safer, easier to handle alternatives.

Project - the fourth "P" is for your project, so you get the green light and the first thing that you do is...

Go out and actually buy all the home renovation safety equipment that you have on your pre-prepared home renovation safety equipment shopping list!.

Basic Equipment

Again, always follow the manufacturers instructions and safety guidelines, this list is only to remind you of some of the basic home renovation safety equipment you should have at your home before you start your home improvement project:

  • Safety Glasses - whatever work you are doing - your home renovation safety starts with protecting your eyes. There are so many styles to choose from but the most important point is that they protect and are comfortable. If your safety glasses are comfortable you won't be continously reaching to take them off.

    Some of the modern safety glasses come tinted for outdoor use. Prescription safety glasses are an important investment.

    Modern styles can look chic but do they give you adequate protection. I prefer full eye protection for my safety glasses rather than trying to look cool in them, they have an important job to do!.
  • Workgloves - there are different workglove materials for different jobs, for example latex, canvas and rubber gloves for working with chemicals and solvents. other workglove types for working with metals and woods which range from lightweight to heavy duty.
  • Head Protection - Hard Hats are essential once your home converts into a construction site. They are also useful when assessing your attic or basement for conversion - before the work even starts. Always protect your head.

    Basic hard hats are bright so that other people working on site can easily see you. There are also fancy interior design - hard hats painted with logos and flags.

    Some jobs require a hard hat with full face mask.
  • Respirators - breathing in dust and particles is a real hazard and wearing the right type of face mask or respirator is an important part of home renovation safety.

    As soon as you start to use the hammer and chisel or plug in electrical equipment - the first thing to rise is the dust.

    Basic disposable nose and mouth dust and mist masks vital to wear but remember that they are only going to protect you against solid particles and those that are non-oil based.

    Sometimes a full respirator mask is a necessary home improvement safety equipment item, especially for hot and humid environments and when using chemicals.
  • Home Safety Tip - Try not to cut corners with your safety - if you are going to buy disposable masks - buy enough to get you through so that you are never without one when the dust starts to fly - AND - go for masks with a metal nosepiece so that they can adjusted to fit well on any face.
  • Hearing Protection - if you subject your hearing to continued "unprotected" high decibel noise levels - there's a good chance that you are going to incur permanent damage and hearing loss.

    Wear good quality hearing protection.
  • Protective Clothing - Why take risks of burns and rashes when you could be wearing the right sort of protective clothing that is especially design to protect you from chemicals and/or not get caught up in machinery.
  • Ergonomic Products - ergonomics relates to the efficiency of people in their work place, and from studies - some great products have evolved to protect and give your back and joints support while you are working.

Personal protective equipment is a vital part of home renovation safety. Good project planning also plays the important role in knowing what you are doing before you start and giving yourlself enough time so that you are not rushing to finish.

More accidents happen when people are under the pressure of time, it's easier when you are in a hurry to forget vital steps, turning off valves, stabalising equipment, wearing your home renovation equipment.

But, unfortunately accidents do sometimes happen and that is why the following is so important:

  • First Aid Supplies - not only should you have a properly and fully stocked first aid supply box - but it should always be easily accessible. Imagine if something happened and no-one on site could find the first aid supplies because they were buried under a pile of materials that had just arrived!.

    Keep your first aid supplies well stocked and accessible at all times and tell everyone on site where it is located.
  • An Extra Pair of Hands - An important aspect of successful home improvement projects is having the help when you need it. An extra pair of hands is important when lifting heavy objects, helping you secure a ladder, reach difficult to get to areas, supporting materials while you bolt them together - you get the idea.

    It's important not to over extend yourself or go beyond the capabilities of what one person can do.
  • Work Boots - sometimes what really helps you get through a long day on site - safely - is wearing the right kind of work boots, and not just trainers etc.

Toxic materials

While you are waiting for your permit to come through - source the best materials for your proposed project - the least toxic and least harmful for you and your home - this may lead you to save some money as you study all the options available.

If in doubt about products try this government site which is especially for wood safety and Home Improvement Safety when using chemicals and pesticides.

Getting Help - Asbestos & Lead

There are a number of jobs you should NOT do on your own, make sure that you get the help and advice you need regarding any removal of asbestos or lead based paints.

If you home was painted before 1978 (even if someone has painted over the old paint since) - get your home tested - please don't try to remove old lead based paint yourself.

What you will need is a certified lead evaluation and abatement contractor.

The Lead Hazard Abatement Program can help confirm the status of a certified contractor near you, give them a call on (609) 633 6224

You might find it easier to go to this government web site for more advice and Home Renovation Safety Leadbase Information

Remember - your safety and that of those around you should always be more important than your project.

Careful home renovation safety leads to a successful home improvement project.

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