4 Design Tips for Older Homes

design tipsPhoto by Tina Dawson on Unsplash

Getting to build or buy a brand-new house is a dream for many prospective homeowners, but oftentimes the reality of acquiring a residence proves to be rather different. A variety of reasons can push buyers to purchase an older house instead of a newly constructed one, but in the end, almost everyone faces the challenge of redecorating and personalizing their not-so-new home. Short of ordering major renovations and remodeling, homeowners can employ some clever decorating tricks to spruce up their older houses. Here we have four relatively simple and inexpensive design tips to turn a preloved house into the home of your dreams.

1. Update the light fixtures

One quick and eco-friendly way to change the look of your home is to switch out the old bulbs and lamps for more modern light fixtures. Perhaps a chandelier with crystal pendants isn’t your thing, and you’d be happier brightening up the living room with colorful lamps. Maybe you have plenty of paintings and sculptures that would fall flat under featureless white fluorescent lights, and you prefer to see them under the warm glow of spotlights. Using new LED fixtures also saves more energy than older lighting options.

2. Work with (or against) your windows

Windows can either be the features or the banes of your homes. If your windows have a great view, flaunt it! Do away with broken shutters or generic blinds and jalousies, in favor of new draperies and perhaps even tinted glass. Got a stained-glass window? Make it the focal feature of your room by letting the light shine through onto pristine white walls. Turn deep windows and alcoves into sitting nooks with the addition of a low sofa or daybed.

If you are not so fortunate to have such elegant windows, and instead you are stuck with awkwardly built ones crammed into corners, or windows looking out on a boring view (or a blank wall), then do not fret! Cover up such windows with shelves loaded with herbs and indoor plants. Other window treatments include fabric hangings and even painted screens that can help conceal the outdoors or bad construction.

3. Make shelving work for you

A trick that works for old and new homes alike is to use shelves to display collections and memorabilia. Combining modern storage features such as glass and metal shelving can liven up a living room, a dining room or just any common space in an older home. There are two pluses to this decorating trick: you can declutter your space and at the same time show off items you are truly proud of. You need not be stuck with an odd collection of knickknacks and souvenirs that your guests will barely glance at, much less ooh and ahh over. Try using shelves to showcase your passions, be they old vinyl records, leather-bound books, or even your own works of art. Not only will these make great conversation pieces, but using visible shelving helps keep your favorite things on hand instead of locked away in storage.

4. Freshen up the paint

If you have time and the funds for it, then give your home a new coat of paint! Take the time to strip away the old layers of paint (chances are there will be more than one of these) and prime the surfaces before slapping on your new colors. Light and airy tints are great for making a room feel airier and more spacious, while darker colors lend a warmer feel to a space and can also be useful in covering up surface imperfections. If a wall to wall paint job all over the house is too daunting, consider simply repainting or refinishing the wooden baseboards and molding in your rooms using a complementary color. Other items to consider repainting include doorways and windowsills, as well as any built-in storage units.

Redecorating an older home may seem difficult at first, especially if there is little leeway to make significant structural alterations. Given a little creativity, this arduous task can turn into a very satisfying challenge of combining your house’s best features with your personal touch, to create a home that is truly one of a kind.

Commercial Confidence – 5 Secrets for Successful Commercial Real Estate Investment

commercial real estatePhoto by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and start your commercial real estate portfolio. If you’re new to this sort of investment, don’t go in blinded by ideals and ambition. Even those who’ve been in the residential property game for years will want to regularly brush up their knowledge and understanding of this exciting, yet challenging field. Commercial real estate is often viewed as a safer investment than its residential counterpart. While this may be true, any sort of investment is a balance between risk and reward. Generally, people get into this side of the game because there’s more security with tenancy and larger returns to be earned. However, these won’t help you if you fail to do your homework and manage the associated risks. Luckily, there are certain steps you can take to further minimise your exposure and keep your portfolio strong:

Do Your Research

It doesn’t matter where you’re looking, there will always be commercial property for sale. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you should just jump in and buy it without performing your due diligence. Do some research on the area in which you’re looking to buy, and compare the property you’re considering against those around it. This is what your prospective tenants will be doing, so it pays to know the market well. If you have your eye on a specific property, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive history of the property, so that you know what kind of maintenance it will require.

Have a Plan

You’ll want to sit down and work out exactly where the money for this venture will be coming from, and have contingencies in place should tenancy arrangement not go as planned. You’ll also need a solid plan for how you intend to execute your ideas. This is good practice with any investment but real estate tends to require a larger initial outlay, so it’s vital to be prepared should the market throw you a curve ball or two.

Speak to a Professional

Now you’ve got the basic groundwork done, it’s time to bring in some specialized help. We’re not talking about chump change here, so it always pays to have at least a financial advisor and real estate agent on your side. Set up a meeting with your trusted advisors and start crunching numbers, while you may think you’ve covered every angle, two heads are better than one, and three is even better. Your A Team will also be able to help you go through your buying, funding and maintenance plans to ensure you’ve covered everything, and advise you as to any permits you may need.

Have a Purpose

Speaking of permits, if you’re going to want to change anything in your building, you’ll probably need one. Head into your new purchase with a solid idea of what you want to do with the property and if you plan on making any alterations, make sure you’ve factored in the cost of renovations, surveying, permits and lost income from the time where your new building probably won’t be habitable.

The critical mistake that people make when entering the commercial real estate market is thinking that they’ll be fine without planning and investigating all possible variables, because it’s established itself as a “safe” investment. If you can avoid this pitfall, you’re halfway to having a successful property, which can help provide for you for years to come. Make sure that all of your ducks are in a row before you put any money down, follow your plan and watch your bank balance, and portfolio, grow.

What Would Happen In Case Of A Trucking Transportation Failure

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Trucking transportation is one of the competitive forces in business and a major player in the domestic and global economy. It is the physical act of linking industries to supply chain partners like suppliers and consumers, thus playing a key role in influencing consumers’ satisfaction with the company. What most people do not realize is that almost 1/3 of all the freights moved in the US is made by trucking transportation. This covers everything from manufacturing, waste removal, food, and medicine.

If the trucking industry is put to a halt, the nation will temporarily halt. What most people fail to realize is that if th trucking transportation stops, multiple critical industries will begin to feel the consequences within the next 24 hours. In this article, we look into the importance of the trucking transportation sector and what it is all about. We discuss the consequences that follow after the trucking transportation sector fails.

What Is Trucking Transportation?

Trucks or trucking transportation begin their economic contribution by moving raw materials to the manufacturers. This includes raw materials for local businesses like quarries, farms, mines, and logging locations, to factories and processing plants that need the materials to create products. After that, finished products are again moved by trucks to retailers and wholesalers or to other transportation linkages to be shipped by air, airplane, rail, or ship. Products are then delivered to their points of destination around the area, region, country, or world.

Most trucking companies see to it that their trucks are in good running condition to be able to deliver what they promise. In case of a truck break down on the road, most truck drivers find trailer repair near me services to get an immediate solution. Here are the possible consequences that could happen if the trucking transportation fails.

Inaccessibility To Essential Products

Trucking transportation is one of the most important economic activities for a business. By delivering goods from the source to their designated locations where they are needed and on demand, transportation serves as the crucial factor connecting the company to its customers and suppliers. It is a significant activity in the functions of logistics backing the economic utilities of time and place. Time utility refers to the access of the customers when they demand the product.

Place utility, on the other hand, is the ability of the customers to have the product available at the location where they demand it. Truck transportation companies always make sure that their trucks are well maintained and well serviced to prevent problems on the road. They also ensure that they keep their end of getting the products available to customers and businesses. When an unexpected truck malfunction occurs, some drivers find trailer repair services handy when out of range of their service department.

Massive Job Loss

If the truck transportation industry fails, there will be a massive loss of jobs. There are approximately 7 million people working in the trucking sector, 50 percent of whom are drivers. In the US alone, there are over 800,000 truck drivers bringing home around $30 billion of annual earnings. In the US, 80 percent of the communities are dependent on the trucking sector in bringing to them the goods they need for their day to day activities.

Inability to Properly Serve Customers

Failure of trucking transportation is often the reason for businesses’ inability to meet the needs of its customers. Late deliveries could cause complaints and service issues. Additionally, it could damage products while in the move. OS&D, or over, short, and damaged deliveries could frustrate consumers that could result in customer dissatisfaction and a tendency to purchase their products from competitors.

Economic Implications

In a matter of 24 hours after the trucking industry shuts down due to a terrorist attack or to a natural disaster, the delivery of pharmaceutical and medical supplies will stop and hospitals will soon run out of supplies. Gas stations will start running out of fuel and long lines will start at fuel pumps. Delivery of packages and mail will stop within 24 hours if no trucking service. If all the trucks are pulled off the road, perishable goods will run short within three days, drinking water would be lost in two weeks to one month, food supplies in the hospitals would run out in 24 hours, and ATMs would run out of cash in three days.

Trucking transportation is indeed crucial in our everyday survival and in our economy. Truck owners and drivers know this role. To be able to play their part, they always make sure that their vehicles are properly serviced and well-maintained.

5 Interior Designers that Focus on Sustainability

interior designPhoto by Marta Dzedyshko from Pexels

One of the new buzzwords in the realm of design is sustainable. In this era of climate change, alongside the call to adopt a waste-free lifestyle, interior designers have stepped up their game to come up with and execute concepts for cutting down on energy and water consumption and making use of materials that are recycled, recyclable, or do not add to pollution in the surroundings. Who are the faces and firms behind this new wave, especially in interior design? Learn more about some of the cutting-edge names in the business here!

Gensler

Among the longest standing names in interior design, the Gensler firm has been around since 1965. Since then it has expanded its operations to serve over 3,500 clients over several continents. The Gensler Research Institute has devoted itself to providing solutions for sustainability as a prime consideration for interior design, alongside putting importance on the health and wellness benefits to occupants. Recent projects employing concepts of sustainability include the new office tower of LPL Financial in San Diego, California, as well as the Glumac workspace in Shanghai. The Glumac workspace in particular uses recycled materials employs a green wall and prides itself on having been created with a zero-carbon footprint.

HOK

Another giant in the industry, the HOK was founded as an architectural firm in 1955. Since then the firm has grown to include engineering, interior design, and planning as among its areas of expertise. For the past six years, HOK has reaped accolades for its sustainable designs. These include the headquarters of LG North America in New Jersey and the new biophilic design of the Central + Wolfe campus located in Silicon Valley.

Perkins + Will

Ever since its beginnings in 1935, the Perkins + Will firm has committed itself to human-centered design. In recent years they have also focused on sustainability, as seen by their new projects which are adaptable to the changing climate and also utilize materials that have lower carbon footprints and leave less waste. These concepts are well applied to Perkins + Will’s Atlanta office as well as to its projects all around the US and Canada. The firm has designed sustainable buildings and interiors for institutes such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA, and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver, Canada.

HKS

Staying right ahead of the curve, the HKS firm prides itself on “designing a resilient tomorrow”. This US-based firm has gathered accolades in various areas of design ranging from excellence in design as well as sustainability. To date, HKS has 195 Leed projects, meaning these projects are certified as green designs or buildings. Some of HKS’ renowned projects include the AVON Cosmetics European Headquarters in the Northampton United Kingdom, as well as the Montage Deer Valley resort. These structures maximize use of natural light, reduce energy consumption through innovative heating systems, and institute green housekeeping practices to maintain the environmentally friendly concept day in day out.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

For the minds behind Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, it is not enough to simply stop at sustainable interior design. This enterprising firm has partnered with National Geographic to design a blueprint for sustainable cities with buildings and interiors utilizing the best in green design and architecture. Some of SOM’s sustainable designs have already come to fruition with buildings such as the Pertamina Energy Tower in Jakarta, the new United States courthouse in Los Angeles, and the headquarters of the JTI, located in Geneva, Switzerland. One of SOM’s major case studies, the 350 Mission Tower, provides an example of how sustainability can be employed in the interior design, particularly in the corporate setting.

The call for sustainable design can only be seen to intensify in the coming years, as humanity struggles to keep up with the toll from rapid climate change and other ecological upheavals. Never before has this become more crucial for our booming cities and communities. We can expect that more and more interior designers and their firms will stand on the shoulders of these giants and come up with even more innovative designs that can help human communities coexist with and even save the planet.

Sustaining Life With Continuous Source of Income

To sustain the basic needs in this world, someone in the family needs to be employed or have a source of income. They can be your parents, older siblings or if you’re already eligible, yourself. The most common source of income is to work in an institution or company, depending on your educational qualifications.

sustaining life

However, these employment years will not last forever. Most of the companies will not hire you anymore if you’re already beyond 35 years old and you will be forced to resign once your reach the age of 60.

After these years, what do you think would be your source income then? The only people who can still continue earning are those people having their own businesses or the bosses of our previous work place.

To avoid such horrible scenario, a person should start saving as early as he receives his first salary. Better yet, he should start increasing the amount of his savings through investments. You don’t have to start your business to continue earning. You can simply finance the businessmen and have a portion of their profit. These are passive investments. In most cases, the investor will just provide the financial needs of businessmen who basically have the responsibility to increase the amount of their investors based on the agreed terms.

Image Credit:
Stuart Miles – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net