Erika Sullivan Realty Group



Posted by Erika Sullivan Realty Group on 3/17/2019

Decorating in your new home or giving your current home a makeover is an exciting undertaking. You get to establish a new look or reinvent your favorite rooms. Figuring out how to go about finding your new décor pieces can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many choices; and, you like all kinds of different aesthetics; plus, you have to find a way to stay within your budget. So, you need a plan to help guide you through the process to achieve your interior design goals. Check out these simple guidelines to help you on your way. 

Know what you want. 

Before you start actively shopping and buying browse some design ideas to narrow down your shopping list. Create an idea book using Pinterest or just by saving images to a folder on your computer. Determine what on color scheme, or schemes, and themes you want to focus. Window shop online to get a general idea of the art and furniture pieces you want to look for, and their price range. Put together ideas for knick-knacks, vases, and boxes to carry your décor scheme through your bookshelves and accent pieces. When you know what you want you're ready to set your budget.

Shop within your means. 

Knowing the limitations of your budget can save you a lot of grief and buyer's remorse when shopping. You may want a new Eames chair, but it's just not within your means. Shop around online and see if there are comparable chairs at a lower price. If not, you know you'll need to consider other pieces. Setting your budget helps you determine what stores to avoid. Don't bother shopping at a place you can't afford. Know if you need to purchase at discount stores and estate sales or if you can splurge for luxury interior décor shops. Determine what you can spend on each article or types of pieces. Set aside an amount for furniture, wall art, and small accessories. Then decide what kinds of pieces you absolutely want or need, and what you can forgo if you can't find the right piece within your budget. You might want a new sofa and accent chair, but the couch you have is still in good condition and will fit with the décor changes you're trying to implement so that you can focus your search on a new chair instead.

Bring your partner or a friend. 

Shopping can start out fun but can become stressful when it comes down to making the purchasing decisions. You might begin second-guessing yourself or get distracted by something new at the store that doesn't match the plan you created. Bring someone with you who knows you well and ask them to be your advisor. Share your design goals and shopping list with them so they can help you stay focused on the items you truly want. Ask them to help you say yes and just go for it when you see something you like that fits your budget and to help you say "no" before you put something in the cart that's outside the plan.

Once you outline your goals, you're ready to go shopping. Take a few days or weekends to look around. Take your time and don't try to purchase everything on the same day and try out different kinds of shops and estate sales to find unique pieces for your home.

If you're moving into a new home and saving enough money for all updated décor is something you want to do, express this budgetary requirement to your real estate agent. Working together they will be able to help you find a home that allows for a bit of room in your budget set aside for interior design.




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Posted by Erika Sullivan Realty Group on 2/3/2019


 

If Downton Abbey or Pride and Prejudice speak to your inner self, add a little Victorian charm to your décor with well-placed picks of porcelain. If farmhouse style is more your thing, vintage ceramic ware can bring your design to life.

In housewares, ceramics and porcelain span the gambit from lanterns, pitchers, and vases to delicate teacups, figurines, ornaments, and even knobs and pulls. Deciding where to add your special touches is the first step. But once you know where you want it, you need to find it.

Vintage shops, antique stores, and flea markets offer a lot of choices, but not all of it is antique. And if it is vintage, it might not prove hand-painted. It might be transferware or otherwise mass-produced. So, know what it should look like before you go antiquing.

What is transferware?

Historically, as a means of mass-producing ceramic or porcelain pieces, manufacturers would create an engraving on a copper plate. The inked engraving transferred onto paper and then the paper applied to the un-kilned clay object—anything from fine bone china to earthenware—allowed the clay to absorb the ink and create the design. Then, with the paper removed, glazing and firing developed the final piece with design intact. Developed in Staffordshire, England in the mid-1700s, the area became widely known for mass-produced wares destined to grace the tables of the burgeoning middle class. In the 1820s and 1830s, many designs became popular in the United States. 

While not as valuable as hand-painted pieces, transferware is highly collectible and sought after by dealers. Modern reproductions of transferware use a different, printed technique to recreate the look of the original, but they are not indeed transferware since they use different methods to imprint the designs.

To distinguish transferware from hand-painted pieces, scrutinize the edges. If the pattern runs off the side, it's likely to be transferware. Hand-painted designs flow with the shape of the dish.

Is it porcelain?

Porcelain is translucent. That means that light shines through it. So, use your cell phone’s flashlight feature to see if the beam comes through. If you can’t see a glow from the other side, it most likely is earthenware or stoneware ceramics. 

Check for stamps, initials, signatures, and other identifying marks. Often, vintage ceramics from the Eighteenth century or older showed stamped marks while newer porcelain or ceramic ware have printed or impressed marks.

Should I buy it?

No matter what the provenance, if you like the piece and it brings you joy, display it with pride.




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Posted by Erika Sullivan Realty Group on 12/4/2016

We all have our own version of the ideal work environment. Some of us require a distraction-free bubble to be productive, whereas others prefer to work in a bustling cafe. There are many factors that contribute to workplace productivity and there have been numerous studies on that very topic, focusing on things like the best time of day to work, how often to take breaks, and even the benefits of looking at cute pictures of cats to boost your performance. For our purposes, we're going to focus on environment. Specifically, your home. We live in a time when more and more of us are unable to "punch out" at the end of the day and leave our work at the office. Whether it's checking emails, staying up late grading papers, or studying for a work-related exam, odds are you'll find yourself having to work in your home at some point. Step 1: Choose which room you will dedicate to work Whether it's a bedroom or home office, you'll want to be consistent with which room serves as your productivity zone. Just as you've trained your body to sleep when your head hits the pillow, you'll need to train your brain to work when you sit down at your desk at home. Step 2: Setting up your desk You won't get much work done if your back aches or if your chair is so comfortable that you're likely to fall asleep in it. Pick a chair that is sturdy and ergonomic, and make sure your screen and keyboard are at a good height so you aren't slouched. Step 3: Setting the mood If you need noise to work, determine what kind of noise will help you stay focused. There are sites like Noisli that let you combine different natural sounds. Pandora radio is free and will play a diverse mix of songs based on what you want to hear, and you can pay a small monthly fee to get rid of the ads. Maybe nature sounds and music are too distracting for you but the sound of silence is even worse. If that's the case you might want to invest in a white noise fan. Step 4: Do some decorating As important as the sound in your environment is what you put in it and how you arrange it. Depending on personal preference, you might want to keep your workplace either minimalistic or homey. You should also consider the lighting of the room. Dimming the lights a bit might save your eyes some strain if you're looking at a computer screen for hours at a time. Generally speaking, people work best in natural lighting (so avoid blue LEDs or harsh fluorescent bulbs). The options are endless and the best way to find out what keeps you productive is to experiment with different set ups. What's most important is that you find what works for you. And remember, this isn't the office; you have the opportunity to design a productivity sanctuary of your design. Why settle for anything other than perfect?







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