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How Much Do You Save By Hiring An Interior Designer

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What your interiors look like will depend on how you go about building it. I’ve met a lot of people who have an entire team of consultants – interior designers, lighting designers, plumbing consultants, etc. An army of the best. I’ve also met people who draw inspirations from other sources and build it themselves. The difference between the two? Perspective.

Perspective – Something that differentiates the entire thought process of two rather similar individuals. While one looks at it as an opportunity cost, the other notices, well, just the cost. The best part is that neither of them are wrong.

There is no denying that it is super fun building your own interior design, but it may prove to be a costly affair. I’ve compiled a list of ways in which professional help, saves you a decent amount of money:

1. Where to spend: There are a million things that you spend on while doing your interiors. As you sit there reading this article, looking around yourself. Notice all the elements in your room. For each of those elements, there is a cheaper counterpart and a different premium alternative. How you go about planning this entire purchase exercise also needs professional advice without which most people end up spending a lot initially with very little of their budget left for the last ones (which may be one of the most important ones, like furniture or lights).

Your interior designer will help you plan your interior design purchases. They know where brands matter and where it is just about getting the job done. Once you’ve decided to go ahead with the plan, the process becomes a lot less cumbersome and peaceful than an unplanned hasty purchase.

In my years, I’ve noticed a lot of designers err in developing budgets. It is a lot more about fitting in more than the budget can accommodate. What is important is to know how much each element costs along with the ancillary costs that comes along with it. For example, BlueMasons have a very structured way of planning your budget. The designs are beautifully altered without significant quality difference to get it spot on. So cost effective interior designs need not be poor looking. It’s largely due to the collaborations and inputs from the various design partners and teams they have on board.

2. Good labor Low wastage: You may sit at the drawing board and create beautiful designs but it is a complete waste if the people executing the designs are not capable of pulling it off. There are a number of factors that distinguish a decent interior designer from a great one. One of them is the team that supports their work. A lot of interior designers in Kolkata only take up the task of designing the place and leave the execution to third parties. But the 3rd party furniture, electrical, plumbing, flooring and false ceiling contractors that they suggest are ones who’ve worked with them in the past and whose wave-length matches that of the designer.

This is crucial because a low quality contractor may do the job, but they’ll consume 25-30% more materials because of the wastage that comes along with their inefficiencies.

Assuming 70-72% of your total budget going into the purchase of materials, a wastage of that amount can easily push your entire interior designing cost by 20-25%. If you were looking to spend around 40-50 lakhs, you’ll end up spending 60. Similarly if your budget increases, so does the wastage that comes along with it.

3. Coordinated effort: I had the opportunity to interact with some of the most experienced interior designers in the industry. Of all the things I picked up from them, some experiences have taught me a lot. A designer, now in his 60s once told me how small town interior designers in West Bengal in cities like Durgapur, Asansol, Malda, Siliguri complete projects a lot quicker than the interior designers in Kolkata.

He says that the targets were a lot more stringent and hence they had a unique way of executing the designs. Since a lot of them had just one or a maximum of two projects underway in the towns, the coordination was easier. So if one set of contractors were up to a task in one section of the room, they got a different team to complete a different task in the other section. While the electrician completed the overhead wiring and moved on, the false ceiling work was immediately underway. This ensured that the labor efficiency was at the highest. A lot of designers in the city have since then adapted these techniques beautifully in each project. Experienced site supervisors spend time and effort to reach these results on a regular basis.

Now let us look at this from the perspective of commercial interior design. If someone has specified a time frame and budget for the project, it is the duty of the hotel interior designer or the office interior designer to complete it in time without deviating from the budget.

4. You concentrate on your work: As it is pretty evident that the task of saving money is possible with enough time and effort, it is also important to note that most people cannot spare this much time away from their core business. So this is another important factor that goes on to save you a lot of stress and concentrate on work.

5. Where to purchase: Not every vendor in the city stocks all products and you cannot afford to visit every store in the city. So the knowledge of where you can find the best interior decoration products is gained through the years. This is another form of savings – time.

I have enough records that prove that the amount a person spends on hiring an experienced designer for their project (residential or commercial) is usually a lot less than the amount the designer saves you during the course of the project along with the access they give you to the best of the interior designing world.

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Home Improvement

Electric or Wet Underfloor Heating System for Wood Flooring?

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Your home is your sanctuary. It is where you should feel the most comfortable with. Since the home is where everything and everyone you love is, it should be prepared for anything including season changes.

You’re preparing for the cold and you’ve decided to put underfloor heating under your wooden floor, the next question is do you go for electric or water heating?

 

Underfloor heating 101

The main thing to remember when combining wood floor with underfloor heating is that the maximum floor surface temperature should not exceed 27 C (80.6F).

Ensuring thermal conductivity is best when you are using a denser wood. Thinner flooring material with higher density is more responsive to the system and has a shorter heat-up time.

To help you decide on which type of underfloor heating is appropriate for your home, let’s compare electric and water-based heating; listed are the pros and cons of each to help you decided which heating system might suit your home better:

  1. How It Works

Electric: Network of wires installed under your floor. You can choose loose-fit wiring or easy-made mats for larger areas.

Water: a series of pipes linked to your boiler or solar panels that pump hot water under the floor

  1. Installation

Electric: The electric heating system is easier than water based. Although usually installed by an electrician, this system can also be a DIY project.

Water: The water-based system needs an expert (professional plumber) to install them

  1. In-house structural changes

Electric – you need to place a layer of insulation below the mats or wiring so you don’t lose heat into the ground

Water – if there’s not enough room below your floors, you may need to raise the floor levels

 

Points of consideration:

1. Type of Installation

One of the major things you should consider is the type of installation. Are you considering to renovate or are you working on a new build? The building will give you more flexibility in the sense that your floor heights have not been established yet.

You have the freedom to choose whether you’ll go for a wet underfloor heating or an electric system beneath your final flooring.

Electric underfloor heating may be more suitable if you are renovating as it does not significantly alter or increase the floor height.

2. Location

 

Where you will install the underfloor heating will also have an impact on the type of system you should get. Usually, water-based underfloor heating is recommended on the ground floor with good insulation. If you’re renovating and using a low-profile system though, it may be difficult to reach enough heat output from a low build water-based system especially if the subfloor is uninsulated.

On the other hand, most energy efficiencies are achieved in large areas with water underfloor heating combined with an air or ground source heat pump. It is advisable to conduct a heat loss calculation to know which underfloor heating system provides more heat output than the maximum heat loss.

3. Plumber vs Electrician

When considering which system to use, it’s worth researching the cost difference between a qualified electrician wiring the electrical system versus a professional plumber installing and connecting a wet system. The architecture of your house will help you determine which is more preferable.

 

Post heating system installation notes:

  1. Leave an expansion gap

There should be an expansion gap left around edges of the room. A 10 mm minimum gap is recommended but it’s always best to check with the manufacturer and their installation instructions for the expansion gap width.

  1. Ensure correct moisture content

Making sure that you have the correct moisture content is important since wood is a natural material which absorbs humidity. Laying a new wood floor with too high moisture in a dry house will result in shrinking and opening gaps between the floorboards. On the other hand, installing wood floor to a humid house would expand the width of the planks.

  1. Let the floor acclimate

Post installation, the floor should be acclimated for at least 48 hours before turning the system on. You should also check with the flooring manufacturer the suitability of the flooring with the heating system that you have chosen.

 

Conclusion

Heating your home especially during the cold season is important for your health, comfort, and well-being. You should invest in a heating system that is suitable for your design, budget, and lifestyle.

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Home Improvement

Simple Tips on Small Apartment Solutions

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When it comes to our big cities, most of us live in small apartments. The biggest reason for this is, of course, rising rentals. But many people now also prefer small apartments. As our families shrink from joint set-up to single child units, a smaller home is simply easier to manage. The trend now is to invest in just what you need. But does a small home seem too impractical? Do you worry that you will never be able to live comfortably in a small home?

If you are, then worry not. With innovative solutions, small spaces can be made more comfortable. Instead of investing in hundred things, just include things that can make your space look larger, like glass door accessories manufacturers. On the whole, the idea here is to be smart about your space. Here are our tips to bring space into your small apartment:

Remove the clutter: Nothing shrinks a space faster than clutter! A cluttered space always looks automatic. The biggest culprits here are horizontal places like cabinet tops or table tops. So, the first thing you need to do is clean up your space. A pile of newspaper, toys or books lying around the place makes the room look untidy and smaller. Instead, adhere strictly to the ‘each thing in its place’ philosophy.

Play with light: Space becomes much smaller in the absence of light and a small space can seem larger if it is properly lit up. Even better, find ways to let in natural light into the room. You can do this with wide windows and doors. In fact, we recommend that you remove one wall and replace it with glass. Contact glass door accessories manufacturers for installing wide French windows wherever possible. The removal of four walls automatically opens up a room. With the windows or doors opening up to the outside, you get plenty of light which makes the room seem larger.

Innovative storage solution: The biggest problem in most small homes is the storage. In the course of our life we are bound to pick up a lot of paraphernalia. While some of it can be thrown out, we will still be stuck with essentials that grow with our age, such as mementoes, important documents and the many little and big things you tend to collect once you have children. Since you cannot put everything out there and you do not have wardrobes for everything, the best way is to look for innovative storage solutions.

Look for box beds or tables with drawer space. Homes also come with number of such storage spaces today, like a shelving unit behind the door, cabinets under the bathroom sink or a window seat that opens up for storage beneath. Furniture companies are also focusing on making furniture with in-built storage space.

Get glass partitions: Wherever possible, get glass partitions instead of wooden or brick walls. It will again help you to open up the space. This is because glass allows light to pass through so you can see the entire room. If privacy is a concern, you can look for frosted glass from glass door accessories manufacturer.

Get dual purpose furniture: This can remove both the clutter and give you innovative storage solutions mentioned earlier. With space limited, you must think of smart solutions like furniture that can double up for another purpose, so that one piece can perform two functions. For instance, get a sofa-cum-bed if it’s just a one room space or of if you don’t have a spare room for the guests. You can also look at tables that can extend when required or stools that can be used as both side tables and sitting stools.

Think vertical: A room that is more ‘vertical’ then horizontal always looks more spacious. You can look for homes with high ceilings. Other solutions include putting shelving or storage units towards the ceiling. By keeping them at the top, we make the room less cluttered, while giving the room an illusion of light.

Innovative solutions like those provided by glass door accessories manufacturers can be very handy in making a small apartment look larger. Follow our tips and see a modern and stylish small space come alive.

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Home Improvement

Roller Blinds – Innovative Way To Design Your Home

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Roller Blinds Mornington Peninsula

Gone are the days when one would use wood or metallic window pangs, with hinges and a locking system, with huge curtains to block off the light from outside and to make the room better. In today’s world, what is in trend, and is definitely a better alternative to the old-fashioned curtains is the use of roller blinds. These are super easy to use, and they also increase the aesthetic feel of the room.

Why Use Roller Blinds?

So, in addition to the fact that roller blinds are fast replacing the heavy curtains made from fabric, there are numerous other reasons why one must switch to them.

  • They increase the beauty of the room – Roller blinds are being manufactured in various shades, and with the help of different kinds of materials. One can even customize the color and design which best suits room’s décor.
  • The roller blinds are extremely easy to handle and are hassle-free – The blinds made of fabric in the olden days served its purpose well, but maintaining the curtains was a torture for most people as they had to be washed and cleaned regularly, and that too there were chances that their color might fade. With these roller blinds which are never made of cloth material, cleaning them is not a tough job. The convenience to use them gives them an advantage over the other types of curtains available.
  • Control temperature of the room – Surely, roller blinds are a great commodity for regulating the temperature of the room. It can prevent sunlight from entering the room, and the heat that enters is also stopped to some extent. It also helps the temperature within the room be cooler than usual if the air-conditioners are switched on and the roller blinds are pulled down.
  • Maintaining privacy made easier – We all love to spend some time by ourselves or with our closed ones only. But it becomes really difficult to do so if people are constantly going past our houses, often getting a chance to peep into the rooms through the windows. Roller blinds do the job of helping us get to enjoy our privacy inside our homes.

What Are They Made Of?

Roller blinds are made of certain kinds of very stiff sheets of fabric or any other such material, and they have an internal ratchet for manual operation. These can also be operated with a remote control, in which case they will not consist of the ratchet.

How Do You Operate Them?

The ones which are battery operated do not need any explanation on how they work. However, for the ones which are used manually, the motion of the fabric is regulated by pulling the rope or releasing it. One can keep the blinds completely down or up or even leave them midway, one only has to know the act that when the rope of the blinds is released, then the ratchet locks it in the desired place. 

What To Do If They Get Stuck?

Although these are extremely beautiful and are very easily operated, a little problem may arise if they get stuck while being pulled down or put up. In such a case, a person new to such a function might worry that his blinds have stopped working. However, there might not even have been such a disastrous problem. Making them work again is as easy as operating them. One only has to make sure that the pins are working well and to do so, one only needs to detach the roller blinds and take out the pin once and replace it again.

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