Traditional Japanese Interior Design – Bamboo

If you’ve ever seen tall stalks of golden bamboo in a grove or in photographs, you might be surprised to learn that it is a grass. A very fast growing, tall grass. While ‘dwarf’ bamboo grows to less than a foot, some species actually grow 100 feet tall!

Bamboo is attractive, pliable and sturdy, and is the preferred plant used in the making of wicker furniture. (It’s also provides the preferred food of the Giant Panda, but that’s a different story.)

Once the wood has been properly treated to prevent insect infestation, bamboo forms a very tough hardwood that can be used in fences, canes, toys, musical instruments, clothing, and much more, including decorative baskets.

Bamboo grows in many countries around the world, such as China, Japan and Indonesia, and each country has its own traditional method of weaving baskets. So if you’re thinking of adding a decorative bamboo basket or two to your home decor, you can go with traditional designs of your own area, or purchase something unique from another country.

Baskets woven from bamboo are works of art in their own right, and can stand on their own as decorative pieces. But they are above all functional, and can be used for a variety of purposes, from holding various knicknackery to setting off plants or flowers placed within.

Don’t just go into a local store and buy the first basket you see. If you search the web you can find hundreds of examples of intricately woven baskets that will amaze you with their beauty. Even if your home is not furnished with an ‘Oriental motif,’ a traditional Japanese basket is such a unique work of art that it will stand out and complement its surroundings.

Because bamboo baskets can be so beautiful, it’s no surprise that it takes a long time to learn the craft. It can take artists up to ten years just to learn to master the art of bamboo weaving. However, if you like to create your own baskets, don’t despair, there are plenty of resources which will show you how to work with bamboo.

Books such as The Basket Book: Over 30 Magnificent Baskets to Make and Enjoy, Handmade Baskets: From Nature’s Colorful Materials, and The Craft & Art of Bamboo: Projects for Home and Garden are written for the beginner and have simple designs to start with.

On the internet, bamboocraft is a website chock-full of links to every possible subject you could want to know about bamboo and the art of working with it and creating everything from furniture to baskets to clothing! It includes a message forum so like-minded artisans can get together to exchange stories, hints and techniques.

The American Bamboo Society americanbamboo is another excellent resource – and it provides links to societies around the world, from Mexico to Europe to Australia to China and Japan. There’s a vast network out there for those who’d like to learn how to make beautiful bamboo baskets…or appreciate those who have.

The Absolute Importance of Proper Photography & Interior Design & Home Staging for More Showings!

Realtors, Home Owners, & Home Investors pay very close attention to this article, it will affect all of you in more way than one. If you are not technologically savvy or are some how unaware of it you need to become aware of it quickly.

With over 80% of all home sales being directly correlated to being listed in a real estate MLS database, and now that over 79% of all consumers are actively searching the internet and websites for premium homes, the photo of the homes in these databases featuring properties will be what actually determines if a home buyer or home shopper chooses to see your property. Most disturbing is the fact that by ignoring this simple irrefutable fact in modern internet marketing may altogether eliminate your beautiful home from prospective buyers should there be some less than effective photographic or staging/interior design elements that are lacking.

Properly staged homes (lighting, props, interior design) + proper photography (proper agent selection of camera angles, lighting, proper lens & camera selection & photographic techniques) now weigh in more than ever on a potential home buyers making it to your home to actually view your property.

The question to be asked now is: Does the home I am selling look as good or better than the majority of competing properties. If not, potential home buyers may actually choose simply by the interior design and photographic expertise employed to see other properties.

Of course home price is still the largest determining factor, buyers with discerning tastes and no interest in fix-up properties or homes that may be perceived as less than “perfect” will not be getting the amount of buyers through the doors to effectuate a sale. Also considering that 62% of all home buyers are couples and 22% of all first time buyers are single females, anyone who ignores the new dynamics in internet marketing will be missing out on attracting these important buyers by failing recognize these new variables in the information age of marketing.

Cutting corners on not hiring a professional staging company or at least taking the time to either do it yourself or find a friend or family member help with the interior design/staging element could result in less than effective marketing results. Two more points are to remember to concentrate on proper lighting and the proper use of props where available. The consensus from most realtors that I have discussed this topic with is that it really comes down to being flexible mentally and using a lot of creativity and setting the time aside in your schedule where you can experiment with how the home looks through the camera frame. Many people are in such a rush to move that by ignoring the simple fact that this home will be on the world wide web with buyers actively searching 24/7 it may be one of the most important and under rated decision home buyers make when allocating resources towards attracting more buyers to the home. My opinion on this is that the more buyers who select you on their computer will = more people printing it out on paper or e-mailing it to their real estate professional for them to set up a showing appointment.

More showing appointments lead to more opportunities for a full price offer. “Change is going on all around us, let’s see that change and adjust quickly”, says Rick LeForce, my husband and local real estate broker here in Phoenix, Arizona.

Rick was recently highlighted in a local investor group as a keynote speaker:

“Investors, if you want to be able to see what properties to concentrate on after the home has been on the market for 90 days and will be there for another 90 days, look at the photos & the interior design, odds will be that seller will be ready to consider a discounted offer around the 180 day mark”

-Rick LeForce

Interior Design Turn Your House Into a Gorgeous Home

So you’ve decided to update the look of your whole home, or maybe just your living room or your bedroom, and you have no idea where to start, what to do, and how to do it? Don’t worry; you’re not the only one in that position.

Decorating a home isn’t as easy as you may think, and if you don’t have the skills and the time, you need some interior design help. But the problem is that hiring a professional interior designer can be costly. But the Internet is a fantastic source for ideas and hints. You will find all the furniture and home accessories you need to make your home gorgeous.

All the answers and secrets to selecting the right furniture and accessories are out there. The key is to mix styles together – classic French furniture with contemporary lamps and accessories for example – achieving a unique and stylish look. If you want a warm and inviting atmosphere that is unique to your home and personality, you can put together an eclectic selection of furniture and accessories, combining classic items and modern classics that will turn your house into a beautiful and enjoyable home.

Here are some vital points to take into account when renovating the look of your home:

Soft Furnishings – Soft furnishings make a room feel warm and comfortable. They are an easy and inexpensive way to change your surroundings. Throws and cushions thrown casually over a sofa or chair add texture and warmth, while a beautiful rug will transform the look of the whole room.

Mirrors – Mirrors add depth to your surroundings, and more importantly they create that fantastic illusion of space in small and dark areas, creating a more welcoming and warm space. A beautiful mirror can easily become the focal point in a room, reflecting light and making the room look bigger and brighter. If you have a beautiful fireplace you can embellish it with an over-mantle mirror.

Lighting – Lighting is one of the most important aspects in interior design. The way you light a room can change the whole ambience at a flick of the switch. Create different moods in your home and light your favorite corners with floor lamps. Table lamps highlight small decorating objects – such as vases or candelabras – and they concentrate light for reading.

In brief, interior design is important and it isn’t an easy job. So spend more time reading interior design magazines, surfing the web, and collect all the ideas you like, and turn your house into the home of your dreams (HOME SWEET HOME).