Monday, June 23, 2014

The Pros And Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage

A new survey reveals Americans are worried about their personal finances. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC) reported in a March, 2014 survey that 71% of Americans are worried about their financial situation. They are worried they don’t have enough savings for emergencies and equally concerned about having enough money set aside for retirement. It’s hard to believe, with those worries in mind, that adults who are spending less than the previous year continues to decline from 57% in 2009 to 29% in 2014.
In New Jersey, a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll found that 52 percent of the state’s non-retirees want to spend their golden years elsewhere, while just 32 percent want to stay in New Jersey. By far the most highly cited reason for wanting to leave is the state’s high cost of living, including taxes. I suspect they feel they will be priced out of their homes.

New York City Kitchen Trends In 2014

Murdock Solon, remodel, kitchen
Kitchen Designed By MSA
I spoke with Shelly McClure, Kelly Solon’s partner in kitchen showroom design at Murdock Solon Architects. Ms. McClure has been designing kitchens for over 11 years and recently returned from the Eurocucina-International Kitchen Furniture Exhibition in Milan, Italy.
I asked, “What are some of the big kitchen trends in the U.S.?”

Friday, June 20, 2014

Insurance Coverage For Interior Designers

Business Insurance USA announced a new level of commercial insurance coverage for interior designers today, specifically structured to provide combined general liability with errors and omissions protection under one policy. This newly structured coverage option now makes important commercial insurance coverage available to interior design companies of all sizes.

"Interior designers know they need to protect themselves and their company assets from legal liability lawsuits", states Business Insurance USA's Executive Director Gary Fisher, "but they may mistakenly believe that just one type of liability coverage is all they need. By offering the combination of general liability and professional liability protection, interior designers are better positioned to address almost any type of liability allegation that may arise."

See the article for more information.

Poll: Does every interior designer need insurance? Do you have E&O now?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Creating an Alfresco Living Space for Your Family

People usually try to leave town and enjoy the great outdoors during the summer season. It is always nice to spend time amidst nature’s harmonious surroundings, and by designating a portion of your backyard into an outdoor living space, you can have the same pleasure. The good news is, designing an alfresco space for your family and for yourself does not have to be a complicated undertaking. If you want to enjoy fresh air and the freedom that the outdoors bring without leaving home or spending a fortune, consider these simple tips.
Identify an area that you can transform into your outdoor living space.
There are certain things you need to keep in mind when you choose the location of your new outdoor living space. First of all, you need to think about how you want to use the space; this will determine the size and to a certain extent, the materials of your little (or not-so-little) hideaway. Next you need to take note of how accessible this new space will be. If you intend to do a lot of eating and entertaining, then it would be wise to make sure the kitchen is within a convenient distance. Lastly, think about how private you want to the place to be. Once all these things are settled, you will have a clearer idea about how you will set up your new outdoor living space.
Create borders to set your alfresco space apart.
Without borders to define it, the area you want to designate for socializing can appear impersonal and uninviting. Worse, people may keep walking through it and past it without stopping to enjoy the special place you intended to create. With the careful placement of a few bushes or a trellis, you can keep this area protected from prying eyes and create a cozy haven away from the busy world. Some of the plants that can provide you with a dense, bushy shield are Arbovitae, evergreens, or flowering shrubs such as the Bluebeard. Visit your local nursery and check which specimens will work best for you.

Decide on the structure of your outdoor refuge.
Once you know how you will use your outdoor refuge, you can make your building plans. Your desire to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year can be addressed by a patio, a porch, a deck, or just a wide area paved with flagstones. Your structure will also be determined by your budget, the amount of work you are willing to undertake, and how long you intend the structure to last.
Decide on a theme. Patios, decks, and porches can accommodate a wide range of themes.
As long as your garden haven does not become a discordant note in relation to your house and grounds, you have considerable latitude in choosing the decor you will use for your alfresco area. For example, for a rustic, shabby chic area where everyone can relax, all you need is some crockery, some barn red paint, a table and chairs made in distressed wood finish, and a sliding door with barn door hardware.
Think about temperature control.
If you want maximum use of your patio (or deck or porch), make provisions for fans in summer and heaters when the cold weather comes. Fans don’t have to be permanent structures; there are plenty of portable fans you can use to make warm days more comfortable. There are also portable patio and deck heaters fueled by gas so that even when the nights become cold, you can spend time outdoors in comfort. You might want to install a flagstone fire pit or a fireplace that you can gather around. The idea is to provide warmth so that even when it’s cold, people can still congregate in the outdoor living space you have created.

Include a Roof.
A roof will allow you to use your outdoor area for longer periods during the day, and there are many ways that you can put up a roof or its equivalent. You can put in a permanent roof, or you can install a retractable awning, set up a parasol or two, or grow a vine such as bougainvillea to provide shelter. You can even make it possible to enclose the area with mosquito netting to prevent pesky insects from ruining your outdoor fun.

Your private living space can function as an extra living room, a spare dining area, or a place for entertaining. Best of all, this space can allow you to start your days serenely with a steaming cup of coffee and the birds for company.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The Loveseat For Smaller Spaces

Apartment Therapy is trying to suggest there's a new sofa type out there for small space dwellers.
They write, "New Traditionalists Unite! Not every small space dweller is into modern lines or minimal, neutral textures. We're sure there are plenty of you living in pint size palaces who would like to embrace classic lines mixed with color, texture and pattern when it comes to your sofa style. Well, here you go - seven small but not-too-safe sofas to consider that all clock in at under 70 inches..."

In one place a picture of a small sofa is called a "sofette." That's is just another for a loveseat and we've had loveseats for years. Bernhardt and Bernhardt Interiors calls them Loveseats. Here are a few examples of loveseats:

All under 70 inches.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

News From Bernhardt Furniture

Regenia Payne has joined Bernhardt Furniture as upholstery fashion coordinator in the brand’s residential upholstery division.

In her new position, Payne will develop upholstery fabric and frame correlations based upon fashion directions and will manage the company’s High Point showroom upholstery presentations.

Payne reports to Roger Turnbow, vice president of merchandising, residential upholstery at Bernhardt, Lenoir, N.C.

“Regenia’s extensive experience in upholstery design, merchandising, and fashion will be a valuable asset in positioning our brand as a design leader in residential upholstered seating,” said Turnbow.