Comfort, Pride and Red, White and Blue

This is a Guest Post by Samantha Frankel.

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I began this design with my one of my absolute favorite American traditions. The summer brings back so many happy childhood memories of sparklers, fireworks and spending hours on the water; pastimes that I wish I could bring back. That’s the funny thing about life. We spend everyday wishing for tomorrow, wishing time would go faster, counting down the hours, minutes, seconds until we get to some monumental point in time where we’re actually happy to be, and then wish for time to stand still.

Seating:

When beginning to envision a space, it is often easiest to picture the larger items first. Accessorizing is fun, but the basics lie in your necessities.

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Because this room features a large, heavy fireplace, I wanted to keep with the formal feel. When attempting to achieve a more formal space, it is often important to center around conversation. Therefore, I selected two Restoration Hardware sofas  of equal size and style and placed them directly across from each other.

If I had wanted this room to have more of a family feel, I likely would have selected a larger, modular sectional.

Color is also an important factor in selecting furniture. Color is often dependent on personal preference as well as the desired ‘feel’ or direction of the room. Again, because I was keeping to the formal style and ‘Fourth of July’ theme, I chose two natural beige sofas. I also wanted to play with of the traditional style of the room and allow the eye to aimlessly wander. By keeping the seating muted, I was able to later incorporate different accessories like pillows, plants and artwork achieve my desired theme.

Area Rugs:

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Depending on the feel or theme you want the space to have, make sure to choose an area rug that especially pertains to that style. This is a large space, so choosing an area rug that had a bit of volume was key. I didn’t want the space to feel too cold, loud or ‘perfect’, so I went with a shag style, wool rug from Restoration Hardware. The shag material is a great way to add warmth, coziness and absorb sound. The thin lines that zigzag throughout provide the perfect touch of modern emphasis.

 


 Accent Chairs:

Perhaps one of the easiest and most functional ways to add interest to a space is by incorporating homedifferent seating styles. I LOVE creating tension and color in my designs by using different seating styles. In this room, I chose to incorporate tension by selecting white, mid-century modern inspired swoop style chairs by Herman Miller that differed from the traditional-modern style of the sofas. The wooden backs kept to that traditional yet mid-century feel, while the style of the legs and shape of the chair look to have jumped straight out of a 1960’s catalog. By angling the chairs toward the sofas, I was able to keep to that conversational, formal feel. I also selected chairs that were of similar colors and tones to the sofas because the colors brought unity to the different styles and also allowed me to stay in theme.

Tables:

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Now that we have our seating down, it is important to fill the space with functionality first in mind. Tables are absolutely imperative to any room. I started with the cocktail table. (Cocktail tables are more fun than coffee tables) Because this space stays true to a neutral color pallet, I like to create more interest and tension by incorporating more different furniture styles.

We already have traditional modern sofa and mid-century modern chairs, so why not add a rustic cocktail table? I decided to go with the Durham coffee table by Ballard Designs. The natural tones of the pine and the dark, rustic feel of the rod-iron fit perfectly with the pallet we have already created. The size and shape of the table also allow space for drinks, magazines, and plants and the small shelf below creates the perfect storage space.

Sofa tables are another great way to fill a room and allow for endless options. Display family photos, favorite books, trinkets, flowers or just about anything else you desire. Again, because I chose to keep a formal feel to this room, I selected two identical tables to match the length of the sofa. Accessorizing sofa tables can be fun yet somewhat daunting if you’re not sure what you’re doing, as many people struggle with how to exactly place items.

The tips are simple: for a more formal setting, place objects of equal heights equidistant from each other from tallest on the ends to shortest in the middle. As you can see on this setting, the lamp and the orchid are the two tallest items placed on the opposite ends of each table. As the items move toward the middle, the objects get shorter and mirror each other’s heights.

Don’t be afraid to use color! I went with green apples and vibrant plants to give the feeling of life, which truly shines under the July sun.

A smaller table was also necessary between the two chairs. When entertaining, it is necessary to place tables where guests will likely want to place their drinks. Having more space to accessorize and personalize your design is always a bonus! I chose a style that reflects a light and modern, yet common feel. By choosing two stool tables of stacked height, I was able to achieve a modern look without getting too fancy. The color in the tones of the wood also play well off the rest of the neutral pallet. Again, I went with plants that represent the blue of the flag, and a stack of books for warmth.

Lighting:

Lighting is one of the most important elements in a space as it creates the overall feel of the environment. I feel that overhead lighting is too harsh as it only illuminates vertically. However, lamps provide a way to shed light from all 360 degrees and beautifully illuminate the space. Lamps are the secret to make your home ‘glow’. By placing several lamps of various heights and styles while maintaining a certain trend is a great way to add contrast, tension and depth. As you look across the picture, you will see three lamps of different but similar styles.

The lamp on the far left has a square, white drum contemporary shade that sits on a neutral toned, modern base. The lamp in the middle has a white, circular drum shade and sits on a contemporary, tripod base. The lamp on the far left is a standing lamp with a white, angled drum shade and a thin, modern stand. All three lamps differ in height, shape and base yet still hold a common rhythm in their similarities.

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Artwork and accessories are your ‘top coat’: the final polish. If you own artwork that is special to you in any way, hang those pieces first. Then, use those pallets to pick out your favorite colors and tones. Now have fun! Mimic those colors throughout the rest of the space by incorporating throws, pillows, plants, books and trinkets.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

How to Become Successful at Just About Anything

How do you become a successful property investor, a successful business person, or just a success in life in general?

be successful at anything

Success Can Start Young and Feel Good…

What do you think it takes?

  • Knowing the right people?
  • Being with the “in” crowd?
  • Being born into wealth?
  • Going to the right school?
  • Mixing with the right people?
  • Blah, blah, blah, blah – the list could go on forever

In reality all of the above might have something to do with it, you could also have or experience all of the above and be the biggest failure in everything you try, that ever walked the planet.

You could even throw in things such as focus, drive, and knowing what you want.


So what does it take to become really successful?

Yesterday I came across an article that I really liked and I thought I would share it with you.

I was considering doing a post on it and summarizing what was said in the article and putting some of my own thoughts and my own slant on things, but in reality the article is good to go as it is. So why change it.

Hopefully it will help you search your soul and figure out why you have either not been successful to date or perhaps, if you have been successful, it will help you to understand why so that you can harness the strategies you have already been using successful and tweak them so that you are even more successful.

Without further a do, here is a link to the article:

How to Become Wildly Successful at Anything

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Natural Cavities in Real Estate Property Investing

There are a number of natural cavities distributed unevenly throughout the English Countryside. Most have been created over vast periods of time by groundwater as it permeates through different types of geology. Permeation usually takes place at the upper levels of soluble rock types (such as limestone, chalk, and rock salt or gypsum bearing rocks) but has been known to occur at greater depths as well.

In salt and gypsum bearing rock water usually wears away the upper levels first, working downwards toward fresh layers. Where rigid surface rocks bend on the crest of slopes (as the result of historic climate conditions) to cause rock cambering, fissures can be created. Marine erosion of coastal areas creates sea-caves, often occurring along joints, bedding planes and fault lines.

The subsidence of the ground above and around a natural cavity could result from two principle causes. The first is where material moves to fill the empty space within the cavity; the second could be attributed to the collapse of surrounding host rock.

Infill is more common than collapse, and subsidence takes place when the material underneath building foundations slips away. Subsidence can be particularly rapid when large voids, filled with nothing but air, suddenly become unstable. Such instability triggers a chain reaction as roof fall progresses upwards toward surface level, and each layer of fill topples into the space vacated by the layers below.

Should mine workings intersect with a natural cavity, infill deposits can flow extremely quickly into the void and create cave-ins of tremendous proportions. This type of cave-in is prone to become even more catastrophic, should the infill continue to pour into the man-made cavities as well.

This isn’t just bad news for any unfortunate miners caught in the maelstrom, but for property on the surface as well. Loose cavity infill that becomes compacted over time could also be a problem, though it takes longer to have an effect, but can be equally devastating in the long run.

Natural cavities are often vulnerable to the very water sources that originally created them. An alteration in the water table can trigger a subsidence event, where groundwater is expended at a higher than normal rate and flowing water percolates through rock layers that were formerly saturated. Another trigger could be surface loading, where human development at surface level causes a previously unknown natural cavity to collapse without warning (though this is a less likely scenario).

From the government Review of instability due to natural underground cavities in Great Britain, we know that the most significant concentration of chalk deposit cavities can be found stretching from Wiltshire to Norfolk and Dorset to Kent.

Cavities in limestone are typically found in mountainous regions, like the Mendip Hills (Somerset), the Peak District (Derbyshire), and the north Pennines (Yorkshire, Cumbria and Durham). Localised cases of natural cavity occurrence have been noted in various other places across the country. In Essex; as an example, the largest threat of subsidence comes from the high concentrations of clay in our soil.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Low Level of House Purchases Continues to Depress the Property Market

The amount of homes being bought by first-time buyers and movers alike has dropped to less than half the level of purchases recorded prior to the economic downturn. While first time buyers continue to struggle to get a foot on the ladder, fewer home-owners have moved house in the last year than in the previous fifteen years.

The English Housing Report, a government survey which garnered public opinion on housing in England, reported that the number of people moving house in 2009-2010 was 63% less than in the previous two years.

Depressed market

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) recent figures showed that house purchases increased by only 700 from April to May this year. The figure of 41,500 purchases is the second lowest for May since the CML started to record data, and is 60% below the average for the month.

Stabilizing at a low level

The CML believes that the property market is stabilising, but is doing so at a consistently low level. The Director General of the CML, Michael Coogan, said,

“Over the coming months seasonal factors are likely to push up lending for house purchase. There is no evidence of any drastic changes on the horizon or any significant shifts in direction for the mortgage market. These stable conditions are expected to continue for the rest of the year.”

Cost of buying prohibitive

The CML statistics show quite clearly why so many people are struggling to buy a house, or neglecting to move from their current home. First-time buyer’s typical deposit is 20%, an average of £25,700; while home movers are putting down an average deposit of 31%, equivalent to an astonishing average of £57,750.

Desire for home ownership

The desire amongst people in this country to own their own home has not been diminished however, as the data from the English Housing Report shows. 86% of people surveyed would buy their home if they had a free choice; yet 49% believed that house prices were too high in their area, reinforcing the idea that many are simply unable to find their way onto the property market.

Fewer mortgages

This is also recognised in the figures relating to the type of home owner, as there more outright owners and fewer people buying with a mortgage. In the last ten years the number of houses owned outright increased from 5.6 million in 1999 to 6.8 million in 2010; an increase of 20%. In the same period the number of houses bought using a mortgage reduced from 8.5 million to 7.9 million; a drop of 7%.

Mortgage market conditions

While CML don’t expect any significant change to the mortgage market, Michael Coogan did add,

“Funding market conditions appear a little more positive; for example, recent securitisation deals suggest confidence has returned as investors regain their appetite to invest in bonds backed by mortgage assets. Overall this is a positive influence on mortgage market conditions.”

Falling prices aid recovery

As house prices continue to fall, more purchases are being recorded in areas that are subject to the biggest drop in price, suggesting that in these regions buyers are being tempted back into the market. While in areas such as London, where prices have increased by 5% since June 2010, growth of purchases has been much slower.

The English Housing Survey shows that there is still a clear aspiration among people in this country to own their own property; but it also provides a stark reminder that the issues surrounding affordability and access to the market for first-time buyers are as prominent as ever.

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.