Monthly Archives: July 2013

Why your network should be more than just a cellphone provider

"Building up a network" is a bit of jargon you often hear among business people working in concrete jungles, but it should be considered in the home renovation trades as well.

The benefits of networking with other people in your industry are massive, while the cost to your time and skills is minimal.

Therefore, interior designers, painters, building managers and any other tradies or specifiers should think about getting in touch, and make an effort to stay in touch, with others in the profession.

Whether you're just starting out in the trade, or are already fairly well established in your career, networking has plenty to offer.

Here's why.

For a start, it's always good to have someone you can catch up with who understands the issues you encounter on a daily basis. Rather than talking to friends and family who will be sympathetic but ultimately don't know the field as well as you do, you can have a chat with someone who has either been there before and knows how to deal with the situation, or at least understands the parts at play.

Another reason is that you can pass on clients to one another. If you find yourself unable to take on a job because you are too busy, or the work isn't quite your speciality, you can refer the client on to someone in your network. Remember that they are likely to return the favour at some stage, so you're probably not missing out on business in the long run.

Knowing others in the industry will also help you keep your finger on the pulse in terms of new trends, products, ideas and advice.

So get onto LinkedIn, social media websites and attend industry events – and get connected!

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The resurgence of wallpaper

When you first get into the interior design game there are lot of new things to learn and plenty of old prejudices to break.

One of them is that many people assume wallpaper belongs at grandmas house, or simply in a different and long-gone era.

Those singularly muted shades of florals do belong to another era, along with the outdated technology that caused wallpaper to peel and discolour so easily, which all adds to the current misconception that this decoration has had its day.

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Showing off your new paint job

Painting your home is often one of the best parts of being a property owner.

After years of living under someone else's roof you can finally decide on the colours for your walls, and once this important decision has been made, that's when you get to show it off!

So what are the best ways to highlight the colours you have so carefully chosen, and either applied yourself or paid for a professional to paint?

Lighting

The first port of call is to ensure that the room is properly lit.

You can use a mixture of natural and electrical lighting to illuminate areas that you think deserve special attention.

This will ensure that those pretty new colours aren't hidden away in shadowy areas.

Accents

A trick that the professionals use all the time is to highlight your cool new paint scheme with little accents around the room.

It works in the same way that a blue shirt will bring out the colour in blue eyes.

Picking out little knick-knacks and homewares like cushions, table runners and lamps that match the hue on your wall will draw the eye and increase the visual impact.

Artwork

Similarly, artworks can have the same effect.

In this case it's best not to have an image that is identical to the colour on your walls, but rather to find a print or painting that has elements of the colour.

Alternatively, complementary or opposing colours in an art work can do just as good a job. If your wall is a lime green for example, a black and white print will offset the bright hue.

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Three tips for setting up your showroom window

For some specifiers, such as interior designers, a showroom will be an integral part of their trade.

But where to start? There are so many things to consider and you'll probably want to dive right in and show everyone what you can do.

Unfortunately showrooms usually don't offer a lot of space to play with, so here are three ideas to get you started with the front window display.

Create interest

The window is your first chance to impress and create interest, so it's no place to be boring.

While you'll have to include your skills with everyday design ideas somewhere in your showroom, use the front window to show off your unusual and inspirational ideas.

Bold colours and different designs are the things that will most likely bring those window shoppers inside to find out more.

Keep it fresh

At first you'll probably want to make a change every other day, but after this stage it might take a little more motivation to keep that front window up-to-date, especially if you've found a look that you really love.

Keep it fresh by changing up your display every one to two weeks so that anyone regularly walking by or driving by can see that you're committed, creative and organised.

You never know which display will bring them in, so keep in mind that it could be your next one!

Light it up

One place so many shops fall down in is their failure to adequately light up their interior.

Windows can often create shadows because of the overhang of the outside roof, so you might need to battle this with light-spreading mirrors and artificial lighting options.

Not only should you be able to see the window set up from outside, you can use lights to literally highlight certain parts, so invest in a couple of floor lamps and let your imagination do its thing.

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Toolbox essential for painters – productivity tables

It probably comes as no surprise that professional painters are regularly in high demand, and are generally always pressed for time.

This sector of the tradie industry is a tough one to balance, as there are constant demands on a painter's time and skill, which means that they have to juggle their available hours with doing an expert job – all without leaving a mess.

Resene has devised a tool that may help professional painters to better organise their working day around their timetable, their paint and their charged hours.

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