As the uncertainty around Brexit continues, people of all walks of life are exploring the threats and opportunities that leaving the EU will bring.
Those of us that love interior design and restyling our homes would certainly like an idea of what kind of impact Brexit might have on our shopping and styling habits.
Of course there are no firm predictions about what Brexit will mean, but here’s a summary of what’s being said…
In the worst case Brexit scenarios, property prices are expected to fall. That’s never good news for homeowners, but for the millions who’ve yet to get on the property ladder, it could bring new opportunities.
Lower prices can often tempt amateur developers into the market, who take on a property that needs a lot of work and transform it into a dream home, adding tens of thousands in value.
In an uncertain market this can be a risky business, but many people have made good money this way. It’s amazing what a modern new kitchen or a stylish bathroom and luxury shower can do!
Price rises post Brexit
Another potential consequence of Brexit is that the value of the pound could fall, which could make buying things more expensive, particularly items that come to the UK from Europe and beyond.
If you’re looking to make some changes to your home, it could make sense to get it done soon. Don’t wait until the 31 October to buy high value furnishings, for example.
On the flip side, currency fluctuations could be a boost for British designers and manufacturers, as people seek to get the best value on new products for the home.
Brexit as a creativity booster
Of course, there’s also the chance that not much will change after Brexit, depending on the conditions on which we do finally leave… if we do at all!
It’s always wise to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. As we have seen many times before, challenging times can drive creativity and innovation. After all, there are lots of ways to restyle your home on a budget, by embracing new ways to save money and thinking differently.
That might mean adopting a more DIY approach, bringing in some home-made chic, or being a little more minimalist in your style.
Whatever happens, there will always be new style trends to suit every situation, and we’ll be the first to report on them.
Having a product or a service that is in demand is the bare essentials of what you need to make a successful business. However, it’s not all you need. Many business owners can be surprised to find that their business isn’t doing as well as hoped even with all that market research in their favor. In a lot of these cases, all that’s needed is finding what really appeals to the customers. In this article, we’re going to focus on those aspects and how you can use them.
The first major step into creating an approach that’s customer focused is understanding who your customers are. Knowing your audience in detail. Without doing adequate research on who you’re trying to reach, the idea of a customer is a vague thing that you can’t prepare for. A lot of this can be done using the data from the customers you already have. From looking beyond just what they purchase. Look at the demographics they fit, their channel-preference, their household composition. Find out more about the everyday lives of the people that you want to appeal to. When you better understand their lifestyles, you will better understand what you can offer to make the lifestyle just a bit better.
Know your niche
Similarly, you need to know exactly what it is you offer. Not just your products and services and the gap in the market they inhabit. You need to define your niche down to the most unique elements of your company. Particularly in relation to your competition. The points below offer a more in-depth look at what unique advantages you could have to offer. Keep them in mind and compare them to what’s unique about your company compared to the competition. Make a unique selling point of them to give yourself a competitive edge. People often need to be convinced why your business is the correct choice over your competitors. You need to have the right answer to offer them. Otherwise, they’re more likely to go with the option they already know.
Regardless of what aspects you find work in favor of your company, you need customers to know them. You need to form them into part of the company narrative, the story that people receive to understand what you offer them. A quality, consistent brand identity is how you communicate that story. It shapes what you say about your services and how you say them. It unifies itself with a visual design scheme that echoes through your site, your logo and everything else your company produces. It’s how people will recognize your company and what it is you have to offer them. If you want people to see value in your business, the brand is how you communicate that.
However, your branding isn’t something that stands on its own. Your business has to have the values that appeal to customers to support that brand. To inform it and inform your customers. One of the values that every company should (but doesn’t) adopt is a comprehensive approach to customer service. A devotion to making sure the user experience of your company, whether in person, on the phone or online, is as positive for them as possible. A lot of businesses focus so much on trying to get customers, that they neglect the ones they already keep. A business with a focus on customer services ensures that they are always on call to answer when needed. As well as to make sure that the customer’s experience was satisfactory after the purchase.
Keeping your customers
As we hinted, the service that you provide after the customer has paid and received what they paid for should be part of your business. If you’re racing to always appeal to new customers, you’re missing the ones you already appeal to. Redefine your services to include how you keep the customers on your side. Some companies will do this by forwarding them exclusive deals. Others will do it by offering an easy to use loyalty system to those who plan on returning. As well as offering great services, you can also do this by using the power of numbers. In particular, the numbers of people who use and return to your services.
Indeed, numbers can be very convincing if they’re used the right way. But you need to be offering the right numbers up. For example, using positive social proof instead of negative. Don’t focus on the people who haven’t converted to your side yet. Give them the numbers of those who have. But maintain that number as more than just a statistic. People like to be a part of something, so build that something up as a community centered around your business. The businesses with the best community get social with it, nowadays. The internet has made that easier than ever. Don’t just use channels of communication to send messages their way. Get involved in the conversation and get talking. Ask questions to get them talking, too.
If you want people to get ‘on side’ with your business, you need to really be on their side. This includes making it a policy to be one-hundred percent honest with the public. Nowadays, the message of marketers is often disregarded as just that. People know when they’re being sold to. If your strategies are honest and you refrain from misleading messaging, you will get a better result. Even better, you can use the honesty of those who are already your customers. Word-of-mouth and testimonials can go alot further as far as credibility in the customer’s eyes are concerned. If you have satisfied customers, capitalize on them. A lot of them will be glad to share their experiences with you.
It’s not just product satisfaction and a community that people care about, however. If you want your product to be something that people really support, then having a cause behind it is just one of the ways you can do that. One of the fastest rising examples of a good cause is by making your business and your products more environmentally sustainable. For example, look at this story of Hampton Creek in the LA Times. A company that started to make egg free mayonnaise that was less carbon reliant than the average. After initial difficulties, soon their competitors began to follow in their footsteps. This narrative has gone the same way for industries making the switch to more sustainable methods all over. People vote with their wallets and are consistently voting for companies with real ethics.
This goes for more than just those whose values are environmentally based, as well. The Fairtrade movement has proven that people care just as much for the fairness towards societies at large. Enough to often pay more than they would for products that don’t have the Fairtrade logo on their products. Social responsibility not only offers your customers another reason to support you, either. It also makes for a company culture that can make your workplace and your employees some of the best to work in. Even if it’s only in the small scale by getting involved with local communities and charities. People are a lot more likely to trust and buy from companies that show some responsibility.
Now for another point that’s more about appealing directly to the customer. We’re going to talk about the aesthetic of your business. Not just the branding or the design on the products that you’re offering. But the premises, as well. In retail and the food service industries, curb appeal and design is a huge part of making a satisfactory customer experience. But this goes for those businesses set in offices, as well. You want people to see that your company is professional and well organized. A strong aesthetic can be a part of communicating that. Regardless of what kind of business you have, interior design can help build prestige in the eyes of customers and staff alike.
What needs to support every single point above, however, is the quality of what it is you offer. If you’re not doing the best to improve your product and your business at every step, the customer will know. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. So never stop reiterating on what you’re doing, even if it is a success. Always pursue improvement and innovation in your business. Show when you’ve done quality work by demonstrating it and taking it to trade shows or other venues. Sell your product by selling the quality that goes into it. Without having the proof that your product is worth buying, none of the other appealing steps above will do you much good.
The customer-driven approach to business is the only one that works in the long-run. Without understanding them and what they want from you, you are effectively blinding yourself. We hope the points above help you better the approach that works for your business.
People are mostly oriented toward the modern designs for their homes, because of their easy maintenance. However, over time, such designs become empty and monotonous.If you ever found yourself on a vacation in more rural areas, you have probably experienced the magnificent spirit of a farmhouse design. And if it took your breath away, then there is no reason why you should not transform your house into this beautiful, calming design.
Embrace the Nature
What Hamptons is really all about is being surrounded by farms and beaches, and that is why you should focus on those elements on the inside. To manage this, you should add hints of nature wherever you can. Pick the furniture made out of wood, hang drapes with floral designs and bring your favorite flowers on the table. Such details will refresh your home, and turn it into a beautiful getaway-like heaven. Besides focusing on the nature inside, you should also surround your home with beautiful gardens, peaceful patio for a relaxing glass of wine and enough yard space for simply enjoying the life.
Less is More
Living in a house may trigger your desires of filling it with a lot of things, which eventually leads to clutter. What Hamptons farmhouses actually teach us is that less is more, and that you should never settle for quantity over quality. Your home has to be airy and filled with quality and comfortable furniture. Nothing heavy and complicated should dominate the room. Instead, focus on lighter furniture made out of wood, whicker or even glass, and make each room spacious. Even though this design is not as monotonous as modern ones, it still focuses on simplicity with just a few fun details.
Farmhouse doesn’t mean living in the 19th century, and you should never exclude the modern technology. Just like any 21st century home, your Hamptons farmhouse should have all the elements and devices you could need – especially in the kitchen. You are allowed to have all the latest appliances, such as a flat surface stove, microwave, dishwasher, small and big refrigeration products and everything else you believe is necessary. What you can do to blend them in this rural design is picking out the appropriate styles and colors. Add stone and marble surfaces in the kitchen, place some flowers and focus on beige and brown shades, and the technology will not be noticeable at all.
Importance of Landscaping
Just like the inside of your home, the entrance should be warm, welcoming and well-groomed. Since the farmhouse design is all about the nature, your driveway and front yard should be filled with beautiful flowers and greenery. Fix the driveway if needed, refresh the lawn, plant colorful flowers near the front door and fully embrace the luxury of nature. Not only that, but you should add a few antique lighting fixtures to complete the look and make your house shine. Good landscaping will only bring out the best of this design and you will enjoy every minute spent in your garden or yard.
Let there be Light
Each room should be showered with sunlight, so make sure your windows are big enough, and covered with light airy drapes. You can use white linen for the curtains and provide enough natural light and privacy at the same time. The same material can be used to cover your couch or bed, in lighter shades of blue or white, and contrast everything with dark wood floors or rugs. Incorporate light and soft colors in your home by painting the walls in warm colors, such as light yellow, beige or white. Use soft fabrics in beige or light gray for your furniture, and bring the earthy feeling into the home.
If you are thinking about transforming your home into a romantic getaway see what this beautiful rural design has to offer. Follow these five simple tips and your home will be comfortable, airy and just perfect.
Most of us are willing to sacrifice comfort for fashion; if wearing tight, pinching shoes means you’re going to look good, you’re willing to wear them. We do this in our interior decorating too.
Admit it: at some point in your life, you’ve considered protecting your couch in a plastic cover because you wanted the fabric to remain pristine. You may even have gone as far as calling the plastic covers “retro.” They’re not—plastic couch covers are a major interior design don’t. Then there is the chair you won’t let any of your family members sit on; it’s reserved for guests only.
You don’t have to forego the small incidentals in life to have the classy living room style you want. If you’re looking for the perfect functional chair to complete your living room ensemble, just follow this how-to guide!
The Inception of the Perfect Chair
There are hundreds of chair styles in interior design. Five of the most notable include:
Model 3107, Designer: Arne Jacobsen
Louis Ghost chair, Designer: Philippe Starck
Eames Lounge chair, Designer(s): Charles and Ray Eames
Omstak chair, Designer(s): OMK Associates
Barcelona chair, Designer: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Furniture and product designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen and Mies van der Rohe made it their personal mission to design furniture pieces that were stylish, ergonomic, functional and timeless. In designing what they deemed the perfect chair, these designers paid a great amount of attention to the materials, form and balance of the chair. Using materials like plastic, steel, leather, fabric and wood with compression-molding technology, the affordable, luxury-quality chair was born.
Finding Your Perfect Chair
As a homeowner, you won’t want to have to replace your furniture every few years simply because it’s gone out of style. Replacing furniture with every new trend is costly and wasteful. This is why it’s important to get your aesthetic right the first time.
It’s helpful to start with looking at the architectural elements found in the living room of your home. Does your living room have ornately detailed crown molding and plush carpeting? Maybe your living room has whitened pine floors and an angled modern fire place. Do you think the same chair could be placed in these two living rooms? In an ideal world, yes, the same chair would work in both living spaces. In the real world however, that doesn’t work.
Like their dwellers, every living room has its own flair. The carpeting, shape and even the window treatments of your living space will all contribute to the look of the chair. And while the chair should reflect the overall aesthetic of your home, it should also be comfortable.
Fortunately with the wide selection of modern chairs available on the internet, we can get a good idea of what we like and don’t like as far as available styles. But style is just one element. It should also be comfortable, something you want to sit in every day.
Finding the Perfect Chair
There are three steps to take in selecting a chair, and are as follows:
Take a seat in the chair. Move around in it, lean back; test out how flexible the chair is. Does the chair move with your body, or is it stiff and rigid? If you can’t sit comfortably in the chair in the first five minutes, then it’s not a good chair for you.
Examine the materials the chair is made of. There are plenty of great chairs made out of recyclable materials, and while sustainability isn’t important to everyone, it’s comforting on a whole other level to know your prized chair was reborn from a past life.
Determine if you need armrests. Some of us like to prop up our elbows when we’re reading a book or looking through a magazine. If you don’t typically use armrests, then you probably won’t need it for your living room chair.
Who knew a chair was so important to the living space? Now go out there and find the chair that’s just right for you.
When a house, office, or room is small, there is a fine line between comfortable and cramped. While most people appreciate having the room to spread out, a larger space isn’t always possible or affordable in some areas. But this doesn’t mean that one has to settle for living in perpetual clutter. It is possible to make a smaller-than-average space feel roomy and neat. Accomplishing this feat often requires careful consideration and a few creative tricks.
Create a Clean and Clutter-Free Space
Creating extra space is a good time to clean up an area by removing any unwanted and unused items. Generally, these are the things that take up space but have no real purpose. Divide these items into piles that can be given away, sold online or in a garage sale, donated, or thrown out. For unused items that are difficult to part with, consider renting an outside storage unit.
Add the Right Colors
The idea of adding color to a small space may initially sound like the wrong thing to do; however, the right colors can make a room feel open, airy, and spacious. Generally, lighter colors have the ability to make a space look larger than it is. A monochromatic color scheme, using various shades of one color, is also helpful in adding depth and dimension to a space. If brighter colors are desired, use them sparingly and not on focal pieces.
Bring in Light
Whether artificial or natural, lighting is yet another way to open up a space. At night or in dim spaces, consider a torch lamp, which is often thin and spreads light up and out. Another, even less intrusive way to light a room is to use recessed lighting instead of a floor or desk lamp. Vertical or mini aluminum blinds are a nice alternative to heavy shades or drapes. During the day, open blinds completely to bring in the maximum amount of bright outdoor light.
Use Furniture to Your Advantage
The right type of furniture, and even certain accessorizes, can also make a space feel larger and more spacious. Wall mirrors, for example, can make a room seem longer than it is. Instead of a sofa, use a loveseat, and generally aim to avoid using large items that take up important space. Ideally, items that can be used for more than one purpose are best, as they help reduce the amount of furniture in a room. For example, furniture with hidden compartments provides smart, out-of-sight storage. Glass coffee or side tables take up little visual space courtesy of the clear surface, which makes them yet another option to consider.
Area rugs are an often underutilized aspect of home decor. Even today, it remains one of the most dramatic ways you can change the look and feel of a room. Understanding that it’s more than simply an accessory is one of the first steps to understanding how to successfully incorporate them into your own home.
Understanding Its Role
The purpose of an area rug isn’t just to look good, it should also set boundaries and create order within the room. This is why choosing the size is so important. People are often surprised at the prices of larger examples, but remember that your savings will be worthless if the rug isn’t right for the space. In the living room, the general rule of thumb is that it should be large enough so at least the front legs of the furniture are on it. In the bedroom, you want to be able to feel the rug on your feet when you get out of bed so around two feet beyond the bed on each side a good starting point.
More Than an Afterthought
Area rugs often come as an afterthought in the design process. If a designer has done a bad job tying together a space, they often think that by adding a rug into the equation they can better bring everything together. The truth is that an area rug should actually be one of the first things you consider when designing the layout of a room. After all, it’s likely the largest piece in the entire space so it deserves your full attention. Deciding what you want at the last minute also means that you risk spending months searching for the perfect fit.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Neutral colors like beige, creams, and grays are very popular amongst people buying area rugs because they fear that something with more character could be obstructed by their furniture. The trick is to match the rug with the kind of furniture surrounding it. If you’re using a patterned motif, look for something with a geometrical pattern like those available here. This means that the overall design won’t be blocked by the furniture covering it. Similarly, if you’re using a rug with an image on it, make sure that a piece of furniture isn’t obscuring the most interesting part of that design. Place it underneath lighter furniture with a slender frame, or perhaps a glass surface.
When used correctly, area rugs are an incredibly useful device in interior design. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches until you find the one that’s right for you.