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5 Amazing Modern Interior Design Ideas!

A style-savvy decor fanatic can never have enough modern interior design ideas! There is nothing better than giving a room (or entire home!) a fresh new makeover – especially if it only takes small changes to make a big difference. Sometimes a room doesn’t require an entire facelift, only a few nips and tucks here and there!

1. Smart Storage is Always Stylish

Modern interior design ideas are all about clean lines, open spaces, and most important: sensibility. One of the most well-loved aspects of contemporary decor is the acceptance that less is more – except when it comes to multi-functional pieces of furniture! Anything with hidden shelves, drawers, or compartments is a smart solution to clutter. Functionality is the top priority here, so get on board with accessories that do more than just look good.

2. Use Mirrors to Reflect the Best

Mirrors have the ability to take existing decor aspects and present them in an entirely new context. Whether you have a beautiful accent wall, an especially attractive plant or piece of furniture, or an outstanding view of the outdoors – let it speak with twice the strength by featuring it in a simple mirror or reflective surface! Glossy tabletops can even be used to showcase textured ceilings or interesting lighting fixtures.

3. Create, Rearrange, and Modify Casual Areas

If you have a living room equipped to comfortably seat ten, but your usual occupancy is restricted to lower numbers, consider swapping out some of that bulky furniture in favor for more floor space. Look instead for stools that can be stored under tables, attractive multi-use floor pillows, or ultra-modern stacking chairs that can be pulled out only when needed. Negative space plays just as important a role as any other modern interior design ideas.

4. Textures Are an Easy Game Changer

Looking for quick and painless modern interior design ideas to add some warmth to an otherwise lifeless area? Does a specific corner look empty despite tasteful decorations? When geometry and balance are not quite enough to add that “wow” factor, consider adding some texture to the equation. Add a raw piece of organic matter like a branch, a simple throw pillow or blanket, or a richly textured knick-knack to either soften or harden a look.

5. Throw a Curve Ball with Patterns

Color is the most popular way to add some spice to a room, but what about some love for patterns? Modern design relies heavily on using geometry and special interaction to create personality, but a bit of the bold has never hurt anyone. Paper the back of a shelf unit, or hang up a stylistic print. Even subtle details can make all of the difference: several small objects can easily be replaced by lovely print – reducing clutter without losing an ounce of personality.

Even moving around furniture or removing furniture and decor can inspire unique modern interior design ideas because nothing gets creativity flowing like a little bit of experimentation. There are never any bad design choices – only temporary ones!

Secrets of Mid-Century Modern Interior Designing

If you are looking to change your homes decor to that of a Mid-Century modern style, there are a few design secrets you should know before getting started.

First off I suggest, if you haven’t already, set aside some time for researching this unique design. Get a feel for the architecture of that era, the interior design principles, and the overall mindset and motivations behind the design. Familiarize yourself with every aspect of the movement. Study pictures and floor-plans and get a well versed understanding, and feel, of the overall look that defines the style and period.

Remember that Mid-Century modern design is marked by the minimalist attributes of clean, simple lines and neutral, monochromatic colour tones, along with “minimal” clutter. Stay away from overcrowding or overdoing a space. Less is best when it comes to Mid-Century modern design.

With your choice of furniture, stick to simple designs, colours and textures. Mix clean simple lines of vintage or retro furniture with hardwood floors and patterned area rugs. According to your budget you can buy vintage or reproduction furniture in keeping with the style of the era: plastics, stainless steel, sleek woods and glass. Use the placement of your furniture to create intimate seating arrangements. Don’t get distracted from your goal… think minimalism.

If you are on a limited budget but still really want original pieces, you could check at auctions, flea markets, estate sales and thrift stores. You may be pleasantly surprised at what gems show up for a real bargain. I’m not saying you will find designer originals but you may uncover some quality reproductions produced during that era.

The marriage of Mid-Century with modern design magically happens when you blend vintage with state-of-the-art furniture, accessories and art work. You are trying to achieve the effect of simplicity, or minimalism, while still offering an aura of complexity.

While there seem to be many rules that govern Mid-Century modern interior design, don’t allow yourself to be bullied into creating a design that is boring or generic. Always make sure you put your personal stamp on your designing. You want your surroundings to reflect your personality and flare while staying within the design parameters of that era.

Sales and Marketing for the Newly Self-Employed

According to a recent survey published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills 13% of the workforce is now classified as self-employed and in America between 2008 and 2012 there was a 431,000 increase in the number of people working on their own. Many self-employed people work in industries that have traditionally used a lot of freelance workers, such as IT and construction but self-employment is increasing across most industries and statistics show that in the period March 2011 to March 2013 64% of the newly self-employed are managers or professionals.

Some of the newly self-employed have little need for sales and marketing skills, for example a builder who consistently works for the same main contractor hopefully has as much work issued as they require, however for a lot of newly self-employed people learning the basics of sales and marketing will make the difference between just surviving and positively thriving.

This article is designed to help the newly self-employed gain the basics of the sales and marketing skills and knowledge they need, and if they cannot find the time to develop those skills themselves show them where to access the professional help they need.

It covers

• The difference between sales and marketing

• What is an integrated marketing message

• Online and traditional media

• Precision Guided Marketing – targeting the right prospects

• Using prospect appropriate language

• Sell benefits not features

• Find something unique about you and your offering

Sales and marketing, what is the difference? This is nice and simple and really they should be in the other order, because chronologically marketing comes first. Marketing is simply anything you do to find prospects to try to sell to. The sales process then attempts to turn those prospects in to customers. It is only at the end, when a transaction has taken place that the sales and marketing process is complete. Marketing encompasses all forms of advertising and promotion, the trick is finding the method that is most appropriate for you, whether it is advertising in papers and magazines, via a website, running a stand at a trade exhibition or sending out promotional material by mail. Any of these can work in the right context, the skill comes in ensuring that you choose the most cost-effective method to achieve your desired results and so keeping accurate records of your marketing spend and the results you get is essential. The easiest way to choose an appropriate marketing method is to observe what the best of your competitors is doing, and try to improve on that. The sales process that follows can be face to face, as in a retail environment, via telephone in a telesales environment, or increasingly online via an ecommerce site.

What is an integrated marketing message? An integrated marketing message is one that features in all your different forms of advertising and across all different media. Even if your business operates in a retail environment it is still crucial that you have an online presence, whether that is a simple website operating like an online brochure, or an ecommerce site that allows you to sell your products to a much wider geographical market. You should ensure that your business and its offering is consistent, so logos, products and any offers should be the same across all formats, so they compliment rather than undermine each other.

Online and Traditional Media

Of course there is still a place for traditional media marketing, newspapers, magazines and the like. Depending on the products and services you offer some local newspapers allow good, cost-effective coverage and specialist industry magazines can be excellent, if sometimes expensive to advertise in. The drawback with traditional publications is their shelf life, how long does your target audience retain the publication and establishing a presence in a local newspaper for example requires consistent advertising over a long period that can end up costly. Online marketing has grown exponentially and will continue to do so, so it really is essential that you embrace this. It is relatively simple and inexpensive to establish a website, although of course the more time and money you invest in it, the better the results you are likely to get. It is important to co-ordinate the initial website design with search engine optimization. You need to take the time to ensure that your website scores highly with the search engines for the most appropriate keywords and phrases by investing the time in research. There are online tools that can help you with this, alternatively you may need to engage the services of a website design and SEO company, if you do not have the time and skills to do this for yourself.

Precision Guided Marketing, involves targeting the right prospects. It may by an unpleasant analogy, but just as the air force no longer simply carpet bombs an area, in the hope that a few of its bombs land in roughly the target area, but instead uses precision guided munitions, to home in on a precise target, so the marketing industry has evolved to use carefully targeted marketing. If you know your target market, by geographical location, lifestyle, income range, ethnicity even, there are now available marketing solutions to ensure you do not waste your marketing message and budget on the wrong targets.

Using prospect appropriate language means that you should tailor the wording and tone of your sales and marketing message to your target audience. If you are selling a very technical product or service then it is reasonable to assume a certain level of knowledge in your prospects and your marketing literature can be worded appropriately. However most marketing messages could benefit from increased simplicity, and you also need to remember that the public’s attention span is getting shorter. I have also noticed a real trend towards more conversational style language in successful marketing, as the increased use of social media takes its effect.

Sell benefits not features, means that most people do not actually want your product or service, they want the benefits that it brings. Given that you are likely to know your product in much greater detail than your prospect, it is easy to slip in to the habit of just listing the features of your product or service, if nothing else you need to remember the simple phrase “which means that”. If you say this after the listing the feature then it gets you in to the habit of then stressing the benefit of that particular feature. If you cannot think of a relevant benefit, then the feature itself lacks relevance to that particular prospect.

Find something unique about you and your offering. People who are new to sales and lack confidence often struggle with this one, but it really is the most simple. It is highly likely that your product or service does contain at least one unique feature that sets it apart from the competition, that you can use the “which means that” phrase to link it to a benefit that is just not available anywhere else. If that is not possible then you do have one absolutely unique feature to offer, and that is yourself. If you prospect invests with someone else they are going to miss out on you, and all that you bring to the table. This should be your number one benefit, and the one you believe in above all others.

Sales and marketing really is not difficult, practice and analyse your results, use feedback from your prospects and hopefully clients, positive and otherwise, as lessons to improve your performance and you can master the process. If you struggle to find the time, given the other tasks you have to perform for your business, or find you really do not enjoy it you may have to consider engaging the services of a specialist sales and marketing company to help you. If you have at least a basic understanding of the sales and marketing process it will help you choose the right company to help you.