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<78;0-4. the best of the best

February 21, 2013

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Financial fitness Should you consult a financial planner?

Home style The appeal of floor decor

Diamonds are truly forever A jeweler’s advice on finding the ring of your dreams


?QVLW_LZM[[QVO Make your rooms look like a million bucks By Sharon Naylor

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iving your window treatments a style makeover is one of the fastest and easiest ways to refresh any room in your home.

Of course, you can replace furniture and flooring, but that gets more involved. A simple switch of curtains, swags, shades or blinds can be achieved with ease and when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done right, makes a huge impact. Many home remodeling projects take months to complete, so wouldn't it be a nice change to get one big-impact project crossed off the to-do list in just a few hours? Giving a room a fresh style may be a major factor in your moving "window dressing" to the top of your wish list, but those new shades could deliver an extra benefit; window dressing can make your home more energy-efficient. Installing the new class of thermal pulldown shades, wooden blinds or curtains with sun-blocking liners can reduce your home cooling costs by 40 percent, according to Energy Star. Many of the most in-demand materials also deliver the gift of "greening"

your home, such as natural wood blinds' insulating and noise-reducing effects in your rooms. Wood blinds are called "hard treatments"â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as opposed to fabric materials, which are called "soft treatments" â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and they join thermal and lined shades and curtains in eliminating or reducing the damage the sun's harsh ultraviolet rays cause to your furniture and floors. Your new window treatments could very well save enough on your home cooling costs to pay for themselves in just a few months' time.

Hot Window-Dressing Trends "We're seeing a lot of 'woven woods,' such as Roman shades made from earth-friendly bamboo and other natural woods," says Michele Dawson Kendall, interior decorator. "These materials are light and airy, perfect for

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Dress up your rooms with new window coverings that will give your home some glamorous appeal.

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spring and summer,in a range of earthy colors." Keeping with the wood window treatment style, a hot new trend is the hard treatment of plantation shutters. "These wooden shutters are installed inside the window, opening inward," Kendall says. "Home redecorators love the design options afforded by plantation shutters because they become a part of and add to the value of the room, and you can have them in white or in stained wood colors to coordinate with your existing wood furniture. You don't have to match to the existing furniture color exactly for it to look wonderful," interior designer Marie Marzarella says. In "soft treatments" of fabric window dressing, think lightweight linen, cotton and all-natural soft bamboo fabrics for airier looks, and Marzarella says silks are extremely popular. "Look for a woven, gauzy look to your lightweight fabrics," Marzarella says. "Earth tones are always popular, and right now we're seeing more blues and teals used in home redecorating projects."

Hardware Must-Haves 

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The prettiest new curtains or sheers lose a bit of their luster if they're hung from those

old-fashioned, out-of-date, white metal curtain rods or spring-tension mini rods. Dressing up your windows now calls for new curtain rods,either in popular round wooden designs or trendy wrought-iron bars. "Wooden rods are more in-demand right now," says Kendall, owing to the natural home look."And I like to pair the finials to the style of the room. A more contemporary room will get chunky glass finials, whereas a formal dining room might call for decorative wrought-iron finishing ends." Decorative tiebacks for curtains often are made of the same or coordinating fabric,such as a 3-inch-wide length of bamboo, cotton or linen. If you've chosen the wrought-iron curtain rod and finials, your splurge might be decorative wrought-iron tieback hooks. An interior decorator's trained eye can help you tailor your window dressing to the personality and tone of each room, and the dĂŠcor expert can direct you to well-priced window treatments and accessories to dress up your existing window fabrics. It's quite fun to see their design boards covered with swatches and sketches to bring you extra inspiration for your rooms.

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.QVIVKQITNQ\VM[[ Communication is key to achieving your goals

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ommunication is a necessary foundation for any good relationship, even the one you have with your financial professional.

Regular meetings and connecting through conversation, not just email, create the basis for trust that will sustain your relationship and ultimately enable a promising financial future. Whether you are thinking about switching to a new financial planner or beginning the process of finding one for the first time, it’s important to take your time and exercise due diligence when vetting prospective planners, cally associate high fees with better performance or compefinance experts advise. Anyone can refer to himself as a financial planner. Financial tent advice, either. Control: A financial planner is there to provide advice and planner is a rather broad term applied to a group of people who provide a varying degree of service. Some planners can assistance, but the client ultimately has the final say. Find a assess every aspect of your finances – be it savings, invest- planner who recognizes the client is the one in control and ments,taxes,retirement,etc.– and help devise an effective plan respects a client's opinions and concerns. Anything short of to meet your financial goals. Other financial planners can only that is likely going to become a difficult and possibly disastrous recommend their clients invest in a narrow range of products. relationship. Few people are comfortable “getting personal” in the beginWhen interviewing prospective planners,always ask what they can and cannot do. Investors often prefer a financial planner ning of a relationship. A good financial professional will be able who can help with all aspects of their finances and not those to put you at ease and work to develop a financial plan that will achieve your goals. He or she will want to know about your whose scope is rather limited. Certifications vary: Some people who call themselves income, savings, debt and life insurance coverage.Your attitude financial planners are not necessarily more qualified than the toward risk, different types of investments, need for security people for whom they're working.Certifications vary,so always and financial priorities will also be examined. In preparation for ask a planner to produce proof of his or her certifications. your meeting, you should be ready to discuss these subjects: Certain credentials, including a CFP(R), or Certified Financial Life events: A new baby, job loss or the purchase of a home Planner, or a CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) are more com- affects your finances and should prompt conversations with mon than others,but,in the United States,all financial planners your financial professional. Market fluctuation: While the recent economy has who provide their clients with investment advice must register instructed investors to stay the course, it's important to address with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Once you have done your homework and investigated any concerns you have about the short- and long-term effect prospective financial planners, verifying their backgrounds on your portfolio. Tax law: During the first quarter of the year, ask your finanand that their certifications are current and they are in good standing with professional organizations and regulatory bod- cial professional about any changes to the tax code that could ies, there are additional things to consider before making a affect you. College funding: If you have children, don't be reticent final decision. References: Ask friends or family members if they can rec- about reviewing your strategy for saving for higher education. Life insurance: Ask your financial professional to evaluate ommend any financial planners. Granted, this isn't foolproof (many of Bernie Madoff's victims knew each other), but it the amount of coverage you have and whether your policy might help quell some of the fear associated with hiring a aligns with your needs and goals. Regular conversations are key: It's important that you set financial planner.Another way to get references is to simply ask the planner for two or more of his clients and contact them the expectations for the kind of relationship you desire with your financial professional. Because your financial plan should with any questions. Fees: Ask the planner how he or she gets paid. Fee-only not be a “once and done” transaction, you'll want to set up planners don't work on commission, but earn their money for regular visits to address any changes in your life that may affect the advice they provide. Fee-based planners might get some your plan. You might be satisfied with once- or twice-yearly commissions for certain products, but the bulk of their earn- meetings, but a quarterly check-in wouldn't be excessive. Finally, make sure your financial professional's goals align ings will come from the fee their clients pay. A planner whose earnings are commission-based is paid by the companies with yours. whose products he or she sells. Fees can vary from very cheap to expensive, but this also depends on the services the client needs. Don't base the decision on a preconceived dislike Publishers Editorial Designer JILL KAPLAN of commissions or what planCLIFFORD RICHNER JEFFREY A. NEGRIN ARLENE LIEBERFARB STUART RICHNER Vice President of Sales KAREN RESNICK ner charges the lowest fees. Executive Editor RHONDA GLICKMAN JAY SLUTSKY The goal is to get the best JOHN C. O’CONNELL Account Executives NANNETTE STANYA service possible, and if that Section Editor LINDA ENGEL costs a little extra, it may be KAREN BLOOM JANE FAIELLA worth it. But don't automatiTOP SHELF is an advertising supplement to the HERALD Community Newspapers. Copyright © 2013 Richner Communications, Inc.

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Published by Richner Communications, Inc. 2 Endo Blvd., Garden City, NY 11530 (516) 569-4000 • www.liherald.com

Cover Design JEFFREY A. NEGRIN

Strategies for success from those in the know

Ever wonder what those who’ve “made it” have to say about achieving success? Here are some thoughts from those in the know:

Wealth building tip 1: Trust that gut of yours: it doesn’t lie. Donald Trump, real estate mogul: “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.”

Wealth building tip 2: Guard your reputation — it’s all you’ve got. Warren Buffet, investor/philanthropist: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Wealth building tip 3: Life is a greater school than any university ever will be. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: “If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.”

Wealth building tip 4: Keep going when the going gets tough – it makes the difference. Paul Allen, founded Microsoft with Bill Gates: “We’ve had some tough times, but we’ve hung in there.”

Wealth building tip 5: Follow your passions. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group: “I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.”

Wealth building tip 6: Expect gains and expect losses too. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios: “I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building.”

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Why you're worth it

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ou're going to like the way you look. I guarantee it."

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George Zimmer, a 65-year-old man whose net worth is well over $100 million, is the founder of Men's Wearhouse, the men's retail clothing chain. On all of his commercials, Zimmer famously ends each spot guaranteeing his customers' satisfaction with the above quote. However, the reality is that Zimmer has no clue whether you are actually going to like the way you look in his clothes. Not even Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour can guarantee that people will like all of her recommendations. How people feel about their clothes is a difficult thing to predict, and guaranteeing that they'll like the way they look, contrary to Zimmer's affirmation, is impossible. A third party may not be able to control how you feel in a new suit, but you can, by buying a bespoke, or custom-tailored, suit. Before you roll your eyes and think that there is no way you ever would buy a custom suit and that it is a colossal waste of money, please perform an experiment. Go to your local haberdashery or a comparable crowded area. Have a seat in a highly trafficked zone, and watch people. That's it. You do not need to spend a lot of time before you realize that there are a lot of different body sizes out there and that there's likely not a single one that matches yours exactly. The big retail chains, such as Men's Wearhouse, have to manufacture clothes for all body types. As a result, they need to add some room in some areas, take fewer risks with design and make a relatively generic product that can fit the masses. This is your only shot at life, and you are too good for generic. Furthermore, there is nothing like the fit of a custom suit. Everyone's chest, shoulders, waist and arms are unique. Wearing a suit that is made to your exact specifications makes you feel not as if you're wearing clothing but rather as if the suit were part of you, like a superhero's costume. Confidence is everything, and a suit that fits well will make your confidence skyrocket. In addition to the fit, getting a suit custom-made allows you to be able to select everything – color, fabric, lapel size, pockets, vents, hand-stitching, lining, etc. Control is important in life, and being able to control every aspect of your suit is empowering. When it comes to custom suits, the two biggest costs are fabric and brand. If you walk into the retail store of a luxury brand, such as Zegna, you're going to have to pay a premium, but that's not necessary. A custom suit does not have to be from a luxury brand. In fact, there are suit-makers

locally, who are eager to share their love of fine clothing with you and introduce clients to what fine clothing can do for a man. You get all the benefits of a luxury-brand suit without having to pay the premium for the brand. In terms of cost, you definitely will pay less than you would if you were to buy from a store, but again, the biggest driving factor is going to be your fabric selection; the higher the quality the higher the cost. But you could get a nice fabric, a suit that fits you perfectly and all of your exact style specifications for about $700. Assuming a comparable suit off the rack could cost $400, that jump in price might cause sticker shock for some, but the benefits will dwarf the increase in cost. Think about how you will feel on your next job interview or hot date or at your next big meeting. A custom suit will make you feel unstoppable. We spend our entire lives searching for happiness. You absolutely cannot buy happiness, but by spending a little bit extra on yourself, your confidence will increase, and as a result, you might walk a little taller. When you buy a custom suit, you are going to like the way you look. Your suit maker is pretty sure.


Treatments offer quick solutions to skin rejuvenation

By R.J. Ignelzi

Corden's not alone.

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The number of cosmetic surgical procedures fell over the last six years by 3 percent to 1.9 million, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Over that same period, minimally invasive procedures including injections and some laser treatments were performed on 9.1 million Americans. That's an increase of a whopping 66 percent. Not that long ago, ridding the face of wrinkles required a full surgical face-lift or deep laser resurfacing, which meant lots of money, significant discomfort and weeks of recovery time. But when the Food and Drug Administration approved the botulinum derivative Botox for cosmetic purposes, a revolution was launched that made facial rejuvenation almost as easy as getting a pedicure. "People are really busy and don't want to take time off to recover from surgery," says dermatologist Dr. E. Victor Ross."Today there are a lot of things that people who are 30 to 60 or older can do that are far less invasive and lets them get back into action quickly." Even some people who have gone the cosmetic surgery route are determined not to go that way again. Busy real estate broker Bette Curtis had a surgical face-lift and loved it. But, after five

hen people told Kay Corden how great she looked after her ďŹ rst couple of Botox injections, she quickly dismissed their compliments.

Everyone wants to find that fountain of youth. Many people are turning to minimally invasive treatments, such as Botox injections, which have launched a revolution in facial rejuvenation.

"I was just divorced and feeling insecure. Botox was my little rebellion, and I thought people were just being kind," says the 51-year-old mother of three. That was more than five years and a dozen cosmetic procedures ago. Since then, Corden has had regular Botox injections to minimize the lines between her brows and at the corners of her eyes. She has had wrinkle fillers injected into her lower face to soften laugh lines and the tiny creases along her lips. And she has undergone a light laser treatment to help tighten her skin. "Now when people tell me my skin looks beautiful, I believe them," says the licensed aesthetician, who looks 10 to 15 years younger than her age. "I hear compliments so often that I guess these (noninvasive treatments) must be working." While plenty of Corden's friends and clients have had face-lifts and other cosmetic surgery, invasive procedures aren't for her. "I don't want to go under the knife," she

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years and losing 80 pounds, the drooping skin around her mouth needed help. "I didn't want another invasive procedure," says the 60-year-old. "It's very expensive, there are risk factors, and in my job, I just can't afford the down time." She and her surgeon decided on a noninvasive option called ArteFill, the first wrinkle filler to be called permanent. Although some skin experts are skeptical about the product and its unknown longterm effects, Curtis is thrilled with the results. It was the perfect quick solution," Curtis says. "It plumped it up and filled it out, and now people tell me I look really good." Different products and treatments do different things and are used in different areas of the face. Botox works by paralyzing the forehead facial muscles that help form wrinkles. Some skin fillers plump up wrinkles and folds, while others add more pout to your pucker. Volumizers can add fullness to hollow cheeks. Updated gentle lasers help tighten loose skin. Still other treatments trigger the production of collagen, the natural scaffolding that supports skin structure that diminishes as we age. For older patients with loose, sagging skin, surgery is still the best alternative. But minimally invasive procedures might be just the ticket for anyone willing to accept more of a refreshening and rejuvenation rather than a transformation. "You don't want to have people ask you if you've had 'something done,'" says Dr. Susan Stuart. "You just want to look more rested. People might ask you if you just had a vacation or did something new to your hair. The noninvasive procedures give you results that look natural."

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SVS FINE JEWELRY Where Long Island Gets Engaged

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*M[\NWW\NWZ_IZL Make a statement with floor décor

By Gary Katz

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ou've seen and walked on it in your neighbor's home, in exclusive boutiques and in your favorite restaurant. Today’s top flooring looks dress up your home and give it extra-special appeal. Unique flooring options abound for savvy homeowners and decorators to express their personal interior decorating tastes.

Carpet

Green Products

Carpet still dominates flooring purchases today with about 60 precent of the market share of all flooring sales. Trends in the carpet industry are moving toward softer more durable fibers with better stain resistance; some carpets like “Relax its Lees” actually come with a 25-year stain insurance policy backed by 3M that has no stain exclusions (including bleach and benzoyl peroxide). As far as design advancements in carpet, the fastest growing sector is cut and loop graphic textures that offer subtle elegance, textured shags (yes they are coming back), and patterned carpets (both woven and printed) that lend themselves to all types of décor from traditional to the most contemporary settings with everything in-between. Wool carpets – although expensive - offer great performance and an elegant look with vast design options. Wool is a renewable resource making it the most environmentally friendly choice of carpet fibers.

The government and ecology-minded individuals have led the way into more ecologically friendly flooring products. Commercial end there are government. Some of the attributes that make a floor covering “green” are recyclability of the product, post-consumer recycled content, the distance from production to end user, the use of readily renewable resources, such as bamboo, cork and linseed oil cloth (otherwise known as linoleum). These are some of the attributes that would qualify a flooring product as “green”.

Vinyl Flooring Loose lay or floating products that can be installed over most substrates with minimal floor preparation are the fastest growing segment of the vinyl floor covering market. Dozens of vinyl tiles that emulate wood, stone and marble flooring have been introduced in the last two years that feature either loose lay installations or interlocking tongue and groove systems, which can be

installed over most subfloors with ease. As far as vinyl sheet flooring goes, new flexible fiberglass backed products have made installations easier and more forgiving for going over most subfloors. Both of these types of products have made it possible to install elegant looking flooring below grade in basements and other areas that were not previously applicable due to moisture content and irregularity of the subfloor.

Wood Flooring The green movement has made bamboo, cork and readily renewable woods from “managed forests” with strict standards of sustainability and environmental responsibility very popular with consumers. Exotic woods like Tiger wood, Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany, Walnut, Hickory, and Pecan, to name a few, are on the upswing for people who are looking for a richer and more elegant looking wood floor with exceptional hardness and perfor-

mance. Keep in mind that exotic woods will typically will have a great deal of variation in color from plank to plank and will darken or lighten with age depending on the species. Other exotic woods like Barnwood and hand scraped antiqued floors offer a more rustic look that can be beautiful in the right setting and have become very popular in high-end retail stores that strive for a unique, rustic and unusual appearance. Wood floors today are available in ¾” nail down, engineered glue down or floating products typically used for concrete subfloors, and interlocking floating products that can be installed on almost any level subfloor. Gary Katz is owner of Harry Katz Carpet One, an 81-year-old family flooring business that has been serving the residential and commercial flooring needs of Long Island customers since 1932. For more information, visit the showroom where customers will find all of the latest flooring trends.

THERIGHTCLUBTHERIGHTPRICE The Village Club of Sands Point, located on 210 acres overlooking the Hempstead Harbor, is one of the premier Clubs on Long Island and unlike others, there is never the risk of assessments or the cost of initiation fees. Our beautifully manicured 18-hole golf course, 12 tennis courts, 3 platform tennis courts, beach, competition size pool, plus two dining facilities for casual and formal dining and 12 sleeping rooms to accommodate overnight guests are thoroughly enjoyed by our active membership. The unparalleled beauty and full service amenities can be your perfect summer home without the upkeep or mortgage!

For questions and to tour the club, contact Sue Lichtenstein at 516-944-4318, suel@villageclub.org. For more information, visit us at www.villageclub.org



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February 21, 2013 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; TOP SHELF - HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

Creating that ring of your dreams

By Sami Satchi

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iamonds are a girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best friend,â&#x20AC;? as the song goes. And indeed they are. the customer a finished virtual image to make sure everything is done perfectly before the first drop of gold is used. This allows for no mistakes, no guess work, and enables you to make those important subtle changes that you would only notice, once the ring is finished, before it is actually finished. What we imagine is very different as a finished product than to what we perceive in our minds. Finding a jeweler who can show you what your ring will look like, before it is started, to make those important little changes and additions, is worth its weight in gold. Sami Saatchi is the owner of SVS Fine Jewelry, proudly serving Long Island with all its jewelry needs for over 10 years.

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Ask us how we can use our proven strategies and property marketing to position your home to take full advantage of the current buyer activity and favorable market conditions.



Many women have been eying that special ring since they were little girls: whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an engagement, wedding or anniversary ring â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or a special goodie to honor an important moment in their lives (such as the birth of a child or an â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love youâ&#x20AC;? keepsake). Many rings are passed down generation to generation, altered to better represent the current wearer and reflect her personality, and some are dreamt up from the individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imagination. The key to finding your perfect dream ring, is finding the right jeweler who has the expertise, knowledge, and selection to help you create a ring from the styles that most suit you. After all, this ring is a symbol of love and a reflection of your personal style. One of the best ways to ensure you find that "perfect" ring is to find a jeweler who does custom work and can have you be a part of the process all the way through. One of the ways we help you be a participant in creating your dream ring is building your dream ring via CAD/CAM technology, where the jeweler creates the design and shows

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+ZMI\QVO\PMPW][M WN aW]ZLZMIU[ Start with paper, a pencil and a ruler before turning on the computer

)PWUMWNNQKM\W NQ\aW]ZTQNM[\aTM Designing a place to work By Joseph Pubillones

By Mark J. Donovan

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ver the decades, I've been involved in building many home additions. Prior to the start of each project, a tremendous amount of planning is done.

My planning always starts with a blank sheet of 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper and writing down what the purpose of the addition is and the top-level features my wife and I want in it, be it a family room addition, garage addition or kitchen addition. Once I fully define the main objectives of my project, I begin to sketch out the basic plans. Initially, I start out with a pencil, graph paper and a ruler. I draw the specific scaled outside dimensions of the addition, along with the various internal wall, door and window locations. In the process, I also find out the various sizes of appliances and plumbing fixtures that are required so that they can be drawn properly to scale in the plans. This way, I can confirm that the addition and all the various rooms or walls within it are of the right dimensions. By going through this level of planning, I can ensure, for example, a toilet wouldn't protrude out so far from a bathroom wall that the bathroom door couldn't close. Before you end up with a beautiful home addition, you have to sketch what you envision it to be. As part of my planning and sketching, I also make sure to show your home addition plans. I will say, however, it does take some the exact locations of doors and windows, as well as how the doors swing open. I even go as far time to come up to speed with these home design software as to draw in footprint areas for the expected pieces of furni- packages, and that is why I always recommend starting out ture to ensure there will be sufficient walking lanes and open your home addition planning with just a pencil, paper and a ruler. This way, you don't get lost in the technical weeds of a space throughout the addition. After sketching out the home addition floor plan, I then software program while you initially are defining your addition. begin to sketch out exterior drawings of the addition. Of chief This said, home design software packages provide incredible concern when home addition planning is to ensure that the value, as they can produce scaled drawings, various views and addition will meld nicely into the existing home. For example, I material lists. They also offer the flexibility to easily change focus on the addition's elevation and where the addition's dimensions and features of the addition so that you quickly roofline will tie into the existing home. More specifically, I can evaluate different options in planning your addition. Another major part of my home addition planning is to go develop detailed sketches to find out where the addition will out and visit the building material stores to check out building intersect any existing windows or rooflines on the main home. I also determine how the base of the addition will match into products and prices. This way, I can develop a materials list and the main part of the home. By paying close attention to these an accurate cost estimate, at least for the materials. After completing my plans and printing them out, I visit my particular areas, you can help to ensure that your addition local building inspector to review the drawings and pull the plans will tie in nicely with the rest of the home and, in many cases, prevent unwanted surprises down the road. The last permits. In the cases when I contract the work out, I provide the thing you want, for example, is an addition that perpendicu- prospective contractors with copies of the plans so that they larly ties onto the backside of your main home with a roof peak can quote them. I make sure that the plan provided to the that extends above the roofline of the main home. I've seen a contractors also includes my materials list so that the contracnumber of these flubs over the years, and they look unsightly tors have no choice but to stick with the materials I specify. This helps ensure that quotes from competing contractors are confrom the curb. sistent, at least in construction and materials. After fully fleshing out the paper sketches and drawings, With this process of home addition planning, I've been able to the next stage of my home addition planning is transitioning them to the computer and a home design software package. avoid costly mistakes. I also have prevented many unwanted With a home design software package, you can create all types surprises, kept building schedules on track and kept contractor of floor plans, views and elevation drawings. The software also proposals honest. If there is one general take-away from this offers the ability to integrate appliances, cabinets and furniture, article that you should focus on, it is that you do your home addiand it even shows different types of wall and floor coverings in tion planning upfront and not during the actual construction.

When designing a home office, think layout first and then aesthetics.

As kids, most of us dreaded the seemingly endless amount of homework assigned by our teachers and the hours upon hours of sitting at the kitchen table studying, memorizing and writing. As grown-ups, sometimes the tasks required by our jobs are not accomplished in an ordinary eight-hour day. At some point, when we have outgrown the dining table as a work surface, we imagine a home office. Our initial thought is that once we have this room, all work will be done magically in a quicker and more efficient manner. And that may very well be the case. Designing a home office should be an exercise in both function and aesthetics. One of the main items to assess is how much time you will spend working there. Is this your main office space, or is this just a work area to complete and check daily work and pay household bills? These questions may seem like common sense, but their importance often is underestimated as we design our spaces. Determining the function of and the amount of time we will spend in a home office is vital to designing an adequate workspace that will meet our needs. Besides a work surface or desk, other items to consider are bookcases, storage, filing, a computer, electronics, lighting and appropriate seating. Planning is crucial. List all your necessary equipment, down to the linear feet of filing space required and the number and dimensions of books and journals, etc. Measure all computer equipment, including the monitor and printer, and note ventilation requirements to avoid equipment burnout. If possible, draw a layout of your room and overlay different furniture scenarios to help you sort out your preferences.This phase of your project can feel cumbersome, but this exercise will help identify problems that can be ironed out before any major purchases or costly mistakes are made. Once the issue of a layout has been addressed, aesthetic considerations can begin. What is the design attitude that will guide your home office? Deciding what colors your walls will be can help you identify the style of office that is best for you. Darker colors make for a powerful and mysterious place of work; lighter colors evoke a feeling of trust and transparency. Other important factors that impact the design of your room are the case goods. These are all the hard surfaces – desks, filing cabinets, bookcases – that are the main components of the room. Case goods can be either stained or painted, and their finishes are the defining factor in the styling of the room. Your selection of flooring – whether carpet, wood or tile – will further help you with the design. Your office's design should be reflective of your decor and also of your work. So what is yours going to be? A warm clubby library, cool high-tech contemporary or sophisticated high-style glam? Make it appealing but not distracting. Be conscious of the fact that your environment should be conducive to doing work. After all, isn't that what the room is for? Stave off the unnecessary wall-to-wall aquarium. Select some art you enjoy, and get to work!


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