The Benefits of Trade Show Exhibitions

 

Promoting your business and boosting your brand awareness is something that all businesses need to be doing as often as possible. An effective way to market a company is to visit trade shows and you can set up your own removable stand to promote your products and services. You can invest in exhibition stands that vary in size and shape, allowing you to do anything from create a display booth to build a pop up stand.

 

Trade shows are often targeted at one specific industry, so this means that everyone who attends is interested in that sector. This means that everyone who is at the show is a potential customer without you having to do any background research to source these possible clients, which is why trade shows are the perfect setting for improving your brand awareness.

 

Here are some of the reasons you should set up a stand at an event like this:

 

  • To promote a new product or service
  • To increase your customer base
  • To conduct market testing about what you are offering
  • To make connections with similar businesses

 

Creating a brand new database of customers at a trade show is easy, as you have a group of interested people all ready to listen to what your business is about at your fingertips.

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Setting up a stand at an event like this is fairly simple and you don’t need to spend a ridiculous amount of money to create an attractive stall. Your audience will likely be diverse as attendees will include potential customers from all walks of life, with some being experts in your specialist industry and others wanting to learn more about it.

 

Choosing the right stand to suit your purpose is important and here are some of the different types of stands that you can invest in:

 

  • Pop-up
  • Modular
  • Display
  • Linear
  • Specialist graphics
  • Fabric

 

These stands are portable, so once you invest in them you are able to take it with you to a number of different trade shows to promote your business all over the country. Whether you want to use images or graphics on your stand is up to you and often the simplest designs work the best, as they have an unfussy look that helps you to make your message clearly and in a professional manner.

 

Check out the following for some ideas about what you need to take into consideration when choosing a stand:

 

  • How sturdy it is
  • The quality
  • How heavy it will be to transport
  • How easy it is to erect
  • The size

 

You will need to ensure that you invest in a stand that is large enough for all of your staff to do their presentations without being so big that it feels unwelcoming. It is also worth noting that you can modify your stand depending on how much space you have to work with at different events, as you might find you have a large space to fill at one show but a far smaller area to use the next week at a different show.

 

 

 

 

Top Home Design Trends for 2016

Many home buyers today are looking for the perfect overall home for them. A home with a design, lay out, and finish out that is exactly the way they want, and many of these buyers are turning to custom home builders to help make all their wants and wishes come true.

Of course, new home construction also has its own complications. The sheer number of choices available can be daunting, so it’s wise to plan out some of your ideas ahead of time. If you’re brainstorming elements of your new home – whether to actually build a new home or just to dream – this list of top 2016 new home design trends will give you plenty of ideas to get the wheels turning.

 

Open Floor Plan

The open concept design is still going full steam as the most preferred layout of new home buyers. Home builders predict this trend will continue through 2016, with more and more people opting for an open floor plan that works well for both families and singles who like to entertain. With the most current open floor plan designs, home builders have noticed a decline in the number of home buyers wanting a grand entrance or foyer. Instead of separate entryway spaces, front doors are opening directly into the home, where the open concept can immediately welcome visitors.

 

Large White Kitchens

Contemporary-Kitchen-Design-in-White

A key area of the open concept layout is the kitchen, and home builders are also seeing a trend toward larger kitchens. This makes sense, as home owners are eager to entertain in the ‘heart of the home’ where prepping, cooking, mingling and dining all merge together. In these larger kitchens, there is a trend towards having double islands that provide ample space for all kitchen activities. In terms of colors, the most popular trend right now is white-on-white which reflects to the extensive use of white in today’s kitchens, from walls and backsplashes to countertops and cabinets.

 

Large Walk-In Showers

In terms of bathroom trends, some traditional home builders are asking themselves where all the bathtubs have gone? The top choice for bathroom amenities is the large walk-in shower, often elegantly prepared with floor to ceiling tiles. The large walk-in shower becomes a stunning focal point in today’s bathrooms. It is also functional and convenient for today’s busy lifestyle where many people are choosing a quick shower over a long soak in the tub.

 

Wine Rooms

Another option on the top of many new home buyers’ lists is a wine room. With your own wine room, you can bring the experience of your favorite bar or restaurant into your own home. Wine rooms come equipped with special technology to store and chill your favorite vintages, as well as a relaxing lounge space where friends and family members can gather over a glass of wine.

 

Inside-Outside Living

People want space to entertain their guests these days which is driving the trend for open floor plans and larger kitchens. Home builders are also now seeing this spill to the outside world, where new home buyers are maximizing their outdoor space by including unique outdoor entertaining features. Often the outdoor design choices are viewable from the inside with large windows and sliding glass doors that open to patios. Some of the most popular outdoor entertaining choices are fire pits and fireplaces as well as outdoor kitchens and pizza ovens.

 

Technology

Technology is also a focus in today’s new home construction with home builders seeing an increase in requests to make the home ready for smart technology. A home builder can prep the home by pre-installing cables and wiring for full-home WiFi. After the new home is set up, home owners are choosing technology they can control from their mobile devices, such as smart lighting, smart thermostats, smart surveillance systems, and more.

 

This list covers just some of the many modern decisions home builders are implementing in today’s new home construction. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or an experienced buyer with many past purchases under your belt already, we hope this list has inspired you with new ideas for designing your dream home in 2016!

 

6 New Year’s resolutions for your humble abode

 

You can make a new year’s resolution that will make a difference to your home and quality of life. You can still commit to creating a humble abode that is comfortable, but will also allow you to ‘play your part’ with reducing the carbon footprint. They say that your home is where your heart is. You can choose to put your heart into eco-friendly initiatives in your home.

Power

miracle of engineering

You can choose to make your home more eco-friendly when it comes to power consumption by using solar panels. You can install them to charge batteries that will power up different energy dependant appliances in your home.

Heat

outdoor heater

You can opt for more eco friendly indoor and  outdoor heaters for your home. You want to invest in a heater that keeps the people and your area warm, while being safe and energy efficient. Alternatively, you could combine cosiness with heating initiatives by investing in a fireplace for your home.

Another clever option is to let more sunlight into your home. Investing in blinds or window installations such as double or triple glazed windows will keep the warmth inside your home for longer.

Grow food

Growing vegetables

Farming your own food produce is a great way to reduce your household costs. While the success of your produce growing depends on the area size and location, you may be able to grow certain fruits, vegetables and herbs at your home. Some simple items that you can grow include:

Vegetables

  • Tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Bok choi
  • Green onions
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Fresh mint
  • Wheat grass
  • Chilli peppers
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Oregano

Herbs

When your produce consistently grows, you will find that you won’t need to shop for your fruits and vegetables which are often more expensive at supermarkets. Any extra produce can also be sold or given away to others in your community.

You can choose to develop your garden plots on your property or rent one annually from a local provider for a few hundred dollars per year.

Capture rainwater

rainwater to be reused

Australians tend to use a lot of water on their properties. This leads to higher rates from their local water authority. Systems such as toilet cisterns and washing machines do have developments that limit the amount of rainwater being used. However, issues still present itself with the total amount of water being used. One of the ways to overcome this is by capturing rainwater from your home’s rooftop into a bucket or container. The water can be used for your home gardens irrigation system, flushing your toilet and washing your car. The use of rainwater can also reduce your main water dependency by 70%.

Take initiative to recycle.

Woman with fertilizer granules in bag

There are several items that you can recycle in your home. From clothes that can be passed along to family and friends to fruit and vegetable waste that can be used as compost. Even when you are cooking, bits and pieces from fruits and vegetables that are unused can be used to make other food and drinking items.

Accommodation.

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You may want to consider enhancing areas of your accommodation to make it more comfortable. For example, you may want to extend an undercover patio to create more shade and an appealing social area. Alternatively, you may change the interior design of your home to make it more ergonomically friendly. You could even seek building permission to add an extra room, granny flat or cabin at the back of your house to give you some extra space.

There are several ideas that you can take advantage of in 2016 when it comes to enhancing your home. Home is where the heart is. Have your heart set on developing a more eco-friendly home.

5 Unusual Features of Granite Countertops

If you are currently redecorating your kitchen or planning a kitchen refurbishment, you have probably heard all about granite for your kitchen work surfaces. Granite is a hardwearing and attractive choice for kitchen countertops but did you also know the following things about this popular natural stone? Here are some distinctive granite features that make this stone stand out.

 

  1. Variety and Diversity of Pattern

Granite is available in a wide variety of different patterns. There is no such thing as a typical granite pattern. Granite can look like marble with swirls and whorls, or it can look like sand, with a rough and fine pattern to it. You will find all different kinds of specks, whirls, swirls, and splotches in granite worktops which really adds to the appeal of this stone. This means that you can choose granite kitchen counters to match all different styles of décor and looks.

 

  1. Naturally Unique

When you are planning a unique kitchen design you need unique work surfaces, and there is no stone more unique than granite. You will not find two different slabs of granite that are exactly the same. Because this is a natural material these unique variations mean that your kitchen will never be the same as anyone else’s. You get a unique look with granite.

Compact-corner-sink-in-a-kitchen-with-dark-countertop-and-white-cabinets

  1. Hundreds of Colour Choices

As well as different patterns, granite comes in many different colours. If you want to go the traditional route you can choose black or grey. But due to the way the crystal forms in the rock, other colour options are available including white, orange, pink, brown, green, and even blue. Depending on your style preferences and the look of the room, granite perfectly complements any décor.

  1. More than One Finish

As well as colour and pattern, you can choose from several different granite finishes, making this a highly versatile stone. With a polished finish you have a surface with a high sheen, ideal for the modern kitchen. Or you can choose a matt finish that looks a little more rustic and country-style. The leathered finish is rougher and more distinctive.

 

  1. Low Maintenance

For many people, style and look are less important than how easy a material is to care for. Granite is good in this regard. It is low maintenance and when you have sealed the stone it is easy to care for. The seal on the stone prevents liquids seeping into it and discolouring the stone. Once sealed, you can wipe down kitchen surfaces with a cloth and mild detergent in order to keep them clean and sparkling.

 

When looking for granite works surfaces make sure you explore the full range of options by looking at samples from a reputable supplier. You’ll see a wide range of options available to suit all kinds of homes and kitchens, available in a variety of cost ranges to suit different budgets.

 

Image courtesy of Paul Sutcliffe / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Five tips for giving your backyard a summer makeover

 

 

No matter where you are in the world, the backyard of your home is going to be a place that you go to chill out, to relax and to entertain and enjoy your downtime. For many people their backyard is a place of great joy and is one of the best and most-used areas of their homes. For others though, the backyard can be a place that they’re going to get around to fixing up eventually, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If you have a backyard that could do with a little bit of tender loving care and you’re in need of some help, then read on! I have created a list of some of the easiest things you can do to give your backyard a makeover just in time for summer in the hopes that you’ll be able to spend more time outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather that the summer months bring.

 

Install some new pavers

A nice, even and flat space for your backyard can come in the form of a deck, or it can come in the form of some pavers. I have a friend in Western Australia who was scratching his head about whether to get decking or pavers in Perth, but he soon plumped for the pavers when he saw my awesome backyard. Pavers are a low cost solution for many people and you can choose the size and area very easily.

 

Get a water feature

You might not have the space or the ability to put in a pool, but you can get that soothing watery feeling with the addition of a water feature or a fountain. There’s nothing more lush and lovely than the sound of gently flowing water in the backyard, and if you pair your fountain with a couple of ferns and some nice rocks, you’ll find that the backyard becomes your summer oasis in no time.

Meditation_Tabletop_Fountain_with_LED_Light1

Get a new patio set

Still got that crumbly old couch and table set for your backyard? Might be time to replace them don’t you think? You can get a great deal on some furniture from your local hardware store, and if you’re on a budget, you can source something excellent from the trading post. Think about getting something hardwearing and something that’s made well, as it’s going to last longer for you and continue to give you joy long after you purchase it.

 

Install some mood lighting

As the sun sets, your fairy lights flicker on and your solar mood lighting begins to cast a soft glow on you and your friends all sitting around and enjoying the last moments of soft pink light before night steals in. Sound nice? In order to achieve this kind of hosting excellence, you need the aforementioned lights. Grab some on the cheap from the local hardware shop or from a gardening centre.

 

Get a fire pit

A good fire pit isn’t a difficult thing to achieve; you can actually construct one safely yourself at home, simply get online and take a look at how you can manage it. You just need to have a bit of space available to you in your backyard, and then you can keep the woodpile stocked and ready for those impromptu barbecues at your house when your friends all descend on your place.

 

I hope that this little list of things that you can do to revamp your backyard will prove helpful for you, and that you manage to get the backyard of your dreams in time for the hot long summer nights. Happy decorating and revamping!

 

 

How to choose a fireplace that complements your lifestyle

 

 

Winter time is a time for snuggling around with your family and friends, drinking tasty hot drinks like cocoa, mulled wine and tea, and enjoying the feeling of being cozy and warm inside. There’s nothing better than sitting in your lounge room, watching the chilly wind whipping through the trees outside, knowing that you’re safe and warm inside. It’s even better on a rainy night, don’t you think? The feeling of being toasty warm can be further accentuated with the addition of a fireplace, because after all, there’s not much that can compare to sitting around the crackling flames, watching transfixed, as the orange, yellow and blue fire licks around the smouldering embers of some lovely fragrant pine cones! If you’ve ever thought about installing a fireplace, you should make the move to get it installed now, while it’s summery and hot, so that when the first cool days begin to come a-creeping, you’ll be ready to go with your fireplace! There are a number of different things to consider when you’re looking to buy a fireplace, and I wanted to go over some of them here with you now to ensure that you make the right purchase for your home.

 

Factor One – What kind of aesthetic are you thinking about for your home?

If you have a modern and sleek looking home, you’re going to need to get a fireplace with fireplace surrounds that suits your decor. There are a number of stunning, slimline fireplaces that are fuelled by gas which allow you to install them into a relatively snug spot, giving you the warmth and appeal of the crackling flames without the mess and fuss of getting fuel and wood for the fire. Think about the existing design of your lounge room (or wherever you’re getting the fireplace installed) and work with the colour scheme and the layout of your home.

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Factor Two – What is the purpose of your fireplace?

This might sound like an obvious and silly question, but there are some fireplaces that you can get that are more of a decorative and ambient addition to your home, and that don’t provide a lot of heat per se. If you’re thinking of getting a fireplace primarily to add warmth and heat to your home, then you will need to ensure that it’s strong enough to heat your lounge room or the space in which you’re installing the fireplace.

 

Factor Three – What kind of fireplace are you going to get?

Some people would never consider getting anything other than a wood-fuelled fireplace, whereas others might have small children or be concerned about the potential for mess with a wooden fireplace, and so plump for a gas burning fireplace. No matter what you get, you need to ensure that you have the capacity to install the fireplace and the required fuel source. If your home doesn’t have gas piped in, you’ll need to consider this.

 

Factor Four – How much do you want to spend on your fireplace?

If your budget is limited, then you can be innovative with your choice and go for something that works for a space that you have without blowing your budget. Search online and get some prices to compare and get the best deal for you.

 

Factor Five – Where are you going to install the fireplace?

You can choose to place your fireplace in the corner of a room, the side of a wall and even in the centre of your home. Some houses even have fireplaces that are free hanging from the ceiling, which is a very attractive option, provided that you have the funds and space!

 

I hope this has been an informative article about fireplaces and that you manage to make the right choice for your home!

How to seamlessly merge interior and exterior design

If you are anything like me, you have most probably been reading or even heard first hand about the benefits of using natural materials and bringing the outside into your interior design. Not only are natural materials more durable, but incorporating nature into your home can also have a calming effect on us. Research has shown that when people are walking through forests and nature versus urban areas, they were more relaxed.

Therefore, we’ve become more in tune to incorporating plants and natural lighting into our homes in order to design a more livable space for ourselves and also our families. I think it is important to combine interior and exterior design where possible, as although it can be dependent on the seasons, it is a benefit to our health and happiness that we spend more time outside. It is absolutely wonderful when we make the most out of being able to celebrate nature and be outside with our loved ones.

These days though, there is also a design revolution developing where people are bringing the interior design outside. Combining both their outdoor spaces with their indoor spaces allows a seamless transition from one room to another. It allows open movement from outdoors to indoors, and means we spend more time outside, as it is now finally being viewed as an extension to our home, or even an additional room.

I recently was approached by a new client in Melbourne who wanted to increase their property’s value by refreshing their interior design prior to putting their property on the market. Therefore, I thought it was the perfect time to utilise my design experience and try to not only bring the outside in, but bring the inside out. My aim was to try to merge these elements seamlessly and make buyers see the outside space as an additional room that isn’t necessarily restricted by the weather.

External Roof Blinds

With the location being in Melbourne, it was important to take into account all seasons, considering the weather unpredictability. The property already had a decking area with an extension from the roof which was made from treated timber, therefore I wanted to try to utilise these natural materials in my exterior design ideas. I took a number of different style inspirations from different areas, Japanese style being the main inspiration, as I find that Japanese style really balances the love for natural beauty but also brings the lifestyle outdoors.

Luckily for us, there was a tree already planted a metre away from the decking area, therefore it was the perfect opportunity to extend the decking area to fit around the tree and make it a feature of the outdoor space. It also looked splendid when we dressed the tree with fairy lights and Japanese-style hanging lanterns.

It is crucial to team these outdoor elements with home comforts, so I used natural tones when I purchased outdoor blinds in Melbourne and these worked well with the interior blinds in the adjacent room and also matched the outdoor cushions I reupholstered in a beige pattern for the outdoor furniture. The help of some mood lighting and an outdoor heater were the icing on the cake when it came to setting the atmosphere on a beautifully clear autumn evening.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the refresh of the interior and the exterior most certainly worked in unison to allow my clients’ prospective buyers to swan around the floor plan with great ease. The neural tones and the greenery worked well to give a calming feeling and a sense of freedom. Within the first hour of the open house, we had three offers; needless to say my clients were truly delighted, and I will definitely be utilising these techniques again in my next project.