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Home Designs
By Amy Leigh

home

There is no doubt that a home reflects the style of its inhabitants, but many people fail to utilize the design and arrangement of their homes to fully support their lifestyles. Whether it’s lack of experience or money, homes become cluttered, outdated or drab. Yet, a bit of knowledge, creativity and expertise can drastically change a person or family’s surroundings to create a more positive impact on their daily lives.

It is not uncommon for someone to call Cindy Lamb, Sales and Interior Designer for Steve’s Flooring and Design, because they simple cannot stand looking at their living room anymore. Color, furniture and window treatments clash with the haphazardness frequently seen with first-time buyers who have thrown together rooms with hand-me-downs and bargain buys. Cindy Lamb understands that this is a reality of young homeowners, but she also knows that a well thought out plan can go a long way when it comes to decorating.

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Even if money is a concern, people can benefit from the advice of a professional designer. “Seriously consider consulting a professional even if it is only once. They can help create a good plan to follow instead of just haphazardly putting things together. I think many people believe hiring a professional designer is very expensive, but I think it saves them money in the long run. They don’t end up buying things and then replacing them five years down the road because they never liked them in the first place,” says Lamb.

Another way to begin the process is to look through magazines to get a feel for the type of designs and layouts that are appealing. It is important to determine what colors are inspiring to each individual. Additionally, it is very important to consider lifestyles when decorating rooms, apartments, houses or any other living space. If inhabitants are familiar with their likes and dislikes as well as how they would like their dwellings to work for them, then the process of designing and decorating a home becomes that much easier.

For example, a movie aficionado who spends a great deal of time watching films and television is much more likely to benefit from a truly fantastic home theatre environment than an art enthusiast who prefers to spend their free time entertaining family, friends and co-workers. An outdoor sportsman may find indoor recreation more appealing than a formal dining room, while a family with several kids may decide the most important aspect of their home is the need to accommodate the growing curiosity and exploration of their children.

Whatever the lifestyle, a home should reflect and support it. A well designed and decorated home can easily encourage the pursuits and loves of its inhabitants while a poorly designed and decorated home can just as easily stifle these same things.

Lamb frequently suggests that people “collect pictures of rooms and homes from magazines that they like. These pictures will help a designer to see patterns the clients are drawn to. This really helps a professional designer as they provide a place to start from. People should also pay attention to the colors they are drawn to in clothes.” The colors that individuals are drawn to in clothes can be used very successfully to decorate their homes. Lamb states that “paint can have the biggest impact on spaces and is the least expensive decorating tool.”

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In fact, walls are a great starting place for decorating a home; deciding on a color for the walls provides an excellent foundation for the design of room. After the walls are painted, Lamb suggests moving on to carpets, furniture, window treatments, accessories and final touches in that order. Ultimately, Lamb’s goal is to “individualize each space for every client.”

Cindy Lamb can work on anything from a single room to an entire house. She has over sixteen years experience as an interior designer. As an employee of Steve’s Flooring and Design, Lamb has access to not only her own experience but that of store owner Steve Meyer who has also been in the business for many years. Meyer specializes in the decorating and design of kitchens, cabinets and bathrooms with the ability to do everything from single item replacements to full-blown remodeling projects.

Their combined efforts along with the entire staff of Steve’s Flooring and Design are ready and willing to assist clients with all of their decorating and remodeling needs, including the more obvious service of providing flooring materials such as carpet, tile and hardwood to name a few. Steve’s also provides window treatments and reupholstering services.

These decorating tips and ideas are equally valuable to those just starting out in their first apartments. Many people living on their own for the first time have tight budgets. Figuring out how to decorate on a budget that is virtually non-existent can be a challenge for anyone; however, all is not lost even when the goal is to incorporate as many hand-me-down pieces of furniture that one can acquire.

Free is great, and with a bit of patience and creativity one can successfully put everything together in a complimentary manner. Once again, begin with understanding how a room will be utilized. This is the first step in determining what a room needs. With this information, it is time to figure out what furniture a room needs and then begin to collect it.

Do Sunday afternoon football games require room for ten? Start gathering as many couches and chairs as possible from those willing to part with their long-loved pieces. Organize and rearrange until the room flows and there is easy access throughout. Once this is done, furniture pieces can be evaluated for aesthetic appeal. It’s amazing what fairly inexpensive furniture covers can do to an old couch. Chairs can be covered with new cloth and wood can be touched-up with polish, stain or paint to give it a fresh look.

Visit hardware stores and browse the numerous home improvement books available for ideas on how to give new life to old furniture pieces. Once the furniture has been worked into a complimentary pattern, the rest of the room can be brought together with a few select pieces purchased to enhance what is already there. Garage sales and flea markets are a great investment of time when it comes to finding the perfect piece for a room at just the right price. These are also excellent places to find all the accessories one could ever want to provide the finishing touches needed to make every room complete. Finish with a fresh coat of paint and window treatments.

Not only can designing and decorating on a limited budget be fun, it is likely to bring out the creative side of any individual and truly show off those hidden talents. With time, effort and creativity, anyone can experience the joy of bringing their homes to life in a manner that supports and reflects the lifestyles of those living within.

“D” Construction
By Danielle Cybulski

“D” Construction has been a Grundy County staple for 25 years. Founded in 1982 by Kenneth Sandeno, the company has seen much growth since its birth. With services including highway construction, and working with underground utilities, asphalt, concrete and much more, they work closely with the Illinois Department of Transportation, while often partnering with surrounding counties and villages.

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This award-winning construction company has worked with big names such as General Electric, Citgo and Commonwealth Edison, showing their excellence and clout in the industry. Deeming safety practices the cornerstone of success, much care is taken with each of their projects to ensure the highest standards are kept. There is “a lot of training not only with the foremen but with all employees,” stated a company representative. With their extensive experience and determination to provide the highest in quality, this company is poised for continued progress.

For a quarter of a century “D” Construction has been making history and over the years Sandeno has brought a slice of the past to their location. He has collected antique tractors and other various pieces of equipment from times gone by. Construction tractors, farming tractors, a surrey wagon, a cash register and an old doctor’s buggy are just some of the pieces in the collection. While not open to the public daily, special arrangements can be made for groups who wish to visit.

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