Living Large in a Small Space, Part V

Whether you’re a a college student living in the dorms or a boomer considering downsizing to a smaller dwelling, the need for a functional yet minimal living space is ever more important. The small space movement, fortunately, is catching on. Here are three keys to living large in a small space.

Dividing Spaces

For a dorm room, a viable option might be to divide the room into two sides or to choose bunk beds which provide more communal space.

Curtains, screens, and book shelves are optimal ways to either divide a room between roommates or to section off sleeping and living areas. A creative dorm room idea is a hanging garden room divider made from a curtain and faux flowers. A raised floor can also subtly divide sleeping and living areas; this is a common practice used by many all-suite hotels and, guess what, it works.

Furniture is often limited to a bed, desk, and closet area. Personalizing your desk and walls with pictures and momentos adds customization to the small space.

Go Vertical

When space is tight, go vertical.  Use your wall space and your air space economically.  Express and organize yourself in the choices you make for shelving and storage bins to arrange books, decorative items, and belongings. In addition to traditional shelving, there are a wide variety of floating shelves on the market, especially for small spaces and corners.  For imaginative ideas, take a few minutes and visit Pinterest’s listing of floating shelves. These shelves creatively display and organize your items.

Other ways to optimize vertically include mounting your flat screen TV on a wall, suspending your bike from the ceiling, or even hanging dining or folding chairs on a wall. To create the illusion of more space, the addition of a large mirror on a wall does the trick. Just make sure to securely fasten shelves, mirrors, and other heavy objects, anchor them into a wall stud by using a stud finder, such as the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 OneStep®.

Multipurpose Functionality

When downsizing to a smaller living space, the reduced square footage limits floor and storage space and infringes on privacy. For tiny apartment dwellers, the Murphy bed is a viable option as is the Domino Loft System.  It has a sleeping area, work area, room for storage and a guest room (a Murphy bed), all built into one unit.

A smaller space may not necessarily require smaller furniture –  an improved furniture arrangement and an eye for functionality can be the solution.  The nooks and crannies that are often overlooked in a larger home now become valuable real estate for functional furniture or storage.  Furniture can also be repurposed.  A dresser can be transformed into a TV stand in the living room and, in addition to holding dishes and serving platters, a sideboard can serve a dual role as a food pantry.

What ways have you creatively solved your small space challenges? Share your ideas and photos with us on Facebook. Tweet home décor and DIY ideas using #decortrends or @zircontools. For more small space living ideas, visit www.zircon.com or read more blogs here.

References:

https://makespace.com/blog/posts/create-personal-space/

http://www.mydomaine.com/small-apartment-decorating-tips

http://www.zircon.com/tools/multiscanner-i520-onestep/

https://makespace.com/blog/posts/domino-loft-system/

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/ideas/201611_idde01a/

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/ideas/201744_idde03a/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/a-design-bloggers-rental-advice-for-small-space-dwellers/2015/10/19/4ae55be8-7377-11e5-8248-98e0f5a2e830_story.html

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Spring Trends Recap and Look Forward

Our latest #decortrends chat focused on spring trends – a recap of what is working and a look ahead to what popular home and décor projects are on the horizon.

Image credit: @ncontours

The chat highlighted the popularity of metallic designs, grey and green as rising neutrals, and the need for effective use of smallish spaces.

A mixture of metals and contrasting designs were noted during the chat. @best_flooring shared, “You can’t go wrong with metals, stones, and woods. They are great to contrast texture with other decor in a home.” Added @MrsAJRogers, “What about the new #decortrends of #marbled #wallpaper, #copper and #wood #tile – to name a few!”

Regarding color choices, grey was noted as a new neutral. Greys that are lighter in color exude a warm,  friendly, home environment. “I think you’re right on with greys that have a little more warmth to them!” mentioned @ncontours. According to @jorgensonlocker, “Depends on the shade…lighter colors would prob(ably) work better as a neutral. Bolder colors work better as pops of color.”

Also, green not only stands out, but depending on the shade, it can also be a neutral, too.  As our co-host @tonisabstyle stated, “I love it as a backdrop.” The trend toward natural elements further propels green’s popularity.  As @ncontours shared, “(We see green) more so in living plants, which are everywhere! Maybe spring/ summer will bring more green to décor.”

The challenges designing within a small space vs. large space were also discussed. “Sometimes (it is) more challenging to succeed in designing a small space than a large– making every part & piece count,” mentioned @best_flooring. Adding to this remark, dual duty spaces are especially functional in tight spaces. For more living large in a small space ideas, make sure to visit this blog.

The group discussed former popular ideas from the 70s and how what is old is new again. @jorgensonlocker said, “Trends are seen to be cyclical, so everyone will move on eventually.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Home Décor Choices for Millennials and Boomers – Any Generation

Image credit: DODByBrownWood

Are décor and design dictated by generations – does a millennial think differently about home décor? Or is design purely a personal decision? During our latest #decortrends chat, our participants shared how generational decisions may or may not affect design decisions.

Image credit: @Revashelf

Whether millennials or boomers, homeowners are searching for products that make their home feel unique and customized to their lives. They are willing to allocate a significant part of their budget to ensure that décor items also endure. As @revashelf mentioned, “Young homeowners are willing to splurge on items that have a huge return- high quality materials & long-lasting…”

With the diverse and plentiful décor and color options available, the need for personalization is paramount. “Millennials are exposed to many options & examples of what they could do, however, still want to make it unique,” shared @ncontours.

To make the most of space, an “open concept is big. Lots of storage options is a plus,” shared @jorgensonlocker. Living large in a small space continues to be popular across generations. “Think living large in a small space is important to both boomers/millennials,” stated @windowworksCA.

Image credit: @WindowWorksCA

Limited room sizes mean optimizing the space with creative ideas. Added co-host @DODByBrownWood, “We have found that what used to be hidden is now exposed and loved! #shiplap is very popular décor.”

Other practical storage options for a small home include using open shelving and utilizing the area under the stairs for storage.  Additionally, the items must be easily accessible and exude style and a personal flair.

While a connected life is commonplace for millennials, boomers as well have a need for a tech home.  “Regardless of age, you have to be open to the idea of a connected home. And to some, it’s too foreign of a concept to try,” shared @Revashelf. Participants noted that while millennials may not have as much of a need from down time from tech, boomers may benefit from periodic disconnection. Also, as @tonisabstyle noted, “Home tech should be thought of at the beginning of the design process and made easy.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Simple Ideas to Transform Your Bath and Kitchen

During our recent #decortrends chat, our participants had a multitude of ideas of how to transform a bathroom or kitchen into a dreamy spa or culinary hot spot for friends and family.

ra-lighting-image_opt-2

Image credit @rahomes

Decorative changes, such as painting, installing new light fixtures, and adding accessories can immediately change the style of the kitchen. Mentioned @ncontours, “Consider a fresh coat of paint or a fun, new way to accessorize– love the little white ladder!”  Even small detail changes can have a meaningful impact. Added @jorgensonlocker, “Changing your door & drawer hardware can freshen up the look of your cabinets.”

distinctive-tile_opt

Image credit @distinctivetile

New tile can dramatically change the room and can provide a focal point. Mentioned @tiledistinctive, “Here’s something we love: wood look tile with gorgeous color! Added co-host @rahomes, “Wood-look tile has advanced so far. It’s really incredible these days.”

The countertop can be enhanced with a new coat of paint and installing a new island kitchen counter adds space as well as a brand new look. @rahomes shared not one, but two different islands. “How about an island…or two?”

Functionality and ease-of-use within the kitchen and bathroom can be accentuated when kitchen and bath items are easily accessible. “Pull out cabinets let you view every item in your kitchen collection,” remarked @pureplumbinglv and @sweetloretta stated, “Functional pull out cabinetry is the way to go.” While cabinetry and shelves keep the area organized, they can also provide a facelift from a dated to new look.

Innovative tech choices are popular must haves within the kitchen and bath and can also have energy and water saving features built-in that are shared on a recent blog by @rahomes.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Upcycling and Recycling for a DIY Lifestyle

As we roll into February, it is might be a good time to renew your home with new décor and furnishings. Our recent #decortrends chat participants shared ideas of how to effectively upcycle, recycle, and retrofit your home.

Upcycling and recycling can be functional, cost effective, and as simple or complex as you desire. “I think adding a fresh coat of paint makes a world of difference to most anything,” remarked @jorgensonlocker who also added, “…if you’re going to upcycle or repurpose an older piece, it needs to be functional & fit in easily with your décor.”

While the inside of your home is often the focal point of a remodel or refresh, your home’s exterior can also create a prominent ambiance change. @adventureglass shared “Our Landscaping genius is hooking us up with planting boxes that are OUTRAGEOUS.”

Outdoor inspiration abounds on website’s such as @houzz. When turning to ideas on home improvement and repair, find the right mix of inspiration and retrofitting ideas. Small fixes and paying attention to details can make all the difference. “Little things can be BIG in visual size, like rearranging furniture, adding a bold rug, changing light bulbs…” remarked @MyFixitUpLife.

More creative ideas can be found online and offline. Pinterest and Instagram are naturals for easy-to-find upcycle and recycle inspiration. Bringing those ideas to life, DIYers can peruse thrift stores, garage sales, and consignment stores for just the right piece to be transformed.

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Santa Christmas List

365 days a year, Santa and his elves are busily preparing for Santa’s big night in the sky.

At his North Pole workshop, Santa is creating his list, penciling in names, and assigning Elf projects. We’re taking a page right out of Santa’s Nice List with our choices for this year’s gift guide. Who’s on your list?

The Fixer

[fik-ser] noun

  1. A person or thing that fixes
MultiScanner® i520

MultiScanner® i520

Everyone knows one, or may even have a person like this in the household, who is constantly tinkering and fixing things around the house. For them, the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 OneStep® is the perfect gift.

This all-in-one wall scanner finds studs, metal, and live electricity making it the ideal tool for your active DIYer. ACT™ Auto Correcting Technology automatically recalibrates to correct common errors automatically and the ultra-bright display screen makes for easy viewing in dark environments.

The Designer

[dih-zahy-ner] noun

     1.  A person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates froms, structure, and patterns

ss_e50_product-400x1000

StudSensor™ e50

There’s always a creator or visionary in every family – the person who thinks that two non-congruent shapes go together or your sister who first insisted on taking down the wallpaper (or putting it up), or maybe the cousin who is regularly redesigning a space that already seemingly looks perfect. For the next new wall hanging, fanciful artwork, or framed picture that adorns the walls, your Designer would benefit from having the Zircon StudSensor™ e50 stud finder.

The e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs behind walls, floors, and ceilings while also alerting the presence of live electricity. It’s a definite must-have around the house for projects, big and small.

The Weekend Warrior

[week-end wawr-ee-er] noun

      1. Any person who vigorously pursues activities outside of the work week, in a work-like and intensive manner

ExitPoint™ XL300

ExitPoint™ XL300

Have someone on your list who spends countless hours on various house projects and is a bonafide home improvement expert? If you’re looking for a gift that is both unique and useful, your recipient will love to unwrap the all new ExitPoint™ XL300.

A novel tool that can be used two ways: As a through-hole drill guide to locate exit points, or as an external stud finder when used in conjunction with a normal stud finder. Just place a transmitter magnet on your target point and scan with the receiver on the other side of the wall. The XL300 scans through most types of non-magnetic materials, such as wood, drywall, brick, and concrete up, to 11.81 in. thick. It’s perfect for running television cables and security wiring through walls for that clean, seamless look.

Make it easier for the elves in your household with these handy home improvement tools. Got another Zircon favorite that you hope makes its way into your Christmas stocking this year? Share the cheer with us. Follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.

References:

http://www.dictionary.com

Living in a Small Space, Part IV

3 Inexpensive Tips to Maximize Tight Spaces

Fall is an excellent time to think about reorganizing and making the most out of your space. With college students settling into their dorm rooms and the current downsizing trend, how can you organize your limited space to be as functional as possible? In what way can a smaller space also reflect your individual personality? The enlightening part about the small space movement is the opportunity for new innovations to propel college students and others to think about repurposing, reusing, or limiting their space usage without sacrificing a proper place to work, study, relax, and entertain.

One such example is the cube that dates back to the 1950s. This versatile piece functions as both a storage unit as well as a seat. The cube continues its reinvention and has even spawned an entire cube industry that blends functionality with whimsical creativity.

Today, cubular storage and furniture solutions are available in abundant materials, sizes, colors and modular configurations, with or without fabric drawers, baskets, or doors.  Students can select a mobile or stationary design, attach their cube to floors or/walls as well as use cubes in a closet or living spaces.

Please note these helpful hints:

1) Jorgenson Lockers has a few different storage options, such as The Modular Box LockerJorgensen Locker M-Cube that is just one of their locker alternatives for dorm residents who may not want to share absolutely everything with their roommate or the rest of the dorm. The lockers are modular and multiple units can be attached. Available in 21 colors, the M-Cube is an ideal choice for storing valuables, as it comfortably fits most laptops. Box Shelf Lockers

2) With small living space, it’s important to utilize every inch of space and hooks are “bite-sized” staples that amplify decorating options while adding functionality. Why use valuable drawer space if you have a nook or cranny that could accommodate a column of functional buckets? Don’t forget that the back of a door is also prime real estate in a small space living arrangement. Hooks can help you add style or functionality to your personal space.

MultiScanner i520

MultiScanner i520

3) When affixing any heavy object to the wall, ensure that you securely anchor it to a stud. The Zircon MultiScanner® i520 will do the trick for you simply and easily. It locates the edges and center of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings – get back to the job of decorating before you know it.

By using a cube or hook, any dorm room or limited space can be enhanced and reflect the individual’s personal flair.

For other insightful DIY tips, please visit Tom Siebenthal’s popular blog series, including his latest, Our One-of-a-Kind Mouse Trap Grows Each Day, follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Twitter Chat Generic

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.

Sharon image

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_crate

http://www.schoollockers.com/modular-box-locker.html

jorgensonlocker.com

 

6 Amazingly Simple Headline Tips to Transform Your Existing Content

It’s springtime, a perfect time to review what’s in your closet and see what existing pieces can make a new outfit or a new look.

The same principles apply to Content Marketing.  With a few headline changes, you can change the appearance of your content to be brand new. Much like a wardrobe has essential components, there are six distinct components to a headline. An outstanding headline should be explicit and have at least three of the six components. And, just as some outfits work better for certain occasions, some headline words and components are more optimal on diverse social platforms.

1. Emotional

The headline should include an emotional trigger word using a superlative.  Examples are amazing, humorous, electrifying, stunning, inspiring, extraordinary, and successful.  Know your audience and speak to them, carefully choosing the words that will most appeal to your target customers. For example, the word “successful” is much stronger on LinkedIn than on Facebook or Twitter.

Creating a clever headline can also appeal to the humorous side of the reader and intrigues the audience to click into the blog. One of Zircon’s most popular blogs, “A Wall is a Wall is a Wall” tells a simple headline narrative that beckons the reader to find out more.

We used the superlative, amazingly, in our headline. We could easily change it to “6 Successful Headline Tips”, or “5 Effective Headline Tips”, depending on our target audience.

2. Content

Use a word or phrase to indicate the type of content the reader should expect. A picture or video can be useful in demonstrating to the audience how a tool works; Zircon, for example, often embeds video content into a blog via our YouTube channel. Other examples of content words within a headline include charts, quotes, facts, tips and tricks, habits, warnings and mistakes.

“Tips” works well across most networks. We used the word tips in our headline.

3. Topic

Hot topics can be trending topics found on Right Relevance, Buzzsumo, Hootsuite, Buzzfeed, Twitter, Facebook and more. Within the DIY world, hot topics include the words DIY, home remodeling, tools, kitchens, bathrooms and more. Select a topic that resonates with your audience.

Our topic is content.  (The word headline in our headline is a descriptive word. The headline would work with or without it.)

4. Format

Content Format reveals the style of your content.  Ever notice the numerous examples of a “Top 5 list of” or the viral impact of a quiz or the special interest people pay to personal stories? These examples, plus research reports and how to posts work effectively throughout social media.

The number 6 is in our headline to indicate a list post.

5. Promise

What happens if the reader clicks into your headline? What can they expect? This is what the promise should deliver to the audience. Perhaps they’ll receive a how to guide in home improvement or practical tips of how to install shelving and lighting or a way to create a larger space within a smaller dwelling.

Our promise is to transform your existing content with some simple headline changes.

6. Number

The headline length makes a difference and lengthier headlines spur increased clicks. Experiment with the number of words that are ideal for your target audience.

Our headline has 10 words, not too short, but not so long that is it is not catchy.

Did our headline live up to your expectations?

What’s in your content closet that can be refreshed with a new headline?

At Zircon, we’re continuously looking for ways to help solve end user problems and communicate our solutions in the most effective manner. We would love to hear from you about your content ideas and invite you to share your marketing experiences with us. Please visit us at zircon.comlike us, or follow us.

Please join us the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month for #diytrends. Engage, learn and share. We would love to hear from you!

Twitter Chat Generic

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

Living Large in a Small Space Part 3

As architect and author, Katie Hutchison indicates in her book The New Small House, micro-based living is a trend that is continuing to build momentum. Those looking to downsize are living large in a small space by combining smart, economical, and environmentally friendly living in elegantly designed homes.

Baby Boomers continue to age and they have increased the demand for downsizing and a migration to micro-based living.

Downsizing

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Baby Boomers are a burgeoning market. Many home builders have an increased interest in designing products that appeal to customers age 55 or older and the NAHB forecasts that the share of these households will grow every year through 2019 when the 55+ category is projected to account for nearly 45% of all U.S. households.

Home accessibility for an aging population and efficient and flexible use of space are primary design home considerations according to the American Institute of Architects.

Urban Living

Cities have sprawled further away from city centers causing commuters to spend an exorbitant amount of time in commute traffic. Surbanites are rethinking their living situation and trading in cars for subways. Moving back into the city, however, often means living in smaller spaces. Empty-nesters, however, need less space and moving back into the cities provides closer cultural and employment opportunities. Other new city dwellers are attracted to the social aspects of a thriving, pedestrian-friendly and diverse community.

Although Baby Boomer demands are currently a substantial reason for the increase in micro-based trending, millennial buyers will represent the largest group of homebuyers by year end and they also gravitate toward smaller units closer to the urban core.  Micro living seems to be midway between dorm life at one end of the spectrum and retirement home life at the other.

MSi520_300dpi

MultiScanner® i520 Stud Finder

Scale It

Wherever you are in your home space life cycle, making the most use of tight spaces is a paramount goal. Popular space saving projects include ones that focus on enhanced organization, such as building new shelving units.

Placing a flat screen television on the wall also optimizes the square footage within a smaller dwelling. To safely affix your shelving or a flat screen television to the wall, ensure you’re anchoring the heavy object to a wall stud. Use the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 to quickly and easily find studs and joists. For more information, visit www.zircon.com, follow our Pro Expert and Zircon in the Real world blogs, like us on Facebook, or follow us @zircontools.

Hint! Make sure to use a brand new battery with an extended expiration date for the best results with your Zircon MultiScanner®. Get more tips here.

References:

The New Small House book
Design Innovations for Modern Urban Dwellings
55+ Households are Nearly Everywhere
Turnaround in Home Sizes, In-Home Amenities, and Property Enhancements
What Real Estate Trends to Expect in 2015

 

Is Content Still Meaningful?

shutterstock_165506024

Is the written word still viable?  In our fast-paced world that often resorts to the shortest method to communicate, from text messages to tweets, companies may question if a blog, article, or more substantial content is still relevant. Businesses do still indeed need written content – and lots of it – to continue to embrace the company’s brand followers and attract new customers. Use these helpful tips to develop your next content piece.

  • Make it content worthy. Content, in its many forms, is defined as relevant information that provides value and insight to the reader. It can take many forms, including written content for web pages, e-books, white papers, infographics, and blog article. To be valuable, how does your content solve a problem, answer a question, or inform your customers?
  • Use the E word. Engage, engage, engage. Engaging content prompts a response from the reader. Ask your customers thought provoking questions and propel discussions. Will the person reading your content find it useful enough to share, favorite, bookmark or link to your piece? If not, see how you can add or change your content piece to make it one that will propel your message by your followers and fans.
  • Ignite Your Vibe. Although the voice and style of writing depends on the type of content and platform used (i.e. e-books are more formal and social media is more laid back), many times, the same content can be used on multiple platforms. Rather than starting from scratch, subtle edits can be made to the content to make it viable for different channels. For example, the writer may want to utilize the same blog article on various social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) by posting a comment with a link back to the blog post.
  • Create or Curate? Original content, true to its name, means that the content is created by the originator. It is an original work, whether it is a blog, article, e-book or more. On the other hand, curated content can consist of third party data that the writer aggregates and make sense of, for the reader, through commentary. Another form of curated content is when a company adds an organizational perspective to existing third party content; this form is fairly common in social media.

At Zircon Corporation, the company has an extensive library of content that it continuously produces for its domestic, as well as international, audience. Content includes videos, news releases, white papers, emails, ads, web copy, packaging, merchandising, instructions, and more.

Zircon bloggers and social media experts seek to inform and engage readers via the Zircon Pro ExpertZircon in the Real World, and Zircon’s Marketing ToolBox blog sites, as well as the Zircon Facebook page and Zircon Twitter. The “How to Use” tab on Zircon’s website contains a wealth of information in the form of tips, how-to instructions and videos. If you’ve ever learned anything from these sources, we’d love to hear from you!

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image