IDS Hot Topics
Oct. 8, 2014

New Apps to Aid in Home Design and Renovations
Reuters
Home owners and renters looking to redesign or renovate can turn to new apps to help simplify the process and get the job done sooner and more efficiently.More

7 Strategies to Write a Speech with Ease
Business 2 Community
Question: What's the hardest part of writing your speech? The results of this informal poll from LinkedIn revealed the biggest block to writing a speech is (drumroll please): Starting. More

Step Inside the High-Stakes World of ABC's Scandal
Architectural Digest
The offices at two of Washington’s most powerful addresses—K Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—and Pope’s residence are created by production designer Corey Kaplan (The X Files and Cold Case) and set decorator Barbara Cassel (Vegas). More

2014 Halloween Designs Range From Spooky to Chic
By Archita Datta Majumdar
The air is getting festive, and if you are planning your Halloween décor then a quick look at the latest design trends is warranted. A recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers has revealed that consumers are set to spend anything between $7.4 billion and $11.3 billion this year for their Halloween shopping. They are not just looking for last-minute costumes and rush-rush décor but actually planning way ahead to make every single choice memorable.More

How to Right a Wrong
Design Management Company
Stuff happens, even to the best designers. Goods get damaged, a subcontractor's crew fails to show, the shop doesn't make its delivery deadline, the client doesn't like the new wallpaper. The list goes on and on. You can't avoid them, but how you deal with them shows your true professionalism. More

7 Tips for Driving Social Engagement
Business 2 Community
Every day people share millions of significant moments on social media, and the challenge often facing brands is how to be included in these shared moments. After all, the voices of your customers and fans are the most powerful in telling your story to ultimately convert new customers. Here are seven tips for driving social engagement. More

Business Gift Giving Etiquette and Mistakes to Avoid
Small Business Trends
Giving gifts to clients or business associates can be an awkward experience if you don’t know the etiquette behind it. If you purchase a gift that is too expensive or not aligned with the recipient's interests, your good intentions may be overshadowed by the gaffe. So before you start shopping for your next round of gifts for clients, colleagues or employees, consider the following business gift giving etiquette tipsMore

Sci-fi Surfaces: 5 Products Look to an Efficient Future
Interior Design
Ever more efficient and effortless, technology is opening up exciting new horizons in finishings. Smart textiles go beyond decoration to provide additional functionality and experiential qualities. Enhanced ceramics, plastics and solid surfaces are embedded with invisible, environment-enhancing properties. Self-cleaning and pollution-reducing coatings are seamlessly integrated into everyday surfaces while wirelessly charged surfaces power smartphones and tablets. More

A Stylish And Masculine Studio Apartment In NYC
ELLE Decor
When Robert Rowe first laid eyes on the unrenovated studio in a prewar building in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in New York, an inspiration hit him like a brick from its facade: Mildred Pierce. If he could transfer to the small space just a soupçon of the glamour of Michael Curtiz's 1945 noir masterpiece — the Art Deco–meets–Spanish Revival house in California's San Fernando Valley, Joan Crawford's chic office in the restaurant in Laguna Beach, the masculine sexiness of the Malibu beach house — he would have the perfect aerie. More

Stop Storytelling and Start Story-Sharing
By Timothy Clark
When it comes to marketing, it's time to start differentiating your home improvement company from everyone else. And here's how to do it. For decades, home pros have told the story of their business. One company was founded by two brothers who learned the trade from their hard-working father. Another has been in business since 1946. This one has earned 17 major awards, and that one has a five-star rating.More

The 6 Biggest Bathroom Trends Of 2015 Are What We've Been Waiting For
The Huffington Post
This year, the kitchen as we know it completely changed. Shelving opened up, cabinets went darker and metallic accents moved well beyond cabinet knobs. But come 2015, we can expect to see a major overhaul in a different room of the house — the bathroom. More

Counters That Take Abuse and Still Look Good
The Boston Globe
Quartz withstood almost everything in Consumer Reports' recent tests of kitchen counters — stains, hot pots, abrasive pads, and knives — and unlike granite, it doesn't need to be resealed. Its combination of beauty, durability, and easy maintenance makes it a great choice for busy kitchens. Granite performed almost as well. But both materials are a bit pricey. Laminate is still the budget friendly choice.More

5 Greenhouses That Are Actually Homes
CBS News
Homeowners across the world are realizing that one of the simplest ways to save money on heating, lighting and food is to move in with the plants. Greenhouses don't have to be purely recreational hobby spaces exiled to the backyard. Living inside them can provide insulation for an existing structure, define space in an open floor plan or give your kitchen herbs the sunlight they need to thrive. More