30-day trial downloads are available for all products. You can also buy online .

The FAQ section provides answers to common issues, and configuration help can be found here .

Easy Install/Setup
You can use MailGate’s Setup Wizard, or follow the FAQ here for detailed manual setup instructions.

POP3 and SMTP Mail / proxy server

MailGate is a POP3 and SMTP mail server, and also a proxy gateway, providing e-mail and Internet access for your entire network.

An ideal solution for small to medium sized businesses, whether you use dial-up, broadband, or any routed connection .

FREE spam filter for your desktop

SpamWeasel Pro allows you to manage your mail: deleting spam or passing it through depending on its rating. Provides enhanced background spam filtering, including a full archiving facility, and a powerful scripting language for highly customisable spam filtering rules. Most of all, it is now FREE.

POP3 connector for SMTP mail servers

POPWeasel is a POP3 connector utility which can collect from an unlimited number of POP3 accounts, passing the e-mails to your mail server via SMTP.

Works with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes/Domino, or any other mail server that accepts an incoming SMTP feed.

Highly flexible routing features ensure that mail is successfully delivered.

Groupware for MailGate users

Aladesc is a groupware solution enabling you to share information and communicate effectively within your business or organisation.

Working with MailGate and other POP3 servers, it provides e-mail clients, diaries, planners, case management tools and more. Available as Aladesc for Business Users and Aladesc for Home Users .

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Identity Theft Protection Services Compared

To Catch an ID Thief Dateline Exposes Internet Black Market

While millions are still asking What is Identity theft? . the criminals are in high gear. This must see clip from a Dateline MSNBC documentary points out the urgency of the situation.

As you can see the criminals move fast and everything from Social Security numbers, to credit cards and bank account numbers and passwords are readily available for sale in illegal internet black markets. Add to this the 120 million personal and private records that have been exposed in the last three years by data breaches and you can see why identity theft protection is something you should strongly consider purchasing today.

If you are not convinced that you need to protect yourself from Americas fastest growing crime then read our truth revealing article titled Identity Protection Do I Really Need It . This often shared article separates the facts from the media propaganda and gives you the knowledge you need to make an educated decision.

If you re ready to protect yourself from identity theft now but are still undecided on which service to use then please read our professionally researched reviews and choose the id theft company that best meets your needs and budget.

Identity Theft Labs also wants to make sure you are aware of three other tools, two that help stop identity theft and one that can indicate if you have become a victim. Before presenting these we do want to caution you and make sure you re aware that there is no such thing as full proof identity theft protection. This is why identity theft companies offer insurance and/or service guarantees. It certainly is smart to take precautions and steps to protect yourself but it is down right foolish to think that because you re being careful, or took this or that step that, it won t happen to you. There never has been and never will be full proof id protection. Some people are simply far more vulnerable targets and you don t want to be one of them.

Having said that, the first tool to be aware of is a fraud alert. Essentially a fraud alert requires creditors to take reasonable measures to verify your identity before approving any credit requests. This is often done by calling you at the number you place in your credit file beside the alert. Fraud alerts have to be renewed every 90 days unless you are already a victim and can provide proof to the credit bureaus, at which time they will extend it to 7 years.

Credit protection services such as LifeLock, Identity Guard and Debix are no longer legally allowed to place these on your behalf. We still recommend you place a fraud alert on your credit file even though you have signed up with an identity protection service if your situation meets the spirit of the Fact Act in that you have a good faith suspicion (in other words you believe) that you have or are about to become a victim of fraud or related crime including identity theft . Fraud Alerts are a good tool to add to your arsenal as they help stop new credit accounts from being opened in your name. They don t protect your existing accounts. Fraud alerts are free.

The second tool is to order and review your credit reports. You can order them for free from Annual Credit Report the only government mandated site and the only truly free service. Some experts recommend you stagger the reports, one from each bureau every four months, so that your never go too long without being notified of an identity theft situation. We agree, with the following caveat. If you suspect identity theft we suggest ordering all of them immediately as all issues don t always populate across all three reports or bureaus. Of course, it should also be noted that ordering them does nothing at all unless you vigilantly review the information and investigate any suspicious activity.

The third tool is called a credit freeze. There is a fee that varies depending on which state you live in and the fee is payable to each of the three main credit bureaus. For most states the fee is $10 per bureau so it will cost you $30 minimum (there may be some incidentals such as postage don t use regular mail). A credit freeze does exactly that, it freezes your credit accounts. Creditors have no access to it and you won t either, so if you want to finance a car or get a new credit card you will have to unfreeze your account which incurs another fee and a bit more leg work. After you have acquired the car and no longer need access to your credit then you can freeze your credit once again. A credit freeze offers better identity theft protection than a fraud alert but is more time consuming and has a far greater inconvenience and cost.

Credit freezes or fraud alerts can be placed at the 3 main credit bureaus which can be found on our resources page. You can also find their addresses and phone numbers on our What to do Step by Step for a Stolen Purse or Lost Wallet page. Unfortunately, the bureaus are not noted for their customer service so you may want to keep that in mind when phoning.

Remember, don t bury you head in the sand with regards to identity theft. The fact that you are here signifies that you wont. A lot of people fail to take any action and far too many end up regretting it just ask the 8-10 million American victims each year.

Regardless of your choice, whether it be do-it-yourself, a professional identity protection company, credit monitoring or some combination of these, the important thing is that you take action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Identity theft costs our economy $50 billion a year and an untold amount of personal crisis and despair. Take action today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes when you know your credit and identity are protected.

Be safe, take action now. Get started by reading one or our reviews.

Don t forget to read our blog for prevention tips, educational articles as well as industry and company news.


Software Engineering

Design and build complex, effective software solutions

Register for an October course

As organizations constantly update their computer systems to grow increasingly powerful and complex, sound strategic management for delivering efficient software applications and computer systems is in higher demand than ever before. Today s businesses and institutions require leaders with expertise in software development, assessment, and management who can also harness team leadership and superior communication skills to achieve organizational goals.

As a student in the Brandeis GPS Software Engineering program, you’ll learn alongside working professionals looking to advance their careers along with their educational goals. The program will equip you to:

  • Apply software engineering best practices to design, develop, operate and maintain software systems.
  • Build software solutions using different technologies, architects and life-cycle approaches in the context of different organizational structures, with demonstrated programming expertise in Java.
  • Collaborate and communicate with team members and other stakeholders to achieve software development project goals.

Those applying to the Software Engineering program should meet the following criteria:

  • Introduction to a programming language (Java, C++, C), AND
  • Introduction to Software Engineering – topics covered should include exposure to concepts that will be further explored in Software Development Methodologies (refer to that course description). Broad coverage of practices employed to build software effectively, including techniques applicable at each phase of the development life cycle from requirements through testing and delivery, AND
  • Introduction to Data Structures (also called Algorithms) – topics covered should include variables, operators, expressions, I/O statements, conditionals, loops, arrays, pointers, abstract data types (lists, stacks, queues, trees), common algorithms (sorting, searching, etc.), OR
  • Equivalent work experience which covers topics listed.


View a sample course list

The 30-credit Software Engineering program has six required courses and four electives. Required courses provide students with a focused education surrounding fundamental topics in the field, while electives build upon specific professional skillsets and allow students to enrich and round out their studies.

Sample Fall 2017 curriculum

Please note that available courses are subject to change. Students without programming experience should complete RSEG 102 Software Development in Java before RSEG 105.

  • Expert Software Development in Java
  • Object-oriented Design with UML
  • Software Development Methodologies
  • Release Control and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (DevOps)
  • Software Testing Techniques
  • Software Engineering Studio
  • Ruby Programming
  • Mobile Applications and Responsive Web Design
  • Software Development in C++
  • Functional Programming with Java and Scala

Click here for a complete list of program requirements.

The software engineering industry

Gain insights into the field

Software engineers enjoy profound flexibility in the global job market, finding opportunities in banking, health care, insurance, defense, finance, education and countless other industries that use computing technology in its endeavors.

Our students work or have worked at prestigious organizations such as:

  • Bose Corporation
  • Computer Sciences Corporation
  • EMC
  • General Dynamics
  • Phillips
  • Raytheon
  • United States Military

Software Engineering students often hold job titles such as:

  • Director of Performance Engineering
  • Engineering Manager
  • IT Manager
  • Lead Systems Analyst
  • Market Solutions Manager
  • Section Manager
  • Senior Business Analyst
  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Senior Support Escalation Engineering
  • Software Engineering Leader
  • Software Engineer
  • Software QA Advisor
  • Software System Engineer
  • Senior Web Developer/Architect
  • Systems Engineer
  • Systems Specialist

Our Students

By the numbers

887 students have graduated since the program launched in 1997 .

56 students are currently working towards this degree.

“When I was a Biologist interested in switching careers, I investigated several programs. I really liked what Brandeis had to offer, but I was terrified at the prospect of taking a class named Expert Software Development in Java with seasoned professionals. I decided to give it a try anyway, and was happy to learn that I could do it! A decade later, and I still love what I do and I am thankful that Brandeis offered an easily accessible program that opened my future.”

Ryan Casillo ’04
Senior Director of Software Engineering
HighRes Biosolutions

Software Engineering

Meet our featured faculty

Our Software Engineering faculty understand the challenges of modern industry. Whether they re delivering IT solutions to leading global companies or managing complex computer systems, they structure their GPS curriculum to draw on real-world expertise and connections that ultimately help our students advance their career goals. Here is a sampling of our Software Engineering faculty:

  • Erik Hemdal is a support specialist at InterSystems Corporation. With 12+ years of experience teaching software engineering to undergraduate and graduate students and 25+ years of experience working as software developer and quality assurance expert for trading floors, internet news services, printers and imaging systems and control applications, Erik is a senior member of ASQ and an ASQ certified Engineer.
  • Steve Freedman is a Software Architect for Rose International, a company operating nationwide to deliver workforce and information technology solutions. His more than 15 years of experience in the maintenance (support and evolution) of the software development life cycle include extensive work with customer support, data capture, problem resolution and quality assurance.
  • Stevan Leiden is an independent consultant, presently working for a large, multi-national telecommunications company on service control architectures for converged telecommunications networks. He retired as a Fellow from Verizon Communications at the end of 2013. He has previously designed communication protocols and networks for commercial and government customers. His years of experience working with various computer networks and data communications systems give him broad understanding of the software needs of today s very high speed communications networks.

Visit the Rabb School faculty directory for a full list of Brandeis GPS faculty.

Learn More


What Is A Registered Investment Advisor?

The financial services industry is a rapidly changing professional environment. As the needs and desires of consumers change, firms engaged in managing money are also evolving. A registered investment advisor (RIA) manages the assets of high net-worth individuals and institutional investors. and sits on the buy side of the investment field. He or she must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and any states in which he or she operates. Most RIAs are partnerships or corporations but individuals can also register as RIAs. If you’re interested in a career with an RIA firm, read on to learn more about this part of the financial services industry.

State of the Industry
The old model of a broker calling his wealthy clients with stock ideas is dying. In fact, there has been a mass exodus of client assets leaving this model. There are several reasons for this change including very high commission fees (the big profit vehicle of the wire house firms at the time), and often inadequate diversification. Many of these brokers were not CFAs or MBAs, just glorified salesmen whose knowledge base was due more to happenstance than true education.

Most Americans who participate in the stock market do so through mutual funds, and mutual fund assets have been growing steadily for more than 50 years. However, as the amount of money an individual or group has increases, the ability to achieve the best results with mutual funds diminishes. This is where RIAs are able to provide additional services that mutual funds can’t, such as:

  • Many clients are looking to have a true financial “quarterback”, a resource they can use for solid advice on their total financial picture. A good RIA will speak to the client in terms of his or her overall goals and objectives, and review these with the client at regular intervals.
  • Clients increasingly want to have more options and easier access to the decision makers on their accounts. There are no direct access lines to the managers of a mutual fund account. There is no easy way to ask your mutual fund manager questions like, “Why did you choose to buy Wal-Mart?”, or “What’s a good estimate for what my capital gains could be this year?” Many clients do want this, either as part of their education or for their own piece of mind.
  • Mutual fund assets are pooled funds. with no tax considerations to any one holder of mutual fund shares. For a wealthy investor, there are simply too many dollars at stake for taxes to not be taken into account.
  • If the client is a large group and there are many interested parties (such as a non-profit endowment, pension plan or court-mandated trust), the extra service of having annual reports and other performance attribution can increase the attractiveness of an investment advisor in comparison to a mutual fund.

What Does an RIA Do?
Paid much like mutual fund managers, RIAs usually earn their revenue through a management fee comprised of a percentage of assets held for a client. Fees fluctuate, but the average is around 1%. Generally, the more assets a client has, the lower the fee he or she can negotiate – sometimes as little as 0.35%. This serves to align the best interests of the client with those of the RIA, as the advisor cannot make any more money on the account unless the client increases his or her asset base .

The most common definition of a high-net-worth investor is someone with a net worth of $1 million or more. The reason for this is that most RIA firms will establish an account minimum for anyone wishing to become a client. Amounts below this tend to be more difficult to manage while still making a profit. Consider that the average management fee is 1% of assets annually – this would come to only $1,000 on a $100,000 account, which is probably less than the costs the firm would incur internally to service the account.

Registered investment advisors could be managing thousands of unique portfolios. This is because high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors are groups with unique needs. The advising firm will work with the clients to design a portfolio that suits the client’s situation. It could be that the client has a large position in one particular stock with a very low cost basis ; even though it represents a larger portion of its portfolio than would be ideal for diversification, the tax consequences are too severe to sell the position all at once. Or the client may be drawing down on an account using a combination of interest income and outflows and need the assistance of a professional to map the asset’s life.

An RIA can create portfolios using individual stocks, bonds and mutual funds. RIA firms can cover the spectrum as far as what goes into their clients’ portfolios. They may use a mix of funds and individual issues or only funds as a way to streamline asset allocation and cut down on commission costs.

What Types of Professionals Work for RIAs?
As they operate in many similar ways, the same types of jobs that you would see associated with a mutual fund are also found in an RIA: research analysts. portfolio managers, traders. technical/operational staff and client service professionals. The research conducted for an RIA is also similar to what you would find at a mutual fund. The main responsibilities include monitoring existing holdings and searching for suitable candidates for purchase.

The RIA provides an additional responsibility through the holdings that are brought in by clients and requested not to be sold. Many times a portfolio must be constructed “around” a large position; in these cases the portfolio manager must devise ways to mitigate the risk inherent in owning so much of one company.

Most firms will handle order creation in-house. but will not actually execute the trades themselves. For this, they will have established brokerage relationships with firms that cater to large orders from institutional clients.

CPAs. attorneys and other financial professionals are increasingly being hired by RIAs as they attempt to offer all the resources a wealthy client could want. Sometimes a separate fee is charged for one-time services like a financial plan from a CPA or the establishment of a family trust. Other times, it is all blended into the single management fee. Being able to offer more services under one umbrella opens the doors to the truly lucrative accounts: the accounts of $10 million or more found among the ultra rich. Many RIA firms have only two or three clients that are so large that they occupy all the resources of the firm – these firms can do quite well.

RIA Competitors
RIAs tend to compete with the following groups for the provision of investment services:

  • Mutual funds
  • Hedge funds
  • Wire house firms – via wrap programs or individual brokers
  • Do-it-yourselfers

Why Become an RIA?
An RIA firm is a progressive business in today’s changing landscape of money management. It is an excellent place to begin a career or to focus in on a particular aspect of the business after cutting your teeth elsewhere for a few years. Most RIA firms are owned privately, which can allow for greater opportunities for equity in the company. They are poised for fantastic growth as baby boomers are finishing up their peak earnings years and entering into the highest net worth phase of their lives.


Executive LLM Chicago

Applications will be accepted through February 1, 2017 for the Summer 2017 session.

Program Structure

The Executive LLM Chicago (ELLMC) is a unique and accelerated Master of Laws program for global lawyers seeking an LLM. This program, designed for working professionals, enables international law graduates to earn an LLM from a top law school in a single summer. The ELLMC Program runs from May through August, though students who seek a more flexible schedule can choose to complete the program over two summers.

The curriculum, organized to allow students to qualify for the California Bar Exam,* contains course topics carefully selected to maximize knowledge and practical skills in managing legal aspects of business transactions conducted within the United States, or with U.S. based companies. Students learn about the law governing the financial and commercial aspects of business as well as M A and Corporate Governance. Courses are taught by faculty of Northwestern Law, situated in a world-class city and major U.S. legal market.

Additionally, at the beginning of their summer, students are invited to the prestigious Garrett Institute, a two-day symposium attended by senior law firm partners, general counsel and government officials addressing important current issues in the corporate and securities law fields.

Ideal Candidate

Intended for graduates of non-US law schools, the ELLMC Program emphasizes the importance of the role of the lawyer as a strategic advisor in business and business development. Potential candidates include law graduates working in law firms, corporations, the judiciary, government, and non-profit organizations. Lawyers interested in the governance of business organizations also will find the program relevant.

Premiere Urban Location

Chicago is home to world-class law firms and multinational corporations, exposing students to valuable networking opportunities throughout the summer. The Program partners broadly with lawyers affiliated with elite law firms and businesses who can discuss their careers, the legal profession, and additional topics of interest.

Despite the busy class schedule, students do have a chance to enjoy the Chicago summer, which is filled with music festivals, art shows, and some of the most enjoyable weather imaginable. The Law School s beautiful lakefront location is the perfect home-base from which to enjoy all the city has to offer.

Related Links

* Graduates of Northwestern Law’s Executive LLM Chicago program (formerly the accelerated LLM program) may now qualify to take the California Bar Exam. While the Law School does not guarantee bar exam eligibility to Executive LLM students for any state, the California State Bar has notified Northwestern Law that the current Executive LLM Chicago program will qualify a student to take the California Bar Exam.

Along with other courses in the ELLMC program, students must satisfactorily complete the program’s Professional Responsibility course to meet California Bar Exam eligibility requirements.

Please refer to the Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements for more information on bar exam eligibility requirements for any state.

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#rustic interior design


30 Rustic Living Room Ideas For A Cozy, Organic Home

When we talk of rustic-style interiors, many of our readers think of exposed wood, stone walls, a warm fireplace at the heart of the room and a setting that gently turns the clock back to a simpler, less flashy era. And most of that is indeed true. Yet, concealed below that rough, rustic exterior are still modern comforts and new-age gadgets that promise to make your life a lot easier. Adopting a rustic style living room does not mean a less luxurious life. It is just about embracing aesthetics that are unpretentious, elegant and closer to nature.

Thanks to the ingenuity of contemporary designers, you can now blend the modern and the rustic in a balanced, sensible fashion to create chic living rooms that offer the best of both worlds. Bringing back the memories of that cherished holiday as a kid in the mountain cabins or an unforgettable trip to the ranch, rustic living spaces can bring forth a sense of nostalgia along with natural goodness.

Timeless Winter Cabin Look

Those giant exposed wooden beams across the living room ceiling, large stone walls that offer the perfect backdrop for antique additions, spectacular yet classic chandelier lighting and a beautiful fireplace that draws you in instantly; this is the classic image of a rustic living room inspired by the winter cabin. The woodsy cabin style is a perfect theme to turn to with fall and winter set to rule the next few months. The inherent coziness of such living rooms, the wide array of plush textures that they offer and an aura of timelessness make them an instant hit almost every single time.

The decor of rustic living rooms is what sets them apart from the rest. The idea is to pick visually heavy decor that anchors the space while lending the theme a sense of authenticity. Heavy wooden coffee tables, wrought iron lighting fixtures, plush rugs and vintage flea market finds are all great choices indeed. Brown leather couches or dark black sofas are also the norm in these classic, cabin-style living rooms.

A Modern Twist

So you are not really comfortable with the classic cabin style when it comes to rustic living rooms? We completely understand your design conundrum, and embracing modern rustic is the perfect way to get around it. This cool style merges the aesthetics of a rustic-style space with modern functionality in a seamless manner. Heavy wooden elements and stone walls are still welcome, but you can use these in a far less prominent fashion. Keep the color scheme as natural as possible and fill the room with snug textures and unassuming decor. Modern rustic style also allows you to combine mass produced furniture with collectibles and antiques in a sensible way.

While the classic, spacious rustic living rooms have a deeper and darker vibe about them, the modern rustic living rooms shine in the neutral color scheme. Restrained pops of pastel colors are also welcome here, and this relaxed, organic style allows you to find that ideal balance between a living room that looks stunning in both summer and winter months.

Bringing Nature Indoors

Rustic living rooms are an ideal space to try out a warm, earthy color palette. But it is not just inspiration from nature that elevates the appeal of these settings. Large framed windows that bring the outdoors inside are a big part of the rustic style. If you have a living room that boasts of stunning natural views, make them an integral part of the interior. For those who do not have a home that overlooks amazing snow-capped peaks or stunning green prairies, a simpler view of the garden outside will do as well. The idea is to ‘play up’ the nature-centric appeal of the rustic living area.

Allowing you to repurpose and reuse old, discarded decor with great ease, rustic living rooms are also a lot more sustainable and planet-friendly than contemporary spaces. In a world that is dominated by ‘more of the same’, they are a breath of fresh air that combines form and functionality with unassuming brilliance.

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#interior design shows


An Inside Look at 12 Makeover Shows on TV

Host: Genevieve Gorder

What’s the challenge? “What makes you feel like you’re falling out of love with your home?”

Who watches it? Besotted young men

Enthusiasm scale: Over-smiling and over-posing

Hair and wardrobe: Wavy long hair and summery shifts

Stuff you can do, too? Each owner gets a gift, like best recipes from Mom.

Best idea: Same-size kitchen chairs in different finishes

Lamest idea: Chaises give the same amount of seating as sofas do.

Crazy quote: Owner, at the reveal: “Holy —-!

How long will the place stay like this? The decor may last longer than the program.

Host: Genevieve Gorder

What’s the challenge? “What makes you feel like you’re falling out of love with your home?”

Who watches it? Besotted young men

Enthusiasm scale: Over-smiling and over-posing

Hair and wardrobe: Wavy long hair and summery shifts

Stuff you can do, too? Each owner gets a gift, like best recipes from Mom.

Best idea: Same-size kitchen chairs in different finishes

Lamest idea: Chaises give the same amount of seating as sofas do.

Crazy quote: Owner, at the reveal: “Holy —-!

How long will the place stay like this? The decor may last longer than the program.

ABC’s Extreme Makeover, Home Edition

Host: Ty Pennington

What’s the challenge? The neighbors of a deserving family raze, rebuild, and refurnish their falling-apart house.

Who watches it? Everyone with a soft heart

Enthusiasm scale: Lots of megaphones, screaming, hugging, and tears (mine, too)

Hair and wardrobe: On the hyper host, pointy hair and necklaces

Stuff you can do, too? Don’t look for decorating tips. It’s all about giving back.

Best idea: Using rainwater for the irrigation system

Lamest idea: That awful landscape mulch

Unforgettable moment: MOVE THAT BUS.

How long will the place stay like this? Forever, we hope

Host: Paige Davis

What’s the challenge? Redecorate each other’s rooms in two days

Who watches it? Anyone who hates their best friend’s decor

Enthusiasm scale: Manic laughter, hi-fives, and ring-around-the-rosies

Hair and wardrobe: Perky hair on an over-caffeinated host

Stuff you can do, too? Those one-minute tips from Home Depot

Best udea: Free pianos on the Internet; spray-on glue; the gorgeous carpenter

Lamest idea: A “Frank Gehry ceiling installation” made from 250′ of ribbony flashing

Crazy quote: “This is freaking awesome!!”

How long will the place stay like this? That ceiling will be gone the moment the cameras leave.

Host: Mike Holmes

What’s the challenge?This New House needs something really major fixed

Who watches it? Home handymen. About as much fun for most women as preseason football.

Enthusiasm scale: Escalating indignation and salty language

Hair and wardrobe: Mr. Clean: with some hair, a diamond earring, and an undershirt

Sstuff you can do, too? “Poly the walls, cocoon it, and spray it,” or reinsulate.

Best idea: If you have a magnesium chute for concrete, it just slides right down.

Lamest idea: Doing “a colonoscopy on a drain stack”

Unforgettable moment: The two attractive young women shoveling concrete

How long will the place stay like this? It wouldn’t dare change.

Host: Angelo Surmelis

What’s the challenge? Fix a design dilemma in a day

Who watches it? People who only take Sundays off

Enthusiasm scale: Low-key

Hair and wardrobe: Bald host in untucked shirt and jeans

Stuff you can do, too? Inexpensive ideas with plenty of room for mistakes

Best idea: Change your accessories so you don’t feel married to the decor.

Lamest idea: After mirroring a brick fireplace surround (!), hide an unforeseen gap with broken mirror mosaic (!!).

Crazy quote: “This is a room Dean Martin would be happy with.”

How long will the place stay like this? Until someone gives them a subscription to House Beautiful.

What’s the challenge? A single, problem room

Who watches it? Bargain-hunters (all of us, these days)

Enthusiasm scale: Perfect cheeriness and charm

Hair and wardrobe: Blonde Afro and wraparounds

Stuff you can do, too? Usable ideas with awful names like “Minimalism Maxed”

Best idea: Apply translucent fabric to a wall with liquid starch.

Lamest idea: Put desk necessities on shelves above, so you’re forever getting up.

Crazy quote: Owner: “What is Eclectic Opulence? What is that?”

How long will the place stay like this? She’s good — this should last till the kids grow up.

Host: Jane Lockhart

What’s the challenge? Change “Kansas” into “Oz”

Who watches it? Timid do-it-yourselfers and renters

Enthusiasm scale: Pleasant and normal

Hair and wardrobe: Non-hairstylist, non-glam

Stuff you can do, too? Create your own colorwheel of your favorite things, e.g. in New York, bagels = beige, taxis = yellow, King Kong’s fur (!) = brown

Best idea: “Dark woodwork looks stark and harsh against white walls.”

Lamest idea: A tan-painted brick fireplace surround against powder-blue walls

Crazy quote: “They say home is where you lay your hat.”

How long will the place stay like this? They’ll be back to beige next year.

Host: Thom Filicia

What’s the challenge? Creating sophisticated rooms and zingers in two to four days

Who watches it? Everyone who loved Thom Filicia in Queer Eye.

Enthusiasm scale: Low-key fun with upscale owners

Hair and wardrobe: Unbuttoned shirt, unbuttoned laugh

Stuff you can do, too? Riff on three pieces of fave clothing plus three fave objects

Best idea: Scout a room’s flaws first.

Lamest idea: Telling owners their living room looks like a car showroom

Crazy quote: Too much “clean and simple” and “you guys”

How long will the place stay like this? Longer than some of those marriages

#cheap interior design


Getting the Pros’ Advice on Redoing a Room

Updated June 3, 2010 12:01 a.m. ET

Affordable interior-design advice comes in many shapes and sizes these days. You can get customized professional input on your home decor with just a trip to a furniture store, an email exchange or a half-hour phone call with a designer.

We went to five sources for advice on how to improve a small bedroom short on natural light and furnished with a hodgepodge of items. We asked each service how to optimize our space, upgrade the furniture and choose a paint color to replace the too-bright yellow we have now.

The best advice came from the people who make their money by giving advice rather than by selling furniture. They were willing to steer us to the best deals and give money-saving tips like buying a nice headboard instead of a whole bed frame.

Our first meeting was with Mexx Mansfield, a New York designer. Her background is in interior styling, including setting up showrooms, so she specializes in helping you make the most of the good stuff you already have as well as advising you on things to buy. She spent four and a half hours with us for $350.

She warned us that she likes to move things around and soon after she arrived our bed was on the opposite wall from where it had been and the rest of the furniture was in the hallway. She took an end table from our den to use as a nightstand and topped it with a reading lamp from our living room. She brought together artwork from other rooms to hang on the wall facing the bed to help the art make more of an impact. Then she tucked a mediocre armoire in a corner at an angle to play it down and free up floor space.

The arrangement was more user friendly and drew one’s eye to our best stuff. She encouraged us to reorganize our closet to create more storage space so we wouldn’t need to buy more storage pieces.

Next, we tried Interior Design Service Online, a service that collects photos and information about your room from you and sends you a plan for redesigning it. We paid $250 upfront via Paypal, and within a few hours we were emailed a questionnaire about the room, our style and what we wanted to accomplish, along with instructions for photographing, measuring and diagramming the room. Doing all of that ate up two hours. The instructions told us to mail it all in, but we were allowed to email it.

Two weeks later we received a 39-page spiral-bound booklet in the mail. It included a floor plan to relocate the bed to a different wall so we could upgrade from a full to a queen-size bed.It had two pages addressing the room’s problems and several more pages with suggestions for beds, nightstands, lamps and accessories with photos, prices and web addresses where to buy specific items.

The company suggested some stores that were new to us and the prices were about right. But all the furniture the book showed was very boxy and practical. We would have liked a few less safe suggestions. Also, the layout’s proportions seemed off, showing room for a chest in front of the bed where there didn’t seem to be room.

Call A Designer is a service in which designers dole out advice by phone for $1.60 a minute. We emailed a questionnaire and some photos prior to our appointment. During the call, the designer gave us advice about what kind of furniture to buy. She also gave us a list of a dozen stores—some for specific items and others for their general look—most of which were new to us.

She also suggested several paint colors that might work with our accessories. We liked that she threw in some colors that were counterintuitive for us, like a chocolaty tan that we would have written off as too dark for a low-light room but that she thought would contrast well with our colorful accessories. She said that when we were ready to shop she could get on the phone with us while we surfed the Web. Or we could email photos of furniture and paint samples for feedback. We were surprised how much information she packed into 40 minutes.

Decorating Den is a national franchise that sends a local decorator to your home for a free consultation, but don’t expect much from it. The designers make their money shopping for their clients so they want jobs where they can refurnish a room from top to bottom. When the designer looked at the room, she was tight-lipped about what she would do with it. She told us she would come up with three floor plans, but she’d need a budget of at least $2,500 for the whole room. She suggested a technique we didn’t quite understand for muting the bright yellow paint. The consultation took 15 minutes.

Finally, we went to an Ethan Allen design center, a large furniture showroom staffed with design consultants who can help you put a room together, with Ethan Allen furniture of course. The point is that the consultants know the merchandise and are able to pull items from the showroom to tailor your room to your taste. Instead we got cookie-cutter advice involving four pieces of furniture costing more than $4,000 together.

Our initial meeting was promising. The consultant seemed to get our eclectic, urban style and our need for things to fit a small space. We provided photos and measurements and set a date to come back for his ideas.

Alas, when we showed up he was out and had passed our file along to a colleague. She came up with two floor plans, but we were concerned the furniture seemed crowded. She showed us a bed, dresser and nightstands that were in the showroom together, mixed with a beige paint for the walls that she called a good standby.

In the end, we were happy for the various layouts and hands-on help in positioning furniture that got us away from putting everything against the wall. It helped us to literally think more out of the small box that is our bedroom.

Not-So-Extreme Room Makeover

We asked five services to help us improve a small bedroom in need of a redesign.

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About Us

ALGEDRA Interior Design Company is specialized in providing elegant and stunning interior design services for both residential and commercial projects. Our witty interior designers are well experienced with various international styles. We also aim to build lasting relations with our clients through strong communications and hard work. We are always happy to customize enchanting and marvelous designs for your units.

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We offer best showroom interior design for well spaced and organizes showrooms keeping the aesthetic sense and other requirements of our clients in mind. Size of showroom doesn’t matter; we can design the showroom in such a way that helps in optimizing the space.

With stylish and contemporary furniture’s and other accessories, our designs are sure to have a positive impact on customers and make them a regular at your store. Our prime objective is to give you best interior design so you can highlight your product.

Showroom is an important part of a trade business. As we know, the first impression is the last impression, the same happens with businessmen. An impact of showroom impresses the customer and that leads on to an invisible trust between the customer and the businessman. A well designed showroom by a showroom interior designers definitely creates a lot of difference.

Our Showroom Interior designers in Bangalore know how to make a monotonous and a dull space an interesting one. They know how to convert the showroom interiors to a bright working place for the staff and to make it attractive.

It is very important to know the requirements of owner’s for a showroom interior design. This is important because the space is designed keeping in mind the theme and the environment the person wants his showroom to exhibit.the designers work on the layout of the place and with his ideas tries to solve it in every possibility coming to his mind.Our showroom interior designer team provides latest and creativity idea for your business.

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