Thursday, January 28, 2010

Interior Stone Veneer: The Interior Decorating Miracle Material

By Paul Easton

If you've been wanting to redecorate your home in a really imaginative way, then you should take a look at the possibilities offered by interior stone veneer. This is a material that can be used in just about any way you can think of. But in addition to allowing for your creative thinking, interior stone veneer is a surprisingly economical choice. Add to that its light weight and ease of installation, and you've got a true inner beautifying miracle material.

Interior stone veneer lets you be as creative in your decorating as you want to be. A common use of this material is to create an accent wall. This is a great way to add the warmth and richness of stone to any room in your home. But you don't have to stop there. Interior stone veneer can provide natural accents in areas you might not have considered. For example, it's showing up in kitchens above stove hoods or around ovens. You can also find interior stone veneer in bathrooms, where the natural stone look creates an haven of calm and rest.

You might think that decorating material this versatile and attractive would be too expensive for regular folks. But the truth is that interior stone veneer is very economical and well within the budgets of most homeowners. Compared to natural stone, manufactured interior stone veneer costs from 50% to 70% less. At deal rates like that, all sorts of uses and applications become both feasible and practical.

As if versatility and economy weren't enough, interior stone veneer is surprisingly lightweight and very easy to work with. Manufactured stone veneer panels for interior use usually weigh in at only 10 pounds per square foot, much less than comparable natural stone veneer. In fact, with material this light there is no need for special footings, foundations or even wall ties. In most cases, it can be applied directly to existing surfaces. Given the right tools, most competent do-it-yourselfers could easily handle a decorating job using interior stone veneer.

So if you've been waiting to put your creative thinking to work on upgrading your home interior, you should find out more about interior stone veneer. Its incredible versatility won't limit your options in any way. Since it's so economical, your budget won't slow you down either. And considering how easy it is to work with, installation should be quick and fun.

Take a look at the option of using stone veneers available today. You are certain to find some that will look perfect inside your home.

Paul Easton is the Marketing Director for Alpine Stone the Stone Veneer Shop- - The Stone Veneer Specialist from New Zealand

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Home Essentials: Home Rugs

By Alex Bacheller

Rugs are commonly used to improve and enhance the interior of homes. They can redesign room efficiently and fast. If you will look to any interior design books or magazines, you will notice that 98% of the rooms being shown have rugs. With the right pieces together, it surely creates the perfect atmosphere for your home.

One major advantage of using area rugs is that they are cheap. You do not need to spend too much buying other room accessories and ornaments to beautify an area. Moreover, these rugs protect you from the cold tiles and concrete floors. The hardwood floors are also protected from scratches made by furniture.

If you are planning to modify your houses with rugs, you should be aware that there are several factors that you need to consider. Of course, to create the perfect environment, these elements should go well together. And how do you that?

The first thing you need to consider is your room area. Determining the room size will give you the idea on how big your rugs should be. As a rule of thumb, the rug should be 24 inches shorter than the shortest wall of the room. It does not matter whether you have your entire floor carpeted or not. You may still use the rugs on them.

Living Rooms. You need to consider your furniture layout. Do you have one or more conversation area? If you only have one, you may want to put one big rug to emphasize it, making it the center of attention. If you more than one, you may want to place rugs in these areas to group and define them. Another thing to keep in mind is that there should be 1 to 2 ft empty rug extending from the furniture.

Bedrooms. A rug placed in the bedroom is usually placed to enhance the focal of the room, which is the bed. It should be remembered that at least one-third of the carpet must be under the bed. It should also extend to about 30 to 36 inches on its sides.

You can also place rugs in dining rooms as it creates a cozy dining area. It should be remembered that you should choose a rug wherein the table and all the chairs can fit into it especially when the chairs are pushed back. To have an idea regarding the size, measure your dining table and add at least 40 to 48 inches to its measurement - that will be your rug area.

Type of Rug. Rugs are made from different materials. You may want to choose the type of rug that would match your room's design. There are basically 2 types of it - rugs made from natural materials and the synthetically made. Naturally made rugs are usually from wood, grass or cotton. These are usually more expensive. Synthetic rugs on the other hand are made from nylon and polypropylene/oleifin. These are usually used in homes because they are a lot cheaper.

Lastly, you need to choose your desired color and design. Different designs and patterns tend to give different effect when placed in a room. For example, dark colored rugs tend to create an intimate space in the room while light colored rugs can expand the area. You may choose Oriental rugs for traditional themed room, bold geometric patterns for a modern, sophisticated room and a braided area rug for a countryside themed room. To hide falling hairs, pet hairs and dirt, you may opt to choose heavy patterned rugs to conceal them.

Adding rugs to your floor can greatly change your room in an instant. Combining your style and personal preferences, you can create that perfect ambiance for your home in a relatively easy and affordable way.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Wild Side Of Decorating With Animal Prints

By Joal Kindsman

A fashionable way to decorate your place is to use animal prints. It brings an edgy, chic and trendy style to your home's interior.

Animal patterns have the attractive prints of wild animals - zebra, tiger, leopard, giraffe and cheetah, to name a few. Home furnishings will look as wild as these animals' natural habitat. Your place will have a unique look and feel to it, creating that funky and wild vibe you want without much hassle in home renovation.

This kind of print usually works better for smaller pieces. The colors are mostly in black and white with straightforward lines. Any other color used is solid and monotone, becoming the item's center point.

You can easily find animal prints as accents to other home decors you might have such as frames, lamps, pillow covers and draperies. They may often be in small proportions but they are truly fascinating pieces, which bring to mind the wild. Tiger, leopard and zebra prints are the most sought-after animal patterns.

There are furniture such as chairs, couches and ottomans that are covered in animal print fabrics. Children stuff are also available in animal themes, which makes playtime more fun! Imagine how your kids would love sitting on chairs designed with lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes and other huge, wild animals they only get to see in zoos...or in Animal Planet. And they are all right there in their room!

Area rugs, a favorite home decor are also available in animal prints. Rugs in this type of pattern can be big and bold or small and simple. If you prefer to have a solid look, choose area rugs that contain one animal print. If on the other hand, you're feeling the wilder side more, go for area rugs with a combination of prints. A good example is an area rug with leopard spots, tiger prints and zebra lines. You get three designs in one. A good option is to buy some rugs in solid tones as well as in combinations to mix and match the look of your home. There are also children area rugs with softer materials designed in animal prints or animal figures. Your kids would love playing with these rugs and would enjoy seeing them in their rooms.

Decorating with animal prints has returned as a hot trend for 2009. Accents, furniture and area rugs can transform a home decor from boring into exotic and refined. There are so many different approaches that it can be achieved by all. Animal magnetism never looked so good.

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The Ultimate Colour Guide For Your New Modular Sofa

By Jamie White

If you are like most people you will need your soda to last a fair while. Most of us are not able to replace a sofa on a whim, when the fancy takes us, so it pays to pick a neutral colour. You can then use highlights in brighter colours that can be altered to give a different look when you want.

Who remembers avocado coloured bathroom suites for example? They were very fashionable for a time but now very pass. You are better to choose neutral colours that will not date too easily, and which will act as a backdrop for other colours that can be added as accessories, such as throws and pillows. This approach gives you a wider range of options as you can change around the accessories to alter the look. If your sofa is to be subject to a lot of use you may want to consider a more practical multi-coloured of tweed fabric that will resist dirt and stains better.

If you want some bright, cheerful colours then you can jazz up things with warm throws or scatter cushions. These are not expensive so can be replaced from time to time, or maybe you can just replace the cushion covers.

If your living room walls are light in colour it is often a good idea to choose a darker colour sofa in order to avoid a washed-out look. A sofa in a slightly darker shade than the walls can give an elegant and refined appearance to a room. Painting your walls in a darker, more vibrant colour, may limit your choice of colour for the sofa, and, is likely to make the room look smaller.

You can get a good idea of colours from paint charts. Often they show colours which complement each other, or which can be used to affect a contrast, depending on whether you want a low-key look or something bolder.

If choosing a light plain shade for your sofa, you could use some more fancy cushions, perhaps with pattern, in order to add interest. A light coloured plain sofa gives you the maximum choice with regard to cushions. They can be any number of darker or brighter colours to compliment, and add a personal touch.

Your sofa's style should reflect the overall style that you are trying to achieve. If you have minimalist dcor, for example, then a black leather sofa always looks good. For a more traditional feel you could try a brown or cream leather sofa. Leather may not be quite as soft and comfy as some other materials but it ages well and is less likely to need replacing in a few years. A leather sofa can be a solid investment.

If you are looking for cover-slips, either for your sofa to match other furniture such as armchairs, or for chairs to match your sofa, you may have a problem in finding an exact match. If you are buying from a department store you need to be sure that you can change them if they don't look right in your home, as colours can look different depending on lighting conditions.

You may want to purchase a ready-made slipcover for your sofa to match to other pieces of furniture, and again you need to take care with colour matching in different lights. If you can't match a shade to solid colours, then look for flecks of colour in the fabric designs in the room, and pick up on these. If, for example, the armchairs are covered with a brown velour fabric with a hint of gold woven in, you could choose a coordinating gold material for your sofa cover. Having a common colour element will help link together all the pieces of furniture.

Another option is to find another accent colour from somewhere else in the room, say the carpet or curtains. A burnt orange fleck may be noticeable enough to use in a matching sofa slipover and add to the effect. The tint could even be further highlighted by adding in a table lamp or coffee table centrepiece with the same bold hue. This can increase the overall dramatic effect.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Natural Area Rugs For Green Home Decor

By Christine Nunez

Home improvement manufacturers have joined the bandwagon of environmental protection. More and more home decorations are made into eco-friendly products utilizing natural materials or recycled goods. Natural area rugs are widely available in the market as environmentally conscious alternatives to the conventional products that have dominated the consumer market and public awareness for a long time.

Decorative items made of natural materials and processed the non-toxic way are not less impressive as the conventional products. In fact, they are worthy of admiration for more than just their beauty, but also for their contribution to the environment. Natural area rugs for instance, are allowing environmentally conscious homeowners to adorn their homes with decors without harming the environment.

Using natural area rugs and other items made from renewable materials is not the only way to contribute to green living. Recycling is also an easy and effective method. If you survey your home, you will see several decorative items that you can reuse or recycle. To change a look of a room, simply swapping it with another decor or repainting the furnishings and walls can instantly upgrade your home to a brand new design. Putting off buying new items can save you a lot of money. Unless you intend to buy eco-friendly goods, then you are better off using old decors. This is a simple way of preserving the environment. Moreover, less waste, more breathing air for Mother Earth.

Using natural area rugs is trendy! How can it not be when going green is now the latest craze? Hopefully, it will become everyone's lifestyle and not just a phase of interest.

Natural area rugs have been in existence even before my awareness to the environmental cause has started. For the last ten years, natural-made rugs have been doing their rounds in the consumer markets. I sure hope that they will not be going anywhere but to more stores and more homes. That the underlying reason for their existence will reach more people's awareness.

It is easy to understand why natural area rugs are likeable, popular and credible in their worth. They are appealing to the eyes, making any room look more improved. The styles, designs, colors and patterns are as diverse as the traditionally made products. Online stores selling natural-made home products, foremost of which are the highly sought after area rugs, are proud to carry a line of these trendy pieces. For the same look as the regular rugs, you get a better quality (natural fibers are sturdy materials), you contribute significantly to the eco-friendly industry and you do your part in preserving our environment, which is a very important duty we all have to fulfill to the planet we call home.

Bamboo and sisal area rugs are just two of the well-known natural area rugs. They look good in any room, but so are the other natural rugs. A green theme for your home is not a bad idea. Not at all.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bathroom Decorating - Guaranteeing A Return On Investment

By Niall Roche

If you searching for ways to improve the value of your home, or you simply need to make some updates and repairs for your own satisfaction, there is little else that adds value to your home besides doing work on your bathroom. Bathroom decorating can be done on shoestring, or can become extravagant remodels. Either way, you need to plan accordingly.

Bathrooms have a way of looking old and worn out quickly. They are the second most used room in the house, next to the kitchen. Even a family room will withstand some heavy duty usage and last longer because it's the furniture that takes the blows - not the room itself.

Bathrooms get old fast. They get worn out and moldy and can devalue an entire house faster than anything else. But sometimes it's too costly to redo everything, so plan accordingly. What really needs upgrading and replacing?

It's always a good idea to replace sinks and faucets every five years or so. Vanities, at least every ten or so - they are indeed expensive, but they are always installed with the current style in mind. If you are selling your home you don't want buyers coming in saying, "That is so 80s!"

Also make sure you understand style. Mixing modern with traditional, or mixing obviously cheap with visually high end can ruin the entire look of the bathroom, and devalue the entire room - and your investment. This is why you need to finalize a budget up front. You don't want to blow it all on a hardwood floor and then buy low grade vanities and sinks, etc., to finish the job. No one will be impressed with a $10,000 floor and a $39 sink.

Learn how to read color charts - there's an entire science behind why they are designed in the color blocks like they are. Each space/placement defines a hue. So, if you want to choose coordinating colors, your best choices are to choose colors in the same placement (row) on each card. A blue in the third space will look perfect with a yellow in the third space.

Sinks and faucets alone can bring you a 300% return on investment by themselves. Just remember to match styles. A Victorian inspired faucet is not going to go well with a raised "bowl" type sink!

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Rug Placement

By Alice Fornetti

No matter what room in the house you place an area rug in you have to decide exactly where the rug should be placed. You want it to be noticeable along with being placed securely. You don't want a rug which is in a room to have a corner stick out in a busy area causing harm to someone who enters. If you have a room which is always busy no matter if it's the kitchen, entrance, or the family room, an area rug can be your friend. It will take most of the wear and tear which the flooring underneath will avoid.

You can create a comfortable and lovely sitting area in a large room when you set a couple of chairs and a small end table or coffee table around a round rug. The rug that you choose to define your sitting area will really end up setting the space apart from the rest of your room.

If you like the way an area rug looks but you're skittish on whether to have the chair fully on or off of the area rug. The suggestion for this option is to have the persons feet planted on the area rug when they are in the sitting position. If this is able to happen then the area rug is in a proper location.

If you are wondering if you should place an area rug in a dining space make sure to have the table and chairs sitting on top of the area rug. You don't want two legs sticking off with the potential of it tipping and causing harm. Measure the top of the table and then add a few extra inches onto this to make sure the area rug will be large enough to accommodate the table and chairs.

Bedrooms are another location that you may want to add a great area rug, either on each side of the bed or in front of the bed. It will add a different texture and feel to your style along with a warmer feeling. If you are looking for something which will cover your floors, search for an area rug which will be able to sit under your bed with a few extra inches to stick out on each side to give you that wonderful warm sensation when you step onto the floor on a cold morning.

In several different cases you can use various multiple rugs in the bedroom. You can place a rug at the foot of your bed, another on one side of the bed, and yet another one on the other side of the bed. It's actually a better idea to use multiple area rugs since they cost less and will end up complimenting your furnishings better since you can use different styles and designs on each side of the bed.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Choosing the Right One - Bathroom Mirror

By Veronica Carrillo

Reuse, reinvest, and retrofit... or demolish? It's Good for the Community Preservation of older structures adds to a sense of identity, educating the community about its history and helping it citizens to amplify their collective historical heritage and culture. In the case of architecture, context often matters. Keeping buildings on their original sites can contribute to an understanding of how and why the community and its character developed.

It's Good for the Economy We can look to the reuse of the High Line Rail in NYC as a model for what preservation, the use of embodied energy, and reuse of the abandoned elevated train artery can do for a local economy. The West Chelsea neighborhood restaurants, shops, galleries, and other businesses in this largely forgotten area of NYC have profited immensely from recent increased usage, traffic, and tourism to the area after High Line was reopened as a walkway and native plant preserve. Substantially different buildings in bulk, form, scale and arrangement are emerging, while still preserving key visual features through restoration and reuse of abandoned existing buildings in the neighborhood. This contributes to employment density and a new pool of patrons for the businesses.

"Dollar for dollar, rehabilitation creates more jobs than new construction. One study in the US, for example, found that $1 million invested in the rehabilitation of an existing building creates 9-13 more jobs than the same $1 million invested in new construction. Why? Because rehabilitation is more labor-intensive than new construction - that is, it requires more man-hours and fewer materials. An economy that is more labor-intensive and less materials-intensive is a greener economy," says Richard Moe of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Legalities Of Asbestos Removal - Licensed professionals must comply with all of the laws and regulations that surround the process of removing asbestos off a property and do everything to ensure that they are protecting the health of the homes occupants. Any time asbestos is present, professionals should be brought in; under the law, though, they must be called in if the situation falls into one or more of the following categories: There is more than 200 square metres of asbestos to remove, there is friable - i.e., "loose" - asbestos or there is damage bonded asbestos. Trained professionals know how to perform their work so that it meets the guidelines set up by the Australian government.

It's Good for the Environment Most professionals in the construction industry are aware of and agree with the current trends in the use of green materials and practices in new construction. But, the green movement has largely disregarded the inherent advantages of building reuse, including the primary one-embodied energy. At the core of sustainability practices should be the question: does the structure that currently exists on the property where I plan to build still have value and will it continue to sustain its value? It doesn't matter how much energy you save if you're carting the structure off to a landfill in 1-2 generations. Rehabilitating old and inefficient buildings can save energy through embodied energy and reduce energy consumption. And with a few sustainability practices, also improve the health and well being of its occupants. New construction - even when done in an environmentally friendly way - still requires the use of irreplaceable natural resources. And the consumption of those resources has real, measurable impacts. For example, a recent study by the UK's Empty Homes Agency found that it takes 35-50 years for a new energy-efficient single-family home to recover the carbon expended during its construction.

Light is also one of the important factors that you need to consider when choosing the right bathroom mirror. There are lots of people who prefer those illuminated mirror for their bathroom. Aside from having a clear reflection of image when using these illuminated mirrors, it can also serve as source of light for the whole room. But if you have enough light for your mirror, then these illuminated mirrors is not the right one for you.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Choosing The Right Area Rug For A Child's Room

By Max Larson

A child's playroom or bedroom is a great place for an area rug. The right one can add a lively playtime area for the room. It is a great alternative to expensive carpets, wallpapers or the many custom techniques used for painting. If your house is rented and your child's room has white walls, an area rug is a great choice for adding color.

Children's tastes vary and change faster than those of rebellious teenagers. Some are even keen on having different names everyday. Making your child's room flexible for his changing moods and widening preferences is a wise move. Tearing off the old starry night wallpaper and putting on a Transformers-inspired one in a jiffy is by no means easy. Repainting from one color to the next every week is no likable task as well. Area rugs can change the look in an instant without the labor and the expenses.

There are area rugs made especially for children. The designs, materials and colors are for children's delight. There are also different themes to meet children's imagination and creativity. Some have construction site and neighborhood themes complete with the trucks, buildings, houses and tree-lined streets. Other rugs are filled with shapes, numbers and cartoon characters. The list of choices is endless and all are assuredly fun for children's finicky tastes.

Using multiple area rugs for one room is acceptable. In fact, decorating with several colorful, multi-design ones are pretty to look at. In addition, there are more things to add happiness and fun to the room. You can even have matching curtains or comforters for a more coordinated look.

Special area rugs are needed for children, not just in terms of style but also in functionality. Because children are more prone to spill and soil whatever they play with, having easy to wash area rugs and low pile or thinner ones are advisable. Rugs that are not too thick will also make playing on them easier, especially with rolling toys like balls and matchboxes.

Furthermore, picking out a material that is resistant to stain and is easily washable will also be a lesser load for your household chores. Having a sturdy material also ensures that your child's area rugs will be there to stay for a long, long time.

Girls will surely love area rugs with Barbie designs while boys will cheer with delight with rugs designed with sports or action figures. These are just two examples of the many themed area rugs for children. Their rooms will never be the same again. And it will always be exciting with each new area rug to decorate their place.

For the cost of an area rug, you can turn your child's room into a great place to play or learn. Most are rather inexpensive and are very durable. Consider this alternative to decorating for your child's bedroom or playroom.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Using Tradition Style Decor In Your Home

By Harry Parlaman

Traditional style remains one of the most popular styles for home decorating. One of the reasons why decorating in traditional style is favored by so many people not only because of the ready availability of traditional style furniture and decor in department stores but also because of the understated elegance implied in the design. No longer does traditional mean your grandmother's furniture though. As this particular style continues to evolve, traditional is becoming more relaxed with fresh takes on traditional favorites. The stark formality that was ever present in the older traditional style has now been replaced with a relaxed, casual elegance that retains a livable feel.

Traditional design tends to lean towards soft colors instead of bright. You can find them accented in jewel tones, gold or even silver. Using soft colors can give your room a relaxed feel and look to any room. Using a few antiques in your decor can give the room a stylish look. If you have a dining table handed down to you then add modern dinnerware to give it a lift.

When choosing fabric for upholstery, furniture, and drapes you can accent your look to give it a traditional feel. Remember that it's not important that the texture matches the fabric completely. They will compliment each other when placed together. An area rug in the dining room or living room is also another way to make the room feel larger. These rooms usually catch the most traffic so you may want to find a rug that is made from durable material.

Accessories should be kept to a minimum because when they are overdone the room ends up looking cluttered. When choosing accessories remember they don't all have to be strictly traditional. A piece pulled from a different design style can easily be integrated into the traditional style and may even enhance it.

Most bedroom sets come complete; bed frame, chest of drawers, dresser, and a nightstand. You can accent this traditional look with pastel sheets and low lighting.

Today dining room sets can be purchased in modern design as well as traditional. If you use tradition then highlight it with modern accessories so the look and designs can be expressed. You can purchase furniture that has hide-a-way storage to help you save room.

You can create a traditional look whether you are bringing your old style to life or just starting over.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gorgeous Counter Tops That Are Environment Conscious

By Jessica Hendrich

Kitchens and food preparation areas have horizontal work surfaces called counter tops. Commonly, it is accompanied by cabinets above & below. A counter top can be created of several different materials, such as stone, to wood, to plastic, to tiles, & even steel, among many others.

But because of the growing awareness for the environment, there are now materials for counter tops that are not only durable, but also great looking & environmentally conscious. So if you're looking for a new countertop and are leaning towards something that's a little gentler on the environment than laminate or stone, there are now many options available that are made from recycled products, can be recycled at end-of-life -- or are both recycled & recyclable -- or are made from renewable resources.

Some of the greener counter top choices are as follows:

1. Stainless steel - Stainless steel counter tops consist of, on average, 75% recycled steel & can contain up to 100% recycled content. They are non-porous & antibacterial, and emit no VOCs. The only downside is they scratch and show fingerprints quickly.

2. Recycled glass - Nowadays, there are many recycled glass counter tops on the market. Each kind has their own special charm.

3. BioGlass - This item is of 100% recyclable & recycled glass. It is available in 6 natural colors & can be used for backsplashes or counter tops.

4. Alkemi - Alkemi counter tops are made from 35% "fine flake aluminum milling scrap" a post-industrial waste products. You can choose from 3 different surface treatments (textured, classic and honed) and twelve colours.

5. Paperstone - Paperstone counter tops are created from either 100% post-consumer office paper or 100% post-consumer cardboard fused with a non-petroleum based resin. It comes in a variety of colours & can be used for as kitchen & bathroom counter tops.

6. IceStone - This is made in Brooklyn, New York. The product uses 100% glass which is otherwise bound for landfill, mixed with concrete to create a surface that is twice as durable as marble. Similar to stone products, it does need to be sealed on a regular basis. It is available in many different colours.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Using Area Rugs To Cover Ugly Floors

By Jed Fistler

The floor may be a tough nut to crack but it can also experience the harshness of time. Long periods of too much traffic, dust and dirt can take its toll on this hard surface. What comes to mind is changing the flooring or redoing it with brand new materials. After all, stains, cracks, scratches and discolorations aren't exactly what we might call pleasing to the eyes. No matter how beautiful the other areas of your house look like, an unattractive floor ruins everything.

If money and time are hindrances, or if the house isn't yours, therefore any major work such as changing the flooring is not allowed, resort to an easier, faster and less expensive option, which is actually a lot of fun to do. I'm talking about decorating with area rugs. These decors are great at disguising flaws, beautifying your living space and complementing your other furnishings.

If you are like me and wanting so badly to change your worn out wood floor to a beauty, place area rugs strategically on scratched or dull surfaces. Better yet, choose a bigger area rug to cover more space and add an elegant feel to the room. This will look amazing most especially in winter while the fireplace is on and the lighting is low. The area rug gives off a country-style, cottage home ambiance.

Carpeted floor sure looks sophisticated. Maintaining it however can be a real drag. You need to vacuum or brush regularly to upkeep its condition and cleanliness, especially if you have pets or children at home. Carpets absorb stain heavier and faster than the other flooring, so cleaning it can be difficult. Although professional cleaning service is widely available, spending money is of course inevitable. Area rugs work with carpeting as well. Even if there's already the carpet as a floor cover, area rugs are still a good fit for a carpeted room. In fact, adding area rugs can give the room more color and style. You can also protect the high-traffic area with an area rug. An example is the spot in front of the TV where your kids always hang out, or the area near the door where the entrance is located.

My bathroom has tile flooring. I've complained so many times of how poorly the tiles were placed. If super glue would work, I would have fixed the problem myself. Additionally, tiles are by nature cranky pieces that color themselves over time. I'm sure you've seen the familiar yellowish or brownish streaks showing up expectantly over the years. No amount of scrubbing, brushing and disinfecting can prevent this awful truth, just like we can't avoid wrinkles and sagging skin as we grow older. Area rugs prove to be angels of decors as they can disguise the stains and yellowing, and they can prevent further tile problems as they protect the frequented tiled areas.

If you want to cover floor imperfections in a house that you own or do not own, one way to do so cheaply is to use area rugs. They never look as though they are being used to cover up an imperfection in the carpeting and usually look very stylish and add a decorative touch to any home.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Decorating Ideas For Your Girl's Bedroom

By Khrystelle Stuart

If your little girl has been bugging you about redecorating her bedroom, anytime is the perfect time to do so given the wide selection of themes, design and color suited for young girls. So why not decorate now and make it a bonding activity between you and your little girl?

Let's consider the different themes ideal for young girls. There are too many to mention so we'll just breakdown the most popular choices for little girls. Perhaps you'll get some ideas for transforming your daughter's bedroom into her own dreamland.

First, is the beach and outdoor theme. Nature plays a significant role for young girls who love to spend their time outdoors. Thus, if your little girl is one of these girls, you can decorate her bedroom using the colors of nature - greens, blues, white, reds, yellows, browns, etc. Just look around and you'll get inspired by the abundance of colors everywhere. Ask your daughter which appeals to her the most. If she likes the ocean, you can use blues and greens. If she likes the sunset, you can use oranges and pinks. If she enjoys family vacations to the countryside, you can use colors found in the fields and flowers.

The universe is just as intriguing to girls as it is to boys. Boys however go for the astronauts and spaceships while girls prefer the dreamy stars and moon. The stars can be glow in the dark dots on the wall or bolder strokes akin to the stars of the outer space.

Flowers will never go wrong in a girl's eyes. Decorating the bedroom with floral prints, flower arrangement, lots of flower colors and sunflower-shaped rugs or rugs designed with flower arts will certainly give your daughter her own paradise.

Outdoorsy, nature-loving girls will also be sure to love a room themed to a big sweeping landscape. The most important part of this theme will be a painting or a decal of a large grassy field or plain, preferably with a nature scene going on somewhere. You can then use other design items that either match colors to the ones in the painting or are done in basic earth tones, giving a very grandiose yet relaxing look to the room.

Do you have a lot of secondhand items you want to use? A cottage theme incorporates those items very well. Whites and light colors paired with distressed furniture and simple patterns will give the room a very welcoming, home-on-the-range feel. It won't look very expensive, but it'll most definitely be cozy for your little girl.

In closing, whatever theme your girl will have for her bedroom, don't forget the very handy area rugs to decorate the room. The design won't be complete without these attractive floor decors. Go for rugs that complement the room's color and design. And of course, with area rugs, lounging on the floor will be an ultra comfortable time for your little girl.

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Steps To Take Before Starting A Renovation Project

By Vallery Anderson

Renovation project more often than not involves years of saving and planning. It is but a must that you as the homeowner will allot some time in learning the tips that will guarantee that your dream renovation project will go smoothly. According to Gary Nealon of AERO Construction, the following is a list of points you can try on when you are preparing for your home renovation.

1. Make a strong communication with the remodeler. With a working communication right from the beginning, you can be certain that problems will be minimized. Be observant on the character of your remodeler. Observe if he or she returns your calls quickly, gives attentions to your suggestions, and responds to your inquiries on the dot. A good contractor must be approachable. This will guarantee that both of you can address problems together when they arise.

2. Choose a contractor that has already established good track record. Make sure that you have a trust in him. Working with somebody you are comfortable with makes a big difference.

3. Make a definite schedule for the project. With a properly laid out schedule, you will be able to track down the progress of the project, whether it is still on time or delayed. Contingency plans can also be properly place into position with clear time line.

4. Require that everything that was agreed on be written. This will make things clear both for you and the contractor. By putting everything in a written proposal, you can check that your understanding and expectations match up with your contractor.

5. Be very mindful of the little details. Make sure that you have clearly set things before the actual work begins.

6. Be flexible. As with most projects, you cannot exactly determine things unless the actual work is being done. Put margins in your plans and expect that there will be interruptions as the work is progressing.

7. You must have a change management plan. You need to discuss with your contractor how both of you will deal changes that you may need to apply such as putting your personal touches on the project. This must also be put into writing. This is very significant, as any change you may want to implement can make an impact with the budget and the schedule of the project.

8. Make sure that the contract covers everything about the project. The contract must include factors like: timetable for the project, the cost and payment schedule, specifications for all products and materials, permit information, change management rules, and details such as access to your home, care for the home, clean up and trash removal.

9. Make sure that you get a Lien Waiver from your contractor when the work is completed. This form states that your payment obligations with your contractor are completed.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Five Possible Applications For Area Rugs In Your House

By Shawne M. Patrick

When you are making an attempt to make your house look more welcoming and more tasty, there are a number of uses for area rugs. These are terribly versatile and may be employed almost anywhere in your home. Depending on the type and the style of the rug you may want to use them in other ways.

One use for area rugs is to break up large spaces of flooring, for example hardwood or stone flooring. A big expanse of flooring can look a bit dull and empty. Adding an area rug can help to break it up. You can also use area rugs to help divide a number of different areas, including an area for watching TV or a conversation area, depending on the purposes you would like to put the room to use for.

Another use for area rugs is to add color and warmth to a room. It is straightforward to choose a colourful rug to put on the floor, or maybe to hang on the wall. It makes the place look more of a home that's basically lived in.

A rug can also be extraordinarily helpful in the bedroom near the bed since the majority don't love to step out of bed onto a cold floor, and sometimes slippers slide away or cannot be found when you want them. This way you can step onto the rug and then put on slippers to keep your feet from being forced to touch the cold floor.

Although the majority do not want to admit it, occasionally accidents occur and their floor might get a stain or 2. It is not always possible to replace the carpet or stained flooring straight away. A pleasant area rug can cover up the stain and make a plain spot on the floor look more attractive.

An area rug can also be used to provide assistance in protecting hardwood surfaces from the furniture that you use in the room. If you place the furniture on the rug it is less likely the floor will finish up scratched and dented. This could help your floor to last a bit longer.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bedroom And Bathroom Renovation Ideas

By Edward Anderson

Ahead of making any home renovations yourself, it is important that you have a full picture of the areas you want to modify in your home. There are bunch of renovation ideas than you can go for. It is critical that you get yourself exposed of these ideas so that you will be able to stretch your home renovation plans and come up with several design options and finally choose the best one that fits your taste.

Let us start with the bathroom. At present, the bathroom is being acknowledge as one of the most important rooms of a house. Planning a renovation for this room must thus be carefully plotted. To get off the ground, examine the current situation of your bathroom. Check how bad of shape it is and how much money you will have to spend if you do renovation. Carefully consider the sort of results you desire to attain, for instance you may need to increase the size of your bathroom.

After carefully looking on the layout plan, the next thing you have to think about is what ornamenting style you like to put on: traditional, contemporary or rustic? There are a lot of breath taking bathroom design accesible online, it is a great idea to go and see these and pick your choice. Your decision will affect the choice of faucets, light fixtures, etc. Next, ask yourself about the things you need to add in your bathroom: a separate shower and bath? Do you like to add more space under the sink? It's time for you to find the new techniques for efficient storage solutions. Are there any on-going problems in your bathroom you have to cover during the renovation process? Do you want to add a few more light sources? How about the ventilation? Make sure that you have invest some thought and consideration on the details before you make any last decisions for your bathroom renovation.

Let us move on to the renovation ideas for your bedroom. This is a thrilling section of the renovation process. The bedroom is our own personal sanctuary from the outside world. It gives us the chance to lie back, relax and read our favourite books. Since this is a room that most people dont see, you can put on whatever you want here. But do remember to have some sort of theme. Choose the color that you love. Get bedroom furniture that are cozy and is a immediate display of your personality and tastes.

Irrespective of what kind of home renovation you want, the best way to get things done the right way is to look for the help of professionals in this field. Describe to them what you want to do and ask for their advice. Through this, you are sure that you are on the right track for your home renovation plans and you are sure that your money is spent wisely.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

How To Design A Kitchen The Right Way

By Martin Elmer

If you are planning to design a new kitchen, you should know the recommended measurement that will give you the perfect cooking work space. This article gives you 10 tips on how to make your new kitchen the best place for the daily cooking task.

1. The work triangle, which is the space between the refrigerator, sink, and stove should be 26' or less with none of the sides longer than 9', or less than 4'.

2. In kitchens smaller than 150 sq. ft., opt for at least 13' of base cabinets, 12' of wall cabinets, and 11' of countertop. In kitchens which are larger, go with at least 16' of base cabinets, 15 1/2' of wall cabinets, and 16 1/2' of countertop.

3. For convenience, plan work aisles to be at least 42" wide for one cook, and at least 48" wide in multi-cook kitchens.

4. Specify a minimum of 24" of counter space on one side of the sink and at least 18" on the other.

5. To create the most accessible landing for unloading groceries, allow at least 15" of counter space on the handle side of a standard refrigerator; on both sides if it's a side-by-side model. Or include a landing area directly across from the refrigerator, but no more than 48" away.

6. To make it easy to clean up, the dishwasher should not be more than 36" of the edge of the sink. Leave minimum 21" of standing room next to it.

7. Provide at least 15" counter space near ovens and microwaves. The space should be minimum 16" deep.

8. For optimum clearance, no entry, appliance, or cabinet doors should interfere with another.

9. The prevent repetitive-motion injury make the work counters have different height. For chopping and seated-use access have them between 28 and 36" off the floor, and for more general tasks make then between 36 and 46". This is standard measures. Taller cooks may need higher counters.

10. The clearance between the cook top and a cabinet unit must be minimum 24" if the surface is fireproof and 30" if it isn't.

Kitchen design is equally divided between science and art. You can have a lot of good ideas, but if you do not know the recommended measurements, the result will never be satisfying. It is expensive to build a new kitchen, so you should make sure that you get the best result.

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Paint Your Own Floor Rug

By Kathy Li

It's hard to find a rug to place in your home that you like. You can find some that coordinate but maybe you are having trouble capturing the right look and feel. Now you have the option to paint your own rug for home decor. You can create the look that works best for your taste.

Some of the supplies you will need in order to paint rugs for home decor include a rug (you might want to start with an old rug for your first time); a pattern (either stencils or stamps); fabric paint or dye and a set of brushes.

Getting started...Before you attempt to paint the rug for your home, be sure that you know what you want to do. You should have a design idea in your head and be able to sketch it out on paper. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, sketch it out and think of how you can make it a reality. Gather up the materials and get started.

You will want to prepare the area where you are working with newspaper or tarp so that you do not get paint or dye anywhere else. For your first project, you should start with an older throw rug.

Fabric dye is a great to use but it can be tricky. It doesn't come off of your hands as easy and sometimes the colors can bleed onto another. But fabric dye has a great look on rugs when used correctly.

Fabric paint can be purchased at almost any store. You can purchase several colors or color coordinate depending on what you want to go with. You want everything to match and coordinate well. It can easily come off of your hands by using water and soap.

Fabric dye is another choice for painting a rug. It doesn't come off of your hands well so be very careful when using. You can purchase these dyes at markets all around the world. Use the same instructions with the fabric dye as you would with fabric paint. Be careful that your dyes do not bleed. To avoid this, make sure that you remove all access paints and dyes from the brush before painting.

Fabric dye is permanent so avoid getting it on the floor or other areas around where you are painting. You may want to wear gloves when painting to avoid getting the paint on your skin.

When you begin you may want to start at a corner of your rug to make sure that you are creating the look you set out to do. Once your area rug is completed you can show off your wonderful masterpiece for years to come.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Modern Floor Lamps - The Secret to a Stylish Home

By Chris Siewert

People spend the majority of their time inside their own home. Yet some people choose not to decorate their home and leave it ugly and depressing. Enhance the environment you spend most time in and decorate your house. Yet there is one step that many people miss when decorating a new room, most people paint the walls and get new furniture but completely forget about this one crucial step that has a huge impact of the style of your home.

The important step to home decorating that many miss is improving your lighting. Lighting is key if you want to create a warm welcoming mood in your home and the best way to add more light, with some extra style, is to add a modern floor lamp.

When buying a modern floor lamp you must consider what you intend to use it for. A floor lamp whose sole purpose is for reading must be very bright and have be able to illuminate an area well, while a lamp just for decoration does not necessarily have to be very bright.

There are many factors that can contribute to the purchasing of a lamp but the two ma in factors are the brightness and size of the lamp. You will want to check that the lamp is bright enough to light up your room while still small enough to fit. Although you never want to get too big of a lamp as these might not fit in all houses and tend to make the room look lopsided.

Lamps require electricity to run so the next thing you should do is to reflect on the amount of electricity your lamp will use. No one wants a high electric bill and you can keep it low by limiting the amount of energy your lamp uses. If your lamp is not the main source of light in an area then maybe think about replacing the bulb with one of a lower wattage. Having your lamp emit only a soft glow is also the latest trend in floor lamps so you can save power and stay trendy with one simple step.

Remember that having good light when you are reading is very important so you should always use bright floor lamps for reading. Buying a floor lamp that is too dim for your room is one of the worst things to do and is extremely annoying. I would say that, for reading lamps, a 120 watt bulb should be sufficient and for other lamps under 120 should be just fine.

Also I recommend that your go with a compact florescent light bulb as these are much more energy efficient and will last much longer than a normal light bulb. These can be purchased at any local home hardware or department store.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Decorate A Child's Room In Feng Shui

By Jay Lions

Feng Shui is very popular when designing rooms but many haven't heard of using it in a child's space. Feng Shui is usually used to create relaxation and also harmony in a rooms design. It also means the arrangements of the furniture in each room need to be placed correctly to give the positive energies for life.

Look around your child's room and you'll see many different belongings. If you notice the room is very crowded and you also see your child has a hard time concentrating, it may be due to the design. By opting for a nature-like style, you'll make it seem simpler and not too distracting. Soft fabrics and lighting will apply this Feng Shui feeling in your child's room.

Producing a room that exudes security and comfort is a must for your child. To exude a sense of safety, set the bed's head against a wall and ensure that your child can easily switch the lights on before going into his room, as well as in the middle of the night.

You also want the room to be clutter free. Try placing toys and other items on shelves or even in a storage tub underneath the bed or in the closet. This will keep it out of the way but easy enough for them to pull out when they want to play.

Just like adults, children need their rest, too, so keep the room stimulation to a moderate level, in order to induce sleep once it is time for bed. Extremely bright pastels should never be used in a child's room because they can cause the space to be overwhelming and stimulating. You should also make sure toys put back in storage bins and tucked away immediately after play time is over, so that the child understands that it is bedtime.

Provide a soft area rug to cover the floor of your child's room. Rugs create softness and balance against hard walls. Texture is an important part of Feng Shui so a rug is the perfect accessory for your child's room. Find a rug in a soft color so it doesn't overwhelm your child or make the room feel weighted down. Look for an area rug that is soft and comfortable for when you child plays on the floor.

Even the wall and ceiling angles play a part in Feng Shui. With sloping eaves, posters are not recommended to be put at the bed's head since it creates a sensation on pressure hanging above your child's head.

If you aren't quite sure what Feng Shui is but you want to create this style in your child's room or any other room in the home, try researching it before decorating a space. Another great idea to make sure your child's room is safe and has that Feng Shui feel is to sleep in it for a night. Look around and see what the vision is before you rest your head and also when you wake up. Also take into consideration shadows which may appear with the glare of the night light. Make sure it's not going to scare your child if they wake up in the middle of the night. On the other hand, if the room is bright due to a street light then place darkening shades on their windows to give them peace. If your child is old enough to help you decorate their room encourage them to help you. This will be a great learning experience for them and also show them that other cultures have great design techniques. Also ask them how they feel when they enter their room. Make sure nothing is harsh to their eyes and they feel at peace with the decor.

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Decorating a Bachelor pad

By Adam Everson

When you think about designing most of the time you will think of women redesigning. But there are men out there that live alone and want to give their room a masculine look. Men aren't looking to have a home that has a bunch of flowers on the wall; they want to have their own character on the walls and decorations.

If you want the perfect makeover for your masculine room, begin with searching online and even in magazines for ideas you want to try. Don't choose a home design magazine which wouldn't be anything you'd choose, but search through magazines you already subscribe to. It doesn't need to be a story in the magazine, look in the background of ads. You never really look closely to those pictures but there are many great room designs behind them. Make sure to mark down designs that you like and others that you dislike to make your options easier to choose when decorating elements come into play.

Take a close look at the current room you are looking to re-design. Check to see if you have features in the room that you can play up with the new design or any architectural elements which make the room unique. Also are your floors covered with carpet or are they natural wood or stone? Pick one area in the room which will be the focal point and you can accent it well.

Men work different in designing a room; they will start at the bottom and work to the top. Start with an area rug that has something that shows your personality. Pick something that is comfortable and soft to walk on. Choose a color that you like. It should be solid colors that will make the room feel more masculine. Make sure if you have a pet you buy a rug that won't show dirt as well.

The next step is to focus on the wall color you prefer. Paint is the quickest way to change a room's appearance. Make sure the color will provide an energy feel when entering your pad and also creating a larger space if necessary. Dark blues or greens are a great color to add into a masculine room for the wall color. If you want a sexier more passionate sensation in the room go for a bold red or a burgundy. Try not to choose wallpaper just to make things simple. Wallpaper is very outdated and won't be too masculine either way you look at it.

If you add some lighter shaded curtains they will help to make the bold colors a bit softer. A nice masculine color or something that has stripes is a good choice. Make sure that the curtains go with your flooring or rug if you've added it to the room.

Finally, choose some wall art to jazz up the space. You can choose any theme you want for your wall decor, but avoid posters. Choose nicely framed prints to create a sophisticated bachelor pad, as opposed to a college boy's dorm room. If you must use posters, place them in nice frames before you hang them up. You could also hang photos of old cars or airplanes. You could also display vintage baseball cards or football helmets on the walls with the help of display cases or shelves. Get creative to personalize your masculine room design according to your tastes and interests.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Black and White Ideas for Stylish Home Decor

By Marion Jones

Whenever people start to think about living room decorating ideas and making changes to their residence, whether it be one or two rooms or even the entire house, the first question that usually springs to mind is 'what colours shall I use'. Frequently, people choose colours that they like or those which correspond with pieces of their existing furniture. When looking for living room decorating inspiration, one idea which is perhaps too often overlooked is decorating with the two basic colours (or shades, to be completely accurate) " black and white.

Black and white, when used in decorating shows style and creates drama. Top decorators say that every room in the house could benefit from adding a slash of black. Black is a colour which anchors and grounds a room. Adding sophistication, black is certainly a colour that demands attention. Living room decorating ideas for a home using black can include accessories such as light fixtures, trim or furniture. Black serves to bring definition to the focal points in a room. Black is just one of the colours that makes a statement, but it is definitely one of the most eye-catching!

Decorating with the shades of black and white in your living room decorating ideas, lends a clean, fresh, elegant air to the mood of the room. This combination can be used in any room in a home making it a sophisticated area. Black and white are frequently used in contemporary home decorating and often used to highlight other colours in the French Country style. It may be hard to visualize but there are many ideas for decorating a home using combinations of only these two basic shades.

The floor is a great area to start when you're having living room decorating ideas. Black and white vinyl tiles laid alternately make a beautiful chessboard pattern and gives a clean and elegant appearance. Black marble used on the floor, accented by wide white baseboards is another beautiful idea for decorating a home. Laying white ceramic tiles with a black border or simply painting the floor black or white and using pattern stencils of the opposite colour for decoration is also really stunning. These all are fantastic ideas for re-vamping a home.

Is there anything more perfect than white walls? Painting the walls white or even an off-white makes a perfect background for accessories such as artwork framed in black. Imagine that - stylish home decor! Elegant black window treatments or black shutters against a clean, crisp white wall would certainly create an air of sophistication. Perhaps a glass-topped table with black iron trim and black chairs? These are great ideas for decorating a home using only black and white.

Imagine a bedroom decorated using only black and white - that would be lovely stylish home decor too. A black or white iron bed-stead, covered with a striped black and white blanket or eiderdown. The pillow cases could be either all black or all white and you could add throw cushions in the opposite colour.

A chunky leather black or white armchair in the corner would certainly accent the living room decorating ideas. Then you could have the white walls with a sophisticated piece of artwork, framed in black, hanging on it. That would surely add to the modern feel of your living room decorating ideas. Black furniture against the stark white walls would look really neat and tidy and you could spruce it all up with accessories like pewter or silver candlesticks, jugs or vases.

However, if you think that the living room decorating ideas need a bit more colour to finish off the look, perhaps a throw or a cushion in a bright colour like red or gold for the chair in the corner of the room would be enough to highlight the room. There are innumerable ways to decorate a home, however, finding the one that suits you and those who live with you is really very important. It's nice to do something extreme and unusual, but please remember that you must be able to live with what you have created for quite sometime.

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