Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Three Factors on Making Wise Choices with a Patio Umbrella

Homeowners will find that the patio is an excellent place to spruce up with furniture and fixtures like table and chair sets, planters and even swings. Still, most homeowners will opt for a beautiful, practical and affordable patio umbrella for many reasons.

And with the wide range of patio umbrellas in online sites and stores, homeowners and café owners will have little difficulty in finding the products that will best suit their intentions. The trick is in choosing the right umbrella for the patio of which some choices are market umbrellas or popular Sunbrella outdoor umbrellas. Fortunately, the right choice can be made by knowing the product selections based on size, pole and style, which this article briefly discusses in turn.


Patio umbrellas come in various sizes from the single models to the family units. This way, everybody with a desire for patio umbrellas has a choice, be it a person who lives in a small apartment with a tiny balcony or a café proprietor with almost an entire sidewalk to cover.

The choice of the patio umbrella in terms of size depends on a balance of two things. Buyers must measure the area in which the umbrella will be placed in on one hand and the desired area to be shaded on the other hand. For example, a standard 4x6 feet umbrella will shade a bistro table set while a 9x10 feet umbrella is sufficient for a 72-inch table with 6 chairs.


As can be expected, most patio umbrellas have a pole in the middle in the same way as the portable umbrellas. The pole itself as well as the umbrella's ribs can be made from a variety of materials including wood, aluminum and fiberglass. Its height can start at 8 feet tall, which is sufficient for most people of average height, although most patio umbrellas have adjustable pole heights.

However, if a patio umbrella without the pole is desired mainly because it gets in the way, in a manner of speaking, an offset umbrella and a mounted umbrella are the next best choices. The wall-mounted patio umbrellas are popular among café owners with a patio for customers who like to dine al fresco.

The patio umbrellas can also a tilt function. Basically, the umbrella's pole can be tilted depending on where the sun is shining at the moment and, thus, it always provides sun protection without actually moving the entire umbrella plus the table and chairs.


The patio umbrella can also be chosen based on the style, which comes in two forms. First, the table umbrella where the pole is threaded through a hole in the center of the table and then the cover will be mounted on top. The bases for these patio umbrellas are usually lighter because the table provides for additional stability. Second, the freestanding patio umbrellas require a heavier stand to counterbalance the weight. Manufacturers offer stands with three or four points for this purpose.

No matter the size, pole and style chosen in the patio umbrella, one important thing must be ensured when looking for the best in this category. The fabric used on the umbrella must be weather-resistant, ultraviolet ray-resistant and fade-resistant. This way, the people underneath the umbrella can, indeed, become protected as best as possible.

Kelly Marshall is a writer for Patioshoppers.com – the leading online patio retailer for patio furniture.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

How To Tell Oak From Pine When Choosing Doors

Oak and pine are along with maple, three of the most commonly used woods in the production of household goods and furniture. Both oak and pine are sturdy materials that when treated properly, offer a fantastic finish.

However, the materials vary drastically with regards to their colour, weight, price and durability. This is why, if you’re seeking for instance, oak doors, you need to guarantee that what you’re buying is oak, rather than its less durable cousin, pine.

So how can I tell the difference between oak and pine?

• Knock on the wood – Oak is very hard, heavy and resistant to wear and tear. This makes oak doors an ideal choice; whether considering oak internal doors or external oak doors. This also means that oak has a solid and very dense sound when knocked on.

• Study the woods colour – Pine is much lighter in colour than oak, varying from creamy white to yellow. Oak is usually quite dark, with reddish tones. Due to the colours, you will usually find pine is used for rustic and traditional styled goods while oak is more commonly used for country designs and contemporary furniture.

• Compare the price – Oak will usually be much more expensive than pine. This is because oak trees take much longer to reach maturity than pine trees. Because of the extra expense, oak is better suited to goods that are expected to have a long shelf-life, such as oak doors or countertops.

Although I have suggested studying the colour of the wood in order to differentiate between oak and pine, it should be noted that this test is not 100% reliable. There are ways to bless cheaper wood with the appearance of higher quality and more expensive wood. Because of this you should remember to never entirely ‘judge wood by its cover’ and instead make use of the ‘knock test’ and ‘price test’ also.

Remember – you get what you pay for. If someone is offering you a set of oak doors for a staggeringly low price, be very sceptical.

Should I choose oak or pine for my home?

The choice is of course, down to your own preference, budget and style. However, oak is more suitable for some goods (such as oak doors) while pine is more suited to others.

• As pine is a relatively light material, it is highly suited to furniture that may be moved around regularly such as beds, chairs and tables.

• Oak therefore, is more suitable for goods that are likely to stay in one fixed location. It’s fantastic for countertops and both external and oak internal doors.

If you wish to adorn your home with oak furniture throughout, but either don’t have the resources or feel the material isn’t suitable for all your needs, it might be worth investigating ways to change the woods appearance. This is an easy way to enjoy the appearance of oak without the associated cost or inconvenience of unnecessarily heavy furniture.

This post was written by James Harper on behalf of UK Oak Doors. James is currently renovating his home and enjoys writing about home improvement an interior design.

Useful Resources:
Buy internal doors

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Adding a Tile Splashback to Your Kitchen

Adding a tile backsplash to your kitchen is a quick and easy way to update the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. There are a few different options when it comes to tiling material, and a multitude of colors to choose from, giving you a lot of freedom to create a unique look for your home in just a couple days.

Tile Options

Ceramic, glass, and stone tiles are the most common for backsplashes. Glass tiles come in variety of sizes and colors. If you’re looking to add a little shimmer or shine to your kitchen, glass tiles are a great option. Stone tile, whether granite, slate, or marble is typically the most expensive. Generally stone tile is going to come in a more neutral color palette, but its natural beauty can make your kitchen stand out. Ceramic tiles are usually the most affordable option and come in every shape, size and color, so they’re very versatile. When picking a color, be sure to match your tile to your fixtures, rather than your appliances. Add in an accent color to make your backsplash really pop.

What You’ll Need to Install

• Newspaper
• Tile
• Pre-mixed adhesive and trowel
• Sponge
• Spacers
• Pre-mixed grout and float
• Caulk

Installing Your Backsplash

1. After you decide on a tile style, you’ll need to measure your space to see how much you’ll need. In inches, measure from the top of the counter to the underside of the cabinets. Multiply the two numbers together to get the area. Tile is generally sold by square foot, in sheets with an easy to cut mesh backing.

2. Once you are ready with your tile, make sure the surface of the wall is clean and dry. Lay down newspaper on the countertops for easier clean up.

3. Load your trowel with the premix adhesive and apply to the wall. Then, using the combed edge of the tool, gently pull through the adhesive to remove excess. It is best to do this in small sections, one section at a time.

4. Apply tile to the wall from the counter up to keep everything even. Once you’ve applied the tile over the adhesive, insert spacers between each square to make sure they stay straight. Continue until you’ve tiled the entire area, then remove spacers.

5. Wait for the tile to set completely (as indicated on the adhesive mix) until you apply the grout. Using a pre-mixed grout is easy. Apply grout to a float and run over tiles, making sure it sticks between the squares. Take a damp sponge to the tiles to clean off any extra grout from the surface.

6. The last thing you’ll want to do is seal the space between the counter and tile with a thin line of caulk.

Once your new backsplash is installed, you can replace the outlet covers that you previously removed. Keep in mind you may need to use longer screws to compensate for the added width from the tile. After your backsplash is complete, consider adding recessed lighting underneath your countertops so your work can shine, or more kitchen remodeling ideas visit Erie Construction.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How To Make Your Own Roman Blinds

Roman blinds are a lovely addition to any home, but designer made Roman blinds can be very expensive. Fortunately they are not difficult to make and can be done using some common hardware and craft supplies.

The first thing to consider is the fabric. The front fabric should match or nicely complement the room decor. Quilters should consider a pieced front fabric to show off their talents. It is even possible to reuse or upcycle fabric from old drapes or bed sheets for an environmentally friendly project. The back fabric needs to be a nice UV resistant curtain lining. This is easy to come by either at the fabric store or by scrounging old worn out curtains from the rag bin. It is best to avoid plain muslin because it will not protect the front fabric or other interior fabrics from fading.

The fabrics should be cut to the size of the window plus one inch for seam allowances on the sides and four inches for seam allowance plus hem and casing on the top and bottom. Add additional allowance for an outside mount if desired. The bottom edges of both the front fabric and the lining get a three inch hem. This forms the casing for the metal strip. Place the right sides of the fabric together and sew one side from the bottom up. The metal bar fits nicely into the front fabric hem and the other side may be sewn to seal it inside.

Brass rings are a must. Plastic ones will wear out or begin to crumble from long exposure to sunlight. Battens can be either shade ribs or wooden dowels, cut one in smaller than the finished width of the shade. These help stiffen the fabric for better folds in the shade.

The trickiest part of Roman blinds is measuring to determine the placement of the battens and rings. A good tip to be aware of is that the blinds will hang and fold better if the distance between the rings is graduated, with the longest distance being at the bottom and the shortest on top. Seven inches, then six, then five, then four, then three make a good spacing for the rings. Alter this according to the length of the finished blind.

Each ring should have a batten to give it support. The mid point between each two rings should also have a batten to support the fold. So if the first ring is four inches from the bottom and the next ring is seven inches from it, there should be another batten at three and a half inches from the first ring. White glue will not hold the battens for long. Gem glue is a much better choice. Avoid hot glue. The battens should be glued to the wrong side of the front fabric. Allow the glue to dry overnight, then turn the tube so that the right sides are out. Press the edges and sew the brass rings to every other batten in three columns, sewing through both layers of fabric. Thread should match the front of the blind.
The soft side of the velcro goes on the top edge of the blind. Fold the fabric over one inch, trimming uneven edges. Press and sew the velcro to cover the raw edge.

The shade bracket is a simple one inch thick piece of wood measured to match the window frame. The bracket can be left plain or dressed up with a clean piece of muslin. For inside mount blinds, mount three eye screws on the wide face of the board--one on the right side, one in the middle, and one on the left--and staple the hook side of the velcro to the narrow face. The board faces are reversed for outside mount blinds. Mount the bracket in the window with two screws and attach the blind to the bracket.

Three strings loop through the eye screws from right to left, turning to catch a column of brass rings and fastening at the bottom of the lowest ring in each column. The closest string goes through only the first eye screw. The middle string goes through the middle and first eye screw. The furthest string goes through all three eye screws. These strings knot together on the right side to become a single pull string. Pull the string to raise the finished blind or relax to lower it. The string attaches to a cleat mounted on the wall when the blind is drawn up.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Transform Your Garden Into an Outdoor Room with Decking

Decking boards are becoming increasingly popular in gardens nowadays. They offer a modern feel with a stylish flair. Just imagine being able to step out into your garden to enjoy the sunrise in the morning - without getting your slippers dirty!

Enjoying the outdoors improves the quality of life! Decking boards allow you to sip your coffee in the morning and evening sun and lounge in the garden on a Sunday or after a hard day’s work. Being outdoors soaking in the sun and inhaling fresh air is a few of life’s biggest and simplest pleasures.

This is such a great idea to have in the garden.

If you need extra storage then  a secure bike storage or cycle shed is also a great addition to a garden. For a great choice of bike and cycle sheds try www.asgardsss.co.uk - click here

Decorating a Home Inspired by Travels

Do you love to travel? From France to Italy, Ethiopia and beyond, someone who loves seeing new places might never want to return home at the end of a trip. Why not bring memories of your travels home so you can reminisce until next time? Use these memories as inspiration when you are decorating your home's interior. There are many ways to decorate a home inspired by travels; these are just three ideas.

Shop for Decor While Traveling

Pick up decorating items from some of your favorite cities or regions during your travels. For example, visit flea markets or similar regional markets and shop for unique art pieces, dishes, and so on. The items you find do not necessarily have to be new. The only requirement is that you love them. Upon returning home after each trip, clean your flea market finds if necessary, and find places in your home for them. Another idea is to commission custom made items from the local craftspeople. To avoid clutter and to highlight your new decor, you may need to remove other decorations that have nothing to do with your travels.

Take Inspiration from a Favorite Destination

Do you just love the atmosphere in a French bistro? Recreate that feel in your own kitchen, where you can sip coffee and eat a croissant, without ever realizing you already left Paris. Hang French-inspired artwork and choose sophisticated decorations. Choose your favorite travel destination and decorate a room - or the entire house - so it feels like you are traveling all the time, even when you are still at home.

Integrate Two to Three Styles in One Room

It may be difficult to choose just one favorite travel location. Do you have several favorites? Try integrating pieces from two or three of your favorite destinations together in one room. For example, use the textures and patterns of a particular African culture as inspiration for the textiles in your home. Then integrate the sleek, clean lines you likely have seen in many European homes. It is almost never a bad idea to mix and match textures and finishes in a home.

If you love to travel, use a trip's experiences to help inspire decor ideas for your home. Shop for decor while traveling, integrate some of your favorite styles into each room, or take inspiration from a favorite travel destination. Once your home has been personalized with memories of worldly travels, you might actually begin to anticipate returning home.

Heather Johnson writes for Honeymoon Destinations, the best honeymoon research and planning website. Discover some great honeymoon ideas today!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Selecting the Right Curtain Poles for Your Home

How To Erect Curtain Poles

Curtains constitute an integral position in any living area – not only are they ornamental but they have the practical purpose of maintaining a rooms environment by filtering light and also can be used for temperature control. To install curtains properly it is essential that the pole which they will be hung from is placed correctly; this will help avoid any functional problems whilst also ensuring the aesthetic qualities of a window place.

Choosing The Correct Pole

Deciding upon the length of the pole to be used is the first step that should be undertaken. To determine these measurements it should be noted that the curtain pole should always be a small amount longer than the window itself. Once the length of the window has been gaged with a tape measure an extra five inches should be added on to this figure to calculate the optimum length of a curtain pole. The extra length is needed to allow for the curtains to be fastened either side of the window completely out of the way if need be so as to allow in the most possible light.

Other considerations for buying a curtain pole include the material of the pole itself. Two factors can help shape this decision; practicality and budget. When deciding what material the pole should be made from, apart from aesthetic values, it should be noted that various poles are not strong enough to hang heavier material from them. So, for example, if an individual was looking at hanging a pair of velvet curtains, a particularly heavy material, a sturdy and durable curtain pole would be needed; metal and wood would be ideal in this situation. The fact that stronger materials are also the most expensive can certainly play a part in decision making if budgetary constraints are a concern; if the curtain is not made from a heavy material then a cheap pole, such as a plastic one, can certainly be considered as an option.

Marking Positions

Once measurements have been made and the curtain has been purchased there are a few pre-emptive tasks that need to be completed before a curtain pole can be erected. Instead of erecting a curtain pole blind it is a good idea to make some measurements, using a pencil, to highlight where the brackets from which the pole will be suspended from should go. The first step to make is ensuring that these brackets are placed high enough off the ground so as to allow for the curtains to not trail. This means measuring the height of the curtains and then marking for the brackets to be at least a few inches further off the ground than this. Once these marks have been made it is a good idea to then, if possible, mark the locations of every hole that will be made for the screws which will be placed in the wall for the brackets.

Erecting The Curtain Pole

The hands on bit of erecting a curtain pole comes with a few considerations that need to be made for which equipment to use particularly with regards to which drill to use. So, for example, if the window is in the middle of a wall made from either brick or plaster than a different drill bit would be needed than for it was placed in a wooden wall. For brick and blaster a masonry drill bit would be ideal and for a wooden wall a wood drill bit should be utilised. Regardless of these factors protective goggles should be worn at all times. Drill into the walls where the markings have previously been made and then place the brackets over these. The next step is to secure the brackets in place with either a screwdriver or a drill depending, once more, on the type of wall. Drills are particularly useful for drywalls. Once the brackets have been attached to the wall make an extra check to make sure the screws are firm and, once this is the case, it is possible to erect the curtain pole on these. This should provide a firm platform to dangle the curtains from.

Author Bio

Kieron Casey is a BA (Hons) Journalism graduate who blogs regularly on a number of topics including home improvement, curtains and DIY.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

5 Easy Ways to Improve your Home with Home Decor

For people looking to improve the appearance of their home, there are easy methods for making everything feel new again.

1. Candles

This option does not occur to a number of people. If it does come up at all, it is usually seen as a method for providing light during a loss of electricity. But candles are not just for emergency situations. They can also make a room feel more inviting. Should the homeowner choose to get scented candles, they can also provide a pleasant aroma that will help people feel relaxed. During the hours of the night, they can also provide a warm glow and a romantic, thoughtful atmosphere.

2. Sofa Pillows

Sometimes the simplest things can provide the biggest changes when it comes to improving a home. Sofa pillows may not be seen as very important, but they can add personality to a room that was not there before. For example, placing bright pillows on a beige or white couch can add a pop of color. Guests and even members of the household will notice them right away when they enter the room. On top of looking good, they can also add comfort when people sit down. They may even come in handy if somebody wants to rest for awhile and take a nap.

3. Lighting

Lighting is very important, even if many people do not realize this. Light can add atmosphere at night and make it easier to see things, among other benefits. A room that appeared plain beforehand can be greatly improved simply by placing a lamp inside. This does not have to be an expensive venture, however, and any household budget can remain firm even after purchasing a few. Lighting can be placed on tables, on the floor and just about anywhere else where there is room.

4. Logs for the Fireplace

This may not be seen as home decor, but it can make a big difference in the end. When a home has a fireplace, but there are no logs in said fireplace, it will look abandoned. People that come by will assume that it is never used, and it will look like a small hole in the wall. When logs are placed inside the room will look warmer and more comfortable. The fireplace will appear as though it is used a lot, even if this is not the case. The household may even be compelled to use it more, simply because logs are there.

5. Framed Pictures

If the household has recently gone on vacation, what better way to showcase their adventure than through framed pictures on the wall? The framed images do not have to consist of family vacations or other special events, however. They do not have to showcase the different stages of a child's life, either. If the household so chooses, they can simply put up pictures of cities, animals and other places or objects that they like. They can show the world what fascinates them and what makes them happy. This kind of home decor can add true fun to any room.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Making A Feature Out Of Your Stairs

Stairs are an important part of any building and obviously act as a way of getting from one floor to another. However, it is a mistake to believe that they only play a practical role; well planned stairs can greatly help to improve the aesthetics of a home’s interior. Here we look at a few design ideas that can help make your stairs into a fantastic feature.

Single Sided Balustrade

In most homes across the UK the bottom of the stairs will lead into the entrance or reception area of the property. One side of the stairs will usually be edged with wall, whilst the other side is edged with balustrade. Due to the close proximity of the walls and ceilings, hallway areas can often be quite dark spaces. This can give off the wrong vibe to visitors as soon as they enter your house and leave the entranceway feeling oppressive.

In the photo above we can see that whilst the kitchen is nice and bright, the stairs appear quite dingy. This is partly because of the carpet selection and also the darkness of wood used in the handrail. In order to brighten up the hallway area it is important to accentuate any natural light that is present. This can be done by choosing the right colours in your hallway decor; with whites, creams and pastels being obvious choices. In addition you should also look to add stair parts that will reflect light.

If you are looking for a painted finish for your stairs then white is often the most suitable shade. In order to avoid the hallway from looking too sterile you can add a touch of character by introducing some contrasting colour by way of dark wood handrails and newel caps.

If you prefer a natural wood finish to your stairs then it is advisable to go for lighter timber, such as white oak, ash and pine. In order to draw attention to the stairs you have the option of selecting metal parts, with a silver finish providing the most emphasis.

Double Sided Balustrade

Where houses are large enough to have an entrance area that affords sections of double sided balustrade, natural light isn’t usually a problem. If you are fortunate to have such a property then it is likely that you have an above average sized landing area and don’t have to worry too much about making best use of light. In such instances your approach should be guided by the age of the property and the overall feel you are looking for. More traditional buildings are well suited to an all wood finish.

Notice how in this photograph the ends of the handrails are rounded rather than using squared ends. This kind of detailing serves to allow the stairs to flow into the hallway area without making them appear awkward or out of place.

For Modern Properties

If you have purchased a new build or a relatively modern property then it may well be that your stairs enter into the living space of your home. Open plan designs like these are built with light in mind and you play on this through the use of glass stair parts.

The glass panels used here ensure that the contemporary ambience remains and also helps to keep the room feeling light and spacious.

Making Your Choice

Ultimately the decision on how your wish your stairs to look comes down to personal taste. Remember that stairs are a considered purchase that will last for decades; so don’t rush into your final decision. Also be sure not to let the carpet, wallpaper or paintwork that is present in the stair area influence your decision; they will all need replacing long before your stairs do and you could be left ruing your stair part selection.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Update Your Home – Use the Good, Toss the Bad, Donate the Ugly

If you're like most people, your home is fully furnished and contains many necessary items like DVD players and microwave ovens, as well as things that are purely decorative in nature. But do all these things come together to create a cohesive look that you want to come home to every night? If the answer is no, it may be time to re-evaluate the things that fill your home and your life. The first step to creating a fresh new look for your home, is to decide what should stay and what should go.

Finding a Style

One way to begin deciding what to keep and what to pitch is to thumb through interior design magazines until you find a room that you love. It doesn't matter if the furniture and accessories in the picture are out of your budget. Now, look at the picture. What is it about it that resonates so well with you? Is it the color scheme? Maybe it's the roomy feeling or the uncluttered Zen simplicity. Whatever it is, that is what you want to replicate. The odds are the room appeals to you because of a combination of more than one factor.

Sorting Through Your Stuff

Once you isolate the elements that appeal to you, go on a treasure hunt. Photograph in hand, go through your home and note anything that fits in with the color scheme, theme, style or period of the room you have in mind. Next, note anything that could fit in with a little modification. Perhaps your antique rice bed doesn't fit the country cottage look you have in mind, but with the right duvet and canopy, it could. Be creative. Paint, slipcovers, accessories, hardware and imaginative grouping can totally change the look and feel of many pieces.

Now write down everything you can't get rid of, regardless of whether it fits with your new look. Electronics, appliances, large pieces of furniture and heirloom pieces may have to be integrated into your new design whether they "fit" or not. Try to think of ways to hide, camouflage or accessorize these items to make them work. This is also the time to keep an eye out for items that can be "recycled" and made to work.

Once you have your "keepers" lists, it's time to purge. Evaluate everything that isn't on a list. If it should have been included, write it in now. If someone else can use it, donate the item. If not, throw it away or recycle it. You'll come across things that don't fit the new theme but that you can't bear to part with. When this happens, take a step back. Some things are worth saving. Some are not. If you have a lot of otherwise nice or valuable collectibles and furniture that don't fit your vision, consider using them to create an eclectic theme for a guest room.

Creating Your New Look

The last step is putting it all back together. Place the "keeper" items where they will go and arrange them. Modify or accessorize anything that needs help fitting with the new theme. At this point, it will be more clear what you need to purchase in order to finish your look. You may find you have to buy less than you expected.

Art is meaningful not only for what the artist chose to include but also for what he or she excluded. For most of us, our home is the canvas through which we express our unique vision. By carefully picking from among the things you have chosen during your lifetime and putting them together in a thoughtful way, you can have a home decor that resonates with your deepest self.

Photo credits: black tulips by mandco/flickr; vase by bam0027/flickr; room design by Elin B/flickr

Janice Oliver is a home decor consultant and content contributor for candleluxury.com, a shopping destination for Votivo Candles Sale exclusives, and hundreds of other scented accessories in the Luxury Candles line

Monday, 15 August 2011

Tips on Improving the Design of Your Home to Make it More Alluring

Are you tired and bored of living in the same house? Buying a new house can’t be an option for most people as that would require a high financial investment, so that next best alternative is to improve the place where you are living and remodel it so that it becomes more beautiful and interesting. It is not necessarily that you have to spend a large sum of money and buy costly new home decorating items to make your house look better. There are quite a number of ways within your budget that you can use to make your house look new again. Take a look at these home improvement tips that you can use.

  1. Paint your house – You will be surprised what effect a new coating of paint can have on your rooms. You can rev up the look of your dull room with bright splashes of paint. You can use the idea of highlighting a particular wall and color coordinating the other walls with it.
  2. Use wall papers – In general if you use poster to decorate the walls of your rooms then you can break the monotony of single colored walls. However, posters, especially big ones are pretty costly. Hence you can use wall papers instead posters to decorate the various rooms of your house. You can even use theme based wall papers to decorate particular areas such as the kitchen or if you have a mini bar at your place, you can put a wall paper with pictures of wine bottles and glasses.
  3. Change the upholstery of furniture – Buying new furniture to decorate your house would be a tad bit too costly. Instead you can change the upholstery of your furniture and replace old cushion covers and couch covers with new bright ones. You can try and change the curtains too. Choosing a shade that contrasts with the wall color can go a long way in making your room look brighter. You can even try changing floor carpets in order to give your rooms a new look.
  4. Try and invest in few good decorative items – You can buy few good decorative items for each room to make them look more beautiful. For your bedroom you can try soft lacy cushions in muted colors and scented candles along with a nice bedside lampshade or bedside stand.
The above tips can help in designing your home and improving the look of it within quite reasonable costs.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Top 5 Design Ideas for Cramped Dorm Rooms

College life can be difficult, especially if you’re cramped in a 9 X 9 room with two roommates. When this happens, it’s hard to think about what mood you want your room to invoke. For many, that mood is often “stressed out.” So for those of you still feeling a bit cramped, the following post is for you. Get inspired

Top 5 Design Ideas for Cramped Dorm Rooms.

Idea 5: Use Wall Decals or Stickers

Wall decals are a great way to add style to any space without adding to the clutter. Moreover, they’re affordable, completely customizable, and—most importantly—removable. When summer time rolls around, and you’re cleaning up the dorm and heading back home, you’ll be glad that you don’t have to repaint your wall.

Idea 4: Let There Be Light…and Loads of It

If you don’t have room to place a standing lamp, desk lamp or light fixture, remember to keep the colors in your room light. It adds an openness quality that may save you from depression when mid-terms roll around. This photo may be over-kill, but you get the picture.

Idea 3: Get Lofty

Who said you had to keep your desk and bed at the same level? Creating your own loft is a great way to stay above all the clutter. Be sure to ask for help when building, though. And if you’re buying from a store, make sure your loft is “college proof.”

Idea 2: Hiding creates space.

Assuming your low on storage space, stylish sheets and beads make for great room dividers and storage separators. And adding in an extra shelf (as seen in the picture above) is an even more space saving idea. Find ways to add to your dorm’s overall artistic value, without detracting from its size.

Idea 1: Buy Multifunctional Items

Everyone knows how vital the futon is for the typical college experience. It’s a coach and a bed, and it’s all it one. It doesn’t get much better than this.

There are, however, other items that you could use in a variety of ways. Take, for example, a filing cabinet, which can provide storage for your award-winning thesis and double as a vintage lamp table. Furthermore, as these pieces are often unique, they usually are the type of furniture that you’d keep after college. Be on the look-out for pieces that could double as a bed, coach, or other unit. Not only are they cool looking, but they will also save on space.


Most of us have dealt with the small “college dorm” issue. You don’t have much space, you don’t have much money, and you have a bunch of roommates. The following 5 ideas are all affordable, but do much more than save you money. They save you space, and they save you from the hassle of dealing with you roommates. Are there other ideas that should make the top five? Let us know in the comment section.

Cleo Kirkland is a writer for Granite Transformations and Butch & Harold, a home design company offering a wide variety of wall sticker frames, sticker pockets, and sticker corners for hanging artwork. They’re fun alternatives to picture frames and don’t require any desk space.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Shower In Luxury With A Triton Electric Shower

Add a touch of class and luxury to your bathroom with  Triton electric showers. Triton have been making showers and other bathroom accessories since 1975. That's almost forty years of experience in providing expertly engineered showers.

Triton showers come in many stylish designs. The most popular are power showers, but mixer showers and digital showers are also available for your bathroom. Triton's modern showers are environmentally friendly too. As well as the green manufacturing process, new showers will help you save water.

All Triton showers are designed with safety in mind. They all feature thermostatic heat controls and automatic cut-offs.

Whether you are looking for a sleek, modern design with chrome surfaces or a more traditional looking ceramic finish, there is likely to be a Triton shower that will fit in with your bathroom's decor.

We also love these Hudson Reed showers. They have all the same features as a Triton electric shower so if you're looking for an alternative check them out!

Tempur Mattresses Offer a Great Night's Sleep

Everybody needs a good night's sleep. No matter how comfortable your bed, you also need a great mattress. Tempur mattresses are pressure relieving mattresses that are made from a material that was first developed for astronauts at NASA - so you can be sure they'll be comfortable.

A tempur mattress is extremely supportive. It will remove any pressure points from your body so you can sleep soundly and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and alert. Tempur mattresses can be fitted to any bed, from divan, king size and single beds.

Tempur mattresses never need turning and are ideal for people with joint pains or other ailments because of their pressure relieving properties. It is also possible to buy tempur pillows and other accessories for your bed to ensure that your bedroom is always a great place to relax.