Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Things to look for when purchasing a memory foam mattress

When buying anything in life, you always have a number of options and choices available with regards to what you want to bye. A memory foam mattress or memory foam mattress topper is no exception.

Although simple in their nature, memory foam mattresses can have many different options available to them, which will make the buying process a little more complex. Besides this, there are still some myths floating around that just confuse even the savviest shopper.

What are the main differences between memory foam, visco-elastic and viso?
In terms of mattresses... there’s no difference whatsoever. All of the above are the same thing! Memory foam is made from a dense form of polyurethane that’s chemically enhanced to make it slightly denser than normal foam. The foam makes a great mattress as it reacts well to body heat, creating a mold around the subject.

Memory foam density, what are the differences?
A very dense mattress will have almost no air in the foam. A measurement figure when looking at memory foam mattress density will suggest how much material is present in a certain amount of foam. Take SleepShaper as an example, their most widely used density is 55 kilos per cubic meter which gives the perfect balance between durability, air flow and feel. A lot of people would say it’s the perfect compromise between being supportive whilst being extremely cosy.

Thickness, does it really matter?
Yes, yes it does. A thicker memory foam mattress will not only be more expensive than its thinner counterparts but it will also lose some effect if it’s too thick. There will be a point with the mattress that it stops molding to your body shape, this could be after the first 7 or 8 centimetres. For example, you wouldn’t get a 30 centimetre thick mattress as it will only be the top 8 centimetres that are doing you any benefits. Likewise a memory foam mattress topper that is only a couple of centimetres thick will not really give you that much of positive memory foam experience. There is a huge difference in comfort and feel when comparing an inch thick mattress to one that’s three inches thick.

Question the base foam
It sounds like a quote from a poor sci-fi or horror movie, but it is important to question the base foam. Poor and low quality base foam can really ruin a good mattress. Poor base foam might even reduce the mattress life span and will cause you to purchase a new one. Base foam of less than 27kg should be questioned as generally, anything under 27kg is considered to be padding or general upholstery foam.

Will I swelter?
There is a big myth about memory foam mattresses and heat. A good memory foam mattress will not make you hot, at least not hotter than being in bed on a normal mattress. If the mattress was severly dense, i.e. 85kgs+ then you might experience some overheating, but the majority won’t leave you feeling like you’re sleeping in the middle of the Sun.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Rejuvenate your windows by painting Your Interior Shutters

Window shutters have a wide range of benefits; not only do they allow you to change the lighting in your room (what you’d expect from a window covering), they also provide an interesting aesthetic appeal and even security benefits. To ensure they match the decor of the room in which they’re installed, wooden shutters can be replaced or painted. The latter option may be more desirable in terms of cost and time.

Depending how concerned you are about the condition of the paint, this should only need to be done every five or six years. The quality of both paint and sealant will have a bearing on this though, so it’s important to consider this at the start.

The first step is to remove the shutters from the window. Trying to reach behind the shutters to paint them while they’re still up is a nightmare, and is not recommended. A standard screwdriver set should suffice in removing the shutters; depending on how tall you are you may need a ladder as well. Recruiting a helper to give you a hand if it’s required can’t hurt either.

Because paint gives off fumes, it’s best to paint in a well-ventilated area. This could be a garage with open doors, a garden, or somewhere similar. It may be beneficial to put the shutters on a tarpaulin or cloth when painting them to prevent paint staining the surface below. It is possible to remove spilled paint with paint thinner and water, but preventative action is certainly easier.

Start with removing the old layer of paint. Soapy water and a paint scraper is usually enough to remove paint beyond a certain age, but if this is not the case you can use sandpaper to help. Once the old paint is removed, primer should be applied to the wood to help it maintain its strength over time. A topcoat should then be added and left to dry before deciding whether a second coat is needed. The amount of coats should not matter too much if the paint is applied well.

Make sure you let the paint dry before reattaching the shutter. You don’t want paint marks all over your windows. Get the ladder (and helper, if you have one) back out when installing the shutters again; they can be tricky to put up.

Keep your home safe with Spiller window security

Brighten Up Your Home In The Winter Months With Cheap Curtains

Following a glorious few days at the end of September, summer now seems as distant memory and the UK has been lashed with rain and buffeted by high winds. The nights are drawing in sooner and it won’t be long before we are all making our way home from work in the dark. At this time of year many people start to suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which can leave them feeling miserable and lethargic.

A great way to keep your spirits up in the winter is to brighten up your home with the use of cheap curtains.

The concept

Due to the fact that it is darker for longer during the winter months; we tend to have our curtains drawn for longer periods. This of course makes the interior of our home darker, which is exacerbated further if your curtains are made from darkly coloured materials.

By changing your curtains to brighter shades you can greatly improve the vibe of the room. As curtains are usually quite large, they not only brighten that particular area, but also increase lighting throughout the rest of the room through reflection.

Considering the cost

Of course, winter is a particularly expensive time of year. Many of us will be faced with the cost of buying Christmas presents, in addition to more expensive heating and lighting costs. This could leave you questioning whether new curtains are a viable option at this time of year. However, if you have a good shop around you can find cheap curtains that shouldn’t cost you more than about £35, with some options costing as little as £20. That isn’t really too much when you consider it could have a big impact on your mood right through the winter period.


You may of the impression that the range of cheap curtains available to you might be quite limited due to the price. However, there are many different styles, colours and designs they should be within your price range.

The simple plain cream curtains above are a great choice in that they will really maximise the amount of light that is reflected back into the room. In addition the light faux silk material is light and breezy, which can help evoke the feeling of warmer months.

If you prefer a busier design then you might want to consider a striped theme as seen above. The contrast of red, beige and cream helps to keep the mood of the room feeling light and fun. Adding matching cushions is a great way of integrating the curtains into the rest of the room’s decor, without spending a fortune.
There are of course many other designs that can be as equally as uplifting from, floral to oriental themes. Whatever decision you decide to go for in your cheap curtains; be sure the fabric is vivid in colour and has a cheerful pattern.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Small Space, Big Impact

Submitted by Elliman Real Estate: Featuring NYC real estate for sale. Written by Julianna Lundblad (@juliannanyc)

It is said that good things come in small packages. That can certainly be true within your living space. With just the right bit of imagination, a once cramped, unusable space can be transformed into your new home office or guest bedroom.

While it would be nice to expand your living space for more square footage, that is not always possible. Say you live in a NYC apartment, the trick is to use design secrets to make the space feel bigger.

Color can play an important role in the feel of a space. While warm colors can create a cozy feeling, they can make small spaces feel cramped. When choosing colors for a small space, choose cooler shades. Blues and greens are cool colors that are calming; when light shades of these colors are chosen, a small space can suddenly feel much more expansive.

Another key to opening up a small space is to keep furniture in the center of the space. This creates the illusion that the space is roomier than it truly is. Mirrors also help to create the illusion of roominess. Add a large mirror to your small space or a grouping of mirrors, and your small space will seem to grow.

Another trick to making a small space seem larger is to declutter. Clutter can make even a large room feel cramped. Be certain not to let clutter undermine your efforts to reclaim a small space as a workable area. Try to have furniture in your room that can double as storage, like a bench with hidden storage inside, so you can keep things that you don't use often out of sight.

Keeping a sense of scale is also important when dealing with a small space. You want your furnishings to be in proper proportion to the space. Don't seek out scaled-down furniture. Instead, choose furnishings that have a low profile. This will serve to make the ceiling in the small space seem higher. Also, seek out designs with a clean line when you are choosing furnishings for your small space.

One more trick to help your transform your small space is to utilize rugs. An area rug of the proper scale can help to define the space as being something specific--a new work space or office. This is important not only so that other people see the space as being "X" but also so that you can see it. This is especially important if you have lived in your home for a while and are used to the space as simply being an extension of another, larger space or as a haphazard storage area.

By taking these steps, you can reclaim your small spaces and put them to proper use. Whatever purpose you decide to choose for it, your small space can be a beautiful and useful part of your home.

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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Utilising colour schemes in decorating projects

When decorating a home, colour schemes are an essential aspect of putting your personality on the design, and making it feel welcoming. Obviously the general colours chosen are a matter of personal choice, but it’s important to consider colours that go well together, and colours that clash.

Picking colours

The selection of the colour scheme should be the bedrock of the whole design, and in decorating, the uses of the colours again depends on personal taste. In terms of colour’s effects on the mood of a room, blue and green are generally more soothing tones, whilst yellow and orange brighten up an area. Safer colours like beige and tan are good for more neutral themes.

A colour wheel is a must have for any aspiring decorator, and colour combos work best when they are near each other on the colour wheel, with opposite colours contrasting. It can also be easy to forget about how many different shades of certain colours there are, for example, purple includes hues close to black, right through a pale shade that is almost white, not forgetting the gulf of colours in between those two.

The walls

After making a choice about the colour schemes, a good idea is to start any work on the walls. They are essentially the backdrop of the room and any further installations such as furniture, and what the direction of the rest of the room should be based around. Depending on personal preference, wallpaper or paint might be used. Buying wallpaper direct from the internet can save a lot of money.

Furniture designs

When picking furniture to go in a decorated room, there are two ways to go: pick a neutral colour scheme that will go with whatever scheme the walls and ceiling will be hosting, or use the colour wheel to pick matching colours. With the neutral choice, you have the extra option of adding different colours and textures via throw pillows and covers, without overpowering the ensemble, and conversely, with a suite or similar that matches the main colour scheme, tone down any extras with neutral colours.


Other extras like window curtains or blankets on a bed can differ. Curtains may be densely textured with its own design, or use lighter materials with solid colours throughout the item. Mixing one texture on the curtains with another on bed linen is a good technique, as it adds more depth to the room as a whole. Again, use a colour wheel if not sure, and match accordingly.


Things like paintings, statuettes or ornaments are a matter of taste, and what resources you have available. A splash of colour in a detail within a neutral room can draw the eye to certain areas, and again, vice versa for me held back detail pieces and brighter general colour schemes.
On the whole, decorating effectively merely means what makes and individual feel comfortable, and personal taste should be paramount, especially if you intended to spend a lot of time in said room. If you are unsure about what you want to do with the room, or don’t want to create a ghastly nightmare with clashing colours, then a neutral theme is the safe option.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Outdoor Lighting

Lighting is an important consideration when planning your landscape design. You want something that makes your yard look special and unique. Not only does lighting enhance the beauty of your outdoor space, but it sets the tone. There are so many varieties of light fixtures available, that it may seem difficult to choose the correct one for your purposes. There are a few things that you should keep in mind when arranging a unique new light scheme for your home.

Set the Mood

Lighting is a big component of building ambiance. What mood do you want to convey in your space? Are you looking for outdoor lighting because you are a frequent backyard entertainer? Or are you looking for something soft and romantic for quiet evenings in the garden? The correct lighting arrangement can convey a message in an instant.


One of the major benefits of installing outdoor lighting is eliminating safety risks. Shedding light on uneven ground, or around the pool will keep your family and friends injury-free. Not only does light help with personal safety, but a well-light landscape can help deter vandals and home intruders. A well-lit yard increases their odds of being caught in the act. Many lighting systems also allow for timers that turn on and off at specified times so you don’t have to worry about it.

Enhance the Beauty

If you’ve spent time cultivating a beautiful garden, or you recently installed a pond, show it off even when the sun sets. Outdoor lighting can be used to highlight the beauty of your yard all the time. Create drama in your nighttime landscape with a mix of lighting techniques to highlight your yard’s best features.

Keep it Fresh and Unique

There are a number of interesting lights on the market now that can really jazz up your landscape. LED lights are a new alternative to traditional lighting. They look extra bright and use less power than older lighting systems. Adopting unique shaped and sized lights into your landscape design makes your home stand out. Keep some strand lights high in the trees and some ground lights to cling to the walking path to create an attention-grabbing lightscape for your home.

This article was written by Erie Construction. Follow Erie Construction on Twitter.