Tuesday, 31 January 2012

How to choose wooden blinds

Wooden blinds are stylish and functional additions to any room. Their unique aesthetic cements their appeal as a window covering of choice in your home, as they can suit most existing decor schemes and furniture. How should you go about choosing the right wooden blinds for your home though?

Here are four useful tips to answer that question:


First and foremost, set a budget and only look at options within that. There’s no point deciding diamond encrusted, gold tinted wooden blinds will suit your decor only to find out they’re hundreds of pounds too expensive. The great thing about wooden blinds, though, is that they’re often a cost effective solution.


Wood doesn’t have to be brown. The blinds on offer will be in a range of colours that will compliment any room. The best course of action is to identify major colour schemes in the room and choose something to match that. Check how the colour looks under different lighting levels as well to ensure it’s suitable.

Operating system

Wooden blinds can be operated manual, or with modern technology. The latter involves remote controlled blinds, which can be opened or closed from anywhere in the home! Not only will this impress the guests, it’s also hugely practical. Being aware of all the options available will help you to make a more informed decision.


The blinds should be made to fit the windows already in your home. This is easily achievable, but must be specified when ordering to prevent mishaps later. Slat size is also important to consider; certain sizes will suit certain rooms (and tastes) better. The best way to determine this is to get some samples and test them in your home before buying and installing the blinds.

With these thoughts in mind when choosing your wooden blinds, you’re sure to make a decision that will improve your room and delight the whole family.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Decorating your baby’s windows

Although it might not be the first thing on your mind, the window coverings in your baby’s bedroom can have important implications. The lighting level will affect how well your baby sleeps, for example, as well as affecting the temperature of the room. And of course, safety is a prime concern! Eliminating risks in the environment the baby grows up in is the duty of any parent, and although not often considered, windows and window coverings carry a slight risk. This can be avoided by choosing roller blinds in your child’s room.

The length of some curtains, as well as the bright colours and interesting textures, can be a tempting side for a baby or toddler. If they decide they want to play with the part of the curtain they can reach, there is every risk that they will become tangled in the fabric, or even pull the curtain rail out of the wall. Obviously this should be avoided, and a simple way of doing so is through the installation of roller blinds on your windows. If you order ‘made to measure’ blinds, you can ensure that only the window is covered, and that no tempting overhanging blind is there to be played with.

On another level, roller blinds can be useful in regulating your baby’s sleeping pattern. If blackout blinds are used, then all light can be blocked from the room when it’s time to sleep, regardless of time of day. As mentioned previously, temperature regulation can also be achieved, creating the most comfortable environment for your baby to sleep in.

Perhaps the most attractive aspect of roller blinds, though, is the low cost and the wide range of designs available. When there’s a newborn baby on the scene, there are a lot of expenses and interior decor might not seem like a priority, but low cost options like roller blinds can allow you the best of both worlds.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

How to Clean inside your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances must be cleaned regularly and require cleaning products that are safe to use around food and drink and on cooking surfaces.

Keeping a clean and tidy house requires maintenance and a thorough cleaning effort must go beneath the surface. Homes can appear sparkling and beautiful from dusting, polishing and vacuuming however failing to clean inside appliances can cause health problems and minimise functionality.

Refrigerators, Microwaves, Dishwashers, even digital cameras need to be cleaned appropriately or their operation becomes significantly compromised. Different household appliances require specific types of cleaning products to ensure they are not damaged.

Kitchen appliances must be cleaned with products that are safe to use around food and drink. Keep in mind that after cleaning a kitchen appliance you will be storing or cooking your food in it, or in the case of a dishwasher, hoping to clean your plates in it. Fragile items like digital cameras need special cloths and cleaners or they will be permanently damaged.

Dishwashers require thorough cleaning as they tend to accumulate food particles, grease and grime in their crevices. Always scrape remaining food off your plates before loading them into the dishwasher. Bosch Dishwashers are especially popular for getting the job done however they too need to be cleaned.

What you need to clean a Dishwasher
  • Hot soapy water
  • An old Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Dry Cloth
  1. Scrub the inside of the dishwasher with hot soapy water using the toothbrush. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies including the rim around the door.
  2. Sponge off all loose debris that the scrubbing produced with the hot soapy water.
  3. Clean the drain area underneath the bottom rack with the sponge.
  4. Remove soap from sponge and wipe down the entire inside to remove soap residue.
  5. Replace racks and trays
  6. For dishwashers, place a small cup of white vinegar on the top rack. You can also sprinkle baking soda on the floor of the dishwasher to remove any stains.
  7. Close the door and run the dishwasher for a full cycle.

Bacteria and mould can still grow inside a refrigerator even at the standard temperature and this can be hazardous for the health and wellbeing of your family. Fridges have many tight places for food particles to collect. Cleaning your fridge is more manageable if done regularly; stay on top of any nastiness growing in dark corners. An easy and safe way to clean your fridge is with baking soda.
  1. Take everything out of the fridge and remove all trays and racks.
  2. Use a mix of baking soda and hot water to wipe down the interior of the fridge with a clean sponge.
  3. Scrub the racks and trays with an old toothbrush dipped in the baking soda solution.
  4. Wipe down all cleaned surfaces with a clean damp cloth, including trays and racks.
  5. Replace contents into your sparkling clean fridge ASAP.
  1. Unplug the toaster and wait until it is cool.
  2. Wipe down the surface and empty out the crumb tray. You should do this regularly as toasters are traps for old, rotting bread crumbs.
  3. Use a scouring sponge to remove baked on crumbs from the tray.
  4. Do not use powerful oven cleaners or steel wool on your toaster.
  5. Never immerse your toaster in water.

Microwaves are often wall papered with baked on splatters and food particles glued to the walls and ceiling which reduce function and threaten health.
  1. Add a large spoonful of white vinegar to a microwave safe bowl half filled with water.
  2. Place inside the microwave and heat on the high setting for 5 minutes or until the microwave becomes sufficiently steamy.
  3. The steam will loosen the baked on food and grime so let it steam up for a few minutes.
  4. Use a clean dry cloth to wipe over all the inside surfaces. This removes gunk easily and your microwave will be returned to pristine condition.
It is good practice to clean the inside of your kitchen appliances regularly. Follow the previous steps and you will find that it is not the daunting task you imagined at all. Your appliances will work better and last longer and your family will be relatively safe from harmful germs and bacteria. Until they step outside that is.
Author Bio: Tom Mallet is an Australian freelance writer and journalist. He writes extensively in Australia, Canada, Europe, and the US. He’s published more than 500 articles about various topics, including flooring.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Refurbishing Commercial Interiors - Things You Need To Know

Anyone familiar with the cost of commercial refurbishments will be well aware of the various issues and costs these refurbishments can generate. Things like carpet can be extremely expensive. Most commercial flooring is also required to last for a long time, raising further issues regarding product choices and the office maintenance budget.

The primary issues are quality and cost. Good interior materials can save a fortune in ongoing costs for building managers. They can also eliminate the rather infuriating range of possibly expensive issues created by inferior products. Best practice choice of office interior materials is unambiguous- Low maintenance, low cost and minimal need for replacement. This is as much common sense as good business practice, but achieving these standards may require some management.

The options for refurbishment also have to include thorough costing. It’s no longer good enough, (or wise), to simply buy the lower of three quotes for any office materials and assume that will solve the cost issues of the next 10 years. They almost certainly won’t, and the likelihood is more cost upfront.

Case in point: Carpeting problems and solutions

One of the first and biggest issues in office refurbishment is carpeting, which is a good example of the issues related to choice of materials in any office revamp. Commercial carpet forms the largest part of any office space. Office carpets can run to tens of thousands of dollars, and the truth is that many inferior quality carpets, particularly broadloom carpets, can be terrible investments.

These large, bulky carpets can be very difficult to maintain, especially in high traffic areas, where they’re subjected to enormous strain. They become impacted, and deterioration is inevitable. Repair and replacement are major operations. The “cheap” carpet, therefore, becomes an expensive problem.

The solution is simple enough- Get a better type of carpeting which doesn’t incur these costs. There’s a new type of carpeting on the market which is rapidly replacing the old style broadloom carpets and creating some major waves in the commercial interiors industry in terms of design, too. The new carpet solutions are actually carpet tiles, but carpet tiles with a lot of new features.

The new carpet tiles are heavy duty, tough and durable tiles with their own backing. They don’t use underlay, so that cost is eliminated from the outset. In practice, these are very long-life, almost zero maintenance carpets. Replacing them takes seconds, not hours, and they’re so tough they’ve become standard features in major airports around the world, universities, commercial centers and even aged care homes. They save money simply because they don’t need much if any maintenance, and when they do, it’s easy to deal with the issues.

These carpets are also the products of new manufacturing techniques which allow custom design to be very easy. There are an almost infinite number of design possibilities, meaning that any desired office “look” can be achieved. This is another cost saving, reducing the design issues to easily quantified cost bases.

If you’re refurbishing your office space, do yourself a big favour. Talk to your builders, check out your options and have a look at the carpet tiles. You’ll save a fortune.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Make a Splash and Splash up an Interior with Bold and Bright Rugs

This year rugs for your interiors seem to be evolving more than ever. It’s fun and easy to make a rug the focal point in a room or add a bright rug for a great accent. 2012 seems like the right time to bring in stylish rugs that become an instant favorite. The reason why? There are so many trendy rugs that everyone loves because designers are having a ball coming up incorporation new patterns, colors, and textures.

Color Splashed Patterns

Fabulous rooms drenched with color stand out because designers are no longer afraid of having fun with color. Whether you decide to decorate a space with oriental, floral, or shape pattern, bright colored rugs can be found everywhere. A rug not only is a function floor piece to sink your toes into, but it becomes a work of art with its stylish patterns and bursts of color! Place your sofa and surrounding chairs on or near a trendy patchwork quilt made with fun colors such as cobalt blue, hot pink, turquoise, and more.

Fashion Inspired Rugs

Do you know that the fashion world plays a huge part in defining the rug trends as well? It seems like whatever you see on the runway usually in some way or another ends up as a delightful rug pattern. Designers go after creating statement rugs that are eye catching. Find a floral rug with large flowers that seem to come to life on the floor or discover round shapes of different colors that echo a recent frock seen on the runway from Juicy Couture, for example.

Bright and Bold Rugs

Going along with the fashion realm, this year you’ll also encounter Oriental carpets and rugs designed with bright colors. Stripe and block patterns that have a lot of color also pull together a look and seem to pop as a focal point in a room with many surrounding neutrals. Triangles, circles and squares come across modern and playful, perfect for a living room or bedroom space. It’s fun to experiment with trend-setting rugs that seem to come straight off the runway.

Bio: Sierra is a freelance writer and blogger. She loves discovering all of the current interior design trends and sharing them with readers.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

January Giveaway!

Win one of these awesome Rechargeable Remote Controlled Lighted Cube Mood Objects in our new Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Just click on the widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Advantages of using Electric Curtain Poles

Window treatments can be the perfect finish to any decorated room. Whether its roller blinds, curtains or shutters, a room is never complete without them. However, if you do decide to go with tradition curtains, one way to ensure that you impress neighbours and visitors is to install electric curtain rails. Not just because they save you all that time and effort opening them, but because they are the perfect addition to any living room, kitchen or bedroom.

The curtains are driven across an electronic track that can open and close them whenever you need. This can be done through the use of a remote control. A clever device which can see you open your curtains whilst in the comfort of your own bed and begin the day feeling that little bit more special. The curtain poles come with a digital display that is easy to navigate and just as easy to fit to the wall in a convenient spot. By using this display, you can set the curtains to open and shut at any time of the day, meaning that the curtains will open once the sun is rising and close when it begins to go down. This will not only mean that your level of privacy is increased but also your security. When out and about, you can rest assured that your empty home will look occupied as all curtains are closed and burglars are deterred.

Light sensors are just one benefit of the curtain poles. Some models will also have a temperature sensor, others are able to conserve energy as they are solar powered.
Installing electric curtain poles is not as hard or tedious as it may seem. In fact, installing the systems is just as easy as fitting traditional window fixtures. The need for tools is kept at a minimum and all poles come pre-wired, saving you the bother of tackling electrical wiring and equipment. The motorised rail can be mounted above any fitted window, just as a manual one would, and the curtain can be added to the loops. Simply plug into an electrical socket, outlet or hardwire to a power source. Your new electric curtains are now ready to be used.
These rails are built with endurance in mind. When on holiday or on a night out, a person doesn’t want to be worrying about their home being on display to potential intruders. Instead they want the peace of mind that these poles will continue to work without excessive maintenance. There electric curtain rails are, or should be, guaranteed to work up to 15,000 times before repair work is needed. Meaning yet another weight lifted off your mind.

Comfort, security and luxury are what any home owner strives for. By investing in these electric curtain rails you can wake up each morning to the sun shining, without even leaving your bed. The cost of such a device isn’t unreasonable either.

This is a guest post by Nicola Winters, on behalf of Poles Direct

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Should I Choose a Wooden or a UPVC Door?

When home owners need to replace a front door the amount of choice can often be overwhelming and many home owners are unsure as to whether they should choose wooden or uPVC doors. That’s because many people aren’t aware of exactly what the benefits of choosing a wooden or uPVC door are. This article explains exactly what uPVC is, why many house builders consider uPVC doors to be the best choice for homes and what the pros and cons of wooden and uPVC doors are.

What is uPVC?

uPVC is an extremely hard wearing and energy efficient form of polyvinyl chloride. It is most commonly used to manufacture essential parts of the home like doors and window frames. It’s easy to mould, super strong and can be finished in a wide variety of colours and styles. In many cases manufacturers finish uPVC to look like wood, meaning that the material can be used without detracting from the aesthetics of a home’s frontage.

What are the benefits of choosing uPVC?
Many home owners are choosing to install uPVC doors because the material is extremely strong, hardwearing and resilient to everyday wear and tear. In addition uPVC doors are a great option in terms of security because most are fitted with up to the minute locking systems which makes them extremely difficult to break into. They are also easily able to withstand attempts at forced entry as they are extremely difficult to kick through.

In terms of energy efficiency uPVC doors are one of the best door choices available. uPVC doors create a tight seal around the door frame making it impossible for draughts to find their way into a home. Conversely, they also keep heat in the home more efficiently than alternatives like wood.

When it comes to design uPVC doors offer a wide range of choices. Although uPVC doors usually come in white, it is possible to finish them in different colours or to make them look like wood. Some companies offer a service allowing you to design your own door and choose things like window finishes, handles and letter box design.
The main drawback of uPVC doors is that they are not particularly environmentally friendly. The manufacturing process involves the use of harsh chemicals and old doors do not bio degrade. However, it is possible to recycle uPVC doors and many companies who sell uPVC products are beginning to offer recycling services too.

What are the benefits of choosing wood?
The two main reasons homeowners choose wood as opposed to uPVC is due to aesthetics and price. Over the last two decades the national obsession with creating beautiful homes has grown exponentially and many home owners turn their noses up at the thought of using PVC window frames or doors in a character home. In addition, wooden doors are less expensive than uPVC. However, in most cases the quality of a door is reflected in the price and when you take into consideration the life of the door and the security and efficiency a door offers, uPVC is generally a better choice.

Another reason why people choose wood is that they believe it is a more environmentally friendly choice and in many ways, it is. Most wooden doors that are sold within the UK are now manufactured using sustainable wood sources. In addition wooden doors are easier to recycle than uPVC and cause less damage to the environment in the manufacturing process.

However, this is slightly counteracted by the energy efficiency of wooden doors as they are not as good as uPVC when it comes to keeping the cold out and keeping the heat in.

What should I choose for my home?

The choice you make for your home mostly depends on personal preference. If you have a character home and you can’t stand the thought of using uPVC then wood is the best choice for you, but if you want to choose a door that is highly durable, secure and energy efficient then go for a uPVC door.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Kitchen Styling

Remodeling you kitchen is a fun, exciting process that first starts with your idea of the perfect kitchen. If you’ve been thinking about remodeling, you’ve probably flipped through the pages of glossy magazines looking at the beautiful kitchens on the pages. With hundreds of lovely and unique kitchen styles, it can be difficult to narrow down the choices. To simplify things, think about the four major design schemes and which one you like best. From there, it becomes much easier to design your dream kitchen.

These kitchens are always classic and refined. These kitchens are timeless and are designed to suit the modern family. With plenty of counter space and ample seating, these kitchens will never go out of style. The two types of traditional kitchens are Victorian and Colonial. Victorian kitchens often feature a palette of cool neutrals, creams and blues and have a feminine feel. Crown molding and ornate ornamentation are common as are antique and decorative silver accents. The Colonial, is a more masculine counterpart and features earthy colors like rusty reds, warm browns, with pure white details. It’s simple and practical with stone countertops and wide plank floors.

These kitchens are comforting and homey. The color scheme is always light and approachable and flows easily with the design of most homes. There are three styles here, including French Country, Farmhouse, and Cottage. French Country kitchens are reminiscent of Provence and the countryside. Distressed finishes on the cabinets and copper pots give these kitchens a charming, welcoming feel. Farmhouse kitchens are nostalgic and feature details like gingham linens and checkered curtains. Farm collectibles lend flair to these kitchens. The last type is the cottage style. These kitchens are airy, and feature cool palettes with lots of natural light. Cottage kitchens feature light colors and are well suited for nautical details.

Old World

Old World kitchen designs feature stone or dark wood floors. The most notable element of old world style is the emphasis on the range hood, which is often large and ornate. Furniture-like cabinets made of cherry and mahogany serve as storage. Old world kitchens are best accessorized with earthenware, baskets and fresh accents like cut flowers or plants. Rich colors and mosaic tiles make these kitchens feel like you’re in a Tuscan castle.

With influences from Italy and Germany, such as clean lines and high functionality, American contemporary style is easily adaptable to any home. Because they’re foremost functional, these kitchens are great for smaller homes and homes with children. Laminate cabinets and countertops for easy cleaning offer a sleek finish, while tile flooring means durability. Some contemporary stiles take a minimalistic approach, meaning less clutter and cleaning. This style derives its interest with shape and color, as not to add bulk. Monochromatic color schemes with bursts of accent colors and stainless steel appliances finish the look.

For bespoke interior design services in Yorkshire visit www.yorkshiredesignassociates.co.uk

Friday, 13 January 2012

Accessorise your home

If your home is lacking in visual aids and spaces are looking a little empty, fill them with beautiful displays of photo frames and tealight holders. Home displays are relatively cheap and can add a whole new look to your home.

Candle tealight holders are great when you are looking to add ambiance to your home. Candle displays are becoming an increasingly popular option for adding a beautiful aroma and an element of warmth to the rooms in your home.

If you have a small surface that is lacking decoration, but is too small to add a lamp, vase or photo frame, create a display of candles instead. Place a selection of candles of various shapes, sizes and colours in the centre to add a beautiful feature piece.

Tealight holders are available in a wide range of styles, from glass, wood silver or ceramic. Tealights will need to be brought to place inside them which come scented or unscented. They often come in bags with many so you won’t have to keep buying them every time they run out. For a more modern look downlights are a fantastic accessory. When coupled with energy friendly LED bulbs they add a wonderful mood to any room. For more information on GU10 LED bulbs visit www.downlightsdirect.co.uk

Bring the outside in with rustic wooden tealight candle lanterns made from natural birch bark. Wonderfully effective when lit and great for the garden or hanging in trees. Because they are made from wood, each and every one has its own unique pattern and texture.

Gather together your most beautiful candles and tealights to make an eye-catching table centre piece or sideboard display with a decorative glass candleplate. Glass candleplates come with pretty designs such as floral lace and attractive edging.
To give your home a new look, adding new accessories is a fast and easy alternative to decorating. Buy items that won’t collect dust and clean easily. If your home has a country cottage feel, wooden photo frames can add to the theme.

Wooden photo frames add character to your home. Whether you have one special photo or a collection of your favourite pictures, wooden photo frames will show them off. They are available with single or multi apertures and in various colours.

Stylish wooden photo frames are often crafted from reclaimed wood found in old homes. Put together by hand and then painted with several layers of water based paint. Once dry it is rubbed back to reveal the natural wood to give it and aged look.

The important thing to remember when accessorising your home is not to overdo it. De-clutter first and then buy one piece at a time and not all at once.

Buy sensibly and shop around. Check charity shops and pound shops. If you already have wooden photo frames but you no longer like them, rub them down and paint them. Tealight holders can also be spruced up with spray paint and beading from craft shops.

Fill empty space and create a new look in your home with beautiful displays.

For beautiful picture frame mounts visit our site today

Friday, 6 January 2012

How to Manage Kids while Relocating

Moving with kids makes relocation all the more challenging for parents. Usually young ones react negatively to a move. Relocation is undoubtedly painful for the whole family, but it is more disruptive for kids. If a family faces the prospect of moving, the children should be given special attention during the transition. Leaving old friends and school mates behind is a difficult task for children of all age groups. While youngsters take a while to tackle the moving stress, the worst affected by the move are children.

The only thing that can keep them from becoming depressed is their involvement in work. Here are a few steps that you can take to make sure that your kid doesn't suffer from stress while relocating.

Inform them about the move
The first step that a family must take to make moving hassle-free for kids is to inform them about the move, as soon as they decide it. Do not assume that delaying in informing them about the move will make it easier for them to move. Experts opine that kids need more time than parents to get used to the idea of moving. So it is better to tell them well in advance.

Talk to them
Talk as much as you can with them about the moving process. Talk to them about your new home. Welcome all sort of questions and do not chide them for over inquiring. You will get an idea of their mental status by continuous talking. Take feedback from them on a few decisions. Involve them in moving tasks, so that they do not feel neglected, in the whole process of moving.

Assign them small tasks
Assigning them a few tasks would create interest in your kids. You can ask them to pack their toys and books. Tell them to scrap the things that they no more need. You can also ask them to prepare a list of new things, which they would be needing to decorate their rooms at new home. They will feel excited on the very thought of decorating their new room with new things.

Throw a goodbye party for friends
You must ask your children to invite all their friends for a goodbye party. This will help them cope with the stress of parting with their classmates and neighborhood friends. Click photographs and give return gifts.

If you are moving within the state, take your children to visit the new house. This will make them explore their new neighborhood. Moving with school age kids is more difficult than moving with toddlers, as they are unable to understand the changes involved. For school goers, gather all the information related to new schools in the new area, so that their studies are not wasted. The growing number of removal companies in London has made it very easy for people to relocate without much obstacles.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Make your Decor Unique with a Personal Touch

If you love to decorate then you’ll know that it’s the personal touches that really make a house into a home. For the last few years TV shows about interior design and selling houses have been trying to persuade us that our homes should be neutral and impersonal. That’s fine if you are trying to sell your property, but if you actually want to live in and enjoy your home then why shouldn’t you decorate it in the way that you like and fill it with the things that you like, rather than following fashion or trying to please others?

How to Personalise your Home

Make your Colours Pop!
We’ve been obsessed with magnolia and dull, neutral decor for far too long. For some reason we all seemed to forget that our homes are designed to be lived in and are not purely a commodity to be sold on and profited from. If you love colour (and who doesn’t?) then don’t be afraid to use it. For those who are a little nervous about being too bold then choose an accent colour and simply paint one wall. Then you can choose accessories that tie in with your colour scheme. You’ll soon see that your room looks far more cheerful and inviting with an injection of colour.
Once you see how well colours work you could try papering an accent wall with a boldly designed wallpaper. There are thousands of different types to choose from including retro styles, pretty florals or ultra modern geometric patterns. Choosing a wallpaper that you love will make your home more individual and reflect your personality.

Personalised Pictures
A great way to make your home unique and to bring a smile to your face whenever you walk into a room is to choose a favourite family snap and have it transferred to canvas. You can have pictures transferred to canvas for as little as £20. You can even have your snaps made into a collage or transformed into a Banksy or Andy Warhol style print, which will look super stylish but still be personal to you.
If you like the idea of transferring your snaps then don’t stop at pictures! You can have your photos printed on all sorts of other household items like cushions, throws, mouse mats, trays and even radiator covers. It’s a great way to add an element of fun and surprise to your rooms and you could also give gifts printed with special photos to friends and family, which makes a fantastic personalised gift for Christmas.

Bring Back the Nick Nacks
Remember when people used to have all their ornaments on show? Nowadays when you visit the average house you’ll see that there are very few ornaments. In fact, many people seem to keep their rooms quite bare, probably thanks once again to house selling and interior design shows. But if you’ve got nick nacks that you love then why not have them out on display where you can see and enjoy them? Or if you don’t have a lot of ornaments then start a collection.

Your home should be about you and your family and the things you love, so if you want a collection of ceramic frogs, antique glass or vintage hats then go for it!
Remember - your home is for you, not for the people who may or may not buy your home in the future. So be bold, be brave and inject some personality into dull and lifeless rooms by making things more personal.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Achieving A Luxury Bathroom Finish On A Budget With Travertine

Whenever you open an interior design magazine you are faced with amazing looking bathrooms that take your breath away. We dream of enjoying a relaxing bath one of these luxurious rooms, but many believe that achieving such a finish is beyond their means. Up until recently I was one of those people, until I stumbled upon travertine tiles.

The material

Travertine is a natural type of limestone that has been used as a building material for many centuries. Traditionally it has most commonly been used in Italy and there are many old buildings in the country made from travertine, with the Roman Coliseum being just one example. The stone comes in a range of shades, including whites, creams and beiges and offers a warm feel to your room.

Although not quite as tough as marble and granite; travertine is extremely durable and will last for decades in a bathroom environment if not longer.

Considering cost

Whilst travertine isn’t as cheap as most porcelain tile options, it does deliver a plusher feel at an affordable price. Exactly how much it will cost depends on the style you got for as well as the shade, with darker hues costing more than lighter ones. Starting prices for travertine are usually about £15 per square meter, which is significantly less than marble and granite alternatives.

Fitting options

Travertine tiles are available in a range of shapes and sizes meaning that they offer a complete range of bathrooms solutions. If you are looking to add a mosaic pattern to your shower area then you can use ones similar to the photo below.

For a more complete approach you have the option of laying tiles on the floor as well as covering the all with them. Installing drainage capabilities before you lay the tiles also provides the opportunity to create a wet room; allowing you to have an open shower area in-line with the current trend.

Maintenance tips

Whether you go for the smooth finished honed and filled travertine tiles or the more rustic tumbled effect, you must make sure that either you or the tiler seals them properly after laying. Failure to do so can result in discolouring as travertine has quite high porosity and liquids will seep into it. Also avoid using any generic cleaning product which could cause etching on the surface, as can vinegar, ammonia and citrus fruit juices. Instead go for a purpose made travertine cleaning product, which can usually be purchased from the supplier where you bought your tiles from. Whilst travertine may take a little more maintaining than porcelain alternatives; the extra effort is worth the finish.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Decorating With Mirrors

I think decorative mirrors are like the little black dresses of the decorating world. The one piece of clothing that everyone has hanging in their closet, looks good on all shapes and sizes, and with not too much effort, can make something ordinary look like a million bucks. Whether your style is traditional or modern, decorative mirrors and the LBD are an essential "must have" for this season and beyond. Here are just a few ways a decorative mirror can dress up the look in your home.

1) Change the Size

Much like the perfect LBD, mirrors can change people's perception of how big or small a thing is. You know how you can have not lost a single pound, but when you put on a LBD, people always comment on how thin you look? Well, it's the same thing with using a mirror in your room, but in the opposite direction. You may not have added any square feet to the room, but that mirror is going to make it look bigger. It's absolutely true about the age-old adage that mirrors help to make small rooms appear and feel larger. (Just as we know the color black makes you look thinner and white makes you look like you have spent a week at the beach!) Mirrors bring light and depth into a room by highlighting color and downplaying dark corners. Be sure to place mirrors on a wall opposite the window wall and see how the light is multiplied throughout the rest of the room.

2) Affordable

You don't have to spend a fortune to look amazing in your LBD, and the same stands for using decorative mirrors in your home. There are so many different ways that you can use mirror. From hanging a group of vintage mirrors that you have gathered from thrift stores, to a high-end marble framed mirror, there is a mirror for every room and budget.

3) Hide Blemishes

We all have those little tiny features of our bodies that we would rather people not focus on, and the same goes for your home! Mirrors can help hide blemishes on your walls that you might not want others to see when they come into your home. Cracked walls, uneven surfaces, or even an old fuse box can be quickly covered and dressed up with a mirror.

4) Versatility

Part of the beauty of the LBD is that it can be dressed up or dressed down, and the same is true with decorative mirrors. As long as you are mindful of the rest of your room's personal style when picking out a decorative mirror, your room will be all the better for it. For example, if your style is contemporary, use something with clean lines and solid colors, whereas, if you are looking for a Mexican Riviera vibe, go with something containing vibrant colors and ornamentation. Mirrors, like art, should blend with the other pieces in your home, and become part of your personal design style. Just like your LBD.

This guest blog post was written by MirrorMate Frames®, which offers information on how to frame a mirror by attaching beautiful frames to boring, builder grade mirrors. This mirror framing system, frequently used on a bathroom wall mirror, can be installed in 20 minutes and comes in over 65 different frame styles to complement any type of d├ęcor.

Things Expecting Mothers Must Not Forget While Moving

One of the many things moms-to-be abhor to do is relocating. Moving during pregnancy is a unpleasant and challenging. It is always better to seek professional help from a man and van company to plan a safe and stress-free move to your new home. But expecting mothers must take good care of their well being, during the relocation process, even if everything is being taken care of by the moving company.

Though as per gynecologists, you can move furniture in the first trimester, but they do not recommend moving bulky furniture pieces after that. Let someone else do the heavy work for you. Expecting mothers become moody and feel tired more often. So consider hiring movers for packing things. Keep the following tips in mind for relocating, while you are carrying a baby inside your womb.

Plan weeks ahead of the move

Start packing small things weeks before the expected date of moving. Avoid any hurry, as haste makes waste. Do not pack all your rooms in one go. Take frequent breathers while packing, so that you may not feel tired or strain your back. Your belly will grow bigger eventually, so why not prepare for the move weeks before actually moving?

Avoid lifting weight
Even if you are the only person in the home, who knows what and how everything should be done, do not budge anything heavy. You can contribute in the move by suggesting things to the moving professionals or to your family members. Moving heavy boxes and items is highly unsafe for you as well as your unborn baby. As a matter of fact, pregnant women are more vulnerable to neuromuscular injuries.

Drink loads of water
Drink plenty of fluids while preparing for a move, as working hard will make you transpire a lot. If you keep yourself hydrated, you will feel more energetic throughout the moving process. Replenish your body with water frequently, as no matter how less you contribute to the move, you will feel stressed in pregnancy. Dehydration may result in pre-term labor.

Grab a friend for help
Delegate as much work as you can to your friends and family members. Nobody would deny you help, especially if you are pregnant. If you have older children, you can delegate packing tasks to them. Ask your friends to move your furniture and help it load onto the moving vehicles. Assign tasks to people around you and you can give them the required directions.
Moving becomes more stressful, when you move during pregnancy. Take good care of yourselves when you are traveling. Having reached your new home safe and sound, do not try to unpack everything the same day. Leave the unpacking and re-arranging for the movers you hired or other family members.

If all else fails you can hire the pros! Check out Abels Moving Services Limited

About the Author: Author has been associated with professional man with a van and self storage london services from a long time. Presently with his vast experience, He is helping others in choosing the best service provider for them in London and its surroundings.

New Year's Resolution: The Perfect Lawn

Happy 2012!

I have made it my New Year's Resolution to finally get my garden in order. After spending a lot of time last year on the interior of our home (especially the bathroom) it is time to concentrate on the outside.

The garden is in a bit of a state. Most of the lawn is just muddy grass and the borders are overgrown with weeds. I will have to wait until spring to get planting (although once the weather is warmer and the ground isn't frozen I can start weeding). The lawn on the other hand poses more of a challenge.

Every time it rains large puddles collect on the grass meaning that there is a lot of mud and not much lawn. I just don't have time to cultivate the perfect lawn so I've been thinking of getting some astroturf or artificial grass. I didn't realise how popular artificial lawns were. One site, Tigerturf Landscape caught my eye.

Astrotuf comes in lots of different varieties and I was surprised by how natural it looks. Best of all the grass doesn't need mowing! It's also environmentally friendly as it's made from recycled plastic. Think of all the carbon I'll save by not having to use the lawnmower. Plus there won't be any need to put artificial chemicals and fertilizer down.

So my resolution for 2012 is to install some artificial turf in my back yard this year. I'll post some pictures once it's underway.

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