Monthly Archives: August 2011

Seven Reasons to Choose Roman Blinds for your home

When decorating your house, why not try something new? Roman Blinds are all the rage at the moment, and here are seven reasons why you should jump on board.

Cost

This is obviously one of the most important factors to consider, especially when working on a budget. Compared to other window treatments – curtains in particular – Roman Blinds are an extremely cheap alternative. If you were to price up top of the range curtains with top of the range wooden blinds, you would notice a considerable distance.

Style

Let’s be honest, there’s a reason Roman Blinds are still popular hundreds of years after their incarnation. The lists of colours, materials and designs are endless. Hobbled or flat blinds would complement any room well, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Whether it’s a contemporary atmosphere you’re looking to create, or a stylish yet formal meeting room, there’s a pair of Roman Blinds to meet your every need.

Simple to clean

Have you ever tried to clean a curtain? If you have, then you’ll appreciate the simplicity of cleaning Roman Blinds. A quick once-over with a vacuum nozzle, followed by a bit of elbow grease and scrubbing with a warm, damp cloth and mild stain remover and you’re done. In a hurry? No bother – you can un-mount fabric blinds and give them a spin in the washing machine.

Perfect for families

It’s not unusual for a family household to contain children and pets. Unfortunately, that means it’s also not unusual for a family household to have ragged curtains. Avoid giving children the temptation to yank and pets the temptation to claw by fitting Roman Blinds which can be easily raised out of harm’s reach.

Kitchen convenience

Aside from kids and pets, another potential threat to your furnishings is in the kitchen. A curtain hanging over a hot stove is a disaster waiting to happen. Like with children and animals, blinds allow you to raise them totally away from any sort of danger in the kitchen.

Enjoy the view

Whether it’s the Manhattan skyline, or simply the picturesque countryside, you want to make the most of your view. With curtains, there will always be an overlap onto the window and into your peripheral view. There are no such problems with Roman Blinds, as they can be retracted totally out of view.

Great for night workers

No matter how well adjusted your sleeping pattern is, it’s always harder to sleep during the day than at night. Curtains can only block out so much light. Roman Blinds however, can create total blackouts at any time of day to ensure that you get all the sleep needed for a successful night shift.

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Rugging The Country Style

I live in the country and there is a style that is very unique to the country. It’s all about warm homes, rustic charm and fun knick knacks. One thing that is very unique to the country style are rugs with a rustic but homey feel, like the rugs found at Homestyle Rugs. They are a perfect example of that country style at great prices and really could complete any country look.

I love this rug because I love cats and butterflies and it has both! I would put this is an entry or a wash room. It’s a very casual look but very beautiful at the same time.

The rugs found at homestyle rugs are made of Jute Fiber so they are all natural rugs. Jute Fiber is naturally fire retardant so it would make a great area rug near a fireplace or stove. Jute rugs also  meet the Consumer Products Safety Commission Standard FF-2-70 for flammability.  This means, if a spark lands on a Jute Fiber Rug it will not ignite but instead, will smolder.

Jute Fiber Rugs also repel water so they are great for Kitchens and Baths, it’s nice to step on a rug that is not soaking wet from the person who used it before you.

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5 Reasons Why HGTV Can Hurt Your Design Project

1. Unreal expectations

Because of the way these shows are produced you get the idea that things can be done in a weekend and when they are not you think you have failed. This makes you want to never do another home improvement project again.

If you work with a designer you may get frustrated because it takes longer to get things and complete a job then you thought it would.

2. You think you can get things for free

Sometimes you can, but most designers charge for their work, their time and more. If you hire a designer they most likely will not give you a plan until you pay then a design fee.

Many times you also are paying them for work done and hours booked, if you don’t consider that in your budget you may find you spend more then you thought.

3. Crafty stuff is cool… for a few months

A lot of the design work done on some of the shows is not intended to last years or even months, therefore if you try to recreate it at home it won’t last very long and you may find yourself frustrated at having to do it all over again.

Note: Some things will last, but it depends on how well they are put together to began with.

4. You think you know it all… Because you watch HGTV

Even trained designers and architects don’t know everything. They get ideas and advice from others in their field and work together most of the time to create projects.

If your working by yourself ask others what they think and don’t assume you know it all. Also designers and architects are not impressed by your decorating knowledge.

5. Your A Copy Cat

You’ve been watching so many of the shows on HGTV that your house looks like it came right from one of their shows! It has no personal style, nothing shows you at all, but you think it looks cool because it’s from HGTV.  Oh and of course you change at least one room in your home every few months because something you liked better showed up on the latest episode of your favorite HGTV show.

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What Kind of Bed Fits You?

Many people assume that a king size bed is better then any other bed and that is the size they need to get for their home. This is not the case as many times you don’t need that big of a bed and actually a bed that size could hurt your relationship along with your interior design plan.

Because of this a have seen a few companies like Bed Star that are now telling you who will fit in your bed by giving you a length along with size. You want a bed your comfortable in, but you also want to be sure it will fit in the room you have it in, with space all around it. Nothing is worse then having a nice big bed that you have to crawl over someone to get in and out of.

My rule for a bedroom is there must be at least 1-1/2 to 3 feet between the bed and the wall on all sides, but the headboard or head area. This gives you room to move, room for a night stand on both sides and it will keep you from waking up your partner in the middle of the night.

What kind of bed do I have? I have a queen size bed and I love it. It’s be enough that I have room to sleep, but doesn’t keep me miles from my partner and doesn’t take up so much space that I can’t move around my bedroom.

Comment: What size bed do you have in your bedroom?

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Send A Housewarming gift of Flowers

When someone moves it can be a stressful situation, I know this as I am currently in the process of moving to a new apartment. I’m excited because it’s a new and fresh start, but it’s a hassle to move and one way I have always loved to welcome someone to a new home by sending flowers or plants as a housewarming gift.

It’s a great way to brighten up a home that is not going to be bright and ready to live in right away  and if your worried about live plants you can always give fake plants If your like me when I move I will spend forever fixing furniture, painting and so on to make my home feel like a home. It’s nice to look over at the kitchen counter, as this is usually the only clean space and see flowers or a plant sitting there. It’s a reminder that someone appreciates you and hopes you love your new home.

I personally love to receive plants in a nice container when I move or for a birthday. Plants add so much to your home decor and can really complete a room. Did you know that using plants is a neutral way to bring color to a room. Green is natural and since we are all use to seeing it adding green to any room is okay.  It not only helps to bring nature in, but in a room that may be lacking in color a plant or flowers can add that little burst that you need to make a room complete.

Now, I know not everyone has a green thumb, but maybe you can include a guide to plant care when you send your flowers or plants as a gift. You also could send a fake plant, but really, fake plants are just not the same as the real thing and I think if your going to have something delivered you want it to be special.

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Lysol Healthy Touch No Touch Soap System Review and Giveaway

About the Lysol Healthy Touch System

LYSOL® Healthy Touch® No-Touch Hand Soap System helps eliminate the millions of germs that your hands can pick up each day! It automatically senses hands and dispenses just the right amount of soap. Handwashing is one of the most important steps you and your children can take to help you stay healthy and with the LYSOL® Healthy Touch® No-Touch Hand Soap System, you and your family will never have to touch a germy soap pump again.

Available in four great scents:

  • Refreshing Grapefruit Essence™ (Refill only)
  • Soothing Cucumber Splash™
  • Aloe Vera & Vitamin E with Moisturizers
  • Antibacterial Total Care

My Review

The Lysol Healthy Touch Soap System is a great tool for any home. I have mine in my kitchen so that when I’m cooking I can easily wash my hands without contaminating anything. It’s a time saver and it really is a great way to keep your kitchen clean when you cook. I have found I like the scent of the soap, mine came with anti-bacterial Aloe Vera & vitamin E.  The stainless steal look of the dispenser is also a great fit for most homes. If your not into stainless or maybe want to put this in a bathroom, you can also get the dispenser in white.

This is really a wonderful addition to any home and it’s so easy to set up and use. Just follow the directions on the back and your ready to go. It’s also great for kids who have a hard time pushing that soap dispenser spout down.

Want to know more about the system and win stainless steal kitchen appliances? Check out the Lysol Facebook page and like them to enter the Lysol No Touch Stainless Steal Sweepstakes.

 

Disclosure: I received this product to review from Lysol. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.

Win a Lysol Healthy Touch No Touch Soap System

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Best Ways to Finance Your Home Renovations

The following is a guest post

Houses eventually and normally deteriorate because of weathering. Through the years, there would be minor or major damages to your home whether you like it or not. If not properly addressed, such problems could lead to bigger damages. You would also experience a downgrade on your life quality especially the way you live in your dwelling.

That is why home renovation is very important. Once in a while, homeowners normally spend on renovating their homes. Your renovation project could be significant or just minimal. Renovating is important if you intend to retain the quality of life living in the house. It is a must to keep or even boost the property’s possible resale value (especially if you are selling it).

It is ideal if you have enough savings to spend for such an activity. But what if you do not? You could always opt to finance your home renovation. Here are some of the best choices to take if you decide to take sufficient and necessary financing for the project.

© Jinyoung Lee | Dreamstime.com

Personal loan
A home renovation project that is not that costly would be better covered through a simple personal loan. Terms could be shorter and rates may not be as competitive as those coming with home loans. But this facility is more practical compared to credit cards and refinance. Such loans could be secured (with lower rates but require collateral) or unsecured (higher rates without required collateral).

Home equity loan
This type of loan enables you to borrow money using your home as a security. Repayments could be amortised over several years. You could be sure monthly payments as well as interest rates would be fixed throughout the entire duration of the loan. This type of loan could be less costly than a personal loan. The amount you could borrow is also significantly higher, making it very ideal for major renovations.

Line of credit
If you are not comfortable borrowing a huge loan amount before your renovation project begins, it would be ideal to finance that project in phases. The line of credit could be backed by your home equity as security. You could obtain approval for a specified maximum loan amount. What is good about this is that you could withdraw just the amount you prefer or need. In the future, when you get short of cash for your renovation project, you could still withdraw cash and keep on doing so until the maximum loan amount is reached. You also get to pay only the amount you have withdrawn from the facility.

Mortgage refinance
Do you already have an existing home loan? If you do and you need to renovate your property, you may opt to take a mortgage refinance. It is like taking another loan backed by the same collateral or property. You could opt to fully repay your existing mortgage and use what is left (excess amount) to cover your home renovation. It is also like renewing your home loan. Interest rates applied could be lower or higher than that applied on your original mortgage.
So which of these options is best for your situation?

Andrew Black is a finance specialist specializing in bad credit loans. He has helped many people to in financial difficulties over the last 3 years.

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Rock the Primitive Look

I love the look and feel of the old west, northern woods and tropical islands. There is just something relaxing about these types of styles and primitive decor schemes found at Factory Direct Craft. They make you feel you are either on vacation or relaxing comfortably in your own home.

The best part is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get that relaxing look, you just have to be a little crafty and know what you want. For me I love the look of this black lantern and the fact that it’s so simple you can use it at any time of the year, just add in a few fall leaves, some pumpkins or gourds and you have a great autumn decoration, you could also add ghouls and goblins and make it a scary lantern for Halloween.

Of course it can also be used in the spring with flowers, the winter with some pine and the summer with seashells. There are just a lot of options with this and since it’s black it goes with almost anything.

If your not as crafty as you would like to be, you may like this primitive looking wood block set with the words Faith and Hope. You can add a candle like the picture or a vase of flowers if you wish. I think they would look great just by themselves also. Though I think I would set this out during the Christmas season with some pine and a candle around them.

Wall decor is also a great way to get into a primitive theme, it’s simple and easy meaning you don’t have to worry too much about what your doing, though you should still match your wall decor to the rest of your decor. I love this Irish looking Friends plaque, it’s simple but has so much meaning. It would be a great way to welcome someone into your home.

It’s actually very simple to use the primitive style in your home, Primitive after all is the simpler way to live. It’s full of nature and all of the good things life really has to offer.

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Fresh Furniture Frills

The following is a guest post

New design trends in any medium are always fascinating to look at. In the world of furniture there are some very impressive new styles and themes that are making themselves felt. Often the trendsetters are pieces by Italian designers or ones of from other European countries, though changes and burgeoning themes can be inspired by any respected furniture designer in any country whose pieces gain attention. The following are some of the new furniture design trends:

Bright Colors

Bright and shiny colors are definitely in these days as far as furniture goes. For instance, purple is a color that is being used with more frequency lately in furniture design. This will likely remain for a while as a color trend after being minimally used for a long time. Other glitzy colors/tones like silver and gold are likewise showing up with more frequency, as a brighter reds, yellows and blues. This tends to suggest a loosening up in the ideas of what furniture should look like. Bright colors liberally used suggest a kind of free thinking attitude and an insouciant esthetic.

Natural Fluidity

Many pieces are being designed to fit with natural outdoor environments in a trend that is collectively known as Fluid Fusion. These are pieces that will not overwhelm their surroundings but rather tend to blend in. Many designers these days are making use of this concept to create pieces that show respect for the earth and for nature.

Pop Inspired

Cartoonish, pop music inspired furniture is a fin trend. The current version of the pop art approach uses strong colors and rounded shapes. This trend favors a youthful and not overly literalized and conventional approach to furnishing a room. Like the chorus of a pop song, the room falls into place naturally with identifiable and catchy themes.

Minimalism

Minimalism and clean lines are a theme that communicates sophistication and often has an Asian feel. This year minimalist designs have come on the scene with increased frequency and will probably continue in popularity for a number of years to come.
This minimalism is somewhat linked to a style movement called Beauty Within that emphasizes the idea that individuals need to get close to the furniture in order to discover its beauty. These pieces look fairly minimal and ordinary initially, but when examined closer or opened demonstrate interesting subtleties such as creatively used lighting or patterns on glass.

Folklorist Craft

Primitive and handmade looking furniture is currently finding favor with designers and consumers. These may be wooden furniture that looks as though is belongs in a log cabin, metal furniture that is hammered out and sports a hand fashioned feel, and so on. The primitive is chic and the chic is primitive.

Royal and Extravagant

Furniture pieces with a sense of royalty and fanfare can also be found on the furniture scene these days. These use classic and classy design themes of bygone eras in modern pieces that have the pomp and circumstance of a courtly occasion.

So there you have it – some things to expect in terms of furniture design this year. These are only a few of the hot ideas that furniture designers are experimenting with these days. Check out some of the great new designs that at extend from high end pieces all the way to economy furniture available at retail stores. This is an interesting year for furniture.

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How to Erect Curtain Poles

The following is a guest post

One of the most integral features found in any living room are the curtains. Not only are they highly decorative they also boast the practical uses of being able to filter light whilst providing temperature control by trapping heat. Curtains are, of course, installed via pole and, as such, it is important to make sure they are erected correctly to both avoid any functional problems whilst also aided the window place’s aesthetic appeal.

Choosing the correct length of pole

Before any further action is undertaken is important to figure out the size of the pole that is required. This figure is calculated first of all by measuring the length of the window where the pole is to be erected. As the curtain pole should always be slightly longer, so as to allow the curtains to be swept to the sides entirely clear of the windows if need be, an extra five inches or so should be added on to this figure.

Choosing the curtain pole’s material

Once a length has been determined it is possible to figure out what material the curtain should be made from. There are a couple of factors which should be taken into account at this stage – the material of the curtains which are to be hung and the budget. If the curtains are made from a heavy material, for example velvet, then a sturdy pole will be necessary; one made from a durable material such as metal or wood. If a lighter pole was used then there is the possibility it may bend or break under the curtain’s weight. Secondly, it is worth noting that the stronger curtain poles are usually more expensive and, as such, budget may well play a part in selecting both the curtains and the pole itself.

Marking positions

Once the curtains and poles have been selected a small amount of further preparation work needs to be undertaken before getting to grips with any handy work. The next stage is to prepare where, exactly, the brackets which will support the pole are to be attached to the wall. The best way of doing this is by utilizing a tape measure and a pencil to make appropriate markings. Firstly measure the height of the curtains so as to make sure the pole will be high enough off the ground to stop the curtains trailing on the ground. Position the brackets parallel to each other at either side of the window place and then begin to make markings as to wear the brackets will be attached; if possible indicate where each location of hole will be for the screws.

Erecting the pole

Once the location of the brackets have been marked it is possible to begin making the holes in the wall. It is of importance to note that different types of drill bits may have to be utilized depending on what the window place is made from. For example if the window place is made from plaster or brick then a masonry drill bit would be recommended. Similarly if the walls are wooden it would be best to use a wooden drill bit. However, no matter which drill bit is used it is essential to wear goggles at all times during the drilling. Holes should be made where the earlier markings were made and then the brackets can be placed over them and secured with screw. Again, dependent on the type of wall, the screws can be inserted either by drill, for drywall or similar, or screwdriver. The curtain pole is ready to be erected once the brackets have been given a final check to make sure all the screws are sound and secure.

Author Bio

Kieron Casey is a BA (Hons) Journalism graduate who blogs regularly on a number of subjects including interior design, decorating and curtains.

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5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Yes, it’s that time of year, it’s time to start thinking of the time where we are going to close up the house and eventually turn on the heaters, cook indoors more and spend time in front of a fireplace.

© Andrew Kazmierski | Dreamstime.com

  1. Make sure your have a carbon monoxide detector. This is very important because when your home is shut up to keep the cold out carbon monoxide can build up without you noticing.
  2. Check your batteries on your smoke alarm, make sure they are working in case your cooking or fireplace creates more of a problem then you thought is would.
  3. Replace your furnace filter, it’s good to do it now because you wont’ have to worry about it when you actually need to turn the furnace on. You want to replace it at least once a year, but I really recommend and have heard it’s better to replace it every six months, depending on use. Also use this time to make sure the furnace works, that way you can fix whats wrong before the cold hits.
  4. Calk around widows and doors to make sure there is no draft problem, Yes your home needs to breath, but you want to keep the warm air in and the cold out. This also will help next summer when you want the cold air in and the warm out!
  5. Check your roof to make sure your are not missing shingles or have holes you didn’t know about. If you know about roofs you can do this yourself, if you don’t you may want to get someone who does to take a look at it.

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Spruce up your Kitchen Decor

Most of you know that I love shopping online for home decor. I love it because it’s not only fun to look at everything that’s out there, but there is such a huge selection of items that you will find what you want. This also applies to Kitchen decor. I have spent a little time online looking for some things that I would want in my new kitchen, since I move in less then a month and really need to consider what my kitchen will look like.

I love this spice rack because it’s modren and not only does it look a little different than other spice racks, it would go really well with my cookware set I have already picked out and ordered.

That is one thing you want to remember when decorating your kitchen, keep it simple and try to keep things looking the same, same metal, color and style can go a long way and an even longer way if you have a small kitchen You don’t want everything mismatched and all over the place if your space is small, it will just make it look even smaller.

The next thing I looked at and loved were kitchen curtains. They looked fun, though I don’t have a window in my kitchen I do have a doorway to my laundry room that I think I may stick a curtain on until I get a door. I think using curtains instead of doors can create a dramatic effect in a room and could be a lot of fun for a kids playroom.

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Keep Your Laundry Room Organized

Do you hate to do laundry? I know I did at one time in my life, but then we organized our laundry room and it was so much easier to do laundry. We first made sure that everything we needed to do laundry, besides the clothing of course was close to the washer dryer unit we had. We did this by making shelves that were easy to reach and full of all the supplies we would need.

The next thing we did was to bring in a little more light. We simply added a wall light and since we could see much better we liked the room more and the task of doing laundry didn’t seem so, well dark. You could also add a glass door to your laundry room if you need more light and are not wanting to pay for an electrician.

We also added in a nice scent warmer to make the room smell better. I know you use detergent, but that dryer smell can be a bit much sometimes. Have you reorganized your laundry room, how did you do it?

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