Home Improvement

Fresh Colour for Bathroom

bathroomCan you imagine how enlightening it feels to swim in crystal clear turquoise seawater, or to dive into the deep blue depths of a swimming pool? This is a sensation that can be created in the privacy of the home too, in the form of a fresh bathroom. The right choice of colour goes a long way to promote this feeling of freshness in the limited confines of the shower stall or bathroom, aquamarine, azure, pearl, and crystal all help to desired atmosphere. The fresh look bathroom should always provoke a sense of space and light, with an open and bright quality, rather than a cozy and sensual one. Colour and line accentuate this feeling, so use sea coloured tiles to cover large areas, creating a platform of uninterrupted colour, alongside a generous use of transparent materials and glass. It may be possible to replace a whole wall with glass to eliminate solid visual obstructions, and to install sleek bathroom units in gleaming white or a fresh aqua shade, with minimal visible plumbing. Paint the ceiling in a suitably pale hue and keep the floor light in colour and pattern to further promote the atmosphere of fresh spaciousness.

The inherent hard lines, angles protrusions and changes in levels confined within the small space of the bathroom distract from visual harmony. Try and minimize unnecessary angulation and changes in texture by limiting the range of colour featured in materials, fabrics and bathroom services. Choose just one or two closely related colours for walls and tiling, a choice that may be based on the colour of your existing bathroom services, then try to ensure that blinds, shower curtains, towels and other pieces of bathroom furnitured blend in with the main colour theme. Sympathetic lighting is essential to any bathroom scheme, both for practical and aesthetic purposes. In the fresh look bathroom creative lighting can be used to enhance the watery effect of the colours and materials that decorate the room. For example, strategically placed spotlight shining through rippled glass and reflecting on the shiny surfaces of the tiles will create the optical illusions of sunshine dancing on water.

Alternatively, carefully direct neat, swivel headed downlighters so that they create fields of light on aqua surfaces. Just as with the real thing, the sea colours of turquoise, azure, and crystal become incandescent in sunlight. Use this idea to create a flexible lighting systems that can be manipulated to promote these qualities, using natural daylight where possible, perhaps filtered through slats or transparent voile to soften the reflections. Where there is a strong source of natural light in the bathroom, use transparent fabrics in yellows, blues, or greens to dress the windows and enhance the effects of daylight, allowing the option of drawing a gossamer veil to filter the light when necessary.

Continue the water and light theme by using colours and textures that are associated with this combinations, ripple surfaced aquamarines tiles alongside smooth, thick glass, sandy yellow fabric against a sea green mosaic, and for a feminine touch, the subtle sheen of mother of pearl floor tiles partnered with a pretty floral voile in blues, pinks and greens.

 

Home Improvement

Power Outage Happy Home Tips

Our Power Outage Happy Home Tips

– During a recent power outage, it occurred to us that not everyone out there is ready for such an event, or equipped with the items needed to lighten the sometimes stressful environment it can create.

We have put a few tips together that we hope everyone will find helpful when the lights go out.

Lighting

Candles:

(Keep candles handy; use them to decorate your home if at all possible. They look good and when the lights go out you can ease the tension room by room, lighting one decorative display at a time.)

A: If more light is needed, a piece of tinfoil carefully placed behind the candle will reflect the light into the room instantly doubling the candles lighting capacity.

B: You can also take a piece of tinfoil about 15″x 15″, and place a piece of tape (duct tape works great) on one side and tape it around the base of the candle. Make sure that it is a larger candle around 6 to 8″ tall, and as big around as the average sized soup can. This will allow it to burn longer without melting down to the base. Allowing the tape to remain cool and keep the foil attached.

This type of set up will ultimately allow you to shape the foil around the top of the candle in a bowl shape creating a cheap easy version of a lantern allowing you to focus the candles light where it is needed.

C: There are many different types of candles out there that are designed for survival situations and are meant to burn for long periods of time without issue, but for your typical power outage most display candles found in stores are sufficient. You may want to limit the amount of scented versions, because you will have many candles lit and the mixed smells could become overwhelming.

D: Finally 2 major rules to live by when candles are used:

1: Keep all lit candles stationary to prevent fires, if you need to walk around the house use a flashlight.

2: Above all before going to bed or leaving a room unattended put out all lit candles to prevent a fire. We suggest gathering everyone into a central area (Living room or dinning room) during an outage and only lighting candles in that occupied area. This might be a good time to reconnect and break out some board games.

Household rules

Bathroom courtesy:

(It may sound funny but when there is no power that usually means that the water is gone as well. In most cases you will be lucky to get 2 or 3 flushes per toilet before the reservoir tank is out of water for this we have one rule.)

1: If its yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.

Fridges & Freezers:

(When the power does go out most of us have no way of knowing exactly when it will be coming back on again. If left closed, on average you can go between 1 & 3 days without power before your current stock of chilled foods is lost to spoilage. We advise the following three rules to prevent early spoilage.)

1: If possible prepare meals that don’t involve items kept in the fridge or freezer to maintain their temperature as long as possible.

2: Avoid opening either of them unless absolutely necessary. If it happens to be winter and you have snow on the ground, setting items outside in the snow could save you from having to repurchase your freezers contents.

3: Last but not least if you do need to get something out, think ahead about what you want and get in and out quickly. Don’t make it Christmas shopping on Black Friday and let all that cold air out looking around with the door open.

Heating:

(Most heaters need electricity to work or can give off dangerous fumes when used indoors. If you have a gas stove it may not light when you turn the knob, but the gas is still there. If you turn it on you can easily light it manually with a match, we recommend the extended grilling lighters to avoid burns. Use it to keep warm or cook as usual with one rule in mind.)

1: Above all make sure when you are finished you shut off the gas. We recommend trying to relight it immediately after shutting it off to make sure no gas is still coming out.

Appliances:

(In almost every case the power will come back on, keep this in mind when going to bed or putting your little ones to sleep. You don’t want to get the good news at 3am and have your house light up like the 4th of July!)

1: Before heading to bed check the light switches, TV’s, Radio’s and Computer or all of the above to make sure they are off. If you can’t remember if it was on when you lost power just unplug it until morning and save some energy in the process.

Water

Drinking water:

(If you’re up on your storage needs you should have some set aside, but for convenience sake keep a gallon or two in your fridge. Just make sure you take them out as soon as you loose power to maintain the cold and put them into a cooler to have some cold drinking water on hand.)

Useful water:

(If you can get yourself a 55 gallon drum and attach a faucet onto the base, it can be filled with tap water or collected rain water. It may not be drinkable but can be handy to carry in by bucket in case someone breaks the (Don’t flush the toilet rule) to refill the reservoir tank on the back of the toilet.)

Kids

Babies:

(With young children these types of situations can be scary so try to plan ahead and talk to them about what to do when it happens. Try to also plan ahead to ease the situation by finding creative ways to maintain any routines they are used to.)

1: Get a few of the dome shaped push to turn on infomercial lights to substitute as a battery powered night light.

2: Use a MP3 player or Walkman with some simple portable speakers that can run off the built in earphone jack so they can still listen to their lullaby music if that is what they are used to. Any interruptions in a structured routine will result in a difficult time getting them to bed.

Younger children:

(The older the child the less help or comforting they will need but it is still smart to give them tools to adapt to the new circumstances.)

1: Give everyone their own flashlight, it will make them feel safe and come in handy if they need to use the bathroom. Don’t be surprised if the batteries are dead the next day, even big kids can be scared of the dark.

2: Keep a few glow sticks in the freezer; you can usually find cheap little sets at the dollar store. They can help to comfort them and save on flashlight batteries as well as turn a potentially scary night into a fun and cool night playing with glow sticks. Depending on the child’s age use good judgment or buy ones with a thick shell so they don’t break or crack and leak the fluorescent liquid, you never know if its toxic or not but if it glows it cant be that good.

Final Thoughts

Power outages can be scary but, when properly prepared and planned for can make for a night of peace and quiet. Free from the loud crazy TV, Video game, Radio and rumbling background appliance filled world we are all so used to.

It can give you a chance to sit down, read a book or take the opportunity to play an old fashion board game. Grow as a family and really begin reconnecting to those strangers we all so often take for granted (Our family).

 

Home Improvement

How to Make a Room Look Larger

There are a number of simple solutions that can make a room look larger than it really is. Most are extremely affordable and easy to set up. Small rooms can become dark and claustrophobic if the decor scheme is poor and various interior features are underdeveloped. By including the tips I give below, you can soon make any room look larger whether you have a small budget or not. A number of improvements that make a room look larger can also be safely implemented in rented accommodation where major adjustments to the interior walls and floors are often frowned upon.

The best way I have found to make a room look larger is the addition of mirrors. In a small room, whether a living room, bedroom or bathroom, a series of mirrors will provide the visual effect of more space and light. One of the best places to fix a mirror is opposite the entry way to a room. This will give the illusion of a larger room when you or a visitor enter the interior space. The simple mirror effect makes a room look larger and can be achieved with mirrors big or small, cheap or expensive. Just a couple are needed to really bring about the desired look and create an added sense of depth to a room.

For people who own their own home and can gain planning permission, one great way to make a room look larger is by creating a new window. Large picture windows allow in extra light and provide a visual range outside to the garden, a scenic view or just onto the front road. Depending on privacy and costs, this implementation will make a room look larger and also brighter which is especially apt for the winter months.

Cut-throughs also provide an interior architecture option when it comes to making a room look bigger. If you have a dinning room next to the kitchen or living room, you can knock down part of the wall to make two rooms into one larger space. This is what I have personally done in many homes I have lived in and the effect is tremendous for making a room look larger. That said, one must insure that the wall is not vital in holding up the house. Check with a qualified designer or builder before going through with this.

Furniture and how it is arranged is an important aspect of making any type of room look larger. It is usually the case that in a living room, the table or sofa becomes the center of attention. This can be modified whereby the room is broken into smaller gathering spaces which involve accent or coffee tables being highlighted by small rugs which in a way define the new spaces. Instead of having large items of furniture creating weight in a room, the more smaller items spaced in groups will make the room look larger.

Finally, another way to make a room look larger is through the use of wall murals or photographic prints. These are a popular choice with the advancement of printing technology and can be customised so they fill an entire wall. For example, you can have a scene of cornfields on a summers day taking up an entire wall which will give an optical illusion of making the room look larger than it really is. Different colors of paint will also make an interior brighter or more energetic which again creates the feeling of more space.

There are many more ways to make a room look larger than it really is and these can be explored in more detail by browsing Interior Design magazines, television programs and perusing style websites online.

Edward Beaman-Hodgkiss is a professional Interior Designer with a passion for sharing advice on decorating rooms and spaces. He puts his knowledge and experience to good use on his website Home Interior Design Themes which is a goldmine for people seeking tips and inspiration when decorating their homes.

 

Home Improvement

Dinning Room Table For Christmas

A great way to get that perfect centerpiece is to have a plan. Think of the colors that should be incorporated, favorite characters, and accessories. Think about the theme of the house; will it be similar or unique? Having a plan is the best way to get what is wanted and keeping the cost down.

Colors are an important part of any decor. The most popular colors for Christmas are green, white, red, gold and silver. Pastel colors can be added to achieve a softer feel. Light purples, blues and greens give off the feeling of calm, piece and love. Think about the colors that give off the right feeling.

Now pick a favorite character. Santas and snowmen are always popular. Ms. Claus is another popular one and gives off the essence of caring and giving. A tip here is to use a smaller figure, if this is to be used as a centerpiece for the dining table. Nobody wants to have to look over or around the centerpiece while talking to someone on the other side of the table.

Accessories can be anything from hurricanes to pinecones. Hurricanes are great because of the candle that they can hold. Pinecones are always in Christmas decor and a little fake snow makes them feel like Christmas. Ribbons are a nice addition to the centerpiece while they can be wrapped around or tied in a bow.

Last but not least are the napkins. A really interesting style is to use two different colors of napkins and make a star like shape. Start by laying one down parallel with the table and then turn the next one forty five degrees in either direction. Another great idea is to take the two colors and tie them together in a bow or other shapes.

 

Home Improvement

5 Tips For Modern Dinning Room Interior Styles

dinningThe dining room is perhaps the most important room in the house today. It is were we gather as a family to spend some quality time together in our fast and stressful lifestyles. It is were we invite our friends and family to join us for dinner. Naturally when you are thinking about decorating your dining room, you will want to feature your personal touch, but at the same time keep the room friendly and comfortable for guests to enjoy. Below you will find 5 tips for decorating the dining room and how you can turn your living room into your most popular place to be.

1. Know your personal style
Some of us prefer simple and functional furniture that serve its purpose but doesn’t stand out. Others prefer lavish and cluttered styles with bespoke furniture. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, so keep your dining room consistent with the rest of your house in terms of style.

2. Colour use:
After general style, colours are the second most important design factor. The colours of your dining room should match your dining furniture.. If you have a large dark wooden table it is not advisable to have light colours on the wall. Likewise if the rest of your furniture is bright, stay away from dark colours on the wall. In general you will want to avoid mixing too many colours at once in your dining room. Bright and loud colours have their place in a modern or contemporary dining area. Remember the dining room is for enjoying good food and conversation and too many loud colours may be a distraction. The colour red is associated with stimulating the appetite, as such strawberry or tomato, therefore these colours will help you, your family and friends enjoy their food!

3. Space
Space considerations are on of the more advanced concepts. From Feng Shui to traditional British style, space is something to pay attention to. Does your room feel open and free or cluttered and narrow? There is no real right or wrong when it comes to use of space, but consider having less furniture in a small room to give it a larger appearance and having more furniture in a large room to keep it from appearing open and barren are effective design concepts.

4. Arrangement
It is not enough only to be aware of the size of your room and act accordingly. First you should consider the general space available and how much furniture you need, then you need to choose what furniture should go where and at what angles. This is a difficult task and one that needs careful thought. There are many different philosophies on the subject. Some like to keep a very symmetrical style, while others prefer an organic free flowing style. Experiment with different setups and gauge your guests reaction and their interaction. If everyone is standing instead of sitting down, you may want to change things around!

5. Compliment your pieces
As a final touch, there are some things you can do to add the last finishing. This includes matching window dressing with the colour of your furniture. You can use beautiful curtains to highlight a specific theme in your room or compliment the colour of the dining room table. Small dinning rooms look great with natural wood blinds which compliment the colour of the table.

 

Home Improvement

Kitchen Lighting Tips

Out of all the lighting projects in the home, one of the most overlooked rooms is the kitchen. Since modern kitchens are replacing traditional kitchens and becoming popular places to congregate over coffee or a snack, kitchen lighting is also developing along with today’s modern needs.

Kitchens require specific lighting to aid in food preparation tasks and often consists of both task and ambient lighting. According to some professional lighting designers, the kitchen is the one of the most versatile and interesting projects to handle. It can also be one of the most challenging due to its cabinets, shelves, appliances, as well as numerous nooks and crannies.

About Task Lighting

The first approach to kitchen lighting is to consider the areas that are in need of task lighting. These are the areas that best lit with lights that are bright and won’t have a shadow and include places such as tables, sinks, and counters. Task lights work best when the fixture is close to the work area gets the maximum amount of light possible. Small under cabinet lights are great choices if you desire illumination for your pantries and/or other closets. The options available for task lighting include fluorescent tubes, spot lights and directional lights.

About Ambient Lighting

Ambient light serves as general lighting that gives the kitchen overall illumination. Fluorescent tubes are a great choice for their efficiency as well as broad and even illumination. Incandescent down lights are a good choice for broad and even illumination while achieving more dramatic effect to your kitchen. Using conventional recessed lights, surface lights or light fixtures that are on a pendant or chain is a good ways to achieve direct lighting.

Other interesting lighting options include adding a layer of accent lighting for artwork and collectable and kitchen occupancy sensors. Kitchen occupancy sensors are a good choice for kitchens with multiple entrances. These sensors operate by turning on the kitchen lights automatically when someone enters the room from any direction. This is accomplished by the sensors “seeing” all the entrances from their location.

Cabinet Lighting

One of the ways to make your cabinet more attractive is the through the use of cabinet lights. Cabinet lights are mostly used to provide a sufficient amount of light for working or to display things.The types of cabinet lighting depends on the brightness, temperature, color and consumption of voltage. Cabinet lights with the effect of florescence can be of a great use for those who have a problem with heat from other forms of lighting. Some lights also have a brightness adjustment effect that can be very useful in each time of the day.
If you are planning on cabinet lighting for your kitchen, be sure to install the lighting in front or near the cabinet. This will provide the exact amount of light required while providing an added elegance to your cabinet at the same time.

The right kind of kitchen lighting will not only add to the function of a kitchen, it will also add warmth and character to the room as well.

 

Home Improvement

Modular Kitchen Design Tips For The Modern Kitchen

If you’re wondering what a modular kitchen design is in the first place, it’s something that you might have seen already in several kitchen but didn’t know to put a name to it. It’s basically a kitchen furniture style that has various cabinet units that are designs for various different functions. There are many materials and colors available to choose from which can easily suit the taste of any person who wants to remodel their kitchen.

When it comes to kitchen improvements, there are too many options out there and it is sometimes quite difficult to select the best one for your own cooking space. This is why you need a set of guidelines and tips that will get you started in the right direction so that you can make the most of your modular kitchen design.

First of all you need to properly plan for your kitchen design before you actually get started with the job. You need to properly measure the space available and the size of your room. You can find these modular kitchen types and design in many sizes as well as shapes, however not everything will fit equally in your own kitchen. Also not every style will go best with the already existing furniture in the room.

Also you need to budget your spending so you know what is the maximum amount that you will safely spend for your new furniture. You will need to see the material that you want the furniture to be made of, and each material comes with another price. For example hardwood is usually the most expensive one, while glass and stone area cheaper. But you also need to consider the durability of the final result. Afterall you want your kitchen design to last you for a very long time.

Speaking of design, you have to really look at the surrounding furniture, walls and flooring so you choose the best colors for your new modular pieces. They do have to match well with what is already existing in the place.

When it comes to construction, the height and depth of the cabinets will have to be taken into account and this is where the proper measuring comes into place. You need to select cabinets that are comfortable and easy to reach.

Finally proper lighting is also very important as you need to see what you’re doing in the kitchen. You need good lighting to focus on your daily tasks in the cooking area.

 

Home Improvement

Save on Kitchen Remodeling Tips

kitchenNo matter if you are looking to add convenience or value to your home – the kitchen is perhaps one of the best places to invest your money. There are lots of good kitchen remodeling tips out there on the Internet, but perhaps one of the best places to get more value would be to shop at your local home improvement stores.

They always say timing is everything. Well, that is very true when it comes to shopping for those certain items that you need for your next kitchen project. There are certain times throughout the year that many of your large retail home-improvement stores will be closing out their kitchen improvement items.

You can say this much is 60 or 70% on many items if you just shop around and wait for those times. That he may be thinking that you could just asked them however, they often will not tell you the information because they want you to buy something now.

Some other great kitchen remodeling tips are to shop for used stuff. If you don’t have time to wait for great sales then you might want to consider buying used items for your kitchen remodeling project at second hand stores or garage sales.

You would be amazed at how many things people put in garage sales and often times they are brand new and still in the package – you can save tons of money shopping around this way.

 

Home Improvement

Affordable and Effective Kitchen Improvements

Are you getting tired of how your kitchen looks right now? If you think that having a kitchen renovation at a time like this will cost you a lot of money, you are mistaken. There are a lot of things you can do to give your kitchen a makeover but without burning a hole in your pocket. Check out these tips for a nicer kitchen.

1.Cupboards – a nice fresh paint in your cupboards and drawers can instantly give your kitchen a face lift. A new color alone can have a really drastic effect in your overall kitchen. It can light up your kitchen or have a warm ambiance, your choice. Paints are not that expensive plus you can play with the colors as much as you want.

2.Counter tops – If you have a chip in your counter, then it’s time to buy a new one. But don’t worry because counter tops need not be expensive. There are affordable laminates that are available in the market today and these work well in replacing your chipped counters.

3.Kitchen Islands – kitchen islands are very popular right now because they can provide you a lot of things for a relatively cheap price. A kitchen island can serve as an additional working area, a counter top, eating area, and storage area all in one. And they can come in wheels. It’s easy to pick the right one for you that fits in your budget because there are a lot of models and designs to choose from.

Who says that having kitchen improvements need to be expensive? Minor alterations in your kitchen can do wonders for its overall appeal and can have a really refreshing look. If you want your kitchen to have a fresh new look this coming holidays, you can try one or all of these tips.

Home Improvement

Kitchen Fitter Jobs

Today more and more home owners have second thoughts before purchasing a new house. This is primarily due to the volatile housing market and the decline in real estate value over the last few years. This is a sad situation for estate agents and property developers and new home builders and contractors. There is good news for small residential contractors. Homeowners are now focusing on making improvements to their current home. The number one room that is usually remodeled and improved by most homeowners is the kitchen. So the good news is that there are an increasing amount of kitchen fitter jobs available for small contractors.

A kitchen is a very personal thing and if you are a quality contractor with a good personality, then you are a great candidate to cash in on some of the kitchen fitter jobs that need to be completed. A home conveys the homeowner’s tastes and personality. It is also a project near and dear to their heart and they will, in most cases, be inclined to want better quality materials and craftsmanship because a kitchen refit is viewed as a positive improvement to a home and typically increases the value of a home. However, when interviewing for a kitchen fitters job it is also good to raise the point that it may be a good financial investment, but a kitchen refit is a guaranteed investment for a positive lifestyle investment to the house and it’s family occupants.

Because of the slow down in the new real estate market there is no time like the present situation today, to make your company available and aggressively go after kitchen fitter jobs.