A lot of time is spent in bedrooms and decorating should reflect that and be well thought out. A bedroom is a place to feel safe, comfortable and cocooned as we sleep. Bedrooms should be an expression of who we are. The goal of every bedroom is to have linens that are beautiful, easy to take care of, and mattresses that are comfortable to sleep on. If the room is dressed right, you will feel good while you’re in it.
When choosing sheets for your bed you will want to keep in mind thread counts. The higher the thread count the more luxurious and smoother feel the sheet will have. High thread count sheets are also more durable than sheets with low thread counts. High quality linen sheets can last up to twenty ears. A 450 thread count Egyptian cotton is a good choice. Linen sheets will soften with use. Have a good idea of what you are looking for before you start making buying decisions. You are dressing your bedrooms in fashion just as you would your body. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little.
Putting the right comforter on your bed can make the whole bedroom look fabulous. Comforters are the most visible of all the bedding pieces, so when you change the comforter you make a large change in the decor of the bedroom itself. When considering a comforter look at the TPI or threads per inch. This figure will often give you a good idea of the quality level that has been put into the comforter. Generally speaking, thread counts above 250 produce a soft and comfortable feel and fabric that will last a long time. Try to avoid thread counts below 200.
If you feel bedroom-designing challenged, then bed in a bag sets may just be perfect for you! Everything you need comes in one complete set, and is designed to match or coordinate perfectly. They usually include a comforter, flat and fitted sheets, a bed skirt, and two pillowcases. You’ll love having fun selecting the different bedroom looks you can create from bedding in a bag sets. Some of the better bedroom sets will also offer optional matching drapes, area rugs, accent tables, lamps and other accessories.
Any interior space can be greatly enhanced using accessories. Decorative curtains are a very good means to decorate the windows and other openings. These curtains have 2 purposes. They define a window opening and they diffuse the incoming sunlight and help the dispersion of light evenly.
The bathroom has evolved over the past decades from a strictly useful and functional room to one that is similar to a spa. Due to an aging population, many new and better products are available. These include: adjustable shower heads, slip resistant floor materials, chair-height toilets, walk-in tubs, and seated showers. Not having thousands of dollars available for decorating doesn’t mean that a bath can’t be versatile, unique, and thoroughly satisfying. Here are ten frugal ways to spice up any bathroom.
1. Inexpensive decorative mirrors add both light and space to any bathroom. They reflect colors, faces and other decorations and add character and interest. Mirrors are much more effective when grouped together rather than being a scattered mass simply hanging on a wall.
2. Pictures or prints can be massed on a wall. For maximum impact hang them closely together rather than separated. Pictures can be striking if they have a theme such as:
* Black and white photos – no color
* Older shots – from the 1930s or 1940s, for instance
* The frames are all an identical color
* The frames or photos have a uniqueness in common such as oval shapes, women only, pets, etc.
This decorating tactic works best in a powder room, rather than a full bathroom, because of the high moisture.
4. For color and charm, throw a rug on the floor. In a dull or drab bathroom, a rag rug or oriental carpet will add charm and beauty. Just be certain to use a non-skid pad underneath, especially if anyone will be stepping out of a tub or shower.
5. Collections can spark interest and admiration. Pottery is an unusual accent piece for any bathroom. Or you might consider old bottles, perfume atomizers, shaving mugs or other flea market collectibles. One especially exciting bathroom included replicas of old bottles with genuine antique stoppers made of silver and fashioned into old-time designs.
In a bathroom, be certain there is ample space for your collectibles, like a wide shelf with a lip or a generous window sill. Broken pottery or glass isn’t helpful in any room but it’s especially destructive in a bathroom. There are a wide variety of matching bath accessory collections available including wastebaskets, soap hand pumps, soap dishes, bathroom trays, brush holders, tumblers, and canisters.
6. Color is the quickest, cheapest and easiest way to alter any bathroom. Unusual colors on a bathroom wall, like melon, chocolate brown or peach, will add drama. Accents like brightly colored towels in a monochromatic bathroom will provide an outstanding accent.
7. Architectural details can spark interest. A piece of beaded or crown molding halfway up the wall or near the ceiling can transform a room, especially if it’s painted a funky color. A more elaborate addition would be grooved paneling over half the wall. Even a shelf or picture rail adds interest.
8. Add living color with plants or freshly cut flowers. The energy of plants is soothing and creates a zen-like atmosphere that is very conducive to relaxation and letting go of stress.
9. A piece of furniture, space permitting, can add unusual detail to any bathroom. Furniture need not be expensive. Most Goodwill or Salvation Army stores will have a battered piece of furniture that can be revived with sanding, paint and some unusual and classy handles or knobs.
10. Needlework makes a striking wall accent. For instance, sampler patterns from Colonial America are easily available and a few samplers grouped on a wall create a totally unique bathroom.
All ten of these ideas won’t fit every bathroom, nor should they. Simply choose one or two, as your budget permits, and begin slowly adding details. And don’t forget to take before and after pictures.
The lifestyle of a person gets reflected in his or her choice of home furnishings. Function, form, fitness and fashion are the key guiding factors in choosing furniture. Function is the first and foremost criteria. A person buys a sofa, recliner, bed, coffee and end tables, chair, rug, entertainment wall unit, bookshelf, curtains, wallpaper and so on, primarily for utility or function. A bare home, bereft of furnishings, is like a stable or a warehouse, unfit for living.
When deciding on the type of furniture also take into consideration your lifestyle. Do you have pets that are going to claw or chew? Do you have small children? Leather is a great example of a piece of furniture that looks good and lasts a long time but can be downright uncomfortable in the hot weather, unless the room has air conditioning.
Arranging furniture can be a daunting task. The key is keeping it balanced. Specifically, furniture should be placed in a way that is pleasing to the eye and easy to maneuver around. If all the heavy furniture pieces like sofas, armchairs, entertainment centers and bookshelves are loaded on one side of the room, a room can feel like a sinking ship. Think about the size of your living room in relation to the amount of furniture you want.
It’s a good idea to place the largest sofa piece against the longest wall of the room, then the smaller sections on the opposite side. If you have the smaller sections of the modular sofa face the long sofa at an angle, you will avoid that boring, boxy look that comes with having all furniture pieces pressed with their backs straight against a wall.
A fresh alternative to placing your sofa against the longest wall is to bring the sofa out, away from the wall. If you prefer this look and feel for your sofa placement, allow at least two and a half to three feet between the sofa and the wall for comfortable walking space. Less space is needed between chairs and a sofa, but always keep in mind walking patterns.
Larger living rooms can be designed so that they function effectively as two areas. For example, have one social, entertainment center seating arrangement in one section, and a quieter study arrangement in another. Tall side tables can be placed behind a sofa with decorative vases and pictures on top, as long as there is still walking space behind the couch.
Bedroom furniture can be broken down into five categories: beds, dressers, chests, night stands and mirrors. The typical suite includes one each of the above pieces with possibly two night stands. The most popular styles are rustic, country, modern, traditional and contemporary. Learn about the top 5 mattress types.
When deciding on how to arrange your living room and bedroom furniture, listen to your instincts. Wait to decorate the walls or add an area rug for a few days or even a week once you have decided on where you are going to put each piece of furniture, to give yourself a chance to get used to the new placement.
Craftsmanship, materials, and style determine the value of any home furnishing. Once you learn what to look for, you can buy wisely online, at auctions, estate sales, or straight off the showroom floor. Doing your homework before and during the purchasing process will pay off in furnishings that will retain their function and look good far into the future. There are many internet websites that will give you a good idea of styles and prices. Many online furniture stores offer free shipping.
The five main types of substances or materials for flooring are stone, tiles, hardwood, laminate, and carpet for which a variety of synthetic and natural fibers are used in construction. The following guide provides descriptions and the pros and cons for ceramic or porcelain tile, floating wood tile, carpet, hardwood flooring, engineered wood, bamboo floors, cork, stone, and vinyl flooring.
In addition, area rugs are popular and can make or break a room and instantly change the way a space feels. Choosing the right rug is as much about the way it looks as the way it feels on your feet. When choosing an area rug take into consideration the furniture in the room. Many who want to compliment a room with a rug aren’t certain what they’re looking for so research is important. Fortunately, all that’s needed is online. The three things to consider when choosing an area rug are: 1) What you love, 2) Where it will be, and 3) How to take care of it.
If a room features dark wood furniture, your best choice probably might be darker colors. No matter what pattern you have chosen, you will be totally surprised on how the feeling of a room changes with a rug. There exist a wide range of colors, patterns and sizes that reflect all possible styles for enhancing your home. Just choose the correct one and your house will seem totally different.
Area rugs can start as well as finish off the fashion of your room. You must reach a decision on the most suitable rug that complements the overall environment scheme and color for a room. Area rugs come in many different styles, textures, materials and sizes. If your living room features dark wood furniture, your best choice might be darker colors. Choose the one that fits the most with your desired decoration. Shop area rugs at Overstock.com
There are several different types of light fixtures to suit specific lighting needs and selecting the right ones for your use can be a bit challenging. Lighting fixtures can be classified by their application, mounting location, how they’re installed, or their lamp type. The following are some standard classifications.
Interior Light Fixtures
This type of lighting fixture typically has a low ingress protection rating (IP20-44) and would be damaged if exposed to outdoor weather directly. It includes all categories of light fixtures from ceiling, wall, under cabinet lights and floor mounted fixtures.
Exterior Light Fixtures
These are lights for use in the building exteriors. They typically have a high ingress protection rating (IP55-68) and perform even when exposed to the weather. These include all categories of light fixtures from ceiling, wall and floor mounted fixtures. Underwater fixtures like pool lights, linear strip lights, etc. are in this category as well and would have an ingress protection rating IP68.
Ceiling Mounted Fixtures
Wall Mounted Fixtures
Wall mounted lights or sconces can serve a variety of lighting needs including ambient, task and accent lighting. These light fixtures are very popular both in exteriors and interiors. Often, these lights are designed to match chandeliers or other light fixtures and offered as a set. These fixtures can be recessed or surface mounted.
Furniture Mounted Fixtures
These are light fixtures specifically used under cabinets for display or are table lamps, desk lamps or lights within furniture. Under cabinet lights can be used for a task or as accent lighting. Generally, such lights are used in display cabinets to provide accent lighting for three dimensional artifacts or objects. They’re also popular in kitchen cabinets, entertainment units, and book shelves.
Floor Mounted Fixtures
Floor fixtures serve a wide range of lighting needs for interior and exterior applications. Recessed or surface mounted uplights, decorative floor lamps, bollards, and spike lights. Street lights come under this category. Uplights and spike lights are used to provide accent light to walls, facades, planters and for landscaping. Decorative floor lamps, bollards and street lights provide ambient light.
To get the most out of a ceiling fan, it’s important to select the right size. Choose a 36 inch diameter fan if the room dimension is 12 feet or less, choose a 42 inch diameter fan if the room dimension is 12 to 15 feet, and choose a 52 inch diameter fan if the room dimension is 15 to 18 feet. Fans should run clockwise in winter (to move warm air off of the ceiling) and counterclockwise in summer (to create a cool breeze). Fan blades determine the amount of air being circulated. The blade pitch is also important, as it along with the blade span is what determines the degree a fan cools a room. The steeper the pitch, the more effective the fan will be in moving the air. Look for blade pitches that are between 11° and 16° and weighed and matched as a balanced set to avoid having your fan wobble. The greater the angle of the blade the more air circulation you will receive.
If the fan includes a light fixture, ensure that the circuit is able to handle both the fan and light. Also, look for the Energy Star label which indicates that air moves 20% more efficiently than other models.
Window treatments are essential in any home since they add privacy, adjust the lighting, and maintain temperatures in your room. There are many different types of window treatments you can hang up on your windows. Here is a list of basic window treatments.
Cornices are sleek hard window treatments that are padded box shapes covered in paint, wallpaper, or fabric and mounted above the window to conceal the mounting hardware. The bottom of a cornice can be shaped and trimmed in many different ways and some opt to have their cornices custom made to match the material of their furniture.
Curtains are the most popular and common window treatment used in homes, especially bedrooms. Typically, they are made of lighter weight fabric and give your windows a more homey look. There are three basic styles of curtains: panels, café and tier. You’ll find variations on each style. For instance, Priscillas are a popular version of panel curtains. Curtains can have rod pockets or tab tops for hanging on standard or decorative rods. They are usually sold in packages containing two panels.
Blackout curtains are useful to keep sunlight out. Sewn onto the back of any drapery, their lining is a very dense fabric that light can’t penetrate. They are often necessary in a TV or media room.
Draperies are usually made of heavy weight fabric. Many times they’re thermal backed or lined. They are normally hung on a traverse rod with a string so you can easily open and close them. Traditionally, draperies have been used for a more sophisticated decor and found in formal-type rooms. In recent years casual draperies have become more popular, featuring open weave fabrics, tab tops and other more laid-back styles.
Thermal backed draperies can help make your home more energy efficient. The thermal lining helps to block out heat and cold. Lined or thermal backed draperies can also aid in light control.
Shades are a popular choice besides curtains because they regulate the amount of light and offer many beautiful decorative alternatives. Shades are portions of fabric cut to the shape of a window frame, which pulls up-and-down from the top by a string through a pulley-type system or a roll-up sprocket mechanism. Shades are often preferred over blinds because there are many different types of styles and materials, such as bamboo, cellular (translucent), Roman, pleated, solar, motorized, balloon, roller (basic type), and more. Tailored Roman shades have simple, sleek lines and look well in both traditional and contemporary rooms and there are three basic styles: classic, casual, and formal. These shades have a clean look with beautiful soft folds. Having no exposed cords make them a defining fashion statement. Their tailored panels combine the softness of curtains with the functionality of blinds. Roman shades come in a wide variety of timeless fabrics like cotton, silk and linen.
Scarves can be hung on a decorative rod, through sconces or with drapery holdbacks at the top of a window. They are good decorating solutions for odd size windows that cannot be dressed with standard size window fashions. They add a designer look to panels and draperies.
Sheers are a versatile window covering. They are typically used with curtains and drapes for added decoration and don’t offer much privacy or shade from the sun. Use the sheer panels or pinch-pleats with sheer valances and other accessories for a graceful, airy feel. Sheers pair well with heavier weight draperies for a very complete and more formal window. Using sheers under draperies allow outside light in, while providing more privacy than an open window.
Shutters are an old window treatment that is a solid wood door inserted within the window casement or frame on hinges that enables the shutter to be opened to expose the window. They also have small blinds that can be open and shut using a lever to filter the light while they’re closed. Shutters are normally made of wood but there are some made of fauxwood, which come in white, black, brown, or many different type of wood finishes.
Swags and Cascades
Swags are a scalloped shape and several can be used to create a top treatment. The Cascades or Jabots are the long angled-at-the-hem valance pieces at the side. Cascades or Jabots are sold as a pair or a three-piece set. The three-piece set includes a swag and an insert valance.
Tiers are short rod-pocket panels that are intended to cover the bottom portion of a window. Usually, the bottom third of the window is covered. Tiers can be used with valances for a complete finished look. This window treatment is often used in kitchens. They provide some privacy while letting light enter. Tiers are also good solutions for bathrooms and other rooms of the house.
Valances are decorative top treatments used with drapes, curtains, and shades for added decoration and to conceal the mounting hardware. Valances are swathes of fabric draped around the top of a window frame that can be pleated, arched, gathered or flat, straight or shaped, and mounted on dust boards, poles or rods. Due to their dramatic effect, they’re normally found in formal rooms. The Waterfall Valance gets its name from the flowing drape of fabric that is created when it is shirred on a rod. Waterfall valances usually cover about 25-30 inches of window width, even though the actual rod pocket measurement may be three times that number. Many waterfall valances are accented with beads or a tassel.
To learn more about different window coverings visit 3DayBlinds.com
When you add up all the money that you can spend on home appliances it becomes obvious that you need to spend wisely and carefully to keep costs under control. These items tend to be some of the larger ticket purchases around the home and lots of money can be wasted if buying isn’t done properly.
One of the most important suggestions for buying appliances is to decide before you begin shopping exactly how much money you wish to spend. Surprisingly, this is often not done. Unfortunately, the heart often takes over when looking over the latest high-tech gadgets and features on kitchen appliances and often consumers pay more than is needed. So take some time to decide exactly what your spending limit is before you even begin to shop and then stick to your guns on that decision all the way through the buying process.
Research your buy before you start looking at actual products. These days there are many consumer publications that help you make a wise choice on a broad range of consumer items, including home appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, cooktops, ranges, and microwave ovens. They extensively test the major brands and give their unbiased opinions on a wide variety of features and other issues. You can find most of these publications available for free at your local library. This kind of research will also help you decide in advance exactly which features are most important to you and which should be avoided as unnecessary expenses. Always opt for better quality over more features too. The same is true for small appliances including coffee makers, espresso machines, toasters, food processors, blenders and juicers, and indoor grills and griddles.
It may seeem like a simple thing, but be sure to measure carefully to determine that the item you want to buy will fit in the space you have in your home. Surprisingly, this is something that is often overlooked until the delivery. Just get the measuring tape out in advance and know the space required to save this headache from happening to you.
Large kitchen appliance brands that include the most reliable models in alphabetical order are Frigidaire, General Electric, Jenn-Air (made by Whirlpool), Kenmore, KitchenAid, LG, Samsung, Thermador and Whirlpool.
Finally, consider the warranty on the items you want to buy. Be sure to ask questions in advance so that you know what the warranty will cover and how long it will last. Also, will you have to send the appliance out to be repaired under warranty or is home repair covered under the warranty contract?
If you follow these simple guidelines, buying home appliances both large and small will be a breeze and you will make smart purchases that will last and give you good service for many years.
From yards and terraces to patios and porches, these decorating ideas can work for any spot you have plans for beautifying. An outdoor space can become whatever you make of it. The first thing you need to decide is what you want to do in your outdoor space.
Before buying anything consider the size and scale of your outdoor area. Make a list of the things you would like to do in the space and use it as a guide. Bear in mind the traffic flow of the outdoor space. Be careful to not block entrance and exit points. Consider water drainage in the area so you’re kept dry.
Choose weather-resistant furniture. Furnishings that are large or overstuffed can quickly engulf a space. Look for furniture without arms that have simple lines and low backs. Try to use only a few colors since it adds a unifying feel to your decor. Select outdoor furnishings that can do double duty but make sure to choose weather-resistant materials. Have enough seating to accommodate a few extra guests.
There are many styles and sizes for patio furniture such as a dining table and chairs, outdoor couch, and table umbrella. A good option for eating is a picnic table and benches. A bistro table with matching chairs works well. A rug adds spark to an otherwise tradtional dining area.
If you want to separate areas, you can easily create the illusion of walls and intimacy by the placement of screens, wooden lattice, or a row of tall evergreen shrubs. Benches can be used along one or more sides of your outdoor entertainmant space for additional seating. A traditional rattan couch for relaxing is a good option and they can be transformed by tossing on colorful plush pillows. If you like an occasional nap, consider a hammock.
If the area is extremely shady, consider adding uplighting, string lights, paper lanterns, or other outdoor lighting. Hanging an assortment of festive glass lanterns looks good.
Landscaping around your space is a great way to enhance privacy and provide shade. Choose landscaping and plants that will add color, texture and/or height. Plants with pleasing scents are a wonderful addition to any outdoor area, but avoid plants with extremely strong aromas that are overpowering. Place large potted plants on a rolling stand so they can be easily moved.
A small water feature or wind chimes can enhance and mask unappealing background noises.
Before you install a fence, ask yourself what your reason is for installing it. If it’s something simple like keeping the dog in the yard you can probably get by with a basic picket or chain-link fence. If you’re looking to block noise or add privacy, you will want something tall and solid.
Wood fences may require occasional staining or sealing and can warp and rot over time. Consider a low-maintenance material, such as PVC and vinyl fencing. They offer the look of wood without maintenance every few years. Other material options include aluminum, steel, wrought iron, farm fencing, and bamboo. City and neighborhood rules may limit your choices for a fence. Rules may require that your fence be set back from property lines and your fence project will require a building permit.
Be open and upfront with neighbors about your fencing plans, and try not to block their views unnecessarily. A party fence can be built and shared by two or more neighbors, but such agreements should be made in writing and only after the property boundaries have been professionally determined. Ask your neighbor to share costs but keep in mind very few will agree to pay one-half the cost.
Pets are like family members and it’s not surprising that many people consider themselves “pet parents” rather than “pet owners.” While the most popular pets are dogs and cats, many homes have avian pets such as canaries, parakeets and parrots, and rodents like gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas and guinea pigs. Other common pets include reptiles such as turtles, lizards and snakes, and aquatic pets such as tropical fish and frogs.
The Best Pets for Kids
Kittens are childhood favorites. Notoriously independent cats need somewhat less care and attention than dogs but no less commitment. Like dogs, cats require regular veterinary checkups and immunizations. A cat may be a better choice than a dog if your family has limited living space. Best breeds for children include:
• Abyssinian (considered friendly and sociable)
• American shorthair (known for getting along with dogs)
• Burmese (affectionate and gentle)
• Birman (easygoing)
A cuddly puppy is probably the most classic children’s pet. But choosing the ideal dog involves more than falling for big brown eyes. Some breeds may be unsuitable for children. Any breed will need a significant commitment of time and effort. Puppies must be housebroken and require daily exercise, regular veterinary checkups and immunizations, and plenty of attention. As a rule, kid-friendly breeds include:
• Golden Retrievers
• Cocker Spaniels
• Australian Sheep Dogs
A well-chosen fish may be the perfect starter pet for a young child. Goldfish may seem like the most obvious choice, but they’re actually more difficult to raise than the Siamese fighting fish (Betta fish). These Southeast Asian natives are adapted to thrive in isolation, in surprisingly small amounts of stagnant water. No aerators, filters, heaters, or chemicals are required.
The appeal of cold-blooded creatures may be less obvious than that of warm and fuzzy animals but certain reptiles make excellent pets. Tortoises, such as the plant-eating Russian tortoise, can live more than 50 years. Some snake species also make excellent pets although constrictors should be avoided. Reptiles are non-allergenic. However, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against reptiles as pets for young children because they can easily transmit salmonella.
Birds can be excellent pets but owning a bird is more demanding than caring for a tortoise or fish. Some birds are highly intelligent. Others are very social. All birds require almost daily attention. The relatively inexpensive parakeet may be a good starter for kids who haven’t raised birds before. More expensive and intelligent birds like cockatiels and cockatoos also make great pets, but they may need more attention than parakeets or canaries.
Smaller mammals such as hamsters, guinea pigs and gerbils, are relatively easy to raise. Most will thrive in a small living space and require fairly rudimentary care. Except for hamsters which are solitary, it’s best to obtain young same-sex pairs. Regular, gentle handling promotes friendliness. Bites are possible should rodents feel threatened (especially hamsters). Surprisingly, rats make excellent pets due to their intelligence, larger size, and enjoyment of human companionship. Guinea pigs are also excellent kid-friendly pets.
7) Insects & Arthropods
Six-legged creatures might not be the first to come to mind when thinking of pets for children but owning an ant farm can be an entertaining and educational experience for a child. Various suppliers sell habitats designed to let children directly observe ant activities. Ants can be shipped live or grown from eggs. Hermit crabs are another example of creepy crawlies that are easily raised in captivity.
8) Brine Shrimp
Better known as sea monkeys, these tiny crustaceans are essentially foolproof starter pets that even small children can enjoy. They’re available in kits. Children need only add water and watch these tiny live shrimp emerge, become active, and grow. Maintenance for these hardy creatures involves adding feed about once a week and some occasional additional water to combat evaporation. A colony can thrive for a year or more with minimal care.