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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Tips to Pick Living Room Furniture

Whether you are redecorating your home or starting from scratch, choosing great living room furniture is important. If you think about it, whenever you have guests or other relatives over, they do not automatically go to the dining room for dinner nor do they stay there for longer once the meal is finished. The living room is basically where all of the interaction happens, so it is just important that this room is well decorated.

What makes a great living room is not just the furniture, it is the whole room in itself. There should be enough space to accommodate all of the activities you will be doing there but still have that cosy and inviting look and feel to it. There should also be enough seats for everybody, and the room should be functional and beautiful at the same time. Most of the time, light oak furniture for the living room works great, and not just for the living room but even for wardrobes as well. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right living room furniture for your home.

How Much Space Your Living Room Has

Just because you fell in love with a certain furniture piece does not mean you should jump the wagon and buy it. What a lot of people often forget is to know the size of their living room. This allows you to make more realistic decisions in terms of which living room furniture to buy. Big may not always be the best in all cases, and this applies to furniture. You will want to go with pieces which are functional, beautiful, and still leaves you with enough space to move around in your living room once you have everything put into place.

Blending with Other Furniture Pieces

Choosing living room furniture for a room which already has a few pieces of furniture in it or may already have some sort of a theme going on can be quite harder compared with starting with an empty room. You need to make sure that the new furniture you choose will go well with the rest of the pieces currently present. So even if you may have had your eye on a beautiful oak chair but it would stick out like a sore thumb when paired with the rest of the furniture currently in your living room, then it may not be the best idea. Even though it is just living room furniture, you should also ensure that the furniture pieces look well with what is in the living room and the rest of the house as well.

The People in the Family

If you think choosing living room furniture is all about how it will look once everything is put together, think again. Think of the people living in your home, and how these furniture pieces will suit them. For example, families with small children may not benefit from furniture pieces with glass tops as well as tables with pointed edges. Kids running around the house may accidentally run into them and get bumps, bruises, and possibly even cuts from broken glass. So when you choose your living room furniture, think of the people in the house and the things that could possibly happen while they are in the living room so you can prepare for all possible scenarios.

How Long You Will Have these Pieces

When you choose your living room furniture, think of how long it will likely stay in your family. This is a very important factor especially if the piece you are looking at is quite expensive. If you are considering getting wood furniture, strive to ensure that the pieces you are getting are made from solid wood, with no ply board or MDF in it. Even if the price you have to shell out initially may seem like a pretty big amount, if you will be able to use the pieces for a very long time, then that is not such a bad deal.

When choosing wood furniture for wardrobes, dining room and living room furniture, make sure you are dealing with a reputable seller of such pieces. There are times when it may be hard to spot a solid wood furniture piece from one which has ply board in it, so it is always best to be on the safe side. Think of buying light oak furniture as an investment because with proper care, these pieces can last for a long, long time.

Shabby Chic Home Decor

The Shabby Chic decor style popularized by Rachel Ashwell and Arhaus seek to have an opulent vintage look. Colors prevalent are white, pastel and ecru. Fabrics are generously hemmed giving a soft and deep feeling.

Pink peonies collaboration

Items in this range have soft pink fabric covers and include beddings, bed skirts, settee upholstery, and pillows. Styles in this range are charlotte, petticoat, tufted and Lilliput. Any couch or chair can become Shabby Chic by using a shabby chic fabric cover and pillows.

Mirrors

An opulent decor style is bound to have mirrors in various designs. The Shabby Chic mirrors styles are long, liberty, renaissance, estate and grand. Frame colors come in silver and tan colors.

Rugs

The Shabby Chic rugs are in sheepskin and vintage designs. The sheepskin rug is made from natural sheepskin and is milk white. The vintage rugs are in soft pinks and browns on white backgrounds depicting natural plant art.

Accents

These are different accessories that show spontaneity in art and craft. Items in this collection include poufs, metal trays, globes, matchboxes and vases. Colors are more divergent with indigo, poufs, blue vases and brown wood decorations.

Pillows

The Shabby Chic pillow designs are damask, Bella, lace and Venetian. The emphasis is on a deep fluffy look with covers being dominantly pastel and ecra in color.

Window covering

Curtains are for privacy as well as decorative functions. The range of curtains come in petticoat white, silk dupioni, embroidered voile and cottage linen styles. The colors are white and pink.

Throws

The throws have a hand knit look and go very well with soft pink and white couch and settee covers.

Art

No decor style is complete without art. The works of art in the collection are by Jorunn mulen. The pencil and charcoal etched drawings are done on soft pink and pastel colors to stay with the theme.

Furniture

Shabby Chic has furniture items for dining, living and bedrooms. The Shabby Chic furniture is covered in white, pink and pastel colors. Dining sets, settees and reading bureaus are also in the furniture collection. This is where the distressed look comes into play and really creates the Shabby Chic decor.

The shabby chic decor style also includes lighting, bath and gift items. Baby items are also available in this refreshingly feminine collection. The shabby chic collection is able to give a complete look for the whole house with tasteful items for everyday use. From candle holders to wall hangings, each item brings its own special something to the room.

Decor Items for Your New Home

Personal statement of color

Nothing pronounces your personality louder than the colors you like. Feel free to experiment with different hues and tones. If not sure, go for blue and cream which blend, complement and contrast well with many colors.

Wall adornments

The simplest way to go about this is by wall hangings and art. You can get few tasteful shabby chic wall hangings for your living room to start with. Alternatively you can go with DIY art which announces your creativity better.

Curtains

As much as they offer privacy, your curtains should reflect taste. Paper or plastic curtains are simply not acceptable anymore. Choose fabric curtains that have the right color that will blend with what is on the wall.

Storage

Where duffel bags were adequate in your dorm room, you will have to get space for your newly found acquisitions. This calls for creativity as the space available will most likely be less than your possessions. Experimentation with colors is also works here.

Floor art

Get a few floor rugs to cover the little ground available. You do not have to install Isfahan Persian to announce your fine tastes. In fact, a hand-woven DIY rug will do just fine. Creativity with patterns, colors and texture will make the space feel more lived in.

Statement item

Have an item that is personally identified with you. This is usually a memento from college or home or a gift from a special person. Antique pieces are ideal for this. DIY items are even better as they have an intimate attachment. A tasty chandelier is also very attractive.

Lighting

Tastefully done lighting and shade in attractive colors make the rooms very cozy. Let every room have lighting that suits its purpose. Colored lighting is ideal for the bedroom and bathroom while clear white light is better for your reading table.

Tips to Care Your Decor Furniture

Cleaning

Upholstery should be vacuumed at least once weekly and the loose covers laundered weekly too. If you have loose cushions, place the cushion in a large plastic bag, close the bag tightly around the vacuum hose with the hose pressing on the cushion and turn on the vacuum. The cushion will shrink down sucking all the dust particles out of the cushion. Once you turn off the vacuum, the cushion will go right back into shape. Dirt that has fallen in hard to reach places like crevices under cushions should also be cleared with a narrow object. Rough objects can wear on the fabric if not removed.

Protecting fabric

Spills and stains can be avoided by using spray fabric protectors. These can be applied when the upholstery is being installed. You can also buy commercial products. The commercial products work pretty good and is best to have protectant applied prior to use. Either type is better than nothing at all.

Caring for cushions

Cautions that remain at one point for long tend to sink as they get sat on day after day. It is important to flip them and rotate them to another spot.

Rearrange furniture

To avoid one item being used too frequently and wearing out faster than the rest of the furniture, rearrange the furniture at least once in six months.

Rest covers

Headrests, chair backs and armrests wear out faster than the rest of the parts. They also get dirty faster as they come into contact with bare skin and hair. One can get a cover for the rest in the same color. These covers are barely noticeable but very effective in protecting the upholstery fabric.

Washable slip covers are very good to use in warm weather as they can be easily washed while they effectively protect the furniture against stains and spills.

Caring for bare wood

For bare parts of furniture, a damp cloth should be used to wipe off dust and any other stains. Dusting frequently is advised to prevent the dust from caking into a hard coat that is harder to get off.

You can choose to renew the shine on bare wood by using polish or wax. Applying polish is easier but polish can cake up if applied too many times. Wax can be washed off with oil soap and a new coat applied.

Learn more about Onyx

Onyx Countertops

Onyx is one of the most beautiful natural stones. This greatly under-utilized material is versatile and elegant allowing it to look good almost anywhere. Onyx is considered luxurious in the world of stone for many reasons. This softer stone is considered more delicate than other natural stones including marble and that delicacy has its advantages and disadvantages. Although onyx kitchen countertops are beautiful, they are not as practical as granite countertops and require more care. However, onyx slabs have some of the most unique movement and patterning among natural stones giving it great value, beauty, and intrigue.

Light-weight

Onyx is a lighter-weight material in comparison to marble or granite slabs and can easily be installed in creative applications. Most of the world’s onyx is quarried into small-sized slabs making it easy to handle and fabricate. Onyx kitchen and bathroom countertops are striking with the unique patterning and colors. A more inspiring application is installing onyx as a wall finish or cladding in a grid pattern where the slabs are cut into manageable sized sections and secured to the wall with metal fasteners or channels. Onyx is on the softer end of the stone density scale, making it better suited for interior and vertical applications.

Translucent

Another advantage to onyx is that it’s somewhat translucent and has the appearance of being delicate and soft to the touch. This luxurious quality allows it to be easily backlit. Backlighting a stone with even light distribution can greatly enhance the color and movement within a stone. Depending on the spectrum of the backlighting source, the colors in onyx have a tendency to appear warmer and more vibrant, bringing out the dynamic beauty of the stone. It is common to use backlighting on a vertical application such as a stone wall feature or room divider in a space. Backlit onyx countertops are breathtaking in restaurant bars as well as backlighting onyx on the face of a hotel front desk. Since backlighting stone tends to be magnetic and draws attention, it is often seen in public spaces designed to enlighten or energize the crowd such as casinos, hotel lobbies, and bars.

Colorful

Onyx naturally has a magnificent range of colors and patterns. The stone is most commonly found in cream, gold, red and green tones. The movement can vary from bright white with little veining to deep red with vigorous movement. Onyx slabs and tiles look more like gemstones rather than granite. The color variation and movement is smooth similar to liquid transitioning from one color to the next. In addition to countertops and shower surrounds, the fluid-like movement in onyx is ideal for carved products including statues, figurines, sinks, and fireplace mantels.

 

Know Facts And Truths about Home Renovation

If you are fond of home renovation and have the necessary skills, like electrical wiring, woodworking, plumbing or painting and wall work, you can save money.

However, if you have a huge budget and lack both the skill and confidence to do home renovation projects yourself, hire a professional. The best candidates should have a great portfolio, as well as recommendations from previous clients.

Significance

Aging homes requires more attention on repairs.

When considering renovations, think about how long you plan to stay in the home and why you want a remodeling project for it. Among others, Kitchen and bathroom remodeling are very popular because they increase a home’s resale value.

A fresh repainting job – something you can do yourself – gives a home a clean and cared for impression with minimal cost.

Paint a room

Most people can repaint a room. Make sure to buy enough paint: Estimate the wall space, and buy amount of paint accordingly. Paint usually costs from under $20 per gallon to $30 per gallon or more.

Buying an extra quart or gallon of paint is a great and safe idea. For larger projects, buying a five-gallon container is advisable ensures sufficient paint and consistency in color.

Choose Projects According to Skill Level

Projects such as plumbing, electrical, heating, water, and roofing are major remodeling tasks. Do this only if you have the skills, experience, and desire to learn.

Contractors have reputations to maintain, so seek for those with references and the necessary experience for the particular job.

Screen contractors and get their references. Most contractors provide free estimates. Ask for one and make agreements with deadlines before signing contracts.

Materials List

Lay out a plan before purchasing materials. As much as possible, make an estimate of the cost first to allow you to set expectations and save yourself time and further cost. These costs can vary widely. Small independent suppliers may offer better customer service, and perks like free delivery and discounts.

Considerations & Pitfalls

Going through a remodeling project takes courage. Washing dishes in a bathtub while the

kitchen is renovated, to dealing with dust and fumes from floor finishing are just some of those. However, seeing a project in completion is simply rewarding.Benefits

  • Skilled DIY homeowners can save time and money by completing remodeling projects themselves, while successfully adding valuable upgrades to the home.
  • Distribute the project into manageable portions and set a completion date. For instance, you could do painting jobs a room a day or across a weekend, depending on hard you want to work.
  • Installing sheet rock or framing to wall partition a large room and create two smaller rooms takes more skill, time, and money.

Warnings

Some home remodeling projects require skills that go beyond the basics. For instance, refinishing floors requires sanding devices and equipments, respirators and ear protection. Floor sanders require frequent changing of sanding pads and are heavy. Commercial sanders can leave marks on the floors if left in one place too long. Make sure you are up to the task as well as your skills, and know when to hire a professional.

 

Know Green Flooring Options

Bamboo

While considering making the floor from green material, bamboo should probably be used as a primary choice. Some of the high quality bamboos are even stronger than most of the strongest hardwoods.The high quality bamboo flooring can be as strong as maple or oak wood flooring or even stronger. Apart from the associated sturdiness, it also appears to be quite elegant and charming. Unlike the traditional hardwood trees, which used to be harvested after 50-60 years of plantation, bamboo can be harvested after 2-3 years only. This makes it quite an eco-friendly option for being included in the home improvement plans.

Cork

In the traditional days, cork was mainly known as a plug in of the wine bottle rather than a strong building material. However, this is not the case today. Cork flooring has become one of the most popular options mainly due to the eco-friendly nature. Being made from a regenerative bark, cork does not cost any harm to the tree. The tree continues to live and produce cork barks that can be harvested over a period of time and that too without posing any threat to nature.

Sustainably Harvested Hardwood

Now, you must be wondering what actually makes hardwood harvesting ecological? In order to make hardwood sustainable, forests are required to meet the social, ecological, spiritual, economic and cultural needs of the existing as well as future generations. Sustainable wood is harvested in an environmental friendly manner and help in saving the Mother Nature from the possible harm.

So, these are some ideal green flooring options that can be used in the modern day home improvement plans.

 

Lights in Your Room

Standing lights adorn modern rooms especially the living room and it is great to invest in the same. Easy to maintain and install, the lights are certainly the best way to enhance the decor. A contemporary style is also accessible but with modern trends in lights, it is good to add some color with the tinted ones, LED splendor and also the grand effect of large chandeliers. Living rooms are always majestic and can be improved with good lighting. The choice you make in lights is clearly seen in torches for the floor or the central lights, which lights up a party atmosphere.

Lamps are indeed the best way to bring richness to a room. These are also suited for the porch area and other effects like small lamps are a great way to add a mystic style to your garden. Available in glass or fiber encasements, the lights are sharp, focused and are modulated with dimmers. Suspended and very delicate, the new styles in pendant lighting are a sheer delight. The colors in the same are awesome too. Picking a white or a grey light in this collection will not only add class to your room but will also improve the appeal of other accessories.

Lights are available for indoors for stairs, steps and indoor effects. This is extremely powerful and easy to maintain. The focus is very sharp and ably helps in getter more visibility in the room. LED lights are now very popular and alluring styles are seen in new range that is also enabled with the dimmer. It is exquisite in taste and style working well with your existing decor. Scones as lights are now very popular owing to their classy style. The majestic styles for grand bathrooms are also getting famous with more opportunities to include fluorescent lights. Retro finish is also seen in wood and iron lights that are very appealing and long lasting.

Using Minimal Architecture at Home

Minimal architecture furniture can make your home spacious and a good range of small furniture is available for homeowners. In addition to sofa sets, there are medium size dining tables, chairs, stools and tables. You name the household item and it is available at the small goods store.

It is not that only household goods are available on this store as you can buy pretty office equipments too. Your office should look neat, clean and functional but a lot of space is lost in keeping oversized equipments. For instance take the reception in your office. This is place where you welcome your guests and visitor. It should look spacious and also have elegant sitting arrangement. With small furniture, you achieve two objectives that are making your reception look spacious and second making decent sitting arrangement for your guests.

Homeowners and entrepreneurs can be seen struggling with their bulky accessories. They try to create space for more useful goods but they can’t because most of the living space is already eaten by present accessories. In this situation, you can only removing some of the accessories to accommodate new furniture. Another way is to replace old bulky furniture with elegant minimal architecture goods.

Cost effective minimal architecture can make your home look beautiful, spacious and inviting. Bulky furniture huddled at a living room and other places make a home look crowded and the residents and visitors feel restless at crowded home. A great advantage of using small items is that they are convenient to move and you would feel no hassle in cleaning your home even when plenty of miniature goods are placed in the home.

Things to Remember when Do Your Own Home Improvement

Be Completely Honest with Yourself

Every project should start with this, and this is the best way to avoid unwanted home improvement disasters. Nobody knows you better than yourself, so be completely honest with yourself about your skill set (weaknesses and your strengths). For instance, if you can’t handle heights or a fear of it, then don’t do the re-roofing yourself. It might just end up giving you more problems than improvements.

Check Current Building Codes In Your Area

In many areas, similar building codes are imposed. But take note, similar and not exactly the same. Make sure you are fully aware and understand your local or country building codes to ensure that your remodeling project will not pose future problems on your end. If you make the projects yourself and fail to comply with the given codes, you could be fined and might just put you and your family in danger.

Cost and Time

Come to think of it, deciding to go DIY is mainly driven by money or budget. But what others mostly forget about is the time factor. As said by many, time is the only truly limited resources in the world. Going DIY will more likely take much longer time than hiring a professional. How much will be sacrificed for every hour you spend doing the project yourself? What is that time worth to you?

Things that are better left to the Professionals

Doing DIY projects are great and there are a lot of great DIY projects out there. But to avoid potential disasters with your home improvements, it might be best to leave these things to the professionals (unless you are one yourself):

  • Electrical Repairs or Installation – Electrical jobs are extremely dangerous; improper connections can lead to groundings and electrical accidents. Leave this to professionals, but make sure they are licensed and qualified as well.
  • Heater and Air Conditioning Repair – An HVAC project involves a lot of dangers because not only does it have electricity involved, but natural gas as well. This means that there are a lot of potential if you don’t know what you are doing.

It is not our intention to discourage you from doing DIY’s because we understand that there is a great deal of satisfaction with a job well done (and extra savings). But to avoid home improvement disasters, it is best to be smart.