Friday, May 30, 2008

Choosing Between Gazebo Kits And Gazebo Plans

Getting a gazebo is a terrific idea to enhance the appearance as well as providing you a stylish relax environment in your garden. It is excellent for family gathering, romantic dinner, or even quite reading place to enjoy with a cup of coffee.

After deciding to build a gazebo in your garden, now it’s time to choose between gazebo plans or gazebo kits for construction.

First let’s take a look at gazebo plans. Most gazebo plans come with a list of materials, which often includes the exact size and numbers needed for the boards, nails, screws and hinges.

For a complete gazebo plan it comes with an actual blue print for the structure, inclusive of a detailed set of instructions for assembling, pricing information and list of major retailers that are likely to carry the needed materials.

Gazebo plans come in all sorts of variations, including octagonal and hexagonal model. Nowadays, you can choose to purchase gazebo plans online, given the multimedia options that each given program offers. Some gazebo plans sites are offering a plan for a 10-foot gazebo for as little as $20.

Gazebo kits are the most popular way people choose to build their gazebo.

Imagine, having someone come to your house and assemble a gazebo for you? It can be extremely pricey. With gazebo kit it reduced your construction cost significantly.

Whether you are looking for a nice backyard gazebo in Amish or Victorian style to place in your garden or looking for a gazebo to cover your hot tub, chances are there are gazebo kits for you.

Practically any shape or size you can imagine in a gazebo is available as a kit.

Most backyard gazebo kits are actually designed for wooden gazebos, not concrete gazebos. Wooden gazebos kits are mostly constructed from pressure treated pine wood or rock solid cedar.

Gazebos Kits vary in ease-of-assembly, construction materials needed, size, building instruction quality, and price. Some of the top notch gazebo kits on the market, such as Amish-made gazebos, can run you over $10,000 for even 8 by 8 models.

It’s not difficult to build a gazebo by yourself. Choose the style that match your house and needs, and then decide on your favorite material, size and design of gazebo. And you are all ready to spend this beautiful summer building a stunning gazebo with friends and family members for a time of gathering.

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I received a call from my sponsor because he had received an email from me promoting a different opportunity, and he took the time to call me, ask what I was doing, and then provided me with his link to .WS which I viewed right away. When I saw the movie and the fact it costs only $10 a month, I was amazed. I immediately registered for the free trial and went to work. I finished my first 30 days with 102 people, and am more excited today than I was when I first saw the opportunity. I have found my business grows in direct proportion to the number of people that watch the movie. Therefore, I ask a lot of people each day to watch the movie and give me their opinion. About 50% of those that watch the movie join the business. Thanks to GDI management for the finest opportunity on the internet today.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Do you need a king or super king size bed? Or will a Queen be adequate?

I am currently going through this debate with my wife. We have a queen size bed and have done since we have been together. It has been the perfect size for two and a cat, easy to relocate when you move house, a good selection of sheets and bed coverings are available at affordable prices. Everything works well. So why do we want to change the size?

Call it the merry night wanderers! one little children that often end up in our bed. Then there is no room to move, roll over or scratch an itch without waking everyone. Then because you have stayed in one position all night you have stayed in one position all night you can’t move in the morning because you are so stiff!

My wife’s solution is a super king size bed like we have slept on in hotels when travelling. Room for both of us and the one children. But my argument is very strong. It starts like this. If we get a larger bed then the children will always feel free to climb in with us at night, there won’t be as much space to walk around the bed in the bedroom- spoiling the aesthetic look of the bedroom, then there is the difficult task of getting the bed in and out of the bedroom if we move house, they are huge!

A great expense of having to buy all new bedding, from the electric blanket, it gets cold at night here, sheets, duvet, duvet cover, extra pillows. My case is pretty strong don’t you think? My husbands case is he will have more room to move!
So if you are thinking about choosing the size of a bed for your bedroom or a clients, consider my arguments.

Choosing the type of bed is difficult enough, there are so many factors to consider with the style of bed – once you have learned about these, tried out 10 or 20 then narrowed it down – get your tape measure out and see what size will fit into your space successfully – always allow 400 – 500mm either side for a bedside table and room to walk around. Then that is a good starting point for size, height is another factor not mentioned, the futon a low lying bed and the base and mattress, a much higher option.

So loads to think about when choosing the size of your new bed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting "Unstuck" in Feng Shui

Indecision can weigh us down. We often spend so much time trying to decide what to do about a situation, we get stuck. It is easier to do nothing and I have seen some clients that need that gentle “nudge” to make a decision and continue moving. Often times, it isn’t easy for some of us. We can get so weighed down in trying to balance the scales (Libras take special note!) we often do nothing.

What can we do when faced with a huge decision that is yours alone to decide? What can you do to help yourself make an important decision, know it is the right thing and let the events of the Universe help support it?

I always recommend Meditation. Although for some people it may be difficult to initially get into that state, practice does work. Find a quiet time for yourself each day, even if it’s only for a few minutes before bed. Be still and try to clear your head. Music can help us or distract us so try to find which works best for you. Slowly allow things to come to you, even if they seem unrelated to the problem at hand. Many times we are “shown” things as a way of helping us face an important decision and we need to learn to interpret what images we may be getting.

Always sleep on a big decision and never rush into something unless absolutely necessary. This is especially important for those of us that believe that “angels” and spirit guides come to us more easily when our bodies are relaxed and open as they are during sleep to help guide us in the right direction. Sometimes you will wake up and just know what you should do.

Follow your intuition. We all have it, it sometimes needs to be developed and used, however, because we had a tendency to ignore it. Don’t! This may be the most powerful tool you have!

For some of us, physical activity helps us release not only emotions but energy. Releasing some of the negative energy allows room for positive energy to flow in, giving us different perspectives, ideas and creativity. Energy releasing comes in many forms, from a massage to trying such alternative methods as Reiki, Tai Chi and Yoga. Try one or two sessions and you are likely to see a difference not only in how you reach important decisions but also how you REACT to them which can be every bit as important.

Ask people you truly trust and value; not to make the decision for you but to get a different perspective by someone you know truly cares about you and wants only the best for you. They can also be a tremendous help in just letting us speak and we often can then reach our own conclusions about a problem or situation we are dealing with.

Finally, step back. We are often too close to make a reasonable or rationale decision. What would WE tell our best friend if they had asked us? Instead of thinking in the “me,” try thinking it is someone else’s problem and that they have come to you for some guidance. What would you recommend to them?

Don’t second guess your choice! Knowing that you are moving again and keeping intentions set on the best possible outcomes will send up the positive energy to know you made the correct decision and that you are no longer “stuck” and not moving at all. Be firm in your belief that you ARE not only moving, but moving in the right direction.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why I Signed Up with PPP!!!!

The reason I signed up with PayPerPost is because I love working and with working I mean, I love blogging and writing. When I found out about PayPerPost, I knew that there would be a spot for me. The way I found out about the PayPerPost company was on another friends blog. The sign up process was so easy.

I have run into a couple of people that are a part of the PayPerPost program and it looks like they truly enjoy the work and the community.

I've learned a couple of things with the PayPerPost program.
blog reviews

Thats just like earning money while doing what you like to do.Excellent idea I have to say.With Payperpost,I have made a few more new friends online thru Payperpost's neighbourhood.It is just amazing that there are many blogger around the world that shares the same interest as me.But they all agree that they enjoy blogging more than ever because of the social networking means and the monetary rewards that Payperpost rewards for completing simple but fun assignments.At the same time,I have learnt a lot of the new products and have improved on my general knowledge and writing skills on reviewing companies and products.There is also an advantage on doing reviews for Payperpost because it actually drive traffic to your blog.This is because when interested customers will look at the product review before getting it.Most of them will search on search engines such as Google.Google will then redirect them to your blog to give them the review of the product that they wishes to know more of.This means that traffic is being generated to your blog.On the monetary side,I have been earning real money online and quite an amount as well because of the amount of reviews I have been writing.Well,with the amount of money that I have earned,I would probably get some nice gadgets and is saving them up in my bank account.If you have not joined it Payperpost yet,you are really missing out something that will totally change your life and the chance to make real money online.

Be wise with your money
Open up and meet new people, you'll help each other out and it's nice meeting people who are in the same line of work as you are.
Follow directions accordingly and produce your blogs well and you will be greatly rewarded.
What am I going to do with all the money? That's simple, save it!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Importance of Bed Sheets to a Good Night's Sleep

Like pillows, sheets are especially overlooked when considering factors that contribute to a good nights sleep. But they are very important, they are your night “jacket”, providing warmth, insulation and comfort.

Bed sheets come in two main types: fitted or flat.

The fitted sheet, which lies directly on the mattress has four corners sewn with elastic, to hold the sheet on the bed.

A flat sheet (also called a top sheet) generally goes on the top of the fitted and is simply a piece of cloth with a hem.

The quality of a sheet is marking by its thread count- the number of threads per square inch of material, with the higher the count the softer the sheet. 200 plus is recommended.

Sheets also come in a variety of fabrics

Cotton Sheets

There are many different types of cotton, varying in quality, measured by the length of their staple (the longer the staple, the higher quality the cotton).

The best cotton type has to be Egyptian. Egyptian cotton is obviously produced in Egypt, grown on the Nile river valley.

High thread count Egyptian cotton sheets are a luxury everyone should experience if possible. They are silky soft, breathable and durable, making for a heavenly nights sleep. Cotton sheets tend to crease a lot when washing and can be a real battle to iron.

I get around this by putting them on the bed straight of the clothesline or out of the drier. Stretching them over the bed like this flattens them out in no time.

Flannel Sheets

While I am a great lover or Egyptian cotton in the summer, there’s nothing better then crawling into bed on a cold wintery night between soft, fluffy and luxuriously warm flannel sheets.

I use the same down duvet all year round and just switch to flannel sheets in the winter- shows how warm they are! Most high-quality flannel sheets are made from a wool and cotton blend.

The wool provides warmth and the cotton that ultra soft fluffy feeling. While flannel sheets are very warm, they are often not very breathable. People who find this a problem and better to go for the higher quality cotton with a warmer winter duvet.

Satin Sheets

I’m not a fan myself, but some people love the silky feel of satin or sateen sheets. They are great in the summer as are always nice and cool.

They also breathe very well and are very light, so you feel as though you are sleeping with nothing on you. Some people find sateen a bit scratchy and slippery, so once again, be sure to buy the highest thread count you can afford. Sateen sheets also have a beautiful sheen, so look great.

Be sure to buy sheets the right size for your bed, as there is nothing worse then the "creeping sheet", working its way off the bed in the middle of the night.

So that’s an overview of the main types of sheets. They are, of course, personal preference, but remember we spend just under half our life in bed, so be sure you’re comfortable!

Friday, May 23, 2008

On The Topic Of Understanding Alarms

There are many ways to which you can be assured that the quality you are looking for in your alarm system is the choicest one to make when considering your budgetary constraints, you need to take stock of what might be usable financially to acquire this alarm that you desire to utilize in your home or car, and alarms of many varieties permeate the market. Allowing you your choice of many of the top brands out there for a decent pricing these days, and some of the better features as well.

A good grasp of the topic as a whole can lead you to some of the more informed elements in the business of selling and installing this equipment, assuring you of the amount of focus that would want to put towards a project of this magnitude to comprehend successfully, and allowing you the ability to become an informed shopper about whatever system that you eventually decide to install. The search can be exhaustive when sorting through the various alarms that could make the most difference.

It is when you can't reasonably decide upon a particular model that professional help should be consulted with, and will further motivate you to seek an experienced opinion whether the best system for you could be the one most affordable or the one that is most efficient to utilize, especially when you cannot find the particular system that might seem the better option. There are times when you need a little more time to decide what the most efficient decision will be for yourself in particular.

You must realize that at times it can be a very hectic world out there, and protection of your home and family is priority number one for most of those alarm systems out now, allowing for the safety of all involved when it comes to a fire or even a burglary.

You must be the most informed shopper that one can be, and this will sometimes require research in order to better understand what your particular need would be, also to get most features for the amount of money that you are willing to spend.

Times are good in this day and age as far as being able to find that system with all the bells and whistles for as much money as you are willing to try and afford, if you find that your budget can handle it, then maybe you are better suited to coming up with a more customized system to create the most accurate alarm capable. For these items you may need to consult private companies that will have no discrimination about what they are installing, and will make it less difficult to make choices.

When you consider all of these factors, you will come aware of much of the problems in purchasing the perfect alarm system for yourself, and also to realize that there are many spaces where the term alarm can be used to define a broader set of particularly defined alarm systems.

From car alarms that blink to let others know that they are armed, and fire alarms that will signal you to safety provided that you know what procedure is involved, creating a more efficient environmentyou're your security.

Dewey worked for a security company as an alarm technician for more than 5 years. He has experience with both the installation of alarm systems for homes or for automobiles. At , he provides a free technical chart on the pros and cons and the most popular alarm systems that are available on the market such as retail alarm syste

10 Tips For The Installation Of Hardwood Flooring On Plywood, Chipboard, Or Other Wood Sub-floor

Any reasonably competent home handyman can install hardwood flooring on a roughed in wood floor base. The quality levels of today’s manufacturing processes insure that adjoining slats or boards fit to create a level floor. Micro beveling of the board edges create splinter free slats.

However, in order to ensure you lay the “perfect” floor, it is important that certain items are taken care of:


  • Why check the windows if you are installing a floor? Good question! Check to make sure that the windows do not leak and that the drywall or plaster below the windows are in good shape. You don’t want to be replacing drywall or plaster directly above a new hardwood floor. If you have window or wall problems fix them before you install the hardwood flooring.


  • If you are planning on painting the room paint it before you install the hardwood flooring, for two reasons. The first is that you don’t want to get paint on the floor and the second is that you don’t want to use a ladder on a new hardwood floor, it can leave foot marks.


  • If there is existing baseboard and/or quarter-round they should be removed. Check for, and remove, any finishing nails that may have pulled through the baseboards and be left in the walls.

Doorframe Trim:

  • It is easier to remove doorframe trim molding and then reinstall it so that it sits on the hardwood floor. However, it is possible to undercut doorframe trim to allow for the placement of the hardwood under the trim.


  • Removing doors makes installation easier and allows for trimming the bottom of the doors to accept the increased thickness of the floor.


  • Check the sub-floor for any squeaks and repair by adding screws through the plywood or sub-floor material into the floor joists. It is important to note that the installation of the hardwood flooring will not correct or eliminate any squeaks in the sub-floor.

Soft Spots

  • Walk on the sub-floor and try to detect any soft spots. These are areas where the sub-floor sags when you walk on it. These areas should be corrected from below by adding extra support between the floor joists.

Protruding Screws and Nails

  • Any screw or nail heads that are not level or recessed into the floor must be corrected. Where chipboard is used as the sub-floor material, it is not uncommon for screw heads to raise pieces of the chipboard around the screw. These bubbles must be removed with a block plane, belt sander, or wood rasp.

Sweep and Vacuum

  • The floor must be free of all debris, and dirt. Don’t forget to vacuum under between the plaster or drywall and the sub-floor. Often small pieces of plaster, nails and screws will wedge themselves in that area and for sure, they will end up under one of the flooring boards as you are attempting to nail it down.

Acclimatize the Flooring:

  • One of the biggest mistakes made when installing hardwood is not allowing the slats or boards to acclimatize to the home. Hardwood swells and shrinks with temperature and humidity. Hardwood should be acclimatized for a minimum of 48 hours, some manufacturers recommend 72 hours before installation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Planning is the key to a successful hardwood flooring installation

Thursday, May 22, 2008

How To Care For Solid Hardwood Floors

Repair And Cleaning Tips

Living with Natural Hardwood Floors

Solid hardwood floors repay a little care with a lifetime of value. When you first glimpse a solid hardwood floor, you sense richness, warmth and natural beauty. Gradually, you get to know its distinct personality -- visual harmonies, the traces of history in the forest and in your home.
Take a closer look.

Appreciate the color and pattern of the floor's strips, planks or parquetry.

Read the grain: Is it bold-textured oak? Subdued maple or cherry?

Check the condition of the underlying wood and the finish that protects it. Are there signs of neglect to erase (it’s not difficult), or do you see a well-tended surface that needs just a light touch to maintain it?

Nature’s diversity lets you create dramatic looks with unique textures, colors, patterns and styles of solid hardwood flooring.

Protect Your Solid Investment

Solid hardwood floors are among the easiest to keep clean. Protect their warmth and character with simple, everyday cleaning techniques.
It’s important to know how to prevent damage to your solid hardwood floors.


DIRT and GRIT : Dirt, grit and sand are your hardwood floor’s worst enemies.

They act like sandpaper on the finish, causing scratches, dents and dulling. Place floor mats at entrances to trap dirt and prevent damage.

WATER AND OTHER SPILLS : Standing water can warp a poorly finished hardwood floor and can damage the finish. Simply wipe up all spills as they happen.

HARD CLEANERS : Avoid oil soaps. They can build up and create problems when it’s time to put a maintenance coat on the floor. Instead, neutral pH cleaners made specifically for wood floors are recommended.

FURNITURE : Lift the furniture to move it --- avoid dragging. Felt contacts under the legs will help prevent scratches.

DENTS : Vacuum with a brush attachment -- don’t use vacuums with beater bars.

SUN : Direct sun can discolor your hardwood floor. Close curtains and blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the sun’s intense UV rays.

Regular Care

SWEEP : Brooms with fine, exploded ends trap dust and grit effectively.

VACUUM : Canister vacuums with special bare floor attachments are the surest way to get rid of all the dirt and dust.

DUST MOP : Use a good dust mop --- one with a 12- to 18- inch cotton head ---- and a special dust mop treatment. Spray the treatment onto the mop head 12 to 24 hours before dust mopping.

Oak and maple are the most popular hardwoods used in flooring. Ash, beech,birch, cherry, hickory and walnut are other favorites for floors and decorative accents.
Does Your New Hardwood Floor Look Old?

Perhaps your hardwood floors were installed just a few years ago, but you haven't taken care of them and now they look old. What can you do? Before you do anything, check the condition of the finish and the wood to see whether they need special cleaning or more involved repair.

What condition is your floor in?

Follow these steps to evaluate the condition of your hardwood floor and its finish.

Finish Condition: Has the finish been worn off or is it just dirty? See if the finish is dull, chipped, scraped or gouged. To test if the finish has worn off, begin in a high-traffic area and pour one to two tablespoons of water onto the floor. If the water soaks in immediately and leaves a darkened spot, the finish is worn and water can damage the wood. If the water soaks in after a few minutes and darkens the wood only slightly, the finish is partially worn. If the water beads on top, the surface is properly sealed. Repeat this test in low- and medium-traffic areas.

Wood Condition: It the finish is worn, the wood may have been damaged. Are there stains, burns, cuts, gouges, holes, cracks or warped boards? If the wood is damaged, repair or replacement may be required before you deep clean your floor or apply a maintenance coat.

What type of finish does your floor have?

The same care and maintenance techniques are used for all finishes in good condition, but when it comes to removing stains or restoring the finish, methods differ. If you don't know what kind of finish your floor has, ask your contractor or Realtor, or try these simple tests:

Surface Finishes: (pre-finished floors, polyurethane, water-based urethane and catalyzed)
Nearly all floors installed today have surface finishes, mostly polyurethane. They are often glossy and may look like a layer of clear plastic on top of the wood. A small amount of paint remover in an inconspicuous area of the floor will cause the surface finish to bubble (unless it is a water-based urethane, in which case there will be no reaction). Surface finishes shield floors from harm by forming a protective layer on top of the wood.

Penetrating Seals: (acrylics, oils and waxes)
Oils and waxes usually have a satin or matte finish. If you can feel the wood grain when you run your hand across the surface, it's most likely a penetrating seal. Paint remover will have no effect on a penetrating seal, but wax stripper or ammonia will soften and whiten the surface. Oils and waxes penetrate the surface of the floor protecting the wood from within.

When Your Hardwood Floor Needs Extra Care

Your hardwood floor will eventually need extra care. It's here that much controversy exists.

Damp Mopping

Some professionals recommend that you damp mop your hardwood floor and others cringe at the suggestion. Just remember, if your floor's finish is in good shape and mopping is done correctly, the water won't penetrate even the oil and wax finishes. You're cleaning the finish, not the wood, so don't use water if the finish is in poor shape.

Damp Mopping: This is the fastest and best way to deep-clean solid hardwood floors. Depending on how much use your floor gets, you may have to mop it as often as once a week. Use a neutral pH wood cleaner and water, or manufacturer recommended products. Wet the mop and wring so it's about half-dry. Wet the floor with the mop. Dip the mop into clean water, wring it as dry as you can and mop over the floor again.

Heavy-Duty Mopping: If floors are property sealed, the little extra water and cleaner required will not injure your hardwood floor, but use common sense.

Vinegar: Often prescribed to clean hardwood floors -- does nothing for removing grease and soil.
Maintenance Coat

If you can't restore your solid hardwood floor's luster with deep cleaning or by simply buffing, you may want to apply a maintenance coat. Waxing is an easy way to restore your hardwood floor's natural beauty.

Though a controversial treatment for surface finishes, floor polish or wax can give you a good-looking floor in a matter of minutes. If you don't want to apply a wax to your surface finish, consult a professional.

Pros: Wax can be easily cleaned, buffed and rewaxed to make it look like its original condition. Wear and tear will be on the wax, not the finish. It is easily stripped and reapplied.

Cons: Waxing may limit some refinishing and re-coating options down the road. If not properly stripped, the wax can cause adhesion problems when re-coating the surface.

Only wax a surface finish if the original finish is in poor shape and you don't plan to refinish your floor in the near future.
Removing Stains In Waxed Floors

No matter how careful you are a stain can still occur.

Water Stains: Rub the spot with No. 2 steel wood and rewax. For more serious water stains, lightly sand with fine sandpaper, clean the spot with No. 1 or 00 steel wool and mineral spirits or floor cleaner then refinish and wax.

Cigarette Burns: If not severe, the burn can be removed by rubbing with steel wool moistened with soap and water.

Heel and Caster Marks: Rub vigorously with fine steel wool and floor cleaner. Wipe dry and polish.

Ink Stains and Other Dark Spots: Use No. 2 steel wool and floor cleaner to clean the spot and surrounding area. Thoroughly wash the affected area. If the spot remains, sand with fine sandpaper, re-wax and polish. Stubborn stains may require that you replace the affected area.

Chewing Gum and Wax Deposits: Ice until the deposit is brittle and crumbles off. Pour floor cleaner around the stain so the fluid soaks under and loosens it.

Alcohol Spots: Rub the spot with liquid or paste wax.

Repairing Wax Finishes: Rub fine steel wood in a puddle of reconditioner or paint thinner and clean as you go. Apply wax and buff.

Always start cleaning at the edge of a stain and work toward the center so it won't spread.

Removing stains and repairing surface finishes.

Use steel wood or sand paper to remove one or two complete layers of finish along the entire length of the board where damage has occurred. Remove all dust. Apply the same type of finish that was removed, being careful not to build additional layers on top of adjoining boards.

Squeaks: When the air in your home becomes extremely dry, your floor will lose moisture and contract. Conversely, when humidity is high, your floor will absorb moisture and expand slightly. As humidity stabilizes, hardwoods regain their original dimensions. Air conditioning in summer and humidifying in winter will keep your home's humidity comfortable for you and your floor. Prolonged cycles of shrinking and swelling of your hardwood floor may result in squeaks. They can be easily corrected.

Silencing Squeaks: Apply liquid wax, powdered soap, talcum powder or powdered graphite between floor boards that are rubbing together. If that doesn't stop the squeak, drive two-inch finishing nails through pilot holes on both edges of the board then hide the hole with matching color putty or wax.

If you need to refinish or replace your hardwood floor, consult a professional for best results.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Find the Perfect Pillow for your Bedroom

Ensuring you have a good nights sleep is an easy way to increase your physical and mental health and have you bouncing out of bed in the morning ready to face the day.
Many people realise the quality of their bed is important feature of a good nights sleep, but not many think of their pillow.
Like a bed, I cannot tell you which one is best for you, as we all like them different. So instead, here is a summary of the different types of pillows to aid you in your choice.

Types of Pillows

Latex Pillows

Latex pillows are the firmest of pillows, so if you like a soft, squishy pillow steer away. They often come moulded to a certain shape for added neck support and to reduce points of pressure.
So if you suffer from neck and back pain, it may be a good idea to investigate one of these. Latex pillows should all be hypo-allergenic, as it is almost impossible for dust mites and mildew to live in them, ensuring a healthy, clean nights sleep.
Latex pillows hold their shape very well so look good in pillowcases as well as being comfortable. Some latex is designed to be porous so air will flow through the pillow, increasing circulation and comfort.

Wool Pillows

Are a long lasting, healthy pillow that are also wonderful for allergy suffers. While I like a relatively firm pillow, when buying wool I always choose a softer fill then normal as it can be rock hard if tightly packed.
But in saying that, wool pillows do hold their shape very well. Wool pillows are very well ventilated and their circulatory qualities ensure your body temperature is regulated throughout the night, meaning they are great for people who experience night sweats or wake up uncomfortably hot during the night.
Cotton Pillows
Cotton pillows have similar hypo-allergenic and ventilation qualities to wool pillows but are much softer. They also compress quickly so are good for people who like flat pillows or who scrunch theirs up into all sorts of shapes.

Down or Feather Pillows

Down or Feather Pillows are as divine as down duvets - soft, comfortable, breathable and available in a range of firmnesses. They can come as down or feathers alone, or a combination, but down is the softest.

Down and feather pillows are easily molded to find a comfortable shape, but watch out for the cheaper ones as the feathers can often be left with sharp bits on them which may inadvertently stick you in the neck. The only negative is many people are allergic to this type of pillow, mainly due to the dust left in the feathers during processing. However, there are new hypo-allergenic fills coming on the market that offer the same sensation as down but with more allergy friendly qualities.

Dacron Pillows

Dacron pillows are filled with a synthetic fibre that doesn’t offer many good qualities apart from price. They aren’t very comfortable as the fibre has a tendency to bunch up in areas and leave you with a bald patch.
As they are synthetic, they also don’t have much ventilation and airflow. Dacron pillows are not recommended for sleeping on but are great for cushions and ornamental pillows as they can go into the washing machine should they catch a stray cup of tea.

That brings me to an important point on pillow care.
Always use a quality pillowcase, as these protect the pillow from the oils and dirt on your skin and are easy to wash.

Fluffing pillows daily (or as often as you remember) will help them keep their shape longer and break up any lumps of fibre that can form.
With the exception of Dacron, don’t wash your pillows in the washing machine.
Spot cleaning for small areas or dry cleaning is recommended.
So there you have it, a variety of pillows for all different people. Take a little bit of my advice, and a little bit of your own preferences and you should have no trouble choosing the perfect pillow for you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Small is a very beautiful

Remember the studio apartment you had in college? That one room apartment served as bedroom, living room, Dining hall, kitchen and den; it probably held a daybed, a television, a coffee table, and maybe even the stove and refrigerator along one wall. Moving into a real home after experiencing such a cramped way of living can be a huge relief. So it comes as a surprise to some that homeowners today are deliberately building smaller. If you've got the cash, some think, why not slap on as much square footage as possible.

But sometimes building smaller means building smarter. It's a fact: small is more efficient than large. Building a large house requires a lot of building materials and manpower, and consequently, a higher cost. That's why many larger homes are built with lower qualities of wood and other materials- if the builders used the best materials, they would price themselves right out of the market. A smaller home, on the other hand, can be built with high-quality materials and attention to detail, and still not fall into an impossible price range. If you're not particularly in need of floor space but you love the idea of oak trim and vintage cabinetry, then it might be in your best interests to build small.

No matter how much you spend to build the house initially, a smaller house will save you money in the years to come. Heating and cooling costs of a smaller-sized home will be a fraction of what they are in larger properties, and repairs on a one-story roof run much cheaper than those on a three-story mansion. Painting or siding the exterior of a house that doesn't have as much exterior is an easy job and well within most home owner's budgets.

Of course, there is the space factor. But unless you have a large family or another reason why you need lots of square footage, don't rule out small homes as being too cramped and claustrophobic. In the hands of the right designers, smaller spaces can be given wonderful, wide-open feelings that rival those of larger houses. Smart designers know the tricks of opening up a small space and giving it the flow it needs to feel larger. Rooms that open into each other, a lack of hallways and narrow entryways, and large windows can all help a small home feel gigantic. A light style of furniture and simple, bold pieces on the walls complement a small space perfectly and give it a clean, contemporary feel. Imagine living without the compulsion to fill your space with "stuff." Imagine a home where one or two quality chairs and a sofa can make a room come alive.

So if you're considering building or buying, consider going small. It's the new, budget-conscious wave in home design.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Step by Step Guide to Creating a Romantic Bedroom

Why is it that everyone wants a Romantic Bedroom? Shouldn't the romance start somewhere else in the home?

The living room, with music for the mood, soft rugs and cushions, the dining room with the appreciation of a fine candlelit meal… I think romance is a continuous journey that usually ends up in the bedroom and by that time it doesn't matter what the room looks like! But as you all seem to be searching our site to create Romantic Bedrooms we'd better make the effort to give you some help!

Where to Start Creating Your Romantic Bedroom?

Review what you already have in your room. Make a list.

Think about what your aim is. I.e. do you spend a lot of time in the room - is it to be functional, such as to house your PC or can it be a place of rest as it was initially intended before the dreaded TV and PC entered our lives and changed our bedrooms to become an extension of the living room.

A Step by Step Guide to Creating a Romantic Bedroom
Why is it that everyone wants a Romantic Bedroom? Shouldn't the romance start somewhere else in the home?

The living room, with music for the mood, soft rugs and cushions, the dining room with the appreciation of a fine candlelit meal… I think romance is a continuous journey that usually ends up in the bedroom and by that time it doesn't matter what the room looks like! But as you all seem to be searching our site to create Romantic Bedrooms we'd better make the effort to give you some help!

Where to Start Creating Your Romantic Bedroom?

Review what you already have in your room. Make a list.
Think about what your aim is. I.e. do you spend a lot of time in the room - is it to be functional, such as to house your PC or can it be a place of rest as it was initially intended before the dreaded TV and PC entered our lives and changed our bedrooms to become an extension of the living room.

Some like animal prints to create romance!

Is it to be a place of indulgence, solely for the purpose of R+R+R (Reading, Relaxation and Rest), a quiet haven from the demands of family life? Or are you trying to spice up your relationship by setting the mood every time you go to bed.Do you have a budget?

Are you intending on a fresh start or reusing some items from your existing bedroom? Are you going to make cosmetic changes with the addition of new soft furnishings and rugs or hard changes with wallpaper, lighting and flooring?The next step is putting all your findings from above together.Do you have a look / theme in mind?

Minimal - no clutter, bare basics, texture and plain colours, use softer coloursContemporary - use long flowing fabrics, multiple typesEnglish Country - frills, valances, layers of window treatments, lots or groupings of collectables, well used furniture, French Country - rubbed gold, filigree, decorative framed photos.

Take your look/theme and research it, decide what will be the crucial items that identify that look. These will be the places to start and focus. Can you use any of your existing items with that look; can you alter them to conform to the look? For example - change a bed head/end or change the knobs of a chest of drawers, alter a lampshade…

Basically decoration is a process of collection and elimination - get all your ideas together, select what you like and get rid of the rest.

So take your bedroom and move everything out that hasn't won the right to stay, and this provides the bones for your decorating project.We now need to find a focal point, or major feature for the room, something that will truly draw your attention every time you enter the room. This could be a painting, a chair, your bedcovering, the window dressings or a chandelier (if you have the space!).

From that we can start to select other finishes/products to use that will compliment it. Think of yourself as a painter you are slowly layering the room like a painter layers his oil on the canvas.
You have now dressed the bones of the room and its time to add the "jewellery" or the items that will set off your scheme.

Cushions, pictures, lamps, photographs, candleholders, personal items/memorabilia, lingerie (just dropped that one in there!), tiebacks, tassels, holdbacks, crystals, flowers, vases, mirrors, oil burner, incense, books, throws.

To conclude, design and decoration is an important part of our life, it can change mood and enhance the way we look at life. It is essential that you don't try to recreate something you see in a magazine - use it as a starting point and incorporate your personal bits and pieces into you scheme. You want to make sure you are living in your own home, not a hotel - void of personal identity.

Roll on Mood Creation

Interior design covers a vast scope of subjects, and essentially our job is to create spaces for people to enjoy. So here are the essentials for the job!

Playing soft classical music is a wonderful mood enhancer.
Burning essential oils are great for creating passion.
A framed photograph of a happy moment - a great conversation starter.
Try his+hers embroidered matching bathrobes behind the door on silk padded hangers. Make them a feature.

Light scented candles, and lots of them (turn the lights off obviously), it creates a wonderful glow and a comforting feeling the power of the warm flickering light. (A much cheaper version of putting a fireplace in the bedroom!) But remember to keep them away from any loose flowing drapery, as we don't want your evening spoiled with the firemen arriving!

If you don't like candles, simply turn on the bedside lights (change the bulb to a lower wattage so they are dimmer) or use your main light dimmed (if you have that option).

Champagne on ice, with lovely tall flutes in an appropriately themed ice bucket.
Flowers, the freshness fresh flowers provide cannot be underestimated. Color co-ordinate and select a bouquet to match your theme or style. English Country - a wildflower collection spraying randomly from a ceramic jug. Minimal - a bird of paradise poised elegantly with a palm leaf curled at its base. French country - a bunch of French lavender tied with a ribbon sitting in a colored glass vase.

Chocolates - if you are going for romance then chocolates need to be in the equation. Hand made in individual boxes - His and Hers. We all know we like different types. If you show you know your partners favourite, it gives a good indication that you care.

Ask if your partner wants a foot massage. A relaxing treat at the end of the day.
And there I will stop.

I am sure you can use one or two of the mood enhancers to compliment your new romantic bedroom.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Texture and Pattern

Using Texture and Pattern To Make the Most out of You Color Selection

Texture - this is the visual or tactile surface characteristic of something, be it fabric, timber carpet or glass. Tactile means that it is perceptible by the sense of touch. Every surface has a texture.

There are two types of texture – rough and smooth – and through using texture, we can create quite different effects.

Rough textures – linoleum flooring, molded textured glass, timber look textured wall covering, plaster look handmade wallpaper, worsted wool patterned fabric, rough sawn timber boarding, brick, boucle wool blend upholstery fabric, wool carpets, perforated slim line blind, tread plate vinyl flooring, non-slip floor tile.

The hard smooth shiny textures tend to look cold to the eye and to the touch; the rough thick surfaces have a warm look and touch.

Some examples of rough textures are – brick, timber, wicker work, carpets, coir and sisal, suede, linen, furs – these elements create a rustic natural homely feeling.

Some examples of smooth are glass (not patterned) chrome, plastic, lacquer paint finish, Vinyl upholstery, High Gloss paint finish, chintz fabric – these elements suggest a harder crisper formality to a room.

Smooth textures – black granite, paint finish, leather, prefinished hardboard, chrome tap, aluminum blind, glass tile, polished aluminum tile, polished brass tile, modern clock, 100% silk, stainless steel with checker design, gloss granite laminate, prefinished board, polished copper tile, 100% plush wool carpet, prefinished melamine board, red fabric – polyester & polyurethane composition.

The ceramic tile floor, stainless steel balustrade and handrail, painted walls all create hard surfaces.

They are juxtaposed with soft surfaces – carpet on the stair treads and a floral display, balancing the space.

It is important to balance color with texture and pattern to provide a harmonious environment. Combining rough and smooth textures and using these to contrast with each other creates balance.

Obviously there are times when a smooth shiny look for example is the desired end result. Burger King / Hungry Jacks restaurants have red vinyl seats, black and white chequered glossy tiles and trim, white shiny prefinished wall panels which creates the effect required “a clean crisp fast food restaurant” but these items alone create a very sterile atmosphere for its patrons.

They have not forgotten the requirement of balance and have managed to use pattern in the form of mass coverage of the walls in “50’s period prints” to achieve a more inviting and harmonious dining space.

Comfort is an effect which can be created by clever choices in soft textures, using soft fabrics like velvet or cotton on sofas, rugs over hard flooring and by scattering cushions and throws over chairs.

Juxtaposing hard and soft accessories creates balance. A stone sculpture with a green leafy fern beside it, a cane coffee table with a glass vase of fresh flowers, or an antique copper etching over a brick fireplace.

When using texture you have to be very aware of the absorption/reflection of light altering the quality of color. Smooth textured surfaces reflect light and rough textured surfaces tend to absorb it. The planning of lighting is always important but especially when using texture as too bright a direct light will flatten out texture and cast little shadow, losing the surface definition. A more indirect lighting scheme will emphasize even subtle textures, and is far more effective.

Size, scale and proportion should be taken into consideration with pattern. You can generally get away with using small patterns on large pieces of furniture, but the same cannot be said for the reverse.

Large patterns on small items of furniture can weigh them down and look too overpowering and dominant as well as out of proportion.

A small pattern or texture is generally a better choice. It is often wise to use two or three different pattern sizes, small medium and large, and relate these back to the items that you will be using them for in the room. I.e. a large floral pattern on the sofa, with small floral print cushions, medium width striped walls with a medium floral for drapes and a small stripe for the footstool.

While making these selections we must also remember that pattern will make a room look smaller no matter what size pattern or color way you use.

Don’t panic, remember there are no hard and fast rules with pattern, you can use geometrics with florals, textures and stripes, it is all a matter of balancing the weight of the patterns to the items they will be covering and the overall look that you are trying to achieve.

You can make a single patterned item be the focal point of a room that has no special architectural features to highlight, i.e. by using a monochromatic textural scheme of creams, using linens, leathers, rattan chairs, suede walls, simply place a woven woolen rug of geometric design using beiges, creams and a huge dollop of red in the central square in the center of the room with the furniture surrounding it to create a feature/focal point of the room to great effect.

The grouping of pictures on this wall creates pattern and a focal point in a large space with many smooth textured surfaces. Note how the Oriental rug adds pattern to the floor and introduces other colors and textures to soften and compliment the overall scheme.