Monday, March 30, 2009

Garden illumination

For paths. Often use or bulbs built in a path, or lanterns-columns. The first ones specify a direction of the movement, the second ones - softly shine a path and surrounding landscape. So, in darkness you will not stumble any more.

Small columns (may be of the most different forms) can shine a path in radius from one and a half up to four meters. Therefore designers recommend establishing them on distance of 4 - 5 meters from each other that there were no dark failures on a path.

For small plants. Small decorative fixtures (for example, gnome with a small lamp in hands) are usually established near to the plant. More simple fixtures can be hidden in the ground of colors or grasses. At night the bed will as though be shone from within.

For bowers or sculptures. Sculptures can be illuminated only from below. Game of light in bends of a statue will give new outlines to its forms.

For a pond or pool. Underwater fixtures can be both usual (yellowish), and light-emitting diode. The second ones can have various colors and even to change it, being poured by all colors of rainbow. And light of usual small lamps, being reflected from water, will play and flicker not worse than illumination. So, relaxing effect is provided!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Curtains - Buying Tips

Using curtains as window treatments can give your room an entirely different look. The great thing about using curtains is that you do not have to spend a fortune to get a designer look. By today's standards, many curtains are expensive but by looking for sales or even sewing your own, you can transform the appearance of your windows for 60%, 70%, 80% or more off what you pay for designer curtains. For example, look for end of season and overstock items. Many times, beautiful curtains simply did not sell so to move old stock, stores will offer outstanding sales.

When choosing curtains, you want to think about your furniture, furnishings, and colour of the room. Regardless of the style, traditional, contemporary, or elaborate, you can use curtains to set the mood. In other words, you can complement and enhance the room by creating a romantic or whimsical look. With so many options for curtains, you can use design, colour, and even texture to achieve your goal. You will be amazed at how gorgeous your rooms just by adding new curtains.

Therefore, before you go out to shop for new window curtains, consider the goal you have. In this case, do you want the curtains to blend in with the background, do you want the curtains to pop with colour, or are you looking for curtains that make a sophisticated statement. Then, you need to consider the type of window you have. Obviously, not all curtain styles look good on all windows so consider the height and width of the window so you choose the appropriate style.

With curtains, you have literally thousands of options pertaining to fabric. Some of these are brand names, which can be costly. However, you can find beautiful fabrics that are private label. The key here is to check the fabric carefully before buying. In this case, the private label could mean sub-par quality or it could be high quality. Therefore, pay attention to the look and feel. Typically, if the fabric looks and feels expensive, then the quality is probably good. However, if the fabric is thin and flimsy, you should avoid using it for curtains.

You also want to consider cleaning when buying or making curtains. Needing to have curtains dry-cleaned can be expensive. Therefore, choose wisely so cleaning is not too expensive. Two of the advantages to curtains is that if you choose lined treatments, they can work to regulate the amount of light filtering into the room and help with heat and cold. With lined curtains, you can keep them pulled on cold days and the lining will help maintain a nice, warm room. If you work at night, you can choose curtains with a special type of lining to completely, block out light, allowing you to sleep like a baby during the day.

Start with the fabric, choosing colour and patterns that work best with your room. Keep in mind that you want curtains that also reflect your personal style and personality. Then, to soften heavy material or dark colours, you can use coordinating sheers underneath. Sheers allow sunlight into the room while still providing you with a little bit of privacy. Finally, when choosing curtains, the most important thing is good fit. For this, make sure you measure exactly. The result will be a professional appearance that makes your entire room look fantastic.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to Polish Marble

Marble is a decorative stone that's been treasured for centuries. However, it's soft, porous and easily scratched, especially if it's exposed to everyday living. Keep your marble functional and valuable by safely polish and cleaning services it with a few common household products.

Step1 Fill a container with 1 qt. of warm water.

Step2 Spoon 3 tbsp. of baking soda into the water and stir until it dissolves.

Step3 Dunk a clean, soft cloth into the solution and wring out excess liquid.

Step4 Wipe the marble down with the cloth. Rub old or stubborn stains out of the marble with non-abrasive movements.

Step5 Leave the marble to air dry for 3 or 4 hours.

Step6 Grab four new, clean cloths.

Step7 Dampen one cloth with clean water and wipe all traces of the solution off of the marble. Use another cloth to dry and gently buff the marble.

Step8 Grind a stick of plain, white writing chalk into a powder.

Step9 Moisten another clean cloth with water and cover it with a bit of powdered chalk.

Step10 Wipe the marble using even strokes.

Step11 Let the marble dry for a few hours then moisten another cloth and thoroughly clean the surface with it. Dry the marble with the dry cloth.

Tips & Warnings

If you want to buy a commercial marble polish, be sure to check labels for polishes that work with your specific type of marble. Some polishes should only be used with certain colors of marbles. Avoid purchasing polishes that have acrylic or polyurethane finishes.

If possible, use microfiber cloths when cleaning marble.

If cleaning and polishing a marble floor, consider using mops instead of cloths.

Never polish marble using acidic chemicals or ingredients.

Avoid scrubbing marble.

Don't allow vinegar, tomato, tomato sauce, bleach, lemon, coffee, urine, vomit or household cleaners to come into contact with your marble, as they could ruin your marble.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trendy House

Trendy House with Unconventional Look
Trendy houses are normally fashionable and stylish living houses. I visited a trendy house with an unconventional look amid eclectic furniture and going to tell you the whole story; our discussion will be based on home interiors. Well it was pleasant surprise to visit a home that is pre-dominantly modern, with hardly a few traditional touches. I got the home best but needs some modifications and alteration. It was Robert, who decorated his house on extremely current and trendy lines.

Entrance should be opened into free style lobby
As soon as one enters the lobby, there is a beveled glass door opening into the drawing room. The wall right in front is not in alignment with the rest of the walls but extends inwards, its beige surface divided into huge squares lending it added character. One learns that the kitchen behind this wall had been extended, leaving the family no choice but to deal with a protruding wall in the drawing room, but they turned the disadvantage into an aesthetic feature.

Glass Shelves
On either end of the extended wall are alcoves that exhibit glass shelves on which decoration pieces are placed.

Room Furniture
The furniture in the room comprises fully upholstered beige sofas, wooden chairs in deco paint, wicker chairs and stool. The center table has a fiber glass base and glass top. Many cushions and decoration pieces and color to the room.

Foyer with a Glass Shelves
In keeping with the contemporary look of the place, the foyer itself is adorned with glass shelves against one wall, held up by curved steel pipes. The foyer opens into the very brightly decorated lounge-cum-dining areas where a sleek glass topped dining table with steel legs occupies a corner. Beyond it is the lounge seating, comprising yellow leatherette sofas placed together in a semi-circular shape.

Adding up Mirrors: Give a space to the whole Room
Atop it, adorning a wall is a mirror lending added space to the room. Against another wall are two mirrors in wooden frames, reminiscent of windows and placed at intervals, lending spaciousness and a unique touch to the room. Wooden tables, stools, a wrought iron tall lamp and a console table behind the sofa all add to the ambience of the area, as does a compact, neat TV unit.

Dining Portion
The dining portion of the lounge stretches to its right into and open American Style Kitchen, which is both functional and attractive, with its ivory counter tops, beige tiles and wooden cabinets.

Couple's son room
The room belonging to the couple's son is decorated predominantly in black and white - with a black leatherette bed along with a black wooden headboard placed at an angle, a funky bookshelf adorning one wall and a guitar-shaped wrought iron CD rack below. The rest of the furnishing in the room are what every boy and girl would desire - a TV-cum-decoration unit, a computer table and a tall white lamp standing behind a kidney-shaped leatherette sofa - which give the room both functionally and appeal.

Couple's daughter's room
Similarly, the couple's daughter's room, done in shades of blue and mint green with a wooden and wrought-iron bed occupying center space boasts elegance and youthful charm

Friday, March 20, 2009

8 rules for designing a kid's room

Home decor tips that'll please both child and parent.

Kids' rooms have changed since we were growing up. How much? Well, the immensely trend-focused Interior Design Show featured a special children's decor area for the first time in 2007, for starters. Add to that a boom in upscale children's houseware boutiques and newsstands full of magazines dedicated to savvy urban parents, and you've got a home decor revolution in the making. But as any parent of a child older than age three will tell you, it's one thing to design a stylish nursery (you're “the client” after all), but another thing altogether to create a kid- and mom-pleasing “big kid” room.

Here are 8 rules to help your family make the leap to a big-kid bedroom with flair.

1 Let her pick the palette
It's her room after all. Letting your kid select the wall colours is a great way to empower her design sense. Besides, even the nuttiest of preschooler (or punky pre-teen) picks can simply be painted over if you put your house on the market, or her tastes change.
HOT TREND: Loft-tastic hues like lime green, tomato red, and vibrant aqua, or, at the opposite extreme, nature-inspired neutrals and chalky pastels.

2 Avoid the theme park look
Steer clear of branded TV show or movie characters. Sure, your kids like Disney movies, but must their room be decorated like Disneyland? Toys, books, DVDs, clothes even – but draw the line at decor unless you want them to confuse corporate advertising with decorating.
HOT TREND: Reproduced illustrations from children's literature, or fun, boldly graphic wall-art decals prove kids rooms can be fun minus the branding.

3 Go natural
Create a safe nest for your little one by using eco-friendly materials where possible. It's better for the planet he'll inherit, as well as his health. Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) latex paint, solid wood furniture (as opposed to chemical off-gassing fibreboard and plywood) and linen or cotton window treatments (instead of vinyl shades) are all wise choices.
HOT TREND: Extend the natural home trend with organic cotton towels, bedding and natural cleaning products.

4 Stay healthy from the floor up
Promote a healthy room environment with hard-surface flooring. (Carpets trap allergens like dust, mould spores and pet dander, and off-gas when they're new.)
HOT TREND: Eco-friendly reclaimed wood flooring is super-hot (look for antique planks from places like, and will always be classic. Other attractive, lung- and earth-friendly options include bamboo, cork and linoleum (made from linseed oil). Soften things up with a washable cotton rug.

5 Buy some investment pieces
Well-constructed, high-quality pieces will stand the test of time, providing more design bang for your buck and avoiding a cheapie, assembly line look. Look for adaptability like a toddler bed that converts into a twin, or versatile styling that could work in other rooms of the house, to maximize each piece's design life.
HOT TREND: Clean, modern designs, like Nurseryworks dressers. These sleek, high-end pieces look fresh in kids' rooms, but would be equally chic as uber-modern dining room buffet units.

6 Throw in some cheap ‘n' cheerful accessories
Use inexpensive throws, pillows, wall art, stuffed toys, area rugs, novelty clothes hooks, lamps, and the like to add hits of colour and pattern to the room. As with paint, accessories are another area where your mini decorista's tastes should reign supreme.
HOT TREND: Avoiding that cookie cutter look. Hit stores like Winners and HomeSense for inexpensive and on-trend pieces that aren't sold by the bushel-load.

7 Address work needs
While the preschool-to-kindergarten set won't be carting in loads of homework just yet, it's good to provide some “work” space now, where they can comfortably draw and practice their letters. A craft table or small desk, with proper illumination, is worth working into their room.
HOT TREND: A reading nook. Demarcate this cozy spot with a comfy padded throw rug and pillows, or even add a wall-mount canopy (IKEA has great leaf-shaped ones).

8 Add some grown-up storage
Finally, help minimize the a-hurricane-swept-through-my-bedroom look with plenty of storage. A customized closet solution with plenty of hanger and shelf space is a smart investment, as is a dual-purpose storage bench (safety hinges are a must), plus bookcases and baskets.
HOT TREND: Old-school storage, like locker-style units. Vintage-inspired, rectangular wire baskets (the kind public swimming pools used to provide) are also cool looking and make it easy for kids to see what's inside.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling

Kitchens and bathrooms are distinctive rooms that see a lot of routine. Functionally, they serve the same purpose everywhere. It is our personal touches that make them unique, so that their routine does not have to include their decor. If you are tired of the scenery in your kitchen and/or bathroom, maybe it is time for a makeover. Here are a few creative, cost effective ways to make a new style statement.

First, give those walls a new look. Flat walls are too often plain walls. One way to transform a wall is to add depth. This is easily accomplished with a paneled wall treatment. This treatment gives the wall an interesting dimension, with vertical boards two-thirds of the way up the wall. They visually lift the ceiling, which is aesthetically pleasing.

Creative painting can also leave a great impression on a wall. Instead of one or two primary colors, try painting on a decorating theme. For example, paint a colorful tent room which features vertical stripes that climb up the side walls and meet at an angle on the ceiling, cabana style.

However, don’t stop at the ceiling. No more is creative painting just for the wall and the ceiling, but it is making quite a splash on area rugs. Painted-on area rugs are a nice way to change the look in a room. Start this project with a design written out on graph paper, adjusting the dimensions. Before transferring the design, clean the rug and paint it with a base color. The design should be finished with several coats of polyurethane.

The window shade is also a good candidate for creative painting, but if you want to brighten up the window, try a touch of tile. Simply frame your window with a border of 4×4 inch ceramic tile, alternating colors work best. This eye-catching alteration does not take a lot of time or money. Furthermore, it does not have to be a permanent change. Tile adhesive can be used if you want a permanent look, if not, you can Velcro the tiles in place.

Tile still works wonders in the bathroom, regardless of the size of the bath. A simple design can create great impact. To avoid a flat, sterile look, select tiles that vary in color, texture and even size. Tile showrooms are a good place to get a variety of styles and sizes of tiles which are leftover from their inventory and often discounted.

Finally, always remember the little things that say a lot. Look for decorative pieces that can dress up an old area, like a new sink, a glass shelf, a vase made from a Cobalt blue glass bottle, and/or bathroom containers that look like pharmacy canisters.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Using context to choose colour

Take into account your room's orientation and lighting before deciding about colour.

The orientation of a room or space has a strong effect on the quality of light and, therefore, how you perceive colour in that environment. It is important to observe the changes of light throughout the day. Also, try to understand the seasonal variations in light before making colour decisions.

Another crucial factor is the position a colour will occupy within the room. If it is on the same wall as a window, it will tend to look darker and grayer, especially if the windows are on only one wall. As an experiment, take a large colour swatch and hold it against a wall across from the windows. Next, take that same swatch and hold it against the window wall. The combination of the bright backlight from the window, plus the lack of direct light on the window wall makes the colour look duller and grayer.

At left: The full light in this space allows this muted, cool blue to still feel rich and inviting. The overall blue tonality of the room is quiet and restful, but the warm, off-white accents and the strongly contrasting patterns give the room a lively balance.

South light
South light is crisp and sharp, and it creates strong contrasts within the space. It is a warm light. The perception of colour in a space lit by south light changes continually through the day and even through the seasons. South light tends to be dramatic with pronounced shadows and highlights. If you are trying to play up the sunny character of a south-facing space, muted, warm colours are best so that the colours are not too harsh. For example, a soft creamy, yellow or earthy ochre colour will be easier to live with than a primary yellow.

A bright, south-facing space provides an excellent opportunity to use complex and subtle cool colours. For example, a muted blue-green-gray creates a restful space that is constantly, but slightly, changing with the light. A colour such as this is much like a chameleon. It appears to shift colour, depending on the changing light and in response to the accent colours next to it.

Take into account your room's orientation and lighting before deciding about colour.

North light
North light is diffuse and cooler. It tends to be more soft, even, and less dramatic. Colours gray down a bit and feel more muted. If your goal is to have a cheerful, sunny, active space, then choose warm colours in lighter values. Contrasting accent colours become more important to give the room some depth and dimension in north light. If your goal is a more quiet, restful, contemplative space, use cooler colours with warm accents. Full-bodied blues and blue-greens appear richer in cool north light. Check your colour samples carefully in the actual ambient light of the room and be sure they don't gray out too much.

East light and west light
It can be a challenge to select colours for a space that has only east or west light. It is helpful to decide if the space is to be used principally in the morning or the afternoon. This way you can tailor the colour selection to the type of light you will most often experience. East- or west-facing spaces are filled with dramatic light in the morning or afternoon, respectively. The sun enters at a low angle and penetrates deeply into the interior of the room. At certain times of day, an east- or west-facing space can be even brighter than a room with a south orientation. At other times of day, the room will be more similar to a north-facing space with cool, diffuse light.

For a balanced colour scheme that works at all times of day, a simple, safe rule of thumb is to use muted warm colours with rich, cool accents. A rule of thumb is a safe jumping-off point in colour design, but as you increase your confidence, try to bend, stretch and eventually break the rules for truly inspirational solutions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Colour palette perfection

"Mood, match, sample." Find out out how these three words will help you pick out the right colours for your home's walls.

“Which do you like better, Malaysian Mist or Samoan Sand?”

“Hmm. I like Samoan Sand, but Malaysian Mist has that nice sheen.”

“Or I could go for something completely different, like Far East Fuchsia. What do you think?”

You hold a bottle and an unpainted toe up to the light.

“Definitely, Far East Fuchsia,” your trusty pedicurist replies.

Choosing just the right colour, whether it's covering one-square-inch of toenail or 500-square-feet of wall space, is a challenge, primarily because there are just so many colours to choose from. Where do you start?

Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman, interior designers and co-hosts of Designer Guys on HGTV, make it easy. “Mood, match, sample,” is the mantra they've created to make the process of selecting just the right wall colour an easy one. “Just keep saying that to yourself-mood, match, sample. It's that easy.” Well okay then, here goes.

The first order of business when choosing colour is to stop thinking and start daydreaming. Before you do anything, determine the mood you hope to strike in the room.

All colours can be categorized as either warm or cool and by determining which of these overall moods you wish to create, you can effectively edit your options by half. Warm colours are any that incorporate hints of red or yellow, while cool colours have blue or violet undertones.

Next, says Steven, “find a family of colours you are drawn to, choosing from either pastel tones, earth tones or jewel tones. Within each of those shade ranges there will be warm and cool choices.”

You wouldn't match your nail colour to your eyeliner, so don't try to make your walls complement your candle collection. Ideally, the colour on the walls should exist harmoniously with the largest pieces in the room. Make sure the colour you select for the walls works well with the shades in the carpet. For that matter, limit your paint options to only those shades that match favourably with most of your big-ticket items, including the sofa, broadloom and window coverings. While repainting is no treat, it is less expensive than redecorating around the beautiful shade of teal you chose for the walls.

You've set a mood, matched your preliminary selections to your existing furnishings and you're ready to paint. “Wait!” says Chris. “Before you do anything, sample, sample, sample and then sample again.”

“Never trust a paint chip,” adds Steven. It takes a little extra time, but in the long-term you'll net savings in both money and labour if you test your colour theories before painting the room. Purchase a quart of your favourite shade and paint a sample-preferably a piece of plywood or even cardboard that you can move around the room.

“Colours will change drastically from day to night and in various types of lighting,” says Chris. “So move the sample around.”

And make it count. Paint a large (24-inch by 24-inch) sample so that you get a true feeling for the colour. After all, you'll have to live with this.

Colour psychology 101
Psychologists have determined that certain colours can actually elicit typical, physiological responses. What mood will your favourite colour incite?

Red, and red-based shades like burgundy excite the senses. Scientists say our hearts beat faster when we see red.

Blue is the colour of tranquillity, with research telling us that the sight of blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals.

Green, the colour of nature, is known to calm and refresh the spirit.

Yellow not only speeds the metabolism, it also enhances concentration, which is perhaps why legal pads are yellow.

Purple, the colour of wealth and status, is also know to inspire imagination. Wagner composed his operas in a purple room as violet was the colour he found most inspiring.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

5 lessons for mixing colour and pattern

A graceful combination of pattern, texture and colour can add dimension to your home.

1 Give a beautiful print even more significance by doing a whole room in it, from the walls to the upholstery. This technique can work wonderfully in a child's room, where you can hand-paint items like drawer knobs or bedposts to coordinate with the pattern, and decorate furnishings with wallpaper details.

2 It's easy to add interest to a neutral room using pattern. The trick to maintaining a restful decor is to make sure that you keep your palette neutral and use just a few simple patterns balanced with one or two solid fabrics.

3 Make a bold statement in a room by upholstering furnishings in colourful solids. This is also an effective way to show off their nice curves and lines. For an elegant look, choose two complementary colours and play with textured fabrics like velvet, faux suede and leather, and introduce pattern with small accessories. Keep the backdrop of the room neutral so the furnishings command attention.

4 A small space like a hallway is a wonderful place to experiment with pattern. And you don't need to do much, either: hang a wallpaper in a classic pattern like a stripe or lay a simple, colourful floor tile underfoot.

5 Layering is key to successfully mixing patterns and colours. Limit yourself to three or four patterns with one colour tying them together. For example, if you pick a predominantly red pattern for a chair or sofa, make sure to incorporate red as an accent in the other patterns or solids on drapes, throw cushions, a rug or even artwork in a room

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Colour your world happy

Understanding the psychology of colour will help you to choose a palette for your home that has a positive effect on you and your family.

On bright sunny days, we become happy and recharged. While sitting by the ocean, we feel relaxed and at peace. The colours associated with those feelings (yellow equals happy and blue equals relaxed) get stored in our memory and are drawn upon when selecting colours for our home.

According to colour consultant Leatrice Eiseman, author of The Color Answer Book (Capital Books, 2003) and Colors for Your Every Mood (Capital Books, 2000), many of our colour associations are attached to childhood. “If you used to bake cookies with your grandmother and her kitchen had red and white gingham curtains, that would forever be embedded in you as a pleasant memory and you would gravitate towards it.”

But, Leatrice explains, the opposite is also true. Understanding the psychology of colour helps us to choose colour that will positively impact our mood and energy.

Warm vs. cool
The colour wheel is divided into warm and cool colours. Reds, yellows and oranges are warm colours because they remind us of fire and heat and tend to excite and energize us. Blues, greens and purples are cool colours, playing on nature and the outdoors, which calm and relax us.

Within the two categories, each colour is said to further elicit different emotions.

Red The colour of excitement, raising our blood pressure and increasing feelings of passion.

Yellow Livens up a grey day, making us feel happy, recharged and uplifted.

Orange As a combination of yellow and red, it has the power to elicit good cheer and happiness, as well as energy and excitement. It's also said to stimulate appetite.

Blue “Blue is associated with dependability, constancy,” says Leatrice. “People feel serene and tranquil because that's what we associate with the sky.” It also suppresses our appetite, likely because there aren't too many blue foods.

Green Reminiscent of the outdoors or nature; offers freshness and balance.

Purple The colour of creativity, combining the excitement of red on one hand and the tranquility of blue on the other.

It's important to keep in mind that these colour-mood associations are general, and that there are always exceptions. Leatrice points to electric blues, which will excite more than calm, and yellow-greens such as chartreuse, which are strong and overwhelming.

A colour for every room
Once we understand how colour works, we can apply it to various rooms to elicit and reflect the mood we desire. “They paint prisons pink to calm people down,” jokes Peter Fallico, host of HGTV Canada's Home To Go, before getting down to which rooms in the home merit which colours.

Bathroom: “People want to see crispness in a bathroom,” says Peter, “to get that spa feel.” For coolness in the bathroom, aquas, blues and greens work well, but anything in the peachy/rose range flatters the skin, adds Leatrice.
Bedroom: Leatrice used periwinkle blue in her own bedroom, a colour that offers a little bit of excitement but remains for the most part tranquil. Peter suggests a soft yellow, something that is at once safe and warming, and vibrant enough to get a person out of bed in the morning.
Dining room: If you want to get people salivating, Leatrice suggests trying colours from apricot, rosy orange and peach to terra cotta, wine and cranberry. Even the colours sound appetizing!
Home office: Since this is a room where concentration is required, Leatrice suggests something restful to the eyes such as teal, a colour that combines green's outdoor inspiration with blue's dependability. Peter moves a little further into the green family with celadon –“It's alive, it's perky,” he says – or pear, which is motivating.
Living room: “You need something calming, a colour that you can be around a long time with,” says Peter, suggesting tan or sable, either of which looks beautiful against wood tones. If the room is used for television, Leatrice prefers a green.
Kitchen: “A bright sunny yellow will keep the kitchen alive and fresh,” says Peter. Leatrice agrees: “Yellow is just cheerful and fun, even if you spend little time cooking.”

Whatever colour you choose, make sure you like it. “Orange may be a trend colour, but if it doesn't say pleasant things to you you're not going to be comfortable,” says Leatrice. “Choose a colour based on your emotional response to it.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Interior Design: Living & Dining Area Tips

● In interior design, a focal point is important in every room. It could be a large window or painting or an interesting art piece. In your living room, arrange your furniture around a focal point. Put your biggest piece of furniture first (like the sofa) then continue with the smaller pieces of furniture down to your accent pieces.

● Consider the size of your living room when you buy the furniture. Don't buy oversized pieces if your room is not that big. It will make your room smaller and cramped. And also don't buy tall furniture if your ceiling is low, they will make the ceiling appear lower.

● Many of us Filipinos tend to buy living room furniture "sets" with a sofa, two matching side chairs, with matching coffee and side tables. Be different, don't match the couch with the side chairs. In fact, in interior design, it is more fashionable to have different styled pieces put together like a modern sofa with classic or antique side chairs and different styled tables.

● If you plan to put several picture frames on the walls. it is a good idea to group them together by theme and arrange them inside an imaginary frame. They can be the focal point of the room.

● Before you buy you dining room set, take a good look at your space. Be sure that there is ample room to walk around the dining set even if all the seats are occupied. Interior design has a lot to do with ergonometrics, not just appearance. We Filipinos have the tendency to buy bigger dining sets than our space can accommodate and push one side of the table against the wall.

● If your living and dining area is on the same room, you may use a different flooring material on the dining area to delineate the space from the living area. Or you may put an area rug on your dining area for definition. A free standing screen is another good option.

● Avoid using fluorescent (white) lighting in the living and dining areas. Food looks more inviting under incandescent (yellow) light and people's complexion too look better under yellow light. But if you really like to use fluorescent light, combine both white & yellow light at the same time.

● If you plan to put a chandelier above your dinning table, don't put it up so high. Lower it 3 to 4 feet from the table top.

● Aside from your direct light source above the dining table (a chandelier for example), add some pin lights around the room and a dimmer switch to make your surroundings more pleasing to the eye. Do the same with your living room.

● It is ok to put family pictures on the living room but don't put so many, specially school diplomas and trophies. They are better put in the den or your bedroom.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Interior Design: Kitchen & Bathrooms Tips

● If your kitchen is small (or any room for that matter) use light colors: off white, beige etc. but you can accent the room with bright colors if you like to brighten up your kitchen. Dark colors will make a room look smaller than it's actual size.

● The kitchen sink, cooking stove and the refrigerator should form a work triangle where the total distance of the three stations is no more than 26 feet. The three stations should be close enough for convenience when preparing food.

● Avoid dark colored tiles on shower areas of bathrooms and kitchen counters. Although black or royal blue may look stunning, soap residue can easily be seen and is difficult to clean when hardened. Unless you have a helper to clean the bathroom right after you shower, it is better to use light colored tiles on the shower area.

● Like any other room, if your bathroom is too small use a large mirror on top of the sink or one whole wall - it will make the bathroom look bigger.

● You can also place a mirror in the kitchen. A good place is opposite the window, it will not only make the room larger but it will reflect the light and brighten the room.

● Put small indoor plants on small pots in your kitchen and bathroom. Plants gives a fresh feeling to the interior design of the kitchen and bathroom.

● Don't be limited to stainless steel sinks, drawer handles, frames and pans, use copper, chrome, wrought iron, tin, brass and platinum. They will make your kitchen or bathroom more interesting.

● If you have shelves to spare, put cookbooks, small indoor plants and other accessories to make your kitchen more appealing.

● During holidays change the look of your kitchen by putting themed table cloth and chair slipcovers to cheer up the room.

● Always make sure that there is adequate lighting on bathrooms and kitchen. Inadequate lighting makes the kitchen & bathroom feel cramped and gloomy. Aside from the general lighting fixture at the center of the room. Put task lights under the kitchen hanging cabinets. In the bathroom, put wall lights on either sides of the vanity mirror. The classic style of placing small wall lamps on both sides of the mirror gives your bathroom a charming and elegant look.

● Bathroom interior design can be fun. If your bathroom is big enough, you can decorate it with some framed pictures or artwork. Just make sure that it is not affected by moisture. Pictures or artwork makes the bathroom more interesting. Also put some scented candles, soaps and flowers. They are always a welcome add on -specially to your visitors.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Care For Granite Countertops,Natural Stone Floors, and Surfaces

The two most important things that you can do to care for granite countertops, stone flooring, or any natural stone surface are:

1. Remove any dust, grit, and sand from the stone's surface.
2. Clean up accidental spills as soon as possible.


Marble, Limestone, and Travertine Floor Care

Protect your natural stone floors near entry ways with non slip mats or area rugs. This helps to remove any loose dirt or sand from shoes.

Frequent dust mopping, vacuuming, and sweeping of your natural stone floors will prevent the accumulation of grit and grime. This will also slow the rate of deterioration caused by foot traffic grinding in dirt, sand, or grit.

Wet mop using a mild vegetable soap and water solution OR a stone cleaner made especially for stone. Many qualified stone technicians believe that damp mopping with clear water EVERY day to clean soiled areas is all that is necessary to keep your stone floor clean. Most often, the floor will be damp mopped less frequently and a soap and water or stone cleanser should be used.

Quick daily cleanings should be accompanied by periodic deep cleanings. How often you deep clean your stone will depend on the usage. Having children and pets will require more frequent deep cleanings.

Daily spot cleaning. This is simply wiping up any accidental spills promptly. If you do get a stain, attend to it as soon as possible with a slightly stronger solution of detergent and then a poultice if the detergent cleaner is unsuccessful.


Care For Granite & Natural Stone Countertops

Wipe up any spills as soon as possible. If left unattended, the spills can etch the polish and dull the finish of the stone. Beverages such as coke and orange juice contain acidic materials that when in contact with calcium based stones (marble, limestone, travertine, and onyx) can deteriorate the stone. This doesn't burn a hole through your stone, it just loses its finish in the area of contact.

Use coasters or placemats on your natural stone surfaces. This is especially true for calcareous natural stones such as marble, onyx, and travertine.

Rinse and dry your natural stone surface after washing. This is very effective on dark stones to get rid of streaks. Miracle cloths are very effective for drying your darker stone to a streak free finish.

Daily cleanings should be accompanied by periodic deep cleanings.

Daily spot cleaning is simply wiping up any accidental spills promptly. If you do get a stain, attend to it as soon as possible with a slightly stronger solution of detergent and then a poultice if the detergent cleaner is unsuccessful.


The DON'TS of Natural Stone Care
DON"T use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on your stone.
DON'T use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners.
DON'T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
DON'T mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
DON'T ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.

The cleaning products you use should only be strong enough to do the required task and no more.

AND, always call your professional stone supplier, installer, or restoration specialist for problems that appear too difficult to treat yourself.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Furniture for bathing

Bathroom is very important room in the house. So, it is not necessary to restrain or deprive it. Today we have decided not only to start talking, but also to tell in detail about, how it is necessary to arrange bathroom so that it did not look poor or boring.
The washstand runs out…
It is clear, that the first question, which will be set to us by the reader, is where to place furniture for bathing. But in fact it happens different and it is good, if in your bathroom the small armchair can be located, but usually you can easily place washing machine.
However, manufacturers of sets have provided such “a trifle” as small-sized bathrooms and can offer furniture for a bathroom.
So, let’s talk about bathing furniture. Usually it is the complete set from lockers of the various sizes and designs from the most unpretentious, floor, up to original design of cases.
The most minimal complete set includes so-called “washstand” and one hinged case or a mirror with shelve. Well, depending on the sizes of a premise it is possible to choose various quantities of subjects.

All furniture for bathing is conditionally divided into three categories - floor, wall and combined team. The first group includes washstands, which are established directly on a floor; instead of fasten on a wall.
If you have decided to do without a locker under a bowl, table-top may be wonderful alternative to it. It is necessary to approach to its choice with mind and to remember, that no matter, how beautiful it was, the practicality in this case is more important. In case of table-top, it should be very wear proof. Usually table-tops are made of natural tree (oak or a pine), MDF or plastic. Besides, table-tops can be monolithic, for example, they may be made of strong glass or artificial stone. They are very expensive and require special care.
Surface of table-top (tree or MDF) is usually processed by several layers of first coat and enamel, which is not afraid of scratches and water. By the way the guarantee on furniture for bathing makes at least 10 years and serves much longer. But, despite of such safety measures and water resistance, especially to hot water, it is necessary to be very accurate with table-tops.
As a rule, metal hand-rail-hangers for towels are located of edges table-top, and the bottom is equipped by several cases for different trifles.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pool Cabanas

Pool Cabana Sites

Location - There aren't too many choices here; generally you will locate your pool house cabana within striking distance of your pool. There are some things to consider though: how to maximize sunlight; do I want the cabana to be front and center or blend into the landscape a little; do I need to run electricity and, do I need to plumb it for a bar sink, toilet, or outdoor shower. Evaluate the pros and cons of your preferred site in all four seasons. The surrounding foliage (and weather) can be very different from one season to the next. All of these considerations may have some impact on where you decide to build your pool house.

Once you have decided on a site, choose a cabana size that'll suit your needs (see 'choosing a size' below). It's a good idea to stake out your pool house to ensure that the fit is comfortable for your needs and that the location is harmonious with your landscape.

Zoning - Decisions made on the size, location, and style of your pool house cabana are not entirely in your hands. Be sure to check with your municipality to ensure that you are meeting the local zoning and permit requirements. If you are under 100 sq. ft. you will not likely require a permit; however, there are usually some restrictions such as a two or three foot set back from a property line to contend with (please see zoning and permits for more information). In some regions there may even be specific regulations pertaining to the construction of structures near a pool. Always check first with your local municipality before building!

Grade - Typically, pool houses are built on concrete pad foundations. Often customers are pouring concrete for their pool, so it's very economical to pour an additional pad at the same time. It's not usually necessary to pour a pad though; patio stones or a crushed stone base work just fine. Regardless of your choice, be sure that the grade is level and that it has good drainage