Use Solar Shades to Save Money and Enhance Your Home

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.25.2008 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Large windows make homes feel airy and open -; but windows also let in sun and allow heat transfer, damaging furniture and raising energy bills.

Solar shades
Controlling the way light enters the home can make homes more comfortable and less expensive, not to mention more attractive. The experts at Durasol (www.durasol.com), a 25-year-old business that specializes in retractable awnings, solar screens and stationary awnings, offers these suggestions to common problems:

- Reduce solar glare -; Bright sun can fade furniture and carpets. Consider closing the blinds on one side of the house in the morning, as the sun rises, and on the other side of the house when it sets, to help avoid the brightest rays.

You might want to consider installing interior solar shades. Durasol's DuraShade retractable solar screen systems offer indoor comfort, increased privacy and protection from interior fading. Better yet, they blend in with any home while offering protection against solar glare and heat gain. You can even motorize them, so you can lower the shades in an entire room with the push of a button. Solar screens that are installed and used in Southern- and Western-facing windows can cool the home by as much as 8-16 degrees F, helping to lower energy costs. Unlike drapes, solar screens are see-through -; so you can enjoy the view without letting in glare or heat.

- Reduce heat gain -; If the glaring sun makes rooms too warm, consider installing exterior solar shades. Exterior-mounted shades offer some benefits over interior shades, because they block the heat before it enters the home. In the winter, exterior shades help protect against winter glare from snow and ice.

- Increase outdoor living space. Retractable window and roof awnings help keep the sun from entering your home, and also add shade to outdoor living space. With an awning over a porch or deck, homeowners can make a wonderful outdoor entertaining space. Awnings are more flexible than building a permanent roof over your porch, which permanently blocks light. Durasol awnings allow you to control how and when light enters your home.

Insulation Keeps Heat In, Cold Out

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.23.2008 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Heating accounts for 30 to 50 percent of the energy used in the average American home. Unfortunately, many Americans pay for heat only to send warm air billowing out windows, attics, ceilings, floors, doors and garages.

Poorly insulated homes prove more difficult, and more costly, to keep comfortable. But choosing and installing insulation can be a simple, do-it-yourself project that pays for itself.

Insulation
How does insulation work? Heat naturally moves into cooler areas. When it's colder outside than inside, the heat inside the home tries to move outdoors. Insulation slows down heat flow, so home heating systems stabilize temperatures without using extra energy.

How do you know what insulation to use in your home? The U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Saver Web site, www.energysavers.org, gives these tips to homeowners considering insulation projects:

- Know what factors to consider when choosing installation. The "best" insulation for your home depends on how much insulation you need, the location that needs insulation, and the local availability and price of insulation. Check to see whether an insulation needs professional installation or if it will work in its intended space.

- Choose your insulation based on its R-value. Insulation is rated by R-value, or resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation.

But the R-value doesn't tell the whole story - how and where you install insulation affects its performance. For example, compressed insulation, which happens when you place denser insulation over lighter insulation, won't give you its full R-value. Also, insulation placed between joists, rafters and studs does not slow heat flow through those joists or studs.

- Read the insulation's label before installing the insulation. No matter what kind of insulation you buy, check the product label. The Federal Trade Commission insists that labels include a clearly stated R-value and information about health, safety and fire-hazard issues. Insist that any contractor installing insulation provide the product labels from each package.

- Know how much you need. Manufacturers now make thinner insulation materials with high R-values, but some materials will settle, so you need to install more insulation at the outset.

- Install for efficiency. Insulation must be installed correctly to work properly. Some products are not meant for do-it-yourselfers and should be installed by competent, trained professionals.

For more information, visit www.energysavers.org to find no-cost, and low-cost methods to help save energy and keep you warm.

Mix Modern and Rustic Pieces For a Stylish Feel

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.16.2008 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Good home design feels effortless. When inhabitants style rooms to reflect their personalities, rather than the latest design trends, they create thoughtful, comfortable homes. Rather than design "themed" homes, many homeowners blend modern and rustic elements.

But there's an art to eclectic design. Some Americans focus entire rooms on a single, prized possession, while others design more neutral spaces. Either way, mix-and-match types must contrast décor styles to create balanced looks.

Home decoration
Small details change the way homes feel. For example, updating door and cabinetry hardware can immediately inject a room with new style.

"Door hardware has undergone a metamorphosis from merely functional to both architectural and decorative," said Chas Seymour, general manager of Baldwin Hardware, a company that has been manufacturing hardware for more than 60 years. "In addition, we must remember that customers want to know that their home investments, hardware or otherwise, combine a commitment to quality, workmanship and style, with both classic and contemporary cues."

For a modern touch, choose "sleek" and "clean" design elements. Silver and chrome accents help create a streamlined feel. Baldwin Hardware's Minneapolis and Lakeshore collections appeal to modern tastes. The company also offers the Soho entry set, named for the New York neighborhood known for its modern design boutiques, as well as its history with cast iron architecture.

As demand continues to grow for contemporary styling in door hardware, so does demand for what's considered rustic. With that in mind, Baldwin introduced its Baldwin Bronze collection of cast bronze lock, bath and general hardware. Since earliest antiquity, bronze has been an important and revered material with a distinctive look and feel.

For more information from Baldwin Hardware, visit www.baldwinhardware.com

Upgrade Your Lighting With These Simple Tips

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.11.2008 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - When it comes to home decorating, lighting proves just as important as paint color. Quality lighting allows residents to perform tasks without eyestrain and creates a warm, comfortable feel.

When lighting a room, remember that you will need more than one type of light. You will need to use general lighting, or overall illumination, and task lighting, which helps you perform tasks like reading or cooking without eyestrain. Many homeowners also use accent lighting to spotlight paintings, shelves or other areas of visual interest. Using all three types of light will help homes look more attractive.

Lights
The American Lighting Association offers these tips for Americans looking to update their lighting in the different areas of their home:

- Use light to create an attractive living room. To make a focal point, consider using recessed downlight above the fireplace mantel. The light will make stone and brick surfaces look more intricate. Place floorlamps behind arm chairs to provide light for reading or other activities. Highlight paintings with low-voltage, tungsten-halogen picture lights, which shine white light directly on the painting.

- Brighten up your kitchen. A large ceiling light will provide adequate general lighting but might not let you see into cabinets or on your stove range. Add supplemental lighting where you need to perform specific tasks. Track lights over the stove and the sink, for example, will help you see when your onions are browned and when your pots look clean.

- Create an elegant feel in the dining room. Use a chandelier above the dining room table to provide functional light and to highlight any centerpieces.

- Use light to create a calming bedroom. Use wall sconces, chandeliers, fanlights or downlights to create enough light for you to get dressed, then add additional lights near your vanity and in your closet. Consider installing swing-arm wall lamps on either side of your bed. The lights will provide enough illumination for reading but won't take up space on your nightstand.

For more information, visit www.americanlightingassoc.com

Designing the Home of Your Dreams, California-Style

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.04.2008 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Each year, many proud homeowners set out to increase the "dream" appeal of their homes - a task that can be made easier and more exciting with inspiration from the annual HGTV Dream Home. The 2009 home, located in beautiful Sonoma, Calif., is full of ideas that can help you amp up the dream quotient of your existing home. Investing time and love in your home can prove to be a rewarding experience whether you're dreaming of a wine-country Victorian home, a Manhattan high-rise or an inviting log cabin. Here are a few tips:

Dream Home
- When choosing a color palette for your home, look at the colors in your area. Do you live in a desert or by the beach? Using color to connect your home to the outside environment will create a more natural feel.

- Identify the strengths of your home, then play them up. If you see natural focal points, make them pop with eye-catching art.

- Consider how you will use your home. Plan spaces where you can have fun with family and friends along with secluded places in which to relax.

- If you have a home office, and clients visit often, consider creating a separate entrance to maintain privacy in your home.

- Think about things you really love and are passionate about and include them in your home. Find a space for what makes you happy.

- Use your rooms. If you never use the formal dining room, turn it into an art studio or office so you can enjoy all of your home.

- Give yourself the luxury of a fabulous master bedroom. This is the ultimate DREAM and you can find inspiration on air and online at HGTV.

For more information on how you can enter for a chance to win the HGTV Dream Home visit HGTV.com/dreamhome.

Linda Woodrum has served as HGTV's Dream Home designer for the past 12 years.

By Linda Woodrum
For NewsUSA

Five Common Carpet Myths Debunked

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 12.02.2008 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - Carpeting has been the most popular floor covering in America for decades for good reason -; carpets feel soft, reduce noise and insulate rooms.

But some common misconceptions deter people from buying carpets. Before purchasing flooring, consider the following information from Shaw Floors:

Carpet
Myth 1: Asthma and allergy sufferers should not have carpet in the home.

Fact: EPA scientists concluded that carpet fibers, in trapping and immobilizing potential allergy-causing particulates, help people with allergies. If allergens are in the carpet, they're not circulating in the indoor air stream. Shaw recommends using a HEPA-filter vacuum to fully remove such particles from the indoor environment.

Myth 2: Carpet is hard to maintain -; it stains and wears out very easily.

Fact: Simple steps can extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking new. Frequent vacuuming removes soil particles before they get below the surface of the pile, where they are far more difficult to remove.

Carpet in a typical household should be thoroughly cleaned every 12 to 18 months. Hot-water extraction systems provide the most effective cleaning. Professional carpet cleaners generally get the best results.

Myth 3: Carpet is outdated and boring.

Fact: Carpets come in patterns ranging from traditional hounds tooth to exotic zebra, and in stylish colors like chocolate or mint green. Many consumers use a mix of carpet, hardwood and tile in their homes.

Myth 4: Carpet emits harmful chemicals that cause health problems.

Fact: Carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) among household furnishings and building materials. Shaw carpets meet the industry's highest VOC standard, the Carpet & Rug Institute's Green Label Plus program.

Myth 5: Carpet is bad for the environment.

Fact: Floor manufacturers now provide many eco-friendly options for environmentally conscious consumers. Shaw carpets made of Anso or EverTouch nylon can be recycled at Shaw's Evergreen Nylon Recycling Facility, where they are broken down and remade into new carpet fiber. The process helps turn carpet into a renewable product and keeps carpet waste out of landfills. In fact, Shaw has collected 178 million pounds of post-consumer carpet since 2006.

For more information about Shaw's various carpet and hard-surface flooring options or to view the company's online product catalog, please visit www.shawfloors.com

Save Energy, Save Money, Stay Warm

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

(NewsUSA) - As temperatures dip lower, families can save money and keep warm by making energy-efficiency improvements to their homes.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released essential tips for saving energy and money this winter to help Americans best prepare and manage their energy usage in a variety of ways.

Lamp
According to DOE, on average, energy-efficient improvements reduce heating bills by 32 percent, estimating a threefold return on money invested. DOE offers these tips to help families cut their energy consumption this winter:

- Seal and insulate your home. Many insulating projects are inexpensive and easy enough for the average homeowner to complete. Filling air furnace leaks, adding more insulation and sealing off exposed ducts can sharply reduce heating and cooling bills.

- Perform routine maintenance. Replace your home's air filter every month. Hire a contractor to tune-up your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit once a year. Regular maintenance will reduce immediate costs and help units last longer.

- Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will keep your home at a lower temperature when you are not home, helping to reduce your energy bills.

- Conserve hot water. Air-dry dishes instead of running your dishwasher's heat cycle, take short showers instead of baths and wash only full loads of dishes and clothes. Saving water also saves money on energy used to heat it. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees F.

- Look for ENERGY STAR appliances. DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the ENERGY STAR program, which evaluates buildings and home products for energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR products meet strict guidelines and can help save money and energy. If every homeowner installed just five ENERGY STAR lightbulbs, America would save $8 billion a year in energy costs.

- Watch your electronics. Turn off computers and monitors when you're not using them. Plug TVs and DVDs into power strips, then turn off the power strips when home electronics are not in use.

- Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving wastes gasoline. Using overdrive gears and cruise control are easy ways to save gas. Go to www.fueleconomy.gov for more gas-saving tips.

For more tips from the Department of Energy, visit the Web site www.energysavers.gov

Foreclosures Open Up New Market

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 11.25.2008 0 comments



Foreclosure
(NewsUSA) - To some, the current real estate market looks dismal. A weak labor market, rising mortgage rates and high energy prices have caused many American homeowners to lose their properties. To others, the real estate markets looks ripe for investment.

Deer Park Development Corporation, a company with over 30 years of experience in the real estate market, has developed a new approach for investors hoping to purchase and resell foreclosed properties for profit. Foreclosed houses sell at lower prices, helping investors buy properties with less money upfront. In the past, housing prices reflected overinflation -; as the market evens out, the mortgage crisis might actually help stabilize home prices.

Marty O'Malley, CEO of Deer Park Development Corporation, noted that the current real estate market represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the astute buyer. "With one in every 360 homes in foreclosure nationwide, the opportunity to buy distressed property at significant discounts to their original appraisals is extensive," said O'Malley. "In Clark County, Nev., one in every eighty homes is in foreclosure, and on top of those statistics, one in every two homes is underwater, meaning that it's not worth the amount of money owed on it."

With this amount of inventory on the market, there are situations out there that present themselves as profitable ventures. Not all of the foreclosures are money-making deals, but with experience, professional investors know when and what to buy, so they can make successful ventures.

Being an individual investor in the real estate market can be a dangerous proposition for the inexperienced. But investors, in tying themselves to a group of experienced real estate players, can use experts' hard-earned knowledge to turn a profit in the down real estate market.

"Allowing individual investors to participate in ownership through direct partnership creates a risk-free vehicle for foreclosure players to work with," said O'Malley,

For additional information, visit Deer Park Development Corporation's Web site at deerparkdevelopmentcorp.com or contact Capital Group Advisors at 954-297-0706.

Is Your Home Making You Sick?

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 11.13.2008 0 comments



Indoor pollution
(NewsUSA) - Americans tend to view their homes as safe havens. What few people realize is that the air in their home can be more polluted than outdoor air, leading to health problems.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, people spend almost 90 percent of their time indoors. Due to extended exposure, indoor pollution might cause more health problems than outdoor pollution.

What causes indoor pollution? Common, synthetic materials, like paints, plastics and household cleaners, all leak chemical emissions. Sensitive people can react to anything from wax to furniture polish. Building materials, outdoor pollution, dust and other substances can create allergy symptoms.

Mold, one leading cause of indoor allergies, can grow inside and outside the home in any household component. Once it develops, mold proves impossible to completely remove, making it an especially serious threat. Mold can grow wherever water flows. Water intrusion can lead to mold growth within 24 hours.

The Mayo Clinic estimated that over 40 million Americans suffered from chronic sinus infections and that 96 percent of those cases were caused by molds. According to the Centers for Disease Control, indoor allergens can lead to infections and respiratory problems.

A Certified Environmental Home Inspector (CEHI) from Environmental Safeguard Professionals (www.espusa.net), a company that performs EcoCheck Inspection to address environmental issues in residential buildings, asks Americans to look for the following signs of poor indoor air health:

- Have you had problems with floods or leaks? Even the smallest damp area allows mold to grow. Mold can also hide in ceilings, walls and attics.

- Have you or any of your family members suffered from unexplained respiratory problems, chronic headaches, coughing or congestion?

- Is your home well ventilated? Poor ventilation helps mold grow. To prevent mold growth, keep air moving and humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent.

If you suspect mold, call a professional to inspect your home. A CEHI can identify the types of mold in your home and determine the best way to remove it.

For more information, visit www.espusa.net

What To Know About Window Replacement

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.31.2008 3 comments



Window replacement
(NewsUSA) - Replacing the windows in your home is a great way to increase windows' energy efficiency and overall ease of use. But how should you choose the best replacement windows? Use these tips to determine the best replacement window for you:

- Think Green. Replacing your windows can increase your home's energy efficiency by up to 70 percent. Today's modern double-paned windows can eliminate the need for storm windows.

- Look for Strong Materials. Replacement windows should be low-maintenance and durable, so they will look good over time. Consider getting wood-clad windows with extruded aluminum cladding. Exterior cladding does not need to be scraped or painted.

- Think About Aesthetics. Whether you are replacing your windows to have a whole new look or want to replicate the look of historic wooden windows, it is important to choose from a range of options.

Replacement windows, such as the Ultimate Replacement Casement from Marvin Windows and Doors, use patented hardware systems and have unique wash modes that allow you to wash the exterior of the window from the inside of your home.

- Choose the Right Supplier. With so many window manufacturers in the marketplace, how do you know whom to trust? Choose a window manufacturer who is well-established and has an excellent reputation. Selecting high-quality windows won't pay off unless qualified people install them.

To learn more about replacing your windows, please visit www.MarvinCasement.com or call (888) 537-8268.

Lou Manfredini is a national home improvement expert and regular contributor to NBC's Today Show and host of the television show HouseSmarts.

Do you feel that nervous feeling in your stomach just before opening that power use bill? It is no surprise gas continues to go up in price, but were you aware that electric prices are going up too?


Reduce the amount of energy - 02:17 min.


This is not an article about gas vs electric, most homes need and use both. You obviously can not just stop your electric use or your power use. But there are definitely simple ways to reduce the electrical use around the house.

The first step in reducing any power use or electric use is simply awareness. Most people take for granted everything in their household and are not really aware of their power use or electric use at all. Now that you can make yourself aware, you start to see things you can do to reduce the power use.

Next, start limiting your electrical use. If you are not in a room, then turn off every non-essential electric use device that you can. Sounds like common sense, right? Again, the whole awareness thing. How many times have you left the light on in a room to go to do something in another room? How many times is it that you get caught up in what you are doing and have left the empty room light on for several minutes or even hours?

That is just the lights! Several people have multiple televisions in different parts of the house today. But really, when was the last time you watched that TV in the bedroom, the spare bedroom, or the basement. Even though the TVs are turned off, they are still drawing electricity constantly to keep their capacitors full so you will get an instant screen when you turn it on. Is that really worth the electric use the TV uses if you only turn it on a handful of times a year? It may take a little more time, but would it be that much effort to just unplug it and plug it in when you want to watch it? You would not believe the electrical use you could save by just doing this.

Computer monitors count too. Many families have multiple computers, but never use that one in the family room. If a computer is not used daily, unplug it. There is not a need to keep that power use draw on your electric bill.

Do you have a cell phone charger or other battery type charges somewhere in the house that you just keep plugged in? I know I used to plug my phone in over night every night. It only took a little behavior change for me to charge it at the office instead. Chances are I am going to sit in front of a work computer for an hour or more, that is usually all the time it takes to charge a cell phone. Then your company pays for the electric use not you and your home bill.

There are also non use items like VCRs, DVD players, stereos, and other items probably being current energy suckers and they are not even being utilized.Take a tour around your house with your new awareness. See if you can not find things that probably do not need to be plugged and drawing electirc use all year long.

Another big difference can be made in electric use by changing all of your incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent light bulbs. Even better are the newly designed compact fluorescent light bulbs known also as CFLs. They give the light of 75 watt light bulb while only drawing 13 watts to do it.

There is a slight disadvantage. The CFLs are not instant bright light. They turn on instantly, but it may take a few moments before it is putting out the maximum light. But it is a small price to pay for the return on the electric use. Besides, you may not know this, but all incandescent lights bulbs will stop being made in 2009. So you might as well get use to using CFLs now and harvest the savings.

You can save power use and money when you have to purchase new appliances. When it comes time to replace that refrigerator, washer, dryer, stove, water heater, or whatever, make sure that your next replacement is a power conserving appliance. Most are energy star compliant. But even if the non energy star compliant appliance is cheaper, it is only temporary compared to the amount of electric use it is going to charge you vs the energy star compliant one. You may save a hundred dollars at purchase, but in the long run you are going to pay hundreds of dollars more from its power use.

Now you are armed with some real use knowledge. Really take the time to do an awareness tour around your house. I bet you will be surprised at the things you find to be able to reduce your power use.

About the Author: Ian Westynn. Protect your family from the high cost of home energy use! Save time and money with the ultimate step-by-step guide to energy independence! Stop the grasp that foreign energy companies have on you - http://enchantedtrader.com/myenergy

More on energy savings.

Bamboo blinds are gaining popularity

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.21.2008 0 comments

People are looking for ways to find products made of natural materials, even when it comes to interior decorating. Bamboo blinds are gaining popularity for good reason. These items are beautiful, durable and natural. You can find many different sizes and styles in this type of window treatment. Once you begin your search, you’ll understand why bamboo blinds are all the rage.


Production of Bamboo Blinds - 01:01 min.


Many may think about this option and immediately turn away because they want something with color. Don’t think that choosing bamboo blinds means that you are choosing dull, lifeless color for your interior design plan. The neutral tones in bamboo blinds work wonderfully in all different color schemes.

One thing to remember is that the bamboo blinds are naturally green but they fade into a natural beige color as they dry. If you order a product that looks a little too green give it time to dry out and you will see the green shade fade into the beautiful neutral tones we all love so much.

Keep in mind that bamboo blinds are natural and most manufacturers do not alter the colors inherit to the product. This makes these window treatments especially appealing because they serve to bring some of the outdoors inside. You just can’t go wrong with this look.

What about size? Surprisingly, bamboo blinds come in a whole spectrum of sizes that are suitable for just about any window. It is important to note that this product will lengthen a little bit over time. This is a normal occurrence, especially during hot months. People who live in climates that experience cold winters may notice that the blinds shrink a little but the change is insignificant.

The material’s ability to grow and move can serve as a great benefit. Bamboo blinds can be stretched to a preferred length. The process takes a little time but it works really well. All it takes is a few minutes of your time and you can create the perfect fit for your window space.

Of course, you do want to try to get the best fit possible when you order. All you need to do is measure your space. If you don’t find bamboo blinds that fit the area you can opt for custom made blinds instead. It is wise to ask for samples when taking this approach. This will give you a good idea of how the custom made bamboo blinds will look.

Don’t forget that you are not limited to a certain design. There are many different styles to consider in bamboo blinds. They make wonderful additions to a home’s interior design scheme.

(NewsUSA) - Home safety is a major concern for many Americans. But safety should mean more than teaching the kids to stop, drop and roll and double-checking the stove before leaving the house. Americans who are building, or looking to buy, a new home can implement safety from the start by considering the construction of the foundation.

When it comes to safety, building materials matter. Americans should consider the area in which they live before choosing a construction material. For example, couples living in hurricane- or flood-prone areas shouldn't build wooden homes, which can easily suffer moisture damage.


Concrete Network TV - 05:36 min.


Concrete masonry construction has been proven to be a safe, sturdy building material no matter the region. Unlike wood, concrete masonry is water-, wind- and fire-resistant. Concrete masonry bricks do not succumb to insect infestations, like termites. In areas often afflicted by earthquakes, builders can create flexibility within concrete foundations, so they do not shatter when the earth moves.

Concrete masonry also lessens indoor pollution, a major concern in many areas. Paints can emit harmful chemicals, but concrete bricks do not need to be painted. Concrete masonry does not absorb moisture in the air, which can lead to mold growth in other building materials. Mold is a major indoor air pollutant and irritant -; eliminating mold can lead to improved lung health in a home's residents.

Americans living in concrete masonry homes might also enjoy improved economic well-being. Concrete masonry helps control indoor temperatures, keeping homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In many areas, concrete masonry walls do not require additional insulation, saving homeowners money and reducing household dust.

Concrete masonry also dampens sound, making for a more peaceful indoor environment in urban areas.

For more information about building with concrete masonry, visit the Web site of the National Concrete Masonry Association at www.ncma.org

Bedroom decoration

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.19.2008 1 comments


Creating a comforting design for the bedroom - 03:26 min.


Most of us can't afford to have a professional decorator design new rooms every time we tire of the décor. Usually, it's not the furniture that we tire of, but what is on and around our carefully chosen furniture.

It's usually accent pieces, drapes, or simply the color of the walls that lose their freshness, causing us to get bored with the whole room and have an itch to redecorate. Here's an idea which is simple, inexpensive and makes that room's appeal last much longer. This applies to any room, but has particular usefulness as a bedroom decorating idea.

Our bedrooms are the private rooms in our homes, and we spend quiet times, just waking up and sipping coffee, reading or talking to our spouse. We come to associate relaxing feelings with the bedroom. When we want to relax and enjoy kicking back, we don't want to look around and say, “Oh, I can't stand this bedspread any more!” We want our bedroom to be inviting, not boring.

You might think that bedroom decorating ideas come with a premium price tag, requiring a complete makeover to freshen the look. The truth is, bedroom decorating ideas can be as simple as a change of throw pillows and some new lamp shades. A new set of curtains can change the whole mood of the bedroom.

These bedroom decorating ideas require that you start with squinting your eyes and looking around the room. Really! Squint your eyes slightly and cast your gaze around the room. Take different vantage points. Lie on the bed. Stand in the doorway. What's the first thing that catches your critical eye? Is it that old picture you're fond of, but tired of looking at? Your bedspread is pretty, but you've had it for years. In other words, find what weighs your eye down. There may be several things, but chances are, it's not the furniture.

You love that picture, but it's been hanging there so long it's become part of the wall. Relocate the picture to another room where it once again becomes a surprise to your eyes.

If your bedspread is the offender, it's time to pack it away for guest bedding and buy a new one. Now imagine. What color or fabric would please you in it's place? “Aha!” you say. “I want a deep blue velvet bedspread, and now that I think of it, some ivory lace curtains would be luxurious.”

You're getting the gist of these types of bedroom decorating ideas now. Restrain yourself, as it's easy to get carried away. These bedroom decorating ideas succeed when you aim for simplicity. Maybe a simple coat of paint or stained wooden louvers replacing curtains are all you need. Your beige lampshades might be changed for hand painted art deco ones for an entirely different look in the room in which you love to relax.

For less than $100 plus a vase of fresh flowers, you can have a new dream bedroom.

Decorating ideas

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.18.2008 0 comments

Yesterday I was packing my hand me down items to move into my first small apartment that I was sharing with my girlfriend. Today I am helping my daughter pack her things to move to her first apartment. That’s the way is seems. I do not know what happened to the twenty-four years in between the two events but they are gone. My daughter is so excited about her first job and her first real apartment. She lived on campus for her first three years of college and then shared a house with several other girls her last year, but the house was furnished so this is her first chance to decorate her own space.



 
The apartment she was able to afford is a small one bedroom with a balcony. The bathroom was next to the bedroom and a nice size. The kitchen was the standard apartment U-shaped kitchen with appliances on one side and counter space on the other with cabinets lining the wall space. Two people could cook in it. The counter space could be used as a breakfast bar and had room for two stools. This counter was adjacent to the small dining area that had the patio doors that lead out to the balcony. She was on the second floor and her balcony overlooked the side of the building, which was a grassy area with a small flower garden. The living room was nice size however it was long and narrow. My daughter wanted me to help her with decorating ideas for a living room that was so narrow. One end of the space had a gas fireplace the other end was a blank wall there were two large windows on the long wall. It was hard to think of decorating ideas for a living room that did not have any furniture in it. She had saved enough money from her summer job to buy some furniture. Her father and I told her that she could have the bedroom furniture from her room at our house because we were going to convert it to a home office space. So she needed to find a small dining room set and living room furniture.

I suggested that we start at a second hand store that I have shopped at through the years to see if we could find a table and chairs as well as lamp stands and coffee table for the living room. This would give her more money to spend for decorating ideas for a living room space that was going to be a challenge. We found a great deal on the table and chairs; we also found two chairs upholstered chairs that were in very good shape. I suggested she buy them to make a grouping by the fireplace and then have a television watching area in the other part of the living room. This turned out to be great decorating ideas for a living room shaped like hers. She loves her space and the feeling of independence that it gives her.

Hillsborough river houses

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments



House 1
Some houses from Hillsborough river, Tampa, FL.

House 2
House 3
House 4
House 5
Hillsborough River Cam

Small bathroom remodeling

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.17.2008 0 comments


Bathroom Remodeling - 00:53 min.


Are you a home owner? If you are you know that there seems to be something to do always to keep things looking nice. We have found that as soon as you start replacing some things in the house you have to keep going because the new things make other pieces look worn and old. It seems to be an unending cycle. But for us it beat the alternative of renting. We love the equity that we are building up in our home.

We have done an extensive amount of what I call face lifting in the rooms of our home. Our home is over a hundred years old and has had several stages of remodeling through the years. When we moved in the cabinets in the kitchen area as well as the woodwork were stained a dark walnut color. The kitchen and dining room walls had wall paper on them. Our upstairs loft room had dark wallpaper on a portion of the loft and the same dark walnut stain on the paneling in the other part. Over the first year of being in the house we stripped the wallpaper, painted the cabinets in the kitchen as well as the woodwork and wainscoting in the dining area.

We re-painted the living room walls and the guest rooms and we then did the entire loft, stripping the paper, preparing and painting the paneling and replacing the dark carpets. The house looked great and we were tired of the entire process. We did not have enough energy to complete the small bathroom remodeling. This bathroom is located off the kitchen and is the bath that is used by guests. It is the only room in the house that still has wallpaper and the old light fixtures. It needs updating but the thought of the small bathroom remodeling is too overwhelming for us to begin.

We know that when we do begin with the small bathroom remodeling we will need to remove the existing vanity as well as the lighting. Taking the wall paper off is going to be a challenge because in a small test area I tried peeling it back to see what type of walls are in the bath. The previous owner put the wallpaper directly on the sheetrock. This means that we are going to have to have a sheet rock person come in and repair the pieces that are going to come off with the wallpaper. We know this is going to happen because that was our experience in the dining area. We know that we need to get to this smallest room in the house, we are just trying to get up the energy to do it.

Ceiling lighting

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.16.2008 0 comments


Eternaleds LED Light Bulbs - 03:27 min.


Lighting a room can be hard if you don’t know what you are doing. There are many different types of lighting ideas out there, and some people simply go with a single light in the center of the ceiling because they don’t want to bother, or they aren’t aware of other options. Lamps can give a different look, but there are many different types of ceiling lights that many fall in love with once they have them installed in their home. This is because they can do great things with a room that was once just blah.

Ceiling lights come in many different varieties. Some of the most popular are track lights. These have a track, as you may have guessed, and that track can be put anywhere on the ceiling. There are lights that go on this track that can be moved and focused on different parts of the room. This type of ceiling lights allows a homeowner to have light where it is needed the most, and the flexibility to change them around when needed. They can even be used to highlight great art in a room, or to build a focal point.

There are other types of great ceiling lights as well. These are often recessed right into the ceiling and can also be focused on any point in the room. These often are not moveable like track lighting, but can be just as wonderful if you have enough in the room. They tend to be a bit less in intensity, but that is a great look in many rooms. If you have a lot of glass and metal in your décor, these lights will highlight those things in a very attractive way. These, like track lights, can also be used to highlight other things in the room that you may want guests to notice when they walk into your home or a certain room.

No matter what type of ceiling lights you may want to try, you should always shop around for the best price. You can always get great deals in home improvement stores, but don’t forget to look around online to see what you can find. Deal with sites that have a good reputation, and make sure they use secure methods of shipping for your ceiling lights don’t arrive broken and unusable. Most are good at this though, as it is what they do every day. You may save money on shipping if you buy a few things and have them shipped together.

Bathroom tiles

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 1 comments


Bathroom Tile Ideas - 03:04 min.


It is always a good idea to think about what goes on in your bathroom before you remodel it. One of the most important things to remember is that you use a lot of water, and it might go everywhere, especially if you have kids. This is why tiles are very popular for the bathroom. They are water resistant, and they are easy to clean and install. Bathroom tiles do not have to be boring, but they are an exceptionally good idea to protect your walls and floors from water damage.

You can go with the basic white bathroom tiles if you wish, and these can be a great look. Some like to have an all white bathroom, and that can look fresh and clean. Many more, however, love to have some color. You can get your bathroom tiles in many colors, or you can save the color for your shower curtains, window curtains, towels, and wash clothes. There are endless ways to add color, so it’s quite alright to get white tiles if that is what you want to have.

Installing your bathroom tiles can be something you do yourself, though some prefer to have someone else do it for them. If you don’t think you are very handy, or you simply don’t have the time to do it on your own, there are many qualified people who can do the job for you, and they can usually do it very quickly. When it comes to laying tile, you may have to cut some to get the room to look right, and many fear doing this wrong. However, if you want to do it on your own, find somewhere to learn. It won’t be that hard if you have instruction.

When choosing bathroom tiles, remember that you are making an investment that will last a long time. Tiles are generally durable, and you won’t have to worry about replacing them. That makes them a bargain. They are also easier to clean, even for those who might have hard water. Concentrate on finding the right colors and patterns, and choose something you know you can live with for years to come. Some like to remodel quite often, but most can’t afford to do so. That is why choosing something you love is important, but following trends might not be. Trends will come and go, but your bathroom will remain the same.

Bathroom remodeling ideas

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.15.2008 0 comments

I love the idea of remodeling rooms in my home, but when it comes to choosing things, I either can’t afford what I like, or I can’t decide what I like in the first place. I guess I was not blessed with the home design gene, and I often have to get my bathroom remodeling ideas from other places, and then I have to make them my own. Perhaps that is what most people do, I’m not really sure. I do know that I have a friend who can’t seem to match his pants and shirt, yet he comes up with the most beautiful bathrooms in the homes that he builds. I just don’t get it.

Perhaps the best place to find bathroom remodeling ideas is to have a look around. Look at other bathrooms in magazines, watch home improvement shows on television, and even look at bathrooms of friends and families that you love. You probably don’t want to copy someone, but you can find things you like in many different places and pull them together into your own bathroom remodeling ideas. It doesn’t even have to be about replacing major parts of the bathroom. It can be about paint, wallpaper, and color schemes as well.

You can also find bathroom remodeling ideas by looking at displays in different stores. I am always amazed by what I see, but most of what I like I can not afford. I guess my tastes run much higher than what is in my checking account, but that’s okay. Perhaps someday I can get what I love. Until then, I am partially content to dream about it. I can afford to change colors and paper, which I tend to do a lot. My husband often jokes that he never knows what the house will look like when he comes home on any given day.

If you are like me, and you know you can’t afford a remodel at the moment, but you still want to think about it, you can easily find ways to save your bathroom remodeling ideas for the future. If you find something that you like, tear it out of the magazine or even take a pictures of it. Save it in a scrapbook for later.

When the time comes for you to use your bathroom remodeling ideas, you can then look back to see what you liked, decide what to use, and then you will have all you need to have the bathroom you have always dreamed of having.


Bathroom Remodeling - 02:53 min.


Can a Brick Do the Trick?

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.14.2008 0 comments

Brick
(NewsUSA) - When it comes to water conservation, most people think of shorter showers or more efficient appliances, but few have ever imagined a brick could do the trick.

Newer clay brick pavers allow rainwater to soak back into the ground gradually through their permeable surface, which creates a natural filtering process that decreases storm water runoff and flooding by allowing water to dissipate into the watershed.

Runoff is a major environmental concern because water that is not able to soak back into the ground finds its way to bodies of water such as streams, lakes and rivers and carries with it pollutants such as fertilizers, wastes and other chemicals. As a result, building materials that reduce runoff are integral to both water conservation and its cleanliness.

Used to build driveways and parking lots, RainPave and StormPave from Pine Hall Brick save water, reduce pollution and work great in cities like Atlanta, where local ordinances limit the amount of area allowed to be impervious to water infiltration. In fact, these pavers have even been used to replace retention ponds, which translates to more available land.

For more information, visit Pine Hall Brick at www.PineHallBrick.com or call 800-334-8689.

Finding electric fireplaces online

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If you're looking to buy a new electric fireplace suite then don't rule out online options - it is possible to find some good quality electric fireplaces on the internet. The key to success is to embrace the differences involved in shopping this way.

The most obvious difference between finding electric fires online and looking to visit a traditional showroom is that you can't physically see the appliance. This makes it vital to do your homework before making a purchase.

In particular, you'll need to make sure that any fire that you choose will actually fit in the room where you're intending to put it. This may sound obvious but it's something that a lot of people seem to overlook.

You should start by measuring the space that you have available in the room where you will be putting the fire. Consider the ideal dimensions of the appliance that you're looking for and also think about how it will be fixed in place.

Will you, for example, be looking to install your new fire suite in the position of an existing fireplace? If so, you'll need to be pretty certain of the dimensions of your existing fireplace, plus those of the fire that you are intending to install.

A major advantage of an electric appliance is the fact that you don't actually need a fireplace already in place before installing one. This means that you might be thinking of simply placing your new fire against an existing, flat interior wall.

This is perfectly feasible with most designs but take care to ensure that you know how much space is available where you are wishing to place it. Also check that you are looking at a product that will actually fit in the way that you are intending to have it installed.

Failure to plan properly can reveal some hidden costs at a later stage. The last thing that you'll want to do will be to having to pay money to electricians or builders to sort out a problem that could have been overcome with a bit of planning.

Where should you look for an electric fireplace online? It makes sense to look for a reputable company. You can find plenty of retailers by doing a simple Google search but always take care to investigate any reviews that may be available.

Plan well and make your purchase from a reputable store online. If you do so, you should be able to find an electric fireplace at a great price.

About the Author: Keith Barrett. More on Electric Fire Suites (UK) is available online, as discussed by Keith Barrett.


Magic Flame Electric Fireplaces (USA) - 03:09 min.


3 Quick Tips On Fireplace Glass Doors

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

If you are looking into getting fireplace glass doors, you will have to do some preparing and some reading. You can make your plain looking fireplace look a lot nicer by installing fireplace glass doors. They will have to be attached to the stone masonry or bricks and then fitted to the firebox opening. Newer fireplaces work best for installing glass doors. If your bricks are old, they might not be able to withstand the drilling and povide enough anchor support.


Minuteman Glass Doors - 02:24 min.


Once installed, keeping glass doors clean is also important. This can be very difficult due to soot from the fire and sparks. Dirty fireplace doors do not compliment a room very nicely. Ammonia works very well on these types of doors. Regular glass cleaning products like Windex do not seem to work as well as plain ammonia.

Be sure to wear a face mask or make sure the room is ventilated properly when using ammonia. Eye protection is also important to wear. And of course, as you may already know, you cannot mix ammonia with any other cleaner because a toxic gas is created and you can breathe in very harmful toxins.

If you are looking for very good quality fireplace glass doors, you can be prepared to spend at least two hundred and fifty bucks. Before you go shopping for the doors, take proper measurements of your fireplace. A lot of big home supply store chains should carry a nice inventory of these fireplace doors. Another idea are the fireplace specialty stores. They can be difficult to locate, but it doesn't hurt to run a Google search on one and be sure to include your home town in the search.

Finally, the Internet is also a great place to find fireplace glass doors, especially if you are having a hard time finding them locally. There are many websites offering all types and sizes for every style of fireplace.

About the Author: Terry Edwards. You can find more about Fireplace Glass Doors as well as much more information on everything to do with fireplaces at www.FireplacesA-Z.com

Get Decorative Wall Mirrors On An Online Auction

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.13.2008 0 comments

If you have ceaselessly wanted to get familiar with decorative wall mirrors, then prepare yourself because we have all the information you can handle. For a very long time, mirrors have been used in many rooms of the home as a decorative accent. They have function in the home in bathrooms and bedrooms, as you probably know, but most have at least one more somewhere in their home that is for looks only. You can find decorative wall mirrors to hang in your home, and you can also make them on your own. A plain mirror can be great in some rooms, and can even give the illusion of more space, but you don't have to leave them plain if you don't wish to do so. Decorative wall mirrors are sold just about anywhere.


Decorative 36 Hanging Round Wall Mirror - 02:34 min.


You can even find them online, but be sure the company from which you are buying as a very good plan for shipping, and be sure to get insurance on such a purchase. This type of home decor item has a high chance of breaking while en route to your home. Most know exactly how to pack them, but when buying from eBay, for example, the seller may be a bit less knowledgeable about how to pack and ship something like decorative wall mirrors and other glass items they may be selling.

If you liked the first section of this article, stay tuned because we have more to follow in the next section! In order to make your own decorative wall mirrors, you can think of your crafting ability. If you are very good with crafts, you can do almost anything you want. You may find stencils that you love that can be painted on the mirrors with colors that match your room. You may also want to find things that go with a theme, if you have one, that you can glue securely around the edge to make decorative wall mirrors. Things like seashells, small colored stones, or even twigs are things that can look good and a lot of fun at the same time.

If you aren't good with your hands, you can do some easier things to make your decorative wall mirrors. It might be something as simple as going out and finding a frame that would fit around the mirror that you have chosen. In some places, you can get the frames made in the size you want, or you can simply have your existing mirror cut to size. What you want to do is up to you and how you want your home to look. If you seem stuck, look in the homes of friends and family to see what they have in the way of mirror decorations for ideas you can steal for your own. Try and Copy/Paste a keyword from the title of this educational article about decorative wall mirrors on your preferred search engine and you are sure to find a wealth of knowledge.

About the Author: Johnny Sogaard. The author of this article Johnny aka Gnubas is the owner of gardenandhouse.info, which gives you handy information about Collage Picture Frames Are Very Decorative and Kitchen Appliances.

Indoor Hot Tub spas

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.12.2008 0 comments

A hot tub spa can be an effective medium to get rid of the tiredness from a hard day's work. You can get complete relaxation and feel rejuvenated again after a session in a hot tub spa. As fixed-based hot spas, there are portable varieties that are easy to be placed indoor in times of need. Some of the reasons because of which people prefer installing portable hot tubs are mentioned below.

Easy to install - ready to serve round the year

Indoor hot tubs can be used all round the year, irrespective of the climatic condition. They are easy to be easily installed and come with solutions to counter privacy issues attached with outdoor tubs.

With an indoor tub, nothing can hinder you to enjoy your discrete moments of relaxation. Also, if you like to party or organize get-togethers, having a good indoor tub can give you enough space and medium to celebrate the event in style. Invite friends, family and guests and make them feel special while sitting neck-deep inside the tub. Indoor hot tubs major favorite amongst city dwellers because the installation require less space and is designed to work inside a room environment too.


A house + indoor spa - 04:49 min.


Check for an authenticated tub manufacturer and fit your tub with certified products only.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Like everything else, use of an indoor tub can be tricky sometime. However, you can eliminate problems by paying a little extra attention. All you need is to decide the perfect place with enough lighting to set up your tub. Make sure, the area that you have home for you tub is free from any kind of moisture, weight, and heat.

It is mainly because moisture and heat may cause damage to the lining or built material of the tub. Put some extra ventilation for passing the air to keep your tub dry and moth free.

Take adequate measures and enjoy a healthy and rejuvenating dip every time…time after time!


About the Author: Anirban Bhattacharya. Myself author of Spasearch magazine www.spasearch.org - a hot tub planning guide provides information on hot tubs, portable hot tub, hot tub spa, exercise pool, small hot tub, indoor hot tub, outdoor hot tub.

Cabinetry Options for Your Kitchen

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.11.2008 0 comments



Kitchen + cabinetry
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home, because this is where meals are prepared. A great deal of family bonding happens over meal preparation. Most families would like to have a food preparation area in which the family feels comfortable together.

Old and damaged furniture can really affect the look of a kitchen. Cabinets can define the look of the room, because they take up a large space, as compared to all other appliances. They also require a lot of money to install. If you're thinking of installing a new set of cabinets in your kitchen, make sure you investigate all your options and find a way of getting that perfect kitchen without spending too much.

If you are unhappy with your cabinets, you can choose to give them a face lift. You may want to extend the lifespan of the existing fittings and save some money, especially if your cabinets are structurally solid. If you just want to update their look, you can get them refinished or refaced to make them look new.

Refinishing is usually not an option with metal fittings or cabinets that are not strong. It is also not an option if you plan to move your fittings elsewhere in the room. Others opt to paint and stain their furniture to create a different look. If you change the look of your room in any way, you should hire someone who has experience updating furniture. With a professional, the process should not take more than a few days.

You may choose to remodel your kitchen entirely if the fittings are damaged, failing or outdated. If you choose to do so, do your homework to make sure that you get the perfect set to match the interiors of your kitchen. You will have to decide the design, material and finish. Remember that if you are replacing your old furniture, you will not be able to use the room for a while, so plan accordingly.

If you are installing custom-made furniture, it may take a while because each cabinet is made to order. Homeowners can choose between pre-made or custom kitchen cabinets which can be a bit more expensive, but can be more attractive. You can get many of these pre made options at hardware stores and although they can be a bit more affordable, they have a more standard look. Regardless, if you plan correctly you can find nice ones among either custom made or pre made options.

When remodelling your kitchen or home, you definitely want to consider working with a professional contractor, who can help you plan your room depending on your budget. You may want to go to the local home improvement store to ask if there are employees who install cabinets.

You could also consult your friends, family or neighbors to see if they know anyone they would recommend who knows how to install cabinets. You especially want to bring in a professional to modify the look of your kitchen, if you are not doing a complete custom installation.

Remodeling your kitchen does not have to strain your budget. If you plan correctly and hire a good contractor, you can have your dream design, whether you are giving your existing cabinets a face lift or purchasing new ones.

Sarasota Designs
About the Author: Andrew Stratton. Naples kitchen remodeling company, Eurotech Cabinetry is known for their unique, distinguished award-winning designs that add class to any home. Contact them for custom furniture and cabinet designs that bring warmth to your kitchen. www.eurotechcabinetry.com

There are many unique characteristics of cork tile flooring. This type of flooring is often desired by those who want to "go green" because of the fact that it is a natural product that is actually derived from the bark of the ever-popular cork oak. This particular bark is especially interesting because of the fact that it is the only type of any tree that actually goes through a natural regeneration process.

This means that the tree itself is not harmed in any way - not like those trees that have to be cut down in order to create various types of woods for flooring. This is one of the main highlights of implementing the use of cork tile flooring.

The next unique characteristic of cork tile flooring that is composed of cork is that it is actually soft. It is not just soft to the touch, but it is also soft when you walk on it - almost like a firm type of carpet. There are several health benefits when it comes to the cork floor. Individuals that must stand on it for long periods do not complain of pain in the back, leg area, or the feet.

Individuals that have pain complications due to health conditions like arthritis, back complications, diabetes, and even fibromyalgia find that they experience fewer symptoms and more comfortable when they have this type of flooring in their home.

While many would believe that the durability of this particular type of flooring is quite low, the truth is that it is quite the opposite. Cork tile flooring is actually considered to be one of the most resilient types of flooring on the market today. There are little pockets, or cells of air that actually allow a massive amount of pressure to be applied to the tile without damaging it.

Once the pressure is eliminated, the tile quickly expands and regains its shape and original form. You will find that, with other types of wood, if indentations occur, these are permanent. However, with cork flooring, this is only temporary.

The next unique characteristic is that this type of flooring has been found to insulate much better than other types of flooring. Cork flooring is a relatively new concept that is quickly emerging as one of the most popular choices when it comes to "going green". As you have learned here, there are a number of advantages due to the unique characteristics of cork tile flooring.

About the Author: Daryl Plaza is a regular contributor to AllTileFlooring.com AllTileFlooring.com a website with resources and information for all your Tile Flooring Needs.




A Brief Guide to Floor Cleaning

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Cleaning floors is one of the most important aspects of any cleaning programme and an essential element of any property, also depending on what kind of surface you have in your house; it will require different specialist equipment and techniques. Some general tips for keeping floors clean are to employ a proper selection of mats at doorways, often an entrance area with easy to clean floors (for example laminate flooring) and a dedicated area to store shoes. Just some of these simple techniques can make a dramatic impact on the cleanliness of a house that doesn't have these ideas properly implemented.




Carpet Cleaning & Care It is always a good idea to regularly vacuum the surface of carpets, this helps remove dirt that can cause permanent damage to fibres and also try to deal with spillages as soon as you can, the longer a spillage stays on a surface the more damage it can do. Often people look to get carpets or rugs cleaned professionally but there are various ways in which carpets can be cleaned to a very high standard without hiring professionals. Always use recommended or qualified products that are specified for use on the surface that you want to clean and so it is a bad idea to use generic cleaning products such as soap or dish washing liquids, these will often damage the surface far more then they clean it (for example the colour will bleed). It is a good idea before any new cleaning is done to a carpet to test the quality of the finish in inconspicuous areas, but always make sure you use a quality carpet cleaning machine.

When it comes to specific floor types, each different surface requires different cleaning techniques and products, some of these include,

Marble Floors Marble and limestone flooring is surprisingly delicate to clean, these surfaces are very tough and will last for a very long time but in order to keep the best possible surface there are some techniques that can be employed to ensure its lasting quality. Due to the nature of the surface it is a bad idea to use strong acids or alkalis that are often used to attack dirt as this often damages the quality of the surface. It is also a good idea to not scrub the surface of marble or limestone floors, especially with coarser cleaning equipment such as scouring pads, this also includes buffing or scrubbing machines as these can leave visible marks on the surface which can only be removed with polishing. Marble surfaces will clean efficiently with dilute detergent solutions and should be well rinsed after washing and left to dry, often surfaces such as marble are polished professionally but can be polished with a dry cloth.

Wood Floors Often wooden floors are polished so this has to be taken into account when cleaning; it isn't a good idea to use detergents, bleach, vinegar and ammonia. It is always a good idea to purchase wax based detergents to maintain wax flooring, and use a damp cloth to remove scuff marks, which should be removed quite easily with a bit of water and some scrubbing. You should always remember that the majority of normal detergents remove wax from flooring, always be careful when cleaning waxed floors as water can make them very difficult to stand on. After wooden floors have been cleaned it is a good idea to fully buff the finished floor, and it always a good idea to regularly re-wax wooden flooring to ensure that it keeps the quality of shine that it had to start with.

Laminate Flooring Often a good idea for houses that want a low maintenance solution, it is often considered as an alternative to genuine wood or stone surfaces. Often have a greater adaptability then genuine surfaces such as wood and stone, for example they react far better to water so can be used in kitchens and bathrooms. The first cleaning required on laminate flooring is the simple sweeping and vacuuming of the entire area, always clean the flooring with solutions specified by the manufacturers and use a simple flat mop and use smaller quantities of cleaning solutions then perhaps you would use on normal carpets. It is a good idea to never polish or wax laminate floors; these will damage the current finishes and make the flooring appear patchy, and also never clean with abrasive cleaning products such as scouring pads or steel wool.

Concrete Flooring Often cleaned using mild cleaner or dish soap, never using ammonia or vinegar, concrete floors are often quite easy to maintain and obviously have a high resistance to stains and ware. Always make sure to remove any remaining soap residue with warm water after the area has been cleaned and always wring the mop thoroughly during cleaning, too much cleaning solution or water may degrade the finish and generally only small amounts of water are needed to clean concrete.

About the Author: Andrew Doyle. The author is a contributing writer for clickcleaning.com. Click Cleaning are one of the leading providers of cleaning products and floor cleaning products online.

The Value of a Fireplace to a Home

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.08.2008 0 comments





More about fireplaces (article) in this blog.

Interior Painting Tips

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Unity Rules

Painting
Homeowners planning on interior painting often struggle over the issue of trim color during the planning process. Often they plan wall colors, on account of what they have seen in a magazine or while visiting a friend's home. Maybe they have a particular fabric in mind and want to match a color in the fabric for the walls in that room. Anyway, the problem arises with what to do with the trim for that room. Is it possible to use a different trim color than the existing trim being used in other areas of your home?

While there is no absolute rule about trim color, that if broken, would cause you to be arrested by the color scheme patrol, there are some things you should consider.

1. The trim and ceilings of your home are what establishes a unified look and feel throughout your home. You can change your walls to any color that you like, or that fits with the theme you have planned for the interior of your home. The use of one color on the trim and ceilings will give you a smooth transition between wall colors as you travel throughout your home. Without this consistency, your home takes on a feeling of disunity.

2. White trim and some off-white colors will go with any wall color. That is why it is used so often. It gives you much greater flexibility in interior color coordination and design. If you decide to paint all your trim a color, you will limit your options; however, I have seen some marvelous color co ordinations while using more color for trim.

If you really want to change the color of the trim for a particular room, then test the color. Try to get a feel for how it will impact the rooms or halls adjacent to that room. Will it be completely separated by a door? Will the door be closed most of the time? If the room is open to other areas of the house that are easily seen, how will that impact the color theme for the other parts of your home? You don't want to put a lot of time and effort into painting a room if in the long run you're not happy with how it makes the rest of your home look. Test the color on a door jamb or baseboard and then stand back and get a feel for what it does for unity of passage from other rooms to that room. It would be a good idea to wait a few days to see if you grow tired of the transition between colors. Often what we initially think looks good, loses its appeal over time.

About the Author: Nicky Taylor CEO of www.home-painting-services.com/interiorpainting.html Visit our web site for more information on how you can improve your own house painting projects.

Decorating Your Home with Style

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 0 comments

Creating a cohesive interior design for you home isn't that hard if you know some of the basics. In fact, decorating your home so that all the various elements combine to create the look you've always wanted can be a lot of fun.

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Following are some proven tips to help you turn your house into a designer home:

Taking the first step

As they say, let's start at the beginning. Chances are good that your home is a mish mash of furnishings, art, accents and accessories that have been collected over time. To create the perfect designer look, you want to first consider the purpose for each room, how you want it to look, your personal tastes, features that can and can't be changed, and finally, the budget you have available. On this website Home decoration products you can find all the elements you need to decorate your home.

Start with the key elements

The success of a room's design lies in the balance you create. The basics of good design are proportion, balance, contrast, rhythm, pattern/texture and harmony. Knowing how these elements work together will help you design your space so that it's not only beautiful, but comfortable and functional as well.

Proportion

Scale is one of the most important things to consider when creating the look of a room. A room that is proportioned correctly will feel welcoming while an incorrectly portioned room will just feel crowded and unfriendly. The trick is to match pieces in terms of their scale. A large overstuffed sofa needs an equally large end table or coffee table; otherwise, these accents simply disappear as the sofa dwarfs them proportionally. When considering scale, look to the other rooms in your home for furniture that may be a better fit with the focal pieces you have in your room.

Balance

When creating balance, there's two ways to go here. The first is symmetrical design, where everything is perfectly balanced. With symmetrical design, there's roughly two of everything or items are mirrored in the room. For instance, one chair is placed exactly opposite another one just like it. While this creates balance, it can also make a room look static and lacking any visual interest or energy. Experienced designers use asymmetry to create this interest. Objects balance well because they are judged by their visual weight, not pairings. For instance, you may have a large sofa on one side of the room that is balanced by two large overstuffed chairs with an accent table in the middle and floor lamp behind. These pieces balance the sofa visually, even though they aren't equal in size or shape. The design works because there is balance in the asymmetrical layout of the furniture.

Contrast

Imagine walking into a white room with white carpet and white furniture. Pretty boring, huh? Contrast helps draw the eye around a room through the intelligent use of color. Bold use of colors creates energy while the use of muted shades in complementary tones creates calm. The more contrast you create, the easier it is for the human eye to follow the intended design of the room, moving visually from one space to another, guided by the use of color and contrast.

Rhythm

While creating contrast with the use of light and dark tones can be effective, it can also create boredom. To keep the room connected, you want to use rhythm. This means reusing specific colors, patterns, textures or themes throughout the room. Pick a couple main colors and repeat them in different ways in your paint scheme, fabrics and accents.

Pattern & Texture

As the eye moves about a room, it picks up specific patterns. These are grouped together, so a blue wall is combined with a striped piece of fabric that has the same blue in it. Patterns that don't fit create conflict in the mind, compromising the appearance of the space. Again, you want to pick one or two primary patterns or textures and vary them within the color palette you've already created for the room. Right alongside the elements of contrast and rhythm in home decorating is pattern/texture.

Harmony

If you've ever heard three singers sing different parts that sound amazing together, then you already know what harmony is. The same is true for the harmony in your home. Different colors, different designs and different proportions combine to create a new look that was never there before, just as new notes are created by singers singing three different parts. The room is suddenly complete. It has a look that if you remove just one element, won't have that harmonic feel to it any longer. When you've achieved harmony, you've achieved your design goals.

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Cà d'Zan Mansion

Posted by Héctor H. Zorrilla On 10.06.2008 0 comments



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John and Mable Ringling in 1924 commissioned New York architect Dwight James Baum, to build their house. Ca d’Zan is The House of John translated from the Venetian dialect. The project was listed on Baum’s plans as “the home of Mrs. John Ringling,” and Mable was the principal contact for the construction and decoration of the interior. The mansion was completed in 1926, and soon become the epicenter of cultural life in Sarasota, evoking the Venetian Gothic palaces. Today is The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, oficial site www.ringling.org The pictures are from eCards in the site.

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