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Category Archives: Home Improvement

We Are Happy Customers of the Moving Guys

When my husband and I moved into our last house, we did it on our own. Somehow we managed to do even the bigger pieces of furniture and appliances with just the two of us too. That was nearly 15 years ago though, and we have both slowed down somewhat from our younger years. When we bought the house we live in now, we knew that we were too old and too busy to do the move ourselves. I chose The Moving Guys after looking at quite a few moving companies. I had to take my time and look at all of them for a number of reasons.

I had never used the services of one before, so I had no idea what was too cheap or too expensive.

Benefits of Vertical Blinds

If you have any experience with large windows, you know how much sunlight can shine through the glass. As the sun’s rays pass through the glass of a window, they are intensified and magnified. This can be a great advantage during the coldest months, but it is not much of an advantage during the rest of the year. High room temperatures are not the only problems that the sun can create. Furniture fabrics may be faded or damaged by the sun’s rays. Over time, regular sun exposure can destroy any upholstered furniture, such as chairs and sofas. This problem will be decreased exponentially with vertical blinds. The sun’s rays are diverted or even completely blocked by vertical blinds. Your furniture is saved from the sun by using vertical blinds, saving you the cost of buying new furniture.

There are many money-saving reasons to get vertical blinds. You will find that, if you reduce the amount of sunlight entering a room, you can decrease the heat index as well. You will save on electric and air conditioning costs during the summer months. High quality vertical blinds can save you as much as 20 percent. You will see the benefits of having vertical blinds in the winter as well. Having your windows covered with heavy, durable vertical blinds will keep the heat inside. You will see the results of this benefit in your heating and fuel bills.

You will find that vertical blinds can even bring you health benefits. You will find that the number of headaches and eye strains you experience will decrease if you limit your exposure to the sun’s rays. You will be able to utilize all the rooms in your house for studying or reading purposes. Watching television is no longer a challenge, as vertical blinds reduce the glare.

Although PVC blinds are well known in the market as an affordable decor option, they are also criticized for not being very durable and for environmental unfriendliness. The release of certain agents used during the production of PVC materials has been a cause of concern. This will probably not affect you, though, if you have not had issues with it before. The strong ultraviolet rays of the sun have been known to cause discoloration and brittleness of some PVC materials. If the PVC is high quality, this should not be an issue.

Various qualities as well as decor and color options are available in the vertical blinds made from fabric. There are two groups of vertical blinds available: low-cost, non-woven options, and more-expensive, woven varieties. Vertical blinds made with “smashed polyester”, which is what stitch bond fabrics are can be a decent choice for budget minded customers; for others beautiful woven vertical fabric blinds will complement any space. The advantages of woven vertical fabric blinds far outweigh the extra cost.

We tend to overlook the advantages of vertical blinds. Many people hate the thought of dusting vertical blinds, but in reality they don’t collect that much dirt; they also offer many affordable and healthy benefits. Any damage a piece of furniture might receive from UV rays can be diverted with the use of vertical blinds. The use of vertical blinds reduces the need for heat and air-conditioning and makes our study areas headache free. Take a look at these advantages and get some vertical blinds for your own home.

Bamboo Shades

Matchstick is one of the basic bamboo materials. The matchstick bamboo shades, being as thin as a matchstick, can fit into any decor because it is available in several colors, or different combinations of two or more colors. In addition, different thread colors can be incorporated in the matchstick bamboo to add variety. It is advisable to be aware that due to the separation that exists between the “sticks”, matchstick bamboo shades provided a lower degree of privacy and light control. The end user has a large selection to choose from because matchstick colors and threads can be combined and interchanged.

When it comes to shades that use raw bamboo, like tortoise shell bamboo shades, the larger sticks used to manufacture them greatly enhance their beauty, resulting in a color and design scheme that can only be accomplished by using a natural product. More privacy is possible by using bigger sticks when making a bamboo shade.

Some bamboo shades are made from “tubes” of natural bamboo, which gives them an aesthetically beautiful appearance. These “tubes” are part of the natural bamboo plant; their appearance has not been altered, and often have splices that make the sticks appear longer. Unlike the bamboo shades using tortoise shell bamboo, this combination of splices and randomly assembled sticks do give less privacy and light control. The beauty and effect of bamboo shades are very unique.

With privacy being a desirable and essential factor for the majority of consumers, a bamboo shade with a privacy weed incorporated is available. This means that the bamboo sticks that will be used to make the shade must be woven in such a manner that they overlap each other, thus eliminating any gaps that can create privacy issues or allow light to come through.

The grass weave shade is another type of bamboo shade. The grass weaves, being made of natural grasses, are grouped with bamboo shades because of its natural appearance and not because it is made from the bamboo plant. Although grass weave shades have beauty in design and looks, bamboo shades are more superior in providing light control management and privacy.

The two essential elements in the selection of bamboo shades are aesthetic appearance and effect creation. The decorative beauty of bamboo shades is more of a factor than practicality of light control, privacy, and function. The window treatment industry offers privacy and blackout liners as solutions to the lack of privacy and lack of light control that are sometimes sacrificed, but are important factors in choosing bamboo shades. These linings are used to cover the entire surface of the back of the bamboo shade, offering the consumer a wider selection of colors and patterns without interfering with the overall function of the shade. Lined bamboo shades and grass weave shades are becoming more and more popular with homeowners.

To sum it all up, there is a large enough selection of shades that have the right patterns, colors, weaves, and linings so that you never have to sacrifice privacy and light control to obtain the overall effect you desire. It is unsurprising that, within the United States and through out the world, bamboo shades have risen rapidly as among the most popular types of window treatments.

 

Home Decor Ideas where Mirrors Play A Significant Role

# Putting large sized mirrors that span from the floor to the ceiling are very trendy. You can place them in your windowless hallways, landing and bathrooms so as to reflect the light and make them look bright.

# Large mirrors can also be placed on both sides of your fireplace, especially if you have a small fireplace room.

# If you have wall blemis

# Simply cover with some stylish decorative mirrors. These types of mirrors come in various shapes and sizes. In fact, going for these mirrors will save you the repairing cost as well.

# You can also place peer mirrors in your windows in order to add an extra depth to your room.

# Place a small wall mirror just above your side table or shelves, where you keep your candle-holders. The reflections of the burning candle will add an extra emphasis to your home interior design.

# You can also place mirrors on the ceilings of your rooms. They will give a skylight effect in your ceiling. In addition, place mirrors on the cabinet ceilings and pantry. This will also help you to check out the contents of the upper shelves properly.

# Use movable mirrors so that you can easily carry them from one place to another so as to have different views of the house interior design.

# You can also use mirrored screens in order to illuminate the dark corners of your house.

# Look for mirrored place mats in your local shops. You can also opt for accessories and dishes made of glass shimmer as a substitute of mirrors.

 

Helpful Tips to Pick Curtains

In today’s modern world, an incredible array of shapes, fabrics and colors delight the eyes of shoppers. The Internet is a good source for picking up valuable tips on curtains, including how to choose the right materials, size and pattern. Once you put curtains on every window, you will soon notice how the entire appearance of house has improved. You will decide how much light you want into the room, enjoying every minute the ambient effects curtains can create. At day or at night, curtains are a great idea and luckily, you have some pretty amazing choices when it comes to fabrics.

One of the most important things that matter when picking out curtains is the thickness of the material. You will have to think about the reason why you need those curtains and in which room they will be used. Consider how much light you want to block and if you want to benefit from the insulation properties of a thick fabric. You ought to know that there are several types of fabrics available for curtains, starting with sheer fabrics and moving on to those that are thicker. It all depends on your personal preferences and you should take all the time you need to decide on curtains.

Let’s talk about sheer curtains, as they are amongst the most popular. Semitransparent, these curtains are preferred in rooms in which light is desired to enter. The materials used for the creation of such curtains include polyester textile voile, cotton lace and similar fabrics. You can expect sheer curtains to provide very little or absolutely no protection against direct sunlight. However, they are considered to be pretty useful by those who desire protection against UV harmful rays. Due to the fineness of the fabric, the visibility won’t be affected at all. Sheer curtains are often used for privacy reasons.

If you do prefer your curtains to provide heat insulation and absorb the light at the same time, then perhaps you might be interested in thicker fabrics. Often times, specialists in the field use uncoated fabrics for the creation of curtains. They represent a popular choice among many homeowners. They block sunlight but the visibility through the curtain is not completely reduced. This can only be achieved by purchasing curtains made from coated fabrics. A good option refers to lined curtains; these are top of the line when it comes to the absorption of light and insulation. Made from both uncoated and coated fabrics, these curtains will surely last and provide you with everything needed. Apart from the properties already presented, curtains can also act as noise stoppers and offer an increased level of protection against dust and/or moisture.

There are a few models of curtains which are more popular. However, you should know that there are changing trends in the world of curtains as well. Rod curtains are often a preferred choice, being considered part of the elegant window treatment solutions. They are made from soft fabrics and impress through their unique patterns. The important thing is that you consider how much you are going to use that window. For example, if we are talking about a window that will not be opened on a regular basis, then you can choose casement curtains. The aesthetic appeal of such curtains is probably one of the most important reasons why so many people are into them. Plus, they are quite inexpensive and simple to install.

If you are looking for elegant and formal curtains, then you should definitely search for French pleat types. These are made using thick and heavy fabrics, including velvet and they are more than beautiful. Other types of curtains include tab top curtains, again recommended for windows that are not often opened, and tie top curtains. These also come with a rod and they are chosen in order to create a comfortable, casual atmosphere in a room. For this reason, you can expect tie top curtains to be made from sheer-type fabrics, lightweight in particular. Are you ready to go curtain shopping? It’s going to be a pretty wild experience, with so many choices to make!

 

Things that Makes Antique Furniture Special

Antique furniture is among rare collectibles, made of best quality of durable wood (generally teak and sandalwood). They illustrate fine artisanship and carvings along with matching traditions of their time. They also carry the rich heritage and history along with them. Their association with notable names or period makes them unique and special. All these things are decisive factor for their rarity and expensiveness.

Antique furniture collections are categorized based on their periods or styles. Some important and famous classifications are as follows:

Gothic – Antique furniture in this category is influenced by church architecture. The style is mainly characterized by pointed arches, counterbalancing buttresses, open tracery and vertical grandiose emphasis.

Renaissance – Furniture under this category is derived from Italian Renaissance style, mainly oak functional furniture with scroll and arabesque carving, etc. with horizontal emphasis.

Early Colonial – With some wealth attained, carved oak Hadley chests and turned Great Chairs start making their way into American homes.

Antique furniture collections were made with stress over the beauty, comfort and knowledge of interiors. People take interested in antique furniture due to their masterpiece in carving. Most of the antique furniture has some kind of rare carving style illustrating excellent designs. They are usually made of good quality of materials, so the chances of decaying are less. Antique furniture posses nice design and do not change with time.

About Wall Lighting

From history we are aware that in the 1700s most homes or plantations used either candle fixtures or candelabras. They also carried candle sticks and candle lanterns. Then in the early 1800s oil lanterns were used. Most of these fixtures were made from tin, iron or wood. These lanterns were all hand made and some looked like the lighting fixtures we have today. Around 1860 kerosene oil and gas lighted many of these fixtures.

Then in 1879 the greatest invention of all came to be. This was the year that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. This helped mold cultures for the Art Deco Era. Gas/electric combination lighting was used. Electric lighting was less expensive and less dangerous then gas. These fixtures were abundant in people’s homes and were usually hung by a chain.

Electricity kept dropping in price until 1960. The equipment that generated the electricity began to climb and rise. This pushed up the utility bills and the average person started to struggle. People started to turn off their lights, they installed dimmers, timers, and sensors.

More and more people are starting to change to compact florescent lights. The downside is the color has less intense quality and a slower start up time. The latest is the LED. It is quick to start and the quality is exceptional.

Interior lighting refers to all lights within a building that is not exposed to the elements. Exterior lighting is the reverse. This lighting is outdoors and is exposed to the elements.

There are traditional, modern, and decorative style wall lights. You can have lighting fixtures from your wall, floor, table and ceiling.

There are also many different kinds of wall fixtures. There are adjustable, hanging, lanterns, torch, lamp, vanity lights, and wall sconces.

Wall mounted lighting fixtures extend from the wall between 4 and 10 inches. An adjustable fixture has an up light or down light with a swing arm The body of a hanging fixture hangs from a stem that is extended outwards from a wall. A wall lamp is any fixture that has a shade and is a similar style to a table lamp. The lights around or above a mirror are known as vanity lights. The wall sconce is a wall mounted fixture that only has one light.

You can find all these styles and types to fit any budget. There are many places to find all the unique and different varieties. Please make certain whatever you choose reflects your personality and the overall theme of your home.

 

Wallpaper Mural Installation

First let me start out by giving you a list of helpful items you will need to make this wall mural installation almost effortless. You will need a ladder (to get to the top of the wall), a pencil, a ruler (25 foot retractable will do), a razor knife (to cut the paper where needed), wallpaper paste (comes in powder to be mixed with water), a container (to mix the wallpaper paste with water), a yard measuring stick, a plumb line (is the chalk coated string to produce a level line), a brush (4 to 6 inches wide) to apply the wallpaper paste to the wallpaper and a cloth (a soft cloth such as a terrycloth towel) to brush the paper flat and remove air bubbles once each panel of the wall mural is applied to the wall. Now that you have your list of helpful items we will continue on to the next step.

Before you ever think about applying the mural to the wall, you have to make sure that the surface of the wall is prepared properly. Now is the time to go over to the wall you will be applying the mural to and make sure to remove any old wallpaper that may be on the wall. It will also be necessary to clean any dust that may be on the wall. If there happens to be any holes or cracks in the wall, patch these holes and cracks with wall spackling or wall plaster. If you are good at spackling, there is no need to sandpaper the surface of the wall to make a flat surface. With using plaster to patch your wall cracks and holes, most of the time you will need to sandpaper your patch in order to produce a flat surface on the wall. It is a good idea to make sure the wall has 2 good coats of latex paint in order to have the proper adhesive properties for the wallpaper paste.

Now you can prepare the mural by laying out the panels in the correct order on a floor near by. By matching the correct colors and patterns on the floor you save time and eliminate any frustration of not being able to find the correct piece when applying the wallpaper mural to the wall. This make for a much easier wall application.

So far you have your tools and your wall is patched, painted and ready for your mural. Now it is time to prepare the wallpaper paste. Most of the time your mural will come with the powder to make the paste. Make sure you do exactly as the directions suggest, so the texture of the paste is at the correct consistency to brush onto the mural panels and the wallpaper mural will adhere to the wall properly. So far so good!

Now it is time to place the first panel on the wall. It is always a good technique to start off with the top left panel. In order to place the first panel in the correct position, measure the length and width of the panel. Mark the panel dimensions on the top left section of the wall where the first panel will be. Next, using the plumb-line make a line on the wall where the right side length of the panel will be once the panel is applied to the wall. Using a ladder, go to where the ceiling and wall meet. Align the string of the plumb-line to where the right side length will be once the first panel is in place. Have someone hold the other end of the plumb-line tightly where the wall meets the floor. Make sure the plumb-line is in the correct position from the ceiling to the floor. With your free hand, pull the plumb-line straight back from the wall like a bow and let the plumb-line snap back to the wall. This will cause the colored chalk in the string to make a straight line down the wall. Now you have a straight line to work with for your first row of mural panels going down to the floor. Do this same procedure with each new top panel.

When applying the paste, first apply a thin coat of paste to the section of wall you are about to place the panel. Next apply a thin coat of paste to the panel you are about to put up always brushing from the center out to the edges of the panel. Do NOT apply a thick heavy coat of paste to your wallpaper mural panel. This will only cause the paper to become too soaked and could cause a tear in the wallpaper.

After applying each panel, take a gentle, soft, dry cloth and brush the panel from the center out to the edges in order to remove any air bubbles that may have collected under the panel. Overlap each panel ¼ inch in order to adjust for shrinkage that will occur after each panel dries.

Always be prepared to finish this project in one session. For the best conditions to put up any wallpaper mural, the ideal room temperature will be between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The room conditions should be without any air drafts. Only after the mural is completely up on the wall and dry, should you go ahead and do all the necessary trimming of the edges with your razor knife. If you find any excess paste on the front of the mural, remove by wiping off with a damp soft cloth.

Tips to Pick Proper Wall Mirror for the Room

Let me start with a question. Which room in your home will this wall mirror hang in? Since we are only talking about wall mounted mirrors, your first thought should be the style. For the most part the different styles of wall mirrors are Traditional, Ornate, Modern, Frameless, Venetian and Kids.

Next you should think about what shape you would like this wall hanging mirror. Here your choices are rectangle, square, round, oval, arched, abstract, sunburst, octagon and custom.

What I call custom, is a wall mirror that is shaped in a non-uniform manner. An example of a custom wall mirror is a framed sectional mirror. There is a vanity mirror with a carved wood frame that actually holds 3 separate mirrors. There are 2 arched mirrors on each side, with a rectangle mirror in the center of the frame. Let me tell you this piece of wall mirror woodwork is absolutely gorgeous! Another simpler example of a custom wall mirror would be a triangular shaped mirror.

The next question you should ask yourself is do you want beveled glass or flat edge glass for your wall mirror. Here your choice is a matter of your own taste. Some people think that beveled glass mirrors are more elegant, while others prefer the clean look of flat edged glass wall mirrors. All you have to do is shop and compare until you have made your decision.

Another important feature of a wall mirror is if you want your mirror framed or frameless. If you go with a framed wall mirror, you have a large variety of choices. Here we will start out with what material your mirror frame can be made from. Your frame material choices are metal, wood, resin/acrylic, glass and believe it or not there are also available recycled magazines and recycled newspapers under the category of “Other Frame Materials.” So when it comes to frames for your wall mirror, the category is wide open!

Next thing on your list is to decide on what color you would like your mirror frame to be. Although your color choices are unlimited if you choose to go with a custom color. There are also a few standard colors available. Your standard colors are brown, gold, silver, black, bronze, white, copper and red. If you vision a multi-colored mirror frame or some color to match the decor of the room, you can have your wall mirror frame made to match the color. You are in total control of the full color spectrum.

Your final, but not least important factor in selecting the perfect wall mirror is the size. Go up to the wall that you want to hang the mirror. With a ruler in hand, measure the width and height of the area of wall that you want your new mirror to occupy. Make sure your measurements are accurate. Once you are sure about the size of your wall mirror, you are finished with your research and ready to buy.

 

Decor Your Dining Room with These Tips

Color Palette

Do not assume that because a color is your favorite, it will also look good on the walls of the dining room or create a harmonious whole with the dining room furniture. Also, when choosing a color palette, understand that what looks good in the day in natural light may not necessarily look as good or even look the same in artificial light. In general, colors such as reds, oranges and yellows work to create a more formal atmosphere while colors such as golden or creamy yellow, terracotta, wine, burgundy or dusty rose are considered ideal for a dining room. These colors are said to stimulate the appetite and also have been shown to promote enjoyable conversation.

Now if a more informal and casual setting is required for the dining room, neutral colors may be a better option, because they won’t dominate the area or create too much of an impact. Neutrals are calming colors and also create a pleasant ambience.

Linen and Accessories

When you coordinate the table linen to the colors that you have chosen for the dining area, remember that matching is far more difficult than contrasting. In any case, too much matching of colors among all the elements of a dining room may not even look that attractive; a contrasting palette may look more interesting and attractive on the whole. So if you have beige on the walls, consider wine colored table cloth and beige colored table napkins. Or contrast the color of the china and serving dishes to the color of the table cloth to get a dramatic and attractive look.

Lighting

It is a good idea to use dimmers for the dining area. Differences in lighting can dramatically alter the ambience of the dining area from warm and intimate to bright and friendly. Dimming the lights gives you the option of adding candles to the table setting so that you can create a wonderfully romantic setting for special occasions.

Also adding a chandelier or suspended lamp above the dining table can be the addition of an excellent decorative element which will enhance the entire area. Incandescent track lights are another option; they can be a striking addition when used to highlight a table centerpiece or to light artwork, hutches or serving tables along the walls.

So you can create a great dining atmosphere by mixing and matching to create a reflection of your personality rather than following structure rigidly.