Business, Real Estate, Home Furnishings & Interior Design Link Roundup

A blog website to help business owners, realtors, home furnishing and interior designers for latest trends.

Category: Home Improvement Page 2 of 14

4 Kitchen Island Ideas for Your Home

For a lot of interior design clients, no kitchen is considered complete minus the kitchen island. The island has, somehow, become an icon of contemporary kitchens and it is quite easy to understand the reason behind this.

Kitchen Island

Benefits of the Kitchen Island

  • The island design is highly functional because it can provide access on all sides of the table.
  • This free-standing piece can automatically become the focal point in your kitchen. It has the look and feel of a furniture rather than a part of a lab.
  • The island offers easy cleanup with easy access of the compost and garbage bins right by the sink.
  • The storage for the silverware, dishware, dish soap and towels is also more accessible.

Installation Requirements

Space is something that you must have if you want to have a kitchen island at your place. It should have a minimum length of 4 feet and about 2 feet deep. If you have less than this, then do not even think about installing an island.

Make sure that there is ample storage for things that will be needed in the kitchen. The pots, pans, even the spices; must be at hand at all times. That space under the cooktop is great for setting up drawers for the pots and pans.

If it is a prep island, then you must create a storage for small appliances such as food processors and mixers. See to it that your knives are also stored discreetly.

With regard to kitchen islands that are installed with a sink, oven or dishwasher; you need to carefully plan how you will set up the under counter storage. This is also true for a cooktop with downdraft fan because the machinery for such needs to be installed in a cabinet below. A way around this is to utilize the ends of the kitchen island. Round ends are also great for lazy Susans.

When Planning Your Kitchen, Consider These Also…

  • The kitchen island works best in an L, G or U shape. If the kitchen has a cramped space, the island will only become an obstruction so for smaller kitchens, use a kitchen cart or a portable butcher block.
  • Always include a ventilation hood to eliminate steam, smoke and cooking odors. The fan capacity must be 50 cfm (cubic feet per minute) for every cooktop square foot area.
  • Another kitchen sink may be added on the kitchen island. Find a sink that is deep enough for pots and pans to be washed in. Ask how you can have a trash compactor, recycle bin or garbage disposal unit on your island. Cleaning up is a lot easier with all these installed right by the sink.
  • Allow ample countertop space on both the left and right sides of the kitchen island. This means you must leave 15 inches on both sides and with a larger kitchen, you can allow more space.
  • Do you collect cookbooks and do you use them often in the kitchen? Then you might as well add storage space for them. A built-in TV can also be installed especially if the family room is facing it.
  • The materials used for the countertop do not have to match the rest of the countertops. For as long as they blend with the rest of the kitchen design, then you are still doing okay.
  • Make good use of natural light by installing skylights and windows. Effectively reflect daylight by painting kitchen walls with a light color.

Use these ideas to create the most attractive area in your kitchen. If designed correctly, the kitchen island will provide a functional, efficient and aesthetically-pleasing piece in the heart of your home.

Useful Reference Links

Small Kitchen Island Ideas for Every Space and Budget
Practical Kitchen Island Ideas To Try In Your Home
55+ Best Kitchen Island Ideas
Top 12 Gorgeous Kitchen Island Ideas
12 Inspiring Kitchen Island Ideas

Living in a House of Straw (Link Roundup)

Imagine this Hooker Furniture Living Room Ethan Square Ottoman sitting inside your rustic straw bale home.
Imagine this Hooker Furniture Living Room Ethan Square Ottoman sitting inside your rustic straw bale home.

As opposed to the common notion, a straw bale house is not as fragile as the house of the second little pig in the story of The Three Little Pigs. So don’t think that you’re going to live inside a flimsy house if you choose to have a dwelling place made of straw bales.

Don’t confuse straw with hay. Straw bales are made with rye, rice and oat straw. Bales are stacked on a raised foundation with a capillary break. Some straw bales are bound with two strings while others with three. Three-string straw bales are, of course, larger in all of the three dimensions.

Straw bale walls are commonly tied together with wood or bamboo pins. A surface wire mesh can also be used which can, afterward, be plastered or stuccoed with clay, earth, or a lime-based mixture.

There are now many reasons to choose this – believe it or not – sturdy material –

Straw Keeps You Warm

Imagine the coldest day of your life. With straw bale homes, you can stay warm because it has a high R-value. The R-value is a means of measuring the insulation properties of a material. In the case of the straw bale, the thicker it gets, the toastier you’d feel inside your home.

When you take the time to compare straw bale with other building materials, you would actually be surprised to know that it offers one of the highest insulation values. It can also provide your home with the thickest walls – yet another advantage when you live in an earthquake-prone area. The plastered type offers both lateral and shear support for the ultimate seismic loads.

Straw Keeps You Cool

Okay, don’t be confused. It can also stay cool during a very hot day. Plus you would look cool when you’re the only straw bale home in the entire neighborhood!

Straw Saves Energy

Another thing that makes straw bale homes beneficial is that it can be a sustainable option. This means that a straw bale home can help you save money through your lowered energy bills. Add the straw bale material into the pool of other sustainable living concepts such as the proper location of windows, use of solar panels, and building according to one’s climate, and you would contribute to the longevity of Mother Earth.

The embodied energy of straw depends hugely on where they are produced. Of course, the farther the straw bale producer is from your home, the more gas would be used in hauling it into your home. The upside part there is that you don’t do this yearly. Just haul them in from, say, 300 miles away and you’d be giving home to a probable agricultural waste product that’s even more sustainable.

Straw Is Natural

Yet another major appeal of a straw bale is that it is all natural. These are not manufactured inside chemical-laden factories. Since straw is a natural material, it does not contain harmful products. In fact, straw is rendered as one of the most breathable materials on the planet.

Straw Feels and Looks Great

Apart from the practical advantages that you learned about straw bale homes, many homeowners have also reported how they felt inside their homes. Straw bale homes do tend to offer a feel great ambiance. This is not something that conventional houses can offer.

Straw bale homes also look great. Such a home looks different from all other homes made with conventional materials. The walls and fireplaces made with clay-rich soil and straw would look rustic and traditional which is great for people who root for such styles. You can also have other materials combined with this durable building material. Choose from timber or lumber frames, cement-based stuccos, metal, etc.

Useful Reference Links

7 reasons why we should build straw houses and live in them
11 Reasons to Live in a House of Straw
5 Reasons Straw Bale Construction and Living Off The Grid Go Perfectly Together
The Pros and Cons of Straw Bale Wall Construction
A straw-bale house: Built for one, built by hand

All About The Architectural Services

Top view flat interior plan with lounge two bedrooms bathrooms and furniture vector illustration

Architectural services are all about the architect which is involved in each phase of the work involved in a project. There are many steps to follow in order to provide apt architectural services to the customers seeking such services. The basic services typically which an architect offers include the following:

Programming

The architect takes all the notes what the owner states that they want in a particular project. The architect provides all these notes usually in a typed format and this is accompanied with the pictures of the concerned property. There are some discussions on the features of the site and there are several opportunities for the to-be-built items. The concerned architect will necessarily include a site visit to thoroughly understand the site elements and how & where the built structures might be located.

Schematic Design

The concerned architect uses the Program which has been established in the previous phase of work in order to conceptually create a plan or diagram of the proposed project. In the Single Family Residential (SFR) projects, the architects usually combine Design Development with Schematic Design and some architects end up creating a hazy sketch. However, there is no precise right or wrong method in this. Each of the architects has their own preferences about how to go about creating something. Some of the architects restrict themselves to a certain extent for specific projects only like floor planning, site planning, etc. for the SFR projects. However, the ultimate motto of every architect is to efficiently create something out of nothing. The architects also work for the commercial projects and create plans, elevations as well as conceptual building sections.

Architectural flat plan top view with living rooms bathroom kitchen and lounge furniture vector illustration

Design Development

This is an additional detail which is usually being added to the previous Schematic design. The architects usually as an exterior building elevation at this point and a roof plan are being created. There is no such right or wrong. It entirely depends on whatever works for the firm. The additional dimensions are tested to ensure that the different items would fit well into the existing design. Also, few additional dimensions are added to the work, if required. For a commercial project, this phase proves to be one of the detailed ones where the equipment selection is being made and tested to ensure that everything fits in the building in a perfect manner. Also, in this phase, the energy calculations are conducted to test glass, insulation, and several other requirements to ensure that the building will properly function in order to meet the perfect Energy Code.

Construction Documents

This is the phase where the final details are being added to the concerned project. The building sections, sections of the walls, door schedules, finish schedules, index sheets, title sheets, blow-up detailed plan, final graphics, and the elevations of the critical conditions are conducted in this phase. The architect also coordinates with all the building consultants, whether being provided under the architect’s umbrella. For the SFR projects, some architects create certain specifications for the extensive residential projects and the others firmly believe that they are completely essential. The more information that you possess, the lesser will be the chances of pricing changes and unknown conditions. For the commercial projects also, the detailed documents are prepared by the General Contractor and include all the relevant information and details required for building the project.

Conclusion

Apart from the above, there are several other steps included in architectural services like record drawings, electrical schematics, cabinetry elevations, biding, price discussions, and negotiations. For the commercial projects, record drawings; cabinetry; project management and 3D Imagery are included in architectural services.

Purple In Interior Design – It’s More Than Just A Transitional Color

Purple has long been used in many tween or teenager girls’ rooms because it is considered as a transition color. These days, though, a lot of adult spaces such as kitchen, bedroom, and small city apartments already use this beautiful color.

Purple is now a popular color because of the multi-cultural influences being embraced in interior design. Use pink-violet, lavender or magenta and you will be perceived as someone sophisticated and youthful.

Purple in the Kitchen

To picture the beauty offered by purple, just imagine a stark white kitchen. While kitchens need to be clean, the white color tends to make it appear sterile. Adding purple on the backdrop changes this as it is a welcome contrast to the silver and white appliances that adorn modern kitchens.  Purple, in this case, added character and warmth into the kitchen.

Adding purple in a kitchen also creates a flow in small apartments including the master bedroom that is decorate in navy, violet-indigo and plum. While purple may not be a common color choice for kitchens, this is actually a color that is slowly becoming favored by many modern interior designers.

Purple in Hallways

Hallways are generally bland spaces inside a home. These are mere passageways where one can get to different rooms. But a hallway need not be ho-hum in terms of design. Corridors and hallways can look attractive by adding accent furniture while putting in patterned purple walls. This space becomes notable especially when the adjoining rooms have a more subdued color such as black or silvery gray.

Use purple wallpapers to accomplish this where the effect will be a bit of retro and a bit of modern, too.

Purple in the Living Room

What could be a great way to begin embracing the color purple in your home’s design than to use it in your living room? The living room receives much foot traffic during the day or even the evenings when social gatherings are held.

An expansive space can look intimidating so a great way to soften the room is to use purple as the dominant color. You can combine this unique color with splashes of silvery gray and black. Having silver in damask can give you the illusion of the design looping right back to your living room. 

A purplish carpet should cap the living room design.

Purple in the Bedroom

Beach house bedrooms are often painted blue or green – this is the timeless way to do it but, sometimes, the practice becomes too rehashed. The master bedroom can become more romantic and delightful if the color lilac were added.

This lovely lilac should effectively complement the ocean all year-round. Purple is a great color to frame the blue oceans and skies. To keep the sophistication of this color, use accessories such as green, pink or coral accent pillows.

This came concept can be observed inside the guest rooms in your home. Purple is such a powerful shade that it can tone down a glaring Chinese marriage bed.

More Than a Mere Connector

Purple can now be more than just a connecting color. In the right hands, it can also become the centerpiece of any home. Glorious purple can transform ugly storage areas into designer rooms. Would you want a room to look and feel elegant? Then it is as easy as adding artwork and damask wallpaper with dashes of purple into any room.

With this warm color combined with natural light, you can transform light rooms to warmer rooms and dark rooms into cheerful ones. Are you ready to embrace this bold, new hue into your home?

Hot, Hot, Hot 2019 Interior Design Trends (Link Roundup)

A lot of the ongoing design trends are influenced by a lot of things that transpired in 2018. The ‘60s design was pretty big last year and the vintage look still seems to be preferred this year.

2019 Interior Design Trends
2019 Interior Design Trends

Everything that is old can be used in your home again. While old designs may seem to be coming back, be wary that there are slight differences. The year 2014 is all about the fusion of old and contemporary looks. This year, you do not need to concern yourself about things that are expensive or stuff that are dirt-cheap.

So what should you look forward to in 2018? What kinds of colors and styles will dominate furniture showrooms and, ultimately, many homes?

Personal Style Counts

This year, it is important to discover what style you truly want and to have this inspire your home’s interiors. Referred to as individualized interiors, you now have the power to dictate the uniqueness of your home.

While your neighbor’s living room furniture looks great, you wouldn’t want that exact same piece to sit in your own home, right? This is why it is important to find out what style you are happiest with and to decide on all the other elements based on your preference.

This year, it is all about individuality rather than the brand of furniture. It is all about being you and making your home look more like- you.

Gray Is In

White is out and gray is in – at least this is true for 2018. This is the brave prediction of some interior designers in the nation. Orchids can now be used to accentuate rooms and the most colorful throw pillows are welcome.

Gray is an achromatic color meaning you can combine just about any color with it. You won’t have to worry about mismatching or going totally wrong on the color palette.

Soft colors are also in and they are bound to accent whites and grays. Soft purples will also be huge this year.

Metallic Glimmer and Prints

Gold is quite big for the year 2018. It can be used as an accent color or if you are bold enough, you can have it dominate certain rooms. Gold brings about positive vibes while providing warmth. But if you want to have the warmer metals in your home – incorporate bronze, aged brass or copper finishes.

Prints are also big this year. The bigger and more graphic they are, the better. Ask your interior designer on how you can use oversized florals and big butterflies in your home. Asian-inspired dragons are also great for this year.

Wood Tones and Desks That Have Shrunk

Cherry and mahogany are soft and lustrous pieces that can be used as materials for furniture this year. These can serve as anchors for other important interior design pieces. Think of Marc Jacobs, Prada, game tables, side tables, footstools and nesting tables with lots of burl and you know that you are on the right track.

As to the desks, the smaller they are, the more stylish they can get for your room. The seats can offer depth and those with exposed legs are now in. A metal chair fused with open-grain wood is a good addition in any living room.

The Moroccan Influence

Moroccan patterns are quite famous on rugs, fabrics, and wall coverings. Moorish architecture is quite big in this year’s furniture pieces. The use of upholstered headboards is encouraged and is now considered a stylish investment. African and Middle Eastern designs are also resurfacing. These are all contemporary interpretations of many historic design elements. With these trends now heating up the interior design industry, what do you think will be suitable in your home?

Useful Reference Links

20 Home Design Trends For 2019
Interior Design Trends Going Away And Here To Stay In 2019
Design Trends Designers Hope Not to See in 2019
10 home design trends to watch out for in 2019
8 Interior Design Trends That Are So Over in 2019
19 Home and Design trends to watch in 2019

Electrical Safety for Kids: The Need For Reiteration

Modern man’s life is now completely dependent on electrical power. Experiencing blackout for an hour or more can make anyone feel bored and unable to finish some important tasks. Man has increased his dependence on electricity, hence, safety becomes imperative; more so when you are trying to install electrical safety for kids.

Electrical safety is crucial because there are many hazards that can end up in injury, fire or death. Lack of basic know-how on electrical handling often spurs such accidents.

Safety tips are the same for both adults and kids. The only difference is that you would need more effort to explain the scenario to young kids.

Electrical Safety Tips

  • As a parent, it is your duty to be a good example to your kids in terms of steering clear of electrical hazards. Exercise caution at all cost.
  • Keep kids away from electrical outlets. Avoid the outlets’ exposure to water. Do the same with appliances – keep in mind that electrical appliances or components do not mix well with water. Such a combination can be very dangerous so warn your kids from touching outlets or any electrical appliance (more so when their hands are wet). 
  • Tell kids to stay as far away as possible from electronic appliances that generate heat such as the TV, microwave, food processor, iron and the refrigerator. Make sure that these appliances are kept apart so that they are not cramped in one corner where they could heat up all the more.
  • Tell teenagers never to overload any of your home’s electrical sockets. This must also be the case with extension cords. Young kids have to be kept at bay, they must never be allowed near a socket.
  • Tape appliance cords together especially when there is so many of them lying around. Kids could easily trip on these cords so you have to make a bundle of them and have them bound by a non-conductive material. Make sure you do not wind or tie a knot with them.
  • Every electrical outlet must be covered when not in use. This will prevent young children from being exposed to any open wire.
  • Never allow a young kid to plug in any appliance. For older children who can already operate gadgets, the TV or any other device, make sure that they only plug the appliance if it is switched off.
  • Similarly, if there is a need to replace lights, be sure to invest in energy efficient ones. This is not just a good way to save on your electric bills but also to up the safety in your home. Energy efficient lights are also less likely to overheat which is why they are a lot safer to use in a home with small children.
  • Tell your kids to avoid climbing ladders or trees that are near power lines. Warn them also about the dangers of touching any electrical wiring.
  • Should the kids encounter an electrical fire, train them not to douse the fire with water. This will never stop the fire from growing, instead, it will only worsen the situation. Teach your little ones to throw sand onto the fire or to find a fire extinguisher that is suitable for dry fires. If you are experiencing a major electrical fire, then teach the little ones to dial the number to the local fire station.
  • Kids are naturally curious so teach them not to touch anything electrical if their hands are wet or if they are standing in a pool of water.
  • Never allow kids to throw anything at power lines or wires.
  • Kids should only fly kites on clear skies and only on open spaces.

Electrical safety for kids is as simple as following these basic guidelines and reiterating their importance to the young ones in your home. Do otherwise and you could end up with a tragic incident.

The Electrician: Why Every Home Needs One (Link Roundup)

From the time that Benjamin Franklin utilized a kite to eventually discover electricity, this power has long since ruled the world. Just think of those times when your home lost power and none of your appliances worked. Just imagine an evening without light, the fridge and your laptop.

Electricity is the very thing that runs everything in your home so when it malfunctions, there is supposed to be an expert that should fix it. Only an expert must handle electrical power because it can easily burn things and for the unlucky ones, it can even cause death. Throughout the country, electrical repairs in homes ranks second among annual accidents.

It’s Time to Find an Electrician

Skilled electricians are trained people who have undergone special schooling and have ample practical experience. Before you even think of sticking your hand into that dangerous fuse box, you have to understand that power that you are dealing with, what it does and how it can move through conductors. Think also of the math and physics that go with electrical power and you will understand why there is a need to study it first before you should even go near it.

While your uncle may have changed the fuse or have rewired a few things in your home but electricity is a lot more than this. Remember that there is a world of difference between merely patching things up and hoping that they would work; and actually knowing which wire goes into what and what electrical tools to use.

Sure, it is understandable, that everyone wants to save a dollar every now and then but DIY electrical work is definitely not advisable for non-electricians.

Here are just some of the most common mistakes that can result from mishandled electrical projects –

The use of different-sized wirings: There are many kinds of wires; they come in different thickness and sizes. Their size determines the amount of electrical current that can pass through the wires.

This means that the connection of wrong-sized wires to the wrong circuits could result in electrical shortage or overheating. The sad thing is, this is a common mistake among homeowners who simply could not refuse doing electrical work.

Connecting wires outside of the electrical boxes: An electrical box protects the circuit wires from any kind of damage. It also provides an access for connection and disconnection of the wiring. There are some who still connect the wires outside the electrical boxes – this is dangerous. If there is no junction box, it is advisable to have one installed and make the wire connections in there.

The replacement of blown fuses: While this may appear like simple work, still, it pays to trust the experts especially if the fuses keep blowing each time you replace them. Such a recurring problem is a clear indication that there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed.

The replacement of a light bulb that has gone kaput: Always check the wattage limit when you are bound to replace a light bulb. The wattage must correspond with the right light bulb. Those with higher wattages might fit a 60-watt socket but they use more power so you are bound to deal with overheating.

Overloaded power outlets: Every outlet has a maximum current capacity so if you do not know what that is, allow a professional electrician to discuss it with you.

Stop Repairing the Problems Yourself Doing the electrical projects yourself may seem cheaper but you could spend more if accidents occur. Remember that electricity – when handled by the wrong hands – is extremely dangerous so trust only the experts. Hire an electrician to do this risky job for you, after all, it is what he trained for.

Electrical Safety and Your Kids (Link Roundup)

Has it ever crossed your mind that your children are constantly exposed to electrical emergencies in your home? Most parents have taken the necessary precautions by hiring an electrician who can seal the sockets and ensure that open wires are addressed right away.

Electrical Safety and Your Kids

What about outside of your home? Do you think that your kids are safe there? Here are some tips on how to keep your kids safe from electrocution –

Steer clear of wires and electrical outlets: Train your kids on how to tell between open and closed outlets. Depending on how old they are, you can already teach them that there are no-go zones in your home.

Teach them also about the voltage sign that is often found on electrical outlets. Make sure to keep electrical wires and cords out of sight; if you can, place them out of your children’s reach. Also, avoid leaving blow dryers or phone chargers while they are plugged into the sockets.

Teach your kids about danger signs: Every kid must learn how to differentiate diagrams and signs with danger signs. Let them become aware of danger areas, high voltage, keep away signs and do not open signs. In time, your kids will be able to save other children or their own siblings from dangers in parks or schools.

Avoid climbing fences or transmission towers in substations: Kids simply love to climb trees and tree houses. The trees can be near power lines, hence, they are exposed to great danger.

Examine the playground for any power lines. Do not take the risk by allowing your kids – especially the young ones – to climb on trees near power lines.

Tell your kids to not throw objects at utility poles or electrical wires: While outdoor activities are great, these can also cause emergencies at times. For instance, it is fun to fly kites but this activity can endanger your kids.

In flying kites, make sure that they do not have wires. Also, fly them only during dry weather conditions. Never fly a kite near power lines. Remember that a stuck kite can act like a wire which is a conductor of electricity.

Prevent Child Injury Now

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC reports show that about 2,400 children, annually, sustain injuries during incidents that are related to electrical receptacles. The injuries include electric shock to first, second and third degree burns. A handful of cases even proved fatal.

Mealtime was also indicated as the most accident-prone time for kids aged 1-4 years. A hundred percent of these children can easily remove 1/16thick protectors. They also  frequently inserted metal objects such as hairpins and keypins into their home’s sockets.

The NEC or National Electrical Code, in response to these statistics, has included a revision for the inclusion of tamper-resistant receptacles in newly-constructed residential units.

NEC ordered – 406.11 tamper-resistant receptacles in homes; in all areas within 210. 52. every 125-volt. 15 and 20-amp receptacles are listed as tamper-resistant receptacles.

Many states and municipalities now adopt the new code editions, hence, the leading manufacturers for electrical wiring devices have come up with the tamper proof and tamper resistant receptacle outlets. There are also a variety of styles and types to opt for, all are patented and UL-listed shutter systems that can protect kids from electrical injuries.

The great news for parents is, these shutters do not impair the normal usage, insertion, removal or function of plugs.

That code change was essential; GFCI protection is now required in certain home areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, outdoors and the garage to help protect against electrocution. Lastly, take the time to talk to an expert electrician. He can give you tips on how to better fortify your home against electrical injuries.

Useful Reference Links

Electrical Safety for Children
AE Kids : Top 10 Electric Safety Rules
Electrical safety in your home
Electricity Safety at Home
Electrical Safety Tips at Home

Why Is Polished Concrete Interior Considered Best In Home Improvement!

Considered Best In Home Improvement!

We all want a home that brings us maximum comfort and It is truly said that the right kind of home makes a world of a difference. But what makes a home, that warm fuzzy place you ask? Well sure it’s the love of your family, but it’s also the aesthetics polished concrete interior that plays a vital role in creating that special effect, hence adding a dash of creativity as well.

The home improvement as a genre has gained massive appeal amongst consumers, with more and more consumers spending a surprising amount of money to make their safe haven look good, after all, home with better wooden flooring trumps every time when selling in the real estate market and making the big bucks. Home is where the heart is, and it is imperative to make incremental changes for it to last longer. Every year industry experts pinpoint at a particular trending home improvement area that almost always becomes a favorite amongst consumers.

Benefits Of Polished Concrete Interior

According to a 2018 survey on Interior designs, the polished concrete interior seems to be the next best thing under the Home improvement. Here are few of many benefits of polished concrete:

  • Apart from its ability to create an industrial edge in almost every setting, concrete is easy to maintain, adds a unique highlight texture and instantly becomes a focal point for everyone in the room.
  • Concrete is subtle, suave and just the right kind of sexy one needs to up the level field when it comes to designing their homes.
  • These concrete floors are chic and sophisticated and are often considered the prime flooring surface for a design home.
  • To put it simply, it is a concrete floor which is treated with a chemical densifier and ground down just like sand wood along with other finer tools. Polished concrete varies in terms of quality with a 400 grit being a bare minimum unto 3000 grit which is considered concrete par excellence.
  • The reason polished concrete interior is so hot right now is that of is sustainability quotient. It has the ability to use what is already there which in this case is concrete and by polishing the exposed concrete, one is able to minimize the materials and the energy thus making it eco-friendly.
  • Apart from that, it is also one material that organically blends with modern aesthetic and architecture, hence making it looks appealing in every space in one’s home.
  • Polished concrete is also easier to clean, durable, non-slippery, and is low maintenance as compared to other materials.
  • There are various ways in which polished concrete interior can be customized, some of it being stains and dyes which can be worked into to form any color palette. It can also be scored, lined or gridded because of its seemingly wet surface which can be molded into anything beautiful and used as an art canvas.
  • The polished concrete interior can also be enhanced with orders, and surprisingly they are the most cost-effective flooring option. One can style it with a beautiful soft rug or with contrast light and dark walls. So, what are you waiting for?
  • If you have a polished concrete floor you don’t have to worry about the allergies because dust, dirt, and pollen cannot stick to these floors. 
  • It can be used in a high traffic area as it doesn’t easily get discolored.

Hence, it comes as no surprise then that, the polished concrete interior seems to be trumping in home improvement this year as well.

Useful Reference Links

Remodeling 101: Polished Concrete Floors
18 Stunning Polished Concrete Flooring Interiors Design Ideas
An In-Depth Guide To Polished Concrete Floors
How to Polish a Concrete Floor
Considering a Polished Concrete Floor?
Pros and Cons of Concrete Floors

How much can you save while using Virtual office vs. Physical office

The final goal of any business is to generate more money while servicing to their customers to the very best ability also with low maintenance. The virtual office is the best option to save a thousand of dollars per year in office expanses. Rent a virtual office accomplishes this for many businesses by offering a physical office, Business address, shared office, meeting rooms and mail forwarding that adds a level of professionalism for any business.

After all, your office location says a lot to your customers about how much value you can offer. Setting up a virtual headquarters, you rent a prestigious location without higher expenses. The virtual office also includes the other thing like virtual assistance, receptionist to run your business very smoothly. The cost saving is hundreds of thousands of dollar per year and a thousand per month for some business. So, considering the cost benefits over the physical office you did not necessarily run a business successfully.

The cost of Virtual office vs. Physical office

Monthly Expenses:

The maintenance and utilities of any business per month including electricity, internet, water/sewage, software subscriptions and office supplies cost easily run into the thousands of dollars. A virtual office provides all the amenities of any normal office with just hundreds of dollars or even less to them.

If anyone owns a new physical office then you require to paying for all maintenance costs, electrical, plumbing, paint and appliances need for an office. The fear of damages from weather or from your employees so, if you count the costs of these entire things then it will be very high.

Employees:

Physical office requires the presence of some employee, receptionist or security guard for welcoming the guests and direct them where to go in the building. Cleaning staff is also requiring most of the offices.

The total estimate of the year including employee salary with their medical insurance, vacation pay, tax obligations and other benefits are around $70000/yr. A virtual office is complete with reception and it can start with the low hundreds per month, depending on your needs. The virtual office is managed for you so; no cleaning issue or other office expenses will be incurred.

Cheapest Serviced office providers in London staring with just £50 per month:

If you find on the internet about Co-working space in the UK than there are so many offices are listed but in London serviced offices is very expensive in London than anywhere in the UK. However, there are still some offices provide serviced office with affordable price with a great place to work.

Here, we have collected some of the best co-working spaces for you in London with less than £100 (plus VAT) per month. It is strange but true!

  1. Icon offices
  2. Regus Business lounges
  3. TMRW Hub

These are the offices provided serviced offices with the cheapest rate in London. Read below for what you will get from these offices in such cheapest rate.

 Icon offices:

The Icon offices located in Chadwell Heath. The price is £50 (plus VAT) per month. With this membership, you will get access to the serviced office between 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

An icon office is the cheapest working space on the list. They provide serviced office space including reception service, utility bills, parking facility, internet facility, and phone lines. This all are including in one month rent. They also offer personalized service which includes 30 independent offices to rent in different size and shape.

Icon offices located in an excellent location named Chadwell Health, The station of Chadwell Health is just 22 minutes from Liverpool Street in Central London.

Image credit: Icon offices

 Regus Business lounges:

Regus is located in multiple locations in London. The price is £84 (plus VAT) per month. With this membership, you will get access to unlimited drop-in facility in any of the Regus business lounge across the world.

Regus is world’s largest office providers, their business lounges are modern and stylish. The offices are looking completely professional. They provide their services in not just city centers and Business Park, but also in airports, railway stations, and service stations. Regus also provide printers, scanners and photocopiers for your practical needs.

Regus give secure high-speed internet facility with telephone lines as well as kitchen area with tea and coffee maker. Regus available in 3000 business centers across the world.

Image credit: Regus Business Lounge

TMRW Hub:

TMRW is located in Croydon. The Price is £99 (plus VAT) per month. With this package, you will get access to your own dedicated desk in TMRW Hub`s co-working space.

TMRW Hub is situated in the Croydon the town in south London. It is away from the hustle and bustle of central London. TMRW is the most spacious co-working offices including 350 shared and private office desks. It does not matter whatever your company size, they always offer unique space. They also offer the best coffee and healthy homemade food. TMRW have “byte café” which is awarded as best independent café and best café to work from by local voters.

According to the TMRW team the entire management staff come from the tech industry so, they provide the best service to give advice to their customers or clients. Image credit: TMRW Hub

Useful Reference Links

How Much Can You Save when Using Virtual Office vs. Physical Office
Virtual Office vs Physical Office: Which is right for your business?
Virtual Office vs Traditional Office
Virtual Office vs Home Office
13 Benefits of a Virtual Office for Startups and Small Business

The ABCs of Hallway Interior Design (Link Roundup)

Your hallway is probably the very first place that guests will pass through when they visit your place, right? Since this is so, isn’t it just right that you should also design the area in such a way that your guests will feel the warmth of your home just by passing through here? There are certain aspects that are vital at your home’s entrance such as the coat stand, a mirror, perhaps a shoe rack or a sunglass holder. You need to organize these things so that the entrance becomes a memorable sight for everyone.

Never Neglect the Hall

This entrance to your dwelling deserves as much attention as all the other rooms in your home. This means that you must furnish and design this space according to the theme that you have also set for the whole house. As you do this, be sure that you have a working budget to begin with.

You may have the notion that a small space has not much to offer. But if you learn to prioritize, this cramped space can make a difference in terms of layout, color and storage.

Hallways are not just hallways – you have the power to improve the layout in this area. Alter the layout without spending too much. Remember that this is a busy place where five or more people can rush around putting on coats and slinging their bags. So, it is important to keep the storage area out of the path where these people walk on.

Assess the space that you can work on including the doors, that space under the stairs and the walls. Is it possible to install storage units somewhere? There are often dead spaces that can be used as a display or storage area.

Do you have a cupboard under the stairs? Is it really just a cramped space there or is it being optimized? With the right fitting, it can store shoes and cleaning materials, even vacuum cleaners. If you do not use this space then you might as well have it torn down so that you can enjoy added space.

Take note that the stairways must remain free from obstruction. Use the landings as a place to store books and other items. If you have to use this space to store your kids’ toys, just make sure that they are diligent enough to go up there to store their play things.

Do you see fuse boxes or meters? Why not disguise them or hire an electrician to have them moved outside? Doing this will even free up some more space.

Another aspect of hallway design is color. Hallways are often dark so be wary in using heavy colors. This will make the space appear much smaller; instead, use colors that recede from the eyes, thus, optically stretching the space.

Do not think that your only options are neutrals, though, You can also use pale greens and blues to open up the space.

If you happen to be blessed with a big hallway – such as those found in period homes – then you have a wider spectrum of color options. You can then choose a darker color such as deep red or a stately green. To compensate for the heavy color, ask your designer about the installation of a lighting fixture.

Do not forget to amply light the hallway. You wouldn’t want to come home to a dark place so this is worth planning for.

Use pendant lighting so that you get to achieve proper illumination and beautiful aesthetics at the same time. See if you can find period lighting fixtures. For low ceilings, use recessed lights. Lastly, be sure to add your character by personalizing the space. Hang family photos or art works and you should be fine.

Useful Reference Links

The ABC’s of Interior Design
18 Best Hallway Decorating Ideas
Hallway ideas

Different Basement Flooring – Find Out Which Suits You

Choosing a material for the floor can be one of the seemingly insurmountable tasks when redesigning your basement. There are many sorts of materials that are available in the market these days – from carpet, laminate, tile, engineered wood, and many more. Yet before you decide on buying any of these, consider these factors first –

Basement Flooring
Basement Flooring

Concrete Basement Flooring

This is often the first option for many basements because the floors already come in this state. Concrete flooring can stand out, though, if you know how to use the right kind of paint or stain on it. You can even make it resemble any design that you want.

Concrete floors are your most affordable choice for basement flooring. If you want to counter the coldness of the floor, just use pads.

Carpet Basement Flooring

Begin by examining the current flooring on your basement. How well do you think the current material can hold up against moisture and traffic? If the existing flooring material is substandard or is no longer visually pleasing, then it’s time to find a material that can create a great impact on the overall look and feel on that underground space in your home.

The warmest option that you can take on is the installation of wall-to-wall carpeting. The pad or carpet will serve as the insulator from coldness of the concrete underneath. It can also effectively keep the sound from escaping and shield the room from outside noise.

Having a family pet also means having them de-clawed. Carpets with loops can easily be damaged by clawed pets so it is better to take the necessary precautions.

If the basement floor is smooth, then it is easy to install the pad or carpet onto it. Just lay it out and stretch it. An uneven floor offers a totally different scenario. If you are adamant in using carpet, then you can resort to gluing it to the floor. Pads are no longer necessary when carpets are already glued to the floor.

Water is a constant threat to the basement floor, more so when you have installed carpet. If the carpet ever gets soaked through flooding, then be sure to have it dried out immediately. With proper drying, the carpet can still be reused.

Laminate and Engineered Basement Flooring

This type of flooring is beautiful when used in the basement. It may be more expensive than carpet but is cheaper than ceramic tiles. Laminate flooring is often just sawdust and glue that were subjected into a lot of heat and pressure. The laminated finish is wood that has been covered with a tough coat. The finishes in laminate flooring are quite tough which make them a usable material for basement floors. They also wear well.

Engineered flooring finish is not as tough as laminate finishes yet they are an affordable variety.

You have to make sure that the basement floor is even and smooth when using either engineered or laminate flooring. Unlike tiles, this type of flooring is not cold because they often come with pads underneath. It may not be as warm as carpets but it is, nevertheless, still warm enough for your feet to walk on.

Ceramic and Vinyl Basement Flooring

These two are the most durable options out there in the market. If ever the water comes in, do not fret. All you have to do is to mop the surface and it is good to use again. Vinyl and ceramic are a lot more forgiving on those wavy floors. Leveling may not even be required. Should one tile get damaged, all you have to do is to have that one chipped or cracked tile removed and have it replaced right away. There is no need to pull up the entire flooring.

Useful Reference Links

4 Best Basement Flooring Options
Which Type of Flooring is Right for Your Basement?
The Right Type of Flooring for Every Room
Basement Flooring Ideas
Basement Flooring Guide
Basement Flooring Ideas – 30 Best Options & Designs

Balance in : Achieving the Elusive Equilibrium (#Link Roundup)

Haven’t you heard recently that most people’s mantra is now focused on achieving balance? Just take a look at the yoga enthusiasts that line up in gyms and the Western homes that have incorporated the Japanese design as their theme! These people do all these things in order to achieve a sense of balance – at the very least. However, balance is something that should always be present in interior design; for without it, or with it applied incorrectly, a home is sure to look disastrous.

Take note that the principles of design are not just seen in interior design but also in art, graphics, and clothing. If you are able to practice balance in these things, then it will be easier for you to apply them inside your home.

The Many Forms of Balance

There are several forms of balance, the first being symmetrical. Symmetrical balance can be visualized if you use a mirror and place it at the very center of a design element. This creates a repeated design on the other side of the mirror, in short, you are creating a mirrored design.

Take the hallway in your home as an example. You can center this part of your home with lamp fixtures and borders which tend to mirror each other. Your guests then get to see an undeniable balance (and in absolutes at that!) on either side of the hallway. This same effect is also best applied in the dining room.

Spaces that require energy are likely to use the asymmetrical balance. This is just the exact opposite of mirrored design where, when you cut the room into two, you will not be able to find any mirrored elements. What you will see is the massiveness of the space with the focal point placed off center.

Take the media room if you want to demonstrate asymmetrical balance right in your home. On one wall are the built-in shelves which store your media equipment including your TV. It is not possible to use the mirrored concept here as some of the seating will be placed at the opposite end of the media (which practically defeats the purpose of the room).

You can, rather, consider balancing the media shelf by painting the wall opposite to it with a dark or heavy color. You can also place a heavy sectional on that portion. If you prefer to have a smaller group of chairs, then you can add a grand piano or any other heavy furniture to balance the room.

Radial symmetry is a graceful use of balance. This is accomplished where there are circular or spiral staircases which wind all around a mosaic or a rug. Don’t you just enjoy looking at a building where the design pops up but, at the same time, allowing your eyes to feast on the curves right outside the windows? This is an effective element of design as it is found in nature like sunflowers, starfish and, more particularly, the seashells.

Pattern must also be considered when realizing balance. Pattern spells logic and this can be the repeated designs whether on the wallpapers, carpet or fabric. Patterns can be a combination of colors and shapes. Through pattern, a certain period or style is also clearly defined. However, you must be careful in using patterns on your design. When used in large scale, make sure that you have ample space for it. Smaller patterns tend to look best in smaller areas.

Balance will always be a vital element of design as without it, styles will not be effective. To create it, you need to be visually skilled. You must also have a good sense of details and rhythm. Take time to plan and experiment, you are sure to get the hang of it through constant practice.

Useful Reference Links

How to achieve the elusive work/life equilibrium
Realistic Ways to Achieve the Elusive Work-Life Balance
Achieving the elusive work
Time we considered work-life balance choice as a legal right
A New Model for Pursuing That Elusive Work-Life Balance
Master your work-life balance with these 4 tips

3 Important Things to Know About Evaporative Coolers

Evaporative Coolers

During summer, you cannot live without an air conditioning system. But air conditioners can cost you more and you need to bear recurrent high power consumption bill. Some who are economically well off uses the air-conditioners and some that not lucky try different methods like hanging damp curtains on the window to get cool airflow to blow through. With the advancement of technology, the age-old idea of cooling the rooms hanging damp clothes has taken shape into machines. You will be surprised to know that they are modern-day evaporative coolers that many users at their home to stay cool. They are portable, eco-friendly and you can easily keep your rooms cool during the summer without spending much power consumption bill. You can easily clean such coolers by your DIY tools and you can move them from one room to another according to your preference.

The Working Principle

It may be mentioned here that the basic working principle of evaporative coolers is elementary. There is a box-type structure in which three sides have some types of felt or glass wool lining and a water tray below. A small pump is fitted that sprays the water on the pads or the linings. There is a fan in the middle of the box that sucks in air through the linings and throws it out from the grills or vents. As the fan pulls the air through the linings, they get moist and spread nix with the air in the room and cools down the temperature. It is a cost-effective, energy-saving solution. Apart from that, you do not need to use any harmful gas to operate such coolers and you can keep your rooms safe from adverse effects of gases.

Getting the Best Effect

It should be clear to you that evaporative coolers work best where the relative humidity is less than 60%, and the air is dry. Otherwise, as there is already more moisture in the air, the air is not dry, and it cannot absorb the water molecules and they cannot provide you the same temperature like split air conditioners. They work best when the weather is hot, and the atmosphere is dry. But still, if you have a small budget then you can use such coolers in your rooms and these coolers will reduce the room temperature within a few minutes only.

The Size That is Needed

The size of the evaporative coolers that you need depends on the area of that needs to be cooled. Oversized coolers waste energy and moist the air much more and undersized one’s works overtime consuming more power without giving the pleasant cooling effect. The CFM calculation can be used to determine the evaporative coolers you may need. Measure the area of your room and then multiply it with the room height. Then divide it by two, and you will get the CFM that is required.

The Benefits

  • Evaporative coolers are a cost-effective solution cool have a relaxed atmosphere inside your house provided you stay in a hot and dry place.
  • They consume less energy as compared to the air-conditioners and cuts down the energy bills almost by 30% when compared to the bills of the air-conditioners.
  • These coolers can be quickly shifted from one place to another as they are portable. But you can fix them in a particular room according to your needs. Even you can also use such coolers at your outdoor areas.
  • One can operate the coolers with a remote like ac and the operation simple, and only the fan speed or the pump needs to be monitored.

If you are looking for a cost-effective solution to stay cool in the hot summers, then you can choose the evaporative coolers that will serve your purpose perfectly.

Useful Reference Links

5 Things to Consider When Buying an Evaporative Cooler
10 Things to Know Before Buying Portable Evaporative Cooler
Everything You Need to Know About Evaporative Coolers
Evaporative coolers
Six Things You Need to Know About Evaporative Coolers
How Evaporative Cooler Works

7 Ultimate Benefits of Choosing Alfresco Blinds for Your House

We all relish the cool breeze of hot summers, light sun of cold winters and beautiful drizzling rainfall while sitting at our window, balcony or porch area but we never want to get exposed to the extremes of these weathers, while we are enjoying our cup of coffee outside. To protect ourselves from these climatic conditions, we use blinds. But climate is certainly not just the reason for selecting outside blinds and shades.  Blinds have many benefits and there are various reasons for applying these blinds. The article will discuss the benefits of Alfresco Blinds. 

7 Benefits of Choosing Alfresco Blinds

You will have to ask yourself, that why you need them, are you buying them to protect your furniture or you have a prying neighbour and thus, you wish to add more privacy. Figure out the purpose to refine your alfresco blind choices.  This question will also delete the unwanted list of brands and styles and your list will become concise. But here are some major benefits that you buy alfresco blind. 

#1. The Climate – Earlier we had different blinds for different seasons because with every climate we have different needs. But Alfresco Blinds have made this all easy for us.  Instead of buying 4 different blinds and keeping a headache of changing them and storing them it is better to buy an alfresco blind solution, one for all the four seasons. Just place it once and you are free unless you are bored, or you want to renovate the house you don’t have to replace them, 

#2. Aesthetics – You can come across different colours and styles of your outdoor blinds. However, it is important that what you choose should match the existing space of your house. Along with the looks, it is essential to see that the blinds protect you from harmful sun rays, and also give you a private and entertaining space at the same time.

#3. The Ease of Operation – These blinds are user-friendly, very functional and opening them, shutting them, or cleaning them is minutes task. Anyone can do it without calling for special labour or service.  Therefore, if you install them in the house you don’t have to be worried about spending extra amount when you want to keep it aside 

#4. Privacy – Sometimes, you may experience people from outside peeping in your space. It is so uncomfortable and that is when we need something that brings you private space. Well, Alfresco Blindsare helpful to keep the outside people away from your space. You can have a private, sheltered, and comfy place altogether.

#5. Multiple Uses – There are various reasons that can be fulfilled with these blinds. At one side when you can enhance the look of the space with outdoor blinds, on another side it offers protection and gives you privacy. In addition to this, it helps you in all kinds of weather conditions. Now there is no reason that you can say no to alfresco blinds.

#6. Durability Alfresco Blinds are strong durable. Any harsh climatic conditions will not let your Alfresco blinds get damaged. Therefore, you can call it a long-term investment as they will give you supports till you want it from them. 

#7. Extremely Affordable You may think, that if these blinds are so good then they might be very costly, but it is not the case they come in different range and any person can easily afford them. However, when you are actually buying Alfresco Blinds, you need to check a lot of factors. For instance, the quality of the blinds matters a lot. You are investing once in about 5 to 6 years; hence it must be worthy of the price that you are putting in.

Varieties of Bathroom Vanity Units Commonly Preferred at Homes

A bathroom is an important place of the house that ensures proper hygiene of the residents and is used at max for various purposes and different kinds of toiletries are used for bathing and washing. These toiletries are expensive, and they can fall and waste. Therefore, the safe storage of all these essential products can be made possible by installing a bathroom vanity of suitable design and size. So, it is necessary for a house owner to have an idea about the availability of different types of bathroom vanity units in the market. He needs to choose a vanity according to the size and decor of his bathroom, to make it look appropriate with the other bathroom fittings.

Different Styles Used in Designing Bathroom Vanity Units

Different materials are used for manufacturing these bathroom vanity units; among which thick plywood, wooden boards covered with veneer or melamine, laminated sheets and marble slabs are quite popular. Home owners can choose the design and style of vanity according to their bathroom designs. Some popularly used vanity units in the bathroom are.

  • Pedestal Vanity – Basically, a pedestal sink does not have any storage feature, unless special additions are attached to it. The bathroom vanity units with this type of sink can be fitted into any size of bathrooms in both residential and commercial buildings. The pedestal sink also matches with most of the styles applied for bathroom decor.
  • Wall Mounted Vanity – A wall mounted vanity is also known as floating vanity, as it does not occupy any space on the floor and simply attached to the wall. It saves a lot of flooring space that can be used for other purposes.
  • Freely Standing Vanity – This type of bathroom vanity is a combination of storage space and pedestal sink. Thus, it helps in saving space even in smaller bathrooms, like the pedestal sinks and can be utilized for storage of all bathroom materials. Hence, these free-standing bathroom vanity units are quite in fashion nowadays and widely installed in many households.
  • Vessel Vanity – Most of the hotels and restaurants prefer to install vessel vanities for the use of their customers. It has a large bowl spread around the sink, which looks like a perfect extension of the main body of the vanity. As the upper part of the vanity is connected to multiple taps as needed, the lower part is normally used for storage of all bathroom commodities. Varieties are found in the designs of these vessels and the taps, to make the vanities look more stylish.
  • Vanity with Under-Mounted Sink – In this style, the sink is placed inside the vanity and cannot be seen from outside. The design of this type of vanity looks more modern and elegant, with the basin placed on a raised level inside. However, the storage space becomes limited in these bathroom vanity units, due to the sinks occupying much of the space within the vanities. So it is mainly used in industrial buildings for creating an aesthetic look in the bathroom.
  • Vanity Cabinets – This is a traditional style of cabinets with wooden doors that need to be pulled open. The designs of these doors are made much similar to the kitchen cabinets, with the tones and textures matching to the rest of the bathroom decor. Thus, this type of cabinet perfectly serves the purpose of storage while using the sink in the normal way.

Nowadays, the bathroom vanity units are available at reasonable costs, enabling all house owners to install these useful fixtures in their bathrooms and you can also get them handmade or customized. So, why not buy your bathroom vanity unit today and along with safe keeping your things stylize your bathroom too.

Useful Reference Links

Types of Bathroom Vanities and Sinks
17 Most Popular Types of Bathroom Cabinets
Bathroom Vanity Buying Guide
How To Design The Perfect Bathroom Vanity
The Ultimate Guide to Bathroom Vanities

The Beauty of Wrought Iron Chandeliers (Link Roundup)

When your eyes rest upon wrought iron chandeliers, what thoughts run through your mind? These pieces are elegant, classy and they inevitably lend a touch of tradition and old-world charm. Whether you use this type of chandelier in your dining or living area, they are sure to bring a spectacular view to their beholders. Wrought iron chandeliers also bring about a royal feel to any room and while many lighting fixtures may come and go, wrought iron is there to stay.

Wrought Iron Chandeliers

Whether you would want to totally alter the look of your home or if you just want to slightly modify, this chandelier can add that needed touch of elegance. Among the iron chandelier category, this type is categorized as the most classic.

Before Buying…

Before you decide on buying wrought iron chandeliers, you have to analyze your home’s current theme or design. Wrought iron chandeliers typically go with decorated, traditional homes since they showcase an ancient, rustic look.

These days, there have been a number of geometrical designs that were manufactured especially for urban homes and people with modern taste.

Remember that wrought iron chandeliers can get pretty heavy so make sure that the ceiling is sturdy enough to carry the weight that is about to be placed to it. If you really want to have this chandelier yet your ceiling seems weak at the moment, then ask your interior designer about how to fortify the ceiling or to build a totally stronger one.

Make sure to buy from a reputable dealer only. If you want to do your transaction online through an auction or an online sale, be sure to have an ounce more of caution. It is better to scrutinize the unit before shelling out any amount, after all, this chandelier is going to be in your home for a very long time.

Wrought iron chandeliers are far from cheap so if you want to buy them at a low price, be willing to wait for discount deals. They may or may not come; nevertheless, if you really want to lay your hands on this type of chandelier now, then be willing to invest some hard-earned money.

Installing This Work of Art

No matter what style of size your wrought iron chandelier has, always keep in mind that it is primarily a type of light. If you hang it in an area where no previous light was used, it could require that additional electrical wiring be installed. If this is the case, then you need to ask for an electrician to do the wiring task for you. You also need to ask the interior designer about how to best position this lighting piece.

You can also replace an existing overhead lighting fixture with a mini wrought iron chandelier. See the installation manual that came with your purchase of this chandelier. If none was included, then get in touch with the manufacturer or the dealer.

Wrought Iron Chandelier Maintenance

There are a lot of reasons why you should be proud of your wrought iron chandelier. This elegant piece, ironically, is easy to clean and maintain as you only need to clean them occasionally.

To clean this beautiful ceiling piece, use a soft cloth dipped in a mild detergent solution. Squeeze out any extra water then wipe the unit. A great alternative is the baking soda solution.

As soon as you are done cleaning with the cloth, be sure to wipe the lighting fixture with a dry, soft cloth. Create a shield by wiping the surface of the chandelier with liquid wax. Never hang your wrought iron chandelier in a humid room since this can cause the iron to oxidize. Remember these simple guidelines and you should be able to enjoy your wrought iron chandelier for a very long time.

Useful Reference Links

Wrought Iron Chandeliers – A Staple for the Classiest Homes
Wrought Iron Chandeliers
Wrought Iron Chandeliers Natural Iron Chandeliers
Black Wrought Iron Chandeliers You’ll Love
Franklin Iron Works Chandeliers

White Interior Design: Why It Shouldn’t Be Boring

White is a basic color that is often used in interior design. There is so much to love about it. It is not just the absence of color; white inevitably evokes images of elegance and spaciousness. It is also symbolic of goodness, purity and spirituality.

White Interior Design

White is your safest bet when you are designing or redecorating your home. Whether you only have a limited budget or are prepared to shell out what is needed, there are many options for white interior design on the Internet.

White is far from boring – if you know how to apply it in your home. There are many interior design techniques that you need to consider when you choose to use this shade in your habitat. Here are a handful of pointers that can help you veer away from a sterile, hospital-like home –

Choose the Right Shade

Yes, there are many shades of white. Though you often think of white as just one, particular shade; what you often fail to realize is that there are many white tones. Just imagine this – there are blue-tinted whites and whites that come with hints of ivory, beige, yellow or cream. The coolest hues look best with bright white shades.

You will be perceived as trendy once you choose white for your home’s theme. As you flip through magazines and search online for furniture, you will find out that most of the contemporary furniture pieces are painted white. A white background, on the other hand, makes rooms appear much bigger than they really are.

White also spells versatility. Depending on how you put accessories into the room, you can either create a minimalist setting or you can also concoct any of these – classic, romantic, even dramatic. Black and white photographs that are hung on your wall add a certain level of timeless romanticism. Place a red bowl in the middle of a white room and you can immediately attract the attention of your visitors.

Go all natural. You can also fuse wicker, wood or bamboo into a white setting. This is an effective way to take off the emptiness of white shades and stage a pretty, eco look in your home. If you want a peaceful surrounding, then follow this contemporary white theme.

Go ahead and experiment with white; play around with textures to add to its depth. You can put up lacy curtains on the simplest windows or white cushions on your sofa.

Painting Techniques and Furniture Choice for White-themed Homes

When painting your walls with a shade of white, consider painting the ceiling with a like shade. This will create a cozy feeling (one that makes you feel like you are in a cocoon). Also, you can use Venetian plaster treatment for bathroom walls in order to create visual activity.

You need to find soft furnishings for your white home. A lot of homeowners invest in wicker which is also available in different kinds of shade (from white to earth tones). Find window treatments and area rugs that were created from fluffy materials. If you can buy a rug or carpet made from woven bamboo then you are on the right track. The earth tones of such rugs will blend with the white walls and decor inside any room.

When it comes to white bathrooms, did you know that the tiles can be utilized to bring in visual interest? The choice is no longer just limited to rectangular tiles anymore. Instead, find glass or opaque white tiles. Mirrored tiles can frame a mirror or create an attractive backsplash. The reflection on the surfaces of such tiles can make a bathroom appear much larger so this means that you can use it when you have limited space in that room. As you learn these things – who says white is uninteresting?

Useful Reference Links

The White Wall Controversy: How the All-White Aesthetic Has Affected Design
21 Interior Design Mistakes You Need To Stop Making
15 Boring Interior Design Rules To Break For Summer 2019

Kids’ Playroom Designs – The Ultimate Parent Challenge

Your child’s playroom is a place where imagination and creativity are nurtured. This is a place where colored pens, papers, easels, puzzles and other art materials and toys are commonly found. Since this is the case, it becomes important to care fully plan the layout and storage units inside the room. Parents should learn more about kids’ playroom designs so that they can provide a playtime haven for their children.

Kids' Playroom Designs

The Layout

When you are planning the layout for the playroom, be sure to pay attention to the amount of available space. Consider if the room is large enough for multiple children to play in. What if you do not have an extra room for your kid’s playtime, would you know how to create a section of his bedroom into the needed recreational space? Compact living can affect the way this room is laid out so consider placing extra seating and storage pieces. Make good use of the walls while freeing the center of the room for creative activities.

A lot of table space is required since children will need tabletop surfaces to do their arts and crafts. With smaller tables, just make sure that you use an L-shaped layout so that everyone can still be comfortably seated.

When it comes to seating, see if you can find basic wooden chairs to go with the rest of the playroom furnishings. There are literally thousands of styles to choose from. When designating chairs for a reading nook, why not consider beanbags instead? Always consider the personality of your kid as you design the room. You can also – with your kid’s permission – hang his artwork on the wall.This should make the room more vibrant and customized.

The Storage Units

 Storage can be a real challenge if you do not know where to place it. Just imagine where you would put away the large toys and numerous art supplies in order to avoid clutter. Today’s storage options include cubes which can open and close as shelving units. Baskets have also served as storage spaces while becoming an automatic décor. For a more unified effect, choose buckets that match with baskets.

Never underestimate the power of the bookshelf. Remember that your kid will have plenty of books (more so if you are a bookworm yourself) so you have to make room for all these literary works. Shelves can be built into the walls so that your kid’s books and supplies can be conveniently stored.

Other Playroom Features

  • Make sure to think long term when it comes to your kid’s playroom. While your little boy may love yellow at the moment, he may not be as lenient about this cheerful color once he grows older. His playmates may coax him that their rooms are painted blue and he might persuade you to do the same with his playroom. Choose your color palette with care. That dinosaur décor might not be as lovely to him when he is already 11 years old.
  • Durability is one of the most important factors to consider when building a child’s playroom. Find patterns like brocades, florals and plaids that can make any room less dull. Find fade-resistant fabrics especially when you have a lot of sunlight coming into the room.
  • Be unique with your color combinations – see how you can blend neutral hues with black, white, gray and ivory. Find out if you can use chocolate brown and turquoise; green and light peach; chartreuse and navy blue; orange and citrus yellow; denim blue and burnt orange; teal and mustard yellow; fuchsia pink and vivid orange.

There are many kids’ playroom designs to choose from on the Internet. You can also read books and magazines about this topic so it would be impossible not to find anything that you could fall in love with.

Interior Design 101: Choosing the Dominant Hue for Your Home

Choosing the dominant hue can be an interesting part of interior design. Sometimes, it can take as much as six men to decide which among the hues of red is boldest. Also, when used inside a room, the perception with regard to space is greatly affected once colors are used. Spectral red when used in a room, for instance, is seen to be more compact than when compared to the same-sized room painted light blue. This is not a difficult fact to perceive for an interior designer.

That North Room

With the exception of small north rooms, everything else can be designed on free range. These north rooms should be made warmer but not smaller. Here is a case  for the good use of interior design skills.

Begin by using ivory for the walls, rose-red or a yellowish hue for the carpet; and a self-toned floor cover. Rugs tend to make rooms appear smaller as the eye’s disposition is drawn inwards rather than to the outer lines of the room. To warm up this kind of room, use growing, flowering plants. This is effective since the mind tends to associate warmth with anything that has life and grows.

Pleasure Achieved Through Colors

It is the color’s chief objective to please the occupants, therefore, personal preference must be used when choosing the dominant hue. You can go further in the bedrooms, sewing rooms, boudoir, or study rooms since these are shared rooms.

You may use your favorite color onto the walls but the degree of intensity depends on the emotions that are being evoked, the general theme that has been chosen, and other such factors.

Where the color achieves the full emotional effects that are desired for it, it is advisable to use the purer hue against the neutral walls. As a color loses purity, it also tends to lose its unique qualities. Of course, if you love vibrant reds, then you would rarely be satisfied with washed rose,  even pink.

Strong colors, however, must be used with caution on the walls. If not used purely, on the floor, even on upholstery and hangings, it loses its efficiency. It is also fairly common for people to believe that the use of your favorite color is dependent upon the area on which it will be distributed. In reality, it differs inversely with each area and is more dependent on the color quality and intensity; also upon the textures wherein it appears.

That ruby red bowl made of porcelain when used on a grayish green wall will be more satiating for red cravings than a room that comes with crimson hangings and rugs.

Ground color has extraordinary effects on local colors. Therefore, you need to consider the color of hangings, the floor, furniture coverings, especially walls as opposed to your physical attributes – yes, these too should be considered!

A dark-colored woman, for instance, must have a low-toned room as the effect of pale walls will make her appear on foreground. On the same plane, a person with sallow skin will tend to appear yellowish when in a lavender room. The violet hue in this case, complemented the tinge on the person’s already yellowish skin.

Color effects can be achieved with the correct use of paints. The interior designer provides color effects with the use of textiles and other such materials. And if you want to achieve a more elegant look in your home, be prepared to invest on beautifully-colored fabrics or damasks.

Be wary also of colors that may appear cheap in some materials. Calcimine colors, for example, are pleasant to look at when bought in shades of yellow. Try them in red or blue variants and you are in a totally different phase.

If you need help choosing a dominant color for your home, call an interior designer today.

The Budget Kitchen Upgrade (Link Roundup)

Kitchens are expensive to upgrade – this is a known interior design fact. Yet this room is so important that it becomes crucial to keep it trendy, functional, comfortable and homey all at the same time.

But did you know that you do not need to spend your entire retirement fund just to remodel your kitchen? You will realize that what you just need to do is to make some quick changes and your kitchen would look amazingly new. Just stay focused on the end result that you want and you are sure to achieve the most beautiful results – even on a budget.

Repainting Won’t Break the Bank

What could be a cheaper way to achieve a new look than to repaint your home? This time, instead of the stark white which you chose years ago, why not go for a homier color such as light brown? You can be versatile with your paint choice but never forget to put a bit of yourself on your painting project.

Repainting projects are not just applicable on walls, ceilings and floors. You can also ask your family to help you in repainting your current kitchen cabinets. Standard issue white kitchen cabinets are boring so you can add a little color by painting them with duck egg blue, sage green or warm putty. If you want to keep the white cabinets, then make a bold statement by painting the kitchen island black. The stark contrast will surely be noticed.

If painting isn’t your thing, you can also add stencils onto the walls. Choose from hundreds of designs in the market these days – from florals to geometric patterns.

Improve the Lighting

Trade your current, boring lighting fixtures to a more chic option. Look for pendant lights that will make your dining room or living room appear more elegant. Pendant lights can also serve as focal points in a room. Look for hand-blown glass pendants which will surely catch your visitors’ attention.

Sconces may also be added since they can add a beautiful ambient lighting. Sconces can also add personality to the kitchen. It is more effective in doing so when compared to track or recessed lighting. There are plug-in versions which you can install yourself or you can hire a licensed electrician to install your new sconces and have the dangling cords expertly hidden.

Add or Restore Hardware

Having classic hardware is a valuable upgrade as it also subtly enhances the look of your space. Just make sure that you keep tab of the price for every piece as you go around and shop – it tends to go up really fast more so when you have a fairly large kitchen to upgrade.

Begin your hardware shopping by counting the number of knobs and pulls inside your kitchen. With the number in mind, it becomes easier to estimate the hardware that you will need to improve your kitchen, hence, you won’t go over your budget.

Accessory Upgrade

If you have limited budget for your kitchen upgrade, then an easy way to create a different look is to have an accessory upgrade. Buy copper pots and pans and hang them right above your kitchen island. This simple addition to your kitchen accessories will make the room come alive. Add some bottles of spices in different colors as well as small pots of plants and the look is just about complete!

Use Roman shades to finish the look of your new kitchen. These shades can effectively add elegance and softness in room where a lot of activities can happen every day. Matching shades can give you a cohesive look.

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