Month: September 2019

Wallpapering Basics

Selecting your wallpaper

This is really a personal preference decision, but I would like to guide you in the right direction as there can be a couple of things that will make the hanging process less stressful.

The texture can be quite important depending on the surface that you are hanging your wallpaper on, a nice thick texture will hide any small defects and will make the preparation job a bit easier with less preparation required. Try to avoid thin wallpaper types unless your prepared surface is perfect or brand new. The other thing to look out for is the wallpaper colour/pattern. Patterned papers can look quite nice but be aware that they can seem a bit outdated rather quickly. You also need to spend more with patterned wallpapers as you can’t get as many drops (each piece you hang) per roll.

Wall preparation

I recommend that you remove all old wallpapers prior to hanging your new one. This removes any chance of bubbling of the wallpapers underneath. Spraying the walls with warm water (we just use a weed sprayer) is a helpful hint to get the walls soaked without making too much mess. A steam wallpaper remover can also be used.

When the walls are dry you need to sand them, fill any defects and sand those areas again. A coat of wall size is now required. The size helps you hang the wallpaper as well as makes life a little easier next time its time to strip the wallpaper again. Wait for the size to completely dry before hanging the wallpaper.

Preparing the job

Before you begin to hang, make sure you do these few steps:

  • check that the lot/batch numbers are all the same. A different batch number will result in a slight difference between rolls which may not seem like a big deal but when the wallpaper is hung it is very visible and looks terrible.
  • make sure you have the correct paste as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • make sure you plan out the job. Work away from the main source of natural light.
  • draw a plumb line at the beginning of each wall, especially if it’s a patterned paper.
  • calculate the required amount of drops required and cut them to length on the table face side down.

I recommend that you use a roller to apply the paste as this gives a more even coverage. The paste needs to be quite thick, follow the manufacturers specs.

Hanging the wallpaper

As you start to line up the paper with the plumb line, be sure to stay away from the line about 10mm. This will ensure that no pencil lead will get onto the face of the paper causing damage.

Use a plastic spatula or wallpapering brush to smooth out all of the bubbles. Trim the top and bottom with a straight edge and a cutting knife. Be sure to clean off any excess paste as it will blacken over time and looks horrible.

Using Votive Candles

  • Accents – Votive candles are a great way to accent your home’s décor. You can include them in centerpieces or create unique designs for a specific holiday or occasion. Votive candles can be placed in bowls containing water for a dramatic effect. You can also surround them using stones or colored glass to create a unique look.
  • Relaxation – Votive candles are ideal for use in relaxation and meditation. It is common for those who meditate to use a candle as a focal point to help them relax. They should be placed on a flat surface, such as a table, at eye level so that you can easily focus on them. These types of candles are also a great addition to any room where you go to relax. If you enjoy taking baths to relax, why not add a few scented votive candles around the tub or on your counters.
  • Scents – Because these candles can be found in a variety of scents, it has become easier to incorporate your favorite scent into your home. You don’t have to use the same scent in every room; you can choose scents that will accentuate the room or the person who uses it the most. If you are planning on selling your home, the scents from candles can help you create a warm and inviting atmosphere that will please any potential buyer. The scents that can now be found are also a great way to enjoy the changing seasons. You can find a scent that will not only accent the season, but also create a warm and enjoyable atmosphere in your home.

Votive candles make a great addition to any home. I hope that the tips I listed above make choosing and using votives easier and more enjoyable.

Eco Friendly Pool Design Ideas

We live in a time of an over populated earth, the African continent being the one with the largest growth rate in the world. Earth’s natural resources and habitats are slowly being suffocated and therefore people are trying to live a more holistic or ‘greener’ lifestyle to try to save what we have left as well as improving the quality of their health, naturally. Eco swimming pools have thus become one of the most effective methods that people are using to restore the natural balance and also to decrease their exposure to harmful chemicals, such as chlorine, found in modern-day swimming pools.

As a home owner, when you think ‘swimming pool’, what is the first concern that pops up in your head? The cost to build it? The cost to maintain it? Finding the time to clean it? The fact that you can’t use it during winter? Or maybe it’s health concerns. These factors are some of the reasons why more people are building eco-friendly, self-sustaining, solar heated natural swimming pools.

Your pool is separated into two areas, one for swimming and another for regeneration where various water plants are used to ensure high quality hygienic water. Water pumps and special plant filters as well as other micro-organisms are additionally added to ensure the water quality standards are met.

These water plants do all the work for you. No need to clean the pool or to put in any chemicals, as these plants not only absorb the carbon dioxide and then release oxygen into the water, but they are nature’s best water purifiers.

Grass-type shoreline & submerged plants

Both of these are excellent water purifiers as they remove excess nutrients from water as well as bacteria and algae. Submerged plants oxygenate the water and therefore improve the water quality.

Floating surface plants

Water lilies absorb nutrients to purify the water. When you use surface plants, try to maintain a surface coverage of no more than two-thirds, limiting the amount of UV light required for algae to grow.

Here are some examples of useful plants:

Cape Blue Water Lily
Reed
Bur-Reed
Iris
Club-Rush
Sedges
Water Soldier
Water Poppy
Sweet Flag

Add Style to Home

The internet can give you a lot of valuable tips starting with selecting the right sofa set, getting the right bed for your room, and even coloring your home. To start with, selecting the right choice of paint colors gives your home a personalized look. Soft colors such as white, light blue add a rich look to walls.

Not just that, light shades even make rooms look bigger than their actual size. There are a lot of people who love to paint their walls. It sure gives you a sense of pride when people look at it and applaud. But, do people living in metropolitan really have the time to do this now? We all live in an age where sensex fluctuates faster than restarting your computer. So how do we color our lives? Your answer is wall decals.

Wall decals are a new and happening mode of wall decoration. With the right use of design and color, you can achieve outstanding results in your home. Decal designs can range into different areas like quotes, nature, kids’, celebrities, mythology and everything that can be converted into a design. And the best part is, they are not very expensive and can be changed after few years, it is as simple as re-coloring your home.

Once the coloring is done, it’s time to identify the right furniture for your living room as it stays with you for years. Home decor items are purchased in India with a thought that the next change will be done only after a couple of years. Hence, it surely needs your attention.

Big bulky furniture items are totally out of fashion, what’s latest is the trendy, curvy and stylish sleek designed furniture. The home decor online sites have many options that it would easily take you days before concluding. You must leave ample walking space around the house and not keep it cluttered. You wouldn’t want to clash into stools and tables as you walk.

Swimming Pool Inflatables

Under Five

Children under five years old often enjoy the simpler things, like a giant beach ball. Bigger toys are fun, and rafts are a great idea for lounging around while being supervised. When considering what to buy for children of this age, don’t forget about baby seats for really young children or inflatable arm bands. Life jackets are a great idea for parents that are uncomfortable with their children only wearing floaties on their arms.

Five to Eight

Children of this age will may be embarrassed at the mere thought of wearing a life jacket for a backyard barbecue if other children are not, but arm floaties are still perfectly acceptable, particularly for smaller children that do not know how to swim. Regardless of how your child feels, safety should always be a top priority.

Children in this age range will enjoy the same toy selection of swimming toys as younger children, such as a giant beach ball, but you can add quite a few to the selection. Products like rafts and noodles are a fun addition, and some children may enjoy fun games that they can play in the water.

Eight to Ten

Eight to ten-year-old children fall into a separate category because this age range usually is a bit past the life jacket stage or arm floaty stage. Parents tend to be more concerned with making their child happy, and children know better than to jump into the deep end if they are unable to swim. For these children, pick up a few noodles and some rafts that float.

This age range is perfect for introducing fun things like games as well. These children are usually too old to simply enjoy getting wet anymore, so these will keep them entertained at the next cookout while the adults relax, or they can provide hours of wholesome family fun.

Above Ten

Once children are above ten, most parents simply ask them what they want. Kids that exceed ten years old do not usually need a life jacket for the backyard, and arm floaties are out of the questions. Many children are tall enough to go in a couple feet of water without the concern of them drowning, unlike smaller children.

If a backyard barbecue is right around the corner and children of this age will be attending, inflatables of all kinds are appropriate. They can play pass with a beach ball, will love some more interesting swimming toys, such as games, and relaxing rafts will let them kick back. Simply pay attention to the age range listed, and your children are guaranteed to have a blast.

Swimming inflatables are the perfect choice to make an otherwise dull backyard barbecue a fun family event. The simple addition of a beach ball can turn a pool into a fun place to play pass or to practice a few new volleyball techniques. Inflatables for younger children can help keep them safe, letting parents relax and enjoy themselves instead of constantly feeling anxiety. Parents will still have to keep an eye on children, but a life jacket or inflatable arm bands means that as soon as a child falls into the water, they will not instantly begin to drown. That peace of mind is enough to make most parents consider the best products for their children.

Self-Adhesive Wallpaper

There are several factors to consider when choosing wallpaper. For most of us, first and foremost is cost. Some wallpaper types can be very costly. They can be made of expensive materials, be printed on thick, embossed fabrics, and contain patented, signature designs by famous artists. So if budget is a concern, the more luxurious wallpaper types can be ruled out. Self-adhesive, on the other hand, is one of the more reasonably-priced styles available today. When it comes to budget concerns, it remains a viable option.

The second factor to consider is application. Traditional wallpaper comes in an unpasted form. This means a paste has to be mixed, applied to the paper and allowed to fix or “book,” before being applied. This type of paper is the most difficult to hang and the most difficult to remove, as the glue can be stubborn after several years. Another type of paper comes pre-pasted. This wallpaper requires adding water to activate the glue. There is less technical ability required, but there is still a method that must be learned and that takes some trial and error on the part of beginners. The final type is the self-adhesive paper. This type comes with an adhesive backing that needs to be peeled off. Once this is done, the paper can be applied to the wall and repositioned for several minutes before the glue becomes affixed to the wall. This brings us to the final factor to consider – removal.

As mentioned above, the unpasted wallpapers can be difficult to remove and have been known to damage some types of surfaces. Their benefit is they can last for decades and save quite a bit of money over the cost of repainting walls every few years. The patterns of these wallpapers are also very beautiful and much more attractive than simple coats of paint. When it comes to self-adhesive wallpaper, the same number of beautiful styles are available and removal is a much simpler operation. In fact, the self-adhesive is the easiest type of paper to remove. It simply peels off the wall, leaving the exposed surface undamaged and untarnished with stubborn glues. So for beginners, and for those who may want to change the paper frequently, or return the wall to its original condition, self-adhesive is the best option.

Monochromatic Color Schemes

It is important to note here, that while the definition of monochromatic is literally “one color,” most professionals feel it is permissible to add elements of white, black or gray to a monochromatic scheme. For example, a room done in shades of white may have black doors or a black cabinet. This is a matter of preference as the black will have a strong visual effect in such a room, but an all-white room will appear larger and produce a softer mood without the addition of the black accents.

White is the most common color chosen for this technique because of the mood it can achieve. A space feels lighter, cleaner and more open with white. Of course, it is not as simple as just painting everything in the room white. If you do that you will most likely end up with a sterile, cold-looking room reminiscent of a hospital. To achieve the appropriate results, you must consider various shades of white, which will add texture and depth to the room and produce that calming effect. This effect, as we mentioned at the start of this article, is most often chosen for the bedroom.

The creation of depth is critical when using this method. To achieve this in the bedroom, there are several options, depending on the room. First, select several shades of white to work with. Use lighter colors on the walls and darker colors for trim. Just painting the molding and the window frame a darker shade than the walls will achieve some depth. Better still is the addition of crown molding, a chair rail or square molding on the walls. Selecting a different shade for each will add exponential depth and texture to the room, giving it a warm, soothing feel. Patterned molding on the ceiling and soffits to provide indirect lighting will add the most cost to the project, but the reward will be worth the effort. This can also be achieved with much less expense using backsplash tiles. The higher in the room the depth is provided the deeper the look will be, and nothing sets off a room better than texture on the ceiling, especially when painted in a monochromatic scheme.

Pick the Perfect Area Rugs

Budget

As with any home project, the number one consideration is your budget. Floor coverings can be affordable, but there are some that come with a hefty price tag. You can do research online to learn more about the cost of area rugs, and then determine what you’re comfortable spending. You should use the other furniture in the room to determine the amount to spend.

Size

Once you’ve determined your budget, you can start thinking about the size you’d like to have. If you get one that is too big, it makes the room feel small and doesn’t look good with the furniture. On the other hand, if you get one that is too small, it makes the entire room feel out of balance. The guiding rule of thumb with size is that it should be two feet shorter than the smallest wall in the room. For example, in a standard 10×12 room, you should look at some that are no more than eight feet wide.

Personal Preference

It goes without saying that you should like the floor coverings you buy. They become the centerpiece of any room they are in, so you want them to match the decor of the room. This includes the patterns, the colors, and the shape. You also want to make sure that you will enjoy seeing them every day.

Opposite Dilemma

As an extra bonus, let’s say that you have excellent area rugs, but the new house you recently purchased has wall-to-wall carpeting that you don’t want to tear up. You could keep the rugs in storage, of course, but that’s an additional expense and you don’t get to enjoy them. Instead, consider hanging them on your walls. Many people try to lay them down over existing carpet, and unless the carpet is low pile, it just doesn’t work. It will be difficult to move furniture around, and the area rug bunches up. What may suit you better is to consider pulling up the carpet in at least one room so you can use them as intended.

Backyard Pools

For many owners, the value of their home provides the single greatest financial asset available. Failing to deal with maintenance issues or to make upkeep a priority may prove to be a very costly and unfortunate misstep. New installations, additions and home upgrades can also play an important part in the effort to protect, maintain and improve upon the market value of a home.

Access to backyard pools can do wonders in terms of improving household comfort and enjoyment, especially during the warmer months of summer. Going for a swim, sunbathing and other outdoor activities that can be enjoyed with greater convenience may be easier to arrange than many homeowners realize. Quality installations can be a worthwhile investment.

Landscaping and exterior home improvement efforts are rarely concerns that should be taken lightly. Failing to properly explore their options, overlooking upgrades and installations that offer superior value or dealing with a lesser service provider are some of the most common and costly mistakes homeowners are likely to make. Dealing with the best service provider and ensuring that new installations are properly planned can make an important difference.

Service providers can differ a great deal in terms of the level of service, results and type of installations that they are able to provide. Homeowners who elect to make use of a lesser service may find themselves hard pressed to achieve quality results. Learning a little more about the service options that may afford superior value, greater convenience and the chance to ensure installations are completed more quickly and effectively can be a very smart move.

Costs are typically the largest concern when it comes to selecting the style and size of new installations. While larger pools may make a more dramatic impact on exterior environments, they often entail greater expense and may even involve additional costs when it comes to ongoing maintenance efforts. Pools and installations that offer a better fit for their surroundings ensure that homeowners are able to enjoy quality results without breaking the bank.

Learning more about various pools, styles and the types of installations that are available may be very enlightening. Lacking insight into the various choices and options that can be had may find many of the best solutions going overlooked. Homeowners who are able to make more educated decisions can enjoy numerous advantages.

Dealing with the right service provider is never a matter that should be left to chance. Only the best residential swimming pool installation services can provide the full range of options and solutions that homeowners may be seeking. Superior installations are far more likely to make a positive and lasting impact on the value of a home.

Achieve Great Interior Lighting

The tool that is often overlooked and neglected is lighting. A good lighting is the tool that transforms a house or an apartment into a home and the very thing that allows the owner’s personality to shine through. All of the meticulously researched and placed interior design details will be lost, and their impact will be diminished. That is why a good lighting is an imperative in every interior design scheme.

Before we start discussing the top tips for achieving a great interior lighting, we should state that there are such things as too much of a good thing, which means that you need to narrow down your lighting options to your ambient lighting needs. Every room in the house needs a different lighting, and you can get a sense of this notion by being irritated by an overly or slightly illuminated room.

  • Bedroom lighting tips: The bedroom is the room in which you start and end the day. A proper lighting will enable you to get up and start preparing for the day without waking the person that sleeps next to you in the bed. In order to support the relaxed ambience in the bedroom, the lighting needs to be dimmed, with the added option for a supplemental lighting. This supplement comes in the form of nightstand lamp, which will enable you and your partner to enjoy your bedtime activity without risking to be agitated by the lack of proper lighting or aroused by the overly illuminated bedroom;
  • Living room lighting tips: The living room lighting should match the décor of the room itself. This means that the lighting should accentuate the wall decors and the central piece of the interior. The perfect balance that you need to strike is to include a few lighting options that will enable you to enjoy the things you love or need to do (reading, working on a computer, playing an instrument) without sacrificing to lose the ambience that evokes relaxing sensations (by including one central and the overly illuminating option);
  • Bathroom: One common mistake that you have to avoid making is placing a lighting directly over the bathroom mirror or relying only on a one central lighting option. The best way to make the most out of the bathroom lighting is to place two vertical lights next to the edges of the mirror’s rim. This way you will get undisturbed and direct lighting. Plus, the central option should include light diminish preference.