Author: Michael Rourky

History of European Porcelain

Throughout the centuries, a disciplined, strict demand for the highest quality moved the art of porcelain making forward. Each kiln from the past can be easily identified by archaeologists due to the mountain of pottery shards nearby. These piles of broken wares were not pieces that were dropped or that came out of the kiln misshapen; these were pieces – numbering in the tens of thousands even at the smaller operations – that failed to make the cut. Quality was never compromised in the production of porcelain in China. Once the Chinese established trade routes to the western world through the Silk Road, new markets emerged for the fine porcelain. The Chinese standards of allowing only the highest quality products to be sold sparked ravenous demand throughout the developing world.

By the 17th century, European traders had finally caught on and a mania for fine porcelain set in. The result was a feverish demand for a product likely never before seen in the developing world’s economy. Millions of pieces of porcelain started to move through China’s open trading port of Canton. Historically an isolationist nation, China’s borders were closed to outsiders. Foreigners, with the particular exception of Jesuit missionaries, who spent decades building diplomatic relations with Chinese royalty, were still forbidden from entering The Forbidden Kingdom. But with the appropriate government licensing, select merchants were allowed to purchase goods at the port for exporting back to their home countries. The East India Company was the main exporter to Europe at this time. The porcelain started to become known more colloquially as “china,” named so because of its origin. But within a hundred years the demand would drop dramatically due to another emerging market. European craftsmen, with the help of a traveling priest, had caught on to the methods and techniques of the porcelain craft. From that point until this day, the porcelain produced in Europe would rival those high standards of quality set in China so long ago, and demand for the porcelain being created would continue into the present day.

The local manufacture of porcelain in Europe begin with a series of trial and error attempts by craftsmen familiar with making traditional pottery. They studied the Chinese porcelain and worked to match the quality of the pieces, which were gaining in popularity among the upper classes. But it wasn’t until 1712 that the secrets were finally revealed. A traveling Jesuit priest named Francois Xavier d’Entrecolles was fascinated by the manufacture of porcelain in China, where he was stationed as a missionary priest. d’Entrecolles wrote to his superior in Paris, where the headquarters of the French Jesuit missions to China and India was located, about the techniques he witnessed at the Chinese porcelain factories. This series of letters were published and became hugely popular throughout Europe, where artisans were still working, diligently yet unsuccessfully, to reproduce the fine “china” tea sets, bowls, vases, figurines and other items that were in such high demand.

With the trade secretes now published, the game changed. The importance of the type of clay and its composite minerals, including kaolinite, feldspar, alabaster and others, were understood by European potters and the production of fine porcelain began in earnest in the west.

The appetite for porcelain would only increase over the years. In fact, many of the very first manufacturers of porcelain in Europe remain in business to this today, producing tens of thousands of finely-crafted, handmade pieces still very much in demand. This is where Interior Place purchases its large orders of porcelain.

Decorating With Poster Frames

The custom framer professional also brought up the option of adding a mat to make our posters look like art prints and while that did not work our aesthetic, it opens up the options. Think of how many other things can be made to look like a million bucks while using very simple, metal or wood poster frames. All custom frame shops should have a poster framing options, generally thin black frames (but ask, sometimes other color frames are available too) that do not distract and do not overwhelm posters which tend to be busy and colorful enough without having to over embellish it with a big, gold frame. Those same poster frames could be used for other things. Photos, actual art prints, certificates, etc, anything can be framed in a simple poster framed and highlighted with a nude, off-white mat and make it look wonderful.

Adding a mat to anything is a simple way of highlight its importance as it is a classical way to frame artwork, thus our mind makes the connection with it. Print small black and white photos of your family and use a black poster frame (wood or metal) and a white mat and present the most important people in your life elegantly. Or have fun with it and put up photos in your kid’s room with color mats with a black metal or wood frame and make it joyful and playful. Use the poster frames to decorate a play room and don’t break your budget. Think about other aspects that are more important in a place for kids: safety. Spend extra money in using plexi-glass or acrylic that is light and doesn’t break if it falls instead of buying expensive frames your kid won’t appreciate. Poster framing is an easy option to keep in mind.

Those are other great advantages of using a custom frame shop, they can offer options as far as matting (most pre-bought frames only have an off-white, ivory-ish mat) and options in glazing (glass, acrylic, non-reflective, 99% UV protective) and you have the opportunity to talk with a professional who will help you make the choice on what sort of mat and glazing will work better for your particular piece. They will explain the differences and make it easier to make decision and help you take a poster frame and make it the perfect option for your poster, photos, or artwork. When you have the options, anything can be a master piece and anyone can make it so with the right help.

Find Rated Portable Hot Tub

  • Construction. You need to make sure your hot tub is built to last more than one season. There’s no real way to know this ahead of time, but as a general rule of thumb, the inflatable hot tubs with interior reinforced construction seem to hold up best.
  • Price. You can expect to find most inflatable spas to be in the $350 to $800 range. That’s a sizeable investment. But, it’s nowhere near the cost of an in-ground spa.
  • Warranty. Check out the warranty provided by each manufacturer before you buy. This will adjust your expectations and should furnish you with a customer service contact if you need new parts or – worst case – a replacement hot tub.
  • Jets. Again, just so you won’t be disappointed when you climb into your hot tub for the first time, pay attention to how many jets your hot tub comes equipped with. Generally, four-person inflatable units have 120 jets, while the larger six-person tubs have 140. And please understand that they produce a powerful stream of bubbles, not real jets of water, as you might be used to in the big commercial hot tubs.
  • Covers. When you are making your selection, try to make sure it comes with a suitable cover. If not, you’ll need to buy one separately. They are important in order to keep heat in from day to day and in order to keep things like falling leaves out.
  • Cleaning. This is an important weekly task. Try to ascertain how often the filters might need to be changed and what kind of chemicals you’ll need to keep the water nice and sparkling. Some of them come with chemicals. Some do not and must be purchased separately. If in doubt, scroll down and read the fine print and specs on the Amazon product page. Or contact the manufacturer. In most cases, a simple trip to your local pool supply store will get you what you need, no matter what brand you might have.
  • Reviews. If they’re available on the model you’re thinking about buying, check to see what people who have already bought the product have to say about it. The more five-star ratings and positive reviews, the better. Any product will have its share of discontented customers, for one reason or another. Take these reviews with a grain of salt, but see if you can tell what the company’s customer service department did (or didn’t do) to rectify the complaint.

Info of Veneer Basics

Veneer is created by slicing wood from logs in to very thin layers. For staircase design the ideal thickness of it is 6mm and popular wood choices are Hemlock, Mahogany, Ash and Oak. The process of making it is an ancient art that was first implemented by the Ancient Egyptians for use on their furniture and their sarcophagi. The Egyptians hand sawed their wood in to the very thin slices, today though, there are three main machine tools used for production which make it much easier and reduce waste:

  • A rotary lathe.
  • A slicing machine.
  • A half round lathe.

There are several types available in today’s market:

  • Raw: This has two ‘best’ sides until one has had an appropriate finish applied.
  • Paper Backed: This is useful for applying to pillars and other items of curved furniture because it is more pliable than the raw type. It is also available in large pieces.
  • Phenolic Backed: This is considered an ecological solution because it is completely man-made. Again this type is good for curved furniture because it is not likely to crack when bending and can be purchased in large sheets.
  • Laid Up: This one comes delivered ready to fit as it will have already been joined together by the manufacturer.
  • Reconstituted: Ones are made from a tropical tree that grows quickly and is therefore also considered to be friendly to the environment. It may be dyed to achieve the desired colour. once the correct colour has been achieved, the slices of the wood are stuck together to make a laminated veneer.
  • Wood on Wood or 2 Ply: is usually only used for decorative pieces and inlays with a utility grade wood-backing.

Contemporary Interior Decoration

Basically, contemporary interior design includes clean lines, simplicity, subtlety, sophistication and texture. Contemporary interior decorator and designer work to bring out more spaces than before by giving greater emphasis on colours, shades, space and sleekness.

They use colours that are more neutral and bright using bold and bright colours to represent contemporary style. Present day style for Interior decoration includes the neutral, white and black colours. Black is the colour of ground and neutral is meant for walls while it is bold accessories that are used to highlight the backdrop. There is greater use of tints of bright colours like green, orange, red, white, gold and cream that are widely used in contemporary interior design.

Contemporary interior design also includes few important trademarks like chrome metallic accents by using heavy mirrors and glass. A wide array of bold colour blocks, bare windows, high ceilings, and geometric shapes are used in walls as well as art sculptures. It is more of including things that define contemporary interior, and less is more here. Every piece used has its own individuality and is unique with interior design of this type.

The contemporary style furniture includes clean, smooth and geometric shapes. The furnishings used are more inclined towards natural fabrics with neutral tones and have black, white and neutral shade upholstery made of natural fibres. The coverings of furniture have fabric that is of black, neutral, white or bold colour with texture that seems like natural wool cotton, jute, silk, and linen that bring in the appeal.

The contemporary furniture pieces are inclined more towards simple without decoration of curves. Chairs and sofa sets have their legs exposed whereas beds and chairs have no skirts, fringes and trims. Wood is the primary material in contemporary style furniture instead of metal or other materials.

The thrust here is the bold, bare, basic and structural things with no ruffles, fringes, floral prints or carved details to them. More accentuation and boldness should be there with furniture and accessories that should complement with wall colour. In the case of flooring, it is the wooden, vinyl or tile kinds that are in vogue now. The rugs and carpets as used in flooring should be warm and should be of commercial type.

Water Leak Detection

Many pool owners believe a leak would be obvious. However, most leaks are not obvious, until they are of major concern. Meanwhile, damages worth thousands of dollars are made and you can see it from your higher water bill. Additional damage may be done to the other pool elements, on your own and your neighbour`s property and other surrounding objects.

The most obvious sign of pool leaking is the lower water level. The first step in leak testing any swimming pool is to figure out if the pool is actually leaking. Many pool owners often believe that somewhere there is an active leak. But it can be just an evaporating. There are lots of factors effecting this situation, such as your geographical location, water and climate temperature, direct sunlight and crosswinds. It should be kept in mind that a pool should only lose about 1/8 inch of water each day to evaporation. The simplest solution is to add water to the pool because it cannot be fixed just by using a solar blanket cover.

If your pool is leaking more than evaporation then the next step is to check the pool piping system. Leaking may occur due to a leaking hose or defective impeller. If you have a wet floor or other pump problems, immediate repairs may be necessary to keep the pump system working efficiently and save money on equipment replacement.

The last step is to comprehensively inspect the pool for damage. This should be done by pool technician who has more experience over a pool owner. When a pool leaks it will cause damage that may be visible; such as pool decks that are sinking or have cracks, rust around the skimmer, cracks in the pool floors, broken fittings etc. Any signs of these should be noted and promptly fixed.

Look for excessive water around the pool on the grass or landscape area. A leak in the underground will allow water to escape into the soil and will change the water colour and visibility. Leaking may not stop at your property; it may find its way to your neighbour`s yard and lead to additional costs for which you are responsible.

Bedroom Floor Space Optimization

Many interior design plans have long incorporated space-saving techniques especially those for small apartments. These range from smart cupboards to built-in shelving wherever it is possible to fold, tuck or camouflage.

Technological developments have greatly helped in enabling people to work from home with the use of remote connections over internet channels. This further puts a constraint on the ever-shrinking home space.

The first technique that you have to consider is to use dual fold doors. These new designs effectively meet the challenges that modern day apartments pose. The slender designs of glass or aluminum dual fold doors, their flexibility and their unmatched function promotes energy efficiency as well as durability. Such doors are perfect for dining rooms and for indoor spaces that need to be separated from the natural landscapes outside. Many homeowners have chosen to use these doors in their homes especially those that want to optimize every square inch of their property.

A second technique is to use convertible beds. The idea behind this concept is to use beds that easily convert into something else or they can be stored away, turning the bedroom into a living room or a child’s playroom during the day. This room can also be converted into an office at daytime.

Convertible beds include folding and wall beds, kids’ bunk beds and many other forms of children’s beds. Did you know that there are also beds that can be converted into office desks in under a minute? The bedroom can then be used as a space to socialize with just an easy, single motion mechanism. Imagine the way this trouble-free kind of furniture has evolved into something that can have dual functions.

Still about beds and bedrooms, a lot of experts suggest maximizing the layout and to dress up the room according to your mood. For utmost comfort, you can actually buy a king or queen-sized bed even when in a small apartment, just make sure to raise the platform up to 7″ in order to have more storage space for baskets or bins underneath.

And haven’t you always positioned your bed against the wall that is closest to the door? This time, try having the headboard positioned right on the opposite wall. This should give you a sweeping view of the entire bedroom, making it visually larger.

A third technique is to optimize kitchen floor space in your home. These days, there are just so many ideas over the internet that it is impossible not to find something that can help you save space in this room in your home.

Get the most out of this room by having drawers installed since they are the most excellent space optimizers. Cabinets allow full access where there is ample depth rather than having just the front half. Go for those full extension drawers so you get a full visual each time you pull the drawers.

A fourth technique requires you to exchange those bulky sofas to ottomans or benches that fit beautifully in many modern living rooms. You will be surprised at the amount of extra space that you can create by ditching your bulkiest seating furniture.

Also for the living room, consider having wall-to-wall carpeting installed so that you can have a warmer yet visually spacious effect. Adding colors and patterns through wallpaper or paint can help create a tranquil mood. Good lighting also helps a great deal in opening up some more living room space.

Many Uses Of Window Film

When it comes to privacy, window films are most often applied in rooms like the bathroom. They can be applied to exterior-facing windows, interior glass doors and even the glass of shower enclosures. For both privacy and décor, there are many types of window films that can be used.

This article will look at the three most popular: stained glass, appliques and privacy films.

Stained glass has become an increasingly popular style of window film in the last ten years. New printing and digital processes have made the colors and styles more vibrant. This has helped the film mimic that which it is intended to copy – stained glass – an ancient art by which glass is colored using the addition of metals and other materials during the glassmaking process. The most common application for this type of glass was usually in churches, where religious scenes were depicted. The effect originally was to teach a mostly illiterate audience, but the beautiful way the glass colored the rays of the sun was not lost on anyone and this application remains common even today. It is, however, an exorbitant cost for the average homeowner. This is why stained glass window film has become so popular among designers and do-it-yourselfers.

Appliques are another rising star in the window film industry. Appliques can be very similar to stained glass, except that they most often depict an object or an animal, such as a flower or a butterfly, rather than a simple pattern as is the case with stained glass. The colors are just as vibrant, and because most appliques only apply to a small portion of the window, the effect is most often even more dramatic due to the contrast of the plain glass adjacent to the applique itself.

Privacy film is most often used in the bathroom. It comes in a variety of styles, but many are simply opaque patterns that allow sunlight into a room without revealing what is in the room to anyone who may be looking in from the outside. This is not, however, the only use for privacy film. It is also extremely popular today in the entrance to a home. Many front doors have narrow vertical windows alongside. These windows are called side lights. They are great for letting sunlight into the foyer or entrance of a home, but they can be a bit unsettling as it provides strangers the ability to look inside. This problem is often addressed with designer privacy films. These come in a variety of styles, and through clever use of opaque film mixed with attractive designs, they bring security back to the home without sacrificing the look of the enjoyable side lights.

Avoid While Renovating Home

Poor preparation

A proper renovation takes preparation – lots of it. A detailed plan will help keep you on budget and on time. Set out a very specific agreement with your contractor before the work begins and get everything in writing. You should be able to see on paper how your renovation is going to play out before it even begins.

Buying before planning

I can’t stress this enough: Don’t buy materials or appliances until your renovation is planned out and all measurements have been taken. Online sales can be tempting, but that great deal on a 24-inch dishwasher isn’t going to save you any money if you only have room for an 18-inch model. Don’t over plan things. Keep everything clear in your mind before buying. Visit 2-3 stores to compare rates before finalising

Ignoring issues

When you tear down walls or rip up floors, there’s a good chance you’re going to find something you weren’t expecting, especially in an older home. Electrical and plumbing issues need to be dealt with before you close the walls back up. It might be an unexpected renovation cost up front, but it will save you tons of money in the long run.

Cutting corners

Don’t do it. Much like ignoring issues, cutting corners on materials or finishes is only going to cause you problems in the future. It’s always better to go the extra mile and do it right the first time than have to go back and redo everything. Hire competent people to do the job, buy quality materials and take the time to complete all the necessary steps.

Unlicensed trades

There are projects that any reliable contractor can take on; then there are specialized projects that require a licensed professional to complete. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC, asbestos removal and anything to do with gas or the structure of your home should always be completed by a licensed professional in that specific trade.

Decorate Home With Mirrors

Many people tend to look at their reflection in the mirror since the moment they wake up and it’s evident that as we go through our morning routine to get ready for work or school we look at the mirror several times; whether it’s brushing our teeth, combing our hair, or putting on make-up, mirrors form an essential part of our lives because our image matters to us.

But mirrors do more than just help us with our self-image. They enable us to decorate our homes and even create certain effects. Mirrors, especially large ones, can make areas of the house like a living room seem larger which would be especially beneficial for a small house. Another good idea to keep in mind when deciding the location of a mirror is what you want to see reflected in the mirror, you know, besides yourself. You can place a mirror in front of your favorite ornament or anything that you find attractive in your house so that you can also see it reflected in the mirror. A tip for choosing a mirror is taking into account the color of your walls. Try to contrast colors, for instance if your wall is painted in a light color, go for a mirror with a dark frame and viceversa. You also want to keep in mind that size matters! Make sure the mirror you hang on the wall isn’t bigger than the furniture it has below.

Remember that mirrors also serve as decoration and a way to use them to enhance your house is to get several tiny mirrors, especially the kind with creative frames, and group them together on a wall to get a unique look. Always remember that mirrors do more than just enabling you to know how you look. They can definitely be used as decoration for the home or any other place, as you can appreciate in this picture. Next time you go mirror shopping, remember to choose the one that not only helps you look good, but also makes your house look good!

Decorating with mirrors is fun and one of the top advantages is that your home will have its unique touch, after all not everyone is as creative as you are!