Author: Michael Rourky

Choosing Mantel Clock

There are numerous types of these timepieces available that can improve the appearance of any home. The type should be selected based on the home décor, the clock size, and the budget.

Besides this, the features of this timepiece must also need to be considered. The person buying it also needs to choose from battery-operated ones and those that need to be wound up.

Wind Up

Wind up versions usually need to be wound at least once a week. There are however, certain models that only require to be wound every fortnight. A manual switch is often included in such a timepiece that enables a person to switch off the chiming feature. Some also come equipped with an automatic night silencer feature.

Battery Operated

These are newer inventions. Battery operated versions come with a number of features, including alarm functions. While this is indeed a modern version of the clock, the design can be based on antique décor. The sound these models produce is of a very high quality but somewhat different from wind up versions.


Mantel clocks are made from a variety of materials, and this has a huge impact on not only the overall quality of the device, but also its price. Some of the materials used to create them are as follows:


Old mantel pieces were mostly made out of oak and cherry tree, and were placed on the mantle shelf often above an ‘open’ fire; over a period of time this caused the oil within the clock to ‘dry out’ and the clock stopped functioning. The material may have solid pieces or it may have been developed from wooden paneling. Traditionally, these are the ones that were made in the Americas were painted, engraved, and came fitted with a metal such as brass.


Some of the above types of clocks, are made out of porcelain and it is very common to see various designs and paintings on them. Renowned clock makers have for years created porcelain timepieces with attractive designs.

Precious Metals or Stone

Previously, some clocks were made of silver and gold and were extremely expensive. Slate and marble are the most popular stones used to create them. These, however, are heavy but showcase an intriguing appearance.

Modern Style

As compared to the antique counterparts, modern style clocks possess a lot of additional features. Many of today’s versions are designed (in appearance) to mimic antique models; however, they feature all the modern features including alarms and other features of modern day watches.

At Mels Clocks we have many different types of clocks, all of which have been carefully serviced. We buy and sell clocks together with repair and service of customers clocks.

Doors Can Lighten a Room

It seems fairly obvious that introducing more light into the home is something people feel is important and this is quite understandable as who doesn’t feel better on a bright summer’s day than on a rather dingy day in winter? Light is a precious resource and it is natural that we should want to maximise it to enhance our lives, however, building our own home with a wall entirely made of glass is not an option open to everyone, so what can the less fortunate among us do? In years gone by, any aperture even if it was glazed was a sure way to lose heat from the house and before central heating keeping warm was a significant preoccupation for the residents. So the question was how to get more light into a house without compromising the need to keep warm.

One of the darker parts of any home is the upstairs landing as it normally has no natural light being merely a means of access to the rooms leading off it. You might have noticed in older houses that there are often windows above the doors on a landing (known as fanlights) to allow light from the rooms off the landing to be introduced into what would otherwise be a rather dark and unwelcoming space. This was a rather limited way of creating more light but interior designers were constrained by the fact that glass was a potentially hazardous material as when it shattered it was dangerous to the occupants. The development of safety glass which is now used in glazed doors has meant this is no longer a constraint and more light can now be brought in through the glazed panel in the door, which is much more effective than a fanlight!

The creative use of glazed internal doors in many homes has meant that not only is more light introduced but it can be done with style and as part of an overall design theme. Improved production processes mean that glazed doors are within the pocket of most as is the opportunity of using them to enhance a home. The choice of glazing used to be clear or frosted, (usually for the bathroom) but now, there are a variety of glazing options to suit all tastes. Clear glass is still available but there is also bevelled, diamond cut and even etched patterned glass to make a glazed door really be a design feature as well as carrying out its main function of light enhancement.

The modern trend towards having a light and airy living space lends itself to having more glazing as part of the interior design. There are a lot of glazed internal doors in the market and suit both traditional and contemporary settings and can really open up a room and flood it with natural light, so there’s no excuse for sitting in the dark!

Exterior Wall Painting

Choosing a color can be done in a variety of ways. For example you can first begin by choosing a color family which suits your taste. For example the blue color family will have a variety of shades within it, as will a yellow color family. Once you pick a shade there are a number of complementary colors to highlight your color design. For example, blue and orange are complimentary colors. Once you pick a shade of paint, it may also be available in a variety of finishes that give the color a unique sheen, for example a matte finish, or a metallic finish. There are many selections that can be made available to you.

The second purpose your home’s exterior wall paint serves is a practical purpose. Just as your home is a safeguard for you, the paints used on the exterior walls of your home serve a protective purpose. Just as you would care for yourself and your family, your home is a structure that needs to be looked after. Painting the exterior of your house at first can seem complicated. However it is more or less a simple procedure when you keep in mind some basics.

The first step in painting the exterior wall is to make sure any cracked surface is filled up with plaster and dried. After which the surface is covered in primer paint. This is followed up with top coat paints. Some special surfaces like parapets or awnings are given a few more coats of paints for additional protection. Painting the exterior of your house serves many purposes. Good exterior wall paint can increase the longevity of your home. It can also increase the value of your home. In the long run, durable exterior wall paint can save you money on your home by helping you avoid repairs.

Identify Different Grades of Granite Worktop Surfaces

First Choice

This is the highest quality of granites. First choice granite slabs have high gloss surfaces and hardly any visual imperfections. These granites usually come in rarer colours or have patterns individual to that slab. These properties increase the value of the stone solely for its appearance. There is usually no advantage in terms of strength or durability compared to the other grades. The veins and other imperfections can make first choice granites difficult to work with during the cutting process.

Commercial Quality

Commercial quality stones have easy to notice defects such as cracks, veins or blotches. Although, there are many professionals with the tools and knowledge in the trade that can process the commercial quality granites really well. The polishing on the surface is not as glossy as first choice granites but there are processes which can help improve the gloss. Commercial quality granites cost less than the higher quality first choice, however they can actually be more durable due to containing fewer veins.

Second Choice

Second choice granites are the lowest and cheapest of all the grades. These are least popular because they consist of many natural imperfections and blotches. There are professionals who can repair these imperfections which will help to save the manufacturer money on materials. This will require more time during the processing of the material. Second choice granites usually come in smaller cuts as the material contains higher concentrations of veins. If you do find a piece that works, you can save yourself a lot of money.

Oriental Rug Cleaning

  • Your rug will pick up dirt and debris from the bottom of shoes that come in contact with it. Even though it may look clean it may be full of contaminants that have attached themselves to the fibers of the rug. Cleaning your rug at least once a month is the absolute minimum. If you notice a stain on the rug it must be addressed immediately so it does not set in and cost you a tremendous amount of money to have that area repaired.
  • If you have heavy traffic on your rug you should vacuum it at least once a week to keep it fresh and clean. Begin vacuuming one side first until you have covered the entire rug. If you can lift a corner up and hit it with your fist and still see a cloud of dirt that means you need to vacuum again. Be certain to vacuum both sides of the oriental rug.
  • To clean your rug you will need to create a mixture of one part vinegar and three parts water. This will ensure that the vegetable dyes used to create the rug is not damaged or discolored. Never use a soapy cleaner on an oriental rug because there is no way to 100% remove the soap without soaking the rug with a garden hose. This oriental rug cleaning mixture will help your rug to smell fresh, look fresh, and last much longer.
  • Place the vinegar mixture in a plastic spray bottle and gentle spray the entire area of the rug without soaking. Let the rug dry thoroughly.
  • Spray the mixture on to the fringe area of the rug and work in the solution with a very soft brush. Mimic the motions of brushing your hair as you gently stroke the fibers of the oriental rug. Do not use the vinegar mix on white or cotton fiber fringes or you run the risk of turning them yellow or brown.
  • Take a small fan and place it on the floor near the rug to dry the solution faster. Leaving a wet oriental rug on a hardwood floor can attract mold and mildew. Never hand a wet rug on a clothing line to dry or you run the risk of the colors running. If your rug is dry to the touch but still damp you can let it dry on the clothing line.

About Pool Closings

Winter weather means ice and snow and a lot of freezing of standing water, so the most important step in winterizing the pool is that you get all standing water out of all pipes and fixtures. If you keep any water in any pipe it may freeze which causes the pipe to expand and quite possibly break meaning you will need a replacement come next summer or you’ll be dealing with a leak all season long. Underground pipes can freeze too, so be sure to get all the water out with a high powered air compressor or shop vac. No water in the pipes means no ice in the pipes once the temperature drops.

If you have a tiled pool around the water level and you don’t lower that water level to below the tile, again the water can freeze and expand out which can break your tiles. Lowing the water level to below this line saves your tiles and keeps them intact for seasons to come. If however you just have a liner in the pool you don’t need to lower the water level too much. The more water left in the pool actually helps the cover stay put and not dip too much come the harsh winter weather.

For optimal results, a winterizing mix of chemicals is also needed. Most experts say that a concentrated shock treatment with winter algaecide and stain treatment product will get the job done. You should also adjust the pH and the alkalinity in the remaining water. If you are using granular chemicals mix them up in a bucket before putting them in the pool so you don’t have issues with them staining the bottom of the pool.

Don’t forget to store all the pieces that you remove from a pool in the same spot so you can find them easily come spring. Happy pool closing!

Optimise a Small Space

Source Clever Furniture

Furniture for small spaces needs to be stylish and practical. The trick is to find a versatile piece that can be used for different purposes. Look for furniture that can be used as a standalone piece, or be used in combination with other pieces for a different purpose. For example, timber of upholstered cubes can be used as tables, footstools or additional seating. When arranged as a set of four in a larger square they also make a great coffee table by adding a tray on top. In no time, you can arrange your living area to your needs. Additionally, these cubes are stylish decorative pieces to play around with colours, textures and materials to coordinate with any interior.

Focus on the Floor

A very simple method to make a space look larger is using the same flooring throughout the whole apartment. Especially in open-plan living areas, a single finish from the entrance through the living and dining area will widen the space. This will additionally be enhanced by continuing the chosen finish to the outside entertainment area. There is a huge choice of floor tiles with indoor and outdoor versions available. Timber tiles are also very popular as they add the warmth of the timber look to a space and can be used in the kitchen as well.

Decorate like a Pro

In decorating your home you can unleash your creativity! Even if you think you are not creative at all, give it a go and start being inspired by interior designers from all over the world. Research design blogs and follow the ones that speak to you. Browse design departments in large bookstores to dive in the realm of interiors. You will discover that most interior designers love to share their work and inspirations. Borrow the things you like and implement them in your own home, with your modifications. Check out Kit Kemp’s famous design hotels for inspiration to layer colour and pattern.

Open Space Living Concept

The beginning of the open space concept may have begun with a pass-through from the kitchen to the dining room. The pass-through may have been revolutionary in its day, but it is a bit too closed in for today’s living.

One of the first things most people have to decide when considering the removal of an upper wall, is the cabinetry on that wall and where to store what is in those cabinets. The same is true when considering removal of floating cabinets over an island or peninsula. It may be wise to open the cabinets, evaluate what is stored in them and determine where else the items can be stored. You may even find a lot of things you considered “lost” because they were unseen and not easily accessible. The things you still need and use, albeit less frequently, can be stored in other cabinets. This exercise forces you to really access the items need to be in your home; so making careful choices is important.

If you happen to have such a pass-through and wonder how to modernize it or truly open the space, there are few things you need to consider. First, you will want your kitchen to be attractive and uncluttered enough to be on constant display. You will want your cabinetry to coordinate with the rooms to which it is open, i.e. family room, dining room.

If your cabinets are old, outdated or shabby, painting will be the easiest fix. You can consider removing some of the door fronts and keeping some open cabinetry on upper cabinets for some of your pretty or frequently used utensils. The most important thing to keep in mind with open shelves, is the view you will present to the rest of the room.

Another consideration is the lighting that will be visible from the living spaces into the kitchen area. A new, attractive light fixture might be a nice accent to add to the kitchen. Color will be another consideration; you will want the two or three combined spaces to be cohesive. The rooms need not be the same color, but they should coordinate; consider a bolder value of the same color from room to room or a graduated value of color among the three rooms. Color too will give an open concept a subtle room division.

The pass-through kitchen will require some amount of DIY skill, or you can hire a contractor. You will need to determine if the wall separating the kitchen and other rooms is load-bearing before you swing the sledge hammer. There may be electrical wires or plumbing pipes in the walls, so go slowly and check in the attic or have someone who is skilled in construction help you determine these issues. Oftentimes, a post or pillar will be necessary to hold up the end of a load-bearing wall.

When you have cabinets on the kitchen side of the pass through wall, you will want the cabinets to remain for storage, so a half wall will be your division between the rooms, still giving you a visual open space. A half wall may give you an opportunity to have a console on the living room side of the half wall, to be used for games or if it is a dining space, a buffet server for parties.

Colour Combinations for Home

Different spaces in the house will demand different kinds of color combinations. The different rooms of the house need to be painted keeping in mind the utility of the space, as well as the wear and tear of the area. Light walls in the children’s room for example will get dirty in a matter of minutes. So keep in mind the use of the space while selecting the wall color.

Color matching is the best way to ensure that the colors on the walls do not clash with each other. No one wants their walls to look like a misshapen mess. Paying attention to the colors is therefore important. It is equally important to know your color preferences. While browns may work for your friend, they may drag you down. It is therefore very essential to consider the colors being chosen for the room.

It is possible to paint the house keeping in mind a theme. The most basic theme has always been painting all the walls of a particular room the same color. This ensures that the rooms look different and the space is well defined. But this theme does not find favor with the customer any longer.

Another theme is to have an accent wall in a contrast color combination. This is the current favorite trend in the painting of houses. The accent wall then becomes the highlight of the room. The accent wall is also painted a darker color. This can be done with a texture to the accent wall as well. On the other hand, the accent wall may be kept smooth when the other walls have a texture to them. This creates a very interesting combination too.

Painting the walls shades of a certain color is also finding takers. This is the best way to make optimum use of your favorite color. The darkest wall in this scheme will then become the accent wall. Whoever thought that eggplant and pale green will be a color combination for your walls? That is the most sought after color combination currently in vogue. So let your imagination run wild, and use the colors that best work for you.

Hire A Pool Installation Company

A concrete or gunite pool can be custom built to suit any style or depth of modern structures for all sized properties. Fiberglass pools are manufactured in standard shapes and sizes and cannot produce considerable depths in comparison to the concrete designs. The popularity of a gunite pool is attributed to its flexible construction providing endless opportunities to create attractive and functional features that will last for many years.

Concrete has remained the most durable construction, developed to withstand general wear and tear and external conditions. These pools require the most extensive time period to complete and require sufficient planning for project completion by the summer. Fiberglass pools are pre-manufactured and installed within the prepared ground subject to the formation of fine cracks and expensive repairs to the shell and lining over time.

The development of solid construction provided by a reputable installation company can last up to 50 years with regular maintenance. It is less expensive to upgrade and remodel inground pools in comparison to the extensive procedure involved in developing fiberglass shells. The fiberglass pools will have to be excavated and a new factory produced mold purchased for installation that is costly and time-consuming when compared to its versatile gunite counterparts.

The installation of inground pools includes price comparisons of materials and the labor involved. A professional pool company must inspect the property to determine costs and provide customers with a detailed quotation. The estimate must provide valuable options and includes a comparison of expenses to make an informed decision concerning the selection of builders and the most suitable styles of pools.

Installation companies must be licensed and experienced to complete projects on time and according to a high standard of service. An installer will assess the area for the construction of swimming pools and advise on designs and materials that are most applicable to the property. Online reviews and reading the websites of companies can provide detailed information on the options available that prove valuable and affordable.

A quality installation business will adhere to zoning regulations and ensure that all construction requirements are addressed for safe and effective results. A professional inspection offers reliable services and efficient project completion in accordance with specified codes. Builders can advise on modern design solutions including ease of maintenance and overall aesthetic value.