Author: Michael Rourky

Inground Pools


For homeowners who wish to have a fully customizable model, concrete is the way to go. The homeowner can design the shape and size based on their needs and preferences. Designers can provide decorative accents, such as etching, to provide a customized pool. Also, concrete models will last a long time.

The drawback to concrete is the cost. They are more expensive primarily due to the type of materials that are used to construct them. There is also a lot of time-intensive labor required to install them. Adding in customization or intricate design work will also add to the expense.


Vinyl models are another option to consider. These inground pools are installed by placing a steel frame in the ground. It is then covered with a strong plastic cover. For those homeowners who want to customize the shape but do not want the expense of concrete, vinyl is a comparable option. They are significantly less costly than other options and are quick to install.

While they are durable and considered strong by industry standards, they do come with a set of risks. The probability of puncture to the lining is one of the biggest risks. If the liner is punctured or torn, leaks will be imminent. If this happens, a technician will have to locate and repair the leak or replace the liner altogether.


Another option is fiberglass. Fiberglass models are prefabricated structures that are manufactured in several shapes and sizes. They are placed directly into the ground. This option is the least expensive for this type of pool. Fiberglass models are easier to install than both concrete and vinyl and can be done fairly quickly. They are also more durable than vinyl models.

The primary drawback is the lack of versatility. While there are different shapes available, they are few compared to what is available in other formats. Decorative accents are also limited due to mass production.

Before making a final choice, carefully consider the benefits and drawbacks of the different types of inground pools. The look and style are important, but so are the price and versatility. In addition, it is important to make regional considerations. Climate and the terrain of the land are key factors in the decision. Always work closely with a professional pool installation service to obtain the best advice on this major home investment.

Benefits Hiring Pool Cleaning Experts

Find a company that promises exceptional quality to its services and is confident enough to offer a hundred percent money-back guarantee. So if you are looking for a pool cleaning service in your neighborhood, make sure that you engage a company that prioritizes quality. In making quality its priority, a pool service company would be backed by its thorough checklist as well as by its team of highly trained employees.

It takes pains to make sure that its employees are trained and tested on both chemical and equipment information and that they continue to stay current on all new information and technology advances in the area of pool services. The checklist mentioned above ensures that clients never need worry about adding chemicals or salting their pool. The service includes an extensive tracking program that keeps all chemical results from every visit.

Such data are essential in taking the proper measures that will keep your pool looking its best as well as extend its longevity and that of its equipment. Needless to say, it also strictly meets legal requirements by bearing all necessary licenses and permits, as well as taking care to protect the company, its staff, and its clients with the appropriate insurance policies. It also gives the assurance of performing background checks on its employees, understanding that clients need to feel safe about the people coming over to work on their property. This is very essential for the security of the clients.

Aside from the technical knowledge and skill, quality of service is also an important factor to consider. So choose a service that has a reputation for promptness and reliability. Find out if there have been complaints about the demeanor of the staff. Make sure the technicians are friendly but professional. They should demonstrate respect for both people and property. They should make the clients feel at ease around them and they should possess an approachable attitude.

Unique Cubes Solve Clutter

Tackle Clutter with Cubes

One of the trendiest methods of getting organized is through stacking wire storage cubes. Available in several colors, wire cubes are perfect for both residential and commercial needs. Wooden cubes are also popular, but the high visibility that wire cubes offer can make them more desirable. Being able to see the objects stored enables you to quickly find what you are looking for.

Versatile and Convenient Organization

A wire cube storage system is the perfect solution to all of your storage needs. These cubes can literally be used in any setting, from the office to the home, few other products can compare to the versatility and simplicity that these stacking and expandable wire cubes offer. Even retailers find these metal cubes perfect for their needs. Wire cubes are easy to put together, they are lightweight, stackable, and can be used to create a storage system of any size.

Cube Storage Options

Though the wire cubes are very popular, some people prefer wooden cubes to accentuate their home décor. IKEA storage cubes are one of the most common brands on the market. IKEA has several styles of storage cubes that can literally be used for anything. No matter what IKEA cubes are used to organize, they make cluttered nightmares turn into blissful dreams.

Adding Personality to Cube Storage Systems

Regardless of whether using wire or wooden cubes, you can spice them up with colorful fabric storage cubes. Sized to slide perfectly into cubes, fabric cubes can be found in any color, size, and design you can possibly imagine. A fabric cube has handles for easy access and keeps things organized in privacy.

Organization Made Easy and Affordable

It can easily be said that a home that is organized with cubes is a less stressful home. Storage cubes can hold any and everything under the sun, the fact that they are affordable and good looking make them even more ideal. Many people fall in love with the first set of cubes that they end up using them in several other rooms.

Dollhouse Decorating

Keep this in mind if you want your room box to feel airy and spacious, or as I like to put it, “think about the invisible.” Create as much unused space as possible in your miniature. This doesn’t necessarily mean less furniture, but being more selective in choices available, in whatever time period you are working.

For example instead of having a sofa that has a skirt all the way to the floor, have one that has the legs visible, so that you can see underneath. That’s the “invisible” part. You don’t see the bottom of the sofa. You only see the seat and back, but your mind knows there is probably empty space under there. Sure enough. Hold the box at eye level and you can see all the way to the wall. This gives the illusion of a small block of a space being used rather than a large block.

The same is true of tables, which should have relatively thin tops and legs, They take up less visual space. Add a mirrored top, if authentic, to reflect more space.

Sheer curtains allow the viewer to see beyond, which adds up to more space. A single large piece of art appears to take up less wall space than a grouping of pictures of the same overall dimensions.

Keep books and knick-knacks on flat surfaces to a minimum. Book cases with open backs appear less bulky than enclosed ones. Instead of a solid mass of books, use a clear vase, a stack of two or three books or a picture frame on one of the shelves. It looks as though you can see right through to the wall

Another way you can give a miniature room a more spacious feeling is furniture placement. These suggestions are relevant only If your project emulates reality, not If you are recreating a memory, which requires the use of as many meaningful objects as possible.

Make sure you don’t interfere with traffic flow. Don’t block doorways, so that a person would have to go around a chair or table. Traffic should “flow” like a stream, unblocked by obstacles.

If your room box can be viewed from the top through glass or a vinyl sheet, be careful about putting a coffee table so close to the sofa that in real life, a person would have to squeeze by to sit down. If your miniature can only be viewed from the front, it’s okay to cheat a bit if you have to balance perspective.

Don’t block windows with furniture. And try to keep from having furniture lined up against the walls. Rather, have a grouping of furniture for people to sit close and have a conversation. And be surrounded by negative space.

Rugs should anchor furniture. Put the front legs of a sofa on the rug; back legs on the flooring underneath. If angling furniture across a corner, do it with more than one piece. Or angle the rug, too. The idea is to arrange right angles for each object. One lonely piece just looks like you’ve cut off the corner.

Organizing Personal Coffee Bar

You first want to start with clearing off your space. Take a look around for items that are displayed on your counter-space, yet you rarely use. If you have small appliances that you only use once or twice a month, it is a good idea to put them away in your pantry or cabinets so that you can make space for your every day appliances, like your Keurig. (For the purpose of this article, I will use Keurig as an example because it’s such a household name, and nearly everyone I know has one)

The beauty of having a Keurig is that there are so many items on the market that complement your coffee maker, that it is nearly impossible not to have a dedicated area, in your kitchen, where you can find everything quickly, and be on your way.

There are several different styles of Keurig cup holders in the market today. Some are vertical, while others look like small independent cabinets. My favorite one is the Keurig drawer. The beauty of this drawer is that it can house a number of coffees, and it is sturdy enough for you to place your coffee machine on top. This drawer makes for a great space-saver!

Another tip I have for you is to place your coffee machine in close proximity to a kitchen drawer. There are several drawer dividers in the market today that you could use. Make yourself partitions that will house items like your sugar packets, your stirring sticks, your splenda, you get the point.

If purchasing drawer dividers is not in your current budget, you may use containers from around your kitchen. In my home, we have 2 very busy teenagers. We normally buy packs of throw away items like plastic utensils and plates. Some plastic utensils, come in tray like boxes that you can reuse. I have found these “trays” to be the ideal height for my kitchen drawers.

Lastly, clear an area of the cabinet space directly over your coffee machine, and place your coffee mugs there.

Select and Install Grommet Curtains

First step – selecting the curtains

There is always a lot of confusion while selecting the right curtains for your windows. The good thing about the grommet style is that there are not many variations in terms of design and style, and that makes it easy for you to select the right curtains. However there are enough options for you to choose the best fit for your interiors. The designs may vary from contemporary to country and many more. There are also the color variations which you can decide based on your preferences and the interiors of your house. Likewise cost is often an issue and the curtains could be chosen based on the personal preferences while considering the affordability factor. Discount curtains are easily available on the internet and can be a very good option for those who are looking to save some money. Selecting the best curtains for your windows may take some time but it is essential and you should not settle for something which you are not excited about.

Installation of the curtains

The installation of grommet curtains requires some expertise and therefore, you will have to understand a few technicalities here to install them by yourself. You can also go for someone else’s help but even then, since you will have to replace them on regular basis, you should know how to do that. While installing, it is important to keep the length of the window in mind and make sure the curtains fit every well. The size in this case is of huge importance and cannot be even slightly shorter or slightly longer than the required, otherwise it may affect the look. It has to be perfect. Also, you can get a few colors to keep changing the interiors after some time.

Black And White Cowhide Rugs

The Look of Cowhide

All types of floor coverings that you add to your space can help to control the noise volume in a home with wood or stone floors. However, the area rugs that you choose to use in your decorating efforts will play a major role in the overall look of a home, and because of this, you do want to consider the benefits of a cowhide rug with a black and white design. Cowhide rugs are often associated with rustic homes with a country western look, but they can also be used with gorgeous results in homes with a modern look or even a traditional look. The black and white hue of traditional cowhide rugs makes them ideal for enhancing the look of many homes. Your room may have minimal use of colors, and the unique pattern of cowhide coupled with the textile element of this material will enrich the style. On the other hand, your room may utilize bold colors, and the coloring and design of this type of rug can provide a beautiful contrasting element that you will love.

Versatility and Durability

When you invest in an area rug for your home, you want it to look great, but you also want it to hold up well to your regular use. Cowhide rugs are known for their unique versatility as well as their durability. They can be placed in the center of a room as a focal point, under a coffee table or in another area where you need to add softness and texture to the space. Their durability makes them highly versatile to use with many types of décor as well as in many areas of the home. This is a type of rug that you can purchase for your existing home décor today, but you may find that you can incorporate it into your home’s look when you redecorate in future years too.

Add Color To Space

There are many ways to combine colors to create a balanced and pleasing design. In general, it is best not to use more than three colors in a space. Plan to use one color primarily in the space, one color for more than half the remaining balance, and use the third just as an accent.

Wall color is an easy and inexpensive way to redecorate a room. Just changing the wall shade can dramatically alter the look of the space. Your choice of hue can make the room appear larger or smaller. For example, a small room can look larger if you use a white on the walls. Likewise, using a dark color such as chocolate brown on your walls can make a room seem smaller and cozier.

Before you jump in with a bold shade on your walls, try it out in smaller doses, such as with pillows or accent pieces, to make sure you like it, before you commit to it on the wall. Are you looking to try a deep color in a space, but are afraid it might be too strong? Try using it on the ceiling instead and keep the walls white. The hue will pop against the white of the walls giving a cozy feeling to the space.

Color has a role in how a room feels. When choosing a shade for a room consider what type of feel you are looking for in the space. Are you looking to have a soothing space, or a playful one? Sleek and modern or old world and rustic? Neutral tones convey a more soothing feel while pops of color are more energetic and playful. Stark white can be very modern while warm reds, yellow and brown will feel more Tuscan and rustic. Light green is a color that brings about a feeling of calm. This tranquil shade can also encourage silence and concentration. That is why you will often see light green used in classrooms and libraries.

The simplest way to go about choosing colors for your space is to look at a color wheel. The wheel will help you mix hues to get palettes with varying degrees of contrast. Common types of color schemes are monochromatic, complementary, analogous, neutral, single color and black and white.

The most basic color scheme is to use one single shade with white. It is relatively easy to accomplish as this combination is straight forward. A one color design shows off the hue and provides a crisp clean look.

Colors that are monochromatic, which means they have the same tone, are perfect to use to accent each other. An example of this is to use different shades of blue in a room. Monochromatic color schemes create a soothing effect in a space.

Choosing colors that are complementary, or opposite each other on the wheel, create a dynamic color scheme. These colors appear brighter when they are used together. Examples of this are purple and yellow, or red and green. Be careful when using complementary colors in decorating. They are tricky to use in large doses, but work well when you want something to stand out.

A neutral color theme uses shades of brown, black or white. This type of design creates a calm, and subtle environment.

Analogous color schemes use hues that are next to each other on the color wheel. These colors usually match well and are pleasing to the eye. Examples of this are yellow, orange and green. They have a colorful but relaxing look together. Choose one shade to dominate, and a second to support it. The third color is used as an accent.

A final color scheme is the classic combination of black and white. The two shades go together perfectly and are always in style. Decorating with white walls and black trim is an easy way to provide a crisp neutral backdrop in a space. This neutral base goes well with many decorating styles and also makes it easy to add fun pops of color or patterns to the room.

Using color is a wonderful way to enhance or change a space. Overall, understanding how to best use colors will give anyone the tools they need to decorate like a designer.

Pros and Cons of LED Lights

LED Lights – Pros

  1. LEDs use 90% less energy than traditional bulbs and as such are the most efficient. As a result LEDs can sometimes pay for themselves relatively quickly through energy savings.
  2. They last a long long time. Depending on which ones you buy and how frequently you use them, they can even last 25-30 years.
  3. They brighten almost immediately when you flick the light switch.
  4. They are less of a fire hazard because they have lower radiated heat.
  5. The light bulb is durable and more resistant to shock and vibration.
  6. New technologies are giving users an element of creativity – they can be easily programmed to do fun stuff.
  7. No UV rays

LED Lights – Cons

  1. This market is currently self-regulated and as such their quality can be inconsistent.
  2. Brighter LEDs are becoming increasingly available, however it can still be difficult to find those with higher wattages.
  3. They can produce a cooler bluish light which isn’t very attractive. The best LEDs, however, should be indistinguishable from your old bulbs and will produce a nice warm light.
  4. It is often more complicated to add a dimmer switch to LED lights than regular bulbs.

LED lights are increasingly becoming the norm. Important recent developments have reduced their cost and made it a lot easier to operate and install. Lighting is a very important consideration in any interior design as it has been shown to affect the way people live, work, and feel. Also as environmental concerns come to the forefront of societal thinking, reducing the burden on our planet’s resources through LED lights may not only become commonplace but also be enforced with legislation.

About Wide Open Spaces

Open spaces deliver challenges and opportunities simultaneously. Here you are, moved into this new and better home that is open from the front door to the kitchen!

What to do?

On the up side, you can choose your dining area. Get creative and see what area feels like a relaxing space; one that has the best view and some access to the delivery of the food will create an easy flow and feel natural.

This floor plan typically defines the builder’s idea of the dining area by the placement of the chandelier. That’s not a game changer; three screws are all that anchor the existing light to the space it currently. You can move it and add a new light that better suits the new use of the space.

Lighting is easily changed from room to room if you love the one you’re with; or with a replacement if you don’t.

A note of caution; before you rush out to buy lighting, decide what style, yes style, is your style.

Take a long look at your furniture, your paint selections, your accessories and the look and feel you want to create in each room.

Lighting is one of the most strategic tools in the game plan of creating your masterpiece. Use it wisely to define an entry area, a dining area and any other ‘specific’ areas in this floor plan.

In open floor plans, living rooms usually need to be created by furniture selections and placement.

Open plans are devoid of wall outlets except against the walls which, as you may have noticed, are missing. Attempting to use table lamps will leave you with exposed cords that impede traffic flow and create unnecessary fall risks.

These floor plans work better with floor lighting and wall sconces that promotes a more comfortable and cozy atmosphere.

Storage is another challenge in the open floor plan. Decide whether you want to create an entry area or foyer and work from that point of beginning.

Placing an entry chest or buffet style of furniture at the point where you want to ‘end’ the entry area will provide a place for paper and pens to jot down notes or messages at the door and a place for sweaters and other light wraps you grab on the way in or out of your home.

Open shelving units will maintain the open feeling, create a break point and still provide some light storage if drawer units are located in the bottom sections.

This same challenge is encountered in the family room area and can be addressed in the same manner. The best part of an open floor plan is the walls you do not have to relocate!

The open floor plan typically offers “plant shelving” to accommodate floating walls. These become a display area for your most valued treasures that are stored in many attics for lack of a place to show them off safely.

And one more thing; if you have vaulted ceilings that are at least 12′ high, make good use of them! Look for shelving or older free standing cabinetry units; repurpose them and ‘hang em high!’ This is a wonderful place to showcase something important in your décor plan.

Try hanging a complete book case cabinet high above the fireplace when you have high vaulted ceilings. Leave the doors open and show off the most reassured items without worry of breakage from lookers.

You can find every style of pre-built fireplaces at your local Lowe’s and many other places (back to the online search here) and create your best focal point by placing it under a hanging unit.

An added benefit; you will have acquired that much talked about and desired mantle for hanging stockings and a romantic setting for the cozy evenings with this kind of unit. They also have a heater and blower hidden behind the glowing ‘fire, making them a very practical solution to a cold room!’