Category: Home Improvement

Treatments for Tall Windows

Drapes

Drapery is the classic window treatment and an excellent choice for your home if you are looking to make a dramatic or elegant style statement. Tall windows develop a distinctly regal look when treated with draperies, but you need to think carefully about context. A smaller curtain rod will not make much of an impression hanging above a 15 foot window, so larger hardware is recommended. Valances and tie backs are also attractive accessories for your tall window treatments.

Roman Shades

Roman shades are one type of window covering ideal for blocking the sun and improving privacy. Especially for homeowners who prefer a contemporary or more tailored look, roman shades are a great choice. Their sleek design creates a sense of luxury without excessive amounts of fabric cluttering your window space. Moreover, these shades give you greater control over privacy and lighting so they make an especially good choice for west or south facing windows and those susceptible to prying eyes. For added design flexibility, consider combining draperies and roman shades to create a more chic look.

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are a relatively recent trend in window treatments. Their modern style notwithstanding, cellular shades are also a good choice for improving energy efficiency. Cellular shades are available in top down or bottom up styles, and the top and bottom of shades move independently for greater control over lighting and privacy. In fact, unlike traditional blinds or roman shades, you can adjust your cellular shades to allow more sunlight while maintaining privacy.

Motorized Shades

Shades and blinds can be very difficult to adjust on tall windows. You may not be able to reach the pulley system for very tall windows, so motorized shades are an excellent alternative. Plus, motorized blinds eliminate cords so they are a safer choice in homes with small children and pets.

Reasons To Install Granite Flooring

  • Elegant Appearance: One of the most beneficial features of this natural stone is its chic and sophisticated appearance. It can enhance the appearance of the entire home or office space.
  • Variety: Granite flooring is available in a huge variety of patterns and colors. As it is a natural stone, every pattern is unique and distinctive. It is possible to enhance the appearance of the floors by combining different styles and colors of tiles.
  • Durability: One of the most important feature and benefit of using these floor tiles is its durability. It is known to be one of the hardest natural stones next to diamond. It is tensile enough to withstand all sorts of damages. The floorings remains intact even when heavy objects are dropped on it. It seldom retains any stains when coffee, juice or any other drinks are spilled on it. It can also be used in areas with high traffic as it causes no wear and tear or damages.
  • Low Maintenance: As this natural stone is durable and strong, it hardly requires any maintenance. The appearance of these floors can be maintained by sweeping it regularly with a wet mop. The color and the glossiness of the floor surface can be maintained by applying a sealant on a periodic basis.
  • Safe and Non Allergic: This type of flooring is completely safe for people with allergies as it hardly retains any dirt or dust. It is also resistant to bacteria which make it one of the safest floorings for home and office spaces. Moreover, there are non-slippery floor surfaces which can be used to prevent the risk of falling.
  • Versatile: As there are a huge collection of floorings made available through various online stores, it is possible to use these floor tiles in different areas in homes and offices. It can also be used in hospitals, ticket counters, platforms and other areas as it is safe and hygienic.
  • Affordable: Granite flooring is comparatively affordable as it is available on most of the online stores at reasonable price rates. There are many stores which offer high quality products at affordable prices. Although the prices may be higher than the other flooring products, it tends to last for an entire lifetime, if it is maintained properly.

Although this natural stone is ingrained with a large number of beneficial features, it is important to know that it is quite difficult to install the tile on uneven surfaces. Installation of these floor tiles require professional assistance as it can be cut only with the right type of tools and accessories.

Surprising Pool Maintenance Tricks

Use a Bucket to Track Water Usage

Environmental factors, like temperature, and humidity, dictate the rate at which the pool loses water. However, average water loss should not be more than twenty-five percent of an inch daily. To measure the rate of water loss, place a weighted bucket on the stairs and mark the water levels at different intervals throughout the day. Significant margins are an indication of a leak in the pool, which you should have repaired. If the water levels are lower than what you would like, simply use a hose pipe to fill up the pool to the required levels. Remember to check the chemical levels after each refill.

Use a Line and Net to Remove Dirt

Loose dirt that finds its way into the pool can be removed by skimming, using a net fixed to a line. However, dirt, residue, and contaminants may stick along the tile area and water line, necessitating proper cleaning. Dedicate yourself to cleaning this area at least once per week to reduce calcium build up. As you clean the tiles, also remember that the walkways need to be cleaned too to minimize chances of transferring grime and dirt into the pool.

The Filter is the Kidney of Your Pool

If you do not adequately take care of this small, yet crucial part of your pool, eventually you may end up with a dead pool. In the same way the kidneys are responsible for removing impurities, so the filter is designed to remove contaminants like leaves, dirt, and small debris from the water. Once a month, it is advisable to clean the pipes in the filter system. A simple way to do so is to backwash by removing the leaf basket and turning on the pump and letting it run till the pipe discharges clear water.

Ensure that You Maintain Consistent Chemical Levels

This is one of the most critical factors in proper pool maintenance. When the water lacks proper chemical balance, it looks murky, irritates skin, and can harbor bacteria. It is recommended to test the chemical levels weekly. The chemical levels to be tested are cyanuric acid, free chlorine, total alkalinity, acidity/alkalinity, and calcium hardness.

Get a professional to do the testing for you. If you want to do it yourself, buy the testing kit from the local pool store and follow the attached instructions. Chemicals that are well balanced make your water very clear and produce no smell and leave no residue on the skin.

It is also recommended to “shock” your pool. This refers to raising the chlorine levels of the pool suddenly but for a short time. The technique is useful in killing bacteria, and the way to do this is to dilute five times the usual amount of chlorine with water and then slowly pouring it into the swimming pool. A few minutes later you refill the pool with water to restore the normal chlorine levels. Shocking increases the risk of damaging the pools siding, and that is why it is recommendable to limit the process to no more than two times each season.

Check the Condition of the Skimmer Lid

Occasionally it is necessary to replace the skimmer cover in case it gets cracked or broken. It plays an important role by preventing people or pets from falling into the skimmer well so it is important to ensure that it is in good condition and firmly fixed in position. During replacement, ensure that the power to the pump is turned off to avoid accidents.

Power Wash

This is also known as pressure washing and the process helps get rid of weather stains and any rust that can occur over time. The process begins by sweeping the deck clean to make it free of loose dirt so that it does not spread all over during cleaning. Set the power washer to medium power and spray the surface to remove all debris, doing so over and over again until the place is thoroughly clean. A power washer can be rented from the local pool store.

Ensure You Schedule a Yearly Service Appointment with an Expert

You may not think that it is necessary, but the knowledge you have may not be sufficient for the care of your equipment like filters, pumps, and heating systems. A professional pool service provider will not only check your devices but also advise you on what you need to improve to keep your pool in good order. They can quickly detect small problems that might cause a massive crisis in future.

Creating Relaxing Bedroom Atmosphere

Storage is the Answer

Bedroom storage needn’t be unattractive, quite the opposite in fact. Modular bedroom furniture offers a wide range of options to enable you to personalise the way you store your clothing, cosmetics, papers, books and indeed anything else that finds a home in your bedroom.

Solid, great to look at and perfect for helping to create a clutter-free and calm environment, whether you prefer a completely clean and minimalistic look or do enjoy having favourite trinkets and pictures around you, this way of organising a room provides you with a number of flexible options.

Use Scent to Create a Calming Environment

A range of natural fragrances have been used for hundreds of years to promote healing, relaxation and sleep. Lavender and sandalwood are the obvious choices although there are a number of other essential oils which might be used. Steer away from chemical-based air fresheners and sprays, instead choosing fragrant and attractive pot pourri or using a few drops of essential oils.

Create the Perfect Bed for You

If you simply can’t wait to dive into your bed then your bed is set up correctly. Quality linens, a luxurious feel, a colour which works in harmony with your room and plenty of cushions altogether create a sumptuous feeling which helps you to relax and drift off peacefully.

Ensure that you have the correct mattress type and that your sleeping pillows are as firm or as soft as required so that you wake up refreshed and without any aching.

Choose the Right Pillow

Sleep Style

Do you sleep on your side? Look for a firm pillow that focuses on your head and neck. If you sleep on your back, a medium to firm pillow should be a noticeable improvement. Front sleepers should seek a softer pillow to relieve stress on their neck. There is a theory that sleeping on your back fights wrinkles, because it keeps the weight of the head off the face during the night.

Fill

Pillow Fill could be almost anything, the most typical is foam, goose down, latex. The most expensive fill is Eiderdown, a large sea duck native to the northern coasts of Europe and North America. Other less expensive but still exotic fills are green tea, buckwheat, shredded rubber, flaxseed and lavender. There are more to choose from, but we’ll leave finding the even more exotic up to you.

Allergies

Pillows made from latex are allergy resistant, so they would be the best choice for someone with allergies or asthma to avoid night-time attacks. Granulated latex helps eliminate excess humidity and fights bacterial growth. If you don’t have latex pillows, wash your pillow once a month and hang it outside in the fresh air.

Bed Size

Obviously the size of the bed you’re sleeping in will play a factor in how large your pillow is. Each person will end up having a preference between two small pillows or two large pillows, but you should try out one large pillow to match your sleeping style before attempting to replicate a suitable pillow design with two smaller pillows. Your partner and laundry machine will thank you.

Body Pillows

Body Pillows are great for people looking for something to hold on to during those chilly winter nights, and if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. These pillows, also known as dakimakura or a Dutch Wife, are also available with prints on them.

Identify Great Concrete Pool Builder

You have to check if the concrete pool builder you are considering for the job uses 3D design software. You can check if after the first meeting with him where you supply him with all the details that you need including the design and style, he undertakes to create an impression to show you the final and actual look of your swimming area. This will be a sign of a great expert that you ought to consider.

Another aspect that will help you identify a top concrete pool builder is the software suite programs that he uses to make the layout, route piping systems, design and documents. This software suite will enable him to be able to plan and design a large variety of swimming pools and hence they will be able to deliver your preferred style and design. This software is important for a concrete pool builder to have as it allows for conceptual modeling which will result in the delivery of a top quality swimming area.

You should labor hard to investigate whether your preferred contractor is recognized as a premier contractor in your area. This is the type of a contractor who has a clean and successful track record for completing all the projects assigned to them within the specified amount of time, budget and to the specification of the client. These qualities are what you should look out for as you attempt to get the best concrete pool builder for your swimming area building project.

It is important for you to consider the type and depth of experience that the contractor you have in mind possesses. The greater their experience levels will be then the more possible it will be for you to get your project finished in good time and the swimming area will also adhere to the strictest and highest standards of safety and quality. This is for the simple reason that an experienced concrete pool builder is well versed with all the standards to be observed when building pools and keeping deadlines.

The way that the concrete pool builder company you visit treats you will matter a lot in terms of their service delivery. If you notice that the company treats you badly when you are just inquiring from them about the services they offer, then it is highly likely that they will not give you the best services. A good concrete pool builder company takes its time to explain to you all the steps that will be involved in the building process and also help you choose the most suitable type and design of swimming area that will work for the needs of your family.

You should also consider the reputation that the contractor you are eyeing to help you with your project holds in their industry and community. You should conduct a thorough background check to establish this important fact. You can check what your references or past clients to your preferred contractor have to say about them before settling for their services.

You should also ask the prospective expert you have in mind to provide you with their customer references. This will help you look and scrutinize their job record before you settle for their services. If you notice that the prospective building company is not willing to offer you this list then that would be a sign that it is not a great company to contract for this project.

You can also tell a good concrete pool builder from a poor one based on how they structure their costs. You should not go for the contractors who quote the cheapest amount after you inform them about your expectations as it would compromise on the quality. The best contractor will justify the reason for the quoted costs and they will not also overcharge you for the project.

Concrete Pool Lining Options

Tile Liners

Tile can include numerous colours and can also be used to create simplistic images along the pool floor and walls. They come in various materials, such as fiberglass and ceramic. They take a long time to install, but the beauty they provide is well worth the time and/or effort.

Concrete Liners

Painted concrete surfaces present an opportunity for good creativity. They allow the pool to have fancy, appealing shapes or various forms because the floor and walls can be painted, no matter what shape the pool is. In other words, it is a flexible pool liner so to speak, even though it is just painted concrete. In addition, paint can be used to create works of art on the walls and floor for that extra touch of both luxury and style. The paint that is used on concrete pool linings is usually either a rubberized paint or an epoxy one.

Vinyl Pool Liners

Even though vinyl pool liners are typically used for above-ground pools, they have also evolved into being used as concrete pool liners. They are especially beneficial for concrete walls and floors that have been chipped, cracked, or weathered. They come in many designs, colours, and styles so you can find one that suits your needs.

Pebble and Aggregate Liners

For those that worry about slippery surfaces, pebble pool liners are the perfect solution. They provide a slightly rough surface that does not hurt the feet due to their design. The aggregate materials used in combination with the stones only protrude a little bit from the surface. This type of liner adds natural beauty that is enhanced with sunshine. Depending on the design and materials used, the sun can make the pool surface sparkle.

About Grommet Curtains Explained

Fashionable Grommet Curtains

The grommet curtains are manufactured in varying fabrics and they look naturally flowing and chic. Some of the popular choices of fabric for grommet curtains include silk, cotton and polyester. These drapes look indeed crisp with their modern look. Ideally, the curtain rod has to pass through the large rings of the grommet set at the top to give a pleated look. This gives a free-flowing look, but a very informal appearance that mixes well with the ambience of a living room or a bedroom.

Why should you Choose Grommet Curtains?

The holes in the curtain go through the curtain rod and hold the curtain in place. Although the curtain panel looks immaterial or demure, this main feature of grommet curtains makes them fully functional. Due to this you can easily slide over the curtains from one side to another with ease. Moreover, the curtains come with natural folds that make their hanging very easy.

Easy to Maintain

There are different types of curtains that are very difficult to take down from the rod and to maintain. Hence, you should always think twice before purchasing such curtains. It is very difficult to clean these curtains. This is where grommet curtains come across as the best choice because these curtains can easily slide over the rods. They do not come with any complicated stitching. Moreover, the fabric materials like silk, cotton or polyester are easily washable and you can wash them at home in the washing machine.

Choosing Colour Scheme for Home

Whose house is the colour scheme for? This will greatly affect your choose and it’s probably the most important factor of all. If you’re designing for a client you’ll be combining your skills with their idea of perfection, if you’re designing for yourself you’ll be able to let loose and do whatever you want (within reason!). The most difficult scenario is when you’re designing a colour scheme for a house that you’re either renting out or selling on as you then have to appeal to the masses. In this instance you’ll want to focus on neutral colours and natural textures, trying to take your own personal taste out of the equation. Providing a neutral canvas for renters means they can put their own stamp on the place with furniture and accessories, and neutral colours in a house for sale will provide a blank canvas for potential buyers.

It is important to consider why you are changing the colour scheme in your home. If you’re designing for a client or for a home to rent out you’ll know why you’re decorating, however if you’re redecorating your own house you should ask yourself why in order to help you choose a new colorful scheme. For example; if you have a blue and white theme running through the house, ask yourself why you no longer want blue and white. If it’s because it looks dated you’ll know you should perhaps think clean and modern with the new colour scheme and if it’s because it’s too bright you can consider a more natural theme this time so you’re less likely to go off the colour. Often people make the mistake of choosing similar colour to the one they already have and so are more likely to get bored quickly, recognizing why you want to change what you already have is key to creating a successful colour scheme that will be a long term investment rather than a quick fix.

Where in the house are you planning the colour scheme? You’ll need to make sure that there are no sudden ends to patterns or clashes of colour when doors are open. Consider the use of flooring that could merge into lots of different rooms. For example; natural stone floor tiles could work in your kitchen and hallway merging your choice together. Porcelain tiles could also have the same effect whilst bringing a little pattern to your house if you wanted something a little different. If you’re designing for a bathroom or kitchen you’ll want to try and use something that will remain suitable for a long time as these aren’t cheap renovations to do. Select patterned wall tiles carefully and remember simplicity often works best in practical rooms.

LED Lighting at Parties and Events

Flood Lighting

LED flood lights can be used to light up trees, bushes, walls, a DJ booth or other object. Use colors to make the object stand out. Flood lighting is also great for safety, as you can light up hallways or paths more easily, making it safer to walk and to direct people to areas where you want them to go.

Small Lights

Use small LED light strings, sometimes also called fairie lights, to decorate trees, shrubs, doorways, balconies, walls, curtains and even tables. You can use multi-colored lights, but that might give too much of a Christmas like feel to the party. Instead, use single color lights in white, blue, pink, orange or yellow. This type of light is also great for weddings or bridal related parties, adding a festive and fun sparkle to the proceedings.

Bulbs

There are now LED bulbs available. These bulbs are bright and available in many colors. Some bulbs allow you to change the color as needed. Use different colored bulbs to switch out lighting for indoor events and parties which could use brighter colors.

LED Accessories

There are many types of LED accessories available for tables and decorations. Use items like LED cones, balls, cubes, rope lights, globe lights, mirrors, projectors and many more items.

Candles

Yes, there are even LED candles available. These flameless candles can act just like the real thing, except there is no dangerous heat to start a fire. Flameless candles can even be blown out just like a real candle. These items are great for any occasion or event that calls for candles, especially weddings.

Outdoor Solar Lights

If the party is outside, you can take advantage of using solar powered lights to save on the overall electricity costs of the event. Decorate a full day early and let the lights soak up those rays. This is an especially great idea if the party is in the summer, when the sun lasts much longer. Used in the summertime, the solar lights will last well into the wee hours of the morning for your party guests to enjoy.