Category: Home Improvement

Take Care Of Bed Sheets

Washing

For the sheets to retain their great look for a long time you should wash them regularly. You should avoid using bleach as it can easily damage the fabric. If you want to brighten the units you should use ¼ lemon juice instead of bleach.

You should do the washing with lukewarm water that is less than 104 degrees F. If you are using a washing machine you should set the wash cycle on “gentle” as the sheets are usually not dirty. To reduce wrinkles you should remove the sheets as soon as the cycle is over.

Drying

If it’s possible you should dry the sheets on an outside clothesline that isn’t under direct sunlight. If it’s impossible to dry the units outside, you should use a clothes dryer. To minimize the damage brought about by high temperatures, you should set the dryer to low heat. You should avoid over drying in order to avoid wrinkles.

Once dry you should remove the sheets and fold them immediately. Also remember to hand press them to remove excess wrinkles.

If you had forgotten the units in the dryer and wrinkles have set, you should toss a damp cloth in the dryer and dry the units for another five or ten minutes.

To have a neat looking bed, it’s recommended that you iron the top section of the sheets.

General Tips

For the sheets to wear out evenly you should rotate them. To always have a clean bed it’s wise that you have three sets of sheets per bed: one set should be on the bed, one in storage and the other in the laundry.

To extend the life of the units you should change them every week. To reduce the number of times that you clean the units it’s recommended that you always bathe before you sleep. This way you will keep dirt, oils, and sweat out of the bed.

Buying Home Curtains

Choosing curtains can seem like a ‘breeze in the park’; you may think that all you need is a measuring tape to get sizes, going to the store to pick up fabric and tailoring them to your needs. However, the thing to remember is that curtains can make or mar the appearance of a room and so some amount of planning and creativity is required.

Some essential aspects to keep in mind when buying curtains are:

  • Length
  • Style
  • Necessity for curtain rods, size of rods, color etc.
  • Number of window panels to cover
  • Need for additional window covering such as blinds, shutters to safeguard against natural elements
  • Cost

Besides, home curtains can provide stunning looks for houses with some simple tips:

  • Choosing the right fabric, taking into account placement of window in room, size, shape and purpose. For e.g. living rooms that need a little sunlight and brightness can have light cottony fabrics, bedrooms can have drapes with lining for more privacy, kitchens can have cafe curtains (half window cover) etc. Also remember that curtains can alter the mood of the room, add warmth and comfort where necessary or provide dazzling looks if needed.
  • End-of-season sales throw up fabrics at lower prices; not only that you can bit find bits and pieces of odd-color material and fabric which can be used to make your own patchwork and off-beat curtains to spruce up a room
  • Take a look at the furniture and choose curtain fabrics and colors to match them; creating a soothing ambience especially for spring and summer is more important than just adding color.
  • Window type also dictates choice of curtains; old, antique windows may look nice in soft, lace curtains tied up in a sash, heavy metal framed windows may get a warm feel with cottons of various hues, tall bay windows may get accentuated if you drape them with striped or ribbed cotton curtains etc.
  • Easy to maintain curtains which can be home washed in the washing machine are the best instead of going for heavy curtains which need dry cleaning or heavy laundering.

Deal With Cracked Tiles

For the most part this reputation is entirely deserved. We use tiles in all manner of locations where other materials just wouldn’t be up to the job. With such a hugely diverse range of applications, they are exposed to conditions ranging from the very hot and humid to temperatures of freezing and below, not to mention daily knocks from furniture, people and other objects.

We think little of our tiles and how they are used, that is until the day we spot some damage. We are then faced with the unenviable job of dealing with a broken tile, and unless you happen to have done this before, it can be difficult to know where to start.

What causes cracking?
Cracking can range from minor imperfections affecting an individual tile, through to large, continuous cracks appearing in a run of tiles.Movement in the substrate material will cause a linear crack that may run through several tiles, whereas individual fractures are usually caused by either a knock or a faulty tile.

If the tiles have been laid over concrete then a linear crack will suggest the underlying slab is moving also. If the cracking is apparent along a joint between two different slabs, then an expansion joint should have been installed in the tile course, as this suggests that this area was the junction of two slabs.

Similarly, if the cracking happens where an underlying concrete slab meets a different substrate material, then an expansion joint should have again been installed. These allow for differing rates of expansion and contraction and avoid problems with cracked tiles.
Multiple cracks in a straight line when over a concrete substrate?

This is generally due to hurriedly tiling over immature concrete. Freshly poured concrete should be left for at least 1 month for every 25mm depth of concrete in the slab. A 100mm slab, for example, should be left for at least 4 months before having a tiled finish applied. Shrinkage cracks in the slab will otherwise continue through to the tiled surface.

Stressing of the foundation rods can also be apparent during the curing of the concrete slab. Again, unless adequate time is left for the complete curing process then any cracking in the slab will be transferred through the tiles.

What to do if you see cracking
Try to understand what has caused it. If you are lucky then it may just be a single damaged ceramic tile that can be fairly simply cut out and replaced.

If the cracking has happened in a straight line of porcelain tiles, give some thought to whether an expansion joint ought to have been installed. At their most simple these are just a break in the tilling course to prevent movement causing damage. They are usually installed as two L-shaped opposing aluminum-angle lengths, separated by a length of rubber.

Warming Winter Looks

Furs and Skins

Fur and animal skin accents are a hot trend at the moment and they add a layer of warmth to most any design. Fur rugs are beautiful and fluffy but they can be difficult to maintain. That’s why we opt for fur on furniture and leather or short-haired skin on the floor. A natural hide or swath of fur lends an element of funkiness to even the most traditional piece of furniture. Lay one across a couch, a chair or even a table to add a patch of organic style to your regular furnishings.

Gold

When it comes to decorating with metallics, gold will never get old! A soft gleam of gold can make a closet bathroom feel as sophisticated as a grand foyer… and if there’s one particular place that could use some warmth, it’s the bathroom. One of the best things about gold is that you can incorporate just a touch or whole pools of gold into your space. A simple gold picture frame warms up your art while a shimmery gold chandelier or a rich gold velvet sofa can totally heat things up. There are a lot of misconceptions in the design world about mixing gold and silver. We love them and they complement each other more than you’d think. Gold helps take away the industrial feeling of silver can have and silver keeps gold shiny! An antique gold paint pairs beautiful with simple silver accessories, for example. With elements of gold, you can put together a warm interior that shines!

Rustic Wood

Give your home the feeling of a warm mountain cabin with just a couple of pieces of rustic wood accent furniture. A raw wood cabinet or chunky would bar stools lend a comfy, casual vibe to any space. Wooden stools, benches and chairs are made even warmer and comfier with the addition of soft cushions and pillows. As a general rule of rustic-ness, we say the more the material resembles actual firewood, the warmer your room will feel.

Suitable Window Coverings

First assess where the window is in the room; is it on the north, south, east or west wall? Then, you can move on to what effects north, south, east or west light and ventilation will have on your room. For instance, if you have a view, you will want to capitalize on it– nothing trumps a view. If your view is to the south or west, you will have sun issues that need to be addressed to protect your furnishings and floors; consider tinting so you can enjoy the view.

With a view window, you may want to consider no window coverings at all which will work if you do not have a privacy issue or thermal protection; tinting will also help with thermal conditions. In the case of a view without the need for privacy measures, I usually recommend nothing at all, or “dummy panels”, non-functioning drapery panels that add color, design and interest to a room to enhance the view outside and the decor of the room inside.

If you have a window without a view or an unpleasant view, I usually look outside to see what can be done to alter the view. A block wall is decidedly uninteresting until you plant a clinging vine on it, flowering or not. However, beware that non-flowering vines usually are deciduous, turning red in the fall and dropping their leaves in winter, leaving a skeleton of branches on the wall. If planting will not work, I suggest covering the glass with a semi-opaque film, then adding pretty drapes or blinds. You want the light, but can avoid the assault of an unpleasant view.

Odd shaped windows are a challenge and usually require custom coverings; those can be expensive. Again, consider the above solutions if they apply. Custom is sometimes the only way to go, but it does not have to be expensive. Sometimes, off- the-rack drapes can be adapted easily with the help of a seamstress or your own sewing talents. There are plenty of good, off-the-rack options; you just need to think outside of the box. Add some trim, on the leading edge of the panel, or top or bottom, to add length, width, or interest.

Shutters are usually an added bonus, adding value when selling your home. However, they are expensive and view limiting. To take advantage of the view, you will want to have the widest possible louvers, or open the shutters during certain times of the day; but you will have to make sure the blinds will not interfere your furnishings.

About Metal Aesthetic

Don’t think I believe I’m telling you something you don’t already inherently understand. Surely, most people know what they like, and most people tend to choose the same kinds of things over and over; we are habitual creatures, and comforted by the familiar. I would merely encourage you to examine, carefully, those decorative statements you have already made; look objectively at your own home, or even just one room, and consider who you are, aesthetically speaking, according to the objects and decorative gestures you have gathered and placed.

In my own home, I lean very much toward a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic, with very modern lines, bold colors (I especially love red and graphic black and white), rich textures (silk, leather, wool), and abstract, visual accents.

In the realm of decorative arts, I am drawn to elemental materials, such as sculptures made of glass or metal. I have several wall sculptures made of copper alloy or treated aluminum, and, indeed, they compliment beautifully the modern aesthetic of my overall decor. But regardless of that, I find that metal wall sculptures are simply a favorite thing of mine.

In preparation for this post, I’ve really thought hard about what consistently draws me to this particular art form. What I appreciate is the dimensional depth and inherent texture of metal forms. These pieces possess angles, edges, layers, and create secondary effects according to time of day, light sources and resulting shadow. I don’t dislike two-dimensional paintings, and even decorate with them, but I find metal wall sculpture possesses a dynamism that engages me a step beyond a “flat” painting.

Copper alloy and bronze remain among the most prevalent materials used in metal sculpture, though other metals, such as aluminum, silver, gold and iron, are utilized artistically, as well. In classical art, bronze has been the medium for myriad sculptures created by masters. Consider works by Rodin, Donatello, and Remington, to name a few. A number of iconic, ancient Greek sculptures were cast in bronze, as well.

Of course, my metal wall sculptures are not to be compared with the work of serious masters; the point I want to make concerns the endurance of metal as an artistic medium. Equally compelling is its versatility of character, depending on how it is handled and coaxed into form.

Metal responds beautifully to various treatments. It can be cast, cut and shaped, polished, and heated to produce color variations. It can be painted, layered and combined with other media. Metal can exude a sterile character, in that it can seem sleek, clean and futuristic. Or it can reflect a more industrial vibe, with rougher edges, utilitarian shapes and muted finishes.

Metal sculpture can echo shapes and forms commonly found in nature, or otherworldly lines and nonspecific patterns inspired by imagination. It can engender stillness and coolness or evoke motion and heat. It simultaneously makes and receives impressions.

Online you can find a variety of metallic decor. Some pieces are truly abstract and geometric, while others reflect popular culture and urban kitsch. Not for everyone, understandably, but distinct, interesting and worth exploring.

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.

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.

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.