Monday, May 31, 2010

Divide and Conquer

Room dividers these days are such nifty pieces of home decor. They serve to give you privacy, add to the aesthetics of the room and even can double up different functions to fully utilise your living space.

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Room Divider Tips

Room dividers do more than divide rooms into sections. Decorative room dividers lend atmosphere to an otherwise dull room. Choose a theme for your room and find a room divider to fit that theme. Alternatively, use room dividers to section off rooms by adding a new twist.

Divide Large Rooms
When you have a living room-dining room combo, it may be hard to tell where the living area ends and the dining area begins. Use a decorative room divider to section the space. It may be possible to find a divider with a different design on each side to make the one divider blend in with both areas.

Section off a large living room with room dividers. Make a section for the kids' playroom while leaving the rest of the room for activities such as watching television. Or create a den with some of the living room space by choosing a couple of room dividers and joining them together.

Use room dividers for decoration. Place them in strategic positions or up against the walls of the room. Decorative dividers can have scenes of landscapes or animals, or they can feature a solid color. Some room dividers simulate bookshelves. Place these up against the wall for a pretend library. Other room dividers have shelving built into them, providing extra storage whether they're placed out in the room or up against the wall.

Temporary Rooms
When company comes and it's time to get out folding beds, section off an area of the living room or another large room to create a spare bedroom for your guests. You can even section off a large bedroom to create two rooms if you have several guests who need privacy.

Make a removable play area for the kids when their friends come over. Corral all of the kids in one area, leaving you the rest of the house for your activities. You may get more accomplished, and the kids will enjoy the privacy while they play.

Create an additional closet using room dividers. Join two sections together at right angles in the corner of a room, and you now have an attractive broom closet, coat closet or junk closet. If you decide to make the closet permanent, you can always build a conventional one and put the room dividers to another good use.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mad About Grass

Carpet grass is a very low maintenance alternative to add greenery to your living space. You can also use it to cover unsightly spots. Talk about sweeping it under the (grass) rug :)

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How To Lay Grass Carpet

Grass carpet, also known as indoor/outdoor carpeting, is a simple way to improve the aesthetics of an outdoor patio or plain porch. It is not too difficult to install and offers numerous other benefits for your home. Use it to cover damaged concrete, protect the bottom of patio furniture, create a place to practice your golf swing or an area to rub dirt off shoes before entering the house.

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You'll Need:
Grass carpet
Liquid carpet adhesive
Paint roller
Paint pan
Utility knife
Measuring tape


1.Sweep away any dirt and debris from the area where you will be laying the carpet.

2. Measure the area that you want to carpet.

3. Use the utility knife to cut a piece of grass carpet according to your measurements and roll it up with the back of the grass carpet on the outside.

4. Pour some of the adhesive into the paint pan and roll the paint roller in it until covered.

5. Roll a line of adhesive, as straight as possible, onto the surface that will be carpeted. Make sure that the adhesive goes all the way to the edge.

6. Line up the edge of the grass carpet with the edge of the adhesive-coated surface, and carefully lay the carpet down over the glue a bit at a time until it is aligned and even. Do not completely unroll the carpet. Either smooth the adhered area with your hands or, for a larger area, step around on it until it is secure.

7. Gather more adhesive on the roller. Starting against the roll of carpet, as close as possible to the section that is already laid, apply another section of glue. Roll the carpet over the adhesive and smooth it out just as you did the first.

8. Continue spreading adhesive and laying carpet until you reach the edge of the area. Glue the grass carpet firmly along this edge. Allow the adhesive to dry overnight.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In Search of the Dressing Table

You might think them a luxury, but a good dressing table can help reduce bedroom clutter. Put some thought into it so that dressing up in the morning will be even more enjoyable!

10 Top Tips - For Dressing Tables

1. There is such a wide and varied choice of colour schemes that its really important to decide on your colour theme before you start looking at all the different types of table decorations. Remember to take into the account the season and the setting. Colours such us yellow and green are great for Spring, whereas silver and white look great in the winter.

2. Once you have decided on your main colour, remember that that some fabrics and products may appear in slightly different tones due to the way they hold the colour. Also depending on the way they reflect light. For instance, lilac feathers may appear lighter in colour than lilac favour bags. Although these may be different tones this can also look very effective.

3. A good tip is to request samples of a selection of your favourite favours. You could also request samples of decorations as well so you can try out how they will look before you commit your precious budget to buying them.

4. Try to gain a visual picture of the whole table in your mind when thinking about different ideas. This is also a great tip for when you decide on your colour theme.

5. When calculating the amount of favours and decorations always add a few extra to allow for last minute guests or mistakes.

6. If you decide on not decorating the tables yourself then ensure you write a detailed list for the person who is. A good idea is to take photographs of your mock table and give this to the person who is decorating them.

7. Along with the detailed list why not put everything in separate boxes to ensure the right amount of decorations are on each table. This is also useful if you have different size tables with a different amount of people on each.

8. Setting up a mock table is a great idea. It is amazing how different the decorations and favours can look once they are all in one place. Doing a dress rehearsal will allow you time to ensure you are happy and make any alterations to anything you feel isn’t quite right.

9. Remember to use lots of colour in the middle of the tables as this will be the focal point. As you move outwards towards the edge of the table use fewer decorations to provide more subtle accents.

10. With so many different decorations and products it can be very easy to overload your table which will end up making it look cluttered. To ensure your table is stylish and elegant make sure you are selective and stick to a few key items. If for example you have selected metallic confetti and silver favours boxes then feathers wouldn’t really add to your style and would probably detract from it instead.

Monday, May 24, 2010

All The Single Ladies....Bedroom!

The good thing about singlehood is that you can decorate the bedroom as feminine as you like it to be without offending the sensibilities of your partner. Pink walls? Floral bedsheets? Who's to say no? Girl power in the bedroom indeed!

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Every woman wants to have the perfect bedroom, and as a single lady, you don't have to worry about stripping your husband's masculinity with your design. That means that it's time to take control of that bedroom and bring it into spec for what makes you happy and cozy. Maybe you haven't thought about the best way to do that, or perhaps you haven't considered all the options. One way to make the bedroom your own is to create custom headboards to adorn your bed according to your mood. Another is to leave behind the traditional idea of a bed and create and entire haven and private getaway in your bedroom with daybeds.

If you choose to work with headboards, you need to explore your personal style. Are you the type of person who likes to be surrounded by all of her favorite things? Do you want to have anything you desire within easy reach from the center of your bed? One way to accomplish this is with bookcase headboards. This design serves dual purposes. First, it organizes the space and makes it look clean and well cared for. However, it also makes your bed the lazy space you want it to be; you can easily stow all your books, magazines, and other items in the shelves and drawers, as well as set up any drinks or snacks you bring with you to the room.

If you prefer, though, you can keep a clean, straight line with minimalistic overtones as the theme to your bedroom with a contemporary headboard. This will give you a blank slate against which you can create any theme design throughout the rest of the bedroom. It also allows you to have a basic central point in the room around which you can change the design, providing a plain background against which the décor can revolve and evolve.

If you choose to try something more unique, you can opt for a daybed in your space, taking the opportunity as a single woman to indulge in a very feminine design. With a wrought iron daybed, you can keep things rustic or classical with an intricate design and the opportunity to add ruffles and lace all over the room. The real joy of a daybed for your bed is that it doubles as a couch that can be perfect during the day when you want to sit up and do some work in a relaxed fashion, watch television, or read a book.

For some, the classic style is no the way to go. Instead, you may again (as mentioned above) be a fan of clean lines and sharp right angles. A contemporary daybed can give you this appearance and comfort level. This design can also be the basis for a Feng Shui design theme that brings out your inner peace and allows you to meditate in the personal space you have created for yourself. Whatever choices you make, every single woman should take advantage of the opportunity to build her own personal woman's lounge in her bedroom before she has to learn to do the unspeakable and share the space, sparing the feelings of her mate!

Ben Weissman writes articles about using Metal Beds, Headboards and other Contemporary Bedroom Furniture to Decorate Your Home. You'll find more Interior Design Ideas at . Make your bedroom into a personal retreat!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bohemian Living

The Bohemian style is all about an artistic, nature-inspired and a well-traveled look. The keys to this look are bright warm colors, eclectic materials and romantic details. Tempted yet?

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Bohemian Decorating

One of the best ways to break the monotony in your life is by changing the surrounding that you live in. How do you do this? Simple! By completely changing the look of at least your bedroom, if redoing the entire house is not possible. Here, we have provided a number of tips that will help you in decorating your bedroom the Bohemian way. It will involve the use of luxurious fabrics, strong colors and freestyle decorating patterns. The details are very diverse and the linens used are generously loud and heavily patterned.

Bohemian Bedroom Decorating

Items Needed
Fabrics (in bright colors)
Paint (in bright colors)
Knick knacks

The first thing that you should do to create a Bohemian décor for your bedroom is to change the color of the walls. The trick here is to go for bold colors like red, orange, blue, etc.

The next step will be to accentuate the color of the walls with that of the linen. The color of the bedspreads and curtains should be contrasting with that of the walls.

Light fixtures and lamps are the things that you need to look into next. Select those fixtures that cast deep hues. You can even wrap the lamp shades with scarves to alter the lighting.

Use lots and lots and lots of accessories to decorate you room. Bohemian look is all about celebration. Not even a single corner should be left untouched and austere. The knick knacks that you choose should have rich colors and embellished exteriors. You can go for antique showpieces too.

Bohemian look is all about patterns and this should be included in your bed too. You can make use of quilts, bedspreads or duvets in rich colors. Accessorize the bed with an assortment of pillows, throws, blankets, etc. You can even use a mosquito net or canopy for covering the bed.

Do not leave the walls with just a bold paint. Things like atypical artwork, tapestries or wallpaper should be used to highlight it. Using wall hangings is another good option.

Some Tips
You can make use of old dupattas as well as saris to decorate the walls and windows of the bedroom.

Make use of candles. You can even burn scented candles or incense to give your bedroom a complete Bohemian look.

Never ever match one accessory with the other. Bohemian style involves the use of mismatched and unusual home decor items.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hooked On Wind Chimes

The lovely sounds of wind chime blowing in the wind can add to the breezy feel of a house. My personal favourite is putting it in the balcony where I can cosy up with afternoon tea and a good book.

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You love the gentle melody of a percussion wind chime, and you want to place it where it will pick up the breeze, but not annoy neighbors. Read along and find the perfect solution for you, whether you live in an apartment, condo, duplex or single family home.

If you live in an apartment, keep the wind chimes inside. You can hang them on the drapery rod by a sliding door or a window. When the door or window is open, the breeze will gently move the wind chime tubes allowing you to have a private concert. It's best not to annoy the neighbors. If you're concerned, bring over a plate of cookies and ask if they're enjoying the chimes. If they say "what chimes?" then you can dance a happy jig back in the privacy of your apartment.

If you have a larger place where your neighbors are not right next to you, then look for an outside spot near where you spend most of your time. Ours is under the eves by our sliding glass door. This allows the chimes to pick up the gentle breeze, but it was mostly protected from the large gusts, which cause an unpleasant sound.

Finally, remember that nylon and leather will last longer then twine. If you leave your wind chimes outside all year round, the material holding it together, and holding it to the hook where it's hanging will disintegrate. The sun will also damage the cord, so you're not completely safe taking it in during the winter. Once a year, take the chimes down and look at all of the parts to make sure it's still in good shape. Repair and replace any damage immediately as you don't want it to break and lose an important part, which did happen to me.

It doesn't matter if you want it to be placed for good Feng Shui, or if you just enjoy the sound. A good, well-tuned set of wind chimes will uplift your spirit no matter what.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Home Decor...Supermodel Style

Supermodel Naomi Campbell shows us her Jamaican abode and how she relaxes off the runway.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rest, Relax, Rattan!

Rattan furniture is a timeless look that can last for many years due to the sturdy nature of the material. Especially when used in the garden, it can create a truly relaxing, resort feel.

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How To Buy Garden Rattan Furniture

Who would not desire to make his/her garden look inviting and comfortable? Apart from the greenery, a proper garden should also have a place to sit down and relax. In this context, garden rattan furniture is a good option, which can make your garden look both comfortable and classy. Outdoor garden rattan furniture is amongst the most stylish and sophisticated types of furniture, which one can use in the garden, the patio or the conservatory. However, it is ideally suited to be outdoor garden furniture and is extremely durable. There are many varieties of rattan furniture that can help you add style to your garden, with differences in shape, size, shade and price tag. Each of them provides that something extra to its users. Amongst them, you need to choose the one that best suits your requirements. In case you need our help, read on to explore tips on how to buy garden rattan furniture.

Buying Rattan Furniture For Your Garden

Before going in for rattan furniture, know what you really want. There are a number of things that should be considered, before buying it. Decide whether you want the furniture for office or home, outdoor or indoor. Making such kind of decisions before going for a purchase will help you save your time and money.

Prefer going in for a local dealer, instead of entering a big showroom, to buy rattan furniture. A local dealer might give you an opportunity to try out the furniture before purchasing it. Along with designs and durability, comfort is important as well. Since rattan is a hardwood and comes in nontraditional designs, it is important to try the pieces before buying them.

Look for rattan furniture online. Looking for information online will help you understand the rattan market and get a feel for prices. The websites for rattan wicker furniture provides good range of information.

Find out the size that will best suit the place where you want your furniture to be. For garden, the furniture should not be too big and have a limited number of pieces. The garden should be dominated by plants, while the furniture should merely be there for people to relax and feel comfortable.

Garden rattan furniture should be of a really good quality. It should be weather-resistant as well as resistant to light showers, rain and snowfall. You will also have to maintain the furniture, therefore stay informed about the possible costs of maintenance.

Buy furniture that has a proper finishing. Properly finished and sealed wood will be more durable and will retain its natural beauty. A good finishing will show the natural colors of the wood with a slight sheen. Dark spots and chips on your furniture is a sign that the sealing and finishing was improperly done.

Get a warranty, if possible. Rattan furniture is known for its durability, but a warranty will bring peace of mind and will ensure that any unnatural defects will be repaired or replaced without any cost and difficulty.

Most of the furniture have their distinctive shade; therefore do not make color as your basic principle while buying rattan furniture. However, you can choose the shade that you want to see in your garden. Light yellowish brown of rubber wood, dark black of ebony or anything in between will be a good choice.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Home Decor With Books

I have to admit. I don't think I'll catch on to the idea of e-books. Yes, they may not take up much space, but I like scribbling and highlighting on my books and carry them around until they are dog-eared to death. The problem with a love affair with books is that after awhile, you accumulate so many that you have a problem storing them. Well, try incorporating them into your decor as the pointers in this article will tell you.

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Tips on displaying and arranging books

We love books. They teach, illustrate, inspire, and explain. They also take up a lot of room in our homes.

If stacks of books are threatening to overtake your home, consider some new ideas for display and storage solutions. Perhaps it's time to consider additional shelving, categorized display, or perhaps even removing a few of the books from a collection.
To weed out, think about keeping only what you love and what you use.
If a book wasn't that good, has been outgrown, or is outdated, consider giving it away to a friend or to a library. Many libraries now offer a small bookstore of used books sold to raise money for library expenses.

For the rest of your book collection, here are some tips on arranging, displaying, and storing books.

Prop It Up -- Stack three books on a side table to use as a raised display area. Set a lamp, sculpture, urn, or plant (in a waterproof cache pot) on top of the books. This is a great way to raise another accessory that may be too short as well as create some interest in a display.

Wall of Reading -- For a large book collection, build or purchase enough bookshelves to fill one wall of a room, or one side of a wide hallway. You'll get lots of storage in only 8 to 13" of floor space.

Up High -- Install a display shelf 12" or more down from the ceiling (or near the top of the doorways). The shelf can run along one wall or even all the way around a room. Be sure to use thicker shelving so the wood won't sag under the weight of the books. Arrange books and collectibles along the length of the shelf.
Built Ins -- If you are planning built-in seating such as a window seat or banquette, consider using the space underneath the seat for bookshelves (either with or without doors).

Nook-y -- Create an instant nook area by a window, fireplace, or even on a blank wall, by flanking the space with floor to ceiling bookshelves. Set a desk, loveseat, or comfortable chair in the nook, or use the nook area for built-ins.

Deep Storage -- Many deep shelves of about 16" can hold 2 rows of books. Place one stack against the back wall of the cabinet, and another row along the front edge of the shelf. Use the front row for the taller books so the ones behind are hidden.

Side Table -- Stack a set of very large books on the floor next to a chair, then top with a small piece of glass to use as an end table. Place the books in a column or fan them around for a more interesting look.

Categorize -- To manage a large book collection, sort books by category.
Kitchen Connection -- Though not as accessible as other shelves, kitchen soffit areas (the space on top of kitchen cabinets up to the ceiling) can often be used to display a mix of cookbooks and kitchen collectibles. Arrange items in groupings with plants, baskets, bottles, or vintage kitchen items for a interesting display.

Cookbook Display -- Kitchens with a lot of counterspace can often spare a small area to hold cookbooks. Place them in a bookrack or between 2 sturdy bookends or crocks. This is best done in an area that is used for a desk or storage so the books won't get stained during food prep.

Vertical Limit -- Go with the usual method of displaying books, by setting them vertically on bookshelves in rows.

Title View -- Place stacks of books sideways on shelves so they are horizontal and titles are easily readable. It's a great idea to alternate vertical with horizontal stacks so the shelf display looks a bit more interesting.

Storage Tip -- When purchasing new or used furniture, evaluate it for its storage capacity. Instead of buying a piece with a tabletop and four legs, instead look for a cabinet with shelves, drawers, or doors. It will hold more and look neater. Also, consider the height of your books when purchasing furniture. Very tall books will need to be set flat unless the bookshelves are adjustable.

Don't Do This -- It's generally not a good idea to store books in a musty garage or damp basement as they will begin to smell musty over time and become damaged.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Essential Oils 101

Essential oils aren't just for massage, although they're my favourite use for essential oils :) Use them to get your house smelling great or to keep it bug-free, or simply to destress in the bath after work.

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Essential Oil Uses

An array of items used in aromatherapy.

Introducing essential oils into your lifestyle can be quite easy, fun, and therapeutically beneficial. Below are a few ways in which you can get started. These methods are intended as guidelines only, and you do need to pay special attention to all safety pre cautions applicable for each oil that you choose. It is also important to remember that essential oils are flammable.

Easy Inhalation - Place 3-4 drops of essential oil on a tissue. Place the tissue near your nose and inhale. When trying an oil for the first time, use only one drop to ensure that you do not have a sensitivity or reaction to the oil.

Steam Inhalation - Boil 2 cups of water. Pour the water into a bowl and add 3-7 drops of oil to the water. Use fewer drops if you are using an oil that may cause irritation to your mucous membranes (i.e. cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, pine, thyme, cajuput, etc.). Place your nose about 12" away from the bowl and inhale. Don't inhale the steam constantly and if you notice any irritation or discomfort, stop immediately. Steam inhalation can help with colds and influenza. Use of energizing or relaxing oils can also make this method useful any time of day or night.

Room Freshening - Use the steam inhalation method noted above but don't directly inhale into the bowl. Use up to 10 drops of oil. Use fewer drops if you are using an oil that may cause sensitization. Other methods including use of an aromatherapy diffuser or lamp scent ring available through many aromatherapy companies.

General Household Freshening - Add a few drops of oil to your trash can, laundry wash, drain, vacuum bag filter, or on a tissue for placement in your drawers.

Bug Repellent - Many essential oils including citronella, lavender, and peppermint act as a natural repellent against insects. Sprinkle a few drops of essential oil onto tissues or cotton balls and place near your doorways and windows to help repel insects. Be sure to read all safety data on the oils you use as some oils may not be suitable for use around pets. Be careful not to apply the essential oil directly onto fragile surfaces.

Massage - Add up to 20 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and massage onto yourself or partner. Keep away from eyes and genital areas. Do not apply essential oils to the skin without first diluting them. Be sure to also read the safety data for the essential oils you choose to use.

Bath - Add 5-7 drops essential oil to 1 ounce carrier oil. Add this blend to your running bath water and mix well before getting into the tub. Be sure to read the safety data for the essential oils you choose to use.
Other Uses

Essential oils can be used in making homemade lotions, facial toners, shampoos, perfumes, soaps, shower gels, and other natural products. Additionally, essential oils are often blended for their therapeutic synergistic abilities.