Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Living Large

We always lament the lack of space in Singapore houses, but if you do have the space you desire, would you know how to fill it?

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Top 5 Interior Decor Tips For How To Decorate A Large Living Space

In contrast to the smaller living rooms that many of us grew up with, great rooms are perhaps one of the most exciting innovations in modern home design. Their open floor plans not only offer flexibility, but also a more efficient use of space.
They also come with a few interior decorating challenges. Many great rooms, particularly those in larger homes, feel more like an empty warehouse than an alternative to the traditional living room.

While too much space is never a problem, filling that space can be a real challenge. The proportions of the room can be overwhelming and furnishings that look right at home in an apartment or smaller home can look minuscule in a great room.
Some clever decorating tricks can help you warm up these larger rooms. Here are the top 5 tips on how to decorate a larger living space.

1. Settle on what the room is for, and then create living spaces around this.
Doing this will help you create either one space, or a ’series’ of spaces to allow the room to fulfill this role. For example, if the room is to entertain, you can to create one or a few furniture groupings so guests can choose which setting to be in. If on the other hand, your room is for more than one function, you may want to create a space for each purpose. For instance, you may want to add a sofa and armchair grouping around a large screen television on one area of the room use the other area for more intimate gatherings.

2. Use large wall art to create a sense of atmosphere.
Large pieces of art such as paintings or wall art tapestries, are a unique way of creating a presence in any room including that large room. You feel as if you have walked into another world when surrounded by great works of art, as the wall art gives a focal point for the room and draws you into the picture. The entire feel and atmosphere of a room can be influenced by the use of large wall art.

3. Use pieces of furniture that will enhance a large room.
Great rooms will often require larger pieces of furniture than smaller living rooms. Use larger or wider sofas and armchairs, and coffee tables to fill the space. You can also use other ‘feature’ pieces of furniture such as a chest of drawers to fill an area next to a wall that require decorating. See which space needs filling in and then see which piece of furniture would suit that particular space.

4. You can be bold in your decorating ideas and scale.
Great rooms can benefit from expanses of color to make the space appear more intimate. You can compliment these with patterned curtains and soft furnishings to create a visual connection. You can use larger pieces of artwork, pottery or furniture than you would be able to, in a smaller area.

5. Try different arrangements of furniture.
When you have the space, try to arrange the decor and furniture in different ways. For example, try keeping the furniture away from the walls to create an intimate space in the center. You can experiment and arrange furniture in different positions to achieve both coziness and the freedom of enough open space, at the same time.
So there you go.

You now know the top 5 interior decor tips when it comes to decorating a large living space. By following these simple guidelines, you can create a great room that has the right balance of intimacy and open space for you. Take your time and use your imagination, and you’ll achieve the interior decor feel that you’re looking for.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How To Choose A Washing Machine

Front load or top load? Here are some washing machine-choosing tips to get more bang for your buck.

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Step 1
Consider how much noise the washing machine makes and where in your home it will be located.

Step 2
Measure the space where you plan to install your new appliance. If you're off by even an inch or two, it can make a huge difference.

Step 3
Look to consumer magazines or websites for repair histories of particular brands. Your $300 to $600 investment should last you at least 20 years.

Step 4
Shop for a washer in which the controls are easy to read and use. The touch-pad types are a little more expensive and not necessarily better.

Step 5
Make sure the lint trap is easy to reach and clean.

Step 6
Look at the insides carefully: Porcelain coating on the top surface is best. However, for the drum, stainless steel or plastic is preferable because a drum made from these materials won't scratch like a painted one will, or chip and then rust like porcelain coating.

Step 7
Save water and electricity with a front-loading model. These are also more gentle on clothes because they don't use an agitator. They also are typically quieter than top-loaders, and fit in smaller spaces. They require special detergent, however.

Step 8
Think about capacity - each brand has a different definition of high-capacity. Clothes are measured in pounds; you may want to weigh an average load before going shopping to make sure your new washer can handle your washing habits. Front-loading models only hold about 8 pounds.

Step 9
Look for extras such as bleach-, detergent- and fabric softener-dispensers, a hand-wash cycle, and automatic temperature controls.

Step 10
Compare prices from department and appliance stores with those found on the Web.

Step 11
Be sure to get a good warranty.

Friday, July 23, 2010

At Home With Richard Branson

Because he's Richard Branson, he gets to build his own home on his own island.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How To Texture The Ceiling

If you want something interesting to stare at before you go to sleep at night, start texturising! It's not as hard as it looks...but be warned. It will get messy!

How To Texture The Ceiling

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Precious...Baby

Your baby will probably sleep in a cot for about 18 months. So you will want to make sure that you invest in a good crib which can also be passed down to your other offsprings.

Choosing a Baby Crib That Suits Your Needs!

There are so many different baby cribs available that it may seem impossible to now which one to choose. Some are adorable, but are they safe? Some have many different features, but are they worth their high price?

And how about buying a used crib? Is it recommended and what do I need to check to make sure I buy a safe crib for my baby?

Safety, personal preference, convenience, and price are top priorities in making the right decision for your baby.

Below you'll find a checklist for choosing the right baby crib.

Crib types

Standard cribs may remind you of the days when you were a child. Not much has changed and in most cases a standard crib is a natural choice for your baby's main bed.
Most of these look just like what you expect from a baby crib although they come in all sorts of colors and designs. Some are very modern, like the Babyetto Mercer Crib, others have a more antique style. Which style you choose is just a matter of taste.

Another option is a crib-changing table combination. These are basically a standard crib with a changing table attached. Some also have storage units included. The advantage is of course that you get the same style on the bed as on the changing table. More then that, I don't really see the point with this sort of cribs.

Convertible beds that can be changed to a toddler bed as your child grows and even to a full size bed later. If you don't plan for sibling any time soon, this might be a good idea.


Before deciding to choose a specific baby crib, make sure you control that the model has not been criticized (or recalled) from a safety perspective in consumer reviews.

Specific issues that you can control yourself are:

The distance between the slates - it should be no wider than 2 3/8 inches (6 cm).

If the rails go down on the bed, make sure it stays at least 9 inches (23 cm) above the mattress when lowered and 26 inches (66 cm) above the mattress when raised. This is to prevent your baby from falling out.

The dropside locking mechanism needs to be secure as well as easy to handle and silent. It is not good if you need to use both hands to lock or unlock the dropside, sine you might be carrying or supporting your baby with one

Practical issues

Of course one thing that the expectant parents should consider is the practical side of the bed they choose.

How long do you plan on using this baby crib? If only for a couple of years then a standard bed should suffice.

Should it have rails that go down on one or both sides? A crib with at least one rail, that can be lowered, like on the Jenny Lind Baby Crib, or at least many or them, is convenient, but means a risk that your baby falls out because you forgot to put up the rail.

If you do want rails that drop, make sure that they are quiet. Squeaking rails are incredibly annoying, and might actually wake your baby up. A new bed is not likely to have squeaking rails, but old cribs might be very noisy!

Most beds have adjustments for different heights for the mattress. You need at least two heights, three is better.

Do you have a small space and need a bed with storage underneath?

Does the bed have wheels for easy moving? In such case look for wheels that can be locked if you don't want your toddler to start moving the bed around the house later on...

And last but not least consider your budget. Cribs are priced at reasonable for a basic to quite pricey.


Another part of the crib that should be inspected is the mattress. It should be firm to reduce the risk of SIDS and fit the bed snugly leaving no spaces between the mattress and the rails of the crib. A quality mattress is for example the Sealy Baby Ultra Rest Mattress.
Also check to see what the mattress itself is composed of. Babies have sensitive skin and natural materials are best.


The rest of the bed ensemble can be really fun to shop for. There are many themes to choose from when decorating your child's room. If you don't know the sex of your baby to be yet, or if you plan for more than one child, a unisex bedding is ideal.
Make sure when choosing the bedding that you purchase a bumper pad that fastens to the rails of the crib, sheets that fit the mattress firmly enough to stay on, and don't put blankets, stuffed animals or anything in the crib that the baby could get tangled in or pull over their face.

Avoid fluffy blankets and pillows. Again, your baby can easily crawl under a light, fluffy blanket or pull it over his face, increasing the risk of SIDS. Often, even quite small, apparently immobile babies can some how move around in the crib.

In my view, the best option really is a baby sleep bag and no blankets at all.

Buying a used crib

Should you decide to buy or borrow a used crib, don't buy one that is very old.
Chipped paint, slats that are too far apart, decorative cutouts, screws that are missing or a mattress that does not fit snugly are all causes of accidents. Newer cribs are less likely to have these problems.

Teething rails should also be intact or purchase one to replace an old or missing one.

Older painted beds could have paint containing lead which can be hazardous to children.

That said, borrowing or buying a used baby crib works just fine if done with some common sense. Buying a new mattress and an old bed can be a good compromise.

Compare prices online

You can purchase your bed from a local store or order online. If you want to buy one online (often a lot better prices), one possibility is to first go to a store and check the bed out. Otherwise, make sure you read reviews about the bed before buying.

When buying online, as beds can be heavy, make sure you check to see how much the shipping charges are and how long it takes for delivery.

Regardless of where you buy your bed, check return policy if it would turn out for example that the bed won't fit into your bed room or if you change your mind for any reason at all.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inspiration From Tuscany

Think warm and inviting textures and colours...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pink Power!

Think a pink home decor theme will make you gag? Think again.

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Pink Home Decor

Everything takes on a rosy glow at Elizabeth and Kevin Mead's Long Island, N.Y., home — where an exuberant application of spring's favorite color keeps the family of four in a good mood.

Living Room
Homeowner Elizabeth Mead found this drapery fabric at a Carleton V sample sale. Elizabeth loved the fabric so much, she used what was left over to cover the living room armchair and throw pillows. The walls were painted Benjamin Moore's Marshmallow Bunny; the sofa is from Ralph Lauren.

Entry Staircase
"Play it safe when it comes to investment pieces such as a sofa or club chairs by choosing classic shapes and solid fabrics. You'll find you can live with them longer," advises Elizabeth. Then add quirky character with smaller pieces and a few patterned accents, like draperies and pillows.

Pink and Beige
"Pink can be quite sophisticated if you tone it down with brown or beige," the owner says. Hence the earthy tone of her dining room, in which pink recedes to an accent color. The raffia on the wall, by Hinson, vertically extends the texture and tone of the sea grass on the floor. The pine table and bench belonged to the owners's mother, as did the settee, in a Scalamandré floral that matches the draperies. The unsigned portrait of a lady was found at Tepper Galleries, an auction house in New York City.

Compact Kitchen
Sunlight pours into the compact kitchen thanks to two small windows that Elizabeth Mead leaves bare. A blue quadrille wallpaper balances the white woodwork and marble counters. Wooden stools are gathered around an industrial kitchen table from the Williams-Sonoma outlet store. A black granite tile floor "keeps the room from becoming too sweet," says Elizabeth.

In addition to mining eBay for inexpensive artwork, Elizabeth hunts for bargain books on fashion, design, and photography at thrift stores and online at and "Books are a very important accessory for a home — they make it feel lived in," she says.

Pink Floral Bedroom
Upstairs, daughter Alexandra's bedroom feels rather grown up thanks to a pink ticking wallpaper by Ralph Lauren Home. The floral-print fabric, from Duralee, "was $3.50 a yard at their outlet on Long Island," says Elizabeth. "I upholstered the Ballard Designs headboard myself!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baroquely Modern

Some people may equate baroque style with being over the top. Well not necessarily, as these tasteful and elegant pictures. Baroque extravagance tempered by modern restraint at its best.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Big Changes Under One Hour

Little changes around the house make a world of difference - and they all take less than an hour.

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One-Hour Improvement Projects

Paint Your Front Door
"I always like to see a front door with a fresh coat of paint. It makes a home really welcoming. Just sand down any old lumps or peeling paint patches, then brush on some exterior paint (semigloss) in a color that stands out."

Time: 50 minutes

Change Your Furnace Filter
"You can't see this, but you'll feel it: If you have forced-air heating, change the furnace filter -- before you start the heating season. You'll notice a difference in the air quality, and your furnace will run more efficiently."

Time: 10 minutes

Power-Wash Your Walkway
"Power-wash a brick walkway. Layers of dirt and moss built up on a path can really look dingy. It's easy to rent a power washer and hook it up to your hose. Just make sure you start with a low-pressure nozzle; only go up to high if you don't see results. Afterward, the whole entry will look fresh and bright."

Time: 30 minutes

Dress Up Doors
"I once dressed up some flat door casings in a house I was selling. On top, along the outside edges, I added this new band molding, which has a little ogee detail on it. I mitered the corners and nailed it on with 4d finishing nails. It turned each doorway into a nicer detail."

Time: 45 minutes (per doorway)

Recaulk Your Tub
"No one loves doing it, but recaulking the tub is one of those things that can change your daily outlook. Gently scrape out the old stuff, then fill the gap with a fresh bead of siliconized acrylic caulk. A tip I learned from the pros: Fill the tub with water to expand the gap as the caulk dries, so it won't crack later when you put your weight in it."

Time: 60 minutes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Let's Go To Bed, Honey

Do we really need another reason to quarrel with our significant others? Definitely a resounding NO! Let's make good memories on the bed and not make it another source of tension with our partners.

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Choosing the Best Bed and Mattress for Married Couples

Sharing bedspace is one of the most challenging parts of marriage, whether couples realize it or not. Sleeping is an activity about which most people are very particular, and sometimes tastes and needs don’t mesh between partners. When you first get married, it’s best to go shopping and find a new bed that both of you can enjoy.

Here, I’ve outlined the factors that go into choosing a bed, and I’ve given advice on how to compromise when you and your partner can’t agree.


When my husband and I got married, we argued constantly about mattresses because he likes a soft bed while I need a firm one. We went to countless mattress stores and lay on scores of different brands, trying to find one upon which we both could agree. There are lots of different options from which to choose, and we found ourselves overloaded by the sheer number of choices.

The most expensive option for couples that need different types of mattresses is the Sleep Number bed. It is essentially an air mattress that allows couples to change the level of firmness from one side to the other via a remote control. Using this option, the right side of the bed could be soft, while the left side could be firm. We tried this mattress, but it wasn’t worth the expense, and we really didn’t find it comfortable regardless of the remote feature.

You might also consider a Tempur Pedic or Memory Foam mattress, which conforms to the shape and weight of your body using complex fibers. When one partner moves during the middle of the night, the other doesn’t feel it, and it eliminates many common back and muscle pains. This is the type of mattress we chose.

You can also get a Memory Foam pad to lay on top of your current mattress. Most pads, or “toppers,” cost as little as $150, and can really make a difference in your sleeping situation.


Until I was twenty, I slept on a double bed, and was completely comfortable. I move around a lot at night, so it gave me plenty of room to travel. When I got married, I discovered that a double bed isn’t always adequate for two people, especially if both like their space at night.

Talk openly with your partner about the size of the bed, and determine what is right for you. For tall people, you might want to consider a California King, which gives an extra 4-6 inches in length. Some couples are comfortable on a Queen mattress, which is seven inches wider than a double, while others prefer a King mattress, which is more than a foot wider than a double.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sew What?

Sewing rooms are great fun for those who love creating something from scratch. Make it a place you retreat into when you're in the mood to create and be creative.

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Decorating a Sewing Room

Make your sewing room a welcoming and inspiring place that you will want to spend time in while tackling your projects for fun or profit. The name of the game is organization, but don't be afraid to add a little warmth with some of your own handiwork.

You can decorate a sewing room all you want as long as you stay organized and know where everything goes.

A sewing room typically features a few items, including a table, storage for fabrics and sewing notions, a large, flat surface for laying out fabric and perhaps a dress form or mannequin. These are great jumping-off points for decorating your sewing room. To add visual interest, consider altering your core items or using custom pieces that will highlight your sense of style. For example, instead of an ordinary folding table on which to lay your fabrics, consider a long butcher block table. Or, if you are on a budget, cover the table's surface with paint and shellac. Be careful, however, not to make the surface too uneven.

Consider your personal taste when decorating your sewing room. You may have the skill to create elegant curtains, so why not put your abilities to work? Or, consider using scrap fabric ias décor for your room. For example, try making a patchwork seat cover on which to sit while sewing.

The size of your sewing room is not important, as long as you effectively use your space. In smaller rooms, you will have to make use of vertical space by decorating from the ground up. Consider hanging a spool rack on a wall instead of setting it on a flat surface. Especially in smaller spaces, make use of mirrors and open storage to maximize space. This will keep you from feeling claustrophobic when trying to work on your next sewing project.

One of the benefits of having a decorated sewing room is that it will encourage you to spend your free time there. Hence, it will also be a place where you perfect your sewing abilities.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Patching Wall Holes

Before giving your walls a new coat of colour, don't forget to patch cracks and hotels.

Patching Wall Holes Before Painting -- powered by