Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Types of Wood Used to Make Furniture

Have you taken an interest to wood furniture lately? Here are some basics you should know.

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Types of Wood Used to Make Furniture

Wood types are usually categorized as hard wood or soft wood. Typically, soft wood comes from evergreens, or trees with pine needles, and hard wood is from trees with broad leaves. Most often, hard wood is used for making furniture as it has higher durability, although soft wood is becoming more popular for furniture making.

Open-Pore Wood
Some woods have small holes, called open pores. These pores give the wood a distinctive texture. When finishing woods with open pores, stains can accumulate in the pores making those areas seem darker. Some open-pore woods are ash, oak and walnut.

Tight-Grained Wood
Cherry, maple and alder are types of tight-grained wood. These wood types have a tighter grain, are smooth to the touch and take stain well.

Red Wood
Cherry and mahogany woods will lend a red-colored quality to your furniture. Cherry is less expensive than mahogany.
Insect Resistant
Teak is good for furniture making if you are looking to craft for outdoor purposes. Teak has a natural oil that repels insects and water. Cedar is known to also repel insects.

Easy-Crafting Wood
Soft wood such as pine is typically easier to work with. Pine also holds up to humidity better than many other woods. Cedar is a soft wood that is also easy to craft.

Exotic Wood
Lacewood from Australia is often used for accents. Granadillo from southern Mexico can be used for all furniture crafts. African mahogany from Ghana can be used to make any type of furniture.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Storage solutions for small spaces - 10 ideas

Living in a small home or apartment? View these space saving ideas!

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Storage solutions for small spaces - 10 ideas

Build a media storage system

A TV can take up valuable space in your living room. Don't allow it to. Instead, use it as a focal point to build storage around. Simple shelving and movable TV units, like this one on wheels, offer flexible solutions. Or, for something tailored to your needs, try fitting a bespoke design.

Turn a headboard into storage

A clever way to maximise space in a small bedroom is by using a headboard for storage. Go for a bespoke solution to suit your bedroom layout.

Use every inch of space

Where space is tight in a small kitchen, it is important not to waste even a millimetre of potential storage space. A thin pull-out cupboard, with multiple shelves or racks, offers the perfect solution and makes food supplies easy to view and reach.

Build a home office in an alcove

Want a swanky home office but don't have room for one? Why not transform an alcove into a hideaway office? All you need are open shelves, perfect for storage boxes, which can sit above a desk consisting of a simple plank of wood. Folding or sliding doors keep all the clutter tucked out of sight.

Keep everything in one place

When there isn't room for a lot of different furniture pieces in your home, choose one that will house everything. This multipurpose unit includes drawers, shelves and boxes. Plus, it provides extra surface space for hot dishes ready for serving.

Create storage in the walls

If all that will fit in your bathroom is a shower and toilet, make use of space in the wall and in corners. Built-in storage compartments, which in this case fit under awkward eaves, allow you to utilise wasted space and create storage that wouldn't otherwise fit in.

Fit a laundry room in a cupboard

No space for a separate laundry room? Do not fret! A well-ordered storage cupboard can work just as well. With a mixture of shelves at different heights, varying sizes of storage boxes and a selection of hooks, it's bound to keep all your essentials in their place. Complete the look by lining the shelves in a pretty wipe-clean oilcloth.

Use storage to divide spaces

If your living room is also your kitchen, dining room or even bedroom, use block furniture and handy storage to divide the space. Fitting units around the sides of a sofa is a genius way to maximise your storage without taking up wall space, and helps to define the separate areas further.

Keep hallway clutter at bay

A storage bench is an ideal way to contain hallway clutter. Cubbyholes, like the ones in this bench, allow shoes, hats and other paraphernalia to be tucked away out of site. The hooks above use wasted wall space to order coats.

Use under bed storage

Utilise space under your child's bed by building one that incorporates storage space. This can then store pull-out boxes that will hide away toys and clothes. A super thin wall-hung shelving unit is also useful as it won't impose on the space.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Custom Home Decor And Personalized Photo Wall Art

Fully utilize your personal photos to give your home a unique home decor!

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Custom Home Decor And Personalized Photo Wall Art

Custom home decor is the latest of many interior design trends and one that is here to stay.
Whether you’re redesigning your home or helping clients find their decorating style, it’s about infusing more individual personality into the space you call home.

One of the most popular, easiest, creative and effective ways to accomplish this is with the use of personal photos. Billions of photos are snapped, uploaded and shared online every month. When decorating or redecorating spaces, people select photos and personal images that mean something to them for display on their walls and around their homes. For years, picture frames and canvas prints have occupied center stage in home decor, without actually being considered ‘decor’. They were more keepsakes than creative expressions.

However, today’s photo personalization technology combined with the digital photo sharing explosion and innovative product catalogs has changed this view.

Photos, today, are not merely an part of the background but the central element in personalized wall art and custom home decor accents.

Photos Create Custom Home Décor

There’s no shortage of photos in any home, thanks to digital cameras and the ease with which we can now take and share digital photos. You probably have hundreds of them stored on a CD, on your computer or on an image sharing site. Facebook alone is estimated to be hosting over 60 billion photos. As enticing as online photo sharing is, there’s something about turning photos into physical gifts and displays that can’t be achieved with mere online sharing. Now, what if you could choose the best among your digital photos and turn them into tasteful photo accents and personalized wall art for your space?

Canvas prints are not new to us, but have you really considered them as home décor accents and not just ways to display your photos? With a little creativity, you could decorate your whole house with photos as the central theme. Seasons, colors, family, modern, nature, travel – whatever you decide as your theme, you can pull it off with photos on canvas and other wall art.

Imagine turning your pictures into incredible accents for every room. These include tabletop, countertop and desk accessories like desktop organizers, photo mouse pads, photo mugs, photo coasters, personalized water bottles and more. Additionally, you could also create stunning wall accents like canvas prints, framed posters, mounted prints, photo calendars, tile murals and more that weave your favorite visuals into your walls in an elegant, fashionable manner.

Whether your taste in décor is traditional or modern, eclectic or Asian-inspired, you can easily use photo accents to incorporate your ideas into your space.

Photo Accents For Every Room

The beauty of personalization is that it blends with any décor and room. If you’re looking to lend a classier feel to your living room, a wrapped canvas and mounted prints are perfect choices. A keepsake box would add a touch of personalization to your bedroom while providing handy storage for your earrings and other valuables on your dresser or night stand. A growth chart wall cling is perfect for the family room or your child’s bedroom – where you can actually watch your kids grow…personally! Frameless photo panels are also great addition to a child’s room, as they are durable displays with no frame or glass. Photo calendars and photo magnets make your kitchen a little brighter, while helping you stay on track with the family’s upcoming schedule. The fact that you can add your photos to all of these items is what truly differentiates your home décor from everyone else’s.

Personalized home accents are easy to create online, affordable and give your existing digital photos a new purpose and platform. So, go ahead and create custom home decor with personalized photo accents.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MTV Cribs featuring Manny Pacquiao's LA Mansion

This video showcases the fabulous Los Angeles home of Pound-for-Pound Champion Manny Pacquiao.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Declutter and Brighten Your Home for Summer

Let's light up your home with these simple tips!

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How to Declutter and Brighten Your Home for Summer

1. Create a Winter Storage Area

Create a winter storage area in your attic or basement, using a canvas-covered clothing rack and heavy-duty plastic shelving. This makes everything easily accessible—and lets you annually appraise inventory and throw away or donate things you no longer use or wear. (Dry-clean your coats before storing them, and use cedar blocks to keep away pests.)

2. Replace Dark Throw Pillows

Replace dark throw pillows and slipcovers with affordable white or bright-colored versions; clean and store winter fabrics with your linens. Consider adding an extra lamp to further lighten things up.

3. Add Brighter Accents

Swap out dark photo frames on your shelves for white. Ask kids to pick their favorite piece of artwork each week and drop it into a frame; toss the rest (after photographing for posterity).

4. Keep Surfaces Clear

Keep surfaces clear by instituting daily cleanups ten minutes before dinner, when everyone puts away his or her own possessions. Cynthia Tobin, like many moms, finds it easier and faster to pick up after everyone herself, but "why bark when you've already got a dog?" says Walsh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Painting the color red

Follow these steps and you will get beautiful red...

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Painting the color red

If anyone know's anything about painting they will tell you that red is the most difficult color to cover on walls. Here are some important tips when using the color red...

Tint your primer grey and the same shade as the type of red you are using. This helps the red pigment seem like it is filling in as a solid even color and not a transparent mess. This is the most important tip of them all.

- Use a quality brush and sleve for best coverage.

- Make sure to use a flat finished paint rather than a semi-gloss or eggshell.

Following these tips will make sure your red covers successfully in two even coats.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Easy and Cheap Home Decorating Ideas

Do you know that you can have a new home decor without spending big money?

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Easy and Cheap Home Decorating Ideas

Redecorating a room is one of the best ways to breathe new life into your surroundings -- and help you feel more energized. But the word “redecorate” can be intimidating; dollar signs start popping into your head, as does your packed schedule, leaving you wondering where you’ll find the time or money.

Fortunately, you can redecorate on a budget -- one of money and time.

There are plenty of easy, cheap and quick things you can do to change a space, says Stacey McGarity, a partner in the interior design firm Acquisitions for the Home in New York City.

Check out her low-cost, high-impact decorating strategies:

1. Embrace Accessories

“Swapping out items like decorative pillows and a vase can transform the look and feel of any room in five minutes,” McGarity says. A new or different rug also achieves that fresh feeling.

Keep the old items on hand and you’ll swap them in mid-year to create two seasonal looks. Pillow covers versus new pillows help keep costs down, and not using the same rug year-round means both last twice as long. For warmer months, try a sisal rug and cotton pillows. When the temperature drops, go for a darker, patterned rug and pillow covers in lush velvet.

2. Rethink Artwork

Pictures and paintings aren’t the only things you can hang. “Think outside of the box,” says McGarity. Your basement, garage and closets are a treasure trove. Postcards, snapshots, kids’ drawings, posters and even wallpaper and fabric scraps can all be cut and put into inexpensive frames and hung together to create a quirky personal home gallery.

Or, if you find a large fabric remnant, consider making it into a wall hanging by hemming it and sewing in a rod pocket. “You can do it yourself with a sewing machine, but a tailor charges only about $10,” says McGarity.

3. Use Your Library

Take a few of your coolest books off the shelves and incorporate them into your décor. Gather ones with similarly colored jackets or focus them on a theme, such as travel (try mixing a guidebook, an Italian cookbook, a photography book of Alaska and your copy of Eat, Pray, Love together). They’ll look great stacked on a table or tall piece of furniture.

Another tip: Purchase an inexpensive tabletop easel at a craft store and use it to display a beautiful open book, McGarity says. You can change up the look by swapping in a different book.

4. Create an Accent Wall

Painting or wallpapering an entire room is a pricey undertaking. Instead, do just one wall to create a focal point. It makes the whole room pop and you only do a quarter of the work!

Which wall should you choose? “Usually the longest in the room, but it could also be the one lined with all furniture,” says McGarity. “In general, though, you won’t go wrong with the one that feels the most blank.”

To select the right paint, pick a shade that’s in nearby furniture or other décor. “If you love the gray upholstery on a chair, for example, paint the wall behind it a lighter shade of gray,” says McGarity. If you’re decorating with wallpaper, small rooms like bathrooms, foyers and mud rooms often produce the best results. Also consider inexpensive vinyl wallpaper. It’s twice the width of regular rolls, making it a cinch to hang. Plus, vinyl is durable and easy to clean. "For a small amount of money, you can make it the coolest room in the house,” says McGarity.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Increase the value of your home! Follow some ground rules.

Thinking of how you can increase the value of your flat? Here's what you can carry out...

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Increase the value of your home! Follow some ground rules.

None of us wish for diminution in value of the pricey possession of our life — our HOME. So, we need to consider some points to increase the value of our home. Though the role of present market conditions can not be ignored in deciding the value of your home, but there are number factors that demand your attention. Here are some guidelines that can help you to increase the value of your home.

First of all you need to take into account the interior as well as the exterior of your home. Certain amendments require a professional expertise, so you may need to hire a contractor. But for simple jobs, you are the best person. So, it’s up to you when you are going to start and finish the task. I suggest you to complete the work in stages, as it won’t hinder your regular schedule.

In order to increase the home value, keep your home updated with new trends of kitchen, rooms and other places. Equip your home with the advanced gears and gadgets. Replace your old kitchen appliances with advanced ones. If this seems to be expensive for you, go for alternative ways like changing the kitchen tiles, renovating the cabinets, polishing the drawers and keeping all the appliances in good condition.

Change the flooring of the house, if required. Else, keep it clean and bright. Get new figurines to keep your home decorative. You can add decorative accessories on the walls, doors or ceilings. You can even install a new roof with decorative lights. Vinyl windows are good options, as they look more beautiful. They are considered good for the conservation of energy also.

If you will paint the entire house, interior as well as exterior, you will get a new look and it can fetch you a good amount of money on resale. Enhance the looks of your house with vinyl siding. If vinyl siding are affixed previously, then do get them power washed for a brighter look. Do some modifications in the furniture, so that they look classy. If possible, get your central cooling system changed. Replace your old refrigerator. Buy a new carpet. Go for tile flooring with contemporary designs. Keep your garden in good shape. Remove the weeds on regular basis. Grow new plants. Clean the flower beds. Prepare a good landscape to watch from the window of you house.

Do some research on Net and follow these simple ways to increase home value.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Joys of Letting Go

Downsizing? How to decide what goes and what stays.

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The Joys of Letting Go

The Solomons began one night 38 years ago when Angela, who was living in a "no-bedroom" in Greenwich Village, reluctantly agreed to go on a blind date with a young doctor who had just finished studying in Switzerland. "I was so not into settling down," says 70-year-old Angela, now a communications consultant for television and film clients. "It was the '60s."

The two were married on May 3, 1969—a date they're reminded of by a signed '69 Spoleto Festival poster, a wedding gift from a friend, on display in their living room. All the art in their home is the work of people close to them—everything from photos taken in Japan, India, and Paris to groupings from a school of ceramics Joel simply calls "friend pottery." The couple doesn't have children, but pictures of young relatives are everywhere. "What we wanted to hang on to in our new home is what downtown New York represents for us—it's all about our friends," Angela says. "Other than that, we wanted to cut and run!"

Of course, you can make a clean break with your fireplace tools (and heavy Persian rugs, elaborate draperies, hulking dining-room table, gilt-edged mirrors) and still have to figure out where to put everything you're leaving behind. "We had 30 years in 4,000 square feet," Joel says. "That's 120,000 square feet of stuff over the years. We clearly needed a decorator and a therapist." The couple found both in Robert Levithan.

An acquaintance of the Solomons, Robert is a counselor who works with Friends in Deed, a crisis center for people dealing with life-threatening illnesses. When Angela and Joel learned that he also consulted on the design of friends' homes, they signed him on to help with their transition.

"Moving is high up on the life stress list, which includes things like the loss of a loved one or divorce," Robert says. A thorough, compassionate listener by profession, he came up with a design plan for his clients that was part talking cure ("There were absolutely daily conversations"), part triage.

Joel estimates that in the end, half of his and Angela's belongings were given away or sold. About a quarter went to his new office and the rest fit into the clean grid and airy, serene aesthetic Robert created for the Solomons' new home. "It's as clear and light as possible," Angela says. "There's a see-through, floaty theme, which is great for small spaces. Everything has very thin legs. Everything but me," she adds, laughing. "I don't have thin legs."

In their new downtown lives, Angela says that she and Joel "walk almost everywhere." The two also enjoy a luxury they didn't have uptown—outdoor space, in the form of a terrace overlooking Washington Square Park and one of the city's last charming mews. "They are lively," Angela says of the New York University students in the storied park, "and the view will always be here."

She's true to Robert's mantra for moving with a good mind-set. "Focus on where you're going and what you're creating, not on what you're leaving behind," he says. "It's not about less; it's about different. And once you get there, everything shifts in your life, often in marvelous ways."

Angela considers her new, trim, skinny-legged dining table and says that she and Joel used to host a Thanksgiving feast for more than 30 people on the Upper West Side every year. Now they prefer to be in India, or Paris, or Indonesia. "We tend not to be in the city on holidays anymore. Place cards and the whole thing are no longer necessary," she says with relief. "Living downtown again hasn't really reinvented our lives, but having time at our discretion—and a home that fits our new lives—has. It's very freeing."

Before moving to a new home, consider Robert Levithan's strategies for relocating with the right mind-set.

• Do It Quickly: There's no point in drawing out the process or dwelling on where you used to live, mentally or physically. "You need to get where you're going," Robert says. "As soon as you're in the new place, it's very easy. You've shifted from the loss process to the creation process."

• Be Practical, Not Sentimental: If your move is about downsizing, Robert recommends that you start by identifying the objects that will go with you and those that can be left behind. If there's an item you're not quite ready to part with, consider storage. Better yet, he says, "Give it to someone you love or to a charity. You can also pass something down as an heirloom now, rather than waiting until you die."

• Entertain: "It's a good idea to surround yourself with a support system," Robert says. Include friends and family at various stages of the process—invite them over, pick up some wine, and have a box-packing party. "Then the move becomes a social rather than an awful, desperate thing. Make it a transition that includes the people in your life."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Inspirational ideas for kitchen design

Wow! I'm sure you will fall in love with the gorgeous kitchen design...

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10 Inspirational ideas for kitchen design

Monochrome kitchen diner : Monochrome is so well suited to a kitchen-diner, adding designer style to simple white units. Give the look a twist by papering the back wall with a bold floral pattern and fixing a clear acrylic splashback over it to keep it clean and dry.

Monochrome kitchen : Black gloss units give this kitchen its modern look, while rustic worktops and furniture, retro accessories and classic chequerboard floor tiles give a welcoming feel. The room is completed with a styish black and white statement wallpaper.

Rich wooden units : For a big impact in a small kitchen, go for American walnut units with chunky handles to keep them feeling up-to-date. Curved worktops will add extra interest and soften the feel, while floral curtains give the kitchen a contemporary touch.

Ultra-contemporary kitchen-diner : White units and stark worktops create a bright and airy look in this uber-modern kitchen-diner. Ice-blue splashbacks continue the sleek, crisp look, and a central island unit doubles as a food preparation area and breakfast bar.

Modern glass splashbacks : Combine glossy white units with glass splashbacks to maximise the light in the kitchen. Glass shelves and stainless steel appliances will also help bounce light around the room and enhance the sense of space.

Candy-colours kitchen : Create a contemporary feel with beautiful traditional styling by choosing units in a fresh cornflower blue. Here the bespoke kitchen has rounded detailing and a large Belfast sink and is accessorised with a candy-stripe window blind.

Light and bright kitchen-diner : A large dining table provides the focus for this modern kitchen-diner. White walls and kitchen units create a bright room and a wooden storage unit adds warmth and offers the perfect place to display books and family photos.

Zesty kitchen-diner : Glossy kitchen units in caramel shades creates a look that is modern and warm and bounce light around the room. Try extended a kitchen worktop to create an informal eating area, with space underneath for essential storage.

Modern kitchen-diner : A spacious island unit doubles as an informal dining area. Use cream floor tiles and ivory walls to create a light and airy backdrop and them accessorise with warm wooden finishes and pendant lighting.

French doors : A large island unit is great for a kitchen-diner and can be customised with a cooking hob, eating areas and tailored storage details. French doors lead out to the garden table, perfect for alfresco dining. Keep things warm in the winter with a pair of heavy, lined Toile de Jouy curtains.