Home Lighting Creating Illusions With Window Treatments Hardwood Floors 101 Adding Style To Your Room With A Decorative Chess Set Restyling Vertical Blinds Outdoor Furniture The 7 Schools Of Feng Shui

Windows come in all sizes, shapes and construction. You can create illusions using standard curtains or other window dressings available today. Long drapes are more formal, short curtains tend to be more casual.

You can use different styles to add to your interior decorating, such as country, with wide tidebacks and ruffles.

Curtains can help the following problems:

1. Small window – extend the rod beyond the window frame. This will create the appearance of a larger window. More light will filter through the opening.

2. Large window – Attach your rod in the normal position. Try using tiebacks on the curtains. Use a valance.

3. Short/Tall windows – For short windows attach your rod above the window frame. Taller windows will appear shorter if you use a draped valance. It will soften the window.

4. View – If your purpose is to hide the view, match the window color to your wall covering. It will reduce attention to the window.

Today there are so many choices – Vertical blinds, miniblinds, wood blinds, shades of all types. You can keep it simple or layer the materials. Investigate the choices before you finish your room. If you give this some forethought, you can design your area to allow for changing window dressings each season.

Hardwood floors can be installed anywhere in a home and can be prepared from several species of wood such as elm, ash, oak, amendoim, cypress, teak, cherry, walnut, rosewood, hickory, and maple. The hardness, stability, color, and alterations in color vary with wood type. Chestnut, Douglas fir, and North American Cherry offer low hardness whereas hardwood from Brazilian Walnut, Caribbean Cherry, and Bloodwood is extremely hard. The stability of hardwood flooring has an inverse relation with the moisture inherent in the wood and is independent of the engineering. The appearance of unfinished hardwood flooring plays an important role in the grading process. The commonly assigned grades to hardwood flooring include clear, select, common 1, common 2, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3.

Hardwood flooring enhances the look of a room and when laid in harmony with the furniture and other elements in the interior design of a room, it bestows an elegance that synthetic flooring is unable to match.

Hardwood flooring can be installed using the following methods:

Nail Down: Nails are used to attach hardwood to the subfloor either on grade or above grade. Nails are usually used for hardwood with a thickness of 3/4″.

Staple Down: Nails can be substituted with a pneumatic stapler for attaching the hardwood to the subfloor. Stapling is easier to accomplish as compared to nailing and is therefore favored by DIY enthusiasts.

Glue Down: Patterned wood panels or parquets can be glued to the subfloor on, above, or below grade. The subfloor can be either wooden or concrete.

Floating: Engineered and Longstrip floors can be installed using the floating process in which a pad of foam is placed between the floors and the subfloor. The hardwood boards are held in place by means of adhesive that is applied in the tongue and groove portion of each board. Floating enables the installation of hardwood on uneven surfaces.

Hardwood flooring is easy to maintain and the following guidelines should help homeowners to ensure the beauty and longevity of their hardwood flooring.

When you think of a chess set, chances are you think of an old wooden board with plain pieces that those strange guys in college played with into the wee hours of the morning. And while there can be no argument that chess is certainly a great way to pass the time, there is a use for chess that you may not have thought of – decorating.

But why would you want to decorate a room with a game? Well, chances are you won’t be basing the entire room design around the set, but you should consider adding a decorative set to accent your current design. It’s time to let go of the notion of chess being simply a game, and start thinking of it as a decorating tool.

Of course, you can’t really justify decorating with an old musty board and cheap wooden pieces, can you? This is where you need to start thinking of a chess set as d
Nowadays, vertical blinds are thought of as unfashionable with the current preference and resurgence of new Venetian blinds style. No matter how much the average homemaker may want to take down and replace her blinds, this is not an easy nor inexpensive task. But there is still hope for these blinds, much more if they’re made of fabric. Updating and restyling blinds is the cheapest solution to refresh outdated and unfashionable blinds.

There are several tricks to update fabric blinds, and the most foolproof is the use of starched fabric. Pick a fabric you like or that matches your new design scheme. Measure the width and length of the vertical blinds’ slats. Divide your fabric according to this size and starch them. Starching fabrics make them more dirt-resistant. Insert these on the slats when they are dried, and you got yourself a cheaper alternative to branded fabric replacements. One useful and practical tip if you intend to use this method: pre-shrunk your fabric by soaking it in water and drying it. Your fabric could shrink during the starching and ruin your measurements. A less tedious fabric solution which would work with any blinds is draping the blinds with a sheer curtain or cloth. It’ll still allow the light in, while giving your blinds an ethereal and fresh look.

If there is too much dirt on your blinds, inserting fabric or adding sheers won’t work. Clean vertical blinds as clean as they could possibly be and dry thoroughly. This trick will change the appearance or design of the blinds so choose a wallpaper design that is classic and would go well with most themes. After choosing a wallpaper, measure the width and length of the vertical blinds’ slats and divide the paper accordingly. Stick the paper strips to your blinds by using “Wonder Under” or some paste and glue. Use a brush to put on the glue evenly and a rolling pin to prevent air bubbles from forming. Using dyes is a tricky process because it uses water which could deform the blinds. But they do give a nice tint effect to the color. The trick is to dye-brush the slats and not soaking them in dye pools. This way, the amount of water is reduced considerably.

Vertical blinds are also a great opportunity to exercise creativity. Spray painting and airbrushing blinds create a different texture and feel from ordinary paint jobs. The variety of paint textures available today gives you a wide range of choices to experiment. Adding patterns through stamps and sponges is also a creative trick. No matter which method you choose, you’ll end up with fresh looking, updated, and stylish blinds for the fraction of the cost of buying new sets of designer blinds.

Getting into the Great Outdoors has never been easier or more relaxing than with outdoor furniture and accessories! Outdoor furniture and outdoor accessories personalize your space; relaxing touches allow you to laze in your outdoor environment, knowing that you are truly ‘home’.

Finding out about Outdoor Furniture

Perfect in the garden; as a gathering and sitting area at BBQs, pool parties and get-together; or as your own little oasis in the middle of your backyard, outdoor furniture is social, sophisticated and multi-functional. Available in aluminum, wrought iron, the highest quality teak, bamboo and other woods, you can find outdoor furniture to complete any outdoor living space.

The range of outdoor accessories is staggering. These are often designed to complement your outdoor furnishings. Consider solar-power or electric lights to line a pathway or any number of awnings or other shelter structures on your property. Add candleholders atop your outdoor tables. Pick up picnic accessories, chair cushions, outdoor games – no matter what type of luxuries you enjoy indoors, you can enjoy them outdoors, too, with outdoor accessories to fit every taste and style.

Outdoor Sets

In general, there are three types of outdoor sets. All three are made up of tables and chairs, although the types of chairs and size of the tables vary greatly. Patio dining sets are ideal for larger outdoor spaces, such as large patios or back porches. Bistro sets are designed for smaller spaces, such as an apartment balcony. The third type of outdoor set you will find is called a conversation set. Conversation sets often include an outdoor sofa and a few chairs accompanying a coffee table. Conversation sets tend to be larger pieces of furniture and fit most comfortably in big spaces.

Outdoor Lounge Chairs

Outdoor lounge chairs are typically fashioned from metal – often wrought iron – although synthetic materials are on the rise and offer the sophistication of metal and iron at a reduced cost. Outdoor lounge chairs are also available in hardwood and teak.

Outdoor Benches

Outdoor benches offer seating for 2 or more, depending on the style. Available with and without backs, outdoor benches are designed to accent and blend, and are the perfect accompaniment to furniture already decorating the space. Some people choose not to use benches for seating at all, but instead place an outdoor bench in the garden as a showpiece and setting for their prized plants.

Outdoor benches are available in a variety of materials including concrete, wrought iron, teak and other metals and woods.

Some benches offer the added benefit of extra storage. These benches are usually all-weather safe, and come in neutral-colored plastics designed to camouflage into the background. These benches are great for the garden and pool area, as they provide extra seating and a lovely place to store your stuff.

Final Considerations for Outdoor Furniture

When shopping for your outdoor furniture, think about the space you will be filling and the people who will be enjoying it. Also consider the weather conditions where you live.Outdoor furnishings should fit comfortably into the space, so if you are in the market for something to go on a patio or balcony, be sure to measure the area you want to fill. Is this furniture for BBQs and pool parties, or quiet coffee conversations with intimate friends? Do you experience long, harsh winters where you live, or are conditions generally mild all year long? Answering these questions will give you the information you need to pick the best outdoor furniture to fit your life and your style.

Everyone has heard of Feng Shui, but what exactly is it? Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese belief that involves the study of both the natural and the created environments. To achieve a balance between the 2 affects the energy of a room.

7 Schools Of Feng Shui

There are many different versions of Feng Shui, each influenced by culture, geography, and religion. There are 7 predominant types or schools of Feng Shui:

1. The Compass School uses the 8 trigrams of the I-Ching. They are known collectively as Pa Kua, which is based on the 8 main directions of a compass. Each direction is associated with a specific chi. For example, southern is vibrant energy.

2. The Form School, based on the landscape’s shape, uses 4 symbolic animals to identify the landscape. Easy to use, the Form School (along with the Compass School) increases chi both in and out of the home.

3. The Black Hat Sect uses a fixed entry point to determine the area. Although similar to the Compass School philosophy, it has differences. The Black Hat Sect also consists of psychology, Buddhism and basic design principles.

4. 8 Mansion School, also known as the 8 House Feng Shui, is based on the individual number of the person living in the home. That number is used to bring harmony and balance to the home. People who use this system have both lucky and unlucky numbers, with the west numbers being 2, 6, 7, and 8 and the east numbers being 1, 3, 4, and 9.

5. The 9 Star Key School uses stars to help identify lucky and unlucky days. This school of thought uses complicated math formulas to pinpoint when a person will get married and the astrological sign of the future marriage partners. It will also tell the practitioner how to live based on his house.

6. The most common form of Feng Shui, based on astrology and numerology, is the Flying Star Philosophy. Difficult to understand and learn, it is also based on mathematical principals and is used to determine a person’s fate.

7. Four Pillars, the final school of thought, is not very common. Based on astrology tied to the person’s date of birth right down to the minutes, this form of Feng Shui is also used to determine a person’s fate.

5 Elements Of Feng Shui

After determining which school of thought is best for an individual, it is important to understand the 5 elements of Feng Shui. They are: Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, and Wood. Balance and harmony can be created in a home through the use of these elements. If used incorrectly, however, the energy can be lessened or even destroyed.

Each of the 5 elements is also associated with a direction:

Earth — Southwest

Fire — South

Water — North

Metal — West

Wood — East

Beauty And Balance

In a Feng Shui home, all rooms should achieve a balance of these elements, although some items may weigh heavier than others. A chair might score 3 times more than a throw pillow, for example, because of the size difference.

Properly applied, Feng Shui brings both beauty and balance to the home or office.

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