The Corner Wardrobe – How to Build a Corner Wardrobe

CLICK HERE FOR TIPS ON BUILDING A CORNER WARDROBE

There seems to be a bit of a trend these days amongst my friends. Almost everyone I know is either moving from a house into an apartment, or downsizing their apartments and moving into smaller ones.  It could be because money is a little tighter than it was previously. We moved into an apartment to save time more than money. The upkeep on the big, old house we were living in was getting out of hand and the two of us, plus two high-school age children who had more than enough homework to keep them busy every day when they arrived home from school, were not able to manage all the needed upkeep.

So, we have downsized to, into what we refer to as our four and a half bedroom apartment. There are four decent sized bedrooms and one tiny room that most likely is meant to be a maid’s room but that will soon be converted into a storage room come pantry.  Two of the bedrooms are on the smallish side and when looking for ways to conserve space we came up with the idea of L shaped corner wardrobes. Fortunately our youngest daughter who by default inherited a slightly smaller bedroom, also liked the idea as she had seen some great corner wardrobes on sale at Ikea.  We tossed around the ideal of building a corner wardrobe ourselves, but then decided to take a look at what was available before going ahead with that project.

Most of the corner units we saw were L shaped corner wardrobes and the smaller units looked like they would fit nicely in the bedrooms that needed them. We finally settled on getting one corner wardrobe from Ikea that was not L shaped but was made to have equal size on either side of the corner for the guest room as guests usually do not need a lot of wardrobe space and the guest room is the smaller of all of the bedrooms.  We picked up a nice, dark wardrobe. The only thing I do not like about it is that, like a lot of the furniture you pick up from Ikea, it is made from particleboard and therefore will not be all that long-lasting. Still, we do not get a lot of guests, just the occasional overnight kid visiting our children, or sometimes a brief relative visit, so it should hold up alright.

The Ikea Hopen Corner Wardrobe is 24 inches deep and 46.5 inches wide on either side, so it is a reasonable size for what we need and it does look nice, being new and unused so far.  It took hubby a few hours to assemble it with the help of a friend. I could not have put it up, but I am not really much of a handywoman.  Still, any man with a few DIY skills and someone to help should have it assembled and attached to the wall pretty quickly.

Instruction manuals on assembling the unit should come with the wardrobe pieces. If they do not you can find the instructions online.  For our wardrobe, we followed the plans that are here.

For the girls room we chose a slightly larger L shaped corner wardrobe.  One side was half the size of the longer size.  It was still small enough to not be the main overpowering object in the room but it provided plenty of space for hang up clothes and had ample shelves and other storage place as well. We were lucky to find one that went pretty much floor to ceiling and that was thin enough to not take up too much space.

45 degree wardrobeAnother option for corner storage space is the 45 degree wardrobe. We looked at a few of these, but realized that they were too deep to put in the room, and we would also probably have to tag on two smaller regular sized wardrobes to either side in order to give enough space.  It would have appeared a bit too bulky in the bedroom which is why we opted for the larger L shaped wardrobe. It was already assembled, and the shop we bought it from was kind enough to deliver to our door the following day.

I thought about getting a 45 degree wardrobe for our storage and pantry area as it is set right off from our back patio which is where we have currently installed the washer and dryer. It could be useful for storing laundry items as well as for our visitor sheets and linen.  I am still deciding whether it would be a good idea or not. The room is very small and 45 degree wardrobes do take up quite a bit of space due to their depth. But after all, a pantry or storage room needs lots of storage space.  I am undecided as of today, but will most probably decide to get one as soon as I begin organizing (or trying to organize) that room.

Of course, if you are a handyman or there is one in your family, it would be very easy to design and build a corner wardrobe.  The design looks very simple and if you are handy enough to build any kind of wardrobe then building a corner wardrobe should not pose any more problems. Hubby had a look on line for simple instructions on how to build a L shaped wardrobe but decided that he did not have time to do so.  He did find some good plans though, but as he only had half a day to give toward the project and as the need was fairly urgent (or so our girls said) we opted to buy.

For those who have basic handyman skills, here is a simple outline of how to go about building your own corner wardrobe:

Simple Instructions on

What You Will Need: Tools
Circular saw or crosscut saw
Stepladder
Measuring tape
Pencil
Framing square
Chalk-line box
4-foot spirit level
Utility knife
Straightedge
Drywall screws or nails
Joint compound
Taping knife
Sandpaper

What You Will Need: Materials
2x4s for studs, wall plates, and braces Door and hardware
2x lumber for header
Shelves, clothes poles, and storage units, as needed
Door and hardware
Drywall

Step #1: The first thing you should do is outline the closet on the floor. This will give you the basic measurements you need for lumber, and will also help you get a visual idea of how the completed closet will look.  Note: Make sure the closet is deep enough to allow for storage; 28 inches depth is the recommended depth. You can go deeper than that but it is not recommended that you make it more shallow.

Step #2: Nail the 2×4’s on the floor, two feet apart.   Mark where the door will be, remember to leave a little extra space for the door jambs, or the vertical sides of the door frame.

Step #3: Once you have the basic outline on the floor, make an outline on the walls, following the basic lines you have set down. You will need to use your spirit level to make sure that the lines are straight. When you have the basic outline you can nail on the outside studs and the top plates for the walls. You will attach the wall to these studs on both the inside and outside of the closet.

Step #4: Studs for the walls go up next. Place them in the center of the wall. Depending on the size of your closet you may need more than the one center stud. Nail the stud to the top plate and to the 2 x 4 soleplates. Cross brace the studs as necessary to give sufficient support.

Step #5: Make the doorway frame.  You will need to nail additional studs on each side of the doorway, and install a double header across the top opening.   When the header is in place, use a saw to remove the bottom part of the sole plate where the door opening will be.

Step #6: Once the framework is all finished it is time to apply the paneling and the lining. Nail the paneling to the beams and fill over the nails with putty, then sand over.

Step #7: Next, work on the inside of the wardrobe.  Install the closet poles; make shelves to fit inside the wardrobe wherever you need them.

For the corner section of the wardrobe, you may find it is easiest to set a long row of shelves, from top to bottom, as the corner is often a little difficult to get to and shelving seems to work much better than leaving room for hang-up space.

Built In Wardrobe

When searching online, I also found this neat guide on how to simply build a built-in wardrobe.

What is hydroponics gardening

World population reached its first billion in 1830. By 1930, it doubled to two billion. It reached an unexpected 3 billion just 60 years after that. And in 2002, world population more than doubled at 6.27 billion. On the same year, the United Nations Population Fund projected that global population will reach 9.2 billion by 2050. Given the rate at which population increases across the world, deforestation and scarcity of food are two risks we all face. Great minds of today propose that we take part in preventing them through hydroponics gardening and vertical farming.

The world’s continuing population increase only means one thing – there are more mouths to feed with each passing day. Because of this, the world’s demand for food increases as well. But our current food supply can’t meet this demand and agricultural lands will have to continue expanding horizontally. Horizontal expansion of agricultural lands is only one problem of the ever increasing global population. Eventually, residential, industrial, and commercial structures will have to be built as well to meet everyone’s need for homes, jobs, and commodities. Deforestation and the extinction of animals and non-agricultural plant life are terrible consequences of these, expected to take place unless we do something about them.

A common denominator across all these problems is plant life. From an agricultural perspective, plants can help sustain the world’s demand for food supply. Environmentally, they constitute of forests and contribute to the delay of global warming. With hydroponics gardening and vertical farming, underlying dilemmas can be addressed.

Hydroponics gardening is a method of planting wherein soil is no longer used. Instead of placing plants in soil for watering, they are instead placed on gravel, coconut husk, perlite, mineral wool, or any other inert substance. Minerals and nutrients are artificially introduced into water and then allowed for absorption through inert substances. It was first discovered in 18th century. Research showed that minerals and nutrients can be absorbed by plants directly from water.

Since any land-grown plant can grow with general hydroponics gardening, it is part of the plans to push through vertical farming. Vertical farming is a strategy wherein instead of expanding farms horizontally to take up more land space, farms will be built upwards in skyscrapers. As proposed, vertical farming could help increase land availability for the world’s growing population. Moreover, it could help stop deforestation since the need for horizontal land expansion will be decreased significantly.

Planning and Choosing Lighting for Your 2012 Kitchen Renovation

Like a lot of home owners you might be looking to take advantage when the 2012 January and February Sales start, and one place of focus could be a kitchen renovation in order to give it a sleek and modern design appearance.  One aspect will be to buy a new refrigerator and updated work cabinets to fit the new style, but make sure that careful consideration is given to the light fixtures and fittings as this is an aspect sometimes overlooked.

Getting your lighting correct can enhance your kitchen and show off the aesthetic aspects as well as making the working areas easier to use once up and running.  Here are a few short tips on how you can choose the perfect lighting set-up for your new kitchen renovation in 2012.

What You Should Know About Kitchen Lighting

Any lighting should always complement your kitchen interior, and you can achieve this with a strategic approach to all the fixtures.  You want to show of the space and ensure you don’t have unsatisfactory working conditions when preparing meals.

Don’t make the common error of installing just one central light fixture in the middle of the ceiling space as this will mean you get shadows that will not effectively illuminate appliances and cabinets.  As an example, if you’ve purchased a new stainless steel Samsung refrigerator you will want it to be the main focal point along with the main work surface – imagine how cool it will look with the right amount of light bouncing off it?

How to Plan Your Kitchen Lighting and Illumination

  1. Firstly check into any local lighting ordinances and legislation if you are installing the fixtures by yourself.  There might be local safety and energy standards to comply with.
  2. Break up the kitchen space into working areas.  This will help you to decide where the fixtures will be placed for maximum effect.  Sinks and counters always tend to benefit from narrow light beams as task lighting.
  3. Define switch placements by grouping so you can make use of different switches to control various groups of lights that can be associated to the separate working areas.

How to Install and Choose Your Lights

  1. Measure the kitchen to understand the amount of light fixtures required.  Guidance to follow should be one recessed fixture for every 4 to 6 feet of ceiling area – this will give you an even illumination.
  2. Some American states and regions require home owners to use fluorescent or HID lighting – make sure to check with your local authority for exact specifications.
  3. If there’s insulation in the ceiling you will need to install housing that’s safety ratified to be used with insulation material.
  4. 4. For switch selection consider dimmers for any lights that are positioned in the corners.  Individual switches work better over commonly used working spaces. 

Author Biography – Brian S of Refrigerator Reviews 4 U

Brian S has worked in the kitchen appliance industry for over 20 years and runs the popular Refrigerator Reviews 4 U website.  It contains price comparison on fridge freezers on all major brands including Samsung, Amana, LG, Frigidaire, and Whirlpool.

How To Plant Your Grass Seed The Right Way

Planting grass seed and getting it to grow can either be one of those things that make people go crazy because they can not get it to grow for the lifer of them or they can get it to grow like wildfire. If you are in the last group then congratulations you are one of the few people who have a natural knack for getting things to grow or otherwise known as having a green thumb. If you are in the first group then welcome to the rest of the word who were not born with innate ability to grow things. However do not fret though because growing grass seed is fairly simple and all that you need is a couple materials and some time. The materials that you are going to need are an aerator or hard rake, grass seed, seed starter fertilizer, spreader, water hose and water.

To get started you need to decide what kind of grass that it is that your yard is made up of. If it is green all year long and it gets cold every winter then more than likely you have either a fescue blend or bluegrass mix or one that has both of the types of grass included. You will want to get select a grass seed that is the same or as near to the same as your existing grass in your lawn. If you do not know or cannot find out then it is best just to go with a blended fescue mix.

Once you have your seed either aerate or use a hard rake all over your lawn to give the seed a good bed to sit on. You will want to go over your lawn with either the aerator or the hard rake as much as possible to give it a really good seedbed. Doing this will also allow for your lawn to get a increase in nutrients, air and water to the grasses root layer.

Once you have aerated your lawn spread the seed at a rate of 5 – 7 lbs. of seed per 1000 square feet. There should be a spreader setting on the seed bag that will tell you about the setting to put the spreader on for spreading seed.

Once the seed is down now spread the fertilizer at the rate that it says on the fertilizer bag. Make sure that when you are using the spreader that you do turn off the spreader when you are turning around so that you do not put large clumps of fertilizer on the lawn.

Now that you have spread the seed and the fertilizer use the water hose or sprinklers or whatever way of watering your lawn that you have to give the grass seed a good soak to ensure that there is good ground contact and that the seed will get the moisture that it needs to germinate.

Now all that you have to do is water your grass for a out 20 minutes each day until you see it get around 3 inches. At this point you can then cut back on the watering and begin cutting your grass.

Jason is the editor of both the Art Of Growing a gardening site and Georgia Lawn which specializes in Atlanta weed control.

Sprucing Up The Kids Room with Wall Art

Sometimes a new coat of paint in a bedroom just doesn’t cut it for originality. If you’ve been struggling to find ideas for how to decorate your kids room, consider using something like kids wall art to really spice things up a bit. Wall art obviously comes in many different styles and themes, which is why it’s important to get your child’s input before you just buy anything. If you’re trying to surprise your little one with a new bedroom to come home to, consider looking through his favorite games or books for ideas. And depending on their age, you could get away with a neutral color theme or design scheme if you’re stuck for ideas.

The best part about kid’s art is that it generally goes well with almost any starting room or color. This means that you can put up a new coat of paint to get things started and finish the room off with the art if you’re looking to add some more color. When looking for art, make sure that it’s age appropriate and not something that could be too violent or scary for your child. Another good thing to keep in mind is where the art will be hanging. Having the art too low makes it boring to look at, and having it too high puts it out of your child’s line of sight. Hanging your child’s art in the middle of the wall is a good spot to keep it out of reach of them as well as keep it visible when they’re lying in bed or playing with their friends.

Photo By: Alistair

If your kid’s room isn’t the only thing that needs sprucing up in terms of wall art, another cool idea to try out is vinyl wall art. Vinyl art works by taking what are essentially giant stickers and pasting them to the wall. The best part about these giant stickers though is that they don’t leave any residue or glue to the wall, making them extremely easy to take off and move to another location if you’d like. Plus, the lack of damage to the wall makes moving a breeze if all you have to do is take your art down and be on your way without having to worry about repainting the walls. Vinyl art comes in many different styles to suit almost any mood of a room. If shopping online, be sure to find out the measurements of the art you’re looking at so that you know how big it is against your wall before you buy it.

BloomBoss UFO 90 Watt Grow Light Review

Since NASA started playing with LED technology in the early 80’s, plant enthusiasts around the world have been awaiting the day that this technology would finally be viable for use. Whether we are there or not is a subject of debate, but most plant experts are slowly warming to LED growing lights technology. One of the more popular starter kits out there is the BloomBoss 90 Watt LED UFO Grow light (yes that is a mouthful). Let’s review this light by taking a look at some of its advantages. Let’s also take a look at how to best use this BloomBoss UFO light.

Advantages of BloomBoss 90W Grow Light

Developing a product that saves the environment and saves money is the way to success in today’s business world. At first it was believed that providing both environmentally and economically healthy products was impossible (it was either one or the other). However, with some effort, companies are finding that they can provide both. The BloomBoss UFO Grow Light is a perfect example.

Initially this light costs more than traditional growing lights (quite a bit more at that). However, over time the energy savings from this light is quite phenomenal. Some say that you can save over 80 percent on energy costs. This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the plant experts agree that LED lights provide quite a bit of savings on energy costs (in many cases enough to more than make up for the initial costs).

Saving energy means helping the environment. The BloomBoss LED light leaves a much smaller environmental footprint than traditional growing lights. This means you can have more money in your pocket and feel good about doing your part to keep the earth healthy.

How to Use the BloomBoss 90W UFO

The makers of the product recommend you hang the light anywhere from 6 to 24 inches away from your precious plants. That’s quite a wide range! We’d recommend you go about half way (around 15 inches away). Keep in mind that you might want to put the light a little closer when your plants are just seedlings. Seedlings need deeper light penetration. Gradually move the light away as your plant grows. If you want your plant to grow wide, then move the light farther away. If you want your plant to grow thick, then keep the light close. Manufactuer 6 to 24. We would say around 13. Closer for vegging, farther for flowering

Conclusion

The BloomBoss UFO is a great starter light for those who want to get their feet wet with LED technology. It’s a fun little light that will allow you to grow plants from start to end inside your house without the use of the sun (a miracle in our humble opinion). Nothing wrong with growing your plants, saving money, and saving the environment.

Zero gravity chairs, the only place a man should sit.

When it comes to home furnishings, us guys are a pretty simple lot. I’m not too bothered about what a chair looks like, what material covers it and whether it blends with the curtains – all I’m worried about is whether it’s nice and comfy. My wife, on the other hand, will spend all day walking around furniture shops with swatches of curtain fabric and a little sample cutting of carpet trying to find some new furniture that will match –never once actually bothering to sit down and try the chairs out.

Our recent shopping expedition was just such an occasion – she dismissed chair after chair until I had to put my foot down… I had fallen in love. Fallen in love with the most comfortable chair I’d ever sat in; fallen in love with the most relaxing experience I’d ever had… I’d fallen in love with a zero gravity chair.

Inspired originally by a NASA design, this chair is every guy’s dream. Who wouldn’t want to experience the sensation of weightlessness, because that’s just what this chair does. Chiropractors recommend this type of chair more than any other to people with back trouble and with good reason – the seating position allows you to lie back with no weight going through your spine, which makes it ideal for anyone with a bad back or neck. Sitting with your feet raised above your heart level naturally lowers your blood pressure, so this type of chair is also great for people with hypertension too.

Photo By: Beatrice Murch

Memory foam seats ensure you’ll always have a snug and comfortable fit, but each chair is different so try a few to make sure you get the best one for your posture. You can get chairs with electric recliners so leaning back is as easy as pressing a button on a remote control, and chairs with a massage function meaning you’ll never want to get up from your seat. Available in a full range of colours and finishes you’re bound to find a chair to suit, and even one that your wife will approve of! You can also get a range of zero gravity chairs suitable for outdoors, so you can ditch that cheap plastic patio furniture and upgrade to luxurious comfort when you’re sat out in the sun.

Zero gravity chairs are sure to become a new design classic, taking over as the new rocking chair from being the most comfortable seat in your home. So whilst the chances are we won’t ever fly to the moon, at least us guys know that our next shopping adventure could leave us feeling like we just had.

3 Tips for the Best Home Barbecue Food

It’s an incredible feeling to be able to fire up your grill and deliver a feast for all of your guests. It can get pretty hot and heavy when you’re in the middle of the action and sweating over a hot grill. But when it’s all said and done, you can deliver some truly scrumptious food that people won’t forget anytime soon. It’s something that is synonymous with summer and responsible for great memories no matter how old you are. Best of all, you don’t have to be a professional chef in order to be able to cook on a barbecue. Here are some simple things to keep in mind to make your barbecue experiences as good as possible.

Your barbecue – it’s essential that you maintain your barbecue before and after the cooking process. Many people don’t clean their barbecue until right before they use it on the day of their meal. It’s a far better practice to clean it after each use so that you don’t give oil and dirt time to build up. As for the cooking process, make sure to allow your barbecue adequate time to heat up. You want your grill to reach the right temperature before putting on your food so that you can get that nice crispy exterior and the perfect sear on the outside. If you are using a charcoal grill, then make sure that the coals turn a light gray color first.

Photo By: Emilian Robert Vicol

Your food – it’s important to select a wide menu that also features popular favorites. It’s even more important to use the freshest ingredients possible that really take advantage of the barbecue process. That means staying away from anything frozen while leaning towards fresh cuts direct from your butcher. You’ll also get better results by staying away from generic barbecue sauce while using your own marinades and personal seasonings instead. One of the worst mistakes is to overpower the natural taste of barbecue food with their use of bottled BBQ sauce.

Your entire meal – barbecue isn’t just a meal, it’s a true experience for the entire family. Whatever little thing you can do to build up the atmosphere and ambience is going to help. Whether it’s decorating the dining area or setting mood lighting right before sunset, it all helps to add to the meal. This goes for side dishes and healthy options as well because it’s not just about the main food that comes off your gas grills. Don’t forget about popular favorites like potato salad and a wide selection of ice cold beers so that your guests don’t have to go thirsty.

Why You Should Have a Shark Vac Then Steam

How do you feel about cleaning your floors? Did I hear you right? You hate it? I’m right with you. When you think of all the tools you need, such as a mop, a bucket, broom, dust pan, chemicals, and so forth, it is easy to see how this job can be complicated and aggravating. How about an alternative? You might want to check out the Shark Vac Then Steam. What makes it special?

It’s Your Vacuum!

The first major task your Shark Vac Then Steam accomplishes is the vacuuming feature. Having been specifically designed for ceramic tile, hardwood floors, and Pergo-type floors, it readily scoops up dirt, debris, and hair that accumulates throughout the day.

Photo By: Twicepix

It is important for you to understand, though, that the Shark does have some limitations. It is a challenge to reach difficult areas such as under cabinets with low clearance, corners, and edges. And it is not equipped with any on-board attachments like a crevice tool. But likely you want the Shark to greatly reduce the work you do in your high traffic areas. And that is where the Shark shines!  But if it was just a vacuum, the Shark would only be doing half its job . . .

It’s Also Your Steam Mop!

Are you ready to tackle some nasty germs? I’m right with you. And so is the steam mop feature of your Shark Vac Then Steam. In lab tests it was found that the hight heat aspect of devices like the Shark can effectively kill up to 99% of many disease-causing agents. That includes MRSA, Salmonella, E. Coli, and the repugnant virus that causes H1N1. And get this: no chemicals are involved! Shark prefers that you only use plain water, preferably distilled, in the Vac Then Steam. And there is another benefit. You will never have a chemical residue left on your floors after using the Shark!

Now, you need to realize that the shark won’t perform miracles on really tough stuff. Some customer reviews reveal that the Shark may have a difficult time with sticky foods. This is really the case with substances that have been allowed to become hardened over time. However, you will probably be quite content with the Shark Vac Then Steam for everyday sanitation and cleaning.

Finding Your Shark

The first place to start would be at Amazon. Refurbished Shark models start at $50. New ones top out around $200. While you are at it, take a look at the Shark Navigator Vacuum. While it doesn’t have the steam mop feature, it does have on-board attachments for detail cleaning.

If you do your homework it is quite likely that you will soon be the proud owner of a new Shark product!

Want to take a look at more Shark vacuums? Here is a selection of Shark vacuum cleanersyou may be interested in. Not only do they have steam cleaners, but also cleaners designed for pet owners and more!

French Door Curtains Or Blinds?

I have recently been involved in a few discussions regarding whether to hang curtains on French doors, or if blinds are better. In my opinion, it depends greatly on a few factors. Firstly, it depends on the type of French doors you have, your room’s décor and how much your doors are used on a daily basis. For example, if your French doors open out onto a patio then you will most likely find that they get a fair bit of use and as such you want patio blinds or curtains that will not interfere with opening the door–trust me, curtains can be somewhat cumbersome and prevent fluidity in opening up the doors in some instances. If your French doors are more decorative, rarely used and they are located in your living room where curtains are hung over other windows you may want to opt for curtains.

My personal preference is French doors with built in blinds. These are very practical and they look great. As an example the ODL BWM256601 25″x66″ Enclosed Blind for Patio Door is an example of a patio door with built in blind that looks good and at just under $200 per door is not that expensive either.

If you like this option you may want to consider how often you currently replace your blinds or curtains and how much this costs you over a two year or five year time span.  In other words, you may find it more cost effective to actually buy replacement patio doors with built in curtains than to continually invest in blinds or curtains.  Other advantages with these types of doors are that the blinds themselves are protected and as such there is not very much wear and tear. You do not have to worry about daily or weekly cleaning and maintenance either as they are lodged between two panes of glass and as such do attract dust and other dirt.

Roll Up, Vertical and Venetian Blinds: Other types of patio door blinds often seen on French doors include roll-up blinds, vertical blinds and mini blinds.  Roll up blinds are great if you want to block out light coming inside during the day however they can be a bit cumbersome if you regularly open and close the doors. Vertical blinds look fantastic however the same applies, you do have to be fairly careful with them if you use your patio doors a lot. Also, they can be easily damaged thus may not be an ideal option if you have small children or pets in the house. You are able to pull them to the side as necessary which makes them marginally more easy to use than roll up blinds, especially if the roll up blinds span across both doors as opposed to being hung separately on each door. Venetian or mini blinds are a good alternative when it comes to blinds for French doors. They look good, are easy to clean and can be made exactly to size so that you can have one blind on each door. They tend to clang and bounce around a bit if you open and close the doors often and they do need regular cleaning in order to stay dust free.

Curtains and Curtain Panels: If aesthetics is high on your list and you have curtains hung on other windows in the room your first natural instinct will be to hang similar or complementary curtains on your French doors. Curtain panels are a good choice as they can be left pulled across the doors or opened up to the side if you need quick access to outside. In general, my recommendation when it comes to buying curtains is to choose a material that is easy to care for. They do tend to gather quite a lot of dust and will need laundering often. To save on money, look for material that can be laundered as opposed to material that needs to be dry-cleaned. One of my favorites for French door curtains are lace curtains with side panels that can be opened up to the side during the day. If your room serves as a home theater  at times during the day you can also find blackout curtain panels for a very good price these days at stores such as Home Depot, Lowes or other similar stores. They are easy to open and close and effectively block out the light during the day if you need that option.

Shutters: Finally, many people like to hang shutters on their French doors. While wood and faux wood shutters look great they can be a little heavy if you open and close the doors often. These days it is very possible to find great shutters made from PVC that are fairly inexpensive, easy to put up and that are fairly lightweight.  While white is a common choice of color, if you shop around it is possible to find them in a number of different colors. White tends to match with most decors and color themes, however, and it gives a nice light and airy feel and look to French doors.

Checklist To Help You Decide: In summary, when it comes to deciding on the best blinds for French doors you will want to take into consideration the following:

  1. Your current room’s décor — what would be the best match?
  2. How much use to your French doors or patio doors get?  Would curtains get in the way? Would vertical blinds get in the way?
  3. Are you–or could you–replace your French doors and buy doors with built in blinds? Would this be cost effective, based on how much you spend on new curtains or blinds on a regular basis, as well as costs for cleaning.
  4. Do you have small children? Pets?  What blinds or curtains would be the most convenient and safe choice?
  5. If going with shutters can you afford wood shutters or would white PVC shutters suffice?

Taking time to evaluate your answers to these questions  may help make it easier to choose when it comes to patio door blinds and curtain choices.

Building Your Own Dream Home

If you have decided to build your own home you are among an elite few. While it’s most everyone’s dream to build their own home, there are few who actually get to enjoy the stresses and the experience of doing so. Building your own home can be a combination of pure joy and sheer agony, but whichever way you look at it, it is sure to be a tremendously rewarding experience.

No one else can design your home the way you want it to be and the more involved you are in the process the more proud you will feel when it’s done. You will make the decisions about the roof, the flooring and everything in between.

Photo By: Martin Pettitt

Once you have found a lot to build your home you will need to locate a contractor to do the actual construction. This is the most important decision you will make, so don’t enter into an agreement lightly. Make sure you investigate the contractor’s background and verify his license and insurance with the area in which you live. A bad contractor can destroy your dream home.

There are some things you can cut back on to save money; however, your roofing, your heating and air conditioning and your flooring are not among the ones you can save on. You will be much better off if you allow plenty of funds for these items and probably appliances, because these things will save you so much over the long run. Your roof will save your home from the weather, your heating and air conditioning will save you money on energy costs over the years and the longer your flooring lasts the longer it will be before it needs to be replaced. If you choose brick or stone flooring you will have something that will last you forever. Stone is probably the most resilient flooring you can buy. While your HVAC or heating and air conditioning system won’t last you forever, you will enjoy savings on energy costs for the life of the unit.

Once the lot is secure, the builder understands exactly what you want and the design is decided, it will soon be time to start picking out things like kitchen cabinets, vanities, appliances and fixtures. Naturally the more energy efficient they are the more you will save over the long run. You will need to decide between wood, laminate or carpet for the living areas and possibly the bedrooms in your home. Your family room, kitchen, bathroom and laundry room will do well with stone or laminate floors depending on your own desires. Appearances are everything when it comes to floors and most people know exactly what they want. For some, hardwood floors is all they will consider while others are afraid they will scratch the wood with animals, children or moving furniture and the acoustics of a room are different with carpet. It is completely up to you and what you prefer.

You have probably been looking at furnishings since before you started the construction. The decorating for some is the fun part while for some others it’s time to call in an interior designer.

Log Home Repair and Reconstruction

Log homes are a classic part of culture and history in countries like the United States and Canada. These should be preserved for future generations to witness and enjoy. Log home repair and reconstruction will make sure that the structure stays strong for a long time. There are different reasons and causes why homes tend to break down over time. Reconstruction will improve the overall look and function for the long term.

About Timber Frames

Classic and antique timber frame structures are generally numbered, tagged and disassembled to be reconstructed on a different location. This is usually the process with log cabins and homes. The structure can also be anywhere between 1 to 3 stories high. The best floor plans and designs can be made collaboratively by the homeowner, the contractor and the architect. Reconstruction nowadays takes less time and effort because of modern method and materials. Years ago, people had to rely on traditional tools and materials. The entire reapir and reconstruction process usually takes several weeks and months.

Timber frame construction is usually done with the help of wooden pegs that hold the wooden braces and beams together. A timber frame is created without any metal parts. Modern additions are also made depending on the goals and objectives of the homeowner. The homes become extra-insulated in the process, because of the wall and roof construction. Homes also become rich in character after the right changes and improvements are made.

On Reconstruction

Reconstruction your home will require complete disassembly, especially if you’re moving to a new location. In some cases, log homeowners like to change a certain area of the house. You will need fresh logs for the project. Log home renovation will require a contractor and architect to make sure that the new section you add will suit well with the rest of the house. It’s vital that you also consider how air will flow through the house. The new area should still retain the temperature you’re looking for and stay protected from insects, pests, mold, mildew and the like.

Photo By: Billy Bob Bain

Do-It-Yourself Tips

Beginners might wish to try DIY or do-it-yourself methods that are relatively easy and cheap. Approaches like staining and sealing can be done by amateurs. You can get a contractor or hire an expert to help show you how it’s done properly. During your log home maintenance routine, you can do the sealing yourself or with the help of a friend. Also find out more about caulking and chinking to ensure that draft and moisture cannot destroy the wood and lead to rot and decay.

There are books and websites that give you a step-by-step approach on how everything is done. When buying materials, also bring an expert with you to show you how to make comparisons and see the special features that might be needed for your home. There are plenty of brands available nowadays. You can read reviews online and find out more how these are used properly to save more money.

Final Tips

Consider the type of alternative you will go for, just in case the log originally used on your home is no longer available. There are plenty of sources and suppliers online. You will have to wait a number of days or weeks to have these dried and prepared. Logs are either milled or hand-milled. There are also other products that you can find in the market that will supplement other methods like log chinking and caulking. For classic houses, always go for traditional products. Although these take more time and effort to accomplish, the look is a whole lot different compared to modern goods. Compare prices and quotations. Allow your contractor to give you sources and maximize your budget.

Tips to Outwit Even the Smartest of Roofing Scammers

Roof maintenance should be an invaluable part of your home’s regular maintenance, though sadly it is oftentimes neglected or overlooked. Over time, these minor dents, cracks or leaks will give way to more serious damage which will leave you with only one course left to do, hire a roofer. As you go out to search for roofing contractors, it is crucial to know that not all who claim to be professional roofers are the real thing.

Roofing scams have been reported across many states and the most common victims are those who are often unassuming such as the elderly, handicapped, or single mothers. This is why roofing experts have always stressed the importance of checking on the licenses and company backgrounds of your Oklahoma City roofers before hiring them.

How to Avoid Being Scammed: Information is key to avoid falling prey to these unscrupulous pretend roofers. The more you know about professional roofers, the more you will be able to differentiate the real one from the pseudo contractor. As per the Roofing OKC website, the red flag signs of a potential roof scammer includes:

1.Limited Offer Promos – Most con roofers lure in their customers via their limited time offer, this promotional ruse which gives customers an unbelievably low price is a simple way to pressure clients to sign the contract and hand over their down payment.

Photo By: Tom Godber

2.Outright Payment – If a roofing contractor asks you to pay more than 10% of the total estimated cost, then be very cautious as you might be dealing with a fly by night roofer.

3.Questionable References – A good way to verify the credibility of a roofing contractor is to ask for a list of their past and current clients. If a roofer denies you this privilege, then move on to the next roofer on your list. If, on the other hand, your roofer gives you a list of references that are not from your area, then be very wary and opt for a trusted local contractor instead.

Celebrate Food With the Best Dinnerware

I think it is safe to say that everyone loves food. It is not just that we need food, we actually love food In fact, we love food so much that it has become a means of celebration for us. Special occasions like birthdays, graduations and job promotions almost always merit eating good food. Weddings are never complete without a good reception party. Even just simple gatherings with family and friends are almost always done over lunch or dinner. Life is just so much better with good, delicious food while surrounded by dear family and friends.

Of course we would like to make each celebration as perfect as possible and good food should always be presented and eaten with the perfect dinnerware. Dinnerware sets are very good in featuring and high lighting delicious food. It is also a very good way to accentuate your party. Your choice of dinnerware says a lot about your style and finesse. They reflect your individuality and personality.

Gibson employs the best designers to be able to come up with the best dinnerware sets. Gibson dinnerware are very well thought of and designed to be able to provide you with the best and most stylistic dinnerware. You can choose from their different collections of dinnerware set and pick the best style that caters to your unique taste. They have a variety and a wide array of options for you.

Photo By: Sean

You can pick dinnerware sets based on designs, materials or their texture. You can even customize your dinnerware by having them monogrammed to make them more personalized, turning them to possible classy family heirloom. Gibson dinnerware comes in different shapes and sizes.

When not used to serve food, Gibson dinnerware can also be used for decorative purposes. Their styles are so unique and sophisticated that you can use them as decoration in your dining room. You can arrange them in your china cabinet or dining room stands to create a very beautiful interior design.

Wood Patio Furniture – The Traditional Look

For those who prefer that rustic look and feel in decorating their patio, wood patio furniture is probably still the preferred choice. Qualities range from top of the line durable teak or cedar to the softer redwood with pressure treated lumber being the cheapest option. Granted plastic resin furniture has come a long way in mimicking the looks of real wood but if you like wood the feel of the fake material will not really entice you.

Folding wood patio furniture just like the fixed pieces has a certain look about it which simply cannot be rivaled by their plastic or resin imitations, although these have improved a lot. The oil present in teak and cedar or redwood trees provides natural protection against the hot sun, harsh rain and suntan lotions for example. Thanks to this oil there is no need to treat the wood thereby saving you a lot of time and money on maintenance.

The popularity of wood patio furniture might be on the decline because the plastic or resin alternatives are being advertised as being a lot cheaper and requiring little or no maintenance, but as long as you buy a furniture set made from durable wood such as teak, cedar or redwood there is no reason you would have to spend more time and money on maintenance than when owning an aluminum or plastic furniture set. Just presuming that you took on the job of laying flagstone patio all by yourself wouldn’t real wood furniture be a great enhancement to the natural look of a flagstone patio.

Photo By: Colorhome

Teak is grown in Southeast Asia and is the most durable wood around. It’s been used to build ships and if it can withstand sea water it surely ought to be surviving the scorching sun, harsh winds or snow if used for patio furniture. Should you wish to restore the color of your teak patio set to when you just bought it than merely sanding it a little and applying some natural teak oil will return it to its original brownish color. Without this treatment teak will turn to a soft gray color over the years.

A softer wood but still very much in demand because just like teak the wood contains a lot of oil which makes it very low maintenance and naturally resistant against weather conditions is redwood. It does require a little more maintenance than teak but is surely a viable alternative. So these are really your three best options if you want to preserve that natural look and feel of your outdoor patio furniture while using the best wood on the market.

Avoiding Garage Cabinet FAIL

It’s not uncommon for recently purchased garage cabinets to disappoint their owners, often because of some mistake or some oversight made by the owner — that is, there is a garage cabinet “operator error” equivalent. With a little prior planning, however, cabinets can provide a lifetime of efficient and beautiful service for any owner. All s/he has to do is beware of (1) the potential for installation mistakes; (2) basic maintenance guidelines; and (3) the necessity of monitoring the cabinets’ contents.

Installation mistakes are relatively rare, but careful attention needs to be paid to the way the storage cabinets are attached to the walls. Nailing –- or, better yet, screwing — wooden cabinets to the wall needs to be done so that the nail or screw catches a strong support member. Wallboard or plasterboard, of course, cannot provide the needed support, and cinder block walls will require an anchor.

Garage cabinets that sit on the floor only need to be secured in earthquake country, but one should be careful to place them in an area where water damage can be avoided if conditions exist that make flooding a possibility.

If the cabinets fall, get wet or the surface is somehow otherwise compromised, that leads to the second problem –- not maintaining the cabinets. “Maintenance” is normally reserved for machines with moving parts, and the lack of moving parts might hide the need to maintain the integrity of the storage cabinets themselves. Consider: If a metal cabinet’s enamel finish is scratched, it can start to rust. If the veneer of an MDF cabinet is breached, it can easily absorb moisture and begin to lose structural integrity. A wooden cabinet may be unprotected should a swarm of termites come through the neighborhood. Inspecting cabinets from time to time and making sure the surfaces maintain their integrity and aren’t exposed to corrosive influences or direct damage will keep them serviceable for a long, long time.

Photo By: Rubbermaid Products

What gets put into the cabinets requires some care, as well. Putting oily rags or organic waste directly into a closed space invites “spontaneous combustion” and might result in a fire that might damage not only the cabinet but also the house. Another problem is caused by too heavy loads –- ones beyond the holding capacity of the shelves or the cabinet itself –- as this can break or weaken the cabinet. Finally, placing hazardous chemicals or flammable items inside cabinets (without putting them in separate, secure containers) invites trouble.

We want you to enjoy garage storage success, and with a little bit of forethought and ongoing attention, the three mistakes most likely to lead to garage cabinet FAIL –- installation, maintenance and dangerous contents -– can easily be avoided.

Choosing Indoor Pool Liners

There are some good benefits to having vinyl pool liners and the inground pool liners prices are not too expensive if you consider everything. Vinyl pool liners are soft on the feet when you walk on them. They are a good price in comparison to the gunite pool as they are more cost effective. Also these liners can be replaced to get a new look if they fade or tear.

There are different thicknesses of inground pool liners that can be purchased and also there are different patterns and styles. The challenge to pick the right liner is there, but if you can arm yourself with enough information about the different types you will make the best choice for your household.

Here are the features to seek in a liner:

1. A clear protective coating will protect it from the sun and also from germs and different chemicals that get used in pools.

2. It should be one hundred percent virgin vinyl. This vinyl has a higher quality and will last longer. The kind of vinyl which is recycled will not last as long.

3. The warranty on the liner should be long lasting and cover both the labor and the replacement liner. The good products have a one year warranty that will pay for the labor of installing a new one and also they have a 15-20 year warranty to cover the liner.

Photo By: Audrey

4. There are different thicknesses of the vinyl liners. If a liner is thin it will be cheaper but it will not last as long. These thicknesses are measured in terms of mil or gauge. Some of them are 20 mil which means they are not very strong or durable. The ones that say they are 27 mil are better and sometimes you can buy them at a cheaper price because the store is overstocked.

5. In many cases the liner bottom can become stained due to leaves falling into the pool, especially if the color is a light one. If you try to use chemicals to remove the stain it will change the look of the liner to the extent it will not look very attractive. It can be better to purchase a liner that is darker in the first place so the stains will not show.

There are many things you need to check out when you are looking at pools for sale. Choosing the right liner is important so you need to check out inground pool liners prices and also all the other features to do a comparison.

The Three Advantages of Building Your Own Hand Scraped Hardwood Flooring

Did you know that very often, the men and women who made hardwood floors used to scrape up the wood with a scraping tool before they sanded the wood down for staining?  Back in the day, there were no tools to make the tongue and groove slats that we enjoy today.  They also had no way to cut the wood so that the ends would meet well and had to use planks that were as long as the length of space they needed to cover.  This meant running wall to wall.  Once the floor was laid, they would hand scrape it to give it the wonderful rustic surface that we can still enjoy to day.

The Difference between Then and Now

The art of hand scraping hardwood floors is not only practiced by flooring companies that lay down your floor.  If you are a DIY kind of person, (Do It Yourself) then you will appreciate the hand scraped hardwood flooring that you can purchase online and at your local flooring stores.  The only difference is that they hand scrape each plank individually rather than scraping the floor after it is laid.  This is not to be mistaken for distressed hardwood flooring, which is done with a wire brush attachment on a machine.  The uniformity and small close scratches are beautiful, yet somehow, they are not as beautiful as hand scraped hardwood flooring.

Check Reviews on the Internet

Photo By: Nancy Hugo, CKD

Hand scraped hardwood flooring reviews can be found on the Internet along with unfinished hardwood flooring for sale reviews.  Be specific when typing your query into a search engine.  This makes it much easier to find the best website for your hand scraped hardwood flooring.  Be warned, however, that there are hundreds upon hundreds of flooring websites so the more specific you are, the better.  Prepare to spend a little time on this undertaking.  With so many websites, articles, and blogs to choose from, you are bound to learn something that you did not know before.

Three Advantages of DIY Flooring

Of course, you can always save a little money by purchasing hand scraped hardwood flooring wholesale.  There are quite a few of these websites.  In fact, if you are really into saving some green, purchase unfinished hardwood flooring wholesale and an old time hand scraper.  Scraping the floors yourself gives you three advantages that you would otherwise miss out on.  First, you get to experience the joy that our ancestors felt in doing this yourself.  Second, you can scrap the floor after it is laid, which means an even prettier effect, and finally, you save some dough on your genuine hand scraped hardwood flooring.

Eco-Friendly Home Design Using Solar Garden Lights

Eco-conscious people are always looking for new ways to help the environment. Investing in sustainable home design will allow homeowners to do just that. This can mean anything from a home built sustainably from the ground up, to retrofitting an existing dwelling with insulation, solar power, energy efficient appliances and more.

Switching from electric outdoor lighting to solar powered lighting is a great way to help the environment and it will also lower the monthly energy bill. Solar decking lights look just as fantastic as electric lighting, and homeowners do not have to worry about dealing with electric wiring and plug-ins. Solar string lighting is becoming a popular replacement for electric patio string lighting. String lighting looks beautiful when it is placed around a patio table, hot tub or swimming pool. Since people do not have to worry about electric wiring, they can place solar string lighting in any outdoor area. People can wrap string lights around trees, a fence or around an outdoor patio umbrella.

Photo By: Russell Neches

Avid gardeners usually want to highlight their gorgeous flowers, bushes and trees by adding decorative lighting to garden areas. A lit garden looks gorgeous in the evening, and solar garden lights provide a soft glow. There are not many disadvantages when it comes to solar garden lights other than the fact that they are not as bright as electric lights. Another popular outdoor lighting spot is the driveway. Many homeowners place outdoor lights on either side of their driveway. Driveway lighting look beautiful and also help to light up the front of the house during the evening. Those who are looking for safety lighting should choose electric lights, while those looking for purely decorative lighting should choose the Eco-friendly solar driveway lights.

The vast majority of people in Western countries are currently using far more energy than they need. It is common for highly populated cities to experience greyouts and blackouts during hot summer days because so many people crank up their air conditioning units. One way for people to reduce the amount of electricity they use is to invest in solar power for their homes. Homeowners can have solar panels installed on their roof or set up nearby.  The solar panels will convert sunlight to energy which will power the home. Solar panels are sure to become more popular over time as homeowners realize the many benefits of solar power.

Advantages of a Metal Bike Storage Shed

When looking at bike storage sheds, you will find that there are many different types. Some of the most popular bike sheds are made of wood, plastic, or metal. When comparing the different types, you will find that the metal bike storage shed has some great advantages over its competitors.

Great Security

One of the main reasons to buy a bike storage shed is so that you can protect your bike. This is especially necessary if you own a very expensive bike. The metal bike shed is the most secure type you can buy. Most are lockable, and the metal sides and roof are not easily penetrated. Additionally, many have ground anchors and are extremely heavy, making it impossible for a thief to move the shed. Because the shed is made out of metal, it is highly likely that you will hear if someone tries to tamper with it. These sheds shelter the bike from the weather and protect it from getting stolen more securely than any other type of bike storage shed.

Low Maintenance

Another benefit to owning a metal bike storage shed is that it is extremely low maintenance. Unlike wood sheds, these sheds don’t need any special treatments. Wood sheds often need to be pre-treated to prevent from wood rot; luckily, the metal bike shed doesn’t require this. It is also very easy to clean the shed if it gets dirty. Spray a hose on it and you will find that most of the dirt and grime washes off easily.

Photo By: Paul Downey

Convenient Size

Metal sheds often have an added benefit in that they are large enough to fit other items. You will likely find that you have plenty of room for all of your bike gear, including the rear hitch bike rack. Most have the space to hold multiple bicycles, so you can be sure that your whole family’s bikes are protected. You may even be able to put shelves up and store other things in the shed such as gardening equipment or power tools. If you don’t have a garage, this shed can be perfect for storing your necessary items. Having the metal bike shed will help you stay organized and reduce the clutter laying around your house.

The advantages of the metal bike storage shed are indisputable. If you need a shed that is secure, low maintenance, and a convenient size, look no further than the metal bike storage shed.

Tiffany Lighting Lamps

Tiffany is a lighting style that originated at the turn of the century in the hands of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Beginning as a stack of cut off glass edges, the first Tiffany lamp shade was a collection of over one hundred individual pieces soldered together. The stained glass pattern was further enhanced with the use of electric light bulbs.

Tiffany style lights are see today in many forms. The same principle of the stained glass has been preserved, but the inclusion of lots of various light fixtures has translated it from just lamps into being an option for ceiling fans, accent lights, flush mount ceiling lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, floor lamps, island lights, and more. The first step away from exclusively being a table lamp was the longer stemmed bases of the floor lamps.

Some of the most popular Tiffany styles are the Dragon Fly and Wisteria. Flowers, birds, fruit are among some of the kinds originally developed by the Tiffany Girls. Many other patterns today still follow the same overall idea but with more economical ways of crafting them.

Original Tiffany lighting is at a premium of over a million dollars per light. Their beauty and early American craftsmanship only gains value throughout the years. There are some companies that still build them with the same technique that LC Tiffany developed originally but not at the absorbent prices as the originals. These replicas use the copper foil edging and all hand cut pieces, but instead of needing $1,000,000 you only need about $5,000 to purchase one.

Photo By: Eden, Janine and Jim

For those who like the appeal of the stained glass but $5,000 still seems like a lot to spend, then there are the shelf brands to choose from. Amazon, among other websites have a wide variety of Tiffany style lights. Also local specialty lighting galleries offer a wide variety.  Some of the cutest I saw recently were stained glass backed turtles and a delicate butterfly. Accent lights are designed to sit on the floor or on a table and be lit up. While  not intended as a light source, the serve instead as a conversation piece, part of the decor of the room, or to help tie various colors in the interior decorating together.

The choice of your Tiffany lamp lighting depends heavily on what area you desire to light with it, if you are after radiance of light or the soft glow of various colors, and the interior design of your home.