Monday, 20 August 2012

Creating a Cocktail Station for Your Home

A house is not a home without the relationships and friendships that are created and nurtured within its walls. There will always be parties thrown, achievements and events to be celebrated, and even just those regular days when you'd want to have friends and family over for dinner and drinks. For these times, it's much better to have a cocktail station readily available to avoid frequent trips to the kitchen, keep the drinks flowing, and keep the mess of cocktail mixing to a minimum.

There are two major types of cocktail stations; portable and built-in. And under these two are even more types and categories, so here's a quick guide to helping you decide what you need for your own cocktail station or bar at home.

Portable Cocktail Stations

This type of home bar is ideal for those who like to hold parties both indoors or out on the patio or backyard. Portable cocktail stations are typically made of stainless steel, wood, or granite - depending on your preference and where you intend to make most use of it. The main advantage of this type of station, apart from portability, is its ease of use and setup. No need to learn DIY tricks or pay for services to have a home bar built into the kitchen island or patio grill. Another advantage is they generally sell cheaper than built-in or drop-in stations.

Some people prefer wooden portable home bars which are foldable or have swing doors because they can double as typical end table fixtures for use inside the home. But when it's time to entertain, they easily open up to have the storage compartments you need for glassware and liquor bottles. Some even have pull-out drawers and brass foot rails, if you want to pull up bar stools. If you plan on using your station mostly outdoors, then it's best to go for stainless, waterproof varieties that can withstand weather conditions and keep your drinks cool even under the sun's sweltering heat.

Built-In and Drop-In Stations

The other option in creating a cocktail station for your home is by having a home bar built into your existing kitchen island or any suitable area. The advantage of built-in or drop-in stations is you can easily connect it to water and electricity supply. With drinks constantly flowing, you'll need water supply to wash a lot of glass and stemware and also to clean up spillages. Having easy access to electricity will also mean your drinks are guaranteed to be kept cool, and you'll have steady supply of ice if you're making frozen Margaritas for the ladies.

Drop-in cocktail stations or sinks function much like their built-in counterparts, except they can be installed with your standard cabinets and don't come with bottle storage. However, you do have the option of buying add-on rails which you can have installed on the cabinet doors. Or you can also simply convert a section of the cabinet below to have bottle racks and to hold stemware.

Setting Up Your Cocktail Station

If you're setting up a self-serve cocktail station for your party, a safe bet is to always have a punch bowl and a signature cocktail mix out on the table. You'd want to provide non-alcoholic drinks too, either for mixing or as options for your guests who don't drink. Absolute must-haves for any cocktail station are different kinds of glassware (wine / Coupette / cocktail glasses, etc.) and ice storage that's separate from the bin used to chill wine, champagne, or beer.

Again, choosing which type of cocktail station to have in your home depends on several factors, such as your budget, location of water or electricity supply lines, preference and style, and intended usage (outdoor or indoor).  Carefully weigh your options and considerations and decide accordingly.

Author's Bio : Lisa Steele reviews home accessories, like the Breuer Cesca chair. She loves furnishing a room for unique purposes.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Saving Space in Your Bedroom

The bedroom is where you start and end your day, generate thoughts and ideas, spend intimate moments, and serves as a place of refuge day in and day out after working long hours. As such, it should be a private, comforting place where you can feel absolutely at ease.

If your bedroom is starting to get cluttered and feel a bit cramped despite daily or regular clean ups, it may be high time for you to look into simple yet effective ways you can de-clutter and free up space in the room. Here are some tips to maximize your bedroom space without breaking the bank.

Rearrange Furniture in Groupings

Your bedroom isn't just the place where you sleep - for most of us, it's also where we work, read, develop our hobbies, and engage in other leisurely activities. By rearranging your furniture according to function, you can have space-efficient nooks for every activity and keep all the things you need in that section. This reduces clutter, frees up floor space, and can make your bedroom look bigger.

Use Storage and Closets with Sliding Doors

A lot of bedrooms come with built-in closets with doors that open outward, which forces you to make sure no other fixtures or furniture pieces occupy the space close to it and block the doors. You may think that little space is insignificant, but it still adds up to limit your usage of room space. If you have built-in closets like these, have them fitted with sliding doors instead. You can take this on as a DIY project or hire someone to do it - either way, it'll still be cheaper and more space-efficient than buying a new closet.

Invest in a Platform Bed

The bed is the central piece of the room, and also takes up the most floor space. Having a raised/platform bed lets you make use of all that space underneath the bed frame that is often left unused. You can buy wood drawers or plastic containers that'll fit right under the bed, and with small wheels underneath so you can easily pull them out and access. This would be a good place to store the items that you can no longer fit into your closet.

Install Wall-Mounted Shelves

Wall-mounted shelves not only free up floor space, they also look more stylish than your typical floor shelves. Here you can put your books, trinkets, and even the small potted plants you keep in your room. This reduces clutter and makes your things more accessible because they're on an open and elevated surface.

Use Hanging Storage and Hooks

That whole space behind your door is a good place to hang shoes, bags, coats, and other items you put on and use before walking out your bedroom. The idea here is to think vertical - make use of the walls and flat surfaces to store items vertically instead of using wide furniture pieces to hold your stuff. Hang light items and accessories like scarves, belts, and even necklaces, instead of keeping them in a drawer and using up even more storage space that could've been used more efficiently. 

Author's Bio : Michelle Lim loves all bedroom products, particularly hastens bedding. Whenever she has free time, she spends it with her two beautiful children.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Tips to Turn your Backyard into Neighbor’s Envy

When decorating a home, the backyard area is often treated as an afterthought. Once money has been laid out for making the inside as comfortable as possible, spending on couches, paint jobs, and lighting, the outdoors spaces often find themselves neglected by owners. But the truth is that with just a little bit of investment your backyard can become one of the best parts of your home, a haven for relaxation alone or a destination for gathering with your friends. Below are a few ways to make the parts outside of your house as inviting as the parts inside.

First things first: get cleaning. Yes, even the outside needs to be cleaned. Start by moving anything that is sitting out that would be better suited to an indoor location - for example, toys, gardening tools, fish food. If you don't have a shed to put them in, stick them in your garage or even your basement. Use storage containers to keep everything organized if you have a lot of stuff.

Once you have cleared the area, mow the lawn. Freshly and evenly cut grass is the most basic and essential element of a nice backyard. How often you need to mow depends on your preferences, as well as how much rain and sun you get. The faster the grass grows, the more you have to cut it.

Prune and trim any trees or hedges that already there. Don't go too crazy doing this, and feel free to leave things a bit uneven - this is nature after all. But at the same time, keep things looking relatively tidy and don't let any plant get overgrown and dominant over everything else.

Add some more flowers and plant life if you have the space and time. There are tons of plants that you can choose from, and it is totally up to you to choose them. Head to a local nursery and consult with a salesman about the space and time available to you to work in your garden. Many people like to plant vegetables and herbs so that they can literally eat the fruits of their labor.

Pick out some new, comfortable furniture. If you want to spend time outside, you are going to need somewhere to sit down! Again, there are a ton of options available for purchase and making this decision largely depends on personal preferences. Just be sure to buy something specifically built for outdoor use so that it will be able to withstand the elements of wind and rain.

Install lighting to make the space useful at night. There is nothing like relaxing in that backyard with a glass of wine and a book at the end of the day. But how can you do that without some good lighting? Try stringing some white lights around the edges or along the fence, or maybe some tiki torches for a Hawaiian luau vibe. If you have an awning, you can consider a paper awning.

Author's Bio : Danielle Samuels researches Chicago decorators. She’s extremely excited about the recently finished patio in her backyard!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Five Eccentric Yet Awesome Outdoor Furniture

If you can be different from who you are right now, how different can you be?

Some would say they would like to be exactly who they are right now, while others will insist how they like themselves but later on suggest some minor changes. Yet, there will still be someone who longs for a change so radical, the concept becomes mundane for others.

There is nothing wrong with change. Anyway, it is the only constant thing in this world other than the presence of taxes. Change also helps you discover diversified options, varying solutions to a problem or different outcomes for a single decision.

So instead of sticking with your good old wooden bench on your garden or plastic chairs on your patio, why not shift your style to more eccentric yet awesome pieces of outdoor furniture for your home?

Maybe this is the change that you needed.

1.      Out-of-the-bedroom Bed

If you think that beds only belong to the bedroom, this time, you would think twice.

This outdoor furniture lets you literally stay out all night without turning you into an insomniac. The cushion is enveloped with a rattan framework to make it more stable and durable on uneven ground.

  F  Fantastical Seats

If you want to exploit the rich forest that surrounds your house, better use these fantastical seats to recreate the fairytale fantasy every child has. Who knows? Maybe Cinderella or Snow White will even drop by.

           From vines to a bench

This imaginative piece is not only an eye-candy outdoor furniture but also a reliable and comfortable one. Originally called the Marlin chairs, these will drive you to the edge of your seats with how it was creatively crafted.

4.      Batoidea Outdoor Furniture

Perhaps Peter Donders created this while he was out fishing or maybe just watching National Geographic. But whatever his reasons are, the outdoor furniture pieces that he created are inspired from Batoidea, an order of sting rays and skates.

The unconventional shape and structure resemble the cartilaginous body of the sting ray, which also makes this piece one-of-a-kind. The whole piece comes with a foot rest for your pleasure.

5.      Nested seats

It is not at all intriguing at when it is in its original form. But when you deconstruct the piece, you will be amazed at how useful and practical it is for use.

This stackable outdoor furniture is perfect when you have a small patio since it consumes space only when needed. One ball is comprised of four seats with back rest and a coffee table. Who would have thought all five can be fit into just one piece?

If you can add more to the list, go ahead and send us the link through your comments below. Spread the change!

Author Bio : Pierre Angela Cruz is a Marketing Consultant for Open Brook, an excellent source of information and reviews about patio and outdoor furniture