Sunday, 27 January 2013

Are You Yellow?

When decorating a room, one of the many decisions that must be made is color. Color must be selected for the walls, furniture, accessories, window treatments, and etc. When trying to create a beautiful, put together space, color can’t simply be selected by throwing a dart at a bunch of paint samples. Various colors must be evaluated for their strengths and weakness.

One color that often seems to be described as “too” something is yellow. People will say it’s too cheerful, too bright, too powerful, too childish, too modern, too old fashioned, too country, too bold, and on and on. It’s a color that just doesn't seem to fit in. However, when used correctly, yellow can be (to quote Goldilocks) just right.

The first step to putting the color yellow to good use is understanding that there are many different shades of yellow and each has its own personality. Cream, butter, lemon, dandelion fuzz, and neon are all different shades of yellow and that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Keep this in mind about yellows:

   Shades with reddish undertones tend to be warm and welcoming
   In general, the color is uplifting and cheery
   Bright shades can bring light to otherwise dull or dark spaces
   Softer shades (think along the lines of cream) can be soothing without being depressing

 When trying to pick a shade of yellow, consider:

   The size of the space
   How much light the space gets

Small rooms with little natural light can handle pops of bold, bright shades. However, rooms with large windows (especially facing lots of greenery) or large amounts of light should avoid the more dramatic shades because this color strongly reflects light and can quickly take on a garish, jarring appearance.

If yellow is going to be used as the paint color for a room, the most important thing to remember is to test the color out before committing to it. Paint small swatches on the walls and live with the color for at least 48 hours before making a final decision. Evaluate how the color looks at different times of the day in different lights.

 If the selected yellow is a “fun” shade, remember that having all the walls the same bright or for lack of a better word, harsh color can fatigue the eyes and lead to headaches or irritability so break things up. Use the color to create an accent wall. Add wainscoting or a chair rail to pull in a different color. If all the walls are yellow, try layering with other colors to relieve the monotony. For instance, try bringing a lot of a more neutral color into the space in the window treatments, furniture, decorations, and etc.

For those that don’t want to or can’t paint, yellow can still be used. Remember that there are lots of color decisions to be made when decorating. Shades of yellow can be incorporated in the furniture; slipcovers aren't just for grandma’s couch anymore so go out and buy a sunshine yellow one for a burst of color in the room. Yellow can also be incorporated in accessories such as artwork. Use yellow patterned throw pillows, golden picture frames, or a soft hay colored area rug.

To sum it up:

    There are plenty of opportunities to use yellow in a room from the walls to the rug.
 Look at all the different shades of yellow available.
• When painting, test the shade before committing to it.
   Use yellow moderately.
   When using yellow, layer with other colors to avoid overdoing it.

When trying to decide on a color to use, don’t rule out yellow because it’s “too” something. Yellow can be the perfect touch to a space. Its a color that feels social and bright. Don’t be yellow; use yellow.

Article contributed by Alex on behalf of Stone Statements - Cincinnati’s granite countertop provider. Alex is an HGTV addict who loves exploring new ways to bring color and style to  a space. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

5 Tips to get the Best Sleep Ever!

Choose the right mattress

Because mattresses come in all shapes and sizes, make sure you test out whether you prefer a soft or sturdy bed. Memory foam mattresses react to body heat and mould to your shape which eliminates pressure points and guarantees comfort. Don’t forget to get a neck and head-supporting pillow too.

All mattresses from 1907 Beds are made by expert Northumbrian craftsmen who take pride in what they do. All materials are locally sourced so you can be rest-assured that your bed, mattress or ottoman has started its long life in the UK. 

Memory foam mattresses are especially useful if you suffer from allergies. They are made from synthetic materials and conform to the shape of your body to ensure you are comfortable yet supported. However, whether you choose a natural or memory foam mattress is down to personal preference.

Clear your bedroom

A cluttered bedroom is harder to relax in; “out of sight out of mind”. Try to make sure all clothes are put away, your dressing table is organised and your floor space is as clear as possible so your bedroom becomes a haven for rest and relaxation.

Also, try to set a regular bedtime so your body gets into a habit and knows when to switch off. It’s ok to have a late night every so often but regularity aids your body clock and ensures you get to sleep quicker.

If you’re a little short on space, consider an ottoman bedstead as they make a great storage device. Alternatively, you can get under-bed rolling draws to keep your clothes clear from view and your bedroom tidy.

Have a cuppa

English tea has been globally recognized as a sleep aid for thousands of years. If you suffer from insomnia or restlessness, try having a mug of Chamomile or Valerian tea around an hour before bedtime instead of resorting to medicines.

Drinking any tea makes you take time out from your work and stresses of the day and is a great way to prepare the mind for rest.

Unwind in the bath

When running your next bath, add a few drops of aromatherapy oils to the water for bonus therapeutic benefits. If you have trouble sleeping due to a cold add eucalyptus oils to relieve pressure on your sinuses.

Herbal baths reduce tension and promote circulation; essential for a healthy 8 hours. Various aroma blends are available nationwide so you are sure to find one to your taste.

Keep cool

The most sleep-provoking temperature is known to be 18°C so make sure you purchase a fan for those summer months in the UK.

If a noisy fan is an issue then you can always place the fan further from your head (on a dresser for example). This aids room ventilation which helps you drift off.

If you can’t find a fan or if the one you have is too noisy simply crack open a window. Make sure you roll your blinds down to stop sunlight giving you an early wake-up call.

5 Ways to Liven Up the Look of Your Backyard

Redecorating or remodeling your living room, bedroom, or bath? There are hundreds of guides out there. Want to give the front yard some love? Again, lots of guides for that improvement since it impacts curb appeal. People want to make sure it always looks good. But try to find ideas to liven up the back of the house and many experts go strangely quiet. What's a person to do if they're trying to improve the outside area where the family actually wants to hang out?

Luckily, we came up with a few great ways for you to turn your backyard into that oasis that you've always dreamed of. Read on for five ways to get a fantastic-looking backyard without emptying your savings account.

Use the environment.  

No, this doesn't mean that you should have your guests sitting on large stones, but some backyards are more than willing to help you dress them up. For example, instead of building a covered porch or out-building, consider tying an attractive sheet or drapes between trees to serve as a roof and creating a "room" beneath it with a few select pieces of outdoor furniture.

Never underestimate the power of paint.

Maybe you really want a good-looking outdoor dining set but don't have the budget to pay for it. One fun DIY option is to look for cheap (and probably slightly battered) chairs and a table at garage sales, and then spruce them up with a new paint job. This way, you can choose whether you want them to blend in with the surroundings or make a statement with bold, funky colors.

Add some natural "wall" art.

Indoors, we make our wall space more interesting by hanging pictures and paintings, so who's to say we can't do the same thing well, something similar, anyway when we're outdoors? People with fences surrounding their yard can add some life and color to this "wall" by hanging brightly-colored potted flowers in an artistic arrangement. Take the color up a notch by choosing planters in a rainbow of hues or painting them yourself as a weekend project.

Trashy seating.

For cheap and easy last-minute party seating, you can use sturdy plastic storage containers and even old (small) garbage cans by flipping them over and covering them with small blankets. Choose interesting fabrics and bright colors. Your guests will probably think they were using some kind of hip new outdoor seating that you paid way too much for.

Let there be kitsch!

When decorating the outdoors, it's okay to go big and bold. That means you can feel secure in your decision to buy that cheap, gaudy chandelier and hang it from a tree, or even go with a "man-cave" theme and finally put up that fluorescent beer sign you've been hiding since college. You have to be a little larger than life if you want to stand out against the backdrop of nature all around you, so bring on the garden gnomes and knick-knacks you wouldn't be caught dead putting up inside your actual house

Generally speaking, outdoor design should be about adding color, life, and functionality. You want this to be a space that feels a little bit like a vacation from everyday life while still being close enough to normalcy that home is just a few steps away.

About  the Author: Stephanie writes about landscaping and exterior design. She reviews sites like to help people get ideas for their yards. When she's not working she catches butterflies with her 2 daughters. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Matching Curtains with Décor in Seasonal Makeovers Spells Harmony

Seasonal changes are clarion calls for a change of décor. Summer gave way to autumn and autumn to winter. Time for interior decorators to give residences their seasonal makeovers within suitable themes and homemakers to change drapes and upholstery.

Usually in the summer, things are much simpler with décor or specifically window treatments. In the fall, more ornate accessories and adornments like fringing, tassels, cording and tiebacks are highlighted. In winter, there is more fabric bead-work and trim. The view from the window is framed by drapery panels which also insulate from cold temperatures outside.

Seasonal makeovers and window treatments

Family Room with Curtains

There are a number of questions to be asked when seasonal makeovers guided by themes impact window treatments.
  • Sheer curtains or venetian blinds?
  • Side panels or heavy drapes on a curtain rod in gleaming ivory white?
  • Fabrics with less emphasis on pattern or more on texture?
  • Heavy luxurious fabrics like washed velvet and raw silk or lighter ones like linen?
  • Autumn shades such as olive, rust, terracotta, latte, sage and kiwi or neutral ones like white and ivory?
To put it simply, each season requires its particular window treatment – in design, fabric or color and once thematic, it will match the décor. Such a matching harmony can raise the look’s classic appeal.

Personal fabric selection

How to make curtains match general décor? Actually, this question can be turned around to ask: How to make living space décor match curtains? The answer contains a few revealing facts which are surprisingly relatively unknown. The magic lies in selecting your own fabric rather than buying drapery not only for covering a chair but also as sofa covers and co-coordinating cushions. The same material can then be used for curtains for a perfect match!

The popular assumption is that customized window treatment is more expensive. Not necessarily so. Choosing fabric yourself rather than buying readymade drapery is less expensive. However, it will have to be supported by judicious choice of fabric. For instance, exotic fabrics and their elaborate treatments can be very expensive. A lot also depends upon keen shopping sense and the retail outlet where the shopping is done.

Besides, it can boost savings as it helps avoid costly mistakes. Moreover, customized draperies also ensure that lining co-ordinates in different rooms of the house and that of the outside present a continuity of look.

hotel room

Aside from matching living space décor with curtains, through shades, pattern and design, one must always keep in mind the seasonal décor theme. This will enable one to make the right selection of fabric even in relation to its texture and feel. So, summer would require lighter material such as cotton or linen while winter would need heavier material like raw silk or washed velvet.

Curtain calls

Eventually, it is the window that is the essential part of the treatment. Drapes can make a window seem larger or even de-emphasize it. For a larger window, run curtains on a curtain rod beyond the window and along the wall. For a smaller window, select a fabric that goes along with the wall shade. Curtains can even make a ceiling appear higher by mounting them on a curtain rod as near to it as possible.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

How to Upgrade Your Kitchen

About once every 10 years or so most of us look at our kitchens and think, “There has to be a better way”. Kitchens often look cluttered, a bit too dirty, and too small, and are usually emitting some sort of unidentifiable smell. Our first instinct on as to how we could fix this is to tear the entire thing out and start over from scratch. Most of the time that’s totally unnecessary and could be resolved by a variety of smaller, and much cheaper upgrades.

Indoor Herb Garden

Why herbs? Besides being vast improvement over the dried stuff sitting in your spice drawer growing fresh herbs (or any other plants) can help to pull bad smells and a variety of other pollutants out of the air. They also add a splash of color to an otherwise stark environment. Besides, growing herbs is easy and makes you look like you know what you’re doing.


The biggest problem in most kitchens is the amount of clutter that you need to deal with and the filth that seems to permeate every crevice of your kitchen. After years of use your kitchen probably sports a large and varied collection of mismatched pots and pans liberally encrusted with burnt oil residue that is virtually impossible to remove without a jackhammer. Every time that you cook with these you’ll release a bit more of the stuff into the air and contribute to the unidentifiable kitchen odor. Getting a new cookware set can help you deal with this because it’ll easily stack inside itself and let you start fresh on your dishwashing habits (this time I’ll keep them clean for real!... yea…).

Counter Space

Another major issue with kitchens everywhere is the lack of usable counter space. An easy way to remedy this is to add work-space  Of course this is limited by the size and layout of your kitchen. If you have the necessary floor space you can simply put a table inside your kitchen to act as extra counter space. I have a conveniently narrow table that now serves as a kitchen island in my house, however a small round table could already be enough to reduce the strain on the rest of your kitchen.

Storage Spaces

A good way to clear counter space that is being used for storage instead of work is to build more storage space. If you have any unused wall space, go ahead and add more cabinets. To make your existing storage space more efficient, add extra shelves so that you have more surfaces to put things on.

Heat Sources

Is your cooking range out of date or damaged? Cooking on open coils is extremely inefficient and a major fire hazard. The ovens that typically go with this style typically don’t have any form of convection and may be prone to burning the top of your turkey while leaving the bottom raw. Besides being more efficient and cooking food more evenly, a range with a flat glass surface will be much easier to keep clean, and will be less prone to setting things on fire.

Felix Laurent has been cooking since the age of 4 when he burnt his first piece of toast. He currently blogs for the cookware distributor

Thursday, 13 December 2012

How to Maintain Your Fresh Cut Flowers

Everyone loves keeping fresh flowers in their homes. They brighten up the place and are great to look at. The additional bonus is provided by the fragrance released from them, making your house not only nicer to look at, but to smell too. Fresh flowers can be purchased from many different locations, from florists specializing in fresh flowers, department stores and even petrol stations! On the other hand, if you are a gardener, you may even have the opportunity of getting fresh cut flowers straight from your garden. No matter how you get a hold of these fresh cut flowers, you want to ensure that they stay healthy and alive for as long as possible. This requires a little attention, time and care from your side.

This article aims to provide you with hints and tips which are guaranteed to prolong the life of your fresh cut flowers.

In order to get the most from your flowers, you need to ensure that you start off with the freshest flowers possible. If you are planning on purchasing flowers, make sure you buy them straight form a florist or market and try to stay away from the petrol station, since those are least likely to be fresh. The additional exposure to petrol fumes will further jeopardise the health of your flowers.

If you are cutting the flowers yourself from your garden, ensure that you have a pre prepares vase at the ready so that you can instantly transfer them.

Having the right storage container is essential in prolonging the life of your flowers. The appropriate container for flowers is a vase. Do not use a plastic box or a jar. A vase is best. The vase should be all enough to cover the first three to four inches of the stems. A few additional inches are advisable, since they will provide your flowers with more support. Before placing your flowers into the vase, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned. Any bacteria left in your vase will instantly attack your flowers, decreasing their lifespan.

When preparing your vase, ensure to fill it with warm water. You should not overfill the vase – add enough water to cover four to five inches of them stem. To this, you can add plant food which can be bought or is sometimes provided by florists in addition to your flowers. This will increase the life of your flowers. A cheaper alternative is to use Aspirin. Many of us have Aspirin lying around the house, which makes it more convenient than purchasing plant food.

Next, it is time to prepare your flowers. Fill your sink or a large container such as a washing up bowl with cold water. Hold the stems under the water and then you are ready to trim the stems. Ensure that you use sharp scissors so that you get neat, clean edges. It also means that you avoid crushing your edges, which will affect the water and nutrient uptake and will also make your flowers more susceptible to diseases.

When cutting your flower stems, ensure that you cut them at an angle. This is done to increase the surface area over which your flower stems are exposed to water, allowing them to take up more water.

Overlapping leaves need to be removed. Additionally, any leaves submerged in the water need to be removed since these are the ones that harbor most of the bacteria that cause plant diseases.

Finally, the water should be changed on a daily basis. If you are using plant food or Aspirin, this should also be added to the fresh water on a daily basis.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Tips to Give Your Bedroom An Elegant Look

Sleeping chamber has its own prominence amongst the other rooms in a house. It is the place that melts your worries and makes you to be yourself when you enter inside. Everyone has own choices to style their bedroom. Here are few tips which help you to enrich your bedroom even it is small.

Lights: Using soft lights gives a different texture and elegant look to your bedroom. For light and royal fixture you can use ceiling, pendant, cove and recessed illuminates. Use low-powered bulbs; overhead lamps to give a slight natural feel to your room.

Colors: Be particular about choosing the colors as it makes the illusion of spaciousness. Pick the right colors according to your taste that also resembles your personality. You can choose lighter shades as they give a spacious mien to your bedroom. Use the bright and light colors such as pink, blue, white and yellow to paint your wall which can alter overall look of the chamber.

Themes: There are various themes which can be used such as modern, antique older, color and others. Design your room with the theme that emanate your personality. Organize cases of pillows and sheets with the wall paint color as to make elegance and balance sense.

Furnishing: Emphasize your chamber with lavish fabrics and furniture which give a graceful look. To make it grand, add the silk curtains that also bring a charm of fairy tale. Display the paintings, pictures and posters on your walls with a little artistry. Organize the shelves in a proper way which includes grace to the room.

Usage of space: Arrange your furniture in a good manner. Categorise things to essentials and unwanted. Dispose the unnecessary things and give importance to the needs. Shape the room with the furnishing according to importance and efficiency. The best Sense of organising aid you with the space to essentials.

Decors: Decorations such as tunnel or oval shaped lamps, antique vases, hangings, carpets, wallpapers, designer arts and so on can be used. Make sure to choose the color of the window curtains that doesn’t contrast your bedroom color theme. Keep the fresh flower on the top of your table as to give a natural and stylish gesture to your chamber.

Flooring: Based on the theme which you choose the flooring will be done accordingly. There are various flooring that can be chosen such as cork, vinyl, bamboo, natural-hardwood, marble, linoleum and many others.  Vinyl flooring can be used throughout the house as it is manufactured with the synthetic materials which protect the surface prominently. The other flooring also has its own significance's that enhance your bedroom mien. Pick the best one which comforts you.

Use the decors, lights, themes, furnishing and other which express your individual style. You can make a contract with the renovation experts or you can do yourself by taking advice from professionals. Make a list and buy the accessories that give a graceful look. Use credit cards and savings to make to pay the outlays. In case, if the expenditure of renovation ends up with the amount which is beyond your budget, you can opt for same day cash loans which are short-term credits that can be paid on your next pay cheque.

About the Guest Author: 

My name is Emily Roberts.  I am a tech writer from UK.  I am into Finance.  Catch me

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Crafting a Comfortable Patio Paradise

Patios and porches can be the most revered location in any home. They represent peace, relaxation, and unique comfort. And often they’re the most personalized section of the home, with obviously lavished love and attention. Patios are so exalted because they offer a unique blend of nature, comfort, personal space, and harmony that you won’t find anywhere else throughout the home. Something within the human psyche seems naturally drawn to these special places, and drives us to personalize them as much as possible. If you’re looking to design or establish your own patio, here’s some advice before tackling such a large undertaking.

 1)      Understand your own goals

The home improvement aficionado knows the first step to any large project is planning. A careless dash forward into the project often leads to unhappy results. Our own ambitious eagerness to begin can be a plague. It’s very human to think the sooner started the sooner finished. But alas, such is in fact not the case. The better planned, the more efficient a project will be.

So, before you rush headlong into the reorganization, redecoration, or complete redesign of your deck/patio, take the time to fully establish a list of goals and priorities. Some common patio goals:

·         A private place of peace
·         A beautiful outdoor space meant for hosting and entertaining
·         An au natural extra extension for the house
·         A fun and beautiful addition that increases house value
·         An area to sit and enjoy the scenic view provided by your home’s location

Understanding the purpose of your patio can help you better accomplish and emphasize your goals, so take a minute to plan and prepare.

2)      Create a theme

Once you understand your goals for your patio and have a specific purpose in mind you’re ready to determine the overall theme of your patio. There’s no need for rigidity here – allow your creative side to come to the fore and delve deep into your potential.

Again, don’t forget your goals; if you’re planning a private place of peace, including a garden and plenty of shrubbery can ensure privacy while adding an element of tranquility. If you’re looking to create a space meant for hosting and entertaining you’ll want to have the furniture facing inward, so that everyone will naturally face one another—the reverse is true if you want a space to admire a view.

Creating a theme will help you plan and shop for the appropriate patio furniture and patio pads, preventing an amalgamation or mish mash of random furniture.

3)      Scale your decoration to size

This is a golden rule when decorating and designing any section of the house. Scale your decoration to size. If you don’t, the entire room will suffer. Either it will feel overlarge, with too much space and a lack of comfort, or it will feel cramped and awkward. So, measure your space and plan accordingly.

4)      Add character

Often overlooked when initially planning a patio is a character addition. Often this is established overtime, but there’s no reason it can’t be planned and brought in right away. Some great things that help add and establish the character of a patio are:

·         Feature/accent lighting
·         Garden/heavy landscaping
·         A water feature
·         A fire pit
·         Personalized art

Build something that will help define your patio’s atmosphere. Something that will make your patio stand out as the special place it should be. Whether it is a comforting fire on a cold night, the tranquil whisper of your water feature, or the vibrant life of your landscaping, plan on making your patio a place that smacks of character and personality.

5)      Durability

Don’t forget that when all is said and done, your patio decoration and furniture will be regularly exposed to potentially harsh conditions. Durability should be a big factor in your consideration of decoration and furniture.

Luckily with the increasing trend of patios there’s a wide variety of specialty furniture specifically designed for outdoor usage. So, don’t feel limited in your choices – just keep in mind that you’ll be relying upon the durable nature of any patio furniture or decoration.

Following these five tips should put you well on the path of patio success. Create the perfect patio space you've been dreaming of by understanding your goals, planning a theme, scaling your decoration, adding character, and ensuring durability. Best of luck, and may you create the patio you've always dreamed of. 

Terry Potter is currently Customer Service Manager at Duralife LLC., an online retailer based in Florida. He enjoys helping people make their outdoor spaces more comfortable and fashionable with his website,

Friday, 9 November 2012

Tips for Choosing the Right Siding Contractors

While you work with siding contractors, you get a number of options ranging from coloring to material from which you can select. When it comes to completely changing the look of your house, there cannot be anything better than investing in this product. However, it is quite evident that you do not want to go for an inferior product. Everyone wants their home to look great. In order to do it you should always work with those contractors who will help you to take the right decision in selecting the products you require for home repairing.

You might come across siding contractors while you look for them online, phone books or searching for them in the local stores for home improvement. What seems to be difficult is to choose the right siding contractor from the huge list. After all, everyone wants to make sure that he/she has chosen the best contractor for the completion of siding jobs. 

Here are few tips that will help you to choose the right siding contractor:

  • ·      You should interview a set of chosen contractors: The first thing that house owners should do is to choose the best contractors out of the list they have chosen. It is always a better idea to interview them by asking a few questions. One thing you should make sure that the contractors you are interviewing are bonded, licensed and insured to work. The next thing that you should enquire about is their experience. Do they specialize in siding installation or is it just a part of their work? Does their team consist of hired laborers or full time installers? These factors make a huge difference and distinguish the professional contractors from amateurs.

  • ·        Get Bids: The bid one home owner receives decides whom they would hire for siding installations. Besides the proposal price the contractors offer, it is important to personally meet them as to know the nature of their work and how beneficial they can be for you. Ask them a number of questions when they are planning the bid as it will give you an idea how good the contractors are in doing business.

  • ·      Enquire About The Materials That Your Contractor Is Providing: All vinyl siding is not the same. There are available in different quality grades and different warranty periods. You must ensure that the contractor you choose can provide you with specific line of materials preferable for you.

  • ·     Checking work references is necessary: Before choosing siding contractors it is not enough to check their ‘per-selected’ reference list copy, you should also have a check on atleast last ten projects that the contractors have worked for and even contact them. Usually the reference list that contractors provide consists of their best work. So it is advisable to ask for some real cross-samples of customers in order to get a better idea of their work.

It is not always a daunting challenge to choose the right vinyl siding contractor. All you have to do is know about their work and determining their professional level rather than the just the price they are offering.