Sunday, 28 April 2013

Applying Stucco on Exterior Walls

Stucco is popular building material used to cover unattractive materials such as clay brick, concrete, adobe, and cinder block. It is applied wet and it hardens into a very dense, rough surface. One of the best things about applying stucco on building or home exterior makes the structure stronger, more durable. Stucco also helps improve any building withstand extreme weather conditions.

Stucco consists of cement, sand, lime, and water which make this material waterproof and fire-resistant. It keeps mold and mildew from building up so the building can last longer than others. And if you decide to use stucco for your house or building, you don’t have to worry about the expenses as they are cost-efficient and requires very little maintenance. Follow these steps so you can apply stucco on your own:

Step 1:  Prep the Wall

Check for any damages on the walls such as cracks or holes and make the necessary repairs. You should also remove anything that can come in between the stucco material and the surface of the wall like dirt. Power-washing is the best way to do this so you can be sure no grime or mold is left. Sandblasting is advised for walls that have been neglected for a long time. For concrete, brick, or cinder block walls, you need to apply a coat of concrete bonding agent before applying the stucco. For wooden walls, you should install roofing felt with a metal netting prior to the application of stucco.

Step 2: Applying the Primary Coat of Stucco

Direct contact with stucco is harmful as it can burn and destroy your skin. This means you need to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles. It is essential to apply stucco on a moist surface so you need to spray some water on the wall first. Position two strips of thick wood laths on the top and bottom parts of the wall so you can get an equal amount of thickness as you level the surface.

Using a trowel, apply the first coat beginning from the bottom of the wall. Make sure the coat is applied evenly over the entire are maintaining the thickness of 3/8 inches. Use ample pressure on the trowel so you can reach the spaces on the uneven parts of the wall. Once done, let it set for a few minutes and begin the leveling process while the stucco is still wet with the help of either metal or wood straightedge. Place the straightedge on the wood lath then move it up and down to remove any residue. When you're done leveling the stucco, remove the laths carefully.

Step 3: Let the stucco dry completely

Drag a mason's float over the wall in circular motions to minimize any risks of cracking or shrinkage when the stucco dries up. Let it sit to dry completely for two days. As you are waiting for it to dry, you should regularly spray water on it to maintain its moisture. Once it dries up fully, apply the final coat of stucco by following the same instructions in step 2. However, the final coat should be as thin as 1/8 inch. It can take 6-7 weeks for the stucco to be entirely cured. This is the only time when you can paint over it.

Jove Arthur loves to read different articles related to the home improvement and construction industry. He is professionally affiliated with Door Emporium, one of the leading wood entry door manufacturers in the market, as online sales manager. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

Tips for Designing a Small Kitchen

Size isn’t everything, and whilst bigger can occasionally be better, great things also come in small packages. A small kitchen can be a delight to work in whilst maintaining a certain charm that larger spaces often lack. With the following tricks of the trade, you can use your small space to the fullest.

Appliances: Think Small

Many of today’s diminutive appliances work just as well as their much-larger brethren. A European appliance is usually smaller, and therefore takes up much less counter space – perfect for a smaller kitchen! There are even slimmer sinks available so you really can maximize your counter space, Make sure that you choose one that efficiently uses front-to-back space, and a wall mounted faucet will also allow installation of the sink as close to the wall as possible.

Get a Smaller Oven

A smaller oven won’t keep you from cooking delicious meals. A convection oven just two feet wide can accommodate a large Thanksgiving turkey, and many have attachable rotisseries for added value. Above your slimmer oven, use a similarly-sized cooktop (choose induction, electric or gas, but the former two may be a better choice because burners can easily be connected).

Take the Time to Chill

Your refrigerator is the biggest space user in your kitchen, and the most difficult to downsize. In the early 1990s, Sub-Zero released a compact fridge that’s only 27” wide; that company was also first to debut an under-the-counter fridge and freezer combo, which is perfect for your small kitchen. Since that time, other brands have come out with similarly-sized units.

Plan your Space

After you’ve picked out your appliances, it’s time to work on your kitchen’s overall layout. Your kitchen’s most vital part is the space between your sink and food prep area; as long as you have at least 36” of room, you won’t feel crowded. Even if your stove must be within a foot of your wall, you should strive to keep that amount of space open. It’s also a good idea to put your refrigerator against the wall and out of the highest-traffic areas.

Consider your Cabinetry

Opt for floating shelves instead of wall cabinets; glassware and dishes look great out in the open, and it makes access much easier. For food storage, use tall, narrow cabinets (you’ll be surprised at what you can fit inside). Make the cabinets no taller than 6’, to allow for easier access, and leave some open walls if possible.

Smart Shelving

Shallow, adjustable shelves at the back of cabinets are ideal for items like canisters, cans and bottles, and pantry door shelves will nicely hold canned goods and spices. Or, you can use a hutch instead of a tall, wide pantry, and put cabinetry above.

When redesigning your smaller kitchen, keep in mind that you’re probably overestimating the amount of space you’ll need and use. It’s easier to work in a small space if you only keep the essentials in your kitchen; after all, gourmet chefs work in confined spaces and make some of the best food in the world! With an efficient layout and appliances, you’ll have a kitchen that will become the hub of family life in your home.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Tips and Tricks to Consolidate Space in a Small Apartment

Do you somehow always find yourself just a little bit cramped? Is your kitchen just a little too crowded to use properly, your living room dimensioned a bit oddly, and your bathroom too small to hold your stuff? Join the club. Let’s take a look at a few simple, practical ways to help you make the most of the space that you have so that your home will be more aesthetically pleasing, easier to organize, and less stressful to live in.

Expand your Kitchen

Many of us have this irrational idea that kitchen things necessarily belong in the kitchen. What’s actually important is that your stuff is within easy reach when you’re cooking. If you’ve got space near your kitchen it might be time to expand outward. My incredibly tiny kitchen is situated directly next to a small dining area that opens up to the living room. This dining area is about 3 feet wider than it absolutely needs to be, so to take advantage of this I moved my dining table and chairs to one end of the area, and put a hutch in the cleared area to balance it out. That then can play host to my microwave, toaster oven, coffee machine, dishes, cutting boards, and bowls. This clears up enough space in the kitchen to keep the counters entirely clear and ready for use at all times.

Use Your Walls and Ceilings

Don’t forget to make use of all of the surfaces in your apartment, and we’re not just talking about the horizontal ones. Set up shelves, hutches, cabinets, and wardrobes to help you store your stuff vertically. If you can remove all of the clutter from your environment you can turn a previously cramped space into something downright roomy.

Of course, while it’ll look nicer all of that isn’t going to help much if all of your usable space is now covered in nice decorative items instead of the clutter that we just cleared up, so let’s address decor. If you want to indulge your artistic or botanical side but don’t want to fill your floor and counter space (also end tables and coffee tables) with knick knacks, planters, and vases, consider hanging your plants from the ceiling in baskets, setting your small decorative items up on small decorative shelves, or hanging canvas artwork on the walls rather than setting them on end tables.

Partition Your Living Room

Lots of apartments come with unnecessarily long rectangular living rooms that are virtually impossible to set up in a manner that effectively makes use of all of the space. An easy way to solve this problem is to partition off a section of your living room and turn it into a small office workspace. You can use anything from a full blown false wall to a decorative folding panel screen. This will cut your living room down to size so that your furniture, coffee table etc… can fill out the space properly, all while providing a spot for a computer and work related documents.

Edward Stuart is an art and decoration enthusiast as well as an online publisher for Canvas Art. He frequently blogs on the topics of art, art history, design, and home decor.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tips About Dream Home Furnishing

Buying a home is perhaps the ultimate American dream. Of course, signing on the dotted line isn’t the end of buying your dream home – in fact, it’s only the beginning for many people. After completing the sale, furnishing your home, making it livable and attractive, are the next big projects any new homeowner must tackle. After all, the home must be a comfortable and relaxing place for you and your family. If you want to turn the home of your dreams into a reality, consider these tips for furnishing your home.

The Bedroom

The bedroom, perhaps, will be your most important focus when it comes to furnishing your home. It is, after all, your most intimate space, the place where you go to relax and take your cares away, plus spend time with your partner. That said, you should carefully consider your bed and bedroom furniture. The size is the first thing you should think about. Now, if you have a lot of space, then consider something like a king platform bed, which is very roomy, even for two people and has a modern look. If you don’t have a lot of space, then going down to a queen would perhaps be a good alternative, but even if you’re single, then the smallest size you should go is a full sized bed. Of course, don’t forget additional furniture like bedside tables and dressers to complete your bedroom’s look.

The Living Room

The living room is the next most important room in your new home. After all, this will be the center of activity, the place where you will spend a lot of time with other family members and entertain your guests. You’ll need a good size couch that’s big enough to accommodate the people in your family, plus additional seating to balance out your living room.

The Kitchen and Dining Room

The kitchen and dining room are, of course, important as well because this is where you will prepare your family meals and partake in them. For most people, dinner is the centerpiece of family life, that time we all come together and share our day with everyone.  If you have the space, you may want a small kitchen table for informal meals like breakfast, although most kitchen spaces will already have counters or nooks and all you’ll need are the right chairs. For your dining room, you will have to think about how many people you want to seat, but you should have enough for everyone in your family, plus at least 2 extra places. Many people prefer the traditional wooden dining table, and who wouldn’t? Many kinds of hardwoods look great as dining room tables, and add a warmth and richness to the dining room. However, those who prefer a more modern look should go with materials that suit their tastes and style, like glass and metal.

Furnishing your dream home doesn’t have to be difficult. You should think about the style that best suits your home and your personal tastes, and cover the basics for your bedroom, living room, kitchen, and dining room and the rest will easily fall into place.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Five Ways to Create The Ultimate Games Room

Games rooms are a great place to escape, unwind and if you’re a lonely soul, make some friends! Create one in your home and you’ll be the most popular guy or gal in town. Below I've listed some tips to help you create the ultimate games room that puts all others to shame.

Choosing the room – 

The first and most obvious decision you’ll have to make is the one of choosing the right room. You’ll want a room that provides ample space for all the tech and games tables you’re going to be stuffing in there. Aim to have the games room on the bottom floor or in the basement if you can. If you have friends over and your room is on the top floor of the house it’s going to sound like a stampede of elephants to anyone sitting on the floor below you.

Pool table – 

American pool tables are a classic choice for every games room. It’s a fun game that everyone can enjoy and anyone can easily pick it up. Make sure you place the table in the center of the room otherwise there’ll be pool cues going through you plasterboard every other week. The pool tables you can purchase can vary in size and weight. Remember that if you’re on the top floor a ridiculously heavy table probably isn't the best idea.

Pinball & arcade machines – 

These retro machines will add style to the room. There was once a time when they could be found everywhere, but now as technology has advanced these classics have been left behind. This in no way means that they aren't fun though! If you want the ultimate in pinball and arcade machines you should definitely go for a personalized one. You can design them yourself and have them depicting your favorite football team or you and your friends.

TV and a video games console – 

For the ultimate games room a stupidly large TV is a must. Having a home cinema in your house will make you the envy of all your friends. You can sit back, enjoy a beer with friends and settle into a film. For that authentic cinema feel you’ll have to make sure that you add a top surround sound system.

Bar – 

All this fun will leave you thirsty so you’re only option is a bar! No games room is complete without a fully kitted out bar area so if you have the room make sure you stick one in there.  You’ll want the flashiest bar that has a crazy amount of drinks for your guests to choose from but try and not get too drunk. Waking up to sick all over your pinball machine isn't pleasant.

These are just some ideas as to how you can fit your games room out but the only limit is your imagination. Your games room is an opportunity to go crazy and stuff it with over the top items that you don’t really need. From home cinema systems to outlandish pinball machines there really is no limit!

Author's Bio: Nicole Brown, a passionate writer and a blogger as well. She likes to write articles on different topics. She loves gardening and loves to decorate her home.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Plan Your Kitchen and Dining Area Layout

Thinking of revamping your kitchen? Consider an open plan kitchen and dining area - perfect for family life and entertaining friends.

Creating a combined kitchen and dining area is a great way to make the most of the space in your home, and a good design will complement your everyday life - whether that's entertaining friends, juggling family life or having somewhere to unwind after a long day at work.

Planning your layout

Open plan gives you plenty of space for all the family; you can also keep an eye on the kids while you sort out the evening meal. This layout lets you spend more time together as a family.

To create an open plan kitchen and dining area you may need to knock through a wall - if this is the case, always consult a qualified builder first and remember you may need planning permission. If you're lucky you could reuse existing space, or even build an extension. While the original cost of an extension may be expensive, studies show it can add at least 10% value to your property.

The best thing about having an open plan kitchen and dining area is that it can change with your needs. So you can remove that comfy sofa and move in a desk for a home office, or vice versa. With this type of space there are many options.

Kit it out

Free-standing kitchens are perfect for relaxed cooking, giving you more surface space to work with. Free-standing units are seen as being family friendly, since there's enough space for homework, cooking and more. Experts say there is a rise in demand for kitchens with combined living/family space.

If you're more of an entertainer, a contemporary fitted kitchen is sleek and great for showing off to guests. Alternatively, country kitchens are naturally welcoming and a great place for the family's aspiring chef to spend a few hours.

Adding detail
Put the finishing touches to your kitchen and dining space. When painting remember light colours make a room feel bigger, while deep, stronger colours set the perfect tone for dinner parties.

Lighting is important; recessed halogen lighting works well if there is little daylight. Include lamps and spotlights for mood lighting and to transform the space into an area to entertain.

Add character with pattered tiles or a feature wall. Remember large rooms need extra heating, so consider under-floor heating too.

Don't forget to protect your beautiful new kitchen and dining space with the best home insurance you can find.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

The Trendy Kitchen in 2013

The kitchen is arguably becoming the most exciting room in the modern home setting.  In the past, we entertained in our living or sitting rooms, or our dining rooms, but now the kitchen is becoming the centerpiece of all activity in the home.  It is changing from a room where cooking was the only activity to one where family and friends all gather.

Breaking barriers

It used to be sectioned off, separated by barriers from the adjoining rooms, but now the walls are coming down in the kitchen.  The bistro style of kitchen is surging in popularity as people seek to cultivate that comfortable coffee-house style atmosphere.  Home owners want the kitchen to be the place where friends and family can gather and socialize in a wide open space. 

Kitchens are being designed with spacious countertops and walls.  These are ideal for allowing the installation of HDTV’s mounted on the walls and adding Wi-Fi capabilities and electric sockets to the kitchen means laptops, smartphones, and other portable devices can be fully utilized in the new bistro in the home!

An open and spacious kitchen that allows people to do what they love doing in a coffee house means they can do it in your own home.  You might even find that your kitchen is the new place to be for your neighborhood!

That natural feeling

To help in cultivating a comfortable atmosphere the colors and the décor of a kitchen must match.  Designers are seeing a higher demand in natural and warm colors for the kitchen.  The trend is moving away from the shiny polished metal look in appliances for something less sterile and homier in appearance. 

Open shelving is also a popular choice as people are enjoying displaying clean cookware, glasses, and other decorative dishes.  Adding a few small plants on your shelves or windows adds a beautiful natural accent to the design as well as making your kitchen air a little bit cleaner.

Your kitchen, your rules

It’s all about you in your kitchen, make it yours!  You’ll especially want to stay trendy if you find yourself frequently entertaining guests in your home.  But remember, that it is your home, and your design should always be a reflection of your taste and personality.  Because when it’s tailored to you, both you and your guests will love it. 

Have a little bit of fun with your kitchen design and you’ll find yourself loving it when your home suddenly becomes the neighborhood hotspot!

Cassie Corbett is a writer and kitchen design specialist with the dinnerware suppliers of World Kitchen.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Five New Home Designs that Are Becoming the Norm

Home designers are studying the way that people are living and incorporating new designs to address people's lifestyles. Since this is the new norm, home buyers should find designers that understand the way they live. These features are some of the most important to consider. 

Home Automation

Home automation helps to make home life easier. One of the most convenient home automation innovations is a thermostat that adjusts to provide a comfortable temperature. The device requires approximately seven days to learn the optimal temperature the inhabitants prefer the home. If the sensors detect that you are in the home, it automatically adjusts. 

Door Bot is also another form of home automation that is a video doorbell. To view people at your door whether you are at home or away, connect the device to the tablet and view who is ringing the bell from any location. Never miss the delivery man again or talk to unwanted solicitors. 

Solar Panels

Solar panels save home owners as much as 70 percent on energy bills. Even some mansions are using solar panels in addition to traditional electrical systems to make a more eco-friendly home. 

Bigger Garages

Home builders are building new homes with larger garages, but the garages are not being used for cars. Instead, the garages are being used for storage of golf carts and children’s toys. 

Homes within Homes

One-third of American adults are living in the household with another family or their parents. Home builders are compensating for this phenomenon by adding dual master suites. Separate apartments with their own bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette, and garage have also grown in popularity. 

Homes Plans That Fit the Way People Live

Home designers are putting laundry rooms where they are used the most—in the master bedroom. Instead of knitting rooms, designers are adding technology rooms. Large pantry rooms are being added to support items bought at bulk stores. These additions make it easier to navigate the home in the way people truly live.

New Home Designs Make Life Easier

People who want home plans for the way they live should consider what they want first. These new home designs elements will help make the lives of home buyers easier, more affordable, and more efficient. Find the best home designer to meet your needs for today and in the future. 

Author Bio: Annette Hazard is a blogger promoting Vivint, and usually writes about the home and family. She is also an avid cyclist and mother of one. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Defining Your Home with Antiques in a Modern World

Upon moving in to your new home you might feel like I did when it came to décor, confused and with a little bit of a headache. My wife and I have a mix of eclectic antiques and modern furniture that actually appeared more distracting and chaotic when set up and on the walls than it did dispersed throughout the house in boxes. One day in the mess of redesign, we brought in a newly acquired 17th century dining table. In the rush of moving things around my wife left her iPhone on the table to retrieve her new equestrian-themed dishware from the car. I saw this at first as only more disorganized clutter in our home, but then it struck me; we should be embracing modern design even with our favored antiques. The sleek new cell phone didn’t look terrible in the center of the worn oak surface, in fact, it was refreshing.

 Image Source:

Soon we were off to decorating what would soon be our favorite home thus far. After simply setting up some guidelines, planning, and just few minor purchases from the local antique store, we realized we had designed something truly unique that felt comfortable and even transcendental to our previous interiors.


For us, it was adding modern art strategically to our antique end tables, benches, and walls. Modern classic dining chairs made our rustic dining table feel original and even more functional. Of course, finding the right collections of colors to coordinate the style is important, but first, consider if you are designing with antiques to echo over your modern furniture or using the natural symmetry of modern design and accenting it with vintage art and flavor. Planning will help avoid dead ends and minor headaches.


While focusing on making a multifaceted design one should attempt tounify the space. Keep it simple and minimal. You wouldn’t want your living room looking like one style moving in and the other out. Harmony is central, and often too many ideas at once can spoil the overall impression of a room. Be deliberate and precise with your choices for art; keep the rooms function in mind.

Image Source :


While it’s usually great to start out in a neutrally colored space, any will do. This is an important factor when considering what kinds of furniture or fine arts you are considering though. Light blues can create a hue that is relieving but maybe too cold, while dark reds can feel warm, but too many reds feel anxious. Because the hue will determine the overall feeling of the room, make sure to pick colors you’ll love in the long run.

Be Spontaneous

Remember there aren’t really any rules, so keep it exciting and the results will pay off. Try mixing Spanish art with English furniture, or French furniture with an English sculpture. If you have furniture you’re considering getting rid of, try reusing by repainting, reupholstering, or even different placement in your newly defined spaces to keep things stirring.

Nicholas Haywood is an eco-friendly home improvement specialist and DIY enthusiast with an eye for interior design. He is slightly prone to OCD behavior as he often gets lost in thought over ways to maximize efficiency in living spaces both at home and the workplace. When his ideas come together, he writes for Vista, provider of premium window film for homes and commercial buildings.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Some Great Exclusive Home Decor Ideas

Flowers are very useful to decorate your living room. It gives a elegant look.

Bed should be comfortable as you comfort at.

Color is the most valuable factor for decor your interior.

Image Source:

Furniture looks classy in traditional way.

Lights play an important roll in interior decor.

Wall paint makes the room natural.

Most important place in human life.

Make it classy and elegant.

Common Office Requirements for the Work at Home Professional

Have you been searching for a work-at-home opportunity? If you have, there's little doubt that you've run across companies that require independent contractors to have a home office. When reading about these requirements, you may wonder exactly why they’re in place. Here are five common home office conditions that independent contractors may find set forth by work-at-home companies:

Home office view 1

1.Dedicated Office

Work-at-home companies want you to dedicate yourself to their agency. For many companies, this means that their independent contractors are required to have a home office. But why? You are more likely to concentrate on the work at hand if you aren’t sitting with your laptop in front of the television. You may also find that your home office must include a door that you can shut. This is so that, if you are on the phone, your clients and customers aren’t listening to your toddler screaming in your ear.


It’s a fact that cell phones and VOIPs aren’t secure. You also run the risk of dropping calls, unstable connections, and poor signal strength that causes your voice to cut in and out. Because of these reasons, any work-at-home company that provides services over the phone will require that you have a dedicated landline, often with no features. Depending on the company that you work for, you may need to include unlimited long distance calling on your phone line.

3.Secure Cabinets

Even though you are working from the comfort of your own home, you may be dealing with sensitive documents. You will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of this information. In order to do this, you’ll need a locking file cabinet, or set of cabinets, in your home office. You may not consider this to be an important piece of office furniture but think about this: If you’ve ever placed an order for something over the phone, you may have been speaking with someone working from home. Would you want your credit card information lying about in a stranger’s home?


It’s the very rare company that doesn’t require independent contractors to have a reliable computer at home. Your computer must be running on the company’s desired operating system, have a high-speed connection, and have anti-virus software installed. Should you get a virus on your computer, and you are using the company’s software, you very well may infect their entire system. If you’re working at home, make sure that you are running anti-virus and anti-spyware software at least once a week.

5.Fax Machine

Recall: HP Fax Machines
If you don’t have an all-in-one printer, it’s time to get one. The company that you choose to work for will let you know if they require a fax machine and an all-in-one is the most convenient way to add one to your home office. Not every company will require a fax machine; be sure to find out if this is a condition of your contract before you run out and buy new office equipment.

Is it realistic to think that your new employer will stop by your house to inspect your home office? No. It is realistic, however, to assume that you could lose your contract if you have screaming kids and barking dogs in the background, a spotty internet connection, or an unsecure phone. Whether you follow the tips above is up to you; we suggest that you do.

Sara Randall is a writer for furniture blogs, who also has first-hand experience with home office design. If you are remodeling your office and need new furniture ideas, check out for their European styles.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Various House Decorations

When it comes to decorations in your home of any sort you need to be aware of the various different types and the multiple ways in which those decorations can be used in order to achieve different visual effects and looks. Some looks may be prettier than others and yet some looks might be unique. Which one will you choose and how will you handle it depends entirely on you. Either way, when it comes down to such specific decorations there are three kinds of props, tools and multiple fanciful objects that will do the job.

First of all, consider the items in your possession. By items, you can mean pretty much everything that is purchasable in souvenir stores and the likes of it. You can purchase wooden figures of animals, people, metallic figures of soldiers, small picture frames, glass vases, little glass sculptures like for instance the famous crystal ball with figures inside of it and liquid with little shiny particles inside. Some people choose to simply drown their home in these because they are mad about it. There is nothing wrong if you are too-such little items and a whole collection of these can create a whole new style for you. In fact styles can vary exactly according to the material. You can have wooden items, wooden furniture, wood-decorated devices. The same goes for metal and glass and whichever you find the most pleasurable that is exactly the one that you need to pick.

Then there are the bigger decorations which usually are the of a particular room. Unlike the small items, it is highly possible that you are unable to purchase many of these but still that won’t ruin the proper looks of your room. What you have to do is to select one and to place it at the ultimate right position through which it will cast its splendor and magnificence upon the entire room. Examples of such items are usually large goblets, silver, bronze, golden, wooden statues, metal statues, glass statues or chandeliers for example. All of these will require constant cleaning just like your small items but it is only natural that those bigger possessions will require greater amount of care which you need to provide appropriately.

Then, finally you need to consider the type of decoration that will give a sense of fulfillment to your rooms and these are type of decorations you can put everywhere which are often used for various celebrations but of course there is nothing wrong in using them in general. The problem with these is that they will require additional amount of support and work and some might find it exceptionally tiring to take care of so many items all at once. Flowers, toys, little starts on the ceiling glistening in night time are examples of these.

Written for The removal day

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Designing the Perfect Home Theater

The big movie houses are fighting a losing battle.  Every year they talk about losing money at the box office, they complain that people are going out to the movies less often than they used to, and their response to losing money is to raise the prices of their tickets and concessions.  The natural response of course is to make your movie night one you have at home.  The floors aren’t sticky, the snacks are cheaper, and any screaming baby or annoying cell phone noises are yours to deal with as you please.

With HD televisions, Blu-ray players, and surround sound systems widely available and at affordable prices, the tech is certainly there to create an amazing home theater experience.  Our focus here will be to look at the aesthetics of home theater design and offer design ideas that may help you design your ideal environment.

Here we have a wonderfully cluttered home theater.  This person takes a design approach akin to throwing wet pasta at a wall to see what sticks.  The presence of a dog adds a nice lived in touch and the nearby cola fridge can provide quick refreshment in a time of need.  The problems with this layout come from what is in proximity to the screen.  The bright color of the nearby fridge can be distracting to the eye and the media shelf also detracts from the viewing experience.  A high shelf that is occupied draws the eye away.

Consider this: in home design there are basically two approaches to a room, fashion or function.  If the function of your home theater is to comfortable sit and enjoy a movie then your focus should be on the screen and not drawn to other objects in the room.

This is an approach to an ideal home theater design.  The television is centered and is the obvious focus of the room.  There are two major design flaws in this.  The screen sits in an elevated position meaning that anybody seated is raising their head to watch whatever is on. If your goal is to simulate the experience of being forced to sit near the front row of the theater then this is easily accomplished by raising the height of the screen.  The second is the position of the seat on the right side of the image.  It isn’t facing the screen meaning that any person sitting there has to change their position to watch whatever is on.

Consider the dimensions of your room when you are designing a home theater.  You can take one of two approaches, design the room around your television or get a television that matches the room.  Sitting far away from a tiny screen means straining to see what’s going on while being too close can give your eyes screen overload.

Our next example is a stellar one indeed.  The aesthetic design is very pleasing.  This home theater uses the concept of stadium seating with ample spacing to allow for an incredibly comfortable seating arrangement. 

The darkened tones of the color scheme also reduce any reflective wash that occurs when watching a movie.  The seats in the front row even allow for one to take up a more relaxed approach in their movie viewing.  The size of the screen is adequate for the size of the room creating a comfortable viewing experience wherever you sit.

The only complaint to address would be the lights in the room.  Imagine staring at a screen for the two to three hours it takes to watch a movie and staring both at a screen and a bright light placed adjacent to it.  The corner of your eye is going to have flash burn after that long.  Dimmer switches are great for the lights in a home theater  allowing you to adjust and still get that theater feel.

The placement of lighting is important in a home theater much like it is in any other room.  Your movie screen is the focus of your room and ideally you don’t want any other light source overwhelming it.  Recessed ceiling lighting or track lighting is a great choice for lighting a home theater.  The light sources are well above eye-level and line of sight or can be directed to where they need to be.

This is closely approaching an ideal aesthetic design for a home theater.  Recessed ceiling lights, a dark room palette, a sizeable screen, stadium seating, and double seats in the middle of each row for one that enjoys watching movies on their sides.  The position of a lighting rig over the screen may be a bit of a distraction to the viewing experience but a simple dimmer switch can help you adjust the lights to an ideal setting.

The perfect home theater is actually quite subjective.  It really is up to you as a person how you design a room.  Consider the aesthetics of a home theater and remember that it ideally should be a room that accents the function over fashion.  Make it truly yours and you’ll find yourself having trouble remembering why you ever left your house to go to the cinemas.

Ross Donald is a freelance writer and interior design specialist with the light fixtures provider  Ross loves working with clients to design their ideal setting and enjoys the smiles on peoples’ faces when they can fully relax in their own homes.