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Category Archives: Home Improvement

Wallpaper Mural Installation

First let me start out by giving you a list of helpful items you will need to make this wall mural installation almost effortless. You will need a ladder (to get to the top of the wall), a pencil, a ruler (25 foot retractable will do), a razor knife (to cut the paper where needed), wallpaper paste (comes in powder to be mixed with water), a container (to mix the wallpaper paste with water), a yard measuring stick, a plumb line (is the chalk coated string to produce a level line), a brush (4 to 6 inches wide) to apply the wallpaper paste to the wallpaper and a cloth (a soft cloth such as a terrycloth towel) to brush the paper flat and remove air bubbles once each panel of the wall mural is applied to the wall. Now that you have your list of helpful items we will continue on to the next step.

Before you ever think about applying the mural to the wall, you have to make sure that the surface of the wall is prepared properly. Now is the time to go over to the wall you will be applying the mural to and make sure to remove any old wallpaper that may be on the wall. It will also be necessary to clean any dust that may be on the wall. If there happens to be any holes or cracks in the wall, patch these holes and cracks with wall spackling or wall plaster. If you are good at spackling, there is no need to sandpaper the surface of the wall to make a flat surface. With using plaster to patch your wall cracks and holes, most of the time you will need to sandpaper your patch in order to produce a flat surface on the wall. It is a good idea to make sure the wall has 2 good coats of latex paint in order to have the proper adhesive properties for the wallpaper paste.

Now you can prepare the mural by laying out the panels in the correct order on a floor near by. By matching the correct colors and patterns on the floor you save time and eliminate any frustration of not being able to find the correct piece when applying the wallpaper mural to the wall. This make for a much easier wall application.

So far you have your tools and your wall is patched, painted and ready for your mural. Now it is time to prepare the wallpaper paste. Most of the time your mural will come with the powder to make the paste. Make sure you do exactly as the directions suggest, so the texture of the paste is at the correct consistency to brush onto the mural panels and the wallpaper mural will adhere to the wall properly. So far so good!

Now it is time to place the first panel on the wall. It is always a good technique to start off with the top left panel. In order to place the first panel in the correct position, measure the length and width of the panel. Mark the panel dimensions on the top left section of the wall where the first panel will be. Next, using the plumb-line make a line on the wall where the right side length of the panel will be once the panel is applied to the wall. Using a ladder, go to where the ceiling and wall meet. Align the string of the plumb-line to where the right side length will be once the first panel is in place. Have someone hold the other end of the plumb-line tightly where the wall meets the floor. Make sure the plumb-line is in the correct position from the ceiling to the floor. With your free hand, pull the plumb-line straight back from the wall like a bow and let the plumb-line snap back to the wall. This will cause the colored chalk in the string to make a straight line down the wall. Now you have a straight line to work with for your first row of mural panels going down to the floor. Do this same procedure with each new top panel.

When applying the paste, first apply a thin coat of paste to the section of wall you are about to place the panel. Next apply a thin coat of paste to the panel you are about to put up always brushing from the center out to the edges of the panel. Do NOT apply a thick heavy coat of paste to your wallpaper mural panel. This will only cause the paper to become too soaked and could cause a tear in the wallpaper.

After applying each panel, take a gentle, soft, dry cloth and brush the panel from the center out to the edges in order to remove any air bubbles that may have collected under the panel. Overlap each panel ¼ inch in order to adjust for shrinkage that will occur after each panel dries.

Always be prepared to finish this project in one session. For the best conditions to put up any wallpaper mural, the ideal room temperature will be between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The room conditions should be without any air drafts. Only after the mural is completely up on the wall and dry, should you go ahead and do all the necessary trimming of the edges with your razor knife. If you find any excess paste on the front of the mural, remove by wiping off with a damp soft cloth.

Window Treatments Decor Ideas

Let the (Partial) Sun Shine In

Often we want to enjoy the sun streaming into our home or the view of the trees outside our window but we still want the privacy of a covered window. The solution is installing shades with the top down/bottom up feature.

Simply put, they can be lifted from the bottom to give a view of the outside world but still allowing the lower half of the window to be covered. When privacy is not a concern, they can be used as traditional horizontal blinds.

Top Down / Bottom Up Shades

I recommend these for your office or media room because they will minimize the glare on your computer or television while maintaining a well lit room.

Do not underestimate the damage sun can do to your home and furnishings. Window film can also be used to control the harmful UV rays that will fade your flooring, furniture and artwork.

This coating placed directly on the window panes will block out the heat and deflect glare while allowing sunlight to safely come through the window. You can purchase do it yourself kits or have it professional done.

Clothes For Your Windows

Now it is time to think about the fun layer of window dressing. A room looks complete when you add great treatments. What is the style of your room? What will it look like from the outside? Do you want them stationary or functional?

Panels

Panels are as popular now as when your mother was decorating her home. The difference is the variety in headers.

* Grommets create a modern vibe. The panel has metal rings along the top that threads on to your rod. They look best when used in areas they can remain stationary.

* Pinch pleats are strong in the custom treatment business. The most popular look is to hang them from metal or wooden rings. This look works well if you want to open and close your curtains often.

* Tab tops are fun for casual rooms. The tabs can be of different colors, have added buttons or be adorned with tassels. They should be used on windows that you do not need to close the curtains.

Valances

Valances are strong in window treatment decor. They add a finished look over your blinds by hiding the mechanical header. Hang them high enough so that they cover the top casing but they do not block the sun streaming into your window. There are so many styles of valances from box pleats to swags. Let your fabric design and the style of your room guide you on choosing the perfect valance.

Enter The Romans

My young clients seem to be drawn to roman shades. They can be easily lower when privacy is needed. When raised, they create a tailored look that works well in so many homes. They look great in a crisp cotton as well as a raw silk.

Window Treatment Crazy? Seek Professional Help

If you have a hard time visualizing the end results, choosing decorative window treatments can be daunting. A designer specializing in windows will take you step by step through the process. They will give you access to resources (fabrics, hardware, specialized blinds) that you would not be able to buy at your local big box store. They will also help protect you from costly mistakes.

Decorative Concrete

Creating an outdoor patio or walkway with brick, flagstone or other pavers is an aesthetically pleasing look for your yard, but is not a universally viable option because of potential cost or climatic difficulties.

Patterned concrete has become a popular alternative to pavers because it is often a more cost effective material to use, and it may be an easier material to work with and install in tricky climates. A rainy climate provides challenges to using pavers because they continue to settle once they are installed—an issue that does not present a problem for the decorative concrete technique. The practical applications of using patterned concrete in your yard as opposed to pavers, and the advantages of making this choice, are well known and widely documented.

However, one important advantage that is frequently overlooked is the creative flexibility that patterned concrete allows one to have.

Traditional artistry for modern design

Decorative concrete is created through a process that is similar to old printing methods. The wet concrete is poured and smoothed, and before it is allowed to dry, a plate with a pattern etched into the exterior is applied to the wet concrete, imparting the design from the plate onto the concrete, creating a pattern. This process is repeated over the entire surface area of the concrete, usually generating a tessellating design. Color can be added in a variety of ways, either as a dye to the entire batch of wet concrete, creating a uniform and consistent color to your concrete, or by adding color to just the top layer of concrete.

The usual trend is to install patterned concrete to mimic the look of brick, flagstone or some other material when the process of installing those original materials isn’t a possibility because of cost or environmental conditions. But one of the beauties of decorative concrete is the creative license to which the process lends itself.

Unique patterns of your artistry

Because the pattern or design of choice is etched into a plate that is then stamped onto the concrete, there are literally hundreds of patterns from which to choose. Your builder or concrete installer will have a palate of plates to choose from, so you can pick a design that most reflects your taste and individuality.

Another option is to have the master design a plate custom made for a truly unique, one-of-a-kind addition to your backyard. This is a particularly popular choice with artists and designers, creating a look that will stand out from the norm.

Rainbow of pleasing colors

An additional aspect of the creative license that decorative concrete allows is the process of color application. If patterned concrete is being installed to mimic the look of brick for instance, it is a natural assumption that the concrete will by dyed the rich russet color of traditional brick.

Concrete in its natural state is a light gray color, making it literally a blank slate. If you use the process of integral color, by which the entire volume of the concrete is dyed, you can pick from a range of colors, or mix several colors to obtain an exclusive look.

Choosing the process of cast-on color, where the dye is added to only the top layer of the concrete, is another choice offering vast creativity. Having a uniform color to your sidewalk or patio is a widely accepted practice, but with the process of cast-on color, you can choose to make a pattern with color. By using the process of adding color to the top layer, the color can be swirled or striped, creating a unique look. The colors can even be alternated if you would like to have each stone a different color, or make a pattern with the color of your stones by repeating a pattern using two or three solid colors, for instance.

Patterned concrete is a stylish choice when deciding how to pave your walkway or patio, and it is also a creatively exciting choice for people who want to add a bit of personal flair to their environment.

 

Kitchen Wall Tile

Wall tiles have been around for centuries but with today’s technology there are so many more options available that were not around just a decade ago. To achieve this you will have to let your imagination run wild. Your only limitations are your own creativity.

Kitchen wall tile is fast becoming the standard rather than a luxury in kitchen remodels or upgrades. Some of the materials that are available are ceramic, porcelain, mosaic glass, stainless steel, metal and natural stone.

Ceramic and porcelain are the most popular. The tile is dense and strong, also easy to clean, long lasting, and does not absorb odor, water, heat or carry allergens. They are man made and more flexible in the tile design. You can find an overwhelming array of colors and arrangements.

Kitchen wall tile can stand up better then paint. It is an easy clean up for splatters and drips. It also holds up well to the necessary cleanup that occurs every day. Some tiles are painted, glazed and fired. This means that the colors and glazes are sealed permanently so it won’t fade or wash away.

You can tile an entire wall or design a mural, backsplash or photo as a focal point of your kitchen. Make sure when you choose your design and colors that it blends nicely with your countertops, counters and other decorations.

A backsplash is small so the expense is insignificant to the visual impact you will achieve. It can turn your modest kitchen into a masterpiece. Tile photo murals are photos that are reproduced on your tiles. Then they are assembled like a puzzle.

The shape and size of the wall tile is another option to consider. For flat areas larger tiles result in an orderly appearance. For small or curved areas mosaic tiles should be a good choice for their flexibility. Before you install the wall tile, the most important job is preparing the wall. If you do not prepare the wall properly your tiles could warp and look uneven.

During my research I found an abundance of designs available. To name a few there were animals, birds, landscapes, sea life, plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables and wine. I chose a lovely ceramic backsplash of vibrant colored wine bottles. I have not regretted the choice for even one minute. It coordinates with my decor, but is the main focal point when you enter my kitchen. Everyone who visits me this immediately captures their attention.

 

Benefits of Vertical Blinds

If you have any experience with large windows, you know how much sunlight can shine through the glass. As the sun’s rays pass through the glass of a window, they are intensified and magnified. This can be a great advantage during the coldest months, but it is not much of an advantage during the rest of the year. High room temperatures are not the only problems that the sun can create. Furniture fabrics may be faded or damaged by the sun’s rays. Over time, regular sun exposure can destroy any upholstered furniture, such as chairs and sofas. This problem will be decreased exponentially with vertical blinds. The sun’s rays are diverted or even completely blocked by vertical blinds. Your furniture is saved from the sun by using vertical blinds, saving you the cost of buying new furniture.

There are many money-saving reasons to get vertical blinds. You will find that, if you reduce the amount of sunlight entering a room, you can decrease the heat index as well. You will save on electric and air conditioning costs during the summer months. High quality vertical blinds can save you as much as 20 percent. You will see the benefits of having vertical blinds in the winter as well. Having your windows covered with heavy, durable vertical blinds will keep the heat inside. You will see the results of this benefit in your heating and fuel bills.

You will find that vertical blinds can even bring you health benefits. You will find that the number of headaches and eye strains you experience will decrease if you limit your exposure to the sun’s rays. You will be able to utilize all the rooms in your house for studying or reading purposes. Watching television is no longer a challenge, as vertical blinds reduce the glare.

Although PVC blinds are well known in the market as an affordable decor option, they are also criticized for not being very durable and for environmental unfriendliness. The release of certain agents used during the production of PVC materials has been a cause of concern. This will probably not affect you, though, if you have not had issues with it before. The strong ultraviolet rays of the sun have been known to cause discoloration and brittleness of some PVC materials. If the PVC is high quality, this should not be an issue.

Various qualities as well as decor and color options are available in the vertical blinds made from fabric. There are two groups of vertical blinds available: low-cost, non-woven options, and more-expensive, woven varieties. Vertical blinds made with “smashed polyester”, which is what stitch bond fabrics are can be a decent choice for budget minded customers; for others beautiful woven vertical fabric blinds will complement any space. The advantages of woven vertical fabric blinds far outweigh the extra cost.

We tend to overlook the advantages of vertical blinds. Many people hate the thought of dusting vertical blinds, but in reality they don’t collect that much dirt; they also offer many affordable and healthy benefits. Any damage a piece of furniture might receive from UV rays can be diverted with the use of vertical blinds. The use of vertical blinds reduces the need for heat and air-conditioning and makes our study areas headache free. Take a look at these advantages and get some vertical blinds for your own home.

Tips to Pick Proper Wall Mirror for the Room

Let me start with a question. Which room in your home will this wall mirror hang in? Since we are only talking about wall mounted mirrors, your first thought should be the style. For the most part the different styles of wall mirrors are Traditional, Ornate, Modern, Frameless, Venetian and Kids.

Next you should think about what shape you would like this wall hanging mirror. Here your choices are rectangle, square, round, oval, arched, abstract, sunburst, octagon and custom.

What I call custom, is a wall mirror that is shaped in a non-uniform manner. An example of a custom wall mirror is a framed sectional mirror. There is a vanity mirror with a carved wood frame that actually holds 3 separate mirrors. There are 2 arched mirrors on each side, with a rectangle mirror in the center of the frame. Let me tell you this piece of wall mirror woodwork is absolutely gorgeous! Another simpler example of a custom wall mirror would be a triangular shaped mirror.

The next question you should ask yourself is do you want beveled glass or flat edge glass for your wall mirror. Here your choice is a matter of your own taste. Some people think that beveled glass mirrors are more elegant, while others prefer the clean look of flat edged glass wall mirrors. All you have to do is shop and compare until you have made your decision.

Another important feature of a wall mirror is if you want your mirror framed or frameless. If you go with a framed wall mirror, you have a large variety of choices. Here we will start out with what material your mirror frame can be made from. Your frame material choices are metal, wood, resin/acrylic, glass and believe it or not there are also available recycled magazines and recycled newspapers under the category of “Other Frame Materials.” So when it comes to frames for your wall mirror, the category is wide open!

Next thing on your list is to decide on what color you would like your mirror frame to be. Although your color choices are unlimited if you choose to go with a custom color. There are also a few standard colors available. Your standard colors are brown, gold, silver, black, bronze, white, copper and red. If you vision a multi-colored mirror frame or some color to match the decor of the room, you can have your wall mirror frame made to match the color. You are in total control of the full color spectrum.

Your final, but not least important factor in selecting the perfect wall mirror is the size. Go up to the wall that you want to hang the mirror. With a ruler in hand, measure the width and height of the area of wall that you want your new mirror to occupy. Make sure your measurements are accurate. Once you are sure about the size of your wall mirror, you are finished with your research and ready to buy.

 

Basics for Creating the Moroccan Touch to Your Home

# Look for the vibrant colors red, green and blue found in the sea of the area and also gold, yellow, and silver from the surrounding desert.

# Create a tropical atmosphere by bringing the outside indoors by using exotic plants, terra cotta tiles, and (if approved by your landlord ) textured walls.

# Moroccan home accents and the world famous Moroccan light fixtures such as Moroccan lanterns, Moroccan wall sconces, Moroccan pendant, Moroccan chandelier, Moorish lantern, Moorish wall sconce, Moorish pendant. These can be either on top of Moroccan tables or free standing to hanging.

Moroccan Lighting

Le Minaret Blue Arabesque The Amber Arch

Moroccan light fixtures are unique from any other country in the world. Handcrafted in the crowded Medina of Marrakesh, Fes, and the magical city of Casablanca, Moroccan light fixtures also know as Moorish lighting are the pride of the artisans that skillfully carve them from quality solid Moroccan brass while surrounded by snake charmers and the smell of market spices.

Whether your ambition is to create a complete Moroccan style, Moorish interior, Mediterranean style interior design, Moorish home decor or just have a Moroccan touch, Moroccan lanterns, Moorish lanterns, Mediterranean lighting, Spanish light fixtures will ad that unique Moroccan element to your home.

Moroccan lanterns can be viewed and purchased through sainttropezstone.com in different styles ranging from wall sconces, lanterns, chandeliers, to pendants great for indoor or outdoor use.

 

About Wall Lighting

From history we are aware that in the 1700s most homes or plantations used either candle fixtures or candelabras. They also carried candle sticks and candle lanterns. Then in the early 1800s oil lanterns were used. Most of these fixtures were made from tin, iron or wood. These lanterns were all hand made and some looked like the lighting fixtures we have today. Around 1860 kerosene oil and gas lighted many of these fixtures.

Then in 1879 the greatest invention of all came to be. This was the year that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. This helped mold cultures for the Art Deco Era. Gas/electric combination lighting was used. Electric lighting was less expensive and less dangerous then gas. These fixtures were abundant in people’s homes and were usually hung by a chain.

Electricity kept dropping in price until 1960. The equipment that generated the electricity began to climb and rise. This pushed up the utility bills and the average person started to struggle. People started to turn off their lights, they installed dimmers, timers, and sensors.

More and more people are starting to change to compact florescent lights. The downside is the color has less intense quality and a slower start up time. The latest is the LED. It is quick to start and the quality is exceptional.

Interior lighting refers to all lights within a building that is not exposed to the elements. Exterior lighting is the reverse. This lighting is outdoors and is exposed to the elements.

There are traditional, modern, and decorative style wall lights. You can have lighting fixtures from your wall, floor, table and ceiling.

There are also many different kinds of wall fixtures. There are adjustable, hanging, lanterns, torch, lamp, vanity lights, and wall sconces.

Wall mounted lighting fixtures extend from the wall between 4 and 10 inches. An adjustable fixture has an up light or down light with a swing arm The body of a hanging fixture hangs from a stem that is extended outwards from a wall. A wall lamp is any fixture that has a shade and is a similar style to a table lamp. The lights around or above a mirror are known as vanity lights. The wall sconce is a wall mounted fixture that only has one light.

You can find all these styles and types to fit any budget. There are many places to find all the unique and different varieties. Please make certain whatever you choose reflects your personality and the overall theme of your home.

 

Home Decor Ideas where Mirrors Play A Significant Role

# Putting large sized mirrors that span from the floor to the ceiling are very trendy. You can place them in your windowless hallways, landing and bathrooms so as to reflect the light and make them look bright.

# Large mirrors can also be placed on both sides of your fireplace, especially if you have a small fireplace room.

# If you have wall blemis

# Simply cover with some stylish decorative mirrors. These types of mirrors come in various shapes and sizes. In fact, going for these mirrors will save you the repairing cost as well.

# You can also place peer mirrors in your windows in order to add an extra depth to your room.

# Place a small wall mirror just above your side table or shelves, where you keep your candle-holders. The reflections of the burning candle will add an extra emphasis to your home interior design.

# You can also place mirrors on the ceilings of your rooms. They will give a skylight effect in your ceiling. In addition, place mirrors on the cabinet ceilings and pantry. This will also help you to check out the contents of the upper shelves properly.

# Use movable mirrors so that you can easily carry them from one place to another so as to have different views of the house interior design.

# You can also use mirrored screens in order to illuminate the dark corners of your house.

# Look for mirrored place mats in your local shops. You can also opt for accessories and dishes made of glass shimmer as a substitute of mirrors.

 

Things that Makes Antique Furniture Special

Antique furniture is among rare collectibles, made of best quality of durable wood (generally teak and sandalwood). They illustrate fine artisanship and carvings along with matching traditions of their time. They also carry the rich heritage and history along with them. Their association with notable names or period makes them unique and special. All these things are decisive factor for their rarity and expensiveness.

Antique furniture collections are categorized based on their periods or styles. Some important and famous classifications are as follows:

Gothic – Antique furniture in this category is influenced by church architecture. The style is mainly characterized by pointed arches, counterbalancing buttresses, open tracery and vertical grandiose emphasis.

Renaissance – Furniture under this category is derived from Italian Renaissance style, mainly oak functional furniture with scroll and arabesque carving, etc. with horizontal emphasis.

Early Colonial – With some wealth attained, carved oak Hadley chests and turned Great Chairs start making their way into American homes.

Antique furniture collections were made with stress over the beauty, comfort and knowledge of interiors. People take interested in antique furniture due to their masterpiece in carving. Most of the antique furniture has some kind of rare carving style illustrating excellent designs. They are usually made of good quality of materials, so the chances of decaying are less. Antique furniture posses nice design and do not change with time.