Feb 27, 2013

For The Curtain Lovers Out There...



Curtains are an integral part of your interior and sadly the most neglected too. How many times have you forgotten about the unfortunate drapes that have been hanging on the main window for years? All those curtain fanatics out there will know that home face lifting does not only require revamping the furniture and walls; unless there is a set of well-groomed curtains hanging on the window, your renovation regime will be incomplete.

Choosing the correct curtains can be a tedious yet fruitful task. Curtains that are chosen according to the room’s ambiance and décor will immediately make it look impressive. Curtains and drapes are the best way to show off your home decorating skills.

You can either make them more understated so they blend into the room, or you may add a set of prominent drapes that make a statement. No matter how you go about it, it must be tastefully done. Here are 5 of our favorite curtain styles to jazz up the indoors:

Tab-Top Curtains

This style of curtains is perfect for a less formal environment like a kids’ room or a study room. Tab-top curtains are simple, easy to install, and understated. They are usually made with less fancy materials like linen, and preferred in printed or two-tone fabrics.

Tab-top curtains have a loop of fabric that is stitched to the top panel of the drape, and is used to hang it on the curtain rod. The loop can be in a contrasting color or print. You can opt for the classic black and white combo to liven up a dull room or add monotone curtains to merge the curtains into the setting.

Box Pleat Curtains

When done in a classy way, box pleat curtains can look very elegant and transform the room. This style is perfect to adorn your master bedroom or living room, and looks equally superb in both linens and silks. When opting for these curtains, make sure that they are tailored neatly.

The pleats are folded neatly and not gathered untidily. Box pleats would look fabulous with color combinations like the ones offered by Generation Store Curtains.

Sheer Curtains

As suggested by the name, sheer curtains are see-through drapes that can be used for multiple purposes. They can be added as a lining under curtains on a window or they can be used individually within the house to create a dreamier ambiance.

Sheer curtains can be made with materials like French net, chiffon, and Chantilly lace. They can be used as separators within a room, perhaps to segregate a dressing area in the bed room.

Roman Blinds

This style is perfect for adding a sophisticated detail to the room. Roman binds are an interesting style of curtains that is not flowy and folds upwards. They are definitely more impressive than the usual blinds and can be accessorized with cornices on the top.

Roman blinds look best when installed in printed materials. However, an already accessorized room will look best with plain blinds.

Conclusion
This year, home decoration is leaning towards bright colors and jewel tones. Curtains cannot be chosen unless the entire room is taken into consideration; they are not used for overwhelming the environment, but for creating a perfect balance in the interior design.

Jan 23, 2013

Tips For Low Cost Interior Design and Decor (On A Budget) - Part 2


This is the continuation of an article on 'designing and decorating on a budget'. 



When limited space is available, consider multipurpose pieces instead of single functional ones - for example, sleeper sofas and chairs. A sleeper couch will provide seating during the day and convert into a bed at night. A table with adjustable legs can be used as a low coffee table or be raised to dining height. Furniture that folds or stacks up is a space-saving aid and multipurpose too.
              
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Soft pastel shades make the room appear larger and create a warm, friendly welcome feeling. A well-placed mirror can create the optical illusion of spaciousness as well as reflect light into the room.



                                
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 When dealing with a small living space, areas of privacy can be created by using space dividers. Screens of two or more panels are very versatile and available in different styles. They can be free-standing or suspended from the ceiling. These can be considered as decorative accessories. Roller blinds are also available in a variety of colors and patterns.
Another simple and inexpensive room separator is a set of curtains which can be made up of fabric, bamboo or beads. Curtains hung from rods can be drawn and secured with a tie-back or string.

           
                                                                                                                                               via


               
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 You may substitute slightly low quality furnishing but at the same time, you need not sacrifice style and good design. In any decorating budget, the furniture is one of the costlier items. One way is to buy suitable second-hand furniture as a substitute for more expensive items.
It is easy to achieve well-styled decor by carefully selecting a fabric for cover-ups, cushion covers, curtains etc. Find out sources that provide low cost materials while maintaining an acceptable standard of not only function but style and design as well.
There is a variety of ways in which accessories can be used to give the room that extra punch. Accessories can add interest to the ambiance; a few things on the wall enhance the decor. A unique and inexpensive wall hanging can be achieved by framing pretty fabric design. It will provide color, texture, pattern and a focal point. Inexpensive posters can also set the mood of a room.










Jan 9, 2013

Interior Designing - Do It Yourself or Get Someone Else to Help

A really interesting image sent to me by Therese Shaw from instylemodern.com about interior decorating and design. It compares the benefits and drawbacks of decorating your home yourself, i.e. a Do It Yourself interior design and decor project. This website is all about taking up home improvement projects yourself, but we do realize the benefits of letting someone else handle your burden. Do have a look so it's easier to make your informed decision.

alt="Redecorating Infographic">Instylemodern Infographic

Dec 18, 2012

Easy Yet Grand Christmas Food Ideas

A Christmas family feast is an important part of celebrations. Conventional Christmas feasts may include Turkey or Goose, other meat dishes, vegetables, breads, fruit cake and Christmas puddings. The list is endless if you want to get creative. Parcels of biscuits, fudge, candies, jars of homemade preserves are great gifts to give to your guests. Here are few easy to make, tried and trusted recipes you can create to make your celebrations perfect!

Mixed Fruit Cake

                                                                                                         
Ingredients
  • 500 ml cake four
  • 250 gm butter
  • 200 ml brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup mixed fruit, chopped
  • 5 eggs
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 5 ml vanilla essence
  • 125 ml milk
  • 3 ml cinnamon powder
For decoration
      Icing sugar to dust
      Some glace cherries

Cream butter and sugar together thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Sift all the dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture. Add fruits to the batter and mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350 /F) for 50 minutes or until skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Dust with sifted icing sugar and decorate with glace cherries.


Chocolate Cup Cakes Recipe for Christmas


                                           
                                                                                                       
Ingredients
  • 175 gm cake flour
  • 2 Tb-sp cocoa powder
  • 5 ml baking powder
  • 5 ml baking soda
  • 150 gm castor sugar
  • 150 ml cooking oil
  • 150 ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tb-Sp treacle or golden syrup

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and castor sugar together. Mix eggs, milk, cooking oil and treacle in another bowl until well combined  Pour this mixture onto the sifted ingredients and fold until smooth. Spoon batter into paper cup cases and bake at 160* Celcius for 15 to 20 minutes.

Chocolate icing
  • 100 gm chocolate
  • 5 ml milk 
  • 15 ml butter
Combine together and melt over double boiler and put chocolate cream on top of cup cakes when cool.


How to make a Christmas Log Cake


                                            
                                                                                                               
Ingredients
  • 25 gm cake flour
  • 25 gm corn flour
  • 3/4 Te.sp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
Chocolate Cream
  • 400 ml icing sugar
  • 75 ml cocoa powder
  • 200 gm margarine
  • 25 ml milk
Preheat oven at 220* C

Beat  egg yolks and half of the sugar till creamy. In a separate bowl.beat egg whites until frothy. Add remaining sugar and pour on the egg yolks. Sift flour, corn flour, baking powder, salt and fold into the mixture. Line baking tray with greased paper. Pour the mixture and bake at 220* C for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, place wax paper on a damp kitchen towel and sprinkle castor sugar. Turn the cake onto this.
Strip off the paper lining and trim the edges. Mark a line across on the short end to facilitate rolling. Roll up the tea towel, leave covered for five minutes. Unroll, and remove the wax paper, then re-roll and leave to cool.

Chocolate Cream

Sieve icing sugar and cocoa powder, add margarine and milk and beat till creamy. Unroll the cake and fill it with cream, leaving some for decoration. Re-roll and cover with the rest of the cream and mark with a fork. Decorate with Christmas leaves or glace cherries.




Dec 14, 2012

How to Make A Christmas Wreath to Decorate Your Home (DIY Project)

Christmas is just around the corner and it is time to get ready for the celebrations.Traditional colors of Christmas are green and red. Green symbolizes evergreen eternal life whereas many consider the color red symbolizes the blood of Jesus's crucifixion. The Christmas tree and other vegetation related to Christmas decor have a triangular shape, as with Fir trees, Mistletoe  Red Amaryllis and Christmas Cactus. The triangular shape is symbolic of the Trinity and  it is usually pointed towards heaven.

Other attractions in the Christmas decor basket include candles, bells, stockings, angels, and traditional wreaths. A Christmas wreath on the front door says, 'Welcome', and a decorative wreath on the dining table with candles can enhance and glorify the festivity of the occasion.

We now teach you an easy method of making your own Christmas wreath to tune up the holiday mood!

How to Make a Straw and Fir-Cone Wreath (DIY Project)


                                                                        



Materials required:
  • One wire coat hanger
  • Straws
  • Some Fir-cones
  • Red satin ribbon - 5 to 6 metres
  • Artificial strawberries
  • Florist wire
Method:

Bend coat hanger to form the shape of a wreath, and arrange straws around the wire frame and bind them with a string or some florist wire. Bind red satin ribbon around the wreath. Wire Fir-cones and insert at the top of the wreath. Wire strawberries or any other red balls together in bunches and place them in between the cones. Tie a big looped bow of ribbon and place it on the top with florist wire.


                           


                                                    ROSE AND FERN WREATH
Credit: AMillionLives.net
                               


                                                DRIED SLICED ORANGE WREATH
Orange slice wreath.
Credit: margesakelik on Pinterest
                                   
                                                                                                                       

                                                                   POM POM WREATH
Pom Pom Wreath
Credit: Tammy Kingsbury on Pintrest

     How to Make a Green Candle Wreath - DIY Project

                                                                                                                                                                                             

Materials Required:
  • Florist oasis ring
  • Four green candles
  • 2 bunches of red Heli-chrysums 
  • Dried and dyed foliage, stalks
  • Some red star flowers
  • Florist wire
Position and insert the candles into the oasis. Make small bunches of flowers and foliage using florist wire and insert into the wreath arranging them around the ring. Finally, fill any gaps with red star flowers.

    FRESH FLOWER WREATH
                                        
Unity Candle Wreath
Credit: FlowerCrossAmerica.com
                         
These were just a few D.I.Y. (do it yourself ) ideas related to Christmas decorations. You may play around with different colorful fresh or dried flowers, shrubs, ribbons and spray paints and you'll see the possibilities are endless.


Dec 12, 2012

Play It Safe When Renovating

This is a guest post by Brian Turner.

The economy is steadily improving; however, many people are still choosing not to purchase new homes because they are uncertain about the economy. Therefore, these people are choosing to remodel their existing homes. Families may save a lot of money by renovating a home instead of buying a new one, if special steps are not taken to avoid health hazards, a family’s home renovation may be more costly than the family had bargained for. As a result, people should be aware that there are dangers to renovating a home. 

With older homes, there are a lot of dangers that should be recognized and removed. For example, an older home may have dangers such as mold. This is especially true if the renovation process is taking place in a warm environment. Mold can cause serious health problems. In order to address the problem of mold, the homeowner must first identify the water leak because mold is caused by water. Once the mold and its cause have been found, the person can use the necessary chemicals to safely get rid of the mold.
Asbestos in the Home
Image courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. (Click to enlarge)

Another potential health hazard is lead paint. Lead is very dangerous to the renovator and everyone else in the home. Lead is especially dangerous to children. Lead is known to thrive in people who have growing skin; therefore, children are at high risk for lead poisoning. Lead can occur in many places in the home. This includes drinking water if the lead is not removed promptly and safely.

A final hazard in home renovation is asbestos. Asbestos can cause many health problems. These health problems may include mesothelioma and lung cancer. Asbestos will most likely be found in many older homes. In the past, asbestos was very popular because it was known to be fireproof. However, people did not realize the dangerous and deadly health effects that it caused. If chemicals are found inside the home, the renovator would be best served by contacting a professional to remove these materials.

 It is important to remove these materials before the renovation begins because the renovation may actually cause these materials to become health hazards. Renovating a home can save a person a lot of money, but he or she should be sure to not sacrifice health in saving this money.

Dec 10, 2012

Sun Awnings – Designer Additions to Your Home

If you are looking to make home improvements and wish to add a a real deign statement, then the addition of a high quality sun awning to your home and garden space will prove a valuable asset that will undoubtedly add a contemporary feel to the space.

Perfect for creating a cool shaded area in which to relax and unwind safe from the harmful effects of the sun`s damaging UV rays, the addition of a quality sun awning to your home will provide the following benefits;
Reduce energy bills by restricting the amount of direct sunlight entering a building through windows and doors.
Maximize the available space around your home.
Provide a safe and shaded area under which children can play even during the hottest part of the day.
Creates a designer look to your home when selected in a bright and vibrant fabric design.

Available in many forms depending upon the required application and size of shading required, take a look at some of the below images and you will start to understand how a well designed sun awning can play a major part in the design of your garden space.




As you can see, each awning features a slightly different design, however the one thing they all have in common is that they instantly create a really effective focal point to your outdoors space and will undoubtedly increase the appeal of your home.

Methods of Operation 

In situations where the awning will only be used occasionally, most homeowners prefer to specify a simple manually operated awning. These are operated via a wall mounted crank handle and can be set in any position depending upon the amount of shade required. Whilst this type of system is cheaper than an automatic awning, the downside to them is that it can take a fair bit of winding the handle to fully extend them (especially on larger awnings).

In comparison, the installation of a fully remote controlled retractable sun awning will prove the ultimate in user convenience enabling you to have total solar shading control at all times without ever having to leave the comfort of your chair or sun lounger.

Selecting the Best Location 

When looking to install a sun awning to your home you need to have it installed in such a position that it will provide the optimum levels of shade throughout the day. When locating your awning, pay attention to the suns path and try to locate it in a position that ensures this.

Types of Awnings

The most popular awning for residential applications is the retractable type system. This is where the awning retracts from the wall on supporting arms leaving a totally free space beneath. These are perfect for a range of small and medium scale applications as they enable the space to be fully maximized. The drawback to a retractable awning is that the projection is generally limited to around 3.5m. Any more than this and the awning would simply collapse under its own weight.

Where large areas of shade is required, a fixed awning system is a far better option. Similar in design to a garden pergola but with a fully automated retractable roof, this type of awning is the ultimate in contemporary design and unfortunately comes with a price tag to match. For this reason, retractable roof awnings tend to only be fitted to really high end properties and exclusive developments.

In conclusion, the addition of a home and garden awning will prove a great investment to your home and will provide years of trouble free enjoyment for you, your family and your friends.

About the Author
This article has been written by Dan from www.discountsunawnings.co.uk, a company specializing in the supply of a wide range of solar shading solutions for the home and garden that have been designed to add a contemporary look to your outdoor space.

Dec 6, 2012

Tips to Choose the Best Interiors For Your Home

This is a guest post.

Many people desire to make their homes look beautiful. Decorating a home or room may be a frightening task, because big decisions need to be taken regarding floors, sofas, window coverings etc. And as it is also an expensive matter it needs to be considered carefully. Before you start decorating your home, determine the tasks that you plan to undertake and the easiest possible ways to do them. Here are some ideas and tips to help you out.

Paint smaller rooms with softer and lighter colours

Painting smaller rooms with lighter and softer colours that make you feel that room is larger. A room with small size looks restricted, but with the big windows, using light colours for the walls and making generous use of the mirrors will transmit sunlight pass through the windows and doors, and also gives an opinion of the illusion of space, which makes the room bigger than it actually appears. On the other hand, darker colours make the room feel and even look smaller.

Make use of attractive mirrors for interior designing


Using of attractive and decorative mirrors will add immediate light to your rooms and mirrors are also added to make lesser space feel bigger. Whether it is for smaller or bigger rooms if mirrors are placed directly to the doors or windows then light will be bring a pleasant look. Attractive mirrors are mainly used to in as an art form to fill the gap of empty space. Mix up all patterns like old and new, expensive and inexpensive: Your interior decorating is the most key aspect of your home and which tells all about your personality and style. There is nothing also no reason why both like old and new co-exist together like placing the modern sofa with already existing or old writing desk. Using different fabrics like rugs, pillows, and also different colours will bring friendliness and softness to your living rooms.

Wall art


Paintings, watercolours and images will add a decorative look to your living rooms. Important thing here is positioning. They should be suspended very near to the eye and you can also use smaller pictures so that when you look directly at them they seem to be attractive.

Measure up things


Know how much each part of furniture will occupy it is better you do this before you buy. For measuring you can take a piece of paper and create an outline of the each item that you wish to buy. Place the outline which is created on the floor and if possible fix it with masking tape to check whether dimensions exactly match your existing space.

Plants


Though plants give life to living room it is difficult to maintain fresh plants and flowers. There are many artificial plants which are available in the market bring them add to your interior designing which gives the same effect as natural one do. These artificial orchids also add supremacy to your room. If you want to make home improvements using interior decorations but if you can’t afford then you can opt for short term loans like bad debt loans which will be approved instantly if you are eligible. About the

Guest Author: My name is Michelle. I am a tech writer from UK and am into Finance. At present I am focusing on ppi claims . Catch me @financeport

Nov 7, 2012

7 Green Interior Design Tips For Your Home - Easy and Budget Friendly


Through sustainable architecture and design, we can not only bring about a change in our living patterns and reduce our dependence on artificial energy, but also preserve the environment for future generations. To put it simply, we can use our homes to save energy and control pollution to help create a greener tomorrow.

To begin with, you can reduce your energy bill by caulking and weather-stripping your windows and doors. These are simple do-it-yourself procedures that seal any gaps that may let heat escape during winter season or let cool air escape during summer season.

Next, if some rooms in your home are exposed to the sun, consider extending their roof eaves or using a tinted heat-reflective glass that complements your home’s exterior. This will help shade the windows and block out as much sunlight as possible during hot weather. Adding curtains or blinds also contributes to reducing hot and cold air ventilation, which may reduce the load on your heater and air conditioners.

Another technique is to use solar screens, which are specially woven fiberglass shades. They can be installed outside windows to absorb and dissipate sun rays before they reach the actual window.

Not surprisingly, sustainable design ideas can add both form and function to your home. When it comes to roof treatment, a creative way to drastically reduce its temperature is to cover it with drought-tolerant plants such as Sempervivum and Sedum. The same low water-use plants, in addition to dense trees and shrubs, can be grown around the house to cut down noise pollution as well as add green beauty to your home.

Another effective practice is ‘daylighting’, which involves constructing windows or placing reflective material in a manner that will maximize the presence of natural light in a home.  An example of ‘daylighting’ is a glass skylight in the attic that not only reduces the cramped effect created by a sloping roof, but also lets in plenty of sunlight.

Of course, you still need to rely on electricity on dark cloudy days and at night. Consider buying energy-efficient bulbs because they use around 30% less energy compared to incandescent-light bulbs.

Lastly, a wall-to-wall carpet with underfelt will do you lots of good; it will provide a cushion between the hard flooring and your feet, it will offer sound control by muffling noise, and lastly, it will help insulate your home against heat and cold.

These are just a few ideas that can come together to create a less-polluted, more sustainable and environmentally-friendly house.

Oct 30, 2012

Halloween Recipies For Everyone


Candied Apples





                                            

Ingredients 

  • 7 Apples
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • few drops of red food color
Directions

Insert craft stick or wooden skewers into the top of an apple. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan and cook over medium heat to form a thick sticky syrup or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. Remove from heat and stir in food color. Holding apples by their sticks, dip in syrup and rotate to coat evenly. Place on butter paper sheet to harden.

Halloween Cupcakes 





Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 te.sp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 tb.sp butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 te.sp ess 
  • Oven tempt. 350 F
Directions

Sieve together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add butter, cream, eggs and essence, beat till smooth. Divide batter evenly into a twelve-cake tin lined with paper.

Bake for 20 to 25 min  until capcake tops are pale gold or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on wire racks before decorating with candied corn and vanilla cream.

Enjoy!

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