Saturday, March 29, 2008

How to Really Declutter Your Home for Buyers

by: Bob Lipply

Your real estate agent has come to your house to assess what needs to be done to sell it the quickest. The word, "declutter," continues to come up. You assure your agent that you are a very neat person and that everything will be clean when the potential buyers come to view it. Many sellers encounter the same situation each day. What agents wish their clients would understand is that decluttering is more than just keeping the baseboards dust-free and the countertops wiped down. Try some of the following tips and wow your real estate agent, and especially, your buyers.

With pen, paper and clipboard in hand, tour the outside of your home, then the inside. As much as possible, pretend that you don't own the house and even that you've never seen the place. You will quickly see what your real estate agent meant by decluttering when you use this new perspective. Write down anything which is the least bit offensive to the eye, including unruly hoses, toys in the front yard, a busy mantle above the fireplace and newspapers stacked up in the laundry room. The list will seem longer the more times you go through the process. However, the more you notice, the more prepared your home will be for eagle-eyed buyers.

The biggest stumbling block for sellers preparing their home for the market is their lingering attachment to their house. From repainting a room neutral, to taking family photos off the wall, sellers must accept that their time in that particular house is coming to an end. To counteract this mental block, take your most personal items out of rooms first. Get plenty of clear plastic tubs, or boxes to store your items. Treat the decluttering process as if you are preparing a model home for viewing. In order to sell your home, you have to give the buyers room to imagine their personal belongings. Little forward-thinking daydreams about decorating your new abode should also counteract those strong attachments.

A good round of decluttering will often leave you with a pile of boxes and bins to contend with. Although stacking them up in a closet seems like a nice, out-of-the-way option, this may not be the best choice. Consider that closet space is often one of the key selling points for a home. Closets should look as impeccable as possible. This will aid greatly in creating a spacious feeling. If the closets are crowded and messy, the buyer may think that your home is just not big enough, even if it has the square footage they want.

Your garage is the most acceptable place for storage in the mind of the buyers. Of course, not everyone has this luxury. If you can convince a family member, friend, or even a neighbor to let you store those boxes and crates, then take advantage of the opportunity. However, if you really need or want your storage items in the house, then try to stack them up in the least conspicuous place you can find. A playroom or basement can usually stand to have a few of these bins stashed in the corner. Better yet, think about renting a temporary storage facility to house these things.

Despite all your efforts, be prepared to hear your Tampa Bay Florida real estate agent tell you that you still have too many belongings cluttering the house. If this happens, just remember that they're on your side and that they're the expert. Also, remember that a well-decluttered house is your quickest ticket to a "Sold!" sign.

About The Author

Bob Lipply is a licensed broker associate with Remax Realtec in Palm Harbor, Florida.

He has many years of experience in selling Tampa

Bay Florida Real Estate and has helped many families relocate to Florida and

find their dream homes. Visit his website at

or contact him direct at 1-888-423-5775. e-mail address is

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Candle Scents To Enhance the Season: Fall Into Winter

by: Lisa DeClue

To decide on just a few candles is like choosing between eating chocolate and having lots of chocolate to eat… With so many scents to choose from, it's next to impossible to choose just one. This is part two of several articles to follow on choosing candle and fragrance scents for your home.

Having the perfect scent can vitalize my day and scents can improve one’s mood. Citrus scents rejuvenate and create energy, lavender scents are calming, and “holiday” scents are reminiscent of home. And then there’s the primordial magic of the flickering flame and poetry in certain scent combinations. So what do I use to renew myself? Home & Garden Party.

Here are some suggestions for scents that "fit" the months of November through February.

Blueberry Muffin:

Along with Hot Cinnamon Rolls, this one will make you hungry! Soft, warm and delicious.

Christmas Memories:

A little spicy, a lot warm and wonderful, this scent is a must for the holidays. I enjoy it burning with after dinner coffee!

Bahama Breeze:

This breath of fresh ocean air is most welcome during the doldrums of winter.

Crème Brulée:

This is perhaps my favorite fragrance because it is soft and creamy with a warm custard smell. Yummy!

Relax, Spearmint & Eucalyptus:

Fresh, calming with a hint of mint, this is a very soothing scent to have going in the background.

Of course, my favorite way to diffuse scent throughout my home is to use the Home & Garden Party Fragrance Lamp. The lamp uses an alcohol-based “oil” and is wicked up to a heating stone. After allowing the stone to warm for about three minutes, you blow out the flame and enjoy pure, clean fragrance that will permeate an entire floor of your home. It is very useful ridding the house of the stuffy, heated smell of winter indoors and really adds a pleasant aroma.

With refills in spiced apple, lavender, creamy vanilla, citrus infusion, floral medley, woodland breeze and passion flower, there’s at least one to please your nose and your visitors!

Need more suggestions? Read other articles on the Decorating with HGPgal website at:

About The Author

Lisa DeClue is a WAHM and Owner of Decorating with HGPgal – an information & resource site devoted to beautifying your home. Grab your FREE decorating report by subscribing to her newsletter at: View the entire Home & Garden Party candle line at: Then return to to order and join the DecoForum.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Buying a Home - What is a Home Inspection?

by: Raynor James

Any Sally and Sam Homebuyer can look at a home and decide whether it is attractive. They might notice it is freshly painted in pleasing colors, has the requisite number of rooms, a cook’s kitchen and is located in a location with top schools. But what about less obvious parts of the house?

It takes special expertise to determine if the functional parts of a home are in good shape. If you attend an open house, how do you determine if there are plumbing problems, electrical problems, structural problems, drainage problems, the condition of heating and air conditioning equipment and the condition of literally hundreds of other items that could cause concern?

Enter the home inspector.

A home inspector is trained to be a detective in regard to the construction and working parts of homes. It is not an exact science.

The home inspector cannot tear into things, so they can’t always see everything they’d like to. They do, however, come equipped with ladders, strong flashlights, and devices to measure various things related to plumbing, electrical and other necessary home items. Importantly, a home inspector will also typically bring a digital camera to photograph problems such as roof shingles not lying flat, signs of mildew from leaking pipes and construction that doesn’t comply with building codes. They don’t miss much.

It’s a good idea for the buyer to be present during the home inspection. If you ask them to, home inspectors will usually explain how things work to you. This is important as they can show you where cut off valves are, how to remove filters for cleaning or replacement and tell you how often various maintenance chores need to be done. This information can be very valuable if you ultimately purchase the property.

It’s also a good idea to ask the home inspector if there are any particular tests they would perform if they were buying the home. For example, radon gas (a colorless, odorless gas which is a carcinogen) can be a problem in some parts of the country. It can be detected, measured, and, if levels are above EPA standards, there are procedures to deal with it successfully. A home inspector can help identify such issues for you.

It’s easy to see that a home inspection can provide a wealth of valuable information. While it is easy to fall in love with a listed home, a home inspector can be the key to avoiding disastrous discoveries down the line.

About The Author

Raynor James is with - an online site providing national exposure for sellers listing properties and a database of properties for buyers.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Stained Glass Can Add Elegance To Your Home

by: Sarah Peters

If there is one way to throw a new light on your home, it's through the stained glass you put in your windows. Whether you want to enhance old windows by replacing some of the panes, or are complementing the new Pella windows you've installed, stained glass can lend an air of grace and quiet elegance to a room.

Where and how you incorporate stained glass into a window treatment depends a great deal on the style of windows you have, and what you want to spend to achieve that multi- colored glow.

In an older home that has wood framed windows with six or nine panes, it's possible to take out the upper row of glass, and replace those panes with new ones cut from older stained glass that can be salvaged from yard sales, flea markets and auctions.

New stained glass that is handmade, can be quite costly due to the craftsmanship that goes into it. That's why cutting old panels of stained glass is a cost-effective alternative, that can give you several panes from one sheet. Even if the glass has small cracks or separations in the colored sections, they are easily repaired.

If you have installed a Pella casement window in your kitchen, a semi-circle of stained glass framed and set into the wall over top, will add jewel tones to the warmth of morning sunlight. Or you might choose to replace the entire bathroom window with stained glass, making it a decorative way to preserve your privacy.

The old and the new can come together in harmony. Take a look at your home and consider whether you'd like to warm up the house with stained glass, or combine it with the sophistication of new Pella windows. It's a pairing guaranteed to create a unique new look.

About The Author

Sarah Peters works at home, and spends most of her free time on various home improvement tasks. Over a few years, she had all her house windows replaced. In this series of articles, she shares her experience and advice.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Selecting The Right Drapes For Your Home

by: Ciara McNamara

Practically every house-proud homeowner wants to make the most of their home in terms of décor, and an integral part of achieving the perfect look for your property is getting the right drapes for each room. Because the theme and décor in a home can vary from one room to the next, it is important to consider a number of factors before selecting your window coverings. Some of the factors you need to consider when selecting drapes is the type of room you are buying for, the size of the windows, the type of ambiance you wish to create for the room, and the design and décor of the room. For instance, if you are buying drapes for your kids’ bedrooms, heavy elaborate covering would look a little odd and could work out quite costly, whereas lighter coverings with simple designs could prove ideal. On the other hand, if you have a room that is reserved for entertaining, where the décor is rich and elaborate, the heavier window treatments could fit in nicely. A family room used for relaxing might benefit from simply designed and easy to maintain coverings, whereas a kitchen might fare better with café style drapes or even blinds. Each room requires careful thought and consideration before you make any firm decision with regards to the right coverings for the windows.

Enjoy a great choice of fabrics, colors, and designs

Whatever the design and decoration of each of your rooms, you should have no problem finding the ideal coverings for the windows amongst the vast choice available. From simple, easy to maintain coverings designed for rooms with heavy traffic or children and pets to rich, luxurious coverings with elaborate patterns and sumptuous fabrics, you can the right covers for every room in the home. Having the perfect drapes to complement the décor in a room can really inject life into the room, helping you to achieve both the look and the ambiance you are looking for. If you are carrying out a home improvement program, finding window coverings to suit each individual room can really make a difference to the overall finish of your improvements, and can give each room a whole new look.

Choose ready made coverings or create your own

For those confident when it comes to sewing and design, you can get some incredible drapery materials at really affordable prices, and these can be used to make your own coverings depending on your needs. If you are not confident enough to make your own, you will find a vast choice of ready made coverings designed for all sorts of rooms in the home, from bedrooms and living rooms, to dining rooms and kitchens, so you can ensure that every room in the home boasts the perfect drapes to complement the décor. You can often get excellent deals on both ready made coverings and a wide choice of materials online, giving you an even better chance of finding the ideal window treatments for use throughout your home.

About The Author

Ciara McNamara reveals for, a source on tips and tricks. The writer is writing on subjects such as drapes ( ).

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grosfillex Resin Patio Furniture Sets

by: Cat Greenbriar

Getting quality patio furniture sets of Grosfillex resin.

When shopping for patio furniture, many people are looking for furniture that is elegant, but is also convenient and long lasting. These factors are even more important for commercial settings, where saving money and retaining value are paramount. Grosfillex is one of newest advents in patio furniture material, and is quickly becoming one of the most popular.

Grosfillex Resin patio furniture sets are made to look just like wicker or metal chairs, and adds elegance to any outdoor patio seating. They come in amazing colors that make it look like real wood, even bronze or wrought iron. Resin patio chairs are built with a contoured design that makes them ergonomically comfortable for the back. Resin chaise lounges are built in a solid one piece construction, designed for comfort, support, and adjustability. The sling and resin frame constructed with elastic cords offer excellent shape maintenance. Upholstered fabric can even be embroidered with the company logo for an official, elegant look.

Grosfillex Resin furniture has many great advantages in maintenance that make it perfect for commercial settings. Designed and engineered for commercial resorts and food service business, Grosfillex resin furniture is resistant to salt air, chlorine, and common environmental and food stains, and cleans easily with warm, soapy water. Grosfillex resin furniture is also constructed with UV stabilizers that keep the plastic color from fading in the sunlight. Fabrics used for resin patio furniture are also built for strength and color fastness, and are also treated for mildew resistance.

All the advantages listed above make Grosfillex resin furniture an easy choice for any commercial patio or outdoor setting. The furniture meets the guidelines of the American Society of Testing and Materials, which set standards for plastic furniture and make it safe to use in any commercial environment. Grosfillex patio furniture sold at retail furniture stores is very different than the commercial line of Grosfillex patio furniture. Therefore, any business owner interested should know that their business needs will be better met purchasing their outdoor furniture through the commercial line.

Whether purchasing for the home or for a business, Grosfillex is an excellent choice, supported by it brand name, which you can trust to uphold guarantees for a long lasting and low maintenance patio furniture set.

About The Author

Cat Greenbriar writes for PatioStuff at Please visit the site at for some of the greatest deals on Grosfillex resin patio chairs and also at for some great selections on Grosfillex resin patio chaise lounge chairs.

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Six Carpet Care Tips

by: Steve Gillman

Which is the most important of my carpet care tips? You'll find it at the top of the list below. Use the five other tips as well, and you'll get years more use from your carpet.

Top Carpet Care Tips

1. Keep your carpet clean. Sand and dirt act like thousands of little razor blades that cut carpet fibers. Damaged carpet stains more easily, and it's harder to remove the stains from it as well. Vacuum often to remove dirt, and your carpet will last longer.

2. Use rugs. Put rugs outside and inside the front door, and any other entrances. They can catch much of the dirt that people bring in on their feet. That means less vacuuming and longer carpet life.

3. Remove shoes. This is a sure way to make carpet last longer. If you have a nice home with nice carpet, people usually aren't offended by this policy.

4. Clean stains quickly and properly. If using a cleaning solvent other than water, apply it to a cloth first, and work it in from the outside of the stain to the center, so you don't spread the spot. Apply the cleaner, extract (blot), rinse, extract, and repeat until you can't get more of the stain out. Extract solvents completely, and dry the carpet quickly when you're done. If there is any stain remaining deeper down in the carpet, quick drying prevents it from wicking up to the surface.

5. Use a shop-vac. It's a great help when cleaning stains. You can't just suck out the stain, but you can repeatedly wash and rinse the area, and suck the solution out each time. It's more effective than blotting up the water with cloth, mostly because you won't have the patience to wash, rinse and extract enough times if you're using paper towels or cloth.

6. Vacuum before cleaning. If you use a portable machine, at least get the water as hot as you can, and dry the carpet quickly, using fans to move the air around. You won't match the results of a good truck-mount hot water extraction unit. However, if you want to save money, doing your own cleaning can lengthen the time between expensive professional cleanings.

Want carpet clean enough for the kids to play on? Do you want it to last for years longer than normal? Just use these basic carpet care tips.

About The Author

Steve Gillman has worked in the carpet cleaning industry for years. For more on carpet-care, carpet stains, and specific stain-by-stain removal instructions, visit

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Glass Deck Railings – Where Class Should Be Visible

by: Adam Peters

Add Sparkle To Space – Use Glass Railings

Glass railings with some transparency and a lot reflection from glass can create a different kind of atmosphere to a place that has been lit up brightly. If you see a Dubai gold mart for example, you will be able to see lot of glass railing in market. The well-lit mart becomes alive with reflection from gold and the use of glass everywhere, including the railings, accentuates the feeling of fun of shopping.The complete reflection from all surfaces adds to the glitter of gold there. If you use wood or any other railings there, the effect will not be as electric.

Customized Solutions - Glass Railings

Glass railings are never available as ready made material that can be cut and fitted as required. When you wish to use glass railings, the idea is to accentuate the atmosphere of the whole place and hence you may have to consider the all the factors including the lighting. The holistic approach has to be applied to the whole place rather than just fitting the glass railings.

Advantage Glass Railings – No Maintenance Absolutely

The main advantage of the glass railings is that it requires no maintenance at all. There is no requirement of polishing or the possibility of mildew formation or and degradation of quality of the installed railings. Apart from the general cleaning, the glass railing continues to look as good as new all the time. Replacements unless the glass breaks are not necessary.

Advantage 2 - Tender Handling By Customers

Because of the perception of glass as breakable material, everyone handles it carefully even when tender handling is not required. Therefore, when children try riding the railings, immediately the parents come in and prevent the children from doing so. This happens, as the glass is feared to be breakable even when it is not and this prevents any undesirable incidents in a shopping complex.

Advantage 3 - Inviting Atmosphere

The glass with its openness results in a place where the shoppers feel invited and indulge in more shopping than may be warranted by their capacity and the shop owner gets the advantage of higher turnover.

About The Author

Adam Peters is a freelance author who contributes adding interesting articles to a deck and porch railings website. Adam publishes ideas for railing plans and designs at Reach more articles on modern glass railing designs at

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Make Your Room Magical And Fascinating With Rustic Curtain Rods

by: Adam Peters

The simple but elegant rustic curtain rods work well with a rustic country setting and contemporary urban home scenes. Whether you want to give a typical modern or wild countryside touch to your windows, doors or the entire home, the rustic curtain rods are simply unique for all purposes. So get some rustic iron curtain rods to hang your curtains, your home décor will get an old life touch.

Advantages of using rustic curtain rods

The rustic curtain rods are advantageous, for they are available in real low prices. Sometimes you can choose the best of the curtain rods and get them in discounted prices. You can either go shopping personally for the curtain rods or order them online after doing a thorough research of the designs and patterns available.

You should use rustic curtain rods when the décor in your home has a typical countryside flavor. The curtains with wildlife prints and patterns will go perfectly with the rustic curtain rods. These rods are sometimes available in various shapes of animals, maple leaf, tiebacks, and scroll and ivy leaf. The rustic iron curtain rods are great works of art and craftsmanship. All of these rustic curtain rods are available hammered on an anvil and brushed to increase the natural polish of the rustic rods.

The main advantage of the rustic curtain rods is that they do not get rusted. This is because the artisans protect the rods from rusting by applying a coat of protective oil over the entire rod. Since each of the rods is handmade so the sizes often vary. However, whether you want small, mid-ranged or long rustic rods, you will get all perfect sizes that will suit the door and window frames of your homes. The normal size of a rustic rod is 24 to 36 inches but even larger sizes like 36 to 60 inches and 60 to 90 inches are also available for perfect fitting.

The rustic curtain rods are available in packages of custom length drapery rods, several finials, perfect hand forged iron mounts, iron rings, mounting and placement hardware and with a typical iron patina finish. Even extra long rustic iron rods up to 20 feet are easily available in the market. Although the rods will be shipped to your home, you have to pay a reasonable amount of shipping charges for the home-delivery of the rods.

Smarten the vibrant look in your home with the rustic curtain rods.

About The Author

Adam Peters adds regularly articles to A free decorating magazine, where you will find reviews on different decorating and design ideas. More about rustic curtains rods.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Luxury Bathroom Suites

by: Shelley Murphy

Remodeling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing your dream of having a luxury bathroom. If you have a weekend and the know-how, changing the look of your bathroom without breaking the bank can be seamlessly achieved. The money saved in not having to hire a contractor will free up funds to spend on other bathroom additions such as replacing the bathroom suite. The rich confluence of newly painted walls, some updated bathroom accessories and a new bathroom suite can all be attained by anyone working with moderate finances.

The main ingredient in transforming the bathroom and bringing character into the space is the installation of a new bathroom suite. Homeowners choosing to upscale their bathrooms now have a broader selection of bathroom suites to choose from featuring contemporary and traditional designs. Modern bathroom suites have a minimalist look with clean chic lines, while traditional bathroom suites carry a European flavor with all the influence of Victorian times. With some imagination, a creative design, you can give your bathroom a crisp clean inviting look.

Shopping for a bathroom suite

Shopping around for a bathroom suite that accommodates your budget and taste is an essential element in creating a balanced look. Contemporary infused with traditional styles can bring back old-world charm; pedestal basins fashioned with decorative basin mixers taps provides a look of antiquity, while deep-set corner baths add panache for that modern look. One primary reason for the correlation of the two styles is to allow for bold hues and textures to be incorporated into the bathroom in the form of tiles, paint and wallpaper, but also the fusion of the two bathroom styles won’t date itself in a year’s time.

Finding a bathroom suite to suit your taste

Partnering historic classics with modern amenities such as a claw-foot roll top bath embellished with a Victorian hand-held bath and shower mixer, brings in all the characteristics of the bygone eras and evokes a vintage disposition within the bathroom. Modern frameless backlit bathroom mirrors and wall-mounted towel heaters, produce an elegant and airy atmosphere providing both practical functionality and lasting beauty. Creating a blissful retreat begins with choosing a bathroom suite that is practical and efficient. Most bathrooms are shared between family members, therefore the design of your bathroom must address the requirements without forsaking comfort. Bathroom suites are mainly comprised of the basin, cistern and bath. In selecting your bathroom suite, the bath requires the most attention since space and usage are the primary factors. Superdeep acrylic baths provide ample bathing space for all family members and withstand time. Whether your design goal is for a simple and unencumbered look or the brilliant balance of contemporary and traditions styles, bathrooms should compliment your lifestyle, it is where you begin and end your day, so take the time to shop and compare to ensure all your expectations are met.

Written by Shelley Murphy on behalf of an online retailer of bathroom furniture, steam showers, shower enclosures, whirlpool spa baths and bath related products serving the United Kingdom.

About The Author

Shelley Murphy brings with her over 10 years of Search Engine

Optimization and e-marketing strategies to web based businesses.

Holding two BA’s in English and Journalism Communications her writing

skills have been a great asset for both onsite writing and monthly

newsletters publications.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to Design a Child Bedroom?

by: Shrinivas Vaidya

Dear friends,

Children at age of 1 1/2 start to walk, talk and express themselves. Their parents are the role models for them. They learn to perform action which their parent teach them.

Based on these teachings children very quickly learn a taste about everything in life. This includes, the food they eat, the kind of toys they play with, the kind of friends they will make etc..

For a growing child it is necessary to explore new things, apart from what his/her mom/dad teaches. A bedroom is a great place to do this. When planned properly, a child bedroom can greatly enhance his/her learning experience.

Children have a curious mind. Even a child which is yet to speak, this curiosity can be easily traced by looking at the broken toys, torn books, etc..

That's why as a bedroom designer creating spaces within the structural walls, using interesting furniture elements, can greatly help to add some curious thinking. Furniture pieces specifically designed to create an adventure can be proposed.

Instead of using plain colored walls, theme base paintings, such as stories, fairy tales, can be painted on walls. These pictures can include animals, trees, vehicles, human beings of different age groups. This gives an extra learning edge, because there is lot to learn about the world as a whole.

Creative flooring patterns can also be a good starting point. At the same time use of ceiling space as a storyboard can be used to give a knowledge of the "sun and moon".

Furniture with level differences can act as a way which tends to give physical exercise and at the same time create a space of their own.

As far as linen is concerned, it should be easy to maintain, because it is more likely to get dirty and messy frequently. Above all these factors what is most important is a good natural light and free flowing air can add to the healthy atmosphere.

From above discussion it is quite clear that bedroom design is not just arranging a few furniture pieces and arranging them in the physical space. It is much related to how humans react to different artificially created materials, which includes their color, texture, finishes, etc..

If used creatively it can greatly improve the quality of human life. I hope this article was helpful for moms/dads and also for the designers.

Copyright 2005 Shrinivas Vaidya

About The Author

Shrinivas Vaidya

For more powerful concept level thinking of bedroom design visit Here you will find some good tips on how design is related to humans very closely.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bathroom Vanities – The Finishing Touch For Your Bathroom Makeover!

by: Caroline Smith

Bathroom vanities come in a wide variety of different styles and finishes, so it can be tricky to choose one that will be just right for your bathroom’s new image. It helps if you have a general idea of the type of vanity unit you’re looking for. For instance, what’s the theme of your bathroom? There are bathroom vanity sets for period, country style and modern bathrooms, among others. In addition to choosing a vanity that looks good, practicality is also a consideration. Think about the best use of space for your bathroom’s layout. Bathroom vanities come in various sizes, including corner units, and can have built in storage cabinets under the sink to help you keep your counter tops tidy.

Bathroom vanity cabinets can be adapted to store all sorts of items. You could have shelving for linen, compartments for makeup or a door mounted racked to hold electrical appliances such as a hair dryer and shaver. Having a pull out trash can could help keep your bathroom floor clear. Whether you choose a contemporary base cabinet to stand on the floor, or a furniture style vanity with decorative legs depends on your personal preferences. There’s a range of stylish finishes to choose from as well, including distressed finishes for a simulated antique look, hand painted designs or glazed wood.

There are loads of different styles of sinks for bathroom sink vanity units, including porcelain, stainless steel and glass ones. Another thing to consider is the material for your counter tops, and whether you want a shiny polished finish or a matte look. Attention to detail such as matching the hardware to your other bathroom fixtures can help bring your bathroom’s new look together. The positioning of your bathroom vanity lighting also plays an important role in the overall look and feel of your room.

There are bathroom vanities and cabinets to suit bathrooms of all styles and sizes. With some thought and planning a new bathroom vanity set can become an attractive centerpiece to complete your bathroom’s makeover.

About The Author

Caroline Smith is a successful home furnishings writer and regular contributor to - An online resource to help you find the very best bathroom vanities, shower doors, shower curtains and other essential bathroom accessories.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shingling a Roof

by: Mark J. Donovan

Shingling or roofing a house is a major undertaking for a homeowner and extreme caution is required. This said, a Do-It-Yourselfer homeowner can shingle or roof their own home with a little knowledge and the right tools.

Required Tools

In order to roof a house properly and safely the following tools are needed: Ladders, Roof Jacks, Hammer, Carpenters Knife, Chalk Line, and preferably a compressor or nail gun.

Estimating Materials

Typically the roof is measured in squares, where a “square” represents 100 square feet. There are eighty shingles in one square. However, when you go to your local home improvement store shingles are usually sold in bundles. Usually three bundles equal one square, however this can vary slightly pending the shingle style.

Measure the area of your roof (length x width) and divide by 100 to get the number of squares required. Then multiply this number by three to get the number of bundles of shingles required for the job. Add an additional 10-15% for spare, leaning toward the 15% if your roof has hips and valleys.

Drip edge, ice and water shield, asphalt paper, flashing, roofing nails, and hip and ridge vents will also be required. The Drip edge comes in various lengths. Measure the outside perimeter of the roof to calculate the drip edge required. The ice and water shield, asphalt paper and flashing come in roles. Use your roof square area calculation for determining your asphalt paper requirements. Typically only one or two courses of ice and water shield is required along the bottom/eave of the roof and in the valleys. Calculate 2 times the length of the roof and valleys to estimate the amount of ice and water shield required.

Typically each shingle will require 4-6 roofing nails and flashing usually comes in 16” wide roles or 6x6 or 8x8 square inch steps. Step flashing is typically used around chimneys, dormers and side wall junctions. Hip and Ridge vent will vary with local building codes, however a rough estimate would be to measure the length of your roof’s hip and ridges and take 75% of this figure for calculating the amount of vent required.

You should now be able to fairly accurately calculate the cost of material for roofing your home.

Installing the Drip Edge

Nail the Drip edge around the entire outside perimeter of the roof.

Apply the Ice and Water Shield Membrane and the Asphalt Paper

Apply the ice and water shield material such that it is flush with the drip edge. If the climate in your area has harsh winters and/or significant annual rainfall, add a second course of ice and water shield for added protection. You should also add the ice and water shield membrane in the valleys.

Next apply the asphalt paper to the entire roof, starting from the bottom and working towards the ridge. Make sure each course of asphalt paper overlaps the lower row by several inches (effectively shingling with the asphalt paper).

Install metal flashing

Install metal flashing in all of the valleys. Step flashing around chimneys and dormers will be added as the shingles are installed.

Installing the Shingles

Start the shingling at the bottom of the roof (or at the eaves). Lay a starter course such that the bottom edge of the shingle lines up flush with the drip edge. The starter strip is a “tabless” shingle that you make from the regular shingles using your carpenter’s knife.

Lay your next course of full shingles over the first course, staggering the starter joints from the first course to prevent water penetration.

Note: Sometimes you may want to start with a full or a partial shingle at one end. In either case, you want to try to avoid small shingle pieces at the far end of the roof. To prevent this, divide the length of the roof by the length of a full shingle and assess how much of a shingle length you want to start with. Ideally you do not want to have pieces smaller than 12”.

Use a Chalk Line

To ensure your shingle courses run straight use a chalk line. Measure the finished reveal on your shingles. Usually this is about 5 inches. Then make marks every 5 inches on the gable ends of the roof. Snap a chalk line between the gable ends at each pair of marks all the way up the roof. This will ensure that you shingles run true and straight as you progress up the roof with the courses.

Vertical lines should also be snapped every 3 to 6 feet to ensure your tabs maintain alignment.

Use of Roof Jacks

After 3 or 4 courses of shingles have been installed using ladders, roof jacks may be necessary to access the upper courses. Roof jacks are steel brackets that hold planks in position for you to stand on. The roof jacks should be securely nailed through the decking and into rafters to ensure that they will support your weight.

Shingling Valleys, Chimneys, Skylights and Dormers, and Step Flashing

Shingling the valleys and installing flashing requires extra care. The shingles, typically coming from two intersecting courses when entering a valley, need to overlap each other such that no water penetration occurs.

Skylights, chimneys and dormers must be step flashed (step flashing is interleaved with each course of shingles) to ensure water is kept from penetrating the roof.

Adding the Ridge Vent and Caps

To complete the roofing project, ridge vents need to be installed. These are nailed to the top of the ridge and then capped.

The ridge cap prevents water from entering the home via the ridge vent, while still allowing the house to breath. The ridge cap is constructed out of individual shingle tabs that have their unfinished corners cut off at 45 degree angles. Each modified shingle tab, is nailed such that it overlaps the previous piece as you work your way down the length of the ridge vent.

About The Author

Over the past 20+ years Mark Donovan has been involved with building homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing homes, and finishing unfinished homes. For more home improvement information visit and

Monday, March 10, 2008

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

by: Ken Morris

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most expensive items in home remodelling. Cabinetry costs more than replacing the kitchen furniture in many cases. If you can afford the expense, there are a wide variety of designs and styles available to update your cabinets. You can add extras like a kitchen island, lazy susan, or built-in appliance centers.

If replacing the cabinetry is too expensive for your budget, refacing is a less expensive alternative. Refacing involves replacing only the cabinet doors and exposed wood areas of the cabinets. The insides are left as they are to save money on the job. Painting is the least expensive option and can give the room new life. The job can be easily done over a long weekend with the right preparation.

You will need to decide if you will paint the entire cabinet, inside and out, or just the outside and the doors. To save time, consider leaving the inside of the cabinet alone, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Preparing the Cabinets

Start by removing all hardware from the cabinets and remove the doors. Mark the doors, so you will remember which door goes on which cabinet. This will save you time and prevent aggravation later. Protect the countertops and floor with drop cloths, old bed sheets or plastic sheeting. These can be taped in place, especially on the floors. If you will be replacing the flooring, paint the cabinets first.

Clean the cabinets thoroughly before painting. This is important. Grease and oils from cooking will prevent the paint from adhering properly. You could end up with an uneven color. A wood cleaner with orange oil works well for breaking down grease residue. Be sure to let the surface dry thoroughly before you begin to apply the primer.

Primer is an important step in the process. It provides a smooth, even surface for the paint to adhere properly. Use a roller for larger areas and a brush for small areas. Be sure to coat all areas, including the underside of the cabinets. Consider using sawhorses for priming and painting the doors, for an easier time and a more even coverage.

Allow the primer to dry thoroughly before you begin to paint. Overnight is generally sufficient for the primer to dry. Apply the paint in thin coats. It’s better to apply a few thin coats than to use one thick coat. Allow twentyfour hours between coats for the paint to dry completely. Sand with a fine grit sandpaper between coats.

When the paint has dried completely, you are ready to put the doors back on and replace the hardware. Consider updating the hardware to match your new look. Door handles and hinges are inexpensive and can make a big difference in the look of the room.

Choosing Paint for Kitchen Cabinets

Don’t skimp on the paint. Use high quality paint that is right for the surface being covered. This will be different for wood or metal cabinets. If you’re not sure, ask for help at the paint store.

In general, you will want to use enamel paint. You have a few choices in the finish. Gloss, semi gloss or satin finishes are most commonly used. The higher the gloss, the stronger the finish and the easier it will be to clean. If you want less shine, consider the semi gloss finish.

Safety When Painting

Be sure to paint in a well ventilated room. Do the job when the weather is warm enough and leave the windows open.

Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt to protect your skin from the paint. Plastic gloves can be worn to protect the skin on your hands.

Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from paint and fumes.

About The Author

Ken Morris works for the internetsite. Amongst his works he is mostly focusing on information about remodeling and kitchen design.

The Air Mattress of the Future is Here!

by: Michael Johnson

An air mattress is no longer just a cheap blow-up bed for camping, but a luxurious and comfortable bed that can compete with the old box spring or foam mattress beds for quality and comfort. Air mattresses can be adjusted to your ideal firmness or softness, unlike beds of old.

According to the dictionary an air mattress is an inflatable mattress, usually made of some type of plastic material. After reading this definition it doesn't make you want to rush out and purchase one. After all, who wants to sleep on a cold piece of plastic? But the air mattresses of today are so much more than a large rectangular plastic balloon. They even offers options not available to box spring or foam mattress owners.

A cheap air mattress can be deflated and rolled up and is ideal for camping trips. They can also be very handy to have around the house as a temporary place to sleep for extended family and guests. But when it comes to real luxury and real comfort the newer air mattresses of today have no peers.

Deluxe air bed mattresses are made for the home and are designed with one thing in mind, comfort. Sure, they may be made of plastic, but that cold plastic is covered with soft and luxurious fabrics that can help you realize the most relaxing night's sleep in a very long time. Plus, they come in all regular sizes including twin, full, queen and king and will typically use the standard size sheets. No need to search high and low for bed sheets in hard-to-find sizes.

The more expensive ones have high quality pumps that come attached, allowing for easy and quick inflation or deflation. Pump them up by pushing a button and then deflate them by pushing another button. Adjust the firmness or softness with one finger. It couldn't get any easier unless you had someone else push the button for you. And deflating them entirely can be done in a matter of seconds. It should be noted that not all brands and models have pumps. If you are strapped for cash you can certainly find a cheap one that must be inflated manually. These cheap brands can save you some money and give you more exercise than you want, both at the same time.

A top-of-the-line air mattress will contain additional features for comfort, luxury and ease-of-use. Some include separate hand-held firmness controls for each side of the bed. If one person likes it firm and the other prefers soft, both can be satisfied with separate firmness controls.

By simply pushing a button one sleeper can adjust their side of the air mattress to any level of desired firmness, from extra firm to soothingly soft, all without affecting the other sleeper's comfort.

One of the more popular air bed mattress manufacturers is Select Comfort. They have Sleep Number Beds that use uniquely designed air chambers to provide a gentle cushion of support which can be easily adjusted to the sleeper's preference for comfort and firmness. In addition, the Sleep Number bed allows couples to individually adjust their own side to the precise comfort level that they prefer.

If you enjoy having a pillow top on your mattress you will be happy to know that you can fit your deluxe air mattress with the same types of pillow tops, sheets, blankets, pillows and comforters that you have grown to love on your spring or foam bed.

The air mattress has all of the positive attributes that make sleeping relaxing and comfortable. But the air mattress has additional comfort features that cannot be found on other types of beds. If you are looking for luxury there is no need to look any further, the air mattress beds of today have everything necessary to ensure a good night's sleep. Sleeping is something that you will start to enjoy again.

About The Author

Michael Johnson has compared all types of air mattress, box spring and foam beds. He loves the comfort of the air bed mattress more than any other. For more information about the air mattress visit

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pool Table Lights Guide: How To Light Up Your Game

by: Richard Aubin

The proper pool table lights is critical to playing your best game of pool. The ideal pool table light fixture is attractive, unobtrusive, and provides just enough illumination without creating a glare. Choosing the right pool table lights for your home need not be difficult. Just keep a few points in mind.

The Best Pool Table Lights for the Job

The most effective pool table lights cover the entire length of the table. Measure your pool table before you start shopping. The majority of pool table lights fixtures available have multiple globes in order to direct several points of light at the table, usually two, three, or four globes. Multiple globes on your pool table lights fixture also help to eliminate any glare. Some fixtures contain multiple globes within one larger fixture.

Traditional vs. Contemporary Pool Table Lights

Pool table lights come in a wide variety of styles and finishes. Traditional, Victorian, Tiffany-style lights are popular pool table lights. These fixtures, modeled after designs by the famous glass artist, Louis Comfort Tiffany, are made of small panes of glass joined with lead piping. These colorful glass pieces are put together to form all manner of designs, logos, and slogans.

Tiffany-style pool table lights are available in one long shade with several bulbs inside the globe or in multiple shades along a single, metal bar. They may be elaborate, multi-color showpieces or relatively simple, one-color pool table lights fixtures.

Other traditional fixtures of pool table lights come in black or brown wrought-iron fixture with alabaster glass shades. Most often the pool table lights fixture is crafted into a scrolled design with multiple glass shades. This style of light fixture is also widely available in bronze, brushed pewter, and brass finishes. pool table lights made from ooden fixtures, too, can lend a warm and homey touch to your poolroom.

Contemporary pool table lights can give your room a clean, sleek, modern look. Bar pool table lights in chrome and brass with simple, smoked glass shades can create such a look. Some pool table light fixtures insert a vibrant touch by adding green, red, and blue colored glass shades.

Something a Little Different

Customize your pool table lights by adding a college or professional sports logo. Tiffany-style lights often incorporate the logo into the glass motif whereas solid glass shades can be etched with your favorite team’s logo. Cheer on the “Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame, the Colorado “Avalanche” Hockey team, or the New England “Patriots” right from your recreation room.

Military logos are also popular designs for pool table lights. The Marine Corps, Navy, Army, and Air Force insignia are all available, both in Tiffany lights and in solid etched glass shades. Also consider “Jack Daniels” logo pool table lights or perhaps one with the “Harley Davidson” logo.

The Technical Stuff

Installing your pool table lights should be relatively easy for the weekend home remodeler. There must be a secure place onto which to mount your pool table light fixture and that it has its own separate electrical box. As with any electrical project, turn off the electrical current before you start working on mounting your pool table lights.

The correct light bulbs go a long way to ensuring your pool table lights fixture is safe as well as creating the right mood. 60-watt bulbs are recommended although some of the pool table lights with multiple shades might look better with 40-watt bulbs instead.

Where to Shop

The Internet has made shopping for pool table lights much easier. A typical search yields hundreds of online retailers of pool table lights. Browse through thousands of pool table lights, right in the privacy of your home. Many Web merchants even offer free shipping and live online customer service. Expect to pay from $150 for simple bar pool table lights to over $1000 for an elaborate Tiffany-style light fixture.

The right pool table lights can give your poolroom that ambiance of casual elegance or rustic charm that you desire as well as providing the lighting necessary to play your best game of pool. Shop carefully; consider all your options, and you’ll enjoy your pool table lights fixture for many years to come.

About The Author

Richard Aubin runs and maintains the Kicking And Banking Secrets website. You'll find free video previews and information on a complete home study course for diamond systems mastery. Visit for more details.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Patio Furniture - The One-Minute Makeover For Your Backyard!

by: Caroline Smith

Patio furniture can make a huge difference to your enjoyment of your backyard, and well-chosen pieces can become attractive features of your garden design. There's a massive range of outdoor patio furniture to choose from, depending on your lifestyle, your budget and the layout of your garden. For instance, if you like to entertain guests on your patio, then there are various types of dining sets available. Or for more casual relaxation, there's a great selection of recliners and chaise lounges, just perfect for whiling away those long sunny days.

When choosing items of patio furniture, it's worth knowing a bit about the different types of materials and their features. For example, some outdoor furniture is not built to withstand adverse weather conditions and is designed to be stored inside when not in use. Lightweight aluminum, plastic and wicker furniture falls into this category, and is generally cheaper to buy than the more solid items that can be left outside year round. These types of chairs and tables require little maintenance and are easily portable. They are often designed to be folded away or stacked, to save on storage space.

For long-lasting garden furniture that's going to remain in a permanent position in your backyard, it's best to look for heavy and durable materials, such as metal or wood. Wrought iron and cast aluminum patio furniture is very popular, as it can be crafted into all kinds of ornate designs, and comes in a choice of finishes. Aluminum is favored because it's rust-proof, but wrought iron can be treated with a metal protector to prevent corrosion, and with regular attention can withstand many seasons of use. Alternatively, wooden items, including cedar, pine and teak outdoor furniture, can look stunning and with a bit of care can last for years.

There are also some accessories that you may want to consider for your outdoor furniture. To provide protection from the elements, weather-proof patio furniture covers are ideal. These are durable vinyl or PVC coverings that can be fitted over individual items or over whole sets. They are effective at preventing wear and tear from rain, wind, snow and sunlight. A cover is also useful for keeping your chairs free from dust and insects. Other accessories include specially made patio furniture cushions, which come in all shapes and sizes. These not only provide added comfort, but can add a splash of color to your patio area.

Patio furniture not only enhances the appeal of your backyard, it can provide loads of enjoyment for outdoor living for many seasons to come.

About The Author

Caroline Smith is a successful author and regular contributor to - an online resource for all kinds of outdoor furniture.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Floor Sound Insulation: A Step Toward Quieter Floors

by: Charles Mohaney

Unless you live alone you are probably well aware that the noise from one family member can easily be heard beyond the walls of the room they are in. Even worse is hearing loud stereo systems, the washing machine and dryer or children who don’t want to settle down for bed seeping through your flooring and into the rooms below. There is a solution to noise overflow within your home and one of the best preventative measures is floor sound insulation.

Where To Install Floor Insulation

It may seem obvious that floor insulation should be installed in the floor. It’s not rocket science, right? Well, there is a little more to it than that. Ideally, floor insulation should be installed during the construction phase of a home to be the most effective. Your choices in materials include regular fibreglass insulations that have been used on your exterior walls, ceilings and in the attic. You can also install corking or rubber based floor insulations at this point.

Floor sound insulation installed during construction allows the materials to be placed between the flooring layers. The joists between floors support and plywood base and then additional sub-flooring. By adding insulation here, you are able to add thicker materials that may offer better sound proofing.

You can still improve the noise level in an existing home. The best time to install it is if you are replacing the carpet or other flooring or need to repair the flooring in a specific room. Many home improvement projects will wield better results if some updating in what is not seen is done at the same time as the cosmetic updates. Floor sound insulation addition is one such example.

When old floor coverings have been removed, new floor insulation can be added directly to the top of the sub-flooring. This can be placed under, carpet, vinyl floors, wood, or ceramic tile. It doesn’t matter what type of flooring is going on top. What does matter is what type of insulation you use to sound proof.

The best, meaning the thinnest insulation with the most noise reduction capabilities is going to be some sort of self contained material. Fibreglass insulation is that loose pink or yellow fluff that has a paper backing. It is best for walls and ceilings. For floors a rubber or cork insulation will provide the most durable under lying material. It will also not raise floors significantly and will allow such materials a vinyl to go down smoothly.

Why Go to the Trouble

As a house ages, the creaks and noises seem to increase – not too much differently than an aging body! By adding floor sound insulation as part of your next DIY project you are giving the floors more stability that will not only reduce the amount of noise seeping from the rooms above, but will help quiet squeaky floors that have had their screws come a little loose over the years or whose boards may have warped a bit.

Consider soundproofing an investment in your house. The value will be increased as you improve the quality of noise control.

About The Author

Charles Mahoney writes frequently for an internet site for information. Within his publication he is working on topics like and provides information on noise protection.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bamboo To The Rescue!

by: Dean Caporella

It was a sunny winter's afternoon; another perfect Sydney day. I was on my balcony enjoying the sunshine when I heard a familiar voice. It was my neighbour Tom.

"Hey Dean. My garden's looking good," he said in a proud and confident tone. "But I can't help but feel there's something missing."

"Like what?" I asked.

Tom, massaging his chin and gazing out over his own version of the botanical gardens then leaned over his balcony looking me straight in the eye and in a firm voice said..."bamboo."

"Explain?" I responded with a puzzled look.

"Privacy my friend, privacy," Tom retorted.

I thought a moment, looking a little puzzled and then it hit me!

"Yes, privacy! Bamboo would give us the privacy we've been looking for," I exclaimed although I wasn't sure how.

Let me fill you in. I live close to the beach in a block of four town houses. Tom lives next door with Jenny and the other two dwellings are occupied by another two couples. Until recently, we had a full view of the water but always knew it would one day be gone since we bordered a large block of vacant land. As it turned out, a large two level block of apartments was given the all clear to be built by the local council and developers didn't waste any time in getting it up.

Our view was gone but we knew that was coming. With the building up we had another problem...lack of privacy. Suddenly blinds which I had hardly ever used were being closed constantly to keep inquisitive eyes out. We searched for answers and found none until Tom uttered the magic word...bamboo!

"So Tom, what do you know about bamboo?"I asked in a not so confident tone.

"Plenty Dean, plenty", he replied in an almost sarcastic fashion.

We both went downstairs into the garden area. Tom led the way. He reminded me of one of those gardening experts on television. I was almost in awe.

"Well Dean",Tom said resembling some botanical icon that I could have put a dozen names to."Bamboo comes in a heap of different varieties. See this corner over here, I think we'll put in some 0ldhamii. Do you know it grows up to 40 feet?"

"Yes," I replied. "I've heard that!" The truth be known, I had no idea at the time.

Tom then quickly paced up and down the length of our fence.He stopped and looked at me and said in an authoritative voice.

"You know, for height I think we might put in some Chinese Painted Bamboo...or how about some Giant Buddha Belly.Do you know it also can grow to over 50 feet."

"Amazing I thought," looking high up into the sky then replying a little sarcastically.

"I just hope we're not in any flight paths!"

Tom didn't hear me. He was in bamboo heaven. He was kind of talking to me but to himself, if you know what I mean. He grabbed his chin again and spoke in a soft but stern tone.

"We've got to be careful with the running varieties of bamboo Dean."

I hesitated slightly and then responded a little shakily... "'re right. Can't have that running bamboo taking off on us." Then I thought to myself..."running bamboo? What's running bamboo?"

Tom was in his own bamboo world.

"No problems. I like the look of Black Bamboo. Although it's a virulent runner we can contain it in pots. On the other hand, I also like Temple Bamboo. It's a slow runner and looks really good."

Tom was taking notes and drawing a diagram of his bamboo project. He was inspired. I'd never seen him so excited about a gardening project. Yes he loved his gardening but I always got the impression it was a chore that had to be done. Not so on this on this occasion. He just couldn't wait to get started.

And so began my first introduction to the wonderful world of bamboo. Several months later and it's all starting to take shape. The bamboo is in the ground and growing at a furious pace. In 12 months time, we'll have all the privacy we need. Our water view might be gone but you know, the trade-off is certainly worth it. Those chats on the balcony now start off with a hello, how are you and quickly turn into a conservation on bamboo as we marvel at this versatile plant and the problem it solved for us.

About The Author

Dean Caporella is a professional Journalist and Sports Announcer. He takes an interest in a wide and varied number of topics. In the last few years, a close friend introduced him to the wonderful world of bamboo and it's many uses.

"I just love the stuff!" he declares. From a privacy barrier on my fenceline to my "Lucky Bamboo" plant on my window ledge." Learn more about bamboo at

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bathroom mirrors the perfect ensemble

by: Shelley Murphy

White, bright and fabulous bathrooms are all the buzz in the latest bathroom design craze. Bathrooms splashed with boldly colored painted walls and patterned ceramic floor tiles adorned with pristine white pottery bathroom suites create the perfect drama. To finalize the look as the French would say “la piece de resistance”, the bathroom mirror. Bathroom mirrors are one of the primary elements of any bathroom design ensemble simply because they can completely change the look of the bathroom in the sense of how both natural and artificial light are reflected.

Exploring the endless options available in bathroom mirrors, establishing the look one is striving to achieve whether traditional or contemporary, bathroom mirrors have transitioned through the modern ages. Victorian style bathrooms were often built with heavy layers of dark wood types from boxed in baths, wood framed mirror to wainscoting. Today’s traditional styles of bathroom furnishings are sporting similar design concepts, but with a much softer look. Bathroom mirrors are lightly capped with various wood textures and tones and wood bath panels are added to step up the design elements as an extension of tradition. Arched mirrors alone or with the addition of wall sconces for extra lighting can also create a Victorian feel to your bathroom setting.

Selecting the right bathroom mirror

Selecting the appropriate wall mirror is also determined not only by the size of your bathroom, but also on the size of the bathroom vanity, bathroom mirrors should never extend beyond the vanity as it will create an unbalanced look. The ideal wall mirror for bathrooms with double basins, are rectangular wall-to-wall mirrors to disseminate adequate lighting exposing bathroom accessories as well as the other bathroom furniture, increasing the presence of the bathroom.

Solid white bathroom suites are a way of adequately diffusing light for an airy feeling, when the light is reflected off of white bathroom furnishing the illusion of space is instantly created. All white pottery bathroom suites give your bathroom a cohesive look, but more importantly set the stage for the induction of color, warm hues of reds, blues or greens are now showing up in the latest bathroom designs, accented with gallantly solid colored ceramic tiles or tiles with a motif inlay to tie the look of the bathroom together for an inviting sanctuary.

Contemporary bathroom mirrors

Wanting to give your bathroom a contemporary personality, frameless bathroom mirrors with inset lighting deliver all the potential for an ultra modern ambiance. Achieving a modern look with circular or square mirrors is the perfect solution for intricate modern designs. Hanging his/ her matching wall mirrors with an overhanging light feature increases the amount of light in the bathroom again not to exceed the length of either the floor mounted or wall mounted basin furniture, helps to create a sophisticated modern expression especially for more complex bathroom remodeling projects. For even more dramatic results, discovering different uses for wall mirrors can present a unique look, mirrors with built in lighting are also being installed inside shower enclosures and in and around the bathing area creating a shaving area for the males in your home while furthering the functionality of bathroom mirror in supporting additional lighting needs. With today’s bathroom suppliers carry a number of bathroom mirror designs, styles and sizes, scheduling a theme around mirrors and lighting are easily worked in with other bathroom design components.

Written by Shelley Murphy on behalf of an online retailer of bathroom furniture, steam showers, shower enclosures, whirlpool spa baths and bath related products serving the United Kingdom.

About The Author

Shelley Murphy of brings with her over 10 years of Search Engine Optimization and e-marketing strategies to web based businesses. Holding two BA’s in English and Journalism Communications her writing skills have been a great asset for both onsite writing and monthly newsletters publications.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Simple Ideas to Organize Your Kitchen

by: Lesley Dietschy

The kitchen is often known as the heart of the home. It is the place where we gather to eat, cook, entertain, and spend time with friends and family. As a result, the kitchen can become one of the most difficult rooms to organize and keep clean. Try some of these tips and time savers to organize your kitchen and simplify your life.


  • Clean your countertops and remove any item or appliance you do not use at least once a week.
  • Keep cookbooks to a minimum and store away the ones you don’t use on a regular basic.


  • Store pots and pans in a cabinet beneath or next to the stove for easy access.
  • Place baking sheets, cake pans, pizza pans, etc. in a cabinet beneath or next to the oven. You can use a rack to help arrange baking sheets by size and those used most often.
  • Consider suspending pots and pans on a wall or from a ceiling mounted rack to maximize cabinet and storage space.
  • Store microwave safe containers in a cabinet near the microwave. Arrange containers by size and stack one inside of the other if possible. Throw away plastic containers that are no longer used.


  • Store each item so that it is easily handy and visible.
  • Group canned goods together and stack so that their labels can easily be seen. Discard canned goods and jars that have passed their expiration dates or are more than a year old.
  • Place pasta, cereal, rice, and other dried foods in labeled plastic storage containers.
  • Store gravy packets, seasoning packets, etc. in a small, clear plastic tub for easy access.
  • Line up boxes with their 'spines' facing front (like library books).
  • If possible, store the most often used items at eye level.
  • Choose a lower shelf for paper storage and place all napkins, towels and plates together.
  • Store heavy items, such as boxes of soda and juice, on the floor or on a lower shelf.
  • If you have extra wall space, consider hanging up storage hooks, a hand vacuum, a bulletin board or other helpful organizing items.
  • Purchase handy space saving products such as stacking containers, caddies to store foil and wax paper, and sturdy baskets for onions, garlic and potatoes.
  • If you have school-age children, create a snack shelf of parent-approved treats.


  • Designate certain shelves in your refrigerator for specific items. For example, use your top shelf for beverages, your bottom shelf for leftovers, place produce in its drawer, and place condiments in the door of the refrigerator.
  • Delegate one day of the week to tossing out old foods. Consider cleaning out your refrigerator on the same day you go to the grocery store. Since you will be adding new items in your refrigerator it is a great time to toss out old food to make space.


  • Organize spices on a spice rack and place the ones used most often in the front row.
  • If you have a shallow drawer near your stove, consider laying all of your small spice jars in there. Place them label side up so it is easy to view them all at once.
  • Most dried spices lose their flavor in six months. Discard any spices that are older than six months or you no longer use. To keep track of the freshness of spices, write the purchase date or throw away date on the bottle with a black marker.


  • Consider recycling products to help organize your kitchen. You can label shoe boxes and use them to store items such as cookie cutters, candles, appliance accessories, etc. You can also use checkbook boxes to store items such as matches, batteries, and smaller items.
  • Square containers take up less space and fit more efficiently on shelves than round ones.
  • Place hooks inside a cabinet door to hang cooking utensils on. This will help to clear drawer space.
  • If you have school age kids or someone who carries their lunch to work, create an area in your kitchen for lunch-making. Stock it with lunch boxes and/or brown bags, plastic wraps/bags, thermos, quarters and small containers.
  • Utilize bins and baskets to keep “like items” together.
  • Store trash bags near or in the bottom of trash can for easy changing.

By using some or all of these tips, you can be well on your way to a more organized kitchen.

Happy Organizing!

About The Author

Lesley Dietschy is a freelance writer and the creator/editor of The Home Decor Exchange. The Home Decor Exchange is a popular home and garden website featuring resources, a shopping marketplace, articles, decorating pictures, decorating advice, free projects, and more.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Color Is A Catalyst

by: Lisa French

Color is the prime mover in decorating. There is no limit to it's versatility. it can change the shape and size of a room, disguise it's architectural defects, emphasize and dramatize it's good points.

Color is the catalyst that brings a room to life. Clever use of color creates the mood and atmosphere in a room...serene, gay or dramatic. Color plays it cool, or turns around and is warm and friendly. You can use any color with any period or style of furnishing and it will be perfectly compatible. Most important, color influences your own mood, evokes a personal, emotional can make your spirits soar or soothe and relax you.

When you enter a room, color makes the first impression, and so it should be one of the first considerations in your decorating plans. Creating your own color scheme is not as difficult as it sounds. An analysis of your of your wardrobe might provide a clue to the colors you are happiest with, your favorite color in fact.

If you favor neutral shades and spark your ensembles with vivid accessories, then a subdued background with bright accents is your best bet in the home. If your wardrobe reveals more pungent hued clothes with a repetition of one color, select this color and work around it.

You may own an original painting, which you treasure. Display it against a neutral background and key your color scheme to the painter's palette. In fact, let any colorful, prized possession inspire your color scheme.

Remember that a small swatch of color looks totally different than when it covers a whole wall. In fact, always bear in mind that color changes color when used in a large area. it becomes stronger, brighter and more intense.

Come Alive!...with Color in the kitchen

Let color burst forth in your kitchen. Dispense with that antiseptic look which sterile white, often creates. Match walls to the new colored refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers; make floors, ceilings, cupboards sparkle with bright shades to cheer up your kitchen. Remember, a daring color changes the shape and size of any room, gives it totally new dimensions.

Color Underfoot Provokes a Theme

Vivid color on the floor in vinyl, mosaic, tile or carpet makes a good jumping off point for a color scheme. Certain vivid colors which can look too harsh on walls, are doubly effective underfoot. They look more subdued while still remain lively, make successful backgrounds for white rugs, painted furniture, antique as well as modern pieces. Pale colored floors reflect light, help to enlarge a small room. Either way, a bright floor can be the color anchor of your decorating scheme.

About The Author

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