How To: Breathe the Purest Possible Indoor Air

February 9th, 2017

How can you breathe clean air indoors? Your taste in decor changes over time, and even types of furnishings come and go. For example, these days TVs that mount sleekly on a wall have largely eliminated bulky entertainment centers from living rooms across the country. But for the most part, today’s typical home isn’t so different from those built several decades ago, particularly with regard to construction. Perhaps the biggest difference is that, against a backdrop of rising energy costs and growing environmental concerns, our homes have become more tightly sealed, thanks in large part to advances in building materials, especially insulation and windows.

How To: Breathe the Purest Possible Indoor Air

DIY Farmhouse Table

February 9th, 2017

Are you in the middle of putting together the kitchen of your dreams?. When you see what they look like, you will want a big farmhouse table for your dining room. These beautiful tables can be very pricey to have one custom made. After you do a few internet searches and some research with your artistic mind, you should decide on to build your own DIY farmhouse table.

Key Takeaways:

  • We are right in the middle of building our forever farmhouse in Alabama. I knew I wanted a big farmhouse table for our dining room, but it is very pricey to have one custom made for our space.
  • After a few internet searches and some conversations with my handy husband, we decided to DIY our own farmhouse table.
  • Building our own farmhouse table turned out to be surprisingly simple and much more economical than purchasing one. We used Ana White’s farmhouse table plans as a guide.

“Building our own farmhouse table turned out to be surprisingly simple and much more economical than purchasing one. We used Ana White’s farmhouse table plans as a guide.”

Prevent Wear and Tear On Furniture

February 8th, 2017

To avoid premature wear and tear of your furniture, follow a few simple rules. Follow the instructions on cleaning the furniture. Most furniture will come with cleaning instructions or have a tag. Dust and vacuum regularly because dust allowed to accumulate in fabrics can do permanent damage. Protect your furniture from the sun. Rotate it on a regular basis to even out wear and tear. Also, control the humidity and temperature in the home. Taken together these rules will maximize the life of your furniture.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cleaning your furniture is essential in keeping it good shape, but if you go about it the wrong way, it can have the inverse effect. Research the materials your furniture is made out of so that you know how to clean that specific fabric or type of wood.
  • Letting dust, debris, dirt, and grime build up on your furniture will not help your efforts to keep it looking sharp, so it’s important to make dusting and vacuuming a part of your regular cleaning routine.
  • Overexposure to sunlight can cause leather to dry out, crack and fade, fabric to lose its coloration, and wood to become discolored and its finish to crack.

“Furniture naturally deteriorates over time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to prevent wear and tear on your favorite pieces.”

Tackling Winter Chores in the 4 Seasons of Home Ownership – Today’s Homeowner

February 8th, 2017

Nearly a year ago they launched their 4 Seasons of Home Ownership initiative. They used projects on the show, plus articles, videos and other resources on the website, to help homeowners manage the chores they need to tackle at the beginning of each season. To roll out their winter list of chores they traveled to Carmel, Indiana. Here is their story.

Tackling Winter Chores in the 4 Seasons of Home Ownership – Today’s Homeowner

Getting a New Hardwood Floor Level

February 8th, 2017

There are wood sub-floors that are very hardwood-friendly. This means the subfloors themselves are flat and smooth. Flat and smooth doesn’t mean that the floor is level. A floor doesn’t have to be perfectly level to look superb covered with hardwood strips. Wood floor systems framed with engineered wood I joists, or those made from floor trusses, often are extremely flat or in the same plane. Both types of joists are a dream because they produce such a flat floor. It can be easy to do.

Getting a New Hardwood Floor Level

7 Ways To Create A Warm Living Room

February 8th, 2017

There are 7 ways to create a warm living room. Bringing in cozy textiles is one way to do that. Blankets and pillows have the remarkable ability to soften and warm a cold and uninviting room. Incorporate wood is another thing you can use. A very simple thing you can do is add a candle to your room as well.

Key Takeaways:

  • Blankets and pillows both have the ability to soften and warm up a cold, uninviting room pretty much instantly.
  • Drape blankets over your couch and toss on a few pillows give your space a warm look and cozy feel.
  • During the colder months of the year, it’s time to make sure our homes are as warm and inviting as they can be, both in terms of actual temperature and coziness.

“During the colder months of the year, it’s time to make sure our homes are as warm and inviting as they can be, both in terms of actual temperature and coziness. Today we’re sharing 7 things you can do to help create a warm cozy living room that doesn’t include simply cranking up the heat.”

Design Your Outdoor Space Around You Garden Furniture

January 18th, 2017

Ed.: The following post comes to us from friend Richard Swift with Outside Edge Garden Furniture in the U.K.

Spring is coming and now is the best time to design your patio or garden. The climate is getting warmer and you should get ready for parties, BBQs and alfresco dining! We wanted to ask the question, should you get outdoor furniture first, or build the patio and then purchase garden furniture as an afterthought?

Accepted convention would dictate that you construct the patio initially and when it is actually installed all you need to do is get furniture that fits the present design. But it may be prudent to select the perfect dining suite, sectional configuration or sofa set before you build or re-work the outdoor area.

Modern patio furniture provides so many different propositions that the traditional dining set or sun lounger has been replaced by multi-faceted furniture groupings that have many uses. Not only that, the varying design and types of material (e.g. cast aluminum, teak, outdoor wicker) available can really influence the design of your patio. If you choose your backyard furniture first, the dimensions and aspect of your space can be organized so it gets the most from your furniture, with both efficiency and aesthetics taken into account.

You should design the garden or patio with the backyard furniture as a primary influence!

This seems fairly obvious, but say for example you have always wanted to seat 8 guests around a fire pit set you need to make sure that the space is large enough and the right shape – you should not be forced to compromise.

In the past, great emphasis has been put on the furniture inside the house. Say, the best oak dining table & chairs or a handmade sofa of the finest quality. Now very durable, versatile and maintenance free patio furniture is available. Nowadays it is worth the time and effort to get the ‘outdoor room’ right. The patio should be functional and attractive so that you and your family will use the outdoor space so much more.

Back in the day, a simple area of hard ground or slabs were arranged at the back of the house. You then went down to your local hardware or furniture store and got some non-descript patio table and chairs or if you were lucky a folding metal sunbed with plastic slats.

Oh boy how times have changed! First of all you can choose from cast aluminum, tubular aluminum, hardwood like teak, outdoor wicker (which is woven polypropylene), recycled plastic, stainless steel, sling or even wrought iron.

As well as classic backyard furniture such as dining suites, Adirondack chairs and sun beds there are now a plethora of different designs available. There are fire pits sets that are also BBQs. You can buy sectional sets that transform from dining use to lounge use; there are even modular sofa sets that turn into large daybeds! These innovative designs have altered the way we perceive outdoor design.

Here Are Our Top 7 Tips For Successful Patio Design.

1. Select The Correct Patio Furniture First

How many people Do you want to accommodate? Do you want a cooking area? Is there or will there be a pool? Do you like formal dining or do your guests want to eat and then chill? Do you need to recline and relax? How large is the outdoor area? Do you want different furniture in different areas for differing uses? What will work for you?

2. What Style Do You Want?

This usually depends on the architectural style of your home. Look online, in style magazines and or visit home stores to get ideas. Once you have chosen the style you can decide on the furniture’s color and cushion fabrics, this will influence the design and shades of your patio and planting.

3. Begin With A Blank Canvas

Obviously any home will have its property boundaries but within that you should start with a bare canvas. This will enable you to create your own unique shapes and even terracing. Perhaps you want different levels of decking, dining in one area and informal relaxation in another. Remove from your mind what is there at the moment and fresh ideas will materialize!

4. Make Your Garden Furniture The Main Focal Point

To draw your guests in, place your chosen garden furniture in strategic positions so there is a natural progression – somewhere to sit, relax, eat and drink. Then structures such as low walls, planters or potted plants should enhance the area and give depth and create a vista – this process will create ambience.

5. Create Tranquility

To do this and make a retreat choose neutral colors and use lots of green plants to suggest cover and coziness. Also, so that the whole design is as maintenance free as possible, use aluminum of wicker furniture and weatherproof fabrics.

6. Use Accessories

To create chic style make use of accessories such as colorful throws, trendy scatter cushions, outdoor candles and painted lanterns.

7. Garden Lighting

Soft and subtle garden lighting will complete your patio design. Use carefully placed down lights and floor or side lighting. Use low voltage lighting units to create a cool and inviting atmosphere.

Expert Wood Furniture Care Tips

December 4th, 2015

Wood furniture makes for a beautiful part of every interior. It is a great addition to any room, with a vast range of design styles and colours. Do take your time to research and acquire wood furniture that fits the style of your room and you will never regret this decision.

With some expert wood furniture care you can have this furniture looking as good as new

When you buy wood furniture, you have to be prepared to provide adequate care and the right cleaning service. This will not only ensure that it looks great at all times, but also guarantee that there is no damage to your furniture and that you don’t accidentally ruin it. This is important, especially if you have paid good money for the furniture. The following tips aim to provide you with useful information on how to look after your furniture so that it is in top-notch condition at all times:

  • Clean it the right way – generally, you want to use the same solution of mild dish soap and warm water that you use in other home cleaning tasks. This will do nicely when it comes to keeping the finish clean and shiny. A lot of people think that using water on wood furniture is bad, but the truth is that it’s totally fine as long as you don’t soak it. When you have wiped the surface of the furniture, be sure to wipe off the excess moisture with a dry soft cloth.
  • Apply finish protection – once you are done with your domestic cleaning, it pays to protect the finish of the furniture. The best solution to use is a soft paste wax, applied in thin coat on the surface of the wood. You should buff after 5 minutes by using a soft cloth or brush. Buff again more vigorously after 30-60 minutes and enjoy the returning shine of the finish.
    Do not expose to summer sun – it is no secret that the temperature of the sun coming through the windows in the summer can go above acceptable levels and in fact ruin the finish of your wood furniture. That is not the only potential problem that may occur, as the sun may in fact shrink the wood and cause cracks, which is the last thing you want. You should also avoid placing wood furniture next to heaters and vents as they too can cause similar damage.
  • Fix small damage – even if you are careful, small cracks and chips may occur. You can easily fix such damaged areas by applying shoe polish of the appropriate colour. A felt-tip marker will also work wonders to hide the damage.
  • Cleaning hazy rings – if you forget to put a coaster under your coffee mug, don’t despair at the sight of hazy spots left on wood furniture. A simple way to perform cleaning service is to rub the area with mild abrasive, such is a baking soda/non-gel toothpaste mix. Use your finger to apply it for small stains, or a soft cloth for larger stains.

restore this wood furniture to its original lustre and sheen with our expert care and repair tips

Properly caring for your wood furniture will prolong its life and contribute to its perfect looks. Invest time and effort and you will be sure to enjoy your wood furniture longer.

Is Reclaimed Wood Furniture Safe?

November 11th, 2014

Reclaimed wood furniture is taken through a process of refinement to ensure the safety of pieces made from recycled wood projects but you should still take precautions. Being that reclaimed wood comes from so many different sources, it is difficult for distributors to track where each and every piece came from, let alone what type of paint or finish it was coated with.

Reclaimed wood is used to make everything including hardwood flooring, wall paneling, cabinets, shelves, furniture, and much more. It’s becoming ever more popular after the reclaimed lumber industry formed and began to gain momentum in the 1980’s. In the 90’s we saw reclaimed wood furniture become even more popular due in large part to the unique antique patina that it offered and the fact that it was an eco-friendly and sustainable solution to furnishing your home.

Reclaimed Wood Furniture

Examples of Reclaimed Wood Furniture.

Short Answer: Use caution when using reclaimed wood inside your home. It’s hard to tell where the wood was sourced from. Test any reclaimed wood furniture before you use it inside or around your home.

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The Documented History of Japanese Shoji Screens

November 3rd, 2014

Japanese shoji screens were adapted from Chinese folding screens created hundreds of year prior to 400 B.C. Their history dates back thousands of years and has traveled across many different countries with diverse cultures. In more recent times, shoji screens continued to be a popular display of artwork and a functional furnishing that can be used as a room divider or partition.

Close up of a Japanese Shoji Screen

Close up of a Japanese Shoji Screen. CC

What is a Shoji Screen?

A shoji screen is a translucent folding screen that typically acts as a room divider to provide privacy and diffuse light throughout the room. A shoji screen typically consists of a wood frame that is filled in with paper, wicker, or cloth. Traditionally, shoji screens were used as decorative displays that depicted legends and other elements of Japanese history.

Shoji screens can also be used to refer to permanent structures like shoji doors and shoji windows which feature the same construction just in the form of a door or window. Original shoji screens were made out of paper screens that were made by applying many different layers of paper in a specific sequence through a technique known as karibari. This is why some people refer to shoji screens as rice paper door panels, rice paper screens, or Japanese rice paper doors.

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