Save Money And Refinish Your Hardwood Flooring

One of the reasons why people don’t start home improvement projects because of the presumed cost of the project. Refinishing your wood floors doesn’t have to be expensive. As a matter of fact, if you have some time, you can save yourself several dollars over what professionals will charge you.

The first step in refinishing your hardwood floors is removing all furniture, rugs, and mats that are on the floor. It’s also a good idea to wear a dust mask as you are going to be stirring up quite the dust storm as you go about your business.

Your goal in refinishing your hardwood floors is to turn back the hands of time to when your hardwood floors were first installed. In order to achieve this feat, you will need to start by renting a heavy-duty sander to smooth out any rough spots and to remove the current stain that is on your floor. Move the sander in the direction that moves with the lines on your hardwood floor, paying particular attention that you do not apply more pressure anywhere. It’s important to make sure that you apply equal pressure to all parts of your floor as you want to avoid creating ‘pits’ in your hardwood floor, which will require more sanding. Do not move across the hardwood floor lines, especially if you have small grooves or beveled edges.

Once you’ve finished with your initial sanding you must sweep and vacuum the dust from your floor and lightly wash it. This part is often not given the proper care it deserves and is very important when refinishing hardwood floors. The reason it is so important is that the tiniest speck of dirt and dust will show up when you stain the floor. It is also important that you use only a damp mop for washing the floor rather than a wet mop. If there is too much water in the floor that has been sanded it will cause stains.

Once your stripped hardwood floors are dry, its time to stain your floor. Depending on the type of hardwood you have, and taking into consideration the room’s current decor, you can choose either a darker stain, a lighter stain, or go natural. Another popular option that protects and coats your floor is polyurethane

While refinishing hardwood floors is time consuming, you do not have to move out of your home in order to accomplish it. The stains and protective coatings do not have harsh fumes so they are not dangerous to breathe. You do want to take care not to walk on your floor until it is completely dry. If you do not wait you will have wasted all that time and effort and have to either start over or try to hide the footprints.…

5 Steps To Amaze Your Guests With A Flower Kitty Party Theme

I never imagined that flower kitty party themes can be so simple yet amazing! To my surprise, I was showered with loads of acknowledgements from my kitty friends for my efforts which was quite overwhelming! A month ago, when I was in quest of an interesting theme that could make my kitty party memorable, I suddenly came across the “flower-theme” on the web.

Why I Chose The Flower Kitty Party Theme?

I liked the idea of throwing a fabulous party with minimum preparation. Flowers are always beautiful, anytime anywhere, so I thought it would be a great idea to turn my living room into a paradise just by decorating it with beautiful flowers. At last, the venue looked even more beautiful that what I imagined.

Why I Call It A Success?

Whenever I host a party, like any normal human being, my ultimate intention is to impress my guests and make them spend a wonderful time that they can cherish forever. And it will be a lie if I say I could not make it possible. Right from the invitation to food, my guests were extremely pleased with my efforts. I could clearly see the immense joy and delight on their faces. Some even sent me messages of appreciation after leaving, which means a lot to me!

5 Steps To Execute Your Flower Kitty Party Theme

Now that I am quite excited with the success of my party, I am dying to share with you the easy steps that you can take to organize a memorable flower-based party. Typically there are five main steps: invitation, room decor, dress code, games and food.

1. Invitation

For invitations, you can either buy the cards or make them yourself, which is even more exciting! You need a bunch of multi-colored papers, a flower-shaped cookie-cutter, glitters, stickers, crayon colors or whatever else you can think of. Make beautiful flower-shaped paper base with the cookie-cutter and then adorn it with whatever crafts you have collected. You can also leverage the creative genius in your kids to do the job.

What I did – I personally like making such things myself as I am a BIG DIY FAN. I took coloured foam sheets, cut them into flower-shaped planes and then decorated it with my collection of glitters, floral stickers and stones. I used plastic flower petals to form the text for which I received a lot of appreciation. I send the invites a week before the party to give enough time to my guests to get ready for the occasion.

2. Room Decor

Here comes my favorite segment – the room decor! I just love it as it makes me feel like I am preparing to move to some new location with a new ambiance! You can use curtains, cushion covers and tablecloths with floral prints. Beautiful flower vases, floral arts and paintings on walls are enough to decorate the venue and remember to include a tint of greenery everywhere to make things look more natural.…

French Country Or French Provincial – What’s the Difference?

Is there a difference between French Country decor and French Provincial decor or even Country French decorating? Let’s take a look.

In the past, the general style of rural France was known as French Provincial – the name being associated with Provence, where rural life had remained relatively unchanged with its rustic textures, rich colors and almost primitive furnishings, all inspired by the beautiful country side. By association all of rural France was referred to as Provincial.

But there’s more to the French country side other than rural Provence. France is a huge country and further up north the summers are mild and the winters are cold, unlike the warm southern region of Provence.

The landscape and play of natural light is also vastly different between north and south (and east and west). Traveling northwards you will find paler colors echoing the northern skies, in total contrast to the strong and vibrant colors of the sunny south. These natural differences influence color and style between the regions. Furthermore, historical and regional influences vary throughout the country.

Besides regional influences, country society too had its influence – ranking homes as either a manor, gentleman’s home or middle class home, with the status of these homes being way above the simple farmhouse or cottage. A manor could belong to an aspiring merchant, or perhaps be an owner’s country retreat away from the city.

It was only natural that Chateau style living would filter down to these homes. Here the basic furniture of the peasant farmer would meet the refined embellishments of the chateau; therefore the interior of these country homes would be quite different to the interior of a working farmhouse nearby.

French Country refers to the style and colors of all France’s rural regions, from vibrant and sunny Provence in the south, to calm and cool Nord-Pas-de-Calais in the north. From country manor to farm cottage. A casual style with a subtle crossover – where the beauty and simplicity of rustic France meets the refined living of the French chateau.

Even though regions differ in style, color and texture, all have the same traditional values uniting them as one. It is not only a style but a lifestyle. Here are a few examples:

  • Love and respect for time honored traditions and craftsmanship
  • Genuine love of the countryside and its natural materials
  • Re-inventing instead of discarding
  • Sophisticated simplicity
  • Harmony, scale and balance

In conclusion, today the name French Country is a ‘catch all’ decor term for all the rural regions of France, incorporating both the rustic farm and the more refined manor style – including the term French Provincial or Country French.…

4 Popular Flooring Options for Homeowners to Consider

Before starting a flooring project, it is usually helpful to learn about the different types and their benefits. There are a number of options to consider, including carpets, ceramic hardwood, and vinyl. Each option comes with its unique costs, so it's up to the homeowner to choose the ideal type that fits into their budget and meets their interests. Some people may also consider having different floors for each room in their house.

1. Carpets

Carpeting is warm and soft and helps in soundproofing a room. It is an ideal option for bedrooms and other places with little foot traffic. The advantage of carpets is that they are easy to install and can adapt to uneven areas and old subfloors. They are also easier to match to the existing layout and theme of a home. The only problem is that they tend to build up dirt and dust, but they still make an ideal option for people who prefer a touch of comfort within their spaces.

2. Vinyl

Vinyl is another popular choice, and it is much more affordable than other options. With proper maintenance, it can last up to 10 to 20 years. Some people prefer vinyl because of its noise-cancelling property, and it can be installed in the laundry room or bathroom to add warmth. This flooring option also comes in a variety of styles, offering homeowners unlimited options for designing a personalized space that reflects their style.

3. Ceramic

This floor type is both inexpensive and waterproof, and this is why it makes a practical choice for bathrooms and kitchens. It is also an ideal fit for dining rooms as it can withstand accidents and spills. Ceramic tiles come in different textures, colors, styles, and shapes to allow for limitless interior designing. Some options, such as mosaic tiles, come in plastic mesh sheets to allow for an easy installation. It is advisable to choose the right texture for different rooms, as some options are very slippery for rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom.

4. Hardwood

Hardwood flooring never goes out of style, and it is a popular choice because of its durability and low maintenance. A homeowner has the option to install engineered planks or real wood strips depending on their budget. Engineered planks are usually moisture-resistant and boast exceptional stain and finish. These planks are ideal for the kitchen because they have a layer of plywood underneath real wood to withstand temperature changes and humidity. Hardwood is perfect for any room and comes in different sizes, finishes, and stains to meet different decor needs.

These are the top popular flooring options, but there are also other available choices such as laminate, concrete, linoleum, and other subtypes. A homeowner's choice depends on their budget and the style they envision. Some people may opt for a choice that will attract potential homebuyers should they consider a home sale in the future. Whatever a person's choice, it is wise to work with a professional contractor to ensure the …

Design Forecast: Trends That Are Here To Stay In 2017

Centered on serenity and simplicity the 2017 new interior trend reflects our need to simply log out, switch off and detox with our life. As 2016 saw a slew of online furnishing brands that launch onto the market proposing their customers the ability to customize and order home decor products online according to their own personal set of unique specifications. This trend is here to stay and set to continue this year as well as the e-commerce firms and new online companies establish themselves and reach a wider audience.

According to hospitality designers and interior experts, furnishing designs inspired from 1970`s are set to make a comeback in 2017. The relaxed and free-spirit era has been attracting the fashion industry and has now quickly moved towards interiors and home decor as well. The design elements and pattern of the 70`s were raw, bold and globally affluent, as a response to the social, economical and political environment of that time. Vivid colors and distinctive patterns will rule this year to create a more varied, personalized and an environment that will inspire the individuals.

Modern interior design trends are in a constant state of flux. The demands of innovative ideas and creative novel forms, along with the rapid technological advancements create modern designs that are fresh and inspiring. The trends come and go, but contemporary and classic interior principles remain. The trends like these are of fun and infused with bold appearance. The interior schemes will be full of exotic flavors inspired by the tropical places. The hues and shades will psychedelic largely influenced by the international places. A lot of brash and bold color clashes are expected this year, along with lively patterns and a lot of mixed fabrics and materials as fashion make its mark on interiors.

According to designer experts the vibrant bohemian color and pattern will bring a warm and global vibe to summer/spring 2017. Cushion covers and rugs in bold floral prints will prove to be an epitome of absolute opulence. As the splendid, bright shades help to accessorize a living space, an infusion of a wild imagination can create wonders. A saturated color palette dominates with purples, greens and oranges mixing with varied type of fabrics like linens, cottons will create interesting accessories and alluring interiors. One of the most fashionable trends for this year is the fascinating Oriental theme. This year is all about incorporating heavy, rich, deep colors in fabrics with interesting artwork. “It’s all about Asia”, say the experts. Either the entire room will be decorated within the luxurious trend of the market or by using few chosen elements of this theme to achieve a specific look. This style is glamorous yet sophisticated with an Asian Twist, which is definitely going to surf the trendy waves of fashion for 2017.

Even if you live in the city, surrounded with concrete jungles, the relaxed and informal coastal and nautical schemes will give you the impression of sandy feet and salty air, this year. A …

What’s Wrong With Polypropylene Or Olefin Area Rugs?

As I browsed a popular chain-store not long ago, I noticed that area rugs have made a dramatic shift in composition compared to a few short years ago. Since my livelihood is based on having an intimate knowledge of the flooring products that I suggest to my clients, I always read labels… especially on deals that seem to good to be true. And as I browsed through the offering of area rugs in the chain-store, I noticed that almost all the rugs were made of polypropylene or it’s very close cousin, olefin. I am a firm believer in consumers being well informed and getting a good value for their money. So I seek here to give a fair comparison of this fiber against what is clearly a better fiber for your interior home decor needs.

Let me start out with the good qualities of polypropylene and olefin. This fiber is a fairly strong man-made fiber that is well suited to mats and runners that may be used at entrances or patios or even outdoors, if properly treated for UV protection. In the past you would almost always find this type of fiber in a low profile, very tight loop style rug, and that is what it is best suited for. Many light to medium duty commercial carpets are made of this fiber (always in loop form). This fiber is usually extruded to the color that it will be (not dyed after extrusion), so it tends to hold it’s color well and can be used in intricate designs. This fiber is also resistant to most types of stains, and cleans up well (in tight loop form). Many manufacturers of area rugs choose this fiber because it is cheaper than other fibers and they can pass the savings on to the consumer.

Now let me point out the not so good qualities of this fiber. This fiber is a man-made synthetic fiber that is petroleum based (not very “green” or environmentally friendly. Although it is a good indoor-outdoor type of fiber in tight looped form, it is basically useless in any other form. In a cut-pile or plush rug it has a bad reputation of matting and crushing very quickly, so even though the fiber is not wearing out, it begins to look very ugly pretty fast. Although it holds color well and resists many types of stains, it tends to hang on to stains that are oily or greasy (even the body oils from the bottom of your feet and your pet’s feet). In other words, it does not clean that well in a cut pile or plush style. So basically, if manufactured in anything other than tightly looped form, you end up with a brightly colored, greasy, oily, matted and crushed rug that looks like it has been there for years instead of months. Lastly, since it is the cheapest fiber that manufacturers use, it is not the greatest value. I have also noticed a shift in the major brand …

Personalized House Signs – A Great Addition For Your Exterior Decor!

Need to add an extra little touch to that place of residence? One answer….house signs! It is like the cherry on a cake and is a great addition to your lawn and/or garden decor (right beside that cute, little hummingbird feeder).

These days people are becoming more conscious about the look and feel of the interiors and exteriors of their homes. One method that’s becoming increasingly popular is through the use of personalized house signage. Custom made home signs are usually designed to contain at least the last name (surname) along with a meaningful graphic and in many cases a civic number. Computer technology has made it possible for sign makers to design to a clients specific needs which means that adding an actual photograph is easily integrated into the design. For example, some may want to include a photo of their pet, or some other important item that has specific value or interest which helps for further customization. It makes the sign …”You”.

When shopping for a house sign always look for a product made of a high density, weather proof PVC plastic material which is made especially for outdoor use. The advantage of course is the durability factor against all types of weather conditions to avoid splitting or cracking that wooden signs tend to be subject to. Carved or painted signs are a good option but I would recommend a printed image adhered to a sign backing. The reason being that usually if a detail such as a civic number needs to be changed a year or two down the road a print is much easier and cheaper to replace (just unstick the previous and stick another one on). Another reason is that the print allows for greater customization.

Printing is usually done on a special water proof, vinyl material that stands up for years against sun fade and weathering. A special lamination is also applied to give added protection.

House signs are also great gift ideas for those people who have everything else!…

Ancient Egypt Fish Tank Decor

There are numerous ancient civilizations that have awesome fish tank decorations these days. These include the Mayans, Asian and the always famous Greek ruins. Using any of these would create stunning scenes of times gone by, producing an air of wonder and discovery in your very own room.

The one ancient civilization that I personally love to use in my tank designs is the Ancient Egyptians. Who has not seen at least a photograph of the Great Pyramids or the towering mighty Sphinx. With the cool and extremely detailed tank ornaments you can get these days, you will be able to bring the exact replica of the Egyptian landscape into your aquarium.

With the Egyptian tank decor, you basically have a couple of options. You could create an outdoor scene, an indoor scene or just use Egyptian artifacts.

To create an outdoor Egyptian scene, you would be utilizing replicas of the massive structures that are synonym to Egypt. These would include the pyramids as well as the Sphinx. This is placed on top of a sand colored gravel to give it the impression of being in the desert. If you plan to use plants, they should not be of the leafy variety. Java Moss is one option you can look into. To make the theme work, a great idea is to place a fish tank background depicting a desert scene. This would give it a 3D effect to the whole design.

For the indoor effect, you would use indoor structures such as Egyptian columns as well as the Pharaoh’s sarcophagus. Place them to look like a scene from an archaeological dig. The gravel would still be sand colored. As a backdrop, you could either use one depicting Egyptian hieroglyphs or a rock face. These days you would be able to get 3D rock backgrounds where the rocks protrude out instead of a flat print. This makes theme look so much more realistic. Being indoors, you would not place any plants because they might make the theme look odd. You may place rocks if you wish, just make them out to look like they came crashing down from the roof of a temple. This means simply scattering them around the decor. Try not getting smooth faced river rocks, the ones you get should look as if they were once bricks that made up the walls.

Egyptian artifacts are new additions to the fish tank decorating scene. The most common ones that you can find are the Egyptian vases. Though they are only aquarium decor, they are made to look extremely authentic. What I love about the Egyptian vases is the holes that they always have in the side. These make awesome caves for the fish and if you have been following my posts all these years, you would know that I am big on caves for aquariums. Apart from the vases, another really cool tank ornament that I love a whole lot is a bust of Pharaoh. The bust is golden …

The Importance of Garden Decor

The Quest for Significance

People are looking for ways to add significance, peace of mind, a quality experience, and an escape from the “rat-race” in their lives. Stated differently, people want to add depth and meaning to their lives. One way to accomplish this, it is asserted, is to make or purchase decor for your garden.

Make Your Garden Unique

Garden decor, along with things related to gardens, provides a return to nature, a sense of spirituality, and a return to the earth as people journey on their quest for significance and ultimate meaning. Moreover, through the use of decorations, gardeners reveal their quirks and shortcomings, their wit, their creativity, and their desire to make their gardens unique.

Transform Your Life

Gardens and their ornaments are symbols of enchantment, of mystery, of meaning, and of ultimate being. Another way of looking at this is to see that gardens and garden accents provide the power to transform one’s mood and one’s life. To be sure, garden accessories can become symbolic reminders of life’s blessings as they encourage people to enrich their surroundings by transcending the mundane.

The Gardening Imagination

Garden ornaments help people take an active stance in their lives by enabling them to create a niche in the world that is in concert with their values and their dreams. Indeed, it is this “gardening imagination” that provides people with the opportunity to select meaningful objects that speak to their senses, to their experiences, and to their lives.

An Invitation to Add Garden Decor to your Life

Websites that sell garden decor can be viewed as invitations for people to experiment and let their imaginations run free so that they can, with conscious effort or with playfulness, select the accents that they like–decor that speaks to their dreams and to their soul. With this in mind, look at the different products that are sold and select garden accessories that help elicit childhood fantasies. Examine the different garden accents and choose ornaments that speak to your inner self.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

Garden decor helps calm the spirit, soothe the soul, and delight the senses. By letting your individuality shine through as you select your decorative accents, you will transform your garden into one of the most meaningful experiences in your life. The challenge is to capture moments of wonder, joy, and inspiration and experience the lasting pleasures of beauty and the splendors of nature by decorating your garden in a way that is congruent with your noblest thoughts, feelings, and aspirations.

Your Garden Sanctuary

Strive to decorate your garden with ornaments that magically call you to return to your garden sanctuary. Look at different garden products and decide on decorations that motivate you to tap into your playfulness or into your artistic bent as you contemplate how you will decorate your garden. In a word, you can add richness, depth, and a sense of discovery to your garden with different garden ornaments.

Summary

In conclusion, garden decor is significant because …

An Introduction To Table Lamps

Table Lamps are the common variety of lamps used and seen in most of the households. They are known for providing sufficient light on tables. Table lamps are considered ideal for students, pursuing their studies at night.

Table lamps are not just limited for night study, but are also used to add to the decor of the room. They are ideal on tables and have evolved from their simple beginnings to intricate designs and styles. Modern table lamps come with various additional features and fixtures. Some fixtures are decorative, while some have specific functions. Table lamps are sturdy and can be positioned for optimum lighting, on a particular surface.

Table lamps are usually fitted on short stands and covered with designer lampshades. These stands are made up of various materials such as wood, wrought iron, glass, cane, bamboo and steel. The lampshades may also vary from glass and cloth to silk and paper. The stands and shades are decorated with various decorative additions like glass pieces, paintings, beads, shells, fabrications and embroidery.

These lamps are available in various categories, to match individual tastes. These categories include Possini, Dick Idol, Cathy Ireland style, traditional, contemporary, Victorian, Tiffany and Tropical style table lamps. A detailed catalog of all the various styles, the materials used and prices can be found online. Buyers can visit the websites of the various lamp dealers and order online or visit the local lamp stores, to select the lamps in person. A collection of antique table lamps is also a part of these catalogs. People interested in the antique collection can also have a look at these catalogs. However, the prices may vary according to the materials used and the vintage value of the lamps. Designer mix and match table lamps are also part of the latest trends.…