What Are The Different Types of Fireplace Mantel Shelves?

Fireplaces, heat providers aside, are great to look at. They live up to their status as the focal point of your room, if not your entire house. How you accessorize your fireplace, however largely affects the overall look of your interior decorations. This is the reason carefulness is needed when you decide to spruce up your hearth like for instance, adding a fireplace mantel.

When deciding on a mantel shelf, there are many elements to take into account, starting off with the material. Here are four common materials used and how each of them fair, both functionality and decorative wise.

Wood

Among the fireplace mantel shelves, wood types are the most common. They work well in traditional looking homes and blend really nicely with almost any interior designs. Wood mantels offer many options when it comes to decorating. Oak, a superior type of wood, for instance is both classy and versatile.

Typically wooden mantels are affordable. Its cost is one of its main attractions. Even expensive solid wood shelves like those made of oak don’t cost as much as those made of stone. Wooden mantels come in different wood types which include maple, cherry, Douglas, hemlock, alder, pine, just to name a few. They come in different finishes like black, distressed cherry, and primed. There are also unfinished wood fireplace mantels which are great for people who have yet to decide the best shade for their mantel to match their home interiors.

However, one major drawback for wooden mantels is that it’s highly flammable. If you’re thinking of a wooden mantel shelf, make sure that you consult with your local building officer and fire safety code department for the safety regulations specifically on the desired measurements allowed from a wooden material to your fireplace.

Stone

Stone mantel shelves whether made of limestone, marble or granite are great for aesthetic functions. Home builders prefer stones simply because they give many options as they come in a variety of colors and textures. They are both beautiful and functional. Moreover, they can also be treated in several different ways providing more diverse choices that will surely match any discerning taste. It is likewise fireproof and durable, making it the best material for a mantel shelf. It is also relatively low on maintenance. It usually just takes a soft cloth to wipe it clean.

On the other hand, stone mantel shelves are generally more expensive than other options. It can also be difficult to install which makes installation cost higher than normal. For those who prefer stones but can’t afford it, there are actually cheaper alternatives which will give you the same stone façade. There are kits that you can buy in many home improvement stores or even through online shops. They look like the natural stone mantels but are much easier and cheaper to install.

Metal

Metal is best known for being versatile. It goes well with almost any kind of designs most especially the modern or contemporary look. You don’t have to …

Using a Shop Vac to Unclog Your Kitchen Drain

Your kitchen drain is clogged, and you don’t have the money to call the plumber. You’ve tried using the plunger, but you’re not having any success. What are you going to do, no money to hire a plumber, and the plunger doesn’t seem to be working effectively?

If you own a shop vacuum that can be used to suck up water, you could save yourself a couple of dollars. The first thing you’re going to need to do, is to remove the filter from the shop vacuum. The filter is normally used when vacuuming dry materials like sawdust or dirt.

If you don’t remove the filter, there’s a good chance that you will ruin it, once it becomes wet. Make sure that you clean the shop vacuum out thoroughly and turned it on outside to make sure that it doesn’t blow any dirt or dust out the exhaust vent.

With all that done, it’s time to bring your shop vacuum into the kitchen and try to unclog your kitchen drain. I would imagine, since your kitchen drain is clogged up, that there is water in the sink. Simply place the shop vacuum hose end to the drain that is clogged and turn it on. Get as much of the dirty water out as possible and then refill the kitchen sink with clean water, enough to cover the clogged sink drain opening.

This time you will place the end of the vacuum hose into the sink drain, while using your hand to block off the rest of the kitchen sink drain opening. This will allow you to cover as much of the opening as possible. Now you will need to turn the vacuum cleaner on, while blocking the opening to the sink drain off, to the best of your ability.

This might not work the first time, so continue to add water, and repeat the process. If this doesn’t work, and you have a double kitchen sink bowl, you might need to cover the other drain opening and try this again.

The purpose and objective here is to try to reverse the clogged object that is located with in the kitchen sink trap or pipes that take the kitchen waste to the sewer.

If you do this more than four times and it doesn’t work, you tried, now it’s time to call the plumber. However, if it works, you saved yourself a couple dollars. Don’t forget that you can use this method for unclogging drains on bathroom sinks, toilets and even bathtubs.…

Need Help Getting Started With Your Next Home Improvement? 5 Tips For a Stress Free Home Remodel

Great helpful Tips to consider for a stress free home renovation. Have fun with your remodeling process. Read these 5 tips before your next home improvement.

1. Have a Plan:
Start with the end in mind (have a vision of what you want to accomplish) and do not get overwhelmed with all the details. Set a reasonable budget and an allowance for unexpected expenses on larger projects. Set a practical deadline as discussed with your contractor.

2. Get Recommendations:
Talk to friends and family to see if they have any Home Improvement Contractor recommendations. Ask to see previous work (Pictures and if possible, ask to speak to previous clients). It pays to hire the professionals.

3. Do your research:
Research the products you wish to add into your home and educated yourself with what type of design. When you choose the right Home Improvement Contractor, he / she will be more than happy to help in this early stage of the project. Now is the time to make critical changes to your project (look at different designs) and this will save yourself time and money.

4. Start with one project:
It's best to start in one area of ​​your home if possible. This way Your Home Improvement Contractor can finish one part of the home at a time. Unless you are undertaking a larger renovation, finish what has been started and then have your contractor move on to the next project.

5. Communication:
Communicate with your Home Improvement Contractor. Set up meetings with your contractor as necessary within the critical parts of your remodel. Bring up points such as time-lines, budgets, etc. It's your remodel; You should be entitled to know how things are going.

Most importantly, remember to have fun. Being a Home Improvement Contractor, I understand that this process is supposed to be fun for the client. Choosing different materials and shopping for products should be enjoyable and it is when you allow yourself ample time. Upgrading your home may seem like a daunting task now, but by following these 5 helpful tips, it will help with a Stress Free remodel.

Enjoy the results! …

Home Security Checklist – 10 Simple Steps to Securing Your House Interior – Residential Security

Homeowners can stop most Residential Break and Enters (B & E). B & E offences are perpetrated mostly by unsophisticated criminals who seize immediate opportunities. Unfortunately, opportunities provided by homeowners themselves.

Specific things (opportunities) the potential offender looks for:

1) Homes which appear unoccupied (i.e. Owner/renter on vacation) – lawns not mowed, newspapers piled at the front door, mail accumulation, no lights at times (usually night) when a family might be expected to be at home;

2) Homes and neighborhoods where the owners/renters appears to be at work – mail in mailbox, packages at door, advertising flyers left at front door. A simple act of ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door can confirm this;

3) Homes in upscale neighborhoods (more to steal);

4) Open garages (entry point to the house, place to hide or steal contents);

5) An easy method of entry offering concealment – fenced-in or hedged back yards, rear or side doors/windows completely or partially shielded from view by fences, screened patios, shrubs, sheds, basement window wells;

6) Easy entry points – unlocked doors/windows, easy-to-open doors/windows (sliding windows or patio doors that can be lifted out of their tracks), breakable glass in or near doors that could allow door to be unlocked, doors that can easily be forced open using a foot, plastic card, crowbar or chisel (poor quality locks or poor installation).

Here are 10 ways to Target Harden your Dwelling whether you are away for the day or for a lengthy trip:

1) Create Light and Sound. Use automatic timers for your lights inside and motion detector lighting outside your house. New timers have a random on/off time and battery backup in case of power outages. Make it look like your house is occupied both during the day as well as at night. Attach lights and radios to these timers.

2) Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor so they can check, at least every 48 hours, on your home. Some home insurance policies stipulate such regular checks of your home or you void your insurance coverage. Consider a house sitter.

3) Create that lived-in look. For lengthy trips away from home, have a neighbor park a car in your driveway, keep your front door clear of newspapers/brochures and mow grass/remove snow.

4) Ensure all windows, all doors and all garage doors are locked. Disconnect power to automatic garage doors. Proper dead bolt, hinge, lock, latch and door frame installation is important to ensure doorways and windows cannot be pried open, spread apart or screws removed to allow easier forced entry into your home. Change locks on new homes or if your key has been lost. If they want in make breaking glass the only option for a criminal. Glass can be hardened, especially in and near doors, with tempered and special break-proof laminates. Use steel solid exterior doors only. Install through-door viewers to ensure you can see who in at your door before you open it. Video surveillance cameras connected …

Jewelry Armoires Have Many Uses Around The Home

Jewelry armoires are a great way to store your valuable jewelry. They can keep it safe from intruders, sticky fingers and little ones who would rather play with mommy’s toys than their own. But they also add a lot of style to the home, and there are many choices for where to put them. If your master bedroom is large enough, you will probably want to keep it there, but a small or over crowded bedroom does not have to prevent you from having the armoire you want to keep your jewelry and other precious items in.

If the hallway is wide enough, the armoire can be set outside the master bedroom. This makes it convenient to access if you are dressing. If you do set the armoire outside of the bedroom, get a model that has a mirror built into the lid on the top. This will keep you from having to run back and forth to see which piece of jewelry looks best with a particular dress or suit.

Jewelry armoires can also be placed in the master bathroom if you have the room in there for it. This is a good idea when there are little children in the home that spend a lot of time in mommy and daddy’s bedroom. You can close it off and keep it a little safer. Be sure not to place it next to the bath tub or shower, however, because the humidity from the bath and shower can damage wood over time. This works best in a bathroom that has two separate areas for dressing and bathing.

Armoires can also be placed in a walk in closet for easy access and more security. They will not be in easy view if repair or maintenance people are around, and they are tucked away from little hands, too. You can also put your armoire in a spare bedroom if that will allow you to get a larger one for all of your jewelry.

Jewelry armoires are also a good place to store keepsakes, gold coins, precious photographs and even lingerie. The large drawers on the bottom are handy for bangle bracelets, jewelry that you keep in a box or other larger items that you do not want sitting out. If you keep your armoire sitting in the hallway outside of your room, you can put some photographs or a picture of flowers on top of it to make it less conspicuous.…

5 Modern Bathroom Design Ideas

Would you say your overall design style is sleek and chic? Do you enjoy the true architecture of a space with its linear simplicity rather that an overly adorned and accessorized space? If you’d like to translate your modern vision into your Master Bath here are a few design ideas to help get you started.

1. Cabinetry

  • When it comes time to selecting the design of your cabinetry lean toward clean, crisp and streamlined furniture.
  • To create a lighter and sleek bathroom environment consider cantilevered cabinetry secured to the wall creating a minimal look to the vanity piece. Create some drama with strip lighting added to the bottom side of the cabinet – which will cast a warm glow to the floor below.
  • Provide additional built in wall-to-wall storage elsewhere in the bathroom to compensate for the reduced storage in the vanity area.
  • Deep dark rich woods evoke a sense of warmth to the clean lines of contemporary design.

2. Fixtures

  • Crisp clean and sleek white fixtures speak to the contemporary/modern design. If space allows introduce one of the hottest trends – a free- standing bathtub.
  • They are available in all shapes and sizes and nothing creates a more dramatic focal point in the bathroom than an exquisite free-standing tub. Simply position it in front of a spectacular picture window with a breathtaking view as the backdrop.

3. Surfaces and Materials

  • Utilize solid surfaces for countertops, whether quartz, limestone, granite, concrete or glass to give it a clean contemporary look. Keep the edges simple and square for easy maintenance and sophisticated style.
  • Always introduce an interesting backsplash material in contrast to the counter top color and material. Whatever the surface I like to apply it on all walls from floor to ceiling. It creates instant architecture and adds great detail and drama to the space.
  • Glass tile, mosaic, stone or ceramic details are just a few of the highly decorative backsplash products out on the market today that create a sense of modern style.
  • Keep geometry in mind when selecting the material for your contemporary backsplash. Consider tile shapes that are rectangular, oversized, or small mosaics to create detail in the pattern of the application. If the tile is oversized and rectilinear install it in a brick pattern. If it’s shape is longer and thinner then stacking the tile creates a very interesting modern vibe. Stay away from the common square tile in any size.

4. Luxurious Shower

  • Create a steam shower with multiple rain heads, and body sprays. If your budget allows, add chromatherapy and aromatherapy to your master bath wish list as well. These fittings represent the epitome of modern luxury design. Don’t forget a built in bench and access panel to hide the steam system.
  • Design a full seamless glass enclosure from floor to ceiling and finish the interior with complimentary mosaics or stone tile to set it apart from the rest of the space. This glass enclosure creates a more visually open space within the overall

Protect Your Bathroom Wood Vanities

Most bathroom vanities are wood and while this versatile material is commonly used in the bathroom, it’s important to learn how to take care of it properly. By taking the necessary steps to protect your bathroom wood vanities, you can ensure that your vanity will last for years.

Freshly cut wood is still almost half water. Manufacturers treat hard wood for furniture by drying it, leaving enough moisture so that the wood does not warp in the humidity of your home. When weather is very dry, moisture will evaporate from your hard wood and the furniture will shrink a bit as a result. Your bathroom wood vanities will have the opposite reaction and expand a bit due to the humidity in your bathroom. These natural changes should not affect the quality of your bathroom wood as long as you make sure your bathroom is properly ventilated to allow the wood to dry. Tips for cleaning your vanity include:

* Mild non-alkaline soap and water solution is fine to clean your hard wood furniture. Pretest the solution on an out of sight section to make sure it doesn’t damage the finish before you proceed. Dry immediately after you clean with a soft cloth.

* Wood cleaner and wax can benefit your bathroom wood vanities if they are not urethane-finished. Wax on urethane-finished surfaces will only collect dust, not repel it.

* Water spots are common on bathroom wood vanities. You can remove these spots by covering the stain with a clean blotter and pressing a warm iron to the blotter. Home remedies for water spots include buffing the stain with salad oil, mayonnaise or white toothpaste. Wipe your vanity dry and then wax or polish. Protect the finish of your vanity by testing an out of sight section of your vanity before you apply any cleaner to the outside.

Chances are that you’ll use your bathroom wood vanity every day. Whether you have an antique, rustic, or modern vanity, taking care of your vanity will ensure that it continues to be a lovely addition to your home despite daily use.…

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.…

Should Your Bathroom Vanity Be Made of Wood or MDF With Veneers?

When you are shopping to purchase a bathroom vanity you will quickly understand that you will purchase either a solid wood vanity, a solid wood vanity with veneers or a MDF vanity with veneers. You should first decide which type of construction is right for you. It may be that any of the types are acceptable.

A solid wood vanity is just what it sounds like. It’s wood and it will last a long time and stand up to more harsher conditions in the bathroom. Please know that because it is wood, it may also expand and contract with extreme moisture. Wood is also one of kind. It comes with all the natural imperfections like knots, veining and even discolorations. This is neither a positive or a negative. It’s a personal preference. Wood will also cost more so keep your budget in mind.

A solid wood vanity with veneers has a wood construction base but then it is covered by a veneer which is a thin decorative covering of fine wood applied on top of the wood (or MDF). It is used to improve the aesthetic of the wood but making it more consistent. Veneers also allow more variations of wood grains and colors.

An MDF vanity with veneers is a Medium Density Fiberboard. MDF is made up of very fine particles of wood that are refined and mixed with waxes and resins that glue the particles together then it is pressed into a boards that are laminated with veneers. MDF works great with dowels but doesn’t work well with screws. Some argue that formaldehyde that is used in the gluing process leaks into the room unless the piece is sealed well. There is really no way of knowing if the MDF is sealed though. These vanities mostly came from China or other overseas countries. MDF is also more susceptible to water damage. Steam showers next to an MDF vanity probably isn’t a good idea.

In my personal experience, I ordered 2 vanities when the manufacturer was switching from wood with veneers to MDF with veneers because of the cost savings. Although they said the veneer held up better on the MDF. Anyway, I have one of each type. On the outside they look the same and nobody would ever have known the difference except for the fact that I have 4 small dogs who just won’t stop marking territories. All I do is clean up pee but I love them dearly and my husband doesn’t want to cut off their ‘you know whats’. Anyway, because of my personal sitution the MDF is a poor choice. The corners of the vanities have been constantly pee’d on and the MDF vanity is now swollen with curled up veneers. The wood vanity shows no damage from pee. Please note the MDF vanity looks great where it wasn’t pee’d on.

At the end of the day, it comes down to budget, style and lifestyle. The MDF vanities are clearly less expensive. There is …

All You Need to Know About Catnapper

Catnapper recliners are a kind of furniture that is used to give complete support to the spinal cord. A company named “La-Z-Boy” designed these chairs and it instantly clicked in the market. When people bought the piece of furniture and used it for some time, they gave positive feedbacks. They said that it is an excellent way to rest after a long and heavy day at work.

The creators of this chair gained the maximum benefit when the popularity of the chair was at its zenith. The product had many advantages to offer to its users. After the initial chair became a rage, they introduced different styles and models to serve different purposes.

It can be placed in the garden, the poolside and even in the living room while you are watching TV. This chair is said to give a lot of peace of mind and hence is placed in all the places where people like to relax. The poolside is the best place to use the Catnapper.

While it was initially used in the living room to watch television, it is now used for commercial purposes. It is used greatly in movie theaters where the viewers want to get the maximum relaxation that they seek. All the multiplexes are now providing these seats by replacing the old and uncomfortable ones. These Catnappers are usually made of leather, latex materials which are similar to leather and upholstery. Leathers Catnappers are much more in demand when compared to upholstery ones. While it uses the materials of the first order to make these chairs, a lot of maintenance is required to keep them in proper condition.

People demand more of leather Catnappers due to the lower prices and its attractive feature. Upholstery is a quiet expensive material. However, it has its drawbacks and thus people who can afford buy the upholstery Catnappers. Wall saver Catnapper is a one of its kind furniture that uses advanced technology in its manufacturing. This technology enables the user to roll front and back when he is sitting straight. This also gives him a semi sleeping position.…