Tag: home improvement

Home Decor Color Schemes That Take Their Inspiration From Mother Nature

Making the decision to repaint your home is often easy in comparison to deciding what colors to use in each room. The simplest solution is to paint all the rooms a neutral color, such as white or ivory, and then add splashes of more vibrant colors through your furniture, curtains, and accessories. But let's say you'd like to take the colored-paint plunge, at least in one or two rooms, and your problem is that you do not know how to decide which colors to choose. Where do you begin? Instead of starting your search inside the paint store, try stepping outside and let Mother Nature be your guide and inspiration.

By the Beautiful Sea: Blue has been a favorite home decorating color for thousands of years, and with good reason. Blue, the color of the sky and the sea, is a calming color. But because it's a cool color it usually needs to be warmed up. Mother Nature does that at the beach, where the golden brown grains of sand provide a warm contrast to the blue waters. So if you're a lover of the sea, consider decorating a room using a combination of pale blue walls and furniture that lets the natural warm beauty of the wood shine through.

A Walk in the Woods : If your ideal way to pass a Sunday afternoon is a long walk in the park, green – another relaxing color – may be the color that's right for you. And since green leaves are very often found attached to trees, it's not surprising that just about any shade of green looks great when completed by light or dark shades of brown. Since green leaves also complement many kinds of fruit and flowers, a green and peach combination, for example, can create a vibrant garden-fresh atmosphere that is still relaxing.

Let the Sunshine In: If you're the type who wants the sun would shine 24/7, why not paint one room of your home a vibrant yellow? Yellow and blue (think of a field of daffodils dancing beneath a cloudless blue sky) is a striking combination, while a color scheme that incorporates just different shades of yellow will give you a room of pure sunshine.

A Bouquet of Color: Flowers offer a wealth of color possibilities. If you pay close attention, you'll see that you're attracted more strongly to certain colors. Perhaps you love the deep red hues of a rose, the more delicious pink of a spring blossom, the shades of purple found in a pansy or lilac, or the bright orange of a marigold. Painting all the walls of a room in a strong color will present a striking effect. If you feel it will be too striking, consider painting just one wall a strong color and painting the other walls a lighter tone or a shade of off-white.

A new paint job is a wonderful way to revitalize your home. It's also an opportunity to surround yourself with an ambience that speaks …

How to Decorate with Wine Pictures For A Different Decorating Style

Wine tasting and wine connoisseur is very popular today. Consequently the idea of ​​using wine themes in decorating has done on as well. This kind of decorating idea is usually used in the kitchen or dining room. People who use this theme enjoy collecting items that complete this whole decorating idea. Luckily for them. there is a wide selection of such items available to decorate with. There are "portraits" of wine bottles. sculptures of grapes and vines. or wall paper and borders with a grape and grape vine pattern. There is an entire line of framed pictures of wine bottles. showing all of the various types of wines. The variety of items with this theme is amazing. And they are usually pictured in magazines. so you can see how they are used in a room. The wine pictures show scenes that include wine. as well as just single bottles of wine. If you find a picture that is especially interesting or pretty. you can use it as a central focus for the room.

Many times an entire room's design is based on one piece of art; art featuring wine is no exception. The colors usually found in these pictures are rich and varied. Use some or all of them in the room to really make the picture stand out. The deep russet of the wine itself on the furniture. the tan of the labels on the walls. and the background colors in accent pieces such as pillows or candles. It is really a lot of fun to decorate with a lovely wine picture as the starting point. Which room it is in does not matter. Any of the lovely pictures available would work in many rooms. You can get so many different ideas and accents and bring them all together in one room.

If you want to be truly creative. you can create your own wine picture and have it framed. Perhaps the bottle you drank to celebrate a special event. Your creation will make you proud. and bring back fond memories. …

Growing and Caring for Roses

Roses are perhaps one of our favourite garden flowers. Their colourful scented blooms epitomise the English garden. Making sure you choose the right planting position and create the correct conditions for healthy growth will ensure that you have plenty of flowers throughout the summer. Here is a short guide on how to plant and care for roses in your garden.

Planting roses

Roses are probably best planted bare rooted in early spring but can also be successfully planted in the green. You just need to follow a few general guidelines. Roses require a position in good light, preferably in full sun, but away from strong winds, as they are susceptible to what is known as wind-rock where strong winter winds can loosen their roots and make them more susceptible to damage. Avoid planting a rose in the same position as a previous rose. This is because roses are heavy feeders and soil planted with roses for long periods of time can be said to have become rose-sick and need rejuvenating. Roses put down deep roots, so make sure the soil you are planting in has a good depth. They also prefer soils that are neutral or very slightly acid. Make sure you dig in plenty of organic matter before planting. This will not only provide essential nutrients, but also ensure good drainage and moisture retention.

Bare-rooted roses should be planted between late autumn and early spring when the plant is dormant. Container roses and container grown roses can be planted any time. If you are planting bare-rooted roses, soak the roots in a bucket of water overnight as the roots may have begun to dry out. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots at the right depth and infill with a mixture of compost and rose fertiliser.

Caring for roses

Roses should be fed twice a year with a rose and shrub plant food sprinkled around the base of the plant and lightly dug in. As they have deep roots, roses do not require much watering once they are established. However, those grown in containers will need regular watering especially during long dry spells. Mulching is also important and should be done at least once a year. This will help maintain good soil conditions for the rose, retain moisture and keep down weeds. Roses also need to be pruned once a year to keep them flowering well. Pruning can take place in late autumn/early winter or in early spring. Remove any dead wood and then generally cut back each stem just above a bud by about half its length. Pruning is especially important for roses grown in garden planters as this will keep them looking tidy and within bounds. Dead-heading during the summer months will also prolong the flowering season and encourage repeat flowering on many varieties.…

Protecting Yourself and Your Home When You Sign a Home Improvement Contract

A Home Improvement Project can be filled with a variety of problems and headaches. Most people are very trusting individuals and are not aware of the many problems that occur when one attempts a home improvement project. If you choose to embark on a project than you need to protect yourself and your home from common problems that occur BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Make sure that before you sign a contract with someone to do a project that the following items or clauses are included in that contract:

CONTINUOUS WORK CLAUSE – This clause should detail the minimum number of people working on your home each day, Monday through Friday. If weather is a factor and work can not take place, you should include in your contract that you will receive a call by 8 am that day, if no one is going to show up because of bad weather. The contractor should agree to 7 hour work days, and work will not run past 5:00 pm, unless permission is received by you. Reduction of $ _________ (determine an amount) in total price if project work schedule not continuous, with minimum manpower, for full seven

STARTING DATE CLAUSE – Full refund by contractor if job not started by__________.

COMPLETION DATE CLAUSE – The amount of $ _______ will be subtracted per day, for every day project is not completed by________.

WORK SITE CONDITION CLAUSE – All areas to be kicked "broom clean" on a daily basis. Define "broom clean".

WORK STOPPAGE CLAUSE – this gives you the right to cancel the contract if work is deemed unsatisfactory or gets inexplicably delayed.

MATERIAL INSTALLATION CLAUSE – All installations will be done according to manufacturer specifications and local building codes, otherwise otherwise noted.

ARBITRATION CLAUSE – If unsolvable problem (s) arise both parties agree to arbitration by National Arbitration Board or other. Both parties agree to abide by decision.

WARRANTY CLAUSE – All labor and product warranties will be supplied by contractor before final payment.

MATERIAL DELIVERY AND STORAGE CLAUSE – All deliveries to be accepted by contractor, securing materials will be the responsibility of contractor until installation and materials will be covered and placed _________ on property.

SUBCONTRACTING CLAUSE – Contractor will not assign this project to any other company or individual, unless they are listed as a subcontractor, without the written consent of the homeowner.

PERMIT AND FEES CLAUSE – Contractor is responsible for all required permits, fees or notices required for the work within.

PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAUSE – Contractor will be liable for any damage caused to existing conditions. The contractor is liable for the full cost of the repair. The homeowner will determine who will repair the damage and at what cost.

JOB SITE BEHAVIOR CLAUSE – No loud music, foul language, alcohol or drug consumption, no cigarette butts to be left on property, and workers will wear shirts at all times.

COMMUNICATION CLAUSE – If homeowner needs to clarify a situation and attempts to …

Lessons From an Overfriendly Landlord

When I purchased my first property, a triplex row home in an outlying section of Harrisburg, I was very anxious to get to know my tenants on a personal level. I introduced myself and made myself available to them 24 hours a day. I listened to all their complaints about the previous landlord and his leftover maintenance.

When my father upgraded his computer, I reloaded his old one so the hard drive was clear and gave it to my one tenant’s teenage daughters so she could use it for school. It was the ‘caseworker’ in me that made me do it and from that gesture I felt good.

It seems that computer was a turning point for me in my career in property management. Not because of the incredible satisfaction I felt from helping someone less fortunate. Not because I gave a low income family a computer they could not have afforded otherwise. But it was a turning point because of the overwhelming sense that that teenage girl could not have cared one bit that her great landlord gave her a computer for free. This little teenage diva felt entitled to this hand out and in return didn’t have a thank you, or even a neck snap in return.

It was then I realized that I am a landlord first and “friend” comes somewhere down the list. I have to thank this teen diva for that awakening because it had made me aware of the line in the sand that I should never cross.

There are many tenants out there that feed off of landlords that want to be friends. Friends do friends favors… Like let them slide on the rent for a couple of days/weeks/months… They dismiss the hole in the wall from a frustrated fist. All this will lead you holding the bag when this pseudo friendship come to a halt and your nice little investment is looking very similar to a well partied college row home.

This do good, caseworker mentality that I had in the beginning was the reason my first troublesome tenants were able to string out their own eviction for well over 6 months. I did not want to be the one to kick this family of 8 out of the apartment. Notably, only 3 were present when they moved in. The rest of the family filtered in during the 9 months that followed. Claudette paid the rent on time the first month but when the bread winner boyfriend moved, out things went south quickly. Me, being in caseworker mode, tried to help her best I could but she fell 2 months behind in rent before I even considered eviction. I felt bad for them. I liked their little daughter who would hug me every time I came over. Looking back, Claudette probably put her up to it b/c she saw how children soften my heart. Eventually, Claudette was forced to leave and I was learning. As I was cleaning out, repainting and repairing …

New Bathroom Flooring for a Renewed Look

In terms of the size of your bathroom whether it is large or small, the floor occupations a lot of it's space. If your bathroom really has no major needs, but it just has a case of the blah's, maybe you should consider laying a new floor.

Bathroom flooring materials come in natural stones, laminates, man made materials mimicking stone, wood laminates and vinyl. They all have their good and bad points.

Natural stone, gives an opulent air to a bathroom and is often a willing flooring material for remodeling. Natural stones can be very durable, but they are expensive, and they do have special cleaning and maintenance needs.

The man made materials are also on the high end. They are very durable, but periodically require professional maintenance.

Wood laminates are less expensive than natural stone and hold up fairly well. Wood laminates need to be installed exactly as directed by manufacturer when installing in a bathroom. Be sure, at time of selection, your supplier knows this wood laminate will be installed in a bathroom. All laminates are not alike.

Vinyl flooring can be the least expensive depending on your selection. There are also some more expensive vinyls. Vinyl can be a good choice for a bathroom because it holds up well in the moist environment, and is easy to clean. Some of the newer vinyls are very attractive, feature texture, and are often hard to distinguish from real tile. Vinyl is also easy on the feet.

When you install new flooring materials in a bathroom, read what the manufacturer recommends for cleaning and for maintenance. I have conducted some mystery shopping, and gotten a lot of misinformation about the special needs of some of these materials. Good sales people know their product, and the there are the others …

There is such a wide variety of cleaning products today, and some of them very good. But they are not created for all surfaces. Do read the labels before applying a new cleaner. It may not be right for your bathroom flooring or surface. …

Home Decor For A Child's Bedroom Or Play Room

Having a baby is an extremely exciting time for everyone concerned, but where do you start with the nursery? Assuming you know what sex the baby is, then is there really only pink and blues to decorate the room? If you do not know the sex of the baby, can you only use green or creams and neutral colors? There are many things you can do to make your child's nursery unique and a room that the child will grow to love as they grow up in the room.

Redecorating a nursery into a toddler's bedroom can seem like a daunting task as well, but fear not, there are many things you can do to make the bedroom or the playroom a room that the children will never want to leave.

A baby's bedroom can be filled with such wonderful colors; it does not have to just be pink or blue. What about using fresh colors such as yellows and pale greens for the baby's nursery? These colors can be calming and relaxing as well as stylish and practical. You could paint the walls and add a paper border around the middle with a pattern on to break up the colors in the room. You could use stencils or stickers to change the look of the room. Adding pictures and frames to a wall can really make a babyís nursery look wonderful. You could also use gentle browns or creams in a babyís nursery. Not only are these colors simple and effective they are also neutral; meaning when the baby grows to a toddler, the colors can stay the same and the general theme of the room can change.

A toddler's bedroom could have even more complicated than a baby's! Find out what the child loves the most; favorite cartoon, favorite color etc, and decorate around that theme. The walls could stay the same color though; just try changing the things inside the bedroom to give it a new feel. You can now get a huge variety of character bedspreads and curtain sets; a perfect and easy way to change the general feel of the bedroom without doing anything too drastic.

Kids area rugs work well to give them something they want and a place to play on the floor with their toys. And if the rug is colorful and fun, it can also be hung on the wall. This keeps the kids rugs clean, while it's on the wall and makes the room look great. A nice way to go back and forth from wall to floor until it finds it's perfect place in your child's room.

Children can be quite fickle at times and their trends change as quickly as their moods. Try and keep the walls a general color and change everything else. Adding ornaments or stickers to the bedroom can change the look and feel of the room at minimum fuss and price.

A general rule of thumb where children's bedrooms are concerned is to keep …

Why UK House Price Collapse is Unlikely

With interest rates set to increase in the near future some commentators argu this could have been the signal for house prices in the UK to collapse either at the end of 2007 or in 2008.

Worries over the UK housing market have increased due to turbulence in the US housing Market. In the US house prices have been falling significantly. However, the reasons for the fall in US house prices are somewhat different. There is no reason it has to occur in the UK.e

However there are various reasons why thUK Housing Market is different to the US housing market.

Why House Prices are illegally to Collapse

1. Differences in Sub Prime Market.

The US sub prime market was more aggressive in its sale of "bad credit mortgages". Although the UK mortgage lenders have become less stringent they still retain more safeguards in checking a mortgage plan is payable.

2. Shortage of Supply in UK. Excess supply in US.

In the UK there is still a fundamental underlining shortage of housing. In the US there is a growing surplus of housing. The excess supply of housing is a consequence of the irrational exuberance generated in the housing boom of 2002-2005. There is an increase in the number of houses without owners.

3. Differences in Interest Rates.

US interest rates have increased from a low of 1% in 2003 to their current rates of 3.5% This has had a significant impact on increasing cost of mortgages. In the UK the increase in interest rates has been a smaller and more gradual process in last year UK interest rates have only increased by 0.75%

4. Population growth.

The UK is witnessing an increase in the number of households. This is caused by:

Immigration from Eastern Europe

Demographic Factors such as rising number of single people.

Aging population, increasing number of old people living alone.

Combined with a shortage of supply this explains a significant reason for increase in UK house prices.

Interest Rates likely to Peak soon

Inflation is still quite low. Moderate increases in interest rates are likely to be sufficient to reduce any lingering inflationary pressure. …

Choosing The Right Kitchen Faucet Brand for Your Remodel

When you decide to remodel your kitchen, you have many decisions to make. One of these decisions includes the faucet and what you want out of it. Whether you choose a pull down spray, touch technology or any other feature, you need to make sure you choose the right brand. This article is not designed to tell you that one brand is better than another is, but to give you the information you need to make the decision on your own.

Delta Kitchen Faucets

Delta has been in business for a very long time and they are well known for creating quality faucets. From the Delta single-handle faucets to the more elaborate bronze choices, you know you are getting a quality product with this company. They feature diamond valve technology, which no other company gives you. This helps make the faucet last longer by giving you a durable valve that will last for a very long time.

Kohler Faucets

Another brand most have heard of is Kohler. They, too, have been around for a very long time and they make all their faucets to last a lifetime. Whether you need a kitchen faucet or a bathroom unit, they can provide exactly what you are looking for with many collections to choose from. Most of their faucets can be easily matched up with other fixtures to give you the complete package.

Moen Kitchen Faucets

Moen is a bit different from the two above as they create faucets with quality materials of all different styles. They are comparable, but their company likes to create faucets that exceed the industry standard for water conservation. With many choices from Moen, you will not struggle to find a faucet style you prefer.

Premier Faucets

If you are on a budget, Premier is the company for you. They do not charge as much for their faucets, but they also will not come with all the fancy features that other brands offer. If all you want is a basic faucet made of quality materials or you can not afford to spend over $ 200 for a faucet, this company can provide what you are looking for.

Danze Kitchen Faucets

One of the newer companies, started in 2002, Danze has made quite a name for themselves very fast. They pride themselves on providing quality faucets to fit many different themes from art deco to contemporary. With over 100 collections to choose from, they have something that will fit near any kitchen and you can find the right one for you pretty easily.

Other Brands

There are many other brands of faucets to choose from, but these five are the most popular and will fit within most of the budgets out there. They are not the most expensive (depending on the model) and they are not the cheapest, in most cases. These faucet brands, however, all have one thing in common, they back their products with good warranties and they use high-quality materials for the construction of their products. …

How to Create a Decorative Garden Window

If you have a sunny window in a room where you do not have to worry about privacy, this décor idea will provide a country home feel along with the beauty of Mother Nature's flowers.

What you will need for this project:

1. Rope about 10 inches longer than your window is wide

2. 6 small flower pots with handles (small tin buckets work well also)

3. 6 clothespins

4. Potting soil

5. 2 decorative pots

6. 2 mug hooks

7. 2 potted plant trellises

8. An assortment of seeds or seedling herbs and leafy plants such as lettuce, spinach, parsley, and chives

9. 4 morning glory seeds or two morning glory plants

10. 1 other somewhat tall decorative item that fits into the décor of the room

11. Measuring Tape

12. Pencil

How to Create this Look:

– If you are using morning glory seeds, you will first want to put them in warm water and leave them there for about 24 hours. This helps the seeds have a shorter germination time.

– Put potting soil in the 6 small pots and 2 decorative pots.

– Plant the seeds or seeds according to directions on seed packet.

– For placing the rope, measure how tall your window is then divide this number into fourths. Measure that length from the top of the window and make a mark with a pencil on both sides. For example if your window is 36 inches tall you will make a mark at 9 inches from the top.

– Put in the mug hooks where you made your marks.

– Tie a secure knot in both ends of your rope.

– Push one knot over a mug hook.

– Slide the handles of the small pots onto the rope.

– Carefully push the other knot over the mug hook.

Caution: If you have ceramic or glass pots be careful at this step. Slide the pots to the center slowly and have them next to each other so they do not slide and break each other as your are moving your rope up to put the knot over the mug hook.

– Evenly space your pots and keep them in place by putting a clothespin on the handle and rope.

– Push the 2 potted plant trellises into the 2 decorative pots, and place one on each side of the window.

– Put your other decorative item in the center.

– Water your plants, and wait for Mother Nature to do the rest. …