Category Archives: Home Improvement

Why Invest In Outdoor Furniture Cover?

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Having someplace to call your own, a house worthy of being called home, that is what many people aspire for especially when they start working and start longing for our own place. And when you do get your own house finally, you start being extra careful and meticulous over your furniture and fixtures.

Garden Furniture

For those fortunate to have their own backyard or front lawns, there is no better feeling than laying out on your lawn chairs, or enjoying a meal on your garden table. But let’s face the fact that taking care of these items are a burden especially since they are generally exposed all the time.

Some of the things we have to worry about include:

Pets – dogs, cats, and other pets tend to play around your patio and lawn furniture and would leave scratch marks, run over them, or worse turn it into their own litter box.

Rain – Wooden furniture looks good on your porch or patio but they are more prone to being wet from the rain, which is bad.

Heat – Especially for plastic fixtures and furniture, extreme heat can cause them to warp and bend and compromise their general composition and durability.

Insects / Pests – While very unlikely, some insects do increase the possibility of rot on your lawn furniture.

That is why it is important to invest in the proper protection such as patio furniture covers, sheets, and the like.

What are several advantages of using dedicated patio furniture covers? Why not just use huge sheets of plastic or old blankets and canvass sheets?

Patio Furniture Covers are durable – these covers were made specifically to help cover and protect your patio furniture and are therefore made to specifications suited to handle the task. Better stitching, material, and quality. You can find more of these at patiofurniturecovers.com

They fit! – In order to keep them in place, covers are made to fit specific sized furniture. There are covers for seats, for benches, for tables, for squares, tube-shaped chairs, and any other shape or size. Plus they normally come with zippers or garters to help ensure a snug fit.

You spend your hard-earned cash to make your house nice and pretty, so its not a stretch to spend a little more to make sure everything stays pretty much the way they are for a long time. It’s an investment you have to commit to, kind of like buying insurance, only its for your outdoors furniture.

Easy Decorating Ideas That We All Must Incorporate

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We add some things to our decor to increase beauty or due to differences in preferences while some items are just simply essential such as a soft living room couch or canvas pictures on the walls. There are further changes that we don’t normally thing of but they must definitely be a part of the decor in ever house to enhance it in one way or another.

Living Room Design

Use Trays To Organise

Boxes, cupboards, shelves are used for organising items around the house, nobody wants a cluttered look as it can be distasteful and make a good sized room appear smaller. Trays are decorative storage items that can be placed in bedrooms, on coffee tables in the living room or along the sink in your kitchen to tidy up items. They can be used to add colour or print to your storage and can easily hold a vase, TV remotes and maybe some fresh fruit for the living room while dish cleaning utensils can also be neatly held in the kitchen.

Hang Up Children’s Art

Children’s art is not only suitable for a children’s bedroom but it can be displayed anywhere in the house especially hallways, kitchen or living rooms to liven things up. It’s important to understand that these imperfect pieces of art a full of spirit and meaning. If you are a canvas fan you can always take a picture and get a print on canvas or they can simply be framed up using stylish or colourful frames.

Bring In Plants

The importance of keeping plants indoors cannot be stressed upon, they go along with any colour scheme, they bring a bit of nature along with its freshness indoors and they are increasingly gorgeous. You can plant your own herb garden which will be very useful for cooking or simply go for a stunning plant to fill up any table or corner. Plant pots can even be decorated to add colour and they can be embellished for added texture.

Add Mirrors To Walls

Mirrors are shiny pieces of glass and on their own are gorgeous to dress up any walls, they further can be made to look even more stunning if decorated with stylised frames or given embossed or bevelled borders. There is no room that is not perfect for mirrors and the bigger they are the better. Apart from their beauty they also successfully serve a purpose in altering room orientation and they can reflect and make any small or normal sized room appear bigger, thus they are must haves for any small space. Further your guests will feel special when there is easily a mirror around where they can easily view and adjust their image.

What to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Colour Scheme for a Room

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The type of colour you choose to dress up your room can be responsible for making or breaking your room thus it shouldn’t be chosen randomly, or out of a gorgeous interior magazine because there are aspects of you room that should affect your choice. A colour that looks fantastic on one wall can look completely disastrous on another thus is essential to consider factors in your room to choose the perfect colour.

Bedroom Color Scheme

Room Lighting

The amount of natural sunlight that falls in a room can greatly affect colour choice while electrical lighting at night can always be adjusted to make the colour work at night. You need to figure out the direction of your room as north facing rooms consist of limited and cold light thus they need warmer shades such as yellow. On the other hand south facing rooms have warm light and they require cool colours such as yellow. East rooms have plenty light in the morning while West have more in the evening thus they should be given warm or cold tones according to the times they are mostly used.

Room Orientation

Room orientation greatly affects choice of colour because darker colours can stand out well and look great in large and open rooms with high ceilings while they can make a small room appear even smaller and dull it out. Light colours are essential for tiny rooms to make them appear larger; a good trick is to keep the flooring dark while walls and ceiling light so the eye draws up, add in some best canvas prints to match the floor colour. If you’re ceiling is too high then a darker colour can be used for it while a lighter for the rest of the room and vice versa for a ceiling too low.

Adding A Colour That Doesn’t Suit The Room

If there is a favourite colour that you always wished to be a part of your room or you feel it represents you but it’s not perfect for the room setting due to lighting conditions or room orientation there are still some ways in which it can be incorporated. Before going into depression think of small ways to add the colour, if for instant loud colours such as purple, electric blue or red interest you but your room is too small for them to be incorporated then you can always add pops of them in a neutral coloured room. You can keep your wall and furniture neutral while add lamps, canvas pictures, bed linen, cushions etc. of your favourite colour! Another cool idea is to paint the inside of your closets in colour to add drama, when closed, they won’t affect the room.

Author Bio: Author is an interior artist who is passionate about the use of colour, she writes articles on decor types and on the use of canvas pictures and prints.

5 Indoor Friendly Plants

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Indoor Plants

Houseplants are known as interior decorating tools that jazz up rooms, but did you know they help allergy sufferers or asthmatics? Houseplants remove toxins from the air. Toxins are exuded from aerosol sprays, fabric upholstery, carpets and other things. Houseplants return pure oxygen into the air. This is then inhaled, nullifying the adverse effects on the body from inhaling toxins. Houseplants were first considered by NASA for use in the space program for protecting the astronauts from illness. Now, they are considered more than just a pretty decoration.

Palms

The Areca, Bamboo and Lady Palms are air purifiers that flourish in both dry and humid areas. They trap allergens in their leaves. Dust mites, pet dander and pollens are removed from the air and clean oxygen returned. This has benefits other than allergy removal. Exposure to plants in early childhood acts as an immunization shot to young children. They will grow up with a stronger immune system. Palms also target formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. Smokers in the house won’t bother anyone when the palms suck up the toxins from the smoke.

Orchids

Famous for being finicky plants, the truth is orchids get along just dandy with as little care as watering them every now and again and putting them out of direct sunlight. These beautiful flowers vacuum the air of xylene, a toxin found in many paints, glues and leathers. Orchids perform their magic at night, which makes it the perfect houseplant for insomniacs. Plants also lower blood pressure, making sleep easier for those that are stressed. Placed beside the bed, orchids will help those troubled by lack of sleep.

Peace Lily

A further boon to allergy sufferers and asthmatics is the Peace Lily. The plant decidedly likes chilly temperatures. It just as decidedly dislikes acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, trichloroethylene and xylene and removes them from the air. This plant would be best placed in bathrooms for its ability to absorb mold spores. Also, some personal grooming products include the toxins listed above and are primarily found in bathrooms. This plant would eliminate toxins and other pollutants that cause headaches and some allergies.

Ferns

There are many types of fern but Boston Ferns are the most popular. These feathery, lacy plants are usually hanging plants. Ferns cleanse the air of toluene and xylene, toxins found in paint, nail polish and glue. Those with dry skin will also benefit from ferns. They trap pollutants in their fronds and release moisture into the air. Indeed, houseplants are natural humidifiers but ferns top the list.

Ivy

Ivies are beautiful plants, often found in hanging baskets or trailing along the top shelf of tall bookcases. These versatile plants absorb the toxin benzene, which attacks the nervous system. Ivy plants are found in many offices, mainly because they look great but are out of the way. Good thing, too, because they facilitate clear thinking and problem solving.

For a range of beautiful pots to place these indoor plants in, check out the latest The Warehouse catalogue. They have a large range at great prices.

– Written by David Teller

How to Apply Venetian Plaster

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Knowing how to apply a layer of Venetian plaster is a useful skill. However, you will probably want to have the work done by a professional, so that it is warranted. When you work with the designer to create the look that you want, you will have full creative control. The plasterer will give ideas, but you get the ultimate say on what goes in your home. Venetian plaster is a very valuable plastering technique. It is used by many interior decorators, and it has a wonderful consistency when it is completely dry. It gives you a new way to spice up your décor, and it is a cheap method of making your home look like a million bucks.

The Venetian Plastering Technique 

Venetian Plaster

Venetian plaster is an application in which layers of paint are applied in very thick layers, usually with a tool such as a trowel or spatula. It gives walls a very aged vintage look, and it can work wonders in a home that lacks texture. The texture of Venetian walls are amazing, because they can reflect light at different angles, unlike other techniques that use faux painting, such as painting with sponges or stippling. Venetian plaster looks great in conservatories, enclosed porches, or anywhere you want to create fantastic visual appearance with your walls. It looks best in rooms that have a lot of sunlight.

The Effect of Venetian Plaster

When using Venetian plaster, there are first a few things you should consider, and preparation is required. You will first need to determine what colour you want your walls. Colour choices are endless, so you can have pretty much anything you want. You will also need to make sure that you have an in-depth consultation with your contractor, so that they know exactly what you want.  Use a reputable firm such as John Anthony Plastering who have detailed case studies and references (http://www.johnanthonyplastering.co.uk/). Once you have everything set, you need to get a contract so that both you and the contractor are protected. Before the contract is signed, you need to ask the contractor how long they anticipate that the job will take. Before your contractor will be able to apply the plaster, they will first have to clean the wall with a damp brush. They will then use sandpaper to sand it down and smooth off any rough edges. Sanding the wall is a crucial step, as the Venetian plaster needs a surface that it can adhere to.  If there are holes or blemishes on the wall, then this will be visible through the plaster.

Image credit: theurbanwall.ca

5 Tips to Minimize Your Home Cooling Costs in Summer

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Home Cooling

Summer is just a few months away, which will mean hotter weather. When the weather is hot, you have to turn on the air conditioning to stay cool and comfortable. However, cooling your house can use up a lot of energy, making your electricity bills very high. If you use your air conditioning a lot, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars a month on utility costs. Luckily, there are several ways you can minimize your cooling costs this summer.

Avoid Using the Oven

When it is really hot outside, you should avoid using the oven. Using the oven can cause your entire house to heat up, which will make the air conditioning work harder. On hot days, it is best to cook something in the microwave or just grill your food outside.

Use a Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan can give you a cool breeze and does not use up as much energy as air conditioning. If you raise your airconditioner and use the ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by quite a bit. When you leave the room, remember to turn the ceiling fan off because it does not keep the room cool.

Set Your Thermostat at a Reasonable Temperature

Unless you want your cooling costs to go through the roof, you should set your air-conditioner at a reasonable temperature. Setting it to a low temperature will feel comfortable but will not make your electricity bill super expensive. Also, be aware that setting your thermostat at a really low temperature at first will not help your house get cooler faster. Setting your thermostat at a really low temperature will actually use up too much energy.

Keep the Shades Closed

A very easy way to cut cooling costs during the summer is to keep the shades closed. If you keep the shades closed, you will prevent the sun from coming in and making your house hotter. You could also consider planting some trees around your home to block out the sun.

Encourage Ventilation

Another method of reducing your cooling costs next Summer is to encourage natural ventilation of your home by opening a door or window on opposite sides of the house. This will promote airflow and cool your home dramatically. If you’re worried about security, there are many companies out there, such as Down Under Screens who specialize in screens which protect your home whilst still allowing air to flow through.

If you utilize these helpful tips, you should be able to keep your cooling costs down this summer. If you do the right things, your cooling costs will not go through the roof. Also, consider having a professional inspect your air conditioning system. He will make sure that it is working properly and not using more energy than normal.

The Top Five Termite Control Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

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Termite-free Home

Termites are a problem for many homeowners. Getting rid of them can also very difficult. The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Below are five tips that will help you prevent termites:

Fix Leaks Around Your Home
Termites need water to survive. If there is water coming from your home, then that will make it lot easier for a termite colony to thrive. That is why you want to make sure that you get all of the leaks in your home fixed. If you can eliminate the termites’ water source, then you will be removing one of
the three things that they need to survive.

Do Not Put Mulch Near Your Home
Mulch not only provides termites with water, but it also provides them with food. Food is another thing that termites need to survive. If you have mulch near the outside of your home, then you can very easily attract termites. You may want to consider trying rubber mulch instead of wood mulch. Rubber mulch looks a lot like wood mulch, but it is much less likely to attract termites.

Seal Cracks
Termites can very easily enter through the cracks in your home. That is why if you have any holes or cracks inside of the foundation of your house, then you want to get them sealed as soon as possible. This will make it a lot harder for those wandering pests to come inside of your home.

Store Firewood Away From Your Home
Wood is the thing that termites consume the most. Therefore, if you have firewood near your home, then you are inviting termites. You should store firewood in a place that is not close to your home. If you do not have a storage place for the firewood, then you should put thick concrete slabs underneath the wood. This will make it harder for the termites to get to the wood. Furthermore, consider building your fencing out of steel rather than wood. This will act as a deterrent and potentially last a lot longer. A quick Google search for steel posts in Brisbane or other termite prone locations is a good place to start.

Get A Yearly Inspection
Even if you think that your home is termite-free, it would not hurt to get a yearly inspection. If termites are detected early, then it will be much easier for a pest control specialist to prevent them from infesting your home.

Termites are unwanted guests who choose to enter many people’s home. You can keep them from infesting your home by fixing leaks and sealing cracks. You also need to make sure that you do not keep firewood or mulch around your home. Furthermore, it is wise to get a yearly inspection.

Things To Consider When Upgrading Your Bathroom

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Bathroom Suite with Seat

There are a number of things which you should take into account especially if you are planning to establish a bathroom suite.

  • Builder: When employing the services of a bathroom builder, it is important that you are particular about his craftsmanship, dedication, the way he manages his team, how available he is as well as his communication skills. Knowing the quality of his previous works through his previous clients is also good. This should give you a heads up if a particular builder is reliable or not.
  • Paint: Choosing the right paint for your bathroom is also important because not all kinds of paints can bear with various conditions especially moist. Choose paints like semi-gloss or glossy paints which come with mold inhibitor.
  • Doors: One way of creating more space in your bathroom is through the use of sliding doors since they do not take as much as space as compared to conventional doors with hinges. Plus, having a sliding door makes your bathroom suite more sophisticated.
  • Screen: Another way of creating more space inside your bathroom is to use shower screens though there are some people who prefer not to use any shower screen so that they can simulate the wet appearance of hotel’s wet bathroom look.
  • Design: make sure that you properly organize bathroom accessories based on their functions. Group perfumes together as well as toothbrushes or anything which deals with a person’s personal hygiene. However, make sure that skin care products as well as cosmetics are kept inside drawers. You cannot afford to get them wet whenever someone is taking a shower.

These are but a few things that you should consider especially if you are trying to go for cheap bathroom suites. Take time in figuring out what you need to prioritize rather than what you want to put in your bathroom.

Trade Plumbing is an online plumbing and heating retailer for all your home improvement needs. It features a wide variety bathroom suites, heated tower rails, shower enclosures, radiators and more. All of these are in premium quality and also available in cheap prices.

Types of Arborist Equipment

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Aside from the qualifications and experience you have gotten in your chosen profession, working with the right tools is important to your career. This fact also applies to the jobs that arboriculturists (or arborists) perform. In addition to those important skills, knowing the different arborist equipment and the right pieces to use at any time is essential. A large selection of arborist equipment can be found at skylandequipment.com.

It’s always safer to call a professional when the need arises, though this may not be necessary if you also have the qualifications. Arborists study trees, vines and shrubs, and they know how to take care of plants and trees so that they can mature within the shortest possible time. Even at maturity, their knowledge is also important for the harvest.

Since they sometimes work near power cables and are exposed to other forms of risk, they must have the right equipment to ensure their safety as well as their efficiency. Some of the most recommended tools for the arborist include chainsaws, lopping shears, ropes, climbing gear, cables and protective clothing such as gloves and protective shoes. An arborist may also make use of a “cherry picker”, which is a special truck for taking him or her to any height along the tree.

The chainsaw is portable and mechanical. It works with the aid of electricity, compressed air, hydraulic power and a two-stroke engine. Chainsaws are used by the arborist for felling trees, cutting wood, pruning, limbing and bucking. Chainsaws are very important in fighting forest fires, because trees must be cut to prevent the spread of fire. Types of chainsaws include the professional saws, all-round saws, consumer saws and tree care saws. A qualified arborist knows the exact type and size for any kind of job.

Lopping shears are another type of cutting tool. Their handles are long to enable the user perform an excellent job. Lopping shears and pruning shears have identical functions but the lopping shears are preferable when the branches, vines and roots are too hard for pruning shears to remove.

You can know a qualified arborist by the kind of tool he uses. Tree services such as planting, emergency care, removal and pruning are some of the requirements that arborists provide. However, it will be extremely difficult to perform these duties without the right arborist equipment.