DIY Home Design Ideas for the New Year - Budget Decoration

Friday, December 29, 2006

The beginning of a new year always incites creativity and motivation for change. We all seek to improve our lives, lose weight, become better people, and update the things that are old and worn out. For many of us, we seek to get our home in order and finally decorate those tough to tackle areas. Here are some great ways to get started on that interior design project you have been putting off for so long!

If you are starting from scratch with a room or whole house, the first thing you will need to do is create a plan. Start by describing what you want from this room. Things like function, style, color scheme, flexibility, and how often you will use the room are all things to consider. What state is the room currently in? Will you need to do some serious cleaning and organizing before beginning your project? It's a good idea to make a list of all the things that you will need to do before beginning. Another great way to plan is to look through decorating magazines and interior design websites for creative ideas. You may also want to look into purchasing some home design software to help you visualize your interior décor (of course, only if you are relatively computer- literate). You can also get fantastic home design ideas by visiting decorator show homes, furniture stores, or organizational stores in your area.

Planning your project is one of the best ways to keep within a budget. You will need to determine how much you are willing to spend, and assign a budgeted amount for each item you are planning for. If you are re-using or re-furbishing existing items, then you will not need to budget as much for those items. Avoid impulse buys unless they are items that are part of your design plan.

Creating a floor plan may or may not be necessary, depending on how much you are changing the room, the function the room will take on, and your skill in measuring and drawing out the area. A simple way to create a floor plan is to use graph paper, and assign each square to a measurement, for example 1 square could equal 1 foot. You would then measure your room and draw each wall and piece of furniture at the scale you decided. It may take some practice, but it really helps when laying out tight spaces.

Clearing the clutter is another important part of do it yourself decorating. You will need a blank canvas so that the design of your space will show through. Too many times, a beautiful design becomes hidden under layers of clutter. Start by pulling everything out, and going through it all, separating things into categories (including trash and donation piles). Then, assign a place for each category. To keep a home organized, you really need to give everything a home, and always return it to it's home. This way nothing can ever be out of place.

Don't be afraid to try new decorating ideas! The new year is a great time to use new and exciting paint colors, or go bold with artwork & accessories! Interior décor is a great place to show your personality and be really creative.

Find more great ideas for budget decorating at, and great home décor tips & resources at Angela Sullivan is an Interior Designer and budget decorating enthusiast. This article may be reproduced as long as it is not changed, and remains intact, including all links and this statement.

Last-minute Holiday Decorating Tips

Monday, December 25, 2006

We all know that getting ready for the holidays can be a very hectic time. There is so much to think about. Family is coming in from out of town, food has to be prepared, Christmas gifts need to be purchased and wrapped. Well here are a few last-minute ways to prepare your home for the holidays. These tips should help you to budget your time and get your last-minute decorating completed without hassle.

1. Set out your Christmas Stockings- Everyone in the family should have one. Great places to hang them include on a fireplace mantle, or if you don't have a fireplace, hang them on a stair railing, on the top of an entertainment center or China Cabinet, or you could even hang them on the wall in a diagonal pattern. Stockings can be fun to decorate as well. This is a great activity for kids and adults alike. What's even more fun is choosing what to fill them with on Christmas Eve. Candy, small toys, accessories like gloves, hair clips, small jewelry and fruit are a great, inexpensive way to create a gift that everyone loves to open.

2. Check you live wreaths and greenery- Be sure that the needles aren't turning brown or falling off. You may want to purchase new ones, or even add fresh greenery to your existing ones to keep them looking and smelling fresh.

3. Water your Christmas Tree- this is the best way to keep a live tree looking nice through the holiday season, and into the New Year. Be sure to check the water level every day, and keep it full! You will have a beautiful, full and green tree for days to come.

4. Fill your home with Christmas Scents- Candles are a wonderful way to create a festive atmosphere in your home. Look for peppermint, gingerbread, cookie, pine, pumpkin and cinnamon scents to add great holiday scents. Potpourri and Potpourri oil are also great ways to create scents in the home. Put out a fresh bowl of a holiday-themed potpourri, or set a light-bulb ring on a lamp in your entryway to create some great aromas. The ultimate way to make your home smell great is to bake! Fresh-baked cookies, pies, and cakes always fill the home with the scents of Christmas!

5. Light up you Home!- Don't forget to put a dusk-to-dawn timer on your outdoor Christmas lights so the neighbors and passers-by can enjoy your lights during the dark winter hours. You can also add festive lights to your interior for a fancy Christmas party. In fact, when hosting a party, try to keep the room lights low and illuminate the room with lots of white or colored Christmas Lights.

6. Don't forget about the reason for the season - A Nativity scene is a great way to remind guests why we celebrate this time of Christmas.

Getting ready for the holiday season can be a time of great fun and excitement. We hope these tips will help you get ready for those holiday parties and add great accents to your holiday decor.

About the Author:

Angela Sullivan is an Interior Designer, and creator of the E-Book, Designing on A Budget, at Her website provides resources, design tips, budget decorating & more at This article may be reproduced as long as it is not changed, and all information and links remains intact, including this portion.

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Easy Bathroom Remodeling

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Whether you're in the midst of a bathroom remodeling project or you're interested in updating other rooms, shower curtain rods can make interesting interior design accessories.

Of course, they can be used in the bathroom, where they're best known for holding up the shower curtain, but you can also get quite creative with them in other areas of the house. They're perfect for those on a budget, as they make great decorating accents and won't break the bank.

Use them in the bedroom to camouflage design flaws or unsightly areas in the room. They can be used in creating closet doors. Pressure-mounted rods simply require a flick of the wrist to adjust them to the width of the area to be hidden. A shower curtain pole can't hold much weight, as it's designed to hold a shower curtain. Thus, they're unsuitable for hanging clothing or other heavy items on, but as doors, supporting lightweight material, they work beautifully.

They might also be used to create a romantic canopy over the bed. Suspend two from the ceiling, one even with and parallel to the end of the bed, and one lined up the same way, but at the head of the bed. Drape a long scarf of fabric over both poles and let it cascade down over the head and the foot. It's a visually stunning look, and it's reasonably inexpensive to do.

The uses for shower curtain rods don't stop there. They can be used in your kitchen to disguise an unsightly area, such as a pantry or a laundry room. They can be outfitted with lightweight, kitchen-appropriate material. They can even be coordinated with existing window treatments or décor in your kitchen.

They work well as regular curtain rods in a pinch. If you're looking for an easy and convenient way to block the sun, or perhaps control the temperature in a room, you can stitch up a simple curtain to hang on the window. Make sure to allow for a larger pocket than you would for a standard curtain rod. This curtain, hung in place, will help to control the temperature and the light coming into the room.

The wide selection of curtain rods in the marketplace makes it easy to decorate your home quickly and simply. You can choose a different type of rod for a completely different look. Crescent shaped rods, which are hung in the shower to allow for more room in the shower, can make a statement when used elsewhere in the home. You can get more creative with the attachments, too. Depending on the look you're wishing to attain, you can use ties, ribbons or fun clips to affix the curtains to the pole.

These are just a few suggestions for the use of shower rods. They're a simple and cost-effective way to provide privacy and make a design statement

About the Author:

Concentrating in bathroom remodeling, John C. Baker is publishing for . You can come across his comments on shower curtain rods over at

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Using Roman Blinds In Decorating

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Roman shades are oblong shaped pieces of material that are designed to be lowered and raised in folds of equal size. The construction is a combination of rings, drawstrings and poles that span the width of the blind. When totally extended, the blind is usually flat, although some designs have small folds around the area of the poles. The blind is suspended from a panel which is fixed to the top of the window frame, or the wall above the window.

It is possible to add a lining to roman blinds, both for increased insulation in cold weather, and to add privacy. Being a single piece of fabric these style blinds can be quite transparent when the interior lights are on, unless they are well lined. The lining also makes them heavier and can therefore make them hang better.

These are a particularly versatile type of window covering and can be used in virtually any room of the house to add a stylish touch. When decorating you should consider roman blinds as a simple but very effective form of window covering. They can be made from a range of materials to suit your particular tastes, or existing décor. They can give a homely touch to bedrooms or kitchens, and can be used as sheers together with drapes to really enhance that formal dining area.

Making your own roman blinds is a very simple task for anyone with a sewing machine and a little patience. You can pick up a variety of patterns and designs from interior design magazines, sewing stores or the internet. If you do not feel up to the job, however, there are a fantastic range of reasonably priced roman blinds available in home stores nationwide. You should have no trouble finding something to complement whichever room you are redecorating.

Roman shades are an eye-catching and very fashionable alternative to curtains and they can really add to the feel of whichever room you are decorating, whether that is rich, soft and old fashioned, or cutting edge minimalist. Whatever you choose, your visitors will always stop for a second look at your stylish new blinds.

About the Author:

Eric Slarkowski very often edits news stories on information related to decorating and decorating. His contributions on roman shades can be found on

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How To Decorate Your Interior With A Theme

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Interior decorating with a theme allows you to show yourself in your home décor. What is theme interior decorating? It's simply taking an idea and implementing it in a room or your entire home to create a solid, pleasant look that makes you feel happy and comfortable.

Anyone can place a sofa, chair and coffee table in a living room. But that is not interior decorating. It is simply placing the minimum to allow people to sit down. It doesn't say a thing about the people who live in the home.

That same room, however, can be done with a theme and the room can express a lot about the personalities of the people who live in that home. A tropical theme can make a room light and airy with lots of plants, bright color to accent the furnishings and tropical items like an aquarium, pictures of tropical scenes, sea shells and other objects the family loves.

Interior decorating with a theme can range from country to southwestern to colonial. There is no limit to what you can use in a theme when creating a room that is appealing and welcoming to you, your family and guests that visit the home.

To choose a theme for interior decorating a room, just think of what you or your family members love. Are butterflies your passion? Use that as a theme. Do you love birds? There's a theme that can be beautifully employed in a room. Is the ocean your love? Use it as a theme for the color scheme as well as the décor. Do you love fishing? There's a useful theme to center your room around. Whatever you truly love is what you should select as a theme for a room.

When doing interior decorating with a theme, you are only limited by your imagination. A child's room could be decorated as a castle and make the child a perfect fantasy environment that will make bedtime fun. A young sports fan can have a theme room decorated around their favorite sport. There's just no end to what can be included in a theme décor.

One major point about interior decorating with a theme is that the room should be fun. It should be fun to look at and fun to use as well. Function and form can work together to create the perfect theme room. Whether you choose a theme that is whimsical or elegant, you can still maintain a sense of fun in the room's décor.

About the Author:

Schutz Hertz is a writer and internet publisher who likes to publish information about interior decorating in the home. Read more at the website Home-Interior-Improvement.

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Include Curtains when Interior Decorating

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Think of drapes as the finishing touch to any room in your home. A decorated room seems incomplete without them. The right ones can bring a room together, as well as set the mood.

Some questions to ask yourself while shopping for window coverings include:

1) What rooms am I buying for?

2) What are my goals? (To match bedding, cheaply maintain privacy, complete an interior decorating project, etc,)

3) What is my budget?

You can better plan for the perfect window treatments if you know the answer to these questions. If you're shopping for a child's room, you'll look for something completely different than if you're searching for something to complete the look of a formal dining room. If you're just looking to cover a window to keep out light or neighbors' prying eyes, you'll choose differently than if you'd like to make a statement in your formal living room. If you're on a tight budget, you might find yourself choosing a less-expensive covering, thereby changing the entire look and feel of the room.

Depending on your goals, you'll find light cotton to heavy damask fringed materials and everything in between. You can select solid colors, or fabrics with cartoon characters on them. The point is, the color, texture, print and style of the material bring character and personality to a room.

With such a wide selection of window covering options available, you should be able to find a few to fit your needs. If you don't, and you're feeling ambitious, you can make your own. This way, you get exactly what you want. This is also a reasonable choice when you have window sizes that are not standard. Or you might have bedding you just love, but it's been discontinued but you want to match your window treatments to it. Or if you're interested in a unique curtain design you can't find in the stores. Fabric stores carry miles of materials to make your own window coverings that reflect your own personal style. Even better, you can find patterns, ideas and general information in-store to help you. You don't even have to be a pro to complete a project like this.

Whether you choose store-bought covering or those of your own creation, you can be sure that whatever you hang on your windows will have your signature on it.

About the Author:

The magazine writer George Davidsberg is particularly passionate about things associated with curtain design and interior decorating. Sharing his passion in reports such as , the columnist established his capability on problems related to drapes.

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Interior Home Lighting

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Home lighting is probably the most important element in home interior decorating, because it is instrumental in setting the mood of any room. It can affect performance, mood, morale, safety and security. When deciding what lighting to use in your new home it's important to consider how each room will be used, what fixtures are appropriate, energy efficiency and cost. To ensure that you will achieve the desired effect for your rooms, you first need to understand the four basic types of home lighting.

Ambient or general lighting illuminates the whole room. It is a good idea to install a dimmer with your track and recessed lights so that you have the flexibility to adjust the brightness. Examples of ambient lighting are recessed downlights, cove lighting, soffit lighting, valance lighting, wall washers, sconces, surface-mounted lights, pendant lights, track lights, chandeliers, under-cabinet lights and portable fixtures.

Task lighting provides sufficient light to help you perform the task at hand, for example reading, cooking, shaving, etc. Task lighting should be glare free and it should make things easy to see without tiring or straining your eyes. Examples of task lighting are valance lighting, pendant lights, under-cabinet lights and portable fixtures.

Accent lighting is focused lighting that is used to illuminate an object in your home like a sculpture, piece of art, or architectural element. Accent lighting is about three times as bright as ambient lighting. Example of accent lighting are wall washers, sconces, track lights and under-cabinet lights.

Natural lighting comes through windows, doors, and skylights and depending on the time of day, season, or weather, it can vary in brightness and intensity.

Types of Lighting Fixtures

Once you've considered what types of activities will be taking place in a room and what type of lighting is needed, you'll need to decide what fixture will work best in each room in your new home and don't be afraid to use multiple types of interior lighting. In fact, mixing and matching different light fixtures can help create a dramatic look and aesthetically pleasing room. The type of lighting you choose can also help make a room look larger or smaller.

Be prepared: Walking into any light fixture store can be overwhelming, so be sure to have a list of the types of fixtures your considering and how many you will need in each room. Before purchasing any fixtures, make sure you ask your builder if there are any restrictions on the types of fixtures that can be used in any specific room, because sometimes things such as ductwork, insulation or ceiling height can affect whether or not a fixture can be installed properly in a room.

Tip: Your local American Lighting Association (ALA) showroom is the best place to view the many different styles, sizes and shapes of lighting fixtures that are available to deliver the ambient/general, task, and accent light you need. Below is a list of the different types of lighting fixtures.

Hall/Foyer Fixtures can create a harmonious atmosphere, while providing you with the general lighting you need to greet guests and move safely from room to room. Use ceiling, chain-hung, or close-to-ceiling fixtures in hallways, stairways, and entranceways.

Chandeliers can add sparkle and style to your dining room while giving you the ambient/general lighting you need for dining and entertaining. They are also used in large bedrooms, foyers, or over a living room grouping or a grand piano. Some are designed with downlights to provide task lighting for homework or table games. Chandeliers are available in both incandescent and tungsten-halogen. The addition of a dimmer control lets you alter the intensity of light to suit the mood and activity going on in your room.

Pendants can provide both task and ambient/general lighting. Equipped with shades or globes to avoid glare, they are usually found hanging from the ceiling over dinette tables, game tables, kitchen counters, or other work areas. When used over end or night tables, they free up the space occupied by table lamps. For added flexibility use a dimmer control.

Ceiling Fixtures usually provide general lighting and are very practical in busy areas such as foyers, hallways, bedrooms, kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, playrooms, and dens. They are available with incandescent, fluorescent, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

Wall-Mounted Fixtures can provide ambient/general, task, and accent lighting. Many are designed to match and supplement dining room chandeliers, or to provide hallway, bedroom, or living room lighting. Wall brackets are often used for task lighting at the bathroom mirror. They are available with a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

Bath/Vanity Lighting Strips provide task lighting, while supplementing the general lighting provided by ceiling fixtures. Similar to the lighting in theater dressing rooms, these soft glowing strips of globe-shaped incandescent bulbs provide excellent lighting for grooming.

Portable Lamps provide ambient/general, task, and accent lighting and give you the added flexibility of moving the light whenever you want. Table lamps, floor lamps, and torchiers are available in a variety of styles to complement your decor. Small specialty lamps, such as clip-on lights, uplight cans, adjustable task lights, mini-reflector spotlights, desk and piano lamps fill a variety of task and accent light needs. These lamps are available with incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

Track Lighting can provide ambient/general, task, or accent lighting all at once in one flexible lighting system. You can move, swivel, rotate, and aim the individual fixtures in any direction along the track, giving you the versatility to change your lighting scheme whenever you want. You can also hang chandeliers and pendants from the track. Track fixtures are available in standard or low-voltage current, and a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent light sources.

Recessed Lighting can provide ambient/general, task, or accent lighting inconspicuously. Installed in the ceiling with only the trim showing, recessed fixtures can be used anywhere in the home. They are ideal for low-ceiling areas, and with a special adapter they can also be used in cathedral ceilings. They are available as downlights, adjustable accent lights, and wall washers in both standard and low-voltage current and a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescents.

Undercabinet/ Undershelf Fixtures provide both task and accent lighting. Under kitchen cabinets they light a countertop. In a display cabinet they show off special collections. They include slim, energy-efficient fluorescents, miniature track lighting, and strips of low-voltage mini-lights.

What About the Bulbs?

Certain fixtures are designed for a specific type of bulb, such as a two- or four-pin fluorescent bulb. Others can accommodate the more common screw-in type. When choosing fixtures, be sure to note what type of bulb it requires, so that you won't be surprised to find the bulb you bought isn't the right one.

Incandescent bulbs are the most heavily used in homes. Unfortunately, these bulbs are inefficient and expensive to operate. Fluorescent bulbs have come a long way from the humming, glaring office lights we've all been exposed to. Today's fluorescent bulbs don't hum, and they provide light that is almost identical to incandescent bulbs. The best part is that fluorescent bulbs have significantly longer life than incandescent bulbs (almost 10 times as long), use less energy and are affordably priced for use in your home. Halogen and LED bulbs are also available for the home market. Both are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but are more expensive than fluorescent lights.

Room-By-Room Home Lighting Ideas

When you start shopping for lighting fixtures, you'll find that there are literally hundreds of home lighting options, so think of lighting from two perspectives - function and aesthetics. Functionally, your home lighting needs to provide the right type of light in sufficient quantity for your intended purpose. Aesthetically, you can configure your lighting to create the desired mood through its intensity, style and color.

Below are some ideas for lighting the various rooms in your home.

Living Rooms

- Place a lamp about 42 inches above the floor in areas where you plan to do reading.
- Highlight a framed piece of art with halogen track lighting or by attaching a picture light.
- Use accent lights to illuminate bookcases or display shelves.
- Install recessed lighting as your general lighting or to accent beautiful wall textures, but be sure your lighting comes with a dimmer.
- Slim strip lights come in just about any length and can stick to the edge of shelves or ledges to highlight displays.


- A grid of recessed ceiling cans will provide great general lighting and flexibility.
- Install individual recessed down-lights as task lighting for the sink and cooking areas.
- Place halogen pendant lights over bars and countertops.
- Under-cabinet lights make excellent task lighting.

Dining Rooms

- A chandelier with a dimmer over the dining room table creates a beautiful setting.
- Highlight a framed piece of art with halogen track lighting or by attaching a picture light.
- Install halogen strip lighting inside your china cabinet to highlight china or collectibles.
- If don't care for a chandelier and you have a long table, try using a trio of pendant lights.


- Place table lamps on your bedside tables, but avoid halogen lamps in children's rooms because they can get very hot.
- Wall sconces can provide good general lighting without being too bright.
- If space is limited you should consider recessed lights or pendant lights.
- If you want to create a romantic setting, place candles around the room.


- Use shadow-free fluorescent or incandescent lights around mirrors for grooming.
- To avoid shadows, place mirror lights on the side rather than directly overhead.
- It's always a good idea to install a night light.

About the Author:

Tammy Crosby is Editor and Author for Dream Designs, The Homebuilding Club, and TheHouseDesigners. The House Designers award winning residential house plans, architectural home designs, floor plans, blueprints and house plans will make your dream home a reality!

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Decorating Your Kitchen With Unique Country Style

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The idea of decorating your kitchen country style is especially important to those people who get pleasure from warm earthy feelings and the simplicity of nature. Country Decorating of a kitchen has become one of the more popular interior decorating designs and this is because of the overall welcome and friendly feeling that such country kitchen decoration can offer to not only the home owner but their guests and visitors as well.

If you are thinking of decorating your kitchen in a country style then you may also have to consider whether it will just be limited to the kitchen or will it spread through to other parts of your home as well. Also you need to look at the kind of budget you will have available to carry out such a style of decorating to your kitchen.

There are a number of popular country kitchen decorating ideas around and below are just some of them.

1. The colours to be used. All country style kitchens will include fresh, clean and warm colours such as browns, yellows, greens, whites, pinks and all the shades in between. You may well find that by adding a few accents to your country kitchen design such as fruit, flowers, vegetables and plants will help to increase the feel you are aiming for.

2. Any furniture to be used in a country kitchen decorating scheme should be made from lighter woods as well as wicker. Preferably the chairs and couches in the room should be upholstered in either floral or gingham patterns and this can be done either by purchasing new furniture or by making slip covers for the furniture that is already there.

3. The flooring of any country kitchen should be natural such as wood, tile or flagstone flooring. However, if these happen to be outside the budget you have set for yourself then the same look can be achieved by the use of wall to wall carpeting or laminate flooring in the right sort of colour (light shades). You may even find that hooked or braided rugs can add the authentic finished look that you want.

4. When decorating your country kitchen the accessories that will work best in such a design will be those that the family enjoys such as photos in wooden frames, painted rustic scenes, plants, candles and even lace curtains will add that all important finishing touch to any country kitchen decorating scheme.

Remember all you need to have is an open mind and choose the features that appeal to you the most and have fun designing the country kitchen of your dreams.

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Decorating Choices Can Be Too Varied!

One of the weird things about the world is that the more options a person has, the harder it is to decide just what to do. This is just as true in the area of home design as it is anywhere else. There are so many shows, companies, and option when it comes to interior design and decorating that the very number of options can prove stifling. One way to find ideas for creating a new look to your home is to consult a magazine; but again, there are so many, how can you decide which to purchase? The answer is, you can find sufficient ideas for your own project in just one print source, you just have to go about determining which one that is.

Home decorating and design magazines are available on newsstands everywhere, from Wall Mart to specialty construction stores and on your local gas station's shelves. They are available at bus depots, ferry terminals, and airports. One of the great things about these sources is not only their abundance, but also the inexpensive prices they entail. They are usually very original pieces of work, and cater to specific niches. Some, for example, will be geared towards owners of country homes, some to owners of old style Tudor homes, and some to young new home owners. This is the first step in your own selection process; determine if you are a member of the demographic whom the publication you are holding is writing to. A lot of the time, this information can be determined just from looking at the cover. Is the person in front of the home around your age, give or take five years? Does the home on the cover look like one that you could reasonably afford?

Some magazines cater to people who do not own their own homes but who are looking to add a personal touch to the space they are renting. These magazines are great for finding ideas to help enhance the appearance of any size of apartment or flat.

If you are lost in the sea of options when it comes to design, then a good magazine is a great way to regain your direction. Use the pictures to determine the right look for you, and then take advantage of the step by step instructions these publications will provide in order to usher the design into reality.

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10 easy steps to the perfect bathroom

Monday, December 04, 2006

1. Determine what type of products you need according to the use and users of the bathroom.
2. Measure your space.
3. Produce a scale version floor plan.
4. Plot position of the products - make best use of space and include extra room around the products for moving around.
5. Plan out your plumbing, including water supply and waste requirements.
6. Plan for storage, lighting, heating and ventilation.
7. Get a quote – include cost of products, installation and extras such as flooring and tiles.
8. Appoint an installer and purchase the products, but don’t remove old fittings until the new ones have been delivered and checked for damage.
9. Add the finishing touches such as mirrors and other accessories to your new bathroom.
10. Enjoy it!

The following is a simple guide to planning your bathroom which takes you through the steps to follow if you are working on an existing bathroom and are changing the fittings you already have. If you are building from scratch, creating an en-suite or changing the function of a room, or if you are at all unsure about what you are doing, then you should seek sound professional advice before you begin.

First of all, think about what products you want to include and get familiar with all the options available so that you find a combination that’s right for you and your lifestyle; you will need to consider the space you have available and the needs of all the individuals who will use the bathroom. Include all the basics and add some luxurious extras if space and your budget allows, but don’t forget about the impact this may have on future buyers and the fact that you may not be able to take it with you if you sell your home.

Your existing plumbing may limit your choice of fittings so you should check with an expert first, and if you are extending your existing bathroom or converting a room into a bathroom, then there are building regulations which may also affect you.

There are dozens and dozens of bathroom showrooms across the country which have hundreds of products on display. Regardless of where you get your inspiration and ideas from you should always take the time to look at the fittings ‘in the flesh’ so that you can check the quality of the product and get a far better picture of what it looks like and how big it is.

Be prepared for some mess while your new bathroom is fitted. A straight refit where new products replace the old should only take 2 to 3 days to complete, but a more complicated installation, where new systems are introduced and extensive work needs to be done, can take longer. If this fills you with dread and you cannot get by without a fully-working bathroom you might want to make arrangements with family or neighbours to use their bathroom, or even book into a guest house or hotel for the duration.

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Home Interior Design Making Your Home Your Style

If you are planning to decorate the interiors of your home, there are many places to start with, the first being obviously the wall.

Choosing an appropriate color is really a daunting task. Mainly because there are so many options to choose from, literally an infinite array of colors and shades. This is the most versatile element of your room decoration, the easiest to change and the least expensive. Start by collecting paint chips and sample cards, but do not make the final decision until after the design and colors of rugs, carpet, tile, wallpaper and fabrics are finalized. So when you actually go to buy the painting it is very essential to carry small trim samples of all the above.

Always choose coordinated fabrics and wallpapers. Keep the background colors the same when designing patterns, for example all white or all ivory. Suppose there is a pattern in the design, it is better you repeat colors in each pattern after a certain number of times. Include a mix of different pattern sizes like large, medium, and small, rather all of them being of the same size. Add plain or textured fabrics for more appealing look.

First choose a theme for your room such as American country, English garden or techno modern. Then choose an anchor fabric that has 3 or more colors. Use the background color of the fabric as the wall color. Pick a mid-toned color from the fabric for flooring and large pieces of furniture which could be a simple solid or patterned design.

Upholstery can also be done in the same color of your anchor fabric or coordinating fabric. Use the brightest colors in the fabric for accessories and accents like welting, picture mats, and decorative pillows. Place your anchor fabric in at least three places in the room like upholstery, pillows, curtains etc. Use coordinating fabrics in other scales as accent fabrics, in tune with the anchor fabric, on chairs, pillows, cording, and tablecloths.

The general rule of thumb is to divide color use, with approximately 60percent of the room in a light color, 30percent in the mid-tone color and the rest 10percent in the brightest accent colors. In order for the ceiling color match the wall color, buy ceiling paint 1-2 shades lighter than the wall color.

Consider which paint finish to use. Matte or flat finishes hide wall imperfections, wall bumps or cracks as this finish does not reflect light. Flat Enamel and Eggshell Finish are a few examples. Glossier finishes like Satin Finish and Semi-Gloss will reflect more light.

Colors are often grouped as 'warm' and 'cool.' Orange, red, and pink are considered 'warm' colors, whereas blues, greens, and violet are thought to be 'cool.'

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Your Decorating Style Is Reflected By Your Choice Of Accents

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Creating and carrying through themes in decorating. Use accent items, different colors to make your own decorating statement, and don't let others change or influence it.

It is necessary to understand the value of every decorative article you purchase. By value, we do not mean only the monetary value; each article, in addition to its own intrinsic value has a value relative to every item used in furnishing a room. Whether it is an entire room, or just the fabrics and articles used on the dining room to make it stand out in the room, each item's beauty and value must blend with all of the others.

Artwork, furniture, silver accent pieces, the glassware, dinnerware, every inch of the linen and lace on the table, every yard of the fabric on the furniture and every carpet or rug used in a room must contribute, whether it be in a subtle or very obvious manner, to this aesthetic whole in order for a room to be truly successful. The specific style of decorating used matters much less than the knowledge, gained by experience and training of how to use the blending of items in a room to reflect the personality of the whole room, and, by extension, of the owner of that room.

One of the newest trends in decorating is the use of lighthearted themes, such as tropical or oriental motifs, that are more amusing in nature, rather than the traditional formal decorating trends. This type of decorating is off-beat, even bizarre, using unusual and delightful color combinations. Russia, Munich, Bakst and Martine of Paris have been the contributers of this new genre. Almost like a stage setting of "Sumurun" by Rheinhardt, these rooms spring at us from every corner, sometimes in a charming way, sometimes in a boldly astonishing way. There are homes, and the personalities who live in them, that would blossom in this type of decorating. It may not be considered a revolution in the decorating arts, but this style of decorating does not attempt to follow the rules, but rather to refresh and entertain. The very use of exaggeration in this style positions it exactly opposite the stunted formality so popular a decade ago, when it was thought that antiques had to be used exclusively. In reaction to this dull style, new startling colors were introduced and a fresh creativity was born.

It doesn't matter whether we are discussing your summer porch, your master bedroom suite, your family room, dining room, or all the way through to formal reception rooms or ballrooms, you must never let anyone change the mark you have made on a room through the decorating choices you have personally made and paid for. Purposely or inadvertently, family members or household employees may rearrange furniture, or move it from one room to another. The effect of carefree fabrics and outdoor furniture that you carefully chose for your porch will be ruined if the furniture of the living room is moved into it. By the same token, your should have a supply of easily movable chairs that go well in the ballroom to accommodate extra guests, rather than using pieces from other areas of the house that do not match the style of decorating.

About the Author:

Andrew Caxton is a syndicated writer who writes tips for many online resources. For additional information on interior design and decorating styles subjects visit

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Decorative Area Rug: How to Care for Area Rugs

Saturday, December 02, 2006

There are many reasons to want to purchase an area rug for your home. Maybe the living room is too large and a break in the floor area will give a spectacular effect on it. Or maybe a room has a very light color on the floor and something darker will make it look better.

The opposite effect can be done is a room is too dark and you need to make it more friendly, lighter. Your personal touch can also make the living rooms open area looking more elegant and fancy.

The best thing you can do when the rooms floor needs to be changed is to purchase an area rug. Replacing the entire carpet or hard wood flooring is always very expensive. You can have a very good result using an appropriate area rug and you will save some money. All the wood flooring replacement is hard to be done; it takes time and enhances many inconvenient.

Another area rugs advantage is the possibility to take it with you if you are renting the place. The landlord will happy to have his propriety unchanged and you will be able to personalize the place without making him mad. Everybody can be happy in the same time. There are so many designs for the area rugs that it will possible to find the one suiting your most exigent demands. You will find the area rug that is suiting your taste, that is for sure! You will find the carpet for any of the rooms you need to decorate.

There are area rugs for any room you want: the child bedroom or playroom, the living room, and the dining room. In your house you can have smaller rooms; you will find some area rugs for, too. There are also attractive area rugs for the bathrooms. They can represent waves, shells, starfishes, dolphins and many other symbols of seas or oceans. The colors can in the large variety of blue or green, maybe the sand color too. Whatever your preferences are, you will find the area rug who will change your home aspect, making it more warm and friendly.

Also, If you buy your new area rug from a good source, you will have instructions on cleaning, and it is important to use those if you want to maintain the rug in perfect condition. Regular vacuuming, at least once a week, is usually the basis. But, at regular intervals it is advisable to have your rug professionally cleaned. It is best to choose a technician or company with an industry standard certification.

About the Author:

George Wood is a successful webmaster of many popular sites including watches and blog site. If you want to read more about rugs, click over to George rug site.

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Trends in Decorating with Bamboo Blinds

Friday, December 01, 2006

Because of the durability of bamboo and its ability to withstand many weather conditions, furniture manufacturers and interior designers alike are using more bamboo in their products.

What was once used as a traditional art form as well as an energizing force in Japanese and other Asian cultures now makes an elegant style statement of both functionality and reliability. These characteristics lend to bamboo's revival as a home decorator item.

In fact, interior designers who see the appeal of natural bamboo use it more and more as a window covering. Partly because of its eco-friendly properties, bamboo is an ideal solution as a shade because it adds both an ethic ambience and charm to an interior space.

The versatile natural product can compliment the interior furniture of a room or blend with any decor. Bamboo blinds have a flair and grace that may look delicate, but are very durable.

Because they are natural, beautiful and easy to design around, designers create a more chic, exotic and natural look to a room by layering bamboo blinds under silk curtains.

Thanks to the numerous varieties, shades, colors and textures of bamboo blinds, they serve as an elegant, stylish way to keep out the light, providing a relaxed and cool look to any room.

Plus, you can change the look of your room from exotic to casual just by changing to a different type of bamboo blind. For more about bamboo blinds, browse Payless Decor's Web site.

About the Author

Article by Payless Decor, your premier source for blinds, curtains, shades, and other window treatments.

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Home Decor: 5 Easy Ways to Add Color to Your Room

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Is your room not sending the right messages to your guests? Does your sofa look plain and outdated? Would you like to give your room an easy facelift? Adding color to a room can bring your space to life and add style to your home. Lets take a moment to review the basics of decorating with color.

Yellow, orange, red and pink are referred to as warm colors. This is because they remind us of the warmth of the sun or a campfire. Blue, green and purple are referred to as cool colors. They remind us of grass and the ocean. There are plenty of neutral colors such as your grays and browns. Neutral colors tend to not contrast with other colors.

Paint can give your interior an entirely new look. When choosing a color for your wall, it is important for you to decide on the type of mood you would like to set for the room. What feel or moods are you trying to create in your room? Would you like a warm or cool atmosphere in your room? What color décor will be incorporated in this room? It is also important to choose the type of paint finish you would like to have on your walls. There are many to select from.

Sometimes adding something as small as a throw pillow or cushions on a sofa, love seat or chair, can transform a room's disposition. Different textures along with the right colors can produce an incredibly distinctive look to your space.

The right lamp can bring great sophistication as well as better lighting in a room. Always choose a lamp along with a lampshade. A shade helps to pull a room together and should coordinate with the other lamps in the room. They do not have to match identically.

Many people leave their windows naked with only shades and blinds to dress them. Drapes and curtains shouldn't only be considered as a means of adding privacy to your home. Hanging them to your window can soften and add texture to the room while filtering out unwanted sunlight. Choose draperies with a length that will benefit your room's décor. Long drapes add design and eloquence to the décor as it lays along the floor.

The easiest and fastest way to add life to your room is to, well, add life to your room. Placing fresh cut flowers and indoor plants in your room will give it an earthy feeling while satisfying your need for color.

Adding color to your home décor should be fun. It may take some time before you find a color scheme that you are happy with. But it will be well worth the effort.

About the Author

Fransis Rodrigues is the author of this article on Bedroom Decor. Find more information on the subject at

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Valances as Easy Interior Design Accents

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Window valances are a simple way to add interest and beauty to your windows. They can either stand alone to create a striking fashion statement, or be hung in conjunction with other window treatments, such as drapes, sheers or blinds. You can use a ready-to-hang valance or make your own.

Valances come in a wide variety of designs and fabrics to create the perfect feel in your home. They can be formal or casual, free-flowing or constructed. Here are a few popular valance types.

Balloon valances have a puffy, cloud-like appearance when hung above a window. Sometimes, to accentuate the fullness of the valance, they're stuffed with tissue paper or newspaper. They're generally made of lightweight fabric, and used for a more casual look.

Swag valances are created when a long scarf of fabric is hung across the top of the window, and secured by decorative sconces or brackets, resulting in a graceful drape of fabric on the window. A swag is sometimes simply hung over a curtain rod. They can be used on many different types and sizes of windows: short or long, narrow or wide. Lightweight fabrics work best in this application, as they're easier to arrange and they hang nicely. They can be used to create a casual look or more of a polished look.

Pleated valances provide a way to create a formal look. They're generally constructed of stiffer, heavier fabrics to better hold their shape. Lighter weight fabrics can be used, but are generally attached to a heavier backing for added support.

Valances can also alter the look of a window by the way they're hung. They're generally hung over the top of the window, in such a way that the bottom of the valance covers the top of the window. As a rule, they shouldn't cover more than one-third of a window. They can also be used to visually reduce the size of a tall window. Longer valances can give the appearance of a smaller window behind it. Or they can bisect a window, similar to a café curtain, to create a look on the lower portion of the window.

Beginners and experts alike can use valances to change the look of a room. You can find ideas anywhere, from home design books, to magazines to the internet. Valances don't have to be store-bought to be attractive. A little creativity can go a long way toward creating the home décor that fits your lifestyle.

About the Author:

Kenneth Morris continually creates detailed reports on news related to curtains and interior design. His publications on window valance are found on

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Top 5 Tips For Home Decorators

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is your house and home feeling a little bit tired and jaded? Does it lack that special edge that it once had? If so you're no doubt sick of living in a home that no longer suits you so why not convert that drab interior to something fantastic? Your home should be a place of rest and relaxation. A place for you to recharge your batteries that have been drained by todays busy lifestyles. The great news is that regardless of what type of look or feel you want your redecorated home to have there are ideas aplenty available to you for use as inspiration.

There are several important tips that you should follow for each interior or home decorating project:

1. Choose A Theme Have a very clear idea of what you want the finished "product" to look like before you begin. Get your hands on as many home decorating books and magazines as you can. As you read through them you'll find yourself drawn to one theme or style more than others. Exposure to as many decorating styles as possible is the key to success here.

2. Choose A Color Scheme During your theme research you'll have noticed that most decorating themes rely on specific color schemes to achieve the required results; those colors are standard to that particular decorating theme. What do we mean by this? Well for example Asian decorating styles and themes are dominated by the use of red, black and dark blue. Another example is tropical decorating themes which rely more on green, red and aqua colors. Your chosen theme will, realistically, follow the same basic pattern of using a fixed palette of colors for the entire decorating project.

3. Choose A Use For the Room What will you actually do in the room you're redecorating? Just because the room was originally built for a specific purpose don't mentally trap yourself by only decorating to that particular type of room. For example if your family eats most of their meals in the kitchen then don't decorate your dining room with a large dining table and accessories - it's a waste of the room. It could be converted to a study, home office or even a play room so don't limit your thinking to using any room for its original purpose - unless it suits you of course.

4. The Shopping List Of all the items that you could potentially list here paint is the most important. Paint forms the "foundation" of any room and if you rush the paint job then everything that comes afterwards just won't "work" in the room. Another mistake many people make is to buy the cheapest paint possible. You might save a few bucks on the cost of the tin but you'll wind up kicking yourself later on when you realize it's going to take 3 coats to finish each wall instead of just one - it's generally not cost effective to buy cheap paint; it just doesn't cover or finish as well as the more expensive brands.

Also make allowances in your budget for disposable overalls and any cleaning or preparatory materials you might need for your project. Decorating can be a messy business so prepare for the clean up operation before you even begin.

5. What To Paint With? Another important decision is whether to use brushes, a roller or foam painting pads. Brushes have their uses for "edging out" a room - for those tiny corners. For the large surface areas it makes more sense to use a roller or paint pads. Personally I've found rollers to be just plain old messy and now use paint pads (some stores call them speed painters) for any large surface area that needs to be painted well and quickly. Use a roller if you really have to but bear in mind that they're extremely messy so make sure both you (disposable overalls are ideal) and the flooring is well covered against splashes.

Don't forget to have some fun along the way too! For all the planning, preparation and work that goes into redecorating any room or home it should still be a fun experience for everyone involved. You'll have that added sense of satisfaction knowing that you redecorated or helped to redecorate your home with your own hands. Take some time out to relax in your new room once it's finished - especially before you start redecorating the next room in the house.

About the Author:

This article was provided by Aaron Walker at www.DecorSecrets where you can grab an interior home decorating idea to suit your style and budget.

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Choosing Fabric for Curtains in Your Home Decor

Sunday, November 26, 2006

There’s more to shopping for curtain fabric than seeking out the perfect print of the weave those complements the color scheme to perfection. Furnishing fabrics are not all suitable for every situation. With the wide range of weaves and weighs of cloth available, make sure the one you buy will do the job you have in mind. The two most important factors to bear in mind when looking for curtain fabric are resistance to fading and the weight of the fabric.

Light resistance curtains, being so close to windows, take a lot of punishment from sunlight. Make sure to close fabrics that are resistant to fading and rotting by the sun’s rays, particularly for rooms which get the sun throughout most of the day. Look at the weight and quality of the fabric. In general, all but the lightest curtains are worth lining, and even some of the thinner softer cloths, which drape well look very limp unless they are lined.

The after-care of made-up curtains also needs some though when choosing fabric. Unless a fabric is labeled and sold as pre-shrunk of fixed-finished, shrinkage have between five and six per cent is considered normal. Fabric needs to be flexible enough to roll around a wooden dowel. All medium-weight fabrics can be used, but look for tightly woven cottons for really reliable results. If curtains are going to need regular washing it is sensible either to pre-wash the fabric, lining and tape, or to make curtain with detachable linings.

About The Author:

Roger King has been involved in home interior designs for several years, and has been helping people find and review the best value for interior design solutions. Visit his web site to learn more about this service.

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Vintage Chic Interior - A How To Guide

Saturday, November 25, 2006

With the recent trend for all things retro, I thought I'd share my thoughts on this quick and easy guide to creating a picture-perfect vintage chic home interior:

1. Planning Think granny's home in the 60s and 70s with floral motifs and lace tablecloths. There are no hard and fast rules on what makes for a vintage look. Generally, the furnishing includes antiques, second-hand furniture or new pieces deliberately 'distressed' to look used. This means reinventing vintage items and giving them new life.

2. Key Pieces Whimsical designs ranging from crystal chandeliers, floral fabrics, old-fashioned lampshades, wrought-iron furniture, comfortable armchairs, candles, recycled accessories and offbeat ideas like using an old teapot to hold fresh flowers. There's no running away from wallpaper, furs and curtains if you're going for the European vintage look.

3. Color: Light vs Dark Personally, I like to opt for light colors like white and cream as they evoke a more breezy and casual touch. It's also the classic base palette of the vintage look. This color is also easy to work on since you don't have to worry about clashing color. Alternatively, rich and darker color like burgundy, purple, black with gold accents can also character to the room.

4. Cheap & Chic The key to a bona fide vintage look is, well, vintage pieces. As such, you'll need to include second-hand pieces which do not break the bank.

5. Coordination Rules There are practically no rules on putting the pieces together. However, it is important to visualize the impact of all your mismatched bits and pieces when placed together. While we are not talking Stepford Wives perfection, it helps to create a theme or motif that recurs throughout the space. For instance, pick a family of colors and vary them subtly. Using white as an example, we'd be looking at egg shell, cream, caramel etc.

6. Where to Shop Anywhere! From ebay to antique malls and flea markets, the important rule is to know what you want but be flexible to adapt when necessary. If doubt sets in, do not commit to a purchase.

About the Author:

More information about home decor ideas available at I love all things beautiful; be it people, fashion, art, literature or home

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Creating a Unique Room with a Wall Mural

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Home interior decorating distinction truly lies in details, the personal touches and unusual twists that make a room entirely unique. To put your personal mark of creativity in your home, do what many professional interior designers do: use a Wall Mural.

Wall Murals are among the most versatile of decorating tools. Furthermore, they are affordable and easy to install. Any wall takes on a more finished look with the addition of a Wall Mural.

Wall Murals are extremely useful in the kitchen. Kitchens typically contain permanent appliances and cabinets that separate wall space. By adding an elegant Wall Mural with a Tuscan or garden theme, the overall space will be unified while also giving the room greater depth and visual appeal.

A Wall Mural can also provide a visual transition between the kitchen and the living room beyond it. Choose a bright or whimsical design, such as Tokyo Night or Japanese Temple at Dusk.

Experts agree that we spend nearly a third of our lives asleep! With that in mind, you can easily transform your bedroom into a luxurious, comforting haven with a beautiful, serene Wall Mural (such as one depicting a sunrise, sunset, or water theme). Make your most private room your favorite with the clever addition of a Wall Mural.

Now you're on a roll. So why not use a Wall Mural to decorate your powder room, guest room, dining room, foyer, or home office? The possibilities are endless. The addition of a Wall Mural makes your living space unique and beautiful. Give your walls an instant face lift with a Wall Mural!

Find a wide selection of Wall Murals at You may also inquire about Custom Wall Murals.

About the Author:

Lisa Herbik is a happy homemaker who loves to do her own home interior decorating. For more fun and free tips for decorating your home, check out her website,

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Exciting tips on lighting design

Some time we do not know why we like or dislike a particular room or interior. Proper lighting and illumination is the most important factor in designing an attractive environment. Today there are many villa lighting applications, which can be used to meet up specific lighting needs.

General or Ambient Lighting: It refers to an overall level of light that makes a room or space more comfortable and safe for intended use. Recessed lighting is very popular and comes in 3 to 8 diameter. Recessed lighting is available in hundreds of styles and colors to control the spread of light in particular decor or theme. House is an actual enclose that is installed into the attic and connected to power system. In the office environments, general lighting is offered in form of luminous fluorescent ceiling panels.

Task Lighting: It refers to the higher level of light offered specially at work areas such as kitchen islands, countertops and desks. Additional light could be redirected to these areas using recessed or pendant fixtures. Fixtures with either low or line-voltage halogen offer a whiter, warmer light. 5 watt xenon or halogen lamps spaced 6 inches apart are most suitable for task lighting purposes where the fixture is within 24 inches of the work surface. The transformer is as well included in many low voltage fixtures but it is sometimes separated depending on the particular fixture and style.

Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is approximately four times the level of ambient light in any area. Same again, Halogen lighting type fixtures offer a whiter, brighter look than standard incandescent or florescent type of fixtures. The chosen fixture needs to be directional on swivel type fixture to aim the light exactly where it is required. For further museum-type effect, some fixtures could include a focusing lens for pinpoint accuracy. Wall Washing: It is again a type of Accent Lighting, which creates an area of uniform illumination, which might desirable for a series of photos or further artwork. Wall washing typically reduces the texture of wall surface. Often the reflected light could even create ambient light in the remainder of the room that appears pleasing and restful.

Wall Grazing: It is just opposite to Wall Washing, it creates a dramatic highlight and shadow effect on surfaces such as draperies, stone or brick. Ceiling light fixtures for Wall Grazing are placed near to wall in order to highlight the three-dimensional effect.

Lighting that is perceptively measured and organized could make a real difference and will bring an improvement that lasts for years together. Many home improvements Stores also have sample displays of different lighting systems and fixtures. As today there are huge variety of appliances and electronics, lighting fixtures available, be sure you purchase from reputable company. There are numerous online retailers, which offer name brand fixtures delivered to your door at very competitive prices.

About the Author:

Subhash is an experienced professional lighting designer who has brought life in to various houses, bureaus, films etc... He has also made various live shows alive through his lighting techniques. For further queries on villa lighting, home improvement and outdoor lighting Contact Subash at samsubhash.rk@gmail.comand to buy attractive an.

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Japanese Interior Decorating Style

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How to achieve the clean. serene look of Japanese style in your home. Using a few accents to create this effect. How Japanese culture affects Japanese design.

Using some Japanese decorating details in your home's decor will absolutely transform its look. Japanese decorating automatically adds a calm and serene beauty to your surroundings. Even just a few details from this school of design will help to change your home and help it to reflect a less hectic lifestyle.

It does not take a professional decorator to achieve this transformation from frantic to serene. It just requires a investment of time and money (and not much of either) to learn about the style and obtain some Japanese decorative items. How do you achieve a Japanese look in a room or home? Let's look at the culture of Japan to get some clues. The Japanese culture is based on formal. polite. calm manner of doing just about everything. This is reflected in their home design. Very simple designs. without a lot of color or detail. is the hallmark of Japanese design. The Japanese decorate with a few sleek pieces. such as mats and screens in simple fabrics and designs. It is more important to choose the right item or artifact than to have a lot of different things in the room.

The role of natural light is very important to Japanese design. and rice paper screens and walls are used to allow light to shine through. while still affording privacy. To emulate this look. you should use soft curtains in light colors such as white or cream. with no decorations or detail around the windows. An open plan room. which allows light to enter every part of it. is very Japanese in feel. Floor mats or screens to delinate different areas take the place of walls. The whole concept is very minimalist. with no clutter or knick-knacks around.

The simplest look that you can achieve is the look that will reflect a Japanese feel. Tables. for example. are usually low black lacquer. without any vases or cloths on it. Plain hardwood floors will have no covering. and since the Japanese remove their shoes in the house. none is needed. All of the furniture is low. with clean cut lines. These lines are the essential spirit of Japanese design. You will see lots of straight lines and few curves in Japanese design. including on walls. furniture and any of the few decorative items to be found. Natural products such as wood and stone are used almost exclusively. Use these tips to add the important elements of Japanese design to your home and you will have the desired simple beauty in no time.

About the Author:

Andrew Caxton is a syndicated writer of . A focused website that offers the best articles on interior and decorating styles , read more about Japanese decorating designs

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7 Tips For Your Home Interior

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A home is built with collected memories. Add warmth and comfort and you have the perfect sanctuary!

Cushions in floral patterns mix well with plain or striped cushions. Buy some inexpensive cushions and add one or two expensive ones if you like. Table runners are also great to add some new color to your home. Match the table runner with your cushions or buy two or three and use as place mats.

1. Rule number one in decorating – there are no rules!
2. Adjust the light in rooms. Light needs to be softer in rooms you “live”in and bright in rooms you “work” in. You can moderate light using blinds and shutters. Curtains are not always necessary.
3. Mix expensive and inexpensive items.
4. There are no formulas for choosing colors: find your personal spectrum. What is important is to create a sense of harmony, and that does not necessarily mean colors that match. Burned terracotta/orange might go well with deep red. Green might go well with the right shade of blue. Be bold!
5. Get inspiration from books and interior magazines, or visit museums to find inspiration from the past.
6. Try combining different textures and colors in interiors.
7. Use loose covers on upholstery to bring inexpensive changes.

For more inspiration please be free to visit

About the author:

Edna Solem is the owner of House of Edna. She has more than 25 years working experience behind her. Please be free to visit or

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Curtains are More than just Window Dressings

Monday, November 20, 2006

Among the many elements of home decor that can enhance the feel of the home, curtains are the most useful. They are not merely window coverings; they provide style and grace, and they serve a more practical purpose by increasing your home energy efficiency.

Curtains are, basically, window dressings often substituted by blinds. They come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. They offer privacy and can change the look of the whole room. If you select your curtains carefully, you can increase the intimacy of your room, and add a touch of elegance and style to your home.

Choose the color of your home curtains carefully. It should match with the rest of the interior design and at the same time speak of your personal taste and style. However, in getting too personal do not forget the coordination with rest of the decor. What you want from the room and what you are is well reflected from the kind of color you choose for the curtains. If you have already decorated your house with the according to your taste and selection then choosing the curtain color would not be a problem.

When one is trying to create a cozy and intimate feel, curtains can play a material part in accomplishing this goal. Warm, rich colors, like reds and browns, "earthy" colors, enhance the intimate feel. They make a room seem smaller and warmer and can contribute to feelings of intimacy between friends and family. Make these rich colors in a material that is heavy and soft, like velvet or a similar fabric, and the feeling is complete.

On the other hand, choose cool colors, like blues and greens, for more elegant and formal rooms. They make the room look bigger and more spacious than it actually is. For cool colors, choose light fabrics like silk and linen. You can bring in formality and elegance to the room with light fabrics in opaque and solid cool colors.

You can have light translucent curtains for the summer months. They add to the cool breezy feel of the room. Use bright colors or light pastels to add to this appeal. These colors evoke openness and happiness. Prints and pastels used for window curtains enhance the breezy cool feeling of the room.

Curtains are more than just home decor. They remove the usual monotony and a feeling of living in fish bowl. Plus they add to the privacy and energy efficiency of the house. One you have pulled up the curtains, you feel warm and secured, since you know no one can look in or intrude on your privacy. Curtains act as very good heat insulators. Light fabrics for curtains in summers keep the home cool and thick one in winter keep it warm. Thus, you can save on you energy consumption costs.

Curtains are a normal part of our lives; we cannot do without them. They add to the beauty of the house and make us feel more comfortable. However, the secret lies in choosing curtains carefully for each room to create the desired effect.

About the Author:

About the author: Teegan Lala writes exclusively for Free Curtains, it's one of the webs most up to date Curtain sites, while you're there sign up for the free newsletter. If you want to read more Curtain articles go to:

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Interior Design - Your Bathroom and the Hot Tub

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Interior design is about creating a harmonious space to live in, about creating exciting and functional environments in your home. You don't have to be an interior designer to know that designing a bathroom deserves as much attention as designing all the other rooms. Today, many people choose luxurious bathroom fixtures: massage showers, whirlpools, hot tubs and so on. Massage showers and hot tubs are the most frequent fixtures used in the modern bathrooms.

If you've ever wondered what a hot tub is, the simplest definition comes from ancient times when the tubs were made of wood and their purpose was water treatment. Wooden hot tubs are still used in some spas and resorts, for the special touch they enhance the interior design with a certain "je ne sai quois" reminding us of long-forgotten times when there were no modern bathrooms and people had to bath in wooden tubs. Just remember: no matter how cool the wood hot tubs might look, they are extremely difficult to maintain, so choose something to really ease your stress and not something that will double the work in your home.

While some spas still use wooden tubs, there are many private spas that use specially designed hot tubs and whirlpools to create a relaxing atmosphere for their clients while still using the healing power of warm water. It is a known fact that warm water helps not only to reduce stress, but also to ease sore muscles and aches.

Would you like to design your own modern bathroom, a spa to relax and forget about your daily routine? Would you like to have something like this in your very own home? Could you? Yes, because modern bathroom fixtures were specially made to be affordable, functional and, above all, comfortable.

Interior design is an art that will allow you, even when you live in a small apartment, to transform your narrow bathroom into a real health spa. Sure, you'll not be able to fit an oversized hot tub into a tight space, but there are plenty of manufacturers who design hot tubs especially for users like you! You'll just need to look for some small, two-person hot tubs and you're done. Sure, if your bathroom is too small for a hot tub, or any tub for that matter, you could always choose a massage shower.

Many manufacturers design modern hut tubs and whirlpools to fit in most of the narrow bathrooms that still use small old tubs. The materials vary from molded plastic to acrylic and quarrycast. Quarrycast is a mineral crystal composite, a new material developed by Victoria & Albert Baths, to enhance your bathing experience: it's warm to the touch, keeping the water in your hot tub hot for a long time; it has a naturally high gloss finish and it can be colored with the dye of your choice, maximizing the interior design options in your bathroom.

If you choose a hot tub for your bathroom, you don't even have to worry about installation troubles. What you'll need is a hose and a power supply and you're done. Sure, when what you need is an in-ground hot tub for your garden, the job might get a little bit difficult, but not impossible and, above all, worth your time. Besides, outdoor spas are easier to maintain and cheaper, but if you want to install a hot tub indoors, make sure you use a good ventilation system, as a tub increases the humidity inside your bathroom and that might lead to mildew. Remember this advice and you'll do just fine!

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Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Interior Design

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History & Uses of Tiffany Lamps

Saturday, November 18, 2006

For over 100 years Tiffany lamps and lighting have been an essential part of a luxurious home décor. These stained glass lamps are from the style and design of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 - 1933). Louis Tiffany used his creative talents to follow his love for art, instead of following in his father's footsteps. His father, Charles Lewis Tiffany, was the founder of the silver and jewelry firm Tiffany & Co. In the 1880's Louis turned his focus from his oil and watercolor works to interior design. The goal of Tiffany's new passion was to elevate interior design to the same level as fine art.

During this time Tiffany began using the discarded glass pieces from his stained glass panels to create the decorative lamps synonymous with his name. These lampshades were created by carefully fitting hundreds of hand cut glass pieces into copper foil enclosures. Copper foil is extremely light and strong which enabled Tiffany to design and create large and complex shades for his lamps. Commonly Tiffany lamps use a bronze sculpture base, but it is definitely not restricted to this material.

Tiffany style lamps can be used in many rooms within your home with various applications. Tiffany ceiling light fixtures are a great lighting source for illuminating a whole room. While smaller table lamps are an excellent source for directed lighting. If space is an issue Tiffany floor lamps can provide a lot of light while taking up minimal floor space. Tiffany lamps can also be found for desks, billiard lighting, walls sconces, and accent lighting.

Tiffany lamps have always been and will always be a beautiful piece of art as well as an outstanding addition to your home. Do not wait another day to add the timeless beauty and elegance of Tiffany lamps to your home. It is something many have always wanted and now is a great time to make it happen.

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All Things Tiffany - copyright 2006

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Tips On Curtain Design

Friday, November 17, 2006

When you are contemplating an interior decorating project in your home, you should not underestimate the impact that can be achieved by choosing the right drapes for each room. You need to be aware of a number of factors when you are looking for those perfect drapes. These include; what kind of room are you purchasing for? Are there any practical considerations that come with that particular room? What atmosphere or mood do you want to create in that room? What size are your windows? What existing décor do you need to coordinate with?

Here are some examples to illustrate the importance of these questions and to show you what we mean. When looking for curtains for your children's bedrooms, you probably don't want a heavy costly formal style. You will need instead something simple, with a colorful and fun pattern that can be easily taken down and washed.

On the other hand, in a formal dining area that is reserved purely for when you have guests, you can afford to be more extravagant and the heavy luxurious curtains can fit perfectly. For kitchens, you need to consider the positioning of your windows. Could long drapes cause a fire hazard, or become messy and stained very quickly? You are probably best to select well fitting washable curtains, or possibly even a blind.

Whatever room you are choosing your drapes for, be sure to have a good look at the rest of the décor, or existing furniture to see what your curtain design needs to go with. You don't need to coordinate all your soft furnishings, in fact the same fabric all over the room may be a little over the top. However, you do need to make sure that the colors and tones that you choose complement your existing scheme, rather than clashing with it.

If you can take along an existing seat cover or cushion when choosing your fabrics this will really help, as memory can easily distort color. There are so many colors and patterns of material available that you should have no trouble selecting just the right fabric to complement the rest of your room without overpowering it.

If you are confident with a sewing machine, you can create really original pieces at a very low cost by buying discount drapery material. Buying a little extra material to make small scatter cushions and perhaps a table runner, when backed by plain colored material accessories, can really give a professional finish to your room.

However, if you don't feel up to making your own, you will find an amazing choice of ready made, or made to order drapes and curtains to suit every room in the house and every possible taste. Shopping online can bring some great discounts on soft furnishings, but be sure to check the shipping costs do not outweigh the discount you receive. Take your time, shop around, and you will be sure to find the perfect solution to your window design needs.

About the Author:

Focusing on the area of curtain design, George Davidsberg wrote essentially for . You might discover his work on drapes over at .

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Home Interior Decorating Tips - Get More for Less

Homeowners are looking for more cost-effective ways to improve the appearance, real estate market value, and usability of their homes. This is also true when it comes to home interior decorating.

One great way to cut costs is by recycling. Most people put emphasis on recycling things such as plastic containers, paper, and cans. But there are benefits to be realized by homeowners who also recycle wood products and other materials when they remodel, refurbish, or update the interior design of their home.

Recycle Wood to Increase Eye Appeal of Interior Design

Even if you don’t ordinarily decorate your home using second hand furniture or antiques, mixing old with the new can create a stunning effect. It can also save a great deal of money. All it takes is a sharp eye for a bargain and a little creativity.

For instance, a visit to a second hand shop could turn up used cabinet doors. By fitting mirrors behind one of the cabinets where panels would normally go, a rustic focal point with style and class can be created. Stress and refinish the wood before inserting the mirrors. Or cover with antique parchment paint in a soft pastel shade.

This charming mirror, reminiscent of country cottage days, is perfect for a vanity, as a backdrop to plants or an interior water feature. Or in a bedroom decorated with feminine charm.

Another interior decorating tip is to capture the beauty of naturally aged wood in custom designed furniture. Salvaged slabs of thick wood such as Douglas fir, cedar, oak, and pine make marvelous “one of a kind” counters, tables, stools, and shelves.

Other ways to Recycle Material

A second hand store, yard sale, or even the attic is a great place to find other items that can be refurbished or simply cleaned up a bit, to compliment your interior room décor. An old antique bell makes an interesting, quaint replacement for a door bell. And old fashioned milk cans, favorite farming icons of days gone by, add a special touch of nostalgia and country charm to a room.

Try painting the can cream, cinnamon, spruce, soft buttercup yellow, or another color that compliments room color scheme. A cluster of hand-painted flowers (daisies, sunflowers, pansies, or cottage roses), herbs, or vines would add just the right touch.

This would make an enchanting umbrella stand near the front door. On a porch or patio it makes a lovely holder for plant pots that fit snuggly at the top of the can. Old-time favorites such as morning glories, sweet peas, jasmine, English ivy, or nasturtiums would be gorgeous trailing down over the sides.

Recycle and Save

Old dry sinks, cabinets, and counters capture simple elegance when refurbished and used as bathroom vanities, night stands, and hall tables. Vintage light fixtures, doorknobs, hinges, and strike plates can also add a distinctive touch, while saving money.

Millions of tons of construction and demolition materials are discarded yearly. Homeowners who recycle wood and other materials when they redecorate not only save thousands of dollars. They reduce waste and help protect overuse of natural resources.

Why not call on the services of a licensed professional the next time you get ready to redecorate? Not only will they have terrific ideas for ways to incorporate recyclable materials into your home interior decorating plans. They most likely have resources you don’t have for acquiring the items. And, at a very affordable price!

About the author:

Max Sheppard is Co-Owner of is your one-stop renovation and home improvement resource website: where homeowners locate professional contractors and interior decorators across Canada. Handy also offers free Home Improvement and Garden tips.

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Bedroom Decorating Ideas - Turn Your Bedroom Into A Getaway!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Your bedroom should be one of the most relaxing places in your home. If your bedroom feels disordered, you may not sleep well. Experts suggest mess or reminders of work in your sleeping space will interfere with getting a good night of sleep. These things keep your mind moving, and you may be worried about what you forgot to do, or what you will have to do the next day. You have to design your sleeping space for peace and relaxation. Bedroom decorating ideas are abundant, and your biggest problems might not be finding ideas, it might be narrowing down what you want from a list of things you like.

Bedroom decorating ideas are everywhere. You can find inspiration in magazines, on television, in movies, and even in store displays and catalogs. What you have to do is decide what feel you want for your sleeping area. In most cases, you want a relaxing color. A bright red or yellow might not be the best idea. However, a deep maroon or a very light yellow might be all right. The idea is to make sure the color is relaxing to your eye and not energizing or bright.

There are other bedroom decorating ideas you can consider. If you don't want to paint, you can choose to go with wallpaper. There are many from which to choose, and what you choose should be to your taste, but again, not bright or noisy. Look for something soothing, elegant, and easy on the eyes. You can find unique wallpaper designs by shopping around. You may not know what you are looking for, but don't let that stop you. You will know what you like when you see it.

You can also watch home improvement shows like Trading Spaces, or television networks like HGTV to get bedroom decorating ideas. The options are endless, and you may end up feeling overwhelmed. Once you have found three or four ideas you have fallen in love with, turn the television off. If you have too many choices, you will end up having a hard time narrowing it down. Don't let your selection of bedroom decorating ideas get the best of you.

If you can't decide and don't know what to do, you can ask with an interior designer to get bedroom decorating ideas. They will charge you a consulting fee, but it may be well worth it when you really want to do it yourself, but you have no idea where to begin. You can give them a general idea of what you want, and they can design something to fit the space you have, with the look you are looking for. They know how to mix and match colors, patterns, and ideas to make the perfect sleeping space for you.

About the Author:

Linda E. Joy provides readers with up-to-date commentaries, articles on home improvement ideas, as well as home living, and other related issues.

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Using Rustic Curtain Rods in Your Interior Design

How Rustic Curtain rods can go with just about any style. There are many different types of rustic curtain rods available. You can get rustic curtain rods in almost any size, too.

Rustic rods are so simple yet elegant, that they work with almost any type of decorating, from country to metropolitan modern. If you want to give a modern look to your windows, the simplicity of this design is perfect. On the other hand, in a country setting, they add a natural touch to windows and doors and the rest of the home. Using these types of curtains will really work in any setting.

Despite the versatility of rustic style curtain rods, they have the unique advantage of being extremely low cost. Even the lowest priced ones can be found in discount outlets at further reduced prices. Whether you look for them in person or online, you will be able to peruse a wide variety of designs. If you have decorated your home in a country theme, rustic curtain rods are the most perfect choice. The leaf, floral and animal patterns of country style curtains go perfectly with this style of rod, which can also have leaves, scrolls, and ivy on them.

These kinds of rods, despite their low prices, are really well crafted and very artistic. The metal in these rods is hammered and brushed metal so that the rod has a lovely polish or patina to it. They have the unique advantage of not rusting, since they are protected with a waterproof glaze on the surface. These rods are handmade, so the variety available for your decorating needs is almost infinite; each one is slightly different from the others. They can be small, medium or large, so you are sure to find the size that will suit your window frames. The standard size of rustic curtain rods is 24 to 36 inches, but larger sizes, rods that expand from 36 to 60 inches, and from 60 to 90 inches are available. This makes finding the perfect fit for your home easy, You can also obtain these rods in custom lengths. Add custom finials, beautiful hand finished mounts made of iron, iron rings, and mounting hardware all made in the patina finish unique to these rods, and you truly have a work of art. There are rustic curtain rods available in the market that are up to twenty feet long! Shipping costs would be applicable to the rods if you have them shipped to your home, but well worth it if you want to achieve a lovely new look in your home with rustic curtain rods.

About the Author:

Andrew Caxton is a freelance writer for . A free online magazine that carries articles on curtain rods, and a guide on curtains and window coverings

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Home Interior Design - Tips on Choosing Furniture Designs

Monday, November 13, 2006

What makes designers what they are? What makes them decide on a particular décor, a certain furniture, this carpet, that coffee table? And, most importantly, what makes their interior designs different from any ordinary housewife simply trying to create a home out of a house?

Like any field of expertise, interior designing and the feat of choosing furniture for your home require basic principles. Fortunately for the clueless housewife, she doesn’t have to be secret rocket scientists and she doesn’t need to rush to the nearest university for a crash course in interior designing. These basic principles, tips and guides are as easy as 1-2-3.


Unity simply means having the same motif, the same theme for a particular room in your home. For example, while trying to redecorate your living room, you decide to go with a Victorian style with the color scheme burgundy. In selecting furniture, carpets, paintings and other décor for your Victorian living room, make sure that they fit perfectly into the Victorian look. Go for plush couches with intricately carved wooden arm rests. Go for similarly-toned curtain tassels that matches thick curtains with elaborate designs. A minimalist glass coffee table or an irregularly-shaped corner lounge chair made of metal in bright blue color simply will not do in a Victorian living room. Unity of design means all items, all furniture in the room are pulled together and unified by a single theme.

Balance and Proportion

One very important element of Aesthetics and Western design is balance or proportion. This element simply means that items in a room must be well-distributed or equally and strategically placed all over the room. Avoid over-crowding one area of the room and leaving another area barren to the eyes. A good room with proper balance and proportion should have symmetry. Symmetry creates a feeling of serenity and stability in the room.

Any person can create a lovely home. With the help of these two basic elements in designing, anyone can choose a furniture design without fear of it being out of place in your new home. If you only stick to a design suited to your personality and follow these two above elements, nothing can go wrong. Choosing furniture designs according to your taste but tailoring it around these two elements will definitely make your new home a reflection of your personality.

About the author:

JB Anthony is the webmaster of For more information, articles, product links, designs, product reviews, reports and updates on furniture, please visit the site,

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