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    The allure of historical wall tapestries

     

    : Since antiquity people have used textiles for all range of purposes. From blankets for warmth, to elaborate woven fabrics for commerce, they have been at the very center of human life. The need for textiles, combined with our desire to enhance the world around us, has given rise to a huge range of fabric based art, everything from basic colored cloth to complex woven textiles. Tapestries and wall hangings have long been one of the most accomplished forms of this art, having a history dating back millennia, and artists from almost all cultures have contributed some form of textile wall art. Recently tapestries and wall hangings have enjoyed a rise in interest, with many people looking beyond traditional options for wall decor. The tactile nature of tapestries, combined with their rich history, has made them once again a choice for the well-informed home improver. Traditional tapestry designs Although there is an increasing amount of contemporary art available as tapestries, it is the traditional designs from the past that are the most popular. Since tapestries have enjoyed a long history these can include anything from Gothic wall hangings, to French Baroque and Rococo works from the 17th and 18th centuries, to more recent 19th century William Morris and Pre-Raphaelite art. The main appeal of these impressive works is their connection with history. The range of designs and themes is vast and include subject matter as diverse as the rise and fall of nations, the importance of art movements at different times, and the prominence of individual artists and groups. Most appealing is that each has its own claim to history. This combination of artistic excellence and history writ large is proving irresistible to many art lovers who yearn for more depth in their home decor choices. There are many famous tapestries from the past. In particular the middle ages took wall tapestries from the domain of practical decor into the realms of art. Boasting famous works like the Bayeux Tapestry and the Lady and the Unicorn series, the medieval era is seen by many as the golden age of tapestry art. More importantly for the first time we see tapestry wall hangings widely appreciated as works of art, rather than just practical pieces of home furnishing. A growing popularity Reproductions of these famous works are proving very popular with modern audiences. Given the historical importance of these works of art some of the current productions available are fastidious copies of the originals. The very best of these capture the drama and virtuosity of historical art, perfectly blending it with modern weaving methods. The end result is often very faithful to the original artists' vision, with all the durability and appeal of modern fabrics. From the vivid colors of medieval tapestries, to the exoticism of Eastern schools of weaving, traditional tapestry designs often surprise modern art lovers with their attention to detail, their ability to capture emotion and their exploration of timeless themes such as love and romance. An enduring allure Because of this these centuries-old designs are enjoying a renewed prominence and are once again making their way into the homes of taste conscious art lovers. Every tapestry, because of the individuality of the weaving process, is a unique work of art unlike any other. In a world driven by mass production art and home decor enthusiasts are drawn to the uniqueness of wall tapestries as an antidote to the monotony of many other dйcor options. Now, despite their ancient origins, many people are again looking towards historical tapestries and wall hangings as an answer to their modern home decor aspirations. With an ever growing range of options for shoppers the choice has never been better. Copyright © The Tapestry House, all rights reserved.

         
    The basics of the murphy bed plan

     

    As living space becomes more efficient, two social trends have converged to foster the Murphy bed’s regained popularity. First, because housing is more expensive, every available area needs to be used in as many ways as possible. Multi-use rooms are an extremely effective way to expand that space. Second, the “do-it-yourself” boom is still in full swing, as people choose to economize where they can by providing their own labor. Thus, turning a bedroom or study into a multipurpose guest room/work room by building one’s own Murphy bed is an increasingly popular project. Murphy bed plans and kits are available at a variety of sources. Manufacturers and retailers of Murphy beds often offer suggestions and technical support for this project. Many of these manufactures also sell a Murphy bed Plan. Other resources are the fashionable home improvement shows and home make-over shows. Often, a video of one of these instructional programs will be available to guide the home carpenter. Carpentry books are also a good resource. The project itself is fairly simple, involving a box that fits within another box, and that has legs that rotate in or out, depending on the position of the bed. The cabinetry that surrounds the bed can be as simple or ornate as the homeowner would like. A place to start looking for a Murphy bed plan is the manufacturer of the special mechanism that the homeowner will need to purchase. These patented mechanisms are what allow the Murphy bed to be opened out or shut away with a minimum of effort. These businesses are also a source of technical support. It is in their interests for your project to be successful. Simple shop tools and an intermediate level of comfort with wood-working projects will allow the home carpenter to build a custom Murphy bed for his home. Building one’s own bed will allow choosing the exact woods and trims to compliment the home and match existing woodwork, for a truly built-in look.

         
    The beauty of an antique murphy bed

     

    Murphy beds have been in existence since about 1900, when William L. Murphy invented the patented mechanism to hide his bed away in the closet of his one room apartment while he entertained. The beds have been in use ever since, always appreciated by city apartment dwellers and homeowners who needed an extra bed in a multipurpose room. During World War II and directly afterwards, the beds dropped in popularity, first because of the scarcity of steel, and then because people were moving out of the city to larger, suburban homes, and space was not at such a premium. In the decades of the fifties and sixties, the beds were mainly remembered as props in slap-stick comedy, or the place to hide the body in a mystery story. Now, Murphy beds are experiencing resurgence, as professional people move back into the cities and make their smaller living spaces more functional. Many apartment dwellers are finding these beds already existing in older buildings, especially in places like San Francisco, where the Murphy bed was invented, and where many Murphy beds were sold for the apartments built between the 1906 earthquake and World War II. Antique Murphy beds are now much sought after conversation pieces and design focal points, as well as practical, still-functioning pieces of furniture. Antique Murphy beds are also being sold in fine antique stores all over the country. Many of the original mechanisms still function and the cabinetry used to create the units can be quite beautiful. Buyers should remember, however, that a true Murphy bed is not going to be older than the invention, patented in 1900. The piece may be housed in a cabinet that is older than the patent, but the mechanism cannot be older than that. The buyer should be knowledgeable about the furniture of the period as a whole, and about the mechanism itself. Intelligently purchased, these beds can be an investment and a functioning piece of furniture.

         
    The beauty of wood

     

    Have you ever walked through a forest and marveled at the beauty of it all – the green heaven, the rustle of fallen leaves, the whisper of the wind, the birds in the branches and the wonderful majesty of the trees. That beauty can be transferred to the objects made from the wood of those very trees – mahogany furniture, cedar toys, rosewood jewelry boxes, teak decks on ships, ebony carved statues Throughout the ages, wood has been a raw material. The first peoples made shelters using wood and animal skins. The first tools were made of wood and the first hunting spears were wooden. Dating back to Neolithic times, bowls and plates carved from wood have been found, as have wooden idols. In some Egyptian tombs, ancient wooden chairs have been preserved. And in some cultures, coffins were carved from the trunks of trees. In this country, the Native American tepees we made on a wood frame, and their canoes were, at first, hollowed out tree trunks. Later, some built a lightweight wooden frame, probably of cedar, covered with bark sewn together with tree roots, and sealed with a mixture of sap and fats. Of course, the paddles were made of wood. Some of the most beautiful homes built by the pilgrims and other immigrants used wood from trees growing in the settled areas. The inlaid designs in the furniture and floors certainly indicate the high level of expertise of the builders. Early settlers in the west built log cabins, and even today, log cabins are being built in some parts of the country. Some of the so-called log cabins, however, that people are having built, mostly for vacation homes, are built with planks of wood, rather than whole logs. These early settlers also built their own furniture and fashioned some interesting dolls and toys from wood, some of which have become prized family antiques, collector’s items, or are being copied today by talented wood workers to please more children. Of course, everyone knows that early ships were built of wood. Early Egyptians knew how to take planks of wood, hold them together with treenails and use pitch to caulk the seams. The first mast may have been two wooden poles lashed together at the top to make a triangular shape, to which a single sail was attached. Although this was basically a sailing ship, it could be propelled by human power with oars. Different groups designed their ships differently, but for a long time, all would be made of wood. Some of the most beautiful model ships are replicas of the early sailing ships. The craftsmen who build these models to scale use some of the most beautiful woods. In modern homes, wood is prized. Hardwood floors are more desirable than cheap wood covered by carpet, solid wood furniture costs more, but it is chosen by those who can afford it. One sometimes sees occasional tables made from a slice of a large tree trunk. It’s fun to count the annual rings which indicate the age at which the tree was cut. . There are innumerable ways in which wood is used, but one seldom stops to think of what nature provided.

         
    The bedroom refuge

     

    Is your bedroom a haven — a sanctuary where you can rest and rejuvenate? If not, here are some suggestions for making your bedroom into the room that provides peace of mind along with bodily comfort. Your bedroom reflects who you are. So the first question is, how do you see yourself? Imagine yourself in different settings. Does traditional furniture — classic Queen Anne, Chippendale, 18th and 19th century European antique styles — give you a feeling of stability and continuity? A canopy or sleigh bed in rich cherry or mahogany, with Pachabel playing on the stereo hidden in your carved armoire, may be the perfect romantic touch you’ve been seeking. Perhaps the setting that makes you feel warm and cozy comes from country furniture — the rough-hewn rustic look or the distressed finishes of cottage styles. Homey fabrics, like chintz, linen or denim, and accessories like handmade quilts, needlework pillows, rag rugs, and framed watercolors with outdoor themes may support your vision of the perfect place to relax and get a good night’s sleep. The casual contemporary look leans towards light glowing woods like maple or dramatic pieces in dark stains like espresso. Clean lines on popular styles, such as Mission furniture, make for a sophisticated yet warm space. Japanese prints on the wall and flower arrangements in colored glass vases may make this your favorite room in the house. One step beyond contemporary is the look of modern furniture for those who love the linear design of retro, Art Deco, or an eclectic mix of styles. Fabrics are simple, and leather pieces work well. A lacquered platform bed and low sleek pieces can mix well with bold colors and richly patterned rugs or bedding, or show off a collection of black-and-white photographs on the wall. Whatever style calls your name, ambient lighting in a bedroom enhances the mood. Put a dimmer switch on the main light in the room, or think about lamps that goes on and off to a clap of your hands. Have at least one bright light if you have a "work" corner in the bedroom that hosts a computer or project table, and a good reading light near your armchair or by the bed if you like to read in bed. To keep the peaceful atmosphere of the bedroom, hide TVs or computers in an armoire so they’re not in view except when being used. Scented candles, fresh flowers, and a beautiful decanter to hold your drinking water are wonderful touches for any bedroom. The most important part of the bedroom is often ignored for too long. Is your mattress the right one for your back and for deep healthy sleep? Upgrade to a new pillowtop or possibly a larger size mattress for the ultimate in bedroom comfort. And if your bedroom haven is just too wonderful to leave in the morning, how about installing a "morning bar" with a coffee maker and small refrigerator? Breakfast in bed, anyone?

         
    The concept of positive and negative spaces in interior design

     

    When talking about positive and negative spaces it is important to first understand the term "space" in itself. In interior design any volume which is being contained within masonry walls and are habitable is normally termed as space. The volume that gets enclosed in an architectural structure is just a tiny fraction of the vast amount of "universal space". By universal space I mean the cosmos or the gigantic vastness in which our planet and all other planets, starts etc.. survive. The volume, which gets contained in a building, varies according to the use of the building. A cinema theatre and a bedroom will surely have different purposes and hence volume. Volume gets defined by three factors, length, breadth and height of the habitable room. But irrespective of the volume both types of buildings mentioned above have "spaces" enclosed within. Lets consider the bedroom for the sake of this article. A typical bedroom will have certain architectural elements attached to it at the time of construction of the building and certain "imposed" later for the sake of proper function. Also it is important to note that no one builds bedrooms in isolation. A bedroom is always a part of the entire home plan. The architectural elements already present in a bedroom would be attached toilet and its entrance door, attached terrace or backyard entry, attached study room. All these spaces have work like supplementary role in a bedroom. Now the "imposed" elements are the furniture in the room, other accessories that will occupy the space in a bedroom. A typical bedroom will have a double bed, wardrobe, dressing table, side tables, study table, book shelf etc.. All these are necessary to use the room in a comfortable way. When these furniture are arranged in a room what remains is termed as the "circulation space". Now most people think that the volume of the furniture and the remaining empty space must have a balance between them. Because it is not the occupied volume, but the empty volume, that decides the comfort levels inside a room. If you visit a store room on the basement of a house which is normally used to dump useless things, you will notice that the empty space remained is very less and hence the comfort levels there, are poor. So in interior design the "empty space" is equally important. Now here comes the concept of positive and negative spaces. Normally a negative space is considered a space which can not be used for a specific human activity. But this is not true. As said above the over all comfort levels in a room is determined by both the occupied as well as non-occupied spaces. So any smallest piece of floor area that is not being occupied is going to contribute to the comfort levels. That's why the terminology of being positive and negative as far as usability is considered becomes a personal matter. What you think as a useless and non functional space can become a good place for your kid and his friends when they play hide and seek. It's just the viewpoint to look at thing that matters. Also a little creativity can alter a non-functional space into a functional one. But remember what I said earlier, in interior design empty space matters. It is not just beautiful furniture, costly paints/wallpapers/paintings that are going to decorate your rooms. Finally it boils down to only one thing, YOU and YOUR mental as well as physical health in that space. I hope this article was helpful to everyone. Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya

         
    The decor is totally up to you

     

    If you are beginning the process of building a new home or of moving into a different home, then you are well aware of what a process that is. It seems like there are an endless amount of decisions to be made and choices to be had. One of the biggest yet most overlooked decisions in the moving process is deciding on the right decor for your new home. As an interior designer, I love reminding people of the importance of choosing the right decor for their homes. All too often I see people build or buy these amazing homes but then stop before they fully finish them with the right decor. Even the most beautiful home will be left well below its potential until it is filled with great decor. How do you go about choosing great decor, you ask? Well, my first encouragement to potential customers is to think about the things they like. I send them home with a pile of home and decor magazines and ask them to flag items, colors, or any ideas they like. When they return to my office we try to piece together their ideas and come up with a good foundation for their home decor. If you can, head to a local library and check out as many magazines as you can. Take a few hours or a few days, however much time you have, and see what ideas for decor you can compile. You may be surprised how easy it is to narrow down what fits into your style and what does not. Once people have narrowed in on a style that fits their decor wishes, the next step is to come up with a color scheme that seems to match them and their home. Going to a paint shop and collecting color samples is a great way to compare colors and shades. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of color when designing decor for a home. You can do everything else right and still fail with your decor unless the colors are just right. A key to keep in mind is to remember who you are when you are choosing colors. You do not want people to enter your home and wonder at how different it looks from you and your style. It is always a good idea to choose decor for the most important room in your home first. That room will vary for each person, but the point is the same. You want to put time and energy into a room that means a lot to you and that you will use a lot. Whether this is the living room, kitchen, family room or master bedroom, don't get too far into your decor without doing this first room well. There is much more to be said about decor. The important thing for now is to just begin gathering ideas and talking to professionals for help.

         
    The effect of light on color

     

    Licensed interior designers and color consultants consider the direction a room faces. Whether it is north, south, east, or west, makes a great deal of difference to the choice of color scheme. For instance, a bedroom that faces east and receives strong sunlight in the early morning will look very different when next seen late at night in artificial lighting. A west-facing room that has a warm glow in the evening can look dull in the mornings. Your choice do colors should take this into account. Of course, an ideal aspect is not always possible for everyone. City flats may enjoy little naturally available light and be overlooked on all sides. A north-facing room can expect less sun than a south or west facing one; but whatever the aspect, with clever lighting and color scheming the interior can be made to feel welcoming and attractive. The style of house you live in can also make a great deal of difference to the amount of available light in an interior. A country cottage may be in a superbly sunny location but have low ceiling and tiny windows, which can make the interior, feel dark and gloomy. Modern homes with spacious open-plan interior and large picture windows will be even more affected by their characteristic and seasonal changes. If there is a living room with a patio or conservatory attached which is used as an additional seating area during the summer but not in winter, the decor will have to be flexible enough to accommodate the changes. For people in doubt over lighting and color schemes some top interior designers suggest painting a room white before making a final color choice. This is a good way to observe how changes in natural light affect an interior and helps you make the most of it when choosing a color scheme. Window and walls will appear darker as they only receive reflected light; ceiling always looks darker than walls painted the same color. The effect of artificial lighting on curtains is better seen if a sample gauge of fabric is pleated and held upright. Put samples flat on the floor and move them around the room to see how different positions and lighting conditions can affect the color.

         
    The importance of themes in living room decorating

     

    What exactly is a theme? To make things simple let's put it this way. A theme is nothing but a group of design elements combined together and given a name. Some of the common theme names we have heard are 1) Contemporary theme 2) Oriental theme 3) Country theme etc.. So a theme includes elements of decorating that are responsible for a drastic change in any given interior space. What these elements can be? A theme might include colors, finishes, textures, specific shapes to be used, budget restrictions, or even a material of only by a particular manufacturer. Such a group of design elements when combined together gives birth to a "theme". It is perfectly possible to add, delete, modify, alter, replace any one or all the elements in this theme. It all depends on what you like/dislike. For example If I say that a "contemporary design theme" does nor or should not include a specific color for ceiling in the living room, you have total right to modify the above statement and make your own depending upon what you like/dislike. So any design theme is always evolving and you can use "creativity" to give birth to new themes. But what about the themes that are already existing? 1) Contemporary design theme: In these type of designs much emphasis is given on "simplicity" and straight lines and forms. this type theme says that a square in it self is a beautiful and "balanced" entity hence most design elements in this theme are simple forms made of straight lines. Also plain colors with their shades are used to create a "play" of light and shadows. 2) Oriental design theme: In these type of design majority of surfaces are treated for "relief work" such as textured plasters with heavy decorating, wallpapers, with decorating prints of natural elements such as leaves, flowers, scenery. Surfaces are treated as a way of expression. 3) Country design theme: In this theme more and more natural elements are used for creating furniture and other elements. that's why more country houses have wooden furniture, wooden flooring, shutters, ceiling made of wood etc. So wood is used as a major language of expression. While selecting theme for your living room it is necessary to first analyze what you like most and the budget criteria. Once this has been defined finding design elements that fits your design theme is relatively easy. But one thing must be kept in mind that a living room is the face of your home. Once you decide or finalize the theme for your living room, it becomes almost necessary to use the same theme for rest of the room. Of course this is not an absolute rule, but keeping a common theme for your entire home helps to maintain a visual balance. I hope this article was helpful to everyone. Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya

         
    The latest trend antique rugs

     

    Many designers and design publilcations are saying antique rugs are the hottest thing right now in the home decor market. Fancy resorts, hotels and other high end destinations are all jumping on the band wagon. Rugs which many consider a precious investment, due to thier age and value, are now found in the hippest interior designs. Why are they so valueable? Hand woven carpets such as these are a living history, recording memorable people and events. Passed down from generation to generation as family hierlooms, these antique rugs are an important part of world culture. Some consider them their most prized posessions, since these antique carpets are works of art which have several pratical uses. Skilled craftsmen and designers spend hours weaving intricate patterns and images into them. No wonder they have been used like currency for thousands of years. One of our oldest artforms, described in writings of the ancient Egyptians and Marco Polo. Hand woven rugs are made by many different cultures across the globe from South America to Asia. Although, unlike many art forms, they have stood the test of time, with some being over two thousand years old. A Brief History of Antique Rugs from Europe During the rule of the Muslim Moors between the 8th and 13th centuries, Europe was introduced to rug weaving primarily through Spain. The travels of Marco Polo and Spanish embassies to Venice were mainly responsible. The two most notable styles to originate from Europe are the French Savonnerie and Aubusson styles of the 17th and 18th centuries. French Savonnerie, established in Paris(1628), produced ornate rugs primarily for use in palaces, special order and royal request. Traditional artists were overseeing the production of rug orders, so their influence is highly visible. Scenes from the Savonnerie antique rugs depict the glories of the age, floral garlands, naturalistic flowers and ornamental motifs. Antique rugs with romantic scenes of medieval times also are typical of the latter part of this era. Antique rugs of the Abusson style, rumored to have begun in the 8th century, were formally established in 1743, with the advent of a royal rug and carpet factory. The initial productions from this factory were reproductions of key Turkish and Smyrna rugs. Also, designs were less intricate and expensive than those produced in Savonnerie. Later, a new style was implemented here, based off of Savonerie, to be less distracting. A Brief History of Antique Rugs from India During the 16th century, Humayan, the son of the first Moghul Shah, was exiled to Persia by an Afgan revolt ten years after the death of his father Babur. During his nine year stay he developed a taste for Persian art, and upon his return to India he brought with him two reputable Persian artists. Well known for their paintings, here these Persian artists established the Moghul school of painting which blended their styles with that of the Indians. This was the basis for Humayan's son Akbar to encourage the development of fine arts and artistic industries. The earliest recorded evidence of rug production came at this time, praising Akbar for nurturing artistic weaving and the arts in general. Early antique Indian carpets and rugs feature free designs, with little symmetry. Floral and animal designs are a common theme, with some of the animals having several heads and devouring each other. Pictorial realism and Hindu mythology are both major characteristics of antique Indian rugs. Abstract symbols and dense ornamentation also distinguish antique Indian rugs from others. Antique Indian rugs, reknown for their vibrant colors, were produced with their famous dyes. All the colors of the rainbow were extracted from their local flora. The local fauna produced the wool primarily used for weaving, although silk was readily available and used often. In short, it is no wonder these ornate works of art are now on western designers minds. From beauty to usefullness and floor covering to wall decoration, antique rugs are here to stay.

         
    The less stress less mess smarter way to paint a room

     

    Brushing up on the best way to paint a room might be easier with a full palette of ideas from the experts: • Color. The first step is paint color selection. It's a good idea to try a small sample on the wall or hang up a paint color swatch to see how light affects the color at different points in the day. Some paint manufacturers make it even easier for you. For example, Behr's Preview Samples let you create your own custom-tint 8-oz. paint sample, enough to paint a 4' x 6' area of your home. You can order the inexpensive samples through the company's Web site and they will be shipped directly to your home. • Sheen. After deciding on color, you may want to select a sheen. For example, a flat/matte sheen helps hide surface imperfections. Low-lustre flat enamel sheen is very washable and perfect for high-traffic areas, while eggshell enamel offers superior scrubability. Satin enamel has a silky warm, pearllike finish, while semigloss is sleek, radiant and scrubbable. • Calculate. Determine the amount of paint you'll need by measuring the height, depth and breadth of the room. Be sure to subtract the measurements of the doors and windows. • Prepare the room. Remove or cover the furniture. Make sure it's away from the walls so you have room to work. Remove switch plates and outlet covers, and tape hinges, doorknobs and other small items you don't want painted. Cover your floors with a drop cloth or plastic sheeting. Items that should not be painted (such as securely attached window valances and ceiling fans) should be completely covered with plastic sheeting or masking paper. Repair any holes or dents in the walls. Remove any loose debris from the damaged area using 100-grit sandpaper or a lightly water-dampened rag. Using a putty knife, apply a thin layer of patching material to any cracked or dented area, feathering the patching material one to two inches away from the repaired area to blend the surface evenly. Allow to dry. Sand finished area with 220-grit sandpaper, blending the patched area evenly with the surface. Scuff sand glossy surfaces. • Application. Once you get the paint home, stir it thoroughly. Use a high-quality, nylon/polyester brush. Dip a third of the bristle length into the paint. Remove the excess paint from the brush by tapping the bristles against the inside of the paint can. Apply paint to the perimeter edges of the project area with a brush prior to rolling. Start at the top and brush the paint from the nonpainted area to the previously applied areas. Reload the brush as necessary to maintain a wet edge, approximately every five inches. Once the perimeter of the wall is done, pour the paint into a paint tray or a five-gallon bucket. Dip the roller cover completely into the paint, covering the entire roller cover area. Remove excess paint by rolling onto the ribbed section of the paint tray or bucket grid. Starting in an upper corner of the wall, place the loaded roller cover approximately three to four inches away from the painted perimeter. Working in a three-by-three-foot area, roll a "W" onto the wall. Roll back into the previously applied paint to maintain a uniform finish. Continue the "W" technique three to four inches away from the last section applied. Work from the top down, until the wall is completely covered. • Cleanup. Remove all tape and coverings. Take drop cloths out of the finished room and shake off dust and debris. Reattach switch plates and outlet covers and any hardware that was removed. Vacuum the floor, re-hang pictures and mirrors and put furniture and decorative accessories back where they belong. Wash brushes, rollers and pans in warm, soapy water. Work the cleaning solution throughout the brush bristles or roller cover, rinse twice in clean water. Allow to dry. • Sit back and enjoy your beautifully painted room. This advice is based on information provided by the experts at Behr, long known as a manufacturer of quality paint, stain and varnish products.

         
    The logic behind an adjustable bed

     

    If you've ever wondered why a bed is flat and your body isn't, you've probably considered the idea of being one of the many owners of an adjustable bed. There are many advantages that come with an adjustable bed that you just can't get with any other type of bed on the market today. With the help of a remote control, you can literally change the shape of the bed to your most desired position, as well as eliminate the pressure points while you sleep, read, watch a good movie surf, the web via your laptop or just enjoy a fantastic relaxation session. Although an adjustable bed can be heavier than a regular bed, and maybe a little more expensive, the comfort level you can attain will definately be worth it. To some, it just doesn't make sense that we, as people, regularly sleep on a flat surface. Our legs are curved and the human spine is also curved, so by sleeping on a flat bed, we don't always get the proper rest we deserve, and increase the chances of waking up with aches and pains due to pressure points. You can drastically reduce these problems with a good quality memory foam mattress, and even more so with an adjustable bed armed with a latex foam mattress or viscoelastic foam mattress. There are many companies out there offering you multiple options when it comes to a top quality adjustable bed for you home. Some examples may include names that may be familiar to you such as, Craftmatic, Simmons, Adjust-A-Bed and RoyalPedic. An electric bed is a great way to improve the way you feel everyday, due to an excellent night's sleep night after night for many years to come, so when you shop around for one, you want to make sure the product is durable and comes with a good warranty. You may also want to look at models with tempurature control, and a built in massager, for that extra added comfort and convenience. Think of how great it would be to have a bed that conforms to the shape of your body no matter what you are doing in bed, and provide you with a level of sleep quality and relaxation you never imagined was possible

         
    The look of your kitchen windows defines the personality of your home

     

    What does your kitchen mean to you? When you think of your kitchen, do you think of hectic family meals trying to bring everyone together, or is there a sense of calm and tranquility? Do you wish that your kitchen had more or less light? Does it seem as though, even though you've made an effort to clean, organize and decorate your home, there's something about your kitchen that's just not quite right? Counter space is at a premium in nearly every kitchen around the world. No matter how much space you already have, it seems as though there's always a need for more counter space for trimming meat, slicing vegetables and chopping fresh herbs. While great lighting can't affect the amount of space that you physically have in your kitchen, more natural light can affect the way that your kitchen looks to others - and the way that you feel about your kitchen. In fact, lighting has such a strong effect that, the same room viewed with two different sets of kitchen curtains can look like two completely different rooms. If you're looking to make a dramatic difference in your kitchen, sometimes it's a matter of installing new kitchen windows. If you cannot afford new kitchen windows, you're likely to find that it's possible to get the same effect simply by changing your kitchen curtains. By taking the time to find the right kitchen curtain brand - by finding curtains for your kitchen window that fit the size of the window and the look that you are trying to capture within your home, you can be sure that you are able to bring in the right amounts of light and still have the privacy that you both crave and need. After all, choosing the right kitchen curtains is about more than just picking out a solid color swag - blues, greens, creams, yellows or other shades are available, and are likely to be able to fit in with your kitchen decor. Choosing the right curtains is about either creating or completing the look that you've chosen for your kitchen. One popular option that many choose is to select a neutral swag to create privacy behind a kitchen window. Rather than just beige, eggshell or off-white kitchen curtains, many people forego a dense fabric and instead choose lace. This is because lace curtains still provide privacy, but also let in more light - a blessing for those with small, dark kitchens or even larger rooms that have small windows. Even lightly colored kitchen curtains can help to warm up a room, provided you've chosen the right window dressings for your home. Of course, not everyone wants to stick with neutral curtains - some people want flowers, fruits and vegetables or some other country-inspired theme to ensure that all of those who visit their kitchen will be able to pick up on the home-y, warm feel that you have worked so hard to create. For example, if the theme of your kitchen was country, you may choose kitchen curtains patterned with fresh, ripe-looking apples to complete the look and draw to mind thoughts of a country pantry and mom in the kitchen baking pies. If you've always loved traditional gardens, it is possible to use ivy, roses, sunflowers pr even hydrangeas as a medium for bringing the outdoors in As a word of caution, however, many people it seems, look for ways in which they can mix and match from different styles when they make an effort to update the look of their kitchens. In general, this is a bad idea - even if the windows are far apart from one another - as each pattern serves to divide a guest's attention (as well as your own) by creating tension within the room. Why settle for mis-matched curtains in any room of your home? Why struggle to find the right look only to realize that creating it simply is not possible? When you have the right kitchen windows - and the right look in mind to complete them - you'll find that it's easy to choose and stick with a style. Take your time and really consider what you're looking for. After all, the look of your kitchen as well as the look of your home, can be greatly affected simply by making the wrong choice.

         
    The more creative home office

     

    Copyright 2006 Suzanne Falter-Barns A few years back I wrote here about Kathryn Weber, whose beautiful ezine, The Red Lotus Letter, is one of the top Feng Shui ezines out there. (Feng Shui is the Chinese art of using interior decoration to create an auspicious life.) It’s a great mix of the practical and the mysterious. To that end, Kathryn has shared with us some tips on how to set up a more creative office, using Feng Shui concepts. (Fellow skeptics, please stay open and read on. You may find some surprises here.) And, as someone who has RADICALLY overhauled my office, my files and my systems lately, I can’t urge you enough to dig in and clean up … it feels amazing! And boy, ideas are flowing through me like mad. Here are Katherine’s thoughts: On Setting Up Your Office If someone wants to begin a home business, typically they have a space to dedicate for that purpose. Maybe a spare bedroom, the dining room that’s not used. Sometimes their business doesn’t take off because they’re trying to get something started on a card table and a folding chair. This is not an inspiring environment; it doesn’t get you started in a fruitful way. Offices are really symbolic of the amount of success you have. If you can’t get a query letter to pique interest, why? Take a look around. Are there kid’s toys and other crud in the corner? Is this truly a dedicated work space? You need to really give your chosen space over to your new endeavor. Then outfit it for success. You’ll need storage for pens, papers, filing beyond milk crates, real working office furniture, etc.. If you want your business to be a real success, make it a real office. Desk Placement Many people push their desk against a wall because that’s where plug is. Yet, then you’re in a place of arrested development, because a wall represents an obstacle. That puts you in a subordinate position; for instance, policemen always say ‘turn and face the wall.’ High level executives often turn their desk so it can face the door. This is a command position, so you can look up and see who comes in the door; it puts you in command of your career. Ideally, your desk needs to be turned so there’s a solid wall behind you, yet it still faces the door. You won’t feel supported unless it’s solid behind you. L-shaped desks can be a problem. People work at the small part, and whole big desk is not used… so they confine themselves to small area. The Chinese look at L-shaped desk as a hatchet or cleaver, so you’re getting cut in half. The 45 degree angle puts you at odds with your work space. Decorating Make your office a visually appealing space. Paint it a favorite color, or one that’s auspicious for you. The Kua Calculator is a Chinese Feng Shui tool that helps you pick your auspicious color based on the time of your birth, date of birth and your gender. That will help you figure out which element is associated with you. Then you can also decorate with whatever nourishes that element. If your element is wood, water feeds trees, for instance. So watercolors, water-themed visuals, pictures of turtles, lakes, and boats on lakes … these are good for a ‘wood’ element person. Don’t be shy Hang up your accomplishments. Some will post their goals, but they don’t post accomplishments that show how far they’ve come. Post published articles, photos of significant moments or famous people you’ve met, awards or kudos, thank you letters or from happy customers, anything significant. Frame them right on a South wall as inspiring artwork; this is the wall of fame. I would not leave a blank area, because that’s a vacuum. Attention is always drawn to a negative … so fill it up. Display a symbolic mentor Most of us would love to have a coach or mentor, but we may not be able to make that happen. So display a picture in your office of someone you’d like to be like, or whom you’d like to have as a mentor. I have a picture of Oprah in my office because of her biz acumen, her truth, and her caring for people. The way she goes about her business is my model. How to arrange your desktop Arrange your desk according to Feng Shui. Water or coffee goes in the north; a picture of your inspirational person or mentor is in the northwest. In the northeast, put a book of inspiration. In the east, a vase of flowers; southeast, a small green plant. To the south put a lamp or something red, the southwest a crystal paperweight, and to the west, electronic equipment such as computer or radio. That’s a more auspicious arrangement. Want to know more? Kathryn’s available to consult long distance via phone, photograph, video, etc...Check out additional tips in her good article, redlotusconsulting/PowerOffice. html

         
    The perfect ceramic tile a guide

     

    Any sort of home improvement requires careful planning. The perfect ceramic tile for making your dйcor dream come true is out there, but finding it requires a bit of research and patient planning. Remodelling your floors with ceramic tiles will create the look and feel you are after, whether it's in your kitchen, dining room, or entrance way. In fact, most remodelling experts recommend ceramic tiling in areas of the home that suffer from the wear and tear of high use. These areas are the entrance, kitchen and dining areas, patios, showers, and bathrooms. Ceramic tiles are the perfect flooring choice for these areas because they are durable. Ceramic tiles also have the added advantage of being easily cleaned. Of course, ceramic tiles are not only durable and practical choices, they are also stylish choices that can accommodate most decorative themes. You can find ceramic tiles that are made by hand, which are quite expensive but absolutely unique. Or, if you are on a budget, ceramic tiles that are generically manufactured are just as perfect. It all depends on the room and the look you are after. Apart from manufacturing characteristics, ceramic tiles come in a wide variety of vibrant colors, eye-catching shapes, and unique styles. durable, easily cleaned and most importantly, they are affordable. That is why you will find it almost everywhere you go in the world. There are literally hundreds of choices out there. One of the most popular ceramic tiles these days is the mosaic, which is the perfect choice if you are creating an ethnic theme. Start your research on ceramic tiles by doing a quick Internet search. There are hundreds of manufacturers with websites that offer information, advice and photo galleries.

         
     
         
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