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House Floor Plans For A New Home

May 31st, 2011

It is very exciting to have your house built according to your specifications for your particular lifestyle. Each individual has different needs so in order to have a more comfortable living, it is a good idea to make or renovate your home using home designs Brisbane. Hoe the final outcome of the turns out is highly dependent on the initial steps of the process, such as the floor plan. It provides the basic sketch specifying the critical requirements of the design. Floor plans should be prepared with the help of architects and contracting companies for more precision and better design.

What is a floor plan? –

A floor plan is a basic drawing of the home or building structure. It can be prepared for the entire building or any particular area. Floor plans are prepared when constructing a new house or renovating an existing one. Floor plans vary from house to house depending on the requirements of owners. Using the basic floor prepared from an overhead perspective, a blueprint is made. This is more detailed and exact scale drawing of the floor plan.

Considerations to be made when drawing a floor plan. –

Before getting your floor plan prepared, you need to state and define your needs and requirements. These include your lifestyle needs, size of the family, number of children and pets, expected number of guests, and more. You also need to make room for any possible changes that might be required in future. For example, you might be planning for children or converting a portion of the house to be used as a home office. You should also have a rough sketch in mind of the interior design needs. For example, if you are planning to have a huge sofa in the living room, then the size of the room has to be large enough to accommodate that.

Why you should hire an architect for preparing a floor plan? –

A well-thought out floor plan ensures that there will be minimal requirement in the future for renovations. Hiring an architect to do this job means you can have access to expert opinion and expertise in preparing the floor plan according to your needs.

House builders provides a range of services to people wishing to have a customized house built according to their particular requirements. They have a team of professionals for every step of the process. Beginning from a floor plan to providing the final finishes to the home, house builders are able to deliver the dream house you had always thought of owning.

For the best house designs Brisbane, consult Brisbane Unique Homes http://www.brisbaneuniquehomes.com.au/, a team of expert house builders Brisbane.

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Top 5 Surprising Decorating Secrets Revealed

May 31st, 2011

Decorating doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. You can give any room new life and vitality with a few well chosen pieces and a splash of color. You can change the rooms of your home to match each season without spending a fortune to do so. The best part about these ideas is that you can store them after each season has passed for use the next year.

1. Throws and pillows – Pillows and throws for every season. You can get brightly colored throws and pillows to bring in the freshness’ of spring. To make this all the more inexpensive you can use existing pillows and only add a slip cover in the desired colored fabric. If you sew this is even easier and cheaper. By the end of the year you will covers for each season at your fingertips.

2. Candle lanterns as a decoration are great. You can get to contrast with the walls or the furniture. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. You can also get them in essential oils scents. In the spring lavender, roses and peach essential oils candles can give your home the fragrance of a spring glen after a rain.

3. Glass vases can be used to hold flowers or clear ones to hold brightly colored marbles and rocks. These can be used to dress up a mantle or a side table. They can even be used as centerpieces for a bold new dining table design.

4. Interesting pieces of wall art can also change the entire feel and scope of the room.You can find some great pieces in copper or cast Iron that will be smart an innovative as a decoration. Finding interesting paintings can be as easy as visiting your local street fair or university.

5. Changing the curtains can also change the atmosphere of a room. In spring and summer change to light or even gauzy type of curtain coupled with blinds to block some of the light and provide privacy.

Decorating can be easy. Just for fun buy some slip covers for sofa, love seat and chair. You can make the old look fresh and new without investing in a new set. Look for more decorating made easy tips online and you can find a lot of the items mentioned here online. When the season’s change or if you feel the room needs a quick “pick me up” you can always do it creatively for less.

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Garage Floor Coating Will Brighten Up Your Concrete

May 31st, 2011

Seamless flooring is a great option for garages, with being non porous, it will not soak up grease and oil stains like an ordinary concrete floor will. There are many products on the market that claim to be able to clean grease and oil stains from concrete, but not all are what they claim to be. So why waste money when you don’t have to? Having Garage Flood Coating put on your concrete garage floor is a great option and it is very easy to clean. Stop wasting money on products to clean grease and oil stains and start saving money by putting in seamless flooring.

Because of it’s non porous surface, seamless flooring is perfect for garage floors as it won’t soak up grease or oil spills. With the added advantages of having seamless flooring installed, especially with the gorgeous options available, there is no reason at all not to consider seamless flooring.

If you are looking to find a system that helps you keep your garage clean and stain free, then this is the perfect system for you. It is seamless, so dirt and dust won’t be trapped in cracks and with it being non porous, you won’t be forever trying to clean up grease and oil spills from your concrete. Just a wash over with some soapy water and a mop and hey presto, your floor is clean and free of oil and grease. It makes a lot of sense to install seamless flooring in your garage.

This awesome seamless flooring system provides a great dust free environment as well which makes it great for allergy sufferers. It is easy to clean and won’t damage easily, it won’t stain either and it won’t trap dirt. It is the perfect flooring solution for any type of concrete flooring. For families with a busy lifestyle, this tough, low maintenance flooring system is perfect.

Epoxy Flooring can be used indoors or outdoors, on pathways, outdoor entertainment areas or even indoors in rumpus rooms or kids rooms. With its hard wearing surface, it makes sense for high traffic areas. This hard-wearing, decorative surface makes sense for families who like to play.

So if you love having a clean garage, free of grease and oil stains, then there is no way you can say no to seamless flooring. It is a fantastic flooring system and it makes a lot of sense to have this type of flooring installed in your garage.

Flawless Flooring http://www.flawlessflooring.com.au/
offers a fantastic range of Seamless Flooring Brisbane options. The garage is a
great place for this gorgeous Epoxy Flooring Brisbane as it is non porous and
will not soak up grease and oil stains.

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Getting The Best Out Of Wooden Floors

May 31st, 2011

I was recently offered the option of free rent in exchange for refurbishing original wooden floorboards. Like many homeowners, the landlord believed the job too difficult for the unskilled. However, there are only three basic steps to follow to achieve polished wooden flooring from unfinished timber floorboards.

Step 1: Preparing the wooden floor surface. Check closely for any damaged timber. This will need repairing before you start otherwise the sander will simply make the damage worse. Ensure that all screws are tighted as much as possible and that neither they or any nail heads protrude above the surface of the floorboard. Pace the floor area listening for any squeaks and feeling for any movement. Noisy or moving boards result from distortions or bends in the boards. Do not use nails to fasten them down as they will move as soon as pressure is applied to the floorboard. Instead, drill holes and use screws. The final thing to check for is any gaps between the floorboards. You can use a silicon wood filler to fill the gaps or you can use the more traditional papier mache. Papier mache is easy to make. Add torn newspaper to a paste of water and flour plus a dollop of wood stain the same colour as your existing boards. Add small pieces of newspaper and and mix until all the paper is wet through. Using a credit card or similar, push the papier mache into the gaps. Make sure that the top of the mixture is below the surface of the floorboard.

Step 2: Sanding the floor boards. There is quite a range of wooden floor sanders available for hire. Typically, one would use a belt sander, which is a large machine almost like a lawnmower that you push along your wooden floors. You start with a chunky grained sandpaper and work your way through to a fine grade sandpaper which polishes the wood and leaves it ready for staining or varnishing. Corners and awkward spaces can be finished with a small hand held sander. The machinery rental firm you hire your sander from will be able to advise you regarding the type of sander (s) you require, the amount and grades of sandpaper you will need and also the amount of time you will need to hire the equipment for to complete your sanding project. It is worth reading the instructions accompanying your new tool carefully before you begin and also practising if possible. Otherwise, it is recommended that you start sanding in the largest and least complicated wooden floor space possible, to give you the opportunity to get accustomed to your machine to avoid accidents.

Step 3: Applying a wooden flooring finish. Whilst your wooden floors may appear perfect as soon as you have completed sanding, the necessary finishing touch for exquisite wooden floors is to apply a final protective layer. Wax, wood stain, varnish or lacquer; the choice is yours. Decide whether you want a matt or gloss finish and whether you will leave the wood its natural colour or if you would prefer to introduce some colour to the boards. Don’t forget that the right finish for one floor space may not be best for another. Polishing and protecting your freshly sanded boards with traditional beeswax will bring out the grain in the wood. It is also cheap and easy to reapply is high use areas such as hallways and it smells great. However, it takes time and effort to achieve a polished and even covering. Rather than simply applying a varnish, decide if the natural wood colour does the most form each room. It is worth taking into account the amount of light entering a space, the size of the room and what atmosphere you would like to achieve in the space. Small bathrooms for example are brightened with a contemporary white stain which freshens up the space. In darker areas it is worth using a gloss to reflect any available light. In high tread areas, it can be better to use a matt finish as gloss will wear off quickly. Large floor spaces can be warmed with a darker or pinker than natural finish. If you decide to lacquer your finished floorboards, don’t forget to purchase an extra tin. You will need this in the future to cover chips and scrapes.

Restoring timber floorboards is one of the most rewarding and satisfying aspects of renovating older buildings and installing new wooden floors adds a timeless quality to any building.

Sara Leadbetter is a Business Advisor based in New Zealand who specialises in Internet Marketing. This article was written about her work with Swinard Wooden Floors specialists in the installation of wooden flooring based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Options in Designing Your Home Window Treatments

May 31st, 2011

When we first moved into our new home three years ago the main objective with the windows was to cover them inexpensively. We knew we would later update as resources became more available but for now we were happy that the windows and blinds were in place for the privacy of our family. We put up plain white mini-blinds in every room except the kitchen. There we already had vertical blinds over the two door walls so we thought a valance over the one kitchen window would fair best.

Two years into living in our space I started to realize that a coat of dust lived on all of the blind that could not be removed unless I spent the entire day scrubbing which I was not willing to do. Right there and then I decided that I better start processing for windows and blinds that were not plastic or windows with curtains or windows with shades.

I decided the bedrooms were first in my window transportation. My daughter’s room faces the river and knowing she chose this room only for the view I felt I needed to preserve that in her room. She is a sleeper that can sleep through anything light, dark, quiet or loud so I didn’t have to consider options to block light or sound with her. We choose curtains that were shear and offered her the view while able to maintain privacy from the outside in. They had the greatest little sequences on them that helped to reflect the light in the room keeping the whole feel wide open. In our room I opted for wood roman shade. They were a natural option that blocked light and went with the décor. When we feel like letting the light in they easily raise and lower. Our son’s room was a bit trickier as he needs darkness and quiet. For him we found dark navy blue roman shades with a sound deflecting panel facing the outside.

The next room was the sitting room. The best part if this room is the cozy feeling it brings to our home. So we knew that any window treatment option had to maintain this. In order to accomplish this I knew I wanted a natural material in a darker tone but wanted the option to also open it up on nice spring days so the window treatment couldn’t be too dark or hard to use. We opted for a lighter wood roman shade that had a loose weave pattern. This complemented the light, dark, cozy feel I was after.

The main living room has so much light and little privacy. That was a big problem for watching Saturday morning cartoons without the neighborhood looking in. I wanted to be able to create an environment of privacy that could be both light and dark. We choose curtains. We took a sheer brown curtain and used it as the base and picked thicker drapes that can be pulled back for the top. In the day we leave the brown sheers pulled but tie up the drapes. However at night when we are cozy ready to settle into relaxation we shut the drapes and block all the outside light out. It makes movies at nine so much nicer in the summer than having the light blare in. In Michigan it stays light out later in the spring and summer so often bedtime does not seem like bedtime. This option of light control really helps with this issue.

As you can see personal preference has a lot to do with windows and blinds, windows and curtains and windows with shades. It is a work in progress always. Even as I write this I think about different options that lay ahead for the two door walls. I don’t imagine vertical blinds plaguing our home décor for too much longer.

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Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks – Many Reasons to Choose This Excellent Sink

May 29th, 2011

Good Reasons To Choose Cast Iron Sinks

Why do so many people choose these sinks? For starters, they are strong and durable. Cast iron steel is very strong when the porcelain enamel becomes one with this sink, it because easy to maintain and resists chipping or scratching. With the excellent qualities resulting from this combination, it is difficult to not consider it.

Because the ability to repair cast iron and porcelain enamel, restoring can magically result in a new sink. You can always have the porcelain enamel refinished with no problem and minor repairs on the cast iron will not break the bank. With a bit of planning, you can take an older cast iron sink and custom color your sink to match your kitchen!

From Classic to Contemporary – A Designers Inspiration

In todays modern kitchens, cast iron kitchens sinks have made a resurgence. While stainless steel sinks still are in demand, there is no fair match in strength and esthetics with a porcelain sink. Browse through any kitchen remodeling book or magazine and you will see the many feature articles and advertisements featuring porcelain cast iron sinks. Brand names like Kohler, Wheatland or Lawnfield come to mind. That’s because these sinks have found their way into todays custom kitchen designs.

For example the simple country style kitchen or farmhouse kitchen theme is quite popular. In this example, turn of the century country theme for kitchens is a trend with the cast iron kitchen sink as the leading choice for both designer and homeowner

Examples types of sinks:

Double Bowl Black Cast Iron Undermount Island or Prep Sink Apron Front Undercounter

The Secret Qualities of Porcelain Enameling

An interesting side note about the cast iron sink is that it has set the standard for all sinks as many qualities found in the construction of a cast iron and porcelain enameling are constantly being copied or duplicated

This goes to show that the high glossy effect from porcelain enameling is both durable and beautiful. They are simple to clean. Just use basic soap and water; do not forget that enamel resists stains..did I say that already?

However, the cost of the alternative sinks cannot outweigh the overall quality a value of a cast iron sink. Of course that is a matter of opinion and design function.

Considerations to Think About Cast Iron.

Although cast iron qualities are very high, it does have its flaws. Here are some downsides to consider.

The bulkiness of cast iron is both heavy and challenging to work with.

The surface is coated with a porcelain enamel which looks beautiful but it can also chip if pushed to the limits and over time it can wear showing its unattractive side.

According to the style of sink you choose, special awareness is required when preparing your installation. Because of its weight, proper support is needed and you will need an competent professional to finish the job.

One final concern that needs to be attended to is that of rust. Ok, cast iron is a metal so it is susceptible to rust. This can easily start if a chip or crack in the porcelain is not fixed right away. After a point in time the deterioration will do its damage and you will have to get it repaired.

Although a lot can be said about the flawed nature of cast iron sinks, one cannot dispute that the pros out weigh the cons for the beauty of these sinks.. Finally you should consider both the positive and negative reasons in your decision on cast iron sinks.

Steve has enjoyed freelance writing for the last 3 years on various topics. He also has a passion for publishing websites. Visit his website at http://www.farmhousekitchensinks.net that helps passionate homeowners find the best cast iron kitchen sinks.

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Curb Appeal – Does Your Home Have It?

May 29th, 2011

Any homeowner wishing to sell the family home should be thinking about something called ‘curb appeal.’ Curb appeal is the view of the property as seen by people as they drive by. Difficult though it is to view your own home through objective eyes, it must be done before you put your property on the market. I.e. Before the photos are taken and viewings of your home begin. This is particularly important because many prospective buyers decide which homes they wish to view firstly from the estate agent’s photograph followed by a drive by.

So, imagine for example that you were going for an interview. We would make the most of our outward appearance even if on the inside we knew ourselves to be perfect for the job? The same theory should be applied to your property going through its interview with a prospective buyer.

So, how should you increase the curb appeal of your own property? Since we are often unable to view our own homes objectively, the simplest way to investigate curb appeal is to take a drive yourself. Drive far enough away to be able to spend a good 20 minutes or so rating the curb appeal of other people’s homes. Make a note of all the reasons that you ranked a property highly (or poorly!) Turn around and make your way back home. It is worth being particularly critical of properties neighbouring your own since your’s should be more visually appealing than either of these. As you drive past your home – from both directions – what do you see? Go back and complete the exercise agin once darkness has fallen. Often, prospective buyers will wait until they have finished work and had an evening meal before they drive off to research potential new homes.

Did you notice that the properties you rated highly during the exercise were (or at least looked) impeccably maintained?. If your budget stretches, a new, solid front door and a new garage door (in the same colour / wood effect) will be the main purchases required. Followed by the purchase of paint: If you’re unable to justify the expense of brand new doors, re-paint in a statement colour and invest in some new garage and door furniture. Consider repainting the whole property exterior (white is the most emotionally appealing.) Ensure that windows are clean and sparkling and that curtain backs are free of mould. Check your roof for moss growth and clean out the gutters.

Then move on to your garden. Dull gardens that have little or no access to direct sunlight will immensely benefit from colourful hanging baskets and cheerful plants in chic pots. Trim your lawns, ensuring that the edges are crisp and kill and remove all weeds growing in the driveway, on paths and in flowerbeds. Rake up and bag up fallen leaves. If there are children’s toys or garden tools littering the garden or old car parts littering the drive, then these should be put away or removed entirely. Difficult and unsighty features that cannot be removed, replaced or improved should be ‘hidden’. Either achieve this directly through the careful positioning of a tall pot plant (ensure you add another matching one equidistant from your front or garage door) or use something eyecatching to draw the eye away.

Finally, night time darkness can be used to best effect by installing welcoming porch lighting. Soft spotlights will enhance occasional plantings and clear fairy lights strung around larger trees never fail to raise a smile.

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Create A Plan For Landscape Design

May 28th, 2011

Spring is here and brings with it the opportunity to get outside and freshen up the yard. Working to complete one’s yard is a never ending job. Having a plan that includes the landscape design is a great way to map out how to complete the project. Using landscape design makes it possible to maximize every square inch of the outdoor space around ones residence.

When putting together a plan it is important to consider the needs of those who use the outdoor space and how to best use it. Make a list that includes the needs for the yard. The list may include a play area, open spaces, gardens, places for pets or possibly a water feature, fire pit or swimming pool. Having an idea of what will need to be included in the space makes it possible to determine how to best use the area.

Use landscape to help define the areas of a yard. Flower beds, planters and trees can create a specific feeling and help to create a flow in the yard and around the house. They can work to define and decorate areas like the entry to a home or open lawn may be a inviting place for children to run and play. Landscape works like the furniture of a room and helps it to function in ways that will best fit the needs of those who live there.

Consider a theme for the outdoor space when creating a landscape design. Whether planning a do it your self project or hiring a professional, looking at magazines and collecting pictures that express the vision one has for their out door space can be a helpful. Collecting pictures of outdoor design ideas can give one a sense of the styles they enjoy.

Once a general map has been made one can then survey the ground and determine what will need to be done first and then in continued order to finish the project. Top soil may need to be brought in to make it possible for grass or other plants to thrive. Rocks, concrete and mulch may need to be added. There could be a need for a sprinkler system to be installed or garden boxes built. Knowing the step to take and what order to do them in will be beneficial when completing a landscaping job, saving one valuable time and money.

Consulting a professional landscaper is a great way to get valuable feed back. They can help one to determine a theme for the yard. They are also a good resource to ask the best use of a space given the direction of the sun and which way the house faces.

Budgeting for an outdoor project is a good idea. Keeping in mind the cost of materials and labor can help one to create their ideal outdoor living area and maintain a budget. Knowing the cost of materials and labor will keep one from getting in over their head.

Make it a priority to create a plan to finish the outdoor areas of a home. Planning and careful thought can he valuable when working to complete a enjoyable outdoor area. Putting together a landscape design plan creates a personal map to find ones way to a unique and functional yard. Consult with landscape desginers if necessary.

Looking for landscape designers Toronto? Be sure to get professional Toronto landscape designers to handle all your needs.

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Visible Benefits Of Venetian Blinds

May 27th, 2011

Have you moved into a new home where the existing window furnishings are a long way short of meeting your needs? Everyone has different ideas and preferences when it comes to windows as some people are more concerned with privacy and others with fashion trends. Soft lacy drops behind tie back velvet drapes look lovely, and are quite suitable if strong sunlight and privacy are not issues. However where these issues are present a different approach is needed with the installation of blinds or shutters. Both are good choices, but it will depend on the level of protection you need as to which one you choose to install.

Improvements in venetian blinds include more colors, different materials used in their manufacture, and higher insulating properties. The aluminum blinds now give us choices in colors, while there are three choices of timber in the wooden style and three different finishes. Aluminum venetian blinds are practical solutions for privacy and airflow and also control strong sunlight and glare. As well as solving all these problems, timber venetian blinds provide even better insulation. All venetian blinds have matching new design headboxes with strong mechanisms to ensure problem free use.

Composite materials now used in the manufacture of venetian blinds and also for shutters have painted, oiled or stain finish to choose from. Composite materials have excellent thermal insulation and are generally quite strong which means they will be long lasting. When you want the winter sun to enter the home the blinds can be completely raised and held in place until needed. Venetian blinds are not only great for the home, but are often the preferred choice in many businesses as many offices are exposed to strong sunlight and glare, and ground floor offices facing the street are lacking in privacy. Outside distractions in the street won’t be a problem where venetian blinds have been installed.

You can make online enquiries regarding a quote for venetian blinds, place an order, and arrange for them to be installed by the company. If you are unsure of which application is more suitable, the staff will be happy to make helpful suggestions. They know which material is more insulating for areas that need to be cooler and which type is better for wet areas such as bathroom and laundry. With four different blade widths to choose from, the majority of windows are catered for.

Blinds Brisbane have more than one benefit. Like shutters Brisbane they provide
privacy. Newport Custom Shutters http://www.newporttimbershutters.com.au/
have a great range of venetian blinds.

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Chic Table Decor: How To Decorate Your Tableware For A Summer Get Together

May 27th, 2011

Summer is here and you are entertaining on the patio more than inside. Getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather makes summer the greatest time of the year. A table set with decorations and place sets inspired by summer can make the day more festive. No paper plates and Styrofoam cups required this year. You can set an elegant summer table with very little effort and even less money. You save because the place settings are reusable for the next soiree. Read on to find out how to design a table that is fashionably casual.

1. Themes – Choosing a great theme for the event is most important. You can go with the fresh flowery settings for casual dining or something more elegant for a sophisticated evening with friends. For a touch of elegance spray paint some plastic fruits in silver and gold and create a magnificent centerpiece. Less formal, use a fresh vase of daisies that will certainly do the trick.

2. Get into the swing of things with summer colors. Using flowers and place mats that contrast against the tablecloth is a great start to a beautiful summer table. Make sure you balance the colors and that they do not clash.

3. Get back to nature by using natural woods like bamboo. You can use colored rocks in clear glass vases with sprigs of fresh green vegetation and beautiful summer flowers. This will give your table a more natural outdoorsy look.

4. Be creative and make your own napkin rings. All you need is

Various seashells or other small decorative items Craft jute, thickness size 4 Empty toilet paper tube Hot glue gun and glue sticks Straight pins Sheet of wax paper

To make a napkin ring start by covering the toilet paper tube with the wax paper. The glue inevitable gets stuck on the paper. It is easier to remove the holder if its not stuck to the cardboard tubing. Now take your Jute or any similar type of rope and wrap it around the tube. Adding beads of the hot glue to the upper side of the rope. You are going to be attaching more rope loops up the tube. Gluing each loop to the one that came before. Once you have enough for a proper napkin holder. Cut the end of the rope and glue it well. Use the stickpins to hold the loops together until they are completely dry. Next glue on the shells or rocks into an interesting arrangement once dried they are ready to use.

5. Candle lanterns are a great way to light up the night on any summer table. You can set them on the table and around the patio to give the area a soft romantic glow.Setting a great summer table is all about you and your creativity. If you are not that creative you can many photos online of beautiful summer tables and even hints on how to achieve the look for yourself.

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