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- Make sure that the blinds and shades can stand wind, rain, and sunlight but not in severe situations.
- Check the opacity of the shade and blinds. Opacity levels represent openness percentage of the blinds and shades. A high opacity level means wider weave of the material of the shade and allows more light to pass through.
- See if the blinds and shades can prevent insects to enter the sunroom, porch, patio or deck. Enjoying the outdoors without worries on bugs and insects is a must!
- Outdoor shades and blinds should filter the strong and harmful sunlight while enjoying outdoor views.
Make Your Home Cozy
There is a common misconception that in order to make your home cozy and look good you need a renowned designer or unlimited funds on your side. In fact, all you need here is a bit of creativity. If this is something you believe to possess, nothing can stand in the way of you transforming your ordinary home into a genuine cozy paradise. Even with limited resources at your disposal, you can make this dream come true.
Setting the right tone
First thing you need to address when speaking about decorating is to set the right tone. This however, is most easily done with the help of an appropriate color on your side. Start by deciding on the effect you want your home to create. For example, you can either go with some neutral and calming colors like charcoal grey, eggshell white or even beige. On the other hand, if you want to go for something a bit more vivid yet elegant, the selection of the right nuance of purple, like mauve or even regal Byzantium might be the thing you’re looking for.
The most important thing about turning your home into a genuine palace lies in organizing your space in the best manner. Begin by planning the focal points in your home. In the bedroom it is usually the bed, in the bathroom it’s the vanity, and in your living room it is either the fireplace or even a TV. After this is set, what you need to do is face all the other items in that particular room to align. By determining on the focal point early on you will make all of your work so much easier.
Wrapping it all up
As for the right choice of furniture, it all depends on the size and nature of the room in question, as well as your own personal taste. The right choice of furniture can even twist one’s perception of some of the room’s physical traits, like size and temperature. For example, a low swinging chandelier can make your room seem lower while a well-chosen area rug can make it seem substantially larger. Furthermore, a solid woolen rug can make a room not only feel warmer, but look warmer as well. All in all, your only limitation is your own imagination.
Creating the atmosphere of coziness
Even though in most of the cases it can be quite pleasing to the eye, order is usually cold. What this means is that a house in which everything is always in its exact spot, looks more like something out of a magazine than a place where people live. This is why, it might be time for you to introduce a bit of spontaneity, even a bit of chaos into your home. Initiate by combining various materials and various styles. For accessorizing you can even mix up the art you acquired with the art you made on your own. This is something that can really personalize the space.
All in all, when it comes to transforming the place where you live one thing stands ever-true: where there is a will, there is always a way. Start by carefully planning everything, then proceed by coming up with different ways in which you can make these plans come true. Making the best possible outcome with what you have at your disposal is what being resourceful is really all about. So go out an make your home cozy and your own little paradise. You can do it.
Chloe is an art historian and recreational ballet dancer. She is passionate about photography, dance and music. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world with her husband and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. She also enjoys learning and writing about home design, since she is crazy about aesthetics.You can find Chloe on FB, Twitter, and G+.
There is no such thing as a cozy home in which the temperature feels just right. The milestone of such a comfortable living area is proper insulation that keeps the temperature cool or warm inside, depending on what is needed at the moment. Insulation is also crucial for the household energy consumption, so a lot of money might be escaping through some cracks and leaks. Thus, you should assess the energy efficiency of your home and find areas where adjustments are needed. Here are some tips to improve home insulation.
Down the Drain
If you are having headaches every time you see figures on an energy bill, it might be that something with your home insulation is amiss. Half of typical home’s utility bills go for cooling and heating, hence the insulation can save a whole lot of green. There are many other reasons you should invest in home insulation, as your health and the health of your environment might be at stake too.
Bear in mind that different climates and home areas demand different approaches and types of insulation, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Furthermore, there are different types of insulation available and each has its distinctive properties. In some areas the spray foam is the most prudent option, while in others a blown-in insulation is advisable.
If you are worried about the costs, one piece of advice I can provide is not to fret. The good news is that you can apply for home insulation grants and limit the impact on your budget when purchasing energy-efficient products and materials. Many municipalities and federal governments offer such incentives and tax rebates, because they recognize the great importance of environmentally friendly housing.
Cracks and Leaks
You should consider an energy audit to determine whether there are some air leaks and places that need improvement. It’s a good idea to check the “R” value of the insulation you have – its resistance to heat flow. The greater the value is, the better the effectiveness of your insulation.
You can also conduct blower door tests to locate unsealed openings and cracks. Pay special attention to windows, attics and basements which are often the weakest links. Check also the area where heating and ventilation equipment is located, as well as room additions. Even if you have insulation installed pretty much everywhere, it might be not working as efficiently as it should.
To improve it, make an effort to find a capable and licensed contractor, or engage in some simple DIY activities. The latter includes caulking and weather stripping around your windows and doors, or installing sturdy storm windows. For doors, most people use a draft excluder – a tube of insulation that you need to install at the bottom.
Easy Tips to Improve Home Insulation
Finally, plug the light holes and plumbing gaps, and muse on purchasing a smart thermostat that controls the temperature inside your home. Also, if you wrap your water tank during the winter, you can save on energy costs. A warm hug with an insulation blanket should be enough to do the trick. Oh, and have one fuzzy blanket to snuggle up in when the winter knock on the door.
Energy is Money
Insulation is the envelope of your home, one that protects you from severe weather conditions and keeps the comfort inside. It can make a huge difference when it comes to your comfort and the depth of your pockets. So, identify the problem areas, find the leaks and fill the gaps to boost your home’s thermal seal. There are many easy, low cost ways to improve the insulation and avoid spending energy and money like it’s going out of fashion.
Zoe Clark is a home decorator and a DIY enthusiast from a land down under. When not obsessing about designing perfect homes, Zoe is spending time with her family. You can find her on Twitter.
An office chair is not just a random piece of furniture to put in front of your desk and sit on when working. Instead, you have to see things from a different perspective. Keep in mind that you will use this chair for at least eight hours everyday. That is almost half of your awake-time. From many points of view, you will spend half of your office life on this chair. Therefore, it does pay off to invest in a solid unit that will make your life easier. Then, what kind of elements should you pay attention to? What makes one office chair better than another? The following are some things to consider when looking for the best office chairs.
Adjustability is a must
The level of adjustability is critical when buying an office chair. Why? Simple. Different people have different sizes. What works for a friend of yours or an office colleague will not always work for you as well. It might work, but only if everything is adjustable. You have to keep your soles straight on the ground and maintain a perfectly straight angle between legs and thighs.
The Herman Miller Aeron Chair is a perfect example. This is one of the most adjustable office chairs you can find in commerce. You can adjust the height, padded arms, tilt and even lumbar support. But there is a hefty price to go with it. For an itty-titty bit less try the Herman Miller Mirra Chair.
The same goes for Boss B991-CP Heavy Duty, which allows tilt control, height adjustability and heavy duty uses but for a fraction of the price.
But if money is no object for your comfort, Herman Miller Embody Chair stands up in the crowd as well. The luxury model has a patented tilt technology allowing users to lean forward or recline without altering the lower back support.
Elegance and style should never miss
If you want comfort, you can just as well get a couch in there or perhaps a bed. None of these options is too professional and elegant though. An elegant appearance is underlined by quality materials. They must be professional and stylish. Keep in mind that quality materials will not only add to your style, but also to the overall durability. With these ideas in mind, Whalen Furniture WC-594 Breckenridge Wood & Leather Executive Chair can make the difference. Its name is self explanatory – it is executive.
However, the style can go farther. Serta 43506 Executive Chair is deep and covered in all kinds of cushioned layers. It is the type of chair that you can turn around and hide in it. It’s imposable profile adds to its style.
Made of bonded leather, VIVA OFFICE High Back Office Chair is worth a little attention as well. Although it looks simplistic, it is sturdy and large enough to guarantee for a comfortable, yet stylish experience.
Lumbar support is a health investment
Without lumbar support, your office chair becomes worthless. Unless you spend a few hours a day in it, chances are you will end up with back pains sooner or later. Then, what does lumbar support mean? Take a look at Alera Elusion Series Mesh Mid-Back Chair and you will understand. This model has a contoured seat cushion, as well as a molded backrest.
Alera Ravino Chair takes lumbar support even farther with its push pillow top seat and back for luxury comfort.
Comfort Products 60-5800T Commodore II is built according to the human back shape, but it also allows adjusting pretty much everything – from head support to tilt tension.
Finally, do not forget about DXRacer MX0/NC Gaming Chair either. Headrest and lumbar cushions make the difference, not to mention the sporty, yet comfortable profile.
In the end, the best office chairs vary widely in design, features, and price, so take your time to figure what you truly need before making a final choice.
DIY Home Design: The Factors You Need To Know
Interior design works in giving character to the home and setting its mood. In addition to the traditional way of putting together a home’s elements, interior design incorporates architecture, environmental factors, psychology and product design. Interior design is a profession, but if you have an innate talent for beautifying space, you can do it yourself.
The Basic Tips For Interior Decorating
It is necessary to think of the totality of the home when designing and styling it. The home is a space stitched together by stairways, halls, walls, and other elements. In interior design, all of these elements must have something in common without losing their individual character and uniqueness. Color has the ability to unify these elements. Using shades that belong to the same color scheme must be applied all throughout the home in order to achieve harmony and unity.
2. Focal Point
The focal point of the home is an important element to consider when giving style and design to a space. The focal point draws attention and brings interest to the design. A common focal points is a fireplace or a big wall with an interesting piece of art hung on it. After the focal point, the visitors looks further and deeper into the home.
The interior design must be considered when purchasing furniture. Though it’s very easy to decide on what furniture to get based on beauty, appeal and the way it blends perfectly to the theme of the home, comfort must also be on top of your list of considerations. The primary function of the furniture is to provide comfort when needed, so that purpose must be felt by the people using it. In other words, for the home to have that relaxing and comfy feel, the furniture must bring comfort to the one using it.
When designing a home, the environment and the surroundings have a big role to play. For instance, a home that is near the beach is usually designed with the sea, sand, and sky in mind. A home that is on top of a mountain makes use of wood materials and green-colored accessories or anything that reflects nature and mountains. The choices of colors and styling elements may work in correlation with what the environment looks like.
5. Stick to Classic Design
Sticking to the classics is no doubt a surefire way of styling a home. The reason why a classic interior design is always preferred is that it remains appealing, attractive and in-style despite the passing of years. Consequently, having a classic interior design permits you to incorporate modern-day accents and contemporary pieces that introduce what is new and in-season. If the home has that classic and timeless design, you have the freedom to style it in various ways.
Use these basic tips on your journey to styling and designing your own space and let us know what you think.
Vera Miller blogs about home improvement on her website A Fancy Home. She writes about home remodeling on a budge, reviews, and diy tips! Thanks for a great article Vera.
Not every guy or gal likes dwelling in the world of tools and repairs. We understand. But if you love making small improvements and fixes and saving a few hundred dollars per month doing them yourself, then this is the article for you.
Power tools have made our life easier and allow even amateurs to build, fix, and create much easier and quicker. They are multipurpose and powerful and, far more convenient. So here is a list of the must have power tools we think every “fix-it” person should have.
The ones from DeWalt 18 V driver is a big punch inside a small compact cabinet. This is a cordless tool and also speaking about similar ones, which offer greater reliability and convenience in working in small spaces and also for long hours. As it is battery driven, which lasts more than a day, there is no hassle in maneuvering wires and cords. This also has added advantage of carrying it anywhere you desire and get your job done. It works with a variety of materials and with the appropriate set of attachments depending on your application, you can do a lot of fastening, loosening and drilling operations. DeWalt DC970K is one of the most popular cordless drills out there and you might also find similar models from Bosch.
Sawzall is the popular name for another essential tool called the reciprocating saw. When it comes to building and fixing things, often you will also find the need to remove and
demolish the old one. A reciprocating saw does just that owing to a special set of blades corresponding to the job at hand. It can chip through walls, wooden cabinets, tubes and plumbing pipes, metals and whatever. It can be used for scraping and pruning trees, which is one of its most popular uses. It delivers great power and durability offering 1-3000 strokes per minute using a 12 A motor. The gear protecting clutch helps improve the lifespan of the motor and bushing. It also comes with Quik-Lok that allows you to change blades without any tool and hassle. The 6519-31 Sawzall is the most popular one in the market.
Multipurpose Oscillating Tool
The next best and, perhaps, the most essential tool is the multipurpose oscillating tool. It is the father of all as it can do everything using just the right set of blades. You could remove grout, scrape paint from the wall, cut through wall, trees, wood, tubes and demolish objects using this one machine. The oscillating tool consists of very small but ultra-fast vibrators whose oscillating mechanism deals with all these tasks. Of course, you need only a small set depending on your kind of job, but Rockwell RK5102K is a pack of 72 attachments held by a 2.3A motor in the bushing.
There are other devices like Miter Saw, Circular Saw that are mostly required for carpentry and woodwork like making cabinets and tables. In all, these few tools are the must have power tools for the do-it-yourself guys and gals out there.
Paul Kearney is an avid home improvement enthusiast who loves everything about improvement and modern house gadgets. You can find his reviews on his website
Just because you do not have the budget to do a renovation does not mean that you will have to endure the dreary look of your living room. So how to jazz up a living room on a budget? There are tons of simple, creative ways to jazz up your living space and improve your home without breaking your bank. If you want to witness some magic, here are some tricks you may want to try.
#1 – Get rid of the clutter
One of the proven ways to make your living room, or any part of your home, look more aesthetically appealing is to de-clutter it. Organize your shelves, get rid of clutter and store away items that are not exactly needed in the living room such as your kids’ toys. Also, it is always good to give your space some regular cleaning, especially the windows and floors, and every nook and cranny.
#2 – Re-arrange the furniture
Come up with a new furniture arrangement while keeping in mind the available space. Re-arrange in a way that it would make the room more functional or would let more sunlight in. For instance, if you have a huge bookshelf that separates your living room and your dining area, try to get it off the way. Put it against a wall, and you will notice that the room will appear brighter and more spacious.
#3 – Dress Your Windows, But Let the Light In
Hanging a new set of curtains will make a drastic change to the overall vibe of the room. Take down the old heavy drapes and replace them with light-colored and airy ones to brighten up the space. You can even try on floral designs for a change! Also, add some lighting. You can get a simple table lamp or just redirect your existing lighting to a different focal point. Additionally, you can strategically hang a large mirror where it can be hit by the sun. This will not only enhance the appeal and natural lighting, but it will also create an impression of having more space.
#4 – Add Some Nature
Plants bring in the “freshness” in the room. Flowering plants will add some color, but these require more care and attention in terms of watering and exposing them to the sun every now and then. Nonetheless, you can also go for less “demanding” types of plants such as Aloes, Pothos, Spider Plant, Snake Plant, Ficus and several others. These may not produce beautiful flowers but it’s always nice to have some touch of greens. And, a lot of these plants can help purify indoor air.
#5 – Bring in the Colors
One easy way to liven up the living room is through paint. You can give your walls a fresh coat, or you can simply create just a single accent wall. Choose a focal point, and paint it with a contrasting color from the rest of the walls. You may choose a bolder hue to let it stand out even more.
There are several other ways you can do to bring back the life in your living room which is very important especially if you’re planning to sell it and expecting a home inspection. Your imagination is the limit. You may come up with a theme for your interior design and work from there. Be creative. Experiment! It’s your home after all, so do whatever makes you happy! Good luck and enjoy!
Mark Brandon is a DIY builder with many experiences in home renovation and home inspection. He is the lead content curator for Safe and Sound Property Inspections and a contributor to other home improvement and home inspection sites. You can catch him via Twitter: @DIYMarkBrandon
Every home needs some basic handyman tools. The right tools can ease the workload and help finish the job in the most satisfying way and within the allotted time. Here are some of the basic but essential handyman tools that every tool kit should have.
There are different types of hammers available for different, specialized jobs. A claw hammer is the most common type of hammer and it can be used extensively around the house. Besides driving nails it can also help levering floorboards, fitting parts or breaking objects apart.
Whether its electronics you’re dealing with or old furniture, screws are everywhere so every person should have at least one type of screwdriver in their home. Sometimes screws exist in tight or obstructed spaces so having a stubby screwdriver is a must. To extend your reach, you may have to use long and skinny screwdrivers. You will also need to have flat head screw drivers in your kit. Star headed screwdrivers are a must regardless of what you are working on. Battery operated screwdrivers will significantly reduce the effort you need to put in for the job.
Adjustable wrenches are a great tool to work with nuts and bolts. Adjustable wrenches can be used on nuts and bolts, pipes and screws of different sizes to tighten or loosen them, according to the need. When using the wrench, the jaw of the wrench should be in complete contact with the nut or pipe so that the wrench will not slip off while you are working. Select quality wrenches with lifetime warranty for your kit.
If your work includes changing hoses, electrical wires or connectors, having pliers is mandatory. It is easy to pull out wires and cut them with the help of pliers. There are different types of pliers for different works. You can include regular pliers, vise grips and needle nose pliers in the tool kit to do various repair works. Vise grips are especially useful to hold various parts in position.
Drills are needed by any home owner to drill holes for various needs like hanging photos, to tighten the fixtures or to assemble different furniture. Cordless drills are convenient to carry and ease to maneuver. You can get different drill bits with a drill set to use for particular needs.
Ratchets are an important tool especially for tinkering with your car. Ratchets are available in three basic sizes like small, medium and large, and this allows handling of any nut and bolt on any type of vehicle. You will be able to use the ratchet in areas where the regular wrench cannot reach. You will have to apply only minimal effort to tighten or remove the bolts using the ratchet.
Most of the repair work implies cutting, welding, sanding, filing, etc. of metal or wooden parts. A bench vise helps you to hold the items firmly in position with ease. This tool will help you to make precise cutting and filing with ease. It can be used for home repair needs as well as for auto repair needs.
When you want to create more torque than the regular socket wrench to loosen the fasteners, you can use breaker bars. Breaker bar has a long metal pipe with a socket wrench attached to one end. This is very useful for tire replacement and when you need to loosen the bolts. Breaker bars come with different handle lengths to suit for different jobs.
You need to include all these tools in your handyman tools kit to make your job easier. You also need to select quality tools from reliable manufacturers to ensure that the items are sturdy and will last long.
Much Thanks to our Guest Writer: Antoine Rizzotti from ToolsReviewer.com. Visit his site for more insightful reviews of tools for your home.
Outdoor blinds and shades are used against harsh sun and wind conditions that gained popularity everywhere. These blinds and shades give a classic and stylish look to your home when installed. It can stand any season, but it is not recommended to be left down in storms or any severe weather conditions.
Different materials have been developed in producing blinds and shades. There are canvas, rip block and PVC. Different designs, colours and styles also came up, from plain material to a combination of materials. Its type of mechanism also changed, from rope and pulley, to a crank handle operation, to motorised awnings.
Things to consider before buying Outdoor blinds
Types of Blinds and Shades
Rope and Pulley Blinds
This type of blinds is affordable and easily adjusted with ropes. It comes in different kinds of materials and colours. Canvas drop blinds are very practical and inexpensive. It provides privacy and very functional in protecting entertainment areas. This type of drop blinds is ideal for DIY projects since it can be easily assembled and installed in your own home.
The deluxe drop blinds are usually operated with the use of a gearbox and a detachable crank handle making it easy to operate. Some deluxe drop blinds can also be motorised. Check if there are deluxe blinds that are also available with guide rods and guide tracks, these make the blinds sturdier in strong windy conditions.
Deluxe blinds are available in different types of materials; acrylic canvas, rip block and PVC. Each type of material carry different guarantee, for example, acrylic canvas carries a 5-year guarantee. In this case, buying an acrylic canvas deluxe blind can give you a five-year assurance of quality material. Buying expensive blinds should be an investment and it could save you from buying new blinds for the next five years.
Shade sails are modernised colourful shades for your home. It varies in different shapes, sizes, material, and thickness depending on your needs. They are usually made from shade cloth ranging from 80-100% water resistant. You can install this by yourself, or your local store can offer installation for you. This type of shade is also available in retractable or removable format if you prefer to have it taken down at times.
These are just the top three outdoor blinds and shades that every home-owner should own. By taking the things above into consideration as guide, it will help you decide to find the right outdoor shade and blind for your verandas, patios, porches or deck to enjoy the outdoor living space in your home.
Alana Southwell is the lead content curator for All Weather Blinds. As a home improvements enthusiast, she has written several articles on DIY improvements and renovations. She shares her expertise in this guest post on the types of outdoor blinds and shades that would be good for your home. She is also an enthusiast of arts and crafts wherein she has a lot of experiences. You can catch her via Twitter: @Alana_Southwell
We’re excited to guest post on Handy Man, Crafty Woman today.
Laurie at HandyManCraftyWoman.com is a cute and energetic blogger who has so many talents and done so many amazing projects with her diligent hubby. She cooks, crafts, organizes, and did I mention they’ve renovated several homes.
Honestly we were a little blown away that she would be willing to guest post on our little-ol-site last week. (When you see what she’s done you’ll know what I mean.) And when she asked us to return the favor we nearly started drooling on ourselves.
But pinch, pinch–yes it’s real.
So check out our post on Hand Man, Crafty Woman and while you’re there check out all the other inspiration they offer.
Hi, I’m Laurie from Handy Man, Crafty Woman. Thanks so much to Home Hinges for having us guest post on their blog! There are some great renovation stories on this blog. I just love that five sisters write blog posts.
My husband Rob and I started our blog in 2009. We have one son, and we live in New England.
We’ve been married for 13 years, and the house we live in now is the third house we’ve renovated.
One of our favorite projects in our current home was renovating our stairway. We tore out walls, ripped up carpet, and rebuilt the whole thing. It was a lot of work, but we’re not afraid of hard work.
Our first house was built in the 1830s; our second house was built in the 1860s. We pretty much gutted and renovated those two houses inside and out. We tore down plaster, sanded floors, put up new trim, and painted, painted, and painted some more. It’s a good thing I have a “Handy Man”. Rob used to work in construction, and all of the work we’ve done on our houses has taught us so much. If we don’t know how to do something, we look it up and read about it first, then we dive right in.
Our current house was built in the 1990s. Yes, this time we have a “new” house! However, it was quite a fixer-upper and a challenge.
The yard needed a lot of work, too. Over the summer, we put in a stone pathway.
Rob also built a shed in the backyard, from the ground up.
We did an extensive renovation of our kitchen. Beware: the “before” pictures are just plain scary!
I love to scrapbook. Rob refinished a kitchen island as a scrapbook table for me.
There is always something to organize around the house, like our pantry.
We also like to share recipes on our blog, like these Wicked Good Brownies. I made these brownies, but Handy Man actually does a lot of the cooking around here. He’s handy, and he cooks!
No, you can’t have him.
Thanks to Laurie for a glimpse into some of the amazing projects she and her husband have done over the years. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you put your mind to it. We are so inspired.