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Give Your Kitchen A Make Over With A French Country Theme

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 105)
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Since the kitchen is often the heart of the home, it makes sense to decorate your kitchen in an appealing and comfortable style. One quick and easy way to spruce up a dated kitchen is to decorate it with the French country decorating style. Since turning your kitchen into a French country retreat is one of the current trends in kitchen decorating, there are plenty of wonderful accessories available.

Before you start to shop for your new French country kitchen, you will need to select your color scheme. While the original French country d

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Ideas And Tips For Small Kitchen Remodeling

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 446)
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When it comes to small kitchen remodeling, there are several things you need to consider. Even before acquiring the services of a professional contractor, or making appliance selection.

More than any other room of the house, the kitchen is the most versatile. It is used to prepare meals, feed the family, store foods, and clean and stow service ware and other household items.

The kitchen is also the family gathering place, the centerpiece of the home. Therefore, it is important that every kitchen remodeling idea be taken into consideration. This is especially true when available space is limited, and kitchen remodeling cost a concern.

Whether you design the kitchen yourself, work with a kitchen remodeling contractor or home center, formulating a plan will be the first step.

Important Things to Consider When Planning Kitchen Design

The first kitchen remodeling tip is to consider the three basic kitchen functions: storage, food preparation, and clean-up. A well-thought out kitchen design will accommodate each of these three functions.

Ease of movement and convenient layout of kitchen design is important. The classic "work triangle" should be the basis of the floor plan. The kitchen sink, refrigerator, and stove, as the three kitchen features used most often, should be arranged in a triangular pattern.

The work triangle concept saves unnecessary steps when preparing foods, and proves the most convenient layout design.

Another kitchen remodeling idea is to incorporate more than one work center so that more than one person can work efficiently in the kitchen at one time. A self-standing chopping block, service island, or other similar kitchen feature will increase convenient work space.

Even when space is very limited, an extra work area can be created by separating the microwave oven and the stove. Provide free counter space at the other end of the kitchen where a cutting board could be placed for food preparation. Enabling a second person to help with mealtime preparation without the two people getting in each other's way.

Other Considerations

Other considerations for small kitchen remodeling include space-saving built-in appliances whenever possible. Also consider appliances that not only save space, but increase convenience as well: a trash compactor, garbage disposal, and dishwasher, for instance.

Moderately-priced sheet vinyl is the most popular flooring for a kitchen; wood floors and ceramic tile - although more pricey - are also good choices. A qualified, licensed kitchen remodeling contractor is your best resource for expert advice on which type flooring and appliances best suit your budget and space requirements.

Whatever the choice in finish materials, keep room functionality, convenience, and ease of movement in mind when making your selection.

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Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Design

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 618)
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You spend all that time creating a masterpiece garden that the neighbors will envy. Ooops. You just realize you forgot to install the landscape lighting. The best time to plan a good landscape lighting design is when you are planning your garden layout.

Landscape lighting design can be a simple lighting layout or a work of art blending nature with artificial light, incorporating color, shape and texture. You choose. What looks ordinary and dull during the day can be transformed into rich color during the darker hours of night. The nature of landscape lighting demands versatility. With a wide variety of different surfaces and objects to be illuminated the type of light and its placement needs to be considered very carefully.

Gather Your Ideas

Go over your garden design and decide on the objects, plants or trees you want to highlight with. If you have one prominent feature in one part of the garden such as a large tree or a sculpture then you can concentrate your lighting on that object and have low level ground lighting surrounding it in the rest of the garden. On the other hand you may decide just to scatter general low level ground lighting in amongst plants of the same height which will create a flat effect but will give you a rainbow of color.

Floodlight or Spotlight

To help you with your landscape lighting design there are typically two lamp and reflector types. The wide angle lenses are used to flood a surface with a wash of light where a narrow angled lens is used for laser-like accuracy to put a spot of light on an object.

Flood lighting works best by positioning it under leafy shrubs and trees. By doing this the floodlight will create shadows within the foliage and spill out onto surrounding plants. If you are trying to light a very large tree you may consider several floodlights to get an even spread of light.

Spotlights work best if they are correctly positioned and aimed at the feature you are trying to highlight. A good way to get this right is to temporarily connect the spotlight and move it backwards and forwards until the right amount of light is highlighting the feature.


Color is an important consideration for any landscape lighting design. The most common source of light is white light. When white light is used it generally brings out the true color of the surrounding plants and objects because it contains all the visible colors. By using colored filters or sleeves attached to the light fitting, colored light can be used to emphasize the natural color of the surrounding plant foliage. Colors such as yellow are useful to use as it is a warm color and brings out the best in the wood of trunks and branches. Reds and Blues are also very popular colors to use.

Textures with Water.

Nothing in nature is smooth or symmetrical. With this fact in mind, light that is aimed at an angle onto rough textured surfaces can play an important part to your landscape lighting design. With the added element of moving water such as a fountain or waterfall, flickering shadows and reflections can be created. These are very soothing to the viewer.

Glare. To See and not be seen.

When locating the in ground light fittings in your garden try and hide them away from view by using rocks or other features. There is nothing worse than ruining a perfectly good landscape lighting design by having all of your light fittings visible. Normally the light source or lamp of the fitting is not guarded and will create glare. Avoid this at all cost.

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Turning Bathrooms Into In Home Spas

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 334)
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It may be the busiest room in the house, but for many people, it's also the most relaxing.

Designers say the latest trend in homes is to create luxurious living spaces out of bathrooms-and a new study indicates that homeowners may be on to something. On behalf of German bathtub manufacturer Kaldewei, the Rheingold Institute of Cologne, Germany, found that bathing brought about psychological changes, and concluded that a relaxing bath in the evening was calming and helped people "wind down."

So how do you transform your bathroom into an at-home spa? One way is through aromatherapy. Try these recipes for a luxurious bath:

Fortune and Harmony

Add 4 tablespoons each of honey and cream to warm bath water with 5 drops of jasmine, 3 drops of orange, and 2 drops of vanilla.

Dream Bath for the Soul

Forget stress and tension with a combination of 4 tablespoons of honey, 3 drops of lavender, 3 drops of rosemary, and 2 drops of violet oil.

Revitalizing Soak

Boil a cup of lavender flowers and strain through a sieve into bath water. Add 2 drops of peppermint oil, 5 drops of everlasting oil, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of cream.

Of course, all the sweet aromas in the world probably won't help you relax if your bathroom isn't comfortable-and a good place to start is your bathtub.

Kaldewei, Europe's #1 in baths, makes luxurious bathtubs that are guaranteed for 30 years. The bathtubs are manufactured from a steel enamel that resists damage from cleaning chemicals, abrasions, impacts and scratches. The resistance to scratches helps eliminate bacteria buildup, and the bathtubs can be cleaned by simply wiping them down with a dry cloth-meaning you can spend more time relaxing in the bathtub and less time cleaning it.

The bathtubs also resist the long-term damaging effects of perfumes and oils, making them particularly well-suited for aromatherapy.

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Web Furniture Retailers Embracing Art Yet Another Reason To Shop Online

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 466)
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It seems that once again, the virtual world has outperformed the real world. Online furniture retailers are offering canvas transfers and prints from respected artists alongside their furniture.

I have to confess, I am an avid online shopper. Being a New Yorker, there are two elements to the online shopping experience that make it so much better than going to a local retailer. The first, unquestionably, is convenience. Trying to get any item of substance around this town is nearly impossible. Delivery fees charged by New York retailers are notoriously murderous, so that usually removes most items out of the competitive range of what is offered online. Additionally, I often have to travel far to find what I'm looking for, and traveling here can be a nightmare. Many singular online retailers have an exceptional selection of goods that might take several trips to several different merchants here to purchase.

The second element that makes online shopping more feasible is price. Delivery fees aside, most online retailers are not paying for expensive Manhattan real estate. The products they offer are no different in many cases to what is being sold online, and yet I am expected to pay a premium for having it right now. Sorry, but I can wait for a few days to have the exact same (or often a better) item delivered. In fact, Ii can probably pay for the most expensive and fastest delivery method offered and still save money over buying locally.

I recently had a good experience that solidified my position on online shopping. I was recently shopping online for furniture when I noticed that a few of the online retailers were offering prints and canvas transfers alongside their furnishings. These were high quality, framed or un-framed artistic works by recognized artist and the prices were well below what I would be paying here. The selection of artist was incredible, from impressionist masters such as Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh to abstracts from Maitland and Li-Leger. I ended up ordering two prints and one canvas transfer, all framed, in addition to the furniture piece I was originally looking for.

I would have a hard time finding an art selection as nice as the one this online furniture retailer had anywhere in the city, and especially not at a furniture store. They even had a section with the works of new artists.

The bottom line is that as long as online retailers continue to offer superior convenience, pricing and selection, the number of people who shop online will continue to grow. The art I found at my favorite online furniture dealer is just one example of how online shopping is really starting to surpass the local buying experience.

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The Basics Of The Murphy Bed Plan

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 338)
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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.

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Fountains The Ultimate Garden Experience

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 494)
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Fountains are one of the most comforting and beautiful elements found in garden design. Any time you think of a world-class garden that you have seen and been impressed by, it almost certainly will include some sort of fountain or other water element. Whether it is in Italy, Japan, Spain or any other country, everyone around the world understands the need for a beautiful garden to also be a place of relaxation and meditation. Not just visually relaxing, but every bit as important if not more so - calming and soothing to the ear. Nothing accomplishes that more than water in motion.

The Japanese, especially, seem to have a deep understanding of how important water elements are because they blend it so magically with the calm of their beautiful and serene gardens. They immediately bring to mind Koi ponds and the art of Feng Shui.

The types of garden fountains today are almost endless. They include every material and every design imaginable. From indoor to outdoor, floor to wall, tabletop to pedestal; you will find them in virtually every natural and man-made substance known to man. Some of the most popular are natural stone, brass, copper, etched glass, slate and stainless steel.

If you have a large estate or lot, they are especially beautiful in ponds and lakes. On smaller lots, simple backyard fountains or swimming pool fountains can also be very attractive.

Something new to me and absolutely charming is a "rain chain". You add them to your gutter system and they become linked funnels that channel the rain gently from the roof to the ground, sparkling and bubbling as it flows.

A favorite of mine is a small pedestal-type garden fountain made of either mosaic tiles or beautifully patterned ceramic. They can bring a delightful and unexpected burst of color and fun to an otherwise rather mundane rock or ground cover garden.

How to Choose the Right Style of Fountain for Your Home:

Contemporary - stainless, slate, or maybe a fountain sculpture that can double as a piece of art would all work well. Cascading, flat wall or free-standing fountains of a very simple "tablet" design are naturals for contemporary homes.

Eclectic (combines several styles and bold colors) - copper and granite would make good choices. Mosaic is also charming with this style home.

Asian (Feng Shui) - Stone, bamboo, ceramic, slate would all look great, and there are many specific styles for Asian designs that will perfectly complete the exotic look and feel of your fountain.

Traditional - Classic style fountains of stone or resin are great for traditional homes. Tiered garden fountains or wall fountains with scroll work or 18th century style designs with lions or gargoyles for example, look really great with traditional homes. Greek mythology or Italian themes are also perfect.

No matter what your budget, what your style, or what your space, nothing says style, sophistication and serenity more than a fountain.

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Webdesign And Typo3

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 327)
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On statistican, on the Internet daily appears about 60 000 new sites. Only imagine this enormous sum - sixty thousand! Each of these sites has a certain design - unique, stolen or composed the strangers, simply taken of the template... And behind each of sites there is at least one person.

Unconditionally, when business reaches such scales, to a course there is everything to win attention of the user, to involve it in itself.

One of the most obvious ways to make it - bright, bright and unique design. Today web design is engaged almost everyone the second. But really unique and remembered design are capable to create completely not many.

Webdesign, as well as any other design, demands talent from the person who is engaged in it - artistry and ability to create is banal interesting images then to express them on the screen monitor screen is given not to everyone.

However, webdesign is only one side of a medal. Except a picture which sees the visitor of any site, there is also a certain underside - system of administration which is necessary for selecting to the site creator before starting with it operation.

One of the most perspective CMS is TYPO3 - free of charge extended control system of a site which allows to work at once as with "person" of a site, visible for visitors, and with its "underside".

The system typo3 works in two modes - frontend (the interface for visitors) and backend (the interface for managers). Besides two specified modes, is available also function of frontend-editing which allows editors to amend directly at review of the interface for visitors.

With system application typo3 site web-design is extremely convenient. In typo3 the site looks like a tree of pages, on each of which contents units take places. For typo3 exist not only ready templates, but also templates which can be created in language typoscript, used for mapping and site change.

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Decorative Interior Painting Can Give Surfaces A More Distinctive Look Than Ordinary Painting

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 282)
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Decorative interior painting offers unlimited possibilities for customizing and personalizing your home. Apart from the task of choosing and mixing colors, you will have to arrange them into shapes on your surface. Gaining confidence in handling your material and equipment is all part of the pleasure of decorating.

Decisions about color are always going to require pause for reflection. You may choose colors because of the memories they evoke, for cultural reasons, or because they are soothing. There is no doubt that the best way to do this is to practice.

These choices are all personal, and only you can make them. Some designs can be helped onto wall or floor with stencils and stamps. Some design classic will always remain, but they can be adapted to suit the current look. The wall you are to work on should be well prepared and white.

These are an excellent way of controlling where your paint goes, as well as a means of covering a surface quickly. Whatever you do, always look at other interiors, at textiles, clothing, and painting, and take your lead from those you like.

Blue with green, for example, is perfectly acceptable. You may seek guidance in color theory, but understanding the spectrum and how to mix paint will not be much help in choosing which colors to use, although it can explain why certain color combination behave in the way they do.

These are simply ways of applying and manipulating paint to create a range of surface texture. The end result will always have a quality that cannot be matched by any wallpaper.

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