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Interior-Design Articles


Hardwood Floors 101

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 343)
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Hardwood floors can be installed anywhere in a home and can be prepared from several species of wood such as elm, ash, oak, amendoim, cypress, teak, cherry, walnut, rosewood, hickory, and maple. The hardness, stability, color, and alterations in color vary with wood type. Chestnut, Douglas fir, and North American Cherry offer low hardness whereas hardwood from Brazilian Walnut, Caribbean Cherry, and Bloodwood is extremely hard. The stability of hardwood flooring has an inverse relation with the moisture inherent in the wood and is independent of the engineering. The appearance of unfinished hardwood flooring plays an important role in the grading process. The commonly assigned grades to hardwood flooring include clear, select, common 1, common 2, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3.

Hardwood flooring enhances the look of a room and when laid in harmony with the furniture and other elements in the interior design of a room, it bestows an elegance that synthetic flooring is unable to match.

Hardwood flooring can be installed using the following methods:

Nail Down: Nails are used to attach hardwood to the subfloor either on grade or above grade. Nails are usually used for hardwood with a thickness of 3/4?.

Staple Down: Nails can be substituted with a pneumatic stapler for attaching the hardwood to the subfloor. Stapling is easier to accomplish as compared to nailing and is therefore favored by DIY enthusiasts.

Glue Down: Patterned wood panels or parquets can be glued to the subfloor on, above, or below grade. The subfloor can be either wooden or concrete.

Floating: Engineered and Longstrip floors can be installed using the floating process in which a pad of foam is placed between the floors and the subfloor. The hardwood boards are held in place by means of adhesive that is applied in the tongue and groove portion of each board. Floating enables the installation of hardwood on uneven surfaces.

Hardwood flooring is easy to maintain and the following guidelines should help homeowners to ensure the beauty and longevity of their hardwood flooring.

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Discover The Wonders Of A Tempurpedic Mattress

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 729)
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How long have you owned the mattress you presently sleep on? Does it povide you with the quality of sleep you deserve? Do you ever wake up with any type of sleep soreness whatsoever, do you toss and turn or suffer from back pain? Have you ever heard of a Tempurpedic mattress? There are a number of reasons why people might be considering the feasibility of investing in a new sleep system. Maybe you've been considering it yourself for whatever reason.

If you have been or know someone who may be in the market for a new mattress, then a great place to start that comes very highly recommended is a company called Tempurpedic. They have literally revolutionized the sleep industry with their mattresses, pillows and mattress toppers made of viscoelastic memory foam material. To make a long story short, in the 70's, NASA developed a memory foam material to relieve astronauts of the pressures of high levels of "G force" in which they had to endure. Tempur pedic, a Swedish sleep system company, proposed an idea to NASA years later, and were granted permission to bring something new to the sleep world. What came out of this was the Tempurpedic mattress. Because of them, there are millions of people now experiencing a new level of sleep quality night after night.

Many millions of dollars were spent researching and developing this visco elastic memory foam material, and it carries with it, a number of amazing features. For one, it's viscoelastic properties, and for those who are not sure what that means, it simply has the ability to return to it's original shape. For example, you apply a force with your hand to it and it will completely mould to every contour of your hand, but once you remove the force (your hand), it will return to it's exact initial shape. It also carries with it, tempur sensitive qualities, which changes the firmness with varying tempuratures.

Below a certain tempurature, the mattress will become firmer, but your body heat will soften it where it needs to soften in order to relieve all pressure points in your body. Your body will sink into the Tempurpedic mattress evenly. So you guessed it, not only are they temperature sensitive, they are also pressure sensitive. Those are not the only qualities of a tempur pedic mattress. They are also energy absorbing, body conforming, durable, hypoallergenic and considered the most comfortable mattress in the world. Please do not take our word for it, go out and try one out for yourselves. After a decade of these mattresses being on the market, Tempur Pedic wanted to bring an even better product to the table and now introduces the new Nimble Pedic mattresses, claiming to have surpassed the tempurpedic mattress. I haven't had the chance to try one out yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to hear about it.

The Tempurpedic matress sleep system can be a little pricey, but when you consider all the time you spend in bed, and how much your life will improve due to a perfect sleep night after night, how can you deprive yourself of that? You may think you are achieving a perfect night's sleep on your inner-spring mattress, try one of these Tempurpedic beds, and you will be almost sure to change your mind. But be careful, because many foam companies claim to make a top quality visco elastic foam mattress. The difference comes in the density of the foam. Tempurpedic foam has a density of approximately 5.3 lb/cu foot, as opposed to most competitors coming in at about 4 lb/cu foot. This makes a considerable difference in comfort, durability and body conforming quality levels.

I can go on all day about how great these mattresses are, and about how there is never a need to flip them, and how they have a skid proof bottom to prevent shifting and so much more they can offer you to take your sleep quality to levels you never thought were possible. However, nothing will be justified until you take one for a test drive, which will be your first step to achieving optimal sleep quality. You will ba amazed at the effect a quality night's sleep will do for you, your mood, and the overall way you feel all day long.

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Interior Decorating And Home Decor With Native American Indian Art

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 432)
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Since there has been a trend in recent years towards more earthy color tones for interior decorating, Native American Indian art can fit in nicely as part of home decor. Most subjects used in Native American Indian art tend to be focused on nature whether the pieces are prints, carvings or pottery. Colors tend to be earthy shades of browns, reds, blacks and yellows since the main raw materials are wood as in carvings from the Pacific Northwest region and clay from the Southwest. Even painted wood carvings or pottery tend to have natural colors often found in nature such as greens and blues. All of these colors work well with the more natural styles of interior decorating today.

The Pacific Northwest region which covers the states of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia (Canada) and the southern part of Alaska, produces some excellent Native American Indian art in the form of wood carvings. This is not surprising since the Pacific Northwest is abundant with forests which have provided the wood as raw material for the region's Native American Indian art. The wood is sometimes painted in striking colors or just stained with natural looking browns. Either way, such pieces fit in perfectly in rooms with earthy color tones. I have seen walls of living rooms, bedrooms, office den rooms, hallways and even bathrooms enhanced with Pacific Northwest Indian art in the form of both prints and wood plaque carvings. The Pacific Northwest Native American artists also make some of the most striking aboriginal masks in the world which are also suitable for hanging on walls.

Native American Indian art as home decor helps bring in an atmosphere of nature in the overall interior decorating of a room. This is because of their natural colors and also their subject matters which tend to be animals such as eagles, bears, thunderbirds, killer whales and salmons. Pacific Northwest Native art in particular gives homes in that region a local flavor. Many homes in this part of North America have this type of artwork as part of interior decorating. This style of Native American Indian art is still relatively unknown to many parts of North America and the rest of the world so for homes outside of the Pacific Northwest region, a nice wood carving can be seen as exotic treasure brought back from a homeowner's travels. Check out some examples of Pacific Northwest Indian art either in a gallery or online and imagine how a piece or two can be part of your home's interior decorating.

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Non Chaluxe Defines Glamour Without Glitz

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 326)
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When it comes to glamour-whether you're talking about a room interior or a fashion statement-it's not about the flash.

The juxtaposition of simple and elaborate, mingled with an unexpected touch of extravagance, is finding its way into Manhattan lofts and Malibu Bauhaus beach houses.

The note of glamour is added with one statement piece, and whether it's a gilded Venetian mirror or a spectacular leather turquoise chaise in the center of an all-white living room, that one piece adds a little luxury to an otherwise casual room setting.

The name of this simple and elegant glamour trend is "non-chaluxe."

It is best personified by the new Hollywood-20-something stars and starlets who mix $20 T-shirts with $350 designer shoes and wander the streets of Soho with little kids in tow. It's like wearing "the little black dress" with one amazing piece of jewelry.

"Glamour doesn't have to be over the top. One fantastic chair or sofa placed in the midst of a quiet retreat is a wonderful way to celebrate life. Our take on turquoise is our interpretation of an amazing piece of jewelry on our favorite simple dress," said Pasquale Natuzzi, CEO and chief designer of Natuzzi, manufacturer of sofas, sectionals and chairs.

The chaise is covered in rich, luscious turquoise leather so it can be paired with the matching occasional chair or complemented by the company's sectional sofa in turquoise Tirelli fabric.

Both the chair and sectional are anchored in stunning, slender, brushed metal legs for a lean Grace Kelly-esque glamorous appeal-simplicity with an elegant, fashionable twist.

You can place all these pieces together or mix and match them with tag sale items, or sparse, starkly contrasting furnishings. Whether choosing one elegant piece-or a set-look for cutting-edge design and superior Italian craftsmanship, says Natuzzi, who has been designing and manufacturing residential furniture since 1959 and has grown into a global leader in the leather upholstery business.

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If These Walls Could Talk

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 773)
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Have you ever noticed that there are some rooms you just love to go into and others that you find unsettling? Without realizing it colors affect our moods and the way we function. Interior decorators have known this for years and use it in their offerings on a daily basis but you don't have to be a professional to learn how to use colors to your benefit.

How we react to color is usually on an unconscious and almost instinctual level and that reaction is purely our own. You may love the color blue because you find it soothing and calming whereas I may find that same color unsettling and a little disconcerting. There is no right or wrong reaction to any given color but there is scientific backup to show how the use of color affects our moods.

Try this little quiz to see if you can tell which color belongs to which effect:

1. blue ...........................A. energy, vitality, excitement

2. orange........................ B. harmony and balance

3. red.............................C. dramatic, sensual, sophisticated

4. yellow.........................D. truth, serenity and harmony

5. green..........................E. intellect, used for mental stimulation

6. purple.........................F. social and exuberant, warmth

7. black..........................G. purity, innocence and joy

8. white..........................H. suppressive

9. pink............................I. restful and calming

10. grey.......................... J. powerful, aloof, intimidating

You might be hard pressed to try to figure out which is which although some are fairly obvious because again we react to them on a subconscious level. I'll give you a hint: pink is restful and calming and is the color of equilibrium. That is why delinquent children and even adults placed in pink holding cells had fewer outbursts when it was tried in the state of California. Conversely, couples fought more and babies cried more in a bright yellow room. These are the kinds of things you need to consider when painting and decorating your home. Green is a restful color and will help you sleep so it would be a good choice for bedrooms. This might be ringing some bells for you as you recall color schemes that were wrong for the atmosphere you were trying to create in a given room. Perhaps your yellow and white bedroom looked beautiful in the daylight but was unsettling when you were trying to relax and fall asleep. Keeping this knowledge in mind can help you enormously when you are ready to redecorate.

Start with determining what the room is going to be used for. Do you want to use warm colors that stimulate activity or warm colors that create a more tranquil mood? Check out www.littlemonkeymurals.com for more information on colors and great ideas for decorating.

Colors not only enhance the atmosphere of a room but they can also visually change the dimensions of a room. The use of warm colors makes things like doors seem to stand out more and cool colors tend to recede or withdraw. You have to be careful though as there is a fine line between a color being aggressive and that same color being cozy. Usually the difference lies in the tones used. Walls, like our waistlines, appear longer and taller with vertical stripes.

Did you know that colors could help with weight management too? Using the color orange in your place settings or tablescape stimulates the appetite whereas the color violet suppresses it. Darker hues are said to slow our eating and brighter colors makes us eat faster. Think McDonald's. They use the brightest of the primary colors to get you in and out fast. For healthy weight management tips see www.canadian-cook.com

Colors affect our moods and feelings and can even evoke physical reactions. There is research to show that fertility is increased in a blue room (this can work for you or against you). Even though the temperature is the same, people feeler cooler in a blue room and warmer in a red room. With all the research and studies done on our color personalities and what the predicted effects of color should be on us, we have to remember that color is still a very personal choice. What works for one will not work for another so when redecorating and getting a "professional" opinion it is important for you to be honest with them. It doesn't matter what combination works on their palette or in the showroom, it has to work for you. Make every room inviting using the colors that evoke that feeling in you. Surround yourself with the colors you like.

1-D, 2-F, 3-A, 4-E, 5-B, 6-C, 7-J, 8-G, 9-I, 10-H How did you do?

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How To Buy Kid S Rugs

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 202)
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Those that are looking to add a lot of fun to their child's room should consider the addition of kid's rugs. There are some really amazing choices out there that your children will love. No matter if they are just babies or a blossoming teen; they will enjoy having a great looking room to call their own. It used to be that many parents just left their carpeting on the floor of these rooms to provide enough comfort and padding. But, today, adding a fun area rug to the room adds more dimension, character and makes their room, well, more like their own room! Of course, you can also purchase area rugs for kid's playrooms or just for the area of the home that they tend to play in.

There are several things that you should consider, though, when you purchase a kids rug. You do not want to just head out and just pick one up. You need to consider several aspects about the room, the carpet and your child before you do so to insure that you are making a wise investment. Here are some tips to help you to make the right choice.

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Creative Curtains And Window Coverings

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 563)
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One of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform the look of a room is to change the curtains and window coverings. Instead of using the same old curtain rod and drapes, try putting your imagination to work to see what you can come up after being inspired by the following ideas for curtains and window coverings.

One of the most popular ways of making your own window coverings is to buy a designer curtain rod and pinch clips. These pinch clips grip the edge of the fabric and allow you to hang any kind of material, hemmed or unhemmed from your window. A popular look is to buy wrought iron gothic style rods and clips and attach hemmed or unhemmed sheers or a swath of plain fabric.

This is a very romantic look that can also be achieved by simply attaching long white sheets, which are much cheaper than fabric from a store. You still get that billowy romantic look without the expense. Whether you use sheers or fabric this look is also very much improved by tying ribbons or ties as pullbacks to enhance the appearance of the window coverings.

You can also buy curtains and window coverings that don't require any type of clip that slides along the rod. These curtains, which come in a variety of designs and fabrics, simply boast loops at their edge that allows you to thread the curtain through the rod. It would also be very simple to make your own curtain like this by attaching ribbons or fabric strips with buttons to a length of fabric.

Curtains and window coverings made from specialty papers are also very popular right now. Hand made papers and rice papers make pleasing semi-transparent blinds that compliment many modern decors. These are quite expensive in most stores but it is easier than you think to make your own. All you need to do is find a store that specializes in selling handmade or specialty papers.

Some of these papers are gorgeous and feature details such as glitter, leaves or threads pressed right into mesh of the paper fibers. Once you buy the paper you simply cut it into the right dimensions that will cover your window. You then string the paper on wire and attach the paper with binder clips. Keep in mind that this type of window covering is best for rooms that still need light but need privacy such as a bathroom.

Another way to liven up your decor is to hang hand painted Venetian window blinds. These types of window coverings can be very expensive but you can achieve a similar look by creating a collage or painting your own. The best way to do this is simply take a stencil and spray-paint one solid design on the Venetian blinds. A stencil and a can of spray-paint can also be used to personalize simple roll down blinds with your favorite symbol as well

Always remember that your curtains and window coverings define the style of your room. The more elements that are added to your installation, such as pleats, swags, valences and jabots, the more formal your room will look. The fewer elements included in the overall design of your window treatment the more simple or rustic the total effect of your curtains and window coverings will be.

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Great Bedroom Decor

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 545)
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The bedroom is the place where you spend a great deal of time every day, albeit much of it asleep. This, of course, means that it needs to be a place of relaxation, and for many people, romance.

It's all to easy to let the clutter of everyday life invade your bedroom, but this impairs your ability to relax in the one room in the house that should be designed for that purpose. It's time to decorate your bedroom for its true purpose.

Start out by thinking about your personal style. What would you like to have in your bedroom? What would make it relaxing, romantic or both? If you're married, what would appeal to your spouse?

Let's start with the bed. As the largest piece of furniture in most rooms, as well as the most used, it is something of a focal point. Do you like the bedding? What about the bedframe itself?

Sometimes you will quickly realize that it is time to replace all your bedroom furniture when you decide to redecorate your bedroom. Maybe the old furniture just isn't your style anymore. With today's online shopping available, finding new furniture doesn't have to mean running all around town anymore. You can shop from the comfort of your own home and often get better prices.

Back to the bed. What would you like it to look like? Huge, 4 poster beds are quite popular right now, but would it look right in your home? If your room is big enough, it might look perfect. In a smaller room it will just make it look crowded.

Once you have chosen your bed, pick the rest of your furniture to match, but not overcrowd your bedroom. The dressers need to have adequate space for the clothing you will store in them. Most bedroom sets have plenty of matching pieces to choose from, so that you can find a style you like, yet still have a choice of a couple different sizes for your dresser.

Now it's time to pick the accents. Your bedding is one kind of accent for your room. What colors do you like? Do you love throw pillows or are they a nuisance? Of course, soft sheets and good pillows are a must, both for relaxation and romance.

Lighting matters too. You don't need to light your bedroom up as brightly as the rest of the house all of the time... in fact, there are many times when dimmer lighting is perfect for the mood in the bedroom. Consider installing a dimmer switch on the main light or have dimmer lights as a part of your decor.

Another option for mood lighting is candles. They can add a lovely touch to the decor, and when it's time for romance they're just about classic. Scented candles can add a lot too.

One item I strongly recommend leaving out of the bedroom that has found its way into too many is the television. Putting a television in your bedroom limits your ability to relax, and it takes away from romance. Yes, you can enjoy relaxing in front of the television in the evening, but why not do that in the living room, and leave the bedroom for other forms of relaxation?

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Bathroom Remodeling Is Often A Popular Home Improvement Project For Both New And Old Homeowners

(category: Interior-Design, Word count: 237)
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Bathroom remodeling is also a homeowner's vision or nightmare, depending on the quantity of escapade possesses. A lot of things are well thought-out in the bathroom remodeling procedure.

One of the primary areas to consider is whether the whole bathroom wants to be stripped out and totally replaced or if merely parts of it require to be altered. If it is broad enough to need an entire remodel, take advantage of the chance to update trimmings and furniture.

Bathroom remodeling is sometimes an unexpected event due to damage from a water drip or a number of other kind of damage. Except you are a carpenter, plumber, electrician, in addition to interior decorator, you will require the assist of a skilled expert to complete the work.

The bathtub is the main thought in bathroom remodeling. If your bathroom is big enough, you might want to consider a calming whirlpool tub. Each bathroom needs abundance of storage space intended for towels and other supplies.

It is simple to come across recommendations online. Do not hire just anybody off the street to do the job. Confirm they are licensed to do the work and that they are in excellent standing with the licensing bureau. Be certain to get each detail in writing previous to signing any agreement for your bathroom remodeling.

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