Sunday, July 28, 2013

Choosing The Right Bed


Last month, I would say that I was not really in perfect shape and health as I've been having some issues with my lower back. I was a bit worried as I was suffering from back pains 7 yrs ago and this has caused some disturbance in my job as I have to be absent from work at times when sudden pains attacks. My therapist has recommended me to have a look at my latex mattress and see if it's suitable for my back condition. That was the time I've realized that when we choose our beddings, we should not only be mindful about how it looks but also how health friendly it is. My PT explained to me that our sleeping position, the kind of pillow that we use and the quality and make of the bed greatly affects our back bones and wrong choice could lead to back pains. Now I think my bed has something to do with the back pains I recently experienced.

It's time to examine my bed.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Easy To Do Outdoor Seating


There's really a lot of great things that we can do from a wooden canopy.  Photo above shows how an arbor can be transformed into a colorful outdoor room.  Here, colorful fabrics were made as panels and were hung right at the arbor ceilings to create an illusion of a window.  Accents such as throw pillows in colorful patterns and interesting lanterns in bright colors complete the look.  

You can add variations in the design by adding some potted plants and garden accessories.  

Awesome!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Home Safety

Home makers should have to watch out for the modus operandi of some individuals who would knock on your gates and offer to check on your gas stoves. They would explain you some safety measures that have to be undertaken to ensure that your gas tanks are safe for home use.  They would introduce themselves as members of NGO's who were asked to conduct surveys.  Their agenda would possibly be that they would sell to you some stuff or worse than that, they may take the opportunity of entering your homes as a way to rob your house.  First, they would ask you questions like how many people stay in the house, how may members of the family are working and who are normally left at home most of the times.  These information are all what they need to execute their acts.  This is so because they know that normally, those who would attend to them at the gate where housekeepers or maids and they will take advantage of their innocence.  We had experience this at home a number of times but all the people in the house are well briefed on how are they going to deal with these people. I briefed my kids and house helper to tel them straight away that we have already taken some measures to ensure safety in our homes like using good quality gas stoves, gas tanks and hose from reputable hydraulic hose manufacturers.  This is a way of telling them that we no longer require their services.  Thereafter, we would tell them that we have to go as we are busy attending to something inside the house.  This way, they will also be compelled to leave.

We have to make sure that all members of the family were properly briefed on this, more so, the house helpers who are often left alone in the house.  It's better to be safe than sorry.        

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bathroom Personalized Storage Boxes


I found this cute idea of having personalized storage boxes in place in the bathroom for easy accessibility.  I find it really interesting coz we are also a family of four and each of us is having his/her own set of toiletries especially that my two kids are already teens and having their own preferences on certain products is expected. :)

I love the idea of putting a label on each box.  It's really cute!  I think I would try this one at home.  We already have the shelves in place, so what I need to do is just to grab some cute canisters that I can personalized with labels.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Making Memories into Canvas Art


Are you a professional photographer, or just an individual who loves taking photos? If you are, and you have photos that you want made into art or a canvas, you might want to try a place like 24 Hour Canvas. There are many places that you can find on the Internet that will enlarge your photos for you, but only a few will make them into canvases.

Most people take very nice pictures while on vacation. The vacation pictures could be from a vacation in a tropical paradise, the mountains, or the desert. The pictures could even have been from Paris, France, or London, England. Whenever we go traveling, most people love to take pictures.

Instead of finding tons of photos and photo albums around people’s homes, today you find tons of photos saved to computers and discs. Fewer and fewer pictures are getting printed out by local drug stores; they are getting saved to home computers and getting printed out on home printers. Some people even save to collages online or websites with photo albums. One advantage to using online albums is that people can give their family members who live far away access to these albums.

Some people take pictures of everything, from flowers to family. Most pictures don’t come out perfect. Do you remember sending a picture out to get developed, just to find out that you had your thumb in a picture when you get it back from the developer? Nowadays, with digital cameras, you can view the picture immediately after taking it. Some cameras even give you a viewing screen to view the picture when you are in the process of taking the photo.

Due to these digital times, more and more pictures are coming out looking like a professional photographer took them rather than a layman. Many people are choosing to save or memorialize these pictures into a form of art. If you are one of those people, check out the Internet and you can find several sites. Many companies can turn your pictures around quickly, like 24 Hour Canvas, so you’ll have your personalized artwork back in no time.



Awesome Bedroom!

                    Contemporary Kids by Greenville Design-Build Firms Resort Custom Homes

I love this concept of a bedroom.  This is perfect for kids room.  Small space has been maximized without sacrificing the privacy of the occupants. :)

I love the idea that the bed space on top appeared to be a single room by itself.

Perfect for condos!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Leverage Your Way Towards a Better American Dream

A huge house, filled with the latest technologically advanced electronic entertainment systems. Within the house, a stadium seated theater room with high definition speakers. There is also a kitchen and dining area large enough to host 50 people equipped with the best cooking technology available. Maids and butlers do all of the housework, cooking, and cleaning. The American dream is still very much alive. For many people it starts with owning a home. However, the dream doesn’t have to stop. After gaining enough leverage to buy a home you can go on to own more real estate. You can dream as far as the limits of your imagination. It is always a good idea to invest in real estate when there is a buyer’s market. High supply of homes and low demand of purchases has created an ideal situation for someone looking to make more money in the long run from appreciation.

Take Advantage of the Buyer Friendly Market

Banks are practically begging people to buy property from them. With historically low mortgage rates up for grabs it could be a great time for you to buy more real estate property. If you are currently renting you could most likely buy a new home and have a similar monthly payment. You could be putting all that hard earned money towards ownership of a house instead of paying a landlord. If you already own a home it may be time to purchase that dream vacation home you’ve always wanted.  

Benefits of Owning a Home

Now is a great time to buy a home. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to purchase your first home or looking for a second property. The market is extremely buyer friendly. Think about how owning a new property could benefit you and your family. If you buy a home now you will almost certainly be able to sell it for a profit once the market takes an upward swing. Also, you can completely deduct the property tax for a first time home or vacation home. The rewards are evident no matter how you look at purchasing new property. Act quickly and gain leverage on your American dream. 

Side Yard Ideas

How would you love to transform your side yards into a lush garden by adding some elements like stones, potted plants, garden steps, pebbles, and plants of different shapes and sizes?  Would you like to wake up seeing greens and feel instantly refreshed?  Who wouldn't love to create an added functional space where you can relax and entertain your friends?

Don't let those side yards remain as a side yard.  You can convert those spaces into an intimate nook and add character by adding some elements that's nature abound.

You can draw inspiration from the following side yard projects: 






photo source for the above


Manage Your Space with Storage Units

Everyone seems to be accumulating an ever growing pile of stuff. Where does all this stuff come from? Sometimes people buy new appliances when their old ones break down or become outdated. Some people take these old appliances to the junkyard. Some people try to sell them for a small profit in a garage sale. Some people shove them into a corner of their basement and forget all about it. Some people are just waiting to find someone who could use their old stuff so they can give it to them. With storage units in Massachusetts you can hang onto your stuff as long as you need. There are steps to take if your garage or basement has turned into a hoarder’s nest. Spring cleaning is a great time to free up those confined spaces. Get rid of things you do not need. Many people hang on to worthless items for odd reasons. Walk into anyone’s basement and you can see for yourself. Things like giant boxes filled with old paperback novels and frayed old trampolines that don’t even bounce anymore.

Stuff is Never Anything You Need

You can get rid of anything that is taking up too much space in your home. Just remember the necessities of life. Food, water, air, and shelter are all you need to survive. If it doesn’t provide one of the necessities you don’t need the item. You will be grateful that you decided to give up on your old junk. Free space in your garage and basement can be used for games and other fun activities. You may find things that you can’t completely let go of that you never use. There is a good place to store these items.  

Reduce the Clutter and Your Stress

Storage units in Massachusetts are great for long or short term storage of many items. Put your boat in there so it doesn’t take up usable space in your home during the seasons where it is useless. You can put all types of stuff in there to save space in your home. Reduce the amount of stuff cluttering up your home and you will reduce your stress!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Colorful Outdoors


I fell in love with this outdoor setting the moment I saw it.  I love colors! Maybe because I am basically a happy person with an outgoing and carefree personality (lol).

I am so in love with this design that I almost thought of making one at home.  But what keeps me thinking twice?  It's the long rainy season in the Philippines!  How could I afford to see such a beautiful outdoor room submerged in waters. :) Kidding aside, this design can easily be achieved using the already available resources at home.  I'm sure you have a garden set at home and whether it's made of steel, plastic or wood, it doesn't matter as long as it will be painted with color that would complement your overall design.  I'm pretty sure you have pretty flower pots around your yard, too.  Start painting those pots with colorful designs.  You can even involve your kids in this project. 

Another idea, to make your wall decors withstand the changing weather conditions, you may want to use large tiles and paint it with your preferred design, or rather you may want to  create abstract paintings.  Colorful fabrics can also do wonders. 

I'm sure that this playful design will bring out your youthful energy.

A best place to relax, unwind and entertain friends. :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why You Should Buy Real Estate?

Park City, UT, is an expensive place to buy real estate. There are many reasons for this, however, and these reasons show why investing in real estate in Park City is a good idea for anyone looking to invest or buy a house or land for any other reason. Those who already have real estate out there probably chose that location for some of the following reasons.

The Benefits of Park City

Park City is a well-visited area in both the summer and the winter. The area is beautiful and has a lot to offer for those looking for a unique experience. In the summertime, people can go on beautiful hikes, golfing, zip lining, and other similar fun activities. Many celebrities choose to stay there when visiting for the Sundance film festival, and there are many other festivals held in Park City itself. In the wintertime, Park City is known for its great Utah snow. It even held the winter Olympics one year, and visitors can go on the bobslide ride and ski jumps from the Olympics, as well as see a lot of other Olympics memorabilia. Sledding, tubing, and slides are also popular attractions. Year-round, visitors enjoy famous restaurants on Main Street. Visitors like being able to stay in such a beautiful city located in the mountains and see the scenery that cannot be found anywhere else. Park City is a unique place both because of its location and because of what is in the city itself.

So What?

Because Park City is so coveted by tourists and locals, it is a perfect location for anyone to buy real estate. The land will be worth much more in years to come, and whether you want to be there yourself or you want to rent out your real estate to others, the price is worth it and will likely be made back completely. Real estate in ParkCity is considered precious to many and the experience of the city will only get better for years to come. As a result, more people will want to live there and visit there on vacation.


Things to Consider when Choosing a Landscaping Company

Having a beautiful landscaped yard can really make a difference in your home’s value. Your home will look more attractive and more pleasing for those who get the chance to look at it. When your landscaping has been done properly, it will provide benefits and beauty to you for many years to come. In order for it to be landscaped properly, you will need to be sure to hire the best Utah County landscaping company. However, because there are so many, you will need to really take your time and do research in order to find the best company for you to use. Besides the obvious things to do, like talking to your friends and family about companies that they have used, there are several other things that you can do to have a beautifully landscaped yard.
 Internal Design Team

When you have narrowed your choices down to just a few, dig a little deeper and determine if the companies offer their own designer for you to use. Some landscaping companies provide their own professional designer and he or she can really help you out when creating your landscaping. When a company doesn’t have a designer to use, they have to send it out to an outside designer. When this is the case, sometimes the process can take a very long time, and things might even become confused as the plan gets passed between several people. Having a designer work for the landscaping company can really make things more convenient for you.
Follow-Up and Maintenance

Chances are very high that you will have questions about how things are supposed to function after the Utah County landscaping company has finished the job. Make sure that when you choose a company, that they will provide follow-up work and maintenance for you. The landscaper needs to be available to answer your questions and offer you services after the project is completed. As much as you want to be able to take care of things on their own, the design will be something that you are unfamiliar with and will need a little bit of help in the first few days following completion.

Backyard Bath House

                                                            Spaces


Look what your creativity can lead you too.  This amazing bath house was built using salvaged materials plus few non expensive ones.  The incorporation of pebbles and plants under a pergola made the place appeared to be cozy.  Adding of miniature lights on top completes the set up.  I'm really amazed at what stones can do in home and outdoor decorations.

Here you can have a night soak that is free, peaceful and relaxing.  I really think that converting our open spaces in the yard can do wonders and will enable us to put these spaces into full use. :)


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ideas for Canvas: Pop Art and More

You might feel like one of those people who was born with no creative or artistic abilities whatsoever. And for you, isn't the Internet wonderful? You can get tons of ideas for how to decorate your home. For example, if you wanted to hang a famous painting or have a quote put onto canvas, you could get that done online. You can even have your own photos made into canvas pop art.

Famous Painting

One thing you can do with canvas is to get a print of a famous painting for your living room or another area of the house. You need to keep in mind the general mood you are going for as well as the color scheme of the room. For example, if you are going for a beach or ocean theme, then a scenic picture of the water itself might be good. But if you have a general turquoise color scheme or are focused on sea turtles, then you probably don’t want a picture of a red crab on the sand. It might not look and feel right. If you are using brown tones with blue accents, you can also find an original piece of canvas art to decorate your room. It can be more impressive to have original works of art than generic prints. 

Use a Quote

If there is some philosophy or motto you live by, or something you want your family to be reminded of frequently, you can put that onto a canvas. You can paint it on yourself, use a vinyl, or order it online. Many people use religious quotes or ideas. It can be something to remind your family to stay positive, or it can be the popular “Keep calm and carry on” message. If you don’t want to use a quote, you can also use a word or name, and stretch that across several frames. For example, with the name “Rockwell,” you can stretch it into two separate pieces of canvas, and use colors that match the room.

Make Pop Art

For those who are less artistically inclined but want to use a specific personal family photo, you may want to find a place that will create canvas pop art. You can take a photo of your son or daughter and stylize it into an Andy Warhol piece. The options are endless; whether you’re going for a playful comic-style picture or something with a grungy feel, you can decorate your home however you want. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Color Ideas

If you are a type of home maker who is never afraid to experiment on colors, you would probably be pleased to give your dining room, living room, bedroom, kitchen or even your bath room a new look by looking at the following summer color ideas.  I would admit, I was once very particular with colors and most of the time, I would only choose the natural colors such as earth tones for my house.  I do not want to experiment as I am afraid of committing a mistake and spend more money on the process.  But since, I've started to give my home an instant "make over" more than two years ago and used a bright color for my living room all the way to the kitchen and dining, I began to shift my preferences and became more adventurous in adding colors to my home.  Believe me, it was a very nice experience. :)   

For your your next home "make over", you may want to try the following colors:

        Eclectic Dining Room by New York Interior Designers & Decorators amanda nisbet

Love the purple!  This color is inviting and assures you of a very lively dinner at home.




How about this tart citrus color?  It looks appealing to me.  I love greens especially the apple green.  I find it so cool! :)


         Modern Bathroom by Breckenridge Architects & Designers Allen-Guerra 
                                                 Design-Build, Inc. Architecture

Bright shade of lemons may not be attractive to many but this color can definitely wake you up and help you welcome your daily morning shower with much enthusiasm for the day ahead.

How about you? Would you dare to try bold colors, too? :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Staying Safe When Doing Commercial Roof Maintenance

When there is a leak in your roof or another roof problem that requires repair, there are many things that you will need to be aware of when you are having commercial roof maintenance and repair work done. Whether you are working on the roof yourself or have hired a roofing contractor to do the work, staying safe while on the job or making sure the professionals are doing the job safely is important. Here are some things to look for.

Work with a Buddy

Make sure that you are not working on the roof alone and that either any contractor you hire has a team or there are at least two people working on the roof at once. The reason for this is that if something should happen and you or the contractor falls off the roof or has another accident, there is someone else there to help. Many people feel that they can take on this work on their own, ignoring the fact that accidents can happen to people of all skill levels at any time and working on a roof on their own is a very serious safety issue.

Be Aware of the Weather

Make sure that you are aware of the weather. Whether you are working on the roof by yourself or have hired a contractor to do the work for you, make sure that you are not working on the roof in snowy or wet conditions. A wet roof can be very slippery, and if there is snow, there may be ice on your roof that you will need to watch out for. If you have to have the work done, make sure that you hire a contractor who is experienced and has all the safety equipment such as winter safety gear to do the work properly.

Have the Appropriate Safety Gear

Whenever there is commercial roof maintenance that needs to be done on your roof, you will need to make sure that the contractor has all the required safety gear. In addition to the extra equipment for wet or snowy conditions, a roofing contractor should have a harness, the right ladder, and should make sure that the site is clean and free of debris.


Marbleized Canvas



I didn't realized that marbleized paper ca be used as art work.  Not only an art work but a master piece.  See the wall art above?  Those were made from marbleized paper that were scanned and printed on canvas.    You may also have your design printed on fabric.  What an awesome way to give colors to your wall!

This is an easy DIY that can be done on a week end. If you are interested to learn how to make a marbleized canvas, you can check this website for a detailed instruction.  Enjoy!  

Painting Tips - Choosing the Right Color

Deciding to paint your room a new color is very exciting. The possibilities seem endless and the chance of sending a breath of fresh air into the room can make anyone’s heart beat a little faster. The only hard part is deciding on a paint color, and then getting it to look the same on the wall as it did in the store. Many people have chosen a paint color and applied it to the wall only to find that it was just a shade lighter or darker then they had imagined. The result is that it changed the look of the whole room, and not in a good way. So how do you find your favorite paint color and get it to look that way on the wall? There are several tricks that you can follow that will ensure your next favorite paint strip color is actually the color that you will see after you finish your Boston painting.

The Paint Strip
You may have noticed that when you look at several paint strips, there are multiple colors that will look the same. They’re not. Each paint strip has color chips that are tinted in different directions, even just slightly. When they are tinted in these different directions, they can give the appearance of matching another color when they actually don’t. When you want to see the true tint, just look at the darkest color that is on the strip. This way you will be able to see the true base color because it has the most color saturation.

Surfaces Make a Difference
Whether you are in Boston painting, or somewhere else, remember that when you are painting a ceiling a color other than white, it is smart to go at least one shade lighter. The color that you have on the ceiling will always appear darker than that on the wall. If you are painting the floor, always make sure to go lighter by one or two shades. The color on the floor will always appear darker than that on the wall. When you are looking at a paint strip in the store, hold your desired color next to something white to really see the color.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Decorate In Green



This blank wall solution can transform your bare walls into a gallery of memorabilia from your travels, events that you've attended and bonding times with the family. Those photos could be an interesting work of art when presented in a lay out that could help ground the space. The green colored photo frames were able to strike a contrast against the white hues of the wall.

Instead of just walking to your bedrooms through the stair case, why don't you add up a bit of excitement by creating a mini gallery that could showcase your favorite shots.

An awesome idea!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Garage Door Installation For Your Needs

Searching for a home, but can’t decide whether you want a garage door or not? Are you considering whether to have a garage door installed in your home? The basic reasons to consider a garage door installation in Reno are for privacy and safety, to save money on utilities and up the value of your home, and as a fashion statement.

Privacy and Safety

Obviously garage doors are beneficial because they enclose your valuables into your house. Things such as your cars, boats, bikes, storage boxes, and tools can be kept safe if you have a solid, high-grade garage door. The likeliness of someone stealing your belongings from within your garage drops significantly if you have a garage door to enclose the space. Electric garage doors now come with motion sensors at the bottom of the tracks. This provides extra safety for children, animals, and your belongings. Garage doors can also protect your home against natural disasters. Research has shown that garages without a garage door are a point of weakness and where the most damage often occurs during a tornado, hurricane, or winter storm. Modern garage doors can not only enclose your carport, but can be built to be a strong defense against storm damage. You can also choose to have a back-up battery system that allows you to open and close the garage door a few times in the event of a blackout.

Saving Money

New garage doors have the option of being insulated. This creates an additional barrier from outside weather and can keep your garage at a more reasonable temperature. One advantage to this is that your car and other valuables will not age or weather from extreme temperatures. Also, this insulation will help you save money on summer and winter electric bills, and in some places, insulated garage doors will qualify owners for a tax credit. One other way garage doors are easy on the wallet is that the value of your house will go up if you have a garage door.

Fashion Statement

A garage doorinstallation in Reno can also be a fashion accessory for your house, completing the overall look you’re trying to achieve. You can choose from contemporary industrial styles to vintage paneling. 



Outdoor Nap Spots Ideas

If you are an outdoor person, somebody who loves to do relaxation activities outdoors, then you may want to consider the following outdoor nap spots ideas. This is simply creating a relaxing nook "in style".  Adding some colors and some interesting outdoor furniture pieces will definitely result into an instant nap spot make over!   


An awesome Day Bed


A relaxing Eco Friendly Hammock


A Travelers's Escape
shape inspired by Chinese boat


A Tropical Paradise 


Hmm...my personal favorite is photo no. 3 Traveler's Escape.  I just find it sooo cute!! :)  But If I would adapt the design, I would choose to fill the ground with white pebbles to complement the overall look and design.  Perhaps, adding some potted green plants would also create a color contrast.

What do you think? 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Surprise Germ Hot Spots in Your Kitchen

You keep the kids' hands out of the cookie bowl, wash all your produce, and regularly scour the counters, but you might be missing the biggest colonies of germs in your kitchen. A new report by NSF International, a non-profit public health and environmental group, hones in on the most germ packed spots in your kitchen and they might surprise you. The group swabbed 14 items in the kitchen of 20 families in Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan, checking for colonies of E. coli and salmonella and other bacteria known for causing food-bourne illnesses , and while areas neat freaks harp over like microwave keypads were relatively safe, overlooked spots like refrigerator ice and water dispensers, blender gaskets, and fridge meat and vegetable compartments were teeming with germs. 

Food-bourne illnesses are nothing to sniff at, even in our state of the art kitchens with our sponges,  bleach blasters, and germophobia. Tens of thousands of people will suffer from food-poisoning each year in the UK and several dozens, usually the elderly, young, or immunocompromised, will die.  Avoiding dodgy takeaways and the old E. Coli boogeymen, raw eggs and undercooked meat, won't spare you. Many of those who suffer from food-poisoning will pick it up in their own homes, and from placed their sponges may never have ventured. Leafy vegetables and chicken--home cookgoing mainstays--are responsible for a disproportionate number of cases and they things they touch in the kitchen--utensils, refrigerator compartments--may be the dirtiest places in your kitchen. 

In tests fridge vegetable crispers were found to harbor salmonella and listeria, a bacteria particularly dangerous for pregnant women, and meat compartments were rife with salmonella and e. coli. To properly clean these compartments, remove the draw from the fridge and scrub with a clean sponge and mild detergent and rinse dry in the sink with warm water. Clean monthly and anytime you see any leaked meat juices. To avoid cross-contamination keep products separate: divide raw and unwashed produced into individual bags and keep your raw meats and produce in different drawers or shelves. Cross-contamination doesn't just happen behind the fridge door with the light off. Separate raw meats and produce in the grocery cart, during preparation, and wash any appliances and utensils before using them on another ingredient.

Wherever these foods move across the kitchen, from the knives to the blender, they can leave a trail of germs that, if not scrubbed up, can make anyone who enters the kitchen ill. Love juicing veggies for inventive green smoothies? Make sure you're properly cleaning your blender according to the instructional manual. disassembling all the pieces and washing them separately. The blender gasket, the rubber seal at the base that prevents leaks, was found to be a jungle of itty bitty nasties. Utensils like spatulas also have parts that need to be separated if they're going to be properly cleaned. The space where the handle and the scraper of a spatula fit together can be a little warren of germs if you never scrub it out. And can openers may only come into contact with preserved foods, but if you plunk them right back into the drawer after use without a good wash they can breed and then transmit germs. 

Uncooked vegetables and meats are known culprits of disease but did you know illness can lurk in your kitchen places food never ventures? The moist, dark climates of refrigerator water and ice dispensers were found to house a veritable smorgasbord of micro-organisms, including yeast and mold that can be hazardous for people with allergies. Check your refrigerator manual for guides to cleaning the innards of your fridge and aim to do it twice a year. It may be a hassle to route vinegar through your handy, fridge front water spout, but knowing that convenient glass of water is free of mould? It's worth all the behind the scene tinkering and scrubbing in the world. 


Todays post was written by Jenny Cooper from Monkey.co.uk.  They compare health insurance prices and donate £10 to charity if you buy a policy. You can find Jenny on Twitter

How To Choose Between Top-loading And Front-loading Washing Machines

To the untrained eye, the differences between top-loading washing machines and front-loading models can seem trivial, but in practical terms they can make a big difference. Both to your washing habits and the way you feel as you go about the mundane task of getting clothes clean.

And if you thought the idea of a hole in the top of a machine was purely aesthetic or designed as a result of water leaking from the front, then you'll find yourself surprised by some of the facts we’ve covered here.

Some people say that top-loading washing machines have their own distinct advantages and special features, while others champions machines with doors in the front, and cite them as the best for reasons which people have argued about for many years.

One thing nobody really argues about is the fact that UK kitchens have always tended to lack the room of their European counterparts, and this has meant that the front-loading model has fitted well into the shapes often left beneath kitchen counters.

Traditionally small and compact, these washing machines slide neatly under the counter and the door makes throwing clothes in nice and simple. Conversely, while top-loading washing machines don't work at all well under kitchen worktops, there is a school-of-thought which says that their usage of more water is a good thing.

While it's not great for the environment, some people understandably think that more water is better, arguing that this produces a better and more thorough wash. Alongside this, people who have trouble with bending down are much more suited to the ease-of-use of a taller, thinner machine that doesn't give them too many problems.

By eliminating the need to reach down, those with arthritis and other debilitating conditions often find that a top-loading model can give them some of their independence back.

Going back to lovers of the front-loader, it's clear to see why they have attracted such a following over the years. One reason has to be the vast number of washing machines out there. With so many manufacturers creating cutting-edge technology, there are plenty to choose from in every budget.

Better still, if you're looking for something both eco-friendly and cost-effective then a front-loading washer is going to be easier and faster than ever to find.

Another reason why washing machines with the classic opening at the front have proved so popular is their general favouring of using less water. Some machines use up to 60% less than their top-loading counterparts, as well as less detergent and less electricity besides.

So if you're trying to find a clear winner between the two, it's probably best to bear in mind the basics: top-loading washing machines are a great choice if you're limited by room and are looking to spend a bit less money. They're ideal for people who don't have the option for a wider model with a front opening, too.

However, if you're not restricted on width and you're looking to save on the energy bills then chances are that a classic front-hole model will work more ideally for you.
Still not sure about which kind to buy? Then perhaps some secret psychology is at work here. For example, some people prefer top-loaders because of the fact that, if they need to, they can open the door at any time and throw more clothes in. Handy if you're in a rush and just need to get some washing done.

At the same time, you may be a long-term fan of front-loading washing machines, and that's fine too. If that's the case, chances are that you grew up with such a machine and have a certain fondness towards it that cannot be shifted.

In the end, once you’ve studied all the facts, it really comes down to which feels more comfortable to use.

David writes about the changing world of how classic brands continue to offer the same range of successful products decade after decade and survive the ever changing storm in one of the world's most competitive and fad-focussed consumer markets.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Celebrate Summer by Sprucing up the Garden

Summer is finally here (apparently), which means it's time to get that barbecue out, invite your friends round and make the most of those warmer evenings. If your garden hasn't seen much action since last summer then it's time to get it back into shape. Here are some top tips for sprucing up your garden and enjoying those longer days outside in the sun.

Eating outside
One of the best things about summer is that you can take the whole family outside for meal times. Whether you serve up a delicious salad, or get the BBQ out, it's much nicer to eat outside than it is stuck indoors. If the weather is nice, you'll probably find yourself eating out in the garden as often as possible, as long as you've got the right equipment!

The first thing any outdoor space needs is some kind of table and chairs, no one wants to sit on the floor and eat (unless it’s a picnic of course). Even the smallest of gardens will be able to accommodate a little table and a couple of chairs, which can then be folded or stored away when you've finished.

If you want to make the most out of eating in the garden, then why not invest in a BBQ too? It doesn't need to be a huge, pricey piece of equipment, even a throwaway one will do the trick. Invite your friends and family round, and enjoy the great British weather.

Adding some colour
You can turn even the smallest patio garden into something beautiful, just by adding a bit of colour!  Of course, one of the best ways to do this is with flowers; from potted petunias to daffodils dotted around. Your local DIY store is bound to have a whole range of different plants during the Summer season, some that can be put straight into a pot or soil, and others which will need growing and nurturing.

Depending on how much time you have to spend on your garden, you may want to opt for something simple and that takes care of itself. Many plants will come with care instructions on them, so pick the ones that suit your amount of free time. If you want to show off your Green Thumbs during Summer then you can opt for plants which take a bit more time and effort.

It doesn't just have to be plants you use to add colour to the garden, there's plenty of other ideas too. Why not paint one wall with a mural, or in a block colour to stand out? If you have children then perhaps ask them to create some pictures that can go up on the fence as well! Those who have enough space may want to add the colour into their garden furniture, or with accessories dotted around. Use your imagination and turn your garden into a colourful paradise.

Making the most of Summer evenings in the garden
The days are longer, warmer and brighter in the Summer, which is why so many people enjoy sitting outside during the evening. You may just want to sit outside and make the most of the warmer weather, or perhaps you're planning a garden party for all of your friends and family. Everyone wants to spend their evenings in the garden, and most of us become frustrated when the sun finally goes down.

Instead of going inside and giving in to the television set, invest in some garden lights to extend your time in the garden. Solar garden lights will soak up all the sun during the day, then automatically switch on at night when you need them. There are hundreds of different designs, depending on your taste, and they make great talking points too. You'll never have to stop your party early or shut down the BBQ if you've got outside lights at night.


Karen is a friend of the earth and loves to spend as much time as possible outdoor. She believes in leaving as little impact on her surroundings as possible when she's enjoying nature and sells eco-friendly appliances on offer at  www.worldofsolar.com/solar-garden-lights to help others do the same.

Functional Corner


It's pretty amazing how this tiny space under the staircase can be transformed into a cozy reading nook.  This is the reason why I love interior decorating a lot!  I feel thrilled every time I gather some inspiration for home decorations.  Apartment dwellers and those residing in a studio type of condo should try some ideas of extending your space at home.  There's nothing impossible if we really try to find solution to our problems.  I've also learned through the years that nothing is big or small as part as interior decorating is concerned.  Our imagination and creativity will always lead us to something worthwhile.  This under the stair case space could also be transformed into an instant book shelf by fabricating your own piece of furniture and make the shelves of the cabinet follows the shape of the space that you want to decorate.


Cladding - When Externals Matter

The aesthetics and the external appearance of any structure is as important as the strength and durability of the main structure of a building. Once the basic structure and the ceiling and walls are ready, an architect will switch focus to the finishing of the external and internal walls. This is referred to as cladding. There are various kinds of cladding materials that can be used to add character and a unique look to any structure.

Timber
This material is a favourite with many architects. It is versatile and looks very natural. It also has insulation properties and is harvested from sustainable sources. It is definitely an environment friendly choice for use in any home.

 Stone
Stone is another natural material that is used in many forms in numerous structures. Grainy sandstone, smooth granite, the sheen of slate and textured marble can all be used to provide exterior finishes that not only look good but are strong and low maintenance as well. However, stone does not possess any insulation properties and the moisture that gets trapped between stone cladding and the foundation material can make it very cold.

Weatherboard
This is a very popularly-used cladding material. It may be made of timber, fiber cement or reconstituted hardwood. Vinyl is a cost-effective cladding material, is easily available, installation is simple and it is also very low-maintenance. On the other hand, the other materials will need to be serviced on a regular basis.

 Vinyl
This material is very low-maintenance, economical and recyclable. Another advantage of vinyl cladding is that it is available in numerous shades and colors and thus can be matched to any d├ęcor. It also offers a certain amount of insulation.

 Metal
This is a very versatile material. Metal cladding may be made either of aluminium or steel. Its pliability makes it possible to weave and shape it to create dramatic architectural effects. Metal cladding can be used both indoors and outdoors. The mesh can be installed very easily and is durable as well. It can be sculpted, textured and rendered to create designs and effects that can make a modern building look stunningly attractive. The two chemical processes that are used to treat metal are called galvanizing and anodizing. These protect metal from moisture and the elements and makes it very low-maintenance as well. An innovative new glass-metal product called “Vitramesh” creates a heady mix of the colour of metal and the versatility of glass. The design possibilities with this kind of cladding are literally unending.

 Concrete
This material is available in panel form and is very low-maintenance. It looks sleek, minimalistic and very contemporary. It also has insulation properties and can be moulded to give it a natural finish.

 Brick
Coloured bricks are now available in various styles. They can be used as textured surfaces or can be rendered for smoother ones. A final coat of paint and you have a well-insulated wall that looks amazingly attractive.

 The cladding material you use will be largely dependent on an architect’s rendering of the final design, concept behind the rest of the structure, the climate that it is going to weather and the budget that has been allocated for it. A mix-and-match of materials may also be used to create unique designs and facades. 


Cadisch MDA have had this article produced on their behalf and are one the country's most respected suppliers of architectural metal from a single bespoke panel to large metal cladding projects (http://www.cadischmda.com/welltec-metal-cladding.asp).