The Art of Minimalism in Modern Day Decor

Today, modern decor is all about simple and clean lines. It's less about sheer aesthetic value and more about functionality.

The utility, the practicality of the space, the decor is what makes its aesthetic and not the other way round. Minimalism, from an art form has now progressed to a lifestyle. A lifestyle that more and more people are adopting. You see, the moment you declutter your home, free it from all the tangible additional baggage; a certain sense of 'being free' is felt at a very innate level. People tend to feel lighter at a very philosophical level.

One solution for those looking to declutter their homes is to get storage boxes. Today, one finds a lot of storage boxes online. It is thus advisable to purchase such boxes which clear up maximum clutter while taking the least space. In fact, look for boxes which serve multiple purposes. Look for ways to seamlessly integrate the storage boxes that you purchase, with the rest of your minimal decor.

Here are some steps that you can take to live more minimally, and in extension, more happily-

1. Make it Count-

Consider your home to be a beautiful puzzle. Let the decor be such that every product fits within it in a perfectly balanced way. Let there be no extra piece, however pretty it may be. Anything that does not serve a purpose of fulfilling that puzzle is a piece that does not count and so should simply be disregarded.

2. Quality vs. Quantity-

One must rather have key pieces which make a statement rather than multiple baubles that do nothing but create noise. Getting carried away by sweeping trends may sound quite alluring at first but will only prove to be a waste in the longer run. Instead, invest in timeless decor products. For example, of all the options of storage boxes online , it is advisable to buy vintage storage boxes rather than many other boxes for decoration. This will ensure that your accents look classy for years to come. Remember, the principle of quality over quantity to always maintain a cleaner, de cluttered home decor.

3. Left door in, Right door out-

Often we get so caught up in buying all the pretty things that come our way, we forget how we have a lot of similar stuff already. It thus, makes a lot of sense for all of us to follow a basic rule of letting something go for every new thing we bring into our homes. This ensures that there is no 'junk' as such lying around our homes. Things that we haven't used in ages, broken decor accents that we can't seem to let go, etc should all be shown the door to make way for newer, better things.

4. Small Steps Count-

If the modern home decor with its minimalist values ​​is something that you are skeptic about but still want to have it introduced in your life, it's best you ease into it slowly. …

How Lifestyle Affects House Design

I can still hear the crunch of the gravel driveway under the tires of Grandpa's Dodge Fury at my grandparents' home in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I remember how well the house seemed to fit them and my great-grandmother, who lived with them, and how everything had its place in their home. In that simpler time homes were smaller and less complex, as were the lives of the people those houses sheltered. They were very comfortable in their modest ranch. It was a custom-built house, but it was unlike any of the others in their neighborhood. It was small, but spacious, and it had character. Knowing my Grandfather, I'm certain he shopped for the best bargain on the street, but he also knew construction and got himself a solid building of quality materials.

When as an Architect, I began to think seriously about home design, I wondered how that house came to be that fit them so well. I like to think that their quiet little homestead was designed and built with care and craftsmanship by someone who had a pretty good idea of ​​the kind of family that might like to live there. Our lives are more varied and complex now, and the design of our homes should support and reflect that.

The opportunities for architectural invention in home design today are limitless – new materials, products, and construction techniques are constantly being introduced, and new technologies are having an impact. Unlike days past when historical styles ruled home design, our options today are wide open. We are free to interpret style, or to create our own to satisfy our aesthetic desires.

But all of these available design tools are too rarely used to create homes that are molded to the lives of their owners. Instead, homebuyers find themselves having to choose from among a few floor plans designed to appeal to a broad market, and then struggling to give it personality and character with just paint, carpet, and furniture. We try to make a house "ours" with features and decorating and never consider that it is the architectural design itself that brings a house to life.

We lose sight of what's possible and end up with just another house instead of a home.

Designing and building a new home is an opportunity to create something brand new, something unique, something as individual as you. We're working on several homes that defy any stylistic categorization because their inspiration, their "style" comes from the lives that their owners lead. These homes are built with character as the major construction material – the architecture and the "decorating" can't be separated.

Houses like these are so much more than just the number of bedrooms and the size of the floor plan – they're the ones that you return to look at again and again and think, "wow, there's something about that house that I really like ". What you like about those houses is the result of the owners having taken an active …

The Easiest Way To Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets Like A Pro

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets – Easy Guide For Weekend Warriors And DIYers

We always suggest that you hire a professional to do the job for you for multiple reasons which include experience and insurance of a quality job! But for those who want to know how to paint kitchen cabinets without a professional sprayer, this is how you can get professional looking results for under $ 200.

How To Achieve Professional Results When Painting Your Kitchen Cabinets

I have been getting a ton of questions via lately about one of our Facebook postings in which I painted our kitchen walls and cabinets. Most people are curious and want to know how to paint kitchen cabinets, and how much it cost to get our cabinets looking like new.

Our house is very old and so are our cabinets. It did not bother us at first but eventually, we got sick of looking at that ugly veneer look so we decided it was time for a makeover.

It's not very difficult to paint over veneer it just needs the right prep work. If you hire a professional I would suggest trying to do as much as you can yourself such as taking off the doors and hardware and maybe sanding them lightly with a 220 grit sanding block. Just a light scuff will do (imagine you are cleaning a window). That will save you a few dollars. But if you decide to do it on your own here are some tips on how to paint kitchen cabinets and get amazing and long lasting results.

Preparation When Painting Kitchen Cabinets

After you remove your doors (or just masking your hinges) lightly sand / scuff the surfaces that are being painted with a 220 grit sanding block. Use a type of degreasers such as Windex or Zep Citrus Degreaser.

Next, you have 2 options.You can use a 220 grit sandpaper and lightly scuff your surfaces or use Krud Kutter-Gloss Off which you can wipe on using a rag and let it sit for 10 minutes. Your surfaces will be deglossed without having to sand them.

Your next step is to prime the surfaces with the right primer. I used one coat of "INSL-X Stix" which is a urethane acrylic You can find it online or at your local Benjamin Moore Supplier. Check your local Hardware store.

Using a good quality paint will help you get the best finish possible. I suggest using Benjamin Moore Advance Alkyd. It is very easy to work with and dries to a hard and durable finish.

Using a 2-inch Nylon paintbrush start cutting in around the hardware (if you did not remove the doors) and any places your Whizz ™ roller will not reach. Next, use your Whizz ™ roller to apply your ALKYD enamel. Try to paint in the same direction as your grain (if your cabinet has a fake wood pattern). Let it dry overnight and repeat. You can hang your doors now but keep in …

How to Successfully Clean Bathroom Tile

We all want our bathrooms to sparkle and shine. This is especially true for businesses that cater to visitors, guests, and clientele. Even at home, bathroom hygiene is essential to your comfort and quality of life. Furthermore, restroom tile is not just on the floors; It is also commonly installed on walls, countertops, and showers too. This means that keeping your bathroom tile clean is a multifaceted responsibility.

Fortunately, there are several approaches to successfully cleaning tile flooring and surfaces. However, learning the safest and most effect methods to removing mineral buildup can provide a more thorough, safe, and sanitary clean. Continue reading to catch up on some of these safe and effective bathroom tile cleaning tips and recommendations.

Mineral Buildup Removal and Tile Cleaning Tips

Regular cleaning is the best way to reduce mineral buildup and extend the lifespan of your bathroom flooring, walls, and other tiled surfaces. There are many cleaning agents on the market today that can be used for regular bathroom tile cleaning; some of which can be chemical-free, Eco-friendly, and child-safe.

With thousands of cleaning products to choose from, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. If you prefer an easier approach, you can simply use common household products to clean tile surfaces and flooring instead. Here is a great guide to refer to for tile cleaning and sanitization:

Here is What You Will Need:

  • Calcium Removal Product (ie CLR, Lime Away, etc.)
  • Painter's Razor Blade
  • Toothbrush
  • Grout Cleaner (ie Grout Bully, Goo Gone Bathroom Cleaner, OXY-Grout Tile Cleaner, Ect.)
  • Hot Water

Here is What To Do:

  1. Spray calcium removal product liberally on wall and floor tile.
  2. Allow to sit for five minutes.
  3. Use painter's blade to gently scrape large accumulations of minerals. Hold blade at a slant and push at an angle across the tile.
  4. Apply grout cleaner to grout.
  5. Allow grout cleaner to sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Scrub grout vigorously with toothbrush.
  7. Rinse with ample amounts of hot water.
  8. Repeat on weekly basis.

It is strongly encouraged to clean and sanitize bathroom tile floors, walls, and countertops at least once per week. This prevents tile stains, mineral buildup, mildew accumulation, and odors. You can easily extend the lifespan of your bathroom floors and counters by implementing routine maintenance and cleaning.

Sometimes tile flooring is at the point of no return; no matter how much you clean it, the floor remains dull, damaged, and ultimately, unappealing. If this sounds like your restroom floors, it may be time to consider a bathroom remodel. Contact a local and trusted bathroom remodeling contractor for professional advice and service.

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Ancient Egypt Fish Tank Decor

There are numerous ancient civilizations that have awesome fish tank decorations these days. These include the Mayans, Asian and the always famous Greek ruins. Using any of these would create stunning scenes of times gone by, producing an air of wonder and discovery in your very own room.

The one ancient civilization that I personally love to use in my tank designs is the Ancient Egyptians. Who has not seen at least a photograph of the Great Pyramids or the towering mighty Sphinx. With the cool and extremely detailed tank ornaments you can get these days, you will be able to bring the exact replica of the Egyptian landscape into your aquarium.

With the Egyptian tank decor, you basically have a couple of options. You could create an outdoor scene, an indoor scene or just use Egyptian artifacts.

To create an outdoor Egyptian scene, you would be utilizing replicas of the massive structures that are synonym to Egypt. These would include the pyramids as well as the Sphinx. This is placed on top of a sand colored gravel to give it the impression of being in the desert. If you plan to use plants, they should not be of the leafy variety. Java Moss is one option you can look into. To make the theme work, a great idea is to place a fish tank background depicting a desert scene. This would give it a 3D effect to the whole design.

For the indoor effect, you would use indoor structures such as Egyptian columns as well as the Pharaoh's sarcophagus. Place them to look like a scene from an archaeological dig. The gravel would still be sand colored. As a backdrop, you could either use one depicting Egyptian hieroglyphs or a rock face. These days you would be able to get 3D rock backgrounds where the rocks protrude out instead of a flat print. This makes theme look so much more realistic. Being indoors, you would not place any plants because they might make the theme look odd. You may place rocks if you wish, just make them out to look like they came crashing down from the roof of a temple. This means simply scattering them around the decor. Try not getting smooth faced river rocks, the ones you get should look as if they were once bricks that made up the walls.

Egyptian artifacts are new additions to the fish tank decorating scene. The most common ones that you can find are the Egyptian vases. Though they are only aquarium decor, they are made to look extremely authentic. What I love about the Egyptian vases is the holes that they always have in the side. These make awesome caves for the fish and if you have been following my posts all these years, you would know that I am big on caves for aquariums. Apart from the vases, another really cool tank ornament that I love a whole lot is a bust of Pharaoh. The bust is golden …

Insulating a Slipform Stone House

There can be no question that insulation should be of primary importance when considering new house construction. Slipform stone houses are no exception to this rule. Helen and Scott Nearing, early proponents of this stone building technique, claimed that their New England homes were comfortable year-round without much thought given to insulation – indeed, their first slipform home was built right into a Vermont cliff-face, and made use of bare ledge as one wall. While the thermal mass of the earth itself surely served to maintain house temperatures above freezing, by modern standards, there can be no doubt that this uninsulated stone house would make for a chilly winter. Insulation is key to efficiency, and there are a number of ways to insulate a slipform stone structure.

Stud Wall and fiberglass batting

One common approach to the question of insulation in stone and concrete structures is the construction of a standard framed stud wall against the interior wall. This framed wall is then insulated in the traditional manner, using fiberglass batting insulation between the studs. While this approach works fine, and brings the comfort of familiarity to many builders, the construction of the stud wall is wasteful, and the studs themselves present the opportunity for thermal bridging, significantly reducing the overall insulation of the house.

Rigid Insulation

Rigid insulation offers a number of opportunities when it comes to insulating slipform stone homes. Rigid insulation, correctly installed, allows for no thermal bridging and creates a tight envelope inside the house. There are a number of techniques for building this type of insulation right into the walls themselves, either by laying the insulation inside the forms as you build, or replacing the interior forms entirely with nailbase – rigid insulation mated with OSB, plywood, or even sheetrock on one side.

Adding rigid insulation after the walls are standing can present a challenge to the typical owner / builder. The biggest hurdle here is figuring out how to secure the insulation to the stone / concrete wall. One of the best ways to do this is using furring strips – narrow boards attached to the wall, into which screws can be driven. A powder-actuated nail gun, or ramset can be used to attach the furring strips to the wall. Another approach is to embed the furring strips into the concrete itself as you build the walls. The downside to this approach is that the furring strips will degrade and rot away over the decades, leaving gaps in the wall and weakening the overall structure. Fully removing the furring strips and replacing them could be a challenge.

Spray-on Insulation

This nifty product could be used to spray a seamless layer of insulating foam directly onto the interior of the slipform wall. The insulation would then be cut, sanded, or squashed flat before a finish layer of sheetrock is applied. Both of the above approaches present difficulties when it comes to hanging anything on the walls, as there are no interior studs for screwing or …

Kitchen Island? Pros and Cons

Kitchen islands used to be the area where friends and family would gather as well as providing that extra counter space we cooks love so much! Kitchen islands are now not just an area to have extra counter space. They can include a stove top, prep sink, small fridge, microwave, wine cooler, bookcase, and numerous other items for the kitchen.

There are certainly many pros to having a kitchen island. The first pro we will look at is that of extra counter space. Having resided in homes where counter space was at a minimum, the kitchen island was a life saver when cooking for larger gatherings. The second pro would be extra storage space. Who doesn't need extra storage space in a kitchen? One kitchen owned was so small the laundry room next to the kitchen wound up being turned into a pantry as there was next to no storage in the kitchen.

Another positive point about an island is that it can be designed or customized to fit the needs of the owner. As mentioned above, many islands can house various appliances, or they can provide the storage space to take the appliances off of the kitchen counters. The kitchen island may also be used as a makeshift kitchen office space. A kitchen island can be somewhere to organize meal planning, cookbooks, or helping a child with homework, while still being able to keep an eye on what may be cooking.

There are also kitchen islands which can be moved as they are on rollers. This can be a benefit if the kitchen is small enough a stationary island could get in the way. The moveable island can be put into place when working in the kitchen, then moved when the tasks have been completed.

One of the largest pros to a kitchen island is having that space for friends or family members to congregate in the kitchen area. One can place bar stools, or high seated chairs up against a kitchen island which invites that comfort zone. Most of us are aware that people tend to congregate to the kitchen area, after all it is the heart of the home.

There are some cons of having a kitchen island. The largest one is expense. Placing a permanent kitchen island with running water and electric as many of the islands have can be extremely expensive. If one is doing a kitchen remodel, adding the electric or gas line to an island during a remodel can cost a tremendous amount of extra money. Even without electric, gas, or water, the cost of a stationary island can run into several thousand dollars, which might be better used elsewhere.

Another con is space. While it was mentioned previously that there are rolling islands, if space is at a premium, an island may just not be practical. There is nothing more frustrating to a cook than having something "in the way" when you are trying to prepare meals for your family, or yourself. …

7 Elements of Interior Design

Interior design is the art of enhancing interiors, also including the exterior, to achieve astatically pleading environment for the user. And also we can say it is the process of shaping the experience of interior space, the manipulation of spatial volume as well as surface treatment for the betterment of human functionality. An interior designer has plans, researches, coordinates and manages projects.

There are 7 elements of Interior Design:

1. Space
Space is one of the most important parts interior design. Space acts as a foundation on which the entire interior design plan is built. Hence it is essential that the designer is well aware of the space available, its dimensions and its utilities.

2. Line
Lines are broadly categorized into three types – Horizontal, Vertical and Dynamic. Whereas horizontal lines adorn structures likes tables, chairs and beds, vertical lines may be found on windows and doorways while horizontal lines add a safe and secure feeling to the space, vertical lines emote free and expansive nature. Dynamic or angular lines, that are action oriented add drama and may be seen on structures like stairs.

3. Forms
Forms mean shapes in general, an outline of any three dimensional object in the space. Forms may be created by combining two or more shapes and might be accentuated with the assistance of different elements like texture, patterns and colors.

4. Light
Light is one of the most obvious elements of interior design. Either natural or artificial, without light other elements namely color, texture and pattern have no significance at all. Light sets in the mood and ambience into a living space and highlights the every other element including space, line and forms.

5. Color
Colors don't need any special introduction. Colors establish an aesthetic affiliation between objects and set the mood. Colors must be chosen based on the psychology and the mindset of the dweller. As an example, red is a superb choice for dining area as it encourages appetite and green for bedroom as it is the color of tranquility and health. Every color has three distinct characteristics namely Hue, Value and Intensity, and an interior designer must be well aware of these characteristics to perform various permutations and combinations. Colors are broadly classified into two categories: Primary and Secondary colors.

6. Texture
Texture mainly deals with surfaces and determines how a typical surface looks and feels. Texture adds depth and interest into room and defines the feel / appearance and consistency of a surface. Texture is broadly classified into two types – Visual Texture where the texture is only visible and Actual Texture where the texture is both seen and felt. Anything that has to do with textiles such as pillow cover, bed spreads or anything to do with covers like drapes, wall paint or wallpapers have a texture.

7. Pattern
Patterns add interest and life to interior design and work along with colors. Patterns tell a story of their own and add the elements of continuity and smooth transition in …

Advantages and Disadvantages of Garden Furniture

There is some special charm in garden furniture. Garden furniture conjures up thoughts of a sunny day in a garden, having tea under an apple tree, resting in a rocking chair on a veranda and listening to grasshoppers' chirping. A choice of furniture depends on a garden. If there are centuries-year old trees with mighty crowns furniture should be massive, solid. Furniture should be elegant if placed among flower beds. A lush green lawn needs tables and chairs contrasting with emerald grass. A choice of furniture comes from the fact that furniture should not violate natural character of nature itself and certainly should match an overall garden style. Your lifestyle is also important: if you need furniture for privacy, choose only small cozy tables and chairs, and if you enjoy organizing home parties, you will need more solid furniture.

Wooden tables and chairs look very naturally. Manufacturers are increasing offering different models: from trendy to traditional, classic, made in different colors. There is a massive chair with wide armrests and comfortable high back. Examples are numerous. Manufacturers of high-class furniture use special methods of wood treatment with water-resistant protective compounds which make it more durable and resistant to weather conditions. This furniture will be resistant to the caprices of the weather for at least 10 years.

Plastic furniture is modern and is not sensitive to dampness. There exists a great diversity of furniture colors. In the gardens of classical style this furniture will not look unsophisticated. We can say that this is the most economical way to solve the problem of relaxation and comfort in the garden. Low price is not an advantage. Cheap plastic cannot stand the cold. In an intensive sunlight it can fade or soften to such a degree that the legs would go apart. In several years cheap plastic products get oxidized, and the edges get covered with brown patina, giving the product completely not presentable look. It is better to give preference to more expensive reinforced plastic which uses steel or aluminum for the frame. This provides the durability to the product.

Furniture made of lasting metal is unpretentious, hardy, and ideal for staying outside and easily stands rain and snow for many years. It is the case of decorative wrought-iron furniture. Iron furniture adds to garden's prestige and beauty. Therefore, metal benches are often used as decorative elements of a garden's design. There is only one drawback in metal furniture: it is not very comfortable to sit on, let alone lie down. That is why it is often combined with other materials – wood, plaiting materials.

Tables, chairs and other furniture include not only traditional types. There are deck chairs, couches, tents, children furniture, tables for work in a greenhouse, beach chairs, swings, rocking chairs, sofas, shelves, racks, sofa-chest, picnic tables on wheels, two-wheeled garden sofa, and swings with canopy-like roofs. Here is present the whole range of styles – from massive and severe to style of techno. Their diversity gives us the opportunity …

How To Avoid Your Bathroom Renovation Costs From Blowing Out

The cost of a bathroom renovation can vary enormously. The scope of your project, your selections and any upgrades are just a few factors that can substantially impact on the overall cost of your bathroom renovation. Let's discuss a few tips on how to keep costs down:

Do It Properly

The term 'false economy' applies here- if you have to do it twice, it's not cheap. Often people think they are saving money by re-using utilities such as the bath, by using "friends" as tradesmen, or by project managing the job themselves. There are no winners in this scenario. Using friends as tradesmen can backfire massively if they incur an error and you feel uncomfortable asking them to rectify it. Not to mention waiting endlessly for them to squeeze you in on a Saturday! As for re-using items such as the bath with a few minor chips in it, yes it will save you the cost of a bath but when you've already spent $ 20,000 on a new bathroom, what's another thousand? Especially when you are soaking in the old tub in the brand spanking new bathroom!

As for project managing the job yourself, unless you're a builder, or have successfully renovated properties previously, don't risk it! Crucial stages such as waterproofing, tiling etc cannot afford to be missed or done incorrectly. Utilizing the services of a builder also ensures the work will be under warranty for seven years- worth every penny if something happens down the track!

If you are going to go the trouble and expense of renovating your bathroom, always do it properly and engage a qualified builder.

Retrofit

Also known as a cosmetic renovation, a retrofit will always be more economical than a full bathroom refit.

As soon as you make changes to the existing layout, your overall costs will increase. In particular, leaving the plumbing where it is will be a huge money saver. Maintaining the placement of your existing toilet, shower and vanity waste locations allows you to achieve a more cost-effective renovation. Within this you can increase the storage, introduce a walk-in shower and a stylish wall faced toilet to achieve a great visual impact at a lower cost.

Consider Tiling Carefully

Although a beautiful tile will lift your bathroom enormously, if you're renovating with budget in mind, choosing the wrong tiles will blow your budget instantly. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Extra small tiles add cost. Yes, your marble mosaic tiles will elevate your bathroom or shower wall, but they can be extremely pricey at over $ 200 / m. They also cost more in labor cost to lay, as your tiler will spend much more time per meter laying them. Another cost factor with small-scale tiles is that they need to be laid on a perfectly flat and even surface-any imperfection in the surface will be amplified with small tiles. In a renovation, your tiler and builder will want the walls to be checked for level and straightened