ANTIQUE ITEMS FOR A FIRST-TIME BUYER

In recent years, the number of people purchasing antique items has significantly risen. This rise can be attributed to the uniqueness, durability, cost-effectiveness, or environmental friendliness of the items.

As a first time buyer, purchasing antique items can be an overwhelming and complex affair. However, this could not be further from the truth. With a little information, buying vintage items can be as easy as ABC.

Understand what makes an item vintage

To purchase a genuine antique, buyers must have a clear understanding of what it takes for an item to be referred to as such.

Various factors allow for an item to be labeled a collectible.’ These factors include:

  • The age of the item
  • Its rarity
  • Its quality
  • The history behind it
  • Current trends

For beginners, understanding these factors can be overwhelming. However, experts advise that novice antique buyers put into emphasis the age of the item before anything else.

Do in-depth research

Whether you are in the market searching for an antique desk or something similar, doing in-depth research is imperative. 

First and foremost, research the different periods in time. Doing so allows you to have a rough idea of the cost of the item.

Secondly, talk to experts. If you are looking for an antique chest of drawers, walk into any antique furniture shop and ask them for general advice on how to know the legitimacy of such items.

Last but not least, go on the internet. The internet offers a lot of information on vintage items that come in handy when making purchases.

However, do not get so comfortable with the theory. The more stores you visit, the better your chances of grasping the more complex parts of purchasing antiques.

  • Where can you buy antiques?

To get genuine antiques, it is best to purchase them from specific places. These places include thrift shops, auctions, estate sales, and fairs. Apart from the above-named places, car boots, flea markets, charity shops, and online platforms are also viable places to purchase.

  • How to look for the perfect antique

As a beginner, always go for what tickles your fancy. As much as some antique sellers will convince you to pick an item because it has a background story, it is best to go with something you love.

Your preference should be a priority.

Once you have your eyes locked on a specific item, take a few moments to study it. Look at how well it is made, look for any signs of damage, and get to know if the item is fully functional.

If the item is study or repairable, go with it.

The most important thing is to trust your gut. Do not let your emotions get in the way of checking the authenticity of the antique. Have an open mind because it is rare to find an antique that resembles another. Going into an antique shop with something in mind may be frustrating when the visit proves futile.

All in all, purchasing an antique is fun. Not

Three Steps to Self-sustainable Living

Self-sufficient living and housing have been growing trends over the years. Building an eco-friendly house brings about several benefits. You’ll reduce the cost of your utility bills. You’ll minimize the size of your carbon footprint. It will also improve your house’s selling points and resale value. A study commissioned by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment found that home buyers are willing to pay from $10,000 to $53,000 for green features. Check out these five steps that you can take for a more self-reliant home:

Solar Is the Way

Install a Tesla Powerwall in your Salt Lake City home to save on your electricity bills. After collecting and using solar energy in the day, it stores the rest until your house needs the power. It’s especially helpful if your area is prone to a lot of power outages or if you work from home. You can also have solar-powered outdoor lights, power banks, and phone cases. Think of going solar as an investment: once you pay for the item, you’ll reduce your electric bills forever.

Another benefit is that you can help the environment. A study by University of California, Berkeley found that a home can cut its carbon emissions by 80% using solar energy.

Get Plants

Channel your inner green thumb and start planting. It’s a great way to maximize your yard space and encourage more greens in your family’s diet. If it’s your first time to tend plants, start small with herbs such as basil and parsley. When you’re comfortable with your yield, you can move on to vegetables. Doing so will ensure that the greens in your meals are fresh and without pesticides. 

The act of gardening itself is beneficial for the physical health of people with high blood pressure, coronary diseases, and more. It requires moderate level of exercise and exposure to sunlight. Aside from the physical health benefits, it can improve your mental health as well. An article by the National Center for Biotechnology Information says that gardening can also help with mental conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder and dementia.

Start Beekeeping

If you have a garden, beekeeping is a great way to improve your plants’ yield. Vegetables and fruits, such as broccoli, apples, and melons, rely on bees for pollination. Obviously, another benefit to having bees is the authentic honey. It’s estimated to be the third most forged food in the world. It’s also been proven to kill bacteria, soothe sore throats, and improve endurance.

If you decide to tend beehives, make sure that you consider all factors. Check if there are local policies against it in your area. Make sure that you have enough space so that you don’t disturb your neighbors. Consider that the bee population is in decline and that beekeeping is a serious venture. You don’t want to contribute to the trend that could lead to higher food prices.

Leading an informed and eco-friendly lifestyle has many fulfilling benefits. You feel good while reaping the rewards

Shopping for Home Furniture: Which is the best material for your couch? 

Getting the best sofa for your living room can be a bit daunting if you have not purchased one in the past. Apart from price, there are other factors that you want to check before buying a sofa. The material of the sofa is very fundamental in determining its longevity and outward appearance. You want to ensure you pick the best material that’s suitable for your home.

In this article, we highlight some of the best materials you should look forward to when you shop for your modern sofa. Read through for some hacks on choosing a material for your sofa.

Leather 

Leather is one of the most popular materials you can have on a quality sofa. There are different types of leather that you should beware of before you decide to buy a leather sofa. Most manufacturers tend to coat the leather with polythene and other products to make them last longer and appealing.

You may have to choose between unprotected and protected leather. Sometimes it takes an eagle-eye to spot the difference between a fake and original leather material. You may want to confirm the grain and texture of the material to ensure you are buying real leather material.

Acrylic and Polyester 

Polyester is the most affordable material you can get for a contemporary couch. It may not have the softness and breathability like most of the traditional and natural materials, but they actually give a perfect look on a couch. Acrylic and polyester last longer than most natural materials because their threads do not break down easily.

Another advantage of synthetic materials is that they are easy to clean. Most manufacturers may combine synthetic polyester with natural materials like leather to make the couch more appealing. If you are lucky to find a sofa with a polyester pigment, then you can be confident it will last longer than you expect it.

Weaving 

The type of weaving on your sofa is also very crucial in establishing its durability. Every fabric is made by combining threads. If the weaving on the material is tight, then it is more likely to last longer than a material with loose threading.  

When buying a sofa, you must ensure the weaving on the fabric is tighter and thick. With a thick and tight weaving, the material will last longer. It is also easy to clean fabric with tight weaving because the threads do not loosen faster. You can always shop for a sofa with linen and velvet material. They may be a bit expensive but worth your money. Avoid material with dyed fabric because they are more vulnerable to bleaching when exposed to sunlight.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, the material used in producing the sofa plays a significant role in ensuring you achieve the desired finish in your living room. When you go for any of the materials we have listed here, ensure it meets all your requirements. Adventures in Furniture have an unrivalled selection of fabric options so you can be confident

Simple Changes to Make That Will Improve Your Posture

 

Poor posture is caused by the inefficient use of your muscles, which weakens over time and results in neck and shoulder pain, headaches, sleep issues, and fatigue. Besides the physical pain, it can also negatively influence your attitude, self-image, and confidence. Here are some easy changes you can incorporate into your daily routine to help correct your posture: 

Invest in a good mattress

An uncomfortable and low-quality mattress will not only leave you sleep-deprived, but it will also do a number on your body. You’re most likely to wake up feeling stiff and achy from sleeping on one. The best mattress for posture health should keep your body in a neutral and relaxed position. Your spine should hold its natural slight curve, and your shoulders, head, and back should be aligned. A memory foam mattress is ideal for posture correcting since it’s able to distribute your weight evenly and offer a high level of support. There are plenty of mattress options for you in American Fork. Memory foam or not, just make sure that it’s made of excellent quality and that you feel comfortable using it.

Wear supportive footwear

High-heeled shoes and flip flops can affect your gait pattern and arch support which creates stress on your back, legs, and feet, thus negatively affecting your posture. Avoid wearing these types of shoes on a regular basis and opt for shoes that offer more support such as running shoes or specialized orthotic shoes. You may also choose to wear specially designed inserts, also called insoles, which can provide cushioning for your arch.

Exercise regularly

Since poor posture is usually a result of weak muscles, you should work on engaging and strengthening them. Simple exercises like walking, biking, jogging, and swimming can help you stay fit and will further develop your muscles to prevent injury. Your core and back muscles, in particular, need the most conditioning since they’re responsible for the upper body which is what maintains good posture. Simply be sure not to overexert yourself and only do exercises that you can manage. 

Move your body often

When your muscles get tired, you become more likely to slouch or slump, putting pressure on your neck and back. Always be aware of your body position, and change positions frequently when you’ve been stuck in one place for too long in order to maintain a more relaxed posture. If your job entails sitting in an office chair for long periods of time, it’s recommended that you take a two-minute break to stand, stretch, and walk around a bit every half hour. 

Use ergonomic and posture-friendly props

Supportive and ergonomic aids can be used to lessen the strain on your spine. These props include ergonomic office chairs with adjustable backrests and footrests if you’re required to sit for long periods of time. If you’re a student or someone who carries a heavy backpack, there are plenty of bags that are specifically designed to minimize back strain and try to lessen the

Garden Patch Soup Recipe

Every year as summer draws to a close I find myself looking ahead to heating up the kitchen and filling the house with the wonderful aromas of hearty soups and stews.

It is enjoyable to change our meal planning from lighter summer menus to traditional autumn foods. Eating seasonally means enjoying certain foods when they are at their ripest and freshest. Autumn is the height of harvest time for many fruits and vegetables.

At the end of summer, the gardens are loaded with ingredients for creating tasty, one-pot meals such as Garden Patch Soup.

This soup is full of nutritious and flavorful vegetables. It has been a restaurant customer favorite soup for well over twenty years. That’s right. For over 20 years my restaurant customers have counted on this soup being featured every fall. The restaurant never quits serving customers favorite recipes.

The soup recipe calls for beef, but you can use chicken or pork or you can leave out the meat altogether, adding more beans and veggies. Left-over chili can be substituted for the beans.

So as you can see, this soup recipe is wonderfully flexible. The recipe has as many variations as there are cooks but regardless of how you choose to tweak the recipe, it will be delicious.

The soup you make from this successful restaurant recipe will keep you and your family warm, healthy, full, happy and thankful for the Fall bounty as the weather turns cool.

Enjoy your restaurant soup recipe and the company of those you share it with!

Garden Patch Soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

2 quarts water

2 1/2 tablespoons Au jus seasoning mix (or to taste)

2 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

2 1/4 teaspoons chili powder

14 ounce can of tomatoes, chopped

7 ounce can tomato sauce

8 ounces whole kernel corn or 8 ounce can with liquid 3 cups of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, zucchini, peppers, celery or whatever you like and have available)

1/3 head cabbage (1 1/2 cups), coarsely chopped

8 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or left-over chili)

Instructions:

Heat water to boiling in a soup pot

While water is heating, brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet

When water comes to a boil, add all the seasonings, tomato, tomato sauce, corn with liquid, beans and your vegetable choice

Drain meat mixture and add the meat to the soup pot

Bring back to a boil and simmer until vegetables are crisp tender

Add the cabbage and remove the soup from the heat

Let sit for a few minutes to cook the cabbage

Correct the seasoning

Enjoy your soup and the great fall season.

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Interior Design Best Selling Books

Holly Becker writes Decorate: 1000 Professional Design Ideas for Every Room in Your House. In this book, top designers come together to share over 1000 tips on how you can change your room and do it to meet your budget. You can get inspiration from the beautiful colored examples in the book, photos of bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, parlors, as well as checklists, shortcuts, and cost cutting methods, so that you will be sure to find something in there that meets your eye as well as an explanation of how to make it possible in your own home.

Christine Lemieux writes Undecorate, a book that heralds a brand new kind of style that seeks to push aside the stuffy professional styles of today and bring their own personality into their home. The book profiles about twenty homes all over the nation and shows how it came to be the way it was by tying it in with the owner’s particular personality. Following the interests of car fanatics who turn their master bedroom into an air stream trailer to a couple that makes their house a log house, to someone who creates and English manor, to a variety of other kinds of strange creations that reveal the personality of the builder, this book will show you how to accomplish the same feat.

Domino: The Book of Decorating, written by Deborah Needleman is a book that offers step by step guides to decorating your rooms. No matter what styles you prefer, the book will have something in that vein as well as tips on how to mix and match styles, too. The Domino team contributes their own personal design efforts so you can see how they transformed their own rooms and in what kinds of styles they decided to work in. This is a great book if you are interested in redoing a room in your house.

My Passion for Design by Barbara Streisand is a beautifully illustrated persona tour of the great star’s homes and collections. From the Broadway stage, television and film stardom, her work as a director, and her work in the recording studio, Barbara has been an iconic figure with an extraordinary voice and immense talent. Now, in her first book, Barbara gives readers a glimpse into the taste that has inspired her beautiful home. This book focuses on the architecutre and construction of her home and contains many photographs of rooms she decorated herself. Other illustrations include the gardens she planted on her California coastal land. She gives us a look into the world of on of the most beloved stars.

Charlotte Moss Decorates: The Art of Creating Elegant and Inspired Rooms by Charlotte Moss gives a singular vision through a beautiful collection of her acclaimed rooms. Moss has led a celebrated career in the interior design world. Her book offers readers a glimpse into the methods behind her magic. For each room that is featured, Moss breaks the numerous stages of the design process, revealing storyboards and …

Garden Gazebos – A History

The word "gazebo" has always conjured up an image of a circular garden pavilion in my mind. The walls and roof are made of white lattice and the wooden floor is polished a vivid red. The sun is always shining and for some reason, the time period is always around the 19th century, with people drinking tea and eating scones. Gazebos have several names eg pagodas, summerhouses, screen houses pergolas and arbors. Their popularity has risen and fallen nearly as often as the tides. At the moment they are experiencing a popularity resurgence as people crave the illusion of peace that they bring.

Their existence can be traced back thousands of years to the earliest gardens all around the world. They did not start start out as garden structures, but were built as towers or lanterns on the roofs of houses. Their only aim was to provide the owner with spectacular views of the neighborhood and surrounding areas. It was only years later that they were built on the ground as havens of peace and pavilions from which one could admire one's garden.

The earliest known gazebos were in Egypt about 5000 BC. They belonged to royalty who believed their gardens to be paradise on earth. They also believed that they could take their gardens with them into the afterlife. In order to do so they had to have the layout for the garden depicted in a mural in the tomb. The earliest mural that has been found in a tomb dates back to 1400 BC. Some historians and archaeologists have speculated that Egyptians used the gazebos as small temples to commune with their gods.

Gazebo-like structures were built in Rome and ancient Greece. They were built to resemble small temples, often complementing the larger temple dedicated to their gods. The building material of choice was marble. As Rome's population increased and space became an issue, the rich and important in society began building summerhouses along the Mediterranean coasts. Gazebos featured most prominently in these coastal getaways.

Persian gazebos were inspired by Islamic architecture and referred to as "kiosks". These forms of gazebos could be anything from colored tents to elaborate 2-story structures with marble columns and golden seats. As Persia suffered from very hot summers, many gazebos were built across pools or streams so that the cool water would help regulate the temperature inside. Pagodas were also used as tombs for their owners.

Pagodas in China were elaborate and ornate. In Japan they were called teahouses and were used for their Tea Ceremonies. They were considered as places to rest, meditate, and achieve spiritual harmony as well as being ideally situated to admire the beauty of the garden. Japan's view of the pagoda is very much in line with the western view as places of peace and quiet reflection away from the main house. In the late 18th century the architecture of Chinese pagodas became very fashionable in Europe and turned up all across the continent.

The Renaissance saw …

10 Tips For Using Antique Mirrors In Your Victorian Decor

Antique mirrors can add a very special touch to your Victorian decor. Use lighting to create an illusion of space and add an element of warmth to that décor.

The surface of a mirror is reflective so by using the correct lighting in the room you can create a beautiful illumination. The antique styling of the mirror helps create the room atmosphere.

Antique mirror glass is made by placing a metallic deposit onto the glass. This method has been used since the 16th century. Over the years it's not uncommon to find the surface wearing slightly. That's okay as it adds some character

Here are 10 tips for using antique mirrors in your home décor:

1. Find your favorite piece of art in the room. Could be a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, or any other type of art. Place your mirror on the opposite wall which will reflect the image and create an interesting room dynamic.

2. To add depth to your room paint one wall a deep dark burgundy or green, or another Victorian color. Then take your antique mirror and hang in directly in the middle of the wall. Add candle wall sconces and wow!

3. If your room is on the dark side then hang your mirror near the window. The natural light will reflect off the mirror and make the room brighter.

4. Your Victorian entrance will look perfect with an ornate mirror above the corner table that holds a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Fresh is perfect but silk certainly works.

5. Antique dining rooms look great with a mirror above the side board. It will not only complete the mood it will make the room look bigger.

6. If your room has a fireplace then place your mirror opposite to create a visual effect. And when the fireplace is flickering you get an amazing effect.

7. Consider grouping together several mirrors that are all different shapes and sizes to make a focal wall display. You can mix different styles and finishes too. Create a sophisticated display or a shabby chic look.

8. You can use a beautiful mirror in a Victorian kitchen. Add it the wall across from your counter space. Consider using more than one mirror to create an effect of largeness.

9. Place your mirror above a piece of furniture. It will instantly draw the eye away from the furniture. Hang above a table, a dresser, or even a sofa.

10. If you have bookcases that are half wall height hang your mirror above them and then place candles on the top of the book case. When the candles are lit they will illuminate the light and the flicker of the candles is so romantic.

Before you do anything you need to have a good look at your room and analyze where you'll get the most benefit from your mirror. You also want to make sure the angle of the mirror does not result in an unattractive scene or cause a glare. …

Important People for House Building

For those who are engineers, architects or interior designers, house building is definitely a fun process for them. They would understand the process and how it is done. They are the ones who have control over the whole building. During this process, there would be so many people who are involved. Of course, the owner of the house would be one of them but there are other people who are concerned too. They all have their own duties and responsibilities with the house. They may work separately in their areas but they work together to build a perfect house for the owner.

Here are the important and needed people who are involved in the house building and their responsibilities:

• Engineer: Provides the structure design of the whole house; in-charge of providing the structure from the floors to the roof; works together with a work supervisor and a site supervisor

• Architect: the most important person in house building; gets the ideas from the clients and they are the ones who puts it into paper; are knowledgeable with guidelines and legal requirements that are related to your building so they are hired to avoid any legal issues; could pick out the workers for the area

• Contractor: they are the ones who watches all the workers and labourers at the site; supervises their work to ensure that they are doing their job well

• Mason: in charge of the construction of the whole house; in charge of building walls and other construction

• Carpenters and Painters: One of the most needed people during the building process; they are the ones who provides the doors, windows, cabinets and other woodworks that you need; paints walls, ceilings, etc

• Electrician and Plumber: Every house must need a good source of water and electricity so they are the ones who would fix the lines and pipes to have good water supply and electricity connection

All of these people are needed during the house building. So there are really a lot of people when you go to the site. They all must do a good job to be able to build a strong and nice house. They all must agree on things and cooperate with each other so the house would look nice. All of them have one goal. Their goal is to be able to build a home where a person or a family would be able to live comfortably.

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Interior Designer Dorothy Draper – Inferior Desecrator?

The actual profession of interior designer is credited to a woman named Dorothy Draper, who was commissioned to decorate all thirty-seven floors of the Hampshire House hotel in 1937 Manhattan. Even though renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright called her an “inferior desecrator,” Ms. Draper had decorated scores of offices, restaurants, hospitals, and even a car for Packard (in 1952) and an airplane interior for Convair (the 880) before she died in 1969.

Ms. Draper also left a legacy through a number of books, as well, including a string of books on entertaining etiquette, some of which have recently been reprinted to help modern socialites entertain guests and be the life of their parties. In a way, Dorothy Draper was the Martha Stewart of her day, offering tips on a wide variety of issues to her eager readers.

Although Dorothy Draper is no longer a household name, she had an enormous effect on American interior design ideas in her day, and though she had her detractors (like Frank Lloyd Wright and others), there’s no denying that she was the one who made the profession of interior designer possible for all those who came after her.

Much of Ms. Draper’s work hasn’t survived to the current day, but you can still see some of Ms. Draper’s work in various places around the country. For instance, there are still Dorothy Draper chandeliers hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. For a less prosaic look into Ms. Draper’s influence, just look for the blue-and-orange facades of the many Howard Johnson restaurants that still dot the countryside from coast to coast. Their color scheme was first suggested by Dorothy Draper.

The science of interior design has come a long way over the past seventy years. Today, it’s a multimillion dollar industry, and incorporates aspects of environmental psychology, and architecture, as well as product and furniture design to create spaces that work well and are esthetically pleasing to their owners.

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