Choosing the Right Bedside Table

A bedside table is not just something you use to fill up the empty space between your bed and window or wall, but on the contrary, it is an essential piece of furniture used to accentuate the look of the room. It can be used to house your makeup essentials or to place your favorite bedside book, besides holding your alarm clock and night lamp. The tips given here will help you pick the right bedside table.

Did You Know?
In earlier times, the main function of a bedside table was to contain a chamber pot. It was often referred to as a commode.
A bedside table plays a significant role to complete the bedroom furnishing. It comes in handy to hold the alarm clock, a couple of your favorite bedside books, a night lamp, and a few other essentials. End tables, as they are often referred to as, can be used to either complement or accentuate the look of the room.

Besides, a bedside table can also be used as an additional storage space to store prescribed medicines, tissues, or even linen. It can also be used to house your cosmetics and in your child’s room to store books, toys, and accessories. A multipurpose table is better than a mere artistic piece, don’t you think? A bedside table, for that matter, ought to be one that not just embellishes your bedroom furniture but also serves a useful purpose.

Usage Matters

A Book at an Arm’s End
A lot depends on how you plan to use your side table. If you are planning to use it as a stand to place your night lamp, you can opt for a smaller table without drawers, while a table with drawers can be rightly used to store essentials. The benefit of having a side table with drawers is that you get to stack away your cosmetics, paperwork, and store essential medications close at hand. Simply put, an end table with drawers or shelves works as an additional storage space, while one without drawers ensures your room looks elegant and neat.

Layout Matters

Blend into the Layout of the Room
Consider this: the minute you decide to purchase a side table, keep the layout in mind. You do not want to end up with an oversized side table in a relatively congested corner or a puny table lost in a large room. Make sure you measure up the space between the bed and other pieces of furniture to avoid a headache later on. Ideally, the furniture layout should not just enhance the overall look of the room but also allow ease of access to things kept on the table.

Attention to Symmetry

Elegantly Placed Side Tables
What’s the look you want to achieve? Do you wish to make the table the focal point of the room, or you wish to shift the focus away from the table? Depending on this, the table you choose will either blend seamlessly into the furnishing of the room or will end up making a bold statement. Tables placed on either side of the bed will render your room a smart and sophisticated appearance.

Proportion Matters

Eat up Space with Circular Tables
Ideally, a side table complements the space; hence, it is an absolute compulsion that it is of appropriate size. A bulky table placed in a delicately designed room could seem relatively out of place, just as an inappropriate-shaped table will draw attention rather than blend seamlessly into the room’s furnishing. A circular table sure does look elegant but it ends up eating up more space than a square/rectangular table would.

Your Style

Bold is Definitely Beautiful
It all boils down to what your style is about. You can go bold and make a huge style statement or tone down and blend it; the choice is yours. Circular tables or huge block tables are sure to spruce up a large room.

Height Matters

Go High for Comfort

And Low for Style
The height of the table does play a decisive role when it comes to the appearance of the room. Besides, the height of the table also decides how comfortable you will be while using it. A low table will give you lesser storage space, while a higher table will make it easier for you to pick things from the shelves and drawers.

Finish Matters

Make a Statement with Painted Tables
What kind of finish are you looking for? A white painted table is sure to blend into the décor of the room, while a wood finish will give it a warm appearance. Laminated tables, on the other hand, will give you a huge variety to choose from and render a modern, uber-cool look to your room.

Design Issues

Think Outside the Ordinary
Think of the style statement you will be making when you choose an exquisite side table. Think outside the box, and get your home a stylish table instead of the regular square tables that adorn most homes.
Do not forget to do a thorough research on the cost of the tables, before you actually invest in one. Also, remember not to overdo the décor of your room, or else it may appear gaudy.

How to Consider Before Choosing the Right Coffee Table

Coffee tables were thought to be constructed in Renaissance England and are known to encourage conviviality and light conversation.

Coffee tables are one of the most essential and practical pieces of furniture, adorning the living room. It is invariably the hub where you can welcome your guest and make yourself more comfortable while relaxing on a day off at home. Apart from filling the gap, it can also serve as a storage place in the living room. A coffee or cocktail table, as it is also known as, not only adds a finishing touch to your room, but often acts as the focal point of your room.

Plan Your Budget

Before you get to actually shortlisting a coffee table, you need to plan your budget. In case you have just purchased a new house, you would have to invest in a lot of furniture. This means that the other pieces of furniture are as important as the table itself. Once your budget is in place, you are free to choose a table that will not only suit your requirement, but also be light on the pocket.

Layout and Setting

A lot depends on the mood you wish to create in the living room. If you are looking at a room reserved to entertain guests, the furniture could lean on being a tad artistic, while a family room bustling with activity should incorporate a sturdy yet multi functional table. Apart from this detailing, the table should complement the furniture of the room, both in terms of color and size.

Size Matters

The most important aspect to be taken into consideration is the height of the table. Ideally, the table should be about two inches lower than the sofa seat. In case you entertain a lot, you could opt for a table that is taller so that guests are at ease to set down plates and glasses.

Functionality

A table that will hold your favorite magazines, books, and your child’s toys seems more appropriate for a family living room. Artistically crafted tables can be ideally used in rooms meant specifically for entertaining purpose.

Material Matters

While metal-framed tables lend a more modern and sophisticated look to the home, a wooden table speaks of warmth. Choose a table that will stand the test of time, which means that you need to consider not only the usage, but also the material used to make the table sturdy and strong.

Style Matters

What style defines your home? Are you looking for a formal, informal, modern, or vintage look for your home? A sleek metal table with a glass top will give you a contemporary feel, while a rustic oak table will give you a casual country feel.

Durability

When placing a coffee table on the patio or deck, you should ensure that it will stand the test of nature. Tables set in stone or carved from wood seem the best bet here, while a glass table works fine for the indoors.
Before you pick a table to suit your needs, ensure it is child-friendly. Opt for tables with rounded edges so that you do not hurt yourself while moving around. Besides, it should be apt for the room. Pair a large table with a large seating area, and likewise, a smaller table with a love seat or settee. The best way to breathe life and color in your otherwise dull living room is to opt for a table in bold colors.

How to make Your Baby’s Room

unduhan-1relaxes the mind, releases physical strain, purifies the soul, and ensures the presence of a good feeling in any surrounding. When introducing feng shui to your baby’s room, rely on your sensory responses to materials and positioning of objects to radiate positivity, re-energize the room, and create a tranquil aura.
To the parents, nothing is as important as the smile on their child’s face and its state of well-being. A child means the world to its parents, and it goes without saying that they would do anything for its happiness. The length a mother would go to, to ensure that her baby is brought up in the best of surroundings cannot be measured. A father leaves no stone unturned to make sure his kid receives the best education, gets to play top-notch games, wears the most beautiful clothes, and is endowed with everything that he couldn’t have for himself when he was his child’s age.

Materialistic satisfaction is important, but so is the satisfaction of the mind and soul. When kids are young, their parents create a life of harmony and perfection for them. Their upbringing is characterized by the parents instilling values and qualities in them, which later help them in looking out for themselves. Feng shui is one such tool, which when incorporated in a person’s life, not only adds elements of balance, harmony, peace, tranquility, strength, and positivity, but it also enhances the way of life and ensures its betterment.

Whether you are an expectant parent who is out on a mission to design the best nursery there ever was for your cute little bundle of joy, or you are redesigning your seven-year old’s room, introduce these simple, yet most effective feng shui tips into the design. The strength and aura that feng shui generates is extremely positive and re-energizing. This positivity is sure to rub off on your kid, making him/her at peace with himself/herself, and striking a balance with the surroundings and the universe.

Construct your baby’s room keeping these feng shui nursery tips in mind, and gift your child a lifetime of happiness and prosperity.
Pay Attention to the Location of the Nursery in the House
If you are yet to build a nursery for your baby, contemplating about its location in the home is the first thing you should do. According to feng shui, the most ideal place to have your child’s nursery is anywhere at the front of the house, but secluded and free from any noise or disturbances. Avoid building it over or under a garage, or facing the street, as it is symbolic of the baby being weighed down by looming structures, or being bothered by the noise from the street.

Make the Right Choice of Material for the Furniture
Always, always choose wood over plastic for the furniture in your child’s nursery. According to feng shui, wood is one of nature’s five elements that it uses to create harmony. It also stands for growth, nourishment, betterment, and flexibility. The cradle, tables and chairs, and wardrobes should preferably be wooden to maintain a positive environment in the nursery, and ensure the baby’s growth.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/feng-shui-tips-for-your-babys-room.html

How to Choose the Perfect Lighting for Your Living Room

With the multipurpose functionality of living rooms, it is only essential that the lighting be right, though it is often one of the most overlooked aspects in the process of home decorating. Lighting is often chosen for its look (including the fixture), without understanding its purpose and how its placement affects the functionality it is supposed to offer. So, you have very bright light in very small spaces, very dim lighting in rooms with high ceilings, lots of shadows here and there, and effectively nothing to use the light for. Yes, it looks striking, but does it work for you? Here’s how to choose gorgeous, yet very efficient, lighting for your living room.
The Lighting Your Living Room Needs: And How to Achieve it

The living room is a spot where you chill, interact with friends and family, enjoy a good book, watch a good movie, or formally entertain a bunch of guests. While there are several more purposes a living room serves, these are most important. So, the lighting needs to be flexible in order to get the maximum out of it; get the lighting right, and you’ll have a room that looks different for every occasion.
How Much Light Do You Need?
To calculate the amount of light your living room needs, follow this formula:

Length of the living room x width of the living room x 1.5 = Total wattage needed in the given area
e.g. 12′ x 10′ = 120 sq. ft.
120 x 1.5 = 180
So, the living room needs 180 watts of light to make it properly functional.
The idea now is to spread out this wattage so that light is not concentrated on one specific area, but spread evenly throughout your living room.
Where Will this Light Come From?
Experts suggest that any room should have 3 different sources of light that include soft, bright, and task lighting. One light source is rarely enough, even in smaller living rooms. You need more than one source and more than one type of light, and you need more than one fixture to exude the charm that you desire of your living room, quite similar to one you may have seen on your favorite décor website or in your favorite decorating magazine. So, think floor lamps, table lamps, wall sconces, recessed lights, chandeliers, pendant lamps, and reading lights. Remember that any one of these sources will rarely be able to provide sufficient lighting for any given space, but when used in combination, will lend a luxurious appeal even to the smallest of spaces.

Quick Tip: Have independent controls and dimmers for each light source to control the amount of light in the living room, and set the ambiance at any given time. This will also save energy and its costs.
Where Will You Place this Light?
When placing ceiling lights, ensure that they are spaced evenly and at a distance of two feet from all four sides. In a large living room, this is particularly necessary. While recessed lighting does help create a mood, it is not great as ambient light (light that allows you to move around comfortably in a space). Also, it is not great in a space with high ceilings and will just waste energy. In smaller rooms, an upward-facing chandelier with a dimmer, along with other portable lamps and accent lights will provide enough ambient lighting.

To create the illusion of height, have an upward facing chandelier that reflects light on the ceiling. To create the illusion of width, place multiple wall sconces on your long wall that throw light both, up and down. Light fixtures can be works of art too, you know.

Quick Tip: In a room with a low or a high ceiling, use an arc-lamp instead of a chandelier as the central lighting for your living room.
What About Important Task Areas?
It goes without saying that areas where you are going to be doing more than just sitting, require a special kind of lighting. If you are going to read, ensure that the light source is behind, or preferably, beside you so that you don’t face any glare. Any light source directly above will cast shadows on your book and make reading difficult. In case of a study where you may be doing a lot of writing, the light source should be on the opposite side of your dominant hand to avoid shadows.

When watching TV, lighting plays a very important role. You may think that you can watch TV in the dark too, but that causes a lot of strain on your eyes. Direct light above the TV also can make viewing too harsh. The best way to enjoy your TV viewing experience is to place uplighters around the TV. Recessed light behind or above the TV cabinet or wall sconces at a suitable distance from the TV (higher if the TV is low or further away if the TV is higher) can enhance your experience.

Quick Tip: Before placing lights in task areas, use a simple table lamp at different angles and locations to get an idea of how comfortable you are with the placement of the light.
And Those Dark, Lonely Corners?
Highlighting corners is a great way of defining the size of the living room. Whether small or large, this method works to unify multiple spaces and zones in the room. In larger rooms, lighting experts recommend having some light source at least every ten feet. In such a case, use a cluster of floor or pendant lamps, or even table lamps. When using pendant lamps, having some sort of artwork below would work well to create a focal point.

Quick Tip: Placing some decor accessory, such as a couple of pots or even a tall plant in these dark corners, along with a light, will add a designer look to your living room.
How Can You Get More From Less?
Often, you would have noticed that when sunlight is reflected against a light surface, it illuminates a room better. The same goes for artificial light. To create the illusion of more light, place wall sconces against light-colored walls, and you will find that the wash it gives the wall allows your living space to look larger. In a room with darker walls you will need more ambient lighting to give the room a brighter feel. Because dark walls don’t absorb light, they will not reflect it either, and in such cases, accent lighting will not be enough.

Quick Tip: For greater appeal or a more ornamental look, use dim bulbs in elaborate wall light fixtures.
How Can You Create Some Drama?
The living room is also where we like to display the best of our tastes in home décor, and highlighting this taste is best done with accent lights. So, whether it is a pendant lamp right above your choicest sculpture or a picture light above your favorite painting, what you need to consider is the wattage of the bulb. It should not be so bright that it drowns out the appearance of the artwork, neither so dull that its presence goes unnoticed. And you know what? Sometimes, you just don’t need any artwork, because you have the most gorgeous wallpaper or an amazing texture paint, and that’s all you should highlight by fixing a wall sconce on this wall or multiple pendant lamps against it.

Quick Tip: Instead of using recessed lighting on ceilings, use it behind units and under cabinets for a more dramatic effect.
Can You Use Lights Beyond their Primary Function?
With task, ambient, and accent lighting taken care of, how else do you think you can use light? In big living rooms, divide areas by placing lights in between them. For instance, if your living and dining area are in one space, place a strip of lights, some recessed lighting, or hang a series of pendant lamps to demarcate the two areas and create an interesting visual break. This can also serve as ambient lighting if you want to illuminate just the passage between the two, and as accent lighting if you want to set a mood with the lights. Remember, every light source can fulfill more than one purpose; but you must spend time to learn how to get the most out of it.

Quick Tip: If possible, instead of ceiling fixtures, go for muted floor lighting (possible even with small LED lights that you can just place on the floor). The effect will be more dramatic.
If you are still unsure about lighting up your living space, you can do one of two things. You either stick to portable light sources initially, to understand your lighting needs. Or you hire a lighting expert so that you can truly maximize your efficiency in your living room. Both options are worth the time, effort, and funds invested.

How to Home Theater Lighting

Home theater systems came as a boon to the cinema aficionados who couldn’t make it to the theater every time they wanted to experience the excellent audiovisual amenities of the movie halls. Since they first became popular in the 1950s, technological advancements have made watching movies in your home just as real as watching one in a movie theater. The real experience of a home theater is complete when the proper lighting complements the superior picture and sound quality. Some people have gone to the extent of dedicating an entire room to their theater system.

Tips

When it comes to installing lights in a movie room, most prefer to keep it dim. From wall sconces to fiber optics, there are many choices for the more passionate viewer.

Wall Sconces
Wall sconces are a great option that add to the mood of watching a movie. Their soft lights create the perfect ambiance that neither diminishes the essence of the movie nor do they strain the eyes. Wall sconces that come in a variety of shapes and designs provide soft backdrop lighting that add a touch of class to any movie room. These devices create a dimming effect with the help of a plastic covering or translucent glass that diffuses the light, or the metal shell that reflects the light back onto the wall. Some manufacturers also make themed wall sconces to help create the perfect atmosphere.

Recessed Lighting
Also referred to as pot lighting, recessed lighting is installed in inaccessible places in a room, generally inside a ceiling. They direct light at the ceiling, towards a wall, or any other area of the room. This helps to reduce the glare of the bulb.

LEDs
Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, have come a long way from being used in microwaves and VCRs due to their dim light output. Nowadays, LED lights are bright enough to replace normal lights. However, their small size and low electricity requirements mean that they can be used in rope lights and cove lighting that would perfectly complement the mood of a movie room.

Accent Lighting
This refers to installing a low-voltage light behind the couch or the screen, which emits a soft glow that is soothing to the eyes. Having it behind the screen will give a sense of depth to the image, this reduced the strain on your eyes. Certain television manufacturers have provided specific television models with accent lighting features that change color according to the theme of the image being displayed on the screen.

Fiber-optics
Fiber-optics can be used for numerous designs. The most common of these is creating a night sky that is lit by numerous glittering stars. A fiber-optic ceiling can be installed by purchasing pre-manufactured panels available in the market, or you can use a kit to do it yourself.

Explore More Technology

If you use wall dimmers, these could be replaced with dimmers that are operated with a remote control. Installing voice controlled switches could be another great idea. These switches could function as normal switches and can be programed to respond to your voice.

While choosing the lighting equipment, keep in mind what your movie room looks like. A projector works best with no lights, as additional light sources will produce a glare. Flat screens and plasma televisions distribute light more evenly with less glare. Hence, these work best for those who want to have some sources of surrounding light for their movie room.

Decorate a Living Room on a Budget Tips

Decorating your living room is like giving it an instant face lift or a makeover. You dust out the old and bring in the new, giving the room a fresh, new look. The task is challenging, as the renovations should reflect your personality and your unique sense of style and fashion, and at the same time be able to radiate a cozy and comfort feeling. The task becomes tougher when you need to do all this on a tight budget. Keep these few things in mind to prevent yourself from straying away from your budget or your plans.

Wall Paint: This is the simplest as well as the most inexpensive way to enhance the look of your living room. Select a color which is totally different from the existing color. Another idea is to paint one of the walls with your favorite color and make it the focal point of the room. It can be accentuated further with a nice wall hanging or by placing an elegant piece of furniture near it.

Floor Coverings: You can get rid of the dull look of the floors by replacing it with beautiful carpets and colorful rugs. These will not cost you much and you will have a wide variety of options in terms of colors and designs. You can opt for those that suit the overall ambiance of your living room. Place a number of rugs of various colors all over the room and give it a new lease of life.

Furniture: You know that for new furniture, you have to shell out a good amount of money. So you can purchase second hand furniture from garage sales. No need to buy bulky sofa sets as they will be more expensive. Rather, opt for small comfortable chairs which are far less costly. Polish them or paint them and they will look like new furniture. You can utilize your old living room furniture as well. Simply rearrange them in a new order and you will find that the room looks so different. Unlike the usual square position, keep them in an angular pattern and notice the difference it makes. Another easy way to make the old furniture look attractive is to change the upholstery. You can buy new slip covers for your couch, new cushion covers, a throw rug for your coffee table, and use them to decorate your furniture. These will just cost you a fraction of the total cost of furniture.

Wall Decorations: A beautiful piece of wall art can make the walls more appealing. Frame up a collage of beautiful pictures in an attractive frame and hang it up. Mirrors with nice frames can also serve as a piece of wall decoration. Another advantage of using mirrors on the wall is that it make the room look more spacious. Window treatments like curtains with attractive designs can add softness to the living room decoration. Wall sconces can also be used for the same purpose.

House Plants: Houseplants can make your living room look classy. It gives a closer-to-nature kind of feeling. Arrange a few potted plants in one or two corners of the room. The greens of the plants add a sense of liveliness to the atmosphere of the room and can also cover up flaws, if any.

Since you are redecorating on a budget, you need to use your own creative and innovative ideas very efficiently. In this article, we have just shared some ideas that you can modify according to your needs. One thing to be kept in mind, is that you should use the available space in such a way that it does not give a cluttered look to the room.

Choose Decorative and Exquisitely Ornate Light Fixtures Tips

Decorative lighting is what we are most familiar with; this includes the chandelier hanging over the dining table and the 2 lanterns flanking the front door. Their job is to create some visual sparkle, what I like to call architectural jewelry.
―Randall Whitehead, Residential Lighting Expert
It has been found that lighting is one of the most overlooked aspects of home décor. Why? Because it is used mainly for functional purposes, and even then, not appropriately in most cases. We don’t realize that we have been working in bad light unless we find ourselves in a zone with better light while doing the same task. And lighting is not just about function; it aids aestheticism, and in this regard, the fixture plays a critical role. It can become the focal point of a room, it can be used to adorn lone spots in large rooms, it can bring a dim hallway to life, and it can make a pillar that is overlooked, the center of attention. So, how do you go about buying the right fixture?
The Function of Light
It is vital that we understand the effect that light has on us before we invest in fixtures that are, more often than not, quite heavy on the pocket. Lighting affects mood. Bright lights create alertness, vibrancy, and energy. Dim lights soothe and relax the mind, and even create an ambiance of romance. Dull lights are energy killers and lull the mind into a state of gloom. And while decorative light fixtures are meant to enhance the visual appeal of a room, they can contribute to each one of these emotions.
How to Choose Decorative Light Fixtures
To put it briefly, a good light fixture:

Can highlight the focal point of a room, or become the focal point itself.

Can highlight accent features without overshadowing the focal point.

Can serve as a standalone piece of décor.

Will be functional as well as visually appealing.
Has the ability to create a dynamic environment with diffusion, reflection, shadows, and light. This depends on the material used―metal and glass for reflection and sparkle, opaque or translucent shades/holders for glow.

Will not overshadow the visual appeal of the room―it will either blend in seamlessly or enhance it to make a statement.
Purpose
Every lighting fixture has some purpose, and no one fixture can fulfill ALL purposes, though one fixture can fulfill more than one purpose. So, the technique to implement here is light layering, i.e., putting together different types of lights so that your room is perfectly illuminated. While doing so, it is important that natural light sources also be taken into account to avoid overdoing the light and creating a harsh, uncomfortable environment. There are four types of lighting.
Task Lighting: Lighting for functional purposes such as reading, studying, etc. Such lights include desk lamps, pendant lamps, or under-cabinet lights in kitchens.
Ambient Lighting: Soft lighting that alters the appearance of a room and gives it more warmth. It usually bounces off surfaces (ceilings/walls/floors) to create a glow. Opaque fixtures often fulfill this purpose.
Accent Lighting: Lighting that adds depth to a room and highlights its features, such as artwork or an architectural detail. Directional lights, such as wall lights, are best used for this purpose.
Decorative Lighting: Lighting only for decorative purposes through fixtures such as chandeliers. These are generally not used as task lights.
While these are the basic layers of lights, it is possible that any of them fulfill more than one purpose. These functions will also help you decide upon the positioning of the fixtures.

Types of Light Fixtures
Chandeliers
Chandeliers are great choices not only to add to the décor of the room, but to alter the way the room appears in terms of the height. For instance, if you have a very low ceiling, fix a chandelier that throws light upwards. This gives the feeling of a raised ceiling. Alternately, if you have a high ceiling, a chandelier that throws light downwards will visually reduce the height of the room, and give it a more cozy feel. When placing chandeliers above dining tables, ensure that they are at least 30″ above the surface of the table.

Pendant lights
Pendant lights are not only decorative, they function as great task lights. For instance, when placed above the kitchen island, they can make for an interesting style statement as well as allow the function of kitchen activities.

Table Lamps
Table lamps are best used for ambient lighting. To create a soft, diffused glow, use table lamps with opaque shades that reflect light above and below.

Floor lamps
Floor lamps serve the same purpose as table lamps, except that they can make grander statements because of their height and the very interesting shapes they are available in.

Wall-mounted Sconces
Wall-mounted sconces also work to create ambient lighting. However, that is not all. Place multiple sconces that throw light both above and below in a long hallway to illuminate the passage and visually reduce its length, or next to mirrors to avoid the shadow cast on your face that occurs due to overhead lighting.

Directional Lights
Used directly around features to be highlighted, directional lights are great as task lights and for highlighting artwork such as sculptures. Dimmer directional lights may be used to highlight paintings/photographs to prevent glare on the glass.
Theme of the Room
The style of light fixtures should be in keeping with the theme of the room.

  • Placement of the Lights
    The placement of light fixtures requires some considerations to be followed. Any decorative light fixture:
  • Should not hinder movement
  • Should fulfill their purpose-accent, ambiance, task
  • Should have appropriate electrical points or plug points (if applicable)
  • Should be able to withstand the vagaries of the outdoors (if purchasing for landscaping, patios, etc.)
  • Should be hung at the appropriate height from the ceiling (e.g. at least 30″ – 36″ above dining table/kitchen island)
  • Should be placed such that they do not hinder your function (e.g. place wall sconces beside mirrors instead of a single one atop, to avoid shadows)

Types of Lights the Fixtures will Support
Find out what types of light the fixture will support (e.g. LED, incandescent bulbs, CFLs), and ensure that it is easily available. Also, check what wattage of light is best suited to the fixture. It should not be too dull, but it should not burn through the fixture and become too harsh or even affect the fixture itself. For light fixtures that can serve more than one purpose, choose those that have a dimming feature so that you can adjust the light according to your needs when necessary. This can apply to chandeliers, pendant lamps, and floor and table lamps.

Size
The size of the fixture should be proportionate to the size of the room it will be placed in along with its furniture. It shouldn’t be oversized so that it is the only visible element, nor should it be so small that it loses its identity and becomes a meaningless accessory in the room.
This oversized chandelier for such a small dining area sticks out like a sore thumb.

Budget
If you have already started looking into purchasing decorative light fixtures, you may have come to terms with the fact that this is a purchase that should be planned so that it doesn’t hit your budget. But just because you have your heart set upon a fixture that isn’t in your budget, you shouldn’t be disheartened. Consider purchasing these fixtures over time and building up your collection. Look for online clearance sales; you can find amazing discounts on these websites for sure.

How to Pick the Right Wallpaper to Refresh the Look of Your Home

Trending!
Grasscloth and metallic wallpapers are the raging trends this year. While grasscloth adds unique texture to walls, and is eco-friendly, metallics add vibrancy to a room by reflecting light.
Even the best designers often have difficulty choosing a wallpaper to add the final touch to a room that they have designed with so much attention and care. Because even they know that this wallpaper has to complete the vision they had in mind, not ruin it. So, how do they go about the process? How do you, as a home owner, decide what you’re going to put, how it is going to look, how you’re going to maintain it, and what you’re going to do if you don’t like what you see for a long time? Let us tell you how to choose the right wallpaper.

Following a logical series of steps will help you decide which wallpaper is going to transform your home from dull or lacking that zing to a vibrant, classy, or simply sleek space.

Where’s the Wallpaper Going?

Will the wallpaper refine the rustic living room, or add a graphic dimension to an eclectic one?

  • Which room are you putting the wallpaper in? This decides the appearance of the wallpaper. It also decides the durability. Will it be able to withstand the happenings in a kid’s room, or can a delicate one be left alone in an adult’s room?
  • Which wall is it going to be placed on? This is important if you decide to wallpaper just one part of the room, and whether it is meant to serve as a feature to highlight something placed against it.
  • Are the walls wide and short or narrow and tall? This will decide the print and pattern of the wallpaper-small for small walls, and bold for larger walls.
  • Does it receive a lot of sunlight? This decides the durability you need from the wallpaper. Standard pieces do not fade that easily in natural sunlight. However, some might. Check for this before you purchase it.

How Do You Imagine it to Look?
The palette of wallpapers is huge, and choosing a wallpaper is definitely more tedious than choosing a paint color, simply because, along with color, a wallpaper also offers patterns and textures. So, how do you imagine the space to look with a wallpaper? There are certain features that you can find in the variety available out there.

Do you wish for the wallpaper to have big, bold designs?
Bold designs look good only in a big room, and may even provide the illusion of cozying it down. In a small room they will give the illusion of constricted space.

  • Would you like the wallpaper to have texture so that it may add a third dimension to the room?
  • Do you want it to be reflective so that the room looks brighter with natural light?
  • Do you want a simple wallpaper just to break the monotony of your room?
  • Do you want the paper to have metallic colors and elements to add a touch of bling to the room?
  • Do you want it to have fine, small designs? In a large room, this will not be noticeable. However, in a small room, it will stand out perfectly, and provide the change you are looking for. Using light colors will provide the illusion of space in a small area.
  • Do you want the illusion of height or width? For height, choose vertical striped wallpapers, and for width, choose horizontal striped papers.
  • Do you like the simplicity of floral designs, the daintiness of damask designs, or the boldness of graphical designs? Go by your gut feeling about what will look good-it is usually right
  • With the look comes maintenance, so if you want a durable wallpaper that can handle the wrath of nature or even little kids, always opt for vinyl. It offers you a world of textures and patterns without the heavy price. It can be easily scrubbed and cleaned, which is a big bonus.

How Are You Going to Use It?
Do you want the wallpaper to cover up the entire room?

If the design is bold, this may become a little difficult to absorb over time. In such a case, you can break the continuity by using moldings, frames, or even a chair rail at appropriate points. If you already have a chair rail, you can use wallpaper only on one side of it. The other option is to use a simple wallpaper that is not overpowering-a wallpaper that blends into the room, yet gives it a unique identity.
Do you want to make a statement by highlighting only certain portions of the room?

If you think the wallpaper will become too much to handle, use it in bits and pieces. Break it up into patches, and paste it on offset or inset walls or panels. The drama these bits add is immense, and you can get a new look without having to invest too much or redo the entire space.
Do you wish to create a more dramatic look by combining two wallpapers?

It may seem overwhelming but if done well, it can look out of this world. This would be ideal for just one long wall in a room, where you can break the length by using two wallpapers-one with a bold pattern, and another with a bit of texture to balance it.

Who’s Going to Apply It?

  • While some of the application can be done yourself, in most cases, it is best to hire a professional for the job.
  • Standard, pre-pasted (which require to be dipped in water to activate the paste), peelable (those that have a backing and are easy to remove once pasted), and dry-strippable (can be removed entirely) varieties are available for the DIYer. The last two are particularly great for those who intend to redecorate with wallpaper sooner than later.
  • Hiring a professional is a good option when you intend to paste wallpaper with large patterns and have to match them. Most DIYers go wrong while matching patterns. They may also be required for papers that have texture which is difficult to apply.

How Much Wallpaper Do You Need?

  • Wallpaper roll widths vary among manufacturers. However, the rough average size of a single roll wallpaper is about 21 in. (width) x 16.5 ft. (height). Most professionals will be able to tell you exactly how much is needed. If purchasing online, most websites have calculators to tell you the number of rolls you will need.
  • To determine how much you will need, measure the square footage of the area you are going to cover. Measure the width and height of the area, and multiply it to get the square footage. If you intend to use bits and pieces in different areas, calculate the square footage independently and add it up.
  • Always purchase an extra roll to account for wastage or touch ups. This will also ensure that you have wallpaper from the same lot without any color, print, or pattern variations.

Having worked out all of this, sit down and create a palette of wallpaper samples for yourself. Put them together, and see which one really calls out to you; which one you think will genuinely work in your space. If you find something you like, order a sample and put it up in a frame on the wall for a few days. Let it stay there and grow on you. If it doesn’t, you know it’s not the right choice. If it does, what more could you want? Still not sure? There’s always professional help and advice. When in doubt, do not think twice before asking questions. Wallpaper is an expensive investment, so do all you can to get it right in the first go.

How to Energy Saving for Air Conditioners

In summer, it is virtually impossible to do without air conditioning, but then, the fact that same accounts to a huge chunk of your electricity bill is something that makes many people ‘sweat’. On an average, around 40 – 50 percent of the total energy consumption during summer is attributed to the use of air conditioner. You are likely to spend $2.00 – $3.00 a day on it, if you use it for 24 hours, as compared to 15 cents a day that you would spend on using a ceiling fan for the same duration. Does that mean you should refrain from using the air conditioner? Not really! Using it efficiently by resorting to some simple energy saving tips will be more than enough.

How to Save Energy on Air Conditioning?

Make sure that your air conditioner is in good condition
A well-maintained AC is the first step towards energy-efficient air conditioning to cut down monthly electricity bills. Ideally, you should check its filters once in a month, and clean it as and when required. If you realize that it is not cooling properly, you should get it checked from a professional. A unit with operating problems can add a few more dollars to your electricity bills. If you have been using the unit for 5 – 10 years, it’s high time you replace it with a new one, as newly introduced energy-efficient units boast of cutting down on your energy consumption by as much as 40 percent. You can resort to Energy Star ratings given jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help you choose energy-efficient products to save money and protect the environment.

Make sure that you use the thermostat efficiently
The thermostat setting has a crucial role to play when it comes to effective ways of reducing power consumption by the air conditioner. While you can save a great deal of energy if you set the thermostat at 78°F, experts recommend that setting it as high as possible (as long as it is comfortable for you) is the best bet. The simple principle here is that you minimize the overall cooling cost incurred by minimizing the difference between the temperature outdoors and indoors. That can help you reduce the cooling cost by 6 – 8 percent. You should also turn it off when you are leaving home and, more importantly, make sure that the thermostat is set a bit higher than usual. You shouldn’t lower the thermostat setting when you start the air conditioner. Refrain from keeping some source of heat, such as an electricity lamp, near the thermostat.

Minimize the amount of air that escapes from your home
Everybody knows that the doors and windows of the room should be kept closed when using the AC, but very few people actually follow this advice. This, in turn, allows cold air to escape and hot air to enter the room, which further delays the cooling process. Ideally, you should avoid activities which require you to move in and out of the room frequently. Caulking and weather-stripping windows from where air is likely to escape, is also of great help. Considering that 15 – 25 percent of the air escapes through leaking ducts, fixing them should be a priority for you if you intend to use the air conditioner efficiently. You also need to make sure that the exhaust fans in the house are switched off and fireplace damper is properly closed.

Prevent direct sunlight and minimize heat generation within the house
One of the simplest measures to reduce your expenditure on air conditioning is to make sure you don’t allow heat from outside to enter the house. You will have to protect your house from direct sunlight using shades, awnings, drapes, etc. Similarly, growing trees around the house will make sure that your house is in shade during the day time. You also need to make sure that you don’t generate heat within the house itself. So you will have to keep lights off when not in use, as the heat generated by these lights decreases the speed at which cooling takes place in the room. Similarly, you should avoid activities that consume power, like washing or ironing clothes, in the afternoon when AC is a necessity.

An air conditioning unit that is exposed to direct sunlight consumes 5 percent more power than a unit in shade. Similarly, keeping the unit on continuously for longer duration of time is better than switching it on and off every once in a while. At the end of the day, it is how you use the air conditioner that reflects in your electricity bill, and following these tips will help you save money on your next bill.

Interior Painting Ideas

Unless you are comfortable with stark, white walls―and some people are―you are probably going to give due consideration to painting the interior of your home.

There are several reasons why you may want to paint your home interior―you’re renovating your house, you’re bored of the existing paint at your walls, you want to enhance the ambiance of your home, you want the walls to complement your furniture and the décor, you read about ‘color therapy’ and want to discover if it really works, you want your neighbors to envy your home interior … well, the list goes on.

Once you have decided to paint, you have to come up with suitable ideas. That opens a whole new can of worms:

  • What colors should you use?
  • What color combinations will look good?
  • What brand of colors should you buy?
  • What interior painting techniques should you use?
  • What kind of effects can you create?
  • Should you do it yourself or call in the professionals?
  • If you are going to do it yourself, how are you going to do it yourself?

It will be a good idea to visit your local hardware and paint store and spend some time there looking around. Look at different color samples, match color swathes, ask about different color brands and the differences between them, ask about the technical requirements and procedures to follow, and the equipment you will need to get started. As long as you don’t show up at rush hour, most hardware shop owners will be glad to assist you.

Tips for Painting Your House

Select the Right Type of Colors
Don’t just go for the ‘oh, those look bright and attractive’ ones. Take time to consider the color combinations―if they will complement your existing furniture, if they will stand up to your home lighting arrangements, and how they will look during different times of the day. Painting a section of your missy’s room in hot pinks is okay, but imagine the entire room painted with it―tacky in the daylight and migraine-inducing in the night! Don’t go for colors because they are ‘different’. Think if you are ‘different’ enough to live with them.

Select the Right Type of Paints
Most paints generally come in flat, satin, gloss, and semi-gloss types. Flat paints have a low sheen and sober appearance, and are the most commonly used. Satin, as the name indicates, have a distinct sheen and are one better than flat paints in being much easier to keep clean. Gloss and semi-gloss paints are even more durable. The former is usually used to paint doors, door frames, windows, window frames, wall trims, etc., while the latter is used for painting bathrooms, kitchens, and places that require frequent cleaning.

Decide on the Interior Painting Techniques to be Used
Most people just use a brush and roller to get the color on, and that’s it. Then there are those who believe in adding texture and depth. You can do this by wall stenciling, faux painting, rubber stamping, cloth stamping, and so on.

▶ In wall stenciling, you paint through design cutouts to reproduce the design shapes on your wall.

▶ In faux painting, you try to recreate the appearance of wood, marble, etc.

▶ In rubber stamping, you create the shapes you want to reproduce, dip them in the color, and simply stamp them on the walls.

▶ Cloth stamping is similar; just put a cloth over your hand, dip into color, and start stamping the walls.

Think it through before going for these interior paint ideas. Using different techniques may seem fun, but living with them on a long-term basis may not be so.

Measure the Area to be Painted
Take measurements of the area to be painted so that you can estimate the amount of paint you will need. The paint shop should have a ‘paint calculator’ to help you figure it out.

Take Guard
Take the appropriate precautions to protect your furniture, electrical appliances, and floors. Shift the furniture out altogether. If that’s not possible, shift it to the center of the room and cover them with tarp sheets. Remove or cover electrical fixtures. Cover floors with tarp sheets. Also remember to protect your eyes, skin, and hair. Use goggles to protect your eyes and wear overalls and a kerchief or cap.

Prepare Your Home Walls for the Coloring
Before painting or stamping, scrape and sand your walls clean. Strip away all old paint, wallpaper, and grime, patch holes and cracks, and prime your walls with a good primer.

Paint Your Home Walls
Now that you have an idea about how things work, you can start painting―with a brush, roller, and employ all the stamping techniques you wish to.

Air the Rooms
Remember to air the rooms for at least 24 hours before occupying them.