Creating An Outdoor Oasis Under Retractable Awnings

The last few years saw a surge in home interior design, and that transitioned gracefully into an interest in designing a backyard with the same thoughtfulness and attention to comfort. Outdoor designs enhance the earthiness and roughness of nature, with the comfort and detail of indoors. This blend is integral to creating a polished, usable environment: the influence of indoor design brings structure and unity to the outdoor space.

Structure defines the space through construction like fences, patios, or gazebos, or through vegetation, like borders or shrubs. Modern retractable awnings are an uncomplicated and inexpensive method to introduce definition to an outdoor space without the high cost of construction or the high maintenance of complicated landscaping.

Define the Space with Retractable Awnings
Design is based on cohesion between decorating elements. For outdoor spaces, cohesion is predicated on structure, an outline for the area. With retractable awnings, the natural flow between the interior space and the new exterior space depends on the size and location of the retractable awnings:
Outdoor access, such as sliding doors
Shade needs for interior rooms; retractable awnings block heat, UV rays, glare, and sunlight, which makes them an asset for overly bright rooms or rooms with UV-susceptible elements, like paintings and photographs.
Sun orientation; retractable awnings which shade west and south facing rooms can reduce indoor temperature gains by 77%, so they are ideal for passive energy efficiency in sunny rooms
Size. The width of retractable awnings can be custom-sized by the inch, so it is possible to scale the retractable awning perfectly to match the desired location.

Incorporate drop screens to provide a natural fluidity to the area. Drop screens are mounted vertically and are lowered down. In areas around pools or for existing gazebos, stairways, or decks, drop screens mark pathways and create an enclosed feeling. Drop screens also have functional benefits, such as rain, UV, glare, pollen, and bug protection for exposed sitting areas.

Basic Design Ideas
Outdoor design is tied to the senses, and the primary sense is visual. First, retractable awnings provide a visual structure to the unordered outdoors. Second, retractable awnings create a color patter; the fabric and colors in the retractable awning define the overarching palette for the rest of the space and diffuse the ambient light, creating a subtle pervasive color.

This makes selecting the retractable awning fabric vitally important. Decide the mood or the natural element to emphasize.
Bright greens for lush vegetation.
Subtle patterns in dark greens and browns or woodlands.
Light blues, turquoises, and golds for waters and beaches.
Bright oranges, reds, and yellows for tropical or desert colors.

Subtle retractable awning features, like different colored frames, tie into the overall theme and contrast with the retractable awning fabric for visual depth. Valances for traditional lateral arm (flat extension) retractable awnings can have a dozen different patterns. For smooth and fluid environments, like beach themes, look for valances with movement to them, like scallops, with sharp angles to echo the rigidity of woods. Other distinct styles can be used throughout the space, such as fluttery sheets of fabric called butterfly awnings or fan-shaped awnings which can fit in corners.

The rest of the backyard space fall into place according to the core elements defined in the retractable awnings. The key is to pay attention to the details:
Seating, particularly with coordinating colors, luxurious pillows and throw blankets. The style of furniture is important, depending on the size of the area delineated by the retractable awning and the functional flow of traffic.
Plants. Retractable awnings cool temperatures as much as 20 degrees and provide protection from the harshest light, so it is possible to fill in the outdoor area with potted plants or types of plants which are prone to drying and heat damage in full sunlight, including ferns, some kinds of palms, flowers, and fresh herbs.
Lighting. Solar lights, strings of lights, and side lamps all provide safe and mild outdoor lighting, which can make the outdoor space enjoyable even after twilight. The retractable awning itself can support very light objects, like Chinese paper lanterns or Christmas lights, but its generally a bad idea to hang things from the retractable awning since that impedes its ability to retract.
Heating and fans. Free standing fans or outdoor heaters carry the seasonal life of the outdoor space from early spring well into early winter. Other heating options, like chimeneas, should be placed slightly outside the retractable awning, to prevent damage to the fabric from the smoke.

Retractable awnings are an interesting alternative for interesting spaces. Retractable awnings make a huge visual impact and provide the core structure and definition for planning an outdoor living space, while being a relatively inexpensive do-it-yourself project. Retractable awnings turn any outdoor space into a canvas for expression.

Why TV Furniture is Now Considered as Mainstream Living Room Furniture

Television units and OLED 3D TV cabinets are now known as a true piece of furniture for the home. A decent LCD TV stand or LCD TV unit not only improves the atmosphere of your home it can also be more practical than a standard table or sideboard. There are now a impressive collection of Plasma TV cabinets and lcd television units from a huge collection of makes, consumers finally have the sort of choice of LED TV furniture as they would if they were buying a coffee table or bed.

The most regular sort of TV cabinet on the domestic market are the plasma television stands made from glass, typically a glass television furniture stand will be made up of 3 shelves, the top shelf is often thicker in order to provide a stable base for a flat panel TV. The 2 lower shelves provide housing for audio and video components but it is important to be certain there is plenty of internal shelf space both in terms of depth and width. Cable management is usually restricted to a rear column.

Glass OLED 3D TV cabinets are now available for very reasonable prices and they do enable a low cost, yet modern solution to housing a LCD TV. Leading brands of glass TV stands include Alphason Designs and Portability both offer very wallet friendly TV furniture with stylish design.

Glass TV stands are highly popular and for some groups of consumers may prefer to own something a little different, in this case a cantilever LCD TV cabinet is ideal. A cantilever TV stand effectively mixes the concepts of a glass lcd television stand and a wall bracket mounted LCD TV into one. A cantilever television bench looks smart in a range of surroundings and can also be a space saving piece of bedroom furniture. With a cantilever TV stand there is simply no requirement to drill into your wall or run cables through the wall, it is simply a much simple and more functional alternative to a wall mounted television. Our favourite makes of cantilever TV stands include Aquila, Alphason and Gecko who offer a unique range of TV cabinets with optional cantilever TV brackets.

When glass television cabinets were first introduced into the market LED TV benches were perceived as old fashioned and suffered a significant reduction in usage, however glass TV benches are now regarded as the standard Plasma TV storage solution and TV Plasma TV styling has also moved forward offering much more modern looking and sleeker cabinet design. The introduction of intelligent darkened glass enables remote control signals to pass through and control AV equipment inside of the bench even though all of the equipment is closed inside the plasma television furniture stand out of view. It is always worth buying a TV bench with some kind of ventilation system to prevent expensive AV equipment from overheating. Ventilated TV cabinets include designs from BDI, Alphason and Gecko.

Interior Design – Information & Recommendations

If you are going to begin on your very first interior design challenge within your house, probabilities are you’ll wonder how critical it genuinely is to know the modern trends in interior design. You want to make sure that whatever decorating scheme you pick will improve the resale cost of one’s property.

Quite a few designers will say interior planning really should reflect you and your individuality, not necessarily the trendy and fashionable. Even so, if you are the type of individual who’s first in line to shop for the newest electronic gadgetry in a continual quest to be as much as date, the newest trends in interior design are genuinely appropriate.

It could be difficult to preserve with all of the most up-to-date style basically because they’ve a way of altering rapidly, typically from year to year.

Designers also inform us that sorting via modern day decorating fads and assessing them with classic designs helps us to establish what we like.

Assume you take a moment and explain (blank) the way in which you would like to make use of the residence along with your lounge room. You permit it a lot of thought and produce a massive checklist, the final item being: it has to be straightforward to maintain clean. As an operating principle, that might be a little of a stretch; but it is essential that you just you, so it’s proper.

For your lounge room among the most recent trends could be the usage of natural stone appear wall panels. These are particularly dramatic, giving a 3D impact by their very own varying use of stone-look raised styles. The grooves and nooks and crannies supply depth and texture for the stunningly dramatic impact.

Now it’s towards the kitchen location, exactly where organic stone countertops carry on growing in reputation. Nonetheless, the shiny glazed finishes of granite tops are getting to be much less fashionable as well as probably the most current fashion could be the granite finish.

This finish is produced by incredibly rapidly device buffing which yields a minimal luster finish that resembles stone inside the organic environment. The stone have to be thoroughly sealed using the high priced sealer and repeated frequently. Even when covered appropriately, the countertop could possibly be much more challenging to clean compared to less fashionable polished marble leading. The very refined glow resists adhesion of food particles to the surface, that the lower luster finish doesn’t. Lastly, if the seal fails, the countertop can spot.

Some interior designers advise trend lovers to play it secure using the pricey decorating items – like the countertop – and opt for the newest trends inside your selection of room accessories.

Brighten Up Your Easter With A Hand – Crafted Fresh Floral Arrangement

With the Easter holiday season approaching, finding some time to put a couple of Easter arrangements together becomes less and less possible. However, the spirit of Easter only enhances with a few ones around the place and the value of them increases if they are made by you. Also, you can get together with your kids, no matter how young they are, and have so much fun while making same simple and easy-to-make Easter arrangements.

Easter is a colorful season just like Christmas, but better in many ways because not only is it the most celebrated event in the Christian calendar, but also it falls during the spring time when the flowers are out and the weather is warm and welcoming.

You can start off by surfing the net for a few ideas, or even better create your own Easter arrangements. You can decide amongst flower arrangement for table tops, a few decorations to hang on the wall and also adorn a couple of colorful candles. Try using fresh fruit, flowers and other items you collect from the garden for these arrangements. Avoid buying expensive materials if you can help it. Never the less, one must keep in mind that Easter arrangements are supposed to be as colorful as possible in order to depict the good cheer. Paint them with bright blues, reds and yellows and ties them up with brightly colored ribbons.

You can also use sweets in the arrangements you make. Putting a few candy sticks in between an Easter arrangement made of strawberries, pineapples, grapes and melons (cut in different shapes, of course) will make your arrangement seem so much more attractive. The kids will love it. Plus, you an ‘eat up’ the deco too. This’ll save you from the trouble of having to serve dessert after the Easter lunch. Easter arrangements made of paper are also very popular. Hydrangeas, roses, azaleas, hyacinths, tulips, primroses, daises, orchids and white lilies are some popularly used flowers in the arrangements.

Easter egg arrangements are a must on an Easter dinner table. Kids will love painting the shells of hard boiled eggs in eye-catching designs. You can also decorate the egg cups with ribbons and paper flowers to make it more attractive. There are all sorts of creative ways of making your unique Easter arrangements if you brain-storm a bit. And if you think finding time for such craft is impossible for you, you can simply order a few ones to decorate your home.

Energy Efficiency And Roof Design

As a roofing contractor in the state of Wisconsin, I continually field requests for light colored (reflective) roofing for the purpose of energy efficiency. A white or light colored roof will reflect sunlight, keep the building cooler, and reduce energy consumptionCorrect?

It depends on where you live and the insulation value of the building.

Most roofing material comes in a variety of colors. EPDM (rubber) membrane, for instance, is a very common low slope roofing material that comes in black or white. In the case of EPDM, the white color is much more expensive. Many consumers will justify spending more on white instead of black EPDM since they believe that there will be energy savings. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of different colors from light to dark. Some shingle manufacturers, such as GAF, have marketed Cool Series asphalt shingles that are designed to be more reflective of sunlight.

Significant studies have been conducted to study the effect of roof color on energy consumption. Heat transfer will occur from the roof into the interior of the building if there is a low level of insulation and resulting low R-Value (thermal resistance). As R-value and thermal resistance increases with better insulation systems, the type and color of roofing material becomes less and less important. In general, an R-value of 30 or more negates any energy efficiency gains from white or light colored roofing material in hot climates. It stands to reason the most effective way to decrease a buildings energy consumption is to increase insulation levels.

There are situations in which the building structure itself cannot be insulated more effectively and a low R-value cannot be avoided. What color of roofing material would be best in this situation? It depends on where you live and the climate. Do you have more heating degree days or cooling degree days? Here in Wisconsin, we definitely have more heating degree days. Therefore, a dark colored roof will help heat interior building spaces and decrease energy consumption over time. In colder climates, dark colored roofs are the most energy efficient. The opposite is true for hot climates. It would be well worth the extra investment in purchasing white roofing material in Southern Florida. Central regions of the United States are considered color-neutral. In these areas, studies have shown that energy efficiency is not impacted by roof color.

With the increase in roofing material choices, it has become increasingly important that roof designers, contractors, and facilities managers consider the right roofing material for the right situation. Reflective roofing has become a knee-jerk reaction for some designers and contractors who do not take climate zones or insulation levels into consideration. Focus should remain on insulation systems and improving insulation value when optimizing energy efficiency. Advances in insulation technology have created opportunities to increase insulation value in almost any circumstance. Spray-on foam insulation and plywood manufactured with imbedded rigid foam insulation have become popular and effective systems to increase R-value in tight spaces.

Every building and every roof system is different. Roof design for energy efficiency must take into consideration climate zone and insulation value. With sufficient insulation, roof color becomes insignificant in the energy efficiency equation.

Backyard Landscaping – An Important Area To Landscape

For homeowners around the world, a big part of owning a home is
landscaping the yard. Front yard landscaping or backyard landscaping,
the work must be done. While the front yard is important because it’s
more visible to neighbors and others who drive by, the backyard is no
less important. The backyard is where families and friends gather for
barbeques and birthday parties and where some families place their
swimming pools. Most backyards are landscaped with careful thought and
preparation. Special consideration is put into the positioning of every
blade of grass, each decorative stone and all of the species of flowers
that beautify a backyard.

Flowers, stones and grass are just some of the ways to
landscape a backyard. Large shade trees, waterfalls and herbal gardens
are some other ways. The theme of your landscape will depend on your
hobbies, interests and goals for your backyard. Backyard landscaping can
be a lot of fun, especially when you make it personal. Landscape your
yard to reflect your personality and your homes personality. If you and
your family like to entertain, add a bar to your back patio. Clean up
the barbeque grill and don’t forget the citronella candles to keep the
bugs away. Maybe you’ll want to build a croquet course, mini golf
course, or put in a sand lot for some sand volleyball. Whatever your
preference, make backyard landscaping fun for the whole family.

Keep
your family in mind too, when it comes time to maintain the backyard
landscaping. Large yards will require a lot more maintenance and
grooming. Taking care of the yard can be a nice family activity. You can
mow the lawn, pull the weeds and get the kids involved in watering the
plants. If you have a fruit tree in your backyard, you’ll probably be
spending some time picking up the fallen apples or cherries. And of
course, you’ll also need to reserve time to tend to your herbal garden.
It can be surprisingly rewarding to grow your own herbs and use them in
special recipes that you cook when you’re entertaining friends and
neighbors.

If
you are the type who would rather keep your backyard to yourself, then
maybe you don’t need to worry about the huge, green lawn. Perhaps you’d
rather have a quaint yard with basic backyard landscaping. You can put
in some grass, strategically place some shade trees and plant some of
your favorite flowers. You may want to include some bigger bushes, if
space allows as they will add some gorgeous green to your colorful
backyard. This type of backyard may require the same maintenance as a
large backyard, but not nearly the time commitment. No matter what your
personality says about your backyard landscaping, one thing’s for
sure-homeowners everywhere will tell you to create your backyard just
the way you want to.

Garden Landscaping Ideas Convert Unused Space Into Something Unique

The normal practices for most gardeners who have to work with a lawn is to select a patch of land that is open and then sow some plants and wait for the garden to fill up. However, there are other and better ways of gardening and a garden can in fact be placed almost anywhere one wants. It pays to work on a few simple garden landscaping ideas which will help to transform your home from an ordinary piece of property into one that stands out in the locality.

Backyard Swimming Pool

In case there is a backyard swimming pool that is lying disused on your property, why not make use of simple garden landscaping ideas which can help to make better use of any unused apace and convert it into an excellent sunken patio that could also have lovely vegetation in its immediate vicinity to further improve the overall look of the patio.

To take this garden landscaping idea one step further, why not also consider creating different levels, which helps enhance small pieces of land by making even small spaces look larger than they really are. And, with some more imagination, you can easily develop your garden landscaping ideas even more by also using the steps of your pool as a guide to create different levels for the patio.

Other than levels, you can also try out different garden landscaping ideas with regard to the floor of the new patio which may even be made from red colored bricks and you can also use flagstones (vertical) to create barriers with which to keep the garden soil intact. To cap this brilliant garden landscaping idea, you can even use a fireplace (outdoor) in the pool which will be most appreciated whenever you plan on having a picnic at night and in the outdoors.

Even Japanese garden landscaping lends it well to garden landscaping ideas, especially if you have a fascination for everything Japanese. In fact, you can really go wild with garden landscaping ideas for a Japanese style garden because there is a lot of scope for you to play with colors as well as because the ideas can be made very flexible as well as unique.

But, there is even more to the type of garden landscaping idea that you can think up because there is in fact, even another theme worth developing and that is of making your garden attractive to visiting birds. In fact, if you come across birds that visit your home and which show an attraction to fruits you could even think of planting an entire fruit tree which would draw these birds in big numbers, and in addition you will also get to enjoy the scents given off by most fruit trees. Also, you could embellish such garden landscapes by also considering adding bird swings on the tree and even installing a birdbath in your garden that are some other good examples of imaginative garden landscaping ideas.

Furniture Cleanup After Smoke Damage

Fire damage in homes and places of business needs to be taken seriously. Approaching the cleanup after smoke damage wrong, can cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses. In the event your property was lucky enough to be saved, you will still need additional resources to make the items that were left usable. Couches, chairs, beds, and linens will all have a smoke smell. The smell may seem like something that you can live with. However, trying to live and relax on smoke filled furniture will cause all of your items not tainted by the smoke to smell like a hot furnace.

Contact a fire damage restoration specialist to know for sure what can be done in your business or home. The fire that occurred may have been covered under your insurance policy. Contact the insurance company to see what options they have for you. Part of the fees involved with repair may be offset by your insurance policy. The fire damage restoration specialist can help your furniture cleanup after smoke damage. Trying to repair and clean everything yourself may cause more problems.

A great example of that is trying to clean a smoke damaged piece of upholstered furniture piece. Try to avoid attempting to hand wash or spot clean any area that was damaged by smoke. Cotton or microfiber cleansing cloths that do work on regular upholstery for spot cleaning may simply only mask the appearance of the smoke damage. The furniture will still smell like smoke. Any company you invite who sites on the couch, will acquir the smell of the smoke damaged chair. Using a professional steam cleaner may not obtain the long term results that you want. The smell initially may go away, however the padding that is inside of the couch, may hold onto the smell.

If you take large drapes, curtains, and slipcovers to a professional dry cleaners their plain solution may not eliminate the smoke smell. Trying to do the furniture cleanup after smoke damage alone can cause you to pay more money than necessary to repair your furniture. The fire damage restoration specialist can give you a detailed list of everything that is salvageable. That way you do not waist time trying to repair things that are ruined.

The furniture items that can be repaired, are were you should direct your resources to. There may be several family heirloom pieces of furniture that may have been ruined in the fire. Take detailed pictures of items that are not salvageable. These pictures can be used to search for similar furniture pieces to replace them at antique shops, ebay, yard sales, estate sales, and storage auction sales. Use these tips to help with furniture cleanup after smoke damage.

Modern Furniture Shopping Tips – Getting The Best Deals In The Market

There are plenty of modern furniture designs in the market today and you need to pick the right one if you want it to look good inside your home, as well as making sure that you won’t ever regret the purchase. Homeowners might want to take advantage of these tips to get the best deals in the market.

Tip # 1: Planning The Purchase

I think every homeowner would agree that getting best deals in modern furniture is to get the right one that fits your home improvement project at a price that fits your wallet. Such is the case; it is best to plan for the purchase so that you can get the perfect furnishing that compliments the theme of your home, as well as cater to your need for comfort and convenience.

Start by planning for the type of furniture to purchase, as well as its specific details or attributes — such as the size, the color, materials used, design, and price. It is also a good idea to determine where you will be placing the modern furniture so that you can pick out a design that fits that part of your home.

Tip # 2: Check The Market First

It is a good idea to check the market beforehand on the selection of modern furniture to know what you’re up against. Your goal here is to get the right one that fits the theme of your home and the amount for the investment. Visit different furniture shops or home depots and list down selections that fit your specifications. You might also want to try scouting furniture sites on the Web for better offers.

Tip # 3: Wait For Discounts

Homeowners might want to wait for their favorite furniture shops or sites to offer discounts on some items under their selections. It might be a good idea to ask the store in advance if they are planning to go on sale in the future so that you can prepare your funds in advance for the purchase.

William W. Teho, Jr.
Modern Furniture

Kitchen, Bath, and Beyond Five tips for Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

Any home improvement endeavor requires big commitment on the part of the homeowners. Be it a kitchen remodeling or bathroom remodeling, we invest huge amounts of time, money, and effort for these home improvement projects. As such, we must guarantee that the final output – the new cabinets, the rearranged kitchen cabinets, and the change of flooring from ceramic tile to wood floors – will make us happy. Here are five tips to ensure the success of our remodeling ventures.

Set your budget.

Any home improvement project starts with a budget. Know how much you want and how much you CAN spend on your kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling. You can not do anything until you have decided on how much you are able or willing to spend. To have an idea of how much an average remodeling costs, you can ask friends and neighbors who recently did some remodeling. You can also read magazines and visit showrooms.

Working on a fixed budget is very important. While we all want to have a nicely remodeled kitchen and bath, we certainly do not want to be in debt after. Also, be ready to add 20% more to your planned budget for home improvement and remodeling projects cost more once started.

Plan what you want.

Kitchen and bathroom are two of the most well visited parts of the house. The kitchen is where people gather to store foods, cook, and eat. The bathroom, on the other hand, is where people go to at the start of the day to prepare for work, and at the end of the day to clean up before going to bed. Thus, it is important that kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling be done in such a way that ease of movement and comfortability are the top priorities, aside from the aesthetics of course.

It is a must that you think hard on whether you would want kitchen cabinets or drawers, island or breakfast bar, if you need more storage, and if it is tile flooring or wood flooring that will work best for you. Be extra mindful of the triangle too; that is the three basic kitchen functions namely storage, food preparation, and cleaning.

When it comes to bathroom remodeling projects, there are a lot of other amenities to choose from. From a deep tub, to a whirlpool bath or a steam shower, to various lighting options, faucets, sinks, ceramic tile flooring and more, you will be busy making decisions for your bathroom remodeling venture.

Have a back-up plan.

Kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and other home improvement project may last longer than you expected. So it will not hurt if you device a back up plan on where you plan to transfer your cooking and bathing needs temporarily.

Seek professional help.

Never attempt to do remodeling unless you are professionally trained. Also, it will be better if you choose a company with an all around staff rather than hiring a dozen of individual professionals.

When choosing for a contractor, check if they offer high quality products, if they are available for an in home consultation with a designer, if they offer 3D digital designs and layouts, if they have good BBB reliability reports, and if they are well recommended by people within your area.