Thursday, 23 August 2012

How to find a stamped concrete contractor in the Oklahoma City?

Summary: Hiring a professional stamped concrete contractor is best if you are
planning to remodel your home flooring.

If you are planning to get the best stamped concrete for your home, you should
only hire the best of the Stamped Concrete Contractors Oklahoma City. But before
you hire a stamped concrete contractor for your job, you must gather all possible
knowledge about the stamped concrete so that when the contractor is in work, you
will be able to know and oversee what is going on and how it should be done.

The stamped concrete is nothing but the decorative concrete that can be used at
homes and office for decorative purpose. The stamped concrete is when you pour
the normal concrete on different places like the walkways and the driveways and
then get it stamped with different textures and patterns.

Such stamped concrete can be of various designs like brick, cobblestones, pavers,
seashells, wood, and many other textures and designs. Any good and reputed
contractor will be able to imitate different kinds of designs on all kinds of surfaces.

When you hire a concrete contractor, make sure to check his previous works. If
possible check out with his previous clients to find out whether they were satisfied
with the kind of work done for them. On the other hand, a concrete contractor should
be able to explain to you why the stamped concrete designs are better used at
homes and the exteriors of the home in comparison to other materials. In fact the
stamped concrete is best suitable for all kinds of flat surfaces. The brick and the
cobble stone designed stamped concrete are good for plain and long surface. While
the contractor is doing his job, make sure that there are reinforcement rods within the
concrete so that they can tie the pavement and the area together thereby making it
stronger and resistant to the regular wear and tear.

It is always recommended that never try stamp concrete designs by self since it
means hard labour as concrete is a very heavy material. That is why it is best to hire
professionals for the job.

Stamping of the concrete is usually done by many people in a group and that simply
means you will not be able to do it on your own. For doing the job properly and also
for making it look good on the surface, it is essential that the project is done with the
help of proper equipments and with proper trained manpower.

The most difficult part of any concrete stamping is the laying of the mats. It requires
many people and tools that can only be provided by a professional contractor.
The contractor would also take care of the maintenance of the concrete floorings,

driveways, walkways etc for an affordable price and thus you would not need to
bother about the maintenance job as well. Thus if you plan to do something new and
innovative for your home, always make sure to hire professional concrete contractors
and get on with the stamped concrete projects. It is certainly much cheaper than that
of laying the cobblestones and bricks, but looks much better aesthetically.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Four Sources of Inspiration

When renovating one or more rooms of your home, it can be very easy to limit yourself to what is available at your local DIY store. Not enough people see this as a chance to really throw themselves into their home and make it their own. If one hasn’t redecorated in a while, for say five years, it’s likely that the person we were then is quite different to the person we are now. In that time, styles and themes have come and gone, and our own interests have probably changed, even slightly. Redecorating has plenty of stress, in packing things up and actually performing the work or having people inside your home to do it for you; it can be a hassle. However, you can make it fun, even if it means a longer period of planning to get things just right, and it will be all the more worth it in the end. It will also mean that your new room will be unique to you as an individual, and probably won’t follow the same pattern as your friends and neighbours.
Below are a few sources of inspiration to turn to so you don’t limit yourself to what is available on the day when you go to the DIY shop:
Movies and Film:
Have no fear; this isn’t any encouragement to turn your house into Pee Wee’s Playhouse, nor any recreation of a room from television or film, as that is quite tacky (unless you’re planning to charge for tours). What you ought to do next time you’re watching a film, is block out momentarily what is occurring in the foreground with the characters, and glance behind them at the interior or their furniture. More independent films tend to go for quirkier choices, and are less likely to have product placement in them (thus you won’t end up with the easy, mainstream choices); instead, they’ll have some more “out there” set designers working on them, and with foreign films, you’ll get a real variety of ideas you wouldn’t be exposed to normally. That doesn’t mean you can’t find great stylistic choices in Hollywood films; for example in (500) Days of Summer, the kooky Summer has a very interesting apartment, which the camera spends time on, highlighting while architecture is a major theme throughout. There will probably be many blogs online where, if these resonate with even a minority group, people will be discussing where they can buy similar pieces, or make it themselves.
Pinterest is the fastest growing social network going at the moment, more so than Facebook and Twitter. Though it is most popular amongst women, there are some fantastic ideas thrown around that will make you go ‘ooooh’. It’s simply a virtual pinboard, separated into categories, where people can pictures, infographics and memes, and “like” and “re-pin” (or share) them. You can have different boards for different themes, and it’s a great way to organise ideas you get as you browse online; rather than bookmarking everything you see and having a huge, untidy folder with broken links, you have everything set out nicely, which your friends can see. Some furniture or fittings stores are on there, and often promote discounts they have on certain pieces, linking you straight through to where you can buy them.
With smartphones with built in cameras, you don’t really have an excuse not to charge your phone and snap a picture when you see something you like on your travels. This could be a piece of graffiti, or a building you don’t normally go in, and something could catch your eye (I once saw a nifty wallpaper at a job interview, which proved to be a great conversation-piece as I took the picture). You can then take it to a designer who can put something together from that picture. With camera quality getting better and better each year, you won’t have some grainy, blurred photo to work from either, and can share these pictures with friends immediately to get their opinion. With some apps, you can even play around with the colour scheme to get an idea of what something could look like.
Traditional but an old favourite a “big book” with cuttings from catalogues, magazines and books. There will always be magazines in waiting rooms and hairdressers, so if you see something that catches your eye, you can rip it out, asking politely first of course. It shows progress, and some people are just more comfortable with a physical document they can hold without relying on technology. It’s nicer to browse in the evening and is an excuse to have friends over to go through it with, rather than emailing. Plus, if you’re someone who flourishes when it comes to organisation, it’s an excuse to get out the dividers and ring-binders.
Paul enjoys finding alternatives of furnishings and other designs he sees in independent films, for his own home. He is currently working on a few home improvement projects, including the new government green deal, which is emphasising the use of renewables, while also going through a renovation of his own home.

Monday, 20 August 2012

How to Choose the Perfect Contemporary Rug for You

Contemporary rugs have been all over the place and have been chosen to be the best rug for home and offices by all the leading interior designers all over the world. There are thousands of contemporary rugs to choose from. There are hundreds of available places to purchase contemporary rugs online as well. However, before deciding to buy one, make sure that you know the best type of contemporary rug that suits your personality and your place, this way, you can get the most out of your money and you can improve the look of your home as well! Here are some tips on how to shop for the best contemporary rug for you!

Tip 1: Measure the Space that Will be Occupied with the Rug

Measure the space where you will place your rug. Then from there, measure how big you want your contemporary rug to be. Measure the dimensions carefully and don't estimate. Be really accurate so you won't waste time in buying and returning the wrong rug. If your space is small, then buy a small rug, if your office or home is big, then you will need a relatively bigger rug as well.

Tip 2: Foot Traffic

Assess your home and office. How many people visit your home? Is there a lot of foot traffic? If there is high foot traffic, then you will need a rug that is very durable. Contemporary rugs are made of many various materials. If there are kids and pets at home, make sure you buy a rug that is easy to clean and that is low maintenance. If you don't have kids and pets around, then you can opt for really high end rugs that are made of various materials.

Tip 3: Design of Your Rug

This is probably one of the most important things you need to take note of. If you have started searching for rugs, you probably know that there are various kinds of contemporary rugs. You should consider the type of furniture that you have. There are basic rules when it comes to combining the colors of your rugs and furniture. There should be one theme that is followed. For example, if your theme focuses on grey and greens, then your rug should be that color as well. If you your wall decorations are wavy and abstract, go for plain contemporary rugs with simple designs. If the decoration in your house is plain and simple, then choose rugs with geometric designs and patterns. The designs to choose from are endless. There are even contemporary rugs with fused designs. This basically means that your whole rug will be a combination of different kinds of rugs. Decide between being fresh and colorful to being black and formal. There are also rugs designed for icons like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and a lot more that show their faces in white and with a plain colored background.

Buying a contemporary rug is very easy. Consider these tips along with your budget and you should not have a problem. Enjoy shopping!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tips on Refurbishing your Office

The environment that you work in is very important. If you are working in an environment that is need of repair of refurbishment, it can have an effect on how the workers feel. Do you realize that people who work in a shabby or outdated office can feel unappreciated and uncomfortable, and that may have effect the way they work? If you work in an office that is in serious need for refurbishment, you may want to have a talk with your boss. Here are some tips on refurbishing your office that you can tell your boss and convince him or her that this is something that can be a benefit to everyone who works there.

The ceiling

Do you have a regular ceiling? If the ceiling in your office is the standard kind, then now may be a good time to look into a suspended ceiling. A good reason to change to a suspended ceiling is that it'll save money on your energy bills. An office is also easier to both heat and cool if the ceiling is suspended. What could be better for the comfort of your workers then a cool room in the summer and a warm room in the winter?


It may be time for all of the people in your office to get their own space. By adding partitions, you give workers their own mini office in which they can have privacy, and decorate it with things like pictures of their family. Imagine how morale in the office will grow if people have their own little space in which to call their own?


Do you have a small area in which workers can relax? Studies have shown that when there is a little "rest area" set up in an office, people tend to feel more at ease and work better. Imagine taking a break and going to sit on a big plush couch with thick cushions? Wouldn't you feel better knowing you can go unwind by sitting on a big comfortable couch with your feet up?

Storage space

Is your current office full of clutter? You might want to consider adding some places for storage. Adding a few big storage cabinets in a space away from your workers will give them more space and things will be much more organized.


It may be time to retire those overhead fluorescent lights and opt instead for more natural light. Instead of having big ugly walls everywhere, try knocking down a few and installing big windows that will allow natural light to fill the office. Studies have proven that being able to see outside can help make the workers feel less stressed.

Working in an office doesn't have to be a chore if you can convince your bosses that it may be time to get the office refurbished. Sometimes an office is starting to get old and there's such things as cracked walls and worn out carpeting. Refurbishing your office is the perfect way to add life to your office and to make the morale of your office workers go through the roof.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Creating Your Own Picture Frames

Pictures are priceless yet amazing treasures, which call for a creative display. Making a craft picture frame is the best way to fix unforgettable memories in the handmade frames. Made to measure picture frames is also a perfect idea of keeping children engaged in activities that make them think differently. If you feel bored on the lazy Sunday afternoons, then making pictures frames is the best way to spend some quality time with your children. Such frames can be constructed from waste materials such as colorful stones, feathers, randomly collected shells,, never-to-be-used cloth pieces, pieces of paper, bits and woolen threads.

Making handmade picture frames for children

Flower frame

This is one of the most popularly used ideas for a picture frame. To make it, you would require cardboard rectangle, colors (crayons or paints), scissors and the photo. Mark the measurements of your photo on the cardboard. Then trace out a nice flower template on the board and cut it out. Now decorate the flower as you like and allow it to dry. You can utilize your wildest imagination and creativity to make a unique flower for decorating your picture frame. In the meantime, cut out another portion of cardboard; slightly bigger in size than the picture. Finally, paste the photograph on it and then put the flower on top. There you are.. Your flower frame is ready to decorate the wall in your house.

Foam frame

The form picture frames usually look colorful and amazing. You can either utilize cut out shapes or form stickers to make decorations on the frame with foam sheets. In making the picture frame, you would need ruler, glue scissors, colored stickers or form sheets, and the photograph. Cut out a piece of foam from the sheet; slightly bigger in size than the picture size. Stick the picture on the sheet with glue. Make a border of contrasting colors and decorate it with cut outs or stickers. You can make stars, flowers, clouds, football and other designs for a decorative Made to Measure Picture Frames. Once the glue dries, create a small loop with the thread on the back of the frame and then use the loop to hang it on your wall.

Potpourri frame

Recycling an old potpourri as a decorating item for your handmade wooden picture frames delivers amazing results. For making the wooden frames, you don't actually need wood. You can use the wooden sticks on the ice cream candies. Clean the sticks and then paint them in any color of your choice. Cut a cardboard piece which is a bit bigger than the picture you want to frame. Stick the picture onto the cardboard and then stick the frame around the photo. At this point, decorate the picture frame with potpourri for a marvelous look.

Bottle cork frame

For making this frame, you need bottle corks, cardboard, adhesive glue and photograph. Cut a piece of the cardboard which is a bit bigger than the picture and then stick the photo on it. Stick the bottle corks on the cardboard to make any design of your liking.

Sites such as Go Frame It provide a huge range of picture frames so that you can find the frame that is perfect for your picture. They also offer a custom frame builder option which allows you to create the exact frame that you are looking for.

Preparing Your Home for the Fall: Preventing Rodents

No one wants pests like mice or rats in their home, but what can you as a homeowner do to prevent
them? When you are investigating pest control options, you will quickly find out that you need to have a
pest management plan especially for those furry pests that might find their way into your home. Not only
do rats and mice spread disease, you’ll discover that they can seriously damage your home. Think about
what you can do to protect your home from these vermin before you need to call an exterminator.

Start Sealing in Fall

You may already know that lots of pests can be kept out of the home through sealing up the cracks and
gaps, but did you know that the best time to do this is in the fall? Plenty of animals make their way into
the home when the weather gets cold. They are seeking warmth and food, and a human home has plenty
of both. Before the cold weather rolls around, make sure that you make the rounds of your home and seal
up every crack that you can find in the foundation. Silicone caulk goes a long way towards keeping your
home in secure from incursions, but you should also consider firmer materials like stucco or cement to
keep pests from invading your home.

Seal Up your Food

Rodents need things to eat, and if you leave your food unsecured, they will find it. First take care of
the obvious problems. Don’t leave things lying around, and keep your fresh fruit in the fridge. This is
something that can make a big difference all on its own. Sweep after meals to get crumbs off the floor and
wash your dishes in a timely fashion. Pour all of your food out of cardboard or paper containers and into
plastic or glass containers. Mice and rats naturally gnaw to get to their food, and they can contaminate
your food very quickly.

Set Traps

If you only have one or two mice, it is worth your while to invest in some traps. Pest management does
involve dealing with pests that already exist, so put out some traps wherever you have seen the animals
in question. One way to make the traps more appealing to your pests is to use a small amount of peanut
butter or mashed potatoes to draw them out. To improve your chances for success, consider leaving
bait in the trap for a few days before setting the trap; this ensures that the animals will be more likely to
take the bait. Skip poisons and other chemicals. There are many chemicals on the market designed for
animals that are quite unsafe for humans. Consult with an exterminator if you feel you need to take a
more aggressive approach to pest removal.


If you are engaging in pest control tactics, you will find that you do need to get rid of rodent corpses at
some point. When you need to get rid of them, bag them up in a sealable plastic bag and then place them
in a trash can outdoors. Do not leave them in an indoor trash can, as this can draw other pests. Also, do
not bury them, as this can draw cats, foxes, and raccoons to your property.

Author Bio: Rose McMillan is a retired pest control professional who has worked at multiple pest control companies, such as the likes of Terminix. She now pursues a career in freelance writing and enjoying the outdoors.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Different Vinyl Flooring Designs

Vinyl floors are loaded with advantages, a fact that makes them a preferred choice. Since vinyl is versatile, home owners can choose from a wide selection of this type of flooring. Vinyl floors can be gloss, non wax, wax, textured or sunlight protected. The type of flooring one chooses depends on their preferences and the use of the room.

Prior to making a purchase, it is advisable to know the size of the floor you wish to cover, as well as the type of floor that works best for you. It is also advisable to use the right adhesive to avoid damages and discoloration. With these tips in mind, here are a few insights into the different types of vinyl flooring designs.

Vinyl Flooring Designs

Vinyl floorings are available in various designs. Here is a list of the main types.

1). Printed vinyl sheets

The printed vinyl flooring sheets are convenient and affordable. They are usually made in layers, with the top most layer, also called wear layer, being vinyl. The underlying layer contains the prints or colors, followed by a bottom, backing layer.

High quality printed sheets may contain cushioning, which make them pricey. The main feature of these sheets is that the colors and patterns are not imprinted on the vinyl itself. Rather, a separate material is first printed and a clear vinyl coating is applied. The thickness of the top wear layer determines the quality of the vinyl sheets.

2). Inlaid vinyl sheets

These are high quality vinyl flooring options since they are made entirely of vinyl. This makes them the most expensive choice of vinyl floorings. Inlaid vinyl sheets are not prone to scratches and chipping. When the scratches occur, they are not easily noticeable.

The main feature about inlaid vinyl sheets is the fact that the color or pattern is ingrained in the vinyl. It is not simply applied; it is integral to the sheet. The sheets require professional installation since they are heavy.

3). Vinyl tiles

This is the most common vinyl flooring designs since they are easy to install and can be arranged into any pattern. The tiles are usually 1/6 or 1/8 of an inch thick, and are self adhesive. This gives the home owner the option of installing the tiles without professional help. Vinyl tiles are either inlaid or printed. Inlaid tiles are the same on both sides.

4). Vinyl rolls

These are pretty much like sheets. However, most vinyl flooring rolls are self adhesive, which make them excellent, do-it-yourself projects. They are available in a variety of colors and thicknesses. Vinyl flooring rolls are an excellent choice since they require minimal maintenance and are highly durable.

5). Vinyl planks

Vinyl planks are quite common. They are available in two options; 6 by 36 inches and 4 by 36 inches. The thickness of the planks depends on the manufacturer. However, it ranges from 1.5mm to 3mm.
The planks are easy to install, and are available in various patterns to suit one's preferences. Colored planks can be used to create unique floor designs. Precision grinding is essential when installing the planks to create a seemingly seamless finish.

There is an endless list of patterns that one can make using vinyl floorings. Depending on one's tastes, preferences and creativity, vinyl floors make excellent room decor options.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

3 Popular Styles of Blinds for Your New Home

People who are moving to a new home have a lot of things to do. There may be some household
goods that cannot fit in the new place. Leaving them in a self-storage unit can make moving
more convenient. With this, they can ensure the security of their things no matter how long they
keep them at the facility. They may also leave their old blinds there and decide to buy something
more suitable for their new place.

Blinds can create a whole new look in a room. They come with different colors, designs and
materials. Choosing the best blinds can improve the statement of quality in a home. Mini blinds
are a common style of blinds, and they are becoming more popular now. These blinds can be
made of aluminum, vinyl or even expensive wood. They can effectively block the sun’s rays.

Other popular styles include Roman blinds. They are a classy and elegant type of window
covering that can be combined with curtains. This combination creates a sophisticated layered
look. Roman blinds look best when they are made with light materials. With this, homeowners
can use a lining.

Meanwhile, wood blinds are homeowner favorites because of their versatility. Wood blinds made
of teak or oak bring warmth to every room. However, they are more expensive than other styles
of blinds. Bamboo blinds are also a great alternative to wood blinds. Getting a new home can be
very costly, and improving its looks can also be expensive. Installing new blinds is a great starter
home-improvement project.

On the other hand, new homeowners who do not find blinds suitable for their homes may opt for
pull down shades. These window coverings provide the same beauty and softness as curtains.
With this, homeowners no longer need to use a combination of blinds and curtains. Pull down
shades can stand alone. In addition, shades come with different features and designs. New
homeowners will be surprised by the number of options they have. This may include roller
shades, Roman shades, pleated shades and hard window shades.

New homes that do not look good with either blinds or shades may have shutters installed.
These window coverings outperform both blinds and shades when it comes to quality and the
personality they give to the new house. Shutters can change the overall mood of the house. They
do not only add to its beauty. They also provide protection against the bright light outdoors. Most
importantly, these shutters can be custom made. With this, new homes can always get shutters
that will boost their indoor beauty.

Nicole Berenston is a writer for Beaverton. Her favorite hobbies are learning to rock
climb and reading. If you'd like to find a storage unit in your area, you can do so here:

Monday, 13 August 2012

The Best Flooring for Your Home

At some point or the other you will have to replace the flooring throughout your house. If you want to replace the flooring in your home, then before committing to any type of flooring, some of the factors that you should consider include the benefits, the costs, and the downsides. If you want to choose the best flooring for your home, then you should consider selecting one of the following types of flooring.

1. Hardwoods The cost of hardwoods varies from $3 to $12 per square foot depending on the type. While the price of engineered wood is less but you will have to hire someone to install it. Hardwoods have a nice look and an excellent resale value. Cleaning and maintaining them is easy, and usually merely vacuuming is required. A living room is the best place for putting hardwoods.

2. Tile There are various types of tiles and their price ranges from $1 to $20 per square foot. Depending on how large an area is, you have to pay hundreds of dollars for professional installation. Glazed ceramic tile is resistant to scratches, is water resistant and very durable. Tile comes in various materials, like granite, marble, porcelain, slate, and travertine. Tiles are perfect for a kitchen or bathroom since they are water resistant.

3. Laminate The price of laminate ranges from $0.50 to $3 per square foot and a professional will have to be paid for installation. Laminate does not scratch and/or stain easily, which is an ideal benefit. Laminate can also look like real tile or wood, and telling if it is real or not is not easy. Like hardwoods, cleaning laminate is quite easy. Since laminate is very durable it is ideal for rooms with a lot of activity and high traffic, like a foyer.

4. Carpet The average cost of carpets ranges from $2 to $3 per square foot but it is also possible to find cheap carpets too. At Home Depot and Lowe's you will also find reasonable installation deals. A carpet does not only give a room a soft look but also feels soft too. Carpets prevent echoing throughout a room and are quite to walk on. Installing a carpet is simple and quick, and can even be placed on uneven subfloors. For a carpet, the best location is rooms with low traffic, like bedrooms.

5. Vinyl While the cost of vinyl is less than $1 per square foot but on the high end it can cost you up to $5 per square foot, installation can cost a few hundred dollars. Vinyl like carpet, is easy and quiet on your feet. In comparison to other types of flooring, it is also inexpensive. The laundry room is a great place to install vinyl flooring. When it comes to replacing the flooring throughout the house, there might be many other flooring options that you can consider, but these ones are the most popular.

You can go for a single type of flooring or choose different types for different rooms. So, if you want to have the best flooring for your home, make sure you choose the right type of flooring for the different rooms in your home.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Enviro Mulch

What is it? It’s the matter that is most often seen covering soil for landscaping purposes. It helps
to retain moisture, suppress weeds and regulate soil temperature. Organic mulch can be made
up of grass clippings, hay, straw, shredded bark, recycled wood chips, animal manure and even
old newspaper. Enviro mulch. on the other hand is a type of mulch that is made up of wood
chips from old wood, whether it be boxes, crates or pallets. Enviro mulch is a popular choice
over other types of mulch because it is environmentally friendly, relatively inexpensive and has
many aesthetic qualities.


  • Enviro Mulch acts as a fantastic weed barrier since it deprives the weeds of the sunlight they require to germinate, inhibiting them from settling into your garden. Mulch also creates a ‘roof’ for your soil, preventing any weed seeds from landing, and growing in your garden. Weeds won’t even be able to come in contact with the soil if there’s a nice thick layer of mulch!
  • Enviro Mulch helps soil retain a consistent amount of moisture by regulating the amount of water absorbed. When plants get dehydrated or over-hydrated, they get stressed and stressed out plants never grow. Mulch will keep your plants strong and resistant to disease and insects.
  • If your garden is located in hot, dry weather, Enviro Mulch will cool things down. Not only will the soil be consistently moist, but your garden beds will be cooler. Hot plants tend to wilt and die, but a nice layer of mulch will ensure that your soil stays cool and damp.
  • Organic Enviro Mulch feeds your soil the nutrients it needs to thrive. The organic matter breaks down over time, adding rich organic nutrients to the soil. Earthworms love mulch, and together they will break down matter to create healthy, long lasting soil.
  • Enviro mulch is essentially wood chips that come from any wood waste. Enviro mulch breaks down like organic mulch does, and has great aesthetic appeal. Enviro mulch tends to break down about 30% slower than shredded bark, which means it holds its colour and shape in your garden for longer. Enviro mulch comes in a variety of colours designed to suit any unique garden.


Adding Enviro mulch to your garden is easy! Simply plant, apply a 2-4 inch layer of
Enviro mulch, and gently rake for an even surface. Be careful not to pile up mulch under each
plant! Creating a little space between the plant and the mulch will avoid too much moisture
being retained right next to the plant which could cause it to rot. Replenishing your mulch so
there is always at least a 2 inch layer will prevent weeds from growing, and ensure that the soil
stays moist.

It is important to use Enviro mulch if you are trying to establish new plants in new or
existing garden. New plants can go through a period of shock if they are introduced to a new
environment, particularly one with no existing root system. The best time to mulch is right after
planting, so the roots can start taking in moisture right away.

The beauty of Enviro mulch is it breaks down gradually and becomes a layer of rich
topsoil for plants and trees to thrive in. You’ll enjoy less watering, less maintenance and more
time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your mulch’s labor! To learn more about envrio-mulch visit

Friday, 10 August 2012

Use your Orangery to Get the Most Out of a Rainy Summer

So far this year, we’ve seen a fair deal of poor weather in the UK. While we may
have seen a few glorious days of sunshine, they have been few and far between.
Instead, replaced by torrential rain and even unprecedented storms. The state of
the English summer is on everybody’s lips, this year more than ever. As we look
for ways to lift our spirits, looking to our gardens may not be everyone’s first
thought as the rain lashes down. However there are ways to enjoy the outside
world, come rain or shine, and that is with a luxurious home orangery.

Like conservatories, orangeries allow us to bridge the gap between inside and
out - bringing elements of the outside world in to our homes, and bringing
aspects of our home in to the garden. With this in mind, we can still enjoy the
scenic views our gardens have to offer, sitting comfortably dry in a beautiful
orangery. In fact, many people admit to finding the sound of rain above their
heads soothing, just as long as they aren’t getting wet.

Our mixed climate can even be seen as an advantage to garden lovers. The
English climate gives us the chance to grow some exceptional plants in our own
gardens, more so than in those more typically desired tropical locations. While
our neighbours on the continent may get more annual sun, they don’t have
the rainfall and conditions needed to grow such a wide variety of plants. Now
typically you may wonder ‘what is the point’? when the strong likelihood of rain
prevents us from getting out in the garden to enjoy such scenery? Well with your
own orangery you can sit back and enjoy these plants, even if it is raining.

The design of traditional orangeries are specifically built to maximize natural
light anyway. With their large glass window and roof panels they focus
what sunlight there is in order to fill the space. This allows you to enjoy the
substantial daylight of the summer months, while blocking out the rain. There
are also many window options such as double glazing that help to keep heat
inside and block cold air from entering. This means that even in poor weather
your orangery offers comfort and warmth. It can even reduce the noise of rainfall
which many can find distracting.

So instead of complaining about the rain this summer, why not take measures
to enjoy the summer as much as you can with the construction of a brand new
orangery? It is the best solution for enjoying the outside world, come rain or

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

How to Transform your Bathroom

Your bathroom is one of the most important features of your home, regularly used by
everyone and frequently seen by guests.

But is it letting you down? Are tired tiles and a drab design ruining our bathroom?

Here are some top tips on making sure your bathroom stays bang on trend.

1- Build up a plan.
Magazines, TV programmes and showhomes are all filled with the latest styles in
bathroom decorating. Use this to get ideas before you start your renovation. Many
people find it useful to cut out images they like and use them as an base for their

1 – The plumbing.
Stylish fitted bathroom suites are becoming more and more affordable so having
the suite of your dreams is closer than you think. Maximise the available space
in a small bathroom by having a pedestal-free sink fitted to allow storage space
underneath and a combination shower/bath maximises both space and gives you
more freedom. Make sure you chose a colour which will not date quickly, pink
and green suites tend to fade quickly, while classic porcelain white is always in

2 – To tile or not to tile.
Deciding whether or not to tile can be difficult, it is an expensive and laborious
task – especially if you decide to do it yourself. In a smaller bathroom, choosing
to tile the entire room can sometimes be a mistake as it can make it seem smaller.
A current trend is just to tile splash-back areas, i.e. around the bath/shower and
behind the sink, then using a high-quality, water-resistant paint on the rest of the
room. This has a number of benefits 1 – a reduction in cost, 2 – the tiles will be
less overpowering in the room, so the braver decorator could use brigher, more
vibrant tiles and 3 – it is less time consuming to fit.

3 - Design accents
Pick a colour theme for your bathroom and follow it through the room, by towels
and toothbrush holders that match features in your tiles. Add plants and candles to
give your bathroom an extra luxurious feel.

4 – Themes
Many people choose to theme their bathroom i.e. using nautical colours and shells
to give a seaside theme, this can look good as long as it is not overdone. Make
sure to plan any theme like this before starting, a half-completed room can look as
bad as one which has not been decorated at all.

5 – Enjoy

Above all things, your bathroom is somewhere you can relax and pamper
yourself, so make sure you have a room that is just right for you.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Top Ten DIY Accidents

More than 200,000 people end up in hospital in the UK each year because of accidents that happened while carrying out repairs at home. The beginning of May starts the usual DIY period when all the adverts on TV suddenly become about laying that new patio, replacing your kitchen or bathroom or painting your living room. And as soon as the sun dares make an appearance its off down the local DIY shop or builder's merchant to buy a new tool or or equipment and start on those repairs. 

It is not surprising that a large number of accidents are down to the mis-use of knives, screwdrivers and scalpels and saws, however with power tools now being much cheaper than they used to be and more and more people having access to these, incidents involving drills, jigsaws and other related tools are also on the increase. 

Even hanging wall paper can be hazardous and resulted in around 1500 trips to the hospital in one year and even cleaning windows, with around 30,000 people ending up in hospital after falling off ladders. 

Many of the accidents occur because people do not plan the project properly and rush into the job as soon as better weather arrives. Or they go out and buy a tool like a chainsaw which if used in any other work-related environment would require proper training. 

But its not just the actual tools causing accidents, but the materials people are working with. The lowly piece of wood or chipboard is top on the list for causing accidents, with paving or concrete slabs and blocks next, also nails and metal sheets and screws and even paint and wallpaper. 

The top ten DIY accidents are as follows:

1. Top of the list is predictability cutting yourself with a saw or knife or other sharp tool, most commonly when cutting cables or carpets or slips with the saw when cutting wood. 
2. Straining muscles and your back lifting heavy objects and dropping objects like concrete slabs on to toes and fingers. 
3. Somewhat related to the above, are injuries caused by moving furniture around.
4. Injuries caused by tripping over cables and wires
5. Surprisingly not higher up is falling off a ladder or down steps
6. Getting an electric shock
7. Injuries caused by stripping wallpaper or painting a ceiling or wall, notably paint dripping into the eyes.
8. Allergic reactions to chemicals used
9. Burns from blow torches, paint strippers etc
10. Inhaling fumes or chemicals

Many of these accidents could easily be avoided by wearing simple safety equipment like googles, masks and gloves. At other times people over estimate their own abilities, particularly with regard to work involving gas and electrics. These types of jobs should be left to the expert. 

© Rachel Gawith is a freelance writer and marketer and is currently working for What House and WhatNewHouse promoting their websites.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Home Décor on the Outside

Now that summer is finally here there are plenty of things that you can do outside to make your
house a home.
Leaving flowers to one side, it is easy to create little oases in the garden to generate interest.


A sturdy robust pergola is a lovely addition to any garden, whatever size or shape. A small one
can accommodate a cosy little bench for two, or a large open sided one for al fresco dining.

If you don’t have the money for the wood to build one, then collect branches (offer to do some
pruning for a neighbour) until you have at least twenty supple ones of about 2m – 2.5 m in
length. Sharpen the bottom of the branches and stake them into the ground in a semi circle with
the ‘entrance’ facing a pretty part of the garden. These branches should be arched over and
weaved together with some strong twine. Over time these will harden and set into place. For
extra strength put three branch ends as stakes around the three enclosed sides of the pergola.

House signs

Instead of a boring number on the front of your house, swap it for a beautiful hand painted sign
like this one A fine quality house sign will last and last and really enlivens up the entrance to
your home. If you don’t have the money to buy one, then find a quirky piece of wood and paint,
burn or carve your house number or name into it.


There is always plenty of stone around to build a rockery and a large stone pile can add a lot
of interest to a dull corner of the garden. Another idea, if you live near the coast, is to decorate
it with driftwood and other things you might find. If you are really lucky you may discover some
beautiful sea glass.

House of Trees

As opposed to a tree house, you can grow a house out of trees. This is a project for the patient
person, but it can look amazing. Decide on the shape of your house and map it out in a wire or
wooden frame. You don’t have to do this, you can let the house find its own shape organically
over time. Buy some fruit trees with long ‘withy’ branches and plant them at good intervals. In
the winter months, shape the ‘house’ by tying the branches to the frame with soft materials.
When the branches grow out in a direction you don’t want, either bend them back in to shape or
trim them off. You can use dead branches to fill in the gaps until the house has grown into the

Enjoy your garden. It will beguile you and bring you closer to nature.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Redecorating the Home By Using Things for Different Purposes

Making home improvements may seem out of reach when you’re living on a budget. However, there
are many ways to change the look and feel of your home without spending any money at all. By using
things you already have around the house, you can update your decor with unique home accents.

Beautify the Bookshelves

Chances are you have a cluttered bookshelf or two in your home. Whether you love the classics or
prefer contemporary literature, book collections have a way of outgrowing shelf space. Instead of trying
to squeeze another shelving unit into your living room or bedroom, make the most of what you have by
looking at the books as decorations as well as good reading. Try rearranging volumes by height or color.
Stack some horizontally rather than placing everything side by side, or alternate large and small books
for an eye-catching change.

Bookshelves also make great places to display your favorite decor items. If you have knickknacks, flower
arrangements or treasured photos that have been sitting in the same places for ages, make space for
them on the bookshelves to break up the rows of volumes. You can even use large knickknacks as
unique bookends.

Make Use of Glassware

Everyone has an empty bottle or two on hand. You might also have some old cups, glasses or mugs that
are taking up cabinet space. Gather these together and see what various shapes, sizes and colors you
have. Pick out your favorites to use as unique decorations.

Bottles with thin necks make great candle holders for funky drip candles or traditional tapers. If you
prefer the look of flowers, use bottles as vases or get some inexpensive cloth flowers and create an
arrangement that will last for years. Tall glasses make lovely vases as well, and even mugs can be used
to hold small arrangements of your favorite wildflowers during summer months.

Turn shallow cups and glass mugs into interesting accent pieces by placing a layer of marbles, stones or
even dried beans at the bottom and tucking a brightly colored votive candle inside. Or layer different
colors of your chosen materials for an eye-catching effect.

Get Crafty

Don’t throw out those scraps of yarn or bits of fabric and paper left over from past craft projects. They
can be used to dress up common household items. Collect a few different materials in contrasting
colors, grab some craft glue and try some of these fun projects:

• Turn an old lampshade into a beautiful collage

• Glue buttons, small toys, or pieces of old wallpaper along shelves in a child’s room

• Deck out large frames with accents that complement the pictures or paintings inside

• Grab a big flowerpot, give it a crazy design, turn it upside down and use it as an accent table

Budget restrictions don’t have to keep you from having a beautiful home. Simply taking stock of what
you have on hand can turn up all kinds of interesting decor ideas that won’t cost you a penny.

Trevor Price is a writer and marketer for Sunburst Shutters. When he’s not writing Trevor enjoys reading
and the outdoors. Connect with Trevor on Google +. Sunburst Shutters has built shutters and custom
window coverings for customers across the United States since the 1970’s.

Easy Tips on Revitalizing your Deck

Now that summer is upon us, it’s only natural that we spend more time outdoors to enjoy the sun. Many
individuals choose to enjoy the summer outside, such as the pool, the beach or the backyard. But for
homeowners, the deck is a natural draw for a variety of purposes, whether it is entertaining, sunbathing
or simply just relaxing. However, you’ll have to make sure that your deck is ready for these activities
and the months coming ahead. The following tips can help you make sure that your deck is ready for the


This outdoor space is a great area for parties, small gatherings and sole enjoyment. However, it’s
difficult to utilize the deck if it is a sight for sore eyes. Therefore, one of the first steps that homeowners
should take is to clean their deck properly. Before starting to clean a deck, make sure that you remove
all furnishing and objects from the area. Sweep for any loose debris, such as dirt and leaves, followed
by rinsing the deck off with a pressure cleaner. In addition, you may want to use products such as deck
cleaners, stains or sealers in order to give your deck a more comprehensive cleaning. But make sure that
you understand which products are best for the type and material used for the deck.


Once the deck is in spotless condition, the next step is to make it flourish with furniture. However, the
amount of furnishings on a deck depends on a number of factors:

What is the size of your deck? If your home boasts a sizable deck, then you may have more freedom
when it comes to choosing furnishings. However, keep in mind that the more furniture you have, the
more upkeep it will require. On the other hand, if your deck is of a modest size, then you may need to
be more efficient with your space.

What is your intended purpose for your deck? If you tend to be more of the entertaining type, then
there are a variety of furnishings that can aid with this purpose. For example, tables and multiple chairs
are essential for hosting parties. A BBQ grill or deck bar are also great ways to boost your party to
another level. However, if you’re more of the relaxing type, then you may want your deck to reflect this
sensibility. Comfortable lounge chairs or Ottomans are great ways to relax, read, or enjoy the sun. Side
tables are also a welcome addition, perfect for holding a book or a cool glass of your favorite drink.


There are a variety of ways in which you can brighten up your deck and give it a more personalized
feel. Pillows, seat covers, and throws are a great way to add color and comfort to your space. Lighting
is also an important factor, as it can set the mood and atmosphere of parties and nighttime activities.
Homeowners should also keep umbrellas in mind, a vital addition to any deck preparing for hot, sunny
months. Finally, adding potted plants can add beauty and nature, adding to the environment of summer
on your deck.