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Archive for October, 2010

The Power of Colors

Colourful room

Colors make the world beautiful and make us appreciate life more. Colors too have certain powers that if used properly can create a desired effect on the mood or in the aspect of designing. We see colours everywhere and we can easily change and incorporate different color schemes in our homes through the use of paints, wallpapering and different pieces of furniture at home.
If you want to make the room appear larger, you will need to choose cool colors like blue and green. Cool colors give you an impression that they are receding or backing away from you. Whereas warm colors like orange and red make you feel that they advance or approach you, thus they are used to make the room seem smaller.
Suppose you want to lighten the color of the wall or its effect in a room, choose accessories and furniture which require contrast as you look at them. For instance you painted your wall with striking brick red, the effect can be balanced with furniture in antique-white paint. A sky blue wall can be enhanced by using accessories with golden yellow color.
To brighten a room with inadequate light, paint the room white that can bounce off light and illuminate the area. If a room is entirely painted with white, you can choose virtually any accent as white is a neutral color that will not clash with other shades. To prevent a too sterile appearance, choose accents with rich colors. You can also get your house painter to pick a colors that’s easier on the eyes. Like a clean off-white color instead of pure white to create a softer effect.
Red is a very stimulating color so it would be best not to paint the whole room with red. In a room painted entirely with red, you will find that your heart rate as well as your respiration will be increased due to the effect of red on the mood. Better use red paint to create accents on your painting. Pink is the color you may want to use if you want to make the room more relaxing but not so much that you would feel exhausted. Blue is the paint color to choose to create a peaceful ambiance. Green is for calming, yellow can be stimulating while brown is for masculinity, purple is for creating a romantic effect.

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empty bathroom

Image by limonada via Flickr

 

The bathroom is essentially prone to become dirty and loaded with germs considering that it is here where we groom ourselves and answer to the call of nature. This is why the bathroom needs to be cleaned regularly to eliminate the germs for the family’s protection. Aside from cleaning the bathroom, a better way of keeping the bathroom free from possible harm is by using antibacterial tiles.

In essence, antibacterial tiles are able to resist germs. It is made of ceramic with some particles of minerals like titanium dioxide which is antibacterial in nature. Commonly resisted bacteria are Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus and E coli.

Aside from resisting known bacteria, antibacterial tiles are also known to clean indoor air, air pollution and bad odor inside the bathroom is thus reduced. Some tiles need to be illuminated with light in order to activate the antibacterial property while others already have activated mineral particles.

Due to the antibacterial property of the tiles, they are also capable of cleaning themselves. Yet this would not mean that you will never clean the bathroom tiles. Instead you will just provide some minimum cleaning such as mopping when certain substances spilt on the tiles. What’s great is that you will not need to use harsh cleaners and antiseptics, thereby reducing your and your family’s risk to harmful chemical exposure and lessen your household maintenance cost.

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concrete shores

Image by Robert in Toronto via Flickr

We all know how concrete can be very dull and no good for designs with its gray color and plain appearance. Many of us would probably feel there isn’t much use for concrete other than in concrete construction works. Yet that is only true if no special processes are incorporated to the concrete. There are various methods concreters can use to change the finishes of concrete. So when they are applied, it can make the surface of concrete to be a lot more aesthetically valuable and functional too:

  • Broom finishing is done by pulling a stiff broom across the freshly poured concrete to add texture and lessen the chances of slipping especially on roads.
  • Colored concrete is staining the concrete with dyes and colors to enhance the appearance. It can be achieved in two ways. One is to buy a ready colored concrete mix or you may also dust the coloring powder onto the top layer of the concrete surface. Dust on coloring usually result to more consistent designs. For example, by coloring polished concrete, you can create some interesting designs.
  • Exposed or washed finish is basically washing away the top layer of the concrete so the stone natural aggregates are visible. You can commonly see this in many older cities.
  • Salt finish is done by sowing rock salt in the surface and then washed to reveal small sized pits. You can see this on concreted decks of swimming pools and also in sidewalks.
  • Seeded finish makes use of decorative small stones embedded on the top layer of the concrete surface. This type of finish is somewhat similar to the exposed finish but uses non natural aggregates during installation that provides a pebbled appearance.
  • Stained concrete is done on already existing concrete surfaces. The concrete stain is sprayed on the previously treated surface. There are a range of stains available in many colors to choose from and you can use multiple shades to create a marbled effect such as in restaurant floors.
  • Stamped finish is created by stamping cookie cutter on the still soft concreted surface.

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A house that is properly painted can really make any homeowner proud and satisfied. Yet over time, the painted surface will have certain flaws, which may not be easily resolved by some homeowners without adequate knowledge about house painting.

One of the commonly encountered problem regarding painted surfaces is bleeding. You can see this on exterior and indoor surfaces which were painted without first removing the stain. In time the covered stain will show through the paint. You can repaint the area every time it bleeds or you may want to spray shellac first on the stain before painting.

Another common painting problem painters face is blistering. This occurs if you painted a wet surface. The moisture gets trapped under the paint and lifts up as it accumulates. This is why it is essential to make sure the area you are painting is absolutely dry.

Painted surfaces naturally chalk and paint due to aging. If the amount of adding and chalking, however, are excessive, it may be due to a water problem like a wet subsurface. Digging down to the subsurface may be necessary so you can put up a barrier between the source of moisture and the painted surface.

Nail popping is also another problem encountered with painted surfaces. Improperly hammered nails usually cause protrusion in the painted surface. When there is a rust mark in the protrusion, it means that there is moisture where the nail pops up. You need to see into your wall to know where the moisture comes from to resolve the problem.

Wrinkling usually occurs in outdoor painted areas which may be caused either by too much applied paint of if you painted the area on a hot day. It may be possible that the problem was caused by a not so dry primer or previous coat. You will need to do some paint stripping for the wrinkled paint and start again.

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Although Summer’s just ended for those of you in the northern hemisphere, it’s only Spring here. I think one of the main thing during Summer is learning how to stay cool in the house but at the same time not have to waste too much electricity from having the air conditioner on 24/7. Not only will it save you from costly bills but it’s also a nice way to make a little difference to the environment!

So I’ve gather some clips and information on energy efficiency from youtube. Hopefully you’ll find them useful and learn something from it too like it did 🙂

Summer Energy Saving Tips

Eco-Saving Myths Busted

oh and here’s one for winter. hahaha

Dominion Winter Energy Saving Tips

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Death of an Energy Efficient Spiral Compact Fl...

Image by k-ideas via Flickr

 

Saving energy is one of the major concerns of many homeowners. With so many appliances and facilities inside the house that make use of electricity, that quickest and most helpful way make your home energy efficient is to make sustainable improvements to your home’s lighting features.

It is said that about 11% of the energy consumption of a regular household is consist of lighting usage. Old lighting fixtures such as the classic incandescent and some fluorescent lamps contribute more to that energy consumption. This is why if you wish to cut your household energy bill, changing your lighting units with new technologies can help you achieve your goal. The new light advancements would help you reduce 50% – 75% of light energy consumption.

For your indoor spaces, you may want to consider using energy efficient light such as the CFL bulbs or Compact Fluorescent light bulbs. Not only do CFLs save energy but they also produce high quality light. Fluorescent lamps and lighting are generally better in efficiency that incandescent and are longer lasting too (up to 12x longer). The initial cost of linear fluorescents and CFLs may be higher but the cheaper utility bills will cover such expenses. Furthermore, CFLs are also in compatibility with dimmers that allows you to use the light in certain brightness.

Your outdoor space may also use up energy and thus comprise your utility bill. The lighting installation and facilities used outside the home cannot be totally removed, not only because they add beauty to the home but because they serve for your home’s security. There are various energy efficient lighting fixtures which can be used outdoors. There are the LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes that use minimal power yet produces very good light quality. LEDs are also durable and can withstand extreme outdoor conditions like in cold winter season. There are also low-voltage lamps to be used as pathway lighting and floodlights that can detect motion for better security.

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Venitian blind.

Image via Wikipedia

Window treatments are additions to the windows which may add to the functionality and aesthetic quality of the window. The most common window treatment that we know of and use are curtains. Drapes come in various fabrics with different colors and styles that can help create a casual to elegant ambiance.

Aside from curtains, other window treatment alternatives are also available. For instance there’s the honeycomb or cellular blinds. They help maximize your home’s energy efficiency and help insulate the home or room. Honeycomb blinds are available in light to dark colored fabrics.

There are also window blinds made of faux wood. Such blinds that come in many wood tones and colors look like real wood but are made extra durable and less expensive than real wood. They are suitable in places where humidity level is high.

The venetian blind will probably spark your interest if you are looking for a wide variety of colors and flexible window treatments that can go well with almost any home décor.

For your picture windows or sliding doors, there’s the panel track or sliding panels. Aside from being a window treatment, it can also be used as a room divider. Sliding panels really are flexible, simple and chic solution to be used for the house.

Pleated shades are also available in the market if you want a fashionable window treatment at such lower price. They may also be enhanced with liners that allow light and privacy control.

There are also vertical blinds which can also be used in sliding doors and really huge glass windows.

Shades are not only used in indoor spaces but also in outdoor areas. The outdoor shades are great for use in patios. The blinds can stack to the left or to the right or it may also split equally from the center. You can choose venetians blinds made of vinyl, fabric or aluminum materials.

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