Friday, November 4, 2011

Five Tips to Spice Up Your Bedroom Decor This Weekend

Want to spice up your bedroom, but don't know where to begin? Do you envision a romantic retreat, but your reality is a bedroom that's a chaotic mass of confusion? Follow these five tips and in less than a weekend, you will create a delightful, yet inexpensive, haven that can put the sizzle back into your life.
Tip #1: Color. If your bedroom is blah or conversely has riotous color, consider painting it a soothing blue, green, light grey, or my personal favorite, a cozy hot chocolate. The color will set the tone of your room. If you adore hot colors, use these colors on accessories instead of the walls. Your bedroom should be a calming oasis in the chaos that is your life. Cost: Under $50. Time: Half a day.
Tip #2: Focal Point. Your bed should be the focal point of your bedroom. If you have a big entertainment center, you will need to put more emphasis on your bed. If you do not have a large headboard, you can create the illusion of one by hanging a large piece of art or rug behind the bed. You can also make a large but inexpensive headboard by padding and then stapling fabric to a piece of plywood. Alternately, you can paint the wall a contrasting color than the rest of the room. Stack pillows instead of the standard two. Add layers of bedding to give yourself luxury. Don't depend on thread counts for quality, see how the sheets actually feel to the touch. Consider putting a thin blanket between the sheets for an easy upscale feel. Cost: Can be under $100. Time: Half a day.
Tip #3: Stress Free Adult Zone. The master bedroom is not the place for photos of anyone in your life that causes you stress, even if its family. Move these photos to other rooms in the house. It is time to remove the clutter so that you don't feel overwhelmed when you enter the room. Either put away, donate, sell or discard anything that clutters up your room. Today is also the day to stop paying bills in your bedroom. Move it to the dining table if you don't have a desk. Bottom line, remove all sources of stress from your master bedroom. Cost: Free Time: A couple of hours.
Tip #4: Add Romantic Lighting. Here's a quick way to soften your room instantly: Change some of the light bulbs in your bedroom to a lower wattage or colored bulbs. A pink bulb will make you look radiant. Cost: Under $20. Time: Five minutes.
Tip #5: Add Ambiance: Don't stop at just the lighting. Appeal to all of the senses. Cost: Under $100, Time: Five minutes.
  • Touch: Soft, sensuous bedding
  • Smell: Display and use fragrant candles and potpourri
  • Sound: Consider a mini table fountain and soft background music
  • Taste: Put out a small tray of decadent wrapped dark chocolate
If you take a weekend to do these five tips, your new master bedroom will also delight the fifth sense, sight, as you finally create the romantic and relaxing haven you deserve.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Choosing The Right Material For Natural Stone Patios and Walkways

There's a little stone walkway in Ireland that was laid down hundreds of years ago. It leads to a legendary wishing well that people travel to from all over the world. Tens of thousands of people have walked upon that stone path to make a wish or dream a dream. The stones are worn and shiny but the path just becomes more magical as the decades go by.
A patio or walkway made of natural stone shares a bit of that magic found in the path to the Irish wishing well. Maybe it's because they a share a history which spans the globe. Look for a stone mason who specializes in natural stone patio floors and garden paths. If they are properly placed, they may last for generations.
You may choose from flagstone, uncut stones, or paving stones. Each type of stone creates an entirely different outdoor floor.
· Flagstones - are natural hard stones which are broken or fractured into broad, flat sections. Good flagstone is extremely hard and smooth. You can see the quality of flagstone by looking at the edge. If the edges crumble easily it's an indication of poor quality. Flagstones can be made of slate, limestone and stand stone. Marble flagstone is used for very high end projects. The cost of flagstone can vary greatly depending on your geographical location. Metamorphic rock is heavy and very expensive to ship, certain varieties may cost three or four times more in one area of the country compared to another. If you are concerned about costs, ask about the availability of local stones.
· Naturally shaped stones - Old fashioned cobble stone paths use whole, naturally shaped stones. This creates a nostalgic look, but the path may be slightly uneven or bumpy. Remember the smaller the stone, the more even the path or floor. Small rock combinations like Mexican pebble and salmon stone can create a dynamic multicolored design.
· Pavers - Manufactured paving stones with simulated stone veneer can achieve the look of natural stone for an affordable price. They are available in many fun shapes and sizes. Paving stones can be square, round, and every shape in between. Since colors and dyes can be added to pavers, there is a wide range of colors.
· Brick - No list of stone paths would be complete without mentioning clay masonry brick. After all Dorothy found true friends and a wizard as she skipped down her yellow brick road and they've been appearing in gardens and patios ever since.
Natural stone, paver stone, and brick patios and floors can be laid tightly to inhibit the growth of grass and plants between the cracks, however some stones are laid so grass can natural integrate into the cracks to create a natural appearance.
Take a few minutes to look at your entire property before choosing a particular color or variety of stone. Keep other features such as a stone wall, driveway, or fire pit in mind so each element compliments and does not detract from the other.

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