Monday, April 30, 2007

Bamboo To The Rescue!

It was a sunny winter's afternoon; another perfect Sydney day. I was on my balcony enjoying the sunshine when I heard a familiar voice. It was my neighbour Tom.

"Hey Dean. My garden's looking good," he said in a proud and confident tone. "But I can't help but feel there's something missing."

"Like what?" I asked.

Tom, massaging his chin and gazing out over his own version of the botanical gardens then leaned over his balcony looking me straight in the eye and in a firm voice said..."bamboo."

"Explain?" I responded with a puzzled look.

"Privacy my friend, privacy," Tom retorted.

I thought a moment, looking a little puzzled and then it hit me!

"Yes, privacy! Bamboo would give us the privacy we've been looking for," I exclaimed although I wasn't sure how.

Let me fill you in. I live close to the beach in a block of four town houses. Tom lives next door with Jenny and the other two dwellings are occupied by another two couples. Until recently, we had a full view of the water but always knew it would one day be gone since we bordered a large block of vacant land. As it turned out, a large two level block of apartments was given the all clear to be built by the local council and developers didn't waste any time in getting it up.

Our view was gone but we knew that was coming. With the building up we had another problem...lack of privacy. Suddenly blinds which I had hardly ever used were being closed constantly to keep inquisitive eyes out. We searched for answers and found none until Tom uttered the magic word...bamboo!

"So Tom, what do you know about bamboo?"I asked in a not so confident tone.

"Plenty Dean, plenty", he replied in an almost sarcastic fashion.

We both went downstairs into the garden area. Tom led the way. He reminded me of one of those gardening experts on television. I was almost in awe.

"Well Dean",Tom said resembling some botanical icon that I could have put a dozen names to."Bamboo comes in a heap of different varieties. See this corner over here, I think we'll put in some 0ldhamii. Do you know it grows up to 40 feet?"

"Yes," I replied. "I've heard that!" The truth be known, I had no idea at the time.

Tom then quickly paced up and down the length of our fence.He stopped and looked at me and said in an authoritative voice.

"You know, for height I think we might put in some Chinese Painted Bamboo...or how about some Giant Buddha Belly.Do you know it also can grow to over 50 feet."

"Amazing I thought," looking high up into the sky then replying a little sarcastically.

"I just hope we're not in any flight paths!"

Tom didn't hear me. He was in bamboo heaven. He was kind of talking to me but to himself, if you know what I mean. He grabbed his chin again and spoke in a soft but stern tone.

"We've got to be careful with the running varieties of bamboo Dean."

I hesitated slightly and then responded a little shakily... "'re right. Can't have that running bamboo taking off on us." Then I thought to myself..."running bamboo? What's running bamboo?"

Tom was in his own bamboo world.

"No problems. I like the look of Black Bamboo. Although it's a virulent runner we can contain it in pots. On the other hand, I also like Temple Bamboo. It's a slow runner and looks really good."

Tom was taking notes and drawing a diagram of his bamboo project. He was inspired. I'd never seen him so excited about a gardening project. Yes he loved his gardening but I always got the impression it was a chore that had to be done. Not so on this on this occasion. He just couldn't wait to get started.

And so began my first introduction to the wonderful world of bamboo. Several months later and it's all starting to take shape. The bamboo is in the ground and growing at a furious pace. In 12 months time, we'll have all the privacy we need. Our water view might be gone but you know, the trade-off is certainly worth it. Those chats on the balcony now start off with a hello, how are you and quickly turn into a conservation on bamboo as we marvel at this versatile plant and the problem it solved for us.

About The Author
Dean Caporella is a professional Journalist and Sports Announcer. He takes an interest in a wide and varied number of topics. In the last few years, a close friend introduced him to the wonderful world of bamboo and it's many uses.

"I just love the stuff!" he declares. From a privacy barrier on my fenceline to my "Lucky Bamboo" plant on my window ledge." Learn more about bamboo at

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Keeping Moisture Out Of Your House

There are several problems that water leakage can cause for you and your home. First, water leakage can cause the growth of fungi, mildew, and molds in your home. This can weaken your walls and cause bigger cracks, thus, increasing the possibility of vermin and rodent infestation. Second, due to the fungi and the rodents, your family becomes exposed to possible diseases. Also, stagnant water is a perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes which are also carriers of diseases like dengue or malaria. Third, water leakage limits your living space. Using your basement or attic when it is wet or damp is out of question. Aside from being uncomfortable and smelly, there is also a high accident risk due to slippage. Fourth, water leakage decreases the value of your property. Real estate agents say that to sell a property with leakage problems, they generally have to lower prices even if the house is worth more than the selling price. This is because more than 25% of possible clients refuse a property with water leakage problems regardless of how minimal the problems are. But there is a solution to all these leakage problems, and that is making your house waterproof. With the development and availability of a variety of waterproofing solutions, there is surely one that can fit into your budget.

A contractor is the first option for properties with severe water leakage problems like basement flooding. This is an expensive option and time-consuming. However, for those who cannot afford waterproofing contractors, there are different methods available. One is to use a sump pump to pump water out of your house into a drainage. The equipment is installed at the lowest part of your house with a pipe leading to the main drainage system. This is only recommended for basement water problems.

For condensation problem, a dehumidifier is often enough to solve it. However, if leakage is really the problem, a waterproof coating system would work well on any part of the house. This option is cheaper compared to contractual work but will entail longer work hours if you opt to do it by yourself. Builders recommend that before undertaking any waterproofing work, clean the surrounding areas like the gutters and ventilation systems. Consequences of these problems are usually mistaken for leakage. This will also lead to the leakage's source. Most coating system starts with wirebrushing walls of the room to be waterproofed like the basement. This removes any debris that might affect the treatment. Using quick drying cement on holes and cracks usually follow. When the cement dries, it is followed by three coatings of waterproofing enamel. Bill Emerick, a waterproofing specialist emphasize the importance of following indicated spread rates on the can of the solution. Too-thin coatings undo all your efforts to keep moisture and water out of your home.

Regardless of whatever steps you take to maintain your property, you are making steps to ensure your family's health and the stability of your house. You are also preserving the market value of your property, thereby, taking care of your investment. It might be tedious work, but waterproofing your home is an essential matter you shouldn't forget.

About The Author
Peter Valentine
For more valuable information on waterproofing, please visit


Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Friendly Home Bar

Looking to entertain your guests with something stirred or shaken? No, not another manic video game. We’re talking about sitting on bar stools, elbows propped on the bar, sipping an apple martini, or a tall glass of beer, or a salt-rimmed margarita as you talk with your friends. Chips and guacamole right at hand. Gazing out over the city lights at night, or taking a break from the big poker game. There’s nothing like bar furniture to bring cheers to your home!

With the sleek contemporary look of metal and glass to the comfort and familiarity of beautiful woods, a bar can fit into your game room, rec room, living room, dining room, den, home theater, family room — there’s a size and style of bar or pub table to fit any space in your home. Remember, when you measure the area where you want to place the bar, allow enough space to enter the bar from one side. Also take into consideration if you’re going to have a small refrigerator in the bar area. For an L-shaped bar, add enough room for barstools along the short side (return) of the bar.

Speaking of barstools, there are many options, from contemporary metal stools to traditional wooden stools and spectator chairs. What height stools do you need? If you’re going to use the stools at a kitchen counter, they come in either 24" or 26" heights for countertops that are 36-39" tall. Stools designed for bar counters are usually 30" for bars that are 40-50" in height. The 34" height is mostly for spectator chairs in pool and game rooms. Leave 22-25" of width for each bar stool. The rest is your choice: with a back or not, swivel seat or stationary, cloth, wood, or metal seat and back.

Think about adding a brass or chrome foot rest, a back bar mirror, shelving for glasses, or an in-wall bar and wine cabinet. The choice of drinks is on the house!

About The Author
Parvati Markus

Please find the original article and more information about this subject at

When Parvati Markus is not writing helpful and insightful articles like the one you just read from, she works with The Kabbalah Centre and freelances on non-fiction books and articles. As a recent arrival in L.A., Parvati is completing her “residency requirement” by writing a screenplay.

If you would like to publish this article on your own site, please feel free to do so. Please let us know the url of the posted article by emailing the url to All we ask is that you include the whole article, without changes, including the link to the original article location, author information, this disclaimer and the following link.

Find great home furniture online at


Friday, April 27, 2007

How Exactly Do Septic Tanks Work?

A sewerage drain field and a septic tank make up a small scale sewage treatment system. A septic tank is basically a rectangular shaped underground receptacle for wastewater. It is watertight, made of concrete, and consists of tanks that are divided into chambers. The first chamber has twice the volume as the second and the majority of the organic solid matter, referred to as sludge, gets settled here. The second chamber further purifies the wastewater.

The septic tank collects wastewater from toilets, showers, sinks, etc. Due to the absence of a current the sludge quickly settles down to the tank floor. Anaerobic bacterial digestive activity on the sludge leads to the generation of methane and carbon dioxide; the sludge is stabilized and does not rot anymore. Particles of stabilized sludge stay settled, some may float to the top as scum.

A septic tank should be constructed such that there is maximum contact time with the microorganisms so as to enable swifter digestion of the sludge. This is achieved by placing the inlet, overflow, and outlet diagonal to each other and by making the streams flow in vertically placed pipes.

The semi-purified water moves to the second chamber via the overflows that are constructed such that the upward motion of water prevents larger particles from flowing into the second chamber. The feeding, digestion, and settlement of organic matter continues in the second chamber. The retention time in the second chamber is half that of the first chamber because of its size and the fact that the amount of organic matter to treat is less. The outlet is constructed in the diagonal corner to the overflow.

The treated wastewater is directed to a drain field, also known as a seepage field, where any impurities that still exist get decomposed naturally, the water is taken up by the plant root system or it may even become a part of the groundwater. The large sized drainage field is required if the soil is not very porous. A septic system can be made to work entirely by using gravitational forces; at some places, however, a pump may be required to overcome topographical limitations.

The rate of sludge generation in septic tanks is around 0.05 cubic yards every year for an individual. Septic tanks need to be emptied every few years so that there is enough reaction space for the microorganisms to attack the wastewater and for the sludge to settle.

The septic tank may be emptied every 5-7 years depending upon the amount of wastewater it processes. The tank is emptied using an exhauster truck manned by trained personnel. The sludge that is sucked into the exhauster truck is released into public waste water treatment plants, sanitary landfills, or sludge drying beds.

Properly digested sludge can be used as a natural fertilizer; this is possible only if no fresh wastewater is added to the tank for at least one week.

The design of the septic tank should be such that the wastewater always flows in its designated path and no short circuits in the water flow occur. T-pipe-connectors with inflow and outflow openings under the water level should be used for inlet, overflow, and outlet pipes. This prevents the floating scum from clogging the pipes. A grease trap should be provided for the wastewater inflow pipe.

About The Author
Scott Leahy recommends you visit The Laundry Alternative to learn about septic tanks. See for more information.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Care And Maintenance Of Cork Flooring

Many people think of a bulletin board when they think of cork flooring. This is not the case at all. This material is beautiful and available in a wide variety of colors and shades, from very light to dark. There is a cork floor to match any home décor. It also comes in a wide variety of textures and patterns, including marble and wood grain patterns that resemble pergo flooring.

Benefits of Cork Flooring

Cork is a great insulating material. It keeps your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The energy efficiency aids in cutting energy bills in the winter. It is much more energy efficient than either Armstrong laminate flooring or discount wood flooring. Cork is also good for sound insulation. It helps cut down noise from another room, or another floor.

This material is softer on your feet than ceramic tile, bellawood or any other wood or stone flooring material. This is more comfortable in the kitchen, when you may spend a lot of time on your feet. In addition, if you drop a dish, it won’t break as easily as it would on a tile or stone floor. Another benefit, cork is naturally fire retardant.

Cork is also good for the environment. It is made from the bark of the cork oak tree. These trees grow primarily in Spain and Portugal. The trees are not cut down. The bark is stripped away, without killing the tree. It immediately begins to grow back and can be peeled again about every nine years. This flooring does not contribute to deforestation, which is considered a big problem on our planet today.

Installing Cork Flooring

Installation is done by either nailing or gluing down the material. It can be installed over wood or concrete. It’s important to be sure the subfloor is completely dry. Applying a sealer before installing the floor helps prepare the surface and controls moisture. Peel and stick cork tiles are also available for easy installation.

Spread the adhesive on the subfloor with a paint roller. Once the tiles are laid, you will hardly see the seams. A razor knife can be used to cut tiles to fit around corners or angles in the room. Once the tiles are laid, you will need to roll the floor with a 100 pound floor roller. These can be rented from most places where other tools are rented. A clear urethane can be applied over the floor for added protection.

Cork is fairly easy to clean and maintain. Sweep with a broom to remove debris. You can mop the floor with a damp mop as needed. The finish may begin to wear off after several years. Floor sanders can be used to sand the floor lightly. Reapply a coat of urethane after sanding to protect the floor. You can apply several coats, sanding lightly between each coat, for added protection. Several coats of clear urethane will make the floor more water resistant.

About The Author
Clinton Maxwell is author and designer of a website with resources. The writer is specializing in tips on cork flooring ( )


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Solar Lights for Walkways - Cut Costs

Over the last fifteen years, solar energy has become a highly flexible power source. One of the best ways to use it and cut costs is go with solar lighting for your walkways.

A common misconception among many people is that solar energy requires large, bulky panels to work. While this is true if you want to produce large amounts of electricity for a structure, it leaves out a large segment of cheaper solar users.

The solar industry has made major advancements in creating one piece solar platforms that are cheap and can be used for practical purposes. Using solar lights for pathways around your home is one area.

Solar lighting is now the choice for gardens, landscaping and lighting paths. Lighting products typically come in sets of two to six self-contained lights. Each light typically is comprised of a metal or plastic stem with a lighting mechanism on the top. The lighting mechanism uses LED technology and is powered by a small solar panel built into the top of the piece. The lights can be purchased with or without backup batteries depending on your needs.

Once you’ve selected your solar lighting pieces, you simply map out where you want to add lighting in your landscaping. Next, you put the solar lights in place by sticking them in the ground to a point where they are snug and will not blow over in the wind. Congratulations! You now have lighting for your pathways that isn’t adding to your utility bill.

Your lights will charge during the day and light up in the evening. Depending on the particular brand, the lights may stay on throughout the night. Alternatively, certain brands will run for 8 hours or so, which means they go dark around midnight or one in the morning.

Maintaining your solar lights is very simple. You really don’t have to do anything. If the lights start to dim or go out earlier than usual, they are not broken. Typically, the problem is you have dirty solar panels. Clean them off with water or follow the manufacturer direction. Once clean, the lights should work perfectly.

Using the sun to power your outdoor lighting needs is a great way to highlight your home and save money on energy costs. Keep them clean and the lights will last for years.

About The Author
Rick Chapo is with – a directory of solar energy and solar power companies. Visit to read more solar electricity articles.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Right Stuff for Your Home Office

Are you trying to run your own business out of your home or are you a government or company employee who has the option to work from home? Working at home has many benefits, including more time spent with family and no money spent on office rental. Maybe you’re one of the many people who have embraced the idea of becoming an Internet entrepreneur. Yes, it’s time to set up a home office — in a manner that is conducive and productive for you to work in, with a minimum of noise and distraction.

Finding a space for your home office will depend on the type of work you want to accomplish. If you need to be on the phone during the day (in your time zone), you can set up a computer desk with file storage in the living or dining room, which are usually quiet during the day. If you need more work surfaces — like getting those items you sold on EBay wrapped for shipment — you’ll be more comfortable in the den or basement. Working in the evenings while the family watches TV in the living room? Set up a desk in your bedroom so you can work quietly.

Once you have chosen the best area, consider putting up wall shelves to save space on your flat desk surface. Also think about using a laptop or one of the new "miniature" computers with a thin flat screen monitor. More space can be created by attaching the house phone to the wall or using your computer to make phone calls, eliminating the need for a phone on your desk.

Plan your home office carefully. The right equipment and office furniture will save you time, effort, and money, not to mention back or wrist pain. According to a recent survey, nearly 75% of home business owners didn’t have a designated room for their home office with the right office furniture.

The most important choices concern the computer desk, an office chair, storage and lighting.

A computer desk is the keystone of your home office. Nowadays, new computer desks come with many space-saving features and enough built-in storage to transform a small space in your apartment or house into a convenient and productive office space. A corner computer desk can be easily accommodated in almost any room. The style of desk you choose depends on the type of work you do. If you have to work with papers, the right computer desk will give you enough room for your computer and keyboard as well as sufficient flat surface for paperwork. For additional flat surfaces, consider adding an extra wing or curve to your desk. If you often use books, binders or thick heavy manuals, you may choose a computer desk with a hutch for shelving or closed cabinet space for easy access to printed materials and office supplies without losing any of the valuable flat surfaces.

The right office chair does more than give you a way to sit at the computer. It can also save your back, neck, and shoulders, and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by putting you at the right height relative to your keyboard and monitor. If clients will be coming to your home, make sure you have comfortable seating for them as well.

Where are you going to keep your files, office supplies and/or product inventory? Storage space is vital if you want to keep your work surfaces neat and clean. From a file drawer in your desk to file cabinets, shelving units, bookcases, and storage cabinets and lockers, the available configurations mean there’s something that will work for you. And it’s so much easier to think when you don’t have to take boxes off your computer before sitting down to work. (You might also think about going ‘paperless’ on your bills and paying them over the computer.)

Also, remember to have proper lighting, both in daytime and at night. Don’t place a desk so that direct sunlight hits your computer monitor — you won’t be able to see! And have a good bright lamp on or near the desk to avoid eye strain.

To give your home office a professional appearance, get creative. Paint the wall a peaceful color, decorate with artwork or framed photos, and add a touch of green with potted plants or a sunny touch with bright flowers. A small effort will reward you with an enhanced image when a client steps into your home office. The Right Stuff for your home office means you’ll be happier and more productive there, too.

About The Author

Parvati Markus
Please find the original article and more information about this subject at

When Parvati Markus is not writing helpful and insightful articles like the one you just read from, she works with The Kabbalah Centre and freelances on non-fiction books and articles. As a recent arrival in L.A., Parvati is completing her “residency requirement” by writing a screenplay.

If you would like to publish this article on your own site, please feel free to do so. Please let us know the url of the posted article by emailing the url to All we ask is that you include the whole article, without changes, including the link to the original article location, author information, this disclaimer and the following link.

Find great home furniture online at

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Hot New Towel Warmers

The origins of cast iron water heated towel warmers referred to as radiators, dates back to the 1920’s, but were quickly phased out during the Depression era and when the economy eventually picked up never made a strong comeback until recently. When the mid 90’s approached, homeowners began incorporating new technologically advanced towel warmers into their bathroom remodeling projects due to the warm luxurious nature both electric and water heated towels rails bring about in today’s bathrooms. The feeling of wrapping yourself in a warm toasty towel after stepping out of a bath or shower provides a soothing sensation rather than a cold damp just used towel.

With the reintroduction of the heated towel warmer spawned a vast selection of styles and finishes not only for the bathroom, but are now being installed in bedrooms, mudrooms and basements for added heat and as a way to reduce moisture and mildew. Hydronic heated towel warmer models use hot water from either your domestic hot water heater or hydronic system which requires the use of a circulating pump in order to warm the towel rails. Electric self-contained rail warmers are oil filled, once plugged it the oil begins heating and since they have low wattage heating elements they are a safe and economical way of bringing warmth to any room. The beauty of these paneled radiators whether electric or hydronic are great for those chilling winter months for warming blankets and drying wet winter clothing.

Fashionable Heated Towel Rails

The combination of design and practically are both appealing with a wide variety to choose from that take up little floor and wall space making it easy to custom coordinate the sleek look of these towel heaters in to any bathroom décor. Contemporary column designs to the traditional radiator styles have been ingeniously recreated to look more like a fashion piece of furniture adding to ambiance of your bathroom. The craftsmanship and design of the heaters allows pipes, radiator valves and fitting to be concealed for a clean uncluttered look as are electrical towel rails equipped with only a plug. The innovational architecture from spiral, curved or ladder types, the towel warmers are available in a number of dimensional sizes, colors and rail designs with chrome finishes leading the way for an aesthetically pleasing display.

With plenty of heating power, the decorative railed towel warmers are a possible alternative for warming any room in your home. Along with a multitude of styles and designs comes the offering of power, the BTU’s, British Thermal Unit, and power wattage are far more efficient and economical than typical base board heaters making them a hot ticket item for both bathroom manufacturers and retailers.

About The Author
Shelley Murphy of brings with her over 10 years of Search Engine Optimization and e-marketing strategies to web based businesses. Holding two BA’s in English and Journalism Communications her writing skills have been a great asset for both onsite writing and monthly newsletters publications.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Luxury Bathroom Suites


Remodeling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing your dream of having a luxury bathroom. If you have a weekend and the know-how, changing the look of your bathroom without breaking the bank can be seamlessly achieved. The money saved in not having to hire a contractor will free up funds to spend on other bathroom additions such as replacing the bathroom suite. The rich confluence of newly painted walls, some updated bathroom accessories and a new bathroom suite can all be attained by anyone working with moderate finances.

The main ingredient in transforming the bathroom and bringing character into the space is the installation of a new bathroom suite. Homeowners choosing to upscale their bathrooms now have a broader selection of bathroom suites to choose from featuring contemporary and traditional designs. Modern bathroom suites have a minimalist look with clean chic lines, while traditional bathroom suites carry a European flavor with all the influence of Victorian times. With some imagination, a creative design, you can give your bathroom a crisp clean inviting look.

Shopping for a bathroom suite

Shopping around for a bathroom suite that accommodates your budget and taste is an essential element in creating a balanced look. Contemporary infused with traditional styles can bring back old-world charm; pedestal basins fashioned with decorative basin mixers taps provides a look of antiquity, while deep-set corner baths add panache for that modern look. One primary reason for the correlation of the two styles is to allow for bold hues and textures to be incorporated into the bathroom in the form of tiles, paint and wallpaper, but also the fusion of the two bathroom styles won’t date itself in a year’s time.

Finding a bathroom suite to suit your taste

Partnering historic classics with modern amenities such as a claw-foot roll top bath embellished with a Victorian hand-held bath and shower mixer, brings in all the characteristics of the bygone eras and evokes a vintage disposition within the bathroom. Modern frameless backlit bathroom mirrors and wall-mounted towel heaters, produce an elegant and airy atmosphere providing both practical functionality and lasting beauty. Creating a blissful retreat begins with choosing a bathroom suite that is practical and efficient. Most bathrooms are shared between family members, therefore the design of your bathroom must address the requirements without forsaking comfort. Bathroom suites are mainly comprised of the basin, cistern and bath. In selecting your bathroom suite, the bath requires the most attention since space and usage are the primary factors. Superdeep acrylic baths provide ample bathing space for all family members and withstand time. Whether your design goal is for a simple and unencumbered look or the brilliant balance of contemporary and traditions styles, bathrooms should compliment your lifestyle, it is where you begin and end your day, so take the time to shop and compare to ensure all your expectations are met.

Written by Shelley Murphy on behalf of an online retailer of bathroom furniture, steam showers, shower enclosures, whirlpool spa baths and bath related products serving the United Kingdom.

About The Author
Shelley Murphy brings with her over 10 years of Search Engine Optimization and e-marketing strategies to web based businesses. Holding two BA’s in English and Journalism Communications her writing skills have been a great asset for both onsite writing and monthly newsletters publications.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Decorating your Workplace with Tropical Office Furniture

If you love the tang of salt in the air, the soft whisper of nearby waves, and the crunch of sand between your toes, what better way could there be to create a workspace that you truly enjoy using than by decorating with tropical office furniture. Tropical surroundings inspire creativity and create a relaxed and productive atmosphere for your home office or place of business. Innovative pieces of office furniture “tropical” - such as lovely computer armoires and printer cabinets - give your workplace an elegant look with the practical benefit of helping you to keep organized. Here is a guide to choosing Hawaiian computer armoires, Bali file cabinets, and other types of office furniture, tropical style.

Materials Used in Office Furniture - Tropical Vegetation and Construction Techniques

Three terms used to describe materials that are commonly found in office furniture “tropical” style are wicker, rattan, and bamboo. Wicker actually refers to a kind of furniture building technique where strands of grasses or vines are woven together. This technique creates durable and lightweight computer armoires and other office furniture that is also environmentally friendly. Rattan is a tropical tree that grows around other trees in a jungle. Bamboo, on the other hand, is a kind of thick-skinned grass with a hollow center.

Both rattan and bamboo can be used for the structural elements of office furniture “tropical” style, whereas rattan is generally used for wicker style construction. Wicker is commonly used as decoration on the sides of tropical style computer armoires, the sides of writing desks, or the padded backs of chairs.

Selecting High Quality Office Furniture, Tropical Style

When selecting tropical computer armoires and other office furniture, tropical realities are very important. The hollow nature of bamboo means that high-quality bamboo furniture is usually wrapped to prevent splitting over time. Rattan also tends to be more flexible and durable, meaning that it is more commonly used in today's office furniture. Tropical rattan may have knobby joints, and is often wrapped for a smooth appearance.

The thickness of the individual strands of rattan will influence both the price and quality of your office furniture. Tropical rattan has an ideal diameter of about one and a half inches. High-quality rattan computer armoires and other office furniture should have a smooth and even finish, free of blotches and spotting. The most secure method of securing rattan used in tropical office furniture is glue, followed by screws. Staples and nails tend to come loose over time.

By understanding the materials used in computer armoires and other office furniture, tropical style, you should be well equipped to add the flair of the islands to your own workplace.

About The Author
Lee Rubenstein, owner of the #1 ranked Tropical Furniture website, will help you surround yourself with a tropical setting at your workplace. To view these tropical office furniture pieces please visit


Friday, April 20, 2007

Advantages Of Metal Railings

Metal Railing – Convenience And Durability

The article gives the advantage of metal railing over the other materials and the different types of metals in which the railings can be made. Metal railings have inherent advantages over other materials like PVC, wood glass etc. The advantages can be enumerated as follows.

Small and lightweight sections can be made to suit purpose.

No rot or splintering like wood railings

Designs can be personalized with relative ease.

Can be made from casting or flat product to suit your style and budget

They are more durable than the wood or PVC even in out door conditions

Once given a coat of powder-coated paint, it becomes long lasting and life in excess of 25 to 30 years can be achieved.

Requires no maintenance other than wiping off with a wet cloth

The Metals in Common Use In Railings

Many metals are used in making railings. The common materials used are,

Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is the most commonly use material in railing. This is because of its large weight to strength ratio and the ability to retail luster for long time with no maintenance and also due the fact that it does not corrode. The workability of stainless steel is high and it can pass through power presses without damage. It gives a modern look to the building

Wrought iron: Another common material used in railing is wrought iron. This material gives a period look to the building. The weight of the railings made out of wrought iron is high. The maintenance requirements are almost nil. A coat of paint applied properly, will make look as new and no further care other than cleaning is required. If there is a breakage, it is difficult to weld and has to be replaces. The replacement may not be available in the same design

Aluminum: Lightweight and durable, aluminum is suitable for straight lines and square shapes. The workability of aluminum is low and where lines are curved, aluminum is generally not preferred. Maintenance requirements are the same as stainless steel and aluminum has a long life

Brass used to be a favored material for the rich and famous in the medieval times. This material has lost its place in the railing industry and now it is rarely used except as a covering for railing. The covering is maintenance prone in the sense that it requires to be polished frequently to make it look new.

Therefore, out of the four materials mentioned above, only stainless steel finds extensive use in modern buildings.

About The Author
Adam Peters is a freelance author who contributes adding interesting articles to a deck and porch railings website. Adam publishes ideas for railing plans and designs at Reach more articles on modern metal railing designs at


Thursday, April 19, 2007


A glow stick is a sheer plastic tube that produces a brilliant light. A glowstick is also known as glow tube or light stick or glow light stick.

A glow stick is typically a plastic cylindrical rod about four or five inches (10 to 13 cm) long and less than an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. The transparent stick contains two chemical fluids in two different compartments. The outer compartment of the tube carries one chemical fluid and the inner compartment carries the other. The inner compartment is brittle either made of glass or brittle plastic.

The inner brittle part breaks on bending the glowstick and helps inter mingling the two chemical fluids. A fierce chemical reaction takes place emitting bright light but not necessarily heat.

The glowsticks are used in the military, recreational driving at night, marching bands at night, entertainment parties, raves, concerts, dance clubs, Halloween eves etc. The glowsticking is the use of glowsticks in dance.


The phenomenon of the chemical reaction in the glow sticks is known as “chemiluminescence”. The chemicals used to create the reaction in glow sticks are usually hydrogen peroxide and a mixture of phenyl oxalate ester and the fluorescent dye. The fluorescent dye gives the glow stick its color.

The outer compartment of the tube contains a mixture of the dye and a derivate of phenyl oxalate ester (cyalume) and the inner brittle part contains concentrated hydrogen peroxide.

A ferocious reaction takes place on mixing the peroxide with the phenyl oxalate ester. The ester is oxidized, giving out 2 molecules of phenol and 1 molecule of peroxyacid ester. The peroxyacid decomposes spontaneously to carbon dioxide, releasing energy that excites the dye that then de-excites by releasing a photon. The wavelength of the photon depends on the structure of the dye.

Different dyes can be used to produce different color lights. The 9,10-bis (phenylethynyl) anthracene gives green light, 9,10-diphenylanthracene emits blue light, 5,6,11,12-tetraphenylnaphthacene emit red light. The glowsticks dyes usually emit fluorescent light when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Therefore even a spent glowstick shines under a black light.

The other chemicals used in glow sticks may include sodium salicylate as a catalyst, bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DCHP) as a solvent, bis (phenyl) oxalate, bis (2,4,5-trichlorophenyl-6-carbopentoxyphenyl) oxalate (CPPO).

The chemical reaction gets accelerated on heating a glow stick and the glowstick glows brighter, but for a shorter span. The cooling on the contrary decelerates the reaction that helps a sick glow longer, but dimmer.

About The Author
Gagandeep Dhaliwal owns the website, a comprehensive guide on glow sticks, offering volumes of info and tips on buying glow stick, cheap glow stick, rave glow stick, giant glow sticks, military glow sticks etc. For more info on glowsticks, visit,


Monday, April 09, 2007

Home Decor Store Online

With rising incomes and more and more people investing in property, it becomes quite evident that the purchasing power and standard of living of the people is also increasing. Thus, they are readily investing in doing up their homes and personal spaces so as to reflect their personality and style. Thus, what could be better than to gift your loved ones something that could enhance the beauty and charm of their home interiors. Home decoration items have always been a large part of the gifting industry, and it continues to be on the rise.

At you will find a huge collection of amazing home decoration items to gift to your loved ones. These are offered under different theme based categories:

Ocean Décor: Offers a range of interesting creations of nature, displayed in contrasting backgrounds, to beautify any empty wall of a room. These are available in different sizes to suit your requirement.

Decorative Tiles: These colorful tiles with beautiful designs form a perfect gift during any celebration. These are available as stand alone pieces or come with a hook attached to hang them on the wall.

Bronze Décor: Includes a variety of decorative items such as Bronze Wall Sconce, Wall Plaques, Wall Mirrors, Mirror Frames, Wall Shelf, Ashtrays, etc., made in cold bronze. They carry elegant and charming designs of figurines such as fairy, lady, peacock, etc.

Other home décor store items which see an upward trend as being preferred choice for gifting someone include incense burners, lamps, incense holders, trinket boxes, collectable figurines, to name a few. These too are available at Prezents' online store. Although there are a number of other websites and online stores offering a huge variety of home décor gifts, what makes Prezents stand out is its high quality products and uncompromised customer service; and all this is available at a very affordable cost! Also, since the products are categorized into different theme based categories, it makes it easier to select your preferred item without wasting much time.

About The Author
Nick Foster
I write articles for regarding Gifts shoppnig, Home decor., etc. For further details please visit the site.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

5 Places to Find Quality Framed Art Work Cheap

Everyone wants to have nice looking framed art work on their walls to keep there home from feeling lifeless and cold. The problem is to have a piece of art or a poster framed at the local framing shop could cost you more then the art itself costs, I know. I took 8 pieces of art to my local framer and after selecting all the matting and framing the guy said:

“That will be $3500 please”

“You’ve got to be kidding, I only paid $100 for the 8 pieces your framing” I responded.

“No sir I'm not kidding, framing is expensive” he replied.

Well I picked up my art and left his store, there’s no way I could afford that much. On my way home I started to think about how expensive it was to frame these 8 cheap art prints and posters. That’s when I decided to look around at what other alternatives I had and came up with my list of 5 places to find good art cheap, here they are:

- Consignment Stores: In most cities there is a consignment shop that handles furniture, art work, and household items. These shops can be a great place to find older framed art for your walls at very reasonable prices.

- Estate Sales: What can I say other than watch your local newspaper and go to the estate sales. There can be great art to be had at these, after all someone live in the house and they had art work. Also remember to get to the sale early for a number to get in so you can get the good stuff.

- Starving Artist Sales: You can find these sales in most cities as well. You will typically hear ads on the TV or Radio for these sales, you know the ones they advertise something like “No Painting over 59 dollars”.

- Auctions: I love going to auctions and have found some great pieces of art at them. But one word of caution, know what you’re biding on and don’t get caught up in the bidding frenzy or you will pay too much.

- Internet Sites: This is where I buy most of my framed art work from these days. At sites like you can get any print, poster, limited edition framed and matted at a very reasonable price. I prefer this method because they have great framing and matting wizards that help you pick just what you want.

In the end if you use 1 or all 5 of these resources you will be able to bring life to your home with great art work for a fraction of the cost of custom framing. I have and I know you will too.

About The Author
Charles Welf is a contributing writer to the site For more information on framed art work for your walls please visit


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Creative Curtains and Window Coverings

One of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform the look of a room is to change the curtains and window coverings. Instead of using the same old curtain rod and drapes, try putting your imagination to work to see what you can come up after being inspired by the following ideas for curtains and window coverings.

One of the most popular ways of making your own window coverings is to buy a designer curtain rod and pinch clips. These pinch clips grip the edge of the fabric and allow you to hang any kind of material, hemmed or unhemmed from your window. A popular look is to buy wrought iron gothic style rods and clips and attach hemmed or unhemmed sheers or a swath of plain fabric.

This is a very romantic look that can also be achieved by simply attaching long white sheets, which are much cheaper than fabric from a store. You still get that billowy romantic look without the expense. Whether you use sheers or fabric this look is also very much improved by tying ribbons or ties as pullbacks to enhance the appearance of the window coverings.

You can also buy curtains and window coverings that don't require any type of clip that slides along the rod. These curtains, which come in a variety of designs and fabrics, simply boast loops at their edge that allows you to thread the curtain through the rod. It would also be very simple to make your own curtain like this by attaching ribbons or fabric strips with buttons to a length of fabric.

Curtains and window coverings made from specialty papers are also very popular right now. Hand made papers and rice papers make pleasing semi-transparent blinds that compliment many modern decors. These are quite expensive in most stores but it is easier than you think to make your own. All you need to do is find a store that specializes in selling handmade or specialty papers.

Some of these papers are gorgeous and feature details such as glitter, leaves or threads pressed right into mesh of the paper fibers. Once you buy the paper you simply cut it into the right dimensions that will cover your window. You then string the paper on wire and attach the paper with binder clips. Keep in mind that this type of window covering is best for rooms that still need light but need privacy such as a bathroom.

Another way to liven up your décor is to hang hand painted Venetian window blinds. These types of window coverings can be very expensive but you can achieve a similar look by creating a collage or painting your own. The best way to do this is simply take a stencil and spray-paint one solid design on the Venetian blinds. A stencil and a can of spray-paint can also be used to personalize simple roll down blinds with your favorite symbol as well

Always remember that your curtains and window coverings define the style of your room. The more elements that are added to your installation, such as pleats, swags, valences and jabots, the more formal your room will look. The fewer elements included in the overall design of your window treatment the more simple or rustic the total effect of your curtains and window coverings will be.

About The Author
Rene Knops helps you get a clear view for choosing beautiful window blinds, curtains or window coverings at lowest prices. for free info visit:


Friday, April 06, 2007

Essential Bedding Terminology – Educate Yourself When Shopping For Your New Bedding

You may be searching for Bedding for your home, or plan to in the future. When shopping for bedding you may come across different terms for parts of the bed, mattress sheets or other aspect of the sleep set that you may be unfamiliar with. This article is designed to educate you in Essential Bedding Terminology so that when you look for bedding you can make an educated and informed purchase. These terms are not all encompassing but should cover the most common expressions you will come across.

While most of us are familiar with the most common elements of bedding ensembles there are other terms to consider.

Bedding- used to describe an entire ensemble including sheets, pillows, comforters and accessories.

Canopy- a fabric that is suspended above the bed often using posts.

Coverlet- a general term describing a bed covering, includes, comforter, duvets, quilts, bedspread and blanket.

Duvet- used to describe a warm and comfortable coverlet that is filled with down feathers.

Matelassé- a fabric which has quilt like indentations.

Quilt- a coverlet which is made from pieces of fabric sewn together with decorative cross-stitching.

Synthetic- artificially created material that is not found in nature.

Thread Count- the number of horizontal and vertical threads per square inch.

Before you start looking for your bedding set you may be looking for the physical sleep set. A sleep set includes the mattress, box spring, headboard, footboard and foundation. Here are some terms that you will frequently come across when shopping for a new sleep set.

Bed frame- a frame that maintains the position of the foundation, headboard and footboard

Box springs- a common term used to describe a foundation which has springs inside a wooden frame.

Coil configuration- the pattern of the spring arrangements in a mattress.

Feather bed- a soft think mattress top layer that is filled with down or feathers.

Futon- a thin mattress that is placed on a movable frame that can be converted from couch to bed.

Filling- the term used to describe the material that occupies the mattress, pillow or comforter. This can make a great difference in the quality and comfort of the item.

Firmness- the amount of resistance that a mattress has relating to body weight. Determines the amount of give the mattress will have.

House Brand- A retailer’s custom brand which only they offer.

Mattress- the actual sleep surface of the bed.

Ticking- the fabric which surrounds the layers of the mattress on the outside.

Shopping for bedding can be, believe it or not, a fun experience. Especially when you know what you are looking for. Remember that when you are looking for your new bedding ensemble or sleep set that not everyone offers the same quality products. The decisions you make on bedding will affect your comfort for years to come. Educating yourself a little before hand and researching your options will help you make a better decision that will ultimately improve your comfort. In addition to researching the different types of bedding you should also check out who you are buying it from. You can save yourself a lot of time and money by going with the right retailer.

About The Author
Written by Jared More for Please visit our website for more detailed information as well as sales and purchasing of bedding ensembles and more! Whether you prefer a fanciful, fun, elegant, or subdued look, you will always find the perfect Thomasville bedding ensemble at Please call us toll free at 877-862-1270 and a member of our experienced staff can help you select the perfect pattern today!


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Shower Stalls - Bring a Touch Of Style To Your Bathroom!

Bathroom shower stalls come in all kinds of stylish designs to suit bathrooms of all sizes and themes. If you're thinking of revamping your bathroom, installing a shower stall could be a great way to give the whole room a sleek and modern new image, whilst at the same time offering a practical function. With the busy lifestyles we all lead these days, taking a quick shower rather than waiting for the bathtub to fill is a popular option. Even in smaller bathrooms it's often possible to find the space for a corner shower stall.

Modern shower stalls are made from attractive and durable materials, such as fiberglass, acrylic or tempered glass. Not only does a shower stall look great and bring a touch of luxury to a bathroom, it's designed to provide many years of use. Shower stalls are made to be low maintenance and easy to clean. If you have a particular look in mind you might want to look into getting a custom made stall. For instance, you could choose between clear, colored, molded or etched glass, depending on what would fit in best with your bathroom's new look.

When looking at shower stalls, think about the layout of your bathroom and take accurate measurements to help you choose the best design. Consider whether you want to fit a curtain or a door across the entrance. Fabric shower curtains are inexpensive to buy and are a good way to add a splash of color to your décor. Alternatively, frameless shower doors offer a more permanent solution. If you've got the space, a folding door can look very elegant, although sliding doors make better use of a small space. Whatever look you have in mind for your bathroom's makeover, the choice of shower stalls available on the internet offers something to fit in with any theme and budget!

About The Author
Caroline Smith is a successful author and regular contributor to - an online resource packed with tips on choosing shower stalls, bathroom cabinets, bathroom vanities and more.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

How Sound Insulations Work

Sound insulations are insulating materials that work to reduce the noise that enters a room from outside the home or from other rooms. These materials can be installed during construction, or later as a home improvement project. Products that are blown, such as foams, are easier to install in existing homes.

You can repair insufficiently insulated areas yourself, or hire a professional to do the job for you. Installing most of these materials is a fairly easy DIY project for the skilled homeowner. Some home improvement stores offer weekend workshops to show you how.

How Sound Insulations Work

Sound is transmitted when vibrations move through the air, floors, ceilings and walls. The sound waves move from one room to the other, or from the outside of the home to inside. This includes traffic noise or the sound of noisy neighbors. Insulation is a good sound absorber and is effective at minimizing the noises entering a room.

Soundproofing consists of using a barrier of some sort to prevent sound from entering the space that has been sound proofed. There are two basic ways to achieve this reduction in sound: noise absorption and noise reduction.

Approaches to Sound Insulations

There are a few approaches to noise level reduction or noise absorption. A variety of materials can be used for either purpose. Noise reduction can be accomplished with the use of space between rooms. The more space, the more room for sound waves to dissipate. If you increase the distance between the source of the noise and the space, you will reduce the noise that enters the space.

The other method, noise absorption, is also referred to as dampening. With this method, the sound waves are converted to heat within the insulation. This increases energy efficiency, while reducing sound. It also suppresses the echoes and reverberation of sound waves.

Materials for Sound Insulations

Rock Wool Insulation is made of all natural materials, such as diabase or basalt. It is used for insulating the home and absorbing sound. There are other benefits to this type of insulation. It is fire resistant and helps control condensation. In addition, it is resistant to the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.

Mineral Wool Insulation is available in either batts or loose fill. The material is stiff and brittle. Mineral wool is not only sound proof, but is fire resistant as well.

Fiberboard Insulation is installed under the drywall in your home. This material reduces sound waves through the walls and ceilings. It is effective for reducing outdoor noise from entering your room. This material is an excellent choice if you live in a city or for homes located on a busy street.

Acoustical Wall Coverings can be attached directly to the drywall. The best material to use in these wall coverings is polyester. This material is best at absorbing the sound waves that you are trying to eliminate.

Cork Squares look like floor tiles, but are made with cork board. The cork has a self sticking backing that is easy to apply to the wall surface. If you like the look of the cork, you can leave it this way. However, if you want it to match the decoration in your house, you can cover the cork with wallpaper.

About The Author
Clinton Maxwell distributed a lot of articles for the internetsite. The author is publishing about sound insulations ( ) and other areas in this field.


Monday, April 02, 2007

How Creating Curb Appeal Will Help You Selling Your Home

You may not know and realize how important of curb appeal to your home. It is a common sense that if you have an attractive and clean home on the outside, this will make someone want to see the inside. This strategy is very useful when you are attempting to sell you home; great curb appeal is just as important as having a home show beautifully on the inside. If the outside is not clean this can deter a potential purchaser from even booking a showing to see your home, even though the interior could be spectacular.

It is better to get others’ opinions in order to take an objective look at the outside of your property. To enhance the appearance of your home there are a few inexpensive things you can do. The most important consideration is the state of repair of the property. You must repair everything that needs repairing, which includes any cracked windows, broken railings, loose screens, crooked shutters, loose awnings, broken light bulbs, etc.

When finishing with repairing, you then turn to cleaning and unculttering processes. The garage should be cleaned out and items thrown out that have not been used in a year. Remove old tires, paint cans, bicycles, loose shrubs and broken lawn furniture from the yard.

Clear all pathways of any debris. Trim all shrubs and remove dead branches. Clean out the eaves. Don't forget the back yard! A new paint job can add tremendous curb appeal. Paint front doors, garage doors, trim and shutters a contrasting color to the brick and siding for a dramatic effect. Use only one color for uniformity and balance. Too many colors look busy.

Siding can be power washed to refresh the appearance. Flowers and flower pots can add tremendous color to a boring front yard. Place flower pots and large outdoor plants in a variety of colors on the front steps, walkways, or porches. Hang flower pots from the ceilings of verandas or hang on railings. Buy plant hooks and hang flower pots from them, which can be placed on the sides and front walls of your home. Plant a few flower beds with some green perennial plants for contrast. This is fairly inexpensive, but can add a lot of appeal to your yard. There are many books on landscaping at the library that can help you with this. Nurseries can offer helpful suggestions as well.

Spotlights focused on your flower beds can brighten up the yard at night giving it a very homey and welcoming feeling. This is also good for safety. A well lit home is a deterrent for burglars.

Lastly, add a decorative wreath and outdoor floor mat to the front of the door. This just adds the finishing touch and offers a welcoming appearance.

About The Author
Susan Wong maintains many interesting contractor websites, including , , and Please visit her websites and read more useful articles.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Setting A Bedtime Ritual

The informal worry that binds the specific focus is given to habits related to baby sleep. The idea here is evident for new parent who are not habitual with firmly being awoken in the night by a newborn. All newborns have different habits so there is no strict rule for your baby to sleep sound. Despite that, there are some tips, which can serve this purpose to some extent. You need not to be stuck with these tips as your opinion as a parent needs to be superior. You have to work on various tips and find out which works the best for your child.

You should start by setting bedtime practice for your baby, because you’re newborn is used to falling sleep with his mother. That results in the reason that your newborn does not go to sleep in the night. The single thing for a newborn is that if he awakes in the night – he wants his mother beside him and then he cries. As the time passes, and your newborn grows older, this slow transformation will make him learn how to go back to sleep on its own. More to that point he will learn to fall back asleep when he wakes in the night. Your duty as a parent is to fasten up this process of transformation as much as possible. This will give you time to rest in the night and improve your child sleeping habit in the coming future.

You should concentrate on stable bedtime routine for your child to sleep sound on his own. Babies usually do not focus on many things in a day and usually their world is so restricted. If you want your babies to follow the transformation properly as they grow older depends on how things have been put forward in front of them.

Like, if the bedtime routine consists of warm bath, a feeding and changing, and some rocking. If you follow this routine every day then your child will slowly get used to these things during sleep. Then after few days, your child will tend to fall asleep because he knows the daily routine, which he follows. If you will not be consistent, in the routine then you will confuse your child like if one day you do warm bath and not feeding and he will not be sure of what will be the next step and whether he is going to sleep after his bath or read a book.

Spending time with you baby is also a part of bedtime routine. If you do not spend time with your baby, they will start to expand their bedtime procedure to spend more time with you because babies will learn to influence their parents at a very young age.

You should be firm and consistent in every routine you set for your child. To work out his sleeping habits effectively, concentrate on repeating the same routine in the same order every night, rather what you do before bed.

About The Author
Rob Boirun is a contributing writer to a site providing daily helpful life tips.