Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cheap Faux Wood Blinds - An Alternative to Wooden Blinds?

A cheaper alternative to wooden blinds are Faux Wood blinds. They look like wooden blinds but differ from them for obvious reasons. Cheap faux wood blinds are made of vinyl or a combination of wood and vinyl. They are becoming very popular.

These cheap faux wood blinds are nearly fifteen percent cheaper than wooden blinds. Still they provide the look and feel of wooden blinds.

Cheap faux wood blinds have lot of advantages. Some of which are as follows:

* Cheap faux wood blinds provide the look and feel of wooden blinds.

* Cheap faux wood blinds cost less than wooden blinds.

* Cheap faux wood blinds last longer.

* Cheap faux wood blinds do not warp. They do not fade or crack.

* Cheap faux wood blinds do not retain moisture like wooden blinds. They are particularly good in areas where moisture is high.

* Cheap faux wood blinds are very durable.

* Cheap faux wood blinds come in various colors and tones.

* Cheap faux wood blinds also come with motorization and other options.

While cheap faux wood blinds have many advantages there are some disadvantages too.


* Are one and a half to twice heavier than wooden blinds.

* Still do not have as much options to choose from as wooden blinds.

* Require more ladders to maintain rigidity because of their flexible nature.

* Have a tendency to yellow with the passage of time.

* Have size constraints.

* Cannot be stained.

* Lack the appeal of wooden blinds.

* Cheap faux wood blinds have a tendency to sag.

What to avoid in cheap faux wood blinds?

When you are looking for cheap faux wood blinds remember the following tips:

*Avoid very cheap faux wood blinds particularly the foam blinds. These blinds are flimsy, heavy and also require lot of ladders. They require much greater effort to set up.

*Faux wood blinds with fewer ladders look much better. So go for stronger blinds which require fewer strings for support.

*Avoid cheap faux wood blinds with cloth tapes. They obstruct the view.

Which cheap faux wood blinds are the best?

Go for cheap faux wood blinds made of vinyl and wood. They are the best. You have more options choose from. Cheap faux wood blinds made of vinyl and wood are stronger too as compared to other blinds and hence require fewer ladders to set up. They are better insulators. They may cost a little more but they are certainly worth it.

Almost all the leading manufacturers produce cheap faux wood blinds. Their quality is also improving over time and cost is not the only reason for their popularity. Some famous brands are are NuWood by Levolor, Woodwinds 2 by Comfortex, Woodmates and Everwoods by Hunter Douglas and Lake Forest by Graber.

Faux wood blinds are also called alternative woods, polywood and wood-like. Whatever be the name, cheap faux wood blinds are really becoming popular because of their low cost and improving quality.

About The Author
René Knops writes articles on a number of different topics. For more information on Curtains and Window Blinds please visit and for additional articles on window treatment ideas at

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Benefits of a Wool Rug

Wool rugs are very popular for contemporary homes. Should you consider one for your home?

Wool rugs in a modern contemporary home add a warm touch to any room. Many people prefer the look and feel of woven (hand made) or tufted (usually machine made) rugs. Many of the popular styles can be very affordable for low budget redecorating.

So for anyone who is looking to invest in a wool rug, there may be questions about the durability. Is it worth the investment to buy a wool rug?

Wool Rugs – Resilient, Resistant

While wool rugs are popular for many different reasons, one of the most popular reasons is the resistant nature of wool rugs. Wool fibers do not absorb soil very well. This makes the rugs easier to keep clean.

In addition, wool rugs are said to be resistant to fire. The rugs are safe to put in children’s rooms or in high traffic areas of the home. The material is also resistant to static electricity.

Wool also naturally absorbs water from the air. Studies show that the wool fiber may suck up to 30% of it’s own weight in water and it still feels dry to the touch. Wool rugs can actually absorb the water vapor in the air, relieving the humidity in the home.

Wool rugs are also very durable. They can sustain their quality for years, even within the home of an active family.

Easy to Clean Wool Rugs

Above, it was mentioned that wool rugs didn’t absorb dirt. Homeowners really like that the wool fibers are also easy to clean. You can remove most stains with a little warm water and with light blotting. No chemicals would be needed, making it safer for health conscious families.

Upkeep of your wool rug depends on how you look after it once you bring it home. A light vacuuming once a week with slow, even strokes actually helps to improve the quality. A new wool rug may shed a few fibers at first and this is quite natural. With time, the shedding effect will fade and with continued regular vacuuming, your carpet will be better conditioned and have improved quality.

The Amazing Designs of Wool Rugs

Rugs are not only popular for their many benefits, but also for their designs. Now, manufacturers can create popular oriental, Persian and other styles of rugs for any fashionable home. You can get traditional hand made carpets of fine quality, or for something a little more inexpensive, a machine made wool rug is just as beautiful. Many of the hand made rugs come from China, Spain or India. If you are looking for machine made rugs, many rug companies in the USA create these.

If you are looking for a nice contemporary feel to your home, wool rugs make for an elegant and inexpensive option. Finding the right one for your home should be easy, a redecorating store or a specialized wool rug shop would be able to assist you with your needs and also give recommendations on style. Wool rugs are a great investment for your home.

About The Author
Moe Kermani is the owner of Natural Area Rugs a distributor of fine quality, contemporary, area rugs. It is the fastest growing company in the field of distributing natural area rugs. They are dedicated to achieving world class performance through their belief in honesty and integrity in all their dealings with their customers. Their goal is to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction through the quality of their products, their prices, their service and the outstanding value of their products. Natural Area Rugs are located in Beverly Hills, California with warehouse and manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles, California. For more information visit

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

DIY Ladder Safety Tips

In 2004 The United States department of Labor reported that the number of injuries and fatalities from falls from roofs and ladders had increased. This report focused on occupational injuries that generally occur among trained personnel, which speaks to an even greater safety concern over DIY projects utilizing ladders.

Most accidents occur from incorrect use of the ladder or materials. Before you begin a project make sure that you have gone through safety preparations and are familiar with the tools to be used. As in most DIY projects, the best safety precaution is to think out your task thoroughly before beginning. You should have confidence in both yours and your equipment’s ability to complete the project.

Getting Started:

Once you have decided that you need to use a ladder to complete your project, make sure that you have the right type of ladder. There are many types of ladders all with their own advantages and disadvantages, which may include weight and height limits. If you are not sure that your ladder is the best fit for the job, make sure to consult a professional.

Some general things to look for in a ladder are:

How strong is it?
How tall is it?
Is it made primarily for indoor or outdoor use?
What material is it made out of (certain materials can have unique weaknesses or safety concerns)?
Does it have any cracks?
Does it have a coating such as paint that could cover defects?
Are the rungs secured?
Are the footpads secure and dry?

Diving into your Project:

While you may be eager to get started on your project, please take the time to ensure that your ladder is set-up correctly and that you know how to use it safely.

1. Make sure your ladder is steady. Place the ladder on a surface that is strong and level; also make sure that the ladder is not on top of any slippery materials.

2. If using a stepladder, make sure that the spreader arms are in the locked, open position.

3. If you are using a straight or extension ladder, make sure the ladder is resting at the correct angle to the wall or structure it is leaning on. The angle is normally 75-80 degrees. Or for every 4 ft high the ladder is on the wall, make the base 1 ft away from the bottom of the wall.

4. If using a straight or extension ladder, make sure that the top of the ladder is resting against a straight and solid surface.

5. Make sure that you have at least three points of contact with the ladder when working, such as two feet and one hand.

6. Wear flat shows or boots with grip when working on a ladder

7. Do not carry heavy items while climbing the ladder, use some type of hoist or pulley system to retrieve the items instead

8. Don’t work on a ladder in strong wind

9. Don’t allow children near the ladder

10. Never stand on the top two rungs of the ladder

11. Stay centered and facing the ladder when climbing or working

These ten tips will help keep you safe, however they are not all-inclusive. If you have any questions about your ladder or safety concerns about your project, make sure to consult an expert.

About The Author
Amanda Miller is a home repair and interior design expert. She has reviewed numerous home improvement tools such as little giant ladder systems.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Fireplace Design - A Real Burning Issue

Mantlepiece and grate styles have altered but the basic structural elements of a fireplace have not radically changed for hundreds of years. The early combination of a large stone or brick opening with a chimney built over it evolved from the obvious fact that smoke rises, rather than from a scientific understanding of how a well-designed flue system works. Consequently early wood and later coal-burning fires were very inefficient and it was not until a certain Benjamin Thompson (also known as Count Rumford) produced his thesis on the principles of fireplace design in 1799 that smaller grates and improvements in the internal shape of the openings were introduced.

A brick or stone enclosure forms the basis of the fireplace. Variously known as the fireplace opening or recess or builders opening, it may be set flush with the wall or built out into the room, forming a chimney breast. This chimney breast rises through the height of the house, emerging through the roof to form a chimney stack. At the top of the opening the gather and flue combine to carry the smoke up the chimney. If the chimney is shared by several fireplaces on different floors, it may contain more than one flue.

The masonry over the fireplace opening is supported by a lintel or a brick arch. Old inglenook fireplaces used massive oak beams, whereas a strong iron strap usually supports an early brick arch. Later fireplaces may have a straight arch supported by angle iron, and by the twentieth century cast concrete lintels were the norm.

A hearth, constructed from non-combustible materials such as stone or tile-faced concrete, projects out into the room to protect the floor from falling ashes. In most old houses the hearth was set flush with the floor, although sometimes a superimposed one was used to raise the level. The space within the fireplace opening, known as the back hearth, is usually level with the hearth itself. A dog grate for burning wood or coal can be placed on this back hearth. However, by the mid-nineteenth century the mass produced cast-iron register grate which filled the opening, had become the fashion.

To complete the assembly, a mantelpiece or mantel – or fireplace surround, as it is often called today – is fitted to frame the grate or fireplace opening. The mantel may be constructed from stone, slate, marble, wood or cast iron. The walls around it may be finished with wood paneling, or more commonly with plaster, and in some cases the mantel extends upwards to form an impressive chimneypiece. Mirrored overmantels were introduced in the late eighteenth century, and these became the classic feature of Victorian sitting rooms.

Within this fireplace an open fire burning wood or coal is a cheerful sight, but if it is your only source of heat, as it was for centuries, this romantic image can soon fade especially if the fire does not burn properly. Getting a fire started and keeping it alight then becomes a challenge, if not a chore. For wood and coal fires to burn well a good supply of air is needed under the grate, as well as a means of escape for the hot gases and smoke. With the fuel safely contained within the fireplace opening on a grate, free circulation of air is possible and waste ash can fall through the grate so the fire is not stifled. If the chimney is inadequate or the flow of air is restricted the fire will not function effectively.

About The Author
Richard Banks is a contractor with many years experience in home remodelling and improvements. For more information on fireplaces visit

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Marketing through Seminars and Presentations for Big Results

Many of my clients are turning to speaking at chambers and other networking organizations to generate business. This is a wonderful method of building credibility and gaining free advertising, especially when you are in a creative business that often needs examples and samples to get people to hire you.

Seminars are a great way for potential clients to "test drive" your services with out fully hiring you. Often, once a potential client sees you during a seminar, they are so impressed and convinced that you are the perfect person to hire, they can't wait to hand you a check.

• Wedding Planners could do seminars for couples or brides on how to plan the perfect wedding.

• Interior decorators could present a program on window treatments and decorating accessories.

• Artists can do programs on painting murals in theme rooms for children.

• Web designers could promote a seminar on creating websites that turning visitors into customers.

• Graphic artists could present on branding for businesses.

Sadly, however, having a great topic and getting lots of people to your program isn't enough and many people don't utilize this golden opportunity well enough to actually turn attendees into clients.

Here are several ways to increase your attendee to client ratio after your next speaking engagement.


• Find out ahead of time how the organization plans to market the program and get involved with the marketing.

• Offer to write articles for their website or newsletter.

• Write a program description filled with BENEFITS of what the attendee will get by attending the program.

• Send a notice to your contact list inviting them to the program.

• Add information about the program to your website.

• Use this as an opportunity to invite potential clients as your personal guest to see you in action.

• Encourage the organization to mail at least one printed item about the program to its membership, in addition to their on line marketing efforts.


There is a big difference between delivering an infomercial and subtlety marketing from the platform. Be sure not to blatantly deliver a sales pitch during your program. You still need to provide VALUE to the attendees.

Be sure your contact information - including website and phone number - is on every handout and every piece of information given to attendees.

During seminar, give examples by telling stories of other projects you've done. Of course, you don't have to disclose sensitive details about your clients, but real life examples not only help the audience to learn, but it helps them understand the types of products and/or services you offer.


•Encourage the organization to do a post program mailing - even if it is via email - with an article written by you that helps tie your seminar up and gives additional VALUE to attendees.

•Mention during the program that you are willing to send attendees information on a specific portion of the program if they give you their card. Tell them to write YES on the back if they want the additional information and to be added to your mailing list. •Tell them to write YES/NO if they want the info, but don't want to be added to your mailing list.

•Send the promised information within 48 hours of the program.

•Call any attendee who requested information or spoke with you after the program who seems like a potential client and invite them out for coffee to learn more about their business.

By putting more thought and effort into these no-fee speaking gigs, you will maximize the number of attendees you turn into clients and help make these engagements more profitable. Now get out there and make some money!

About The Author
Kirstin Carey is the author of "Starving Artist No More: Hearty Business Strategies for Creative Folks". Kirstin knows that most creative professionals hate sales, contracts and discussing money. She consults creative folks on the business side of creativity so they make more money, attract better clients, and love what they do. Get proven strategies and insider secrets to help creative types like you get the business help you need at

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Having Natural Stone Installed In Your Property – The Pitfalls

This last year has seen a large increase in the number of people having natural stone, marble, granite, limestone, sandstone or slate fitted into their homes either as work surfaces or as flooring. No man made product can rival the beauty of well presented natural stone with its myriad of colours and patterns which are unique to your individual stone.

With this increased interest in returning to natural stone products has come an avalanche of products to clean, shine and seal the stones. Importers, tile retailers, builders and chemical firms have all jumped on the band wagon and see big profits in natural stone. Unfortunately it would seem that very few of these companies have any understanding of the products they are selling or fitting or advising customers to purchase.

In the past most of our work was concerned with restoring old marble, granite or limestone but increasingly we are getting called out to deal with brand new tiles which have developed problems.

Some of these problems are;

· Tiles being laid so that there is significant lippage between them

· Grouting gaps being too large

· Tiles smeared with grout after sealing

· Incorrect sealant being used

· Acrylic sealants being applied

· Polish or wax being applied to the surface

· Marble and limestone being used in kitchens

· Slate being used in showers

· Not sealing the stone

· Applying a seal and then assuming that it is now protected from all possible sources of damage

· Discolouring of the tiles because sealant is left on the surface

· Use of acidic cleaners in the builders clean

· Poor or non existent care and maintenance programmes provided to the client

How do you ensure you are not left with a big bill after the builders have moved out?

· Buy your tiles from a supplier that provides good advice and has an installation service,

· Research the topic prior to purchase so that you can ask pertinent questions. If you get suspect or glib answers walk away and shop elsewhere

· Do not simply go for the cheapest, they may prove to more expensive in the long run

· If possible retain some of the money until the job is completed to your satisfaction. That way if there is a problem you can insist on it being rectified.

Your biggest protection is to get acquainted with the properties of natural stone and its care and maintenance before setting out to purchase your preferred stone type. You can do this by carrying out the appropriate search on the Web.

About The Author
David Andrew Smith is the owner of, a cleaning services company which specialises in the care and maintenance of natural stone and operate throughout the UK.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How To Buy A Loft Bed (Bunk Bed)

Individuals of all ages choose to invest in a loft bed or bunk bed for their home. This classic childhood sleeper is quickly becoming a fun, inventive way for ‘tweens, teens, college students, and young adult hipsters to maximize their space without having to roll out a sleeping bag every night. When it comes time to shop for furniture, look to stores that specialize in bunk beds or loft beds.

First things first, there is a major difference between bunk beds and loft beds. Bunk beds are the most common form of alternative bedding, with an upper bunk stacked above a lower bunk. Some bunk beds stack two same-sized mattresses horizontally, while others stack a twin bed above a full size bed or even a futon that can serve as a larger sleeping or living area. Finally, other bunk beds create a playhouse type environment, with a top bunk running horizontally overtop of a vertically running bottom bunk. Some of these alternative bunk beds include stair steps and even slides, allowing the beds perfect for younger individuals.

Loft beds feature elevated platforms for sleeping, leaving much needed floor space below to place a desk, couch, or entertainment center to provide extra space for living. Generally associated with cramped dorm rooms, loft beds are becoming increasingly popular with teenagers who feel cramped in smaller rooms and want to expand their livable space. Also, young adults are also elect to choose loft beds in first apartments that may have less than desirable sleeping quarters. Think of loft beds like the new, hipper version of the classic Murphy bed.

When shopping for a bunk bed or loft bed, first consider the person that will be sleeping in the bed. For children, consider safety above all other aspects of the bed. Teenagers or young adults may want to focus on the size or the style of the bed more so than safety worries. When dealing with children, be sure that the child is ready to upgrade to a “grown up” bed before making the move. Children should be at least 35 inches long or two years of age before he or she should be moved to a bunk bed. Also, ground rules should be made regarding the proper conduct involving the bunk bed, since most injuries occur due to roughhousing or horseplay.

Regardless of your age, you should ensure the bunk bed or loft bed you choose has two sets of guardrails and a sturdy ladder that can support your weight. The guard rails are critical, even though your bed may reside next to a wall. More so with children, but occasional with teens or adults, bunk beds or loft beds without a guardrail next to the wall can cause the sleeper to slip between the bed and the wall during their sleep. Also, a guardrail on the other side of the bed is critical, since anyone can fall out of a bed while asleep.

For children, the guard rail should be no more than three and a half inches above the mattress. If the guard rail is too far away from the mattress, the occupant can slip between the mattress and the rail, resulting in a fall. Also, the guard rail should run at least five inches above the mattress to prevent the occupant from rolling over top of the rail.

Keep in mind there are a variety of bunk beds and loft beds on the market. Younger kids may enjoy the activity themed bunk beds, while teens may desire a bed that incorporates a loft instead of a bottom bunk. Also, the size of the room is directly associated with size of the bunk bed or loft bed. Although having a double or queen size bed may be luxurious in comparison to a tiny twin, but carefully think of the available space before choosing.

About The Author
Mike Barus specializes in loft beds/bunk beds find out more at

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Improve Your Yard and Garden with an ATV Plow

Like many parents, I’ve always had trouble getting my adolescent son to do work around the house. I’m really big on my yard and all the outdoor work that comes with it. I do a lot of gardening, a lot of shoveling, and even more trimming and loading. For years, it was nearly impossible to get my son to help with any of this, and I finally stopped asking for any assistance at all.

A couple years ago, the family up and moved to Colorado. And not just any part of Colorado … the Rocky Mountains. We found a nice house with a great yard in a small community called Evergreen, about 25 miles west of Denver in the foothills of the Rockies. To our surprise, the house came with a little bonus: A big wooden shed on the property containing an old ATV and a bunch of accessories to go along with it.

After arriving in late November, we found ourselves settled right in time for the winter’s first big snowstorm. And boy, did it ever come down. After three days of constant blizzard conditions and over five total feet of snow, we found ourselves trapped behind 200 yards of snow-packed driveway. The thought of attempting to shovel that huge area was overwhelming, until I recalled seeing a snow plow fitting for the old ATV in the shed. Hoping this might do the trick, I tracked out to the shed to see if I could put it together.

With a couple calls to the manufacturer of the ATV (Kawasaki), and the manufacturer of the snow plow (WARN), I was set up and ready to go. Curiously, I only made it to the edge of the garage before my teenage son was running at me with wide eyes and a never-before-seen look of interest in household chores. Amazingly, the kid begged me to shovel the driveway, a task he had always faked a cold to get out of.

In just two hours, the ATV had plowed the entire 200 yards of driveway, and my son ran in as excited as if he had just spent the time on his snowboard. For the remainder of the winter season, his eyes lit up each and every time the snow fell, and we never spent more than a couple hours snowed in. During those great hours, my wife and I would simply warm up a pot of hot cocoa and watch the amazing transformation taking place from the warmth of the house.

When spring came around and it was time to get started on my tree trimming and garden duties, I found a similar interest in these outdoor chores. I would trim the branches, and my son would load them into the ATV plow and transport them to the edge of the property. He then spent a week straight digging up dirt and proportioning areas of land for my grand gardening plans. In a fraction of the time it had taken in previous years, I had a great garden, thanks mostly to the help of my son and his new favorite toy.

In the past two years, I haven’t shoveled a bit of snow in the winter. For the past two summers, I haven’t put a bit of work into my garden. Yet I still have the best looking yard and garden on the block, and my son did it all with an old ATV and utility plow. And anytime the neighbors come to ask me how I got my son to be so helpful around the yard, I simply point at that old ATV and say “Get one of those and you’ll see for yourself.”

About The Author
Ryan Heath is the owner of 4 Wheel Online and one of the greatest gardens in Colorado. Unfortunately, his doctor has recommended cutting down on the hot cocoa in the winter due to rising cholesterol levels. If you would like help in purchasing an ATV plow to help in your household chores, feel free to call him toll free at 1-800-811-0335, or visit the website at

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Which Bathroom Vanity Is For You?

Planning on remodeling your bathroom? You’ll find out very quickly that one of your major decisions is the selection of a new vanity base and vanity top. Let’s see what the choices are and which one is right for you.

There are two basic types of vanities, built-in and freestanding. Built-in is exactly what the name implies, a vanity base and solid countertop that installs against the wall and is designed to look like part of the structure.

For those who lean toward modern décor, or are remodeling the bathroom in a contemporary home, loft, high-rise condominium or upscale townhouse, a free-standing vanity will definitely appeal to your creativity due to a more unique range of available designs. These vanities also enhance the visual space of smaller bathrooms and powder rooms found in today’s new construction.

Built-In Vanities – The Traditional Experience

The built-in vanity is a two stage process. First you choose the vanity base. Walk into any home remodeling center and you will find rows of stock vanity bases ready to take home, bolt against the wall, drop a vanity top in place and you’re done. There are variations in style, including length, height, number and placement of doors and drawers, but that’s about it. If you have an older, traditional home, this style is most likely your best choice.

Now that you have your vanity base selected, there’s still something missing…the vanity top. Most of the time the vanity top will be made from cultured marble, ceramic or granite, and usually the sink (or basin or vessel, depending on the manufacturer’s description) will be an integral part of the top, forming a one-piece unit that will not leak. In some cases, a vanity top will have a cut-out (or cut-outs in the case of a double vanity) to allow the basin (or basins) to drop in.

Whatever type of vanity top you choose from one of the big box suppliers, the tops that you can take with you are fairly limited and conventional in appearance and configuration. However, those retailers always have a wide selection of vanity tops from various manufacturers that can be custom ordered. Prices are reasonable and you can choose from a wide variety of sink shapes and placement in the top. If you’re re-doing an older house or simply prefer a traditional built-in vanity, this is an excellent way to add a little ‘pop’ to your bathroom while maintaining a traditional appearance.

Another thing to consider, if you’re planning on doing it yourself, is the relative difficulty of connecting the supply lines and drain. When it comes to modern sink and faucet installation, it has gotten simpler for do it yourselfers to make the necessary conections. The problem lies in access to the connecting points. With built-in vanity bases, as well as some of the fine furniture versions and the occasional free-standing ones, you’re going to wind up with your head stuck in a cabinet, trying to thread a nut in a hard to reach area.

Much of the problem with access to these built-ins comes from their name. You cannot move the base or countertop to get to the water lines. Depending on the exact set-up of your bathroom lines, it may not be that much of a problem but other times a complete re-reroute of the water supply line will be necessary to avoid a structural element of the cabinet. In a worst-case scenario, you could end up adding a number of very colorful epithets to your vocabulary as you pull the entire unit out for a mid-project supply line revision. As they say in the army, however, proper planning prevents poor performance.

Freestanding Vanities – From Contemporary to Eclectic

Free-standing vanity bases allow you to be a little more adventurous in design. Unlike built-in vanity bases, they typically come complete with the vanity top. Because of this you get to evaluate the whole look before making a commitment to a particular style. Some free-standing bases look like fine furniture and use tops similar to the built-ins like granite or glass. The holes for the vessel and faucet are pre-drilled and ready for installation.

These vessel bowls are contemporary, artistic and sometimes exotic. They range all the way from tempered glass to antique hammered copper, cultured stone, real stone, and stainless steel. Some of them are designed to mount on top of the flat counter while others sit inside the vanity top with only a few inches of the vessel above the counter surface. In either case many leave exposed the supply lines and drain. If you enjoy being on the cutting edge, these types of vessels or sinks are made to order for you.

Also available are tops integrated with sinks as one piece, usually in interesting ceramic shapes or glass. Other vanities are a flat surface where you can use some of the avant-garde sinks (vessels) by mounting them on top of the solid stone or glass vanity top.

You can find everything from chrome pedestals that stand on the floor to cantilevered wall mounts that support the basin in mid-air. Prefer fine cabinetry? Common wood choices range from wenge (usually painted ultra dark brown, almost black) to oak. Exotic hardwoods become available from time to time such as sapele or zelkova. These rich grains are highly prized by custom furniture makers. It’s even possible to find a free-standing vanity that looks and functions exactly like an antique chest of drawers.

Freestanding vanities eliminate the installation problems mentioned above because the open designs are easily accessible. The drain hardware is also designed to stay out in the open. P-trap drains, in particular, are very modern in design so you don’t mind them being in plain view.

Odds and Ends – Build it Yourself

There is a third vanity alternative that deserves a brief mention. Namely, custom building a vanity base from scratch. This option provides the ultimate in flexibility (and is sometimes your only choice if you have an oddly shaped space) by allowing you to build from any kind of exotic hardwood. Think long and hard before taking this route, however, because it often takes an experienced woodworker with an ability to visualize in three-dimensions to make such a project successful.


An old adage in woodworking says to measure twice and cut once. When choosing a new vanity, take the time to browse the home remodeling stores to see the common offerings and search the internet if you are looking for something more expressive In other words, research much, choose once. Do that and you will wind up with a new bathroom to be proud of.

Steven Pollack is the owner of Bath Plus, an importer of exotic hardwood contemporary vanities. This line can be found at

About The Author
Steven Pollack is the owner of Bath Plus, an importer of exotic hardwood contemporary vanities. This line can be found at

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Unique Design Rainbow Shower Filter

With each passing time and year a significant change and improvements has been witnessed in the shower filters as majority of the populace have installed the best shower filter in town. American market is said to be flooded with the shower filter producing companies but its rainbow shower filter which is selling like the hot cakes in the market. In the shower filter category its rainbow shower filter which is very popular and also widely used shower filter. According to the experts, shower is the best and trusted way to reduce your tensions and worries and that too a great extent. In fact, many doctors advice depression patients to go in for shower as much as they can as this makes them feel relax. By seeing this amazing theory majority of the population has started installing shower filters in their bathrooms so that whenever they want they can go in for shower.

Rainbow shower filter is the most advanced and powerful shower filter which not only cleans the water but also eliminates the bad whiff. It is equipped with the carbon filters which blocks the way of chlorine so that you can enjoy the safe and clean bath. It has been seen that chlorine is the root cause for many water borne diseases such as skin cancer, rashes, eye problems and many lung diseases. This is when rainbow shower filter show its prominence and importance. It is also said that they have captured the market to a very great extent and in no time have become the uncrowned king of shower filter making company. Despite being so advantageous and powerful still they are available on the very competitive price which makes contributes to its growing popularity.

Rainbow shower filter usually comes with inbuilt sensors which informs you in advance when the actual time to change the cartridge is. Rainbow shower filter’s cartridge normally works for 9 to 12 months that too depending upon the water quality and the usage. Their designs resemble its name as they come in various designs, colors and patterns matching your bathroom’s ambience. Many people just install them to enhance their bathroom’s beauty and looks. It won’t be wrong to say that rainbow shower filter is the beauty with power where power means strength to clean the water so, that one can enjoy the clean and safe shower.

So, powerful, advanced and attractive are the best adjectives which describe the rainbow shower filter and are the best deal to go in. Installing rainbow shower filter will seal the safety and cleanliness of the water.

Website URL:

About The Author
Vivek Sharma is an experienced content writer with fair of knowledge of writing trend prevailing in the market and also capable of writing articles on various topics. For more information contact him at:

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Friday, September 14, 2007

The Magic Of Merino Wool Blankets

If you've ever wondered why people's eyes light up when the name Merino is spoken, then you'll want to check out this info to get the scoop on their famous blankets!

You might have thought that wool meant a heavy, cumbersome, musty olive drab green blanket. Those days were over since Merino came on the scene.

Merino blankets are created exclusively from wool obtained from white sheep that were originally grown raised around Merino Spain.

Today, Merino wool is taken from sheep and lambs in Australia and New Zealand as well. The heavy fleece shorn from these lambs is of exceptional quality and very, very soft.

The long natural fibers allow products created from this wool to be lightweight while providing extremely good insulating properties...some say possibly the best insulation possible in a woolen blanket.

Anything created with these extra long fibers are incredibly durable and will look great after years of use. It'll be resistant to flame, doesn't wrinkle easily and resists dirt naturally.

What more could you ask for in blankets for your home?

The finest quality wool in the world, the yarn used to create a genuine Merino blanket will be 100% from Merino sheep.

If the label indicates the product is lamb's wool, the wool will be even softer and more luxurious. You'll find many blankets created in solid colors to highlight the lush appearance of these particular wools.

How about sage, linen, scarlet, peach or navy for a few of your choices!

The term "hand" refers to how a fabric feels when placed in the human hand. The hand of the fabrics created from Merino wool is especially soft and silky. These bedding products feel so very luxurious, you'll want nothing else!

Let's look at a few of the most popular types of blankets created from this very special world famous wool.

Faribault Mills offers a really nifty, creative blanket created for the couple that never can agree on temperature. Their Dual-Weight Merino Wool Blanket is woven so that one side of the fabric is twice as insulating as the other side. It has a lightweight thermal weave, the breathable blanket allows the cool-natured partner to sleep on the heavier, warmer side while the other partner can enjoy the lightweight, less insulating portion.

These oversized blankets are available in king and queen size and are crafted in the United States from the finest Merino yarns. Edges are whip-stitched for elegance and the blankets are machine washable.

Eldridge Textile's Victory Merino Wool Blanket is made in Italy from the finest Australian wools. The yarn is left with a slight nap to increase thermal heat retention. The wide jacquard border on all four sides of this blanket provides for long wear and tear and come in some intensely gorgeous colors also!

One favorite I wanted to mention is made by Campagnia Lane Preziose. They provides several exceptional choices in Merino products. Like their silk and lambswool blanket, which has silk borders on all four sides. Sweet!

It's available in a color called stone, which is almost pure white. While this one costs a bit more because of the silk embellishment, the classic, elegant look makes it worth the price if you're looking for a perfect compliment to the bed or even the sofa.

You'll also find summer- weight woolen blankets and even baby blankets in a gorgeous pallet of colors that'll just thrill you!

Sure, you'll find lots of wool blankets that are less expensive than Merino.

But if you're looking for the exceptional softness and heirloom quality that come with such a blanket, then you'll be warmly surprised at all of the selections available when you shop online.

You've got the world at your fingertips!

About The Author
Patricia Bowlin makes it easy to create a bedroom with flair! Find countless Free tips, ideas and information here on choosing all of your bedding by visiting now

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Indoor Fountains: Enhance your Interior Décor with Wall Fountains!

With the ability to purchase a pre-designed fountain for the interior that mimic commercial copper, tempered and glass wall fountains, you can benefit from the tranquility of water flow in a work of art!

Interior decorators may choose to have a specially designed, custom-built wall fountain: something unique. And a company called Bluworld Innovations can create one. However, with many do-it-yourself homeowners and business owners, a more affordable option is to take a look at what pre-designed interior (exterior, too) fountains are available.

If you’re interested in a fountain piece that hangs like a painting or tapestry, wall fountains are worth checking out. Made with a variety of materials such as slate, copper, glass, pebbles and river rock, wall fountains blend naturally, enhancing the Feng Shui as well the décor in a room. see:

For contemporary spaces, where fussy works of art or decorative objects are excluded and more simple and linear choices favored, these types of hanging fountains are perfect. Prices range from around $200 for a small vertical fountain to around $3,000 for large double and triple panels.

For a slightly different look, consider hanging an art wall fountain (literally). Produced by Harvey Gallery, waterfalls overlay actual oil paintings. With works that look like Picasso, Renoir and Monet, fountain pieces entitled: Koi, Vineyard, and San Francisco Nights, encompass bold and exciting painting design, as well as color. The flow of water combined with some of the fountains optional lighting (tiny holes of light within to create the feel of stars and such) creates something special.

And finally, waterwall fountains and windows, made with tempered glass. These waterfall fountains offer a distinct and elegant feel, combining an artistic contemporarily shaped water feature with natural deep-etched art images on glass.

About The Author
Nicole Martins is a contributing author to Best in Garden Fountains, which provides information and reviews of popular indoor and outdoor fountains. You can visit this site at:

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blob Bean Bag Chairs - UK Beanbag Furniture Guide

Selecting a bean bag chair for a friend, family or yourself is a fun experience with a huge selection of fabrics, colors and styles to suit any home or lifestyle. Beanbag chairs are great as a gift for someone that is pregnant or has back pain. The soft and gentle shape of beanbags allows comfort as it moulds to the person’s shape when they sit down.

There are many safety issues to consider when buying a beanbag and whether it is water and/or sun resistant. When you have purchased a good quality beanbag chair by checking out the quality. If you take care of you bean bag it will take care of you for many years to come.

When you are selecting a style you need to consider the recipient of this gift. Are they children, elderly, pregnant, middle aged? Where will this beanbag spend most of its time? Will it sit by the pool, in a bedroom or in a lounge? Children are more suited to stronger fabrics and darker colors, as they are likely to spill something and be rough with it. If the recipient is a fan of a local football team then a bright green to suit the team’s colors is a great idea. There are many sizes available for a small to larger person and a style that can seat up to 2 people. An elderly person may prefer a softer bean bag with warmer colors to suit their home and lifestyle.

With such an array of colors available you can choose a bean bag to match any personality. Bright and bold colors are great for a modern apartment whereas soft, warmer colors are ideal for a small, distinguished home. Bean bags are a great way to spruce up any home. They are great for clubs, bars and really give the room a touch of sophistication without spending over the budget. Originally popular in the 70’s, the beanbag is back in style and funkier than ever. They are incredibly comfortable and once you have obtained the correct ‘groove’ you will be set. A great price of furniture as the beads mould to your back and support you where you need it most. If is always ideal to overfill your bean bag with beans so there is plenty of support and over time the beans may become crushed together.

Cleaning a bean bag chair is a breeze due to it’s durable outside layer that lets you gently remove stains. When bean chairs are used frequently they will need to be wiped occasionally with a soft cloth dipped in warm water. You can remove the covers for easy clean in the washing machine. There is a liner available that will keep the beans in when you remove the outside layer. This liner may be harder to wash and require the beans transferred. The most durable fabrics are the PVC or Vinyl and can be simply wiped clean.

When you have purchased you new beanbag chair cover, now you will need to fill it. This can be done with polystyrene beans. Close all windows and doors when you are pouring the beans into the bag as they are light and may escape. It is best to fill 15cm above the widest point on the bag to ensure you have enough beans to support you when you are seated. The beans are small expanded, polystyrene pieces. Fire retardant beans are great if you can find them and you should always keep then bean bag away from heaters and fireplaces for your own safety.

About The Author
Claire Calkin has been working around, with and on bean bag chairs for several years and runs several websites on this furniture.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

The Joys of Satellite Television

Satellite television is no longer the television of the future, it is one of the fastest growing forms of television viewing today. Satellite television has come a long way from the days where viewers struggled with large, clunky dishes on the sides of their house. Now, thanks to technological advancement, companies have successfully shrunken those bulky devices down to a compact satellite dish which has more quality and affordability than it's predecessor.

Today, Satellite TV offers an impressive amount of choices for the avid television fanatic. From newly released movies to your favorite sports game, satellite television has the capabilities to take you where you want to go and farther.

What makes Satellite TV so different than basic cable? Just one viewing experience would reveal a sharper picture quality and much larger selection of channels along with helpful customer service and reasonable prices.

When shopping for the best satellite TV retailers, be wary of scammer's advertising "Free Satellite Television" promising the best deals, installation, subscriptions and many more unbelievable promotions. If a website offers you a deal which seems too good to be true. Most likely, it is.

In order to insure a legitimate company, go with a satellite TV provider with a positive and well-known reputation.

Shopping online for satellite TV usually proves advantageous to customers through free gifts and exclusive promotions offered only online. Go ahead, take advantage of the offers and convenience of ordering online. Just remember to take caution as with any other online purchase. Here are a few tips to discern a great provider from a scammer:

1. The longer the satellite TV provider has been in business, the better.

2. Check to see if the web page is security enabled.

3. Beware of hidden fees.

4. Guarantees are always a plus.

5. Customer service is readily available and easily accessible.

About The Author
Briana Liebmann is an original content writer for which features original articles on a variety of topics.
To see the original article, go to


Saturday, September 08, 2007

How to Clean and Care for Leather Furniture

Cleaning Leather

New leather hides are supple yet firm, stuffed with oils and moderately acidic. The goal in caring for leather is to keep it that way, even through years of use.

According to most leather experts, the best way to accomplish that is to treat it similar to our skin: keep it clean and moisturize it.

Leather should be cleaned regularly by working up a lather with a mild soap and as little water as possible. The best soap will be non-alkaline, with a low pH. Some better cleaners contain glycerine, an ingredient which attracts moisture from the air and helps keep the leather softer.

When cleaning, should work up a lather with a sponge and rinse often. They should change the water often to avoid putting dirt back into the leather.

Use a soft toothbrush to reach into stitching, tooling and other crevices. Strong cleaners and detergents should not be used on leather, except to spot-clean bad stains before going over the entire leather surface using your mild leather cleaner.

After the leather is clean, you should wipe away all soap with a clean, damp sponge, especially in and around small crevices and stitching. Allow the leather to dry naturally, never in direct sunlight.

Conditioning Leather after the leather is clean and dry

Leather should be moisturized to replenish any oils which were lost over time or removed during the cleaning process. The leather should also be conditioned between regular cleaning, depending upon the building’s interior climate and the degree of wear the surface receives.

In general, leather conditioning products are best when they are light, spread easily, absorb into the surface, will not rub off on clothing, will not permanently darken the leather’s color and are similar to the oils used by curriers to manufacture the leather.

To condition leather, you should carefully spread a thin coating of the conditioning product over the entire surface. Use a clean, dry sponge, and not the same sponges that were just used for cleaning and removing dirt and soap.

Again, the leather should be allowed to dry naturally. If time permits, it may be lightly buffed afterwards to a nice matte finish.

Some problems:

Dirt and moisture create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and mold that eat away at the stitching that holds a leather surface together

About The Author
Rodel Garcia is a housekeeper @ BC Children's and Women's Hospital. Webmaster and owner of this website: Carpet Cleaning Tips. For more tips on carpet, carpet cleaning and house cleaning please visit my blog: Carpet Cleaning and House Cleaning Tips.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

How To Clean A Cuckoo Clock

When it comes time to clean your cuckoo clock, it is essential that you take the proper steps to ensure any potential damage to the timepiece. Clocks that are cleaned by improper methods can cause these items to shift, break, or become damaged so that the clock will fail to keep the proper time or stop working completely. If you are concerned about the status of your clock, consider taking it to a professional clockmaker or a jeweler who specializes in clocks for a cleaning or repairs so you can be certain your clock will last to cuckoo again.

When it comes time to clean you cuckoo clock, consider the clock itself is two actual pieces. The first piece of the clock is the case. Typically made of solid hardwoods, the case of your clock should be properly maintained to keep the beauty of the wood. Additionally, most cuckoo clocks are decorated with heavy carvings or wooden figurines, so you should take great care in cleaning the more decorative clocks due to the fragility of these items. Finally, clocks that have painted details or decorations should be carefully cleaned, since some cleansing agents can remove or damage the wood’s finish or the paint itself. Turn to products that will gently remove and dirt, grime, and build up accumulated over the years of display or storage. For general cleaning, avoid using furniture polishes or waxes that can add to your problem. Instead, consider dry dusting or use products made with natural oils like lemon oil or orange oil to keep the wood properly nourished to prevent cracking.

The main workings of the clock are held within the case. These workings are often tiny and intricate, proving to be easily lost or damaged, so take the cleaning process with the utmost care. Before you begin the cleaning process, assemble the necessary cleaning tools. Often, the best tool you can use to cleaning clocks or any other items with small working parts is a simple Q-tip and soapy water. Take care not to soak the clock or any materials with water or any other liquid. Also, use a gentle touch to swab the piece instead of scrubbing the items. Although dirt or grime can stop a clock from running, the workings of a clock do not need to be scrubbed clean in order to work. Unless you have experience working with clocks, it is strongly suggested that you leave the heavy cleanings to the professionals.

A cuckoo clock is a great piece to add character and beauty to any home. Having a clock in clean and working condition is essential for any owner of a cuckoo clock, especially if you are looking to keep the clock as an heirloom piece for future generations.

About The Author
John Marcus specializes in clocks, find out more at


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Photographs Everywhere, But Is It Really Art?

I once heard a lady say to a photographer that she would have bought his work if it had been a painting. She liked the image, but for whatever reason didn't consider the medium suitable for her "it's just a photo".

I am sure that some share her thoughts, whilst others would be quite happy either way, but a growing number of people do recognise photography as an Art form. And collect it.

"There are three fundamental components of what we call art. First, is the artist; second, is the medium; and third is the artwork. All three, clearly are interrelated.' --- Tad Beckman ---

Defining Photographic Art

It is true many people do regard photography as merely a reproductive medium, and the photographer as simply the technician. And if this were just about your holiday snaps then it would be a valid point.

So let's start with my definition of photographic art. I say my definition because there is no stock answer it means different things to different people.

For me it's about creating a beautiful image that is an interpretation of the scene that I saw in my mind captured on film, rather than just a recording of what is already there.

It's about the photographer being the choreographer of the various components; the composition is critical, as is the lighting, weather conditions and the colours at play.

It's not just about pressing the shutter release, although timing is everything. Patience comes into play too, as you wait for all the components to be perfect all at the same time.

Some things you can control, but the weather well that constantly throws out surprises that can add that hint of drama to a picture or send you home disappointed.

It's these uncertainties that add the challenge, and this results in creativity as you respond to the situation. Other photographers will have their own criteria, but we all are producing very personal pieces of work that we feel passionate about and that are a representation of our interpretation of the world.

A Photograph - More Than Just A Sheet Of Paper With An Image On It?

Oh yes! Typically a photographer will capture an image that pleases their eye. They will create something that is close to their heart, and therefore give a little of themselves in the image.

Effectively they are allowing you to see how they perceive the world to be, one moment at a time. Add into the fact that many photographers print their own work (once they have an order!), and sign it then you could say you are buying a piece of history - or designer art!

In other words you are not buying a mass produced print, and naturally the price reflects this. You are buying into the reputation of that photographer and you will expect to pay more. When someone is starting out and building reputation then you are investing in the potential of that person.

You won't pay as much, but you'll be backing your own instinct and demonstrating your belief in that person's talent. Contemporary photography is affordable art.

Subject Matter - Does It Matter?

Personally I don't believe it does, and I mean this in the sense that people will be drawn to your work because they have seen something of yours and liked your style, and typically that means they like your choice of subject matter too.

My preference is for landscapes and increasingly flowers, whilst other photographers prefer sport, people or a more abstract approach to name but a few.

I think the key to preserving artistic integrity is to shoot for your own personal satisfaction, although naturally as your reputation builds you will develop an understanding of what collectors want, but for me I always have to love the image myself to want to share it with the world. Anything less and it stays in the drawer!

I still experiment, and search for new subject matter, but my photographic style is what it is. It just keeps evolving.

A New Language

Understanding the language of the image is something quite individual to the viewer, it does not explain itself in the same way to each person. It is subjective. And although some may view photography as easy, believing that there own point and shoot cameras can produce similar results to a master photographer are confusing the issue.

After all most of us have made paintings at some time in our lives, and may still own paint brushes, but wouldn't necessarily look at a painting by a master and not consider it to be art would we?

It is the heart and hand of the author behind the brush, camera or pen that executes the creative vision not the tools used.

About The Author
Sue Kennedy, LRPS & LBIPP
Sue Kennedy is an UK based photographer specialising in outdoor photography and works on commission for companies & individuals as well as shooting for picture libraries. To purchase from Sue's current print and card selection visit her Website:

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What Exactly Is Crown Molding?

By definition, a molding is an ornamental piece of wood, metal, or plaster, used to decorate or outline something. It can be used on the interior or exterior of a home. Moldings frame walls, ceilings, windows, and door openings. Examples of moldings used to decorate with are baseboards, crown molding, and chair rails. Today, I want to talk exclusively about crown molding as a decorative architectural choice.

Crown molding, also referred to as crown moulding, or cornice, is probably the most important architectural accent used to detail any interior space. Most interior designers today would agree that every room can be improved with the use of crown molding. Crown molding smoothes the transition from the wall to the ceiling and does a wonderful job of defining the architectural style of a room. The size and style of crown molding used may vary widely, from a simple cove in a farmhouse kitchen to a large built-up cornice in a grand entry.

The initial use of a cornice in building design is anyone's guess. By the time the ancient Greeks had gained power, rules had already been created to define the use and design of crown molding. Originally, it was used as a structural element to help support the weight of the roof. It also served to keep water away from the building, thus protecting the lower walls and the foundation. However, the use of cornice as a decorative element was not considered any less important than it's more utilitarian functions. Most of the ornamental design patterns that you see on today's crown molding originated from the ancient Greeks. Egg and dart, dentil and acanthus leaf are the most obvious examples and these were used extensively in ancient times by both the Greeks and the Romans.

With the rebirth of the arts in the Renaissance period came a renewed interest in classical architecture as well. The rules of the classical orders were applied to the interior decoration of rooms. These were the rules of "3". A column, the basis of classical architecture, is divided into 3 parts: base, shaft and capital. The base and the capital were then further divided into 3 parts and prescribed rules applied to the relationship and the proportion of these divisions as well. The same divisions that apply to a column are also applied to the wall. The wall is divided into the baseboard, the wall and a crown molding. The lower wall can be further divided into the base, dado and chair rail. Finally, the upper wall is divided into the picture molding, frieze and crown molding.

When beginning any decorative project to include several types of molding, it is recommended that you choose the style and size of crown molding first, as it is the most prominently displayed. Then select the rest of the moldings to match. Regarding the proper sizing of the crown molding, advice is abundant and many guidelines have been written. Most often the advice directs you to select the size of the crown molding based on the height of your ceiling. This may be a common approach to this aspect of the design process, though, as larger crown moldings have often been used to impressively decorate rooms of more modest proportions. What IS important is to properly scale the casings and other moldings to the size of the crown molding that you wish to use. When choosing crown molding for your interior, feel free to select the size and style that YOU like. Historically, larger crown moldings were more frequently used than what is recommended today by many interior designers. Change is anticipated as the current architectural renaissance continues and more designers and homeowners endeavor to add warmth to their homes and to personalize their interiors. So have a go at it and don't be intimidated . You are limited only by your imagination.

About The Author
Patricia Tomaskovic is the President of Copyright 2006. Visit us soon and let us help you decorate with style. We look forward to serving you.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Are Robotic Lawn Mowers in Your Future?

Robotic lawn mowers are going to be the next life-style changing appliance in America. Think about it, how many times have you wanted to get away for the weekend or go to some event but yard work kept you tied to the house? I can’t tell you how many golf outings I have missed.

Robotic lawn mowers can mow the yard, go back to the charger, and go back out again on their own without human intervention. This is a large step forward from only two or three years ago.

Residential robotic lawn mowers run on batteries, so they don’t use gas or oil. They are pretty much maintenance free except for the occasional replacement of the blades. They waterproof and they don’t rust.

A perimeter wire, like an invisible dog fence is placed around the yard to define the mowing area. Gardens, flowerbeds and trees can also be easily protected. Running the wire is not difficult, you can DIY or have it professionally installed. The wire can be buried up to 2 inches deep.

The robotic mowers must sense the presence of the wire around them. If the mower should somehow go past the boundary it will immediately shutdown, so you don’t have to worry about it running down the street (unlike your dog).

You can set the time for them to mow. Since they are quiet and don’t need to see the yard, they can be allowed run at night while everyone is in the house or even asleep.

On schedule they will depart from the charger and start to mow. When they run over the wire or into an object they will turn and go another direction. Some mowers use a random pattern while others go back and forth. When the battery gets low they find the perimeter wire and follow it back to the charger. All robotic mowers on the market today do a very good job covering the yard and not leaving uncut patches.

Ensure that the robotic mower you are interested in goes back to the charger on its own the added expense will be worth it. A rain sensor is a must-have as well, some robotic mowers are heavy and can get stuck in soft areas.

Robotic lawn mowers are now useful and practical. They are still an oddity, so if you get one expect the neighbors to come from blocks around to watch it work.

About The Author
Kerry Clabaugh runs, a website dedicated to robotic lawnmowers sales and education. Kerry is also interested in your experiences with robotic lawnmowers. He can be reached toll free (877) 383-6054 or

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Ceiling Medallions, Crown Molding, and Ceiling Domes: 3 Ways to Add Elegance and Beauty to Any Room

I want to draw attention to your ceiling. Take a look at it. What do you see up there? Ceilings are an often neglected area of the room when it comes time to redecorate (or repair). There are so many things that you can do too, that are inexpensive, yet provide the simple elegance that speaks to your style. Choose decorative ceiling medallions, crown molding, ceiling domes, rosettes, or panel molding, just to name a few. Three of my favorite ways to accent a ceiling: ceiling medallions, ceiling domes, and crown molding.

One of the easiest and least time-consuming projects is the installation of a ceiling medallion. Although in the past they were made from plaster, today these decorative ornaments are made of lightweight polyurethane foam. This makes them much easier to handle. Ceiling medallions are used to draw attention to chandeliers and light fixtures, or to enhance crown molding. They can also be combined with a rosette and used to decorate an otherwise plain ceiling. You can use these architectural ornaments as wall decorations. Use several small ones in the hallway. Ceiling medallions are versatile and come in many styles and sizes. They can be painted to match any room. Ceiling medallions are one of the most popular architectural details.

Ceiling domes are similar to ceiling medallions in that they can transform any room into a work of art. However, they are larger and actually recessed into the ceiling, necessitating that they be planned for at the time of construction. Ceiling domes effectively enhance a foyer, dining room, living room, or even the bathroom.

Crown molding, also referred to as crown moulding, or cornice, is probably THE most important architectural element used to define any interior space. Most of today's interior designers agree that every room benefits from the use of crown molding treatment. Crown molding smoothes the transition from wall to ceiling and does much to define the architectural style of a room. The size and style of crown molding used may vary widely, from a simple cove in a farmhouse kitchen to a large built-up cornice in a grand entry.

These are just a few of the architectural designs and accents you can use to enhance the overall experience of all who enter into your home. Just don't forget the ceiling!

About The Author
Patricia Tomaskovic is the President of Copyright2005. Visit us soon and register for the monthly drawing. We look forward to serving you.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Poisons In The Home

As your baby starts to move around the house, it is extremely important that you protect her from the poisons routinely kept in the home. Here are some tips to help keep your child safe.

Go through what you have and throw out what you don’t need

Have an old box of lye around? You’re probably not ever going to use it, and it’s terribly dangerous, so get rid of it. Keep only the products you really use, so that there are fewer things to have to keep locked up.

Keep things locked up

Assemble all your cleaning supplies, and put them in locked cabinets. Don’t assume that putting them in a higher cabinet keeps your child safe. Sometimes babies seem to learn to climb overnight, so simply storing items on a higher shelf might not be enough.

Don’t store poisons in old food containers

Your baby will learn early on to recognize things like a juice container or baby food jar so don’t use empty ones to store hazardous products.

Throw empty containers away outside

Don’t put the empty bleach container in the kitchen trash can – rinse it and take it to the outside trash can immediately.

Check your plants

There are many common houseplants that are poisonous, including philodendron, English ivy, holly, mistletoe, and hyacinths, so it’s best to remove these or keep them well out of reach.

Some things you might not think of as poisonous

Your cosmetics, over the counter medicines, vitamins, and mothballs can all be poisonous, so keep these locked up or out of the way. Get used to reading labels, so that you can keep tabs on new things that come into the house.

If you’ve never had children before, keeping up with products that can be poisonous can be a challenge at first. But, take some time, preferably before the baby is born, to sort through your items and store them properly. Then, be diligent about buying the safest items you can. For instance, non-chlorine bleach is safer than chlorine. And, always look for child-proof caps on products you plan to buy. Learn to substitute. Did you know you can use olive oil to polish furniture and vinegar to clean your hardwood floors? These kinds of substitutions can make your home safer, and give you fewer items to look up. And, finally, don’t forget to post your local poison control phone number right by the phone. It could save your child’s life.

About The Author
Sarah Veda is a 41 year old wife and mother of two boys and one girl. She spent many years as a manager in the corporate world, and gave it up to be a stay at home mom. Go to now and get her incredible baby minicourse – absolutely free.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

How to Select an Installer for Your Solar Panels

With the new rollout of massive federal tax credits, state subsidiary programs and net metering, going solar makes sense. So, how do you pick an installer for your system?

Install My System

As with any major part of your home, installation of a solar platform should be done by a professional. Many of the tax credit and rebate programs require professional installation and failure to do so can lead to the loss of the benefits. In short, there are practical and economic reasons to get it done right.

While a solar platform is necessarily a form of electrical generation, you shouldn’t assume every electrician knows how to install one. In truth, most do not. Instead, you can visit a site like to find businesses in your state, search on the web or simply pull out the phone book. In states such as California, installers are plentiful while other locations may require a bit of hunting.

Once you’ve located potential installers, make sure to ask some questions. Do not pick the lowest price or first one you find. Use your common sense and ask the same questions you would to any contractor installing something on your home.

The first question to ask is whether the installer has, in fact, installed systems before, how often and for how many years? You do not want a neophyte handling your installation. Installation experience is vital because certain elements of solar systems are very unique, particularly if you are tying into a grid system for a utility company. If you are tying in, make sure the installer has experience doing such installations, not just putting up solar panels.

The second question to ask is whether the installing company is licensed. Most solar installers will be required to have an electrician’s license. Contacting the state electrical board to ask about the installer is a wise move. For some state rebates, you may also have to use an installer that has a solar contractor specialty license. Again, the state electrical board should be able to help you out with this.

This may all sound a bit confusing, so let’s turn to the easiest method for finding installers. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer of your system. Many manufacturers have a list of approved installers. If not, they typically can make recommendations regarding various entities that handle the job for you.

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

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