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Monthly Archives: February 2018

Flooring Material

The Wear-Resistant Ceramic Tile

Just like vinyl, ceramic tiles offer a huge selection of sizes, styles and colors. This can be easily blended with other kitchen design elements such as the tile backsplash. A slight downside to this material is that you are bound to feel discomfort on your back and legs as you stand long enough on it.

There are different levels of wear resistance for this flooring material. Kitchens and bathrooms need stronger ceramic, one that will not easily chip or crack. Just like vinyl, ascertain that the subfloor is leveled before you install ceramic tiles.

The cost per square foot is at $7 to $25 depending on the style and thickness of the tile that you choose.

The Biodegradable Linoleum

Available in tiles or sheets, you can use linoleum as a casual flooring material. This is the best option for people who are highly allergic to dust and chemical elements used in the production of flooring products.

Linoleum is made of natural resin and flax. It will never trap bacteria or dust, hence, you can greatly improve the air quality in your home as you use this material.

Linoleum is also low maintenance, mildew-resistant and durable. It may not suit the theme that you have chosen for your home so be sure to shop around before you make a final decision.

The cost for every square foot is at $7 to $13.

The Adaptable Laminate Flooring

Laminate floors offer a huge selection of colors and styles. They can be made to look like stone, wood or ceramic. This material can easily resist scratches, stains, dents, even cigarette burns.

If you want a DIY flooring project for your home, then this is the material to choose. With proper care, laminate flooring can easily last for up to 25 years.

The cost per square foot for this kind of flooring material is at $3 to $11.

The Versatile Engineered Wood

This is the best alternative to laminate and hardwood. This is produced by sticking sheets of wood to form a composite surface. It does not contract or expand even during extreme weather changes.

Engineered wood flooring comes in pre-finished forms. They can be clicked or glued upon installation. A word of caution, though, it can never be sanded more than twice or it will lose its original beauty.

Engineered wood costs $12 to $20 every square foot.

Green Interior Design

There are basic guidelines to follow if you want to set up an ecologically-balanced interior. First, steer clear of paints that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Such chemicals can have long-term negative effects on your family’s health.

Go for organic upholstery. The standard upholstered products in the market these days contain polyurethane foams that are wrapped in dacron. These are man-made materials and are even petroleum-based so they are highly flammable. While they are treated with flame-retardants, they can still be catch fire. Also, they have been known to cause some health issues such as lowered IQ and infertility.

Another green design basic is to choose wood furniture. Find pieces that are made of teak, walnut, maple, oak or any solid wood. These pieces are held together by joinery methods that ensure a stronger bond with less adhesive.

Do not purchase furniture that has particleboard or MDF. These are made from compressed sawdust or shavings bonded by glue, synthetic resins and binders. Adhesives often have formaldehyde that causes nausea, wheezing and serious allergic reactions.

If you have to install rugs in your home, then choose natural fibers like jute, cotton or wool over synthetics. Wool, unlike many of its artificial counterparts, is a natural fire retardant. It also absorbs pollen, dust and moisture so it reduces allergens and humidity on the air.

Synthetic type rugs are often made from polyester, nylon or acetate. Such man-made fibers are also flammable and treated with chemicals that can spike the potency of toxins being releases throughout your home.

One other area that green design focuses on is the conservation of water. Install low-flow showerheads as well a faucet aerators in your bathrooms. It may take a bit longer to finish your bath but this change in your lifestyle guarantees that you are not wasting water as a resource.

There is also the issue of resource management. Eco-friendly interior design is all about using materials that do not deplete quickly. Use a lot of jute, bamboo, coconut, hemp, cork and water hyacinth materials in your home. Yet another strategy is to source your furniture. Look for companies that have committed to sustaining resources. These companies are the ones that are concerned about the impact that a product has on the environment in pollutant terms.

Recycling and upcycling are methods that are heavily used on green designs.

Go Green Offices – Why Not?

When talking about modern office design, it is likely that the discussion centers on trends, colors, furniture choice and the most stylish accent pieces. Businesses, after all, need to exude a professional look. But isn’t it also the duty of businesses to make Mother Earth habitable for many more years?

Going green is now a growing trend among offices. More clients seem to be attracted to businesses that care. Instead of merely thinking about profit, offices now put together an environment that poses the least health hazard.

Take Care of Venetian Blinds

Regular Maintenance is Best

Ideally, you want to regularly clean your Venetian blinds so they require only light cleaning. Weekly wiping and dusting of your blinds will prevent stains and dirt from building up making the job of cleaning much easier. Simply put your blinds in the closed position and wipe them clean. Flip the blinds to the opposite position and wipe again. Using a soft cotton glove, dust-attracting cloth, or even a clothes dryer sheet helps to remove dust more easily. You may even want to spray your blinds with a mild cleaning spray or warm soapy water if you’re cleaning metal or plastic blinds. If you have wooden Venetian blinds, wipe them with a dry glove or cloth to avoid streaking.

When you’re wiping your blinds, start from the center and wipe to the edge on both sides and from the top of your blinds to the bottom. This will help ensure that you remove all dust the first time. Also, if your blinds are more heavily soiled, be sure to change your cloth or gloves regularly to prevent spreading dirt across your blinds.

Vacuum Cleaning

Another method for cleaning Venetian blinds is to vacuum them. Again, regular cleaning is ideal to maintain the quality and condition of your blinds, so you probably want to vacuum them at least a few times a year. Most vacuum cleaners come with a soft brush attachment that can be used for cleaning blinds. If you don’t have this attachment, you should purchase one as other attachments may scratch or chip the slats in your blinds. With the blinds closed, vacuum each of the slats from center to edge and from the top of the blinds to the bottom. You’ll also want to steady the blinds with your free hand. Once you have vacuumed one side of the slats, flip them to the opposite direction and repeat this process.

Deep Cleaning

Even the most assiduous cleaner will likely discover that their blinds need a deeper cleaning at least once a year. For plastic or metal blinds, immerse your blinds in warm water and add a cleaning solution such as dishwashing soap or bleach. Allow the blinds to soak for at least half an hour and then gently wash with a soft cleaning brush. Then just rinse your blinds clean and allow them to dry. For wooden blinds, you should never use bleach or detergent, so it is important to maintain a more regular cleaning schedule.

Dollhouse Decorating

Beware of too many patterns in a small space. Your color choices may result in a friendly palette, but if patterned wallpaper, curtains and rug are too close together, a “busy” look may not be the worst problem. A viewer’s eye can get confused and focus on a minor shade, and you may not be able to figure out why the room just doesn’t look right. Try replacing one of the pattern objects with a solid color.

The perceived color of a surface will vary with the light source illuminating that surface. Incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, even if both are balanced for “daylight,” have different reflective properties, as does the surface. A flat paint absorbs more light than a semi-gloss. If you notice an unwanted bounce from one surface to another, use flat paint.

A warning about white walls and ceilings: pay special attention to how surrounding elements will reflect light and alter the color. For example, red furniture or carpeting might make white walls look pink. This is especially true in a room box, as there is mostly reflected light present.

Blue can give the room a cool feeling; it can also make it look cold. A blue wall will give a cool bluish-white cast to the whole room. A reflected light source can give everything in the bathroom, especially a white ceiling, a bluish cast, destroying the desired contrasts.

Contemporary miniatures can have a problem with the a 60-30-10 rule, where a selection of three different colors should be used in that proportion. The idea is the color of the primary surface, usually the walls, will be the dominate color; large objects like furniture, will be a compatible, or an acceptable contrasting secondary color. Trim and accessories are the third-place color. Interior designers often use dark primary and secondary colors, which can be fine in a real room, but deadly in a room box. If a decorators work is your inspiration for the miniature, choose lighter shades of the same colors or break the 60-30-10 rule.