Category Archives: Home Renovation

Rendering: Everything You Need to Know

This blog post will tell you everything that you need to know about rendering if you’re not sure what it is.

Are Rendering and Plastering the Same Thing?

The short answer? No. They are not at all the same thing.

While they are both processes of covering walls and are both made of the same building materials, this is where the similarity ends. These two practices differ from each other in various ways. The main difference between them is that plastering involves coating the interior walls of a building whereas rendering refers to the coating of exterior walls. Moreover, even if the materials used in both processes include cement, sand, water and lime gypsum, plastering and rendering do not produce equally strong finishes.

1. Rendering

Meant for coating exterior surfaces of buildings, rendering contains a higher percentage of cement within its composition when compared to plastering.

2. Plastering

Since plaster is used to coat the interior walls and ceilings of buildings, its composition is made up of less cement than render. This consistency gives plastering a smooth and flat finish that is ideal for painting or wallpapering.

Why Apply Rendering on Exterior Walls?

Needless to state that no one can go past rendering if they are looking for an attractive, cost-effective exterior finish. However, rendering serves two additional purposes other than only making the outside facade of a building more visually appealing:

Rendering increases the safety of a building by providing both waterproofing and fireproofing efficiencies.

Types of Render Finish?

Before the invention of modern renders, concrete renders used to be widely used.  But with the leaps and bounds made by technology, modern renders are able to compete on almost equal footing as concrete renders.

Since different types of render create different types of finish, it would be ill-advised to make a choice before having looked at all the types that exist on the market. From smooth to textured and patterned, you can find several types of finishes that also come in a wide range of colours.

Below is a list of the most common types of renders:

1.      Lime render

Since lime hardens slowly, it is an easily workable material that is also less brittle and less prone to cracking when compared to concrete renders. Even if there are cracks, these areas can mend over time by absorbing carbon dioxide.

In fact, the process that makes lime hard and waterproof is called carbonation. While it sits on the wall, it continuously absorbs carbon from the atmosphere for several days. With a textured or patterned finish, lime renders are perfect for old homes and old, historic buildings. Because it is so flexible and breathable, it helps to alleviate damp problems that are common in old buildings.

2.      Cement render

Consisting of three main components (lime, sand and cement), cement render is the standard choice for external walls. Not only can this type of render be mixed on-site, but the materials used to make it are quite cheap.

However, this type of render require at least 2 – 3 coats of render and needs frequent repainting for it to look as good as new.

3.      Polymer render

In addition to having cement or lime, this type of render also have polymers and some types of plastics added to it. These polymers are added to help prevent cracking, increase flexibility and/or to provide better waterproofing features.

Polymer renders are generally pre-mixed, hydrophobic, vapour permeable and can resist even high impacts. This would explain why this type of render is gradually gaining in popularity.

4.      Acrylic render

This is a wet, thin-coat render which is often used as a topcoat over existing finishes. It comes in a wide variety of colours and can be purchased ready to use.

Acrylic renders stand out when it comes to colours because it can not only be mixed into any shade but with its ability to bond well to colour pigments, it can give very intense colours that last much longer than other coloured renders.

Advantages of the Most Common Type of Rendering: Concrete

There is a reason why concrete rendering is the most popular out of all the options out there: although usually applied to bricks, it can be applied to just about any masonry surface.

On top of that, it also has several other advantages

  1. By just changing the application technique, several types of finishes can be created. These finishes can range from very smooth to very textured.
  2. Because it is comparatively cheaper than other rendering option, it is possible to apply it to larger areas of wall without breaking the budget.
  3. It can be painted over and at any time once the render has set and dried.
  4. Since any outdoor-rated pain can be used on concrete render, you have a wider range of colour to choose from.

How Can I Keep My Bathroom Clean and Fresh?

Bathrooms smell. All bathrooms smell. It’s usually the room that smells the most in a house. And it’s quite normal considering what everyone does there… As much as we hate talking about it, this is where we go to do our business – which is pretty disgusting and smelly. But again, these are bodily functions and cannot be stopped – it’s totally normal, everyone has to go!

But it is not easy to clean the bathroom on a daily basis. We all have busy schedules, and we can’t spare hours every day to clean the bathroom from top to bottom. We hear you. But it’s also crucial that this high-traffic room stays clean.

So, to help you out, we’ve come up with a few simple ways to keep the bathroom clean for longer, keep the odours at bay and ensure the bathroom smells fresh naturally. Read on find out how to get more mileage out of your efforts:

Step 1: Keep moisture away

The leading factor to pungent smell is bacteria growth. And the best way to have bacteria grow in your bathroom is to let moisture sit in the bathroom for a long time.

Moisture can accumulate in a bathroom after a shower. Notice how condensation covers the tiles, mirrors and bathroom counter after you get out of the shower? This condensation is caused by the steam of your shower. In addition to making the bathroom smell, this moisture can also cause mildew stains to form in your bathroom.

Solution:

Ensure the shower stays dry. There are a few ways of doing that:

  1. You can wipe down the walls, tub, faucets and shower doors with a squeegee once you are done in the shower.
  2. Use bathmats and dry the floor once you step out of the shower.  (Wash those rugs on a regular basis so they do not harbour any smell.)
  3. Crack a window or the door open while showering. This will help dissipate the moisture.

Step 2: Keep plumbing fixtures and faucets clean 

While hard water deposits do not cause any odour, it does not look attractive, makes the bathroom look dirtier than it really is and, worst, impairs the function of your fixtures.

Because of the high moisture rate and water collection in bathrooms, faucets tend to quickly accumulate hard water deposits. No matter how new the faucet is, these deposits will make it look old and dingy.

Solution:

Everyday cleaning won’t cut it when it comes to hard water deposit – You can’t remove buildup with just water. While you still need to clean the faucets and fixtures regularly in a specific way, you don’t need to get any special cleaning products.

To keep them looking nice and working correctly, do the following:

  1. Pour regular white vinegar in a container.
  2. Soak a clean piece of rag in the vinegar.
  3. Carefully drape the rag over the faucet so the rag covers the areas that have hard water deposits.
  4. Wait 30 – 60 minutes before removing the rag.
  5. With the help of a non-scratch sponge scrub vigorously, while focusing on areas with the most buildup.

Step 3: Keep the grout clean

We can all agree that well-installed tiles can make any bathroom look modern and classy. They are also ideal for bathrooms since they are very resistant to moisture. But there is one downside to having tiles installed, and that is Grout.

It is used to keep the tiles together and looks beautiful when fresh. But because it is porous, it absorbs dirt, debris, and liquids easily and is more prone to staining. If it is not cleaned properly, it will become stained and mildewed, and can even crack. Dirty grout can have a certain smell to it and can make your bathroom smell strangely.

Solution:

To maintain grout in the bathroom and extend its life, follow these simple steps:

  1. Use a squeegee to wipe down the tiles on the walls after your shower. It will help remove excess water.
  2. Lightly spray the tiles with a mild shower cleaner.
  3. Every two weeks rub water and baking soda paste on the grout using a grout brush or an old toothbrush.
  4. Rinse with clear water.
  5. Dry using a squeegee.

Step 4: Keep the shower curtain free from buildup

Since shower curtains are in contact with water from the shower on a daily basis, they can develop mildew and odours if not scrubbed regularly. 

Solution:

  1. If you have a vinyl shower curtain, spray the bottom of the liner with a bleach-containing all-purpose. Do this several times a month to keep soap scum, water minerals, and mildew at bay.
  2. If you have a cloth shower curtain, put it in the washing machine every month.
  3. Coat the shower curtains with a water repellent.

Window Treatment for Nursery – Dos and Don’ts

Curtains or blinds? Venetians or rollers? When it comes to window treatments, there is no shortage of beautiful options. But when you throw a toddler into the mix, things get a little trickier. You’ll need something chic but safe, pretty but practical. Before you know it, something as simple as a pair of drapes can turn into a big headache.

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you (and your windows) covered! Make a safe and satisfying choice with this helpful list of nursery window dos and don’ts.

Do Avoid Floor-Length Draperies

Should your toddler be able to get his hands on them, you may find your curtains serving some pretty interesting purposes. Unless you want your little one to pull, climb and wipe his nose on your curtain panels, it’s probably best to keep them short, simple and out of reach.

Don’t Let Your Curtains Upstage Your Windows

Curtains typically reduce the width of your windows, covering a considerable amount of glass even when pulled back.

If you are planning to use curtains, buy wide-paneled drapes and install the rod’s hardware further from the window’s edge. This will allow room for the curtains to be pulled back completely without blocking the view.

For safety’s sake, please ensure that your curtain rod is long enough to accommodate the added width. Curtain rods that are stretched too far become unstable and may collapse on your child!

Do Consider a Valance

Opting for window blinds? A fabric valance softens the appearance of blinds, adding color and texture to your design while staying well clear of little fingers.

For a more dramatic effect, construct a cornice box. Padded and covered with fabric, these simple wooden frames box in the top of the window, providing more structure than a traditional valance. Make your own, with these handy tips.

Do Dress up Inexpensive Roller Shades With Fabric

Unlike blinds, which can be fairly pricey, roller shades are relatively inexpensive and can disappear completely during the day, ensuring plenty of sunlight. Purchase an ultra-thick, light-blocking model, and attach a decorative fabric to the front for a soft, colorful finish. Sound too intimidating? It’s easier than you’d think!

Do Introduce a Pattern

Add a whimsical touch to your nursery design by choosing a fun, patterned fabric for your window dressings.

In order to create continuity, be sure to feature your chosen pattern multiple times throughout the room. Aim for at least three or four uses per pattern. For example, you could coordinate your nursery bedding with your curtains, using the same fabric to create an accent pillow for your rocker.

Need help coordinating your pattern choices? These tips will have you mixing and matching like a pro in no time!

Do Use Your Curtains to Enhance Your Theme

Working with a nautical theme? Consider attaching some old nautical maps to your pull-down roller blinds. Looking for window dressings worthy of a princess? Crown your treatments with fancy tiara-inspired cornice boxes.

Don’t Save Your Curtains for Last

When decorating, always choose fabric elements first. Given the astounding array of available paint colors and the prevalence of color-match technology, it’s definitely easier to choose your textiles first and then buy paint to match.

Do Ensure Your Window Treatments Are Properly Installed

Curtain rods and blind casings can be dangerous if they fall. To prevent injury, all curtain hardware should be fixed directly to a wall stud or secured with the appropriate drywall anchors.

Don’t Use Tension Rods

Since they are not screwed to the wall, spring-loaded tension rods may collapse, delivering a nasty bop on the head to any toddler who gives the curtain panel a good pull.

Don’t Purchase Curtains With Embellishments

Curtains with beading, cording, and other such embellishments should be avoided. These items may become loose and could be pulled off by a curious toddler, posing a choking hazard. Looking for something with a little toddler-proof pizazz? Opt for fun prints, rich textures, and embroidery instead.

Do Childproof Your Blinds

Blinds with long, exposed cords can pose a strangulation hazard for small children.

Before leaving your toddler unsupervised in their room, ensure that all cords are safely out of reach. If you choose to install blinds, be sure to pick up and install a safety device designed to control cord access. You might also consider purchasing blinds that feature new breakaway cords, which break when stressed. Now is the time to brush up on your childproofing tips.

Do Keep Your Cool

Did you know that overheating is a known risk factor associated with SIDS? Studies have shown that keeping your little one’s room cool and well-circulated can reduce their risk of SIDS by as much as 72 percent!

Even if your nursery seems cool during the day, it’s a good idea to install heat-reflecting, UV-blocking window treatments. Installing double-lined, UV-blocking drapes or a set of heavy blinds can help your little one beat the heat during afternoon naps. You can also purchase UV-blocking window film, which reflects the sun’s heat and can be applied directly to the window glass.

Do Put Safety First

In the rush to make everything look flawless in time for the big day, common sense sometimes abandons us. When it comes to nursery accidents, prevention is the first line of defense. Remember to install safety devices, such as window guards or stops, on all windows, and be careful where you place your furniture. You wouldn’t want to place your little one in direct sunlight or close enough to the window that they could fall!

For high-quality window treatment services, Myriam Interiors is the company to contact. They are the most reliable company when it comes to different services in terms of window treatments.


Ways to Renovate a Room into a Library

It is every bookworm’s dream to have a home library just like the one in the movie “Beauty and The Beast”, well at least somewhere closer to it. Even if the mention of a home library might sound like a luxury, you can actually create your own home library on any budget that you have or better transform a whole room into one. Wouldn’t it be perfect? Oh, it would I can vouch for this!

If you are feeling confused at this one, then these tips might be of an enormous help to you.

1. Choose Your Spot

While a room with doors is ideal, it’s not necessary. You’ll want to pick a spot in your home that’s not loud or heavily trafficked. One with lots of natural light or at least the capability of being well lit. It can be anywhere in your home, from the bedroom to the office to the dining room and anywhere in between!

2. Storing Your Books

This will depend on how many books you have and if you plan on putting them all in your library. Make sure the spot you’ve chosen has the space for them all. If you have a large collection, floor-to-ceiling book shelves will be your best option. Maybe even built-ins if you have the budget. For smaller collections you can use a freestanding bookcase or even modern, floating shelves. Whichever you go with, make sure that you properly secure your shelves to the walls.

3. Support Your Floors

Any book lover knows that books can get heavy. The book you took on vacation nearly put your suitcase over the weight limit. The same thinking goes for the floors of your new library. Make sure they can fully support the weight of bookshelves and their load. You wouldn’t want the floor to sag or give way. Consult with a general contractor for help.

4. Set the Mood

Each reader is different, and each likes a certain ambiance during reading time. How do you want to feel in your library? And pick a suitable color to create that environment. If you like the enveloping, rich feeling of old-time libraries, deep reds or luxurious browns may be your style. Or maybe you like bright and cheery genres and want your library to be airy and relaxing in a light blue, hint of yellow or off-white? Creating the space of your dreams starts with the colors.

5. A Place to Sit and Read

After you’ve chosen the color, assess your space. You don’t read standing up, so decide what kind of seating you’d like and for how many. Chairs? Tables? Sofas? Make sure they all fit in comfortably with room for lights—either overhead or floor and table lamps. If you feel tight on space, a window seat with storage for books is a two-in-one!

6. Go Up

If you are lacking space and wondering just how to fit all of your books in one spot, utilize the height of your room. Go with floor-to-ceiling shelving and get inventive where to put your books. Like under a window seat or a table with storage shelves. One creative space that looks absolutely stunning is building shelves above the doorway. Just don’t forget a classic library ladder so you can reach those top shelves.

7. Get the Right Shelves

You won’t want your bookshelves to sag, so make sure you buy the proper ones. A 36” long shelf should be at least 1” thick. Go thicker if it’s longer. A good idea is to get adjustable shelves, too, so you can accommodate short paperbacks and tall coffee table books alike without wasting space.

8. Maximize Shelf Space

Stacking books two deep is a great way to save space, but it comes with a problem: you can’t read the titles of the deeper books. There’s a DIY fix for that! Collect the empty boxes from you wax paper, plastic wrap or tinfoil rolls and, keep the roll inside for support, and wrap them in acid-free paper. Then place them in your bookshelves (cutting them to fit if needed) and stack that second row on top!

9. How to Clean Your Books

When you have a large collection, or small, sometimes you get pests trying to make a feast of your literary treasures. At the very least, they attract a lot of dust. Regularly cleaning them will keep pests out and keep you from sneezing while you read. Remove books before cleaning a shelf with a soft cloth and some polish. As you place them back vertically with their spines facing outward for support, wipe them down with a clean microfiber cloth or vacuum them.

10. Organize Your Library

There’s no right way to organize your books. And you can reorganize them as many times as you want. Play with it until you find a system that works for you. Forget the Dewey Decimal system and arrange them by genre, alphabetically or even color! You can place your stack of “to-read” or your favorites at eye level for easy access and your kids’ books lower where they can reach them. We do recommend separating paperbacks from hardcovers and not piling books on top of vertically stacked ones, but other than that, do whatever works for you!


Checklist for Planning a Renovation

Regardless of size, home renovation is a huge undertaking not meant for the faint of heart. On top of that, if you choose to DIY the whole project it will be even more tiresome and grueling than one that involves hiring contractors. And hiring contractors does not mean that you can be completely hands-off. Far from it – you will have to be involved in every stage of the project.

But since these projects can improve the condition of the house, make your home safer or boost its market value, home renovations can be extremely rewarding. Additionally, with proper planning, you can save time and money and still make the remodeling totally worth the hard work. To reduce cost and make the process less daunting, we’ll walk you through the important factors you need to consider well before hammers start swinging.  

Below is a checklist that can make the remodeling project as smooth as possible and help you keep everything on track:

Step 1: Make a list.

There are several types of home renovations projects, such as:

  • Whole house restorations
  • Home additions, such as home offices or family rooms
  • Interior remodeling, such as kitchen or bathroom remodeling
  • Finished attics or basements
  • Exterior remodeling, including roof change or replacement and insulation of siding and trim
  • Porches, sunrooms, patios renovation/addition

Once you’ve decided on the type of renovation you want to get, you can start drafting a list. Draw two columns on a piece of paper or an Excel sheet. The first column will consist of the things you NEED, while the second column will contain the list of things you WANT. This will not only help you in the preparation of the budget stage, but it will also come in handy if you ever need to make tough choices. With this list in hand, you will be able to prioritize in case of budget overruns.

Step 2: Plan a budget.

A ballpark estimate will help you determine if you will need to apply for a loan as well as what you will need to cover with your contractor and architect. A word of advice: consider adding a 10% padding to your budget to err on the side of caution. This surplus will act as an added precaution in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Use the list from step 1 and prioritize the ‘needs’ above the ‘wants’. At this stage, you want to consider things you are ready to compromise on and things you want to splurge on. Using the same Excel workbook, you can create a new spreadsheet where you’ll list everything that needs to be done and its estimated cost. Remember to account for labor and materials cost, including for small things such as paintbrushes, nails, hammer or tape.  

Step 3: Set a target date.

You can’t plan for a home renovation without setting a deadline. Can you imagine planning a roofing overhaul during the winter season? Precisely. Look at the size of your project and decide by when you want it done.

But be realistic.

A complete house renovation cannot be done within 3 months. While it might not be impossible, it will be extremely challenging and costly. You will not only put a lot of pressure on the contractors but also, due to time constraints, you will inevitably have to sacrifice a lot of things and compromise on others.  

Instead, plan properly so you schedule the demolition and/or renovation at the right time. Since home renovations are meant to last for a long time, set a timeline that is feasible, affordable and that does not lead to you regretting the whole project.  

Step 4: Consider how the renovation will impact your day-to-day life

Once you know for how long the project will last, start thinking about how you and your family will cope with the noise, dirt, and the comings and goings in your home. There are two options you can choose from when finalizing household arrangement:

  1. Delimit a room or a set of rooms that will remain relatively untouched. Plan accordingly so you can stay there for the entire duration of the project. Remember to reserve storage space for furnishings,
  2. If the project won’t last long, consider booking a hotel room or renting a flat on a short-term basis. You can also book a hotel room for the days on which you will have no access to water or electricity.
  3. On the other hand, if you know the project will last for a relatively long period, consider moving in temporarily with your parents or staying at a friend’s place.  

You are now ready to start looking for contractors and/or architects. Remember to not rush this process either. Consider asking people you know for recommendations, interviewing each


Corrugated Roofing: What Is It and Why You Should Get It

What is corrugated roofing?

A type of roofing, corrugated roofing is made of corrugated roof sheets that come in plastic or metal. These types are sheets differ from other sheets in the way their surface is designed. Instead of being flat, the sheet has an undulating and ridged surface. Additionally, the sheets are not haphazardly placed over one another. In fact, each sheet has a slim lap that overlaps with a flat lap and is overlapped while taking the wind direction into account.

Traditionally made of iron, copper, aluminum, and steel, corrugated roofing is mostly used in commercial, industrial, and farming settings. However, in recent years a trend has emerged to install this type of roofing for homes as well. More and more residential homeowners wanting metal corrugated roofing has increased the demand for the product. And it comes as no surprise, considering all the benefits it confers on homeowners.

1. Corrugated aluminum roofing

Corrugated aluminum roofing offers both value and quality, is durable and rust resistant. It doesn’t require additional coating and can be painted a wide range of colors.

2. Corrugated steel roofing

Corrugated steel roofing has a natural gray finish to it that may look drab on a residential home. While it may work on certain designs, it is an expensive alternative that won’t necessarily blend well with others. Additionally, it is harder to change the initial color of the material.

3. Corrugated copper roofing

Corrugated copper roofing is most of the time avoided by residential homeowners because of the hefty price tag that accompanies it. While it is easy to install and is naturally resistant to rust, other options come with the same benefits but at a cheaper cost.

Why install corrugated roofing for your house?

The properties and signature shape of a corrugated metal roof can give your home added protection. Durable, resistant to extreme weather, yet lightweight, corrugated metal roofs are the perfect choice for many construction projects.

1. Corrugated roofing has a long lifespan.

Metal characteristics allow for metal roofs to last for a long time. While average quality, flat metal roofs usually last for about 30 years, corrugated metal sheets can last for over 50 years on average. This is thanks to its shape, which makes it less prone to corrosion.

Recent advances in technology, such as galvanizing, has upgraded this metal roofing from simple sheets to a corrosion-resistant and rust-resistant material that is highly sought-after.  

2. Corrugated roofing is durable.

The rippled surface of corrugated sheets creates a larger surface that has increased durability. This type of roofing can, hence, withstand impacts from large objects that fall may fall on it. These include impacts from pebbles and branches.

It may be hard to believe, but even lightweight materials that are usually considered to be flimsy, such as aluminum, can become sturdy. All thanks to the shape and positioning of the sheets!

3. Corrugated roofing offers excellent weather protection.

Corrugated metal panels are able to withstand extreme weather conditions. Whether it is hail and snow, heat waves, hurricanes, this type of metal roof is highly resistant to harsh weather.

Metal rooftops also now have fire-resistant properties that make them non-combustible.

Installing a corrugated rooftop

Installing this type of roof can be a fun Do-It-Yourself project that you can complete with a friend or family member. Below is a list of tools you will need for the installation:

  1. Gloves
  2. Safety goggles
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Hammer
  5. Cement (especially for meant for the roof)
  6. Nails
  7. Screwdriver
  8. Washers and wood screws
  9. Roofing felt
  10. Staples
  11. Staple gun
  12. Metal panels
  13. Polyurethane sealant
  14. Ridge peak

You are now ready to start installing the corrugated sheets.

1. Get all measurements right

Start by measuring the width, length, peak, and slope of the roof.  

2. Install the purlins

Install the purlins on the roof and ensure that they are equally spaced.

3. Purchase and cut the panels

You will need more panels than the dimensions you got when measuring the roof. This is simply because the sheets will overlap. Buy the corrugated roof panels and cut them to the length of the roof by using circular saws, tin snips, and angle grinders.  

4. Drill holes in the sheets

Before even placing the sheets over the roof, drill holes in them vertically and have the hole be around 6 to 8 inches apart.

5. Installation of the sheets

Place the panels on the purlins in an up and down pattern.

6. Seal the panels

Seal the panels with water-resistant sealant.

7. Screw the corrugated sheets in place

Fasten the panels to the purlins using a polycarbonate washer for the screw. Repeat until you’ve affixed all the screws. You can now add the side ridge flashing, headwall connector flashing, and ridge cap if necessary.


Designing the Perfect Entertainment Room

Creating the perfect entertainment room set up for your home can be a very rewarding endeavor. To help you get started, here are a few things that you will want to consider before you start:

1. Know What You Want

Before you start planning the layout of your room, you need to ask yourself what you will be using it for. Is it going to be solely for visual entertainment, like movies and video games? Is this space also going to double up as an office? Will you be entertaining guests in here or is it going to be your private space?

Once you have answered these questions, you’ll be in a better place to planning a budget. Which leads us to tip number two:

2. Know your Budget

Knowing how much you can afford to spend on the project will affect a lot of your design choices and prioritizing. For instance, if having a sweet TV is more important to you than having a comfortable place to sit, you won’t really want to buy the sofa first. So it would be smarter to make a list of what you plan to get for your entertainment room in order of priority.

Once you’ve figured out your total budget, and what parts of your set-up take precedence over everything else, you’re now ready to move on to the next step:

3. Optimizing the Space

Some entertainment spaces may not be as big as you would hope, depending on the size of your home. The distance between your furniture and your TV or projector can also make a huge difference in the way you experience your movies and games.

The optimal method of setting up your room would be to have the furniture on one side of the room and the TV on the other. Alternatively, if there is potentially going to be a lot of to and fro-ing between the furniture and TV, you may want to look at removing possible blocking of the screen by setting up in such a way to encourage movement behind the furniture or behind the TV.

Shape of the room: A square room shape typically presents the most challenges for audio systems. It may be worth building false walls on either side of the room to create a more rectangular shape for better acoustics.

Sound and Light: Entertainment rooms can get quite noisy, so you may want to consider soundproofing your space. Carpets and rugs are a better alternative to flat surfaces since tiles and hardwoods will bounce the sound around far too much.

In terms of lighting, you should aim to allow enough light in to keep the entertainment space from turning into a dark cave. However, when it comes to watching TV and movies, you may want to keep the light out. If you are building your entertainment room in the basement, you can just invest in adjustable lights. On the other hand, if your entertainment room is above ground and has sun-facing windows, investing in blackout curtains can be a sound choice.

Your entertainment room doesn’t necessarily have to be in the house though. If you have a barn or shed in your backyard that is not seeing any use, why not give it a makeover and use it as a detached entertainment center?

4. The Screen

The centerpiece of any entertainment system is no doubt the TV. Regardless of what type of TV you choose to use, the ideal position for your seats will be 1.5 times the diagonal size of the screen away. For instance, if you have a 72 inch TV, you should sit 108 inches away, or around 9 ft.

5. The Sound System

If you are looking for the most impressive sound system, you should consider a 5.1 or 7.1 surround system. This involves a setup of 5 or 7 speakers around the room, with 1 subwoofer.

Where possible, you should look to wire the whole system before installing any drywall to ensure all wires are hidden away. However, if this is not feasible, and you want to splurge a bit, there are several wireless options on the market. Whichever you choose, you should look to place your speakers in all 4 corners of the room for the best effect.

6. The Wiring

As we mentioned, keeping your wiring tangle-free and hidden away is essential. If you can’t get the wiring done before putting up your drywall, invest in some plastic wire clips to keep the wires bundled, tape them to the ground and try not to tangle them. The initial effort will save you time and prevent you from tearing your hair out in frustration for many years to come.

7. Furniture

Like we said before, your furniture and room size are key. You want to avoid cluttering the room and give yourself plenty of space to move around in. Invest in comfortable and sturdy furniture that will last, since this room is where you and maybe your family will be spending the most of your leisure time. You can also invest in some extras like a minibar or fridge so you can cut down the trips to the kitchen. If you have the space, you could even invest in installing an en-suite toilet!

8. Storage/Decor

Even if we do store a lot of our entertainment in the cloud, we do still have our collections of DVDs, vintage vinyls, books and video game consoles. You might also have collected lots of memorabilia of your favorite sports teams or from your visits to various fan conventions. Finding the right storage and display units will go a long way to giving your entertainment space an incredible look.

Your entertainment space should reflect your passions. Hopefully, this guide has helped inspire you to design a room that you will love.


Checklist for Buying Furniture for Your Office

Purchasing office furniture for your company is a major responsibility because it involves getting furniture that not only fits the décor of your office but that also supports the comfort of your employees. Uncomfortable employees suffering from back pain will have decreased efficiency, inevitably leading to decreased productivity.

Even though you may be swamped with several people’s opinions and many special requests, do not abdicate the decision to finding a low-priced vendor just to simplify your task. It might alleviate the trouble of searching and meeting various requests, but you want to look for something that has long-term value. Take a careful approach to the decision process, aim for comfort and ergonomics. Skimping here will only lead too deferred costs down the line. Trust us on this. You don’t want to have to throw out bad pieces of furniture barely 1 to 2 years after getting them.

Below is a list of suggestions that will help you as you shop around:

Step 1: Determine Your Needs and Budget

This is, evidently, the first stage of any project. Before looking at your budget, make a list of the furniture that you will need. These can include computer desks, tables, meeting room tables, seating pieces, and cabinets, to name a few. Then, figure out your space and the number of pieces that can fit in this space. How will you fit tables, chairs, and desks for 20 employees in this room? Will the table you want for your meeting room be large enough? Or do you need something smaller?

After determining all these, you can finally start looking at your budget. Budgeting is important because every dollar spent in a business is an investment. You need to ensure that your investment is spent wisely. Using the information you’ve compiled before-hand, allocate specific amounts for chairs, desks and so on. If necessary, eschew aesthetics for superior functionality. Once you have taken note of all budgetary and space constraints you can move to the next stage.

Step 2: Find Your Style 

What you are looking for is a piece of furniture that blends seamlessly with and that complements the color of the walls, the flooring and the space available. Everything has to come together in a neat way and be in a pristine condition while also successfully making the space comfortable and attractive. As you try to create a good office atmosphere that increases productivity, try to find items of furniture that complement and reflect your company’s brand, identity, and culture.

But remember that this does not mean that all coordinating pieces have to match. If well-planned and well-displayed, even an item of custom-made furniture can add character to a room. Whether it’s the meeting room or the reception area, an uncommon piece of furniture can tie in all the other pieces in the area to create a truly unique space.

Step 3: Buy Green

Gone are the days when eco-friendly decor was tacky and just plain ugly. Chances are, like everyone else, you have become more mindful of the planet and the impact of humans on a now more vulnerable ecosystem. In line with that, you will be right to make a conscious decision of supporting sustainable production by choosing eco-friendly options that have been recycled and that will last a long time.

Not only will buying “green” make your company stand out it will also send a message to your employees that the company cares about the environment and the well-being of its employees.

Step 4: Consider the Quality of Wooden Furniture

While it is true that wooden furniture adds warmth and beauty to any space, the quality of the piece will play a major role in its durability. If the construction of the item is not done properly, the item will not last long, will not be able to retain its looks and will lose its level of comfort. Therefore, you should inspect each piece of furniture carefully.

High-quality wood furniture is sturdy and has properly aligned doors and drawers that open and shut smoothly. Even if the furniture has texture, the finish should be smooth and pleasing to the touch. Steer clear of any wooden furniture that has:

  • Rough patches on its surface
  • a cloudy surface
  • scratches
  • dents
  • splintered edges
  • dull spots

You can ignore these if the furniture you are looking at is distressed. Just ensure the distressed furniture is well constructed and is sturdy.

Step 5: Learn Your Fabrics 

Whether you are getting chairs for the meeting room and computer desks or a sofa for the reception area, examine how the fabric looks and feels. Not only must the upholstery fiber complement the style of the space, but it also has to be easy to maintain. You don’t want something that only looks good – you also want to take durability and longevity into consideration.


How to Decorate a Zen Bathroom

Do you need to relax when using your bathroom? Choose a Zen decoration to transform your bathroom into a real cocoon of well-being. If Zen is a philosophy originating from China, in decoration it is characterized by simplicity and harmony. A Zen bathroom is a true haven of relaxation and peace, with soft colors, natural materials, and soft lighting.

In this post, we will go through the following:

– What materials for a Zen bathroom?

– Furniture and sanitary facilities in a Zen bathroom

– Lighting and colors for a Zen bathroom

– The right decoration in a Zen bathroom

What materials for a Zen bathroom?

Natural materials are your best allies in a Zen bathroom, whether it is for flooring, walls or furniture.

– Wood is the Zen material par excellence. It is available in many species and can be raw, painted, already varnished or oiled. It must always be treated to resist bathroom humidity unless it is an exotic wood that is naturally rotproof (teak, ipe, iroko, etc.).

– Bamboo is ideal as a floor covering, but also for furniture and decorative objects. Naturally resistant, bamboo absorbs moisture without deforming or moulding, it is also easy to maintain.

– The sea rush (aquatic plant of the grass family) is woven into a floor covering. Very resistant, insulating and perfectly adapted to humidity, it contributes to creating a zen and warm atmosphere.

– The pebble covering, which takes the form of slabs of different sizes and thicknesses, covers the floor and walls. In addition to massaging the soles of your feet, it gives your bathroom a 100% natural look.

Note: For wood, choose furniture with an FSC label, guaranteeing that it comes from a sustainably managed forest.

Furniture and sanitary facilities in a Zen bathroom

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Here again, it’s all about sobriety! Put aside too massive furniture and favor light wooden furniture, discreet and unadorned, which will allow you to store everything. A Zen bathroom is a place where everything is smartly and neatly arranged. If necessary, choose hanging furniture that visually lightens the space, frees up floor space and makes cleaning easier.

Sanitary equipment

On the sanitary side, an Italian shower, with its shower tray flush, is ideal. It also adopts natural materials and opens onto the bathroom. And if there is enough space, the bathtub can be installed in such a way to make it feel like on an island, without curtains in the bathroom to add a touch of charm. You can have green plants near the windows in the bathrooms to allow for privacy and discretion.

Good to know: Waterfall taps, which let water flow like a waterfall in the bathtub or basin, are perfect for a Zen bathroom.

Lighting and colors for a Zen bathroom

The lighting must be soft and dimmed. Place simple wall lights or discreet recessed spots in the corners of the room, always favoring indirect lighting. The only more direct touch of light will be the mirror, which is essential for hair, make-up, and shaving. Do not hesitate to choose a bright model, while remaining simple.

Decorative advice: vanilla candles will help to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Colors to be favored in a Zen bathroom

On the one hand, the Zen bathroom favors monochrome colors in light tones: white, grey, beige. Or pastel shades reminiscent of nature, such as green or blue. On the other hand, bright colors such as red or yellow are avoided.

The right decoration in a Zen bathroom

Accessories

If you can arrange here and there some decorations reminiscent of Zen influences, avoid the overflow of bibelots or decorative elements, contrary to the Zen spirit. Towel rails, soap dishes, trash cans, and other accessories will also be adorned with natural materials: wood, bamboo, etc.

The vegetation

To bring nature into a Zen bathroom, arrange a few moisture-loving green plants, such as fern, ivy or ficus. Plants provide a calming effect with their soothing green colors while providing fresh oxygen at the same time. Bonsai trees, for example, make a good choice and are often included in zen décor. However, avoid flowers that emanate too strong scents. And, if you won’t have enough time to water your decorative plants regularly, there are still artificial plants that imitate natural ones very well. The basic idea in the Zen attitude is to make the atmosphere feel light – the interior design should reflect balance, harmony, and relaxation even if you have recourse to some artificial plants.

The floor

White or any light-colored parquets will match the décor.

But also any massive wooden flooring is the safest choice the moment it matches the rest of the room. There is no defined rule when choosing your colors; you have to keep in mind that the overall setting is Zen.

You will find everything you need to equip a Zen bathroom in DIY and decoration stores, specialty stores and on the Internet. For more information and tips, jot down your comments in the section below.


Landscape Lighting: Let There Be Light

No matter how well you planned your indoors and outdoors, the whole landscape design can completely fall apart if you didn’t include lighting in the planning process. When night falls and it’s time to turn on the lights, displeasure may set in when you find out that the fixtures you had placed are not highlighting the best features of your house and garden. From a soft glow of light along a pathway to a warmly lit patio, we all want our property to look mesmerizing to any passersby. Indeed, attention to even the smallest details can help create a sense of welcome and make your property stand out from the crowd.

Outdoor lightings are also commonly used for decorative purposes during the holiday season, such as for Halloween and Christmas. Regardless of when they are used, you have to make sure that your house, family, pets, and guests are safe from any electrical hazard. From the lights, the power cords and the controls, everything has to be done with safety as a priority. And this means no skimping on equipment and installation. Whether temporary or permanent, everything has to be up to code, including your contractor. The contractor has to be adequately qualified and respect all necessary guidelines.

Doing Outdoor Lighting the Safe Way

1. Use the right type of light bulbs

For longer-lasting light bulbs and ease of replacement, it would be advisable to use only outdoor-rated light bulbs. Even if you want to use LEDs, they should be outdoor rated.

2. Be careful when using decorative lights

Whether you are hanging some lighted pumpkins or icicles on your eaves, make sure that they are labeled for outdoor use. Ensure that nothing damages the wires of the temporary lighting strings and ornaments. You might want to avoid any ornament made with metal since metal is a conductor of electricity.

3. Weather-resistant receptacles are the way to go

Despite the special outdoors covers, the outdoor receptacles you have installed must be weather-resistant. They need to be able impervious to dampness, freezing, and heat for them to be truly safe.

4. Consider getting covers for damp and wet locations

Whether the outdoor receptacle is on your porch or your screened-in patio or in the open, you want to make sure it’s protected. If it’s covered by a roof you can choose to get a “trap door” cover that is suitable for damp locations, and if it isn’t under a roof get an “in-use” cover that will keep the receptacle​ and the plug dry.

Things to Take into Consideration When Planning

Outdoor spot or accent lighting fixtures are most commonly used to highlight the landscape design of homes. Whether you want to accent gorgeous towering trees, classical statuary or other striking elements in your garden, the perfect fixture, and bulb placed in just the right place can create the perfect effect. In addition to considering in-ground or well lights for trees, you can also take the following into account:

1. Creating safer walkways

Using outdoor lighting, you can not only make the walkways safer but can also make your guests feel very welcome. As with everything else associated with interior and exterior décor, there is a wide range of pathway lighting you can choose from. Whatever you choose, you want to make sure that they fit the style of your house and that they are not placed too close to each other.

2. Saving energy

In addition to protecting the environment, you may want to lower your energy bills. And what better way than to get solar lights? Solar path lights installed into the ground alongside a walkway or solar string lights hung over an outdoor area can gently illuminate the path or provide a warm ambient glow without heavily impacting your monthly bills.

3. Concealing unsightly fixtures

Although outdoor lights are meant to amp the look of your house, unattractive fixtures can easily mar the whole style. You can try using landscaping rocks to hide the fixtures so the lighting blends seamlessly with your outdoor environment.

Designs You Might Want to Consider

There are a lot of designs you can choose from:

1. Floodlights

Floodlights are perfect for large areas. Versatile, they can illuminate an entire area with just a flick of a button.

2. Star Floors

These are essentially lighting that run inconspicuously through the wooden floors of decks and patios. The flexible cables can be installed in the floor and will create a unique floor that has subdued, but mesmerizing, light.

3. String Lights

String lights are an easy, affordable way of enhancing the ambiance of your patio or courtyard. Draped from the ceiling or to the railings, string lights can easily complement your garden furniture and turn it into an enchanting oasis.

4. Twinkling Lighting

Twinkling lights can add mystery to an area or create a playful mystery. You can also get them installed around your pool if you have one.


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