Category Archives: Home Renovation

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.


Ways to Decorate an Attic Bedroom

Attics are so much more than dusty old rooms that we forget that exist. After converting an attic into one of the most livable places in your house, there is the need to decorate it. As cozy as it can be, an attic bedroom does need some decoration to make it more lively and more interesting. If you have successfully turned your attic into a bedroom, then here are some ways to level up the decor and surprise people with something worth all the efforts.

1. Assess your space – Remember to measure every available nook and cranny in your attic space. Consider the measurements downstairs to your main living space and compare the numbers to the furniture so that you can get a clue to what might fit. Decide whether you want to have a queen bed or just a twin bed.

2. Embrace the beauty of the bedroom – Regarded as the coziest room that can be, an attic bedroom has a charm of its own. To make the room look more appealing, decorate it with something that represents you making it more personal and the ideal magical place to hang out.

3. Choose the colors – Various colors could help make the room look larger. If you had always believed that you must keep your smaller rooms painted white, then here is some interesting news for you. You can have color and still make the attic room feel larger by using colors which reflect equal brightness, or choosing a monochromatic color palette. So you can paint with all pale blue, or stick to high-intensity colors in the same range such as red and orange. Go for wallpapers for interest; it makes the room look more captivating.

4. Have storage with a built-in bed – Look for a bed that has storage for all the things you have. Such beds are comfortable and functional. Go for bigger beds for teens and grown-ups and place it under the highest part of the ceiling rather than under the eaves. It is better that you focus on the functionality of the room.

5. Let there be more light – Do not hesitate to use more white on the ceiling, walls, and floors. White paint helps the attic to look more lively and open. Make use of your creativity and imagination to make the room look good.

After renovating your attic to a bedroom, it is essential that you go for decorating it even though it does require some skill and vision to pull it off.


Steps into Converting an Attic into a Room

Over the years, the unused attic has accumulated all dust possible, still a spooky place where you would not want to set feet, especially in the scorching summer heat. Well, what if I tell that you can turn that attic of yours into something so wonderful and livable that you will spend most of your time there! Intrigued! Good, then let’s get to business and give you the idea of how to turn your attic into a room for any guest or yourself. Get ready because here are the steps in doing so!

  1. Clear out the clutter – The first thing to do is to clear all the clutter that has been gathered over the years. Clutter is not appealing and can be quite risky when it comes with serious health risks. Ensure that you clean from wall to wall and from top to bottom. It depends on the amount of sterilization you would need in order to adjust the cleaning solution task. Do use some home cleaning remedies in attics that requires heavy-duty cleaning or better hire a professional cleaning company. Do check the insulation if it’s still in a usable state, then install a sub-flooring over it. If you find that the insulation loose or blown-in, then use an industrial vacuum to remove it.
  2. Check all the wiring – Once all the de-cluttering is done, time to check for the wires! Hire a licensed electrician to ensure that all wiring meets the code requirements. By hiring a professional, you can avoid many common problems that DIY homeowners come across most of the times.
  3. Make a plan – After cleaning and checking all the wires, the next thing to do is to make a layout of how you want the room to be, and you are going to decorate it, and the list is never-ending! It is important that you know the sizes and locations of everything you want to include before you start so you can plan accordingly. Do make sure that there is enough space in the attic to install the bed that you want up there. Measure the headroom in your attic, an attic room should measure 10.5 foot at the ridge line, and at least 50% of the finished space must be 7.5 foot tall or more.
  4. The furniture – Do consider the furniture that you are going to need in the room and decide what is taking too much space. As easy it is to get caught in over-accessorizing the room, you might want to do a ‘need and do not need’ list!
  5. Which color? – Choose a neutral color paint to update the look of the room so that it won’t look unappealing to the eyes. Go for neutral colors as it gives the room a universal appeal!
  6. Replace the stairs – If the stairs leading to the attic are a fold-down ladder or just old creaky stairs, then do change it.

Making A Statement with A Stylish Ceiling

If like us, you had to borrow from the bank to purchase a house, you know how mortgage repayments take a considerable chunk out of your salary. What with moving in and furnishing, it can be years before you can truly have a home that’s to your taste. After spending a decade only repainting walls and ceiling, we’ve decided that is was high time to invest time and money to revive every room in our house. Well… Easier said than done.

We did want to start right away and get rid of those things we could barely stand but had to keep due to lack of funds. But renovating a house isn’t something that can be done haphazardly, especially not when you are on a budget! So, of course, we started with the living room. It’s the first thing people see when they walk in the door and it’s where we spend most of our time. And it’s not like there were no hiccups along the way! But we learned from our mistakes and we are ready to share a few tips with you. Since we were tired of changing only the wall color, we decided the overhaul the whole room. Keep on reading if you want more details.

The house we bought came with an atrocious popcorn ceiling. Not only is it hard to clean, but it is also difficult to paint over and even more difficult to repair if broken. So, it was the first thing I had gone when we first moved in. The worst part though was that our popcorn ceiling was painted over. I cannot overstate how long it took us to get rid of that and paint it over! And when we finally had the budget to change the ceiling? Well, suffice to say we went to various contractors and spent hours looking at and debating over the many types of ceiling more than was really necessary. From suspended ceilings to tray ceilings and coffered ceilings, we saw everything! And although we initially wanted a tray ceiling, we just had to come to grips with the reality that it just didn’t fit the layout of our living room and would unnecessarily complicate matters for us.

So, we settled for what we considered to be the next best thing: stretch ceiling. We wanted something that would bring a certain flair to the living room, would be durable and that would also be flexible. We could pick from 3D patterned shapes to glossy colors, add in lighting, backlight surfaces and acoustic solutions. What’s not to like! Since we knew that not everything always goes exactly according to plan, we chose not to take another gamble with the ceiling. Hence, we didn’t skimp on quality and chose not to just go for the lowest bid. Ceilings are meant to be a long-term investment after all! After doing some digging around, we chose Melbourne Ceilings to help us out with our project. And my opinion on the finished product? Loved it! It visually enlarged the space and was completed within a few hours with absolutely no mess left for us to clean up!

The other major things left to tackle were flooring and windows. Considering the commitment that windows represent, we believe it deserves a blog post of its own. When it came to flooring though, it was an easy choice. The house came with carpets, and while we managed to keep them clean and as stain-free as possible, we wanted something that doesn’t require constant attention. Carpets are just too hard to maintain – without constant vacuuming they quickly start to look dingy and dirty. We all know that! And despite tiles being easier to clean, we knew the installation process would be above our budget and very time-consuming. Which means we were left with floorboards. Although the hardwood floor we had installed does not absorb noise like carpet did and is more scratch-prone, it is easier to clean and is relatively easy to repair.

Once these were sorted out, we were left with choosing the wall color. Obviously, we couldn’t just go for a color we both liked. We had to pick a color that would not only work in that specific room and but one that wouldn’t clash with our existing furniture and the new items we planned on adding to the living room. Keeping a few old furniture facilitated this stage to some extent as it meant that the first step to picking a color would involve working around those items. Since some of our focal pieces were shades of yellow, we wanted a more neutral color to contrast with the bold color of the accent pieces. We also wanted the room to look larger and brighter while also having a relaxed atmosphere. And there’s one color that can suit just about any room, mood, and setting while also lending a sense of trendiness to a room. Yep, you guessed it! We went grey and we don’t regret it.


Residential and Commercial Roofing

It can be quite difficult to choose the perfect type of roofing for your retrofitting, new house or commercial buildings.

We have so many choices out there nowadays that you might be wondering as to which is the right one for home or commercial buildings! The roofing options that are available will certainly help you find an effective way to cover your home or commercial buildings.

For residential roofs, Ceramic Tiles, Asphalt, Wood, Slates and so on, have proven to be appropriate with Asphalt being the most common one. As for commercial buildings, the most appropriate roofing can be Built-Up Roofing (BUR) Membrane, Modified Bitumen Roofing, Thermoset (EPDM) Roof Membrane, Thermoplastic (PVC & TPO) Roof Membrane, among others.

Below are some of the most common roofing types along with their advantages:

Asphalt Shingles

  • Fiberglass Shingles–They are made of a fiberglass-base mat, layered with a waterproof coating, and topped with ceramic granules reflecting UV rays.
  • Organic Shingles–Organic shingles are initially made of wood chips, rags, recycled cardboard, or paper. They also have a layer of asphalt to make them waterproof.
  • Three-Tab Shingles–These are shingles with cutouts running along the bottom edge and they are less expensive.
  • Architectural Shingles–They aren’t made with cutouts and aren’t recommended for low slope roofs.

Tiles

  • Tile Shingles–Perfect if you are looking for stylish roofing. Often used on colonial Spanish or Mediterranean style properties.
  • Ceramic Tiles–Generally durable, fireproof, fade resistant and can last up to 50+ years.
  • Slate Tiles–Most appropriate if you wish to have sophisticated roofing material for an upscale home (Fire resistant with an expected life of 100 years)

Wood Shakes/Shingles or Cedar Shingles

Wood Shakes

Wood Shakes

• The price is more affordable than other shingles and expensive tiles.
• Durable and more green-friendly, if constructed from recycled or harvested wood.
• The materials produce a minimal impact on the quality of water runoff with a lifetime of 30+ years.

Cedar Shingles

  • Cedar shingles are well grounded and ideal for homeowners wishing for long-lasting roofs.
  • Recommended for sunny and hot regions as they are UV damage resistant.
  • These shingles can easily tolerate extreme weather conditions.

Metal Roofing

  •  This is becoming more achievable nowadays, as they are more environmentally friendly and less costly.
  •  One important factor to be considered about Metal Roofing is that it can at times be quite noisy whenever it is raining. If you don’t take good care of the metal roof, inconveniences such as loose nails, rusted patches, leaks, and moisture may arise.

However, on an ending note, out of the several roofing methods mentioned above, Metal Roofing is said to be appropriate for both residential and commercial building roofs.


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