Skills You Can Learn to Improve Your Home

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Green Goods | 0 comments

Have you been watching home improvement shoes and decided it’s time you did something with your house? Don’t hesitate to start; many of the skills needed are easier to learn than you would think and some things take no time at all. Before you start knocking down walls, here are some skills that are vital to have for any home improvement project.

Painting

painting, DIY

Usually one of the first steps taken in home improvement, painting is also one of the easiest to make mistakes with. The first mistake is thinking it’s going to be quick and easy. Unskilled painters will leave behind obvious signs: patches where paint it too thin or thick, drips on skirting boards, and blotches in and around corners. These are all easy to avoid; it comes down to patience. Now, while it might not match up to a professional painter, and it will certainly take longer, with a little patience you can still do a good job.

Basic Plumbing

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Understanding of basic plumbing is not only great for DIY home improvement but will also save you a huge amount of money. Leaking taps cost you on your water bill and getting a plumber to come and fix it isn’t exactly a cheap solution. But you might be surprised to know how easily most plumbing problems can be fixed. For example, a leaking tap is often caused by a broken washer inside the tap.

All you need to do to fix it is take the handle off and replace the broken washer. Remember to turn off your water main before you do any plumbing work.

Water Proofing

Another simple job, yet leaving it undone can cause a tremendous amount of damage. Bath tubs and showers are all water proofed to prevent water damage in the walls and floor. In less than thirty minutes, you can reseal your bath or shower without too much work. The seal used is called caulk. To start, remove the old or damaged caulk using a narrow headed screw driver or awl. Clean the surface off with rubbing alcohol to remove any grime or scum then apply a thick line of caulk along the seal joint.

Welding

Not only great for home improvement, welding is a valuable skill that can be used for many other things. For simple home improvement, a small, portable welder is the preferred option. Arc welders, like those available from WIA, are the best due to their simplicity and size. Arc welders will allow you to repair almost any metal furniture you have, but their best feature is giving you the chance to make your own furniture or metal features. Some fantastic things can be made with a skilled hand.

Hole Repair

Cupboard doors quite often come loose, especially under high use. This is caused by the hinge screws moving ever so slightly and pulling out of their holes. As the screws pull, the holes are enlarged and, of course, as the holes get bigger the doors become looser. There is a very simple way to fix these holes though. Grabs some tooth picks, about four or five, depending on the size of the hole, and use wood glue to stick them together. Place them in the hole, covered in the glue and cut them off at the surface. Once it is dry and firmly in place, you can simply fasten the screw back in and find your doors once again secured.

These are just a few skills that are useful for DIY home improvements. What skills have you put to use around your house?

Image credit: goodhousekeeping.co.uk

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Proper Care for Wood Furniture

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Care Tips, Home Furniture | 0 comments

wood furniture

Many of our homes have some wooden furniture. We have to face the fact, we love wood. Despite the price and the convenience of plastic furniture, nothing beats wooden furniture if you are thinking about aesthetics.

But in order for wooden furniture to serve us well, there are certain things that we need to do in order to keep them in tip-top shape. There are such things that are called preventable damage.

For one, you know that their surface is easily scratched so when you use them, you do not use sharp objects on it. Otherwise, they will get scratched and it will take a lot of effort to restore it. It may be a small scratch, but you will have to retouch the whole thing to make it even.

You also need to be careful in handling them. They should not be tossed around or applied with lots of force because most furniture uses nails and wood glue. These can easily break with strong force.

Use chairs and tables for their purpose. Do not stand or jump on them because these can break.

If you want to maintain the color of your furniture, you may have to use dim lighting. Bright lights are strong and can react with wood. Eventually, the color will change.

Since wood is food for termites, one of its greatest enemies is this pest. Your furniture should be appropriately treated against termite infestation. If you notice a termite hill near your home, it is best to destroy the colony so that the termites will not invade your house and eat the wood furniture.

Clean wooden furniture using recommended products only. It is best not to get them wet with water so that they will not get soaked. Water seeps through the porous surface of wood and destroys it.

Wooden furniture is nice. If you take good care of them, they will last you for generations.

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How to Decorate Your Hallway

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Home Design Ideas | 0 comments

Hallways are great areas of the home to decorate. Many people get overwhelmed with this space. It can be narrow, and it is hard to know what furnishings to use in the area. Most of the time, all you need to enhance this space is a few fun accessories and a great hallway table. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Use Multifunctional Accessories

First, when you are decorating a hallway, multifunctional accessories come in handy. They will help you make the most of your small space. For example, you can find a cute hook to store coats, bags, or other items. You can also invest in a few bins for added storage. There are several great bins that look great and help you conserve space at the same time.

Choose the Right Size Table

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A table in the hallway can be a great addition to this space. It is often visually stimulating, and it can allow you to display decorative elements like a plant, picture frames, and artwork. When you are searching for a hallway table, it is important to choose the right size. If the table is too large, then you will close off the space in the hallway. This will make it difficult for people to walk through the area. On the other hand, small tables in larger hallways can sometimes look out of place.

Display Hanging Shelves

hanging shelves

Hanging shelves are a great decorative element in a hallway. They add dimension to this space, and they provide you with extra room for storage or decorations. It usually looks nice to hang these shelves over a table. Some people also create a fun gallery wall with the shelves.

Pick the Right Paint Color

The hallway is usually not the place for an accent wall. Instead, it is often better to keep the color of these walls in this area consistent with the rest of home. If your home is smaller, a darker color might make the hallway seem narrower. However, many larger hallways look great with darker colors.

Avoid Clutter

Finally, when you are decorating the hallway, avoid too much clutter. If this area gets cluttered, it will be difficult for people to walk through the halls of your house. When this happens, your design is not effective. Less is more if things are going to get in the way.

Have fun making your hallway look beautiful. This area of the house is noticed quite frequently, and too often people do not decorate it properly. With these suggestions, you can make the most of your space.

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Preventing Molds this Winter Season

Posted by on Dec 26, 2014 in How To's | 0 comments

molds

As the winter is here, a lot of us are having issues with molds in our homes. They are icky and smell bad and they can grow on wooden furniture, wooden fixtures, clothes, bags, and even walls! Ugh!

Let us remember that mold spores are everywhere but we can prevent the growth of mold. You see, mold a comfortable place to stay with moisture, warmth, and food in order for it to grow. So that means, if you remove the source of moisture, warmth, and food, they stop growing.

Here are some tips:

1. Indoor humidity level should be below 40 percent. If you use a humidifier, make sure that it does not produce excess humidity. Molds love humidity.

2. Clean your home regularly, especially the bathroom area, using a vacuum.

3. Area rugs are better than wall to wall carpets.

4. Don’t store paper products and clothing in humid parts of the house because these are food sources for molds.

5. If you have leaks in your roof or windows, have them repaired as soon as possible so that moisture will not come in.

6. If your bathroom and kitchen are producing a lot of moisture, then it is best to use exhaust fans to let it out.

7. The clothes dryer vent should face outside the window so that it will release the moisture in the air and not inside the room.

8. If you have a basement, consider installing a dehumidifier there. This would make it harder for the mold to develop.

9. Attics should be well-insulated and ventilated.

If there are leaks in the house that you do not know of, it would be best to call in a professional for a thorough inspection so that these can be repaired before winter comes and you will have to deal with the molds sprouting everywhere.

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Proper Care for your Tableware

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Care Tips | 0 comments

Thanksgiving dinner, wedding anniversaries, fancy dinner parties- these are all occasions when you might bring out your most elegant tableware. But what about a weeknight dinner or a random “just because” dinner? Chances are you shy away from using your best tableware on a regular basis because you’re not confident in caring for it properly. In this guide, we’ll remedy that by spelling out how to care for each type of tableware so that you can set and clear your table with confidence.

Sterling silver tableware can be washed in the dishwasher with just a small amount of detergent, but when you store your sterling silver, keep it separate from rubber and wool. Rubber and wool contain sulfur, which will cause to silver to have a chemical reaction. Gold vermeil and gold plate tableware should only be hand washed with mild soap; because gold is soft and can scratch easily, store gold vermeil and gold plate tableware in a soft-lined flatware case.

Silver plate tableware is dishwasher safe with a small amount of citric-acid free detergent, but it shouldn’t be washed next to stainless steel in the dishwasher because the metals will react and discolor the silver. Stainless steel tableware is also dishwasher safe; avoid hand washing stainless steel with hard-bristled brushes or scouring pads, which can wear away the chromium oxide film.

White porcelain and decal or underglaze porcelain are generally dishwasher and microwave safe, but check the manufacturer recommendations just to be safe. Hand painted porcelain and metallic porcelain, meanwhile, should be hand washed with mild soap and are not microwave safe.

Glassware is usually dishwasher safe, unless it’s blown glass, which is fragile; crystal, on the other hand, should be hand washed unless you have a dishwasher with a crystal setting. Both glassware and crystal can be used to remove the film that forms with regular washing.

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No matter what kind of tableware you have, taking care of it is easy once you know what works and what doesn’t. With this guide, you can learn how to take care of your best tableware so that you can begin using it regularly instead of letting it gather dust in your cabinets.

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Natural Fibres to Use in your Bedroom

Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in Green Goods, Home Essentials | 0 comments

There’s something comforting about snuggling up under a warm wool quilt or kicking back in cotton sheets, and your go-natural approach doesn’t have to end there. There are a host of options for going natural in the bedroom that will ensure you get a perfect, uninterrupted night’s sleep. Whether you suffer allergies or just like the crisp feel of using natural products, the bedroom is the perfect place to employ the use of natural fibres.

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Wool

Renowned for its anti-allergen and insulation properties, wool is one of the go-to products for the boudoir whether you utilise wool quilts, pillows or underlays. Wool bedding comes in a variety of weights and paddings, meaning it’s easy to select the perfect product to suit your sleeping arrangements. Wool product companies such as MiniJumbuk specialise in wool bedding so it’s worth checking out the MiniJumbuk website; for some ideas and advice.

Some of the great features of wool are that it’s very easy to care for, tends not to retain moisture and, if looked after, will serve you for many years to come. And while we’re talking wool, don’t forget woollen rugs and carpets. Natural fibre flooring also deters dust mites and has a beautiful look.

Feather down

Like wool, feather and down bedding has great insulation and hygiene qualities, and is also easy to care for. Whether used for quilts or pillows, feather and down provides great warmth for its weight and re-plumps to shape readily. As a natural fibre, it resists moisture and dust mites, making it another perfect option for those with allergies and asthma.

Cotton

Crisp, clean, cotton sheets have to be one of life’s little luxuries and are a must-have for the bedroom. Cotton breathes well, so is perfect for bedding as it draws moisture away from your skin. While cool on warm nights, it also helps retain warmth when the weather’s chillier. Like wool, cotton is a hypo-allergenic fabric, meaning it’s great for allergy sufferers and those with sensitive skin. A good set of cotton sheets will also wash and wear well over time, so check the label to ensure it’s 100 per cent cotton you’re slumbering upon. Likewise, cotton quilt covers are fresh and easy to care for with the same attributes as sheets.

Bamboo

In recent years bamboo has been increasingly used for bed linen and bedding. A readily available resource, bamboo feels like silk, yet is fully breathable. Again bamboo boasts anti-allergen properties and is highly absorbent, making it perfect for hot summer nights. Bamboo is even considered antibacterial due to the structure of the fibres.

Mohair

Nothing says luxury quite like mohair and a mohair blanket or throw is a beautiful addition to any bedroom. Made from the wool of Angora goats, mohair is soft and renowned for its shine and lustre. Like wool, it has great insulating properties and also repels moisture, keeping it cool in summer.

Not only are natural fibres great for allergy sufferers and renowned for their breathability and moderating temperature, they are more sustainable than their synthetic counterparts. This means you’re not only doing yourself a favour by using them, you’re helping the environment a little as well.

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Get a Fill of Travel Experiences in Spain

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Earth Friendly Activities | 0 comments

They say that the best gift you can give your family is time. Not the five minutes chat over breakfast or a ten-minute phone call while you’re working late in the office. I’m talking about quality time with undivided attention – time to share experiences and build memories together. The best way to have this precious time without distractions from work is to travel discover the world together.

A travel destination with a nice mix of beach, nature, food, culture and nightlife is one of the best places where a family like ours can spend a holiday. Having these options available makes it easy to satisfy any travel experience each family member may want without hopping from one country to another. Those who are looking for such a destination can check out what Spain has to offer because when it comes to travel “Whatever I need, I need Spain”.

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It is quite common for countries to boast of their beautiful beaches and countryside to entice people to visit their country. But you can have so much more than this if you know where to go. Turespaña’s campaign “Whatever I need, I need Spain” points us to the right direction by showcasing the variety of travel experiences that Spain has to offer. You can match any travel mood from gustatory, adventure, or culture with a destination in Spain. For instance, a trip to Vitoria Gazteiz or a Tapas Tour of Madrid will be a perfect opportunity for food adventurers to experience the true flavors of Spanish cuisine. The white towns of Cadiz offer a romantic and enchanting ambiance for couples or those who are simply romantic at heart. There are also plenty of nature and adventure experiences for the whole family or those who would like to rough it out in nature. The Pyrenees in particular caught my attention and is now in my travel agenda.

Spain is also rich in arts, culture, and history as can be seen in their various world heritage sites and museums. This makes a great destination for artists, historians, students and people who would simply like to enrich themselves with the country’s culture. Those who would like to spend their time partying all night will not be disappointed with what Ibiza, Madrid and Barcelona has to offer. These are well known venues for some of the hottest parties in the world.

Before viewing this video, the wonderful beaches and the renowned nightlife in Ibiza were the only destinations on my list. Learning about Spain through the “Whatever I need, I need Spain” campaign opened my eyes to new travel possibilities in just one country. This is definitely a country my family would love to explore together. I wouldn’t mind spending all our holidays in Spain until we get my fill of everything that they have to offer.

Visit www.spain.info/whateverineedspain/en and find out more about the travel experiences that your own family can share in Spain.

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