Planning and Organizing Your Children's Bathroom

flickr image by JEFFREY'S MURALS
Once you have gone through the process of organizing the bathroom for adult family members, you can proceed to the bathroom of the children. By clearing your bathroom of all things unnecessary and organizing it in an easy to use manner, you encourage the children to become more independent and develop their self-learning skills.

Use the discovery process of category development to help your children create personalized systems for themselves. Assigning each child his or her own every day use drawer (and subdividing the drawers into several finite categories where suitable) will restrict quarrels. Frequently, children have less gear than adults—that is, till they reach their teen years! While your kids are still small, you could store extra towels or warehouse supplies in their cabinets when you find extra space...READ MORE>>>


DIY Decorating With Red Theme

Two times in a year, that is during Valentine's Day and Christmas, red becomes the dominant color presented in shop windows and magazines. For this color, it's highly undervalued as a base around which to build your decorating scheme.

The Pros and Cons of Red
When in doubt, paint it white. Nevertheless, some smashing rooms are done in shades of red. Some decorating guru would say that everybody loves red. It is the happiest of colors. Red symbolizes easy playfulness and it beams energy.

There are however, many prejudices voiced against red rooms in a home, like:
1. It's too priestly or Victorian.
2. It just belongs in a child's room.
3. It's remindful of old-time saloons having crimson flocked wallpaper.
4. It belongs in public places, like the carpet in a hotel or lounge of an airport.
5. It's excessively regal, as in red velvet capes.

Preconceptions aside, red gives wonderful possibilities and is turning to be more and more popular.

The Finest Places for Red
So where is red best? Hallways look terrific in red. Most entry ways are dark, and red is an excellent color for producing fervor in dark areas. Rather than just lightening up as with a light color, red pulls in warmth and richness. Red also forges good with several other colors. Red is a wonderful color for a dining room. Food, people, and flowers look excellent in a red room. Red positively makes a room glowing when there is candlelight or a fire in the fireplace. Red enhances all the elements in a library or den. Dark wooden furniture, books, leather, tapestry, needlework, and brass look good on red red. Bright white is a good company for your wood trim and doors. Red paint or wallpaper is elegant inside a china cabinet or bookcases. Oriental rugs with red in them are a good choice for floor covering in a red room. Red is enchanting with bronze or gold leaf. Red upholstered fabric is fantastic with dark mahogany furniture.

Red furniture?
You might think it sounds horrifying till you imagine Chinese red-lacquered furniture. A red-painted casual table seems to fit in wherever you place it. Sometimes it could bear a red tole lamp and at other times like a huge white vase of red or white roses with deep green leaves.

Shades of Red
Naturally there are several different shades of red. Some tend toward the pink red of brick or terra-cotta, some include blue or purple in the color. Then there are the clarets. Each shade produces a different ambiance. Dark cranberry red is often seen in early New England houses. Used with deep green or federal blue and you've got a great Early American mix.

Paint specialists frequently urge putting a clear glaze to red wall paint. This gives it a shiny, rich finish. At times, deep red, right out of the can, looks cloudy and dull after it dries out. In this instance, put on a coat of semi-gloss, clear polyurethane for that glazed effect.

© Athena Goodlight 


Decorating Strategies At Christmas

With so much decorative selections at Christmas, a strategy is necessary to see to it that whatever is done looks coordinated, well staged and beautiful, and not haphazard and disorganized. By making a few basic or traditional decorations along with testing creative and different ideas, beautiful and pleasing ornamental surroundings can be produced in all homes.
Traditional decorating themes include applying wreaths for doors or entrances and on a wall with unobstructed view. Garlands can be positioned along surface where they can be hung up vertically or horizontally. And Christmas lights can be utilized by itself or with garlands, in shrubs and naturally on Christmas trees.
Using Christmas lights outside along the frame of homes and icicle shaped ones to adorn the roof lines of houses have become really popular. Icicle lights are just as easy as normal lights to put in place and they make a very pleasing display for the holiday season. Adding color to these outdoor light displays can also make homes and the lighting display look more dramatic.
For indoor lighting, candles have become an attractive Christmas ornamental item as they can light up the night in low-key but beautiful manner. Candles create a aesthetic look when displayed at windowpanes if there are at the least two sets of two or three windows directly above one another, which is in a vertical pattern. Modern technologies with candles have also made them safer to use. There are electric candles but also battery-operated ones that can be applied safely rather than electrical ones or in places where there are no electrical outlets.
There are also creative ways to use and integrate several items around the home to make Christmas decorations. Christmas or holiday ribbons can be applied to make bows that are pinned onto draperies to provide a festive appearance and a creative Christmas decoration. Like curtains, houseplants could also be decorated for the holidays. Small Christmas ornaments can be lightly placed on houseplants to give porches, terraces and front lawns a surprising Christmas cosmetic look.

Though many individuals don't use Christmas stockings any longer to stuff Christmas gifts, they can still be used to create excellent Christmas decorations. A collection of Christmas stockings can be tacked on the mantle, shelf or a wall with or without anything inside them. They'll look just as beautiful as those that are oftentimes seen in stores.

Christmas lights can also be wrapped along with garlands on a balustrade or stair railing to add a flashing Christmas look. Mistletoe can also be hung up just about anywhere with or without Christmas lights. If the tale around mistletoe is believed however, then it ought to be hung somewhere with room underneath where two folks can have a friendly holiday kiss or even a hug. Faux snow can also be sprinkled on garlands, mistletoes and wreaths to further raise their visual aspect with something from the Christmas season. And to adopt a decorative feature from department stores, various differently sized boxes can be wrapped, piled in a haphazard style and placed in a nook from floor to ceiling to make a gift pillar decoration.

Old Christmas cards can also be used for decoration by cutting images from them to create a collage. The pictures are then pasted onto a paperboard that can be framed or hung up as is on a wall as Christmas decoration. Even Christmas biscuit cutters could be put to an easy, simple and creative use as a ornamental item at Christmas time. A ribbon can be used to string two or three or even single biscuit cutters that can be put on the Christmas tree or at a window as decorative ornaments.

Any home can consequently be decorated to be appealing for Christmas and the holidays, given the several ideas and ways that Christmas decoration can be done.

© 2011 Athena Goodlight


DIY Easy Christmas Decorating Tips

Everyone seems to have a great deal of duties during the holidays than at any time of the year. Most folks are too engaged with family and jobs to even entertain or decorate extravagantly. On that point, here are some thoughts for do-it-yourself party decorations that will earn your home a warm, refined, and inviting atmosphere without an unreasonable quantity of time put in.

Reds and Greens
Gift wrap "pretend" packages with green, red, or silver shiny paper, tie using plush white satin or silver ribbons, and stack on a silver tray to dress a side table or use it as a centerpiece. The boxes may be empty, or employ any boxes from the food pantry to wrap and use just for decoration. Cereal boxes are a good candidate.

No Time to Decorate
Cut huge branches of pine and place on a mantel. Put fat candles in hurricane lamps and set on each end of the mantel. A fine alternative for hurricane lamps  would be glass vases.

Centerpiece Ideas
Fill a huge container using greens and supply clear tree lights. Or fill a large basket using cut greens from your yard or garden center. When you choose to add a lovely holiday scent to the house and get a festive area, fill a big wicker laundry basket using pine branches. Disperse some pinecones throughout the branches.

Creative Table Covering
Use large leafy greens like cabbage, kale, spinach, chard, curly lettuce, and other veggies to cover a buffet table. Lay your serving dishes on top of the greens and arrange them up so the leaves border the plates in an artistic way. When you are able to get various heights this also imparts interest.

Use Candles
Candles have played an unforgettable part during Christmas festivities. Candles are an easy way to cause us to feel better, since they improve every setting and every room.  Ivory-colored candles are largely distributed compared to any other shade. All the same, candle colors are brighter than ever before having orange, lime, and yellow hues as the newest colors. It doesn't cost much to buy good quality candles that burn for a long time. Beeswax, is basking in renewed popularity, and many people are noticing how easy it is to make their own.

The Beauty of Food
Pile ripe apples, pears, tangerines, lemons, limes, and crab apples in a bowl with pinecones. A pretty container made full with red potatoes could be dressed-up with sprigs of rosemary to adorn a table. You'll be surprised at how many compliments you would get.  Put small apples on wooden skewers to fancy up cooked ham or sliced turkey on the table. Cuts of raw vegetables can be set up in interesting baskets.  Add long branches of greens plucked from a backyard tree.

Lighting Effects
Light up your table with tall, fat candles from a garden center or floral supply.  Drill several holes on a plank to hold the candles and cover the wood in silver foil or wrapping paper. Surround with a number of large and interesting vegetable shapes such as the head of cabbage, a variety of squash, and whatever is attractive from the produce section. It may be a creative experience to view food as an ornamental element instead of for eating.

Decorating with Blooms
It's fun to employ unusual containers for holding flowers. Use a mixing bowl, a wine bottle box, or a wooden salad bowl to contain delicate flowers like roses or freesia.
Make individual floral arrangements for each guest at your table. Spray-paint laurel leaves silver (or use as is), and with a glue stick, pin them lengthwise so they overlap around a glass jar. Tie a nice ribbon or cord around the center of the jar and fill each one up using fresh flowers.

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 © 8/22/2011 Athena Goodlight


Uses for Lavender

Essence of lavender has thorough uses, from cleansing skinned knees to adding freshness to the water we use to clean our floors. It could be noted that French women put lavender to their cleaning water since it has been acknowledged to repel scorpions. Luckily we have no such demand, but it surely can't hurt to try it for repelling a few of our own bothersome summer bugs. Who knows, we might find our very own cures or excuses for using lavender.

Read more on The Many Practical Uses of Lavender


Stylish and Practical Window Treatments

Do you recall when miniblinds were the craze? Today they seem passé. They were the innovative version of our parents' or grandparents' classic 1930s Venetian blinds. Well, wooden blinds are now back in style and they are really similar to those old blinds of a couple of generations back, but they're sleeker and much better-looking. Amazingly, they look modern. Like with clothing styles, well-designed items for home decorating readily come back in style.

A Custom Look
If you have been looking for a custom window treatment look you will be happy to learn you can now get it through the mail. Some companies offer a catalog for ordering custom window treatments such as wooden blinds in various sizes, colors, and finishes as well as shutters and blinds. They provide swatches of fabrics and materials employed in their window treatments so you are able to see and feel the product prior to making a purchase.

What Is a Blind?
A blind is a window cover designed of either horizontal or vertical slats that can be turned for light and privacy control. Horizontal blinds could be drawn up and vertical blinds could be drawn to the side for an unobstructed view.

What Is a Shade?
A shade is a window covering made from a piece of material that gathers, rolls, or folds both up and down. The shade can be brought up for light and view and lowered for privacy.

What Is a Shutter?
A shutter bears a hinged frame, filled with louvers or panels, that attaches straight to the window frame. While the louvers are often opened up for air and light, the frames normally remain closed.

Defining Curtains
Curtains are an expanse of fabric assembled on a rod. Curtains are opened and closed by merely pushing the fabric from side to side.

Defining Draperies
A drapery is an expanse of pleated fabric hanging from several metal hooks. The hooks are typically attached to a mechanical rod that permits the fabric to be closed, drawn open, or gathered to the side.

Wood Blinds
The newest in wood blinds are constructed from basswood and not affected by extreme temperatures and humidity. They come with one-, two-, or three-inch slats, and the cloth tapes that line up and hold the individual blinds and run down both sides of the front of the blinds can be bought in dozens of styles and colors, including a safari print, as well as linen in various colors to match your wall paint. The wood slats have a smooth, satin finish or you can have a more rustic look using the interesting grain finished in a low sheen. For a rugged look there are sandblasted slats that display the natural grain through the paint.

Decorative Tapes
While you can find blinds with color-coordinated nylon ladders too unobtrusive that they almost disappear, the decorative tapes are rather interesting. There is a European-looking two-tone herring-bone design that adds texture and comes in seven colors, also as woven, textured designs like damask.

New and Improved Shutters
Shutters have changed substantially from the old days. Sturdy basswood shutters are precut and predrilled and crafted for quick installation. You may choose your color and finish, the number of panels, even the color of the hardware.

Custom Treatments
When you want custom-made curtains, shades, and balloon or Roman shades, for instance, you can order these in a number of of subtle colors and pretty fabrics like damask, silks, velvets, burlap, chenille, linens, and canvas just to name a few.

© 2011 Athena Goodlight

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How to Dry Roses and Other Flowers

Tips for Drying Flowers
1. Flowers picked to be air-dried must be as perfect as possible and moisture-free.
2. Flowers for drying shouldn't be picked too early in the day. Allow the warmth of the sun evaporate the dew first, and take out leaves from the stems to help speedy drying.
3. The faster flowers dry the better they keep their colors.
4. Collect flowers in bunches and secure the stems using rubber bands. Hang upside down on a hook in a dry, dark area.
5. Most flowers air-dry best when hung inverted.
6. Dried materials can stay hanging indefinitely, as long as they're not hanging in a moist area.
7. To store flowers after they are dry, put them between layers of tissue paper in cardboard boxes.

Read the more detailed version here:  How to Dry Roses and Other Flowers 


Tips on Buying a Sewing Machine

Choosing a sewing machine is like in many respects, the selection of a car. One thinks of its features, durability, and reliability and require a period of several years with minimal care and repair. The amount and type of characteristics of a sewing machine delivery affect the price. Consider the features you choose as an investment in the development of your sewing skills. If you frequently use your sewing machine, these features eventually pay for themselves. Three good ways to ensure the quality of your purchase are: choose a known brand, buying from a reputable dealer who runs a good service, and ask the opinion of friends who meet the sewers. Note the two big "don'ts". Do not pay for more features than you can use, do not conserve by selecting a machine that falls short of your expectations in at least a year. Beware of  "too good to be true" deals. You should be receiving service from reputable dealer offers.

Read more: Tips on Buying a Sewing Machine 


Using Bright Colors Effectively for Your Home Interiors

Many showrooms walls, ceilings and floors are subjected to variations of beige. The vibrant colors like orange has come to permeate our homes. This adds other up and coming "hot" colors, but some color combinations are such that not many of us can live with. New colors are made each season. So how can we be unique without being outrageous? Perhaps there could be a way to combine new and radical colors in our decor in small doses.

Read more: Using Bright Colors Effectively for Your Home Interiors


Wall Paint Techniques

When your walls demand repair, or if they're covered with ugly paneling or old wallpaper, the answer for transforming them could be to give them a faux finish. There are several decorative painting methods that are great for camouflage and that produce a look of rich elegance kind of effortlessly and inexpensively. To make a faux finish you start having a base coat of paint over which you put on a translucent glaze. Then you create texture using techniques like sponging, ragging, combing, or stippling...READ MORE>>>

Customize Your Own Bedroom Style

Designers have made it exceedingly easy to make a totally coordinated look for the bedroom that's fashionable and up-to-date without becoming terribly expensive. The bed and bath sections of stores also offer the latest in designer coordinates. The basic ensembles have sheets, pillowcases, shams, duvet cover, and bed skirt—in whatever size. Regardless what style you favor, whether it's country ginghams by Martha Stewart, a floral ensemble by Liz Claiborne, or the monochromatic scheme of Calvin Klein, to identify a few, you can buy the complete set in a bag. They take all the guesswork out of the job since they've done all the thinking for you.

Black "sunburst" Design Queen Size Canopy Bed Headboard Footboard Canopy
Read more:  Customize Your Own Bedroom Style

Personalized Bedroom Design Ideas

A bedroom offers much more than just a place to sleep. It is also our private sanctuary where we relax and recharge.  Bedrooms reflect our personalities.  Through time, our tastes also change, naturally, our bedroom furniture, décor, and design changes, too.  Here are ways to personalize the bedroom.

Read more: Redesigning The Bedroom to Suit Your Personality

Storage Ideas for Your Garage

Garage organizing involves a great deal of proper storage.  A lot of people go wrong when considering the right storage system in their garage overhaul. Somewhere between putting together their team and vacating the garage, they jumped the gun and ran to the warehouse store and purchased shelving. When you buy products too early in the procedure, you are likely to get the wrong things.
 Rubbermaid 5E28 Deluxe Tool Tower Rack with Casters, Holds 40 Tools
Many people erroneously believe that if they simply have storage shelves, their organizing problems would be worked out. If you rush out and buy shelves and racks but have no total plan for the space or knowledge of the size and amount of items you wish to store, your satisfaction with their purchase would plummet, and thus become frustrated. If you truly like to become organized, you'll invest the time up front to check the items in your garage and classify them effectively to inform your storage decisions...READ MORE>>>

The Bulldog Hardware 131588 Peg-A-System Ultimate Kit

Hobby Room: To Use or To Store?

Storage and workspace considerations also could help settle whether you ought to create a separate room or just keep your supplies elsewhere. If you work on your hobbies at a particular desk or table, you would want to store the supplies nearby. This is a useful and sometimes preferred alternative to having a dedicated room.

Again, do consider your natural habits, space features, and storage and workspace considerations before you preemptively appoint a room for hobby duty. Similarly, you may benefit from some caution and tactical advice when establishing your hobby haven.

Read more:  Tips on Organizing Your Hobby Room

Economical and Natural Look on Your Walls With Faux Panels

Texture Plus Indoor/Outdoor Siding Panel, Stonewall, Tan - Interlocking 
What Are Faux Panels? 

Fauxpanels are low-cost alternatives to real wood, brick, or stone siding.  Home owners and builders favor its easy-to-install and maintenance-free quality.  The realistic quality of the panelings is achieved from cast molding of the actual matrerials such as rock, stone, wood, or brick.  This way, every natural detail is intact.
Home owners could use fauxpanels to evenly enhance the design both interior or exterior spaces because these panels are designed mainly for outdoor use but are also beautiful to use indoors.
 Texture Plus Indoor/Outdoor Siding Panel, Stonewall, Light Tan - Sample
Home owners could use fauxpanels to evenly enhance the design both interior or exterior spaces because these panels are designed mainly for outdoor use but are also beautiful to use indoors...READ MORE>>>


Organizing Your Different Closets

Closets are the basic storage of the household. They're convenient because they are generally scattered all over the house. They offer quick access to often used items. For these same reasons, we often abuse them with our stashing habits. If you want to solve closet clutter for good, you will need to take the time to assess the household as a whole and specify the purpose of each storage closet. When you undergo this process, your disorganization will start to disappear as your closets serve their own intentional, unique, and orderly purposes.

Often, people attempt to organize a closet by taking out everything and cleaning it up then shoving everything back in. This only rearranges the closet, but does not organize it.

Know the function of each storage closet before you begin your total task. When you recognize the function of the closet under consideration, gather all related items, check if the closet can accommodate those items, and only then will you start loading that closet.

Kids' Closets

You may think your children's clothes closets should be smaller variants of your own storage, but they are more prone to changes than yours. When your kids are still small, they will require more drawer space than hanging space because most of their clothes can be folded. Around this time the closet may be used to store toys, gears, and blankets. As kids grow, their garments change sizes too, and they'll likely require hanging space. When this happens, be prepared to reconfigure their closets or dressers or both and adjust with the times. If you can observe when changes take place and you are able to shift your system accordingly, you can systematically keep your home in order.

Linen Closets

Another familiar closet is the linen closet, where you stack away pillows, bedding, sleeping bags and towels. If you have stored all your linens in this closet and still have plenty of room, you can consider providing extra room for additional linen acquisitions or expanding the linen closet's function to admit something else. Storing first aid and medicines in the linen closet would take these items away from damp bathrooms and also grant easy access. Be sure to keep them out of reach by children to ensure safety. If your linen closet is in the laundry room you might as well get some tips on Organizing The Laundry or Utility Room.

Hobby Closets

Some of us are fortunate enough to have generous amount of storage and can assign some closets to store our prized possessions. For the family who are into playing games and has a closet near the family room or bonus room, a game closet could be an excellent place to hold all the puzzles, board games and video games. Crafty people who love making things or folks who have little children to entertain may wish to have a craft room. Since many people don't have a spare room for the function of arts and crafts, the next best thing is to have a craft closet that can hold all the related supplies and materials. Scrapbookers or those who like to keep their photos organized may dedicate a closet for the function of storing memorabilia.

Having closets is convenient for these can be generally distributed all over the house giving quick access to frequently used items. It is also for these same reasons that we often abuse them with our hoarding habits. If you wish to solve closet clutter permanently, you'll need to spend time to assess the household in its totality and particularize the purpose of every storage closet. When you go through this process, your disorganization will begin to disappear as your closets function according to their own designed, unique, and systematic purposes. Here are some Tips on Organizing Your Hobby Room


Creating a Distressed Effect Furniture Paint

The process involves applying two interacting varnishes over each other. Ready-made crackle lacquer is sold in art stores as a pack of two varnishes. You will also need transparent oil glaze, raw umber oil paint (those that come in small tubes), and cheese cloth.
 Decorative Wood Leather Treasure Box - Trunk
1. Begin with a painted piece in a color of your choice. It can be painted using any base like latex or oil enamel. The piece must be clean from dirt by first sanding lightly.

2. Apply the oil-based varnish using a smooth, thin layer. Allow the varnish dry until slightly tacky.

3. Brush on a coat of water-based varnish, covering up the entire surface entirely. Leave paint to dry for at least an hour. Cracks would appear...READ MORE>>>

Making Antique Furniture Reproductions: Instructions and Measured Drawings for 40 Classic Projects

Interior Decorating With the Right Kind of Lighting

Lighting is always the last consideration while decorating or remodeling a room. But it could be the most significant finishing component in a successful completion. Actually, lighting can alter the mood of a room and create an atmosphere that is suitable for the activities done in that particular room. When the lighting is totally wrong, not bright enough or too harsh, it is instantly apparent and bothersome.

A Welcoming Sight

It's so easy to produce ambiance with a single lamp. Lamplight in a room offers a warm and welcoming presence. A soft light left on in a front hallway for those not yet home is such a loving gesture. It gives a feeling of coziness.>>>READ MORE

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