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Tips on Buying a Comforter Set For Your Child

Posted in Comforter Set on May 3rd, 2007

A simple and effective way to start decorating your child’s room is by purchasing a comforter set. These sets come with all of the necessities for putting together a child’s bed (comforter, sheets, bedskirt, and pillow cases), and will also serve as the focal point for your child’s room. However, there are some things to consider before deciding on which comforter set to buy. In this article, we’ll provide you with some simple tips on buying a comforter set for your child.

The first tip on buying a comforter set for your child involves money. More to the point - the price you will pay for your child’s comforter set. By their very nature, comforter sets are designed to save you money while creating a look that stands out. When buying a comforter set, it is important that you don’t go overboard and spend an excess amount of money. Remember that kids will be kids, and the possibility of an accident happening in a child’s room is high. By keeping your comforter purchase a cheap one, it will offset any effect that a food or drink spill may have on your pocketbook.

The second tip to keep in mind when buying a comforter set is to be aware of any allergies your child may have. Many children may be allergic to natural down, so be sure to know this information before making a decision. There are several high quality comforters on the market that are filled with polyester or synthetic down. This will guarantee your child stays safe and warm with the comforter you select.

Now, the next step in buying a comforter for your child involves the colors and patterns you select. First, determine if you want to get your child involved in selecting their comforter set. There are several options available for both boys and girls, and it may be fun to have them help you pick out the design. At the very least, it will guarantee that your child approves of the comforter you end up selecting. So, what are some of the designs available for both boys and girls? Let’s take a quick look.

If looking for a comforter in a solid color for a boy’s bedroom, the most popular colors tend to be green, blue, and red. On the other hand, girls usually prefer pastel colors such as pink, yellow, and light blue. If looking for a themed comforter, boys usually like cars and trucks, as well as sports and super heroes. For the girls, the more popular comforter choices include flowers, ballerinas, and of course, Barbie.

These tips on buying a comforter set for your child should help you make the perfect bedding decision. The right comforter will provide your child with years of enjoyment, giving their room just the right look while making it a comfortable place to be. And the best part of all? Comforter sets are designed to provide this effect at a very reasonable price, helping to keep everyone in the family warm and cozy all year round.

Choosing Laminated Wood Flooring

Posted in Laminated Wood on May 1st, 2007

Laminated wood flooring is the hottest floor-covering product in America. Created in Europe, the product has now been in use for over 20 years. Laminated wood flooring is an interlocking system that is installed on top of an existing substrate. This type of laminated wood flooring has been used in the renovation of older buildings throughout Europe.

This floating laminate installation can be used on any hard, flat surface and is easy enough to be a do-it-yourself application. “Floating” as used here means that the new floor is not attached to the floor underneath and the joints are glued together.

Choices of laminated flooring

A water-resistant glue is recommended by most laminate flooring brands. The glue is used on every plank, between the tongue and grooves. The amount of glue used varies by brand. Pergo laminated wood flooring requires enough glue to completely fill the groove; the excess is squeezed out when the tongue and groove are interlocked. This particular laminated brand has a unique PerCore base layer that soaks up the glue.

Pickering brand laminate flooring, meanwhile, requires only a 1/6-inch drop of glue on the groove. Formica flooring requires a 1/8-inch bead in two places on the groove or tongue. All of these laminated flooring brands give you the same results, with different installation methods – Alloc flooring has a patented system that doesn’t require any glue.

Laminate flooring has four main elements that are bonded together. First, a durable, decorative surface made of resin-based melamine/aluminum oxide is affixed to a moisture-resistant wood core. A backing is then added to the core’s bottom side. On top is an aluminum oxide layer, providing stain resistance.

By using existing counter-top practices and adding more protection to the top layer, laminates have evolved into the perfect floor covering. Some manufacturers say their laminate floors are as much as 20 times harder than any laminate counter tops, thanks to a dense, resin-filled wear layer that’s resistant to stains, scratches and even cigarette burns.

The most common styles of laminate wood flooring have a wood-grain appearance. But some manufacturers offer laminate flooring in realistic stone and marble patterns. Laminate floors are produced as long, rectangular planks, usually around four feet long and 8 inches wide. Some manufacturers offer square tiles and double wide planks, as well.

Teak Patio Furniture Use and Care

Posted in Teak Patio Furniture on April 28th, 2007

When the weather gets colder, many homeowners face a dilemma: to keep their patio furniture outside, with proper weatherproofing, or take it inside and try to accommodate in a basement or garage. But with teak patio furniture, you will no longer want to stash the patio set in the basement. Instead, you will want to flaunt it all year long.

Teak patio furniture is becoming more popular each day, with more designers exploring the timeless charm of teak wood. This wood, which grows in Burma, Indonesia and other exotic locations, is extremely durable, light and convenient, and it ages with a stunning grace.

According to historians, woven wicker furniture was first used in ancient Egypt. But since that time teak has become a favorite of garden furniture manufacturers only in the beginning of the 20th century, when white garden furniture has been labeled as boring and the prominent garden decorator Gertrude Jekyll claimed that gray- or green-toned garden furniture is more attractive. Since teak weathers to a beautiful silvery gray, it has soon become a popular wood of choice for many garden and patio furniture manufacturers.

Teak is one of the most valuable woods today. Teak wood grows in severe climatic conditions in Burma and Indonesia. Teak is a very hard wood resistant to wind, pests, sun, and humidity. In addition, teak does not splinter. For centuries, teak was used in marine building, which means that teak patio furniture can be easily left outside even in harsh climate conditions.

One of the most remarkable features of teak wood is its ability to change color with age. When new, its color varies from light to dark brown and over years becomes a light silver gray. The first “gray hair” in teak furniture will be noticeable after three to four months of use, depending on how contrasting the climate conditions are in your area. For example, if you have cold nights and hot sunny days, teak patio furniture will turn to gray faster. Natural teak will become gray in about a year.

To preserve this beautiful taupe shade of gray, you can wash the teak patio furniture every spring with mild detergent and water. To prevent dust accumulation you may wash the furniture with your regular garden hose, keeping the water pressure at low.

Even though teak wood does not splinter, it may develop small cracks with time. Teak wood contains a high amount of natural wood oils, so it will not develop deep structural cracks. There is no need to treat teak wood with any kind of wood sprays or oils to protect it; however, the teak wood oil does create a pretty surface sheen. You may apply oil when you plan to leave the teak furniture outside for a long period of time, or when the wood starts to show gray.

Since in most cases teak wood is left untreated when used for teak patio furniture, you should avoid spilling food or drinks on the wood surface. If you do happen to “leave your mark”, don’t use any harsh detergents to remove it. Any marks will eventually fade with time. When the stain is noticeable, you may scrub the area with mild sandpaper. Ultra-violet rays also damage the sheen of the teak furniture, and an annual treatment with properly labeled teak wood oil is recommended. Make sure that your teak wood furniture is clean and dry before treating, because you don’t want to trap any water under the coat of oil.

Contemporary Furniture Trends

Posted in Contemporary Furniture on April 28th, 2007

Fashion trends no longer dictate the way we dress or decorate our homes. Eclecticism and contrasting style directions reign in home design. More and more people develop a taste of mixing contradictory furniture trends in their home decor, combining contemporary furniture with vintage finds and exotic art pieces.

Uncertain economy, the rise of natural disasters, persistent war conflicts and terrorist threats has resulted in the further insulation of people within their home cocoons. This cocoon lifestyle has given a boom to houseware and furniture industry, since more and more people turn to home entertainment and dinner parties instead of “going out.”

The “cocoon boom,” which originally started after September 11, 2001, transformed the modern home into a family sanctuary and hideaway. Casual living remains as the major theme with contemporary furniture today, with an emphasis on home entertaining and informal dining.

From modern furniture to accessories and dinnerware, people look for items that possess a strong sense of personal style. The casual living trend in modern furniture translates into multi-functional furniture with clear non-cluttered design and extended seating furniture pieces such as extra-long and curved couches and sofas.

Modern furniture today encourages family values, promotes quality family entertainment, supports traditional values and generally helps people connect. Another noticeable trend in home décor is a return to ‘formal’ for special occasions. People tend to make a greater effort preparing for special occasions or dinner parties and spend more time selecting dinnerware, candles, photo albums, seasonal decorations and table linen. Another important modern furniture trend is sensuality which means luscious fabrics, soft warm colors and simple shapes.

Many furniture items are adjusted for use for the targeted group of single men. This means sleek minimalist design and an emphasis on the use of multi-media applications. Flat screen TV’s are accommodated in hi-tech entertainment centers, and flat loudspeakers are incorporated into lean, spacious sofas, covered with dark trendy upholstery fabrics. This trend is also reflected in one-of-a-kind furniture items, such as art pieces having a functional meaning. Wide use of LED lighting technology helps transform a coffee table into a futuristic object that will change colors depending on a situation.

Speaking of materials used in modern furniture today, light woods still dominate. Oak, cherry, and birch are the most popular woods, with rattan and bamboo on the rise. Many woods are artificially stained to resemble exquisite tropical woods, for example, zebrano, mahogany, or palisander. A varnished solid front is often combined with a veneered body. Stainless steel, polished or brushed, and aluminum are used widely, often combined with innovative satin glass and boldly colored fiberglass.

In the upholstery, modern furniture designers favor refined large abstract patterns or sophisticated monochrome surfaces. Stripes and checks, as well as floral patterns are slightly out of fashion. The most popular materials are wool, cotton and leather, with wool felt gaining popularity.

The main characteristic feature of modern furniture is its understatement. Giorgio Armani, a couturier turned furniture designer says, that a subtle richness, not an obvious beauty, is most important in contemporary furniture design. Like a beautiful woman, furniture today reveals itself over time.

Laminated flooring installation tips

Posted in Home & Garden on November 13th, 2006

Laminate floors are placed over the sub-floor without actually being attached to it. In other words, laminate flooring simply lies on whatever’s underneath it (wood, cement, linoleum, etc.). Laminate floors come in squares or planks, and have a variety of shapes and sizes The planks have a tongue and groove edge which are locked together.

Many laminate floors don’t require any glue, making installation much easier with their glueless locking systems. Other laminate floors have glue pre-applied, requiring just a damp sponges to activate the adhesive. Many of the better grade laminate floors have their edges pre-sealed at the factory in order to prevent moisture from attacking the inner core structure.

Prior to installation, a special polyurethane coat is put down, over which the flooring will float. Some higher-priced underlayments reduce sound and restrict moisture penetration. The installation for laminate wood flooring is similar to hardwood, with several rows laid first to square off the room to prevent bowing and cupping of the planks.

The process of glueless laminate floor installation

The laminate flooring most commonly offered by manufacturers are glueless, also referred to as “clic-floors.” The tongue and the groove of this type of flooring is meant to lock firmly in place and not come apart with foot traffic. Always read the manufacturer’s installation procedures before you start – this will prevent you from making mistakes and wasting time and effort. Also, the subfloor must be flat in order for the planks to lock together.

Tools to install glued laminate flooring

You’ll need various tools to install standard laminate flooring. Again, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions and use the recommended tools.

  1. Glue – most, but not all, laminate floors have a special adhesive to join the planks and help keep moisture out of the core.
  2. Straps – these are much more effective at pulling rows of planks together than clamps are. As a rule, you’ll need a set of straps for every four feet of starter rows.
  3. Fillers and sealants — some laminate wood flooring manufacturers offer color coordinated fillers and sealants to cover gaps between planks and prevent moisture from entering the perimeter of the planks.
  4. Tapping block – use this to tap two planks together.
  5. Wedges – V-shaped wedges are used to ensure that there’s as little gap left between the laminate floor and the walls as possible. Again, different manufacturers of laminate floors have their own recommended gap distance, so to be sure to consult your manufacturer’s installation manual.
  6. Pulling bar – this bar is used to pull two pieces of together. Great care must be applied in using the bars to avoid chipping the surface of the plank.

Building Your own Humming Bird Feeder

Posted in Home & Garden on October 13th, 2006

We all know that taking a beautiful photo of humming birds is hard to obtain, even when they are inside cages. The only thing that you could do is buy a hummingbird feeder to bring these birds into photographic distance. But these ready-made hummingbird feeders are somewhat expensive. Worry no more, because you can make your very own hummingbird feeder for free. All you need to do is recycle used or old prescription vials for making nectar dispensers. Hummingbirds are known to feed on nectars.

The materials needed to make your own hummingbird feeder are clear prescription vials with a fitted cap, a few feet of thin wire or heavy thread and transparent tape or scotch tape. You may also need a sharp pointed metal object like an ice pick.

To start with this project, heat up the ice pick or whatever sharp pointed metal you are using and make a pair of holes on each side of the prescription vial, near the open end where the cap is placed. You have to make sure that they are close but not too close that the holes are covered with the bottom of the cap when it is placed on. The size of the holes should be small enough to keep the liquid inside the container.

Next, round up the thin wire or thread. Secure it by wrapping with the scotch tape or transparent tape on each end of the thread or thin wire to the prescription vial. If you want extra holding capacity, wrap a second piece of transparent tape around the prescription vial.

Basically, that’s all you have to do in making hummingbird feeders. It depends on you how many hummingbird feeders you want to make, but if you want to enjoy watching more than just one hummingbird, you can make a number of these feeders and tie them into a mobile and place them in your backyard.

To fill up your hummingbird feeder, remove the cap holding the prescription vial on and fill it up with nectar and replace the cap. Closed tightly, turn the prescription vial upside down as quickly as you can. The feeder’s hole should be at the bottom, a small amount of nectar will leak out the feeder’s holes, but as soon as the vacuum inside the prescription vial is created, the leakage will stop.

Now we come to making the nectar for the hummingbirds. Basically there are two choices of nectar. First is the nectar mix that is commercially available in a granulated form. Or second, you can make your own nectar from a sugar solution. For the purpose of information, honey is not recommended. Research proves that too much honey is harmful to hummingbirds, since it weakens them and may cause death to these birds.

Just where to hang the feeders? In general, it is good to hang these feeders in any part of the garden where there is no direct exposure to sunlight and where the wind will not be able to shake the feeder. Direct sunlight speeds up fermentation of the nectar inside the feeder. It is recommended to hang the hummingbird feeders near the flowers in the garden to further attract these birds. Now, you can enjoy watching hummingbirds hovering and perching on your own feeder.

How does a tankless water heater work?

Posted in Home & Garden on August 8th, 2006

Consider this scenario: You come home after a hard day’s work, and the only thing on your mind is taking a nice, long, hot shower. You hop in, and start to enjoy the hot water splashing down upon you. However, just a few minutes into your escape from the day, you notice the water temperature turning lukewarm. Another minute later, it is bordering on chilly. Before you know it, your nice hot shower has turned into a freezing torture test. How can this happen? Well, more than likely the problem can be traced to an underachieving storage tank water heater. For this reason (and others), more and more people are starting to discover the benefits of switching over to a tankless water heater. How does a tankless water heater work? In this article, we’ll give you the skinny on this amazing system. Before we examine the tankless water heater, let’s take a closer look at its counterpart. A storage tank water heater keeps a certain level of water hot 24 hours a day, which can lead to some negative results. First, this constant energy use leads to higher electricity bills and unnecessary wear on the water tank. In addition, when the hot water supply gets used (as in the example above), the water tank needs a standard amount of time (also known as recovery time) to heat the water back up again. This can often be frustrating, especially in larger family homes where the battle for hot water can be “heated”.

That leads us to tankless water heaters. These systems are designed to heat water as you need it, which means that everyone in your family will be able to use hot water anytime on demand. How is this possible? Well, whenever somebody turns on the hot water faucet, the tankless water heater springs into action. Cold water flows into the heater and is instantly heated by copper and brass water ways known as exchangers. The result is endless hot water in a matter of seconds! The hot water temperature is set by you and will always remain the same, which should eliminate any incidences of burns or scalding water. When the members of your family are finished using the hot water, the tankless water heater will shut down until it is needed again. As you can see, this system is far more efficient than standard storage tank water heaters.

Tankless water heaters also last longer than storage tank water heaters. Aside from being more space effective (most units are a quarter of the size of conventional heaters), tankless water heaters also provide unobstructed heat transfer. Why is this? Because water is not actually stored in a tankless heater, mineral build-up does not occur. This enables a tankless water heater to perform at the highest level for upwards of 20 years or more.

Now that you have a better idea about how a tankless water heater works, why not consider replacing your outdated storage tank with a system of your own? You will save energy, space, and money, and best of all you and your family will always be guaranteed hot water any time it is needed.