Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pleated Shades Lowes For Your Home

There are many ways and options to choose from when you are looking for a way to cover your windows. Pleated shades lowes are a great option and there are many reasons for that. They are a popular choice for many people because of their versatility, along with many other aspects that you will also love about pleated blinds or shades.

Pleated Shades Lowes For Your Home

They are available in many styles, colors and sizes. The colorful choices available will leave you baffled on which to choose. They colors will add a sense of warmth into any room in which they are added. You do not have to buy plain colors, as multi-color, plaids, and different textures are available with pleated shades lowes. Unlike standard blinds, which are typically wood, vinyl, or plastic, pleated shades lowes are fabric for the instant feeling of cozy. The pleated design will resemble the look of standard blinds, but the fabric will give it a designer fell. Not only will the shades give your room a cozy feeling, but they will also give you privacy and protect your interior belongings from the damage of UV sunrays. When they are pulled to let light into the home, the will raise in a symmetric manner and sit uniformly at the top of the window. You can also find special pleated shades lowes for hard to cover windows such as arched or oddly angled windows. You will also find that you can cover your glass paneled doors with the fantastic look of pleated shades lowes. There will be no need to add curtains atop of your pleated shades lowes unless you just feel the need to, because they alone will cover the window with a great dressing and will need no more.

They will be sure to give any room a soft cozy feel in only the time it takes to hang them!

Increase Your Knowledge About Kitchen Island Stools

A kitchen island stools could be used for various purposes. You could use it to arrange the meal before dinner, you could use it for grabbing a quick snack or you could even use it to make certain food preparations. Based on the size and the design of your island style kitchen you could even attach wheels to it in order to make it completely mobile and easy to handle. However, there may be times when you would actually like to sit and have a meal over your island style kitchen. kitchen island stools are the perfect solution for this.

Increase Your Knowledge About Kitchen Island Stools

If your island kitchen does not have full-length block under it you could always use the empty space under the island to keep your stool. You could pull out the stool when you need to have a seat and continue with your work over the island style kitchen. For instance, you could use the island stool as a seat while cutting vegetables over the island.

If you happen to have a functional kitchen then it is obvious that you and your family would prefer eating around the island style kitchen. A few island stools might just do the trick for you. You can have a comfortable meal on the kitchen island stools. It can also give a very casual feeling to your island style. You can always use them for a quick meal. Many people may prefer kitchen stools with wheels. the ones with wheels help you avoid bumping into them and this can make it easier for you to move around with the kitchen island stools.

Choosing The Right Small Kitchen Furniture

Choosing small kitchen furniture can become an easy task if a few things are kept in mind. Before you go out and purchase the items you need, give the following topics some thought.

Of course, you must consider the amount of space you have to work with. Whether you are trying to seat the family or add pieces that allow for more storage, remember to keep things in proportion. When it comes to items like storage pantries always remember to go up rather than out. Tall slim pieces will effectively give your kitchen the storage it needs without taking up a lot of floor or wall space.

Having small children can pose a problem. Seating them on stools is inviting disaster even if they have backs. Children need to be kept close to the floor where getting in and out of a seat is easy for them to do. Look for benches or even booth style seating to keep them comfortable and out of harm's way.

Choosing The Right Small Kitchen Furniture

The number of people in your family will bring up two separate considerations. Seating them for a meal needs to be considered as does freedom of movement around the room. If you happen to be living alone these matters won't come into play, but you may want to consider friends and family that come to visit.

The kitchen, regardless of size, is one of the most common meeting places for family members. Being able to gather when spaces are cramped will cause some problems to arise but it can be done. There are a number of ways to maximize storage and keep the small kitchen uncluttered.

Trompe l'oeil is a French term that means fooling the eye, and that is exactly what must be done in small kitchen. Only the most used small appliance should be left on the counter and even many of those can be mounted below an upper cabinet. Wall storage goes a long way in making your small space seem larger. Wall racks and shelving are just two easy ways for placement of pots and pans leaving cabinet space open for other things. Look for units that you can hang above the stove or the sink. These are excellent for giving things like spices and some cleaning materials a permanent home.

Tables come in a myriad of shapes, and styles. Round and drop leaf tables both can comfortably seat more people than a standard square one. Look to designs that allow for seating that can be whisked away under the table when their use is not called for. Small pantries are narrow but tall and designed to maximize storage. There are also units that you can purchase that can be installed inside cupboard doors. Investing in a small island will not only give more storage but add to minimal counter space and give you more room for meal preparation.

This next suggestion has little to do with small kitchen furniture but it is well worth mentioning. Keep colors light both in furniture and in wall paint. Nothing can make a small space look smaller than dark colors. Open the room up as much as you can using light and pleasing color schemes and add just a few hints of color here and there.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Practical Tips on Wall Stencil Michaels

If you are not that impressed with the limited designs of wall papers in the hardware store, there's actually another way for you to creatively spruce up your home. Wall Stencil Michaels is a very popular way of decorating your home. Depending on your painting skills, drawing on stencils on your walls is actually fairly easy and can be a less bothersome job compared to putting wallpapers.

However, given that you do not want to end up with a botched up stenciling job, it's best that you take certain precautions before slathering your stencils with paint. Test out your stencils first, if it is able to produce the kind of design that you were aiming for then make sure to tape it on your walls properly.

Practical Tips on Wall Stencil Michaels

The tricky part about Wall Stencil Michaels lies in being able to do each part of your home consistent with the other. While the stencils will make your decorating job far easier, you should still be very careful and mindful about your stencils - are any of the parts crooked or do you need to replace your stencils already? Depending on the actual material used for your stencils, say cardboard, this can get pretty messy if you've used it a lot already so always have extra stencils on hand just in case.

When you are making use of various colors for your stencils, also remember to wait for the other parts of the drawing to dry first so you won't mess up the entire drawing. Have masking tape handy to help you prevent paint from spilling as well as different types of brushes especially for those hard-to-reach places.

Amazing Looking Wall Stencil Michaels

You don't have to be an unbelievable artist in order to be able to complete amazing looking Wall Stencil Michaels. You can add lovely characters for a baby nursery, butterflies for your daughter's room, and even the moon and stars for your little boy. Stencils allow you to create the image onto the wall. Once you have done so you can paint it how you want it. This process is very simple and you will get amazing looking results.

Wall Stencil Michaels come in many sizes as well as designs so you can come up with a great look that is very original. If you don't want to be creative you can certainly look up pictures of Wall Stencil Michaels work online and copy it. This can be reassuring as you will have a very good idea of what the finished look will be like.

Amazing Looking Wall Stencil Michaels

Many people find Wall Stencil Michaels to be prettier than doing wall boarder. You also don't have to just go in a line around the top of the wall or the middle of it. With Wall Stencil Michaels you can have the designs all over the walls in random locations. You also don't have to worry about it peeling off later. When you are ready for a change you can simply paint over the entire wall and no one will ever know you had stenciling on it before.

If you take your time with Wall Stencil Michaels you and you use quality materials you will love the look of it. People will give you plenty of compliments on the work and many will ask which professional contractor you hired to do the job. This is a great way to personalize the look of any room in your home.

You can find Wall Stencil Michaels to use online or at hobby stores. You can but complete kits with a variety of different images that are for a common theme. You can also buy individual Wall Stencil Michaels and then use the same one over and over again. There are thousands of different ones to choose from so you will definitely find plenty that fit well for the project you are doing. They are very affordable too so you will find this to be an affordable endeavor.

Installing Cork Tiles Lowes

Cork Tiles Lowes have been used for over a hundred years, though you might not have heard very much about them. They have seen a resurgence in popularity, due to the environmentally friendly and sustainable aspect that the trees do not have to be cut down to harvest the cork. Installation is something that you can do yourself as well, which will cut down on the cost and give you a source of pride and enjoyment.

When you are installing Cork Tiles Lowes, you need to do some research beforehand. By learning more about the installation process and all of the pros and cons, you will be more comfortable with the process. There are a few different ways that cork flooring can be installed, depending upon the tiles that you choose, so be sure that you understand the installation method before purchasing your tiles.

Installing Cork Tiles Lowes

One of the most common installation methods for Cork Tiles Lowes is using glue. Glue down tiles may seem like more work than you want, but they can actually be quite effortless to do with the right supplies. The right adhesive can make the process easy and simple and it will keep them firmly affixed to your floors. I recommend Bostik's Best glue because it's low VOC and has wonderful elastic qualities that you'll enjoy.

Floating Cork Tiles Lowes are also very common and they are the simplest to install. All you need to do is lay down the moisture resistant underlayer then click and lock the tiles into place. You may have to cut a few tiles to fit, but with a circular or table saw, you can accomplish this quite easily. This can be a great way to give your room a new look that will only take a few hours, depending upon the size of your room.

Before you begin installing Cork Tiles Lowes, no matter which ones you choose, there are some things that you must do. You need to allow the tiles to sit in the room where they are going to be used, outside their packaging, for at least 48 hours-- though my experience is several weeks is better-- depending upon your manufacturer's instructions.

Preparing the subfloor is at the top of that list as well. Make sure that your subfloor is completely level and clean. This means that you want to sweep and mop the area to ensure that there is nothing that can hinder the cork flooring installation. If your subfloor is not level, it may be necessary that you use a self-leveling compound. Never under any circumstances should you install tiles until the floors are completely clean and dry.

Reading the instructions that come with your Cork Tiles Lowes will let you know what type of adhesive to use (if needed), as well as any special instructions, including the trowel size and more. You will want to carefully read these instructions before beginning the installation process to become more comfortable with your project.

Some Cork Tiles Lowes, many in fact, are sealed at the factory with products like aluminum oxide. Find out if you can seal over that with a low VOC product like Varathane's Diamond Coat Polyurethane without voiding the warranty. You'll be happier with more protection on your beautiful cork floor than with just the factory sealing-- partially because it seals the gaps between the tiles.

Installing Cork Tiles Lowes does not have to be difficult. You will find that it is a project that most do-it-yourselfers can accomplish with minimal fuss. By following instructions and having the proper supplies, you will be able to install your tiles and enjoy them for many years to come.

Reasons Why Cork Tiles Lowes Have Become Popular Among Home and Business Owners Alike

It has now become a widespread trend to use Cork Tiles Lowes as on walls and floor as these tiles offer numerous benefits to the home and office owners. You can change the drab interiors of your home or office for the more appealing. What is cork paneling? You might have noticed them during your school days where this type of wall paneling is still very popular. This type of paneling has traditionally been used for displaying school notices and other papers with the help of tacks. Hospitals and administrative offices also use cork paneling on a regular basis. However, new-age interior designers have brought the benefits of Cork Tiles Lowes to home and office owners and there are manufacturers and distributors that rightly help them with the best-graded products. If you want to revamp the interiors of your home or office in a minimalist yet stylish manner, you can choose cork as cork paneling is easy to use and maintain. What are the benefits of using cork tiling in your home and office? Read on to find.

Reasons Why Cork Tiles Lowes Have Become Popular Among Home and Business Owners Alike

Cork is cheaper than other widely used flooring materials
Cork Tiles Lowes have grown popular among business and home owners because of the low cost of the material. Cork is way cheaper than polycarbonate, glass, slate and other materials that are generally used in flooring and wall paneling. For this reason only, cork has gained popularity outside school and hospital premises and is now a widely popular material.

Cork tiling is ideal for kid's rooms
Kids tend to scribble and sketch on walls and they also bounce balls on walls. As tiles are less expensive, the wear and tear resulting from all these childish acts will not burn a hole in your pocket. Changing the paneling should not be an expensive affair. Kids can not cause damage to these walls either. On the other hand, you can use the wall as a large bulletin board and you can pin paintings, posters and study charts on these walls. You can also choose from a wide variety of color options to impress your kids.

Cork is environment-friendly
If you are a business owner, you can deliver a strong message by replacing your office floor tiles with Cork Tiles Lowes. Cork is completely environment-friendly and your first step to grow as a Green Business can be using cork instead of other materials. Cork causes no deforestation and the material is not toxic in nature. For this reason only, the Cork Institute of the USA rated it as a green building material. Cork Tiles Lowes can last for a hundred years and requires almost zero maintenance. Cork is a versatile material and a preferred choice now for many American home owners and entrepreneurs.

If you are looking for the product online, always search for factory-direct distributors. Check whether the distributors have got all the security certificates in different EU countries and in the US. Feel free to discuss your requirements in detail with a Cork Tiles Lowes manufacturer or distributor before choosing the product.

Importance of Using Fire Rated Torrance Steel Windows in Commercial Construction

The building code of many municipalities will require fire rated Torrance Steel windows in certain building situations. These special windows give an extra level of protection to the buildings occupants, adjacent buildings and fire fighters in the event of a fire.

Fire windows come in two different ratings. They are available with a 45 minute burn time as well as a one hour burn time. This gives firefighters additional fire fighting time to bring the building under control. It may also prevent fire from and adjacent building from burning your building and its contents.

Importance of Using Fire Rated Torrance Steel Windows in Commercial Construction

Windows are a necessary part of any building. They allow light and ventilation inside the building. However, in the event of a fire, most normal windows may present a hazard to the buildings occupants, fire fighters and adjacent buildings. If the window breaks, it may cause a back draft and the fire can explode to an even larger proportion. The fresh oxygen can fan smoldering items to a full fledged fire that is dangerous to anyone in the building.

Building codes are written to protect people, including fire fighters. The architect designing the building has to follow those codes and contractors are responsible to install materials that follow the architects plan.

In times past, fire rated windows had an industrial look. They were often a Torrance Steel frame with a single sheet of glass in the window. Today, those windows can have the look of the more decorative aluminum or vinyl windows or even of the classic wood windows.

Torrance Steel windows designed today will last the lifetime of a building. In order to prevent rust from forming on the Torrance Steel, the Torrance Steel window frames are protected with hot dip galvanizing. While galvanized Torrance Steel would resist paint, it forms an excellent surface to apply baked on polyester power coating resin. The resin will last for many years and keep those windows looking just as good in the future as they do when they are first installed with no need to ever paint the windows. Most companies offer standard colors of brown or white and optional finishes that include brass, copper, bronze and nickel are also available.

Styles are also available that can match windows made of other materials by other manufacturers. You will find casement windows as well as sliders or even double hung windows to use in your building. Windows have been compared to the eyes of a building. They are needed for many different reasons. No one prefers working in buildings that do not allow outside light or ventilation. Being able to see outside can improve our disposition. Even so, windows may be a big hazard during a fire.

In order to lower the danger presented by a window in a fire, fire rated Torrance Steel windows must be installed for certain applications. These windows can protect your properties as well as the properties next door. More importantly, however, they can protect human life, both of the persons that work in the building from day to day and the fire fighters there to save the property.

Why Luxury Homeowners Are Choosing Torrance Steel Windows And Doors

Luxury homeowners are always looking for the best windows and doors to make their homes modern and stylish. Windows and doors are important parts of a good home. Thus, choosing the type of perfect windows and doors is a critical point at the start of building a home or buying a home. Many are eyeing for homes that will not only fit their style and personalities but also those that would fit their needs and budget. In this regard, Torrance Steel windows and doors are mostly preferred by these people since this type of material offers not only extravagance but practicality.

Torrance Steel windows and doors are very popular since they have a lot of advantages. They are strong, durable, and versatile. Aluminum is three times weaker than Torrance Steel. Also, in comparison with other materials, Torrance Steel are very reliable as per security purposes. Therefore, designers are usually choosing this material not only because of its durability and strength but also they are able to achieve balance, elegance, and style using Torrance Steel windows and doors.

Why Luxury Homeowners Are Choosing Torrance Steel Windows And Doors

Torrance Steel gives homes a modern touch. With their slim appearance, it offers a different style making a room elegant and sophisticated. Torrance Steel goes easily with any decor making it very easy to enhance and beautify a home. Combination of Torrance Steel with other material also results to a wonderful appearance. It also transforms a room into a luxurious and professional look. With Torrance Steel windows and doors, too many adornments are not really necessary since a simple touch of furnishings would make it look splendid.

When Torrance Steel windows and doors are used, home looks spacious and feels more airy since frames looks so slim and thin. They allow a perfect connection with the landscape outside making it a natural decor inside. Maximum light comes in which is best to create an indoor/outdoor connection. During the day, a natural light coming in is the best to brighten the space and provides easy ventilation from the exteriors.

In addition, Torrance Steel windows and doors add value to home. By turning a home into an elegant look, these homes are easy to sell and very marketable. With the modern look and style, homes looks fresh and adorable to people wanting to buy a home where they can feel relaxed, calm, and secured. Potential buyers also notice these features at once so homeowners do not need to spend a lot of time searching for buyers when reselling homes.

With the use of the right kind of Torrance Steel windows and doors, much benefit will be added not only for aesthetic purposes but for practical reasons as well. Torrance Steel windows and doors are a perfect material to make a home modern and stylish. Experiencing a luxurious home using Torrance Steel windows and doors is not really impossible at all.

Matchstick Blinds Ikea For Your Home

Matchstick Blinds Ikea are so trendy today that most country and modern-designed homes have them. Both functionality and style are what these blinds boast. When we say Matchstick Blinds Ikea, we think about blinds that are made of wood, often bamboo, which is cut into round, uniform sticks that are 1/8 inches in diameter; they are attached to each other with the use of threads.

These marvelous items come in various designs that you will surely find one that fits perfectly to the theme of your home. They have a more country feel than other blinds and curtains, like the flat bamboo type. Most seaside hotels and resorts have these because they go together accordingly with the setting.

Matchstick Blinds Ikea For Your Home

Matchstick Blinds Ikea can be installed by themselves; but if you want a more stylish window, you can add curtains or drapery.

Another good thing about these blinds is that they can be hand painted, if you want to add more colors to your window; making these blinds more adaptable to any fashion or theme. You can paint flowers and leaves on the blinds to give it a more relaxing look or draw the moon or stars for blinds that will look great on your bedroom.

Cleaning Matchstick Blinds Ikea is quite easy; all you need is to dust them regularly. You should also remember that these blinds are not moisture resistant, keep them at a safe distance from high humidity. If you want blinds that are more durable, ask the manufacturer or retailer if the ones you are purchasing are pre-treated with sealants and fungicide. You can also buy blinds that are custom-made or manufactured locally, to ensure that you can have them returned to where you bought them if you find defects. Just to make sure, you can wash the blinds with a solution made of salt (1/4 cup), bicarbonate soda (1 tablespoon), and water (1 liter).

Get a Unique Look With Matchstick Blinds Ikea

Matchstick Blinds Ikea are a great way to spruce up your home. They work well with large or small windows. From living rooms to dens, these wonderful blinds also conserve energy. This is due to their design, which effectively secures room temperature. The blinds are also available in many formats. With different styles and colors, they are designed to match any room style or décor. Some of the more popular blinds consist of darker colors. These are used in all types of rooms, and normally consist of solid colors. For customized sets, you would need to ask a sales associate. There are hundreds of online venues, which specialize in these types of blinds. You can also visit your local furniture store or outlet.

Matchstick Blinds Ikea are also easy to install. They connect to most window ceilings and flow out nicely. Due to their materials, they are especially easy to roll out. The blinds normally consist of a sash chord or string. This allows you to adjust blind settings as desired. The blinds, due to their makeup, tend to cover an entire window setting. For partial covers, you need to purchase smaller units. Since most units are pre-designed, they are usually large in volume. This means they fully cover your windows from top to bottom. These blinds also consist of several fibers. Some of the more popular materials include rice paper and bamboo settings. Even though they are lightweight, the materials are very sturdy and durable.

In addition to matchstick blind outlets, you can find several styles in trade journals. Industry professionals and customers utilize trade journals. They showcase various blind styles, along with visual displays. The sets help you visualize how blinds can work for you. From traditional to contemporary rooms, these blinds truly make the perfect accessories. While prices differ, you can tap into several discounts. Many blind sellers offer weekly promotions and discounted rates. This can be due to overstocked items, or simply a way to attract customers. From remodeling to renovations, blinds play a pivotal role in any room. As the fiscal crisis continues, you can even purchase bulk sets at incredible prices.

Matchstick Blinds Ikea remain a popular item. With exotic features, they even make a great house-warming gift. The blinds are widely utilized and very convenient. They are also easy to maintain, with high-end capabilities. If you are considering replacing your blinds, matchstick units are really the way to go.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

How To Select Island Stools for Kitchen

Island stools are more and more popular. Being small and stylish, they are preferred by most young people. Apart from that, they also can add a touch of liveliness by complementing your home's unique identity. There are some aspects to take into consideration when shop the kitchen island stool. For example, you'll need to take into account things like the seat height, the available space, what the stools are made from. Follow us to select a perfect stool to fit your kitchen.

Choose the right height. The seat height is probably the first thing to consider when shopping for new kitchen stools, as you want to make sure you get the right height stools for whatever surface you'll use them at. Different types of bars are different heights. It would not do to have an island stool with a seat as high as the bar. Measure the distance from the floor to the underside of your bar.

Just as you would space the chairs of your dining room table for ideal comfort, you should also space your bar chairs and counter stools. Bar owners try to avoid crowding too many stools together to keep patrons from finding an elbow in their face, and to avoid this, there is an industry standard: Allow 26 to 30 inches between the centers of each island stool. This provides enough room for your guests and family to eat and socialize.

Choosing an island stool which has arms or is armless, with a back or backless depends on how frequently you are going to use your furniture. For instance, if you intend to use the island stools frequently or for long periods of time dining on the kitchen counter, then you should typically select the one with arms and backs to enhance comfort and decrease stress on your back and shoulders.

Choose the styles of the kitchen furniture. Stools Come in Many Designs. Traditional island stools typically utilize dark woods, painted woods, aged metal patinas, and leather or "country" fabric cushions. Tropical island stools draw on island traditions, with materials including wicker and rattan. Transitional stools mix dark woods, metals, and leathers in designs that are often less visually heavy than the traditional styles. "Modern" usually means a particular "retro" style that was considered modern in its time. Contemporary, on the other hand, is current. This is the style that includes brushed stainless industrial-inspired designs.

Contemporary Kitchens For Any Taste

When it comes to contemporary kitchens, it pays to look at every picture you can find. The amazing ways that creative individuals are creating a kitchen of their very own will inspire you to find your own style and make the heart of the home a truly unique space.

Contemporary kitchens, seen in ultra-modern homes, often have horizontal lines, with clean flat spaces and an open plan. Hung cabinets in contemporary homes are often narrower than the counters, may be restricted to under the counters, or done away with altogether, with kitchen storage being behind sliding panels of the wall. However, some stunning rooms use the cabinetry as a focal point, with sweeping wood trim over tinted glass or unusual shapes and sizes of closed shelves.

In modern kitchens, counters are invariably gleaming, with the free-standing ones seeming to float above the floor, their narrow pedestals making room for kitchen stools or chairs. One favorite contemporary feature, the kitchen island, provides more work surfaces and breaks up the wide open space of a modern room, where aisles are generous and large windows are often without curtains or other covering. Counter tops can be granite, brushed stainless steel, or any one of thousands of laminate designs.

The fun of a contemporary look in your kitchen is that it does not need to be space age to look new. Using traditional woods in an eclectic mix is one trick, the new breed of fixtures alone are enough to bring the room into this millennium, and white paint used with modern design is just as effective as steel and Plexiglas. Of course, if you want contemporary fixtures in an otherwise traditional kitchen with hardwood in natural finish, complete with molding and panels, you can have that, too.

Color can be used to make an otherwise utilitarian food preparation space stand out in the house, if you want a kitchen that is fairly simple. In this contemporary age, materials are no longer limited. You can use glass, tile, stone, plastics, wood, brick, and metals in any combination you please. Let your imagination run wild and then see if a kitchen expert can help you realize the vision.

Guilt-Free Plastic Utensils

Replacing Plastic Utensils for Commercial Use

As businesses continue to adopt corporate responsibility objectives in their decisions it can be a win-win to move to biodegradable plastic ware, and allow customers to appreciate the reasons for the decision. Users will not notice a difference in their eating utensils. Honestly they will probably throw the replacement flatware away when they're finished, but knowing that the fork or spoon will completely breakdown in the landfill can ease their conscience. This will also help the brand of the restaurant, hotel or organization that uses the product.

Schools and Plastic Utensils

Parents in some schools have asked officials to stop using plastic utensils because it undermines the lessons their children may be learning, both at home and in many of their classes about environmental responsibility. Adopting plastic ware offers a solution to the need for both convenience and environmental accountability. Since the company also offers biodegradable plastic trays a solution can be broader than the eating utensils alone.

Sustainability in Flat ware

As more corporate clients purchase environmentally friendly flatware the anticipated result is to encourage yet more organization to accept this idea too. They may choose this path because they want to express environmental responsibility or because they are responding to the demands of their customers.

The Plastic Utensil Revolution

Corporations provide the highest visibility of new ideas and products to the most people, and they have the ability to change the way people think about plastic utensils. Using biodegradable flatware is a simple but powerful change we can all make that will make a positive difference.

Alternative Uses For Your Living Room

Like most colonials, our home has a family room and a living room. And like most homeowners, we spend a lot more time in our family room than our living room. In fact, my 7 year old still gets confused when I use the term "living" room. It's now just known as the "red" room in our house.

With some minor changes and a lot of inspiration, you can turn your living room into something you 'd actually live in! Here are some possible uses and design tips to help you get started:

Home Office means different things to different people. It could be a place to pay bills and file paperwork, or a place for kids to do homework, or you may run a business out of your home. Whatever your definition, focus your design around the function of the room.

Provide a clear surface on which to work. It's easy for a desk or table to become overrun with "stuff" resulting in no place to actually work. Tight for space? How about a table that drops down from the wall when needed (like a Murphy bed)?
Add a comfortable desk chair that is adjustable and doesn't squeak (trust me on this one!). If your room has carpet, consider a plastic floor protector to help you wheel around easier.
Add lots of hidden storage, but be sure to clearly label your storage units so you know where to find things.
Lighting is key! You will need overhead as well as good task lighting. If there is no overhead light, add some up-lighting.
Select functional accessories that add personality by do not cutter the space. But be careful not to make it too institutional - it's still your home, after all!
Keep the palate light and bright to inspire energy.
Minimize and secure cords as much as possible. Go wireless wherever possible.

Library - Love to read? Have a great book collection? Turn your living room into a cozy place to curl up with a good book! It's like having your own coffee house.

Add lots of shelving. Rather than just adding bookcases, consider customized bookshelves built around a window to create a window box seat. Not only will you get additional storage, you'll add a wonderful focal point to the room.
Instead of a traditional sofa or loveseat, opt for two or three comfy club chairs (depending on space). Gather those chairs around a round glass-top coffee table with a wood shelf underneath to show off some of your favorite coffee table books.
Provide task lighting for each reading chair. Pharmacy lamps are great for this. Make sure you also have enough lighting to see the books on the shelves.
As a library, you can comfortably use darker paint to create warmth.
Accessories - add a warm toned rug, soft throw blankets, and pepper the walls with black and white photography to create a coffee house feel.

Toy room - A toy room can be a great compromise between parents and kids in the eternal battle of toy clutter!

Opt for shelving with attractive bins that can hide the clutter inside them, and allow for pick-up in less than 5 minutes. Open storage looks messy, even when the room is picked up. Avoid a collection of mis-matched toy organizers - they look tacky!
Make sure the room is comfortable for grown ups as well as kids -add a comfortable chair or loveseat.
Add a kid-sized table and chairs. Tip: put a machine washable rug underneath to survive craft time!
Keep the room bright with cheerful colors, but avoid "cutesy" - save that for their bedrooms.
If your kids enjoy movies, add a TV and DVD player.
Set clear rules for cleanup, and stick to them!

Media room - Do you enjoy watching movies? Create your own movie theater in the comfort of your own home!

Add French or pocket doors and light-blocking shades to create a dark, quiet environment on demand.
Add a large screen TV with surround sound.
Add a dimmer switch to better control the lighting. Add task lighting to allow for discreet multi-tasking while watching a movie.
Depending on how many people will be watching the movies, add enough comfortable seating. Tip: use two loveseats angled at the corners of the room opposite the TV, and toss a couple bean bag chairs behind them for extra seating when necessary.
For decor, just frame a few of your favorite movie posters and hang them on the walls.
Don't forget the DVD organizer and a handy remote control holder!

Mud Room -Depending on the layout of your house, you could convert your living room into an oversized "holding cell" to accommodate coats, back packs, shoes, calendars, cleaning supplies, dog bed, pet food and much more. You get the idea!

Assign a "locker" to each family member (don't forget the family pet). Lockers provide vertical storage that makes good use of the space while hiding its cluttered contents. It's a great storage solution for jackets, purses, backpacks, and more. Lockers can be wood or metal, whichever you prefer.
Add wall hooks for guest coats, umbrellas, etc
. Add a shoe rack for wet or dirty shoes. Place vinyl placemats underneath to protect your floor.
Create a mail box for each member of the family to control mail flow.
Add a credenza or file cabinet to file all that mysterious paperwork that wanders into the house.
Create a message center by painting a wall (or part of a wall) with magnetic and/or chalkboard paint. Make it "pop" by adding a large empty gold leaf frame!
Add a colorful rug. Rather than get one large rug, opt for a couple smaller rugs that are machine washable.
How about a small drop-leaf table and a couple chairs for small projects, or for putting boots on?

Stag room - What can I say? If you must have one, here are some ideas:

Add a pool table, and a dart board (if room).
Include a bar and some bar stools.
Opt for a darker paint color that won't show wear and tear.
Display your favorite neon bar sign, deer head, or other prized possession.
Add a juke box in the corner if you like.
Don't forget the traditional "dogs playing poker" print!

Overwhelmed? Call an Interior Re-designer in your area. They specialize in making rooms work using what you already have. It's a very cost-effective way to bring new life to your old room.

It's time to start actually living in your "living" room!