Monday, January 31, 2011

Cleaner Beds Mean Better Sleep: Survey

People facing trouble sleeping at night would probably want to read this, as a recent survey has reported that the way to a good night’s sleep is not through sleeping pills, but, by keeping their beds neat and clean. Apparently, a comfortable mattress and clean bed sheets and blanket can provide a much better sleep.

The study that was carried out by an initiative of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) was able to find that a bedrooms environment played a key role on the type of sleep experienced by people.

Talking about the conclusion of the survey, the Chief Operating Officer for NSF, David Cloud, informed that the study evaluated the medical and environmental issues surrounding the sleep of a person. He added that it was startling to see how much various factors of a bedroom affected the sleep of a person.

A total of 1,500-people aged between 25 and 55-years old were randomly selected for the survey. It was found that around 42% people stated that they were great sleepers and got an amazing sleep almost every night of the week.

Apart from that, seventy percent of the participants informed that they made their bed on a daily basis. It was also found that, people who made their bed every day were 19% more likely to have a good night’s sleep.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Living Well in a Small Space

Living Well in a Small SpaceLiving well in a small space is an art as well as a science. Rosamund Kavander designer and owner of Room Works has got it right. During the past year, she has renovated her 1970′s 1500 sq ft town home into a luxurious retreat. All the levels of this home have been fully renovated; however, the greatest change took place on the main-floor by eliminating all the walls and creating one large room. However, with the continuity of materials and colour palate the space works as three unique rooms: kitchen, dining room, and living room.

The kitchen boasts classic with cupboards, state of the art appliances, and white marble counters. The wood work carries into the dining room with built-in display shelves, and a coffered ceiling delineates the space. Your eye then travels into the living room where you can warm up by the fireplace. Here the designer visually creates the space using a bold hit of chocolate brown. The whole space is tied together with rich warm hardwoods that ground the space.

Upstairs there are two bedrooms. The first bedroom functions well as a comfortable guest room with a large built-in closet. The master bedroom with a fireplace on one wall, and wall to wall custom cabinets on the other, along with a spa inspired semi-ensuite will make anyone green with envy. The same attention to detail has been use to create the fantastic lower level. With a third bedroom, full bathroom, and family room with another fireplace, every inch has been created to exacting standards.

This designer has ensured that there is no lack of storage/cupboard space, which is everyone’s concern about living in a small space. So kudos to this smart designer! Rosamund has created an elegant small home with style and substance.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Oil Paintings For Home Decor

Oil Paintings For Home DecorIf you have been planning to do something for your dull and boring walls and haven't yet got an idea on what to do, then we have a very nice tip that can enhance your wall decor in just minutes. A simple and a colorful art work is more than enough to get life to your interiors. Art work like oil paintings for home decor are the best way to design your house. You will surprised to know that there are different types of oil paintings that can suit your home decor. Take a look at the oil paintings for home decor tips.

1.For an Indian traditional look, nothing can beat the Raja Ravi Varma collections. His paintings on Indian Woman and Indian Mythology can never go out of trend. One original artwork on the wall of your living room is more than enough to enhance your living room decor. Even the Tanjore and Mysore oil paintings for home decor can bring a royal look.

2.A painting can speak your taste towards art so careful plan the type of artwork that suits your personality.

3.Go for environment friendly themes and colors like landscape paintings, flower oil paintings etc.

4.Original art work by famous artists will be unimaginably expensive so if you are a fan of the artist then go for a digital print of his artwork which gives you the same clarity as of the original and frame it or laminate in a nice way.

5.For modern living room and bedroom decor, go for abstract paintings as the colors can match with the furnishings and light fixtures.

6.Still life and landscape paintings are also the best way to design the plain living room and bedroom walls.

7.If you are a fan of an actor or a musician then you can have an portrait painting of your favorite icon in your bedroom.

8.For Dining and kitchen decor, you can have an oil painting of fruits and vegetables. Try these oil paintings for home decor tips and beautify your interiors with the classic art works.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Microsoft Makes a Bid for Your Living Room

The battle for the remote control is a staple of family life. Throw a games console into the mix and older family members can find themselves consigned to the spare room. But because the living room TV is the gateway to the digital home, today's 'gaming device' is tomorrow's gesture- and voice-controlled media centre.

Right now, tech-savvy people such as you and I find our information on the web and, along with a little BBC iPlayer, catch our entertainment from the tellybox. We access the services of Google, via the technology of BT and Virgin.

In the mobile world, Apple has more than its share of technophiles consuming media via iTunes, while Sky is the big beast of pay-for TV. Microsoft has fingers in most of these pies, but is master of only the window by which you access the web from your PC. The boring bit, some might say.

But the mass market beast Microsoft has become no longer targets only techies - as Google Android and Apple iOS eat into the mobile computing space, it can't afford to. In its generally underwhelming keynote speech at CES, Microsoft made little of PCs, a lot of the Xbox, and in particular it promoted Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 and Xbox live. And if you think 'games consoles' have no place in the pages of PC Advisor, consider this: in the first 60 days on sale, Microsoft sold more than 8 million Kinect sensors (it hoped to sell 5 million), and each month 30 million people access Xbox Live.With a web-connected Xbox, Microsoft users will soon be able to experience thousands of movies and TV shows, as well as music, websites and even live sport (the latter as yet only in the US). They can watch on demand, in the living room, on the biggest screen in the home. And they can chat to and see other Xbox Live users as they do so - all of which makes browsing the web on a PC seem quaint, and consigns the humble TV remote to the dustbin.

I'm no Microsoft fanboy, and I'm no gamer (I found I could access Love Film from my PlayStation 3 only through researching this piece), but this shift in Microsoft's focus is interesting in the kind of people it can pull in to the digital home field.

I'll illustrate: at a recent fancy dress party two of my friends (BA Baracus and a wizard) who live many miles apart seamlessly carried on the banter they indulge in nightly over Xbox Live. No surprise there, but both have in the past asked me for basic tech support ("do I need security software?") and neither spends time on what they would call a 'PC'. The idea of contacting a mate over VoIP would never occur - but they are doing it every evening (much to their spouses' chagrin).

There are plenty of other options for accessing movies, games, TV and live sport, and myriad ways to communicate. But Microsoft alone has the potential to marry these together and, as we've seen with Apple iTunes, if you control access to content, you squeeze your rivals out of the hardware.

Xbox Live users weren't looking for an entertainment hub, they wanted to chat to their mates whilst gaming. But if Microsoft can convert these and similar people to getting TV and movies through their 'games console', it will add the living room to the office it already dominates.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kitchen and family rooms form heart of Fairfax Station home

Kitchen and family rooms form heart of Fairfax Station homeAn informal, open rear living area, with the modern kitchen facing the traditional mantel in the family room is favorite place in many fine homes. It is sure to be even more welcoming in the winter, when the flames are dancing in the fireplace.

In this charming craftsman-style house, the stone front porch leads to the tiled entrance hall. It overlooks the two-story family room, with its hardwood floors, molded fireplace and arched Palladian window above a glass door leading to the patio.

The adjoining breakfast nook and kitchen face the fireplace, in line with the modern fashion. The breakfast nook leads to the powder room, while the kitchen displays stainless-steel appliances, granite counters and a smaller arched Palladian window over the sink.

Following another popular trend, this informal contemporary rear area contrasts with the formal colonial front rooms. Pillars frame the carpeted living and dining rooms on either side of the entrance hall. Both the living and dining areas feature crown molding, while the living room provides a side bay window and the dining room displays elaborate wainscoting.

Behind the living room, the den includes another side bay window, plus crown molding and full-length arched bookshelves. The stairway is located between these two rooms. The second-story hallway overlooks the foyer. In the rear master suite, the bedroom features elaborate Corinthian pillars framing the bed and a bay window next to the sitting area. The bedroom adjoins two walk-in closets as well as the luxury bath, which boasts an oval hot tub with a tile surround, a dual sink, and a separately enclosed shower and commode.

The additional front and rear bedrooms have their own private baths, while two other front bedrooms share a Jack-and-Jill bath between them. Another suite appears in the lower level. The carpeted recreation area also features a fireplace, a wooden wet bar, and a kitchenette that includes a sink with counters, a refrigerator and a microwave. This level also provides a separate storage area and fitness or media room, plus an exit leading outside.

From the rear patio, a walkway leads to the side-loading two-car garage, which adjoins the laundry area located off the kitchen. A Giant supermarket and pharmacy is three miles away in the Huntsman Square shopping center. The public schools are Silverbrook Elementary and South County Secondary.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

South Beach condo offers tall living room, modern kitchen

South Beach condo offers tall living room, modern kitchenThis two-level condo in the 200 Brannan development is at Delancey and Brannan streets. The 1907 building was converted into lofts in 2004. This unit comes with hardwood flooring on its main-level living areas, as well as a stairway with a steel railing. Those stairs lead to the second-level mezzanine that overlooks the two-story living area, which has a tall wall of windows.

Carpeting covers the two large bedrooms, and two full bathrooms are trimmed in limestone. The master suite has a room-size closet, a bathroom with a dual vanity and sitting area and a bedroom with views of the bay.

The building has a doorman, and this unit comes with two independent parking spaces. Homeowner's association dues are $706 and the building is a block from the Embarcadero and access to Interstate 80.

What you'll love about it: The airy kitchen, which has dark wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, a gas-fired cooking range and marble counters. It's adjacent to a dining area. Size: The two-bedroom, two-bath condo has 2,097 square feet of living space.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Couple's vintage Casa View home showcases style on a budget

In a world where weddings cost as much as a home down payment, Erin Davis and Ben Smithson opted for a mortgage over matrimony. "We bought a house instead of a party," says Davis, 27. "We'll have a wedding one day."

Their current commitment is a 1955 Cliff May midcentury-modern home in East Dallas' Casa View Oaks neighborhood. Although they were unfamiliar with the area, the avid entertainers fell in love with the low-slung one-story's open layout – and the fact that they could upgrade from their Uptown lease for just $80 more a month.

"Neither of us was familiar with East Dallas . Ben's from Plano, I'm from North Carolina," Davis says. "But we liked this house because it's made for entertaining. It's like a fishbowl. You can see everywhere.""I liked the optional privacy," Smithson says. "You can read in your underwear in the bedroom or see the entire neighborhood from the living room."

Luckily for the couple of three years, the home had been completely remodeled and needed little work other than a small foundation fix and some paint. The previous owner was an investor who brought the home back to life with a new kitchen (outfitted by Ikea), refinished hardwood floors, modern bathrooms and updated appliances.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bedroom Furniture Styles And Tips

Bedroom Furniture Styles And TipsYou think decorating your living room alone will make your house complete then you are mistaken. Every corner of your house need to be decorated in co-ordination with the architecture and wall colors of your house. Particularly, the bedrooms as that is the place where you relax after a tiring day. When thinking about bedroom decor, one has to first focus on the bedroom furniture styles and then about its arrangement. Take a look at the bedroom furniture styles and tips on its arrangement.

Bedroom Furniture Styles And Tips :-

1. Antique Style - the Victorian style furniture and Gothic designs all come under this category. Although these furniture are heavy and occupy huge space, they give a royal touch to your bedrooms. These days, antique furnishings are too expensive as they come with the gold embellished headboards and nightstands. The artistic retro beds containing a chest of drawers, nightstands and mirrors bring a classy look to your room.

2. Traditional Style - With traditional furniture your bedroom look more warm and elegant. These timeless furniture can never go out of trend provided the arrangement is done in the right manner. The arrangement can be done considering any historic theme that will give a royal touch to your bedrooms. Natural cherry color has become popular for the traditional look.

3. Cottage Style – These bedroom furniture styles look simple but very inviting. white and off white colored furniture, beds with floral and leaf motifs and a light and pleasant colored wallpaper are all the popular collections of cottage style furniture.

4. Urban Style - Urban furniture provide a very realistic look to your bedrooms. These type of furniture are designed to occupy less space and look simple as well as practical. Low height beds, matching armoires and designer mirrors all come under urban style of furniture. They also include trendy furniture that are durable and inexpensive.

5. Transitional Style - transitional furniture category involves style and elements of both traditional and modern furniture. Ivory, taupe, beige, and tan are often the colors of these contemporary style furniture. These color schemes provide a relaxing and uncomplicated look. Flooring can also be neutral with warm colored carpets or wood floors. Textured carpets and rugs are important in this style of arrangement.

6. Exotic Style - Exotic style is a mixture of all the above styles. Furniture designed according foreign culture come under this category. African influences of stone furniture with the west Indian brightly colored fabrics and motifs of Egyptian style all come under the exotic furniture types.

Make a note of these bedroom furniture styles and tips and design your bedroom accordingly. Do remember to choose furniture wisely that not only suits your bedroom but also saves your hard earnings.
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Extravagance in the English countryside

Extravagance in the English countrysideThe surrounding English countryside inspired the design of this contemporary home. Words by Maggie Colvin. Photo by Johnny Bouchier.

The view across 48 kilometres of undulating hills and meadows is a rare asset for any property in the South of England. It was the "view to die for" that Maddie Griffin first sighted while walking her dog, Barney, in open countryside near East Grinstead. She says it "took my breath away. I remember thinking the house looked in poor condition and was sited a bit too near to the road, but what a fantastic south-facing location." The house had been built in the 1960s and when it came up for sale a few years later, she and her husband, Nick, set their hearts on buying it - for the site alone.

"On the premise we should be able to get planning permission to demolish and start from scratch, we went ahead," says Nick, who remembers their first excitement, although he prefers to forget the later planning trials and tribulations. "It was a huge, expensive, challenging project, but enjoying the house as much as we do now, of course we feel it was all worthwhile.

"The initial planning was exciting once we had found the right architect, Nathaniel Gee. He had built a similar size of house in the area and knew what the planners would approve of. This was a big plus. He suggested a stone structure, a slate roof with oak joinery that blended with the site and complemented other houses nearby."

Nick wanted a contemporary, green and maintenance-free house. "Our heating is provided by a ground source heat pump and on every other score the architect interpreted what we asked for and really expanded our initial vision. And we, in turn, trusted him."

The most important part of the Griffins' brief was to maximise the view, orienting all the main rooms around it. Gee says working with a sloping site was an advantage. "Because the ground sweeps dramatically away it was possible to create two levels on the more traditional north-facing entrance elevation. For the south side, the design took on a more contemporary style with a lot of glazing and a third level, the basement. There is a swimming pool, sauna and gym at ground level."

A wall of glazed sliding doors opens to link the indoor pool area with a terrace partly enclosed by banks of bulrushes. On the ground floor above is a balcony spanning the width of the living room space and on the top floor are bedrooms with more balconies, each enclosed by glass barriers so as not to impede the view.

Maddie and Nick agree that the best design decision was the extravagant living room space, a three-storey volume topped by a barrel vaulted ceiling. "Some people might say this was a waste of space," Nick says, "but it is the essential one-off feature that elevates the house into a league of its own. The internal space feels light and airy - all the rooms flow into each other and the internal aerial views onto the sitting area from the gallery above are amazing." Tucked below the gallery is a more intimate space for the dining room table and chairs.

A snug sitting room and office for Maddie was another priority. "I knew we would need some small intimate rooms in contrast to the big space."

When it came to furnishing, Maddie realised her old furniture simply would not fit and had to go. "It was just not modern enough," she says. "I took inspiration from Sydney and San Francisco houses and the spa at One Aldwych in London influenced the pool design." She admits it was not easy because the scale of the house demanded such large pieces. A chance drive past the Roche Bobois showroom in Wandsworth brought the sitting room furniture to her attention and other pieces came together slowly.

In order to keep the focus on the large spaces and the view, all the walls in the house are white. Bright, vibrant colours have been introduced in deliberately controlled splashes. "I love colour and we brought back a roll of silk and other treasures from a trip to India," Maddie says. "I think we need more paintings, but Nick enjoys the amazing reflections of sunlight, which I have to say show up best on blank walls. We will fine tune the house I am sure.
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