Bring a touch of nature to the room by transforming a boring headboard into a grand focal point. Simply spray paint it with Krylon’s Natural Stone Textured Finish, which goes on easy and gives you the natural beauty of stone. Available in eight designer colors, this paint features a smaller particle size for an elegant and professional-looking appearance. To complete the look, add a new comforter and accent pillows to your bed to complement your new creation.
Don’t stop there. Give outdated dressers or vanities a facelift with a fresh coat of paint. You can match the furniture to your new headboard, or paint each with a complementary color for extra visual intrigue. For the finishing touch, add new decorative knobs – or simply paint your current ones – to create additional dramatic impact.
Next, look to the accessories around the room that might need a bit of improvement or pizzazz. Lamps, frames and vases can be easily updated from bland to beautiful with a quick spray of paint to coordinate with the rest of your room’s new color scheme.
Finally, add a bit of cheer by filling your newly painted vase full of fresh cut flowers on the night stand. For an ultra-relaxing vibe, add lavender to the mix, as the scent soothes and comforts while you drift off into dreamland.
From the moment you wake in the morning to the moment you close your eyes at night, your bedroom should be your haven. By rising to the occasion and incorporating some small spray paint updates, you can kick back and enjoy – morning, noon and night.
For more product or project ideas, visit www.krylon.com.
Your landscape is a large living investment and like most investments the more information about it, the more you get in return. Most of us regard mulch as having one function, to give our landscape a fresh new appeal. The truth is, properly laid mulch has many other functions that are vital to the health and life of our plants.
There are basically two types of mulch, organic — such as hardwood, bark chips, leaves and pine straw that easily decompose, and inorganic — such as stones, brick chips and dyed rubber that are permanent. Although inorganic mulches have their place in the landscape, this tip sheet will be limited to the use of organic mulches.
Why Should I Mulch?
- Mulching is one of the simplest and most beneficial practices you can use in your landscape and can give your planting beds a uniform, well-cared for look.
- Help maintain soil moisture. Evaporation is reduced, and the need for watering can be minimized.
- Help control weeds. A 2- to 4-inch layer of mulch will reduce the germination and growth of weeds.
- Serve as nature’s insulating blanket. Mulch keeps soils warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
- Improve soil aeration, structure (aggregation of soil particles), and drainage over time.
- Improve soil fertility.
- Can inhibit certain plant diseases.
Plants growing in a natural wooded environment have their roots anchored in a rich, well aerated soil full of essential minerals. Urban landscapes, however, are typically a much harsher environment with poor soils, little organic matter, and large fluctuations in temperature and moisture. Applying a 2 – to – 4 inch layer of organic mulch can mimic a more natural environment and improve plant health.
While mulching can be beneficial to your landscape, if improperly applied it can be equally harmful. Most organic mulches must be replenished but the rate of decomposition varies. Coarser mulches may remain intact for many years while finer mulches many need replenished every year or two.
- Define the edges of your landscape beds using a garden spade or power edger. Cutting a 3 to 4 inch deep trough along the edge of your landscape bed will keep mulch from bleeding into the turf.
- Check the depth of your existing mulch. If there is an existing layer of mulch, either remove and replace with fresh mulch or till the existing layer.
- Not too much! Deep mulch can lead to excess moisture in the root zone. Remember recommended mulching depth is 2 to 4 inches.
- Piling mulch against the trunk of plants can stress stem tissues and may lead to insect and disease problems.
- For trees, the mulch bed should be as large as the drip line of the tree. This will ensure the feeder roots, located near or even beyond the drip line of the tree, will be protected from drying out as quick and receive nutrients from the mulch.
- Thick blankets of fine mulch can become matted and may prevent the penetration of water and air. In addition, a thick layer of fine mulch can become like potting soil and may support weed growth.
- For landscape beds that do not drain well, apply a thinner layer of mulch.
Remember, your landscape is a large living investment and the more information you know about it, the more you can expect in return.
by: Steve Combs
Walking through the door you notice beautiful tile in rich, deep tones beneath your feet. Then you see polished, elegant fixtures, and warm, gentle, ambient lighting. Have you walked into a posh resort with a top of the line spa? No, you’ve simply entered your own modern bathroom designed with your style and your needs in mind.
When it comes to bathroom remodels, the sky is the limit. In fact some plumbing contractors also provide total, upscale bathroom makeovers. Long gone are the days of the water closet where function is the only driving force in design. Today, aesthetics, functionality, indulgence, and personal taste rule the design and remodeling of the modern bathroom.
It is no longer necessary to limit yourself to the regular old standards for bathroom design. So many options are available in a wide range of budgets that it is completely realistic to design the bathroom of your dreams and go far beyond the mundane. What about going for a spa type bathroom with a whirlpool tub, warming lights, and heated towel racks? Or why not create a man cave with a state of the art sound system and television screens?
Although today’s bathrooms offer all the functionality of designs past, they are no longer stark and minimalist. One look in the showroom and you will see many style choices from classical to contemporary to modern. There are also many choices in the type of products. Indulge in such things as rain shower heads, saunas, tankless water heating systems, and surround sound systems, to name a few.
Completely modernized whole shower systems with multiple jets, temperature controls and individual memory options can be installed to suit your personal needs. If a bath is more your style, whirlpool bathtubs, nostalgic claw foot style tubs, or the larger and more spacious garden tub may be the option for you. Perhaps both will find their way into your design, and why not? With professionals available to make sure your quality products are installed correctly there is no reason not to pamper yourself.
When it comes to a bathroom design or remodel, using a professional will not only save you endless time, but it can potentially save you a lot of money as well. No one else knows the products they work with better than a professional, let alone how they should be properly installed and maintained. Performance is extremely important and no one wants to worry about whether their fixtures and appliances are going to be installed to work correctly. Peace of mind, after all, is priceless.
For your new bathroom, whether it’s a new construction or a bathroom remodel, contact a professional. They can help make your vision become reality. And should the need arise, you can also call them for help with water heaters, drain cleaning, and sump pumps. All of your needs can be addressed by the professionals.
by: Nick Messe
It doesn’t take much effort to run your household in a more eco-friendly way. You might even be surprised by how much money you can save.
“A small change can make a big difference,” says Charles Valinotti, senior vice president of an insurance company which recently implemented a series of small environmental changes and the savings are adding up. “These are changes anyone could make in their own home. We just did it on a larger scale.”
Here are four simple green changes inspired by the company that could benefit any homeowner:
1. Recycle – and not just the obvious stuff.
Chances are, you’re already recycling glass bottles and aluminum cans. But why stop there? Consider recycling before you throw anything away. You might also consider collecting aluminum cans and bringing them to your local recycling facility where you may get some cash for your efforts.
One business recycles electrical wire, cabinets, shelving, scrap metals and light fixtures. In two years, not only did the company collect $4,000 for non-traditional recyclables, it also avoided fees for disposing of them.
2. Switch to high-efficiency lighting.
For years we’ve heard that high-efficiency lighting is the way to go. But did you know the magnitude of difference this one change could make? Experts report that each compact florescent light bulb can save up to $40 in energy costs over its lifetime.
Another company’s site converted from halogen to fluorescent light fixtures in its parking garage. This one change is saving 378,554 kilowatt hours per year in electrical usage, totaling $26,575 in annual utility expense.
3. When it’s not in use, turn it off.
Moms all over the world can be heard reminding their brood, “Turn the lights off!” While there’s no doubt it makes sense to turn off lights, some may question when and if a computer should be turned off since it takes a bit more energy to power up than to leave it running.
The experts report that for energy savings and convenience, consider turning off your monitor if you aren’t going to use your computer for more than 20 minutes. Turn off your computer if you’re not going to use it in the next two hours.
A lot of people don’t always shut down their computers at the end of the day. Last year, the company began automatic shutdowns at 9 p.m. local time – saving about $55,000 in energy costs each year. The system gives a prompt 60 minutes prior to the automatic shutdown, allowing employees who are actively working to bypass the shut-off.
4. Paper – who needs it?
Valinotti suggests that taking baby steps toward a paperless existence can be natural and painless. For example, many homeowners already do their banking online – so why not also switch to paperless bank statements? Many utilities, credit card companies and municipalities also offer online billing.
By just moving a portion of its monthly reports online, the company saves 2.5 reams of paper and $11 per day, totaling $2,000 in savings last year.
As you can see, just a few small changes can help you go green – and help you build financial strength as well.
Is your living space a place for show, only utilized when you are entertaining? Living rooms, as their title suggests, should not only reflect who you are towards the outdoors world, but they should also be lived in. Here are some recommendations for getting your living space warm and inviting for visitors as well as functional and comfy for household members.
In case your living space is large, divide it into smaller locations through the positioning of furnishings. You would like the “conversation pit” to become cozy – a couch and loveseat and a couple of chairs close to a large cocktail table will seat many people, yet they’ll all have the ability to hear what the others are saying. A great place for household meetings as well as for entertaining. Make certain all seats are within reach of a table – someplace to arrange those drinks and chips!
Face the couch to an architectural focal level, something like a fireplace or a large window that looks out to your garden or even the city lights. If you don’t have an architectural component to work with, produce one by hanging large photos or a mural on a wall. This allows people to admire the artwork and it’s safer than hanging something large over the seating (especially in locations susceptible to earthquakes!). Hang cloth wall hangings or little photos on the wall behind the couch. Don’t, however, hang a mirror where people will see their reflection all of the time. Not everyone is thrilled by his or her picture.
If you divide your living space in two or 3 seating and/or eating locations, use rugs to outline the talking space, another beneath the eating table, and another space to exhibit the Buddha you brought back from Thailand, or a wall of bookcases that not only maintain your books but additionally display your assortment of antique toys. Area rugs work well, more than waxed hardwood floors or neutral, wall-to-wall Berber-style carpeting.
An ornamental space divider, like Japanese shoji screens, can be utilized to separate a large space right into a living space and a Tv space. In a smaller place, face the couch to a wall unit that holds the television – it’s certain to turn out to be a preferred gathering spot for the household.
The days of covering the “good” living space furnishings with plastic are over! Leather or even the new microfiber fabrics are simple to clean, look great, and can survive visitors, children, and pets. If the furnishings are in neutral colors, add colorful ornamental pillows. Remember to keep a couple of throw blankets close to stay cozy on cool nights.
In case your living space walls are painted in mild neutral shades, you’ll have the ability to change the furnishings and ornamental touches easily. Other ways to change the look of one’s living space are by including tall plants or a silk tree, a permanent flower assortment in a basket or tall vase, and even a fountain or little pond in a sufficiently large area.
Don’t overlook lighting! Floor lamps, especially in darkish corners, can brighten large locations, while desk lamps can provide good light for the preferred reading/knitting chair. An assortment of candles on the mantelpiece or a desk adds ambiance to your living space. Now go ahead, live inside your living space.
by: Amy Wells
We all know hot water is a necessity. Most of us have water heaters at home and do not give it a second thought, we just assume we will have hot water on a daily basis until… You are standing in the shower and the water goes cold because someone in the other part of the house decides to turn on the water- maybe trying to get the dishes done after dinner. Or we get ready for that therapeutic evening bubble bath so we can unwind and there is no hot water. If this sounds familiar it may be time to consider a tankless hot water system.
Let’s discuss the advantages of replacing your old hot water tank with a Tankless water heater. Have you found yourself scratching your head when the electric bill comes? Most of us have. Depending on your household size and use, your conventional hot water tank can drive your electric bills through the roof.
Did you know that most conventional heaters make up for almost 20% of your household energy consumption? Think about this for a moment. 20% is a lot of consumption when you begin thinking about the different household items that make up your electric bill…clothes dryers, stoves, heat, washing machines, lights, hair dryers and the list goes on. So when you think about it, 20% for the use of hot water is quite a bit of your electric bill. This is why if you are a conservationist or a home owner that simply wants to save money and enjoy effective water heating, consider switching to a different system. It may be time to try using a tankless water heater.
With electric bills soaring and people becoming more eco- friendly, many are now considering installing a tankless water system. The advantages to having a tankless system may outweigh the disadvantages. Let’s review some of the reasons why installing a tankless heater could be very beneficial:
Tankless hot water heaters are energy efficient. You can cut your heating cost to up to 30%. Tankless systems work differently from conventional water heaters. With a Tankless water system the water is heated only when it is needed. When you turn on the faucet, that is when the Tankless heating system kicks in and the water is heated (using a heating element). This kind of system is also called “Instantaneous” or “On Demand. ”
With tankless water heaters there is a constant flow of hot water, so this allows everyone in your home to have hot water at the same time- no more being deprived of hot water in your home! It does not matter if two or more faucets are running at the same time. But be sure to speak to a professional plumber so they can advise you on what you may need to properly supply your entire house or what your options are regarding installing two or more of this type of system to meet larger instantaneous hot water demands.
You should know that tankless water heaters are considered safer because the system does not store water that can be a breeding ground for bacteria such as Legionella. Keeping the water temperature at an appropriate level is important to prevent these types of bacteria from thriving.
Preventive maintenance is still periodic- the same as a conventional heater – but the cost is less. Perhaps one of the best advantages of a tankess water system is that if you do what the manufacturer requires, it can potentially last up to 20 years and still maintain its efficiency.