Is Slate Flooring Worth the Money?

slate floors

Slate is becoming a popular flooring choice for kitchens, bathrooms, entryways and patios. It’s a natural substance that won’t bring any manmade chemicals into your home, and it’s an incredibly durable material. Since it’s available in a range of colors, it’s possible for you to match your choice of slate with other decorative items.

Slate may be more expensive than other types of flooring. However, it is also generally cheaper than marble and granite. While slate can cost more than vinyl and other affordable materials, it more than makes up for its cost in the value it provides. A quality slate floor can easily last for the lifetime of a house. That means that once you install a slate floor, you may never have to purchase a new floor for that room ever again. Isn’t knowing that you won’t have to replace your floor in just a few years worth a bit more upfront expense?

Slate is also remarkably easy to care for. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping with a mild detergent are typically all that is required to keep a slate floor looking as good as new. High quality slate is not particularly porous, which means that it stands up to spills and stains well. Nonetheless, if a spill is left for a prolonged period of time, it can still seep into the stone and leave a permanent mark, so cleaning up spills is important. Some slate tiles may require the application of a sealant. This is typically only necessary on lower quality slate that is more porous. If you spend just a bit more money on your slate tile, you’ll have very little maintenance to do on your floor.

Slate is a remarkable material for floors because it simply doesn’t show wear and tear. Where vinyl, wood and other materials can show wear patterns, slate simply looks the same year after year. For this reason, it’s an excellent choice for high traffic areas. Despite its durability, slate can be chipped or cracked, so it’s a good idea to avoid dropping heavy objects on the floor.

Because of its beauty and durability, slate is a great flooring choice. It’s also an all natural building material that you can feel good about having in your home. Choosing slate means making an investment in the value of your home.

The Best Wall Colors for the Bedroom

painting bedroom

Choosing the perfect color for a bedroom wall can a difficult job. This is the room that you will spend more time in than any other in your, even if you will be asleep for much of it. Having wall colors that you like is important. Just as important, however, is choosing colors that are relaxing. The following choices make excellent colors for a relaxing and good looking bedroom.

Neutral Colors

Neutral colors, such as off white or cream, or darker shades like sandy colors or gray, can be very soothing. This has made them a very trendy color for bedrooms over the last few years. Adding an earthy tone to these colors can make them even more soothing. Neutral colors also offer versatility in choosing and changing decor, because they match with almost any color imaginable.

Blues

Blues have always been a popular choice for bedrooms. Light and pastel shades of blue provide a sense of peace and openness that other colors do not. Blue works well for people who want a relaxing color that is versatile enough to go with many colors of decor as well. It is very similar to neutral colors, but the color within it provides some extra life to the room if neutral colors might be too boring.

Greens and Browns

These colors have also gained in popularity over the last few years. It is important to remember not to go too deep or bold when choosing these colors. Choosing a faded brown or olive green can be a great option. These colors are soothing but add more color to the room than blues or neutrals while not being too overpowering. One popular trend when using these colors is mixing them. Painting one wall a shade of brown and the others with an earthy toned green is a great way to bring a sense of being outdoors right into your bedroom.

Warm Colors

Warm colors can give people who like a lot of color in their rooms all the color they want. Again, it is important to not get colors that are too overwhelming. These colors may also make small bedrooms look even smaller. However, they also make a room look brighter and more cozy. Pale yellows and coral or peach colors are the most popular warm colors in bedrooms. However, if you really want a darker red or orange, consider painting half the walls in the room white to minimize the impact.

The Best Colors To Paint Your Bathroom

bathroon-paint-colors

Choosing the right color to paint your bathroom comes with some decisions. Depending on the type of atmosphere you would like your bathroom to have, you can pick colors to suit your interests and needs. Smaller bathrooms are likely better with brighter colors, and larger bathrooms would look better with darker colors. If you’re not sure of the size of your bathroom, try whatever colors you like. Here are a few suggestions.

White bathrooms are the classic choice for people who don’t want to be too risky with their bathroom colors. If you’re afraid that someone might object to more vibrant colors, you should stick with white. A clean, white bathroom can be classy, conservative, and it gets the job done.

If white is too boring for you, you could keep a lighter touch with peach-colored paint. The character of your bathroom is often mirrored in your own characteristics. A light peach color will add just enough charm to make the bathroom seem lively, but it’s not over the top. It’s a perfect transition from a white bathroom.

A pearl gray color for your bathroom can also be a good option. The color attracts light and reflects it in a way that makes the room like shiny. You might imagine your bathroom looking like a shiny quarter or piece of silver jewelry. The atmosphere of a pearl gray bathroom is mysterious but inviting.

Pale pink bathrooms are great for accentuating skin tones. Most people will enjoy looking at a pale pink bathroom because it brings out their features. Grooming at the sink will become a more pleasurable experience with the warmth of pink in the bathroom.

Aqua bathrooms are the best colors for people who want some adventure. The room will glow and make someone feel like they are on a tropical Caribbean island. You could have a taste of summer all year long with the help of a blue and green mix. Aqua bathrooms also look good for people with deep blue eyes.

Yellow bathrooms can brighten the mood of everyone who enters. Certain shades of yellow can make the bathroom appear to be well-lit even when the sun doesn’t hit it directly. The warming glows of yellow bathrooms make them special bathrooms for people with a fancy for colors. Yellow bathrooms also look good for people with blond hair, as the walls and the hair combine together in the mirror.

Making Your Own Crafty Picture Frames

homemade Photo frames

Displaying family snapshots and beautiful photographs is a great way to liven up any home, adding a personal touch that can help soften and define any space. While commercial picture frames look attractive, they are often quite expensive. Many frames are also made from unsustainable materials, giving them an undesirable environmental impact. Instead of purchasing such frames, why not create your own at home? Not only can unique picture frames be made for mere pennies on the dollar, but these one of a kind products will make certain your precious photos are displayed in a beautiful way.

Salvaged Wood Frames
If you have any unused wood around the house, you can certainly use it as raw building materials for a new picture frame. You can either choose to finish pieces that are mismatched so that they look identical, or instead leave the wood as is to create a whimsical frame. Depending on the size of the frame, you may find nails, hot glue, or nontoxic adhesives to be the most useful tools in constructing your frame.

Cereal Box Frames
Cereal boxes and other small cardboard containers can be used to create three dimensional frames that display photos in a totally unexpected way. Simply cut away a portion of the box where the photo can be placed, and decorate the remainder of the container with paints, glitter, and other embellishments. These frames can then be displayed individually, or instead stacked together to create a truly dynamic collection of photographs.

Surplus Paper and Cardboard Products
Almost any paper or cardboard product can be transformed into an attractive frame. Cardboard can be layered together to create a thick frame, or a single sheet can be used as a mounting board for a memorable photo. Paper products like gift wrap and wall paper can be used to create interesting design pieces too. Photos can either be mounted against these papers, creating a unique backdrop, or the paper can instead be used to wrap around a cardboard frame.

Creating a charming picture frame is a great way to spice up any room, and can serve as a great family craft project. Homemade picture frames are also a great gift for family and friends, and won’t break the bank. If giving a frame to someone else, consider including a snapshot that they will be certain to enjoy to add an extra special touch to your gift.

DIY – How to Shorten Your Blinds

shortening blinds

Blinds are a great asset for your home. Not only do they look fantastic, but they can also keep out unwanted sunlight effectively lowing the cost of your air conditioning bill. That being said, if you’ve ever been in the situation of needing to shorten your blinds, you also know that blinds can sometimes pose challenges. Fortunately, shortening your blinds doesn’t have to be such a hassle. The following steps will walk you through shortening your blinds. Not to worry, it won’t take long and the process won’t make you want to throw your blinds in the trash. Instead, you’ll be smiling and ready to hang your newly shortened blinds.

1) The first step to shortening your blinds is to remove the cap at the bottom. Depending on the type of blinds you’re working with, you may find that your blinds have one to three caps; remove them all. You may need a small tool in order to be able to pop the caps off.

2) After you remove the caps, you’ll find that the strings from both the front and back sides of the blinds will then fall out. At the bottom of the slip cord, you’ll see a knot. In order to cut the knot, pull on it and then cut off the end.

3) Once you’ve cut the knot off of the slip cord, you’ll then be able to pull the slip cord out of the slats that you want to remove in order to shorten your blinds. When doing this step, be careful to make sure that you pull the slip cord out of both sides.

4) Next, you’ll have to take the sections that you don’t want and remove them by sliding them out sideways. When taking this step, remember that the bottom blind has to stay the bottom blind, meaning that you’ll have to take that measurement into consideration.

5) Take the bottom blind and slide into the ladder strings.

6) Find the slip cord and pull it back through the hole near the bottom blind. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to tie a new knot at the end of the slip cord. If you have any excess slip cord or extra string on the ladder strings, you’ll need to fit the new lengths you’ve created.

7) Find the caps that you took off at the beginning of the process and put them back.

After completing those seven, simple steps, the only thing you have left to do is hang your blinds and marvel at your excellent blind-shortening skills!

The 5 Best Organic Memory Foam Mattresses

memory_foam

For most of my life the biggest concern about my mattress was its comfort factor. A comfortable mattress is a great mattress, right? Then I started hearing about the chemicals used in making conventional mattresses. I don’t really want to sleep in a bed of formaldehyde, polyurethane, and various other chemicals. Some traditional memory foam mattresses, which are typically made of petroleum byproducts, even give off a chemical smell. So an organic memory foam mattresses seemed like the best fit for me. Here is a list of the top five.

5. Essentia Natural Memory Foam Mattress. Essentia memory foam is made of hevea milk which is completely VOC free. Hevea milk comes from the sap of a rubber tree. It is collected in Indonesia without child labor. Instead of petroleum oils Essentia uses essences of grapefruit, cone, and jasmine in the development of the latex. Other plant extracts are used for creating the right consistency. The mattress is odor free. The foam recovers quickly, meaning the mattress won’t develop permanent indentions if you typically lie in one position. Essentia offers a twenty year limited warranty.

4. 10 Inch Strata® Eco Layers 5 Memory Foam Mattress. Strata mattresses are designed for ergonomic support. Plant derivatives replace the chemicals used in manufacturing most memory foam mattresses. The mattresses are built using layers of foam instead of one solid piece. Strata claims this makes for a more responsive mattress. The mattress cover is made from bamboo.

3. Comfort Dreams Organic Cotton 10-inch Full-size Memory Foam Mattress. The Comfort Dreams mattress offers traditional memory foam wrapped in organic cotton. The memory foam resists dust mites and is naturally antimicrobial. Traditional memory foam is cheaper than organic, but wrapping it in organic cotton cuts down on the overall amount of chemicals used in manufacture and insures you will never handle the memory foam directly.

2. Comfort Gel Memory Foam Mattress. The Comfort Gel Memory Foam Mattress offers an organic memory foam mattress with a twist. The gel provides a temperature neutral mattress. Most memory foam, organic or otherwise, retains heat and some people dislike memory foam because of this. The gel in combination with the construction of this mattress dissipates heat. The mattress is built in layers and uses natural materials like bamboo. It comes with a twenty-five year warranty.

1. Aerus Natural 10” Eco-Friendly Memory Foam Mattress. The Aerus memory foam mattress uses plant based ingredients instead of petroleum in the foam and the mattress cover is made from bamboo. Aerus also uses innovative open cell technology to allow the mattress to breathe and reduces heat retention.

Five Tips to Help You Organize Your Pantry

organizing your pantry

Place Rarely Used Items Up High

This may seem obvious, but when many people first move into a home they are more concerned with getting unpacked than placing items on the shelves in the most organized fashion possible. When setting up your pantry, put items you only use once in awhile, such as the baking goods and tools that you only use around Christmas and Thanksgiving, on the very top shelf, and save the lower shelves for every day items.

Store Dry Goods in Square Containers

You will make better use of your pantry space if you transfer bags of rice, flour, and other dry goods into tightly sealed square containers which can be stacked on top of each other. Keep the containers with the goods you use most often on top so they are the easiest to get to. Square containers take up less space than large bags that lean up against each other, and putting clear labels on each container will ensure that you are never confused about what is what. Keeping dry goods in containers will also help them last longer and prevent infestation by bugs or mice.

Keep Spices on a Lazy Susan

If you love to cook, you probably keep a large variety of spices and herbs in your pantry. A good way of doing this is to put your spices on a revolving circular platform, also known as a “Lazy Susan.” A good Lazy Susan will save you a lot of time in getting to that rarely used yet ultra-tasty spice blend, since you won’t have to dig through a bunch of other bottles to find it in the back.

Place Heavier Canned Goods On The Bottom Shelf

A good place for canned goods is on the lower shelves, beneath the counter. This way, you can stack your cans on top of one another without worrying about them knocking over and rolling off the shelf. No one wants an avalanche of heavy canned goods to come crashing down on their head, so place these items down below and save the higher shelves for harmless items, such as bags of potato chips.

Place Perishable Items in Their Own Place

When your pantry is very full, it can become easy for perishable items to accidentally get pushed to the back and forgotten about. Although most perishable items are kept in the fridge, there are things like cookies, energy bars, and other items which may go stale if lost behind a wall of canned foods. Keeping perishable items in their own special place will ensure that nothing ever goes to waste.

wood vs laminate flooring

The look of wood flooring is a beautiful addition to any home. When choosing flooring, the consumer may feel overwhelmed at the options available. With some planning and forethought, it will be easy to choose the best flooring for installation. Here are some points to consider when making a flooring purchase. Determine the needed durability, investment budget, and time needed for routine maintenance.

Hardwood flooring was installed with the intentions of lasting a lifetime. Hardwood flooring is made of hardwood trees. An eco-friendly alternative would be bamboo flooring. Bamboo is natural flooring and replenishes itself quickly. A positive aspect of wood flooring is that it is long lasting. A con to using wood flooring is that it can be easily dented and the finish can be scratched. A pro to wood flooring is that it can be repaired or refinished if damaged. Laminated flooring is more durable to wear and tear. Laminate does not dent as easily as wood flooring. Laminate can be damaged though. Once laminate is damaged, the laminate boards will need to be replaced. A positive aspect to using laminate flooring is that the flooring gives the illusion of wood flooring and does not require the number of trees that the manufacturing of wood flooring does. The laminate flooring can withstand average wear and tear, but can be unforgiving to exposure of water.

Wood flooring has a higher installation cost than laminate flooring. This is especially true if professional installation is used. Even when homeowners install the flooring themselves, homeowners will have the added cost of renting or purchasing saws and nail guns to install the flooring. Laminated can be cut with a circular saw and installs quickly with a mallet and tapping block. The cost of laminate flooring varies depending on the quality of the flooring. The cost of laminate flooring is generally lower than that of wood flooring. Wood flooring may be a better investment for the home. Wood flooring will add to the resale value of the home more than laminate flooring.

Both flooring options can easily be swept daily with a dust mop. Floor cleaners for the weekly cleaning of either floor type can easily be purchased at a local retail store. The major difference in the maintenance of the flooring is that a daily and weekly cleaning of the laminate flooring will be the only upkeep needed. Wood flooring may require a periodic waxing or reapplication of the polyurethane applied to the finish. Depending on the wear to the flooring, wood flooring may even require the finish to be stripped, the floor sanded, and another finish to be applied.

Both flooring options have pros and cons, but either flooring is sure to give a homeowner a beautiful floor for years to come.

How To Brighten a Windowless Room

windowless rooms

Windowless spaces such as basements and bathrooms can pose a tricky decorating challenge. Simply adding a few lighting fixtures is not always an adequate solution for making these dark rooms as functional as they need to be in the home. Fortunately, there are a few design tricks that can transform any windowless room from dim to radiant.
The first basic step is to choose a light wall color. Dark tones will absorb what light there is and make the room feel smaller. Painting the walls a light shade will instantly brighten the room and create a more open appearance to the space. To enhance the use of the walls, opt for gloss or semi-gloss paint. The shine from the paint will help reflect light back into the room and make it seem brighter.

This same principle can be applied to the room’s furnishings and décor. Furniture in deep tones looks heavy and adds a sense of weight to a room. The best thing to do is look for surfaces and materials such as glass or metal that has a reflective quality to them. Place items all around the area that catch light and send it back into the space. Lamps with metallic stands are the perfect accessory for windowless rooms as the light from the lamp is immediately amplified. Decorating with mirrors is an easy and ideal way to manipulate light and give the illusion of a bigger area as well. For best results, hang mirrors on opposite walls so that the light will bounce back and forth across the room. Tables with glass tops and metal legs, sofas and chairs with metal stud detailing, and fabrics with sheen or metallic thread are excellent for subtly maximizing the light in a room while still providing functionality to the space.

One of the main issues of not having windows is the lack of focal point and depth they provide. Artwork can provide a view that perhaps a window could not. Choosing bright artwork for the windowless space is the simplest way to create a similar experience. The bright colors will not only draw the eye’s attention, but will add lightness and depth of perception to the room. Installing gallery lighting over the art piece is a wonderful way to make the most of the art and add another light source to the room.
No windowless room is doomed to feel like a cave. The key is to take advantage of available light sources with the materials that furnish the space. Light colors, shiny surfaces, and vibrant accessories are the winning combination for bringing a home out of the dark ages and into the light.

dedon dala collection

German entrepreneur Bobby Dekeyser’s exclusive outdoor furniture company Dedon has teamed with young American designer and creator Stephen Burks to present the distinctive Dala line of lounge chairs, ottomans, and stools that double as side tables to the world in April during Milan Design Week, the ultimate showcase for home-furnishing design. Dedon with its idealistic and progressive mission of social activism and green living is the perfect match for Burks’ eco-forward, handcrafted artistry.

Dedon’s 20 years of experience in outdoor furniture is a beacon of social responsibility, so it is no surprise that the origins of Dala—in name, form, and function—grew organically from Burks’ time spent studying traditional handmade craft techniques in Senegal. For example, the word “dala,” simply translated, means “to make” in a dialect often used in western Africa. Likewise, the concept for these woven pieces of furniture was directly influenced by artisans in the developing countries of Africa and the impromptu seating arrangements commonly found in their daily lives.

Each piece in the Dala collection begins in the same Dedon fashion, as a clean and durable aluminum and polyurethane fiber mesh which is then enveloped by a geometric grid of webbing. This webbing becomes the framework through which Dedon’s master weavers in Cebu in the Philippines thread strands of an ecologically-friendly fiber, a new material constructed from recycled food and drink packaging and polyethylene that is itself recyclable. Dala furniture, like all pieces designed and created by Dedon, are sustainably produced, 100 percent recyclable, and non-toxic. Every step of production—from research, to manufacture, to distribution—works to become environmentally sustainable with zero waste.

In addition to being environmentally responsible, Dala lounge chairs, ottomans, and stools are both beautiful and functional. They are available in 3 color families (fire, grass, and sea) inspired by hues and textures found in nature, and the repurposed materials have a unique luster and smooth texture. With handcrafted individuality inherent in the weaving of each singular patterned strip of varying thicknesses, each Dala piece is a reflection of the modern aesthetic and nature’s inspiration paired with traditional artisan techniques. The lightweight materials make these pieces portable, providing fluidity and comfort to outdoor living spaces.

The structure of each piece in the Dala collection is ideal for outdoor recreation, intended for direct contact with the ground. The cushions are made from breathable, light-weight, and fire- and light-resistant batyline fabric, making each piece durable in addition to being environmentally sound.

The Dala collection is another Dedon triumph, reflecting a devotion to the inspiration, comfort, and resources of our planet.