5 Things to Consider When Buying Garden Furniture

If you want to create stylish and functional outdoor areas, knowing how to choose the right garden furniture is crucial. With the wide assortment of designs and varying qualities of craftsmanship available today when it comes to outdoor furniture, selecting the right pieces can seem more complicated, especially to the inexperienced and untrained eye. However, there are certain criteria that can guide you in making all the right choices when it comes to furnishing your outdoor spaces. Check out the list below to learn the things you need to consider when shopping for garden furniture, and use it to guide you in your next furniture-shopping endeavor.

1. Durability
Outdoor garden furniture needs to be able to withstand constant exposure to sun, wind and rain. Often, the material of the furniture is a big factor in its durability. Wood such as teak is a popular choice because it is long-lasting and resistant to sun, moisture, insects and decay, not to mention weathering gives it a silvery patina over time. Wrought iron is ideal for windy areas because its weight anchors it well outdoors. Aluminum is a great choice as well, as it is resistant to rust and corrosion.

2. Design
Like durability, design is largely influenced by material. Wood and other plant materials such as cane, rattan and bamboo work great in landscaped gardens as they naturally blend in with the natural environment outdoors. Wrought iron benches with intricate designs inspire the classic French style and are ideal for cozy, romantic spots. More contemporary designs made of aluminum or plastic look great for modern spaces that rouse a unique, eclectic vibe.

3. Accessories
Even small details and additional accessories such as throw pillows, scarves and chair or lounge covers can make or break the look of your outdoor spaces. Many furniture pieces meant to bear weight but are made of relatively flexible material, such as a rattan chair, need to have cushions or pillows to spread the sitter’s weight and prevent premature sagging or cracking. See to it that the accent pillows, upholstery, or other accessories incorporated in your furniture match well and support the look you are going for.

4. Comfort
It would be great if you can personally sit or recline on a furniture piece before actually buying it, to check if it’s comfortable enough for you to rest and relax on. You wouldn’t want to purchase anything you’d rather avoid, especially when it comes to outdoor pieces intended for relaxation or fun socialization with friends and family.

5. Cost
The cost of the furniture versus your budget for your furnishing project is a practical consideration that largely influences the choices available to you. Decide on a ceiling price you’re willing to spend for, and check out your options within the price range comfortable to you. Also be on the lookout for sale days in antique shops, gardening centers, or your local furniture store, as well as good deals offered online. Having well-furnished and stylish outdoor spaces doesn’t need to burn a hole in your pocket if you know how and where to look for the right pieces.

Rock Garden Maintenance

If you have made a rock garden or raised bed by following the basic rules, then routine maintenance should be a straight forward task. It will not call for skill as required in the pruning of fruit trees nor the heavy work demanded in the vegetable plot. You should not be troubled by weeds for some time and the plants will flourish in the well drained, gritty conditions you have provided for them. But regular maintenance is not something you can ignore. Leave a shrub border untended for a season and no great harm may result, but leave a rock garden for a year and it may well be ruined.

Treat rock garden care as a routine once-a-week job during the growing season, in the same way as you may treat house plant and lawn maintenance. Weed control will be the major task. Keep the area free from dead plants and debris, and water only when necessary. Dead-head spent flowers where practical, especially if the variety can become a nuisance by self seeding. Label plants which die down for part of the year.

Autumn is the major overhaul time of the year. All fallen leaves must be removed and the stems of rampant plants must be cut back. Do not leave this job for the spring. Cover winter sensitive plants. In spring renew the grit mulch, feed, remove winter protection, firm plants which have been lifted by frost and look for slug damage.

All this advise may have come too late – the rockery may already be over-run by weeds and it is covered with straggly rampant alpines due to past neglect. There is no easy answer. You will have to start again. Remove the soil from affected area, replace it with new planting mixture and then replant.

Weeding Your Garden:
Weeding your garden is one of the most tedious of all maintenance jobs, and prevention is so much easier than cure. Begin at construction time, make sure that the planting site is free from all perennial weeds and that weed roots are absent from the topsoil used for making the planting mixture. As described below, a mulch of grit on rockery and raised bed gardens or bark on peat gardens will help to prevent weeds.

It is unfortunate that however careful you are at the construction stage, weeds will still appear and they must be tackled promptly as dwarf plants such as alpines can easily be swamped by them. There are a number of sources of these weeds, and you can cut down the work of weeding if you take preventive measures. Firstly, weeds are often brought in with the plants, always check carefully and pull out stems and roots of any weeds which are growing on the soil surface of the pot.

Next, perennials can creep n from surrounding land so try to create some form of weed-proof barrier if this is likely. Finally, weed seeds are blown on to the site – remember that this includes the seed from nearby rock garden plants which readily produce self-sown seedlings. Dead-heading and weed control in surrounding land will reduce this problem.

Hoeing is not practical where a grit mulch is used. Pulling out weeds by hand is the usual way to tackle the problem, you may need to trowel if the roots are firmly anchored. Of course not all self-sewn alpines are weeds, you will only need to pull out seedlings which are growing where they are not wanted. Perennial weeds are a difficult problem when the roots are too deep and widespread to be removed. The answer here is to paint the leaves very carefully with glyphsate – never spray weed killers ans never use lawn-type ones.

Create the Right Splash With Bathroom Accessories

When decorating your bathroom, it is important to choose practical and beautiful bathroom accessories that also enhance the style of the room. It is this kind of attention to detail that separates a bathroom with charm and character from one that is strictly ho-hum. Bathrooms have come a long way from the days of strictly utilitarian design and use, and are now viewed as sanctuaries to which people escape and indulge in personal pampering.

The Powder Room – Go Wild

A powder room will be located where it is convenient for the use of guests, and is usually a small room. This means you can opt for such expensive decorating touches as crown molding and high-priced wallpaper which may not be affordable for the larger bathrooms in your home. As well, no bathtub or shower means there are no moisture concerns when selecting materials and decorating touches. You can hang a nice piece of framed artwork without worrying that dampness will destroy it. This is the bathroom in which you can use vibrant colors, and display luxury collections on a counter or shelf.

The Family Bathroom – Make Sharing Easier

Even if the family bathroom is of average size or larger, it may seem small because of the number of people using it. If this is the case, incorporate some creative storage ideas and pull out all the stops in creating the illusion of spaciousness. If there are young children in the family, you need to pay special attention to safety features as well.

* To make the room appear larger, choose light, cool colors for walls and trim, such as buttery or cream colored walls with white or beige trim, and make sure your bathroom accessories are also color coordinated: towels, shower curtains, bath mats, rugs, the clothes hamper, scales, and storage bins. Oversized mirrors can also enlarge the appearance of the room.

* Make sure there is at least one drawer or cupboard that can be locked so that medicines and other poisonous items can be safely stored.

* Attach a grab bar to wall studs located by the bathtub or in the shower stall as another good safety feature.

* In this day of pedestal sinks, storage has been sacrificed for style but do not accept defeat. If there is a closet of any kind, buy a closet organizer to hold towels and facecloths, and bins for personal items, one for each family member. If there is no space for a closet, add open shelves over the toilet, or any place they will fit, and use decorative bins to hold various personal items.

* If you can add a second wash basin, it will help relieve some of the bathroom traffic problems.

The Master Bathroom – You Deserve All the Luxury You Can Afford

The master bathroom, depending on its size and your pocketbook, can incorporate decorative ideas from both powder rooms and family bathrooms, and can include more luxurious bathroom accessories since it is generally an adult-only room.

If it is large enough, you can turn the master bathroom into a personal spa, with an oversized, jetted bathtub and an in-line water heater. Steam showers and rain bars are other elegant amenities, as is radiant heating and towel warmers.

Make A Plan

There are bathroom furnishings and bathroom accessories available to fit any budget. Before you begin to decorate or remodel, list what you need to do, what you would like to do and what you would do if you could find the money. Estimate the cost of materials and tools for the do-it-yourselfer – if you are one – and the cost of a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, and a painter, if you are not. Decide what you can afford to do and whether you should go for an economical quick fix, or a more expensive major overhaul.

Paint, wall coverings, and flooring materials for all bathrooms except the powder room must be appropriately chosen for durability and water resistance. A water-base paint is acceptable throughout most of the interior of your home; however, interior painting of the bathroom requires an oil-base – enamel – paint. In general, materials that stand up well to excess moisture are:

* Plastic laminate

* Vinyl-coated wallpaper

* Semi-gloss enamel paint

* Masonry block

* Cast marble

When choosing colors, remember that light cool colors will make a room appear larger, as will painting walls and ceilings the same color. If you have a large room with a high ceiling, a dark color on the ceiling will lower it.

The Quick Fix

* Paint or wallpaper the walls.

* Paint the trim and the bathroom cabinets and shelves.

* Replace bathroom faucets.

* Color coordinate bathroom accessories: towels and face cloths, the shower curtain, scales, hamper, and storage bins, rugs, and bathmats.

* Replace the mirror or paint the frame.

* Replace lighting fixtures.

* Add decorative, color coordinated items to hold cotton balls, swabs, bath
salts, hand lotions, etc.

The Complete Overhaul

As well as the quick fix:

* Install new fixtures: bathtub, shower stall, toilet, and sink.

* Replace bathroom cabinets, and bathroom countertops

* Choose new flooring.

* Install new bathroom faucets and showerheads.

Select Your Favorite Style

When you have settled on a decorating style that reflects your taste and your lifestyle, choose your bathroom accessories so that they will reinforce the look you want to achieve. There are three main styles, and, of course, you can develop one that is very personal.

1) Contemporary

The contemporary style demands clean straight lines and solid colors. Choose plain fixtures, natural wood for cabinets, stainless steel faucets, and decorative materials of wood, stone or tile. The room should look sleek and clutter-free, which means a minimum number of items on display and on the counter. Select streamlined bathroom accessories.

2) Country

The warm, cozy, country style calls for pastel earth colors and vintage-looking fixtures.
You can go wild with floral patterns and fabrics, and use wicker for towel and toilet tissue baskets, and for the clothes hamper. Collections of bottles, framed botanicals, stencils on the wall, and other such decorative items are appropriate.

3) Traditional

Glamour and elegance are hallmarks of the traditional style and you should select porcelain fixtures with gold, silver, or brass faucets and fittings. Think floral fabrics and groupings of treasured collections, and use gold accents and gilded finishes wherever you can.

4) A Personal Theme

A collection of seashells, or your fondness for cactus plants or birds might dictate a particular motif that delights you and other family members. Bathroom decorating and bathroom accessories can revolve around this theme and inspire particular color choices and the inclusion of elements from the sea, the desert, favorite animals or birds, a fantasy world, or anything that has captured your imagination.

There are countless products and materials designed to enhance the beauty, comfort and convenience of bathrooms. When it’s time to decorate, you can really have fun!

5 Hot New Bathroom Accessories For Eco Friendly Bathroom Decor

Eco friendly bathrooms or the green bathrooms are hot and happening bathroom trends for the summer 2010. A variety of bathroom interior designs along with eco friendly and low water consumption fittings and equipments are used to make the it as environment friendly as possible. Organic bathroom accessories go a long way in controlling water wastage and electricity bills. A few changes, executed during remodeling or the renovation process can make a great change. Check out the 5 hot bathroom accessories that are a rage among the lovers of organic bathroom decor.

Trendy Eco-friendly Bathroom Accessories

Organic linens: Organic linens are basic organic bathroom accessories. Use organic linens, wherever required. Be it the cotton towels, knit rugs or the shower curtains. Make the dull and boring linens even more interesting by lending a personal touch to them. Hand paint your shower curtains, hand knit your mats; spill a touch of your creativity wherever possible.

Bamboo bathroom accessory sets: Bamboo bathroom accessory sets make for not just green bathroom accessory holders, but also look beautiful. With a calm and peaceful look to their color, they make for the typical eco friendly bathroom accessories.

Organic soaps & shampoos: While everything else goes organic in an eco friendly bathroom, the soaps, shampoos, conditions and lotions are best kept herbal. Turn to organic and herbal cosmetics for better health and a better environment. Soaps with mineral salts and organic beauty ingredients like milk, saffron, cucumber, butter, variety of fruits etc are manufactured to cater a variety to the prospective users.

Toilet flush lid sinks: Among the eco friendly accessories is a new kind of toilet basin. This basin is a low water consumption mechanism that uses the flush tank water, thus saving water in huge quantities. Toilet flush lid basin is a small basin atop the flush lid which saves space and water both, The water is then used for flushing purpose only, thus saving the water which was to be used for washing hands in a separate basin.

Use solar lights: The more natural light in a bathroom, the better it is. But if you are not planning a remodeling in near future go for solar lights instead of the regular ones.

Home Business Opportunity Online – How to NOT Waste Your Precious Time With the Wrong Opportunities!

If you’re looking for a home business opportunity online then you’ve got a big task on your hands.

These days you’re being pelted with ads from all sides from people telling you that they’ve got the best home business opportunity in the world…and that you can sit around in your underwear to boot!

This might be true in some cases, but sorting through all the junk, crap, and clutter is the hardest part of finding that one true opportunity to work from home that will pan out.

What to Avoid When It Comes to Looking for a Home Business Opportunity Online (or Off)…

There are opportunities that are going to arise that are going to sound all well and good on the surface, but when you dig deeper…or worse once you get involved…they’re just not as great as they may have seemed.

I don’t think I have to tell you about envelope stuffing. That’s a joke, run from it, and stay away.

Then there are things like taking surveys online. Let me just expose this for what it really is. Basically you could get paid very little (we’re talking cents here per survey) to take a survey. But where these companies make their money is by getting you to get others to take surveys. Usually there’s a fee to join these companies and they’ll pay you a commission if you get others to join. So if you’re willing to do that then maybe you could do okay, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Nor would I waste my time on it.

Are There Legitimate Home Business Opportunities Online for You?

You bet there are.

Many people make a living online selling products on Ebay. It can be good money there but a lot of people give up very quickly because you really have to hustle.

Between posting items, taking care of shipping, and customers it can get to be a huge headache quick. I think you’re better off using eBay for what it’s meant for…to get rid of some of your junk around the house.

Now affiliate marketing is very legitimate. Companies will pay you a commission to sell their products online. Many people make a great living doing this, but the learning curve is steep and can be actually expensive when you get into buying course after course trying to figure how to do it correctly. So that’s viable but it takes a lot of training, and for any sort of hand-holding training you’ve got to pay through the nose…and the guys that know their stuff aren’t willing to give away their secrets cheaply.

The Home Business Opportunity that Even Donald Trump and the Rich Dad Can Stand Behind

There’s a type of business opportunity that you can run from home online that even ‘The Donald’ likes as well as the Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. They like it for all the right reasons.

It’s a true legitimate business model with real products being sold, and utilizes huge leverage. These guys know about business and have made millions – billions in Trump’s case – and they know that name of the game is leverage. They also know that mutual leverage is paramount…meaning that everyone wins from any transaction.

Network Marketing (MLM) is structured just that way…and you get paid kindly for your efforts.

But the best part is that there’s hand-holding step-by-step training from people who have JUST been down the same path that you’re on, and have succeeded. And they show you everything they know because their success depends on it.

However some people aren’t up for the challenge of actually building an asset and so that’s for you to decide for you. But if you’re interested at all then this is one of the greatest home business opportunities online that a serious wealth builder could consider.