How to choose the best entrance mat for your house

Water Trapper Entrance Mats 2 Color Alt 600

Entrance mats are no longer boring and unappealing, and people are finally starting to understand their purpose.  How much do you care for the exterior design of your porch? Are you looking to make your home welcoming for people knocking on your door? In that case you need creative entrance mats to make an impression.  Prior to starting to spend money on all sorts of rugs and runner there are a few guidelines you might want to consider. Let’s not forget that entrance mats have a purpose, so apart from a great design it’s equally important to pick the best materials, shapes, and sizes.

What are the best materials for my entrance mat?

You might want to answer this question first: are you looking to invest in a doormat that you can place outside our home, inside, or both? Homeowners make the mistake of choosing the most boring mats for their porch, and that doesn’t make your home appealing at all. Why not try to be creative? Opt for durable material types but also think of picking out an original design, color, or patterns.

Rubber, cork, aluminum, coco brush, polycoir, teak, nylon, woven sea grass, and cedar, are excellent materials to have in mind. Some of them can be washed easily with mild soap, while others are cleaned through mere shaking to take out dirt.

Tips: let’s not forget that people will wipe off dirt and grime from their feet, as well as snow, water, and all sorts of chemicals. It’s extremely important to opt for a material type that’s resistant and weather-proof.  As far as color is concerned, some homeowners go for darker shades to mask that ugly appeal of a dirty rug.


There’s a big difference between mats placed outside your home and mats placed inside. Harsh climates can destroy a rug so that’s why people should place more durable rugs outside. Invest in a mat with a scraping, more abrasive surface. Hence, you’ll be able to wipe off dirt a lot easier. High-traffic areas of the home should have thicker mats with a rubber bottom for some extra stability.

Entrance mats placed inside the home are a bit different. They’re not that tick, but they should be equally durable and resistant. A nice design and a beautiful pattern is more than recommended, but let us not forget that the mat should be able to absorb dirt efficiently. Wipers made of nylon are excellent choices because they trap dust and keep your footwear dry. Let’s go over some important maintenance guidelines:

  • Choose entrance mats made of durable materials

  • Shake them to remove dirt at least 2 times a week

  • You can also vacuum the mats if that’s easier

  • Before placing them at the entrance make sure they’re dry

The main purpose of an entrance mat is to prevent grime and filth from invading your home. Yet, that’s not a reason to invest in the thickest, ugliest mat. It might be a smart choice to opt for a beautiful design as well. Some people want to be creative and they just love to improvise and make their homes truly welcoming. Check out the following guidelines:

  • Opt for a doormat that mixes performance with style

  • Place two rugs at the doorway, one on the inside, one on the outside

  • Entrance mats should be large enough to fit both your feet

  • Think of a darker shade for your outside mats and a lighter shade for your inside mat

Efficient cleaning tips

Doormats are probably your home’s dirtiest and filthiest décor items. They must be efficiently cleaned, and we must not just resume to shaking. We can’t expect to have a clean home if we don’t wash our doormats too every once in a while. We can opt for mild detergents and a brush.

Warning: don’t put your mats into the washing machine unless the material is pure cotton and there’s a special program for mats.

Differences between outdoor entrance mats and indoor entrance mats

These two types of entrance mats are NOT the same, so make sure you have that cleared out prior to starting a shopping spree. Outdoor rugs are usually made of ticker materials that can drain out dirt and water. Rubber, plastic, and cork for example are excellent options. They’re also durable and they won’t get damaged because of harsh weather conditions. Also, pick a darker shade because outside weather can discolor your mat, whether we’re talking about sun, snow, harsh wind, or excessive rain.

As far as inside rugs as concerned, homeowners have a plethora of designs, shapes, and sizes to choose from. The material doesn’t have to be that thick, and you can also decide on a more appealing color. Runners are great choices because they’re not slippery on marble flooring, and regarding the design, just make sure it beautifully compliments the overall design and style of your home. Learn the main differences and you’ll have a chemical-free home for weeks, not to mention that properly selected rugs can also beautify your hallway.

Most creative ideas for entrance mats

Motion-Sensor Doormat

entrance matsIf you’re a tech freak that wants to use advanced technology in every corner of his house, an entrance mat provided with motion sensors that detects people presence is exactly what you need. Isn’t that cool or what? When you step on it, lights begin to glow, making you feel special. Chances are your guests will be terrified the first time they step on the mat, but they will definitely appreciate your sense of humor when they will realize what’s happening. Doormats should be used to prevent dirt from entering your home, but this doesn’t mean that they cannot be funny at the same time.

Space Invaders Entrance Mat

entrance mats1Don’t worry nobody’s going to invade anything; ok, maybe your sense of humor. This type of entrance mat will definitely get noticed, because it is provided with LED lights that form an animation sequence when they glow. When you step on the doormat, the LED lights start to blaze, so wipe your feet if you want to get it. Just kidding!  It’s definitely a must-have, and one of its greatest advantages is that it works on batteries, so it can last quite a long time as long as it’s well-maintained. Turn your entrance door into a spatial gateway and make guests feel thrilled every time they walk through it.

Binary Entrance Mat

entrance mats2Choosing an entrance mat that welcomes your guests with a binary code is a great idea, especially if you’re a computer enthusiast. The short messages featured on the doormat are unique, and that makes it look retro. Tech lovers know how important durability can be, and that’s why this doormat is fixed with a needle. Not only that no moisture or dirt will enter your residence, but it will also act as a guarantee that your guests will always be in a good mood. Forget about ordinary entrance mats and display your originality with a binary mat.

Black River Stone Entrance Mat

entrance mats3If you want a durable doormat, a black stone entrance mat is a perfect choice. Actually, it’s so durable that it can be used in all possible seasons. Besides, its appearance is very natural and will manage to attract attention. Made up of polished river stones that are fixed using strong adhesive, the mat provides a unique look that will be admired by anyone who enters your home. Truly innovative indeed!


entrance mats4Are you an avid Apple fan? This type of entrance mat can provide you with the same feeling while you sweep your feet. If you love your iPhone or iPad, you’ll definitely enjoy feeling as if you used an application to enter your home. Featuring the message “slide to unlock”, this entrance mat informs guests to wipe their feet before entering, but in a really funny way. Preventing unwanted dirt from entering your home has never been easier thanks to the amazing iDoorMat made of coconut fiber combined with PVC.

Doormat Scale

entrance mats5Believe it or not, this doormat is actually provided with a weight scale, which means some people will hate it, especially women. Every time you enter your or leave the home, you’ll know your weight, and that can be a stimulant for people who really want to lose weight. Most of us have busy lifestyles, so it’s not like we have time to think of our weight. The idea is dead funny, and if you’re a homeowner who wants to be creative, a doormat scale is certainly an ingenious idea.

How developed is your sense of humor? Doormats should be fun, welcoming, and ultimately creative. Of course, it’s important to think about quality as well because at the end of the day you want a clean home too. As you can see, the plethora of funny mats for your entrance door is endless, so you can play with your imagination and make guests knock on your door with a big smile on their face.

How to choose custom made / bespoke furniture

Are you creative enough to make your home look different? Do you have ideas that might enhance its beauty? Then it’s certainly time to think about this new and original type of furniture. Bespoke is all about originality, innovation, and ingenuity. Think outside the box and convert your personal space into the most welcoming home. The concept of bespoke furniture refers to any type of custom-made furniture. It can be made according to customer requirement and it ranges from chairs and tables, doors, bed headboards, shelves, and even cabinets. The term “bespoke furniture” is commonly used in the U.K, and the Americans prefer to call it “custom-made furniture”.

Choosing bespoke furniture for your home

bespoke furniture1Those who choose to re-decorate their home interiors turn to prefabricated furniture. Slowly but surely, we’ve reached a conclusion: average furniture is boring. There’s certainly no doubt about that, and if we want to make our homes look appealing, it’s critical to be creative. Custom-made furniture comes with great benefits, and although the price for such an item can be a bit high sometimes, you’ll be 100{438cb2300061349b6c7d90eaf8485b34cb640385e490e43e302dd2e197f2ab69} satisfied with the result. We love bespoke furniture because it gives us the liberty to choose our own design. We may like a certain model but if the color doesn’t appeal to our senses, we can always change it.

You can also decide what type of finishes to use, as well as the color and the material. Some people are pleased to know that they can also incorporate extra fabrics in different pieces of furniture (like dining chairs, for instance). Bespoke furniture ranges from dining area furniture and kitchen cabinets, to living area fixtures and bedroom items. Prior to starting the remodeling process, it’s essential to pick a manufacturer. Note that bespoke furniture requires craftsmanship, talent, and ultimately, a keen eye for interior design. The person who will make your home furniture will have to look at your home first, take measurements, listen to your demands, and then start the creation process.

How to choose a manufacturer

  • Find out whether the manufacturer has a track record: Once you’ve decided to opt for custom-made furniture, all you have to do is find a serious manufacturer. Since your furniture will depend on the skills of the designer, you will need to look for a manufacturer whose creations were praised by his former customers. This means that you will need to ask several questions before signing the contract, most of them being related to experience and amount of time that they’ve spent working on the project. A serious manufacturer will answer to all your questions and will even give references of other customers that have worked with them.Decorating

  • Check whether the manufacturer’s vision matches yours: Their vision should definitely match yours, as this is the only guarantee that the final product will be exactly how you want. You must have the same stylistic views otherwise you will end up going home with a piece of furniture that matches neither your interior decorations, nor your preferences.

  • Check out their previous works: A selected manufacturer must be able to create long-lasting furniture. Ask them about previous clients and persuade them to show you some previous works completed. After all, it’s your right to do this. Bespoke furniture is more expensive than prefabricated items, so you need to make sure that your money is invested in something that’s worth the effort.

General benefits of custom-made furniture

bespoke furniture2Understanding the benefits of bespoke furniture is essential, as this is the only way you can ensure that your money is spent on something durable. Unlike average chairs and sofas that you buy from the market, custom pieces are made in front of you. Hence, you are 100{438cb2300061349b6c7d90eaf8485b34cb640385e490e43e302dd2e197f2ab69} sure that the quality exists and that the materials used are chemical-free, genuine, and ultimately, modern.

  • Custom-made furniture suits your needs

This is perhaps the main benefit of bespoke furniture. Everything is built according to your indications so it’s almost impossible not to like the end result. Prefabricated pieces of furniture constrain customers with their fixed shapes and sizes, and this can be very annoying, especially when you need to buy furniture for a small room. Bespoke pieces are created based on exact measurements, meaning that they will fit perfectly. A custom designer is like a talented architect, which means that his duty is to design something that fits.

  • Flexibility and durability

Custom-made furniture is great because it can last for a very long time. Believe it or not, most shops feature a lower standard than bespoke furniture; manufacturers are interested mainly in cutting down costs so that they can sell it at a more attractive price. Buyers who want to invest in custom furniture are looking for high-quality products and are less worried about cost. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot establish a limit to your budget. You can talk with the designer and tell him to use high-quality materials, while still remaining on budget.

In case you didn’t know, prefabricated pieces of furniture are not offering so much flexibility because designers don’t know how owners will use them. This is one of the reasons why custom furnishings allow you to keep a piece of furniture for decades.

  • Control over price

Even though custom furniture is regarded as an expensive choice, the truth is that the buyer is given complete control over the situation; he has the freedom to choose between mid and high price ranges. Besides, the investment is profitable because it gives you the chance to use your imagination and include your own ideas into your residence.

Most designers want to talk to you about budget first, so that they can get a better idea about what materials to use and the amount of features and decorations they can include.

Bespoke furniture – innovative ideas to have in mind

bespoke furnitureLet us begin by saying that custom furniture pieces promote freedom of expression, and that’s extremely interesting. People want to have unique homes, they want to mix style they never thought they could, and they want to opt for materials and concepts that are unusual and peculiar yet extremely enticing and attention-grabbing.

Multi-functional furniture

The concept is not new, but considering that we’re talking about bespoke furniture now it’s the perfect time to put your imagination to the ultimate test. Assuming that you live alone in a 50 sq. ft-apartment, it goes without saying that space is a problem. Furniture pieces such as tables turned into office desks, sofas that become bunker beds, and coffee tables that expand, are excellent bespoke items you can opt for to make more spacious yet keep your space tidy.

Furniture driven by technology

That’s what we’re talking about. Who wouldn’t want to have a massage sofa? Mixing advanced technology with furniture pieces for our homes is the ultimate concept. A nightstand with USB ports and chargers for your laptop, iPad, and phone, is certainly an ingenious idea.  Can you imagine pulling out the drawers and finding properly arranged ports for your believed gadgets?

Ethnic-like furniture

Are you a cultural person who likes foreign customs and traditions, and their décor influences? Do you have an eye for improvisations and want to make your home look different? Then adding an ethnic touch to your furniture items is an excellent idea. China for example, is famous for its black-red color palette and traditional pottery. If your living room looks boring, paint one wall in bloody red, paint your furniture (or just one piece) in black, and the wow effect is guaranteed.

Statement pieces

Not everybody can afford to have their entire living rooms custom made. Yet, even if you don’t have the money, this doesn’t mean you can’t improvise. For example, a living room’s centerpiece is usually the hardwood table placed in the middle. Are you sick and tired with the shape and color? Do you want to give it a twist? Head over to your neighbor and ask him for a sander. Re-shape the table by giving it a curvy appeal and buy some yellow paint to cover the surfaces. That’s all you need to change your living room’s entire allure. A single statement item like a table placed in the middle will bring some more innovation to your beloved home.

Choosing bespoke furniture is a matter of perception. There’s no exact recipe or specific rules to abide by. We, as homeowners, have the freedom to pick out whatever we like. If you want to add some innovation but you don’t have an eye for design, talk to a manufacturer who makes bespoke furniture. Ask for advice, look online for ideas, and put them into practice. The internet is our mentor; it guides us and it can help us make the right choices. The concept of custom furniture may not be new, but the original ideas we can come up with to change our home’s design are endless. If you’re a fan of genuine home adjustment and you want to give your furniture a twist, go bespoke and you’ll love the end result.

Using Colour Psychology When Decorating Your Home

colour charts

blue grey living room

The idea that colours can influence emotions is not a new one; in fact, colour choice in a home has long been a fundamental principle of the ancient art of Feng Shui. Yet just how can different colours used in the home influence the way we think and feel? And how can we maximise the most appropriate colours to their best effect?

The relevance of colour psychology

If you open an interior design brochure or home styling magazine, you’ll no doubt read articles about how different use of colour in the home can play with our emotions and influence how we visually perceive each room. You may have also seen, on the plethora of how-to-sell-your-home programmes on TV, how colour choices of rooms can greatly influence the prospects of achieving a sale. So what are some of the basic guidelines to colour psychology?

Understand the purpose of each room

Since colour consultants believe that colour influences our emotions, it makes sense to try and use colour to help achieve the desired emotion you want to create for a particular room. In order to do that, you need to decide how each of your rooms at home is used and what sort of emotions you want to create in each space. Then, you can adapt the colour accordingly when it comes time to decorate. You can read about choosing colour for children’s rooms in one of our previous posts.

Often, the emotions we want to create in each room are pretty universal. Bedrooms are a place for relaxing, so it can be assumed that when decorating you would choose colours that invoke a feeling of calm. Family rooms where you want to gather and spend time together may team well with colours that are said to invoke conversation and warmth. Stimulating colours may work well in the kitchen or dining room, if you want to create a feeling of energy and creativity. If you work from home, then you may want to decorate your office space in colours that encourage productivity, creativity and concentration. Bathrooms suit clean, fresh colours, but also work well with those that invoke calm and relaxation.

Understanding the colour emotions

So once you’ve established the purpose of each room and the feelings you want to generate, how do you decide which are the most appropriate colours to choose from in order to create that? You may think that you are clueless on this aspect, but you probably have reacted emotionally to colour without even realising it. Consider how you might feel if you walk into a room decorated all in red, compared to one painted in soft pastels, for example? Your sub-conscious mind is probably already working overtime to deliver colour influenced messages to you, without you even realising it.

As a general rule, lighter colours are said to invoke calmer feelings, whereas darker tones increase emotions.

Red has the reputation of producing feelings of energy, passion and warmth. It’s also a stimulating colour, so can work well to encourage conversation and creativity.

Green is a very calming colour, because of its close associations with nature. It’s thought to be one of the most suitable colours for sustaining concentration levels, so would be ideal for use in a study room.

Blue is also a very soothing colour, but is also said to boost productivity. The different shades of blue can create different effects, so choose this colour carefully for the effect you want to create.

White and creams denote cleanliness and are most often seen used in bathrooms.

Yellow is thought be a colour that improves mood, so can be a lovely addition to any room in the home.

Creative activities or energy can be bolstered through the use of orange, so this could work well in a children’s play room, for example.

Using colour to sell your home

When it comes to selling your home, however, the long regarded rule is that you should stick to neutral colours when it comes to decorating. There are two very good reasons for this. Firstly, light, neutral tones make a room feel brighter and bigger than it actually is. Secondly, it is much easier for a potential homebuyer to visualise how they could use a room when the canvas they are looking at is of neutral shade.



This article was written for UK Oak Doors, leading suppliers of ogee and bullnose skirting.


Kitchen Decorating Guide

A home’s kitchen is an enjoyable place for the whole household. Make it a rejuvenating and exciting part of your precious home and your kids will always be there to give you a hand. Smart décor ideas and beautiful colors will liven up a space that cannot always look impeccable. Are you looking for sensible guidelines to redecorate your cooking space and make it look vibrant and likable? Then you’re all set to get started.

Kitchen Layouts

Paint and decorate kitchenAnalyze your kitchen and establish its shape. Is it spacious enough? Does it have a U shape? Do you have room for all major appliances? These are the questions you must ask before starting to decorate. Kitchens should be thoroughly analyzed first because if you’re not paying enough attention you might end up fitting items that won’t fit.

  • Galley Kitchen – a galley layout is a perfect option for crammed places. The layout involves two parallel workspaces. Usually, the stove is placed on one wall, whereas the refrigerator, dishwasher, and the sink are located on the other wall.

  • L-Shaped Kitchen – An L-shaped kitchen comprises two perpendicular work areas. This layout generates a typical work triangle.

  • U-Shaped Kitchen -The U-shaped layout involves three adjacent work areas. You have the possibility to position each component of the work triangle on a different wall. This layout is a perfect option for multi-cook circumstances thanks to the separation of work areas.

  • G-Shaped Kitchen – The G-shaped layout comprises four different sides, and the fourth one is basically a peninsula. This layout guarantees the most space for cabinets and other items that you need in your kitchen.

When it comes to positioning appliances, you need to be practical. For example, you are advised to place the refrigerator at the end of the kitchen counter. Allow 15 inches of counter space on the side that features the handle of the refrigerator so that you can put your grocery bags there. As far as the kitchen is concerned, you will always have something to do near the sink. Leave 24 to 36 inches of workspace on both parts so that you can wash the dishes and perform tasks without struggling. Left-handed individuals usually place the dishwasher to the right of the sink, whereas right-handers position it to the left. This is merely a suggestion.

Now it’s time to ask yourself this: are you an avid cooker or not? Housewives and mothers need plenty of space to prepare food, so it’s really important to have a kitchen island. It’s practical, it keeps the rest of the counter clean, and it can be used as a dining table at the end of the cooking process.

Types of Cabinets

Painting and decorate a kitchenIt’s certainly not easy to pick out kitchen cabinets. The variety is endless, so it’s important to have some factors in mind prior to making a choice. Do you have any particular style in mind, or do you usually go with your gut? A beautifully decorated kitchen must also be practical, so you might want to think about décor with that idea in mind.

Face Frame Cabinets – Face frame or classic cabinets feature a face or frame that camouflages the blunt edges of every cabinet box. Occasionally, their hinges can be seen from the outside. The drawers and doors can be partly inserted (this means that the drawers and doors are partly inserted into the cabinet with a rim on the external frame), flush fit (they are completely buried into the cabinet’s frame), or overlay (this means that the doors cover the face frame).

Frameless Cabinets – Frameless cabinets, also known as European cabinets, are a great option when you don’t have too much space at your disposal. They feature a thin covering that wraps the blunt rims of the divider; therefore, the opening is 1 ½ inches broader in comparison with an ordinary cabinet. Drawers and doors mount straight to the cabinet’s interior and hinges are generally concealed when the doors aren’t opened. Besides, drawers and doors are only ¼-inch apart, which means that the frame is exposed only a little bit.

Glass Doors – Cabinets with glass doors offer your kitchen a light aspect and make it look more spacious.

Matchless Materials – You have the possibility to make cabinet door inserts with the help of matchless materials such as hole caning, wire grating, louvered panels, as well as patterned tin.

Finishes & Fixtures – Lighting is a very important aspect that you have to consider when decorating your kitchen. You need to obtain the proper lighting balance that enables you to feel both safe and comfortable when preparing your favorite dishes.

General Lighting – General lighting offers complete illumination to a room. Opt for ornamental ceiling fixtures, as well as for recessed lights to benefit from even light.

Natural Lighting – Large windows are a perfect method to illuminate a kitchen, since they don’t consume energy and they can’t affect your health and eyes. Generally, every kitchen features a window that is situated over the sink.

Under-Cabinet Lighting – The counter space positioned below upper cabinets won’t be bright unless you go for under-cabinet fixtures. You can choose from a plethora of battery-operated, hard-wired, as well as plug-in alternatives.

Organizing tips

Painting and decorating kitchenOffer your kitchen a matchless look and opt for interesting organizational ideas. Cabinets adorned with furniture-style details and classic moldings are everlasting. In order to make cooking a pleasurable activity, all your kitchen tools must be properly sorted out.

  • Pull-Out Pantry -A pull-out pantry element will enable you to make the most of an unhandy narrow space.

  • Hidden Cutting Board – A slide out cutting board will provide additional work surface to the place.

  • Corner Shelves – Corner shelves are a good way to utilize an uncomfortable space. The brackets that hold them are in fact architectural salvage elements that will make your kitchen look amazing.

  • Pretty Canisters – Ornamental canisters ingeniously enable you to stock dry goods in a noticeable space.

  • Produce Bins – You can utilize vented produce bins to stock foods that don’t necessitate refrigeration.

  • Shelves – Open shelves are really efficient for storing items that don’t have to be concealed behind cabinet doors. Plus, you can combine them with closed cabinets and you’ll definitely obtain an interesting design.

  • Tool Rail – Place a tool rail above the cooktop to use your utensils effortlessly.

  • Open Pantry Shelves – In case there’s no closed pantry space within your kitchen, open pantry shelves are a really efficient idea.

Décor ideas

tips to choose dining tableBlack and White Influences – opt for a monochromatic palette and make your kitchen look spectacular. An uninterrupted model, such as a stylish black-and-white zigzag, spread over the floor is beautiful and surprising.

Shelf Life – use each and every inch of space you have available for ingenious storage. A cube shelving unit will house your linens, serving pieces, as well as your holding plates. Cover the backs with wallpaper to add a surprising ornamental touch to your kitchen.

Sunshine Day – when you have a small kitchen and a tight budget, caution and inventive planning become essential. A gray-and-white palette combined with dazzling pops of turquoise and lemon are a perfect choice.

Baby Blue Influences – paint your cabinets in a sweet baby blue shade and you’ll immediately bring your kitchen back to life. Soft blue can replace the white appeal of the cooking space without affecting its sleek aspect.

Bold colors – if you want to have a modern design, go for bold colors and lacquered cabinets. For example, you can choose cherry red and vanilla white cabinets, and your kitchen will look amazing. However, make sure you don’t go over the top because additional accessories have to pop out as well.

High End Design Ideas – big arched ceilings and big windows will make your kitchen look more spacious. If you go for a black-and-white design, use a piece of wood furniture to add a touch of warmth. Or you can always include an imposing rug on the floor.

Natural Selections – a classic white kitchen will always be an elegant choice. Opt for ceiling beams, flagstone floors, a lovely farmhouse-style table, and an oak island, and your kitchen will be converted into a heavenly environment.

Modern Vintage Design – who doesn’t love a touch of vintage to a modern décor? Whether you’re just looking to change the knobs of your cabinets, or you want to add splash of color, always remember that mixing styles can have a striking effect.

Decorating a kitchen can be overwhelming sometimes. Deciding on a particular style and organizing everything is not as simple as it seems. You must be able to set your priorities straight before starting to decorate. Are you looking for a practical kitchen space or you want it to be modern and sophisticated? People who are used to cooking all day long should include plenty of cabinets and open shelves; however, if you’re the type of person who loves to dine out, you can think of a more avant-garde type of kitchen.

John Smith is fascinated with interior designing and is always finding new ways of adding a touch of beauty and glamour to his home by new ideas. Also his site provides complementary free-standing kitchen furniture, living, dining and bedroom furniture.

TV Lifts in Your Interior Design

tv When planning innovative interior designs, attention usually focuses on integrating the look of the furnishings, floor covering, wall textures and the installation of stylish lighting to set it all off. The smooth blending of a room’s video system may go overlooked. Since large screen TVs differ little in appearance between models, you may think that their appearance diminishes the interior’s unique look.
Fortunately, avoiding such a problem is easily solved with an automatic TV lift. TV lifts are the perfect way to entirely hide a TV and eliminate any subtle clash with the overall decor. Additionally, they provide a cleaner and more open look to a room. Depending on how you inventive you are about the concealment, lifts can even enhance the interior with a dash of high-tech elegance.

Types of TV Lifts

Innovative TV concealment is not limited by lift technology itself. Various manufacturers design the mechanics of their systems to accommodate moving any TV, from tube types to LED screens, in almost any direction. Your imagination is free to envision the most stylish and functional ways to place the TV out of the picture.

Vertical lifts can be used to raise a TV from behind or from within a floor cabinet. When lowered, the cabinet will show a level top surface. These kinds of lifts also allow a TV to be lowered from the ceiling or from behind a false partition.

Horizontal lifts move a TV right or left from behind a concealing partition such as a painting chosen to accent the room’s décor.

Swing lifts do not actually lift a TV per se. Instead, they support the TV from one side in a hinge manner. A motor swings the TV across an arc of up to 180 degrees in order to match the viewing angle to the seating arrangements. Swing lifts can be used to hang a TV from a ceiling too. In this application, the TV screen is stored in a horizontal position and swung down vertically when being viewed.

Projector lifts are specifically designed for projection TV systems. Typically, they mount on the room’s ceiling and lower the projector vertically. Additionally, they can be used to raise a projector from within a cabinet that is located near the centre of a room.

Installation Considerations

Most TVs are not lightweight objects especially ones that use tubes for the screen. The lifts themselves are normally constructed with heavy-duty rail guides and stout gas springs to compensate for the weight of any television or monitor. The mechanisms to raise and lower the TV utilise gears or hydraulics to gain advantage using small motors.

The most important element in TV lift installation is the use of a substantial and durable structure for supporting the lift. This aspect is not as critical if the lift is attached to the floor. For a horizontal, swing or ceiling mounted lift, a strong mount point is absolutely necessary. Keep this requirement in mind when using a TV lift. A good design will ensure that the attachment structure blends well with other interior design elements.

Novel Concealment Methods for TVs and Monitors

Besides the example of using a vertical lift to hide a TV within a floor cabinet, there are other techniques to hiding the television. For instance, a lighted aquarium with tropical fish is an attractive focus point for any room. With simple wiring and the touch of a button, the aquarium lights are turned off while a TV screen rises from behind it.

Instead, with some customisation, a lift could lower an aquarium to reveal a wall-mounted television. The same idea could be implemented with a planter box instead of an aquarium. You can combine the idea of concealment behind a painting using a fixed-position TV too. Lifts can be attached to two smaller paintings that create a single piece of artwork. The lifts separate the two halves horizontally to reveal the television. Instead of a painting, the two halves could be flat speakers with attractive covers, which are a part of the TV sound system.

If any of the ideas that you have to use TV lifts for concealment do not match up with offerings of a particular manufacturer, do not give up hope. There are kits on the market that can be customised to fit your particular application. Besides lifts, there are some products that might work better for your particular situation. For instance, there are table or floor mounted mechanisms that will automatically twist a television in a full circle, which might work well for a TV that is centered in a room.

The Final Word in Style and Luxury

A television’s place in your home’s fashion statement no longer needs to be an overlooked rough spot. With a stylish concealment made possible with an automatic TV lift, it becomes an integral part of the design that also provides high-tech convenience. A single push of a button brings the television to life or slides it out of sight when company comes to call.

Article by John Croft Design, an interior design firm in Brisbane, Australia.

Simple Ways to Incorporate Water Features in Home Interior Plans

An elegant water feature in Syria – Photo by jonmartin ()

When people decorate their homes, their main concern is to make it a comfortable place. The choices they make about furniture, decorations, and other features are based on their hobbies, likes, and interior design tastes. There’s also the simple fact that people like to make their homes look beautiful inside and out. It always gives any homeowner a sense of pride whenever someone says something nice about their home.

Adding water features is one of the most effective and affordable methods of decorating a house. Choosing several is mostly a hassle-free experience as there are so many manufacturers of portable water features and they all make different designs. There are small ones that can be placed on top of a side table. There are also large models that need to be partially installed to a part of the house (it could be on the floor or a wall). You can even design one yourself if you can’t find one that meshes well with the overall theme of your house.

Install Electric Water Features

The easiest way to incorporate water features into a house is to buy a small, figurine-like system that runs on electricity. Just plug it in, pour a sufficient amount of water, and you’re all set. You can choose a small one about the size of a small basket if you want to place it on the bar or island separating the kitchen and dining room.

  1. Floor Features

A floor fountain will look great in a small backyard or an indoor garden. – Photo by Gertrude K.

How big the water feature is will depend on where you want to place it. For example, if you want one in the middle of a large foyer that leads to a grand staircase, you can install a fountain or a large water feature on the floor. It can be sunken and decorated to look like a miniature pond, or built inside a large “bowl.” The “bowl” version and the fountain are undoubtedly easier to set up than the sunken model though.

An indoor pool will also classify as a floor water feature.

  1. Table Features

A portable, miniature fountain – Photo by jo3design

If you don’t want anything too grand or expensive, you can just buy one or more smaller water features and place them on top of center or side tables. You can also place them on the kitchen island or counter, the bar, or on the floor right by the patio doorway. These are easy to handle because they are basically like heavy, decorative ceramics, or clay, or bamboo table decorations (depending on what they are made of) except that they have a power cord. Cleaning is also easier because of their smaller sizes.

The best thing about these is they are portable. You can place them anywhere you like, as many as you like. You can even put one in your room, if you want. The soft, tinkling sound of water will be an excellent lullaby for any tired adult.

Fishbowls can be placed almost anywhere in the house. – Photo by Flood

Another easy option is to have a bowl with goldfish. Better yet, have a fully-functional aquarium. This will require a bit more work and maintenance because you’ll essentially be tending to a small ecosystem but, the hard part is just at the beginning. So long as you don’t overcrowd your aquarium, it should be more or less a self-sufficient habitat, requiring only monthly cleanups.

  1. Wall Features

Wall waterfalls – Photo by carifrique

Hotels, malls, and corporate offices usually take a different approach with their water fixtures. Instead of the old-fashioned fountain or portable ceramics, they have wall water features. A panel of wall is enclosed in clear glass. Water falls from the top, falling along the wall and right through the floor. A pump mechanism brings the water back up to repeat the cycle. Colored lights are often added to enhance the miniature waterfall.

Although it is possible to have a wall waterfall at home, they are more suitable in corporate and commercial buildings. They have the resources to pay for its maintenance and repair, plus the manpower to keep the water, the wall, and the glass case clean.

Design Your Own

If ever you can’t find a water feature that will fit in the space where you intend to put it, or doesn’t suit the theme of your home, you can always design one yourself. The good thing about this is you can be very flexible. If you want to change the height of the waterfalls, you can raise or lower the spout as you like. You can decide which direction the water should flow. If you want to add levels and other decorations (like a water mill, a funnel, or a pitcher that tilts over when full), you can also do that.

The important thing is to find people who can recreate your design accurately.

There is more to having water features at home than making a room look more lovely. Water has a calming effect on people. Seeing it and hearing its sound will help the residents de-stress and calm their minds. That is the best advantage people can get from installing water features.

Tina Madsen is a design enthusiast who brings her passion for modern décor and writing to her role as the blogger.  She also specializes in turning small living areas into spacious social hubs with bar stools and counter stools.


Converting your Loft: Interior Design Ideas


Converting your loft into one or more rooms doesn’t just increase the value of your property; it allows you to gain some valuable extra space. You could convert your loft into an extra bathroom, bedroom, study, library, studio or storage area, or even a playroom for your children.

Unless you’re planning to add just a bathroom, it’s a good idea to carpet your loft or use rugs rather than bare hardwood floors, as this will reduce noise and increase insulation. If you’re installing skylight style windows, choose blinds with an insulated backing. For bedrooms, consider dark-coloured blinds, as attic rooms generally get most of the natural light.

A quiet place for work or rest

loft3Converting your loft into a study or library will give you an undisturbed place to work or read in peace. If your windows are low enough, set your desk by the window so that you can appreciate the view. While sloping walls are no use for shelves, the straight walls at either are good places to but your book cases. Add a sink and mini fridge to make a kitchen space and you won’t need to go downstairs for a cup of tea.
For bedrooms, the largest issue you are likely to face is getting the furniture upstairs. It’s most practical to buy flat packed furniture and construct it in situ, and if the entry way is restricted consider a futon bed rather than a regular mattress, which can also be put away to create extra room when you don’t have anyone sleeping there.

Choose light wall colours that reflect the abundant natural light. You can increase your storage space by creating wall cupboards to take advantage of sloping ceilings. You may even want to partition off the far end of the room to create a permanent storage area. Another good way to use space is to add a small shower room – perfect for reducing bathroom traffic when guests are staying!

Keen artists may want to turn their loft into a studio and take advantage of the light. Plain white walls will give the best light, and long benches running along the sloping walls will make an ideal place to spread out a larger project. Add a shelving unit or cupboards to store your supplies, and install a sound system to give you music while you work.

Play area, storage or some luxury

If you have children, attics can be converted into a play area to house their toys and keep bedrooms a little tidier. For older children, this can be a place for playing video games or watching movies with friends. Consider a colourful pallet with lots of interest, and add feature lamps and blinds. Fitted side cupboards under the end of the sloping roof will keep toys tidy, and you can include a large table for jigsaws and board games. Futon sofas or large bean bags double as a spare bed for when friends stay over. You can also house smaller pets here, where they can be taken out to play easily.


If what you really want is a brand new luxury bathroom, your loft conversion will need full plumbing and sealing. Use soft laminate flooring to reduce noise and insulated blinds to keep the heat in. If you’re planning to add a large feature bathtub, make sure you check with your builder to ensure the floor is strong enough. You might want to go more in the shower direction and add a wet room with multiple jets, which will look wonderful with dark stone tiles and tinted glass. You could also build a sauna or steam room for a little at-home luxury.

If you don’t really need an extra room but find yourself short of storage space, convert your loft into a fitted storage room designed to house the things you don’t have space for downstairs. Bulky winter sports equipment such as skis and snowboards can find a home here, and you can even include brackets for larger items like canoes and kayaks. Fitted cupboards are preferable to shelving to reduce dust, and it’s a good idea to paint walls a light shade so that it is easy to spot any damp or mildew that might creep in over the years. For long term storage, ensure ventilation is sufficient.

This is a guest post by freelance writer Claire Wilson for LMB Loft Conversions. Claire usually covers home improvement and lifestyle and loves to make minor improvements to her London home herself.

Top 5 Kitchen Decorating Inspiration Resources

Kitchen Design Ideas  Pictures  Remodel and Decor

If you want to decorate, redecorate or remodel your kitchen, you should take advantage of the incredible amount of online resources that help you just do that: from general advice to product picks and visual inspiration. The web is there for you, let it help you improve your kitchen today.

Let’s now see the top five websites that will turn your general ideas and needs into actionable steps you can take on your own or with the help of a decorating professional.

Houzz: modern visual inspiration

houzzWhen it comes to improving your kitchen appeal, you don’t want to read long articles about general design concepts: you want to actually get inspired by pictures of real kitchens that may help you decide on what you want for yours. Seeing tables, sinks, cabinets and much more will get you closer to your decorating goals pretty quickly.

Houzz offers a great inspiration platform with a myriad of pictures for people in need of modern and appealing ideas for their house. Their kitchen section is great, as it lets you browse thousands of pictures and pick what’s best for you.

Top features:

  • Ideabooks
  • Picture quality
  • Filter by style (contemporary, eclectic etc.)
  • Product categories

Make your kitchen beautiful with HouseBeautiful

housebeautifulAnother really useful website is HouseBeautiful, a site that keeps its promise: helping you figure out how to make your house (more) beautiful. With the help of a curated list of different kitchen style pictures and expert kitchen tips, you will be inspired and informed at the same time.

HB kitchen video section is very useful if you enjoy a mix of tips on living your kitchen 100{438cb2300061349b6c7d90eaf8485b34cb640385e490e43e302dd2e197f2ab69}: from cooking tips by famous chefs to advice from expert kitchen decorators.

Top features:

  • Kitchen of the Month section
  • Galleries
  • Curated lists

Tune in HGTV

hgtvHome & Garden Television is a cable-television channel providing lots of useful resources to homeowners looking for decorating advice and inspiration. Their website is packed with visual inspiration, kitchen decorating guides and lots of useful content for other parts of your house.

With the 3D kitchen tour you can explore a wide range of appliances and really get “into” a high tech, modern kitchen that will inspire improvements in yours.

Top features:

  • 3D tours
  • Colour tutorials
  • Blog

Your dream kitchen with Country Living

Country LivingThere’s no shortage of great home improvement blogs on the internet. Whatever your style and taste is, you will find a community of like-minded homeowners who want to improve their kitchen just the way you want.

On Country Living you can enjoy a wide range of inspirational pictures and hoc guides to help you gain a better understanding of your house decoration. In their Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Decorating you will be able to explore tons of ideas and make your favourite come true in your house.

Top features:

  • Decorating guides
  • TV shows
  • Entertaining section

Make it good!

good housekeepingYou should always feed your brain with as many decorating ideas as possible before making any big purchase or remodeling decision. Good Housekeeping will help you get even more ideas on your renovation project.

Browse GH kitchen decorating ideas to really understand what you and other people living in your house like and want. Make your kitchen good, no… better!

Top features:

  • DIY section
  • Product reviews
  • Amazon picks

What would you add?

Is there any great website we should feature here? Let’s make it a top 6, 7, 10 or more! Which website would you add to this list of great kitchen decorating resources?

Make Children Happy with Room Colours

children room colour

Choosing the ideal color for your child’s room may seem easy, but you’ll find a number of factors to consider before making your final choice. Children’s room decor should not only be aesthetically pleasing—you’ll find that the shade, toys, and placement of the furnishings are just as important to their mood and development.

Colors and Murals

Neutral shades such as blue, pink, beige, green, yellow, and peach are calming colors. They can also ensure that your child gets a good night’s rest. Look for inspiring artwork such as rainbows, stars, clouds, and flowers. Painting a mural of a sturdy tree as a part of your wall art has been shown to encourage healthy growth in children. Battle scenes, wild animals, and violent posts can promote violence, so you want to keep your child’s focus on more positive themed artwork.

Furniture Arrangement

Too much furniture can clutter your child’s mind and make it difficult for them to learn. Find appropriate shelving units and containers to keep their toys organized and neat. Colorful storage units are not only interesting to look at, they can instill neatness and make cleaning up a fun project for your child. Try to focus on providing simple but diverse toys—like a block set or a baby activity mat—that don’t draw away attention with small, complicated parts.

Placement of furniture is also important and can ease negative feelings or fears. Arrange their bed away from the window or skylights and make sure they’re able to see the door from where they sleep. Let them help choose comfy bedding and sheets. The fabrics should be soft to the touch and comfortable against their skin. Windows should be covered with blinds and accented in soft colored fabrics on top. Mirrors or other reflective accessories can cause nightmares, so you want to keep these objects from facing their bed. It’s also crucial to keep the space underneath the bed clear and neat. Avoid using it as a storage place for games, books, and dirty clothes.

Calm Moodiness

To calm and soothe a moody child, you may want to try placing some greenery in their room. Plant life can promote a high level of oxygen and keep the air fresh. Choose rubber plants, bamboo, areca palms, and English ivy. Care for the plant by keeping them watered and properly nourished with the appropriate vitamins.

Change Up Their Space

Frequent changes to the colors and decorations can instill mental growth, development and creative interest, especially as they begin to have a say in their design. In addition to changing the room color, you can mix-up the artwork on the walls, design of the window treatments and bedding. Other items include hanging decorative mobiles and ceiling ornamentation to resemble the sky and stars.

Your child’s room environment is important to their mood, development and outlook on life. By sticking to soothing colors, keeping the furniture to a minimum, and decorating with positive accessories, you’re giving them a sense of peace, security, and balance. This will not only help them to stay focused and sleep sound; they’ll also learn social interaction with others.

Color usage and room lay-out can have a large impact on mood and comfort level, even for children. It is best to create soothing spaces where children will feel happy reading, exploring, and playing with toys for years to come, from a baby activity mat to junior telescopes.

Savannah Bobo is a blogger and freelance author from Atlanta interested in writing about travel, parenting, home decor, and health/fitness. 

Top Tips to Stay Motivated During Home Renovation Projects

daytona_640The home renovation process is fraught with challenges, not the least of which is finding the motivation to finish the job. Most of us would rather be almost anywhere else but on our knees sanding a wood floor, but even if you are excited about the job, your motivation is guaranteed to come and go. Here, you’ll find a few tips on staying motivated.

Get Started, Already!

Getting started on a renovation project is a bit like starting a workout—once you’re into it, you’re fine. Or, you could look at it the same way you’d look at pulling off a bandage—do it fast and all at once, without thinking about it.

Chart Your Progress

One night when there’s not much to do, sit down with a drink and take a look at your progress photos (you did take some, didn’t you?) You’ll see just how far you’ve come—and it will make you want to see the job through to the end.

Take a Break from Those Annoying Jobs

We’re not suggesting that you procrastinate, and we don’t want you to start too many jobs at one time, but if there’s a job that’s really bugging you, step back and do something else for a while. Move on to the next task on your to-do list; sometimes renovation work gets mundane, and switching it up can keep you interested.

Break It Down

There are some renovation jobs that are just overwhelming. Whether it’s a big task or a laundry list of little ones, break each job into more manageable segments. Divide things up by area or by type—whatever works best for your situation.

Set Realistic Goals

Your goals should be doable, but exciting. Pick a special occasion such as a birthday, anniversary, or holiday gathering and decide to have the job finished by that time. That way, you’ll have something to anticipate besides the end of the project.

Reward Yourself

Giving yourself a small reward with each milestone is a great motivational tool. Your reward doesn’t have to be monetary—it could be taking a few days off, getting a manicure, or buying some furniture for your new room. Having a reward planned out will make the time fly, because you’ll be looking forward to something.

Ask for Help

Take a weekend to invite some friends and family over for an afternoon of work, followed by a cookout. You’ll get a lot done, you’ll feel good about it, and you’ll get some needed fun time.

It can be hard to stay motivated when your entire home is in disarray and you don’t see an end in sight, but you shouldn’t give up. Even if you’re not raring to go today, or you haven’t been getting much done lately, you will get it done eventually. Your space may not look so good right now, but thinking about how it will look when it’s done will give you an incentive to finish the job.

These great tips come from Stormclad, specialists in conservatories in Nottingham.