How to Choose What Size TV to Get

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Technology

how to decide what size of a tv to getLooking for a new TV? Sometimes bigger isn’t better, but often times it can be more fun. When you need a TV, choose the size wisely to avoid wasting money on too much television or straining your eyes to try and see your bargain buy.

Consider Your Location

Where is the television going to be used? This can make the most important distinction in television size. A TV for the kitchen is usually small, twenty inches or less, as it sits on the countertop and you don’t want it blocking any cabinets or hanging off. A television for the living room, on the other hand, should be large enough to be enjoyed by everyone. At the minimum, a family television should be twenty seven inches.

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Consider Your Space

If you’re planning on putting your television on top of your dresser in the bedroom, you’ll want something small enough to fit the space easily, but large enough to see while laying in bed. You can opt for a larger television if you plan to use TV shelves to store cable boxes and DVD players as the shelves will put these bulky items above the television rather than beside it. If you have a television niche built in to your living room, find the size of television that fits more comfortably. Be sure to include the dimensions of any stands or carts as well.

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Consider Your Budget

Smaller budgets will most likely be buying a smaller television. Of course, you might be able to buy a larger television with a less quality picture, but you’ll have to decide which is more important to you – size or graininess. Look around for televisions on sale to find a bargain on a high quality television in the exact size you need. If you’re forced to buy a small television now, never fear. There is always a place for a small TV somewhere in your home when you’re able to upgrade to the big screen.

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How to Organize Your Home

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to organize a homeWho doesn’t dream of a home where everything is orderly and neatly in its place? Wouldn’t it be nice if everything had a place to start with? Organizing your home sounds like a lot of work, but with a few tools and a little elbow grease, you can get things together and reduce the amount of clutter that cramps your style.

Give Everything a Place

First, eliminate the piles of things that accumulate on the floors, counters, under beds, and the countless other places in your home. Use storage containers to help you with this daunting task. Plastic bins are sized to fit conveniently under beds, on shelves, and in garages in a variety of shapes and sizes. Find the ones that suit your needs and invest in this huge home helper.

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Use decorative baskets to conveniently stash magazines, books, toys, or craft supplies. Even your keys, which you have indubitably spent many mornings searching frantically for, need a home. Key holders are a decoration with a very practical function. Mount one by your door and get in the habit of hanging up your keys on your way in, so you can quickly grab them off the hook on your way out.

A Little at a Time

Instead of letting clutter grow into unmanageable piles, clean up as you go. Try to put things away when you finish using them rather than leaving them out to clean up later. When you are talking on the phone, or commercials come on during your TV shows, use that time to multi-task, and put dishes in the dishwasher or clear off just one section of your kitchen counter, or work your way across the living room. You’ll be surprised what a difference just a little bit of time can make.

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Don’t Be a Packrat

It is easy to fall into the habit of saving things “just in case.” Think back to the many pieces of junk you have saved “just in case.” How many times did these things come in handy? Is the space these things take up worth the cost of buying what you need. Take some time to go through closets and drawers to purge out the junk and the trash.

Keep just the things you actually need. Some people find it useful to only keep things that they have used in the past twelve months. While this method may seem extreme to you, it does alleviate a lot of mess to clean out the old useless items that hide behind closed doors. In no time at all, you will have a clean and organized home.


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How To Decorate a Living Room

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to decorate a dining roomThe living room is the center of your home. The formal living room often sets the tone for the rest of the household, and the decorating style you select has bearing on every room in the house.

Find a Theme:

When you decorate a living room, you must first consider your preferred style. Are you a fan of country decorating with gingham and lace? Or perhaps you prefer classic styles with display tables and curios. Modern styles with bold lines and bright colors are increasingly common as are comfortable styles that use neutral colors and oversized furniture. Flip through decorating magazines or websites to see examples of what appeals to you.

Find a Focus:

The focus of your living room will be the starting point for decorating. The focus should be a large item that brings your personality to the room such as the fireplace mantle, picture above the fireplace, sofa, rug, or even an ottoman. Use that piece to find your color pattern and inspiration for the rest of the room.

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Living Room Colors:

Once you have your focus, select a wall color and accenting colors for accessories and additional furniture. Don’t be afraid to be creative, but using a focus piece will help keep the room coordinated rather than matching. Paint the walls or use wall paper, then select window treatments, rugs and upholstery that coordinates with the rest of your selections.

Living Room Window Treatments:

Window treatments such as drapes, blinds and shutters give a room a polished look. Shutters can be a more beautiful alternative to basic blinds, and drapes or window hangings bring a room together.

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Living Room Furniture:

The furniture in the living room can be many things, but most often consists of a sofa and additional seating. Chairs, chaise lounges and love seats all find their way into living rooms as do rocking chairs, ottomans and foot stools. Desks and bookcases are common additions as are coffee and side tables. Buy furniture according to the size of your room and your particular decorating style. Minimalist styles will have little furniture while traditional styles will have much more.

Living Room Accessories:

Finally, once the colors, windows, and furniture is selected, you can focus your attention on finding accessories such as pictures, lamps, curios and houseplants to help bring a room to life. Don’t overwhelm your living room with accessories, but tasteful accent pieces scattered throughout the room make the room comfortable and personalized to your unique taste.

Living Room Arrangement:

Arrange your furniture according to the shape and traffic flow of a room. Many believe the arrangement of furniture can affect the tranquility of a home, and at the very least a misplaced table or sofa can be the cause of repeatedly stubbed toes and bashed knees. Leave plenty of room for navigation and ease of motion. Group chairs together for conversations and be sure to play up the focus of your room as it is the piece that brings everything together.

Once you have your focus, select a wall color and accenting colors for accessories and additional furniture. Don’t be afraid to be creative, but using a focus piece will help keep the room coordinated rather than matching. Paint the walls or use wall paper, then select window treatments, rugs and upholstery that coordinates with the rest of your selections.

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How to Decorate a Christmas Tree

July 17, 2008 by  
Filed under Home & Garden

how to decorate a xmas treeThe Christmas Tree is the central decoration for the season. Decorating that tree can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to work around your existing décor or creating a design that any professional would be proud of. Here’s how to decorate a Christmas Tree.

Create a Theme

The first step in decorating a Christmas Tree is to decided on the theme of your decorations. You may opt for the basic cheerful multicolored balls and lights, or challenge yourself with something more ornate such as finding a theme that incorporates golden decorations and lights into your living room’s existing apple décor. There are many ways to do this.

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Shop Around the Theme

Once your theme is determined, begin your quest for decorations. Simple decorations such as bright glass balls and tinsel can be found everywhere, including local drug stores. Golden apples may require a trip to a decorating warehouse or specialty shop. You can also make ornaments using parts from craft stores or have your kids create fun ornaments from any number of household items.

Assemble the Tree

To decorate your tree you’ll need the following:

  • A Christmas Tree – The tree can be real or artificial. Both options have pros and cons.
  • Christmas Tree Stand – If you’re using a real tree, invest in a good tree stand. Also be sure to water the tree regularly to prevent the needles from drying up and falling off. Stand up the Tree and position it correctly.
  • Tree Skirt – A tree skirt can be simple or ornate. It keeps the floor a bit cleaner, provides some extra color and decoration, and hides the tree stand or base of the artificial tree.
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  • Lights – If your tree is not prelit, and only a few artificial trees are, buy strands of lights. White solid lights are most common, but you can also buy colored lights, blinking or chasing lights, or even specialty lights such as snowflakes or chili peppers for your tree.

    Put the lights on your tree before any other decorations. Try to hide the strands in the branches so that only the lights show, not dangling wires.

  • A Tree Topper – The tree topper can go first or last, but every tree should have one. If you’re using an angel or star, especially one that is lit, it should probably go on first to be sure you have it hooked into the lights correctly. A large bow should go after the rest of the decorations so that it is line with the rest of the garlands.
  • Ornaments – After the lights and possibly the tree topper, hang your ornaments. You may opt to use a collection of ornaments in multiple colors that simply appeal to you or that your children have made. You might use only gold and red decorations to continue with a specific theme such as the apple theme mentioned above.

    If you’re going for a more casual look, hang a variety of ornaments including glass balls of every color and include ornaments that are fun and meaningful to you. Be sure to cover the tree evenly from top to bottom and side to side. Hang the ornaments from the tips of the branches in front of the lights.

  • Garlands – The final stage of tree decoration is to place any garlands on the tree. Garlands can be strands of tinsel or beads. They may also be long strands of ribbon. Tinsel and beads usually are draped around the tree horizontally.

    Ribbons can be horizontal or can be twisted and run from the top of the tree to the bottom. This looks especially nice if the tree topper is a very large bow of the same ribbon. Ribbons go on top of all decorations, but smaller garlands, especially those with beads may be hung following the lights.

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