There are many ways to install sundials – not just on a southern oriented wall. So long as your sundial receives light during the day, it can be installed almost anywhere suitable to the style of your particular sundial.
Installing Sundials Outside
If you’re installing your sundial outside in the garden or patio, you have a few different options. A horizontal or equatorial sundial can be placed where two paths intersect, in the heart of a flower bed or in the middle of the yard. Mount this kind of sundial on a column, but be sure to keep the column under four feet however.
A meridian sundial can be hung from a tree in the yard or on a pillar. It can also be hung from a gatepost assuming the gateposts are facing south. The sundial can be hung anywhere that receives sun in the midday and facing south (or north if you’re in the southern hemisphere.
Installing Sundials on the House
To install sundials on your home, you must first decide what use you will receiving from your sundial. If your dial is primarily decorative, you can hang it above the door as a show of hospitality. You can also hang the dial on any wall without regard to orientation if you are using it only as decoration.
If, however, you are going to actually read your sundial, you’ll want to install it with the correct cardinal direction. A vertical direct south sundial should be hung on a southern wall with the dial facing directly south. Even if the wall isn’t directly facing south, you can orient the sundial using pegs or other means of raising it a bit on one side or the other.
To hang a sundial for the sunrise or sunset, hang it on an east or west facing wall. This positioning works well for direct east, direct west or vertical declining sundial.
A torn window screen is a simple fix provided you have the right tools. When you’re ready to replace a window screen, a quick trip to the local hardware store and a free hour will be it takes to get the job done right.
Head to the Hardware Store
Get the dimensions of your torn window screen and then head to the hardware store. You’ll need a roll of netting, the rubber casing to hold the netting in place, a roller to work the rubber casing and a utility knife to make the cuts. A Craft Lite Cutter or similar product can handle a window screen and be an excellent investment for other household chores as well.
Remove the Old Screen
Take the screen off of the window and lay it flat in the grass. Find a corner of the rubber casing inside the edges of the screen and gently pull it out. As you pull off the old casing, the torn screen will loosen and you can remove it. You should be left with a window screen frame.
Install the New Screen
Unroll your new netting and use your knife to cut a section of screen slightly longer and wider than your window frame. Measure out a new section of tubing and cut this as well. Place the netting over the screen and hold the end of the rubber tubing. Very carefully push the tubing into the recessed area of the screen being sure you are securing the netting in place at the same time. Getting one corner started is the trickest part of replacing a window screen, so don’t be surprised if it takes a few attempts or an extra set of hands.
Once you have the corner installed correctly, use the special roller to gently roll the rest of the rubber tubing into place. As you roll, be sure you’re pulling the screen taut without stretching it or causing the window screen to bow. Again, it may take a few attempts. Finally, when all the tubing is in place, trim away the excess screen and tubing. Your window screen is ready to be put back in place.
The fireplace and mantle should be the focus of a room. Therefore decorating a mantle must be done carefully. After all, the rest of your home décor stems from this focus plus all eyes will be drawn to such a large structure upon entering the room. There are as many decorating ideas as there are decorating styles. Here are a few ideas of how to decorate a mantle:
Big and Small
One of the easiest ways to decorate a mantle is to use a large piece of décor combined with several smaller pieces for balance. For example, a large mirror can be hung over the mantle or stood on the mantle and leaned against the chimney for a more casual look. Then a smaller vase or clock can be arranged on one side of the mirror with a small candelabra or votives arranged on the other. Two or three tasteful accent pieces such as coordinating picture frames or collectibles can be places on either side, but always balanced.
If you have a smaller mantle, or don’t have the means to buy a large, often expensive, piece, you can create a montage of smaller pieces. Collect your favorite photos or even pictures from a pretty calendar. Buy coordinating or matching frames from a discount store, flea market or garage sale. The color of the frames can match, such as all white on a painted or brick background, or be varied to create a more cottage feel.
The frames should vary in size. Use matching mats (white is universal), and frame your pictures. You may opt to remove the glass from the frames for a more authentic feel.
Arrange the frames on the floor in a pattern you find visually appealing. Mix and match sizes and layouts to make a true collage. Then carefully hang your pictures above the mantle preserving your layout.
As you now have a great deal of visual interest above the mantle, keep the mantle decorations simple. A simple vase or ornate box combined with low candles or floral arrangement should do the trick. Be sure not to block any of the pictures, and you should probably not use frames on the mantle itself unless they are part of the overall collection and design.
Light It Up
If you’re a fan of candles, the mantle is great place for their special light and beauty. Find a bold collection of thick candles ranging in heights. Arrange three to five candles on either end of the mantle with another, possibly larger collection in the middle. You need an element on the wall behind the mantle, so consider hanging a few coordinating sconces or a tasteful mirror which can reflect the candlelight back into your room.
Bathrooms are usually the last place you might think to decorate. However, your guests will most likely find themselves alone in this room at some point during their visit and will appreciate the special touches you take to make it inviting. By just investing in a few pieces of bathroom décor, you can achieve a look that will dazzle your guests and make them feel right at home.
Make a Plan
The first step is to plan what all you want to do to your bathroom. Consider your bathroom’s needs and your budget. Can you afford to completely renovate your bathroom, or does it just need a few touch-ups here and there? Whatever the case may be, think about a color scheme or a theme that you are interested in incorporating.
If you need to make big changes and can put the money required into this project, you might consider replacing your bathroom vanity. There are a variety of styles to choose from and this big change will have huge results on the look of your bathroom. A more affordable option to make a big change in your bathroom is to apply wallpaper or to paint the room. Choose a color that will go with the color scheme you picked out, and find a paint specially made to use in bathrooms. Be sure to protect anything you don’t want painted with a tarp and painter’s tape.
Even on a budget, you can add small touches to your bathroom that have a big overall effect. For instance, roll some clean towels and place them in a pretty basket on the floor. Or, perhaps you may choose to fill your basket with plenty of toilet paper for your guests’ convenience. Invest in some matching rugs and a toilet cover.
You may also choose to buy a matching set of bathroom accessories, including a soap dish, lotion pump, tissue cover, and even a wastebasket. Find a fragrant candle in a color that matches your theme, or fill a unique bowl with potpourri. Be creative! However you choose to decorate, your guests will appreciate your creativity and thoughtfulness.
The flooring in a home is arguably the most important style element. Deciding what type of flooring to install should not be done rashly or without considering all of your options. Each kind of flooring material is suitable for a multitude of different purposes, so before you install something you’ll regret a year from now, be sure you know how to select flooring.
Use of Space
The first thing you need to consider is how you will use the space. A bedroom might call for a different flooring option than a kitchen, although some options such as laminate flooring make sense for both. Is the room large and spacious or small and dark? Light, airy rooms can easily handle dark flooring, whole small spaces benefit from lighter flooring options.
Next consider the amount of traffic that passes through the room. Bedrooms receive relatively small amounts of foot traffic while entryways and family rooms receive plenty. Carpet in rooms with heavy foot traffic will become worn down quickly and need to be replaced. Heavier choices such as Pergo flooring or tile will last for decades without showing signs of wear or tear. Save carpet for rooms with little traffic, or at the very least, consider leaving a stretch of tile or hardwood where most walking occurs and carpet in the space where more sitting occurs.
Your lifestyle should be a third consideration. Pets and small children can wreak havoc on hardwood and carpet. But carpet is more comfortable for playing on the floor with young children. If you are looking for easy flooring, avoid hardwoods as they require more maintenance than laminate, tile or marble. If you entertain frequently, those same options are great for cleaning up spills and keeping mess to a minimum.
Flooring Aesthetic and Comfort
Once you know your basic needs and style, consider the aesthetic and comfort of the various options. Hardwood flooring is beautiful. It can warm up any room, but you must be willing to work to keep it looking that way. Carpet soften a room and makes it feel cozy, but will need to be replaced in about five years to keep it looking at its best. If you spend time playing on the floor with children or pets, carpet is a nice option, but if you prefer a cleaner, more modern look consider hardwood, laminate, or even stained concrete flooring.
Finally, consider cost. There are options for most flooring choices in every price range. Some, such as hardwood and bamboo flooring, will be more expensive as a whole than basic carpet or laminate. Your cost should be figured over the number of years the product will last as well as any potential impact in home value. Home values are positively impacted by quality flooring choices, so it might make sense to maximize an investment.
Carpet will need to be replaced and hardwoods must be refinished periodically which can impact cost calculations as well. Once you have a rough idea of how much to spend per square foot and a material you like, invite a professional over to give you an estimate or speak with a supplier about installing flooring yourself. Once you’ve made your decision and had your new flooring installed – celebrate your home’s new, refined look.
Nowhere else in your house is such a large amount of woodwork subjected to such harsh treatment than in your kitchen. Your kitchen cabinets are opened and closed countless times a day, oftentimes by hands covered with butter, melted popsicles, or other food residue. Not only that, but the air in the kitchen is constantly changing, from high humidity resulting from boiling water or steaming vegetables, to hot and dry heat from an oven baking at a high temperature for a long time.
It is no wonder this highly visible part of your kitchen may be in need of a makeover. By simply painting your kitchen cabinets, you can completely transform the look of your kitchen.
Clean the Cabinets
Before you begin, it is important to clean the cabinets. Years of accumulated dust, grease, and grime can build up and prevent a quality job of repainting. You will probably find this process is easier if you remove the cabinet doors and find a place where you can lay them all out flat. Simply use an all-purpose cleaner, a few rags, and a little elbow grease to get the job done.
Sand the Cabinets
After the cabinets have thoroughly dried from their cleaning, use a fine grit sandpaper to lightly sand the flat surfaces of your cabinet doors. By preparing the surface for the primer you will put on next, your cabinets will look better longer. If you skip this step, you’ll have to go through the whole painting process sooner than you would have to otherwise.
If you are repainting your cabinets with the same color, you may choose to skip this step. However, particularly if you are painting over wood varnish, priming will help form a better bond between the wood and the paint. This means that the paint will be less likely to chip away when the doors are bumped against each other or hit with a pot. The type of primer you use is primarily determined by the type of paint you plan to use. An oil-based paint necessitates an oil-based primer, whereas a latex top coat will need a shellac primer. Be sure to do this in a well-ventilated area, and cover anything that you don’t want to get paint on.
Use either a sprayer or a high quality paint brush to apply the paint to the cabinets in several thin layers. It may be tempting to lay it on thick so you can finish faster, but you will achieve a much better look if you can be patient and use thin layers of paint. You may choose to lightly sand the cabinets’ flat surfaces between coats to get a really professional-looking finish. Once they are completely dry, hang them carefully back up in your kitchen and enjoy your new kitchen décor!
Read a home decorating magazine or watch a cable-TV home improvement show, and you might easily conclude that any upgrade will pay off when you sell. This is simply not so because even in good times, not all projects have widespread appeal. You’ll earn back virtually your entire investment in a kitchen or deck, but less than 75 cents on the dollar if you add a home office or sunroom, according to "Remodeling" magazine’s annual cost vs. value survey.
What’s worse, some renovations can even hurt you in the eyes of home buyers, a costly problem if you hope to sell in a softening market like today’s.
The Swimming Pool:
In some areas, especially hot-weather spots like Arizona and Florida, a pool is a must-have. In the Southwest, adding one boosts your home’s value by 11 percent on average, according to a National Association of Realtors study. But elsewhere it can just as easily turn off buyers, who worry about affording the upkeep and insurance. And if the most likely buyer of your home is a family with small children, think long and hard before installing a pool.
"People with younger children may be leery of houses with pools for safety reasons," says Barry Graziano, a real estate agent with Prudential Rand Realty in White Plains, N. Y. "I’ve had families walk away. A pool can cut down on the number of people who will want to buy your house."
You’ve thought about how that great room and master bedroom wing will let the family spread out. But what you probably haven’t considered is what the space will look like from the outside.
"A badly designed addition can kill your resale value," says Sal Alfano, the editorial director of Remodeling. "People focus on the floor plan and the flow, but not on how it fits into the neighborhood or even the house itself."
Watch out for boxy, poorly detailed additions and be careful of a style that will look dated when you throw your open house. Spotting the trend that’s on its way out is trickier than you think. While it is easy to assume that sleek red European kitchen cabinetry is tomorrow’s harvest gold fridge, other design staples that seem like sure bets can quickly drift into obscurity too.
That’s what Mark Johnson, a Whirlpool design manager, says is happening to stainless-steel appliances. "For a period of time, people aspired to a commercial kitchen" he says. "What I am seeing is more interest in warmer finishes."
You want a design trend with legs. Johnson says custom panels that dress appliances in maple or mahogany finishes are likely to remain popular for several years. Also, think about the materials for hardware like hinges and light fixtures. Polished brass or anything shiny is out. Brushed nickel is a better option. Johnson is betting that oiled-bronze finishes will take off next.
The elaborate master bath is okay, but the big circular tub with 15 jets that can pulse or massage is risky.
According to Holly Slaughter, brand manager at RealEstate.com, you’re better off with an oversize shower that has a rain showerhead and multiple jets (think of it as a car wash for humans).
Baby boomers have little time to spend hanging out in the bathtub, and parents with small kids prefer a conventional tub. Ultimately, don’t expect a future buyer to pay up for the luxury you considered an essential.