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A reflection of house design through times

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Our homes tell a story about our shared experience. Homes are defined by the people we share with them, be it our parents, siblings, our pets or even our room mates. Homes can be battlefields with constant squabbles over the dinner table. Yet, they can also be the place where we live and set up with our love ones.

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Tile stove project by Dick van Hoff

Walls are no longer languishing beneath coats of white paints as quarried stone, composites resins and ceramic tiles add new depth to vertical surfaces with theatrical effect. For example, the tile stove project by Dick van Hoff for the Royal Tichelaar Makkum(2009) was presented as a series of wood burning stoves made of tiles in Milan last April.

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Royal Tichelaar Makkum is consistently on the prowl for novel applications of ceramics. This exciting approach has earned the company a strong reputation for ceramic creativity in projects together with, among others, Hella Jongerius, Studio Job, Alexander van Slobbe, and Studio Makkink and Bey.

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The exhibition fully displayed the potential in which tiles can have. The attention to details and some of the hand painted tiles are reasons why tiles are seen as more than being just functional!

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Steel and glass staircases by Eva Jiricna

 Architect Eva Jiricna is known for her dramatic one off staircases made in steel and glass for retail outlets and private apartments all over the world. Her staircase designs are not only aesthetically pleasing, visually exciting but are also an engineering feat!

All the components of her staircases are structural rather than merely decorative as she fashions them like jewellery. They are cleverly detailed to bring about a sense of lightness to the design that belies their substantial span and loadbearing capacity. Check out the photos and you will understand what I mean. :)

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Researching before decorating is important!

Why is it important to do research first before attempting to make any purchase?

1) First, designing your home should not be unduly influenced by the latest trends.

Trends are temporary but your home decor could last a lifetime. Hence, it is advisable not to follow any style blindly.

2)Most people have not shopped for funishings in years.

Research has shown that shopping trips are usually not about furnishings and hence, it is important for you to find out what is available in the marketplace, find out your budget before spending.

3)Decorating is an investment

Investment is believed to be about 25% of the value of your house. Hence, decorating a house is similar to purchasing one as it is an investment that is best made after

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Designing Corridors and hallways

 hallway ?? Chris Blanz

Entrances and corridors often suffer from high level of wear and tear due to constant movement. So it is a good idea to design these spaces to take the knocks and bashes that everyday life will throw at it. Since it is the most public part of the house, it will be good to design it such that it expresses your character and what you wish to tell the guests about yourself.

Also, corridors and hallways are spaces that link together seperate rooms in your home. Hence, you could design it as a nutral link to tie various styles of the room. Alternatively, you may wish to regard the corridors and hallway as a space in which you will spend a little time and so feel more comfortable about using stronger bolder colours to create a dynamic feel.

It is also advisable to enhance the character of this spaces by using more graphical style such as vertical stripes, horizontal bands or strong colour themes.

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Using Cork as flooring material

 IMG_1136 by the tim johnson.

Cork is an easy to cut and finish material. It is cheap and effective as a flooring solution. Furthermore, it is environmentally friendly as it comes from a sustainable source. Cork is also a great insulator and therefore it is effective if you have a concrete surface cover.

 However, do beware that your floor needs to be smooth,dry and level before laying the cork. Hence, it is important to select an approved adhesive and a serrated spreader to give an even layer of glue across the floor. Once the flooring is laid, seal it with several layers of varnish for a good water proofing finish.

Tips: Buy unsealed cork and treat it with a dark floor stain before laying for an up to date contemporary look!

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Tips for displaying fairy lights

fairy lights by rosidae

The humble string of fairy lights has a variety of users and it is best to display them with a little imagination. Fairy lights are quick and easy to use. They are not too expensive either! Here are some tips to create decorative lighting with a string of fairy lights.

-Coil up fairy lights in a glass or frosted glass vase

-Drill a board of MDF (medium density fibreboard) with holes in a pattern of your choice.Working from behind the board, fit each individual bulb into a seperate hole, concealing the cable but creating a panel of lights to hang on your wall.

-wrap fairy lights around features in your home, such as columns or stair balustrade for maximum effect

-do not wrap them in inflammable material such as cloth as fairy lights can get overly hot.

Here, I wish everyone a Happy Year 2009!

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Inspect your Heating,Ventilation & Air conditioning Systems

 Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning Fans (HVAC) by Zach K

Do examine all HVAC registers in the home. These are the air vents used to distribute and enable air flow for colling and heating the home.

-Open and close each register, and examine both sides of the vent openings. If there are black particles on the register covers, it might be sign that there could be a problem with mold. It could also be attributed to soil filtration problem as a result of poorly maintained system, oil burner malfunction or soot residue.

-If air flow from the HVAC system smells musty, there is likely to be fungal growth in the ductwork, requiring professional cleaning or even replacement in some cases.

-Ensure that all HVAC flex ducts in the basement, attic and crawlspaces are inspected on a regularly basis. Mold will grow directly on the insulation and on the foil covering of the HVAC flex ductwork. Also examine the condensation line coming from the HVAC unit and all areas close to it.

-Having a right HVAC system is also crucial to maintaining an environment that will not encourage mold. Most people are too concerned about the look of their new basement living space and will cut corners on HVAC unit due to the cost. This may prove costly in the long run!

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How to prevent mold on your carpet?

 Wet Carpet by Moon-Spinner.

Wall to wall carpet, if left wet for several days, has a good chance of breeding mold. This is why having your home and contents dried within 24-48 hours is always critical in such a situation. Always remember that the pad underneath the carpet has to be removed and allow the carpet to be hung to dry. You might want to send it to a professional water extraction company but do make sure that they use enough drying fans and dehumidifiers. If you wish to save money, then do be reminded that you can save the carpet and replace only the pad if you clean up the water quick enough.

Here are more tips for you

-carpets that are cleaned should be dried within 24 hours

-mold contaminated carpet on stairs or in halls should be taken care of promptly because it gets a lot of traffic which will spread the spores around your home

-if you use rugs instead of carpets, here ’s the good news, they can be machine washable or dry cleanable. But it is still best to get the water out of the way as soon as possible.

Get rug at RugSale.com

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Preventing mould from forming in the attics

Attics are places where mould growth is frequently found. Poor ventilation, roof leaks, and HVAC problems are usually the cause. In most attics, there’ s an abundance of exposed wood and insulation on which mold can grow.

As attics are neither fully inside nor outside spaces due to the nature of construction, openess and ventilation, attire inspection should be performed in much the same manner as a basement inspection. Beware of signs like roof leakages. You will be suprised but roof can easily leaks as anything from damaged shingles to improper flashing installation around chimneys, exhaust pipes and dormers can cause the problem.Flat roofs are even more problematic as they lack the advantage of a clear slope to shed the water.

Home owners should also check the condition of home’ s gutters and downspouts form the exterior to ensure that there is no water intrusion into the house. Finally, examine around all vents, as well as all roof decking, rafters and attic floor joists and make sure there are no damage to all penetration including chimneys, pipes and water heaters.

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