Do you prefer a clean, uncluttered look? Do you like for your home to make a statement? Are you drawn toward bold yet sophisticated furnishings and spaces? Then contemporary style decorating may be for you.
Contemporary style interiors came into vogue in the late 20th century and derived its look from many influences. When sleek Italian-designed goods and other sophisticated European furnishings began making their way into the American market, the contemporary design style boomed overnight.
Contrary to popular belief, the contemporary style home is rarely stark or cold, but instead seeks to combine the ideas of comfort and sophistication. One of the most common design styles, the contemporary style is never fussy, but instead focuses on line, tone and texture.
Typical characteristics of a Contemporary style space: Neutral color palette with “pops” of bold color Clean lines and smooth surfaces Soft curves, but avoids the ornate or ornamental Reflective materials such as chrome, steel and glass Natural fabrics with a focus on texture and tone Use of black and/or white Geometric patterns or shapes Sleek cabinetry and lighting (built-ins, recessed)
The Contemporary design style is often confused with Modern but actually the two are very different styles, though both tend to favor simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, clean lines. The Modern style is an older style that originated during the late 19th century, but from whom Contemporary design derived some of its ideas.
Knowing what your needs are and how best to approach them are the first steps in planning a home security system. A security system professional is helpful when you have questions, but his job is to sell you equipment and not necessarily to look out for your best interests. Consulting with a professional is useful, but write down a plan first that addresses what your concerns are and lists the essentials you need for your specific home.
What is the best way to start planning a home security system?
You always need door and window sensors, an alarm and a central control panel. Beyond that, you have options. Go through the house and count the number of doors and windows. Include the door leading to the garage and windows high off the ground. This gives you the number of sensors you need. Systems typically come with a set number of sensors, and then you pay a fee for additional ones.
You also need smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if you don’t already have them. Some states require apartment complexes to provide them in each unit. You need one near the kitchen, at least one on each floor of your home, and one in or near every bedroom.
Is additional lighting useful in a home security system?
Consider security lighting when planning your system. The lights are motion or light-activated. Place them near the main entrances to the house to keep those areas lit at night, especially when someone is approaching the house. The motion sensors are useful as a means of keeping thieves or vandals away, but set the sensitivity of the light carefully to make sure they don’t respond to wind or animal movement.
The lights also help prevent others from knowing if someone is home or not.
Should the surrounding neighborhood be considered when planning a security system?
Research the crime statistics in your city or town when planning your system by checking the website for your local police department. Talk to your neighbors as well. If car thefts are common in your area, pay more attention to your garage or where you park your vehicle. If vandalism is a problem in your neighborhood, consider security shutters on the windows. Research the rules of your neighborhood or your homeowner’s association to find out if a fence is allowed and a viable option for you.
Is a wireless system more effective than a wired one?
Older systems used to rely on the phone line when sending signals out to call centers. If the phone lines went down or were tampered with, the system was not effective. Modern wired systems are not as easily disabled, and they have the advantage of being plugged into the home’s main power. Wireless systems are battery-operated. The batteries need to be checked on each device regularly to make sure they are all working properly. Your control panel tells you when the power fails on a device as well. Both wired and wireless devices are effective if properly installed. Wireless installation tends to be simpler than rigging a new system into the existing wiring of the house, however.
What else should be considered when planning a security system?
If you have pets, verify that any motion sensors in the house won’t respond to pet movement. False alarms are a nuisance, and they are also expensive if they reoccur. Decide what the most important or valuable items in your house are. Consider placing additional security measures such as motion sensors or security cameras in those areas.
Write down your needs when planning your security system. This gives you something to share with professionals when you start shopping. This also assists you when budgeting because each company provides a pricing estimate based on the information you give them. Planning the system takes time, research and diligence, but the peace of mind is worth it once the system gets installed.
Giving your kitchen a makeover doesn’t have to be a huge project. In fact, there are a number of low-budget ways to give your kitchen a brand new look without investing too much dough.
Here are just a couple of minor projects you can undertake that will breathe new life into your kitchen’s tired aesthetic:
Install New Light Fixtures
If your current kitchen is lit by one central fixture, you might have an off-balance ambiance. Consider adding a few more fixtures to break up glare and create a perfect blend of decorative and functional lighting. Bar lights, under-cabinet lights or other ambient lighting will help give a new feel to your kitchen.
Change the Colors
A fresh coat of paint or a bright accent wall can really make your kitchen pop! Alternatively, consider creating a mosaic tile backsplash or using vintage or colorful decorative accents for visual interest.
Upgrade the Countertops
Changing out countertops is a great way to give your kitchen an all-over new look without too much investment. You can choose stone materials, like marble, slate or granite or, if you’re really on a budget, just change out colors on your laminate counters and add a new color or pattern to the room
Revamp the Cabinets
In most kitchens, cabinets cover a large amount of real estate. Because of this, updating or changing them out can have a huge effect on the overall look of the room. If you can’t afford to completely replace your existing cabinets, try revamping your old ones. A popular trend lately is glass-front cabinets. Simply remove your cabinet doors, cut out the front panel (leaving a two- to three-inch border around it), and insert clear glass panes. This gives your kitchen an open and airy look.
If replacing cabinets is outside your budget, you can always repaint cabinets or stain a light wood darker for a whole new look and feel. Even updating the cabinet handles alone can make a big difference!
Add an Island
If you have the space, adding or upgrading an island not only transforms your room; it may also give you more space to cook, chop and serve up food. You can choose to get an island installed professionally – and have it match your countertops – or you could opt for a roll-away island, which you can typically find at any major furniture store or outlet. Most feature underside cabinets and drawers, giving you additional storage space.
Create a Bar
If part of your kitchen is blocked off by a wall, consider knocking half of it out and turning the lower half into a bar. This can open up space between rooms and create a better space for entertaining. You can even get bar stools to match your décor to really pull the room together.
You’ve been pre-approved and know what you can afford, so it’s time to start home shopping. But the hunt for your dream home will stall rapidly if you don’t know what that “dream” looks like.
It’s easy to talk in generalities about wanting a “big” house or an “older” home. But in order to better target your real estate search, you must think specifically about your dream dwelling. Will your “big” house be 2,400 square feet or 5,000? When you say “older” home, do you mean one built pre-1900, or pre-1980?
Before you visit another open house, sit down and make a list of your needs and wants — and yes, those are two different things. You may want a pool, but you probably could live without it. (Plus, it’s worth considering that having a pool could raise your home insurance costs.)
Understand that your requirements list will likely change as you learn more about your housing options. Proximity to the beach may start as a priority, for example, but once you see the size of ocean-front homes you can get in your price range, you may decide a short drive to the water is quite bearable. Unless you have an unlimited budget, it’s likely you’ll need to make compromises along the way.
Use these questions to help make your very own list of housing requirements.
Financial Are you pre-approved for a mortgage? What’s your price range? Are you willing to do extra renovation?
Do you need any special features for your pets? Do you need wheelchair access or limited stairs? Do you need a space for a car or is street parking sufficient? How important is walking to you?
Tile may look and feel impervious to harm, but don’t take chances. Test your stain-removal technique on an inconspicuous spot of both tile and grout before cleaning. A nonabrasive all-purpose cleaner or a tub-tile-sink product removes most stains. Try the following techniques for specific stains.
Blood: Dab the stain with hydrogen peroxide or diluted bleach.
Coffee, tea, or juice: Wash the stain with detergent and hot water, then blot with hydrogen peroxide or diluted bleach.
Gum, wax, or tar: Place ice cubes in a resealable plastic bag and lay the bag over the material you want to remove from the tile. Once the material solidifies, remove as much of it as possible with a crafts stick. Remove any remaining residue with nonflammable paint thinner.
Grease or fat-base stains: Wash the stain with club soda and water or with a nonabrasive floor cleaner.
Ink or dye: Soak a clean cloth with diluted bleach and lay it over the stain. Let the cloth stay in place until the stain disappears. Rinse well.
Iodine: Scrub the iodine stain with diluted ammonia and rinse well.
If you live in a home without electricity and few or no windows, it’s always incredibly dark inside, even at high noon a Liter of Light is a sustainable lighting project that is trying to help people overcome that problem with extremely simple technology
What is the Solar Bottle Bulb?
It is a simple bottle bulb, usually a 1 liter soda bottle that is filled with a solution of purified water and bleach. The bottle is inserted halfway through a hole drilled in the metal roof and its sides are sealed. The whole deal looks like a bulb through a sunroof and provides a good amount of light by deflecting sunlight into gloomy interiors.
The chlorine and bleach “poisons” the water to keep molds from developing so the solution can last up to five years. The clear and purified water helps disperse the light through refraction, so the light is not concentrated. It only costs $2-3 to make a solar bottle bulb that is bringing light to dark homes. This simple innovation is not perfect- the water needs to be replaced every five years and obviously without any provision for energy storage, the bulb will not work at night. But the advantages are overwhelming for communities that are deprived of daylight. It is surprisingly effective, using cheap and locally available materials that allows the poor in these settlements to use their homes more effectively. The bulb does not produce any harmful pollutants and also reduces the dangers from faulty and temporary electrical connections that cause devastating fires.
This project and its success is a great example of the ‘market-based’ solutions that should be pursued for socio-economic problems worldwide, strategies that are smart, effective & resourceful
Enjoy barbecue with friends and family when the evenings and weekends are free. So, if you also want to add a barbecue grill area to your home’s outdoor, take a look at these cool ideas below:
1. Give It a Vintage Look
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle
HOW:Cut the plastic bottle in half. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.