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Some Things You Need To Know About Granite Countertops

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Many people wonder what kind of countertops they should install in their house. Granite and natural stone are good options for a variety of reasons. Here are some things you need to know about installing granite countertops in your house. Why Should I Pay For Granite Over Something Cheaper Like Laminate? Granite is ideal because it is so sturdy. Yes, the initial prices will be a little more expensive compared to Formica or laminate but it will last longer and will look great for decades. For example, you can cut on granite, and it won’t scar, you can put hot pots and pans on it and it won’t burn, and you can pretty much drop anything on it and it won’t chip. Granite is one of the strongest stones, which is why it will last so long. So even though you will pay more money in the beginning, you will probably save money in the long run since you won’t have to replace it. Another reason to choose granite is that it will increase the resale value of your home. You can charge more for the house when you do choose to sell it because the granite is so desirable for many buyers. Thus, even though you put money into buying the granite, you will most likely get it back when you sell. Do You Have To Do Anything To Care For Granite? In order to keep your granite looking nice, you should do a couple things. First, you need to seal the granite every year and a half or so. When you first get the granite you should put a heavy seal on it before you use it. This seal will act as a buffer and barrier between the granite and any moisture. For instance, when you put water on granite that hasn’t been sealed it will show a small stain until the water has vaporized. This will look much like wet rocks outside. But the sealer will help the water to stay on the surface without soaking into the rock. Second, you should get a cleaner that is specifically for granite. Although you can use all-purpose cleaners, it is safer and better if you can use something that was made specifically for granite. It will keep it cleaner and will protect the granite from discoloration. This really is the only thing that needs to be done to keep the granite looking nice. As you can see granite is easy to care for and worth the money. For more information on granite countertops, contact a company like Artisan Granite &...

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3 Excellent Reasons to Purchase Metal Yard Art

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Once you have finished landscaping your frontyard or backyard, the next step is going to be to decorate it. This allows you to personalize your yard even more by adding the colors and styles of decor that you love. If you are trying to find cool and unique things to decorate your yard with, you should look into getting some metal yard art. These are pieces of metal that have been created in different shapes and figures and then personalized with color, stains, and so forth. This article will discuss three excellent reasons why you should purchase some metal yard art. They Do Great Outdoors  An excellent reason to purchase the metal yard art is the fact that this type of art is made for the outdoors. It has been treated, so things like rain, snow, excessive sunshine, dirt, sprinkler-system water, and so forth aren’t going to destroy it. Since the yard art is made of metal, you also aren’t going to have to worry about it blowing away in the wind because the art will be heavy enough to withstand the wind. Investing in a piece of metal yard art that is going to last you for a very long time can really add to the design of your yard.  They Look Great in Several Different Landscape Designs  Another awesome thing about pieces of metal yard art is how versatile they are. You can find a piece of yard art that looks great in almost any location. For example, you can have cute butterflies, frogs, or other fun little creatures in your flower garden. Or, if you have a pool in your backyard, you can have fish, pelicans, or other ocean-themed pieces around your pool. Your creativity really is only going to be limited to what you can dream up and potentially by what pieces of metal yard art you can find. However, keep in mind that you can also have pieces custom made if you’d like.  You Are Helping with the Recycling Process An added benefit to purchasing pieces of metal yard art is the fact that you are helping with the recycling process. The metal yard art pieces are made out of old pieces of metal that were recycled and reused. By purchasing these pieces and using them in your yard, you are helping with the process of recycling and in turn helping to reduce the amount of overall waste that we have on this earth.  Talk to a company such as Star Imports Wholesale for more information or to look at some...

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4 Reasons To Choose Decorative Hanging Lanterns For Your Next Party

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Whether you’re putting together a festive party look or just adding extra ambiance to your home, decorative hanging lanterns offer alternatives galore. With so many styles to choose from (and several different use options) there are plenty of reasons to choose these little gems over more traditional lighting.  They offer an easy inside to outside transition. You’ve planned a fabulous outdoor fete. You light the lanterns, hang them and start the party. As the night goes on, you decide to take your guests inside. Your hanging decor can easily transition from a garden adornment to inside lighting. Simply take the lanterns off of their hangers, bring them in and set them on the center of a table. Decorative hanging lanterns are easy to ‘dress-up’ in a theme. Pick a plain lantern, and add your own decorative flare. From themed parties to seasonal looks, these little lighting items are super-simple to dress in different looks. Add flowers (either real or faux) around the bottom for a tropical style, paint the outside a themed hue or stencil on a design. You can reuse and recreate. Let’s say you’re having a red, white and blue patriotic backyard barbecue. You paint your lanterns red, and stencil them with white and blue stars. The party’s over, you pack up the lighting fixtures and put them away. A few months later you’re having another outdoor event to welcome autumn. Obviously, the red, white and blue themed lanterns won’t work. But, you can easily paint over them (and maybe even add a few faux fall leaves) and transform them into party-appropriate decor. Lanterns keep the light inside. The beauty of a flickering candle is undeniable. That said, an open flame won’t always work for your situation. You may have young children at your home, who could try to touch the open flame of a candle. It may be a windy night – which means the flame could quickly blow out. A hanging lantern solves these problems in two ways. First, they’re hanging! By hanging the lights up and away, you’re keeping them out of reach. Second, most lanterns enclose the flame behind glass (or another material). This not only keeps the flame away from little hands, but it also stops Mother Nature from blowing out the flicker. Lighting up your next party or special event with hanging lanterns offers an easy option that you can customize. Instead of going with the same old candle arrangement, opting for this indoor/outdoor lights lets you get creative and add a soft, romantic feel to your party...

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3 Ways to Keep Pests out of Your Yard

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One of the most annoying aspects of having a nice lawn is coming outside one morning to find that bugs or wildlife have completely devastated the plants on your property. However, there are a number of ways to keep pests of all sizes out of your yard, including the three ways listed below. Plants One of the simplest ways to keep pests out of your yard, particularly insects, is to invest in plants that have natural oils that repel the insects that are bothering you. For example, you can use lavender to keep moths, flies, fleas, and mosquitoes away. Citronella is also a good choice if you find that you are dealing with a lot of mosquitoes on your property. Citronella oil is so effective against mosquitoes that it is often utilized in many of the most common and popular types of mosquito repellents. The citronella plant will also have a stronger aroma and greater effectiveness than a mosquito spray that contains citronella. Coffee Grounds Another great way to protect your yard from pests of all sizes is coffee. By placing coffee grounds in your soil, you will not only be providing a nitrogen-rich fertilizer for your plants but will also be repelling a number of pests that despise the smell of coffee.  Two of the most common pests that coffee will keep away are slugs and cats. In addition, the strong smell of the coffee can often drive away animals with a strong sense of smell, such as deer.  Blood Meal Finally, blood meal is one of the most effective ways to keep certain animals out of your property due to the faint smell of blood that it will leave in your lawn. While this blood smell will scare away the wildlife, the smell will typically be too faint for the human nose to detect. Blood meal is often used as a fertilizer as well because it has a very high nitrogen content, so you can scare the wildlife away and make your yard healthier. In most cases, the animals that blood meal will affect are prey animals that get very nervous and alarmed when they detect the smell of blood. This makes blood meal an ideal way to deal with deer or rabbits. Contact a landscaping service today in order to discuss what you can do to keep animals and insects from destroying your plants or getting too close to your home. Plants can provide a natural repellent for many insects, while coffee and blood meal are ideal for chasing off larger pests. For more information about landscaping and landscaping services, visit sites...

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Why Choose A Freestanding Air Bubble Bathtub?

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The irony of the hectic pace of modern life is that we often run from stress to stress and never take the time to decompress. For example, when it comes to bathing, most people grab a quick shower and hurry on with their day, taking no time to enjoy the soothing affect the water could have. While a shower deserves a place in a home, so too does a bathtub. Not only can a bathtub make a striking design statement, but it can help you in recovering from a stress-filled day and thus prepare you to launch into tomorrow. In particular, you should consider featuring a freestanding air bubble bathtub to your home spa. Why Freestanding? The bathtub used in the average home can be accurately described as an insert or built-in tub. Such a tub is designed to fit into a wooden frame. If you remove it from this frame, you will see that it is really nothing more than a molded shell. While such a tub can help to reduce costs, it does little to elevate the look of a bathroom. By way of contrast, a freestanding bathtub does not require any external frame to give it its shape and stability. Instead, the tub can stand in the middle of the floor. While both styles of tubs have advantages and disadvantages, freestanding tubs make a bigger impact from a design/decorating perspective. Thus, if you are trying to enhance the look of your bathroom, a freestanding tub is the way to go.  Why Air Bubbles? An air bubble tub is designed to envelop your body in a cocoon of stimulating bubbles, which will gently massage away the stress of a hard day. You can add bath oils and salts to an air bubble bathtub without worrying that they will gum up the works of water jets. Furthermore, the air bubbles will help to disperse the oils and salts you add so that you don’t have to worry about clumps of oils building up on the bottom of the tub. Some baths will even allow you to target specific areas of the body and control the intensity of the jets. Thus, if you have been playing sports and your legs are tight and sore, you can turn up the bubble jets on your legs to create a robust massage. In any case, an air bubble tub can help help to elevate your bathroom from a water closet to a...

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Wallpaper Isn’t Just For Walls — Other Places To Use Wallpaper For A Decorative Touch

Posted by on May 26, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve got some leftover wallpaper at home and want to find a good way to use it or just want some way to add a more decorative touch to some items in the home, you’re in luck. There are all sorts of ways to use this versatile material. Ceiling Covering If a pattern is a bit much for all of the walls in the room, it’s possible to wallpaper just one wall or one section of the wall. Another alternative, however, is to wallpaper the ceiling and then paint the walls a complementary color. This gives the room a truly unique appearance and can be quite visually appealing. Spice Up Storage Spaces Another alternative is to use wallpaper either on the inside or outside of storage containers. It can line the back of shelving units and cover the doors or drawers of cabinets as well. Use it as a drawer liner to make the inside of drawers more attractive. This will allow you to add a pop of color or pattern to any room without going overboard if the room also has other colors or patterns used in the decor. Redecorate Wooden Furniture A boring old wooden chair or table can get a whole new look if you cover the seat of the chair or the top of the table with a vinyl or vinyl-coated wallpaper. These durable types of wallpaper are perfect for this sort of use. This can be an easier alternative to stripping and re-staining an older piece of wooden furniture that has seen better days. Stair Decoration People with painted stairs may want to add even more color or pattern to these treads by covering the fronts of each step with wallpaper. This will really make the stairway pop and cause it to be a focal point in the home. Frame It If a whole wall covered in wallpaper is too much pattern, consider using a number of different wallpaper scraps in the same color family and putting them in frames to arrange on the wall. This unique display will add interest to the wall if you don’t have a lot of artwork to put up. Give Lamps New Life Consider covering an old lampshade with wallpaper to give it new life and help it better coordinate with the decor in the room. This is a lot more cost effective than buying a whole new lampshade and makes it easy to frequently make small changes in your home’s decor. For wallpaper, click on this link or do an online...

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5 Tips For Kicking Off Summer With A Block Party

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

A block party is a great way to build community spirit and engage with neighbors, as well as providing the perfect way to launch summer. Try the following tips when planning a perfect block party, and create solidarity among all members of your community: Provide something for everyone. There will be guests of all ages at your party, so plan on something to entertain and amuse everyone. This could include using a projector against the side of a garage or house to show a movie or kids’ show. Furthermore, this provides an excellent focus to build a party theme around; for instance, for a summer block party you may choose to show the movie “National Lampoon’s Vacation” to establish a seasonal vibe that is congruent with your theme. Get the permits. When you throw an actual block party, you will want some way to contain the festivities and to allow your guests to walk around without fear of being run over. Go to the city that you live in to be sure that you don’t need a special permit for your party, and to request barricades or barriers to keep outsiders or strangers out. Start planning and fundraising early. Depending on what you plan to do at your party, you may need some funding. Plan early and start soliciting neighbors that you plan to involve so that you will have a working budget in plenty of time to prepare for the party. Ask neighbors to be part of a party committee that will meet periodically to discuss plans and that may help with getting the supplies needed to make the party a success. Don’t try to do it all. One person can’t do everything involved in pulling off a block party. Don’t be afraid to delegate some tasks to friends and neighbors. Plus, those that are vested in the party will attend and feel more involved in the event. Talk with others in your community to try to get a feel of whether they will want to help out and attend the gathering. Lay off the liquor. Since there will be a wide range of guests, ages, and preferences at your block party, this might not be the venue for alcohol. If neighbors want to drink, you may want to request that they keep liquor in their homes, and that they go inside to mix or imbibe. This will make it a lot easier to get the proper permits, too. Plan your own community block party to welcome warm weather this summer. Try these tips, and make sure to involve everyone to create unity in your neighborhood. Visit party rental vendors to find the perfect items to engage and entertain everybody at your block’s...

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Three Uses For Collapsible Aluminum Awnings

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Although aluminum awnings are more commonly used now to provide shade for big windows on store fronts, you can use them in a residential setting too. One of those ways includes replacing the aluminum awnings you currently have on your home if the home is a circa-1940’s or 1950’s home. A much newer style of awning, the collapsible aluminum awning has several other applications. A few of those applications for this updated version of awnings are listed below. Awnings on Your Camper/Trailer If you have a camper or RV trailer that you use often for camping in the warmer months or touring any time of year, then you probably experience a lot of indoor heat as the result of the sun beating through the windows all day. While that may be ideal for traveling during colder months or colder evenings and nights, it is not so ideal during the summer months. To conserve on the energy required to run the air conditioning and cool your camper, you can install collapsible aluminum awnings over the windows. That way you can keep the sun out while the camper is moving and then lift the awnings just enough for light when the camper is parked. Ventilation Covers on Your Garage Roof If you install some screens in the roof of your garage to vent excess heat from the garage’s attic or rafters in the warmer weather, then you may want some sort of covering for the vents the rest of the year. Collapsible awnings can lift up to release the pent-up heat in the summer and collapse back down to keep snow from entering the garage through the screens. If you choose a complimentary color or pattern for your awnings, then they can add a nice decorative touch as well. (When fully extended they may make your garage look like it has small dormer windows, an effect that can be quite charming on some garages). Shade for a Porch and Patio Doors One final use for collapsible aluminum awnings can do double duty as the shade covering for a covered porch and as a barrier for the patio doors. If you buy one very large aluminum awning that stretches across the width of your patio doors and is as long as your patio doors are tall, then it provides a lot of shade for the patio/covered porch when the awning is extended. When it is collapsed, it acts as a covering or barrier for the patio doors, a very effective means of shutting out bad weather and even prowlers. Contact an awning company, like Allied Awning, for more...

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Effective Ways To Stop Scorpions From Scampering Across Your Property

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you live in a desert climate where scorpions are prevalent and you have seen a couple of them congregating around the exterior of your home, discourage them from staying on your property with the following methods. Scorpion stings can be painful and in rare cases can cause death, making these pests a scary sight that you will want to eliminate as soon as possible. Plant Lavender Lavender is a plant that naturally repels scorpions, as well as many other common pests that may enter your property. Purchase some small lavender plants form a nursery or garden center and plant them along the sides of your home. The plants will create a decorative border and are easy to care for. All that you will need to do to keep them healthy is water them whenever weather conditions are hot and dry. The plants will emit a pleasant scent that you will enjoy whenever you spend time outdoors.  Spray Your Property With Citrus Oil D-limonene is a colorless hydrocarbon that is found in citrus oil. If a scorpion ingests citrus oil, respiratory distress often occurs. Spray your home’s exterior with a generous amount of oil and wipe it over the sprayed surfaces with a sponge. The oil will ward off any scorpions that are present and will prevent new ones from walking closely to your home. Citrus oil is safe to use around people and animals, making it a natural pest repellent that is favored by many. Reapply citrus oil several times throughout the year to continue providing your home with effective pest protection. Take Away Their Living Quarters Scorpions tend to hide in dark, damp locations. If you have any lumber or loose building materials located near your home, carefully inspect and remove them from your property. Keep your lawn cut regularly and place garbage in cans with tight-fitting lids. Inspect your home’s exterior for small holes. If any are found, fill them with caulking to prevent scorpions from entering your home. Once materials are no longer available for any scorpions to hide in, any that are located near your home will begin looking for a location further away to spend time in.  If you use all of the methods to discourage scorpions, an infestation may never become a problem. Of course, if you are unsuccessful with your efforts and notice more scorpions than usual, hire a pest control company to assist with eliminating...

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Garage Door Not Closing? Learn How To Inspect The Sensors

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When your home’s garage door is not closing, it could be an issue with broken sensors. A safety feature of your garage door is that it has sensors that prevent it from closing on anything that crosses its path. This includes cars, children, and objects left in the path of the garage door. Before you contact a professional for repair, try these tricks to see if you can fix it yourself. Locate The Sensors There should be two sensors on opposite sides of your garage door near the tracks. It works with one sensor sending a signal to the other, so both sensors must be in perfect alignment for the safety measure to work properly. If a sensor has accidentally been knocked out of alignment, you may encounter problems with your garage door not closing. If one of the sensors is clearly not pointing towards the other, that is most likely your problem. Inspect The Lights Look for a tiny red or green light located on the sensors. A flickering light typically means there is a problem with the sensor’s alignment. If you adjust the sensors manually, the light should stop flickering when both of the sensors are aligned once again. If you have properly aligned sensors, and the garage door won’t close, keep troubleshooting the sensors. Verify The Connections Those red or green lights can flicker if you have an issue with the wires going to the sensor. In that situation, realigning the sensors won’t matter. Issues with wiring can also cause those lights to not illuminate, meaning they are not receiving the proper voltage to power up. You’ll need to verify that all connections to the sensor are tight. If there are plugs going into the sensor itself, push on them to ensure that they are plugged in all the way. Do the same to the connection on the garage door opener as well. If you have a solid connection, and the lights still do not turn on, it could be an issue with the circuitry located inside your sensor. You’ll need to replace the sensor with a brand new one. Clean Off The Lens When everything else seems like it is working properly, try cleaning off the lenses of the sensors. It’s possible that they are so dirty that it is interfering with the operation of the sensors. Just clean them off using a damp cloth. If all these tips have failed to fix the problem, contact a professional in your area, like Overhead Door Co. of Everett Inc., that can help diagnose the problem for...

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4 Things You Can Do With Your Flowers After Your Wedding

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Many of the items you purchase for your wedding will only be used for one day. Afterwards, it’s hard to figure out what you should do with them. One example is your wedding flowers. Cut flowers aren’t meant to last forever, but they’ll definitely last longer than a single day. If you’re wondering what to do with leftover wedding flowers after the ceremony, consider the following four ideas: Photograph them In the future, you’ll want to be able to remember every aspect of your special day. Before you take floral displays down, make sure you get a picture of them so that you’ll remember what the setting looked like on your wedding day. For the best results, ask your wedding photographer to do the job.  Dry them Drying out cut flowers preserves them indefinitely. If you dry your wedding flowers, you’ll be able to continue to enjoy them for years to come. You can dry flowers by hanging them upside down in a large indoor place with good air circulation.   Of course, your wedding may include a huge amount of flowers. You might not be able to save or use all of the flowers that are left over and dried after your wedding. However, you’ll probably want to at least do something special with your wedding bouquet. Dry out your bouquet so that you can preserve it long-term.  Recycle them If someone in your family has an upcoming event like a birthday party or anniversary celebration, you may be able to give your flowers to them so that they can be reused. If you don’t have any upcoming events, you may be able to donate them. Ask around to find an charitable organization or non-profit that might be able to use them for a special event or ceremony.  Sell them Wedding flower displays aren’t typically cheap. Selling flowers after your wedding ceremony is a good way to get some of the money you spent back while giving another couple the opportunity to have beautiful flowers at a lower price at their ceremony.  Run a classified ad in the newspaper in advance to find a couple who could use your wedding flowers. You’ll need to plan on selling your flowers well in advance since they will not last forever and can be expected to start wilting after your ceremony.  If you have trouble finding someone who wants your flowers after your ceremony, talk to your florist. Your florist might be able to take them back or connect you with another party in need of a floral...

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