6:08:00 AM

How to Protect Your Hardwood Flooring from Sun Damage

How to Protect Your Hardwood Flooring from Sun Damage

Few things are more beautiful than a well-laid, brand-new hardwood floor made of the finest oak, maple, birch or other wood. A hardwood floor can last a very long time, and there are still homes from the Colonial era that have their original floors. But as it is with so many other things in the home, direct sunlight is a hardwood floor’s enemy. How can a homeowner protect their beautiful and pricey hardwood floor from the sun?

Hardwood flooring


Why the Sun Causes Damage in the First Place

Sunlight on a new floor is pretty, but over time a homeowner will notice that the wood’s rich color starts to fade or sometimes darken in ways the homeowner doesn’t care for. This effect is even more unpleasant if it only happens to a part of the floor that’s not covered by a rug or furniture. The planks or tiles may even dry out and crack. This is due to the different types of light the sun delivers into the house. Ultraviolet light causes discoloration. Infrared light is experienced as heat and that heat can cause the wood to deteriorate. Even a floor that’s sealed will have trouble surviving the ravages of a lot of ultraviolet and infrared light working together.

First Solution

The first and probably best solution is to install the hardwood flooring in a place that gets little direct sunlight. This can be a hallway or a room whose windows face north. But many homeowners want to enjoy a room with both a hardwood floor and lots of natural light. In that case they can:

Install Windows With Low-E Glass

Low-E means low emissivity. This type of glass cuts down on the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that gets into a room without cutting down on visible light. Low-e glass has an extremely thin coat of silver or other low emissivity substance and limits the damaging ultraviolet and infrared rays that hardwood floors can be exposed to. Films that do the same thing as low-emissivity glass can be directly applied to the windows and cost considerably less.

Move the Furnishings Around

It may be a good idea to rearrange the furniture and area rugs in a room to make sure that all areas of the floor get the same amount of sunlight. If the wood has to fade, it should all fade to the same color. If this is not
possible -

Cover the Windows

Curtains, drapes, shutters and Venetian blinds can all be employed to keep the hardwood floors from sun damage. If the homeowner can’t stand to live in a house where the windows are covered all day long, they can be covered when the sun is at its strongest. This is usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Some of the newer blinds or shutters are motorized and come with a timer. Because they open and shut or rise and fall by themselves, the homeowner doesn’t even have to bother with them twice a day.

Install Awnings

Awnings add a touch of elegance to the exterior of a house, and they have the benefit of stopping the UV and infrared rays before they even come in through the windows. Awnings can come in a wealth of styles and materials that complement the house. They can be stationary or retractable.

Refinish the Floors

Floors can be refinished before the sun damage gets too severe. The one problem with refinishing hardwood floors is that it can’t be done endlessly without eventually causing more damage, and engineered wood floors tolerate even less refinishing that solid wood floors. Refinish only when necessary.

These few techniques will go a long way in keeping a hardwood floor looking its best for decades.

You can read this article about Bamboo flooring versus wood flooring

Bio - This guest post contribution is courtesy of MacDonaldHardwoods, a Denver-based hardwood flooring company. Macwoods has been a long-standing resource for prefinished wood flooring also offering hardwood cleaning and installation. If you're in Denver area, be sure to check out their hardwood flooring installation classes.
8:19:00 AM

5 Beautiful DIY Decor Ideas to for Your Nursery

If you happen to have a bundle of joy on the way, then this is time for you to be crafty and creative. There ARE numerous projects you can do from cutting, sewing and pasting to create ceiling hung clouds or wall mounted canvases and a lot more. Below are five of some of the projects you can undertake for your baby.

 DIY Nursery       


  
Credit: Jane Painting

Doodle Decorating
The most beautiful way to decorate your nursery is the first thing our list. It is by far the most personal and educative attempt to follow and something that no parent can overlook. It revolves around great means of expression such as drawing, coloring and doodling, activities that numerous studies have previously confirmed they have a huge impact on the child`s development. These endeavors greatly enhance the social, cognitive and physical development of the child, nourishing his creativity in the process thus making the decorating through doodles great seeds for the little one`s interest.
Frame your doodles while awaiting your child or simply wait him to get creative and frame his work, art ought to be present regardless and these simply activities should be encouraged as much as possible.

Nursery pom poms
Nowadays, tissue pom poms are a great addition to a nursery. The best thing about them is that you can purchase an assortment of different colors to make the nursery as colorful as you like. All you will need to use are the tissue papers, floral wire and fishing line. You can also easily create fabric pom poms if you would like to have a more lasting version.

Suspender curtains
Suspender curtains can be really cute in a nursery and the best part is that they are extremely easy to make. What you will need to make them is some fabric, fusible bonding web, scissors, iron, the overall buckles, hot glue gun, canvas strips, two buttons, curtain tension rod, needle and thread.

How to make

     You should begin with measuring the height and width of the window then add about 4” to the width and 6” to height on the fabric and cut.

     Fold the sides and button in one inch then use the fusible bonding web for hemming.

     You will make the curtain rod pocket if you fold the top down 5” then secure with a bonding web.

     Lay the curtain on a flat surface to be able to determine how high you will draw the shade. Place the buttons at the front with the straps behind the fabric then fold them over the front. Then cut the straps to suit the panel.

     After that, insert the straps into the overall buckle securing it with hot glue and repeat.

     Then sew the button in front of the curtain panel and sew the end of the strap directly behind it. Repeat.

DIY drawer pulls
You can purchase vintage yo-yo’s on sites like eBay and turn them into cute drawer pulls. To make the pulls, what you will need is the wooden yo-yos, drill, pliers, hanger bolts size depending on drawer panel thickness, nut:

How to make it

     Pre drill a hole just a little bit smaller than the hanger bolt into the back center of the yo-yo.

     Twist the hanger bolt in the hole using pliers.

     Insert the bolt into the hole in the drawer then fasten it with the nut tightly.


Paper dot mobile
This is also quite easy to make as you watch a movie on a lazy Sunday and what you will need are a small hole punch, 2” circle punch, nine pieces of 12”x12” card stock, 8mm jump rings, needle nose pliers, two embroidery hoops 8” and 6”, screw hook, fishing line.

     First, cut circles with the 2” punch

     Punch holes of 1/8” from top to bottom of the circles then string nine of the circles together using the jump rings. You should punch only one hole for the top and bottom circle.

     Hot glue the top circle of each strand to the embroidery hoops.

     Make nine more but use the 6” embroidery hoop.

     Glue the fishing line to three spots on each hoop then hang from hook.

What do you think about these simple yet great things? We would love to hear your opinion on the subject in the comment section below !
10:54:00 AM

A Mom's Review of Prolectrix Soup Maker



For a busy mom, you’ll need every bit of help you can get to make your tasks a lot easier. This is exactly where soup makers come into play. They are a great help in cutting down preparation and cooking time in case the family requests for a hearty soup for dinner.

Unfortunately, not all soup makers are created equal. While some of them can hasten cooking time, there are others that will just throw your money into waste.

Prolectrix Soup Maker is one of the best soup makers you can get your hands on. Here’s a list of pros and cons, based on firsthand experience, to tell you why.

Soup

Pros:

The soup maker is great for big families, like mine. It’s able to hold 1.3L t0 1.6L which can be enough to feed at least four grownups in a single meal. You can even have some leftover for tomorrow.

Prolectrix Soup Maker is also easy to clean. It’s made from stainless steel and comes with a specialized cleaning brush to make sure I’m able to remove all food debris from it. Since it’s made from steel, it’s quite sturdy and durable, too.

The heating element sits right under the stainless bucket. I find this design very convenient since it gives me enough space to clean the area as well.

Prolectrix Soup Maker doesn’t take a lot of space and effort to move around. It’s just around the size of a kettle and comes with the functions of both a blender and soup maker. It’s made of 1000w of power: 800w for heating and 200w for the blender.

The three buttons for its soup making functions is a plus factor for me, too. Having a kid around, I really enjoyed using its puree function for making delicious and healthy baby food. The chunky option, on the other hand, is handy whenever I need to whip something up for my growing kids. It’s a time-saver since you only need to toss chunks of vegetables in it.

The safety control feature of Prolectrix Soup Maker is something you won’t normally find in other similar products. It’s intelligent enough in that it doesn’t activate until you get its lid completely locked. It also has added features that help prevent your soup from dry burning or over-spilling.

Aside from soups, this soup maker also works well when it comes to creating dips and smoothies.

Cons:

Despite having the ability to crush chunky vegetables, you still need to make sure they’re at the right size. I had problems with this soup maker, particularly during the first few uses. Every time I need to  boil potatoes, they always got burnt at the bottom.

For optimum cooking and for you to avoid having charred vegetables, you need to cut them down into quarter inch pieces. It’s also recommended that you put in water before the ingredients to make sure you don’t burn them.

Conclusion

Prolectrix Soup Maker is a good choice for busy moms. It can cook soups in as fast as 30 minutes. It offers blending and heating power to ensure that your soup cooks well.

If you can get past the inconvenience of having to chop your vegetables to the recommended size, this is actually a great product to have in your kitchen. It’s small and sturdy. It can fit on your counter quite easily. Plus, you also get a recipe book when you go buy the product. You will no longer have to worry about how you’ll prepare your dinner since you’ll have a wide range of recipes to choose from.

Author’s Bio:
Freya is a mom to three kids. When not cleaning after her children’s mess, she’s spending her extra time writing and researching about products that can make motherhood a lot easier. Her latest work deals with soup maker reviews.

4:08:00 AM

5 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tips For Your Home




Are you thinking of decorating the exterior of your house for this year’s Christmas holidays? It’s a trend that’s been growing for some years now, and new innovative lighting designs can be used to great effect to give your home a special and unique Christmas feel.

A few words of caution though, before you let your creative juices run away with you: safety is paramount.
First, electricity needs to be handled with respect. Make sure the lights you wish to install are specifically for outdoor use, and don’t be tempted to overload your electrical sockets – it’s dangerous and can cause a fire. LED lights are best, not only because they are more energy efficient and need less wattage than traditional incandescent bulbs, but also for their beautifully clear, crisp light output. 

 Christmas Decorating

Secondly, putting up and taking down outdoor Christmas lights on a building comes with a fair degree of personal risk. Are you working off a simple household ladder? If you do, make sure it’s in good condition and a stable position on a firm and flat surface. Also, it’s advisable to always work in pairs, so you have someone assisting you – two pairs of hands are safer than one. For high roofs, rooftops or other elevated areas, ladders are unlikely to be the right solution. You may be better off hiring a scaffold platform or tower, or even a cherry picker. The last thing you need this Christmas is a nasty accident.

With the essential safety concerns addressed, are you ready to add some festive fun and magic to the outside of your home? Here are 5 design considerations and decorating tips to help you make your home truly Christmassy.

1.       Highlight the building’s architectural features

When installing lights to the front elevation of your house, always start at the centre and work your way outwards to the sides. Look at interesting architectural details of the building to see what can be highlighted in the design scheme. Gables, rooflines, chimneys, arches, windows or similar features lend themselves particularly well. 

Combine horizontal and vertical features to achieve the perfect balance. Rather than covering the entire house in lights, perhaps pick out the roof outline up to the gable peak and down again, then highlight the front door outline to create a simple yet effective festive aesthetic.

2.       Create a professional, three dimensional effect

Whatever you do, it needs to really impress, especially at Christmas – so don’t skimp on lighting; the thicker your lighting garlands are, the more effective the result will be. Use large, bright LED bulbs spaced properly and evenly, every 30cm or so, and include cutbacks so that your house doesn’t appear two dimensional. Make sure the length is just right; you should have a bulb positioned right at the top of the apex, and no overhanging lights at the bottom – otherwise it just looks messy.

3.       Don’t forget to decorate your trees

Beautifully decorated trees add impact, especially when they frame the house. There are two techniques you can use to light up your trees in the front garden. Spiral/canopy wrapping encircles the entire tree (perfect for conifers), while trunk & branch wrapping highlights the main branches and emphasises the structure of the tree (ideal for deciduous trees). Both can look wonderful, as can mixing and matching the two.

4.       Classic white or colourful fun?

Whether you go for the traditional Christmas favourite all-white look or have fun with some on-trend colour is entirely up to your personal taste. This year, one of the popular colour schemes to emerge is a very festive combination of red, green and white. Then again, other colour contrasts can work well too – try silver and gold, or green and blue perhaps, to create an effective and unusual wow factor for your Christmas home.

5.       Add extra decorations to set the scene

For a bolder look, you can give your front garden a Christmas theme with the addition of festive characters – Father Christmas, reindeer, snowmen or penguins, angels and stars, or a nativity scene? The shops are now full of inspiration, with all kinds of fun characters and wonderful light designs to choose from – go and have a look.

Finally, complement your outdoor Christmas light display with some lush greenery to add an extra festive touch to your exterior decorations. Evergreen wreaths or garlands (either real or artificial) can be trimmed with ribbons, ornaments and lights to provide enchanting accents for windows and doors.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working alongside a selection of companies including MC Property Maintenance, who were consulted over this post.

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