Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Add a touch of Class you your Bathroom with a Digital Shower

Add a touch of Class to your Bathroom with a Digital Shower
Online shower superstars Gainsborough (made by Aqualisa, the luxury shower brand – but more affordable!) have just added two digital showers to their specialist showers website Gainsboroughshowers.co.uk. The showers are not only beautifully crafted as you would expect but your kids will love them too with their red flashing lights – and when they stop flashing, it means the shower is ready to go! These digital showers are really easy to operate with a simple push button control, clever digital technology and the precise temperature control means they’re safe too.

The Shower Nerve Centre – how does a Digital Shower work?
Unlike a conventional shower with a ‘mechanical’ valve, Digital Showers are controlled by a compact processor.  Smaller than a shoebox, this clever processor is the nerve centre of the shower and is installed away from the bathroom.  Typical places might be an airing cupboard, under the bath or in the loft. Positioned in a convenient location to hot and cold water supplies, the processor box thermostatically blends water to your pre-set temperature.  But best of all, because the processor is outside of your bathroom, it is likely that installation will be significantly easier and quicker with little disruption to your bathroom decoration. ;)   

Taking a Digital Shower
There are no bulky or awkward controls to get to grips with. Just a simple, push button start/stop.  Temperature is selected with an equally straightforward sliding ring.  And the most exciting part is that, thanks to the clever LED display, you’ll know exactly when to step into your shower. All you have to do is keep an eye on the LED display; when it’s flashing the water is still warming up.  When the display turns to steady, you’ll know it’s time to shower.  Nothing could be simpler or safer.  No tentative testing of your shower’s temperature with your hand or foot, no chilly surprises and no fluctuating between hot and cold, either. 

Is a Digital Shower suitable for my home?
The Gainsborough mixer Showers web pages give loads of useful information on Digital Showers so you can get a feel for what they offer, but generally speaking they are suitable for gravity-fed, combi and mains-fed plumbing systems.  For gravity-fed systems, it is recommended a pumped Digital Shower is chosen – this variant features a processor with an integral pump and has a ‘boost’ button on its control – essential for making the most of gravity-fed plumbing systems. 

What are my other choices?
If a digital mixer shower isn’t suitable for your home, you might want to look into electric showers which are possibly the most economical and also eco-friendly shower available in the UK as they heat only the water that is needed for your shower. They always come in different colours, different styles and different power ratings so you have plenty of choice, based on your specific requirements!

Happy Showering!!! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Deciding on Door Handles

Whilst some people will concentrate on furniture and accessories to decorate a home, others will pay particular attention to the smaller details. Subtle changes around the home can have a significant impact on the overall design. For instance, matching and co-ordinated fittings, such as light switches, plug sockets and door handles, will all contribute to the overall look and feel of a room within the home.

These fittings are commonly thought of as dull, boring and practical features that have no place in interior design. However, there is such a huge variety of styles, materials and colours out there that any look can be obtained.

As they are used frequently by anyone passing through the home, it is important to consider how often they will need cleaning when deciding on a material. For instance, chrome door handles are great for homes and apartments that are opting for a modern looking interior however they can become damaged and scratched through excessive cleaning and wiping. Leather handles, on the other hand, offer an enduring quality whilst the odd wear and tear will actually benefit its appearance and add to its character.

Door handles that will appear on the outside of a house needs to be made from a material that will survive weathering and frequent use. Stainless steel is the best option in this circumstance. Whilst others may look more appealing, they will fail to stand the test of time and the need to replace them after only a short amount of time will, more than likely, be an issue.

To give a home a more classic feel, porcelain door handles can be implemented into every room. Porcelain will look classy and will offer a timeless element to the design of the interior. Matching these to other fittings that are implemented into the home is vital for the quality of its appearance. As mentioned before, plug socket coverings and light switches can all be bought in a variety of materials and designs that, if carefully selected, will complement the handles and add to the personality of a room.

Although the majority of home owners and decorators will ignore the need for quality and matching fittings, the finishing touch is what can really transform a room into the spectacle it should be.

Buying Curtains Online


Before you look into buying curtains online, you first need to know how to measure for new curtains. You will need to measure the width and length of the window which you want the curtain to hang from. You also need to know how long you want your curtains to be. Will they be a bit longer than the window or do you want the curtains to reach the floor of the room for a more dramatic effect?  If the curtains are supposed to reach the floor, how far will they go? They can end just where the floor starts, or, as is becoming ever more popular in design, bunch up on the floor in a cascading effect.
The size of the valance or rod makes a vast difference in choosing the particular type of product you want, as with a larger valance you need a curtain with slots specially designed for valances of that size. If you have a rod you need to make sure that it will slide into your new curtains, and ensure that the curtains are of the right size for the rod. This can be worked out based on measurement of the curtain, rod size, and material of the curtain.

If you want curtains that wrap around the sides of the window, the width of the curtain has to be lengthened so you have plenty of material to reach across the whole window. To add to this, you also need to make sure the slot for the valance or rod is long enough to fit the drape that wraps around both sides.

After measuring, you must leave some extra room around the edges of the drapes for hems at the top, on either side, and at the bottom. Extra material is also required for a nice, clean hem on all sides of the curtain.  

The golden rule is, of course, to measure twice and cut once, and since you personally won’t be doing the cutting when you buy online, it might be best to measure thrice, as the online provider will do exactly what you ask them to, which could well be cutting a too short or too long curtain.
When buying curtains online make sure that you go to a site of a trusted or familiar brand. Make sure that the site has pictures of the products, that are up to date and that can be examined more carefully by enlarging the picture. Information on material, texture, and colour options should be readily available. The quality of colour and texture should be exactly what you see on the website, so always check the item when it arrives before unpacking it completely. Also make sure that the colour you choose is one you really like. You will only be disappointed if you buy a curtain in a colour you get bored with within the first ten minutes.
Before you get your heart too set on the perfect curtains, check the company’s terms and conditions. You need to know if they have a return policy, (which most ‘safe’ websites do) and what this policy includes. If you need to return the curtains, is the postage paid by the company or you? This is not a sign for a deal breaker, but simply something you need to know. The same goes for delivery. Some companies include the delivery cost in the price, while others state how much will be added for delivery in their terms and conditions. This, again, is no sign of foul play, it’s just important for you to know what the extra cost is. If you’re uncertain about a firm, but have found no clear signs to convince you either way, have a look at their customer reviews, and research them online to find other articles and statements about them. This should provide you with the information you need.
Buying curtains online is the same as buying any other home ware product online. The measurements need to be right, and you need to be aware of the terms and conditions. Other than that you need to enjoy your shopping.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Roller Blinds to Measure

Whilst some people dive head first into buying new furniture, accessories and features for their newly decorated room, others will take time planning and deciding which colour scheme is right for them and what specifically will suit their home. The type of window treatment that is used can affect the entire appearance of a room and has the potential to transform what was once a dull and plain area into an interior designer’s dream.

The use of patterned roller blinds is becoming increasingly popular as they can help to brighten up an area within the house and work well with plain and neutral colour schemes. Whichever blind is chosen, it is important to remember that the extra cost involved when purchasing custom made blinds is definitely worth the investment. Made to measure roller blinds are both visually pleasing and energy efficient.

Whilst standard blinds may seem to fit any size window frame, they do not take into account the height or the length of the window. Because of this, blinds tend to become uneven and wrinkled at the bottom, resulting in a need to replace them. However, made to measure blinds will last much longer than general ones and will effectively block out any unwanted light and distractions getting through into the home.

Due to the correct measurements, this type of blind will not only look professional and sleek, but will also help to trap cold air that filters through the window pane and prevent the hot air inside the room from escaping outdoors, keeping homes warm and comfortable. During the summer months, the opposite will happen, keeping a house cool.

Made to measure roller blinds do tend to be more expensive than standard ones, although this is largely over exaggerated. Nowadays, a blind can be ready for collection within as little as 2 days. Couple that with the fact that measured blinds are available in huge range of colours and patterns and there is little reason not to invest.

To measure for a blind simply use a tape measure to calculate the width and length of a window. Once these are jotted down, most hard ware and furniture shops will provide you with the information you need. Made to measure roller blinds are unbeatable for their visual appeal and ability to transform a room into a sleek and professional home space.

Friday, February 17, 2012

10 Tips for choosing window treatments

The first thing you need to do is to establish what you want your window treatments to do: you may want to stop people being able to watch you eat for example? Or you might worried about the midday sun giving too much heat to your living room. For the first problem, roller blinds or curtains will most likely be most effective. For the second, venetian blinds offer far more control over the amount of shading. 

How much moisture in there in the room: Bathrooms and kitchens often have a lot of steam, so curtains are not the best option for these rooms as they can get damp.  Wooden blinds can warp from the steam too so they too may not be the best option. Instead try using metal or plastic blinds or maybe frosted glass. 

Make sure they complement your personal style: It’s important to take into consideration how you have decorated the room, is it modern and open, maybe you would favour lighter shades for the blinds, or is sophistication what you want, drapes are ideal for a timeless classy look.

Patterns: There are a greater range of options for patterned window treatments with roller blinds, roman blinds or curtains. They offer far more designs than Venetian blinds or micro blinds generally.

Consider the view from outside: you may to match your treatments to your d├ęcor; you should bear in mind what effect they will have on your view. For example a countryside landscape would most likely suit curtains or wooden blinds to keep a natural feel, whereas metal blinds can give your city flat a more modern futuristic feel.

Temperature: Your home may get cold easily. Thick drapes or honey comb blinds can offer great insulation for your home. If it gets too hot however then blinds or light curtains will offer protection from the light but let in a cooling breeze too. 

Shape of the Windows: Some window shapes are easier to find treatments for than others. Basic square or rectangular windows are very simple to cater for; other shapes however are more suited to curtains. You can now find blinds to fit almost all windows which helps a great deal. 

Safety: Window treatments are not the most dangerous of objects, but they can unfortunately, pose a couple of risks. Any window treatment with long control cords like a lot of blinds have the risk of catching and even strangling young children and pets. While long drapes that are situated near heat sources are flammable and may catch fire. Thinking about the positions of heat sources as well as using short cords or cord tidies when using blinds is essential. 

Cost: The final but just as important point is to consider how much you are willing to spend. Venetian or roller blinds generally are the cheapest options, with curtains and roman blinds being significantly more expensive. But this depends a lot on what shops you can find online as well as in the shops. 
Michael Turner is writing on behalf of Roman Blinds Direct an online supplier of roman blinds.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Windows in Your Home

Windows make homes look inviting from the outside and bring inside the outdoor light. According to the purpose of the room and the amount of privacy needed, windows are dressed or left bare. Some homes have windows with a uniform shape and size while others have a mix of dimensions and shapes. The architectural style and design along with personal preference often combine for the choice of window styles. Then, the interior designer or home owner selects the window treatments to match the interior decor.

Brightening the Home Space

One of the main jobs of windows is brightening the home living space. They also frame the outer environment so that those inside can peer out on the world around them. Homes are much more comfortable with glass openings that add the warmth of sunbeams. Then, rooms seem open and people's inner longing for nature is satisfied by looking at some bit of trees, grass or landscape out of windows. Interior spaces lose their enclosed feeling. The illumination goes beyond mere light because the very atmosphere seems warmer and more cheerful during the daytime hours if sunlight shines through the rooms.

Dressing up Windows

Some decor styles look best with bare windows such as industrial or some modern looks, but most homes appear more complete with some sort of dressing. Window treatments range from blinds and shades to light and airy curtains to black-out drapes. The purpose of the room and the amount of privacy needed help people decide what to put over the glass opening. Fancy or plain, putting something up that is seen from the outside gives the home the occupied look. Homes do not seem bare and lifeless when they have some pretty curtains or other attractive coverings hanging in the windows.

Celebrating Light and Decor Accents

While windows and their coverings assist in giving the home its character, windows are designed to celebrate light. Then, art and creativity can be expressed in decor accent window treatments. The coverings can block sun for those rooms where people sleep late or for those unoccupied rooms with furnishings that fade in the sunlight. The advanced technology in today's glass and double-panes provides an air-tight seal that keeps inclement weather from creeping indoors. In the meantime, the clear and quality glass lets sunbeams filter in through it unhindered. Lighted windows cheer the soul of the home and spread a joyful ambience.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Creating the perfect sleeping atmosphere in your bedroom

If you are suffering with sleeping problems, one of the most important things to consider is if there are factors in your bedroom that are hindering you from getting a good night's sleep. Sleep problems can be anything from not sleeping at all to interrupted sleep patterns.

What Can Cause Sleep Problems?

There are many factors that can cause sleep problems. If your room has not been kept neat and tidy, you may not be able to relax and go to sleep, as you notice any clothes and other items that have not been put away. If your bedroom needs vacuuming or dusting, this may cause any allergies you have to become worse and if you are sneezing or have a runny nose, you will not be sleeping soundly. The problem may be with your mattress. If you are using a mattress to sleep on with a partner, make sure that the mattress is suited to you. It is possible to buy a double mattress with different degrees of firmness on each side. Also, make sure that you rotate your mattress regularly to avoid any uneven wear on the mattress.

If your bedroom is in a noisy location, say next to the main street with passers-by and cars, this may affect your sleep patterns. Another cause of sleep problems could be the lighting in your bedroom; it could be too harsh, making you feel more awake rather than making you feel sleepy.

How Can You Fix Your Sleep Problems?

The issue of your room not being neat and tidy is easy to fix. Try making a rota so that every week, you tidy your room, put away clothes, vacuum and dust. If you cannot find time to do all of this at once, break it down further so that you put away clothes one day, dust the next and vacuum the next.

If your bedroom is in a noisy location, you could consider switching rooms to the rear of the property, away from noise. If this is not an option, invest in some heavy curtains that can reduce the noise coming into the bedroom. The other way to cut out noise is to wear earplugs when you are sleeping.

Lighting can easily be fixed by either installing a dimmer switch, to create a more relaxing lighting effect, or bedside lamps. These usually have a lower light output, or you could change any fluorescent lighting to a more relaxing energy efficient lighting. Some light bulbs come with a colour filter on them, which can be helpful in producing a better mood for sleeping.

Other Things That Can Be Done To Reduce Insomnia.

Once you have created the perfect relaxing atmosphere to sleep in, if you are still having trouble sleeping, you could try some of the following. Reducing the amount of caffeine you drink, especially in the evenings, taking more exercise during the day and having specific routines to reduce after work stress can all increase your chances of getting a good night's sleep.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Insulation in your Home - The Winter Months

Regardless of your home’s construction, you can add insulation to it. Improving the insulation in your home will make it more resistant to draughts, lower your fuel bills and provide you with a more comfortable home. Here are some of the ways you can easily add insulation to your home.

Loft
A quarter of the heat in your home or more is lost through the roof. Adding insulation to the loft will reduce that loss and allow you to enjoy a more energy efficient home. However, the insulation must be added properly. The ventilation in this area must not be disturbed, so take care not to block any of the vents along the outside edge with insulation. Choose between rolls of mineral wool insulation or the convenience of loose-fill insulation.

Cavity Walls
Walls with an open space in them can benefit greatly from the addition of insulation. You can rent special blowers that will allow you to add insulation to this area, making your home warmer. You also might want to consider hiring a professional crew for this project, because it will involve cutting some holes and then patching them. If you are concerned about the cost of this project, look into grants that will cover part of the expense for you.

Skirting Boards and Window Frames
You can remove the skirting boards and window frames in your home to look at the insulation in these areas. These spots can usually benefit from the addition insulation. You can either use strips of fiberglass insulation or spray foam to fill these small but important areas. Narrow gaps can be easily filled sealant available from local DIY stores. Be careful not to block under-floor airbricks if you choose this project.

Solid Walls
Solid concrete walls are notorious for their heat loss. Add insulating boards to them to warm up the space. These special foam boards can also be installed on the home’s exterior if you are considering upgrading your home’s siding. Benefits of adding this insulation to the exterior of your home include improved sound dampening and weatherproofing.

Adding insulation to your home is a smart choice. It will make the home more comfortable while also allowing you to lower your heating and cooling bills. You can handle many of these projects yourself, making them very affordable.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Blinds In Your Home

Most people lean towards an airy, laid-back feel where natural light is accentuated when it comes to dressing a garden room or conservatory or preparing a living space for summer. If the room has an amazing view you already have a head start and may want to keep a very neutral effect to avoid detracting from this. It is all down to personal preference, but generally colour schemes that include restful natural shades, such as golds and yellows, fresh shades of greens and soft teals, can work well, especially teamed with natural textures such as sisal and rattan.

For the furnishings consider the same kinds of pieces you would favour for a patio. Wicker or bamboo help bring the airy outdoor feel inside, with throws and cushions for comfort. Traditional couches and chairs have a lighter feel if they’re off the ground. Of course, sun loungers are another good idea for larger spaces particularly for south-facing areas that become sun traps. Any wood should be light and natural, and glass surfaces, too, help to keep the sense of space and light. It is a good idea to keep furniture to a minimum to avoid cluttering the area, although lots of greenery is an excellent way of seamlessly linking the indoors with the outdoors; so don’t stint on plants and take advice on which will thrive in a conservatory.

Blinds are the key to making conservatories or garden rooms more attractive, adding colour and interest and serving a practical purpose as well. There are many different choices of blinds available in the market today but fabric vertical blinds can be a nice choice as they are the perfect finishing touch to any conservatory.

In the summer, vertical blinds can help reduce glare, keep the temperature down and keep out harmful UV rays. In winter, insulated blinds can help reduce energy bills by keeping a conservatory warm, most heat transfer comes through the roof panels so it is important to capture this transfer in the roof area of a conservatory or heating and cooling bills could become expensive. The vast range of blind solutions on offer mean that you can find just the right blinds to suit Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian-style conservatories. These vary from pleated fabrics, with solar protective coated backing, and French pinoleum (woven wood) to Plantation-style wooden shutters.

Security is another reason for installing blinds as they can incorporate remote control mechanisms and be operated via timers.