Simple Ways to Improve Decor in Your Home

simple ways to improve decor in your home

simple ways to improve decor in your home

People often put a lot of effort in decorating the house because you want to live in a beautiful and comfortable house. If you start to get bored of the decoration, you can always make it fresh and exciting by making little changes. It is essential that you feel happy and refreshed in your house. The decorations do not always have to be expensive because several affordable decoration ideas can make your place look beautiful.

Here are some useful décor ideas that will make your house look gorgeous.

Adding corner shelves:

If you have bare walls in the house and you are finding it annoying, then you can decorate the wall and add smart storage space by adding corner shelves. These are an excellent way of getting the storage space that you need. The corner is mostly considered dead spaces and often end up empty. By adding corner shelves, you will not just cover these dead spaces but get a good storage space. You can put your books and other decorations on these shelves.

Decorating the front:

The front or entry is critical because it is responsible for creating the first image of the house. The front is the representation of your style, so it is important that you pay particular attention to it. Do not clutter the foyer space and try to maximize it. You can add little decorations such as baskets where you can put mail or house keys. You can also get a foyer sized table and put some beautiful flowers on it. The mirror is always an excellent addition to the foyer area.

Updating the furniture:

The best way of making the house look fresh is to upgrade the furniture with each season. You do not always have to spend a lot of money and buy new furniture to refresh the look. The affordable and best way of changing furniture for different seasons is used covers. They are available in an extensive variety of colors, materials, styles and designs. You can experiment with different colors and options before finding the best one and most suitable one.

Changing the layout of furniture:

It is possible for you to become bored with the layout of the room then you can change it. Moving around the furniture can have a significant effect on the outlook of the place, and it does not cost anything. You need to find a focal point and change the decorations accordingly. You should also try to get rid of some items so that the place does not look cluttered. It will provide you more open space and will look tidy.

Painting the walls:

One of the most affordable ways of refreshing the look of the house is painting it fresh. You can always add an accent wall with bold colors to make the place look exciting and beautiful. You should choose a color that compliments the color of furniture and other accessories. If you are not sure about the color, then you can always ask for a professional’s opinion so that you can choose the color that works for your interior and exterior.

Highlighting décor with accent lighting:

Lighting is an essential and important part of the interior. Lighting is a necessary element for setting the tone of the place. You can add accent lighting to highlight the decorations that you have chosen for the room. You can make the hallways and foyers look exciting with the right lighting.

Creating texture with layering:

Layering is an excellent way of adding texture to the place. You should always try to create layers especially when it comes to the bedrooms. There are different sized sheets like king size fitted sheets etc. and make sure you choose the one suitable for the bed size and create neat and tidy layers by adding other bedding items like duvets, pillows, throw pillows, throw blankets, etc. You can create lecture in the living room by using a variety of pillows.

Personalizing the place:

You can improve the look of the place and make it look comfortable by personalizing the place. You can hang art pieces that represent your personality. The best way of personalizing is adding family pictures to the walls and over the fireplace.

These are some of the decoration ideas that will make your house look gorgeous and cozy.

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Tips to Choose Wall Mirrors

tips to choose wall mirrors

tips to choose wall mirrors

The term “beauty” is associated with many tangible and non-tangible things. Although beauty is subjective, but it was generalized by many societies. Generally, people define some set of things as beautiful and love to live with them. Mirrors are one of such things, which has been part of the human lifestyle for millennia. Mirrors not only reflect the visible things, but also invisible things. Many Americans shop different home décor things during the Easter season. Mirrors enhance the appeal of the décor.

While shopping Wall Mirrors, consider the following points.

The size of the Mirror– It is the first thing to be considered. The dimensions of the wall will determine the size of the mirror. The mirror should not distort the charm of the wall décor. The size of the mirror also influences the nature of the room. For a vanity area, Select a mirror which suits the physical profile of household. For decorative purposes, use different sizes of mirrors for different areas. The place where you are going to hang the mirror puts a bar on their size. So, make a note of all dimensions of your area.

The Shape of the Mirror– Wall Mirrors come in copious shapes. The most commonly found mirrors are in standard shapes such as Rectangular, Circular, Squares. Contemporary Designers are coming with unusual Mirror shapes, which are eye-grabbing. If your room is rectangular, then hang circular mirrors which will be distinctive. Oval Mirrors are ideal for all places, they can be used as wall accents. If you want to be different, then search for themed mirrors. They can convey your feelings to guests.

Style– The mirror’s style should go hand in hand with the style of the décor. The nature of the frame can impact the mirror’s style.

  1. For a traditional décor, choose a mirror with a Wooden Frame. The intricate and artistic carvings on the wooden frame, add immense elegance to the place.
  2. Oak mirrors are known for their traditional appeal. Walnut Mirrors transform the environment in the room.
  3. If you want to make a style statement, then there are many options. Frameless Mirrors are one of the best options for a stylish décor. They are easy to clean and can match any kind of décor. But make sure that their edges are smoothened. They capture the attention of the people.
  4. Tufted Mirrors are designed in different styles. They are tufted with Leather or Fabric and fashioned with attractive buttons.

Color– The color of the mirror frame says everything about décor. Many people prefer classic color frames over other frames, as they can get subsumed into any décor. Gold color frames are eye-catching. Their presence can bring grandeur to the room. People who are fond of unique things should look for contrasting combinations. Light colored walls should be filled with mirrors covered with bright mirrors and vice versa. Rustic color frames can bring peculiarity in modern décor.

Above all, choose a Mirror which motivates you and makes you feel happy. Shopping Offline can be time taking and difficult. Many online shopping sites are offering numerous mirrors which can be sorted easily. So, it is advised to Shop Wall Mirrors online.

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Tiki Statue Enhancements: How to Decorate Your Tiki

how to decorate your tiki

 how to decorate your tiki

Tiki statues come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and styles. Some may look just right the way they are, and others may be a bit rough. If you have purchased one (and certainly if you made your own) you may want to consider embellishing the appearance to make it exactly fit your personal taste. With a little effort and some simple materials, you will be able to make your tiki really pop, and give it a finished look that will catch anybody’s eye.

The first thing to consider when finishing or embellishing a tiki statue is a sealing material. Most tikis are made out of some form of fibrous material, whether it is wood or the trunk of a palm tree. If it is to be displayed outside, the need for protection from weather is obvious. Even if the tiki is used indoors it is a good idea to have it sealed to protect it from dirt and stains.

One of the best sealing materials is polyurethane. Simple to apply, durable and easy to clean up, polyurethane makes a great finish. The best way to apply it is with the biggest brush that will fit in the urethane container. Bristles of the brush are able to get into tiny crevices that sponges and other application tools are unable to reach. I have found that using a circular motion with the brush really allows the brush to cover well.

Something to consider is that it will take a LOT of polyurethane to cover your tiki, especially if it is the first time you are sealing it (it must be redone once in a while to ensure good protection). When I sealed a 7 foot tiki, it took about one gallon (admittedly the tiki had many rough areas which tend to soak up more of the polyurethane).

Attention must also be given to the type of polyurethane used. Not all polyurethane is the same. They are designed for many different purposes. Try to find one that is specifically for outdoor use, protection from UV, heat and moisture. I used Helmsman Spar Polyurethane, and it seemed to work well.

An enhancement that I find very attractive and allows for a very authentic look is the burnt look. Perhaps it has to do with the connotation of primitive cultures, or Polynesian affinity for fire and acknowledgement of its power, but it just looks darned cool! Making it an even more attractive enhancement, it’s VERY easy to do. All you need is a propane torch and you’re all set. Simply decide the area for the burning and apply the torch. I like to burn the areas around the eyes, nose and mouth, but you can really add it anywhere you’d like. If you use this technique, make sure you have a safe area (noncombustible) and a bucket of water or other fire suppressant because sometimes the wood or palm trunk will catch fire. It usually goes out on its own in a few seconds, but it doesn’t hurt to be safe.

Next you may want to consider adding color. While many people consider it “unauthentic” and prefer their tikis natural, others enjoy the judicious application of a bit of paint. I enjoy both types; they each have their own appeal or “vibe.” When I do use color, I like colors in the red/orange/yellow spectrum (perhaps again tapping into the “fire” motif), and generally paint just the eye and mouth areas. I have, however, seen tikis painted with virtually every color you could imagine,-sometimes completely covered! As with most of these issues, it’s a matter of personal taste.

If there are decorative carvings on your tiki (for example palm trees, pineapples or flowers) you may wish to highlight them with paint. On my first tiki, I carved a palm tree below the face and colored the “fronds” bright green, and burnt the “trunk” with a torch for contrast. It made the palm tree stand out nicely.

If you do choose to use paint, carefully consider your brushes. I would recommend using one smaller than one used for the application of the polyurethane. You will probably want to get into areas that are relatively small, taking care not to get paint beyond a certain point. Actually using two brushes is a really good idea. Use a medium one for larger surfaces and a very small one for tiny or highly detailed areas.

When choosing paint, make sure that it will be durable. Do not use a type that will wash off (for example Tempura). I chose acrylic paints from a local department store craft section, and was able to get exactly the colors I wanted in the quantities I wanted. Unless you are painting a whole tiki, you would probably not use more than 8-16 ounces of any one color. If you’re painting really small areas for accent, you may use even less.

Enhancing a tiki statue is really quite easy as long as a bit of care is taken. While “primitive” tikis can and do look great, adding a few enhancements in just the right places can sometimes take them from “good” to “really extraordinary.” If you choose to use some of the enhancements described herein don’t be surprised, when you show off your work, if others have a hard time believing that you actually did it yourself instead of some professional.

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Curtains and Draperies With Perfect Pleats

curtains and draperies with perfect pleats

curtains and draperies with perfect pleats

If you are like me you may think that gathered curtains or draperies look so much better if each pleat is uniformly equal. Accomplishing that is easier than you may think. There are actually three different ways to approach the problem and I guarantee that, one way or another, you can achieve it. Sometimes even pleated draperies need coaxing if the fabric is springy or stiff and, of course, the best way is to pick a soft pliant fabric in the first place. This is not always possible so lets talk about how to create perfect pleats regardless of what fabric is used even including lace curtain fabric or a stiff antique satin.

If the curtain or drapery material is fairly pliable the easiest first attempt would be to install the window treatment, pull each panel to one side and physically arrange the pleats evenly. Then tie them back fairly loosely both near the top and at the bottom hem. Once this is done you can spray the front and back of the pleats lightly with a solution of water with a small amount of alcohol added. Do this using a very fine spray without soaking the fabric. You just want a mist on the surface. You might also rub your fingers lightly on each pleat while they are still moist forming them into a nice round shape. Leave them for a couple of days. The shape of the pleats will greatly improve hopefully to the point that they are fine without further fussing.

If the pleats are still flaring the next approach is to use what in the drapery trade is known as “shot tape” or in fabric stores as “leaded weight tape”. It consists of a long very small diameter cotton tube that is filled with a single line of approximately 1/8 inch lead balls to form a continuous cord. Place this cord in the bottom hem from one side of the panel to the other. That adds weight to the curtain. You can now arrange the pleats much more easily. Once you have arranged them evenly they tend to stay where you have placed them because of the additional weight and the relative unwillingness of the cord to straighten out.

If you still have a problem with flaring my final suggestion works no matter what. The solution is what we call a “memory stitch”. As a professional decorator I have had to use this method more than once. Pull the panels back to the sides and again tie them in place. You then just run a clear poly thread through the back side of the bottom hem of each pleat making sure that the thread is long enough to reach when the curtain is fully extended in place. This forces the back side of each pleat to stay to the rear. You can even fasten the thread on each side to the window jam and pull it taut additionally forcing perfect pleats. This is my final answer and it always works. Check out curtains on our web site to see how attractive a well pleated curtain can look.

We wish you the best of luck in your decorating endeavors

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WoodWick Candles – What’s So Special About a WoodWick?

woodwick candles - what's so special about a woodwick?

woodwick candles - what's so special about a woodwick?

All candles are pleasing to the eye, creating a warm ambiance and casting a gentle glow in any space. Most candles are pleasing to the nose, depending on the scent of your choice, filling your home with satisfying aroma and inviting fragrance. WoodWick Candles offer a third appeal: sound. These highly fragranced jar candles feature a natural wooden wick to create the soothing sound of a crackling fire.

Yes, WoodWick candles are made with a wooden wick, that when lit releases the relaxing crackles and pops of a wood fire.

In addition to their wonderful sounds and scents, these stylish candles are also pleasing to the eye. Each candle comes in a contemporary glass jar with a beautiful wooden lid imprinted with the WoodWick logo. The elegant slope of the glass has become an iconic shape for the line.

Virginia Candle Company, the maker of WoodWick, is focused on making innovative products of the highest quality available. This is a goal which they consistently meet time and again through inventive items like the WoodWick Spill-Proof Diffuser.

WoodWick Candles have quickly jumped to the top of the candle industry, as they offer a unique product that is very appealing to many people. Although they are a top selling candle, many people still have not heard of these exceptional items, making these candles the perfect unique gift for any occasion. These specialty items are often hard to find, and stores that do carry them rarely offer more than a few scents.

During the winter season, I have a WoodWick candle burning almost all the time. It always makes me feel more relaxed to see the soft glowing flame and I can enjoy the gentle crackling sound from adjoining rooms as well.

As for burning tips, WoodWick recommends burning their candles for 3 to 4 hours to prevent tunneling (burning a hole down the center of your candle). By letting the candle burn for a longer period of time the wax melts all the way across the surface of the candle. Because these candles are made with a high quality wax blend they can offer one of the longest burn times in the industry. Their 22oz large candle has a burn time of up to 180 hours.

Within the candle line, there are many incredible scents to try. Their current top selling candle is appropriately named Fireside. Fireside, being their signature fragrance, balances the natural scents of amber, vetiver and musk to perfectly capture the essence of a cozy evening by a warm fire. Other top selling scents from WoodWick include Cinnamon Chai, Caramel, and Vanilla Bean.

In addition to their vast array of scents, WoodWick Candles also come in a number of sizes and styles. In their everyday line of scents, candles are available in 22 oz., 10 oz. and 3.4 oz. jars. A more decorative option (and an exceptional gift item) is the WoodWick Signature Collection which gives you a medium size candle beautifully packaged in a silver-leafed decorative gift box. WoodWick Fusion and WoodWick Holiday Glow are additional options that offer mouth blown art glass jars (Fusion) and exceptional holiday patterns (Holiday Glow). All of these options feature the same wooden wick and scents designed by master perfumers.

Because their candles are made with the finest quality wax blends and carefully formulated fragrances, WoodWick ensures consistent smells throughout the life of your candle, and they guarantee that their products will nourish your senses and enhance your home decor.

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Three Little Known Facts About Shabby Chic Style

three little known facts about shabby chic style

three little known facts about shabby chic style

Shabby chic is an interior design style that incorporates worn, antique furniture and vintage accessories to create a design that is both elegant and popular. Items are chosen for their worn appearance and are often heavily painted throughout the years, with many layers showing through. Fabrics are usually cotton or linen, also showing wear and tear. Neutral colors, and often soft pastels such as pink, blue, and green are the trademark of this unique style.

History

Although the shabby chic style has become very popular over the last 35 years, its roots actually began in the early 1900’s when in Great Britain, many large, stately country homes and their contents were left to fade and age due to financial difficulties of the home owners. It wasn’t until the 1980’s, however, that this popular style got its name. During this time, many people had a desire to express how much class and taste they had. By incorporating the ‘chic’ interior style into their homes, they were able to boast classically vintage furniture that had a history.

Fact: Not As Old As You Think

Shabby chic furniture is not always old or antique. Many new pieces are distressed (made to look old) to give them a vintage, antique look. By applying white glaze and paint, and then scrubbing and sanding the top layers, especially around the edges, furniture can be transformed from something new and modern to something shabby chic. In addition to transforming new furniture, many people buy used furniture at thrift stores and garage sales to create beautiful shabby chic furnishings for their homes. The style is all about simple elegance and incorporating a variety of pieces to create a look that is unique.

Versatility

One of the best things about decorating your home in the shabby chic style is it does not have to be expensive. It is very easy to mix and match several different pieces to create a fresh look for your home without spending a lot of money. Because it is so versatile, it works well in almost every room of your home, including the kitchen and bathroom. From vintage armoires, to a dining table and chairs, the shabby chic style of decorating adds elegance to your home that is inexpensive and attractive.

The shabby chic style of interior decorating is here to stay for quite some time. Trends show that the style has increased in popularity over the last 35 years, and continues to do so. Whether it is a single piece of furniture, an entire room, or a house-wide theme, the shabby interior design style with its deeply rooted history, will surely make a statement in your home.

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Fountains – The Surprising Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a Fountain

fountains - the surprising things you need to know before you buy a fountain

fountains - the surprising things you need to know before you buy a fountain

As a designer and creator of indoor fountains I am very aware of both the benefits and potential disadvantages of a fountain and I always try to educate my clients on these considerations. I want happy clients but if your fountain doesn’t meet your expectations, you won’t be, and there are a surprising number of factors that will determine this.

The most important consideration is where you intend to place the fountain because this will determine what type you buy. Fountains come in different styles and create different sounds and volumes of sound. There is the type in which water flows into a bowl, types that drip into a bowl and there are types in which the water bubbles up. The best fountains have adjustable pumps so you can control the volume more easily but they all make distinctly different sounds.

A fountain with a constant, regular drip or flow is not a good choice in an area where conversation is frequent. Even the lovely sound of water falling gently into water can become irritating if it is constantly competing for your attention. A fountain with an irregular drip might be fine in such a setting and a bubble-up type that can be turned down so you still see moving water but don’t hear it is probably the best choice for a quite setting in which people regularly come together.

The drip or flowing water type fountain, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for several other locations. Often people like to have one or two of these in their bedroom if they are subject to frequent or constant external noises they don’t want to hear. They can focus on the pleasant sounds of moving water and forget the less pleasant, unsolicited sounds reaching their ears. However, if you are one for whom the sound of running water creates the urge to visit the bathroom, the bedroom is not a good choice for any audible fountain.

Another good location for the drip or flowing water type of fountain is a room adjacent to the room you frequently occupy. I keep a fountain going in my dinning room which I can hear from my office and I find it the perfect background sound. I am not constantly aware of it, but frequently those delicious sounds do reach my ear and I can choose to listen to it at any time.

An entry or passageway that receives frequent traffic but no long-term visits is an excellent location for a dramatic fountain with a very visible, and audible display of moving water. Such a fountain can really dress up such a space and contribute a very inviting, pleasurable dimension.

Bubble-up fountains are equally as pleasing visually and audibly but they make a very different kind of sound from the falling water type. Perhaps a brief explanation on how fountains function is in order here.

All indoor fountains work by means of a submersible recirculating pump (usually electrical but there are battery powered pumps) which resides within the fountain. The larger the pump the more water it can display. This is usually measured in terms of gallons per hour (gph) for a certain distance or height. A pump I frequently use in my falling water type of fountains will give 70 gallons at 4 inches of height and 26 gph at 24 inches of height at maximum.

In this type of fountain water is pumped up some device to a decorative element such as a ‘leaf’ or ‘flower’ from which it spills back into the bowl. In most of my fountains of this type I have what I call a copper ‘WaterFlower’ that is the decorative device through which the water is pumped. This is comprised of several elements.

There is a copper tube which I anneal (heat to cherry red to soften the metal), allowing me to achieve graceful curves with the tube. The copper ‘leaves’ and the ‘flower’ are cut from fairly heavy copper sheet. These I prepare (hammer for shape, grind and file the edges, scrub, scour and pickle) to ready them to receive the enamel.

Enamel is ground glass and enameling is an ancient art form not widely practiced today. I paint a gum solution on the copper pieces and sprinkle the ground glass over the surface. I set these on the little enamel kiln to dry and when ready I place them in the kiln at fifteen hundred degrees. The glass melts and adheres to the copper. To prevent cracking I do this on both sides.

I then solder the leaves and flowers to the stem. This fits into the bowl in any of several ways, a tube from the pump fits over the stem, water is pumped up the stem into the enameled ‘flower’ from which it spills into the bowl.

In the bubble-up type a short tube is placed on the pump which points straight up. The pump is covered in glass beads or rocks and the water bubbles up either as a spout of water or as just a rise of water over the surface depending on what sized pump is used and how the volume is set on the pump.

Generally the bubble-up fountain makes a gentler sound, much like a small stream flowing over smooth stones but because the pumps are all adjustable, this can range from quite a lively display to perfectly silent. This type is excellent just about anywhere. I have a writer friend who keeps one of these at mid-volume on his desk.

Cat fountains are very popular these days but if you intend to buy a fountain for your cat the same considerations apply. If it is going to be placed where you will often encounter it for considerable periods of time, make sure it produces a sound you like. Although cats like the drip kind of fountains and will spend considerable periods of time with water falling onto their tongues many homeowners prefer the bubble-up cat fountains. A lot of cats like to play with water and if they begin batting at it they may dislodge the waterfall so the bubble-up type is a safer choice of cat fountain if your cat is inclined to splash around.

Speaking of splash, be sure the fountain you buy doesn’t have any significant splash. Not only can this damage surfaces, it drains the fountain and this can lead to damaging the pump. This is not a worry for most fountains however, as this has almost always been taken into consideration by the maker.

The final consideration on choosing an indoor fountain has to do with the electrical cord and the location of the pump. Most makers of table-top fountains, as they are often called, have the cord going from the pump, over the top of the bowl. Some have devices for hiding this, others leave them quite visible. In some of these units the pump is not accessible, so not replaceable. Since you are probably buying a fountain as much for the looks as sound, a visible cord is not acceptable.

Fountains can be wonderful additions to a home. The right fountain in the right place can enhance your home décor in a truly lovely fashion and provide you with visual and audible delights quite unlike just about anything else. A well placed (and the right kind of) fountain can give you delicious and soothing sounds, either throughout the day or evening or intermittently, as you prefer. Fountains are rated highly by Feng Shui experts who say moving water is a healthy element to have in your home or office. Personally, I love them and I love making them.

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DIY Repair Tips – How To Repair Your Luggage

diy repair tips - how to repair your luggage

diy repair tips - how to repair your luggage

Your knowledge on luggage repair can come handy when traveling and you discover one or two rip and tear in your bag. After traveling, you might also have to deal with a few torn edges in your bag. While high-end brands of luggage have their own maintenance and repair crew, you have to deal with your own luggage maintenance problems if you have low-cost travel bag.

Here are some repair tips you might find useful:

Tip 1: Common luggage fabric like vinyl can be fixed using cement specifically made for vinyl. You can purchase this from repair shops that fix clothes. It is cheaper than having an expert fix the bag. You just tear off a piece of cement and stick it to the damaged area. It is like patching a hole on your roof.

Tip 2: If the tear is large and cannot be easily repaired using the cement, you can use both vinyl patch and cement. Purchase vinyl patch and cut it off to the right size of the tear you are fixing. Affix it beneath the torn area. Seal the area with the vinyl cement.

Tip 3: If you have leather luggage and it has a large rip or tear, you can try the same method as tip 2. Purchase leather patch and cut it into the right size that can be affixed to the damaged area. Make sure it is the same color and texture of leather to have a consistent look. Attach it using fabric glue. You can purchase this from the fabric store.

Tip 4: If there are dents in your metal luggage or hard-sized metal suitcase, open the luggage and use a solid material like a block of wood to knock the dent on the inside. You can try wrapping the wood in cloth first to avoid scratching the metal surface.

Tip 5: Most broken handles cannot be fixed. You have to replace it. Purchase a replacement handle. Remove the old handle of the bag. You might have to loosen up screws or remove stitches. Once you have removed the old one, attach the new handle. Use the same bolt to attach the handle in place. If it needs to be covered by fabric, buy fabric similar to your luggage and sew it on the bag.

Tip 6: When fixing stuck zipper, try applying a bit of greasy product on the zipper first like soap to loosen it up. If clumps of fabric are stuck in the zipper, pry it off so you can open up stuck zipper. If it is crooked, you should have it replaced right away. If the bag is made of soft fabric, just remove the stitches of the zipper and purchase a replacement zipper with the same color and length. Stitch the new one to the luggage. For hard-cased luggage, you should have the zipper fixed by a professional.

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What Is Dark Emperador Marble and How to Remove Water Stains From Dark Marbles

what is dark emperador marble and how to remove water stains from dark marbles

what is dark emperador marble and how to remove water stains from dark marbles

From the beginning of civilization, natural stones have found their way into homes for use as pieces of art and elegance. Nowadays, beautiful stones like Dark Emperador marble have become quite popular. These beautiful stones not only signify beauty and elegance but also substance. Emperador marble is available with different features. These include Bursa Turkish Emperador, Light Emperador, Light Turkish Emperador, Dar China Spanish Brown Emperatriz Emperador and Dark Spain Emperador.

This natural stone is quite hard and has a very high density. Even though it is made in fine grain, there are some differences in the darkness and pattern of the stone. This marble can be found in different geographic locations, including parts of Turkey and south-eastern Spain. Dark Emperador is used commonly for a large number of construction purposes including for design uses. The marble tiles made from this stone are popularly used for making floors. The crafted blocks of the marble is used in making countertops and fireplaces.

This marble stone has been in use for many years. It has been extensively exported throughout the world. Due to its global popularity and reach, it is also known by the name ‘reference stone’. For the same reason, this stone helps in recording the international trend in stone trading.

The stone is recognized for its density and rich color. All these factors make it one of the most sought after stones for decoration purpose. This huge demand has let to enhancing the value of this stone tremendously, which has further helped in the economic growth in the locations where it is found.

Even though Dark Marble sinks add as beautiful adorations to kitchen, they start showing water stains pretty soon. Stains are more visible with dark colored stones due to the contrasting difference between the grey or white water marks and the Dark Marble.

There is an easy way to remove these stains from the marble and make them shine like brand new. Sprinkle some baking soda on the stains. This natural disinfectant does not affect marble, but it fights against stains and germs. Using a soft cloth damped with water rub the stains until they wear off. Then, rinse the complete marble sink with water and dry it using a soft cloth. As a matter of precaution do not use acidic cleaners or substances for cleaning marble. These substances can even include juice and lemon. Using these substances can leave etch on the marble surface that will become permanent damage.

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How to Find a Special Gift For a Graduation – VMI and W&L Examples

how to find a special gift for a graduation - vmi and w&l examples

how to find a special gift for a graduation - vmi and w&l examples

There is a cry of woe that can be heard across America sometime around June every year, and the words are always the same. “What should I give as a graduation gift?” The panic begins when you receive the graduation announcement and the dilemma compounds over time. Even at graduation day, you may still have doubts about the gift you have chosen for this momentous occasion.

Graduation giving leaves a majority of people totally stymied. In earlier times, the gift of choice was usually a pen, but surely that is now replaced by a computer or other new communication technology like a Blackberry, an iPhone or a Droid. The question is how many Droids can a newly released, just-out-of-school- graduate (now considered an adult) carry around?

Even before the graduation ceremony, memories of good old school days are already beginning to foment in the mind of your graduate-to-be. So, the secret to giving a fantastic gift of memories is simply to identify the characteristics that distinguish the graduate’s school or community from everywhere else in America.

If you can adopt this formula, your graduate will always be saying, “Thanks for the memory.” The formula goes like this: Geographic Features + Area History + School History = Perfect Graduation Gift.

What is Different about Your Graduate’s Town or School?

Most schools boast their own spectacular and sometimes peculiar geographic landmarks and historical features. For instance, Lexington, Virginia is a small town nestled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where there are two universities and a lot of history. Washington and Lee University (W&L) and Virginia Military Institute (VMI) are both renowned for their educational opportunities and charming for their colorful beginnings. With its real-life tales of heroes like George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and George C. Marshall, the town of Lexington, itself, offers a great guide to finding the perfect graduation gift.

A Town with a History of Heroes

Washington and Lee University began as the Augusta Academy in 1749 and was later (in 1796) endowed with a grant from George Washington, himself. In gratitude, the school was than named Washington Academy and later changed again to Washington College. After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee became President and when he died, the institution was renamed Washington and Lee University. W&L’s motto is Non incautus futuri, meaning “Not unmindful of the future,” an adaptation of the Lee family motto. Washington and Lee University has its own book shop and gift center, but there are gift shops in Lexington and online resources where you can find great ideas for W&L related gifts.

Founded in 1839, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) remains the oldest state supported military college offering its cadets a military, disciplinary lifestyle. Prior to the American Civil War, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was a professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy there. On 14 different occasions in the midst of the Civil War, VMI cadets were called into active military duty, including serving at the Battle of New Market in 1864. As the result of the even later World War II, General George C. Marshall, VMI graduate, was the only career military officer ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Think of the unusual gifts you can find based on the history of these two institutions and their prestigious alumni.

Characteristics Formula Yields Gift Ideas

Based on the geographic location and the history of Lexington, Virginia and its educational institutions, here is a list of actual available graduation gifts -“cool” gifts” guaranteed to be saved for the memories:

  • Engraved Virginia Pewter Cups
  • – Personalized, engraved gifts are often the most welcome because they commemorate the special occasion with pertinent details. A Virginia pewter cup not only celebrates the graduation, but recalls the cup’s historical origins, and of course, the state where the grad was a student.

  • W&L Bistro Etched Wine Glasses
  • VMI Bistro Etched Wine Glasses
  • Robert E. Lee Bust for Desk or Library
  • W&L Brass Trivet
  • George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior
  • – a book written by our first President at the age of 14. “Labour to keep alive in your breast that little celestial fire called conscience,” said Washington – one of his 110 fascinating rules to live by.

  • George Washington Bust for Desk or Library
  • Etched Pewter Bracelet with Virginia’s State Flower (the dogwood) -handmade by expert craftsmen in Williamsburg, Virginia.
  • VMI Panorama
  • – a framed, 360 degree sepia toned, panoramic photograph showing the drill field at the heart of the VMI campus. Matted and framed in brushed bronze, signed and numbered by the artist

  • Stonewall Jackson Bust for Desk or Library
  • Handmade VMI Cadet Nutcracker
  • Handmade George Washington Nutcracker
  • Handmade Robert E. Lee Nutcracker

This is only a partial list of special gifts you can find after some fairly quick research. Look for the unique characteristics of the city or town where your graduate attends school, the history of the school itself, and the things that make the location different. Local gift shops, museums, and the school stores, then become the ultimate resources for your search – and, as they say, “the rest is easy!”

As with all fledgling adults, the graduates of today’s high schools, colleges and universities are only just taking their first baby steps into a world full of harsh realities and challenges. Life’s pot holes are the problems and pitfalls they face on the way up from the safe zone of a protected school environment. Ahead is a headier atmosphere of unknown joys and sorrows and it is more important than any of us can know to hold onto reminders of the halcyon days of youth.

how to find a special gift for a graduation - vmi and w&l examples2