An Attractive Rock Garden Anyone Would Be Proud Of

One of the most economical ways to enhance the landscape surrounding your home is to build a rock garden. Rock gardens are most often associated with the British Isles, where the climate is rarely accommodating to delicate plants. Rock gardens bring with them the assumption of having very few plants, and those of a very hardy variety, or no plants at all. The arrangement of the rocks in your garden, when properly complemented by attractive plants with coordinating colors, can add to the beauty of the home and provide a low-maintenance landscape feature that should not interfere with your lawn-mowing practices; rather, it will reduce the amount of space that requires mowing.

The first thing to do when starting your rock garden is to carefully look over the proposed site for your garden. You should clear the area of unwanted plants, such as spindly grass varieties and diseased trees and plants. Be sure to dig out the roots as well as the tops, or you may find your rock garden invaded at some later time by an unwanted fern or intrusive perennials.

If you plan to do some planting, make sure you test the soil to determine its level of acidity and its general pH. It is a good idea, even after you have placed your rocks and mapped out where you want to put any plants, to wait a full growing season before you attempt to plant in your rock garden. This will ensure that the soil has settled, and it will give you a chance to make sure that you have got rid of any pesky weeds by hoeing them out, root and all, as soon as they make their appearances above the ground. It is also desirable to mix in such soil enhancements as mulch, compost, and other compounds. If you plan to use plants that like soils with alkali, you should mix in crushed oyster shells or limestone.

After you have improved the soil, then it is time to place your rocks. It is important for aesthetic purposes not to evenly space your rocks, or to choose rocks of the same size and shape. A little variety in the types of rocks used is as desirable as a little variety of plants chosen to place in a more conventional garden. If you wish to have a great deal of plants, then your rocks should be spaced further apart to give more room for the vegetation. If, however, you plan to use plants only sparingly, arrange them closer together, but make sure that you allow some room for plants to grow. Try to make the design look as natural as possible, as it will be more attractive.

When placing the rocks in a garden that is sloped, it is best to start at the low parts of slopes and work up. Try to slope the top of the rock back toward the slope so that water from rain and sprinklers is guided downward. Additionally, try to keep outcroppings from overshadowing rocks and plants below. The goal is to create a feeling of stability. Set each rock so that its widest side serves a base. You can also set a larger rock on top of smaller rocks and then fill in the cracks with soil.

If you are placing the rocks on flat ground, work from the inside toward the outer edges of the garden. If you are planning a circular garden, or a rock garden in some other shape that is surrounded by other landscape features, this can be tricky. Therefore, it is a good idea to mark out which rocks you would like on a map so that you can ensure their proper placement in the garden. It may be necessary, on a flat site, to build up small mounds of dirt in different places to give the rock garden an interesting appearance.

If you plan to use plants in your garden, you should be careful to plant them after everything else is in place, and after you have a chance to make sure the soil is properly settled. Early spring or early autumn are the best times to do any planting, including planting in rock gardens. Make sure you choose plants that are suited for rugged terrain and adapted to your climate. Then, plant them in the spaces you have designated. The end result should be a beautiful garden that requires little upkeep.

 

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The Best Air Compressor for Home Use

So, you’re looking for an air compressor for home use? Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t know which are best for your needs? I mean who doesn’t want a giant air compressor in their garage, but do you need it?

Let’s start by thinking about all your needs and compare the points to pick the best air compressor for home use.

The first step is to decide what your compressor will be used for and where it will be used. Are you going to use the compressor indoors or outdoors? Is it for lengthy projects, or just to blow up the occasional tire or basketball?

Not only do such compressors come in many shapes and sizes, they also come in a variety of horsepower strengths, as well as power supplies. For example, portable ones take up little space, which can be good for home use, but they will generally need to run for the duration of your project.

This is OK if your needs are minor; however, if any long term projects are in your future, then you may need to consider something with some storage capacity. Will you be using air compressor tools, such as air nailers or say an air sander? If so, then you need to consider the horse power of the compressor.

Generally speaking, a horse power of at least one and a half times the needs of your tools is acceptable. If you have much less, then you risk being under powered in your time of need. Too much strength and you are paying for power you do not need.

Will your use of the home air compressors available fall into larger outdoor jobs requiring more power and overall air flow then the average home user? If so, a gas powered air compressor system with a higher air flow, or CFM (cubic feet per minute) and decent storage capacity could be for you.

Maybe your needs are a bit less demanding, in which case one of the electrically powered portable air compressors will probably be enough to get the job done. Either way, selecting an air compressor rated one and a half times higher then that of the air tool accessories you will use should be sufficient. Any more then that and you may be wasting money on more tools then you need.

 

In our professional opinion, if you’re just looking for occasional use, like many homeowners are, then the best air compressor for home use is:

PORTER-CABLE C2002 Oil-Free UMC Pancake Compressor

PORTER-CABLE Air compressor is constructed with a pancake style container for maximum balance, water strain device, rubberized feet and a 150 PSI. The greater stress design provides longer air tool efficiency and comes with a 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI allowing for a quick a chance to recover. Contains an oil 100 % free push for no maintenance, low AMP 120V engine quickly starting in cool temperature or with expansion wire, improved wrap with hand and system cover defending vital elements. Made for simple moving and contains wire cover with a 6 quart capacity. Product has a one year limited assurance on compressor elements. Highly convenient and extremely simple to use, the Porter-Cable C2002 150-PSI, Six-Gallon Oil-Free Pancake Air compressor features a big impact in a small package. Perfect for everything from filling wheels to shooting nailers, this compressor functions an introduction engine that provides extended life and the best possible efficiency. For comfort, this effective unit operates off normal household power and offers mess-free, oil-free function. At just 34 pounds, the C2002 is light and portable and convenient enough for work site, work shop, or around-the-house use. This means it’s your best option for a range of jobs–everything from setting up cut to bolstering air beds.

 

 

First let’s start with some basic advice for maintaining your compressor well and limiting future problems. The most important thing to remember is to make sure and drain the water from your compressor tank every few times you use it. There is typically a valve on the bottom of the tank somewhere that allows for easy quick, easy drainage. This will prevent water from accumulating inside the tank, which can cause rust to form and degrade the inside of the tank. Also, if too much water builds up inside the tank there will not be enough room for air and the compressor will not be able to sustain pressure during use.

The other major maintenance task is to keep the air compressor clean and in a warm, dry environment. Keeping it clean will prevent dirt from working its way into any valves or gaskets and causing problems. I would recommend wiping down dirty areas on the tank every now and then and making sure its stored in a protected place. The reason for keeping it in a warm, dry place is to prevent moisture from seeping in to seams or valves and freezing. If your compressor is not working properly and the ambient temperature is very low, then try bringing it inside to warm up for a while.

Finally, the last major problem people run into is a leak. Leaks in the tank itself will need to be welded, but leaks resulting from a faulty valve can simply be replaced with a new valve. Try the old soapy water method to detect if the leak is coming from the tank, since this needs to be ruled out first before you go buying additional valves or hoses.

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How to Make the Bed

People who make their bed in the morning return at night to a welcoming, restful place. People who leave a rumpled, tangled mess of a bed behind them return to a rumpled, tangled mess in the evening.

If asked, many people would say they make the bed in case someone comes to their home and sees the unmade bed. It used to be a shameful thing for a woman (always a woman) not to have her housework always perfectly done.

Making the bed is a hygienic thing to do.

Basics of Bed Making

There are many ways to make the bed but they all have the same basic steps.

First, start with the right equipment. If the bed is king size, use king size sheets. If the pillows are king size, use king size pillowcases. You may have a bed that’s one size and pillows that are another. Just make sure the pillowcases fit the pillows and the sheets fit the bed.

Start with everything clean and fresh. Bed linen always smells better when it has been dried outside in the sunshine. Some people say life’s too short to iron pillowcases. Others can’t sleep (they say) unless the sheets and pillowcases are wrinkle-free. For guests, it is nice to give them your best effort – iron the bed linens if they need it. Then decide what you and your family prefer for everyday use.

Putting the Bed Linen Onto the Bed

Two optional things will make life easier in the long run. One is a quilted mattress cover, and the other is one pillow cover for each pillow you use. These are bed linens that no one sees, but they keep the mattress and pillows from becoming soiled.

A dust ruffle is a very nice accent to have, and something to look for when buying a set of sheets. If you have one, make sure it’s clean and hanging freely and straight before you make the bed.

Put the quilted mattress pad onto the mattress and anchor it or tuck it in, depending on its design. Smooth the pad so there are no lumps or ridges to bother the sleeper.

Use a contour, or fitted, sheet next. This is the sheet with elastic at the four corners. Gently tuck each corner of the fitted sheet under a corner of the mattress and smooth the top again. If you don’t have a fitted sheet, use a flat one and make sure it is well tucked in all around the mattress.

Next comes the flat sheet. It has no elastic and is usually a simple rectangle. At the top, where the sleeper’s head is, there is a hem about 3 or 4 inches deep. It feels like a shirt cuff and is heavier than the rest of the sheet. Put that at the top of the bed.

Many sheets have a fancy design. People argue about whether the bright, decorated side of the sheet should be facing down toward the sleeper’s body, or up toward the sky. The answer is: bright side down. One reason for this is so the hem feels smooth against the sleeper’s skin when the sheet is unfolded and pulled up to its full length during the night. Another reason is so the sleeper will enjoy being inside the pleasantly decorated envelope the sheets create.

At the bottom two corners of the mattress, tuck the flat sheet neatly under the mattress. Make hospital corners if you know how, otherwise just be neat. Anchor the bottom end of the sheet by tucking it under the mattress too. You don’t have to tuck the top sheet in to the sides of the mattress, or it may be too tight for the sleeper to move around.

Get the Pillows Ready

If you have pillow protectors (covers), put these on first. Some of them have zippers at one end. Holding the pillowcase open like a bag, put the pillow in with the zipper going first. That way the zipper will be covered up and won’t accidentally scratch anyone’s face when they’re sleeping.

Smooth the pillow and finish making the bed as follows.

Blanket or Duvet

For warmth, add a blanket or duvet on top of the flat sheet. Generally, when you use a blanket, you fold back the top of the sheet to make a little sandwich – the top edge of the sheet is wrapped around the top edge of the blanket. Try and make the fold along the hem line of the sheet so the heavy “cuff” part of the sheet is lying on top of the blanket. Then put the bedspread on top of this, and fold back the top part to make room for the pillows.

If using a duvet instead of a blanket, fold back the flat sheet first, at the hem, and then lie the duvet on top of the sheet. The duvet should be inside a clean duvet cover. Usually these work like giant pillow cases. Make sure there are no twists or folds in the duvet once it’s inside the cover. Shaking the duvet by holding it at one end will get it nice and smooth.

Put the Pillows On

With a blanket / bedspread combination, the pillows go under the bedspread at the top of the bed. Place them on top of the folded-back bedspread. Then pull the bedspread gently over the pillows, letting a bit of the bedspread stay tucked under the pillows.

With a thick duvet, the pillows go on top. Arrange them so they look pleasant and inviting.

Making the Bed Without Changing the Sheets and Pillowcases

Between laundry days, re-use the sheets and pillowcases. Take time to smooth out any creases in the sheets before pulling up the sheet, blanket and bedspread or duvet. Plump the pillows and smooth the pillowcases. If time allows, let the bed air out for a while before making it.

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How to Choose the Best Electric Staple Gun

When it comes to choosing the right electric stapler you have to put in some time and effort into your decision. Often people spend their time figuring out what brand of staple gun they want and the truth is that the brand doesn’t matter right now. The trick to choosing the right stapler is to choose it based on the features that it offers.

Something that you need to avoid is looking at the price before even considering what the staple gun has to offer. Do you do this? Now, it doesn’t matter if you do this or not, what you need to understand is that it is about time that you stop. The best thing that you can do is instead buy the stapler online that way you can save money and still buy the right stapler for you.

Advice On Choosing The Best Electric Staple Gun

Choose The Correct Function – What are you planning on buying a stapler for? Will you be doing things like framing, general carpentry or maybe even light craft work? This is something that you need to know in order to choose the right one. It is important to figure out what you will use this stapler for the most and buy one that will do just that.

Is It Electric plug-in or Air Powered – Is the stapler that you want going to be powered by air or electricity? There is no wrong answer, however, you must know what you want to use it for to answer this question. That is the reason why you must have an answer to the previous question if you want to get the right electric stapler for you and your projects.

Is There A Warranty – Do you know if the staple gun has a warranty or not? The only reason I ask is because you should only buy things that have a good warranty with them. With a warranty you won’t have to worry about it breaking down and you having to put more money into a new one. Just know that a warranty is a must with any tool that you buy.

Allaroundthe.House Recommendation for the Best Electric Staple Gun

Stanley TRE550Z Electric Staple/Brad Nail Gun

Stanley is a known producer of hand tools. It is a department of Stanley Black & Decker, following the merging of The Stanley Works with Black & Decker. The heavy-duty style of the Stanley TRE550 Power Staple/Brad Nail Gun provides excellent operating energy for an extensive range of tasks. The tool’s double energy handle (Hi/Lo) is developed for use with difficult or smooth components. A flush-nose style solves the problem of stapling in limited areas, while a curved handle provides extra convenience on the job.

The staple gun comes with an anti-jam procedure helping you to save time on the job, a nose area protection for safe function of the device, and an 8-foot cable. This tool uses Stanley SharpShooter TRA700 Sequence or Pointer T-50 high quality basics and 1/2-inch, 9/16-inch and 5/8-inch brads. Heavy-duty electric staple/brad nail gun with excellent generating power.

Unique double energy handle (Hi/Lo) developed for use with difficult or smooth materials

Includes 8-foot energy cord.

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Home Energy Conservation Tips

Every year, interest rates are increasing and the cost of heating is definitely going up. And whether we admit it or not, we sometimes find our selves running out of money. However, if you compare an average house to an energy efficient residence, you’ll find out that it is very possible to lessen your annual energy consumption to almost 40 percent. There are lots of ways to go about home energy conservation which consequently will lower your energy bills. And most of the changes that you can do for your home are also helpful to the environment.

Here are some ways to go about home energy conservation:

· Heating and Air Conditioning

1. If you’re going out of an air conditioned room for a long time, be sure to turn off the A/C unit.
2. Rooms that are not used often should have sealed vent.
3. You can also install ceiling fans that are remote controlled than have a built-in heater.
4. When the room is occupied, put the thermostat in a comfortable setting.
5. When the fireplace isn’t used, close the damper in the fireplace

· Laundry Appliances

1. Avoid using your washing machine in partial loads. It is better if you meet the capacity of the machine.
2. Dirty clothes must be pre-soaked for hours. This will prevent you from running your machine twice.
3. For the garments that aren’t very dirty, put small quantity of detergent and put your machine to a lighter wash setting.
4. Electric drier consumes more energy in drying clothes so better apply the conventional way of drying your garments.
5. Ironing clothes should be done at one time and during off-peak hours

· Refrigerators and Freezers

1. Refrigerators and freezers must be defrosted regularly. Frost build-up can increase the load of the compressor motor.
2. Inspect your refrigerator and look for a leaking gasket.
3. Avoid constant opening and closing of the refrigerator’s door because it can contribute to ice or frost build-up.

· Kitchen Appliances

1. Don’t boil water in an open pan. A pan that’s covered will boil the water faster.
2. Keep the burners, range top and reflectors clean. It can help generate more heat and consume less energy.
3. When the food you’re cooking starts to boil, turn the electric stove to low mode.
4. Don’t put smaller pans or pots in small burners or heating elements.

· Lighting

1. Switch off unused lights as well as other appliance that use electricity.
2. Utilize low wattage yet efficient lamps.
3. Replace your incandescent bulb with fluorescent lamp.

Those are just handful of tips to lower your energy bills. There are many other factors which can also guide you in conserving your home energy.

Remember that the two great factors which you can change in order to enhance your quality of life are your lifestyle and your home. If you want to modernize your home, you have to make significant decisions regarding your household appliances. In today’s world, we are faced with a wide range of appliance styles, sizes, configurations and technologies. Evaluating your household appliances can help a lot in your aim to save home energy. The following are the factors that can help you compare and assess your home appliances:

Energy Efficiency. It is always good to carefully weigh up the energy efficiency of the appliances in your home. In some household devices, you are left with a choice between electricity and natural gas as the source of power. The energy efficiency can also be based on the materials the machine or appliance is made of. Various materials can be cooled and heated at different rates.

Size. Having an appliance with the right size is significant. Speed also comes into play. Generally, the faster an appliance finishes its task, the less time it uses energy.

Features. Assess first the features of an appliance before purchasing it and think carefully how these features can improve your lifestyle.

Another advisable tip is to come up with a home energy conservation plan. There are various approaches which you can use in developing such plan and these include:

· Identification of the places where home energy is used inefficiently or lost

· Prioritizing the said areas and finding out how much energy is being wasted

· Correcting the said problems systematically depending on your home energy improvement budget

As you come up with your home energy conservation plan, you should first identify the problem areas. It is good to start in the area where higher amount of energy is used because that area can also be the best place to gain potential savings. With the above mentioned home energy conservation tips, you can free up more bucks without increasing your income.

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Getting Rid of Standing Water in Your Yard

Do you have one or more areas in your yard that hold water after a rainfall? This is a common problem, and sometimes difficult to solve. Over the years I’ve talked with dozens of people trying to battle this problem, and on several occasions I have been hired to solve the problem. So what can be done?

Too often people come to me asking what kind of a tree, or what kind of shrubs can be planted in a wet area to dry it up. This is the wrong approach. Most plants, and I mean almost all plants are not going to survive in an area where the soil is soggy for extended periods of time. The roots need to breathe, and planting a tree or shrub in a water area will kill it.

Another common approach is to try and fill the area with topsoil. Depending on a variety of variables, this can work, but many times adding additional soil to a wet area will only shift the water to another area just a few feet away.

If you are lucky enough to have some natural fall to your property, or a drainage ditch nearby, this problem is easy enough to solve. If you happen to live in an area that was developed over the past few years, there might even be a system to remove storm water nearby. In many new home developments I’ve seen stormwater catch basins already installed in backyards. Trust me, this is a good thing. There is nothing worse than having a soggy yard all the time.

If you are fortunate to have some fall to your yard, or a stormwater system that you can drain water into, this problem is easy to solve. Make sure you check with your local officials before you do anything at all with a storm drain.

All you have to do is go to your local building supply center and buy some 4” perforated plastic drain pipe. The best kind for this purpose is the flexible kind that comes in 100’ rolls. This type of drain pipe has small slits all around the pipe. These slits allow water to enter the pipe so it can be carried away.

Just dig a trench from the center of the low area you are trying to drain, to the point that you intend to drain it to. Using a simple line level you can set up a string over top of the trench to make sure that your pipe runs downhill all the way. A line level is a very small level that is designed to attach to a string. Any hardware stores sells them for just a couple of dollars. Set the string up so it is level, then measure from the string to the bottom of your trench to make sure you have constant fall. You should have 6” fall for every 100’ of pipe.

The highest point is going to be the area that you are trying to drain, so you only want your pipe deep enough at this point so it can be covered with soil. Once the trench is dug just lay the pipe in. At the highest end of the pipe you’ll need to insert a strainer into the end of the pipe to keep soil from entering the pipe. Cover the pipe with some washed stone, and then backfill the trench with soil. The washed stone creates a void around the pipe so that the water can find its way into the pipe.

Washed stone is usually inexpensive stone that has been washed so it is clean and free of mud. The only part of the pipe that needs to be exposed is the low end, where the water exits the pipe. Do not put a strainer in that end.

If you do not have anywhere that you can drain the water to, you still might be able to do something. But first consider what is happening, and why the water is standing where it is. Even if you have well drained soil, water cannot soak in fast enough during periods of heavy rain, and it runs across the top of the ground and eventually finds the lowest point, and either leaves the property, or gets trapped.

If you have well drained soil, the trapped water usually soaks in. If you have heavy clay soil, the water lays there, and the soil underneath becomes very compacted, and the problem compounds itself. The more water that stands, the worse the drainage gets.

What I have done in areas like this, where there is standing water, but nowhere to drain it to, is to install a French drain system that actually carries the water away from the low area, and allows it to seep into the ground over a larger distance, where the soil is not quite so compacted. To install this French drain system you do everything exactly as explained above, except instead of draining the water to a lower area, you can send it in any direction you like. Even in the direction from which it came, which is uphill.

When installing this type of system, it’s a good idea to dig a number of shorter trenches, all heading away from the area where the water stands. Using the line level, make sure your trenches fall away from their point of origin so once the water enters the pipes it will flow away from the wet spot. What is going to happen is that during times of heavy rain the low area is still going to trap water, but much of that water is going to seep into the drain pipes and eventually leach into the soil under each trench.

Because this soil has not been compacted by the standing water and the baking sun, it will accept the water. It won’t happen nearly as fast as if you could just drain the water to a ditch, but at least you will have a mechanism in place that will eventually disperse the water back into the soil. It’s a lot easier to leach 200 gallons of water into a series of trenches that total 100 lineal feet, than it is to expect that water to leach into a 10’ by 10’ area that is hard and compact.

 

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From http://allaroundthe.house/getting-rid-standing-water-yard/

A Little Gardening Know How

Over the last few years home gardening has become an increasingly popular past-time and hobby. In fact, studies show that home gardening is at an all time high in America right now. In the United States 8 out of 10 households take part in some type of home gardening activity. Obviously from the number of people that are doing it, home gardening is one of the most popular recreational activities in nation.

Most people that try their hand at home gardening plant flowers; at least they start out planting flowers anyway. Roses will probably be the first thought into any gardeners mind, but roses will take extra time and work, and should probably be left to those who have gardened before. When planting flowers many choices are available, such as bulbs, perennials, and annuals.

Edible plants are another big thing in home gardening. Perhaps the best thing about edibles is the reward of eating them. The list of edible plants that gardeners can grow at home is endless.

Some of the most common edible plants in the vegetable arena are;

  • potatoes,
  • peas,
  • corn,
  • carrots,
  • squash,
  • and cucumber.

 

Many gardeners opt for fruits, such as;

  • watermelons,
  • tomatoes,
  • peaches,
  • plums,
  • apples,
  • pears,
  • and apricots.

 

Small fruits, such as;

  • strawberries,
  • blueberries,
  • and raspberries.

All of which usually require less work and less space, making them much more feasible for home gardening. Herbs, most often used as spices in cooking, are growing in popularity every day; some of the most grown include basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and cilantro. One of the most important things to watch for when planting edibles is insects and disease, after all, you don’t want to miss out on the feast you will get to enjoy from healthy plants.

Many people don’t realize it, but landscaping is a form of home gardening. Landscaping covers many different areas and forms of gardening. You can even classify mowing your lawn as landscaping! Keeping in the line of grasses, landscaping nearly always involves decorative grasses, and the great thing about them is they don’t take much work for upkeep. Types of grass include monkey grass, pampas, buffalo grass, flame grass, and ornamental millet. Landscaping is not just limited to plant life, but also includes anything done to a yard for decoration, such as adding rocks or stones, putting a small pond, statutes, or a waterfall.

There isn’t much difference between home gardening and gardening anywhere else. Plants still need to be planted in a good location. The plants still need water and they still need the same nutrients. Home gardening shouldn’t cause anyone to get nervous. If you do decide to try homing gardening and finding out that you don’t have a green thumb, don’t get discouraged. Get some information, read up on gardening, and try it again the next planting season.

 

 

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From http://allaroundthe.house/gardening-know-how/

Maximize Your Kitchen Storage: Drawers For More Storage and Kitchen Efficiency

Cupboards in a kitchen give poor storage. If they are deep it is hard to access the back and so your effective efficient storage space is reduced to the front of the cupboard. In modern kitchens the way around this is to install drawers. Modern hardware allows for big drawers to open and close effortlessly. It is now possible to build drawer units big enough for all your crockery, glasses and even your largest pots and pans. By being able to pull them open you can now easily access the entire space.

There are inserts available to allow for things such as bottles and stacks of crockery to be supported and held stable even with the most violent drawer opening. Or if you prefer even more space, anti slip mats are often sufficient.

Smooth Runners Mean Safe Storage

Drawer hardware has come a long way, and if you are modernizing your kitchen you should consider installing a soft close runner system. These gadgets gently cushion the drawer when you close it, stopping any bangs, and then gently pull the drawer closed. No more slamming and your drawer contents do not get thrown about. Once you have used a system like this you will never go back to normal drawers.

If you find the effort of pulling a drawer open there are now electric drawer openers. By simply pushing on the drawer face you activate an electric mechanism that pushes the drawer open to its full extension and this works beautifully with a soft close drawer system. This gadget is great for a minimal kitchen design as there are no handles to clutter the kitchen. They also make for a very easily cleaned kitchen.

Some Bonus Storage

Even more space can be created with toe-kick drawers. These use the space under your cabinetry that is usually wasted. They are great for platters and large flat items. Due to their height they are not as easy to use as a normal drawer and so items that you do not use a lot should be stored here.

Pull-out pantries also make for more efficient storage. These are like drawers but vertical instead of horizontal. Normal pantries with shelves are often made with less depth, as it is difficult to access the very back of the unit. A pull out pantry allows for easy access to the entire depth of the unit thus increasing storage space.

All these gadgets have been around for a long time, but if you do not already have them you should seriously consider incorporation all of them if you want to future proof your kitchen design.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/maximize-your-kitchen-storage/

How to Save on Time and Money in Building Your Home

Building a new home can be seen as one of the biggest moments in your life. Despite the fact that it can be stressful and possibly quite expensive, it can also serve as an exciting venture. Wondering where to begin and saving money reins supreme when taking on this type of project. The following will definitely help whilst building a new property of your own.

Save Money and Time By Being the General Contractor

In the event that you have carried out proper research and the required due diligence, you can take on the role of a General Contractor. Hiring a general contractor can be an expensive process, especially if the wrong or an incompetent one is hired. This will only pay off of you know what you are doing. Apparently, you can save up to 10% of your expenses on the home you are building.

Get to Do Some of the Work Yourself

This should only apply to areas of building where you have expertise, experience and a proven track record. Ultimately you must be honest with yourself and have the capacity and confidence to implement the task at hand. If for any reason you already have an arrangement with a building contractor, then it is advisable that this part of the project included in the contract. Make sure all parties are clear about the arrangement. Painting, clearing and cleaning the site internal fixtures and fittings and various other tasks would save lot.

Ensure the Land You Purchase can be Developed

You must ensure that the plot of land that you get has all the qualities as required to ensure that you are able to build on it. This will include access to utilities, ensuring that all building requirements are satisfied ( for instance, planning permission ) and the cost of building on this plot of land is not prohibitive.

You Must Take the Style into Consideration

The dimensions of the property that you are to develop with determine your expenditure. The nature of the design, the number of floors, simple versus grand will determine the size of your budget. For instance, it may be more economical to have two floors on this plot of land compared to a bungalow .

Look for Products at a Reduced Price and save at least 10%

You will be surprised at how your cost can escalate if you do not have a “beady eye” on this matter. Without jeopardizing quality, you can find building materials at discounted prices. You can even take this to the extent of visiting salvage and scrap yards and be pleasantly surprised what you can come up with.

The list is endless as to the number and avenues considered to save money when building a house. You must be organised, set up a system before you start and record everything you do by establishing a wish list and a to do list. Look for established systems that can help you. Ability to research the options available to you will prove to be an invaluable asset in the long run, especially if you are working to a budget. As the old saying goes, fail to plan and plan to fail – good luck with building your home.

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Vintage Food Images for Kitchen Decor

From seed packet labels to fruit crate logos, vintage food labels lend themselves to a variety of kitchen decor projects. Simple to craft and colorful to display, food art labels add charm, history, and timeless artwork to any kitchen, from chic and modern decor to folk art or fifties-era fixtures.

From items large and small, vintage-inspired objects for kitchen decor are crafted by hand using easy techniques. Each project is open to creative interpretation, making it flexible for any kitchen’s decor.

Finding Vintage Food Art

Food labels from the turn of the nineteenth century all the way through the fifties showcased creative names and colorful artwork, from “Morning Judge” orange juice to “Bull Terrier” instant coffee. Whimsy and artistic talent wove advertisements and product artwork that today commands high prices on the collectibles market.

Public domain food art and advertisements are fair game for crafters and decorators in search of classic vintage designs for kitchen decor. Many are available through public domain clip art sites that offer thematic images, such as Karen’s Whimsy’s copyright-free page or the Vintage Holiday Crafts blog.

For high-quality images ready for print, many artists may prefer to purchase the images in bulk through clip art files offered by Dover Publications and other public domain publishing services. The artwork can be resized and printed on sturdy card stock or computer paper for use in a variety of crafts and decorative kitchen projects.

Canister Labels

Vintage canisters are one of the most coveted kitchen collectibles on the market. Many great vintage designs are unavailable in canister form, making these creations one-of-a-kind in the kitchen. Print the labels in the desired size and cut them out; affix them to the outside of the jar using a layer of glue on the back.

Cut to label size a plastic contact sheet with adhesive backing to cover and protect the labels from water damage. Use the same technique to decorate plain kitchen canisters in tin or metal, as well as old canning or product jars.

Decoupage Designs

Create a wooden sign or plaque for the kitchen using simple decoupage techniques and printed vintage images. Mix and match a range of subjects and sizes or affix a single image to the surface to create a sturdy poster featuring a large vintage motif.

Use vintage food clip art, silhouettes, and other mini public domain images to decorate a painted wood surface to create a primitive sign. Add a chic message or unique advertising slogan using alphabet stencils; sets of letters are available in a range of sizes and fonts reasonably priced for crafters.

Magnets and Posters

With digital clip art images available for craft use, artists can print high-quality images in a range of sizes. Sandwich miniature designs between sheets of contact paper and glue or laminate, then cut out and affix to a magnet backing for decorating a refrigerator surface. Print poster-sized versions to frame as artwork for kitchen walls and cabinets.

Vintage food images cover the landscape of products, eras, and food choices, ensuring that anyone can find a motif to fit their kitchen’s decor. The images are right at home in the most modern environments and traditional decor, adding a touch of character and color wherever on display.

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