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Noren Door Curtains

A Noren, a Japanese door curtain, is great if you want to add a ZEN accent to your home’s interior. Getting one can also be a good idea if you are a Feng Shui fan. According to the ancient rules, the use of door curtains can be a simple way to block harmful energy. It can also be a way out of difficult Feng Shui situations, especially when remodeling is out of question.

There are a variety of unique Japanese door curtain designs available on the market. You need to choose a proper design in order to be able to achieve a certain Feng Shui effect. All sorts of prosperity designs are a popular option among the western people. A popular symbol that appears on a lot of Noren curtains is the Wealth Cat. The Beckoning Cat, as it is often called, is believed to bring good luck to the owners of the property as well as attract customers into a shop. The Wealth Cat symbol comes from Tokyos Gotokuji temple, where a shrine dedicated to it was built centuries ago.

There is an old legend about a priest from this temple and his cat that had the ability to bring good fortune to his owner and the temple. As a feudal lord named Naotaka was passing by the temple, the cat started beckoning him inside. The lord and his people decided to stop there and rest. When a thunderstorm broke, the lord was safe in the temple. In order to express his appreciation, Naotaka started paying tribute to the temple. Today, a picture of the cat with a paw raised in the air can be found in many places and on countless products including Noren door curtains.

Other traditional designs that can often be found on the Japanese Noren include Koi fish, waves, waterfalls, bamboo or dragons. If you are willing to incorporate Noren door curtains into your home’s interior, it would be good to familiarize yourself with the Feng Shui principles. This will allow you to achieve the desired effect in both the visual and spiritual terms.

Building Your Own Outside Fireplace With An Outdoor Fireplace Kit

It’s always good to have a fire for warmth when winter rolls around. The newest pattern among new homeowners is having one outside, but it’s too costly to have someone else make it for you. DIY outside fireplaces are such an easy project that it may be performed by anybody willing to dig in and do the work. There are two ways to do this: build one from scratch or purchase a backyard Fireplace kit. Either approach, you’ll at the very least must get cement, stones, decorative tiles, and a fireplace screen to make one yourself.

1. Placement and Laws

Choose a spot that is far enough away your house and anything that may catch on fire easily. You also have to verify your local legal guidelines concerning home improvement to see when you not only can, but should you need a building permit to do such a thing.

2. Choosing the Right Fireplace

The easiest method to make one is to purchase an outdoor fireplace kit. These don’t come with all the material that you’ll need, however it should save you time and energy. Nonetheless, you can also find plans to make one from scratch for those who choose.

3. Build a Foundation

After choosing the right spot, clear away whatever debris is there and create a foundation utilizing concrete, cinder blocks, or whatever you want to use on your DIY outside fireplace.

4. Putting in Your Fireplace

No matter whether you’re following plans to make your own or the directions from the kit, begin assembling your fireplace. The difference between this and one for inside your house is the lack of a damper. It’s best to build the chimney as high as you possibly can and the opening a bit lower to prevent wind from swooping down. That can both make it troublesome to begin a fire and even blow sizzling embers out of the fireplace.

5. Try It Out

Before making it look nice, start a fire inside to make sure every little thing is to your liking. This may help you decide if you want to make the fire place taller or fix the inside of the chimney to let the smoke out from the top.

6. Enhance your Fireplace

This is the place the work stops and the fun begins. After finishing your DIY outside Fireplace, embellish it to your specification and/or let the paint dry (should you chose to use some).

That is all you have to do to make your individual outdoor fireplace. You may purchase plans and outside fireplace kits at your local home improvement store and online as well. The kits cost approximately $1,000 and the plans to make your own can be found online from free to around $30. Creating your own fireplace outside will not only put a smile on your face and your loved ones’s, but it also provides you a cause to spend extra time outside. Even if you don’t have a fire going

Home Improvement Ideas for Every Area of Your Chicago Home

With the holiday season now just a memory, perhaps you find yourself with some time on your hands to devote to those big New Years resolutions-so youve been frequenting the gym, taking Sundays to prepare and freeze healthy recipes for the week and spending more time with your family and friends. But what about all those to-dos on your house that never seemed to get done in 2010?

Whether youre looking to put your house on the market in 2011 or just want to make some positive changes for your family, here are some great home improvement ideas that will deliver the most bang for your buck that you can spend a winter weekend or two or three on implementing. If you live in a condo building make sure to speak with the homeowners association first about any changes youre planning to make.

Kitchen and Bathroom Upgrades
Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms have the highest return on investment. You could replace the cabinetry or install energy-efficient appliances, but a surefire way to immediately up your kitchens visual appeal is to replace the countertop.

For good or bad, the bathtub can be a focal point in your bathroom. If a new tub is in your budget, you could add a new model or a freestanding soaking tub to really increase your bathrooms luxuriousness factor. Even just refinishing your existing tub can make it look brand new.

Let Their Be Light
Recessed lighting looks clean and doesnt compromise headroom. Its easily installed and will instantly brighten the room. You also might want to consider adding new windows or expanding existing ones in order to make a room seem larger and more inviting. Even just adding or moving electrical outlets and switches can allow for easier access to electricity, and improve the eyesores associated with electrical cords being visible throughout the room.

Better Flooring
New flooring is one of the best projects for whatever room youve decided to focus on, whether that includes carpet in the upstairs bedroom, hardwood floors throughout the downstairs or a unique tile in the bathrooms. People constantly can see and touch their floors, and prospective buyers will definitely be interested in the quality of your flooring when considering whether to make your home theirs.

Hide Unattractive Storage
If you live in a small space, you might not have a home office that can house an unsightly file cabinet. In that case, you probably have to hide your files in the open. This entails measuring fabric to the length and width of the cabinet and using hook and loop tape to attach the fabric to it. Or you can find extra storage space by using a skirting table, under which you could stack boxes. It pays to be inventive, and the pay off is extra room for your belongings without any additional eyesores in your home.

An Overview of Termite Baiting

You screamed when you saw your cupboard filled with white, ant-like insects, eating the boxes of your dry goods. Imagine yourself seeing them munching your important papers: Deeds, Certificate of Title, and car registration — you’ll definitely go beyond screaming. Before it happens, be informed, get an overview of termite baiting and prevent infestation before they invade your home completely.

On killing off termites — Traditional and alternative ways

Any pest-control expert worth his grain of salt will tell you there are a number of ways to kill off termites. You can go traditional or you can go alternative. The traditional way is to use chemicals for barrier treatments, soaking the structure’s surroundings with termite-killing chemicals to prevent the termites from getting near the structure being protected in the first place. Other alternative methods of controlling termite infestation are moisture control and foaming, earth-wood contact prevention, pesticide treatments, and termite baiting which is being bannered as a great alternative to barrier treatments.

While each method may be effective to a certain extent, and where a combination of the foregoing methods is used, it is best to remember that in pest control, prevention is better than cure. There lies the beauty of termite baiting.

What is termite baiting?

Termite baiting is a preventive method of detecting and controlling termites before they even begin to be a problem. This simple process makes use of termite baits which can be cardboard, paper, or other materials that termites eat or consume as food. These materials are soaked in substances that are deadly yet slow-acting when consumed by termites. In termite baiting, the paper or board or wood material has to be made tastier and more attractive compared to other surrounding collaterals like tree stumps, wood piles, or wooden structures.

In termite baiting, care must be exercised in the amount of pesticide combined with the bait material. Too much and the termites will be quickly killed, but with all those dead termites around, the rest of the colony will avoid the area. The delayed-reaction reagents will ensure that the lethal substances will be transmitted to as many termites as possible. Even those that have not yet sampled the bait material may be exterminated by contact with those termites that have already fed on the material and are thus ‘infected’.

How is termite baiting done?

Termite baits may be set up in bait stations either above- or below-ground. Above-ground, the baits are set up in areas where there is already evident termite action. The termite tunnels and pathways are destroyed or disrupted and an alternative route, where the bait lies, is provided for the termites that then find the bait stations irresistible.

Underground, the termite bait may be installed in the area of active termite feeding or tunneling. Or the bait may be set up near the structure being protected. Initially, untreated bait is first set up until the termites have gone for it. Thereupon, the untreated bait is replaced with the treated one.

Tricks Make Lighter Home Without Having Renovation

home photo

Photo by michaelkmak

Jealous to see the modern houses in Bali or other exotic area that gets a lot of sunlight during the day.

The house is bright not only convenient, but also makes the room inside was moist. Actually make homes sunlight is not difficult. No need of renovation, only small changes you make.

1. Change the wall paint into matte

Do not select the glossy wall paint. These paints usually reflect light causing glare and the room gets hot. Wall becomes uncomfortable viewing. Choose matte paint or matte wall that reflects light becomes softer.

2. Clean windows

It could be the cause of the lack of sunlight coming into your home is the window that you never clean.

The crust and stains on the windows will block the light so it does not fully illuminate the rooms of your home. Clean windows let the sunlight every week to more freely enter your home.

3. Choose a thin curtain

Avoid dark colored curtains like maroon, very dark green, and brown. Choose pastel colors are so young that allow sunlight to ‘sneak’ entry into your home.

Also, choose a curtain that the material is thinner so it does not cause the house to be memorable gloomy and dark.

4. Prune trees and plants

Even in the most high your page plant shoots only in the form of red is already as high as 1 meter, it could not hurt to cut the plant.

Unwittingly, the cause of the lack of sunlight into the house is you never prune trees that are near a window or terrace of your house.

5. Add a mirror

Hang a mirror on the wall opposite the window. The mirror will reflect the light and pass it to the other corner.

Needless whole room and then you add a mirror, just hanging in one room you want a lighter.

6. Select the painting bright

Although your favorite painting is a painting that is a bit gloomy and dark color displays, should avoid displaying this type of painting.

Painting a dark color absorbs sunlight and reduces light reflection around the room. Choose wall hangings more neutral, such as hand painting children’s work usually use bright colors.

Are You Hypnotizable

The use of hypnosis is becoming progressively more respected and accepted amongst both the fields of health and self improvement. This has resulted in people being eager to try hypnotherapy for the first time. Many are concerned though and question whether theyll be hypnotizable or not. This is to be expected as self hypnosis takes time to learn correctly while paying for a hypnotherapist can be very expensive. Either way you could lose time or money.

However the fact of the matter is that the majority of people can by hypnotized. Scientific research into hypnosis and levels of hypnotizability has proven this over and over again. From these studies it has been concluded that eighty to ninety-five percent of the population can be hypnotized which is an amazing success rate for any treatment.

Everyone has a certain level of hypnotizability that comes naturally to them but there are a few things you can do to raise this. For starters whenever you try hypnosis you should be in a comfortable position in a quiet room where you wont be disturbed for the duration of the session. Its also important to find the script, mp3 or hypnotherapist that will work best for you. This involves careful research and assessment of your needs and personality. Finally it takes concentration, visualization skills and intelligence to be able to go under hypnosis so if you work on those areas you will enable yourself to go deeper and deeper into a state of hypnosis.

There are a number of ways and methods you can use to test if you are hypnotizable or not. Im going to let you in on a few of these tests that you can try in the comfort of your own home.

Before you test your hypnotizability though its important to understand what hypnosis feels like. Some experience it differently but typically most people feel deeply relaxed and remain conscious of what is going on around them. Because some people expect to be asleep or unconscious they dont think theyve even been hypnotized but this isnt true. Hypnosis is simply an altered state of attention where your conscious mind is relieved of mental chatter and your subconscious is free to be worked on.

On video sites such as YouTube and Dailymotion you can find a number of hypnosis sessions recorded by professional hypnotherapists, since these are free to view you can watch them and gauge their affect on you. Search for sessions by well respected hypnotherapists such as Jon Rhodes, Steve G. Jones or Roger Moore and you can be assured of finding a high quality hypnosis video. Many hypnotherapists also have websites where theyll sell mp3s and cds and these can be found for as little as $10 which is a fraction of the cost of hiring a hypnotherapist. This allows you to focus your mind on a specific goal such as quitting smoking with the help of a fully accredited clinical hypnotherapist. Videos and audio sessions are both great ways of testing your own levels of hypnotizability without breaking the bank.

Are You Decorating Or Redecorating Your Bedroom

The furniture and accessories one has reviles the individual taste and personality. A bedroom is the reflection of its occupant. It is important to properly utilize the space of the room. The furniture should be pleasant to look at, and also have functional and practical use. The furniture should also be appealing, comfortable and inviting. You can decorate with modern elements to achieve unique and distinguish look in your room.

One of the most important things to focus on in your bedroom is the color of your bedding and curtains. Choose your comforter, comforter sets or duvet covers carefully. All three of them are easy to change and can add opulence to your room. Your bedding finishes the look in you bedroom. Make sure you chose more neutral color for your curtain so they always complement your bedding.

If the room is small you should carefully select the appropriate decor for it. Often times small bedrooms have more furniture that they can handle, which makes the room look smaller. Another useful tip for small bedrooms is buying taller wardrobe instead of a wide one. Using the approach that focuses on less furniture gives the bedroom neat and sophisticated look.

Have you ever tried to redecorate your bedroom? If yes, then you must agree with me that it takes more then arranging the furniture, hanging a few paintings, and coordinating the colors of your comforters, comforter sets or duvet covers with the rest of your room theme.

Changing the colors of the walls will give your bedroom a total makeover. If the room is not big, you might want to use warmer, brighter colors to get a spacious feel. The new paint will also change the mood of your bedroom. This way you will achieve new and exiting look in the bedroom.

A very important aspect that many people forget about is bringing life in the bedroom. You can bring life in your room very easily. All you need to do is find a small flower. Often times flowers change with the seasons which makes them wonderful accents to decorate a bedroom with. Because of the changing mood of the plant the room also has a changing look and feel. Find a small flowering plant, but be picky about the color of flowers.

Annual Roof Maintenance Taking Care of Your Roof

Annual preventative roof maintenance is the easiest way of taking care of your roof, to protect the most valuable physical asset you own  your home. A wellmaintained roof system on the home not only keeps the family dry, but can increase its energy efficiency as well.

Over time, even a minor roof leak can cause a catastrophic failure during harsh environmental conditions, which can eventually promote the growth of harmful organisms including mold and mildew. When left untreated, a small leak in the roof can eventually degrade the homes structural integrity and quickly deteriorate its interior and/or exterior.

Maintenance Is a Necessity

Property owners often recognize how important HVAC maintenance is to the comfort level of the homes interior. However, most homeowners give little thought to roof system maintenance until a serious problem occurs. Waiting until a leak appears in the roof is often referred to as reactive maintenance, which often costs significantly more to repair than the price of an annual or biannual inspection to catch a small roofing issue.

Unfortunately, a small leak in the roof system can often create more serious problems than a major hole in the roof. This is because moisture will continuously come in contact with wood, gypsum, flooring materials, insulation, and other building materials causing deterioration and potential structural failure.

When insulation becomes wet, it quickly eliminates its Rvalue, or its ability to insulate against the heat of the summer, and the cold of the winter. In addition, wet insulation promotes the growth of harmful contaminants on organic surfaces while increasing the roofs structural load. It also has the ability to rust roofing fasteners and cause significant damage to structural components including stucco, brick, concrete and wood on the buildings exterior.

Preventative Maintenance Program

To ensure that you are properly caring for your rooftop, you should consider implementing an annual or biannual roof maintenance program to safeguard the home and minimize the potential of costly repairs. A preventative maintenance program involves:

The Inspection  This program often starts with an inspection where the contractor walks the roof surface, looking for any signs of deterioration, holes or damage, at least once every year. The inspector will evaluate wall flashing, the perimeter edge, terminations (termination bar, counter flashing, metal coping, etc.), stack and pipe flashing, curb flashing, fasteners, seams, caulking, etc.

Documenting Deficiencies  Building a repair checklist, the inspector will detect and note deficiencies and take photographs of the top and underside of the roofing system, while marking any defective or disintegrating material that requires repair.

Perform Repairs  Part of the maintenance program includes performing repairs, using quality materials and proven repair methods, to increase the roofs longevity and minimize the potential of developing serious roofing issues.

Annual or biannual preventative maintenance by a licensed roofing contractor is an easy solution for taking care of your roof. Avoid reacting to serious roofing issues when they arise. Instead, incorporate an affordable, preventive maintenance program to protect the home against outdoor environments while maximizing the value of the house.

Air-Conditioning Tips To Save Your Electricity Bills

During summer, the average households will need to pay about 45{c614c390ec285585c73577471a95effd1ca7fda9a0b88e809ddc8a696afa6591} of their electricity bills for their air-con alone. The reason is that due to the extreme weather, Air-Conditioning has become an essential electrical appliances in their home. They cant live without Air-Conditioning alone, else they will get sick in the hot and stuffy weather. However, do not fret, basic tips can help you to keep your room cool and at the same time, keep your electricity bills low throughout the hot summer.

Portable Air-Con:
In the event that you only are the only one at home and you only want to cool down one particular room, dont switch on the central Air-con system. Instead, spend a little money on portable Air-Con as these units have uses lower energy consumption and with high cooling efficiency. Thus, it will be sufficient to cool down your room adequately and at the same time, save your electricity bills!

Blinds or Window Shades:
Due to the summer, sunlight can transfer the heat to the room easily from the windows of your house. This result in higher temperature in your house and make it more difficult for the Air-Conditioning to cool down your room. Hence window shades or blinds should be installed at all the windows in your house. Those blinds can effectively reduce the high temperature from the daylight by approximately 45{c614c390ec285585c73577471a95effd1ca7fda9a0b88e809ddc8a696afa6591}. Additionally, you can likewise hang bamboo shades outside your house windows. This can potentially block up to 80{c614c390ec285585c73577471a95effd1ca7fda9a0b88e809ddc8a696afa6591} of the sunlights high temperature from overcoming your windows.

Windows:
Since during the day, the heat is intolerable, try to keep all windows shut throughout the day as the heat outside can easily increase your house temperature. During the evening you can open the windows for ventilation to increase the air circulation in your room and rather than switching on an air-con, you can switch on a fan.

Outdoor Condenser:
The condenser outside your house is also an important factor that will affect your electricity bills. Make sure that the condenser outside your house is decently shaded, not directly expose to the hot sunlight. If the condenser is not shaded, the Air-Conditioning system will require additional energy to produce the same cooling effect, thus increase the power consumption. Also, make sure that the condenser outside is regularly cleaned to increase the cooling efficiency of the system.

Air-Conditioning filter:
It is advised to clean your system filer in any event once a month. Due to the usage of the units, dust can accumulate and can seriously lessen the air stream from the Air-Conditioner.

Size of Air-Conditioner:
The size of the Air-Con system when you purchase is an important factor too. At the point when you are purchasing an Air-Conditioner unit, verify that the units are the appropriate size for your room. If you bought a unit that is excessively small, it will not cool down your room adequately and an Air-Con that is excessively big will lead to considerably higher energy consumption than should be expected. Therefore, when purchasing a unit, you should only buy the right Air-Con size for your room.

Old Air-Conditioning units:
On the off chance that your Air-con is old, think about changing it with a higher productivity unit. Due to the technological advancement, new Air-Conditioning units have higher energy efficiency, thus lower energy consumption than the older units. Hence you may consider a new unit such as the inverter Air-Conditioning system with high energy efficiency.

Heat Generated in Your House:
Household chores such as cooking, drying of shirts, can create a significant amount of heat. Hence, attempt to do these chores until the night when the environment is cooler.

Most individuals simply switch their air-conditioning system anytime they like. It will certainly cool down your room, yet it will cost you higher electrical bills. Other than that, high usage of electricity is not green and will harm our planet. Therefore, by following our straightforward guidance, not only you can reduce your electricity bills but also give a helping hand to save the Earth.

New Years Resolutions For A Clean Home

It’s that time of year again – time to change any old bad habits, get healthy and get organised. A new year brings new beginnings so it’s time to design a home that reflects the new you. By cleaning up and de-cluttering you can create bright, open spaces to start afresh so here’s 5 New Years Resolutions to get you going.

DE-CLUTTER YOUR STORAGE SPACES If you’re opening your closet and finding that it’s packed full it’s time to pull everything out and see what’s in there. Once everything has been removed give the closet a clean out with a nice-smelling disinfectant. If you need to deodorise or reduce damp buy fresh new products to achieve this.

Now, take everything you’ve pulled out of the closet and sort it into three piles: 1. Always use. 2. Sometimes use. 3. Never use.

Check the items in the ‘never use’ pile. If any of these are damaged or unusable throw them away. The other items can be recycled at your local charity shop.

Your ‘sometimes use’ pile is probably the largest. You’ll need to be really critical here and split this pile into two. One pile contains any damaged, outdated or duplicated items. This pile will be going to recycling.

Pack all remaining items neatly back into your wardrobe. You may want to purchase some storage containers for this.

‘SPRING’ CLEAN A ‘spring’ clean should be completed more often than once a year and ringing in the new year is a good time to clean your home thoroughly.

To get started have a bucket of hot soapy water and a container with your cleaning products and cloths. Begin in one room and clean everything you can see; blinds, windows and tracks, walls and furniture. Move furniture away from the wall and clean behind this. Open any drawers and cupboards and clean inside going through the de-clutter process if necessary.

In the kitchen, remove food items from the cupboards onto the bench and clean cupboard doors and shelving. Check food items for any expired dates and discard if old. Give your oven and fridge a good clean out too.

GO THROUGH OLD PAPERWORK If you’ve got filing cabinets or storage containers full of old paperwork, now is a good time to go through this and see what you don’t need. For example, in Australia you only need to keep tax receipts for seven years so if you find anything older than that date it can be thrown out. You may also want to file away receipts older than one year into a storage container so only the most recent paperwork is accessible.

Organise your paperwork into labelled folders or filing cabinets under headings like ‘electricity’, ‘phone’ and ‘rates’ etc or whatever headings work for you.

HOUSE MAINTENANCE It’s time to do all those small maintenance items around the home that you have been ignoring for months. If there is any damage around the home like broken appliances, blown lightbulbs or paint touch-ups that needs to be done now’s the time to fix them.

Marks and holes can be fixed by taking a sample to your local paint retailer for a colour match. Fixing the small problems in your home will make you feel much better in your environment and help you focus on other aspects of your life.

GARDEN MAINTENANCE The outside of your home needs attention too, particularly as it’s the first thing you see when your arrive home. Make sure all hedges and plants are neatly cut back and the lawn is mowed. Time to get out and remove all weeds from your garden and maybe put a few extra plants in where needed. Add your favourite plant varities to your garden as a reward for all the hard work you’re putting in.

Get a ladder and check the gutters for dead leaves. Remove all garden debris straight to the local tip once you have completed your work. Compost garden debris which can be recycled into mulch.

BOND CLEANING BRISBANE

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