My Antigua Scratchpad

My Antigua Scratchpad

So a work in progress...this is my interesting and stylish look at the isla of Antigua in the Caribbean.

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Excellent Ideas to Decorate your Kitchen

Excellent Ideas to Decorate your Kitchen
​ The kitchen can be considered as the heart of your home.Starting from your family time, during the Sunday mornings or the much desired space to entertain your guests, the kitchen is a very important part of your home. With simple touches, you can decorate or renovate your kitchen, so that you feel lively staying there. Here are some effective ide...
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Pleated Versus Cellular Blinds – Which Is Better?

If you are in need of new window treatments for your home, we understand your desire to make the right selection. After all, new blinds often represent a considerable investment and we would hate for your hard earned money to be wasted. If you have done your research and it's come down to a choice between pleated and cellular blinds, you've come to...
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Some good reasons why you should hire an interior decorator

Some good reasons why you should hire an interior decorator
​ Hiring an interior decorator is not a preserve of the rich as some may think. Whether it is for residential properties or commercial properties, the benefits of hiring an interior decorator tend to outweigh the costs in the long-run. So do not be afraid to hire one. Here are some of the benefits of hiring an interior decorator: a) Saving money. I...
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Elora Hardy - An amazing father too making things from bamboo

Elora Hardy - An amazing father too making things from bamboo

'We ask the Bamboo what it's good at and what it says is.." Elora HardyI had no idea as to the strength of Bamboo - you can hold 4 tonnes on its end, and its lightweight. It's the creativity of the Balinese groups structures that impress and its ecological too.They have a slat treatment that preserves the stuff for a lifetime so for certain climates these structures are simply useful, longful and beautiful. In the colder climes like the UK perhaps it is a material that can be transported and used in conjunction with others to provide more insulation both noise and heat and reduce the need for more environmentally costly materials.I think you will also be amazed with this TED video. This is why I have chosen to blog it.

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Things You Need To Know About Fluorescent Lights

Good fluorescent lighting is always admired in a home. It can make the ambience more engaging and relaxing or it can make it completely the opposite. But proper lighting can be tricky too, so here are some information to fill you in about fluorescent lighting.

The fluorescent lighting system

l   A fluorescent tube contains electrodes on both of its ends. Inside the tube is a gas that contains argon and mercury vapor.

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Beds I wish were available to buy on the highstreet

I know the bed I want but never see the kind of bed for sale on the high street. I like futons but I might prefer some modern take on the low bed. I have headroom but like sleeping close to the floor. I want a contemporary bed design. Plenty to be found online so I will be sharing them here to give you the idea.

Thanks to naturalbedcompany.co.uk - for the next low style japanese style bed. For the above beds - sorry there was no copyright available please contact us to amend this correctly with proof of rights.

 

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Easy Home Decor Tips - Decorating Your Home With Dimmable LED Lights

 

The best interior designers have gotten better because they have access to dimmable LED bulbs. This type of lighting gives you the opportunity to enjoy a wider range of day-to-day activities. Whether you want to watch a movie, take a nap or host a dinner, make sure the lighting is exactly the way you like it. No one wants lighting that is too bright or intense for any task. Always have the chance to manipulate your lights to change the tone and atmosphere of any room from the patio to the sitting room. Know all of the advantages that come with using dimmable LED lights.

Dimmable Lights Save You Time and Money

The technology of light emitting diodes (LEDs) is becoming more advanced with each decade. LEDs are green lighting products that are extremely energy efficient and long lasting. At first, the lights were criticized for being incompatible with dimming switches. Nowadays, nearly all LED lights are compatible with dimmers. People have more options with the dimmable lights they want.

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How To Save Money & Energy By Using Natural Lighting at Home

 

The old saying that natural light is best has never been more true than it is today. Natural light not only adds to the ambiance inside a home but also energy savings because it is free.

Natural light that flows in from windows, skylights utilizes the free energy that comes from the sun and can reduce energy costs substantially. Of course, having these openings also be energy efficient and tight from drafts is also important. What you gain in light can be eaten up in heating costs if equal attention is not paid to keeping out the cold. Today, thankfully, most new windows being manufactured do have energy savings and efficiency in mind.

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Interior design for men

Men are notoriously oblivious when it comes to interior design. Take a look into a bachelor's pad or a married guy's man cave and you'll likely see a motley assortment of decorations, or none at all. In the Wall Street Journal, contributor Dale Hrabi said, "It's assumed that they're either indifferent . . . or energetically tasteless." Case in point: the 2012 Man Cave of the Year, declared by ManCaveSite.org, showcased such mismatched accessories as a suit of armor, a fire hydrant, and plastic toy cars.

Tariq Dixon, co-founder of Trnk of New York City, hopes to create a new style that a man's man can get behind with interesting themes and masculine patterns. His company "explores broader notions of what the male living space can be," which is another way of saying, guys who care even a little bit can get their space to "match" in a cool way.

Co-founders Tariq and Nick Nemecheck, both 27, started their business as an answer for men who are discouraged from exploring interior design by the feminine nature of design magazines. Men can be bewildered by the feminine look of bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms, and the truth is, women arethe targets of these magazines. Design writers don't expect men to care about such topics. Dixon aims  to change that assumption with his company's designs, in which, he said, "you won't see toile, tuffets, canopy beds, flora and fauna wallpaper, and other cliches of ladylike design."

Instead of flowers and ruffles, expect to see a preponderance of distressed leather, midcentury modern furniture, geometric rugs, and one or two dead animals. To prove to guys that these styles are "cool" or "manly," Trnk has created a "Stories" page which points to celebrities and other role models who incorporate similar color palettes and designs into their interior design. A major portion of the men featured are single, but a third are married, indicating that men can still make design decisions once they share their homes with a female companion.

A few trends users can expect to see include heritage design (with patriotic colors and American flags), cowhide rugs, vintage products, and globes. Dixon said, "We've visited about 30 homes already and half of them had globes" which he said is because "men often gravitate to decorative objects they can rationalize as functional."

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Natural Inspirations Influencing Modern Design

Design and style within the home is something many of us consider important. Your interior design choices help create a home that reflects your personality andtastes, as well as helping to make it feel welcoming to others.

Each room should take on its own characteristics, including the bathroom, which is often a neglected space (just because this room is highly functional doesn’t mean it has to sacrifice style.

Just ask Bella Bathrooms; they understand how important it is to have a stylish, yet functional space. You don’t have to focus on the bog standard white suites, neutral colour palettes and basic furniture. You need to inject your own style. After all, the kitchen is highly functional, but it is no longer a neglected space. Surely the same should also apply to the bathroom?

Nature has always been a key inspiration and there is no better place to include the theme than in the bathroom. The space can easily handle multiple textures and materials and support the need for practicality whilst being effortlessly stylish.

Typically, bathrooms can appear stark and cold. Adding natural elements can add a touch of warmth to the space.

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Lighting: The Essential Interior Design Element

Desktop lamps, free standing light sources, ceiling lights, small spotlights, there are so many different forms of lighting that can be perfectly incorporated into the home to create just the right mood. Whether it is a functional room or a place for relaxation, there are sources of light that fit every possible scenario and lighting makes up one of the most important areas of interior design that is often neglected leaving a space feeling bare and cold, eliminating the intended theme.

The Neglected Element

When designing a room or even an entire home, the biggest priority is usually the end result, the items and colours that will be combined to create a particular look that will hopefully reflect a specific mood. All too often, lighting choices are not taken into consideration and the result ends up looking very different to the original idea. Lighting is not a straightforward element that either brightens a room or doesn’t, it completely transforms the use, the feeling and the style of a space and it all begins with the type of lighting that is not only wanted but needed.

The Three Types of Lighting

Lighting falls into three categories that can fit any room with an intended theme and a specific purpose, whether it is a highly functional area that needs strong lighting or a space that requires relaxation and therefore requires softer light sources. When the theme of a space is decided, the format of the lighting needs to be considered…

General Lighting - A space is illuminated for visibility and safety and does not affect style considerations within a room. The use of up lights and down lights allow for a room to be flooded with illumination for no specific purpose or reason.Task Lighting- The intensity of the light is appropriate within this form, practicality is the overall purpose and a room that needs to be used for specific tasks such as a kitchen or study needs well positioned and brighter light sources to allow different functions to be carried out.Accent Lighting-Features within a room become prominent through the use of well-positioned lighting. Accent lighting needs to be significantly brighter than any other form and the need to reduce shadows and reflections is key to allow focus on certain areas.

The Achievable

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LED Downlights Lighting Your Home and Office

LED Downlights   Lighting Your Home and Office

For both home and office, people are looking to save money on electricity bills as energy costs continue to rise. Using LED downlights is one of the most efficient ways of lighting homes and offices, due to their low energy consumption and long life span.

The Advantages of LED Downlights

Although they cost more to purchase initially, LED downlights more than pay for themselves in the long run. Also known as LED spotlights, downlights using LED bulbs use far less wattage to power themselves but still manage to produce a far better quality light than halogen or CFL bulbs. Energy efficiency is the most important factor in choosing to install LED downlights in your home or office as they can provide you with energy savings of up to a phenomenal ninety percent over standard halogen bulbs.

In the Home

While many homeowners will spend an awfully long time deciding on just the right colour schemes to show their home off to its fullest potential, surprisingly hardly any time is spent on choosing the correct lighting. However, it is the lighting in a home, such as commercial LED downlights, which can really show everything off to its best advantage.

Good lighting canMake your home look spaciousCut down on headachesCreate various moods and an ambience of your choosing.LED Downlights for the Home

LED downlights provide a far more focused light than other forms of standard lighting. This means that the light emitted is more equally distributed across the room, resulting in there being no dark corners or poorly lit spaces. This is a particular advantage if you have any rooms in your home with low ceilings or where space is at a premium. Focused lighting creates the illusion of extra space and will bring a cleaner, more homely look to the room.

Warm or Bright?

In the more functional rooms of the house, namely the kitchen and bathroom, bright light is important in order to be able to carry out any tasks such as cooking or washing. Bright LED downlights in these rooms are perfect for this and, in the instance of the kitchen, placing some of the downlights directly above any wall-mounted units will reflect light back up onto the white ceiling, creating an extra glow. Warm lighting is better for creating a cosy ambience in either bedrooms or living rooms, where comfort is the priority.

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Creating a Stylish Bedroom Look on a Budget

Decorating on a budget doesn't mean sacrificing style. We've got some great tips to help you put together a bedroom fit for a queen, no matter what your taste or budget.Create an Expensive LookJust because you've got a keen eye for a bargain and have treated yourself to some cheap duvet sets doesn't mean your bedroom needs to look like it was done out on a budget. Learning some designer tricks of the trade to dress up your bed will make every bed linen set you put on it look like a million dollars. So how can you dress up your bed with cheap duvet sets? Here are some ideas: Use Pillows ordinary house cushions, that you'd normally find in the living room, look just as good when they're piled on the bed. For maximum impact, layer them to dress up cheap duvet sets.Use Bed Runners It's such a simple idea and takes but a moment to throw one across the foot of the bed after making it in the morning, but it really gives the bed a sense of style and up-market chic. Make the Bed yes, seriously. Just make the bed. In a busy day it's easy to forget the simple task of straightening the covers each morning. You forget until the next time you walk into the bedroom and then a muddle greets your eye. Plump up the pillows, straighten the duvet, then lay the pillows neatly on top. Coordinate Fabrics matching curtains can make all the difference in a bedroom. Curtains are a large expanse of fabric, just as the bed is. Choosing matching fabrics draws the two together and presents a unified appearance. Getting Stylish With Colour And PatternRegardless of your taste decor, by learning how to coordinate your bedding with your room's style, you'll find that everything looks better. Colour has the most impact when the palette you choose from is small. Using too many colours at the same time creates a chaotic effect, which is the last thing you want in the bedroom, where you're supposed to relax. The same thing goes with patterns. If you have patterned wallpaper in the bedroom, coordinate the colours in the paper with the colours you put on the bed, but instead of going for fussy patterns on the linens, choose block colours or symmetrical patterns that are soothing to the eye. One way to learn about colour use is to look at a colour wheel and figure out how to use it. Choosing colours that are next to each other or opposite each other on the wheel will give you the most pleasing effects.Digging Out The Best DealsSometimes you have to shop around to get the best deals on anything and while there are good deals to be had on the High Street, most people agree that the very best prices are to be found online. Because online retailers often have lower overheads than sellers in physical shops, they can keep their prices down. This often results in a win/win situation for shoppers because buying cheap doesn't mean buying something of an inferior quality. You'll find you can get cheap duvet sets from Value Interiors, along with other online outlets that will surprise you with their quality. AUTHOR BIO:Anthea Long writes on budget interior design. She likes to get cheap duvet sets from Value Interiors in order to compare values and keep up to date with current linen trends.

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What Are The Parameters Of Choosing The Right Light Bulbs?

Who does not wish for a well illuminated room in their homes? A reader has always desired that perfect radiance on his book to take pleasure of reading his or her favorite novel. Well what I am trying to emphasize on is that having an appropriate luminance is an essential factor. Be it a normal task like working on your laptop or intense tasks like studying or sewing, correct lighting plays a vital role. For this very purpose choosing light bulbs becomes extremely significant task.

Most of us ignore this aspect of our lives. We close the eyes to the fact that such carelessness may result in weak eyesight. There are chances of accidents to occur flighting is not correct. You might get a cut on your finger while chopping in dim light or probably slip-off the floor in the bathrooms. So picking up appropriate light bulbs is indispensable for everyone for safety issues.

Here are few parameters one should keep in mind while selecting the light bulbs for their homes or offices:

Recognize the purpose of lighting

Well there is no doubt to the fact that one would pick lighting options as per the requirements. By requirement, I mean that you would have to pick light bulbs according to the functionality of the room. If you want to fit the fixture in your study, you should pick the one with more power. Similarly you can go for dim lights with regulators for your bedroom so you can change the intensity according to your mood.

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Give Your Children Their Own Space With One Of The Special Children’s Playhouses

Give Your Children Their Own Space With One Of The Special Children’s Playhouses

Though children love playing at their parent’s feet, they also need their own personal space. They love anything that mimics the adults around them, which includes their play living space. That is why the use their play dish sets to set the table for a meal or tea party. Having their own play space with one of the newest children’s playhouses can give them hours of fun and satisfaction. There are a number of reasons this is a good idea. These include:

It’s their own spaceIt’s safeIt encourages their imaginative playIt give them ownership

It is their own

They playhouse, especially if it is kid sized, is perfect for giving them a feeling of ownership. It is there, and no adult is involved unless invited. They can decorate it to their liking, within reason. They can do all sorts of activities, and invite their friends, as well as the occasional adult if they wish. It is theirs.

To maintain this feeling of ownership, the parent should make sure not to infringe on their space. Don’t store anything in their space, and don’t enter unless you knock or ask permission. Let them design the space as much as possible, so far as furnishing, painting, and other decorating touches.

Safety

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Taking Care of Your Bed Sheets and Linens

 Buying the most expensive set of sheets is the first step, but knowing how to take care of them is incredibly important. If you don't know how to care for your quality certified organic sheets, your Egyptian cotton pillowcases, or your Neiman Marcus linens, you'll basically be throwing your money away. Without taking proper care of the sheets and linens, you'll wear them out far before their time! Sheet Care  If you're going to take care of your sheets, here's what you need to know: Storing Sheets When storing your quality sheets, keep them nicely folded in a drawer that is cool and dry. Line the interior of the drawer with acid-free tissue paper, as that will stop the sheets from turning yellow as they age. Never store the sheets in a plastic container of any sort, as it will collect moisture - which can lead to mildew growth. Washing and Drying You can wash your sheets as often as you want, but it's recommended to wash them no more than once a week. Make sure the wash water is warm - never hot (hot water shrinks the fibers of the sheets)- and make sure to turn any colored or printed sheets and pillowcases inside out to prevent the color from running. Use a special oxygenated bleach on light colors and white sheets, and stay away from chlorine bleach. When drying your sheets, the tumble dry setting in your dryer will help to dry them properly, but pull them out of the dryer before they're completely dry. This will prevent wrinkles from forming. Always let them dry completely before putting them away, though, as that will keep mildew away. Other Important Information A thread count of 200 to 400 is more than enough - any more is unnecessary. Find the best quality cotton for the sheets, as that will make a finer thread that makes your sheets more comfortable. Replace old sheets as necessary. Linen Care Not sure how to care for your linens? Follow Instructions -- On each sheet, pillowcase, or linen blanket, there will be instructions on linen care. Follow these instructions precisely, as that will ensure that you keep the linens in good shape.Dry Cool -- It's fine to run your linens through the dryer, but use the cool dry setting to do so. Make sure to pull the linens out before they're completely dry, and hang them on a line to finish the drying process. Iron Damp -- It may not be necessary to iron your linens, but you can do so if you want. Make sure to iron them while they are still damp, as that will be the best time to smooth out wrinkles. Use a steam iron, and set it on a medium or hot setting. Iron white linens on both sides, but iron dark linens only on the wrong side. Store Properly -- Keep your linens in a dry, cool drawer, and never use a plastic bag, box, or container to store them. The truth is that caring for your sheets and linens isn't too hard, but it's important to do so. Without the proper care, your bedding will be worn out long before their time. 
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How to choose the right pottery gift with Denby china

We all know how difficult it can be to choose a great gift for someone else. Whether it is a birthday or a wedding gift, we ponder long and hard over our choice and then worry about it afterwards. One solution to this problem is to choose a practical gift that is still a very special one. Wedding gift lists often include a number of items from a high end pottery range, such as Denby. However, buying quality china need not be limited to a wedding present. In fact, beautiful pottery makes a perfect gift for just about any occasion.

Practical and Useful

There are a number of different reasons for choosing china or pottery as a gift. It is a practical and useful present, especially if you know that the person is an avid collector of a certain range or style. It is something that will last and that will act as a memento for the recipient, too. High quality china brands, such as Denby pottery, are extremely collectible. Whether for everyday use or just to present them in a display cabinet for decoration, Denby pieces are a wonderful investment. Their value can only increase with age and there are many retailers that can offer Denby china with excellent discounts. Giving pottery as a wedding gift is a long standing tradition, of course. Whilst it is true to say that most modern couples probably already have a lot of the items necessary for starting up a home, it is also the case that these may not include quality china. Couples tend to buy everyday china from budget department stores and some may even see pottery brands such as Denby as a little old fashioned.

Contemporary designs

However, pottery ranges these days are more than a match for the contemporary items available at High Street retailers. With classic styles and modern patterns and colours, investing in a full range of high quality china is a wise choice. The beauty of choosing to collect a full set of matching china items is that you will never be short of tableware for unexpected guests or for a formal dinner party. Family and friends will also never be short of gift ideas for you. With such a beautiful range of pottery items available, it seems a shame to reserve them only for special occasions. Brands such as Denby have some lovely pieces that are sturdy and practical enough for everyday use. Besides, eating off beautiful china somehow makes the food taste better! The benefit of owning a matching set from a quality brand is that they can be easily replaced if they are damaged or broken during use. Exquisite china makes a wonderful gift for friends and family visiting from abroad, too. Brands such as Denby china are very well respected and collectible in many other countries. Buying a tea set as a welcome home gift or even just to say 'thank you' is a fantastic way to show you care.

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10 Innovative Interior Design Ideas for Your Home

10 Innovative Interior Design Ideas for Your Home

Anyone can create a beautiful home, but designing a home which is original, inspirational and incredible all at the same time can be a little bit trickier. Thankfully though, there are dozens of great ideas out there, which will help homeowners create a unique and unusual home. Here are 10 ideas that will give homeowners a head-start and a head's up when it comes to finding the best innovative interior design items.

1) Funky Storage Boxes

Plain, plastic boxes are a thing of the past! With a range of funky and unusual shaped storage boxes now available, homeowners don't need to find a place to hide away containers. In addition to serving a practical purpose, boxes can act as a stylish accessory, creating a fun, funky and fabulous mood.

2) Antique Furniture

Unusual, old and quirky, antique furniture is a great way for homeowners to make their home stand out from the crowd. From grand, mahogany wardrobes to framed, golden mirrors, there is a variety of spectacular antique furniture available. With items from all eras, those who want to set a classic and elegant tone can do so with the help of antiques.

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The Most Expensive Homes in Beverly Hills

The beauty of Beverly Hills is well known, but that is not all it is known for. Beverly Hills is famous for its residents. The residents of Beverly Hills are often celebrities and they tend to live off the cream of the crop. Their living conditions are lavish and luxurious. Here's some of the most extravagant homes, going. Not only are these mansions the most expensive, per square foot- they come empty! You would really need a California interior design degree, in order to fill them up!

Hearst MansionThere are mansions, and then there are mansions the size of Hearst Mansion. If the grandeur of this estate were not enough to widen your eyes, then its cultural background would certainly begin to pique your interest. Hearst Mansion was used for one of the scenes from the Godfather, and it was the honeymoon suite for JFK and Jackie.

 

There are 29 bedrooms in this massive estate. For the guests luxury, there is a disco room and a theater built into the complex. It’s not lacking when it comes to water either. There is not one but three pools on the estate.

What does an estate like this cost? $165 million is the price set for this opulence.

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