Keeping the Story Alive with New Upholstery

Keeping the Story Alive with New Upholstery

3 Beautiful Ways To Deal With Rain Water

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Rain is something that many homeowners enjoy. It’s soothing, beneficial for lawns and nourishing for plants, and can wash away dirt. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Storms and heavy rain can lead to damage to the home and surrounding landscape if drainage solutions are not working as they should. Things like downspouts, rain gutters, and ditches are often used to lead water away from the home in order to prevent damage. However, these solutions are not always the most aesthetically pleasing. Here are three attractive ways to deal with excess rainwater. Rain Chain Rain chains are artistic alternatives to closed downspouts and gutters. Water flows down from the roof onto either a chain or a chain with cups every few links. The water can produce a pleasing sound as it rushes by. These chains are equal parts decorative and functional. The cost of rain chains varies with basic models costing between $20 and $50 and with more decorative versions costing between $50 and upwards of $200. Rain chains are a beautiful way to keep rainwater off the roof. For more information on rain chains, check out companies like Rain Chains World. Decorative Drainage Swale A swale is a shallow trench that is dug in order to allow storm water to flow away from the home and surrounding landscape. They fill up with water whenever there is rain and often look like miniature streams. The cost to build a drainage swale can be as little as $.50 per square foot. Often these swales are simply covered with grass and built to blend in with the landscape. However, swales can also be lined with river rock and various plants. Landscaping the swale is a great way to make it an attractive part of the landscape and to take advantage of its drainage abilities.  Rain Garden Another way to deal with rainwater is by creating a rain garden within the landscape. Rain gardens are shallow depressions in the landscape where water can easily flow. They are planted with water tolerant plants and often thrive whenever weather conditions are wet. A do-it-yourself rain garden usually costs between $1 and $5 per square foot while a professional installation costs between $10 and $20 per square foot. Rain gardens can provide both an attractive pop of color as well as a way to effectively deal with excess rainwater.  Ditches, drainage pipes, downspouts, and gutters are all common ways to deal with excess rainwater. While they are effective, they may not be the most attractive choices. Three beautiful ways to deal with rainwater include rain chains, decorative swales, and rain...

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Walk This Way: The Cheap Path To Building A Gate Walkway

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Having a gate around the front of your house is a good idea. If you have a gate that sits in front of your yard, you will also want to create a walkway from the gate to the front door. This will prevent anyone who comes from outside of the gate from walking on your grass and creating a tread pattern that cannot be corrected later on. One cheap way to build a path is to create something from stone. Here are three ways to create a cheap but cute path from your gate to your front door.  Get wholesale stone One of the best ways to keep prices low is to purchase stone for your outdoor path. It is best to purchase stones in bulk so that you can get a good deal on the stones. A stone supplier is the best place to procure smooth stones that will work for a walkway. Be sure to ask about the surface characteristics for the stones so that you get a stone that will hold up to your environment and inside of your yard. For instance, if you live near an earthquake fault line, you may need to select a stone that will not easily break.  Dig a proper path If you are laying down stone as a walkway, it is good idea to dig in the path that you want to lay down the stone. You do not have to dig deeply, but you want to make sure that the grass is cut low and that the stone can sink into the earth. Be sure that the stones are leveled so that there is no chance of someone tripping while going from one step to another because of a height difference. Last, be sure that the stones are pushed together properly so that there is no space in between the stones. Space between the stones can easily catch a heel or the toe of a shoe and cause a nasty fall.  Add concrete If you are selecting a stone that will need some adhesive, you should add concrete to the stone in order to keep it together. You can get concrete that you can mix yourself the add it to the path, then place down the stones. Before the concrete dries, be sure to properly position the stones so that they have no large cracks between the stones. Be sure to block off the area until the concrete dries so that the concrete does not get walked on and worn down.  For more information and assistance, contact a stone supply company in your area, like Harristone Pre-Cast – Merrillstone Natural Stone Products – G. S. Harris Co.,...

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Decorate Your Living Room With Contemporary Style

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Contemporary decorating is very similar to the mod style in that the emphasis is on clean lines and minimalist décor. However, mod and its industrial inspiration can be considered a subset of contemporary. In reality, decorating with contemporary style is more about creating a chic but comfortable space – which is perfect for the living room. Utilize elements of contemporary style to make over your living room. Choose a Subtle Palette An important element of your contemporary living room is starting with a neutral palette. The most common colors for such a palette are shades of brown or beige. Taupe, white, and gray are also very chic for your living room. In fact, a sophisticated effect comes when you opt for a monochromatic color palette. So, you might base your living room in varying shades of one of the above, though you could also choose a single bold color such as blue or green for the foundation. Alternatively, consider painting a single wall a bright color such as red to go with your neutral base. Pick Contemporary Furniture The clean lines characteristic of contemporary design should definitely come out in your choice of furniture. Surfaces should be smooth and without carving and adornment. Indeed, Home and Garden TV suggests choosing pieces that are low to the ground with straight legs. Geometric lines are a hallmark of this style. When it comes to the materials for the furniture, light-colored woods and shiny metals are common. However, the furniture material should be natural, such as linen or silk, and neutral colored. Save the bold patterns for cushions, rugs and window treatments. Finally, look for pieces that offer a slim, geometric silhouette. Keep Décor to a Minimum “Less is more” is the mantra for contemporary style. Clutter should be avoided. So, select a few striking pieces to decorate your living room. For example, place a single glass vase on top of your coffee table, and fill it with architectural flowers. Additionally, stick within your chic color palette. So, if you’re going for a monochromatic effect, choose a few accent pieces in that same color. Alternatively, choose a single boldly-colored accent piece to make a statement. Add Select Pieces of Art Along those same lines, one way to really make your contemporary living room stand out is with modern art. Look for the abstract pieces so characteristic of the style, and have them framed simply. Again, your frames should be within your chosen color scheme. Hang the artwork so it’s the center of attention. For example, hang a single large piece over your mantle or sofa. Alternatively, group an odd number of small pieces in the same style on a wall. Use a subtle palette and minimal décor as a backdrop for your contemporary living room. For more information, visit sites like...

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The Pros And Cons Of Reverse Osmosis

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If you have hard water in your home, you may be considering installing some type of a water softener. One type of water softener is a reverse osmosis water filtration system. This type filters out many of the impurities found in water, leaving you with softer, cleaner water. However, as with most things, there are pros and cons to using reverse osmosis to treat your water. Learning these pros and cons can help you decide if this is the best water softening system for your home. Here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages. Cons of Reverse Osmosis May Not Remove Chemical Components in the Water One of the downsides to using reverse osmosis is that it can only filter out impurities in water that are larger than a water molecule. Fortunately, the minerals that cause hard water are larger than a water molecule, ensuring they are removed. However, many cities and counties are treating their city water with chemicals, such as chlorine. These chemicals are often smaller than a water molecule, and thus will not be removed. If you are looking for chemical-free drinking water, in addition to softer water, this may not be the right option for you. Can Remove Good Minerals The other disadvantage to reverse osmosis is that you can strip good minerals out of the water as well. These minerals, such as calcium, not only improve the taste of the water, but are good for your body and health as well. Unfortunately, there is no way to pick which minerals to remove and which to keep with a reverse osmosis softening system. Pros of Reverse Osmosis Effective Way to Soften Hard Water One of the biggest benefits to reverse osmosis is that it is an extremely effective way to soften hard water. If you don’t drink the tap water at your home anyways, and are tired of scrubbing rust or calcium stains out of your sink or bathtub, this softening system is effective at removing those impurities that cause hard water. Easy to Maintain The other advantage to a reverse osmosis system is that it is extremely easy to care for. You simply need to replace or clean the filter as recommended by the manufacturer of the system you purchase. There are no salts to buy or use and there is no huge system to maintain or clean every few months. If you want to get rid of hard water in your home, but you don’t want something else you have to constantly care for or maintain, a reverse osmosis system may be perfect for you. If you are tired of hard water in your home, installing a water softener can solve the process. Learning the pros and cons of a reverse osmosis system will help you decide if it is the best way for you to improve your home’s...

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Remove Rust Spots from a Window Air Conditioner’s Cover and Interior

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If your window air-conditioning unit was stored in a shed that is not moisture-proof and now has visible rust spots on its cover and portions of its interior, remove the damaged areas by completing the following steps. Once you have eliminated signs of corrosion, apply a rust-inhibiting spray to the unit’s metal components to prevent additional moisture-related damage. Materials Needed vinyl tarp naval jelly foam brush cleaning cloth with abrasive surface metal-cleaning agent sponge water towel face mask disposable gloves rust-inhibiting spray Treat Rust Spots with a Dissolving Agent Place the air conditioner on top of a level surface that is covered with a vinyl tarp. Remove the unit’s cover and use a foam brush to apply a coat of naval jelly to each rust spot on both sides of the cover. Inspect the unit’s interior and apply naval jelly to corroded areas in the same manner. Wait for the rust to begin dissolving. This will occur after several minutes. Wipe a cloth with an abrasive surface back and forth over the rusted sections to assist with removing them. Clean the Treated Areas and Spray a Rust-Inhibitor on Them Apply a metal-cleaning agent to the unit’s interior and cover. Remove any naval jelly that remains on parts of the unit, as well as surface dirt, by wiping each sprayed section with a damp sponge. Use a towel to dry the unit’s interior and cover. Secure a face mask over your nose and mouth in order to prevent breathing in harsh fumes that the rust-inhibiting spray emits. Cover your hands with a pair of disposable gloves. Evenly apply a coat of rust-inhibiting spray to metal parts that make up the unit’s interior and any metal pieces on the cover. When applying the spray to the cover, spray one side and wait for it to dry before turning the cover and applying the inhibitor to the other side. Once the inhibitor has dried, secure the unit’s cover and install the air conditioner in a window in your home or business.  Take Care of the Unit The rust-inhibiting spray will provide the unit with protection from moisture. It is important, however, to maintain the unit in order to ensure that it will remain damage-free altogether. Wipe off the cover and interior parts with a damp cloth as needed. Dry surfaces with a towel when finished. Replace the unit’s filter whenever it has a dirty surface. These steps will assist with keeping the unit in operating order. For more help with your air-conditioning repairs, contact a company such as HomeSmart From Xcel...

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Cleaning Steps To Keep The Metal Gutter System On Your Business Property Maintained

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After a metal gutter system is installed on the side of the commercial building that you own, keep it maintained and damage-free with the following steps. As a result, rainwater will be diverted away from the exterior of your business, and you will not need to worry about the gutter system becoming clogged, which could cause water to pool on the rooftop and damage materials that it is made out of. Materials extension ladder trowel tube brush water hose garden sprayer (a model that contains shoulder straps) detergent oxygenated bleach natural-bristled scrub brush tube of seam sealant putty knife Remove Debris And Stains From Gutter Sections Use a trowel to scrape away loose debris from each gutter section while standing on a ladder. Insert a tube brush into the downspout to dislodge leaves, twigs, and any other residue that is stuck inside of the opening. Use a water hose to rinse the interior of the gutter system, including the opening to the downspout.  Eliminate Hardened Residue Fill the tank to a garden sprayer with a cleaning solution that contains water and a small amount of detergent and oxygenated bleach. Agitate the items in the tank by turning on the machine’s power button for a couple minutes. Place the sprayer’s straps over your shoulders and rest the machine against the central part of your back. Climb the ladder and apply a generous amount of the cleaning solution to any hardened residue that is located in each gutter section by squeezing the machine’s trigger. Use a natural bristled brush to loosen the residue. Apply force to the tool’s handle as you move the brush back and forth. Eliminate the cleaning solution from gutter pieces with a water hose. Inspect And Seal Seams Once the gutter system is dry, inspect its exterior. If any of the seams between adjoining metal sections appear to have gaps in them, reseal them by applying an even layer of seam sealant that is designed to be used on metal. Smooth out the sealant with a putty knife. The product will require several hours to dry. The gutter system will deposit water in another part of your business’ property whenever it rains. Keep the gutter system maintained by occasionally inspecting the interior of each piece and eliminating loose debris when necessary. Rinse out the downspout and eliminate stains from metal surfaces to ensure that the gutter system will continue to work properly.  If you need more assistance, companies like Northwest Rain Gutter may be able to...

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Tips For Keeping Glass Shower Doors Clean

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Glass shower doors look amazing but tend to get smudged rather easily. If a person is in the shower and doesn’t have his or her glasses, he or she might end up touching the glass rather than the handle to the door, leaving a smudge. Luckily, it is relatively easy to keep your shower doors clean so that your shower looks as good as the day that it was installed. 1. Take the Time to Squeegee In order to avoid getting any water marks on your shower, get yourself and the rest of your family into the habit of squeegeeing every day. It would be most effective to have each person take a squeegee and get rid of any water each time after they shower, but that is often not realistic. If you have kids, assign them the task of squeegeeing the shower right when they get home from school. If you don’t have kids, simply get into the habit of squeegeeing the shower when you get home from work or after you have just taken a shower. This is the easiest way to prevent water stains on your shower. 2. Use a Dyer Sheet to Get Rid of Soap Scum Make sure that you get rid of soap scum off of your glass shower door at least once a week in order to keep your door looking great and prevent the scum from causing permanent damage. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get rid of the soap scum is to use a dryer sheet. A dryer sheet contains chemicals that break down the soap that is on your clothes when you put them in the dryer. You can use those same chemicals to break down the soap on your glass shower doors. Take a dryer sheet and spray it with a little bit of water. Then, start wiping down your shower door. The soap should come right off. 3. Use a Glass Cleaner Once a Week Finally, spray down your shower door with a glass cleaner and squeegee it off in order to make your shower doors more resistant to stains and other problems. This will allow you to go slightly longer between actively squeegeeing the water out after your showers. For more information, talk to a company that specializes in glass shower doors. They will be able to recommend some specific cleaners for your particular brand of glass shower door. For glass shower doors, contact a company such as Glasshopper Schor...

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Three Tips For Keeping Your Carpet Clean With Pets Around

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More than three in five Americans own a pet of some type. In many of these homes, there is also an ample amount of carpet. Unfortunately pets and carpet do not mix. A lot of pet owners treat their pet as a member of the family, but it can be tough when you are constantly cleaning your carpet due to pet urine, mud tracked in from outside, and pet dander. While carpet is not recommended for those households with pets that walk around inside, there are some things you can do to protect your carpet. Here are some tips for keeping your carpet healthy even with pets inside.  Watch the Water Bowl  Your pet requires water everyday to stay hydrated. If possible, make sure the water bowl sits on a flat surface like tile or linoleum instead of your carpets. If the water bowl must be on the carpet, then you want to place a mat underneath the bowl to keep the bowl from moving around as much. It will also help keep the extra drops from your pet’s mouth off the carpet. Excessive water in the carpeting can cause mold and mildew, so you want to make sure you do not get your pet’s water in your carpet.  Groom Your Pet Dogs and cats specifically are known to shed depending on the breed. Pet hair can not only cause allergies to flare up, but it can ruin the carpeting. To better protect your floors, you want to make sure you have your pet groomed consistently. Additionally, brushing your dog or cat’s hair will help keep the hair from getting everywhere. Because your pet relies on its hair to protect them in the cold and hot weather, you want to be sure to talk to your groomer about the proper length for your pet.  Start a Flea Treatment A female flea can lay over 2,000 eggs throughout the course of her lifetime. Once your dog or cat brings in the fleas, they will often take up home in your carpet fibers and other upholstered furniture. It is important to keep fleas out of the home and especially out of the carpeting. Just because you have killed off the fleas that are living on your pet, the fleas in your carpet can quickly get right back on your pet again. To avoid fleas altogether, you want to start a flea treatment for your pets. Since fleas are more prone to come around during the warmer months, you may want to consider starting it right before spring and summer. Also, make sure you vacuum your carpet often to help remove fleas and eggs from living in the fibers of your...

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Cool For The Summer: 3 Flowers That Thrive In The Desert Heat

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Growing any sort of plant when you live in extremely hot weather – especially if it’s dry heat – can be a struggle, but attempting to grow flowers to make your yard look more colorful and more attractive can be a downright nightmare. However, a lot of the hardship and toil of keeping flowers alive and un-wilted can be avoided by simply knowing which flowers to select for your best results. So if you’re looking for some flowers that bloom best under the baking sun (whether inside or outside your home), then here’s what you need to know. Turk’s Cap As red and bright as a fire truck, Turk’s Cap is suited for whatever Mother Nature can throw at it, be it sun, shade, and even drought, which is relatively common in the desert. Its red flower doesn’t spread apart at bloom, but stays in a tight fist, offering a punch of color that draws both the eye and natural pollinators. This plant won’t just survive in the baking heat – it’ll actually thrive, blooming at the beginning of summer and lasting until the first frosts of winter set in. Bunny-Ear Cactus This plant is even more adorable than its name, which is saying something; this aptly named cactus grows two distinct (and non-spiny) pads in addition to its primary stalk, giving off the appearance of a rabbit. Bunny-Ear Cactus produces yellow flowers during the spring and summer, which are a welcome addition to the (often flat, dry, and brown) landscape of the desert. However, these yellow blooms aren’t alone for long; these cacti also produce small, circular purple fruit as well, so long as they are allowed to grow in hot areas of low humidity but full sun – or, in other words, the stereotypical desert. Autumn Sage Contrary to its name, this flowering plant actually starts blooming in the dog days of summer, giving color and beauty to your yard at a time when few other plants survive. Growing to about two feet tall (and thus easily visible from any vantage point), Autumn Sage has nice, green foliage topped with purple, pink, and red flowers that can attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and butterflies, ensuring that the beautiful colors of the Autumn Sage will spread around your landscape. For best results, make sure that your plant is getting full sun, and that the ground underneath your sage is able to drain well, and you should have beautiful flowers blooming well into the fall. For more information, contact a company like Shades Of...

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Unusual Ways To Use Sand For Landscaping

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Sand is a useful tool in landscaping. It can act as an even base for a path or a wall, or it can even out little hills or dips in a yard so that a lawn can be flat. But there are plenty of other ways to use sand in landscaping to build a beautiful and unique yard the neighbors will envy. Sand Box If you aren’t interested in the plastic sandboxes widely available in toy stores, try creating a more natural looking oasis for your little ones to play in. Simply create a ring of boulders, fill the ring with sand, and you have an instant sandbox that won’t fade or crack in the sun like those plastic ones. Just be sure to cover it when the kids aren’t playing in it to keep out the neighbor’s cat who might be thrilled to find an oversized litter box in your yard. Fire Pit Sand doesn’t burn, so it makes the perfect base for a backyard fire area. Mark off a small area in your yard using bricks, pavers or rocks and fill it with sand. Put a ready-made fire pit in the center of it or build your own, surround it with a few comfy chairs, and you have a perfect backyard hang-out spot to spend summer evenings when the air cools. Backyard Beach If you love being near the ocean but aren’t lucky enough to have a house near one, create the feel of the ocean in your backyard. Mark off the perfect spot in your backyard and separate it from your lawn with bricks, pavers or rocks. Plant some tall grasses around the wall to cover it up and create a beachy feel. Fill the area with sand, set up a hammock, and you have your own tropical oasis. To give it a little more authenticity, add a water feature to your backyard beach so you can fool yourself into thinking you’re listening to the ocean lapping at the shore. Zen Garden Choose an area in your yard where you know you’ll want to go to feel particularly blissed out and mark it off with either a rock or plant border. Fill the area with sand or gravel and use pavers to make a path through the area. When you’re feeling the need to get away from it all, grab a garden rake, walk along your path and rake the sand into soothing patterns. You’ll be refreshed and ready to return to life in no time. For more information, contact Burien Bark LLC or a similar...

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