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Trees are beautiful additions to any garden. They provide a thick and cool shade to chill under on sunny days and attract singing birds that make your outdoor space even more lively. However, nothing in this world is perfect and trees have their downsides too.

When trees start shedding their leaves, not only are you left with a bare tree, but also with a mess that’s destroying the perfect balance of your landscape. It doesn’t even have to be your tree, thanks to the wind, leaves from trees hundreds of metres away can find their way to your yard. Therefore, leaf blowers are a must-have tool that can help any garden owner clean his windblown walkways, front porch or garden beds from debris as well as some light snow. If you are looking for a leaf blower, here are a few steps to help you make a smart purchase.

Just like human bodies, machines and all sorts of devices and designs are made up of a number of different bits and pieces, and they all make the whole. Some of the bits and pieces of my interest in this article are the hose clamps. Now these are hardware pieces whose design is made to help connect other pieces, more specifically tubes and hoses to all sorts of fixtures. While they allow for connections to happen, they also allow for fluids to go from one place to another, and this is what makes them suitable for various applications.

industrial-pipe-clamps

Along with finding their place in household repairs (e.g. sinks, radiators, garden hoses), particularly plumbing, they’re also useful in automotive fixes. Since there are various applications, you can expect there to be a wide range of clamps for hoses to choose from. The design of hoses is simple, as is that of hose clamps, and you can’t have one without the other. If you want to secure hoses to fixtures, you have to use hose clamps. The simpler forms of clamps are the spring and the banded screw type (also known as worm drives).

While there are slight differences in their designs, the spring clamp being made of more flexible yet strong metal (spring steel band), and the screw of galvanised steel band, with slightly different tightening, they’re both used in the automotive systems though the spring ones are the preferred ones in these situations; the screw type are preferred for domestic wastewater piping for more flexible joining of pipes.

There are two other clamps for hoses used for similar (automotive radiator hoses) applications: the wire, and the ear clamps. While wire clamps are made of heavy steel band, ear ones are made of stainless steel in a design with two ears – hence the name. The ear clamps are preferred in cases that have to do with hoses and tubes meant to prevent gas or liquid leaking. Other than this basic classification, clamps also go under the names of plastic clamps, large clamps, heavy duty, stainless hose, and quick release – all related to the applications they’re used for.

What you have to be wary of, however, is overturning which could possibly lead to leakages, especially with the screw clamps. If you require very tight connection, then don’t think twice about getting heavy duty clamps, suitable for suction and pressure hoses, made to endure more force.

“It’s not how big the house is, it’s how happy the home is”

What makes home a home? Home certainly represents something different for every individual, a place with different interior styles, furniture and colours, but what we can all agree on is a home is the place that’s supposed to be our safe haven. As such it’s meant to give us the optimal relaxation when we’re back from a busy day at work and have to regain the lost energy from being out and about all day; simply said it’s got to be the place we want to go back to. It’s not that rare that most of us start growing tired of our surroundings, but this happens mostly because we only arrange the interior décor for the sake of arranging.

living room ottoman

If you want to create the living nest that’s the embodiment of happiness, you have to amp up it’s cosiness. Though we don’t often see the relation, cosiness and organisation go hand in hand. You can’t have a cosy place if all you can see in your surroundings is clutter, cramming all of the area. Not only is such a space dysfunctional, it’s also bound to make you moody. A way you can avoid ending up one step away from becoming a hoarder without resorting to going the other way of the spectrum, becoming a minimalist, is by adding furniture pieces that are elegant and utilitarian, like the ottoman for instance.

While it’s perfect for keeping your feet up after a tiring day, an ottoman also lives up its purpose as extra seating, and even outlives it by also being used as a coffee table (just place a tray and presto changeo), and storage where you can place all your books, magazines, knick knacks or even kids’ toys. It saves you space and helps you make a statement; what more could you want in a furniture piece? Along with looking for more multi-purpose pieces, you have to look around and carefully consider whether the colours of your home are giving off a happy feeling. Familiar with it or not, the psychology of colours has a great effect on us, so a word of advice is to use warm colours.

While cool colours widen up a space, and sometimes give it a rather stale look, warm colours bring about a cosy and welcoming feeling. Interior colours (those of walls and furniture) go together with lighting, so you can’t go wrong by opting for warm lighting hues either and the lighting fixtures are an added bonus to your interior décor. Essentially, you can have further control over the tones of your rooms by having light dimmers so you can set the tone you want suitable for every occasion, bright for parties, and more romantic for a cosy dinner with your significant other. The finishing touch is to surround yourself with the things you love, those that have a sentimental value and remind you of beautiful moments.

Nowadays, it seems like the whole world has been seduced by the reducing charm of minimalism – some to a certain extend and some on the brink of a monkish-driven objects starvation. More and more people are leaving the interior design craze behind by turning to the bare necessities alone. In other words, it’s the Ice Age of design and décor. This novelty appeals mostly to people who consider the time spent tidying up time wasted in vain and they usually say “I’d rather spend my money and time on travel instead”.

Now, although I am not going to deny the appealing ring of that philosophy, I do believe that taking the time to create a home that oozes with warmth is worthwhile. Yes, there are still those of us who would add a little drama to all those excessively clean lines, and it would be based on a French manuscript. Old-fashioned this mindset might be, but it’s in the old ways where wisdom often lies. Yes, in a world of DJs, some of us still get a kick out of Edit Piaf.

Nothing may be the current big thing, but it doesn’t speak the language of history as French provincial style furniture does. In the light of this fact, minimalism, step aside, this is how we create j’adore – something that actually pleases the heart.

 French Provincial Style Furniture

J’suis Harmony

The French frown to ostentatious finishes which are very often confused with having a fine taste. On the contrary, since French homes are usually on the small side, the owners strive to include gorgeous items that also have a practical use up their sleeves. The undertone of efficiency should be mirrored in every item as to achieve balance. Open shelving is one great example for French double agent tricks.

The French Palette is Neutralette

Subtlety and elegance are the pillars of French provincial style furniture and that’s best communicated through colors. White, light blue, taupe, brown and sage are the colours most commonly in play and the rule not to use more than two colours from the same family in one room. However, when it comes to details and décor, the French do embrace vibrant and bold hues, mostly displayed through discreet architectural elements or textile patterns.

A Little Rust Goes a Long Way

Nothing speaks the dialects of French provincial as much as gentle weathering… Bypass all that’s not wood and wrought iron and you’ll be on the Oui bandwagon! A few digs and scuffs should not scare away the followers of this style since it must bear the whisper of age.

Finally, don’t forget to get a few vases and fill them with flowers with vibrant colours! Open your heart for the petals of mighty roses that will appeal both to eyes and noses.

I have always been fascinated by the honeycomb structure and wondered how do bees, unaware of geometry, succeed in building their perfectly shaped homes. But if you think about it, you’ll notice this hexagonal formation all around us. It’s said that nature is the greatest designer of all, therefore, it’s no wonder people draw inspiration from it when coming up with such ingenious designs like the honeycomb blinds are.honeycombs online

But besides having an eye-appealing form, a great design also needs to be functional and to offer convenience. That’s what makes honeycombs a true example of ideal design. When it comes to elegant, durable and energy-saving window treatments, honeycombs clearly dominate on the market. You can find many designs, sizes, colours and materials of honeycombs online as well as in brick and mortar stores, and your choice should be based on your needs and preferences. Now let’s take a look at what makes this type of window coverings so desirable among Australians.

Where do you seek inspiration when you want to bring some vibrant changes in your interior décor? I’m guessing it’s home makeover shows, interior decorators and magazines, but if you want to break away from the usual, there’s always nature to turn to for some groundbreaking ideas and designs. You’ve probably heard the quote before: “All art is but imitation of nature”, and I might as well add that everything we see around us has been present in nature way before. This is also the case with a certain type of blinds that have caught my attention: the honeycomb blinds, also known as cellular.honeycomb-blinds-installation

So, what’s so special about these blinds you ask? Well, the mere fact that they were inspired by bees, one of the most laborious insects, is proof enough that these blinds have an ingenious design. As we might guess from their name, honeycomb blinds are made to look like bees’ honeycombs, meaning same as the honeycomb is comprised of hexagonal cells, these blinds have them too. It’s exactly this feature that allows the blinds to trap the air and improve home insulation, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer, which means you can expect to cut down on heating and cooling costs as soon as you implement them in your interior. You’d be surprised also to know how easy the honeycomb blinds installation is, so you’d cut down on additional expenses as you could easily take matters in your hands.

Once you’ve made up your mind on making these blinds part of your home, the first step is to find a reliable shop. Nowadays, with the help of technology, you can do so online and save on time and money looking around local shops. When you purchase quality, you can expect to get the exact product you see online and get all the instructions on honeycomb blinds installation along with other bits of information. For instance, if your windows are timber-based, you’d get the appropriate installation screws, but in case they’re aluminium or masonry, then you’d be advised on the screws you need to buy.

Next, once the purchase is complete, make sure you get the right tools to start with the installation, from pencil and measuring tape to screwdrivers, drill, bits and level. Measure up the windows properly, mark the screw hole spots, do the drilling and you’re ready to place the brackets, then secure the head rails to them. The difference of honeycomb blinds is in their operation mechanism – some are corded, others are cordless – so it’s all up to your taste and preferences in choosing between the two. When installed, it’s important to have in mind to do a bit of maintenance every now and then, either by vacuuming or wiping them with a dry cloth, to extend their durability.

Since these blinds are perfect for giving you the control over light and privacy, they’re ideal for any part of your home – they’re really functional. Yet, functionality isn’t all they were made for – they’re stylish as well and can be combined with other window coverings too, such as curtains, to further personalise your windows and interior style. Enjoy your interior refreshment!

So, you are past the days of your parents telling you “it’s my house – my rules” and officially done with sleeping in college dorms. Welcome to the grown up world, big boy! Maybe you’re exploring the life in a new town, searching for a new job, a new place to call your own home? So many options, so much freedom to choose. Freedom sounds quite exhilarating, but there is also the pressure of diving into the unknown. That’s why many guys make hasty and catastrophic mistakes when furnishing their first home. To avoid being one of them, I’ve created a short guide to help you out to properly style your man cave so it doesn’t literally look like a prehistoric one.

sofa seat

We all know that the bigger the number of rooms, the more expensive the rent. So when starting off, you’ll probably go for a studio apartment or something similar. That means you’ll need a clever and cost-effective furniture solution. Or, better think of it like this: instead of over-cluttering your space, invest in only the most crucial pieces.

Start with the sofa. When looking for a sofa seat from the many choices on the Australian market, think of it as more than a place for you to jump on and play video games. A nice sofa seat should serve multiple purposes; provide enough space for your guests to sit on as well as to act as a comfortable and wide enough place for you to get the much needed Zs. This way you won’t need to get a separate bed for sleeping and you’ll actually save some space.

To further limit clutter, buy furniture with hidden storage, like a storage ottoman, that could do double duty as a coffee table. Just keep in mind that all furniture pieces should reflect your décor sense. Try your best to establish your own personal style by adding little hints of it. For example, if you like animal print, don’t buy a sofa that looks like a huge predator, instead, opt for a small leopard rug that will also help tie the whole design together.

If you’re lucky enough to have found a room with a view, turn that into the focal point of your space. Put large glass windows and let the city’s charm reflect into your home. Don’t forget to sound-proof them – you don’t need the chaos of the traffic noise in your private sanctuary. Another blessing that comes with wide windows is the huge amount of sunlight you’ll get during the day and the enviously good view of the cityscape at night.

In order to create a classy ambience that will show that you have a taste, you need to pick the right lighting. The living room should have a big overhead chandelier to provide enough brightness for the whole space at night. Furthermore, you can spice things up by placing accent lights just above the artwork or ornaments. It’s also good to install a dimmer switch for a romantic atmosphere when you’re in need of one. With a few lighting tweaks, such as picking different colours and brightness levels, you can add a more contemporary feel to the space.

Being the king of your castle means styling your place according to your own rules. The best thing about the whole thing? Nobody can complain about it! Be careful not to over-clutter it though. More maintenance and more cleaning are not what the single life is for – follow the rule less is more and you can’t go wrong.

Everybody loves taking long, mind-cleansing, hot showers that transform the bathroom in a steamy spa retreat. However, not everybody knows that the steam and humidity resulting from these hot showers can be wreaking havoc on the air quality in your bathroom, unless you’re using exhaust fans.

Bathroom fans are in-ceiling or in-wall exhaust fans that are designed to improve airflow, add ventilation and reduce excess humidity. Technically, they remove the warm moisture from the bathroom and take it outdoors through the ductwork. Using exhaust fans helps prevent mildew and mold problems, maintain a healthier air quality, and keeps you comfortable and safe. Here are a few steps to help you decide which bathroom exhaust fan is right for you.

bathroom-exhaust-fans

Pick the Right Size

Picking the right size fan for your bathroom’s square footage will ensure that you’ll be getting the right amount of ventilation. They’re rated and sized by their ability to move air in cubic feet per minute. Less powerful, smaller fans generate less cubic feet per minute and are ideal for smaller bathrooms. On the other hand, the more powerful fans that generate more cubic feet per minute are ideal for larger bathrooms.

Mind the Noise Level

Some fans sound literally like jet engines and can disturb the peace that you so desire when showering. When shopping for a fan, you should consider the noise level and go for a quieter model. Usually, bath fan sound levels are measured in sones. A sone roughly equals the humming of the refrigerator in a quiet kitchen. As a general rule, you should avoid fans rated at 5 or more sones.

Efficiency Matters

Nowadays, efficiency should be on top of your mind every time you shop for any home system or appliance. Fortunately, today bathroom fans are more efficient than ever. A lot of them were designed with efficiency in mind, which certainly contributes towards lower energy costs. They also meet qualifications for low wattage consumption, low sound emission and more powerful but efficient performance under static pressure.

Features

Most of today’s bathroom fans have a number of features that make them operate more efficiently and conveniently. A lot of them have sensors that detect moisture levels and start working only when the moisture levels are above average. Integrated lights that can add supplementary lighting or replace existing fixtures are also a very convenient feature. Some models go as far as having night lights for soft illumination during the night hours. For those living in colder climates, some fans offer built-in heaters to add extra warmth to the bathroom.

Choice

When it comes to choosing the proper window treatment, the overall room design as well as what you want to achieve with your choice of window treatment are one of the most important things that should be taken into consideration. Some people are always ready to give up the beauty of their window treatment for the functionality of it; meaning, they think the more shade it provides, the better.

I personally, don’t understand how anyone could live in a completely dark room, knowing that natural lighting is what gives the furniture and the entire design scheme its beauty. For those of you who want the best of both worlds in the form of a window treatment that provides just the right shade and the right sunlight penetration, I present you the plantation shutter: stylish and very convenient, perfectly easy to install and even easier to maintain. Plus, it can be made of many materials, but the one that is really convenient and absolutely stylish and fancy, is basswood.plantation shutter

What is basswood?

A wooden plantation shutter is a window treatment that is made of wood, in this case, basswood. Basswood is used mainly for the combination of consistent grain, smooth finish, and the extremely fine texture, which together contribute to the amazing aesthetics of a wooden plantation shutter. It’s rather hard to imagine wooden plantation shutters, since shutters as a window treatment should be smooth, thin and rather gentle-looking. However, not all wood is bulky and rough at first glance; basswood timber is just the right wood choice for making something that should be as gentle and perfect in its construction as a window treatment.

Basswood has a pale white to very light brown colour, and its texture is fine with straight grain. This allows you to paint the wood if you need it to be in another colour to fit your room’s design/decor. Pearly white, egg white or silky white nuances are the most commonly used ones as these tones contribute to the natural look of the shutters. You can even choose to have them stained, which is another advantage to this choice. Shortly, this all means that you’ll have no trouble fitting these shutters in your room design.

Some need-to-know advantages of basswood

As a material, basswood has a natural beauty which is contained in the wood’s grain, its rich colour and the sheen of real wood. In addition, wood is a rather strong and durable option, which only adds to its many benefits. As a material, basswood is definitely lighter than its most common counterpart poly, but it’s a lot stronger in its construction. This contributes to the greater durability of the material and the product itself. Bottom line, are basswood shutters a good choice? Considering all the good stuff this material possesses and the fact that shutters are a way better option than curtains are, it most certainly is.

Although the two classic window covering options – curtains and venetian blinds, have so much to offer, there are some tasteful window treatments that are becoming more and more popular these days and thus make it hard for curtains and venetians to reign in every modern residence. Unless you live under a rock, you have definitely noticed that today many people choose to beautify their windows and protect their homes from the unwanted sunlight with the help of roller blinds.roller blinds Australia