Break Free from Holiday Tradition: Unique Christmas Tree Themes

Christmas Tree

Christmas TreeTraditional Christmas trees often have the same set of decorations: shining Christmas balls, holly, candy canes and a star or angel on top.

This Christmas, you need not be boxed within the usual. Make the holidays more special by adding a twist to your Christmas tree decorations. After all, apart from breaking tradition, uniquely themed trees add a fabulous and whimsy touch to your holiday festivities.

You can express your hobbies or interests on your tree decorations. For example, your love for teddy bears or dolls can serve as this year’s theme. Special vacations or family celebrations can also inspire your Christmas tree theme.

Before you visit the nearby stores for pre lit Christmas trees for sale or storm the shops, use these ideas to inspire your decorations:

Unleash Your Inner Fan Theme

If the family is a fan of a particular comic book, TV series or movie, your tree can serve as the reflection of that imagination. You can use iconic objects as Christmas ornaments to add some fun while unleashing your inner fanatic.

For example, why don’t you build anticipation for the seventh instalment of Star Wars using some Star Wars-themed decorations? Specialty shops are surely selling these types of decorations. If you prefer to save on money, do-it-yourself decorations are also an option.

Spectacular Seaside Holiday

This theme offers a number of options, especially in terms of colour schemes. You can do it in gold and silver, or astound your visitors with blues and greens. Whatever colour theme you choose, the ornaments should be easy to find and make yourself. All you have to do is look for decorations shaped like a seahorse, a starfish or a shell.

White Christmas Trees

Traditional Christmas trees are often immaculately green. If you wish to have a winter white theme, best to buy a white tree beforehand. Your ornaments can vary, as long as these are in the shade of white. Gold colours can also work if you prefer white mixed with gold.

Let your tree be unlike any other this Christmas season. Impress your guests with a Christmas tree that will stand out and awe them.

By Using the Right Materials and Maintenance, Wooden Garden Furniture Can Outlive People

Wood Furniture

Wood FurnitureWhen buying lawn furniture, most people should buy what last the longest. These choices provide maximum value over time, maybe even more. But, it costs more and that is what stops most buyers. Yet, with a little research, they can find bargain buys and end up more satisfied with their purchase. As far as anyone is concerned, this is the perfect trick to buying the best in anything.

But, getting the best deals does not necessarily translate to longevity. Even more with garden furniture, which are subject to changing climate and regular use. Considering that the best choices revolve around wood also makes it hard to choose what will end up living the longest. Nevertheless, the right choice combined with right maintenance can outlive people.

Wood of Choice

When it comes to lastingness, most sellers would urge buyers to choose hardwood. Most likely, it is the stiffest made of everything and uses the best-quality wood. But, hardwood furniture of all sizes cost a lot. Thus, a set of two chairs and a table must command a higher price than most people can comfortably afford.

Down one level is pine furniture, and this may provide the best value for money among furniture materials. Garden Pine Design and a host of other manufacturers use pine, and they receive top marks for their products. With qualities only a degree less than hardwood, it is worth the money.

Making It Last

Here is the tricky part, preserving wood furniture. Timber is susceptible to rot, and without proper care, it will not be long before wooden chairs and tables become weak and wilt. Most furniture come pre-treated, but those coatings will only last for a time.

The secret is the regularity of maintenance. There are many ways to clean wood, most pragmatically is jet-spraying water. This technique ensures to remove a layer of dirt that stuck to the surface. Whether by pressure washing or regular towel cleaning, let the furniture dry out after washing. After that, it is recommended to apply protective coating and wood stain/teak oil. This is to protect the surface and keep its gorgeous look.

The life cycle of wood items will always be hard to enhance, especially those put in the outdoors. Nonetheless, with these tips and tricks, people will manage to use wood furniture for a very long time.

Use the Right Techniques to Give an Illusion of a Bigger Garden

Gardening

GardeningWhen planning your home, you no doubt are looking at various ways to maximise the space, and have planned out well in advance, the best ways to present the existing corners by using shelving or other space utilising products. With your garden too, you can create an illusion of a larger space with a bit of planning and careful mix and match.

There is a number of Perth gardening techniques available to create an illusion of better planning and larger garden space. One of the common techniques used is to create an illusion using colours. There are two categories of colours, one is warm colours such as yellow, red, orange etc., the other includes what is termed cool colours such as pink, purple, blues etc. Focus on having the warm colours away from the central area of the garden. Make borders using the cooler shades to create an illusion of more space.

Another technique is to use different kinds of plants, such as a mix of coarser leaves and fine leaves. The textural difference also is an excellent tool to play with perception of distance. In your garden place the large leaved or “coarse” plants towards the outer regions and the fine leaved plants in the inner part. This creates again a depth perception and creates an illusion of a larger space.

More illusions of perspective are created using miniature plants, bonsai, which is often used in gardens to create that beautiful look of a bigger space. Trees are also an important tool in creating a bigger illusion of space, carefully choose trees with more height, and however do pay attention to growth patterns which can also alter perception of space in the garden. Tall trees which grow upward rather than outward like the Leyland Cypress are a good pick to draw the eye upward.

Follow these tips to create a seemingly larger garden with limited space.

Buy Steel Gates and Fences with Style

Metal Fence

Metal FenceA steel gate or fence can look grim if you think about it. They look like prison bars, but instead of keeping people in, it is to keep people out. It is important for your security to have those steel barriers against possible intruders and uninvited guests from strolling up to your property, but they are not pretty.

They can be, though. According to wasatchsteel.com, if you buy steel gates and fences, these can be both decorative and functional.

Steel Instead of Iron

You have probably seen many properties surrounded by a perimeter fence or with an imposing gate with fancy scrollwork and curlicues. In older properties, these are probably made of wrought iron. Back in the day, iron was the most popular material to use for ornamental fencing because they were easier to work with. Steel used to be too hard to work into curves and curlicues, but modern methods have made it possible today.

Pretty Fine

A type of steel called mild steel is now popular for decorative gates and fences. They are easier to craft by hand than the heavier iron, and they look finer and more delicate. Iron is also quite heavy and dated.

However, ornamental steel may corrode, so it is important to put a protective layer to your ornamental steel to protect it from the elements. You can have this done onsite once your fence or gate is in place.

Other Uses

Ornamental steel comes in many designs. If you search for ornamental steel, you will find a fantastic array of designs from which to pick. It also has many uses aside from making your fence and gate look nicer, just like wrought iron. You can use it for garden chairs, tables, and other types of furniture. It is durable and adds a distinctive style of its own to your home.

Ornamental does not have to mean useless. Ornamental steel can help make your home more secure without making it look like a prison.

Building a Horse Barn

horse barn

horse barnHaving a horse is unlike having a pet animal in your household. Horses need bigger spaces for them to move freely, as well as enjoy access to the great outdoors for their daily dose of exercise and physical activity. When raising a horse, you will definitely have to prepare the horse shelter – the barn.

Preliminary Considerations

Like any other construction projects, you need to check the building code in the area. Inspect the location to know if it suits the unique characteristics of your horse. Furthermore, check the local land use policies and guidelines if you can make significant changes in the landscape. Lastly, check your budget because building a barn takes more financial resources than your ordinary animal house project.

Barn Essentials

All barns need to have the basic setup primarily intended for the protection and care of your horses. At the minimum, you will need the following:

  • Several stalls where your horses can rest and sleep
  • A few storage facilities for your horses’ hay, and beddings
  • An area for bathing and grooming your horses
  • A dedicated and completely secured feed room
  • A well-built fence surrounding a vast green pasture

Direct Trades Supply recommends the use of products designed to confine animals without causing any fence-related injury, without barbs or protruding wires. The materials should adhere to animal safety standards.

Layout Planning

Once you have decided on the type of barn essentials, now is the time to consider the general layout of your barn. Although there are no strict guidelines as to what constitutes a well-designed barn, you need to consider the following:

  • There should be enough room for you and your horses to move about. Barn aisles should be at least 4 meters in width.
  • Good and adequate ventilation is required to promote optimum equine health. You can install exhaust fans on the barn roof or ceiling fans in addition to vent-style windows.
  • You need adequate lighting; preferably use natural light like that coming from windows and skylights.
  • Non slip flooring is essential to prevent fall-related injuries; asphalt or rubber pavers are excellent for aisle flooring. Stall flooring can have gravel as a base, and then topped with clay or base rock.

There are service providers that offer assistance in designing and building barns. Many also design and build prefabricated barn parts to suit your horses’ every need.

Trendy Gates and Fences: Designing with Aluminium

Aluminum Fence

Aluminum FenceWe all know that aluminium fences are the more durable and affordable option when it comes to fencing in Australia. Unlike wrought iron, wood and even steel, aluminium lasts longer and needs little to no maintenance to keep its good appearance.

Despite these beneficial traits, many people believe that aluminium doesn’t offer the same quality of aesthetics compared to traditional fencing materials. After all, it is difficult to replicate the rustic look of a wooden fence or the regal and imposing appearance of gates made of wrought iron and steel.

This is a misconception, though; aluminium is a versatile material, and it’s surprising how it can improve the visual appeal of your home.

Form and Functionality

Although aluminium starts out looking metallic and silvery, manufacturers use a range of powder finishes that can change the resultant look of the fence and gate. Many homeowners who install aluminium gates Perth wide usually prefer the dark iron powder finish that is virtually indistinguishable from real wrought iron and steel.

This isn’t purely cosmetic, though. Unlike real iron or steel, aluminium doesn’t rust and has a better resistance to corrosion. This material has such a high level of versatility that it can even replicate the appearance of wood, even surpassing its ability to blend into your property’s surroundings. Aluminium is arguably the only ‘knock off’ that does the job better than the original.

Highly Customisable

One of the obstacles that homeowners working with wood, iron, or steel face is the difficulty in customising their gates and fences. The process of manufacturing iron and steel into different shapes and designs takes a long time and is very costly. The same can be said for wood, which, apart from being relatively expensive, requires cutting down several trees just to make a single design.

Aluminium is easier to shape and design, owing to its ‘bendability’. Metalworkers can shape this material into different ornaments easily, and they don’t even need to manufacture new aluminium all the time. Aluminium is 100% recyclable and can be repurposed into nearly anything without its durability and strength diminishing.

If you’re in the market for trendy looking gates and fences, consider purchasing one made from aluminium. Not only do they look good, but they perform better than the ‘original’, too.

Who Says That Glass Balustrades Are Just for Modern Homes?

Glass Balustrade

Glass BalustradeGlass balustrading is a common trend today because of the growing popularity of modern-style homes. Not everyone knows that glass, as a design solution and building material, is not only for modern home applications. You do not need to have a strict contemporary theme to use glass in your property.

Glass is highly versatile. You can infuse it with any existing motif or theme, or combine it with other materials to make a room or area more interesting.

Here are few ideas on using glass balustrades in your home:

For a timber staircase

You can use glass panels in place of the old wrought iron railings in your wooden staircase. The transparency of the panels will highlight the charm of your timber steps. You can have the balustrade framed with steel or wood for easy grip when using the stairs. Most suppliers of Perth balustrades offer installations services to get the job done for your staircase.

For a home office or study room

If you want to enjoy the views of your lovely garden or pool from your home office or study room, a full glass wall makes a great addition. This could be a costlier project, but the added aesthetic would be worth the costs. The glass wall will work nicely even with carpeted or dark timber floors. Think about adding drapes or blinds, so you can get some privacy in your space.

For pool area fence

Glass also makes an excellent modern fencing material for your pool area. Your clear fence will help you keep the kids out of the pool when you are not around to supervise them. The great thing about glass fencing is you can enclose your pool area without blocking the view.

For an airy balcony

Glass balustrades also make a wise and practical addition to your balcony or deck. The clean and transparent features of the glass will create an illusion of space and airiness, which is perfect for relaxation areas. The panels are usually made from thick, tempered glass, so you can expect sturdy and safe balustrading for your outdoor space.

There are many other ways to use glass balustrades in your home, regardless of the style and theme. All you need to do is explore your options and keep in mind the comfort needs of your family.

Garden Design Trends: Small, Edible Gardens are In

Garden Design

Garden DesignA garden improvement project is a great way to enhance the look of your property. It even increases the property value, making it a good option for homeowners thinking of selling in the future.

Like many others who are busy with work and home management, you want to spend time in a relaxing environment. This can be your garden. Landscape gardeners in Essex recommend the following ideas:

1. Edible gardening

Edible gardening is one of the hottest trends. Browse the web for ideas and designs that fit your property and location.

Landscape gardeners in the Essex area offer custom designs that fit the owner’s specifications. For instance, if you choose to plant micro greens, go for a small front garden with a section for edible sprouts.

A team of three labourers can complete a pocket garden project in no time. Work with an experienced team of landscapers and reap the rewards of a traditional garden offering edible plants.

Two weeks after planting, harvest your first batch of micro greens. Harvest the lettuce for your salad and enjoy its freshness. Watch out for upcoming events showcasing perennials, grasses and shrubs.

2. Portable gardening

Small yard designers are offering their expertise to people who want to make the best use of their available space. Fusing sustainable solutions with new ideas on planting in small spaces has led to thriving portable gardens.

Even if you are renting a small space, maintain an indoor garden, plant in pots and raise hanging plants. You may even have a berry bush in a pot and enjoy the fruits when they are ripe enough. Postage-stamp-sized gardens are cropping up on apartment terraces.

A garden can improve the value of your house and give you a healthier lifestyle. With greens you can eat and a good view you can enjoy, this is certainly a good addition to your property.

Stylish Stools – The Decorator’s Secret Weapon, A Designer Says

Space is always the challenge when it comes to decorating interiors. Adding lots of stuff in a room and it will look more like a storage area instead of a home. Doing the opposite, on the other hand, makes a home look deserted.

This problem usually happens in kitchen areas. As the center of social activity at homes, kitchens should have many seats to accommodate people. As Marika Meyer, an interior designer in DC, said: “It doesn’t matter how huge or tiny your home is, people will congregate in the kitchen. You might as well make it comfortable.”

Bar Old ToolsBut what of kitchens in a tight squeeze? Interior designers came up with this answer – a stylish set of stools in your kitchen counter. “Stools are decorators’ secret weapon for adding seating and a bold color,” says Meyer who is known for blending clean lines with feminine patterns and bold doses of color. Stools are ideal for adding seats and styles for any kitchen.

Mixing function and fun

Stools are ideal for not only adding extra seats but also style to your kitchen, thus mixing function and fun. Stools can bring a splash of color or texture to a dull space without the need to add paintings and other decorations in the walls. These seats do well in enhancing a room like a brightly patterned settee or accent chair. Designers also consider stools as their favorite decorating tool because it is less aesthetically risky. These seats come in pairs so the colors and prints are repeated, ensuring harmony and balance in your kitchen’s design.

People can do many things with stools by trying out different color schemes. Meyer said: “You can be a little more daring. Stools do wonders for tying a color scheme together.” For instance, she recommended industrial or metal bistro stools in lime, orange or other summery hues. She also added that these should still match the countertops, however.

Shopping for stools

Meyer added some guidelines when shopping for stools. For measurements, she suggested stools that leave about 12 inches of space between the height of the stool and the height of the counter to keep guests comfortable. People should for 24-inch stools for a 36-inch kitchen counter, for instance.

For traditional homes with high ceiling rooms, she suggested Windsor-back stools. Saddle stools with perforated leather seats would look nice for masculine settings.

Placing your stools

Stools should slide right up to the counter’s edge for apartments with kitchen islands. Round stools are ideal in these cases because these seats allow guests to move around comfortably without hindering their movements. For kitchens that don’t have enough room for extra seats, people can create a makeshift counter in the living room with a high pub table.

If you want to improve your small kitchen’s look, add some stools. Not only do these things increase the seating capacity, these also enhance your kitchen’s aesthetic value without overdoing it.