Kitchen Counter Tops – Make Your Kitchen Outstanding

A kitchen is a place for you to display your culinary prowess. It’s also an integral part of the home, and which needs to be designed and decorated in accordance with the interior scheme as the rest of the house. The work top in your kitchen is one such space, which, when designed, built, and decorated beautifully can lend an enchanting allure to the entire area. So here are some tips that can help you build and maintain an outstanding kitchen with the help of kitchen counter tops.

Know what materials and finishes to choose

Countertops can be constructed with different materials. Granite is a commonly used material, as it is hard, durable, highly resistant to heat, and requires very little maintenance. Granite counter tops come in three basic finishes – polished, honed, and flamed. The polished finish gives a mirror like reflective sheen to the countertop surface, making it elegant and radiant. However, this finish can corrode over time, and can also show scratches or flaws when not properly cared for. Honed granite has a satiny matte finish that blends beautifully with white cabinets and furniture. This finish is less likely to reveal scratches and flaws, but is more porous, and can hence absorb stains easily. Flamed granite has a natural, rustic charm and a rich texture. However, this is highly porous, and can trap dirt and stains in its crevices. Hence, this kind of finish requires constant upkeep and routine care.

Wood is yet another popular choice for countertops. Pinewood works best for traditional or antique kitchens. Reclaimed wood is ideal for homes with a rustic interior. Oak lumber works best when you need to have a countertop in an exposed or outdoor space.

Of late, brass countertops have started gaining popularity in kitchens. Their ever-changing patina lends a unique beauty to your kitchen, while the different textures and finishes make them suited for different design and décor themes. Brass countertops, however, can show marks and stains easily if not properly cared for.

Pick a color

The color of the countertop that you choose has to blend in with the cabinetry, kitchen interiors, as well as the design and décor scheme in the remaining parts of the house. Colors that are popularly used in kitchens include:

• Textured White – the speckled or grainy white color is a great pick for kitchens of the traditional or transitional style. It makes the space look bigger and light without being clinical or austere. They also do not show every speck of dust or dirt that accumulates on their surface.

• Pure white – these countertops are just perfect for modern, urbane, and truly contemporary kitchens. They lend a minimalist appearance to spaces, but require proper care and constant cleaning for pristineness. They also pair well with wood and can be matched with blue furniture or cabinetry for a nautical feel.

• Brown – the wooden browns are an ideal choice for kitchens with a classic, breezy touch. They complement existing wooden cabinets, and also lend a rustic feel made from appropriate lumber. Reddish browns have a traditional feel, while grayish ones are just perfect for contemporary settings.

• Black – this color is great when you want to highlight other areas in the kitchen or want to build a black and white scheme. It connects easily with other elements in the space without creating an overbearing feeling.

Care for your countertop

The countertop sure is your workplace that needs to bear the brunt of cooking, washing, storage, preparation, and so on. But that doesn’t mean that you ill-treat your worktop or neglect it. A kitchen that retains the beauty and charm over time is one that’s been cared for properly. Regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary for proper upkeep of your kitchen countertop (http://www.ehow.com/about_4565705_kitchen-countertops.html). Different materials react differently to the liquids and substances that they come in contact with. Always wipe off the liquid spills as soon as possible. Use coasters when placing hot or cold objects on the worktop. This prevents unsightly marks from forming on the countertop surface. Use mild, non-abrasive cleaners, and soft sponges or microfiber cloth when wiping the surface. This would prevent the countertop from developing scratch marks. Reapply protective finishes at regular intervals so that the surface retains its beauty and pristineness even with use.

The Modern Guide to Choosing the Right Bed Sheets

There is an intriguing fact stating that we spend nearly one-third of our life in our bed. Apart from choosing the stylish designer beds and comfortable mattresses, bed sheets or linen used on a daily basis on your bed matter a lot in defining your mood. Your sleep sanctuary becomes a perfect haven when you choose a smooth texture in the bed sheets. Also, a suitable combination of bed linen can enhance the glamour of your bedroom. They are an indispensable accessory for your bedroom holding significant prominence in your home decoration as well.

Here, you have to agree that bed sheets have a significant impact on your lifestyle at different levels. Most of the times, you end up buying an inappropriate linen due to sheer lack of awareness and knowledge. Your investment goes in vain when bed sheets are not comfortable or they fail to enhance the ambiance of your room. If you are looking to buy a new bed sheet, it is recommended to read this article and make purchases as per the tips provided here.

Look For The Perfect Size:

You must measure the length and breadth of your mattresses before stepping out for shopping. The beds are available in different sizes and so are the mattresses. Twin, double, king size and queen size are the types of beds commonly preferred in modern homes. New improvements in mattresses and beds have made it difficult to cover your bed with the perfect linen. A standard bed sheet may not fit a king size bed due to extra thickness, tucked pillow area, and other enhancements. A bed sheet is not suitable until its size fits your bed. Hence, measure its size including the thickness. Add a few inches more after calculating the surface area and thickness of a mattress. Always remember that size of a bedsheet should neither be less nor more. It should be a perfect match.

While purchasing bed sheets on sale, you must pay attention towards the size mentioned on the cover. You must shortlist a bedsheet on its size before looking for its prints and other features. For example, you can go for a king size bedsheet for your queen size bed if it offers ample coverage for extra thickness and mattresses.

Check the Thread Count:

You will certainly feel more comfortable when relaxing on very soft and smooth linen. It is a heavenly experience to enjoy a deep slumber on such linen. But how it becomes so comfortable?

The real magic is the higher thread count. It is seen that softness of a bedsheet is determined by its thread count. The hospitality industry emphasizes on thread count while buying bed linen for supreme luxury and comfort. Thread count, usually named as TPI is calculated as threads used in each square inch of the bedsheet. It is observed that bed sheets with 350-450 TPI are more comfortable in comparison with bed sheets with 150-250 TPI. Higher TPI sheets are more comfortable and relaxing for a nightlong sleep.

The Fabric of Bedsheet:

Cotton is considered the most suitable fabric for a restful experience over synthetic fiber bedsheets. This is a flawless fabric that can absorb moisture and regulate your body temperature for a serene sleep. You can prefer cotton in superior varieties if you are looking for comfortable and smooth bed sheets. Seasonal changes also affect the selection of a bedsheet. Different types of cotton materials are available in the market and you can purchase bed sheets (http://www.ehow.com/how_2216603_buy-bed-sheets.html) according to your suitability. However, Egyptian cotton is considered highly valuable in this regard.

The maintenance required by a bedsheet is also a matter of concern. Sometimes, premium sheets lose their shine after 2-3 wash. Hence, choose a fabric that won’t wither away even in a machine wash. Wrinkle-resistant and fade-resistive bed sheets are preferable by the people who admire affordability. Such sheets are more durable and provide a greater value for money.

Sheet Color Combination:

A bedsheet covering your bed should form a perfect symmetry with your room’s interior. The incompatible sheets will never go well with the surrounding décor. Hence, you must check the prints and the color combination of sheets before splurging on them. Simply, envision the combination of your bed, interior, furniture, and bedsheet. Also, check whether you are allergic to the dyes used in a bedsheet. Apart from fabric, you also should check your compatibility with printed dye if you are allergic to them.

These are some of the best tips that you should follow when looking for the perfect linen for your bedroom.

Five Popular Garden Tools to Care for Your Garden

Are you searching for popular garden tools to care for your garden? Opt for the right tools that will give you the best quality and ease of operation. This will help to make gardening enjoyable. You may choose a good shovel with classic handle. However, there are a number other options for gardening tools like scoops, trimmers, weeders and shears. Now, the question is which tool will suit your need? Which one do you feel is comfortable to use? Definitely, you will look for the tool that will keep everything within your arm’s reach whenever you go to your garden. It could be for pruning, digging or harvesting. Select the tool that will be better for your back and relaxing for your soul. Nevertheless, the preference for a gardening tool varies with season and also with places. Let’s check out the five popular garden tools that are essential for everybody who cares for the garden. So, whether you are a home gardener or a nursery owner, have a look at these tools for revamping your garden.

  • Weeding Tool – It’s of no doubt that hand pulling is one of the easiest methods of removing weeds. However, it is effective if the weeds are small and have short roots. Moreover, if you want to spend an extended period of time on your knees and reach out to pull weeds, hand pulling will be the best option.  Nevertheless, if you want to get rid of long weeds, best weeding tools will be the right solution. Wide arrays of weeding tools are available in the market. Short handled and the long handled are the two basic weeding tool types. The former is ideal to work on knees in the tight planted area, whereas the latter lets you stand while weeding, covering a larger area.
  • Gardening Hoe – You can tackle the never ending battle with weeds by choosing gardening hoes. They are available in different shapes comprising diamond shape, half-moon shaped, heart shaped and many others. Diamond shaped hoes work best on push and pull strokes. Other hoes include Dutch, Scuffle, Hula and several others for undertaking diverse activities like weeding between plantings, creating seed furrows and cleaning up between crop rows. You may also use loop hoe for edging and weeding. The blade is ideal for slipping below the top layer of soil and scraping the roots out of dirt. This helps the weeds to come up easily. Moreover, loop hoes help to cultivate the top portion of the soil, making it perfect for fertilizer mixing or nourishing the top layer without causing any harm to the underneath soil structure. It is perfectly suitable if you add compost or want to eliminate overgrowth in a bed which is already planted.

  • Splitting Axe – If you want to cut logs placed in a vertical position with a downward stroke, splitting axe will be the perfect solution in this regard. It helps to cut beside the grain of wood, unlike forest axe that cuts across the grain of the wood. Fiskars splitting axes minimize the number of hits for splitting the wood. Remember that the head of Fiskars axe will not get stuck easily in the wood. Moreover, Fiskars axes offer optimal sharpness, perfect weight distribution, cutting-edge blade geometry and are difficult to break. The manufacturing of Fiskars axes allows the blade to cut deeper and enhance the chance of one-strike splitting at each time of swing. You can split small to medium size logs with this tool. In addition, the longer handle makes it perfect for splitting extra-large logs with greater power and speed.
  • Knife – Knife is another popular tool used by the gardeners. Hori-Hori knife – a Japanese tool is a preferred by many gardeners. It is available with stainless steel concave blades having a sharp edge on one side and a jagged edge on the other. You can use it for cutting roots, transplanting, separating perennial plants, dividing lawn, weeding, eliminating undergrowth and undertaking other gardening tasks.
  • Rakes – Rakes serve a different purpose for the garden. Many opt for shrub rake as it can be easily fitted into a tight and small space. On the other hand, some like to work with fan rakes to rake off leaves and smartening up the place while collecting the last debris. You may also use hard rakes for moving leaves, soil and compost, organizing annual beds and smoothing out the soil.

So why are you waiting for? Choose the best gardening tool (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_tool) and get a weed-free lawn without application of harsh chemicals.

Finding a Good Wood Splitting Axe

Are you searching for a good wood splitting axe? Do you live in a place where the winters get cold? Then you must have a steady supply of firewood. Splitting firewood down into burnable piece of fuel can be difficult if you don’t know how to do it. You have the option to buy pre-cut firewood. However, this can be expensive as well as impractical. In contrast, if you make use of wood splitting machines, you can split more wood than what you need. Hence, unless you stay in a permanently freezing climate, this appliance won’t be of much help to you. So, what is the best solution in this regard? The right option will be splitting wood on your own with a high-quality wood splitting axe. Opt for the best wood splitting axe so that it lasts for years to come. Now, the question is how will you find the best wood splitting axe? Let’s check out a few considerations in this respect:

Finding a Good Wood Splitting Axe

  • Select splitting axe based on utility – First of all, you have to decide the kind of job you will be doing with the axe. If you want to chop small pieces of wood, choose a hatchet, whereas if you like to cut large pieces of wood, pick up a splitting maul. Super Splitting tool with long shaft can provide you the maximum mechanical advantage with a stroke. It helps you to swing in a smart way. Some of the super splitting axes created with Duraframe body are able to take abuse better than conventional wood shafts. As a result of which, if you over swing accidentally, you don’t have to get worried about broken axe. Besides, the superior convex bevel grinds of the super splitting tool provide an incredibly sharp edge to make your wood splitting job easier. If you are out on the trail and want the power of a full-size splitting axe without extra weight in your rucksack, choose an axe that will make your outdoor visit much more comfortable.
  • Consider the weight & length – Just after selecting axe based on utility, consider the weight of the axe head. Remember that the best wood splitting tool will help you if you can lift the head. You should also not forget to consider the length of the axe shaft. A long shaft will provide you an enhanced mechanical advantage and more power, but a short shaft will be easier for you to control. Nevertheless, if you can’t decide what will be the best solution, you may practice your swing in a wide open space on a weighted axe head.
  • Pay heed to craftsmanship – You should also pay heed to the craftsmanship of the axe. Usually, an axe head is made up of one solid metal piece without any joint for comprising its strength. Moreover, your axe head should not shake on the shaft. Rather, it will stay secure. Irrespective of whether you are making use of the synthetic shaft with molded head or a conventional wood shaft with an axe head slid on, stay away from purchasing a shaking axe as it is prone to break. You may also opt for nylon grip metal piece construction for getting lots of power without much vibration after every swing. If you have to chop pieces of tougher logs and stumps, choose an axe with a maul on the reverse side. This will help you to manage a host of other tasks in your garden.

Weigh up these considerations and buy the perfect splitting axe or weeding tools for your gardening needs. It is also important that you consider the technique of using a wood splitting axe. You may go for an unconventional tool. However, that doesn’t mean that it is a robust splitter on its own. Change your technique whenever necessary. Instead of splitting huge trunks right down the middle with a heavyweight maul or wedge, try chopping trees with unique splitting axe at a slight angle. While hitting with the axe, let its head slide to one side and allow the back end to catch on the centre of the log, offering an action like a lever. As a result of this, you can split the corners of large wood with very less effort and splitting pieces of thickest trunks won’t seem very difficult, which can be executed in just one step. So, search for innovative tools that will provide you greater usefulness while chopping woods. Some of the advanced tools will help you cut big trees from your garden and quickly turn them into firewood. Find out a good wood splitting axe and serve your manifold needs.

Illuminate Your Room with Lighting Products from Tech Lighting

The lights in your house play a crucial role in determining how your guests will feel when they enter the house. With decorators realizing the importance of illumination, the market has seen a major surge in the styles and kinds of lighting fixtures available in the market. One of the most popular names in the lighting world nowadays is Tech Lighting.

Illuminate Your Room with Lighting Products from Tech Lighting
Tech Lighting has great market standing in the industry of contemporary lights fittings. They are known for delivering exceptional designs with great craftsmanship. The brand is under the wing of Generation Brands Company and has been in this field for more than 25 years. With workforce of over 300 employees, the company makes sure that each and every unit that goes out of their factory is a perfect blend of innovative design and exceptional quality. They deliver fixtures all across the United States, though their head office is in Chicago. Best known for low-voltage fittings, they implement a series of quality checks to ensure that every fixture is fault-free. Tech Lighting’s extensive product range includes pendants, chandeliers, heads, semi-flush mounts, flush mounts, wall and bath collection of light products.

Following are some tips that will help you choose perfect Tech fixtures for different areas in your house:

•  Living Room

Living room lighting scheme should consist of a chandelier, some wall sconces, lamps and recessed light fixtures. This is the most versatile room in the entire house. While you spend maximum time in this room lazing around and watching TV with family, you also entertain your guests in this area. This is the reason why the lighting requirements of this area vary with the use. With a combination of Tech Lighting’s Line-Low Voltage Round Canopy, Chelsea Wall Mounts, exhibit lights and lamps, you can achieve a perfect illumination scheme for your living area.

•  Dining Room

The lights in dining area serve both functional and aesthetic purpose. On one hand, you need proper illumination for having your food easily, on the other you also want to create a warm and inviting ambience for your guests. Installing a chandelier over the dining table can serve the purpose. Just ensure that the shape of the fitting matches that of the dining table. Get a spherical fixture if you have a round dining table and a linear fitting if you have a rectangular table. It should be at least one foot smaller than the table from all directions. You should also mount the fitting at a height of 30 inches from the surface of the table so that it does not cast any shadows on the face of the diners.

•  Bedroom

Your bedroom is the area where you seek complete relaxation. Therefore, the lights in this room should not be very bright. A mix of some wall sconces, lamps and wardrobe lights should help you get the perfect illumination and will also serve all the functional purposes. You can also install a dimmer with the main light fitting to adjust the brightness according to your mood.

•  Bathroom

Your bathroom is your private sanctuary where you lock yourself for quite some time. Mount some sconces and cabinet lights in the area to get bright illumination for your task lighting (http://lighting.about.com/od/Work-Lights/fl/How-to-Add-Task-Lighting.htm) requirements. A pair of sconces on each side of the mirror is perfect for the purpose. Just avoid mounting a light fitting right above the mirror so that it does not throw a bright glow on your forehead and leave other areas of your face nose, chin and eyes in shadow. Tech Lighting offers an exclusive range of bath light fixtures for your bathroom needs.

•  Kitchen

This is perhaps the most vital area in the entire house, which requires proper visibility for cooking food. Install some counter lights and pendants around your kitchen platform to get properly lit surroundings.

•  For the Outdoor Area

Just take a walk around your house in the night to identify the dark corners in your outdoors. Place some post and pier mounts near the pathways, entry, driveways, steps, patio, deck and gazebos to illuminate your landscape and garden area.

A good light fitting not only helps in functionality but also improves the aesthetics. So go ahead and buy quality fixtures from Tech Lighting and make your home reflect your personality.

Make Your Home Look Fabulous and Elegant Using Crystorama Lighting

Lighting play an important role in beautifying homes. They balance the interplay between light and shadow to create the right setting or ambience at home. Traditional light fixtures, especially chandeliers have long used crystals as an important component in creating magnificent pieces of artwork for illumination purposes; and it becomes justified when a brand of lighting fixtures gets built predominantly around the same. Crystorama Lighting, is one such brand that has taken a deep inspiration from traditional crystal based lighting fixtures and till date, they have remained true to their design ideology. Though they began as manufacturers of simple crystal lights, Crystorama Lighting has expanded its product line to include contemporary designs; without compromising on their tradition and heritage. This makes the brand stand out among its peers and competitors in the lighting fixtures market.

Make Your Home Look Fabulous and Elegant Using Crystorama Lighting

The Product Line Up

Light fixtures from Crystorama include wall sconces, flush and semi flush mounts, pendants, and most importantly, chandeliers. Unlike other manufacturer of wall sconces who focus on bath sconces, Crystorama features a terrific collection of dual light wall mounts that are as appealing on any wall in any room in the house, as they are on the walls of the bathroom. However, these sconces are not restricted to just single or dual light designs. The range also includes wall sconces composed of three, four, five, and even six lights, making them truly versatile and out of the box designs.

The Crystorama range of flush and semi flush mounts includes a stunning collection of fixtures with intricate crystal work. The products are beautifully elegant and best adorn areas where the lighting is kept simple – like hallways, foyers, and bedrooms. Though most of these fixtures come equipped with one to four lights, certain designs feature eight or even fourteen lights within the mount, making them a truly prized possession.

Chandeliers are one of the most sought after fixtures from Crystorama, especially the classic designs that feature crystal work. These light fixtures are much more than just illumination sources; featuring extensive crystal accents and intricate craftsmanship. The chandeliers are available in small, medium, large, and grand sizes, equipped with light bulbs, anywhere between five and thirty two in number. The chandeliers are best suited for living rooms and hallways, though they can also be used in literally any room of the house. Though focused on crystal chandeliers, the Crystorama line of products is quite diverse and extensive.

The brand also includes an impressive collection of stylish, new age pendant lights (http://lighting.about.com/od/Fixtures/a/Pendant-Lights.htm) for its customers who are less fond of ornate chandeliers and who prefer minimalist designs. They are available in small, medium, and large size; equipped with one to nine lights depending on the design.

Though predominantly composed of crystals, the lights showcase metallic frames and bodies in different colors and finishes like brass, bronze, antique white and so on. Even the crystals give a unique touch with specialties like hand polish; while some other designs feature accents like colored rosettes.

Crystorama lighting products, with their striking, edgy and attention capturing designs create a nostalgic and romantic feel in the rooms that they are displayed in. The exemplary craftsmanship and attention paid to smallest details make the products function as focal points and showstoppers in any room of the house.

The Crystorama Legacy

Crystorama is a brand that is backed by decades of experience in illuminating homes with scintillating lighting solutions. Their designs include classic, retro, and contemporary lighting fixtures, and special ranges co-produced by leading designers and craftsmen. These light fixtures are made of the best quality materials and hence extremely durable. Products from Crystorama are visually appealing as they are versatile. They are made available at price points that fall well within customers’ budgets. The perfect concoction of elegance, performance, and affordability, these lighting fixtures are a great way to decorate your home and make it look elegant and fabulous.

Change the Whole Interior with Arroyo Craftsman Fixtures

Rustic Lighting has seen a strong resurgence in recent times. While the trend of rustic furniture originated when the early settlers started making furniture from left over packing crates, over time it has become a mainstay of the most upscale vacation homes. Rustic lighting incorporates the simplicity of the rural life in its design themes. The fixtures are made of wood and metal, with straight lines and minimal curves. While the focus is on all things America, design influences are taken from different locations and periods of history, like medieval England and East Asia.

Change the Whole Interior with Arroyo Craftsman Fixtures

Arroyo Craftsman is a specialist in rustic lighting. Based in Baldwin Park, California, the firm is noted for its emphasis on hand craftsmanship and wizardry in brass. Arroyo Craftsman products have been used in historical landmarks for their authentic appearance. The firm also has deep relationships with the heavyweights of design like Frank Lloyd Wright, whose homes make use of the firm’s lighting fixtures. Arroyo Craftsman’s unique selling point are the hand-applied unique metal finishes like Verdigris Patina, Raw Copper, Mission Brown, Slate and Pewter which completely transform the appearance of the firm’s products. Coupled with multiple glass options, customers have a whole host of options to customize their desired rustic look. The firm’s extensive range is divided into different series, which all incorporate common retro-modern design elements. The outdoor fixtures are grouped into different series or ranges based on the design elements incorporated in them. Each series will offer a complete range of fixtures having different applications, so homeowners can just pick out complementary models from the range. Here we explain the features of some selected series from Arroyo Craftsman’s portfolio.

Asheville Series

Asheville series is inspired by North Carolina’s pottery. The design is bold and minimalist, inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The glass is frosted to recall the appearance of semi precious minerals. Hanging pendant lights and ceiling mounted lights are offered in this model range.

Berkeley Series

The Berkeley series offers buyers a selection of pendant lights, ceiling mounts, post mounted lights, column lights and path lights. The series is primarily meant for outdoor installation. The design features a signature conical peaked roof, with a choice of finishes and patina.

Carmel Series

The Carmel Series features a gently sloping wide brimmed roof and a choice of overlays on the shade. Chandeliers, pendant lights, wall sconces, outdoor post mount are column mounts are available in this series.

Hartford Series

This series combines Californian elegance with New England’s simplicity to produce a very evocative design. The straight lines and high roof offer a stately counterpoint to the decor. The series comprises outdoor fixtures with hanging lights, post mounts and wall mounts on offer.

Lily Series

The lily series features delicate floral-themed metal overlays on the shade. The fixtures are slim and finely detailed. With an overhanging flat roof, frosted shade and a hexagonal body, the fixtures in this series add elegance to the surroundings with great ease. Pendants, post mounts and wall sconces in large and small sizes are offered in this series.

Pagoda Series

The Pagoda series has distinct Asian influences in its design. Here Japanese architectural touches like the rooftop and pleasing red and green shades are incorporated into a strong Oriental range. This outdoor series includes pendant lights, wall sconces, post mounts and column mounts.

Prairie Series

The pioneer spirit of never say die, grit and daring is represented in the bold Midwest-inspired Prairies series by Arroyo Craftsman. There is a minimalistic overlay and clean lines are used to bring back the simplicity of the settler era. This series is meant for indoor use. Pendant lights (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-advantages-of-pendant-lighting.htm), table lamps and wall sconces are included in this collection.

Saint Clair Series

The Saint Clair series has a delicate rose overlay that is very pleasing to the eye. The curved metal work gels very well with the tall column shaped fixtures in this series. Long lines with curved edges leave a very pleasing effect on the beholder. This series incorporates booth indoor and outdoor fixtures, with chandeliers, pendants, light bars, column mounts and post mounts.

Tips for Classy Contemporary Lighting in Your Home

Artificial lighting has come a long way from being just a device that brightens up a dark room to an accessory that creates the right aura in your dwelling space. It plays an important role in modern day homes, and places a lot of emphasis on aesthetics and functionality alike.

An important component of artificial lighting is contemporary lighting fixtures. They are pieces of art and design that balance the interplay of light and shadow. They come in a variety of shape, size, color, and pattern like chandeliers, wall sconces, pendants, floor and table lamps, and bath fixtures and so on. They can suspended from ceilings, mounted on walls, placed on floors, or embedded into panels, cabinets, etc. and can be placed in any room or portion of the house. When chosen carefully, they set the perfect ambience and make your home look more appealing.

Here are a few tips to consider when buying contemporary lighting accessories for your home.

•  Take note of the room or area of the house that needs illumination. Living rooms need lighting fixtures that do not cast too much shadow. Exterior areas like the entry, driveways, and walkways, require safety and security. Interior areas like kitchens and study rooms require lighting that helps with specific tasks.

•  Determine the purpose that the lighting needs to serve and select the type of lighting accordingly. Ambient or general lighting is used for uniform illumination. Task lighting aids reading, movement, etc. and is placed on tables and work stations. Accent lighting is used to draw visual interest. These fixtures are mounted on walls or hung from ceilings to accentuate a piece of décor and act as focal points.

•  Pay attention to the architecture of the house. Artificial lighting fixtures when combined with natural light sources, creates an elevated mood and also helps save energy.

•  Focus on the interior design and color scheme of the house. Pick a lighting fixture that blends with the furniture, drapery, and other décor elements – a Victorian style chandelier may not go too well with your sleek, Italian themed sofa set.

•  Assess the availability of space in the room or area that needs illumination. In a room where a large area is occupied by furniture, pendants and wall sconces work better than floor lamps. Also, ensure that the size of the lighting accessory goes well with the height and/or width of the wall, floor, ceiling etc.

•  Take into account the cleaning requirements. Many chandeliers and sconces often come with intricate detailing that makes them difficult to maintain. An unkempt piece of lighting mars the look and feel of the room and leaves a bad impression on your guests.

•  Bear in mind, the age of the occupants in your house. In case you have babies or kids, avoid low hanging and easily accessible lighting fixtures. This helps avoid risk of injuries.

•  Evaluate the power consumption and energy needs for the illumination devices. These days, a variety of lights are available, which produce less heat, consume very little energy, and are at the same time environment friendly.

•  Opt for additional features wherever necessary. Dimmers and night lamps are a boon in nurseries and kids’ bedrooms to prevent children from being scared of the dark and to help parents navigate the room better. Remote controlled lighting works well in large rooms, especially those meant for relaxation and entertainment.

•  Research on different options available in the market. Brands like George Kovacs and Sonneman focus on classy, contemporary designs; Varaluz offers vintage and hand crafted products.

Buying contemporary lighting fixtures (http://www.ehow.com/info_8006264_light-fixtures-small-hallway.html) for your new or renovated residence isn’t just about picking up the latest, most trendy or most popular design. It is also about paying attention to little details that make them a perfect fit in your abode.

Granite Countertops – The Reasons for their Popularity

There is no question that granite has been and continues to be a very popular material used in renovation projects both in residential and commercial sites. And when it comes to countertops, granite is still one of the most typical materials installed in both kitchen and bathrooms. Let us take a closer look at granite countertops and look at the reasons for their popularity.

Natural Beauty of granite

Granite is one of the most beautiful and unique natural stones used in residential and commercial renovations today. It has stood the test of time with respect to its desirability for a number of key reasons – and when it comes to granite countertops – the reasons for their popularity of numerous, natural beauty being on the top of this list. Every piece of natural granite is completely unique to itself and depending on the cut and usage, no two pieces will ever be the same – the patterns and hues will differ even within the same piece of granite allowing for a home owner and/or interior designer to pull particular colors from each piece to change the entire design or to emphasize a particular design. Combine its natural beauty and the uniqueness of each piece, there is no question as to why granite is still one of the most popular materials. Granite makes countertops that look luxurious and are not mass-produced in any way. This allows for granite to have appeal across all styles and designs.

Durability

Granite countertops – another reason for their popularity is the material’s attribute of being so durable. Composed of a variety of minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and mica, marble and  granite naturally forms in hundreds of colors, and is quarried worldwide, but most often from Brazil, Spain, India and China.

With respect to the durability factor, granite slabs is highly heat, scratch and stain resistant. In a nutshell, granite countertops will stand the test of time, can take quite a beating, and will still remain brilliant in any space. Bathroom and kitchen countertops are expected to be able to handle heat, lots of activity, differing temperatures of liquid spillage, etc. Granite is not going to be susceptible to damage in most of those situations. That being said, this high degree of durability will ensure that you get a high value for your money due to long term savings on repairs and further renovations.

Maintenance

With respect to the aspect of maintenance, granite countertops – another reason for their popularity is that they are relatively maintenance free even in high use areas. Once a piece of granite has been sealed, the maintenance then consists of cleaning them with soap and water and then re-sealing them annually. You can be guaranteed to keep a nice clean new look with very limited elbow grease and concern for maintenance – and in our busy lives, this becomes an even greater reason for their popularity.

Stands the test of time – added value – not a trend

When one is seeking to renovate or remodel a home, looking to kitchens and bathrooms becomes a common place to seek the greatest return for your money. Granite countertops – the reasons for their popularity truly stems from the fact that they are desired by many and therefore they maintain their value – add value to any space and continue to increase an overall’s spaces value by adding class and luxury. Additionally, granite as a material for countertops appears to not be a trend – it is standing the test of time and continues to be used by more and more homeowners when they consider upgrading their homes or are sought out in new homes. Granite countertops (http://www.countertopguides.com/guides/5-reasons-to-choose-granite-for-your-countertops.html) have a long lifespan – often times lasting decades as bathroom and kitchen countertops – the initial cost may be high compared to other materials however the granite itself will outlast most other materials, giving it a true value. That is one of the key reasons why the sight of granite alone seems to drive up the home’s value.

Granite Countertops – the reasons for their popularity are numerous but it is for certain that granite as a material will continue to maintain its popularity in residential and commercial renovations and builds so long as it is available – its natural beauty and uniqueness, durability, low maintenance and long lifespan will continue to ensure granite remains a popular renovation material.

Granite Showcases the World’s Natural Beauty

Granite is a common type of igneous rock which can be used for many things. From large buildings, to even larger pyramids, the intrusive rock is a go-to for building and aesthetic purposes. The rock can be many different colors, from pink to gray. The interesting patterns and ability to be sanded down to a smooth texture are what makes the stone such a desirable material for construction.

Formed through crystallization from magmas, granite is a beautiful rock that is known to have constructed the third largest pyramid in Egypt, The Red Pyramid. It is comprised mainly of limestone and granite, and was created in 26th century BC. The stone is also present in the Great Pyramid of Giza, and Black Pyramid. Egypt enjoyed using the rock for many other purposes, such as columns, door lintels, sills, jambs, and wall and floor veneer. Brihadeeswarar Temple in India was the first temple to be constructed out of the igneous rock, and still stands as one of the tallest in the country.

GraniteIn modern times, granite is used for things such as statues, sculptures, memorial grave stones, buildings, home renovations, and engineering purposes. Because it is such a hard stone, it is used for statues and sculptures, and even grave stones due to durability and the beautiful outcome that is produce once it is shaved and carved. The rock is also used as a dimension stone and tiles for commercial and residential properties – it used to be commonly used in the building of foundations in England because of its abundance. Nowadays, the most popular use for it for home renovations; the polished look of the stone works impeccably well in kitchens and bathrooms. The hard surfaces allow for extensive use, being tough enough to repel scratches, burn marks and other effects that some countertop materials would not be able to withstand. Another interesting use for the substance is in the field of engineering – engineers often use the polished rock’ flat surface as a plane of reference.

Oddly enough, granite is also one of the most desirable rocks when it comes to the sport of rock climbing. This is because of its steepness, friction, soundness, and crack systems. The stone is so popular with rock climbers that indoor climbing facilities often shape their artificial rocks to look and feel like granite. Some of the natural spots for the occurring rock are Yosemite, the Bugaboos, and Baffin Island.

Granite is a precious material that can be used for a number of different things – whether it’s for aesthetic purposes such as home renovations or sculptures, or for durability purposes such as building and rock climbing. The most important thing to note is that the rock is very tough, and therefore will last a long time. This should be taken into consideration for anyone who is looking to freshen up their living space with new kitchen countertops, or entry way tile flooring. The beauty of the intricate patterns and colors of the natural resource are not something to overlook.

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