Decorative Outdoor Lighting Tips
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The interior of a house or commercial place should complement the exterior, and vice versa. This can be achieved by creating an artistically balanced ambience by using decorative outdoor lighting fixtures at different angles and points. For example if for a small garden or deck canister sized lighting fixtures create a loud and crass effect. To get the right balance the area should be highlighted by using small lights closer to the ground, on tree trunks or eaves of structures around.
Light designers and manufacturers realizing potential of decorative outdoor lighting introduced shapes, styles and finishes in consonance with changing times. Decorative outdoor lights in neo-classical designs, informal or contemporary and stylistic create harmonious setting matching the interior with the exterior. Purpose also decides design of decorative outdoor lightings. For pathways, lightings with top covers or shades are preferred as light is directed out and down but not on the face. There is nothing worse than to be momentarily blinded by instant glare. One does not need a beacon on private property but a decorative light to focus on special features of the house as well as safeguard it. In commercial places such as malls, hotels, schools, colleges, clubs the decorative outdoor lighting should be artistic as well as utilitarian. Compact fluorescent lights, ground level moon lamps, post lanterns are some of the designs that help control glare and spill.
Another transformation from old to new is the use of decorative outdoor lighting with timers and photo cells. One can visualize the gas-burning lamps of 1800's used to light streets. We have come a long way but nostalgia plays a hand as same idea is incorporated in electricity bulbs available in flame shaped designs. Whatever the design or style from diamond shaped to opal, antique lamp posts and shades, lights with frosted exterior, guests and visitors should not be inconvenienced by faulty placement and design selection. Instead of being influenced by neighbors, store catalogues or particular shape and color consider requirement, budget and appropriate lighting. If pathway is long and dark then hang Chinese lanterns or wanting to create a partition in the lawn then plant tiki torches available in different sizes and color.
Choices are unlimited, requiring a level headed thinking mind to select decorative outdoor lightings.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese perspective rooted in the belief that everything (including the arrangement of a room, like your bedroom) possesses energy - good chi and bad chi. Whether you believe in it or not, learning its inner workings and understanding how it can impact your everyday life is somewhat fascinating. As it relates to home decorating, the right feng shui is believed to balance the energy that flows into and around your space and can have an impact on everything in our lives from our wellbeing, to our relationships, and even our bank accounts.
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the home and is associated with rest, relaxation, and comfort. One needs to be sufficiently rested to perform well during the day.
According to the laws of Feng Shui, If the main door of a home is directly opposite the bedroom door, the occupant of that room will face legal problems. Position a small decoration or a piece of furniture to interrupt the line of passage.
Here are some quick Feng Shui rules to follow when it comes to decorating your bedroom:
Have bunkbeds? One's head should not touch the ceiling or this could result in ill health. The top of the mattress on the bottom bunk should also be at least 16 inches off the ground.
It is not favorable to keep a clock immediately behind or directly in front of a sleeper. Clocks should be placed on either side of the bed. If you have your clock on the headboard it should be placed on a stand beside the bed or on the floor.
A light bulb directly above the head of the bed will turn the sleeper in to a nervous wreck. If hung above the centre of the bed, it will cause stomach disorders. The light should be placed to the side of the bed.
The dressing table should not be placed at the foot of a bed as it adversely affects health. Move the dressing table to any other position.
You can draw on the strengths of the elements by choosing a headboard that corresponds to your element as shown in the paragraphs below.
Square or rectangular shaped headboards are for people who represent wood and earth elements. It is also good for professionals, as it encourages stability and offers support.
Oval or wavy-shaped headboards are ideal for people who belong to the element water and also for artists, musicians and designers.
Angular headboards or those with spiked points, these are not recommended for anyone. It relates to the element fire. It prevents people from getting a good night's sleep.
There's another reason to adopt these feng shui rules in your bedroom. According to feng shui, how you position your furniture can actually impact your sleep—something we could frankly all use a little more of. Not convinced? Try out a few of these feng shui practices, and tell me how you slept!
Quick Home Painting Tips
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A new coat of paint can refresh and revitalize any room in your house. Paint is also a very cost effective way to change the look of a room. The best part about interior painting is that almost anyone can do it all you need is the right material and a little bit of knowledge.
Your supply needs will vary depending upon the room that you are painting and the type of paint that you are using, but here is a basic list to get you started:
After you choose a color, you will also need to choose a finish. The finish determines how shiny the paint will be. Choices include flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and gloss. Flat finish is hard to wipe clean and should only be used in low traffic areas that will not attract dirt. Satin, eggshell, and semi-gloss finishes are easy to wipe clean and can be used almost anywhere. Gloss finish is very shiny and is best reserved for small areas such as trim or molding.
Paint rollers and brushes are necessities. A good paint roller can paint an entire room. Choose one that has a fair amount of nap to it-- the thicker the better. When it comes to brushes, everyone has their own individual preference. A small angle brush works well for trim and corners. A three inch flat brush or a paint pad will work well for the places that a paint roller can not reach.
In addition to paint and paint applicators, you may also need drop cloths, cleaning rags, paint trays, spackle, sandpaper, and a putty knife (if your walls are damaged and need repair), and a ladder or stepladder. The ladder will need to be sturdy and stable to support your movements. Try choosing a ladder with a wide base or a flared bottom like on a Little Giant Ladder.
When painting, the most important thing you can do is take your time. If you move too fast, things could get sloppy. Also important, is the prep work. Your painting project will go much smoother if you are properly prepared prior to painting. Here are some tips that can help:
1. Make sure that you have everything you need by organizing all of your supplies before you start painting.
2. Protect your furniture from paint splatters by moving it or covering it up.
3. Use low-tack masking tape to tape off baseboards and trim. Remove the tape before the paint dries.
4. Paint the walls before painting trim or woodwork.
5. Do not apply a second coat of paint until the first coat has dried.
Whether you’re starting a business following the 2021 Great Resignation or your established business is outgrowing the spare bedroom, a garage can offer an attractive alternative in terms of size, existing infrastructure such as wiring, and with it being a stone’s throw away from your home location. Transforming it into the ideal home office, however, can be a task beyond the experience of the average homeowner. Just as you bill yourself an expert in your profession, this may be the time to call on an experienced contractor – or at least an avid DIYer – as well as an interior designer well-versed in melding practicality and personality, like Toscano Interiors.
Setting the stage for renovation
Depending on your discipline for shrewd organization and vehicle maintenance, it’s likely you have some decluttering and deep cleaning to do. After finding a new home for every item previously housed in the garage, you’ll want to remove the telltale signs of its former functionality, such as oil stains in the concrete, and hooks and nails that held everything from bicycles to water hoses. For this early stage, you won’t need a permit, but you may need one before you move on to more extensive renovations, so be sure to check with your local permitting office before you go any further.
While you’re checking your permit requirements, talk to your business accountant or other qualified tax professional about whether your converted garage will qualify for a home office deduction on your tax return. This deduction allows you to deduct certain expenses from your business income that relate to running your business from your home and is in addition to any other legitimate business-related expenses that you claim on your tax return.
Once you have your permits and other business tasks in order, gauge your current electrical wiring in the garage to see if it’s suitable for your office layout, particularly the number and location of outlets. If your garage is separate from the house, you may want to section off some space for a small bathroom, and perhaps a small kitchen area for a refrigerator and coffee maker.
Regardless of climate, insulation is a must-have, if you don’t already have it in your garage. Your licensed contractor should add the necessary wiring and plumbing prior to putting in any additional insulation. In addition to tempering the outdoor weather effects, insulation quite literally helps to “insulate” you from outside noise. If you’ve never worked with insulation yourself and want to save some money for your more aesthetic improvements, consider taking classes at a nearby home improvement store.
Blending practicality with creativity
You’ll likely want to hire someone to replace your traditional garage door, especially if you have a need to welcome clients and vendors. Since most garages don’t have a lot of windows, consider adding a few to let in some natural light and create a more open feel to what will be your new office.
Now you’re ready to set the stage for your office décor. Start from the ground up, deep clean those concrete floors before putting down your choice of flooring; an easy route is to finish the concrete with an acid stain and will complement attractive rugs. If your space is relatively small, light colors for your walls can create a more open feel, especially if combined with mirrors. You can add pops of color with artwork, furniture, and accessories. Finally, your office furniture is important, so be sure you mix comfort and practicality with style – even the mouse and keyboard you select matter when it comes to physical comfort.
Passion and productivity
Many business owners spend a great deal of time in their offices, so it should surround you with inspiration as well as comfort. Hiring a professional isn’t just for knocking down walls and doing electrical work, so if you’re finding the design functions more challenging than you expected, reach out to Toscano Interiors for creating the workspace that fuels your passion and your productivity. Once you get the office of your dreams, you’re off to the races!
Blog written exclusively for Toscano Interiors by guest blog contributor, Tina Martin with Ideaspired. Tina Martin is an author and successful Blogger. Find more of Tina's work at https://www.ideaspired.com/blog/www.ideaspired.com/blog/
With only 42 days until Christmas I am so excited to share with all of you this guest blog post from Charlsie Niemiec | Rent.com
Now is the perfect time to dream up new ways to decorate for the most wonderful time of the year! That’s why Charlsie has highlighted some home decoration ideas based on each sign of the zodiac in her new article she curated especially for Toscano Interiors, “Holiday Apartment Decorating Ideas Based on Your Zodiac Sign.”
Whether you're a sign that has impeccable taste or a sign that lives for avant-garde decorations, read more to find out how to deck your halls based on astrology this Christmas season.
Fast-paced and fearless, Aries signs have one motto when it comes to holiday decorating, “go big or go home." As an Aries myself, this is our motto every day of the year, not just the holidays. Expect this sign to incorporate the color red and all its bodacious shades in nearly everything. From the vintage crimson candelabras on the dining table to the contemporary burgundy and gold-trimmed tree skirt to the pop art-inspired candy apple red Christmas tree topper — it doesn't get merrier than an Aries' festive and mismatched approach to holiday apartment decorating ideas.
In addition to decorating with red-colored glasses on, Aries love building up a robust holiday candle collection. As a fire sign, this comes as no surprise. Candles also make great housewarming gifts for any Aries that invites you over to experience their holiday-ready apartment — just make sure to tie it up in a red bow!
Ruled by Venus, Taureans experience the world through the five senses. Additionally, as one of the most grounded astrological signs, Taurus signs look to elements of the natural world for their holiday aesthetic. Expect this sign to incorporate a lot of nature into its holiday décor. Classic wreaths hanging from every door, tablescapes made out of fresh pine branches and centerpieces filled with chestnuts and pinecones are just a few ways this sign will let nature sing throughout their apartment this season.
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All in all, a Taurus won't know peace during the holidays until they put their most beloved treasures out and on display a la Julie Andrews' classic, “My Favorite Things." Whether it's using vintage glassware for a dinner party or adding golden lush throw pillows on the living room couch, Taureans live to show off their favorite things.
Although Gemini's often have a futuristic aesthetic, when it comes to holiday apartment decorating ideas, this sign loves showing off retro finds like an original copy from 1974 of the Waltons' Christmas Album on vinyl or hand-painted Santa Claus mugs from the 1940s. Unafraid to play with color, Gemini's will make their Christmas tree the centerpiece of their apartment and adorn it with a rainbow collection of quirky ornaments in all shapes and sizes.
While this sign often gets a bad rap for being too self-focused, Gemini's thrive when hosting others. Since no one does kitschy Christmas better than a Gemini, count yourself lucky if you get invited to any holiday parties hosted by this playful sign. Chances are high that they'll get you rocking around their quirky Christmas tree in no time.
Ruled by the moon, Cancers excel at curating cozy and highly personalized home sanctuaries. Don't be surprised if Cancers add their bedroom into the mix for holiday decorating. Whether they're dressing up their bed with a winter white handknit blanket or they're rolling out a faux-fur throw in front of their Christmas tree and fireplace, expect this watery sign to lean heavily into lush fabrics as part of their holiday apartment aesthetic.
While Cancers astrologically represent self-care, these crabs transcend when nurturing others. During the holidays, Cancers will gladly anchor themselves to their kitchen in order to perfect their sugar cookie recipe because, in the eyes of a Cancer, nothing is more sentimental than a handmade, carefully crafted gift.
Just like this sign's ruler, the sun, Leos relish in dazzling and shocking themselves (and others, sometimes) through their apartment décor. Expect animal prints and vibrant colors in places you least expect, like a leopard print table runner in the dining room, a dramatic black floating candle centerpiece on a coffee table or a neon pink flamingo tree topper. And since Leos will already have many on hand, don't be surprised when they opt to hang an oversized mirror dolled up with tinsel close to their Christmas tree so they can watch themselves experiencing the festivities of the season!
While this fire sign takes holiday revelry to an extreme, it's important to note that Leos radiate creativity in their merriment. This sign thrives when they can sprinkle in a little bit of their own joie de vivre into their surroundings.
Since this earth sign operates in the land of hyper-awareness to detail, most Virgo holiday apartment décor ideas center around simple details that tie everything together. Like peppering plaid bows around an entryway, lighting up a mantle or bookshelf with olive garland or adding ivory white candlesticks. Additionally, expect Virgos to use its impeccable organization skills to keep their holiday decorating orderly and uncluttered.
Governed by Mercury, this earth sign also lives for luxury. However, luxury to Virgos means prioritizing quality over quantity. This belief makes Virgos excellent gift-givers — but only if they can get out of their own head first. Thanks to deep roots in the material world, Virgo signs thrive when scrupulously searching for meaningful gifts for those a part of their holiday plans.
Since this sign values balance and harmony (its zodiac symbol is a scale, after all), Libras know just how to show off their exquisite taste without going overboard, as a fire sign might. Expect Libras to choose a central holiday decorating theme and carry it through their entire apartment. For example, this air sign might only feature grey and ivory frosted glass ornaments on their Christmas tree and then carry that color scheme over to their dining table with a stark black table cloth, ivory silverware and grey frosted vintage drinking goblets. Also, bank on Libras tying fresh flower arrangements of paperwhites or winter peonies into their holiday apartment décor ideas.
Ultimately, no matter how they curate their home space for the holidays, it's typical for Libras to find inspiration in high art. Don't worry though — this friendly sign is anything but pretentious. Libras have an outstanding reputation for being generous and welcoming, even if their apartment resembles a chic art gallery.
Instead of committing to traditional holiday apartment decorating ideas, Scorpios find the most joy decorating for the holidays with dark colors, like deep blues and blacks, and shiny metallics. Additionally, this passionate water sign, ruled by Pluto, may completely opt-out of having a traditional Christmas tree. Alternative options like ladders or wooden tree-shaped mobiles make great alternatives to hang baubles and vintage ornaments from.
Words like sexy and sensual often float around Scorpios, so expect this water sign to adorn doorways with mistletoe as a wink and a nod to their seductive nature. Plus, since Scorpios often gravitate towards broody colors in their home space — the greenery of the mistletoe adds a subtle yet seasonal touch.
Since Sagittarius signs radiate a natural glow, decorating for the holidays with neutrals is a perfect way to compliment their personality. Cream-colored wall garland and sandy throw blankets will add a soft touch near any Christmas tree. Additionally, expect these movers and shakers to throw in shades of gold on the Christmas tree as a subtle nod to their fiery spirit.
Having space to experience life is important to Sagittarians, so expect this mutable sign to leave plenty of room in their apartment — even with added holiday décor. Without a doubt, the extroverted archer (the symbol for Sagittarius) has a plan for hosting a holiday wine tasting party, a co-worker cookie swap or an all-night Christmas dance party with that extra space.
Known for having a refined taste, Capricorns love taking inspiration from the natural world. Expect this sign to opt for lots of garlands, wreaths, light wood figurines and paper garland and ornaments galore. Also, Capricorns will bring a lot of light into their space this time of year — lanterns, star-shaped paper lights and a plethora of candles help this sign enjoy the festivities.
While some think Capricorns, ruled by Saturn, is too serious about their home décor — these signs just like to make sure everything is high quality and purposeful. Out of all the signs, it's guaranteed that Capricorns have an unparalleled sensibility — even during one of the most magical times of the year.
Co-ruled by Saturn and Uranus, this is a highly innovative sign. During the holidays, Aquarians enjoy pushing the envelope with unexpected color palettes — so it's no surprise to see this sign use aqua-toned lights on their tree. These darker tones will make white and metallic ornaments pop. Additionally, hand-crafted vases and ceramic mini Christmas trees dusted in a metallic glaze make exceptional holiday accessories for Aquarian folk.
Since this air sign values collaboration, expect a cohesive and inviting aesthetic throughout all holiday apartment decorating ideas. Although this water-bearing sign loves to stray from the norm, it knows exactly how to put an individual twist on the holiday season.
Expect this sign, the last in the zodiac, to fully commit to a Christmas tree aesthetic that closely resembles a magical fairyland. Expect fluffy feathers and glitter-encrusted ornaments alongside pearled garland, maybe even some tinsel. Pisces love playing with texture, too — so don't be surprised when macrame and pampas grass become staples for this fish.
The always sensitive and wistful Pisces loves nothing more than losing themselves in the nostalgia of Christmas past. Classic Christmas songs and cultural and family traditions deeply move these mystical fish. Pisces beware though — it's all fun and games until they get swept away by a tide of holiday sentimentalism.
Joy to the zodiac
Whether you're a believer in all things astrological or not — looking to the celestial is fun. No matter your sign or how you decorate your apartment for the holidays, make sure you leave time to celebrate and enjoy the season — after all, it's the most wonderful time of the year.
Furniture Finds: Getting The Look For Less
Whether it's an apartment, condo or house, buying your first home can be exciting as well as expensive. After depleting your savings account purchasing your home, you might start to feel the pinch when it comes to furnishing it.
Here are some of my top tips to get the look of luxury without the price tag:
Be Resourceful. How do you find quality furniture without paying a high price? If you're willing to put in some time, buying unfinished or used furniture to refinish can save you a lot of money and leave you with the same look for less.
Sniff Out Bargains. Hunt for fix-me-up furniture in attics, garage sales and flea markets. Some of the best pieces could be hiding in a friend's or relative's attic. Keep in mind that finding the perfect piece may not be love at first sight. Look beyond the surface to see if there is potential for refurbishing.
Transform Timeless Furniture. Before you take home any piece of furniture, check for structural flaws such as cracks, loose joints, lifted veneer, warped surfaces or uneven legs. If the integrity of the piece is still good, refinishing it can change the appearance from old and worn too beautiful and timeless.
Give Furniture a Facelift. Before you can banish the old finish, you need to find out what you're removing. Give it the cotton ball test. Dampen a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover, then choose an inconspicuous test spot and dab it with the cotton. If it sticks or the finish softens, you have a varnish, lacquer or shellac finish. Formby's recommends using their Furniture Refinisher, which will gently dissolve this type of finish. If nothing happens when you dab the cotton ball, then the finish is most likely paint or polyurethane. Try Formby's Paint & Poly Remover to lift and remove the old finish. After a light buffing with Paint & Poly Remover Wash, you're ready to add a beautiful new finish.
Rub On the Finishing Touch. Applying a finish is essential for protecting stripped, stained or bare wood from moisture and wear. Formby's Tung Oil Finish imparts a warm, hand-rubbed luster to wood, enhancing its natural charm. By hand-rubbing Tung Oil into wood, you eliminate the potential for streaks, ensuring a beautiful, smooth finish. Tung Oil penetrates wood, protecting from the inside out.
Author, Candance Toscano
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