The Versatility of Modern Day Carriage House Plans

Originally, the term “carriage house” needed little explaining-it was a shed to house horse-drawn carriages. Today, however, the term has taken on a different meaning. Since the once ubiquitous carriage has little use in modern society, many of the carriage houses that were built before automobiles were commonplace now have different uses. Many have been updated to serve as a guest house, garage, storage space, or even as a bar, restaurant, or shop. Today, two-story carriage house plans typically consist of a garage-like space on the lower level, and living quarters above that may include a possible hobby space or additional storage.

Modern carriage home plans offer functional layouts for the second story of the home to accommodate diverse needs. These designs will always include a modest kitchen, full bathroom and bedroom/sleeping space. The second floor designs may also include special amenities and spaces such as:

An office

A recreation room

Storage space

A laundry room

Extra living space

Carriage home plans make an excellent solution for those who wish to build a remarkably versatile space at a relatively low price. In fact, some even transition the second level into an apartment and rent the space to students or other tenants which brings in extra income to the homeowner. Others make use of modern carriage house plans as their single living space. On the right lot, it is possible to build affordable carriage house plans to serve as a primary living space for the homeowner. Those who have simplistic living styles can save a bundle in the long run.

Some carriage home designs are arranged all on one level with the garage situated on one side and the finished living quarters on the other. Those with aging relatives or friends may wish to consider this style of carriage home plans to prevent the elderly from having to walk up stairs. If need be, a two-story carriage home can be designed for easy access to the second level, so a senior can enjoy comfortable living near caring relatives or friends.

Carriage home plans let owners enjoy a unique blend of classic architecture and modern functionality. With a little money and imagination, the carriage house can be put to many uses, for business or pleasure. Whether looking to build a new home or make an addition to an existing home, these highly versatile structures are worth consideration.

Add Beauty and Elegance to Your home with Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs can be purchased in a great variety of colors and patterns, and will add beauty and elegance to your home décor. When you decide to decorate a room, consider choosing one or more of these exciting and durable area rugs as a cornerstone for your color and design choices. If you are adding a rug to an existing decorating plan, you will have no trouble finding one that complements the choices already made. Although oriental rugs are found most often in living rooms and dining rooms, they are also a popular choice as runners for high traffic areas, for foyers, and even for bedrooms. Your home decorating scheme can include them throughout the interior of your house if you really love them.

What is an Oriental Rug?

When the term “oriental” is used in reference to rugs, it means those rugs produced anywhere on the continent of Asia, and includes:

o Persian rugs – made in Iran (formerly Persia), the country that produces more handmade rugs than all other rug-making countries combined, and are considered by many to be the finest

o Afghanistan rugs – still woven mainly by nomadic tribes

o Indian rugs – mostly imitation of Persian designs, but of coarser wool

o Pakistan rugs – from the country that is the fourth largest rug producer in the world

o Caucasian rugs – from the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and characterized by bright red, rust, or burgundy colors, bold geometric designs, and narrow borders

o Rugs from Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Tibet, and a host of other Asian countries

Each country produces its own distinct style and quality of rug, although many are imitations of Persian designs, as well as modern Tibetan and Indo-Persian designs. Making rugs by hand is an ancient art, and the designs reflect the religious and ethnic structures found in the history of the countries of origin. These designs are still produced today, sometimes by hand and sometimes within a modern rug-weaving industry. The common patterns are traditional floral or garden motifs, often with a central medallion, or a geometric or curvilinear design, or central scenes that look like paintings.

How to Choose Oriental Rugs for Your Home

To decorate with oriental rugs, it is important to take both color and design into consideration. The color should be harmonious with the other colors in the room in which the rug is to be placed and should repeat the dominant or accent colors, or include shades of one or more of them. If the colors are compatible with other colors in the room, even a modern home can be enhanced by the popular traditional designs in oriental rugs.

When choosing an appropriate design, consider how you are going to use the rug. If the center of the rug is going to be very visible, a medallion or central motif or scene is a happy choice. If, however, the center of the rug is going to be under a dining room table or under a bed, it would be better to chose one with a repetitive design or one where the most detail and interest is in the borders.

As well, very colorful rugs with very busy designs can bring a subdued room to life; simple designs and a limited color palette are better in a room that is already colorful and busy. Geometric designs work best in new or modern homes, and curvilinear designs are more appropriate for old and traditional homes. It is most important that the rug does not clash, in either color or pattern, with any other fabric in the room in which it is to be used.

How to Find a Good Buy

A reputable dealer or outlet will give you the “good buy” oriental rug for which you are shopping. Before you go to the store, give some serious thought to the color, design and size of rug you need, and how much you are willing to pay. If you have clear ideas of what you want and have made some decisions beforehand, it will reduce the dizzying number of choices facing you when you have to make your selection.

An antique oriental rug is the most expensive rug, of course, and even if cost is not an issue, authenticity is. Documentation for an antique rug, including the appraised value, is sometimes available, but if not, you can ask for an independent appraisal or a guarantee if you don’t know the dealer.

Most people, however, are not buying an antique, and are simply interested in choosing a beautiful rug and getting good value for their money. It is possible to find a discount oriental rug, or a wholesale buy if you shop around. Whether the carpet is cheap or expensive from your point of view, it is important that you understand the factors that affect the cost.

These are:

o Natural or synthetic fibers

o Method of production – handmade or machine woven

o Intricacy and rarity of design

o Region of origin

Wool is the most expensive fabric, but it is warm, durable, dirt-resistant, fire-resistant, and easy to clean, and has become the standard by which all rugs are judged. Other natural materials used in oriental rugs are cotton and silk, and blends of wool and silk. These materials are more durable than synthetics and never release chemical gases into the air, which is significant to people with health concerns. If you are looking for a less expensive rug, synthetic fibers rather than natural are the answer.

The knots per square inch (kpsi) in an oriental rug is a good indication of its quality, and a high number of knots is usually an indication of durability as well as higher cost.

Expect slight inconsistencies and at least one imperfection in a hand-woven rug originating from a country in the Middle East. The philosophy, from an Islamic point of view, is that only God is perfect, and, therefore, nothing man makes should be perfect. A flaw will be carefully woven into each rug.

“Handmade” means that the rug has been constructed by hand, but it does not necessarily mean that it has been hand-knotted. “Hand-hooked” means the yarn has been inserted into a backing with a hand-held tool. Handmade, hand-knotted rugs are superior in quality to those made by machine made because a rug is more durable when each knot has been individually tightened. Expect to pay more for them.

You can beautify your home with oriental rugs if you give some careful thought to the colors and designs that will work best with your style preferences. By taking time to shop around and make sure that you are buying a quality rug from a reputable dealer, you will be able to enjoy your beautiful rugs for many happy years.

Whatever the Color Preferences, Get Going With the New Versailles Porcelain Tile Collection

Some families love bright and bold colors that exude a wild energy while others are content with the neutral and the monochromatic. Whichever category you belong, everybody is agreed upon something. The gentle muted shades of gray, beige and tan are the ultimate crowd pullers. Neutrals maintain the balance in homes whether combined with harmonious color schemes or contrasted with the daring colors. Play the compare and contrast game with dazzling colors and favorite designs. The new Versailles porcelain tile collection feels at home in all environments!

The inspiration in the form of patterns comes from the Palace of Versailles. France it is that practiced aesthetic tastes in decoration, food and wine down the ages. We continue the timeless legacy with a few memorable imitations. All the way from the royal château that stands in the Île-de-France region of Europe comes the designs to grace the home. The kits come with tiles of several shapes and sizes that suit any installation plan in a variety of settings.

The natural stone look appropriately suits both the antique and modern styles. Express life and feelings with the pretty, regally stunning practicality of the Versailles collection. Check out a range of lovely neutrals in porcelain that are easily maintained. Each has a particular feel and movement that brings intense feelings of royalty, reminding of the palace where they originally occurred.

Castle Beige Porcelain Tile

This pattern presents the enigma of clouds that gently move before rainfall plummets down. The halo of creams and beiges blend into a scintillating design that haunts the senses for a long while. It reminds of castles of the medieval world and the natural stone tiles found there. You end up with moments of awe, respect, and ecstasy. Feature walls and floors, countertops and backsplashes, even on building exteriors, the tile go a long, long way. Contrast it with darker shades or let it stand by itself to impress either way.

Estate Naturale Porcelain Tile

Imagine the mighty walls that grace the countryside manors. The Estate Naturale Porcelain Tile is grand and spectacular. The movement presents a gentle effect of swirls and vertical lines. Shades of light and warm cream grace the eye and mind. A realistic representation of natural travertine that is yet quite easy to maintain, and a beauty that lasts through the ages. Grace the walls and floors, countertops and backsplashes with this travertine look porcelain.

Manoir Cafe Porcelain Tile

Find this shade in many modern homes. By greige, we mean something between gray and beige. This resourceful shade that spells tranquility looks gorgeous with white surroundings. Combine it with wood and stone too. Evoke memories of the eternity of stone decorations in Rome with the depiction of the natural charm of travertine. Available in three sizes, create pretty surfaces in the home anywhere convenient like on walls, floors, and countertops.

Manoir Grigio Porcelain Tile

Interior decorations often use the magic of gray in all its heartwarming shades along with beige and white. We have been busy with the neutral color game of balancing the grays with whites, yellows, and metallics. Manoir Grigio Porcelain Tile works intensely well both around neutral or contrasting shades. This porcelain is a no-nonsense variety that is easily cared for. Cast pretty patterns on your walls and floors and elsewhere.

Manoir Crema Porcelain Tiles

The charming travertine has graced many homes and businesses. The porcelain wonder with the exact appearance of travertine brings joy, life, and vitality to the surroundings. Bring home the best of two worlds. Creams and greige in a variety of shades mimic the distinctive natural poise of travertine. Grace the walls and floors besides countertops with the pretty, multipurpose porcelain.

Neutrals never looked so good. Creams or beiges, grays or beiges, get them all in the classic patterns of the dreamy Versailles Porcelain Tile Collection. Along with the incredible appearances of naturally graced stone comes the long lasting quality of easy to maintain porcelain. Style and practical concerns, grace and beauty come together in a single package called Versailles. Decide upon the overall room décor like color matching or contrasting across all the fittings, furniture, carpets and curtains according to preferences.

Modern Floor Lamps

Decorating a home or a new room can be fun, extremely rewarding and creates a nice environment in the most important place possible, your home. Yet many people will fully decorate a house and not realize that they are missing a very important aspect, one that is very simple to include in your home decoration plans yet makes a huge difference in the style of your home. Lighting is an extremely important aspect of home decoration and one of the best ways to create a warm and comfortable house. There are millions of ways to improve the lighting in your house but from experience I can tell you that the best way to create a welcoming, well lit room is to add some modern floor lamps.

When buying a modern floor lamp you must consider what you intend to use it for. A modern lamp meant for reading must be bright, while a lamp just for decoration does not necessarily have to light the room well. The two major factors when picking a functional modern lamp are size and lamp brightness. You will want a lamp that fits nicely into your home while still being tall enough and bright enough to light up your home. Too tall of a lamp can cause your room to look lopsided and if you have very low ceilings than your modern floor lamp just might not fit.

Another good thing to consider is the amount of energy your lamp will use. Electricity costs are higher than ever and every thing you can do to lower your energy bill will be very beneficial. If your lamp is just for decoration and not required to light large areas than you should consider buying a lower watt light bulb to put in this lamp. The latest trend in modern floor lamps has been to have softer light bulbs that just emit a faint glow. If your are using this lamp for reading or for lighting an area than you will want to consider buying a high watt light bulb that has the power to light a large area. Usually a reading floor lamp will require a light bulb of at least 120 watts but other lamps can have bulbs well below 120. Also I recommend that your go with a compact fluorescent light bulb as these are much more energy efficient and will last much loner than a normal light bulb.

A Rustic Tradition Made With Modern Materials

When vinyl siding first came out, it had the ability to give homes a clean neat look but, many people found that this siding offered little in the way of styles and was somewhat boring. While this was certainly true of the older vinyl siding, new one comes in a variety of interesting colors and styles that makes it far less boring. One of more popular styles in this siding today is the Board and Batten Vinyl Siding. This siding gives homes a traditional old fashioned look that is somehow chic and sophisticated at the same time.

The Board And Batten Look

For those who may not be acquainted with the board and batten look, this is a form of siding that has been used for centuries and was quite popular in the old west because this siding seemed to stand up to almost any kind of weather condition and was simple to put up. All one did is nail vertical boards to the outside of their home with a small space in between. These boards were often 6 inches wide or wider. Once these boards were in place, narrow board called battens were nailed over the spaces left by the wider boards creating a kind of two layered siding effect while protecting the home from the elements.

Board and Batten has the same unique look without the worry of rotting boards or re-staining or painting. Board and Batten comes in a variety of colors from those that look like the more traditional wood siding it is named after to some exciting new colors such as forest green.

Since this siding is vertical rather than horizontal it provides a new and exciting look in vinyl siding that many people like.

Creating Your Own Style With Board And Batten Vinyl Siding

One of the great things about Board and Vinyl siding is that you can use it to create a lot of different looks for the outside of your home. You can use this siding alone or in conjunction with brick or stone siding to create exactly the right look for your home. This siding is more versatile than many of the styles today making it easy to work with and allowing you to give your home a classic and classy look.

This siding comes in both a rough hewn look for people who want their home to look more rustic and a more polished look that works well with contemporary looking homes. If you are thinking of residing your home and like the low maintenance of vinyl siding but, not the same boring old style then why not check out board and batten vinyl siding? It just may be the look you have been waiting for.