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.

Amcor PLM Series Portable Air Conditioners – A Breath of Fresh Air For The Modern Home

At the very start of the summer, in the middle of a boiling hot day or sticky, humid night, you’re probably not going to mind too much what your air conditioner looks like, just so long as it keeps on oozing out those streams of cool, relaxing breeze.

Who cares if it’s a bulky, ugly box with an industrial type grill and a blocky frame that resembles a reject from an episode of Scrapheap Challenge? Just keep on breezing!

Well, that’s all true at first, but after a few days of enjoying the refreshing, energizing benefits of a portable air conditioner, you’ll probably start to think of it as a semi-permanent fixture in your home or office over the hot summer months.

And that’s when having a portable air conditioner that’s been designed with style and elegance will really make a difference and can even become a design enhancement to your home.

Introducing Amcor’s cutting edge PLM12KE and PLM15KE

Amcor’s PLM15KE and PLM12KE are the cornerstones of the US manufacturer’s ground breaking PLM Series – a range of portable air conditioners that were created with equal emphasis on form and function.

Just for the record, the key difference between the PLM12KE and PLM15KE is that the former runs at 12000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) per hour and the latter at 15000. That’s not a huge gap but the extra power of the PLM15KE will be noticed in larger spaces (450-500 square feet).

The concept behind the PLM range was to bring the portable air conditioner into the digital age with a ‘Plasma’ style design that is undeniably sleek and stylish – especially so when compared with the aesthetics of the majority of mobile air con units on the market.

What are the main aspects of the design that give the PLM12KE and PLM15KE their stylish edge? Let’s break them down:

– Chic and sleek casing: the shell of the PLM series portable air conditioners is tall with smooth cut edges, a slight shimmer effect coating and a predominantly flat surface which creates a sense of simplicity and style

– Backlit digital display: The LCD readout on the PLM12KE and PLM 15KE air con units manages to be both an attractive centerpiece and very easy to use, thanks to its blue backlight and soft touch electronic controls

– Top mounted grill: The vent is positioned on the top so it’s not staring in your face, and it’s adjustable too to allow greater control over air flow

– Programmable remote: The functions of PLM12KE and PLM15KE can all be operated via a thin and unobtrusive remote control which also features an easy to read LCD display.

Amcor portable air conditioners [http://www.coolandfresh.co.uk/2007/05/amcor_portable_.html]: more than just a pretty face

We reckon you’ll agree that looks wise you’ll be hard pressed to find a more perfect portable air conditioner for a modern home.

However, they do say it’s what’s inside that counts so it’s definitely worth covering the main technical aspects of the PLM12KE and PLM15KE to demonstrate that Amcor really has combined style with substance in the PLM Series.

Here’s a run-through of 10 great reasons to buy an Amcor PLM range portable air conditioner:

1. More efficient cooling thanks to its patented Evaporative Booster

2. Three speeds to choose from (two fans plus one turbo option)

3. 3M Filtrete filter that removes dust, pollen and animal hair

4. Activated carbon filter that helps to remove odour from the room

5. Washable air filter that collects dust particles and prevents build-up of bacteria

6. Built-in castors for easy moving around the room

7. Full thermostat control

8. Programmable 24 hour timer

9. Exhaust hose extendible to up to 5 feet long

10. Moisture removal capacity of around 80 pints per day

Build a Quality Home With These Ever-Lasting Materials

If you didn’t have the luxury of building your home from scratch, this doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done to improve its quality. Remodeling contractors with great construction knowledge can assist you with upgrading the various materials used interior and exterior of your home. The key is identifying which type of materials are best for the job. You’ll quickly learn that there are certain materials that last much longer than the next. So if you’re searching for something that’s ever-lasting, then the following options are a must.

Consider Old School Masonry

If you’re building an addition to your property, such as a guest house, pool house or even a garage, you should consider implementing masonry. This is an old school method that has proven for centuries its ability to withstand the test of time. Masonry involves the use of brick or stone siding. This gives the structure a more solid state, which means a higher chance of it surviving strong storms and other adversities like fires and floods. It’s a good idea to consider masonry when you hire general contractors for the construction of a new home.

Don’t Overlook Tile

Tile has and likely always will be a part of modern home designs. Home owners that are having home remodeling done oftentimes implement tile into their d├ęcor. Tile can be made from concrete, clay and a host of other materials. The most durable options would be engineered quartz or ceramic. These options are long-lasting and easy on the pocket. You’ll just need to maintain the grout, which can become stained and dirty over time.

Hardwood Materials Are Still In

There are various areas of the home where remodeling contractors can install hardwood. You can choose to have it installed as flooring or you can use it for your kitchen cabinets. When it comes to longevity, hardwood really gives you a run for your money. You can save money by purchasing reclaimed or recycled wood. Or you can go with eco-friendly options, such as bamboo. Expect to pay more to have the reclaimed wood polished and refinished to look amazing. There are remodeling contractors that can perform this work for you.

Install a Metallic Roof

Traditionally, homes are built with roofs made of wood, vinyl and other types of materials. You would normally find metal roofs installed on commercial properties, but this concept is becoming a thing of the past. More and more homeowners are choosing metal roofing materials for their property. Why? For one, they are known to last for a very long time. There are countless old barns and structures with metal roofs that have survived for over a century. In the past, homeowners avoided them like the plague because they were known for being noisy during rain and didn’t have much insulation. Of course, with modern technology, metal roofs have improved tenfold with sufficient insulation and no noise. Plus, you can find more appealing options.

Go with Copper Gutters

The gutters are one of the most overlooked areas of the home. Keeping these in tip top condition is essential, since they’re needed to keep your home property from sustaining damage during rain. It’s responsible for sending away excess water, so your roof doesn’t have leaks. If you’re going to update the gutters on your home, consider going with those made from copper. The reason these are a better option is because it is more durable compared to other materials, such as wood, aluminum and vinyl. They may not look that appealing, but when it comes to functionality, they’re top of the line.

5 Elegant and Modern Curtains and Window Treatments for Your Home

Adding drapes and curtains to your window can add a lot of character, not only to the window, but for the entire room. You can change the look of the room by simply changing the curtains and its styling. It is lot cheaper to change the window treatment than to re-decorate the whole room.

Here are 5 ideas that you can use to achieve a modern look for your room.

Use decorative curtain rods

If you will not use valances or cornices, the hardware of the curtain will be exposed. If you use decorative curtain rods, then exposing the hardware is actually part of the design, and will add to the elegance of the curtain.

Along with the curtain rod, you can further enhance the look if you use decorative rings to attach the curtain. Copper or Bronze plated rings can add pizzazz to your treatment. Another idea that you can use, if you won’t use rings for your curtains, is to use flip-toppers. Flip-toppers is usually made up of fabric which is then used to affix the curtain to the rod. You can use a different fabric material for flip-toppers if you wish to add some contrast to the treatment.

Reconsider the Floor length

If you want to room to look more elegant and formal, consider putting a curtain that falls or even pools to the floor. Floor length curtains convey formality and elegance whereas curtains that fall a bit short of the fall has a more casual appearance.

If you want to achieve a really formal look, consider hanging the curtain starting from the ceiling height then let it fall all the way to the floor. This makes the window look at a lot taller than it really is.

Use tie-backs with lace

Tie-back curtain treatments has a lot of styles to choose from, ranging from the whimsical to the casual. You will need at least 2 curtain rods to achieve this treatment. You will also need the lace panels of the curtain to be 2 to 3 times the actual width of the window in order to achieve the tie-back lace style.

Tie-back lacing works well with curtains the drapes all the way to the floor, in order to complete the elegant look.

Drape the curtain fabric

Using a draped fabric is a simple, yet elegant way to achieve a sophisticated look for your window. This treatment works best with a decorative rod. You can use raw fabric for this treatment but make sure that it is made of attractive material. You will need to buy fabric that will cover at least 3 times the actual window size.

The basic idea for draping your curtain is actually create swags around the curtain rod, you can add pleats to the curtain so that it has a pinched look in between the swags.

Use printed curtains

The simplest and the cheapest of all the treatment ideas is to simply get printed curtains. This works excellently for a young girl’s room. You can find lots of patterns that are themed, for example, fairy-themed fabric or underwater-themed fabric. When she has tired of the theme, you can simply buy a new fabric, and voila, instant change of look.

The Home Inspection: Cavemen, Home Inspectors, And The Way It’ll Always Be

In prehistoric times, when a family was considering a move to a different cave (Hey… who wants to stay in the same old cave their whole life?), they probably communicated with their cave-dwelling neighbors to get an opinion as to whether or not their new cave was up to par… whether or not their potentially new abode was in satisfactory condition… whether it was prone to leak… or to leave them out in the cold.

There were likely some fellow cavemen that had a bit more experience with the evaluation of caves than others. So, they were sought out to give their opinion even though that opinion might have been delivered through a series of gestures and grunts… since they didn’t have any hand-held PDA’s, touch-screen computers, or highly developed language to convey their thoughts and findings.

And, no doubt, there were various levels of professionalism among the acknowledged and preferred cave assessors that led the cave-dwelling masses to choose one assessor over another in their search for new shelter… some combination of combined experience and ability to effectively communicate (Arghghhh… Urgghh… Hyrpthmblomsit) that separated them from some other creature. It’s the same way today with modern Home Inspectors… although most can communicate in their native dialect and most use computers, some sans the touch-screen, of course. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are, well… pretty darned good.

While a fairly high percentage of most all modern Home Inspectors do a reasonable job of assessing the physical condition of a home, they can be generally divided into 5 categories or types:

  • The Nit-Wit Inspector – This is the inspector that advertises the cheapest prices (sometimes referred to a Cheap Charlie) and gives the least value to his clients. They speak as little as possible (perhaps out of necessity), deliver their poor hand-written reports in a week or so after being repeated prompting, and rarely engage in anything approaching a high degree of critical thought process beyond how to get home as quickly as possible. Often, they often have little knowledge or concern about the rules and standards that pertain to their field of work. The Nit-Wit inspector is sort of like the cockroach on the wedding cake… and is best avoided by everyone.
  • The Gloved Inspector – This is the inspector who, while perhaps technically competent, has no intention whatsoever of reporting on anything that might damage their chance of future client referrals. They perform the ole’ soft-shoe routine, dancing around any potentially troubling issues, and deliver their candy-coated findings in such a way as to offend nobody at the sometimes partially disguised expense of inferiority. This inspector should be avoided almost as much as the Nit-Wit inspector
  • The Alarmist Inspector – This is the inspector who just can’t seem to control themselves when it comes to describing issues. Their description is usually accompanied with flailing arms, a red-faced demeanor along with the occasional emotional fit, and a general tendency to scare the ever-lovin’ bejeebers out of everyone within a three block radius including the home-buyer, the real estate agents, the home-seller, and the guy standing on the corner down the street. Everything’s a disaster just waiting to happen and they’re really eager to be credited for saving someone from certain and impending doom. Be careful with this type of inspector because they may burst into flames at any time
  • The Professorial Inspector – This is the inspector who is technically competent, is probably a reasonably effective communicator, and knows what they are supposed to do… but insists on relating, to anyone within earshot, everything they know about everything they’ve ever had the occasion to learn about anything. Sometimes, too much information is, well, too much information. Form your own opinion about this inspector… although, you may actually end up getting a pretty thorough Home Inspection
  • The Professional Inspector – Not to be confused with the Professorial Inspector above, this is the inspector that will provide the very best value to their clients even if their clients have to a pay a bit more to get that value. They’ll fully and calmly explain what they are going to do, how they are going to do it, why they’re going to do it a particular way, do it, and then explain what it is that they have done. They’ll welcome client questions and participation, and they’ll understand that the amount of time it takes to inspect the home is time for which the client is providing payment and not the other way around. They won’t participate in alarmist reporting practices. They won’t try to impart a lot of information that is not pertinent to the Home Inspection and the home being evaluated. They’ll be courteous to all those present and they’ll be fair to the home; they won’t inspect or report upon a 100 year old house as if it were somehow expected to be brand new, and they’ll possess a thorough knowledge and understanding of their profession. They’ll be an active member of a national Home Inspectors organization such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).They’ll accurately convey the findings of their inspection, in accordance with their applicable Standards of Practice, in an even-keeled and informational manner while making reasonable and proper recommendations based upon their observations. And, they’ll convey their findings in a good, readily understandable Home Inspection report

Some things never change and so it likely goes with Home Inspectors. Home Inspectors, as with any other types of professional service providers now or as it likely was in the day of the caveman, will vary widely insofar as their knowledge, level of education, communications skills, inspection methodologies, and the delivery/explanation of their findings are concerned; it’s always been that way and it’ll likely always be that way.

For the very best Home Inspection experience, actively seek out a Home Inspector with the demeanor, education, experience, and professionalism that will provide you with the highest level of comfort and confidence.

Urghh… Arguff… Hyrpthmblombsit!