Monday, December 1, 2014

Update Your Fireplace For the Holidays

Your fireplace doesn't have to be plain and simple for the holidays. Take the time to add some decorations or create a theme that will make it look beautiful for family and friends to see.

When you think about updating a fireplace, you might think about only adding a few holiday decorations to the mantle. While this is something easy to do, you can take it a step further. Consider putting a black drape in the center of the fireplace. Put a picture of the legs of Santa on the drape as well as a picture of a bag of toys. It will look like Santa is stuck while getting down the chimney.

Another idea is to create a winter wonderland on the fireplace. Add clear blue plastic on the mantle with a white backdrop on the fireplace. Put snowflakes and other designs that make you think of a winter wonderland. Add some silver and clear glitter so that the display sparkles. You can also add the words Let It Snow on the backdrop in the center of the fireplace.

If you don't plan on using your fireplace for heat, then consider transforming the interior of it to something elegant. Clean all of the bricks or stones in the fireplace, and add tapered candles in various holders so that the flames will give off a glow that looks like a fire is lit. You want to stagger the candles in height so that it will look more realistic.

You can create a manger scene in the fireplace with animals, Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus. A fun display empty boxes in the fireplace that have been wrapped to look like Christmas presents. This is something playful for children are anxiously await the arrival of Santa. You can also take a more elegant approach with this idea by wrapping the boxes with silver, blue or purple.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Give the Gift of Nature

Everyone has one...a beloved friend or relative who has everything they want or need. How do you buy gifts for that person? What kind of gift could interest them when it seems that they have it all? How about a unique outdoor gift?
A great idea for any person like this, no matter their age, sex or interest is the gift of living nature. There isn't a person alive who doesn't appreciate a living small bird. The little creatures hop from branch to branch, picking up lady bugs and worms along their way.
All you have to do to acquire these little friends is to give them the right home and they will move right in to keep you company. has a full line of unique outdoor gifts with an extensive line of bird houses. Here is a look at a small sample of some of the most interesting avian homes.

The Fence Post Condo.
Instead of nailing a birdhouse on a tree limb, put your Lazy Hill Farm Loretta Bird Feeder on a corner of a fence post. It is a great place to watch the birds dive bomb into the home. The roof is made of redwood shingles with a solid vinyl body. A clay dish holds the bird seed.
The Lazy Hill Farm Mini House Bird Feeder.
This feeder has a polished copper roof and a solid vinyl body. Open on all sides, this allows the birds to land, eat and take off again.
The Lazy Hill Farm Ultimate Martin Bird House.
Here is where you attract the most useful and interesting of native birds, the purple martin, the hit men for mosquitoes. This 3-story solid vinyl condo is divided into 24 separate compartments. The top is easily removed for cleaning. It has a metal plate and decorative brackets to easily mount on a post.
These unique outdoor gifts are great gifts for everyone. The full line has every type and kind of birdhouse and feeder from the tiny to the apartment house size. Children will love learning first-hand about nature from these feeders and houses.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

When to Replace a Fireplace Door

Replacing a fireplace door generally isn't at the top of to-do lists for homeowners, but it should be. Older fireplace doors can be unsafe, might not fit right,  likely damaged, or could just look terrible. Installing new doors isn't a massive undertaking and won't break the bank. However the new doors can make a huge difference, in the functionality of a fireplace and overall look of a home.

- The current doors are too old
Newer fireplace doors are much safer than antique ones. Sure the original doors may look great and have a special charm, but there's a good chance that they don't have tempered glass, which poses a serious safety hazard. Newer doors are designed with safety, functionality, and beauty in mind. Some even have fans to help distribute the heat.

- The current doors don't fit right
Mass produced fireplace doors won't fit all fireplaces. However, a poorly fitting door will allow a significant amount heat loss from a home and won't prevent sparks from flying out. Instead homeowners with unique fireplaces should seek custom fitted doors. Since quality fireplace doors can last a long time, the extra expense of the special order will be well worth it.

- Current doors are damaged
Fireplace doors can take a lot of heat, literally. Over time, the frames can bend and the glass can crack as children, pets, and life unfold around the fireplace. Damaged doors look terrible and can even be a safety hazard; they should be replaced immediately.

- Current doors need a style update
Nothing can date a home or make it seem more drab than an out-of-date fireplace door. Sure, there is something to be said for classic styles, but just because a door is old doesn't automatically make it a beautiful antique. Homeowners should take a serious look at their fireplace doors to see if they are dragging their home decor style down.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Popular Handrail Wood Colors

In addition to its basic function, a staircase in a home can be an attractive and eye-catching decorative feature. Whether building a new staircase or replacing an old one, carefully selected component staircase parts add function and beauty to a space. Choosing the handrail is possibly the most important decision to be made as it is the finishing touch to a well-designed and properly constructed staircase.
Wood is the most popular choice for staircases in both traditional and contemporary homes. Wood is versatile and is easily cut and precisely shaped into newel posts, balusters, risers, caps and rails. Additionally, natural woods from different species of trees provide nearly unlimited choices of colors, grains, and densities that will suit every style and design specification.
Red oak is a popular wood choice for indoor furnishings of any type, and a red oak handrail will finish a staircase beautifully and cost-effectively. Red oak is slightly lighter and more porous than white oak and has a slight pinkish undertone, hence the name. It can be turned, shaped and sized to meet any specification and the grain in red oaks is more evident than in white oak. This is an added design detail for any use where a strong wood grain is desired for esthetic reasons.
For a professional quality handrail, several different specialized pieces may be needed in addition to an uninterrupted run of straight handrail. The connector pieces that are needed will depend on the configuration and length of the staircase. For example, a quarter turn handrail fitting is used when a staircase takes a 90-degree turn. Over easing and up easing handrail fittings are used to span the vertical spaces between straight horizontal pieces and the angled handrails that follow the rise of the staircase. A well-constructed red oak handrail will add distinction to an elegant staircase, providing years of beauty, style and function.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to Choose the Correct Weathervane Hardware

Installing a weather vane is by far one of the easiest DIY projects around your home or business. Although commonly added to the peak of a roof as a decorative item, the weathervane can actually be mounted in any number of useful locations.

Before purchasing your weathervane hardware, select the perfect location and measure carefully to ensure your weathervane will have the room it requires to move freely. Standard size weathervanes can be mounted just about anywhere from your garden to the top of a cupola. The estate weathervanes are typically mounted on the roofs of larger homes or barns, but they can go anywhere as long as you have the correct weathervane hardware.

For installation on a peaked roof or surface, use an aluminum roof mount that adjusts to the roof’s pitch. This mount attaches with 8 screws and will hold any standard weathervane. If your roof has a four sided peak, do not use the adjustable mount. Instead, purchase the 4 sided roof mount for increased stability.

If you are installing on the side of the house or another flat, vertical surface, a side mount is used. Side mounts vary in horizontal length to ensure your weathervane has sufficient room to move, so take that into consideration. Also, be aware of any overhangs, such as a porch, balcony or eaves, to allow the proper vertical clearance.

Weathervanes are also quite attractive when installed as a standalone unit using a full size garden pole. This two-pronged pole is mounted in the ground and can hold both the standard and estate vanes. For extra height, an extension rod is available and can be used with any of the hardware.

In addition to the basic hardware, decorative roof mounts are readily available to enhance the look of your weathervane, so be sure to consider all your options before making the purchase.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Using Contemporary Newel Posts in Your Home

Updating your home from time to time can help you to enjoy enhanced pride of ownership, increased property value and other important benefits. While repainting the walls and replacing outdated accessories are small steps that you can take to enhance the décor of your home, there are times when the built-in fixtures require replacement for better results. One idea that you may consider for fabulous results is to replace the newel post on your stair rail. A contemporary newel post can add a dramatic touch of individuality and flair.

When you are making an update, the smaller details in a home are easy to overlook but may have the biggest impact on the overall ambiance and style. If you have a stair railing in your home, it may have an outdated or banal appearance that can detract from your home. However, there are several gorgeous contemporary newel post options that are available for you to consider, and each may have a unique impact on your décor that you may love. You can begin learning more about the style available to find the one that most closely appeals to your decorative style. These are sold to you unfinished, and this means that you can finish them with the perfect hue of stain to meet your needs. Whether you want to create a darker railing for dramatic impact or your goal is to use lighter woods for a brighter feel, you will have control over this.

With styles that range from highly decorative and ornate to rather simplistic and elegant, there are many gorgeous styles of newel posts available for you to consider. These can be installed with your existing railing, or you can use them with a larger remodeling project when you replace your entire railing. The stair rail and newel posts are among the most noticeable features in a two-story home, but they are easy to overlook when you are remodeling. You can take time today to explore the different styles of newel posts available today as a first step toward improving the look of your staircase, and you will love the transformation in your space after it has been finished and installed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Christmas mantel decorating ideas

The mantel in your home is probably the center of attention through the year; and at Christmas you can add a festive look in various ways. If you have children then you might want to use a few playful mantel decorating ideas. If it's just you and a spouse or older children then consider something elegant.

When you have children in the home, they will want to get into the excitement of the season and decorating. Create an ice skating rink by placing blue cellophane paper on the mantel, small trees and people ice skating. You can also add buildings for them to get skates and hot chocolate. Try to make it look as realistic as possible. Santa is always a good option, but consider making a small town on the mantel so that Santa can visit all of the children.

A red and green décor is something simple to do, and you can use various products that bring a festive look. Pomegranates and small conifers in baskets with a hint of fake snow are ideal for a woodsy appearance. If you have a lot of decorations to use, then place them symmetrically on the mantel so that there is an even amount to look at on each side. A simple idea is a wreath on the wall that is centered over the mantel and red and green candles on a white cloth. A beautiful scene that is fragrant l is one that includes peppermints. Line the mantel with vases that contain white and red flowers, and place candy canes in vases between the flowers. Use white, red and clear vases to blend in with the decorations. Blue is a brilliant color for Christmas. Use ornaments of silver, white and blue on the mantel as well as garland and pine cones. Add a splash of color with fun ornaments that are related to a special hobby or pet like dogs or elves.