Category: Home & Garden

Artful Home Decorating Ideas Using Stained Glass Panels

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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In past centuries, stained glass panels were used to create pictorial stories in cathedral windows and tell stories from the Christian texts. The portrayal of biblical stories and other symbols in stained glass is a time honored tradition.

Today, there are limitless ways for using stained glass as a wonderfully creative and surprisingly versatile medium. Stained glass can be used to add color and flair to your home or other living space so that it adds a lively feel to an ordinary location. Stained glass can be used to create new stylish motifs. Even adding a few choice collector’s items, antique glass pieces, sculptures, or other stained glass art will spruce up an area with a warm and colorful glow. But let us explore some of the more specific ways that stained glass panels can be used for artful home decorating ideas so that you can incorporate them this season to brighten up anywhere you live.

Stained Glass Ceilings and Light Fixtures

A simple idea that adds much to a home space is the incorporation of stained glass panels as ceiling tiles or overlapping with light fixtures. This creates a colorful ambiance and acts like art pieces do, except the added charm of coming from above. Ceilings did this way make for excellent conversation pieces and will match almost any style décor.

Stained Glass Table Tops and Furniture Designs

Many unique and stylish furniture designs use stained glass paneling to create Art Nuevo feels for the home. Tables topped with stained glass give off wonderful reflected light that shimmers throughout the room. With the right lighting, furniture designed with stained glass makes a dazzling ensemble that sets the mood in the wider angles of any living room or dining area.

Stained Glass Lamps and Chandeliers Art

Lamp shades made of stained glass are the perfect synthesis of art and home furnishings. They can be set so their light casts in all directions and make a charming addition to the home entertainment space. In a more elaborate sense, it is possible to design stained glass chandeliers that hang from above, dangling light colorful displays cascading across the ceilings and dancing along the flooring of your household.

Stained Glass Flooring and Discothèque Décor

For those who want to take their décor to the next level, why not a party space for your indoor gatherings. Stained glass flooring can be created, it is a little more expensive than traditional floor tiles, but can be done economically and will last for a longer amount of time. Some homes have taken this idea and created pseudo dance floor feels to entertain guests and visitors. Just as some stained glass flooring or textures throughout a room, then compliment it with a lighted glitter ball hanging above and a booming stereo system, then you have the premium discothèque in your home.

Stained Glass Swimming Pool Designs

A more elaborate application of stained glass paneling and tiles can be used in outdoor scenarios. A sweet look can be given to pool areas, where stained glass can be inserted into the edging, walkways or in spaces for seating around swimming pools or Jacuzzis. This is a colorful way to make a plain pool area artsy and fun in the daylight hours, although the accents of stained glass under moonlight make it a romantic texture for the evening swim party. This is an idea that might cost a little more, but the results are amazing for an outdoor project to modernize your home in a stylish way.

A simple alternative is a panel you hang by a chain and hardware in front of an existing window. Let the sun shine through the beautiful glass into your home. It will be a focal point for family and guests to admire!

Any of these ideas can be incorporated into a home living space, office or another shared a common area. The more elaborate ideas can be accented with the right style of furnishings or household accompaniments to make a wild and interesting mood setting a place for friends, family, or other visiting guests. These are just a few ideas for stained glass paneling if these turn you on then consider talking to a home décor specialist and see what other ideas you can come up with together.

Stained glass will renew and modernize any home or living space in the most classy artful ways imaginable. The possibilities are endless when you install any version of stained glass paneling and will bring new colors into every room to light up your life.

Wet Rooms – The Newest Trend in Bathroom Design

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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Have you noticed the recent wet room design trend? Wet rooms as extremely stylish and can add a contemporary feel to your home. According to Kitchen and Bath Design News magazine, the formal definition of a wet room is “a bathroom in which the shower is open or set behind a single wall, its floor area being flush with the floor of the rest of the room and the water draining away through an outlet set into the floor.” Wet rooms can be created from both small and large bathrooms, downstairs bathrooms, or as part of a master suite.

Perhaps, a couple of reasons why the wet room has been gaining recent popularity is due to the sought-after spa like bathroom experience. Wet rooms convey luxury with their clean lines and minimal design. They also allow the free standing tubs with the chance to steal the show.

While many wet rooms have recently been found in luxury and larger bathrooms, they previously started out in lower budget and institutional settings. Over recent years, free standing tubs have become a staple in bathroom design and can perfectly complement a wet room. Free standing tubs are often complemented by floor-mounted tub fillers. These might invite some extra splashes and spillage. While this could cause concern, wet rooms have been professionally waterproofed to avoid any possible leaks leading to water damage.

One of the main challenges associated with wet rooms is figuring out an efficient way to keep certain items dry, including towels and toilet paper. One way to keep water from going everywhere is to install a frameless shower screen placed in front or to the sides of the shower. This allows the room to still feel open, while being able to keep some key areas dry. Another way to keep your wet room dry is by adding under floor heating. Adding under floor heating to your wet room is highly recommended. Not only does it mean that you will have a nice, warm floor to stand on, any standing water from showering will evaporate much quicker.

When planning any wet room, it is imperative to choose non-porous and slip resistant water-friendly materials. A couple of suitable materials include ceramic and porcelain. Choosing slate, marble, and limestone may not be the best choice since they are porous and would require sealing every few months to prevent water damage.

*Bonus: Although it may be expensive, a great way to create a luxurious feeling is by installing the same materials throughout the floor and run it to the ceiling.

While wet rooms can be a beautiful addition to any home, having the shower and bathtub in the same space may be a personal preference and may affect resale. If you are considering a wet room, or a bathroom remodel, please consult with a trusted contractor first. Balducci Additions and Remodeling is a well-known contractor and has been serving the metro Richmond area for over 30 years. Please contact us to schedule a free estimate.

Freezer temperature monitoring system reviews

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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If you have experienced a pipe burst in your home, you know very well how much time and money it takes to repair the resulting damage. Not only you have to consider the initial pipe repair, structural damage and water damage clean up, serious molds and mildew problems from nowhere would surface up and can begin to infiltrate your drywall and insulation within hours and arise days or weeks after when you think the problem has disappeared. So what’s the solution in that case? Prevent the pipe bursts in the first place. There are so many excellent freeze alarm that when used properly can help you prevent low temperature in your home and cause pipe ruptures in cold weather.

These freeze alarms are integrated into the home network and are fitted with temperature sensors that will monitor and record any variations occurring in the room temperatures. Apart from the freezer temperature monitoring these include water leak sensor, dialer and audible local alarm to alert those in the vicinity and those who have left property unattended. Responding to these alerts can help you take some precautionary steps that help prevent pipe bursting and at the same time can save your hundreds of dollars that would otherwise have been spent on the home repairs and maintenance.

There is several refrigerator temperature monitoring systems with varying features that can suit the need of individuals with varying needs. Also there are systems that allow you choose the kind of sensors that a system must possess. On the other hand, some of these systems will even offer customization so that every user requirement can be fulfilled that otherwise were not possible with standard systems.

That the relay output can also vary that can be alert system for the individuals in a messaging or the vicinity or alert call for someone in the remote area. Though every feature you put in will also bring its cost, so the prices vary with products and different features they offer. The choice of product depends on your needs and budget preferences. There are so many excellent freeze alarm that when applied properly can help you avoid low temperature in your home and cause pipe ruptures in cold weather.

There is numerous refrigerator temperature monitoring systems with varying features that can suit the need of individuals with varying needs. That the relay output can also vary that can be alert system for the individuals in the vicinity or a messaging or alert call for someone in the remote area. If you need automated temperature monitor to keep safety everywhere then TempGenius is the company to contact.

2 Storey Homes Builders – Perth Most Flexible Builders

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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Two storey home designs are becoming much more popular throughout Perth, despite the downturn in the WA housing market. Generally our 2 storey home buyers are people who have already owned a home before and are upsizing to accommodate their growing families, however we are receiving more enquiries from first homebuyers looking to get into the housing market with a 2 storey house design for their very first home!

As blocks of land for sale in Perth are dramatically decreasing in size, it is inevitable that new homebuyers will be forced to purchase 2 storey home designs if they want to increase the floor space available in their homes and still be able to have a backyard. Alternatives to building upwards include building a larger single storey home and reducing the yard size or building a smaller single storey home and utilising the remaining yard space as outdoor living space.

The affordability of 2 storey house plans also seems to be improving and this could be yet another reason their popularity is growing. With fewer people opting to build a new home rather than purchasing established, new home builders are dropping their prices and introducing special offers to try and attract more clients. This is the best time to be shopping for a new home while the prices are low and the builders aren’t that busy, it means you are more likely to get a great deal on your new home and you could also get your house built quicker due to the abundance of tradespeople available to work!

House and land packages are in hot demand (as are turn-key house packages), as homebuyers try to minimise the amount of work involved in sourcing the right land,finding the besttwo storey house plans to match their lifestyle and completing all the finishing touches that make your house a home.

Great Living Homes are specialist 2 storey home builders servicing the Perth metro area; we offer a range of designs in single and double storey including house and land packages and turn-key homes. We also build custom designs, unit developments and granny flats. In fact we are one of few residential builders in Australia offering 2 storey granny flats which are also suitable as small, affordable 2 storey homes for under $200,000. What is even better is that we will alter any of our designs to suit your personal requirements without charging you for the changes (up until the contract is signed); this is something most builders won’t do!

4 Top Tips for a Better Kitchen: Designers Perth Wa Professional Advice

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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Traditionally, the kitchen has always been the heart of any home; a place to nourish your family and friends. The modern kitchen can still fulfill this role, but careful planning and design is needed, to ensure that the kitchen can be both functional and beautiful. These days, a kitchen can add significant value to a home and it must always be approached as an investment. Here are four tops tips to create a better kitchen that will be a joy to use and increase the sales potential of your home.

1. Wide Walkways

Wherever possible, make the walkways in your kitchen as wide as you can. A kitchen is a high traffic area in your home, and additional space is always welcome. The paths into and through your kitchen should be at least 92 cm wide. The paths in and around the cooking zone should be at least 106 cm wide in a single cook kitchen and 122 cm wide in a double cooking configuration. When you plan out your kitchen, bear these measurements in mind and place any kitchen islands accordingly.

2. Watch Those Corners

In order to make sure your appliance and cabinet doors will work as intended, space must be planned for their clearance. There must be enough room for clearance and to keep the swing direction clear in your kitchen design. Appliances should not be located in corners and care should be exercised to ensure that cabinet doors cannot bang into each other if they are open/opened at the same time.

3. Establish the Function of Your Island

A kitchen island or peninsula is a fantastic way to add functionality and a touch of class. However, many people don’t have a clear idea of how their kitchen island is going to be used when designing and an opportunity is wasted. The function of the kitchen island should be clear. Will it be used for cooking on? Is the primary function an additional eating space? If the island will be used for both eating and cooking, sufficient space must be left between the areas for safety.

4. Knife Storage

Many professional kitchens store their knives and other sharp implements on magnetic strips that are placed near the backsplash. In a domestic kitchen, this looks fantastic, but it’s also very practical from a safety aspect. The right knife for the job at hand can be located quickly and easy without scrabbling through a drawer. Also, the knives are located safely out of the reach of very small children.

If you’re looking for new kitchen designs to use in your homes, visit us at Ekitchens. We have a diverse selection of kitchens to choose from that showcase the best in contemporary interior kitchen design. Our kitchens are bespoke, to meet your exact needs, we don’t deal in modular designs, and we care about the exact need of our customers. Our sales advisors are standing by to discuss your needs in greater detail, and we look forward to addressing any further queries you have.

4 Tips for Maintaining Vinyl Siding

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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We all know that vinyl siding is a great choice for one’s home due to its low maintenance and longevity. But that doesn’t mean that it is totally without basic maintenance needs or steps to be taken to see that it looks its best. Some of the common issues one might deal with are cracking, puncturing or perhaps pulling away from the house.

Thankfully, these proactive measures do not take a great deal of skill or a toolbox full of special tools.

Tips for Maintaining Vinyl Siding

1. Be sure to keep any shrubbery around the home trimmed back so that the branches cannot poke or scratch the siding. Failing to do this will result in the coating on the siding being scratched, nicked or punctured thus making the siding susceptible or mildew and mold.

2. No matter what type of siding you have on your home. It is important to take time to clean it, at least once a year. With vinyl, you can do this by using a soft scrub brush, soapy water, and a water hose for rinsing. Yes, you can use a power washer but be sure to keep it at the lowest setting and take care not to use excessive force.

3. In the event that you do discover dents, punctures or scratching, replace the piece as soon as possible. Be sure in doing this, that you use a siding removal tool so you can avoid damaging the surrounding pieces of siding.

4. Make time to clean your gutters- especially during the spring and fall or after a heavy storm as this will help keep the siding clean and prevent risk of damage to the siding.

It is also worth noting that while most people opt to have vinyl siding in a color they like, it you purchase a home with siding in a color you do not like, it can be painted. It will take two coats of 100% latex paint and the paint will need to be re-applied every two years in order to always look great.

Maintaining your vinyl siding is not a full-time job, but it does need the occasional repairs or cleaning. Don’t just assume that your home’s siding is a one and done aspect of ownership. Take time throughout the year to ensure that your siding will last as long (if not longer) than you were promised at installation. If you are new to vinyl, then be sure to talk to a local siding company and find out what they recommend for your particular type and style of home siding.

Home Security in a Metropolitan Area

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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There are many factors in choosing a home security system no matter where you live, but there are unique security challenges facing city dwellers. To be clear, it’s always a great idea to have a home security system no matter where you reside, but living in a city provides unique challenges such as:

Higher Population, Increased Isolation

When living in a rural area, there tends to be a greater sense of community and comradery. Even if you live in a scarcely populated area, you are likely to know and interact with your nearest neighbour. The opposite tends to be true in densely populated areas, where people tend to stick to themselves at home, and pair off with people they already know. What about when a crime is committed? Surely having more eyes on a crime is a benefit of living in a large city? Psychologically speaking, the opposite is true.

When a crime is committed, the more people that are there to witness it, the less likely it is to be reported. This is known as the Bystander Effect, or Bystander Apathy. This phenomenon happens because people are certain that in such a large crowd that surely someone will help. If everyone has that thought, nobody ends up helping. That is why a home security system is so essential. If you live in a busy neighbourhood, people are less likely to recognize if something is amiss since they want to keep to themselves. Even if they witness the crime, they are unlikely to report it due to the Bystander Effect. Having a home alarm system is a consistent link to authorities where one does not have to rely on strangers to help. Having a monitored alarm means that trained professionals will take on that responsibility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Condo Living

While the Bystander Effect applies to condo living as well, condo dwellers have unique issues that they need to address. Most condos in Canada come with some form of security, the most common of which is a buzzer system which allows somebody into the front door. This system often gives a false sense of security to the condo owner, as the reality is that it very rarely stops a criminal from entering the premises. It’s known that front and back doors are big problems, and the reality is, there is very little any individual owner can do about it. If a thief waits by a door with a fake load of groceries, they can often have someone hold the door open for them just by smiling at them. Condo security may technically be the responsibility of the board of directors, but you need to always take condo security into your own hands.

Even if the board of directors claims they are serious about security, they are often part of the problem with security breaches. Landlords and repair people have been known to casually allow themselves into a condo unannounced, which is entirely illegal. The illegality does not stop them, however, as condo residents have little recourse if landlords claim they attempted to give notice. Having a monitored alarm system with an indoor camera is the best protection for a condo dweller. This ensure there is both a connection to the authorities, and evidence of who arrived in your condo and at what time. If something ever goes missing, you have hard evidence to provide the police. It also allows for more peace of mind and privacy, as even if a landlord has a key, the will know to provide proper notice prior to entering your condo again.

Every City, Every Home

Statistically speaking, serious crimes are down almost across the board in Canada. That’s great news for everyone’s personal safety, but it doesn’t mean that you can avoid crime altogether. In Toronto alone, nearly 7000 break and enters were reported in 2016, and there is always a concern of a major crime spree from thieves looking to make frequent scores. No matter where you live, your home can become a target. Having many witnesses or living in a condo will not deter would be robbers from taking your possessions. Everybody needs a home security system to keep them safe!

7 Tips to Prevent Water Heater Repairs

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering – usually in the midst of showering – that the water heater is no longer working. Sometimes it is discovered when you turn on the faucet and only get cold water and other times it can be discovered because of an unpleasant smell. Either way, dealing with a lack of hot water is not much fun!

But even more discouraging than the lack of hot water, is knowing that replacing the water heater is likely to be costly – whether it is the entire tank, or just having repair work done. Consequently, it is important to know some basic steps to take to keep water hear repairs at a minimum. Let’s get started:

Preventing Water Heater Repairs


  • Be sure that your water heater’s temperature is not set any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only will having it higher mean that your utility bill will be more expensive, but making it worker harder means that there is more wear and tear on the various parts.
  • At least twice a year, check the pressure relief valve to make sure it is not corroded. Catching leaks or corrosion early means less chance of future problems.
  • Schedule a maintenance visit with a plumber at least once a year to make sure all the parts and pieces are working properly.
  • Check to see that there is plenty of ventilation – especially if you have a gas heater! If the vents are not properly working your home can be invaded by toxic fumes.
  • Twice a year, take time to drain the water heater to remove any sediment. If sediment is allowed to build up it can result in an assortment of problems. You can drain the tank by first placing a 5-gallon bucket below the drain valve, then turning the valve counter-clockwise to release a few gallons of water into the bucket. Then close the valve and proceed as usual.
  • Test the temperature and pressure valve by lifting up the lever part way and then letting it snap back into place. You should hear a gurgling sound that indicates that there was some water released into the drain pan. If you don’t hear anything, then it is time to replace the valve.
  • If you have a gas water heater, make time at least once a quarter to ensure the pilot light is lit, and to remove any soot build up.


These tips are only of use if you apply them So, don ‘t wait until the current water heater needs to be repaired to implement them – start today to get the longest lifespan possible from your home water heater. Still have questions, talk to a local plumber today

Basic things to consider when choosing LED Flood Lights

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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Flood lights, also known as security lights, offer homeowners a more practical option to incorporating bright exterior lighting to their home exteriors without having to buy very expensive fixtures and numerous bulbs. By strategically installing flood lights, you not only extend the hours which you can use your porch, basketball hoop, or swimming pool, you also dissuade intruders as well as wild animals from entering your home.
If you are in the process of selecting flood lights for your home, you might be overwhelmed by the wide range of options that are available to you. Having a clear idea of your lighting objective and a thorough knowledge of the various products in the market will enable you to choose the appropriate flood light for your home. Here are some things to consider when buying flood lights:

LED Flood Lights

If you are looking for the most cost efficient exterior security lighting option, go for light emitting diode or LED bulbs. They may cost a bit higher compared to CFLs and other bulb types, but the savings on your electricity bill and their relatively longer lifespan will prove that LEDs offer long term savings. These bulbs consume less energy compared to fluorescent bulbs and have a longer lifespan, lasting as long as 50,000 hours or 46 years, if used 3 hours a day and are kept in good condition. LEDs also produce maximum brightness instantly once the switch is turned on or the sensor is triggered, so there is no delay.


When deciding where to install your flood lights, you will have to remember three things. First, the bulbs should point downward at a 22-degree angle so the flood lights shine brightly on the target without blinding anyone. Second, the light should not be pointed towards a neighboring home as this would not only annoy your neighbors, it can also be taken as an invasion of their privacy. And third, the flood lights should be mounted at least 9 feet from the ground so that it is kept out of reach and to prevent any potential hazards which may be caused by very hot bulbs when touched or tampered.

Motion Sensors

Flood lights with infrared sensors have a 180-degree range of motion, picking up on heat waves when someone or something within this range is in motion. Depending on the sensor, the light will remain active for 1 to 10 minutes and then shut off automatically. This is a great safety feature which also helps save energy in cases when the homeowner forgets to turn the lights off.

Dusk to Dawn Lights

If your primary concern is security, dusk to dawn lights are the best available option for you. These security flood lights automatically turn on once the sun begins to set and off again as the sun rises in the morning. If you do decide to utilize this type of flood lighting, you will need to be extra cautious and consult with your neighbors, making sure that an all-night light would not disturb them in any way.


Lastly, you will also need to take into consideration the aesthetic features of the flood lights that you will be purchasing. There are many different finishes available. Popular choices include copper, stainless steel, and colored lacquer on top of aluminum. The general rule of thumb is, pick a finish that matches the color or the style of the home.
Feel free to leave any question, comments or suggestions in the comment section below. For more articles on new trends, latest news, installation tips in LED space, check our blog for weekly posts as well as our Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or LinkedIn. As always we here at are willing to step up to the plate to answer your everyday lighting questions and challenges.

Five types of specialized doors

November 28, 2017

Home & Garden

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A door is a structure that simply blocks or allows access to an entrance within an enclosed space. Specialist doors are mainly developed for very special purposes. The following designs are available in the market so as to satisfy the specific needs of different customers.

1. Stainless steel doors

Steel is among the most used materials in the building and construction industry mainly due to its strength and durability. Commercial carbon steel does not corrode in normal dry air room temperature unlike other metals such as iron. That is why the doors are highly favored in making of doors my architects. Steel doors can be installed in any place of a room especially on the entrance of premises for security purposes. Other areas where the steel doors are common is where hygiene is a top priority such as the kitchen areas. The high-grade carbon steel is less corrosive and this makes it suitable in the coastal areas where the corrosion rates are high.

2. Acoustic doors

An acoustic door is a type of a specialized door that is mainly used in sound-proofing. Sound-proofing is the science used in reducing the sound pressure with respect to specific sounds receptor. The doors are designed to control the amount of sound passing through a door. They are mainly employed in high noise sensitive places such as music studios or manufacturing environments. The doors are also becoming popular in offices as they are mainly attributed to reducing distractions and increasing the productivity of employees in general. Due to the high performance of the doors, they are normally harder to install compared to normal doors and should, therefore, be installed by specialized engineers.

3. Flood protection doors

This is a type of door that is mainly specialized to reduce the dangers associated with flash floods which happen to be a battle in some areas. Sealing of a door to prevent water from leaking into your house or business premises is often a challenge. Installation of flood protection doors is a form of flood control since it helps to reduce the detrimental effects of flood waters. Flood doors offer a piece of mind to all those people living in flood-prone regions.

4. Security doors

Security is a top priority at all times when we want to protect our homes and business premises from activities associated with burglary. Security doors are mainly installed in the main entrance of commercial and government buildings due to its strength, toughness and high resistance from breakage by invaders.

5. Fire-resistance doors

This is simply a massive and heavy door that is mainly made from natural materials such as steel so as to protect buildings from fire hazards. Though the door will finally combust, it will offer a great resistance in slowing down the spreading of fire, by containing smoke and heat for a specific time period giving the building occupants a chance to vacate the premises.

In general, specialized doors are mainly constructed in order to suit the specific needs and interest of a customer. It might be for security purposes, beauty, flood protection or just a general domestic door.