Posts made in February, 2015

How To Use Decorative Firewood To Spruce Up Your Home

To really make a statement with your interior design you should consider integrating some decorative firewood throughout your home. There’s nothing like the rustic, natural appearance of dried firewood and it can augment any decorative style. What solutions are available for you?

Mantel

If you have a fireplace feature in your living room consider a traditional log mantelpiece above it. This can really add character to the room and is a great place to display some of your more cherished photographs or artifacts. There are usually two different profiles. The first has a smoother outcome, as the wood is planed throughout, before being sanded. The second has a more natural appearance, with the outer edge of the original felled timber making up the profile. These items will be kiln dried.

Accenting

Next, consider some log pedestals as accent pieces. These can be purchased in either soft or hardwood varieties. Logs are cut to various different lengths and stripped of their bark. They can serve as bedside tables or coffee tables in the living room. The logs are dried in a two stage process in a kiln, to remove as much water as possible. This stresses the log , which produces the popular, distinctive cracking. The pedestal will nevertheless have a smooth outer “side” layer, which can be decorated in any finish or colour to match the rest of your room.

Fireplace

If you have a large, open fireplace which you don’t use for its original intended purpose, consider filling it with decorative logs. A number of different species are available to you, each with a different look and feel to fit in best with your room’s decor and configuration.

For example, hardwood split logs are first sawn into smaller batches before being dried in a kiln. Most of the bark remains, to give that natural rustic appeal. They can be cut to different lengths and therefore ordered according to your available space. If you want a more “golden” look consider sweet chestnut logs. In this case most of the bark is removed, although a few pieces may remain to provide some contrast. This type of wood is much lighter and when kiln dried produces a golden appearance.

If you actually use your fireplace for its intended purpose then you may like to add a special decorative log rack to an adjacent space. You can populate this area with decorative logs that are made for the purpose, while using “ordinary” logs from your back yard to actually throw on the fire!

For more ideas, contact a company like Rouse Hill Firewood.

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Mason Jars: How to Implement This Cheap Storage Solution in Your Home

A very cheap storage solution that is easily overlooked are mason jars. As long as you can organize them properly, you can use mason jars as storage in every room of your house, for almost any item that fits them.

Kitchen storage

The cheapest kitchen storage you can find is mason jars. You can put anything in them, from pasta to sauces, from rice to beans, from spices to dried herbs and teas ready to be used.

You can put them on shelves or in cupboards, or you can make them be proper jars by painting the lids and gluing glass knobs to the lid. If you put the jars on shelves, make sure to put a lip at the edge of the shelf so they don’t fall off.

A metal clothing drawer will serve as both storage for your jars, and for your pots if you want to hang them up with S-hooks. Just make sure to paint it to match your kitchen so it doesn’t look out of place.

Living room & study

If you’re out of storage space in your study, you can use painted mason jars. Paint the jar with two coats of a metallic or mirror paint on the inside, so the paint doesn’t get chipped once you start using it. Then add a knob as explained before, and paint it as well. This will give you some precious-looking storage for bits and bobs from your living room and study, such as guests’ cookies, pens and other office supplies, or maybe craft items if you’re into that.

You can add these on your walls with a spare piece of wood and some pipe clamps. Screw the board to the wall, then as many pipe clams as mason jars you need on the board. Put the jars under the pipe clamp so it holds them from the middle. Then, tighten it until it’s very tight and the jars feel secure.

You can glue them bottom to the wall in a pyramid pattern to have a modern circular storage space to store pens, pencils, art supplies, or even makeup!

Bathroom

You can use the same methods as you did in the kitchen or living room. A mason jar painted with matte paint to match the tiles or a metallic paint to match the fixtures will look very chic. You can use it to store makeup or toothbrushes. You can either affix them with the plank method above (but not on the tiles, because you may shatter them; just on the wall), or you can put them on the shelves you already have for more organization.

Mason jars can be used in a thousand ways as cheap storage containers with a little patience and a lot of creativity.

 

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Garden Pot Craft For Your Terrific Toddler

Before the summer ends and it gets too cold to spend time outside, make the most of some craft time outdoors with your toddler. Here is an easy craft using garden pots that you can do with your little one. You do not need to buy expensive garden pots because once they are decorated, they will look as good as anything that you can buy in a store. They will also be perfect for using when spring planting rolls around.

Geranium Pots

Geranium pots let your child enjoy the sensory fun of painting with sponges. To do this craft you need:

  • Terracotta garden pots
  • Two sponges – a soft natural sponge works well
  • Acrylic paint colours of your choice. Be sure to include green paint for the shrubbery
  • Spray on sealer

The garden pots can be purchased at your local garden centre (or a store like Wentworth Falls Pots), while the paints and sponges can be purchased at any craft shop.

When you are ready to begin, head outside onto the deck and spread out some newspaper or a vinyl tablecloth so that you can protect the deck from painting mishaps. Next:

  1. Put a dab of each of the paint colours onto a paper plate so that your toddler is not having to squeeze the paint bottles.
  2. Choose the main colour that you want the geranium flower to be and dip the sponge into this colour. Helpful hint: if your toddler puts too much paint onto the sponge, dab it a couple of times onto a paper towel before you place it against the pot. Overly wet blobs of paint may run, and will also dry badly.
  3. Dab the sponge onto different parts of the garden pot. Make sure that no two blobs are too close together. This main colour represents the geranium flower.
  4. Next, use a new sponge to dab green blotches on each side of the main colour. This represents the leaves of the geranium.
  5. Allow the pots to dry for 24 hours before you spray them with a clear coat of sealant. This will protect the pots from the weather if you plan to use them outside.

Whether you choose to keep these for yourself, or give them away to other family members as a gift, geranium pots are pretty and easy to make. To make the complete gift package, plant a geranium inside the pot before you give it away. Not only will you have some fun in the sun with your little one, but you can enhance the garden one pot at a time.

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February 2015
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