Posts by Quentin Cook

4 Tips for Getting Wooden Furniture for Your Garden or Patio

If you’re looking for patio or garden furniture, you’ll notice that where wood was once king, you have a myriad of choices to go with. While some of these may be cheaper and less maintenance-intensive, nothing beats the charm of a wooden outdoor set.

Hand-crafted wooden furniture has its charm; it can be the perfect finish to a professionally landscaped garden, increasing your home’s curb appeal. If you’re considering wooden furniture, the following tips will help you make the most out of your purchase.

1. Choosing your wood

Your choice of wood is a lot more important when selecting outdoor furniture compared with indoor furniture. Teak wood is a popular choice because it hold up to elemental exposure better than most woods, including hardwoods. You can leave your teak furniture unfinished or oil it to prevent natural fading from exposure to the sun. Plan to buy all your teak outdoor furniture simultaneously, however, so that they don’t fade at different rates.

If you can’t afford teak, you can still use any type of wood that has noteworthy resistance to pets and rotting – cedar, acacia and eucalyptus are a few options. In addition, ensure the wood is treated and sealed, and plan to have it resealed at least annually to keep from warping and other damage.

2. Planting your garden

Care should be taken when planting your garden if you want to have outdoor wooden furniture. Certain types of plants can attract pests that may damage your wooden furniture, so talk to your gardener/landscaper about choosing the right plants. Match your garden furniture with the overall look of your garden – darker woods are ideal for more wooded gardens. If you have lighter-coloured objects, a cedar furniture painted white or tan would do better

3. Installing a covering

If you’re looking for furniture for a partially-covered patio, you have a lot more freedom regarding choice of wood. If you have no covering, consider investing in an outdoor blind that can be drawn when it’s excessively sunny or rainy to preserve your furniture in top condition as well as increase your enjoyment of the space. Retractable outdoor blinds can be stowed away when not needed and they can considerably extend the life of your outdoor furniture.

4. Storing your furniture

You can add years to your outdoor furniture by storing away in a shed or garage during off-seasons such as winter. Even teak furniture will benefit from the storage when not in use. If you have limited storage space, you can invest in foldable furniture or furniture that can be disassembled for easier storage.

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Must-Have Features for Today’s Kitchen Cabinets

Today’s kitchen cabinets are more functional than ever before; they are no longer just a box with shelves inside, but can be custom made to suit your needs in particular, or may come with a number of convenient features that make food prep and storage much easier. Before you start shopping for cabinets or work with a cabinetmaker to have something custom made, note a few of those features to consider.

Interior lighting

There’s no need to turn on an overhead light or struggle to see what’s in the back of a cabinet when you can easily add LED lights. These don’t emit much if any heat, and they offer a soft glow that is perfect for cabinetry. You can find LED lights that work like a refrigerator light, coming on whenever a door is opened, and they may be installed overhead or in a rope along the back of the cabinet.

Pull-out tables

A cabinet can easily double your work space or offer a place for eating with a pull-out table. This is a sturdy board that slides under the benchtop when not in use.

Shallow drawers

Your drawers in a kitchen cabinet may be wasting space if they’re very deep, as you may not need all that depth for cutlery. Shallow drawers allow you more storage, as you can fit two shallow drawers in the same space as one drawer of standard depth. This gives you more space for flatware and many cooking utensils while still keeping them organized.

Hook and shelves inside the doors

The inside of your cabinet doors is often wasted space, but trying to add hooks and shelves to these doors yourself can just damage them. You can instead opt for cabinets with hooks for utensils and small shelves for items like envelopes of seasoning or spices. This maximizes your kitchen storage space while also helping you stay organized.

Specialized shelving

Are you a wine buff? Then choose cabinets with slots for wine bottles. Are you very eco-conscious? Look for cabinets with rollout drawers that hold recycling bins. If you use a lot of vegetables like onions and potatoes in your cooking, choose cabinets with bins that have fronts that fold down; you can store the vegetables there and have quick access to them without taking up space on the benchtop. A built-in shelf that holds a television with space for a power cord in the back can mean staying entertained while cooking. Consider your specialized needs for your kitchen and have these built into your cabinets.

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Tips For Employee Loss Prevention

When you run a business, you want to ensure nobody else steals from you, since this affects your business assets. Not only do you need to be concerned about shoplifters, but thefts from your own employees as well. Here are some tips for reducing employee thefts.

Have Strict Consequences For Employees Who Steal

Make sure that when your employees are hired, they are informed of the consequences of employee theft. Make it very apparent that any type of theft, whether it is a pen from the office or cash from the register, will not be tolerated. If you are too flexible, such as letting minor thefts slide, it becomes too tempting for an employee to steal, assuming they can use the defense of not knowing what is okay or not okay to take. If an employee is caught stealing, fire them immediately and inform all other employees of what has occurred; that way they understand you mean business.

Start an Inventory Management System

There are some employee thefts that are hard to catch, such as taking a small item when there are several of them, or pouring their friend a fountain drink without charging them for it. Have a strict inventory system no matter what type of business you run so that you know immediately if something is missing. For example, if you run a small movie theater and have noticed there always seems to be one or two fewer popcorn buckets than what the receipts claim you sold, and it always occurs on Friday nights, you know to ask the person working the snack station on this night each week. It is likely they are giving it away for free to friends or taking it themselves as a snack. This is still a theft that requires punishment.

Upgrade Your Entry System

If you currently have doors with locks that all your employees have keys to, it is time to upgrade. This makes it difficult to know when the employees are accessing certain areas of the building and when. A better option is to use an electronic entry system that either requires a key card or a numeric code. If using a numeric code, make sure it is unique to each employee. The same goes for the key card. That way, you can actually see which employee uses their number or key card to access the building after hours or over the weekend when they should not have been there. Not only does it track down a thief, but it can help prevent thefts since employees know the likelihood of getting caught. A locksmith can help you find the right locking system and install it for you.

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Window Blinds | 3 Attentive Considerations When Making A Comparison Between Horizontal And Vertical Blinds

Apart from their aesthetic appeal, window blinds offer privacy and efficient functionality for regulating the level of sunlight flowing into a room. While there are several varieties available in the market, vertical and horizontal blinds are most popular because of their classic allure. Deciding between them requires careful consideration based on your specific home situation.

Size And Positioning Of Your Windows

Vertical blinds are typically more suited to larger windows, while horizontal blinds are ideal choices if you have small or regular-sized windows. For larger windows, vertical blinds permit seamless air movement and enable effective light filtration. From a positioning perspective, horizontal blinds are better for north and south facing windows, while vertical blinds are ideal for east and west facing windows. This is because both vertical and horizontal blinds can be adjusted to specific angles for protecting the interiors of your home by effectively filtering light for different window positions. For instance, vertical blinds are more effective for blocking out the low morning and afternoon sun on east and west windows when shut. Once you establish the size and positioning of your windows, you will be in a better position to make a choice between vertical and horizontal blinds for your room.

Desired Functionality Of Your Blinds

If you’re looking for pure privacy, then horizontal blinds are the ideal choice. When they are completely shut, they are in no danger of moving open or blowing and act as excellent barriers from any kind of outdoor light. If you have sliding windows, then you may prefer vertical blinds. Vertical blinds open sideward in comparison to horizontal blinds that open upward, allowing them to shadow the same movement as your sliding windows. Once you establish your desired functionality, you can make your choice between vertical and horizontal blinds.

Style And Size Of The Room

The choice between vertical and horizontal blinds will essentially depend on the style and size of your room. Vertical blinds give the room a sleek and modern finish, while horizontal blinds are more conventional and fit perfectly into a classically decorated room. From a size perspective, horizontal blind slats widen a room to make it look bigger. If your ceilings are short, then vertical blind slats add height to the room to make it seem taller. You can use blinds to create your desired room appearance.

Choosing between vertical and horizontal blinds for your home requires careful thought. Keep these factors in mind and make the right decision for your particular needs.

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How to Make Your Backyard Deck More Appealing and Inviting

If you have a backyard deck that you don’t always enjoy, you might need to think of how to make it more appealing and inviting. Simply adding some wood planks and stairs behind your house isn’t always going to be enough for you to actually enjoy that space, whereas a few simple touches can create an area your whole family will love. Note a few of those simple touches here.

1. Add shade

How much shade do you get from the hot sun? If you didn’t think about adding something over the deck itself when you had it constructed, it’s time to think about shade sails. These are pieces of canvas attached to poles that you can adjust by pulling on cords, just like real boat sails. They have a great outdoorsy look and go with any style of home and, because you can adjust them with their cords, are very versatile.

2. Upgrade your cooking and food storage

If you don’t like to go out to your deck because it’s a hassle to bring your meals with you or get up every time you want a fresh drink, you can upgrade your cooking and food storage capacities on your deck. You can create a built-in cooler that holds ice and beverages and a built-in cook top that works with propane. These can be covered with a wood front that matches the wood of your deck so they’re not very conspicuous. This can keep you comfortable when outside and allow you to use the deck for actual cooking and not just relaxing.

3. Paint the surface

Even a lighter color of wood may mean a surface that is very hot during those long summer days, and this can make the deck uncomfortable for you. Painting the surface can not only add some color but it can also keep the deck material from holding heat. Choose a paint meant for outdoor decks and opt for a white or eggshell or even a light grey shade so that the deck doesn’t feel uncomfortably warm under your feet.

4. Add sound insulation

If you don’t like hearing your neighbors when you’re outside or worry that they can hear you, add glass panels to one or both sides of the deck for sound insulation. Thick, outdoor curtains can also absorb sound. You can even add a lattice wall to one side of the deck and hang plants or put tall trees on one or both sides, and this will cut down on sound traveling between your properties.

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