Last Updated on December 30, 2011

When it comes to safety, power tools are among the safest things that you have in your home. This is because everybody knows how dangerous they are and generally treat their drills, sanders and tabletop saws with the utmost respect.

You may have seen this amazing film of the safety device fitted in table saws which stops the motor in a fraction of a second when it comes into contact with human (and sausage for the purposes of demonstration) skin. Of course such a rapid deceleration is disastrous for the machinery but wouldn’t you rather lose an inanimate piece of machinery than a few fingers?

Like the airbag in your car, it’s a device you have and you rely upon in case of emergencies but you’d prefer never to have to try it out wherever possible. But could it result in power tools becoming more dangerous?

Not more dangerous intrinsically but practically. Because we know how dangerous power tools are we don’t play with them, we don’t use them where there could be a potential risk to our health and safety but such a safety device could lead to people becoming just a little more laissez faire when it comes to their own safety.

Now, certain parallels could be drawn between this brake and the attitude toward the parachute that the British high command held during the First World War. They held that such a safety device would make pilots be less brave and therefore less effective as they would be bailing out at the first sign of trouble. They didn’t recon on the pilots avoiding trouble in the first place and the hideous injuries these men sustained as a result of falling out of the sky in a burning wreck of wood and fabric.

But safety in the air or on the road isn’t solely dependent on parachutes and airbags, these are a last resort which save lives when the very worst comes to the worst. Accident prevention saves more lives than figuring out how to limit the damage that occurs in the worst case scenario.

Of course I’m not suggesting that people will be sticking their hands into the paths of drills and saws left, right and centre but an over reliance on safety devices instead of respect for your tools and observing all the commonsense and practical safety advice could lead to some people becoming a little less careful than they otherwise aught to be.

Vijay Pandey

You might think I’m being overly cautious. No-one’s really going to start taking less care with their power tools just because they’re actually safer to use are they? Well, power tools have always been seen as Big Boy Toys and to some extent that has been proven in the new design that Bosch has for their latest line in battery operated drills and screw drivers, looking more like ray guns than ever before, and it’s when people become complacent with safety that accidents happen. Designing a power tool to look like a toy could be the step too far that health and safety precautions in the home didn’t need.

@DanCash is always on the look out for real deals on power tools but the cost of safety devices is something that should never be compromised

Last Updated on December 15, 2011

Statistics have shown that most accidents really do happen at home. Whether you have small children of your own or you have children visit, you should take steps to keep little ones safe.

Below are a few simple things that you can do to make your home safe for kids.

1. In Case of Emergency

Emergency phone numbers should be written down and posted in an obvious place, preferably by the phone. All children in the home should be taught when and how to use any of these numbers.

2. Practice Fire Safety

If you don’t have working smoke detectors near every bedroom, get them now and test them every month. Also, consider placing a fire extinguisher in your kitchen to help stop fires before they spread. Like smoke detectors, though, you should check the fire extinguisher’s gauge every month, since an ineffective fire extinguisher is basically useless.

3. Be Smart About Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a deadly odorless gas that is produced during the combustion of  fossil fuels, like natural gas and propane. Elderly adults and children are generally more at risk of dying from carbon monoxide poisoning, so carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in your home as well.

4. Turn Your Hot Water Down

In homes with children, hot water heaters should be set no higher than 120 degrees F. A water temperature any higher than this can cause nasty burns.

5. Turn Pan Handles Back

Small children can also suffer very serious burns if they pull a hot pan off of the stove. Rotate pans so that the handles are turned toward the back of the stove when you’re cooking.

6. Place Kid’s Cups, Bowls, and Snacks Within Easy Reach

Instead of storing these items in high cupboards, store them in low cupboards or drawers. If they are within easy reach, kids are less likely to climb onto counters, which can result in dangerous falls.

7. Wipe Up Spills

Spilled liquids, like water and grease, can cause adults and children to slip and fall. Wipe up any spills immediately.

8. Lock Up Liquor

Alcohol poisoning in children can be fatal, and leaving liquor or any other type of alcohol within easy reach is just asking for trouble. If you have alcohol in your home, keep it under lock and key or place it out of reach.

9. Store Cleaning Products Properly

Most cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals that can cause chemical burns, blindness, and poisoning. Store cleaning chemicals in high cupboards out of reach of children.

10. Remember That Medication is Not Candy

Never refer to any type of medication, including cough drops and vitamins, as candy. Small children who believe that medicine is the same as candy could possibly overdose.

11. Invest in Non-slip Bath Mats

Another common cause of dangerous falls is a slippery bathtub or shower stall. Rubber or vinyl mats can be placed on bathtub and shower stall floors to help prevent accidents.

12. Cover Unused Outlets

Small children could possibly insert very small objects into unprotected outlets. Plastic outlet covers are relatively inexpensive, and they can help prevent electrocution.

13. Install Night Lights

When walking through dark hallways or rooms, it is typically very difficult for children, as well as adults, to see what’s on the ground in front of them. Tripping over objects on the floor can cause them to fall and get injured. A few night lights in bedrooms and hallways allows children to see and avoid any obstacles.

14. Clean Up Clutter

Whether it’s light or dark, clutter on the floor can also cause a child to trip and fall. Picking up clutter throughout the day and before bed not only makes your home look more appealing, but it can also prevent accidents. Purchasing large catch-all baskets for each person in your home can make de-cluttering simple and quick.

15. Tie Up Blind Cords

Dangling blind cords are often a source of constant amusement for many children. Unfortunately, these seemingly harmless cords can be quite dangerous, especially if they get wrapped around a child’s neck. Instead of leaving these cords hanging down, tie them up out of reach.

Marina writes for 1001Shops an online store of retail specialty products like silk flowers, tiffany lamps, etageres and lot more.

Last Updated on December 13, 2011

Floor surfaces, together with walls, dictate the vibe of any room, be it a kitchen, a bathroom or a children’s room. Consequently, updating the design of your floor tiling is a sure-fire way of updating the entire look of the room. Since the floor is one of the largest continuous surfaces in the room, the visual impact is bound to be major, and the effect on your visitors likewise. However, it is a costly and time-consuming home improvement process, and one which no one would want to enter lightly. To add to the list of grievances related to updating your kitchen floor design, the range of options seems to be severely limited. What more can one do with one’s kitchen floor, other than put in new tiles? Actually, there is a whole lot one can do with a little imagination, good planning and a solid grasp on the look one wants to achieve for the room. Read on, for three possible ideas that you might want to implement inside your kitchen.

Modern Steel

Before kitchen design purists start throwing a fit about how steel is not a practical solution, it’s worth mentioning that covering your entire floor in steel is, indeed, probably not a good idea. However, steel, with its shimmering surface and clean aspect can work as a great accent, especially in a modern kitchen, with a streamlined sense of space, built-in appliances in chrome and sleek lines. Use steel tiles in conjunction with grey, white or black porcelain or marble tiles—or even with exposed concrete, to break the visual monotony. Make sure, however, that you find good quality tiles. They can be difficult to come by and rather expensive. All in all, though, they area worthy investment that will definitely update your cooking and eating space.

Industrial Flooring

Industrial Flooring

If you live in an urban setting and want to bring some of that bustle and dynamism indoors, why not spring for industrial flooring? It works great in homes with a post-modern, post-industrial feel, where the rest of the design is either minimal and restrained in subdued neutral colors, or, quite the contrary, hectic and colorful, with lots of influence vying for one’s visual attention. The main advantage of this type of flooring is durability. A type of tile that has been employed in factories and warehouses is sure to provide staying power, causing you to forget all about wear and tear. In addition, industrial floor tiles will also prove much easier to clean and maintain than regular ceramic tiles.

Faux Hardwood Flooring

Faux Hardwood Flooring

Many will rush to say that the kitchen is no place for hardwood. It gets dirty and humid, which makes the maintenance of wood a terrible hassle and also causes the material to swell and crack, with the planks becoming unhinged. All this is true. What do you do, though, when you want to achieve a classic or rustic look in your kitchen? You go for faux hardwood in the form of laminate flooring. Maintenance will instantly become a breeze, while humidity problems will turn into a thing of the past. Laminate flooring comes in an infinite variety of textures and colors, from warm oak to deep mahogany, allowing you to combine it at will with the cabinets and countertops.

Last Updated on December 11, 2011

1. New Zealand
This country is on top because of how easy it is to get everything going. If you want to start a construction business in New Zealand the government makes it really easy for you. All of the paperwork that you will need can be found online. In addition to that, once submitted it will all be reviewed in a timely fashion so that you can get your company off the ground in no time at all. The process can be complete in a matter of days.

2. Australia
The reason why it is easy to start a construction business in Australia is because it is somewhat easy to get credit there. As you know, starting your own construction business will require some capital. In Australia you can get the capital that you need in a short period of time. Of course, it helps if you already have a history of running successful businesses. This will make the creditors look favorably on your application. The end result is that you will get your cash in no time at all.

3. Canada
Canada is a growing nation that has a friendly business environment. This means that there is actually an abundance of new construction that is needed all across the country. With the global economy the way it is these days it is nice to know that there are still some places where you can get work. A new construction company in Canada could expect to get some business in a quick amount of time if they play their cards right.

4. Singapore
The thing that makes Singapore ideal for starting a construction business is that you can get the permits you need relatively quickly. This means that you can start your business and begin working in a quick period of time. You do not have to jump through a bunch of red tape just to start on a project. In addition to that, credit is abundant in Singapore. This means that you will be able to get your hands on startup capital if you qualify.

5. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is making reforms that help new business become successful. In addition to that, the area is growing very rapidly. This means that there is a good opportunity to enter the construction business here. Hong Kong will make it easy for you to get your hands on everything that you need to be successful. This can even include startup capital. You better act quickly if you want to start a construction company here. The market is still wide open but becoming more crowded every day.

6. Macedonia
In Macedonia it has become pretty easy to get your hands on credit as well as the permits needed to start a construction business. It is estimated that you can have your business registered and running in as little as three days. This is nice because you can hit the ground running. There is not much red tape to cut through in Macedonia. Simply set up shop and start marketing your services. You could be landing your first big project in a matter of a few days.

7. Georgia
Even though Georgia is considered a low income country it is still doing things to foster growth. They have made credit easy to obtain which will help in the financing of a construction business. Getting the credit that you need is important as it is quite expensive to buy the machinery needed to start this business. The nice thing about Georgia is that this is a moot point. Once you get your hands on the credit that you need there should be nothing holding you back.

8. Rwanda
Believe it or not, Rwanda is doing things to enforce economic change. A few of those things make it easier for startups like construction businesses to operate. The main thing that Rwanda has done is developed some online processes that allow you to start a business in a matter of a few days. This has helped boost the number of new entrepreneurs that choose to do business in this country.

9. Belarus
Not many people know this, but Belarus has middle to upper class type of society. Most natives of this country do very well for themselves from an economic point of view. Because of this, there is always a need for new construction as growth is ever present. When starting a construction in Belarus you can expect to have many prospects for work in a very short amount of time. The fact of the matter is that there are construction jobs out there to be had.

10. United States
Even though the US economy has been up and down recently, there is still a need for expansion. A new construction business can expect to thrive in the United States if it has the capital to get started. Getting credit in the US is not easy.

Alex Dough has written this article for Paterson Simons – leading provider of forklifts and Reach stackers in Nigeria and West Africa.

Last Updated on January 7, 2020

When people think about the holidays, many things come to mind: family, kids, warmth, gifts, and – most unforgettably – decorations! When it comes to holiday decor, a lot of emphasis is placed on the outside of the house, the living room and the dining room, with the kitchen being generally neglected. Kitchens, however, are great places to display holiday cheer, and with the following advice your home’s dedicated cooking area is sure to be a holiday hit:


Kitchen Tables

Kitchen tables often serve as the focal point of the kitchen, and they are also great for holiday decorating. Using table cloths is one of the easiest ways to transform a table for the holidays; a bright colored table cloth will instantly liven up a room. Pair this with coordinated seat cushions to create a cohesive theme at the table.

Centerpieces allow for all types of creativity. They can range from a simple decorative statement to ones that are grand and ornate. Traditional centerpieces can be green, gold or yellow candlesticks surrounded by pine cones and fruit. A nice natural look could consist of a miniature Christmas tree arrangement. For those who celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, a menorah or kinara candles could fulfill a similar decorative and cultural function.

If the kitchen features modern furniture, perhaps decorations with a more experimental flair would be better suited. One idea is to place a mirrored tray at the center of the table, then place votive candles and beaded fruit on top of it. Even unlit, the arrangement will look amazing. If the votives are lit, the candles’ reflection in the mirror will create a neat ambiance.

Place settings and chairs are other aspects of the table that can change to reflect the season. Switch out the everyday plates for ones that are cranberry or copper-colored. Christmas purists may even want to go with a pattern that features berries or Santa and the elves. There are also clever decorations for chairs; hanging ornaments, ribbons or stockings can easily transform a chair into eye-pleasing seating. Slip covers are another quick idea to enhance the appearance of kitchen seating arrangements.

Walls and Windows

Walls and windows provide an excellent canvas for holiday decorating. Walls can easily be decorated using removable decals or stickers. There are an array of styles and sizes available. You can decide to adorn your walls with images of snowmen, or perhaps with a nativity scene if you’re more religiously inclined. The truly adventurous may opt for a total wall mural depicting a winter wonderland.

Holiday-themed window treatments can convert the average window into a visually pleasing one. Adding a brightly-colored valance or curtain is an easy way to enhance a window. Furthermore, matching the curtains with colors or patterns used on the kitchen table can create a consistent theme. To complete the window, add seasonal flowers to the windowsills; poinsettias and Christmas roses are flowers traditionally used at this time of year. Wreaths are another way to highlight a window. If the window is large, add a big, lighted wreath to its center. If the kitchen is full of smaller windows, mini wreaths are more appropriate. These wreaths can be embellished with lights, berries and holiday ribbon.


Don’t forget about the lighting! If the kitchen has chandeliers, use the chandeliers to make the room warm and inviting. Complementing chandeliers with lighted garland creates a particularly nice environment. If the chandelier is hanging over the kitchen table, hang ribbons and ornaments from it. If they are hung low enough, they can replace the need for a centerpiece.

Doors and Cabinets

There are countless things that can be done to give doors and cabinets a festive look worthy of the holiday season. Switching out the handles and knobs to ones that are a vibrant color – shimmery or decorated for Christmas – can add pizazz. Find small ornaments and hang them from the cabinet handles and drawers. Glass cabinets are perfect for decorative embellishments. Strategically place Christmas figurines or ornaments on the shelves. To make the decorations stand out, accent them with lights.


Don’t ignore countertops; they are great places for decorating. If your kitchen has a center island, create a centerpiece for it. The centerpieces can be a nice flower arrangement. If space permits, add a sleigh filled with presents or a couple of toy soldiers in the vein of the Nutcracker ballet. Small topiaries in particular are nicely accented by granite countertops. Find topiaries that have berries and lights and the countertops will look like they belong in a Christmas magazine! There are many functional home accents that will also give countertops a much-needed seasonal update. Cookie jars, nutcrackers and candy dishes are all useful decorations for this purpose. For added effect, place holiday cookies inside the cookie jar and a nicely-decorated basket of nuts near the nutcracker.

Other Kitchen Decorations

There are many smaller – and often overlooked – details to bear in mind as well; hang Christmas dish towels on the towel holders, and replace any rugs with ones that reflect the holiday cheer. There are many coordinated Christmas dish towel and rug sets available which will help to make matching easier. For atmospheric purposes, a small radio can be kept handy for playing popular Christmas songs. Don’t forget the refrigerator, either! There are holiday wraps specifically designed to cover refrigerator doors. Another idea for refrigerators is magnets; the addition of a Santa magnet to a fridge door can add a bit of fun to a much-visited piece of household machinery.

Kitchens are often forgotten when it comes to holiday decorating, but using any of the previously mentioned ideas will make the room look and feel as festive as the rest of the home. Happy holidays!

Last Updated on December 9, 2011

The secret to budget decorating is being creative. Creative people aren’t afraid to wallpaper a door or put plates on a wall as art. When redecorating on a budget, knowing how to repurpose or recycle an item is just as important as knowing where to buy new items without hurting your wallet.

Ask for Coupons

Interior designer Holly Becker, author of Decorate, suggests asking for coupons when shopping. (Check out to find the best new authors in the industry today.) It’s a simple but sometimes highly effective way of saving money at a home decor shop. Just ask a cashier. Cashiers deal with coupons all day long and may have them on hand to give out. Even if the coupon is only 10 percent off, it’s 10 percent you weren’t going to save before.

Hit Garage Sales Early

Garage or yard sales can save you hundreds of dollars in one room. Jill Gardner, owner of Second Home Keepers, redecorated her living room. Her two secondhand couches cost a total of $75. These couches were like new and worth several hundred each.

People who have garage sales are rarely looking for profit, just more room in their garage. Arriving early assures a good look at everything.

More and more people are listing their garage sales online. Check out sites such as Garage Sale Tracker and you might be able to find a garage sale near you.

Use a Zero Interest Credit Card

If you have average to good credit, apply for a 0% apr credit card. Using a zero interest card is much cheaper than taking out a loan to redecorate; in fact, if you’re smart, it’s completely free.  These promotions usually last for six months to 15 months. Do the math to be certain you can pay back the entire amount before the promotion ends, though.

Learn to Repurpose

Mirrors can be turned into decorative trays by lining their backsides with felt. Your best china can became a wall or mantel piece display after buying sturdy stands. Some people also use clocks, scarves, or other non-traditional items as decoration. Don’t confine yourself to what the local design and decor shop believes is home decor.

Cover Surfaces to Give Them a New Look

Interior designer, author and American celebrity Martha Stewart suggests wrapping tables, magnetic boards, and other surfaces with wallpaper or cloth. You can also give doors a fresh, designer look by adorning the panels with wallpaper. Not only do these methods do away with painting, but you can remove or change the covering to redecorate all over again.

Don’t be a Perfectionist

Jamie Scott from CreditDonkey reminds you that some of the best designs aren’t perfect. In fact, sometimes the wood floors are aged and the antique picture frames are tarnished. Flaws and aging can give a home a unique look. Stop, look around, and try to appreciate things as they are.

Last Updated on December 8, 2011

As outdoor cooking areas and patios become more and more popular, families are spending more time hanging out and preparing meals around an outdoor grill. While grilling season may be slowing down, there’s no reason to forget how to safely prepare a meal on the grill. This is especially important when it comes to outdoor patios and grilling areas because when there is a lack of rain, the leaves, trees and grass becomes very dry making them more prone to catching on fire. Here are some timeless tips for handling propane grills.

Do not smoke around propane

This should go without saying, but it’s the most important thing to remember. You don’t smoke at a fueling station, and you shouldn’t smoke around a propane tank, no matter how big or how small. This will not only keep you safe, it will keep your family safe as you spend time preparing a meal. Whether you are buying or installing, never smoke when handling a propane tank – period.

Always grill in a well-ventilated area

Propane is a gas and can accumulate in a garage or kitchen just like any other gas. Always follow your grill’s instructions and make sure you are grilling outdoors in an area that has constant airflow. Make sure that the area around the grill isn’t covered by anything or touching the grill itself. This is important to keep in mind when remodeling or adding additions on to your house. The area in which you grill must be very open in an effort to stay as safe as possible.

Inspect your equipment

Before you even turn on the grill, make sure you check your tank for any signs of damage that could cause a leak. If there are any bulges, dents or evidence of corrosion or rusting, do not use your grill. Get the old cylinder replaced immediately. Check your hoses for any signs of cracking or decay as well. If you see any, it’s time to replace the hoses.

Check for leaks

Even if all your equipment checks out, there still could be a leak. By using a leak-detecting solution, you can find any previously undetected leaks. Your local propane dealer can provide you with the solution and information about how to properly use it.

Properly put away all tools

When you are done grilling, be sure to properly put away your grill and tank. Let your grill completely cool, first and foremost – then disconnect and cover all hose fittings and burner air intakes with small plastic bags or, ideally, fitting caps (these can be obtained from your local propane dealer). This will keep any dirt, bugs or moisture out of your fittings while the grill is not in use. And, don’t forget to cover your grill.

Consider each of these safety tips as well as the area around which you plan to cook before firing up the grill. It will prove to be beneficial to the overall safety of those around you!

Alabama Propane Exchange specializes in propane cylinder deliveries for forklifts & commercial lawn mowers. They also offer bulk propane delivery, wholesale propane delivery, propane racks, LP storage tanks and other propane delivery in Mobile, AL

Last Updated on April 15, 2022

Whether you’re getting ready for a full kitchen remodel or simply interested in updating your cabinetry, there are countless options to choose from. On top of that, new kitchen cabinets are a significant investment. So it’s important to think about what features will stand the test of time.

You can design kitchen cabinets that are beautiful, functional, and timeless. But how do you check off all of those boxes while still taking advantage of current trends? Let’s dive into some of the latest kitchen cabinet features available today.

The Basics

Do you want custom cabinets?

Perhaps the most critical decision to start with is whether you want customized cabinets. You can choose stock cabinets from a store, order fully customized cabinets, or opt for an alternative that falls somewhere in between.

Stock cabinets limit your options, but they are by far the most budget-friendly route. If your time and budget allow, custom cabinets provide you the most leeway in designing the kitchen you are envisioning.

Cabinet and drawer boxes

If you’re undergoing a full remodel, you’ll need to think about your cabinet and drawer boxes. They are available in both natural wood and manufactured materials, such as particleboard and fiberboard. Each option will hold up differently, with some lasting longer than others.

Design Options


A recent trend in updated kitchen cabinets is flat-paneled doors. Removing excess hardware offers a clean look to your kitchen. They are also easier to maintain when you don’t have to worry about cleaning or polishing the hardware. Even better, flat-paneled cabinet doors are time-tested! This is a traditional design aesthetic that is coming back in style. If you prefer hardware, you have endless options. Take some time to explore the variety of styles and find the one that perfectly suits your style and preferences.

Material and color

White kitchen cabinets were popular for many years but are slowly fading out of fashion. Traditional wood cabinets, such as walnut and stained oak, are rapidly returning to popularity. The nice thing about wood is that it lasts for a long time if properly maintained. Wood cabinets can also be restained if you decide you want another look in the future. Another option is to choose a color, with either paint or stain. Kitchen décor is trending to include muted earth tones these days. This style makes a fantastic pairing for your granite, quartz, or marble countertops.

Built-in organization

If your budget allows, consider opting for specialty drawers and cabinets. Many available options feature built-in organizational compartments. You no longer have to dig under a stack of pots and pans if you choose a cabinet designed to hold items such as cookie sheets and cutting boards. Specialty cabinets also allow you to tuck items away that may otherwise sit out, allowing you to present a less cluttered area. Think storage for items such as spices, the trash can, and knives.

Think about cabinet refacing

If the overall structure of your cabinets is still holding up well and you are happy with your current storage space, you can update your kitchen while saving money. Cabinet refacing gives you the chance to update the aesthetic of your kitchen without going through a complete kitchen demolition and remodel. During this process, the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are removed. The surfaces are updated to meet your color and design choices. With cabinet refacing, you can achieve that new look you hoped for without spending a fortune.

The options for updating your kitchen cabinets truly are endless. If you can dream it, you can find help making your vision a reality. With options ranging from cabinet refinishing and refacing to a full kitchen cabinet remodel, you’ll find a solution that meets your needs and budget. Reach out to Granite and TREND Transformations today to schedule a consultation!

Last Updated on December 7, 2011

I spend so much of my free time experimenting with my house that sometimes I fear that I won’t be able to sell it. I’m fascinated with how much a visual aspect of a room can dictate its mood. I’ve spent hours online looking at texture articles and studies about which colors inspire which moods.

The result of this research and tinkering is a red painted kitchen, a yellow wallpapered office, and a deep blue living room. While it may seem haphazard, everyone I’ve asked to spend some time in the house has remarked that after a minute, you don’t notice the constantly changing colors because they feel what I was getting at. Red is a passionate color, and makes me want to cook, yellow gives me energy and motivation to get my work done, and a deep blue relaxes me while I’m watching movies in my living room.

I had yet to experiment with my bathroom, as there really isn’t much literature out there on bathroom design for utilitarian’s. I personally don’t care how esthetically pleasing my walls or decor is, I want every square inch of that own I paid good money to own to give back in any way that it can.

Bathroom Thoughts

I start my optimization process through a great brainstorming session. I get some of my closest friends together, crack open a case of beer, and just talk. What would you want your bathroom walls to do? What exactly do you hope to accomplish in the bathroom? If you’re a bathroom reader, you might want your bathroom to feel relaxed; however if you’re a power user, just in and out in the least amount of time, maybe you want something efficient and useful.

After discussion I opted for the latter, and went about deciding how best to make my bathroom interesting, and utilitarian. The answer, it turns out, is a creative use of scent products, and wallpaper.

I got my hands on some extra bathroom scent holders from a friend. These are small rectangles of plastic that are very light, which you slide little liquid scent refills into. I have always hated having a can of air freshener on the back of the toilet, because it always falls down, and is generally ugly. Instead, these scent holders are light enough that with a solid enough application of wallpaper, I can literally wallpaper the holders into the wall permanently.

A scale test was in order; so with a piece of plywood in one hand, and some leftover wallpaper in the other, I stuck one of the holders to the wood with the paper. Over a week I changed the scent refill every single day, and the wallpaper never ripped. In fact, it looked awesome to have the scent built right into the wall; aside from being unique, it always smelled uniform in my bathroom, not poop one minute and lemons the next.

Finally, I realized that the wallpaper itself needed character. I replicated my scale model with other colors, and with this strange wallpaper sample that was lying around in my basement. Originally, the scrap seemed tacky to me since it was textured with little beads of glass and foil woven into the pattern.

Upon review however, the “tacky” fabric was the overall winner. I wish that the choice was mine, but for the sake of authenticity, this quote summarizes the final decision:

“It is a bit strange Pete, but I have never once went into someone’s bathroom and noticed the walls. If you have this on the walls combined with the built-in scents, not only is your bathroom going to be unique in its distribution of good smells, but this fabric is so unique that people are actually going to remember your bathroom.” – James

That’s all the convincing I need.


After the test, it was time to bring up the scale model to a full build. First, I secured help with another case of beer, and with some elbow grease and laughs it all went up without a hitch. Some things you should know if you wish to implement a similar strategy are:

1) It is worth the extra money to get the heavy-duty wallpaper glue. Not only will it keep the wallpaper on the wall better, but it can double as an adhesive for the back of the scent holders, giving less weight for the wallpaper to hold up.

2) Get a matching wallpaper border. After we put up the wallpaper and scents, we found that having the actual plastic mounted to the wall pulls your eye to an unnatural place on the wall. We picked up a super cheap matching wallpaper border, and added it around the ceiling as a molding, and above the baseboard. The effect is magic, now the eyes are directed up and down the wall just like they normally do. We were surprised at how unnatural it felt without it.

3) Get help. I would have never been able to accomplish the wallpapering without a friend. The plastic scent holder provides too much weight if you try to stick it up with the wallpaper in the same step. However, putting them up first doesn’t help either, since the wallpaper roll has to stick to the plastic edges anyway, it sticks at a different rate than the wall. It took 3 of us standing with our hands against the wall for 5 extra minutes to get the paper to stick to the plastic without causing bubbles.

4) Have fun, and know what you want. Many people who go into my bathroom love it; there are a select few that absolutely hate what I have done. I highly recommend you make sure you are absolutely happy with your decorating decisions before you make them. I am, and no matter whether people love or hate it, I enjoy what the project results yielded.

Most important, my goal was accomplished. I got some extra use out of my bathroom that I didn’t think I’d get; and people defiantly remember their time in my bathroom!

Pete Wise is a Content Creation Plantation and White-Hat SEO Jedi. This article was researched and written for Discount Decorating, a retailed in Missouri selling discount Wallpaper and Wallpaper Borders. If you like reading about DIY madness, follow Pete on Twitter: @MySEOHeadache

Last Updated on December 6, 2011

One of the foundational choices for designing your new space is deciding what style fits you best. The following are a few examples of some popular styles.


The strongest denoting feature of external Victorian architecture is points – steeply-pitched roofing and pointed arch or lancet windows, predominantly. The roof’s trim tends to be elaborate and decorative, all a bit gothic. Inside you’ll see mood lighting with chandeliers and sconces (wall-mounted lighting). Walls and cabinetry will be weathered and made of real, often heavy, wood with metallic fixtures. Think Addams Family without the “creepy and kooky.”


Southwestern House

Southwestern style is highly detailed – like you are home on the range. Outside, you will see a lot of stucco and adobe materials with squared windows and an entryway covered by an awning. On the interior, vibrant colors, earth tones and ceramic tiles create a desert atmosphere – usually with warm oranges, browns, greens and tans. Kitchens designed in the southwestern theme incorporate ceramics and terra cotta coatings and tiles.


Country House

“Were you born in a barn?” would not necessarily be a bad question when it comes to the country style. Country design uses exposed beams and rustic, weathered pinewood or barn paneling for the exterior. Inside, earth tones and wallpaper is used to give the room a warm, “down home” look.


Traditional House

Traditional design uses detailed architecture such as crown molding, embossed wood paneling and rich, deep colors both inside and out to give the home a Norman Rockwell-inspired look. When it comes to furniture, dark-stained wood like oak or maple accent the room well. Using deep, lush colors for paint, like hunter green or burgundy, help give a more formal feel and sets apart traditional from country.


Modern House

Modern style is rather nebulous. One year it may be straight lines and angles; the next year plush curves may be in style. One aspect that always holds true, however, is that minimalism is key. Hidden appliances, furniture with defined edges and a general lack of accessories make the room feel modern. Sterile, cold materials like stainless steel, marble or granite, or frosted glass give the room a futuristic vibe. For the few accents, go with basic geometric shapes and vivid colors like blues, reds or yellows.


Eclectic House

The eclectic style is one of the harder styles to describe. It rarely conforms to one genre or another. Instead, it draws from several of the aforementioned design themes. Vintage or hand-me-down accessories accent an eclectic room well. Feel free to recycle your grandmother’s old cast iron basin sink and incorporate it next to your brand new spa-style tub. With any color palette or pattern fitting well into this style, it’s hard to go wrong.

The most important thing about choosing a style is finding the one that fits you and your family. A person’s home is his or her own space. Try to make it reflect yourself, but don’t be afraid to be adventurous and play around with ideas.

This guest blog post was written by Tracy Tesmer, founder of Tracy Tesmer Design • Build • Remodel • Repair, a Gainesville, GA kitchen remodeling company specializing in kitchen renovations. Tracy has over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry and hosts a weekly home improvement radio show on WDUN in North Georgia.

Last Updated on December 6, 2011

When planning your bathroom remodel, what are the items on your list? You probably first consider flooring, the countertops, walls and lighting. But did you even consider the small details, such as the mirror? The dimensions and type of mirror in your bathroom influence the larger decorating theme in the room.

Let’s use the lighting for example.

When arranging your task lighting, what do you arrange it around? You arrange it based on your mirror. Task lighting is the most important type of lighting in your bathroom. It does the job of illuminating your head and face. This lighting is necessary for day-to-day grooming. Your mirror is the centerpiece of your grooming needs in the bathroom. Without the mirror, the task lighting serves no purpose. What about side lighting? Again, all based on the mirror. The side lighting gets rid of shadows under the eyes, nose, chin and cheeks. The placement of the side lighting is set on the distance from the mirror.

Your mirror also reflects and accentuates the chosen design style. A few different options include:

  • Victorian: If you decide on a Victorian style bathroom, you might want an old, polished metal mirror with a heavy oak frame to fit the motif, such as a Grandezza- or Naples- style frame.


  • Traditional: For a Traditional style bathroom, an embossed cherry Bellemeade frame would accentuate the mirror and give wonderful accents to your warm, rich-colored bathroom.


  • Modern: For a Modern style bathroom, which uses shades like stainless steel, white and black, a mirror framed in a Soho-style frame or Pacifica silver sheen would bring the room together. You could even go with a simple white Permaquid frame.


Lastly, and as was briefly touched on before, your mirror keeps you looking your best. It can also take up very little room to implement. Without a mirror, grooming would be nearly impossible. How would you give yourself a quick trim or makeup touch-up? Why not look at yourself in something equally pleasing to look at?

This guest blog post was written by MirrorMate Frames®, which offers custom cut mirror kits to attach beautiful frames to boring, builder grade mirrors. This mirror framing system, frequently used on bathroom wall mirrors, can be installed in 20 minutes and come in over 65 different frame styles to complement any type of décor.

Last Updated on December 5, 2011

Q: I have white cabinets with silver hardware and beige tile floors. Which colors would be the best for my kitchen?  I have beige walls too. In the past, I have seen granite in home magazines that are a light color with some tan stripes or black ones. Help!!!

A: With your particular color palliate, I would recommend going with a warm color like Bianco Modena (seen pictured above in Cabin kitchen). This choice will highlight a contemporary look to compliment your silver hardware and beige floors.

To submit your own questions for Samara, email here! Include a picture and we will iGRANITE your kitchen or bath for you.