Author: <span class="vcard">Duke Foyyer</span>

Urban Pioneer

With the decline in manufacturing in the 1950’s and 60’s, empty warehouses, schools, factories, and office and retail spaces opened up the opportunity for cheap rentals. These spaces allowed for the first true urban pioneers to establish an imaginative and trendy style that is still alive and growing. By keeping the exposed brick walls, and wood or concrete floors, as well as the duct work and pipes that were left in the buildings, people began creating useful and inviting spaces. Since many of the building were equipped with large windows and lots of them, there was no shortage of light to flood the rooms, which was just another added bonus, in some cases.

Although renovating an old building can be daunting and expensive nowadays, it can be well worth the effort. Breathing new life into formerly unused buildings is not only good for the building, it brings a sense of uplifting pleasure to those who live and visit the home or business. It renews the neighborhood and the people who live there, adding beauty and style. It allows the owner and designer to keep a bit of historical architecture while using new processes to preserve them. It can even add new revenue to the neighborhood by adding a bar, nightclub, restaurant, or even rental venue for weddings and such. The opportunities are endless for these vacant buildings. Of course, planning and design are an important first step. You should know ahead of time just where any wall or plumbing will have to be placed for kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and you’ll want to try to keep as much of the existing details and elements of the original building to stay true to the industrial/urban feel.

The style has led to the manufacturing and reproduction of industrial pieces that were popular in this bygone era. From lighting, to seating, to dining tables and accessories, there are a plethora of products that will look great with almost any decorating style. You can find fun pieces to incorporate into your home by looking for reproductions or shop the salvage and junk yards, garage sales, and flea markets for a special piece. An aged and worn look is what makes these pieces stand out and adds character and charm to any home when placed in just the right spot. Searching is half the fun, but the finished look of the room is what will grab the eyes, so search for pieces that speak to you about the industrial times.

In today’s internet world, you can find people who will refurbish old finds or create new pieces to match old ones such as wall or ceiling tiles. Metal staircases, doors and pulley systems left in old buildings make a great addition to these spaces. Keeping everyone safe by removing lead paint and asbestos is certainly a priority and you should always have the property checked before making a purchase or renting one out. Needless to say, you will also have to apply for permission to change it to residential use if need be.

We understand that the industrial style is not for everyone. The fact is, most people like the look and feel of something new. Personally, I love holding on to a special aged treasure that reminds me of times gone by. I also really enjoy shopping for creative and imaginative items designed for today’s spaces. Whatever your style, I hope you stay open enough to open your home to a bit of the past by seeking out a few urban elements or industrial furniture pieces.


Identifying Ventilation Expert

Options For Ventilation Systems

One of the ways you can ventilate your home is the natural method. This is where cold air from the outside moves into the home from openings that are at a lower level in the home. When the air enters the home, the warm air that is already inside is pushed up since it is lighter and it is extracted from openings that are at a higher level. Natural ventilation can work for you depending on the design of your home. However, if your home is sealed, you will need to use mechanical ventilation so that you can have adequate air flow in your home.

Maintaining The Right Amount Of Moisture

Mechanical ventilation such as the Heat Recovery Ventilator gets rid of the stale air from your home and replaces it with fresh air from the outside. The system has a unit where the incoming and outgoing air passes. Heat is removed from the stale air and is transferred to the incoming cold air. Depending on the system that is installed in your home, the heat that is recovered can be anywhere between fifty and ninety percent. The system gets rid of excess moisture so that your home is free from mould, bacteria and mites. Your indoor air should also not be too dry as you can end up suffering constant nose bleeds and cracked lips.

Finding The Right Ventilation Expert

It can be very frustrating to have a home ventilation system installed only to discover that it is not working according to your expectation. In order to minimize the risk of disappointment, it is important to identify the right ventilation expert for the job. A professional will assess your entire home and will recommend a system that will give you the best results. The ventilation expert you choose should be licensed to make ventilation system installations. He should also be insured and should offer you a guarantee of the work that will be done.


Ways Of Unlocking A Bedroom Door

Use a thin screwdriver

If your knob looks as if it requires a key you should slip the head of a thin screwdriver into it. You should then turn the screwdriver on the left in order to unlock the door mechanism.

Make use of your credit card

Here you should slip your credit card in between the door and the door frame then slowly slide the card downwards while at the same time pushing it further from the crack.

When you reach the level of the handle you should work the card into the crack and use the card to push in the metal bolt that keeps the door closed. When you push the bolt you will open the door.

Remove the door knob

If there are no openings in the knob you should consider removing the door knob. You should remove the screws with a screwdriver and remove the knob.

After removing the knob you should reach into the hole in the door and remove the bolt that connects the knob to the hole in the strike plat. After opening the door you should replace the knob pieces the same way that you removed them.


DIY Hanging Vase

  • One of our New Year’s resolutions for 2016 was to find ways to incorporate more plants in our home. We love the sense of peace and purpose our plants bring to our home and we simply wanted to diversify our jungalow.
  • I came across Artisan Wall Mount hanging vases while browsing the Pottery Barn website and really liked the concept (just not the price $69-$119).
  • We can never resist the dollar section at Michaels and *somehow* ended up with 4 adorable glass test tubes for $1.50 a piece. If you have tubes around in your home (think spice tubes) that you aren’t using, this could be the perfect way to upcycle them)

A few visits to the garage later and we had the perfect design for a hanging vase we had pictured in our mind. The finished product involves 4 hanging glass tubes that, while certainly smaller than the Pottery Barn Wall-Mount Vase, are far more economical ($15 compared to $69) and just as dazzling visually. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to incorporate more foliage without cramping your space with pots, this is the perfect solution for you!

Supplies:

  • Glass Tubes
  • Scrap Wood
  • Copper Tube Straps
  • Screws
  • Hanging Kit or Command Hanging Solution
  • Tools
  • Drill
  • Hammer

Note: We did not list the dimensions of the tubes or the tube straps because that will depend entirely on what you find and decide to use. If you have your tubes just take them to Home Depot and you will be able to find the straps that fit them very easily. Also, you are not limited to scrap wood for the base; we just wanted to use what we have. If you’re looking for something less rustic, Michaels has a lot of nice wood pieces that could work. All in all, if you play your cards right, this DIY is very inexpensive and so easy to put together.

Directions:

  • Once you have all your pieces, all you will need to do is drill two holes (corresponding to the holes in the tube straps) into your base. Make sure that your base is thick enough to withstand the length of the screws.
  • If you are choosing to hang these on your wall the old fashion way, go ahead and nail your hanger to the back of the base.
  • Once complete, drill the tube straps halfway into the base so that the straps are loose enough to adjust.
  • Slip your tube through the tube strap until it is positioned the way you like (we aligned our tubes so that the tube strap was the halfway mark). Once you are happy with the positioning of the tube, tighten the screws until the tube is secure (do this gently so as to not crack the tube).
  • Mount your completed vase to the wall and decorate with real or artificial flowers, grasses, or air plants.


Ceramic Tile Floor Installation

Tools and Materials

The first step to installing ceramic tile involves gathering all of the necessary tools and materials. You will need to select the kind of tiles that you want for your project. Next, you will need backing or foundation, as well as adhesive or thinset. You will also need a notched trowel. A trowel is a flat metal piece with a handle. Look for one with flat edges for smoothing out the adhesive, along with notches for scoring the surface of the adhesive. There are many different types of notched trowels, of all shapes and sizes. Choose one that will pair well with the kind of adhesive you are using. A rubber mallet is necessary for tapping the tiles into the adhesive without damaging them. You will also need a hammer and bedding block. The bedding block is a piece of wood you will place against the tile so that you can strike it with a hammer without breaking it.

Sub-Floor

Ceramic tile should not be installed directly to a wood surface. If you have a wood floor, you will need to install a sub-floor prior to laying the tile. If you are installing it onto a concrete surface, you won’t need to lay down any type of covering. However, you will need to clean the concrete prior to installation.

Lay Tiles

Once you have decided on the proper layout, you will start laying tiles. Apply tile adhesive with the trowel to the tiles. Always start in a corner and work outward. Use the rubber mallet to nudge or the hammer and bedding block to push in the tiles. Allow the adhesive to set for 12 to 24 hours before applying grout.

Ceramic Floor Maintenance

Once your project is complete, it is important to get started on the right foot when it comes to maintenance. Check with the tile manufacturer for specific cleaning instructions. Regular professional tile and grout cleaning will ensure your floors look great for the long run.


Choose the Perfect Countertops

When looking to purchase new cabinets and countertops it is important to look for a few key points first. The most important factor in buying cabinets and countertops is to first realize what type of countertop you would like to invest in. Countertops come in a variety of forms and it is up to the purchaser to decide what countertops would fit them best. Corian for instance is heat resistant and is nonporous and does not absorb bacteria when preparing food. Another type of countertop is Granite which is heavier and does well over time. Laminate is another form of countertops which is typically cheaper but offers a variety of different colors and options for purchasers. Glass and cement countertops have also gained popularity for consumers. Finally when shopping for cabinets, the type of wood and design is just as important as picking the right countertop as well.

When shopping for cabinets and countertops it is important to shop around for the right deal. Going to different companies, asking around, and finding the right bid could potentially make or break finding the right deal. There are many different cabinet and countertop companies out there, finding the right one is the hard part.

Countertops and cabinets do come in different shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. When purchasing a countertop it is important to note how thick you’d like your countertop to be as well as how you want it to fit in your kitchen. Good countertop companies will work with you to ensure that the final product fits well with your home and nothing looks out of place.

Also ask your provider about the edges of your countertops. Different bevel edges offer a variety of choices. However, some edges are rounded off which is great for homes with small children, and some can be sharper given your living environment a more sleek look.


What to Do Before Painting a Room

Safety

Did you know? The most common reason for a non-fatal injury at home is due to falls – a large percentage of them at home. Before you start painting, take safety precautions as seriously as you would any other steps. Something you can do is to buy or borrow a sturdy ladder which will not give way. Invest in ones with an in-built shelf that you can store your paint bucket and tools in.

Attire

Another step in preparing yourself for the paint job is to dress appropriately. Painting can be a messy affair, not to mention one with permanent consequences. To prevent paint splattering onto your favorite clothes¬†and¬†shoes, dress in old clothes and trainers that you won’t mind getting paint on.

Preparing

Before actually applying paint, you need to have your paint prepared. By prepared, we mean making your color selection, sampling them onto your wall and finding the right sheen for the wall color.

A frustrating problem that can surface later on would be when your paint runs out before the walls are done. To avoid this, make sure cross-check the surface area of your walls with the estimates printed on the paint can. Just to be sure, plan for a couple of coats and then some for touch-ups in spite of what the product promises.

Moving

Naturally, important furniture, equipment and others have to be moved out of the way before you start. Roll out carpets and rugs and place them in another room. For everything else, you can lay newspapers on the ground and push furniture into the center. Cover them with a dust sheet so they will be shielded from the painting process.

Wash

Want your DIY paint job to be flawless? Wash those dirty walls! Dust, dirt and grease spots can get in the way of your fresh paint from sticking properly. Not following this step can result in some serious disappointment. You’re investing all that time and energy to it anyway, so what’s an additional cleaning step?

You can wash walls using a cellulose sponge and soapy mixture of water and soap. Experts normally use TSP or trisodium phosphate, but the safety risk it carries requires you to take even more precautions.


Common Tools Used in Tile Installation

Electric Wet Saw

Probably one of the most well-known pieces on the list, the electric wet saw is great for cutting notches, bevels, and, of course, center cuts. While this saw is one of the most expensive, it is a necessity if you plan to complete a large tile installation project. Many stores offer these items for rent if you don’t want to invest the money to purchase one.

An electric wet saw uses a diamond-edge blade to make accurate cuts. However, since the blade will quickly heat from scoring the ceramic, it utilizes a tube to feed water onto the blade. This keeps the blade’s temperature at an appropriate level and keeps dust from clogging the machinery.

Diamond Hole saw

For those who need to score tough tiles or drill a hole, the diamond hole saw easily completes the job. It fits any standard drill, so you can use your own equipment. To drill a hole, place the tile on a solid surface and gently press the bit until the tip scores the surface. You can also drill all the way through, if needed. The diamond hole saw creates clean cuts without damaging the surface finish.

Scriber Tool

Scoring softer materials does not require diamond encrusted cutting tools. One of the most common pieces of tile installation equipment is the scriber tool. This allows you to score the surface gently and then snap the ceramic in two. In order to use it, simply use a ruler or other straight edge as a guide and gently apply pressure as you pull the scriber across the surface. Normally, one cut will do the job and the piece will easily brake at the scribe line. However, should you need to make a second run across the score mark, do not apply too much pressure; if you do, the ceramic may crack.

Cutters

Every tile installation job needs to use cutters. Not only do they score the surface for easy snapping, they also facilitate clean cuts when breaking the pieces apart. Cutters have an adjustable angle guide to help ensure the ceramic is properly angled.

To use cutters, place the piece on the cutting platform. Turn the piece so that the surface that you wish to cut is on the cutting guide. In order to keep it from moving, make sure it is flush against the stopper. Then simply pull the handle along the guide to score the ceramic. Once scored, push the handle down to break the pieces apart.


Blackout Curtains

First of all, what are blackout curtains? A lot of people are under the false impression that blackout curtains are completely black, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Blackout curtain linings are actually usually made of white fabric. They are made with tightly woven material that blocks all kind of outside light from entering the room.

This can have all types of benefits. Per example, I use to work as a night guard at a local hospital, and I had a lot of issues getting some quality sleep when I came back home because my curtains weren’t blocking the light properly. A lot of people work night shifts these days and finding blinds that can do the job can be really difficult, since most blinds are made for aesthetic reasons, not efficiency.

Another reason why you should consider getting blackout curtains is because of their amazing energy saving properties. Blackout curtains can help you save on energy bills in all kinds of ways. Per example, they can help you save on air conditioning by preventing sunrays from entering the room during hot summer days, hence keeping the room cooler naturally.

During the winter days, blackout curtains can help you keep the heat in and the cold out, further helping you lower your energy expenses. Another great advantage of these kinds of curtains is that they prevent outside noise from entering the room, which is a great thing if you have to sleep at unusual times during the day.

But to take advantage of blackout curtains, you have to make sure that they are installed properly, or you’ll lose all benefits. You have to make sure that your curtains cover the entire window and are installed higher than the curtain rod so they can effectively block the light from entering.

To make sure that you save energy during the colder fall and winter months, you have to make sure that you only open your blinds when the outside temperature exceeds your room’s temperature and when there’s enough sunlight outside to heat up the room.

All in all, this is great for people with a hectic schedule who are trying to enjoy a good night’s sleep, and they can also help you save a great deal on your energy bill. Just make sure that you install them properly and use them wisely if you want to take advantage of all their benefits.

Light control would be one important factor that would decide upon the mood and the temperature maintained by any a space. If an open space or window fall anywhere to the east or west, simply means facing the sun at the time of rising or set, sure you need to bring in accessories that would help you control the sun, thereby control temperature and lighting.

Lighting for any space is important to be maintained to keep up with the mood of the room, few designed spaces need less external lighting and they carry internal lighting on their own, or that it is like the interior works of the room will only have an elevated view if the lighting is proper of control.

And of course, any space comes with windows or glasses that just adds life to space, to get control over light, no one really stacks bricks all around the space, construct with no windows. That just means that windows are required, but the light that comes in needs to be controlled according to the mood.

Blackout curtains are one good way to control the light and maintain the lighting mood of a space. It is not the lighting alone that it controls, you have an efficient control of temperature as well. So would like to let you know the right curtains can save you a lot of money, at least 25% of your space temperature maintenance cost.


Venetian Plaster Process

The plaster is often revered for its timeless aesthetic beauty, as well as its durability and resistance. Not only is the ancient application incredibly hard-wearing, it also has low resistance to vapour diffusion, making it breathable and safe for every environment. It also has superior insulating properties due to its high micro-porosity.

Many builders and decorators will wax lyrical about the application’s many qualities – particularly its flame resistance, anti-bacterial properties and highly durability. It is also incredibly flexible and easier to apply than traditional decorating materials. But what actually is Venetian plaster and how is it made?

The process is lengthy and relies on a number of precise variables in order to end up with the perfect make-up. The product is made from lime – an ancient, renewable and highly resistant material that originates from pebbles. These pebbles (which are rich in calcium carbonate) are slowly transformed into a slaked lime product using a carefully orchestrated balance of tradition and technology.

The pebbles are baked in a wood kiln, as they would have been in more primitive times. It’s important to interject here, as the most environmentally responsible companies won’t chop down trees in order to make their kilns. The best manufacturers will use recycled wood sourced from carpenters and other sources.

Sawdust (usually collected in large amounts of scrap from local tradesmen) is then blown into the oven to burn the pebbles, rather than incorporating harmful chemicals such as gas or petroleum. This also prevents the need for electricity, saving once again on ecological consumption.

The pebbles are baked for over a week in the kiln, with an automatic control system monitoring the temperature and process. An innovative filtering system is then used to dampen the emissions into the atmosphere, making the process safer, and more environmentally friendly, still.

At this stage, the pebbles have usually crumbled into a quicklime substance. They are then immerged in water, where they will dissolve into liquid form, ready for the next stage of the process.

The substance is filtered once again in order to remove any unbaked lime that could potentially jeopardise the quality of the product. The slaked lime is then poured into a maturation tank, where it rests for approximately six months. This is typically the minimum time needed for it to mature into a chemical structure – so the process cannot be hurried.

One it has been left to rest, the lime is chemically balanced to make sure it is of the best possible quality and meets all safety requirements. Before it enters the manufacturing process, it is micro-filtered again to ensure the removal of even the smallest impurities, and create the creamy texture we now recognise as plaster.

If you’re looking to source Venetian plaster for your decorating project, it’s important that you use a good-quality, environmentally responsible supplier. If in doubt, it’s best to consult the company about how the product has been made. You can also look for customer reviews online to inform you of the quality of their materials.