Why Tribal Rugs Are an Interior Decorator's Dream!

First of all, I will clarify what exactly a tribal rug is by giving you a simple definition.

Tribal Rug: A rug woven by nomadic or pastoral people based on traditional motifs woven with hand-spun wool. Tribal rugs were originally woven on wooden looms set up on the ground to be dismantled and reassembled while traveling. Normally a tribal rug will have a lower knot count and a geometric pattern verses the tightly woven symmetrical floral styles usually found in rugs produced in the larger cities. Older or antique tribal pieces will most often be woven with a wool foundation with plant based dyes. Tribal pieces would also include textiles woven to be used in daily life. This includes any pieces used inside or outside of nomadic dwellings or as animal trappings; functional or decorative. A few examples are: tent bands, saddle bags, salt bags, etc.

The above definition is from my Oriental Rug Definitions on my web site.

Here are a few quintessential tribal rugs just to give you a concept. All three of these pieces are different but still exude a certain classic tribal beauty and timeless appeal.

This first piece is a small 3 x 5 Persian Bijar. Bijar rugs are known as the iron rugs of Iran for the simple reason that their construction has proven them to be extraordinarily durable.

This particular piece was recently woven by Kurdish weavers in Iran. It is one of the most famous older Kurdish rug designs which is known as the Garros design.

I can see it as an entryway piece in a sleek modern interior or as an accent piece in a traditional living room.

In homes filled with antiques, tribal rugs work their magic every time. I have a number of books filled with famous, historic interiors throughout Europe and the US and it was not uncommon in these estates to mix and match tribal rugs from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Russia.

This next piece is called a Serapi. This is an American (rug dealer's) term for the antique and more finely woven Herez rugs. As you can see, most tribal rugs have a geometric bent to their designs, even when based on floral motifs

I sold a similar piece to a client in Portland a few years back. The living room was huge and more like a great room which included a dining area and an open view of the kitchen. The wooden floors had a dark stain. The ceilings were high, there were two walls that were mostly windows, the kitchen had tons of chrome and looked like a chef's dream. This was a penthouse apartment in what is known as the Pearl in downtown Portland and the building was relatively new. The interior was quite contemporary but the client's furnishings were eclectic. We got the rug in place and it tied the whole room together and really brought it to life.

This last piece is one of my favorites. This is a Persian Luri. …

Increase Value of Your House by Upgrading Your Bathroom and Kitchen

Is it time to sell your home? Whether flipping a house or trying to get a good price before a move, there are a few ways to gain value through a kitchen or bathroom refurbishment. Outdated kitchen and the bathroom styles are the quickest way to make a house feel older and more rundown. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your renovations.

Custom design

A made to order design makes the most sense when trying to get the most money for your home. Bespoke bathrooms are noticeable and make a difference in price. A real estate agent or home buyer will be able to tell if tiling and fixtures were simply placed in the space or made for the space. Avoid outrageous designs that might make classic homebuyers feel uncomfortable. You never want a space to only appeal to a particular type of style. Exquisite stonework with classics such as natural stone, granite, slate, and travertine are always a good idea.

Flooring

Flooring is important in a bathroom and linoleum is out. Linoleum in the bathroom or kitchen can make an entire house seem outdated, ugly and dirty. Hard wood can take a real beating in these spaces and look old and worn quickly, even after refurbishing it. The best idea is to put down ceramic or porcelain tiles or natural stone flooring instead. These will sustain heavy amounts of foot traffic, clean well, and always look nice. They appeal to a modern home design and can go with almost anything a home buyer may want to decorate with.

Bathtub

Bathrooms can be purely conventional, or they can be home spas and relaxation areas. One way to create a more elegant and expensive feel is to create a separate bathtub and wetroom. A spa tub can be a place to relax and separate from the conventional use of a shower. Travertine or marble make great custom tiling jobs for a bespoke bathroom bathtub. Mosaic tiles work well to add a decorative flair to the wetroom wall. IF the home buyer finds your space relaxing, they will feel excited about buying it. Make the bathroom, especially the master bathroom, somewhere they want to be.

Kitchen Counter Tops

Just like with the floors, linoleum is out. A granite kitchen worktop is your best bet. It looks nice and is extremely practical. Choose a neutral color that can go with any style your home buyer may have. Make sure it matches the cabinets, hardware, and floor. Replace old cupboard hardware to match your new counters. The kitchen is the most-used room in the house. Make as modern, comfortable, and conventional as possible.

Selling your home can be an overwhelming process. Start with these tips in the bathroom and kitchen to increase the value of your home. You can always add some of your own personal flair and ideas. With the right plans, rocks, and fixtures, you can easily gain the most for your dollar.

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Outdoor Kitchen Guide Using Granite Countertops

For anyone who's made the decision to install a kitchen that utilizes outdoor space, there are a number of important considerations to bear in mind during the design process. An outdoor kitchen is a unique home project, because not only is style and functionality important, but the materials selected for use in the space also have to be durable and weather-resistant.

An outdoor kitchen can be a space that's welcoming for family gatherings, or just a place to enjoy nightly family meals. Like an indoor kitchen, it should be equipped with all the necessities, including appliances and an adequate work space. While selecting the perfect grill may be easy for most homeowners, choosing the materials for the countertop can pose more of a challenge.

Planning an Outdoor Kitchen
During the planning process, the priority is often designing for adequate counter space. Similarly to an indoor space, it's important to include enough space for both food preparation and serving. While the primary preparation space will usually be around 36 inches tall (standard for indoor kitchens as well), there's also the option to create a split level counter, which also has a raised bar area of ​​42 inches. Outdoor countertops are usually deeper than what's found in indoor kitchens, in order to accommodate a grill, so anticipate a depth of about 30-36 inches, rather than the indoor standard of 24 inches.

Selecting a Kitchen Countertop Material for the Outdoors
Granite is one of the best materials to use in an outdoor kitchen, and it allows homeowners to enjoy luxury in an outdoor space. Not only does it provide an elegant and lavish style, but granite is also a great material because it's easy to clean and maintain, durable and heat-resistant.

For outdoor use, it's best to select slabs of granite that don't have a great deal of veining, because epoxies and fillers are used on heavily veined granite, and those materials can have a negative reaction to the sun's rays.

It's also a good idea to avoid extremely dark granite countertops for outdoor use, since they'll retain heat and leave the home's residents and visitors susceptible to burned hands.

The Advantages of Using Granite Outdoors
Aside from the style and durability of the material, granite countertops are also a great material to use on outdoor kitchen countertops because they are a natural stone, which complements the natural beauty of the outdoors. It's a great way to tie in the convenience and modern capabilities of the outdoors with the surrounding landscape.

In addition, granite has the ability to withstand extreme temperature changes-so whether it's below freezing, or there's sweltering heat, granite will maintain its integrity.

Other Outdoor-Friendly Materials
While granite is one of the most commonly used natural stones in outdoor kitchen countertops, there are other options available. Most notably, these include travertine and limestone. While these materials are somewhat durable, they're not as durable as granite, meaning they may be more susceptible to scratching, staining and heat damage, so they're not ideal …

Interior Post Construction Cleanup Tips

There is nothing worse than bringing contractors in to do a construction project only to find that once they have finished the job, they have left their mess behind. Construction site cleanup is part of the construction industry and it can be a messy job, but someone has to do it. You can make your life easier by cleaning as you go for starters, and that should help reduce the burden of the final cleanup to a degree. While it's impossible to cover every aspect of a proper construction cleaning project, a good place to start would be to remove trash and debris on a daily basis, particularly wood and paint particles which can pose as dangerous fire hazards.

There are plenty of construction companies that might make use of a separate contractor to do the cleanup for them since it can save a lot of time and money by bringing in specialists (dependent on the size of the job). It is always wise to do a walk-through prior to the start of cleanup for the supervisor to find out exactly what the construction manager's expectations are with regard to cleanup. This will also help to prevent a poor final product (when the project is completed).

So, what does construction site cleanup really entail? In general, any scuffs, hand and finger smudges, dust and dirt need to be wiped down off the walls and the same goes for trim, baseboards, windows, door frames and handrails. The ceilings will also need a good dust and the removal of any cobwebs that have sprung up. Doors need to be cleaned down- which may include the front, back, sides and the top, and don't forget about the hinges. Any masonry will need to be vacuumed and cleaned as instructed. All of the carpeting throughout the project will need to be vacuumed as well. Wood, tile or marble should be buffed, waxed and sealed. You will need to clean the tracks, frames and glass on windows. Be sure to clean any of the light fixtures and ceiling fans dust tends to accumulate. Wall & ceiling vents, and floor vents will also be need to vacuumed, and in the case of floor vents they will need to be removed so that you can vacuum as deep as the attachments will allow. Electrical outlets and switches need cleaned since may they gather dust and hand smudges. That is just the basic cleaning inside, it does not encompass the specific cleaning required in a bathroom, kitchen or the entry way. Not to mention any mirrors and cabinets throughout the house, as well as removing any of the manufacturer's stickers that are not required.

On the topic of manufacturers, you should not forget the importance of which cleaning chemicals should and shouldn't be used. Only cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer should be used, as the wrong chemical can cause irreparable damage and will set your project back as you have to replace any damaged items, especially things …

Kitchen Cabinets Designing Style

Kitchen cabinets are one of the most prominent features in any kitchen design. They are not only essential storage, helping reduce the clutter in your space, but they also add design and finish to your overall design.

One of the first things you will notice when you start looking at various kitchen cabinets is the choice between shaker and flat. Flat are clean lined options without any bevels or indentations while shaker has a pattern to them, ideal for contemporary designs.

The door style you choose is essential to your overall design. While you may want a specific cabinet, it's important to remember functionality and practicality are just important in a kitchen environment. Have a look at the different options available, you don't have to choose swinging doors. Why not choose life up doors for high cabinets and pocket doors for other spaces, ensuring you make the most of your space and design style.

Drawers are another consideration you need to make when looking at the various kitchen cabinets designing styles. Drawers are essential to the functionality of your kitchen, a place to store smaller items with ease and have everything neatly packed away to reduce clutter.

Another way to create a spectacular and functional space is to make some areas of the kitchen open shelved. Open shelves work well with kitchen cabinets, creating a unique design to your finished product.

When you look at the various kitchen cabinets available, it's important to take your overall style into consideration. If you are going for a modern and minimalistic design, you will want flat cabinets in a color of your choice. Natural wood tones work beautifully in all-white and modern kitchen designs, adding that texture and color to the space.

If you are looking at a more traditional or contemporary design, choose a shaker cabinet which can be painted to the color of your choice. A cottage kitchen with cream cabinets can add such personality to the space.

Try and go eco-friendly wherever possible. Homeowners throughout the world are concentrating on their impact on the environment. Bamboo is a highly eco-friendly product that is renewable and grows at a rapid rate. There are bamboo plantations which supply this hard wearing wood to companies throughout the world on a daily basis.

Bamboo became popular as a flooring choice, but today it is also used to make spectacular kitchen cabinets which can be incorporated into any kitchen design with ease.

Color is an essential element to your design. If you are going with a light and bright kitchen design, you will want lighter colored cabinets, but darker ones can make a fantastic contrast while adding texture to your design.

Bright and bold colors with a flat cabinet work beautifully in modern kitchen designs, adding that splash of color to add a fun element to the design while still remaining elegant and sophisticated.

Always pay very careful attention to the details. This may be daunting, but mix and match different handles against different cabinets …

Match the Interior Decor to the Exterior Architecture of Your Home For A Quicker Sale

A while back my husband and I decided to move to our favorite vacation destination in the mountains. But in order to make this dream of ours happen we had to sell our city home. We put our house on the market and started to make plans to move as quickly as possible.

Sadly, things did not go as we hoped. Our house didn’t sell and according to our realtor the problem was our kitchen. It didn’t match the exterior of our house. Our house was a Cape Cod style with rock around the front door and dormers on the second floor. It was very traditional and pretty cute.

Buyers who saw the exterior expected to see something similar inside and they did to a point. The interior included a fancy trim package, two fireplaces with over mantels and a beautiful dining room with even more fancy trim. The dormers upstairs had window seats with storage underneath. All in all it was in fact a very traditional house with an excellent location and a good market price.

There was just one problem and it was a big one for people who liked the character of the exterior.

The kitchen was very modern with flat cabinet doors made of melamine with oak trim. The cabinets were nice custom cabinets and well organized but they did not go with the rest of the house. People who liked the house hated the kitchen. Because of this one problem the house didn’t sell.

We were determined to make our plans come true so we took the house off the market, refaced the kitchen with raised panel doors, over 40 doors and drawers. We painted them to match the creamy trim color of the whole house. It cost us about $1,200 and lots of work over one weekend work marathon.

After we were finished we put the house back on the market. It sold immediately for the asking price and it closed within a month.

We knew when we bought the house that the kitchen wasn’t right for the house, but it was a nice kitchen for me, a dedicated cook. The style of the doors didn’t work, but we thought most people could look past the doors.

Well, we were wrong. The doors were a deal breaker.

We learned a hard lesson.

There are many examples of this same problem. Imagine a house that is a hard modernist structure with clerestory windows and lots of angles having country kitchen with flowered wallpaper.

Another possibility could be a Georgian or colonial style with modern decorating inside. The décor does not meet peoples’ expectations.

Potential buyers who look at homes generally have styles in mind when they are shopping. It’s wise to make sure they see whatever they are likely to expect.

To make your home feel more comfortable and work better at resale, decorate it to blend harmoniously with the exterior architecture of your home. Keep finishes and décor consistent throughout the house, both inside …

Why You Need Kitchen Remodeling

Decades ago, kitchens were designed with modern technology in mind, however modern technology today is very different from the technology which was used years ago. Today’s kitchen users have very different needs from the needs of those who originally designed the kitchens. Therefore kitchen remodeling is becoming more and more popular. Remodeling is the art of redesigning and renovating a kitchen to make it more suitable for the needs of the home owner.

Today’s homeowners are trying to deal with a much larger range of tools and gadgets than homeowners used to have. Trying to find somewhere to put these things can be difficult if your kitchen is designed incorrect, or with a previous era in mind. Kitchen remodeling can help you to make better use of the space that you have available. Although some people are able to have their kitchen extended, others are forced to work with the limited space which is available. A professional remodeler will be able to come up with an appropriate design. This can include making extra space for the things you need, by taking out all of the things you don’t need. For example, when you renew your kitchen, you can choose to install a range of all in one gadget, rather than having separate tools. Other ideas may involve innovate fold away solutions.

Older kitchen spaces also sometimes fail to take health and safety concerns into mind. Kitchen remodeling will allow you to make great improvements which can help to protect you and your family. This can include childproofing areas which toddlers could hurt themselves on or putting in different flooring so there is less of a slip and trip hazard. If your current floor is a slip or trip hazard, you should take action because accidents in the kitchen can have serious consequences. Another concern is food hygiene and storage safety. If your kitchen is not designed correctly, the oven and the fridge could end up being right next to each other. This can be dangerous, because the food in your fridge may warm up as you cook. This can encourage bacterial growth and is a major food poisoning risk. Professional kitchen remodeling experts will work with your ideas to help to mitigate risk.

Having a kitchen environment that you enjoy can also help to improve your health. Research has shown that people are more likely to spend time preparing food in a kitchen if the space is suitable for them, and meets their needs. Spending time preparing fresh food rather than having takeaways or ready meals is a great way to improve your health, because you can take charge of what you are eating. If you intend to cook for yourself and your family regularly, kitchen remodeling can help you to create the kitchen of your dreams, meaning that you will actually enjoy spending time there.

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RV Interior Education

I told my wife that as a late Christmas gift, and an early "get ready for camping season" gift, she could get whatever she wanted to accessorize and update the interior of our RV from Camping World. It did not take long before she was perusing the http://www.CampingWorld.com website in search of the products she wanted for her RV interior makeover.

Soon afterwards, the packages began arriving at our doorstep. In all of her excitement, she had me sit down so she could show me all of the new interior treatments and accessories. I must say that from a man's perspective I was not all that impressed at first, when she pulled out the new sheets, towels, candles, placemats, and what looked to be some kind of a sleeping bag. But upon closer examination and after listening to her explanation about each of these new interior items, I was quite impressed.

For starters, she ordered a 600 thread count sheet set for our queen size RV bed. Now if you know anything about RV beds you know that it is almost impossible to find sheets to fit. Not only are these premium sheets sized especially for RV beds, but the designer colors coordinate with any RV bedroom, and until you try them you can't imagine how soft this Egyptian-combed cotton really is.

Next, she pulled some bath towels, hand towels and wash cloths out of a box. Now I always thought a bath towel, was a bath towel, was a bath towel. Boy, was I ever wrong. The first thing she showed me was how big (27 "X 48") and thick the new RV bath towels were. Next, she pointed out how the neutral beige color matched our RV bathroom. But what really sold her on the towels was that they feature an antimicrobial treatment that keeps them fresh. What does antimicrobial mean? Well, basically it means that the towels and wash cloths need no bleach to stay sanitary and fresh, and the treatment lasts up to 50 washings.

Then she moved on to the new placemats and candles. I must say that not only are the placemats good looking but they're reversible, they coordinate with the kitchen and they will help protect the table. The neat thing about the candles is that they are flameless, color-changing, scented candles. Yes, I said flameless. They're actual wax candles with real scents that are lit by a long-life LED (light emitting diode). No open flame means they're safe to use in the RV, and you can select to have the color change every ten seconds or use the hold feature. Very neat!

Last (and possibly my favorite part of her interior makeover) was the thing that looked like a sleeping bag. It is actually called a Travasak® Sleep System, and it is an all-in-one, year-round RV bedding system that incorporates two comforters, winter and summer, that are zipped together on three sides. You put the Winter side on top during colder weather …

Kitchen Sinks: Sorts, Utility and More

To keep away from having a draining experience one should be mindful when installing the same as this is the zone of the kitchen that will have to withstand a lot. The market offers a wide range of choices. Let us now learn more about this imperative part without which modern urban kitchens would fail to function effectively. Read on!

Types of sinks Explored:

Although generally, we get to see single bowl wash basins in kitchens, double and triple bowls are also available in the market and as per the requirement, the same can be installed. The plan of your kitchen is the only deciding factor and based on that you have to work around. As far as highly functional kitchen sinks are concerned, there is a bevy of choices.

Surface-mounted, wall mounted, under-mounted and self-rimming or drop-in kitchen sinks are some of the options that are popularly seen in homes depending on the kitchen designs. Surface-mounted sinks – as the name suggests – have the body of the basin is fitted on the surface of the counter, not a frequent choice of homeowners but its exquisite style and elegance cannot be undermined.

About the wall-mounted ones and more
Wall mounted option is suitable for those kitchens where countertops or work areas are considerably small hence vertical space is made use of. Similarly, under-mount washbowls are procured for limited kitchen space. Drop-in sinks remain the ubiquitous choice however

Choosing the right material
If you were thinking the ideal kitchen environment is best perfected by a stainless-steel sink, then think again. There are more than a few options that modern-day manufacturing brings to offer. Alongside the metal finishes, you have composite stone and acrylic varieties. Stainless-steel, however, is the best choice for enduring kitchens. Others may add to the look and feel but may not be durable enough owing to their fragile frame. Read on for more information about kitchen sinks.

Sustainable living is being encouraged largely today. The manufacturing industry, as such, has now launched a fusion of recycled steel or metal and porcelain sink that will definitely be an eco-friendly option. Go green, live long!

Maintenance – easy and undemanding
Busy kitchens have a lot going on in the wash areas. With umpteen household chores at hand, one will not want to go with a sink that requires too much time for regular cleaning. Here again, stainless-steel washbowls rank high the reason being that they are super easy to clean. No scrubbing is required and just a mild wipe-off with the cleaning solution is good to go and it shines like new. Hence, not just style but utility quotient is equally to be measured when taking your pick among the plethora of kitchen sinks made available for you.

Food fanatics are always looking forward to cooking exotic dishes and to ace, the seamless kitchen milieu alongside the right kind of utensils and cookware sinks too play a pivotal role. The Internet can come to assist us to make a …

Eliminate Interior Home Disasters

Hello and welcome to my design thoughts.

With thousands of websites, articles, newsletters and blogs on interior design, is it any wonder home design is confusing? As an artist and designer, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of fabulous information available for the curious and motivated homeowner. And Free to boot!

Keeping it simple is a little more difficult. I have visited many "designers" client homes, just to see the designers particular brand or style stamped all over the place. How do we keep our homes in the realm of our own personalities?

When you are searching for a design and or designer, first look at their product. Talk to past clients. Visualize the designers work in your private space. Does it work? Or could you have done a better job on your own and a whole lot less expensive?

I have designed many different styles. Each as individual as the client themselves. How is this done? First, you have to do the homework. A client whom states: Do whatever you like, I trust you and I will be back from Bermuda in six weeks "might be a client I may choose to steer clear of.

I will not brand my personal style on a clients home. Your home should and must reflect your personality and uniqueness. With excitement and motivation, create something totally yours, you can learn how to build a truly stunning environment all your own.

Magazines, websites other design information can be your very best friend. You have done it before, I just can see both of us searching magazines, ripping out the cool stuff and making piles … This is your start to discovering your personal style.

Build a book on these pictures. Study each picture. Circle the idea or picture which caught your eye. Put you piles of pictures in categories. ie living, bath, family, kitchen. Then go back and cull out the pictures which may not be as appealing. Only keep the very best. You will eventually discover what you love, whether in color, shape, size or style name. My personal style is called European Recycled … No joke.

Keep your first trial and run simple. Paint is the least expensive re-do and has an amazing impact. A fresh coat of paint is magic. Interior design can be a simple act of re-arranging or de-cluttering.

Find your magic. Love where you live. make it a peaceful and creative environment all your own.

SK Sartell

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