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Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Decorate around your Flat Screen Television

You and your living room are happier because you have just acquired a flat screen television.  Although, you seem to be having a small problem, everything around the television seems not to work. The furniture no longer faces the right direction, the wall art is being blocked, and the armoire you’ve placed the television in is too big.   These are all common decorating dilemmas when you acquire a flat screen television.  Read on to see how you can keep that television and make the rest of your room look beautiful around your new addition to the family.

Plan for space: One of the beautiful advantages to having a flat screen television is the ability to view it from many angles of the room. This same advantage is its disadvantage when it comes to placing furniture in the room.  The challenge is that you can’t have obstacles that are within the line of sight of the television.  Stand back in all angles of the room and assess what furniture is too tall and plan for space around it. Another trick is to stand at the television and look back at the room. You will easily see what is obstructing the view and space.

Highlight the wall: Your television can blend or it can be the focal point.  Most people want it to be the focal point as it costs a lot of money, and you want everyone to see it! For you, painting an accent wall that your television is hung or placed in front of will draw emphasis to this wall.  If you are one that would like the television to blend, consider housing your television in a piece of furniture that can be closed, such as an armoire or entertainment center.

Viewing height: Depending on the height you choose to view your television will dictate how to add artwork or decorative items around it. For those that want it stand mounted on a low console, you will be able to optimize more of the wall behind it for artwork.  While if you decide to mount it on the wall, the television can compete with artwork – which can be distracting. For larger rooms that have a long viewing range, a wall application will work better. While smaller, narrower spaces will benefit from the lower console.

Hanging artwork: If you have high ceilings, artwork placed above the line of television sight viewing is a good idea.  Consider making the artwork simple, and more abstract. Artwork that has physical content will cause television viewers to concentrate on the artwork. For shorter ceilings, but longer walls, consider putting small collections of artwork, paintings, photographs etc… to the side(s) of your television.  Whichever you design preference, try to let the television compliment the space, or be left on its own.  For visual interest for wall mounted televisions add wainscoting or build decorative architectural niches into the wall.

Your flat screen television can be a welcomed addition if you can determine how to decorate around it. Before you buy your television take these tips into consideration.  Remember, the smaller the room, the smaller television that is needed. Often time’s people buy too large of a television for the space, and viewers can get headaches, and the picture will also appear pixilated if the viewing distance isn’t enough. Placing a flat screen television above a fireplace or on an accent wall will give visual interest that may need additional décor. You decide and make your television a welcomed addition to your home. Freshome readers tell us your experience with decorating around your flat screen. Has it been easy or a huge headache? We’d love to hear your comments.

source : freshome

Well-balanced and Relaxing Retreat in St. Barts: The Avenstar

Avenstar is the name given to this fantastic villa in St. Barts, the Caribbean. Exploring a contemporary look on both the interior and exterior design, the Avenstar`s architects provided the house with five large bedrooms, a huge living room which opens onto the terrace and a sunny deck, a heated infinity pool, a water fall stone garden and contemporary furniture. No wonder that this home is up for rent: it has so many great features, that everyone should be able to enjoy them. Besides having all the modern necessities and technologies, the Avenstar also features a wine cellar, perfect for an evening in the company of good wine and good friends. All throughout the living and sleeping areas, the colourful details cannot go unnoticed: a splash of red in one bedroom of the luxurious purple seen in another bedroom make the Avenstar a cheerful place where one can enjoy sun, water and excellent design.

source : freshome

Imposing Aztec Serpent Office Building in France

Aztec Serpent Office Building was designed by Manuelle Gautrand Architecture and is located close to the main train station in Saint-Etienne, France. The architecture of this building is daring and original, not to mention highly contemporary. According to French studio Manuelle Gautrand Architecture, the project is like a large ‘Aztec serpent’ rising on the lot. Its body has three identical outer faces, and an underside that is different: a skin of silvery transparent scales, and a bright yellow ‘throat,’ shiny and opaque. As reported by My Modern Met, a courtyard plays the central element of the structure, as the building loops around it. Parts of the imposing architecture project are cantilevered, which gives it a bold, spectacular appearance. The contrast between the rectangular windows and the yellow walls is of great visual effect. (Photo credit: Philippe Ruault)

source : freshome

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How to Add Functional Space to your Kitchen Pantry

Depending on your size of kitchen, storage may or may not be an issue. Although, there are not too many people who would say they wouldn’t mind adding more functional space to their kitchen pantry.  In many homes the pantry is an afterthought by the home builder, and a minimal amount of shelving and storage is provided. For you apartment owners as well that have small pantries, here are tips to help you add more functional space.

  • Remove items that can find a home in other places: in many kitchen pantries the storage is adequate, but the pantry is being used for a catchall of other items too. The kitchen trash can, recycle bins, and storage of large items like pet food, and bulk beverages can find a new place in your home. Consider installing under counter/sink trash cans and recycle bins to free up space in the pantry. Bulk items may be able to be housed in the garage in an air tight bin, or in a laundry room or utility closet that has more space than the kitchen pantry.
  • Assess your current storage options: If your shelves do not hold enough items, consider getting new shelving installed that is deeper or wider to accommodate more. Instead of only using one type of shelving, vary the storage throughout the pantry. Spices and condiments may be able to be stored on an organization shelf on the back of the doors to free up shelf space. Pullout drawers for and varying height shelves can give flexibility for housing small kitchen appliances and varying sized boxed goods.
Remove the doors: For many kitchens, especially in older homes, a swinging door to a pantry can be the culprit of unusable space. Especially doors that are inward swinging, getting behind the door with full hands may be a hassle and storage becomes cumbersome. Consider removing the doors, or if pocket doors or accordion doors are an option, install these. If you are a person who keeps a tidy pantry, a well organized pantry, can be beautiful décor in a kitchen!

Utilize vertical wall space: Instead of using shelving on every wall, leave some areas free for hanging wire storage from ceiling to floor for pots and pans, aprons, and large utensils. If you don’t have a free vertical wall, than consider using ceiling hanging pot racks that can maximize vertical storage. Remember, as long as you can see all the contents of your pantry at one time, all space is fair game for adding functional space!

Kitchen pantry organization can be the sole reason you enjoy cooking or not! If you can’t find what you need quickly, and you spend more time searching than creating delicious dishes, these pantry storage tips should help. If you are puzzled as to how to use the space more efficiently, visit organization stores for inspiration or hire a kitchen designer or consultant. Every pantry has the ability to be used more efficient, it may take some creativity and shuffling of existing contents, but there is a light to the end of the pantry.
source : freshome