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10 Tips That Will Change How You Clean Your Kitchen

Kitchen by
We can’t make cleaning your kitchen fun, but we can make it easy. Here are ten tips to make cleaning counters, disposals, range hoods, counters, and more faster than you ever thought possible.
Use Tea to Save Your Stove from Splatters

This tip went viral when our books premiered on EVINE Live: Use tea to keep gunk from sticking to your stove. Brew a pot of tea that is four times normal strength, then wipe it on your stove. The tannins in the tea will make it hard for grease and food to stick, making cleaning quick and easy.

DIY All-Purpose Orange Cleaner

We love the scent of orange in our kitchen, and we love this all-purpose cleaner made from orange peels even more. It works great on all kinds of kitchen surfaces like countertops, sinks, and greasy stoves, and all you need are the peels of several oranges, plain white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, and a glass jar with screw-top lid (a Mason jar works perfectly). Place the orange peels into the glass jar, cover with vinegar, and leave for several weeks in a cool spot. Then transfer some of the mixture to a spray bottle and add two parts water. Shake to combine, and it’s ready to use. Your family will love the scent!

Second Use for Used Baking Soda

Instead of throwing away baking soda away when it’s finished its 30-day stint in your fridge, dump it down the garbage disposal with running water. It will keep your disposal fresh too!

Make Oven Cleaning Easy

The secret to make oven cleaning easy is to take care of spills the second they happen. If there’s a sticky mess on the bottom of your oven,  sprinkle salt on top as soon as possible. After a little while in a hot oven, the spill will turn to ash and you can easily wipe it up with a wet cloth once your oven cools.

Top of the Fridge? No Problem

The top of the refrigerator can get gross, fast, thanks to tiny food particles that float into the air on steam and end up there. Make it easy to clean by topping it with a layer of plastic wrap each month. Then simply remove the plastic wrap and replace. You can barely see it, and you’ll never have to wipe down the top of your fridge again.

How to Clean Stainless Steel

Stainless steel appliances look great, but they can be hard to clean. Believe it or not, one of our favorite stainless steel cleaners is vodka. Place a little on a sponge or paper towel, then wipe. Your stainless steel appliances will soon be sparkling again, so pour yourself a little glass to celebrate!

Buff Up Your Sink

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, then a clean sink might be the gate to heaven. After you clean your sink (perhaps with some of that vodka), wipe olive oil, baby oil, or a oil-based wood cleaner like Pledge over it with a paper towel or dry rag. It will make your sink look new-kitchen shiny as well as create an invisible film of oil that prevents water and food stains from taking hold.

The Trick for Removing Cooked-On Grime

If you’re having trouble cleaning off the baked-on grease and grime on your range’s hood or other areas around your stove, make your job easier without the help of harsh commercial cleaners. Instead, warm it up by blasting it with your hair dryer. Once it’s warm, it will wipe right off with a soapy damp cloth.

A Lemony-Fresh Kitchen

To give your kitchen a lemon-fresh scent and get rid of cooking odors like fish or burned toast, you don’t need to buy expensive air fresheners. Just use a real lemon! Poke a few holes in it with a toothpick or skewer, then place it directly on the rack in a 300°F oven for 15 minutes. Leave the oven door slightly ajar, so that the wonderful aroma can permeate the whole room. Alternatively, you can slice a lemon and boil it in some water on the stovetop for 10–15 minutes as well.

Clean Every Appliance

Keeping countertop appliances clean is the secret to a fantastic-looking kitchen. Make it easier with our tips for cleaning all your kitchen appliances.

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How to Clean Bathroom Shower Doors

Bed & Bath by

Bathroom shower doors are notorious for accumulating soap scum and grime. However, with the proper cleaning methods, shower doors can remain clean longer and even repel soap scum. Both glass and plastic shower doors can be cleaned using the same process using either commercial or natural materials.

Fill a clean spray bottle with equal parts water and white distilled vinegar.

Spray the solution onto the front and back of the shower doors. Allow the mixture to stand for at least five minutes or up to 30 minutes for tough soap scum. Vinegar will cut through the most stubborn dirt and grime and prevent future buildup.

Fill a small cleaning bucket with fresh water or use your bathtub or sink.
Put on a pair of rubber gloves and use a sponge dipped in the water to wipe down the shower doors and remove the vinegar. Don’t forget to wipe any areas where the doors overlap.

Clean the runners of your bathroom shower doors with an old toothbrush.
Squeeze a dollop of white toothpaste onto the brush and then scrub the runners to lift any dirt, grime or soap scum. Spray with the vinegar solution onto the runners when finished and then rinse away with clean water.

Dry your shower doors using a clean towel and make sure they are thoroughly clean.
If you see any remaining soap scum or dirt, repeat the steps above until your shower doors sparkle. Once the doors are thoroughly clean, a little preventative maintenance will go a long way.

Saturate a clean cloth with baby oil and then wipe down your shower doors with the cloth.
Baby oil will further prevent unsightly soap scum from accumulating and will also decrease the amount of time in between cleanings. Lemon oil may be used in place of baby oil to wipe down your shower doors after cleaning. It will provide the same protection against soap scum and leave a lemony fresh scent behind.

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Children’s bedrooms and playrooms

Bed & Bath by

Kids’ bedroom ideas: go big, or go home we say. Decorating a kids’ room doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on style. In fact, it opens up a whole new world of exciting design possibilities, even for small room ideas. It’s the perfect excuse to be as bold, brave or magical as you want. Whether it’s a girls’ room, a boys’ bedroom or nursery, we’ve found some amazing children’s bedroom ideas to steal, from furniture to accessories like kids’ wallpaper. Let the fun begin…

Craving a Backyard Refresh? Here Are 7 Simple Ways to Spruce Up Any Patio

Interiors & Decor by

When 18″ of fresh snow gets dumped in your backyard in late April, even the hardiest of Minnesotans begin to wonder if spring would ever arrive. But it DID and now we are basking in the glow of patio season: the best time of the year for all things outdoors, especially when it comes to entertaining. Outdoor living spaces are the perfect way to get the most out use out of your home, and no matter where or how you live – a simple patio refresh can hold the key to your #bestsummerEVER. All patios are unique and different; we put together a few of our favorite patio looks based on who you are and where you live! Did we miss anything? Let us know and we’ll add it to our list. We’d love to hear what decor dream you have for your personal slice of the great outdoors.

The Urban Balcony

For small outdoor nooks, start by adding a few cozy wooden or organic furniture pieces. I also like to work in different neutral-colored textures into the mix. Don’t forget to add in a handful of beautiful potted plants, and a cute little hammock that will really steal the show. These are the main key ingredients we feel will truly make your little urban patio summer-ready.

The Homeowners Haven

When you own a home, you have the luxury to create your very own backyard oasis. This is nice because you can really settle in here. As always, you can begin to achieve this look by introducing a wide array of lush plants, growing your new or current garden, and by making sure to create a cozy and comfortable seating area for you and your guests. I tend to lean toward beautiful wooden furniture and look for bold and earthy pillows to spice up my outdoor area. Sometimes if you are looking to save space, installing a small table or bench is your best bet. If you have room, an outdoor rug can create an effortless hominess and increase the warmth and character of your patio.

The Backyard Entertainer

For those who love to entertain, a great backyard patio set is crucial. Plants, a statement rug, and good lighting are paramount. I like to focus on creating optimal outdoor lighting through string lights or even outdoor candles, but if you really want to make a statement, looking into how you can install permanent outdoor lighting can really go a long way when you are wanting to achieve that coveted backyard ambiance. I also recommend investing in a great dinnerware set with silverware and napkins to wow your guests.

Let’s Recap: Here are the 7 simple ways to spruce up your patio no matter where you live!

  1. Wooden or organic furniture
  2. Beautiful Plants
  3. A hammock
  4. Mix and match textures
  5. Bold or earthy pillows
  6. A patio and dinnerware set
  7. Lighting

Main  Article Posted on Witanddelight


Bed & Bath by

For most people, the bathroom has become a personal sanctuary. It is not just a place to wash off the grit. It is your personal spa, where you relieve the stress of the day and relax. So, when you are renovating your bathroom, you are not just creating a practical bathing space; you are creating a place when you can get away and be yourself. Every aspect and component has to come together towards this goal while also meeting the practical needs of bathing.

If you are building a new home or planning a renovation, the following list of the hottest upcoming bathroom design trends in 2018 should get your creativity going. It includes some really cool bathroom designs for 2018 that you can borrow and adapt for your specific needs.

1. The Bathroom is Getting Efficiently Small

Top Trends in Bathroom Design - Sebring Services

For many homeowners, their dream bathroom is inspired by those luxury magazine pictures with enormous double tubs, his & her cabinets, and expansive marble flooring. But in recent times, some have discovered that smaller bathrooms can be just as great. The 2018 bathroom interior design trend will be towards smaller bathrooms with a focus on efficiency and small-scale luxury.

The secret to making small bathrooms comfortable, and not cramped, is the efficient use of available real estate. Every inch must be put to good use. You will see freestanding single-person tubs starting to get more popular. Smaller but artfully designed toilets and smaller uniquely designed sink bowls will also begin to make a presence in the bathroom.

Other companions to scaled-down bathrooms include space-saving walk-in showers, more shelving instead of cabinets and large floating vanities to increase the perception of space. As with large bathrooms, small bathrooms can also be decked out in wall patterns or interesting floor graphics especially those that make the room feel bigger.

If you are short of space in your home, you do not have to miss out on the magazine bathroom–you can still renovate your small bathroom into a relaxing sanctuary.

Related: Big Ideas for Bathroom Remodeling in Small Spaces

2. Toilets Go High-Tech

For years, Japan has been the undisputed leader in high-tech toilets with other countries seemingly okay with retaining the same mechanism for decades. But homeowners are starting to get interested in a bit of tech in their toilets.

The 2018 high-tech toilet will see things like seat warmers, automatic lid openers and slow close features, an adjustable air dryer, built-in deodorizers and so on. Another feature available, that I bet you never thought of; is a wireless music player that automatically turns on when the lid is opened.  It shuts off when the lid is put back down. The jazz and nature tunes are a good alternative for those who do not carry books (or phones) into the bathroom.

It is not just the toilet that is going high-tech. The entire bathroom will see a few innovations in 2018. You can have a smart shower that automatically knows your preferred temperature and turns on your favorite tunes during shower time. Or you can add a small fridge within your bathroom cabinetry to keep medicine and drinks cool. There are also faucets that turn on automatically when you put your hands under them and turn off when you are done.  Take a look at our design portfolio for remodeling ideas.

3. Brass & Gold Tone Fixtures are Making a Comeback

Erase the memories  of your Grandparent’s bathroom brass faucet, because this lovely new warm toned gold plumbing fixtures will become your new go to.  This new tone twist is the perfect complement to the cooler gray paint colors that have become extremely popular in recent years.   The warm gold tone add just the right amount of depth, dimension, and luxury feel to any space.

Homeowners love the change to warmer accents with the brass/gold toned bathroom fixtures versus the traditional shiny polished chrome which conveys a more cool, modern, and sleek feel. Offered in new finish options like in satin, matte, and spun gold this subtle change is just what was needed to add that classic traditional element to any space.  With the added bonus of keeping fingerprints and water spots hidden. This warmer tone has become the accent pieces of a room, with complimenting hardware, light fixtures, and mirrors as well.

Look around and you will find more gold tone items than you think.  The reason for the comeback–it just looks great in so many different style settings.

4. Vanity Lighting

Top Trends in Bathroom Design - Sebring Services

The bathroom vanity area usually consists of a cabinet, countertop, faucet, and hardware..  Secondary, we think of the mirrors and lighting. But these two items are just as important to the function of the bathroom.  Using lighting strategically can make a world of difference, so not only the bathroom shines brightly, but so do you.  Not only in style but function as well.

The 2018 bathroom design trends lend ones focus on lighting schemes.  To highlight this mostly functional space, homeowners are using creative lighting techniques, fixtures, and dimmers to create a luxury and relaxing feeling.

There are many lighting styles you can use for the vanity area including light bars and wall sconces, but don’t forget about using small pendants as well. They can be an stunning addition. For larger bathrooms, it’s not uncommon to see a chandelier near the whirpool tub or centered in the space for just the right amount of glamour.

The various lighting options not only helps with makeup application, it creates better bathroom aesthetics.

5. Underfloor Heating Systems and Under Counter Appliances

If you bought a pair of slippers just to escape the cold sensation on the bottom of your feet while walking across your bathroom floor; then it might be a good investment for you to consider adding a heating system under your floor.  When the temperatures outside are dropping–your wish could become a reality.  Underfloor heating can be used with a variety of flooring options like:  tile, concrete, vinyl, and wood to name a few.   But in a bathroom, the cold tile can transform into a beautiful soothing warm floor.  Heating systems not only provide heat, but they can also reduce noise levels and possible allergic reactions since there are no air currents disturbing dust.

More and more technology is being included in bathrooms, which means more small appliances are being integrated.  For instance, some luxury bathroom designs now feature a beverage center or under counter refrigerators near the makeup area or vanity for your medicines or organic facial remedies.  Or you may find some home bathroom designs featuring warming drawers for linens & robes. Aside from the traditional dryers in the makeup area, you can also have wireless music systems, TV’s, cooling or warming systems, and so on.

The bathroom used to be the place where electric appliances were a no-no. Now, it can rival the kitchen in the number of gadgets and the amount of tech in it.  This trend will continue in 2018, especially in master bathroom designs.

Related: Your Guide to Radiant Floor Heating: The Pros and Cons

6. People Still Love Neutral Styles But With Organic Undertones

Top Trends in Bathroom Design - Sebring Services

Neutral decors are super popular right now. We even have a buzz word for it: Griege.  Homeowners love the whites, grey and warm brown color palette that make a space look modern and elegant. In 2018, neutral bathrooms will still be very much in vogue but with a bit of an organic infusion.

There is a certain unwavering appeal to the natural and organic for our well being. This is why we are drawn to things like aged flooring, weathered tiles, and vintage plumbing fixtures. Homeowners are looking to create some of that natural feel to make the bathroom more relaxing.

The new neutral will have to make way for some organic colors of nature–greens, blues, and warm browns. Expect to see more attempts to bring the outdoors indoors through plants, flowers, and even grass. As for materials–brick, reclaimed wood, and natural stone will find more uses in the bathroom.

There are plenty of creative ways to combine a neutral style with a relaxing organic accent. You can have your wall covered in a leaf tile mosaic, and/or nature inspired wallpaper design, or leave the brick exposed on one wall, or create emphasis with wood accent pieces, or add a skylight to let the sun stream directly inside and bath you in light. There are endless organic bathroom design ideas you can borrow from to create your dream bathroom.

7. Darker Tones Will Pick Up… Though it’s Not Their Time Quite Yet

There is a surprising parallel in kitchen and bathroom design trends for 2018. In the kitchen, darker color palate’s are starting to pick up especially on appliances and cabinetry. In the bathroom, the same thing is happening.

In a space known so long for its neutral whites and light wood stain colors, it is a bit surprising to see dark shades starting to pick up pace. This includes dark tile flooring, grey painted elegant cabinets, matte black plumbing fixtures and cabinet hardware and even dark painted accent walls.

Many homeowners are hesitant to introduce darker colors into their personal spas oasis and it is understandable. It is a color that can prove tricky to balance. If used wrongly, it can create a feeling of gloom or result in a painfully awkward contrast. Though the trend is slow, darker tones will continue to get popular as homeowners get more comfortable with it.

8. Unique Tile Shapes

We have already seen how technology is allowing manufacturers to create all sorts of designs using basic tiles, but now they are going beyond the colors and graphics to change the traditional tile shape into something more interesting.

We are seeing a resurgence of the once beloved tiles of decades past, plus a few new designs. No longer are we content with just a subway tile or a large format tile on the wall.  We have lots of tile shapes to choose from once again.  So, look for new and improved hexagon, arabesque, diamond, Moroccan fish scales, or chevron patterns in new colors & textures.  These eye-catching shapes will not just grace the floor either; they will also be used as bathroom backsplashes, on shower walls, and possibly ceiling accents to create the bold accents we so desire.

If you are looking for a safe way of livening up your bathroom, this is one of the best trends to try out in 2018.

9. Bold Accent Walls & Floors

Top Trends in Bathroom Design - Sebring Services

In the modern neutral bathroom, an accent wall is the sparkle that sets the space on fire. It is the defining statement of personal style and character. It is the focal point that greatly determines the mood and look of the bathroom.

If you want to create a gorgeous impact on the floor, then I would look at adding ceramic or porcelain graphic tiles to the space.  With bold patterns and colors, it is a cost-effective way to make any space a show stopper.  But remember, it’s just not for the floor!

Maybe you like things to be a little more subtle and natural.  Then consider natural stone in a textured and/or stacked pattern to highlight the shower or an area behind the vanity.  Or look at the point above.  Shaped tiles, in subtle colors make just the perfect accent piece as well.  Plus, you can put them just about anywhere in a bathroom.

So, look for a dramatic accent wall to get even bigger in 2018 as homeowners look unique accents to incorporate into a bathroom remodel or design project. With all this talk of tile, don’t forget something as simple as a new coat of paint can have the same effect. If you are feeling a bit creative, why not flirt with the idea of a graphic drawn on the full wall or hang a large painting that covers the entire wall.


One common thread has been evident in all home design trends for 2018; homeowners are looking for ways to break from the mold and be unique in their styling. In the bathroom, they are relying on tech, tiles and bold accents to make their bath time more interesting.

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How to choose the Best wood for a Bed Frame?

Furniture by

These days everyone is so busy in their life that we prefer an easier way to shop, even if it’s furniture. Utmost either go shopping online or buy from any agent or design studios. However, we have always been choosy while selecting beds because it’s necessary for daily life and it’s difficult to spend time and money on it often. But do you really care about the wood being used to build your bed frame?

Unlike old days when beds were made by selecting woods and getting it made by a carpenter. Therefore, this insight will help you, whenever you think of buying a bed online.

Truly there are various substitution and distinct kind of woods being used to make the bed frame, which makes beds more attractive, stylish, beautiful and portable, i.e. a complete modern century bed frame.

Other than solid woods there are variations of woods being used like MDF (medium density fibreboard), OSB ( oriented strand board), engineered wood, particle board, plywood etc being used to build a bed frame.

So the preference of wood for the bed depends on person to person and choice of an individual. Besides, there are few points you can consider while selecting a wood to build your bed frame, such as:

1. The hardness of the wood

A wood can be considered to be a hardwood or a softwood depending upon its origin. It doesn’t mean all hardwood is hard or all softwood are soft. Generally, hardwood is flowering trees whereas softwood is conifers. In general, hardwoods are more valuable than softwood

2. The price range of the wood

The woods are available at all prices from economical to expensive price. Alike plywoods used in beds are very economical and it’s to the pocket of the customer on the other hand woods like ash, oak, mahogany, rosewood is little higher on price and woods like lignum vitae, bocote, agarwood are amongst the most expensive woods.

3. Grain of the wood

Grain of the wood mainly depends on cell structure of a wood. Hardwood has tubular cells called vessels, visible as pores in the wood. Hardwood is either open grained woods or closed grain woods. Beech, birch, maple, cherry, satinwood are some closed grain wood and mahogany, oak, ash, walnut, oak, rosewood, teak are open grained woods. Grains also affect the texture of wood, if cells are small texture is smooth, if cells are large texture is rough.

4. Colour of the wood

Colour of the woods depends on its type and variety, every woods got a different color and that the most common thing we know about certain woods, by seeing a wood we know the color of the wood.

Related Article: Best 5 Designer Foldable Wooden Tables For Small Spaces

5. Life and durability of the wood

Durability and life of a bed depending on the factor as what kind of wooden material being used and how the bed is maintained. Well, we will talk about the wooden material so the MDF woods or bed with softwood or plywood last little less than the bed made with the strong and hard word. Moreover, the lifespan of a bed with plywood is lesser than that of hardwood. This is the reason that modern day beds are easier to get at economical prices, whereas the bed with original wood are expensive and much heavier in weight as well.

Coming to the conclusion the wood selected for the bed frame is classified as per the persons need and choice. Some people like to change beds with modern design time to time, on the other hand, some people love to get pure wooden beds.

Therefore we would rate the best wood to build your Bed Frame as per the material, choices and price are as follows

Most preferred Wood for Bed frame

1. Designer Bed with hardwood (mahogany, oak, teak, Sheesham)

2. Bed with hardwood ( probably more of a simple kind)

3. Bed with softwood and engineered wood ( specifically designed)

4. Regular softwood bed

5. Bed with another kind of wood or mixed wood 

6. Bed with plywood (light purpose)  

This is the conclusion based on the average, keeping in mind all parameters. Though from person to person weightage of particular attribute get more. For example, if I need a temporary bed for my home, probably ill go with the cheapest ones available in the market. So the choice of bed is the need and demand of a person buying the bed.

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How To Make Your Home Look Like You Hired An Interior Designer

Interiors & Decor by

Here at Freshome, we have a lot of respect for interior designers and all of the hard work they put into their designed spaces. It takes a certain eye to be able to pull a room together and make it fabulous and functional, all at the same time.

With that being said, not everyone can afford to hire an interior designer to come into their home, guiding all their design decisions. Some of us actually want to be the one who makes our own design decisions, using our own individual style and preferences.

How can we get the inspiration to take our interiors from boring to beautiful— without the expense of a professional designer?

Let’s look at some tips to help you begin organizing and designing your rooms into a space that, until now, you thought only an interior designer could create. Follow these tips and you will begin to notice your friends sneaking a peek into your phones contact list, looking for the number of your interior designer. Whether you want your interiors to look like a luxury hotel or just jazz up your interiors, these tips will help. Shhhh… it’s our little secret that you did it all by yourself.

This room definitely looks like an interior designer has been here. Image Source: Elizabeth Gordon

Magazines And Design Websites Are Full Of Design Inspiration

There is a reason for all the avid ‘Pinners’ on Pinterest — people crave an amazing home interior. As most of us have already discovered, decor websites can spark a flame of creativity that we never knew we had.

If you have not already begun to create inspiration boards for your homes decor, then begin now — this is the first step to creating the home you desire.

Go onto Pinterest to search for home styles that appeal to you, or go onto Freshome and use the “Collect This Idea” button to gather design images that excite you, or  simply grab some design magazines and cut out pictures that speak to you.

After hunting and gathering for creative images that inspire you, step back and look at all that you have collected — this should tell the story of your design style. You may be surprised at the style you crave to create.

Collect decorating ideas via online magazines and decorating sites. Image Source: Charetteid

Color Schemes: Use Three Colors Or Shades

Now that you have a good idea of a style that you hope to call yours, you need to choose a color scheme. This is the tough part. Color is so personal and creates moods within us that inspire. No matter what, choose the colors that call to you. Look at your inspiration boards — what colors are prominent in the rooms you saved?

We won’t tell you what colors to choose, but we will tell you to try for a mix of three colors or shades. One main color for walls, another color for larger accents such as couches and chairs, and then a third color that pops in smaller accessories such as flowers, pillows and knick knacks. Remember color is influenced by how much light you bring into your home. Consider using floor to ceiling windows to enhance your interiors to bring out color too!

Let’s say you choose a color combination of brown, teal and tangerine. A shade of brown would probably be the wall color, teal may be the color you choose for accent chairs or an accent wall, and tangerine could be the color you pull out in pillows and accessories. This formula of three colors works in any combination. Just remember, three is better than one or two, as a room done in one color is boring. Yes, you can have an all-white room but with three shades of white.

This open living room is the perfect example of the three color scheme. Main color is white, second color is pink, and then third color in accents is turquoise. Image Source: Armonia Decors

Add Texture To Your Home

Equally as important to color, is texture — especially if you crave a single color scheme such as all-white or all-grey. A room at first glance can seem like a single color scheme, but if you look closely you will notice shades within the same color and plenty of texture via fabrics/textiles.

An all-white room may have linen draperies, a plush velvet chair, shiny silk cushions, rattan chairs and woven baskets, and a nubby cotton sofa with a faux fur blanket tossed on the side. All of these elements add texture and please the eye, creating a warm, rich environment. Design can describe the personality of the owner, so by using textures, patterns and varying colors can bring a dull room into sophisticated with ease.

Consider the textiles that suit your lifestyle. If you have kids and dogs, then you may not want a light cotton sofa, rather a darker leather or mohair sofa may suit your needs. If you crave luxury then consider high-end silk draperies and pillows.

Whatever your style, try to add plenty of texture by adding numerous textiles into your home.

Notice all the texture used in this room. There is silk, cotton, brushed suede, zebra and a touch of shimmer. Image Source: Tara Sea Wright

Add Big Statement Furniture Pieces

This is a common mistake most homeowners make —too many small, spindly pieces in one room. A room with leggy chairs, leggy tables and lots of small knick knacks only serve to clutter the room and confuse the eye.

Instead try for a room that is well mixed. Have a large sofa, some skirted club chairs (so you can’t see the legs) and then one or two slender arm chairs with attractive carved legs (depending on space).

This is just one example, but it gives you the idea of mixing furniture styles and sizes so that the room looks balanced —not too bulky and not too spindly. Even if you are decorating a small apartment there are plenty of decorating ideas to try.

Most designers will recommend that even the smallest of rooms have one large statement piece, such as a large armoire or cabinet. A mixture of big and little is key to a successful design. This rule goes with accessories, too.

Notice the mixture of furniture in this room; some chairs are skirted, the coffee table has thin, clean-lined legs, the settee is a large statement piece with heavy legs. Image Source: Tim Barber

Use Trays, Decorative Bowls And Baskets

Designers love to use trays, decorative bowls and sometimes baskets, to arrange collections or loose items that need a home.

For a hint of glamour, try adding a glitzy gold tray to your coffee table, ottoman or side table. On top of the tray, place a pretty candle, a couple of books and a small bowl of colored stones. Little vistas such as this seem frivolous, but they are imperative to a layered, decorated aesthetic.

If you desire a more rustic approach, then try woven baskets in your home. Baskets are fabulous decorative tools that can hide a lot of clutter. Try to create these little niches throughout your home.

You will love how a tray can collect bathroom soaps and perfumes, arranging these everyday items into a piece of displayed art.

This rustic coffee table has used bowls, trays, flowers and books to create a cool vista. Image Source: Cartoloji

Add Flowers To Every Room

Go back and look over all your inspiration boards — what do you see? Do you see flowers or plants in almost every room? We bet you do.

It seems like a simple tip, but adding floral arrangements, live plants and natural items such as vases of shells or rocks, can really add that final touch to your interior design.

There are numerous easy-care plants that you can purchase for your home that will last years if properly fed and watered. Most designers will tell you to avoid fake floral arrangements. If flowers or plants are not what you desire, then try other natural elements such as twigs or feathers placed in a large urn.

Natural arrangements add the final touch to a room — the final touch that says, ‘ An interior designer has been here’.

A simple floral arrangement arranged in a trio adds the final touch to this dining room. Image Source: Crisp Architects

If you can’t hire an interior designer, you can still have a home that looks like you did. All of these little tips and tricks work together to create a warm, well-designed home. Try adding texture, color, statement furniture and elements of nature to your home today.

If you are unsure of the final outcome or arrangements that you have made, then snap a photo. Pictures of a room will allow you to see the design from a different view point, helping to see if you went wrong somewhere along the way.  Remember, it’s your home and you are the one who has to live in it, so create a home that you love— a home that portrays who you are.

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Microwave Ovens Buying Guide

Kitchen by

An expert, unbiased guide to buying a new microwave oven, including types and styles, sizing a microwave, features, and more

They are great for reheating pizza, thawing frozen foods, popping popcorn, and much more. In addition to saving time, a microwave oven also saves energy. It can eliminate a tremendous amount of wasted energy in the kitchen, from the energy needed to preheat a conventional oven to the waste involved in heating a kettle of water when all you need is a cup.

If you are in the market for a new microwave oven, you’ve probably discovered that the range of models and options can be confusing. Should you buy a countertop or over-the range model? What is the best size and power capacity for your needs? How does a microwave convection oven differ from a conventional microwave?

It used to be that microwave ovens were nearly all the same—simple appliances that could thaw frozen hamburger, reheat leftovers, and pop popcorn in only a few minutes. They had a reputation for quick convenience but little else; today, it’s estimated that 90% of American homes have a microwave oven in the kitchen, and there are many varieties of these appliances.

Microwaves combine speed with versatility and technology to create a smart kitchen appliance, in an array of styles and colors.

Depending on the model you buy, a microwave oven can: Brown, roast, and grill foods like a conventional oven; prepare specific recipes using a pre-programmed touch keypad; cook entire meals without overheating your kitchen; automatically shut off when a sensor determines the food is done.

What features should your new microwave oven offer? In this article, we’ll help you determine the unit that best fits your needs and lifestyle. We’ll also discuss pricing and important questions to ask before making your purchase.

Conventional or Convection Microwave?

A conventional microwave oven emits microwaves that pass through glass and plastic containers to cook food. A convection microwave oven combines basic microwave technology with radiant heat and circulating hot air to let you roast, brown, and grill foods.

Convection microwaves have a heating element as well as a fan to circulate the heated air. This results in a more thorough, even job of cooking. Also known as speed-cook models, these units promise juicier pot roasts and crustier pizzas. Some units come with a pan for cooking bacon and crisping bread.

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Another alternative heating method combines microwaves with intense light from a quartz halogen bulb to grill and roast food. This technology adds color and taste to meats while speeding cooking times.

Since convection microwave ovens allow multiple cooking modes in a single oven, expect to pay a little more.

Styles of Microwave Ovens

Home microwave ovens are sold in several sizes and styles. The four major types of microwaves are countertop models, above-range units, microwave drawers, and combination microwave ovens. Each has certain advantages.

Countertop Microwave Ovens

Countertop microwaves, also called compact or portable microwaves, are the smallest type and the most popular choice among consumers for reheating foods, thawing frozen food, making popcorn, and similar incidental cooking tasks. GE microwave ovens are a top seller in this category, according to Consumer Reports.

A typical size is 18 inches wide by 14 inches deep and 12 inches tall. Capacity is typically 1 cubic foot and their power is normally between 500 and 1000 watts. Countertop microwaves are portable—you can take them with you when you move. And they are affordable, with prices often below $100.

Do be aware that a countertop microwave will take up valuable kitchen work space. Some models come with kits that allow you to mount the appliance under a cabinet to avoid this problem.

Above-Range Microwave Ovens

Above-range (also called over-the-range) microwaves, as their name indicates, are designed to be installed above the kitchen range.

Among the main types of microwaves, they rank second in popularity. In recent years, improvements have been made to the units’ exhaust fans for venting steam and filtering smoke from a stove’s top burners.

Most models have multispeed fans that recirculate air using replaceable charcoal filters. These units do not need to be vented outside. Some exhaust fans also switch on automatically if a stove top becomes too hot, protecting the microwave oven. Because above-range models require space over your stove, you may have to remove a cabinet before installation. Typically, above-range microwaves are purchased to replace existing ovens or when a kitchen is being remodeled. Some name brands—such as the GE and Sharp microwave ovens—start as low as $250, but above-range ovens can top $1,000, depending on the features.

Microwave Oven Drawers

Sharp Electronicsthe marketplace, favored because they don’t consume valuable counter space, but offer all of the convenience of microwave ovens. Though installing one isn’t as easy as setting a microwave oven on top of a counter, installation is relatively easy. For more, please see How to Install a Microwave Drawer.

Combination Microwave-Conventional Ovens

These are the most luxurious option, offering a built-in conventional oven and microwave in the same space. The microwave typically is on top of the larger conventional oven. These dual ovens have drop-down doors and a sleek stainless design. They can cost as much as $3,000.

Microwave Oven Size & Power

If you want to do more than cook popcorn or bake a potato, buy a mid- or full-size oven. Cooking full meals for an entire family requires a large model and high power. Panasonic microwave ovens offer some of the largest sizes (up to 2.2 cubic feet).

Full-size ovens deliver 1,000 to 1,600 watts of power, and mid-size ovens yield 800 to 1,000 watts. Higher wattage heats food more quickly. More power is better for cooking entire meals.

Compact microwaves—the smallest ovens—work well in dorm rooms, offices, and apartments. Some people use these mini-microwaves in boats and campers.

The compact unit should be able to hold one dinner plate. These smaller microwaves yield 500 to 800 watts. Keep in mind that the lower the power, the longer it takes to cook a meal.

Microwave toaster ovens are a “do-it-all” version of the compact microwave: They warm meals for one, heat water for tea and cocoa, and toast bread and bagels. Fancier models may offer up to 24 toaster settings and 10 automatic cooking settings.

Microwave Oven Features

Dave | MorgueFile

Convenience distinguishes today’s microwave ovens from earlier models. Shortcut settings automate power levels and cooking times for foods such as popcorn, pizza, frozen entrees, and potatoes.

The priciest microwaves offer up to 100 pre- programmed menu items that let you cook meals without first having to select the amount of times or the power level.

Many units offer quick defrost settings that take the guesswork out of thawing. Some models have delay start-time options or will keep food warm after it cooks.

When you buy a new microwave oven, regardless of the oven you choose, keep the reference guide handy so you can take full advantage of the features.


It is critical to have a revolving glass plate or turntable inside your oven to ensure even cooking. Otherwise, you will need to stop the microwave several times and turn the food by hand. Most mid- and full-size microwaves have removable turntables. Some new versions also have rectangular trays that slide back and forth.


This safety feature cannot be readily seen but guarantees that the microwave oven will not run if the door opens or is ajar. Most ovens have two interlocks; some have three. If one lock fails, the backup lock will work.

Variable Power Controls

You do not always need to use your microwave at full power. Variable power lets you change the setting level. You can simmer food at 50% power or defrost at 30%.

Child Lockout

Child-proof doors are especially important on microwave convection units, where dishes may be extra hot when they come out of the oven. Child-proof doors can be locked and released using a keypad.

Automatic Sensors

This new technology can tell when food is sufficiently cooked by measuring steam in the oven. You don’t have to set a timer. The microwave automatically shuts off, guaranteeing that food will not be overcooked or undercooked

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At home in 2027: How we’ll be living in the future

Lifestyle by
How will we be living in 10 years’ time? With property prices on the rise, more of us working from home, and technology permeating practically every corner of our lives, it’s a question on many people’s lips. We’ve asked futurist Morris Miselowski to tell us his predictions about where and how we’ll be living a decade from now.

How will we be living?

Attitudes towards property ownership are changing. For baby boomers (those born between 1954 and 1965) owning a property was evidence of a successful life. Their children aren’t interested in that. For today’s twenty-somethings, success is judged by how many likes you have on your social media accounts – success is about adventure and experience, not assets.

With many priced out of the property market, people will be renting long term rather than looking to buy. They’ll take the opportunity to lead a more nomadic lifestyle: they’ll travel more and be happy to pack up their lives and accept that job across the other side of the world.

The trend of downsizing and moving closer to the city will continue, particularly among baby boomers, who are living longer than ever. Expect to see an increase in compact four- to six-storey inner-city dwellings near transport lines (convenience will be key). These homes will be in mixed-purpose builds, often above shops and cafes. There was once a real stigma attached to living in the flat above the shop, so this just proves how much our attitudes have changed in a generation or two.

In 10 years’ time, moving to an inner-city abode will be a lifestyle choice – these homes will be easier to maintain than the traditional quarter-acre block in the suburbs that previous generations valued so highly; few will want a huge, high-maintenance home.

In 10 years' time the average kitchen benchtop will perform myriad functions

Smart kitchens

The kitchen will see some of the biggest changes in the future home. In 10 years’ time it will be a multi-purpose space that shifts smoothly between cooking, dining and entertaining.

Benchtops will come into their own. Today, they are static objects, but in 10 years’ time the average kitchen benchtop will perform myriad functions. Touch the surface and it will transform from prep area to induction cooktop or technology station. It will perform time-saving tasks too, such as measuring ingredients and choosing the correct cooking temperatures.

The kitchen will be a fully connected space that can monitor the progress of your cooking, connect to social media to discover what your guests like to eat, and tell you whether the milk in the fridge is still fresh.

Less drudgery

There will be a focus on smart surfaces that reduce the amount of work you have to do around the home, such as self-cleaning cutlery and china as well as surfaces that tell you when it’s time for a deep clean. Cleaning of floors and windows will be done robotically

Homes will be designed to accommodate three generations living under one roof

The rise of multi-generational homes

As property and childcare costs continue to rise, the trend for multi-generational living will rise with them. Three generations living under one roof will not be unusual. Homes will be designed to accommodate this, with features such as two or more living spaces (or a separate granny flat), a separate kitchenette, and a large communal space where the family can spend time together.

Floor plans will be flexible; walls will move and ceilings will rise

Ambiguous spaces

With more of us working from home, our properties will be in use 24-7. We will expect our homes to adapt to our changing needs throughout the day. Floor plans will be flexible; walls will move and ceilings will rise, allowing us to configure the space as we want it and turning our homes from meeting spaces to chill-out zones in an instant.

Flexible furniture

With floor plans shrinking, we won’t be able to accommodate as much furniture, and what we do have will need to perform more than just one function. Multi-functional designs, such as the Ori robotic furniture system, which is a compact, adaptable unit designed for apartments containing a bookshelf, bed, table and more, will become increasingly popular.

Multi-functional designs will deliver flexibility in the home

Your home will adapt and change shape throughout the day according to its usage.

Intuitive technology

Technology will feature increasingly in our lives, and will be smarter than ever. Already we’re moving from touchable devices to voice-activated ones and, in 10 years, intuitive devices that do the thinking for us will be the norm. With access to your diary and emails, your phone already knows more about you than just about anyone else, and soon it will be able to make predictions about you based on your movements then tailor your home to suit.

You’ll walk through the door and your home will automatically create a customised environment to suit your needs, including setting the perfect temperature, opening the blinds and suggesting what to have for dinner based on what’s in the fridge. This sort of technology has already begun to enter our lives with the arrival of Google Home and apps such as Nest, which can recognise when you’re 10 minutes’ from home, then switch on the kettle and open the garage door.

Your home will also be able to distinguish between the different people entering your home and create environments to suit them too.

While the influence of technology in our lives will increase, its presence will be more seamlessly integrated. Wi-Fi, for example, has already begun to be integrated into the walls of new builds, giving you perfect connectivity anywhere in the home.

Be your own decorator

Technology will also give you new ways to explore products and make shopping decisions. Already, apps such as Planner 5D allow you to don virtual reality glasses and walk through a space to see how it looks with different furniture set-ups and various colours on the walls.

The care factor

Our homes will be able to monitor our health and take care of us, allowing us to stay in them longer. They will remind us when to exercise, when to take our medication, how many calories we’ve consumed that day, and make suggestions for healthy meals based on what’s in the fridge.

The trend towards vertical gardens is set to continue

Blurred lines

With more of us living in urban areas, we’ll see greenery integrated into our homes in increasingly creative ways, such as vertical gardens both inside and out, balcony gardens and communal vegetable gardens.

Rental properties are more likely to include furniture

A passion for the handcrafted

Our increasingly transient lifestyle will give us greater access to different countries and cultures, but less ability to transport big pieces with us. Large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, beds and tables, will often come with the property you rent. As a result, we’ll be investing in transportable pieces, such as unique artworks and handcrafted soft furnishings that stamp our personality on the spaces we inhabit.

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Definition of High-tech style

Bed & Bath by

High-tech is an architectural design style that emerged in the Late Modernism period in the 1970s and has been widely used in the 1980s. Mostly Englishmen are major theorists and practitioners of high-tech. They are Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Nicholas Grimshaw, James Stirling at some phase of his oeuvre, and the Italian, Renzo Piano. This style originated in the industrial premises design, where all the elements are functional. Different elements of industrial aesthetics were used in the living accommodations, where they have been developed into a mixture of high technology and constructivism.

High-Tech Style Black and White bedroom design

High-tech style in the interior

Constructional knots, fasteners, all kinds of joints and rivets, and an abundance of glass and metal details became the elements of the decor in this interior, where most of the engineering equipment is opened. Industrial building constructions, metal frames, and technical communications are common for the high-tech style.

Pipes, valves, air ducts, elevators, lintels, beams, trusses, and cables are expressly used to put on a show. Functionality, lack of decor, and geometric shapes are expressed by glass and metal constructions, mainly of a monochrome palette, and the active usage of technical innovations. Metal, glass, plastic, natural and artificial stones are used as the finishing materials.

High-Tech Style Bedroom

You can use paint, liquid wallpapers for the wall finishing or even leave the concrete or masonry. Walls must be plain, bright, and smooth. Beams, pipes, columns, valves, and any other engineering details could be interesting elements of the interior.

Natural stones, ceramic tiles or carpets are the most appropriate materials for the floor coverings. All the partitions and doors in rooms must be glassed.

High-Tech Style interior design ideas

The usage of curtains is not welcomed for the high-tech style. If there’s a need to separate the inner space from the outside world, it is better to use blinds (vertical or horizontal), Japanese curtains, or curtains of pale monochrome loose and shiny fabrics. The main colors used for high-tech are white, black, and gray. Moreover, shades of yellow, red, blue, and green can also be used in the interior.

Besides, nylon, Capron, and other synthetic fabrics are preferably used in the decorations. It is advisable to use smooth and shiny fabrics and other surfaces (floors, walls, and furniture).

High-Tech Style Kitchen and Dining room

Furniture in High-tech style

Functionality, usability, practicality, lightness of constructions, simplicity, and clarity of forms – these are the qualities of the furniture in the high-tech interior style. The furniture must be limited. Also, the furniture on wheels or furniture-transformer could be a very useful detail of the interior. It must be made of shiny metal, glass, and plastic.

Illuminating lamps of simple forms are required to be made of metal and transparent, colored or milky colored glass. Besides this, it could have green or bluish shades.

The high-tech is a rational and rigorous design style, so there must be no superfluity in the interior.

The light is one of the most important components of High-tech. It also often sets the tone for the whole interior.

Kitchen in the High-tech style - Light

Artificial light is the most important element in this interior style. Therefore, all possible ways of basic and additional lighting should be considered very carefully.

At the same time, elegant lamps must have a correct geometrical shape. Instead of a built-in central chandelier, use string lights, spotlights, illuminated panels, etc. Also, floor and ceiling lamps of minimalist design with LED light sources will provide a house with comfort.

High-Tech Style Living room design ideas

  • Norman Foster is a British architect, the awardee of Praemium Imperiale and Pritzker Architecture Prize. He was first dubbed a knight by the Queen and then became a baron (Baron Foster of Thames Bank). He had been studied at Yale School of Architecture for two years, where he took the master`s degree and met Richard Rogers. Together they had created “Team 4” bureau. This agency became the birthplace for a high-tech style, which was later spread all over the world. Norman Foster is one of the most popular architects of modern times.
  • Richard Rogers is a British architect, who in close cooperation with Renzo Piano and Norman Foster invented high-tech style. He is the awardee of Praemium Imperiale and Pritzker Architecture Prize and was made a baron by the British Queen (Baron Rogers of Riverside). Together with Renzo Piano Mr. Rogers created the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 1971.
  • Renzo Piano is an Italian architect, who invented the high-tech design style together with Richard Rogers. His core creation is the Pompidou Centre in Paris (1971-77).
  • Kenzō Tange is one of the most influencing Japanese architects of XX century. He used the traditional Japanese aesthetics and structural principles as the basis and made his projects in the “international style” (Tokyo municipal government, 1952-57) and in high-tech style (Fuji Television headquarters, 1996). Catholic St. Mary`s Cathedral and Olympic center (both constructed in Tokyo, finished in 1964) are his world-known masterpieces. Kenzō Tange was among the first to use overlap covers: Olympic center and St. Mary`s Cathedral in Tokyo, congress-hall in Ehime prefecture.
  • Santiago Calatrava Valls is a Spanish architect and sculptor, the author of various futuristic constructions in different countries of the world. His aesthetics is sometimes defined as “bio-tech”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Article Source : 
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