Rattan Garden Furniture – An Unbeatable Outdoor Option

Your garden is a place to enjoy the outdoors and the best way to do so is by using the best outdoor furniture. One of the most popular options and for many good reasons is rattan garden furniture. Read on and you’ll find out why so many people world-wide love this amazing material.

Strong yet extremely light is a winning combination that is hard to beat. This is especially true when it comes to garden furniture. While most furniture which is used outdoors is durable (it has to be in order to be used outside) it is almost always extremely heavy too. Heavy means hard to move and that means inconvenient. With rattan garden furniture you get the strength of a much heavier and bulkier package but without that inconvenience. It’s so easy to lift that anyone can do so even with large pieces like a sofa. This fact unlike other types of garden furniture makes it easy to move, rearrange, and store away without wasting time or effort and without damage done to your garden, your furniture and more importantly your back.

One more reason so many people choose to purchase rattan garden furniture is the fact that there are so many fantastic choices available for the homeowner. Usually found in a neutral brown color, rattan furniture can range all the way to black and even white in color. If you want an even more durable material but love the look of rattan wood there is another great option which is synthetic rattan. Synthetic rattan still maintains the same look and style of natural rattan wood but is even tougher. Rattan garden furniture also comes in many different sizes, shapes and sets ranging from coffee tables to sofas and more. With so many options it’s easy to see why so many people swear by rattan.

One of the best features of rattan garden furniture is the versatility in which it can be used. It literally just looks great everywhere. This could be next to the pool, on your patio or porch, in your gazebo, or any other place you need outdoor seating. Its neutral brown or black coloring makes it perfect for complimenting any color or style outdoor space. In fact, it is one of the most sought after and popular materials for people who are looking for modern outdoor furniture because it is exemplifies this style so well with its extremely durable and functional nature.

Strong, lightweight, great looking, and available in many types, you can’t go wrong in purchasing rattan garden furniture. Not only will it make your outdoor space much better looking but it will provide you, your family, and your guests an extremely comfortable place to relax and enjoy your garden to its full potential.

Buying Homes With Resale Value

View is the one of the major factors that affects the resale value when buying homes. Buying homes with a pleasant view of a beach or the horizon often sell at a premium above similar homes without the view.

Though you may place a considerable dollar value on the view, future buyers may not be so like-minded. It may take you longer to find a buyer when it comes time to resell the house. Or you may end up dropping your price to more nearly match other sales prices in the neighborhood.

In short, if you are buying a house with a view, try to pay as little extra as possible. Otherwise, you might not get your money back.

Most real homes today are usually concentrated on the building itself but the lot is important too. Home with a good resale value should have lots that are as level as possible.

Assuming the property is in a typical neighborhood, the lot should be rectangular no odd shaped lots or oddly situated lots.

Courtyard sizes are smaller in modern homes than in older homes, but there should still be a decently sized front and back yard.

Do not buy an over-landscaped property, either. You would normally pay a premium for that, which you may not be able to recover when you sell. You will get your best value if the house is moderately landscaped or under-landscaped for the area.

You can always perk up the landscaping during your ownership by humanizing the grass and adding bushes and trees. Just do not waste too much.

In each residential neighborhood, houses will vary in size and rooms, but they should not be too different. If resale value is an important consideration, you should not buy the largest model in the neighborhood.

When determining market value, the homes nearest to yours are most important. If most of the nearby houses are smaller than your house, they can act as a drag on appreciation.

On the other hand, if you buy a small or medium house for the neighborhood, the larger homes can help pull up your value. This is one of those times where determining your “wants” versus your “needs” can be extremely important.

Buying what you need in a more prestigious neighborhood may provide more financial reward than getting what you want in a less desirable neighborhood.

Three and four bedroom houses are the most popular among homebuyers, so if you can stick in that range you will have more potential buyers when it comes time to resell.

There ought to always be at least two bathrooms in a house, preferably at least two and a half. One bathroom with a place to wash up for day-to-day visitors, one for the master bedroom, and at least one to be shared by the other bedrooms.

Walk-in closets are extremely desirable for the master bedroom. For the rest of the house, just be sure there is ample closet space. Dont disregard space for linens and towels.

Garages add to the resale value and you should always make sure to get at least a two-car garage. Lately, three-car garages have become desirable in some areas of the country.

The laundry facilities should be located somewhere convenient on the main floor of the house, but not in a place it will create an eyesore. Think about whether you want to walk up and down stairs when carrying loads of laundry.

Family activity centers on the kitchen, so this is the most important room of the house. Larger kitchens are better, and they should be provided with modern appliances.

Obviously, the dining room and breakfast nook should be located adjacent to the kitchen. In newer houses, the family room should also be extremely close to the kitchen.

There should be easy access to the back yard, as there will be occasions for barbecues and outdoor entertaining.

In addition, it should be a short trek between the garage to the kitchen so hauling groceries in from the car does not become a horrendous chore.

Swimming pools do not provide as much added value as they once did. Safety issues about families with younger children have become more publicized than in the past, so families with small children tend to avoid homes with pools.

As a result, having a pool may actually reduce the number of potential homebuyers when you try to resell the home.

The Incredible Falling Mortgage Rate

Of all the factors that helped push the recent real estate boom of the last 5 years, low mortgage rates were perhaps the biggest. A recent climb in mortgage rates was also thought to be one of the big reasons the market can cooled so quickly. But with recent economic news showing a drop in rates, does that mean the bust is coming to a premature end?

Not so fast say the experts. Housing inventories are through the roof across the United States, and sales are down in most of those same markets. Recent rate news is good, however, with mortgage rates peeking in July of 2006 at 6.79 percent for a fixed mortgage (30-year), while rates in mid-October have slid to 6.40 percent. While that may be cause for relief on the surface, if you take a look at where rates were last year at the same time, they are up from 5.8 percent.

Rates were at their lowest in the last 5 years during June of 2003 when they sat at 5.2 percent.

The reason the mortgage rate has such an impact on housing sales is because the rate has direct bearing on how much a persons mortgage payment is going to be. The higher the rate, the more the payment and vice versa. Most industry experts believe, however, that if the mortgage rate continues to fall and return to its 2003 lows, the housing market will recover nationwide sooner rather than later.

Many experts, however, point to the longer trend in mortgage rates and point out that while rates are up a bit over the last three years, they are still extremely low compared to trends in the last 50 years.

Adding to the pessimism is the absolute glut of inventory on the market right now. There is an increase of almost 40 percent in inventory available compared to last year, and while lower interest rates may persuade first-time buyers to take the leap, its convincing those that helped fuel the boom the last five years (people that bought homes for either investment purposes and people buying second homes) to re-enter the market. This, as they say, is easier said than done.

Taking a broad view, the mortgage rate is an essential part of a healthy real estate market. But its impact can be overstated. There any many other factors that would need to line up for the current housing slump to evaporate. If some of those other factors can line up, than a lower mortgage rate can help lead the real estate market back to the promise land.

Native Flora & Art An Oakland Garden Makes

Puttering around your garden on one of these beautiful summer days can leave you with many good results. First, of course, it is always good to get out into some warm sunlight and, second, spending time away from the TVs maddening ruckus can do the soul nothing but good. While visiting your garden, or if you are just putting one together in a long-forgotten corner of your estate, there are many elements to consider.

Foremost is what is your theme going to be? Will it be formal and structured or loose and whimsical? Japanese gardens are always the most formal and have limited appeal to many Americans because of that. Additionally, the environment surrounding most American homes is not conducive to the formality required to obtain the Japanese “serenity” so often associated with that style. After all, how can a logical transition be made between Pops BBQ set-up and white, combed rocks? Somewhat difficult, anyone would say.

On the other end of the scale is what is increasingly referred to on the West Coast as an “Oakland” garden. These Oakland gardens are, indeed, something majestic to behold. Admittedly, the first time one sees these multi-hued masters of art, color and design one might believe they are looking at a weed patch; but upon closer examination, it becomes all too clear that a great amount of time, effort and money have gone into making an Oakland garden look just like anarchic garden splendor. Developing first in the Piedmont area of Oakland, California it seems that the Oakland-style garden is spreading quickly. This author has spent hours puzzling together how the style originally developed only to give up and exclaim, “Well, its just genius whoever made it happen.”

Distilled to its essence, the Oakland garden is an effort to use plants native to the location in which the garden sits, employing natural-looking features or constructs so as to enhance the overall effect of being in nature, and tastefully employing Garden Art in an effort to create the appearance of nature, as opposed to a husbanded setting such as the Japanese employ. A direct result of an Oakland garden is the almost immediate return to ones garden of native birds, butterflies, bees and other life forms.

One highlight of the typical Oakland garden is the abundant use of Garden Art. The key to discerning an Oakland garden, indeed, may just be how thoughtful is the placing of the Garden Art that is employed.

Garden Art is not new, of course. From the days of King Louis XIV when the art of the garden reached its zenith and was never again surpassed, all the way back to the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians – well, you get the picture: Garden Art has been around a long, long time. But in just the past 25 years, or so, Garden Art is making a resurgence.

The fine skill of employing Garden Art to its fullest potential is honed through study, visiting purveyors of fine Garden Art and, of course, visiting all of those lovely gardens in your neighborhood that you find utilizing Garden Art. Online resources to study the art of the garden abound. For one United Kingdom website has an entire 2-volume work on gardening from 1912 entitled History of Garden Art by Marie-Luise Gothein. After reviewing this tome, it is pretty evident that our long-passed author Gotheins work is about as exhaustive as it gets and is, therefore, a grand starting-off point for anyone interested in Garden Art.

A well-known West Coast center featuring Garden Art is Inner Gardens with two locations in the greater Los Angeles area. A passion for plants, flowers, and garden antiques prompted Stephen Block to open Inner Gardens in 1990. Since then, Inner Gardens has become the West Coast leader in Garden Art and has grown into two showrooms in the Los Angeles area. The original, on Melrose, has recently been joined with a 15,000 square foot Jefferson showroom featuring a vast selection of vintage and antique garden containers and ornaments, as well as Inner Gardens’ own line of containers and accessories featuring both contemporary and antique reproductions and exotic flora. While walking around the gardens at Inner Gardens may not be as neighborly as traipsing through the gardens on your street, you can certainly pick up all of the ideas, tricks, tips and techniques necessary to piece together your own Oakland garden.

Once you have put together all of the pieces, dont be surprised if your neighbors start traipsing all around your own, beautifully-wild Oakland garden.

Antique Lamps And Interior Design

In the UK in 2008 a Bristol pensioner chained himself to a lamppost and went on hunger strike. His protest was against the removal of Victorian lampposts from the city’s streets; illustrating that those passionate about quality design and heritage will do just about anything to protect it.

However, apart from, perhaps, Bristol City Council, there are people out there who appreciate the timeless quality and design of domestic scale antique and vintage lamps. A visit to some antique shops, or specialist internet sites will show that antique lamps are available and still hugely popular as a design choice for many. No need, thankfully, to go on hunger strike
to protect these examples of our heritage as the demand for them is continually
high.

Occasional Lighting and Permanent Comfort

Antique or vintage lamps are ideal for traditional / classic design schemes but can work equally well in even the most modern of interiors. An old, and stunningly effective, design trick is to place one or two display antiques’ in sleek, stylish, modern rooms.This juxtaposition of old and new can be used in a number of ways.

It can create a high impact visual statement,add a quirky edge to a simple design or create intricate detail in an otherwise clean, clear design. An antique lamp can be the perfect tool to create these effects, adding not only a bold statement but incorporating a functional element.No home should be without occasional’ lighting and lamps provide a simple and flexible solution.

Wired for Light

In traditional / classic, or period interiors, vintage or antique lamps are an absolute
must! Whether for a residential setting or a hotel, bar or restaurant the lamp will add a touch of luxury and authenticity. You don’t have to go the whole way and use traditional paraffin or oil lamps though apart from some fire regulations in commercial properties there’s nothing to stop you! These days the majority of antique lamps are adapted for electrical use which reduces the risk as well as the smell.

For those using antique lamps in a period home, one important thing to check is the quality of the workmanship and design of the converted’ lamp. The majority of antique lamp bases will need some renovation, due to their
age. Finding a supplier that can not only expertly and subtly wire the base but provide new shades where necessary is important.

Changing Times

While antique lamps suit just about any scheme, you may be looking to compliment a particular design period. Vintage lamps from the 20th century can come in just about any design style you can imagine.From the ornate fin-de-siecle’ style of the late Victorian and early Edwardian era, to the now retro-chic of the fifties, sixties and seventies;
just about any style of lamp can be sourced to add the finishing touch to your home. Other popular styles include Tiffany lamps and these, like other vintage or antique lamps offer not only a decorative statement, but also are a great investment.

Design choices will always be very personal, but in many cases vintage or antique lamps are a good choice as they have this added feature that they are likely to remain valuable and will most likely increase in value. Many items of furniture can depreciate in value thanks to inevitable wear and tear.
Design classics and antiques however should retain their value and hopefully grow. The cost of such items can vary, but there is usually an affordable solution to suit any pocket
allowing you to create that perfect look for you.

Sourcing Antique Lamps

As with nearly everything, antique lamps can now be sourced on the internet, as well as direct from someantique shops and specialist stores.Specialists, whether online or not, are usually the best place to start your search. Not only will they be knowledgeable often passionate about their products, but can offer advice on the types and styles of lamps. A
specialist supplier is also best placed to find unusual or rare items having a network of contacts that can help you source specific items or styles. This can be invaluable to you if you have a specific style or theme that you are creating, as some designs are much rarer
than others. With a good supplier you can find the right antique lamp, make a great investment and preserve a part of our heritage.

An antique lamp creates a comfortable homely lighting effect and can work well in
just about any setting. Ideal for period properties including homes, hotels, bars and restaurants, they can work equally well as statement pieces in modern homes and offices.

How To Use Bathroom Accessories To Design An Aquarium Bath

How To Use Bathroom Accessories To Design An Aquarium Bath

Designing aquariums baths only takes a few bath accessories and you are on your way to creating a fabulous environment. Lets face it, there is nothing like nature and if you can create a natural-based atmosphere, why not go for it, especially if you do not have to spend a fortune on the products. To get started consider the details below:

How to create an aquarium bath:
Creating an aquarium bath requires that you purchase or even handcraft a few of your own patterns, colors, fabrics, etc. You can use paper, fabrics, such as towels, rugs, etc to create your own design. In addition, you can create aquarium baths by using toothbrush holders, toilet seats, soap dishes, etc, which you can pick up at any local dollar store. The items are affordable, and you will have the opportunity to create a stylish environment that the entire family will enjoy.

How to choose bath accessories:
When choosing bath accessories, first you want to consider style, atmosphere, patterns, colors, etc. If you want a full aquarium effect, you will need designs with aquarium fish, such as gold fish, shark fish, stingrays, octopus, squids, seahorses, sea turtles, sea snakes, and so on. You can add any fish species you choose. In addition, you may want to add a few saltwater or freshwater plants to offset the environment. You can choose live plants if you like, yet you want to choose home plants, rather than plants that go in a live aquarium. The plants should coordinate with your patterns, colors, designs, etc.

How to choose throw rugs, wastepaper baskets, etc:
When choosing your patterns and colors, make sure that the items coordinate with your fish patterns. You might enjoy greenish colors, yellow tones, aquarium blue, and so on. You can purchase throw rugs with fish patterns already designed in the fabrics, otherwise you can create your own. At local craft, stores you can find iron-on patterns, or you can crochet the patterns, or even hand sew if you like. You have many choices and selections of bathroom accessories to select from a list of products.

How to choose toilet seats:
Choose the toilet seats, such as the aquarium seats. The patterns are saturated with fish species of all groups.

How to choose shower curtains:
You can make your own shower curtain by hand sewing the fabric, or else you can purchase affordable shower curtains at local stores or online. You can also buy curtain rings that have a variety of fish patterns. The colorful patterns will offset the atmosphere.

How to choose toothbrush holders, soap dishes, mirrors, etc:
Again, you want to keep coordinated when choosing these items. You can take old items from your home and create your own patterns, or you can visit local dollar stores to purchase affordable items. If you do not find what you want, perhaps you can go online to find a wide array of products suitable for you. You have options, which include the aquarium products. Pick your choice.

As for mirrors, try to choose aquarium colors, such as blue, wintry green, yellow tones, etc. Add a few stones in the pattern and you are on your way to a fish heaven aquarium. Add some ivy around the mirrors and you have a natural based atmosphere that will impress your guests.

You can purchase borders to offset your bathroom accessories as well. Borders make nice items, which can bring out your patterns, style, and colors. Borders are easy to install, you merely use tape, water, towel, etc. You are finished with your bath aquarium.