Choosing the Best Paint Color For Your Walls

Thursday, 18 February 2010
Repainting a room is one of the least expensive ways to change its look and feel. Many people, excited by the idea of redecorating, rush off to the nearest paint store to find swatches of colours they like. Others scour home magazines for trendy color schemes and ideas. But how do you know whether a color will suit your space, or whether you will tire of it on your walls?

Here is a tip for selecting a color that will appeal to you: Pick a small item you own and love, and use it as the inspiration for your new color scheme. This could be a piece of art, a throw blanket, a decorative pillow or a knick-knack. I once did an entire room based on the colors of my favorite mug. Since you are picking an item you like, the colors will appeal to you. Since this item probably contains more than one color, you now have a ready-made color scheme of several hues that complement each other nicely. Since it is an item from your existing decor, it probably matches well with other things you own. Once you have chosen your item, you can head off to the hardware store to find swatches that match the colors.

Because you now will have several colors to choose from, here are some ways to help you decide which will be best on your walls. If you like neutral colors, you could simply pick the most neutral tone from among your swatches. If your inspirational object was made up entirely of bright tones, you can find a neutral shade by choosing the lightest shade on one of the paint swatches you now have (most paint swatches come with several shades of the same color, ranging from dark to light). If you prefer deeper colors on your walls, choose a deeper shade from among your swatches. One tip for painting a room in darker colors is to choose paint that is one shade lighter than the one you want. Colors tend to look darker on your walls than they do on swatches, because large areas are not lit up as easily as tiny ones, and because the walls reflect some of the color onto each other.

Lastly, I would like to offer some advice about what objects to pick for inspiration. It is very easy to think: I will choose my sofa, that way my room will all match. Be wary of choosing your sofa. It is large and probably already the focal point of your room. Painting your walls to match with make your room look bland. Also, most sofas have only two or three colors, and your room will look contrived and boring if you are limited by these. One way to get around this is by playing with shades, such as using a pink tone if your sofa has red in it, or you could choose a color that only appears in small amounts on your sofa rather than one of its main colors. These same warnings apply if you are choosing an area rug as your inspiration. All in all, it is more exiting to choose a smaller object with a more varied palette. Chances are there is a shade somewhere on it that will go well with your existing furniture or floor covers.

Once you have chosen your wall color, you can use the remaining colors from your chosen object as accents - perhaps for trim, curtains, rugs, throws, or cushions. If you are purchasing new furniture you could consider these colors as well. Remember to include your inspirational object as part of the decor in your new room - it will look great and will tie the whole scheme together!
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Tips Choosing Indoor Paint Colors

Sunday, 14 February 2010
Indoor paint colors can transform your room on a budget. You can totally change the way your space feels and looks with just a little paint. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. You can also make your room feel closed in, claustrophobic or too dark if you choose the wrong paint color. Here are a few tips for picking the right indoor paint colors for your home.

Think about the purpose of the room before you choose a paint color. Warm colors are yellow, orange, red and some shades of browns. Cool colors are purple, blue and green. Warm colors are welcoming and inviting. They work well in kitchens and dining rooms; some paint experts even think that these colors will help make you hungry. Cool colors are calming and relaxing so they are perfect for bedrooms. You can even use cool colors to create a spa like feeling in the master bedroom.

Change the way you think about color. Your room might just feel a little blah or boring. The natural reaction to this is to go in the exact opposite direction with a really daring color. This doesn't always work out the best. Instead, try layering different colors. You can make a perfectly interesting room that is still relaxing from various tones of white, brown and taupe. This will help you ease your way into the color palette but also ensures that you have a totally livable space. In these cases where you go for a more neutral room try and bring in different patterns and textures. You could apply a grasscloth paper to the walls or paint stripes on one wall to create a focal point.

You might be scared to put together a home interior color palette for the first time. You might think that's only for decorators. However, this ensures that you have a cohesive design. Sometimes it helps to think about color in terms other than decorating and then translate it back into home decor. Walk around your house and pick out your favorite five items, these don't have to be items for decorating. You could find a few of your favorite clothing pieces, jewelry or even food items. There will probably be similar colors and lines between all of these things. Then you can just pull a few colors out of your inspiration fabric and have a complete palette pretty easily.

Indoor paint colors can be inviting and welcoming. It's also a perfect way to give your child or teen that theme room they've been wanting. When their tastes change all you have to do is repaint.
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Tips For Cleaning Your Outdoor Furniture

Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Outdoor furniture sets really need extra attention when it comes to maintenance. After being exposed to the outdoor elements for the entire year, you should pay special attention to your outdoor patio furniture to ensure it has the maximum life. The material that it is made from will dictate the best way to care for it.

The easiest way to care for you outdoor patio furniture set is by gently cleaning it on a regular basis and brushing away the dirt. You can use a nylon cloth or a blower to clean off the surface. By lightly cleaning the surface on a regular basis, you can ensure that the dirt won't build up to something that sticks and can't be removed a few months later. If there is dirt that is stuck, you can try to hose it down or use a pressure washer. Make sure you can put the outside patio furniture in the sun afterwards to insure that it is thoroughly dry.

If you get a stain on your outdoor furniture set, you can use a mild soap and water mixture to scrub off any stains. This will be good for wrought iron, wicker, plastic, wood or aluminum sets. After you have cleaned your sets, make sure they are properly protected to ensure they will withstand the future elements.

Wood patio furniture should be stored indoors during the winter. This will make it look great for years to come. Plastic and resin sets can be left out since they are less susceptible to the changing weather elements. Aluminum can withstand exposure to moisture for long periods of time, but other metals should not be left out. Painted aluminum that is left out can be cleaned with mild soap and water and rinsed to remove any sticky residue. Unfinished aluminum will oxidize but it can be removed by using a metal polishing paste with fine abrasives.

Patio furniture cushions should be wiped regularly and store away from the winter elements. Outdoor cushions are made from water and mildew resistant fabric but when they are saturated in rain water, it will shorten their life. To clean them it is best to use a mild detergent and hot water. Be sure to rinse them well and dry them in the sunshine for a couple of days.

If you properly take care of your outdoor furniture sets, you will have patio furniture that will last many seasons. It is no different than the fact that you have to clean and maintain your indoor furniture.
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Buying a Home or Renting a Home- Which is Right For You?

Many people who are looking for a new place to live often ask themselves if it will be a better option to rent a home or to buy a home. After all, isn't owning a home the American Dream?

There are several advantages and disadvantages to both of these options. It is a great idea to look into the pros and cons of any situation before you decide on a particular thing to do. When you are considering moving, take the time to read this in order to learn more about the differences between renting and owning a property.

When you choose to rent a home, there are many different advantages that come along with it. One of the biggest advantages is the fact that you can usually move if you get ready to. You will of course have a lease contract term, but you will be able to move when the lease runs out. If you take the time to consider the different options for you, renting may be just the one for you. You are also looking at a lot less money being spent out in order to fix things. Usually your landlord will be pretty good about taking care of any sort of repairs or replacements that are necessary if things mess up.

Some of the disadvantages to renting include paying and paying on something that will never become yours. If you keep paying a monthly rent, at the end of it you will still have nothing to put your name on. This can be frustrating, especially if you plan to live somewhere for quite a while. You may just be better off buying the property rather than renting the property. However, if you do not have good credit, you may only be able to rent if you are unable to get a loan in your own name in order to get a home and purchase it.

Now that we have looked at renting, we will take a look at purchasing your own home. There are many different advantages to purchasing as well. One of the key factors of purchasing a home is that once it is paid for, it is yours to keep or do whatever you choose with. You are not just paying for something that will never become yours. Another advantage to purchasing is the fact that you will be able to use it as a tax credit each year. Owning your home allows you to save a bit on your taxes.

Now for the disadvantages- there are a few of these as well when you own your own home. If you take the time to look at it, you can often spend more for owning a home. You will have to pay homeowners insurance as well as property taxes. You will also have to fix things if things get broken. You will likely have to keep up the lawn as well as do other maintenance.

Take the time to weigh these options when you are considering whether you will rent or buy your next home.
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Top reasons to look for a flexible office space

Friday, 5 February 2010
Each business depends on a number of factors to ensure its growth, whether it's a one man/woman business, a home business or a corporate office. As the business grows, so does the need to project the right image, provide high quality services and develop a customer friendly business face. In this day and age, when extensive marketing and effective networking are the biggest assets of a business, you cannot afford to take second place in these matters. So, you need to accept and accommodate change as your business grows.

In such a scenario, a flexible office space is a wonderful all-in-one solution. Your business gets a readymade office space to lease, along with all the equipment you need. When you lease office space from a reputed leasing agent, you can avail of a extensive number of services. These are services that you might not be able to afford otherwise. Take a conference hall as an example. If you were to rent an office along with the conference hall, you would have to pay for the hall even when you are not using it. On the other hand, a flexible office space allows you to make use of such services and paying only as you use. This keeps your cost down.

Most startup businesses die before they take off because they are unable to break even in the first 3-6 months of operation. In fact, their operational costs are so high that many of them declare bankruptcy in a matter of months. One of the reasons for this is the sheer amount of money that goes into setting up a business and the repeated costs involved in keeping the business alive. When you lease an office, you can avoid a good volume of these costs. First of all, there are no set up charges because you are getting a fully furnished office space on lease. Secondly, a reputed service provider also gives you a number of add-on services like internet telephony, the use of a full spectrum of technological services like wireless services, facsimile services and the like. In addition, you can even pay and use for any additional services you might want. So, you won't have to hire a temporary secretary or receptionist if you need such services.

Another huge plus of taking a readymade office space on lease is the prestigious address you can claim along with the office you have rented. Most of these executive suites are in the 'A' class category, which means that you can easily impress your clients and business partners. This can do wonders for the image of your business.

The time factor is another important reason to consider taking a flexible office space on lease. Setting up your office from scratch is a long and arduous exercise. It might very well take you close to a year to get everything just right. On the other hand, a flexible office space has everything you need to start your business immediately. No time wasted which automatically means more profits and immediate leveraging of your business ideas. Visit us at

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Top 10 Tips for Buying a Home

Thursday, 4 February 2010
1. You need to decide what type of house best fits your lifestyle: It's important that first-time home buyers consider which factors are most important for you and your family. Spend time making a checklist of your needs and rate each of them on a scale of 1 to 10.

2. Pick your desired neighbourhood: You need to visit possible neighbourhoods and review the different types, the availability and the price range you're looking at. When you do find a neighbourhood that seems to be a good fit, take a closer look at schools, local amenities, and other features that will make it home.

3. Use all available resources: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. ( is there to serve you. As Canada's national housing agency and as a government-owned agency, CMHC is not only is a provider of mortgage loan insurance and other programs and policies, it is also a source for terrific information and research on housing.

4. Know your credit score and history: By knowing your credit history, you will have accomplished the first step in determining your budget. Your credit history is key to discovering how much money you can borrow, and how what mortgage terms you will have.

5. Know how much you can afford: When you buy a house, you need to consider two main questions: how big does the down payment have to be, and how much of a monthly mortgage payment can you comfortably afford? Typically, the rule for calculating how much of your household income can be used for household expenses, including mortgage payments, is that the total amount of household expenses should not be greater than 32% of your gross income.

6. Get pre-approved: When you are pre-approved with a lending institution, you are actually already approved for the loan - up to a certain maximum amount - by the lender. This means you can be confident when you get out there and shop for a home and negotiate the final price. It also takes all of uncertainty out of the entire process because you will already know how much money you have available.

7. Put together your support team: Once you know where you want to live, and you have determined how much you can afford, and you have been pre-approved for your mortgage, you will still need the help of knowledgeable professionals! You'll need a real estate agent, a mortgage broker or banker and a lawyer. Each of these professionals will help provide you with necessary advice that will be uniquely tailored to your individual situation.

8. ALWAYS do a home inspection: You cannot judge a book by its cover, and you cannot judge a home by the great staging job done by the seller and the seller's agent. A good home inspector is one who will perform a comprehensive visual inspection, examine the home's foundation and roof, examine all of the main systems and mechanisms (such as plumbing, heating, ventilation and electrical) and review the condition of all of the doors and windows. An inspection will identify areas where you might need to do repairs, that have been repaired in the past, estimate the remaining life span of specific components in the house and provide a written report of the inspector's findings - very important information that will play a key role in deciding the home's worth and how much you should offer.

9. Uncover hidden costs: In addition to the cost of your home, there are several other charges, fees, taxes and other amounts that you will need to cover in completing your home purchase. 'Closing Costs' can really add up and there's no avoiding getting them, so you need to make sure you get an itemized list way before your closing date. These hidden costs can include the initial deposit on the purchase price, legal fees, any land transfer taxes, appraisal fees, and land surveys or title insurance.

10. Stay calm: Buying a home can be full of challenges and the only way to deal with them is to be prepared. Take your time, research and gather as much information as possible, and you will be prepared to make the best possible informed decision. It may appear overwhelming at times, but don't lose site of the fact that you are about to buy your own home!!
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