Variety in Fireplace Design Ideas

When I was a young child, some 50 odd years ago, there was pretty much one type of fireplace, perhaps two depending upon where you lived. There were traditional fireplaces that could be converted to use coal, and there were wood burning fireplaces. Coming on the horizon would be cast-iron, wood burning stoves that were used primarily to heat and humidify the home and occasionally, for those who chose to cook upon. As in so many other areas of life, options have multiplied to the point of choices being experienced as overwhelming. Take fireplace design ideas as an example.

Fireplaces can be broken out in to two main types: those that function inside of a structure and those that are used out-of-doors. Within the home, you can now add to the above-mentioned fireplace ideas. Now, there are natural gas fireplaces that can be inserted in to the mouth of a traditional fireplace. Others are free standing with specialized, insulated piping running out through an opening in the wall. There are multiple types of electric fireplaces. These are mobile units and easily operated and maintained. There are also fireplace design ideas that are primarily for “show”. These too come as a mobile unit designed to set flush against a straight wall or to fit neatly in to a 90 degree corner of a room. What these units lose in practical functionality, i.e., heat generation, they make up for in the artistic beauty of the mantel piece.

As for the out-of-door variety of fireplaces, here too you will not be disappointed in the variety of options. I live in northern Maine and grew up with the end-of-season bonfire. These are no longer considered safe because they are not “contained”. Therefore, left to our own ingenuity, we now have free standing fire pits made of various materials, specific to purpose and form. Some are made of traditional cast-iron, some of porcelain, others of mortar and brick, and others of adobe. The physical designs are considered art forms unto themselves. If you are unable to find what it is your mind’s eye envisions, sketch it out and bring it to a local artisan. They may be able to create what you are looking for.

8 Simple and Cheap Home Decorating Ideas You Don’t Want to Miss

When it comes to home interior decorating there are many great ideas out there for you to try out at home. With some simple and not to mention cheap ideas, you can give your home an instant update. Try out the following cheap home decor ideas for your home.

1) If you have a workspace and own some floating shelves, you can easily give this area a new breath of fresh air just by using wallpaper. Use cheap wallpaper to cover the shelves and you’re workspace will look brand new.

2) If you have an area near the window, you can easily place little pots of house plants, herbs and even grass to make the window area more attractive. This simple idea just needs some little pots and some simple plants that you may already have at home. Just look at what you already own and adapt from there.

3) How about creating some shelves where you can display some of your favorite things. You can simply stack a few sturdy wooden benches and you get instant shelves. You can purchase these plain benches and stack them up wherever you need them.

4) An easy way to add country charm and a rustic appeal to your bookshelves is to simply add paper doilies along the edges. It will look pretty and feminine and very attractive.

5) Another idea is to use the cozy enclosure of the shelves as a backdrop to small works of art. Little postcards or small reproductions can be framed in inexpensive frames and placed on your shelves. Definitely something that will surprise your guests.

6) How about dressing up your coffee tables? Placing a piece of mirror glass on the surface on the tabletop will create a stunning effect. It will hide any imperfections of the tabletop, like scratches, and will reflect light which will give your living room a dazzling effect.

7) Did you know that those little dried beans can look good on your photo frames? Get some dried beans and glue this onto some wooden frames. A few random frames can look like they belong in a set with these beans around them.

8) Speaking of walls and frames, here is another way to make your own artistic works of art. Remember how as children we were taught how to cut out snowflakes and other designs from papers after folding a square piece of paper repeatedly into a triangle? Well, this simple technique can be used for your home. Cut out some snowflakes or whatever design you fancy from colored paper, then glue this design into a neat arrangement onto a contrasting colored paper. This can be framed for an instant work of art.

Decorating your home and giving it an update here and there is simple and easy to do. Try out some of the above home decoration ideas and you will soon find your own creativity soar.

Peaceful Backyard Landscape Design Ideas

Life can be pretty chaotic: our jobs, our homes, and our families can make a lot of demands on our time. But one of life’s most soothing resources can be found right in your own backyard. Landscapes that provide a feeling of peace and tranquility are not only beautiful – they’re good for the soul, too. And when it comes to creating a space that’s right for your needs, there are literally hundreds of backyard landscape design ideas to choose from. Why not try some of these?

· Butterfly Gardens: What’s more beautiful than a butterfly? From the very beginning of their lives, butterflies remind us of renewal and rebirth – and they’re absolutely gorgeous to behold. Planting flowers and herbs (like inexpensive marigolds and oregano) can attract butterflies to your space, which makes butterfly gardens good landscaping ideas for small backyards, too.

· AromaGarden:People are very sensitive to smell – more so than you might think. (That’s why so many spa treatments involve scented water.) Those in need of inexpensive backyard landscape design ideas would do well to go for smell over sight. Lavender, jasmine and thyme make wonderful additions to backyard landscapes, and can be combined with the flowers and plants already in bloom.

· Fire Pits: Not all backyard landscape design ideas have to include flowers. For those with more space, installing a fire pit is a wonderful way to create a cozy outdoor living area. Natural stones, like Bluestones, fit well with all backyard landscapes, because they can be as conspicuous or as subtle as you’d like. For those who are watching their budgets, concrete or bricks can create a more modern feel.

· Water: Not everyone can have a babbling brook in their yard, but installing a fountain or koi pond is a great second choice. And because fountains and ponds come in all shapes and sizes, they’re an ideal part of landscaping ideas for small backyards. If you have more room – and more of a budget – consider hiring a contractor who can install a small waterfall in a larger pond. You may even attract birds, such as ducks and storks, looking for a quick dip (or a quick bite to eat) during their migration to other places.

· Rounded Patios: Why do we always assume that patios must be square or rectangular? Most things in nature have rounded edges; maybe your backyard landscapes and hardscapes should, too. Rounded patios look best with rounded furniture, which invites intimacy and conversation. You could even install a water structure, fire pit or stone table in the center of the circle to create symmetry. For those who want to feel a little more “at one” with the world, a small Zen garden can be placed at the center of the circle or all around it.

· Hedges: If you have a larger budget – and larger outdoor space – consider filling it with larger shrubs and trees. Hedges are wonderful for backyard landscape design ideas that are aimed towards creating privacy in a natural way. They create natural fencing, thus cocooning you in your outdoor living space. If you want something a little less severe for your backyard landscapes, you can use bamboo instead of trees: it’s a hearty plant that grows quickly, and can create a warm and inviting space.

Landscaping Ideas for Small Backyards

If you don’t have a larger yard, don’t worry: you can create some amazing backyard landscapes in smaller spaces, too. You may want to consult a contractor before you start digging up your yard, though: sometimes even the best backyard landscape design ideas can become overwhelming in smaller spaces, and sometimes smaller pieces go completely unnoticed. What’s most important about your backyard landscape’s design are ideas that work with YOU. You don’t want to choose flowers or stones that look out of place in the area where you live, so make sure to do your research before starting any project.