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How to make a room feel bigger

How to make a room feel bigger

If you have a small room in your house, you’re not limited to having it just as a ‘cosy’ space. There are many ways that you can change things around in the room in order to make the room look and feel bigger.The number one way to make a room feel smaller is to use dark colours. These absorb the light, meaning that the space appears more cramped. On the other hand, having a room with light coloured walls will open it up and give it an airier feeling. If the ceiling is particularly low, paint that in a colour that’s a couple of shades lighter than the walls to lift it a little.Another factor that’s very important in creating a sense of space is how you use lighting. Use what natural light you have to your advantage, meaning that the space doesn’t feel so limited by walls. If you don’t have a lot of natural light, use artificial lighting as best you can. Install lamps in darker corners and use mirrors creatively to reflect light into shaded areas. Mirrors are also helpful when placed so that they are angled towards focal points in the room or if they reflect a view out of the window.You’ll need to get rid of the clutter if you only have a small room. If it’s messy or cluttered, it will not only look smaller, but will feel smaller since there will be less space. Make sure that you only have one focal point such as a fireplace or a table and arrange furniture around it to keep the focus there. Make sure not to cover walls in pictures, but hang one large one; don’t lay large rugs on the floor, keep them smaller to maintain an illusion of a bigger area of space.

Sharpening a plane

Keeping your plane in tip top condition will make it a pleasure to use and create a smooth the clean look to the finished wood. The traditional way to sharpen a plane is to use an oil stone and we’ll show you how to do it here.Removing the bladeAll planes are different depending on which type you have, but most have a small metal lever cap or are held in with a thumb screw. Slacken the lever or thumbscrew and remove the blade; some planes come with a cap iron bolted on, this should be removed before sharpening.Using an oil stoneChoose an oil stone which has medium grit on one side and fine grit on the other side. Take your blade and hold it at an angle of approximately 25-30 degrees, then gently rub it to and fro along the medium grit side of the oil stone; this is called honing the blade. You can purchase special honing guides especially for planes that hold the blade at the correct angle. After rubbing the blade for a few minutes turn the blade over and lay it flat against the surface; rub a few times to get rid of the burr that has been created.Once your happy with the look of the blade swap the oil stone around and repeat on the fine grit; make sure that you keep the oil stone lubricated with a small amount of oil during the whole process as this will create a better result. Continue until you are happy with the result and place the blade back into the plane.Using this oil stone technique you can also sharpen other blades including scissors, knives and chisels.

How to make a mosaic

Mosaic is the art of creating a bigger image with small coloured pieces of stone, glass crockery or other materials. This art form dates back thousands of years, but perhaps the best examples of mosaics date back to roman times where they adorned some of the grandest villas. Making mosaics is relatively easy but takes a long time especially if it is a big area. It is recommended that you choose a small area to begin with such as a small table top or similar sized furniture before trying to create something bigger on a floor or wall.

How to clear gutters

Guttering on houses, no matter what kind you have, must cleared regularly. Most people tend to clear theirs only every couple of years, but to keep them in good condition, try to do it at least once a year. Debris, such as dead leaves and dirt, runs down the roof and collects in the gutters. It’s not the nicest thing in the world to clear them yourself, but not doing so could bring you major problems in the future.If they’re not within reach of a normal ladder, or you are incapable of clearing them yourself, it is easy to find somebody to do it for you. Ask a neighbour to help out, or search the internet or phonebook for professionals who can do it for you.It isn’t difficult to do yourself though, so if you decide to try it, here are some simple tips. The best time of year to do this is at the end of winter as it’s heading into spring. At this time of year there will be no more dead leaves coming into the gutters, but there will probably be quite a bit of rain, so it’s a good idea to sort it them out before they start overflowing!Make sure that you have a good pair of gloves that are waterproof and thick to stop your hands getting injured by anything that might be caught up in the debris.Ensure that your ladder is safely propped against the building and have someone at the bottom to hold it in case of slippages.You can either clear the debris out into a bucket, or if your gutters are fairly long, use a hose pipe or pressure washer to clear them. If you use this method, ensure that you have covered the downpipe with a piece of chicken wire. This will prevent the debris flowing down it and blocking it.If you find any small holes during your cleaning, purchase some metal repair tape at a hardware store which can be stuck over the area. If there are any larger holes, it would be best to replace the gutters and make sure to clear them more frequently in future.

Tips for Kitchen Lighting

Tips for Kitchen Lighting

Lighting is sometimes overlooked when updating a kitchen but is an important factor to the functionality and practicality of the kitchen. Having a lighting plan is the best way of creating the right amount of light to the specific areas of the kitchen that need it. A common problem that most people have is trying to light the whole room with just one ceiling mounted light. This creates an overpowering glare in some areas and dark shadows in others that can ruin the look and practicality of the kitchen.Instead of using one light for the kitchen it is recommended to use multi-layered lighting for different areas of the kitchen, these include:Task lighting – task lighting is situated above work areas including worktops and the cooker. These lights are particularly effective when mounted below the overhead cabinets and create an illuminated area for chopping, cooking and preparation work.Ambient lighting – ambient lighting is used to provide a warm glow that fills the room whilst softening shadows. Ambient lighting provides a warm and inviting environment and are usually placed in the ceiling.Dimming lights – the ability to adjust the lights depending on the situation is ideal in a kitchen setting. While cooking or cleaning you may like to have more light, while dining or relaxing the lights can be dimmed to provide a more intimate setting. Adding a dimmer switch to each type of lighting will give you the best range of possibilities for your kitchen.

Wallpaper useful tips before you start

Your walls are prepared following the stripping of the old paper and any cracks, holes or other defects in the plaster have been rectified and you are ready to re-paper the walls of your living or other room.The very first thing that you must do is to carefully decide where you are going to start with the first length of paper. Before that, if you are using a patterned wall paper is to check the matching of the patterns on the design, as this will help you with the cutting of the paper, large patterns can mean that you will have a lot of wastage and therefore you must ensure that you have enough rolls of paper to complete the job. Ensure that all the paper has the same batch number to colour match this. Measure the width and height of all the walls to be papered, include doors and windows in your calculation. The DIY store or wallpaper supplier will tell you how many rolls of paper you will need.Before we can fix the wallpaper it has to have paste applied, unless of course it is one of the ready pasted types. For this it is best to have a pasting table, these are not expensive and will be useful for other wallpapering jobs. Paste the centre of the length then, paste the edge of the wallpaper nearest to you, ensuring that you have thoroughly covered the whole surface. Now fold the top of the paper over aligning the edges, this will allow you to move the paper and complete the pasting. When this is done, fold the newly pasted paper over to meet the top of the previously pasted section and very important set to one side and leave to soak into the paper. If you don’t do this for every length you paste, the paper will stretch and warp as the paste is absorbed which will lead to difficulty matching the pattern. You can then paste other sections of paper and then you can hang the paper to the prepared wall surfaces.

Siting a nesting box

It can be a wonderful sight in the spring and early summer, watching birds lining a nesting box and then working themselves to exhaustion feeding the young chicks, so where is the best place to site a box? This will largely depend upon the species of bird it is intended for, but for Boxes for tits, sparrows or starlings should be fixed two to four metres up a tree or a wall. There needs to be shade for the box during the day and placed in a north-easterly direction which will avoid strong sun and driving rain.

Tiling a concrete floor

It is not uncommon to find that a kitchen, bathroom, or the rest of the ground floor has a concrete floor, indeed it is now usual to build homes this way to save on timber and have the advantage of not being draughty in the way a tongued and grooved floor can be. Normally of course the living and dining areas, hallways etc., will be carpeted, so the answer for the kitchen and bathroom, if you live in a bungalow, is to tile it.You have two options, ceramic or clay quarry tiles or vinyl or PVC tiles, both of which can be attractive and suitable for the areas mentioned. If t you have chosen ceramic or quarry tiles the floor does not have to perfectly smooth and level as the tiling adhesive can take up imperfection as long as they are not severe. However it is important to make sure that the floor is clean and dry and if there are cracks or holes in the floor, these should be filled with an appropriate mortar mix and allowed to dry before continuing.Assuming that you are using ceramic or quarry clean the floor thoroughly, removing any old paint, sealants or oil. Sweep and then vacuum the floor to remove dust and debris, wipe it down with a damp mop to pick up the finer dust particles and allow to dry completely. Planning the tiling is important and you should find the centre of each wall, mark them and draw lines between the four marks to form a cross this will give you the centre point. Lay the tiles dry and start by placing one tile into each of the right angles where the lines meet, if the pattern looks right you have planned properly.Using only the correct tiling adhesive recommended, spread the adhesive using a notched spreader to about one square metre of the floor to one of the boxes formed by the marks. Follow the instructions on the adhesive so that you get the correct depth to the grooves. When the whole of the square metre is spread, you can start to lay the tiles. Lay the first tile at your centre point. Press the tile firmly down into the adhesive, giving it a slight twist to make sure there is a good bond. Continue with the remainder ensuring that you use the correct spacers recommended for the floor tiles. Allow the tile adhesive to set overnight before you cut and lay the border tiles around the edge of the room. Once the border tiles are laid, allow these to set for the same amount of time.

What are compression fittings?

When you undertake to some DIY plumbing work you will have to decide whether to use capillary soldered fittings or compression fittings. If you do not have a lot of joints then compression fittings are certainly easier to use than capillary, but are more expensive. The fittings are connected to the pipe by compressing a soft metal ring called an olive; a water tight seal is then created.The first thing to do with any compression fitting and ensure that the joint is leak proof so first slide the cap nut onto the pipe followed by the olive followed by the main body of the fitting, ensure that the pipe is pushed all the way to the internal stop of the fitting. Now tighten the joint by hand and hold the body of the pipe with a pair of grips and using a spanner tighten the nut to compress the olive onto the pipe, do not over tighten this as it can split the olive, just a complete turn of the nut should be sufficient. Now you should undo the fitting and use PTFE around the olive, we suggest that eight turns of tape in a clockwise direction should ensure the joint will not leak. The nut should now be tightened as previously and you will have a tight waterproof joint.

Removing household stains

Not all DIY is particularly glamorous.  Knowing how to remove tricky stains from materials is an incredibly useful skill to have, that can save carpets, sofas and wooden floors from needing replacing.One of the most common - and troublesome - types of stain is caused by red wine.  Some people recommend applying salt or even white wine, to remove these stains from carpets.  In reality, simply dabbing the area with carbonated soda water, and then washing with soapy water, is the most effective way to treat red wine spills.  Using carpet shampoo can also have a positive effect if the mark is particularly persistent.Chocolate is another substance that can easily cause problems.  The key to removing chocolate is to avoid melting it.  Using a knife to scrape it out of the carpet is a simple way to avoid transferring body heat to it.  Any remaining stain can then be washed out with soapy water.Greasy stains can also be incredibly difficult to deal with, especially when they are on clothing.  Sprays are available for exactly this purpose.  Simply apply a healthy amount of the spray to the affected area, wait for it to dry, and then wash the garment as normal.  Using a higher temperature wash cycle will increase the effectiveness.  The product applied to the stain should lift the grease out during the wash.  If not, try the process again.Most stains can be removed with ease using these DIY techniques.  Curry stains can be more difficult, and it may be necessary to get the items cleaned professionally.  Squeezing some lemon juice and cleaning spray onto an affected area, and then leaving it for an hour or so can sometimes help to loosen stains.  Acting as quickly as possible, and avoiding spreading the stain is important. These techniques can help you rescue all kinds of fabrics from permanent damage.

Using bathroom furniture to turn a bathroom into a spa

Would you like to recreate the relaxing atmosphere of a spa in the comfort of your home?  With just a few changes, you can change the austerity of the traditional bathroom into an inviting spa-like environment.  A good place to start is by upgrading or replacing your current bathroom furniture.Why should you begin with bathroom furniture?  First of all, furniture allows you to make as many changes as you wish without having to tear out fixtures or replace baths.  Instead, you can simply try out a new accent piece of furniture or rotate the location of your existing furniture to see if you like the new look of your bathroom.  In this way, you will not be out of pocket if you find that you do not like the changes that have been made.Bathroom furniture can include items such as towel racks, vanity units, cabinets, linen stands, and medicine cabinets.  While some of these items of furniture are mounted on the wall, others are simply placed against a wall or in a corner, making it easy to move them around as desired.  Depending on your tastes, bathroom furniture to suit just about any budget can be found.How then can you decide what kind of bathroom furniture to purchase for your spa bathroom?  Think about the colour scheme that you want to have inside the room.  Since the colour scheme lays the foundation for the room and the furniture adds a complementary touch, you will want the colour of the furniture and accessories to pair well with the paint scheme of the room.Another thing to take into consideration is the type of fixtures that are in the bathroom.  If opting for one of the sleek, stainless steel taps that are offered by Dornbracht, the bathroom furniture should also contribute to the modern style of these fixtures.  UK Bathrooms features many such products from Dornbracht.

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