Going Green – Eco-Friendly Home Redecorating

Global warming and greenhouse gases have been a hot topic of conversation throughout the last decade. While most people cannot influence the environment as heavily as major industrial companies do, many desire to be as environmentally friendly as possible. If you are considering a “green” approach to decorating your home, read these practical tips.

Renovating the carpet or other floor covering is usually the first step in remodeling a room. Most synthetic carpet materials contain resins, formaldehyde, and other toxic substances. These chemicals increase the likelihood of health problems such as allergies and asthma. Carpets made of natural fibers such as wool or linen are much safer. Furthermore, most of these products use backing made of cotton or natural latex, which are healthier and safer to recycle than foam or rubber.

Another option can be even more appealing. Lose that old, stained carpeting and select natural hardwood floors instead. These floors can be finished with water-based, non-toxic stains or finishes that enhance the wood’s natural beauty. Moreover, hardwood, unlike carpeting and other flooring, does not increase a person’s risk of allergic reaction or contain potentially hazardous chemicals.

Recycling old furniture is another excellent way to redecorate while remaining earth-friendly. Frequently, you can find great buys on vintage furniture at secondhand shops, flea markets, or garage sales. Usually, a fresh coat of milk paint or water-based stain will create unexpected treasures from someone’s old junk. Even if the furniture has been damaged beyond repair, the wood can frequently be reclaimed, and, with some tools, you can create interesting new pieces with a little time and effort.

A great way to dress up these unusual finds is to purchase pillows, throws, or cushions made of natural fibers. If you have a talent for sewing, you might try your hand at redesigning new, artistic furniture accessories from old draperies or other fabrics around the house. Frequently, you can also pick up a number of natural materials at auctions or even antique shops. Be creative, and use your imagination!

Many smaller craft stores and hobby artisans are using recycled materials to design home furnishings such as picture frames, blankets, and even vases. These articles are created from a wide variety of items such as bicycle tires, recycled glass, and even soda bottle materials. These interesting accessories provide useful furnishings that may also prove to be fascinating topics of conversation. In addition, recycling these items rescues a number of potentially useful items that otherwise might decay uselessly in a landfill.

If you are considering redecorating your home, and desire to be environmentally friendly, open your mind – and your imagination – to the endless possibilities offered by recycled and reclaimed treasures of days gone by. Resourcefulness is the key, and, if you are willing to work at it a little, you will be able to construct original, ingenious pieces of art to furnish your home. Your decorating skills will soon be the talk – and the envy – of all your friends!

How Stair Railings Can Help Your Home Look Stylish

Your stair railing isn’t meant to just be functional. Whether your stair railing is made from metal or from wood, it can be very stylish. Many people overlook the stair railing when renovating their home. However, your railing is one of the first things that people see when they arrive at your home. Becaue of this, your railing should make a good impression.

Railings Can Be Traditional Or More Modern

If your home is decorated with traditional furnishings, you may want to consider using a wooden rail. Wood is timeless and yet traditional at the same time. The great news is that you can still use wood even if your home is decorated with modern furnishings.

To add a professional touch, try to match the color of the wood on the railing to the color of the wood in other parts of your home. If you have hardwood floors, the railing color and the floor color should match. If you can not get an exact match, try to match the wood color as closely as possible.

Popular Types Of Wooden Railings

In some cases, pine can be used to create a stair railing. However, pine tends to be a soft wood and can easily be damaged. In most cases, oak wood is used to create stair railings.

Oak is a hard wood and is often used to create railings in public buildings. The next time you go to the library or the office, look to see if the railing is made from wood or metal. If the railing is made from wood, chances are very good that the railing is oak.

In addition to being a durable type of wood, oak has a warm color. It can be stained or painted depending upon the type of look that you want. Oak is also a smooth wood. This means that it can be used without a lot of sanding. Oak, like all wood, has an attractive grain pattern which can be used to draw attention to the stair railing.

Contractors Can Help Answer Questions

Creating an attractive stair case can be a very difficult process. There are quite a few parts to a staircase and matching the wood for all the pieces is quite complicated. While creating an attractive stair case is nice, the entire stair case needs to be safe as well.

For this reason, many homeowners choose to get the assistance of a professional when remodeling their home. A good contractor will be able to merge form with function and create an attractive yet safe stair case.

Experienced contractors will also know about things that you may not have even considered. For example, the rise between the stair treads can vary. If you have children or elderly parents living in your home, the rise of your stair treads may need to be different from a home with all adults.

Whether you choose to hire a contractor or do it yourself, you will need to do some research in order to find the perfect stair railing for your home. Once you do this, the rest of the stair case renovation should fall into place. When you are done, you will have a beautiful stair case which will serve as a stylish addition to your home.

Things to Consider in Your Basement Remodeling Project

Even though it is common knowledge that big city living entails having to reside into not so spacious living units, a lot of people are still enticed with the many opportunities that New York has to offer. Unless you are filthy rich, you would have to make do with an apartment, condo unit, or small townhouse. But you don’t have to go on living and feeling cramped into a hole. Home improvement is the perfect solution for your angst in space and the most ideal start would be to maximize your usage of every inch of area you have. What better way to add living space to existing one than basement remodeling?

Because of the sub-structural nature of the basement, most people overlook the possibilities of having to extend their home and leave it as it is. And because of the many considerations comprised if you remodel it, some just cringe away from undertaking the project. But with a qualified and skillful New York basement remodeling contractor, you can have this job done in the fastest possible time, with less risk in terms of repair and maintenance, saving you more money in the long run.

So before starting your New York basement remodeling project, here are a few things that you need to discuss with your contractor.

Waterproofing

To make the successful result of your basement remodeling long-lasting, you have to make sure that this critical step is undertaken. Even without any current issues on flooding or even the slightest dampness, you should have the space waterproofed before the actual remodeling. Take note that when talking to your local contractor, give an emphasis on proper insulation as this is one major factor that keeps the underground area dry and comfortable.

Depending on how much your budget is, you can discuss with your New York contractor the steps and techniques to be done to make sure the basement remains warm and dry enough.

Finish

After making sure that the area is completely waterproofed, next thing on the list to discuss is how to go about finishing your New York basement. Discuss the best furnishings and floor covering to perfectly match your needs. In nature, basements are dark and may even tend to be gloomy, the solution to this is to make good use of natural light if any and heavy lighting. To enhance or amplify the effects of the light, you can also make use of strategically positioned mirrors on walls or ceilings, and light colored paint.

It is also important in your basement remodeling project to have it finished with practically as less post or columns and visible plumbing work as possible. You can use innovative wall designs to achieve this.

Design Ideas

When thinking about what you want to create out of your basement remodeling project, make sure that you take advantage of the privacy and the isolation that the area readily offers. A frequently finished basement can be transformed into a music room, play room, home theater area, recreational room, or even a wet bar.

Whether you plan to have all these factors discussed with your New York basement contractor ahead of time or while the project is going on, it is important to keep an open line of communication and be clear about the result you want to achieve. A not so good communication between home owner and contractor is one of the many pitfalls that cause the failure of projects including basement remodeling ones.