Friday, August 31, 2012

Artistic Spectacle: Egyptian Temples

One of the most beautiful and impressive aspects of architecture of an Egyptian temple are the spectacular columns, resembling groves of stone trees. These columns, especially at Karnak and Luxor, dwarf human beings and bear inscriptions, carved relieves, and a weighty majesty unequaled anywhere else in the world. 

Columns held special significance for the Egyptians, representing as they did the expanses of nature. Columns alluded to the times when vast forests dotted the land, forests that disappeared as the climate changed and civilization took its toll upon the Egyptian environment. They also represented the Nile reed marshes. The columns were introduced in order to simulate nature, and to identify man again with the earth. The first tentative columns are still visible in the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, but they are engaged columns, attached to walls for support and unable to stand on their own. Imhotep designed rows of such pillars at the entrance to various buildings and incorporated them into corridors for Djoser's shrine (2600 B.C.E.).

In the Fourth Dynasty (2575-2465 B.C.E.) masons experimented with columns as a separate architectural entity. In one royal tomb built in GIZA in the reign of Khufu (2551-2465 B.C.E.) limestone columns were used effectively. In the tomb of Sahure (2458-2446 B.C.E.) of the Fifth Dynasty, the columns were made of granite, evincing a more assured style and level of skill. Wooden columns graced a site in the reign of Kakai (2446-2426 B.C.E.) in that same dynasty, and another king of the royal line, Nisuerre (2416-2392 B.C.E.), had limestone columns installed in his Abusir necropolis complex. 

At Beni Hasan in the Eleventh Dynasty (2134-2140 B.C.E.) local nomarchs, or provincial chiefs, built their own tombs with wooden columns. The same type of columns was installed in tombs in the Twelfth Dynasty (1991-1773 B.C.E.), but they were made of wood set into stone bases. With the coming of the New Kingdom (1550-1070 B.C.E.) the columns become part of the architectural splendor that marked the capital at Thebes and at the later capital of Per-Ramesses in the eastern Delta. Extensive colonnades stood on terraces, or in the recesses of temples, opening onto courts and shrines. Most people who have some interests in ancient Egyptians will identify immediately the shape of Lotus and Papyrus style columns, but actually no less the about 30 different column forms have been isolated from temples of the various periods!!

Home décor: Embellishing the Interiors of Your Home

The art of decorating your home interiors is an expensive and a complicated, so to say. However, with a little thought and imagination you don't have to live with bare walls because you can't afford great works of art or even reproduction prints. You can create a number of stunning wall displays by simply using wall picture frames and your own photos to make your walls come alive. There are numerous ways that you can use your own photos as part of your home décor. Even the worst photographer amongst us has a few exquisite pictures we have managed to take of that colorful sunset, that cloudy sky, the gaily colored field of flowers or the squirrel sitting in the tree. Add to that family photos going back a generation or two and you have the makings for various wall art. All you have to do is choose the right photos, the right wall picture frames and put them together. Here are some great ideas on how to use hanging picture frames to enhance your homes décor.

Wall collages are a way to decorate using photos of that special camping trip, anniversary party or even different members of your family. Placed over the fireplace with wall candle holders on either side this type of frame adds a homey yet, sophisticated touch to your living or family room. You can also use these frames for giving a room a more whimsical touch by using photos of various birds, flowers or other items found in nature. A picture frame tree is a great way to display different generations of your family as part of your wall decorations. This wall picture frame actually looks like a tree and holds several picture frames. What could be better than using this frame to show off your own family tree. These frames look great on any wall from that empty hallway, to above the couch, to the entry way or the dining room. Bringing with it a feel of family and unity while adding a beautiful and sentimental touch to your homes décor.

Trapeze hanging picture frames look great hanging over the long bathroom vanity or that serving sideboard in your dining room. All you need to do is choose the right set of pictures to place inside these frames to create the kind of atmosphere and décor you want. When used in your child's room, pictures of their favorite pet will add a child like touch to their room's décor. While an older child may prefer pictures of flowers, angels or even their favorite sports hero. Triple wall hangings are three vertical frames and are great to use when you want to display photos on smaller wall areas. These hanging wall frames work well in small bathrooms where wall space is limited, in hallways and even in the kitchen. Using wall picture frames and your imagination is a great way of decorating the walls of your home without spending a fortune. It also allows you to use your own pictures to create interesting and wonderful creations of art for your home.

We accessorise in home decor for two main reasons. One is to complete a room that is just being set up, say, in a new home. The second is to update a room to change the look and feel, without having to purchase new furniture. In either instance, you are creating a home decor environment that looks cozy and inviting, comforts your instincts. Surround yourself with things you consider beautiful. In doing so, you will create an environment in your home decor that expresses your individual style.

Color the Right Ambiance: Coloring Innovations for Your Home

Walls can indeed do a lot more than just hold up the ceiling. They are the largest expanses of decorative surfaces you have to work with, and they set the stage for the rest of furnishings. What you do with your walls can make up for construction shortcomings, so don’t treat them lightly. Do treat them warmly, coolly, quietly, lively, cleverly. whatever the mood you want to achieve and whatever the room problems you need to overcome, you’ll find a universe of possibilities in a can of paint.

Color and pattern are two of the most powerful forces in the visual world. Harness them and you can move walls, raise or lower ceilings, stretch floor space, and entirely reshape your home environment. To expand a room, you need to apply only one basic principle light colors and unbroken expanses of small patterns make space look larger; this is true because unless an object calls attention to itself, it recedes in your mind. when you are not conscious of a wall, space "feels “more expansive. 

Seeing is believing, if you make the most of that maximum, you can "remodel” many problem rooms without ever reaching for a hammer. Paint will do the work for you. Begin by sizing up your room’s space. If its dimensions are not pleasing, you can fool the eye into believing that they are closer to ideal. Reshape your room by emphasizing or eliminating contrast. Use bold, bright colors selectively to draw in a wall or lower a ceiling. Or avoid contrast and let walls and ceilings fade quietly into the background. 

Through paint you can dramatize a room's architectural features; you can emphasize oddities or camouflage them. If you want to accent he quirky charm of angles, woodwork, or windows, paint them with deliberate contrast. Or you can minimize architectural oddities by avoiding contrast completely by painting walls and ceilings in a same solid color, so that undesirable corners and angles blend into the walls. 

If you're a good cook, you already understand the importance of varying textures of the foods you prepare for a meal. The same holds true for your visual diet. Texture enriches any decor. Playing strong textures against subtle ones creates variety in rooms dominated by one color. Texture whether slick or dull, smooth or rough, gives a room surface appeal and decorative interest. Paint stays pliant long enough for you to work it into the desired pattern. Experiment with combing, stippling, or working with your finger tips.

If you are bored with the solid or textured look, you can add graphics in paint, tape or cutouts. You can use graphics to enliven dead wall space, to accent architectural details, or to divert attention from unwanted features. There is a lot more to learn about color than simply what colors go together or what stands out among the rest. In fact, there is an entire field of psychology dedicated to the study of colors and their effects on human beings. Different colors can put us in different moods or shape how we approach a particular place or item. Understanding how colors affect us can help make your home more inviting.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's all topsy-turvy!

Finally, India can boast of an upside down building of its own!

The Caracella Club, named after the first building created as a club by the Romans, has been inspired by the WonderWorks’ ‘inverted amusement parks’ in the USA. Perched to look like it’s about to tip over, it’s been built by the Meriton Group as a part of the Indirapuram development in the NCR region, as a centrepiece for the development. Though, it’s the first of its kind in India, the building is now on the short list of upside down buildings existing the world over. 

Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, aside from hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics, also has the pretty pink Sakasa Resoto to its credit. Looking like a house that stumbled across a tripwire in the dark and landed on its head, the entire structure is perched on its roof. From an upside down bicycle rack to (inside) to upside down buckets acting as lampshades and even slippers stuck to the ... umm ... floor, the restaurant owners have gone to great lengths to make sure their diners get an authentic upside-down experience.

Other equally bizarre looking structures on this list are Norman Johnson’s Upside-Down House called ‘Sunrise’ in Florida (well, nobody lives here, for sure!) The house that is a model home outside the Sunrise Golf Village is enough to give anybody vertigo. A very faithful reproduction of a 1960’s Florida home ... umm, sort of the house is entirely upside down. Even the furniture inside is mounted upside down and a whole car’s parked upside down in the carport! Look at the house for a little while and you’re sure to start feeling wrong-footed!

And of course, the list goes on with ‘The Device To Root Out Evil’ in Calgary, Alberta which is designed to look like a church that’s poised on the tip of its steeple and ‘The World Stands on Its Head’ in Germany (well...) as well as (this one probably wins the award) the upside down house in St. Petersburg, Russia. If you’re wondering why there are no caps there, it’s because the house simply is upside down! (Except, very considerately, its doghouse)Who knows why!

Then there is the very ornate House of Katmandu in (er...) Spain as well as another called ‘House- Attack’ (!) in Austria etc.

Who knows why the architects or, in some cases, home-owners decided to tip their worlds upside down, but whatever their motivation that’s definitely one short cut to the history books!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GiraDora and how!

I know from personal experience that washing clothes without a machine is one of the most dreary, time consuming, exhausting and, often likely to be, thankless job ever! So when I read the news of this super cool eco-friendly washer and spin-dyer I just had to talk about it! Created by Alex Cabunoc and Ji A this rather brilliant invention called the GiraDora is powered by a foot pedal!

Priced at $40, the GiraDora looks like an old fashioned ice bucket or water camper or perhaps ice cream maker! All you have to do is fill it with soap and water put the lid on top and then sit on it. Yes, sit on it! And start pedalling! It’s portable so it can be kept anywhere and you can sit on it (I really can’t get over that) and just start pedalling. No more sore backs or cramping legs or wrist strain or anything else! Much like a washing machine the GiraDora can wash loads of clothes at a time. And the amazing little machine dries them too. Now anybody in a family can wash clothes as long as their feet reach the pedal. It saves time, energy, water and your muscles!

Not just that, the machine might well be a source of income through providing laundry services or giving the machine out on rent. It could definitely be a great boon for many, many families, particularly in developing countries and those living in far flung areas and  has been rightly recognised by both the Dell Social Innovation Challenge and the International Design Excellence Awards.

Currently being field tested in Peru there are plans to make the machine available in other parts of the world like South America and India too. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Green on wheels!

Now this is what we call Smart Greens! Artist Matteo Cibic has come up with a rather clever way to put the green back in the dense concrete jungle that is modern day Milan. In response to Inhabitat Editor, Jill Fehrenbacher’s question posed on Smart Urban Stage – ‘In crowded cities, how do we create better and more public green space to improve quality of life?’ - the artist came up with what is a rather ingenious idea of a ‘tree trolley wifi bench’.

What it is, is a mobile bench and garden combined. So the bench is equipped with wheels and has its own little garden behind it. And not just that, the tree trolley also doubles as a mobile work station for those to enjoy the idea of working outdoors, considering it is wifi enabled and also has charging dockets. And as if that isn't enough, these super functional trolleys will also sport street lights, making the area well-lit and safer giving, in the artists view, a boost to the nightlife of the area.

Making use of the ample parking space around the city, the artist said if people pay to park their cars in front of their homes or work spaces the question is would they pay to park a tree too? It is definitely a greener alternative to automobiles.  

However, what is of immediate though slight concern is all the creepy crawlies the miniature garden will attract. But then, it’s likely every home area will have at least one pair of green thumbs between them!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Taipei 101 - Architectural Landmark of Taiwan

Taipei 101 is a renowned skyscraper in Taiwan and a famous landmark in Taipei. This skyscraper is considered as an architectural wonder by the people of Taiwan for the architectural skills it has been made using. After its dedication in 2004, this eye-catching tower was for a brief moment the world’s tallest building. It measures 1,474 feet not including its spire, and Taiwanese insist it still ranks as the globe’s loftiest, as Dubai’s Burj Al Arab tower owes its dominant height to its sail-like crown.

Composed of 101 stories above ground and five below, Taipei 101 embodies the King Kong-luring Art Deco glamor of a New York skyscraper. But Taipei 101’s silver-screen looks are further reinforced by an ingenious spherical safety device called a tuned mass damper that corrects for any swaying caused by earthquakes or typhoons.

The main tower features a series of eight segments of eight floors each, an obvious association to abundance, prosperity and good fortune. Its shaped like an Asian pagoda, while numerous motif of the ruyi - an ancient symbol associated with heavenly clouds appear throughout the structure. The structure was engineered to be able to withstand gale winds of 60 mps, and the strongest earthquakes likely to occur in a 2,500 year cycle.

The tower’s summit flaunts a spacious 360º observatory reached by a vertiginous elevator that is in itself like an amusement-park ride. The panorama of bustling Taipei is perhaps at its best at sunset, when rosy clouds dramatically silhouette distant mountains and neon-hued light shows dance across other building facades. Taipei 101 is notable for its striking postmodern architecture, which combines elements of both the pagoda and bamboo plant.

On The Go..... Hire A Portable Toilet & Rest Room

Most of the people these days have been into the usage of portable restrooms for outdoor events and celebrations of all kinds. If you are planning for any outdoor event, hiring a portable restroom based on the number of people attending the event would really help them in meeting their sanitary needs in clean and hygienic environment. You can hire portable toilets for any kind of event like celebrations, birthday parties, outdoor events, outdoor weddings, and all other occasions. If you plan to rent a restroom then you must consider few factors that depend on hiring restrooms.

The first thing to consider while renting a restroom is the size of the outdoor event. If it is for a large outdoor event, then you are likely to need more portable toilets. This ensures that there are sufficient cleaning facilities for all your guests and other visitors. If you are organizing a smaller outdoor event, you may require less number of portable restrooms. It is better to rent separate restrooms for male and female individuals. This will make sure they don't feel discomfort in using them.

There are a wide range of portable toilets available in the market place to choose from, like standard portable, ADA complaint movable, VIP self-contained portable restroom, with deluxe restroom flushing system,  mobile restroom shower, mobile shower trailer and the likes. Each and every restroom is specially designed for us to use it in the events. Every mobile toilet is accommodated with basic sanitary needs like tissue paper, holding tank, towel hook. There are few restrooms that are specially designed for guest and VIP's for which the sanitary facilities are more than the basic needs.

Few selected restrooms come with washing station, mirror, music system, and many more facilities. Hiring these movable toilets in any of your outdoor event will bring more comfort to your guests. There are some benefits of hiring a restroom in an outdoor event. One can provide clean and hygiene sanitary facilities to all your guests and VIP's. There are many companies that offer discounts on portable restrooms and rent them at affordable prices. The cost of these restrooms is based on the amenities provided. The cost of these movable toilets is cost effective and affordable to everyone. One can even purchase one of those restrooms on permanent basis.

The portable restroom industry is gaining importance all over the world and is a forming a good platform for the companies who look out for diversification into various segments. With the increasing demand of the mobile toilets the portable owner companies are extending their services by offering toilet rental service and these companies are finding it more profitable venture with unlimited growth potential.

Drip Traps! - Waterproofing Basements

Basement of your home is prone to the forces of nature, particularly water as they are situated below the normal floor area of the house. It is very common in most houses in rainy season, water seeping through the cracks that occur in the walls. Basement walls tend to produce cracks and leaks overtime and if not treated immediately, it can cause major damage and money for repair at the same time. With time to time inspection, these predicaments can be achieved by waterproofing basement walls.

There are certain measures to follow in order to prevent cracks and leaks. You can start by inspecting the walls of your basement to see if there are evident cracks or holes. If you see some or those attempting to go beyond those of normal cracks, safeguard it by using waterproof products available at your local hardware store or home improvement shops. These materials are paint-like that will require you to paint the substance over the cracks to seal it from leaking. This may come in as dry or wet agents and instructions for applications should be followed without most care as they may also require mixing and other procedures.

Allow the cracks to be fully coated and allow it to dry. Second coating is essential to make it more water tight. If the waterproof material is in contrast to the color of your basement wall, paint can also be applied provided that the paint is not abrasive enough to terminate the effects of the waterproof application. Installing flood drains and funnels are also alternatives to prevent rain water to come in direct contact with your basement wall.

By installing these, they move the water past your walls so that they will not accumulate that can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Modern houses are constructed with pre-installed footer drains and these should also be cleaned as these can accumulate leaves and dirt that can cause it to clog. Gutters and downspouts can also be installed provided that it comes with an external drainage system.

In such cases when water already seeps in through you basement walls, immediately clean you basement and dry any wet spots around it. This will prohibit molds from spreading as this will also cause some allergic reactions and makes the basement floor slippery. In extreme cases, a contractor or a carpenter is needed to waterproof your basement.

Waterproofing basement walls is best done when the sun is high or during the summer as the heat will also make the applied material to quickly dry. This will also be a precautionary step in the anticipation of the rainy season. Time to time inspection is also advisable to prohibit the severity and the also as a preventive measure. Reapplying the waterproof material over the cracks and holes can be done annually avoid leakage and stopping the crack from growing furthermore.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Aragon Convention Center Building

The Aragon Convention Center Building, Spain portrays a fractional and varied profile ascending and descending in dialog with the different spaces housed in its interior and manifesting expressively the presence of natural light and the meeting point of the building with the ground. Like a white shining cover, a great roof gently envelopes the different structures sheltering a large interior space which demonstrates the public and institutional character of its purpose.

Three main blocks to house an auditorium, a multi-purpose pavilion and modular halls will be connected to each other via a large common vestibule which links the different areas. The convention hall was conceived with the intention of leaving upper tier and mezzanine independent of each other which will mean a hall for 1500 persons will also be compatible with conventions for smaller numbers. The exhibition pavilion will be used during Expo 2008 as the Water Platform since its location, with the possibility of independent access, will allow it to be used for exhibitions, for seminars or diverse events, simultaneously.

The modular halls comprise an area which can be used during the International Exhibition as a press centre, offices or meetings rooms if required, whereas later it can be subdivided into multiple halls or seminars of greater or lesser size. A large subterranean storey will house the service areas, installations, dressing rooms, storage areas, kitchens… which will guarantee operation as a centre with the necessary characteristics without interfering in the public spaces of the building.

Geometry, structure and construction are part of this proposal for a single combined concept. The necessity for rapid execution does not present a problem for our project, rather it is the reason for the architectural concept itself. Strict geometric modulation, the preference for using prefabricated building structures which lend themselves to being repeated, the choice of a structural solution based on metallic girders with powerful lights and finally, voluntary restriction in the range of materials, are all arguments for a strategy which will allow us to dominate the structural, geometric and construction preconditions which impact on the process.

The interior spaces of the Convention Centre will respond to the same gradation of textures and color. Metal and concrete cladding in vestibules and public areas will coexist with continuous tiling and glass divisions. The main auditorium will also contribute to the drive for luminosity and clarity with its materials. To the exterior, large glass fronts will alternate glazed panels and metal lattices integrated in the facade with transparent sections for the elevation to the square which will enhance the perception of the open and public character of the building.

Bringing Home the Beach - Theming Your Living Spaces With Sea Shore Ambiance

Hectic routine and hyperactive lifestyles have made the urbane generation forget how to relax. Most of us who come home from work and have a million things to do upon our return there is considerable evidence that you have forgotten how it feels to be able to relax. But as another summer is slipping away, you should grab the opportunity to let yourself loose in a scenery that can be feast for your eyes and sole. If you have not yet visited the beach this year but wish you had but no time is available for you to travel to the closest beach, then bring the beach home and enjoy the feeling of having a personal recreational spot at your own premises. You should consider creating a seaside feel in your outdoor space and enjoy memories of the shore at home.

Your choice of color will be the biggest stress-reliever in your personal home the 'beach' scene. Select some of the numerous relaxing hues of the beach that can be sun-bleached or sand- and water-washed. Look at your favorite beach vacations pictures and imagine the cool and inviting water colors, the lapping of the sea waves on the shore, the pale sand under your feet as you walk across the beach, the tall pale green beach grasses, the pale pink and coral of shells, or the white clouds in the blue sky to find the palette of your choice. In case you prefer looking at brighter colors, you should better use bright blue, pink or orange. Place them on striped fabric or small accessories such candles and add some sunny feeling in your personal beach shore.

Casual wooden seating and folding chairs decorated with colorful stripped canvas slings, under a bright white or colored canvas big sun umbrella, which you can secure inside a large sand bucket, will add to your beach atmosphere. The motifs you have on your beach towels, bags, or even flip-flops can be a great inspiration for your final selection of fabrics. Canvas and soft cotton fabrics are also the best choices for your outdoor beach surroundings. You can install decorative hooks on the outdoor walls and hang beach accessories, candles, shells, rocks, glass, fishing nets, or just fabrics, as your personally added "art." All these can have a great effect in your outdoor space and bring the look and feel closer to the one you admired last time you visited the actual beach. You can also display your shells and pebbles in clear glass dishes, jars or flat plates. In case you have large shells in your beach treasures and collections, then consider transforming them into candles by pouring candle wax around a wick in the shell cavity itself.

Whatever kind of shore you prefer, you can always change the scenery and add another feel to the home beach you are creating. Changing the colors, the fabrics, the accessories or even the furniture can change the ambiance of your living haven and bring in a sense of pleasantness and peace of mind.

Frugal Landscaping - Landscaping on Low Budget

All landscaping requires some special care to remain attractive and well maintained. Even though your budget is small and your time is limited, you can take some time to create a plan. The planting zone, the amount of shade, sun, moisture and other conditions influence plants and their well being. You can then incorporate some low-maintenance landscaping ideas for your small budget.

Watering and mowing a lawn is a time-consuming chore that you must repeat on a regular basis. Your lawn also requires occasional fertilizers, pesticides and weed-killers. You may want to have a very small grassy area for small children or pets. Otherwise, remove the grass entirely and try some other ideas for creating a relaxing outdoor space. Low ground cover can replace grass on large areas of the yard. Some plants like Japanese pachysandra cover well in shady locations.

Expensive wooden decks require painting and maintenance periodically; however, you can create ground-level patio areas with slate or stone. You may be able to obtain the materials free from a stream or quarry. Once installed, these stones only need to be hosed off occasionally to keep them clean and attractive. Stone walkways can wind between planting areas and widen out to create seating areas.

Fences are expensive, and lumber fences require periodic painting or staining. Instead, plant shrubs that grow into hedges for privacy screens or borders. Some shrubs need constant pruning. Instead, plant tallhedge. This dense shrub will quickly grow to 12 feet tall and form a dense wall of green glossy leaves. It needs full or partial sun and well-drained soil. For spring flowers, plant common lilac. Lilac grows at a considerably slow pace, to 15 feet tall. In the month of May, it produces fragrant lavender-colored blooms.

Mulch helps reduce moisture loss and erosion. It will also prevent many weeds from germinating. Place mulch around the bases of trees and shrubs and add it to flower beds. Wood chips, bark and sawdust are cheap. Plastic is also cheap and appropriate in some areas. Stone is more expensive initially but once down, will need little maintenance.

Landscape your garden area with native plants. They are well adapted to local growing conditions and can resist insects and disease. Plant trees that grow quickly and provide the necessary shade in your landscape. Choose those needing little maintenance. Evergreens do not lose their leaves in winter. Deciduous trees drop leaves in the fall that you have to rake up. Use spreading or ground cover plants in your garden for another layer of protection against weeds. Plant perennials in flowerbeds and borders. Most need very little maintenance if mulched when planted. For accents, add small shrubs like the Oregon boxwood or ornamental grasses like Maiden grass.

Landscaping your garden doesn't really require a big budget. Plenty of frugal landscaping options are available to create an exquisitely designed garden or lawn that is easy on the wallet feed. Knowing where to look for materials makes frugal landscaping a simple task.

Friday, August 10, 2012

City Within a City - Capital Gate

Guinness Record holder, Capital Gate building of Abu Dhabi in UAE features exemplary architecture with more than seven hundred diamond shaped glazing panels - all different due to the unique architectural design and posture of the structure which sits on a 30 meters underground base to counteract the gravitational, wind and seismic pressures caused by the lean of the building. The building is a historic and iconic tower that has lined the skies of the United Arab Emirates.

This 160 meter, 35 floor tower is an iconic 'gateway' into the city, reflecting Abu Dhabi's ambition, identity and values through its unique past and futuristic design. Capital Gate accommodates the 5-star 'Hyatt at Capital Centre' hotel and also houses the most luxurious office space in the region. The tower forms a vital part of the AED 8 billion Capital Centre development, a business and residential 'city within a city' built around the buzzing Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Capital Gate has an incredible 18 degree inclination, compared to the 4 degree inclination of leaning tower of Pisa in Italy. Capital Gate has been designed by Edinburgh-based architects RMJM. The tower forms the focal point of the Capital Centre development, an AED8 billion business and residential micro city being constructed around the thriving Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The Capital Gate tower features other innovative construction techniques including the world’s first known use of a ‘pre-cambered’ core, which contains more than 15,000 cubic metres of concrete reinforced with 10,000 tons of steel. The core, deliberately built slightly off centre, has straightened as the building has risen, compressing the concrete and giving it strength, and moving into (vertical) position as the weight of the floors has been added. Ovoid forms and futuristic styling define the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre’s exhibition halls and concourse.

Beautify Your Abode - Home Furnishings

Home furnishing or soft furnishing is the latest trend in the business of fashion today. The desire to redecorate everything around us has lead people to become fashion centric with reference to the interiors of their work place or their home or perhaps it is the compensation for our hectic life that we generally seek relaxation through the colors and designs in our furnishings. Generally, we try to please our visual and tactile senses by the soft and beautiful fabrics around us. In the last three to four years, people have begun changing their home furniture like they change their wardrobe according to the changing fashions.

Lifestyle furnishing has become a mix of aesthetics, comfort, colors and designs. For instance, brown sofas have become outdated and people now prefer lively colors like blue and red. Though brand awareness in this segment is low but at present the scenario is changing, a few years ago consumers never stressed on purchasing branded home furnishing products, but now they are aware about new products and brands. In the last few years, people have started spending on furniture and furnishings like they perform with their clothing.

For them lifestyle furnishing is turning out as a mix of aesthetics, comfort, colors and designs. Brown sofas are outdated; people need lively colors like blue and red. A few years ago consumers never demanded highly branded home furnishing products, but now they are very well aware about new products and brands in the market, though brand awareness in this segment is still low. Many companies are adding two to three products in their product lines every year and many are comings with innovative concepts in this segment.

But, for this segment's growth still it requires a proper planning or strategy, more efforts and educate the customer. The art of home furnishing and decorating your living haven is quite a big undertaking. Since your home is the place where you spend the most amount of time, a lot of effort and care should go into furnishing and decorating your home. It is an opportunity to infuse your unique personality and talents into your home.

Be a Perfect 'Wood Picker'! - Selecting the Right Wood for Your Doors

Wood is something permanent, when it comes to wood in the form of doors. This is what people think, but seldom do they know that it is an age old myth that wood is indestructible nor do they know that it is a myth as well, the belief that wooden doors and furniture don't need any additional attention and maintenance. The first step to be taken when obtaining a door or wood for a door is to examine to make sure it is of good quality. Also need to be made sure that the wood has been seasoned to withhold weather constraints and is properly protected. Proper care is very much necessary in order to ensure long life to the wood after the installation.

Generally, wood contains some amount of moisture. This makes the wood react in various ways to the environment that surrounds, depending on the moisture levels of the wood. Your goal is to make sure that these levels don't go to extremes and that your door is as protected as it can be against changes in levels so that warping or other damage doesn't occur. Should a door be unprotected and soak in too much moisture, it will expand, just as if there is too little moisture in the air, the door will shrink. Both of these extremes can do damage to your door and possibly even the area around it. This can include areas such as hinges and door jambs. Doors are best when they are treated the right way from the beginning. The wood must be cared for in a stable environment and then should be finished. This may be done at the factory where the doors are made, but if they are not then you need to finish them on every single side for an even coat of protection.

It is important to maintain an even moisture level inside your home for doors that are inside so they don't expand or contract. Constant expansion or contraction can lead to doors cracking, splitting, de-lamination, warping, and even door failure. Humidity inside your home should remain at a range of 40-50%. Keep in mind that seasonal changes can also play a part in how a door fares. This is especially true for front doors. These need to have a good deal of protection if the door is constantly exposed to the elements such as rain, snow, and direct sunlight. If, when considering a door, you realize that it will be in a lot of these conditions and deal with extremes throughout its lifetime, it may be best to consider alternatives to a wood door or consider including a storm door to act as a barrier between the outside and the front door.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Georgian Architecture

The Georgian architectural style became popular during the late eighteenth through the mid nineteenth century and it replaced the Baroque architecture that had been popular up to that point. It is a general term for many common themes that were occurring around the world at that time and was named after the English monarchs George I-IV.


One of the most prominent features of Georgian architecture is its focus on proportion and balance. Math was used to determine correct size and placement of windows and other adornments on the building. Symmetry was very important when designing a Georgian style building and a Georgian addition to an earlier architectural style was considered extremely unattractive and flawed. Much of the inspiration for Georgian buildings was derived from Roman and Greek architecture and buildings were traditionally constructed of stone or brick over other materials.

In the United States the principles of Georgian style architecture were combined with neo-Palladian style architecture which created a "Federal Style". It was used most frequently in middle and upper class homes. Several examples of the influence of Georgian architecture can still be seen today in the United States.

Georgian architecture was replaced slowly with a series of revival movements. Georgian architecture was itself revived and this new style was referred to as "Colonial revival". Today Georgian style architecture is most frequently used for residential construction only and most commercial properties have abandoned this style completely.

Aesthetic accessories for your Home – Candle Stands

Candle as we all know is a piece of wax, in shapes like cylindrical, circular, square et cetera, with an embedded wick, used for lighting and sometimes heating purposes. These wax lights are commonly fixed on a stand for providing them proper balance and to enhance their look. The same stand is known as a candle holder.

When people at large started using the candles, especially for decorative purposes; It compelled the manufacturers to create the candle holders. As is said that, necessity is the mother of invention, so is the case with candle stands. They were invented when their need arise. The candle stands have really come a long way. Modern stands are much advanced in respect of design, utility, elegance and color, than the earlier one. Candle holders not only serves as a stand for the wick lights but they enhances their beauty, due to the various designs and shapes in which they are made. For this characteristic of theirs, they are sometimes remarked as, a combination of elegance and utility.

Traditionally, they were aesthetically designed, by skilled artisans. Of late, with the advancement of technology and automation in various industries, these holders are also started to be made mechanically. The advanced machines work with precision, to make numerous designs of wax light stands, out of the metal, stone etc. from which they are fabricated. The commonly used materials for the manufacturing of candle holders include iron, brass, bronze, aluminum, pewter, stainless steel, marble, wood and many other. There are not only many designs in which and many materials from which the chandeliers are created, but they are also created in a wide range.

Candles and candle stands are used for many purposes like in parties, for decoration, in worshiping and so on. As long as candles are in use, candle stands being complementary to them, will surely remain in demand. So, there is a high demand in store, in the future of candles and candle holders.

Hassle Free Painting - For A Fine Painting Job...

Preparing walls for painting is the most difficult part of the painting process. But if you don't put the time to scrape, patch, sand and prime the walls, your finished project will show it. Dust and vacuum all surfaces and for good measure, wash the walls down with soap and water. This is especially important in kitchens and bathrooms. If you see evidence of mold which appears as gray-green speckles, use a solution of up to a quart of bleach to 3 quarts ammonia-free detergent. Never mix bleach with ammonia. Dab the solution on the area and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Cover floors and furniture with newspaper or drop cloths. Smooth the walls. Direct a flashlight across the walls to double check for any problems. For cracks or flaking areas, use a paint scraper until you reach a solid coat of paint beneath. If you find torn drywall, trim the torn piece with a knife and apply joint compound over the damaged area. For large bare patches, use a wide blade to apply joint compound, applying several thin coats instead of a thick coat. Once you have applied the compound and let it dry, smooth it with a palm sander or sanding block. Don't over-sand. Fix surface stains with a detergent/water solution or solvent/spot remover. If the wall is discolored, you will need to seal the area with a stain-removing primer such as white shellac which also effectively covers knots in paneling or trim and prevents resins from bleeding through.

Prime any repaired areas as per the manufacturer’s directions. This step will ensure paint will adhere well and will prevent future peeling. You will need to check recommendations for priming unpainted wood, which may need a different type of primer. If you are repainting walls or ceilings, you may not need to prime first unless you are making a dramatic color change from a dark to light color, for example, or if you are trying to cover stained areas. You will need to apply primer to any joint compound repairs to prevent an uneven appearance. Besides, a layer of tinted primer is less expensive than two coats of paint. To prepare the trim, you will also need to lightly sand imperfections.

You may need to take old paint down to the raw wood by stripping, sanding, heating and/or scraping. If the paint was applied a few decades back, you need to test for lead before removing. You'll need a heat gun to scrape off old baseboard paint. Keep the nozzle of the gun moving across the surface while you scrape it with a stiff scraper. A razor-edge scraper can be used to clear grooves in molding. Follow some simple tips and painting your home would be a piece of cake that you would enjoy doing, actually, instead of finding the job hassle some!