Friday, September 21, 2012

Renaissance Architecture - Types of Architectural Moldings

When you enter a home or business that has been creatively trimmed with tasteful architectural molding, it would give you the feel of having entered into a world of timeless elegance and grace. Architectural molding has been the distinguishing highlight of finer homes throughout the world. However, in recent years, wide variations in new home styles have made architectural molding less common. But for those who still long for the stately beauty and grace of traditional homes from America's past, few can deny that adding the right combination of architectural molding to an otherwise plain room can easily add stature and style, transforming the room into a place seemingly built for royalty. There's nothing that can transform a plain drab room, or an entire home, from average to awesome like architectural molding. Finishing your home with a high quality trim molding is an investment that you will enjoy day in and day out for as long as you live in the home. It may be enjoyed for generations, so it is well worth taking the time to make sure you choose a product that you will love living with for a long time.

Architectural molding is available in many different styles and many different materials, from metal to Styrofoam. Often made of wood or plaster, interior molding defines a space, hides unsightly wall seams, and adds visual interest to otherwise plain walls. You can install molding along walls, on the ceiling, around the floor, around fireplaces, around windows and doors and in all those special places that you can create in your imagination. While there are many types of molding, the most common types found in homes today include Crown molding, Dentil molding, Base molding, Shoe molding, Door and Window Casing, Chair Rails and Panel and Base Caps moldings

Whatever your taste, you can usually find just the right molding to give your home the exact look and feel that you prefer. However, until recently there was a distinct gap in the decorative molding market. Between the traditional look and the castle look, there was a need for a decorative molding that was classier than traditional, but did not make a home look like a medieval castle. What was missing was a decorative molding that gave a look and feel of true elegance without arrogance. Imagine, if you can, a molding so elegant that it grabs your attention the moment you walk in the door and takes your breath away when you see it for the first time. Imagine that the feeling of elegance lingers with you long after you've seen it and that you tell everyone about it. This may be difficult to imagine, because such a molding never existed until now. A new line of architectural molding has been developed that gives you that pulse-quickening feeling of elegance when you see it installed.

This new product is called Renaissance Architectural molding. It is unlike anything else available and it is just now being introduced to the market. Not only is Renaissance stunningly elegant, it is a solid hardwood product enhanced with a special proprietary compo formula that produces beautifully detailed 3-D relief patterns that are an integral part of the molding. This special molding is not brittle, will not crumble and can be cut and installed on site as easily as if it were plain wood. Unlike traditional decorative molding made from plaster, Renaissance needs no special handling, so it saves time and money during installation. Installers love this new product due to its ease of handling, workability and easy installation. Homeowners love it because it is very elegant, it costs much less than most other decorative molding and is available in beautiful matching collections that enhance your surroundings from floor to ceiling.

A Touch of Technology to Your Shopping Spree - Online Shopping Trends

In this age of information technology, the growth in the trend of online shopping among the upper and middle class has received an immense boost. The concept of online shopping gained popularity with the ever increasing access to the Internet. Instead of shopping for your necessities at a mall or store, you can avail a range of products delivered at your doorstep. The advent of online shopping made the task of shopping easier and hassle free. A range of associated services makes online shopping a favorable option for both men and women.

The trend of online shopping started gaining popularity in the 1990s. Initially, the online shoppers were the higher middle class who had enough money to spend and knowledge and access to the Internet. The search engines on the Internet help you in finding the products you are looking for from the online stores. The online stores advertise their products and also offer catalogs of their products for easy search. However, the word of mouth publicity of online stores is the best way of popularizing the products on sale. Online shopping gives you the freedom of selecting from a wide range of products.

The most popular items of purchase among online shoppers are books. You can also buy other objects like clothes, accessories, bags, cosmetics and so on from online stores. With time online shopping has also encompassed shopping for groceries, nutritious products, medicines, and such others. You can also purchase unique antiques and jewelry from online boutiques and shops.

Whilst online shopping gives us convenience of shopping at home, the advantages to retailers may not be so obvious. Marketing costs for online sales are generally higher than for store or catalog sales. This is because the retailers need to spend higher on promoting their products to attract more customers to do online shopping. There will be a lot of discounts and bargain prices to be offered to customers so that they are willing to shop online. Nevertheless, with the rapid development of technology and much easier availability of broadband throughout the world, online shopping will spread onto the world of shopping in future.

Updating Visual Appeal of Your Home - Enhancing the Look with Windows and Doors

Updating your windows and doors can make a dramatic difference in the exterior design of your home and can greatly enhance your curb appeal. In addition to this, an update can also significantly reduce your monthly energy bills by improving the efficiency of your home and reducing heat loss from your current rickety and old casements. There are many different styles of windows and doors in Milton to choose from; therefore it is worth investigating several options in order to decide which choice is best for you and your home.

Exterior front doors can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, steel and glass. Wood front doors offer an elegant and traditional appearance to your home and are one of the best options currently on the market for energy efficiency. The natural properties in wooden doors both insulate the home and cut down on the heat loss and air transfer that can occur along the joining seams of doors made from other materials, including steel and glass. Wooden doors however require maintenance in order to preserve their natural beauty and structure. It is best if wooden doors are sheltered from precipitation and harsh elements, by either a covered porch or recessed entrance.

Outer doors made of steel are very durable and can withstand the harshest of temperatures and climates. Unlike wooden doors, steel does not run the risk of dry rot or damage. However, unlike wood, steel has a high probability of heat and air loss, resulting in low energy efficiency. Steel doors can be custom fit with windows and wrought iron to create a whimsical and romantic appearance. Steel can also tolerate oil or acrylic paint, without chipping or peeling. Doors made of glass, such as sliding doors or French doors make a beautiful entrance to your home, or addition to your living room. They allow for natural sunlight to pour into your home and create an open and airy feel.

Glass can be customized in a wide variety of designs and styles, including beveled, stained or inlay with wrought iron grilles. French doors feature panes of glass, separated by wood or steel and unlike most others, have two doors that open inwards, requiring a wider passageway and allowing radiant natural light to fill your vestibule. Sliding doors are the perfect solution for areas that lack adequate space for a door to swing outwards. These doors are cleverly designed so that one pane of glass slides along a track in front of the other pane, saving precious space.

Sliding patio doors also offer superb protection again precipitation, as the glass is double paned and extremely durable and the surrounding casing is made of hard wearing vinyl. There are many different styles of windows and doors to choose from; therefore it is worth investigating several options in order to decide which choice is best for you and your home. Updating your windows and doors can make a dramatic difference in the exterior design of your home and can greatly enhance your curb appeal and energy efficiency.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Temple for the Lord of the Sky - Ambernath Temple

Located by the bank of Vadavan (Waldhuni) river, the Ambernath temple is a towering structure surrounded by a fenced wall. Richly carved and decorated out of a single black stone, the intricate carvings are inspired from Hemadpanti style of architecture. The name Ambernath literally means Lord of the sky. Ambernath is the site of a very old temple, the ancient Ambreshwar Shiva Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the construction of which dates back to 1060 AD in the 10th century.

One belief suggests that the temple was constructed by the Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharta fame for taking a night refuge during their period of exile (vanvaas). They could not complete the structure which is reflected even today in the missing roof directly above the main sanctum area (Garbha Griha) of the temple. It is also said that there is a km–long passageway which was used by the Pandavas to escape which lies shut and locked today. There is another official version that advocates that this temple was constructed by Shilahara king, Chittaraja and later rebuilt by his son, Mummuni. However, the saddening part is that a historical monument like this with such an exquisite past is gradually decaying with some of the sculptural carvings falling off due to neglect and poor maintenance by the authorities.

Inside the temple, the main sanctum housing the Shivling is situated at a slightly lower level and one has to descend a few of steps to take the blessings of Lord Shiva. There are a couple of other smaller temples too in the temple premises that you will come across around the place. One can’t help but marvel at the beauty of the religious place of worship which not only opens the window to the state’s rich past but also brings alive the time-honored stories from our ancient texts. And then, whichever way you may deem these stories to be, true or false; one can’t deny the peace and calm and the sense of spiritual energy that one is filled with when one visits such places and that also outlines one of the prime reasons to pay a visit to.

Home.... Sweet Home! - Choosing the Right Gift for House-warming Party

Nothing is as exciting, or as exhausting as moving into a new home, and the perfect house warming gifts are the ones that allow the new movers to have a quiet moment of reflection. Many times, you want to give a house warming gift to someone moving in next door, or to someone you love who is moving away. While not expected, traditionally it is proper etiquette to arrive at a housewarming party with a thoughtful gift as a token of appreciation and warm wishes. A house warming gift, however, can be elevated to a higher level with just a little bit of thought.

Buy gifts that are practical and useful for the one you are giving them too. Hence it is also important that you know what type of people they are. It will be useless to buy them a muffin tray if neither one of them bakes. You want to make sure that your gift will be put to good use. The closer you are to the new homeowner, the easier it becomes to make just the right selection.

If you're purchasing for a childhood friend, a favorite photograph of the two of you as kids is perfect for framing in a beautiful silver or ceramic picture frame. If you're looking to memorialize and celebrate the first home for newlyweds, you might consider locating a candid shot of the two of them together on their wedding day and placing in a frame. Better still, you can go for candid photos and choosing a frame with multiple slots. Another idea for newlyweds as they move into their first home might include baby pictures of the two of them in side by side frames.

Planning, packing, moving and unpacking can be an exhausting process and the housewarming party concludes that process with a much-needed celebration. The most important consideration to remember when selecting a housewarming gift is the recipient. Taking the time to be thoughtful and sincere will result in a housewarming gift that is long remembered and appreciated. If you can keep in mind the goal is unique house warming gifts, recognizing the many ways to personalize your choice and keeping the recipient's tastes and lifestyle in mind, you might see that you've enjoyed choosing it as much as the homeowner will enjoy owning it.

Cooking in Style - Designer Kitchens

Designer Kitchen speaks about who and what you are depending on the styles and design you choose. Since it's a designer's or your own idea- you still cook in style. There are a lot of kitchen designs that you can think of but, there's one that you really wanted and is an extension of your character and personality. Redesigning, rebuilding or a new one still requires rigorous planning to come up with a kitchen that you can not only boast of but is actually making your life easier when working in your kitchen. As how much you love cookery so is your desire to couple your skills with a nice and functional kitchen - inspires you even more.

Outdoor kitchens much the same as indoor only here you have a lot of fresh air and natural lighting and I would say easier to clean plus the fact no unwanted fishy odors inside the dining area. Typical outdoor cooking uses a grill with or attached to worktops for easy reach of utensils and there's a table for plating the food and the usual spice racks. You may also have proper installation of electrical lines and fittings to run gas. You may also include storage for cooking equipments as well as entertainment system.

Modern Kitchens uses modular's or ready made fixtures and it creates a minimalist look. Often geometric in style and not much decoration. Materials range from laminates, frosted glass, chrome or lacquer, concrete and stainless steel. Old world design uses natural materials. Think of the Mediterranean, Tuscan or an Italian Villa - medieval things or look where you usually see big pots and not as organized as other kitchen styles. This type of kitchen usually has those big cabinets and uses big hooks for hanging cooking equipments. Traditional kitchens brings you back to the Early American Times, neo-classical where antique fixtures are what you see even the appliances. It has a formal feel and is elegant. Think of dining and cooking in a Victorian home and see if the colors and fixtures suit your taste.

Transitional kitchens has the combination of traditional and modern like wood and concrete together and this is where you start to think of how it complements the appliances as well as the finishes. Rustic kitchens often resemble a log cabin. Very American - a characteristic from the regions of the South, Mountain West or Pacific Northwest. Here warm rich shades of earth colors are used and high ceiling beams. Country kitchens are mostly bright and have that homey feel. It resembles a garden as mostly handcrafted designs like woven baskets and floral motifs are all over. Like a farmhouse cottage where you'd see cheery colors and panels and is very much into moldings.

Your kitchen is the heart of your home don't forget to consider each of the family member's opinion and ideas as to how they would want the kitchen to look and work for the family.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MIT to the rescue!

The planet is afire. Well, not literally. Not yet, anyway. However, with all the things that are constantly going wrong all over the world, perhaps, that day isn't far. And what we need more than anything else right now is a way to undo things.

In that light this new technique developed by  MIT to magnetically separate oil and water is going to go a long way to help in the cause of our oceans that are suffering from increasing amounts of oil spill every year. The team claims their method to be so efficient that the oil can even be reused after separation. There has, of course, been a good deal of research that has been undertaken in the field before. However, this team contends that while the research so far was good, it would be unlikely to work in situations of oil spills in oceans etc as they fundamentally depend on the concentration of the ferrofluids remaining constant and being known in advance which is likely to differ widely in an oil spill.

The new method developed by the scientists from MIT which uses magnets to separate the ferrofluids, by their contention, sounds much simpler just as its meant to and promises to be a lot more effective. They also contend the method can be implemented on a larger scale and employed at sea for days or weeks even in places where there's no electricity and no maintenance available.

And we can almost hear the oceans sigh in relief. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

World of Chlorophyll - A conceptual Building by an Egyptian Architect

World of Chlorophyll, a project by IAMZ Design Studio, is an idea for a conceptual skyscraper containing the form of residential units in the near future. Their main concept involves the units taking the form of leaves, stemming mainly from the columns, based upon all residential units. This way, the building mimics nature, and in conformity with it, also makes for an easy configuration. With the main functions of the project including commercial, residential, administrative, hotel and entertainment, they also made sure to implement environmental considerations. These features included natural ventilation with the penetration of sunlight through the units and the creation of indirect lighting.

The Egyptian architect's concept, a mixed-use building called "World of Chlorophyll," features individual units stemming from central columns that "imitate the ‘branch and leaf’ structure" of plants, according to the architect. Just as a plant's chlorophyll would utilize sunlight for photosynthesis, the unique design of Elseyofi's building would harness the elements to power his experimental edifice. Each level of the building would include 10 residential units, and each unit would contain five floors, according to Elseyofi. The staggered, leaf-like orientation would maximize exposure to sun and wind.

Although the architect did not go into detail about the types of systems his building would employ, Elseyofi's comments seem to indicate the use of passive environmental design elements. Passive solar design, for instance, seeks to trap and use energy from the sun to heat and cool buildings without the utilizing active mechanical systems. Passive solar design as a key component of creating affordable, zero-energy housing in cold climate.
This conceptual building would be including residential, commercial, administrative, hotel, and entertainment spaces and incorporate eco-friendly features like natural unit ventilation, direct sunlight exposure, and the creation of indirect lighting.

Settling For The Right Settee - Choosing A Settee For Your Home

Choosing settees and sofas can be quite a tricky prospect nowadays with a large array of styles colors and fabrics to choose from. There are a number of things that you might wish to consider when selecting settees and sofas. The vast selection of settees and sofas that are offered in the shops and on the Internet may be fairly daunting therefore it is increasingly vital that you plan properly for the purchase. Whatever style you decide on it will be important that the settees and sofas you opt for is likely to last and suit your family's needs.

You will need to think about the space that you have available to you for your new settee or sofa. You should be aware of the sizes available to you and how they will look in a room. To be certain you should always get the sizes of any settees and sofas you are interested in and take them home with you. You can then produce a floor plan with pieces of paper and place them on the ground just like a map. This will give you the visual representation you will need to see how far the settees and sofas will come out into your room. This tip is also useful if you're changing from a traditional three seat sofa to a corner settee as it will help you visualize how it will interact with your room.

The selection available nowadays is phenomenal and there are style and colors to accommodate every possible taste. You will want a settee or sofa to last a long time, so it is worthwhile considering that you may change your decor in that time so its worth choosing a design which is appropriate for different styles. It'll be rather costly to change sofas and settees every time you decorate but a luxurious settee is worth an awe from the guests visiting you!

Saving Energy at Work Place - Designing An Eco-friendly Office

Out of all the energy produced by a country, almost a fifth is used up by industrial buildings and offices. An office which is designed according to the purpose of utilizing energy in a resourceful way would not only be able to decrease its impact on the environment, but would also be able to improve the bottom line of the business over the course of time. An eco-friendly office design happens to be a combination of a number of factors such as equipment, location, building features as well as usage. Energy-saving procedures may even be implemented in order to make the cleverest use of effective tools.

When designing an eco-friendly office, it is better to begin from the top. You need to weigh the pros and cons of setting up a green roof which conceals the top of a building with a living deposit of grass, plants or other kinds of foliage that functions similar to an insulator. These roofs adjust extreme outdoor temperature during the summer season and allow the warmth present inside the building to be retained during the cold winter. Installing green roofs can prove to be more expensive, but you need to keep in mind that by decreasing the use of energy throughout the building they are actually able to recover their price and turn out to be profitable in the long run, depending on the climate and the building.

You can achieve the same effect by installing modern shades and windows which are actually much more cost-effective than green roofs. In summer, they successfully prevent the outdoor heat from streaming into the building while they prevent heat from escaping in the winter. Choose the features of your window after considering your climate and requirements. South-facing windows are usually known for admitting the greatest amount of outside heat. Shades may be employed to regulate the access of light and heat during the workday. Different sorts of windows prove to be advantageous for various locations in an office building.

Better climate control features are always welcome in an office. You can install variable thermostats in order to allow executives and staff members to manage temperature settings according to the time of day and the room. The atmosphere in vacant areas like empty offices or conference rooms need to be switched off or lessened or monitored. You should also set the climate control system to shut itself down during the night and at other times when the office building remains bare. You should always make a note of the Energy Star certification when fixing new climate control gear.

Energy saving computers are a great way to ensure that your office is eco-friendly. Computers should come with the Energy Star label. You should also be careful to install them in such a manner, that they function capably. Make use of the power-management settings so that the monitors are ready to turn off after extended periods of idleness. All desktop systems should be placed in hibernate mode after the day is over. Smart power organization allows you to save a considerable amount of money every year.

You could also try and install smart lighting in your office. There are now automated systems available in the market which are able to initiate lighting according to necessity right through the workday, while switching the lights off when not required as well as when the rooms are clear. Fluorescent bulbs are preferable to regular incandescent. Natural daylight can also be used to your advantage. Offices which are outfitted with windows can diminish their dependence on man-made lighting during daylight hours.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


If you were to visit this artificial lake in Hanoi, Viet Nam you’d find the stunning structure called Bamboo Wing created by the bamboo masters Vo Trong Nghia. Comprised of two structures one which is the restaurant and the other which is meant to be a bar and events centre, the complex is large and airy and one of their most striking projects to date.

Situated next to an artificial lake the buildings are an excellent example of eco-friendly architecture that showcase the talent and handcrafting skills of the artistes as well as the brilliant use of ecologically sustainable materials. The surrounding water body not only adds a beautiful, mystical element to the structure but also does an excellent job of keeping it cool.

The entrance to Bamboo Wing promises the visitors a scenic experience as they walk across a pathway of stepping stones in water and little pockets of growing bamboo. Bamboo Wing itself is shaped to look like a bird’s wings.

 Next to the Wind and Water Cafe stands the bar. In contrast to the cafe which is open, the bar is an enclosed whole with a dome soaring 10 m upwards with an opening on the top, 1.5 m in diameter, which helps keep the place cool. Aside from the foundation the structure does not use steel anywhere and is wholly made of bamboo.

It’s no surprise that these two stunning architectural structures have become widely famous inHanoi’s urban landscape.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Talk about smooth sailing!

This one’s definitely a step-ahead in design as well as conservation! I wonder if the sailors of yore would have ever thought of seeing their beloved sails put to this use. But today, between Spanish company DVELAS and Spinnaker, the sails return from their maritime journeys to feature in entirely stunning makeovers. Both companies are recycling used sails that have reached the end of their life and putting them into use in a series of innovative furniture designs. The group of architects and designers from DVELAS launched their Living Sails line with the purpose of recovering materials that hold unique histories, and give them a fresh new life through art and expert craftsmanship.

Much like the stylish and extremely comfortable Spinnaker chairs. With a frame made out of spring steel, the chair is ergonomically designed with a curvature that allows for optimum circulation in the body. To add an interesting spin to it Spinnaker encourages people to design and customize their own chairs helping them save on the waste from over manufacturing.

 And the idea has to be applauded for its ingenuity. After all what could be better raw material for all-weather outdoor furniture than sails used by ships. Even once it’s too deteriorated to be used for navigation, the tough, weather-resistant fabric is the perfect material for outdoor furniture.

DVELAS sources its sails from JTX Sails and has launched six different lines of modern outdoor furniture.  Each piece is created from one of many different types of sails, and is accompanied by information on the sail’s history, details on the port and boat it came from, and the name of the original sailmaker. Washed and waterproofed, the fabric still features the marks and designs printed on the original cloth. So you not only have a piece of stylish and comfortable furniture in your house but also a piece of history.

The DVELAS’ website accepts donation of sails, which will be transformed into chairs, cushions, shade structures, and floating rafts.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Small wonder!

As our number becomes larger spaces available to us become smaller and the challenge today in some of the biggest and busiest cities of the world is to ... well, of course find some kind of space to call your own and then to make the most of what is usually a small space. The challenge, of course, being to not just us the space intelligently but also making sure its well-equipped and presentable.

So coming to the rescue of small-home owners it would seem to IKEA. The Swedish furniture manufacturer is now boasting a new small number on its sign-boards and this time they don't claim them as prices. Advertising their 391 sq. ft. apartments in their Brooklyn stores, their designers have come up with some rather well-designed and assembled living units.

"It might be compact but its more spacious than you can imagine. Its our 391 sq. ft. home" - reads the billboard. And from the images it looks like they're not just boasting. They've managed to carve out quite a decent bit of utility space in their professed 391 sq ft apartments with a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen and even a small-sized living room!

And since there's no better way to lead than by example, the little demo spaces they've designed and dressed up at their Brooklyn stores is sure to get plenty of attention as well as give lots of fresh ideas to small apartment owners on what they can do with their living space. And this, of course, will translate into lots of sale for the Swedish furniture manufacturer. Talk about keeping abreast of the times!