30 Uses for a Laminator at Home

Never thought you would have use for a laminator at home? Think again. There are hundreds of uses for these machines, which will leave you wondering how you ever managed without one. From gifts to practical home applications, laminating items makes them more durable, waterproof, and attractive. Laminating can intensify colours and lends a smarter look to any project.

1. Important business cards gain a longer life in your wallet.

2. Thrill grandparents with a wallet-sized laminated photo of their grandchildren.

3. Create a ‘whiteboard’ by using a plain white piece of paper or card. Before laminating, decorate the edge with cut-out pictures, drawings, or doodles.

4. Make placemats from children’s artwork or favourite pictures from a calendar.

5. If the cost of framing a photograph is prohibitive, laminate it instead.

6. Important phone numbers, emergency instructions, and rosters make cleanable additions to the refrigerator door.

7. Favourite recipes become easy to clean and sturdy for storage.

8. Make gifts for children and avid readers in the family by using paper and craftwork or pictures to form bookmarks and then laminate. If desired punch a hole in one end and thread through ribbon or decorative yarn.

9. Make lasting flashcards for teaching children or adults.

10. A well-worn card essential to a board game can gain new life through lamination.

11. Laminate behaviour charts for children to which they can apply stickers or draw on with a whiteboard marker.

12. Decorate the bathroom with posters protected against moisture.

13. Arrange dried flowers in a laminating pocket to preserve colour and add strength. Cut close around the flowers to mount on a greeting card, or trim the laminate to bookmark size.

14. Create jigsaw puzzles for the children. Laminate a photo, calendar picture, or other suitable image and then cut into pieces. Tailor the number of pieces and complexity of shape to the age of the child.

15. Protect important documents such as product guarantees and certificates.

16. Preserve old or favourite knitting, crochet, or cross-stitch patterns for using over and over again.

17. Make colourful window hangers and mini ‘stained glass windows’. Place fragments of cellophane of various colours inside a laminating pocket. Trim to desired shape and size, punch a hole, and hang with fishing line. They also make pretty drink coasters.

18. Individually laminate the letters from a Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday banner for longevity. Use the type which are strung together on a cord or tinsel, and remove the letters from the connecting thread. They are easy to hang, and provides more flexibility in where and how to hang them. Removing the sticky tape afterwards will not harm them.

19. Need inspiration in your home office, or other area of the house? Print out favourite motivational quotes on a printer or handwrite them. Laminate and apply to any area they are needed.

20. Birth and death notices or other clippings from newspapers and magazines desired as keepsakes.

21. Collector cards – sports, anime, etc.

22. Laminate …

Famous Interior Designers and Their Styles in Interior Design – Part 1

Introduction

This series of 4 articles takes a brief but informative look at 21 of the most famous and Interior Designers, from the earliest pioneers right through to the most celebrated modern day designers.

The Pioneers of Interior Design

Jean-Henri Jansen (1854-1928)

Dutch designer, Jean-Henri Jansen, launched one of the first ever international interior design companies ‘Maison Jansen’ (House of Jansen) in 1880, which became renowned for designing and creating exceptionally beautiful and high quality furniture which would be utilized in a multitude of interior decoration projects. House of Jansen opened branches in 8 of the major cities of the world. Jansen worked closely with the talented interior designer Stephane Boudin whom he made director of the company. The clients of House of Jansen included Royalty and the rich and famous.

Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950)

The first lady of interior decoration, Elsie de Wolfe considered herself an ‘ugly child’. This Victorian stage actress was a rebel of her times and was credited by many to be the inventor of the modern profession of interior design, even though there were already established interior designers in her time. Elsie disliked Victorian tastes altogether, her designs were therefore generally made up of light and bright colors, contrary to the drab and gloomy Victorian d├ęcor coupled with unnecessary excesses such as heavy velvet draperies. This was a pioneering departure from the contemporary designs of the time. Elsie’s influence continues to be felt in the modern world of interior design.

Ogden Codman (1863-1951)

American interior decorator and architect, Ogden Codman spent his childhood in his birthplace of Boston before heading to France in his youth for a period of time. Codman had two uncles who influenced him tremendously – architect John Hubbard and decorator Richard Ogden. Some of Ogden Codman’s works include Edith Wharton’s Newport home, Land’s End, the Rockefeller family estate of New York client John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Along with novelist Edith Wharton, Codman co-authored a guidepost of American interior design, ‘The Decoration of Houses’ in 1897.

Frances Elkins (1888-1953)

Born in Milwaukee, Frances Adler Elkins was one of the most prominent interior decorator and designer of the previous century. Sister of the famed Chicago architect David Adler, Elkins was known for her futuristic designs that brought together different styles and elements from various periods. They included country French styles, chinoiserie and art deco. The furnishings featured in her designs included designers such as Jean-Michel Frank and Alberto Giacometti. The career of Elkins that spanned over three decades is glittered with many high profile commissions in Hawaii, the Midwest and northern and southern California, none more interesting than the restoration of the 1830s structure, Casa Amesti in Monterrey, California.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Frank Lloyd Wright was an interior designer and architect whose career included more than 1000 projects, 500 of them that have been complete. Wright was known for his promotion of organic architecture, an example of which is Fallingwater. The Robie House …

7 Popcorn Ceiling Removal Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

Popcorn ceiling removal is very common these days. So is getting ripped off and scammed by your contractor. There are many good contractors doing great work, but there are also many scam artists and fly by night companies who are only looking to rip you off. Since real estate values across the nation have been depressed, many homeowners are choosing to update their existing home by easy and inexpensive interior renovations like popcorn removal.

Home owners need to ask their popcorn ceiling removal contractor these 7 questions before they hire them for the job. Removing popcorn ceilings is very common these days as many home owners are updating their existing homes. Popcorn ceilings are outdated and many home owners prefer knockdown texture over popcorn. Knockdown texture just looks better and there is a great return on investment because popcorn removal is an affordable improvement which may add incremental value to the home. Before hiring a contractor in the Orlando area, be sure to ask these 7 questions to avoid getting ripped and scammed.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Question #1 – “Do I need to worry about testing for lead in my house?”

If your home was built before 1978, then the answer is “yes”. If your home was built after 1978, the answer is “no”. According to EPA.gov, “Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.

To protect against this risk, on April 22, 2008, EPA issued a rule requiring the use of lead-safe practices and other actions aimed at preventing lead poisoning. Under the rule, beginning April 22, 2010, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.

EPA requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.” It is important to use Lead Safe Certified contractors for popcorn removal projects.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Question #2 – “Can I remove my popcorn ceiling by myself and save some money?”

The short answer is “yes”. However, saving a few bucks may turn out to be a major headache in the long run for a few reasons. The first reason is the work will be difficult. You will need special equipment, respirators, eye protection and so on. In most cases, homeowners simply lack the expertise to do the job correctly and it can become very time consuming. Another reason is the work may cause damage to other areas in the house, the furniture, the walls and the floors. It becomes even more difficult if your popcorn ceilings have been painted.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Question #3 – “Is it more difficult to remove popcorn ceilings …

Role Of Curtains

Curtains are a key component in our homes though we usually tend to ignore their importance and presence. They can determine our mood, the quality of our sleep and also add to the decorations in our homes. Before we talk about curtains, let’s talk about windows. Imagine your house or office had no windows. With no natural sunlight or wind entering the building, it would be very difficult to live inside there. Lack of ventilation could even possibly harm your health in some ways. But having windows does not mean we want wind and light to be continuously flowing in our room even at night when we are sleeping. Thus explains the importance of curtains.

We can close the windows if we wish to but that would refrain wind from coming in. So if we want natural wind to be ventilating our room but do not want too much sunlight, we can install curtains. Curtains help to maintain a control over the amount of sunlight and wind that can enter the room.

The advantages that curtains offer are unlimited. You can choose curtains that compliment the interior design of your home. They could make your home seem like a much more beautiful place. Depending on the color or type you choose, they can have an effect on your mood as well. For example, colorful curtains would make you feel more lively and happy whereas dark colored curtains could provide a more comfy ambience in your room. Not only can curtains add to the interiors, they can also provide you with security. If you have windows that allow outsiders to look in, you can install curtains as a method to gain more privacy. With the curtains down, any outsider would not be able to peep into your room.

Always remember when getting curtains, we should get those that would be of the right size to fit on the windows or we can get them custom made. By getting custom made curtains, we have more freedom of choosing the design, color and size. We should not use curtains that do not fit or are too small. For an instance the curtains are too small and you are changing your clothes inside, they would still expose you defeating their purpose to provide you with more privacy.

We can also choose the type of curtain that we want to depending on the types of windows that we have in our home. For example, roman blinds look really good when used on skylights or attic windows. We can get our curtains designed according to the shape of the window as well to ensure all of the interiors compliment one another to provide a better look. The material used in making the curtain is also very important as it can have an effect on the look the curtain provides.

Curtains are certainly a key aspect in decorating and making our homes a more comfortable place.…

Selling Your House? Mow Your Lawn!

A property that has a well manicured lawn has one of the best opportunities at showing pride in ownership than any other outdoor technique.

For one thing, there is a large upswing in the priority that homeowners place in their outdoor living spaces.

Therefore, the landscaping of your front yard (especially) as well as that of your back yard should look its very best when it's selling time. Your landscaping will make a huge contribution to the resale value of your home, so make sure that it's doing its best to help you out.

In fact, studies have shown that when the landscaping of a home is in excellent condition, it can sell for about 4 to 5 percent higher, while homes with landscaping in very poor condition can sell for 8 to 10 percent less. That's a huge difference in the overall selling price of your home.

You might be wondering exactly how much time you should dedicate to sprucing up the landscape of your property. How much time and money is worth it for your sale?

Even if you put a minimal amount of money, effort, and time in to your landscaping, it will help you in selling your home, and sometimes even getting a boost in the selling price. Every effort you make will help.

However, do not overdo it. Remember that it's not a selling feature; It's only something to help the overall appeal of your property, so that the other selling features will be better appreciated.

You should keep your lawn mowed so that it is even, and neatly short. Keep it well weeded, as these will only appear as blemishes to your landscaping. Make sure to use a weed eater to do the edges, as this gives your work a superior finish touch.

If there are any "bald" patches in your lawn, buy a small bag of seed and care for the spot, filling it in. This is especially important if you have a dog who digs or who leaves "pet damage" where s / he does his or her business.

After you fill in the dead spots that your dog has left, make sure to water the areas after your dog "waters," to prevent new dead patches from forming. Watering the areas will dilute the urine to stop it from burning the grass.

This effort makes an immeasurable difference in the overall malnutrition of the house, and the impression that it will leave potential buyers. …

Termite Fumigation – How to Prepare Your Home

If you have ever experienced a termite infestation in your home or know somebody who has, you know how upsetting and stressful it can be. Not only do termites cause expensive damage, they are also expensive to get rid of. In fact, termites cost homeowners more than 5 billion dollars in treatment and repairs each year. There are two types of termites: subterranean and drywood. Drywood termites cause the most damage in the US and can only be eliminated by tent fumigation.

Why Choose Fumigation?

In some very mild cases, spot treatment can eliminate all drywood termites in a home. But in most cases, by the time termites have been detected, the infestation is full-blown. Tent fumigation is the only way to kill 100% of the termites in a home.

Yearly inspection by a pest control expert can prevent mass infestation.

About Fumigation

For over 50 years, Vikane gas fumigant (made by Dow AgroSciences) has proved to effectively eliminate drywood termites. This is the gas of choice for all termite fumigators in the US. Vikane gas is quick-acting and does not leave any residue. However, it is still a dangerous toxic gas and can cause death. Proper fumigation preparation will ensure that you and your family stay safe and that your belongings are protected. The fumigation process will take a few days, so you will need to make arrangements to stay elsewhere during the process.

Fumigation Preparation

Follow the instructions given to you by your fumigation company. Speak to your neighbors and inform them of your termite problem and your plans to fumigate as it could work to your advantage. Often, more than one home in an area will have a termite infestation. Some pest control companies will give a special discount to neighbors who fumigate at the same time.

Tip: Preparing your home for termite fumigation is time-consuming. Do not leave it to the last minute. Preparation involves lots of packing and sorting. Plan to start at least a few days before the fumigation date.

1. Call the Gas Company – In most cases, your fumigation company will call your local gas company to notify it of the turn-off time for the gas. Clarify with your fumigator whether you need to make the call or not.

2. Notify Your Neighbors – If you haven’t done so already, notify your neighbors that you will be fumigating. Sometimes the fumigators need access to part of the neighbors property. This is common in areas where homes are built close together. When neighbors’ consent is needed, they will have to issue official permission and a release.

Exterior Preparation

1. Clear the Perimeter – Clearing the perimeter of your property is a must so that the fumigators can secure the fumigation tent. Clear all items to at least 5′ away from the structure.

2. Unlock Gates and Doors – On fumigation day, unlock any gates and sheds. Fumigators are legally required to check all rooms to ensure that nobody is there before sealing the …

How to Prepare a Safe and Clean House For Your New Baby

Preparing for a new addition to your family is a process both necessary and intensive. You must install child locks on the cabinet doors, put hazardous materials out of reach, paint and furnish the nursery, all the while with an ever-expanding waistline for mom! Cleaning your home from top to bottom is just as important as stocking up on diapers. Do it early enough so that you don’t endanger mom’s health or the baby’s, and hire a professional service if it helps you relax. Try to complete these cleaning steps in advance, invaluable to ensuring a safe, clean homecoming for your bundle of joy.

• Remove all pet dander, dust, and allergens. Newborns don’t yet have fully formed immune systems, so take the initiative to kill as many homegrown allergens as possible. Vacuum all carpeted floors and do a thorough dusting, especially in those dark corners and hard-to-reach ledges were dust bunnies love to hide.

• If possible, remove curtains and drapes-the primary home dust collectors. If only in one room of your house, at least replace these in the nursery with blinds – they dust easily.

• Clean and disinfect all the surfaces where tiny baby hands tend to grab. The television remote may look harmless, but actually teems with germs that could cause illness. Use a non-toxic wipe or homemade cleaner to effectively remove up to 99.9% of germs in danger zones like the kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen, food-born illnesses always pose a risk, especially for newborns. Make sure all surfaces stay “so clean you could eat off them,” as food tends to touch these surfaces anyways.

• Place soap, water, and clean hand towels at all the sinks in your home for guests to wash their hands before holding your newborn. No matter how awkward, enforce this rule, especially for young children, who carry a lot of germs. Make sure that every visitor washes their hands for at least 30 seconds before cradling the baby. Everyone, especially mom, remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom, sneezing, or preparing food for yourself or the baby. New moms, keep in mind that your child will quickly become used to the germs that naturally live on your body.

• In the changing table drawers, keep a hand stash of cleaning products in addition to a generous supply of diapers. You’ll want to clean the table after each change with a disinfecting wipe or homemade spray. You can use these products on other areas in the nursery, like the crib, where the baby will inevitably put his or her mouth on the bars and tiny hands on the railing.

• Keep all feeding items clean, especially before the first use, and ideally after every use. Boil brand new bottle nipples in hot water, and throw out old pacifiers and nipples that are cracked or stained. Instead of using a harmful chemical like bleach to disinfect baby products, simply soak the bottles, nipples, and breast pump attachments in …

The Beauty of Decorative Mirrors

Simple things may already be considered beautiful but for many people, they need to see more in order to think beautifully. As for other people, their furniture must have something in it that is outstanding like the decorative mirrors in the bedroom, bathroom and other places in the house. It does not only make it look more attractive but most of these decorative mirrors are still useful. Thus, it is not only an accessory but a useful decoration inside your home.

If you are in a need for the decorative mirror, you have to start searching for one. You would not want to simply get the first decorative mirror that appeals to your eyes as this may be put to waste once it does not really meet all of your needs. It will also need careful planning and comparing of the possible options that you have.

The quality of the decorative mirrors available in the market may be different from others so you have to search for the one that is of high quality so that you will not have a hard time with the décor after buying it. Also, there are many kinds of mirrors and they can have various characteristics. It would be helpful if you will already lay out all of your needs before start searching so that you can easily spot those that fit in your needs from those that are not. You have a wide variety of options and you can be assured that there can be one that may be fitting to your needs.

You can have the chance to select a framed one or those that are frameless. You can also find a simpler one and turn them into your type of decorative mirrors through designing and adding some things to accentuate the look of the mirror. When you are already in the market, you will be exposed to many kinds of mirrors and their designs are various. You can choose among them and select the one that really is right for your needs. Your budget may be a factor but as mentioned, you have wide choices so you simply have to try finding the type that is affordable for you.

Additionally, you can also make the mirror of your choice something that would fit the theme of the room that you will put the mirror. You should always consider that the mirror should fit and make it more beautiful.

Decorative Mirror…

Cleaning Services That Can Save You Time And Effort

Cleaning can be a tedious process, especially when you have a large space to cover. Whether you wish to keep your residential or commercial space sparkles, a lot of effort and time will be needed. With busy modern lifestyles, most people rarely have the time to spare to do some thorough cleaning. Luckily, companies have made it very easy for individuals and companies to maintain clean spaces by offering all kinds of cleaning services. Using these services, you can enjoy a neat home or office without the need for you to do all the tedious work and without putting so much of your time in it.

Carpet cleaning services – The carpet is an essential item in a home or even office, apart from keeping the home appealing, it also adds to the comfort. It is however also one of the items most exposed to dirt, allergens and dust. Regular cleaning of the carpet is important, yet it can be quite a challenge. Cleaning companies offer all kinds of carpet cleaning services including steam cleaning to keep this cozy rug in top condition.

End of tenancy cleaning services – This kind of service is available to property managers and owners as well as individuals who wish to clean after themselves when they move house. Cleaning a property after moving out ensures it is in good condition for the next interested tenant and it maintains the value of the home. Cleaning professionals offer thorough cleaning services that include cleaning of windows and walls as well as all other surfaces to have the house looking as good as new.

After builders cleaning – Building projects can leave quite a mess that can take all time and effort to clear. Cleaning companies have all equipment, tools and products to clean after builders so your house or office can have a pleasant overall look free from all the mess that comes with the building process. Because of the extent of this kind of job, you may be assigned a team of cleaners to hasten it and achieve the desired results.

Domestic cleaning – It touches on everything that your home may need. Using the professional domestic cleaning services, you can even have your appliances cleaned, your bathroom scrubbed and sanitized and even your windows and carpets cleaned. Upholstery cleaning services also fall in this category. The professionals will definitely transform every area in your home with their expertise. The services are packaged depending on what service needs you have meaning the charges differ depending on the extent of work.

Office cleaning – The cleanliness around your office can go a long way in keeping a positive image of your business. High traffic offices require regular dusting and cleaning and the companies offer all these services. You can schedule the service depending on the exact needs you have within the office to keep every section looking organized and tidy. Some of the cleaning experts will even offer office de-cluttering services when required.…

The Handyman Special – How to Sell a House in Disrepair or Buy a House With No Deposit

Imagine this:

• You need to sell your house but you can’t because you have let it run down over the years and it needs lots of Tender Loving Care.

• You can’t fix it up because you don’t have the cash.

• You are behind on the Mortgage Payments.

If this sounds like the house you have right now then read on. The solution to selling these difficult houses is surprisingly simple, and incredibly effective. The easiest way to explain a House Selling Strategy (or a House Buying Strategy for that matter) is through an example.

Here goes:

The Handyman Special

• The Situation – You are a seller with a house in a bad state of repair. It is currently worth $200 000. All the other houses in your area are worth $300 000.

• The neighbours are on your back to Renovate Your House because it is bringing down the value of their homes.

• You have had professional tradespeople in to give you quotes on the repairs. You cannot afford to pay the $30 000 for the repairs and you couldn’t possibly find the time to DIY. You’re too busy working to try and pay the mortgage payments for that!

Here is what you do – “Make Your House Easy to Buy, so it Will Be Easy To Sell”. With the Handyman Special strategy here are the steps to follow:

1. Let’s assume that if your house was in good condition it would be worth $300 000.

2. Also let’s assume (conservatively) that the bank would be happy to lend on an 80% Loan to Value ratio. This means they will lend a buyer $240 000 to buy a $300 000 home.

3. Next thing to do is put your home up for sale at say $270 000. In your marketing, ask for people who are Good With Their Hands. Yes you will get a lot of interest because it is well below the area value of $300 000. However when a buyer comes to inspect you should expect them (if they have eyes in their head) to baulk at the price when they see the poor condition of your house.

4. Now explain to the buyer that you were going to fix it up at a cost of $30 000 but if the buyer would be happy to do the work themselves instead you would be happy to knock off $30 000 and sell it to them for $240 000 instead. This means you will be accepting a $30 000 deposit in the form of “Sweat Equity”. The buyer needs NO CASH DEPOSIT. The buyer does $30 000 of work instead.

So – What’s in it for the seller? The seller no longer needs to pay $30 000 for repairs and renovations. The seller will get $40 000 more than expected ($240 000 instead of current value of $200 000). The property title will remain in the seller’s name until the renovations are completed to …